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of all men whom the burden and pressure of the trading class regime force to like action in the assertion of their economic claims, and in whom is awakened a common hope of a reorganization of society and a determination to achieve it. At its center is the class of wage-earning producers; and it is flanked by other producers; by such social servants as have risen above the retainer mind; by such of the petty manufacturers and dealers as see in the continuance of the present regime an approaching ruin of their livelihoods; by men of whatever class in whom the love of usefulness, or the love of fellowship, or the passion for social justice is intrinsically stronger than the love of profit or of individual advantage. It is the social minded mass arraying itself against the unsocial minded classes."
Keeping in mind this broad sense of the term proletariat as defined by the best thinkers and writers in the Socialist movement, it is absurd to exclude from our appeal any of the classes who may be susceptible.
TYPES OF THE PROLETARIAT.
The classes that most naturally belong to us, that are as a rule easiest to get and that count for the most when we have them, are the organized trades unionists of the country. Every force of their economic environment and every incident of their experience is drawing them with tremendous power toward the Socialist position. Their training not only in their economic struggles, but in their collective and political experience, limited as it is in America, is hevertheless' fitting them more than any other single class, for service in the social revolution.
Next to them, the economic and political experience of the small farmer class in America is preparing them for a part in the revolution. They are oppressed by capitalism in a most persistent and decisive manner. The experience of this class in the political struggles of the past has awakened in them a considerable degree of class consciousness and they have manifested it frequently in political efforts. The economic conditions are pressing constantly harder upon them, and they are the only other class outside of the wage workers who have shown capacity for organization on the economic field in behalf of their class interests, and in America they have shown more capacity than the wage-earning class for organization and effort upon the political field. A very large proportion of them, if not the majority of them, belong “virtually" to the proletariat. The holding of a technical legal title to some land, and machinery, does not by any means give them control of their essential means of production.
A third section of the proletariat and one that has always played a very decided part in the development of the Socialist movement has been called the intellectual proletariat. These are the educated men and women in the schools, colleges, universities, arts and sciences who find their field of employment constantly restricted and hemmed in by the limitations of capitalism. They do not own the means of their employment. They belong technically and in practically every sense of the word to the proletariat. The majority of them may not be conscious of it. Neither are the wage workers. But they belong there nevertheless. It is for us to recognize this fact, and to make them conscious of it.
Comrade Kirkpatrick, who has recently been made organizer of the Intercollegiate Society, is calling attention to the importance of this element. He quotes from Bebel's "Woman, Past, Present and Future”: “Germany has a more numerous proletariat of students and artisans than any other country and a large proletariat in the so-called liberal professions. This proletariat is constantly increasing and carrying discontent with the state of affairs into the highest ranks of society. The capitalistic spirit in these circles is roused to criticism of actual conditions and helps to accelerate the universal dissolution. Thus is the present system being attacked from all sides."
Consider for a moment the vital part which this intellectual proletariat has played in the Socialist movement of the world. From this section of the proletariat we received first of all our Karl Marx, and our Ferdinand Lassalle. It has given us Liebknecht and many other of the greatest men and most effective organizers of the German Socialist movement. It has given us Enrico Ferri in Italy; Vandervelde in Belgium; Jaures in France, and it is giving us a very large proportion of the revolutionary leadership in Russia at this very hour. In America it has given us A. M. Simon, and Aelgernon Lee, editors of the Socialist dailies, Spargo, Work, Stokes, Strickland, Berger, and a host of others too numerous to mention.
With contributions like this from the intellectual proletariat in the history of the movement, it is too late for us to begin to limit our appeal to one small section of the working class.
When we say that the work of the social revolution must be done by the working class, and that Socialism is a working class movement, we should not so limit the meaning of that term as to make our position absurd. There is already a misconception in the minds of most people outside of the Socialist movement, that does us measureless harm and makes our work difficult. Our enemies fling at our movement the very slur that Comrade Sladden has tried to fasten upon us, viz., that Socialism is an unintelligent, uncouth, inhuman struggle on the part of the lowest element in society alone. As a matter of fact, the Socialist movement today is, and always has been, composed of the very best element of the working classes in every country—the most intelligent, the most progressive, the most unselfish, and the most capable. And also this movement has had in it from other classes some of the brightest minds, the noblest hearts, and the cleanest souls of the age in which we live.
If we are to present Socialism as a product of the gutter and the slums, as made up only of those elements, and to be led by them, then I think we may well despair of its victory. Not only because it never would succeed in enlisting enough voters to capture the powers of government, but also because if it did it would be utterly incapable of organizing a social revolution, much less of administering modern social and industrial life and would very likely put civilization back a hundred years.
No, Socialism is something infinitely better, infinitely richer than that. When we shout the shibboleth, "Workers of the world unite !" let us not restrict our call. Let us proclaim it in triumphant faith to all who rightfully belong to us. We need them all all the workers.
Under class civilization all literature as well as science may be called toy work; it does not make for human progress directly but only incidentally. The sciences and inventions are exploited by corporations primarily for profit, and all new discoveries merely broaden the field of exploitation and give rise to larger corporations. The toy literature and arts merely serve for the diversion of the same class; they affect the upper surface of society only and do not rise to the dignity of really human productions, because they are not participated in by humanity, nor is it intended that they should be.--Marcus Hitch in Goethe's Faust.
Unionism and Socialism. The Exponent, the organ of the Citizen's Industrial Association, prints on the same page of a recent issue two editorials. One is entitled "Socialism Opposed to Unionism”, and serves up the stale slanders against socialism which have been completely answered in millions of propaganda pamphlets. “The industrial army of this country, organized and unorganized,” it concludes, "will do well to watch the Socialist, who is crafty and persevering, and whose only hope of success is in disaffection and disorder." The other editorial is entitled "Technical Training and Unionism”, and we consider it worth reprinting entire:
It will hardly surprise those familiar with the autocratic principles of tradesunionism to find that they are generally opposed to technical education.
In the struggle for higher wages for labor, meaning, of course, organized labor, they look with coldness, if not with direct opposition, on the efforts that are being made to teach the boy to earn his own livelihood when he leaves school. They would rather take the immigrant from Europe and increase their ranks from these foreign sources than have the demand for expert workers filled by young Americans. While the field for unskilled laborers is well supplied, it is notorious that the demand for skilled labor exceeds the supply and unless technical training on a very extensive scale is resorted to, the time is not far distant when this country will fall seriously behind in the competition with European manufacturers. Organized labor is well aware of this fact, and its opposition to technical training is based on pure selfishness. In some instances the Federation of Labor has given a half-hearted assent to the establishment of such schools conditional on their being run in conformity with the principles of trades-unionism. So we find that the F. of L. in this, as in the matter of obedience to the law, sets itself up as an arbiter and controller of public affairs.
In spite of this opposition and insolent dictation, however, the principle of Sending the Whole Boy to School is growing, and the people are rapidly awakening to its great importance. Thinking men and women everywhere are learning that no boy is the worse for technical education, and the day is not far distant when the School of Trades will be considered a necessary annex to every grammar school in America.
The crafty and persevering socialist welcomes heartily the Exponent's suggestion of technical education for every child. The argument in its favor from the viewpoint of the American capitalist is unanswerable. Trained machinists must and will be had in increasing numbers to meet the competition of German capitalists in the world market. The opposition of the A. F. of L. to the establishment of the "School of Trades" will be as futile as protests against the introduction of new machinery has proved in the past. But the output of skilled workers from these schools will wipe out the distinctions that still survive between skilled and unskilled laborers. When technical training is free to all, its possessor will be able to command no extra wage; the capitalists will themselves have accomplished what they charge the socialists with plotting, they will place the competent and incompetent on a dead level. Meanwhile the total social product will increase faster and faster, while the consuming power of the mass of the population will diminish. Overproduction, panics and industrial depressions will be intensified beyond anything yet known. Thus the wise and benevolent capitalists will have provided for the "disaffection and disorder" in which the crafty and persevering socialist finds his only hope of success. It is to laugh.
A Choice Specimen. We do not often comment on the obstacles placed in the way of the Socialist movement by its alleged friends, but a leaflet sent us by the publisher of a magazine called “Tomorrow" is such an admirable object lesson in the way not to do things, that we make an exception in its favor, and reprint it in full, with a few words of comment:
“TO SOCIALIST LEADERS." (There are no Socialist leaders. There is a Socialist movement, the movement of the working class, driven by economic necessity to a death struggle with the capitalist class. Socialist writers and speakers, if reasonably intelligent, try to understand the movement and interpret it, but not to "lead.")
Keep the banner of socialism high and let your oratory, books and journals stand as a record down the ages that the toilers of this day did not forget —that they at least talked comradeship and co-operation, even if they made no attempt to live it.
To play at co-operation while the capitalist class controls the essential means of production is somewhat less useful than making mud pies, since the latter process has a certain eductaional value. To talk comradeship in a class society and ignore the class struggle is to play into the hands of the capitalists with more than ordinary stupidity.
It takes self-sacrifice, abstemiousness, fidelity, industry, orderliness, cleanilness and gentleness to live socialism.
How many of these capitalist virtues does it take to "live" capitalism?
There should already be many socialist groups living and working in mutual