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"The central aim of Socialism is to terminate the divorce of the workers from the natural sources of subsistence and of culture. The Socialist theory is based on the historical assertion that the course of social evolution for centuries has gradually been to exclude the producing classes from the possession of land and capital, and to establish a new subjection, the subjection of workers who have nothing to depend on but precarious wage-labor. Socialists maintain that the present system (in which land and capital are the property of private individuals freely struggling for increase of wealth) leads inevitably to social and economic anarchy, to the degradation of the working man and his family, to the growth of vice and idleness among the wealthy classes and their dependents, to bad and inartistic workmanship, to insecurity, waste and starvation; and that it is tending more and more to separate society into two classes, wealthy millionaires confronted with an enormous mass of proletarians, the issue of which must either be Socialism or social ruin. To avoid all the evils and to secure a more equitable distribution of the means and appliances of happiness, Socialists propose that land and capital, which are the requisites of labor and the sources of all wealth and culture, should be placed under social ownership and control.”
Thomas Kirkup, in “History of Socialism,” p. 8.
"Socialism is a criticism of existing society which attributes most of the poverty, vice, crime and other social evils of today to the fact that, through the private or class ownership of the social forces of production and exchange, the actual producers of wealth are exploited by a class of non-producers; a theory of social evolution according to which the rate and direction of social evolution are mainly determined by the development of the economic factors of production, distribution and exchange; a social forecast that the next epoch in the evolution of society will be distinguished by the social ownership and control of the principal agencies of production and exchange, and by the equalization of opportunity as a result of this socialization; a movement primarily consisting of members of the wealth-producing class, which seeks to control all the powers of the State and to bring about the collective ownership and control of the principal means of production and exchange, in order that poverty, class antagonisms, vice and other ill results of the existing social system may be abolished and that a new and better social order may be attained."
John Spargo, in "Elements of Socialism," p. 5.
Prepared by The Department of Labor Research
of The Rand School of Social Science
NEW YORK CITY
o 9 minE.S.
Teclaes 9-26-25 N.NF.
The present volume is the result of a genuine co-operation of a number of persons. The greatest part of the section on the International Socialist Movement was prepared by Ludwig Lore. The account of the movement in Switzerland, Spain, Portugal and Latin America, was written by Algernon Lee, while the article on Japan was contributed by Sen Katayama. Jessie W. Hughan edited the section on the Socialist Movement in the United States.
The editor takes this opportunity to express his gratitude to the various contributors who generously responded to his call, as well as to those who aided him in the preparation of the book.
Frank Morrison, Secretary of the American Federation of Labor, Walter Lanfersiek and Adolph Germer, former and present national secretaries of the Socialist Party very kindly supplied information relating to the respective organizations.
It is with a deep sense of pleasure that acknowledgement is here given to David P. Berenberg, Spencer Brodney and Harry W. Laidler who helped in editorial and other capacities and to Ida Crouch-Hazlett, W. M. Fiegenbaum, Lewis Gannett, Avis Hotchkiss, Josephine Nixon and Thomas Seltzer who assisted in collecting material, writing articles, proofreading and indexing. Bertha H. Mailly and the entire staff of the Rand School helped at every stage in the preparation of the volume.
Had space allowed, a number of valuable articles and much statistical material would also have been included. The editor was forced to omit a great deal of prepared material and to shorten a number of articles. It was his hardest and most painful task. He, however, hopes that the readers will understand his plight and, in missing certain items of interest to the Labor Movement, will not ascribe it to the lack of appreciation of their importance. The book has been enlarged to more than a prohibitive size and, it is the earnest hope of the editor that the future issues will not suffer on account of lack of space. Criticism of the present volume, as well as suggestions for guidance in the preparation of future editions, are earnestly solicited.
The publication of the Labor Year Book has been made possible by the establishment of the Edward Berman Publishing Fund of the Rand School by Mr. and Mrs. Morris Berman in memory of their son, Edward, who died July 15, 1916.
ALEXANDER L. TRACHTENBERG.
September 1, 1916.