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October, 1 90 1. PROGRESSIVE THOUGHT. No 17.

'•''• , Published Quarterly. 50-cbnts a Year

Entered at the PostolHce at Tene Haute, Ind., as second-class matter.




This novel by Father McGrady, is the most original and startling the Socialist movement has yet produced. It exposes the causes for the evils that afflict mod- ern society, and points to Socialism as the only remedy.

It is intensely dramatic and will interest thousands who have attempted no serious study of Social problems.

Read it and circulate it ! , ^ , - . ' '■

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:i i


The Mission of Socialism.



Authirr of ''My Exile lo Siherin.^'




Copyright, 1901. By IsADOB Ladofp.


I The Passing of Capitalism and the Mission of Social- ism 4

II The First National Campaign of the Social Demo- cratic Party of America 8

III Two Philosophies of Life 14

IV Science and Art in Their Belation to Socialism , . . 19

V Anarchism 25

VI Tilts at the Windmill of State Socialism 35

VII The Blonde Beast, the Man with the Hoe and the

Philosophy of Despair 39

VIII Religious and Secular Socialism .44

IX Rationalistic Socialism 47

X The Ethical Movement 51

XI Is Socialism Materialistic ? . . . 60

XII Economic and Sociological Aspects of Socialism . . 68 XIII' Capitalism and Liberty. Freedom and' Socialism . 71

XIV Cataclysm or Revolution ? 75

XV Communism and Collectivism 78

XVI Social Revolution and Reformers 82

XVII Blissful Socialism 86

XVIII The Single-tax versus Socialism 90

XIX Individualism and Crime 95

XX Suicide and Industrial Anarchy 100

XXI The Clamor for Peace in Capitalistic Society .... 104 XXII The Rights of Women 108

XXIII The Bights of Children 112

XXIV The Social Evil and Commercialism 115

XXV Should Trade Unions Enter Politics ? 119

XXVI May Day apd Working-Class Holidays 123

XXVII The Capitalistic Press ." .126

XXVIII Modern Philistinism 131

XXIX Popular Education as Influenced by Capitalism . . 134

XXX Our Municipal Policy 137

XXXI What Shall be Done With the Man With the Hoe? . 141

XXXII Industrial Insurance and Old Age Pensions .... 145

XXXIII Building of the Co-operative Commonwealth . . . 149

XXXIV Intellectual Proletariat 153

XXXV On the Eve of the Twentieth Century. A Vision . . 156


Why does capitalism flourish in our midst like a venomous fungoid ? Why did the greatest achievements of the human genius in the conquest of dead matter result in the actual re- turn to barbarism? Simply l)eeause our philosophy of life is behind our jjrogross in the domain of purely material or industrial activity. Simply because the modern methods of production and distribution of wealth are far more ad- vanced than our ideals and conceptions about right and wrong. Our methods of economic activity are incorporating (although, incompletely) the progressive principle of socialization, while our philosophy of life, our moral ideals, remain still individu- alistic or anarchistic.

In this incongruity, in this contradiction between our con- ceptions of human inter-relations on one hand and actual material conditions on the other, is concealed the center of gravity of all social problems' of the day. This incongruity and contradiction is felt instinctively by everybody. Very few however have a clear vision of the hidden causes of these phenomena. Deep is the general unrest, broad is the general nervousness of the people, obvious are the symptoms of our social abnormalities, absurdities and crimes, but very few penetrate beneath the mere surface of things.

Dissatisfaction permeates every class of the people, and many are the remedies proposed and advocated by all kinds of so-called reformers whose name is legion. The middle class "reformers" of the democratic-populistie stamp, those, blind leaders of the blind, preach reaction, return to semi- medieval individualism, as a means of escaping the perplex- ities of our modern industrial conditions. Their watchword is: "Backward, backward, Don Kodrigo!" Another variety of half-hearted, one-idea reformers try to concentrate all

their attention on some single panacea, bound to save hu- manity in twenty-four hours after its inauguration. Such are the prohibitionists, single-taxers etc. All these would-be saviors of hvimanity lack historic sense and philosophic train- ing of mind. They are delightfully puerile in their Utopian faith in the miraculous power of legislation on paper, and do not se6 the forest, because .stubbornly insisting on looking at one tree only. - They imagine themselves to be Joshuas, commanding the sun of industrial evolution to stop at the- Ajalon of dwarfed capitalism.

Socialism has another mor^e sensible and cheering message for humanity. Its watchword . is ,":i!'orward ! Forward !" It recognizes the absurdity of all the attempts to turn the wheel of historical development backward^it^epnsiders as insane the advice to undo all the marvelous achievements of science ap- plied to arts. It is primarily an educational movement. Its task consists in teaching people to conform their philosophy of life, their social ideals and moral principles to the new in- dustrial conditions. .<.. .

The economic structure of our modern society is clearly drifting towards the socialization of industry, and Social- ism is preparing the people for this revolutionary change. The time is near when the tools of production and raw material will be turned over to the people engaged in pro- duction, when production will be carried on, not for profit, but for consumption, when socialized production will be car- ried on by society in the interest of society; in short, when society at large will be the master of its own economic destiny. Such a revolution in economic life demands a radical revision and readjustment of our moral conceptions; it demands a clear vision of the drift of our time and a great deal of en- thusiasm in the cause of human welfare. This clearness of vision, this enthusiasm and the gospel of a new system of ethics Socialism brings to the people.

The passing capitalistic era with its profit system, with its zoological system of competition, with its eternal fluctuations between supply and demand, with its reckless speculation in human sweat and blood, with its brutal degradation of man- hood and womanhood, with its flagrant injustice and absurd- ities, did not fall from heaven, (or rather, rise from hell) into a community of innocent and reasoning beiings. Capital- ism is the product of our own irrationality and perverted

sense of right and wrong. Capitalism is passing m the mea- sure that we are outgrowing it morally and mentally, ine mission of Socialism is to help and hasten our jnental and moral growth into a higher, better, nobler social system. It can do this because it stands on firm historical ground and takes up the work just where it was left by the middle class French Eevolution. Time has proved the futility of political, without economic, freedom and equality. Events have proved that freedom and equality in the purely political sense of these terms are mere worthless abstractions, a snare and de- lusion for the proletarian. Socialism demands economic democracy, economic liberty and equality as the only real democracy,, liberty and equality worth striving for.

"Well, all that is certainly very nice and sounds well ; but is it possible to change human nature so as to make men live like loving brothers?" is the usual sceptical objection of wise practical men to all Socialistic arguments. This objec- tion is by no means new. The "wise and practical man- eater certainly did object in the same way to the radical re- former who first suggested that to enslave prisoners of war. would be preferable to eating them. "It would indeed be very nice, but our fathers and forefathers ate their prisoners of war. You cannot change human nature." And yet centuries passed, and slavery formed the under structure of great civilizations, like those of the Hellenic and Eoman empires. The wise slave-owner argued in the same way with the abolitionist, and yet the shackles fell from the limbs of a race whose only crime consisted in the pigment of its skin. Is it necessary to meet the objection of our wise and practical anti-socialists? It would be too tedious.

The middle class, the most typical representatives of which are the capitalists, was not always as conservative, nay, some- times reactionary, as it appears at present: far otherwise. The absolute power of the kings and emperors of Europe, owing to which the nobility and clergy occupied the most privileged position, was a thorn in the flesh of the middle class. The middle class was the carrier of the noble ideals of (political) freedom, equality and (do not laugh, dear reader) brotherhood. At the time of the French Eevolution it represented .the advance guard of humanity. It fought nobly and conquered ^nth the aid of proletarian blood of course. This accomplished, the middle class ha.^stoned to

forget its revolutionary traditions, and for obvious reasons. As long as their class interests coincided, or seemed to coin- cide, with the interests of the human race, the human cause was their cause, and no farther. Indeed political freedom proved ta be an excellent thing without its economic counter- part for the "valiant possessor of the valuable," as Euskin aptly defined rich people. Who enjoys economic freedom be- cause his is "valiant," can use political freedom as a means to get advantage over his less valiant fellow-citizens, as we wit- ness in Switzerland, France and the United States. The government of so-called free countriss is as easily run in the interests of a plutocracy as a monarchy in the interests of an aristocracy. The proletarian is left to his fate. He is doomed to be dependent on his only possession ^his labor power as a ware in the market. All the insecurity, the fluctua- tions of supply and demand, competition and other beauties connected with the mercantile system, are burdening the broad shoulders of the dispossessed class of the people. The interests of this class are at present identical with the inter- ests of the human race. This class is, therefore, naturally the carrier of the highest ideals of the age, is the advance guard of humanity struggling for its emancipation. Social- ism is the mouthpiece of this struggle, its interpreter, its advocate and leader. Socialism must train the proletarian class and lead it against the hosts of capitalism.


After love, spring was, is and probably always will be a favorite subject with the poets of all zones. And indeed where can be found a more grateful subject for song? It evidently is more agreeable to behold a rapidly flowing brook than a frozen one; evident that flowers look and smell better than fallen leaves; that a long sunny day is more pleasant than a short, murky one ; that the arrival of hosts of feathered singers is preferable to their departure for shores unknown. The poet has the comparatively easy task of putting these and like natural phenomena in more or less euphonious sounds, and the susceptible hearts of all in- nocent youths and maidens will overflow with vague but beautiful emotions and bless the lucky rhymer. No wonder that there are so many spring poets.

But we should like to transport one of these spring poets to the arctic regions and there let him try his skill and talent.

The arctic spring has no fragrant flowers, no flowing brooks, no singing birds. And yet a true poet would be able to express in one way or another that mysterious '"something," which forms the incomparable charm of the dawn of the year in the arctic zone. There is in the air the calm hopefulness and serene joy of the pure platonic love of a chaste maiden. Look around you ! The sun shines as bright, the sky is as clear, the snow as white, the trees are as barren as in winter. Never- theless everything in nature seems changed, transformed. You cannot tell in words, how and why, but you feel these changes and transformations intensely with all the fibres of your body, with all the strength of your soul. You feel more than you perceive with your eyes while the caressing rays of sunny skies ardently kiss away the icy fetters and snowy covers of the earth, that sleeping beauty.

There were and are many gifted writers who have under- taken the comparatively grateful task of describing graphical- ly great historical events, the dawn of new eras, the spring of a new epoch in the life of nations. And all the noble enthusi- asts, the sober and honest thinkers, the great statesmen and

modest, unknown toilers in the cause of humanity, feel them- selves indebted to these writers for inspiration in the dark hours of -pessimistic despair, for consolation in the exasperat- ing moments of unexpected failure, for the grand lessons they offer at a time when these lessons are more precious than all the treasures of the earth. But there are not many writers who discern the signs of a time preceding some great trans- formation in the history of humanity signs escaping the eyes, of the ordinary observer. Such writers are prophets, seers in the true sense of the word.

On the eve of great historical changes, as before the birth of Christ, the dawn of the renaissance, the French revolution and the Declaration of Independence, there were only a few who understood rightly that the old regime had outlived its utility and was bound to go and make way for a new order of things. Everything around seemed to the superficial observer just as unchanged, solid and firm as in good olden times. But the Christs, the Van Houtens, the Mirabeaus and the Franklins Imew better. They felt that mysterious "some- thing" which forms the charm of the dawn of new epochs in the history of humanity. They experienced the calm hope- fulness and pure joy of seers who are sure that their most ardent desires, their most sacred ideas and ideals are soon to be realized. They felt intensely in every fibre, with all the strength of their great souls, the reviving rays of human rea- son and sympathy dispersing .the dense darkness of the past and preparing a brighter future for generations to come. They felt this themselves and imparted these feelings to many of their more susceptible contemporaries and formed in such a way.

L'armee de la pensee, L'armee toujours sacree, Qui fait a le progres Marcher I'humanite !

(The army of thought, the ever sacred army, which makes humanity move along the highway of progress).

In our own time, the winter of capitalism seems to have its full sway, with sheets of paper money for skies, with a golden eagle, as its sun, a silver dollar for its moon, and innumerable small coin for stars, with


iprofil, competition and mammon as its holy trinity. i'Sordid selfishness, hypocritical religiosity, barren mer- cantilism, gross negligence of civic duties and social obligations, 'anarchistic industry based on the rule homo homini lupus, all these beauties of the capitalistic system reign supreme.

And yet even in our sad times there is undoubtedly a mys- terious "something" in the air, which augurs a great change in the social-economic structure of humanitv. This "some- thing" is no longer confined to single isolated seers, to small circles of new parties, to pioneers of great ideas and noble ideals. It is to be met with everywhere, in the general press, in the pulpit, in the court-room, in the theater, in political gatherings, in the sanctuaries of science and art. Only those who intentionally shut their eyes and ears do not see and hear these signs of the times, these death-knells of the mercantile system of society. It is tnie that these signs of the times are very frequently so blurred and intangible that they may seem insignificant if taken by themselves, but taken all in all they speak volumes.

One presidential campaign in the United States is conducted in about the same way as another. The professional politicians of both old parties organize their forces, manufacture issues, work out platforms, shape party pledges, give birth to campaign catch-words, flood the country with "educational" campaign literature and oral eloquence, violently denounce their opponents and profess their great love and admiration for the common peo- ple. The thoughtless crowd, the cattle of the ballot box, shout and whoop and sell their birthright to either one or the other of the old parties for a mess of nasty pottage. After the campaign is over there may be sonie change in the personal constituency of the actors on the political arena, some shift- ing and readjustment of the stage decorations. The play enacted, however will remain ever the same the exploitation of the unorganized many by the organized few, the merciless exploitation of the weak by the strong, the honest and simple- minded by the crafty and unscrupulous.

Did I say this play will ever remain the same? No, not forever, but as long as any of the old parties, it is immaterial which, shall remain in power. And that cannot be very long. The middle class parties have no vital principles to incorpo-


rate, and a political party without vital principles is like a body without a soul.

\ The dense ignorance and criminal good-nature of the peo- ple may for a short time allow the old parties to preserve the outward appearance of life. The "mene tekel upharsin" of the old parties, however, is written with fiery letters on the walls of the modem Belshazzars of Commercialism and Capi- talism.

The Social Democratic party the first Socialistic political organization, that reached national and international pro- portions in the United States started its first national cam- paign under the brightest auspices. There was a demand, a pressing need, for a new, honest third party, a national politi- cal party which would unite all enlightened, public-spirited men who are opposed to our present commercial and capital- istic system and its corrolaries ^the management of national affairs by the hirelings of the capitalistic and commercial classes in the interests of these classes solely, and to the de- triment of all the rest of the people, of toiling humanity with- out distinction of class.

The strength of the capitalistic parties in our days is not in the capitalistic class itself, but in the ignorance and indol- ence of the people in general and especially in the utter der moralization of the capitalistic mob.

By the term "capitalistic mob" we mean the thoughtless crowd of people who far from being capitalists themselves or having a ghost of a show to become capitalists are always ready to back up the institutions of commercialism and capi- talism o\it of sheer stupidity and despicable success-worship. The power of the pro-slavery party of the South, just before the abolition, consisted likewise in the slavish trend of mind of the thoughtless crowd of retainers who could never afford to own a slave themselves. This ignorance, this indolence and demoralization were the most formidable enemies of the party for the abolition of black slavery.

The same ignorance, indolence and demoralization are the most formidable enemies of the Socialistic movement that undertakes the task of abolishing the slavery of the white wage-workers.

The surest way to victory for Socialism is by public en- lightenment, and the best means are agitation and propa- jranda.


The Social Democratic party entered into its first national campaign with no sordid aims and purposes of ofRce-hunting or self-aggrandizement. Those chosen not as leaders but as chief servants of the party (every member of the party was a leader), had no personal ambition but were inspired by the opportunity to promote the great cause.

The Socialistic movement is fully aware that the presiden- tial election is the axis around which all the political machin- ery of the country moves. It regards the office of the president, in its present shape, as a menace to the freedom of the people and is certainly opposed to the present system of election by party. It detests all the tactics of the old parties. It merely uses the presidential campaign as an excellent op- portunity for missionary work. It must fight the old parties with their owq. ^weapons on their own ground.

The Socialistic movement has tried to open the eyes of the people to the evils of o\ir present public institutions; to unmask fools, who parade as sages; rogues pretending to be models of honesty, and charlatans who profess to be emi- nent specialists: to show the hideous features of salaried back-yard politicians posmg as statesmen, and to point out the difference between the purposeless loafing of super- fluous office-holders from genuine earnest work in the inter- est of the community. It has tried to lift the curtain of many a snug corner of our administration, honeycombed as it is with corruption.

At the same time, however, it has tried to keep before the eyes of the people the great principles and ideals it represents. The critical and constructive work of the movement must go on at the same time.

A clean work needs clean hands.

Great principles and lofty ideals demand a great and loftv man as their representative. Such a man was the nominee of the Indianapolis convention, Eugene V. Debs.

A truer heart and purer mind, a more sincere friend of toil- ing humanity has riot been born in our country and ccnturv.

"The time is ripe, and rotten ripe for change ; Then let it come; I have no dread of what Is called for by the instinct of mankind ; Xor think I that God's world will fall apart Because we tear a parchment more or less.


Truth is eternal, but her effluence. With endless change, is fitted to the hour ; Her mirror is turned forward to reflect The promise of the future, not the past. He who would win the name of truly great Must undei-stand his own age and the next. And make the present ready to fulfil Its prophecy, and with the future merge Gently and peacefully, as wave with wave."



Science has not supplied us so far with a satisfactory de- finition of matter, and for obvious reasons. A definition is the result of comparing two or more similar subjects, eliminating the identical and fixing our attention exclusively on the pe- culiar and characteristic properties of these subjects. As all the world, including that mysterious something that we call our ego or soul, consists only of matter in various kinds and degrees of motion, a comparison of matter with something else which is not matter is impossible. The cause of various kinds and degrees of motion of matter, making up the ap- parently endless variety of the visible world is called energy. The two fundamental laws of nature are the indestructibility of matter and the conservation of energy. These two laws may be stated more comprehensibly as follows: Not a par- ticle of matter can be destroyed or created anew; matter is eternal. It may, however, undergo an endless chain of varia- tions, owing to the kind and degree of motion of its smallest parts in space, caused by the different manifestations of energy. Energy may be considered as a condition of matter, more consistently from the monistic point of view, than as a cause of this condition. AVhatever our views of energy may be, the fact is established beyond any shadow of doubt, that energy is just as indestructible as matter itself. As one con- dition of matter may make place for another, one kind of energy may be transformed into another, but never lost to the world at large. ' The instinct of self-preservation in the living world is one of the corrolaries of the fundamental laws of nature just stated. If matter and energy were destructible, the material world would not exist, if there were no instinct of self-preservation no life would be possible on earth.

All the great achievements of human culture and civiliza- tion are due on one side to the ingenuity with which humanity has directed natural forces into artificial channels favorable to human life, and on the other side to the ardent instinct of self-preservation so deeply rooted in human nature, the pas- sionate desire to exist individually and racially. This in- stinct of self-preservation is a natural force. Natural forces are blind. The same wind that in its furv tears down build-


ings and destroys human life may bi; turned into useful channels and compelled to propel mills. The same applies to the instinct of self-preservation in human nature ; it may be destructive and constructive according to the channels in which it moves. Even the most ignorant savage knows so much of nature as to be convinced of the futility of fighting natural forces. Eather the reverse is true; the savage turns the natural forces into so many deities, with which he colo- nizes his Ohnnpus. It is childishly crude to regard the in- stinct of self-preservation as an evil called selfishness which must he eradicated, rather than a necessary force, which needs intelligence, as a guide to life itself.

Don Quixote fought windmills, but he had too much sense to fight wind itself, that means the air in its motion. That is just what our Utopian friend the revolutionary (anarchis- tic philosophers or philosophical anarchists) and conservative (middle-class philosophers of the ethical culturists and church moralists) individualists advocate. They propose to eradicate this fundamental social force and change human nature so as to take away from it the very motive of its existence, to cure a headac-he hj decapitation, to huild up a society by de- stroying the building material on hand and killing the huilder. ^ A more irrational undertaking is hardly imaginable.

The Socialistic view of selfishness and the way to utilize it in the interests of the human race we have treated in some of our former articles and hope to treat later many a time. Let us here pass this phase of the problem and try to see how the instinct of self-preservation in humankind has originated two diametrically opposed philosophies of life. Taking for granted that self-preservation is the fundamental force of life, we have to deal with the ways and means to direct it. Between two points ^the starting point and point of final goal of a force (the term final is used in a relative sense), the shortest road is a direct line; the most economic road from the point of view of preservation of energy is the curved line of least resistance. This law of mechanics applies likewise to social life in general. On the lower stages of life, taking the desire, for food as the starting point and its satisfaction as the final point,, the animal will directly reach for the food just as it presents itself to its feelings, without any consideration as to the ratio be- tween the energy to be expended and the end to he aceom-


plished. The higher an aiiiiual stands on the evolutionary ladder the more considerations of economy in energy enters into its mode of satisfying its needs, the more the line of least resistance is followed. Cunning and prevision take the place of brute force and immediate impulses, association is resorted to and the elements of social co-operation appear on the surface, as in the case of the ant, the bee and the herd animals. The individual arrives at the conclusion that his interests will be best served by the somewhat roundabout way of apparently merging his individual interests into the sea of racial interests. This is the starting point of raceism, of which modern Socialism is the most typical expression, while individualism belongs to a lower stage of life and survives at present only as a hypocritical cant on the part of middle- class philosoiihers and as a Utopian dw.xm of unphilosophic philosoi)hiial anarchists. Individualisn^ celebrates its orgies in our present ago of mercantilism and capitalism, and will die with it the ignominious death of a philosophy of brute force and slavery. liaccisn\ the philoso])hy of Socialism is gaining ground with every day, and will usher in a new, higher and nobler stage of ciiltiirc and civilization and be the crowning glory of the human race, the religion of the future.

There never was and certainly never will he a human crea- ture without some philosophy of life, without some theory about the non ego, the not myself, the outward world, and some conception about the mutual relations between the outward and the subjective inward world, generally called the human soul. We are justified in going even one step farther and ven- turing to state, that the higher types of animals have some rudimentary conceptions of their relations towards the out- ward world. Fanciful as this statement may appear, it is however true that a bird protecting its nest or a tiger hunting a weaker animal, each respectively acts in accordance with some conception, however crude, of its place in nature. The hackneyed distinction between instinct and mind is unsci- entific, as there is only a difference in degree between these two properties, or rather functions, of the brain.

It is true that strictly speaking, there are as many concep- tions in life as there are human individuals, and thai; these variations increase with the progressive evolution of the in- dividuality. And yet we may very precisely distinguish be- tween two cardinal principles in the popular conception of


life, principles diametrically opposed to, nay, even excluding each other.

One of these principles is ego-centrism, individualism, or anarchism. This principle is a survival of the exploded geo- centric and anthropomorphic theories, according to which the entire is created by some supernatural being for the special benefit of a certain chosen human unit inhabiting the grain of cosmic dust called earth. BVom this puerile point of view, the outward world is only to be considered as a means of satisfying the desires and cravings of animals. Prom such a view it logically follows that might is right. An- arohism as a philosophy of life is as old as the oldest forms of Jife on earth. The prototype of an accomplished anarchistic philosopher in the animal kingdom is the tiger, just as an exploiter of human labor is an accomplished tiger in huma-n shape. The tiger considers himself the sole object of the world's bounty, and therefore fully entitled to the flesh, blood and marrow of animals weaker than himself. The ex- ploiter of human labor is the representative of the same tiger philosophy, in spite of his outward appearance.

The conception of life diametrically opposed to anarchism may be traced in its inceptive stage in the animal kingdom to the gregarious mammals. Life in herds presupposes some in- stinct of a social or racial nature. It is only natural that the racial instinct should reach its highest stage of development in the human kind.

The tmderlying principle of race-consciousness (as op- po~sed to individual self-consciousness) is the recognition of the fact, that the interests of the individual are best served by their subjection to the interests of the aggregate. The plain principle of racc-conxciousness is nothing but the princi- ple of international socialism: Socialism is therefore primar- ily a philosophy of life based on the recognition of the pre- fect solidarity of the interests of all the members of human- kind. Socialism in the broadest sense of the term is as old as the human race.

All the Zoroasters, the Buddahs, the Moseses, Isaiahs and Christs, all the hoary seers of the past, who preached race- consciousness, were emotional or religious socialists. There is, however, a vast difference between the socialism expounded and propounded by the founders of great religions of the world, the half-rationalistic, Utopian or imaginary socialism


of a Thomas Move, Babeuf, Fourier or Eobert Owen, and the thoroughly critical socialism of Eodbertus and Marx.

The Utopian socialists had no idea of society as a natural product of biological and anthropological development, as a complex result of the action, reaction, and co-operation of natural forces inherent in society. The Utopians rather thought, that society is entirely the result of the free play of hitman will and may be arbitrarily remodeled according to artificial designs or fancies at a moment's notice. The Utopians judged society from a high level of moral feeling and ideas (just as the religious teachers of the past) and also appealed to the higher qualities of the human mind. Their conception of history was thoroughly metaphysical.

Modern Socialism is the child of modem social conditions and a critical trend of mind. One of the most character- istic features of modern socialism is its so-called materialistic, or rather realistic conception of history, as opposed to the metaphysical conception of older schools. The great expounders of modern socialism, Eodbertus and Marx, first proved that not the will and whim of kings are the most important factors in the process of shaping the destinies of nations, but social and economic forces inherent in the masses and classes composing nations. They first proved that economic and social institutions are the result of these highly complex forces and siibjected to evolutionary and re- volutionary, to progressive and regressive changes. They first investigated social and econoniic phenomena, vising exact and strictly scientific methods. They first established the existence of laws, the mutual relations between causes and effects in social and economic life. They were the Bacons and Darwins of economics. They first attempted to base the ideals of the future on a rational conception of the past and present. Sociology is the science of the development of society. Modern socialism is the art of applying the resiults of scienticic investigations and deduction toi the practical problems of human society. It is the meeting-ground of religion, rational ethics and pure science. Eeligion or rational ethics supplies the motive, the why, while science shows the way Tiow to accom- plish the true (not the mystical) salvation of humanity from the burden of spiritual and material anarchy, from the course of selfishness, the stupid subserviency to brute force and the arrosrancc of material wealth.




Is Socialism an idle fancy of noble dreamers, or an exact science founded on the impregnable rock of economic ma- terialism ? Is it a panacea for all the evils of humanity, or an antidote to the poison of capitalism a kind of an antitoxin against the microbes of modern economic materialism ?

Frenchmen say : "A comparison is no reason," and yet an analogy elucidates sometimes more than volumes of scientific proofs. We will therefore make an attempt to ansvi^er the question put at the head of this note by using a comparison. Medicine, preventive and curative, is an art founded on the so-called natural sciences and on the knowledge of the human body. Rational medicine is impossible without this knowl- edge. A physician without it is a dangerous quack. Society exists, just as the human body, according to certain conditions of its life and activities. If these conditions are in accord with natural laws, society prospers, and vice versa.

Human society can be, and is, studied by scientists. The science of society is known by the name of Sociology. Sociology is to society what natural sciences are to the human body the real basis and foundation of its treatment in health and disease. Socialism, however, is the "art of Sociology," tlie "application of science to the practical problems of social life," the "materia medica," the hygiene and curative methods of the social body. This conception of Socialism is immensely broader and more harmonious than that of the economic ma- terialist, since it takes into consideration all the human wants instead of only the material ones. The social unit of the economic materialist is not a living human being, with all Ihis faults and passions, desires and ambitions, altruistic and egotistic inclinations, moral and immoral tendencies. This social unit is an abstraction, a man from whom all human traits are eliminated, except greed for possession of maternal goods. Economic problems play a great part in human life, and consequently in social life, too. But they do not constitiite all of it. Economy as a science is a part of Soci- ology; the skeleton is a very important part of the human body ; but a living man is infinitely more than a skeleton.


Tlie scieDce about the bones, osteolog}', is necessan' for the general knowledge of the human body. But would it not be preposterous for osteologists to say that iheir science is all that is necessary for a practical physician? Economics are the osteology of human society, and to base on it the art of the treatment of society is simply preposterous.

As the knowledge of all the parts of the human body is the condition sine qua non of a good physician, the knowledge of all the laws of the interrelations of human beings is neces- sary for every Socialist who deserves the name. Socialism is no longer an idle dream ; it is not a panacea, or a specific cure against a certain disease, it is not a science by and for itself. It is infinitely more than all that. It is the applica- tion of all the results of scientific investigation, of the results of human thought and noblest feelings to the problems of social life. Great is the dignity of a healer of the afflictions of the human body, and the preserver of health, but great- are also his responsibilities. To be called a Socialist is the high- est compliment that can be paid by one man to another. To be a true Socialist is the highest distinction a man can attain on earth. But how many deserve to be called so, and how many pretend to be Socialists, without any shadow of right to be counted as such? It is not enough to repeat thoughtlessly certain ready-made maxims and sentences in order to be a Socialist. It is necessary to study society in all its aspects and phases, to read, think and investigate much and long, in order to have the right to call one's self a Socialist. One in- dependent thinking man is worth thousands of thoughtless repeaters of other people's ideas. It is a great and noble thing to "make Socialists," but the proper way to do it is to make them study, think and judge for themselves, to put them on their own feet. Peeling alone, sincere and deep as it may be, is not a secure foundation for a soldier of Socialism. Knowl- edge, and conviction coming from knowledge, and independ- ent thought, are the most precious qualities of a healer of social wrong and a true social reformer. The so-called social- istic leaders who are opposed to academic study of society, because they "want fighters," are false prophets". Socialism in order to succeed must conduct an educational crusade. German Socialists owe their success to the systematic educa- tion of the masses, started by the genial Ferdinand Lassalle and kept up to our day. The Socialists of England try to


do the same. The American Socialists must adopt the same policy. An ignorant soldier is a poor fighter.

Societj' is not aTi organism, but an organization. Indeed, it is the highest stage of organization of matter to be met with in nature.

Sociology is a natural science in the full meaning of the term. Society is governed by the same laws that rule the rest of the organic and inorganic world. The proper method of studying society consists in the analysis of the forces which form and keep societies alive. Before we begin this analysis, however, we must cast a cursory glance at the probable stages of the development of society among primitive men.

The first stage consisted probably of u grouping of men in small numbers for the purpose of a more successful acquire- ment of food. The second stage was the association of larger numbers of men in consequence of their more rapid multipli- cation due to increased sagacity in providing food. The estab- lishment of some rude forms of government formed the third stage of social life. Tribal development can be accepted as the fourth stage of the association of man, eventually result- ing in the union of tribes into nations, and the union of nations into higher aggregates of a cosmopolitan character.

Let us now see what are the social forces of which we have spoken. Society is an aggregation of men, and we have there- fore to consider the forces of human activity in particular in order to understand their general and ebmplex manifestations in society. The animal world is governed by two primary principles. One is the self-preservation of the individual, and the other the propagation of the race. These principles are manifested in corresponding desires. These desires are natural forces, compelling their agents to perform certain acts leading to certain results. The human animal makes no exception to these primary principles of organic life.

Hunger, thirst and cold are the most powerful stimulants to human activity. It is want of food, clothing and shelter that compels men to work, to create industries, to accumulate wealth, to proclaim rights of property, to fix rules of con- duct, to found cities and establish states, to inaugurate wars and arrange peace. The great difference between man and the brute creation consists not in the desire of the individual to live and reproduce his kind, but rather in the method of gratifying thes^o blind but slrong desires, which Schopenliauer



.,il!s the "will." Tn animals the method is brute force, form- ing a straight line between the point of desire and the point of gratification. In man the method is indirect and along the line of least resistance. Nature is prodigal in its methods, man economical. Nature has efficient causes, but no aims or purposes. Man does everything with an aim or purpose in view.

Whv does llu> human being employ indirect methods, while the rest of the living world employs direct ones ? The answer is found in the fact of the peculiar spiritual mind of man. Nobody denies now that man is an