Isador Ladoff.

The passing of capitalism, and the mission of socialism online

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The Mission of Socialism.



Author of "Mil E.I He to Sibrriji.


Copyright, 1901.
By ISADOR Ladopf.




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

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

III Two Philosophies of Life 14

IV Science and Art in Their Relation 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 tlie

Philosophy of Despair AU

VIII Religious and Secular Socialism 44

IX Rationalistic Socialism 47

X The Ethical Movement 51

XI Is Socialism Materialistic ? (jO

XII Economic and Sociological Aspects of Socialism . . H8

XIII Capitalism and Liberty. Freedom and Socialism . 71

XIV Cataclysm or Revolution ? 75

XV Commimism and Collectivism 78

XVI Social Revolution and Reformers H'2

XVII Blissful Socialism 8»j

XN'III The Single-tax versus Socialism 90

XI2C Individualism and Crime 95

XX Suicidt' and Industrial Anarchy KiO

XXI The Clamor for Peace in Capitalistic Society ... i()4

XXII Tiie Kights of Women los

XXIII The Rights of Children 112

XXIV The Social Evil and Commercialism 115

XXV Should Trade Unions Enter Politics ? 119

XXVI May Day and Working-Class Holidays V2'.\

XXVII The Capitalistic Press 126

XXVIII Modern Philistinism 131

XXIX Popular Education as Influenced by Capitalism . . 134

.\XX ( )ur Municipal Policy 1:',7

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 15."

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



Why (loos tapiljilisin flouvisli in our midst like a vouomous
fuM.ifoid y "Why did tlie fii'catcst acliiovciiu'nts of tho human
,y:pnius in the conquest of dead matter result in the actual re-
turn to harl)arism ? Siniply Ijccause our philosopliy of life
i is l.>ehind our progress in the domain of ])urely 7natcrial
i or industrial activity. Sini])ly l>ecause the modern methods
of production and distribution of wealth are far more ad-
vanced than our ideals and conceptions al)out 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 tliis contradiction between our con-
ceptions of human iiiter-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. Ver}'' few
however have a clear vision of the hidden causes of these
l)henomena. Deep is the general unrest, broad is the general
nervousness of the people, obvious are the symptoms of our
social abnormalities, absurdities and crimes, hut verv 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-populistic 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 Rodrigo !" Another variety
nf li;ilf-]icai'tcd. oiic-idea reformers trv to concent rate all

their attonlion on sonic singlo panacea, bound to save hu-
manity in twenty-four liours after its inauguration. Such
are the prohibitionists, single-taxers etc. All these would-be
saviors of liunianity 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 see the forest, because stubl)ornly insisting on looking
at one tree only. They imagine themselves to he Joshuas,
commanding the sun of industrial evolution to stop at the
Ajalon of dwarfed capitalism.

Socialism has anoihcr more sensil)le and clieiM'ing message
for humanity. Its watchA\ord is"For\var(i! Forward!" It
recognizes the absurdity of all the attem])ts to turn the wheel
of historical development backward, it considers as insane the
advice to undo ail the niarvelous achievements of science ap-
])lied to arts. It is primarily an educational movement. Its
'task consists in teaching jK'ople to conform their philosophy
IgjLlitV,, theii' 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 prej)aring the people for this revolutionary change.
The time is near when the tools of production and
raw material will !)e turned over to the people engaged in pro-
duction, when production will be carried on, not for profit,
but for consum]>tion, when socialized ])roduction will be car-
ried on by society in the interest of society; in short, when
society at large will ))e the master of its own economic destiny.
Such a revolution in economic life demands a radical revision
and readjustment of._qur moral coiice))tions; 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 gos])el of a new system of
ethics Socialism l)riiigs to the ]»eople.

The ])assing capitalistic era with its profit system, with its
zoological system of com]>etition, with its eternal tluctuations
between suj)j)ly and demand, with its reckless speculation in
Ininum sweat and blood, with its brutal degradation of man-
hood and womanhood, with its flagrant injustice and al)surd-
ities, did not fall from heaven, (or rather, rise from hell) '
into a community of innocent and reasoning I)eings. Oapital-
isn\ is the product of (Mir own ii-rat ii>.)ality and jierverted



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