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The object of these conferences is not to abolish stand-
ing armies, but merely to decrease their size, and that not
below the point required for the suppression of the "do-
mestic enemy," the working class.

Socialism stands for the abolition of all wars and all
armies, but it recognizes that within the modern social sys-
tem this is an unattainable ideal. The practical socialist
program, therefore, advocates what the socialists consider
the next best step, — introduction of a national demo-
cratic militia system instead of that of the standing army.

There is but one country in the world in v/hich that
system has found almost complete application, and that
country naturally is the one that may be called the experi-
mental laboratory of all social reforms — Switzerland.

The militia system was introduced in Switzerland in
1874. Subsequently that system was supplemented by
the institutions of the Landwehr and Landsturm.

The militia proper, or the Elite, consists of all able-bodied
male citizens between the ages of twenty and thirty-two
years ; the Landwehr is composed of all men between the
ages of thirty-two and forty-four years, while all citizens,
between the ages of eighteen and fifty years, who for one
cause or another do not belong to either of the two classes,
constitute the Landsturm.


The cavalry exercises every year, all other corps of the
Elite, or active army, every two years, while the members
of the Landwehr are called under arms for the purpose of
military exercise and maneuvers once in four years. The
Federal Council of the republic is the head of the army.

In 1902 the total military forces of the Swiss militia
were as follows: 153,649 in the Elite, 88,813 in the Land-
wehr, and in the Landstiirm, 43,368 soldiers under arms,
and 237,275 in the non-armed or auxiliary service. In
other words, the little republic with a population of about
3,000,000 had an active army of 285,830 trained men,
and in case of emergency could rely on 523,105 citizens for
its defense. And the total military budget of Switzerland
is less than thirty million francs per year.

The militia system of Switzerland is the socialist model
of existing military organization, though the socialists do
not consider it perfect, and strongly advocate certain im-
provements, especially the election of officers and the mili-
tary education and training of the youth as part of the
general educational system.

The militia system has been criticised as too cumber-
some, irregular and scattered for offensive action, but in
the eyes of the socialists this feature is one of its greatest
merits. The militia is primarily an instrument for self-
defense, just as the standing army is mainly an instru-
ment of aggression.

But the principal virtue of a true democratic militia is
that it leaves the military power in the hands of the people
and prevents the ruling classes from turning it into a tool
of oppression and despotism. The only people that is
really free is an armed people, and the people as such can
be properly armed only under a general militia system.


"I ask you to observe," said Edouard Vaillant, speaking
in support of his bill for the introduction of the Swiss
militia system in France, before the Chamber of Deputies,
"that when we advocate the institution of militia, we do
not pretend to propose a measure of socialism. The militia
is the military organization of the city, which without dis-
tinction between military and civil functions, has become
at once military and civil. It is the present city trans-
ferred to the camp, it is the citizen-soldier, and the soldier-
citizen, always a citizen in all his functions, be they mili-
tary or civil." And again: —

"The armament of the people is the necessary comple-
ment to universal suffrage and to the development of a true
democracy. The militia has in all history been the in-
stitution of democracy, appearing with its victories, dis-
appearing with its defeats." ^

This positive side of the militia system, the arming and
training of all male citizens, makes the reform of almost
as great importance to the working class of the countries
free from standing armies as to the workingmen in the
most military states.

* "Suppression de rArmee Permanente," pp. 25, 26.



Crime and Vice

The alarming growth of crime and vice in modern times
has advanced a problem which society can no longer
ignore. Up to very recent years the views of the good and
virtuous people on the criminal and the prostitute were
exceedingly definite and simple. The one was a mali-
cious enemy of law and order, to be mercilessly run down
and punished for his deliberate malefactions ; the other was
a shameless creature, an outcast of society, to be loathed
and despised. And it is only within the last decades that
more sober views on the subject have begun to assert
themselves. The application of scientific methods to the
investigation of social phenomena was gradually extended
to the domain of crime and vice. Attempts were made to
discover their true nature, origin and causes and to devise
rational methods for checking their growth. The new
science of criminology was thus born, and as is the case
with every social science, especially during the period of its
inception, several divergent schools of thought were soon
developed within it.

Of such modern schools of criminology the most popu-
larly known and most sensational is that established by
the famous Italian criminologist, Cesare Lombroso, the
school of "criminal anthropology." The main doctrine



of this school is that the criminal is distinguishable from
the normal human being by certain physical and psychic
peculiarities, which stamp him as an uomo deliquente,
delinquent man or born criminal.

These peculiarities are of an atavistic nature, and are
either inherited or gradually acquired through a definite
process of physical degeneration. The proof of this
theory rests on the results of extensive investigations into
the family histories of numerous criminals, on physical
measurements and autopsies of delinquents, and on fine
observations of the general mental traits and moral con-
ceptions of the criminal classes. The habitual criminals,
according to these observations, as a rule spring from an
ancestry tainted with drunkenness, epilepsy and insanity;
they have no conception of right and wrong, and their
physical construction and appearance show a reversion
to the peculiarities of primitive men.

Lombroso's theories were extended by the brilliant
coterie of his disciples, and finally Dr. B. Tarnowsky, of
the St. Petersburg Military Medical Academy, transferred
them from the field of crime to that of vice. To the type
of the "born criminal" was added that of the "born pros-
titute," both possessing largely the same characteristics.

The conception of the born criminal leads necessarily
to that of the incurable criminal, and the school of criminal
anthropology thus practically proclaims the hopelessness
and futility of all social attempts to curb crime and vice.
The doctrines of that school bear a close resemblance to
the pseudo-scientific arguments of the old-time advocates
of slavery and the modern opponents of woman's rights
— all of them seek a sanction for revolting social conditions
in the alleged physical inferiority of the victims of those


conditions, and all of them fail to take into account the
social and historical influences which contribute so largely
to the development and modification of the physical,
mental and moral type.

A substantial improvement on the one-sided views of
the school of Lombroso was introduced by the well-known
Italian criminologist and socialist leader, Enrico Ferri/
Ferri admits the existence of a criminal type to be dis-
tinguished by physical symptoms, but he regards such
symptoms merely as evidence of pathological traits, in-
herited or acquired, which predispose the subject to a
career of crime. In his view such criminal inclinations are
by no means irresistible — they may be overcome by other
agencies. Ferri recognizes three main factors as causes of
crime ; the physico-psychical constitution of the individual,
his natural environment, and his social environment.
He distinguishes five different classes of criminals : —

1. Born criminals J or persons with a hereditary taint
predisposing them to crime;

2. Insane criminals, or such who commit crimes while
insane ;

3. Criminals through passion;

4. Criminals through circumstances, whose crimes are
accidental and are due to their social surroundings, and

5. Habitual criminals, who have become such after the
first offense, through prison life and associations, and
through the relentless persecutions of organized society.

The last two classes, according to Ferri, embrace about
75 per cent of all criminals. But the criminals through
passion are also largely the products of the conditions of
the modern struggle for existence, and even the born and

' "Crime as a Social Phenomenon."


the insane criminal types are to a large extent developed
by social conditions.

"The anthropologist who recognizes the hereditary or
acquired biological anomalies of these criminals," says he,
"does not thereby deny the indirect social origin of the
greater part of these anomalies themselves." *

Similar views are held by many eminent criminolo-
gists, especially of the Italian school. The social cause of
crime is still more emphasized by the "positive school of
criminology," whose leading exponent is the well-known
German criminologist, Franz von Liszt. That school
does not ignore the individual characteristics of the crimi-
nal as a factor in the commission of crime, but it attributes
to them a secondary importance only.

"The individual conditions of crime are often the
direct products of its social conditions," observes von
Liszt. "The misery of the masses is the fertile soil not
only for the growth of crime itself, but also of that degen-
eration based on hereditary taint which in its turn again
leads to crime. . . . Every crime is the product on the
one hand of the peculiarities of the individual criminal,
and on the other, of the social conditions which surround
the criminal at the time of the deed — in other words,
it is the product of only one individual factor and of count-
less social factors."

And again : —

"It is an established fact that a protracted industrial
depression always results in the increase of crime generally,
and especially of offenses against property, principally
theft ; in the decrease of marriages and births of legitimate

' Enrico Ferri, "Kriminclle Anthropologic und Sozialismus," Neue
Zeil, 14th Year, Vol. II, No. 41.


children with a corresponding increase of illegitimate
births ; in the rise in the infantile death-rate, the increase
of suicides, the lowering of the average life and in a series of
other disquieting phenomena. A close examination would
show that the influence of industrial conditions on crimi-
nality is more far-reaching than commonly supposed.
Thus the geographical distribution of criminality in each
country is largely based on the industrial conditions of
the different sections of the country. . , . Thus also the
strong increase of offenses against property in December,
January and February may be accounted for by the de-
creased opportunities for work in the cold season and the
greater need of food, clothing and fuel. . . . The ' indus-
trial conditions,' whose favorable or unfavorable influence
on criminality must be primarily considered to-day, are the
general condition of the working classes, not only their
financial, but also their physical, mental, moral and politi-
cal condition." ^

The socialists most generally adhere to the views of
von Liszt and the positive school of criminology.

Crime and vice do not owe their existence to the modern
capitalist society. Crimes against the person are as old
as human passion, and crimes against property and the vice
of prostitution are probably as old as the institution of
private property. But if capitalism has not created crime
and vice, it has created the conditions for their wholesale
development and ever increasing extension. For if the
misery of the masses is the fertile soil of crime and vice,
capitalism is the hothouse of popular misery.

Whether crime and vice in their devastating triumphal

* Quoted by Paul Hirsch in "Verbrechen und Prostitution als soziale
Krankheitserscheinungen," 2d Edition, Berlin, 1907, pp. 22, 23.


march brand the bodies and souls of their victims with
visible marks of infamy, and whether they choose their
victims in the prime of their lives, in their cradles or in
their mothers' wombs, is a matter of little moment: the
modern social relations are such that they cannot fail to
produce destitution and physical and mental degeneracy
and crime and vice as specific expressions of such destitu-
tion and degeneracy. All conditions surrounding the
modern workingman's family, and especially the family
of the most poorly paid workingman, tend to drive its
members to break the established social canons of law and
morality. The exhausting labor of the workingmen and
working women sap their physical and moral strength ;
their helpless and hopeless condition in cases of unem-
ployment, sickness or physical disability render them des-
perate; their repulsive "homes" rob them of the sustaining
influences of family life and drive them to drink and to the
rude life of the street ; the heartless treatment of their em-
ployers and of "organized society" as a whole makes them
morose and embittered; their misery is so deep, their
temptations are so strong, and their powers of resistance
so weak, that it should be a matter of surprise that so many
of them escape the clutches of crime or vice.

And just as the heartless system of exploitation breeds
crime and vice in the classes of the exploited, so does the
senseless system of competition and the headlong race
for profits breed the crimes so prevalent and growing in the
ranks of the exploiters themselves : fraud, bribery, 'corrup-
tion and numerous similar offenses.

Crime and vice cannot be entirely eliminated from the
capitalist system of society. They may be diminished, but
not by police measures nor by prison methods, not by


supervision nor by segregation, not by any system of
punishment or moral preaching, but by removing the worst
features of those social conditions that breed crime and
vice. The socialists are by no means indifferent to the
efforts to check the growth of crime and vice, but they recog-
nize the absolute impotency of purely penal reforms to
accomplish that end, and they see the only remedy against
the dreadful double scourge of human society in the
realization of their general program of industrial and
social reform.


Intemperance as such is not a modern problem. The use
and abuse of alcoholic drinks are as old as written history,
and the movement to combat the evil dates back several

The first temperance society is said to have been founded
by Margrave Frederick V in 1600, and it is instructive to
learn that the noble members of that society were bound
by a pledge, good for two years, not to drink more than
seven bumpers of wine with any meal, nor more than four-
teen bumpers a day. They were, however, permitted to
quench any surplus of thirst with beer and to drink one
glass of whisky on the side. By this ideal of abstention
may be gauged the ordinary drinking habits of our fore-
fathers in the good old times when knighthood was in

But on the whole, drinking in those times seems to have
been the sport of the nobles rather than the vice of the

It was only with the advent of the cheap corn whisky


in the sixteenth century that strong alcoholic beverages
became accessible to the rising class of the proletariat,
and since that time the drink habit among the working
people has grown so enormously that alcoholism has be-
come a problem of the modern labor movement.

The use of alcohol affects the poor much more injuri-
ously than the men of the wealthier classes, even though the
latter may be addicted to it no less than the former. The
ill-nourished and weak organism of the workingman offers
but little resistance to the ravishing effects of alcohol. The
workingman will often succumb to a quantity of the bever-
age which will not disturb the equilibrium of a man of the
better-situated classes.

Moreover, the workingman's income is as a rule barely
sufficient to cover the necessaries of his life. He can pro-
cure his drink only by depriving himself of more sub-
stantial nourishment, thus undermining his body in two

On the whole it may be truthfully said that intemper-
ance is one of the heaviest scourges of the working class
and one of the greatest obstacles to all progressive labor
movements and to socialism.

The excessive use of alcohol enfeebles and brutalizes
large masses of the workingmen. It renders them incap-
able of study, training and organization, indifferent to
the struggles of their class, and inaccessible to its aspira-
tions and ideals.

The alcoholic habits of the working class are deeply
rooted in the material conditions of their lives. They are
largely caused and stimulated by their industrial and social

Mr. Emanuel Wurm, in an able report on Alcoholism


before the German Social Democratic Convention of 1907/
mentions the following causes which combine to stimulate
drinking among the workers : —

1. The dwelling conditions of the poor.

Says Frederick Engels on this point : " Returning from
the factory, the workingman finds a home without any
comforts, damp, unattractive and filthy; he stands in
need of exhilaration; he must have something to make his
work worth while, to make the prospects of the morrow
tolerable. . . . His social instinct can find satisfaction
only in the liquor saloon ; he has no other place to meet
his friends."

2. Mental exhaustion caused by overwork.

Modern factory work with its monotonous operations is
bound to produce a condition of mental fatigue from which
the worker is but too apt to seek refuge in alcoholic stimu-

3. Conditions of work creating an abnormal thirst.

Under this head come the industries in which the em-
ployees are forced to work under a high temperature, or in
which the shops are constantly filled with fine particles
of dust, or in which the nature of the work generates offen-
sive fumes and gases.

4. Insufficient and unwholesome nourishment.

"The whisky habit is not the cause but the result of
misery," said Justus v. Liebig, as early as in i860. " It is
an exception to the rule when a well-nourished man be-
comes addicted to whisky. But when a man earns less
than is required for the quantum of food necessary in

' " Protokoll iiber die Verhandlungen des Parteitags der Sozialdemo-
kratischen Partei Deutschlands," abgehalten zu Essen, September, 1907,
pp. 345, etc.


order to restore his labor power, he is compelled by rigid
and inexorable necessity to seek refuge in whisky." ^

The insufficient nourishment of the workingman is due
to low wages, high food prices, and also to the unskillful
preparation of his food. The workingman's wife has as a
rule never had an opportunity to cultivate the household
arts, and seldom has the time to practice them.

Various other causes contribute to develop the drink
habit among workingmen, most of them having their roots
in the modern industrial conditions. And as is the case
with almost all social evils of the day, the cause and effect
of alcoholism move in a seemingly unbreakable vicious
circle — misery causes drunkenness, drunkenness increases

For a long time the socialists of all countries were rather
indifferent to the temperance movement. They were fully
alive to the dangers of the evil habit for the working
class, but they had little faith in the cures offered by the
ideological temperance advocates. High taxes on spiritu-
ous liquors, wherever tried, have failed to check the drink-
ing evil and have only resulted in greater inroads on the
meager budget of the working families. Prohibition has
proved as impotent to cope with the evil, and as a rule
has only served to encourage smuggling and illicit stills.
Nor were the socialists inclined to expect substantial
results from a purely moral crusade against alcoholism.
The generally accepted socialist view was that the evils
of alcoholism could be lessened only by the betterment
of the material conditions of the workers, and could be
removed only with the abolition of the wage system..

" As every other evil of the capitalist mode of production,

' Quoted by Wurm in report mentioned.


alcoholism can be checked only to a certain extent through
the class struggle. It can disappear totally only with the
disappearance of the system which has created it and which
always reproduces it," declared Kautsky in 1891.

But of late the socialists of many countries have con-
siderably changed their views on the problem of alcoholism
and on the value of the modern temperance movements.
They have gradually come to realize that in the matter of
abstinence from or temperance in the use of alcoholic
drinks, the purely moral factors of will power and de-
termination play a large part. In their campaigns against
the drink evil they still lay the greater stress on the better-
ment of the material conditions of the workers, but they
also recognize the value of a purely educational propa-
ganda against the abuses of alcohol.

To the Social Democratic Party of Austria belongs the
merit of having stated the proposition most clearly and
tersely in a resolution adopted in 1903, and from which
we quote the following portion : —

"This convention declares that alcoholism has a disas-
trous effect on the physical and mental powers of the work-
ing class, and that it is a strong obstacle to the organizing
work of socialism. No means to remove the evils arising
from alcoholism should, therefore, be neglected. . . .

"The principal means in this struggle will always be the
elevation of the material conditions of the proletariat, but
a necessary supplement to this is the task of enlightening
the workers on the effects of alcohol and of shattering their
prejudices in favor of the drinking habit."

The socialists of Germany declare it to be the duty of
organized labor to see to it that the workingmen, and espe-
cially their children, be enlightened by oral and written


propaganda on the dangers arising from the use of alcohol
and the drink-treating habit,

A similar stand has been taken by the socialists of
Switzerland and Holland. In Sweden the socialist pro-
gram contains a plank demanding that the public schools
include in their curriculum a regular study course on the
evils of alcoholism. In Norway the Socialist Party de-
mands the imposition of heavy taxes on all alcoholic
beverages. In England the Labor Party favors the local
option system. In Belgium the socialists have banished
all alcoholic drinks from their numerous meeting places
and recreation halls, while the socialists of Finland demand
the unconditional prohibition of all manufacture and sale
of alcoholic drinks.

The socialists of the United States for the first time took
official notice of the alcohol problem at their national
convention of 1908, and expressed their views on the
subject in the following resolution : —

" We recognize the evils arising from the manufacture and
sale of alcoholic liquors, especially those which are adul-
terated, and we declare that any excessive use of such
liquors by the working class postpones the day of the final
triumph of our cause. But we do not believe that alcohol-
ism can be cured by an extension of police powers under the
capitalistic system. Alcoholism is a disease, and it can be
cured best by the stopping of underfeeding, overwork and
underpay, which result from the present wage system."

I The Housing of the Poor

The dwelling conditions of the working people, especially
in the large cities and in factory towns, present a problem


of growing importance. Herded together like sheep, large

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