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families of human beings of all ages and sexes live in one
or two small squalid rooms, without sufficient air or light.
Here they cook, wash, dress, eat, sleep, quarrel and curse,
make merry and make love in the constant company of
each other and in an atmosphere of filth, irritation, cruelty
and misery. The congested tenements are not only pro-
lific sources of drunkenness, but also veritable breeding
places of sickness, and of all species of vice and crime.
The foul air of the " slum" dwellings is surcharged with the
germs of death; the dread white plague and all other
infectious diseases feed principally on the unfortunate
inhabitants of the tenements, and the mortality of the
children of this nether world is appalling. The miserable
surroundings of these "homes" drive the children into the
streets, the men into the liquor saloons and the women
into the arms of vice. Tenement life in the slums de-
moralizes the present generation of the workingmen, and
breeds a race of feeble, apathetic and cheerless men and
women which is the greatest menace to our progress and

With the concentration of industries and the massing of
ever larger numbers of workingmen in the manufacturing
centers, the menace of popular congestion has within the
last generation become particularly apparent and acute.
Many movements for the reform of the housing conditions
of the poor have sprung up, many measures of relief have
been proposed.

The first impulse of the tenement-house reformers is to
go at the solution of the problem in what seems to be the
most direct way. They wish to physically destroy the
slum or to eradicate its worst evils : to wash, sweep and


air the squalid rooms ; to break through windows in their
dark walls to let in air and sunshine, and finally to dis-
tribute the unfortunate tenement dwellers over a wider
area by removing many of them from the congested spots
into the more cheerful, healthy and sunny suburbs.

These purely mechanical reforms have been tried and
are being tried to-day in all of the worst slum centers of the

More than forty years ago Miss Octavia Hill of London
inaugurated a movement which has for its object the train-
ing of tenement dwellers in the habits of cleanliness, order
and decency in their households, and the movement has
found many enthusiastic adherents in some of the large
industrial cities of England, Scotland and the United

Laws providing for the construction of tenement houses,
with better provisions for air, light and sanitary arrange-
ments, have of late been enacted in numerous countries.

" Model " tenements have been built in large numbers.
The Peabody fund and the Guinness trust in England, as
well as numerous other philanthropic institutions in almost
all advanced countries, have erected many thousands of
such "model" tenements.

Several great municipalities of England and Scotland
have attempted to provide for the housing of their poor
directly. They have purchased and torn down their
worst tenements and have erected in their stead sanitary
dwelling houses, and let them to the poor at cost.

Finally, the movement for suburban development as a
cure for city congestion has also assumed large and ever
growing proportions. Almost every large industrial city is
steadily extending the radius of its surrounding rural


territory as an outlet for its crowded population, and multi-
plying and improving its transit facilities.

All these measures have had a certain beneficial effect
on the housing conditions of the city poor. Separately and
collectively they have probably served to relieve the con-
gestion of the working population to some degree and to
make their conditions of life somewhat more tolerable, or
rather, without them these conditions might have grown
even more intolerable than they are to-day.

But weigliing the positive achievements along these
lines of tenement-house reform, we cannot help being
disappointed at the meagerness of the results. The slums
of the world have not disappeared, nor have they on the
whole been appreciably improved anywhere. In compari-
son with the benefits derived, the time, energy and money
expended on those measures seem an almost unproductive

Sermons on household cleanliness and sanitation, as a
rule, fall on deaf ears where crowding and poverty me-
chanically produce filth and indifference.

The "model" tenements have on the whole proved a
great success for their philanthropic or commercial found-
ers, a success equal to from 5 to 10 per cent per annum on
their investments. But to the masses of the poor they
have brought but little relief. The rents in new "model"
tenements are as a rule a trifle higher than those in the
ordinary ones, just high enough to allow the class of clerks
and other better-paid employees to take advantage of them
and to shut out those who most stand in need of dwelling
reform — the poorest classes of workingmen.

The municipal experiments of demolishing the most
disreputable tenements and erecting new and better ones,


have also largely failed to accomplish the results hoped for.
But too often it has been found that the procedure resulted
only in the transfer of the slum center from one spot to
another. The evicted slum dwellers as a rule have settled
down among their nearest slum neighbors. .

And as for suburban development — it also did not
and could not materially relieve the evil of congestion.
Suburban development means, in the first place, increased
means of communication between the city and the suburb,
more lines of street cars and railways, and in the second
place, more buildings and business in the suburbs. The
principal beneficiaries of such reforms under present condi-
tions are, as a rule, the railroad companies, the property
owners along the new lines of travel, the land speculators
dealing in suburban property, and incidentally also our
upper and lower middle classes, who furnish the bulk of
all suburban population.

The slum dwellers do not move to the suburbs, they
cannot move to the suburbs. The slum dwellers are the
hardest worked and poorest paid of the working class.
They have not the money to pay the fares to and from their
places of work, and they have not the time to spend on
travel. Mr. Jacob A. Riis has observed that the housing
problem is a transportation problem. That may be true
for the middle classes, for the workingmen the housing
problem is not a transportation problem, but a wage

The trouble with the movement for tenement-house re-
form, as with all current reform movements, is that it
touches the surface, but not the root of the problem.
Under our system of civilization, the "slum" is not a
local or accidental abuse, but a social institution. Pov-


erty is the inevitable result of our industrial system, and
the slum is poverty's logical place of abode.

The first condition for the development of a slum district
is its proximity to the factory. The workingman, and
the poorer-paid workingman especially, is compelled to
live within walking distance of his place of work. The
price of land in such favored districts, then, naturally rises,
and the landowners find it to their best advantage to build
huge and cheap buildings occupying every available inch
of ground, and containing many small rooms. These
they let for exorbitantly high rent, and the workingman
tenant is compelled to crowd his family into as few rooms
as physically possible, and to secure one or more roomers
besides to help him pay the rent. Then an entire industry
adapted to the needs and means of the population develops
in the district. In the streets of the slum, in its groceries,
eating houses and dry goods stores, the vilest and cheapest
of food stuffs and of other commodities converge from all
parts of the city and country. The slum is adjusted to the
entire household economy of its inhabitants and holds
them in its iron grip. It must persist as long as exploi-
tation and poverty continue.

The various reforms heretofore tried have some value as
temporary palliatives, and the socialists heartily favor them
as such. They advocate municipal construction of model
tenements to be let to workingmen at cost, and they advo-
cate suburban development through improved transit lines
to be built and operated by the city in the interest of the
traveling public and the employees. But they do not
expect substantial relief from such measures.

The slum evil can be relieved only by better wages and
shorter hours, it can be cured only by socialism.



Early History

Some writers on the subject include in the history of the
socialist movement all ancient and mediaeval manifesta-
tions of communistic thought and institutions. But as a
matter of fact the modern socialist movement has nothing
in common with the Utopias of Plato, Campanella and
More, or with the prehistoric tribal institutions, early-
Christian practices or the various sectarian communities
of the Middle Ages.

The political socialist movement of our day is primarily
a movement of the working class, and has for its object the
reconstruction of the present-day system of industry on the
basis of collective ownership of the tools of production.

The movement thus presupposes the existence of a
competitive individualist system of industry and of a wage-
earning class. In other words, modern socialism is
unthinkable without its antithesis — capitalism. Social-
ism is the child of the modern or "capitalist" system of
production. And more than that, it is the product of that
system at a certain advanced stage. The socialist move-
ment is a protest against the present industrial system,
hence it presupposes a state of development of that system
to a point where it has become oppressive; it involves a
criticism of the system, hence it implies a dissatisfaction



with it; and finally, it offers a substitute for the present
system, hence it is predicated on the assumption of a state
of decline of the capitalist regime.

Thus while the beginnings of the present industrial
system may be traced back to the fifteenth or sixteenth
century of our era, the modern socialist movement is barely
more than a century old.

Socialism, like most other social theories and movements,
has passed through several stages of development before
reaching its modern aspect.

In its first phases it was primarily a humanitarian move-
ment, and its political role was but secondary and inci-

The early socialists saw only the evils of the new system
of production; they did not penetrate into its historical
significance and tendencies. The evils of the system ap-
peared to them as arbitrary deviations from the "eternal
principles" of "natural law," 'justice and reason, and the
social system itself as a clumsy and malicious contrivance
of the dominant powers in society.

To the "unreasonable" and "unjust" social systems of
their times they opposed more or less fantastic schemes
of social organization of their own invention supposed to be
free from the abuses of modern civilization, and thereupon
they appealed to humanity at large to test those schemes.

These social schemes were, as a rule, unfolded by their
authors by means of description of a fictitious country with
a mode of life and form of government to suit their own
ideas of justice and reason. The happy country thus de-
scribed was the Utopia (Greek for "Nowhere"), hence
the designation of that phase of the socialist movement
as "Utopian."



One of the fruits of these theories was the organization
of the numerous communistic societies of the early part of
the last century. The Utopian socialists knew of no
reason why their plans of social organization should not
work in a more limited sphere just as satisfactorily as on
a national scale, and they fondly hoped that they would
gradually convert the entire world to their system by a
practical demonstration of its feasibility and benefits in
a miniature society.

Another practical application of the Utopian socialist
philosophy is to be found in the conspiratory revolutionary
societies which accompanied the socialist agitation of
several European countries, notably France, in the thirties
and forties of the nineteenth century. The object of these
societies was to capture the organs of government and to
decree a socialist state of society, a perfectly sane and
logical procedure from the point of view of men who be-
lieved that systems of society could be created and altered
at will.

As with every other movement it is, of course, impos-
sible to locate the exact starting point of modern social-
ism. In a general way, however, it may be said that the
beginning of the modern socialist movement coincides
with the period of the great French Revolution.

The first gleams of socialist philosophy appear in the
works of the pre-Revolutionary French philosophers of the
school of the Encyclopedists, notably in those of Jean
Jacques Rousseau, who as early as in 1^54 denounced
private property as the cause of all crimes.

But a much more definite and elaborate expression of the
Utopian socialist creed we find in the two works of Morelly :
" Naufrage des lies Flottantes ou la Basiliade" (The Ship-


wreck of the Floating Islands or Basiliade), 1753, and
"Code de la Nature" (Code of Nature), 1753. The
former is an Utopian novel in metrical form, and the latter
is a philosophic essay. Morelly is a keen and farseeing
critic of the industrial system of individualist competition,
and advocates a somewhat loose form of communism.

Next to Morelly, Gabriel Mably (i 709-1 785) must be
mentioned among the early French socialist writers. Like
Morelly, Mably advocated a social system based on the
community of property, with the difference, however, that
the state of Mably is highly centralized, both in the system
of production and distribution.

A more realistic note in the literature of the young
socialist speculation is introduced by the French lawyer,
Franfois Boissel (1728-1807), whose "Catechisme du
Genre Humain" (Catechism of Mankind), which appeared
in 1789, the year of the French Revolution, contains the
first attempt at a scientific analysis of the modern mode
of production.

These three authors are the principal exponents of
socialism in pre-Revolutionary France. Their works are
purely theoretical, and they did not result in any socialist

The first direct step toward an active revolutionary
and socialist movement was made by Francois Noel
Babeuf (1760-1796). Babeuf, himself an active factor
in the great French Revolution, was by no means satisfied
with its accomplishments. "The Revolution," he argued,
"has proclaimed Liberty, Fraternity and Equality, but
equality is a mere sham unless it is social and economic as
well as political." With the aim of capturing the govern-
ment of France and establishing social and economic


equality, he organized the famous Conspiracy of Equals.
The movement is said to have attained considerable
dimensions in Paris when it was detected in 1796.
Babeuf was convicted on the charge of treason, and be-
headed. Years later, Filippo Buonarotti, a friend and
disciple of Babeuf, published the history of the conspiracy
and the program of the conspirators, and the work played
a large part in the movement of the secret socialist societies
of later years.

Babeuf was the last representative of the eighteenth-
century socialism. The beginning of the nineteenth cen-
tury produced a series of socialist thinkers and workers
who have influenced the shaping of the present-day
socialist movement more directly than their predecessors.
Of these, two are always mentioned together. They are
Charles Henri Saint-Simon and Charles Fourier.

Saint-Simon is a teacher rather than a practical social
reformer. The keynote to his philosophy is the demand
that society be organized not on a political but on an in-
dustrial basis. His last work, "Nouveau Christianisme"
(New Christianity) is the most complete exposition of
his social views, and contains the germs of the theory of
economic determinism which in the hands of Karl Marx
subsequently became one of the most powerful weapons in
the arsenal of contemporary socialist philosophy.

After the death of Saint-Simon his work was continued
by a talented coterie of his disciples, prominent among
whom were Olinde Rodrigue (i 794-1851), Barthelemy
P. Enfantin (1796-1864), Armand Bazard (1791-1832),
Auguste Comte, the father of positive philosophy, and
Ferdinand de Lesseps, of the Suez Canal fame. The
Saint-Simonian school at one time gained considerable


influence in the intellectual circles of France, its organ, " Le
Globe" had a large circulation, and in the revolution of
1830 the Saint-Simonians played a not unimportant part.
But the movement ultimately split, principally on the
question of woman's rights. Under the leadership of
Enfantin the Saint-Simonian school developed a mystic
religious cult vi^ith certain unconventional practices in the
relation of the sexes, which led to the arrest of Enfantin
and his followers on the charge of immorality, and to the
inglorious end of the Saint-Simonian movement.

If Saint-Simon was the preacher of order and system,
Fourier may be called the apostle of harmony.

God created the entire universe on a harmonious plan,
reasons Fourier, hence there must be harmony between
everything in existence. Endowing human beings with
certain instincts and desires, God intended their free and
untrammeled exercise, and not their suppression. All
human instincts and desires are legitimate and useful, and
if existing society curbs the right of the citizen to follow
those instincts and desires, it is evidence of a defect in our
social system, not in the individual. Fourier advocates
the reorganization of society on the basis of autonomous
communities of from 1500 to 2000 members. These com-
munities, styled by him " phalanxes," are voluntary associ-
ations of citizens for the purpose of cooperative labor
and collective enjoyment, with ample provisions for the
choice of associates and occupations, variety of pursuits
and attractive surroundings of industries. The phalanxes
are not communistic enterprises, but rather partake of
the nature of modern joint-stock associations, in which
capital receives its reward as well as labor and "talent."

Saint-Simon emphasizes the rights and importance of


society, Fourier dwells principally on the rights of the
individual citizens as against organized society. The two
great Utopians may be said to be the prototypes of the two
dominant tendencies in the social theories of our times —
collectivism and individualism.

Chief among the French disciples of Fourier is Victor
Consid^rant, under whose leadership the Fourierist move-
ment attained some importance years after the master's
death. But even more influence than in France, the
philosophy of Fourier exercised in the United States of
America, where it counted among its most enthusiastic
adherents men like Albert Brisbane, Horace Greeley,
Parke Godwin, George Ripley, Charles A. Dana, Mar-
garet Fuller and other men and women prominent in
the world of letters.

In France, the home of Fourierism, but few attempts at
the practical realization of the system were made, but in
the United States over forty phalanxes were established
between 1840 and 1850, among them the famous Brook
Farm and the North American Phalanx. Of the socialist
writers and reformers of that period who have largely con-
tributed to the development of the modern socialist move-
ment, we must mention Etienne Cabet (i 788-1856),
Louis Blanc (1811-1882), Jean Lamennais (1782-1854)
and Pierre J. Proudhon (1809-1865).

Cabet's Utopian novel "Voyage en Icarie" (Voyage to
Icaria), published in 1842, gave rise to a popular movement
in favor of communism which at one time was said to
number several hundred thousands of adherents. The
movement resulted in the establishment of the "Icarian
communities" in the United States. The first of these
communities was established in Texas in 1848, and the


last of the series perished in California almost half a cen-
tury later.

Louis Blanc, who first achieved fame through his work
"Organization du Travail" (Organization of Labor),
published in 1840, played an important part in the French
revolution of 1848 as a member of the Provisional Com-
mittee. He M^as chiefly instrumental in bringing about the
famous decree of that committee recognizing the "right
to labor," and was indirectly responsible for the establish-
ment of the National Workshops, which under the post-
revolutionary administration of the French government
turned into a disastrous failure.

Lamennais is the father of Christian Socialism in France.
He early advocated the union of the Catholic church with
the growing socialist movement of the workingmen. His
views were condemned by Pope Gregory XVI, and Lamen-
nais thereafter addressed his appeals directly to the people.
His "Paroles d'un Croyant" (Words of a Believer),
published in 1834, contains a burning indictment of the
selfish rich, and is full of tender sympathy for the disin-
herited of the world. It was widely read by the working-
men of his generation, and made a deep and lasting im-
pression on his countrymen.

Proudhon, the author of the famous " Qu'est-ce que la
Propriete ?" (What is Property?) and "Contradictions
Economiques" (Economic Contradictions), may be said to
be the father of modern "communistic anarchism."

This review of early French socialism would not be
complete without a brief reference to the secret societies
which made their appearance immediately after the rev-
olution of 1830, and continued with varying degree of
strength and success for about ten years. The principal



organizations of that cycle are the Societe des amis du
Peuple (Society of the Friends of the People), Societe
des droits de Phomme (Society of Human Rights), Societe
dcs families (Society of Families), and Societe des saisons
(Society of Seasons), and the most prominent leaders of
the movement were Louis Blanqui (1805-1881), Armand
Barbes (1809-1870), Voyer d'Argenfon (1771-1842) and
Filippo Buonarotti mentioned above.

While the socialism of France during the first half of the
last century was thus replete with various movements,
schools and thinkers, the movement in England during
the corresponding period is practically represented by one
name — Robert Owen.

The socialism of Owen differed from that of his French
contemporaries just as much as the political and industrial
conditions and national temperament and genius of Eng-
land differed from those of France.

Owen was primarily a practical business man, not a
philosopher, and still less a conspirator. His socialist
views were developed by his contact with actual industrial
conditions, more highly developed in England than in any
other European country, and they always bore the imprint
of that origin.

Owen's early activity in the field of social reform was
more of a philanthropic than revolutionary character: it
consisted in the long and patient work of improving the
conditions of his own employees in the Scotch manufactur-
ing village of New Lanark, and in this he succeeded so
well that within one generation (from 1800 to 1824) the
former miserable village, with a degenerate and wretched
population, had become a model community of healthy,
industrious and happy men and women.



His revolutionary career may be said to date from 1817,
when upon the invitation of the committee of the As-
sociation for the Relief of the Manufacturing and Laboring
Poor, he unfolded his views on the causes of poverty and
the needed social reforms. The gist of his views is that
widespread pauperism and popular misery are inseparable
from an industrial system based on free competition, and
that under such a system the increased productivity of
labor inevitably leads to the deterioration of the condition
of the working class.

He was a great believer in the influence of environment
on the formation of human character, and predicted that
improved material conditions of the laboring population
would result in the physical, intellectual and moral regen-
eration of the masses.

His activities as a socialist propagandist and experi-

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