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menter extend over forty years, and are as variegated as in-
tense. He organized the famous New Harmony communi-
ties in the United States (1826-1828), and several similar
communities in England, Scotland and Ireland. In 1832
he established the Equitable Banks for Labor Exchange,
a contrivance for the exchange of commodities by their
producers without the intervention of the profit-making
merchant and manufacturer, and several years later he
formed the Association of all Classes and Nations whose
members first applied the appellation of "socialists" to
themselves. He was indefatigable in the propaganda of
his creed in the United States as well as in England. He
delivered several lectures in the Hall of Representatives
at Washington, called an international socialist congress in
New York, and presided over the first national convention
of English trade unions. He was largely responsible for


the introduction of the infant-school system, and is con-
sidered the father of factory legislation.

Owen's influence was, however, mainly personal, and he
left no school or movement behind him.

In Germany the first manifestations of socialist thought
and activity are connected with the names of the cele-
brated philosopher Johann Gottlieb Fichte (1762-1814),
who in his " Geschlossener Handclstaat" (Closed Trading
State) advocates the state regulation of production and
distribution of goods, and the tailor Wilhelm Wcitling
(1808-1871), who may be considered the connecting link
between present-day socialism and its earlier forms.

Weitling seems to have imbibed the theories of French
communism in his early traveling days, but he instilled into
them the life and faith of the active propagandist and en-
thusiastic apostle. Like Owen he extended his activity to
all spheres of radical social reform known in his day, or-
ganizing cooperative enterprises, workingmen's study clubs,
a communistic settlement, trade-union organizations, etc.
His main theoretical works are: " Die Welt wie sie ist und
sein soUte" (The World as It is and as It Should Be), 1838,
"Die Garantien der Harmonic und Frcihcit" (The Guar-
anties of Harmony and Freedom), 1842, and "Das Evan-
gelium des Armen Sunders" (Evangel of a Poor Sinner),

Weitling is the first socialist to make a more direct
appeal to the working class, although the modern socialist
conception of class struggle is still foreign to him. Weit-
ling's fields of activity were Switzerland and the United
States, but his influence also extended to Germany, Austria
and the colonies of German emigrants in other coun-


In the meantime, the industrial development of Europe
had proceeded with giant strides, and with it also the
scientific study of the character and tendencies of the exist-
ing industrial regime. The fantastic theories and hypoth-
eses of early socialism, like those of so many other young
sciences, had to be greatly modified. Socialism had to
be given a new, more realistic and sounder foundation,
and this task was accomplished towards the middle of the
last century by the twin founders of modern socialism,
Karl Marx (1818-1883) and Frederick Engels (1820-

The socialism of the new school, known as Marxian or

Scientific socialism, proceeds on the theory that the social
and political structure of society at any given time and
place is not the result of the free and arbitrary choice of
men, but the logical outcome of a definite process of his-
torical development, and that the underlying structure of
such foundation is at all times the economic system upon
which society is organized.

As a logical sequence from these views it follows that
a form of society cannot be changed at any given time un-
less the economic development has made it ripe for the
change, and that the future of mankind must be looked
for, not in the ingenious schemes of inventive social
philosophers, but in the tendencies of economic develop-

The Marxian socialists base their hopes on the tendency
of modern industries towards centralization and socializa-
tion, the inadequacy and wastefulness of the individual
and competitive system of production, and the growing
revolt of the working classes against the iniquities and
hardships involved in that system.


Modern socialists address themselves not so much to the
humane sentiments of society at large as to the self-interests
of the working class, as the class primarily concerned in the
impending social change. They do not indulge in minia-
ture social experiments or in political conspiracies, but di-
rect their efforts towards the education and political and
industrial organization of the working class, so as to enable
that class to steer the ship of state from individualism into
collectivism, when the time shall be ripe for it, and to hasten
that time.

This phase of the socialist movement may be said to date
from the publication of the celebrated " Communist Mani-
festo." The " Manifesto" is a brief pamphlet written con-
jointly by Marx and Engels. It has since been translated
into almost all modern languages, and has remained to
this day the classical exposition of modern socialism.

The "Communist Manifesto" appeared in 1848. The
great revolutionary movement of that year and the long
period of European reaction following upon its defeat,
temporarily paralyzed the young socialist movement
inaugurated by Marx and his comrades. For almost
fifteen years the movement was confined to a few scattered
circles of "intellectuals" in the different countries of Eu-
rope and did not penetrate into the masses anywhere.
The general political and social awakening which marks
the beginning of the sixties of the last century in all princi-
pal countries of Europe and in the United States of Amer-
ica, did not pass without affecting the working classes.
A strong labor movement grew up in the most advanced
countries of Europe, and a large portion of it fell under the
spiritual leadership of the socialists.

The first fruit of these renewed socialist and labor ac-


tivities was the organization of the International Working-
men's Association (commonly styled the International)
in 1864. The International was organized in London by
some representative English trade unionists in conjunction
with a number of political refugees of various nationalities
with whom the capital of England was fairly teeming just
then. Its constitution and declaration of principles were
drafted by Karl Marx, and the latter instrument was a
concise exposition of the socialist philosophy winding up
with the declaration — " No rights without duties; no duties
without rights."

The International extended over England, France,
Germany, Austria, Belgium, Holland, Denmark, Spain,
Portugal, Italy, Switzerland, Poland, Australia and the
United States of America, and at one time was considered
a great power in European politics. Its active career em-
braced a period of about eight years, from 1864 to 1872,
during which time it held six conventions. These con-
ventions were largely devoted to the discussion of social
and labor problems, and served to impress the socialist
movement of the world with a uniform and harmonious

The dissolution of the organization was brought about
by a number of factors, not the least of which was the fate
of the Paris Commune.

The Commune, proclaimed in Paris on March 18, 1871,
in its inception had no connection whatever with the In-
ternational or the socialist agitation of the time. Its name
was not intended to imply any sympathy with the doctrines
of communism, but was merely meant to signify the com-
munal or municipal autonomy of Paris. The proclamation
of the Commune was a result of the revolt of the Parisians



against the excessive centralization of government in

Originally the movement was rather conservative, but
in the course of the struggles between the Parisian Com-
munards and their Versaillian adversaries it became more
and more radical in character. The Parisian populace,
after the Prussian siege of 1870, consisted largely of work-
ingmen and small shopkeepers reduced to a state of extreme
poverty and suffering, while many of the wealthier citizens
fled from Paris after the proclamation of the Commune, to
seek protection from the national troops stationed at Ver-
sailles. The Commune, therefore, assumed the character
of a struggle between the Parisian proletariat and the
French bourgeoisie, and the International threw its entire
moral influence to the support of the former. When the
Commune was defeated, after a stormy existence of about
fwo months, the defeat and the general European moral
opprobrium which attached to the memory of the Parisian
revolt, strongly affected the standing of the International.

But the deciding blow to the life of the International
was dealt by the growing spirit of anarchism within its

Up to about 1869 the International was under the undis-
puted control of the Marxian wing of socialism, but in the
later years of its existence the school of " communistic
anarchism " steadily gained ground in the councils of the
society under the leadership of the apostle of the new creed,
Michael Bakounin (1814-1876). Bakounin, a Russian by
birth and a revolutionist by temperament, had passed
through a very picturesque revolutionary career before
he joined the International. He abominated the evolu-
tionary doctrines and "tame" methods of Marxian social-


ism, and revolted against organization and discipline.
He advocated the immediate rising against the obnoxious
powers of modern civilization, and proclaimed the principle
of "complete individual liberty restrained only by natural
laws." He was eloquent, enthusiastic and magnetic,
and the desperate conditions of the laboring population
of Europe, especially in the Southern countries, furnished
a large and very receptive audience for his promises of
quick and easy salvation.

Anarchism threatened to become a power in the Inter-
national, and Marx and his friends decided to avert the
danger by sacrificing the organization. In 1872 the seat
of its general council was transferred to New York, and
three years later the International was formally dissolved.

The International, however, had accomplished its
purpose, and during its activity the socialist movement of
Europe had developed to such dimensions that it became
impossible to confine it within the bounds of one central
organization. From this point we shall have to follow
the varying fortunes of the movement in the different
countries in which it has developed.

Chief among such countries is, of course,


In Germany the present-day socialist movement runs in
an unbroken chain from the days of the agitation of Ferdi-
nand Lassalle (1825-1864). Of extraordinary eloquence,
profound learning and indomitable energy, Lassalle was
probably the most powerful popular tribune produced by
the nineteenth century.

His active work in the cause of socialism is practically


confined to the last two years of his life. But during that
short period he succeeded in thoroughly rousing the phleg-
matic working class of his country by his ringing speeches
and powerful writings. In his social views he was a dis-
ciple of Marx, but the principal issues of his agitation were
the demands for universal suffrage and for the establish-
ment of cooperative workshops with state credit.

In 1863 he organized the General Workingmen's As-
sociation, which at the time of its founder's death numbered
only 4610 members, but grew considerably in later years,
notwithstanding one serious schism within its ranks.

In the meanwhile a new socialist party, more strictly
Marxian, was organized in 1869, under the leadership of
Wilhelm Liebknecht and August Bebel, and the six years
following are marked by a bitter feud between the rival
organizations. The feud was terminated in 1875 by the
amalgamation of all socialist organizations at the Gotha
convention, and the present Social Democratic Party of
Germany was thus born. Since then the progress of the
socialist movement has been rapid and steady, and even
the unrelenting government persecution under the Excep-
tion Laws did not succeed in checking its growth. These
laws were designed to suppress all forms of socialist prop-
aganda, and their enforcement was attended by the im-
prisonment and exile of large numbers of the most active
socialists. They were enacted in 1878 after two attempts
by irresponsible individuals on the life of the Emperor, and
were abandoned in 1890 after their futility had been dem-
onstrated in practice. The growth of socialism in Ger-
many can be best appreciated by a comparison of the
socialist vote in the parliamentary elections of that country,
which was 101,927 in 187 1 and over three and one quarter


millions in 1906. The Social Democratic Party of Ger-
many is to-day numerically the strongest political organi-
zation in the country.


If the socialist movement of Germany may be considered
a model of orderly and methodical growth, that of France
has had, on the contrary, a most bewildering and stormy

With the fall of the Paris Commune the movement in
France had received a blow from which it recovered but
very slowly. For a number of years after 187 1 the only
manifestation of socialist activity was to be found in the
students' circles organized by Gabriel Deville and Jules
Guesde, and the main efforts of these circles were di-
rected towards the propaganda of socialism among the
trade unions. In these efforts they gained a partial suc-
cess in 1878 when the general trade-union congress of
Lyons pledged its support to some socialist candidates,
and several large trade organizations indorsed the entire
socialist program. The arrest of Guesde and thirty-three
other labor leaders in 1879 for participation in a political
labor conference, and the brilliant defense of Guesde on
that occasion, largely served to increase the sympathies
of the working population for socialism, and the general
trade-union congress of Marseilles, held in the same year,
unreservedly declared itself in favor of the movement.

But this declaration, made by the delegates under the
influence of the events immediately preceding the conven-
tion, did not seem to have the unanimous support of their
constituents. At the following convention, held in Havre in


1880, the discussion was resumed, and resulted in a split.
The organized workingmen divided themselves into two
separate organizations distinguished from each other as
"collectivists" and "cooperativists" respectively. And
the socialist movement in France has ever thereafter pro-
gressed through a process of alternate fusions and divisions.
The first schism in the ranks of the socialist movement
proper took place in 1882, when the strict adherents of
Marxian socialism, led by Jules Gufesde, Paul Lafargue and
Gabriel Deville, separated from the Possibilist or oppor-
tunist socialists, headed by Paul Brousse and Benoit
Malon. The former organized the Parti Ouvrier
(Labor Party), and the latter, the Federation Frangaise
des Travailleurs Socialistes Revoliitionaires (French
Federation of SociaHst Revolutionary Workingmen).
To these must be added the Parti Revolution aire founded
by the veteran of the French Revolution, Blanqui, upon his
release from his last term of imprisonment in 1879, and
after his death directed by the well-known communard,
Edouard Vaillant,

The number of socialist parties was further augmented
by a split within the ranks of the Possibilists, the more
radical wing of which organized an independent party in
1 89 1 under the name of Parti Ouvrier Revolutionaire
Socialiste, and under the leadership of Allemane, and also
by the formation of numerous local groups of "independ-
ent socialists" whose membership included such promi-
nent socialists as fitienne Millerand and Jean Jaures.

The period between 1898 and 1901 is marked by efforts
to bring about the union of socialist forces. These efforts
were partly realized in 1900, when a national congress of all
French socialist parties and organizations was held in Paris.


But in the meanwhile a new issue presented itself to the
socialists of France. The events attending the Dreyfus
agitation had forced socialists to the front in national poli-
tics, and one independent socialist, fitienne Millerand,
was given a portfolio in the cabinet of the new premier,
Waldeck-Rousseau. Millerand's entry into the "bour-
geois" cabinet had the approval of the more liberal or
"opportunist" wdng of the socialist movement under the
leadership of the eloquent Jean Jaures, but was strongly
condemned by the more orthodox faction headed by Jules
Guesde. And on this new issue the socialist organizations
of France now grouped themselves. The " ministerialists"
combined into the Parti Socialiste Frangais, while the
"anti-ministerialists" united into the Parti Socialiste de
France. Both parties continued a separate though not
always antagonistic existence until 1905, when they united
into one, largely through the good services of the Inter-
national Socialist Congress held in Amsterdam in 1904.
The new party is the first in France to bring together all
of the more important socialist organizations under one
administration, although some minor groups of "inde-
pendent" socialists still remain in existence.

The first socialist campaign in parliamentary elections
in France was made in 1885, when the combined socialist
parties polled about 30,000 votes. The successive growth
of the socialist parliamentary vote is shown by the follow-
ing round figures : —

1887 . . . 47,000

1889 .

. . 120,000

1893 .

. . 440,000

1898 .

. . 700,000


. . 805,000

1906 . .

. 1,120,000



While the modem socialist movements in Germany and
France, as well as in all other F^uropean countries, are
primarily economic in their character, and are supported
principally by the industrial working classes, the movement
in Russia was in its inception preponderatingly poUtical
and ethical, and was represented principally by men and
women of the better-situated and cultured classes. This
difference in the character of the movement is accounted
for by the difference between the social and economic
conditions of that country and the rest of Europe at the
period of the birth of socialism in Russia. At a time when
the modern industrial regime was fully developed, and the
system of representative government firmly established
in the other principal countries of Europe, Russia was a
purely agricultural country with a population of peasants
just liberated from serfdom, with no manufacturing class
or industrial proletariat worth mentioning, and with an
almost Asiatic form of autocratic government. The so-
cialism of Russia was not the direct result of economic de-
velopment, not a form of class struggle between the classes
of capitalists and workingmen : it was partly an expression
of political revolt against absolute czarism, and partly a
reflex of the economic socialist theories with such modi-
fications as comported with the pecuhar conditions of

The first expressions of socialist thought in Russia
coincide with the agitation for the emancipation of the
serfs, and its best-known representatives of that period
are a famous coterie of publicists and critics among whom
we must mention Alexander Herzen, an expatriated noble-


man of considerable wealth, who conducted an active
agitation for Russian freedom from London principally
by means of his magazine Kolokol (Bell), and Nicholas
Chernyshefsky, the editor of the influential magazine
Sovremennik (Contemporary), who was deported to Si-
beria in the prime of his life, to return thence an old man
and a physical and mental wreck.

The next phase of the socialist movement in Russia is
that designated as " Nihilism." The word was coined by
the well-known novelist Ivan Turgenief as a term of ridicule
of the new current of Russian thought which developed
strongly around i860 to 1870, and whose main characteris-
tics were a crude materialism and the negation of all
established beliefs.

"Nihilism" was an intellectual rather than a political
or social movement, but its effect was to promote socialism
in two ways ; it created a negative attitude towards the old
order of things in Russia, and it developed a thirst for posi-
tive knowledge among the youth of both sexes, driving
large numbers of them into the universities of Western
Europe, principally those of Switzerland, since they could
not quench that intellectual thirst at home. These young
and receptive Russian students were powerfully attracted
by the awakening socialist movement of Western Europe,
and also came under the influence of their own exiled
countrymen, Michael Bakounin, Alexander Herzen and
Peter Lavroff, the foremost Russian representative of
scientific socialism at that time. The socialist sympathies
of these Russian students were so manifest that their
government finally took alarm, and in 1873 summarily
recalled them to their fatherland under pain of exile. The
effect of the order was hardly gratifying to the government :


the students returned in large numbers, but they returned
as active socialist propagandists.

At this stage of the movement Russian socialism was
perfectly peaceful. The activities of the young propa-
gandists were principally educational ; their main effort was
to raise the intellectual level of the illiterate peasantry
composing the great bulk of the population. They spread
in the villages, settled among the peasants, whose habits,
language and even dress they tried to imitate, and con-,
ducted the work of socialist propaganda side by side with
that of general education. But their activity provoked
severe government persecutions; the "political offenders"
were hounded down, executed, imprisoned or exiled to
Siberia, frequently without so much as the formality of a
trial. Within five years the young movement found itself
practically checked : the socialist propagandists, reduced
in numbers and rendered desperate by the relentless and
cruel police persecution, abandoned the peaceful methods
of propaganda. A seeming accident determined the suc-
ceeding phase of Russian socialism.

In 1878 a young woman named Vera Sassulich shot at
General Trepoff, the military commandant of St. Peters-
burg, as an act of revenge for his brutal treatment of a
political prisoner. Vera Sassulich was placed on trial for
the offense, but was triumphantly acquitted by the jury
amid the plaudits of the better part of the population.
Encouraged by the success of Sassulich, deprived of all
means of peaceful activity, and rendered desperate by the
relentless police persecutions, the socialists turned to
methods of force and conspiracy.

A sudden and radical change took place in the Russian
revolutionary movement. The old type of peaceful propa-


gandist and dreamer disappeared, and instead of him there
arose the sullen and determined terrorist. The Russian
socialists engaged in mortal combat with the autocratic
government, and the embodiment of that government, the
czar, in person. The struggle lasted but a few years, and
it was the strangest ever witnessed in history. A mere
handful of idealists, without substantial support on the part
of any class of the population, was arrayed against the
rulers of Russia, supported by a powerful police, a vast
army and unlimited resources; and still the struggle was
fierce, just as fierce on the one side as on the other. The
"white terror" of the government was fully balanced by
the "red terror" of the revolutionists. The enthusiasm,
courage and ingenuity displayed by the Russian socialists,
men and women, during that period, defy comparison.
The annals of these few years of the movement are the
most romantic in the history of international socialism,
and are characterized by numerous political assassinations,
and by the imprisonment and execution of the most gifted
leaders of Russian socialism. The movement culminated
in the assassination of Czar Alexander II, and this triumph
of the first period of revolutionary terrorism in Russia
was also its end. The Russian revolutionists had expected
that the killing of the czar would be the signal for a general
revolt, but in this expectation they found themselves sorely

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