R. C. K. (Robert Charles Kirkwood) Ensor.

Modern socialism, as set forth by socialists in their speeches, writings, and programmes; online

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Online LibraryR. C. K. (Robert Charles Kirkwood) EnsorModern socialism, as set forth by socialists in their speeches, writings, and programmes; → online text (page 31 of 35)
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the real programme of the Social Detnocratic Labour party in
Austria, towards which it will avail itself of all means which
subserve its aim and correspond to the people's natural sense
of justice.

The Social Democratic Labour party in Austria will in all
political and economic questions always represent the class-
interest of the proletariate, and energetically oppose any
attempt to obscure and conceal the class-antagonisms, as well
as any attempt to wear out the workers on behalf of the
bourgeois parties.

The Social Democratic Labour party in Austria is an


international party ; it condemns the privileges of nations as
well as those of birth and sex, property and lineage, and
declares that the war against exploitation must be international
like the exploitation itself. It condemns and combats all
restrictions upon the free expression of opinion, and all State
and ecclesiastical tutelage. It strives for legal protection of
the standard of life of the working classes, and fights to give
the proletariate a maximum influence upon every sphere of
public life.

Setting out from these principles, the Austrian Social
Democracy demands immediately —

1. Universal, equal, direct, and secret suffrage in State,
province, and commune for all members of the State, without
distinction of sex, from the age of twenty upwards ; pro-
portional representation ; fixing of elections for a legal holiday ;
triennial legislative periods; maintenance-grant for elected

2. Direct legislation by the people by means of the initia-
tive and referendum ; self-determination and self-government
of the people in State, province, and commune.

3. Abolition of fall laws which limit the right to free
expression of opinions ; in particular, provision of full freedom
of the press by the removal of outside management and the
restriction upon colportage of printed matter ; removal of all
laws restricting the right of association and assembly.

4. Removal of all restrictions upon free locomotion ; in
particular, of all vagrancy laws.

5. A law to be passed and carried out subjecting officials
who infringe the political rights of individuals or associations
to a severe penalty.

6. Independence of the law-courts to be guaranteed. No
charges to be made for the administration of the law, or for
legal assistance. Indemnification of innocent persons arrested
and condemned. Election of jurors on the basis of universal,
equal, and secret sufirage. Subjection of all State-servants to
the ordinary laws and courts. Abolition of the death penalty.


7. State and communal organization of the public health
service. Provision of medical attendance and medicine with-
out charge.

8. Declaration that religion is a private matter. Separa-
tion of the Church from the State, and declaration that eccle-
siastical and religious communities are private associations,
which manage their affairs quite independently. Compulsory
civil marriage.

9. Compulsory, free, secular education, in complete corre-
spondence with the needs and development of the several
nationalities. No charges to be made for school requisites and
maintenance in the primary schools for all children, and for
those pupils of higher educational institutions who are capable
of further training.

10. Substitution for all indirect taxes and duties of
graduated taxes upon income, property, and inheritance.

11. Substitution of the armed nation for the standing
army. Education of all to be capable of bearing arms.
Arming of the whole nation. Decision of war and peace by
the representatives of the people.

12. Removal of all laws whereby women are prejudicially
affected as against men in public or private law.

13. Liberation of workmen's co-operative societies from all
burdens and limitations impeding their activity.

As a minimum of protection for workers, the Austrian
Social Democracy demands —

1 . Full freedom of combination ; legal recognition of
trade-union organizations ; legal equalization of agricultural
labourers ; abolition of the regulations affecting servants.

2. Eight hours' maximum working-day, without clauses and
without exceptions.

3. Prohibition of night-work except in businesses whose
technical nature does not permit of an interruption ; night-
work for women and non-adult workers is to be prohibited
without exception.

4. Complete rest of at least thirty-six hours on Sunday.


5. Prohibition of work for profit by children under fourteen
to be thoroughly enforced. Comprehensive laws to protect
apprentices and non-adult workers.

6. Exclusion of women workers from industries especially
injurious to women's physique.

All these regulations are to apply to industries of every
kind and degree (great industry, transport industry, handicraft,
trade, home industry).

Development of the industrial inspectorate. Increase of
inspectors, to whom executive powers are to be given. Partici-
pation of the workers' organizations in the control of the
enforcement of workmen's protection, through the inspectors,
male and female, whom they select.

Employers who transgress the laws for the protection of
workers are to be liable to severe penalties, which may not be
converted into money fines.

\\'orkmen's insurance is to be subjected to a radical reform,
to be completed by the introduction of a universal insurance
against old age and disablement, as well as a provision for
widows and orphans, and to be uniformly organized with a
thorough autonomy for the insured.



Voted at Tours, March, 1902. It should be borne in mind that the
•' French Socialist Party " does not include all French Socialists.
But of the 47 Socialist deputies elected to the Chamber in 1902, about
35 belong to or work with it.

I. — Declaration of Principles.

Socialism proceeds simultaneously from the movement of
democracy and from the new forms of production. In history,
from the very morrow of the French Revolution, the proletarians
perceived that the Declaration of the Rights of Man would
remain an illusion unless society transformed ownership.

How, indeed, could freedom, ownership, security, be
guaranteed to all, in a society where millions of workers have
no property but their muscles, and are obliged, in order to live,
to sell their power of work to the propertied minority ?

To extend, therefore, to every citizen the guarantees in-
scribed in the Declaration of Rights, our great Babeuf demanded
ownership in common, as a guarantee of welfare in common.
Communism was for the boldest proletarians the supreme
expression of the Revolution.

Between the political regime, the outcome of the revolu-
tionary movement, and the economic regime of society, there
is an intolerable contradiction.

In the political order democracy is realized ; all citizens



share equally, at least by right, in the sovereignty ; universal
suffrage is communism in political power.

In the economic order, on the other hand, a minority is
sovereign. It is the oligarchy of capital which possesses?
directs, administers, and exploits.

Proletarians are acknowledged fit as citizens to manage
the milliards of the national and communal budgets ; as
labourers, in the workshop, they are only a passive multitude,
which has no share in the direction of enterprises, and they
endure the domination of a class which makes them pay
dearly for a tutelage whose utility ceases and whose prolonga-
tion is arbitrary.

The irresistible tendency of the proletarians, therefore, is
to transfer into the economic order the democracy partially
realized in the political order. Just as all the citizens have
and handle in common, democratically, the political power, so
they must have and handle in common the economic power,
the means of production.

They must themselves appoint the heads of work in the
workshops, as they appoint the heads of government in the
city, and reserve for those who work, for the community,
the whole product of work.

This tendency of political democracy to enlarge itself into
social democracy has been strengthened and defined by the
whole economic evolution.

In proportion as the capitaUstic regime developed its
effects, the proletariate became conscious of the irreducible
opposition between its essential interests and the interests of
the class dominant in society, and to the bourgeois form of
democracy it opposed more and more the complete and
thorough communistic democracy.

All hope of universalizing ownership and independence by
multiplying small autonomous producers has disappeared.
The great industry is more and more the rule in modern

By the enlargement of the world's markets, by the growing


facility of transport, by the division of labour, by the increasing
application of machinery, by the concentration of capitals,
immense concentrated production is gradually ruining or subor-
dinating the small or middling producers.

Even where the number of small craftsmen, small traders,
small peasant proprietors, does not diminish, their relative
importance in the totality of production grows less unceas-
ingly. They fall under the sway of the great capitalists.

Even the peasant proprietors, who seem to have retained
a little independence, are more and more exposed to the
crushing forces of the universal market, which capitalism
directs without their concurrence and against their interests.

For the sale of their wheat, wine, beetroot, and milk,
they are more and more at the mercy of great middlemen or
great industries of milling, distilling, and sugar-refining, which
dominate and despoil peasant labour.

The industrial proletarians, having lost nearly all chance
of individually rising to be employers, and being thus doomed
to eternal dependence, are further subject to incessant crises of
unemployment and misery, let loose by the unregulated com-
petition of the great capitalist forces.

The immense progress of production and wealth, largely
usurped°by parasitic classes, has not led to an equivalent
progress in well-being and security for the workers, the pro-
letarians. Whole categories of wage-earners are abruptly
thrown into extreme misery by the constant introduction of
new mechanisms and by the abrupt movements and trans-
formations of industry.

Capitalism itself admits the disorder of the present regime
of production, since it tries to regulate it for its gain by
capitalistic syndicates, by trusts.

Even if it succeeded in actually disciplining all the forces
of production, it would only do so while consummating the
domination and the monopoly of capital.

There is only one way of assuring the continued order and
progress of production, the freedom of every individual, and


the growing well-being of the workers ; it is to transfer to the
collectivity, to the social community, the ownership of the
capitalistic means of production.

The proletariate, daily more numerous, ever better prepared
for combined action by the great industry itself, understands
that in coUectiveness or communism lie the necessary means of
salvation for it.

As an oppressed and exploited class, it opposes all the
forces of oppression and exploitation, the whole system of
ownership, which debases it to be a mere instrument. It does
not expect its emancipation from the good will of rulers or
the spontaneous generosity of the propertied classes, but from
the continual and methodical pressure which it exerts upon the
privileged class and the government.

It sets before itself as its final aim, not a partial ameliora-
tion, but the total transformation of society. And since it
acknowledges no right as belonging to capitalistic ownership,
it feels bound to it by no contract. It is determined to fight
it, thoroughly, and to the end ; and it is in this sense that the
proletariate, even while using the legal means which democracy
puts into its hands, is and must remain a revolutionary class.

Already by winning universal sufi"rage, by winning and
exercising the right of combining to strike and of forming
trade-unions, by the first laws regulating labour and causing
society to insure its members, the proletariate has begun to
react against the fatal effects of capitalism ; it will continue
this great and unceasing effort, but it will only end the struggle
when all capitalist property has been reabsorbed by the com-
munity, and when the antagonism of classes has been ended
by the disappearance of the classes themselves, reconciled, or
rather made one, in common production and common owner-

How will be accomplished the supreme transformation of
the capitalist regi7ne into the collectivist or communist ? The
human mind cannot determine beforehand the mode in which
history will be accomplished.


The democratic and bourgeois revolution, which originated
in the great movement of France in 1789, has come about in
different countries in the most different ways. The old feudal
system has yielded in one case to force, in another to peaceful
and slow evolution. The revolutionary bourgeoisie has at one
place and time proceeded to brutal expropriation without com-
pensation, at another to the buying out of feudal servitudes.

No one can know in what way the capitalist servitude will
be abolished. The essential thing is that the proletariate
should be always ready for the most vigorous and effective
action. It would be dangerous to dismiss the possibility of
revolutionary events occasioned either by the resistance or by
the criminal aggression of the privileged class.

It would be fatal, trusting in the one word revolution, to
neglect the great forces which the conscious, organized pro-
letariate can employ within democracy.

These legal means, often won by revolution, represent an
accumulation of revolutionary force, a revolutionary capital, of
which it would be madness not to take advantage.

Too often the workers neglect to profit by the means of
action, which democracy and the republic put into their hands.
They do not demand from trade-unionist action, co-operative
action, or universal suffrage, all that those forms of action can

No formula, no machinery, can enable the working-class to
dispense with the constant effort of organization and education.

The idea of the general strike, of general strikes, is in-
vincibly suggested to proletarians by the growing magnitude of
working-class organization. They do not desire violence,
which is very often the result of an insufficient organization
and a rudimentary education of the proletariate ; but they
would make a great mistake if they did not employ the power-
ful means of action, which co-ordinates working-class forces to
subserve the great interests of the workers or of society ; they
must group and organize themselves to be in a position to
make the privileged class more and more emphatically aware


of the gulf, which may suddenly be cleft open in the economic
life of societies by the abrupt stoppage of the worn-out and
interminably exploited workers. They can thereby snatch
from the selfishness of the privileged class great reforms
interesting the working-class in general, and hasten the com-
plete transformation of an unjust society. But the formula
of the general strike, like the partial strike, like political action,
is only valuable through the progress of the education, the
thought, and the will of the working-class.

The Socialist party defends the Republic as a necessary
means of liberation and education. Socialism is essentially
republican. It might be even said to be the Republic itself,
since it is the extension of the Republic to the regime of
property and labour.

The Socialist party needs, to organize the new world, free
minds, emancipated from superstitions and prejudices. It asks
for and guarantees every human being, every individual,
absolute freedom of thinking, and writing, and affirming their
beliefs. Over against all religions, dogmas, and churches, as
well as over against the class conceptions of the bourgeoisie, it
sets the unlimited right of free thought, the scientific conception
of the universe, and a system of public education based ex-
clusively on science and reason.

Thus accustomed to free thought and reflection, citizens
will be protected against the sophistries of the capitalistic
and clerical reaction. The small craftsmen, small traders, and
small peasant proprietors will cease to think that it is Socialism
which wishes to expropriate them. The Socialist party will
hasten the hour when these small peasant proprietors, ruined
by the underselling of their produce, riddled with mortgage
debts, and always liable to judicial expropriation, will eventually
understand the advantages of generalized and systematized
association, and will claim themselves, as a benefit, the socializa-
tion of their plots of land.

But it would be useless to prepare inside each nation an
organization of justice and peace, if the relations of the nations


to one another remained exposed to every enterprise of force,
every suggestion of capitalist greed.

The Socialist party desires peace among nations • it con-
demns every policy of aggression and war, whether continental
or colonial. It constantly keeps on the order of the day for
civilized countries simultaneous disarmament. While waiting
for the day of definitive peace among nations, it combats the
miUtarist spirit by doing its utmost to approximate the system of
permanent armies to that of national militias. It wishes to pro-
tect the territory and the independence of the nation against
any surprise ; but every offensive policy and offensive weapon
is utterly condemned by it.

The close understanding of the workers, of the proletarians
of every country, is necessary as well to beat back the forces of
aggression and war as to prepare by a concerted action the
general triumph of Socialism. The international agreement of
the militant proletarians of every country will prepare the
triumph of a free humanity, where the difference of classes
will have disappeared, and the difference of nations, instead
of being a principle of strife and hatred, will be a prin-
ciple of brotherly emulation in the universal progress of

It is in this sense and for these reasons that the Socialist
party has formulated in its congresses the rule and aim of its
action — international understanding of the workers; political
and economic organization of the proletariate as a class party
for the conquest of government and the socialization of the
means of production and exchange ; that is to say, the trans-
formation of capitalist society into a collectivist or communist

II. — Programme of Reforms.

The Socialist party, rejecting the policy of all or nothing,
has a programme of reforms whose realization it pursues


(i) Democratization of Public Authorities.

1. Universal direct suffrage, without distinction of sex, in
every election.

2. Reduction of time of residence. Votes to be cast for
lists, with proportional representation, in every election.

3. Legislative measures to secure the freedom and secrecy
of the vote.

4. Popular right of initiative and referendum.

5. Abolitionof the Senate and Presidency of the Republic.
The powers at present belonging to the President of the
Republic and the Cabinet to devolve on an executive council
appointed by the Parliament.

6. Legal regulation of the legislator's mandate, to be
revocable by the vote of any absolute majority of his con-
stituents on the register.

7. Admission of women to all public functions.

8. Absolute freedom of the press, and of assembly guaran-
teed only by the common law. Abrogation of all exceptional
laws on the press. Freedom of civil associations.

9. Full administrative autonomy of the departments and
communes, under no reservations but that of the laws
guaranteeing the republican, democratic, and secular character
of the State.

(2) Complete Seciilarizaiion of the State.

1. Separation of the Churches and the State; abolition of
the Budget of Public Worship ; freedom of public worship ;
prohibition of the pohtical and collective action of the Churches
against the civil laws and republican liberties.

2. Abolition of the congregations ; nationalization of the
property in mortmain, of every kind, belonging to them, and
appropriation of it for works of social insurance and solidarity ;
in the interval, all industrial, agricultural, and commercial
undertakin2;s are to be forbidden to the congregations.


(3) Democratic and Htivianc Organization of Justice.

1. Substitution for all the present courts, whether civil or
criminal, of courts composed of a jury taken from the electoral
register and judges elected under guarantees of competence ;
the jury to be formed by drawing lots from lists drawn up by
universal suffrage.

2. Justice to be without fee. Transformation of ministerial
offices into public functions. Abolition of the monopoly of
the bar.

3. Examination from opposite sides at every stage and on
every point.

4. Substitution for the vindictive character of the present
punishments, of a system for the safe keeping and the ameliora-
tion of convicts.

5. Abolition of the death penalty.

6. Abolition of the military and naval courts.

(4) Consiitntion of the Family in confonnity with Individual

1. Abrogation of every law establishing the civil inferiority
of women and natural or adulterine children.

2. Most liberal legislation on divorce. A law sanctioning
inquiry into paternity.

(5) Civic and Technical Education.

1. Education to be free of charge at every stage.

2. Maintenance of the children in elementary schools at the
expense of the public bodies.

3. For secondary and higher education, the communi*-y
to pay for those of the children who on examination are
pronounced fit usefully to continue their studies.

4. Creation of a popular higher education.

5. State monopoly of education at the three stages; as a
means towards this, all members of the regular and secular clergy
to be forbidden to open and teach in a school.


(6) General recasting of the System of Taxation upo/i
Principles of Social Solidarity.

1. Abolition of every tax on articles of consumption which
are primary necessaries, and of the four direct contributions ; ^
accessorily, relief from taxation of all small plots of land and
small professional businesses. -

2. Progressive income-tax, levied on each person's income
as a whole, in all cases where it exceeds 3000 francs {jQi2q).

3. Progressive tax on inheritances, the scale of progression
being calculated with reference both to the amount of the
inheritance and the degree of remoteness of the relationship.

4. The State to be empowered to seek a part of the
revenue which it requires from certain monopolies.

(7) Legal Protection and Regulation of Labonr in Industry,
Conwierce, and Agriculttire.

1. One day's rest per week, or prohibition of employers to
exact work more than six days in seven.

2. Limitation of the working-day to eiglit hours; as a
means towards this, vote of every regulation diminishing the
length of the working-day.

3. Prohibition of the employment of children under four-
teen ; half-time system for young persons, productive labour
being combined with instruction and education.

4. Prohibition of night-work for women and young persons.
Prohibition of night-work for adult workers of all categories
and in all industries where night-work is not absolutely neces-

5. Legislation to protect home-workers.

6. Prohibition of piece-work and of truck. Legal recog-
nition of black-listing.

7. Scales of rates forming a minimum wage to be fixed
by agreement between municipalities and the working-class
corporations of industry, commerce, and agriculture.

* Personal tax ; tax on moveables ; tax on land ; door and window tax.
- A licence to trade is required for many businesses in France.


8. Employers to be forbidden to make deductions from
wages, as fines or otherwise. Workers to assist in framing
special rules for workshops.

9. Inspection of workshops, mills, factories, mines, yards,
public services, shops, etc., shall be carried out with reference

Online LibraryR. C. K. (Robert Charles Kirkwood) EnsorModern socialism, as set forth by socialists in their speeches, writings, and programmes; → online text (page 31 of 35)