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cracy, — its chief manifestoes and programmes. A considerable
subsidiary advantage will also thus be gained, as the reader will
have brought under his observation the most important portions
of a number of documents with which it is desirable that he
should be to some extent acquainted.

The Manifesto of the Covwiunist Party, drawn up by Marx
and Engels in 1847 is the earliest and most celebrated of these
documents — the first and most vigorous presentation of the
general creed of the democratic Socialism of the present day.
I quote from it these sentences : —

" When, in the course of development, the distinctions of classes have
vanished, and when all production is concentrated in the hands of asso-
ciated individuals, public authority loses its political character. Political
power in the proper sense is the organised power of one class for the
suppression of another. When the Proletariat, in its struggle against
the middle class, unites itself perforce so as to form a class, constitutes
itself by way of revolution the ruling class, and as the ruling class forcibly
abolishes the former conditions of production, it abolishes therewith at
the same time the very foundations of the opposition between classes,
does away with classes altogether, and by that very fact witli its own
domination as a class. The place of the former bourgeois society, with
its classes and class contrasts, is taken by an association of workers, in
which the free development of each is the condition of the free develop-
ment of all."

Next may be adduced the Fundamental Pact or Statutes of
the International Workmen's Association, drawn up by Marx
in September, 1864 : —

Considering : — That the emancipation of the working classes must be
carried out by the working classes themselves, and that the struggle for
the emancipation of the working classes does not imply a struggle for
class privileges and monopolies, but for equal rights and duties, and for
the abolition of all class domination ;

That the economic dependence of the working-man on the monopolist
of the means of production, the sources of life, forms the basis of servi-


tiule in every form, social misery, mental degradation, and political
dependence ;

That consequently the economic emancipation of the working classes is
the great aim to which every political movement must be subordinated as
a mere means to an end ;

That all endeavours directed to this great aim have hitherto failed from
want of union between the various departments of labour of each country
and from the absence of a fraternal bond of union between the working
classes of the various countries ;

That the emancipation of labour is neither a local nor a national, but a
social problem, which comprises all countries in which the modern state
of society exists, and whose solution depends on the practical and
theoretical co-operation of the most advanced countries ;

That the present reawakening of the working classes of the industrial
countries of Europe, while raising new hopes, contains a solemn warning
against a return to old mistakes, and demands the close connection of the
movements which are as yet separated ;

For these reasons the first International Congress of Workmen declares
that the International Workmen's Association and all societies and indi-
viduals connected with it acknowledge truth, justice, and morality as the
basis of their behaviour among themselves and towards all their fellow-
men without regard to colour, creed, or nationalit}'. The Congress
regards it the duty of a man to demand the rights of a man and a citizen,
not only for himself, but also for every one who does his duty. No rights
without duties, no duties without rights.

The properly socialistic portion of the Eisenach Programme
(August, 1869) runs as follows : —

" The Social Democratic Workmen's Party strives for the establishment
of a free State governed by the people.

"Every member of the Social Democratic Workmen's Party pledges
himself to support with all his power the following principles :

" I. The present political and social conditions are extremely unjust,
and must therefore be attacked with the greatest energy.

" 2. The struggle for the emancipation of the working classes is not a
struggle for class privileges and advantages, but for equal
rights and equal duties, and for the abolition of all class

"3. The economical dependence of the labourer on the capitalist
forms the basis of servitude in every form, and consequently
the Social Democratic Party aims at abolishing the present
system of production (wage system), and at securing for every
worker the full result of his labour by means of co-operative

"4. Political freedom is an indisijensable condition for tlie economic


emancipation of the working classes. The social question is
therefore inseparable from the political ; its solution depends
thereon, and is possible only in a democi-atic State.

" 5. Considering that the political and economical emancipation of
the working class is only possible if the latter carries on the
struggle in concert and in unison, the Social Democratic Work-
men's Party offers a united organisation which, however, makes
it possible for each to make his inHuence felt for the good of
the whole.

■'6. Considering that the emancipation of labour is neither a local
nor a national, but a social problem which comprises all
countries in which the modern state of society exists, the
Social Democratic Workmen's Party considers itself, as far as
the laws of the society permit it, as a branch of the Inter-
national Workmen's Association, and unites its endeavours

The corresponding portion of the Gotha Programme (May,
1875) reads as folloAvs : —

" Labour is the source of all wealth and of all civilisation, and since
productive labour as a whole is possible only through society, the whole
produce of labour belongs to society — that is, to all its members — it being
the duty of all to work, and all having equal rights in proportion to their
reasonable requirements. In the present state of society the means of
production are the monopoly of the capitalist class ; the dependence of
the working class resulting from this is the cause of misery and servitude
in every form. The emancipation of labour requires the conversion of the
means of production into the common property of society, and the social
regulation of the labour of society, the product of labour being used
for the common good and justly divided. The emancipation of labour
must be the work of the working class, in relation to which all other
classes are only a reactionary mass.

"Starting with these principles, the Socialist Workmen's Party of
Germany uses all legal means to attain a free State and a socialistic
condition of society, the destruction of the iron law of wages, the abolition
of exploitation in every form, the removal of all social and political in-
equality. The Socialist Workmen's Party of Germany, though at present
acting within national limits, is conscious of the international character of
the workmen's movement, and is determined to fulfil every duty which it
imposes on the workers, in order to realise the fraternity of all men.

" The Socialist Workmen's Party of Germany demands, for the purpose
of preparing for the solution of the social question, the establishment of
socialistic co-operative societies, supported by the State, under the demo-
cratic control of the working people. These co-operative societies must
be instituted for industry and agriculture to such an extent as to cause
the socialistic organisation of the labour of all to arise therefrom."


The Erfurt Programme (October, iSgi) gives a fuller state-
ment : —

"The economic development of hour/jeoise society necessarily leads to
the ruin of the industry on a small scale which is founded on the private
property of the workmen in his means of production. It separates the
workmen from the means of production, and transforms him into a
proletarian possessing nothing, owing to the means of production be-
coming the property of a relatively limited number of capitalists and of
large landed proprietors.

"In proportion as the means of production are monopolised, large
agglomerated industries displace small scattered : the tool is developed
into the machine ; the productivity of human labour is enormously in-
creased. But all the advantages of this transformation are monopolised
by the capitalists and large landed proprietors. For the proletariat and
the intermediate layers on the slope of ruin — small tradesmen, peasants,
&c. — this evolution means a continuous augmentation of insecurity of
existence, of misery, of oppression, of slavery, of humiliation, of ex-

"Always greater becomes the number of the proletarians, always larger
the army of superfluous workmen, always harsher the antagonism between
exploiters and exploited, always more exasperated the war of classes
between the bourgeoisie and the proletariat, which separates modern
society into two hostile camps, and which is the common characteristic
of all industrial countries.

" The abyss between those who possess and those who do not possess is
still farther widened by the crises which arise from the very nature of the
capitalist mode of production ; they become always more extensive and
disastrous, make general uncertainty the normal state of society, and
prove that the productive forces of the society of to-day are too great,
and that private property in the means of production is now incompatible
with the orderly application of these forces and their full development.

" Private property in the means of labour, which was formerly property
in the fruit of his labour to its producer, serves now to expropriate
peasants, manual labourers, and small tradesmen, and to place those who
do not labour — capitalists and large landowners — in possession of the
product of the workers. Only the transformation of capitalist private
property in the means of production — the soil, mines, raw materials, tools,
machines, means of transport — into collective property, and the trans-
formation of the production of commodities into production effected by
and for society, can make our large manufacturing industry and propor-
tionally increased power of collective labour, instead of sources of misery
and oppression as regards the classes hitherto exploited, sources of the
greatest happiness and of harmonious and universal improvement.

"This social transformation means the enfranchisement, not only of
the labouring class, but of the whole of the human species which suffers


under present conditions. But this enfranchisement can only be the
work of the labouring class, because all the other classes, notwithstanding
the conflicting interests which divide them, rest on private property in the
means of production, and have as their common aim the maintenance of
the foundations of existing society.

" The battle of the working class against capitalist exploitation is neces-
sarily a political battle. The labouring class cannot fight its economic
battles and develop its economic organisation without political rights. It
cannot bring about the transition of the means of production into collective
property without having taken possession of political power.

"To give to this war of the working class unity and consciousness of
the end aimed at, to show to workmen that this end is a necessity in the
order of nature, such is the task of the Socialist Democratic Party.

" The interests of the working class are identical in all countries where
the capitalist mode of production prevails. With the universal expansion
of commerce, of production for the market of the world, the condition of
the workmen of each country becomes always more dependent on the
condition of the workmen in other countries. The enfranchisement of
the working class is consequently a task in which the workmen of all
civilised countries should equally take part. In this conviction the
Socialist Democratic Party of Germany declares itself in unison with
the workmen of all other countries who are true to their class.

" The Socialist Democratic Party of Germany fights therefore, not for
new class privileges, but to abolish the domination of classes and classes
themselves, and to establish equal rights and equal duties for all, without
distinction of sex or descent. Starting with these ideas, it combats in
existing society, not only the exploitation and oppression of those who
work for wages, but every species of exploitation and oppression, whether
it be directed against a class, a family, or a race."

I have not referred to those portions of the foregoing docu-
ments in which are formulated the demands of the Social
Democracy for measures tending either to amehorate or sup-
plant the present regime. My next and last quotation gives an
adequate conception of these demands, and clearly indicates what
their place and purpose are in the collectivist scheme of doctrine
and policy. It is that part of the latest manifesto of English
Socialists — the Manifesto of the Joint Gonimittee of Socialist
Bodies* — in which are summed up the conclusions arrived at by
the representatives of the Social Democratic Federation, the
Fabian Society, and the Hammersmith Socialist Society, as
supplying a basis for united socialistic action :

* Published in pamphlet form in May 1893.


" It is opportune to remind the public once more of what Socialism
means to those who are working for the transformation of our present
unsocialist state into a collectivist republic, and who are entirely free from
the illusion that the amelioration or 'moralisation ' of the conditions of
capitalist private property can do away with the necessity for abolishing
it. Even those re-adjustments of industry and administration which are
socialist in form will not be permanently useful unless the whole State is
merged into an organised commonwealth. Municipalisation, for instance,
can only be accepted as Socialism on the condition of its forming a p^rt
of national, and at last of international Socialism, in which the workers of
all nations, while adopting within the borders of their own countries those
methods which are rendered necessary by their historic development, can
federate upon a common basis of the collective ownership of the great
means and instruments of the creation and distribution of wealth, and
thus break down national animosities by the solidarity of human interest
throughout the civilised world.

" On this point all Socialists agree. Our aim, one and all, is to obtain
for the whole community complete ownership and control of the means of
transport, the means of manufacture, the mines, and the land. Thus we
look to put an end for ever to the wage system, to sweep away all distinc-
tions of class, and eventually to establish national and international Com-
munism on a sound basis.

" To this end it is imperative on all members of the Socialist Party to
gather together their forces in order to formulate a general policy and
force on its general acceptance.

"But here we must repudiate both the doctrines and tactics of
Anarchism. As Socialists, we believe that those doctrines, and the
tactics necessarily resulting from them, though advocated as revolutionary
by men who are honest and single-minded, are really reactionary, both in
theory and practice, and tend to check the advance of our cause. Indeed,
so far from hampering the freedom of the individual, as Anarchists hold
it will, Socialism will foster that full freedom which Anarchism would
inevitably destroy.

"As to the means for the attainment of our end, in the first place, we
Socialists look for our success to the increasing and energetic promulga-
tion of our views amongst the whole people, and, next, to the capture and
transformation of the great social machinery. In any case the people
have increasingly at hand the power of dominating and controlling the
whole political, and through the political, the social forces of the

" The first step towards transformation and reorganisation must neces-
sarily be in the direction of the limitation of class robbery, and the
consequent raising of the standard of life for the individual. In this
direction certain measures have been brought within the scope of prac-
tical politics ; and we name them as having been urged and supported
originally and chiefly by Socialists, and advocated by them still, not, as


above said, as solutions of social wrongs, but as tending to lessen the
evils of the existing regime; so that individuals of the useful classes,
having more leisure and less anxiety, may be able to turn their attention
to the only real remedy for their position of inferiority — to wit, the
supplanting of the present state by a society of equality of condition.
When this great change is completely carried out, the genuine liberty of
all will be secured by the free play of social forces with much less coercive
interference than the present system entails.

" The following are some of the measures spoken of above :

" An Eight Hours Law.

" Prohibition of Child Labour for Wages.

" Free Maintenance of all Necessitous Children.

" Equal Payment of Men and Women for Equal Work.

" An Adequate Minimum Wage for all Adults Employed in the

Government and Municipal Services, or in any Monopolies, such

as Railways, enjoying State Privileges.
" Suppression of all Sub-contracting and Sweating.
" Universal Suffrage for all Adults, Men and Women alike.
" Public Payment for all Public Service.

" The inevitable economic development points to the direct absorption
by the State, as an organised democracy, of monopolies which have been
granted to, or constituted by, companies, and their immediate conversion
into public services. But the railway system is of all the monopolies that
which could be most easily and conveniently so converted. It is certain
that no attempt to reorganise industry on the land can be successful so
long as the railways are in private hands, and excessive rates of carriage
are charged. Recent events have hastened on the socialist solution of
this particular question, and the disinclination of boards of directors to
adopt improvements which would cheapen freight, prove that in this, as in
other cases, English capitalists, far from being enlightened by competition
are blinded by it even to their own interests.

" In other directions the growth of combination, as with banks, shipping
companies, and huge limited liability concerns, organised both for pro-
duction and distribution, show that the time is ripe for socialist organisa-
tion. The economic development in this direction is already so far
.advanced that the socialisation of production and distribution on the
economic side of things can easily and at once begin, when the people
have made up their minds to overthrow privilege and monopoly. In order
to effect the change from capitalism to co-operation, from unconscious
revolt to conscious reorganisation, it is necessary that we Socialists should
constitute ourselves into a distinct political party with definite aims,
marching steadily along our own highway without reference to the con-
venience of political factions.

" We have thus stated the main principles and the broad strategy on
■which, as we believe, all Socialists may combine to act with vigour. The


opportunity for deliberate and determined action is now always with us
and local autonomy in all local matters will still leave the fullest outlet
for national and international Socialism. We therefore confidently appeal
to all Socialists to sink their individual crotchets in a business-like
endeavour to realise in our own day that complete communisation of
industry for which the economic forms are ready and the minds of the
people are almost prepared."

III. Individualism. — In speculative philosophy the term Indi-
vidualism bears two acceptations. It has been applied to
designate the theory which would explain the universe by the
agency of a multitude of uncreated, individuated forces or
wills. In this sense we hear of the Individualism of Leibniz,
of Bahnsen, and others. More frequently, however, what is
meant by Individualism in this sphere of thought is the theory
which represents the individual consciousness as the ultimate
ground of all knowledge and certitude. In this sense one speaks
of the Individualism of Descartes or Rousseau, or of the indi-
vidualistic character of the philosophy of the eighteenth century.
Obviously in neither of these senses is the term Individualism the
antithesis of Socialism.

It is otherwise in the spheres of religion, ethics, pohtics, and
economics. Individualism, like Socialism, may be religious,
ethical, pohtical, or economical. And in all these spheres Indi-
vidualism is, like Socialism, only partially realisable. There
can be no complete Socialism, for society in entirely sacrificing
the individual must annihilate itself. There can be no complete
Individualism, for the individual is inseparable from society,
lives, moves, and has his being in society. Both Individualism
and Socialism can only exist as tendencies or approximations to
unattainable and self-contradictory ideals created by irrational
and excessive abstraction. Of course, the more individualistic a
man is the moi:e Socialism will he fancy that he sees, and the
more socialistic he is the readier wiU he be to charge other men
with Individualism. One who does justice to the rights both
of the individual and of society will probably conclude that
Individualists are not so numerous as they are often represented
to be, and that many who call themselves Socialists do so without
much reason.

There may be Individualism as well as Socialism in the sphere


of religion, although the history of religion clearly shows that
socialistic have here been far more powerful than individuahstic

The teaching of Christ has been often represented as socialistic,
and even as communistic. A well-known socialist writer, Mr. E.
Belfort Bax, however, often insists on what he calls its " one-
sided, introspective, and individualistic character." An impartial
examination of it will lead, I think, to the conclusion that it was
so comprehensive and harmonious as to be neither individualistic
nor socialistic. While worthily estimating the value and dignity
of the individual soul, it kept ever in view the claims both of
brotherhood and of the kingdom of God.

The Mediaeval Church exalted to the vitmost social authority as
embodied in the Church. The Reformers demanded that churchly
authority should only be allowed in so far as it could jvistify itself
to individual reason, to private judgment. This constitutes what
is called " the individualism of Protestantism." Whether it ought
to be so called or not should be decided by determining whether or
not the demand was excessive. To me it seems that it was not nearly
large enough ; that every external authority is bound to prove its
claims reasonable ; and that there is no real Individualism in
insisting that every external and social authority should do so.

There have been some religious teachers who have expressly
claimed to be mdividualists, — for instance, William Maccall and
the Dane S. Kierkegaard. In Martensen's " Christian Ethics "
(vol. i. pp. 202-36) will be found a valuable study on the Indi-
vidualism of the latter and of Alexander Vinet. Vinet, howevei-,
while insisting strongly on the importance of individuality,
expressly disclaimed " Individualism."

Ethical Individualism has made itself visible in egoistic
hedonism, the selfish theory, the utilitarianism of personal
interest. It has assumed various phases. It was maintained
both in the Cyrenaic and Epicurean schools of antiquity. In
later times we find it represented by Hobbes, Mandeville, Paley,
Helvetius, Max Stirner, &c. It makes duty identical with per-
sonal interest. It judges of actions solely by their consequences,
and yet leaves out of account their effects on society. At the
same time, by an instructive inconsistency, the ethical Indi-
vidualist, while resolving virtue into a regard to personal interest,


is generally found attempting to justify it by its conduciveness to
the interest of society. Although Mandeville went so far as to
plead the cause of " private vices " it was on the ground that

Online LibraryRobert FlintSocialism → online text (page 7 of 38)