Chants For Socialists [with Biographical Introduction]

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The ruling class can impose its social order upon all. When the Socialist becomes the ruling class his social system will be adopted. This great change which the Socialist has in mind means the substitution of co-operation for competition and the placing of productive property in the care of [12] the state or of society, instead of letting it remain under the domination of individuals. To abolish private productive capital by making it public, to establish a communistic instead of a competitive society, that is the object.

In the Socialist's new order of society, where poverty will be unknown, there is to be a common bond. This bond is not possession, but work. With glowing exultation all the expositors and exhorters of the proletarian movement dwell upon the blessedness of toil. They glorify man, not through his inheritance of personality, certainly not through his possession of things, but through his achievements of toil.

When all members of society work at useful occupations, then all the necessary things can be done in a few hours.

Six or four, or some even say two, hours a day will be sufficient to do all the drudgery and the essential things in a well-organized human beehive. There is to be nothing morose or despondent in this toil. It is all to be done to the melody of good cheer and willingness.

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How is this great change to come about, and what is to be the exact organization of society under this regime of work and co-operation? Here unanimity ceases. As a criticism Socialism is unanimous, as a method it is divided, as a reconstructive process it is hopelessly at sea. At first Socialists were utopians, then they became revolutionists.

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This was natural. Socialism was born in an air of revolution—the political revolutions of the bourgeois, and the infinitely greater industrial revolution. The tides of change and passion were rocking the foundations of state and industry.

The evils in early industrialism were abhorrent. Small [13] children and their mothers were forced into factories, pauperism was thriving, the ugly machine-fed towns were replacing the quaint and cheerful villages, rulers were forgetting their duties in their greed for gain, and the state was persecuting men for their political and economic opinions. Every face was turned against the preachers of the new order, and they naturally thought that the change could be brought about only by violence and revolution. Louis Blanc said "a social revolution ought to be tried:.

Not every one thought that the revolution could be peacefully accomplished, and, it must be admitted, few seemed to care.

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In their "Communist Manifesto," the most noted of all Socialist broadsides, Marx and Engels know of no peaceful revolution. They close with these virile words: "The communists disdain to conceal their views and aims. They openly declare that their ends can be attained only by the forcible overthrow of all existing conditions. Let the ruling classes tremble at a communistic revolution. The proletarians have [14] nothing to lose but their chains. They have the world to win.

Workingmen of all countries, unite! These words are often quoted even in these placid days of evolution that have replaced the red days of violence. The workingmen of all countries are uniting, as we shall see, not for bloody revolution nor for the violence of passion, but for the promulgation of peace.

socialism | Definition, History, Examples, & Facts |

To-day the silent coercion of multitudes is taking the place of the eruptive methods of the '40's and the '70's. As to the ultimate form of organized society, there is nothing but confusion to be found in the mass of literature that has grown up around the subject. The earliest writers were cocksure of themselves; the latest ones bridge over the question with wide-arching generalities.

I have asked many of their leaders to give me some hint as to what form their Society of To-morrow will take. Every one dodged.

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It will be humanitarian and co-operative. Finally, all Socialists agree in the instrument of change. It lies at hand as the greatest co-operative achievement of our race, the state. It is the common possession of all, and it is the one power that can lay its hands upon property and compel its obedience. The power of the state is to be the dynamo of change. This state is naturally to be democratic. The people shall hold the reins of power in their own hands. It must be remembered that every year sees a shifting in the Socialist's attitude. As he has left the sphere of mere fault-finding and of dreaming, and has entered politics, entered the labor war through unions, and the business war through co-operative [15] societies, he has been compelled to adapt himself to the necessities of things as they are.

I have tried briefly to show that Socialism originated as a class movement, a proletarian movement; that the classes, wage-earner and capitalist, are the natural outcome of machine production; that Socialism is one of the natural products of the antagonistic relations that these two classes at present occupy; that Socialism intends to eliminate this antagonism by eliminating the private employer. I have tried to show also that Socialism is a criticism of the present social order placing the blame for the miseries of society upon the shoulders of private property and competition; that it is optimistic in spirit, buoyant in hope; and that its program of reconstruction is confused and immature.

Stripped of its glamour, our society is in a neck-to-neck race for things, for property. Its hideousness has shocked the sensibilities of dreamers and humanitarians. Our machine industry has produced a civilization that is ugly.

It is natural that the esthetic and philanthropic members of this society should raise their protest. It is natural that the participants in this death race should utter their cries of alternate despair and hope. Socialism is the cry of the toiler. It is not to be ignored. We in America have no conception of its potency. There are millions of hearts in Europe hanging upon its precepts for the hope that makes life worth the fight. Their Utopia may be only a rainbow, a mirage in the mists on the horizon.

But the energy which it [16] has inspired is a reality. It has organized the largest body of human beings that the world has known. Its international Socialist movement has but one rival for homogeneity and zeal, the Church, whose organization at one time embraced all kingdoms and enlisted the faithful service of princes and paupers. It is this reality in its political form which I hope to set forth in the following pages. We will try to discover what the Socialist movement is doing in politics, how much of theory has been merged in political practice, what its everyday parliamentary drudgery is, and, if possible, to tell in what direction the movement is tending.

Before we do this it is necessary to state briefly the history of the underlying theories of the movement. By proletariat, the class of modern wage-laborers, who, having no means of production of their own, are reduced to selling their labor power in order to live. Socialism began in France, that yeast-pot of civilization.

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It began while the Revolution was still filling men's minds with a turbulent optimism that knew no limit to human "progress. He was of noble lineage, born in , and died in He took very little part in the French Revolution, but was a soldier in our Continental army, and always manifested a keen interest in American affairs. Possessed of an inquiring mind, an ambitious spirit, and a heart full of sympathy for the oppressed, he devoted himself to the study of society for the purpose of elaborating a scheme for universal human betterment. Before he began his special studies he amassed a modest fortune in land speculation.

Not that he loved money, he assures us, but because he wished independence and leisure to do his chosen work. This money was soon lost, through unfortunate experiments and an unfortunate marriage, and the most of his days were spent in penury. He attracted to himself a number of the most brilliant young men in France, among them De Lesseps who subsequently carried out one of the plans of his master, the Suez Canal; and Auguste Comte, who [18] embodied in his positivism the philosophical teachings of Saint-Simon.

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Saint-Simon believed that society needed to be entirely reorganized on a "scientific basis," and that "the whole of society ought to labor for the amelioration of the moral and physical condition of the poorest class. Society ought to organize itself in the manner the most suitable for the attainment of this great end. The two counteracting motives or spirits in society are the spirit of antagonism and the spirit of association. Hitherto the spirit of antagonism has prevailed, and misery has resulted. Let the spirit of association rule, and the evils will vanish.

Under the rule of antagonism, property has become the possession of the few, poverty and misery the lot of the many. Both property and poverty are inherited, therefore the state should abolish all laws of inheritance, take all property under its dominion, and let society be the sole proprietor of the instruments of labor and of the fund that labor creates. Through the teachings of Saint-Simon runs a constant stream of religious fervor. In Christianity he found the moral doctrine that gave sanction to his social views.

He sought the primitive Christianity, stripped of the dogmas and opinions of the centuries. In his principal work, Nouveau Christianisme New Christianity , he subjects the teachings of Catholicism and Protestantism to ingenious criticism, and finds in the teachings of Christ the essential moral elements necessary for a society based on the spirit of association. Saint-Simon was a humanitarian rather than a [19] systematic thinker.

His analysis of society is ingenious rather than constructive. His teachings were elaborated by his followers, who organized themselves into a school called the "Sacred College of the Apostles," with Bazard and Enfantin as their leaders. They were accused, in the Chamber of Deputies, of promulgating communism of property and wives. Their defense, dated October, , and issued as a booklet, is the best exposition of their views. They said that: "We demand that land, capital, and all the instruments of labor shall become common property, and be so managed that each one's portion shall correspond to his capacity, and his reward to his labors.

Chants For Socialists [with Biographical Introduction] Chants For Socialists [with Biographical Introduction]
Chants For Socialists [with Biographical Introduction] Chants For Socialists [with Biographical Introduction]
Chants For Socialists [with Biographical Introduction] Chants For Socialists [with Biographical Introduction]
Chants For Socialists [with Biographical Introduction] Chants For Socialists [with Biographical Introduction]
Chants For Socialists [with Biographical Introduction] Chants For Socialists [with Biographical Introduction]

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