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Originally appearing in Volume V25, Page 308 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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SOCIALISM, a term loosely formed from the Latin adjective socialis (socius, a comrade), and first used of certain doctrines of Robert Owen (q.v.). " Socialist " occurs in a discussion between Robert Owen and the Rev. J. H. Roebuck at Manchester (publ. Heywood, Manchester, 1837), pp. 27, 133. From the context it seems a nickname. But the title " Owenist " was disliked by many supporters (see Co-operative Magazine, 1826, p. 28) and " Co-operator " was acquiring a different sense. The new term was used in 1838 in France (by Pierre Leroux), and figures in 184o in Reybaud's Socialistes moderns. Definition.—Socialism is that policy or theory which aims at securing by the action of the central democratic authority a better distribution, and in due subordination thereunto a better production, of wealth than now prevails. This definition may not entirely cover the ancient and medieval theories to which the name has been given by modern writers (see also ANARCHISM, COMMUNISM, CO-OPERATION). It hardly covers the schemes of Robert Owen himself. But just as chemistry is not alchemy, or astronomy astrology, modern socialism is not to be identified with Utopian fancies, and need not be so defined as to embrace them. For a like reason it need not be so defined as to include every tenet of leading socialistic writers. We must disentangle their socialism from what is superadded to it and not involved in the socialistic idea. The word began in the days of Owen; but, as there were utilitarians before Mill made the name current, so there were socialists before Owen. Socialism, as a policy, begins with the beginnings of politics. As a theory, it begins whenever the state is perceived to have a distinct office from other factors in the order of society, and that office is so magnified that the whole or main charge of the economic resources of the people is assigned to the state, whether for production or for distribution. There was anarchism among the Cyrenaics and Cynics. Phaleas of Chalcedon was a communist. There is state socialism in the Republic of Plato, and much remains in the Laws. It is true that in those days society and state are not clearly distinguished. When Aristotle tells us that " man is by nature a political animal " (Politics, i. I), the adjective is ambiguous. But the individual and the state are not confused; they are even, by the Cynics, too far separated. State and individual were also well apart in Rome, under the Roman system of legal rights—public, private, real, and personal. There were socialistic measures in Rome, panis et circenses; and there were agrarian, to say nothing of usury laws. But trade and industry were not usually regarded as worthy subjects for the state and the statesman to touch at all. There are instances of municipal socialism in Italy and the provinces under the Roman Empire (S. Dill, Roman Society from Nero to Marcus Aurelius, 1905, pp. 218, 220, 222). In the middle ages feudalism was more akin to paternal government than to individualism; but it was, politically, too undemocratic to approach a true socialism. On its decadence something like a de facto municipal socialism made its appearance. The gilds of the great cities, imperium in imperio, regulated production and incidentally distribution. They did not prevent the existence of millionaires like the Fuggers, but they brought even these rich men under their rules. The equality was greater than the liberty, though neither was complete, to modern notions. With the breaking up of the gilds came what is commonly called individualism. Thenceforward over against the control-ling government of the monarch or the commonwealth was to stand the commercial competition of free individuals. It is oneof our modern problems to determine whether this individualism is doomed or not. It has never existed pure and unmixed. Between the time of the gilds and the time of the trade unions lies the time, say in England in the 16th and 17th centuries, 'when there were enterprising trade and busy industry, with enough of power surviving in the old organizations to prevent absolute anarchy. As invention followed invention in the 18th century, industry changed its form and became great instead of small. That is to say, it tended to become more and more an affair of large capital and large workshops, and, instead of the industrial individualism of small masters and independent " manufacturers," who were still " hand " -workers, there was appearing the industrial collectivism of the factory system, where manufacture was nothing without its machinery, its colossal division of labour and its strict technical discipline and drill. There was a short period in England when employers were allowed to draw advantage from the change without any hindrance from the state. But in no greater time than one generation the regulation of factories began, the period of anarchy ended, and the commercial competition of free individuals began to be surrounded with safeguards, more or less effective. Modern socialism, as defined above, is (a) opposed to the policy of laissez faire, which aims at the least possible interference with industrial competition between private persons or groups of persons, and (b) suspicious of a policy of mere regulation, which aims at close surveillance and control of the proceedings of industrial competitors, but would avoid direct initiative in production and direct attempts to level the in-equalities of wealth. The leading idea of the socialist is to convert into general benefit what is now the gain of a few. He shares this idea with the anarchist, the positivist, the co-operator and other reformers; but, unlike them, to secure his end he would employ the compulsory powers of the sovereign state, or the powers of the municipality delegated by the sovereign. In the former case we have state socialism, in the latter municipal. Where there is direction or diversion of industry by the public force mainly for the benefit of a few, this is hardly socialism. It employs the same machinery, the public force; and it secures a revenue which may possibly be used for the general benefit, as in the case of protective duties. But in such cases the general benefit is only a possible incident. So far (for example) as protection succeeds in keeping out the foreign competitors, the main result is the assured gain or prevented loss of a few among the citizens. Socialism by intention and definition would secure benefits not for a few, a minority, or even a majority, but for all citizens. Communism has the same end in view; and socialism and communism (q.v.) are often confused in popular thought. But the communist need not be a socialist; he may be an anarchist, an opponent of all government; while the socialist need not be a communist. The socialists of the loth century rarely, if ever, demand that all wealth be held in common, but only that the land, and the large workshops, and the materials and means of production on a large scale shall be owned by the state, or its delegate the municipality. The despotism of gilds would not now be tolerated. The strictest public regulation of trade and industry will probably continue to be that of the state, rather than of the municipality, for local rules can be evaded by migration, the state's only by emigration. But the smaller bodies are likely to display more adventurous initiative; and it is significant that they appear in the imagination nearer to the individual than the state even of a small people can ever appear to its own citizens. Yet it is not the smallest unit, the parish, that has shown most activity in England, but the county, a unit arithmetically nearer to the state than to the individual. It might be plausibly argued that the movement of modern events has been rather towards a kind of anarchism (q.v.) than a kind of socialism, if it were not for the element of compulsion (quite contrary to anarchism). Even the English poor law, universally called socialistic, is administered locally and the degree of socialism varies with the parishes. When the state's regulation went further and further in a succession of Irish Land Acts (1870, 1881, 1903), it assumed a socialistic character; the face of agricultural industry was transformed for the benefit of the majority, if hardly of the whole, by the action of the state. But the result has been a state-aided individualism. The attempt to transform all industries by protection has not been made by the English state in these days. It remains broadly' true that, since the English state became more democratic (Reform Acts of 1832, 1867, 1884), its socialism has become more and more of the municipal character. The end in view having more to do with economics than with politics, it mattered little theoretically whether the power exercised was that of the central authority acting directly or the delegated power in the hands of the smaller public bodies. This has been the course of events in England with little conscious theory or principle on the part of the people or even of its leaders. It is certainly a partial fulfilment of the aspirations of those whose theory or principle is socialism. The most important form of modern socialism, which may be called for convenience " social democratic " socialism, is founded on economic theory more or less clearly understood; it is therefore often described as economic or scientific socialism. Many men have become socialists less from logic than from sympathy with suffering. But modern socialism without disowning sentiment knows the need of facts and sound reasoning better than its predecessors, whom it calls Utopian. While among civilized peoples the suffering has on the whole grown less, the influence of socialism has grown greater; and this is largely owing to the efforts made by the best socialists to reason faithfully and collect facts honestly. The remarkable extension of socialism in Germany may be traced in great part to the special circumstances which have made social democracy the chief effective organizer of working men in that country. But modern socialism is not a purely German product. To scientific socialism England, France and Germany have all made contribution. Its theoretical basis came, in two curiously different ways, from practical England. The idea that the underpaid labour of the poor is the main source of the wealth of the rich is to be found not only in Godwin and Owen but in the minor English land-reformers and revolutionary writers of the 18th and early rgth centuries, such as T. Spence, W. Ogilvie, T. Hodgskin, S. Read, W. Thompson. The positions of Ricardo that value is due to labour and that profits vary inversely as wages were taken by Marx (without Ricardo's modifications) as established doctrines of orthodox political economy. It was declared to be a scientific truth that under modern industrial conditions the " exploitation " of the labourer is inevitable. In the theory of rent the exploitation of the tenant by the landlord was already admitted by most economists. It was for the socialists to show that the salvation both of tenant and labourer lay in the hands of the central authority, acting as the socialists would have it act. France had been prepared for socialism by St Simon and Fourier. The revolutions of 183o and 1848, though on the whole unsuccessful in directly organizing labour, made socialistic ideas circulate widely in Europe. Men began to conceive of a political revolution which should be also a social revolution, or of a social and industrial revolution which should be also political. We may say broadly that the socialism of 1910 was either inspired by the ideas of that time or is coloured by them. Modern scientific socialism. was thus about fifty years old towards the end of the first decade of the loth century. It would have little claim to be scientific if it had undergone no change in that time; but the change was not greater than the change in orthodox economic doctrine, which indeed it had followed. Its adherents may be classified (1) according to theory and (2) according to policy, though, as scientific socialism is really both theory and policy, being a political claim founded on an economic argument, the distinction is sometimes a matter of emphasis. There are theorists who find the exploitation of the tenant by the landlord to be the main evil whether it involves the degradation of the labourer or not. As some theologians confine their criticism to the Old Testament, so Henry George and Professor A. Loria, shunning the name of socialist, would notdirectly attack the system of modern large capitals but the appropriation of land. The social-democrat attacks both. He either takes Marx as guide, or, allowing Marx to be vulnerable, he stands on received economic doctrines with the addition of a political theory. He may himself rest content with the nationalizing of the means of production or he may tend towards communism. In policy there is a difference between those scientific socialists who admit of no compromise with the existing order and the other scientific socialists who are willing to work with the existing order. The straitest sect would keep quite aloof from ordinary politics. The first step towards compromise is to allow the formation of a socialistic party in the legislature, bearing a protest against all other existing parties. This is the rule on the continent of Europe. The next step is to allow members of the party to be also members of other existing political parties; this is common in England and her colonies. The political history of scientific socialism is to a large extent the history of its attempts to avoid, to effect and to utilize the compromise. There is, of course, a large body of socialists outside any organization. Partly from the teachings of socialists and partly from literary descriptions of the aims and reasons of socialism, there are multitudes who think socialistically without defining their own position with the exactness of the scientific socialist. It is often these amateurs who fall readily into Utopias and who confound the boundaries between socialism and communism. This is done for example by such writers as H. G. Wells and Upton Sinclair. The temptation is evident. The borderland between large production and small may be sometimes debate-able; and, as soon as the socialistic nationalizing of large production is extended to small, the way is open to the Utopias of communism. Communism is an idea far more utopian than socialism. Like the idea of a kingdom of heaven or a millennium, it springs often from a spiritual enthusiasm that feels sure of its end and, at first at least, reeks little of the means. The enthusiasm may spring from a real conversion of the sort described in the Republic of Plato (vii. 516). Even scientific socialism, depending theoretically on close adherence to economic principles, depends practically on this conversion. It is as with Christianity, which depends on its theology but also on its change of heart; till we have refuted both we have not refuted Christianity. So a change of heart, which is also a change of view, is to socialism, as a religion, what economic and political theory is to it as a creed. All that is best in anarchism shares this spiritual feature with socialism. It is of a higher type than the human sympathy which went with utopian socialism; it includes that sympathy and more. It requires a mental somersault of the kind taken by Hegel's metaphysician and (analogically) by Dante at the earth's centre. The observer begins to see the world of men all over again, throwing from him all the prejudice of his class and abstracting from all classes. This abstraction may be less hard for those who belong to a class that has little., than for those of a class that has much, as religious conversion is held to be easier for the poor. But it is not really easy for any. The observer tries to conceive what is at bottom the difference between rich and poor. Casuists can show that the line is a vanishing one, and that there are large groups of cases where the distinction is unsubstantial. Such borderlands are still the sporting ground of economists and philosophers and biologists. We could hardly contend, however, that no distinctions are true which break down at the border. It seems unsafe to say there is no war of classes, because at their nearest extremities the classes pass into each other. At the utmost we might infer that the best way to bring the war to an end was to crowd the nearest extremities. At present, taking the contrast not at its least or greatest but at its mean, we find it no fancy. The features that make the lower as distinguished from the higher are of different quality and kind, not merely of amount. They are described perhaps most fully by Tolstoy in Que faire ?, but they are brought to the ken of every one of the rich who can overhear the daily talk of the poor, enter into their daily cares and put himself in their place. If " We are all Socialists now." He meant no more than that we are all social reformers who will use the aid of the state without scruple if it seems necessary. He did not mean that the English people had adopted a general principle of socialism. Except in the case of free trade, it is hard to discover a general principle in English politics. The English people judge each case on the merits, and as if no general principle ever affected the merits. Regulation and not initiative is the prevailing feature of the action of government even now. The railways are still in private hands. The state railways, canals and forests of India, though John Morley (afterwards Viscount Morley) " made a present of them to the Socialists " (House of Commons, 20th July 1906), are the public works of a modern benevolent despotism, and do not go very far beyond those of its ancient prototype. They are the works not of the Indian but of an alien democracy. Contrariwise, in England itself, possessed of a fair measure of self-government, crown lands, government dock-yards, army, fleet, post office were in existence when there was no thought of state socialism; they are not modern innovations but time-honoured institutions. The same is true of a great part of municipal socialism. It existed in the middle of the 19th century, and no local community would have been deterred from having its own water-supply or gas works by any fear of socialism. The fear is still less deterrent now; and we have seen electric lighting, tramways, parks, markets, ferries, light railways, baths and wash-houses, house property, river steamers, libraries, docks, oyster beds, held by towns like Glasgow, Birmingham, Manchester, Liverpool, Leeds, Bradford, Huddersfield, Colchester. Sometimes the management is economical, sometimes wasteful; but in all cases the undertakings have been supported by a majority who care little for general theory and everything for local interests. The " unity of administration " successfully advocated by Edwin Chadwick in the later Victorian period, and requiring "competition for the field but not in the field," is not inconsistent with municipal socialism. This last has been provided with new machinery by the establishment of county and district councils (1888), parish councils (1894) and even the perhapsotherwise-intended metropolitan borough councils (1899). Till 1907, when the progressive party in the London County Council were heavily defeated, that council was certainly moving in the path of municipal socialism. But, in its achievements as distinguished from its claims, it had not overtaken, still less surpassed, Birmingham or Glasgow. Municipal socialism in Britain finds many critics; it has the drawbacks of all democratic self-government. It is sometimes wasteful; but it is seldom corrupt; and there is no general desire for a return to a less adventurous policy. In the country districts democracy is still imperfectly conscious of its own power. There are acts on the statute book that would well equip a parochial socialism; but socialists seem to be able to do little more than accelerate slightly what seems to be the inevitably slow pace of political reform in England. Whether the extension of the franchise to women will quicken the rate of reform is uncertain. With every allowance, the change in English politics has been real, and it has been due in a great measure to the growth of organization among working men. The old trade unionism passed out of its dark ages by the aid of legislation (in 1871), which was for thirty years (till the Taff Vale decision in 1901, the older view being restored by the Trades Disputes Act 1906) considered to give to the trade unions the advantages of a corporation without the drawbacks. At the same time, through a better law of small partnerships (Industrial and Provident Societies Acts 1852, 1862, 1876), the co-operative societies were making rapid progress. Compulsory education (187o) increased the intelligence of the labouring classes and therewith their power to use their opportunities. Labour legislation, removing truck, making inspection and regulation of factories more stringent (see the consolidating Act of 1878 and the Factory and Workshop Act 1901) and providing compensation for accidents (rgo6), was forwarded by both political parties. This was not socialism but regulation. The old unionists were he makes the somersault and is " converted," all the little and great privileges of the rich seem now to have as many presumptions against them as were before in their favour. Why should he have so much comfort and they so little? why should he he secure when they live from hand to mouth? why should art and science and refinement be thrown in his own way and be hardly within their reach at all? Such and similar ponderings are not far from a revolt against inequality, whether the revolt takes the shape of anarchism or of socialism. It carries us beyond the paternal socialism of Carlyle and Ruskin or even of the author of Sybil, relying as Disraeli did on the " proud control " of the old English state, which was occasionally and spasmodic-ally constructive as well as controlling, but was always actuated by a feeling like that of a chief to his clansmen. The exponents of paternal socialism have no clear consciousness of the change in the state itself. They think they can still use the old tools. They see that the people have changed, but they do not see that if the past cannot be revived for a people neither can it be revived for a state. The idea of lordship (as distinguished from leadership) is becoming intolerable; and this restiveness may contain a safeguard against one of the worst risks of socialism, bureaucracy. Before the governing bureaucracy had destroyed all originality and eccentricity, the sovereign people would have discovered for itself that " tyranny is a poor provider." Great Britain—In England a certain academic interest in socialism was created by Mill's discussions on the subject in his Political Economy (1848) and a more practical interest by the appearance of the Christian Socialists. " The red fool-fury of the Seine " caused prejudice even against such harmless enthusiasts. The People's Charter (in the 'thirties) had no socialistic element in it. Socialism first showed signs of becoming a popular movement in England after the lecturing tour of Henry George (1881–1882) in advocacy of the nationalizing of the land. About that very time (188o) the Democratic (afterwards in 1883 the Social Democratic) Federation was formed by advocates of the whole socialistic programme. A secession took place in 1884 when William Morris, H. M. Hyndman and Belfort Bax founded the Socialist League. William Morris parted company with the league in 189o, and seems to have become more anarchist than socialist. Edward Bellamy's Looking Backward (1887) made some impression among intellectual people in England; but Robert Blatchford's Merrie England (1894) made much more way amongst the multitude, followed up as it was by his newspaper the Clarion. - There were still few signs of a strong party. The first members of the Fabian Society (i888) were by definition opportunists, and though the Fabian Essays (1889) were socialistic they were the declarations of men willing to use the ordinary political machinery and accept reforms in the present that might point to a socialistic solution in the very far distance. Most of the Fabians became hard-working radicals of the old type, with general approval. England does not love even the appearance of a revolution. Nevertheless a change has come over the spirit of English politics in the direction desired by socialists, though hardly through any efforts of theirs. The change was predicted by Herbert Spencer in 186o (Westm. Rev. April) some years before household suffrage (1867). In The Man versus the State (1885) he demonstrates that liberal legislation which once meant the removal of obstacles now meant the coercion of the individual. Though a large part of the coercive measures enumerated by Spencer are rather regulation than socialism, undoubtedly there is here and there a socialistic provision. Thomas Hill Green's dictum, " It is the business of the State to maintain the conditions without which a free exercise of the human faculties is impossible " (Liberal Legislation and Freedom of Cont;•act, 1881), did not in appearance go much further than Herbert Spencer's that " it is a vital requirement for society and for the individual to recognize and enforce the conditions to a normal social life " (The Man versus the State, p. 102); but the former saw clearly that the policy of the future must go beyond mere regulation. Too much importance has been attached to a saying of Sir William Harcourt in 1888, radicals of the old type. Not so the unionists who came first into prominence with the Dock Strike in London in 1889. The way had been prepared by demonstrations of the unemployed in 1887 and 1888. When unionism embraced unskilled labourers, and at the same time pressed on the federation of all trades societies and their joint action, when, too, in the trade union congresses the intervention of the'state was repeatedly claimed as essential to the success not only of an eight hours' day but of such socialistic measures as nationalization of the land, it was manifest that there was a new leaven working. The larger the numbers included in the trades societies the more their organization was bound to depart from that of the mass meeting, and to become indirect instead of direct self-government, government by representatives, and more and more by specially trained representatives. This was a tendency towards bureaucracy, or government by officials, not the highest type of popular government. A better preparation for democratic government has been given by the co-operative societies. If it be true that under a coming socialism the working class must dominate, then every phase of organization must be welcomed which widens their experience of self-government, more especially in the handling of industrial and commercial affairs. This last kind of education has been well given by co-operation, though chiefly through capital and hired labour on the old pattern of the ordinary employers. Co-partnership societies, best exemplified in the midland districts of England, are more democratic; but their numbers are few. The claims of the workman are somewhat in advance of his education. On the other hand it seems impossible in England to secure moderate concessions without extravagant claims. Germany.—In Germany it was long an axiom that socialists must leave ordinary politics and political machinery severely alone as an evil thing. The short and futile struggle for constitutional liberty in 1848-1849 had driven most of those who were " thinking socialistically " into abandonment of political reform and into plans of fundamental change amounting to revolution. Karl Marlo (1810-1865) and K. J. Rodbertus (q.v.) contented themselves with laborious and profound studies not intended to bear immediate fruit in practice. Marx and Lassalle were not so pacific. The former was from the first (see his Manifesto of 1847) inclined to give socialism an international character, taking also no pains to distinguish it from communism. Lassalle desired it for his own nation first. Both of them were in a sense Hegelians. From Hegel they had learned that the world of men, like the world of things, was in constant process of development; but unlike Hegel they regarded human evolution as purely materialistic, effected always by a struggle between classes in society for the outward means of well-being. Feudalism, itself the result of such a struggle, had given place to the rule of the middle classes. The struggle to-day is between the middle classes and the working classes. At present those who do not possess capital are obliged to work for such wages as will keep them alive, and the gains from inventions and economics are secured by the employers and capitalists. The labourer works at his cost price, which is " the socially necessary wages of subsistence " (the bare necessaries of a civilized life); but he produces much more than his cost, and the surplus due to his " unpaid labour " goes to the employer and capitalist. This is what Lassalle called the " brazen law of wages," founded on Ricardo's supposed doctrine that (a) the value of an article that is not a monopoly is determined by its cost in labour, and (b) the wages of labour tend to be simply the necessaries of life. The tendency of the labouring population to increase beyond the means of steady employment is a frequent benefit to the capitalists in the periodic expansions of investment and enterprise, arising in response to new inventions and discoveries. Large business in modern economy swallows up small. Not only the independent artisans and workers in domestic industries, but the small capitalists and employers who cannot afford to introduce the economies and sell at the low prices of their large rivals are disappearing. But the growth of the proletariat, together with the concentration of business into fewer hands and larger companies, will cause thedownfall of the present system of industry. The proletariat will realize its own strength; and the means and materials of production will be concentrated finally into the hands of the commonwealth for the good of all. This revolution, like that which overturned feudalism, is simply the next stage of an evolution happening without human will, fatally and necessarily, by virtue of the conditions under which wealth is produced and shared in our times. Such was in substance the view of all the German socialists of the last half of the 19th century. Even Rodbertus had advanced a claim of right on behalf of working men to the full produce of their labour, but thought the times not ripe for socialism. The others made no such reservations. Lassalle planned a centralized organization of workmen led by a dictator, and called on the government of Prussia to establish from the public funds co-operative associations such as his opponent Schulze-Delitzsch had hoped to plant by self help. His socialism was rather national than universal. Marx looked beyond his own nation. He founded the International Union of Working Men in 1864, the year of Lassalle's tragic death. Before the common danger of police prosecutions and persecution the followers of Lassalle and Marx were united at the congress of Gotha in 1875. The name social democrats had crept into use about 1869 when the followers of Marx founded at a congress in Eisenach the social democratic working men's party. The party began to be a power at the congress of Gotha. It is a power now, but its doctrines and policy have undergone some change. The last quarter of the 19th century witnessed (1) the repressive laws of 1878, (2) their repeal in 1890, (3) the three Insurance Laws and (4) a quickened progress of German industry and wealth during thirty years of peace and consolidation. Bismarck's government, alarmed by attempts on the life of the emperor and by the increased number of votes given to socialistic candidates for the reichstag, procured the passing of the Exceptional Powers Act (Ausnahme Gaeta) in 1878. The legislation at this time resembled the Six Acts of 1819 in England. Combined action and open utterance in Germany became almost impossible; and for organs of the press the social democrats had recourse to Zurich. Liebknecht and Bebel could still raise their voices for them in parliament, for Bismarck failed in his attempt to deprive members of their immunities (March 1879). But the agitation as a whole was driven underground; and it speaks well for the patience and self-control of the people that no wide-spread excesses followed. The declaration of the Social Democratic congress at Wyden, Switzerland, in 188o, that their aims should be furthered " by every means " instead of the old phrase " by every lawful means," was a natural rejoinder to the law that deprived them of the lawful means; and it seems to have had no evil consequences. In 1881 repression was so far relaxed that trade unions were allowed to recover legal standing. In 1890 the reichstag refused to renew the law of 1878 for a fifth period; and finally in 1899 it repealed the law forbidding the amalgamation of workmen's unions, and specially aimed at the new socialistic unions, the natural allies of the social democrats. The vexatious prosecutions and condemnations for Majestatsbeleidigung (lose majeste) following 1890 did the.. cause more good than harm. The socialistic voters increased from 437,438 in 1878 to 1,800,000 in 1894 and 2,120,000 in 1898, while the elected members increased from 12 in 1877 to 46 in 1894 and 56 in 1898. By 1903 the voters had increased to three millions and in the elections of February 1907 they were 3,240,000. The socialists, however, in 1907 found themselves represented by 43 members as against 79 in 1903. The reduced representation was due to a combination of the other parties against them, the matters at issue not being industrial policy, but colonial government and naval expenditure. The increase in the number of voters remains a proof that the power of the party in Germany has rather in-creased than diminished. In 1908 they gained seven seats in the Prussian Diet, where they had hitherto been unrepresented. Yet " remedial measures " had been passed which were intended to make socialism unnecessary. Bismarck, who admired Lassalle and had no scruples about the intervention of the state, had planned a series of measures for the insurance of workmen against sickness, accidents and old age, measures duly carried out n 1883, 1884 and 1891, respectively. The socialists not unreason-ably regarded the government as their convert. They could point to two other " unwilling witnesses," the Christian Socialists and the " Socialists of the Chair." In the Protestant parts of Germany the socialists as a rule were social democrats, in the Catholic as a rule they were Christian Socialists. As early as 1863 and 1864 Dr Dellinger and Bishop Ketteler, followed by Canon Moufang, had represented socialistic sentiment and doctrine. Ketteler, who had been under the influence of Lassalle, had hopes that the church would make productive associations her special care. Moufang would have depended more on the state than on the church. All were awake to the evils of the workmen's position as described by the social democrats, and they were anxious that the Catholic church should not leave the cure of the evils to be effected without her assistance. Ketteler died in 1877; and the pope's encyclical of the 28th of December 1878 bore no trace of his influence, mixing up as it did socialists, nihilists and communists in one common condemnation. The encyclical De conditione opificum of 1891 might show that the views of the Christian Socialists had penetrated to headquarters; but the encyclical on Christian Democracy of 1901 (January) betrays no sympathy with them. The Protestant church in Germany has been hampered by fear of offending the government; but it contains a vigorous if tiny body of Christian Socialists. Rudolf Todt, a country pastor, was their prophet. His book on Radical German Socialism and Christian Society (1878) led Dr Stocker, the court chaplain, to found an association for " Social Reform on Christian Principles." This was denounced rather unfairly by politicians of all ranks as an organized hypocrisy. Its influence was shortlived, and its successor, the "Social Monarchical Union" (189o), shared the unpopularity of Stocker, its founder. Even the Socialists of the Chair, middle class Protestants as they were, would have nothing to say to but preferred to go a way of their own. From the year 1858 there had existed a league of economists and statesmen called the " economic congress " (Volkswirtschaftlicher Kongress), a kind of English Cobden Club, though it aimed chiefly at free trade among all sections of the German people in particular. After the Empire its work seemed finished; and a new society was formed, the " Union for a Policy of Social Reform " (Verein fur Socialpolitik). Professors G. Schmoller, W. Roscher, B. Hildebrand, A. Wagner, L. J. Brentano, the statistician E. Engel and others met at Halle in June 1872, and a meeting of their supporters followed at Eisenach in October of that year. These Katheder-Socialist en or Socialists of the Chair (academic socialists) agreed with the social democrats in recognizing the existence of a " social question," the problem how to make the labourers' condition better. To the old-fashioned economist this was no problem for the legislature; competition solved its own problems. But, while the social democrats looked for social revolution, the academic socialists were content to work for social reform, to be furthered by the state. The state was, to them, " a great moral institution for the education of the race." They were a company of moderate state socialists, relying on the state and the state as it then was. They did much gratuitous service to the government in the preliminary investigations preceding the great insurance laws. The German people were made a little more inclined to state socialism than before by the efficiency displayed by the bureaucracy in the wars of 1866 and 187o. If the Insurance Laws are found to work Well, this inclination may be confirmed, and the idea of a revolution may fall into the background. The attitude of the social democratic party became less uncompromising than in earlier days. Since they regained their liberty in 1890, their leaders have kept them well in hand. Their principal journal Vorwarts was conducted with great ability. Their agitation became as peaceful as that of trade unionists or co-operators in England. They ceased to denounce the churches. They tried to gain sympathy, quite fairly, by taking up the cause of any distressed workers, or even ill-used natives in colonies, and urgingredress from the state. The present state had become to them almost unconsciously their own state, a means of removing evils and not a mere evil to be removed. The anarchists had been disowned as early as 1880. The extreme socialists who demanded return to the old tactics were cast out at Erfurt in 1891, and became " Independent Socialists." The controversy between friends and critics of socialism still rages in learned circles, producing a prodigious quantity of literature year by year; but the old strictures of Treitschke and Schaffie seem now to have lost a little of their point. Though the programme adopted at Gotha in 1895 was not entirely or even seriously altered, the parts of it due to Lassalle fell into the background. For many years Marx and not Lassalle was the great authority of the party. Marx died in 1883, but remained an oracle till 1894, when (just before his own death in 1895) Engels published the last volume of his friend's book on capital. The volume was expected to solve certain logical difficulties in the system. Instead of this, it caused a feeling of disappointment, even among true believers. Many, like Bebel and Kautsky, kept up the old adoration of Marx; but many, like Eduard Bernstein, rightly felt that to give up Marx is not to give up socialism, any more than to give up Genesis is to give up theology. Bernstein openly proposed in congress that the old doctrines and policy of the party, involving as they do the despair of reform and insistence on the need of revolution, should be dropped. He had not carried his point in 1908, but his influence seemed to be increasing. The death of Liebknecht (August 'goo) re-moved from the ranks of the social democrats one of their most heroic figures, but also one of the strongest opponents of such a change of front. Yet Liebknecht himself had made concessions. It was impossible for a man of his shrewlness to close his eyes to what the state had done for the German workman. It was impossible, too, to ignore the progress that Germany had made in wealth and industry since the creation of the Empire in 1871. Germany has been fast becoming a manufacturing country; and, though the growth of large manufacturing towns in the Rhine valley and elsewhere has multiplied socialists, it has added to the income of the German workman. He is further from poverty and distress; and his socialism means an endeavour after a larger life, not, as formerly, a mere struggle against starvation. It is likely, therefore, to have less and less of mere blindness and violence in it. The German socialists were chiefly interested in securing such an extension of the franchise in Prussia as would make their representation in the Prussian parliament correspond as near to the number of their adherents as in the Reichstag itself. They had only gained seven seats in the former in June 908, though they had perhaps half a million of adherents in Prussia. They seemed for good or for evil to be taking the place of the old radical party. The position in Austria was somewhat different. The first general elections held under a really democratic suffrage (May 1907) resulted in the return of eighty social democrats and sixty Christian socialists to the Reichsrath, as compared with eleven and twenty-six in the unreformed parliament. They were opposed (as anti-clerical and clerical) on many questions, but they made it certain that economic and industrial policy affecting the whole nation would rival and perhaps out-rival the questions of racial supremacy and haute politique that absorbed the attention of the old Reichsrath. France.—In France the socialists have found it harder to work in the parliamentary harness. Marx had said long ago that for the success of socialism besides English help there must be " the crowing of the Gallic cock." French enthusiasm for social revolution is feeble in the country districts but very strongly pronounced in the large towns. The Communards of 1871 might be called municipal socialists of a sort, but their light went out in that annee terrible. Something like a movement towards organized socialism began in 188o on the return of some prominent members of the old commune from exile. A congress was held at Havre under the leadership of J. Guesde and J. A. Ferroul; it adopted a " Collectivist" programme, Collectivisme meaning state socialism. A minority under J. F. E. Brousse and J. F. A. Joffrin broke away (in 1881) from the main body and stood out for municipal socialism, decentralization and, later (1887), self-governing workshops aided by public money. Co-operative workshops are already subsidized in France from the public funds, and favoured by preferences in public works and other privileges, without striking results. The Broussistes are also called Possibilistes, as content with such socialism as is immediately practicable. They supported, for example, agrarian reform on the present basis of private property (Marseilles, 1892), After several unsuccessful negotiations, the amalgamation of the Collectivists, Possibilists and Blanquistes (extreme revolutionaries)) was accomplished in 1899. But the body had not the cohesion of the German party. Though the socialists in the Chamber acted more or less Ioyally together, they were not closely controlled by the organization outside. In consequence (like Mr John Burns in England in 1905-1906) those who accepted office usually came under a cloud. This happened to M. Millerand when he became minister of commerce in the Waldeck Rousseau government of 1899, and in a less degree to M. Jaures when he became vice-president of the Chamber. M. Millerand was, indeed, expelled from the party, and at the socialist congress of Amsterdam (August 1904) a strongly worded resolution condemned any participation by socialists in bourgeois (middle-class) government. The vote was not unanimous, and the resolution itself was attributed to the German Bebel. An attempt was made in Paris (April 1905) to bind the various parties of French socialists more closely together by forming a new " Socialist party, the French Section of the International Labour Union." It laid down stringent rules for the guidance of socialist deputies. In comparison with the steady united action of the Germans, the proceedings of the French socialists, perhaps from their greater political liberty, seems a wayward guerilla warfare. The French state is not on principle averse from intervention. It has been always more ready than in England to interfere with competitive trade and to take the initiative on itself. It controls the Bank of France, owns most of the railways, and directs secondary as well as primary education. After the disputes at Carmaux (in 1892) it proposed to take over the mines. There is no general poor law; but old-age pensions have been voted, and workmen's compensation is as old as 1888. State socialism might have gone farther if French bureaucracy had not proved less efficient than German. Though there are socialistic French professors there can hardly be said to be a body of academic socialists in France. The strongest economic writing is still that of the orthodox economists, P. E. Levasseur, P. P. Leroy-Beaulieu, Yves Guyot. Even Professor Charles Gide, though reformer, is not socialist. Of the two party periodicals La Revue socialiste is moderate, Le Mouvement socialiste hardly so. The latter is in many ways more akin to anarchism than state socialism. Socialism has its allies in the sporadic Christian socialism of the Churches, both Catholic and Protestant, and in the solidarists who would trans-form the existing system of employment without abolishing private property. The school of Le Play, though devoted to social reform, can hardly be called an ally of socialism. Netherlands.—Socialism has found a kindlier soil. in Belgium and Holland, and these countries have been the favourite meeting-place in recent years of congresses of all denominations of socialists. In Belgium the Flemish social democratic party led by de Paepe united in 1879 with the Brabantine or Walloon. They organized trade unions. They helped the liberals in 1893 to procure the extension of the suffrage. In 1907 they had thirty representatives in parliament. The flourishing co-operative societies, Vooruit (Forwards) in Ghent and Maison du people of the Brussels bakers, were the work of their members. Its success in co-operation is almost the distinctive feature of Belgian socialism. Socialists helped to procure the adoption by Belgium of a system of old-age pensions for the poor in woo, and of the cheap trains which do so much for the workmen in town and country. In Holland, which is not a crowded manufacturing country but even now largely agricultural and pastoral, the socialists are less formidable, if that be the right word. Theycame into line with the German socialists in 1889. Social reform proceeds with or without their aid. There has been a factory act since 1889 and an act for workmen's insurance against accidents since 1900. Municipal socialism has made progress. The great railway strike of 1903 aroused public interest in the condition of the workman, but the legislation that followed was rather regulative than socialistic. Switzerland.—Switzerland, for generations a refuge to exiles, shows them hospitality without sharing their views. There is little legislation of a socialistic nature; socialists are to be found here and there, especially in the German cantons. Scandinavia.—Scandinavia stands less apart from European movements than formerly, but industrial legislation is rather regulative than socialistic. Hjalmar Branting, one of the most prominent socialists, was in 1908 a member of the Swedish parliament. The trade unions of Denmark are largely socialistic, but Denmark is no nearer complete conversion than England. Italy, Spain.—Socialism might be thought to find a better soil in Italy and Spain. Italy has been described as " all proletariat." But a great depth of poverty fits a people rather for the anarchism of violence than for socialism. The social demo-, crats have made way, notwithstanding, and in 1895 returned fifteen members to parliament. Milan is still the capital of the movement. Laveleye had the idea that revolution was hopeless in Italy because Rome was uninhabitable every summer. But social democracy in Germany, its own country, is not bound up with Berlin. Italy as a whole must make progress in social and political development before it can receive the new ideas and still more before it can grow beyond them. The burden of taxes leads to revolts of sheer despair, followed by repression which has extended to socialistic clubs (fasci dei lavoratori) and even workmen's unions. State socialism in the form of state railways has not been very efficient. Factory legislation is behind that of other civilized countries, and is of very recent origin (1902). Old-age pensions were introduced in 1898, and accidents insurance on the German model in the same year. Municipal socialism, finding some trammels removed, had in the first decade of the loth century begun to show itself in the large towns. In Spain there is a Socialist Federation; there are socialist newspapers; and there seems to be no doubt that the cause has gained ground, even as against anarchism. It may perhaps yet be a power in the legislature. It is mainly in Russia that anarchism has the field to itself. Russia.—In spite of the hopes excited by the Duma, reformers in Russia have been strongly tempted to be anarchists, even of a violent type. Democracy had special difficulties in reaching legislative power. Partly for this reason, " social democracy" has had a subordinate place. The Russian socialists have, some of them, rebelled against the view once essential to socialistic orthodoxy: that Russia must pass through the stage of capital-ism " before reaching the stage of " collectivism." Marx him-self (in 1877) conceded that the progress might be direct from the system of village communities to the ideal of social democracy. Capitalism is already extending itself, and the consistency of the theory need not have been broken. Even so, in the absence of democratic government, the prospects of socialism are doubtful. In Finland there were in 1908 eighty socialist members in a parliament of two hundred. The party might console itself by the thought that over the whole Russian empire many more were socialists than could declare themselves so. Australia.—In contrast to nearly all the countries of " Old Europe," the self-governing colonies of Greater Britain stand out as nothing if not democratic. Nowhere is democracy sturdier than in Australia, the separate states of which have since 1900 been federated as one commonwealth. But while it has a protective tariff and makes no pretence of a laissez-faire policy, the central government is less socialistic than the separate con-federated states. The progress even of these has been, as in England, rather in municipal than in state socialism. It is true that crown lands, mines and railways figure more largely. But to find state socialism in its vigour we must pass to New Zealand. New Zealand.—Removed 1200 M. from Australia, its nearest civilized neighbour, secured by English naval power and " compassed by the inviolate sea," New Zealand is better suited for the experiment of a closed socialistic state than perhaps any other country in the known world. It began its new career in 188o-189o, too late for perfect success but not too late to secure a large measure of public ownership of what elsewhere becomes private property. It owns not only the railways but two-thirds of the whole land, letting it on long leases. It sets a limit to large estates. It levies a progressive income tax and land tax. It has a labour department, strict factory acts and a law of compulsory arbitration in labour disputes (1895). There are old-age pensions (1898), government insurance of life (1871) and against fire (1905). Women have the suffrage, and partly in consequence the restriction of the liquor traffic is severe. There is a protective tariff, and oriental labour is excluded. The success of the experiment is not yet beyond doubt; compulsory arbitration, for example, did not work with perfect smoothness, and was amended in 1908. But there has been no disaster. The decline of the birth-rate has been greater than in Britain. It is fair to add that the experiment is probably on too small a scale to show what might happen in larger countries. New Zealand has only xoo,000 sq. m. of territory and about one million of inhabitants, mainly rural and of picked quality. The conditions of combined isolation and security are not easily obtained elsewhere. The action of the state has been in the great majority of instances rather regulative than constructive. Canada.—This last feature is still more marked on the great North American continent. The Dominion of Canada, from its foundation by confederation in 1867, has given its land away too freely. The Dominion, indeed, has only had the land of new territories to dispose of; the original states are the owners of their own unsettled lands. The Dominion government owns the Intercolonial railway but contents itself with subsidies to the rest, over which it has a very imperfect control (by its Railway Commission). It levies royalties on Yukon gold, carries out public works, especially affecting the means of transport between province and province; and in theory whatever functions are not specially reserved to the provinces fall to the Dominion government. The provincial governments, however, show the greater activity. Ontario owns mines and railroads, Nova Scotia coal and iron fields. " The operation of public utilities " by the municipalities is encouraged. Over Canada with the rise of large towns there has been an advance of municipal socialism, not only in the largest, like Toronto, but in the newer and smaller, such as Port Arthur on Lake Superior, where half the local expenditure is paid by public works. Municipal socialism is still in advance of state socialism. Yet the Dominion has a democratic franchise, paid members, a labour department and free education. The democratic basis is not lacking; but the nature of the country is not such as to make it likely that Canada will lead the way in socialistic experiments. The protective tariff, by developing groups of manufacturing industries before their time, introduced into Canada some of the troublesome features of urban civilization in older countries. Accordingly trade unions became better organized. Trusts (like that of the grocers, 1908) began to show themselves. But socialistic propaganda was mainly confined to the mining districts, especially in the far west. United States.—The great American republic would seem a better field for socialistic experiment, having more men, more states and ample political liberty. But state socialism, in the strict sense of the action of the central supreme authority, is limited by the Federal constitution, and any functions unassigned to the central authority by the constitution fall to the separate states. The separate states have rarely gone farther in a socialistic direction than England itself. In the way of restriction and regulation they have often done more (see Bryce, Amer. Commonwealth, part. v., chap. 95). From 1876 the separate states have had an admitted right to control undertakings having the nature of monopolies. The railways are in private hands;and it was not until 1887 by the Interstate and Commerce Act (followed in r888 by the Railway and Canals Act) that the Federal power secured control over the means of transport running beyond one state into anothen In the same way the Anti-Trust Law of 1890 gave control over the great combinations for " forestalling and engrossing " the supply of articles of necessity or wide use. Socialists have regarded trusts as the stepping-stones to state socialism; but the American people would seem to prefer to see government controlling the trusts rather than itself displacing them. Trade unionism has made better progress under the Federation of Labor than in the more ambitious Knights of Labor (1878). Like their English counterparts, the societies in the United States include numbers of socialists, and perhaps even more followers of Henry George in advocacy of the nationalization of the land and the " single tax." The death of Henry George (1897) has not ended his influence. On the other hand the socialists without compromise have had a "Socialistic Labor Party " since 1877. Bellamy's socialistic Utopia, Looking Backward (1888), caused nearly as great a sensation as Henry George's Progress and Poverty (1879). It led to the movement called " Nationalism," the scope of which was the nationalizing of the means of production generally. Of a less literary sort was the influence of " Populism" and the People's party (formed in 1889). Mixed up with the politics of W. J. Bryan in 1896, it lost a little of its uncompromising socialistic flavour. General Criticisms.—If the ideal of state socialism be viewed in an equally critical spirit, many of the objections brought by the moderate anarchists are seen to have their weight. A strong central government to which all power was given over all the chief industries in the country would, they say, be contrary to liberty. Our leaders would be too likely to become again our masters. Supervision would become irksome. Great powers would be a temptation to abuse of power. A democracy with a strong central government would need to leave much to its chosen guardians, and to retain the same men in the position of guardians till they fully learned the difficult business of their office; but this in the end means either what we have now, a government by elected leaders, who, once elected, consult our wishes only on rare occasions,—or a government bypermanent officials, which means liberty to go on in the old ways but great fear and jealousy of new ways, in fact, order without progress, no liberty of change. This criticism becomes rather stronger than weaker if we press the doctrine of the supremacy of the working-classes, a doctrine that figures largely with some socialists. We are told that having been nothing, the working-classes will be everything; having so long been the ruled, they will be the rulers; they have produced for all the rest, the product will now be theirs instead of another's. This doctrine is not essential to ,socialism; it is indeed hardly consistent therewith. It would not be fair to press it, for no men know better than the scientific socialists that under modern conditions it is in most cases quite impossible to say what is the product of one man's labour. Articles are not made at one stretch by one individual. The contributions of the various hands and minds concerned from first to last in the production of a pocket-knife or a pair of trousers would travel over our stage like Banquo's ghostly descendants in a line that seemed to have no ending. What the socialists demand, when they are not declaiming to uncritical sympathizers, is not that a man should have what he- makes but that what is made by, great capitals or on great estates should be so distributed that it is not engrossed by individuals, but satisfies the wants of as many as possible. There is no superior enlightenment in the ordinary unskilled or even skilled manual labourer to fit him above others for supreme power. According to socialists and anarchists and indeed all of us who are not incurable optimists, the hungry generations have trodden the working man down too much to make him instantly or even speedily fit to do the work of government himself. He is of like passions with ourselves. He will be perfectly qualified in process of time to share in such responsible work. But at present he needs training. The anarchists for their part do not desire the concentration of industry and the rule of it from the centre by anybody, working man or not—and they think the social democrats quite wrong in believing the concentration inevitable. They point to the fact that at the present moment there is a partial revival of domestic industries, assisted by gas and electricity. These are the small industries of people with small means; they make a less imposing figure before the public than the great trusts, such as the Steel Trust, and the Shipping Trust. The sums involved are so immense that it might seem impossible for competitors to cope with the trusts; therefore, it is thought, the trusts will soon rule alone, and, lest they should rule ill, the state should take their place. A great combination approaches monopoly, and a far-reaching, wide-stretching monopoly (say of the carrying trade) might mean a public danger. Should we listen to our friends the socialists and avert the danger by making the state the monopolist? There seems no proof of the necessity of this extreme step. Where there is political danger the old-fashioned method of regulation and control by the state seems quite equal to the occasion. As yet the trusts are on their trial and their success is not certain, still less their abuse of the success when it comes. Their monopoly is not an absolute monopoly; and they have a wholesome consciousness of the possibility of competitors. A government trust would have none such. In some instances there would be the further difficulty that to prevent political friction it would need to be a trust of several nations—an idea difficult to realize on such a scale and in such matters. The English mind does not turn readily to state trusts; but it finds no difficulty in municipal and local trusts. Private local monopolies, like those of the water companies in London, were as troublesome to the locality as any universal monopoly of the article could be; and the remedy which even London must find for the troubles will be the municipal trust. There are few instances in England of successful appropriation by the state of a business formerly competitive; railways are still only regulated. But there are so many examples of successful appropriation by the local authorities that the future absorption by them or the central authority of habitually unruly companies which have contrived in any way to abuse their monopoly may " be deemed almost certain. The great demand of the scientific socialists is thus likely in England at least to break up into smaller separate demands that will obtain their answer separately by patient political action. Socialism is making progress, but not to any great extent state socialism. New Zealand itself, where it has perhaps done most and best, is not a proof to the contrary, the province of Ontario in Canada having twice the area and population. Rather is it true that the state is more decidedly regulative. The ultimate result, to judge by the old countries, may be that each nation will include a community of groups more or less socialistic in organization, but will not itself be a socialistic state. The socialistic experiment is more likely to be tried by provinces than by states, by districts than by provinces, by towns than by districts. They all get their compulsory powers, as delegated to them, from the central authority; but the central authority itself has shown little power of originative action, and it lacks the minute knowledge of the people on the spot. The one or two great industries and businesses (railways, post office, telegraphs, forests, census, coinage, in some countries) that have formed the chief public works that are everybody's business and nobody's business, will probably remain a state concern; but the limits to the state's activity except in regulation soon arrive. On the other hand, there is no visible assignable limit to municipal or local socialism, as long as the state's parliament leaves it a free course. If the localities choose to make social experiments there seems no rule of general policy to prevent them, if we put aside experiences of financial failure or of the tendency to corruption. The great fear conjured up by the vision of socialism has been the fear of a new despotism. The despotisms of some hundreds of local bodies are likely to checkmate one another, or at least always likely by their varieties of patternto provide a means of escape for individuals unhappy under the rule of any one of them. Anarchism, when at all rational, resolves the state- into its component municipalities and small groups. The question which carries us beyond anarchism is how such groups can last and be secure without a central state. They could only be so on the assumption of a change in human nature of which there is no sign. It seems not improbable that in the far future the strong central government will be so democratic and at the same time so wise with the wisdom of a great representative council that all that is sound in the contentions and aspirations of anarchists and socialists will be secured by it. Before such a future arrives, we can best prepare for it by seeing to it whether in a new country or an old that our representative system represents us at our best. Our small councils and our great councils will not of themselves become cleaner for having larger powers. If they are not clean they are a public danger. If they are clean, the coming socialism, whatever be its precise complexion, need have no terrors. It too will represent the people at their best.
End of Article: SOCIALISM

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