A Socialist Empire: The Incas of Peru

By Louis Baudin; Katherine Woods et al. | Go to book overview

6
The Superstructure: State Socialism

The essence of the state is to be the power of reason expressed by law, and not of the perverse impulses of individual caprice.

-- Dupont-White, L'ndividu et l'état, Introd.

It is because of the existence of these agrarian communities that a great many authors have chosen the term "socialist" to describe the Inca empire. No doubt the community, as organized and maintained, does appear to be a collectivist association, since it involved the common ownership of the means of production; but it was the resultant of a long, natural evolution, the origin of which is lost in prehistory. It was a spontaneous development, and not a reasoned creation; a system to which man yielded, not one that he deliberately willed.

On the other hand, the regime that we are now about to examine does bear the characteristic stamp of socialism, for it is an attempt at the rationalization of society. Its author is man himself. It is he who conceived the plan and imposed it, and this plan tends toward the virtual absorption of the individual by the state, for the well- being of the former is assured only as it leads to the aggrandizement of the latter.

We have adopted the term "state socialism" to describe this phenomenon in order to denote an organization of the whole of society to conform to a certain ideal to be realized by way of authority. To be sure, the doctrine of state socialism has not been formulated with much theoretical rigor. As expounded by Rod

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