The Pragmatic Revolt in Politics: Syndicalism, Fascism, and the Constitutional State

The Pragmatic Revolt in Politics: Syndicalism, Fascism, and the Constitutional State

The Pragmatic Revolt in Politics: Syndicalism, Fascism, and the Constitutional State

The Pragmatic Revolt in Politics: Syndicalism, Fascism, and the Constitutional State

Excerpt

No problem of modern politics presses for solution, theoretical and practical, with more insistence than does the many-sided revolt now aimed at the constitutional state. In England and Continental Europe constitutional sovereignty has been again and again, of late, challenged by syndicalistic labor movements which aim at reducing its authority through the tactics of what Mr. Laski calls "contingent revolution". Labor's attack on the state's authority varies all the way from protests like those of our American Federation of Labor against court injunctions, through scattered sabotage, up to a revolutionary general strike of national proportions. As for the state's constitutional responsibility, it is at the other extreme disparaged, or completely dispensed with by dictatorships that range from Communistic Bolshevism on the left to Capitalistic Fascism on the right. Even among the friends of constitutional government there are those who see no real possibility of a rule of law in a world whose major issues are controlled only by the armed truce of egoistic and legally absolute nationalism. Many of the most internationally minded of them are bent on limiting the sovereign authority of the constitutional Nation State by erecting a constitutional World or Super State.

Both the pluralist syndicalism which would discredit the state and the Fascist syndicalism which would regiment humanity under a functionally organic and a politically irresponsible state profess to (and actually do) spring from the same pragmatic impatience with the Liberal gospel of representative government.

What both syndicalism and Fascism most dislike about liberal constitutionalism is the assumption that rational solutions along the lines of government by discussion and voting are possible.

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