A HISTORY OF DISAPPOINTMENT
IF the entire movement known as Socialism (including its newer and more audacious forms) is to be studied with any profit, it must be measured by other competing attempts to remedy evils and inequalities against which modern society has risen. Neither Socialism nor Syndicalism is alone in the field against the recognized facts of social injustice. In forms public and private, compulsory and voluntary, we have at last an accessible record of classified attempts to check and to remove these ills. Socialism owes much of its vigor and achievement to the conviction that these previous attempts have failed because too exclusively in control of "the master class," and its interests. It is not open to question that the history of reform is the history of disappointment. It is as if nature could not get its newer and harder tasks performed without overloading man with expectation and hope. From the upper flights of these expectations, probably no instance can be given of reform in religion, politics, or education whose ripening fruit matched in the slightest the vehement confidence from which the reform sprang. This is not only true of the very greatest of the world's inspirers: it is not only true of men of emotional impelling like St. Simon, Fourier, or Mazzini: it is true of those as cool and disciplined as John Stuart Mill and Richard Cobden.