Point of view in Socialist criticism: The Socialist criticism of society is essentially constructive and impersonal. This is not always apparent to the casual reader of, or listener to a popular presentation of Socialism, but if the speaker or writer is really representative of Socialism at its best his criticisms of institutions are directed toward the determining economic conditions and their consequences, and his criticism of men has for its purpose the desire to give concrete examples of types and classes as they are affected by economic conditions. Karl Marx makes this perfectly clear in the preface to the first volume of Capital.1
This criticism, moreover, has always the transformation of society through changes in the basic economic conditions as its motive. This assumption of the fundamental economic basis of society and social institutions is essential to Socialism. As we shall see later in our study, psychological and other factors in social evolution are not excluded. They are simply regarded as subordinate to the economic factors.
Socialism and decadent institutions: Socialists do not devote much attention to the criticism of unimportant or decadent institutions. Attempts to direct Socialist attacks to the surviving remnants of feudal society have largely____________________