Elements of Socialism: A Text-Book

By John Spargo; George Louis Arner | Go to book overview

CHAPTER XVIII
SOCIALIST STATE--POLITICAL

No detailed prediction: Socialists are constantly confronted with a demand for a detailed description of the Socialist society of the future. This it is impossible to give, since all the forces which made for social change cannot be known. Any such prediction would necessarily be pure Utopian romance. Wilhelm Liebknecht, the great leader of the German Social Democracy, replying to such a request from an opponent in debate on one occasion said:

"Never has our party told the workingmen about a 'state of the future,' never in any other way than as a mere Utopia. If anybody says, 'I picture to myself society after our program has been realized, after wage labor has been abolished and the exploitation of men has ceased, in such or such a manner,' well and good: ideas are free, and everybody may conceive the Socialist State as he pleases. Whoever believes in it may do so, whoever does not, need not. These pictures are but dreams, and Social Democracy has never understood them otherwise."

It is possible, however, while adhering strictly to the scientific method and spirit, to set forth some of the conditions which must obtain in a Socialist society. We can interpret tendencies in the light of known economic laws, and determine very definitely some conditions which must exist under Socialism, and some conditions which are incompatible with it. Social forms cannot be made to order; they are the product of the collective intelligence operating within the limits fixed by the economic environment. Changes in the social order must come, and they will be in the direction of further progress. A knowledge of the past and a recognition of the laws of social evolution enable us to tell something of the future organization of society. In a like manner Morelly, in 1756, predicted the downfall of the

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Elements of Socialism: A Text-Book
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page i
  • Contents iii
  • PART I SOCIALISM AS CRITICISM 1
  • Chapter I: INTRODUCTION 3
  • Chapter II Capitalist Society 7
  • LITERATURE 18
  • Chapter III Planless Production 19
  • LITERATURE 29
  • Chapter IV Poverty 30
  • LITERATURE 43
  • Chapter V Leisure and Luxury 44
  • LITERATURE 52
  • Chapter VI Individual and Social Responsibility 53
  • LITERATURE 58
  • PART II SOCIALIST THEORY 59
  • Chapter VII: INTRODUCTORY 61
  • Chapter VIII Social Evolution 65
  • LITERATURE 75
  • Chapter IX the Economic Interpretation of History 76
  • LITERATURE 90
  • Chapter X Industrial Evolution 91
  • LITERATURE 99
  • Chapter XI the Class Struggle Theory 100
  • LITERATURE 115
  • Chapter XII Value and Price 116
  • LITERATURE 140
  • Chapter XIII Surplus-Value 141
  • LITERATURE 156
  • Chapter XIV the Law of Concentration 157
  • LITERATURE 167
  • Chapter XV Monopolies and Trusts 168
  • LITERATURE 184
  • PART III THE SOCIALIST IDEAL 185
  • Chapter XVI the Utopian Socialist Ideal 187
  • LITERATURE 200
  • Chapter XVII the Ideals of Modern Socialism 201
  • LITERATURE 211
  • Chapter XVIII Socialist State--Political 212
  • LITERATURE 223
  • Chapter XIX: THE SOCIALIST STATE--ECONOMIC 224
  • Chapter XX Socialism and the Family 240
  • LITERATURE 251
  • PART IV THE SOCIALIST MOVEMENT 253
  • Chapter XXI the Rise and Growth of Modern Socialism 255
  • LITERATURE 265
  • Chapter XXII the National Socialist Movemenis 266
  • LITERATURE 314
  • PART V POLICY AND PROGRAM 315
  • Chapter XXIII Socialism and Social Reform 317
  • LITERATURE 336
  • Chapter XXIV the Reform Program of Socialism 337
  • LITERATURE 353
  • Chapter XXV Some Objections to Socialism Considered 354
  • LITERATURE 369
  • Index 371
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