THE REFORM PROGRAM OF SOCIALISM
The common aim: In order that the workers "may seize every possible advantage that may strengthen them to gain complete control of the powers of government, and thereby the sooner establish the coöperative commonwealth,"1 the Socialist parties of all lands have adopted comprehensive programs of social and political reforms. Naturally these programs differ materially according to the conditions existing in the different countries, but they are all characterized by a general identity of aim and purpose.
Suffrage: Modern Socialism is inseparable from political democracy. Foremost among the demands of all the Social- ists of the world are those for the abolition of all restrictions upon the franchise which places the working class at a disadvantage. Some few Socialists, like Belfort Bax, the English Social Democrat, are opposed to woman's suffrage and vehemently deny that it is an essential principle of Socialism, but the contrary view is held by the vast majority of Socialists everywhere. In Europe the battle for universal manhood suffrage has taken a large place in the Socialist propaganda, and the fight is not yet wholly won. In the United States the Socialists have not been under the necessity of establishing manhood suffrage, since that reform was accomplished early in the history of the country. Proposals for the extension of the franchise to women upon equal terms with men, the abolition of poll taxes, through which the progressive disfranchisement of a large part of the working class in many states is being accomplished, and other similar measures are urged in the national and state programs of American Socialism.____________________