The Socialism of Our Times: A Symposium

By Harry W. Laidler; Norman Thomas | Go to book overview

CHAPTER I THE DYNAMICS OF A SOCIALIST SOCIETY

By HARRY W. LAIDLER

WHAT Will a Socialist Society Look Like?" Early utopians had the habit of going into their study and evolving a picture of the new social order out of their inner consciousness, paying little regard to the developments that were then taking place in society. As distinguished from these utopians, modern socialists seek to study the long ranged tendencies in industrial development and to base their concept of the cooperative order on these tendencies and on the probable and the desirable course of action of the producers when once they obtain power. Socialists, of course, are of the opinion that the workers, when they secure control of government--human nature being as it is-- will, sooner or later, decide to use their power to eliminate waste and war and exploitation, to secure an increasing amount of liberty, equality of opportunity and democracy and that this can be attained only by increasing control by the workers over their industrial life.

They look upon the socialist order as one that is never static, that is constantly evolving, and they realize that types of ownership and control that may be most desirable for certain stages of development may be very unwise in certain other stages. They realize, in other words, that society is a living, growing organism, not an inanimate structure, and they recognize the impossibility of prophesying the detailed arrangements of society in some distant age. These details must

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