The Socialism of Our Times: A Symposium

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

CHAPTER V THREE VIEWS OF RADICAL TACTICS

FOUR MEANS TO LABOR CONTROL

By AUGUST CLAESSENS

SOCIALISM is apparently the next phase of civilization. Whether its culmination will be called socialism or some other name, does not matter. The trend in all industrially developed countries is in that direction. Numberless political measures proposed or enacted in national, state or municipal legislatures, here and abroad, advocate socialization or a near-socialist substitute. The full maturity of capitalism must give way to its offspring and heir, socialism. Students of social progress in general, and socialists in particular, have discerned this inevitability and have heralded its coming.

Socialists in every country have organized their forces with the view of hastening the social process, guiding its course and preparing the cultural mold for its reception and fulfillment. They fervently hope for a peaceful, orderly and progressive transition. Nevertheless, they well understand that social changes are not entirely subject to strategy, discipline, and conscious direction. Often the chaos of a decaying economic and political order creates a confusion that baffles control. The fact that historians are so contradictory in their interpretation indicates the disorderly character of revolutions.

Coup d'etat, violence, dictatorship, general upheaval and suppressions are elements that may develop regardless of all precaution. Social democrats are not fascinated by noisy, hectic and spectacular political revolutions. The glamor of barricades, the rowdy onslaughts of mobs and the emotional

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