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Page:Economic Development in Denmark Before and During the World War.djvu/117

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SUMMARY AND CONCLUSION

same. It would have involved a greater increase in the salaries of functionaries; the officials and employees of the state and municipality would have had to be helped; but the administration, on the other hand, would have been much more simple. Many pros and cons may be put forward by critics according to the view they take of society. The many new laws, taken together, constitute a great advance toward state socialism; but it is a question whether this advance has not been so strenuous that wide circles of the population will not feel a reaction and breathe a sigh of relief when the former conditions are restored; or whether, indeed, the pendulum may not swing back beyond the limit attained before the war. The events of the war have influenced movements which were in process of gradual development before they began, and it is a question whether the slow but sure development then progressing might have been the happier for the country.

It must not be overlooked that strong forces are in operation to bring about an entirely new social order. While the Danish social-democracy is really a conservative party, the aim of which is gradually to secure real progress for the lower classes by means of energetic legislation, and as far as possible to co-operate with the other parties in so doing, for several years there have been elements within the ranks of the party which, under conceivable circumstances, may cause great trouble. The younger members of the party have often shown impatience with the slow and cautious methods of the older men. In Denmark, as in all other countries, the Syndicalistic Movement regards itself as the more genuine expression of the teachings of Karl Marx. Parliament is looked down upon as an anachronism, and there is a desire for immediate and vigorous action, which would bring us to the verge of anarchy. We cannot impeach the motives of these young men. They may be firmly convinced that the community will adjust itself wisely to unchartered freedom when the old bonds have been broken; that the people of their own