Page:Jean Jaurès socialist and humanitarian 1917.djvu/108

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The answer to this lies in the unique quality of Jaurès' mind, which combined a wide outlook with an intensity of conviction in one direction. The intensity of his conviction made him always an ardent Socialist, and for Socialist unity he abandoned the policy of the bloc system. But his unique breadth of vision made him keenly aware of those powerful enemies of Socialism which must be cleared out of its way before one could hope for any real triumph for Socialistic ideas. He saw that one of the strongest of these enemies was the Church of Rome, which stood right across the path of progress. The Church was all the more powerful a foe in that, unlike Militarism, the other great enemy of the people with which Jaurès energetically strove, it was in underground and secret ways that its influence was the most blighting to the hopes of Social Democratic advance. Jaurès had long seen this, and he welcomed the fact that the Republicans of France were so largely implicit enemies of the Church without always seeing why, or how far their enmity would lead them.

Jaurès had realised for many years that one of the worst evils against which progress had to contend was that deadening and deadly influence of the Church by which she used all her great spiritual power over what is deepest in man to keep things as they are, not to allow men to think, to revolt, to throw off their chains.