Page:Jean Jaurès socialist and humanitarian 1917.djvu/91

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SOCIALIST METHODS

Socialism, it would reject the changes which a minority of the workers might have been able temporarily to bring about. While if it were ready—that is, if the majority of the people were in favour of Socialism—why should they not bring it about by legal means?

[1]"Every other method, I repeat, is nothing but the expedient of a weak and ill-prepared class … It is not by an unexpected counter-stroke of political agitation that the proletariat will gain supreme power, but by the methodical and legal organization of its own forces under the law of the democracy and universal suffrage."

Jaurès leads us thus by a very simple argument to his main contention, the essential point in which he differed from the party of Jules Guesde, that the change to the new order will come gradually and by way of so-called Reform, and not by way of Revolution. It irritated Jaurès that Jules Guesde, the older Socialist leader, not content with advocating the method of propaganda as the only work for Socialists, and the catastrophic revolution as the daystar of their hopes, should also criticise with much bitterness each attempt to ameliorate the lot of the workers as it came within sight and was discussed in Parliament, although he was not opposed to the use of the vote.

  1. Studies in Socialism. Trans, by M. Minturn.