IS SOCIALISM A REVOLUTIONARY MOVEMENT?
But is not, it may be asked, Socialism a revolutionary movement? Yes, no such revolutionary change has been conceived since the days 2,000 years ago, when John the Baptist called upon men to repent for the Kingdom of God was at hand! Socialism is revolutionary; it is not only revolutionises the thoughts and actions of its adherents, but also of the whole of society and the fabric of the State. Socialism is, without exception, the greatest revolutionary ideal which has ever fired the imagination, or enthused the heart of mankind. But, in the biting rebuke which Marx addressed to some of his professed followers who would "substitute revolutionary phases for revolutionary evolution," we must be careful not to confuse the end with the means. The Socialist state is the end, and what concerns us most at present is the means by which we are to get there. Marx only knew of one way; the organisation of a working-class movement, which would in process of time evolve the Socialist state. Socialism will abolish the landlord class, the capitalist class, and the working class. That is revolution; that the working class by its action will one day abolish class distinctions.
And it was the inspired vision of Karl Marx, which first formulated as a cold scientific fact the inevitable coming of that glorious time. Little wonder that his memory is a consecrated treasure enshrined in the hearts of millions of the best men and women of all lands.
In this review I have confined myself almost exclusively to those portions of the book which deal with Marx's contributions towards formulating the theory of Socialism and the methods of the working-class movement. But the volume goes far beyond these limits. The life of Marx is synonymous with the record of the revolutionary movements of all lands, from 1840 onwards. As Mr. Spargo proceeds with his task he brings before us men and their ideas and actions in such a vivid way that we seem to be living through it all, and to be able to visualise the men who have hitherto been shadows or names only. The leaders of great movements at home and abroad are made to live and move and have their being before our eyes as the great drama of revolution unfolds itself to our wondering gaze. Nowhere within the same compass, or in anything like the same attractive form, can so much light upon the movements of the past, with their bearing upon the present, be found as is packed within these 352 beautifully printed pages. "Karl Marx: His Life and Work" is a book which no intelligent Socialist can afford to say he has not read.
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