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Page:Studies in socialism 1906.djvu/111

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sary transition and evolution to be gone through with.

Here is a fragment of prime importance: “The Practice of Socialism; what measures ought the Socialist party to adopt if, in the near future, it obtains an influence on legislation?

“I want to answer a question that has been asked,” he writes. “But in order that a question may be answered properly, it must first be asked properly. Well, the preceding question has not been well put, at least it is not definite enough. Of course the steps to be taken depend essentially on the circumstances under which the Socialist party has obtained an appreciable influence on legislation. It is possible, and even likely, that Prince Bismarck, if he lives a while longer and keeps his power, will come to the same end as his model and master, Louis Napoleon of France. Some catastrophe for which he is responsible may break up the mechanism of the State, and call our party to govern or at least to share in the government.”

I translate as literally as possible. This means that Liebknecht foresaw, after a great national catastrophe, the total or partial assumption of power by the Socialist party.

“This castastrophe may come as the result of an unsuccessful war or an outburst of discontent which the ruling system will no longer be able to suppress. If either one of these alternatives occurs, our party will naturally take other measures