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62
Studies in Socialism

and follow other tactics than if it had obtained an appreciable influence without the aid of such a catastrophe.

"We may even imagine, though we can scarcely count on it, that the danger will be understood by those in the upper circles, and that they will attempt to avert a catastrophe, otherwise inevitable, by introducing intelligent reforms. In this case, our party will be necessarily asked to participate in the government, and will be called upon especially to reform the conditions of labour. It is not necessary to go into further details as far as possibilities are concerned; those that we have imagined are enough to show that the kind of action we shall undertake will depend on the circumstances in which we shall have obtained 'an appreciable influence.'

"But what do we mean by appreciable or sufficient influence? Are we talking about an exclusive influence, of the possibility of our being able to apply our principles, without other limitations than those imposed upon us by economic conditions themselves? In other words, does the question take for granted that we shall have the governing power in our own hands?

"Or does it simply mean that we shall have an influence over a government formed entirely or very largely by the other parties? It is evident that we should act very differently in the two cases.

"And within each of the two possibilities we have suggested there are endless degrees and