Open main menu

Page:Studies in socialism 1906.djvu/113

This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.
Some Sayings of Liebknecht

shades of difference, each one of which would call for a different kind of action."

According to Liebknecht, then, writing in 1881, there are two main hypotheses which can be legitimately formed when we are considering the possibility of the German Socialist party's attaining power.

First it might be called upon to act after a great crisis, a national cataclysm, a disastrous war, or outburst of misery—by reason of some profound disturbance, in short, which would sweep away the old forces and would necessarily make way for the new. In this case, it is certain that the action of the Socialist party would be particularly energetic. It would rise up full of power and self-confidence on the ruins of the Imperial order and of the Imperial parties. And undoubtedly, with the aid of this great upheaval, it would be able to accomplish more for the people and the proletariat from the very beginning, than it could do at first if it obtained limited control as a result of the gradual evolution of the institutions of the Empire toward a policy of reform.

But even then, even if a great internal or external storm were to uproot the conservative forces and raise up the power of the people, Liebknecht is not certain that the Socialist party will have complete control. "Events," he says, "will call it to govern or to share in the government (an oder doch in die Regierung)." It may possibly be able to obtain complete control. On the other