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Page:Studies in socialism 1906.djvu/126

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Studies in Socialism

to the laissez-faire system of the Manchester school. The right of the State to regulate production supposes the duty of the State to interest itself in labour, and State control of the labour of society leads directly to State organisation of the labour of society."

That was what Liebknecht said about the law dealing with accidents, which of all the insurance laws is the most superficial, the least intimately connected with the conditions of labour. How much more true is his criticism of the compulsory insurance against old age and sickness, which in fact creates a new right for the working class, and which constitutes a patrimony for the proletariat at once collective and personal; and how especially true it would be of insurance against non-employment, which is both necessary and possible, and which would introduce the proletariat into the very heart of the productive system.

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Liebknecht considers the fact that almost all the parties are obliged to support this proposed legislation, as one of the surest signs of the growth of Socialism in Germany.

"All the parties," he writes, "with the exception of the most old-fashioned Manchesterian anarchists, who wish nothing less than to resolve the State into atoms and deliver society to the 'free' exploitation of the owning classes, rival each other in their solicitude for the 'poor man' and for the working class; and there is no doubt