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Page:Studies in socialism 1906.djvu/129

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IX

"TO EXPAND, NOT TO CONTRACT”

 

Liebknecht's thought is full of contradictions. I imagine that his mind, like that of many of the early Socialists, was divided between the uncompromising dogmas of the first days and the new necessities of the larger party, and that he was not always able to balance these conflicting tendencies.

Liebknecht had begun by being an anti-parliamentary revolutionist. He had declared and had written that Parliament was a swamp in which Socialist energies would be engulfed. He had said that the open tribune of Parliament would be useless even as a means of spreading propaganda, because one could preach better in the country itself. And even after the pressure of events and the growth of the party had forced Liebknecht to discard those formulas, and when he and his friends had entered Parliament, he still kept a memory of his early uncompromising attitude. He reminds us, in the fragment quoted in Vorwärts, that he had objected to a representative of the Socialist group becoming one of the "steering