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Page:Studies in socialism 1906.djvu/130

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Studies in Socialism

committee" that regulates parliamentary work. His colleagues did not follow his advice, and they were perfectly right; because what good would it have done to enter Parliament, if, on the pretext of not wishing to compromise themselves, the Socialists had held aloof from the detailed work that alone makes parliamentary action effective?

I only notice this small trait because it symbolises a state of mind. Hampered by the definite words he had spoken in the past, Liebknecht at one time took the attitude of being in Parliament as if he were not in it. When, on the other hand, be was considering the conditions under which Socialism could be put into practice, when he tried to read the future in all sincerity and seriousness, he arrived at a very broad-minded conception: he saw Socialism penetrating the democracy little by little, and, by partial and successive conquests, imposing itself even on the government of middle-class society in the transition stage. Then he was troubled and recaptured by his early habits of uncompromising opposition. And all the doubts and disturbances, the chaos of our modern Socialism, come from the same contradiction between old formulas which are no longer true, but which we do not dare to renounce specifically, and new needs which we are beginning to realise, but which we do not dare to confess openly. An example of this sort of contradiction is the fact that Liebknecht, in the