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Page:Studies in socialism 1906.djvu/132

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82
Studies in Socialism

class, that it alone forms the Socialist army, and that we ought to regard with suspicion all adherents belonging to other classes or other conditions of life. Fortunately these senseless ideas have never taken hold of the German Social Democracy,

"The wage-earning class is most directly affected by capitalist exploitation; it stands face to face with those who exploit it, and it has the especial advantage of being concentrated in the factories and yards, so that it is naturally led to think things out more energetically and finds itself automatically organised into 'Battalions of workers.' This state of things gives it a revolutionary character which no other part of society has to the same degree. We must recognise this frankly.

"Every wage-earner is either a Socialist already, or on the highroad to becoming one. The wage-earners of the national workshops in France, whom the middle-class government of the February Republic wished to make use of against the Social proletariat, went over to the enemy at the crucial moment. In the same way we see how those trades-unions that were started by the agents of the German middle class to oppose the Socialist workmen, either have maintained only the shadow of an existence or have in their turn been swept into the current of Socialist ideas. The wage-earner is led toward Socialism by all his surroundings, by all the conditions in which he finds himself. He is forced to think by the very con-