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Page:Studies in socialism 1906.djvu/143

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The Privileged Classes

the immense advantage of being able to produce an effect as beneficial as it is harmonious on the whole field of civil and political life."

I add one last quotation showing Liebknecht's care for the details of practical action. Having given several pages to the question of reforms in taxation, he continues:

"Some people may be surprised that we lay so much stress on the question of taxation, since in the Socialist State there will be no question of taxation.

"It is true that if we could pass over to Socialism at one bound, we should not need to concern ourselves with taxation at all, because the funds necessary for public expenses would come from the product of social labour. And in a still further stage of development, when all economic functions would be State concerns, there would be no longer any difference between public and private expenses.

"But we are not going to attain Socialism at one bound. The transition is going on all the time, and the important thing for us, in this explanation, is not to paint a picture of the future—which in any case would be useless labour—but to forecast a practical programme for the intermediate period, to formulate and justify measures that shall be applicable at once, and that will serve as aids to the new Socialist birth."