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Page:Studies in socialism 1906.djvu/161

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Strike and Revolution

ceived and comes before the public, not in the form of a wider and more perfectly organised exercise of the legal right to strike, but as the forerunner of a movement of revolutionary violence, it will at once set up a reactionary movement of fear which the more intelligent fraction of the proletariat will not be able to resist.

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There is, however, another conception attached to the general strike by some of the theorisers on the subject. They think that the general strike of the most important trades would be enough to bring on the Social Revolution, that is, the fall of the whole capitalist system, and the establishment of democratic and proletarian Communism. The economic life of the country would be suspended, railroads would be deserted, the coal necessary for industry would remain buried underground; steamers could not even get in to the docks, where no workmen would unload the merchandise. Everywhere there would be a stoppage in circulation and in production. Naturally great discomfort would result. The workers, in stopping exchange and production, would be starving themselves, and would therefore be forced to adopt violent methods in order to live. They would seize food and other provisions wherever they could lay hands on them. The privileged classes, threatened alike in their persons and possessions, would be shocked and frightened by the inevitable anger of the proletariat, whose time-honoured