Open main menu

Page:Studies in socialism 1906.djvu/182

This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.
Studies in Socialism

sponding action of the proletariat, this class has gained an indefinitely increasing power which is called upon to transform the very system of ownership itself.

Socialists differ also about the scope and form that the class action of the proletariat should take. Some think that it ought to be involved as little as possible in the conflicts of the social organisation it is to destroy, and that all its energy should be reserved for the final act by which society shall be liberated. Others hold that it ought to exercise its great human function from now on. At the Socialist Congress held recently at Vienna, Kaustky[1] brought up the famous saying of Lassalle: "The Proletariat is the rock on which the Church of the future shall be built." And he added: "The Proletariat is not only that. It is also the rock against which, from now on, the reactionary forces will dash themselves and be broken." And for my part I say that it is not only a rock, in other words, a compact and motionless force of resistance; it is a vast force, united indeed, but active, which can mingle in all great movements without being dispersed, and which grows in strength and energy by its contact with the life of the whole. But all of us, no matter what scope or importance we assign to the

class-activity of the proletariat, regard it as an auto-

  1. Kaustky is one of the leading Marxists, and editor of Die neue Zeit, the official review of the German party.