Open main menu

Page:Studies in socialism 1906.djvu/183

This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.
133
The Question of Method

nomous power, which can co-operate with other powers, but is never absorbed by them, and always keeps its own special character for its separate and superior task.

To Marx belongs the merit, perhaps the only one of all attributed to him that has fully withstood the trying tests of criticism and of time, of having drawn together and unified the labour movement and the Socialist idea. In the first third of the nineteenth century labour struggled and fought against the crushing power of capital; but it was not conscious itself toward what end it was straining; it did not know that the true objective of its effort was the common ownership of property. And, on the other hand. Socialism did not know that the labour movement was the living form in which its spirit was embodied, the concrete practical force of which it stood in need. Marx was the most clearly convinced and the most powerful among those who put an end to the empiricism of the labour movement and the Utopianism of the Socialist thought, and this should always be remembered to his credit. By a crowning application of the Hegelian method, he united the Idea and the Fact, thought and history. He enriched the practical movement by the idea, and to the theory he added practice: he brought the Socialist thought into proletarian life, and proletarian life into Socialist thought. From that time on, Socialism and the proletariat became inseparable. Socialism can only realise its ideal