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Page:Studies in socialism 1906.djvu/190

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140
Studies in Socialism

"On Germany especially the eyes of all Communists will be fixed, because Germany is on the eve of a bourgeois revolution, which will be carried out under conditions of general European civilisation and of proletarian development unknown either in the England of the seventeenth century or the France of the eighteenth. The bourgeois revolution, then, will necessarily be the immediate prelude to the proletarian revolution."

Thus we see that the proletarian revolution is to be grafted on to a victorious bourgeois revolution. Marx's mind, delicately ironical and even sarcastic in tone, amused itself with these tricks of thought. The idea that History was to make sport of the middle class by snatching the spoils of victory still warm from their hands, gave him a bitter sort of joy. But it was a scheme of revolution too complicated and contradictory. In the first place, if the proletariat is not strong enough to give the signal for the Revolution itself, if it is obliged to depend on the fortunate chances of the bourgeois revolution, how are we to be certain that it will have more strength to oppose to the victorious bourgeoisie than it had before the movement began? Two contingencies will arise. Either the bourgeoisie will be defeated in its attempt at revolt against the old world of feudalism and absolute power, and the proletariat will be overwhelmed long before it has had a chance to fight for its own hand; or else the bourgeoisie will succeed, it will abolish the arbitrary power