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Page:Studies in socialism 1906.djvu/192

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142
Studies in Socialism

It is perfectly certain that when a class is not historically ready, when it cannot act till those whom it aspires to replace have given the signal, and when its revolution, borrowing power from the movement of its enemy, cannot be called anything but a parasite revolution, it must continue the revolutionary movements permanently, and keep all the elements of society in continual agitation if it is to attain even a partial success. But this policy only results in giving time and opportunity to the reactionary element that will overwhelm proletariat and bourgeoisie together. These are the tactics to which the working class is condemned while it is still in the period of insufficient preparation. And if one of the characteristics of that Socialism which may be called Utopian is to have planned a course of action without depending on the power of labour itself and labour only, the Communist Manifesto of Marx and Engels is still to be counted as a production of that Utopian period. Robert Owen and Fourier counted on the good-will of the upper classes, while Marx and Engels awaited the happy fortune of a middle-class revolution, to accomplish their end. The propositions laid down in the Manifesto are not those of a class sure of itself, whose hour has struck at last; they are, on the contrary, the revolutionary expedients of an impatient and feeble class, that wishes to force forward by strategy the progress of events.

And even after this paradoxical effort, this