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154
Studies in Socialism

the ruling class in society and to impose its class conditions on society as a ruling law. It has become unfit to govern because it can no longer assure to its slaves the subsistence which allows them to continue their slave-existence. It cannot help letting them sink to the condition where it has to feed them, instead of being fed by them. Society can no longer live under the rule of this bourgeoisie; that is, the existence of this bourgeoisie is no longer compatible with the life of society."

When matters have got to this pass, when bourgeois and capitalistic exploitation have exceeded, if one may use the expression, the limit of the human tolerance of the exploited classes, an inevitable revolt, an irresistible rising of the people breaks out, and the civil war that is latent between the classes is finally put an end to by the "violent overthrow of the bourgeoisie."

This is a true statement of the thought of Marx and Engels at that date. I am aware that many writers and speakers try to throw a veil over the brutality of these statements. I am aware that subtle Marxist interpreters say that Marx and Bngels only meant to speak about a relative pauperisation. In the same way when theologians want to harmonise texts in the Bible with proved scientific truth, they say that the word "day" in Genesis means a geological period of several million years. I do not contradict them. Those are exegetical elegances and charities that