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Page:Studies in socialism 1906.djvu/211

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The Question of Method

manity in order to redeem humanity as a whole; just as the Saviour, to save mankind, had to lower himself to a degree of destitution bordering on animality, a situation beneath which no man could fall; just as this infinite abasement of God was the condition of the infinite elevation of man, so, in the dialectic of Marx, the proletariat, the modern Saviour, had to be stripped of all guaranties, deprived of every right, degraded to the depth of social and historic annihilation, in order that by raising itself it might raise all humanity. And just as the Man-God, to continue his mission, had to remain poor, suffering, and humiliated until the triumphal day of the resurrection—that single victory over death which has freed all humanity from the bonds of death for ever,—so the proletariat is only able to continue its mission in the logical scheme by bearing, until the final day of revolt—the revolutionary resurrection of humanity,—a cross whose weight is ever increasing, the essential capitalistic law of oppression and depression. Hence comes the evident difficulty that Marx experiences in accepting the idea of a partial raising of the proletariat. Hence a sort of joy he feels mixed with an element of dialectic mysticism, in summing up the crushing forces that weigh down the proletarians.[1]

Marx was mistaken. It was not from absolute

  1. It may be of interest to quote here Bebel's remarks on this subject at the Lübeck Congress in 1901. He is