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Page:Studies in socialism 1906.djvu/231

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revolutionist pointed to the poor little balloon that with puny but heroic steadfastness was moving toward its goal. His gesture was haughty and contemptuous.

"There," he said roughly, "you see where all the compromises of Empiricism and Reformism lead to! Is that what science prophesied? Is that what we in the name of science promised to the people and to humanity? Men have been promised complete control over the air; they have been told that they are to mount to the level of the mountain-tops without effort and that they are to have dominion over infinite horizons. And now what is offered to them? A little promenade of a few miles two hundred metres above the earth, in easy, mediocre, bourgeois weather. I call it a shame, a miserable trick.

"We were expecting a Leviathan of the air, that was to carry the whole human race, freed from the bonds of gravity, fastened to his great belly. And they offer us this little flying-fish, this minnow from the Seine that has jumped out of the water. Mystification and abdication! The way to take the strength and courage out of people is by producing these grotesque parodies, these sham discoveries that can only be compared to sham reforms. We refuse to countenance such disillusionising attempts. We refuse to countenance such imitations of the great scientific programme.

"And then what is the use of inventing bal-