Open main menu

Page:Studies in socialism 1906.djvu/43

This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.

 

VIII

In France the question of method has been complicated by the political situation. French Reformists have been led into a particularly close union with the other Republican groups, not only because by these tactics they can further the adoption of social reforms, but also because the political situation has demanded such an alliance.

To a French political thinker of the type of Jaurès the social and political problems are closely united. He sees but two great parties, the party of the Revolution and the party of the Counter-Revolution. The Revolution, according to this special use of the word, is not a sudden upheaval that took place a hundred years ago, or is to take place a hundred years hence, but a process of development, begun by those who claimed political rights for all citizens in 1789 and continued by those who have claimed social and economic rights for them ever since. Extreme Marxists like Guesde and Vaillant do not have this sense of the unity and continuity of the liberal movement. To them a moderate liberal Republican is a natural enemy and the tool of capitalism: to Jaurès he is a natural ally and in a sense the tool of Socialism, because in giving his best effort to maintain republican institutions he is strengthening the foundation without which Socialism must remain a purely Utopian ideal.

How continuous and vigilant this effort of the