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Page:Studies in socialism 1906.djvu/53

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I

THE SOCIALIST AIM

 

The first condition of success for Socialism is that its essential characteristics should be explained clearly, so that every one can understand them. There are many misunderstandings created by our adversaries, and some created by ourselves. We must do away with these.

The main idea of Socialism is simple and noble. Socialists believe that the present form of property-holding divides society into two great classes. One of these classes, the wage-earning, the proletariat, is obliged to pay to the other, the capitalist, a sort of tax, in order to be able to live at all, and exercise its faculties to any degree. Here is a multitude of human beings, citizens; they possess nothing, they can live only by their work. But in order to work they need an expensive equipment which they have not got, and raw materials and capital which they have not got. Another class owns the means of production, the land, the factories, the machines, the raw materials, and accumulated capital in the form of money. The first class is, then, forced to put

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