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Page:Studies in socialism 1906.djvu/58

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Studies in Socialism

the organised community, the ownership of the means of production and of life which to-day, in the hands of a single class, is a power of exploitation and oppression. The universal co-operation of all citizens must be substituted for the disorderly and abusive rule of the minority. This is the only method by which the individual can be enfranchised. And that is why the essential aim of Socialism, whether Collectivist or Communist, is to transform capitalist property into social property.

In the present state of humanity, where our only organisation is on the basis of nationality, social property will take the form of national property. But the action of the proletariat will assume more and more an international character. The various nations that are evolving toward Socialism will regulate their dealings with each other more and more according to the principles of justice and peace. But for a long time to come the nation as such will furnish the historical setting of Socialism; it will be the mould in which the new justice will be cast.

Let no one be astonished that we bring forward the idea of a national community now, whereas at first we set ourselves to establish the liberty of the individual. The nation, and the nation alone, can enfranchise all citizens. Only the nation can furnish the means of free development to all. Private associations, temporary and limited in character, can protect limited groups of individuals only for a time. But there is only one uni-