Open main menu

Page:Studies in socialism 1906.djvu/66

This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.
16
Studies in Socialism

idea of right, and the force of the new-born activity of the proletariat. It is therefore no longer a Utopian abstraction. It gushes forth from the most turbulent and effervescent of the hot springs of modern life.

But now, after many tests, half-victories, and repulses, through the diversities of various political régimes, the new middle-class order developed. Now, under the Empire and the Restoration, the economic system of the bourgeoisie based on unlimited competition began to bear its fruit: undoubted increase of wealth, but with it immorality, trickery, perpetual warfare, disorder, and oppression. Fourier's stroke of genius was to conceive that it was possible to remedy the confusion, to purge the social system without hampering the production of wealth, but on the contrary increasing it. His was no ascetic ideal. He wished for free play for all faculties and all instincts. The same association that would abolish crises would multiply riches by regulating and combining all efforts. Thus the slight cloud of asceticism that may have overshadowed Socialism was dispelled. Thus, Socialism, having taken part with the proletarians of the Revolution and with Babeuf in all the revolutionary life, came finally into the great current of modern wealth and production. As represented by Fourier and Saint-Simon it appears at last as a power able not only to overcome capitalism, but to surpass it in its own field.

In the new order foreseen by these great