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Page:Studies in socialism 1906.djvu/67

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17
Socialism and Life

geniuses, justice will not be obtained at the price of the joys of life. On the contrary, the just organisation of the forces at the disposition of humanity will add to their productive power. The splendour of wealth will be a manifestation of the triumph of right, and happiness will be the halo of justice. Babeufism was not the negation of the Revolution but, on the contrary, its hardiest pulsation. So Fourierism and Saint-Simonism are not the negation or the restriction of modern life, but its passionate fulfilment. Everywhere, then, Socialism is a vital force moving in the direction of life itself and in its fiercest current.

But the reply of the bourgeoisie under Louis Philippe to the great visions of harmony and wealth for all, the vast constructive conception of Fourier and Saint-Simon, was a redoubled fury of class exploitation by the exhausting intensive use made of the labour element in production, and an orgy of State concessions, monopolies, dividends, and premiums. It would have been naïve, to say the least, to continue to oppose idyllic dreams to this shameless exploitation. The retort of Proudhou was a biting criticism of property, interest, rent of farms, and profit: and here again the word which ought to have been spoken was uttered under the very dictation, the sharp inspiration, of life itself.

But how was the work of criticism to be completed by the work of organisation? How were all the social elements that were threatened or