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Page:Studies in socialism 1906.djvu/72

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Studies in Socialism

of a centralised bureaucracy. No, the nation, in which is vested the sovereign social right of property, will have numberless agents—local government units, co-operative societies, and trade-unions—which will give the freest and supplest movement to social property, in harmony with the mobility and variety of individual forces. There is then a practical technical preparation for Socialism just as there is an intellectual and social preparation. They are children who, carried away by the magnitude of the work already accomplished, think that all that is now necessary is a decree, a Fiat lux, of the proletariat to make the Socialist world rise up forthwith. But on the other hand they are senseless who do not see the irresistible power of evolution which condemns the unjust ascendency of the middle class and the whole class system to extinction.

It will be the intellectual shame of the Radical party not to have answered the great problem that weighs on us all in any other way than by enunciating the equivocal electioneering formula, "Maintenance of private property." The formula will undoubtedly serve for some time longer to rouse ignorance, terror, and selfishness in opposition to Socialism. But it will kill the party that is driven to make use of it.

Either it signifies nothing, or it is the expression of the narrowest social conservatism. It cannot long hold out either against science or against democracy.