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Page:Studies in socialism 1906.djvu/73

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III

THE RADICALS AND PRIVATE PROPERTY

 

Democracy, under the impetus given it by organised labour, is evolving irresistibly toward Socialism, toward a form of property which will deliver man from his exploitation by man, and bring to an end the régime of class government. The Radicals flatter themselves that they can put a stop to this movement by promising the working classes some reforms and by proclaiming themselves the guardians of private property. They hope to hold a large part of the proletariat in check by a few reforming laws expressing a sentiment of social solidarity, and by their policy of defending private property to rouse the conservative forces, the petty bourgeoisie, the middle-classes, and the small peasant-proprietors, to oppose Socialism.

In the first place, to subscribe to such formulas as these means a real intellectual falling off for a part of the democracy. How can men as cultivated as M. Léon Bourgeois and M. Camille Pelletan find any sense in the declaration of the

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