Open main menu

Page:Studies in socialism 1906.djvu/98

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

and the peasantry in the national and governmental life of Italy is also the peaceful equivalent of a revolution; it is another risorgimento. And the same is true of the many-sided growth of the French proletariat. Tsarism can harass and weaken all these movements. It can envelop governments by its diplomacy at once subtle and weighty, but it cannot check the irresistible tendency of nations toward complete democracy, and the irresistible growth of the working class within the democracies.

Thus the obstacle which, according to Marx, had to be done away with before the working class in Europe could be capable of assuming real political power, although not destroyed, has been either reduced or evaded. It has been reduced by the Crimean war, that forced Russian autocracy to be passive during many years, and that made the resurrection of the Italian nation possible four years after, in 1859. It has been evaded by the subtlety of history which disarmed Russia's mistrust—by introducing German democracy under the auspices of Prussian absolutism. The very ground on which it stands is mined by the growing power of the working class and Russian liberalism. Finally, it is evaded and reduced to naught by the continuity of democratic and Socialistic growth that is affirming itself everywhere in Europe without the crisis of war.

What other civil or foreign wars did Marx have in mind? Doubtless he was thinking of the