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attainment. The ideal of the modern Socialist involves equality of opportunity only, and that to the end of a glorious inequality, rather than the comfortable equality of the Utopians.

Accustomed as we are to accept the idea of all men being born "free and equal," the claim for equal opportunities for all seems moderate and reasonable and far from revolutionary. In point of fact, however, no more revolutionary claim could be advanced. A serious attempt to realize it would of necessity involve a complete transformation of nearly every social relation. It is impossible to conceive of a system affording an equal chance to every child born into the world which does not begin with the right of every child to be well born. But that in turn involves the right of every mother to all the care and protection which human power can give, all that science and social organization can do to shield her from danger during the whole period from conception to childbirth. Nay, more, it includes the equal right of all men to healthy surroundings and conditions in order that they may develop the maximum of physical strength and fitness for parenthood available to them. The claim involves doing away with the contrast which presents itself in the cruel overwork of one set of mothers and the carefully protected rest of another set of mothers. It involves doing away with the hideous contrast of the slum and the mansion. In a word, equality of opportunity cannot become a fact until we have solved the problem of overwork on the one hand and idleness on the other, the whole industrial problem, in fact.

To say that the Socialist ideal is equality of opportunity for all does not mean that all must have identical opportunities, regardless of ability or inability to use them advantageously. It would be folly to waste social effort attempting to force a musical education upon a deaf mute, for example, or to give painting lessons to a color-blind child. What is meant is that every child should have an equal chance to develop whatever talent it may have. The cruel and anomalous contrast of idle men and toiling children must disappear. No moral aspiration must be crushed by poverty in a state saturated with wealth.

Socialism does not seek to make men equal: There is

probably a much greater degree of equality in natural human capacity and talent than has been generally recognized. The trend of modern scientific thought is to recognize that, within the species, inheritance counts for much less than environment. The moral frequently drawn from the familiar comparison of the descendants of the Juke family and the family of Jonathan Edwards is vitiated by the fact that the environment is not taken into account. Suppose the Juke children had been transplanted into the Edwards environment and the Edwards children into the Juke environment, would the results have been the same? It is not necessary that we should attempt to answer that question, here and now.

Recognition of the fact that a great deal of the intellectual and moral superiority which exists among men is due to specially favorable circumstances, rather than to the inherent superiority of the individuals, does not involve acceptance of the ancient ideal of equality. The modern Socialist ideal is not a great level plain of comfortable mediocrity. It would not level down, binding the stronger to the level attained by the weaker, but it would simply strike from the spirit of humanity all that binds it and holds it down. Instead of placing the conditions most favorable to the development of special genius at the disposal of one class only, it would make those conditions the common heritage of all.

Socialism and the individual: Obviously, a society based upon equality of opportunity as we have described it would not crush individuality. On the contrary, no other basis for true individualism is possible. Not until each individual is born heir to all the resources of civilization, free to take whatever he can assimilate, will the full flowering of a worthy individualism be possible. In the past Socialists have too readily accepted the definitions of their critics and regarded Socialism and Individualism as opposing principles. But in truth Socialism and Individualism rightly considered are but different aspects of the one great ideal. Not until opportunities are assured to all will they be secured for any. Only that society which socializes all its opportunities for healthful living, for knowledge and beauty will ever be able to conserve all its intellectual and spiritual forces and prevent their waste. Only in such a society will Life and Art be united,

so that all lives may be useful and beautiful. The magnificent achievements of the Athens of Sophocles and Praxiteles were made possible only through the communism of opportunity which her vast system of public ownership afforded, enabling her to reach through her communism of opportunity the highest development of individualism the world has yet known. And in like manner we shall find that the highest individualism is possible only where the means of the common life are not controlled by individuals or classes, but by the whole body politic.

Basis of the Socialist ideal: The Socialist ideal rests, ultimately, upon that fundamental principle which Paul perceived, namely, that "we are all members one of another." We are social animals, as Aristotle wisely observed. We became human through being social, in all probability. While some suffer more severely than others from the evils which arise out of our social mal-adjustments, yet it is true that we all suffer. The richest among men cannot realize healthfulness, beauty, joy and inspiration in life in a world that is diseased, ugly, miserable and sordid to the last degree. The good of the individual is, happily, not separable from the good of all other individuals. Fortunately, the fever which starts in the hovel spreads also to the mansion. Likewise the ugliness which stamps the lives of the poor stamps also the shoddy splendors of the rich. If there is one fact more plainly evidenced by human progress than any other, it is that individualism flourishes best where the opportunities for health, for knowledge, for beauty and for joy are most widely diffused.

"Where there is no vision the people perish." The Socialist movement of to-day is keeping alive in the hearts of men the vision of a world in which the highest good of each appears as the first fruit of the devotion of each to the common good; of a social order in which community of interests shall pass beyond the boundaries of family, of city and nation and unite all mankind in bonds of peace and fellowship. No virtue will be lost, even though old virtues may take new forms. Courage, for example, which we have so long associated with war, will find a more generous development in the services of peace. And the strength and daring which has developed our great economic forces, heedless of the ugliness

and suffering they involved, will not remain idle and become atrophied. They will find their fullest and most joyful expression in the organization of those forces to make the world beautiful and glad and free.


1. Socialism is essentially idealistic, but modern Socialism bases its ideal upon the logic of evolution, and not upon the merits of any scheme or plan.

2. Socialism upholds the ideals of international solidarity, universal peace and human brotherhood.

3. Socialism aims also at the ending of the class struggle and the establishment of peace within nations.

4. Socialism seeks to establish equality of opportunity, not equality of wealth or ability.

5. It is only with equality of opportunity that true individualism can be developed.


1. How does the ideal of modern Socialism differ from the Utopian ideal?

2. In what ways does the Socialist movement make for international peace?

3. What is the basis for the Socialist hope for world peace?

4. Is it true that "Socialists advocate the class struggle"?

5. In what sense does equality form a part of the Socialist ideal?

6. Why is it incorrect to regard Socialism and individualism as antithetical?


Angel, Norman, The Great Illusion.

Kautsky, K., The Social Revolution, Part II.

Morris, William, and Bax, E. B., Socialism, its Growth and Outcome. Chap. XXI.

Spargo, John, The Spiritual Significance of Modern Socialism. The Substance of Socialism.

The Fabian Essays.



No detailed prediction: Socialists are constantly confronted with a demand for a detailed description of the Socialist society of the future. This it is impossible to give, since all the forces which made for social change cannot be known. Any such prediction would necessarily be pure Utopian romance. Wilhelm Liebknecht, the great leader of the German Social Democracy, replying to such a request from an opponent in debate on one occasion said:

"Never has our party told the workingmen about a 'state of the future,' never in any other way than as a mere Utopia. If anybody says, 'I picture to myself society after our program has been realized, after wage labor has been abolished and the exploitation of men has ceased, in such or such a manner,' well and good: ideas are free, and everybody may conceive the Socialist State as he pleases. Whoever believes in it may do so, whoever does not, need not. These pictures are but dreams, and Social Democracy has never understood them otherwise."

It is possible, however, while adhering strictly to the scientific method and spirit, to set forth some of the conditions which must obtain in a Socialist society. We can interpret tendencies in the light of known economic laws, and determine very definitely some conditions which must exist under Socialism, and some conditions which are incompatible with it. Social forms cannot be made to order; they are the product of the collective intelligence operating within the limits fixed by the economic environment. Changes in the social order must come, and they will be in the direction of further progress. A knowledge of the past and a recognition of the laws of social evolution enable us to tell something of the future organization of society. In a like manner Morelly, in 1756, predicted the downfall of the

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