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SUMMARY

1. Socialists desire to make political democracy a reality by establishing universal suffrage, direct legislation and proportional representation, and by abolishing the upper houses of parliaments.

2. They demand the free administration of justice and the abolition of the powers of the courts which protect class privilege.

3. They demand State protection for the working class by abolishing child labor, restricting the working period and establishing State insurance

4. They desire the extension of public health legislation, and are generally interested in the promotion of temperance.

5. They wish to substitute direct for indirect taxation, and to bring about the collective ownership and operation of the principal means of production and exchange. They generally favor some form of compensation to the expropriated owners of industry.

QUESTIONS

1. Why do Socialists generally favor the initiative and referendum? 2. What are the advantages of proportional representation? Of the second ballot?

3. Why do Socialists wish to abolish the Senate?

4. How does the present judicial system uphold class rule?

5. What is the Socialist argument for State insurance?

6. Compare the positions of the various Socialist parties on the subject of alcoholism."

7. Why do Socialists oppose indirect taxation?

8. What are the possible methods of obtaining possession of industry? 9. What are the advantages of the method of compensation?

LITERATURE

Ensor, R. C. K., Modern Socialism, Chaps. XXII-XXVIII.
Hillquit, M., Socialism in Theory and Practice, Part II.

Hunter, R., Socialists at Work, Chaps. VI-VIII.

Jaurès, Jean, Studies in Socialism, Chaps. VII-X.

Kautsky, K., Das Erfurter Program (tr. as The Class Struggle).

Liebknecht, W., Socialism, What it is and What it Seeks to Accomplish.

Snowden, Philip, Socialism and the Drink Question.

Spargo, John, Socialism (Revised Edition) Chaps. IX-X.

CHAPTER XXV

SOME OBJECTIONS TO SOCIALISM CONSIDERED

The objections: A survey of the most important antiSocialist literature of the past twenty-five years reveals the existence of a large body of criticism and objection. We may conveniently classify this body of criticism and objection into two main divisions, the first consisting of philosophical and technical criticisms of the theories of Socialism, and the second of objections and criticisms directed against the movement and program of Socialism. The former have been sufficiently considered in the text: we shall not further discuss them, therefore, but confine ourselves to the practical objections.

The most important of these objections to Socialism are: (1) that it aims at the abolition of all forms of private property; (2) that it is a vain attempt to make all men equal, which is impossible; (3) that it would reduce all to a dead level; (4) that it would unjustly reward equally the lazy and the industrious; (5) that it involves spoliation and confiscation; (6) that it would make the individual the slave of the State; (7) that it aims at the destruction of the monogamous family and its substitution by "Free Love"; (8) that it is based upon degrading selfishness and crass materialism; (9) that it is too altruistic, too noble an ideal for imperfect human beings to attain; (10) that it is an attempt to do by sudden revolution what can only be done by evolution; (11) that it is a "cut and dried scheme"; (12) that it is a negative criticism merely and has no plan; (13) that men cannot be made good by legislation; (14) that it has never been tried; (15) that it has been tried and failed; (16) that the vast increase in public ownership would lead to a corresponding increase in corruption and graft; (17) that it is identical with Anarchism; (18) that it would involve an immense amount of bureaucratic government;

(19) that it is opposed to all forms of religion; (20) that it would not provide an effective incentive to insure further progress; (21) that it would destroy art; (22) that it is against human nature.

Each of these objections is commonly found in anti-Socialist literature. It will be observed that some of them flatly contradict others. Some of them, therefore, must be invalid. Socialism may be condemned because it is based upon a low order of selfishness, but it cannot also be logically condemned because it is based upon an impossible altruism. It may be criticised because it submits no plan or scheme for the future organization of society, but it cannot be also condemned because it is a "cut and dried plan." Yet it is not at all uncommon for these contradictory objections to be made by the same persons.

Many of the objections already dealt with: The reader who has read the preceding chapters with a reasonable amount of care and attention will recognize the fact that a majority of the objections have been dealt with, either directly or by implication. In some instances, as, for example, the objection that Socialism aims at the abolition of the monogamic family, we have dealt with the matter specifically; in other instances, as, for example, the objection that Socialism aims to change society through a sudden revolution, the subject has been sufficiently covered by the discussion of the fundamental principle of Socialism as a theory of social evolution. With one or two exceptions, the entire list of objections has been dealt with to some extent, directly or indirectly, but a few of the objections deserve a more careful consideration. We shall confine the present discussion to these.

(1) Graft and business: The idea that graft is more general in publicly owned and managed enterprises than in ordinary commercial business is based upon a complete misconception. Graft in public business is more readily detected and more generally exposed than graft in ordinary commercial life. There are more voluntary detectives. The opponents of a man or political party in office are usually anxious to discover evidence of corrupt dealing to be used against the man or party in political campaigns. There is far greater publicity of graft in public business than

of graft in private business, and there is danger that we come to regard graft as practically synonymous with public business enterprise.

It is probable that there is far less graft in public business on an average than in private business, dollar for dollar. In other words, in public business to the value of a million dollars there will generally be found less graft and peculation than in private business of an equal amount. The fact is that ordinary business life is notoriously honeycombed with graft. The foreman in a factory grafts upon the wageearners under him and takes weekly "gifts" from them. The superintendent of the factory takes bigger gifts from those to whom he gives the orders for machinery, raw materials and other supplies for the factory. The directors of the corporation owning the factory make contracts on behalf of the company from which they reap extraordinary advantages, or make sinecures for their relatives. The buyers for our great mercantile houses receive "presents" and "courtesies" and "commissions" to which the word graft may be fairly applied. The same may be said of the managers of the advertising departments of the railroad companies, department stores, and other large advertisers. Newspaper publishers and editors are bribed by large advertising contracts. In a word, there is hardly a branch of present-day business in which graft is not prevalent.

Let us admit that where a city owns its street railways there will be a lot of graft in the form of petty peculations, commissions on contracts for supplies, padding the payrolls by creating useless jobs in order to reward political services, and so on. When we have admitted so much, it remains to be said that all these things take place where the street railways are owned by capitalist corporations to an even larger extent. Again and again managers of public service corporations have admitted that they dared not refuse employment to men sent to them by political bosses.

Source of graft in public business: Graft in public business, apart from petty stealing, is almost invariably in the interest of some private business. It is the private business which flourishes through graft. Take the United States postal service as an example. In addition to paying for the transportation of mails a rate far in excess of the rate

charged to the express companies, the government pays an annual rent for each car which far exceeds the cost of the construction of the car, notwithstanding the fact that the average life of a mail car is more than ten years, and the further fact that no such rental is paid by the express companies. The graft in the postal system about which so much has been written is probably less than that which might be found in any industrial corporations doing an equal amount of business. Moreover, it has its roots in private business. The remedy lies, not in turning the postal system over to capitalistic enterprise, but in eliminating the private predatory interests. The railroad graft would be wiped out by applying the principle of collective ownership to the railroads. Graft might then find its most important centre in the business of supplying the railroads with coal, steel rails, engines, and other supplies. Again the remedy would lie in the further extension of public ownership and control to cover these things.

Political corruption: The source of political corruption is always private business and never public business. At the national capital and most of the State capitals "lobbies" are maintained to foster certain interests. What interests are they? Always the interests of capitalistic business, never of public business. No city treasury ever has to provide for a legislative corruption fund, as our railroad, express and insurance companies have always done. When legislators are bribed it is always by those who are seeking to make profit through the adoption of favorable legislation or through the defeat of unfavorable legislation. Mr. Lincoln Steffens tells of $50,000 being paid for the vote of a municipal councillor in St. Louis and of numerous other examples of corruption, all of which were due to the efforts of a few men to make enormous profits at the expense of the rest of the community. Bribes may be direct-that is the old, crude way or they may be indirect and take the form of large fees or salaries for nominal services, or of friendly offers to "invest" a few hundred dollars with the assurance of many thousands of dollars profit, and so on.

Graft and corruption, then, arise from the capitalist exploitation of public necessities. "Socialism implies (a) widespread public interest and criticism, fatal to graft; (b)

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