Woman under socialism
by August Bebel
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Such altered conditions in social life will impart a radically different aspect to literary productions. Theological literature, whose entries are at present most numerous in the yearly catalogues of literary works, drops out in company with its juridic cousin,—there is no more interest in the former, and no more use for the latter. All the literary productions that refer to the struggle over political institutions will be seen no more,—their subject-matter has ceased to be. The study of all such matters will belong to the history of civilization. The vast mass of inane productions—the evidences of a spoiled taste, often possible only through sacrifices at the altar of the author's vanity—are gone. Even speaking from the view-point of present conditions, it may be said without exaggeration that four-fifths of all literary productions could disappear from the market without loss to a single interest of civilization. Such is the vastness of the mass of superficial or harmful books, palpable trash, extant to-day on the field of literature.

Belles-lettres and the press will be equally hit. There is nothing sorrier, more spiritless or superficial than the large majority of our newspaper literature. If our stage in civilization and scientific attainments were to be gauged by the contents of that set of papers, it would be low indeed. The actions of men and the condition of things are judged from a view-point that corresponds with centuries gone by, and that has been long since proved laughable and untenable by science. A considerable portion of our journalists are people who, as Bismarck once put it, "missed their calling," but whose education and standard of wages fit with bourgeois interests. Furthermore, these newspapers, as well as the majority of the belles-lettric magazines, have the mission of circulating impure advertisements; the interests of their purses are on this field the same as on the former: the material interests of their owners determine their contents.

On an average, belles-lettric literature is not much superior to newspaper literature. Its forte is to cultivate sex excesses: it renders homage either to shallow enlightenment or to stale prejudices and superstitions. Its general purpose is to represent the capitalist order of society, all its shortcomings notwithstanding, which are conceded in trifles, as the best of all possible worlds.

On this extensive and important field, future society will institute some thorough-going housecleaning. Science, truth, beauty, the contest of the intellect after the best will rule supreme. Everyone who achieves what is worthy will enjoy the opportunity to exercise his faculties. He no longer depends upon the favor of a publisher, moneyed considerations or prejudice, but only upon the impartial judgment of experts whom he himself joins in electing, and from whose unfavorable decision he can always appeal to the general vote of the whole community,—all of which is to-day against him or impossible. The childish notion that all contest of intellect would be held down in a Socialist society they alone can maintain who hold the bourgeois world to be the most perfect social system, and who, out of enmity to Socialism seek to slander and to belittle it. A society, that rests upon full democratic equality, neither knows nor tolerates oppression. Only the fullest freedom of thought makes uninterrupted progress possible, and this is the principle of life with society. Moreover, it is an act of deception to represent bourgeois society as the paladin of true freedom of thought. Parties that represent class interests will publish in the press only that which does not injure their class' own interests, and woe to him who would attempt the contrary. His social ruin would be sealed, as every one knows. In what manner publishers handle literary work that does not suit them, every writer almost could tell a tale of woe on. Finally, the German press and criminal laws betray the spirit that animates our ruling and leading classes. Actual freedom of thought is looked upon by them as the most dangerous of evils.

* * * * *

The individual is to develop himself fully. That must be the law of human association. Accordingly, the individual may not remain fettered to the soil on which the accident of birth first placed him. Men and the world should be known, not from books and papers only: personal observation, practical experience are also needed. Accordingly, future society must enable everyone to do what is now done by many, although in most instances it happens to-day under the whip that want cracks. The wish for change in all the relations of life is a craving strongly stamped in man. It springs from the instinct after perfection, inherent in all organic beings. The plant that stands in a dark room, stretches and strains, as though endowed with consciousness, towards the light that falls from some crevice. Just so with man. An instinct implanted in man, consequently a natural instinct, must be rationally gratified. The conditions of future society will not balk the instinct after change; on the contrary, they promote its gratification with all: it is facilitated by the highly developed system of intercommunication; it is demanded by international relations. In future days, infinitely more people will travel through the world, and for the most varied of purposes, than happens to-day.

In order to meet all demands, society furthermore requires an ample provision of all the necessaries of life. Society regulates its hours of work accordingly. It makes them longer or shorter, according as its needs or the season of the year may suggest. It may turn its strength at one season mainly to agriculture, at another mainly to industrial and similar production. It directs its labor forces as occasion may require. Through the combination of numerous forces, equipped with the best technical provisions, it can carry through with swiftness, aye, playingly, undertakings that to-day seem impossible.

As society assumes the care of its youth, so it does of its aged, sick or invalid members. It guards whoever, by whatever circumstance, has become unable to work. There is in this no question of charity, but of duty; not of an alms morsel, but of an assistance born of every possible consideration due him, who, during the time of his strength and ability to work, fulfilled his duties to the commonwealth. The setting sun of old age is beautiful with all that society can offer: everyone being buoyed up with the confidence that he will some day himself enjoy what now he affords to others. No longer are the aged now disturbed with the thought that others are awaiting their death in order to "inherit;" likewise has the fear vanished from the mind of man that, grown old and helpless, he will be cast off like a squeezed lemon. Man now feels himself left neither to the benevolence of his children, nor to the alms of the community. What the condition is in which most parents find themselves, who depend in old age upon the support of their children, is notorious. How demoralizing is not the effect of the hope of inheriting upon the children, and, in a still greater degree, upon relatives! What vile qualities are not awakened; and how many are not the crimes that such hopes have led to!—murder, forgery, perjury, extortion, etc. Capitalist society has no reason to be proud of its laws of inheritance; to them are ascribable part of the crimes that are committed every year; and yet the large majority of people have nothing to bequeath or to inherit.[219]

The moral and physical condition of future society; the nature of its work, homes, food, clothing, its social life—everything will greatly contribute to avoid accidents, sickness, debility. Natural death by the decline of the vigor of life will become the rule. The conviction that "heaven" is on earth, and that to be dead means to be ended, will cause people to lead rational lives.[220] He enjoys most who enjoys longest. None know how to appreciate a long life better than the very clergy who prepare people for the "after world;" a life free from care makes it possible for these gentlemen to reach the highest age average.[221]

Life requires, first of all, food and drink. Friends of the so-called "natural way of living" often ask why is Socialism indifferent to vegetarianism. The question causes us to take up the subject in a few lines. Vegetarianism, that is, the doctrine that prescribes an exclusive vegetal diet, found its first supporters in such circles as are in the agreeable position of being able to choose between a vegetal and an animal diet. To the large majority of people there is no such choice: they are forced to live according to their means, the meagerness of which in many instances keeps them almost exclusively to a vegetal diet, and to the least nutritive, at that. With our working class population in Silesia, Saxony, Thuringen, etc., the potato is the principal nourishment; even bread comes in only secondarily; meat, and then only of poor quality, is hardly ever seen on the table. Even the largest part of the rural population, although they are the raisers of cattle, rarely partake of meat: they must sell the cattle in order to satisfy other pressing wants with the money obtained therefor.

For the innumerable people, who are compelled to live as vegetarians, an occasional solid beefsteak, or good leg of mutton, would be a decided improvement in the diet. When vegetarianism directs itself against the overrating of the nutrition contained in meat, it is right; it is wrong, however, when it combats the partaking of meat as harmful and fatal, mainly on sentimental grounds—such as "the nature of man forbids the killing of animals and to partake of a corpse." In order to live comfortably and undisturbed, we are compelled to declare war upon and destroy a large number of living beings in the shape of all manner of vermin; in order not to be ourselves eaten up, we must undertake the killing and extirpating of wild animals. The quiet toleration of those "good friends of man," the domestic animals, would increase the number of these "good friends" in a few decades so immensely that they would "devour" us by robbing us of food. Neither is the claim true that a vegetarian diet produces mildness of temperament. The "beast" was awakened even in the mild, vegetarian Hindoo when the severity of the Englishmen drove him to mutiny.

In our opinion Sonderegger hits the nail on the head when he says: "There is no order of rank in the matter of the different kinds of food; but there is an unalterable law in the matter of combining their several nutritious qualities." It is true that no one can nourish himself on an exclusively meat diet, but that he can on an exclusively vegetal diet, provided always he can select to suit; but neither would any one be satisfied with one vegetable, let it be the most nutritive. Beans, for instance, peas, lentils, in short, the leguminosae, are the most nutritive of all food. Nevertheless, to be forced to feed exclusively on them—which is said to be possible—were a torture. Karl Marx mentions in "Capital" that the Chilian mine-owners compel their workingmen to eat beans year in and year out, because the food imparts to them great strength and enables them to carry burdens that they could not carry with any other diet. Despite its nutrition, the workingmen turn against such food, but get none other, and are thus obliged to rest content therewith. Under no circumstances do the happiness and well-being of people depend upon a certain diet, as is claimed by the fanatics among the vegetarians. Climate, custom, individual tastes are the determining factors.

In the measure that civilization advances, a vegetal diet progressively takes the place of the exclusive meat diet, such as is indulged in by hunting and pastoral peoples. A many-sided agriculture is a sign of higher culture. On a given field, vegetal nutritive matter can be raised in larger quantities than could meat be obtained through cattle raising. This development imparts to vegetal nutrition an ever greater preponderance. The transportation of meat, that the modern vandalic economic system furnishes us with from foreign lands, especially from South America and Australia, has been very nearly exhausted within few decades. On the other hand, animals are raised, not merely for the sake of meat, but also for that of wool, hair, bristles, skin and hides, milk, eggs, etc., upon which many industries and human wants are dependent. Again offal of several kinds can be turned in no way to better advantage than through cattle raising. The seas will also in future be made to yield to man their wealth of animal food to a much larger extent than now. It will be in future a rare occurrence to see, as we do to-day, whole loads of fish turned to manure, because the facilities and costs of transportation, or the facilities of preservation prevent their being otherwise used. It follows that a purely vegetal diet is neither probable nor necessary in the future.

In the matter of food, quality rather than quantity is to be considered. Quantity is of little use if not good. Quality is greatly improved by the manner of preparation. The preparation of food must be conducted as scientifically as any other function, if it is to reach the highest point of utility possible. Knowledge and equipment are thereto requisite. That our women, upon whom to-day mainly devolves the preparation of food, do not and can not possess this knowledge, needs no proof. They lack all the necessary equipments therefor. As every well equipped hotel kitchen, the steam kitchen of barracks or of hospitals and especially the cooking expositions teach us, the cooking apparatuses, together with many technical arrangements for all manner of food preparation, have reached a high degree of perfection and have been contrived upon scientific principles. That will in the future be the rule. The object aimed at must be to obtain the best results with the smallest expenditure of power, time and material. The small private kitchen is, just like the workshop of the small master mechanic, a transition stage, an arrangement by which time, power and material are senselessly squandered and wasted. The preparation of food also will in future society be a social establishment, conducted on the most improved plane, in proper and advantageous manner. The private kitchen disappears, as it has now disappeared in the instance of those families who, although they generally provide themselves through their own kitchen, always resort to hotel kitchens or to those of caterers, the moment the question is to provide for banquets or to procure dishes a knowledge of which both they and their domestics lack.[222]

The Chicago Exposition of 1893 brought out a mass of interesting facts on the revolution that has taken place in the kitchen also, and in the preparation of food;—among other things a kitchen in which the heating and cooking was done wholly through electricity. Electricity not only furnished the light, but was also active in the washing of dishes, which thereupon required the aid of the human hand only in finishing up. In this kitchen of the future there was no hot air, no smoke, no vapors. Numberless apparatuses and subsidiary machinery performed a number of operations that until then had to be performed by human hands. This kitchen of the future resembled more a parlor than a kitchen that everyone who has nothing to do in, likes to stay away from. Work therein at the Chicago Exposition was pleasurable and free from all the unpleasantness that are features of the modern kitchen. Can a private kitchen be imagined even approximately equipped like that? And then, what a saving in all directions through such a central kitchen! Our women would seize the opportunity with both hands to exchange the present for the kitchen of the future.

The nutritive value of food is heightened by its facility of assimilation. This is a determining factor.[223] A natural system of nourishment for all can be reached only by future society. Cato praises the Rome of before his days for having had experts in the art of healing, but, down to the sixth century of the city, no occupation for exclusive physicians. People lived so frugally and simply, that disease was rare, and death from old age was the usual form of decease. Not until gourmandizing and idleness—in short, license with some, want and excessive work with others—had permeated society, did matters change, and radically so. In future, gluttony and license will be impossible, and likewise want, misery and privation. There is enough, and an abundance, for all. More than fifty years ago Henrich Heine sang:

Why, there grows down here abundance And a plentitude for all; Roses, myrtles, beauty and joy; Yes, and sugar beans withal—

Aye, sugar beans in bursting pods For everyone are here, But they're left to heaven's angels And the sparrows of the air.

"He who eats little lives well"—that is, long, said the Italian Cornaro in the sixteenth century, as quoted by Niemeyer. In the end chemistry will be active in the preparation and improvement of nourishment to a degree thitherto unknown. To-day the science is greatly abused in the interest of adulterations and fraud. It is obvious that a chemically prepared food that has all the qualities of the natural product will accomplish the same purpose. The form of the preparation is of secondary importance, provided the product otherwise meets all requirements.

As in the kitchen, the revolution will be accomplished throughout domestic life: it will remove numberless details of work that must be attended to to-day. As in the future the domestic kitchen is rendered wholly superfluous by the central institutions for the preparation of food, so likewise are all the former troubles of keeping ranges, lamps, etc., in working order, removed by the central heating and electric apparatuses for lighting. Warm and cold water supplies place bathing within the reach of all at pleasure, and without the aid of any person. The central laundries assume the washing, drying, etc., of clothes; the central cleaning establishments see to the dusting, etc., of clothing and carpets. In Chicago, carpet-cleaning machines were exhibited that did the work in so short a time as to call forth the admiration of the ladies who visited the Exposition. The electric door opens at a slight pressure of the finger, and shuts of itself. Electric contrivances deliver letters and newspapers on all the floors of the houses; electric elevators save the climbing of stairs. The inside arrangement of the houses—floorings, garnishing of the walls, furnitures—will be contrived with an eye to the facility of cleaning and to the prevention of the gathering of dust and bacteria. Dust, sweepings and offal of all sorts will be carried by pipes out of the houses as water, that has been used, is carried off to-day. In the United States, in many a European city—Zurich, for instance—there are to-day tenements, exquisitely equipped, in which numerous affluent families—others could not bear the expense—live and enjoy a large part of the conveniences just sketched.

Here again we have an illustration of how capitalist society breaks the way in revolutionizing human affairs, in this instance in domestic life,—but only for its elect. Domestic life being thus radically transformed, the servant, this "slave of all the whims of the mistress," is no more,—and the mistress neither. "No servants, no culture!" cries the horrified Herr v. Treitschke with comic pathos. He can as little imagine society without servants as Aristotle could without slaves. The matter of surprise is that Herr v. Treitschke looks upon our servants as the "carriers of civilization." Treitschke, like Eugen Richter, is furthermore greatly worried by the shoe-polishing and clothes-dusting question, which neither is able to attend to personally. It so happens, however, that with nine-tenths of the people everyone sees to that himself, or the wife does for her husband, or a daughter or son for the family. We might answer that what the nine-tenths have hitherto done, the remnant tenth may also do. But there is another way out. Why should not in future society the youth of the land, without distinction of sex, be enlisted for such necessary work? Work does not dishonor, even if it consist in polishing boots. Many a member of the old nobility, and officers of the army at that, learned the lesson when, to escape their debts, they ran off to the United States, and there became servants, or shoe-polishers. Eugen Richter, in his pamphlets, goes even so far as to cause the downfall of the "Socialist Imperial Chancellor" on the "Shoe-polishing Question," and the consequent falling to pieces of the "Socialist State." The "Socialist Imperial Chancellor" refuses to polish his own shoes; hence his troubles. The bourgeoisie has hugely enjoyed this description of Richter, and it has thereby furnished evidence of the modesty of its demands upon a criticism of Socialism. But Eugen Richter lived to experience the sorrow of not only seeing one of his own party members in Nuerenberg invent a shoe-polishing machine soon after the appearance of that pamphlet, but of also learning that at the Chicago Exposition of 1893 an electric shoe-polishing machine was exhibited that did the work perfectly. Thus the principal objection, raised by Richter and Treitschke against Socialist society, has been practically thrown overboard by an invention made under the bourgeois social system itself.

The revolutionary transformation, that radically changes all the relations of man, especially the position of woman, is, as we see, going on now under our own eyes. It is only a question of time when society will take the process into its own hands and upon a large scale, thus quickening and perfecting the change and affording to all, without exception, the opportunity to share its innumerable advantages.


[176] "The power of emulation, in exciting to the most strenuous exertions for the sake of the approbation and admiration of others, is borne witness to by experience in every situation in which human beings publicly compete with one another, even if it be in things frivolous, or from which the public derives no benefit. A contest, who can do most for the common good, is not the kind of competition which Socialists repudiate."—John Stuart Mill's "Principles of Political Economy." Every union, every association of people, who pursue equal aims, likewise furnishes numerous examples of greater effort with no material, but only an ideal, reward in view. The emulators are moved by the ambition to distinguish themselves, by the desire to serve the common cause. But this sort of ambition is no vice; it is a virtue; it is put forth in the interest of all; and the individual finds his satisfaction in that along with all others. Ambition is harmful and objectionable only when it is put forth to the injury of the whole, and at the expense of others.

[177] Von Thuenen says in his "Der isolirte Staat": "The reason why the proletarians, on the one hand, and property classes, on the other, face each other permanently as enemies lies in the antagonism of their interests; and they will remain unreconciled so long as this division of interests is not removed. Not only the well-being of his wage-giver but—through discoveries in industry, the pavement of streets and building of railroads, the forming of new business connections—the revenues of the Nation also may increase. Under our present social order, however, the workingman is touched by none of these; his condition remains what it was, and the whole increase of revenues accrues to the employers, the capitalists and the landlords." This last sentence is an almost literal anticipation of the words of Gladstone in the English Parliament, when he declared in 1864 "this intoxicating increase of incomes and power" that England had experienced in the course of the previous twenty years, "has been confined exclusively to the possessing classes." Again on p. 207 of his work, v. Thuenen says: "The evil lies in the divorce of the workingman from his product."

Morelly declares in his "Principles of Legislation": "Property divides us into two classes—Rich and Poor. The former love their property and care not to defend the State; the latter can not possibly love the Fatherland, seeing that it bestows upon them naught but misery. Under the system of Communism, however, all love the Fatherland, seeing that all receive from it life and happiness."

[178] In weighing the advantages and the disadvantages of Communism, John Stuart Mill says in his "Principles of Political Economy": "No soil could be more favorable to the growth of such a feeling, than a Communist association, since all the ambition, and the bodily and mental activity, which are now exerted in the pursuit of separate and self-regarding interests, would require another sphere of employment, and would naturally find it in the pursuit of the general benefit of the community."

[179] "Die Gesetze der sozialen Entwickelung."

[180] What does Herr Eugene Richter say to this calculation? In his "Irrelehren" (False Doctrines) he makes merry over the enormous shortening of the hours of work that we have held out in this work as the result that would follow upon the obligation of all to work and upon the higher technical organization of the process of production. He seeks to minimize as much as possible the productivity of production on a large scale, and to enhance the importance of production on a small scale. He does so in order that he might claim that the expected increased production was not practicable. In order to make Socialism seem impossible, these defenders of the existing "order" are forced to discredit the merits of their own social system.

[181] "Capital is said by a Quarterly Reviewer to fly turbulence and strife, and to be timid, which is very true; but this is very incompletely stating the question. Capital eschews no profit, or very small profit, just as Nature was formerly said to abhor a vacuum. With adequate profit, capital is very bold. A certain 10 per cent. will ensure its employment anywhere; 20 per cent. certain will produce eagerness; 50 per cent. positive audacity; 100 per cent. will made it ready to trample on all human laws; 300 per cent., and there is not a crime at which it will scruple, nor a risk it will not run, even to the chance of its owner being hanged. If turbulence and strife will bring a profit, it will freely encourage both. Smuggling and the slave-trade have amply proved all that is here stated." (P. J. Dunning, 1. c., p. 35.) Cited by Karl Marx in "Capital," p. 786, edition Swan-Sonnenscheim & Co., London, 1896.

[182] A competitor with electricity, applied to lighting purposes, has recently arisen in the shape of the so-called acetylene gas, which was discovered in the United States, by means of an electrolytic process, similar to that used in the preparation of aluminum. A compound is made of calcium and carbon, called calcium-carbide, which, in touch with water, produces the acetylene gas. Its lighting power is fifteen times that of the ordinary illuminating gas, besides being much cheaper.

[183] "The generality of laborers in this and most other countries, have as little choice of occupation or freedom of locomotion, are practically as dependent on fixed rules, and on the will of others, as they could be on any system short of actual slavery."—John Stuart Mill's "Principles of Political Economy."

[184] "A French workman, on his return from San Francisco, writes as follows: 'I never could have believed that I was capable of working at the various occupations I was employed on in California. I was firmly convinced that I was fit for nothing but letter-press printing.... Once in the midst of this world of adventurers, who change their occupation as often as they do their shirt, egad, I did as the others. As mining did not turn out remunerative enough, I left it for the town, where in succession I became typographer, slater, plumber, etc. In consequence of this finding out that I am fit for any sort of work, I feel less of a mollusk and more of a man.'" (A. Courbou, "De l'Enseignement Professional," 2eme ed. p. 50.) Cited by Karl Marx in "Capital", p. 493, edition Swan-Sonnenschein Co., London, 1896.

[185] Tolstoi's "The Significance of Science and Art."

[186] What may be made of a man under favorable circumstances is illustrated by Leonardo da Vinci, who was a distinguished painter, celebrated sculptor, favorite architect and engineer, excellent builder of fortifications, musician and improvisator. Benvenuto Cellini was a celebrated goldsmith, excellent molder, good sculptor, leading builder of fortifications, first-rate soldier and thorough musician. Abraham Lincoln was a splitter of rails, agriculturist, boatman, shop-assistant and lawyer, until he was placed in the Presidential chair of the United States. It may be said without exaggerating, most people are engaged in occupations that do not correspond with their faculties, simply because, not freedom of choice, but the force of necessity dictated their career. Many a bad professor would do good work as a shoemaker, and many a good shoemaker could be a good professor as well.

[187] It should always be kept in mind that production is then organized up to the highest point of technical perfection, and all the people are at work. It may thus happen that, under given circumstances, a three-hour day is rather longer, and not shorter, than necessary. Owen in his time—first quarter of the nineteenth century—considered two hours' work sufficient.

[188] "It is not necessary to go a round-about way in order to ascertain the amount of social labor crystallized in a given product. Daily experience shows directly the requisite average. Society can easily calculate how many hours are contained in a steam engine, in a hectoliter of last year's wheat, in a hundred square meters of cloth of a certain quality. Society will, therefore, never dream of re-expressing these units of work,—crystallized in the products and known to it directly and absolutely—by a merely relative, varying and insufficient measure, formerly used by it as a make-shift that it could not get along without; a measure, moreover, which itself is a third product, instead of by their natural, adequate and absolute measure—time.... Society will have to organize the plan of production according to the means of production, under which category labor-power especially belongs. The various utilities of the several articles of use, balanced with one another and with the amount of labor necessary for their production, will in the end determine the plan. People settle matters a good deal more simply without the intervention of the celebrated 'money value.'"—Fr. Engels' "Herr Eugene Duehring's Umwaelzung der Wissensehaft."

[189] Herr Eugene Richter is so astonished at the dropping away of money in Socialist society—abolished money will not be: with the abolition of the merchandise character from the products of labor, money drops away of itself—that he devotes to the subject a special chapter in his "Irrelehren." What is particularly hard for him to understand is the idea that it is immaterial whether the voucher for labor performance be a piece of paper, gold or tin. On this head he says: "With gold, the devil of the modern social order would re-enter the Social Democratic State"—that there could then be only a Socialist society, and not a Social Democratic State, Herr Richter stubbornly overlooks: he must, else a good portion of his polemic would fall through—"seeing that gold has an independent metal value, can be easily saved, and thus the possession of gold pieces would enable the heaping up of values wherewith to purchase escape from the obligation to work, and wherewith even to lay out money on interest."

Herr Richter must take his readers for great blockheads to dare dish up such trash to them on the subject of our gold. Herr Richter, who can not rid himself of the concept of capital, can, of course, not understand that where there is no capital, neither is there any merchandise, nor can there be any "money"; and where there is no "capital" and no "money", neither could there be any "interest." Herr Richter is nailed so fast to the concept of capital that he is unable to conceive a world without "capital." We should like to know how a member of a Socialist society could "save up" his gold certificates of labor, or even loan them out to others and thereby rake in interest, when all other members possess what that one is offering them and—on which he lives.

[190] "All people of average healthy build are born with almost equal intellectual powers, but education, laws and circumstances alter them relatively. The correctly understood interest of the individual is blended into one with the common or public interest."—Helvetius' "On Man and His Education." Helvetius is right with regard to the large majority of people; but that does not take away that the natural faculties of each are different for different occupations.

[191] "If, therefore, the choice were to be made between Communism with all its chances, and the present state of society with all its sufferings and injustices; if the institution of private property necessarily carried with it as a consequence, that the produce of labor should be apportioned as we now see it, almost in an inverse ratio to the labor—the largest portions to those who have never worked at all, the next largest to those whose work is almost nominal, and so in a descending scale, the remuneration dwindling as the work grows harder and more disagreeable, until the most fatiguing and exhausting bodily labor cannot count with certainty on being able to earn even the necessaries of life; if this or Communism, were the alternative, all the difficulties, great or small, of Communism would be but as dust in the balance."—John Stuart Mill, "Principles of Political Economy." Mill strove diligently to "reform" the bourgeois world, and to "bring it to reason." Of course, in vain. And so it came about that he, like all clear-sighted men, became a Socialist. He dared not, however, admit the fact in his life time, but ordered that, after his death, his auto-biography be published, containing his Socialist confession of faith. It happened to him as with Darwin, who cared not to be known in his life as an atheist. The bourgeoisie affects loyalty, religion and faith in authority because through the acceptance of these "virtues" by the masses its own rule is safeguarded; in its own sleeves, however, it laughs at them.

[192] "Scholarship is as often the hand-maid of ignorance as of progress."—Buckle's "History of Civilization in England."

[193] According to the census of 1882 there were in Germany engaged in trade and transportation 1,570,318 persons, inclusive of those occupied in hotels and inns, and exclusive of 295,451 domestics.

[Some opinion may be formed of the volume of useless labor, parasitism, in the United States, from the census figures for 1900. Under this head of "Trade and Transportation" alone come 4,766,964 persons. Among them, substantially useless, are the 241,162 agents, the 73,277 brokers, the 92,919 commercial travelers, the 76,649 hucksters and peddlers, the 790,886 merchants and dealers (except wholesale), the 42,293 merchants and dealers (wholesale), the 74,072 officials of banks and companies, the 33,656 livery stable keepers, the 71,622 messengers and errand and office boys, and the 59,545 packers and shippers—in all 1,556,081. Of the remaining 3,210,883—among whom are 254,880 bookkeepers and accountants, 632,127 clerks and copyists, 611,139 salesmen and women—fully two-thirds could be spared to-day under a rational social system. The proportion of wasteful forces, and even parasitism, is still larger under the heads of "Professional Service" and "Domestic and Personal Service," among which—to pick up only a few of the worst items—are 111,638 clergymen, 114,460 lawyers, 86,607 government officials, including officers of the United States army and navy, 33,844 saloon keepers, 1,560,721 servants and waiters, 43,235 soldiers, sailors and marines (U. S.), etc., etc.—THE TRANSLATOR.]

[194] Even the Fathers of the Church, Bishops and Popes could not refrain from preaching in a communistic vein during those early centuries when community of property still prevailed, but its theft was assuming larger proportions. The Syllabus and the encyclicals of the nineteenth century have lost all recollection of this tone, and even the Roman Popes have been compelled to become subjects of capitalist society, and now pose as its zealous defenders against the Socialists.

In contrast therewith Bishop Clemens I. (deceased 102 of our reckoning) said: "The use of all things in this world is to be common to all. It is an injustice to say: 'This is my property, this belongs to me, that belongs to another.' Hence the origin of contentions among men."

Bishop Ambrose of Milan, who lived about 347, exclaimed: "Nature bestows all things on all men in common, for God has created all things that their enjoyment might be common to all, and that the earth might become the common possession of all. Common possession is, therefore, a right established by Nature, and only unjust usurpation (usurpatio) has created the right of private property."

St. John Chrysostomus (deceased 407) declared in his homilies directed against the immorality and corruption of the population of Constantinople: "Let none call aught his own; we have received everything from God for enjoyment in common, and 'mine' and 'thine' are words of falsehood."

St. Augustine (deceased 430) expressed himself thus: "Because private property exists there exists also law suits, enmities, dissensions, wars, rebellions, sins, injustice, murder. Whence proceed all these scourges? From property only. Let us then, my brothers, refrain from possessing anything as our property; at least let us refrain from loving it."

Pope Gregory the Great declares about 600: "Let them know that the earth from which they spring and of which they are formed belongs to all men in common, and that therefore the fruits which the earth brings forth must belong to all without distinction."

And one of the moderns, Zacharia, says in his "Forty Books on the State": "All the evils with which civilized nations have to contend, can be traced back to private property in land."

All these authorities have recognized more or less accurately the nature of private property, which, since its existence, as St. Augustine correctly puts it, brought law suits, enmities, dissensions, wars, rebellions, injustice and murder into the world,—all of them evils that will disappear with its abolition.

[195] "The employment of water in the cultivation of fruit as well as of vegetables is highly desirable; water associations with these ends in view could turn with us also deserts into paradises." Official report on the Chicago Exposition of 1893, rendered by the Imperial Commissioner, Berlin, 1894.

[196] This prospect seems nearer realization and in a quite different manner than the most far-sighted could have imagined. The discovery of acetylene gas is the point of departure for a long line of products of organic chemistry, that, with proper treatment, can be drawn from it. Among the articles of enjoyment, that may be expected to be gained first of all on this path, is alcohol, the production of which promises to be the easiest of all and very cheap, and is expected in but few years. If this succeeds, a large part of the agriculture of the East Elbian district, which depends upon the production of alcohol, will be put in jeopardy. The circumstance will bring on a revolution in the respective agricultural interests that will play mightily into the hands of Socialism. Evidently, what Werner, Siemens and Berthelot held out, is approaching reality.

[197] Dr. G. Ruhland, "Die Grundprinzipien aktueller Agrarpolitik."

[198] A petition by Julius Zuns, which finally was not sent to the Reichstag, on the subject of an agrarian investigation.

[199] Dr. Rudolf Meyer, "Der Kapitalismus fin de siecle."

[200] "There is a prescription for securing the fertility of the fields and perpetual repetition of their produce. If this prescription be consistently carried out it will prove more remunerative than any which has ever been applied in agriculture. It is this: Let every farmer, like the Chinese coolie, who carries a sack of corn or a hundred weight of rape, or carrots or potatoes, etc., to town, bring back with him as much if possible or more of the ingredients of his field products as he took with him, and restore it to the field whence it came. He must not despise a potato paring or a straw, but remember that one of his potatoes still needs a skin, and one of his ears of corn a stalk. The expense for this importation is slight, the outlay secure; a savings bank is not securer, and no investment brings in a higher rate of interest. The returns of his fields will be doubled in ten years: he will produce more corn, more meat and more cheese without expending more time or labor, and he will not be driven by constant anxiety to seek for new and unknown means, which do not exist, to make his ground fertile in another manner.... Old bones, soot, ashes, whether washed out or not, and blood of animals and refuse of all kinds ought to be collected in storehouses, and prepared for distribution.... Governments and town police should take precautions for preventing the loss of these materials by a suitable arrangement of drains and closets."—Liebig's "Chemical Letters."

[201] "Every coolie (in China) who carries his produce to market in the morning, brings home two buckets full of manure on a bamboo rod in the evening. The appreciation of manure goes so far that every one knows how much a man secretes in a day, a month and a year, and the Chinaman considers it more than rude if his guest leaves his house carrying with him a benefit to which his host thinks himself justly entitled as a return for his hospitality.... Every substance derived from plants or animals is carefully collected and used as manure by the Chinese.... To complete the idea of the importance attached to animal refuse, it will suffice to mention the fact that the barbers carefully collect and trade with the hairs cut from the heads and beards of the hundred millions of customers whom they daily shave. The Chinese are acquainted with the use of gypsum and chalk, and it not infrequently occurs that they renew the plaster in their kitchens merely for the purpose of using the old plaster as manure."—Liebig's "Chemical Letters."

[202] Karl Schober, Address delivered on the agricultural, municipal and national economic significance of city refuse; Berlin, 1877.

[203] "Life, Its Elements and the Means of Its Conservation."

[204] According to the census of 1890, Germany had 26 large cities of over 100,000 inhabitants each. In 1871 it had only 8 of them. In 1871, Berlin had, in round figures, 826,000 inhabitants; in 1890 it had 1,578,794—it had almost doubled. A number of these large cities were compelled to take within their municipalities the contiguous industrial towns, that in themselves had populations large enough for cities. Through the process, the population of the former rose immediately. Thus, within the period of 1885 to 1890, Leipsic rose from 170,000 to 353,000; Cologne from 161,000 to 282,000; Madgeburg from 114,000 to 201,000; Munich from 270,000 to 345,000 inhabitants, etc. At the same time, most of the other cities that incorporated no contiguous towns increased considerably during that period. Breslau grew from 299,000 to 335,000; Dresden from 246,000 to 276,000; Frankfurt-on-Main from 154,000 to 180,000; Hanover from 140,000 to 163,000; Dusseldorf from 115,000 to 146,000; Nuerenberg from 115,000 to 142,000; Chemnitz from 111,000 to 139,000 inhabitants. Similar growths were also registered by many middle-sized cities of 50,000 to 100,000 inhabitants.

[In the United States, the concentration of population in large cities has been marked. In 1790 only 3.4 per cent. of the total population lived in cities. The proportion of urban to the total population then grew from census year to census year (decade to decade) as follows: 4.0 in 1800; 4.9 in 1810; 4.9 in 1820; 6.7 in 1830; 8.5 in 1840; 12.5 in 1850; 16.1 in 1860; 20.9 in 1870; 22.6 in 1880; 29.2 in 1890; and 33.1 in 1900. According to the census of 1900 there live 14,208,347 of the population in cities of at least 100,000 inhabitants; 5,549,271 in cities of 25,000 to 100,000 inhabitants; 5,286,375 in cities of 8,000 to 25,000 inhabitants; 3,380,193 in cities of 4,000 to 8,000 inhabitants; and 2,214,136 in cities of 2,500 to 4,000 inhabitants. In country districts there live 45,573,846 of a total population of 76,212,168, including Alaska and Hawaii.—THE TRANSLATOR.]

[205] Prof. Adolf Wagner says in his work "Lehrbuch der politischen Oekonomie von Rau": "Small private holdings in land constitute an economic basis, that can be substituted by no other institution for a most important part of the population—an independent, self-sustaining peasantry, together with its peculiar socio-political position and function." Where, for the sake of his conservative friends, the author does not enthuse a tout prix for the small farmer, he is bound to regard this class as one of the poorest. Under existing circumstances, the small farmer is downright inaccessible to higher culture: he toils at hard labor from early dawn till late, and lives often worse than a dog. Meat, butter, eggs, milk, which he produces, he does not enjoy: he produces them for others: under present circumstances he can not raise himself into better conditions: he thus becomes an element that clogs civilization. He who loves retrogression, seeing he finds his account therein, may also find satisfaction in the continuance of such a social stratum. Human progress demands its disappearance.

[206] At the Erfurt "Union Parliament" of 1850, Prince Bismarck thundered against the large cities as "the hot-beds of revolution," that should be razed to the ground. He was quite right: capitalist society produces its own "grave-diggers" in the modern proletariat.

[207] Frederick Engels, "The Development of Socialism from Utopia to Science."

[208] ["Religion" In English is not quite the same as "Die Religion" in German. For all their etymology is identical, custom and social institutions have imparted to the German term a meaning, or a shade of a meaning, that it lacks in English. "Die Religion" is in Germany a State institution; it is part of the curriculum of colleges; and it is there so utterly creedy, churchianic, and dogmatic that it is a positive abomination even to the students who mean to devote themselves to theology. That, however, even in the German language the word has a varying meaning may be gathered from the epigram of Schiller: "To what religion I belong? To none. Why? Out of religiousness"—literally in German, "out of religion." The reproduction in this translation of the idea conveyed by the term "Die Religion" presented its difficulties. As none could be found in English to convey its varying sense, the word "religion" has been preserved throughout as the nearest equivalent.—THE TRANSLATOR.]

[209] Karl Marx: "Zur Kritik der Hegelschen Rechts-Philosophie."

[210] How the ancients thought upon the subject appears from the following utterance of Aristotle: "A tyrant (the term applied to autocrats in Old Greece) must put on the appearance of uncommon devotion to religion. Subjects are less apprehensive of illegal treatment from a ruler whom they consider god-fearing and pious. On the other hand, they do not easily move against him, believing that he has the gods on his side."—Aristotle's "Politics." Aristotle was born 384 B. C. at Stagira, whence he is frequently called "the Stagirite."

"A prince, then, is to have particular care that nothing falls from his mouth but what is full of the five qualities aforesaid, and that to see and to hear him, he appears all goodness, integrity, humanity and religion, which last he ought to pretend to more than ordinarily because more men do judge by the eye than by the touch; for everybody sees, but few understand; everybody sees how you appear, but few know what in reality you are, and those few dare not oppose the opinion of the multitude who have the majesty of their prince to defend them; and in the actions of all men, especially princes, where no man has power to judge, every one looks to the end. Let a prince, therefore, do what he can to preserve his life, and continue his supremacy, the means which he uses shall be thought honorable, and be commended by everybody; because the people are always taken with the appearance and event of things, and, the greatest part of the world consists of the people; those few who are wise taking place when the multitude has nothing else to rely upon."—Macchiavelli in his celebrated work, "The Prince." Macchiavelli was born in Florence, 1469.

[211] Whenever the modern bourgeois is at a loss for reasons to justify some enormity with, a thousand to one he falls back upon "morality." In the spring of 1894, it went so far that, at a meeting of the Evangelical Synod, a "liberal" member of the Berlin Chamber of the Exchequer pronounced it "moral" that only taxpayers should have the right to vote at Church meetings (!)

[212] "A certain degree of well-being and culture is a necessary external condition for the development of the philosophic spirit.... Thence we find that people began to philosophize only in those nations, that had raised themselves to a considerable height of well-being and culture."—Tennemann, quoted by Buckle in a foot note, ubi supra.

"Material and intellectual interests go hand in hand. The one can not exist without the other. Between the two there is the same connection as between body and soul: to separate them is to bring on death."—v. Thuenen's "Der Isolirte Staat."

"The best life, as well for the individual in particular, as for the State in general, is that life in which virtue is decked out with external goods also, sufficient to make possible an active indulgence in beautiful and good actions."—Aristotle's "Politics."

[213] When Eugene Richter in his "Irrelehren" (False Doctrines) repeats the old wornout phrase about the Socialists aiming at a "Penitentiary State"—that the question is no longer about a "State" will have by this time become clear to our readers—he presupposes the existence of a "State" or social order that will violate its own interests. A new State or social order radically different from the preceding one can not possibly be produced at will; to imagine such a thing would be to ignore and deny all the laws of development, obedient to which State and Society have hitherto risen and developed. Eugen Richter and those who share his views may take comfort: if Socialism really implies the silly and unnatural aims imputed to it by them, it will go to pieces, and without the aid of the "Irrelehren" of Richter. But it happens that there is no political party that stands as squarely and logically upon the evolutionary field as the Social Democratic.

Quite as unfounded as all the other objections are the remarks of Eugene Richter: "For a social condition, such as the Socialists want, the people must be angels." As is well known, there are no angels, nor do we need any. Partly are men influenced by conditions, and partly are conditions influenced by men, and the latter will be increasingly the case in the measure that men learn to know the nature of the social system that they themselves rear, and in the measure that the experience thus gathered is consciously applied by them by corresponding changes in their social organization,—and that is Socialism. What we need is not other people, but wiser and more intelligent people than most of them are to-day. It is with the end in view of making people wiser and more intelligent that we agitate, Herr Richter, and that we publish works like this one.

[214] It is surprising that, considering the fathomless blockishness of our adversaries, none has yet claimed that in Socialist society everyone would receive an equal portion of food and an equal quantity of linen and clothing so as to "crown the work of uniformity." Such a claim is quite stupid enough to expect its being made by our opponents.

[215] Fourier made this the subject of a brilliant argument, although he ran into utopianism in the elaboration of his ideas.

[216] Condorcet demands in his plan of education: "Education must be free, equal, general, bodily, mental, industrial and political, and it must aim at real and actual equality."

Likewise Rousseau in his "Political Economy": "Above all, education must be public, equal and mixed, for the purpose of raising men and citizens."

Aristotle also demands: "Seeing the State has but one object, it must also provide one and the same education for all its members. The care hereof must be the concern of the State and not a private affair."

[217] Eugene Richter among them, in his "Irrelehren."

[218] "America's Bildungswesen," by Prof. Emil Hausknecht.

[219] "The person who has led an honorable and active life until old age should not then have to live either on the charity of his children or of bourgeois society. An independent old age, free from cares or toil, is the natural reward for continuous exertions in the days of strength and health."—v. Thuenen's "Der Isolirte Staat." But how is it to-day in this bourgeois society? Millions look with dread towards the time when, having grown old, they are thrown upon the street. And our industrial system causes people to age prematurely. The very much boasted about old-age and invalid pensions in the German Empire afford but a very scanty substitute: even its most zealous defenders admit that. Their aids are still more inadequate than the pensions which the municipalities allow to the large majority of the officials whom they provide with pensions.

[220] [It is a feature of theology to be positive, precise and emphatic in descriptions of what the describer knows nothing about. No less theologic, in this sense of the term, are negative assertions concerning matters that science has not yet illumined. Whether "to be dead means to be ended" or not, is no part either of the general question of Socialism, or the specific question of Woman. Nevertheless, while respecting the author's private opinion in the matter, and leaving his sentence untouched, the following phrasing would seem preferable, as free from the taint of what may be called the "theologic method," and also more in keeping with the mental posture of positive knowledge: "Whether to be dead means to be ended or not, is a matter on which man awaits the fiat of Science."—THE TRANSLATOR.]

[221] [It is otherwise in the United States, where, as a rule, clergymen have to "hustle"—both to curry favor with their parishioners and to countermine the mines laid by their competitors for fatter "calls," or by their numerous unemployed "brothers of the cloth." According to the census of 1900, clergymen had the very highest death rate (23.5) among the professional occupations for the registration area,—and it was among the highest altogether. It was excelled only by the death rate of the coopers (23.8); of the millers, flour and grist, (26.6); of the sailors, pilots, fishermen and oystermen (27.7); and of the stock raisers, herders and drovers (32.1). The census also shows that the death rate of clergymen is on the increase—18.2 in 1890; now 23.5.—THE TRANSLATOR.]

[222] Herr Eugen Richter in his "Irrelehren" is also raving mad over the idea of abolishing the private kitchen. As far as we know, Herr Richter is a bachelor. Obviously he does not miss his own kitchen: to judge from the rotundity of his body, he does not fare ill. If Herr Richter were a married man and possessed a wife, who had herself to administer the kitchen department and to perform in it the needed work, instead of leaving all that to servants, as is the fashion with the women of the property classes, then, a hundred to one his wife would nicely prove to him how happy she would be if she only could be freed from the bondage of the kitchen through the large and thoroughly equipped communal institute for meals.

[223] Niemeyer, "Gesundheitslehre."




This chapter can be condensed in few words. It only contains the conclusions that flow from what has been said, conclusions that the reader may draw for himself.

The woman of future society is socially and economically independent; she is no longer subject to even a vestige of dominion and exploitation; she is free, the peer of man, mistress of her lot. Her education is the same as that of man, with such exceptions as the difference of sex and sexual functions demand. Living under natural conditions, she is able to unfold and exercise her mental powers and faculties. She chooses her occupation on such field as corresponds with her wishes, inclinations and natural abilities, and she works under conditions identical with man's. Even if engaged as a practical working-woman on some field or other, at other times of the day she may be educator, teacher or nurse, at yet others she may exercise herself in art, or cultivate some branch of science, and at yet others may be filling some administrative function. She joins in studies, enjoyments or social intercourse with either her sisters or with men,—as she may please or occasion may serve.

In the choice of love, she is, like man, free and unhampered. She woos or is wooed, and closes the bond from no considerations other than her own inclinations. This bond is a private contract, celebrated without the intervention of any functionary—just as marriage was a private contract until deep in the Middle Ages. Socialism creates in this nothing new: it merely restores, at a higher level of civilization and under new social forms, that which prevailed at a more primitive social stage, and before private property began to rule society.

Under the proviso that he inflict injury upon none, the individual shall himself oversee the satisfaction of his own instincts. The satisfaction of the sexual instinct is as much a private concern as the satisfaction of any other natural instinct. None is therefor accountable to others, and no unsolicited judge may interfere. How I shall eat, how I shall drink, how I shall sleep, how I shall clothe myself, is my private affair,—exactly so my intercourse with a person of the opposite sex. Intelligence and culture, perfect individual freedom—qualities that become normal through the education and the conditions of future society—will guard everyone against the commission of acts that will redound to his injury. Self-training and the knowledge of their own being are possessions of the men and the women of future society to a degree much above the present. The simple circumstance that all bashful prudery and affectation of secrecy regarding natural matters will have vanished is a guarantee of a more natural intercourse of the sexes than that which prevails to-day. If incompatibility, disenchantment, or repulsion set in between two persons that have come together, morality commands that the unnatural, and therefore immoral, bond be dissolved. Seeing, moreover, that all the circumstances and conditions, which until then condemned large numbers of women to celibacy and to prostitution, will have vanished, man can no longer superimpose himself. On the other hand, the completely changed social conditions will have removed the numerous inconveniences that to-day affect married life, that often prevent its favorable unfolding, or that even render it wholly impossible.

The contradictions in and the unnatural features of the present position of woman are realized with ever increasing force in wide social circles. The sentiment finds lively utterance in the literature of the Social Question as well as in works of fiction,—often, it must be confessed, in wrongful manner. That the present form of marriage corresponds ever less with its purpose, no thinking person any longer denies. Thus is seen the phenomenon of the demand for freedom in the choice of love, and for the untrammeled dissolution of the marriage bond, when necessary, made by people who refuse to draw the requisite conclusions for the change of the present social system. They believe that the freedom of sexual intercourse must be asserted only in behalf of the privileged classes. In a polemic against Fanny Lewald's efforts in behalf of the emancipation of woman, Mathilde Reichhardt-Stromberg expresses herself this wise:

"If you (Fanny Lewald) claim the complete equality of woman with man in social and political life, George Sand also must be right in her struggles for emancipation, which aim no further than at what man has long been in undisputed possession of. Indeed, there is no reasonable ground for admitting the head and not the heart of woman to this equality, to give and to take as freely as man. On the contrary, if woman has by nature the right, and, consequently, also the duty—for we should not bury the talent bestowed upon us—of exerting her brain tissue to the utmost in the race with the intellectual Titans of the opposite sex, she must then have precisely the same right to preserve her equilibrium by quickening the circulation of her heart's blood in whatever way it may seem good to her. Do we not all read without the slightest moral indignation how Goethe—to begin with the greatest as an illustration—again and again wasted the warmth of his heart and the enthusiasm of his great soul on a different woman? Reasonable people regard this as perfectly natural by the very reason of the greatness of his soul, and the difficulty of satisfying it. Only the narrow-minded moralist stops to condemn his conduct. Why, then, deride the 'great souls' among women!... Let us suppose that the whole female sex consisted of great souls like George Sand, that every woman were a Lucretia Floriani, whose children are all children of love and who brought up all these children with true motherly love and devotion, as well as with intelligence and good sense. What would become of the world? There can be no doubt that it could continue to exist and to progress, just as it does now; it might even feel exceptionally comfortable under the arrangement."[224]

Accordingly, Mathilde Reichhardt-Stromberg is of the opinion that, if every woman were a Lucretia Floriani, that is, a great soul like George Sand, who draws her own picture in Lucretia Floriani, they should be free for the "preservation of their equilibrium to quicken the circulation of their heart's blood in whatever way it may seem good to them." But why should that be the privilege of the "great souls" only, and not of the others also, who are no "great souls," and can be none? No such difference exists to us. If a Goethe and a George Sand—to take these two from the many who have acted and are acting like them—live according to the inclinations of their hearts—and about Goethe's love affairs whole libraries are published that are devoured by his male and female admirers in wrapt ecstasy—why condemn in others that, which done by a Goethe or a George Sand, becomes the subject of ecstatic admiration?

Indeed, such freedom in the choice of love is an impossibility in bourgeois society. This fact was the objective point in our preceding array of evidence. But place the whole community under social conditions similar to those enjoyed by the material and intellectual elect, and forthwith the opportunity is there of equal rights and freedom for all. In "Jacques," George Sand depicts a husband who judges the adulterous relations of his wife with another man in these words: "No human being can command love; and none is guilty if he feels, or goes without it. What degrades the woman is the lie: what constitutes her adultery is not the hour that she grants to her lover, but the night that she thereupon spends with her husband." Thanks to this view of the matter, Jacques feels obliged to yield the place to his rival, Borel, and he proceeds to philosophize: "Borel, in my place, would have quietly beaten his wife, and perhaps would not have blushed to receive her afterwards into his bed, debased by his blows and his kisses. There are men who cut the throat of an unfaithful wife without ceremony, after the fashion of the Orientals, because they consider her as legal property. Others fight with their rival, kill him or drive him away, and again seek the kisses of the woman they pretend to love, and who shrinks from them with horror, or resigns herself in despair. These, in cases of conjugal love, are the most common ways of acting, and I say that the love of the hogs is less vile and less gross than that of these men." Commenting on these passages, Brandes observes: "These truths, which are considered elemental with our cultured classes, were 'sophisms that cried to heaven' only fifty years ago." But the "property and cultured world" dare not to this day openly avow the principles of George Sand, although, in point of fact, it lives up to them in the main. As in morality and religion, the bourgeois is a hypocrite in marriage also.

What Goethe and George Sand did, has been done and continues to be done by thousands of others, who are not to be compared with Goethe, yet without in the least losing the esteem and respect of society. All that is needed is a respectable position, the rest comes of itself. All this notwithstanding, the liberties of a Goethe and a George Sand are improper, judged from the standpoint of bourgeois morality, and stand in contradiction with the nature of its social principles. Compulsory marriage is the normal marriage of bourgeois society: it is the only "moral" union of the sexes: all other sexual union, by whomsoever entered into, is immoral. Bourgeois marriage—we have proved the point beyond cavil—is the result of bourgeois property relations. This marriage, which is intimately related with private property and the right of inheritance—demands "legitimate" children as heirs: it is entered into for the purpose of acquiring these: under the pressure of social conditions, it is forced even upon those who have nothing to bequeath:[225] it becomes a social law, the violation of which the State punishes by imprisoning for a term of years the men or women who live in adultery and have been divorced.

In future society there is nothing to bequeath, unless the domestic equipment and personal inventory be regarded as inheritance: the modern form of marriage is thus devoid of foundation and collapses. The question of inheritance is thereby solved, and Socialism need not concern itself about abolishing the same. No right of inheritance can arise where there is no private property.

Woman is, accordingly, free, and her children, where she has any, do not impair her freedom: they can only fill all the fuller the cup of her enjoyments and her pleasure in life. Nurses, teachers, female friends, the rising female generations—all these are ready at hand to help the mother when she needs help.

It is possible that there may be men in the future who will say with Alexander von Humboldt: "I am not built for the father of a family. Moreover, I consider marriage a sin, and the begetting of children a crime." What of it? The power of natural instincts will restore the equilibrium. We are alarmed neither by a Humboldt's hostility to marriage nor by the philosophic pessimism of a Schopenhauer, a Mainlaender or a v. Hartmann, who raise to man the prospect of self-destruction in the "ideal State," In this matter we hold with Fr. Ratzel, who justly says:

"Man may no longer look upon himself as an exception to the laws of Nature; he should rather begin at last to ascertain the law that underlies his own acts and thoughts, and to endeavor to live his life according to the laws of Nature. He will arrive at the point when he will arrange his social life with his fellows, that is, his family and the State, not after the precepts of far-back centuries, but after the rational principles of natural sense. Politics, morals, principles of justice—all of which are at present fed from all possible sources—will be determined according to the laws of Nature alone. An existence worthy of human beings, dreamed of for thousands of years, will finally become reality."[226]

That day is approaching with giant strides. Human society has traversed, in the course of thousands of years, all the various phases of development, to arrive in the end where it started from,—communistic property and complete equality and fraternity, but no longer among congeners alone, but among the whole human race. In that does the great progress consist. What bourgeois society has vainly striven for, and at which it suffers and is bound to suffer shipwreck—the restoration of freedom, equality and fraternity among men—Socialism will accomplish. Bourgeois society could only set up the theory; here, as in so many other respects, their practice was at odds with their theories. It is for Socialism to harmonize the theory with the practice.

Nevertheless, while man returns to the starting point in his development, the return is effected upon an infinitely higher social plane than that from which he started. Primitive society held property in common in the gens and clan, but only in the rawest and most undeveloped stage. The process of development that took place since, reduced, it is true, the common property to a small and insignificant vestige, broke up the gentes, and finally atomized the whole of society; but, simultaneously, it raised mightily the productivity of that society in its various phases and the manifoldness of social necessities, and it created out of the gentes and tribes nations and great States, although again it produced a condition of things that stood in violent contradiction with social requirements. The task of the future is to end the contradiction by the re-transformation upon the broadest basis, of property and productive powers into collective property.

Society re-takes what once was its own, but, in accord with the newly created conditions of production, it places its whole mode of life upon the highest stage of culture, which enables all to enjoy what under more primitive circumstances was the privilege of individuals or of individual classes only.

Now woman again fills the active role that once was hers in primitive society. She does not become the mistress, she is the equal of man.

"The end of social development resembles the beginning of human existence. The original equality returns. The mother-web of existence starts and rounds up the cycle of human affairs"—thus writes Bachofen, in his frequently quoted work "Das Mutterrecht," forecasting coming events. Like Bachofen, Morgan also passes judgment upon bourgeois society, a judgment that, without his having any particular information on Socialism, coincides essentially with our own. He says:

"Since the advent of civilization, the outgrowth of property has been so immense, its forms so diversified, its uses so expanding and its management so intelligent in the interests of its owners, that it has become, on the part of the people, an unmanageable power. The human mind stands bewildered in the presence of its own creation. The time will come, nevertheless, when human intelligence will rise to the mastery over property, and define the relations of the State to the property it protects, as well as the obligations and the limits of the rights of its owners. The interests of society are paramount to individual interests, and the two must be brought into just and harmonious relations. A mere property career is not the final destiny of mankind, if progress is to be the law of the future as it has been of the past. The time which has passed away since civilization began is but a fragment of the past duration of man's existence; and but a fragment of the ages yet to come. The dissolution of society bids fair to become the termination of a career of which property is the end and aim; because such a career contains the elements of self-destruction. Democracy in government, brotherhood in society, equality in rights and privileges, and universal education, foreshadow the next higher plane of society to which experience, intelligence and knowledge are steadily tending. It will be a revival, in a higher form, of the liberty, equality and fraternity of the ancient gentes."[227]

Thus we see how men, proceeding from different starting-points, are guided by their scientific investigations to the identical conclusions. The complete emancipation of woman, and her equality with man is the final goal of our social development, whose realization no power on earth can prevent;—and this realization is possible only by a social change that shall abolish the rule of man over man—hence also of capitalists over workingmen. Only then will the human race reach its highest development. The "Golden Age" that man has been dreaming of for thousands of years, and after which he has been longing, will have come at last. Class rule will have reached its end for all time, and, along with it, the rule of man over woman.


[224] "Frauenrecht und Frauenpflilcht. Eine Antwort auf Fanny Lewald's Briefe 'Fuer und wider die Frauen.'"

[225] In his work "Bau und Leben des sozialen Koerpers" (The Structure and Life of the Social Body), Dr. Schaeffle says: "A loosening of the bonds of matrimony by the facilitation of divorce is certainly undesirable. It flies in the face of the moral objects of human pairing, and would be injurious to the preservation of the population as well as the education of the children." After what has been said herein it follows that we not only consider this view wrong, but are inclined to regard it as "immoral." Nevertheless, Dr. Schaeffle will allow that the idea of introducing and maintaining institutions that do violence to its own conceptions of morality, is simply unimaginable in a society of much higher culture than the present.

[226] Quoted in Haeckel's "Natuerliche Schoepfungsgeschichte."

[227] Morgan's "Ancient Society."




In the very nature of things, an existence worthy of human beings can never be the exclusive possession of a single privileged people. Isolated from all others, no nation could either raise or keep up such an establishment. The development that we have reached is the product of the co-operation of national and international forces and relations. Although with many the national idea still wholly sways the mind, and subserves the purpose of maintaining political and social dominations, possible only within national boundaries, the human race has reached far into internationalism.

Treaties of commerce, of tariffs and of shipping, postal unions, international expositions, conventions on international law and on international systems of measurement, international scientific congresses and associations, international expeditions of discovery, our trade and intercommunication, especially the international congresses of workingmen, who are the carriers of the new social order and to whose moral influence was mainly due the international congress for factory legislation in the interest of the workingmen, assembled in Berlin in the spring of 1890 upon the invitation of the German Empire,—these and many other phenomena testify to the international character that, despite national demarcations, the relations between the various civilized nations have assumed. National boundary lines are being broken through. The term "world's economy" is taking the place of "national economy": an increasing significance is attaching to it, seeing that upon it depends the well-being and prosperity of individual nations. A large part of our own products is exchanged for those of foreign nations, without which we could no longer exist. As one branch of industry is injured when another suffers, so likewise does the production of one nation suffer materially when that of another is paralyzed. Despite all such transitory disturbances as wars and race persecutions, the relations of the several nations draw ever closer, because material interests, the strongest of all, dominate them. Each new highway, every improvement in the means of intercommunication, every invention or improvement in the process of production, whereby goods are made cheaper, strengthens these relations. The ease with which personal contact can be established between distantly located countries and peoples is a new and powerful link in the chain that draws and holds the nations together. Emigrations and colonizations are additional and powerful levers. One people learns from the other. Each seeks to excel. Along with the interchange of material products, the interchange of the products of the mind is going on, in the original tongue as well as in translations. To millions the learning of foreign living languages becomes a necessity. Next to material advantages, nothing contributes more towards removing antipathies than to penetrate into the language and the intellectual products of a foreign people.

The effect of this process of drawing together, that is going on upon an international scale, is that the several nations are resembling one another ever more in their social conditions. With the most advanced, and therefore pace-setting nations, the resemblance is now such that he who has learned to understand the social structure of one, likewise knows that of all the others in essentials. It happens similarly as in Nature where, among animals of the same species the skeleton formation and organization is the same, and, if in possession of a part of such a skeleton, one can theoretically construct the whole animal.

A further result is this, that where the same social foundations are found, their effects must be the same—the accumulation of vast wealth, and its opposite pole of mass-poverty, wage-slavery, dependence of the masses upon the machinery of production, their domination by the property-holding minority, and the rest of the long train of consequences.

Indeed, we see that the class antagonisms and the class struggles, that rage throughout Germany, equally keep all Europe, the United States, Australia, etc., in commotion. In Europe, from Russia across to Portugal, from the Balkans, Hungary and Italy across to England and Ireland, the same spirit of discontent is prevalent, the identical symptoms of social fermentation, of general apprehension and of decomposition are noticeable. Externally unlike, according to the degree of development, the character of the people and their political organization, these movements are all essentially alike. Deep-reaching social antagonisms are their cause. Every year these antagonisms become more pronounced, the fermentation and discontent sinks deeper and spreads wider, until finally some provocation, possibly insignificant in seeming, brings on the explosion, that then spreads like lightning throughout the civilized world, and calls upon the people to take sides—pro or con.

The battle is then on between New and Old Society. Masses of people step upon the stage; an abundance of intelligence is enlisted, such as the world never before saw engaged in any contest, and never again will see gathered for such a purpose. It is the last social struggle of all. Standing at the elevation of this century, the sight is obvious of the steady coming to a head of the forces for the struggle in which the New Ideas will triumph.

The new social system will then rear itself upon an international basis. The peoples will fraternize; they will reach one another the hand, and they will endeavor to gradually extend the new conditions over all the races of the earth.[228] No people any longer approaches another as an enemy, bent upon oppression and exploitation; or as the representative of a strange creed that it seeks to impose upon others;—they will meet one another as friends, who seek to raise all human beings to the height of civilization. The labors of the new social order in its work of colonization and civilization will differ as essentially in both purpose and method from the present, as the two social orders are essentially different from each other. Neither powder nor lead, neither "firewater" (liquor) nor Bible will be used. The task of civilization is entered upon with the instruments of peace, which will present the civilizers to the savages, not as enemies, but as benefactors. Intelligent travelers and investigators have long learned to know how successful is that path.

When the civilized peoples shall have reached the point of joining in a large federation, the time will have come when for evermore the storms of war shall have been lain. Perpetual peace is no dream, as the gentlemen who strut about in uniforms seek to make people believe. That day shall have come the moment the peoples shall have understood their true interests: these are not promoted by war and dissension, by armaments that bear down whole nations; they are promoted by peaceful, mutual understandings, and jointly laboring in the path of civilization. Moreover, as was shown on page 238, the ruling classes and their Governments are seeing to it that the military armaments and wars break their own backs by their own immensity. Thus the last weapons will wander into the museums of antiquity, as so many of their predecessors have done before, and serve as witnesses to future generations of the manner in which the generations gone by have for thousands of years frequently torn up one another like wild animals—until finally the human in them triumphed over the beast.

National peculiarities are everywhere nourished by the ruling classes in order that, at a given conjuncture, a great war may furnish a drainage for dangerous tendencies at home. As a proof of the extent to which these national peculiarities engender wars, an utterance of the late General Fieldmarshal Moltke may here be quoted. In the last volume of his posthumous work, which deals with the German-French war of 1870-71, this passage occurs among others in the introductory observations:

"So long as nations lead separate existences there will be dissensions that only strokes can arbitrate. In the interest of humanity, however, it is to be hoped that wars may become as much rarer as they have become more fearful."

Now then, this national separate existence, that is, the hostile shutting off of one nation from another, will vanish. Thus future generations will be able to achieve without trouble tasks that gifted heads have long conceived, and unsuccessfully attempted to accomplish. Condorcet, among others, conceived the idea of an international language. The late Ulysses S. Grant, ex-President of the United States, uttered himself this wise on a public occasion: "Seeing that commerce, education and the rapid exchange of thought and of goods by telegraphy and steam have altered everything, I believe that God is preparing the world to become one nation, to speak one language and to reach a state of perfection in which armies and navies will no longer be needed." It is natural that with a full-blooded Yankee the leading role be played by the "dear God," who, after all, is but the product of historic development. Hypocrisy, or perhaps also ignorance in matters that concern religion, is nowhere as stupendous as in the United States. The less the power of the State presses upon the masses, all the more must religion do the work. Hence the phenomenon that the bourgeoisie is most pious wherever the power of the State is laxest. Next to the United States, come England, Belgium and Switzerland in this matter. Even the revolutionary Robespierre, who played with the heads of aristocrats and priests as with nine-pin balls, was, as is known, very religious, whence he ceremoniously introduced the "Supreme Being," which shortly before had, with equal bad taste, been dethroned by the Convention. And seeing that the frivolous and idle aristocrats of France had been greatly bragging about their atheism, Robespierre regarded atheism as aristocratic, and denounced it in his speech to the Convention on the "Supreme Being" with these words: "Atheism is aristocratic. The idea of a Supreme Being, that watches over oppressed innocence and punishes triumphant crime, comes from the people. If there were no God, one would have to be invented." The virtuous Robespierre had his misgivings concerning the power of his virtuous republic to cancel the existing social antagonisms, hence his belief in a Supreme Being that wreaks vengeance and seeks to smooth the difficulties that the people of his time were unable to smooth. Hence also was such a belief a necessity to the first republic.

One step in progress will bring another. Mankind will ever set new tasks to itself, and the accomplishment of the same will lead it to such a degree of social development that wars, religious quarrels and similar manifestations of barbarism will be unknown.


[228] "National and human interests stand to-day opposed to each other. At a higher stage of civilization these interests will coincide and become one."—v. Thuenen, "Der Isolirte Staat."




It has become quite fashionable with people who occupy themselves with the social question to consider the question of population as the most important and burning of all. They claim that we are threatened with "over-population;" aye, that the danger is upon us. This, more than any other division of the Social Question, must be treated from an international standpoint. The feeding and the distribution of the people have pre-eminently become international issues of fact. Since Malthus, the law underlying the increase of population has been the subject of extensive dispute. In his celebrated and now notorious "Essay on the Principles of Population," which Marx has characterized as a "school-boyish, superficial and pulpiteer piece of declamatory plagiarism on Sir James Stewart, Townsend, Franklin, Wallace and others" and which "contains not one original sentence," Malthus lays down the proposition that mankind has the tendency to increase in geometric progression (1, 2, 4, 8, 16, 32, etc.), while food could increase only in arithmetic progression (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, etc.); and that the consequence is a rapid disproportion between the numbers of the population and the supply of food, that inevitably leads to want and starvation. The final conclusion was the necessity of "abstinence" in the procreation of children, and abstinence from marriage without sufficient means for the support of a family, contrariwise there would be no place at "the banquet table of Nature" for the descendants.

The fear of over-population is very old. It was touched upon in this work in connection with the social conditions of the Greeks and Romans, and at the close of the Middle Ages. Plato and Aristotle, the Romans, the small bourgeois of the Middle Ages were all swayed by it, and it even swayed Voltaire, who, in the first quarter of the eighteenth century, published a treatise on the subject. The fear ever turns up again—this circumstance must be emphasized—at periods when the existing social conditions are disintegrating and breaking down. Seeing on all sides privation and discontent at such periods, the privation and discontent are forthwith ascribed to the shortness of the supply of food, instead of to the manner in which the existing supply is distributed.

All advanced social stages have hitherto rested upon class-rule, and the principal means of class-rule was the appropriation of the land. The land gradually slips from the hands of a large number of proprietors into those of a small number that utilize and cultivate it only partially. The large majority are rendered propertyless and are stripped of the means of existence; their share of food then depends upon the good will of their masters, for whom they now have to work. According to the social condition of things, the struggle for the land takes its form from period to period; the end, however, was that the land continued steadily to concentrate in the hands of the ruling class. If undeveloped means of transportation or political isolation impede the intercourse abroad of a community and interfere with the importation of food when the crops fail and provisions are dear, forthwith the belief springs up that there are too many people. Under such circumstances, every increase in the family is felt as a burden; the specter of over-population rises; and the terror that it spreads is in direct proportion to the concentration of the land in few hands, together with its train of evils—the partial cultivation of the soil, and its being turned to purposes of pleasure for its owners. Rome and Italy were poorest off for food at the time when the whole soil of Italy was held by about 3,000 latifundia owners. Hence the cry: "The latifundia are ruining Rome!" The soil was converted into vast hunting-grounds and wonderful pleasure-gardens; not infrequently it was allowed to be idle, seeing that its cultivation, even by slaves, came out dearer to the magnates than the grain imported from Sicily and Africa. It was a state of things that opened wide the doors for usury in grain, a practice in which the rich nobility likewise led. In consideration of this usury of grain the domestic soil was kept from cultivation. Thereupon the impoverished Roman citizen and the impoverished aristocracy resolved to renounce marriage and the begetting of children; hence the laws placing premiums on marriage and children in order to check the steady decrease of the ruling classes.

The same phenomenon appeared towards the close of the Middle Ages, after the nobility and clergy had, in the course of centuries and with the aid of all the crafty and violent means at their command, robbed unnumbered peasants of their property and appropriated the common lands to themselves. When, thereupon, the peasants revolted and were beaten down, the robber-trade gained new impetus, and it was then also practiced upon the Church estates by the Princes of the Reformation. The number of thieves, beggars and vagabonds was never larger than immediately before and after the Reformation. The expropriated rural population rushed to the cities; but there, due to causes that have been described in previous pages, the conditions of life were likewise deteriorating,—hence "over-population" was felt all around.

The appearance of Malthus coincides with that period of English industry when, due to the inventions of Hargreaves, Arkwright and Watt, powerful changes set in both in mechanism and technique, changes that affected, first of all, the cotton and linen industries, and rendered breadless the workingmen engaged in them. The concentration of capital and land assumed at the time large proportions in England: along with the rapid increase of wealth, on the one hand, there went the deepening misery of the masses, on the other. At such a juncture, the ruling classes, who have every reason to consider the existing world the "best of all possible worlds," were bound to seek an explanation for so contradictory a phenomenon as the pauperization of the masses in the midst of swelling wealth and flourishing industry. Nothing was easier than to throw the blame upon the too-rapid procreation of the workingmen, and not upon their having been rendered superfluous through the capitalist process of production, and the accumulation of the soil in the hands of landlords. With such circumstances for its setting, the "school-boyish, superficial and pulpiteer piece of declamatory plagiarism," that Malthus published, was a work that gave drastic utterance to the secret thoughts and wishes of the ruling class, and justified their misdeeds to the world. Hence the loud applause that it met from one side, and violent opposition from another. Malthus had spoken the right word at the right time for the English bourgeoisie; hence, although his essay "contained not one original sentence," he became a great and celebrated man, and his name a synonym for the doctrine.[229]

Now, then, the conditions that caused Malthus thus to give his signal of alarm and proclaim his brutal doctrine—he addressed it to the working class, thus adding insult to injury—have since grown worse from decade to decade. They have grown worse, not alone in the fatherland of Malthus, Great Britain, but in all the countries of the world run by the capitalist system of production, whose consequences ever are the robbery of the soil and the dependence and subjugation of the masses through machinery and the factory. This system consists, as has been shown, in the separation of the workingman from his means of production—be these land or tools—and in the transfer of the latter to the capitalist class. That system produces ever new branches of industry, develops and concentrates them, and thereby throws ever larger masses of the people upon the street as "superfluous." On the field of agriculture it promotes, as the Rome of old, the latifundia ownership with all its sequences. Ireland, in this respect the classic land of Europe, and afflicted worst of all by the English system of land-grabbing, had in 1887 an area of 884.4 square miles of meadow and pasture land, but only 263.3 square miles of agricultural fields and the conversion of agricultural fields into meadows and pastures for sheep and cattle and into hunting grounds for the landlords makes every year further strides.[230]

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