And yet the picture presented by these statistics falls by far short of the reality. It has not been ascertained among how many owners these 5,276,344 farms are divided. The number of owners is far smaller than that of the farms themselves: many are the owners of dozens of farms: it is in the instance of large farms, in particular, that many are held by one proprietor. A knowledge of the concentration of land is of the highest socio-political importance, yet on this point the agricultural statistics of 1882 leave us greatly in the lurch. A few facts are, nevertheless, ascertained from other sources, and they give an approximate picture of the reality. The percentages of large landed property—over 100 hectares—to the aggregate agricultural property was as follows:—
Provinces. Percentage. Provinces. Percentage. Pomerania 64.87 Brandenburg 42.60 Posen 61.22 Silesia 42.14 West Prussia 54.41 Saxony 30.89 East Prussia 41.79 Schleswig-Holstein 18.03
According to the memorial of the Prussian Minister of Agriculture, published in the bulletin of the Prussian Bureau of Statistics, the number of middle class farms sank, from 354,610 with 35,260,084 acres, in 1816, to 344,737 with 33,498,433 acres, in 1859. The number of these farms had, accordingly, decreased within that period by 9,873, and peasant property had been wiped out to the volume of 1,711,641 acres. The inquiry extended only to the provinces of Prussia, Posen (from 1823 on), Pomerania, exclusive of Stralsund; Brandenburg, Saxony, Silesia, and Westphalia.
What disappears as peasant property usually goes into large estates. In 1885, in the province of Pomerania, 62 proprietors held 118 estates; in 1891, however, the same number of proprietors held 203 estates with an area of 147,139 hectares. Altogether, there were in the province of Pomerania, in 1891, 1,353 noble and bourgeois landlords, owning 2,258 estates with 1,247,201 hectares. The estates averaged 551 hectares in size.
Our eastern provinces give this table of landlords for the year 1888:—
Prince of Hohenlohe-Oehringen 39,365 hectares Prince of Sigmaringen 29,611 " Prince of Thurn and Taxis 24,482 " Prince Bismarck 18,600 " Prince Radziwill 16,398 " Duke of Milzinski 13,933 " Representative Kennemann 10,482 " Duke Serg. v. Czarnecki 9,263 " v. Hansemann 7,734 " Etc., etc., etc.
We see that we here have to do with owners of latifundia of first rank; and a portion of these gentlemen own also large estates in Southern Germany and Austria.
According to Conrad, there were in the year 1888, in East Prussia, 547 entails, of which 153 were instituted before the beginning of the nineteenth century. Entailed land is property that an heir can neither mortgage, divide nor alienate. The owner may go into bankruptcy through a dissolute life, but the entail and the income that flows therefrom remain unseizable. These entails, which only the very rich can institute, are steadily increasing in number since the last decades. The 547 entails in existence in the eastern provinces of Prussia in 1888, held by 529 persons, 20 of whom were bourgeois, embraced 1,408,860 hectares, or 2,454 hectares on an average. According to the statistical figures, submitted in the spring of 1894 by the Prussian Minister of Agriculture to the Agrarian Commission, the entails of Prussia embraced at that time 1,833,754 hectares with a net income of 22,992,000 marks. Estimating the holders of entails at 550, each has an unseizable income of 41,800 marks. Assuming, however, that these entails are concentrated in one province, it would mean that the whole province of Schleswig-Holstein, with an area of 1,890,000 hectares, belonged to 550 owners. In 1888 there were in the eastern provinces of Prussia 154 persons—among them 15 ruling Princes (the Kings of Prussia, Saxony, etc.); 89 Dukes, other Princes and Counts; 40 noblemen and 10 bourgeois—who alone owned 1,830 estates aggregating 1,768,648 hectares of land. Probably, the property of these persons has in the meantime increased considerably, seeing that a good portion of the net incomes from these estates is expended in acquiring new ones. The nobility of the first and second rank are the principal elements engaged in this gigantic concentration of landed property; but they are closely followed by the aristocracy of finance, who, with increasing predilection, invest their wealth in land, consisting mainly in magnificent woods, stocked with roe, deer and wild boar, that the owners may gratify their passion for the hunt. A large number of the baronial manors consist of the estates of dispossessed peasants, who were driven from their homes and reduced to day laborers. According to Neumann, in the provinces of East and West Prussia alone, there were from twelve to thirteen thousand small holdings appropriated in that way between 1825 to 1859. This process of dispossessing, proletarianizing the country population by the capitalist landlords, has the laying waste of the land as a natural consequence. The population emigrates, or moves to the cities and industrial centers. Woods and meadows gain upon cultivated lands, the remaining territories are operated with machinery, that render human labor superfluous, or that need such only for short periods during the plowing and sowing seasons, or when the crops are gathered. The rapidly increasing number of movable steam engines, already mentioned, consists mainly of engines employed in the cultivation of the land. The decrease of the rural population, resulting upon these and other causes of secondary nature, is sharply expressed in the statistics on population. Within the eight old provinces of Prussia, the proportion between the rural and the city population revealed, between 1867 and 1890, the following progression:—
Year. City Population. Country Population. 1867 7,452,000 16,568,000 1890 11,783,000 18,173,000 ————— ————— Increase 4,331,000 1,605,000 = 58 per cent. = 9.7 per cent.
The rapidity is obvious with which the city is surpassing the country population. But the situation is still more unfavorable to the country if the fact is considered that 148 communities, with from 5,000 to 40,000 inhabitants, and aggregating a population of 1,281,000 strong, are included in the rural but really belong to the industrial districts. They are essentially proletarian villages, located near large cities. Furthermore, 647 communities, with from 2,000 to 5,000 inhabitants, and aggregating a population of 1,884,000, are likewise included in the rural, while, to a perceptible degree, they belong to the industrial districts.
Similar conditions exist in Saxony and Southern Germany. In Baden and Wurtemberg also the population of many districts is on the decline. The small farmer can no longer hold his head above water; to thousands upon thousands of them the fate of a factory hand is inevitable; they enter the field of industry; and, with the help of their families, they cultivate during leisure hours the plot of land that may still be theirs. At the same time the large landlord's hunger for land knows no bounds; his appetite increases the more peasant lands he devours.
As in Germany so are things developing in neighboring Austria, where large landed property has long ruled almost unchecked. The difference there is that the Catholic Church shares the land with the nobility and the bourgeoisie. The process of smoking-out the farmer is in full swing in Austria. All manner of efforts are put forth in order to push the peasants and mountaineers of Tyrol, Salzburg, Steiermark, Upper and Lower Austria, etc., off their inherited patrimony and to drive them to relinquish their property. The spectacle, once presented to the world by England and Scotland, is now on the boards of the most beautiful and charming regions of Austria. Enormous tracts of land are bought in lump by rich men, and what cannot be bought outright is leased. Access to the valleys, manors, hamlets and even houses is thus barred by these new masters, and stubborn owners of separate small holdings are driven by all manner of chicaneries to dispose of their property at any price to these wealthy owners of the woodlands. Old farmlands, on which numerous generations have been supported for thousands of years, are being transformed into wilderness, in which the roe and the deer house, while the mountains, that the noble or bourgeois capitalist calls his own, become the abode of large herds of chamois. Whole communities are pauperized, the turning of their cattle upon the Alpine pastures being made impossible to them, or their right to do so being even disputed. And who is it that thus raises his hand against the peasant's property and independence? Princes, noblemen and rich bourgeois. Side by side with Rothschild and Baron Mayer-Melnhof are found the Dukes of Koburg and Meiningen, the Princes of Hohenlohe, the Prince of Lichtenstein, the Duke of Braganza, Prince Rosenberg, Prince Pless, the Counts of Schoenfeld, Festetics, Schafgotsca, Trautmannsdorff, the hunting association of the Count of Karolysche, the hunting association of Baron Gustaedtsche, the noble hunting association of Bluehnbacher, etc.
Large landed property is everywhere on the increase in Austria. The number of large landlords rose 9.5 per cent. from 1873 to 1891, and that means a considerable decrease of small holders: land cannot be increased.
In Lower Austria, of a total area embracing 3,544,596 yokes, 521,603 were taken up by large estates (247 owners), and 94,882 yokes by the Church. Nine families alone owned, in the middle of the eighties, 157,000 yokes, among these owners was the Count of Hoyos, with 54,000 yokes. The area of Moravia is 2,222,190 hectares. Of these, the Church held 78,496, 3.53 per cent.; 145 private persons held 525,632, and one of these alone held 107,247 hectares. Of Austrian Silesia's area of 514,085 hectares, the Church owned 50,845, or 9.87 per cent.; 36 landlords owned 134,226, or 26.07 per cent. The area of Bohemia is 5,196,700 hectares: of these the clergy owned 103,459 hectares; 362 private persons owned 1,448,638. This number is distributed among Prince Colloredo-Mansfeld with 58,239 hectares; Prince Fuerstenberg with 39,814; Imperial Duke Waldstein with 37,989; Prince Lichtenstein with 37,937; the Count of Czerin with 32,277; the Count of Clam-Gallas with 31,691; Emperor Franz Joseph with 28,800; the Count von Harrach with 28,047; Prince von Lobkowitz with 27,684; Imperial Count Kinsky with 26,265; the Count of Buquoy with 25,645; the Prince of Thurn and Taxis with 24,777; Prince Schwarzenberg with 24,037; Prince Metternich-Winneburg with 20,002; Prince Auersperg with 19,960; Prince Windischgraetz with 19,920 hectares, etc.
The absorption by the large landlords of the small holdings in land frequently proceeds in "alarming manner." For instance, in the judicial district of Aflenz, community of St. Ilgen, an Alpine hill of over 5,000 yokes, with pasture ground for 300 head of cattle, and a contiguous peasant estate of 700 yokes, was all converted into a hunting ground. The same thing happened with Hoellaep, located in the community of Seewiesen, which had pasture land for 200 head of cattle. In the same judicial district of Aflenz, 47 other pieces of land, holding 840 head of cattle, were gradually absorbed and turned into hunting grounds. Similar doings are reported from all parts of the Alps. In Steiermark, a number of peasants find it more profitable to sell the hay to the lordly hunters as feed for the game in winter, than give it to their own cattle. In the neighborhood of Muerzzuschlag, some peasants no longer keep cattle, but sell all the feed for the support of the game.
In the judicial district of Schwarz, 7, and in the judicial district of Zell, 16 Alpine hills, formerly used for pasture, were "cashiered" by the new landlords and converted into hunting grounds. The whole region of the Karwendel mountain has been closed to cattle. It is generally the high nobility of Austria and Germany, together with rich bourgeois upstarts, who bought up Alpine stretches of land of 70,000 yokes and more at a clip and had them arranged for hunting parks. Whole villages, hundreds upon hundreds of holdings are thus wiped out of existence; the inhabitants are crowded off; and in the place of human beings, together with cattle meet for their sustenance, roes, deer and chamois put in their appearance. Oddest of all, more than one of the men, who thus lay whole provinces waste, is seen rising in the parliaments and declaiming on the "distress of landed property," and abuses his power to secure the protection of Government in the shape of duties on corn, wood and meat, and premiums on brandy and sugar,—all at the expense of the propertyless masses.
According to the census of the eighties, there were 8,547,285 farms in France; 2,993,450 farm owners had an average annual income of 300 francs, the aggregate income of these being 22.5 per cent. of the total income from farms; 1,095,850 farm owners had an average annual income of 1,730 francs, the aggregate income of these being 47 per cent. of the total income from farms; 65,525 large landlords, owning 109,285 farms, drew 25.4 per cent. of the total agricultural revenues:—their possessions embraced more than one-half of the agricultural lands of France.
Large agricultural property is becoming the standard in all countries of civilization, and, in virtue of its political influence, it sways legislation without regard to the welfare of the commonwealth. Nevertheless, the tenure of agricultural land and its cultivation is of high importance to social development. Upon land and its productivity depends first of all the population and its subsistence. Land can not be multiplied at will, hence the question is of all the greater magnitude to everyone how the land is cultivated and exploited. Germany, whose population increases yearly by from 5,600,000 heads, needs a large supply of breadstuffs and meat, if the prices of the principal necessaries of life shall remain within the reach of the people.
At this point an important antagonism arises between the industrial and the agricultural population. The industrial population, being independent of agriculture, has a vital interest in cheap food: the degree in which they are to thrive both as men and as workers depends upon that. Every rise in the price of food leads, either to further adulterations, or to a decline of exports, and thereby of wages as a consequence of increased difficulties of competition. The question is otherwise with the cultivator of the soil. As in the instance of the industrial producer, the farmer is bent upon making the largest gains possible out of his trade, whatever line that may be in. If the importation of corn and meat reduces the high prices for these articles and thereby lowers his profits, then he gives up raising corn and devotes his soil to some other product that may bring larger returns: he cultivates sugar-beet for the production of sugar, potatoes and grain for distilleries, instead of wheat and rye for bread. He devotes the most fertile tracts to tobacco instead of vegetables. In the same way, thousands of hectares are used as horse pastures because horses for soldiers and other purposes of war fetch good prices. On the other hand, extensive forests, that can be made fertile, are kept at present for the enjoyment of the hunting lords, and this often happens in neighborhoods where the dismantling of a few hectares of woodland and their conversion to agricultural purposes could be undertaken without thereby injuriously affecting the humidity of the neighborhood.
Upon this particular point, forestry to-day denies the influence of woodlands upon moisture. Woods should be allowed in large masses only at such places where the nature of the soil permits no other form of cultivation, or where the purpose is to furnish mountain regions with a profitable vegetation, or with a check to the rapid running down of water in order to prevent freshets and the washing away of the land. From this point of view, thousands of square kilometers of fertile land could be reclaimed in Germany for agriculture. But such an alteration runs counter as well to the interests of the hierarchy of office-holders—foresters—as to the private and hunting interests of the large landlords, who are not inclined to forfeit their hunting grounds and pleasures of the chase.
To what extent the process of rendering "hands" superfluous is progressing in agriculture and in the industries therewith connected has been shown in the palpable depopulation of the rural districts of Germany. It may, furthermore, be specified that in the period between 1885 and 1890, the decrease of the rural population in 74 districts east of the Elbe was above 2 per cent.; in 44 of these 74 districts it was even above 3 per cent. In western Prussia, a decrease was established of over 2 per cent. in 16 districts, in two of which the decrease exceeded 3 per cent. Especially high was the percentage of decrease in those neighborhoods where large landlords figure as special dispensations of Providence. In Wurtemberg, during the period between 1839 and 1885, the population of 22 peasant districts declined from 29,907 heads to 19,213,—not less than 35.7 per cent. In East and West Prignitz, the rural population declined during the period of 1868-1885 from 100,000 heads to 85,000,—15 per cent.
The decrease of the rural working population is marked also in England where, as well known, latifundia property reigns supreme. The progression in the decrease of agricultural workers was there as follows:—
Sexes. 1861. 1871. Decrease. Males 1,833,652 1,328,151 505,501 Females 376,797 186,450 193,127 ————- ————- ———- Total 2,210,449 1,514,601 698,628
Since then the decrease has proceeded further. According to Dr. B. J. Brock, in the year 1885 there was the following yield per acre in bushels:—
Countries. Wheat. Barley. Great Britain 35.2 37.8 Germany 18.7 23.6 France 16.0 19.5 Austria 15.5 16.8 Hungary 11.7 16.0
The difference in productivity between Great Britain and the other countries is, we see, considerable, and it is attained through a more extensive operation of the soil. In Hungary also the number of persons engaged in agriculture has decreased considerably:—
1870 4,417,514 1880 3,669,177
a decrease of 748,457, or more than 17 per cent. in ten years. The agricultural lands passed into the hands of large magnates and capitalists, who employed machines instead of human workers, and thus rendered the latter "superfluous." These phenomena manifest themselves everywhere in agriculture,—just as in large industrial production. The productivity of labor increases, and in the same measure a portion of the working class is promoted to the sidewalk.
As a matter of course, this process has its evil consequences for woman also. Her prospects of being a proprietor and housewife decline, and the prospects increase of her becoming a servant, a cheap hand for the large landlord. As a sexual being she is more exposed even than in the city to the illicit wishes and cravings of the master or his lieutenants. More so than in industry, on the land proprietary rights in the labor-power frequently expand to proprietary rights over the whole person. Thus, in the very midst of "Christian" Europe a quasi Turkish harem system has developed. In the country, woman is isolated to a higher degree than in the city. The magistrate or a close friend of his is her employer: newspapers and a public opinion, to which she otherwise might look for protection, there are none: furthermore, male labor itself is generally in a disgraceful state of dependence. But "the heavens are away up, and the Tsar is away off."
The census of occupation of 1882 established that, out of 5,273,344 farms, only 391,746, or 7 1/2 per cent., employ machinery. Out of the 24,999 large farms, however, containing over 100 hectares of land, machinery was in use on 20,558, or 82 1/4 per cent. Naturally, it is the larger farms only that can utilize machinery. The application of machinery on a large surface, all of one product, engages labor only a comparatively short time, the number of male and female hands, absolutely needed on the place and for tending the cattle, is reduced, and after the field work is done, the day laborers are discharged. Thus with us, just as in England and in a still higher degree in the United States, a rural proletariat of grave aspect springs up. If, in view of the shortness of the season, these workingmen demand correspondingly high wages when they are needed, their impudence is denounced; if, upon their discharge, they roam about in hunger and idleness, they are called vagabonds, are abused, and not infrequently dogs are set upon them to chase them from the yards as "tramps," unwilling to work, and they are handed over to the constabulary for the workhouse. A pretty social "order."
Capitalist exploitation of agriculture leads in all directions to capitalist conditions. One set of our farmers, for instance, has for years made enormous profits out of beet-root and the production of sugar therewith connected. Our system of taxation favored the exportation of sugar, and it was so framed that the tax on beets yielded but an infinitesimal revenue to the treasury of the Empire, the premium on the exportation of sugar being large enough to almost swallow the tax.
The rebate allowed the sugar manufacturers per double quintal was actually higher than the tax paid by them on beets; and this premium enabled them to sell large quantities of sugar at the expense of the domestic tax-payers, and to extend ever more the cultivation of the sugar-beet. The profit that accrued from this system of taxation to about 400 sugar factories was estimated at over 30 million marks for 1889-1890: on an average 78,000 marks per factory. Several hundreds of thousands of hectares of land, previously devoted to raising grain, were turned into beet-root fields; factories upon factories were started, and are still being started; the inevitable consequence is an eventual crash. The large returns yielded by the beet-root cultivation affected favorably the price of land. It rose. The result was the buying up of the small farms, whose owners, seduced by the high prices, allowed themselves to be inveigled into selling. While the land was thus being used for industrial speculation, the raising of potatoes and grain was being confined to narrower fields, hence the increasing need of importation of food from abroad. The demand exceeds the supply. Thereupon, the large supply of foreign farm products and their cheaper transportation from Russia, the Danubian Principalities, North and South America, India, etc., finally leads to prices on which the domestic farmers—weighed down with mortgages and taxes, and hampered by the smallness of their farms, and their often faultily organized and deficiently conducted farming—can no longer exist. High duties are then placed upon importations; but these duties accrue only to the large farmer; the small fellow profits little by them, or none at all; and they become heavy burdens to the non-agricultural population. The advantage of the few becomes the injury of the many; small farming retrogresses; for it there is no balm in Gilead. That the condition of the small peasants in the tariff areas of Germany has been steadily deteriorating, will be generally admitted. The advantages to the large farmer from high duties, prohibitions of importations and measures of exclusion enable him all the more easily to buy out the small holder. The large number of those who do not produce in meat and bread what they consume themselves—and a glance at the statistics of occupation and division of the soil shows that these are by far the larger majority of the farmers—even suffers a direct injury from the increased prices resulting upon higher tariffs and indirect taxes. An unfavorable crop, that lowers still more the returns from the farm, not only aggravates the pressure, but also increases the number of the agriculturists who are compelled to become purchasers of farm products themselves. Tariffs and indirect taxes can not improve the economic condition of the majority of the farmers: he who has little or nothing to sell, what, to him, does the tariff boot, be it never so high! The incumbrance of the small farmer and his final ruin are thereby promoted rather than checked.
For Baden—overwhelmingly a State of small farms—the increase of mortgage indebtedness during the period of 1884-1894 is estimated at 140 to 150 million marks. The mortgage indebtedness of the Bern peasants aggregated in round figures 200 million francs in 1860; in 1890 it aggregated 500 million francs. According to a report of the Bohemian representative Gustave Eim, made to his constituents in 1893, the indebtedness that weighed upon the farms of Bohemia stood as follows:—
1879 2,716,641,754 guilders 1889 3,105,587,363 guilders
We see that inside of that period the burden of indebtedness increased 14.13 per cent.—that of small holdings 13.29 per cent., while that of the large holdings increased only 3.77 per cent. The bulk of the increased indebtedness fell to the share of middle class property.
How the cultivator of the soil operates his farm is—under the aegis of St. Private Property—his own business. His private interest decides. What cares he about the commonwealth and its well-being? He has to look out for himself: so, then, stand aside! Does not the industrialist proceed on that plan? He produces obscene pictures, turns out immoral books, sets up factories for adulterating food. These and many other occupations are harmful to society: they undermine morality and incite corruption. What does that matter! It brings in money, even more money than moral pictures, scientific books, and honest dealing in unadulterated food. The industrialist, greedy after profits, needs to concern himself only about escaping the too sharp eye of the police; he can quietly pursue his shameful trade, assured that the money he will thereby rake in will earn for him the envy and esteem of society.
The Mammon character of our age is best typified by the Exchange and its doings. Land and industrial products; means of transportation; meteorologic and political conditions; scarcity and abundance; mass-misery and accidents; public debts, inventions and discoveries; the health, sickness and death of influential persons; war and rumors of war, often started for the express purpose;—all this and much more is made objects of speculation, for exploitation and mutual cheating. The matadors of capital attain decided influence upon society, and, favored by the powerful means at their disposal and their connections, they amass enormous fortunes. Cabinet ministers and whole Governments become puppets in their hands, compelled to act according as matadors of the Exchange pull the wires behind the scenes. Not the State has the Exchange, but the Exchange has the State in its power. Will he, nill he, a Minister is often forced to water the upas tree, which he might prefer to tear up by the roots, but that he now must aid in growing.
All these facts, that, seeing the evils gain by the day in magnitude, daily force themselves with increasing importunity upon the consideration of everyone, demand speedy and radical help. But modern society stands bewildered before all these phenomena, just as certain animals are said to stand before a mountain; it turns like a horse in the treadmill, constantly in a circle,—lost, helpless, the picture of distress and stupidity. Those who would bring help are yet too weak; those who should bring help still lack the necessary understanding; those who could bring help will not, they rely upon force; at best, they think with Madame Pompadour "apres nous le deluge" (after us the deluge). But how if the deluge were to come before their departure from life?
The flood rises and is washing out the foundations upon which our State and Social structure rests. All feel that the ground shakes, and that only the strongest props can now stead. But these demand great sacrifices on the part of the ruling classes. There is the rub. Every proposition injurious to the material interests of the ruling classes, and that threatens their privileged position, is bitterly opposed and branded as a scheme looking to the overthrow of the modern political and social order. Neither is the sick world to be cured without any danger to the privileges and immunities of the ruling classes, nor without their final abolition by the abolition of the classes themselves.
"The struggle for the emancipation of the working class is no struggle for privileges, but a struggle for equal rights and equal duties; it is a struggle for the abolition of all privileges"—thus runs the programme of the Socialist Movement. It follows that half-measures and small concessions are fruitless.
Until now, the ruling classes regard their privileged position as quite natural and normal, as to the justice of which no doubt may be entertained. It is a matter of course, therefore, that they should object and resolutely oppose every attempt to shake their prerogatives. Even propositions and laws, that affect neither the fundamental principles of the existing social order nor the privileged position of the ruling classes, throw them into great commotion the moment their purses are or might be touched. Mountains of paper are filed in the parliaments full of speeches and printed matter, until the heaving mountains bring forth a ridiculous mouse. The simplest and most obvious questions regarding the protection of Labor are met by them with such a resistance as though the existence of society hinged on such concessions. After endless struggles a few concessions are finally wrung from them, and then they act as if they had sacrificed a large part of their fortunes. The same stubborn resistance do they display if the point is the formal recognition of the equality of the oppressed classes, to allow these, for instance, to have an equal voice with them in wage and other labor agreements.
This resistance to the simplest matters and the most obvious demands confirms the old principle founded in experience, that no ruling class can be convinced by reasoning, until the force of circumstances drives them to sense and to submission. This force of circumstances lies in the development of society, and in the increasing intelligence awakened by this very development among the oppressed. The class-antagonism—the sketch of our social conditions has pointed them out—grow more pronounced, visible and sensible. Along therewith increases the understanding of the untenableness of the existing order among the oppressed and exploited classes; their indignation mounts higher, and, as a result thereof, also the imperious demand for a change and for improved conditions. By penetrating ever wider circles, such understanding of the situation finally conquers the vast majority of society, most directly interested in the change. In the same measure, however, as the popular understanding increases regarding the untenableness of the existing order and the necessity of its radical change, the power of resistance decreases on the part of the ruling classes, whose power rests upon ignorance and lack of intelligence on the part of the oppressed and exploited. This cross effect is evident; hence, everything that promotes it must be welcome. The progress made by large capitalization, on one side, is amply compensated, on the other, by the increasing perception by the proletariat of the contradiction in which the social order stands with the well-being of the enormous majority. The dissolution and abolition of the social antagonisms may cost extraordinary pains, sacrifices and efforts, it may depend upon factors that lie beyond the influence of the individual, or even of a class. Nevertheless, the solution is reached the moment these antagonisms have reached their acme,—a point towards which they are rushing.
The measures to be adopted at the various phases of development depend upon the then conditions. It is impossible to foretell what measures may become necessary under given circumstances. No Government, no Minister, be he ever so powerful, can foresee what circumstances may require in the next few years. All the less is it possible to foretell measures, that will be influenced by circumstance, which elude all accurate calculation. The question of "measures" is a question of tactics in battle. These depend upon the enemy and upon the means at his disposal, and at mine. A measure that would be excellent to-day, may be harmful to-morrow, the circumstances that yesterday justified its application having changed to-day. With the goal in view, the means to attain it by depend upon time and tide; imperative is but the seizing of the most effective and thorough going ones that time and tide may allow. In forecasting the future, hypotheses alone are available: things must be supposed to exist that have not yet set in.
Accordingly, we suppose the arrival of a day when all the evils described will have reached such maturity that they will have become oppressingly sensible to the feeling as to the sight of the vast majority, to the extent of being no longer bearable; whereupon a general irresistible desire for a radical change will seize society, and then the quickest will be regarded the most effective remedy.
All social evils, without exception, have their source in that social order of things, which, as has been shown, rests upon capitalism, upon the capitalist system of production. Under this system, the capitalist class is the possessor of all instruments of labor—land, mines, quarries, raw material, tools, machines, means of transportation and communication—and it exploits and oppresses the vast majority of the people. The result of such abuses is an increased precariousness of livelihood, increased misery, oppression and degradation of the exploited classes. It is, consequently, necessary to convert this capitalist property into social property by means of a general expropriation. Production for sale must be converted into socialist production, conducted for and by Society. Production on a large scale, and the increasing fertility of social labor,—until now a source of misery and of oppression for the exploited classes—must be turned into a source of highest well-being and of full and harmonious culture.
 Let also one American instance be cited. It occurred on April 1, 1894, in Dolgeville, N. Y., where an employe of the "profit-sharing" concern of Alfred Dolge—at whose annual dinners Professor, now President George Gunton was regularly a star guest, and orator to the "dined" workingmen on the beauties of "profit-sharing,"—one of the workingmen, driven by the pinching poverty and incertitude inflicted upon him by the "profit-sharing" practice, killed his wife, four children and himself, and left a letter describing his plight. (See "The People," April 8, 1894)—THE TRANSLATOR.
 As early as the days of Plato were the consequences of such conditions understood. He writes: "A nation in which classes exist, is not one, but two: one class is made up of the poor, the other of the rich, both living together, yet on the watch against each other.... In the end, the ruling class is unable to conduct a war, because it would then have to avail itself of the masses, whom, armed, it fears more than the enemy himself"; Plato, "The Republic." Aristotle says: "Widespread poverty is an evil, inasmuch as it is hardly possible to prevent such people from becoming inciters of sedition"; Aristotle, "Politics."
 "Natuerliche Schoepfungsgeschichte."
 Similarly Plato in "The Republic": "Crimes have their roots in want of culture, in bad education and bad social institutions." Evidently, Plato understood the nature of society better than one of his learned successors twenty-three hundred years later,—not a cheering contemplation.
 In the sense of German industrial statistics, every employer is placed under the head of "small producer" who employs less than five persons.
 Clemens Heiss: "Die grossen Einkommen in Deutschland."
 Clemens Heiss, ubi supra.
 Clemens Heiss: "Die grossen Einkommen in Deutschland."
 According to the census of 1900, the capital invested in industry was 9,831 million dollars,—an increase over 1890 of 3,307 million; and the value of the industrial products was 13,010 million dollars,—an increase over 1890 of 3,640 millions.—THE TRANSLATOR.
 Professor Adolf Wagner expresses the same thought in his first revised edition of Raus' "Lehrbuch der politischen Oekonomie." He says, p. 361: "The social question is the consciousness gained by the people of the contradiction between the economic development and the social principle of freedom and equality, that hovers over their minds as the ideal, and is realized in political life."
 Dr. E. Sax says in his work "Die Hausindustrie in Thueringen," among other things, that in 1869 the production of 244 1/4 million slate pencils had given from 122,000 to 200,000 gilders in wages to the labor, but the final price paid by the consumer rose to 1,200,000 gilders; it was, accordingly, at least six times as much as the producer received. In the summer of 1888, there were 5 marks paid at first hand for 5 hundredweights of shellfish; the retailer paid the wholesale dealer 15 marks; and the public paid 125 marks. Moreover, large quantities of foodstuffs are destroyed because the prices will not pay for transportation. For instance, in years of great herring draughts, whole boatloads are turned to manure, while inland there are hundreds of thousands of people who can buy no herrings. It was likewise in 1892 with the large potato crops in California. And yet sense is claimed for such a state of things.
 The industrial census of June 5, 1882, gives Germany 386,157 large and 154,474 small stores, a total of 531,631. In the large shops, there were 705,906 persons employed.
 Dr. Rud. Meyer, "Das Sinken der Grundrente."
 "Die Fideikommisse in den westlichen Provinzen Pruessens."
 For further details see, "Das soziale Elend und die besitzenden Klassen in Oesterreich," T. W. Teisen.
 A German idiom, expressive of dumb bewilderment, uses the simile: "Like oxen before a mountain."—THE TRANSLATOR.
THE SOCIALIZATION OF SOCIETY.
The soon as possible general expropriation of all the means of production furnishes society with a new foundation. The conditions of life and labor—in manufacture, agriculture, transportation and communication, education, marriage, science, art and intercourse—are radically changed for both sexes. Human existence acquires a new sense. The present political organization gradually loses ground: the State vanishes: in a measure it abolishes itself.
It was shown in the first part of this book why the State arose. It arises, as the product of a social growth, from a primitive form of society, that rested on communism and that dissolved in the measure that private property developed. With the rise of private property, antagonistic interests take shape within society; in the course of its development these antagonisms lead to rank and class contrasts, and these, in turn, grow into enmities between the several groups of interests, and finally into rank and class struggles, that threaten the existence of the new social order. In order to keep down these rank and class struggles, and to protect the property-holders, an organization is requisite that parries the assaults on property, and that pronounces "legal and sacred" the property obtained under certain forms. This organization and power, that guards and upholds property, is the State. Through the enactment of laws it secures the owner in his ownership, and it steps as judge and avenger before him who assails the established order. By reason of its innermost being, the interest of a ruling property class, and of the Government therewith connected, is ever conservative. The organization of the State changes only when the interest of property so demands. The State is, accordingly, the inevitably necessary organization of a social order that rests upon class rule. The moment class antagonisms fall through the abolition of private property, the State loses both the necessity and the possibility for its existence. With the removal of the conditions for rulership, the State gradually ceases to be, the same as creeds wane when the belief ceases in supernatural beings, or in transcendental powers gifted with reason. Words must have sense; if they lose that they cease to convey ideas.
"Yes," interjects at this point a capitalist-minded reader, "that is all very well, but by what 'legal principle' can society justify such a change?" The legal principle is the same that ever prevailed, whenever it was the question of changes and reforms,—public policy. Not the State, but society is the source of right; the State is but the committee of Society, authorized to administer and dispense right. Hitherto, "Society" has been a small minority; yet it acted in the name of the whole community (the people) by pronouncing itself "Society," much as Louis XIV. pronounced himself the "State,"—"L'etat c'est moi" (I am the State). When our newspapers announce: "The season begins; society is returning to the city," or "The season has closed; society is rushing to the country," they never mean the people, but only the upper ten thousand, who constitute "Society" as they constitute the "State." The masses are "plebs," "vile multitude," "canaille," "people." In keeping therewith, all that the State has done in the name of Society for the "public weal" has always been to the advantage and profit of the ruling class. It is in its interests that laws are framed. "Salus reipublicae suprema lex esto" (Let the public weal be the supreme law) is a well known legal principle of Old Rome. But who constituted the Roman Commonwealth? Did it consist of the subjugated peoples, the millions of slaves? No. A disproportionately small number of Roman citizens, foremost among these the Roman nobility, all of whom were supported by the subject class.
When, in the Middle Ages, noblemen and Princes stole the common property, they did so "according to law," in the "interest of the public weal," and how drastically the common property and that of the helpless peasants was treated on the occasion we have sufficiently explained. The agrarian history of the last fifteen centuries is a narration of uninterrupted robbery perpetrated upon common and peasant property by the nobility and the Church in all the leading countries of Europe. When the French Revolution expropriated the estates of the nobility and the Church, it did so "in the name of the public weal"; and a large part of the seven million of landed estates, that are to-day the prop of modern bourgeois France, owe their existence to this expropriation. "In the name of the public weal," Spain more than once embargoed Church property, and Italy wholly confiscated the same,—both with the plaudits of the zealous defenders of "sacred property." The English nobility has for centuries been robbing the Irish and English people of their property, and, during the period of 1804-1832 made itself a present of not less than 3,511,710 acres of commons "in the interest of the public welfare." When during the great North American war for the emancipation of the negro, millions of slaves, the regular property of their masters, were declared free without indemnity to the latter, the thing was done "in the name of the public weal." Our whole capitalist development is an uninterrupted process of expropriation and confiscation, at which the manufacturer expropriates the workingman, the large landlord expropriates the peasant, the large merchant expropriates the small dealer, and finally one capitalist expropriates another, i. e., the larger expropriates and absorbs the smaller. To hear our bourgeoisie, all this happens in the interest of the "public weal," for the "good of society." The Napoleonites "saved Society" on the 18th Brumaire and 2d of December, and "Society" congratulated them. If hereafter Society shall save itself by resuming possession of the property that itself has produced, it will enact the most notable historic event—it is not seeking to oppress some in the interest of others, but to afford to all the prerequisite for equality of existence, to make possible to each an existence worthy of human beings. It will be morally the cleanest and most stupendous measure that human society has ever executed.
In what manner this gigantic process of social expropriation will be achieved, and under what modality, eludes all surmise. Who can tell how general conditions will then be, and what the demands of public interest will be?
In his fourth social letter to v. Kirchmann, entitled "Capital," Rodbertus says: "The dissolution of all capitalist property in land is no chimera; on the contrary, it is easily conceivable in national economy. It would, moreover, be the most radical aid to society, that, as might be put in a few words, is suffering of rent-rising—rent of land and capital. Hence the measure would be the only manner of abolishing property in land and capital, a measure that would not even for a moment interrupt the commerce and progress of the nation." What say our agrarians to this opinion of their former political co-religionist?
In the contemplation of how matters will probably shape themselves along the principal lines of human activity, upon such a measure of general expropriation, there can be no question of establishing hard and fast lines, or rigid institutions. No one is able to forecast the detailed molds in which future generations may cast their social organizations, and how they will satisfy their wants. In Society as in Nature, everything is in constant flux and reflux; one thing rises, another wanes; what is old and sered is replaced with new and living forms. Inventions, discoveries and improvements, numerous and various, the bearing and significance of which often none can tell, are made from day to day, come into operation, and, each in its own way, they revolutionize and transform human life and all society.
We can, accordingly, be concerned only with general principles, that flow inevitably from the preceding expose, and whose enforcement may be supervised, up to a certain point. If even hitherto society has been no automatic entity, leadable and guidable by an individual, much as appearances often pointed the other way; if even hitherto those who imagined they pushed were themselves pushed; if even hitherto society was an organism, that developed according to certain inherent laws;—if that was hitherto the case, in the future all guiding and leading after individual caprice is all the more out of question. Society will have discovered the secret of its own being, it will have discovered the laws of its own progress, and it will apply these consciously towards its own further development.
So soon as society is in possession of all the means of production, the duty to work, on the part of all able to work, without distinction of sex, becomes the organic law of socialized society. Without work society can not exist. Hence, society has the right to demand that all, who wish to satisfy their wants, shall exert themselves, according to their physical and mental faculties, in the production of the requisite wealth. The silly claim that the Socialist does not wish to work, that he seeks to abolish work, is a matchless absurdity, which fits our adversaries alone. Non-workers, idlers, exist in capitalist society only. Socialism agrees with the Bible that "He who will not work, neither shall he eat." But work shall not be mere activity; it shall be useful, productive activity. The new social system will demand that each and all pursue some industrial, agricultural or other useful occupation, whereby to furnish a certain amount of work towards the satisfaction of existing wants. Without work no pleasure, no pleasure without work.
All being obliged to work, all have an equal interest in seeing the following three conditions of work in force:—
First, that work shall be moderate, and shall overtax none;
Second, that work shall be as agreeable and varied as possible;
Third, that work shall be as productive as possible, seeing that both the hours of work and fruition hinge upon that.
These three conditions hinge, in turn, upon the nature and the number of the productive powers that are available, and also upon the aspirations of society. But Socialist society does not come into existence for the purpose of living in proletarian style; it comes into existence in order to abolish the proletarian style of life of the large majority of humanity. It seeks to afford to each and all the fullest possible measure of the amenities of life. The question that does rise is, How high will the aspirations of society mount?
In order to determine this, an administration is requisite that shall embrace all the fields of social activity. Our municipalities constitute an effective basis thereto: if they are too large to allow a ready supervision, they can be divided into wards. As in primitive society, all members of the community who are of age participate in the elections, without distinction of sex, and have a voice in the choice of the persons who are to be entrusted with the administration. At the head of all the local administrations stands the central administration—as will be noted, not a Government, with power to rule, but an executive college of administrative functions. Whether the central administration shall be chosen directly by popular vote or appointed by the local administration is immaterial. These questions will not then have the importance they have to-day: the question is then no longer one of filling posts that bestow special honor, or that vest the incumbent with greater power and influence, or that yield larger incomes: it is then a question of filling positions of trust, for which the fittest, whether male or female, are taken; and these may be recalled or re-elected as circumstances may demand, or the electors may deem preferable. All posts are for given terms. The incumbents are, accordingly, clothed with no special "official qualities"; the feature of continuity of office is absent, likewise a hierarchical order of promotion. Hence it is also immaterial to us whether there shall be middle stages, say provincial administrations, between the central and the local administrations. If they are deemed necessary, they are set up; if they are not deemed necessary, they are left alone. All such matters are decided by actual exigencies, as ascertained in practice. If the progress of society has rendered any old organization superfluous, it is abolished without further ado and dispute, there being no longer any personal interest in conflict; and new ones are similarly established. Obviously, such an administration, resting upon the broadest democratic foundation, differs radically from what we have to-day. What a battle of newspapers, what a war of tongues in our parliaments, what mountains of public documents in our bureaus, if but a trivial change is made in the administration or the Government!
The principal thing to ascertain is the number and the nature of the forces that are available, the quantity and nature of the means of production,—the factories, workshops, means of transportation and communication, land—and also their productivity. The next thing to ascertain is the quantity of the supplies that are on hand and the extent to which these can satisfy the wants of society. As to-day the State and the several municipalities yearly cast up their budgets, the thing will then be done with an eye to all the wants of society, without thereby excluding changes that increased or new wants may demand. Statistics here play the chief role: they become the most important subsidiary science of the new order: they furnish the measure for all social activities.
Statistics are extensively used to-day for similar purposes. The Imperial, State and municipal budgets are based upon a large amount of statistical reports, made yearly by the several administrative branches. Long experience and a certain degree of stability in the running wants facilitate their gathering. Every operator of a large factory, every merchant is, under normal conditions, able to determine accurately what he will need during the next three months, and how he should regulate his production and purchases. Unless excessive changes set in, his calculations will be found safe.
The experience that crises are caused by blind, anarchic production, i. e., that production is carried on without a knowledge of the volume of supply, of sales and of demand of and for the several goods in the world's market, has, as indicated in previous passages, caused large manufacturers in several branches of industry to join in Trusts and rings, partly with the view of steadying prices, partly also for the purpose of regulating production by the light of previous experience and of the orders received. According to the capability of each establishment and to the probable demand, the output of each is determined for the next few months. Infractions are punished with heavy conventional mulcts, and even expulsion. The capitalists do not conclude these agreements for the benefit of the public, but to its injury and to their own profit. Their purpose is to utilize the power of combination in order to secure the greatest advantages to themselves. This regulation of production has for its object to enable the capitalist to demand from the public prices that could not be got if the competitive struggle was on between the several capitalists. These enrich themselves at the expense of the consumers who are forced to pay whatever price is demanded for the goods they need. As the consumer, so is the workingman injured by the Trusts. The artificial regulation of production throws a part of the working class out of work, and, in order that these may live, they underbid their fellows at work. Thus the employer derives a double advantage: he receives higher prices, and he pays lower wages. Such a regulation of production by combinations of capitalists is exactly the reverse of that which will be practiced in Socialist society. While to-day the interests of the capitalists is the determining factor, the interests of all will then be the guide. Production will then be carried on for the satisfaction of human wants, and not in order to obtain, through high prices, large profits for private individuals. Nevertheless, the best planned combination in capitalist society can not take in and control all the factors needed in the calculation: competition and speculation run wild despite all combinations: finally the discovery is made that the calculation had a leak, and the scheme breaks down.
The same as production on a large scale, commerce also has extensive statistics. Every week the larger centers of commerce and the ports publish reports on the supply of petroleum, coffee, cotton, sugar, grain, etc. These statistics are frequently inaccurate, seeing that the owners of the goods frequently have a personal interest in concealing the truth. On the whole, however, the statistics are pretty safe and furnish to those interested, information on the condition of the market. But here also speculation steps in, upsets all calculations, and often renders all legitimate business impossible. Seeing how impossible is a general regulation of production in capitalist society, due to the existence of many thousands of private producers with conflicting interests, it will be obvious why the speculative nature of commerce, the number of merchants and their conflicting interests render equally impossible the regulation of distribution. Nevertheless, what is done in these directions indicates what could be done so soon as private interest were to drop out and the interests of all were alone dominant. A proof of this is furnished by the statistics of crops, that are yearly issued by the leading countries of civilization, and that enable certain general conclusions to be drawn upon the size of the crops, the extent that they will supply the demand, and the probable price.
In a socialized society matters are fully regulated; society is held in fraternal bonds. Everything is done in order; there, it is an easy matter to gauge demand. With a little experience, the thing is easy as play. If, for instance, the demand is statistically established for bread, meat, shoes, linen, etc., and, on the other hand, the productivity of the respective plants is equally known, the average daily amount of socially necessary labor is thereby ascertained. The figures would, furthermore, point out where more plants for the production of a certain article may be needed, or where such may be discontinued as superfluous, or turned to other purposes.
Everyone decides the pursuit he chooses: the large number of different fields of activity caters to the tastes of all. If on one field there is a surplus and on another a dearth of labor-power, the administration attends to the equalization of forces. To organize production, and to furnish the several powers with the opportunity to apply themselves at the right places will be the principal task of these functionaries. In the measure that the several forces are broken in, the wheels will move with greater smoothness. The several branches and divisions of labor choose their foremen, who superintend the work. These are no slave-drivers, like most foremen of to-day; they are fellow workers, who, instead of a productive, exercise an administrative function entrusted to them. The idea is by no means excluded that, with the attainment of higher perfection, both in point of organization and of individuals, these functions should alternate so that, within a certain time, and in certain order, they are filled by all regardless of sex.
A system of labor, organized upon a plan of such absolute liberty and democratic equality, where each stands for all, and all stand for each, and where the sense of solidarity reigns supreme,—such a system would generate a spirit of industry and of emulation nowhere to be found in the modern economic system. Nor could such a spirit of industry fail to react both upon the productivity of labor and the quality of labor's product.
Furthermore—seeing that all are mutually active—the interest becomes general in the best and most complete, as well as in the quickest possible production of goods, with the object of saving labor, and of gaining time for the production of further wealth, looking to the gratification of higher wants. Such a common interest spurs all to bend their thoughts towards simplifying and quickening the process of labor. The ambition to invent and discover is stimulated to the highest pitch: each will seek to outdo the other in propositions and ideas.
Just the reverse will, accordingly, happen of which the adversaries of Socialism claim. How many are not the inventors and discoverers who go to pieces in the capitalist world! How many has it not exploited and then cast aside! If talent and intellect, instead of property, stood at the head of bourgeois society, the larger part of the employers would have to make room for their workingmen, master mechanics, technical overseers, engineers, chemists, etc. These are the men, who, in ninety-nine cases out of a hundred, make the inventions, discoveries and improvements, which the man with the money-bag exploits. How many thousands of discoverers and inventors have gone to pieces unable to find the man of means ready to provide the wherewithal for the execution of their thoughts; how many germs of inventions and discoveries have been and continue to be nipped by the social stress for bare existence, is a matter that eludes all calculation. Not the men of head and brain, but those of large wealth are to-day the masters of the world,—which, however, does not exclude the occasional and exceptional phenomenon of brains and wealth being united in one person. The exception only proves the rule.
Everyone in practical life knows with what suspicion the workingman to-day regards every improvement, every invention introduced in the shop. And he is right. He rarely derives any advantage therefrom; it all accrues to the employer. The workingman is assailed with the fear lest the new machine, the new improvement cast him off to-morrow as superfluous. Instead of gladsome applause for an invention that does honor to man and is fraught with benefit for the race, he only has a malediction on his lips. We also know, from personal experience, how many an improvement perceived by the workingman, is not introduced: the workingman keeps silent, fearing to derive no benefit but only harm from it. Such are the natural consequences of an antagonism of interests.
This antagonism of interests is removed in Socialist society. Each unfolds his faculties in his own interest, and, by so doing, simultaneously benefits the commonweal. To-day personal gratification is generally antagonistic to the common weal; the two exclude each other. In the new Order, the antagonisms are removed: The gratification of the ego and the promotion of the common weal harmonize, they supplement each other.
The marvelous effect of such a mental and moral condition is obvious. The productivity of labor will rise mightily, and such increased productivity makes possible the satisfaction of higher wants. Especially will the productivity of labor rise through the discontinuance of the present and enormous disintegration of labor, in hundreds of thousands, even millions of petty establishments, conducted with imperfect tools. According to the industrial census of the German Empire for the year 1882, there were 3,005,457 leading establishments, exclusive of commerce, transportation, hotels and inns, in which 6,396,465 persons were occupied. Of these leading establishments, 61.1 per cent. employed less than 5 persons, and 16.8 per cent. employed from 6 to 50 persons. The former are small concerns, the latter middle class ones. Through the concentration of the small and middle class establishments into large ones, equipped with all the advantages of modern technique, an enormous waste in power, time, material (light, heat, etc.) space, now incurred, would be avoided, and the productivity of labor would gain proportionally. What difference there is in the productivity of small, middle class and large establishments, even where modern technique is applied, may be illustrated by the census of manufactories of the State of Massachusetts for 1890. The establishments in ten leading industries were divided into three classes. Those that produced less than $40,000 worth of goods were placed in the lowest class; those that produced from $40,000 to $150,000 were placed in the middle class; and those that produced over $150,000 worth of goods were placed in the upper class.
The result was this:—
Number of Percentage Productivity Percentage Establishments. of All of of Total Classes. Establishments. Each Class. Productivity. Lower 2,042 55.2 51,660,617 9.4 Middle 968 26.2 106,868,635 19.5 Upper 686 18.6 390,817,300 71.1 ——- ——- —————- ——- 3,696 100.0 549,346,552 100.0
The more than twice as large number of small establishments turned out only 9.4 per cent. of the total product. But even the large establishments could, with hardly any exception, be conducted far more rationally than now, so that, under a system of collective production, aided by the most highly perfected technical process, an infinitely larger demand could be supplied.
Upon the subject of the saving of time, possible under a system of production planted on a rational basis, Th. Hertzka of Vienna has made some interesting calculations. He investigated the amount of labor-power and time requisite for the satisfaction of the wants of the 22 million inhabitants of Austria by means of production on a large scale. To this end Hertzka gathered information upon the capacity of large establishments in several fields, and he based his calculations upon the data thus ascertained. In Hertzka's calculation are included 10,500,000 hectares of agricultural and 3,000,000 hectares of pasture lands, that should suffice for the production of agricultural products and of meat for the said population. Hertzka also included in his computation the building of houses on the basis of a house of 150 square meters, 5 rooms and strong enough to last 50 years, to each family. The result was that, for agricultural, building, the production of flour, sugar, coal, iron, machinery, clothing and chemicals, only 615,000 workingmen were needed, at work the whole year and at the present average hours of daily labor. These 615,000 workingmen are, however, only 12.3 per cent. of the population of Austria, capable to work, exclusive of all the women as well as the males under 16 and over 50 years of age. If all the 5,000,000 men, and not merely the above figure of 615,000, were engaged, then, each of them would need to work only 36.9 days—six weeks in round figures—in order to produce the necessaries of life for 22 million people. Assuming 300 work days in the year, instead of 37, and 11 as the present daily hours of work, it follows that, under this new organization of labor, only 1-3/8 hours a day would be needed to cover the most pressing needs of all.
Hertzka further computes the articles of luxury that the better situated demand, and he finds that the production of the same for 22 million people would require an additional 315,000 workingmen. Altogether, according to Hertzka, and making allowance for some industries that are not properly represented in Austria, one million in round figures, equal to 20 per cent. of the male population able to work, exclusive of those under 16 and above 50 years of age, would suffice to cover all the needs of the population in 60 days. If, again, the whole male population able to work is made the basis of the computation, these would need to furnish but two and a half hours work a day.
This computation will surprise none who take a comprehensive view of things. Considering, then, that, at such moderate hours, even the men 50 years old—all the sick and invalid excepted—are able to work; furthermore, that also youths under 16 years of age could be partially active, as well as a large number of women, in so far as these are not otherwise engaged in the education of children, the preparation of food, etc.;—considering all that, it follows that even these hours could be considerably lowered, or the demand for wealth could be considerably increased. None will venture to claim that no more and unforeseen progress, and considerable progress, at that, is possible in the process of production, thus furnishing still greater advantages. But the issue now is to satisfy a mass of wants felt by all that to-day are satisfied only by a minority. With higher culture ever newer wants arise, and these too should be met. We repeat it: the new Social order is not to live in proletarian style; it lives as a highly developed people demand to live, and it makes the demand in all its members from the first to the last. But such a people can not rest content with satisfying merely its material wants. All its members are to be allowed fullest leisure for their development in the arts and sciences, as well as for their recreation.
Also in other important respects will Socialist society differ from the bourgeois individualist system. The motto: "Cheap and bad"—which is and must be standard for a large portion of bourgeois production, seeing that the larger part of the customers can buy only cheap goods, that quickly wear out—likewise drops out. Only the best will be produced; it will last longer and will need replacing at only wider intervals. The follies and insanities of fashion, promoted by wastefulness and tastelessness, also cease. People will probably clothe themselves more properly and sightfully than to-day, when, be it said in passing, the fashions of the last hundred years, especially as to men, distinguish themselves by their utter tastelessness. No longer will a new fashion be introduced every three months, an act of folly that stands in intimate relation with the competitive struggle of women among themselves, with the ostentatiousness and vanity of society, and with the necessity for the display of wealth. To-day a mass of establishments and people live upon this folly of fashion, and are compelled by their own interests to stimulate and force it. Together with the folly of fashion in dress, falls the folly of fashion in the style of architecture. Eccentricity reaches here its worst expression. Styles of architecture that required centuries for their development and that sprang up among different peoples—we are no longer satisfied with European styles, we go to the Japanese, Indians and Chinese—are used up in a few decades and laid aside. Our poor professional artists no longer know whither and whereto they should turn with and for their samples and models. Hardly have they assorted themselves with one style, and expect to recover with ease the outlays they have made, when a new style breaks in upon them, and demands new sacrifices of time and money, of mental and physical powers. The nervousness of the age is best reflected in the rush from one fashion to the other, from one style to the other. No one will dare to claim any sense for such hurrying and scurrying, or the merit of its being a symptom of social health.
Socialism alone will re-introduce a greater stability in the habits of life. It will make repose and enjoyment possible; it will be a liberator from hurry and excessive exertion. Nervousness, that scourge of our age, will disappear.
But labor is also to be made pleasant. To that end practical and tastefully contrived workshops are required; the utmost precautions against danger; the removal of disagreeable odors, gases and smoke,—in short, of all sources of injury or discomfort to health. At the start, the new social system will carry on production with the old means, inherited from the old. But these are utterly inadequate. Numerous and unsuitable workshops, disintegrated in all directions; imperfect tools and machinery, running through all the stages of usefulness;—this heap is insufficient both for the number of the workers and for their demands of comfort and of pleasure. The establishment of a large number of spacious, light, airy, fully equipped and ornamented workshops is a pressing need. Art, technique, skill of head and hand immediately find a wide field of activity. All departments in the building of machinery, in the fashioning of tools, in architecture and in the branches of work connected with the internal equipment of houses have the amplest opportunity. Whatever human genius can invent with regard to comfortable and pleasant homes, proper ventilation, lighting and heating, mechanical and technical provisions and cleanliness is brought into application. The saving of motor power, heating, lighting, time, as well as the promotion of all that tends to render work and life agreeable, demand a suitable concentration of the fields of labor on certain spots. Habitations are separated from places of work and are freed from the disagreeable features of industrial and other manual work. These disagreeable features are, in their turn, reduced to the lowest measure possible by means of suitable arrangements and provisions of all sorts, until wholly removed. The present state of technique has now means enough at command to wholly free from danger the most dangerous occupations, such as mining and the preparation of chemicals, etc. But these means can not be applied in capitalist society because they are expensive, and there is no obligation to do more than what is absolutely necessary for the workingman. The discomforts attached to mining can be removed by means of a different sort of draining, of extensive ventilation, of electric lighting, of a material reduction of hours of work, and of frequent shifts. Nor does it require any particular cleverness to find such protective means as would render building accidents almost impossible, and transform work in that line into the most exhilarating of all. Ample protections against sun and rain are possible in the construction of the largest edifices. Furthermore, in a society with ample labor-power at its disposal, such as Socialist society would be, frequent shifts and the concentration of certain work upon certain seasons of the year and certain hours of day would be an easy matter.
The problem of removing dust, smoke, soot and odors could likewise be completely solved by modern chemistry and technique; it is solved only partially or not at all, simply because the private employers care not to make the necessary sacrifice of funds. The work-places of the future, wherever located, whether above or under ground, will, accordingly, distinguish themselves most favorably from those of to-day. Many contrivances are, under the existing system of private enterprise, first of all, a question of money: can the business bear the expenditure? Will it pay? If the answer is in the negative, then let the workingmen go to pieces. Capital does not operate where there is no profit. Humanity is not an "issue" on the Exchange.
The question of "profit" has exhausted its role in Socialist society: in Socialist society the only consideration is the welfare of its members. Whatever is beneficent to these and protects them must be introduced; whatever injures them must stop. None is forced to join in a dangerous game. If matters are undertaken that have dangers in prospect, volunteers will be numerous, all the more so seeing that the object can never be to the injury, but only to the promotion of civilization.
The amplest application of motor powers and of the best machinery and implements, the utmost subdivision of labor, and the most efficient combinations of labor-power will, accordingly, carry production to such pitch that the hours of work can be materially reduced in the production of the necessaries of life. The capitalist lengthens the hours of labor, whenever he can, especially during crises, when the worker's power of resistance is broken, and by squeezing more surplus values out of him, prices may be lowered. In Socialist society, an increase of production accrues to the benefit of all: The share of each rises with the productivity of labor and increased productivity again makes possible the reduction of the hours of work, socially determined as necessary.
Among the motor powers that are coming into application, electricity will, according to all appearances, take a decisive place. Capitalist society is now everywhere engaged in harnessing it to its service. The more extensively this is done the better. The revolutionizing effect of this mightiest of all the powers of Nature will but all the sooner snap the bonds of bourgeois society, and open the doors to Socialism. But only in Socialist society will electricity attain its fullest and most widespread application. If the prospects now opened for its application are even but partially realized—and on that head there can be no doubt—electricity, as a motor power as well as a source of light and heat, will contribute immeasurably towards the improvement of the conditions of life. Electricity distinguishes itself from all other motor power in that, above all, its supply in Nature is abundant. Our water courses, the ebb and tide of the sea, the winds, the sun-light—all furnish innumerable horse-powers, the moment we know how to utilize them in full. Through the invention of accumulators it has been proved that large volumes of power, which can be appropriated only periodically, from the ebbs and tides, the winds and mountain streams, can be stored up and kept for use at any given place and any given time. All these inventions and discoveries are still in embryo: their full development may be surmised, but can not be forecast in detail.
The progress expected from the application of electricity sounds like a fairy tale. Mr. Meems of Baltimore has planned an electric wagon able to travel 300 kilometers an hour—actually race with the wind. Nor does Mr. Meems stand alone. Prof. Elihu Thomson of Lynn, Mass., also believes it possible to construct electromotors of a velocity of 160 kilometers, and, with suitable strengthening of the rolling stock and improvement of the signal system, of a velocity of 260 kilometers; and he has given a plausible explanation of his system. The same scientist holds, and in this Werner Siemens, who expressed similar views at the Berlin Convention of Naturalists in 1887, agrees with him, that it is possible by means of electricity to transform the chemical elements directly into food—a revolution that would hoist capitalist society off its hinges. While in 1887 Werner Siemens was of the opinion that it was possible, though only in the remote future, to produce artificially a hydrate of carbon such as grape sugar and later the therewith closely related starch, whereby "bread could be made out of stone," the chemist Dr. B. Meyer claims that ligneous fibre could eventually be turned into a source of human food. Obviously, we are moving towards ever newer chemical and technical revolutions. In the meantime, the physiologist E. Eiseler has actually produced grape sugar artificially, and thus made a discovery that, in 1887, Werner Siemens considered possible only in the "remote future." In the spring of 1894, the French ex-Minister of Public Worship, Prof. Berthelot, delivered an address in Paris at the banquet of the Association of Chemical Manufacturers upon the significance of chemistry in the future. The address is interesting in more respects than one. Prof. Berthelot sketched the probable state of chemistry at about the year 2000. While his sketch contains many a droll exaggeration, it does contain so much that is serious and sound that we shall present it in extract. After describing the achievements of chemistry during the last few decades, Prof. Berthelot went on to say:—
"The manufacture of sulphuric acids and of soda, bleaching and coloring, beet sugar, therapeutic alkaloids, gas, gilding and silvering, etc.; then came electro-chemistry, whereby metallurgy was radically revolutionized; thermo-chemistry and the chemistry of explosives, whereby fresh energy was imparted to mining and to war; the wonders of organic chemistry in the production of colors, of flavors, of therapeutic and antiseptic means, etc. But all that is only a start: soon much more important problems are to be solved. About the year 2000 there will be no more agriculture and no more farmers: chemistry will have done away with the former cultivation of the soil. There will be no more coal-shafts, consequently, neither will there be any more miners' strikes. Fuel is produced by chemical and physical processes. Tariffs and wars are abolished: aerial navigation, that helped itself to chemicals as motor power, pronounced the sentence of death upon those obsolete habits. The whole problem of industry then consists in discovering sources of power, that are inexhaustible and resortable to with little labor. Until now we have produced steam through the chemical energy of burning mineral coal. But mineral coal is hard to get and its supply decreases daily. Attention must be turned towards utilizing the heat of the sun and of the earth's crust. The hope is justified that both sources will be drawn upon without limit. The boring of a shaft 3,000 to 4,000 meters deep does not exceed the power of modern, less yet it will exceed that of future engineers. The source of all heat and of all industry would be thus thrown open. Add water to that, and all imaginable machinery may be put in perpetual operation on earth: the source of this power would experience hardly any diminution in hundreds of years.
"With the aid of the earth's heat, numerous chemical problems will become solvable, among these the greatest of all—the chemical production of food. In principle, the problem is solved now. The synthesis of fats and oils has been long known; likewise are sugar and hydrates of carbon known; nor will it be long before the secret of compounding azote is out. The food problem is a purely chemical one. The day when the corresponding cheap power shall have been obtained, food of all sort will be producable with carbon out of carbon oxides, and with hydrogen and acids out of water, and with nitrogen out of the atmosphere. What until now vegetation has done, industry will thenceforth perform, and more perfectly than Nature itself. The time will come when everyone will carry about him a little box of chemicals wherewith to provide his food supply of albumen, fat and hydrates of carbon, regardless of the hour of the day or the season of the year, regardless of rain or drought, of frost or hail, or insects. A revolution will then set in of which no conception is so far possible. Fields bearing fruit, wine-bearing mountain slopes and pastures for cattle will have vanished. Man will have gained in gentleness and morality seeing he no longer lives on the murder and destruction of living beings. Then also will the difference drop away between fertile and barren districts; perchance deserts may then become the favorite homes of man being healthier than the damp valleys and the swamp-infected plains. Then also will Art, together with all the beauties of human life reach full development. No longer will the face of earth be marred, so to speak, with geometrical figures, now entailed by agriculture: it will become a garden in which, at will, grass or flowers, bush or woods, can be allowed to grow, and in which the human race will live in plenty, in a Golden Age. Nor will man thereby sink into indolence and corruption. Work is requisite to happiness, and man will work as much as ever, because he will be working for himself aiming at the highest development of his mental, moral and esthetical powers."
Every reader may accept what he please of this address of Prof. Berthelot; certain, however, is the prospect that in the future and in virtue of the progress of science, wealth—the volume and variety of products—will increase enormously, and that the pleasures of life of the coming generations will take undreamed of increment.
An aspiration, deeply implanted in the nature of man, is that of freedom in the choice and change of occupation. As uninterrupted repetition renders the daintiest of dishes repulsive, so with a daily treadmill-like recurring occupation: it dulls and relaxes the senses. Man then does only mechanically what he must do; he does it without swing or enjoyment. There are latent in all men faculties and desires that need but to be awakened and developed to produce the most beautiful results. Only then does man become fully and truly man. Towards the satisfaction of this need of change, Socialist society offers, as will be shown, the fullest opportunity. The mighty increase of productive powers, coupled with an ever progressing simplification of the process of labor, not only enables a considerable lowering of hours of work, it also facilitates the acquisition of skill in many directions.
The old apprentice system has survived its usefulness: it exists to-day only and is possible only in backward, old-fashioned forms of production, as represented by the small handicrafts. Seeing, however, that this vanishes from the new social Order, all the institutions and forms peculiar thereto vanish along with it. New ones step in. Every factory shows us to-day how few are its workingmen, still engaged at a work that they have been apprenticed in. The employes are of the most varied, heterogeneous trades; a short time suffices to train them in any sub-department of work, at which, in accord with the ruling system of exploitation, they are then kept at work longer hours, without change or regard to their inclinations, and, lashed to the machine, become themselves a machine. Such a state of things has no place in a changed organization of society. There is ample time for the acquisition of dexterity of hand and the exercise of artistic skill. Spacious training schools, equipped with all necessary comforts and technical perfections will facilitate to young and old the acquisition of any trade. Chemical and physical laboratories, up to all the demands of these sciences, and furnished with ample staffs of instructors will be in existence. Only then will be appreciated to its full magnitude what a world of ambitions and faculties the capitalist system of production suppresses, or forces awry into mistaken paths.
It is not merely possible to have a regard for the need of change; it is the purpose of society to realize its satisfaction: the harmonious growth of man depends upon that. The professional physiognomies that modern society brings to the surface—whether the profession be in certain occupations of some sort or other, or in gluttony and idleness, or in compulsory tramping—will gradually vanish. There are to-day precious few people with any opportunity of change in their occupations, or who exercise the same. Occasionally, individuals are found who, favored by circumstances, withdraw from the routine of their daily pursuits and, after having paid their tribute to physical, recreate themselves with intellectual work; and conversely, brain workers are met off and on, who seek and find change in physical labors of some sort or other, handwork, gardening, etc. Every hygienist will confirm the invigorating effect of a pursuit that rests upon alternating physical and mental work; only such a pursuit is natural. The only qualification is that it be moderately indulged, and in proportion to the strength of the individual.
Leo Tolstoi lashes the hypertrophic and unnatural character that art and science have assumed under the unnatural conditions of modern society. He severely condemns the contempt for physical labor, entertained in modern society, and he recommends a return to natural conditions. Every being, who means to live according to the laws of nature and enjoy life, should divide the day between, first, physical field labor; secondly, hand work; thirdly, mental work; fourthly, cultured and companionable intercourse. More than eight hours' physical work should not be done. Tolstoi, who practices this system of life, and who, as he says, has felt himself human only since he put it into practice, perceives only what is possible to him, a rich, independent man, but wholly impossible to the large mass of mankind, under existing conditions. The person who must do hard physical work every day ten, twelve and more hours, to gain a meager existence, and who was brought up in ignorance, can not furnish himself with the Tolstoian system of life. Neither can they, who are on the firing line of business life and are compelled to submit to its exactions. The small minority who could imitate Tolstoi have, as a rule, no need to do so. It is one of the illusions that Tolstoi yields to, the belief that social systems can be changed by preaching and example. The experiences made by Tolstoi with his system of life prove how rational the same is; in order, however, to introduce such a system of life as a social custom, a social foundation is requisite other than the present. It requires a new society.
Future society will have such a foundation; it will have scientists and artists of all sorts in abundance; but all of them will work physically a part of the day, and devote the rest, according to their liking, to study, the arts or companionable intercourse.
The existing contrast between mental and manual labor—a contrast that the ruling classes seek to render as pronounced as possible with the view of securing for themselves also the intellectual means of sovereignty—will likewise be removed.
It follows from the preceding arguments that crises and compulsory idleness are impossible phenomena in the new social Order. Crises arise from the circumstance that individualist, capitalist production—incited by profit and devoid of all reliable gauge with which to ascertain the actual demand—brings an overstocking of the world's market, and thus overproduction. The merchandise feature of the products under capitalism, of the products that their owners endeavor to exchange, makes the use of the product dependent upon the consumer's capacity to buy. The capacity to buy is, however, limited, in so far as the overwhelming majority are concerned, they being under-paid for their labor, or even wholly unable to sell the same if the capitalist does not happen to be able to squeeze a surplus value out of it. The capacity to buy and the capacity to consume are two wholly distinct things in capitalist society. Many millions of people are in want of clothes, shoes, furniture, linen, eatables and drinkables, but they have no money, and their wants, i. e., their capacity to consume, remains unsatisfied. The market is glutted with goods, but the masses suffer hunger; they are willing to work, but they find none to buy their labor-power because the holder of money sees nothing to "make" in the purchase. "Die, canaille; become vagabonds, criminals! I, the capitalist, can not help it. I have no use for goods that I have no purchaser to buy from me with corresponding profit." And, in a way, the man is right.
In the new social Order this contradiction is wiped out. Socialist society produces not "merchandise," in order to "buy" and to "sell;" it produces necessaries of life, that are used, consumed, and otherwise have no object. In Socialist society, accordingly, the capacity to consume is not bounded, as in bourgeois society, by the individual's capacity to buy; it is bounded by the collective capacity to produce. If labor and instruments of labor are in existence, all wants can be satisfied; the social capacity to consume is bounded only by the satisfaction of the consumers.
There being no "merchandise" in Socialist society, neither can there be any "money." Money is the visible contrast of merchandise; yet itself is merchandise! Money, though itself merchandise, is at the same time the social equivalent for all other articles of merchandise. But Socialist society produces no articles of merchandise, only articles of use and necessity, whose production requires a certain measure of social labor. The time, on an average requisite for the production of an article is the only standard by which it is measured for social use. Ten minutes social labor in one article are equal to ten minutes social labor in another—neither more nor less. Society is not "on the make"; it only seeks to effect among its members the exchange of articles of equal quality, equal utility. It need not even set up a standard of use value. It merely produces what it needs. If society finds that a three-hour work day is requisite for the production of all that is needed, it establishes such a term of work. If the methods of production improve in such wise that the supply can be raised in two hours, the two-hour work day is established. If, on the contrary, society demands the gratification of higher wants than, despite the increase of forces and the improved productivity of the process of labor, can be satisfied with two or three hours work, then the four-hour day is introduced. Its will is law.
How much social labor will be requisite for the production of any article is easily computed. The relation of the part to the whole of the working time is measured accordingly. Any voucher—a printed piece of paper, gold or tin—certifies to the time spent in work, and enables its possessor to exchange it for articles of various kinds. If he finds that his wants are smaller than what he receives for his labor, he then works proportionally shorter hours. If he wishes to give away what he does not consume, nothing hinders him. If he is disposed to work for another out of his own free will, so that the latter may revel in the dolce far niente,—if he chooses to be such a blockhead, nothing hinders him. But none can compel him to work for another; none can withhold from him a part of what is due him for labor performed. Everyone can satisfy all his legitimate desires—only not at the expense of others. He receives the equivalent of what he has rendered to society—neither more nor less, and he remains free from all exploitation by third parties.
"But what becomes of the difference between the lazy and the industrious? between the intelligent and the stupid?" That is one of the principal questions from our opponents, and the answer gives them no slight headache. That this distinction between the "lazy" and the "industrious," the "intelligent" and the "stupid" is not made in our civil service hierarchy, but that the term of service decides in the matter of salary and generally of promotion also—these are facts that occur to none of these would-be puzzlers and wiseacres. The teachers, the professors—and as a rule the latter are the silliest questioners—move into their posts, not according to their own qualities, but according to the salaries that these posts bring. That promotions in the army and in the hierarchies of the civil service and the learned professions are often made, not according to worth, but according to birth, friendship and female influence, is a matter of public notoriety. That, however, wealth also is not measured by diligence and intelligence may be judged by the Berlin inn-keepers, bakers and butchers, to whom grammar often is a mystery, and who figure in the first of the three classes of the Prussian electorate, while the intellectuals of Berlin, the men of science, the highest magistrates of the Empire and the State, vote with the second class. There is not now any difference between the "lazy" and the "diligent," the "intelligent" and the "stupid" for the simple reason that what is understood by these terms exists no longer. A "lazy" fellow society only calls him who has been thrown out of work, is compelled to lead a vagabond's life and finally does become a vagabond, or who, grown up under improper training, sinks into vice. But to style "lazy fellow" the man who rolls in money and kills the day with idleness or debauchery, would be an insult: he is a "worthy and good man."