Page:Georges Sorel, Reflections On Violence (1915).djvu/66

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CHAPTER I

CLASS WAR AND VIOLENCE

 I. War of the poorer groups against the rich groups—Opposition of democracy to the division into classes—Methods of buying social peace—The corporative mind.

II. Illusions relating to the disappearance of violence—The mechanism of conciliation and the encouragement which it gives to strikers—Influence of fear on social legislation and its consequences.

I

Everybody complains that discussions about Socialism are generally exceedingly obscure. This obscurity is due, for the most part, to the fact that contemporary Socialists use a terminology which no longer corresponds to their ideas. The best known among the people who call themselves revisionists do not wish to appear to be abandoning certain phrases, which have served for a very long time as a label to characterise Socialist literature. When Bernstein, perceiving the enormous contradiction between the language of social democracy and the true nature of its activity, urged his German comrades to have the courage to appear what they were in reality,[1] and to revise a doctrine that had become mendacious, there was a universal outburst of indignation at his audacity; and

  1. Bernstein complains of the pettifoggery and cant which reigns among the social democrats (Socialisme théorique et socicaldémocratie pratique, French translation, p. 277). He addresses these words from Schiller to social democracy: "Let it dare to appear what it is" (p. 238).

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