74 Studies in Socialism
ing, and a vigorous manipulation of the law, we ought not to rest content after we have repeated Liebknecht's ideas; we must apply them with method and consistency. Those who talk alter- nately of the vote and the rifle, those who, when universal suffrage favours them, give it their al- legiance, and when it goes against them, reject it, trouble the forward march of the party by the incoherence of their thought.
And when I say this I accuse myself as much as any one else. We all, or almost all, have con- fused ideas on the subject of tactics and our action is thereby hampered and weakened. By our con- stant use of republican lawful methods and of uni- versal suffrage, we weaken the instinct of revolt and the classical revolutionary tradition of an appeal to force. By our intermittent and purely rhetorical appeals to force, to the rifle, we weaken our hold on universal suffrage. We undoubtedly ought to make a decision, to ask ourselves whether it serves any useful purpose for us to mark the votes cast legally into the ballot-box with a few grains of powder, that, moreover, never explode.
Do we need the majority, and can we win it over to our side ? There lies the problem. If the answer is yes, then an appeal to force is, as I,iebknecht says, counter-revolutionary. Well, lyiebknecht answers Yes.
I translate again:
" We have pointed out, finally, that the Party,