Page:Karl Marx the man and his message.pdf/17

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were impossibilists in those days even as there are now, and those, also as now, were all for "revolution." Here, then, is how Marx illustrates the methods to be employed for bringing Socialism into being. After showing that "the first step" is to raise the working class, i.e., form a Labour Party, so as to make the workers "the ruling class," he goes on to say that this new ruling class "will use its position of supremacy to wrest, by degrees, all capital from the capitalist class," and, thus in time, "centralise all instruments of production in the hands of the State," i.e. of the workers organised as the ruling class. Be it noted that the first thing to be done is to get the workers in power as the "ruling class"—as has been done in Australia—and then begin to take over "by degrees" the instruments of production. In the beginning, he adds, measures which appear "insufficient and intenable" will be passed, but the very passing of these measures will lead to the demand for further measures, making still "further inroads upon the old social order," and, however irksome this process may appear to be, it is "unavoidable" if we are ever to attain the goal. The measures to be supported by the Communists—the "most advanced section of the working-class movement," be it remembered—would, he said, vary in different countries, but in the "most advanced" the following will be pretty generally applicable. I give the first three items verbatim, and in the order in which they appear:

  1. Abolition of property in land, and the application of all rents to land to public purposes.
  2. A heavy progressive or graduated income tax.
  3. Abolition of all right of inheritance.

Item four is a curious one, and is only understandable on the supposition that Marx had in his mind when he wrote it a State in which Labour had already become "the ruling class." It reads as follows "Confiscation of the property of all emigrants and rebels." The rebels Marx had in mind were undoubtedly those members of the deposed ruling class who were taking arms against their new masters. Imagine the Marquis of Bute and the Duke of Westminster taking up arms against a Government which insisted on their working for their own living! The other items on the programme include such measures as National Banks and Railways, increase in factories, etc., owned by the State; liability of all to labour—which may have meant the Right to Work; the reclamation of Waste Lands; Free Education, and Abolition of Child Labour "in its present form." Such are the main items. Reading the first three items and remembering the Land, Inheritance, and Graduated Income Taxes of last year's Budget, one wonders where the so-called pure Marxists got their authority for criticising the Labour Party for giving it support. Certainly not in the teaching of Marx himself; still less in his political