I20 Studies in Socialism
capitalist system to capitulate. Bourgeois society will set up a resistance proportional to the mag- nitude of the interests at stake. In other words, to a revolutionary general strike that will require of it the sacrifice of its very existence, it will op- pose a resistance up to the limit of its powers.
Now, neither a stoppage of production and transportation, nor even extended violence to property and persons, is enough to bring about the overthrow of a society. No matter how powerful one supposes the effects of a general revolutionary strike to be, they can hardly exceed those of great wars and great invasions. Great wars, too, put a stop to or very much upset pro- duction, suspend or hinder trafiic, and throw all economic life into a confusion which one might suppose fatal. Notwithstanding all this, societies resist these almost deadly crises, these apparently insuperable evils, with the most extraordinary vitality.
I am not speaking of the Hundred Years' War in France, or the Thirty Years' War in Ger- many. Then society kept its form in spite of unheard-of trials, — brigandage, sieges, famines, burnings, perpetual fighting and ravaging of whole tracts of country. But in more modern societies, in bourgeois society itself, what pro- digious upheavals! Since the last half of 1793 the society that was the creation of the Revolu- tion has suffered and has even inflicted on itself in its ov/n defence injuries that doubtless no gen-