Page:Studies in socialism 1906.djvu/196

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Studies in Socialism

vidualist property, of Communism and Capitalism. This is the fundamental law of great transformations. Marx and Engels had a perfect right to say in 1872 that they set no great store by their 1847 programme, and this confession was by no means a recantation. "This passage now requires modifications in several directions. The immense industrial progress of the last twenty-five years, the parallel advance of the working class organised as a party, have superannuated more than one passage of this programme." At the most one must be astonished that they did not in 1847 assign a more important rôle to industrial Communism.

But the really amazing thing is that they should have thought the proletariat strong enough to confiscate for its own advantage the bourgeois revolution, and to "capture the democracy " by a sudden stroke, and at the same time have supposed it incapable of fully establishing industrial Communism, even in the first flush of victory and in the most advanced countries. The most striking thing in the Manifesto is not the chaos of the programme, but the chaos of the method. By a stroke of physical force the proletariat will have established itself in power in the beginning; by a stroke of force it will have wrenched power from the revolutionary bourgeoisie. It will "capture the democracy"; the fact is, in other words, that it will suspend it, since it substitutes the dictatorial will of a single class for the freely con-