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The Three
Anticapitalistic Movements
The opposition to industrial capitalism and laissez faire philosophy de-
in three movements, interrelated, but dearly distinguishable.
There was one"groupofthinkers who had become discouraged by the
evils of the growing industrial society and wanted to return to medieval
forms of life with mOre or less important modifications; we would call
the if that name did not carry deprecating implica-
xions; since it does, is perhaps a better term.
The second, group consists of economists, philosophers, and other hu-
manitarians who did not think that medieval conditions could or should
restored, even in a modified form. They thought that the technique of
production as developed by 'i.D.dustry great progress
which mankind should retain while freeing it from its accompanying
evils; and they realized that modern technology could not be used in a
, social order with guild rules and feudal institutions. Some of
thinkers also believed that modern social reform requires mass move-
""w"" which could not be organized in a society dontinated by the spirit
the Middle Ages. One element of their creed was the idea that large-
enterprise could be made a blessing to mankind if it were conductea
,by a community of workers instead of by an individual capitalist. These
were the socialists.
A third group 'was distinguished from the two others by its program
',and by its kind of membership. The two former groups represented
movements of intellectuals, the tlllra'was the movement of the lower
class itself, oppressed by the conditions under early capitalism and out-
;;ged by the doctrine that their suffering was natural and inevitably end-
22 Chapter I
less, and part of a social system advantageous for mankind. This group
was the labor movement.
.. -" .. -.,.---- --
A considerable number of men have always stood on the border between
the first two groups. On the other hand, the contacts between the third
group and the second were originally far less numerous. The workers'
movement grew out of the journeymen's societies which had been formed
within the framework of the medieval guild system; while it is improb-
able that any of the trade unions of the nineteenth century .can be traced
back to one of these earlier organizations, there is no doubt that the tradi-
tion of solidarity was transmitted to the modern labor movement by the
alliances which the apprenticed workers of the guilds had formed to de-
fend their interests against the masters, and to help each other in case of
illness and disability. However, up to almost the middle of the nineteenth
century, these organizations did not have a very important place in the
ideas of social reformers. It is the obligation of any history of socialism to
describe how the socialist movement and the workers' movement grew
together-how the idea came to prevail that socialism should be estab-
lished through the workers' struggle for their social emancipation.
The socially minded rclatiohship of
allegiance between-the lord and the men. under his-manorial jurisdiction,
or among the members of a guild had given the lower classes more
security and real satisfaction than they could enjoy under the modern
_ ecollOmic system in which human beings figure only as buyers and
oCcommodities and labor. In one form or the other, these mutual obliga-
tions should be revived, and should be safeguarded by institutional
guarantees. The aristocratic guardians of tradition and authority should
accept the responsibility for leading' the masses in their struO'o1e aO'ainst
...... I::ll::l 0
the evils of industrialism, and the masses should be educated to think of
their aims not only in terms of an institutional reform but also in terms
of a new assertion to those moral values which had once been the accepted
basis of human life in church, guild, and manor. In the opinion of this
group, class (whether old or new nobility) is indispeI)-sable

.. tlo."-,nasses ... > ,
In England, this line of thought -first'becomes conspicuous in Edmund
a,,,'ke, and it is continued by the Earl of Shaftesbury, T-homasCarlyle,
John Ruskin, Matthew Arnold, some of the so-called
then-mixed with elements of imperialism-by Disl'aeli andJosephcGham-
The Three Anticapitalistic Movements 23
berlain.,Combined with almost radical social programs, it is to be found
in Chesterton and some of the Guild Socialists. There are great differ-
ences among these thinkers; they are all in favor of government for the
people, but divided by their opinions abou: governn:':nt by the people.
The idea that the privileged keepers of natIOnal tradlllons should accept
responsibility for the well-being of the governed is .an idea of all
servatives who are in any way able to learn from hIStory. But the Idea
that the underprivileged should work out own can be
reconciled with a modified conservatism, not WIth the onglDal Tory vIew.
Therefore the most important differences among the social-minded ,
is the greater or lesser degree in which they accept that
emancipation of the proletarians must be the own work:
To Shaftesbury, for instance, the idea of a class struggle l.n .any IS
abhorrent. it is hardly less so to Carlyle. Maurice, the Chnstlan Soc!ahst,
on the oilier hand, became an organizer of workmen's cooperatives .and
joined hands with Chartists, though he too, to the end of his life, remalDed
a monarchist and a believer in tradition.
Adam Miiller, the leader of German political romantidsm,_ was cer-
tainly not the first who tried to elaborate the idea of revitalizing the spirit
of the Middle Ages for the protection of the lower classes, but he was
probably the first in Germany who did it systematically and was con-
scious of the nature of the forces he was combating. Hi, line of thought
was taken up by many political philosophers before the middle of the
nineteenth century; among these were FriedrichJulius Stahl, the great
leader of political conservatism, and Victor Aime Hube:, the early p:o-
tagonist of cooperatives in Germany. Tendencies of soclally progressIve
conservatism are also found in many economists of the elder and younger
historical schools. Karl Rodbertus, the author of a system of anticapitalist
economics, in which he emph;sizes the inevitabiliry and evils of depres-
sions, stands between socialism. and conservatism. Rudolph Meyer,
ably the best historian of early German socialism, was also one of the
most active among the socially progressive conservatives. With Hermann
Wagener and still more with Pastor Stocker socially progressive con-
servatism in Germany took a turn toward demagogy-directing the mass
'nstincts of hatred aO"alnst O'roups supporting liberalism. Bismarck, as the
" " 'h' 1
creator of laws and universal suffrage, had m Imse
sui f-uolo
d.el pf..o1e-

some traits of a socially progressive Tory and was not at all averse to
making use of the masses against the liberals-he called it Acheronta
movere-but he found the StOcker propaganda dangerous and suppressed
it. The Stocker movement was the last important attempt at crossbreed-
+. b
\ 2

Chapter I ii
iog between socialism and conservatism in imperial Germany, e."(cept for /'
the Catholic sector of the country.
The Roman Catholic Church in Germany produced a great number of ';:
,men wanted to reconcile some socialist ideas with traditional. values,
and particularly with the monarchy. The most important of them waS j
von Kettder, Bishop of Mainz. Catholic social reform was, of i:
course, an international movement, and some of the basic impulses were <'
the same in Germany as elsewhere. Yet the unity of the church is not
incompatible with toleration of many differences, as long as matters of f
fundamental doctrine are not affected. Thus it was possible that the
Catholic social movement in Germany developed considerable differences

from that in Latin countries. Catholicism in Germany was not only a t(
minority religion, but it was a religion which was viewed with suspicion
and sometimes with hostility by the leading groups in the HohenzoYern i::
monarchy. This strengthened the oppositional feelings of many Catholic
reformers. While there were always attempts to keep the Catholic reform k
movement within the limits of paternalistic ideas and to make it a
wark against socialism, rather than <:). promoter of social refor_m, the most
powerful forces worked in the opposite direction. In spite of their innate f
conservatism, most Catholic reformers found it increasingly necessary to
collaborate with the soclahsts; after the failure of the monarchy in 1918,
this collaboration culminated in an allIance of the socialist ana CatholIC
forces in Germany for the establishment of a socIaliy progressIve i
Not only Catholic reformers, but mOSt of those lonely thinkers among ,
the German conservatives who were deeply concerned about the fate
of the workers, found it ultimately necessary to seek contact with the
socialists rather than to fight them. Rodbertus was forced to take--this
road in the last years of his life; Friedrich Naumann and Max Weber,
both originally conservative men and determined, though not blind,
nationalists to the end of their lives, found the left wing of liberalism. in
the political neighborhood of the socialists, a better place for their work "
than any position within or close to the Conservative party. There 'was
no broad stratum of German conservative society in which social re- r:
formers could find support, and therefore almost everybody in Germany
who entertained social as well as conservative ideas waS finally forced to
choose between his socialism and his conservatism.
,ftlw.;tys_ ..
been in contact with the but, with the exception of social activi
ties in most cases, the direct product of
church movements. In France, however, the conservative movement for
The Three Anticapitalistic Movements
social reform became entirely dependent on the Roman Catholic
By the 1830'S P. J. B. Buchez, a disciple of Saint-Simon's, already tned
to build up a cooperative movement with alms of SOCIal
form and to imbue it with the spirit of CathollClsm. But Buchez em-
phasized so. much the necessity of social change that h.e came close to a
socialist position; it is doubtful whether he can be a
rive. This doubt also applies to Felicite whose dIS-
appointment over the failure of the Holy See to lend any support to a
program of social reform finally caused him to leave the pnest-
hood7 and-perhaps to a somewhat less Armand de Melun.
The latter's role in French history, however, IS for an
of the eventual identification of conservatlve SOCIal reform Wlth
a wing
of the Catholic Church: in the words of P,,;;ker T. Moon, th:
historian of French social catholicism, Melun's work represents a
. al fr the liberal reforming spirit of r848 to the conservatIsm
non stage am . . 1
f th S d E
. "1 He was a strong advocate of protectlve legls a-
D e econ mplre. th
tion for the workers, and he did not expect success merely through e
. f the upper classes rather he saw the necessIty of
arouse conSCIence 0 " .
mobilizing the people and endowing them with political power to bnng
about the enactment of ameliorative laws. Although, m conformIty WIth
Catholic tradition, he believed that "the state should supplement" and
utilize private efforts for social service, rather than replacmg them, hIS
ideas about 'the necessity of state intervention went much beyond of
most of his contemporaries in the middle class, including
Catholics. As long as the trend that culminated in the February
was a great force in public opinion, Melun could at least obtam
an audience for his proposals, but the reaction followed the bloody
conllict between the middle class and the workers m the summer of
forced him out of public life; in vain did he try to play the same
1 1 . the class struggle as the Christian Sociahsts of Bntaln
Cl latory rO e In f 1 th
did after the defeat of Chartism.' Had Melun's effort been success u, e
between socialists and practising Catholics never have
become one of the primary determmants of French polincs., .
The opinion climate after 1848, which destroyed Melun s mlluence,
was more favorable to the ideas of Frederic Le Play, the first true
. the French Catholics who concerned themselves m-
servatIve among .
tensely with the social problem. He was so conservative that he dId
want the proletariat to organize against the employers even 1ll pure y
. tr gles for wages and hours the organizations founded by
economIC s ug , . d
the followers of Le Play included employers as well as workers. Nor dl
Chapter I
Le Play favor government interference with business for the protection of
labor: he had a low opinion of bureaucrats. Yet he was strictly opposed
to the classical doctrine that the common good is best secured if every-
body strives for his own profit, and he urged the employers to be con-
scious of their social obligations and to interpret them in broad terms.
This is why, despite his conservatism, Le Play's name has a prevailingly
positive significance in the history of social reform. At the time when Le
Play published his writings, the working class everywhere in Europe
was disorganized and discouraged by defeats. In France, under :t:!'apo-
leon III, the defeat of the proletarian movement had been followed by
severe repression. In this situation there was grave danger that the ad-
vocates of unrestricted capitalism would have a complete triumph. Noth-
ing could be done for the protection of the workers except by strengthen-
ing the paternalistic tendencies inherent in the Second Empire. This
is what Le Play did; he kept social thought alive in a period in which it
might have been suffocated.
The role of Le Play's disciples was different. They were active in the
age of the Third Republic, when socialism and the working-class move-
ment had recovered both from their defeat of 1848 and from their new
defeat of 1871. In that period, the proletarian movement was favored by
the strongest history-making forces, and the paternalistic ideas of ,Le
Play could only work as an unnecessary brake and even an obstacle to
the progress of social thought. Therefore one may classify the Le Play
school, as distinguished from its founder, among those forces which
slowed down the rise of the working class.
Other of the Catholic movement in France went much
further than Le Play in supporting the workers' fight against exploita-
tion by the capitalists. The movement which laid the least emphasis upon
conservatism and the greatest on social progress was called "Christian
democracy." Somewhat more to the right, considering itself the true
executor of the policy of Pop" XIII, which he had in ,the
was' the--so-called __ Like
the Stocker movement iii. Germany, the Christian Democrats became
very demagogic, and it is typical that in both cases antiSemitism was
used to mobilize the masses-the anti-Dreyfus movement in the early
1890's received much support from the ranks of the Christian Democrats.
We have forged far ahead of the period with which this chapter is
otherwise concerned. For the purpose of this book, socially progressive
conservatism is a fringe subject; it was therefore necessary to cover the
development of that movement in one rough survey up to the end of the
The Three Anticapitalistic Movements
century. The conservative movement for social reform has not yet found
its historian; it has been touched upon in many histories but has never
been presented as a whole. If anybody ever undertakes this job, he will
have to speak of splendid intellectual achievements and of self-sacrificing
endeavors of noble minds. But he will also have to speak of prejudice,
wishful thinking, exploitation of great ideals for selfish purposes. And
he will, finally, have to state that socially progressive conservatism has
never been more than an eddy in the great stream of proletarian socialism.
The idea of reviving the spiritof the1iiddleAgesatllo time .determined
the direction the- t .movement, though inc,igents in the
. " -"' - '- .
history of this movement, cannoL be ,understood without taking into
account the medievalist trend of thought. It was not the spirit of the
guilds and the manor, but the ideas of the
basis ?r
H'Oeded an_aljy, it
The fact that in most parliaments the
conservatives sit on the right, the liberals in the middle, and the socialists
on the left reflects their relative political positions.

,political.power. The liberals made the mistake of believing that the bread-
question could be left out; the socially progressive
rives believed that as soon as the question was satisfac-
torily solved, the question of political equaliry could be minimized. The
workers knew that bread is important, but they also knew that man does
not live by bread alone. Moreover, they realized that bread would always
be insecure as long as the workers did not have sufficient political power
to defend their livelihood. They were not tempted by any scheme which
would give the masses some measure of economic security and wen-
beingas an act of benevolence, nor have they everbeerireadyto ackno;"J.
edge the leadership of any hereditary class. They wanted the right to
choose their own leaders.
Aside from the social-minded conservatives, we have mentioned
other groups which formed the opposition to the rising industrial capital-
ism: the intellectual socialists and the workers trying to form organiza-
tions for the protection of their immediate interests. t:vo forces are
Chapter I The Three Anticapitalistic Movements
clearly distinguishable up to the last decades of the nineteenth century. To
be sure, they tended to merge from the beginning, but not before 1830
does this tendency become conspicuous, and not much before 1850 have
large sections of the workers' movement become imbued with socialist
spirit. The fusion of, socialism,_ and the Iabor is J?ot
,- -,.,.-.".- -' ... -- , ".. . ... ,-- - ....
Before we enter into any historical detail,-let us consider why -the fusion
between socialism -and the labor movement was inevitable. It is clear
enough why socialism needed labor. The socialists proposed a theory
which the privileged could only regard as dangerous to their interests.
After a comparatively short and necessarily futile attempt to persuade the
privileged that they should support socialism for ethical reasons, or to
persuade communities still dominated by the powerful few to adopt social-
ist policies, the socialists naturally turned to the underprivileged to win
their support for a reform of society which would make socialism a reality.
But how did it happen that they were successful?
Originally, the workers were not able to understand the schemes whiCh
provided for a total rebuilding of society, and they certainly did not have
much confidence in them. Their primary interest was in the immediate
reforms which would improve their lot. But no movement
can succeed if its members are concerned with nothing but their own
personal gain. expressed in terms of wages and hours for themsclves.
Every organization of labor must expect its members to make great
sacrifices for their cause-to risk losing their jobs, and in times of
sian even their liberty and sometimes their lives. If the labor movement
has nothing to offer but better wages and shorter hours for the individual
worker, then the decision becomes a mere matter of dollars and cents, and
the worker will frequently decide that for him personally the risk is by
far too great to be compensated by any possible gain. The workers' move-
ment can live through hard times only if the workers develop a sense of
duty toward the movement as a cause' more important than any individ-
ual's wages or even life. Socialiffi pr_oyided the workers' movement with
the ideal which labor needed to become a force insociety:-- .-
Many seeds of socialist thought had been planteddu;ing the seven-
teenth and eighteenth centuries in the_discussions about the right of
property and its relation to naturallaw.
Outstanding contributors on 'the
or at least on the' antiproperty side were Gerrard Winstanley, the
spokesman for the "diggers" or "True Levellers," the extremist faction of
the Levellers, who themselves wing of the Crom-
wellian revolution,' .Gabriel. B. dl'. Mably who combined deep pessimism
about civilization with fiery advocacy of economic equality; his intel-
lectual successor Morelly, about whom we know little except his main
work;' and, most important, Jean)acquesR()usseau, archenemy of in-
archpessimist about the effects of civilization, imbued with a
religious fervor that made his philosophy an unexcelled instrument to
stir up the souls of men.
The thinking of all these writers was sharpened
by their antagonism to the other wing of the natural-law school of thought
-to those who, like Locke, believed in the progress of civilization as an
expression of the law of nature, and in private property as a condition of
The triumphal perio<\"'oi..natJJra1Jaw-jlMo.SQEhy w_a.s when
the Fise of
ne", for two principal reasons: first, the new factory system was
full of evils which nobody could overlook and which challenged human
minds to think out the principles of a better society; second, the new
indHstrial technology showed the immense potentialities of technical
Britain had initiated the Industrial Revolution, but she had also carried
out"-'the systematically other large country, and
around 1800 the plight of the peasants driven from their land exerted no
less influence on the development of socialist ideas than the advance of
technology. __ for it ',yas inequality of)aJ}.d
ownership rather ,th'an the horrors of the factory that presented
greatest to. man's sense of justice; at least, the evils of in-
dustrialism could in his opinion have been greatly reduced if each man
and woman could have been given an equal share in land, as natural
justice would have demanded. He did not consider it possible, however,
to carry out such a program of equal land distribution, and therefore
devised a substitute. Every landowner should pay a ground rent, amount-
ing to the pure value of the land after deduction of all improvements. This
, ground rent should go to the community which should use the proceeds
to pay a sort of social dividend to every propertyless person.
Considerably more radical than Paine was Thomas Sl"'nce (1750-1814).
He wanted to see all land collectivized and title local com-
. munities. These would lease the land to farmers who would pay a mod-
, erate rent; the latter would form the only revenue of the government, all
other levies were to be abolished. Thus Spence anticipated the concept
of a single tax-the great postulate of land reformers toward the end of
, the nineteenth century" .
Chapter 1
Spence originally was a school teacher, but turned into a popular
agItator, who lllfluenccd the masses not only through writings but also
:hrough personal contacts. The unrest of the masses, caused by the grow-
Ing conSClousness of their misery and by the example of the French
Revolution, favored his efforts and he became successful as a propagandist.
In 18I2, an, association was founded under the name of Spencean Phi-
lanthropists, but Spence himself died shortly afterward, and the associa-
tion became involved in plots, caused by despair over the reactionary
policy of the government. The movement was finally reduced by
!lons of some of its leaders and banishment of others.
The preoccupation of many early British socialists with the land prob-
lem may not have been favorable to their influence on the Continent and
may partly explain why they have not received as much attention as the
French Utopians and Robert Owen. Yet Paine and .. Spence some of
their like-minded contemporaries have exerted a
the development of socialism because they h;lpecl to fill the P92! of
,deas from whIch, in the life of the following generation, the Owenite
and Chartist movements were fed; 9 and these movements in. their turn
socialist thought and the of the labor movement
for many decades.- .. .. '. . __ ..... __ ..... __ .
Although the English w_riters are distinguished by their agrarianism
from the early French socialists, nearly all socialist schools before Marx
have some basic ideas in common. With many of their nonsocialisr--con_
iii)iaturallaw,. and ihey attached to
__ Society had originally been' good, _ that
IS, equalItarIan; through the establishment of artificial institutions had
the cleavage between wealth and poverty, together with such destructive
elements as covetousness and competition, been introduced into the life
of the human race. __ ,it "as _ duty
artificially created evils in orde;ihat the' forces Of the
- tIle
__ __ lie opposite
_ inter:rence in' eeo-nomic affairs 'because
__ __ goes, "by _'_itsdf,n' -as' the -had "beeri" -iri the habiCof.
But with so much unhappiness . stiil in the
could b: made for the socialist idea that the natural forcesof. the good'
were stIll frustrated by artificial obstructions.
Yet: to remove these obstacles is an essentially negative task: Once the
natJ..!.ral_ of man is no longer impeded, socialism will emerge in
The Three Anticapitalistic Movements 31
the course of a natural process. The latter idea of .the early nineteenth-
century socialists must be carefully considered in order to define their
historical position. TJly.are.usually ... called.the ... llwpj;l11s, and this term
is to signify tha,theY.!iAclAQt work out a specific theon, telling what form
;;:'as by necessitY.1:Qc!eve!op, but tried to. show the desirable
fQ!'mof sOciery,. K"rl"M';;'; and Friedrich Engels, who were mainly inter-
est;ci' b proving that socialism was inevitable because the- economic laws
dominating history would work for the establishment of a socialist so-
ciety, later scorned the ... ___ __a
,I!l;_W society instea9, C?__ ..
What good would it do to know what we should desire, if some-
thing else was bound to happen?
difference. between. their own position .'Y'd that.oLthe The
discovery of historical trends;
they only failed to think that it was necessary for them to work out a
theory of the inevitable course of history since they entertained a general
belief that the good was inevitable as soon as some obstacles were removed.
Therefore it was aJmost the same for them to describe the inevitable as
to describe the desirable form of society. Later it will become apparent
. that this idea of an identity of the desirable and the inevitable was not
'1Iki'M' t' entire y ac" ng ill arx sown sys em._ --
The dijfer.e,ncc, .. then,_J)el\Yee1L.l;Qpjan.,and..Mao<ian .. so.cialism-,-and
between the ideas of the Utopians and those of most of the
later socialists, up to the end of the nineteenth !i.\fferent
degKe.of and the in-
eyipble. The Utopians, by and large, were satisfied with an appcal to \
reason and good will, while Marx and most later socialists based their
confidence in the final realization of socialism on a detailed analysis of
historical trends-aside from their appeal to the class interest of the
Saint-Simon.-The transition from the belief in the inevitability of the.
good to the specific theory of the economic inevitableness of socialism was
necessarily gradual, but it was not an unbroken course oreVo1ution. Even
. in the early phases of the natural-law philosophy of socialism, some think-
ers were interested in the economic factors which might bring about
cialism, irrespective of th;r;:;;ffibei:'"fpeople who originally desired a
socialist order; but up to Marx, these ideas became submerged in the gen-
Chapter I
opcimis.t?:l typical of the whole school. The first of the great "utopian"
writers was the Count of Saint-'S.ire<m,- and in his philosophy of history
he is closer to Marx's position than some of the later writers.
The classification of Saint-'Simon as a socialist has been contested. In his
picture of a future society hc-docs-.not_suggcsLthatthe-.. return.which entre-
"preneurLte.cciye.on,.their..capital.be.-abolished:; and ho-does-not'-ad vocate
i (I : socialization of-the-instruments of production. Therefore his theory is not
socialistic according to any customary definition. He"is much more tolerant
toward th,eowners property than toward the landowners; in
this respect is almost tempted to classify SaintpSimon
thinking of Ricardo's controversies with Malthus over the- desirability of
a leisure class of landlords .. Sometimes Saint-Simon expresses himself in
almost dithyrambic terms about the social importance of the
entrepreneur, and i-p:, .his_, _0;_ theJtltu:re, ?e ..
-In spite of all his' ';nsocialistic }lowever, Saint-Simon has worked
as a gromoter of socialism; to be Slue, is
>,=,,2.',:.: .. C ,j,
;':U cCt2- .

or transformation"is in the i
terest of the commumty. not only
the fate qf the workers-
nonsocialists also did-but he emphasized the nece'ssity of
association and collective action to relieve them from their .not
,action,. to.:,be. ,SUfe,_ but- action-'on,cthe:.part"o con
s1:i-tuted,.as.;a,,'collective .. socialist traits in Saint-Simon's thought
become more conspicuous with his disciples, but while these may-"have
exaggerated or otherwise distorted the master's ideas in some respects,
they have been essentially loyal to his legacy when they developed the i1n-
ponant seeds of socialism.
Within the orbit of socially progressive thinking;
Ihd stj..I'C I,'SM.(J Industrial-Revolution as--of--a -great' blessing{and "his, purpose.in.-striv.:l.Ilg, for
a--new-,soclety.._-is ,nQt..to,;preserve -preindustrial-forms of social:---life-,,'p .. to
set-.entirely..-,free .. the, forces which,'creat-ed-- industrialism, so that they may
complete their work.
Industrial- change,_ not political-.change,:-is, the.
portan<:.eas-historyappears to.Saint-Simon. This part of his philosophy em-
bodies a seed from which tw-o,most--significant and-influentiaL ideas were
to.::grow: the-e<,onomic.jnter-pre.tatiou __Qf..histpry,,,.whi,ch hecame one
1 of".4;,.'.eornerst0nes-of--socialistphi!osophy as developed by Karl- Marx;
2- second, tk.be-lief,.that.Uucxeformedsociety the integrating elemenc would
The Three Anticapitalistic Movements
bc-cconomic_.coo.peratioaonly,and .. no ...political.goYernment"would -exist.
The latter idea too has--found its way into the Marxian system, but- it is
primarily the creed of the anarchists. The idea that political forms are
molded by events like the Industrial Revolution implies the existence of
historical laws, in which the interdependence of different social phenomena,
e.."'{presses itself; and for this reason we may recognize in Saint-Simcn's
philosophy an early and undeveloped form of the proposition that changes
in the fundamental parts of social life-for example,
cion-necessarily produce certain clearly in the out-
wai'a forms of which the constitution "is- an example.
realizes that economic . life is productive of antagonisms,
and that the resulting struggles between socioeconomic groups form a
large part of the content of history. The soci"f struggles of the past, such
as the opposition of the slaves to their masters, of the serfs to their lords, of
the plebeians to the patricians, are and his school
in about the same langtlage which was used by the later philosophers of the
ill interpretation of these facts there are two
tant differences. In the first place, Saint-Simon and the Saint-Simonians
believe that the class struggle loses in bitterness and importance through
. the process of civilization. ts
.a.t>t.a,g=is!n-I:O_llllity,. ",hile most if not a.ll1ater writers who developed the
the fight to_,grow. in _the
the __
.9J ..Z!QBE
-latter ar<! -,the- representatives of. the_ ancien
: ';ZgX;;;'/,:-ilie landowning aristocracy, parrs of the clergy, money lenders.
The industrious group consIsts of __
Simon.,is-by,""omeans 'blirid,to -thee antagonism:betwe_these;e.two-csub-
groups. He realizes the existence of a class of proletarians-he is one of

" I, e.c. k.:: .(:Y1 C-C
I.FIA;,A :':r.
, the first to use this
with-interest.-very.differendromthowof,the chiefs.oUndustry.
,. "
But-errothe,wnole he._thinksthat this antagonism is olminor importance; ,
the workers will accept their subordination to the industrialists, if the lat
ter will realize their responsibilities and if the structure of society is other-
wise soundY
If Saint-Simon had lived in England, he might have seen that in modern
;ocial antagonism is really not between
the bees and the drones, but between those who work in inferior positions
and those who hold the positions of command. Robert:Owen;with:-whom
34 Chapter I . The Three Anticapitalistic Movements
Saint-Simon:shared .. a.paternalisticapproach,csawthis'phenomenonmore some of these men were in influentiall'ositions, they contributed to a tradi-
pZl .-ind-ustrial"development'in"'Engla'nd-prop tion-- of government activities-- guided by -economic fore-
""?Mach vkIed an-obJect lesson.whichotheFrench scene did not yet afford. However, thought, and without thanraditionthe modern concept of planning could
I' while Saint-Simon's analysis of the social struggle is deficient, few philoso- hardly have developed.
struggle so prominently in tile cenrerof After Saint-Simon died, Enfantin and Bazard and some other disciples
dubhi", fos!.
2.1'0.... fl""2 I ...
SU d,,, STfU33i
But it is not clear whether he 'the sOCIal of the master organized the school into -a::kind -of-church; They deviated
struggle' the or an accompanying phenomenon.
from the traditional concepts of religion and tried to establish _a_new [
Simon shifted his position during his lifetime-on the whole in the rode._ot..-morals." Enfahtin's criticism of matrimony and other established
tion of a stronger emphasis on the class struggle-and his forms of .living greatly weakened the influence of the school; these
times seems influenced by tactical' considerations. encies within the Saint-Simonian school were of little. consequence for
""'""t; Saint-Simou.did"notdraw.a.complete."pictureoLthefuture.society,which the development of socialism. However, the moral cri,isism of the early' ".'
.. ... :;. -"-he.desired. Heldt this .. task his disciples, among whom St. Amand socialists shows that the Revoluilonuprooted people not. only
Bazard and Prosper Enfantin were the most important. The ideal society and spiritually.
2 : 0st pC"" which they described was to be freed from every privilege; and thcTtook . When the Saint-Siffionian school developed into a religious community
+ ,J,., ,the"1mportanHtep . .bcyond.Saint-Simon's"ownideasto.denouncc .. pr.ivate based on the evangelistic powers of its leaders, it nearly died out. Its final
31<!- cor' \c!
capital as.9ne of those privileges that must be abolished. Their bitterest "disintegration was caused when the spell under which these leaders had
. attack was directed against the right of inheritance" .which, according to held their followers was destroyed by a-..st'lit-betweeIl .
their to. disappear entirely; the state must be the heir of . fantin. and by the growth, within the""movement," of. mysticandc.super- ...
goods and money. J:herefore.oalLinstruments:ofproduction:wilkbecome stitiou," .tendencies which were repulsive to many supporters and still
stat.c.pro_perty"andA_.ccntralized. s:y.stem"will--be:set::up..or--thcir:: ad-minis- more to the public. Some leading Saint..$imonians, however, were active
nation. The disciples of Saint-Simon also coined the famous formula for in the 'political movement of I848, and isolated cireles of the school con-
the distribution of the social product . tinued to exist until about besides, traces of the Saint-Simonian
worh.::t'."This formula becarn:
. approach survived in the thoughts of the sociologist Auguste.Comte, and
? the distinguishing mark of socialism in contras,,'\o communism, as the . the cooperativist B. Buchez. of Napoleon. III held Saint-
term was applied to the schools of Babeuf and Cabet. Simonian opiuion1,.Jt may have seemed a sad spectacle that the ideas of
The Saint-Simonians also did pioneer work for future advances of so- a sincere and noble friend of the underprivileged were used as part of a
cialist thought by emphasizing the importance of for:ethOJlght_inc the : paternalistic policy which, at least in the beginning of the Second Empire,
in the wholesociallife-of a well-ordered society: . formed only a thin cloak over an essentially repressive line of action. Still,
In our e.'(position of the major part of principal ideas, we have
made it our special purpose to mt,Tre our readers realize that society must be
orgaruzed to general f rethought and continually be guided
as an entity and in all its parts, by forethoughte '
Forethoughtkthe essenceotplanning. For the rest of the nineteenth
century, and for the first part of the twentieth, the idea of was
entIrely overshadowed, in the minds of the socialists, by the postulate of
more equitable distribution. Yet, the"roots-m"modern"concepts of-planning
.... historical connection
was never entirely interrupted. M<tny later adherents to the school, who
for the most part did nu longer wish to be regarded as socialists, drafted
or advocated schemes which we would now call partial planning. Since
the social idealism of influential Saint-Simonians was probably one of the
elements which became effective in the later years of the reign
of that imperial adventurer.
The desire for a new order was too powerful to be extinguished
by the disillusionment about one school of social reformers. The decline
of Saint-Simonism cleared the way for the rise of another socialist thinker,
a contemporary of Saint..$imon's, Charles Fourier.
Fourier is probably the"mostutopian"amongthe Utopians. For him thi: .
final realization of the ideal society is assured, because harmony is the
fundamental law of the universe. The perfection of man is God's will;
therefore the institutions which will make man perfect will ultimately.
;,t,,< ""':
.. "
u \o?i3'(\
I A ",
I :\J4!o.-
." ,
"D ", t,
'_,'1, I I' (.:;. I
'I \' "'-, I "
"', !""V"2.(!!Xe..$
" '
Chapter I ;
From this thought Fourier develops a complicated concept
of history, describing the He does
visualize this process as ..
has. __ __ .ro111 __ ,for a}?D:g
, ,-
The idea that the human race has- taken a long and roundabout way
in its development toward goodness and happiness is deeply rooted in
Fourier's philosophical background. As Georges Weill, historian of
French socialism, puts it, Fourier -is a disciple of Rousseau's, in contra- (:
distinction to Saint-Simon, who is a
therefore, believed that mankind, traveling on the of '
gradually approaching the state of greatest happiness and
moral perfection; but Fourier denied that modern civilization has made
mankind happier or sees man starting from a state of innocence
and relative then following, throughout history, a long path
with many turns, leading him first into calamity and vice, then back to
a better life and finally to perfection and felicity. The conditions of
savagery, patriarchate (family or tribal society under the despotic rule of
a chief), barbarism, civilization (capitalism),16 and guarantism are the
stages on this way. "Civilization" is subjected to the most acrimonious
by Fourier, with particular emphasis on the vices fostereci by
(Fourier received important inspiration for his critical attitude
when, as a youth, he was forced to work as a clerk.) Guarantism, which
mankind will achieve in the near future, means a great improvement over
civilization. At that stage the community will establish the right towork,
assuring everybody of a livelihood, and this guarantee will eliminate 'one
great injustice and source of crime inherent in the capitalist
.,E9! ___ __ ,
__ .. q.., p"PPf?-I.l. __
, Th;--;;;te of harmony is a
Production;" a-s-,owell-as,,,'e,very-,.other '--,form-- of, social-..llfe;,"is-,to'-be--ma-naged
';fney'"orga-n-izC"wor-k 'on-'a"cooperative basis,
"work'1-s-collecti v-ized
-all members -of,the ,community live.-in-onc ,huge ,the-
:, -ster-y"; thc product is to be
divided among according to the proportion
cot'S"':'4"'3;-but those who possess merely their labor power at the start are
expectc9_ gradually to _acq_uirc capital shares, apparently through extra C
The Three Anticapitalistic M otlements
effort.13 Nowhere in the whole organization is there to be any coercion.
Work will be so divided among the members of the community that
everybody's preference of occupation is respected, and everybody will
change his function frequently enough to consequently,
all work will be done with is natural to man if he
has an occupation he likes. __ d?,:_?,t. __ __ san
he takes pains to describe how
the inclinations of <1.ildren can be utilized in certain types of work whlch
adults would abhor, and this :
__ Bouner: i .
.,Hes-_t<>-min;mize-the.funcdons,of" .goyemment, and he assumes that
some crimes, like theft, will disappear with the establishment of the
phalangist society. In this respect he is a precursor of
Fourier would never have conceded that he was a Utoplan In the sense
of Engels's definition a thinker who had "invented in his head'" a
ture of the desirable form of society. He a !
_ h"c:\ been derived from the laws
human ,deve!opment. wouldm-
The essence of these laws he saW In the prInclple of :nu
Newton had discovered this force among heavenly bodies and
material objects in general. Fourier claimed to have extended theu:eory
ot mutual, attraction- to- human -affairs,_ and estabhshed
a unified concept of the world:
whlch the' development of the Passi.ons are the same, F.ourier
affirms, as those which govern all branches of creatlon. are mantfested
in the Planetary, Musical, Mathematical and other known to us,
and in the organization of nature .... Fourier sta:es eX?hclt1y that ,he takes
these Laws as his guide and deduces from them his construct.lon .. ' ..
In a hundred places in his writings he affirms that he gIves no theorIes of his
own, declaring that he would be ashamed to add another to the thousands
of speculative theories which have already been evolved and exploded. -r:
rejects as a vain assumption the idea that human can evolve by :ts
own speculations and ratiocinations so complex a sClence as that of SOCIal
Fourier's claim to have proved the inevitability of the harmonious so-
ciety is Ultimately, this alleged proof is on a
theological argument: God has planted in us the desire for a socl."l code
of attraction, justice, truth and omnipotent and JUst,
cannot have done so without giving us such a code, and therefore its
rules can be ascertained by logic. But if this line of reasoning were valid,
whY,should God have condemned man to go through the horrors of

M(I-'II'/ ....(/<.2z,r<...
fVVl "2.rO:'AA \
Do'.ft::'. :---:1"=,

38/ Chapter I

before attaining harmony? For ages men have asked how
the c,"'{istence of evil could be reconciled with God's wisdom, power, jus-
tice, and mercy. If there is an answer to that question, if the existence of
evil is compatible with our concept of divinity, then Fourier bad no
right to assume a theological certainty that evil must end. If, however,
such reconciliation is regarded as impossible, then the suffering of a hun-
dred or of ten generations is just as much of an enigma as that of all
past and future generations of man. Therefore Fourier's- inevitability
claim, even if its theological foundation is accepted, is no more than a
thin cloak by which he tried to conceal before himself and others the
entirely subjective character of his own ideal. Marx and Engels also failed
to prove the inevitability of socialism, but their the
sible exception of some applications of dialectic philosophy, have a much
broader base with less visible faults than Eo.urieQ; their claim, though
ultimately unfounded, has to be seriously considered and was no mere
rationalization of the authors' desire to support their ideal with more
authority than could be provided by an individual's standard of values.
, Utopian socialism, -which- _ the
new' form ofsocicty,--and scientificusocialism;--which der-ives ... the image of
in--the sense -that
for .scientific,:that.is,- Marxist; socialism such derivation_is -a ,genuine
gram,--where:rs-,-forUtopianism-if-Fourier 'ls,regar-ded.- as ,the
dve.Utopian-the deductionof';tspostulatesfrom hi.toricaUaws is merely
.a..matter':-of-verbal, assertion.
But however primitive his reasoning, Fourier set a pattern of argument
by maintaining that his concept of a socialist society reflected an
pretation of historical laws rather than his own preferences. He also drew
the important conclusion that present-day society, however COnd.emnable,.
__ .. __ .. __ v ____ ._, ___ --- .. "---- ..,., -,"'.- .'" -- --. -".- _ "--.-' _.
is a nece,ssarytransition to a higher state,,,:X-an idea to which Marx gaye.a
far more developed form. . ..
-Despite the many fantastic features in Fourier's philosophical argu-
ments as well as in his picture of the phalangist society, he
realistic .. He suggested -:t-number-Of.'P-FacticaLr.efor,ms", to
be carried out before mankind would be willing to adopt his total scheme.
He recommended tkcestal>li&h,,,ent-Bf-ooperative-agenciesfor the.mp-
p.ljt.-o .. -cheal',"redi-t,t(ht.uFa,I .. anej. maTketing- of
pxoduce;- these cooperatives should also provide, through wholesale buy-
ing, whatever commodities the farmers might need. The cooperative
agency should establish model .farms and some industrial workshops
where the peasants could use their spare time or could find a change of
The Three Anticapitalistic M otlements
activity, He suggested that the system of cooperative buying and selling
be extended to the consumer .0 that the larger PaTt of the commercial
, class becomes superfluous and will turn toward other occupations.
day cooperative institutions resemble the devices proposed by Fourier ,:
not' only in some fundamentals but also in man.)t details.; for instance,-
the combination of cooperative credit supply and cooperative buying and
selling has proved to be one of the most fortunate ideas in the organiza-
tion of farmers' cooperatives, and the problem of how opportunitie& for .
supplementary industrial work can be secured for .mall-scale faTmers is a
matter of concern for modern agricultural leaders and governments.
Since Fourier was 'se--m'uch--coB:eef-ned,-wiciLreforms that could be
ried out before mankind had reached the final phase of socialism, and
which should prepare mankind for this final phase, we may call him a
.g<aduaJist;- .. theSa;nt-Simonians. But
Fourier, though rejecting revolution, -is-llG-fu.m.-belieef-iB:-,-defIlGcra-cy-as...
an-instrumentof-sociahhange: he was too disappointed by French Jaco-
, He even mentioned as a possibility that may' be
who need
, imagination, _but only common sense and a "strong will like the tiger
Mahmoud." "
Fourier's ,,*irevohrtionaryattitude was not merely camed by the po-
litical events of his time but was a matter of fundamental philosophy. He
is generally anxious notta- jeopardize anything of the valuable inheritance
of the past. Me .. blames.Robert. Owen-.foThis athei.mnot less violently A to"",,,
Saint-Simon-for proposals of overcentralization: which 2,01
: human--liberty. He"made' no attempt 9-- $.ffl!o/'<;
! toconneet-his theor.ies-_with-the-sentiments,of -the- masscs,:-and--never-be-
came a politicaHeader. During !ill lifetime Fourier's ideas did not find '
, much popular .upport.
But after the death of the founder, th.e Fourier school gained a modest
: olitical influence in several Victor-',Gonsiderant gave a much
: clearer and more effective presentation of the essential Fourierist ideas
than Fourier himself. F ourierism was a more important force than Saint-
Simonism in kindling the fire of enthusiasm for social reform which
climaxed in the short-lived social republic of r848, when Considerant wa&
among the deputies and Louis Blanc a member of the French cabinet.
Fourierist philosophy was slow to die; as late as the ,870's Jean Baptiste
Godin and Charles Limousin,''' who had been educated along Fourier's
lines of thought, started a movement for cooperative association of
: ors. Limousin was a figure of considerable political importance and a man
Chapter I The Three Anticapitalistic Movements
of courage; he participated in the founding of the First International.
After the defeat of the Commune in 1871, when public opinion was ex-
trem:ly. adverse to the worker!s movement and to socialist ideas of any
descnptlOn, he defended the unpopular cause in his Bulletin du move-
ment a worker's magazine.
Fourierism was an international movement, much more so than the
Saint-Simonian school. For a number of decades there was almost no
country without Fourierist writers. The roost fertile 'soil, out.
SIde of proved to be the United States. The able' propagandist
of America, Albert Brisbane, achieved a particularly im-
portant acqwsltlOU for the school by convincing Horace Greeley of the
value 0. Fou:ier's the writer and propagandist Greeley
late: dlSappomted hIs fnends when he failed to win the presidency
agrunst Grant, he was a great intellectual power about the middle of the
nmeteenth century. He was no sectarian, and connected the socialist ideas
with the most important American issues of his day, such as the
stead problem and slavery. Although Greeley was touched by Marxian in-
fluences too-as owner and editor of the New York Tribune he made
Karl Marx a European correspondent for that paper-the credit for hav-
ing initiated his (temporary) socialist leanings goes to Fourierism. It was
through men like Greeley that Fourierism found some link with the
working class in the United States, probably more so than it had in France
and certainly far more than in any other country. '
The transfer to the American scene fully developed one essential trait
in Fourierism, namely, its experimental character. Since it was the creed of
the Utopians that, to make reason govern the fate of mankind, it was
only necessary to demonstrate clearly the postulates of reason, they were
naturally led to the idea of educating the masses by demonstrative
periment; and since most of them, even those who ultimately favored a
more centralized setup, believed that the desirable form of society could
be developed from small groups, they were bound to favor socialist ex-
periments in small communities. Here again Fourier proved himself to
be the most typical Utopian, for no other school, with the possible
,group which profited from the unexcelled energy and
of its leader, was as fertile in begetting model
mes as Founensm. The foundation of Fourierist communities was not
entirely confined to the United States; even in Fourier's lifetime an
tempt was made at Rambouillet, France; but the American experiments
were by far the most important ones.
Cabet.-By the time of Fourier's death in 1837 the days of nonpolitical
socialism were rapidly drawing to a close. With political passion strongly
rising not only among the middle class but also among the workers of
Western Europe, the socialists no longer expected the desired
tion 'of society merely as a result of writing about model communities
arid of their demonstration on an experimental scale. Even those socialists
who still devoted some energies to elaboration of utopias now paid atten-
tion to the mass forces which began to align themselves against the
existing ?rder.
In the early phase of the new tendency, its outstanding exponent was
Etienne Cabet. Although he was the founder of a school which was
almost as active as the Fourierists in the founding of experimental
ments, Cabet was also a prominent and untiring participant in political
opposition movements. As one of the bridge builders between Utopian so-
cialism and political action, Cabet is an important figure in the develop-
ment of socialism, regardless of his merits as a writer, which have been
questioned?4 His political activity began after the Bourbons had been
restored to the throne of France in ISIS. Cabet was then in his late
twenties. He became a member of the French branch of the Carbonari
society-a conspiratorial organization which had its roots and its prin-
cipal field of activity in Italy where it worked for the overthrow of the
small local potentates in the interest of national unification under a liberal
constitution. The overthrow of the Bourbon King Charles X and his re-
placement by Louis Philippe of the Orleans family through the July
revolution of 1830 at first seemed to have favorable consequences for
Cabet-he was made attorney general of Corsica. But he was too sincere
a democrat to be satisfied with the July monarchy, and possessed too
active a mind to conceal his opposition. The government retaliated by
recalling him, but thereby increased hi, popularity with the democrats,
and in 1831 Cabet was elected to the chamber. The publication of a book
violently attacking Louis Philippe's regime involved him in a trial for
lese-majeste, but he was acquitted and now became more definitely than
before a member of that faction which regarded itself as the guardian of
the Jacobin heritage and was determined to restore the republic on the
foundation of universal suffrage.!!::; But the government soon found a
pretext to punish the oppositionist who had become more dangerous by
editing a successful paper, the Populaire. In March, '9% Cabet was sen-
tenced to five years of exile and went to London, where he concerned
himself with historical studies. '

A few years before his forced departure, Cabet had made the acquaint-
ance of a survivor of Babeuf's conspiracy, Philippe Buonarotti, and had
developed a great admiration for hiIl), Buonarotti was not only an
apostle of the Babouvian ideas but also a historian of the Babouvian con-
spiracy-his book Histoire de la pour I'Egalitl! 26 told the
fate and explained the motives of Babeuf and his associates; the explana-
tion, to be true, was so colored by Buonarotti's later .views as not to be
an entirely faithful reproduction of Babeuf's ideas?7 The contact with
Buonarotti was a maJ'or factor in convertinO" Cabet to as
a doctrine advocating complete economic equality. But Cabet never
came a Babouvian in the proper sense-when Buonarotti had succeeded
in bringing to life a neo-Babouvian movement, Cabet criticized it
severely and blamed Babeuf and his fellow conspirators for having
"frightened the wealthy, the bourgeois and the aristocrats" and having
"induced them to throw themselves into the arms of the first on the
scene who was strong enough to protect them ... into the of
Bonaparte." Cabet also deplored the "bitterness" of the "Equals" which
they "habitually expressed in speaking of their opponents," and that fatal
error which made them believe that "the community [communaute]
could be solidly built through violence."'s
In his rejection of violence, Cabet is quite emphatic: "_ .. if I held
revolution in my hand," he wrote in another passage, "I would keep it
tightly closed even if I had then to die in exile."'o Nor docs Cabet believe
in the class struggle, and he most decidedly rejects the "dictatorship of
the proletariat": "On to the job," he writes in an appeal for support, "all
of .you, wealthy and poor, who have been converted to the
t "'30"W d' th I h'hh b'
nau e. e on t want e c ass w IC as up to now een dommant
to be demoted [rabaiss"e] and humiliated, but we want the people to be
elevated to the level which the dignity of man and that of the citizen
. "31 "B dId d d th .
requlres. y emocracy, 0 not un erstan e oppreSSIve rule of
the most laboriously toiling and poorest class over the richer classes, but
the power of the people to act for the safeguarding of their interests; I
mean by democracy the principle of fraternity and equality without ex-
clusion or oppression of anybody." 32
However moderate Caber's views about the method of social change,
in his picture of the ideal society he is an extreme equalitarian. That
picture was drawn in Voyage en lcarie (I838). It is in the form of a
novel: A young English lord, on one of his travels, is carried to an un-
known land, called Icaria, and there studies the native institutions, which
are presented as models for the European countries. The economy of
The Three Anticapitalistic Movements
Iearia is built on two main principles: social ownership and centralized
management of production, and distribution of the social product ac
cording to needs. The "Communist" slogan "to everybody according to
his needs" was printed on the frontispiece of Cabet's book. Some of
Cabet's ideas about management were very modern: he appreciated the
advantages of standardization, although they were not so visible at the
technologically less advanced stage of his period as they have become
in the twentieth century.33 This extreme standardization with its
pression. of variety shows already that Cabet is not interested in
raining what economists now call consumers' sovereignty, and this
pression is confirmed throughout the book; but he wishes to assure at
least some measure of freedom in the choice of occupation; the preferences
of the individual are to be taken into account, and from this postulate
Cabet draws an impor'tant conclusion:
Since the law orders that there be cobblers and physicians ... and since not
everybody can be a doctor, it is necessary, in order that some may wish to be
cobblers, that the cobblers be as happy and content as the physicians; and
consequently, the greatest achievable degree of equality must be established
between the two groups.31
This prescription of equality, however, leaves unsolved the problem of
particularly difficult, dangerous, or unpleasant jobs,3:) which are now only
undertaken by those who could not easily find other work, and which
in a society in which everybody's livelihood is assured would have to be
made acceptable by ,,-'(tra pay. Moreover, Cabet neglects the need for a
regular premium on effort.
But the passage shows Cabet's concern about
the happiness of the individual in his social function_ Icaria is no place
where the citizen's feelings are disregarded and where the government
. cares merely for the execution of its orders.
But neither is Icaria a place where the individual can do as he wants.
The system of government is regimentation, although for strictly
manitarian . purposes. Freedom of the press does not exist-the number
of newspapers is limited, the editors are elected by the people or by the
legislature and are confined to factual reports, all comments being for-
bidden. This arrangement is only an example of Cabet's restrictive con-
cept of liberty: "Liberty is neither licence nor anarchy nor disorder and
.. . it must be limited in all instances in which the interest of society, as
stated by popular judgment, so demands." 37 To Cabet, as to the racobins,
it seemed that the properly constituted community can do no wrong, and
that the individual is not in need of protection against the sovereign
Chapter I The Three Anticapitali5tic Movements 45
But let nobody tbink tbat Cabet' would have used tbe guillotine to
keep the potential opposition in check! Cabet was a genuine and sincere
humanitarian. In !caria, even punishment for common crimes is very
mild by comparison with the practice of other societies. "The principal
means of repression is the public reprimand." 38 "Should an lcarian
fortunately go so far as to commit a very serious crime-incendiarism,
rapc, murder-Icarian society, regarding him as a sick person, would
immediately send him to the hospital." 39 There seems to be no provi
sion for more severe punishment of political crimes.
!caria is a national, not a local, community. Cabet has no bias against
size; he is a state socialist rather than an "associationist," and in this respect
closer to Saint-Simon than to Fourier. In advocating national manage-
ment of resources, and through the related trait of combining socialist
theory with political action, he belongs more to the pacemakers of Marx-
ism than his Utopian predecessors. But in anotber respect he is even
further from Marx than Fourier: the Voyage to lcarz"a ('is not an an-
ticipation, i.e., a description of a social state at which mankind will arrive
through an inner momentum which drives it forward. This concept of
historical determinism has never been in the mind of Cabet. The Voyage
is a plan of social architecture, or, to use Caber's own words, a program
proposed for acceptance by mankind, and its realization may commence
at any moment in the course of time and at any place in the world." 40
Cabet had criticized Robert Owen for having tried to establish com-
munities which were too small and therefore mere segments of a well
rounded economy.ll In Caber's opinion, Owen would have done better
if he had spent his capital, which did not suffice for a successful model
community, on public propaganda for the Communist Yet ten, I
years later Cabet himself decided to organize a small experimental settle-
ment. Perliaps he had become disappointed with his propaganda in
France, altbough he might have regarded himself as reasonably successful
in that work. Since r843, he was the head of a growing school of l'Icarians"
who formed the moderate wing in wh?-t was then called the Communist
movement, of which the neo-Babouvists constituted the left wing.
school, to be sure, had not attracted so many brilliant minds as Fourier-
ism or Saint-Simonism,13 but he had a better chance to c.."{ert political in-
fluence and especially to gain a working-class following. Whatever the
reason, in the spring of r847 he issued the call to his disciples: "Let us
go to !caria!"
-still not a large enough numbet for the immediate establishment of a
new nation, but enormously in excess of those who proved available for
emigration to tbe United States where the model society was to be
founded. The several Icarian "vanguards" which went to America-
first to New Orleans and Texas-to start tbe settlement numbered alto-
getber less tban five hundred, and when, finally, after much suffering and
disappoinunent, a settlement was established at Nauvoo in Illinois witb
some prospect of stability, only two-hundred sixty participated in the
founding. Cabet himself was present: he had left France, largely out of
disgust with tbe struggle between middle class and workers which fol-
lowed within six montbs tbe fall of Louis Philippe and later proved fatal
to the Second Republic. After many vicissitudes and inner strife, which
resulted in various splits and in the abandonment of Nauvoo, a fairly
cessful colony was established at Corning, Iowa, in 1860; Cabet cot:11d not
see it any more, since he had died four years earlier. Altbough otber divi-
sions followed, the Corning colony prospered for many years. Finally, in
, "it died neitber of poverty nor of strife, but simply of old age. The
faithful had grown old, and the younger generation had not come
along." 4!J
Saint-Simon, Fourier, and Cabet were the intellectually most influential
French Utopians; the ideas of Louis Blanc will be discussed in contc..'Xt
with the politieal developments in which he played a role, and the life
and thourrhts of Robert Owen in connection with the growth of socialism
" in Great Britain. The development of Utopian thought shows an increas-
ing realization of the need for maSS action: Enfantin, Bazard, and Fourier
were succeeded by tbe "political" Utopians Cabet and Louis Blanc, and
with this change came a turn to the state in another sense: the concept of
a small self-governing colony as the model of a socialist community is
replaced by tbe idea of a whole nation, centrally organized to manage the
instruments of production in tbe interest of all citizens. Although tbe
experimental colonies founded by tbe Utopians were less invariably fail-
ures than the opponents of socialism frequently assert," tbey did not
. prove that capitalism could be replaced by socialism in tbe life of a mod-
ern nation: tbe colonies tbat survived tbe early difficulties soon found
themselves parts of a rapidly growing capitalistic economy, and if they
managed to maintain tbe necessary degree of harmony among tbeir
members and were not plagued by too much bad luck, they prospered
for tbe same reasons why otber types of association, occupying a niche
In his first pronouncement Cabet referred to ten thousand or twenty
thousand Icarians who might become members of the new community41 t;,
in tbat capitalistic economy, did often well for themselves. The surviving
socialist colonies found it impossible to be self-sufficient. They might
Chapter 1
choose work-especially agriculture-that could be done cooperatively
without basic difficulty, but they had to buy from and sell to an economy
which was increasingly dominated by big capitalistic business. In the
second half of the nineteenth century it had already become palpably
evident that the problem of socialism was not the socialist organization of
smal! communities but the question of whether big business itself could
be socialized. The major contribution of the Utopians, therefore, was not
their colony-founding but their intellectual effort, which interested a see-
tion of European society in socialism as an alternative to capitalism and,
in the case of the "political" Utopians, promoted the merger between the
socialist and the movements.
The Three Anticapitalistic Movements
his mind, and gave him an understanding of realities. By nature he was
not what we would call a realist. He had as little patience with facts as
\ with men when they stood in the way of his plans-though he had much
;( patience with people whom he hoped to convince-and even the lesson
I which business had taught him frequently failed to offset his desire to go
l straight ahead with his pet projects. Yet Owen saw some realities more
t clearly than the practical men who opposed him. 'rhe most important of
these realities was the class movement of the workers which was already
way. Owen, the businessman, during the later phase of his career,
got lOte closer contact with the movement than most of his
contemporaries among the intellectual socialists, and for a time-in the
early r830's-became a- real working-class leader.4s But there was an anti-

ROBERT OWEN democratic trend in Owen's nature, which was repulsive to the masses, \
In its beginnings, British socialist thinking had little influence on the and there was his eccentricity which made it impossible for t TP"d a-
Continent, mainly perhaps because it was too AI the workers to understand his words and his deeds. But for these two \
though land reform was an important issue for many countries, in those obstacles, Owen could have become for the British workers what Lassalle .
sections of the Continent which were receptive to proposals of social became for the German the inspiring force and Chlef organIzer of a
change the agricultural problem did not have the same poignancy as it permanent socialist labor movement.
has assumed in Britain under the impact of the enclosures. Thus Spence Owen did not start out as a protagonist of a complete chanO"e of the
and Ogilvie remained virtually unknown outside the British Isles, and social system. Up to at least ,8,6 he appeared as a benevolent :Uployer
Thomas Paine's fame rested on other foundations. One British figure of advocating factory legislation, schools for all children, and similar im-
the period, however, influenced the of ?uro: provements. He did not seek any contacts with the workers except in his
and America, because his ideas were not focused pnmanly on agnculture own factory, and did not think of enlisting working-class support for his
and because he was more of a socialist than Saint-Simon, a deeper thinker own intentions. was to the educated class, which read books
than either Cabet or Louis Blanc, and less fantastic than either the later 'i and newspapers. Owen spent muCh effort and money to llaveIiisDlariy
Saint-Simonians or Fourier. This was RobertcOwen. :i lectures reported as fully as possible in the Cfai1y papers and cu!tlVate<f
Robert Owen came from the rural middle class and was essentially l !he acquaintance of aristocrats and men of power.
educated; 47 throughout his life he remained a mLxture of businessman '; In a letter which he wrote to the London newspapers in 1817 about
and intellectual. In the textile factory ofNcw Lanark, of whIch he became result of some public meetings in which he proposed his plan of poor
the partner ,in 1797, he started a humanitarian experiment in relief, he made this statement: "The gentlemen who opposed the plan at
for workers and their families-the term the public meetings ... surely did not imagine I wiShed I had the opin-
"model," of course, to be understood by comparison with contemporary ions of the ill-trained and uninformed on any of the measures intended
conditions in other places. Yet this enerous effort turned out to be no' for their relief and amelioration. No! On such subjects, until they shall
sacrifice: the factoruielded large profits under Owen's management be instructed in better habits, and made rationally intelligent, their advice
Owen thought that through the simultaneous success of his business a:nd can be of no value." 4.9 could be more contradictory to the idea,
his humanitarian work he could show his fellow entrepreneurs that they i:)ater expressed by Marx, that the emancipation of the proletariat must be
did not have to be inhumane to do well in their In this ;:' the And so eager was Owen in this earlier period
expectation he failed, but his work in business was of great importance \; his writing to win the support of the entrepreneurs that he presented
for himself. Business experience not only equipped him with knowledge) hIS plan far less as a humanitarian scheme than as a business proposition.
helpful in devising and carrying out his schemes of reform; It also shaped SaId to the employers:

, rvt.Qtc ... ,,1c

1"Q.!- '
Chapter I
ill you ... continue to expend large sums of mon;y .to. procure the bc:
vised mechanisms of wood, brass, and iron; to rctarn It m repal!';
provide the best substance for the prevention unnecessary metlOn, and
save it from fo.1ling into premature decay? WIll you also devote years of
tense application to understand the connection of the various parts of m:
cless machines to improve their effective powers, and to calculate WIth
athematical pr;cision all their minute and combined movements? And when
these transactions you estimate time by minutes, and the money e.xpended
r the chance of increased gain by fractions, will you not afford some of your
ennon to consider, whether a portion of your time would not more
antageously applied to improve your living machines? e.."\:penence which
nnot deceive me, I venture to assure you, that your time and money, so
pplied, if directed by a true knowledge of subject, would return to you,
ot five, ten, or fifteen percent for capltal so expended, but often fifty
nd in many cases a hundred percent."o .
1t is interesting to traCe the process which this advocate of
overnment for the people but not by the pcople, this believer in the har
ony of the interests of the workers and employers became for a
11y of the first comprehensive movement, and a
f socialism. Even toward the end of his lite when the English workers
ad become discouraged by failures and the reform spirit was ,at. a low
bb, .Q.J&.enJLeVer entirely fell back upon his former paternahsttc
eEts though. indefatigable worker that he was, lie even tnen tnea: agalO
o win the ruling classes to his schemes.
The widening of the scope of Owen's theory and the radicalization of
. followed' a logical course. The basis of his thinking and
lannioO' was the belief that environment forms the human character; he
rew conclusion that "any general character, from the best to the
orst from the most ignorant to the most enlightened, may be given to
any even to the world at large, by the of proper
means' which means are to a great extent at the command and under the
control of those who have influence in the affairs of men." til After having
provided the happiest and soundest environment that he could create for
his own workers at New Lanark, Owen naturally wanted other workers
to enjoy similar advantages, and this led him to his propaganda :or
tory legislation, which had partial success in 1812. But factory
could only benefit workers who were already employed; should nothmg
be done for the army of paupers, consisting of the victims of the second
wave of enclosures as well as of the former artisans now displaced by
machines? Owen concerned himself with the problems of unemployment
relief and found tlie remeoy m setdements, wnlcn sliould offer work as
wcll as good conditions.'" He soon believed to have detected the pnnclpfcS
The Three Anticapitalistic Movements
on which to base community life; but if these principles were right, why
should their application be confined to those who were now paupers?
The ideas on unemployment relief had to be developed into a program
for the reform of society as a whole.
The steE to that comerehensive erogram was taken in the Reeort to
the County of Lanark. which allpeared in 1820, though the gradual
broadening of the scope is recognizable in many of Owen's earlier
ings, especially in the booklet A New View of Society (1813 and I8I6).
The report again recommended that the labor power of the poor be
utilized in villagelike settlements in which both agricultural and indus-
trial work should be organized in the best way. Education, necessary to
offset the demoralizing influences of poverty, would be greatly im-
proved by the guiding idea that environment is the decisive force in
shaping the human mind. The organization of such settlements may be
carried out by "parishes and counties, to relieve themselves from paupers
and poor rates," but also "by any number of landed propri!!tors or large
capitalists" who, it seems: may in Owen's opinion expect pecuniary profit,
probably in the form of rent; furthermore "by established companies hav-
ing large funds to expend for benevolent and public objects," and, most
important, "by associations of the middle and working classes of farmers,
mechanics, and tradesmen, to relieve themselves from the evils of the
present system."!'i3
Conditions in the settlements will be so favorable to production as to
permit the members to create, "other circumstances being equal, a much
larger amount of wealth at a greatly reduced expenditure." ,,' But will
not this g:reat increase in aggravate existing evils? "The
industry of the poor, thus applied, will terid further to overstock the
markets of the world with agricultural and manufactured produce, and
in the same proportion to decrease the nominal or monied price, and of
course add to public distress."!j::; Like his contemporary Sismondi, Owen
sees an important cause of economic calamity in general overproduction,
resulting from the use of more Eerfect metnods of production in an im-
perfect society; but unlike Sismondi, Owen believes to know an
' ate remedy-the same which some other writers of his time and even more
in later eeriods recommended: monetary reform.
:: Owen's ideas on this subject were connected with the rest of his social
" philosophy through his belief in labor time as the "natural" standard of
should-be made the "practic,tl" standard." "A paper rep-
resentative of the value of labor, manufactured on the principle of the
new notes of the Bank of England, will serve for every purpose of ...
Ov" f. prli v,
t,,,,,, and
( c...:,:."np3r-iS<:>'l\

\ .

126.,,, I-
$. tl-i""""I$
50 Chapter I The Three Anticapitalistic Movements 5I
domestic commerce or exchanges and will be issued only for intrinsic" toward the realization of his fundamental ideas. He felt forced to choose
value received and in store." r:>7 Thus labor is to play the same role as gold new ways.
under a gold standard
but not that role alone for whereas the value of " In 1819 for the first to the workers for support. This
gs>ld as the standard metal is fixed only in terms of money, the value of appeal is still written in a very paternalistic tone; it is based on the idea
labor in Owen's system is also to be fixed in terms of uthat the rich and the poor, the governors and the governed, have really
day's labor is to represent at least the same value as "the wealth but one interest"; most of the text of this address is an exhortation to
tained in the necessaries and comforts which may now be purchased by abandon. any against the upper classes, and Owen asserts again
five shillings." tiS Owen does not explicitly state who is to issue the notes and agam that the anger of the underprivileged is entirely useless and
and take the goods "in store," but apparently this is to be done either by even very dangerous because it frightens the ruling classes into an attitude-
the distri5utIve agency m each settlement or by a slffillar national agency, in which they decline to consider any project of reform. He also refrains
for all settlements. These agencies must buy up all commodities at a' carefully from saying that he wants the workers to ,,-,<ert pressure for
fi.'(ed price; what are they to do with goods which consumers do not ' , the adoption of his own pl.an. Yet the main argument which Owen uses
desire enough to pay for them the equivalent of their labor cost in labor, r to convince the workers that their hatred of the pnvileg"d classes IS un-
notes? It was precisely the impossibility to dispose of such less desired X justified is very different from the conservative ar uments against class
goods that doomed the "labor e.'{changes" which Owen sponsored about '\{ ,atred and has important potentialities which the future was to bring out.
ten years later.co9 'You must be made to know yourselves," Owen writes, (Iby which means
Although the theories expounded in the Report to the County of Lanark 'I,:, alone you can discover what other men are. You will distinctly perceive
were potentially rather than actually socialistic, since neither the existence. that no rational ground for anger exists, even against those who by the
of profit nor the private ownership of the instruments of production was ' errors of the present system have been made your greatest oppressors and
attacked, the document gained Owen some popularity among the most W your most bitter enemies. An endless multiplicity of circumstances, over
radical workers, more moderate spokesmen for It which you had not the smallest control, placed you where you are, and as
cial reform 60 and also, of course, the latter, and many 8 you are. In the same manner, others of your renow-men have been formed
other members of the "respectable" classes, had begun to feel deeply r by circumstances, equally uncontrolla5Ie by them, to become your enemies
antagonistic to Owen even before tue publication of the Report, mamly and grievous oppressors." 61
because of his opposition to the existing churches. Owen expressed this '" From 1820 to
3 the gulf between Owen and the upper class became
opposition first at a meeting in 1817 .. His had ?O ., conspicuously Perhaps the most visible sign was the report of the
close connection with nis social program, except that WIth hlm, as With House of Commons Committee on the employment. of the poor in Ire-
many of his contemporaries, mistrust of the existing forms of religion r land. Preceding the investigation by the committee, Owen had conducted
was evidently a part of their general opposition to the inherited ideologi- J: a successful propaganda tour in Ireland; when Parliament appointed the
cal and organizational setup. committee in I823, he was invited to testify and his recommendations
After the meeting of
7 Owen took a trip to the Continent, paying, f were based on essentially the same ideas as, his report to the County of
visits to Pestalozzi and other European school reformers and trying to Lanark. The committee report condemns Owen's proposal because it
imbue statesmen and other influential persons with his ideas. It would , "is founded upon a principle that a state of perfect equality can be pro-
probably be difficult to discover any signs of disillusionment in his writ- duced and can lead to benecial consequences.') This, in the opinion of
ings of that period. Some of his friends in high position, like the Duke' ;f the committee, makes it ('impossible to treat his scheme as practicable." 62
of Kent, remained faithful even after his incautious speech of 1817, so was indeed much reason for Owen to seek an entirely new be-
that the methods which he had used for such a long time to win support ", d.: gmnmg.
for his ideas, were sti1llarge1y available to him. However, in spite of aU'I!i, Moreover, at that time Owen was not too well satisfied with New
his connections and of all the honors and the admiration bestowed upon: J, Lanark; the l2E9udices of his partners limi;ed his possibilities there, and
him by many persons of high rank, he was making practically no progress: : he could not avoid disputes. The partners had no reason to object to


52 Chapter I i The Three Anticapitalistic Movements 53
Owen!s management from a business point of view; New Lanark was.1- associations be permitted to exist within the settlement,
a profitable undertaking. But it seems that the most influential among -j having only a few institutions in common? On the whole, although with
his partners were entirely at-variance Wlth Owen's rehglOus views and i.p.terruptions, the trend was toward decentralization.
feared that theSchooling system which he had""built up would breed un All the time Owen's attitude was most generous. He greatly restricted
believers. It was probably on account of these quarrels that Owen desired ::';' his natural inclination toward benevolent absolutism, and accepted the
not only a new field for propaganda, but also a new field for an experi." , fact that many people with different backgrounds could not be regimented
ment in community building. .'; ( after the same preconceived set of ideas, but would have to be permitted,
Soon an opportunity offered itself. There was a colony in America, in i to a great extent, to work out their own destiny. He insisted, of course, on
the State of Indiana, founded on cooperative principles by a sect of Ger ;1 i themostessentialpoints of his philosophy of reronn;-"specially on com-
--Protestants who had emigrated to the United States in 1803 under -; I,: preheJlsive provisions for education of children. As in New Lanark, in-
the leadership of George Rapp. In the early I820'S they decided to move Ii struction began at an early age and was combined with productive work.
to another place, and Owen, who had been interested in their experiment' _ , But although a rigid scheme was avoided, New Harmony ended in
before, bought the settlement in Indiana in 1825 to reorganize it f A social organization which provided little if any reward for
ing to his own ideas. At that time his ideas were already known -' in ,.:;: efficiency or punishment for unsatisfactory work had no chance to survive
America and had found a sympathetie unless psychological eonditions were exeeptionally favorable. With the
In the Report to the County of Lanark Owen had already come fairly . 'kind of company whim Owen had gathered together, these conditions
close to a recommendation of complete- economic equality among men. ,! were unfavorable. Many settlers were neither mentally nor physically
When he testified before the House of Commons Committee on the Irish' ' fit for the crude work which they had undertaken to perform. Too many
poverty, he took an even more determined position. When he framed ", had their own pet ideas. Owen's liberal attitude probably did more harm
his scheme for the new settlement, he accepted the equalitarian creed to its : ': than good. The settlers were invited to New Harmony without any
full extent. But while he was convinced that full economic equality was pledge to Owen's ideas, and in fact most of them were not Owerii.!'CS":-
the most desirable eondition, he decided that it was necessary to admit The colony lacked that unity of purpose to which the Rappist and some
a- amount of inequality in his colony during a probationary other religious settlements of a communistic character owed their success.
period. , Finally, Owen's propagandist interests were not compatible with the
I Owen populated his colony, which he called New Harmony, with several ": requirements of a community experiment on the American frontier. As
N.e.:\){} C) 'vt.l : 182-5 hundred settlers of divers background and varied opinions. Assisted by his ':: a propagandist, Owen wanted to have as many visitors as possible come
sons, he set up the colony almost immediately upon the purchase, and to the settlement. They came in great numbers, among them
I the first year everything seemed to go well-so well, in fact, that Owen ':, inCf ,litie<::_ but thev broue:ht an atmosJhere wi,.], -:.lienated the
placed the provisional constitution of the colony with one intended to be " settlers from their immediate and most urgent tasks. The visitors were
permanent and providing for full equality. Also, Owen felt sure enough': interested in discussing social principles, while the success of the colony
about the settlement to return to England. But before the end of 1825 he : r.:guired concentration on the fields, the woods, and the cattle.
'had to go back to New Harmony to prevent the disruption of1ilswruk ,,' In I828 New Harmony was practk;,lly in a state of liquidation. For
by strife and bv an epidemic of lazilless.. Owen this meant not only disappointment but also the loss of the
. \
During the two following years, Owen experimented with various, greater part of his fortune. Though New Harmony was not the last of
forms of social organization to combat dissatisfaction and fadure to work. -:.;' his experiments in community founding, he was henceforth much more
The equalitarian rules were sometimes loosened, sometimes ,:.. dependent on other J2eople;_ his economic '"basis never again allowed him
there were periods when Owen emphasized the democratie and self;' the role of a benevolent proprietor in his own right.
governing character of the community, and other times when he felt:,' Simultaneously with New Harmony, several other colonies were set
it necessary to use his power as the owner of the land and most of the,' up in the United States upon Owen's inspira',tion but without his assum-
capital. Most was this question: Should the community be one, ing any responsibility for, or share in, their management. They toO were
Chapter 1 ; The Three Anticapitalistic Movements
.unsuccessful. However, Owen's activity in the United States in the 1820'S munalliving into the background, since his main interest was in
may. ___ll
__ the soil for the and other -experiments imp9rtant, could not
;"hich started about fifteen years later and were, on the whole, more suc possIbly have the mfluence on human character which could be expected
cessfuI than the undertakings of Owen and the Owenites. " from new forms of community life.
'The failure of New Harmony did not do as much damage to Owen's However he may' have, felt, Owen accepted the opportunity for a new
reputation as one might have c'<pectecij when he finally returned to start which the cooperatIve movement offered him. This start certainly
land, he found the soil The interest in social reform seemed promising. It is not easy to explain the rise of the cooperative
had grown; the repeal of the laws forbidding the formation of labor \ seemed already to have numbered several hundred in the
unions in r824 had inspired the working classes to new activities, and the United Kingdom by r830.
propaganda for franchise reform was stirring up unrest and excitement.
h 0 d
The typical society from I830 onwards was an association of members of the
Neither of these movements was in conformity wit wen's i cas at d h
same;ra c, w 0 a small capital in order to purchase the
that time; but for him the most important thing was that the public felt materIal for pro":'ldmg employment, in the first instance, for any
inclined to listen to proposals of social change. C members who mIght be out of work at the time, and ultimately of giving
In addition to a wide audience ready to his proposals a favorable the whole of their number. Owen's principles practically for
Owen also found a number of followers who had-afreaay and there seems to have been no definite aim amongst
committed themselves to his proO"ram. New Owenite colonies e earl.Y competing with ordinarY. capiulTstTc
. enterprISes. ev were amaous sunply that eaCh man h ld . the d;;e
founded on the British Isles, the most important one at Oroiston. Stili, reward of his s eu recelve
more important was the fact that the Owenites had begun to apply their
ideas to trade. As long as any of the individual cooperative societies, established mostly
The propaganda for Owen's program had been conducted from the for a limited neighborho.od, could find demand as well as supply among
Esinning under the name at tb_e_ cooperative. ,movement. Originally this ItS own local.membershIp only, its business could not expand as much
term signified a group of people who wanted to establish "cooperatives," e, as the enthUSIasm of the members wished. Therefore" the
that is, more or less communistic settlements. that in 1827 some i' bazaars for the exchange of the surpluses of soci'e'ties.
of these "cooperators" first conceived the idea that it was not absolutely ': __ the business grew for this and other reasons, the mor<; it
necessary to live together in a village, separated from the rest of the appeared necessary to reform the clumsy methods of acknowledging
world, if one wanted to realize the cooperative principle. Would not that :cc<,ip:tofgoOds bY,the societies or exchanges. It was inconvenient for the
'pri;"cil'le be also upheld if the workers were to bring their products to a f llldlVldual member to receive only book credit for his deliveries and, after
common warehouse or bazaar and exchange them there without the making his selection among the goods delivered by other members, to
need of any employer? At first one thought of cooperative trade organiza- ,have to apply for a transfer of credits in the account" It was simpler if
tions only as temporary substitutes for cooperative settlements and as a everyone received a slip of paper upon delivery of his own product and
method of financincr those wider schemes; a moderate charge on the ,l: could use it for purchases of the products of others.
commodities which were to be e.,::changed the accumula
In this way practical considerations favored the introduction of -labor
tion of a fund usable for the broader purpose. But it was natural that the notes which Owen had recommended already in his Report to the
idea of a producers' cooperative should separate itself from the idea of :; of he was undoubtedly pleased with this apparent con
Ij settlement which became more and dead..":'eight on i firmatlOn of hIS Idea. In.
3: .founded a new bazaar, the Equitable
the cooperative idea. -1: Labour Exchange, to which IndiViduals as well as societies could deliver
\ - When Owen, upon his return to England in r829, noticed that many'; goods. Owen advertised that he would pay in labor notes, according to I
I!. , .wi of his followers had shifted their interest from cooperative settlements to labor time spent on the production of the commodities delivered. But I
e..- cooperative .. storcs, he was probably not enthusiastic about the change, . the creation of labor notes raised new problems. The cooperative I
"".Vlr, \-0 Goof"" ,v.<L- It must have been hard for him to push the idea of a new form of com sector of the national economy had many contacts with the rest of eco-
Chapter I
\ could not live entirely on what wa,s pro-
I duced within the cooperative; they had to pay for and serVIces ,to
outside sellers. Tperefore it important to a fi'Xcd paqt:
between the labor notes and ordinary money. The EqUltable Labour Ex- ,
! chan$c tried to maintain a parity of six pence for a note certLtymg one
\ hour's work.
At Erst the affairs of the bazaar went exceedingly well. Not only were '::'
so many goods deposited that It was tcchmcally handle them,
but there was also a satisfactory outflow of commodltlcs; moreover, labor
notes were willingly aecepted by outsiders as well as by members: But '.
Owens -relIgIOus- opmlOus; whIch -he could not re- ,
frain from propagandizing in his lectures on cooperation, destroyed. the
unity among those working for the Equitable Labour varIOUS "
blunders and accidental misfortunes, such as the loss of the orIgmal ':
ises because of a quarrel with the owner, contributed to the. ,
haps it would have been possible to overcome all these dlfficulues, but
there was another ap_d cause of tdure. Onder any
system in are accepted and paid for on the basis of ,
time spent on their production, without regard to demand, the store :'
-in the long run at least-get those products which are least. salable III ,
of The.... the market; any worker or any association of workers wlll be mclined to
sell in the open market those goods for which there is a demand
and for which they can consequently get a good price, and wlll send to
the cooperative depository the rest of their production. Then the problem
of-mark<:ting the goods becomes insoluble.
Even if the Equitable Labour Exchange had been free from all
and had therefore been a successful enterprise, it could not have attamed
the social significance which the Owenites attributed to their form of
cooperative trading. A -cooperative which consists only of a store cannot ,',
a,,1,/ Wi2r-\\ .1>';5
fa ",-:L.-TI,,-s
bring about any fundamental change in the factory system. It .can offer
the workers marketing facilities for their- own products, but It
O"ive them machines and so will have an important effect on the workers'
only in tho;e fields where handicraft represents the main method
of production.
the Labour
had to be
with a
considerable loss. But that
than two years and some of its exch.anges alive
much longer, suggests some interestmg concluslOns. FIrst, there mu.st
been a great and O"enuine enthusiasm among the workers; second, ill
of a number of the management must have displayed consid-
T he Three Anticapitalistic Movements
erable ability in handling the difficult problem of labor-note parity. Fi- \
the temporary success of the Labour Exchanges is a reminder that
England in the r830's, in spite of the progress of the factory system, was
still a country in which handicrafts were important.
The propaganda for labor exchanges was one of ties which, be- 1830-34:
-.:c:::on::n:=.e",c:;te"d"-,O"-w=cn";-,w",l",th7't",h,,,e-,w,,,o,,,r;oki,, class. The men "" ", '" -l-- \ '."
-- '-O;"'''-<'c- ,I '0;',
who formed the cooperatives were real workers, and so for the first time \.X;)'tl\
Owen had to look at proletarians not only as people for whom he worked ,ii'SS
or who worked for him, but also with whom he worked-cas alIies and
followers on whom he depended. The national cooperative congresses
which were held in that period were the nucleus of a working-class move-
ment. In several of these congresses Owen had the chair, in others he
appeared as the leading spirit. He also took a prominent part in the
many meetings which spread the cooperative, or as it was now frequently_
called, the socialist, idea among the people of England.
The men who ,were active in the cooperative movement were also trade
unionists. Since the legalization of the trade unions in r824, they had
In r833 a great strike occurred in the building trades in
seve:ral large cities, and some of the Owenites took a Ieadmg part, un-
doubtedly with Owen's consent. Their idea was that the stnkmg
men should not simply try to force their terms of employment upon the
masters, but that they should build up cooperatives and replace their
masters. The scheme failed because the masters were toO strong and broke 0
the strike, before the plans of the Owenites could even be tried. Subse-
quently, Owen associated himself with the Grand National Consolidated
Trades Union, the first movement whIch the world has
seen. He so far overcame his former abhorrence of proletarian movements
thathe led a proeession which wanted to lodge a protest against the con-
viction of unionists in Dorsetshire. But the uni?n movement collapsed, \
and the workers turned toward that strictly political movement which was (I. ,t, .
called Chartism and which chiefly demanded egual manhood suffrage. \118,' 5 "'-'
Owen had always despised the belief in mere political reforms, and so his . Not i
leading role in the workers' movement could not be continued once the iVl p,oGtl'c.ai
workers had set their hopes on political rather than economic action. But
Owen felt enough of the community of spirit between his own move- I
ment and the Chartists that his attitude was, on the whole, not hostile. He
lectured them occasionally, as for in an address in 1842, but
his reprimands show no bitterness.
In site of the sympathetic understanding which Owen, in the later part
of his life, s owe towar e war c ass movement, e a not gIven
58 ChajJter l' ,:' The Three A"ticapitalistic Moveme"ts
the idea that the new society would be a paradise for all,

(le>5 .... :
ever before or afterward, he considered :i
would have to be applied for a very' .'
;hort time a little less ignorant. He based this idea '.'
on his tremendous optimism; a rational system of production would pro- ;:
vide mankind with such an abundance of wealth that the upper classes .
would not be deprived of any important satisfaction by the loss of their.
privileges; the underdogs would gain, but nobody would really lose. A
better society would also create a better morality, which was the only,;'
important thing. Why emphasize the reform of parliament, when politi. ,
caJ "institutions were unimportant altogether; there was no need for any::
, more lastin , for Owenism did not lose strength in a struggle with a rival
as Proudhonism did in its struggle wi arxism. wen sideas ald not
:. oppose the trend which was soon to dominate the international socialist
'i movement; they merged with the main stream of sq.cialist ideas, which
" they widened and strengthened.
( e
'f:iveYI"-<.. "'"
continuous adjustment of laws and institutions to changing conditions,
b. u. t the. re was just this one task to perform: to build a new economy upon
the principles which he had outlined and demonstrated. Then every
I social problem would solve itself.
Owen did not cease work until his death; he was neither discouraged.
nor tired out by failures. But the rest of his' from the middle o(
the and
In France, post.Utopian socialism begins with Peter Joseph Proudhon.
Like-PBurier,.he. was-opposed-.toany -form of .centralize d.-government and
': -to.economic.:centralization.; he was one more 'p-recur.sor. of ,anarchism- and
-( an advo<;:ate-of-the sma1t group -as contradistinction
';' to the centralizers among the socialists who wanted to entrust the powers
:", 'and responsibilities of industries _to the whole
" .. The role of Proudhon in the history of socialism was largely deter.
: mined by his.!'rst important book: Qu'est-ce que /Izproprietf?" His
answer was: Theft." Proudhon does not acknowledge that the institution
of property, as it exists today, has any ethically legitimate basis, and he
denies that it is socially useful. On the contrary, the institution of property
leads to the employment of men for profit, and the entrepreneur's profit
which, course, did not the opposition in ,. reduces the purchasing power of the masses and thus must result in the
dox circles; it may also have somewhat alienated his mind from the world impossibility of selling the whole product and in subsequent devaluation
of realities. Death came to him in ,858. . 'of property. .
Owen's endeavors in coOperative- trading were preparatory work for i ' The phrase "property is theft" was never intended to mean what it
the modern movement of consumer's cooperatives. When, in 1844, the' seemed when used as a slogan. What Proudhon condemned was not
cooperative movement took the great step from organizing workers as : individual upossession" of goods, but the absolute right to '(use or misuse"
producers to organizing them as consumers, Owen did not actively con- an object.
The right to misuse he regarded as the source of inequality
tribute to the development of this idea; but the pioneers of Rochdale who and of many other evils, and therefore he described property as "suicide
founded the first consumer's cooperative were Owenites, and their idea 'of society." On the other hand, the right to possess objects for the
grew out of the conception of cooperative settlement. purpose of proper use appeared to him as a "condition of social life."
",-,,,, 1 Even more important than the inspiration which Owen gave to the . "Suppress property and preserve possession; by this modification of
''01 ; cooperative movement was the spirit of his teaching. principle, you will change all the laws, the government, the economy,
' \ sQ',ial idealism and realism in his speeches and ' 'and institutions in general: will drive evil from the earth." 67
\ .
dividuals and nations to whom the Marxian ideas had little appeal. It is " ut<,!"iz- j,.
foundation of a type of socialist thought which was attractive to
impossible to determine e.-.,,:actly how much the Owenite heritage con-': ':":.' Pi-o\i"'..e tq-
-tiibuied to s\iili organizations as the Fabians, but there is no doubt He regarded state power and property rights as two! ,
tliemodern labor movement in Eng-land would not be what it is ,mutually antagonistic elements, and since he held both in profound
Owen's contribution to socialist thought.' For some A ... oA.,," .. ' suspicion, he now had come to believe that an equilibrium between the
Owen's influence seemed to be hardly as great as Proudhon's, but it was . two essentially evil forces might result in the relatively most wholesome
" ,
. ::i
le p jk
b "y.", s" Q.
60 Chapter I ;'The Three Anticapitalistic Movements 6r
state of society; cn all the more so, because any human organization could 'i'it in our Great Revolution and has held it against the attacks of the nobility.
only approximate perfection.
He therefore worked out the conditions !i, .. What the poor arC now lacking is not the right to inherit but the heritage. I
under which he thought property might be ,more J2roductive of good CInstead of abolishing the rIght, think of how the poor can cease to be I
than of bad effects.n But Proudhon's heart was still not in his qualified . ;: inhemed.' " ------ i :J
justification of property. In the concluding section of the ThEor;, de la I; Obviously, the real proletarian has little reason to cherish the right of
propriett he writes: :iinheritance, but the small master in an urban trade and the peasant have
I, developed considerations which make property intelligible, rational, :> very urgent desire to transmit to their children what little they possess.
legw,mate, whereas otherwise it would remain an odious matter of usurpation. ;, Among the specific methods which Proudhon proposes for depriving
But even under these conditions, property retains a selfish trait with which :';,big property of its capacity to harm the people, gramirous----credit-.plays
have no. sympathy. egalitarian, antigovernmental mind, opposed as it \the most prominent role. Other thinkers had proposed this remedy earlier
IS. to rapa.clty and the mIsuse. of force, may admit, may even hold up, prope
;'b t . h P dh' . d' r
I k h ld
.. , "u wit rou on It receIve a umque empnasls .. Interest, .. he. proposed,
1 'e a s Ie for the protectlon of the weak, but my heart will never be with
.. 1...!!!J'se1f, do not need it, neither to win my bread nor to fulfill my .;. should .be.abolished, through. an nnlimited. sup.ply ofexedido.r. producers
nor for my happiness. _ .. If the majority of my !ellow citizens: to . .be,offered.by . .a . .Peo,ple's .Bank. But this credit should not be
were like myself, what coUld we do with that institution? Where would then l,in ordinary money; there should be a special kind of paper, which was
be the danger of tyranny? ... Where would also be the wants of conceit ;',to be issued by a People's Bank and which Proudhon assumed to be
of ambition, of avarice which can satisfy themselves only through I'mmense' . el h' h f f .1... . 1 h"'Th . -th h ::mer y a 1.2; er orm 0 w.c....commetna J..IJJ...- e companson WI t e
presumption? ... When I see the walls and fences which in the environs '
f P
. d th "commercial bill, however, failed to prove that the bank paper would
o aflS eprive e poor wanderer of the view of the land and the enjoyment '
of the f::rtile soil, I feel violent irritation. I am asking myself whether ':',be essentially different from paper money, and therefore could not appease
crty which thus shuts up everyone where he is staying shOuld. not rather be ; the of inflation which were intense at a time when the public had
called expropriation, expulsion from the land.7:! , .. :, not yet forgotten John Law's experiment, and most vividly
Mistrust of state power, against which property would form a'useful i the fate of the assignats. Another of Proudhon's arguments to assnage
counterweight, was not the only motive for Proudhon's modification of : '; inflation fears was somewhat stronger. He said that the People's Ba'nk
his views on property: there was also the realization that the principle ;!ould create means of payment only for the purpose of making advances
of property, whatever the arguments against it, was nevertheless "a : to producers, and that conseQuently commodities would increase in
spontaneous product of the P.tre collectif and of society" 73 and that ,,;:' proportion to the circulation of bank paper .76
therefore the struggle against that principle was hopeless. Perhaps even . More important than any technicalities of Proudhon's credit scheme
marc important,was Proudhon's concern for the small-farmer and artisan. '. was the philosophy on which it was based. Naturally, credit without
He might record the property consciousness of these groups with in- ;' terest was the desire of the small artisan and m..e_p.asant; thus Proudhon's
dignation, and speak of the "dur paysan, dur,tS arator," the hard.minded . proposal fitted excellently into the sociological background of his system,
peasanr,7.J: along with the "insolent baron," the "old avaricious patrician' ,; and was equally in conformity with Proudhon's ethical ideas and his
without pity" and "the greedy bourgeois" as the other undesirable types ,'concept of human nature. Coercion, or domination, he thought, was bad;
of wa,nted"to be the, .of. Uree intercourse between man and man, not regulated by any superior
__ __ -the :, power, was good, and exchange of commodities was part of that
worizm,.ancl .. he\Vasrealistenoughto see that'he'could noth;ve filled course. Credit, in Proudhon's opinion, should be a sort of exchange. In a
that.rolehad he maint;i';ed .. , . well ordered society, he thought, producers of various commodities store
to __ is strongly ';,thcir products until such time as they can sell them; but in the meantime
by his attitude toward inheritance. He blames the Saint- f they must live, and they can only live by drawing upon their stocks.
of ,:. Credit, therefore,' consists essentially of the miller's readiness to let the
Th . ht . h - . . h fa il . . shoemaker consume flour before he can sell his recently produced stock
.e ng . to. ID e.nt e."{lSts ID t e m y of the poor as well as in that of '
the rtch; this rtght 1S holy and inalienable, the proletarian [sic] has secured, of shoes; or sometimes the shoemaker may have to grant the miller per-
'00'fN/lJ! r-c" '?:l b'it
r \ K- r
,1:;i..c..-1I1;r",.5'!. !..<.::'jI,K.,
Chapterr The Three Anticapitalistic Movements
mission to have shoes before he has sold enough flour to pay in cash. Can ," Although Proudhon has not given many details about these com-
sequently, credit is based on reciprocity, on This idea _ of \ panics, he at least stated the general conditions to which their organiza
mutuality, in Proudhon's opinion, is expresseain the institution of the woUld have to conform. First,all members of the staff, from the
commercial bill; it enables the producer to payments tohis fdlow,:'manager to the last apprentice, including the members of their families,
producers before he has been ableto sell his product. The Rxwage-Bank would jointly own the company; second, all functions within the enter-
replaces the papers which the individual producers make out or could', prise must in principle be accessible to every member, dependent, how-
make out, by its own bins and thereby facilitates general acceptance.
:: ever, "on the convenience of sex, age, talent, and seniority"; third, train
The rinciple of mutuality, however, has applications in fields other: ing within the plant must be sufficiently broad to fit the member for a
than credit. neo y societies, maintairung chests to whic:hafl workers vadety. g_f __ fourth, all functions Il?-ust be elective; fifth, the
contribute to aid those of their number who may be struck'byi11IleSSOr .. salary H must be in proportion to the- nature o(the the
other distress, are an application of the same principle. In a wider sense/ ::. tance of. u:e __ extent of his responsibility"; sixth, every-
every cooperative effort can be so regarded, since it always involves e,i body must participate in the gains and losses of the company, "inpropor-
sUplementatlOn of one member's capacity by the resources and abllitles ,: tC?his any member must be free at any time_ to
;;r other members. AlthougIlIilProudhon's.own thlllking these denvatm,' :leave the company, and. the company must be at all times free to admit
from mutuality were overshadoVled by the postuLiie of gratuitous cred.;"-new members." Obviously, these points would have required a lot of
they still a powerful influence when the idea of the People's Bank" explanation-especially about the meaning of the fifth and sixth points
was all but forgotten: \!>e most comprehensive welfare system built by.' and their relationship. Also, Proudhon did not say much about the
any labor movement, the one established by the Belgian Labor party'methods by which the transfer of industrial property from private
around the turn of the century, received much of its inspiration from the.entrepreneurs to these companies should be effected.
He did give,hOW.;:
proudhonian tradition.;ever, a rough sketch of how the different types of enterprise would lit
Credit--reorm':',n0t""only:, o.cq.lpies- : together to form the whole ot soclety:
dhon:sscheme of social. reconstruction: it is also the postulate which he
On the one hand, the peasants will finally be masters of their own soil which
explains most thoroughly, including the technique of realization. By: they cultivate and in which they wish to take root. Their enormous,
.. proposalsare v?gue. This applies particu- ble mass, bound together by a common guaranty, united by the same interest,
the- ground rent and of organizing'_:assures forever the triumph of democracy ...
"workers' companies" for large ,scale enterprise in industry, mining; and iOn the other hand, there will be tens of thousands of small manufacturers,
transportation. In these latter fields, he saw himself confronted with a :artisans, merchants, volunteers of commerce and industry, working each for
dilemma: himself Or in small groups, the most mobile of men, who prefer their incom-
parable independence to the sovereignty over the soil and are always sure of
There can be only one of two things: either the worker ... will be simply.' fatherland in which they can find work.
the paid employee of the proprietor-capitalist--entrcpreneur, or he will par>'Finally, there appear the workers' companies, veritable revolutionary armies
ticipate in the losses and gains of the enterprise and have a voice in the; 'in which the worker, like a soldier in his battalion, manoeuvres with the
?ecisior:s' in. other words,. will an first event worker.:'precision of machines; in which thousands of intelligent and strong wills
1S .kept infeno: and explOIted; hIS perpetual cond1tlOn obedIence and!;:merge into one superior will, just as the arms which these wills move, by
mIsery. Only 10 the second event does he have the dlgruty of a, man ,and a:,",their unified action form a collective force even greater than their numbers.s1
citizen .... Thus we cannot hesitate, we have no choice: "wh:cte:v'el"'pr6duc,',
requi-r:s;-large:scale-, -labor, a-'_su?st.antbl_collective-,for?e,," there': J3ecause ,of,the ,challenging ,.
form- an because "otherWIse some', of_ his . ,.c:gger, , _apq associated with his
of them-wo.uld. remam rnfenor' to- others, and two- castes, that-of'm-asters and': - . - -- --,,-- -, .. "- -'-"
.th"t:of_employees;.would-be-establishedin industry. Such a thing would be
,_ Froudhon:.waLlabcled he po','ess::d only one
repugnant to a democratic and free society.78 element'-.of.crevolutlonar.yctemper: a:pasSlonate---1ov.e;'or, JUstIce. He was

The Three Anticapitalistic Movements
Chapter I
from believing that society could change guick1X. Living in France seem surprising that a man who had said many bitter words about the ,: .:..
wlth her revolutionary tradition, in a period when this tradition was proletariat and some of its most CheiTslied ideas, and whose heart was !
revived, and having devoted his life to the benefit of the underprivileged most of the time more devoted to the cause of the struggling master i
who were rising against their exploiters, -it was psychologically and: artisan than to that of the starving factory worker, had a greater .I
" 11' 'bl f h class following in France than any other social philosopher, including!
po m.ca y ImpOSSl e or 1m to repudiate revolution in principle; but !
he tned to read an evolutionary meaning into the concept of revolution Karl Marx, up to the 1870'S. The French workers, to be sure, had already \
presenting it as a particular stage in a continuous movement, with learned through bitter experience that their interests were not the same "\
implication that this stage might be avoided by wisdom on all sides. He as the interests of the bourgeois, and cer:tailJ}Y_ .. .. 2;'
was deeply convinced that stability _was as essential for human society as __ s()m.e
h d
' h' h of _their ... o. W . .ll._.Ru.m ... bers .. o.b. ta ..i.n .. bo .. u. rge . .oi.s .... po .. s.iti.o. n .. s .. :" .. 3c:Bu. t. still most of the .J
c ange, an III t IS sense e wrote to a friend, Charles Beslay, in r86r:
workers had in their
having been the most revolutionary spirit of my age, it is now my ainbi
tlon to become, without changing the slightest part of my opinions and in
consequence of the success of my opinions, the most outspoken conservative.
" est ';:is" shopkeepers or
: artisans. This state of mind has survived in France for many decades
after the Industrial Revolution had greatly reduced the chances of the
There are abundant passages in Proudhon's writinO"s which show that average worker to escape from a proletarian position; to this day the
he considered lllterests the very essence of political str-uggle. hope has not been extinguished. Since the hopes of the French workers
He had a clear vl$lon of the class stratification of socie!y, The existence ' were tied so closely to the existence of a middle class, they did not mind I r i! ,tt",!!
of a was always in his mind; but the most important phase: me fact that Proudhon's socialphilosophy favored the middle class; they , ,
of thls struggle, as he saw it, was not between the bourgeoisie and the . found it easier to identify h,s approach with their own than the approach I tk SQ" ?,
P!oletariat-it was between an alliance of the petite bourgeoisie (the,' of other authors whose ideas were better fitted to actually existing condi j
lower class), and the workers on the one hand, and the money: dons but contradicted the individual expectations of the proletarian. --1'.\
lenders, bIg- merchants, and big industrialists on the other. His".desire-to A characteristic phase of Proudhon's social philosophy is his attitude
1-'1' 1";'. .(...-'- estab-ltsh-the ..aHiance .. -between-c-the----little -bo:Urgeois,- and the---worker _ was toward the dialectic philosopn:yo Hegel. 1 he Important point for an
... - -. -> ,
, I mO.5Lurgent;-.. but he hved 10 a penod in which the differentiation of understanding of Proudhon is the theorem that contradictions between I
, , . h
lXiU'-:- JIJ.-Ol $I'e ,i! t ese two classes, though far from being complete, was making quick ideas and the resulting antagonism between the representatives of these \
... \Ct.I."5 I. progress. Thus he was frequently disappointed, and he blamed his dis- ideas are, in Hegel's opinion, the moving force o'f history; whenever twO (
f ::E.e:0intment sometimes on the lower middle class, sometimes on the principles are. in conBict, the historical development which originates \
I ,:orkers; among the former he missed the fighting spirit which he con. from this conflict finally leads to a realization of a third principle which
I sldered necessary for the. accomplishment of any change; on the other means a reconciliation of the two former, Proudhon accepted the theorem
! hand, the. proletariat, in his opinion, fell an easy prey to the demagogy , of the struggle of antagonistic principles and their representatives as the
, of Caesansm, as represented by Napoleon III, On the wh.ole...iu.e.ems that . moving force of progress, but, after having fully assimilated the meaning
toward the end of his life he became more inclined to expect social reo of the dialectic philosophy with which he became familiar first through I
form from the proletariat rather than from the middle class, Marx, he rejected the idea of a third reconciling principle, Thus, in his
only did P-r.o'u_dhon.lackfull.confidencejn __ the ability- p the, workers opinion, the struggle is -endless; of a plurality of principles, each one)'
tc;>, .. thc_$pcie.ty __o thcJuture; he was also opposed 'to 's0me:,-of >their-' has a legitimate existence. . ---------.
mo_st.i.mportant demands-the right,to form-t.fnions;-which,he:considered The recognition of a legitimate plurality of principles and the
I11onopolistic __ ass_ociations;- and-. 'strikes, which- he. reo-arded -as:,actions ( tion to the concept of necessary unity have a fundamental relationship to
d' d ' th' 0 I b d 1
I1ecte :.agalllst, On the other hand, he love or Ii .. ..'<?0_ Y. E?ssibleJn a society in
tookup!'gu,ier's demand for the right to work, which was orie of the; to. think and feel differenti
from any other
first objectives of the French labor movement in the 1840's, Yet it may ! Such freedom will be granted only if the opinion prevails that the
66 , Chapter I ,The Three Anticapitalistic Movements 67
ultimate truth and the ways to the absolute good are not yet known; for li '. But if Proudhon was in many ways opposed to Marxian ideas, he was
we, what is good and true there would be no reason fo,also very different from the other French socialists and from his great Eng-
leglamate the:e would be complete unity among all peo-;Ush predecessor, the only pre-Marxian socialist who might be
pIe of good wIll. It IS the hberal creed that the ultimate truth and the 'his rival in importance, Robert Owen. First of all, he was not a
absolute good can only.be gradually approaChed, and that they may:To be sure, he had a vision of a future soeiety; but he saw nopurpose.1O
never be completely attamed. Proudhon, being essentially an :'describing it in detail. Nor did he believe 10 e.-xpcnroents wlth
goes furt.he: than the liberals. To him even the tendency toward the ulti. !model groups. The only experiment which he ever :mdertook was h,s
mat: truth seems sometimes doubtful, and therefore he denies ;:People's Bank; and it was an experiment in a very different
, the forthcoming of the reconciling principle in which Hegcl :People's Bank was to be the beginning of that credit reform which In
and his d,sc,ple Marx believe. ; Proudhon's opinion would Change society as a whole, and therefore the
Howe.vcr, is not basically skeptic; on the contrary, he is a of the venture was not merely demonstration but the start of
firm behever m values., Consequently, he could not follow up consistently. complete social reorganization.
:he line of thought whIch hIS opposition to Hegel indicates. He is wavet- .
the belief in the eternity of the mutual struggle of irrecon. :'From Saint-Simon, Proudhon differs in his opposition to authority. The
cIled pnnclples and the belief in a social development whiCh will ap- issue between Proudhon and Cabet is that of decentralization versuS cen-
the ultimate good. Since Proudhon doubted, however, that all r tralization. From the Babouvists, proudhon is separated not merely by
COnflIctS between principles would inevitably be solved by a final synthesis;: opposition ;0 the latter's authoritadan but also by his averSIOn
he dId not attribute to socialism the same finality whiCh it has in ,from revolutionary violence. W,th LoUIS Blanc, proudhon,
To Marx, soeialisa: means the end of the fundamental antag-' mainly about the role of the state, which Blanc wishes to orgamze SOCIal
orusrns human hfe and, SInce change visualized as originating from: '. Closer is Proudhon's position to that of Both are
antagolllsms, the end of fundamental social change. This idea is missing : group socialists and, essentially, anarchists; both. are
in Proudhon's philosophy. 'i, posed to violence. But not only is an. a true
Proudhon is the most profound thinker among pre-Marxian socialists 'Utopian; his system also contains tralts whIch, on the whole,
he is pre-Marxian only in a restricted sense; while his essential., are alien to Proudhon's mind. Moreover, III h,s Qu' est-ce que la proprzete?
Ideas out before he met Karl Marx, the meeting with this Proudhon takes Fourier to task for rejecting equality and even granting
great spmt left Important traces in Proudhon's mind. The two men feli . "capital" along with "labor" and "talent" a share in the pr.oduct of tI;e
themselves separated by as wide an abyss as can exist between two phi- phalange. This objection, however, must have lost some of Its lU
;Vho both thmk along socialist lines and consider the will of the later years, when Proudhon modified his oPPo:ition to nghts;
to improve their lot the most important force making for his ideas of a desirable social order, as sketChed lU the Idee generale de la
SOCIal change. Even If Marx had not written his severe criticism of revolution, by no means implies complete equality; there was
Proudhon in the Poverty of Philosophy, and if Proudhon had not ex- to be no equality of compensation in the "workers' compames." _ _
p:essed his antagonism to "communism"-meaDing by this term the very One of Proudhon's great difficulties was the conflict between his. desl:C
dIfferent schools of Marx, Babeuf, and Cabet-we should still have to to influence events and his love for intellectual independence whIch, 10
the e:dstence of a fundamental antagonism. Proudhon was an combination with the very distinctive character of his ideas, made it hard
Ideahs!, Marx a materialist; Proudhon was essentially a gradualist, for him to establish good working relationships with fellow reformers. As
WIth more than half of himself, a revolutionary; Marx believed a journalist-he edited several newspapers in took the part
10 the proletariat alone, Proudhon also in the lower middle class. Finally, of the people in the revolution of 1848 and bItterly attacked the
and most Important, Marx had the vision of a far more centralized and ment after the June massacre. He denounced the monarchical aspIrauons
even authorir.aria.n system of socialism than Proudhon, who was opposed of Louis Napoleon and, after the latter's to the throne,
to all centrahzatlOn and really to all authority. paid for that opposition with prison and CXlle. He later trIed to come to
68 C hapterfM Three Anticapitalistic Movements 69
terms with the perhaps partly as a result of personal discourag{ifsurplus value and of the economic interpretation of history, though not
m the mam he was guided by a tendency to recognize the the precise forms which Marx worked out. .
ence of the Second Empire as evidence that it had a historical functionJ ':;, Sismondi's most original contribution to anticapitalist philosophy IS
in vain a disciple of Hegel's who had said that 'i, his theory of crisis. He is one of the first scholars. who in :onscious
thmg that eXIsts 1$ somehow consonance with reason. to the classical theorems worked the that
Proudhon never made enough fnendly gestures to satisfy Napoleon m; p,oduction does not necessarily and automatlcally w,den. the c!tcle of
who d,d not revoke the sentence to exile until three years before Prou' ,,,change and there't'ith provide for larger markets; he beheves that pro-
dhon's death; even after the latter's return to France the imperial may be too great to be sold, and that this is what happens in the
ment continued to plague him with restrictions on his activities. and commercial crises of the capitalistic system.
He sees the
was vain and not always consistent, but he was honest, courageous, aria; of overproduction primarily, if not exclusively, in the introduction
warm:-hearted-and perhaps more gifted as a writer than as a social archil '\6 machines, since machinery not only adds to the product but also
tecto By combining political activity, supported by stron& appeals to thi lOiminishes employment and therefore the purchasing power of the masses.
workers, with his analysis of conditions and potentialities social iSismondi does not deny that the reduction of the cost of. production, as
he powerfully promoted the merger between socialism and the laWi" result of the employment of machines, releases purchaslOg power and
:"ovement. In this respect, despite all differences of opinion, he ;ilierefore ultimately leads to reemployment of the displaced
m the same group as Cabet and Louis Blanc. ..:' ;but he contends that the classical economic school overemphaSlzed the
:.: "remedial effects of this compensatory employment because in its abstract
SISMONDI .. . ::'sCheme there was no place to describe the pains of transition. While the
Among the French writers of the early nineteenth century who led l:'individual act of displacement has only a temporary effect, other acts of
against there is one who can hardly be classified ai; \(displacement follow, so that technical be
a .or as a socIally mmded Tory, though he has some communitY,:' ijeifective as a source of unemployment. From tlme this condltIon
of ,deas wlth both groups; he is primarily a critic of capitalism and not ani '.leads to the well-known symptoms of general paralySlS of mdustry. .
advocate of any particular alternative. This is Simonde de Sismondi."'! j' The disastrous effects of the introduction of machinery appear to S15-
His importance is based on two qualities of his writing: the ethical force: ;:mondi merely a special form of the greatest evil of capitalism-dissocia-
of his indictment of capitalism, and his knowledge of economic theory;) .':cion and even antagonism of interests within society as a .of class
thanks to the latter, he was able to meet the defenders of the capitalist; :'stratification. If society were not divided into classes of capltalists and
order on their own ground. ,- i;'workers interests would be harmonious; the greatest development of
The objections which Sismondi raises against the classical approach arc; ",productivity of labor and capital would then lead to the best
much the same as brought forth later by the German historical school and,):'.,f everybody's wants. But a change which is favorable for productlvlty
by the .American institutionalists. He blames Adam Smith and Ricardo! ::,may be unfavorable for the conditions under which .Iabor can sold.
for thelt purely abstract and deductive methods; he thinks that they neg.) ,: Such a change may, therefore, in our class-stratified socty, be
human element in economic life, and that a strong dose of em .. : * to the masses of the people, and may ultimately damage productlo."
pmClSm should be added to their abstractions. He wants to see the con. throu&h restriction of their purchasing power. Aside from some Slmllan-
cept of the "economical man" replaced by a fuller understandin& of the '.' ties of Sismondi's theory of depression to the Marxian theory, the em-
motives behind c:onomic actions. He also stresses the fact that historical:::; phasis on the diversity of class inter.ests constitutes the most important
development contmually changes the character of institutions which teach.: \ trend of thought common to both thinkers.
ers often assume to be rigidly determined; he '
applIes thIS Idea espeCIally to the content of the right of property, and RICARDIAN SOCIALIsts AND EARLY GERo.VfAN ADvoCA'l'ES OF SOCIALISM
. some work for Marxism which considers capital LThe scope of this book makes it.'necessary to restrict dis.cu.ssion to those
a cate?ory. Other elements of Marxism are present in Sis-: theorists who have exerted a lasting influence on the soclalIst movement.
mond, s theory; hke many of his contemporaries, he had the conceptions r. Hence some English socialists of the Chartist-Utopian period can only
0 Chapter I.: The Three Anticapitalistic Movements
be summarily mentioned, although their ideas would be interesting . ': Owen, yet Weiding favors some degree of decentralization alon
enough for a place of honor in a pure history of doctrine. , donalist" lines: a Landwirtschaftsrat (agricultural council) for -0,---
The socalled Ricardian socialists wrote between r800 and r850. They.: ': ture and a Gewerbeausschuss (craftsmen's committee) for industry, both
accepted thelabor-value theory and based on it the contention that labor, ,. dected by the working citizens in either field, are to guide production,
has an ethical claim to the whole product. This postulate is closely related ,'under the general supervision of the Dreimannerrat (council of three),
to the Marxian theory of "exploitation,H although Marx wished the latter ; ~ consisting of scientists. Further differing with Cabet, Weitling is con-
to be understood as an instrument of analysis and not as an ethical:;: cerned over the fate of minorities. His distrust of majority rule, and his
proposition. :' : belief that crime will disappear with the removal of the old order seem to
The most important writers usually regarded as Ricardian socialists are i reveal anarchist leanings.
Weiiling participated in 'the evolution of
William Thompson," John Gray,87 Thomas Hodgskin," and Francis : workers' groups which were the first to take up Marxian ideas. This most
Bray." The latter's book "was regarded by Socialists and Chartists as a important phase of Weiding's activities will be discussed in the context of
standard work." 90 Hodgskin, for a time, was in close contact with the : ; the early history of Marxism.
labor movement; almost all writers of this group somehow participated ~
in cooperative action and helped disseminate Owen's ideas, with whom
they were in agreement at least on many practical measures. The Ricardian
socialists were also strongly influenced by Bentham and, like Owen and .
later to some extent John Stuart M i l ~ tried to turn utilitarian philosophy' i
away from laissez faire conclusions. They therefore had some limited"
significance as bridge builders between different schools, but they never
came even near to e.xerting an influence like that of the French Utopians.
However, the Ricardian socialists were more realistically minded than
Fourier or the disciples of Saint-Simon, and Hodgskin at least surpassed
both Cabet and Louis Blanc in intellectual power.
By the yardstick of long-lasting influence, two German socialists must
also be excluded from the first rank of importance. One is Karl Rod
benus, mentioned earlier as a socially minded conservative who developed
into a real socialist. He has a place in the history of economic doctrine,
especially because of his contributions to the theory of unemployment, a
field in which he took up threads of thought originating from Sismondi."
He could have played a great role in Germany if his social idealism had
found a receptive audience among the upper classes; as it was, he be- '
came only a forerunner of the Kathedersozialisten ("socialists of the 1
chair))), and his influence was not very great even on this group. On the '
whole, he was one of the lost prophets who have been frequent in the :
history of socialism. ,I
Another German socialist who shared that fate was Wilhelm Weiding. :'
As a traveling journeyman, he got to know the ideas of the French
Utopians, and he has always remained under their influence. With Cabe,
he believes that the national economy should be managed from a center
rather than by local communities in the manner visualized by Fourier and