Philosophy and the State (continuation of The Marxian Dialectic and its Recent Critics – Paul Mattick


Living Marxism: International Council Correspondence, Vol. VI (1941-1943), No 3 (Spring 1943)

All philosophies have been political weapons. The Hegelian philosophy – especially in its opposition to English empiricism – expressed a variance of interests which resulted from different stages of development reached in England on the one hand and on the European continent on the other.

The naturalistic onesidedness of English empiricism expressed the strength of English capitalism. It felt sure of itself. With the overcoming of feudalism there no longer existed a “social issue”. The workers’ position in society was their “natural” position; economic laws were “natural” laws that had finally been discovered; the workers’ share of the produce was their “natural” share; their misery a “natural” law, and so forth. According to laissez faire ideology there was no sense in attempting to organize society, no way to do it, no knowledge that could serve such an attempt. What knowledge there was came from sense perceptions. The immediate facts were the only ones that lent themselves to scientific investigation.

It was not the satisfaction of the empiricists with the facts of nature, however, but English satisfaction with capitalist society that caused the empiricists to remain in the sphere of natural facts. But by not answering questions pertaining to society and social change, English empiricism could not answer adequately the problems of matter and mind, object and subject, nature and consciousness.

The opposition to empiricism manifested itself in scientific and philosophical terms. It was, nevertheless, not so much an opposition to empirical methods as an opposition to the philosophy that was connected with it that was unable to account for, or to further, social progress by other than the means employed in the advancement of natural science. This opposition was really, in the last analysis, an opposition to English capitalism.

Hegel’s philosophy, which conceived the present as both past and future, and “being” as “becoming”, must be explained out of the pre-capitalist situation and the predictable developmental tendencies inherent in the capitalist system. However, the problems he was concerned with remained always those of his time whether they stemmed from the past or pointed to the future. He wanted to go beyond today and yesterday, not to excel the given reality but to represent it as well as possible.

The French Revolution enunciated reason’s ultimate power over reality. “Man is a thinking being. His reason enables him to recognize his own potentialities and those of his world. He is thus not at the mercy of the facts that surround him, but is capable of subjecting them to a higher standard, that of reason[1].” The rationalism of the French revolution, already superfluous in England, could still serve in Germany. Hegel, however, knew the political economy of his time. He was aware of the anarchic and harzardous character of the capitalist mode of production, of the contradiction between capital and labor and the dangers it implied. But he saw also that the system was acutally functioning, that despite all the atomization of society it advanced precisely by reason of its contradictions. There was a sort of “regulation” and “order” behind the disorder and irregularities. And thus for Hegel, Reason was not subjective human reason but the whole objective reality. He did not see in man, in the individual, a rational creature who forms his own world according to his own knowledge and desire. “Mankind, he believed, could never completely understand its own destiny, because it could not climb out of history and view it objectively from a timeless standpoint. We are the creatures not creators of time, and our reason is the sport of Reason, not its overlord[2].” This philosophy which made men the products of forces outside their control was – in its realistic core – the expression of a social relation in which the productive process controls men, not men the productive process. Hegel’s Absolute Reason, which in his description “lets men ‘wear one another out in the pursuit of their own ends’ and thus, without direct interference, nevertheless ‘attains her own purpose only’, this concept of Hegel’s was… nothing else than an idealization of the bourgeois concept of the benefits derived from free competition”[3].

It was the capitalist mode of production that found in Hegel’s philosophy its best expression. The capitalization process of society became an inevitable process. All that served this process was rational. When subjective reason could be employed by, but also turned against, the bourgeoisie, Hegel’s objective Reason could served none but the masters of his time. And just as empiricism became a weapon of the ruling class in England, so Hegel’s idealism served the developing capitalistic class in Germany. Both served identical ends.

The capitalization of Germany, however, could be enforced only by methods which countries with a longer capitalistic history had learned to look upon as “reactionary”. When, after Germany’s “liberation” from Napoleon’s rule, the capitalistic industrialization increased in scope and tempo, it was soon found that what was good for the goose was not so good for the gander. The unequal competitive powers of the different nations excluded general adherence to “universal” trade practices. Apparently “reactionary” methods such as the prohibition of political economy in favor of national economy, protective tariffs and state interferences ran counter to the laissez faire philosophy and infringed upon the “liberty” of individual capitalist entrepreneurs in favor of the state.

Of course the “increasing powers” of the state really did not mean much more than the maintenance of the existing powers of the state, which, still in the hands of a feudalistically-orientated absolutist military caste simply refused to retreat before the industrial entrepreneur and financial manipulator. Thus, in view of the general trend of development, a reactionary class actually attempted to stop “progress”. But in its attempt to maintain and thus necessarily to strengthen its own position, this reactionary class was forced in its very struggle against “progress” to adopt and employ “progressive” means of combat, that is, to industralize the nation. The “enemy without”, i. e., the growing capitalization of the world, did not allow the complete or even partial suppresion of the “enemy within”, i. e., the rising bourgeoisie clamoring for power to determine policies according to its own interests. Whereas before the French Revolution, the economic theory of the Physiocrats was in its essentials “a bourgeois reproduction of the feudalistic system”[4], the new school of national economy that developed in Germany represented a capitalistic theory in feudalistic garb. It was in “harmony” with a situation that demanded compromises between the old and new ruling classes because “the constant threat from without did not allow internal clashes to work themselves out”[5]. It was thus, so to speak, the “anonymous power of capital” that overcame the former class system and its more primitive agricultural production. And this despite the “victories” of the reaction and the incorporation of feudal privileges in the capitalistic structure. The omnipotence of the state in Germany did not contradict her capitalistic development but was one of its forceful levers. The “historical fact of the omnipotence of the state dominated German philosophy: German philosophy did not create the omnipotent state. Fichte and Hegel had to deal with and explain the accomplished reality. It was the world they lived in”[6].

The principles of the French Revolution – Reason and Freedom – seemed unrealizable in Germany. But these principles to which Gegel adhered, implied something quite tangible and specific. There was no other reason and freedom involved than that “reason that liberated industry”[7]. The bourgeoisie had been hindered in its development by the absolutistic institutions of the pre-capitalist era. “What must the government do in order to maintain abundance in the kingdom?”, the elder Mirabeau had asked. “Nothing!”, he answered himself. If the bourgeoisie of France thought that with regard to industry and trade “no government was the best government” and if they had been able to enforce the reorganization of their society by way of revolution, still their struggle against the state was neither a fight against the state-as-such nor against the absolute state. It was a struggle against an existing state in favor of another that would be asolutely at the service of the bourgeoisie. The old state, insisting on the status quo in oder to safeguard its own existence, was attacked for its inability to adapt its policies to the new situation which was brought about by the feudalistic disintegration and the rise of the bourgeois mode of production. In France, the most powerful European nation at that time, the state was an “arrogant” state, unwilling to yield to the “enemy within” because it was not seriously threatened by an enemy from without.

The preponderance of the state in Germany was not specifically “German”. The modern nation state developed with capitalism. The state fostered this development through a process of centralization that limited the powers of the nobility and broke that of the gentry. The absolute monarchy and its supporters, it is true, yielded their new-won powers not in the interests of the middle class and the exploited in society but solely in their own interests. Yet the middle class could develop faster under better conditions. As far as social power in concerned, however, the centralization process polarized society into a smaller ruling body and a large mass of ruled. It created a basis for revolutionary actions that could involve the whole of society and influence national development. It multiplied the social grievances and directed all opposition against the central authority.

At the eve of the French Revolution there was everywhere hatred between the classes. “The bourgeoisie hated the nobility, while the peasantry hated bourgeoisie and nobility alike. The lesser nobles hated the dukes and marquises and counts; and the petty bourgeoisie hated the rich notables. The laity hated the clergy, and the poor parsons hated the luxurious archbishops and bishops[8]“. The bourgeoisie, however, was that class that could strive for state power and dominance. All opposition against the existing state of affairs, including the opposition of the laboring class against all other classes merged into the fundamental opposition of the time – that between feudalism and capitalism. The bourgeoisie, for its own part and in all its layers, was convinced that its own emancipation would benefit the whole of society. All interests, desiring a turn of events, sided with the bourgeoisie not because of an identity of interests but because of their common hatred of the ancien regime. The manifold interests taking part in the revolution explain its turns and twists, the illusions and disappointments connected with it, its revolutionary and its reactionary aspects.

In England the situation was different. The insular position fostered internal developments. It did not isolate the country but made it more immune to onslaughts from without. England had become a nation state as early as the eleventh century. At a time when, on the Continent, the coming of kings indicated the rise of the national state and the beginning of the end of feudalism, in England it was already possible to restrict the powers of the king without disturbing national unity. The Magna Charta demonstrated, however weakly, a control of the existing central power. The middle class, industry and trade, grew faster in England than anywhere else. And yet the “political form under which the nation was ‘freed’ from feudalism and papal supremacy was in fact more despotic than anything which preceded it… Mercantilism transferred to the state that supervision of economic life previously held by the Church. The Tudor era is not a period of free trade but of state-controlled trade, in which a new bureaucracy directs the activities of private enterprise. The state intervenes to grant monopolies, fix wages and prices, manage the currency, determine tariffs and by, a new poor law, to tackle the problem of unemployment”[9].

Germany, that battle ground for the European wars, was one of the last countries that completed its national unification. To ask for a strong state in Germany was to ask – quite independently of what those struggling for national unity were thinking – for the capitalization of the country. Because in Germany what had since long been a reality in France and England was realized at a later time, there existed in the beginning of the nineteenth century not a state with greater powers than other states possessed but only a different relationship between the state and the ruling classes. The German state still served both the feudalistic interests and those of capitalism. In France the state served a captialism that could ignore the remnants of feudalism. In England the bourgeoisie had long since turned into aristocrats and the aristocrats had turned into the bourgeoisie who made the state the exclusive instrument of capitalism. Against the exploited classes the state was equally omnipotent in all nations, equally powerful, equally absolutistic. With regard to the ruling classes the state served, all appearances to the contrary notwithstanding, the capitalistic needs of the nation.

The state that the bourgeoisie found best fitted to its needs was one that forbade all social practices which intereferred with the accumulation of bourgeois private property. The nation state became the bourgeois state. But the range of the bourgeois exploitation exceeds national boundaries. The state had to remain a double-edged against internal and external foes. The non-intervention in the economy demanded of the state at home was not in contradiction to but a counter-part of state intervention abroad. Though this was true for society as a whole and for the whole of its development, it meant all sorts of things for different classes, groups, and individuals. State interference found actual opposition from groups directly disturbed or hurst by it; it was hailed as the proper policy by those who gained through its application.

To be sure one could ahere to laissez faire or to state control without being directly influenced by one or the other policy. As both policies were only tendencies within the capitalistic development, indicating changes of procedure in the competitive struggle, it was often not a consistent opposition to one or the other policy that asserted itself in the political arena but merely the fear that a prevailing tendency might be allowed to go too far. People who had a difficult time within the laissez faire situation imagined that some day they might succumb altogether to more forceful competitors – a fear quite justified by everyday experience. They wanted the state to do away with the “bad side” of laissez faire. Others, however, saw in state interference the basis for a more successful competition abroad that in turn would make the position of private capital at home easier. Thus in actual politics, there existed a mixture of points of views with regard to these problems which found revolutionaries in reactionary camps and reactionaries in the progressive camp.

Though in Germany, too, the individual capitalist found himself hampered by the semi-feudal regime he still had first to favor the strengthening of nation and state in order to develop more freely. He had thus a twofold, though not a contradictory attitude, towards state power. He wanted the freedom to accumulate for private purposes and he wanted a nation that would furnish the basis for it, plus a state what would give security. But in order to develop a powerful nation, that freedom of private enterprise which prevailed in England could not a once be realized in Germany. That freedom itself had been the result of a long period of development characterized by state interferences.

After the French Revolution and the Napoleonic wars the bourgeoisie was inclined to think, and had every reason to think, that a further weakening of the already weak Germany through internal strife would lay the country open to further aggression. To a certain extent it is true that Napoleon’s campaigns had helped to destroy the feudalistic vestiges in Germany. He had for this reason been the object of the “admiration” of the “progressive” elements in Germany. Yet his occupation had not strengthened the German bourgeoisie economically. The “ideological liberation” had not been translatable in cash. “The more Napoleon aspired to broaden the frontiers of his administration, the more did he seek to constrict the definition of ‘national’ interests. Both aspirations were designed to benefit the French industrial and commercial bourgeoisie, whose support was indispensable to the Emperor. Consequently, their interests – the ‘national’ interests – became the keystone of his pillaging policy in the conquered lands”[10]. Napoleon suppressed the productive powers in the subjugated countries, and the admiration that the “progressive” bourgeoisie had felt for him changed into the desire to liberate the nation from his despotic rule.

The French Revolution in its political aspects could no longer be a real inspiration for the whole of the German bourgeoisie. It began under the leadership of dissatisfied aristocrats and capitalists and was liquidated under similar conditions. Its revolutionary phase – the Jacobin terror – was merely an episode destined to fail from the very beginning. The bourgeois revolution was not only a revolution against feudalism but also against the petty bourgeois and the laboring classes. What seemed revolutionary within the French Revolution was hopelessly utopian, for the most “radical” demands flatly contradicted the need for the full release of the capitalist forces of production. When, however, the revolution ended with the reconciliation of capitalists and aristocrats the question naturally arose – why not begin with such a reconciliation? The refusal of Germany to repeat the cycle of the French Revolution did not violate the principles of that revolution, for the concrete content of those principles, the liberation of industry, could now be gained without much fighting, thanks to the existing authority.

The past was also not forgotten. It showed that a state could do both: obey the demands of a particular class, but also “stand above all class interests”. Of course, the atter meant no more than that the state, wavering between feudal inclinations and capitalistic necessities, “solved” its problem by doing only what served its own interests. The mercantilistic state, especially, seemingly demonstrated that a government could – like the Church or God himself – tower over the whole of society and rule it “in the interests of the whole”. If it did not do so it was thought that this was not because it was not possible to do so, but because the people who comprised the state were either bad or lacked wisdom. The paternalistic relationships of medieval society were retranslated to fit new conditions.

With Hobbes the more sceptical bourgeois thinkers saw in the omnipotent state a necessary reaction to the ceaseless frictions of the competitive struggles which grew out of the passions of human nature. Strong authority was to secure the social order. There was, however, the other idea, that a poweful state could prevent the rise of conditions that awakened the competitive passions in man. The state could be tyrannical or beneficient and also a beneficient tyranny. In Fichte’s mind the state could even develop in a “government that made government superfluous”. To be freed from government, however, the government itself had first to be freed from social fetters hindering its development. Fichte’s “free state” was to be freed from its bondage to particular interests. It was to become a “political community” which, by passing through a stage described as a “closed industrial system” that was to lead to economic abundance, would end up in a real social community. Yet, for all practical purposes, this whole scheme terminated in the demand for the actual national state that could only be the bourgeois state. Still the ideological scheme did not contradict the real development. To have the national state it was necessary to accept the “closed industrial state”. To attain the latter in face of the feudal reaction and the foreign foe, it was first necessary to have a “political community”. Even in the ideological scheme the “social community” had been placed in the far away future and thus to the “idea” no bourgeois needed to object.

To desire the national state was to desire participation in the capitalization process of the world. But as long as there was a wide gap between desire and reality, the mind could wander freely and idealize expectations. It could imagine that the capitalization which emphasized the state was something other than that which emphasized private interests. It could imagine this all the more as it had already been demonstrated that laissez faire did not mean social peace, welfare, security, or equality, not even “equality of opportunity” among the capitalists themselves. What could not be achieved nationally could certainly not be achieved internationally. Thus the other road appeared as the possible better one.

Even in France where the laissez faire ideology originated – though under different conditions than those that induced the English economists to adopt it for their capitalistic apologies – the traders and industrialists found it necessary to accept the supplementation of free trade with control measures. They always wavered between both policies with any turn of events. They always sought to determine or influence development; yet their actions were reactions to movements beyond their control. Even before the Revolution and despite her military strength, France’s textile and metalurgic markets were dominated by British capital. The war during the Revolution was essentially one between English and French merchants and manufacturers. The struggle was carried on by Napoleon and lost by France. The war enhanced Britain’s agricultural and industrial development enormously. British dumpings after the war spelled ruin to foreign industries. In the ensuing depression competition was merely sharpened, but especially by means of protective measures. The two-faced atitude toward state control and laissez faire was just as much a French as it was a German “characteristic”.

The exaltation of the state that flavored German idealism and her economic and political theory also played a great part in French history. “The protective spirit had been deeply planted in the French character”, writes R. H. Dabney, “therefore it was not strange that there were writers like Necker, Mably, and Morelly[11], who saw the means of improving the conditions of the people, not in laissez faire, but in what they considered beneficent regulation by the state[12]“. This attitude never left French thought or, for that matter, the ideas of men anywhere.

Nor was this attitude new; it was always newly revived and adapted to the fashions of the moment, but it could nourish itself on practically the whole of human history. Plato’s Republic, the “ideal state” of Aristotle, the countless visions of remembered and forgotten utopians expressed disatisfaction with things as they were, and longed for conditions as they ought to be. They expressed, too, suppression and exploitation, the inability to change conditions at will, the isolation of groups and individuals, social frictions and the impossibility of overcoming them, the escape from the outer disharmony into the innter harmony of the imagination; the hope that some one – the messiah, some force, the state – would straighten things out, would solve the overwhelming problems of mankind in the face of which the greatest humility still looked like utter conceit.

Within the capitalist structure, however, the exaltation of the state was always an expression of the innger contradictions and the historical limitations of capitalism itself. It was a declaration of bankruptcy on the part of those who praised the profit motive as the creator of all thing valuable, who spoke with pride of the self-regulating features of their marvelous market-mechanism, of the liberating democratic forces inherent in commodity production. For them it was a “return” to a previous, more primitive state of affairs, a set-back, a temporary retreat from the new, the better, the limitless, the unsurpassable capitalist society. If they called upon the state for help, they did so shamefacedly, always ready to bite the hand that had just fed them, always attempting to put the state – its servant – in its place. But the state was a feature of capitalism that could never totally be removed because of the existing class and property structure and which could thus, and at times had to, become the dominating feature. The danger was always there that some day it might destroy the bourgeoisie which supported is most staunchly and at the same time had the greatest contempt for it.

If for the optimistic bourgeoisie the state was rather unnecessary as far as the economic life of the nation was concerned, for the pessimistic bourgeoisie this independent economic life seemed just as unnecessary because of the existence of the state. Though the latter remembered that progress had been described as the emancipation of capital from the state, they could conceive equally well the emancipation of the state from private property. To them the whole bourgeois revolution appeared as a mere intermediary phase in the development from an unsatisfactory state to a better one that really represented and even was identical with society as a whole. Capitalists, full of despair during economic depressions, on the verge of ruin in the tumult of the crisis, unsuccessful in their climbing towards the top, possessed by the fear of being hurled into the proletarian abyss; intellectuals wavering between old and new loyalities, experimenting with the ideas of the day, divorced from the bread-barkets of the aristocracy that had fed them together with jesters, jugglers, and dancing bears, not appreciated by the suspicious, miserly, accumulating bourgeoisie of the founding period, unacknowledged by the beastly exploited and thus “beastly proletarian scum” that found its happiness in cheap whiskies and its salvation in the mumblings of still cheaper priests; politicians conspiring for power and positions; revolutionists looking for “radical” solutions and “shortcuts” to a better society – in brief, all those who opposed the “successful” within the atomized capitalist society based their hopes and programs on that sole feature within the capitalist society that seemed to be the single social element in the anarchic scramble of individual interests and activities.

Hobbe’s Leviathan of the future was expected to be of a beneficial nature; it would control but also secure a more blessed life. Hegel’s “divine idea” of the all-powerful state was no Frankenstein either. And now, after the first experiences with a capitalism quite grown up, a state was envisioned that might preserve its good side, i. e., its productivity and abolish all its bad sides: exploitation, crisis, and possibly even wars. The “true socialists” of Germany who were grouped around the idealist, Moses Hess, thought their way into the future in a direct line from Hegel to the communist state. Fourier’s phalanstere and all the utopian experiments based on similar ideas, expressed paralleling tendencies in France. The idea of the future state that was to be society appeared in speculations such as Bellamy’s Looking Backward. The government of the French February Revolution, as well as that of the little Napoleon, emphasized once more the identity of state and society. The earlier German labor movement under Lasalle was equally convinced that state control was the key to all social questions and so was their class enemy and friend-in-arms, Prince Bismarck.

To be for the state was to take a communal as against an egotistical stand; it seemed to be equivalent to a choice between capitalism and socialism. Some of the bourgeoisie turned into “socialists”[13] merely by being good nationalists. This was the counterpart to what in England had been called “Tory-Chartism”, and what had turned Napoleon’s adventures into “peoples’ wars”. The temporary “alliances” of opposing classes such as those between tories and workers, bonapartists, capitalists, and workers, liberals and socialists, Prussian Junkers and the laboring class were time-conditioned opportunistic moves made possible by the continuous shifts of economic fortunes and political power positions of various groups and interests within the general development of the capitalist nations.

Those who bound their hopes to the further development of the capitalist forces of production necessarily favored further centralization of economic control; and thus, in order not to lose the achievements of the bourgeois revolution, they favored a strong “social state” to combat the inevitable result of capital concentration – the dictatorial plutocracy. To make possible the capitalist mode of production with its promised economic abundance and also the liberty that had inspired the revolutionary bourgeoisie, a state was needed which would guarantee these liberties that were progressively destroyed by the process of capital accumulation. But the “return” to the dominance of the state did not need to be demanded. It was one of the results of capitalistic development.

To oppose an increasing control by the state would have been possible only through the stabilization of conditions as they existed prior to and during the French Revolution and the American War for Independence. As pointed out before, the Jacobins had not been the “true” representatives of the French Revolution for their dictatorship had been directed against necessities. Their social vision did not go beyond a democratic peasantry, a descentralized static economy of insignificant enterprises who had more or less equal competitive strength and were thus able to prevent the rise of monopolies. The Jeffersonian democracy, too, had been defeated long before it celebrated its political successes. The American constitution was designed as an instrument to help the industrial and mercantilist interests in the East to counteract and overcome the pressure of the agricultural majority that constituted Jefferson’s followers. To have the kind of democracy that was in the mind of the people during this period, it would have been necessary to call a halt to all further development, to “freeze” society once more as it seemingly had been “frozen” in medieval society. But this was not possible. The Federalists won in America and Robespierre died under the guillotine because the future belonged to big business and large industry, to Capital.

The concentration and centralization of capital destroys the socio-economic basis of even that limited kind of democracy that may exist in class and slave societies. Thus it can be pointed out, for instance, against people who adjudge the American South as an essentially fascist regime compared with the industry East that the opposite would be much nearer the truth. The South was rather, as Donald Davidson remarked, “as complete a realization as we have any right to expect of the kind of society that Jefferson visualized, the society in which democracy could flourish and remain itself without artificial stimulation”[14].

Indeed, most of the hitherto existing social theories opposing the state have adhered to socio-economic concepts that were in opposition to the real developmental tendencies of capitalism. Not only Proudhon but almost all the anarchist creeds looked backward when constructing their blue-prints of the future. The “individualism” of the bourgeois revolution was retained in the Bourses du Travail, in the English “Guild Socialism” and came to light even in the “counter-utopias” opposed to those conceived in the spirit of state control as, for instance, in William Morris’ “New from Nowhere”. This much was obvious, however, that capital development led either to a plutocracy that made the state the servant of small groups of titans engaged in the exploitation of all, or that the state destroyed the plutocracy by making itself master of society[15]. In either case there was reason to fear that liberty, fraternity and equality would soon be ended.

(To be continued in the following issue of New Essays).

[1] Herbert Marcuse, Reason and Revolution. Hegel and the Rise of Social Theory. New York, 1941, p. 6.

[2] R. H. S. Crossman, Government and the Governed. New York, 1940, p. 214.

[3] K. Korsch, Karl Marx. London, 1938, p. 141.

[4] Karl Marx, Theorien ueber den Mehrwert. Stuttgart, 1921, Vol. I, p. 41.

[5] Adolf Loewe, The Price of Liberty. London, 1937, p. 29.

[6] Gustav Stolper, German Economy. New York, 1940, p. 10.

[7] H. Marcuse, Reason and Revolution, p. 4.

[8] R. H. Dabney, The Causes of the French Revolution. New York, 1889, p. 286.

[9] R. H. S. Crossman, Government and the Governed, p. 47.

[10] Eugene Tarlé, Bonaparte. London, 1937, p. 237.

[11] Morelly, for example, published in Paris in 1775 a book called “Code de la Nature” that advocated a sort of state-communism. He said that “nothing in society shall belong as individual property to any person. Private property is detestable, and he who should attempt in the future society to re-establish it will be imprisoned for the rest of his life as a violent madman and enemy of humanity. Each citizen is to be supported, maintained, and employed by the public”.

[12] The Causes of the French Revolution, p. 257.

[13] In a letter to Marx (1845) describing a “socialist workers meeting” F. Engels wrote: “The whole of Elberfeld and Barmen was present, from the money aristocracy down to the epicerie, only the proletarians were missing”. (Briefwechsel, Vol. I, p. 16).

[14] Mr. Cash and the Proto-Dorian South. The Southern Review. Summer, 1941, p. 15.

[15] Before the run of the century even the socialist program was simply a demand for state ownership of the means of production. In fairness to Marx and Engels, however, it must be said that both sought state power to eliminate the power of the state. The “administration of things that was to follow the government over men, they saw merely as a branch of the production and distribution process of no greater importance than any other. Practical politicians, however, aspired to little more than the replacement of individual capitalists by governmental administration. The post-Marxian theories of socialism resurrected the division of society into controllers and controlled. Georges Sorel observed rightly that the “authors of all inquiries into moderate socialism were forced to acknowledge that the latter implies a division of society into two groups: the first of these a select body, organized as political party; the second is the whole body of producers. This division is so evident that generally no attempt is made to hide it.” The first world war led to an extended state control over production and distribution. All socialization theories developed during and after the war leaned heavily on the war-time example as Lenin’s for instance. As Elie Halévy has said: “The whole post-war socialism is derived from this war-time organization more than from Marxism”.

All transcriptions were done by Felipe Andrade. Did you find any mistakes? Suggestions? Send e-mail to:
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