VDDRKSS OF AUGUST SPIES.
known to you that in the course of this century there have appeared an infinite number of inventions and discoveries, which have brought about great,
aye, astonishing changes in the production of the necessities and comforts of
life. The work of machines has, to a great extent, replaced that of men.
" Machinery involves a great accumulation of power, and always a greater
division of labor in consequence.
" The advantages resulting from this centralization of production were of
such a nature as to cause its still further extention, and from this concentration of the means of labor and of the operations of laborers, while the old system of distribution was (and is) retained, arose those improper conditions
which ail society today.
" The means of production thus came into the hands of an ever decreasing
number, while the actual producers, through the introduction of machinery,
deprived of the opportunity to toil, and being at the same time disinherited
of the bounties of nature, were consigned to pauperism, vagabondage—the so-
called crime and prostitution—all these evils which you gentlemen would like
to exorcise with your little prayer book.
"The Socialists award your efforts a jocular rather than a serious attention—[symptoms of uneasinessi—otherwise, pray, let us know how much you
have accomplished so far by your moral lecturing toward ameliorating the
condition of those wretched beings who through bitter want have been driven
to crime and desperation? (Here several gentlemen sprang to their feet, exclaiming, 'We have done a great deal in some directions!') Aye, in some cases
you have perhaps given a few alms; but what influence has this, if I may ask,
had upon societary conditions, or in affecting any change in the same? Nothing; absolutely nothing. You may as well admit it, gentlemen, for you cannot point me out a single instance.
11 Very well. The proletarians doomed to misery and hunger through the
labor saving of our centralized production, whose number in this country we
estimate at about a million and a half, is it likely that they and the thousands
who are daily joining their ranks, and the millions who are toiling for a miserable pittance, will suffer peacefully and with Christian resignation their destruction at the hands of their thievish and murderous, albeit very Christian
wage masters? They will defend themselves. It wfill come to a fight.
M The necessity of common ownership in the means of toil will be realized, and the era of Socialism, of universal co-operation, begins. The dispossessing of the usurping classes—the socialization of these possessions—and
the universal co-operation of toil, not for speculative purposes, but for the
satisfaction of the demands which we make upon life; in short co-operative
labor for the purpose of continuing life and of enjoying it—this in general outlines, is Socialism. This is not, however, as you might suppose, a mere
' beautifully conceived plan,' the realization of which would be well worth
striving for if it could only be brought about. No; this socialization of the
means of production, of the machinery of commerce, of the land and earth,
etc., is not only something desirable, but has become an imperative necessity,
and wherever we find in history that something has once become a necessity
there wre always find that the next step was the doing away with that necessity by the supplying of the logical want.