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Charles Rappoport

Fatalism and Historic Necessity

The opponents of our method and theory - bourgeois scientists, and Syndicalist or Anarchist doctrinaires - are in accord in urging against Marxism the accusation which men like Guyot, of vulgar political economy, levelled of old against Socialism in general: they say we are guilty of an attack upon the individual, of an attempt upon liberty.

It is not the capitalist system which sacrifices the liberty of the many to the greater liberty of the privileged few; it is we who do so. It is not the regime of capitalist property which makes the “free” will of the immense majority of the population obey the hard law of labour for another; it is Socialism!

The Society of Tomorrow

The result of all the more or less ingenious plans of the future society is but to demonstrate the possibility of the Socialist System. All who have nothing to lose and everything to gain by the social transformation easily persuade themselves of the excellence of the future society. Even the petit bourgeois - the small capitalist - having the presentiment of his impending ruin, being tormented by the knowledge of his insecurity and filled with a feeling of vagueness, is quite ready to say “Yes, Socialism is an excellent thing, but, alas! it is Utopia!” And to show you the Utopian character of Socialism he invokes, first, human nature; secondly, the indestructible selfishness of humanity that results in the war of each against all; and thirdly, the opposition of those who possess, which he declares impossible to overcome.

How does the Marxian conception comport itself in order to reduce to nothing this triple impossibility?

Evolution and Revolution

The “New Method” is evolutionist. The “New Method” is reformist. The “New Method” stands above all for legality. In order to fully understand it in all its beauty, in all its power, we must first study its conceptions of evolution, reform, and legal revolution. Let us proceed in this order and commence with evolution.

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