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Jules Guesde

Legality and Revolution

Because, with the International, we shout warnings of the pitfalls to the workers of France, whom it is sought to divert from political action under the pretexts of the general strike and other operations of the holy ghost of Anarchism, some of the bourgeois press conclude that we have more and more the physiognomy of a parliamentary party. According to them we have renounced revolutionary procedure.

But then - you will think - there must be rejoicing among the conservative genus; surely the fatted calf already turns on the spit for the return of the collectivist sheep to the fold of legality.

Hasten to correct yourselves. Our brave quill-drivers start from what they call our rally or conversion to parliamentarism to denounce us with greater vehemence, and to vanquish us under the redoubled fire of their anathemas.

The Social Problem and Its Solution (Part Two)

II - Solution

The solution of the social problem is to be found in the problem itself, such as I have just given in a short exposition. The greatest socio-economic evil of today consists in the ever more complete divorce of the two factors in production, labour and property or capital, and consequently the remedy can be found only in their unification.

Under what form ought this unification to be effected?

It cannot be carried out by making the individual worker proprietor of his tool since this would exclude production on a large scale, and the system of labour having become collective consequent upon the introduction of steam and electricity, there can be but collective ownership to go hand in hand with collective labour.

The Social Problem and Its Solution (Part One)

I - The Problem

The problem that Socialism sets itself to solve is to be found in a fact, of which it can be said as of the sun: he is blind who does not see it. It is the divorce between the means of production and the producers.

Neither are the mines in the hands of the workers underground who give them value at the daily peril of their lives; nor do the railroads belong to those who have been called the slaves of the iron-way; nor do the weavers who work the looms, the spinners who toil at the spinning machine, the smiths of the blast furnaces, etc, possess the smallest title to call their own that which they create and which occupies the greater and best portion of their lives - lives spent in barriers and useless sacrifice; and, the economic development of Society tends to generalise this state of things by destroying naturally and necessarily the small industries, founded on the ownership of the means of production by the producer.

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