1 9 0 3.

TA n.

/i2>/~ fjn.



It was in 1871—immediately a'ter the defeat of France by the Germans, and of the 1'aris proletarians by the French middle classes—that a o•uteri' 11 or of tin• Int"rnational Working Men's Association, secret I v fouvoked l»v Marx and En- •!>. in-stead of the usual annual Congress, and the composition «»f which had been cleverly manipulated fur the purpose. met at L mdon. This conference decided that the Working Men's Association,


which had hitherto been a revolutiouarv association f >r oriran-


ising tlie international struggle "f !uh*»uv agaiust capitalism, should become henceforward a series of national organisations for running Social-Democratic candidates in tbe d.tfeivnt Parliaments.

Thirty years have passed since this step was ttken. And we can fully appreciate by this time the results of the new i 1 -tics.

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The main argument in favour of it was that the working 111 were not prepared to accept the ide-is of S »eialism : th ir eouse-quently a long preparatory period was reijuired in "i-.I-r 10 spread these ideas: and that—to say nothing of the pr^-tige of Members of Parliament—periods of elections, when everyone's interest- in public affairs is awakened, are the host m >m mt- f«»r spreading broadcast. Socialist ideas.

To this the working men. especially those of Kr.nee and Spain, replied that the international Working Men's As> u iation, such as it was. had alreadv been excellent f »r the nrooa^auda of Socialism. In less than three years it had awakeu d the conscience of the workers' interests all over Ktirope : it had done more for the theoretical elaboration of rhe principles of Socialism, and for the practical application of Socialistic principles, than fifty years of theoretical discussions. It had immensely contributed to the spreadimg of the idea of international solidarity of interest amongst the workers of all nations, and of an international support of their strikes: of j nt.'r national Labour opposed to International Capitalism. Besides, the strikes, especially when t'ley attain great dimensions and are

supported internationally, awake general attention, and are infinitely better opportunities for spreading broadcast. Socialist ideas than electoral meeting's, in which, for the very success of the election. Socialists will often be compelled to compromise with the middle classes—"to parliament, and to pact.ise " with them. In the struggles for political power .Socialism would soon be forgotten—it was foretold—for some spurious teachings in which Radical political reforms would be mixed up with some palliative legislation in favour of labour, thus creating a confusion in the minds, from which the middle classes onlv would profit: while palliative laws (hours of labour, compensation for accidents, and so on) might be enforced upon the Parliaments in a much more effective form if the labour unions took evervwhere the great extension which an International

propaganda in this direction could give them.

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It is for a good reason that we are here re-stating these arguments at such a length. Every one of them has had,

within the last thirtv vears, its full confirmation.

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bee what lias become of theoretical Socialism—not only in this country, but in Genu any and Belgium as well—owing to the extension taken by the party which takes part in the elections imdi r the etiquette of Socialism. There is less of it left than there ever was in a Fabian pamphlet. Who speaks now of Socialism, with the exception of the Anarchists, who precisely therefore are described as Utopians, if not us fools I

In the years 1809-71 you could not open one single Socialist paper without finding on its very first page this discussion :— Whether we must, and if we must—how shall we expropriate the owners of factories, the mines, the land Then—and this was especially important—every legislative measure, every polit cal event was discussed fro in the point of view, whether it was leading to, or leading away from, the aim in view—the Social Revolution. Of course, everyone was extremely interested •in obtaining shorter hours and better wages for evtry brunch of trade ; everyone passionately took the part of strikers all over •the ^oriel: the International was indeed a permanent inter-%uwtional strike—an international conspiracy, if you like, for reducing hours, increasing wa^es, obtaining respect for the

workers' freedom, and limiting the powers of Capital in every direction. Of course, everyone was passionately interested. too, in widening political liberties, and this is why the international was frankly anti-Imperialist. But it was also something else.

Jt undertook. »l»ove all, the spreading of those ideas and the conquest of those rights which neither the "Id type trade unions n«»r the political Radicals sufficiently cared for. The labour party, thirty v«*ars ago. had its own s^ckd ftMictions. in addition to Trade-unionism and Radicalism, and these were Socialism—the jrrcjm ration of fhr Social ]{*:culof">n. Hut where is this now ? All gom- ! What is now described as Socialism—all of t hem are .Socialists now !—is the most incoherent mixture of Trade-unionism, which trusts no more n itself, ami looks for a John (n«rst to make its business, with Toryism (tin* paternal Stale to whom yon must look f««r every improvement of your conditions), with State capitalism (State mom.polv of railways, <•!' banks, of the sale of spirits, of educiti'«n, etc.. is preached and fought for by the Socialist party of five Switzerland). with Kabianism—nay. even occasionally with Imperialism, when Socialists declare in the German Reichstag that let the Stffte only wage a war, they will all tight as well as the Junkers! *

Add to this all sorts of theories built up with bits of metaphysics for persuading the workers that a Social Revolution is bosh: that Socialism is onlv jjood for a hundred vears hence, and

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those who talk about it now are dangerous Utopians: that all capitals must lirst- be concentrated in a few hands—which every intelligent man sees they never will—and that the peasant owners must disappear, and all become even more miserable than they are now, before Socialism becomes possible. This is what has 11 ow taken the place of the distinctly expressed idea : " The laud, the mines, the factories, everything thftt i> wanted for living, must return to the communirv. which by local action and free agreement, must organise free communistic life and free communistic production/'—Is this progress?

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If the wnrkiiig liit'ii of Kumpe and America had only rlv so-

* John Govsl, the Tory ]»ri';i<-h*r of u pattrual Stat* ;Soduli$m nn Ut the tViubil rule of ilir aristocrats, wnx the otln-r day a prominent. ]»trisuu at the National Unemployed Conference!

called Socialist and Social-Democratic parties to rely upon for the triumph of the Socialist idea, the general position would be really desperate. We certainly are the first to recognise that the Sx-iai-Denioeratic party in Geriiiany is doing excellent RepuU'iCun propaganda, ami that, as u lie{>ublic<i'ti j'fXiiy* it splendidly undermines the authority of the petulaut William. We elatllv acknowledge that the Parliamentary .Socialists in France are thorough liad'tcnU. and that they On excellent work for the support of I adical legislation, thus continuing the work of Clemonceau and Bank, with tlie addition of souk* genuine inures: in the working classes; they are lunlicah, nym/mthetic to (fa ivorlcr*. But who is doing work in the .Socialist direction Who is working for bringing the masses nearer and nearer to the dav when thev will be aide t«» take hold of ail that

needed for living and producing Who contributes to the spreading of the spirit of revolt among the slave?* of the wage-svsiem r

Surely not- the parliamentarian !

There is only one possible reply to this question: It is the labour movement in France, in Spain, in America, in England, in Belgium, and its beginnings in Germany, and the Anarchists everywhere, who, despite ail the above-mentioned dumpers, despite all the confusion that is being sown in the ranks of Labour by clever l><nir</eoi$, despite all the propaganda of quietness and all the advices of deserting their fighting brothers, continue the old, good, direct fight against the exploiters.

The great and desperate colliers' strike in America has done more to shake the authority of' trusts, and to show the way to fight them, than all the talk in the talking assemblies. The attempts at general strikes in Belgium despite the opposition of the politicians), at Milan despite the treason of the lenders), at Barcelona, at Geneva, and in IT -Hand, have done much more for spreading convict ion in the necessity of the expropriation of the exploiters than anything that has been said in or out of a parliament b\ a parliamentary leader. The refusal of 400 Geneva militia s »ld.e:-s to join the ranks, and the attitude of those fifteen who have been bold enough to tell the martial Court that they would never join the ranks of their battalions for fighting against their brother workers—such facts of revolt are doing infinitely more for the spreading of true Socialism than anything that has been, or will ever be, said by those Socialists who seek iheir inspirations in economical metaphysics. Of course, it is those Anarchists whom the would-be Socialists hate so much for not having followed them in their middle-class "evolution": of course, it is those blessed Anarchists who have their hand in these labour m »vements, and go to prison like Bertoni in Geneva and scores ot' our brothers in France and in Spain. Yes, it is true they have a hand in these labour movements, and 8,000 workers 011 strike in Madrid shouted, the other day: Jjju'J live Anarchism ! This is true. But thev are proud to see that the workers trust them more than they trust their gloved "representatives."


We haw seen in our last article how Socialism has been circumscribed and minimized since it became the watchword of a political party, instead of. as formerly, the popular labour movement. Nowaday, when Socialism is spoken of. all that is meant is: State railways. State monopoly of banks and spirits, perhaps, its a remote future. State mines, and plenty of legislation intended to slightly protect labour—without doing the slightest liMj'tn to Capitalism—and at the same time bringing Labour as much as possible into a complete submission to the present middle-class tiowrninent of the State. State arbitration. Statu control of the Track* Unions. State armies for working the railways and the bakeries in the case of strikes, and like measures in favour of the capitalists, are, as is known, necessary aspects of " Labour legislation." in accordance with the well-known programme of Disraeli, John Gorst, '•The People," and like Tory Democrat swindlers.

To understand Socialism, as it was understood thirty years •ago,—that is, as a deep revolution which would free man by reconstructing the distribution of wealth, consumption and production on a new ba-sis,—is now described by the i% Keo-Socialists" as sheer nonsense. Wo have now "scientific Socialism," and if you would know all about it, read a few

" authorised version " pamphlets, in which the gucssings which Fourierists, Owenites, and Saint-Sim on inns used to make sixty years i»go concerning the concentration ol' capital, the coming sell-annihilation of capitalism, and like naive predictions— retold in a far less comprehensi ble language by Engels and Marx—are represented as so many great scientific discoveries of the German mind. Only, alas, owing to these would-be discoveries, the teaching which formerly, by its Communistic aspirations, inspired the masses and attracted the best minds of the nineteenth century, has become nothing but a mitigated middle-class State capitalism.

To speak now of the Social Revolution is considered by the "scientific " Socialist a crime. Vote and wait! Don't trouble about the revolution ; revolutions are mere inventions of idle spirits ! Only criminal Anarchists talk of them now. Be quiet, and vote as you are told to. Don't believe these criminals who tell you that owing to the facilities of exploitation of the backward races all over the world, the numbers of capitalists who climb on the necks of the European working man are steadily growing. Trust to the Neo-.Socialists, who have proved * that the middle-classes are going to destroy themselves, in virtue of a " Law of self-annihilation," discovered by their great thinkers. Vote! Greater men than you will tell you the moment when the self-annihilation of capital has been accomplished. They will then expropriate the few usurpers left, who will own everything, and you will be freed without ever having taken any more trouble than that of writing on a bit of paper the name of the man whom the heads of your fraction of the party told you to vote for !

To such shameful nonsense the politician Socialists have tried to reduce the Great Revolution wh ich calls for the energies of

all the lovers of freedom and equality.

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And in the meantime reaction tries to take the fullest advantage of these suicidal preachings. It concentrates its forces all over the world. Why should it not- ? Where is the revolutionary party which might be capable of appealing to the people against its oppressors ? And so it takes hold of all the •channels of power which the present State provides for the ruling middle classes.

Look at education ! They destroy with a sure and clever hand all that had been done in 1800-1875 for wresting instruction out of the hands of the clergy. Why should they not, when it was the once menacing but now tamed Socialist politicians who haw helped at the last election the Conservatives to be so powerful in Parliament ? The School Board teacher had ceased to tell the poor, " Suffer, it's the will of the creator that you should be poor." On the contrary, he told them : " Hope ; try yourselves to shake oft' your misery ! " The slum mother began to get into the habit of going to the School Hoard teacher to tell of her needs and sorrows, instead of going to the parson, as she formerly did.—Down. then, with the School lioards! And why not? Why should they not dare anything when they know that it was the Socialists, the politicians who had helped them to win such a power in Parliament ! Even in France, where thev ostensiblv fight to free the

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schools from the clergy, the best and largest colleges are in the hands of the Jesuits—within a stone s throw of the Chamber of Deputies. Everywhere the middle class return to religion, evorvwhere thev work to bring the clergvman. with his

y ' i ( • v - o*

ignorance and his eternal tire, back to the school—and the working men are told to take no iuterest in these matters, to laistser fit ire and to study John (Worst's program of paternal State legislation.

There was in the years 1800-1875 a powerfully destructive force at work—the materialistic philosophy. It produced the wonderful revival of sciences, and led to the wonderful discoveries of the last quarter of a century. It induced men to

think. It freed the minds of the workers......Down, then,

with Materialism/' is now the ontcrv of the middle classes.

Long live metaphysics, long live Hegel, Kant, and the Dialectic method !'' Why not ? They know that in this direction, too, the reaction will find no opposition from the Neo-Socialists. They are also dialecticians, Hegelians, they also worship economic metaphysics, as has been so well shown by Tcherkesoff

in his " Pages of Socialist History."


Happily enough, there is one element in the present life of Europe and America which ha* not yielded to political corruption. It is the labour movement, so far as it has hitherto remained strange to the race for seats in Parliament. It may be that here and there the workers belonging to this movement jrive

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support to this or that candidate for a seat in a parliament or in a municipalily—but there are already scores of thousands of working men in Spain, in Italy, in France, in Hollaud, and probably in England too, who quite consciously refuse to take any part, even for fun, in the political struggle. Their main work lies in quite another direction. "With an admirable tenacity they organise their unions, within each nation and internationally, and with a still more admirable ardour they prepare the great, coming struggle of Labour against Capital: the coming of the international general strike.

One may judge of the terror which this movement, uiiosteusibly prepared by the workers, inspires in the middle classes, by the terrible prosecutions—which have not stopped even at torture— which they have carried on against, the revolutionary trade unions in Spain. One may judge of that terror by the infamous repression of the Milan insurrection which was ordered by King Humbert, or by the measures which were going to be taken against railway strikers in Holland. These measures, as is known, were prevented by the splendid act of international solidarity accomplished by the British Dock Labourers' Union, and immediately followed by the menacing declarations of the General Union* of the French Syndicates. It. hardly need be said that all the Parliamentary Socialists of France, Germany, Spain, &c., headed by the famous Milleraud and Jaures (one year ago this last, was for the general strike—now he writes long articles against it), bitterly oppose this idea of a general strike. But the movement spreads every month, and every month it gains new support and wins new sympathies.


Our first intention was to conclude this series of articles by a general review of the so-e illed L d»our-pr .tecting legislation in different countries, and to show how tar this legislation is due to the Socialist politicians 011 the one side, and to the direct pressure exercised by the Labour agitation on the other.

Such a study would have been deeply interesting. Xot that we should attribute to 1 his legislation more importance than it deserves. We have often proved that any such law, even if it introduces some partial improvement, always lays upon the worker some new chain, forged by the middle-class State. We prefer the ameliorations which have been imposed by the workers upon iheir masters in a direct struggle; they are less spurious- However, it is also easy to prove that even those little and always poisoned concessions which have been made b\ the middle classes to the workers, and which are now lepre-Sented as the very essence of "practical, scientific" Socialism, stand in 110 relation lo the numerical forces of the political Socialist parlies. Such concessions as the limitation of the hours of labour, or of child labour, whenever they represent something real, have always beeu achieved by the action of the trade-unions—by strikes, by labour revolts, or bv menaces of a labour war. They are labour victories—not political victories.


If there was a w.»rk in which tli»• conditions of labour and the recent labour legislation were tfireu for each country, it would have been easy to prove the above assertion by a crushing evidence of data. J >11 c. no such work exists, and consequently we have to mention but- a few striking facts.

Our readers will see on another page what a substantial reduction of rite hours of labour in rite nones was achieved bv the

great miners' strike of Pennsylvania, and, by the way. the effect which I lie strike has had upon other branches of American industry. Thai such long hours as twelve hours, every day of th<- week ^including Sundays), should have existed in Pennsylvania, we need not wonder when we are reminded that every year the Kastern States receive thousands of fresh immigrant miners from licnnauy aud Austria, where, notwithstanding the presence of so many Democrat-Socialists in Parliament, the hours of labour are outrageously 1 »ng. But precisely because there are no such political go-betweens in the United States the Pennsylvania strike could last long enough to end in a sub-•stantial victory for the labourers. The twelve hours' day exists

110 more in the mines of Pennsylvania.


The same applies to Britain. All the little victories which the working: men have won for the last fifty years. were won bv the force ot their trades unions, ami not of .Socialist politicians. 'Of course, it would not be fair to compare the conditions of labour in Britain and in Germany ; two countries, one of which has no .Social-Democratic party in its Parliament, luit has a number of strongly-organised trade unions, while the other has no less than Jifty-three Social-Democratic representatives in the, and boasts of two million Social-Democratic electors, lmt is only just beginning: to develop (in opposition to the politicians) its trade-union movement.

Tt would not be fair to insist upon the incomparably hotter

•conditions of labour in this eountrv, because the labour move-


ment and the industry itself are so much older in England. But still, we can ask. what results have the numerous •Social-Democratic deputies obtained from Parliament for the protection and personal emancipation of the labourer in Germany 't The nullity of such results is simply striking, especially in comparison with the promises which have been made, and the hopes which were c erisbed by many sincere working men.

Everyone remembers the Eight Hours' Day Movement which was started in Europe in 188ii 1890. Beginning at Chicago, in 1887, where it cost the lives of five of our best Anarchist brothers, it came to Europe in the shape of a .First of May demonstration—a sort of one-day general strike of all working men, which had to be made for the propaganda of an eight hours' day. The enthusiasm of the first demonstration in Hyde Park on May 1st, 1890, must be fresh in the minds •of many, and by this time we surely would have been in a fair way towards the realisation of that demand, were it not for the political Socialists who saw in the eight hours' movement a plank to step on for getting into Parliament, and did their best to nip the movement in the bud.

The attitude of the (xonnau Socialist politicians at the time was most typical. They were in mortal fear lest the eight

hours' movement should become a labour movement, over which they would have no control; they hated the very idea of a general strike tor the purpose of reducing the hours of labour,, and they hammered into the workers' heads, " legal eight hours ! legal eight hours ! " They said, " Only vote for us, and for those whom we shall recommend to you! Discipline! And then von will see. In 1891 you will have the eleven hours' day,

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in such a year a ten hours' day, then a nine hour's day, and in V.m you will have the eight hours' day, without having all the troubles and the sufferings of the strikes." This is what Kngels and Liebnccht promised them and printed plainly in their papers.

Well, up to now they have not yet got even the nine hours' day and the weekly half-holiday ! . . . In Russia, the despotic Government of the Tsar, under the pressure of strikes, has passed directly from a thirteen and fourteen hours' working day to one of eleven hours', even though it still treats strikes as rebellions. . . . But where is the eight hours' law in Germany ' As distant in the future as it is in Russia! Much more distant, at. any rate, than it i- in Spain, which has only a handful of impotent Social-Democrats in Madrid, but has, in

return, powerful labour organisations in all its leading industries..


Sp»in is especially instructive on this account. Since the times of the foundation of the International, it has had strong labour organisations in Catalonia, keeping in close touch with the Anarchist^, and always ready to support their demands by strikes, ami sometimes by revolts. Kwryone remembers, of" course, tlu- continual strikes—labour wars would even be more correct—which took place so many times at Barcelona, the desperate measures to which the Government resorted against the Cataionian working men during the Montjuich tortures, and the latest attempts at a general strike.

Now, the result of all this is that the eight hours' day has been fought for long since (more than ten years ago) and introduced in all the building trades of Barcelona, and although it was lost, during the Mourjuich prosecutions, it was recovered again two years ago. and is nearly general now in these and several other trades. More »ver we have read during the past

few days in the daily telegrams that in Arragonia the nine hours' day, now in force there, is to undergo a further reduction. Does it not compare favourably with the promised lego.l nine hours' day in Germany?

Happily enough, the German workers begin to lose faith in the promises of the politicians. Their trade unions, which were formerly so bitterly opposed by the Marxists, are meekly courted bv thein now, since tlu-v number over 1.000,000 men 'this is the figure given by the Reformer's Year Book), and they seem to be so little under the influence of the Social-Democratic leaders that, after a!l thev have heard from them about the usekssness of strikes and the wickedness of a general strike, they sent the other day their hearty congratulations and promises of support to their Dutch brothers who had proclaimed the general strike in Holland. As to the intellectual and social movement which is going on in connection with the more advanced trade

unions in Germany, it seems to be a subject of deep interest.

* *

Striking facts could be mentioned from the labour history of France, to show how the young labour organisations, the strikes, and the labour revolts were instrumental in wresting from the middle class rulers a number of concessions; but space forbids us to mention more than one fact.

Up to 1833, trad© unions and all sorts of associations of more than nineteen persons were strictly forbidden in France. Only in 1883, the restriction was abolished by the law of the svndi-

v, and from that time began the present labour movement, the agricultural syndicates (1,500,000 members now), the Labour Exchanges, and the rest. And if you ask any politician, What induced, in 1883, the Opportunist Ministry to take this far-reaching step ? yen will be told that it was the Anarchist movement at Lyons (for which fifty of us were imprisoned in 1882), the unemployed processions in Paris under the black flag, during one of which Louise Michel "pillaged" a baker's shop, and perhaps above all that, the secret labour organisations which sprang up and rapidly spread among the miners of Montceau-les-Mines and in all the mining basin, and resulted in a series of explosions.....Guesde and his friends, at that time, were most hopelessly putting forward their candidatures after each strike.


The conclusion is self-evident. We saw what results .Socialist politics have given for the theoretical propaganda, -fust as the name of u Republic," which formerly meant social equality, after it was taken up by middle class politicians, was gradually deprived by them of its social meaning, and was shaped into a sort of middle class rule, so also the word u Socialism !} has become in the hands of the Socialist politicians the preaching of some sort of mitigated middle class exploitation. They are all Socialists now. but Socialism is gone, and the most confused ideas prevail n<»w among the Social-Democrats concerning the sense of this great war-crv of the workers.

v <

And now we find that although parliamentary action has always been represented as the means for obtaining small concessions to the advantage of the worker, these concessions, however insignificant thev mav be, have been won. all of them, bv strikes

v.« • •

(such as the match girls', the miners', the dock labourers', and so cm), and by the standing menace ol still more serious labour wars. The presence of a number of more or less Socialistic deputies in the parliaments does not, it appears now. dispense the working man in the least maintaining his trade organisations in full mental and material readiness for war. On the contrary, it is only by the constant menace of a declaration of war, and by real war—and in proportion to this readiness—

that the workers have won anv victories: while the tactics of

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the politicians have always been to weaken the anti*capitalist labour organisations, under the pretext of political concentration and discipline. As to this country, by their abominable tactics, prompted by Kngels and Marx, of arraying at election times all their forces against the Radicals and the Liberals, which was equal to supporting the Conservatives, they have done their best to pave the way for the present Imperialism, and they have got their heavy share of responsibility for the heavy blows which the Conservative Government has struck lately at the security of the labour organisations. It is never too late to mend; but it. takes some time to mend the harm that has been done by mistaken politicians.

xe ec> om

A Journal of Anarchist Communism,

Monthly, One Penny. Annual Subscription, 1/6. Published bv John Turner, 127 Ossulston Street, London, N.W.


No. I. THE WAGE SYSTEM. By Pktkr Kropotkjn. Id.

No. 2. THE COMMUNE OF PARIS. Br Pktkr Kropotkix. Id.


workers. By E. MaLATJCbTA. Id.

No. 4. ANARCHIST COMMUNISM : ire basis and principles. M.

No. 5. ANARCHY. By E. Malatksta. Id.

No. 6. ANARCHIST MORALITY. By Peter Kropotkix. Id.

No. 7. EXPROPRIATION. Bv Pktkr Kropotkix. Id.

No. 8. ANARCHISM and OUTRAGE. By C. M. Wilsox id.

No. 9. ANARCHY ON TRIAL__George Etievant, Jean Grave and

Caserio Santo. 32 page*; I*1*


No. 11. THE STATE : vm historic Ror.K. Bv Pktkr Kropotkix. 2d.


No. 13 THE PYRAMID ok TYRANNY, by F. Doukla Niki'wbsiicis. Id.

PAGES OF SOCIALIST HISTORY. The Teachings and Acts of Social Democracy.



A work that should he studied by all Socialists who would understand the two opposing currents in Socialist evolution. Price Is., free Is. 3d. 127 Ossulston Street, N.W.

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