Boris Lvin (bbb) wrote,
Boris Lvin

Сто десять лет назад

In the spring of 1910 the Socialist party of America won its first considerable political victory. One year later the followers of the red flag claimed successes in thirty-three states and in nearly two hundred municipalities; and at a national conference of Socialist mayors and aldermen held recently, the boast was made that more than five hundred representatives of the faith had been elected to office in the legislatures and local corporations of the United States.

This sudden advent of so large a body of office-holders, representing a wide range of territory and locality, coming as it does in a period of comparative industrial and political normality, strongly suggests the speedy rise of the Socialist party and the Socialist creed to a position of permanent consequence in the United States.

The Socialists themselves have, of course, made the most of this suggestion. Socialism must hereafter be reckoned with in America as a great political force. Their opponents, however, have remained unconvinced. These victories are merely the result of a train of fortuitous circumstances. Socialism still has no chance to root in American soil.


The lack of consistency in American Socialism, indicated by this study, is due largely to its varying degrees of youth in different sections of the country and to its practical inexperience. There seems to be a definite law of the development of Socialism which applies both to the individual and to the group. The law is this: The creedalism and inmmoderateness of Socialism, other things being equal, vary inversely with its age and responsibility. The average Socialist recruit begins as a theoretical impossibilist and develops gradually into a constructive opportunist. Add a taste of real responsibility and he is hard to distinguish from a liberal reformer. It is the same with the movement. These Socialist successes in general, therefore, are a training school of constructive democracy. This fact should calm the fears and allay the prejudices of all those who have a real faith in the people.


Journal of Political Economy, October, 1911

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