Socialism as a practical political movement has been making surprisingly rapid strides in Europe within the last decade. It is impossible to make an accurate estimate of the aggregate number of political socialists at the present time, but certain figures are available which indicate in a general way the rapid growth and present status of the party. Thus in the German Empire the number of votes cast for socialist candidates tor the Reichstag rose in the sixteen years, 1887 to 1903, from 763,128 to 3,011,114, which represents a change from 10.1 per cent to 31.7 per cent of the entire vote of the Empire. The party has 81 representatives in the present Reichstag. In the Reichs-rath of Austria-Hungary, 10 seats are held by socialists. The Danish socialists in 1903 polled 55,479 votes, and elected 16 members to the National Parliament. In Italy the number of socialist deputies in Parliament rose between 1893 and 1900 from 5 to 33. In Belgium, where the movement has in some respects had its greatest success, the total vote rose from 335,000 in 1894 to 476,862 in 1902, the number of representatives in the National Parliament at the same time increasing from 32 to 34. The strength of the movement in France cannot be shown so easily on account of the numerous factions into which the party is split up ; but the fact that M. Millerand, a socialist, found a place in the Cabinet formed in 1901, is perhaps more significant than many figures. In England, where large parties have always been few in number, socialism has shown a strong tendency to avoid the ordinary political channels. The same is true of the United States, though in recent state elections, and even more in municipal elections, surprising gains have been made by politically organized socialists. In 1902 the total socialist vote in state and Congressional elections was 283,525.


1.Socialism is coercive cooperation in production.

2.Socialists would permit private property in income, but not in means of production.

3.Socialists claim that labor produces all wealth, and they aim at a distribution based on justice.

4.Socialism is but an extension of existing institutions.

5.The strength of socialism lies in its proposed saving of waste, in its proposal for juster distribution, and its demand for the recognition of the social obligations of wealth.

6.Its weakness lies in its requirement of impossible human virtues.

7.Anarchism is really the opposite of socialism.

8.There are many differences of view among socialists, these differces giving rise to distinct names for the different groups.

9.The political socialists have increased rapidly in number in Europe during the past fifteen years.


1.Define socialism: anarchism. What is Christian socialism? Evolutionary socialism? Fabian socialism? Name prominent poets and novelists who belong to one or another of these schools.

2.How far does socialism do away with private property ?

3.What effect would socialism, if successful, have on production? On distribution ? On exchange ? On consumption ?

4.What difficulties stand in the way of the realization of socialism?

5.Why is it not right to say of every public interference in industry that it is socialistic? When may a measure be called socialistic?

6.What is the origin of wealth according to socialists? Discuss this claim.

7.Why is anarchism not feasible ?


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