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HE CONTINUED brilliant successes of the Socialist Movement in all the great countries of Europe have been for us too much a mere matter of self-congratulation or academic interest. Between the Amsterdam and the Stuttgart Congresses, in three short years, the position of every socialist party of Europe has been revolutionized. Not only do the tactics differ in each. country, but there are often now several disciplined but widely varying factions within the same party. We must stop boasting international successes, and using them merely as proof of the general justice of the socialist philosophy. We must analyze and study each party and faction to find what lesson it has for the United States.
In studying any party, however, it is convenient to classify it and compare it with other parties of the same tendency. Of course we must recognize that the parties will fall into entirely different groups, according to the principle of classification chosen. If, for instance, we classify the parties according to their interest in the economic struggle at the present moment, we find that the parties in England and Germany are most interested in the labor unions, while those of France, Belgium, Italy, Austria and Russia, though supporting with their full power the unions, especially, since they themselves have been the chief union organizers, are concentrating their attention either on parliamentary or revolutionary politics. If, on the other hand, we classify the National Movements according to their interest in the Agrarian question, we have a somewhat different grouping. All the movements, except that of England, are having considerable success with the landless proletariat or agricultural laborers. It is when we come to the problem of organizing the small proprietors that the diffi
culty begins. All Socialist parties of all countries are now agreed that the small farmers should and must become socialists, but only a few have had any success in that direction.
A. M. Simons' "American Farmer" now so widely read all over Europe must have aided in changing the former dubious and rather hopeless attitude toward this social factor, that numerically outweighs the industrial proletariat in all the great nations except England and Germany, where it is nearly as important. When the growing protective tariff system now being adopted by the world shall have reached its climax, even England's exceptional position may change, for in the British Empire, which in some form or other will then arise, the Agrarian population of the Colonies will balance the industrial population of the mother land. At any rate, Mr. Simons has proved the hopefulness of the American farmer for socialism, in proving his hopeless economic plight. Certainly with our Federal and State system, the farmers will hold the balance of power between the city workingmen and city business class for many decades. The State dominates the city, elects presidential electors and constructs congressional districts.
Not for a generation can the city workingmen hope to gain a majority against united Farmers and Bourgeoisie in more than half a dozen states. But with another generation our capitalistic society will develop large new classes of the benevolent feudalism, servants, servile employes and Hooligans of the London type. If the benevolent feudalism continued, these half dozen industrial states might never grow to be more numerous, but capitalism will continue until replaced by socialism. With the American movement, the farmer vote is, therefore, not a luxury,-it is a necessity. So the success of the European socialist parties in converting and organizing the small owners of agricultural land is of the most vital moment to the United States.
In this respect, the comparatively uninterested and unsuccessful group among the European parties include England, Germany, Austria and Italy; the successful ones are Russia, Hungary, Bohemia and Galicia. France and Belgium also have had distinctly successful, but not yet very satisfactory results. Russia has already converted her millions of peasants to a certain form of socialism. One of the socialist parties concentrates its attention on the peasants, and believes that this process of their conversion will be completed in a year or two more of revolution; the majority faction of the other party thinks the conversion of the peasants and the revolution will last a decade or so, but does not doubt a socialist outcome. The chief pride and accomplishment of the Hungarian movement also is a very strong and aggressive Agrarian organization, but it is in Bohemia and Galicia that the