The first is to me a very great thing indeed, the form and substance of my ideal life, and all the religion I possess. Let me make my confession plain and clear. I am, by a sort of predestination, a Socialist. I perceive, I cannot help talking and writing about Socialism, and shaping and forwarding Socialism. I am one of a succession—one of a growing multitude of witnesses, who will continue. It does not—in the larger sense—matter how many generations of us must toil and testify. It does not matter, except as our individual concern, how individually we succeed or fail, what blunders we make, what thwartings we encounter, what follies and inadequacies darken our private hopes and level our personal imaginations to the dust. We have the light. We know what we are for, and that the light that now glimmers so dimly through us must in the end prevail. To us Socialism is no piece of political strategy, no economic opposition of class to class; it is a plan for the reconstruction of human life, for the replacement of a disorder by order, for the making of a state in which mankind shall live bravely and beautifully beyond our present imagining. So, largely, I conceive of Socialism. But Socialism and the Socialist movement are two very different things. The Socialist movement is an item in an altogether different scale. I must confess that the organized Socialist movement, all the Socialist societies and leagues and federations and parties together in England, seem to me no more than the rustling hem of the garment of advancing Socialism. For some years the whole organized Socialist movement seemed to me so unimportant, so irrelevant to that progressive development and realization of a great system of ideas which is Socialism, that, like very many other Socialists, I did not trouble to connect myself with any section of it. I don’t believe that the Socialist idea is as yet nearly enough thought out and elaborated for very much of it to be realized of set intention now.
Quarta di copertina
Socialism is still essentially education, is study, is a renewal, a profound change in the circle of human thought and motive. The institutions which will express this changed circle of thought are important indeed, but with a secondary importance. Socialism is the still incomplete, the still sketchy and sketchily indicative plan of a new life for the world, a new and better way of living, a change of spirit and substance from the narrow selfishness and immediacy and cowardly formalism, the chaotic life individual accident that is human life to-day, a life that dooms itself and all of us to thwartings and misery. Socialism, therefore, is to be served by thought and expression, in art, in literature, in scientific statement and life, in discussion and the quickening exercise of propaganda; but the Socialist movement, as one finds it, is too often no more than a hasty attempt to secure a premature realization of some fragmentary suggestion of this great, still plastic design, to the neglect of all other of its aspects. As my own sense of Socialism has enlarged and intensified, I have become more and more impressed by the imperfect Socialism of almost every Socialist movement that is going on; by its necessarily partial and limited projection from the clotted cants and habituations of things as they are. Some Socialists quarrel with the Liberal Party and with the Socialist section of the Liberal Party because it does not go far enough, because it does not embody a Socialism uncompromising and complete, because it has not definitely cut itself off from the old traditions, the discredited formulæ, that served before the coming of our great idea.
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- Listino:€ 3,99
- Editore:Library of Alexandria
- Data uscita:16/03/2020
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