Socialism - really capitalist state collectivism - which he imagined, or pretended to imagine, represented revolutionary Socialism. Unfortunately, Hyndman was accepted at his own valuation.
Working class experience lays down certain first principles of Socialism for the worker's movement to accept. These principles are expressed in the analysis of capitalism and the exposition of surplus value. He said to the workers in effect: "You have no rights in society. You do not count. You have no power whereby to give weight to your wishes or thoughts. Consequently, you have no influence. You have certain duties to perform in order to live and you are permitted to go about these duties and to live, so long as you can sell your labour-power. The moment you are unable to sell your labour-power, you have no right to existence, and you must die."
That dictum was true when first propounded. The same dictum is true to-day. In the present war, those in authority do not say to us: "You are Citizens! Consider now, is war right? Is it right for us to go to war?" No! they say : "We are at war and will make you go. Come - or be fetched!" When they make peace, they won't say: "Your valour makes your presence desirable at this discussion and settlement of terms." They will make peace without our aid, because they own and control us economically and politically and every other way. When, finally, we do become citizens it will not be with the aid of any king's army, but we shall become citizens in opposition and in antagonism to the old influence of those who live on surplus value. Meanwhile, we are "My People!"
Karl Marx gave expression to this class war in society, this fundamental cleavage of aspiration and purpose begotten of economic antagonism, in a watchword which haunted Europe: "Workers of all lands, unite! You have nothing to lose but your chains; you have a world to gain!"
He thus proclaimed a truth. This truth is true still. Marx, in expressing it, explained that his Socialism was something entirely opposed to all existing conditions of society. It was opposed to the family idea; it involved free-love; and it was opposed to the state. Marx said, if necessary, Socialism would not hesitate to be conceived in violence. He called its birth the Social Revolution, meaning a complete change of society, not mere parliamentary revolution, but Social Revolution, something more fundamental than a change of masters - an entire alteration of the social system, a radical transformation of its structure.
In 1874, when Hyndman's Democratic Federation, which afterwards became the Social Democratic Federation was born, William Liebknecht united the small Marx party with the larger Lassalle party, with the result that a new Social Democratic Party was born, opposed to revolutionary Socialist principles, and uninterested in