Studies in Communism
The Case For Anarchism
but a practical individualism, a sound and sane collectivism. The forms and modes of productivity and distribution would tend to good food, healthy living, decent clothing, and equal intellectual and moral liberty for all. Hence the thoroughness of production and distribution would be co-existent with a minimum of labour and a maximum of pleasure. Liberty would co-exist with social service, because the power to dictate and the desire to invade would be abolished.
It may be said that this is mere theory. Quite so. But what if it is only theory? Have we not reasoned together logically from data scientifically collected? All the data relevant to the problem under discussion has been considered. None has been ignored or overlooked. There exists no facts which militate either against the basic assumptions or main contentions of the theory.
Communist theory, is but an anticipation in thought of what will occur inevitably in reality. It is a correct outlining of the future.
Had there been no pioneers who died for Truth, Communism would be impossible of realisation. If none had been burned for Liberty, then there could be no Anarchy. Were there no mother- love, then the Earth would not be our common mother, and the sun would not shine to give warmth and light to us all. But there is an idealism of the past and of the present which' conditions the future. There have been Brunos and Spinozas and Chicago Martyrs. Isaiah has triumphed over Moses. Within the most depraved breast, there does exist a spark of chivalry which often consumes the entire being of the outcast sinner; there dwells many a virtuous inclination which the surrounding world of respectability conspires to crush and to decline. Modem society seems to thrive on an acquired taste for sordid criminality. But even society is moved, at its respectable worst, by something nobler than an instinct and aptitude for crime.
The world is governed even to-day .by its impulse towards liberty and love. "Truth" and "Honour" are not empty 'sounds, but the dearest of the world's ideals. So much we know. Then let us be logical and recognise that the Free Society of which we dream is something beyond a mere possibility. It is not a vain imagining of the better things that might be. But the inevitable goal of our social revolution.
With the advent of capitalism, theological speculation entered upon its period of decline. The dark serpent of theological superstition lost its hold over the minds of children and adults
Influenced by its growing sense of power over nature, humanity lost its fear of god. Tie world ceased to be a battle-ground for unknown divinities. It was a mystery wonder land no more. It became a realm of established fact and experience, of scientific investigation and regulated discovery. Its philosophy, in consequence, became utilitarian.
Underlying all social progress is the first law of Nature, the law of self-preservation. So long as man could safely live unto himself, he paid little attention to the wants of his fellows. Experience taught him the folly of isolation. He realised that, from time to time, he ran risks of being deprived of his existence. Alone, he sometimes lacked the means to sustain his being. Each day convinced him of his ever-increasing indebtedness to his fellows. He consented to recognise his obligations and so became a social animal. But it was self-interest which dictated his growth in wisdom and in understanding and in moral righteousness. Selfishness lies at the root of all social and industrial development.
The apparent growth in the Altruistic mode of expressing our individual selfishness tends to belie the primary selfishness of our individual desires. Thus we find in the tribal state a slow decay in the massacring of prisoners of war in order to turn them to account as slaves. Chattel slavery gives way to free slavery when the economic interests demand the change. To retain power a dominant class ever concedes advantages to those under the yoke of its oppression.
Altruism plays no part in the march of industrial progress. The utilitarian instinct or self-preservation desire is the deciding factor. Not a dualistic crossing of Altruism and Egotism, but a naturally evolved egoism explains the nature of the individual's progress in Communistic inclinations.
The nature of a species can be changed completely as a result of the modifications resulting from the passage through a series of environments. But only the expression is modified in the case of the effect of factors operative in the environment on the nature of an individual member of the species. By adding to or subtracting from the ethical factors in a human being's environment, it is possible to divert his inclinations from one channel to another. Mean time, economic conditions are tending constantly to alter the individual's attitude towards abstract ideas. Hence, in our maturity, we respond not only to intellectual truth but also to the ever- increasing pressure of economic interest. Our rectitude is modified by the action and reaction which exists between the idealism of philosophy and the determinism of industrial conditions.