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The Social Monster

By Johann Most

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development thus at once defines itself not only as desirable but also as the logically necessarry result of hart evolution the question of its possibility, often raised by political philosophers who were weak rather than cautious, becomes of very slight consequence.

From this also follows, that anarchism cannot be a retrograde movement, as has been maliciously insinuated that the anarchists march in the front and not in the rear of the army of freedom and that the supposed opposition between socialists and anarchists, asserted over and over again, is an open absurdity.

Socialism, in the broadest sense of the word, encompasses every doctrine or tendency, which applies to human society. In its narrower sense the word means some special, more or less clearly defined system of social order.

But even of the latter description there are many kinds of socialists, for in our days nearly everyone deals or dapples in social reforms. There are royal, aristocratic, christian, etc., socialists. William I. preached social reforms at every occasion, such as he understood them. Bismarck sometimes calls himself a socialist. Stoecker, the pastor, has propounded numerous conundrums of the kind. The company is certainly somewhat mixed. For this very reason many serious socialists have long ago felt it necessary to point out some mark which allowed of no doubt with respect to the fundamental character of their intentions. They called themselves communists, thereby indicating that they intended to make the soil and all, that is in and on it, common property. They were not led on by pious wishes or fanciful speculations, but by sober observation of the present state of society, which necessarily provokes and absolutely demands a transformation in that direction.

The class, that now reigns, the bourgeoisie, has completely reconstructed the whole mechanism of production and exchange.

First the capitalist drove away the independent master-mechanic. Then, in their turn, the capitalists were driven away by stock-companies. But even the stock-companies could not hold stand against monopolies, trusts, pools, etc., and at this moment there is seriously spoken of, how to give not only certain branches of industry, but whole groups of enterprises a still more general form.

The avowed purpose of this movement was to produce the greatest possible quantity of goods by the least possible exertion of human labor; and to a certain extent the purpose was reached.

But another experience followed in the wake. The mass of the people fell from insufficiency into


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