Call to Socialism : Part 1: For Socialism - Chapter 4

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(1870 - 1919) ~ German Social Anarchist, Pacifist, and Leader of the Bavarian Soviet Republic : He dies "In a prison courtyard an officer stepped up and struck him across the face, the signal for a savage massacre. Set upon by the troops, Landauer was beaten with trutcheons and rifle butts, kicked, stomped and trampled upon. 'Kill me, then!' he exclaimed, 'to think that you are human beings!" At that he was shot to death. (From : Anarchist Portraits, Arvich.)
• "Leaving allegories aside, what we need is the following: associations of humankind in affairs that concern the interests of humankind; associations of a particular people in affairs that concern the interests of a particular people; associations of particular social groups in affairs that concern particular social groups; associations of two people in affairs that concern the interests of two people; individualization in affairs that concern the interests of the individual." (From : "Anarchism -- Socialism," by Gustav Landauer.)
• "Anarchism is the goal that we pursue: the absence of domination and of the state; the freedom of the individual. Socialism is the means by which we want to reach and secure this freedom: solidarity, sharing, and cooperative labor." (From : "Anarchism -- Socialism," by Gustav Landauer.)
• "True cooperative labor and true community can only exist where individuals are free, and free individuals can only exist where our needs are met by brotherly solidarity." (From : "Anarchism -- Socialism," by Gustav Landauer.)


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Part 1: For Socialism - Chapter 4


Socialism is the tendency of will of unified men to create something new for the sake of an ideal.

We have now seen why this new entity should be created. We have seen the old. Once again we have let the existing system pass before our shuddering eyes. Now I will not say, as some may well expect, how the new reality we desire should be constituted as a whole. I offer no depiction of an ideal, no description of a Utopia. I have given some idea of what can now be said and I have called it by name: justice. An image has been delineated of our conditions, and of our people; does anyone believe that reason and decency, or even love, need only be preached in order to happen?

Socialism is a cultural movement, a struggle for beauty, greatness, abundance of the peoples. No one can understand it, no one can lead to it, unless he sees that socialism comes down from the centuries and millennia. Whoever does not grasp socialism as a step ahead in a long, hard history, knows nothing of it; and this already means — we will hear yet more of it — that no everyday politicians can be socialists. The socialist grasps the whole of society and of the past; feels and knows whence we come and then determines where we are headed.

That mark distinguishes the socialist from the politician. He is interested in the whole, and he grasps our conditions in their totality, in their historical context; he thinks holistically. It then follows that he rejects the entirety of our forms of life, that he has no other intent and goal but the whole, the universal, the principle.

Not only what he rejects, not only what he aims to achieve is comprehensive and universal for the socialist. His means, too, cannot cling to the particular; the roads he travels on are not side roads, but main roads.

Whether great love predominates in him, or imagination, or clear observation, or nausea, or a wild aggressiveness, or strong rational thought, or whatever else may be his motivation; whether he is a thinker or a poet, a fighter or a prophet: the true socialist will always have a vital element of the universal in him. However he will never be (I am speaking here of mentality, not of external professions) a professor, an advocate, an accountant, a stickler for detail, a bragging dilettante, a typical person.

Here is the place to say what must be said (because it has just been said): those who call themselves socialists today are, one and all, not socialists. What now goes by the name of socialism is absolutely not socialism. Here too, in this so-called socialist movement, as in all organizations and institutions of these times, a pitiful, crude surrogate has replaced spirit. But here the counterfeit substitute is especially bad, especially obvious and ridiculous to anyone who has seen through it, but particularly dangerous for those it deceives. This surrogate is a caricature, an imitation, a travesty of the spirit. Spirit is a grasping of the whole in a living universal. Spirit is a unity of separate things, concepts and men. In times of transition, spirit is ardent enthusiasm, courage in the struggle. Spirit is constructive activity. What today simulates socialism also seeks to grasp a whole and also wishes to place details under general categories. But since no living spirit dwells in it, since what it looks at does not come to life, and since its universal does not become creative, since it has no intuitive impulse, its universal does not become true knowledge and true will. Spirit has been replaced by an eccentric and ludicrous scientific superstition. No wonder that this weird doctrine is a travesty of spirit, since its origin weas already a travesty of real spirit, namely Hegelian philosophy. The man who concocted this drug in his laboratory was called Karl Marx. Professor Karl Marx. He brought us scientific superstition instead of spiritual knowledge, politics and party instead of cultural will. But since, as we will see below, his science contradicts his politics and every party reality, and moreover from day to day more obviously contradicts reality; since a so thoroughly false imitation of the universal as this science can never, in the long run, maintain itself against the tangible day-to-day realities of individual phenomena, the revolt of the spiritless party activists, detail-mongers and bragging dilettantes has been played off against the travesty of science. It will be shown here, however, that there is something else, and that neither the former nor the latter are socialists. Here it will be said that neither Marxism nor the patchwork of the revisionists is socialism. Here it will be shown what socialism is not, and what it is. Let us see.

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November 30, 1910 :
Part 1: For Socialism - Chapter 4 -- Publication.

July 13, 2019 17:44:24 :
Part 1: For Socialism - Chapter 4 -- Added to


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