What is socialism? The emancipation of mankind from economic servitude is our definition. In order to bring about this emancipation, socialists agree in saying that the whole people must undertake the management of their own affairs, and in this sense, all socialists are for democracy. The society of the future will surely be based upon the principle of equality; equality that recognises the human right of every individual to exercise to the full his or her powers of intellectual activity. There will be no need to curtail this complete freedom, for there will be no fear of the intellectual genius trying to make oneself wealthy at the expense of others when production for the public use has taken the place of production for individual profit or personal gain.
There are those who argue that after the Revolution there will not be enough to meet the unlimited wants of all. We believe this to be a mistake.
Even today, when waste is everywhere to be seen, and when through the sordid calculations of shameless speculators uncultivated land abounds, production so much exceeds consumption that the unemployed are ever-increasing their numbers. What then will it be in a society where no one will have any reason for monopolising because everyone will be sure of having their wants satisfied everyday; in a society where everyone will be socially productive, where all those who compose the army, the bureaucracy, having no other work to do to-day but to satisfy the caprices of our exploiters, where, in short, all those who to-day consume without doing any useful work in society, will be productive workers: moreover, when all those lands would be given over to agriculture which are now allowed to lie fallow by their over-fed proprietors, as well as all those lands, still more extensive, which are now abandoned because the harvest would not be sufficient to cover the expense necessary to put the in a productive state and also to give the owner a usurious interest but which in the future society would cost but little to put into cultivation, since the indispensable material would be in the hands of the workers, when we should be able by means of the steam-engine to ransack the earth unceasingly and take from it those nourishing essences that are given to the soil in the form of the manure which chemistry is able to produce to-day. Without estimating the future we can, therefore, very well think and even assert that production will be able quite well to answer all the requirements of consumption.
We protest because the present system hinders society’s forward march. Socialists are convinced of the absolute and speedy necessity of social revolution and are determined to bring about a change in the economic relations of men to one another which shall give all who do their best in working to supply the needs of the whole community, an equal chance of supplying their own needs, and render it impossible for a crew of wilful idlers to live in luxury at the cost of their industrious fellows. We all desire to establish a manner of life among ourselves that shall tend naturally to keep us all on terms of economic equality, making it easier for each one to work than to be idle, and to work for the common benefit, than to attempt to make riches for himself.
We are convinced that the workers must take possession for the common use of all the wealth now individually monopolised, which has been created by the common labour of all workers, with brains and hand; and that in future the wealth of the community must be held in common by all the members of the community, that we may have no return to the misery and exploitation which result from the monopoly of property to-day.
As a social species, men and women must necessarily associate one with another; it is as much a part of their nature to do so as it is to seek food and other necessaries of life. The purpose of the revolution is to render them perfectly free in following the guidance of this social nature which they possess.