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I NASMUCH as the Socialistic movement is now
more and more to the front in all civilized countries and making the social question the burning point in the political programme throughout Europe, while the significance of the said movement is too widely either almost ignored, or from lack of adequate information too little appreciated, the Author believes he is meeting a pressing need of the time by attempting to give in the following pages a short summary of the development and present state of this international agitation as it exists in the several countries of the world. In doing this, it seemed advisable to confine the presentation of the subject for the most part to a statement of facts, leaving inferences to the judgment of the reader. At the same time, we cannot doubt that an impartial consideration of these facts will generally lead to the conclusion that the true solution of the problem how best to heal the sores of modern society is to be sought as little in the policy of indiscriminate levelling, which Socialism proclaims, as in that of unbridled individualism, but rather in the fusion of these two extremes—i.e., in the corporate organization of the economic life of the community, aided according to the exigency of the moment by the active assistance of the State, whose essential vocation is surely to step in with its strong arm wherever real progress in civilization is unattainable by the mere combination of private efforts, to which it may be added that until the matured results of this policy have cut the ground from under the agitation with which Social Democracy threatens the public weal, repressive measures against the latter can scarcely be dispensed with.
WHEN my dear husband undertook the translation
of Dr. Zacher's “Rothe Internationale," at the beginning of this year, he intended to state his divergence from the views, set forth by the Author here and there, in original notes. Of these, only those on pages 41 to 45, 46, and 55 were written, when his untimely removal from our midst, in April last, befell us. How far his sympathies went with a movement, which has for its object the realization of the human, brotherhood and its liberation from suffering and want, may be clearly indicated, however, by quoting from a printed statement made by him shortly before
To the outward and visible revolution which Socialists seek to accomplish, there is an inward, mental, and moral revolution corresponding. The one can only be brought about by active organization from without, the other by the silent growth of sentiment from within. In the simultaneous progress of these two sides of revolution, the inner and the cuter, lies the only hope of an ultimate peaceful solution, a hope which no lover of mankind would willingly forego."
For the rest, I have only to acknowledge the kindness of the publishers, who have entrusted me with the completion of the translation, in which my son William Martin has rendered me some valuable help.
CHARLOTTE F. S. GELDART.
CROYDON, October 15th, 1885.