THIS lecture, which I now bring before the notice of a larger public, was delivered by me before the Vienna Law Society on January 23, 1889. It then bore the title: “Of the Natural Sanction for Law and Morality.” This title I have changed in order to bring its general purport more clearly into prominence; otherwise I have made scarcely any further alteration. Numerous notes have been added, and an already published essay: “Miklosich on Subjectless Propositions” appended. In what way it bears upon inquiries apparently so remote will be evident in the sequel.
The occasion of the lecture was an invitation extended to me by Baron Von Hye, President of the Society. It was his wish that what had been said here a few years ago by Ihering, as jurist, in his address, Über die Entstehung des Rechtsgefühls, might in the same Society be illustrated by me from the philosophic point of view. It would be a mistake to assume from the incidental nature of the circumstances to which it owed its first appearance that the Essay was only a fugitive, occasional study. It embraces the fruits of many years’ reflection. The discussions it contains form the ripest product of all that I have hitherto published.
These thoughts form a fragment of a Descriptive Psychology, which, as I now venture to hope, I may be enabled in the near future to publish in its complete form. In its wide divergence from all that has hitherto been put forward, and especially by reason of its being an essential stage in the further development of some of the views advocated in my Psychology from the Empirical Standpoint it will be sufficiently evident that during the period of my long literary retirement I have not been idle.
Specialists in philosophy will find also in this lecture what will be at once recognized as new. As regards the general reader, the rapidity with which I pass from one question to another might at first completely conceal many a sunken reef which required to be circumnavigated, many a precipice which had to be avoided. Surely I, if any one, have reason, owing to the conciseness of statement employed, to remember the saying of Leibnitz and pay little attention to refutation and much to demonstration. A glance at the notes—which, were they to do full justice to the subject, would need to be multiplied an hundredfold—will give him a further idea of those bye-paths which have misled so many, and prevented their finding an issue to the labyrinth. Meantime I would be well content—nay, I would regard it as the crown to all my efforts—should all that has been said appear so self-evident to him that he does not deem himself bound to thank me once in return.
No one has determined the principles of ethics as, on the basis of new analyses, I have found it necessary to determine them, no one, especially among those who hold that in the foundation of those principles the feelings must find a place, have so radically and completely broken with the subjective view of ethics. I except only Herbart. But he lost himself in the sphere of aesthetic feeling, until at last we find him so far from the track that he, who in the theoretical philosophy is the irreconcilable enemy of contradiction, nevertheless in practical philosophy (i.e. ethics) tolerates it when his principles—the highest universally valid ideas—rush into conflict with one another. Still his teaching remains in a certain aspect truly related with mine, while, on other sides, other celebrated attempts to discover a basis for ethics find in it points of contact.
In the notes, individual points are more sharply defined, a very detailed examination of which would have been too prolix in the lecture. Many an objection already urged has been met, many an expected rejoinder anticipated. I also hope that some will be interested in the several historical contributions, especially in the inquiries concerning Descartes, where I trace back the doctrine of evidence to its causes and point out two further thoughts, one of which has been misunderstood, the other scarcely noticed, neither treated with the consideration they deserve. I refer to his fundamental classification of mental states and to his doctrine of the relation of love to joy, and of hate to sadness.
With several highly honoured investigators of the present—assuredly not least honoured by myself—I have entered into a polemical debate, and indeed most vigorously with those whose previous attack has compelled me to a defence. I hope that they do not regard it as a violation of their claims, when I seek, to the utmost of my power, to help the truth, which we in common serve, to her rights, and I assure them in turn, that as I myself speak frankly, so also none the less do I welcome with all my heart every sincere word of my opponent. …
12. In what then lies this special superiority which gives to morality its natural sanction? Some regarded it as, in a sense, external, they believed its superiority to consist in beauty of appearance. The Greeks called noble and virtuous conduct Τὀ καλὁν, the beautiful, and the perfect man of honour καλοκἀγαθός; though none of the philosophers of antiquity set up this aesthetic view as a criterion. On the other hand, David Hume, among modern thinkers, has spoken of a moral sense of the beautiful which acts as arbiter between the moral and the immoral, while still more recently the German philosopher, Herbart, has subordinated ethics to aesthetics.
Now I do not deny that the aspect of virtue is more agreeable than that of moral perversity. But I cannot concede that in this consists the only and essential superiority of ethical conduct. It is rather an inner superiority which distinguishes the moral from the immoral will, in the same way that it is an inner superiority which distinguishes true and self evident judgments and conclusions from prejudices and fallacies. Here also it cannot be denied that a prejudice, a fallacy has in it something unbeautiful, often indeed something ridiculously narrow-minded, which makes the person so scantily favoured by Minerva appear in a most disadvantageous attitude; yet who, on this account, would class the rules of logic among those of aesthetics, or make logic a branch of aesthetics? No, the real logical superiority is no mere aesthetic appearance but a certain inward rightness which then carries with it a certain superiority of appearance. It will, therefore, be also a certain inward rightness which constitutes the essential superiority of one particular act of will over another of an opposite character; in which consists the superiority of the moral over the immoral.
The belief in this superiority is an ethical motive; the knowledge of it is the right ethical motive, the sanction which gives to ethical law permanence and validity.
13. But are we capable of attaining to such knowledge? Here lies the difficulty which philosophers have for a long time sought in vain to solve. Even to Kant it seemed as though none had found the right end of the thread by means of which to unravel the skein. This the Categorical Imperative was to do. It resembled however, rather the sword drawn by Alexander to cut the Gordian knot. With such a palpable fiction the matter is not to be set right.
14. In order to gain an insight into the true origin of ethical knowledge it will be necessary to take some account of the results of later researches in the sphere of descriptive psychology. The limited time at my disposal makes it necessary for me to set forth my views very briefly, and I have reason to fear that by its conciseness the completeness of the statement may suffer. Yet it is just here that I ask your special attention, in order that what is most essential to a right understanding of the problem be not overlooked.
15. The subject of the moral and immoral is termed the will. What we will is, in many cases, a means to an end. In that case we will this end also, and even in a higher degree than the means. The end itself may often be the means to a further end; in a far reaching plan there may often appear a whole series of ends, the one being always connected in subordination to the other as a means. There must be present, however, one end, which is desired above all others and for its own sake; without this essential and final end all incentive would be lacking, and this would involve the absurdity of aiming without a goal at which to aim.
The ends, also, even the most essential and final ends, may be manifold. It is a mistake which appeared especially in the eighteenth century, nowadays the tendency is more and more to abandon it, that every one seeks the same end, namely, his own highest possible pleasure. Whoever can believe that the martyr facing with full consciousness the most terrible tortures for the sake of his conviction—and there were some who had no hope of recompense hereafter—was thus inspired by a desire after the greatest possible pleasure, such a man must have either a very defective sense of the facts of the case, or, indeed, have lost all measure of the intensities of pleasure and pain.
This, therefore, is certain: even final ends are manifold, between them hovers the choice, which, since the final end is for everything the determining principle, is of the most importance. What ought I to strive after? Which end is the right one, which wrong? This, as Aristotle long ago declared, is the essential, the cardinal question in ethics.
Where the end is fixed and it is merely a question as to the choice of means, we reply: Choose means which will certainly attain the end. Where it is a question as to the choice of ends we would say: Choose an end which reason regards as really attainable. This answer is, however, insufficient, many a thing attainable is rather to be shunned than sought after; choose the best among attainable ends, this alone is the adequate answer.
But the answer is obscure; what do we mean by “the best”? what can be called “good” at all? and how can we attain to the knowledge that one thing is good and better than another?
18. In order to answer this question satisfactorily, we must, above all, inquire into the origin of the conception of the good, which lies, like the origin of all our conceptions, in certain concrete impressions.
We possess impressions with physical content. These exhibit to us sensuous qualities localized in space. Out of this sphere arise the conceptions of colour, sound, space and many others. The conception of the good, however, has not here its origin. It is easily recognizable that the conception of the good like that of the true, which, as having affinity, is rightly placed side by side with it, derives its origin from concrete impressions with psychical content.
19. The common feature of everything psychical consists in what has been called by a very unfortunate and ambiguous term, consciousness; i.e. in a subject-attitude; in what has been termed an intentional relation to something which, though perhaps not real, is none the less an inner object of perception No hearing without the heard, no believing without the believed, no hoping without the hoped for, no striving without the striven for, no joy without the enjoyed, and so with other mental phenomena.
20. The sensuous qualities which are given in our impressions with physical content exhibit manifold differences. So also do the intentional relations given in our impressions with psychical content. And, as in the former case, the number of the senses is determined by reference to those distinctions between sensuous qualities which are most fundamental (called by Helmholtz distinctions of modality), so in the latter case the number of fundamental classes of mental phenomena is fixed by reference to the most fundamental distinctions of intentional relation.
In this way we distinguish three fundamental classes. Descartes in hisMeditations was the first to exhibit these rightly and completely; but sufficient attention has not been paid to his observations, and they were soon quite forgotten, until in recent times, and independently of him, these were again discovered. Nowadays they may lay claim to sufficient verification.
The first fundamental class is that of ideas (Vorstellungen) in the widest sense of the term (Descartes’ ideae). This class embraces concrete impressions, those for example which are given to us through the senses, as well as every abstract conception.
The second fundamental class is judgment (Descartes’ judicia). Previous to Descartes these were thought of as forming, along with ideas, onefundamental class, and since Descartes’ time philosophy has fallen once more into this error. This view regarded judgment as consisting essentially in a combination or relation of ideas to one another. This was a gross misconception of its true nature. We may combine or relate ideas as we please, as in speaking of a golden mountain, the father of a hundred children, a friend of science; but as long as nothing further takes place there can be no judgment. Equally true is it that an idea always forms the basis of a judgment, as also of a desire; but it is not true that, in a judgment, there are always several ideas related to one another as subject and predicate. This is certainly the case when I say: “God is just,” though not when I say: “There is a God.”
What, therefore, distinguishes those cases where I have not only an idea but also a judgment? There is here added to the act of presentation a second intentional relation to the object given in presentation, a relation either of recognition or rejection. Whoever says: “God,” gives expression to the idea of God; whoever says: “There is a God,” gives expression to a belief in him.
I must not linger here, and can only assure you that this, if anything, admits to-day of no denial. From the philological standpoint Miklosich confirms the results of psychological analysis.
The third fundamental class consists of the emotions in the widest sense of the term, from the simple forms of inclination or disinclination in respect of the mere idea, to joy and sadness arising from conviction and to the most complicated phenomena as to the choice of ends and means. Aristotle long since included these under the term Ὄρεζις. Descartes says this class embraces the voluntates sive affectus. As in the second fundamental class the intentional relation was one of recognition or rejection, so in the third class it is one of love or hate, (or, as it might be equally well expressed,) a form of pleasing or displeasing. Loving, pleasing, hating, displeasing, these are given in the simplest forms of inclination or disinclination, in victorious joy as well as in despairing sorrow, in hope and fear, and in every form of voluntary activity. “Plait-il?” asks the Frenchman; “es hat Gott gefallen,” one reads in (German) announcements of a death; while the “Placet,” written when confirming an act, is the expression of the determining fiat of will.
21. In comparing these three classes of phenomena it is found that the two last mentioned show an analogy which, in the first, is absent. There exists, that is, an opposition of intentional relation; in the case of judgment, recognition or rejection, in the case of the emotions, love or hate, pleasure or displeasure. The idea shows nothing of a similar nature. I can, it is true, conceive of opposites, as for example white and black, but whether I believe in this black or deny it, I can only represent it to myself in one way; the representation does not alter with the opposite act of judgment; nor again, in the case of the feelings, when I change my attitude towards it according as it pleases or displeases me.
22. From this fact follows an important conclusion. Concerning acts of the first class none can be called either right or wrong. In the case of the second class on the other hand, one of the two opposed modes of relation, affirmation and rejection, is right the other wrong, as logic has long affirmed. The same naturally holds good of the third class. Of the two opposed modes of relation, love and hate, pleasure and displeasure, in each case one is right the other wrong.
23. We have now reached the place where the notions of good and bad, along with the notions of the true and the false which we have been seeking, have their source. We call anything true when the recognition related to it is right. We call something good when the love relating to it is right. That which can be loved with a right love, that which is worthy of love, is good in the widest sense of the term.
24. Since everything which pleases does so, either for its own sake, or for the sake of something else which is thereby produced, conserved or rendered probable, we must distinguish between a primary and a secondary good, i.e. what is good in itself, and what is good on account of something else, as is specially the case in the sphere of the useful.
What is good in itself is the good in the narrower sense. It alone can stand side by side with the true. For everything which is true is true in itself, even when only mediately known. When we speak of good later we shall therefore mean, whenever the contrary is not expressly asserted, that which is good in itself.
In this way we have, I hope, made clear the notion of good.
25. There follows now the still more important question: How are we to know that anything is good? Ought we to say that whatever is loved and is capable of being loved is worthy of love and is good? This is manifestly untrue, and it is almost inconceivable that some have fallen into this error. One loves what another hates, and, in accordance with a well known psychological law already previously referred to it often happens that what at first was desired merely as a means to something else, comes at last from habit to be desired for its own sake. In such a way the miser is irrationallyled to heap up riches and even to sacrifice himself for their sake. The actual presence of love, therefore, by no means testifies unconditionally to the worthiness of the object to be loved, just as affirmation is no unconditional proof of what is true.
It might even be said that the first statement is even more evident than the second, since it can hardly happen that he who affirms anything at the same time holds it to be false, whereas it frequently happens that a person, even while loving something, confesses himself that it is unworthy of his love:
How then are we to know that anything is good?
As a preliminary step to answering the question, let us turn our glance from the good to the true.
Not everything which we affirm is on this account true. Our judgments are frequently quite blind. Many a prejudice which we drank in, as it were, with our mother’s milk presents to us the appearance of an irrefutable principle. To other equally blind judgments all men have, by nature, a kind of instinctive impulsion, as, for example, in trusting blindly to the so-called external impression, or to a recent remembrance. What is so recognized may often be true, but it may equally well be false since the affirming judgment contains nothing which gives to it the character of rightness.
Such, however, is the case in certain other judgments, which in contradistinction to these blind judgments may be termed “obvious,” “self-evident” judgments; as, for example, the Principle of Contradiction, and every so-called inner perception which informs me that I am now experiencing sensations of sound or colour, or think and will this or that.
In what, then, does the distinction between these lower and higher forms of judgment essentially consist? Is it a distinction in the degree of belief, or is it something else? It is not a distinction in the degree of belief; the instinctive blind assumptions arising from habit are often not in the slightest degree weakened by doubts, and we are unable to get rid of some even when we have already seen their logical falsity. But such assumptions are the results of blind impulse, they have nothing of the clearness peculiar to the higher forms of judgment. Were the question to be raised: “What is then your reason for believing that?” no rational answer would be forthcoming. It is quite true that if the same inquiry were to be made respecting the immediately evident judgment here also no reason could be given, but in face of the clearness of the judgment the inquiry would appear utterly beside the point, in fact ridiculous. Every one experiences for himself the difference between these two classes of judgment, and in the reference to this experience, consists, as in the case of every conception, the final explanation.” Franz Brentano, The Origin of the Knowledge of Right and Wrong; from “The Author’s Preface” et seq: http://www.gutenberg.org/files
There is no time perhaps so little fitted for writing the biography of a great man as that immediately after his death, and the task is doubly difficult when it falls to one who knew and loved him. It is impossible for me to do more at present than give the briefest sketch of my father’s life. I shall confine myself to a simple statement of facts, and I shall not even attempt an exposition of his great theories and discoveries; theories that are the very foundation of Modern Socialism — discoveries that are revolutionising the whole science of Political Economy. I hope, however, to give in a future number of Progress an analysis of my father’s chief work — “Das Kapital,” and of the truths set forth in it.
Karl Marx was born at Trier, on May 1818, of Jewish parents. His father — a man of great talent — was a lawyer, strongly imbued with French eighteenth-century ideas of religion, science, and art; his mother was the descendant of Hungarian Jews, who in the seventeenth century settled in Holland. Amongst his earliest friends and playmates were Jenny — afterwards his wife — and Edgar von Westphalen. From their father, the Baron von Westphalen — himself half a Scot — Karl Marx imbibed his first love for the “Romantic” School, and while his father read him Voltaire and Racine, Westphalen read him Homer and Shakespere. These always remained his favorite writers. At once much loved and feared by his school-fellows — loved because he was always in mischief, and feared because of his readiness in writing satirical verse and lampooning his enemies, Karl Marx passed through the usual school routine, and then proceeded to the Universities of Bonn and Berlin, where, to please his father, he for a time studied law, and to please himself he studied history and philosophy. In 1842 he was about to habilitate himself at Bonn as “Privat Dozent,” but the political movement arisen in Germany since the death of Frederick William III. in 1840, threw him into another career. The chiefs of the Rhenish Liberals — Kamphausen and Hansemann — had founded the Rhenish Gazette at Cologne, with the co-operation of Marx, whose brilliant and bold criticism of the provincial Landtag created such a sensation, that, though only twenty-four years old, he was offered the chief editorship of the paper. He accepted it, and therewith began his long struggle with all despotisms, and with Prussian despotism in particular. Of course the paper appeared under the supervision of a censor — but the poor censor found himself powerless. The Gazette invariably published all important articles, and the censor could do nothing. Then a second, a “special” one was sent from Berlin, but even this double censorship proved of no avail, and finally in 1843 the government simply suppressed the paper altogether. In the same year, 1843, Marx had married his old friend and playfellow, to whom he had been engaged for seven years, Jenny von Westphalen, and with his young wife proceeded to Paris. Here, together with Arnold Ruge, he published the Deutsche Französische Jahrbücher, in which he began the long series of his socialist writings. His first contribution was a critique on Hegel’s “Rechts-philosophie;” the second, an essay on the “Jewish Question.” When the Jahrbücher ceased to appear, Marx contributed to the journal Votwärtz, of which he is usually said to have been the editor. As a matter of fact, the editorship of this paper to which Heine, Everbeck, Engels, etc., contributed, seems to have been carried on in a somewhat erratic manner, and a really responsible editor never existed. Marx’ next publication was the “Heilige Familie” written together with Engels, a satirical critique directed against Bruno Bauer and his school of Hegelian idealists.
While devoting most of his time at this period to the study of Political Economy and of the French Revolution, Karl Marx continued to wage fierce war with the Prussian government, and as a consequence, this government demanded of M. Guizot — it is said through the agency of Alexander von Humboldt,who happened to be in Paris — Marx’ expulsion from France. With this demand Guizot bravely complied, and Marx had to leave Paris. He went to Brussels, and there in 1846 published, in French, a “Discours sur la libre échange.” Proudhon now published his “Contradictions Economiques ou Philosophie de la Misère,” and wrote to Marx that he awaited his “férule critique.” He did not wait long, for in 1847 Marx published his “ Misère de la Philosophie, reponse à la Philosophie de la Misère de M., Proudhon” and the “férule” was applied with a severity Proudhon had probably not bargained for. This same year Marx founded a German Working-Man’s Club at Brussels, and, what is of more importance, joined, together with his political friends, the “Communistic League,” The whole organisation of the league was changed by him; from a hole-and-corner conspiracy it was transformed into an organisation for the propaganda of Communist principles, and was only secret because existing circumstances made secrecy a necessity. Wherever German working-men’s clubs existed the league existed also, and it was the first socialist movement of an international character, Englishmen, Belgians, Hungarians, Poles, Scandinavians being members; it was the first organisation of the Social Democratic Party. In 1847 a Congress of the League was held in London, at which Marx and Engels assisted as delegates; and they were subsequently appointed to write the celebrated “Manifesto of the Communist Party” — first published just before the Revolution of 1848, and then translated into well nigh all European languages. This manifesto opens with a review of the existing conditions of society. It goes on to show how gradually the old feudal division of classes has disappeared, and how modern society is divided simply into two classes — that of the capitalists or bourgeois class, and that of the proletariat; of the expropriators and expropriated; of the bourgeois class possessing wealth and power and producing nothing, of the labor-class that produces wealth but possesses nothing. The bourgeoisie after using the proletariat to fight its political battles against feudalism, has used the power thus acquired to enslave the proletariat. To the charge that Communism aims at “abolishing property,” the manifesto replied that Communists aim only at abolishing the bourgeois system of property, by which already for nine-tenths or the Community property is abolished; to the accusation that Communists aim at “abolishing marriage and the family” the Manifesto answered by asking what kind of “family” and “marriage” were possible for the working men, for whom in all true meaning of the words neither exists. As to “abolishing father-land and nationality,” these are abolished for the proletariat, and, thanks to the development of industry, for the bourgeoisie also. The bourgeoisie has wrought great revolutions in history; it has revolutionised the whole system of production. Under its hands the steam-engine, the self-acting mule, the steam-hammer, the railways and ocean-steamers of our days were developed. But its most revolutionary production was the production of the proletariat, of a class whose very conditions of existence compel it to overthrow the whole actual society. The Manifesto ends with the words:
“Communists scorn to conceal their aims and views. They declare openly that their ends are only attainable through the violent overthrow of all existing conditions of society. Let the governing classes tremble at a Communist revolution. The Proletarians have nothing to lose by it but their chains. They have a world to win. Proletarians of all countries, unite!”
In the meantime Marx had continued in the Brüsseler Zeitung his attack on the Prussian government, and again the Prussian government demanded his expulsion — but in vain, until the February revolution caused a movement among the Belgian workmen, when Marx, without any ado, was expelled by the Belgian government. The provisional government of France had, however, through Flocon, invited him to return to Paris, and this invitation he accepted. In Paris he remained some time, till after the Revolution of March, 1848, when he returned to Cologne, and there founded the New Rhenish Gazette — the only paper representing the working class, and daring to defend the June insurgents of Paris. In vain did the various reactionary and Liberal papers denounce the Gazette for its licentious audacity in attacking all that is holy and defying all authority — and that, too, in a Prussian fortress! In vain did the authorities by virtue of the State of Siege suspend the paper for six weeks. It again appeared under the very eyes of the police, its reputation and circulation growing with the attacks made upon it. After the Prussian coup d’état of November, the Gazette, at the head of each number, called on the people to refuse the taxes, and to meet force by force, For this, and on account of certain articles, the paper was twice prosecuted — and acquitted. Finally after the May rising (1849) in Dresden, the Rhenish Provinces, and South Germany, the Gazette was forcibly suppressed. The last number — printed in red type — appeared on May 19th, 1849.
Marx now again returned to Paris, but a few weeks after the demonstration of June 13th, 1849, the French government gave him the choice of retiring to Brittany or leaving France. He preferred the latter, and went to London — where he continued to live for over thirty years. An attempt to bring out the New Rhenish Gazette in the form of a review, published at Hamburg, was not successful. Immediately after Napoleon’s coup d’état, Marx wrote his “18th Brumaire de Louis Bonaparte,” and in 1853 the “Revelations Concerning the Cologne Trial.” — in which he laid bare the infamous machinations of the Prussian government and police.
After the condemnation at Cologne of the members of the Communist League, Marx for a time retired from active political life, devoting himself to his economical studios at the British Museum, to contributing leading articles and correspondence to the New York Tribune, and to writing pamphlets and fly-sheets attacking the Palmerston régime, widely circulated at the time by David Urquhart.
The first fruits of his long, earnest studies in Political Economy appeared in 1859, in his “Kritik zur Politischer Economie” — a work which contains the first exposition of his Theory of Value.
During the Italian war, Marx, in the German piper Das Volk, published in London, denounced the Bonapartism that hid itself under the guise of liberal sympathy for oppressed nationalities, and the Prussian policy that under the cloak of neutrality, merely sought to fish in troubled waters. On this occasion it became necessary to attack Carl Vogt, who in the pay of the “midnight assassin” was agitating for German neutrality, nay sympathy. Infamously and deliberately calumniated by Cart Vogt, Marx replied to him and other gentlemen of his ilk in “Herr Vogt,” 1860, in which he accused Vogt of being in Napoleon’s pay. Just ten years later, in 1870, this accusation was proved to be true. The French government of National Defence published a list of the Bonapartist hirelings and under the letter V appeared: Vogt, received August, 1859, 10,000:francs.” In 1867 Marx published at Hamburg his chief work “Das Kapital,” to a consideration of which I shall return in the next number of Progress.
Meanwhile the condition of the working men’s movement had so far advanced that Karl Marx could think of executing a long-cherished plan — the establishment in all the more advanced countries of Europe and America of an International Working Men’s Association. A public meeting to express sympathy with Poland was held in April, 1864. This brought together the working men of various nationalities, and it was decided to found the International. This was done at, a meeting (presided over by Professor Beesley) in St. James’ Hall on September 28, 1864. A provisional general council was elected, and Marx drew up the Inaugural Address and the Provisional Rules. In this address, after an appalling picture of the misery of the working classes, even in years of so-called commercial prosperity, he tells the working men of all countries to combine, and, as nearly twenty years before in the Communist Manifesto, he concluded with the words: “Proletarians of all countries, unite!” The “Rules” stated the reasons for founding the International:
“That the emancipation of the working classes insist be conquered by the working classes themselves; that the struggle for the emancipation of the working classes means not a struggle for class privileges and monopolies, but for equal rights and duties, and the abolition of all class rule;
“That the economical subjection of the man of labor to the monopoliser of the means of labor, that is, the sources of life, lies at the bottom of servitude in all its forms of social misery, mental degradation, and political dependence;
“That the economical emancipation of the working classes is therefore the great end to which every political movement ought to be subordinate as a means;
“That all efforts aiming at that great end have hitherto failed from the want of solidarity between the manifold divisions of labor in each country, and front the absence of a fraternal bond of union between the working classes of different countries;
“That the emancipation of labor is neither a local nor a national, but a social problem, embracing all countries in which modern society exists, and depending for its solution on the concurrence, practical and theoretical, of the most advanced countries
“That, the present revival of the working classes in the most industrious countries of Europe, while it raises a new hope, gives solemn warning against a relapse into the old errors, and calls for the immediate combination of the still disconnected movements
“FOR THESE REASONS
“The International Working Men’s Association has been founded.”
To give, any account of Marx’ work in the International would be to write a history of the Association itself — for, while never being more than the Corresponding secretary for Germany and Russia, he was the leading spirit of all the general councils. With scarcely any exceptions the Addresses — from the Inaugural one to the last one — on the “Civil War in France “ were written by him. In This last address Marx explained the real meaning of the Commune — “that sphinx so tantalizing to the bourgeois mind.” In words as vigorous as beautiful he branded the corrupt government of “national defection that betrayed France into the hands of Prussia,” he denounced the government of such men as the forger Jules Favre, the usurer Perry, and the thrice infamous Thiers, that monstrous gnome” the “political shoe-black of the Empire.” After contrasting the horrors perpetrated by the Versaillists and the heroic devotion of the Parisian working men, dying for the preservation of the very republic of which M. Perry is now Prime Minister, Marx concludes:
“Working men’s Paris with its Commune will be for ever celebrated as the glorious harbinger of a new society. Its martyrs are enshrined in the great heart of the working class. Its exterminators’ history is already nailed to that eternal pillory from which all the prayers of their priests will not avail to redeem them.”
The fall of the Commune placed the International in an impossible position. It became necessary to remove the General Council from London to New York, and this, at Marx’ suggestion, was done by the Hague Congress in 1873. Since then the movement has taken another form; the continual intercourse between the proletarians of all countries — one of tho fruits of the International Association — has shown that, there no longer exists the necessity for a formal organisation. But whatever the form, the work is going on, must go on so long as the present conditions of society shall exist.
Since 1873 Marx had given himself up almost entirely to his work, though this had been retarded, for some years by ill-health. The M.S. of the second. volume of his chief work will be edited by his oldest, truest, and dearest friend, Frederick Engels. There are other MSS., which may also be published.
I have confined myself in strictly historical and biographical details of the MAN. Of his striking personality, his immense erudition, his wit, humour, general kindliness and ever-ready sympathy it is not for me to speak. To sum up all –
So mix’d in him that Nature might stand up,
And say to all the world, ‘This was a Man!‘”
The publication of August Bebel’s Woman – Past, Present and Future and the issue of a translation of the work in English, make any attempt to explain the position of Socialists in respect to the woman question timely. The reception that the work has met with in Germany and in England renders such an attempt imperative, unless our antagonists are willing to misunderstand us, and we are willing to remain passive under the misunderstanding. The writers of this article have thought that the English public, with that fairness which is said to be its special prerogative, would give hearing to the views, the arguments, the conclusions of those who call themselves Socialists. Thus, whatever opinions may be held by that English public as to the conclusions, its opinions will at least have a basis of knowledge. And the writers have further considered that the treatment of such a question as this is as its best when it is that of a man and a woman thinking and working together. In all that follows they desire it to be understood that they are giving utterance to their own opinions as two individual Socialists. Whilst they believe that these opinions are shared by the majority of their fellow-thinkers and fellow-workers in England, on the Continent, and in America, they are in no sense to be understood as pledging their Party to all, or necessarily to any particular one, of the propositions put forward.
A word or two, first, on the work that serves as the text of this discourse. Bebel is a working-man, a Socialist, and a member of the Reichstag. His book Die Frau has been prohibited in Germany. This has increased at once the difficulty of obtaining the book, and the number of those that obtain it. The German press has almost to a journal condemned it, and has ascribed to its author every possible and impossible vice. The influence of the work, and the significance of these attacks, will both be understood by those that bear in mind the position and the personal character of Bebel. One of the founders of the Socialist Party in Germany, one of the foremost among the exponents of the economics of Karl Marx, perhaps the finest orator of his country, Bebel is beloved and trusted by the Proletariat, hated and feared by the capitalists and aristocrats. He is not only the most popular man in Germany. He is by those that know him, foes as well as friends, respected. Calumny has, of course, been busy with him, but, without any hesitation, we may say that the accusations made against him are as false as they are venomous.
The English translation of his latest work has met in certain quarters with a vituperative reception. The wrath of these irritated critics would have been well placed had it been poured out on the quite unequalled carelessness of the publishers of this English version. This carelessness is the more noticeable and unpardonable as the German edition, printed at Zurich, is singularly free from errors. We ought to except in part from our condemnation the translator, Dr. Harriet B. Adams Walther. On the whole, her work has been fairly well done, though an apparent want of acquaintance with economic words and phrases has here and there produced ambiguity, and there is a most unaccountable objection to the use of the plural. But the book teems with printer’s errors, in type, in spelling, and in punctuation. To have in a book of only 164 pages an aggregate of at least 170 blunders is really too bad.
With the first or historical part of the work we do not propose dealing. Deeply interesting as it is, this must be passed over, as so much is to be said on the present relations between men and women, and on the changes that we believe are impending. Moreover, the historic portion is not quite the best in the book. It has its errors here and there. The most reliable book to consult on this particular branch of the woman question is Friedrich Engels’ Origin of the Family, Private Property and the State. Let us turn, therefore, to the society and the women of today.
Society is, from the point of view of Bebel, and we may fairly say here of Socialists generally, in a condition of unrest, of fermentation. The unrest is that of a mass of rottenness; the fermentation that of putrefaction. Dissolution is at hand, in both senses of the word. The death of the capitalistic method of production, and therefore of the society based on it, is, as we think, within a distance measurable in terms of years rather than of centuries. And that death means the re-solution of society into simpler forms, even into elements, that recombining will produce a new and better order of things. Society is morally bankrupt, and in nothing does this gruesome moral bankruptcy come out with a more hideous distinctness than in the relation between men and women. Efforts to postpone the crash by drawing bills upon the imagination are useless. The facts have to be faced.
One of these facts of the most fundamental importance is not, and never has been, fairly confronted by the average man or woman in considering these relations. It has not been understood even by those men and women above the average who have made the struggle for the greater freedom of women the very business of their lives. This fundamental fact is, that the question is one of economics. The position of women rests, as everything in our complex modern society rests, on an economic basis. Had Bebel done nothing but insist upon this, his work would have been valuable. The woman question is one of the organisation of society as a whole. For those who have not grasped this conception, we may quote Bacon in the first book of the Advancement of Learning. “Another error … is that, after the distribution of particular Arts and Sciences, men have abandoned universality … which cannot but cease and stop all progression. … Neither is it possible to discover the more remote and deeper parts of any science if you stand but upon the level of the same science and ascend not to a higher.” This error, indeed, when “men (and women) have abandoned universality,” is something more than a “peccant humour.” It is a disease. Or, to use an illustration possibly suggested by the passage and the phrase just quoted, those who attack the present treatment of women without seeking for the cause of this in the economics of our latter-day society are like doctors who treat a local affection without inquiring into the general bodily health.
This criticism applies not alone to the commonplace person who makes a jest of any discussion into which the element of sex enters. It applies to those higher natures, in many cases earnest and thoughtful, who see that women are in a parlous state, and are anxious that something should be done to better their condition. These are the excellent and hard-working folk who agitate for that perfectly just aim, woman suffrage; for the repeal of the Contagious Diseases Act, a monstrosity begotten of male cowardice and brutality; for the higher education of women; for the opening to them of universities, the learned professions, and all callings, from that of teacher to that of bagman. In all this work – good as far as it goes – three things are especially notable. First, those concerned in it are of the well-to-do classes, as a rule. With the single and only partial exception of the Contagious Diseases agitation, scarcely any of the women taking a prominent part in these various movements belong to the working class. We are prepared for the comment that something very like this may be said, as far as concerns England, of the larger movement that claims our special efforts. Certainly, Socialism is at present in this country little more than a literary movement. It has but a fringe of working men on its border. But we can answer to this criticism that in Germany this is not the case, and that even here Socialism is now beginning to extend among the workers.
The second point is that all these ideas of our advanced women are based either on property, or on sentimental or professional questions. Not one of them gets down through these to the bedrock of the economic basis, not only of each of these three, but of society itself. This fact is not astonishing to those who note the ignorance of economics characteristic of most of those that labour for the enfranchisement of women. Judging from the writings and speeches of the majority of women’s advocates, no attention has been given by them to the study of the evolution of society. Even the orthodox political economy, which is, as we think, misleading in its statements and inaccurate in its conclusions, does not appear to have been mastered generally.
The third point grows out of the second. The school of whom we speak make no suggestion that is outside the limits of the society of today. Hence their work is, always from our point of view, of little value. We will support all women, not only those having property, enabled to vote; the Contagious Diseases Act repealed; every calling thrown open to both sexes. The actual position of women in respect to men would not be very vitally touched. (We are not concerned at present with the results of the increased competition and more embittered struggle for existence.) For not one of these things, save indirectly the Contagious Diseases Act, touches them in their sex relations. Nor should we deny that, with the gain of each or all of these points, the tremendous change that is to come would be more easy of attainment. But it is essential to keep in mind that ultimate change, only to come about when the yet more tremendous social change whose corollary it will be has taken place. Without that larger social change women will never be free.
The truth, not fully recognised even by those anxious to do good to woman, is that she, like the labour-classes, is in an oppressed condition; that her position, like theirs, is one of merciless degradation. Women are the creatures of an organised tyranny of men, as the workers are the creatures of an organised tyranny of idlers. Even where this much is grasped, we must never be weary of insisting on the non-understanding that for women, as for the labouring classes, no solution of the difficulties and problems that present themselves is really possible in the present condition of society. All that is done, heralded with no matter what flourish of trumpets, is palliative, not remedial. Both the oppressed classes, women and the immediate producers, must understand that their emancipation will come from themselves. Women will find allies in the better sort of men, as the labourers are finding allies among the philosophers, artists, and poets. But the one has nothing to hope from man as a whole, and the other has nothing to hope from the middle class as a whole.
The truth of this comes out in the fact that, before we pass to the consideration of the condition of women, we have to speak this word of warning. To many, that which we have to say of the Now will seem exaggerated; much that we have to say of the Hereafter, visionary, and perhaps all that is said, dangerous. To cultured people, public opinion is still that of man alone, and the customary is the moral. The majority still lays stress upon the occasional sex-helplessness of woman as a bar to her even consideration with man. It still descants upon the natural calling of the female. As to the former, people forget that sex-helplessness at certain times is largely exaggerated by the unhealthy conditions of our modern life, if, indeed, it is not wholly due to these. Given rational conditions, it would largely, if not completely, disappear. They forget also that all this about which the talk is so glib when women’s freedom is under discussion is conveniently ignored when the question is one of women’s enslavement. They forget that by capitalist employers this very sex-helplessness of woman is only taken into account with the view of lowering the general rate of wages. Again, there is no more a natural calling of woman than there is a natural law of capitalistic production, or a natural limit to the amount of the labourer’s product that goes to him for means of subsistence. That in the first case, woman’s calling is supposed to be only the tending of children, the maintenance of household conditions, and a general obedience to her lord; that, in the second, the production of surplus value is a necessary preliminary to the production of capital; that, in the third, the amount the labourer receives for his means of subsistence is so much as will keep him only just above starvation point: these are not natural laws in the same sense as are the laws of motion. They are only certain temporary conventions of society, like the convention that French is the language of diplomacy.
To treat the position of women at the present time in detail is to repeat a thousand-times-told tale. Yet, for our purpose, we must re-emphasise some familiar points, and perhaps mention one or two less familiar. And first, a general idea that has to do with all women. The life of woman does not coincide with that of man. Their lives do not intersect; in many cases do not even touch. Hence the life of the race is stunted. According to Kant, “a man and woman constitute, when united, the whole and entire being; one sex completes the other.” But when each sex is incomplete, and the one incomplete to the most lamentable extent, and when, as a rule, neither of them comes into real, thorough, habitual, free contact, mind to mind, with the other, the being is neither whole nor entire.
Second, a special idea that has to do with only a certain number, but that a large one, of women. Every one knows the effect that certain callings, or habits of life, have on the physique and on the face of those that follow them. The horsy man, the drunkard are known by gait, physiognomy. How many of us have ever paused, or dared to pause, upon the serious fact that in the streets and public buildings, in the friend-circle, we can, in a moment, tell the unmarried women, if they are beyond a certain age which lively writers call, with a delicate irony peculiarly their own, uncertain? But we cannot tell a man that is unmarried from one that is wedded. Before the question that arises out of this fact is asked, let us call to mind the terrible proportion of women that are unmarried. For example, in England, in the year 1870, 41 per cent of the women were in this condition. The question to which all this leads is a plain one, a legitimate one, and is only an unpleasant one because of the answer that must be given. How is it that our sisters bear upon their brews this stamp of lost instincts, stifled affections, a nature in part murdered? How is it that their more fortunate brothers bear no such mark? Here, assuredly, no natural law obtains. This licence for the man, this prevention of legions of noble and holy unions that does not affect him, but falls heavily on her, are the inevitable outcome of our economic system. Our marriages, like our morals, are based upon commercialism. Not to be able to meet one’s business engagements is a greater sin than the slander of a friend, and our weddings are business transactions.
Whether we consider women as a whole, or only that sad sisterhood wearing upon its melancholy brews the stamp of eternal virginity, we find alike a want of ideas and of ideals. The reason of this is again the economic position of dependency upon man. Women, once more like the labourers, have been expropriated as to their rights as human beings, just as the labourers were expropriated as to their rights as producers. The method in each case is the only one that makes expropriation at any time and under any circumstances possible – and that method is force.
In Germany at the present day the woman is a minor with regard to man. A husband of low estate may chastise a wife. All decisions as to the children rest with him, even to the fixing of the date of weanings. Whatever fortune the wife may have he manages. She may not enter into agreements without his consent; she may not take part in political associations. It is unnecessary for us to point out how much better, within the last few years, these things have been managed in England, or to remind our readers that the recent changes were due to the action of women themselves. But it is necessary to remind them that with all these added civil rights English women, married and unmarried alike, are morally dependent on man, and are badly treated by him. The position is little better in other civilised lands, with the strange exception of Russia, where women are socially more free than in any other part of Europe. In France, the women of the upper middle class are more unhappily situated than in England. Those of the lower middle and working-classes are better off than either in England or Germany. But two consecutive paragraphs in the Code Civil, 340 and 341, show that injustice to women is not only Teutonic. La recherche de la paternité est interdité and La recherche de la maternité est admise.
Every one who refuses to blink facts knows that Demosthenes words of the Athenians are true of our English middle and upper classes today, “We marry in order to obtain legitimate children and a faithful warder of the house; we keep concubines as servants for our daily attendance, but we seek the Hetairai for love’s delight.” The wife is still the child-bearer, the housewarder. The husband lives and loves according to his own bad pleasure. Even those who admit this will possibly join issue with us when we suggest as another wrong to women the rigorous social rule that from man only must come the first proffer of affection, the proposal for marriage. This may be on the principle of compensation. After marriage the proffers come generally from the woman, and the reserve is the man’s. That this is no natural law our Shakespeare has shown. Miranda, untrammelled by society, tenders herself to Ferdinand. “I am your wife if you will marry me: if not I’ll die your maid;” and Helena, in All’s Well that Ends Well, with her love for Bertram, that carries her from Rousillon to Paris and Florence, is, as Coleridge has it, Shakespeare’s loveliest character.
We have said that marriage is based upon commercialism. It is a barter transaction in many cases, and in all, under the condition of things today, the question of ways and means plays of necessity a large part. Among the upper classes the business is carried on quite unblushingly. The Sir Gorgius Midas pictures in Punch testify to this. The nature of the periodical in which they appear reminds us that all the horrors they reveal are only regarded as foibles, not as sins. In the lower middle class many a man denies himself the joy of home life until he grows out of the longing for it; many a woman closes the book of her life at its fairest page for ever, because of the dread rerum angustarum domi [of the narrow confines of domestic life].
Another proof of the commercial nature of our marriage system is afforded by the varying times at which wedlock is customary in the varying grades of society. The time is in no sense regulated, as it ought to be, by the time of life. Some favoured individuals, kings, princes, aristocrats, marry, or are married, at the age to which Nature points as fitting. Many of the working class marry young – that is, at the natural period. The virtuous capitalist who at that age makes a habitual use of prostitution dilates unctuously upon the improvidence of the artisan. The student of physiology and economics notes the fact as interesting evidence that not even the frightful capitalistic system has crushed out a normal and righteous instinct. But, with the stratum of society wedged in between these two, unions, as we have just seen, cannot take place as a rule until years after the heyday of youth is passed and passion is on the wane.
All this tells far more on the women than on the men. Society provides, recognises, legalises for the latter the means of gratifying the sex instinct. In the eyes of that same society an unmarried woman who acts after the fashion habitual to her unmarried brothers and the men that dance with her at balls, or work with her in the shop, is a pariah. And even with the working classes who marry at the normal time, the life of the woman under the present system is the more arduous and irksome of the two. The old promise of the legend, in sorrow shalt thou bring forth children, is not only realised, but extended. She has to bring them up through long years, unrelieved by rest, unbrightened by hope, in the same atmosphere of perennial labour and sorrow. The man, worn out as he may be by labour, has the evening in which to do nothing. The woman is occupied until bedtime comes. Often with young children her toil goes far into, or all through, the night.
When marriage has taken place all is in favour of the one and is adverse to the other. Some wonder that John Stuart Mill wrote, Marriage is at the present day the only actual form of serfdom recognised by law. The wonder to us is that he never saw this serfdom as a question, not of sentiment, but of economics, the result of our capitalistic system. After marriage, as before, the woman is under restraint, and the man is not. Adultery in her is a crime, in him a venial offence. He can obtain a divorce, she cannot, on the ground of adultery. She must prove that cruelty (i. e. of a physical kind) has been shown. Marriages thus arranged, thus carried out, with such an attendant train of circumstances and of consequences, seem to us – let us say it with all deliberation – worse than prostitution. To call them sacred or moral is a desecration.
In connexion with the subject of divorce we may note an instance of the self-deception, not only of society and its constituent classes but of individuals. The clergy are ready and willing to marry anybody and everybody, age to youth, vice to virtue, and no questions asked, as a certain class of advertisements put it. Yet the clergy set their faces most sternly against divorce. To protest against such discordant unions as they again and again ratify would be an interference with the liberty of the subject. But to oppose anything that facilitates divorce is a most serious interference with the liberty of the subject. The whole question of divorce, complex in any case, is made more complicated by the fact that it has to be considered, first in relation to the present conditions, second in relation to the socialistic conditions of the future. Many advanced thinkers plead for greater facility of divorce now. They contend that divorce ought to be made at least as easy as marriage; that an engagement entered into by people who have had little or no opportunity of knowing one another ought not to be irrevocably, or even stringently binding; that incompatibility of temper, non-realisation of deep-rooted hopes, actual dislike, should be sufficient grounds for separation; finally, and most important of all, that the conditions of divorce should be the same for the two sexes. All this is excellent, and would be not only feasible but just, if – but mark the if – the economic positions of the two sexes were the same. They are not the same. Hence, whilst agreeing with every one of these ideas theoretically, we believe that they would, practically applied under our present system, result, in the majority of cases, in yet further injustice to women. The man would be able to take advantage of them; the woman would not, except in the rare instances where she had private property or some means of livelihood. The annulling of the union would be to him freedom; to her, starvation for herself and her children.
We may be asked, will these same principles of divorce hold under the socialistic regime? Our answer is this-the union between men and women, to be explained in the sequel, will be seen to be of such a nature as wholly to obviate the necessity of divorce.
Upon our treatment of the last two points, where we consider the future, we expect more hostile judgement than on anything that has gone before. To both of these points passing reference has already been made. The first is the sex instinct. To us, the whole of the method adopted by society in dealing with this is fatally wrong. It is wrong from the very beginning. Our children are constantly silenced when they ask about the begetting and the birth of offspring. The question is as natural as one about the beats of the heart or the movements of respiration. The one ought to be answered as readily and as clearly as the others. Perhaps there may be a time in the very young life when an explanation of any physiological fact in answer to a question would not be understood, though we are not prepared to define that time. There can never be a time when falsehood should be taught about any function of the body. As our boys and girls grow up, the whole subject of sex relations is made a mystery and a shame. This is the reason why an undue and unhealthy curiosity is begotten to them. The mind becomes excessively concentrated upon them, remains long unsatisfied, or Incompletely satisfied – passes into a morbid condition. To us, it seems that the reproductive organs ought to be discussed as frankly, as freely, between parents and children as the digestive. The objection to this is but a form of the vulgar prejudice against the teaching of physiology, a prejudice that found its truest expression in a recent letter from a parent to a School Board mistress. Please, don’t teach my girl anything about her inside. It does her no good, and which it is rude. How many of us have suffered from the suggestio falsi or the suppressio veri in this matter, due to parents, or teachers, or even servants? Let us each honestly ask ourselves from whose lips, under what circumstances, did we first learn the truth about parentage. And yet it is a truth which, having to do with the birth of little children, we cannot err in calling sacred. In how many cases was it from the mother who had the holiest right to teach-a right acquired by suffering?
Nor can we admit that to speak honestly to children on these matters is to injure them. Let us quote Bebel, who in his turn quotes Mrs. Isabella Beecher Hooker. “In order to satisfy the constant questionings of her little boy of eight, with regard to his origin, and to avoid telling him fables, which she regarded as unmoral, she told him the whole truth. The child listened with the greatest attention, and from the day on which he had heard what pain and anxiety he had caused his mother, clung to her with an entirely new tenderness and reverence. The same reverence he had shown also towards other women.” To us at least one woman is known who has told all her children the whole truth. The children have for her a love and reverence altogether deeper than, and different from, that which they had before.
With the false shame and false secrecy, against which we protest, goes the unhealthy separation of the sexes that begins as children quit the nursery, and only ends when the dead men and women are laid in the common earth. In the Story of an African Farm, the girl Lyndall cries out, “We were equals once, when we lay new-born babies on our nurses’ knees. We shall be equals again when they tie up our jaws for the last sleep.” In the schools this separation is carried out, and even in some churches the system, with all its suggestiveness, is in vogue. Its worst form is, of course, in the non-human institutions called monasteries and nunneries. But all the less virulent forms of the same evil are, only in less degree, non-human.
In ordinary society even, the restrictions laid upon the intercourse of the sexes are, like repressive measures with school-boys, the source of much mischief. These restrictions are especially dangerous in regard to conversational subjects. Every man sees the consequence of this, though he may not know it as a consequence, in the kind of talk that goes on in the smoking-rooms of middle and upper class society. Only when men and women pure-minded, or, at least, striving after purity, discuss the sexual question in all its bearings, as free human beings, looking frankly into each other’s faces, will there be any hope of its solution. With this, as we are constantly iterating, must go the understanding that the basis of the whole matter is economic. Mary Wollstonecraft, in the Rights of Woman, taught, in part, this commingling of the sexes, instead of the separation of them throughout life. She demanded that women should have equal educational advantages, should be educated in the same schools and colleges with men; that from infancy to adult age the two should be trained side by side. This demand is a sore thorn in the flesh of Mr. J. C. Jeaffreson in his latest compilation.
Two extreme forms of the distinction of the sexes that spring from this their separation are, as Bebel points out, the effeminate man and masculine woman. These are two types from which even the average person recoils with a perfectly natural horror of the unnatural. For reasons that have been indicated more than once, the former is less bequent than the latter. But these two types do not exhaust the list of diseased forms due to our unnatural dealing with the sex relations. That morbid virginity, of which mention has already been made, is another. Lunacy is a fourth. Suicide is a fifth. As to these last two, a few figures in the one case and a reminder in the other. The reminder first. Most women suicides are between the ages of sixteen and twenty-one. Many of these, of course, are due to the pregnancy which our social system drags down to the level of a crime. But others are due to ungratified sex instincts, often concealed under the euphemism disappointed love. Here are a few lunacy numbers, taken from p. 47 of the English translation of Bebel: – Hanover, 1881, 1 lunatic to 457 unmarried, 1 lunatic to 1,316 married inhabitants; Saxony, 260 unmarried lunatics to a million unmarried sane women, 125 married lunatics to a million married sane; Prussia, in 1882, to every 10,000 inhabitants 32.2 unmarried male lunatics, 9.5 married male lunatics, 29.3 female unmarried lunatics, 9.5 married female lunatics.
It is time for men and women to recognise that the slaying of sex is always followed by disaster. Extreme passion is ill. But the opposite extreme of the sacrifice of healthy natural instinct is as ill. They that are in extremity of either are abominable fellows, is as true in this connection as of melancholy and over-mirth when Rosalind railed at them in the Forest of Arden. And yet thousands of women pass, through what hell-fires they only know, to the Moloch of our social system; thousands of women are defrauded, month after month, year after year, of their unreturning May-time. Hence we – and with us, in this, at all events, most Socialists – contend that chastity is unhealthy and unholy. Always understanding by chastity the entire suppression of all instincts connected with the begetting of children, we regard chastity as a crime. As with all crimes, the criminal is not the individual sufferer, but the society that forces her to sin and to suffer. Here we are at one with Shelley. In his Notes to Queen Mab we have the following passage: – “Chastity is a monkish and evangelical superstition, a greater foe to natural temperance even than unintellectual sensuality; for it strikes at the root of all domestic happiness, and consigns more than half of the human race to misery, that some few may monopolise according to law.” Finally, in this most important connexion, we call to mind the accumulated medical testimony to the fact that women suffer more than men under these restraints.
Our other point, before we pass to the concluding portion of this article, is that necessary result of our today system – prostitution. This evil is, as we have said, recognised, and it is legalised, in some European countries. All that we need add here is the truism that its chief supporters are of the middle class. The aristocracy are not, of course, excepted; but the mainstay of the hideous system is the respectable, well-to-do, most seeming-virtuous capitalist. This is not due only to the great accumulation of wealth and the consequent habits of luxury. The significant fact is that in a society based upon capital, whose centre is therefore the capitalistic middle class, prostitution, one of the worst outcomes of that society, is supported chiefly by that very class. This points clearly the moral that once again, under a new form, we urge. That which might be said on the special cases which the Pall Mall Gazette has made familiar to us applies to prostitution generally. To get rid of prostitution, we must get rid of the social conditions that are its parent. Midnight meetings, refuges for the distressed, all the well-meant attempts to grapple with this awful problem are, as their initiators despairingly admit, futile. And futile they will remain as long as the system of production lasts which, creating a surplus labour-population, creates with this, criminal men, and women that are very literally and sadly abandoned. Get rid of this, the capitalistic system of production, say the Socialists, and prostitution will pass away.
This leads us to our last point. What is it that we as Socialists desire? What is it that we expect? What is that of whose coming we feel as assured as of the rising of tomorrow’s sun? What are the evolution changes in society that we believe are already close at hand? And what are the changes in the condition of woman that we anticipate as consequence of these? Let us disclaim all intention of the prophetic. He that, reasoning on a series of observed phenomena, sees the inevitable event to which they lead is no prophet. A man cannot prophesy any more than he has a right to wager, about a certainty. To us it seems clear that as in England the Germanic society, whose basis was the free landholder, gave way to the feudal system, and this to the capitalistic, so this last, no more eternal than its predecessors, will give way to the Socialistic system; that as slavery passed into serfdom, and serfdom into the wage-slavery Of today, so this last will pass into the condition where all the means of production will belong neither to slave-owner, nor to serf’s lord, nor to the wage-slave’s master, the capitalist, but to the community as a whole. At the risk of raising the habitual smile and sneer, we confess that into every detail of that Socialistic working of society we are no more prepared to enter than were the first capitalists to enter into the details of the system that they founded. Nothing is more common, nothing is more unjust, nothing is more indicative of meagre understanding, than the vulgar clamour for exact details of things under the social condition towards which we believe the world is moving. No expounder of any new great truth, no one of his followers, can hope to work out all the truth into its ultimate ramifications. That would have been thought of those who rejected the gravitation discovery of Newton because he had not, by application of it, found out Neptune? Or of those who rejected the Darwinian theory of Natural Selection because instinct presented certain difficulties? Yet this is precisely what the average opponents of Socialism do; always with a vacuous calmness, ignoring the fact that for every difficulty or misery they suppose will arise from the socialisation of the means of production a score worse are actually existent in the putrescent society of today.
What is it that we feel certain is coming? We have wandered so far from Bebel along our own lines of thought, at the entrance of whose ways his suggestive work has generally placed us, that for the answer to this question we return gladly and gratefully to him, “A society in which all the means of production are the property of the community, a society which recognises the full equality of all without distinction of sex, which provides for the application of every kind of technical and scientific improvement or discovery, which enrolls as workers all those who are at present unproductive, or whose activity assumes an injurious shape, the idlers and the drones, and which, while it minimises the period of labour necessary for its support, raises the mental and physical condition of all its members to the highest attainable pitch.”
We disguise neither from ourselves nor from our antagonists that the first step to this is the expropriation of all private property in land and in all other means of production. With this would happen the abolition of the State as it now is. No confusion as to our aims is more common than that which leads woolly thinking people to imagine that the changes we desire can be brought about, and the conditions subsequent upon them can exist, under a State regime such as that of today. The State is now a force-organisation for the maintenance of the present conditions of property and of social rule. Its representatives are a few middle and upper class men contending for places yielding abnormal salaries. The State under Socialism, if indeed a word of such ugly historical associations is retained will be the organised capacity of a community of workers. Its officials will be no better and no worse off than their fellows. The divorce between art and labour, the antagonism between head and hand work, that grieves the souls of artists, without their knowing in most cases the economic cause of their grief, will vanish.
And now comes the question as to how the future position of woman, and therefore of the race, will be affected by all this. Of one or two things we may be very sure. Others the evolution of society alone will decide positively, though every one of us may have his own idea upon each particular point. Clearly there will be equality for all, without distinction of sex. Thus, woman will be independent: her education and all other opportunities as those of man. Like him, she, if sound in mind and body (and how the number of women thus will grow!) will have to give her one, two, or three hours of social labour to supply the wants of the community, and therefore of herself. Thereafter she will be free for art or science, or teaching or writing, or amusement in any form. Prostitution will have vanished with the economic conditions that made it, and make it at this hour, a necessity.
Whether monogamy or polygamy will obtain in the Socialistic state is a detail on which one can only speak as an individual. The question is too large to be solved within the mists and miasmata of the capitalistic system. Personally, we believe that monogamy will gain the day. There are approximately equal numbers of men and women, and the highest ideal seems to be the complete, harmonious, lasting blending of two human lives. Such an ideal, almost never attainable today, needs at least four things. These are love, respect, intellectual likeness, and command of the necessities of life. Each of these four is far more possible under the system towards which we move than under that in which we now have our being.The last is absolutely ensured to all. As Ibsen makes Helmer say to Nora, “Home life ceases to be free and beautiful directly its foundations are borrowing and debts.” But borrowing and debts, when one is a member of community, and not an isolated man fighting for his own hand, can never come. Intellectual likeness. The same education for men and women; the bringing up of these twain side by side, until they join hands at last, will ensure a greater degree of this. That objectionable product of capitalism, Tennyson’s In Memoriam young woman, with her “I cannot understand, I love,” will be a myth. Every one will have learnt that there can be no love without understanding. And the love and respect that are wanting, or are lost today, because of sins and shortcomings, the product of the commercial system of society, will be more easily forthcoming, and vanish almost never. The contract between man and woman will be of a purely private nature, without the intervention of any public functionary. The woman will no longer be the man’s slave, but his equal. For divorce there will be no need.
And whether we are right or not in regarding monogamy as the best form of society, we may be sure that the best form will be chosen, and that by wisdoms riper and richer than ours. We may be equally sure that the choice will not be the barter-marriages, with its one-sided polygamy, of our own sad time. Above all, we may be sure, that two great curses that help, with others, to ruin the relations between man and woman will have passed. Those curses are the treatment of men and women as different beings, and the want of truth. There will no longer be one law for the woman and one for the man. If the coming society, like European society today, regards it as right for man to have mistresses as well as wife, we may be certain that the like freedom will be extended to women. Nor will there be the hideous disguise, the constant lying that makes the domestic life of almost all our English homes an organised hypocrisy. Whatever the matured and deliberate opinion of the community finds best will be carried out fairly, openly. Husband and wife will be able to do that which but few can do now-look clear through one another’s eyes into one another’s hearts. For ourselves, we believe that the cleaving of one man to one woman will be best for all, and that these will find each in the heart of the other, that which is in the eyes, their own image.” Eleanor Marx, “Karl Marx,” an obituary; 1883 , and Eleanor Marx and Edward Aveling, The Woman Question
Numero Tres—“Petitioner, a professional baseball player ‘traded’ to another club without his previous knowledge or consent, brought this antitrust suit after being refused the right to make his own contract with another major league team, which is not permitted under the reserve system. The District Court rendered judgment in favor of respondents, and the Court of Appeals affirmed.
Held: The longstanding exemption of professional baseball from the antitrust laws, Federal Baseball Club v. National League, 259 U. S. 200 (1922); Toolson v. New York Yankees, Inc., 346 U. S. 356 (1953), is an established aberration, in the light of the Court’s holding that other interstate professional sports are not similarly exempt, but one in which Congress has acquiesced, and that is entitled to the benefit of stare decisis. Removal of the resultant inconsistency at this late date is a matter for legislative, not judicial, resolution. Pp. 407 U. S. 269-285.
443 F.2d 264, affirmed.
BLACKMUN, J., delivered the opinion of the Court, in which STEWART and REHNQUIST, JJ., joined, and in all but Part I of which BURGER, C.J., and WHITE, J., joined. BURGER, C.J., filed a concurring opinion, post, p. 407 U. S. 285. DOUGLAS, J., post, p. 407 U. S. 286, and MARSHALL, J., post, p. 407 U. S. 288, filed dissenting opinions, in which BRENNAN, J., joined. POWELL, J., took no part in the consideration or decision of the case.
MR. JUSTICE BLACKMUN delivered the opinion of the Court.
For the third time in 50 years, the Court is asked specifically to rule that professional baseball’s reserve system is within the reach of the federal antitrust laws. [Footnote 1]
Collateral issues of state law and of federal labor policy are also advanced.
It is a century and a quarter since the New York Nine defeated the Knickerbockers 23 to 1 on Hoboken’s Elysian Fields June 19, 1846, with Alexander Jay Cartwright as the instigator and the umpire. The teams were amateur, but the contest marked a significant date in baseball’s beginnings. That early game led ultimately to the development of professional baseball and its tightly organized structure.
The Cincinnati Red Stockings came into existence in 1869 upon an outpouring of local pride. With only one Cincinnatian on the payroll, this professional team traveled over 11,000 miles that summer, winning 56 games and tying one. Shortly thereafter, on St. Patrick’s Day in 1871, the National Association of Professional Baseball Players was founded and the professional league was born.
The ensuing colorful days are well known. The ardent follower and the student of baseball know of General Abner Doubleday; the formation of the National League in 1876; Chicago’s supremacy in the first year’s competition under the leadership of Al Spalding and with Cap Anson at third base; the formation of the American Association and then of the Union Association in the 1880’s; the introduction of Sunday baseball; inter-league warfare with cut-rate admission prices and player raiding; the development of the reserve “clause”; the emergence in 1885 of the Brotherhood of Professional Ball Players, and in 1890 of the Players League; the appearance of the American League, or “junior circuit,” in 1901, rising from the minor Western Association; the first World Series in 1903, disruption in 1904, and the Series’ resumption in 1905; the short-lived Federal League on the majors’ scene during World War I years; the troublesome and discouraging episode of the 1919 Series; the home run ball; the shifting of franchises; the expansion of the leagues; the installation in 1965 of the major league draft of potential new players; and the formation of the Major League Baseball Players Association in 1966. [Footnote 2]
Then there are the many names, celebrated for one reason or another, that have sparked the diamond and its environs and that have provided tinder for recaptured thrills, for reminiscence and comparisons, and for conversation and anticipation in-season and off-season: Ty Cobb, Babe Ruth, Tris Speaker, Walter Johnson, Henry Chadwick, Eddie Collins, Lou Gehrig, Grover Cleveland Alexander, Rogers Hornsby, Harry Hooper, Goose Goslin, Jackie Robinson, Honus Wagner, Joe McCarthy, John McGraw, Deacon Phillippe, Rube Marquard, Christy Mathewson, Tommy Leach, Big Ed Delahanty, Davy Jones, Germany Schaefer, King Kelly, Big Dan Brouthers, Wahoo Sam Crawford, Wee Willie Keeler, Big Ed Walsh, Jimmy Austin, Fred Snodgrass, Satchel Paige, Hugh Jennings, Fred Merkle, Iron Man McGinnity, Three-Finger Brown, Harry and Stan Coveleski, Connie Mack, Al Bridwell, Red Ruffing, Amos Rusie, Cy Young, Smokey Joe Wood, Chief Meyers, Chief Bender, Bill Klem, Hans Lobert, Johnny Evers, Joe Tinker, Roy Campanela, Miller Huggins, Rube Bressler, Dazzy Vance, Edd Roush, Bill Wambsganess, Clark Griffith, Branch Rickey, Frank Chance, Cap Anson, Nap Lajoie, Sad Sam Jones, Bob O’Farrell, Lefty O’Doul, Bobby Veach, Willie Kamm, Heinie Groh, Lloyd and Paul Waner, Stuffy McInnis, Charles Comiske, Roger Bresnahan, Bill Dickey, Zack Wheat, George Sisler, Charlie Gehringer, Eppa Rixey, Harry Heilmann, Fred Clarke, Dizzy Dean, Hank Greenberg, Pie Traynor, Rube Waddell, Bill Terry, Carl Hubbell, Old Hoss Radbourne, Moe Berg, Rabbit Maranville, Jimmie Foxx, Lefty Grove. [Footnote 3] The list seems endless.
And one recalls the appropriate reference to the “World Serious,” attributed to Ring Lardner, Sr.; Ernest L. Thayer’s “Casey at the Bat”; [Footnote 4] the ring of “Tinker to Evers to Chance”; [Footnote 5] and all the other happenings, habits, and superstitions about and around baseball that made it the “national pastime” or, depending upon the point of view, “the great American tragedy.” [Footnote 6]
The petitioner, Curtis Charles Flood, born in 1938, began his major league career in 1956 when he signed a contract with the Cincinnati Reds for a salary of $4,000 for the season. He had no attorney or agent to advise him on that occasion. He was traded to the St. Louis Cardinals before the 1958 season. Flood rose to fame as a center fielder with the Cardinals during the years 1958-1969. In those 12, seasons he compiled a batting average of .293. His best offensive season was 1967, when he achieved .335. He was .301 or better in six of the 12 St. Louis years. He participated in the 1964, 1967, and 1968 World Series. He played errorless ball in the field in 1966, and once enjoyed 223 consecutive errorless games. Flood has received seven Golden Glove Awards. He was co-captain of his team from 1965-1969. He ranks among the 10 major league outfielders possessing the highest lifetime fielding averages.
Flood’s St. Louis compensation for the years shown was:
1961 $13,500 (including a bonus for signing)
These figures do not include any so-called fringe benefits or World Series shares.
But, at the age of 31, in October, 1969, Flood was traded to the Philadelphia Phillies of the National League in a multi-player transaction. He was not consulted about the trade. He was informed by telephone and received formal notice only after the deal had been consummated. In December, he complained to the Commissioner of Baseball and asked that he be made a free agent and be placed at liberty to strike his own bargain with any other major league team. His request was denied.
Flood then instituted this antitrust suit [Footnote 7] in January, 1970, in federal court for the Southern District of New York. The defendants (although not all were named in each cause of action) were the Commissioner of Baseball, the presidents of the two major leagues, and the 24 major league clubs. In general, the complaint charged violations of the federal antitrust laws and civil rights statutes, violation of state statutes and the common law, and the imposition of a form of peonage and involuntary servitude contrary to the Thirteenth Amendment and 42 U.S.C. § 1994, 18 U.S.C. § 1581, and 29 U.S.C. §§ 102 and 103. Petitioner sought declaratory and injunctive relief and treble damages.” Flood v. Kuhn, 407 U.S. 258(1972)