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gressivism and After — makes a wider appeal. It is a serious effort to think out the future developments of the political movements which seem to possess the greatest vitality at present: an effort, in other words, to forecast the changes in social organization which may be expected to occur within the next generation.
In brief, Mr. Walling thinks the proximate future belongs to three parties: the Progressives, the Labor Party, and the Socialists. The Progressives, now on the point of achieving political control, will establish a form of State Capitalism. Under this regime the Labor Party, dominated by the aristocracy of labor, will gradually acquire the balance of power and convert State Capitalism into State Socialism. Then, after a time, the Socialist Party, representing the laboring masses, will come into its own and be able to set up a truly Socialistic State. This whole series of transformations will probably occur within the next quarter century (p. xxxii). It is this last prophecy many of us in middle life will see the inauguration of socialism which lends an almost sensational interest to Mr. Walling's analysis and gives a personal tang to our curiosity about the grounds on which it rests.
Progressivism means to Mr. Walling not only the movement led by Mr. Roosevelt, but also that led by President Wilson. In England it is known as the Liberal Party; in Australia, Germany, France, and Italy it exists under various names. But everywhere the gist of the movement is the same: an effort on the part of small capitalists to check what they regard as the abuses of large capitalists. The measures now in process of enactment toward this end are primarily governmental regulation of "Big Business," the imposi
1 Progressivism and After. By William English Walling. New York, The Macmillan Company, 1914. 8°, pp. xxxv +486.
tion of super-taxes on large incomes, and the like. But the policy is bound to develop in the direction of a thorogoing scientific reorganization of industry by government. There is a limit, however, beyond which these reforms will not go so long as the mass of business men, farmers, and professional people remain in control. Those reforms will be adopted which pay the small capitalist interests, and those only. Among such reforms will be government ownership of monopolies, of fundamental industries like the railways, and of the large-scale industries providing consumers' necessities (for the small capitalists are keenly concerned to keep down the cost of living). State Capitalism will also secure the "conservation of labor " as the most important of natural resources. It will go in for "scientific management," minimum wages, industrial schooling, housing reform, mothers' pensions, and the like. In all this the government will regard laborers as machines in which enormous sums can be profitably invested; but it is misleading to call this approaching regime “the Servile State" as Belloc has done, for one of the points about which scientific management will become perfectly clear is that laborers are after all human machines and work most efficiently when they have a large measure of freedom. Accordingly, the masses will be not only much better off, but also much freer under State Capitalism than they are at present, their gains will not be allowed to trench upon profits, that is all.
It is partly through this extension of democracy that State Capitalism will be gradually transformed into State Socialism. All the non-capitalist classes will be striving for power, and the aristocracy of labor will hold a strategic position between the masses and the ruling class. Organized in the Labor Party they will utilize this position, not to introduce genuine socialism, but
to gain special privileges for themselves. Their triumph will be hastened by recruits from the smallcapitalist class. For State Capitalism will favor an increase in the number of independent business men, but will not be able to prevent an increase of insolvencies, and the bankrupts will favor a state guarantee of incomes rather than a precarious dependence upon profits. In agriculture, also, State Capitalism will be compelled by its interest in cheap food to discourage inefficient farmers. In its own despite, it will drive many unsuccessful farmers into the arms of the Labor Party.
When these changes have put the Labor Party into power, it will seek to entrench the position of the privileged wage- and salary-earners who make its dominant factor. It will abolish the rule of capitalists in government and industry, it will extend the list of publiclyoperated enterprises materially, it will nourish the laboring masses still more carefully, it will leave only one special privilege standing. But that one is "the greatest of inequalities and the worst injustice "— namely, practical exclusion of the children of the masses from the expensive training needed to share in the work and the advantages of the aristocracy of labor (p. 193).
We can already see the beginnings of that contest within the ranks of labor between the unskilled and the skilled which is destined to become the central issue of politics under State Socialism. And this contest can have no other outcome than complete democracy which by that time will mean genuinely equal educational opportunities for the children of all classes. For the more scientific becomes the organization of industry, the more damage can the unsatisfied masses do by practising sabotage and calling intermittent mass strikes. The more equal becomes the distribution of wealth, the less will the ruling class have to fear from
the final step. The more society experiments with the advantages of training the talented children of wageearners, the higher will it rate the prospective advantages of granting even the children of the unskilled all the education by which they can profit.
Now this is no place to argue the plausibility of Mr. Walling's forecast at large; but it is the place to consider the concept of human nature on which it rests. The reader must have noticed both that this concept is very different from that held by Thorndike, Wallas, Veblen, Sombart and Lippmann, and that it is very like the concept implicitly held by most economic theorists. For Mr. Walling's expectations are tacitly based on the assumption that the factor controlling political behavior today and tomorrow is a clear apprehension of economic self-interest and a firm determination to follow it. Indeed, Mr. Walling's fundamental amendment of orthodox Marxism carries economic determinism further than most socialists will go. He smashes the romantic notion of working-class solidarity by applying the "economic and class interpretation ... to the constituent elements of the Socialist Party " (p. 240). Quite in the spirit of the classical economists, he makes place in his system for only one set of limitations upon the pursuit of economic self-interest - the limitations of ignorance; and he holds that even these limitations will decline rapidly as education extends. He imputes to the unskilled laboring masses of the future a mobility greater than that imputed by Ricardo to capital (p. 296). Even so sentimental a matter as patriotism. gets reduced in his analysis to business elements (chapter XV). In fact, the only set of people in Mr. Walling's
1 One sentence might be construed to mean something different from economic determinism: "when we look for the motive behind the political act and its immediate guiding principle we find with Wells (in his New Macchiavelli) that it is prompted by interests and habits, not ideas.'" Of course in psychology "interests means some
book who are not guided by enlightened self-interest are the members of the present Socialist parties. They are not" as well-informed and aggressive in defending their interests as pure democracy and Socialism require.
And so the Party machinery is used almost as much to bring the Party to follow its leaders, who follow the non-Socialist public, as it is used to persuade the nonSocialist public to follow the Party" (p. 221).
It is a suggestive fact that Mr. Walling has a long and intimate acquaintance with the doings of the Socialist party in America. If he could know as well the Progressives, the conservative wings of the Republican and Democratic Parties, the Labor Party, and the Socialists of the future, would he not find that they too lack clearness of vision and singleness of purpose? His brother socialist, Mr. Lippmann, says shortly, “No genuine politician ever treats his constituents as reasoning animals." If our social psychologists are not wholly mistaken, we may add: No political theorist should treat human beings as calculating machines. In short, I think Mr. Walling's book is an excellent piece of "pure theory." But" pure theory" is an even more fallible guide to what we may expect from political evolution than to what we may expect from business activities.
There can be no question," wrote a distinguished psychologist in 1909, "that the lack of practical recognition of psychology by the workers in the social sciences has been in the main due to its deficiencies. The department of psychology that is of primary
thing very different from what it means in economics. But I fear Mr. Walling confused the two meanings for a moment. Judging from the book as a whole, "interests means material advantages.
1 A Preface to Politics, p. 217.