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PART I

THE GENERAL POSITION OF THE

SOCIALISTS ON WAR

INCLUDING THEIR ATTITUDE ON RELATED SUBJECTS: NATIONALISM; MILITARISM;

IMPERIALISM

CHAPTER I

QUESTIONS RAISED BY THE PRESENT WAR

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“SOCIALISM never looked better than now” was the title of a much-quoted editorial in the Springfield Republican, shortly after the beginning of the present war. We may paraphrase this slightly and say: “Socialism never interested more people than now.” The reasons are obvious. Socialism is the one great international and popular movement opposed to war. And Socialism is the only philosophy that even promises to do away with the social evils that are now recognized as being the chief causes of wars, namely, commercial competition, the erection of economic barriers between nations, and the cultivation of racial differences for commercial purposes.

Immediately after the war broke out the attitude of the Socialists everywhere began to attract more attention than the attitude of any other class or group. Soon after war was declared it was found that some, though not all, of the Socialist parties had cast their lot with their national governments. Yet, in spite of this apparently contradictory action, public interest in the Socialist position grew greater rather than less. Why did this happen? The war disclosed the fact that a very large part of the public expected the Socialists to take some effective action in this great world crisis. The general public, that is, felt greater confidence in the Socialists' powers than the Socialists themselves had ever felt. When they failed to live up to public expec

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