66 THE CLASS STIRUGG LE The most important of the large industrial branches could be brought, easily, into national ownership. This could be done, without difﬁculty with the direct war industry.
The question of employment for the returning soldiers, too, would be solved for the Bourgeoisie. The danger that threatens, when great rebellious masses call for work, bread, assistance, could thus be averted, by drafting them immediately into the war industries, and then, gradually, as conditions in private industry become more settled, dismiss them from military service.
Other advantages, too, might arise from such a plan. In the ﬁrst place production would be greatly cheapened, by the exclusion of all middlemen. Everyone realizes how much could be saved by government organization of production. All technical and organizational improvements of the war period would be applied. It would do away with the problem of unemployment insurance. Wages could be regulated; for against this powerful employer labor unions would be powerless, even if they were permitted to exist. It would mean for the workers increased dependence; would mean greater curtailment of their personal freedom, than was possible under private ownership. National ownership of large branches of industry is synonymous with their militarization. Unquestionably, the ruling class fears the day after the war, when military dictatorship, war laws, press censorship and the state of siege have become things of the past. The militarization of the national industrial forces will present itself as the most eﬁective means of keeping great masses in harness, and curbing their desire for politicalppposition.
To the proletariat this state socialism can mean only an aggravation of its sufferings and increased pressure upon the burden of life. Notwithstanding this, it is to he expected that a large part of our Social Democracy will not oppose this plan but will lend it its heartiest support. Their old ideals make them the prisoners of this new system of national exploitation.
Even before the war every proposal to pluck the consumers by new monopolies was heralded as a beginning of socialism, which deserved our heartiest support! Socialism is not based upon THE CLASS STRUGGLE 67 national ownership, but upon the strength, the might of the 970 Maria. In the past the conceptions of socialism and state industries have been hopelessly confused in the minds of our Social Denmaacy; in the future, this party will face the state socialist plans for the increased enslavement of the working class, with neither mental weapons nor a clearly deﬁned attitude.
To the revolutionary wing of the socialist movement belongs the duty to strike the ﬁrst blow at these new and dangerous shackles upon the proletarians. The ﬁght against slat: socialism will bring in its wake a radical clariﬁcation of ideas concerning the relations between the proletariat and the new imperialism.
It will usher in a period of new, practical conﬂict. As the new, imperialistic state more and more unmistakably assumes the guise of oppressor and exploiter the proletariat will see in the nation its great enemy, against whom it must ﬁght, before all others, by means of mass action. And the Kautsky tradition, that we must preserve the state in order to use it for our own purposes, will be practically shattered. third cause of coming oppression and new conﬂict will come to the working class out of the war. The nations of Europe will emerge from this war burdened with enormous debts. War loan has followed war loan, until the war debts of the belligerent nations amount, already, to more than two hundred billions. National economists and statesmen everywhere are asking the question: Where shall we raise the billions necessary to pay the interest? Where can we raise new taxes. In the parliaments, in spite of civil peace, class is ﬁghting class, on the tax question.
Every class tries to push the burden OH on to the shoulders of the other; yet they all know that all must suﬂ er, that it is at best but a question of who shall assume the greater, and who the lesser burden.
The social democrats consequently, with the exception of logical social imperialists of the Cunow type, have reiterated their resolutions against indirect taxation, and insist that the burden of war be born by the possessing classes. Unquestionably they are right, when they maintain that the masses cannot hear added burdens,