168 THE CLASS STRUGGLE Then, too, the method of appeal whether to Feelings or Reason, is a deciding factor.
Socialism did not have the power of bringing before the masses its principles in the first place. Their Affirmations and Repetitions of their principles were very weak. On the other hand Parasitism had unlimited means cartoon, picture, hand bill, in magazine, subway, in bazaar, in concert, in school, in church, the idea was repeated and affirmed again and again that the country was threatened. Thousands of times the instincts were appealed to by the killings by the Bodies but not by the allies. Scrupulously keeping out all adverse stimuli, the volume of repetitions of the idea in the minds of the Parasite powerfully afiected the suggestible mass. Socialism had neither a powerful press nor prestige. Its intellectuals are unknown to untold millions. In sheer amount of aflirmation and repetition of the Socialist idea the fight between it and the parasite idea was not a duel which is fought by equal weapons, but a massacre.
But the very nature of the Socialist appeal made it difficult to reach men minds. Fundamentally it involves the instincts as do the parasitic appeals the instincts of self preservation from parasitism, etc. Yet before one could perceive the illusory nature of time honored ideas, before one could grasp the fact of antagonism of economic interest between classes, one would have to break with custom, reason through facts that continued the IIlusion of Solidarity and the Illusion of Ownership. This means a considerable amount of ratiocination, foreign to crowds and crowd units.
The crowd, it has been shown, reasons by false analogy. The slightest rmemblance camouflages, masks the diflercnces. This the Parasite exploits. Is there not a common possession of language, heredity, etc. between capitalist and worker, ergo, on all matters there is common interest. Is the strip of land in Atria not his even though a trust own it and even though the worker cannot go for a nest there or to cure a tubercular lung?
In the present war have not the Germans come across the sea in a submarine? Is it impossible that they come over here, then?
Have they not conspir to establish a Mittel Europa? Ergo, FORMING WAR PSYCHOSIS 169 they would dominate the world. Socialism to afiect the feelings of solidarity, the instincts of class and self preservation against Parasitic encroachments appeals to the higher centres which in the face of stimuli directly affecting the lower stand very little chance of success.
Another thing favors of Parasitism in the logical duel for possession of the masses consent and opinion. All the cries of the belligerents are not subject to disproof. They are not subject to proof, but that, psychologically, is not important and it leaves room for the most diverse interpretations. Can it be disproved that Germany will not come over here or that America is not endangered? Allow the barest possibility of truth for a cry and like water it will dissolve a huge amount of error and still retain its truthful appearance.
Take the cry, Democracy versus Autocracy. What does it mean? It cannot be denied that if the allies win there will be democratic countries on top. This fact masks three distinct things. First, the purpose, second the method of procedure, and third the result: of the war. The fact that a victory of the allies is a victory of relatively democratic countries makes the means, the purpose and the result all coincide.
Yet the slightest amount of thought will reveal the possibility of their absolute antagonism. To illustrate. thief steals my purse. make a dash after him. As do so hear a thud behind me; the store sign above my head crashes to the ground; my leap after the thug saved my life. Now, the thief had in mind my wallet, not my life; yet the result of his action ended in my escape from injury, while his method was anything but mo. In the World War the intent may be imperialistie, on the part of the Parasites having an economic interest in colonies and commerce. Pleading military necessity, they may crush out all democratic aspirations, freedom of the press, of speech, conscription, etc. and be in a word thoroughly autocratic. Resulting from the war may come several goods woman sutfrage, government ownership of utilities, etc. absolutely unintended as was the Russian Revolution.