52 THE CLASS STRUGGLE whereas we have always been and still are the custodians of personal and political liberty to a far greater extent than can be appreciated by the other less fortunate peoples. The correctness or incorrectness of this view must have a very material bearing on all that is to follow, so we shall be obliged to investigate the merits of the preceding general statements by testing their applicability to the American government and the American people.
It can hardly be questioned, to begin with, that our system of production is a perfect specimen of capitalism, and therefore of the inherent antagonism between capital and labor. Then we cannot very well avoid the conclusion that the owning or capitalist class contains the bulk of those individuals who have the time and the facilities for continuous political activity and manage ment with or without pay. It ought to be equally correct to conclude that, as the wage earners efiorts are preempted by industry to the fullest extent before becoming available for political activity, the working class contains a minimum of members fitted by their industrial situation to carry on continuous political action.
If, now, in spite of this industrial foundation, the government represents the people of its territory and not merely the interests of the industrial ruling class, our next step must be to examine that government and its operations.
In theory the people are represented through their voting power plus the various safeguards that go with it, such as the secret ballot, etc. That is the concrete or visible government.
But even we have not been oblivious to the fact for some time past that there is also an invisible government, for the term invisible government is in fact an American discovery. he invisible regime is not an institution operated on the wage system, but implies voluntary association and membership; its activity does not depend on fiXecl dates for elections, and therefore operates at any and all times between elections as desired. Its ramifications are social as well as industrial, including all forms of political action not included directly in popular elections, such as merchants associations, political and economic clubs and societies, etc, etc. These agencies are not simply accessory to public elections, but are in touch with executive and legislative workings POLITICAL MAJORITIES 53 at any and all times and places; they are in a position to study and investigate daily what is being done, and to recommend what is to be done from time to time, either to the President or to Congress or to the Legislature, etc. Thus by the very nature of its facilities and interests the invisible government is quite a power behind the throne.
If the membership is voluntary and unpaid then it must be recruited from the industrial ruling class, whose adherents alone can qualify in these respects. This does not exclude candidates without money, for the political organizations are a big power in the distribution of employment, and welcome those who are useful and ambitious in the right way. It is agreed or rather implied that division of spoils shall be the basis of operation and co operation and that those who come without money shall assist those with capital to secure the spoils to be divided. In short the propertyless membership is parasitic in its morality towards the capitalists interest, which are adopted and accepted by all alike as basic.
The invisible government is organized and is a going concern in continuous operation. The voting public is unorganized. But the executive work to be done by the real visible government must depend on the selection of functionaries through knowledge of the capacity and qualifications of persons so chosen or ap pointed, based on a close acquaintance with their most recent activity as well as their past accomplishments. slate of this character cannot be put together by an unorganized voting public whose activity is intermittent instead of continuous; the result is that the invisible regime furnishes the functionaries to the visible government. What the public really does in this connection when it votes is to nominate the successful entry from among the several candidates submitted by competing capitalist groups or parties. But aside from the functionaries of the government, we have still to consider its functions; these are supposed to be for the benefit of the entire territorial population and not a particular class, if not in practice at least in theory.
What is the province of government? As currently defined, to maintain law and order. But if the industrial regime contained