THE CLASS STRUGGLE no antagonisms and if it took care of all by satisfying the inter ests and needs of each, then law and order would be inherent in the harmony of industry. The co ordinated action of the various industrial spheres would be about the extent of government required.
However, industry with its present class control does not operate harmoniously, it develops antagonisms which means that it conflicts with the interests of some of its members. These excluded or oppressed members range all the way from criminals and insane to social revolutionaries.
Therefore the function of government is to maintain the law and order that industry needs and does not maintain; in other words, the government must maintain the continuity of produc tion of which law and order are regarded as the necessary means.
This is the true essential of government, without which no c0untry can exist.
But our government is not a scrap of paper, it is a living institution and it can only maintain that law and order which its executives are capable of understanding by previous training and present psychology. It will therefore regard the existing industrial regime as the means of maintaining the continuity of production and will oppose those contraryminded, by suppression or punishment, to whatever extent may be considered necessary. Our government performs these functions as faithfully as any other, so it would seem that the American notion of the relation of government to society in America is not a peculiarly American truth, but a distinctly American error.
It is true that where there is no political equality in government like in Germany, the ruling class or caste declares and executes its purposes in a way that is so raw and repulsive that it leaves the most intense animus in its wake. But it is nevertheless the form of which capitalism is the substance. That such a form cannot be tolerated for a moment goes without saying, but the tact remains that the capitalist contents must be the object of attack, not only where the form is at its worst, but everywhere and at ali times.
POLITICAL MAJORITIES 55 Neither does our recent rapid development toward imperialism appear to be less imperialistic or more of a blessing to exploited peoples than in the case of the European nations. The active principle of imperialism is the political support of industrial growth; it is accompanied therefore by the class controlled governmental invasion of the industrial sphere, not in order to democratize the industrial basis of production, but to serve as a more efficient means of expanding the outlet for existing private production, American capital does not free foreign labor or solve the antagonisms of capital and labor any more than other capital. And the political factors that maintain the security of capital and its exploitation in other countries, namely the army and navy, or in other words, our physical power as a territorial whole, in making our capital safe must be making the industrial slavery of the labor in such territory secure. In spreading our capitalism we cannot avoid spreading industrial slavery and creating a very poor basis for industrial and political freedom.
For what freedom are we spreading but the freedom that goes with the success of our capital! Indeed, if that be freedom, then it already exists everywhere or nearly so; if you call a thing freedom in one place, you must call the same thing by the same name anywhere else. The freedom that is being spread by autocratic governments and the freedom of the present political democracies do not differ or disagree in any of the essentials here described.
And it is for this that the American working class is asked to give its blood and labor. It is to be patriotic, not by securing industrial freedom within our political boundaries, but by defending the property and property rights of our capital with its lines of communication all over the world.
Do other capitalist groups ask any more than this, even if they ask no less? Can the American worker attain freedom by helping his capitalist to spread his profit taking across the sea any more than any other worker? Surely if he is to get freedom at all he must get it at home. Then it is time enough to speak of spreading freedom, but in the meantime we cannot spread what we have not got.