Pictures of the Socialistic Future

Richter, Eugene
(1838-1906)
BIO
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Editor/Trans.
Henry Wright, trans.
First Pub. Date
1891
Publisher/Edition
London: Swan Sonnenschein & Co., Ltd.
Pub. Date
1907
Comments
Introduction by Thomas Mackay.

Chapter II
THE NEW LAWS.

II.1

ONE hears the most exquisite stories of the scramble there is on the part of the bourgeoisie to get across the frontier. But where are they to go to? Socialism is now dominant in all European countries, with the exception of England and Switzerland. The American steamers are unable to meet the demand there is on them. Those who can once reach the American shores are all right, as the revolution there was very soon quelled, and all hope of success cut off for a long time to come. Let all such plunderers clear out, say I. It is a good thing that, thanks to the suddenness with which the revolution came at last, they have not been able to take much with them. All State bonds, mortgages, shares, bills, and bank-notes have been declared void. These bourgeois gentry may as well at once begin papering the walls of their ship cabins with this trumpery. All landed and house property, means of communication, machinery, tools, stores, and such like, have been impounded for the benefit of the new socialistic State.

II.2

The Onward, which has hitherto been the leading organ of our party, now takes the place of the old Imperial Advertiser, and it is delivered at every house free of cost. All printing establishments having now become the property of the State, all the other papers have, as a matter of course, ceased to appear. In all other towns a local edition of the Onward is issued with a sheet of local matter for each separate place. Provisionally, and until such time as a new Parliament shall have been elected, the conduct of affairs is in the hands of the socialistic members of the late Parliament, who, in the shape of a Committee of Government, have to decide on those numerous laws it will be necessary to enact in order to establish the new era.

II.3

The old party programme which was settled upon at the Erfurt Conference in 1891, has been promulgated as an outline of the fundamental rights of the people. This promulgation proclaims that all capital, property, mines and quarries, machinery, means of communication, and all possessions whatever, have henceforth become the sole property of the State, or as it is now better called, the Community. Another decree sets forth the universal obligation there is on all persons to work; and all such persons, whether male or female, from the age of 21 to 65 years, are to enjoy precisely the same rights. Those who are below 21 years of age will be educated at the expense of the State, whilst those who are above 65 will be maintained in a similar manner. All private enterprise and productivity have, of course, ceased. Pending, however, the new regulations as to supply, all persons are to retain their old posts, and to go on working for the State, as their master. Each person has to render an inventory of all such things as may have remained to him after the embargo just spoken of; things which some might be tempted to regard as private property, such as furniture, old clothes, bank-notes, and the like. In particular, coins of all kinds are to be delivered up. New money certificates are shortly to be issued.

II.4

The new Government, thanks to the smart Chancellor at its head, proceeds with no less energy than directness of purpose. Every precaution in the first place is to be taken against any possibility of capital ever regaining its old ascendency. The army is disbanded; no taxes will be collected, as the Government proposes to raise that which is required for public purposes out of the revenue yielded by State trade transactions. Doctors and lawyers are supported by the State, and they are required to render their services gratis whenever needed. The days of the revolution, and of the celebration of the same, have been declared holidays established by law.

II.5

It is quite evident that entirely new and glorious times are in store for us.

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