Herman Kuehn

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Herman Kuehn

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Tomorrow Magazine, 1907

Not one rational individual in all the world believes, that it is possible for any one to truthfully proclaim in advance that the love which animates him to-day will persist throughout life. No one. And yet that is what these same rational individuals insist upon as the foundation stone of human society. Is it possible that society can endure only on the basis of a Lie? —Herman Kuehn [p. 14]

WHAT IS SOCIALISM.

By Herman Kuehn.

(From Chicago Daily Socialist of Dec. 5.)

Socialism is not a program, a cult, a hope nor the fulfillment of an ideal. Socialism is a concept of relationships among human kind that will conform to the natural instinct of gregariousness. Socialism does not aim at the establishment of justice, but would not tolerate conditions that would institutionalize injustice. A socialist is one having faith that the natural tendency of man toward comradeship will evolve social conditions in which the forces of competition and co-operation will have free interplay just as the centripetal and the centrifugal forces in physics, though in ceaseless opposition produce perfect equipoise. Socialism is without fear of the competition incident to evolutionary processes in the intellectual and industrial life, as all untrammeled competition tends toward progressive co-operation. Socialism has faith in liberty, which is equivalent to saying that the principle of compulsion can never operate for right relationships. When sufficient numbers in any community (say ten-per centum) entertain this concept the wage system and all other survivals of despotism are close to the point of collapse. So long as even progressive people acquiesce in any scheme in which the compulsory principle is a reliance socialism (a faith in the natural comradeship of gregarious man) is unattainable, though every voter in the world cast his ballot for it. All compulsion is unsocial. [p. 26]