Landmarks of Scientific Socialism
For their popular support classes and governments rely upon formulæ. When the cry of "Down with the Tsar" takes the place of the humbly spoken "Little Father" what becomes of the Tsardom? When the terms "Liberty" and "Equality" become the jest of the workshop, upon what basis can a modern democratic state depend? This criticism of "eternal truths" is destructive criticism, and destructive of much more than the "truths." It is more destructive than sedition itself. Sedition may be suppressed cheaply in these days of quick-firing guns and open streets. But society crumbles away almost insensibly beneath the mordant acid of contemptuous analysis. So to-day goaded on the one side by the gibes of the machine-made proletariat, and on the other, by the raillery of the philosophic jester, society staggers along like a wounded giant and is only too glad to creep into its cave and to forget its sorrows in drink.
As for 1875, "Many things have happened since then" as Beaconsfield used to say, but