I share with very many Socialists the view that it is entirely fallacious to suppose that more can be done at this stage of the world's progress through politics, than through 'education, agitation, and perpetual criticism." I have referred to Mr. Berger as a "reformist" to distinguish his policies from the professed opportunism of some of the British Socialists.
But if a goal thus has no necessary connection with immediate problems or actions, is it necessarily anything more than a sentiment or an abstraction? Kautsky's toleration of reform activities thus has an opposite origin to that of the "reformist" Socialists.
If the revolutionary wing of the French Party once conceded to capitalism itself this possibility of bringing about certain reforms, they would be in a position effectively to oppose the reformist tactics of Jaurès within the Party.
Turati's "reformism" seems to be less opportunistic than it was, but as long as he insists, as he does to-day, that it is only conditions that have changed and not his reformist tactics, that the revolutionaries are moving towards the reformists, the relation of the two factions is likely to remain as embittered as ever.
In the meanwhile, to attribute its progress to the menace of the advance of Socialism, is to abandon the Socialist standpoint just as completely as do the reformist Socialists in regarding capitalist-collectivist reforms as installments of Socialism, to be achieved only with Socialist aid. For Socialists will be judged by what they are doing rather than by what they promise to do.
The modern reformist, who calls the labourer from the plough, and the artizan from the loom, to make them statesmen or philosophers, and who has invaded the abodes of contented industry with the rights of man, that our fields may be cultivated, and our garments wove, by metaphysicians, will readily assent to this opinion.
There is a Reformist section in the C. G. T., but it is practically always in a minority, and the C. G. T. is, to all intents and purposes, the organ of revolutionary Syndicalism, which is simply the creed of its leaders. The essential doctrine of Syndicalism is the class- war, to be conducted by industrial rather than politi- cal methods.
He early displayed a strong bent for learning and piety, studying theology at the Moorish University of Fez and afterwards travelling widely over North Africa preaching a reform of the prevailing religious abuses. He then made the pilgrimage to Mecca, and there his reformist zeal was still further quickened by the Wahabi teachers.
There was something monotonously trivial and irrelevant about our reformist enthusiasm, and an appalling justice in that half-conscious criticism which refuses to place politics among the genuine, creative activities of men.
To counteract this propaganda, Charles issued a new "placard," in 1550, which forbade the printing, selling or buying of reformist pamphlets, together with any public or private discussion on religious matters. Even to ask forgiveness for a heretic or to abstain from denouncing him was considered as a crime punishable by death and confiscation of property.