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chief fact, however, is, that the Socialist loss has occurred in the most influential centres of political movement, and of industry and trade. That counts far more than mere numbers in constituencies of second, third, or fourth-rate importance. The fall from eighty-one seats (as they wore originally in 1903). or seventy-nine, as they were afterwards, to forty-three—that is to say. to nearly one half—is a rout impossible to get over.
Xor are men wanting both in the advanced and in the more moderate, or "Revisionist," wing of the Social Democratic party who fully acknowledge the tremendous lesson they have received. The defeated Socialist candidate In the first constituency of Berlin, a highly cultured man of University training and standing, has said since before a meeting of his adherents:—
Though our organization is satisfactory, we have committed heavy faults in our agitation. Since we have become a party of 3,000,000 we have been struck with a mental arrogance which has hindered us from a proper manner of agitation. We paraded our strength in braggart manner, and did not understand how to act upon men of another way of thinking. Before Trades Union colleagues, who were not organized, we acted the swaggering part of the superior, invincible Social Democrat, spurning them instead of trying to gain them over. Such people we should not treat as If they were asses, but rather as somewhat backward younger brothers. Therefore, away with that haughty pride, and let us behave as our comrades did years ago!
In the Revisionist camp of the party, still more significant language is hald— as, for instance, in the Sorialistische MonaUhefte of February. There the old complaints are repeated about the "intolerable suppression of all free discussion at Party Congresses,'" the "■proclamation of dogmas which nobody Is allowed to touch, even as Is done
in the Catholic Church with its orthodoxy and infallibility." This state of things "leads to an ossification of intellect among the party, and so a ste rility of our whole action." Such procedures are compared to the Romanist "tribunals against heretics," and so forth. More than that. There are Socialists
now who acknowledge that, in the in
i terest of the working classes, a good
word might be said for a proper colonial policy; that, after all, the people must live; that it is not advisable to offend the national sentiment, or to act in a way which would only be to the profit of foreign capitalism. In saying this, they point to the betterment which has taken place in the lot of the working class. They declare that the "famine parole,'' which has bean given out by the party leaders in this election, is a manifest exaggeration, and that working men who, from experience of their own, can prove that an amelioration "has taken place, are becoming shy of other party dogmas which they cannot control, but which now they suspect; feeling, as they do, that they have been imposed upon on the particular subject with which they are best acquainted from their own daily life.
These avowals of self-knowledge have been produced by this signal electoral defeat; but their scope mlg.it yet be extended. So long as the chief leader's declaration is repeated: "1 am the mortal foe of the whole civic society!" neither advanced social reforms, nor the movement for greater parliamentary rights, will have much better chance. It is by such needlessly threatening and yet powerless utterances that reactionary and despotic tendencies manage to thrive.
III. One thing that cannot be omitted by way of explaining the great change brought about by these elections Is this. When It was seen, In Germany, that In the foreign press the Ultramontanes were patted on the back as if they were genuine 'Liberal opponents of personal government." whilst the Socialists, with their programme of the nationalization of all means of production, distribution, and communication, were, remarkably enough, compared to "simple English Moderates, or even parliamentary Conservatives," many German readers asked themse'.ves: "What is the meaning of such strange statements? Is It sheer ignorance? Why, that Is impossible! If not ign> rance, what lurks behind this sudden care for our Clericalists and for a party which the very same foreign papers most bitterly fight against at home, as against Utopian Impossibilists and uprooters of the whole foundation of society?"
Then it was suspected that the object was, to encourage two parties— "qui hurlent en se troucant ensemble,'' as the French phrase is—to a common prolonged strife against the powers that be in Germany, so as to throw the country into an interminable strife and utter confusion, and thus to paralyze the nation In general. The German press, I may say, is very well informed, day by day, about foreign affairs and opinions. It is better informed than the English press is from abroad. The effect of the articles in question has, no doubt, been to rally the patriotic sentiment against the "Unholy Alliance."
The Idea of describing the Ultramontane, obscurantist, "Vaticanist, at he.irt not patriotic men of the Centre, who mainly go by the counsels and behests of the Pope, as specimens of an Opposition against "Personal Govern ment" is too rich not to evoke laughter. Why, they acknowledge the personal government of a foreign priest claiming theocratic dominion over all kings
and all nations, over Monarchies and Republics, in matters both spiritual and temporal!
When the present High Pontiff wa* Installed by his priestly confederates, it was done In the same audacious words as of old. He was declared to be the Master of all Kings and Princes and nations. There were those who, nevertheless, believed that Pius the Tenth would turn out differently. I foretold in an English magazine at once that this was a hollow hope. Even as of old, there are, besides the White Pope, who bears the Pontiflc.il name, the Black Pope and thy Re.l Pope of the Inquisition and of th> Propaganda, and the whole Jesuitry connected with it. It is the Black Pope and the Red Pope who ke.p tha White Pope up to the mark. If eve;1 he did swerve from the line, the fate of Pope Gangauelli is befoie him.
The fear of being anathematized by this foreign priest and his dependents of a Church which remains semper eadem, makes it very difficult to diminish the strength of the "Tower" of the Catholic Centre. A Protestant or freeminded Government can only overcome its influence by a Progressist policy. It is to the discredit of successive Imperial administrations in Germany th it they have so long humored this mrdiasvalist party by concessions, in order to get support from It for the personal policy of the head of the Empire. Often enough, however, even as In the Middle Ages, a conflict arose between the two—so much so that Bismarck once spoke the winged word: '-To Canossa we shall never go!"
It was a well-known alius o.i to the fate of Henry the Fourth. In windy weather, in deep si:o\v, he had to do penance, during several days, clad in a shirt, in the courtyard of the castle of Canossa, in Italy, whilst the haughty Bishop of Rome, and—to speak politely —his lady friend, looked down from the window upon this edifying spectacle of a king's humiliation. In honor of Bismarck's saying, a column was erected In the Harz Mountains, with the words in question as an inscription. But then Bismarck, rather than give up his own autocratic ways towards a refractory Parliament, did "go to Canossa"! He at last yielded to the Centre, against whose obscurantist doings the "Kulturkampf' had been initiated, as our friend, Virchow, the great scientist, had called It.
To cap the deplorable Issue, the column in the Harz Mountains was one clay struck by lightning and split. Thereupon the priestlings of the Centre, always ready with their stock of supernatural miracles, exclaimed that the "finger of God" had done it A class of the population which remains subject to such religious teaching will always be difficult to wean from religious and political superstition. That Is the whole secret of the continued strength of the "Centre" In the Reichstag. It has come back with an Increase of two or three seats gained, whereas those of its late Social Democratic ally were so vastly diminished.
It is truly a pity that, in some cases, the Socialist party In various constituencies, for the second ballots, advised its own adherents to vote, by preference, for a partisan of the Ultramontane Centre, rather than for a Liberal! On the contrary, In some other constituencies, the Radical, Progressist, or Democratic parties advised their friends to vote even rather for a Socialist than for a follower of the Vaticanist gang. To see Socialists as "Mitlaufer" of that band of monkish obscurantists who yearn for the recall of the Jesuits Is, Indeed, a sorry spectacle.
IV. As a means of avoiding true parliamentary government, the same pol
icy of underhand negotiations with the Ultra montanes as had finally been yielded to by Bismarck, was carried on under subsequent Chancellors. Prince Billow was sadly at fault in this. Things would, nevertheless, not have come to that pass had not that section of Liberals, who are called "National Liberals," in the course of years approached more and more to the reactionary group in Parliament, and had not the more advanced Progressists and Democrats split up into three groups. Amidst such divisions. Court policy and Jesuitical craftiness easily ruled the roost
However, of late, all over Germany a movement has made itself felt for rising against the unbearable personal interference of the Crown. When matters became worse and worse, men remembered that the National Parliament of 1848^9—but for the previous existence of which the present Reichstag would never have come into lifehad claimed and actually exercised supreme power. It did so literally In the name of the "Sovereignty of the People" until it was destroyed by force of arms. There are still not a few men alive who were active in those days of a great upheaval.
It is a noteworthy fact that during the last session of the Reichstag even a foremost leader of the National Liberals denounced "personal government" in remarkably strong terms. He did not shrink from hints at the Emperor's person. This unexpected spectacle showed which way the wind blew. Prince Billow and William the Second himself, no doubt, understood It as a sign of the times.
It was observed, during the electioneering campaign, that the bearing of the Kaiser towards the municipality of Berlin had latterly changed in a remarkable degree. Formerly, It was stated in the Progressist press, he often showed the City Fathers a frowning. ungracious face. All at once there was a pleasant show of politeness and condescending good humor. In years gone by, when an Inscription was to be placed over the portal of the graveyard where the victims of the street battle of the 18th of March, 1848, who converted a despotic monarchy Into a constitutional one, sleep their eternal sleep, William the Second forbade the Inscription. Again, when burgomaster KIrschner was elected, the Kaiser, for a long time, refused giving his sanction. When the Town Council of the capital wished to dedicate to him a beautifully sculptured public fountain, made by one of the most distinguished artists, he once more gave the municipality an ungracious snub. Their representative, coming to the palace with a loyal address, was not received, but had to lay that document on a chair!
Then cnme the change, and it was much appreciated. How easy It is to satisfy a people! And yet monarchs will often drive matters to the breaking point. But the fault, after all, is with the people themselves. They are too easily satisfied, and then monarchs boldly presume upon that trait; great personal power spoiling the character even of the best.
When the dictatorial attitude of the leaders of the Centre had become Intolerable for the secular Power, the Emperor, through his Chancellor, came to a sudden resolution. In course of time that Clericalist party had constituted Itself as what was called a regular secondary, or collateral, government (Neben-Regierung). One of theirs, the very man who Is now expected to be its leader in the new Reichstag, had for some time dallied with the Social Democratic movement, attending, it Is stated, one of Its Congresses at Ziirlch. It was done in the true Jesuitical style of gaining a footing in opposite quarters. In this way the occupants of the
Ultramontane "Tower" thought they had secured their permanent influence. The sneering manner In which they laughed to scorn every effort at dislodging them from their Fort could, however, not be brooked much longer. Hence the new Colonial Secretary, Herr Dernburg, a man not trained In the dark and surreptitious ways of such dishonorable policy as the disciples of I»yola are accustomed to, came out In Parliament with strong language against that false party of partisans of a foreign High Priest. No sooner was this done than the Centre made common cause with the out-andout antagonists or the whole political and social State organization as It exists at present It did not matter then to these Popellngs that they had to Join hands with men whose undoubtedly Republican and freethinklng aspirations are otherwise looked upon with horror at the Vatican. All through the centuries the Papacy has never scrupled to make use of the most variegated means for sustaining its own hateful theocratic power. Any nation that respects Itself Is bound to cast it out That is why all friends of Intellectual freedom and of national dignity look with sympathetic approval at what Is being done now in France.
It must have cost an effort to the Kaiser to appoint as Colonial Director a man of Jewish origin, for cleaning the Augean stable of colonial maladministration in South Africa. Too long, In Prussia at least, Jews have been kept out of superior positions both in the Army and In the Administration. In other German States there is far less of that antiquated, medlsevalist policy which Is a perfect disgrace of our age. When I look back upon the days of the German Revolution, during which a citizen of Jewish descent acted as Speaker of the Na
tional Assembly at Frankfurt, and when other notable men of that race, like Johann Jacoby, played a prominent part, it is all the more painful to see what retrogression has taken place in that respect, especially In Prussia, owing to the bigoted course pursued in the highest quarters.
Let us hope that a change for the better has now begun, and that the hopes put in this "new man" will be properly fulfilled. His style of speaking before large audiences has proved an Incisive and energetic one, correct in matters of fact, as behooves one who has had a commercial and financial training. True, he has been reproved even by a Liberal paper, which is otherwise quite on his side, and free from religious or racial prejudice, because it thought it detected a note of undue self-laudation in his repeated saying: "For twenty-five years we have had colonies, but no colonial policy." But Herr Dernburg will, no doubt, soon get rid of such oratorical slips; for, as the Berlin journal rightly says, "speeches are, after all, only assignments for the future," and "the proof of a very necessary reform in colonial affairs, which he is to work out, has yet to be furnished. We must wait to see what he is able to do." All other information is, however, to the effect that Herr Dernburg will be as good as his word.
Some details as to the constitutional powers of the Reichstag will here be in their place. I have seen it stated of late, in various English journals, that that Parliament has no right of initiative, that It can only say "yes" or "no" to Government Bills.
This is an absolute error. A great many motions, In the way of Bills, are continually made in the Reichstag by private members. If they are passed,
the Upper House mayr or may not. reject them, even as Is done in this country by the so-called hereditary wisdom of born legisilators. The only difference Is, that here they sit in virtue of their own right, whilst In Germany the Upper House, or Federal Council, Is composed of the delegates of the various princely governments and of the three Free Republican cities. These latter are the only ones still left from the more than a hundred such free cities once existing in the older Empire, which was an aristocratic commonwealth, with a large number of free towns, and a King, or Kaiser, who had no hereditary right of succession, but was elected for life —on condition of observing the country's constitution.
Perhaps even casual readers in England may remember a case of the initiative of the Reichstag. Ever since that Parliament has existed, it has always unanimously voted for the motion of some deputy who proposed "payment of members." The Upper House, at the beck and call of princely Governments, regularly rejected the measure. Prince Bismarck was afraid that, through payment of members, too many Liberal and Radical opponents of his might come in. Germany is, territorially, a large country, even since she has lost Austria; and there are not many men with independent fortunes who could travel to, and remain at, Berlin for a great part of the year. Hence so often a quorum is not to be got in the Reichstag; especially as it is fixed at 199 members, in a House of but 397.
Quite recently, however, the oftendemanded reform, for which the Reichstag had taken the initiative, was at last agreed to by the Imperial Government and by the delegates of the Confederated Princes and Free Cities. A dissolution of the Reichstag, I may add, cannot be decreed by the Kaiser