find its perch, once it has left the strong-boxes?In fact, it has many advantageous destinations. It can go to furnish the harems of the Sultan; it cansupply the wars, sustaining the Russian against the Turk and, at the same time, the Turk against theRussian. Or, alternatively, it can be used to found a joint stock company, not to produce anything, but simply to lead in a couple of years to a scandalous failure as soon as the financial bigshots havewithdrawn, taking millions with them as the reward for their "idea." Or, again, capital can be usedto construct useless railways, over the Gothard, in Japan, across the Sahara if need be-provided thatthe Rothschilds who underwrite them, the engineers in charge and the contractors can make a fewmillion each.But above all, capital can plunge into speculation, the great game of the stock exchange. Thecapitalist gambles on artificially induced increases in the price of wheat or cotton; he gambles on politics, on the rising prices induced by some rumour of reform or some leaked diplomatic note; andvery often-we see it every day-the government officials themselves dabble in these speculations.Speculation killing industry-that is what they call the intelligent management of business! It is for that the capitalists tell us that we should support them!In brief, economic chaos is at its height. However, this chaos cannot last for long. The people aretired of crises provoked by the greed of the ruling classes; they want to live by working and not tosuffer years of poverty, seasoned by humiliating charity, for the sake of perhaps two or three yearsof exhausting work, sometimes more or less assured, but always badly remunerated.The worker is becoming aware of the incapacity of the governing classes; their incapacity tounderstand his own new aspirations; their incapacity to manage industry; their incapacity toorganize production and exchange.The people will soon declare the deposition of the bourgeoisie. They will take matters into their own hands as soon as the propitious moment offers itself.That moment cannot be far off, since the very difficulties that are gnawing away at industry will precipitate it, and its advent will be hastened by the breakdown of the State, a breakdown that in our day has entered its final precipitate phase.
Chapter 2: The Breakdown of the State
If the economic situation of Europe can be summed up in these words-industrial and commercialchaos and the failure of capitalist production-the situation in politics can be defined as the rapid breakdown of the State and its entire failure, which will take place very soon.Consider all the various States, from the police autocracy of Russia to the bourgeois oligarchy of Switzerland, and you will not find a single example today (with the
exception of Swedenand Norway)(3) of a State that is not set on an accelerating course towards disintegration andeventually, revolution.Like wornout old men, their skin shrivelled and their feet stumbling, gnawed at by mortalsicknesses, incapable of embarking on the tide of new ideas, the States of Europe squander whatstrength remains to them, and while living on credit of their past, they merely hasten their ends bysquabbling like aged gossips.