Readings in Modern European History, Vol. 2

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Author: Karl Marx

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SCHÖNBERG, Handbuch der politischen Oekonomie (3d ed.), I, 131 sq. World History

395.

The Socialist Programme Issued at Gotha (1875)

1. Labor is the source of all wealth and of all civilization; and since it is only through society that generally productive labor is possible, the whole product of labor, where there is a general obligation to work, belongs to society,—that is, to all its members, by equal right, and to each according to his reasonable needs.

In the society of to-day the means of production are a monopoly of the capitalistic class; the dependence of the working class, which results from this, is the cause of misery and servitude in all its forms.

The emancipation of labor requires the conversion of the means of production into the common property of society and the social regulation of all labor and its application for the general good, together with the just distribution of the product of labor.

The emancipation of labor must be the work of the laboring class itself, opposed to which all other classes are reactionary groups.

2. Proceeding from these principles, the socialist labor party of Germany endeavors by every lawful means to bring about a free State and a socialistic society, to effect the destruction of the iron law of wages by doing away with the system of wage labor, to abolish exploitation of every kind, and to extinguish all social and political inequality.

International nature of the socialist movement

The socialist labor party of Germany, although for the time being confining its activity within national bounds, is fully conscious of the international character of the labor movement, and is resolved to meet all the obligations which this lays upon the laborer, in order to bring the brotherhood of all mankind to a full realization.

The socialist labor party of Germany, in order to prepare the way for the solution of the social question, demands the establishment of socialistic productive associations with the support of the State and under the democratic control of the working people. These productive associations, for both industry and agriculture, are to be created to such an extent that the socialistic organization of all labor may result therefrom.

Immediate reforms demanded by the socialists

[In addition to the demand for universal suffrage for all above twenty years of age, secret ballot, freedom of the press, free and compulsory education, etc.,] the socialist labor party of Germany demands the following reforms in the present social organization: (1) the greatest possible extension of political rights and freedom in the sense of the above-mentioned demands; (2) a single progressive income tax, both State and local, instead of all the existing taxes, especially the indirect ones, which weigh heavily upon the people; (3) unlimited right of association; (4) a normal working day corresponding with the needs of society, and the prohibition of work on Sunday; (5) prohibition of child labor and all forms of labor by women which are dangerous to health or morality; (6) laws for the protection of the life and health of workmen, sanitary, control of workmen’s houses, inspection of mines, factories, workshops, and domestic industries by officials chosen by the workmen themselves, and an effective system of enforcement of the same; (7) regulation of prison labor.

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Chicago: Karl Marx, "The Socialist Programme Issued at Gotha (1875)," Readings in Modern European History, Vol. 2 in Readings in Modern European History: A Collection of Extracts from the Sources Chosen With the Purpose of Illustrating Some of the Chief Phases of the Development of Europe During the Last Two Hundred Years, ed. James Harvey Robinson (1863-1936) and Charles A. Beard (Boston: Ginn and Company, 1908), 493–495. Original Sources, accessed July 1, 2022, http://originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=791RJYDQX1QD6ZD.

MLA: Marx, Karl. "The Socialist Programme Issued at Gotha (1875)." Readings in Modern European History, Vol. 2, in Readings in Modern European History: A Collection of Extracts from the Sources Chosen With the Purpose of Illustrating Some of the Chief Phases of the Development of Europe During the Last Two Hundred Years, edited by James Harvey Robinson (1863-1936) and Charles A. Beard, Vol. 2, Boston, Ginn and Company, 1908, pp. 493–495. Original Sources. 1 Jul. 2022. http://originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=791RJYDQX1QD6ZD.

Harvard: Marx, K, 'The Socialist Programme Issued at Gotha (1875)' in Readings in Modern European History, Vol. 2. cited in 1908, Readings in Modern European History: A Collection of Extracts from the Sources Chosen With the Purpose of Illustrating Some of the Chief Phases of the Development of Europe During the Last Two Hundred Years, ed. , Ginn and Company, Boston, pp.493–495. Original Sources, retrieved 1 July 2022, from http://originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=791RJYDQX1QD6ZD.