chapter  Chapter Four
28 Pages

Equality and Democracy

ByHenry de Man, Eden, Cedar Paul, Peter J. Steinberger

The concept of equality has from the earliest days been the most important stimulus to mass movements of a socialist character. The socialist claim for equality is a compensatory idea, a compensation for an inferiority complex which is due to a lengthy historical development and arises out of the general conditions of working-class life. The instinct of autovaluation, individual in its nature, leads man, the man of the western world, to desire equality; but at the same time his social instincts maintain his faith in an “upper” class, which shall set an example of a desirable state of affairs, and thus give the longing for equality an objective. In Britain and the United States, the workers are led by their longing for equality to demand freedoms from the State; in continental European countries, the workers clamour for rights.