chapter  IX
9 Pages

Conservative Social Reform

Conservative Social Reform M y entrance into Germany in May, 1889, marked a sharp break in the rhythm of my life. I went into it as a Polish Jew, with some hazy liberal notions; I left it for London in June, 1894, as a social-democratic editor, writer, and propa­ gandist, with the experience of fourteen months in prison. These five years of development meant for me the transition from the Orient to the Occident, with all the changes and crises which such a transition implies. All inquiries and meditations concerning religion, mediaevalism, Jewish affairs receded into a dim background, and their place was taken by social reform, political economy, modern thought, Marxism, and politics. A new world, though speaking the same idiom, yet presented to me unfamiliar texts, which called for interpretation.