N O doubt this general statement shews the Revolutionaries of 1848 — 71 as simpler than they appear on their own records. Proudhon was full of proposals: one Of them, the minimum wage, turns out to be of the very first importance now that Mr. And Mrs. Sidney Webb have put the case for it on an invincible basis Of industrial fact and economic theory. Lassalle really knew something Of the nature of law, the practice of Government, and the mind of the governing classes. Marx, though cer tainly a bit of a Liberal fatalist (did he not say that force is the midwife of progress without reminding us that force is equally the midwife Of chaos, and chaos the midwife Of martial law P), was at all events no believer in Laisser-faire. Socialism involves the introduction Of design, contrivance, and co-ordination, by a nation consciously seeking its own collective welfare, into the present industrial scramble for private gain; and as it is clear that this cannot be a spontaneous result of a violent overthrow Of the existing order, and as the Socialists of 1848 — 71 were not blind, it would be impossible to substantiate a claim for Fabian Essays as the first text-book of Socialism in which catastrophism is repudiated as a method of Socialism.