„One can cut off the head of an individual, but it is not possible to cut off the head of an economic law.“
— Robert Hunter (author) American sociologist, author, golf course architect 1874 - 1942
Violence and the Labor Movement (1914)
Context: No one sees more clearly than the socialist that nothing could prove more disastrous to the democratic cause than to have the present class conflict break into a civil war. If such a war becomes necessary, it will be in spite of the organized socialists, who, in every country of the world, not only seek to avoid, but actually condemn, riotous, tempestuous, and violent measures. Such measures do not fit into their philosophy, which sees, as the cause of our present intolerable social wrongs, not the malevolence of individuals or of classes, but the workings of certain economic laws. One can cut off the head of an individual, but it is not possible to cut off the head of an economic law. From the beginning of the modern socialist movement, this has been perfectly clear to the socialist, whose philosophy has taught him that appeals to violence tend, as Engels has pointed out, to obscure the understanding of the real development of things.