the poor—but not every sort of privatization. That is anlesson the British Labour Party, unlike its counterpart innNew Zealand, is still reluctant to heed. But in 1987, after itsnthird election defeat, it opened a campaign called “Labournlistens.” (And if it really listens, it is certain to be told thatncompetition is what ordinary people want. It will beninteresting to see what, if anything. Labour does about it.)nThe rich, many now realize, have little to fear fromnsocialism, as the Soviet system shows, and might evennbenefit from it. The poor have everything to lose. Thenclaims of competition to be socially radical run deeper andnwider — it is now clear — than socialists in the past centurynand a half ever understood. Literature has a part to playnhere; I am delighted as a literary historian to report thatn1849, besides Harrod’s and Marx’s, was the year of Dickens’nDavid Copperfield, which might have been subtitled “Historynof a Yuppie,” had Dickens known the word. Competitionnand the romantic spirit are deeply allied. There is ann”autonomous, self-illusory hedonism” at the heart of modernnconsumerism, as another British analyst, Colin Campbell,nhas recently suggested in The Romantic Ethic and thenSpirit of Modern Consumerism — English romanticism ofnthe late 18th century and after, matching the industrialnrevolution that began simultaneously in England in then1760’s. That is a profound historical perception linkingnindustry and the arts — though I do not know what isnself-illusory about pleasure-seeking, or hedonism, and suspectnthat those who strive to distinguish between beingnhappy and merely imagining it are trying to drive a wedgenthrough a gap that is not there. There is nothing illusorynabout the joys of fine porcelain or fresh bed linen, even ifnthey do not last. But the pursuit of happiness — even itsnfulfillment—as an individual quest is now so deep-rooted innthe way we live — in a thousand stores humbler thannHarrod’s, in a million supermarkets in the Western industrialnworld, in the exotic restaurants in our cities that lavishnethnic choices on tired palates—that it is unsurprising if nonfree people has ever actually voted for socialism. (No, notneven Britain in 1945: Labour only polled 48 percent.) Itnlooks as if Lenin was right, in his candid little pamphletnWhat Is to Be Done? when he told the world at large andnthe Bolsheviks in particular that the workers would nevernchoose socialism for themselves: it would have to be forcednupon them or it would not happen at all.nBut something else happened in 1849, far less wellnknown than Marx’s emigration to London or the foundingnof Harrod’s. It was an article by Friedrich Engels.nIn January-February, in the same momentous year,nEngels contributed an article called “The Hungarian Struggle”nto Marx’s journal Neue Rheinische Zeitung. It hasnbeen reprinted several times in this century, notably in thenEast Berlin collected edition of the writings of Marx andnEngels (which establishes its party orthodoxy), but I havennever met a Marxist who was aware of it. It announced thatnracial extermination was essential to socialism.n’ Engels’ arguments in 1849 have nothing to do withneugenics, which entered only later into socialist thought.nSocialism requires genocide, he believed, because advancedncapitalist societies embrace backward communities that havennot yet abandoned feudalism; Scottish Highlanders, Bretonsnand Basques, for instance — not to mention Yugoslavs, asnnnthey are now known, who to the dismay of Germannsocialists were encouraging the Russian advance into Europe.nAs a German, Engels was clear that such communitiesnwere “racial trash,” and he saw no future for them after thenRevolution but extinction:nUntil its complete extermination or loss of nationalnstatus, this racial trash always becomes the mostnfanatical bearer there is of counter-revolution, andnremains that. Its entire existence is nothing morenthan a protest against a great historical revolution.nIn the days when he was busy reading revolutionarynliterature, in pre-1914 Munich, the young Hitier couldneasily have read that genocidal essay in a 1902 collectionncalled Aus dem literarischen Nachlass von Marx, Engelsnund Lassalle, edited by Franz Mehring. It figures in nonrecent anthology of socialist scripture, however, and it hasnbeen efficiently forgotten.nIt was not forgotten by socialists before Hitler’s accessionnto power in 1933. Stalin alluded to the 1849 article in hisn1924 The Foundations of Leninism with approval. Lenin,nin his six or seven years of power, had already established thenfirst concentration camps in European history, and theynwere officially so described in the Soviet media. H.G. Wells,nwriting in 1902 as an English socialist at the beginning ofnthe century, had already called for the extermination ofnincurables and inferior races in his Anticipations as annecessary consequence of socialism: “They will have tongo.” And Bernard Shaw, a passionate admirer (unlikenWells) of the Soviet system, had called for extermination innhis 1933 play, On the Rocks, which was promptiy translatedninto German.nShaw’s English preface to On the Rocks is as neglected asnEngels’ genocidal article of 1849. Like Wells, he is openlyncontemptuous of the sanctity of human life, which he seesnas founded on the exploded notion that human beings havensouls; and he is as certain as Wells that extermination can benhumanely, even painlessly, effected. As he puts it at thenbeginning of his 1933 preface, it “must be put on anscientific basis if it is ever to be carried out humanely andnapologetically as well as thoroughly.” The mass-murderernmust now murmur “Sorry.”nShaw’s 1933 argument is lengthy and elaborate. Somenhuman beings, to begin with, are simply dangerous innthemselves, being criminals, and the political necessity fornkilling them is “precisely like that of the cobra or the tiger.”nBut that, though it “disposes of the dogma of the unconditionalnsacredness of human life,” is only a beginning: “onlyna corner of the field opened up by modern powers ofnextermination.” The socialist must be clear what, in hisnprogram of purification, he is about. The extermination ofnJews is impractical, Shaw writes in 1933, since interbreedingnhas long since destroyed the means by which Jews can bendistinguished from Gentiles. “The exemption of the Jew asnsuch figured for a few mad moments in the program of thenNazi party.” Still, it is helpful of Hitler to have putnextermination where it belongs, he argues, on the agenda ofnhistory: at least we now have a government in Europe thatnsees how necessary it is. There is even better news from thenSoviet Union, he continues, where “the extermination ofnthe peasant is in active progress,” meaning no doubt thenJUNE 19881 29n