The Boston Daily Globe reports in detail on a speech by Vida D. Scudder, of the Scudder family of missionaries in India, who is now a professor at Wellesley College, on her views regarding socialism. One may disagree with her “social justice” theories and still credit her as an important thinker who approaches the issues of the day with the utmost of sincerity. One imagines that the speech, “Socialism as I See It,” might still be noted a century hence.
One value in her perspective is her counseling against a violent class struggle. Given her family background, she first came to the “social justice” movement from the philanthropic perspective, and took time to join the class struggle movement:
I had a dread of the doctrine of class struggle. I believed that the nobler forces were those that give rather than those that demand, and I think that is one of the chief reasons why the church remains aloof from organized socialism.
But I saw that this class struggle was necessary. However, I do not attempt to defend violence in either speech or action. I regard the destruction of life and property as hideous. It retards rather than advances the cause. The dynamiters struck a fearful blow at organized labor and strengthened the position of capital.
The theory of class struggle looks dubious to a great many people, but I found it had in it a great Christian principle and that the development of solidarity among the workers was the first real means of accomplishing social justice.
Perhaps based on this speech one could coin the “Scudder Doctrine,”defined roughly as: “Any resort to actual or threatened violence by a union in service of class struggle retards labor and strengthens capital in direct proportion to the level of violence, and should be regarded as hideous.”