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Title: British Socialism - An Examination of Its Doctrines, Policy, Aims and Practical Proposals
Author: Barker, J. Ellis, 1870-1948
Language: English
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BRITISH SOCIALISM

An Examination of Its Doctrines, Policy, Aims and Practical Proposals

by

J. ELLIS BARKER

Author of
'Modern Germany: Her Political and Economic Problems, etc.'
'The Rise and Decline of the Netherlands'



London
Smith, Elder, & Co.
New York: Charles Scribner's Sons
1908



CONTENTS


CHAPTER                                                           PAGE

     I. INTRODUCTION--WHAT IS SOCIALISM?                             1

    II. SOME SOCIALIST VIEWS OF PRESENT SOCIETY AND OF THE
        SOCIETY OF THE FUTURE                                       10

   III. THE GRIEVANCES OF THE SOCIALISTS                            30

    IV. THE FUNDAMENTAL DOCTRINES OF SOCIALISM                      50

     V. THE AIMS AND POLICY OF THE SOCIALISTS                       92

    VI. THE ATTITUDE OF SOCIALISTS TOWARDS THE WORKING
        MASSES                                                     115

   VII. THE ATTITUDE OF SOCIALISTS TOWARDS TRADE UNIONISTS
        AND CO-OPERATORS                                           131

  VIII. SOCIALIST VIEWS AND PROPOSALS REGARDING LAND AND
        THE LANDLORDS                                              145

    IX. SOCIALIST VIEWS AND PROPOSALS REGARDING CAPITAL
        AND THE CAPITALISTS                                        152

     X. SOCIALIST VIEWS AND PROPOSALS REGARDING TAXATION
        AND THE NATIONAL BUDGET                                    160

    XI. SOCIALISM AND THE EMPIRE                                   170

   XII. SOCIALIST VIEWS ON INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS AND
        FOREIGN POLICY                                            183

  XIII. SOCIALISM AND THE ARMY                                     192

   XIV. SOCIALISM AND THE MONARCHY                                 207

    XV. SOCIALIST VIEWS ON PARLIAMENT AND THE NATIONAL
        ADMINISTRATION                                            209

   XVI. THE ATTITUDE OF THE SOCIALISTS TOWARDS THE TWO
        PARLIAMENTARY PARTIES                                     225

  XVII. SOCIALISM AND LOCAL GOVERNMENT                             240

 XVIII. SOCIALISM AND AGRICULTURE                                  261

   XIX. SOCIALIST VIEWS ON BRITISH RAILWAYS AND SHIPPING           269

    XX. SOME SOCIALIST VIEWS ON MONEY, BANKS, AND BANKING          278

   XXI. SOME SOCIALIST VIEWS ON FREE TRADE AND PROTECTION          285

  XXII. SOCIALISM AND EDUCATION                                    302

 XXIII. THE ATTITUDE OF SOCIALISTS TOWARDS PROVIDENCE, THRIFT,
        AND TEMPERANCE                                             311

  XXIV. SOCIALIST VIEWS ON LAW AND JUSTICE                         325

   XXV. SOCIALISM AND WOMAN, THE FAMILY AND THE HOME               330

  XXVI. THE SOCIALIST ATTITUDE TOWARDS CHRISTIANITY AND
        RELIGION                                                   354

 XXVII. THE RELIGION OF SOCIALISM                                  364

XXVIII. CHRISTIAN SOCIALISM                                        375

  XXIX. SOCIALISM AND COMMUNISM                                    381

   XXX. SOCIALISM AND ANARCHISM                                    394

  XXXI. SOCIALISM AND REVOLUTION                                   404

 XXXII. STATE SOCIALISM                                            411

XXXIII. THE SOCIALIST ORGANISATIONS: THEIR MUTUAL RELATIONS
        AND THEIR POLICY                                           415

 XXXIV. THE GROWTH AND DANGER OF BRITISH SOCIALISM                 431

  XXXV. HOW THE PROGRESS OF SOCIALISM MAY BE CHECKED               440

 XXXVI. IS SOCIALISM POSSIBLE?--A GLANCE INTO THE SOCIALIST
        STATE OF THE FUTURE                                        444

XXXVII. CONCLUSION                                                 470

APPENDIX--OFFICIAL PROGRAMMES OF THE SOCIALISTIC ORGANISATIONS     481

BIBLIOGRAPHY                                                       493

ANALYTICAL INDEX                                                   509



BRITISH SOCIALISM



CHAPTER I

INTRODUCTION--WHAT IS SOCIALISM?


What is Socialism?

It is exceedingly difficult to answer that question in a few words,
for Socialism is exceedingly elusive and bewildering in its doctrines,
its aims, and its proposals.

Its opponents have described it as "a doctrine of sordid materialism
and of atheism," they have denounced it as "the gospel of everlasting
bellyful,"[1] and as "the coming slavery."[2] They have stated that
Socialism means to abolish religion, that it "would try to put
laziness, thriftlessness, and inefficiency on a par with industry,
thrift, and efficiency, that it would strive to break up not merely
private property, but, what is far more important, the home, the chief
prop upon which our whole civilisation stands."[3]

The Socialists, on the other hand, claim that "Socialism presents the
only living ideal of human existence"[4]; that "Socialism is science
applied with knowledge and understanding to all branches of human
activity"[5]; that "Socialism is freedom,"[6] and that it is
exceedingly just, for "the justice of Socialism will see all things,
and therefore understand all things."[7] One of the Socialist leaders
has told us "Socialism is much more than either a political creed or
an economic dogma. It presents to the modern world a new conception of
society and a new basis upon which to build up the life of the
individual and of the State."[8] Another informs us "Socialism to
Socialists is not a Utopia which they have invented, but a principle
of social organisation which they assert to have been discovered by
the patient investigators into sociology whose labours have
distinguished the present century."[9] A third has stated that
"Socialism is really neither more nor less than the science of
sociology."[10] A fourth asserts that "it is a scientific scheme of
national government entirely wise, just, and practical."[11] A fifth
states "Socialism to me has always meant not a principle, but certain
definite economic measures which I wish to see taken."[12]

Other Socialists have taught that "Socialism is an ethical system
founded on justice and truth; it is a heartfelt, soul-inspiring
religion, resting upon the love of God."[13] "Socialism is a theory of
social organisation, which reconciles the individual to society. It
has discovered how the individual in society can attain to a state of
complete development."[14] "Socialism is the right of the community,
acting in its corporate capacity, to intervene in the lives and
labours of men and women."[15] "Socialism is nothing but the
extension of democratic self-government from the political to the
industrial world."[16] "Socialism is an endeavour to substitute for
the anarchical struggle or fight for existence an organised
co-operation for existence."[17] "Socialism may be described as an
endeavour to readjust the machinery of industry in such a way that it
can at once depend upon and issue in a higher kind of character and
social type than is encouraged by the conditions of ordinary
competitive enterprise."[18] "Socialism is the development of policies
concerning the welfare of society."[19] "It is not arbitrary
destruction and reconstruction, but a natural process of
development."[20] "The idea of Socialism will conquer the world, for
this idea is nothing but the real, well understood interest of
mankind."[21] "Its principles will carry the whole human race to a
higher state of perfection."[22] "It is the great modern protest
against unreality, against the delusive shams which now masquerade as
verities."[23] "Socialism is of the character of a historical
discovery."[24] "Socialism, the inspiring principle of all Labour
Parties, whether they know it or not, is the next world movement--the
movement of the constructive intellect."[25]

Socialism is rich in promises, and its claims to our consideration and
support are manifold. Are these claims justified or not? Are the
Socialists or the Anti-Socialists right in their conception of
Socialism?

The Socialists maintain that all opposition to Socialism is based
either on self-interest or ignorance, and principally upon the
latter. Therefore one of the Socialist leaders wrote: "Those who wish
to understand Socialism will be wise to study Socialist books and
papers. One does not expect a true and fair account of any theory or
cause from its enemies. The man who takes his ideas of Trade-Unionism
from the Free Labour League, his ideas of Liberalism from the Tory
papers, his ideas of South African affairs--or any other affairs--from
the Yellow Press, will be misled into all manner of absurdities and
errors. The statements of party politicians and party newspapers on
most controversial subjects are prejudiced and inaccurate; but there
is no subject upon which the professional misleaders of the people are
so untrustworthy and so disingenuous as they are upon the subject of
Socialism."[26] A leading Socialist organ complained: "Our opponents
decline to deal with the fundamental principles of Socialism--its
unanswerable indictment of the capitalist system, with all its
concomitants of wage-slavery and slumdom; prostitution and child
murder--and prefer instead to indulge in calumniation and
misrepresentation of Socialism. We need not complain about that. It is
a tribute to the soundness of the Socialist position, to the
irrefutability of its principles, the impregnability of the rock of
economic truth upon which it is based, that our enemies dare not
oppose the principles of Socialism, dare not attempt to meet the
charge Socialism levels against the existing order."[27]

There is much truth in these complaints. The general public and most
writers and speakers know very little about Socialism, because this
most interesting subject has been very inadequately treated in the
existing books.

The existing books on Socialism describe, analyse, and criticise the
Socialist doctrines only in the abstract as a rule. However,
Socialism is not only an elaborate economic doctrine, it is at the
same time a complete system of practical politics. Hence it does not
suffice to study the doctrines of Socialism by themselves. In order to
understand Socialism we must also investigate its practical proposals.

Following the methods of our political economists, most writers on
Socialism have, unfortunately, treated Socialism rather as a
scientific abstraction than as a business proposition. Consequently
the most important practical details of Socialism, such as: What are
the views of the Socialist with regard to the Monarchy, the Army, the
Banks, the National Currency, the Law, Education? what are their
practical aims as regards Parliamentary Representation, Foreign
Policy, Agriculture, Taxation, Old-age Pensions, Fiscal Policy? what
are their relations with the Parliamentary Parties, the Trade-Unions,
the Co-operators, etc? what is their attitude towards International
Communism and Anarchism? is English Socialism an Evolutionary or a
Revolutionary Movement?--these and many other questions are touched
but lightly or are not touched at all.

It is somewhat difficult to deal fully with the practical proposals of
the Socialists, because the Socialists are very averse from
formulating their aims and disclosing their plans. An English
Socialist wrote: "To dogmatise about the form which the Socialist
State shall take is to play the fool."[28] Another one stated: "It is
quite impossible, at this time, nor would it be desirable, if
possible, to lay down any hard and fast line as to the development of
the details of Socialist organisation. Broad principles are all that
can with any degree of confidence be spoken about. The details will
arrange themselves, as the time arrives when it becomes necessary to
settle them."[29] Gronlund, perhaps the most prominent American
Socialist, stated: "Socialists do not profess to be architects. They
have not planned the future in minute detail."[30] Herr Bebel, the
leader of the German Social-Democratic Party, said on February 3,
1893, in the Reichstag, replying to the Roman Catholics, "We do not
ask from you the details of the future life of which you speak so
incessantly. Why, then, do you ask us about the future society?"[31]
Although we are told that "Socialism claims the consideration of
mankind, because it comes forward and offers a complete scheme to
improve the conditions of human life,"[32] Socialists carefully
abstain as a rule from giving us the details of that scheme.

The Socialists of all countries have very excellent reasons for
keeping to themselves the details of their plans for the future.
Nevertheless, a careful search through their numerous writings will
enable us to obtain a fairly clear and comprehensive view of their
political and economic plans and intentions.

Great Britain does not as yet possess a great Socialist party but only
a number of Socialist groups and factions which are totally at
variance as regards their aims, policy, and tactics. "They differ as
to the best means of getting what they want, and as to the best ways
of managing the work, and as to the proper way of sharing the
earnings. Some Socialists still believe that Socialism will have to be
got by force. I think there are not many. Some are in favour of buying
the land, the railways, the machinery, and other things; and some are
in favour of taking them, by force, or by new laws. Then some say that
there should be no wages paid at all, but that everyone should do an
equal share of work, and take whatever he needed from the nation's
goods. Others say that all men should do an equal share of work, and
have an equal share of the goods, or of the earnings. Others say it
would be better to pay wages, as now, but to let the wages be fixed by
the Government, or by corporations, or other officials, and that all
wages should be equal. Others, again, say that wages should be paid,
that the wages should be fixed as above stated, and that different
kinds of work should be paid for at different rates. In one kind of
Socialism the civil engineer, the actor, the general, the artist, the
tram guard, the dustman, the milliner, and the collier would all be
paid the same wages. In another kind of Socialism there would be no
wages, but all would be called upon to work, and all who worked would
'take according to their needs.' In another kind of Socialism the
civil engineer would be paid more than the navvy, the opera singer
more than the milliner, the general more than the sergeant, and the
editor more than the scavenger."[33]

Notwithstanding these numerous and important differences, of which
more will be learned in the course of this book, British Socialists
are absolutely united in certain important respects. "The policies of
Socialism are a changeable quantity, though the principle is as fixed
as the Northern Star."[34] "Socialism is as flexible in its form as it
is definite in its principles."[35]

A superficial study of Socialism reveals to us not a single and
generally accepted plan, but a confused and confusing mass of mutually
contradictory plans and doctrines. Therefore he who wishes to know
what Socialism is, must study the many-headed movement in its entirety
and give an impartial hearing to all its advocates. We can understand
Socialism only if we are acquainted with practically its entire
literature.

Unfortunately the literature of Socialism is very vast. A complete
collection of modern Socialist literature would embrace at least
thirty thousand items. Therefore a full analysis of international
Socialism based upon the study of the original sources is a forbidding
undertaking. I have consequently limited myself to the investigation
of the British Socialist movement, although I have cast a cursory
glance upon foreign Socialism whenever it seemed necessary to do so.

I have consulted altogether about a thousand books and pamphlets, and
have given representative extracts from four hundred or five hundred
of those which seemed most proper to elucidate the subject of this
book. Having given space to the views of all the Socialist groups,
this book is a summary of the whole literature of British Socialism
and a key to it. It is based exclusively on first-hand evidence, and
every statement contained in it can instantly be verified by reference
to the original sources indicated in the footnotes. In the
Bibliography at the end of this volume the full title, publisher's
address, and date of publication of all sources drawn upon are given,
so that readers will have no difficulty in procuring any Socialist
books they may want for further study.

Most of the books quoted are unknown to booksellers, and are not in
public libraries. Even the British Museum Library possesses only part
of the publications used in this book, which is the first to exploit
fully the whole Socialist party literature. Whilst most books on
Socialism take note only of Socialist text-books addressed to
students, the present volume considers chiefly the propaganda
literature which is educating the Socialist rank and file and shaping
its political views. For all practical political purposes the
propaganda literature is undoubtedly by far the more important of the
two to the statesman and the citizen.

The present volume is the only book of its kind, and I hope that the
Socialist movement in Germany, France, and the United States will be
treated with similar completeness by writers of these countries. The
perusal of the present volume will enable us to form an opinion of the
merits or demerits of the Socialistic theories and practical plans,
and make it possible for us to separate the grain from the chaff, the
wisdom from the folly, in the teachings of the Socialists. Thus we
shall be able to see which of their complaints and proposals are
justified and practical, and which are unjustified and unpractical.

Popular dissatisfaction, Socialistic and non-Socialistic, points to
the existence of ills in the body politic, and the Socialistic
agitation is exceedingly valuable inasmuch as it draws general
attention to these ills. Some complaints of the Socialists will be
found to be imaginary, others are very real.

It would be a sterile undertaking merely to analyse and criticise
Socialism and the Socialistic proposals. Therefore, after having
described the policy, ideals, and aims of the Socialists, I mean to
analyse the disease of which Socialism is a consequence and a symptom,
and to propose practical measures for curing it.

In the course of this book I shall show that Socialism seems likely to
become a very great danger in this country--a far greater danger than
is generally realised. Therefore its opponents will be wise not to
sneer at Socialism, but to study it and to try to understand it. That
task will be found worth our while, and only after it shall we be able
to further Socialism if it is beneficial, to combat it if it is
pernicious, and to correct it if it is only the misguided expression
of genuine suffering and want. Indifference to a great and dangerous
political movement such as Socialism may have the gravest
consequences. Idlers do not make history. They suffer it.

FOOTNOTES:

[1] Millar, _Socialism_, p. 21.

[2] Herbert Spencer, _The Man versus the State_, p. 18 ff.

[3] Roosevelt, Presidential Message, December 1907.

[4] Walter Crane in Squire, _Socialism and Art_, Foreword.

[5] Bebel, _Woman_, p. 256.

[6] Kessack, _Capitalist Wilderness_, p. 2.

[7] Ford, _Woman and Socialism_, p. 3.

[8] Keir Hardie, _From Serfdom to Socialism_, p. 1.

[9] Webb, _The Difficulties of Individualism_, p. 3.

[10] Hyndman, _Socialism and Slavery_, Preface.

[11] Blatchford, _Merrie England_, p. 100.

[12] Shaw, _The Impossibilities of Anarchism_, p. 3.

[13] "Veritas," _Did Jesus Christ teach Socialism?_ p. 1.

[14] Macdonald, _Socialism_, p. 3.

[15] _Labour Record_, February 1907.

[16] Webb, _The Difficulties of Individualism_, p. 15.

[17] _Will Socialism benefit the British People?_ p. 4.

[18] Ball, _The Moral Aspects of Socialism_, p. 3.

[19] Williams, _The Difficulties of Socialism_, p. 3.

[20] Bebel, _Woman_, p. 257.

[21] Sorge, _Socialism and the Worker_, p. 13.

[22] _Ibid._ p. 16.

[23] Bax, _Religion of Socialism_, p. ix.

[24] Lafargue, in Bliss, _Encyclopedia of Social Reform_, p. 1264.

[25] Macdonald, _Labour and the Empire_, p. 108.

[26] Blatchford, _What is this Socialism?_ p. 2.

[27] _Justice_, October 19, 1907.

[28] Keir Hardie, _From Serfdom to Socialism_, p. 96.

[29] Ethel Snowden, _The Woman Socialist_, p. 44.

[30] Gronlund, _Co-operative Commonwealth_, p. 126.

[31] Guyot, _Pretensions of Socialism_, p. 11.

[32] Hird, _From Brute to Brother_, p. 1.

[33] Robert Blatchford, _Real Socialism_, p. 15.

[34] Williams, _Difficulties of Socialism_, p. 4.

[35] Bliss, _Encyclopedia of Social Reform_, p. 1265.



CHAPTER II

SOME SOCIALIST VIEWS OF PRESENT SOCIETY AND OF THE SOCIETY OF THE
FUTURE


"We are not indebted to reason," wrote the greatest American
Socialist, "for the landmarks of human progress, for the introduction
of Christianity, the institution of the monastic orders, the Crusades,
the Reformation, the American Revolution, or the abolition of slavery.
Man is only irresistible when he acts from passion. The masses of men
are never moved except by passions, feelings, interests."[36]
"Socialism has the advantage of appealing to the interests as well as
to the enthusiasm of all except the few who think the world good
enough as it is.... It is, of course, to the discontented wage-workers
that the Socialist can appeal with the greatest chance of
success."[37] These indiscreet words, which might have been written by
the most implacable of Anti-Socialists, sum up and explain the
Socialistic agitation and tactics. They are a proclamation and an
avowal, and the worst enemy of Socialism would have found it difficult
to pen a more damaging statement. Socialists rely not on reason or
justice, but on unreason and passion, for the victory of their cause;
and that fact is very much to be regretted, for it is bound to create
prejudice and suspicion, and to greatly weaken their case.

The British Socialists, seeking to rouse the passions of men,
habitually rely on exaggeration and misrepresentation. They do not
tire of painting the present state of society in the darkest colours
and of describing with an unbounded but hardly justifiable optimism
and enthusiasm the advantages which will accrue to society when
Socialism has come to rule. It will be seen that in describing society
of the present and society of the future, Socialists let their
imagination run riot in the most astounding fashion.

To the Socialist modern civilisation is worse than a failure. "Our
civilisation seems all so savage and bestial and filthy and
inartistic; all so cowardly and devilish and despicable. We fight by
cheatery and underselling, and adulteration and bribery, and unmanly
smirking for our bone of a livelihood; all scrambling and biting round
the platter when there is abundance for all, if we were orderly and
courteous and gentlemanly; all crushing the weaker; all struggling to
the platter-side for the privilege of wearing tall hats and of giving
good advice to the poor dogs outside. We, the well-fed, shout lordily
to the hungry and cheer them with legends to the effect that though
the poor are juggled out of earth, they may be masters in Heaven. Our
civilisation is barbarous."[38]

    Where'er we go, to east or west
      North or south, 'tis all the same;
    Civilisation at it's best
      Is savagery's newer name.
    For we see on every hand
      'Midst the whirr and noise of trade
    The toilers, crushed and trampled, and
      Into beasts of burden made.[39]

"The one reality of the nineteenth century is the scramble for wealth;
politics, literature, science, religion, art, are, apart from
money-getting, mere lifeless wraiths."[40] Government in general, and
British Government in particular, is vicious, tyrannous, and
neglectful, and deserves the utmost contempt. "National Government is
devised for other objects than the adjustment of essential, economic,
and hygienic arrangements for the redemption of human life; to use it
for such a purpose is gross tyranny and a deadly blow at the very
foundations of morality and religion! Governments exist for quite
other purposes than this--to pay a million pounds yearly to one family
and its immediate parasites, to supply power of life and death over
the people to the exploiting class and fat places to their satellites
and creatures, to squander hundreds of millions on gunpowder and
armaments, to use the whole socialised power of the nation to overawe,
exploit, rob, and ruin the so-called lower races--all these are the
proper objects of government according to our orthodox wiseacres, but
to use the same obvious instrument adequately to protect human life at
home, and that life, to quote Mr. Burns, 'the weakest, the smallest,
and the dearest to us all,' is to undermine the foundations of British
manliness and to poison the fountain of British liberty and greatness.
Such is the curious _mélange_ of selfishness, hypocrisy, prejudice,
ignorance, and incoherence which passes muster for argument amongst
our anti-Socialist opponents."[41]

British social legislation has been a failure. Never was the lot of
the workers worse than it is now. "Your legislation for the past
hundred years is a perpetual and fruitless effort to regulate the
disorders of your economic system. Your poor, your drunken, your
incompetent, your sick, your aged, ride you like a nightmare. You have
dissolved all human and personal ties. The salient characteristic of
your civilisation is its irresponsibility. The making of dividends is
the universal preoccupation; the well-being of the labourer is no
one's concern. You depend on variations of supply and demand which
you can neither determine nor anticipate. The failure of a harvest,
the modification of a tariff in some remote country dislocates the
industry of millions, thousands of miles away. You are at the mercy of
a prospector's luck, an inventor's genius, a woman's caprice--nay, you
are at the mercy of your own instruments. Your capital is alive and
cries for food."[42]

Virtue has disappeared, religion is a fraud, clergy and priesthood are
mercenary, cowardly, and interested time-servers. "The priests and the
parsons are salary-slaves as much as the workers are wage-slaves. The
majority of them dare not preach the Gospel of Humanity, Justice, and
Socialism from their pulpits owing to their fear of their paymasters.
Religion is divorced from business, politics, the administration of
public authorities, the treatment of the aged worker, and written
across the actions of the professing Christians is 'Self-interest;
every man for himself and the Workhouse take the hindmost.'"[43]

Life is hell, and only Socialism can regenerate the world.

    Things are all wrong, and we must put them right
    So say all Socialists, and truly too.
    Man does not get the chance here to subdue
    The brute in self; and hence the fearful blight
    Which makes one sicken at the dreadful sight
    Of all society in one hell stew.[44]

Apparently all British workers spend their lives in terrible misery
and constant privation. Hunger and despair are their constant
companions, and they will see in Socialism their only salvation even
if Socialism should destroy individual liberty, for to them individual
liberty is a word without meaning. One of the most prominent British
Socialists, Mr. Philip Snowden, M.P., in a pamphlet addressed to
working men, writes: "Let those who fear that Socialism will destroy
individual liberty and hinder intellectual development go with their
talk to the machine-workers of our great northern towns, who are
chained for eleven hours a day to a monotonous toil, with the eye of
the overseer and the fear of dismissal spurring them on to an exertion
which leaves them at the end of their day's work physical wrecks, with
no ambition but to restore their wasted energies at the nearest
public-house. Let them go with their talk of the blessings of
civilisation to the pottery and chemical workers, whose systems are
poisoned, whose sight is destroyed, where, through the bodies of the
parents being saturated with poison, half the children are born dead,
and of the rest not one in four lives to be five--tell them to hold
fast to their share of the blessings of our glorious civilisation. Or
go to the sweaters' victims, living, eating, working, dying in one
room, for which a vampire landlord will take in rent one-half of all
the family can earn by working day and night--talk to them of
individual liberty and warn them of the tyranny of the coming
Socialism. Or go on a bitterly cold winter morning to the dock gates
of one of our great ports and see thousands of men waiting in the hope
of a day's job, and watch how a few here and there of the strongest
are selected, and the rest left to another day of hunger and despair;
or, wait still, and see how a few remain behind in the hope that their
mate may meet with an accident and 'they can snatch at the work he
had.' Why, to talk of individual freedom and equality of opportunity
under a system of cannibalistic competition like this is like the
mocking laughter of a raving maniac gloating over the torture of the
victim it holds in its murderous grip."[45] In another popular
pamphlet the worker is told: "After all, John, does it not strike you
that there is some foul iniquity in a system which allows one part of
the community to do another portion of it to death and to rob and
enslave those it is pleased to let live? Do you not see that those
your capitalists find it convenient and profitable to employ may live;
and that those they do not choose to employ must die? Do you not see
that these are hurried and driven hither and thither in haggard,
destitute misery; are thrust into festering heaps in your foul slums;
into your gaols, and penitentiaries, and workhouses; that they wander
in hopeless misery, hungering within sight of food, penniless amid
plenty, enforcedly idle, and work to which they can have no access
lying upon every hand of them, as though the world were under an
enchantment and God were dead!"[46]

The British working man, as he is generally known, is a manly and very
independent personage. As a rule his master is more afraid of him than
he is of his master. Yet, according to the picture drawn of him by the
Socialists, he is a timorous, cowardly, whining, pitiful creature who
has to cringe to his tyrannic employers:

    See the toiler, how he slaves
      For a trifle of his toil.
    How disease and death he braves,
      Yet the masters take the spoil;
    And how often, cap in hand,
      Trembling, pleading piteously,
    He is forced to take his stand
      In the mart of slavery.

    Oh! ye tyrants of the earth,
      Who make others' ruin your trade,
    'Midst licentious love and mirth
      Fashion, pomp, and church parade.
    Do you never think, oh, tell
      Of the hideous crime and shame
    That has made this earth a hell
      Of commercial fraud and shame?[47]

During the week the British workers work at most five and a half days
out of seven, and as a rule they work during from eight to ten hours a
day. Generally speaking, the pace at which British workmen work is not
forced. Except in a few special industries overwork among the working
men is practically unknown. Besides, the pace at which work is
performed is as a rule determined not by the employer, but by the
employees. Nevertheless we read, "It is monstrous that, while some
half million of men are vainly seeking employment, millions of their
fellows should have no respite from arduous ill-requited toil and
should be hastening to a premature death through overwork."[48] In
prose and verse the British workers are constantly told that they are
slaves[49] who are driven into starvation and suicide:

    Let them brag until in the face they are black
      That over oceans they hold their sway,
    Of the flag of Old England, the Union Jack,
      About which I have something to say.
    'Tis said that it floats o'er the free; but it waves
      Over thousands of hard-worked, ill-paid British slaves,
    Who are driven to pauper and suicide graves--
      The starving poor of Old England.

        _Chorus._

        'Tis the poor, the poor the taxes have to pay,
        The poor who are starving every day,
        Who faint and die on the King's highway--
        The starving poor of Old England.

    There's the slaves of the needle and the slaves of the mine,
      The postmen, and the sons of the plough,
    And the hard-worked servants on the railway line,
      Who get little by the sweat of their brow.
    'Tis said that the labourer is worthy of his hire;
      But of whom does he get it? we'd like to enquire.
    Not of any mill-owner, or farmer, or squire,
      Who grind down the poor of Old England.[50]

Now let us cast a glance at the Socialist picture of the society of
the future under Socialistic rule.

The first thing which Socialism would do would be to organise work,
for "practical Socialism is a kind of national scheme of co-operation,
managed by the State."[51] There would be no more employers, for
"under Socialism all the work of the nation would be managed by the
nation for the nation,"[52] and all would have plenty to eat, because
"Socialism would leave no man to starve."[53] "All the work of the
nation would be organised--that is to say, it would be ordered or
arranged so that no one need be out of work, and so that no useless
work need be done, and so that no work need be done twice where once
would serve."[54]

It is expected that the national organisation and administration of
all the industries would prove more efficient than private enterprise.
We are assured that "under Socialism the efficiency of production
developed by Capitalism will not only be preserved but improved.
Mechanical invention will be encouraged and utilised to the
utmost."[55] Compulsory labour, State regulation of work, and
increased production would lead to increased consumption and increased
comfort. "Who would deny that, if it is everybody's duty to work, if
the production of unnecessary--nay, even of injurious--articles is
abolished, if production is organised in conformity with the real
wants and pleasures of mankind--who would deny, I ask, that the
standard of life of the whole human race might be raised infinitely
above its present grade?"[56]

Although Socialism would make work compulsory to all, and place every
man, woman, and child under the direction of the great Socialist
organisation with its army of officials, and although it would destroy
individual liberty as at present understood, by placing the daily life
of every citizen under Government regulations and restrictions, it
would bring with it a greater liberty. Unfortunately the Socialists
fail to say what that liberty consists in, and we must take their
assurances in lieu of details. "Those who fear that Socialism will
destroy individual liberty fail to distinguish between liberty and
licence. Individualism is licence--it is the freedom of the individual
to do as he likes without regard to the effect of his action on
others, or even without regard to his own best welfare. Socialism is
liberty; for it will restrict the freedom of the individual to inflict
injury upon others or to do what is morally injurious to himself."[57]

Socialism will release the British slaves out of their slavery, and
restore them to everlasting freedom. "Such Socialism as we champion
means for all future generations not slavery, but full and
never-ending freedom."[58] "Socialism declares it to be the duty of
man to remove all artificial barriers to the improvement of
circumstances, in order that humanity, as a whole, may have freedom
and all possible assistance to attain to its full stature, physically,
mentally, and spiritually."[59]

With the introduction of the Socialist _régime_ the earth would, as by
a magician's wand, be transformed into a paradise. Over-population,
bad harvests, the maladjustment of international demand and supply,
and individual folly, laziness, wastefulness, improvidence, and
passion would apparently no longer have the same unfortunate
consequences which they have now. "The struggle for individual
existence disappears...."[60] "The words 'poor' and 'charity' will be
expunged from the dictionary as relics of a barbarous past."[61]
"There would be no starvation, there would be no pauperism, there
would be no sweaters; there would be no barefooted children in the
streets; there would be no fraudulent trustees, no bankrupts; there
would be no slums, no annual massacre of innocents by preventable
disease; there would be hardly such a thing known as ignorance, there
would be scarcely any drunkenness, and crime would shrink to
microscopic dimensions."[62]

"Practical Socialism would educate the people. It would provide cheap
and pure food. It would extend and elevate the means of study and
amusement. It would foster literature and science and art. It would
encourage and reward genius and industry. It would abolish sweating
and jerry-work. It would demolish the slums and erect good and
handsome dwellings. It would compel all men to do some kind of useful
work. It would recreate and nourish the craftsman's pride in his
craft. It would protect women and children. It would raise the
standard of health and morality; and it would take the sting out of
pauperism by paying pensions to honest workers no longer able to
work."[63]

"There is something in Socialism to kill ignorance and to destroy
vice. There is something in it to shut up the gaols, to do away with
prostitution, to reduce crime and drunkenness, and wipe out for ever
the sweater and the slums, the beggars and the idle rich, the useless
fine ladies and lords, and to make it possible for sober and willing
workers to live healthy, and happy, and honourable lives."[64]

The Socialist Government would apparently be all-powerful and
all-wise. At any rate, it would improve the character of the people.
"Socialism would teach and train all children wisely; it would foster
genius and devotion to the common good; it would kill scamping, and
loafing, and jerrymandering; it would give us better health, better
homes, better work, better food, better lives, and better men and
women."[65]

When Socialism is introduced and private capital abolished, the golden
age of the world will begin:

    When all mankind are workers,
      And no drones in the hive;
    Oh, what a happy, glorious time
      They'll have who are alive.
    This world will be a garden,
      An Eden full of bliss;
    Oh, brother--sister--won't you strive
      For such a state as this?

    There will be no starving children, no;
      Nor tramps, nor beggars then;
    No workhouses, nor prisons, and
      No slums, nor sweater's den.
    The land-grabber and the vampire,
      And the fleecer of our toil,
    Will all have ceased to crush us
      In their vile rush for the spoil.[66]

So far we have looked chiefly at the economic consequences which the
introduction of Socialism is going to bring about. However, according
to the Socialists, it is not true that "Socialism is merely sordid and
material, and has no regard for the more ideal side of human
interests. The Socialist recognises, far more than others, the higher
ideals of human life as being its true end."[67] Therefore "Socialism
seeks to improve the physical, mental, and spiritual environment of
every man, woman, and child, so that all mankind may be purer,
healthier, happier, stronger, nobler, and that each generation may be
nearer perfection than the one immediately preceding."[68] In other
words, "the creation of a higher type of mankind than the modern man
will be the result of Socialism. Men will have no need to think, day
in, day out, where to get the bread for to-morrow."[69] "Material
conditions form the fundamental basis of human existence. When these
become common property, free to all and abundant for all, they will
cease to have that importance they now possess. The sordid struggle
for mere material things will disappear; free play will be given to
man's higher faculties, and the struggle, competition, or emulation
between man and man will be for the realisation of his highest
conceivable aspirations."[70]

According to many Socialists, money and wages would disappear. Food,
clothing, lodging, &c., would be given gratis to the citizens. "Under
ideal Socialism there would be no money at all and no wages. The
industry of the country would be organised and managed by the State,
much as the Post Office now is; goods of all kinds would be produced
and distributed for use, and not for sale, in such quantities as were
needed; hours of labour would be fixed, and every citizen would take
what he or she desired from the common stock. Food, clothing,
lodging, fuel, transit, amusements, and all other things would be
absolutely free, and the only difference between a prime minister and
a collier would be the difference of rank and occupation."[71]

Not only food, clothing, and shelter would be supplied gratis by a
bountiful State to the people. In order to banish _ennui_ from among
the workers, entertainments and amusements also would be provided,
free of charge. Gratis travel on the railways would make life a
permanent holiday, and the last cause of dissatisfaction would be
removed by transferring the surroundings of the gratuitously
maintained and amused people into a garden of Eden. "I would have the
towns rebuilt with wide streets, with detached houses, with gardens
and fountains and avenues of trees. I would make the railways, the
carriage of letters, and the transit of goods as free as the roads and
bridges. I would make the houses loftier and larger, and clear them of
all useless furniture. I would institute public dining-halls, public
baths, public washhouses on the best plans, and so set free the hands
of those slaves--our English women. I would have public parks, public
theatres, music-halls, gymnasiums, football and cricket fields, public
halls and public gardens for recreation and music and refreshment. I
would have all our children fed and clothed and educated at the cost
of the State. I would have them all taught to play and to sing. I
would have them all trained to athletics and to arms. I would have
public halls of science. I would have the people become their own
artists, actors, musicians, soldiers, and police. Then, by degrees, I
would make all these things free."[72] In the words of the Socialist
poet--

    We'll grow up true men and women
    And enjoy life from our birth.[73]

Men, being no longer compelled to work hard for a living, will lose
the desire for wealth and all that wealth supplies and will devote
themselves more and more to the culture of their mind. "Under
Socialism the possession of riches will cease to be a ruling passion,
for honest labour will be a guarantee against want, and riches will no
longer be the passport to social position. Under such conditions the
possession of riches will be a superfluous burden which no sane man
will wish to bear."[74] "When land and capital are the common property
of all the people, class distinctions, as we know them at present,
will no longer exist. The Mind will then be the standard by which a
man's place among his fellows will be determined."[75] Hence
"Socialism means the elevation of the struggle for existence from the
material to the intellectual plane. Socialism will raise the struggle
for existence into a sphere where competition shall be emulation,
where the treasures are boundless and eternal, and where the abundant
wealth of one does not cause the poverty of another."[76]

The poet has described in a vision this phase of the golden age of
Socialism as follows:

    A strain of distant music
      Floats on the gentle breeze,
    Its captivating sweetness
      Bends e'en the proudest knees;
    Now soft as angel whispers,
      Then, loud as trumpet's blast
    It sounds the knell of sorrows
      And pains for ever past.

    Now sweeter and more varied,
      The music doth appear;
    Ten thousand harps Æolian
      Seem to be drawing near.
    Ten thousand angels' voices
      Are mingled with the strain,
    Chanting the song of Freedom--
      Justice has come to reign;

    Telling of bounteous harvests,
      Of waving golden corn,
    Waiting the reaper's sickle,
      And asking to be shorn;
    Lands rich with milk and honey
      Promised in days of yore;
    Asking all those that hunger
      To eat and faint no more.

    The song grows loud and mighty
      As thunder in the storm,
    The tyrant quakes and trembles,
      And hides his guilty form;
    And stronger and still stronger
      The joyous chorus grows--
    Rejoice! all ye that labour,
      Ye triumph o'er your foes.[77]

"Socialism, being at the same time the sublimest science, art, and
religion, will naturally elevate man. The British people will become a
nation of scientists and philosophers who, throwing natural enjoyments
aside, will lead a life of pure intellectual happiness. Mortal men
will become demi-gods. Socialism will justify God's way to man."[78]
"Socialism comes as the Angel of Light bearing to mankind this message
of truth. Socialism, equipped with all the learning of the ages, takes
up the ripest teaching of the poet, the philosopher, the economist,
the scientist, the historian, and joins the conclusion of each
together into one harmonious whole. Now we know that suffering,
misery, and poverty are a violation of God's will. Now we know that
the fulness of time has come for us to cast the last relic of our
fallen nature from us and to follow the beckoning angel who is waiting
to lead us back through the gates of Paradise into an Eden of
intellectual joys."[79]

    These things shall be! a loftier race
      Than e'er the world hath known shall rise
    With flame of freedom in their souls,
      And light of science in their eyes.

    They shall be gentle, brave, and strong,
      To spill no drop of blood, but dare
    All that may plant man's lordship firm
      On earth, and fire, and sea, and air.

    Nation with nation, land with land,
      Unarmed shall live as comrades free;
    In every heart and brain shall throb
      The pulse of one fraternity.

    New arts shall bloom of loftier mould,
      And mightier music thrill the skies,
    And every life shall be a song
      When all the earth is paradise.

    These things--they are no dreams--shall be
      For happier men when we are gone.
    These golden days for them shall dawn,
      Transcending aught we gaze upon.[80]

All men will be brothers. The difference among nations and races will
disappear by the rule of love and justice. "Justice is to be the
foundation on which we must build: not the kind of justice we have
hitherto considered as sufficient for us, and which many countries
pride themselves is their watchword and standard, but a justice that
demands freedom for all."[81]

    Equal rights it gives, my brothers,
      To the eagle and the dove;
    Right to air, and light, and knowledge,
      Right to rise your toil above--
    Hearken! hearken! O, my brothers,
      For this new great Right is Love.[82]

Wars will be abolished.

    There's a good time coming, boys,
      A good time coming;
    The pen shall supersede the sword,
    And right, not might, shall be the lord
      In the good time coming.
    Worth, not birth, shall rule mankind,
      And be acknowledged stronger;
    The proper impulse has been giv'n--
      Wait a little longer.[83]

Being a religion of peace and love, and preaching the brotherhood of
man, Socialism will conquer the world. "Socialism with its promise of
freedom, its larger hope for humanity, its triumph of peace over war,
its binding of the races of the earth into one all-embracing
brotherhood, must prevail."[84] "We mean the establishment of a
political power which shall have for its conscious and definite aim
the common ownership and control of the _whole_ of the world's
industry, exchange, &c."[85]

According to many Socialists, Socialism is not an original religion,
but it is the most sublime form of Christianity. "Socialism is in
accordance with the revealed will of God."[86] "Karl Marx was an
utter pagan, but there is not an essential proposition in 'Das
Kapital' that Jesus of Nazareth did not inculcate. Is it a question of
rent? You are as much entitled to immunity from it as the birds of the
air, or the grass of the fields. Is it a question of usury or
interest? Lend, hoping for nothing again. Is it a question of profit
or inequitable exchange? Do unto others as ye would that they should
do unto you."[87] "Did Jesus Christ teach Socialism? Unless we are
prepared to deny the truth of the Gospel, there can be but one
answer--Yes. And Socialism naturally evolves from Christianity."[88]
Socialism will mean the establishment of the rule of Christ upon
earth. "The political democracy, dominated by the social ideal, will
be the coming of Christ to rule the nations in righteousness."[89] The
Socialist leaders see visions. "I do sometimes dream dreams, and I see
a vision of what the world will be when this spirit of love and
sacrifice which has actuated some noble spirits in all ages and which
shone with the glory of full perfection in the life and example of
Jesus of Nazareth--I sometimes see, as through a glass darkly, a
vision of what the world will be when this spirit of love and
sacrifice shall animate all men. I see our modern towns swept away,
and in their place beautiful cities whose buildings reflect the pride
of the community in their common life, and whose healthy homes show
the value society attaches to the individual life. I see everywhere a
change come over the face of the landscape; every meadow smiles with
plenty, every valley blossoms as the rose, every hill is green with
the glory of Lebanon. I see a revived art and a revived literature. I
see a people healthy, happy, cultured, contented, whose wealth is
life, full and free, 'whose ways are ways of pleasantness, whose
flowery paths are paths of peace.' And my vision extends, though more
dimly, beyond the confines of my own dear land, and I see this spirit
of brotherhood among the nations has broken down international
barriers, and international hatred is no more. The sword is beaten
into a ploughshare, the spear into a pruning-hook, and the peoples of
all lands are one, each freely sharing of its special bounties to add
to the comforts of all."[90]

The new Christian religion, like the old one, demands its saints and
its martyrs, if not the reincarnation of Christ. "The only way to
regain the earthly paradise is by the old, hard road to
Calvary--through persecution, through poverty, through temptation, by
the agony and bloody sweat, by the crown of thorns, by the agonising
death, and then the resurrection to the New Humanity--purified by
suffering, triumphant through Sacrifice."[91]

The new Christ also has his forerunner and herald. "Mr. Keir Hardie,
M.P., the leader of the Labour Party, resembles John the Baptist,"[92]
and the Socialist leaders will do even greater things than did Christ.
We are told: "When Christ told His disciples that it was possible for
them to do greater things than they had seen Him do they must have
been fairly staggered. Just think for a moment of the nature of the
works He had done, most of them in their very presence. Those who are
striving to obtain a better social order and provide a fairer
distribution of the good gifts of God among the sons of men, these men
I say, in so far as their efforts are successful, are doing greater
things than Christ did when He performed the miracle of feeding the
hungry."[93]

"Man is only irresistible when he acts from passion. The masses of men
are never moved except by passions feelings, interests. It is of
course to the discontented wage-earners that the Socialist can appeal
with the greatest chance of success."[94] All Socialists agree in
depicting to the workers life in present society as hell incarnate and
in giving a picture of life in the Socialist State of the future which
resembles the descriptions found in the "Arabian Nights" tales. They
only disagree in this: that some promise him heaven, whilst those
possessed of less enthusiasm promise him only an earthly paradise.

FOOTNOTES:

[36] Gronlund, _The Co-operative Commonwealth_, p. 187.

[37] _Ibid._ p. 184.

[38] _Forward_, October 12, 1907.

[39] Neil, _Songs of the Social Revolution_, p. 22.

[40] Bax, _Outlooks from the New Standpoint_, p. 140.

[41] Fisher, _The Babies' Tribute_, p. 6.

[42] Glyde, _The Misfortune of being a Working Man_, p. 1.

[43] _Ibid._ p. 7.

[44] Neil, _Songs of the Social Revolution_, p. 1.

[45] Snowden, _The Individual under Socialism_, pp. 4-5.

[46] Washington, _A Corner in Flesh and Blood_, p. 15.

[47] _Social-Democratic Federation Song Book_, p. 29.

[48] Quelch, _The Social-Democratic Federation_, p. 7.

[49] Sidney Webb, _The Difficulties of Individualism_, p. 18.

[50] _Social-Democratic Federation Song Book_, p. 32.

[51] Blatchford, _Merrie England_, p. 100.

[52] Blatchford, _What is this Socialism?_ p. 7.

[53] Blatchford, _Britain for the British_, p. 96.

[54] Blatchford, _What is this Socialism?_ pp. 5, 6.

[55] Macdonald, _Socialism_, p. 74.

[56] Sorge, _Socialism and the Worker_, p. 13.

[57] Snowden, _The Individual under Socialism_, pp. 12, 13.

[58] Hyndman, _Socialism and Slavery_, p. 13.

[59] "Veritas," _Did Jesus Christ teach Socialism?_ p. 1.

[60] Engels, _Socialism: Utopian and Scientific_, p. 81.

[61] Davidson, _The Old Order and the New_, p. 170.

[62] Blatchford, _The Pope's Socialism_, p. 16.

[63] Blatchford, _Merrie England_, p. 102.

[64] Blatchford, _Britain for the British_, p. 89.

[65] _Ibid._ p. 89.

[66] Neil, _Songs of the Social Revolution_, p. 8.

[67] Bax and Quelch, _A New Catechism of Socialism_, p. 43.

[68] "Veritas," _Did Jesus Christ teach Socialism?_ p. 1.

[69] Kautsky, _The Social Revolution_, p. 43.

[70] Bax and Quelch, _A New Catechism of Socialism_, p. 44.

[71] Blatchford, _Merrie England_, p. 103.

[72] _Ibid._ pp. 43, 44.

[73] Neil, _Songs of the Social Revolution_, p. 8.

[74] Snowden, _The Individual under Socialism_, p. 9.

[75] Keir Hardie, _From Serfdom to Socialism_, p. 24.

[76] Snowden, _The Individual under Socialism_, p. 8.

[77] _Clarion Song Book_, p. 18.

[78] Snowden, _The Individual under Socialism_, p. 8.

[79] Snowden, _The Individual under Socialism_, p. 9.

[80] _Clarion Song Book_, p. 14.

[81] Ford, _Women and Socialism_, p. 2.

[82] _Clarion Song Book_, p. 31.

[83] _Ibid._ p. 25.

[84] Keir Hardie, _From Serfdom to Socialism_, p. 104.

[85] Bax and Quelch, _A New Catechism of Socialism_, p. 9.

[86] "Veritas," _Did Jesus Christ teach Socialism?_ p. 15.

[87] Davidson, _The Gospel of the Poor_, p. 153.

[88] "Veritas," _Did Jesus Christ teach Socialism?_ p. 16.

[89] Snowden, _The Christ that is to be_, p. 13.

[90] Snowden, _The Christ that is to be_, pp. 13, 14.

[91] _Ibid._ p. 14.

[92] "Veritas," _Did Jesus Christ teach Socialism?_ p. 4.

[93] Ward, _Prevention is Better than Cure_, pp. 2, 5, and 6.

[94] Gronlund, _The Co-operative Commonwealth_, p. 184.



CHAPTER III

THE GRIEVANCES OF THE SOCIALISTS


"Socialism is not only a theory of another and better system of
society: it is an indictment of the existing order."[95] The Socialist
conception of society as at present constituted, given in the
preceding chapter, will have prepared the reader to some extent for
the Socialist grievances. These grievances are three in number, and
may be summed up as follows:

(1) The workers are for all practical purposes slaves who are kept in
chains and forced to work by the capitalist class.

(2) The rich men cause the poverty of the poor by defrauding them of
the largest part of their wages.

(3) The workers receive only from one third to one fourth of the wage
which is their rightful due.

Let us look into these grievances.

According to the Socialist leaders, the workers--

    Helots in hunger nursed
    Slaves of their reign accursed[96]--

keep the rich in affluence. Nevertheless they themselves are kept in
poverty, degradation, and slavery by the capitalists whom they nourish
by their labour. "The landlord owns the raw material and can live in
idleness. The capitalist owns the machinery and can live in idleness.
The worker has nothing, except his ability to work, and he cannot
work without the consent of the landlord and the capitalist.
Therefore, he is virtually a slave. He cannot control his own
life."[97]

As a matter of fact the position of the worker is worse than was that
of the slave. "It did not always pay to starve a slave, because if he
died you might have to buy another one. Therefore the lot of the slave
under a good master was in many respects better than that of the
proletariat in our great cities."[98] "Poverty rather than property is
the reward of labour to-day."[99] "Poverty is our reward for creating
plenty, and the class that lives in luxury by exploiting our labour
contemptuously informs us that the law of supply and demand condemns
us to suffer the most hideous privation whenever our excessive
industry has created a glut of all the things that satisfy human
needs."[100]

The workers are unfree, being enslaved by the capitalists. It is true
that they possess freedom of contract, but freedom of contract, like
individual liberty, is an illusion, because the workers, being
penniless, are compelled to accept whatever work is obtainable, and to
be satisfied with whatever wages are offered. "The right to sell in
the markets is now well established, but the chief difficulty with the
majority of workers lies in the fact that they have nothing but their
labour to sell, and a market is not easy to find even for that."[101]

Although co-operation has made millions of workers in Germany, France,
Belgium, and other countries prosperous and independent, independence
is, according to the Socialists, for some unspecified reason,
unobtainable for the workers of Great Britain, and co-operation is a
failure. "The chance of the great bulk of the labourers ever coming to
work upon their own land and capital in associations for co-operative
production, has become even less hopeful than it ever was."[102]
"Everywhere the workman is coming to understand that it is practically
hopeless for him, either individually or co-operatively, to own the
constantly growing mass of capital by the use of which he lives."[103]
The advent of the great industry has not benefited but harmed him.
"The supersession of the small by the great industry has given the
main fruits of invention and the new power over Nature to a
comparatively small proprietary class, upon whom the mass of the
people are dependent for leave to earn their living."[104] "The worker
is now a mere item in a vast industrial army over the organisation and
direction of which he has no control. He is free, but free only to
choose to which master he will sell his labour--free only to decide
from which proprietor he will beg that access to the new instruments
of production without which he cannot exist."[105]

As the capitalist class owns the factories, workshops, &c., the worker
has become to that class a slave in the full and generally accepted
meaning of the word. "The effect of private property in land and
capital is in all essential respects the same as was the effect of
private property in human beings. In each case slavery is the result.
The form may have changed, but the substance remains."[106] "The
labourer to-day is a slave, and labour has become a mark of
bondage."[107] Except for a slight difference in outward form, the
British wage-slaves are no better off than were the black slaves on
the sugar plantations in the past. "Much as the 'free-born Briton' may
dislike to hear the painful truth recited, it is a fact, not to be
controverted, that four-fifths of our total population are bound as
completely and as miserably as ever was a black African slave to a
Western planter. There is no real freedom which is not economic
freedom. He is a slave who depends for his bread upon the will or the
whim of a man like himself, or of a number of such masters."[108] In
other words, capitalism and slave-owning are for all practical
purposes synonymous words, as may be seen from the Socialist
Catechism: "Q. What constitutes the chief difference between
capitalism and slave-owning? A. The fact that the capitalist goes
through the form of bargaining with the labourer as to the amount of
the portion of the produce that shall be returned to him.--Q. What is
this farce called? A. Freedom of contract.--Q. In what sense is it
free? A. In this sense--that the labourer is free to take what is
offered or nothing.--Q. Has he anything to fall back upon? A. He has
absolutely nothing in countries where the tyranny of capitalism is
untempered by any form of Socialism."[109]

To those working men who might object that it is a gross exaggeration
to say that the British worker is a slave, and that he is penniless,
the Socialist agitator answers: "What? You are a free man and not a
slave? There are no slaves in this country? What is a slave? One who
works at the bidding of another, and only by permission of another,
and for the profit of that other. Does not that fit your case exactly?
Do you work when you like and idle when you like? Not you! You work
when the capitalist requires your labour, when your services will be
useful in making a profit for him. When that is not the case you can
starve in the gutter, although there may be all the necessaries of
life in profusion around you. These things do not belong to you,
although you and your class have made them; they are so much wealth
which your masters have acquired from your unpaid labour, things which
you have produced, but for which you have never been paid, out of
which you have been swindled by the natural operation of the system of
wage-slavery of which you are the unconscious victim. From this
condition of things there is no escape while the whole of the people
do not own the means of production. Nothing but the abolition of the
class ownership of the means of life, and the substitution of
ownership of the whole people, will abolish this form of
slavery."[110]

The foregoing grievance is absurd. If regular work for a regular wage,
agreed upon by contract, is slavery, then all salaried men from the
Prime Minister and the Lord Chancellor downward are also
"wage-slaves."

The Socialist agitator, after having told the working men that they
are no better off than negro slaves, then asks his hearers, as a rule:
"Why is it that the producers in this country are the poorest of the
population? Why is it that those who do not produce are the
richest?"[111] The manner in which this question is put suggests the
reply. Indeed, all Socialists agree in holding the rich responsible
for the poverty of the poor, as the following utterances will show:
"Socialism contends that the poverty of the poor is caused by robbery
on the part of the rich. The mansion explains the hovel. Belgravia has
its counterpart in Shoreditch. The factory, the foundry, the
ship-building yard account for the shooting lodge, the yacht, and the
tours in foreign lands. The long day's toil of one class renders
possible the life-long play of the other."[112] "If you have no
unemployed at the top of the social ladder you will have none at the
bottom."[113]

"The riches of the rich class are the cause of the poverty of the
masses."[114] "You make the automobile, he rides in it. If it were not
for you, he would walk; and if it were not for him, you would
ride."[115] "Colossal poverty is the foundation of colossal wealth; he
who would eliminate the poverty of the masses assails the wealth of
the few."[116]

The foregoing arguments, or rather assertions, may sound very
convincing and may be exceedingly useful for propaganda purposes, but
they are disproved by facts. If the existence of the rich were the
cause of the poverty of the masses, the workers in countries which
possess few rich capitalists, such as Ireland, Spain, Italy, Servia,
and Bulgaria, should be exceedingly well off; the workers in the
countries where the richest millionaires live, such as the United
States, should be the poorest. In reality, the American workmen are
the most prosperous, whilst the workers in Ireland and other
millionaire-less countries are the poorest. Rich men are not the
consumers, but merely the trustees and managers, of the national
wealth which is invested chiefly in reproductive undertakings--mills,
railways, mines, &c.--which supply comforts and conveniences to all.

The capitalists, the employers, British Socialists say, have become
rich by defrauding the worker of his wages. The worker must starve so
that a few rich people may live in luxury, and things will become
better for the worker only when there are no more rich men. "The gains
of the capitalist are simply the losses of labour! The partly or
wholly unearned incomes of the rich consist of the unpaid, withheld
wages of the industrious poor."[117] "Only by living off another man's
labour and denying another man the fruits of his toil can riches be
acquired. Riches are directly responsible for poverty, and the art of
being rich is the art of keeping one's neighbour poor. When there are
no rich there will be no poor. To the wealth of the few, acquired at
the expense of the many, and not to drink or want of thrift, are all
the evils of our social life to be ascribed."[118] "Production is
carried on to-day purely in the interest and for the profit of the
class which owns the instruments of production."[119]

    There are ninety-and-nine who live and die
      In want and hunger and cold,
    That one may revel in luxury,
      And be wrapped in its silken fold;
    The ninety-and-nine in their hovels bare,
    The one in a palace with riches rare.[120]

    Ye poor of wealthy England,
      Who starve and sweat and freeze
    By labour sore to fill the store
      Of those who live at ease;
    'Tis time to know your real friends,
      To face your real foe,
    And to fight for your right
      Till ye lay your masters low;
    Small hope for you of better days
      Till ye lay your masters low.[121]

The working men are, according to the Socialist agitators, "excluded"
from property by the capitalist class which owns all the land,
factories, machinery, &c. The capitalist class has thus reserved for
itself a monopoly of all the instruments of production. Consequently,
"the only means by which the excluded class can live is by working for
the capitalist class--by getting some one or other of the capitalist
class to allow them access to the tools and materials in his
possession, and pay them wages in return for their labour."[122]
However, the capitalists do not grant to the workers access to the
instruments of production free of charge. They exact a toll from them,
and employ them only if, by so doing, they can secure a profit for
themselves. In the fact that an employer will engage workmen only if
he can make a profit by their labour, the Socialists see a cruel
injustice. "Your capitalist class draw upon this excluded horde of
landless, toolless, foodless lack-alls, and do actually find work for
as many as they can employ at a profit to themselves. This excluded
class have no rights--not even the elementary right to exist. What God
meant by creating them when He knew, or might have known, that
everything belonged to the capitalists, nobody can understand."[123]
"The whole of our industrial system is founded on a principle existing
nowhere else in Nature, the principle of production and distribution
for profit. If no employer can make a profit out of the worker's
labour he is cast into the unemployed army."[124] "Seven out of every
eight persons in your community, 37,500,000 of the men, and women, and
children who form your nation, can lay no claim to any right to
exist--exist only on sufferance. If one or other of the irresponsible
persons who own the country can be induced to allow them to earn their
bread, well and good; if not, they must die. At the present moment
there are 700,000 persons shut out in this manner from any chance of
obtaining food to eat. You call it being 'out of work,' and can see
the spectral army, 700,000 strong, hungry and in want. They are not
kept idle and hungry because there is no 'work.' The earth is there
with all its boundless store that their 'work' would turn into wealth
if they could but get at it. They are kept idle because those who own
the country cannot find them employment at a profit to themselves,
because the blind, fatuous insanity of your 'system of trade' makes no
provision even for keeping its slaves in work."[125]

According to the Socialists, the employer of labour has no right to
work at a profit, and the capitalist has no right to demand rent or
interest. "The great central truth of Socialistic economy, ever to be
kept in mind, is Adam Smith's definition of wages: 'The produce of
labour is the natural recompense or wages of labour.' From this
'natural recompense' rent and profit are, in Socialist eyes,
unnatural, illegitimate abstractions, to be recovered and added to
wages as speedily as possible."[126] "Profit is the result of unpaid
labour; it is the produce of the working man, for which the latter
receives no equivalent. If he received his proper and just share, if
the capitalist could not deprive him of this, then the capitalist
could make no profit."[127]

Not only are "rent" and "profit" illegitimate abstractions, but they
are downright theft. Every landowner, every banker, every
manufacturer, every shopkeeper is a thief. All business for profit is
swindling. "Land-rent and capital-rent are thefts from the produce of
labour."[128] "The manufacturer aims primarily at producing, by means
of the labour he has stolen from others, not goods, but profits."[129]
"What is successful business but cheating? What is the whole basis of
capitalist industry but the use of the means of production, not for
the legitimate end of producing wealth for use, but for the purpose of
making profit for the few by despoiling, sweating, pillaging, and
murdering the many?"[130]

Even the more moderate Socialists complain that work is carried on by
the employers only "at a profit to themselves," and they wish to
abolish this state of affairs, which, they argue, is demoralising to
the working men, and is the cause of low wages and unemployment. "The
workman is called into the workshop when capital can profitably employ
him, and turned adrift again the moment capital finds it can no longer
turn his services to profitable account. He is not consulted as to
when he shall be employed or when cast adrift. His necessities and
those of his dependents are no concern of anyone save himself. He has
no right to employment, no one is under obligation to find him work,
nor is he free to work for himself, since he has neither the use of
land nor the command of the necessary capital."[131] "So long as
industry is carried on for profit instead of for use, for gain instead
of for need, so long must the evils of low wages and no wages go
on."[132]

The grievance that the manufacturers manufacture "not for use but for
profit" is ridiculous. The manufacturers manufacture things which the
public will buy and use. There is consequently no distinction between
manufacturing for use and manufacturing for profit, except this, that
no manufacturer will give his time and trouble, and run considerable
risks, without adequate compensation. The complaint must therefore be
limited to the fact that the employer of labour makes a profit. The
question now arises: "What does the manufacturer do with his
earnings?" In the vast majority of cases he will use by far the larger
part of his profits for renewing machinery and enlarging his works,
and thus increase the national capital and the national power of
production, spending privately only a director's salary which he would
also receive as a director-employee of the Socialist commonwealth.
"The employer who works without a profit breaks himself,"[133] and in
breaking himself he breaks up the factory. Universal production
regardless of profit would lead to universal bankruptcy, whilst the
curtailing of profits may lead to a proportionate curtailment in the
expansion of industry and in the production of articles for use, and
to general poverty. It has the same effect whether the workers destroy
the capitalist's capital or whether they break the machinery and
devastate the corn-fields.

The complaints of the Socialists as to the way in which the workers
are exploited by the capitalist class are founded not only on
arguments such as those given in the foregoing but on figures as well,
and these are exceedingly curious and interesting. Under titles such
as "How the Worker is Robbed,"[134] statements are made every day, and
by all Socialists, which are to prove that the national income is
inequitably divided between capitalists and workers. These statements
are calculated to make every workman's blood boil, and they seem to
confirm the contention of the Socialists that the capitalists
inhumanely plunder the working masses. However, these figures are so
palpably false and so grossly misleading that attention cannot
sufficiently strongly be drawn to the deception which is constantly
being practised upon the workers. I hope, therefore, that my readers
will patiently and carefully consider the following.

The figures relating to the yearly income of the "capitalist class"
and the "working class" which are given in innumerable Socialistic
writings, and which are brought forward at almost every Socialist
meeting and lecture, are usually taken from a pamphlet entitled
"Facts for Socialists from the Political Economists and
Statisticians," published by the Fabian Society. The copy lying before
me bears the notice, "Tenth Edition (Revised), 111th thousand, 1906."
That pamphlet furnishes the statistical basis of fact to the Socialist
agitation. Its effect may be measured by its enormous circulation. It
contains a vast number of quotations from Blue-books, political
economists, and statisticians; and a certain show of learning, of
thoroughness, and of conscientiousness gives it at first sight the
appearance of being a reliable and honest production. However,
appearances are proverbially deceptive.

According to "Facts for Socialists," the whole national income amounts
to _1,800,000,000l._ per year (page 3), and is derived from the
following sources:


"I.--RENT

"The total profits from the ownership of lands, houses, tithes, &c.,
the rents of mines, quarries, ironworks, gasworks, waterworks, canals,
fishings, shootings, markets, tolls, &c., must amount to at least
_290,000,000l._[135]


"II.--INTEREST ON CAPITAL

"The profits of public companies, foreign investments, railways, &c.,
assessed to income tax in the United Kingdom, the interest payable
from British public funds and from Indian, Colonial, and Foreign
Governments' funds, and the interest on capital employed in private
undertakings of manufacture or trade cannot be less than
_360,000,000l._ Adding hereto the rent (_290,000,000l._), we have a
total of _650,000,000l._ for rent and interest together. This
represents the proportion of the nation's income claimed from the
workers, _not in return for any service rendered to the community, but
merely as the payment for permission to use the land and the already
accumulated capital of the country_.[136]


"III.--PROFITS AND SALARIES

"The numbers and total income of this large class cannot be exactly
ascertained. It includes workers of all grades, from the exceptionally
skilled artisan to the Prime Minister, and from the city clerk to the
President of the Royal Academy. It is convenient for statistical
purposes to include in it all those who do not belong to the 'manual
labour class.' If we take the 'rent of ability' to have increased in
the same proportion as the assessments to income tax, this prosperous
body may be estimated to receive for its work as profits and salaries
about _460,000,000l._ annually.[137]"

Adding up the income from "Rent," "Interest and Capital," and "Profits
and Salaries," the pamphlet continues:


"THE CLASSES

"The total drawn by the legal disposers of what are sometimes called
the 'three rents' of land, capital, and ability amounts at present to
about _1,110,000,000l._ yearly, or just under two-thirds of the total
produce.


"AND THE MASSES

"Allowing for the increase since these estimates were made, we may
safely say that the manual labour class receives for all its millions
of workers only some _690,000,000l._"[138]

In a short table the distribution of the national income is then given
as follows:

  Rent                                       £290,000,000
  Interest                                    360,000,000
  Profits and Salaries                        460,000,000
                                            -------------

    Total (that is, the income of the
    legal proprietors of the three
    natural monopolies of land, capital,
    and ability)                            1,110,000,000
  Income of manual labour class               690,000,000
                                            -------------
  Total produce                            £1,800,000,000[139]

At first sight it seems outrageous that "the income of the legal
proprietors of the three natural monopolies of land, capital, and
ability" should come to _1,110,000,000l._ per annum, and the income of
the manual labour class only to _690,000,000l._ per annum, about
one-third of the whole, especially as we learn on page 4 of the
pamphlet that the "idle rich" are only a small fraction of the
community. This statement would prove the assertion that the idle rich
are causing the poverty of the poor to be correct if it were honest
and fair, but it is neither the one nor the other.

In the first place the foregoing statement divides the nation into two
classes "the masses" and "the classes": manual labourers and "the
legal proprietors of the three natural monopolies." As the pamphlet is
addressed to the uncritical body of general readers, and especially to
working men, these will naturally divide, owing to the artful wording
of the phrase, the national income between manual labourers and
capitalist monopolists. According to this pamphlet everyone who is not
a labourer is a capitalist monopolist. Therefore the capitalist
monopolist class includes all lawyers and doctors, all parsons and
clerks, all officers and salaried officials. Every business man, every
farmer, every fisherman, every greengrocer, every baker, every
butcher, every sailor, every cobbler, every chimney-sweep, every
clerk, being not a wage-earning labourer, is "one of the legal
proprietors of the three natural monopolies," or in plainer language,
a monopolist. At least, the income of this very large class has
barefacedly been credited to the capitalist class, whilst its members
have been utilised (on page 4 of the pamphlet) to swell the ranks of
the workers. This is dishonesty number one.

The income of the exceptionally skilled artisans, who also form a very
large class, is credited on page 7 to the "classes" under the heading
"profits and salaries." They also are included among the
"monopolists," although their number has likewise been utilised (on
page 4) to swell the number of the workers. This is dishonesty number
two.

Let us now look at the result of the dishonest Fabian juggling with
figures by comparing the statement regarding the national income
contained in the Fabian pamphlet with a recent statement of Mr.
Chiozza Money, M.P., who is a Socialist, and who divides the national
income as follows:

  Income of working class (33,000,000 people)
                                        about        £650,000,000

  Income of middle class (all except manual
   labourers and the rich--small business
   men, managers, clerks, public servants,
   &c., with incomes up to £700--9,750,000
   people)                              about         475,000,000

  Income of rich (with incomes £700 and
   above) (1,250,000 people)            about         600,000,000
                                                   --------------
  Total                                 about      £1,725,000,000[140]

From the foregoing statement it appears that the rich draw not
two-thirds, but only one-third, of the national income, and this fact
should be carefully borne in mind in view of the contents of the
following pages.

The pamphlet states on page 6 that _650,000,000l._ per annum are paid
in the shape of rent and interest, "not in return for any service
rendered to the community, but merely as the payment for permission to
use the land and the already accumulated capital of the country." The
national capital is invested chiefly in perishable objects such as
houses, factories, railways, steamships, mines, &c., which depreciate
unless kept in proper repair. There is wear and tear in capital as in
everything else. Capital is lost and destroyed every day. Lastly, the
national capital is growing, and must continue growing, in accordance
with the growing capital requirements of the time and the growing
number of its inhabitants, or the country will decay. New houses, new
factories, new railways, new steamships must be built and new mines be
opened to increase the comfort of all. From _200,000,000l._ to
_300,000,000l._ are thus reinvested every year in Great Britain, and
only by this constant process of reinvestment is it possible to
maintain and increase the productive power of the country for the
benefit of all. The _200,000,000l._ to _300,000,000l._ which are
yearly reinvested in reproductive undertakings are found by the
capitalists, the trustees, directors and managers, not the consumers,
of the national industry and of the national wealth. This sum comes
out of their earnings, which thus benefit not only the capitalists but
the whole nation. Much irrelevant statistical matter is given in the
pamphlet, but this large item is left out. That is dishonesty number
three.

On page 6 the profits of public companies are treated as "Interest on
capital," and interest on capital is disparagingly called "unearned
income" on page 7. Most British industries are carried on by limited
companies, and limited companies are as a rule formed in this way,
that the partners in the former private enterprise become directors.
As directors they receive a purely nominal salary. They work as much
as they did whilst the business was a private concern, and their
income depends on their usually very large holding of shares. The
large director-shareholders, and their number is very great, earn
their dividends by hard work. Nevertheless their whole income is
included in the item "interest on capital," and called "unearned
income." This is dishonesty number four.

On page 7 the property of the "manual labour class," or the poor, in
land and capital is given as follows:--

In 1901 the deposits in P.O. Savings Bank were       £140,392,916
    The deposits in Trustee Savings Banks were         51,966,386
    Consols purchased for small holders were           14,450,877

In 1900 the capital of Building Societies was          46,775,143
    The funds of Trade-Unions, Co-operative,
      Friendly, and Provident Societies were           72,219,991
    The funds of Industrial Life Assurance
      Societies were                                   22,998,793
                                                     ------------
              Total                                  £348,804,106[141]

In reality the property of the "manual labour class" in land and
capital amounts not to _348,804,106l._, but to at least
_1,000,000,000l._[142] This is dishonesty number five.

The imports of Great Britain are larger than the exports by about
_150,000,000l._ The larger part of the money paid for these imports
goes in wages paid to foreigners, and is paid away by the British
capitalist class out of their earnings. British wage-earners surely
cannot expect to be paid wages in respect of articles made abroad.
However, no allowance for this large item has been made in comparing
the appropriation of the national income between capital and labour.
This is dishonesty number six.

Between one hundred and two hundred million pounds of the national
income is derived from foreign investments. The income derived from
foreign investments should in fairness either be left out of the
account or the income of foreign labour, received in respect of these
investments, be added to the British labour income. In comparing the
income of capital and labour, the pamphlet takes note of the earnings
of British capital on all five continents and on the sea, and compares
with it only the income of British labour--although foreign, not
British labour, produces the foreign income of British capital.

Giving as authority an ancient Board of Trade Return, and wishing to
magnify the difference in the earnings of the idle rich and the
industrious poor, the average yearly income of "those of the manual
labour class who are best off" is given at _48l._ per adult. This
means _18s._ per week. In view of the fact that most British workers
earn between _1l._ and _2l._ per week, that in many Trade-Unions the
_average_ wage is about _35s._ per week, the figures given are
palpably wrong unless the female workers are included. Whether this is
the case or no is not stated, but even if the wages of both sexes
should be joined together they appear to be very considerably
understated. This is dishonesty number seven.

There are many more unfair, misleading, and dishonest statements in
this pamphlet which it would lead too far to enumerate.

Most of the important pamphlets issued by the Fabian Society are
signed by their authors. The fact that the most effective, "Facts for
Socialists," is unsigned seems to indicate that the author--apparently
a well-known leader of the Fabians--had some sense of shame, and it is
to be hoped that the Fabian Society will immediately, and publicly,
repudiate this dishonest pamphlet.

The statements contained in the pamphlet "Facts for Socialists," may
be misleading and utterly dishonest, but they are very useful for
propaganda purposes. Nothing is more likely to inflame the masses than
to be told that the "idle rich" take more than two-thirds of the
national income. The practical effect of this pamphlet may be seen in
utterances such as the following: "It has been estimated that in our
country of the wealth produced, one-third is enjoyed by those who earn
it and two-thirds by those who have not laboured for it. To put it in
other words, of every three pounds earned by labour, one pound goes to
him who earned it and two pounds to others who have done nothing
towards its production."[143] "For two-thirds of his time the worker
is a slave, labouring not for himself but for others."[144] "On the
average at the present time the workers produce nearly four times as
much as they consume."[145] "Nearly two-thirds of the wealth produced
is retained by an eighth of the population."[146] "The great mass of
the people, the weekly wage-earners, four out of five of the whole
population, toil perpetually for less than a third of the aggregate
product of labour, at an annual wage averaging at most _40l._ per
adult, and are hurried into unnecessarily early graves by the severity
of their lives."[147] "Out of the wealth which his labour creates, the
worker receives but one-third. He is paid one-third the value of his
labour, and when he seeks to lay it out he is robbed of one-half its
purchasing power, and all this is done by a Christian people."[148]
"Q. How does the capitalist act? A. He extorts from those labourers
who are excluded from the land a share of all that they produce, under
threat of withholding from them the implements of production and thus
refusing to let them work at all.--Q. On what terms does the
capitalist allow the labourers to work? A. The capitalist agrees to
return to them as wages about a quarter of what they have produced by
their work, keeping the remaining three-quarters for himself and his
class.--Q. What is this system called? A. The capitalist system."[149]
"By analysing the returns of the income-tax, various economists show
that the value received by the working class and the superintendents
of labour amount to a third or less of the wealth produced. The
income-tax returns, however, are not a very reliable test of the
degree of exploitation, though, of course, they afford us valuable and
incontestable evidence that the worker does not receive more than a
third of what he produces. One to four, or one to five, in my opinion,
expresses more accurately the rate of exploitation."[150]

I am not prepared to give an estimate how the national income is
distributed between hand workers, brain workers, and men who live on
their income without doing any useful work, because such an estimate
could be arrived at only by guesswork. However, it is quite clear that
it is untrue that the wage-earners receive only one-third, one-fourth,
or one-fifth of the wages which they ought to receive, as is
constantly stated.

FOOTNOTES:

[95] _Justice_, October 19, 1907.

[96] _Social-Democratic Federation Song Book_, p. 13.

[97] _The Worker's Burden_, p. 1.

[98] Hyndman, _Social Democracy_, p. 9.

[99] Macdonald, _Socialism_, p. 12.

[100] _Protect the Home_, p. 1.

[101] _John Ball_, p. 10.

[102] _Facts for Socialists_, p. 12.

[103] Sidney Webb, _The Difficulties of Individualism_, p. 15.

[104] _Ibid._ p. 7.

[105] _Ibid._ p. 12.

[106] Keir Hardie, _Can a Man be a Christian on a Pound a Week?_ p.
12.

[107] McClure, _Socialism_, p. 27.

[108] Ethel Snowden, _The Woman Socialist_, p. 11.

[109] Joynes, _The Socialist Catechism_, p. 5.

[110] _To the Man in the Street_, Social-Democratic Federation
Leaflet.

[111] Hyndman in Debate, _Will Socialism Benefit the English People?_
p. 5.

[112] Leatham, _The Class War_, p. 4.

[113] _Socialism, For and Against_, p. 6.

[114] Snowden, _Socialists' Budget_, p. 11.

[115] Debs, _Industrial Unionism_, p. 5.

[116] Kautsky, _Class Struggle_, p. 10.

[117] Hall, _The Old and New Unionism_, p. 4.

[118] Lister, _Riches and Poverty_, pp. 13, 14.

[119] Bax and Quelch, _A New Catechism of Socialism_, p. 7.

[120] _Poems for Socialists_, p. 8.

[121] _Social-Democratic Federation Song Book_, p. 25.

[122] Washington, _A Corner in Flesh and Blood_, p. 14.

[123] _Ibid._

[124] Benson, _Socialism_, p. 5.

[125] Washington, _Nation of Slaves_, p. 11.

[126] Davidson, _The Old Order and the New_, p. 30.

[127] _Some Objections to Socialism_, p. 7.

[128] Davidson, _The Old Order and the New_, p. 45.

[129] Morris, _Useful Work and Useless Toil_, p. 30.

[130] _Some Objections to Socialism_, p. 20.

[131] Keir Hardie, _From Serfdom to Socialism_, p. 52.

[132] Hall, _The Old and New Unionism_, p. 5.

[133] Macdonald, _Socialism_, p. 6.

[134] _The Socialist Annual_, 1907, p. 16 f.

[135] _Facts for Socialists_, p. 5.

[136] _Facts for Socialists_, pp. 6, 7.

[137] _Ibid._ p. 7.

[138] _Ibid._ p. 8.

[139] _Facts for Socialists_, pp. 8, 9.

[140] See _Daily News_, November 28, 1907.

[141] _Facts for Socialists_, p. 7.

[142] See Mr. Quail's paper in the _Contemporary Review_ for August
1907.

[143] Ward, _The Ideal City_, pp. 5, 6.

[144] Keir Hardie, _From Serfdom to Socialism_, p. 15.

[145] Quelch, _Social-Democratic Federation_, p. 5.

[146] _Manifesto of the Socialist Party of Great Britain_, p. 8.

[147] Sidney Webb, _The Difficulties of Individualism_, p. 8.

[148] Keir Hardie, _Can a Man be a Christian on a Pound a Week?_ p. 7.

[149] Joynes, _The Socialist Catechism_, p. 2.

[150] Hazell, _Summary of Marx's "Capital,"_ p. 9.



CHAPTER IV

THE FUNDAMENTAL DOCTRINES OF SOCIALISM


In describing the doctrines of Socialism I do not mean to state in
detail the whole of the Socialistic theories. Such a statement would
fill a volume, it would be excessively tedious to most readers, and it
is for all practical purposes quite unnecessary. A statement of the
leading doctrines on which the activity of the Socialists is
based--the doctrines which are constantly asserted and which are the
fundamental dogmas of the Socialist faith--will enable us to obtain a
clear view of the foundations upon which the theoretic fabric of
Socialism is built, and to judge whether that foundation is scientific
and sound, or unscientific and unsound.

The basic doctrine of Socialism, upon which the great edifice of
Socialistic theory has been reared, may be summed up in the phrase

     "LABOUR IS THE ONLY SOURCE OF WEALTH"

Therefore we read in the celebrated pamphlet "Facts for Socialists,"
of which some important extracts were given in the preceding chapter:
"Commodities are produced solely by the 'efforts and sacrifices'
(Cairns), whether of muscle or of brain, of the working portion of the
community, employed upon the gifts of Nature. Adam Smith 'showed that
labour is the only source of wealth.... It is to labour, therefore,
and to labour only, that man owes everything possessed of
exchangeable value (McCulloch's 'Principles of Political Economy,'
Part II., section 1). 'No wealth whatever can be produced without
labour' (Professor Henry Fawcett (Cambridge), 'Manual of Political
Economy,' p. 13),"[151]

This statement is scarcely honest, for it quotes opinions of Adam
Smith and others which are erroneous, as will be seen in the
following, and which have been generally abandoned. This statement may
impose upon the simple by its show of learning, but it is somewhat
vague, for it only suggests, but does not distinctly assert, that
manual labour is the only source of wealth. However, in most--one
might say in nearly all--Socialist books, pamphlets, and declarations
of policy we find the basic doctrine of Socialism asserted in a form
which leaves no doubt that according to the Socialist theories the
manual labour of the labourer is the only source of wealth.

The founder of modern Socialism declared, "Labour is the only source
of wealth,"[152] and his disciples--at least his British
disciples--support that declaration. "All wealth is due to labour;
therefore, to the labourers all wealth is due."[153] "Labour applied
to natural objects is the source of all wealth."[154] The Socialist
Party of Great Britain declares: "Wealth is natural material converted
by labour-power to man's use, and as such is consequently produced by
the working class alone."[155] The Independent Labour party asserts:
"No man or class of men made the first kind of wealth, such as land,
minerals, and water. Therefore no man or class of men should be
allowed to call these things their own, or to prevent others from
using them (except on certain conditions), as the landowners and
mine-owners do now. The only class of human beings who make the
second kind of wealth are the workers. Working men and women produce
and prepare for us all those things which we use or consume, such as
food, clothing, houses, furniture, instruments and implements, trams,
railways, pictures, books, gas, drains, and many other things. They
produce all the wealth obtained by toil from the land."[156]

Those who maintain that labour, or, as some Socialists assert, the
labourer's labour, is the only source of wealth, look merely at the
mechanical factor, but omit the force which directs and controls it.
The Socialistic argument "We can run the mills without the
capitalists, but they cannot run them without us"[157] is misleading.
Labour is certainly an indispensable ingredient in production, but it
is no more indispensable than is direction, invention, and thrift.
Hence it is as absurd to assert "All wealth is due to labour" as to
say "All wealth is due to invention," or "All wealth is due to
thrift." As the brain is more important than the hand, at least in a
highly organised state of production, so invention, organisation,
management, and thrift are more important than manual labour, because
invention, organisation, management, and thrift alone enable manual
labour, working with modern machinery, to be highly productive. In
fact, it may be asserted that wealth is created not so much by labour
as by the saving of labour. A factory-owner who is dissatisfied with
the profits of his factory or with its products does not get better
workers, but gets a better manager or better machinery, keeping his
workers. This fact proves that labour is the least important factor in
modern production. The doctrine "Labour is the only source of wealth"
is untenable and absurd.

Another fundamental doctrine of Socialism is that of

     "THE IRON LAW OF WAGES"

According to that law, "wages under competition can never be higher
than that which will just support the labourer and enable him to renew
his kind."[158] In the words of Lassalle, the inventor of the Iron Law
of Wages, "the wages of the labourer are limited to the exact amount
necessary to keep him alive."[159]

The British Socialist writers tell us: "The average price of
wage-labour is the minimum wage--_i.e._ that quantum of the means of
subsistence which is absolutely requisite to keep the labourer in bare
existence."[160] "The labourer cannot as a rule command more than his
cost of subsistence in return for his labour. This principle, that the
return to labour is determined by the cost of subsistence of the
labourer, is generally known as 'The Iron Law of Wages.' But has not
this law been discarded even by some Socialists? There have been
attempts in some quarters to demonstrate that this law does not
actually operate with the rigidity at first claimed for it; but in
truth, it stands as firmly to-day as when insisted upon by
Lassalle."[161] "Capitalism always keeps the wages down to the lowest
standard of subsistence which the people will accept,"[162] for "the
basis of wages is the cost of subsistence of the labourer. This is
called the 'Iron Law of Wages.'"[163] "By the Iron Law of Wages the
recompense of the workers always tends to the minimum on which they
are willing to subsist. If they are content with water to drink and
cabbage to eat, they may be sure that the means of buying whisky or
roast beef will very soon be taken from them. Messrs. Rentmonger,
Interestmonger, and Profitmonger will speedily scent additional swag,
and they will have it, too."[164] "The 'Iron Law of Wages' reduces the
wages to as near the level of the means of subsistence as local
circumstances will admit of."[165] If these arguments were correct it
would follow that the workers could cause their wages to rise by
drinking wine instead of whisky, and by smoking Havana cigars instead
of pipe-tobacco.

This theory of wages is called the "Iron Law of Wages" because of its
absolute and pitiless rigidity. For instance, the Iron Law of Wages
will prevent lower prices of food benefiting the workman in any way.
"If the working class is enabled to buy cheap bread, the operation of
the 'Iron Law of Wages' will secure all the advantage for the
capitalists, as it did in the days of the saintly Bright, when the
corn laws were repealed. Capital is always the same in its effect on
the working-class, whether manipulated by an individual capitalist,
joint-stock enterprise, municipality, or government, and with each
step in concentration the working-class gets relatively less and the
master class gets richer, more corrupt, and more bestial, as recent
events in Berlin and elsewhere show."[166] The "Iron Law of Wages" is
irrefutable and irresistible. "Economists have come to talk about the
'Iron Law of Wages' with as much assurance as if it were an
irreversible law of Nature."[167]

The Iron Law of Wages exists chiefly in the imagination of British
Socialists. The general wage of British workmen living in towns ranges
from, say _18s._ to more than _2l._ per week, and its amount does not
depend on the cost of subsistence, but on the working skill and
various other factors. If the Iron Law of Wages were correct, wages
would be almost uniform. The Iron Law of Wages can possibly apply only
to one small class of workers, the lowest and least skilled labourers,
provided that unemployment is so great among them that they abandon
collective bargaining and underbid one another down to the level of
subsistence. When workers are organised, the Iron Law of Wages does
not apply. The level of wages depends, broadly speaking, on supply and
demand. Wages rise when two employers run after one workman; wages
fall when two workmen run after one employer. An employer who engages
a workman does not ask, "How much do you eat?" but "What can you do?"
and he proportions the worker's remuneration not to his appetite, but
to his ability and his value as a producer. The wages paid to married
men and to unmarried men are identical in the same trade. If there was
an "Iron Law of Wages," the wages of married men should be about twice
as large as those of unmarried men.

The Iron Law of Wages is manifestly absurd. It has therefore been
officially abandoned by the German Socialists at the Halle Congress of
1890 "as being scientifically untenable."[168] "German Social
Democracy no longer recognises the Iron Law of Wages."[169] The
British Socialists have not abandoned it, probably not because they
believe it to be scientifically correct--no one can believe that--but
because it is a plausible and effective means of poisoning the minds
of the people.

As regards the factors which determine wages, one of the foremost
Socialist authorities says: "Thoughtful workmen in the staple trades
have become convinced by their own experience, no less than by the
repeated arguments of the economists, that a rising standard of wages
and other conditions of employment must depend ultimately on the
productivity of labour, and therefore upon the most efficient and
economical use of credit, capital, and capacity."[170] In other words,
productivity and profit determine wages, and it is ridiculous that
Socialists argue: "Over 90 per cent. of our women do not drink, back
horses, smoke, attend football or cricket matches, they do not stop
off their work to watch England and Australia play at cricket, and the
result is they are paid less wages than men in our factories for doing
the same work."[171] Does Councillor Glyde really believe that women's
wages would rise as soon as they took to smoking and drinking?


THE LAW OF INCREASING MISERY

According to this law the improvements in machinery, the increase of
capital and increase of production do not benefit the worker. They
only lead to a decline in wages and thus increase the workers' misery.
"In proportion as the use of machinery and division of labour
increases, in the same proportion the burden of toil also increases
whether by prolongation of the working hours, by increase of the work
exacted in a given time, or by increased speed of the machinery,
&c."[172] "The faster productive capital increases, the more does the
division of labour and the employment of machinery extend. The more
the division of labour and the employment of machinery extend, so much
the more does competition increase among the labourers and so much the
more do their average wages dwindle. And thus the forest of arms
outstretched by those who are entreating for work becomes ever denser
and the arms themselves grow ever leaner."[173] "The more the worker
labours the less reward he receives for it; and that for this simple
reason, that he competes against his fellow-workmen and thus compels
them to compete against him and to offer their labour on as wretched
conditions as he does, and that he thus, in the last result, competes
against himself as a member of the working-class."[174] "The worker in
the factory gets, as a worker, absolutely no advantage from the
machinery which causes the product of his labour to be multiplied a
hundredfold."[175] "John Stuart Mill, it will be remembered,
questioned whether mechanical invention had lightened the labours of a
single human being."[176] "With increasing powers of production, the
worker's share, and therefore his purchasing power, grows less."[177]
"Wage-labour rests exclusively on competition between the
labourers."[178] "The iron law of competition means, and must mean,
continued degradation for the workers, even though their physical
condition in youth may be improved."[179] "The worker in the factory
is now seen to work no shorter hours or gain no higher wages merely
because the product of his labour is multiplied a hundredfold by
machinery which he does not own. 'The remuneration of labour as such,'
wrote Cairnes in 1874, 'skilled or unskilled, can never rise much
above its present level.'"[180]

The celebrated "Doctrine of Increasing Misery" stands in diametrical
opposition to those facts with which nowadays every child is
acquainted. During the time when our Socialists have been preaching
the "Doctrine of Increasing Misery" working hours have been very
greatly diminished and wages have not been reduced, but have risen by
about 100 per cent. During the same time working hours in Germany have
also been reduced and wages have risen up to 400 per cent.[181] The
German Socialists have been honest enough to abandon the Doctrine of
Increasing Misery under the guidance of Bernstein; the French have
dropped it under the guidance of Sorel; the Dutch have seen its
absurdity, guided by Vandervelde, their foremost leader. The British
Socialists, on the other hand, have not abandoned it, though they must
see its absurdity, probably because, though palpably and ridiculously
false, the Doctrine of Increasing Misery is considered to be a useful
and effective part of the Socialist agitator's stock-in-trade.

The next doctrine to be considered is


THE SURPLUS-VALUE DOCTRINE

The Socialists argue that the position of the worker cannot improve
because the capitalist, possessing the monopoly of property, pockets
all that the worker produces except the mere cost of his subsistence,
which, owing to the "Iron Law of Wages," is given to the workman in
the form of wages. "The amount of wealth which the labourer produces
in the time for which he has sold his labour-force is out of all
proportion to what it costs to produce and maintain his labour-force
for that time. This, the difference between what he produces and his
own cost of production, is surplus-value, and is taken and divided up
by the capitalist into rent, interest, profit. This surplus-value,
then, this profit, is so much robbery effected by taking advantage of
the necessity of the proletarian--the naked propertyless
labourer."[182] "All that the worker produces beyond what is
absolutely necessary to keep himself and his offspring in life, this
surplus beyond subsistence--this difference between the recompense of
labour and its products--this unrighteous subtrahend, this swag, is
the booty alike of slavelord, serflord, and drudgelord, or
capitalist."[183] The question now arises: "How does the capitalist
secure this surplus-value of labour without paying for it? If the
workman is free, why cannot he insist on receiving, not the mere
exchange-value of his commodity--'labour-power'--but the full value of
the labour he expends for the capitalist? The capitalist obtains this
surplus-value owing to his monopoly of the means of production. The
labourer cannot, as a rule, command more than his cost of subsistence
in return for his labour--although his wages, like the prices of all
commodities, sometimes rise above this and sometimes fall
below--because, although apparently free, he is really not free. He
must sell his labour-power in order to live; he has no other commodity
to dispose of. Consequently he must accept the terms that the
purchaser will offer, subject only to two conditions--his own cost of
subsistence and the fluctuations of the market."[184] "Owing to the
monopoly of the means of production in the past, industrial inventions
and the transformation of surplus income into capital have mainly
enriched the proprietary class, the worker being now dependent on that
class for leave to earn a living."[185]

The Surplus-Value Doctrine, like the preceding doctrines, is founded
rather upon imagination than upon fact. In the first place, it is
absurd to speak of a "capitalist class" which, having a "monopoly of
the means of production," exploits "the naked and propertyless
labourer." This picture is a fancy picture. In the second place,
"class" is not synonymous with "caste." The population is not divided
into two rigidly defined and limited castes of capitalists and
wage-earners. There is neither a monopoly of capital nor a monopoly of
labour. Capital is founded by thrift. Most respectable workmen are
capitalists to a greater or lesser extent. Every day workmen become
capitalists. It should not be forgotten that many of the wealthiest
men, such as Rockefeller, Vanderbilt, Carnegie, Krupp, the first
Rothschild, Sir Thomas Lipton, Passmore Edwards, and many others, have
risen from the ranks and were working men--and every day capitalists
lose their money and become workmen. Workmen may become capitalists by
thrift. Co-operating workmen in England, France, Germany, and other
countries own vast industrial undertakings, banks, &c. In those
districts where thrift and co-operation are general (France,
Switzerland, Holland) the "naked and propertyless labourers"
disappear, whilst in equally prosperous districts where improvidence
is general, they are many. The prosperity of the working classes in
France, Switzerland, Holland, and other countries disproves the
assertion that the workman is condemned to everlasting poverty because
of the Surplus-Value Doctrine.

Assertions in support of the "Surplus-Value Doctrine" such as
"Carnegie and other millionaires have wrung their wealth literally out
of the bodies of the underfed"[186] are as malicious as they are
untrue. Men like Carnegie and Krupp have not "wrung their wealth out
of the bodies of the underfed," but out of Nature. They have created
vast industries in barren places, and the industries which they have
created nourish now tens of thousands of working men. Men like Krupp
and Carnegie have diminished misery, not increased it. Their capital,
created by their brains with the assistance of labour out of Nature,
has rather enriched labour than that labour has enriched Carnegie and
Krupp. Their wealth is not dead wealth; it produces wages and articles
of use. The "Surplus-Value Doctrine" is a grotesque distortion of, and
an unjustified protest against, the fact that manufacturers and other
organisers and directors of labour will not work for nothing.

We have seen in the foregoing that, according to the fundamental
Socialist doctrines, "labour is the only source of wealth." We have
also seen that, according to the "Iron Law of Wages" and the "Law of
Increasing Misery," the workmen are condemned to great, permanent, and
constantly increasing misery. Further, we have learned that, according
to the "Surplus-Value Doctrine," all the fruit of their labour, minus
the cost of their bare subsistence, is taken from the workers by the
capitalists. Hence it is only natural and logical that the assertion
of the fundamental doctrines, namely--

  1. Labour is the only source of wealth,
  2. Wages maintains mere animal existence,
  3. The misery of the workers is constantly increasing,
  4. The position of the worker is hopeless,

has led to this fifth doctrine:


THE LABOURER IS ENTITLED TO THE ENTIRE PRODUCT OF HIS LABOUR

This doctrine is put forth by practically all British Socialists, not
only as a doctrine but also as a demand. For instance "the New School
of Trades-Unionists declare themselves in open and uncompromising
revolt against the established relations between capital and labour;
and they expound a new political economy which says that nothing less
than the full fruits of industry shall be reckoned the fair reward of
the producing class. They want the whole four-fourths of their
earnings, instead of the one-fourth at present doled back in
wages."[187] This demand must have precedence over all other measures
whatsoever, for "until you have settled the material question as to
how the producers of wealth are to get for themselves the full value
of what they produce by their labour, it is impossible to settle
anything else."[188]

According to many Socialists, Socialism would immediately abolish
their grievances and give to the worker the entire produce of his
labour. "At present the frugal workman only gets about one-third of
his earnings. Under Socialism he would get all his earnings."[189]
"Under the new order all will be productive workers, receiving an
equivalent for what they produce--not merely one-half of it as now
under the wage-system--in some form."[190] Under the heading "Basis of
the Fabian Society," the Fabian Society publishes a statement of the
fundamental principles of that Society in which we read: "If these
measures" (confiscation of all private property) "be carried out,
without compensation (though not without such relief to expropriated
individuals as may seem fit to the community), rent and interest will
be added to the reward of labour, the idle class now living on the
labour of others will necessarily disappear, and practical equality of
opportunity will be maintained by the spontaneous action of economic
forces with much less interference with personal liberty than the
present system entails."

The absurdity of the demand for "the entire product of labour," which
is raised by Socialists on behalf of the labourer is clear even to the
most superficial thinker. The majority of Socialists know quite well
that writing off, repairs, renewals, the replacing of machinery, the
enlargement of factories, &c., cannot be done gratis, that the
distribution of the whole produce of labour to the workers can be
effected only by neglecting and destroying the means of production.

The impossibility of giving to the worker the "whole product of his
labour" by abolishing the private capitalist is clearly recognised and
honestly admitted by the German Socialists. Kautsky, for instance,
writes: "If the income of the capitalists were added to that of the
workers, the wages of each would be doubled. Unfortunately, however,
the matter will not be settled so simply. If we expropriate
capitalism, we must at the same time take over its social
functions--among these the important one of capitalist accumulation.
The capitalists do not consume all their income; a portion of it they
put away for the extension of production. A proletarian _régime_ would
also have to do the same in order to extend production. It would not
therefore be able to transfer, even in the event of a radical
confiscation of capital, the whole of the former income to the working
class. Besides, a portion of the surplus value which the capitalists
now pocket, they must hand over to the State in the shape of taxes.
For these reasons our Socialists are guilty of wilful deception if
they tell the workers that under a Socialist _régime_ their wages
would be doubled and trebled."[191] Nevertheless, the doctrine and the
demand that "the labourer is entitled to the entire product of his
labour" is not abandoned by British Socialists, apparently because it
is extremely useful for arousing the passions of the workers against
the capitalists in accordance with Gronlund's advice,[192] and for
bringing new adherents to the Socialist camp.

Only the Fabian Society, the more scientific section of the English
Socialists, has mildly protested against this absurd doctrine and
demand, but that protest has not been heeded. In a little-read
pamphlet of that Society, the following statement may be found: "The
Fabian Society steadfastly discountenances all schemes for securing
to any person or any group of persons the entire product of their
labour. It recognises that wealth is social in its origin and must be
social in its distribution" (which means in plain English, must be
preserved by the thrifty few, official or non-official, for the use of
the unthrifty many), "since the evolution of industry has made it
impossible to distinguish the particular contribution that each person
makes to the common product, or to ascertain the value."[193]
Notwithstanding these emphatic statements, the Fabian Society
preserves with characteristic duplicity[194] the statement in its
programme that "rent and interest, will be added to the reward of
labour."

Most British Socialist writers are not aware, or rather pretend not to
be aware, of the necessity of preserving and increasing the national
capital. In "Land, Labour, and Liberty," we read: "Whilst in 1845 the
total wealth of this country was estimated at _4,000,000,000l._, it is
now estimated at over _12,000,000,000l._ The monopolist classes,
without denying themselves anything, and whilst producing
comparatively nothing, have piled up an additional eight thousand
millions. The superfluous handful of mere possessors remain the
flowers and foliage of society; the three-quarters of the nation of
indispensable producers remain the manure."[195] This writer, like
most Socialists, though acknowledging the enormous growth of the
national capital of Great Britain, pretends that the "monopolist
classes" have not denied themselves anything. If that were true, the
national capital would still amount to only _4,000,000,000l._ as in
1845. Great Britain would have few factories, no new machinery, no
steamships, and but a very few miles of railway. But for the
self-denial, the thrift of the "superfluous handful of mere
possessors," Englishmen would still live in the Hungry Forties and
Great Britain would be able to nourish only about 20,000,000 people as
she did in 1845. National capital and the comforts and conveniences
which it supplies to all are at least as much the result of thrift,
inventiveness, enterprise, and wise direction as of manual labour.

The foregoing shows that, to say the least, the grievances of the
Socialists are greatly--one might almost say grotesquely--exaggerated,
and that they are largely founded on a perversion of facts; a
perversion which can be easily explained by the desire of the
Socialist leaders to arouse the blind passions of the discontented
wage-earners in accordance with Gronlund's advice, quoted on page 10.

The next doctrine which should be considered may be summed up in the
words:


"THE EXISTING MISERY CAN BE ABOLISHED, NOT BY INCREASING PRODUCTION,
BUT BY ALTERING THE DISTRIBUTION OF THE WEALTH PRODUCED"

"The Socialist emphatically denies the assertion that the poor must
always be with us. The productive capacity of society is now so great
that none need want, and all are able to earn their livelihood, and
more, except where they are prevented from doing so by sickness,
infirmity, or by the existence of laws and customs which the individual
cannot himself, acting alone, remove."[196] "There is a demand for the
labour of every man under any well-ordered social system. If there is a
waste of men now, it is the fault of the wage system."[197] "Sufficient
wealth is produced in this country to-day which would, under a
well-ordered state of society, enable every man, woman, and child to
have a sufficiency of all things essential to a healthy human life.
To-day the people produce this wealth, and, after they have produced
it, quite two-thirds of it is taken from them by a very small section
of the people. Consequently we have a very few rich, and many that are
poor."[198] "We may claim to have solved the problem of how to produce
enough, and the question which confronts us is how to bring
distribution into line with the productive capacity of our
people."[199] "The old argument that there is not enough work to do
cannot be seriously listened to by anyone who has walked through a
London or Manchester slum. There is work in the world for all, just as
there is wealth in the world for all, and every man has a right to
work, just as he has a right to wealth."[200] "The chief problem is not
the production of more wealth, but its equitable distribution."[201]

The increase of production and therefore of reproductive capital in
the form of machinery, mines, railways, ships, &c., in which most of
the "Surplus-Value" is invested, is explained to be a matter of
secondary consideration and importance, and it is stated that the
world suffers rather from over-production than from under-production.
"The tendency of the conditions of employment under present
circumstances, under the capitalist system, always is for production
to outstrip consumption."[202] "Our power to produce has always, since
the beginnings of capitalism, shown a tendency to grow more rapidly
than our power to consume."[203] "Then because there is a plethora of
goods and a dearth of purchasers, the workshops are closed and Hunger
lashes the working population with his thousand-thonged whip. The
workers, stupefied by the dogma of work, do not understand that the
cause of their present misery is the overwork that they have inflicted
on themselves during the time of sham prosperity."[204] "For some
insane reason the capitalist has thought of nothing but
production."[205] "If, by a fiat from heaven, the wealth of the world
were doubled to-morrow and the present system of capitalistic monopoly
and commercial competition were allowed to continue, the social misery
would, in a very short time, reappear in a form even still more
accentuated, were that possible. Individualism, commercialism,
capitalism--call it what we may--has demonstrably produced the
evil."[206]


THE EXISTING CAPITALIST SYSTEM IS RESPONSIBLE FOR POVERTY, WANT, AND
UNEMPLOYMENT

Unemployment is largely caused by commercial crises, commercial crises
are caused by over-production, over-production is caused by the fact
that the national industries are divided and the industrial output is
regulated not by the nation in accordance with the national demand but
by irresponsible private individuals whose aim is profit, not the
fulfilment of a national demand. "The causes of commercial depression
lie in the non-consumption of the incomes of our millionaires."[207]
Another Socialist writer asserts: "Our era is cursed with crises
occurring far more frequently than plagues and causing as much misery.
Economists say that these crises are caused by over-production.
Private enterprise compels every producer to produce for himself, to
sell for himself, to keep all his transactions to himself, without
regard to anybody else in the wide world. Merchants have got no
measure at hand by which they can, even approximately, either
estimate the effective demand of their customers or ascertain the
producing capacity of their rivals. Production by all these
manufacturers is, and must necessarily be, absolutely planless. This
planless production must end in the market being overstocked with
commodities of one kind or another; that is, that it must end in
'over-production.' In the trade which has been thus overdone, prices
fall and wages come down; or a great manufacturer fails and a smaller
or greater number of workmen are discharged. Crises are therefore the
direct result of private enterprise."[208] "Why are men--men that is
who are able and willing, nay, eager and anxious, to work--unemployed?
Because, it is said, there is nothing for them to do. Nothing for them
to do? Is all the necessary work of the world, then, already finished,
so that there is nothing more remaining for anyone to do? No; it is
not because all the necessary and useful work is done that men are
unemployed, it is because all the means of production--all the
machines, tools, and implements of labour and all the raw
material--are owned by a class, and may only be used by permission of
that class, and when that class can make a profit out of their
use."[209] "It is indisputable that modern poverty is artificial. It
is neither the result of divine anger nor the niggardliness of Nature.
It is the product of the private ownership of land and capital by
which men are prevented from earning their living unless the
proprietary class can make profit from their labour. The inevitable
result of this system is that in all industries and at all times there
are more men seeking employment than there is employment for.[210]"
"Your system of private ownership, in conferring the possession and
control of the nation's storehouse of wealth and of the instruments by
which all further wealth must be obtained from it, upon your
capitalist class, has reduced the nation at large into nothing more
nor less than an elaborate machine which your capitalists use for
extracting wealth from the earth for their own benefit.... It is not
well that by a foolish and wicked system of government, one small
class of the community should be enabled to organise its production in
such a manner that the full stream of wealth is diverted into their
own possession whilst the mass of the nation by whose labour it is
obtained are defrauded of it, and brought into a state of subtle
slavery worse both in kind and degree than could be possible under any
system of direct and open slavery."[211] "Unemployment is an
inevitable feature of capitalism, and is impossible of removal without
at the same time abolishing the capitalist system that produces it.
That is a fact known to any Socialist with the most elementary
knowledge of the economics of capitalism. Unemployment is caused by
the exactions of the capitalist class. The prime cause of unemployment
is the robbery of the workers by which the capitalist class
appropriate the whole of the wealth produced by the workers, returning
to them just as much on the average as will keep them physically fit
to continue working. The difference between the quantities produced
and consumed by the working class (a difference continually increasing
with every increase in the productivity of labour) represents a
surplus which all the waste and all the luxury of its owners cannot
absorb, with the result that the markets are glutted with an excess of
commodities. Thus the 'over-production,' the crisis, and the
slackening of production involving an increase of unemployment."[212]

Employers of labour profit directly from unemployment, and will
therefore presumably do all they can to bring it about. "Employers and
other well-to-do people have no interest in finding work for the
workless. They benefit from the unemployment of the poor."[213] The
foregoing statement is as malicious as it is absurd. Employers do not
desire unemployment, partly from humanitarian reasons, partly because
it is a loss to them. The father of English Socialism taught: "The
labourer perishes if capital does not employ him. Capital perishes if
it does not exploit labour."[214] In other words, unemployed labour
means unemployed capital; besides, those business men who do not
actually dismiss their workers suffer also through unemployment,
because the unemployed are supported by the rates.

The doctrines that "the existing misery can be abolished, not by
increased production but by altering the distribution of the wealth
produced," and that the "capitalist system is responsible for want,
poverty, and unemployment," are manifestly unsound. A larger
consumption of food, clothing, &c., can be effected only by a larger
production. Gluts and crises, with consequent unemployment, occur, not
through general over-production, which would benefit all, but by
ill-balanced production, as the following example will prove: Imagine
an island off the African coast on which there are two villages, the
inhabitants of which require only two commodities, loin-cloths and
mealies. One village manufactures loin-cloths, the other raises
mealies, and these are exchanged against each other. These villages
fulfil the Socialistic ideal. There are no capitalists and no
middlemen, and production is only "for use," not "for profit."
Balanced over-production will result in this, that every native will
have a superabundance of loin-cloths and food. But supposing that the
agriculturists go in for loin-cloth making, finding that occupation
more congenial, and that they abandon much agriculture; or supposing
that inclement weather, or a plague of grasshoppers, should seriously
curtail the harvest, then there will soon be a glut of loin-cloths and
a crisis. The cry of over-production will arise among the loin-cloth
makers, but that cry will be unjustified and absurd. The more the
people make the more they will have, provided production is properly
balanced. The doctrine that we suffer from over-production and that
the capitalist system is at fault, that altered distribution rather
than increased production will abolish misery, and that Socialism can
prevent want and unemployment by a scientific organisation of
production, is wrong.

Socialists may, of course, argue, "In the Socialist State production
would be organised, and controlled, and properly balanced and
harmonised," an argument which is irrelevant with regard to the
over-production doctrine, and which besides is unsound, although it
may be found in most Socialistic writings. As production is
world-wide, the Socialists' control of production would also have to
be world-wide. It would involve not only the control of all human
energy throughout the world, but also the control of the seasons, of
the weather, of insect plagues, of fashions, of appetite, &c.

The foregoing proves that "men can never become richer till the
produce of their labour increases. The more they produce the richer
they will be, provided there be a demand for the produce of their
labour. If a shoemaker makes four pairs of shoes in a day he will be
twice richer than he would be if he made only two pairs in a day,
provided that an increased demand is co-existing. The question,
therefore, 'How can we become richer?' is reduced to this one, 'How
can we increase the produce of labour and at the same time maintain an
equivalent demand for that produce?'"[215] The doctrines that want and
unemployment are due to over-production and to the capitalist system
are wrong.

We now come to the


DOCTRINE OF THE CLASS WAR

Having, by the fundamental doctrines enumerated in the foregoing,
proved that all misery of the working masses is caused by the
existence of a capitalist class which has enslaved the workers, the
Socialists conclude that there is a natural antagonism between capital
and labour; that social life is dominated by the Class War.

"The Socialists say that the present form of property-holding divides
society into two great classes."[216] "Capitalist society is divided
into two classes: owners of property and owners of no property."[217]
"Society is to-day divided into two classes with opposing interests,
one class owning the means of life, and the other nothing but their
power to work. Never in the history of society was the working-class
so free from all traces of property as to-day."[218] "There are in
reality but two classes, those who live by labour and those who live
upon those who labour, the two classes of exploiter and
exploited."[219] "Society has been divided mainly into two economic
classes, a relatively small class of capitalists who own tools in the
form of great machines they did not make and cannot use, and a great
body of many millions of workers who did make these tools and who do
use them, and whose very lives depend upon them, yet who do not own
them."[220]

It is usually said that society has three classes, but Socialists
maintain that there are in reality only two classes. William Morris
still divided society into three groups, which, however, at closer
inspection will be found to form but two classes. According to Morris,
"Civilised States consist of (1) the class of rich people doing no
work, who consume a great deal while they produce nothing. Therefore,
clearly they have to be kept at the expense of those who do work, just
as paupers have, and are a mere burden on the community. (2) The
middle class, including the trading, manufacturing, and professional
people of our society. It is their ambition and the end of their whole
lives to gain, if not for themselves, yet at least for their children,
the proud position of being obvious burdens on the community. Here
then is another class, this time very numerous and all-powerful, which
produces very little and consumes enormously, and is therefore
supported, as paupers are, by the real producers. (3) The class that
remains to be considered produces all that is produced and supports
both itself and the other classes, though it is placed in a position
of inferiority to them, real inferiority, mind you, involving a
degradation both of mind and body. To sum up, then, civilised States
are composed of three classes--a class which does not even pretend to
work, a class which pretends to work but which produces nothing, and a
class which works."[221] In other words, William Morris divided
society into two classes: propertied non-producers and non-propertied
toilers.

According to practically all living English Socialists, there are but
two classes in society. "Modern society is divided into two
classes--the possessors of property and the non-possessors: the
dominant class and the subject class; the class which rules and the
class which has to obey. He who possesses sufficient wealth to
exercise control over the labour of others, to exploit that labour for
his own profit, belongs to the one class; he who possesses nothing but
the power to labour contained in his own body, and who is therefore
compelled to sell that labour power in order to live, belongs to the
other. It is this struggle and conflict between these two classes
that Socialists call the class war, a recognition of which is
essential to a clear conception of what the Socialist movement
involves."[222] "Society is divided into two opposite classes, one,
the capitalists and their sleeping partners the landlords and
loanmongers, holding in their hands the means of production,
distribution, and exchange, and being therefore able to command the
labour of others; the other, the working class, the wage-earners, the
proletariat, possessing nothing but their labour power, and being
consequently forced by necessity to work for the former."[223] "In
society there is an antagonism of interests, manifesting itself as a
class struggle between those who possess but do not produce, and those
who produce but do not possess."[224] "The people of this unfortunate
country have been aptly divided by Mr. Gladstone into the 'masses' and
the 'classes'--that is to say, into those who live by their own labour
and those who live on the labour of others. Among the latter tribe of
non-producers are included all manner of thieves, pick-pockets,
burglars, sharpers, prostitutes, Peers of Parliament, their families
and menials, all, or nearly all, the 'six hundred and odd scoundrels
of the House of Commons,' the twenty thousand State parsons, who every
Sunday shamelessly travesty the Christian religion in the interest of
the 'classes.'"[225]

The theory of dividing society into two classes, capitalists and
workers, or as others put it, "exploiters and exploited," is
manifestly absurd, and its absurdity has been pointed out by a few
Socialists. "It is not true that there are only two great economic
classes in the community. The Communist Manifesto, even in its day,
admitted as much, but made no place for the fact in its theories.
There is an economic antagonism between landlords and capitalists as
well as between capitalists and workmen."[226] Besides, most
capitalists are workers, and probably the great majority of English
workers are capitalists to a larger or smaller extent.

Now let us study the Socialists' description of the hostile forces
which are engaged in the Class War.

According to the Socialist teaching, the property-owners as a class
are useless idlers who impoverish the workers and who shamelessly
spend their whole income on demoralising luxuries. "The idlers and
non-workers produce no wealth and take the greater share. They live on
the labour of those who work. Nothing is produced by idleness; work
must be done to obtain a thimble, a pin, and even a potato for dinner.
The non-workers get the greater share of the wealth, and the greater
part of this share is wasted. Therefore it is not good to have any
people in the land who do not work. Only those who are old or sick
should be kept by the toil of the rest."[227] Taking their figures
from the pamphlet "Facts for Socialists," of which details have been
given on pp. 41-48, the Independent Labour party states under the
heading of "Wealth Makers and Wealth Takers": "The total incomes of
persons in the United Kingdom amount in round figures to
_1,800,000,000l._ How is this wealth distributed? 250,000 persons
actually receive a total of _585,000,000l._--that is, one-thirtieth of
the population receive one-third of the national income. Nearly the
whole of these large incomes are unearned--_i.e._ they are made up of
rents, interest, dividends, &c. This small class of rent and interest
receivers perform no useful function. We may describe these people as
social parasites, absolutely useless, yet levying toll to the extent
of _6s. 8d._ in every _20s._ value of wealth created."[228] "At
present more than _600,000,000l._ of the national income goes in the
form of unearned rent and interest to support an idle class who spend
it mainly on profitless and demoralising luxuries."[229]

The foregoing extracts make it clear that, in the eyes of Socialists,
practically all citizens, manual labourers excepted, are "drones and
parasites." Directors, managers, doctors, chemists, ships' captains,
teachers, &c., and even workmen of exceptional ability also, rob the
general body of workers of half their wages and subsist only owing to
the monopoly of property-holders who control the distribution of
wealth. Upon these curious premisses are based the conclusions: "The
profits and salaries of the class who share in the advantages of the
monopoly of the instruments of production, or are endowed by Nature
with any exceptional ability of high marketable value, amount
according to the best estimate that can be formed, to about
_460,000,000l._ annually, while out of a national income of some
_1,800,000,000l._ a year the workers in the manual labour
class--four-fifths of the whole population--obtain in wages not more
than _690,000,000l._ It may be safely said that the workers from top
to bottom of society pay a fine of one-half the wealth they produce to
a parasitic class before providing for the maintenance of themselves
and their proper dependents."[230] "It is this robbery and waste on
the part of the minority which keeps the majority poor."[231] "So long
as the instruments of production are in unrestrained private
ownership, so long must the tribute of the workers to the drones
continue, so long will the toiler's reward inevitably be reduced by
their exactions."[232]

"Socialism regards the capitalist proper not as a useful captain of
industry, but as a mere share-holding, dividend-drawing parasite upon
labour, and the Socialist party presses forward to his elimination
from the field of production."[233] "The workers who have produced all
this wealth only get a part--the smallest part at that--of the wealth
they produce. Now we Socialists say that this wealth produced by the
labour of the workers should belong to them, and not to the
capitalists who produce nothing. Seeing that the interest of the
worker is to get as much of this wealth, and on the other hand the
capitalist wants as much of this wealth, as he can get, therefore we
say that the interests of the workers and of the capitalists are not
identical, but opposite."[234] "The interest of the working class can
only be served even in the smallest degree by the curtailment of the
power of the master class; that every material advance is useless
except in so far as it helps to effect other achievements, and that
the realisation of Labour politics, the well-being of the working
class, can only be accomplished by its complete emancipation from
capitalism."[235] In other words, the Socialist writers quoted agree
in this: that the lot of the wage-earners can be improved only by
taking the wealth from the rich. In order to introduce Socialism the
present social order must be overturned. With this object in view they
have addressed declarations of war to the owners of property.

We owe to Marx not only the Class War doctrine, but also a declaration
of war to the propertied class: "The Communists everywhere support
every revolutionary movement against the existing social and political
order of things. In all these movements they bring to the front, as
the leading question in each, the property question, no matter what
its degree of development at the time. Finally they labour everywhere
for the union and agreement of the democratic parties of all
countries. The Communists disdain to conceal their views and aims.
They openly declare that their ends can be attained only by the
forcible overthrow of all existing social conditions. Let the ruling
classes tremble at a Communistic revolution. The proletarians have
nothing to lose but their chains. They have a world to win. Working
men of all countries, unite!"[236]

Marx's disciples have issued similar declarations. For instance, in
the official programme of the Social Democratic Federation we read:
"The Social Democratic Federation is a militant Socialist organisation
whose members, men and women, belong almost entirely to the working
class. Its object is the realisation of Socialism, the emancipation of
the working class from its present subjection to the capitalist class.
To this end the Social Democratic Federation proclaims and preaches
the Class War."[237] "There is no way in which the Class War can be
avoided. You cannot have the reward of your labour and the idler have
it too. There is just so much wealth produced every day. It may be
more, it may be less; but there is always just so much, and the more
the capitalist gets the less you will get, and _vice versa_. We preach
the gospel of hatred, because in the circumstances it seems the only
righteous thing we can preach. The talk about the 'Gospel of Love' is
simply solemn rubbish. It is right to hate stealing, right to hate
lying, it is right to hate meanness and uncleanness, right to hate
hypocrisy, greed, and tyranny. Those who talk of the Gospel of Love
with landlordism and capitalism for its objects want us to make our
peace with iniquity."[238] "The Class War is inevitable under the
present form of property-holding, and for it there can be neither
truce, quarter, nor ending, save by the extinction of the class
system itself. The identity of interests between capitalism and
labour is a shibboleth that can only be given any sane meaning at all
in the cynical sense that the interests of the wolf and the lamb are
also 'identical' when the wolf has got the lamb inside him."[239]

The doctrine of the Class War is a holy faith, the expropriation of
property-owners is a divine task. "Unless we hate the system which
prevents us from being what we otherwise might have been, we will not
be able to strive against it with the patient, never-flagging zeal
which our work, to be well done, requires. And to keep alive and
undimmed this flame of hatred, divine not diabolical, we require to
not only look around us, but especially to look back upon the world as
it has been and to the example of those who have fought the good
fight. To Socrates, to Savonarola, to John Ball, Wat the Tyler, and
Jack Cade, in our land the first forerunners of Socialism; to Bruno
and Vanini, to Cromwell, Milton, Hampden, and Pym, to John Eliot,
Harry Vane; to Defoe, Mure, and Thomas Spence; to Ernest Jones,
Bronterre O'Brien, and Robert Owen; to Wolfe Tone and Robert Emmet; to
Allen, Larkin, and O'Brien; to Vera Sassoulitch, Marie Spiridonova,
Sophia Perovsky; to Karl Marx."[240] The company of reformers and
revolutionists seems somewhat mixed.

The doctrine that the interests of employers and employees are
irreconcilably opposed, not identical, is false, Socialist rhetoric to
the contrary notwithstanding. As soon as a calamity threatens
capital--for instance, a rise in raw cotton or a cotton
famine--masters and men are seen to be in the same boat and devise
combined measures for meeting the difficulty. The doctrine of the
Class War is opposed to common experience and to common-sense.

Let us now take note of the doctrine


PRIVATE PROPERTY IS IMMORAL AND PRIVATE WEALTH IS A CRIME

In the Class War right is, according to the Socialists, on the side of
the propertyless. Not only are the owners of property objectionable in
their persons, being "drones and parasites" who squander the earnings
of the poor on riotous living, as we have learned in the foregoing
pages, but private property as an institution is immoral in itself and
ought to be abolished. No man has a right to be rich; no man can
become rich honestly. Hence it follows that all rich men are robbers,
thieves, and swindlers. "The poor owe no duty to the rich, unless it
be the duty which an honest man owes to the thief who has robbed him.
The rich have no right to any of their possessions, for there is but
one right, and that is the right of the labourer to the fruits of his
labour, and the rich do not labour. No man has any right to be rich.
No man ever yet became rich by fair means. No man ever became rich by
his own industry."[241] "No man or class of men made the first kind of
wealth, such as land, minerals, and water. Therefore no man or class
of men should be allowed to call these things their own."[242] As
private property is immoral in itself, it is doubly immoral to lend
out such property and to charge rent or interest for the use of it.
Mr. G.J. Wardle, M.P., said, in a recent speech at Glasgow, that rent
"was social immorality, and the State or society which allowed crimes
of that kind to go on unpunished could never be a moral society. The
same thing applied to interest on money. From the moral standpoint
interest is unearned by the man who gets it, and it does not matter
how that is cloaked over, that is the fact. Nowadays it was counted
the greatest virtue to lend at so much per cent. That was a socially
immoral proceeding, and because it was socially immoral it ate like a
canker into the heart of society. As Socialists they objected to
profit."[243]

There are Socialists who preach the same doctrine of immorality and
criminality of private property in more decided terms. They assert
that it is criminal and immoral to make a profit as a compensation for
the work of directing and taking heavy capital risks in productive
business because such profits are opposed to the principle, "The
labourer is entitled to the whole product of his labour" (see page
61). "A man has a 'right' to that which he has produced by the unaided
exercise of his own faculties; but he has not a right to that which is
not produced by his own unaided faculties; nor to the whole of that
which has been produced by his faculties aided by the faculties of
another man."[244] "Everyone who pockets gains without rendering an
equivalent to society is a criminal. Every millionaire is a criminal.
Every company-chairman with nominal duties, though his salary be but
_400l._, is a criminal. Everyone who lends his neighbour _5l._ and
exacts _5l. 5s. 0d._ in return, is a criminal."[245] "When Proudhon
advanced the somewhat startling proposition, 'Property is theft,' he
merely stated positively what good, orthodox Adam Smith, in his
'Wealth of Nations' set forth more urbanely when he wrote, 'The
produce of labour (it is clear from the context that he meant the
whole produce), is the natural recompense or wages of labour.'"[246]
"'Property' is theft, said Proudhon, and surely private property in
the means of production is not only theft, but the means of more
theft."[247]

Starting from the premiss that profit is immoral, the philosopher of
British Socialism logically concludes: "The cheapest way of obtaining
goods is not to pay for them, and if a buyer can avoid payment for the
goods he obtains, he has quite as much right to do so as the seller
has to receive for them double or treble their cost price and call it
profit."[248]

Private property being, according to the Socialist doctrines, immoral
and criminal, it follows that


"PRIVATE PROPERTY OUGHT TO BE ABOLISHED"

Let us take note of an utterance in support of that doctrine: "If the
life of men and women were a thing apart from that of their
neighbours, there would be no need for a Socialist party nor any call
for social reform. But man is not an entity; he is only part of a
mighty social organism. Every act of his has a bearing upon the like
of his fellow. It is difficult, if not impossible, to determine the
moral title to private property in anything. Private property exists
entirely on sufferance. Private property therefore cannot be justly
allowed when it interferes with the law of our social life or
intercepts the progress of social development."[249]

Let us now consider the doctrine


"COMPETITION SHOULD BE REPLACED BY CO-OPERATION"

Socialists teach: "Under Socialism you would have all the people
working together for the good of all. Under non-Socialism you have all
the persons working separately (and mostly against each other), each
for the good of himself. So we find Socialism means co-operation and
non-Socialism means competition."[250] "Socialism is constructive as
well as revolutionary, and Socialists propose to replace competition
by co-operation."[251]

The question now arises: "On what ground do capitalists defend the
principle of competition? A. On the ground that it brings into play a
man's best qualities.--Q. Does it effect this? A. This is occasionally
its result, but it also brings out his worst qualities by stimulating
him to struggle with his fellows for the relative improvement of his
own position rather than for the absolute advancement of the interests
of all."[252]

"Apart altogether from its injustice, competitive capitalism, regarded
as a system of serving the community, is a business bungle. What the
party of the Fourth Estate objects to in the existing commercial and
industrial system is, not merely the stealages which go on under the
guise of rent, profit, and interest, but the enormous waste arising
from lack of consolidation and co-operation in the processes of
production and distribution."[253] "During the last half-century we
have lost more by our 'business principle' of dividing up our national
work into competing one-man and one-company speculations, and
insisting on every separate speculation paying its own separate way,
than by all the tariffs and blockades that have been set up against
us."[254] "In our age there is, as we have seen, throughout our whole
economic sphere, no social order at all. There is absolute social
anarchy. Against this anarchy Socialism is a protest."[255] "There is
only one remedy for both the waste and the stealages, and that is the
substitution of public enterprise with organisation for private
enterprise with competition."[256] "Socialism means the socialising of
the means and instruments of production, distribution, and exchange.
For the individual capitalist it would substitute, as the director and
controller of production and distribution, the community in its
organised capacity. The commercial and industrial chaos and waste
which are the outcome of monopolistic competition would give place to
the orderliness of associated effort, and under Socialism society
would for the first time in history behave like an organism."[257]
Private capitalism and consequent competition are responsible not only
for waste and muddle, but also for the adulteration of food and other
necessaries of life. "Every man who knows anything of trade knows how
general is the knavish practice of adulteration. Now all adulteration
is directly due to competition. Did not Mr. John Bright once say that
adulteration is only another form of competition?"[258]

There is much truth in the contention of the Socialists that
co-operation is mightier, and often better, than free competition.
However, that is no new discovery, and the introduction of Socialism
is not needed to bring about co-operation. In Germany, Switzerland,
and Denmark national and private co-operation are far more developed
than in Great Britain, and waste, muddle, and stealages are rare in
those countries, although none of these is ruled by a Socialist
Government. Co-operation, national as well as private, is developing
also in Great Britain, and it will continue to develop as its value
becomes more and more understood. It is a curious fact that
Socialists, though they recommend co-operation in the abstract, oppose
it in the concrete for similar reasons. They fear that satisfied and
prosperous co-operators will oppose Socialism.[259]

The assertion that adulteration is due to competition is not founded
upon fact. Adulteration springs from many causes, and would continue
to flourish even under the Socialistic _régime_. If all cowkeepers
were salaried officials of the Socialist State or municipality, they
might nevertheless mix water with the milk to obtain milk for their
own consumption and that of their families, and to diminish the labour
of milking. Adulteration may be abolished by efficient supervision and
well-devised and rigorously enforced sanitary laws.

Let us now glance at the doctrine


"THE SOCIALIST STATE WILL ARISE BY NATURAL DEVELOPMENT, AND IT WILL
HANDLE BUSINESS MORE EFFICIENTLY THAN DO PRIVATE INDIVIDUALS"

"The State now registers, inspects, and controls nearly all the
industrial functions which it has not yet absorbed. The inspection is
often detailed and rigidly enforced. The State, in most of the larger
industrial operations, prescribes the age of the worker, the hours of
work, the amount of air, light, cubic space, heat, lavatory
accommodation, holidays, and meal-times; where, when, and how wages
shall be paid; how machinery, staircases, lift-holes, mines, and
quarries are to be fenced and guarded; how and when the plant shall be
cleaned, repaired, and worked."[260] "Step by step political power and
political organisation have been used for industrial ends, until a
Minister of the Crown is the largest employer of labour in the
country, and at least 200,000 men, not counting the army and navy, are
directly in the service of the community, without the intervention of
the profit of any middleman."[261]

From the fact that the State inspects many things and carries on some
business, it does not by any means follow that the State should
inspect all things and could efficiently carry on all business.
Questions such as "If the State can build battleships and make
swords, why not also trading ships and ploughshares,"[262] are
ridiculous. One might as well ask, "If Messrs. Whiteley or Marshall
Field can supply furniture, houses, dresses, and funerals, being
universal providers, why not also battleships, armies, and colonies?"
It is also not true that the State or municipal corporations have more
business ability than private business men. As an example of
successful business management Socialists are fond of pointing to the
Post Office, and of asserting that no private company could work as
efficiently and as cheaply. These statements are erroneous. The
success of the British Post Office, as of every post office, is due
not to ability but to monopoly, as the following example will prove.
Private individuals in Germany discovered some years ago a flaw in the
legislation regarding the Post Office which enabled them to compete
with the Imperial Post Office, not in postal business between
different towns, but in local delivery. Private post offices sprang up
in many towns and began to deliver letters at the rate of two pfennigs
(one farthing) each. Although the German Post Office is the most
efficient Post Office in Europe, it could not compete with these
private post offices, and, after lengthy competition, steps had to be
taken to extend the postal monopoly to town deliveries. The British
Post Office, like most public offices, is a most conservative
institution. Every progress and every reform had to be forced upon it
by outside agitation. Services such as money delivery at private
residences, cash on delivery parcels, &c., which other countries have
enjoyed during several decades, are stubbornly denied to England.
Private competition would probably have furnished these conveniences
long ago. In London the Messenger Boy Company competes with the Post
Office in the carrying of express letters, and various private
carriers compete with it in delivering parcels, and in both instances
the private trader supplies a better and cheaper service than the
Government Post Office. A comparison of the Post Office telephone in
England and the private telephone in America shows the great
superiority of the latter. The slow and ultra-conservative British
Post Office supplies no proof that the Government would handle
production and distribution better than private enterprise. On the
contrary.

British Socialists claim unanimously that their theories and demands
are founded upon science. "The Socialist doctrine systematises the
industrial changes. It lays down a law of capitalist evolution. It
describes the natural history of society. It is not, therefore, only a
popular creed for the market-place, but a scientific inquiry for the
study. Like every theory in Sociology, it has a political bearing, but
it can be studied as much detached from politics as is Darwinism."[263]
Do the fundamental doctrines of British Socialism bear out the claims
of its champions? The foregoing pages prove that the scientific basis
of Socialism, or rather of British Socialism, consists of a number of
doctrines which cannot stand examination and which are disproved by
daily experience and by common-sense.

The question now suggests itself: "How is it that the British
Socialists base their demands on pseudo-scientific doctrines of
obvious absurdity?"

British Socialism has been imported from Germany. Marx, Engels,
Lassalle, Rodbertus, and various other Germans are the fathers of
modern scientific Socialism. "To German scholars is largely due the
development of Socialism from the Utopian stage to the scientific.
Universality is its distinguishing feature."[264] "Karl Marx and
Frederick Engels in 1847 laid, through the 'Communist Manifesto,' the
scientific foundation of modern Socialism."[265] "And 'Capital,' Karl
Marx's great work, has become the loadstar of modern economic
science."[266] Karl Marx's "Manifesto" appeared in 1847; the first
volume of his "Capital" was published in 1867. Since the appearance of
the former sixty years, and since the publication of the latter forty
years, have passed by. Much has changed in the world, but the Marxian
doctrines have remained unchanged.

The worst about speculative doctrines is that time is apt to disprove
them.

Whilst the German Socialists have thinkers in their ranks who have
adapted the older Communist theories to present conditions, leaving
out those theories which are palpably false, English Socialists have
stood still and are satisfied to repeat those ancient doctrines which
the Germans have abandoned long ago. English Socialists try to impose
upon an uncritical public by parading the worn-out stage properties of
the forties. Marx is to the vast majority of British Socialists still
an oracle and the fountain head of all wisdom. "Marx is the Darwin of
modern sociology."[267] "All over the world his brain is put on pretty
much the same level as Aristotle's."[268] "Modern Socialism is based,
nationally and internationally, theoretically and to a large extent
practically, on the writings of Karl Marx. These writings have been
expounded, and where necessary applied, extended, and amplified, to
meet conditions which have developed since his death nearly a quarter
of a century ago, in every civilised country. It is safe to say that
no one who does not understand and accept in the main the views set
forth by Marx, comprehends the real position of capitalist Society,
nor, what is even more important, can fully master the problems of
the coming time."[269] "The Social-Democratic Federation, which is by
far the oldest and still the most active Socialist organisation in
this country, bases its teaching to-day, as it has always done, upon
the words of Karl Marx."[270]

Most active Socialists in Great Britain think Marx and Lassalle
infallible. It is true that the Fabian Society has pointed out "the
necessity of maintaining as critical an attitude towards Marx and
Lassalle, some of whose views must by this time be discarded as
erroneous or obsolete,"[271] but that protest appears to have been
left unheeded by most British Socialists. In fact, the abandonment of
revolutionary Marxianism has caused the Fabians to be treated with
open hostility by the other Socialist sections. The reasons for that
hostility are obvious. The doctrines of Marx and Lassalle, though they
are, to say the least, erroneous and obsolete, are admirably fitted to
inflame the passions of the masses. Their doctrines may not be true,
but they are useful to professional agitators. Independent Socialists
in all countries have not disguised their opinion of Marx's "Capital,"
which, in the words of an English Socialist, "is not a treatise on
Socialism; it is a jeremiad against the bourgeoisie, supported by such
a mass of evidence and such a relentless Jewish genius for
denunciation as had never been brought to bear before."[272]

British Socialism is neither scientific nor sincere. Its leaders know
that the Iron Law of Wages (see p. 53), the Law of Increasing Misery
(see p. 56), and other doctrines, which are exceedingly useful to the
agitator who wishes to poison the mind of the masses, have been thrown
into the lumber room in Germany and most other countries (see the
writings of Bernstein, Jaurès, and others), but they do not abandon
them. Apparently it is their policy rather to create strife and
confusion than to alleviate existing misery. That attitude must have
covered English Socialists with ignominy in the eyes of foreign
Socialists. The very humiliating treatment which the English
Socialists received at the International Socialist Congress in
Stuttgart of 1907 from their Continental comrades suggests that the
curious attitude and the not very estimable tactics of British
Socialists have not found the approval of their Continental
colleagues.

The doctrines of the English Socialists with regard to property are
identical with those of most Anarchists (see Eltzbacher, "Der
Anarchismus"). For instance, Proudhon taught: "We rob (1) by murder on
the highway; (2) alone, or in a band; (3) by breaking into buildings,
or scaling walls; (4) by abstraction; (5) by fraudulent bankruptcy;
(6) by forgery of the handwriting of public officials, or private
individuals; (7) by manufacture of counterfeit money; (8) by cheating;
(9) by swindling; (10) by abuse of trust; (11) by games and lotteries;
(12) by usury; (13) by farm rent, house rent, and leases of all kinds;
(14) by commerce, when the profit of the merchant exceeds his
legitimate salary; (15) by making profit on our product, by accepting
sinecures, and by exacting exorbitant wages."[273] "What is property?
It is robbery."[274] "Property, after having robbed the labourer by
usury, murders him slowly by starvation."[275] Practically the
identical doctrines are propounded by British Socialists. Further
instances of the resemblance between Socialism and Anarchism will be
found in Chapter XXX, "Socialism and Anarchism."

Society is at present based upon individualism. In their anxiety to
prove the failure of modern civilisation British Socialists deny that
the world has progressed under individualism. "Not by individual
selfishness, or national selfishness, has the progress of the human
race been advanced."[276] And they boldly declare that all history,
having been written by men of the dominant class, is a deception. "Are
we then to understand that the whole of history, so far, has been
written from the point of view of the dominant class of every age?
Most assuredly so; and this applies to well-nigh the whole of the
sources of past history."[277]

The foregoing should suffice to make it clear that the Socialist
agitation is not based on irrefutable scientific doctrines, as
Socialists pretend, but on deception. It may be said that no agitation
is free from deception, that the end justifies the means, that
Socialism means for the best. We have been told "Socialism is a
religion of humanity. Socialism is the only hope of the race.
Socialism is the remedy--the only remedy--which Lord Salisbury could
not find."[278] We must look into the practical proposals of British
Socialism in order to be able to judge its character.

FOOTNOTES:

[151] _Facts for Socialists_, p. 3.

[152] Hazell, _Summary of Marx's "Capital,"_ p. 1; Macdonald,
_Socialism_, p. 54.

[153] _Socialism made Plain_, p. 8.

[154] Hobart, _Social-Democracy_, p. 7.

[155] _Manifesto_, Socialist Party of Great Britain, p. 8.

[156] _What Socialism Means_: Independent Labour Party Leaflet, No. 8,
p. 3.

[157] Debs, _Industrial Unionism_, p. 20.

[158] Bliss, _Encyclopedia of Social Reform_, 1368.

[159] _Ibid._ 807.

[160] _Manifesto of the Communist Party_, p. 17.

[161] Bax and Quelch, _A New Catechism of Socialism_, p. 15.

[162] Blatchford, _Merrie England_, p. 163.

[163] Quelch, _Economics of Labour_, p. 13.

[164] Davidson, _The Old Order and the New_, p. 107.

[165] Bax, _Outlooks from the New Standpoint_, p. 99.

[166] _Socialist Standard_, December 1907.

[167] Davidson, _The Old Order and the New_, p. 32.

[168] Stegman und Hugo, _Handbuch_, p. 473.

[169] _Christliche Arbeiterpflichten_, p. 15.

[170] Webb, _Industrial Democracy_, p. 548.

[171] Councillor Glyde, _A Peep behind the Scenes on a Board of
Guardians_, p. 5.

[172] Marx and Engels, _Manifesto of the Communist Party_, p. 12.

[173] Marx, _Wage, Labour, and Capital_, pp. 23, 24.

[174] Marx, _Wage, Labour, and Capital_, p. 22.

[175] _English Progress towards Social-Democracy_, p. 12.

[176] Keir Hardie, _From Serfdom to Socialism_, p. 99.

[177] Marx and Engels, _Manifesto of the Communist Party_, p. 8.

[178] _Ibid._ p. 16.

[179] Hyndman, _Socialism and Slavery_, p. 12.

[180] Sidney Webb, _The Difficulties of Individualism_, p. 9.

[181] Ellis Barker, _Modern Germany_, p. 528.

[182] Quelch, _Economics of Labour_, p. 18.

[183] Davidson, _The Old Order and the New_, p. 3.

[184] Bax and Quelch, _A New Catechism_, p. 15.

[185] Sidney Webb, _The Difficulties of Individualism_, p. 19.

[186] _Clarion_, November 29, 1907.

[187] Hall, _The Old and New Unionism_, p. 5.

[188] _Socialism and the Single Tax_, p. 6.

[189] Blatchford, _Merrie England_, p. 189.

[190] Gronlund, _Co-operative Commonwealth_, p. 86.

[191] Kautsky, _The Social Revolution_, pp. 7, 8.

[192] See _ante_ p. 10.

[193] _Report on Fabian Policy_, p. 8.

[194] See Chapter XXXIII.

[195] Hall, _Land, Labour, and Liberty_, p. 5.

[196] Jowett, _The Socialist and the City_, p. 66.

[197] Gronlund, _Co-operative Commonwealth_, p. 86.

[198] _Rich and Poor_, Introd.

[199] Martyn, _Co-operation_, p. 3.

[200] Lister, _Riches and Poverty_, p. 12.

[201] Fisher, _The Babies' Tribute_, p. 16.

[202] _Socialism and the Single Tax_, p. 7.

[203] Kessack, _The Capitalist Wilderness and the Way Out_, p. 9.

[204] Lafargue, _Right to Leisure_, p. 11.

[205] Tillett, _Trades Unionism and Socialism_, p. 14.

[206] Fisher, _The Babies' Tribute_, p. 16.

[207] Davidson, _The Old Order and the New_, p. 67.

[208] Gronlund, _Co-operative Commonwealth_, pp. 32, 33.

[209] Social-Democratic Federation, _The Unemployed_, leaflet.

[210] Smart, _The Right to Work_, p. 3.

[211] Washington, _A Corner in Flesh and Blood_, p. 12.

[212] _The Socialist Standard_, December 1907.

[213] _Why Labour Men should be on Town Councils_, p. 2.

[214] Marx, _Wage-Labour and Capital_, p. 12.

[215] L'Auton, _The Nationalisation of Society_, p. 4.

[216] Jaurès, _Studies in Socialism_, p. 1.

[217] _Handbuch für Sozialdemokratische Wähler_, 1903, p. 233.

[218] _Manifesto of the Socialist Party of Great Britain_, p. 7.

[219] _The Socialist Standard_, December 1907.

[220] Debs, _Industrial Unionism_, p. 4.

[221] Morris, _Useful Work_ versus _Useless Toil_, pp. 22, 25.

[222] _The Class War_, p. 1.

[223] _Programme and Rules, Social-Democratic Federation._

[224] _Socialist Standard_, October 1, 1907.

[225] Davidson, _The New Book of Kings_, p. 115.

[226] Macdonald, _Socialism and Society_, pp. 111, 112.

[227] _What Socialism Means_, p. 3.

[228] _Wealth Makers and Wealth Takers_, p. 2.

[229] _After Bread, Education_, p. 12.

[230] _Capital and Land_, p. 13.

[231] Morris, _Useful Work versus Useless Toil_, p. 26.

[232] Sidney Webb, _The Difficulties of Individualism_, p. 8.

[233] Leatham, _Was Jesus a Socialist?_ p. 4.

[234] _The Socialist_, October 1907.

[235] _The Socialist Annual_, 1907, p. 42.

[236] Marx and Engels, _Manifesto_, pp. 30, 31.

[237] Quelch, _The Social-Democratic Federation_, p. 1.

[238] Leatham, _The Class War_, p. 10.

[239] Hall, _The Old and the New Unionism_, p. 4.

[240] Leatham, _The Class War_, p. 11.

[241] Blatchford, _The Pope's Socialism_, p. 2.

[242] _What Socialism Means_, p. 3.

[243] _Forward_, November 23, 1907.

[244] Blatchford, _Merrie England_, p. 58.

[245] Gronlund, _Co-operative Commonwealth_, p. 166.

[246] Davidson, _The Old Order and the New_, p. 4.

[247] McClure, _Socialism_, p. 16.

[248] Bax, _Outlooks from the New Standpoint_, p. 98.

[249] Williams, _The Difficulties of Socialism_, pp. 3, 4.

[250] Blatchford, _Real Socialism_, p. 11.

[251] Hyndman, _Social-Democracy_, p. 24.

[252] Joynes, _The Socialists' Catechism_, p. 13.

[253] Leatham, _The Evolution of the Fourth Estate_, p. 3.

[254] _Fabianism and the Fiscal Question_, p. 19.

[255] Gronlund, _Co-operative Commonwealth_, p. 41.

[256] Leatham, _The Evolution of the Fourth Estate_, p. 3.

[257] Leatham, _Was Jesus a Socialist?_ p. 4.

[258] Blatchford, _Competition_, p. 15.

[259] See Chapters VII & XXIII.

[260] _English Progress towards Social-Democracy_, p. 14.

[261] _Ibid._ p. 13.

[262] Keir Hardie, _From Serfdom to Socialism_, p. 15.

[263] Macdonald, _Socialism_, p. 3.

[264] McClure, _Socialism_, p. 13.

[265] Kautsky, _The Class Struggle_, p. 24.

[266] Kautsky, _The Socialist Republic_, p. 21.

[267] Hyndman, _Historic Basis of Socialism_, p. 435.

[268] _Justice_, October 12, 1907.

[269] _Justice_, October 12, 1907.

[270] _The Social Democrat_, November 1907, p. 676.

[271] _Report on Fabian Policy_, 1896, p. 6.

[272] G.B. Shaw, quoted in Jackson, _Bernard Shaw_, p. 100.

[273] Proudhon, _What is Property?_ pp. 252-256.

[274] _Ibid._ p. 37.

[275] _Ibid._ p. 184.

[276] Snowden, _The Christ that is to be_, p. 6.

[277] Bax and Quelch, _A New Catechism of Socialism_, p. 32.

[278] Blatchford, _What is this Socialism?_ p. 11.



CHAPTER V

THE AIMS AND POLICY OF THE SOCIALISTS


Those people who formerly called themselves Communists now call
themselves Socialists. Marx and Engels wrote in their celebrated
"Manifesto": "The theory of the Communists may be summed up in the
single sentence: Abolition of private property."[279] The policy of
modern British Socialism may be summed up in the identical words.
Indeed, we are told by one of its most eager champions that "The
programme of Socialism consists essentially of one demand--that the
land and other instruments of production shall be the common property
of the people, and shall be used and governed by the people for the
people."[280] "We suggest that the nation should own all the ships,
all the railways, all the factories, all the buildings, all the land,
and all the requisites of national life and defence."[281]

According to the Socialist doctrines which have been given in Chapter
IV, private property is the enemy of the workers. Therefore they quite
logically demand that all private property must be abolished. "The
problem has to be faced. Either we must submit for ever to hand over
at least one-third of our annual product to those who do us the favour
to own our country without the obligation of rendering any service to
the community, and to see this tribute augment with every advance in
our industry and numbers, or else we must take steps, as
considerately as may be possible, to put an end to this state of
things."[282] "The modern form of private property is simply a legal
claim to take a share of the produce of the national industry year by
year without working for it. Socialism involves discontinuance of the
payment of these incomes and addition of the wealth so saved to
incomes derived from labour. The economic problem of Socialism is thus
solved."[283]

A general division of the existing private property among all the
people is not intended, because it is considered to be impracticable.
"Socialism does not consist in violently seizing upon the property of
the rich and sharing it out amongst the poor."[284] "Plans for a
national 'dividing up' are not Socialism. They are nonsense. 'Dividing
up' means individual ownership. Socialism means collective
ownership."[285] "It is obvious that, in the present stage of economic
development, individual ownership is impossible. All the great means
of production are collectively owned now. Individual liberty based
upon individual property is therefore out of the question, and the
emancipation of the working class can only be achieved in social
freedom, based upon social property, through the transformation of
privately owned collective property into publicly owned collective
property."[286]

Starting from these premisses, the Socialists arrive at the demand
that "all the means of production and distribution, all the machinery,
all the buildings, everything that is necessary to provide the
fundamental necessaries of life, must be common property."[287] "We
want all the instruments for the purposes of trade to be the property
of the State. With that will have come at the same time the abolition
of power permitting any individual to exact rent or interest for the
loan of land or of the implements of production. The abolition of all
private property will mean the extinction of the parasite."[288] "The
overthrow of capitalism and the establishment of a system of society
based upon the common ownership and democratic control of the means
and instruments for producing and distributing wealth, by and in the
interest of the whole community: That is Socialism."[289] "The Fabian
Society aims at the reorganisation of society by the emancipation of
land and industrial capital from individual and class ownership, and
the vesting of them in the community for the general benefit. The
Society accordingly works for the extinction of private property in
land, and of the consequent individual appropriation, in the form of
rent, of the price paid for permission to use the earth, as well as
for the advantages of superior soils and sites. The Society, further,
works for the transfer to the community of the administration of such
industrial capital as can conveniently be managed socially."[290]
"Here in plain words is the principle, or root idea, on which all
Socialists agree--that the country and everything in the country shall
belong to the whole people (the nation), and shall be used by the
people and for the people. That principle, the root idea of Socialism,
means two things: (1) That the land, and all the machines, tools, and
buildings used in making needful things, together with all the canals,
rivers, roads, railways, ships, and trains used in moving, sharing
(distributing) needful things, and all the shops, markets, scales,
weights, and money used in selling or dividing needful things, shall
be the property of (belong to) the whole people (the nation). (2) That
the land, tools, machines, trains, rivers, shops, scales, money, and
all the other things belonging to the people, shall be worked,
managed, divided, and used by the whole people, in such way as the
greater number of the whole people shall deem best."[291]

A perusal of the party programmes and other Socialist documents
contained in the Appendix will show that the abolition of all private
property, and its transference to the State, is the aim of all the
Socialist organisations and parties, and no further extracts need be
given in order to prove the unanimity of the Socialists on this point.

The question now arises: How is this transference of all private
property to the State to be effected? Will the present holders of
property be fully compensated, partly compensated, or not compensated
at all? Do the Socialists aim at purchase or at confiscation of
existing private property. Will they respect existing rights, or are
they bent upon open or more or less disguised spoliation?

It is, unfortunately, very difficult to obtain a plain and
straightforward answer upon this important point. Instead of giving
this answer, British Socialists loudly protest that it is not their
aim to destroy or abolish property. As nobody has suspected the
Socialists to be foolish enough to abolish or destroy property--which
means the instruments of production, such as factories, machines,
railways, &c., by the use of which the people live, and thus bring
starvation upon themselves--their eagerness to explain that they do
not intend to abolish or destroy property can only be explained by the
surmise that they hope shallow simpletons will say, "The Socialists
have no intention to take our capital away from us by force and
without compensation, for they have declared that they do not intend
to abolish property." A few of these declarations should here be
given: "So far from abolishing property, Socialism desires to
establish it upon the only basis which makes property secure--that of
service, of creative service."[292] "Socialism does not propose to
abolish land or capital. Only a genius could have thought of this as
an objection to Socialism."[293] "Socialism is far from aiming at the
destruction of private property. Its object is to increase private
property amongst those whose property is so limited that they have a
difficulty in keeping themselves alive."[294] Another Socialist makes
the very irrelevant and unnecessary observation: "It is a firm
principle of Socialism never to interfere with personal property in
order to investigate its origin or to arrange it in a different way.
Never and nowhere! And whoever asserts to the contrary either does not
know the principles of Socialism or willingly and knowingly asserts an
untruth. The Socialists deem an investigation into the origin of an
acknowledged personal property an unnecessary trouble. They consider
the personal property an accomplished fact and respect it: so much so,
that they consider stealing a crime."[295] Mr. Blatchford informs us,
"We do not propose to seize anything. We do propose to get some things
and to make them the property of the whole nation by Act of Parliament
or by purchase."[296]

As regards the question whether compensation or no compensation will be
given, our Socialist leaders give us very vague and unsatisfactory
replies, which rather contain highly respectable but perfectly
irrelevant commonplaces than definite proposals. Most Socialists will
answer the plain question of confiscation or no confiscation with a
quibble or a conundrum, as the following examples will show: "One view
of Socialism is that it is a scheme of confiscation of property from
one class to give it to another class--that Socialists are Dick Turpins
made respectable by using Acts of Parliament instead of pistols. Now
the real fact is that the Socialist has come to put an end to Dick
Turpin methods. Socialism is a rational criticism of our present
methods of production and distribution. It desires to say to the
possessors: Show us by what title you possess; and it proposes to pass
its judgments upon the axiom that whoever renders service to society
should be able to have some appropriate share in the national
wealth."[297] In other words, an inquisitorial tribunal with arbitrary
powers would be empowered to confiscate at will. "Socialism is not a
plan to despoil the rich: it is a plan to stop the rich from despoiling
the poor. Socialism is not a thief; it is a policeman."[298] "Do any
say we attack private property? We deny it. We attack only that private
property for a few thousand loiterers and slave-drivers which renders
all property in the fruits of their own labour impossible for millions.
We challenge that private property which renders poverty at once a
necessity and a crime."[299] "Socialism would not rob anyone. It would
distinguish between the lawful possessor and the rightful possessor,
and it would compel the 'lawful' possessor to restore to the rightful
possessor the property of which he had robbed him."[300] "We do not
propose to rob the rich man of his wealth; we deny that it is his
wealth. Wealth is a social product, and therefore belongs to society.
It is not an act of brigandage to demand that society shall own and use
what society has created."[301]

Some Socialists consider the question of compensation or no
compensation as one of very minor importance. "The question of
compensation need not greatly worry us. Socialists hold that
plutocrats owe all their wealth to society; and therefore that society
has the right at any moment to take it back."[302] The more cautious
and moderate French and German Socialists are apt to promise
compensation in terms such as the following: "We declare expressly
that it is the duty of the State to give to those whose interests will
be damaged by the necessary abolition of laws which are detrimental to
the common interest compensation as far as it is possible and
consistent with the interests of all."[303]

It will be observed that the plain word compensation is circumscribed
by the phrase, "compensation as far as it is possible and consistent
with the interests of all." In other and plainer words, compensation
is to be arbitrarily given, and its proportion to the property
acquired is apparently to be determined not by its value or by
fairness and equity, but by the will of those who may be in power.

English Socialists, on the other hand, are apt to recommend a far more
drastic treatment of property-owners. "We claim that land in country
and land in towns, mines, parks, mountains, moors, should be owned by
the people for the people, to be held, used, built over, and
cultivated upon such terms as the people themselves see fit to ordain.
The handful of marauders who now hold possession have, and can have,
no right save brute force against the tens of millions whom they
wrong."[304] The most moderate school of British Socialism, the Fabian
Society, favours in its statement of policy given under the heading
"Basis of the Fabian Society" the expropriation of all private
capital "without compensation, though not without such relief to
expropriated individuals as may seem fit to the community." In other
words, expropriated property-owners may, or may not, be given
something to protect them from starvation, not as a matter of right,
but of charity.

Most Socialists who favour compensation recommend that it should be
given only in the form of consumable articles such as food, clothes,
&c., or in bonds which are changeable only into consumable articles.
"Rothschild will be paid in bread and meat and luxury and wine and
theatre tickets."[305] "When capitalistic property shall have been
socialised, the holders of compensation deeds will not be able to
purchase either fresh means of production or producers; they will only
be able to buy products."[306]

Some Socialists suggest that the bonds given in exchange for property
acquired by the State might be cancelled later on. The property-owners
could be deprived of their possessions without any difficulty, either
gradually by taxation or at one blow by confiscation at the option of
the men in power. "When the entire capitalistic property takes the
form of State bonds, the property which it is impossible to ascertain
to-day would then be known to everybody. It would only be necessary to
decree that all bonds are to be registered in the name of the owner,
and it would be possible to estimate exactly the capitalist income and
the property of everyone. It would then also be possible to screw up
the taxes to any extent without fear of their being evaded by any
concealments. It would then be also impossible to escape them by
emigration, since it is the public institutions of the country, and in
the first place the State, from which all interest comes, and the
latter can deduct the tax from the interest before it is paid out.
Under these circumstances it would be possible to raise the
progressive income and property tax as high as necessary--if necessary
as high as would come very near, if not actually amount to,
confiscation of the large property."[307] The foregoing is a simple
plan of swindling property-owners out of their holdings.

Some of the more moderate Socialists argue: "There is much to be said
in favour of the liberal treatment of the present generation of
proprietors and even of their children. But against the permanent
welfare of the community the unborn have no rights."[308] On the other
hand, Bax, the philosopher of British Socialism, quite logically and
honestly states that the idea of compensation has no room in the
Socialist code of ethics, that the bourgeois idea of compensation on
grounds of justice is irreconcilable with the Socialist conception of
justice. He says: "Between possession and confiscation is a great gulf
fixed, the gulf between the bourgeois and the Socialist worlds.
Well-meaning men seek to throw bridges over this gulf by schemes of
compensation, abolition of inheritance, and the like. But the
attempts, as we believe, even should they ever be carried out
practically, must fall disastrously short of their mark and be
speedily engulfed between the two positions they are intended to
unite. Nowhere can the phrase 'He that is not for us is against us' be
more aptly applied than to the moral standpoint of modern
individualism and of modern Socialism. To the one, individual
possession is right and justice, and social confiscation is wrong and
injustice; to the other, individual possession is wrong and injustice,
and confiscation is right and justice. This is the real issue. Unless
a man accept the last-named standpoint unreservedly, he has no right
to call himself a Socialist. If he does accept it, he will seek the
shortest and most direct road to the attainment of justice rather than
any longer and more indirect ones, of which it is at best doubtful
whether they will attain the end at all. For be it remembered the
moment you tamper with the sacredness of private property, no matter
how mildly, you surrender the conventional bourgeois principle of
justice, while the moment you talk of compensation you surrender the
Socialist principle of justice, for compensation can only be real if
it is adequate, and can only be adequate if it counterbalances, and
thereby annuls, the confiscation. It is just, says the individualist,
for a man to be able to do what he likes with his own. Good; but what
is his own?"[309] "The great act of confiscation will be the seal of
the new era; then and not till then will the knell of civilisation,
with its rights of property and its class society, be sounded; then,
and not till then, will justice--the justice not of civilisation but
of Socialism--become the corner-stone of the social arch."[310]

I think the straightforwardness of Bax is preferable to the crooked
and insincere explanations and proposals of the British and foreign
Socialist given in the foregoing. Bax's opinion is irrefutable.
According to the doctrines of Socialism given in Chapter IV., labour
is the source of all wealth; the greater part of the products of that
labour is dishonestly abstracted from the labourer by the capitalist
class, which has converted the result of that labour into property.
Hence Socialists think with Proudhon, and they very often openly
declare, that property is theft. Capitalist society will not
compensate the thief when taking from him his booty. Socialism will
not compensate property-owners when taking away their property.
Besides, compensation would be utterly opposed to the root idea of
Socialist justice. At present expropriation without indemnity is
called theft, but it would not be called theft under a Socialist
_régime_. The chapter on "Law and Justice under Socialism" will make
that quite clear.

Socialism teaches that no man is entitled to anything except that
which he has made himself. "No man has a right to call anything his
own but that which he himself has made. Now, no man makes the land.
The land is not created by labour, but it is the gift of God to all.
The earth belongs to the people. For the nonce please take the
statement on the authority of Herbert Spencer, All men 'have equal
rights to the use of the earth.' So that he who possesses land
possesses that to which he has no right, and he who invests his
savings in land becomes a purchaser of stolen property."[311] "No man
made the land, and laws and lawyers notwithstanding no man has any
moral right before God to call a solitary strip of God's earth his
than has the burglar to call his stolen goods his personal property.
It is therefore evident that the bite named 'rent' given to landlords
for permission to live upon and use God's free gift to man is as much
the fruit of robbery, the spoil of plunder, as is the result of a
burglar's night's marauding, a common pickpocket's day's
'takings.'"[312] Capital is in the same position as land, for "Land
and capital are indistinguishable."[313]

The more honest Socialists agree with Bax that compensation for
property acquired would be inadvisable and impracticable. "In a
pamphlet called 'Collectivism and Revolution' M. Jules Guesde said,
'Expropriation with indemnity is a chimera. And whatever regret one
may feel, however difficult may appear to peaceful natures the last
method, we have no other way than to retake violently that which
belongs to all, by--let us say the word--the Revolution.' He added,
'Capital which it is necessary to take from individuals, such as the
land, is not of human creation; it is anterior to man, for whom it is
a _sine qua non_ of existence. It cannot therefore belong to some to
the exclusion of others, without the others being robbed. And to make
the robbers deliver up, to oblige them to restore in any and every way
is not so much a right as a duty, the most sacred of duties."[314] A
respected English Socialist says bluntly, "How to secure the swag to
the workers is the problem."[315] A Christian Socialist clergyman
sarcastically proposes: "If you are a Christian and love your rich
neighbour as yourself, you will do all you can to help him to become
poorer. For if you believe in the Gospel, you know that to be rich is
the very worst thing that can happen to a man. That if a man is rich,
it is with the greatest difficulty that he can be saved; for 'it is
easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich
man to enter into the Kingdom of God' (Mark x. 25). This is startling
now, but it was not less strange and startling to the disciples who
'were astonished out of measure, saying among themselves, Who then can
be saved?' But the needle's eye has not grown any larger since then,
and the camels certainly have not grown smaller! All true Christians
then must desire to relieve the rich man of his excess for his own
sake, since the inequality that ruins the body of Lazarus ruins the
soul of Dives; and Dives is the more miserable of the two, because the
soul is more precious than the body."[316]

The abolition of private property requires also the abolition of the
right of inheritance, as otherwise capital might again be accumulated
in the hands of the thrifty and the enterprising. Therefore the
manifesto of Marx and Engels already demands the "abolition of all
right of inheritance."[317] Other Socialists say that this right
should not be abolished. "Socialists used to insist upon the abolition
of the right of inheritance and bequest. But if what I gain by my own
labour is rightfully my property--and the Co-operative Commonwealth
will, as we have seen, declare it to be so--it will be inexpedient in
that Commonwealth to destroy any of the essential qualities of
propertyship; and I can hardly call that my property which I may not
give to whom I please at my death. No man in a Co-operative
Commonwealth could acquire so much more wealth than his fellows as to
make him dangerous to them."[318] "Socialists do not object to
property; they are not opposed to private property. They are therefore
not opposed to inheritance. The right to acquire and hold involves the
right to dispose by will or by gift. We only object to such a use of
property as enables classes for generation after generation to live on
the proceeds of other people's labour without doing any useful service
to society."[319] This very diplomatic sentence may be explained in a
variety of ways. Probably it means that holders of property of large
size could summarily be deprived of their possessions by order of the
Government, as has been indicated by that writer in another passage
(see page 97). Such a power would make the right to hold and to
bequeath property a farce. Property could be held then only on the
same terms on which, I believe, it is held by Central African negroes.
Another Socialist states, "If I am entitled to what I produce, then it
follows that I am entitled to dispose of all that I produce;" and then
denies the right to personal property by continuing: "The Socialists
say, 'Not thine or mine, but ours.'"[320]

It would be only logical that the Socialist State, after abolishing
private property by following the principle "not thine but ours,"
should not allow its re-creation and re-accumulation. "This pernicious
right (wrong) of inheritance must be abolished. It is the means by
which the 'classes' perpetuate their robbery of the 'masses' from
generation to generation and age to age. The disinherited would of
course have the community to look to for sound education in youth,
suitable employment in years of maturity, generous pension in old age,
&c., and to what else can any rational human being lay just
claim?"[321] Some Socialists argue that in the Socialist State "there
will be nothing to bequeath, unless we choose to regard household
furniture as a legacy of any importance. This settles the question of
the right of inheritance, which Socialism will have no need to abolish
formally."[322] "Socialism condemns as reactionary and immoral all
that tends to the debasement of humanity. It condemns our industrial
and commercial system as a degrading system--degrading both to the few
who amass wealth and to the many who by their labour enable the few to
lay up riches. It is degrading to those who rob and to those who are
robbed; to those who cheat and to those who are cheated; to those who
swim and to those who sink; to those who revel in luxury and to those
who, barely sustaining their own lives, are compelled by their toil to
supply luxuries for others to enjoy."[323] Therefore Socialism means
to abolish the present system root and branch, and the most
straightforward Socialists are frankly in favour of the most thorough
measures for abolishing private property.

Children and poets proverbially speak the truth. Let us see what the
Socialist poets think of the expropriation of property-owners.

Some of the poets tell the workers that the labourers not only produce
all the wealth, but are also all-powerful, and, if they wish to, they
can do what they like with the country.

    Shall you complain who feed the world--
    Who clothe the world, who house the world?
    Shall you complain who are the world
      Of what the world may do?
    As from this hour you use your power,
      The world must follow you.
    As from this hour you use your power.
      The world must follow you.[324]

Others remind them of their grievances, and urge them to drive the
rich man out of the country:

        Think on the wrongs ye bear,
        Think on the rags ye wear,
    Think on the insults endured from your birth;
        Toiling in snow and rain,
        Bearing up heaps of gain,
    All for the tyrants who grind ye to earth.

    Your brains are as keen as the brains of your masters.
      In swiftness and strength ye surpass them by far,
    Ye've brave hearts that teach ye to laugh at disasters,
      Ye vastly outnumber your tyrants in war.
        Why, then, like cowards stand.
        Using not brain or hand,
    Thankful, like dogs, when they throw ye a bone?
        What right have they to take
        Things that ye toil to make?
    Know ye not, boobies, that all is your own?[325]

    Arise, unite each scattered band,
    To sweep all masters from our land,
    Then shall each mine and loom and field
    Its produce to the workers yield.[326]

Others, again, urge the workers to seize all property and to make the
rich man work for them.

    They're never done extolling
        The nobility of work;
    But the knaves! they always take good care
        Their share of toil to shirk.
    Do they send their sons and daughters,
        To the workshop or the mill?
    Oh! we'll turn things upside down, my lads;
        It will change their tune, it will![327]

    We'll drive the robbers from our lands, our meadows and our hills;
    We'll drive them from our warehouses, our workshops and our mills;
    We'll make them fare upon their bonds, their bankbooks and their bills,
        As we go marching to liberty.[328]

Some Socialists believe that they will come to power suddenly and by
violence, and abolish private capital at a stroke. Others are inclined
to think that they will only gradually abolish it. Karl Marx was of
the latter opinion. Therefore he wrote in his "Manifesto": "The first
step in the revolution by the working class is to raise the
proletariat to the position of ruling class to win the battle of
democracy. The proletariat will use its political supremacy to wrest,
by degrees, all capital from the bourgeoisie, to centralise all
instruments of production in the hands of the State--_i.e._ of the
proletariat organised as the ruling class; and to increase the total
of productive forces as rapidly as possible. Of course in the
beginning this cannot be effected except by means of despotic inroads
on the rights of property and on the conditions of bourgeois
production: by means of measures therefore which appear economically
insufficient and untenable, but which in the course of the movement
outstrip themselves, necessitate further inroads upon the old social
order, and are unavoidable as a means of entirely revolutionising the
mode of production. These measures will of course be different in
different countries. Nevertheless in the most advanced countries the
following will be pretty generally applicable:

1. Abolition of property in land and application of all rents of land
to public purposes.

2. A heavy progressive or graduated income-tax.

3. Abolition of all right of inheritance.

4. Confiscation of the property of all emigrants and rebels.

5. Centralisation of credit in the hands of the State by means of a
national bank with State capital and an exclusive monopoly.

6. Centralisation of the means of communication and transport in the
hands of the State.

7. Extension of factories and instruments of production owned by the
State; the bringing into cultivation of waste lands, and the
improvement of the soil generally in accordance with a common plan.

8. Equal liability of all to labour. Establishment of industrial
armies, especially for agriculture.

9. Combination of agriculture with manufacturing industries; gradual
abolition of the distinction between town and country, by a more
equable distribution of the population over the country.

10. Free education for all children in public schools. Abolition of
children's factory labour in its present form. Combination of
education with industrial production, &c."[329]

Marx's programme has served as a model to the English Socialists, as
the following demands of some of our Socialists will show: "The
things you will be working for will be something like this. Shorter
hours is the first thing, then a tax on landlords, then abolition of
the House of Lords and the Monarchy, then more Home-Rule and more
Local Government, then extension of municipal operations, the
socialisation of coal stores, dairy farms, bakeries, laundries,
public-houses, cab-hiring, the slaughter of cattle and the sale of
butcher meat, the building and letting of houses--in short, the taking
over by the local bodies of as many departments of production and
distribution as need be. By this time the Class War will be shaping
for a last great engagement."[330]

"As stepping stones to a happier period we urge for immediate
adoption: The compulsory construction of healthy artisans' and
agricultural labourers' dwellings in proportion to the population,
such dwellings to be let at rents to cover the cost of construction
and maintenance alone. Free compulsory education for all classes,
together with the provision of at least one wholesome meal a day in
each school. Eight hours or less to be the normal working day in all
trades. Cumulative taxation upon all incomes above a fixed minimum not
exceeding _500l._ a year. State appropriation of railways with or
without compensation. The establishment of national banks which shall
absorb all private institutions that derive a profit from operations
in money or credit. Rapid extinction of the National Debt.
Nationalisation of the land and organisation of agricultural and
industrial armies under State control on co-operative principles. By
these measures a healthy, independent, and thoroughly educated people
will steadily grow up around us, ready to abandon that baneful
competition for starvation wages which ruins our present workers,
ready to organise the labour of each for the benefit of all,
determined, too, to take control finally of the entire social and
political machinery of a State in which class distinctions and class
privileges shall cease to be."[331]

The Social-Democratic Federation demands the following immediate
reforms: "The socialisation of the means of production, distribution,
and exchange to be controlled by a democratic State in the interests
of the entire community, and the complete emancipation of labour from
the domination of capitalism and landlordism with the establishment of
social and economic equality between the sexes. Abolition of the
Monarchy. Democratisation of the governmental machinery, viz.
abolition of the House of Lords, payment of members of legislative and
administrative bodies, payment of official expenses of elections out
of the public funds, adult suffrage, proportional representation,
triennial Parliaments, second ballot, initiative and referendum.
Foreigners to be granted rights of citizenship after two years'
residence in the country, on the recommendation of four British-born
citizens, without any fee. Canvassing to be made illegal. Legislation
by the people in such wise that no legislative proposal shall become
law until ratified by the majority of the people. Legislative and
administrative independence for all parts of the empire.

"Repudiation of the National Debt. Abolition of all indirect taxation
and the institution of a cumulative tax on all incomes and
inheritances exceeding _300l._

"Extension of the principle of local self-government. Systematisation
and co-ordination of the local administrative bodies. Election of all
administrators and administrative bodies by equal direct adult
suffrage.

"Elementary education to be free, secular, industrial, and compulsory
for all classes. The age of obligatory school attendance to be raised
to sixteen. Unification and systematisation of intermediate and higher
education, both general and technical, and all such education to be
free. Free maintenance for all attending State schools. Abolition of
school rates, the cost of education in all State schools to be borne
by the National Exchequer.

"Nationalisation of the land and the organisation of labour in
agriculture and industry under public ownership and control on
co-operative principles. Nationalisation of the trusts, of railways,
docks, and canals, and all great means of transit. Public ownership
and control of gas, electric light, and water-supplies, tramway,
omnibus, and other locomotive services, and of the food and coal
supply. The establishment of State and municipal banks and pawnshops
and public restaurants. Public ownership and control of the lifeboat
service, of hospitals, dispensaries, cemeteries and crematoria, and
control of the drink traffic.

"A legislative eight-hour working day or forty-eight hours per week to
be the maximum for all trades and industries. Imprisonment to be
inflicted on employers for any infringement of the law. Absolute
freedom of combination for all workers, with legal guarantee against
any action, private or public, which tends to curtail or infringe it.
No child to be employed in any trade or occupation until sixteen years
of age, and imprisonment to be inflicted on employers, parents, and
guardians who infringe this law. Public provision of useful work at
not less than trade-union rates of wages for the unemployed. Free
State insurance against sickness and accident, and free and adequate
State pensions or provision for aged and disabled workers. Public
assistance not to entail any forfeiture of political rights. The
legislative enactment of a minimum wage of _30s._ for all workers.
Equal pay for both sexes for the performance of equal work.

"Abolition of the present workhouse system, and reformed
administration of the Poor Law on a basis of national co-operation.
Compulsory construction by public bodies of healthy dwellings for the
people, such dwellings to be let at rents to cover the cost of
construction and maintenance alone, and not to cover the cost of the
land. The administration of justice to be free to all; the
establishment of public offices where legal advice can be obtained
free of charge."[332]

Mr. Blatchford suggests the following: "The public maintenance and the
public education of children. The public provision of work for all.
The taxation of the land and of all large incomes. The confiscation of
unearned increment. Old-age pensions. The minimum wage. Compulsory
land cultivation. Universal adult suffrage. The second ballot. The
payment of election expenses. The nationalisation of the railways and
of the land. The nationalisation or municipalisation of trams, gas,
water, bread, liquor, milk, coal, and many other things. The abolition
of hereditary titles and of the House of Lords."[333]

The general policy which the Socialists should follow was summed up by
Marx in the following way. "The Communists everywhere support every
revolutionary movement against the existing social and political order
of things."[334] "Socialism is the only hope of the workers. All else
is illusion. Workers of all lands, unite! You have nothing to lose but
your chains. You have a world to win."[335]

"This is the final struggle. The extinction of classes must follow the
overthrow of the last form of class domination and the emancipation of
the last class to be set free. Rally then, fellow workers, to the
standard of the international class-conscious proletariat, the Red
Flag of Social-Democracy. 'Workers of all countries, unite! You have
nothing to lose but your chains, you have a world to win!'"[336] "The
land of England is no mean heritage."[337]

"What has hitherto prevented the workers from combining for
the overthrow of the capitalist system? A. Ignorance and
disorganisation.--Q. What has left them in ignorance? A. The system
itself, by compelling them to spend all their lives upon monotonous toil
and leaving them no time for education.--Q. What account have they been
given of the system which oppresses them? A. The priest has explained
that the perpetual presence of the poor is necessitated by a law of God;
the economist has proved its necessity by a law of Nature; and between
them they have succeeded in convincing the labourers of the hopelessness
of any opposition to the capitalist system.--Q. How is it that the
labourers cannot see for themselves that they are legally robbed? A.
Because the present method of extracting their surplus value is one of
fraud rather than of force, and has grown gradually."[338]

The philosopher of British Socialism well sums up the aims and policy
of the Socialists. He says: "What is vital in Socialism? In the first
line, I take it, come

"1. The collectivisation of _all_ the instruments of production by
_any_ effective means;

"2. The doctrine of the Class War as the general historical method of
realising the new form of society;

"3. The principle of internationalism, the recognition, _i.e._ that
distinction of nationality sinks into nothingness before the idea of
the union of all progressive races in the effort to realise the ideal
of true society as understood by the Social-Democratic Party;

"4. The utmost freedom of physical, moral, and intellectual
development for each and all consistent with the necessities of an
organised social State.

"The Socialist's adhesion to the doctrine of the Class War involves
his opposition to all measures subserving the interest of any section
of capitalism. This coupled with his 'Internationalism' leaves him no
choice but to be the enemy of 'his country' and the friend of his
country's enemies whenever 'his country' (which means of course the
dominant classes of his country, who always are for that matter his
enemies) plays the game of the capitalist. Let us have no humbug! The
man who cannot on occasion be (if needs be) the declared and active
enemy of that doubtful entity, 'his country,' is no Social
Democrat."[339]

"Justice being henceforth identified with confiscation, and injustice
with the right of property, there remains only the question of 'ways
and means.' Our bourgeois apologist, admitting as he must that the
present possessors of land and capital hold possession of them simply
by right of superior force, can hardly refuse to admit the right of
the proletariat organised to that end to take possession of them by
right of superior force. The only question remaining is, How? And the
only answer is, How you can."[340]

FOOTNOTES:

[279] Page 17.

[280] Blatchford, _Merrie England_, p. 100.

[281] _Clarion_, October 11, 1907.

[282] Sidney Webb, _The Difficulties of Individualism_, p. 10.

[283] _Fabian Essays in Socialism_, pp. 26, 27.

[284] Blatchford, _Merrie England_, p. 99.

[285] Blatchford, _What is this Socialism?_ p. 1.

[286] _Socialist Annual_, 1907, p. 39.

[287] Kirtlan, _Socialism for Christians_, p. 15.

[288] Tillett, _Trades Unionism and Socialism_, p. 12.

[289] _Manifesto of the Socialist Party of Great Britain_, p. 9.

[290] _Basis of the Fabian Society._

[291] Blatchford, _Real Socialism_, p. 10.

[292] Macdonald, _Socialism_, p. 103.

[293] Keir Hardie, _From Serfdom to Socialism_, p. 11.

[294] Ethel Snowden, _The Woman Socialist_, p. 3.

[295] Sorge, _Socialism and the Worker_, p. 9.

[296] Blatchford, _Real Socialism_, p. 3.

[297] Macdonald, _Socialism_, p. 103.

[298] Blatchford, _What is this Socialism?_ p. 2.

[299] _Socialism made Plain_, p. 10.

[300] Blatchford, _The Pope's Socialism_, p. 3.

[301] Hobart, _Social-Democracy_, p. 7.

[302] Gronlund, _Co-operative Commonwealth_, p. 94.

[303] Jaurès, _Practical Socialism_, p. 3.

[304] _Socialism Made Plain_, p. 8.

[305] Gronlund, _Co-operative Commonwealth_, p. 105.

[306] Jaurès, _Practical Socialism_, p. 5.

[307] Kautsky, _The Social Revolution_, p. 10.

[308] Sidney Webb, _The Difficulties of Individualism_, p. 10.

[309] Bax, _The Ethics of Socialism_, pp. 75, 76.

[310] _Ibid._ p. 83.

[311] Blatchford, _The Pope's Socialism_, p. 6.

[312] Muse, _Poverty and Drunkenness_, p. 9.

[313] _Facts for Socialists_, p. 7.

[314] Guyot, _Pretensions of Socialism_, p. 16.

[315] Davidson, _The Old Order and the New_, p. 9.

[316] Dearmer, _Socialism and Christianity_, pp. 17, 18.

[317] Marx and Engels, _Manifesto_, p. 22.

[318] Gronlund, _Co-operative Commonwealth_, p 105.

[319] Macdonald, _Socialism_, p. 105.

[320] _Socialism, For and Against_, p. 9.

[321] Davidson, _The Old Order and the New_, p. 158.

[322] Bebel, _Woman_, pp. 231, 232.

[323] "Veritas," _Did Jesus Christ teach Socialism?_ p. 2.

[324] _Social-Democratic Federation Song Book_, p. 56.

[325] _Ibid._ p. 30.

[326] _Independent Labour Party Song Book_, p. 33.

[327] _Social-Democratic Federation Song Book_, p. 43

[328] _Independent Labour Party Song Book_, p. 7.

[329] Marx and Engels, _Manifesto_, pp. 21, 22.

[330] Leatham, _The Class War_, pp. 13, 14.

[331] _Socialism Made Plain_, p. 10.

[332] Programme, _Social-Democratic Federation_.

[333] _Clarion_, October 18, 1907.

[334] Marx and Engels, _Manifesto_, p. 30.

[335] _Motto of The Socialist_, weekly, taken from Marx and Engels'
_Manifesto_.

[336] _The Class War_, p. 2.

[337] _Socialism Made Plain_, p. 10.

[338] Joynes, _The Socialist Catechism_, p. 5.

[339] Bax, _Essays in Socialism_, pp. 101, 102.

[340] Bax, _Ethics of Socialism_, p. 82.



CHAPTER VI

THE ATTITUDE OF SOCIALISTS TOWARDS THE WORKING MASSES


Before investigating the attitude of British Socialism towards the
working masses, it is necessary to take note of its doctrines
regarding work.

Most thinkers, from the time of King Solomon, Socrates, and Confucius
down to the present age, have seen in work conscientiously performed a
blessing; many, probably most, British Socialists declare it to be a
curse and a vice. The leading English philosopher of Socialism, for
instance, tells us: "To the Socialist labour is an evil to be
minimised to the utmost. The man who works at his trade or avocation
more than necessity compels him, or who accumulates more than he can
enjoy, is not a hero but a fool from the Socialists' standpoint."[341]
A leading French Socialist informs us: "Through listening to the
fallacious utterances of the middle-class economists, the workers have
delivered themselves body and soul to the vice of work."[342] When Mr.
Victor Grayson, M.P., a Socialist, in a speech ventured to refer to
work as "one of the greatest blessings and privileges ever conferred
on humanity," one of the Socialist papers wrote: "Victor Grayson is
simply an agent of the capitalist class. Is Mr. Victor Grayson, M.P.,
trying to allure the capitalist class by picturing work as a blessing,
or is he trying to get the worker to look upon work through a rosy
mist conjured from the brains of the capitalist's agent who is
saturated with capitalist philosophy? It is time the Beatitudes were
extended or revised. How would this do?--'Blessed is the worker who
works (for the capitalist), for he shall inherit the kingdom (of
starvation and misery under capitalism).' 'Blessed is work in itself,
because it enables (the capitalist) to live in peace and happiness.'
Since work is a blessing, it follows that whatever saves work is a
curse. All the beautiful machinery which the working class have shed
their life blood to produce, to develop which an army of them have
been sacrificed under capitalism by the capitalists; this which the
workers of ages and ages have contributed their mite towards; have
laboured long and suffered silently to create; this is an
evil!!!"[343]

British Socialists do their utmost to convert the workers into
shirkers by teaching them not only that work is an evil in itself, but
by constantly admonishing them, "on scientific grounds," to work as
little as possible during the time they are employed. "It is the
interest of the employer to get as much work out of his hands as
possible for as little wages as possible. It is the interest of the
workers to get as high a wage as possible for as little labour as
possible."[344] "The workers have been taught by the practical
economists of the trade-unions, and have learnt for themselves by
bitter experience, that every time any of them in a moment of ambition
or good will does one stroke of work not in his bond, he is increasing
the future unpaid labour not only of himself, but of his
fellows."[345]

The Independent Labour Party has issued a leaflet entitled "Are you a
Socialist?" in which the question occurs, "Do you believe that every
individual should have sufficient leisure to cultivate his higher
faculties and enjoy life to the fullest extent?" and the answer is,
"If you say 'Yes,' join the Independent Labour Party and help to carry
its principles into effect."[346]

Many Socialists promise the workers that the Socialist State of the
future will abolish the curse of work by greatly diminishing the hours
of labour. A leading English Socialist writer says: "It is as plainly
demonstrable as that twice four make eight that a due system of
organised effort would enable your 43,000,000 of people to win from
Nature an overflowing superfluity of all that man desires, without
one-fourth the effort put forth now to win a beggarly subsistence so
far short of what your community requires that 13,000,000 of your
people live continually upon the very verge of starvation."[347] A
leading American Socialist promises somewhat vaguely, "A few hours of
work will secure to everybody all necessaries, decencies, and comforts
of life."[348] William Morris tells us that four hours' work will
suffice, and that it will not all be "mere machine-tending."[349]
Morrison-Davidson prophesies that the "hours of labour will probably
not exceed a minimum of two and a maximum of five daily."[350] Hyndman
feels quite certain that "two or three hours' labour out of the
twenty-four by all adult males would be enough to give the whole
community all the wholesome necessaries and comforts of life,"[351]
and Bax thinks that "In a perfectly organised Socialist State men
never worked more than two or three hours a day."[352] Yves Guyot
wittily says: "There is no reason why their demands should not go
further. Zero alone can bid them defiance."[353] It is worth noting
that many Anarchists also promise a great lessening of the hours of
labour when the State has been destroyed. Kropotkin, for instance,
requires only from four to five hours' work.[354] Agitators desirous
to secure the support of the workers cannot be too lavish in their
promises.

In the Socialist State of the future a few hours' work every day will
give boundless prosperity to all, for "Wealth may easily be made as
plentiful as water at the expense of trifling toil."[355] "Under
Socialism, nineteen-twentieths of the people will be better off
materially than they are to-day, for they will be equal partners in
all the productive and distributive wealth of the community."[356]
"Comparative affluence would be enjoyed by each member of the
community."[357]

In the Socialist commonwealth of the future "all wages will be
immediately increased," for "the social community will apply itself to
raise all salaries of workers and peasants."[358] "In a Socialist
State you will have everyone paid a living wage. The surplus will be
dispensed by the State, bringing happiness to the whole
community."[359]

The British national revenue amounts at present only to a little more
than _140,000,000l._ By the abolition of the private capitalists and
landowners the Socialist Government of Great Britain "would at once
find themselves in possession of a revenue amounting to some
_900,000,000l._ per annum, and would probably be puzzled for a time
how to dispose of it and prevent themselves being buried under its
accumulation."[360] This is neither a joke nor a misprint, for the
well-known writer, author of countless Socialist pamphlets, continues:
"After a variety of attempts to dispose of it by dividing into good
fat salaries among those of your community who had had least to do
with its production, after the usual custom, I believe means would be
employed ultimately for inducing them to keep it under by increasing
the wages of the workers, which is another way of saying that those
whose labour had produced the wealth would be allowed to enjoy it,
which would be something quite novel."[361]

The Socialist Government would not only diminish the working hours
making them from three to five hours a day, but would also double and
treble wages, partly in order to get rid of the glut of money flowing
into the National Exchequer, partly because the workers would
presumably receive the whole produce of their labour (see Chapter IV.)
in the form of wages as soon as the private capitalists were
eliminated. Repairs, renewals, replacement of capital losses, and the
extension of national industry, which are at present effected out of
the savings of private capitalists, would, under the Socialist
_régime_, apparently no longer be required, and direction,
supervision, and distribution would apparently no longer cost
anything. The workers are quite seriously told by the philosopher of
British Socialism, collaborating with the editor of "Justice": "Under
present conditions the total wealth produced would, if equitably
divided, amount to a value equal to more than _200l._ per year per
family. But to suppose that any mere distributive readjustment is what
is meant by Socialism is to entirely misunderstand what Socialism
really involves. Socialism means the complete reorganisation of
production as well as distribution. With production scientifically and
socially organised, the productivity of labour would be quintupled,
and the amount of wealth would be increased in proportion."[362] In
other words, there would be _1,000l._ a year for each family. Another
Socialist more plainly states: "At the present hour it is calculated
that the wealth of the United Kingdom exceeds 2,000 millions per year.
This divided among forty millions gives _250l._ per family. It is said
that the abolition of waste labour and the absorption of the idle
classes would quadruple the production. One thousand pounds per year
per family is a very good standard of comfort under a co-operative
system of living."[363]

The two estimates agree in this, that the Socialist family of five
should receive in wages _1,000l._ per annum, or about _3l. 10s._ per
working day. In another chapter we shall learn that in the Socialist
State only the young and strong would work, and they would work, as we
have seen in the foregoing pages, between three and four hours a day.
In other words, the worker who earns now, say, _10d._ an hour, would,
under the Socialist commonwealth, receive _1l._ per hour. Who would
not be a Socialist?

A leading German Socialist has endeavoured to gauge the effect of
Socialism upon the working classes. In making his calculations he has
borne in mind the necessity of providing for the wear and tear of
capital, and for other expenditure, and he has arrived at the
conclusion: "A generous sick insurance will have to be set up, as well
as an invalid and old-age insurance for all incapacitated workers, &c.
Thus we see that not much will remain for the raising of the wages
from the present income of the capitalists, even if capital were
confiscated at a stroke, still less if we were to compensate the
capitalists. It will consequently be necessary, in order to be able to
raise the wages, to raise at the same time the production far above
its present level."[364]

The value of high wages lies in the produce they buy. It is of course
quite clear that a nation, in order to consume more, must also produce
more. It would be interesting to know whether leading Socialists, such
as Messrs. Bax, Quelch, and Hazell, who must be acquainted with the
sober estimates of the German Socialists, honestly believe that under
a Socialist _régime_ _1,000l._ per annum will be available per family,
or whether these statements have only been made to obtain supporters
on the not very honourable principle, _Vulgus vult decipi,
decipiatur_.

Let us now look into the practical proposals of the Socialists to the
workers.

In the official programme of the Social-Democratic Federation[365] the
following "Immediate Reforms" concerning the workers are demanded:

"A legislative eight hours' working day, or forty-eight hours per
week, to be the maximum for all trades and industries. Imprisonment to
be inflicted on employers for any infringement of the law. Absolute
freedom of combination for all workers, with legal guarantee against
any action, private or public, which tends to curtail or infringe it.
No child to be employed in any trade or occupation until sixteen years
of age, and imprisonment to be inflicted on employers, parents, and
guardians who infringe this law. Public provision of useful work at
not less than trade-union rates of wages for the unemployed. Free
State insurance against sickness and accident, and free and adequate
State pensions or provision for aged and disabled workers. Public
assistance not to entail any forfeiture of political rights. The
legislative enactment of a minimum wage of _30s._ for all workers.
Equal pay for both sexes for the performance of equal work."

It will be noticed that imprisonment is to be inflicted upon employers
who allow their men to work overtime. Would there also be
imprisonment for workers working undertime? Similar demands have been
made by other Socialist bodies. Let us look more closely into some of
those demands which are to be fulfilled forthwith.


OLD-AGE PENSIONS

With the same recklessness with which the Socialist leaders promise to
the working man a large income in return for three or four hours'
daily work in the golden age of Socialism, they try to dazzle him with
promises of wonderful old-age pension schemes which are to be carried
out in the immediate future. Mr. Smart thinks "The smallest sum upon
which an old man can exist, even when his lodging is provided by his
friends, is _7s._ a week. The pension, therefore, should not be less
than this amount, and should be obtainable at sixty years of age. The
annual cost for a universal system would be, with the necessary
administrative expenses, about _60,000,000l._"[366] To Councillor
Glyde the pensionable age of sixty seems to be too high, and the
pension too low. Therefore he proposes that "Old-age pensions of at
least _7s. 6d._ per week should be provided for all aged workers over
fifty-five years of age."[367] But why should a working man have to
wait till he is fifty-five before receiving a pension? In another
pamphlet, Mr. Glyde amends his scheme and tells us, "To give a pension
of _7s. 6d._ per week to all who wished to give up work at fifty years
of age would have very satisfactory results. In the first place, it
would make the aged workers happy and comfortable. In the second
place, it would help to solve the unemployed question by the steady
withdrawal of the aged workmen from the labour market, give them
purchasing power, and thus find a home market for the productivity of
the younger, able-bodied workers. Thirdly, it would prevent the
competition for jobs, and the playing off against the younger workmen
by the employers of the cheaper-paid labour of those who cannot as
they formerly could, so that there would be less strikes, reduction in
wages, and petty tyranny practised upon the younger generation of
workers. Fourthly, it would cause the abolition of workhouses, with
their great army of expensive, well-paid officials. There would be no
need for workhouses, because cottage homes would be provided for those
who were infirm and feeble, on the lines of the present homes for
children; an infirmary for those who were sick and invalids, and
asylums for the imbecile. Thousands would be cared for by relatives
and friends. Fifthly, by Imperial funds being used for old-age
pensions, the Poor rate could be reduced from _6d._ to _1s._ in the
pound. These reforms could be carried out without a single farthing
extra taxation, nor anyone being any worse off than formerly, by the
practice of economy."[368] To pension all workers at fifty would cost
about _100,000,000l._ a year, and I think it would be very difficult
to save that amount on a budget of _140,000,000l._ unless army, navy,
and civil service were abolished. Mr. Morrison Davidson is neither
satisfied with a pension of _7s. 6d._ a week nor with the pensionable
ages of sixty, fifty-five, or even of fifty. He proposes, therefore,
that "Superannuation _on full pay_ will take place at, say, forty-five
or, at the most, fifty."[369]


UNEMPLOYMENT

In the Socialist State of the future there would be no unemployed
workers. Many Socialist writers make forecasts such as the following:
"Under Socialism all the work of the nation would be organised--that
is to say, it would be 'ordered,' or 'arranged,' so that no one need
be out of work and so that no useless work need be done, and so that
no work need be done twice where once would serve."[370] "There would
be a mathematical ordering of production determined by the demands of
the consumer."[371] "Periods of glut and want of work will be
impossible in the new community."[372]

It is already difficult enough even for the ablest manager to secure
constant employment to workers in a moderate-sized manufactory, shop,
or office. A Socialist Administration composed of fallible men would
have to control and satisfy the whole national demand and supply. It
would have to sow and to reap, to dig for coal and ore, to fish, to
manufacture and to distribute everything wanted and made by all the
people. At the same time it would have to control the vast
international trade on the regular flow of which constant employment
in Great Britain necessarily depends. To satisfy every demand by an
adequate supply, it would therefore have to direct and control not
only all British industries, but also the fashions and the seasons in
Great Britain and in all the countries which stand in commercial
relations with the United Kingdom. The British Socialist
Administration would not only have to provide a sufficient cotton crop
in the United States, a sufficient wool crop in Australia, a
sufficient wheat crop in Canada, but it would also have to provide an
adequate demand for British cotton goods in India and China, for
British coal on the continent of Europe, &c. It would have to provide
sufficient sun in America to produce an adequate cotton crop and
sufficient rain in India to enable the natives to buy part of that
cotton crop in the shape of manufactured articles made in Lancashire.
Unless the Socialist Administration controls not only all foreign
tariffs but also Nature the world over, there might be unemployment in
a socialised Great Britain--and worse.

The doctrines of English Socialism may be summed up in a single
phrase. Every existing evil is due solely to the capitalistic system,
and every existing evil can be abolished only by Socialism.
Unemployment is no exception to the rule. Our Socialists have, for
reasons which will presently be given, concentrated much energy upon
convincing the working masses that unemployment is due solely to
private property in land and capital. The Social-Democratic Federation
has shown that "The existence of an unemployed class is an essential
characteristic of the capitalist system."[373] The Fabian Society in
congress assembled has registered the declaration: "That the existence
of a class of unemployed willing but unable to find work is a
necessary result of the present industrial system, in which every
improvement in machinery throws fresh masses of men out of work"
[would improved machinery not have the same effect in the Socialist
commonwealth?] "and the competition of capitalists for the market
produces recurring commercial crises; that, consequently, unemployment
can only be abolished with the complete abolition of the competitive
system, and can only be limited in proportion as order and regulation
are introduced into the present competitive confusion."[374] Yet the
same Fabian Society frankly admits in another pamphlet that "No plan
has yet been devised by which the fluctuations of work could be
entirely prevented, or safe and profitable employment found for those
rendered idle by no fault of their own. It is easy enough to demand
something should be done, and I entirely agree with agitating the
subject; but something more than agitation is required. It is of no
use urging remedies which can be demonstrably proved to be worse for
the patient than the disease itself. I fear that if we were given full
power to-morrow to deal with the unemployed all over England, we
should find ourselves hard put to it how to solve the problem."[375]
At the last Conference (1907) of the Social-Democratic Federation the
resolution was moved, "That this Conference reasserts its statement
that unemployment is due to the private ownership of land and
capital."[376]

The emphatic statements contained in the foregoing declarations that
unemployment is due to the private ownership of land and capital are
absurd. If the private ownership of land and capital were the cause of
unemployment, unemployment should be almost equally great in all
civilised countries, because in all civilised countries land and
capital are in private hands. Whilst in Great Britain unemployment is
a fearful and permanent evil, it has been practically unknown during a
long time in Germany, where there has been for many years so great a
scarcity of labour that immigration is greater than emigration.[377]
Whilst in capitalist Great Britain employment is so bad that from
200,000 to 300,000 people have to emigrate every year, employment in
capitalist Germany has been excellent, and in the capitalist United
States it has been so good that they have absorbed during a number of
years almost 1,000,000 immigrants per year. These facts prove that
private ownership of land and capital and over-production have nothing
to do with unemployment, which is, as a rule, due not to
over-production but to ill-balanced production, as has been proved on
page 70 of this book. In the case of a country such as Great Britain,
unemployment is due principally to the insufficiency and insecurity of
her markets for her manufactured goods and to the decay of her
agriculture.

The various Socialist organisations have so constantly preached the
doctrine that unemployment is due to the private ownership of land and
capital that the Trade Unions have at last come to believe it. Owing
to Socialist inspiration, the Trade Union Congresses have passed
resolutions in favour of the nationalisation of land and of the other
means of production at most of the meetings since 1888, and a
Socialist weekly has been able to assert that "Every member of the
Socialist Labour Party, either by Trade Union Congresses or by
Independent Labour Party programme, is committed to the
nationalisation of land and the instruments of production."[378] To
the delight of the Socialists, resolutions of the Trade Unions urging
the nationalisation of all land and capital are becoming more and more
emphatic. In the "Social Democrat" for October 1907 we read, under the
heading "Trade Unionists and Unemployment," the following: "The
resolution on unemployment passed at the Bath Trade Union Congress
shows that the Trade Unionists are falling into line with Social
Democrats on this question, and that they are beginning to see that
Trade Unionism alone is no solution for this evil. After referring to
the failure of the Unemployed Workmen Act, and the niggardly manner of
doling out the grant of _200,000l._, the resolution goes on to say
that 'This Congress, recognising that unemployment is now permanent in
character in busy as in slack seasons, in summer and in winter, and is
common to all trades and industries; also that this is due to industry
being unorganised and carried on for private profit and is bound to
continue, and indeed become more accentuated as the development of
machinery and other wage-saving methods proceeds, calls the attention
of the Government to its neglect of the interests of the people in not
grappling with this social evil, and urges it to at once embark upon
work of public utility with the object of (a) absorbing the present
unemployed labour, (b) laying the foundation for a permanent
reorganisation of industry upon a co-operative basis.'"[379]

The Socialists have been anxious to convince the workers that
unemployment is due to the private ownership of land and capital, and
that all unemployed should be relieved by the State because "A really
adequate system of helping the unemployed will completely alter the
relation of power between the bourgeoisie and the proletariat. It will
make the proletariat masters in the factory. If the workers sell
themselves to-day to the employer, if they allow themselves to be
exploited and oppressed, it is the ghost of unemployment, the whip of
hunger, which compels them to it. If, on the other hand, the worker is
secure in his existence, even when not in work, then nothing is easier
to him than to disable the capitalist. He no longer requires the
capitalist, while the latter cannot conduct his business without him.
When the matter has gone so far as that every employer, whenever a
dispute breaks out, will get the worst of it and be forced to yield,
the capitalists may certainly continue to be managers of the
factories, but they will cease to be their masters and exploiters. But
in that case the capitalists will recognise that they only carry the
burdens and risks of the undertakings without receiving any advantage,
and will be the first to give up capitalist production and insist on
being bought out."[380] "The right to work is a charter of industrial
freedom, the emancipation of labour from capitalist tyranny. Till it
is obtained there can be neither social nor moral progress. When it is
obtained all other things become possible."[381]

The British Labour Party has drafted a Bill which, asserting the right
to work, makes provision of work for the unemployed compulsory and
enables the local authorities compulsorily to acquire land with a view
of setting the unemployed to work.[382] The Annual Conference of the
Independent Labour Party of 1907, going a step further, demanded the
erection of a national department for creating work and giving a
living wage to the unemployed. It resolved:

"This Conference welcomes the news that a Bill to secure the right to
work is to be introduced into Parliament by the Labour party,
expresses the hope that every effort will be made to secure its
passing into law, and declares in favour of the establishment of a
properly equipped and financed national department for dealing with
the whole problem of unemployment on the basis of putting useful work
at a living wage within the reach of every worker, and of training
such as require to be taught in husbandry, and other forms of work
upon the land."[383]

There is a great danger in these proposals.[384] Creating work for the
unemployed may not cure, but may aggravate, the disease which springs
not from private property in land and capital, but from an
insufficient outlet for British manufactures. If the disease is
wrongly treated, the unemployed may become an incubus which will
cripple both workers and capitalists.

A champion of the policy of _laisser faire_ argues: "The State cannot
make work, if by work is meant the doing of something that somebody
wants done. It is of course true that the State can take on new
functions, and do more of the work that is now left to private
enterprise. But that would not make additional employment; it would
only transfer employment from one set of men to another. When the
State or the municipality, instead of seeking to do the thing that is
wanted in the most economical and most efficient manner, deliberately
picks out the least competent workmen and sets them to work on things
that are not wanted, no new wealth is created, and the previous
creation of wealth is diminished, because the taxpayer has been
deprived of the means of employing as many persons as he would have
employed. Artificial jobs may be created for the unemployed, who will
be perfectly conscious that these jobs are artificial, and thus the
independent and self-respecting workman will be arbitrarily deprived
of his job. It cannot be too often repeated that the so-called 'right
to work,' on which Socialists are fond of insisting, means in practice
the right to deprive another man of his job."[385] These arguments are
fallacious. There is work such as the reclamation of the foreshore,
draining of bogs, constructing canals, planting of forests, &c., which
are, as general experience shows, rather the province of the community
than of the private individual. Unemployment may be relieved by the
State and the local authorities if discretion be used. Proposals to
create work of this kind for the genuine unemployed, and to provide
compulsory labour for idlers and loafers, have been advanced by many
Socialists and non-Socialists, and these proposals are worth
considering and adopting.

FOOTNOTES:

[341] Bax, _Religion of Socialism_, p. 94.

[342] Lafargue, _Right to Leisure_, p. 11.

[343] _The Socialist_, October 1907.

[344] Leatham, _The Evolution of the Fourth Estate_, p. 13.

[345] _Fabian Essays in Socialism_, p. 145,

[346] _Are you a Socialist?_ p. 1.

[347] Washington, _A Nation of Slaves_, p. 5.

[348] Gronlund, _Co-operative Commonwealth_, p. 170.

[349] Morris, _A Factory as it Might Be_, p. 10.

[350] Davidson, _The Old Order and the New_, p. 170.

[351] Hyndman, _Socialism and Slavery_, p. 10.

[352] Bax, _Religion of Socialism_, p. 58.

[353] Guyot, _Pretensions of Socialism_, p. 9.

[354] Kropotkin, _Conquête du Pain_, p. 239.

[355] _Socialism Made Plain_, p. 11.

[356] Snowden, _The Individual under Socialism_, p. 10.

[357] _Fabian Essays in Socialism_, p. 159.

[358] Jaurès, _Practical Socialism_, p. 6.

[359] _Socialism, For and Against_, p. 11.

[360] Washington, _Milk and Postage Stamps_, p. 5.

[361] _Ibid._ p. 5.

[362] Bax and Quelch, _A New Catechism of Socialism_, p. 17.

[363] A.P. Hazell, _Summary of Marx's "Capital,"_ p. 17.

[364] Kautsky, _The Social Revolution_, p. 18.

[365] See Appendix.

[366] Smart, _Socialism and the Budget_, p. 12.

[367] Councillor Glyde, _A Peep Behind the Scenes on a Board of
Guardians_, p. 27.

[368] Councillor Glyde, _Britain's Disgrace_, pp. 31, 32.

[369] Davidson, _The Old Order and the New_, p. 170.

[370] Robert Blatchford, _Real Socialism_, p. 13.

[371] Ben Tillett, _Trades Unionism and Socialism_, p. 12.

[372] Bebel, _Woman_, p. 192.

[373] Quelch, _The Social-Democratic Federation_, p. 5.

[374] _Report on Fabian Policy and Resolutions_, p. 11.

[375] Webb, _Socialism True and False_, pp. 8, 9.

[376] _Report of 21th Annual Conference, 1907, Social-Democratic
Federation_, p. 17.

[377] Ellis Barker, _Modern Germany_, p. 546.

[378] _New Age_, November 30, 1907.

[379] _Social Democrat_, October 1907, p. 580.

[380] Kautsky, _The Social Revolution_, p. 6.

[381] Russell Smart, _The Right to Work_, p. 15.

[382] A Bill to Provide Work through Public Authorities for Unemployed
Persons.

[383] _Independent Labour Party Report, Annual Conference, 1907_, p.
54.

[384] See Thorold Rogers, _Work and Wages_, p. 557.

[385] Cox, _Socialism_, pp. 37, 39, 40.



CHAPTER VII

THE ATTITUDE OF SOCIALISTS TOWARDS TRADE UNIONISTS AND CO-OPERATORS


The British Socialists have during many years attacked and denounced
the Trade Unionists and the Co-operators, firstly, because the trade
unionists and co-operators are "capitalists," and therefore traitors
to the Socialist cause; secondly, because Socialism unconditionally
condemns providence and thrift among the working men, as will be seen
in Chapter XXIII.

Although the Socialists pretend that they denounce co-operation and
thrift, and even abstinence from alcoholic drink, on economic and
scientific grounds, their real reasons are political. Socialism can
flourish only if the masses are dissatisfied. The Socialists are
therefore little interested in improving the position of the worker,
but very greatly in increasing his poverty, unhappiness, and
discontent. Socialism is revolutionary, and the Socialists know that
people who are well off are not revolutionists. For tactical reasons,
therefore, the Socialists oppose and denounce thrift, co-operation,
and abstinence, qualities which are found pre-eminently in
co-operators and trade unionists.

The trade unionists, the aristocracy of British labour, are too
conservative, too temperate, too cautious, too prosperous, and too
little revolutionary for the taste of Socialists. The Socialists
complain: "The British trade union suffers from three fatal defects:
(1) It is anti-revolutionary. It disavows the fact of the class
struggle. It accepts the capitalist system as a permanency. The rules
and constitutions of many unions explicitly refer to the 'just rights
of the employer,' and those who do not set forth any such statement
openly, admit it in actual practice. The capitalist class, as voiced
by the capitalist press, recognise in these unions the bulwark of
present-day society against the advance of Socialism. (2) The British
trade union method of organisation is a complete negation of the
solidarity of labour. Each trade or section of a trade has its own
particular and autonomous organisation. Even trades which are most
closely connected are divided into separate unions, each union
ignoring the interest of the rest, making its own special contracts
with the capitalists, and assisting them by remaining at work when
their fellow-workers in a kindred trade are on strike. The most
noteworthy example of this form of inter-trade treachery was offered
in the case of the engineers' strike of 1897-8, when the Boilermakers'
Society by remaining at work were the means of defeating the
Amalgamated Society of Engineers and of forcing them to return to work
on the masters' terms. (3) The British trade union refuses to admit to
its ranks those teeming millions of workers whom it terms
'unskilled.'"[386]

Other Socialists complain: "Trade unionism recognises the present
system of society, justifies capitalism, and defends wage-slavery, and
only seeks to soften the tyranny of the one and assuage the evils of
the other. Social Democracy aims at destroying the whole system."[387]
"We are never allowed to forget the splendid incomes earned by these
aristocrats of labour, a mere tenth of the whole labour class. The
trade unionist can usually only raise himself on the bodies of his
less fortunate comrades."[388] "The old-fashioned policy of the
English trade unions has made them _guilds of privileged_, rather
than fighting representatives of their class."[389]

Similar complaints are raised against the co-operators. "Co-operation,
though regarded by the individual trader as an enemy, does not
necessarily enter into conflict with the capitalist at all. Indeed, so
far as it transforms workmen into shareholders, it forms a bulwark for
capitalism, the same as the creation of small landholders or any other
class of small proprietors would do."[390] "At present the
co-operative societies in England are very apathetic with regard to
political affairs."[391] "In spite of abstract resolutions, our trade
unionists are devoted to the wages system; still our co-operators
yearn after dividends; still the mass of our producers admire the men
who rise upon their shoulders to place and pay. The twin curses of
democracy, slavishness and jealousy, are curiously blended in their
views of social and political life. They envy capacity; they bow down
before successful blackguardism."[392]

Some Socialists have called for the unification of all the trades
unions, arguing "Union has failed to adapt itself to changed
conditions. Just as budding industrial development called into being
the shop union, and further industrial expansion meant development of
the union to the local and then the national organisation, so the
exigencies of our time demand a working-class union--one union, not
eleven hundred, as now."[393] Others have bespattered the unions with
insults, and some do so still. A very violent Socialist organ recently
wrote: "Our trade union leaders are not so corrupt as those of
America? Are they not? As a matter of fact, the corruption is tenfold
greater. The difference is that here it is legalised and respectable.
In America the corruption takes the form of a wad of dollar notes
pushed into the fakir's hands in a dark corner. In this country our
trade union leaders are openly corrupted in the face of day by
positions on conciliation boards, Justiceships of the Peace, Cabinet
positions" [this is a hit at Mr. John Burns], "and well-paid jobs in
the Labour Department of the Board of Trade. Are Shackleton, Bell, and
Barnes honester men than Gompers, Mitchell, and Tobin? As Dr. Johnson
very coarsely expressed it: 'It is difficult to settle the question of
precedence between a bug and a louse.'"[394]

To the more far-sighted Socialists the folly of attacking the powerful
trade unions, with their 2,000,000 members, was perfectly clear. One
of the Socialist leaders wrote: "Of all the blind, fatuous policies in
the world, that of decrying trades unionism by professing Socialists
is about the worst; and the next worst thing is the trades unionist
abusing Socialism."[395] Some Socialists recommended changing the
policy of denunciation for a wiser one: "We have to _convert_ the
trade unions, not to _antagonise_ them"[396]; and their conversion was
thought to be all the more easy because, to quote Ben Tillett, "The
whole of the trades union movement has been tinged with Socialism;
unconsciously the guides of the working classes have always marched
towards the goal of Socialism."[397]

With this object in view the trade unionists were urged to reform
their tactics, to abandon the economic struggle in the form of
strikes, and to enter upon the more efficacious political struggle
with the employers of labour in the House of Commons. "To go on
following the old beaten paths of trade unionism is simply to go on
exhausting the possibilities of error for an indefinite period. If the
new unions are simply to play the part of regulators of wages, as
trade and prices rise and fall, they will be of very slight advantage
to the workers compared with what they might accomplish if they took a
broader view of their opportunities and their duties. What they have
to do, and that now, is to use the power which organisation gives them
to get control of the political machinery of the country and use it
for the advancement of their class. By this means they could, if they
chose, achieve as much in a year or two as would be gained in a
century by the old methods of trade agitation and strikes."[398] "If
the Labour party had a tithe of the money that the unions have spent
upon getting thrashed and starved and defrauded, it would be a party
to wonder at and be proud of. The miners of Yorkshire have spent
_212,000l._ on six strikes--all of which have been lost. Do you call
this industrial warfare? Insanity and suicide--that is what it is. The
engineers spent three-quarters of a million on the great lock-out.
That is a sum in itself, the ransom of all the workers from the bonds
of wage-slavery. What can the engineers show for their money to-day?
Ask them! We could capture the British Parliament with that sum _plus_
a little brains and courage."[399] The Fabian Society has issued
numerous pamphlets in which it has shown how the position of the
workers might be improved, and in these it has at every opportunity
urged upon every worker to join a union, and has urged upon the trade
unions to better the position of the workers by relying upon political
action.[400]

In pursuance of this policy the railway employees were told by the
Socialists, when the difference between the British railway companies
and their workers had been arranged: "You men must cling tight to the
union and keep fostering the discontent of your fellows, not only with
the sectional wrongs which affect you personally, but with the brutal
system of competition of which your own wrongs are but one fractional
consequence. Stick to the Labour party. You have two representatives
in Parliament. Run some more. You need not bother now to build up a
strike fund. Spend the money in politics. The more men you get in the
House, the better chance you will have of convincing a Government
arbitrator of the justice of your claims."[401]

Wishing to secure the support of the trade unionists and the
co-operators, the Socialists began to preach that there was no
antagonism between Socialists, trade unionists, and co-operators, and
to stretch out a hand towards them. "Socialist influence makes its way
in the union. The trade unions generally must sooner or later
become--they already in some instances are to-day--part and parcel of
the working-class Socialist movement, or must cease to exist as class
organisations. Co-operation is in its inception Socialist. That is to
say, that all co-operation implies co-operative effort and social
union."[402] Another Socialist writer said: "I am sorry that some
Socialists used to cry down the co-operative movement. I know it has
some serious defects, but it has taught the workers of this country
what they can do when they choose. If any power could induce trade
unionists, co-operators, and Socialists to unite, a co-operative
commonwealth would be flourishing in this country before the rich and
educated classes had rubbed open their drowsy eyes."[403]

The recommendations which the Socialists addressed to the trade
unionists to increase their political power, and to improve their
economic position by the use of their political power, became louder
and louder. They were told that the capitalists were the enemies of
both trade unionists and Socialists, and that co-operation would be of
the greatest benefit to both bodies. The Socialist group of the London
Society of Compositors, for instance, argued:

"It is unfortunate that after some dozen years or more of Socialist
propaganda there should still be considerable bitterness existing
between trade unionists and Socialists. The cause of the unpopularity
of the Socialists was not due to any desire on their part to irritate
trade unionists, but arose out of the stupid prejudices of the
spokesmen and leaders of the trade unionists themselves. Socialists
are staunch trade unionists. The New trade unionism is evidence of
this, for Socialists are responsible for calling it into existence.
The movement which is now gaining ground in favour of federation among
trade unionists generally, is one of Socialist origin. Trade unionists
look solely to unionism to maintain their miserable standard of
living, ignorant of the economic laws working against them. Socialists
accept unionism as only one method to maintain their present standard
of comfort.

"Both Socialists and trade unionists have a common enemy, a common
want, and a common economic force which continually and relentlessly
drives them in one direction. Both are driven to defend attacks
against their standard of living by the capitalist, and the one point
of agreement between Socialists and trade unionists, therefore, is
that they both desire to maintain and increase their present standard
of living. Trade unionists enter a union to resist the exactions of
the capitalists, and to baulk attempts on their part to reduce wages.
Socialists enter a union for precisely the same reason. If they would
view Parliamentary action from the standpoint of the collective
welfare of the people, they would soon realise its far-reaching
effects. A legal forty-eight hour working week, for instance, would
bring benefit to all and raise the standard of all by giving more
leisure; thereby affording workers an opportunity of obtaining fresh
air and following artistic and intellectual pursuits.

"One of the strongest agents which work in favour of the capitalists
is the necessity of the workers to find food and clothing for their
families. This evil can be met by the State proposal which is now
making such headway in England--namely, Free Maintenance for Children.
The old-fashioned prejudices, fostered by the capitalists and their
hangers-on, that it is degrading to accept anything from the State, is
fast dying out in the face of free education, free libraries, free
maintenance for all sickened with infectious fevers. Free maintenance
for children would be a tax on that surplus wealth which the
capitalists and the aristocracy share between them. To the worker,
free maintenance for his children would be equivalent to an additional
income. His standard of living would rise. No doubt the capitalist
would reduce his wages as much as possible, but the worker would then
be able to fight him on more equal terms. His children being well
cared for, he would be able to hold out against the capitalist for an
indefinite period.

"The Housing Question is also worthy of attention. Trade unionism
should require the State to erect buildings to be let at a sum which
would cover cost of construction and maintenance alone. This would
give them a stationary rent, and when locked out by their employers,
they, as unemployed workers, would not be so liable to be turned into
the street.

"The workers, unconscious of economic development, unfortunately side
with one political party or the other, not seeing that the one must
inevitably be as antagonistic to their interests as the other. Tory
and Liberal politically represent two classes, who divide the spoils
between them. One is connected by tradition with the soil, the other
with commerce. When they have a quarrel, it is as between kites and
crows for the possession of prey. To assert that a Tory is better than
a Liberal, or a Liberal better than a Tory, is like affirming that one
exploiter is less a thief than another. Until trade unionists form
themselves into an independent party, there can politically be no
common agreement between them and Socialists, because, while they
support the capitalist class they are placing power into the hands of
the exploiting class, who is the common enemy. Co-operation between
Socialists and trade unionists should be adopted whenever possible,
and, when occasion offers, an alliance should be entered into for
common purposes. In America a large section of trade unionists have
already recognised that the class war is inevitable under the present
system of exploitation, and they have entered into an active alliance
with the Socialist party. It is to be hoped that the trade unions of
Great Britain will ere long see their way to follow the example set by
their American brethren in the United States."[404]

Another writer urged: "Is it not time that we combined and strove for
something higher, wider, and more far-reaching? Let the trade unionists
unite, combine, federate; not for constantly squabbling with the
capitalist over the spoil which the workers alone create, but to secure
for the latter, organised, the control of their own tools and raw
materials--of the mines, the railways, the factories, the shipping, the
land--of all those things which only have value through their labour.
Let the co-operators co-operate with each other, with trade unionists,
and Social Democrats for the same object. Let us all agitate, educate,
and organise to form the workers of the world into a gigantic Trade
Union, an International Co-operation, a Social-Democratic
Commonwealth."[405]

Since the time when these words were written attempts have constantly
been made by the Socialists to co-operate with the unionists, and, at
least outwardly, their relations have become intimate. Many Socialists
have high hopes for a united Socialist Labour party. At a recent
conference of the Social-Democratic Federation the chairman declared,
in his opening address: "There can be but one Independent Labour
Party, and there ought to be a united Socialist party. Not many years
will pass before the new Labour party will join the Socialist
movement, but in the meantime everything seems ripening for a united
Socialist party, consolidating both forces and funds, preventing
overlapping and removing friction. Never were the times so favourable
to Socialism. In spite of the boycott, the misrepresentation, the
influence of the temporal powers against us, the word Socialism is no
longer unknown or feared. In the workshop, the mine, the train, or the
tram, men are eagerly discussing Socialism. The workers need grumble
of their chains no longer; they can fling them off at will; for they,
and they alone, hold the keys of freedom. This poor blind Samson is
waking up and groping his way; Socialists must be ready to lead
him."[406]

Socialism has of late years strongly permeated the unions. Will it
succeed in capturing them? The Socialists are very optimistic on that
point. "The outlook is full of promise for the political Labour
movement. It only requires the adoption of a candidate by the united
local societies to turn every trade union institute or office, miners'
lodge and branch meeting-room into a committee-room, and when the call
is made by the Parliamentary group there will be plenty of voluntary
workers. The great fact stands out prominently: Labour is moving; and
that fact points to stirring times and a new phase in the history of
the nation."[407]

The character of the trade unions has undoubtedly been greatly changed
through Socialist agitation. The trade unionist has almost ceased to
be an individualist. "The modern trade unionist is out for a political
revolution. He has dismissed, as an obsolete absurdity, the idea of
paying for his benefits, pensions, sick-pay, unemployed relief, out of
his union subscriptions. He intends to combine with his fellows of all
trades in a demand for Parliamentary legislation which will provide
these benefits out of national funds, mainly by way of a graduated
income-tax. So he demands old-age pensions and an Unemployed Act. He
has given up the tedious task of bargaining with his master for higher
wages and shorter hours; he intends to compel him by the more drastic
method of an eight-hour day and a minimum wage and State Arbitration
Act."[408] There is much truth in this description. As the real nature
of the relations between the trades unions and the Socialists is known
to only a few, the following documents should be of great interest:--

"In consequence of a decision of the International Socialist Bureau
(June 9, 1907), its secretary sent a circular to the affiliated
parties in order to obtain from them official notes on the relations
between the political Parties and trade unions of their country, and
he received the following replies from the Social-Democratic
Federation, the Labour party, and the Independent Labour Party:--

"'Although from its formation in March 1881 the Social-Democratic
Federation has strongly opposed the abstention of the older trade
unions from politics, and has still more strongly objected to the very
close alliance which some of its leading members have made with the
capitalist Liberal party, resulting in high office and even Cabinet
rank'" [another hit at Mr. John Burns] "'for those who have thus
deliberately betrayed the interests of their fellows and supporters of
the working class; nevertheless, we have never at any time failed to
help in every way possible, personally and pecuniarily, every strike
which has taken place since 1881 (even in spite of our doubting the
value of the mere strike as a weapon against organised capitalism),
and our organisation has invariably agitated in favour of every
Parliamentary measure accepted by the trade unions which could at all
help the trade unionists and the workers at large. Our relations with
the trade unions may therefore be described as friendly whenever they
take action against capitalism, and appreciative of their increasing
tendency towards Socialism. We always recommend all workers to join
the trade union of their trade. No Socialist propaganda is officially
carried on by the trade unions, but as quite 75 per cent. of the
members of the Social-Democratic Federation are also trade unionists
in their respective trades, by their agency Socialist thought is
steadily permeating the ranks of trade unionism. As also the older
leaders, brought up entirely in the bourgeois school of thought and
action, die or are superannuated, there can be no doubt whatever that
they will be succeeded by Socialists, and in fact they are being so
replaced at the present time. Trade union Socialist leaders, of
course, will then use the trade union organisation to spread
Socialism. So far as they have been elected to executive office, they
do this even now.--H.W. LEE, Secretary.'

"'The Labour party is a federation of Socialist societies and trade
union organisations. Trade unions are directly affiliated, their
membership forming, together with the membership of the Socialist
organisations, the membership of the Labour party. In some cases
Socialist propaganda is conducted by the trade unions, several of them
embracing the Socialist basis in their rules.--J.S. MIDDLETON, for J.
RAMSAY MACDONALD.'

"'The Independent Labour Party is affiliated to the Labour party,
which is a federation of trade unions, co-operative societies, and
Socialist societies, for political action. The Independent Labour
Party consists of individual members, and not of federated
organisations. Our membership is only open to Socialists individually.
Our association with the trade unions comes through the Labour party,
with which both we and they are affiliated. The trade unions of Great
Britain do not carry on any specific Socialist propaganda among their
members, although several of the unions state in their constitution
that they believe in Socialism. Many Socialist speeches are made from
trade union platforms and demonstrations held under the auspices of
trade unions.--FRANCIS JOHNSON, Secretary.'"[409]

The foregoing three letters are most interesting and most important,
and they should be carefully read because they prove that the forces
of trade unionism and Socialism are commingling, and that the trade
unionists may reckon upon the support of the Socialists whenever they
come into conflict with capitalists. Although in constructive policy
Socialism and trade unionism are as yet things apart, they possess a
common working basis as soon as trouble occurs between capital and
labour.

To increase the intimacy between them and the representatives of
labour pure and simple, and to accustom them to co-operation, the
Socialist cannot do anything better than to cause conflicts to arise
between capital and labour. Therefore it is only natural that the
Socialists will urge the trade unionists to make great, and ever
greater, demands upon capital; that every concession will only be
considered as a stepping-stone to a further concession. Every conflict
between capital and labour, everything that will increase the
dissatisfaction of the workers, will serve the Socialists, because it
will cause the workers to believe in the doctrine of the Iron Law of
Wages, in the Law of Increasing Misery, and in the promised Socialist
paradise. Therefore the Socialists will do all they can to embitter
the relations between capital and labour, and to bring about strikes.
For instance, at the time when, in the autumn of 1907, the differences
between the British railway companies and the men were acute,
practically the whole Socialist press urged the railway servants to
declare a strike, and the settlement of the difficulty by Mr. Lloyd
George was greeted with derision and regret. Mr. Bell, who had
accepted the settlement, was treated with contempt, and the result of
the Railway Conference was declared to be the Sedan of the British
trade union movement.[410]

Owing to the persistent agitation of the Socialists, the trade unions
are becoming permeated with Socialism. Of late years there have been
few great strikes in Great Britain, but, unless the relations between
Socialists and trade unionists alter, it seems likely that great and
violent industrial disputes will occur in the near future.

FOOTNOTES:

[386] _S.L.P. Bulletin No. 2, 1907._

[387] Quelch, _Trade Unionism_, p. 10.

[388] _English Progress towards Social Democracy_, p. 8.

[389] _S.L.P. Bulletin No. 1, May 1907._

[390] Quelch, _Trade Unionism_, p. 16.

[391] John Penny, _The Political Labour Movement_, p. 10.

[392] Hyndman, _Darkness and Dawn of May Day, 1907_, p. 2.

[393] J. O'Connor Kessack, _The Capitalist Wilderness and the Way
Out_, p. 15.

[394] _S.L.P. Bulletin No. 2._

[395] Ben Tillett, _Trades Unionism and Socialism_, p. 1.

[396] Quelch in _The Socialist_, November 1907.

[397] Ben Tillett, _Trades Unionism and Socialism_, p. 14.

[398] Quelch, _Trade Unionism_, p. 13.

[399] _Clarion_, November 29, 1907.

[400] _The Workmen's Compensation Act, 1906, What it Means and How to
Make Use of it_; _How Trade Unions Benefit Workmen_; _Eight Hours by
Law: A Practical Solution_; _Cottage Plans and Common Sense_; _Houses
for the People_; _The Case for a Legal Minimum Wage_.

[401] _Clarion_, November 15, 1907.

[402] Bax and Quelch, _A New Catechism of Socialism_, p. 40.

[403] Dennis Hird, _From Brute to Brother_, p. 14.

[404] _Socialism and Trade Unionism: Wherein do they Differ?_ pp. 2-8.

[405] Quelch, _Trade Unionism_, p. 16.

[406] Opening Address, Chairman Hartley at Annual Conference,
_Social-Democratic Federation Annual Report, 1906_, pp. 3, 4.

[407] John Penny, _The Political Labour Movement_, p. 15.

[408] _New Age_, November 30, 1907.

[409] _Social Democrat_, September 1907, pp. 548, 549.

[410] See the _Labour Leader_, _Clarion_, _Justice_, _Socialist
Standard_, _Socialist_, &c., for November 1907.



CHAPTER VIII

SOCIALIST VIEWS AND PROPOSALS REGARDING LAND AND THE LANDLORDS


British Socialists, as we have learned in Chapter IV.,[411] adopting
the celebrated formula of Proudhon, have proclaimed "Property is
theft," and they are of opinion that property in land is a
particularly heinous form of theft. Therefore they demand the
restitution of the land to the people, not as a matter of expediency
but as a matter of right. "Man has a right only to what his labour
makes. No man 'makes' the land."[412] "Land is the gift of Nature. It
is not made by man. Now, if a man has a right to nothing but that
which he has himself made, no man can have a right to the land, for no
man made it."[413] "The land belongs by inalienable right not to any
body of individuals but to all."[414]

    O high cliffs looking heavenward,
      O valleys green and fair.
    Sea cliffs that seem to gird and guard
      Our island once so dear,
    In vain your beauty now ye spread,
    For we are numbered with the dead;
      A robber band has seized the land,
    And we are exiles here.

    The ploughman ploughs, the sower sows.
      The reaper reaps the ear;
    The woodman to the forest goes
      Before the day grows clear,
    But of our toil no fruit we see;
    The harvest's not for you and me:
      A robber band has seized the land,
    And we are exiles here.[415]

Appealing to the passions, hatred, and greed of their followers, and
relying on their credulity, Socialist leaders proclaim not only that
the landlords are useless, but also that the people will have the land
rent free as soon as the present owners have been expropriated. "The
landlord, _qua_ landlord, performs no function in the economy of
industry or of food production. He is a rent-receiver; that, and
nothing more. Were the landlord to be abolished, the soil and the
people who till it would still remain, and the disappearance of the
landowner would pass almost unnoticed."[416] "Rent is brigandage
reduced to a system. So long as the English people are content to be
tenants-at-will on their own soil, and to pay for the privilege, they
will remain virtually slaves."[417] "The tenant earns the rent. The
landlord spends it. If the tenant had not to pay the rent he could
spend it himself, and so it would get spent, and get spent by the man
who earns it and has the best right to spend it."[418]

Whilst some Socialist agitators are unscrupulous enough to make their
followers believe that in the Socialist State they may have land for
the asking, others are so unkind as to destroy that pleasing illusion.
For instance, we learn from a Fabian pamphlet, "A Socialist State or
municipality will charge the full economic rent for the use of its
land and dwellings, and apply that rent to the common purposes of the
community."[419] Another Socialist authority very pertinently remarks:
"It is of not the least consequence to the person who rents the land
whether he pays the rent for it to an individual or whether he Pays it
to the State,"[420] and therefore it is clear that statements such as
"If the tenant had not to pay the rent he could spend it himself," are
merely meant to deceive the simple. Tenants, instead of paying their
rent to a human landlord, would have to pay it to an impersonal State
or municipality, and the latter might prove as grasping and as
heartless as rating committees are now.

Others base their demand for the spoliation of landlords upon the
Bible and upon the ideal of a "Divine brotherhood," forgetting that
the Bible contains a commandment "Thou shalt not steal," as well as
many warnings against lying, deceit, cant, and covetousness. One of
the champion Bible-Socialists, for instance, writes: "If all men are
brothers, as Christ undoubtedly taught, then the land, the source of
wealth, the means by which men can earn their livelihood, should not
be the property of any set of individuals, but should belong to the
whole community. The fact of a man being born into the world gives him
the divine right to the opportunity of earning his living, and that
right cannot be enjoyed so long as there is a single man on earth
deprived of access to the land from which to earn his bread. When the
spirit of brotherhood prevails, it will be a simple and a natural
thing to arrange that these things shall be used not in the interests
of the few, but for the common good. There are innumerable signs that
the hearts and minds of men are now turning in this direction, and
that they are coming to see that the only just and permanent
arrangement is the divine solution of working on the basis of
universal brotherhood."[421] There is a fraternity among Sicilian
bandits. The "Divine brotherhood" of the writer would be based on
robbery, and have robbery as its object.

Others demand the confiscation of all land by relying upon
misrepresentation: "If the injustice of the land monopoly is great in
the country, by robbing the grower of his improvements or scaring him
from making any, by robbing the nation of its own legitimate
independent food supply, and by laying waste vast tracts of the
surface, the injustice is even greater in the towns, if only by reason
of the greater numbers whose interests are now involved: (1) by
flooding the town labour markets with surplus labourers, and so--by
their competition between each other for jobs of any sort at any
terms, rather than starve--keeping wages down at the privation point;
(2) by robbing the town workers of that proper and legitimate home
market which a flourishing and proportionately numerous agricultural
population would afford; (3) by the bloated rentals in cities, only
made possible by driving and crowding the people into our unnaturally
swollen centres; and (4) by the continuous re-investment of those
enormous rent extortions in all those secondary monopolies of transit,
finance, and business generally, which can only arise from the primary
monopoly of the soil, and which complete this devil's chain of the
subjection of labour and the dependence of the community."[422]

The complaints that land is going out of cultivation, that the British
home market has been spoiled, and that towns are overgrown and
overcrowded are unfortunately only too well justified, but these
phenomena are not due to private property in land. Private property in
land is universal, but the desertion of the country and overcrowding
in towns are not universal. These evils are to be found chiefly in
Great Britain, because British economic policy, whilst fostering trade
and the manufacturing industries, has deliberately sacrificed to them
the rural industries. That fact is acknowledged by many Socialists,
as will be seen in Chapter XXL., "Some Socialist's Views on Free Trade
and Protection."

The question now arises: How do the Socialists propose to deal with
the land and the owners of land? Mr. Blatchford informs us: "The
titled robbers of England have always done their robberies in a legal
manner. We propose to enforce their cessation in a legal manner. We
respect the law, and mean to use it. We are not mere brigands. We are
the new police; our duty is to 'arrest the rogues and dastards'; our
motto is, 'The law giveth and the law taketh away, blessed be the name
of the law.'"[423] A leading Christian-Socialist clergyman tells us
"As for compensation, from the point of view of the highest Christian
morality, it is the landlords who should compensate the people, not
the people the landlords. But practically if you carry out this reform
by taxation, no compensation would be necessary or even
possible."[424] Mines and mine-owners are to be treated in the same
way as land and land-owners. "The minerals should be at once taken
over without compensation; the present owners should think themselves
well off if they escape paying compensation for previous robbery of
the people."[425] Views such as those expressed in the foregoing are
held not only by some unscrupulous agitators. At the last Annual
Conference of the Independent Labour Party the following resolution
was carried: "This Conference, being of opinion that the high price of
coal is a serious menace to the nation, and bears extremely hard upon
householders and especially upon the working classes of the country,
declares in favour of the nationalisation of the mines and
municipalisation of the coal-supply."[426] At the last Annual
Conference of the Miners' Federation of Great Britain, various
resolutions urging the nationalisation of all mines were proposed and
carried. Mr. W.E. Harvey, M.P., for instance, moved "That the members
of Parliament supported by this federation be instructed to direct the
attention of the Government to bring in a Bill for the nationalisation
of land, mines, and mining royalties, as we believe that it is only by
such reforms that the workers can obtain full value for their
labours."[427] It will be observed that nothing is said about
compensation in this resolution, which was passed unanimously.

How is the nationalisation of the land to be effected? "The land of
every country belongs of natural and inalienable right to the whole
body of the people in each generation. We say therefore, 'You need not
kick the landlords out; you must not buy them out; you had better tax
them out.'"[428] "If the people rose in revolt, took up arms,
confiscated the lands of the nobles, and handed them over to the
control of a Parliament, that would not be brigandage; it would be
revolution. But if the people by the exercise of constitutional means,
passed an Act through Parliament making the estates of the nobles the
property of the nation, with or without compensation, that would be
neither brigandage nor revolution; it would be a legal, righteous, and
constitutional reform. We propose to be neither revolutionaries nor
brigands, but legal, righteous, and constitutional reformers."[429]
Legality implies and presupposes justice, but Socialist law and
justice are different from that conception of law and justice which
has been held hitherto. Chapter XXIV. will make that point clear.

The foregoing should suffice to show that the Socialists intend to
abolish private property in land by "taxing landowners out of
existence."

They apparently forget that not all the owners of land are rich; that
many small farmers, shopkeepers, artisans, &c., own freehold land and
freehold houses; and that the insurance companies have a very large
proportion of their funds invested in land and on the security of
land. A confiscation of land would therefore ruin a vast number of
hard-working people. It would cripple some insurance companies and
ruin others. Hence the savings of thrifty workers would be confiscated
or destroyed by the State together with those of the larger
capitalists.

The Socialists are not entirely agreed as to the way by which the
abolition of private ownership in land should be effected, but some
interesting proposals will be found in Chapter X., "Socialist Views
and Proposals regarding Taxation and the National Budget." The purely
agricultural aspect of the land question is treated in Chapter XVIII.,
"Socialism and Agriculture," and in Chapter XXI., "Some Socialist
Views on Free Trade and Protection."

FOOTNOTES:

[411] Page 81.

[412] Blatchford, _Merrie England_, p. 61.

[413] _Ibid._ p. 60.

[414] Washington, _A Corner in Flesh and Blood_, p. 60.

[415] _Clarion Song Book_, p. 6.

[416] Keir Hardie, _From Serfdom to Socialism_, p. 11.

[417] Davidson, _Book of Lords_, p. 25.

[418] Blatchford, _Land Nationalisation_, p. 9.

[419] Sidney Webb, _Socialism, True and False_, p. 19.

[420] _Socialism and the Single Tax_, p. 7.

[421] Ward, _Are All Men Brothers?_ pp. 14, 15.

[422] Hall, _Land, Labour, and Liberty_, p. 12.

[423] Blatchford, _Some Tory Socialisms_, p. 6.

[424] Headlam, _Christian Socialism_, p. 14.

[425] _Forward_, October 12, 1907.

[426] _Independent Labour Party Report, Annual Conference, 1907_, p.
59.

[427] _Times_, October 12, 1907.

[428] Headlam, _Christian Socialism_, p. 7.

[429] Blatchford, _Some Tory Socialisms_, p. 3.



CHAPTER IX

SOCIALIST VIEWS AND PROPOSALS REGARDING CAPITAL AND THE CAPITALISTS


We have seen in Chapter VIII. that Socialists claim that "Man has a
right to nothing but that which he has himself made," that therefore,
"No man can have a right to the land, for no man made it." May, then,
owners of property keep at least that part of their property which is
not invested in land?

The reply is, of course, in the negative. "As land must in future be a
national possession, so must the other means of producing and
distributing wealth."[430] "Supposing we assume it true that land is
not the product of labour and that capital is; it is not by any means
true that the rent of land is not the product of labour and that the
interest on capital is. Since private ownership, whether of land or
capital, simply means the right to draw and dispose of a revenue from
the property, why should the landowner be forbidden to do that which
is allowed to the capitalist, in a society in which land and capital
are commercially equivalent? Yet land nationalisers seem to be
prepared to treat as sacred the landlords' claim to private property
in capital acquired by thefts of this kind, although they will not
hear of their claim to property in land. Capital serves as an
instrument for robbing in a precisely identical manner. In England
industrial capital is mainly created by wage workers--who get nothing
for it but permission to create in addition enough subsistence to
keep each other alive in a poor way. Its immediate appropriation by
idle proprietors and shareholders, whose economic relation to the
workers is exactly the same in principle as that of the landlords,
goes on every day under our eyes. The landlord compels the worker to
convert his land into a railway, his fen into a drained level, his
barren seaside waste into a fashionable watering-place, his mountain
into a tunnel, his manor park into a suburb full of houses let on
repairing leases; and lo! he has escaped the land nationalisers; his
land is now become capital and is sacred. The position is so glaringly
absurd and the proposed attempt to discriminate between the capital
value and the land value of estates is so futile, that it seems almost
certain that the land nationalisers will go as far as the Socialists.
Whatever the origin of land and capital, the source of the revenues
drawn from them is contemporary labour."[431]

Most Socialists think it wiser to tax capital gradually out of
existence than to confiscate it at one stroke. "The direct
confiscation of capital affects all, the small and the great, those
unable to work and the able-bodied, everybody in an equal way. It is
difficult by this method, often quite impossible, to separate the
large property from the small invested in the same undertakings. The
direct confiscation would also proceed too quickly, often at one
stroke, while confiscation through taxation would permit the abolition
of capitalist property being made a long-drawn process, working itself
out further and further in the measure as the new order gets
consolidated and makes its beneficent influence felt."[432]

The argument that excessive taxation would drive capital out of the
country is laughed at by Socialists. A Socialist pamphlet says: "It is
true that the land-sweaters and labour-skinners whom the people keep
on electing to rule and rob them can still frighten noodles by
threatening that they will run away from the country and take their
capital with them; that

    They'll ship the mines and farms to Amsterdam,
    The houses and the railways to Peru,
    The canals and docks to Russia,
    The woods and workshops off to Prussia,
    And all the enterprise and brains to Timbuctoo.

"We calmly reply that there is not one single service that all the
landlords, financiers, and their lesser parasites pretend to perform
for society that could not be performed far more efficiently and
infinitely more cheaply without them."

    Straightway those rich men started
      To move their capitals.
    On board of ships they carted
      Their railways and canals;
    With mines mine-owners scurried.
      The bankers bore their books.
    With mills mill-owners hurried.
      The bishops took their crooks.[433]

The despoiled capitalists might leave the country, but they would have
to leave in the country all their property except perhaps a few
valuables which they might remove.

Property being theft, capitalists as well as landowners are thieves
who possess no claim whatever to consideration or even to mercy. "To
talk about 'the respective claims of capital and labour' is as
inaccurate as to talk about the 'respective claims' of coals and
colliers, or of ploughs and ploughmen. Capital has no claims. This is
not a quibble. The distinction between capital and the capitalists is
one of vital importance. Capital is a necessary thing. The capitalist
is as unnecessary as any other kind of thief or interloper. The
capitalist, though as loud as greedy in his 'claims,' has no rights at
all."[434]

"Do you mean to say, then, that the capitalist does not perform a
useful function in running a risk for the profit he receives?--No. In
so far as he exercises the function of management and receives
remuneration for this, his remuneration is not profit at all, but
wages of superintendence, and the functions of management would be
undertaken by the organised society of the future through its
appointed representatives. As to any necessary risks, all individuals
would be relieved from this under Socialism, as it would be borne by
the whole of society."[435] "If capitalists attempt to justify their
way of making profit by saying that they have to run risks sometimes,
that a part of their property might occasionally be lost, we answer
that labour has nothing to do with that."[436]

Capital large and small is the result of thrift. If capital is theft,
then thrift also is theft. The thrifty investor, being an immoral
person, has no right to protest against the confiscation of his
property. "By capitalist I mean the investor who puts his money into a
concern and draws profits therefrom without participating in the
organisation or management of the business. Were all these to
disappear in the night, leaving no trace behind, nothing would be
changed."[437] Nothing would be changed for the Socialist agitator,
the loafer, and the tramp. On the contrary, they would profit from the
ruin of the industrious and the thrifty. The fact that honest and
hardworking men who do their duty to their family and who wish to
leave their children provided for should have the result of the
economy of a lifetime confiscated matters little to the Socialist
leaders. According to the Socialist doctrines the industrious and the
thrifty are thieves and exploiters of those workers who have never
saved a penny. On the other hand, those men who live from hand to
mouth, who work only a few days each week and loaf on the remaining
days, who waste all their earnings in drink, gambling, and
music-halls, and who possess nothing they can call their own, are
honest and excellent citizens. They are entitled to the savings of the
thrifty.

In accordance with the Socialist principles stated in the foregoing,
all shareholders, being merely exploiters of labour, would be
expropriated. "Are shareholders in companies useful in organising
labour?--As a rule they employ others to organise labour, and the work
done by the company would go on just as well if the shareholders
disappeared."[438] Besides, "Stocks when analysed, in nine cases out
of ten simply mean the right to squeeze tribute out of workers who are
nominally free. By far the greatest part of what is set down as
national 'capital' is merely slave flesh-and-blood."[439]

Holders of Government stocks would be treated no better than
landowners and shareholders. Foremost among the "immediate reforms"
demanded in the programme of the Social-Democratic Federation[440]
ranges the "Repudiation of the National Debt." The repudiation of the
National Debt has during many years been demanded, and is still
demanded, by the Social-Democratic Federation, as may be seen from a
recent issue of "Justice," its weekly publication, in which we find
the following statement: "The National Debt is simply a means of
extracting unearned incomes from the people of this country. It is
idle to nationalise or municipalise industries by means of loans on
which interest is paid. Such interest would be only another form of
rent and profit. When capitalism is abolished, every one of its many
forms will necessarily have to go."[441]

The repudiation of the National Debt is demanded by many Socialist
leaders and leading writers. "The National Debt (falsely so-called) has
already been paid thrice over in usury. All future interest-payments
should be held as part of the principal."[442] "The few thousand
persons who own the National Debt, saddled upon the community by a
landlord Parliament, exact _28,000,000l._ yearly from the labour of
their countrymen for nothing."[443] "Outside the land monopoly, the
most infamous source of usury is unquestionably the so-called 'National
Debt.' There the whole of the capital is absolutely spurious. The real
capital consisted of the gunpowder and the lead which Sovereigns and
statesmen expended so liberally about a century ago in attempting to
murder liberty on the Continents of Europe and America. Our war debt is
the most stupendous monument of human crime and folly in existence; and
worst of all, the 'butcher's bill' has already been paid by the unhappy
toilers thrice over in usury."[444] "The entire national liability has
been discharged to the moneylenders by the people once during the last
thirty-seven years. We repay public debts once every thirty-seven years
without wiping out a penny of the said debts. We pay away in blank
usury _20,000,000l._ per year on this one head, or enough to provide
old-age pensions for three-fourths of our aged poor in the United
Kingdom on the basis of _7s. 6d._ per head per week."[445] "236,514
blackmailers suck the udder of industry through the convenient teat of
what, with audacious cynicism, is called the 'National Debt.'"[446]

The largest part of the National Debt was not created by "murdering
liberty" but by fighting the armies of the French Revolution and of
Napoleon I. Besides, the defence against the French Revolution and
Napoleon was not a "crime," but a necessary duty. Furthermore, the
holders of the National Debt are not "blackmailers" but industrious,
useful, and thrifty citizens, or the children and descendants of
industrious, useful, and thrifty citizens.

About one-half of the National Debt is held by thrifty wage-earners,
as all the money deposited in the savings banks, and most of the
savings deposited with friendly societies, &c., is invested in
Consols, and as a very large part of the assets of the industrial and
other insurance societies consists of Government Stocks. Property
being theft, and thrift being akin to it, the thrifty workman whose
savings are invested in Consols has apparently no right to complain of
being robbed of his savings by the Socialists.

Some Socialist agitators have the audacity to tell the thrifty worker
that he will not suffer, but benefit, by the confiscation of his
savings. "Opponents try to scare this man against Socialism by the
fear of losing his interest. Granting for a moment he would do so,
would he not gain by the general abolition of interest, &c., which
would double his wage in common with that of all workers?"[447]--The
worker is to be indemnified for his positive and certain loss in
property through the confiscation of his savings, or at the least of
the interest paid on them, by a problematical rise in general wages
which would benefit the unthrifty quite as much as the thrifty. But if
the promised doubling of wages should not take place, what will
happen? The Socialist agitators will explain that they are sorry to
have made a mistake, whilst the thriftless are squandering the
property of the thrifty.

According to the Socialist teachings, the capitalist is a perfectly
useless being in the national household. "Does he himself want to
work: to do something useful? Far from it. His money works for him;
his money makes money, as the saying is."[448] Most capitalists--and I
think the large majority of wage-earners are capitalists to some
extent--are engaged in useful productive work of hand or brain.
However, the capitalist of the Socialist imagination, the wealthy man
who lives without any work, who studies the money market and Stock
Exchange quotations, and who is occupied solely in investing and
reinvesting his money to the best advantage, is an extremely useful
member of society. It is of the utmost consequence to all workers, and
to the whole nation, that the national capital should grow, that
mines, railways, ships, machinery, houses, &c., should multiply and be
constantly improved. Now the thrifty, not the wasteful, preserve and
increase the national capital. Wise and cautious capitalists in
enriching themselves will enrich the nation. Careless ones will lose
their money and impoverish the nation. The wealth of France has, to a
very large extent, been created by cautious and far-seeing _rentiers_,
and thus France has become the banker among nations.

Socialists teach that the wealth of the few causes the poverty of the
many; that therefore the private capitalist should be destroyed. Why,
then, are the workers most prosperous in those countries which possess
the wealthiest capitalists, such as France and the United States, and
why are they poorest in countries, such as Turkey and Servia, where
wealthy capitalists do not exist? And may not the destruction of the
capitalists reduce Great Britain to the level of Turkey and Servia?

FOOTNOTES:

[430] _Socialism Made Plain_, p. 9.

[431] _Capital and Land_, pp. 5, 6.

[432] Kautsky, _The Social Revolution_, p. 11.

[433] Blatchford, _The Clarion Ballads_, p. 9.

[434] Blatchford, _The Pope's Socialism_, p. 2.

[435] Bax and Quelch, _A New Catechism of Socialism_, p. 17.

[436] Sorge, _Socialism and the Worker_, p. 11.

[437] Keir Hardie, _From Serfdom to Socialism_, p. 11.

[438] Joynes, _The Socialist Catechism_, p. 3.

[439] Davidson, _The Gospel of the Poor_, p. 54.

[440] See Appendix.

[441] _Justice_, October 19, 1907.

[442] Davidson, _The Democrat's Address_, p. 5.

[443] _Socialism Made Plain_, p. 8.

[444] Davidson, _The Gospel of the Poor_, p. 49.

[445] McLachlan, _Tyranny of Usury_, p. 13.

[446] Davidson, _The Old Order and the New_, p. 76.

[447] _Wealth Makers and Wealth Takers_, p. 1.

[448] Sorge, _Socialism and the Worker_, p. 10.



CHAPTER X

SOCIALIST VIEWS AND PROPOSALS REGARDING TAXATION AND THE NATIONAL
BUDGET


To Socialists taxation is chiefly a means for impoverishing the rich
and the well-to-do. It is their object to transfer by taxation the
wealth from the few to the many, as they believe that the
impoverishment of the rich will mean the enrichment of the poor.
Therefore they do not aim at economy in national and local
expenditure. On the contrary, they wish to spend as much as possible.
As money is to be obtained solely from the rich, "An increase in
national taxation has no terrors for Socialists."[449] Every increase
in expenditure is greeted by them with joy, and wastefulness in
national and local undertakings is rather encouraged than condemned.
"Socialists look to the Budget as a means not only of raising revenue
to meet unavoidable expenditure, but as an instrument for redressing
inequalities in the distribution of wealth."[450] Let us first look
into the financial views of the Socialists, and then into their
positive proposals.

"The purpose of Socialism is to transfer land and industrial capital
to the people. There are two ways in which, simultaneously, this
object may be carried out. The one way is by the municipal and
national appropriation--with such compensation to the existing owners
as the community may think fit to give--of the land and industrial
concerns. The second method is by taxation. Taxation has its special
sphere of usefulness in helping the community to secure some part of
its own by diverting into the national purse portions of the rent,
interest, and profit which now go to keep an idle class in luxury at
the expense of the industrious poor."[451]

"The existence of a rich class, whose riches are the cause of the
poverty of the masses, is the justification for the Socialist demand
that the cost of bettering the condition of the people must be met by
the taxation of the rich. The Socialist's ideas of taxation may be
briefly summarised as follows: (1) Both local and national taxation
should aim primarily at securing for the communal benefit all
'unearned' or 'social' increment of wealth. (2) Taxation should aim
deliberately at preventing the retention of large incomes and great
fortunes in private hands, recognising that the few cannot be rich
without making the many poor. (3) Taxation should be in proportion to
ability to pay and to protection and benefit conferred by the State.
(4) No taxation should be imposed which encroaches upon the
individual's means to satisfy his physical needs."[452]

"To the Socialist taxation is the chief means by which he may recover
from the propertied classes some portion of the plunder which their
economic strength and social position have enabled them to extract
from the workers; to him, national and municipal expenditure is the
spending for common purposes of an ever-increasing proportion of the
national income. The degree of civilisation which a State has reached
may almost be measured by the proportion of the national income which
is spent collectively instead of individually. To the Socialist the
best of Governments is that which spends the most. The only possible
policy is deliberately to tax the rich, especially those who live on
wealth which they do not earn; for thus, and thus only, can we reduce
the burthen upon the poor."[453]

The Fabian Society suggests the following reform of national taxation:
"In English politics successful ends must have moderate beginnings.
Such a beginning might be an income-tax of _2s. 6d._ in the pound.
Unearned incomes above _5,000l._ a year would pay _2s. 6d._ in the
pound, below _5,000l._ a year _1s. 8d._ in the pound. The estate duty
might be handled upon similar principles. Estates between _500,000l._
and _1,000,000l._ would be charged twelve and a half per cent, instead
of seven and a half, and estates exceeding _1,000,000l._ fifteen per
cent, instead of eight."[454] The Fabian Society does not disguise its
aim in proposing the foregoing: "These suggestions are doubtless
confiscatory, and that is why they should recommend themselves to a
Labour party. But even so, the confiscation is of a timorous and a
slow-footed sort. The average British millionaire dies worth about
_2,770,000l._, on which the death duty would be _415,500l._, leaving
the agreeable nest-egg of _2,254,500l._ to the heirs. Even if we
assume that the inheritance passes to one person only, so as to be
subject to the highest rate of duty, it would not be until five more
lives had passed that it would be reduced to a pitiful million. The
most patient Labour party might not unreasonably demand something a
trifle more revolutionary than this."[455]

According to the above proposals the income-tax would return
_47,600,000l._ per annum. This sum seems far too moderate to most
Socialist writers. Councillor Glyde, for instance, gives in a widely
read pamphlet elaborate tables in which the produce of a graduated
income-tax is carefully calculated. The Fabian Society would make "a
moderate beginning" by taxing large incomes _2s. 6d._ in the pound.
Councillor Glyde would begin by levying a _3s._ income-tax on them.
Taxation of incomes in accordance with his proposals would bring in
_70,281,839l._ per annum.[456]

Mr. Smart, of the Independent Labour Party, gives lengthy details of a
taxation reform scheme in which figure a foundation-tax, a special
property-tax, and a super-tax. Large incomes would have to pay 17-1/2
per cent., or _3s. 6d._ in the pound, and his property and income tax
would bring in _78,000,000l._ per annum.[457]

Mr. Philip Snowden, M.P., submits a different scheme of taxation.
There is to be an income-tax of _1s._ in the pound and a graduated
super-tax up to _6s._ in the pound. Whilst the three authorities
mentioned so far propose to take from the large incomes _2s. 6d._,
_3s._, and _3s. 6d._ in the pound as a "moderate beginning," Mr.
Snowden would, presumably also as a "moderate beginning," take _7s._
in the pound from them. He is quite touched with his own generosity
and magnanimity, for might he not demand at once _17s._ or _20s._ in
the pound? "To console the possessors of incomes in the higher grade,
say _50,000l._ a year, to the payment of an income-tax of _1s._ in the
pound, we may remind them that they still retain _33,500l._ a year,
which is a very generous payment by labour to them for the privilege
of seeing them exist in gorgeous splendour and sumptuous
idleness."[458]

The proposals regarding the estate duty to be charged also vary. The
Fabian Society proposes a maximum of 15 per cent. Mr. Smart would be
satisfied with a graduated estate duty with a maximum of 25 per cent,
instead of the present maximum of 8 per cent.[459] Mr. Snowden
proposes a scale of duties which ranges from 1 per cent, up to 50 per
cent.[460]

Besides the very greatly increased income-tax and estate duty, there
would be, according to Mr. Snowden, a land value tax of a penny in the
pound of its capital value, which is equal to 10 per cent. annual
value. It is to be the small beginning of the policy of taxing
landowners out of existence, to be speedily followed by confiscation.
"The annual value of land being _250,000,000l._, the produce of the
land value tax would be _25,000,000l._ a year."[461] The author
justifies the creation of that tax as follows: "Liverpool, London,
Glasgow owe their existence and their prosperity to their respective
situations, which are natural advantages and which ought not in
justice to be enjoyed solely by those who live upon the sites. Every
town and village in the country contributes to the prosperity of every
other part. The nation is a unit; its resources and its obligations
should be mutually shared."

"Land values are so obviously not created by individual effort that
the justice of taking the increment for the use of the community
appeals to those who may have some difficulty in grasping the working
of the 'unearned increment' in commercial concerns, where, however, it
operates just as truly though not so obviously. The imposition of an
Imperial tax of one penny in the pound on the capital value of the
site would be a beginning, but by no means the end, of the process of
diverting socially-created rent of land into the public exchequer.
Taxation will do something towards that end; but taxation would be a
long, irritating, and untrustworthy way of trying to secure the whole
annual value of the land for the community."[462] "The taxation of
land values is not a land reform. To get the full usefulness and the
full value of the land for the community there is no way but for the
State to own the land."[463]

The contemplated reform of taxation will not be limited to taxing the
rich and the well-to-do out of existence. Relief will be afforded to
the masses by the repeal of all duties on food, and, indeed, of all
indirect taxation. "The reforms which the Labour party will endeavour
to obtain from the Government, in which it believes it will be
expressing the democratic sentiment of the country, are:

1. Repeal of the duties on foods.

2. A minimum wage of _30s._ to all workers in Government employ or
working under a contractor for the Government.

3. Old-age pensions of _7s._ a week for persons over sixty."[464]

Practically all Socialists agree that all indirect taxation should be
abolished. "Indirect taxation has nothing whatever to recommend it to
an intelligent people, however advantageous it may be to the
well-to-do. Indirect taxation violates every principle of sound
economy."[465] "Its maintenance is excused on the ground that indirect
taxation is the only means by which the working class can be made to
contribute to the cost of national government at ah. The poorer
working classes should not be taxed by the Government at all."[466]
"Under a just system of taxation all indirect taxation for revenue
purposes would be abolished."[467] "With 43 per cent, of the working
classes living in poverty, with an average wage over the whole working
class not sufficient to provide themselves with the standard of
workhouse comfort, it becomes a crime to tax them for the protection
of their property and the enjoyment of their privileges"[468]--Is it
true that, as Mr. Snowden, M.P., writes, the whole working class of
Great Britain is so badly paid that it cannot provide for itself the
standard of workhouse comfort? How then can he reconcile with that
assertion the following statement which he gives in the same book a
few pages further on: "Experts assign the proportion of the total
annual drink bill of the United Kingdom contributed by the
wage-earning classes at _100,000,000l._ A committee of the British
Association, reporting on the 'appropriation of wages,' in 1882 said
that 75 per cent, of the total consumption of beer and spirits, and 10
per cent. of the wine bill, might be assigned as the shares of the
working class."[469]

As a matter of fact experts estimate that the British working men
spend even more than _100,000,000l._ per year on drink, and that they
spend about _50,000,000l._ on betting. It is really very inartistic
for a professional agitator to tell us that the British workers are
too poor to pay any taxes, that it is a "crime" to tax them at all,
and then to remind us that the same starving ill-used workers can
afford to spend more than the amount of the whole nation's Budget in
drink and betting, that about one-sixth of the workman's wages are
spent at the public-house, that many workmen spend the larger half of
their income in drink, and that the British nation is the most drunken
in the world, although drink is far more expensive in Great Britain
than in any other country.

With part of the money taken by means of extortionate taxation from
the rich, whole sections of the population are to be bribed into
supporting Socialism. "Two objectionable heads of revenue would find
no place in a Socialist national balance-sheet--the profit from the
Post Office and the stamp duties. Improvements in the wages and
conditions of labour in the lower grades of the postal service would
absorb a considerable part of the present annual profit of
_5,000,000l._ and the rest might, with benefit, be utilised for
cheapening the cost to the public of postal rates and services."[470]

Mr. Snowden, in promising in one phrase the repeal of stamp duties and
cheapening of postage, very likely thought that that step would
relieve the poor. He apparently imagined that duty stamps were
identical with postage stamps. If he had known that stamp duties are
largely derived from Stock Exchange transactions and the sale of every
kind of property on a large scale, from legal documents, &c., he would
probably have proposed that they should be increased tenfold in order
to strike another blow at private property, not that they should be
abolished. Even the policy of confiscation requires an elementary
knowledge of facts.

Furthermore, "The Socialist Budget would provide for a very
considerable increase of the grants-in-aid, retaining for the central
Government just sufficient control or inspection over the expenditure
as would not interfere with the reasonable freedom of the local
authority."[471] "Control which would not interfere" is at present
illogical and impossible, because the one excludes the other. It may
be possible in the Socialist State of the future, because logic will
have to be abolished in it. At all events it seems clear that Mr.
Snowden wishes to secure the support of the local authorities by the
same curious means by which he strives to secure the support of the
Post Office servants.

The foregoing extracts should suffice to show that the Socialists mean
to ruin the owners of property of every kind by indirect confiscation
in the form of extortionate taxation, which is to be constantly
increased and which may be followed by direct confiscation, and that
they rely upon force for achieving their aim. Capitalists may leave
the country, but they must leave their capital behind, and their
disappearance, Socialists assert, will be no loss. "The vast majority
of our employers are routineers, who could no more contribute an
intelligent statement of their industrial function to this paper than
a bee could write the works of Lord Avebury. Routineers can always be
replaced, and replaced with profit, by educated functionaries.
Consequently when the employers threaten us with emigration, our only
regret as to the majority of them is that it is too good to be
true."[472] "Supposing those who have the money were to threaten to
leave the country and to take their money with them, would not that
upset your plans? Money is not wealth. You would have cause to
rejoice. So would the country which was fortunate enough to see its
capitalists emigrate."[473]

According to the Socialist teaching, the workers maintain the
capitalists. The brain is mightier than the hand, though the brain
requires the hand. In reality it rather seems that the capitalists
maintain the workers. It cannot too often be pointed out that those
countries which have many wealthy capitalists are highly civilised and
prosperous, and their workers are well off. On the other hand, those
countries which have few or no wealthy capitalists are little
civilised and poor, and their workers are exceedingly badly off. The
masses may conceivably rob the capitalists of their property, and try
to manage the national capital themselves, but whether they will
benefit by spoliation remains to be seen. Lacking direction,
foresight, unity, organisation, discipline, and thrift, the masses
will probably quickly waste the national capital, and national ruin
and distress and starvation will be the consequences of wholesale
robbery.

The confiscation experiment has often been tried in the past, and it
has always failed. The last time it has been tried was at the time of
the French Revolution. The money secured by robbery was recklessly
squandered. Production was neglected, and the people became poorer
than ever. In the country agriculture came to a standstill, weeds grew
where corn had been growing, gardens became a natural wilderness, and
wolves roamed in thousands.[474] The great manufacturing towns were
dead, manufacturers in Paris who had employed sixty or eighty men
employed but ten.[475] The people in town and country were starving.
Many lived on roots and bark. Many of the poor in Paris waited outside
the slaughter-houses and lapped the blood from the gutters like dogs.

Private capital has existed in all countries and at all times, because
it is a plant of natural growth. One can destroy it, but it will ever
grow again.

FOOTNOTES:

[449] Snowden, _Socialist Budget_, p. 1.

[450] _Ibid._

[451] Snowden, _The Socialist's Budget_, p. 2.

[452] _Ibid._ pp. 7, 8.

[453] _Socialism and Labour Policy_, p. 4.

[454] _Ibid._ pp. 4, 5.

[455] _Ibid._ p. 5.

[456] Glyde, _A Peep Behind the Scenes on a Board of Guardians_, pp.
28,29.

[457] Smart, _Socialism and the Budget_, pp. 14,15.

[458] Snowden, _The Socialist's Budget_, pp. 78, 79.

[459] Smart, _Socialism and the Budget_, p. 8.

[460] Snowden, _The Socialist's Budget_, p. 81.

[461] _Ibid._ p. 82.

[462] _Ibid._ pp. 82, 83.

[463] Snowden, _The Socialist's Budget_, p. 84.

[464] Smart, _Socialism and the Budget_, p. 15.

[465] Snowden, _The Socialist's Budget_, p. 15.

[466] _Ibid._ p. 31.

[467] _Ibid._ p. 16.

[468] Snowden, _The Socialist's Budget_, p. 17.

[469] _Ibid._ pp. 21, 22.

[470] Snowden, _The Socialist's Budget_, p. 71.

[471] _Ibid._ p. 59.

[472] G.B. Shaw in the _New Age_, November 30, 1907.

[473] Wheatley, _How the Miners are Robbed_, p. 12.

[474] Vandal, _Avènement de Bonaparte_, 1903, vol. i. p. 25.

[475] Schmidt, _Tableaux de la Révolution_, vol. iv. p. 383.



CHAPTER XI

SOCIALISM AND THE EMPIRE


Most British Socialists object to the Empire on various grounds, and
desire its downfall and dissolution. According to their views Great
Britain should, in the first place, give up her non-self-governing
colonies. Let us take note of some Socialistic pronouncements to that
effect:

"Governments have no right to exist except with the consent of the
governed, and the British have no more right to dominate other peoples
than other peoples have to dominate us. What we can only hold by
maintaining an alien garrison had better be given up. The people of
these islands would not be losers, but the gainers by such a
course."[476] "Is it possible for a self-governing people to rule a
subject race, and yet keep its own love for liberty? Neither the
Greeks nor the Romans could do it, and we are not doing it very well
ourselves. The reason is obvious. No nation can play the part of the
despot (even the benevolent despot) abroad and that of the democrat at
home."[477] "Socialists should oppose the creation of empires on this
simple ground--that empire-building is accompanied by terrible misery
and suffering for those subject races, as they are called, which are
the chosen victims sacrificed on the altar of cupidity and
pride."[478] "A people gain power and influence in the world in
proportion as they solve for themselves the great problems of
democratic self-government. We shall do more to civilise Africa by
civilising the East End of London than by governing from Cape to
Cairo."[479] "It is not only impossible for one nation to civilise
another by governing it; it is wrong that it should attempt to do so.
Conquest may have opened up one civilisation to another in times long
antecedent to the steam engine and a world commerce, but to-day its
only effect is to crush out and level down all national life to the
dead uniformity of an alien political routine."[480]

"What is the attitude of Socialism towards backward races, savage and
barbaric peoples who are to-day outside the civilised world? The
position of Socialism towards these races is one of absolute
non-interference. We hold that they should be left entirely alone to
develop themselves in the natural order of things; which they must
inevitably do or die out. It is the duty of Socialists to support the
barbaric races in their resistance to aggression."[481] "It is the
duty of International Socialists, the only international
non-capitalist party, to denounce, and wherever possible to prevent,
the extension of colonisation and conquest, leaving to each race and
creed and colour the full opportunity to develop itself until complete
economic and social emancipation is secured by all."[482] "Duty, like
charity, begins at home, and if the civilisation of the blacks is to
be purchased only by the destruction of our own democratic spirit, the
balance to the world is of evil, not of good. There is another view of
Imperialism expressed with brutal candour by Mr. Rhodes when he said
that the flag was our best commercial asset, that trade follows the
flag. Trade does no such thing. Trade follows business enterprise.
Imperialism is, indeed, a policy of industrial deterioration, and by
impoverishing the skill of the country and encouraging the worst
forms of financial capitalism, must crush out every budding hope that
labour has of becoming economically and politically free."[483]

The foregoing extracts should suffice to show that there is among
British Socialists a strong desire to abandon the non-self-governing
colonies.

The attitude of the British Socialists towards the great
self-governing dominions is not much more favourable than it is
towards tropical colonies. Their attitude is one of hardly disguised
hostility, which appears to spring partly from jealousy of the
colonists, partly from hatred of the British capitalists who have
invested money in the colonies. The loss of British capital invested
in the colonies would probably be greeted with jubilation by the
Socialists. "The well-to-do sections of society in Great Britain have
found a secure and profitable outlet for their capital in loans and
advances to the colonists alike as organised communities and as
individual property-owners. But the drain for interest and dividends
to England on this account is heavy, and is severely felt at times of
depression, such as that which Australia as a whole has been suffering
from during the recent seven years of almost continuous drought. It
seems tolerably certain, therefore, that this comparative handful of
colonists, eleven millions in all, of which only four millions in
Australia, will in time to come, and as the Labour party and
Socialists gain strength, repudiate, or at any rate reduce, these
onerous obligations. It is also probable that with regard to
Australia, as the white population does not increase and England's day
as a colonising power proper is practically over (having no longer any
agricultural population to send out as emigrants), this huge territory
will not be permanently left at the sole dog-in-the-manger control of
its present handful of inhabitants. We may expect, at least, that
Australia will not be permanently able to retain its position without
an infusion of entirely fresh blood, and should other peoples require
an outlet in that direction, the present preposterous policy will have
to be abandoned."[484]

Socialists seem, on the whole, to be opposed to the federation of the
British Empire. "The Labour party approaches Imperial problems with
the politics of the industrious classes as guide on the one hand, and
the internationalism of its nature as guide on the other."[485] Its
"internationalism" apparently prevents it from approving of any
practical scheme of Imperial Federation. Mr. Ramsay Macdonald, M.P.,
of the Labour party, has not expressed actual hostility to the Empire.
In fact, he has even declared: "Socialism did not intend to re-write
history. It accepted the facts of life, and one of these facts was
that we were responsible for the Empire, and, whether we liked it or
not, we had to rule that Empire. He was overjoyed the other day to
find that at Stuttgart their Dutch and German and French friends were
fully aware of the fact that, if Socialism was to play the proper part
that belonged to it, it must devise a colonial policy."[486]
Nevertheless, Mr. Macdonald's views do not appear to be very
practical, as will be seen in the following pages.

"These free colonies, though of enormous extent, count for little in
the matter of population. Their wealth is out of all proportion to
their numbers, as their pretensions are out of all proportion to their
power. That they will play any very great part in the future of the
world, either federated to the mother country or in any other way,
seems exceedingly improbable."[487] "Imperialism is crudely
ineffective. Imperial Federation would give the colonies a fuller
sense of independence and liberty, and thus far would benefit them.
But Imperial Federation is not approved on this account, but because
it is supposed to be a way of uniting the Empire. That, it will not
do: it will very likely do the opposite. In whatever form it comes, it
will give to the independent interests of the colonies new importance.
We shall then hear less of the Empire and more of Canada, or New
Zealand, or South Africa, and a great danger will arise that a purely
sectional view of Imperial interests may secure the support of the
might and the arrogance of the whole Empire."[488] "Canada has almost
claimed that it is a right of self-governing States to be allowed to
make treaties for themselves. When that happens, the colonies might as
well sever themselves from the mother country altogether. For under
present circumstances the authority which makes treaties is the
authority which ultimately controls armies. To give any of our
colonies the power to embroil us in war, or to determine our relations
with European Powers, is to give the first shattering blow to Imperial
solidarity."[489]

Nearly all British Socialists passionately oppose the retention of
India. They never tire of condemning British rule in India, and of
endeavouring to incite the native races to rebellion. According to the
assertions of Socialists, the British Government has "manufactured"
famine and plague in India, and its rule is the worst, the most cruel,
and the most pernicious form of despotism which the world has seen.

Mr. Hyndman says: "India is the greatest and most awful instance of
the cruelty, greed, and short-sightedness of the capitalist class of
which history gives any record. Even the horrors of Spanish rule in
South America are dwarfed into insignificance in comparison with the
cold, calculating, economic infamy which has starved, and is still
deliberately starving, millions of people to death in British
India."[490] "I charge it against the British Government, at this
moment, that the economic condition of India is much more horrible
than ever it was. I declare that the despotism of Russia is more
apparently cruel, but the actual economic effect of the British
Government's rule in India is more desperate than anything in the
situation in Russia."[491]

Mr. Hare also speaks of "famine made by Government"[492]--India
suffers from two great evils: famine and the plague. India is very
densely populated. The natives live chiefly upon rice, and rice
requires an enormous quantity of moisture. If rain fails, there is
famine, and no Government can prevent it, though it may alleviate it.
Therefore all rice countries--China, India, Japan--are periodically
stricken by famine. It is difficult enough, and taxes the resources of
a country to the utmost, to feed in a barren country an army of
500,000 men who are closely assembled. It is impossible to feed a
population of 60,000,000, even if funds and stores of food are
unlimited. With the most perfect system of harbours, canals, railways,
&c., the distribution of food for 60,000,000 people offers
insurmountable obstacles. Plague is caused by infection, and may be
stamped out by the observance of those sanitary rules which Indians
refuse to observe. Cases of plague are not reported to the
authorities, but are hidden from them, so that the sanctity of the
home may not be defiled by the entrance of a medical man.
Nevertheless, Socialists never tire of preaching: "If there is one
disease which is more directly the outcome of poverty than any other,
it is the plague."[493] "Just think of 250,000 people dying of
manufactured black plague in one month. It is not the people of
England who benefit by our murderous despotism in India. It is not the
working classes who would suffer if India were relieved from its
present frightful oppression. If the present trade is beneficial, it
is beneficial to the wealthy rather than to the workers."[494] "If
ever there was a population in the history of the world possessed of a
remarkable climate, with a fruitful soil, with all the opportunities
for making wealth, and having been the source of wealth to the peoples
who have traded with them for centuries, the population of India is
that people and Hindostan is that country which ought to be supremely
wealthy."[495]

Socialists have done all in their power to arouse the hostility of
Europe and America against Great Britain by denouncing British
misrule, cruelty, and tyranny in India. "I rejoice, as an Englishman,
that I have done my share for nearly thirty years to expose in Europe,
America, and Asia the systematic rascality of my aristocratic and
plutocratic countrymen."[496] "I appeal to this International
Socialist Congress to denounce the statesmen and the nation guilty of
this infamy before the entire civilised world, and to convey to the
natives of India the heartfelt wish of the delegates of the workers of
all nations here assembled that they may shortly, no matter in what
manner, free themselves finally from the horrors of the most criminal
misrule that has ever afflicted humanity."[497]

Socialists unceasingly work for the overthrow of British rule in
India. Theirs is a larger humanity. They wish to bring about a rising
of the Indian population, and they seem to care little if the 250,000
British people residing in that country are incidentally
exterminated. Their hatred of the "capitalist" Empire is apparently
greater than their sense of humanity and duty towards their own
countrymen.

At a recent Socialist meeting in connection with the unrest in India,
Mr. Hyndman submitted the following motion: "This meeting of the
citizens of London expresses its deepest sympathy and admiration for
Lajpat Kai, Adjit Singh, and the Sikh leaders at Rawal Pindi,
Amritsar, and Lahore, now undergoing imprisonment without trial, at
the command of Mr. John Morley and the Liberal Government, and sends
its cordial greetings to the agitators all over India who are doing
their utmost to awaken their countrymen of every race and creed to the
ruinous effect of our rule, which, by draining away _35,000,000l._
worth of produce yearly from India without return, has manufactured
poverty upon a scale unprecedented in history and is converting the
greatest Empire the world has ever seen into a vast pauper warren and
human plague farm. This meeting further records its fervent hope that
this infamous British system which crushes all economic, social, and
political life out of 230 millions of people will ere long be
peaceably or forcibly swept away for ever."[498] Proceeding, Mr.
Hyndman said: "I may mention I have just finished a pamphlet on India
I have written for the International Socialist Congress at Stuttgart,
which is going to be translated by the International Socialist Bureau
into German and French, and I will take care it is translated into
some other languages--Eastern languages--including the Japanese
language."[499]

Attempts to incite the native Indians to rise in rebellion and to
massacre the British garrison and the British people residing in India
are not restricted to Mr. Hyndman. We read in the leading Socialist
monthly: "The maintenance of British rule in India means that the
working people of Great Britain are engaged in helping their
masters--the class which robs them--to plunder the unfortunate people
of India of over thirty millions sterling every year. We desire to see
the people of India, as of every other country, not only possessed of
national independence and political rights, but of social and
economical liberty and equality. We assert the right of the Indian
people to manage their own affairs, and ardently desire the
destruction of British rule there."[500] From the official organ of
the Independent Labour Party we learn that that party also "has
declared itself wholly in favour of constitutional government in India
and the social emancipation of the poverty-stricken Indian people. We
believe that Mr. Hardie has had that purpose solely in view, and the
party will stand solidly with him in conveying to the Indian people
the strongest expression of the sympathy and support of British
Socialists in their struggle against social and political
oppression."[501] If British subjects are murdered in India by the ten
thousand, we may thank our revolutionary Socialists.

Mr. Ramsay Macdonald, M.P., of the Labour party very sensibly
recommends with regard to India: "The Government should win the
confidence and assent of the people."[502] He then continues: "The
immediate reforms necessary are a lightening of India's financial load
by relieving it of the Imperial burdens which it now unjustly bears,
and a readjustment of taxes; the extension of local and State
self-government and further opportunities for natives to be employed
in public offices; the freeing of the press."[503] It is easy to
formulate a policy by expressing generous abstract sentiments. Is Mr.
Macdonald aware that "the lightening of India's financial load" would
mean its transference to English shoulders, that the granting of
self-government and the freeing of the press might lead to a position
which would put before this country the alternative of a war of
repression in India or of its abandonment, and that the abandonment of
India would ruin Lancashire?

We have taken note of the destructive part of the policy which
Socialists wish to pursue towards the Empire. Now let us take note of
their constructive proposals, though these are not nearly as numerous
as their destructive ones.

Mr. Ramsay Macdonald, M.P., of the Labour party, is dissatisfied with
Imperial administration in its present form. He would democratise it
and replace the present Imperial Governors by labour men and Socialist
agitators and orators. "The Crown cannot be the custodian of an
Imperial policy, though it may be an Imperial link--and even in this
respect its influence is greatly exaggerated at home."[504] "The real
difficulty lies in securing the confidence of the Imperial States for
whatever authority is to be custodian of the Imperial standard.
Downing Street is ignorant of colonial opinion and needs. Above all,
Downing Street is the surviving symbol of the era of the British
'dominions' and the real 'colonies.' The Imperial States will not
repose confidence in Downing Street, therefore Downing Street cannot
remain the custodian of Imperial standards. What is to take its
place?"[505]

"The failure of our Empire, except to produce mechanical results, such
as keeping warring tribes at peace, is largely owing to the fact that
the Empire is governed by the most narrow-visioned of our social
classes. National pride may be a valuable possession, but when it
becomes a consciousness of racial superiority it ceases to be an
Imperial virtue. Thus it is not only in its origin, but also in its
present administration, that the Empire in a special sense is a
perquisite of the rich classes, and the influence of the Labour party
on Imperial politics must be to democratise the _personnel_ of the
Imperial machine. A trade union secretary could govern a province
_prima facie_ better than the son of an ancient county family or
someone who was a friend of the Colonial Secretary when he was passing
time at Balliol. We honestly think that the colonies appreciate our
aristocracy, but the colonies laugh at our amiable illusions."[506]

Is Mr. Macdonald sure that the dominions and colonies would welcome a
change, and that "trade union secretaries" in their very narrow circle
of activity might not become even more "narrow-visioned" than our
present pro-consuls? At the same time it cannot be doubted that all
labour leaders and Socialist agitators will highly approve of his
proposals to make all vice-royalties and governorships their
"perquisites." Apart from a few not very practical proposals,
Socialists follow not a constructive, but a purely destructive, policy
with regard to the Empire, which in their eyes is merely a capitalist
institution. Pursuing consciously or unconsciously a policy of
revolutionary anarchism, they would break up the Empire and even Great
Britain herself. Therefore many Socialists advocate the legislative
independence of both Ireland and Scotland, although some preach,
"'Home Rule' _per se_ will not rid Ireland of Lord Deliverus and the
gang he represents; the remedy for Ireland's distress, as the early
leaders of Irish discontent perceived, is release from the grip of the
brigands who stole the nation's heritage. In other words, the real
object of the Irish movement is Socialism; their cause is ours, and
our paths lie side by side. But they too have been tricked and led
astray by the old political will-o'-the-wisp, the seeming angel of
'Liberty' translated in their case to 'Home Rule.' For many years now
they have pursued this shifty light through the arid desert of
politics, and unless they can come to a clear understanding of their
own original purpose again, and join with their English Socialist
comrades to find a way out of our common difficulties, they are like
to abide in that dreary desert for ever."[507]

Whilst the vast majority of British Socialists are unpatriotic,
anti-national, and anti-Imperial, and would act as traitors to their
country, the powerful Socialist party of Germany is strongly, one
might almost say passionately, national and Imperial. Many German
Socialists are enthusiastic supporters of the German Navy League, and
they would not hesitate in depriving, if possible, and if need be by
force, Great Britain of those colonies which her Socialists desire to
get rid of.

The attitude of German Socialists towards their Fatherland, Empire,
colonial possessions, and native races, may be gauged from the words
of Herr Bernstein, one of her most prominent Socialist leaders: "The
national quality is developing more and more. Socialism can and must
be national. Even when we sing _Ubi bene, ibi patria_ we still
acknowledge a _patria_, and therefore, in accordance with the motto
'No rights without duties,' also duties towards her. To-day the
Social-Democratic party is, and that unanimously, the most decided
Imperial party that Germany knows. No other party is so keen to make
over more and more legislative authority to the Empire and to widen
its competence as the Social-Democratic party. The idea that in a
country there exists a powerful party which is only waiting for war in
order to make difficulties for its own Government, to set on foot a
military strike and such-like, this idea may become the greatest
menace to peace by being a spur to adventurous politicians to work
towards a war with that country. But the home Government knows very
well that the declaration that the Social-Democrats would, in case of
need, give their lives for the independence of Germany against a
foreign Power is by no means a free pass for them to take war
easily."[508]

In another periodical Herr Bernstein wrote: "The advantages of
colonial possessions are always conditional. At a given period a
nation can only sustain a certain quantity of such possessions. As
long as she was ahead of all other nations in productive power,
England could support a much larger amount than any other modern
nation. But the time of her industrial supremacy has passed away, or
at least is nearing its end. Protectionism on the Continent and in the
United States may protract the advent of the inevitable in some
degree. But its hour will strike one day, and when the advantages
which free trade secures her to-day disappear, she would either have,
I believe, to free herself of part of her colonial burdens or lose
more and more of her trade, and with it her regenerative force. So
much for England. With Germany the question is quite different.
Although her rural population is now decreasing, she could, with a
yearly increase of about 800,000, well stand more colonial possessions
than she actually holds, nor would the costs and outlays for her
colonies press very hard on her finances. Where two civilisations
clash, the lower must give way to the higher. This law of evolution we
cannot overthrow, we can only humanise its action. To counteract it
would mean to postpone social progress."[509]

It is sad to compare the sane, manly, national, and patriotic attitude
of German Socialists with the foolish, anti-national cosmopolitanism
of British Socialists, who, parading beautiful motives of the largest
humanity, would not hesitate to sacrifice their country and their
countrymen, their Empire and their colonies.

FOOTNOTES:

[476] Quelch, _Social Democracy and the Armed Nation_, p. 14.

[477] _Imperialism: Its Meaning and Its Tendency_, p. 10.

[478] Norman, _Empire and Murder_, p. 3.

[479] _Imperialism: Its Meaning and Its Tendency_, p. 15.

[480] _Ibid._ p. 7.

[481] Bax and Quelch, _A New Catechism of Socialism_, p. 36.

[482] Hyndman, _Colonies and Dependencies_, p. 14.

[483] _Imperialism: Its Meaning and Its Tendency_, pp. 12, 13.

[484] Hyndman, _Colonies and Dependencies_, p. 8.

[485] Macdonald, _Labour and the Empire_, p. 108.

[486] _Labour Leader_, October 10, 1907.

[487] Hyndman, _Colonies and Dependencies_, p. 8.

[488] _Imperialism: Its Meaning and Its Tendency_, p. 5.

[489] Macdonald, _Labour and the Empire_, pp. 76, 77.

[490] Hyndman, _Colonies and Dependencies_, p. 12.

[491] Hyndman, _The Unrest in India_, p. 13.

[492] Hare, _Famine in India_, p. 17.

[493] Hyndman, _The Unrest in India_, p. 7.

[494] _Ibid._ p. 16.

[495] _Ibid._ p. 7.

[496] Hyndman, _Colonies and Dependencies_, pp. 11, 12.

[497] _Ibid._ p. 14.

[498] Hyndman, _The Unrest in India_, p. 1.

[499] _Ibid._ p. 4.

[500] _Social-Democrat_, July 1907, pp. 393, 394.

[501] _Labour Leader_, October 11, 1907.

[502] Macdonald, _Labour and the Empire_, p. 104.

[503] _Ibid._ p. 105.

[504] Macdonald, _Labour and the Empire_, p. 70.

[505] _Ibid._ pp. 67, 68.

[506] Macdonald, _Labour and the Empire_, pp. 27, 28.

[507] Thompson, _That Blessed Word Liberty_, p. 10.

[508] Ed. Bernstein in the _Sozialistische Monatshefte_, translated in
the _Social-Democrat_, July 1907.

[509] _Nation_, October 12, 1907.



CHAPTER XII

SOCIALIST VIEWS ON INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS AND FOREIGN POLICY


"Socialism," Mr. Ramsay Macdonald writes, "has a great part to play
immediately in international politics. It alone can banish national
jealousies from the Foreign Offices; it alone offers the guarantees of
peace which are a necessary preliminary to disarmament. Socialism has
a world policy as well as a national one--a corollary to its belief in
the brotherhood of man."[510] These words contain assurances, not a
plan, and therefore we must inquire, What is the foreign policy of
Socialism?

As regards foreign policy one may divide the Socialists into two
classes: revolutionaries and visionaries. It will be seen in the
following pages that the aims of both are similar.

The foreign policy of the revolutionary Socialists of Great Britain is
based on the celebrated "Communist Manifesto" of Marx and Engels,
which contains the following programme regarding foreign policy: "The
Communists are distinguished from the other working-class parties by
this only: in the national struggles of the proletarians of the
different countries they point out and bring to the front the common
interests of the entire proletariat, independently of all
nationality."[511] "The Communists everywhere support every
revolutionary movement against the existing social and political order
of things. In all these movements they bring to the front, as the
leading question of each, the property question, no matter what its
degree of development at the time. Finally, they labour everywhere for
the union and agreement of the democratic parties of all countries.
The Communists disdain to conceal their views and aims. They openly
declare that their ends can be attained only by the forcible overthrow
of all existing social conditions. Let the ruling classes tremble at a
Communistic revolution. The proletarians have nothing to lose but
their chains. They have a world to win. Working men of all countries,
unite!"[512]

In accordance with the foregoing proclamation of Marx and Engels, the
philosopher of British Socialism teaches: "For the Socialist the word
'frontier' does not exist; for him love of country, as such, is no
nobler sentiment than love of class. Race pride and class pride are,
from the standpoint of Socialism, involved in the same condemnation.
The establishment of Socialism, therefore, on any national or race
basis is out of the question. The foreign policy of the great
international Socialist party must be to break up these hideous race
monopolies called empires, beginning in each case at home. Hence
everything which makes for the disruption and disintegration of the
empire to which he belongs must be welcomed by the Socialist as an
ally. It is his duty to urge on any movement tending in any way to
dislocate the commercial relations of the world, knowing that every
shock the modern complex commercial system suffers weakens it and
brings its destruction nearer. This is the negative side of the
foreign policy of Socialism. The positive is embraced in a single
sentence; to consolidate the union of the several national sections on
the basis of firm and equal friendship, steadfast adherence to
definite principles, and determination to present a solid front to the
enemy."[513]

The head of the Social-Democratic Federation informs us: "We have
never failed to hold up before the people the high ideal of a complete
social revolution, which shall replace the capitalist sweating system
and its terrible class war by the happiness, contentment, and glory of
a great co-operative commonwealth for all mankind."[514]

Faithful to the teaching of Karl Marx, Mr. Tom Mann proclaims: "We do
not want any walls built round cities or nations for fear of invasion;
what we do now stand in urgent need of is an international working
alliance among the workers of the whole world. The only position of
safety will be found in international action among the organised
workers of the world."[515]

These being the doctrines of revolutionary Socialism, it is only
natural that many British Socialists take the enemy's part in case of
war.[516]

The foreign policy of the visionary Socialists is based on the idea of
human brotherhood and the equality of men of all races, creeds, and
colours. "Socialism is brotherhood; and brotherhood is as wide as the
heavens and as broad as humanity. The growth of international
Socialism is the promise of the realisation of the angels' natal song:
On earth, peace; Good will toward men. Socialism will remove the
causes of international antagonism and make the interests of all
nations the same."[517] "Socialism implies the inherent equality of
all human beings. It does not assume that all are alike, but only that
all are equal. Holding this to be true of individuals, the Socialist
applies it also to races. Only by a full and unqualified recognition
of this claim can peace be restored to the world. Socialism implies
brotherhood, brotherhood implies a living recognition of the fact that
the duty of the strong is not to hold the weak in subjection but to
assist them to rise higher and ever higher in the scale of humanity,
and that this cannot be done by trampling upon and exploiting their
weakness, but by caring for them and showing them the better
way."[518] Thus Socialism will bring to the world eternal peace. In
the words of the poet:

    There's a good time coming, boys,
      A good time coming;
    And war in all men's eyes shall be
      A monster of iniquity,
    In the good time coming.
      Nations shall not quarrel then,
    To prove which is the stronger;
      Nor slaughter men for glory's sake--
    Wait a little longer.[519]

The ideas expressed in the above are very noble, but they seem to be
hardly in accordance with historical experience or with human nature
as we know it. The race war on the Pacific coast, and the murderous
attacks by strikers on free labourers who have taken their place which
are of frequent occurrence in all countries, show that even Socialists
are apt to rely rather on threats, violence, and superior force than
on brotherliness and reason, although the Chinaman and the Japanese
have, according to the Socialist doctrines given in the foregoing, as
much right to earn a living as any white man.

"Socialism is essentially international. It recognises no distinction
between the various nations comprising the modern civilised world. 'My
country, right or wrong,' the expression of modern patriotism, is the
very antithesis of Socialism.... This internationalism means liberty
and equality between nations as between individuals, and amalgamation
as soon as feasible, and as close as possible, under the red flag of
Social Democracy, which does not recognise national distinctions or
the division of progressive humanity into nations and races."[520]
"The new community will be built up on an international basis. The
nations will fraternise together, will shake hands over old quarrels,
and unite in gradually extending the new State over all peoples of the
earth."[521]

"Nationalisation is only the beginning of Socialism. Once let any
nation be thoroughly imbued with the Socialist spirit, it will become
a missionary nation. It will preach the glad tidings of salvation to
people of other tongues, and that which was national shall become
universal: East and West, North and South, all shall realise, all
shall rejoice in, the glorious brotherhood of man."[522]

The "brotherhood of man" reminds one of the French Revolution. Like
the French Revolution, Socialism has imposed upon itself the mission
to convert the world to its doctrine, and people may again be placed
before the alternative "La Fraternité ou la Mort."

    Let despots frown and tyrants sneer,
      The red flag is unfurled;
    We'll to our principles adhere
      And socialise the world.[523]

Being anxious to "socialise the world," Socialists eagerly note every
progress of Socialism in foreign countries from Paris to Pekin. For
instance, we read in the "Reformers' Year Book": "The belief that the
quick-witted Japanese would, at the beginning of their new
civilisation, avoid the evils of European capitalism by accepting a
scheme of Socialism is not being fulfilled. The dividend-hunter, who
has been to Europe and received a business training, is fastening the
chains of monopoly upon the people. To meet this growing danger there
is already a thriving Socialist-Labour party, which has a daily
newspaper, the 'Hikari' ('Light')."[524] To facilitate the
"socialisation of the world" and the introduction of "the brotherhood
of man" by making Socialism truly international, Socialists are urged
to study Esperanto, which apparently is to be the international
Socialist language of the future. The "Clarion" and other Socialist
papers regularly contain articles written in Esperanto, and the
anti-patriotic writings of Hervé and Gohier--an extract from the
writings of the former will be found in Chapter XIII.--have been
translated into Esperanto, apparently in the hope that these
incendiary pamphlets may help in bringing about the great Socialist
revolution.

Among the 'immediate reforms' demanded in the programme of the
Social-Democratic Federation (see Appendix) are to be found the
demands: "The people to decide on peace and war. The establishment of
international courts of arbitration." In view of these demands, which
are made by most Socialist organisations, it is quite natural that
Socialists condemn the secret action of diplomacy. For instance, a
Socialist writer remarks on the Anglo-French agreements: "Are we the
masters of our destinies, when a Delcassé may at any moment immerse us
in international troubles of the first magnitude? Lord Lansdowne, as
the accomplice of Delcassé, was equally guilty, and Sir Edward Grey,
by now securing this triple alliance without the consent or the
knowledge of the 150 millions of people whom it most vitally concerns,
completes a trio of international plotters and murderers."[525]

Many Socialists believe that wars may soon be abolished by
international agreement, either among the nations or among the working
masses, who will force their views upon the governments. According to
a very prolific Socialist writer, "There are many signs and portents
to-day that the evil of war, which is not more deeply rooted than was
slavery a hundred years ago, will, ere long, meet a similar
fate."[526] And what are the "signs and portents" upon which the
belief is based that war will be abolished? "It is a significant fact
that whenever the working classes meet to discuss this question of
war, they invariably express themselves in favour of its speedy end. A
few days ago, when the Trades Union Congress met at Liverpool, when
delegates were present representing some two millions of the organised
workers of the country, the representative of the Navvies' Union
declared, amid the resounding cheers of the Congress, that it was
impossible for a man to be a Christian and in favour of war at the
same time."[527] The Navvies' Union will no doubt play a great part in
the foreign policy of the Socialist commonwealth, but is the
importance of their declaration not exaggerated? Wars begin, as a
rule, by an act of aggression. What would the Navvies' Union and the
Trades Union Congress have said if the secretary had read a telegram
stating that British ships had been fired upon and sunk by an enemy,
or that British territory had been invaded and British blood had been
spilt? I fear that eternal peace is not yet in sight, notwithstanding
the "sign and portent" of the statement made by the representative of
the Navvies' Union. Indeed, clear-headed foreign Socialists are aware
of the very limited usefulness of Peace Conferences, and they deride
disarmament proposals, such as that submitted to the last Hague
Conference by Sir Henry Campbell-Bannerman.

An exceedingly able article in the foremost Socialist organ of Germany
gave, early in the spring of 1907, the following views on the probable
result of The Hague Conference and on the British proposals regarding
the limitation of armaments, views which are particularly interesting
because they show the sound good sense of the German Socialists and
the difference between the political views of German and British
Socialists. The article stated:

"Just as the first Hague Conference of 1898 in reality achieved
nothing more than a few secondary amendments to the law of nations,
conformity with which was left completely to the fancy of the
individual Powers, so the second Hague Conference will, it is highly
probable, result in nothing further than a few general peace
assertions and international arrangements which, when it comes to a
war, will not outlive the first interchange of shots. Certainly the
English Premier is right. There does exist among the thoughtful
persons in all European States an intellectual tendency towards the
peaceful settlement of differences between the nations and the
diminution of the gigantic military and naval armaments. But this body
of thoughtful people is--as the last elections in Germany have again
proved--on the whole rather small; and above all, these thoughtful
people do not belong to the economically powerful class who determine
the policy of Governments.

"The old ideologic conception of the English free trade doctrine, that
the free exchange of goods between the nations leads to the abolition
of war, to the brotherhood of humanity, that conception which found
its most original expression in Dr. Bowring's exclamation 'Free trade
is Jesus Christ,' still haunts some people's minds. With the greatest
number of the liberal advocates of disarmament, their point of view
originates simply in the consideration that the strong naval and
military armaments demand more and more, not only from England's
purse, but from her human material, while, on the other hand, England
possesses all that she can expect, and has, on that account, not much
more to gain. All over the earth's surface she has the most valuable
colonies, and is, since the alliances with Japan and France, in a
perfectly secure position, which awakens in her the wish to
consolidate her position and to economise her finances for the
upholding of her supremacy. It is that satisfied state of mind which
makes the fortunate winner of the game say, 'Let us leave off; I am
tired of playing now.' English capitalists feel themselves in a safe
position. Nothing can easily go wrong at present. The thing is,
therefore, to secure what they have got and to diminish the heavy
burdens. This desire is comprehensible--only the other Powers will
probably not respect it.

"The working-class party is very much in sympathy with the disarmament
idea in itself. For this party is the most consistent opponent of
militarism, and demands in its programme not only the formation of a
citizen army in place of the standing army, but also that questions of
peace and war should be determined by the people themselves, and that
all international differences should be settled by arbitration. But no
amount of sympathy can get over the fact that in the present
capitalist world there is very little chance of a general disarmament
of the Powers. The conception that war is only a product of human
unreason is on the same level as the idea that revolutions are only
mental aberrations of the masses. War is rooted in the opposing
interests of the nations, as are revolutions in the opposing interests
of the classes."[528]

FOOTNOTES:

[510] Macdonald, _Socialism_, p. 120.

[511] Marx and Engels, _Manifesto_, p. 1

[512] Marx and Engels, _Manifesto_, p. 31.

[513] Bax, _Religion of Socialism_, pp. 126, 127.

[514] Debate, Hyndman, _Will Socialism Benefit the English People?_
Introduction.

[515] Mann, _International Labour Movement_, p. 6.

[516] See, for instance, Hyndman in _The Transvaal War and the
Degradation of England_.

[517] Snowden, _The Individual under Socialism_, p. 14.

[518] Keir Hardie, _From Serfdom to Socialism_, p. 10.

[519] _Clarion Song Book_, p. 25.

[520] Bax and Quelch, _A New Catechism of Socialism_, p. 31.

[521] Bebel, _Woman in the Past, Present, and Future_, p. 235.

[522] "Veritas," _Did Jesus Christ teach Socialism?_ p. 2.

[523] Neil, _Songs of the Social Revolution_, p. 13.

[524] _Reformers' Year Book, 1907_, p. 195.

[525] _Social-Democrat_, September 1907, p. 534.

[526] Ward, _The War Drum shall Throb no Longer_, p. 13.

[527] _Ibid._ p. 14.

[528] _Vorwärts_, March 10, 1907, translated in the _Social-Democrat_,
April 1907, pp. 220-224.



CHAPTER XIII

SOCIALISM AND THE ARMY


Most Socialists, British and foreign, are opposed to the existing
armies, for two reasons:

(1) Because they wish to overturn practically all existing
institutions from the Monarchy downwards, and they fear that the
military may defend the _status quo_;

(2) Because they aim at the abolition of States and of nationality and
at the disappearance of frontiers, as the ideal Socialist State of the
future would, for economic and political reasons, have to embrace the
world.

The Socialist State of the future, embracing the whole universe, can
be created only after the existing States have been overturned.
Therefore the more immediate aim of Socialists is to seize upon the
political power in accordance with the advice given by Karl Marx in
his celebrated "Manifesto."[529]

Most Socialists apparently believe that not by Parliamentary means but
only by violence will they succeed in making themselves supreme, for
we are told: "The ballot-box is no doubt a safer weapon than the
rifle; but even when there will be a sufficient number of people in
these islands convinced of the necessity and possibility of the
co-operative commonwealth, the end will not yet be certain. There are
the classes in possession to be considered. Are they going to allow
themselves to be voted out? Will they respect a franchise and
ballot-box which will vote that they shall get off the backs of the
workers? Franchise 'Reform' Bills--and it is astonishing to what use
'reform' can now be put--can be rushed through Parliament, like Crimes
Acts, in twenty-four hours; and there is the 'voluntary' professional
army, under military law, to overawe the recalcitrants who may resent
the suffrage and the ballot-box being jerrymandered against the
popular interest. But none are so likely to be overawed by threatened
displays of armed force--whether voluntary or conscript--as those who
have a difficulty in distinguishing the butt end of a rifle from its
muzzle."[530]

Under the heading "Will it come to barricades?" we read: "The
barricade is to-day, all will agree, in this country at any rate, an
impossible weapon. Armed insurrection on the part of the workers in
this country would to-day be the height of folly, and will continue to
be so, so long as our standing army of hired mercenaries exists.
Standing armies are the instruments of capitalist oppression at home
and aggression abroad. But so long as even one great Power maintains
the present form of military organisation, so long as war is possible,
so long will it be necessary that some form of military organisation
exist in all countries. We dare not preach peace when we know there
can be no peace. This is why the Socialists of all countries are
to-day in favour of an educational policy which will make every
citizen fit for military service within the ranks of a citizen army,
organised and maintained for purposes of defence only. The advantages
of such a force, from the Socialist standpoint, are so obvious that
they need hardly be stated. And it would at least put the working
class in a position to understand what a barricade means, and how, if
need be, to act in their own defence. There are, I am well aware, a
handful of individual Socialists with us who are against universal
military training, but they are a diminishing quantity, and will in
due season find their natural vocation within the ranks of the
Liberty and Property Defence League."[531]

Mr. Quelch, the editor of "Justice," shares the foregoing opinion, for
he tells us: "Revolutions, it is said, can no longer be accomplished
by force, but only by peaceful means--the vote, Parliamentary action,
and legislation. It may be so, but it will be unprecedented if the
present ruling class surrender without a struggle. And if they had the
armed force of the nation at their command, they would struggle
successfully no matter what the Legislature may have done. The ruling
class will not be made to submit to law and order which is not their
law and order, except by overwhelmingly superior force. Nobody
supposes that in such a contest the people could win against the
ruling class unless they had been able first to win over the army.
With a professional 'voluntary' army, well paid and well affected to
its paymasters, such winning over would be practically impossible. But
with the armed nation there would be no winning over required. An
armed nation--whatever it may do or submit to--is essentially a free
nation, and whatever such a nation determines upon, that it can do and
have, in spite of any ruling class."[532]

Similar opinions have frequently been expressed by leading Continental
Socialists. Herr Kautsky, for instance, wrote under the heading
"Expropriation of the Expropriators," as follows: "The arming of the
people is a political measure. It can, under certain circumstances,
cost just as much as a standing army, but it is needed for the safety
of the democracy in order to deprive the Government of its most
important weapon against the people."[533]

Those who are of opinion that only the extreme section of British
Socialists, the revolutionary wing, is hostile to the army, are
mistaken. This may be seen from the following resolution of the Fabian
Society, which is the most moderate exponent of British Socialism:
"Armies act as a standing menace not to neighbouring States, but to
the working populations of their own countries. A study of the
strategical disposition of many of the great railway stations and
barracks of the Continent will prove that the most important function
of the modern army is to suppress the resistance of labour to capital
in the war of classes."[534]

Among the "immediate reforms" demanded in the programme of the
Social-Democratic Federation[535] we find a demand for "the abolition
of standing armies and the establishment of national citizen forces."
Army and police are to most Socialists very objectionable because it
is their function to protect the national order and national property
against predatory, anarchistic, and revolutionary attempts. Therefore
it is only natural that "No Social Democrat regards the present police
system as a satisfactory one, or a professional police as other than a
dubious expedient."[536] According to the opinion held by many
Socialists, "The soldier's primary function is to come to the rescue
of the policeman when the latter is overpowered."[537]

Voluntary armies of the British type are quite as objectionable to
Socialists as are the national armies of the compulsory type raised on
the Continent of Europe. "We are told that the advantage of our
present military system is that it is not compulsory, that people are
free to join the service or not as they please. The freedom of the
average recruit to join the army is about on a par with the freedom
of an unemployed workman to work for lower wages than the recognised
rate of wages, or the freedom of the prostitute."[538] "Your soldier,
ostensibly a heroic and patriotic defender of his country, is really
an unfortunate man driven by destitution to offer himself as food for
powder for the sake of regular rations, shelter, and clothing."[539]
"A standing army of professional soldiers is the most effective
instrument in the hands of the dominant class, the greatest menace to
democracy and popular liberty, and the most effective barrier to
revolutionary change that could possibly be devised. And surely, too,
the antithesis to that is the Armed Nation--every citizen a soldier
and every soldier a citizen."[540]

The ideal army from the Socialist point of view is the armed nation.
It is, as we shall see in the following, an army composed of Socialist
workmen and commanded by Socialist leaders. It is not an army for
national defence, but one for attack on the existing order; it is a
revolutionary army, an army of plunder. The very natural desire of
Socialists to create such a force is, as a rule, disguised under the
demand for a democratic army and universal military training. "We
Socialists advocate the military training of all citizens and the
abolition of professional armies, as ensuring the maximum of military
efficiency and the minimum of menace to democratic principles and
popular rights. We propose that every man should undergo a thorough
military training so as to be equal to any other man. A professional
army is maintained in the main for the defence and maintenance of the
master class. A professional army is a specialised class or caste,
divorced from civil life, hostile to the general body of the
community, and maintained as an instrument to serve the purpose of the
master class. That purpose is as often the suppression of popular
movements at home as aggression abroad. If it were possible to abolish
all military organisations, the remedy would be simple. But we have
seen that that is, under present conditions, impossible. Therefore we
urge that all citizens should be armed and trained to the use of arms,
so that all reasonable military requirements may be met and
professional soldiering be entirely dispensed with."[541] The fact
that the abolition of the professional army would involve the loss of
India and of other possessions to Great Britain is a matter of no
importance to the Socialists. In fact the Socialists wish Great
Britain to lose not only India but all her colonies, as will be seen
by reference to Chapter XI., "Socialism and the Empire."[542]

Every attempt at improving the voluntary army of Great Britain is
considered a blow at Socialism, and is therefore vigorously resisted
by the Socialists. Hence the scheme of army reform of Mr. Haldane,
Secretary of State for War, has been loudly condemned by them as
reactionary and likely to strengthen the capitalists, and they entreat
the workers not to oppose universal military training. "The capitalist
class would be perfectly delighted that all the rest of the people
outside themselves and their mercenaries should be peaceful unarmed
non-resisters. Nothing could suit them better. We have Mr. Haldane's
territorial army--on paper; and a more reactionary, militarist (in the
worst sense), and anti-democratic system than that to which the
present War Minister has had the effrontery to apply our term of the
'Armed Nation' could scarcely be devised."[543]

Whether Mr. Haldane's proposals give Great Britain a better army for
national and Imperial defence, is apparently immaterial to the
Socialists, for they criticise it merely from the point of view of
intending rioters and revolutionaries. They complain: "The position
of the Volunteers now is this, that they are not under military law,
and cannot be called out as soldiers to shoot down workmen at the
bidding of the capitalists. Mr. Haldane's scheme, however, destroys
the civilian character of the Volunteers, and converts them into
professional soldiers."[544]

Although most Socialists are in favour of a national militia, a
considerable number oppose even a national militia of the Swiss type,
fearing that it would refuse to aid the Socialists in overturning
society as at present constituted. "We have been told of the readiness
with which the Swiss militia have donned their uniforms and seized
their rifles when called upon to act against strikers."[545] The
Socialist delegates who accompanied the committee of inquiry which the
National Service League sent to Switzerland in the autumn of 1907 were
apparently less interested in the efficiency of the Swiss army for
national defence than in its attitude during conflicts between labour
and capital.[546]

Fearing that a national militia might not be willing to lend itself to
revolutionary purposes, that it might become a patriotic force as is
the Swiss militia, many Socialists condemn every kind of military
service, and are quite ready to disarm the nation in the name of
humanity and civil freedom. For instance, at the annual conference of
the Socialist Independent Labour Party of 1907 the following was moved
by a well-known revolutionary Socialist, Mr. Bruce Glasier:

"That this Conference believes that the time has come when militarism
in every form should be denounced and resisted as alien to civil
freedom and social progress, and expresses itself emphatically against
compulsory military service, and the attempts which are being made to
introduce military training in public schools or other public
institutions, and views with alarm the purposes of Mr. Haldane's Army
Territorial Bill, which, if passed, will make military service
practically compulsory under officers drawn wholly from, the upper
classes, will make industrial employment dependent upon military
service, and, instead of promoting international unity, will foster
and increase the spirit of militarism and aggression."[547]

In moving this resolution Mr. Glasier said that "he denounced
militarism root and branch," and Mr. Keir Hardie, a Communist
Socialist, in seconding, said: "The resolution was not only a
declaration against militarism, but a special and specific
condemnation of the Territorial Army Scheme now before the House of
Commons. The Socialist party was bound to protest against a system of
that kind. The particular feature which emphasised the danger was that
there were to be county associations formed to have charge of the new
territorial forces, and to have a majority of military men upon them
with landlords and possibly employers of labour. A citizen army was as
great a menace to an industrial population as a professional army. The
new army would be recruited from the people, and officered by the
enemies of the people, just as the professional army was. Children
were to be taught that the flag was the great thing to value in life.
They would find that a citizen army, officered by the rich and
recruited from their own ranks, would be taught to regard the flag as
something holy, while they shot down strikers and Socialists just as
freely as the most exclusive professional army in the world could do.
Patriotism was one of the weapons used by the enemies of the people to
blind them to facts."[548]

The Trade Union Congress of 1907, disregarding the security of the
country and the Empire from foreign aggression, also condemned
military training of every kind. Commenting hereon, the
"Social-Democrat," the organ of the Social-Democratic Federation,
which favours a national democratic army, wrote: "The Trades Union
Congress declares against conscription and also condemns military
training, which is a totally different matter. To condemn conscription
is purely negative. It would be very much more to the point if the
representatives of the organised working class would formulate an
expression of opinion on the actual military problem. Conscription, at
the worst, is in the air; but the present-day military problem is not
in the air; it is on the earth, practical and urgent. What have the
trade unionists to say to it? Do they approve of the present system of
a nominally voluntary professional soldiery, maintained as an
instrument at the service of the capitalist class for suppression at
home and aggression abroad?"[549] The trade unionists were urged to
abolish the voluntary army and to create a national citizen army,
which will assist the Socialist in overturning society.

A national citizen army, composed of Socialists and commanded by
Socialists, is the ideal, and until such an army be created it is in
the interest of Socialists to weaken the existing army and to
undermine its discipline to such an extent that, in the event of a
rising or a revolution, it will side with the revolutionaries. With
this object in view, Socialists are trying to create dissatisfaction
in the army by means of emissaries and literature. For instance, in a
leaflet entitled "An Appeal to Soldiers," the Social-Democratic
Federation says: "If you are to fight for patriotism and country, then
let it be a national duty for all, wealthy as well as poor, to bear
arms. Let not those who are called upon to fight remain a pariah class
apart, bereft of the rights of citizenship--regarded by the upper
classes as something to be avoided."[550]

In its official programme the Social-Democratic Federation demands,
under the heading "Immediate Reforms," "the abolition of
courts-martial: all offences against discipline to be transferred to
the jurisdiction of civil courts."[551] Why do the Socialists demand
the abolition of military law? Because, in their own words, "With the
abolition of military law, upon which we have always laid the greatest
possible stress, militarism falls to the ground."[552] Therefore the
"Appeal to Soldiers" admonishes the military: "You are and will remain
a class apart from the rest of the nation so long as you are compelled
to serve under a barbarous military code called 'military law.' The
system of trial by court-martial is a mere farce and a mockery. We of
the Social-Democratic Federation intend to do our utmost to abolish it
root and branch. Give us your support. Remember that the late War
Minister, Mr. St. John Brodrick, compared the soldier to the Chinese
coolie in South Africa. This is how you are looked upon by the very
people who use you as food for powder in the interest of their class.
Now is the time for all who wish you well to demand the abolition of
military law, the civilising of military service, and the
establishment of a national citizen force."[553]

In the autumn of 1907 a letter to the editor was published by the
"Daily Telegraph" which contained the following statement:

"I do not think that many people, least of all the authorities,
realise what a vigorous campaign is now being waged amongst the rank
and file by the Social-Democratic Federation. Herewith I forward a
leaflet which, I believe, is being distributed in thousands to the
military stations in all the corners of our Empire. The one I enclose
I found attached to a tree by the roadside during the recent
manoeuvres near Aylesbury. Copies of the same leaflet have reached me
from India and Belfast, where they were distributed during the recent
strike trouble. It is no exaggeration to say that this leaflet is
dangerous; the men of our army are peculiarly susceptible to the
tenets of the Social-Democratic Federation. Officers and N.C.O.s will
tell you what a serious effect such propaganda must have upon
discipline.

                           "Yours faithfully,
                                     "H.C. SMART,
                              Editor, 'Army Graphic'"
  "_October 7, 1907._"

Socialism is carrying on a vigorous propaganda for destroying
discipline in the army and also in the navy. Hervéism has been
imported into Great Britain, and is making rapid progress. "The
Socialist," the organ of the Socialist Labour party, a party which at
present is small in number, but which is most violent in attitude, in
an article entitled "The Socialist Labour Party and the Citizen Army,"
quotes with approval Hervé's saying: "The present countries are cruel
step-mothers to the proletariat. There is at present no country so
superior to any other that its working class should get themselves
killed in its defence. In case of mobilisation the proletariat should
respond to the call to arms by an insurrection against their rulers to
establish the Socialist or Communist _régime_. Rebellion sooner than
war! In case of an order to mobilise, we would seize the moment to
attempt the revolution, to place our hands on the social wealth to-day
usurped by a minority." The foregoing is printed in very large type.
The article then continues, commenting upon Hervé's advice as follows:
"The soldier has been fed and clothed by the working class. His
continued efficiency as a military automaton depends upon regular
supply of food, clothing, and the necessaries of life from the same
source. He has been transported to the field of conflict by the labour
of a whole army of railwaymen. Let us suppose that the day of the
final struggle has been reached. Suppose the capitalist attempts to
stifle the revolution in blood; suppose he calls upon the army to
crush the revolutionary working class by brute force. Let us suppose,
too, that the revolutionary agitation has not penetrated the Chinese
walls of military discipline (a most improbable hypothesis) and that
the soldiers, instead of turning their guns against the capitalist
murderers, cheerfully and willingly serve their masters in the attempt
to crush the people--what then? We shall put the army in quarantine.
We shall isolate it from the rest of the community. We shall cut off
supplies of food, clothing, and fuel. The railway and telegraph
service will no longer be at its disposal--and in this respect we are
in a more advantageous position than our French and German
fellow-workers, inasmuch as the Government ownership of the railways
in these countries is used to deny the workers connected with them the
right of organisation. The army would be in a state of siege,
surrounded on all sides by implacable foes. That, coupled with
whatever may be possible and necessary in the way of armed
insurrection within and outside of the army, is the policy proposed by
the Socialist Labour party and Industrial Unionism. Circumstances may,
and probably will, modify it in many important details, but there is
the main outline. Is it not more logical, more coherent, more likely
to succeed than any 'citizen army scheme'?"[554]

Love of country has apparently no room in the Socialist's ethics. Its
defence does not trouble him, since he is taught that his worst
enemies are those Englishmen who happen to be better off.

        Waste not your ready blows,
        Strike not at foreign foes,
    Your bitterest enemies tread your own soil;
        The preachers who blind ye,
        The landlords who grind ye,
    The gluttons who revel whilst ye are at toil.

    Rise in your might, brothers, bear it no longer,
      Assemble in masses throughout the whole land;
    Teach the vile bloodsuckers who are the stronger
      When workers and robbers confronted shall stand.
        Through Castle, Court, and Hall,
        Over their acres all,
    Onward we'll press like the waves of the sea.
        Seizing the wealth we've made.
        Ending the spoilers' trade;
    Till Labour has triumphed, and England is free.[555]

In their desire to abolish the army, some Socialists argue that "The
whole of your military system is entirely unnecessary."[556] Others
falsify history and boldly assert that British wars, "in nearly every
case have been waged for the suppression of liberty abroad, or from
the irritating desire on the part of British statesmen to interfere
with the internal affairs of other nations."[557] On the other hand,
Mr. Quelch very sensibly argues: "Militarism is an evil against which
we have to fight with all the means in our power, but to talk of
universal disarmament at the present stage is mere Utopianism, a
crying of peace where there is no peace, and where existing
antagonisms make peace impossible. We have at first to eradicate the
causes of conflict. To-day the unarmed nation offers itself as a
temptation and a prey to some mighty brigand Power. War is the last
argument of kings, and all Governments rest on force. So long as that
is the case, it is only the people which is armed that can maintain
its freedom, or can indeed lay claim to be a free people. An unarmed
nation cannot be free. An armed nation, on the contrary, is a
guarantee of individual liberty, of social freedom, and of national
independence."[558] Mr. Quelch would have the same ideals as the
National Service League, did not later utterances of his contradict
sensible statements such as the above.

It is a curious and most interesting phenomenon that in France and
Great Britain, two eminently non-aggressive countries, the Socialists
do all in their power to disarm the nation, whilst in Germany, which
can hardly be described as non-aggressive, the Socialists are
patriotic and are ready to go to war, not only for the defence but
also for the aggrandisement of their country. Numerous declarations to
that effect made by the leading German Socialists are on record, and
the following extract is characteristic of their attitude:

"That Germany be armed to the teeth, possessing a strong fleet, is of
the utmost importance to the working men. What damages our exports
damages them also, and working men have the most pressing interest in
securing prosperity for our export trade, be it even by force of arms.
Owing to her development, Germany may perhaps be obliged to maintain
her position sword in hand. Only he who is under the protection of his
guns can dominate the markets, and in the fight for markets German
working men may come before the alternative either of perishing or of
forcing their entrance into markets sword in hand."[559]

In the spring of 1907 the leading German Socialist paper wrote in a
weighty article on the Peace Conference at The Hague: "The conception
that war is only a product of human unreason is on the same level as
the idea that revolutions are only mental aberrations of the masses.
War is rooted in the opposing interests of the nations, as are
revolutions in the opposing interests of the classes."[560]

A comparison of German Socialism with English Socialism shows that
English Socialism is more violent and far less patriotic than German
Socialism. German Socialists love their country. Most British
Socialists apparently love only themselves.

FOOTNOTES:

[529] See p. 107.

[530] H.W. Lee in the _Social-Democrat_, June 1, 1907.

[531] Thomas Kennedy in _Forward_ of May 25, 1907, reprinted in the
_Social-Democrat_, June 1907.

[532] Quelch in the _Social-Democrat_ for October 1907.

[533] Kautsky, _Social Revolution_, p. 4.

[534] _Report on Fabian Policy and Resolutions_, p. 11.

[535] See Appendix.

[536] _Social-Democrat_, October 1907, p. 588.

[537] Shaw, _The Impossibilities of Anarchism_, p. 25.

[538] _Social-Democrat_, June 1907.

[539] Shaw, _The Impossibilities of Anarchism_, p. 25.

[540] _Social-Democrat_, October 1907, p. 586.

[541] _Social-Democrat_, April 1907, p. 204.

[542] See p. 170.

[543] _Social-Democrat_, October 1907, p. 586.

[544] _Social-Democrat_, October 1907, p. 589.

[545] _Ibid._

[546] See _The Nation in Arms_, October 1907, and _Journal de
Neuchatel_, September 22, 1907.

[547] _Independent Labour Party Report_, 1907, p. 64.

[548] _Ibid._ pp. 64, 65.

[549] _Social-Democrat_, November 1907, p. 516.

[550] _An Appeal to Soldiers._

[551] See Appendix.

[552] H.W. Lee in _Social-Democrat_, June 1907.

[553] _An Appeal to Soldiers._

[554] _Socialist_, October 1907.

[555] _Social-Democratic Federation Song Book_, No. 30.

[556] Kirtlan, _Socialism for Christians_, p. 6.

[557] Smart, _Socialism and the Budget_, p. 6.

[558] Quelch, _Social Democracy and the Armed Nation_, p. 3 f.

[559] _Sozialistische Monatshefte_, December 1899.

[560] _Vorwärts_, March 10, 1907.



CHAPTER XIV

SOCIALISM AND THE MONARCHY


The first of the "Immediate Reforms" demanded in the official
programme of the Social-Democratic Federation[561] is the "Abolition
of the Monarchy." That that demand has been made so crudely and that
it has been given so prominent a position cannot surprise anybody who
is acquainted with British Socialism. "Socialists are essentially
thorough-going Republicans. Socialism, which aims at political and
economic equality, is radically inconsistent with any other political
form whatever than that of Republicanism, Monarchy and Socialism, or
Empire and Socialism, are incompatible and inconceivable. Socialism
involves political and economic equality, while Monarchy or Empire
essentially imply domination and inequality."[562]

"As in the political history of the race the logical development of
progress was found in the abolition of the institution of monarchy and
not in its mere restriction, so in industrial history the culminating
point to which all efforts must at last converge lies in the abolition
of the capitalist class, and not in the mere restriction of its
powers. The Socialist Labour Party, recognising these two phases of
human development, unites them in its programme, and seeks to give
them a concrete embodiment by its demand for a Socialist
Republic."[563]

Most Socialists describe all monarchs as the drones of society, and
habitually refer to crowned heads either as "loafers" or as "Royal
paupers, able-bodied and outdoor."[564] "If the people were of my mind
they would not tolerate for twelve months that the Royal paupers
should wear robes and have every luxury, and the honest, industrious
aged poor should wear rags and eat a crust or be imprisoned for being
hungry."[565] (Has ever anybody in Great Britain, or in any other
country, been imprisoned "for being hungry"?)

"Is it possible that this degrading monarchical superstition can
survive in England much longer? Has the schoolmaster now been abroad
so long in vain? Will the English people never take their destinies
into their own hands and close the long era of monarchical and
aristocratic robbery? Are we never to have a Government that can hear
the bitter cry of the outcast, and, hearing, act? We know the goal.
The goal is the Democratic Republic."[566]

Many further extracts regarding English and foreign monarchs might be
given, but they are so indescribably coarse and so offensive--even the
late Queen is most shamelessly slandered, abused, and calumniated--that
they are hardly fit for publication, and their authors shall be
nameless.

FOOTNOTES:

[561] See Appendix.

[562] Bax and Quelch, _A New Catechism of Socialism_, p. 37.

[563] _Platform, Constitutions, Rules, and Standing Orders, Socialist
Labour Party_, pp. 2, 3.

[564] See _The Socialist Annual_, 1907, p. 25.

[565] Glyde, _Britain's Disgrace_, p. 9.

[566] Davidson, _The New Book of Kings_, p. 107.



CHAPTER XV

SOCIALIST VIEWS ON PARLIAMENT AND THE NATIONAL ADMINISTRATION


The opinion of most Socialists with regard to the British Parliament
is well summed up in the phrase "Parliament a way to the Democracy?
Why, 'tis not a road at all, but only a barricade across our
road."[567] It will be seen in this and the following Chapter that
Socialism means either to capture and hold that barricade or to pull
it down.

Let us take note of some representative Socialist opinions on the
British Parliament. "The House of Commons is a machine elaborately
contrived by the exploiting classes to serve their own ends. In the
race for Parliamentary seats the wisest and the best are nowhere. They
are rarely even permitted to start. The prizes are for the richest,
the most unscrupulous, cunning, and pushing. And without a complete
revolution in our ideas regarding the objects as well as the methods
of legislation, it must always remain so."[568] "Parliament is
appointed, we are told, to fulfil the will of the nation. Then why
doesn't it do it? If it has a job to do, why does it stand day after
day, week after week, year after year, cackling, cackling, cackling
about it? Can the mind of man conceive anything more intensely
ridiculous than this spectacle solemnly presented for our admiration
by the champions of the system, of six hundred garrulous old gentlemen
making a set and formal business of cackling--cackling, cackling,
cackling, with infinite pride in their own preposterous squeaking and
nagging, and then filing out one by one at intervals, like a stately
Lord Mayor's procession in the kingdom of the black and white
penguins? What is to be done with such a museum?"[569] "Government by
Parliament is a preposterous pretence--a delusion and a snare to the
people. It is a gag imposed by the classes on the aspirations of the
masses. Our Parliamentary representation is a fraud. If we could
appeal directly to the whole people as to whether willing workers
should starve, or little children suffer hunger, then something might
be done. But how can the electors express their desires on this vital
matter under our present electoral system?"[570]

Socialists complain that Parliament is run by a class. "It is colossal
impudence for a party paper to talk against 'class representation.'
Every class is over-represented--except the great working class. The
mines, the railways, the drink trade, the land, finance, the army
(officers), the navy (officers), the Church, the law, and most of the
big industries (employers) are represented largely in the House of
Commons. And nearly thirty millions of the working classes are
represented by about a dozen men, most of whom are palsied by their
allegiance to the Liberal party."[571] "The rich man's club at St.
Stephen's is merely a committee of plutocrats--rentmongers,
interestmongers, and profitmongers--assembled for the purpose of
safeguarding the spoils which the 'classes' have theftuously contrived
to heap up."[572] "The inequality of representation of classes in
Parliament at present is somewhat startling. It stands as follows:

               _House of Lords_

  Capitalist members                      614
  Labour members                            0
                                          ---
               Total                      614

               _House of Commons_

  Capitalist members                      640
  Labour members                           30
                                          ---
               Total                      670

"That is, we have 640 members representing the interests of, say,
6,000,000 of persons, and 30 members representing the interests of
37,000,000."[573] "As recipients of rents, royalties, interests, and
dividends, some 600 of the representatives of the people in the House
of Commons are parasites upon the people's backs. The railway
shareholders have 78 representatives; the railway workers, nearly
400,000 strong, have one. One hundred and eighty thousand landed
proprietors have 155 members; 1,000,000 agricultural labourers have
one. Coal-mine owners have 21; and 655,000 miners have seven members.
The shipowners and builders have 22 representatives; the 200,000
sailors have none."[574]

"The social composition of the House of Commons is as follows: 124
lawyers, 108 manufacturers (including brewers, colliery-owners, &c.),
85 landowners, 64 merchants and shopkeepers, 37 army and navy men, 33
journalists and authors, 28 financiers, 23 professors, teachers, &c.,
18 Civil servants, 18 newspaper proprietors and publishers, 16 heirs
to the peerage, 67 of miscellaneous occupations and professions, and
50 working men. Thus the bulk of the present House of Commons consists
of rent, profit, and interest mongers and their hirelings and
hangers-on. The exploited masses of the people are only represented by
fifty men."[575]

    See your masters, how unceasingly they strive to keep you down,
    How they manage all your business up in Parliament and town;
    Well, it is not quite your business, for it really is their own.
    And that is why the millions of the toilers slave and groan.[576]

"On the top of all this political chicanery and impudent pretence of
popular representation, there sits an autocratic, irresponsible,
hereditary legislative body, consisting exclusively of idlers and
parasites who reserve to themselves the right of rejecting all laws
which do not clearly further their own exactions and monopolies! Then
ask yourselves: Of what use is Parliament? Of what use can it ever be
to the mass of the common people?"[577]

Parliament is not only useless to the worker, but is also, according
to the Socialists, utterly corrupt and callous to the sufferings of
the people. "Whenever an American is met abroad with the assertion
that government in the Republic is corrupt, he can safely say that for
one ounce of corruption in America there is a full pound avoirdupois
in Britain."[578] "It is extremely doubtful, indeed, whether either
slavery or the slave-trade would be abandoned in the British Empire if
they still existed to-day, and their abrogation and suppression
depended upon the English House of Commons. The hideous corruption in
that assembly and the utter indifference of the majority of its
plutocratic members and their retainers to the welfare of any people,
at home or abroad, where money is to be made by neglecting the
commonest rules of ethics, have never been so clearly manifested as
they are to-day."[579]

"The suffrage in Great Britain is very unsatisfactory, as the
following table shows:

                             Per cent. of the
                                population
                              having a vote.
  France                            27.9
  Switzerland                       23.5
  Greece                            23.0
  Spain                             22.4
  Belgium                           21.5
  Germany                           21.2
  Bulgaria                          21.2
  Norway                            19.9
  Austria                           19.9
  Portugal                          19.0
  Great Britain                     16.5
  Denmark                           16.4
  Servia                            16.0
  Holland                           16.0

As to England, she occupies a very low place in the scale. But then
the people here have not even got universal suffrage! And this is a
'democratic,' 'self-governing' community."[580]

Furthermore, "The time has come when members of Parliament will have
to receive payment for their services in the House of Commons, because
the people have realised that they cannot be adequately represented
only by men of wealth and position who are able to pay their own
expenses."[581]

The national Administration is quite as unsatisfactory to Socialists
as is the national Parliament. "To-day honesty wears rags, and
rascality and idleness wear robes. Every pint of beer, and every drop
of wine or spirits the workers drink, every pipe of tobacco or cigar
they smoke, every cup of tea, coffee, or cocoa they drink, every
patent medicine they purchase, every dog they keep, every pound of
sugar they use, even their playing cards and their insurance policies,
are taxed to help to pay big salaries and pensions to the younger sons
of the aristocracy, &c. The eldest sons live on the family estate; the
younger live on the State. One becomes a lawyer, and will lie for
anyone who will pay him well; another becomes an officer in the army
or navy, and he will cut the throat of anyone in return for a good
salary; another becomes a parson, and in return for a good stipend he
will pray for anyone; the others are quartered on the consular or the
diplomatic service, or are placed as clerks at _1,000l._ per year in
the Colonial, Foreign, or Home Office, &c."[582] The official
Parliamentary Report of the Independent Labour Party for 1907 states:
"Our short experience has been sufficient to teach us that it is as
important to democratise our administrative departments as it is to
democratise our Statute Book. We have found that the doors to the
higher offices in Whitehall are closed to everyone who has not had a
middle-class or aristocratic education, and recent changes have placed
our Civil service more completely in the hands of the wealthy
classes."[583]

In the foregoing statements we find some of the principal complaints
of the Socialists regarding the national Parliament and
Administration. Let us now take note of their wishes and proposals.

Among the "Immediate Reforms" demanded in the programme of the
Social-Democratic Federation we find the following regarding
Parliament and the Administration:

"Abolition of the Monarchy. Democratisation of the Government
machinery, viz. Abolition of the House of Lords, Payment of members
of legislative and administrative bodies, Payment of official expenses
of elections out of the public funds, Adult suffrage, Proportional
representation, Triennial parliaments, Second ballot, initiative and
referendum. Foreigners to be granted rights of citizenship after two
years' residence in the country, on the recommendation of four
British-born citizens, without any fees. Canvassing to be made
illegal. Legislation by the people in such wise that no legislative
proposal shall become law until ratified by the majority of the
people. Legislative and administrative independence for all parts of
the Empire."

As the above demands are somewhat vague, it is worth while to take
note of another and clearer statement of the political demands made by
the Social-Democratic Federation. "We of the Democratic Federation
demand complete adult suffrage for every man and woman in these
islands, because in this way alone can the whole people give free
expression to their will; we are in favour of paid delegates and
annual conventions, because by this means alone can the people control
their representatives; we stand up for the direct references of all
grave issues to the country at large and for the punishment as felony
of every species of corruption, because thus only can tyranny be
checked and bribery be uprooted; we call for the abolition of all
hereditary authority, because such authority is necessarily
independent of the mass of the people. But all these reforms, when
secured, mean only that the men and women of these islands will at
length be masters in their own house. Mere political machinery is
worthless unless used to produce good social conditions."[584]

A widely read Socialist writer formulates the Socialistic demands
regarding Parliamentary reform as follows: "(1) The suffrage should
not be given to a man's house or his lodgings, but to the man
himself. I believe in adult suffrage, male and female. (2)
Constituencies should be numerically equal, each having three members,
one retiring annually by rotation. (3) Cabinets should be chosen
annually by the members of the House of Commons, to whom alone they
should be responsible. (4) Payment of members and election expenses.
Members should receive reasonable 'wages' according to the ancient
practice of the Constitution, while all election expenses (not
strictly personal to the candidate) should be defrayed out of the
rates. (5) The Monarchy. If we are to have more kings or queens, their
cost ought not to exceed that of the President of the United States,
viz. _10,000l._ a year. 'The office of a king in this nation is
useless, burdensome, and dangerous, and ought to be abolished'
(Resolution of the Long Parliament, 1649). (6) The House of Lords. 'A
House of Peers in Parliament is useless and dangerous and ought to be
abolished.'"[585]

The Fabian Society proclaims: "To complete the foundation of the
democratic State, we need manhood suffrage, abolition of all poverty
disqualifications, abolition of the House of Lords, public payment of
candidature expenses, public payment of representatives, and annual
elections."[586]

"The problem how the Lords are to be abolished is of easy solution.
They cannot present themselves at the Gilded Chamber without writs,
and these a democratic Ministry could and would peremptorily stop.
Should they come without writs, Inspector Denning could be instructed
to take charge of them. Or the House of Commons could simply revive
its resolution of January 6, 1649, decreeing their abolition."[587]

Many Socialists are opposed not only to the House of Lords but to all
second chambers. "When the hereditary House is abolished, the demand
which will be made by reactionaries for a representative second
chamber must be sternly resisted. True, most nations have second
chambers in imitation of our pernicious example; but there is not one
of them, however constituted, whose history is not a conclusive
argument against such institutions. The second chambers of Europe and
America are nothing more than standing monuments of the gregarious
folly of mankind. Nations can no more have two wills than individuals.
A second chamber at one with the first is superfluous, in opposition
it is noxious."[588]

A large number of Socialists do not think that the democratisation of
the House of Commons and the abolition of the House of Lords will
suffice. They fear that party politics and party intrigues may become
more pernicious in a Labour Parliament than they have proved to be in
a middle-class Parliament. They fear that adult suffrage may not
improve matters, and that impecunious professional politicians may
prove worse than the class of politicians who up till now have sat in
Parliament. "We stand in England at the parting of the ways. One leads
to the payment of members and the creation of a class of professional
political adventurers; the other leads to the referendum and
initiative."[589]

"In the Republics of France and the United States the electors are
virtually endowed with male adult suffrage, and Labour representation
is facilitated by State payment of members and of their election
expenses. Yet the French Chamber, with its Panama and Southern Railway
scandals, in which the patriots have gorged their servile lusts, has
stood for many years before the nations as a monument of infamy. The
United States Congress has not a single Labour representative within
its walls, and the Government of the country is become a vile synonym
for corruption."[590] "In America the compensation of each Senator and
each Representative is fixed at five thousand dollars, or one thousand
pounds per year. In addition to this the members have special fares on
the railways, and many other perquisites. Yet the American
'Encyclopedia of Social Reform,' edited by W.D.P. Bliss, says, on page
325, 'Congressmen, notoriously, do not represent the people, but
special interests and great moneyed corporations. The Congress is
almost the only great national legislative body owned wholly by the
well-to-do. In the British Parliament, even after the Conservative
victories of the last election, there are thirteen Labour men. In
Congress there is not one."[591] "Better the stupid British hereditary
gentleman than the cunning politician-for-a-living. Better a Cabinet
of Chamberlains and Gladstones than a circus of conflicting
unscrupulous demagogues on the make."

"The Parliamentary system tends, not to the summoning of thoughtful
patriots to their country's service, but to the exaltation and
glorification of plausible windbags."[592] "The panacea of Labour
representation will not remedy those defects. It is in the eternal
nature of things that in the electoral competition of rival
personalities the scum must rise to the top. So long as self-seeking
is rewarded by the highest honours self-seeking will flourish."[593]
"A Parliament of Labour members would develop just the same tendency
as any other to division into parties commanded by rival ambitions,
between which the democratic vote would, as always, annul
itself."[594] "If there were five hundred delegates of Labour, if the
whole of the Cardiff Trade Unions Congress could be suddenly
translated to Parliament and power, there might still be some envious,
spiteful braggarts subterraneously scheming and gnawing to undermine
and engulf a rival, though a people's cause were wrecked in the
catastrophe. Leaders are always dangerous. The workmen have too many
leaders. Their first political necessity is to get rid of the
politicians. Therefore I would like to see abolished all Legislative
Chambers, Senates, and Councils of State."[595]

Views identical with the foregoing are held by many Socialists, and
therefore a Socialist writer has asked: "Why cannot the people, even
of a populous and extensive country, vote upon all laws?"[596]
"Instead of representation we shall have what is technically called
the referendum, or submission of all proposed measures to the people,
who must signify their approval by vote before the measures can pass
into law. This has been practised already to some extent in
Switzerland, both in national and cantonal affairs. It was first
proposed by Robespierre when he advised the king of France to say: 'My
people, here are the laws I have made for you. Will you accept
them?'"[597]

Another Socialist says: "It is impossible that any delegate should
completely represent the desires of ten or twenty thousand electors. No
two human beings are agreed about everything; and, in every election,
electors, in order to express approval of one cherished principle, are
driven to adopt half-a-dozen others which they bitterly
disapprove."[598] "The way to true democracy will never be found through
delegacy. The only safe way is through direct legislation--through the
referendum and initiative. The referendum and initiative does not mean
more laws, but fewer, shorter, simpler, and more understandable
ones."[599] "What is wanted is neither aristocracy, plutocracy, nor
demagoguecracy, but democracy--the one governing system which never has
been tried. The people must learn that the game of politics is not an
unfathomable science, but a struggle of rival interests in which no
delegate can so well represent their needs as themselves."[600] "The
referendum quite changes the character of the Federal Assembly. It
ceases to be a Parliament, and becomes merely a drafting committee. In
other countries the initiative comes from above; the Parliament and the
King are together the legal sovereign. In Switzerland it comes from
below, for the legal sovereign is the electorate."[601]

Other Socialists are strongly opposed to the referendum: "Democracy,
as understood by the Fabian Society, means simply the control of the
Administration by freely elected representatives of the people. The
Fabian Society energetically repudiates all conceptions of democracy
as a system by which the technical work of Government administration,
and the appointment of public officials, shall be carried on by
referendum or any other form of direct popular decision. Such
arrangements may be practical in a village community, but not in the
complicated industrial civilisations which are ripening for
Social-Democracy."[602] "The people can only judge political measures
by their effect when they have come into operation; they cannot plan
measures themselves, or foresee what their effect will be, or give
precise instructions to their representatives; nor can any honest
representative tell, until he has heard a measure thoroughly discussed
by representatives of all other sections of the working class, what
form the measure should take so as to keep the interests of his
constituents in due subordination to those of the community. It is to
be considered, further, that intelligent reformers, especially
workmen who have grasped the principles of Socialism, are always in
the minority; they may address themselves with success to the
sympathies of the masses and gain their confidence; but the dry
details of the legislative and administrative steps by which they,
move towards their goal can never be made interesting or intelligible
to the ordinary voter. For these reasons the referendum, in theory the
most democratic of popular institutions, is in practice the most
reactionary."[603]

Other Socialists are in favour of a reformed Parliament which is to be
a glorified trade union congress. "Each industry would have adequate
representation in the Parliament of Industry, and this Parliament
would connect and harmonise the affairs of the whole. In the future
society the descendant of the union of to-day will be the centre of
social life and the administration of things. Let 'workers of all
trades unite.'"[604] Others, again, call for a Parliament of a frankly
revolutionary type which is characteristically called a "National
Convention." "What is the use of the suffrage? It has but one use--to
enable the workers, as a class, to take peaceful possession of the
power of the State, so as to use that power for social purposes. But
to do this you must have paid delegates from your own class, not
timeserving unpaid representatives from the classes which rob you; you
must put your servants, not your masters, at Westminster; you must
have a National Convention of the People, not a House of the
Confiscating Classes."[605] Readers will no doubt remember the French
National Convention and its reign of terror and crime which culminated
in the execution of Louis XVI. and Marie Antoinette.

Many Socialists, like most Anarchists, are utterly opposed to
Parliamentary government and majority rule, preferring rule by
violence to rule by argument. "What has hitherto been called the will
of the people, or the will of the majority as manifested in the modern
constitutional State, does not express any act of will at all, but the
absence of will. It is not the will but the apathy of the majority
that is represented."[606] "The preaching of the _cultus_ of the
majority in the modern State is an absurdity which can only for a
moment go down with the Parliamentary Radical who is wallowing in the
superstitions of exploded Whiggery."[607] "The Socialist has a
distinct aim in view. If he can carry the initial stages towards its
realisation by means of the count-of-heads majority, by all means let
him do so. If, on the other hand, he sees the possibility of carrying
a salient portion of his programme by trampling on this majority, by
all means let him do this also."[608]

The Women's Suffrage problem has lately come to the front, and it is
characteristic and noteworthy that it has been taken up with the
greatest energy, we might almost say with hysterical energy, by
Socialist women. They tell us, "We desire the stain removed from our
womanhood. Remove the hateful stigma from your mothers, your wives,
and your daughters, which places the noblest and the best of them in a
lower position than the most uncultured and immoral specimen of the
male sex who pays his rates and taxes."[609] According to a woman
Socialist, the Votes-for-Women problem is "the greatest moral and
spiritual problem that has torn asunder the souls of men since the
fall of Adam and the coming of Christ."[610] "Society has no brighter
hope, humanity no larger promise than her coming, radiant with health
and happiness, love and liberty shining from her eyes, the beautiful,
high-souled, sister-mother of the men that are going to be."[611] "The
State cannot spare from its high councils the deep wisdom of its
mothers and the comradeship of its wives."[612]

It is obvious why Socialist women demand the vote with almost frenzied
fervour, and why the various Socialist societies and parties support
their agitation. Socialists believe that their wives, and the women
workers in general, will vote for Socialism, and that most other women
will be indifferent and abstain from voting. Therefore we learn:
"Socialism in the only true sense of that term, in the only wise
conception of that state, can never be brought into the fulness of its
being until women have been made equal with men as citizens."[613]
"The benches of the National Chamber may yet be seen accommodating
three hundred and thirty-five intelligent women."[614] In referring to
the elections in Finland, Mrs. Snowden writes: "To Socialists, an
interesting point is the fact that, in spite of the women voters, who
are supposed to be retrograde in politics, by far the largest number
of party votes recorded were for the Socialist party."[615]

The claims of women for the franchise have been supported by large
majorities at important meetings of Socialists. The resolution of the
Independent Labour Party, "That this Conference declares in favour of
adult suffrage and the political equality of the sexes, and considers
that the right of suffrage should immediately be extended to women on
the same conditions as men," was carried by 236 votes to 24.[616] The
Social-Democratic Federation resolved: "That this Conference declares
that the time has arrived when equal rights of citizenship be extended
to all women and men of full age; urges all members to take advantage
of the present suffrage agitation to focus public opinion upon the
only logical solution of the question, viz. the abolition of existing
franchise qualifications and the establishment of universal adult
suffrage; and calls upon them actively to work for this practical
measure of reform." This resolution was carried by 42 votes to 9.[617]

The recent clamour of "Votes for Women" emanated not so much from
philosophic Radicals who had read John Stuart Mill as from Socialists,
and many non-Socialist women have become their dupes. Socialist women
hope that they will have the voting all to themselves. Therefore they,
and most men Socialists also, would very likely resist to the utmost
all proposals which would make voting compulsory for _all_ women.

FOOTNOTES:

[567] Thompson, _Hail Referendum_, p. 3.

[568] Davidson, _The Old Order and the New_, p. 99.

[569] Thompson, _Hail Referendum_, pp. 4, 5.

[570] Thompson, _The Referendum and Initiative in Practice_, p. 4.

[571] Blatchford, _Britain for the British_, p. 152.

[572] Davidson, _The Gospel of the Poor_, p. 59.

[573] Washington, _Whose Dog art Thou?_ p. 14.

[574] Thompson, _The Only Way to Democracy_, p. 8.

[575] _The Socialist Annual_, 1907, p. 43.

[576] Neil, _Songs of the Social Revolution_, p. 21.

[577] Thompson, _Hail Referendum_, p. 7.

[578] Davidson, _The New Book of Kings_, p. 118.

[579] Hyndman, _Colonies and Dependencies_, p. 9.

[580] _The Socialist Annual_, 1907, p. 58.

[581] _The Reformers' Year Book_, 1907, p. 121.

[582] Councillor Glyde, _Britain's Disgrace_, p. 30.

[583] _Report Annual Conference of Independent Labour Party_, 1907, p.
52.

[584] _Socialism Made Plain_, p. 7.

[585] Davidson, _A Democrat's Address_, p. 4.

[586] _Fabian Essays in Socialism_, p. 187.

[587] Davidson, _The Book of Lords_, p. 78.

[588] Davidson, _The House of Lords, Useless, Dangerous, &c._, p. 13.

[589] Thompson, _The Only Way to Democracy_, p. 11.

[590] Thompson, _Hail Referendum_, p. 8.

[591] Thompson, _The Only Way to Democracy_, p. 10.

[592] Thompson, _The Referendum, &c._, p. 3.

[593] _Ibid._ p. 1.

[594] _Ibid._ p. 16.

[595] Thompson, _Hail Referendum_, pp. 8, 9.

[596] Gronlund, _Co-operative Commonwealth_, p. 130.

[597] _Ibid._ p. 129.

[598] Thompson, _The Only Way to Democracy_, p. 4.

[599] _Ibid._ p. 15.

[600] Thompson, _The Referendum, &c._, p. 5.

[601] _Ibid._ p. 11.

[602] _Report on Fabian Policy_, p. 5

[603] _Report on Fabian Policy_, p. 13.

[604] Kessack, _The Capitalist Wilderness and the Way Out_, p. 3.

[605] _What Use is a Vote?_ p. 1.

[606] Bax, _The Ethics of Socialism_, p. 120.

[607] _Ibid._ p. 128.

[608] _Ibid._ pp. 127, 128.

[609] Ethel Snowden, _The Woman Socialist_, p. 20.

[610] _Ibid._ p. 19.

[611] Ethel Snowden, _The Woman Socialist_, Introd.

[612] _Ibid._ p. 93.

[613] _Ibid._ p. 97.

[614] _Ibid._ p. 92.

[615] _Ibid._ p. 98.

[616] _Independent Labour Party Report, Annual Conference_, 1907, p.
45.

[617] _Report of 27th Annual Conference, 1907, Social-Democratic
Federation_, p. 26.



CHAPTER XVI

THE ATTITUDE OF THE SOCIALISTS TOWARDS THE TWO PARLIAMENTARY PARTIES


From the Socialist point of view there is for all practical purposes
no difference between the two great parties. Both are representative,
not of the people, but of capitalism. Both are hostile to labour.

"The difference between Liberalism and Toryism is merely a question of
phraseology; there is no fundamental clashing of principle. Both stand
for the private ownership of the means of life. They both support a
competitive state of society with its inevitable exploitation of the
wealth-producers."[618] "Both the Conservative and Liberal parties are
agreed in supporting private ownership in the instruments of
production for the purposes of profit-making. Their differences are
merely superficial and their programmes admittedly offer no solution
of the problems of poverty. The Independent Labour Party regards them
both as equally the enemies of labour, and in fact merely as two
sections of the entrenched forces of plutocracy."[619] "There are not
really two parties in the State. There is but one great party, that of
privilege, divided into two factions, labelled Whig and Tory, or
Liberal and Conservative. Both do much the same things in office. The
mimic warfare which they wage with each other, no shrewd observer
takes seriously. It is merely a pleasant game of which the stakes are
the spoils of office and patronage. An 'organised hypocrisy' is but a
mild description of an English Government, whether Liberal or
Conservative. The Liberal and the Conservative are the two thieves
between whom the people are evermore crucified."[620] "Neither of the
political parties is of any use to the workers, because both the
political parties are paid, officered, and led by capitalists whose
interests are opposed to the interests of the workers. The Socialist
laughs at the pretended friendship of Liberal and Tory leaders for the
workers."[621] "There's no difference whatever between Bannerman, the
Scottish landowner, and Balfour, whose uncle made _200,000l._ out of
army contracts in India in four years. These people are entirely
antagonistic to the worker."[622]

The assertions of the Liberals that they are the true friends of the
people, that they have always fought for liberty and democracy, that
they have given the vote to the people, and that they trust the
people, are treated with derision and contempt. "Liberalism has
historically opposed itself alike to Toryism, landed interest, and
democracy, working-class interest whenever that interest appeared as a
distinct political party."[623] "Since 1832 the Liberals had eight
opportunities to give justice to the voteless multitude. In every
election from 1832 to 1865 solemn pledges were made by the Liberals
that a Reform Bill should be introduced as soon as they were elected,
and each time these pledges were ignored after they had secured power
and position."[624] As regards the giving of the franchise, the
Conservatives have not been much better than the Liberals. "Neither
party can claim much credit for its Reform Bills, extorted as they
have been, not by belief in democracy, but by fear of the opposing
faction. Even now the citizen is tricked out of his vote by every
possible legal and administrative technicality; so that more than
one-third of our adult men are unenfranchised, together with the whole
of the other sex. Neither the Conservative party nor the self-styled
'Party of the Masses,' gives proof of any real desire to give the vote
to this not inconsiderable remnant; but both sides pay lip-homage to
democracy."[625]

Socialists say that the claims of the Liberals to the gratitude of the
masses are hypocritical. Their policy has not been based on
philanthropy, but on a sordid selfishness. They attacked the landed
interest not in order to benefit the people, but in order to make
themselves supreme in the State and to fill their own purses.
Liberalism, with talk of liberty of the individual and of freedom of
trade on its lips, is in reality the representative of capitalism of
the most heartless kind. "The political power of the landed classes
was to be broken; the capitalists were to be allowed to do as they
liked with their own; a state of individualism was to be established;
it was to be a fair field for all and devil take the hindmost. So far
as politics and the law are concerned, this ideal of Liberalism has
been realised. Land is no longer supreme. Money ranks with it.
Everyone has a chance of obtaining money. _Ergo_, we are a democratic
nation."[626] "With the change in economic conditions, with the growth
of manufacture, the rise of the bourgeoisie meant the downfall of
feudalism. The plutocrat supplanted the baron, capitalism became king.
The 'old nobility' of England to-day are successful brewers, bankers,
and traders, and the Nonconformist Conscience dominates in the place
of Holy Mother Church."[627] "The representatives of this class in
Parliament repealed the Corn Laws, securing cheap bread for their
workers at the expense of the landlords and the farmers. The new
masters opposed the Factory Acts, championed by Tories such as Lord
Ashley, Thomas Sadler, and 'King Richard' Oastler, They fostered
railway development, at the public expense, so that they might have
quick and cheap transit for their manufactures."[628]

The Liberals have shown their selfishness, heartlessness, and greed by
opposing the greatest boon to workers, the Factory Acts. "Was it the
Liberal party which initiated the Factory Acts, which were certainly
the greatest step towards the elevation of the working class that was
ever taken in the course of the last century? Oh, no! So far from the
Liberal party initiating the Factory Acts, we know perfectly well that
the Liberal party--leading members of the Liberal party, like Mr. John
Bright and Mr. Richard Cobden--fiercely and bitterly opposed the
Factory Acts. We know that no one fought more strenuously against the
ten-hour day than Mr. John Bright. We know that all these canting
Liberal hypocrites--I can call them nothing else--said with regard to
the ten-hour day, just what they say now about the proposal for an
eight-hour day--one of the proposals we put forward in order to get
rid of this hideous difficulty of the unemployed. The argument was put
forward then, that the restriction of the hours of labour would ruin
our industries. Precisely the same argument was put forward when it
was proposed to put a stop to the terrible over-work of the children
deep down in the bowels of the earth. Women and children were
mercilessly driven by brutal overseers at their task, and this was
maintained by your Liberal party in order that they might obtain large
profits out of their white slaves. Only let the Liberal party appeal
to history in its claim for working-class support, and then the
working class will arrive at the conclusion to which many of us have
already come--that the Liberal party, so far from being entitled to
our support, is entitled to our greatest loathing and hatred."[629]
"As to the Factory Acts, it was not a question of Messrs. Bright and
Cobden alone, but of the whole organised body of the Liberal party,
which opposed the Factory Acts, and they were only carried by the
hostility of the Tory party to the Liberals for having dared to
interfere with the Corn Laws. The Factory Acts were passed in
retaliation by the landlord party against the capitalist party."[630]

"Mr. Gladstone was the only member who endeavoured to delay the Bill
which delivered women and children from mines and pits; and never did
he say a word on behalf of the factory children until, when defending
slavery in the West Indies, he taunted Buxton with indifference to the
slavery in England."[631] "If I were to draw a comparison between the
Liberal and the Tory parties, I should say that the Tory party has
done more in that direction than the Liberal party has done."[632] Mr.
Blatchford wrote in the "Clarion" that "the Liberal party has never
helped the trade unions," and proved this assertion by giving a
detailed statement of the trade union legislation, which showed that
modern trade unionism was constantly opposed by the Liberals and was
created by the Conservatives.[633]

In consequence of its record, Socialists see in Liberalism not a friend,
but an enemy. "Liberalism stands for individualism, and the Liberal
capitalist and trader are bitterly opposed to the trade union and
co-operative society. They found that these bodies, however, were
beginning to exercise an important, if indirect, influence upon their
party. Liberal leaders, alive to the importance of vote-catching, began
to angle for the support of the working-class organisations."[634] "We
have no reason for supporting the Liberal party any more than the Tory
party. Men do not gather grapes from thorns, nor figs from thistles. The
Liberal party is to-day what it has always been--an organisation of
capitalists formed to serve the interests of the capitalist class."[635]

Liberalism, with its championship of exaggerated individualism, stands
not for liberty, but for administrative anarchy. "The trouble with
nineteenth century Liberalism is that, by instinct, by tradition, and
by the positive precepts of its past exponents, it 'thinks in
individuals.' It visualises the world as a world of independent
Roundheads, with separate ends, and abstract rights to pursue those
ends. Nineteenth century Liberalism is, in fact, axiomatically hostile
to the State. It is not 'little Englandism' that is the matter with
those who still cling to such views; it is, as Huxley and Matthew
Arnold correctly diagnosed, administrative Nihilism. So far as
political action is concerned, they tend to be inveterately negative.
They have hung up temperance reform and educational reform for a
quarter of a century, because, instead of seeking to enable the
citizen to refresh himself without being poisoned or inebriated and to
get the children thoroughly taught, they have wanted primarily to
revenge their outraged temperance principles on the publican and their
outraged Nonconformist principles on the Church. Of such Liberals it
may be said that the destructive revolutionary tradition is in their
bones; they will reform nothing unless it can be done at the expense
of their enemies."[636]

"The question is frequently put: 'Why are Socialists so much opposed
to Liberalism?' But a little serious reflection will explain the
circumstance. Liberalism is really more conservative than Toryism.
This is not a paradox, it is a fact. Toryism stands for government,
and it does not necessarily follow that it stands for bad government.
Liberalism, on the other hand, admittedly seeks an unrestrained
operation of the individual will. It is opposed to government. It does
not consciously subscribe to the recognition of our social being. It
regards individuals as self-contained units operating in separate
spheres. The less government we have the better, is the keynote of
Liberalism. This was Emerson's theory, and Emerson was an
anarchist."[637] "The modern Conservative candidate is politically a
man without prejudices. No abstract principle forbids him to listen
sympathetically to any proposal for reform. Hence he seems on the
platform less belated than the nineteenth century Liberal with his
stock of shop-soiled principles at full price."[638] "In many people's
minds the terms 'Liberalism' and 'insincerity' are held to be
synonymous. Lacking a central idea of its own, and necessarily failing
to nourish on borrowed ones, there is nothing before the Liberal party
but decay. For progress in the future we must look to a party which
has an ideal and is prepared to stand by it."[639]

Before the general election of 1906 Socialists wrote: "The political
force of Liberalism is spent. During the last twenty years its
aspirations and its watchwords, its ideas of daily life, and its
conceptions of the universe, have become increasingly distasteful to
the ordinary citizen as he renews his youth from generation to
generation. Its worship of individual liberty evokes no enthusiasm.
Its reliance on 'freedom of contract' and 'supply and demand,' with
its corresponding 'voluntaryism' in religion and philanthropy, now
seems to work out disastrously for the masses who are too poor to have
what the economists call an 'effective demand' for even the minimum
conditions of physical and mental health necessary to national
well-being."[640] "For the last twenty years the Liberal party has
been trying to fit itself with a new programme. It took up Home Rule
for Ireland, but found that split the party; it took up temperance
reform, quite a deviation from its old policy of individual liberty,
and again found itself divided; it avowed friendliness to Labour, and
frightened off still another batch of supporters. The Party of
Progress finds itself now in the unhappy position that its basic idea
is old-fashioned, and when it tries to assimilate a new one it becomes
a case of putting new wine into old bottles. That is the sad plight of
the Liberal party. The party is merely living from hand to mouth as an
anti-Tory party, hoping to profit by the mistakes of its rival. The
party has split up on temperance, on labour, on the war, on
Imperialism, on education, simply because there is no central
vivifying ideal to bind together and shape the policy. Can the party
adopt a new ideal? is the great question. Can it drop its fundamental
idea of individualism and take up the idea of co-operation? and the
answer is emphatically 'No.'"[641]

The philosopher of British Socialism thinks that, owing to the
principles and attitude of the Liberal party, Liberalism and Socialism
are deadly enemies. "Liberalism, in so far as it aims at maintaining
the liberty of private property, is reactionary and false to the
principle which it has always implicitly or explicitly maintained, of
the right of each and every individual to a full and free development.
In so far as Liberalism does this, in so far as it assumes as
axiomatic a state of society based on unrestricted freedom of private
property, and proceeds to adjust social arrangements solely or
primarily in the interests of the owners of private property, in so
far Liberalism and Socialism are death enemies."[642] The leading
Fabian organ stated: "A party subsisting on illusions, concealments,
and hypocrisies, could hardly survive in the atmosphere engendered by
a real fight like that between plutocracy and Socialism. For some time
it may contrive to subsist by telling the electorate that the only
true way of resisting Socialism is by means of Liberal reforms, while
at the same time (with doubtful consistency) asking for Socialist
support on the ground that it goes 'part of the way.' But its best
chance is probably to divert public attention from Socialism to other
matters, and this the Prime Minister evidently feels. The existence of
the Liberal party is incompatible with the existence of intellectual
honesty in its leaders. And with all his faults Sir Henry is too
fundamentally honest a man to lead it effectively at the present
juncture. The reins had better be handed over to Mr. Winston
Churchill, against whom no such objection can be urged."[643]

Before the Liberals set to work in 1906, Mr. Philip Snowden wrote: "It
might be said that in the next Parliament the Liberal party is on its
last trial."[644] That trial has had, as far as the Socialists and the
Labour party are concerned, an unsatisfactory result. Before the
general election Socialists asked themselves: "Will the Liberal party
come into power with a clear mandate for reform which even the House
of Lords will not dare entirely to obstruct, or will it shuffle into
power on the misdoings of its predecessors and carry out a halfhearted
policy in the hope of not estranging any of its moderate followers? If
it takes the latter course, it will win the undying contempt of all
real reformers; it will be the last time that a Liberal Administration
holds sway, and Labour will be left the only really progressive force
in the country."[645] Twelve months later, in a review of the activity
of the Liberal Government, "The Reformers' Year Book" stated: "The
story of Chinese labour in the Transvaal during the year 1906 has been
one of continuous perfidy on the part of the Liberal Government at
home. Returned to power largely on account of the opposition of the
people of this country to Chinese slavery in any shape or form, they
have burked the main issue at every point, and only carried out a few
minor changes which have been totally ineffective, retaining all the
while a hypocritical devotion to the popular ideal."[646] "The Liberal
Government has failed entirely to justify the confidence reposed in it
by the electorate, not only upon the newer questions as they have
arisen--such as the war in Natal--but on the very matters upon which
it was returned to power, of which the chief was the continuance of
Chinese labour in the Transvaal."[647]

Socialists think that the Liberal agitation against the House of Lords
is insincere and hypocritical. "Sir Henry Campbell-Bannerman's brave
talk about fighting the House of Lords sounds very much like blarney
when we call to mind the fact that he has beaten all records in the
creation of peers. He has not yet been two years in office, but he has
managed to make no less than twenty new peers. They include a tobacco
man, a whisky man, a newspaper man who sold his journal to the Tories,
several usurers and company promoters."[648]

The assurance of the Liberals that they are the friends of Labour is
doubted in view of the attitude of the party towards Labour
candidates. "Liberals are continually saying that there is no quarrel
between Liberalism and Labour. Why, then, do we have the constantly
recurring spectacle of a middle-class Liberal being run against a
popular and capable man who can claim to directly represent the people
who live by the work of their hands and heads as distinguished from
those who live upon rent, dividends, or interest? Are there not even
upon the Liberal side plenty of landlords, railway directors, bankers,
stockbrokers, and employers of labour, that a seat cannot be spared to
a workman till he wins it in despite of Liberal and Tory opposition
alike?"[649]

An amalgamation of the Liberals and the Socialist-Labour members is
impossible. "Liberal-Labourism" is a delusion. "Labour men and
capitalist Liberals are beginning to see that individualism and
co-operation will not mix. If Liberalism to-day swallows Labourism, it
will have a severe attack of indigestion. Mr. Keir Hardie in the
Liberal ranks would do more to disrupt and destroy the Liberal party
than he can possibly do from the outside. Labour, it is true, might
capture the Liberal party, and this is advocated by some, but if this
took place the party would wither away. The capitalist element would
drop out and Labour would be left alone. Labour might just as well
build up a new party outside. It is no use capturing a weapon which
crumbles to pieces as soon as you grasp it. Better make a new
weapon."[650] "The Labour party in the House of Commons is as yet not
disliked only because as yet it is not feared. Until it has made
itself both disliked and feared, it will be far short of having
fulfilled the objects of its very existence. It is not saying too much
to say that in the very near future the measure of the Labour party's
effectiveness will be its unpopularity in the House of Commons.
Acrimonious as are the feelings often evoked by political
controversies, they are urbanity itself as compared with the passions
aroused over economic issues. The limits of Liberal concession must
needs soon be reached. The Liberal-Labour candidate is but a transient
phenomenon of our time, and with his disappearance the storm will
break."[651]

The great Liberal majority was created by accident and it is rapidly
dissolving. "The Liberals succeeded to power through no merit of their
own, but merely through the errors of their opponents. Liberalism is
shedding its supporters at both ends, and is rapidly on the way to
becoming a mere _caput mortuum_."[652] It is true that "at the general
election many Socialists climbed into Parliament on the backs of the
Liberals,"[653] but Liberal-Socialist co-operation is not possible.

Many Socialists believe that Liberalism and Socialism are fundamentally
antagonistic, and that therefore Socialism must fight its battles
unaided. "In Great Britain, as in France, Belgium, Germany, and Italy,
the cleavage has now been definitely marked between capitalist
Liberalism and Socialist Democracy."[654] "Political power, properly
so-called, is merely the organised power of one class for oppressing
another."[655] "All political parties are but the expression of class
interests, and as the interest of the working class is diametrically
opposed to the interests of all sections of the master class, the party
seeking working class emancipation must be hostile to every other
party."[656] "We shall see Liberals and Tories working together in
cordial agreement, as they do in Germany, to prevent the election of
the only politicians who can really profess to go to the poll on the
broad ground of citizenship--labour done by hand or brain for the
community, as apart from idleness and pleasure-seeking supported by
rents, dividends, and interest taken from the community."[657]

"As the machinery of government, including the armed forces of the
nation, exists only to conserve the monopoly by the capitalist class
of the wealth taken from the workers, the working class must organise
consciously and politically for the conquest of the powers of
government, national and local, in order that this machinery,
including these forces, may be converted from an instrument of
oppression into the agent of emancipation and the overthrow of
privilege, aristocratic and plutocratic."[658] "The property question
is the issue which is creating a new political cleavage in the State.
Somewhat dimly at present, but with growing clearness of vision, the
worker begins to see that he will remain a menial, outcast and
forlorn, until he has made himself master of the machine he tends, and
the soil he tills."[659]

"The only true position for a genuine working-class party is that of
open hostility to all who support capitalism in any shape or form.
This is the safe, sure, and scientific position."[660] "Liberals will
declare and do declare in most pathetic tones that they have done
more, and will do more, for the workers than the Tories have done or
will do. And Liberals will assure you that they are really more
anxious to help the workers than we Socialists believe. But those are
side issues. The main thing to remember is, that even if the Liberals
are all they claim to be, they will never do as much for Labour as
Labour could do for itself."[661]

    Oh heed not the talk of those fat agitators.
      Who prattle of Gladstone, or Churchill, or worse;
    Expect not your rights from professional praters,
      But manfully trust in your courage and force.[662]

    Onward! Sons of Labour! nerve ye for the fray;
    Soon shall beam the dawning of a brighter day.
    Keep the red flag flying, herald of the free--
    On yourselves relying, on to liberty.

    See! the coming glory streams across the plains.
    Soon the Sons of Labour shall take up the reins.
    Then in every nation shall our Cause increase
    Till it reigns triumphant--pledge of joy and peace.[663]

On the other hand, there are Socialists who think that Socialism
cannot succeed if it cuts itself adrift from the great national
parties and pursues a purely Socialistic Labour policy. "A member of
an Imperial Parliament is an Imperialist in spite of himself. A party
which concerns itself with sectional interests only will soon cease to
be a party; it will degenerate into a group, and as such it cannot
hope to receive serious backing in the country."[664]

Many Socialists feel confident that they will conquer power by
conquering Parliament. "Parliament has always governed the country in
the interest of the class to which the majority of its members
belonged. It governed in the interest of the country gentlemen in the
old days when they were in a majority in the House of Commons; it has
governed in the interests of the capitalists and employers since they
won a majority by the Reform Bill of 1832; and it will govern in the
interest of the people when the majority is selected from the
wage-earning class."[665] "No sooner shall two hundred Labour members
be firmly seated upon the cross-benches of the House, than both
parties will approach them with bended knee, bringing gold and
frankincense and programmes."[666] "There is a fine impartiality about
the policeman and the soldier, who are the cutting edge of the State
power. They take their wages and obey their orders without asking
questions. If those orders are to demolish the homestead of every
peasant who refuses to take the bread out of his children's mouths in
order that his landlord may have money to spend as an idle gentleman
in London, the soldier obeys. But if his orders were to help the
police to pitch his lordship into Holloway Gaol until he had paid an
income-tax of twenty shillings on every pound of his unearned income,
the soldier would do that with equal devotion to duty, and perhaps
with a certain private zest that might be lacking in the other case.
Now these orders come ultimately from the State, meaning in this
country the House of Commons. A House of Commons consisting of 660
gentlemen and 10 workmen will order the soldier to take money from the
people for the landlords. A House of Commons consisting of 660 workmen
and 10 gentlemen will probably, unless the 660 are fools, order the
soldier to take money from the landlords for the people."[667]

FOOTNOTES:

[618] _John Burns and the Unemployed_, p. 1.

[619] Independent Labour Party, _A Statement of Principles_, p. 3.

[620] Davidson, _The New Book of Kings_, p. 7.

[621] Blatchford, _Britain for the British_, p. 151.

[622] Casey, _Who are the Bloodsuckers?_ p. 16.

[623] Bax, _Outlooks from the New Standpoint_, p. 70.

[624] Councillor Glyde, _Liberal and Tory Hypocrisy_, p. 12.

[625] _Fabian Essays in Socialism_, pp. 39, 40.

[626] Penny, _The Political Labour Movement_, p. 2.

[627] Quelch, _Economics of Labour_, pp. 9, 10.

[628] Leatham, _The Evolution of the Fourth Estate_, p. 11.

[629] _Should the Working-class Support the Liberal Party?_ p. 10.

[630] _Ibid._ p. 19.

[631] Diack, _Socialism and Current Politics_, p. 10.

[632] _Should the Working-class Support the Liberal Party?_ p. 19.

[633] _Clarion_, February 16, 1906.

[634] Penny, _The Political Labour Movement_, p. 2.

[635] _Should the Working-class Support the Liberal Party?_ p. 13.

[636] _Twentieth Century Politics_, p. 4.

[637] Russell Williams, _The Difficulties of Socialism_, pp. 3, 4.

[638] _Twentieth Century Politics_, p. 6.

[639] Penny, _The Political Labour Movement_, p. 4.

[640] _Twentieth Century Politics_, p. 2.

[641] Penny, _The Political Labour Movement_, p. 3.

[642] Bax, _Outlooks from the New Standpoint_, pp. 69, 70.

[643] _New Age_, October 10, 1907.

[644] _Daily News_, January 20, 1906.

[645] _The Reformers' Year Book_, 1906, Preface p. 6.

[646] _Ibid._ 1907, p. 104.

[647] _Ibid._ Preface.

[648] _Clarion_, November 1, 1907.

[649] Leatham, _The Evolution of the Fourth Estate_, p. 14.

[650] Penny, _The Political Labour Movement_, p. 13.

[651] _Socialism and Labour Policy_, p. 14.

[652] _New Age_, November 7, 1907.

[653] _Ibid._

[654] _Clarion_, January 19, 1906.

[655] Marx and Engels, _Manifesto_, p. 22.

[656] _Declaration of Socialist Party of Great Britain_, see Appendix.

[657] Leatham, _The Evolution of the Fourth Estate_, p. 16.

[658] _Declaration of Principles of Socialist Party of Great Britain._

[659] Keir Hardie, _From Serfdom to Socialism_, p. 30.

[660] Marx and Engels, _Manifesto of the Communist Party_, p. 16.

[661] Blatchford, _Britain for the British_, pp. 148, 149.

[662] _Social-Democratic Federation Song Book_, p. 30.

[663] _Clarion Song Book_, p. 21.

[664] _Socialism and Labour Policy_, p. 3.

[665] _What Socialism Is_, p. 3.

[666] Leakey, _Co-operators and Labour Platform_, p. 16.

[667] Shaw, _The Impossibilities of Anarchism_, p. 26.



CHAPTER XVII

SOCIALISM AND LOCAL GOVERNMENT


Many Socialists, especially the Fabians, hope to introduce Socialistic
principles and Socialistic rule into Great Britain rather through the
local than through the national authorities. They are strenuously
exerting themselves to bring about that result, and so far their
exertions have been by no means unsuccessful.

"Socialists to-day are working in the towns with a twofold object. (1)
To level up their districts. If Glasgow has municipal telephones,
there is a very good precedent for Liverpool, Manchester, Bradford,
Leeds, &c., doing likewise. If Liverpool owns a municipal milk-supply,
London, Manchester, Bradford, Leeds, must be brought into line. Each
town must adopt the good points from every other town. (2) To urge
their districts to launch out into something new."[668] "The property
held and worked and controlled by municipalities already exceeds
_500,000,000l._ sterling in value, and is being added to yearly. This
process has but to continue long enough to ensure that every industry
will pass under public control, and thus State Socialism will become
an accomplished fact by a gradual process of easy transition."[669]

"The proper sphere of municipal activity includes everything a
municipality can do better than a private company."[670] "The
immediate object should be to municipalise all those services which
are necessary to a healthy life. Food, fuel, clothing, shelter--these
are required by all--and no man should have the right to deny them to
any worker. We must not stop at municipal trams. We must not stop at
municipal gas. We must not stop at municipal electricity. These are
only stepping-stones. Not until we can say that poverty and disease
and unemployment are abolished out of the land shall we have the right
to discuss the limits of municipal trading."[671] "The economic forces
which replaced the workshop by the factory will replace the private
shop by the municipal store, and the private factory by the municipal
one."[672]

According to Socialist teaching the destruction of private enterprise
by municipal undertakings will be a blessing to all citizens. "Where a
city supplies its own gas there is no 'middle-man.' The corporation
stands in the place of the 'middle-man,' and as the corporation is
elected by the citizens the people are thus in the position of getting
their own gas made and paying for it in their own way. Some of the
citizens are makers of gas, or workmen; most of the citizens are users
of gas, or consumers; and all of the citizens are owners and managers
of the gasworks and of the gas supply."[673]

The suppression of the "unnecessary middleman" sounds so very
plausible that it is certain to prove an excellent election cry. But
has the middleman really disappeared when a city corporation takes his
place? Does the corporation-middleman supply gas gratis? Are the
private middleman's profits not distributed to a host of corporation
officials in the shape of substantial salaries? The transfer of
gasworks, &c., from private hands to a city corporation is no doubt
very beneficial to those who draw the corporation salaries. It may be
very profitable to the local politicians and their hangers-on. Jobs
may be had as a reward for political support. But the citizens may
find the gas to be no cheaper and the rates to be considerably higher
after the suppression of the "unnecessary middleman." And will it then
console him that he is the "owner and manager of the gasworks and of
the gas supply"?

Under the heading "The Justice of Abolishing the Private Trader" one
of the leading champions of municipal Socialism writes: "Is it unfair
to take away the living of the private trader? Then it is unfair to
take away the living of the unemployed, the twelve millions on the
verge of starvation, and the thousands slain annually by poverty and
preventable disease. I say that the welfare of the nation must be
considered before the profits of the monopolists and the wasteful
freedom of the small trader. Under the present system a large
proportion of the population have so deteriorated in health and
stamina as to endanger the existence of the nation. Private enterprise
and competition are responsible for nine-tenths of the misery and
suffering of our twenty million poor. But we must not attempt to alter
the conditions because the small private trader would be ruined.
Nevertheless the system is going to be altered, whether the small
trader likes it or not."[674]

The foregoing are typical Socialist arguments. In the first place, the
writer grossly exaggerates existing poverty by speaking of "twenty
million poor." Then he boldly asserts that all poverty is due to
private enterprise and that municipal enterprise will abolish it. So
far municipal enterprise has not even succeeded in diminishing
poverty. On the contrary, with the phenomenal growth of municipal
enterprise in Great Britain pauperism, actual and percentual, has also
grown at an alarming rate. It is significant that poverty and
distress have increased most rapidly, and have become most acute, in
those localities in which municipal enterprise has been most active
and in which Socialist councils have held undisputed sway, as, for
instance, in East and West Ham and Poplar. Municipal enterprise, by
increasing the rates--and, with the rates, the rents--has increased
the general cost of living without at the same time increasing
production. On the contrary, it has driven factories away through high
rates. Therefore municipal enterprise has increased the expenditure of
the general body of workers without increasing their earnings, and
consequently has directly increased the existing poverty which it has
promised to abolish. Municipal enterprise has succeeded chiefly in
giving from the rates high wages to municipal employees at the cost of
all other workers.

Municipal Socialists rather rely on force than on justice in dealing
with private business men. "For private traders to fight against
municipalisation is a short-sighted policy. One thing is certain--they
have to go. 'What! Compete with us with the ratepayers' money? Our own
money? What injustice!' says the small trader."[675] This just
objection of the ratepayers is answered with a contemptible quibble.
"The small trader is mistaken. The municipality does not use their
money, and would not use their money, under the supposed
circumstances. If the London County Council decided to open 1,000
bread-shops, how would they raise the capital required? Not by taking
the ratepayers' money, or the private traders' money, but by going
into the money market and borrowing on the credit of all the citizens.
Suppose _100,000l._ were required? Not a penny would come out of the
rates. The credit of all the citizens of London is so good that they
can borrow all the money they want without any difficulty."[676] In
other words, the Social-"Democratic" politician claims for himself the
right of arbitrarily depriving citizens who possess property of that
property and to ruin them by underselling them. They borrow the money
they require for these undertakings on the credit of the very
property-owners whom they wish to ruin, not on the credit of "all the
citizens," as Mr. Suthers pretends, and then they have the impudence
to assert that the corporations do not ruin the citizens with their
own money but only with money borrowed on their credit--as if the one
were not identical with the other.

The objections to municipal enterprise on a Socialist basis are
twofold:

(1) That it increases the rates and the municipal debt, and therefore
the rent of houses and lodgings;

(2) That it is, on the whole, unprofitable, being undertaken without
due regard to sound finance, efficiency, and economy.

Socialists intend to "tax the rich out of existence." Therefore they
endeavour to increase as much as possible not only the Imperial
taxation but also the rates. Owners of house property are used to a
certain income. If the rates are put up, they put up the rent.
Therefore every increase in the rates leads, as a rule, automatically
to an equivalent increase in the rent. The fact that a rise in the
rates leads to a rise in the rent of houses and lodgings, and that the
Socialist policy of waste and squander falls therefore most heavily
not on the capitalist but on the working man, is boldly denied.
"Generally speaking, the reduction of rates is of no benefit whatever
to the working class. Rates are levied upon property.--Q. Do not the
working class pay the rates and taxes? A. No. Rates and taxes are paid
out of the surplus value taken from the workers by their exploiters.
As already explained, the return to the workers, their wages, is
determined by their cost of subsistence, regulated by competition in
the labour market; consequently they have nothing wherewith to pay
taxes, and whether these be high or low, or whoever has to pay them
directly, the position of the worker remains the same. He gets, on the
average, his subsistence, that is all."[677]

Unfortunately, many working men know to their cost that the arguments
given above are absolutely untrue. Whilst their wages have remained
stationary, their expenditure for rent has greatly increased owing to
municipal enterprise carried on by Socialists regardless of expense,
which has greatly increased rates. At West Ham "Local government was
to be carried on in a way regardless of expense, and under the
compounding system the vast majority of the electors were not to
realise that there were such things as rates at all. One member of the
Socialist party publicly declared that it did not matter to the
working men of the borough how high the rates were. But the 'people'
got to see in course of time that there were drawbacks, even for them,
in unrestricted Socialism. They found that, because of the increased
rates, house rents were going up twelve and a half to twenty per
cent., notwithstanding the threats of the Socialists that every
landlord who raised his rents should have his assessments
increased."[678]

Owing to municipal enterprise directed by Socialists, "The sum-total
of the rates, which stood at _6s._ in the pound in 1890 and at _8s._
_1d._ in 1896, rose to _8s. 10-1/2d._ in the pound in 1900 and _9s._
_5-1/2d._ in the pound in 1901. From that figure it advanced to _9s._
_8d._ in the pound,"[679] and to _10s. 8d._ a little later. It is an
impudent misstatement of fact when Socialist leaders tell the workers,
"We are not killed by rates, we are killed by rent."[680] "The whole
of our municipal expenditure is only a paltry 110 millions a year.
What do we pay in rent? Two hundred and seventy-five millions!"[681]
After all, people in other countries, where the blessings of Socialist
local government are unknown, and where poverty is much rarer than in
Great Britain, also pay rent. On an average the rates are 150 per
cent. higher in Great Britain than in Germany.[682]

Whilst the national Government endeavours to diminish the dead weight
and the heavy yearly charge of national indebtedness, Socialist local
authorities vie with each other in piling up local indebtedness as
fast as possible with a reckless disregard of the future. The increase
of the municipal debt, the increase of local taxation, like the
increase of national taxation, has no terrors for Socialists. On the
contrary, "Municipal debt is not a burden. It is a splendid
investment. We 'owe' 370 millions. Do we 'own' nothing? The
municipalities own all the roads, drains, sewers, public buildings,
parks, libraries, a thousand waterworks, two hundred and sixty
gasworks, three hundred and thirty-four electricity undertakings, one
hundred and sixty-two tramways, two or three hundred markets, a
hundred and fifty cemeteries, forty-three harbours, piers, and docks,
numerous baths, washhouses, and working-class dwellings, thousands of
schools, and thousands of acres of land."[683] Since these words were
written local indebtedness has increased. "We owe" now 470 millions.

Unfortunately, many of the splendid assets enumerated possess no
realisable value whatever, and many municipal enterprises are run
without an adequate profit or with a loss.

The Socialist views and aims regarding local indebtedness are well
summed up as follows by Suthers: "The 'municipal debt' argument is a
bogey. The greater the municipal debt, the less private enterprise
there will be. The greater the municipal debt, the cheaper and better
the public services will be. The less private capital, the less
profits going into a few pockets, the richer the general public will
be. Up, then, with municipal debt."[684] These are principles which
threaten to make Great Britain bankrupt. "The annual report of the
work of the Local Government Board for 1907 shows that the local debt
of England and Wales, from being 17 per cent. of the National Debt in
1879-80, has grown to 58.5 per cent. of the National Debt in 1904-5.
The National and Local debts have grown as follows:

                      1879-80         1904-5      _Increase_
  National Debt    £770,604,774    £796,736,491   £26,131,717
  Local Debt        136,934,070     466,459,269   329,525,199"[685]

Unless the Imperial Government interferes, the local debt will soon be
larger than the National Debt.

We have seen in the beginning of this Chapter that, as regards local
government, the Socialists pursue a twofold aim: (1) To level up their
districts; (2) To urge their districts to launch out into something
new. Therefore we find, as Mr. John A. Fairlie says in his book on
"Municipal Administration," that "the danger of excessive debt is most
serious in the smallest cities. The largest cities, while they have
the largest debts, have also the largest resources, and also the
best-developed financial administration. The cities of modest size,
however, which attempt to equal the works of the metropolis without
its available sources of revenue, are very likely to find themselves
in serious difficulties."

The time may come, and it may come soon, when British local
indebtedness will become greatly reduced by local bankruptcy and
repudiation. That process would have no terrors for Socialists. They
ought rather to look forward to it. As they demand the repudiation of
the National Debt (see Chapter IX.), they should logically also strive
to repudiate the local debt. A general repudiation of local debt would
be the fitting and logical aim and end of municipal enterprise.
Municipal enterprise aims at expropriating private property-owners,
who, rightly considered, are paid not in cash but in debt
certificates. The repudiation of all local debts would convey gratis
to the municipality the municipally managed undertakings which,
rightly considered, belong to the stockholders, and would at the same
time ruin the capitalists who have advanced the money for acquiring
those undertakings. The Socialist policy would triumph. This would be
the fitting end of a rule by irresponsible and penniless demagogues.

To the Socialist there is no limit to municipal enterprise. Not some
branches of private trade and production, but all private trade and
production are to be taken over by the municipalities. Private
enterprise is to be extinguished altogether. The municipalities are to
be universal owners, manufacturers, and providers. Among the first
things which Socialist municipalities wish to control are the supply
of bread, milk, coal; hospitals and public-houses, banks, fire
insurances, and pawnshops.[686]

All workers are to be municipal officials. Stretching out beyond their
borders, the municipalities are ultimately to absorb the country, and
to bring it under Socialist management and government.[687]

Some of the more immediate aims of Socialism as regards London are
expressed by Sydney Webb, the brilliant, but unfortunately somewhat
over-imaginative, leader of British scientific Socialism, as follows:

"We see in imagination the County Council's aqueducts supplying London
with pure soft water from a Welsh lake; the County Council's mains
furnishing, without special charge, a constant supply up to the top of
every house: the County Council's hydrants and standpipes yielding
abundant cleansing fluid from the Thames to every street. When every
parish has its public baths and washhouses open without fees, every
Board school its swimming-bath and teacher of swimming, every railway
station and public building its drinking-fountain and basin for
washing the hands, every park its bathing and skating ponds--then we
shall begin to show the world that we do not, after all, fall behind
Imperial Rome in this one item of its splendid magnificence. By that
time the landlord will be required, as a mere condition of sanitary
fitness, to lay on water to every floor, if not to every tenement, and
the bath will be as common an adjunct of the workman's home as it now
is of the modern villa residence. And just as in some American cities
hot water and superheated steam are supplied in pipes for warming
purposes over large areas, we may even see the County Council laying
on a separate service of hot water to be drawn at will from a tap in
each tenement. Why should London's million families waste their
million fires every time hot water is needed?

"The economy of fuel leads, indeed, to the municipalised gas-supply,
then laid on, as a matter of course, to every tenement, and used, not
only for lighting, but still more largely for cooking in the stoves
supplied at a nominal charge.

"In order to relieve the pressure of population in the centre, and
reduce the rents of the metropolitan "Connaughts," the County Council
tramways will doubtless be made as free as its roads and bridges.
Taxes on locomotion are universally condemned, and the economic
effects of a penny tram-fare are precisely the same as those of a tax
on the trip. The County Council will, however, free its trams on the
empirical grounds of economy and the development of its suburban
estates of artisans' dwellings, built on land bought to retain the
unearned increment for the public benefit. Free trams may well imply
free trains in the metropolitan and suburban area. Does not the
Council already run a free service of steamboats on the Thames at
North Woolwich--eventually, no doubt, to be extended all along the
stream?

"Public libraries and reading-rooms in every ward are nearly here
already, but we may expect that the library and the public hall will
go far to cut out the tavern (at present our only 'public' house) as
the poor man's club. As for bands of music in the parks, municipal
fêtes, and fireworks on 'Labour Day,' and other instances of the
communalisation of the means of 'enjoyment,' all this is already
common form in France. The parks, indeed, will be tremendous affairs.
But when London's gas and water and markets are owned and controlled
by its public authorities; when its tramways, and perhaps its local
railways, are managed like its roads and parks, not for private
profit, but for public use; when the metropolis at length possesses
its own river, and its own docks; when its site is secure from
individual tyranny, and its artisans' dwellings from the whims of
philanthropy; when, in short, London collectively really takes its own
life into its own hands, a vast army of London's citizens will be
directly enrolled in London's service."[688]

The foregoing political and economic programme would be more
creditable to an imaginative schoolgirl ten years old than to a man of
science and a politician. How are all these wonderful and almost
miraculous changes to be financed? Quite simply and very easily--by
plunder. Mr. Sidney Webb, like most "scientific" Socialists, is a
loose and shallow thinker. He forgets in his calculations that
stubborn little item--human nature. He forgets that nobody can become
richer by transferring money from the right pocket to the left. If you
plunder all capitalists and all middlemen, the workers will certainly
not be better off. Owing to the absence of direct self-interest, the
management by salaried officials will be inefficient. All experience
of management by public bodies through officials shows that public
enterprise is far more wasteful and far less efficient than private
enterprise; that in official management routine, sloth, waste,
irresponsibility, nepotism, favouritism, and often peculation too,
become supreme. Besides, far more money than is wasted now by
capitalists on themselves will be wasted by politicians hankering
after popularity, and after jobs for themselves and their followers
and dependents. The greatest wasters in the poorest districts are the
irresponsible Socialist authorities. In palatial town halls
sumptuously furnished, in magnificent public libraries, in marble
baths, and other outlets of civic magnificence, money wrung from the
hard-worked wage-earners is wasted in far greater sums than could
possibly be spent by the most reckless capitalist on his private
amusement. The most magnificent town halls, &c., are to be found in
the poorest districts. Besides, "salaries must be liberal enough to
attract the best men to the public service."[689] It is a matter of
course that the rule of irresponsible Socialist agitators, that a
system of local government whereby those who have no money are enabled
to spend lavishly by drawing upon those who have money, will not make
for efficiency and economy, and the end will be the Poplar-ising of
Great Britain. There is a generally accepted principle, "No taxation
without representation." That principle requires as a supplement, "No
representation without taxation." Otherwise Great Britain will be
ruled by a mob headed by imaginative and dishonest demagogues.

No enterprise is too large or too costly for the Socialists. Quite
recently the Fabians recommended in a leaflet that Glasgow should
acquire the whole built-over ground of the city at a cost of
_24,000,000l._, issuing against that sum Corporation Bonds bearing
3-1/4 per cent. interest. Provided that everything should be settled
according to expectations, and supposing that Glasgow should be able
to borrow _24,000,000l._ at 3-1/4 per cent., which seems extremely
unlikely, there would accrue, on the most favourable showing, a net
profit of _200,000l._ per annum to Glasgow, if nothing be allowed for
the cost of management.[690] The possibility that that gigantic
speculation might prove a failure is not even considered. On the
contrary, it is assumed as certain that Glasgow will greatly profit by
the growing value of land. Now if through natural economic
development, or through the rule of a Socialist national or local
administration, Glasgow should decline and land in Glasgow should fall
in value, the town might be ruined. Of course that would not hurt the
penniless Socialist agitators. Besides, there would always be the
sovereign remedy of repudiation.

According to the fundamental Socialist doctrines which condemn
profit,[691] "Municipal trading does not seek profit. To the private
trader the making of profits or losses is a vital matter. He makes the
mistake of thinking the same motives induce a municipality to provide
a public service."[692] To the Socialist administrators it is quite
immaterial whether their enterprises are run at a profit or at a loss,
so long as they can draw freely on the rich and well-to-do to pay for
their extravagance. "The Socialist view of the fair way of dealing
with profits on trading concerns is to have none--if one may be
excused so paradoxical a statement. Fair wages and good conditions
generally for the employees, and selling at cost so that all may use
freely the commodity or service, is the nearest approach to justice in
respect to such municipal concerns as are incapable of being used with
equal freedom by all."[693] "The only sound principle of municipal
management is to run all these things primarily for use, with no idea
of making profit at all, and as far as possible at a price to the user
covering the cost of the production only. Such profits as are made
should be used either to extend municipal enterprise or be utilised
for what in Scotland is known as "the common good," that is, in the
provision of instruction, amusements, parks and open spaces, helpful
and beneficial to all."[694]

"Municipalisation or nationalisation must proceed on the right lines
and for a practical object. What should be the object of
municipalisation and nationalisation? The primary object should be the
most economical provision of the best possible public services. The
general well-being should be the first consideration to be served,
having due regard to the welfare of each and all engaged in these
services. The idea of profit either in the shape of interest on loans,
or of reduced rates and taxes, should be eliminated altogether."[695]
"The private trader always pursues profits. That is why he is such a
dreadful failure. The motive of municipal trading, on the contrary, is
public welfare--the benefit of all the citizens. That is why it is
such a tremendous success. No one ever thinks of criticising a town
council because they make no profits on these services. Now when we
consider the question of municipal trading in gas, tramways, and
electricity, is the principle involved any different? Not at all. The
provision of gas, trams, and electricity is inspired by just the same
motives as inspired the provision of roads, parks, libraries,
sewerages, police, and education. That is to say, the benefit of all
the citizens."[696] "The day may come when municipal trams and
municipal light will be just as free as municipal streets and
municipal libraries. That is to say, a rate will be levied on the
citizens for their upkeep, and everyone will be free to use them as
required."[697]

Such an ideal state of affairs, as pictured by scientific Mr. Webb and
his rapacious followers, would be most desirable from the point of
view of the town loafer. He would no longer monopolise the free
library, the lodging-house, and the public-house corners, as he does
at present. He would vary the monotony of the reading-room and the
street corner by free rides up and down the town and into the country.
In the evening he would take a hot bath in the free public baths
recommended by Sidney Webb, sit for a while in the free clubs
recommended by the same gentleman, and then stroll out to the free
public park to view the free fireworks and listen to the free music.
Free meals and lodgings will no doubt follow in due course. Great
Britain will be ruled for the benefit of the tramp. Why should anybody
work in such a "free" country? Who would not be a loafer or a tramp
under these conditions--especially as the "vice" of work, to use a
Socialistic expression, would speedily be visited by punishment in the
shape of confiscatory taxation, if not of direct confiscation? The
populace of decaying Athens and Rome lived under those conditions
which are the ideals of British Socialists. The citizens lived by
their votes for a time in idleness. They were fed and clothed by
slaves and subject nations. But the end was starvation.

To provide all these free benefits for those unwilling to work, the
owners of property would of course have to be taxed out of existence.
"There is no limit to the present rating powers of the local
authority, nor to the taxing powers of the State. The recognised
limits to local and national taxation are the needs of the respective
authorities. Though not perhaps clearly or generally understood, the
taxing powers of the community are based upon the principle that
private property is only permitted to be held or enjoyed by
individuals so long as that private possession is not opposed to the
general welfare, and so long as the community does not require the
property or the income for public purposes. The Socialist accepts the
principle of taxation--taxation 'according to ability derived from the
profits of stock-in-trade and other property'--but desires
deliberately to incorporate another idea and purpose in taxation,
namely, the taxation of the rich to secure such socially created
wealth as is now taken in rent, interest, and profit, and to use this
revenue for social reform purposes. In other words, we would by that
means compel 'the rendering unto Cæsar the things that are
Cæsar's.'"[698] Municipal funds would be provided, not only by local
rates, but also by a local income and land taxes.[699] In other words,
Socialism would eat the goose that lays the golden eggs.

According to leading Socialists, municipal enterprise is preferable to
private enterprise, not only for economic but also for moral reasons.
"The system of private enterprise and competition reeks with
corruption. Honesty under it is impossible. Municipal Socialism, on
the contrary, would provide an environment which would encourage and
promote the growth of moral activities. Instead of leading to
corruption it would lead away from it."[700] "Private enterprise must
lead to fraud, deceit, bribery, corruption, and even murder, in the
struggle for existence. Municipal Socialism would entirely remove any
temptation to commit these immoral actions. Why? Because, under
municipal Socialism, every person who worked would be sure of a
living."[701] We have seen some samples of the moral and purifying
influence of municipal Socialism in the investigations recently made
by the Board of Trade. Unfortunately these have revealed the fact
that, in many of the most advanced Socialist corporations, fraud,
bribery, intimidation, favouritism, and common theft are of daily
occurrence. What else can be expected when men of predatory instincts,
who preach the gospel of idleness and confiscation, who live not by
work but by talk, who have been accustomed to handle pence, and who
have to be taught by the town clerk how to sign a cheque, are suddenly
enabled to dispose of thousands of pounds and to negotiate loans?

The general public takes little interest in local elections. Most
citizens abstain from voting. Therefore the numerous corporation
employees often have the decisive vote in local elections, and they
will support only a candidate who promises shorter hours or higher
pay. Municipal employees sitting in the public galleries will even
dominate the council chamber, intimidate councillors, and shout down
those of whom they disapprove. Besides, they may strike and
disorganise the public services, and make the Socialistic authorities
look ridiculous. Therefore it is better to humour and to obey them
than to oppose them. The Fabian Society demands for municipal servants
"full liberty of combination," because "the servants of the public
may often need protection against the public, as in the Post
Office."[702] The results of Socialist teachings are to be seen in
many municipalities. "The servants of the public" are already, and
will in an increasing degree become, the masters of the public.

Under municipal Socialism the wages of tramway-men have increased as
follows: "In Sheffield, where the private company paid _100l._ for
labour, the Corporation pay _165l._ for the same amount of work. In
Bolton, where the private company paid _100l._, the Corporation pay
_137l._ In Wallasey, where the private company paid _100l._, the
District Council pay _185l._ In Northampton, where the private company
paid _100l._, the Corporation pay _120l._ In Birkenhead, where the
private company paid _100l._, the Corporation pay _315l._ In
Portsmouth, where the private company paid _100l._, the Corporation
pay _130l._ In Sunderland, where the private company paid _100l._, the
Corporation pay _145l._ When the Manchester Corporation took over the
trams they paid increased wages amounting to _60,000l._ a year."[703]

The foregoing information is given by a Socialist. Some of the
advances may be justified, but others, and probably the majority, have
been made with that fine disregard of economy which is commonly found
among men who can afford to be generous at other people's expense.
Municipal Socialism is an ever-growing cancer which is rapidly
exhausting the country.

"Half the municipal debt is of a nature which can never yield a
profit."[704] The other half is invested in enterprises many of which
are run regardless of economy and of expense, regardless of profit and
loss, in accordance with the Socialistic principles stated in this
Chapter. The policy of deliberate waste and of constant increase of
debt, the principles of "launching out into something new" and
"levelling up their districts," perhaps also the fear of eventual
bankruptcy and repudiation, have at last frightened the investor.
Corporation stocks can no longer be considered as safe first-class
securities. Besides, the banks have begun to refuse to accommodate
Socialistic municipalities with the necessary funds by overdrafts,
short loans, &c. Socialists have therefore begun to complain when they
saw that the unlimited supply of other peoples' money was diminishing.
They consider it a grievance that they can no longer arbitrarily
squander on fantastic undertakings what is not their own. "The
hostility of the banking interest to municipal borrowing, and the
threat to 'cut off supplies' has at length taken practical form.
Disappointed in their attempt to secure sufficiently favourable
treatment from their bankers (Parr's), the Chester Corporation applied
to four other banks in the city, viz. Lloyds, North and South Wales,
National Provincial, and Liverpool Banks. All refused to tender for
the account. The banks are not run for the public, the public are run
for the bankers."[705] Also, the banks, instead of lending their funds
gratis to Socialist corporations, are heartless enough to demand
interest "usury" on their loans. "Unfortunately at present public
bodies must pay heavy tribute as interest on borrowed money."[706]
"Our embryo Socialistic enterprises are even now suffering from the
toll of interest which a restricted credit and currency permit the
money lords to exact."[707]

Has the attitude of the investing public and the banks caused the
Socialist municipalities to restrain their insane expenditure, and to
keep it within legitimate bounds? No, they have tried to obtain money
by borrowing it in small sums directly from the public. "The
Corporation of Bolton, the Boroughs of Heywood, Middleton, and others,
invite the investment of small sums of money in municipal enterprise,
offering a higher rate of interest on deposits than the banks can
supply."[708]

Many Socialists advocate that the municipalities should raise money by
issuing paper-money in unlimited quantities or that they should become
bankers, pay interest on deposits, and invest the savings of the poor
in highly speculative enterprises carried on without regard to economy
and expense, or to profit and loss. "Why pay in usury at all? Abolish
the gold monopoly by demonetising metals, and the sole remaining
argument against municipal trading disappears along with the most
crippling restriction under which public enterprise labours."[709]
"Credit notes would be of little use were the city's credit gone,
because the people would be afraid to take them. However valuable the
assets of a municipal authority might be--and municipal concerns are
usually far more substantial and sound than banking companies are--it
is public confidence that constitutes the first requisite, and this it
is the duty of all reformers to establish and maintain against the
assaults of those whose interest it is to break it down. The
institution of municipal savings banks under the protection of, and
subject to inspection by, the State would assist public authorities
and render them less dependent on the bankers; then when people had
become accustomed to thinking their city's credit at least equal to
that of the leading banks, a limited issue of notes might be
allowed."[710] Further proposals for "demonetising" gold and issuing
unlimited amounts of unconvertible notes, on the model of the
assignats of the French Revolution, will be found in Chapter XX.
"Some Socialist Views on Money, Banks, and Banking."[711]

These and many other dangerous experiments could easily be undertaken
by needy demagogues with fantastic ideas, if the supervision of
municipalities by the national Government were abolished. Therefore
the Independent Labour Party passed at the last Annual Conference the
following resolution: "That this Conference urges the Labour party in
Parliament to secure the extension of power to municipalities,
enabling them to undertake trading and the development of existing
municipal concerns, without the sanction of the Local Government
Board, and to use any profits accruing from same in such manner as may
be decided by the municipality, without the necessity of promoting
Parliamentary Bills."[712]

No administration can continue for long a financial and general policy
of waste and pillage, such as that followed by the Socialist
municipalities of Great Britain, without diminishing not merely
private wealth but also the national wealth. The British Socialists
seem determined to do all they can to destroy as fast as possible the
accumulated wealth of the country and its productive power.

FOOTNOTES:

[668] _The Advance of Socialism_, p. 2.

[669] Keir Hardie, _From Serfdom to Socialism_, pp. 27, 28.

[670] Snowden, _Straight Talk to Ratepayers_, p. 8.

[671] Suthers, _Mind your own Business_, p. 148.

[672] _Fabian Essays in Socialism_, p. 157.

[673] Blatchford, _Competition_, p. 4.

[674] Suthers, _Mind your own Business_, pp. 93, 94.

[675] Suthers, _Mind your own Business_, pp. 87, 88.

[676] Suthers, _Mind your own Business_, p. 88.

[677] Bax and Quelch, _A New Catechism of Socialism_, p. 42.

[678] _The Times, Municipal Socialism_, p. 43.

[679] _Ibid._

[680] Suthers, _Killed by High Rates_, p. 12.

[681] _Ibid._ p. 11.

[682] Ellis Barker, _Modern Germany_, p. 552.

[683] Suthers, _Killed by High Rates_, p. 9.

[684] Suthers, _Municipal Debt_, p. 4.

[685] _Daily Mail_, November 26, 1907.

[686] See _A Municipal Bread Supply_; _Municipal Bakeries_; _Municipal
Drink Traffic_; _Municipal Fire Insurance_; Washington, _Milk and
Postage Stamps, &c._

[687] _Municipalisation by Provinces._

[688] Sidney Webb, _The London Programme_, 1892, pp. 208-213.

[689] Jowett, _Socialism and the City_, p. 17.

[690] _Forward_, October 12, 1907.

[691] See Chapter IV.

[692] Suthers, _Mind your own Business_, p. 14.

[693] Jowett, _The Socialist and the City_, p. 40.

[694] Irving, _The Municipality_, p. 6.

[695] Bax and Quelch, _A New Catechism of Socialism_, p. 42.

[696] Suthers, _Mind your own Business_, p. 9.

[697] _Ibid._ p. 8.

[698] Snowden, _The Socialist's Budget_, pp. 3, 4, 6.

[699] Jowett, _The Socialist and the City_, p. 38; Snowden, _The
Socialist's Budget_, p. 83.

[700] Suthers, _Mind your own Business_, p. 119.

[701] _Ibid._ p. 122.

[702] _A Labour Policy for Public Authorities_, p. 19.

[703] Suthers, _Mind your own Business_, p. 103.

[704] Snowden, _A Straight Talk to Ratepayers_, p. 8.

[705] McLachlan, _The Tyranny of Usury_, p. 15.

[706] Jowett, _The Socialist and the City_, p. 42.

[707] McLachlan, _The Tyranny of Usury_, p. 11.

[708] McLachlan, _The Tyranny of Usury_, p. 13.

[709] _Ibid._ pp. 13, 14.

[710] Jowett, _The Socialist and the City_, pp. 45, 46.

[711] See p. 281 ff.

[712] _Independent Labour Party Report, Annual Conference_, 1907, p.
50.



CHAPTER XVIII

SOCIALISM AND AGRICULTURE


In one of his books Mr. Blatchford gives prominence to the following
statement contained in Prince Kropotkin's book, "Fields, Factories,
and Workshops": "If the soil of the United Kingdom were cultivated
only as it was thirty-five years ago, 24,000,000 people could live on
home-grown food. If the cultivable soil of the United Kingdom were
cultivated as the soil is cultivated on the average in Belgium, the
United Kingdom would have food for at least 37,000,000 inhabitants. If
the population of this country came to be doubled, all that would be
required for producing food for 80,000,000 inhabitants would be to
cultivate the soil as it is now cultivated in the best farms of this
country, in Lombardy, and in Flanders."

Commenting on this statement Mr. Blatchford says: "Why, indeed, should
we not be able to raise 29,000,000 quarters of wheat? We have plenty
of land. Other European countries can produce, and do produce, their
own food. Take the example of Belgium. In Belgium the people produce
their own food. Yet their soil is no better than ours, and their
country is more densely populated, the figures being: Great Britain
per square mile, 378 persons; Belgium per square mile, 544 persons.
Suppose wheat will cost us _2s._ a quarter more to grow it than to buy
it. On the 23,000,000 quarters we now import we should be saving
_2,000,000l._ a year. Is that a very high price to pay for security
against defeat by starvation in time of war?"[713]

Many Socialists very wisely demand that everything possible should be
done to bring about a revival of our agriculture. They point to the
agricultural prosperity of Belgium, France, and Germany, and they
would be quite ready to sanction the re-introduction of Protection, as
will be seen in Chapter XXI. Nevertheless they absolutely and
unconditionally oppose the creation of a class of peasant proprietors,
although the intensive agriculture of France, Belgium, and Germany is
founded upon the system of peasant proprietorship, and although
general experience, both in Europe and on other continents, has proved
the great superiority of peasant proprietors over large farmers in
intensive culture. "No Socialist desires to see the land of the
country divided among small peasant freeholders, though this is still
the ideal professed by many statesmen of 'advanced' views."[714]
"Socialism is hostile to small properties."[715]

Socialists pretend to be opposed to the creation of peasant
proprietors either on scientific grounds or for ethical reasons. "As a
matter of economic evolution, small properties will have to go. But
viewed from an ethical standpoint, surely nothing has been more
conducive to the development of the worst side of human nature--of
'hatred, malice, and all uncharitableness' than the system of small
properties."[716] "If England were cut up into small allotments, the
general state would be harder and leaner than before."[717] "Would
Socialists take away the land from the landlords and let it out in
little plots? No. Because that would make a lot of little proprietors
as selfish as the landlords."[718] "Divide the land into small
allotments and very soon the cunning and rapacious would 'acquire' the
estates of other men, and so we should come back to the present state
of chaos. In fact, the parcelling out of the land means putting back
the clock of civilisation about one thousand years."[719]

The real reason which prompts Socialists to oppose by all means the
creation of peasant proprietors is to be found neither in the realm of
political economy nor in that of abstract ethics, but in that of party
politics. The peasant proprietor, like every sensible owner of
property, is hostile to Socialism. "The peasant has nothing else in
the world but his farm, and that is one of the reasons why it is so
very difficult to win him over to our cause. He is, indeed, one of the
last bulwarks of private property."[720] The philosopher of British
Socialism frankly confesses: "On the Continent the peasant proprietor,
who may now be reckoned as part of the _petite bourgeoisie_, just as
the large landlord with us may be reckoned as part of the big
capitalist class, is a potent factor in retarding the process of
Socialisation."[721]

The experience of Socialists in Germany, Austria-Hungary, France,
Belgium, Holland, Denmark, and Switzerland shows that Socialism finds
practically no adherents among the land-owning peasants. At the German
Reichstag elections of 1903, for instance, the Social-Democrats
received almost 60 per cent. of the votes in the large towns as
compared with less than 20 per cent. of the votes in the country. Of
the latter, the vast majority was given by artisans and landless rural
labourers. The peasant, like every property-owner, is an enemy of
fantastic schemes of confiscation and of general plunder lavishly
embellished with promises of Utopia. Therefore Social-Democrats will
rather see the countryside of Great Britain turned into a wilderness
than see it peopled by peasants.

Desperately anxious lest the Government of Sir Henry Campbell-Bannerman
should create a British peasantry, the Socialist press opposed the
creation of a British peasantry as unscientific and certain to lead to
disaster. The people were told in countless articles that peasant
proprietorship had proved a failure everywhere. Under the heading "The
Small-Holding Fraud" the "Social-Democrat" showed the true motive of
the Socialist agitation by expressing the hope that "The Government
will assuredly fail in their attempt to erect a peasant proprietary
barrier against the rising proletariat"[722]--Has the Socialist outcry
against creating peasant proprietors influenced Sir Henry
Campbell-Bannerman's Government in its land-settlement policy? Did Sir
Henry Campbell-Bannerman wish to satisfy the Socialists by rather
creating small leaseholders than small freehold farmers?

The positive proposals of Socialists for bringing about a revival of
agriculture are frankly Utopian. Their proposals can of course not be
practical, because they object to the present agricultural
arrangements of Great Britain and to those prevailing on the continent
of Europe. Many Socialists desire the towns to control and resettle
the country. "The towns should claim the right of dictating to England
the way in which the land should be put to profit. The great majority
of the classes nearest the land, squires and farmers and parsons, are
disqualified respectively by self-interest, by religious prejudice
that scruples at anything that may lead to the mental enfranchisement
of the poor, and by sheer sluggishness of intellect joined to a blind
selfishness without parallel in any class of English society. The
land and the labourer have hitherto been left to them. And we want a
change of management."[723]

Socialists want a "change of management" in agriculture, replacing the
expert by the amateur in accordance with their general policy of
turning everything upside down. Their ideal would seem to be that the
owners of land should be dispossessed and driven into the towns, and
be replaced by Socialistic town officials who would exploit the
country in the interest of the town.

The tenants whom the Socialists would like to create would, rightly
considered, be merely wage-earners in the pay of the Socialistic
administration, who, living from hand to mouth, would not be able to
put anything by. With that object in view, rents would apparently be
adjusted by Socialist administrations. "Tenancies would be granted for
seven years or for twenty-one years revisable at periods of seven
years, so that the tenant might not be able to appropriate the
unearned increment of the land; but it should also be clearly
understood that a satisfactory tenant would not be arbitrarily
disturbed in his holding. At the same time no mercy would be extended
to a bad cultivator; and when a tenant left his holding, either by the
efflux of time or for any other reason, he would have no tenant-right
to dispose of, but would only be entitled to compensation for
unexhausted improvements and to a fair settlement of accounts as
between himself and the committee. Rents would be fixed and disputes
settled by the independent agricultural court, which would also
continue the regulation of agricultural wages. Exploitation of the
economically weak must not be permitted, even to a communal authority.
It would be within the power of the committee to rent farms to
co-operative associations of labourers if satisfied as to their
industrial and financial capacity. Arrangements might also be made
whereby a town could run its own dairy-farm or farms, since this is
probably the only way in which a municipality can be sure of an
uncontaminated supply of milk."[724]

Many Socialists would like to resettle the country with colonies of town
unemployed, but these proposals are opposed by some as impractical. "To
imagine that any such colony could be self-supporting, that the land
which no capitalist will now till with expert farm labourers at ten
shillings a week would yield trade-union rates of wages to a mixed crowd
of unemployed townsmen, that such a heterogeneous collection of waifs
and strays, without a common acquaintanceship, a common faith, or a
common tradition, could be safely trusted for a single day to manage the
nation's land and capital; finally, to suppose that such a fortuitous
agglomeration of undisciplined human atoms offers 'the most suitable and
hopeful way of ushering in a Socialist State'--all this argues such a
complete misconception of the actual facts of industrial and social
life, such an entire misunderstanding of the process by which a
democratic society passes from one stage of its development to another,
that I feel warranted in quoting it as an extreme instance of
Utopia-founding."[725]

Whilst the various Socialist schools propound different Utopian
schemes for the resettlement of the land in the future, their
immediate aim is of course not so much to benefit agriculture, as they
profess, but to gain adherents among the rural labourers. With this
object in view they are urged to agitate for, and are promised to be
given by the Socialists, better wages, safe and healthy homes, more
powers for the parish councils, which are to be used for the
restoration of common lands, real free schools and better ones, cheap
and good allotments, pensions for the old people, reform of taxation,
&c. The rural labourers are urged to form trade unions, and they are
told, "All these things you can get for yourself by your trade union
and your vote if you and all the other labourers in the district will
join the union and will agree to vote only for those who will promise
to help to get them for you."[726]

In other pamphlets specially addressed to the rural labourers they are
told how to get allotments, how to force the district councils to
build good cottages for them, &c.[727]

Many Socialists propound the doctrine that the first and the principal
object in re-creating the rural industries must be the bettering of
the wages of rural labourers, and that the State should secure them
better wages by arbitrarily reducing rents. The object, it need hardly
be mentioned, is rather to destroy private capital in accordance with
the Socialists' tenets than to benefit the labourers. The Fabian
Society, for instance, claims, "It is necessary for the State to
interfere, partly to secure the better utilisation of our national
resources, partly to increase our agricultural population. The class
most needing protection, the labourers, must be dealt with first in
order to raise them to a decent level of comfort. A living wage must
be secured to them, and, as a consequence, the farmers' rents must be
fixed at a fair level. An agricultural court must be set up in each
county to regulate wages and fix rents. Continental success in
agriculture depends on co-operation, and that in turn is associated
with the peasant-proprietor system. That system for sundry reasons
cannot be adopted here, but its advantages can be obtained through
security of tenure. The small farm system should, therefore, form the
basis of our reconstruction, free play being left for a graded system
of farms where possible. In each county an agricultural committee
should have compulsory power to acquire land and let it out to
tenants, chiefly smallholders. It should have power to advance capital
to individuals on the collective guarantee of its tenants, and it
should be its duty to organise the collection of farm produce and its
disposal in the market."[728]

FOOTNOTES:

[713] Blatchford, _Britain for the British_, pp. 111, 112.

[714] _Socialism True and False_, p. 18.

[715] _Some Objections to Socialism Considered._

[716] _Ibid._

[717] Blatchford, _The Pope's Socialism_, p. 8.

[718] Hazell, _The Red Catechism_, p. 11.

[719] Blatchford, _The Pope's Socialism_, p. 9.

[720] Kautsky, _The Social Revolution_, p. 30.

[721] Bax, _Essays in Socialism_, p. 41.

[722] _Social-Democrat_, November 1907.

[723] Pedder, _The Secret of Rural Depopulation_, p. 18.

[724] _The Revival of Agriculture_, p. 17.

[725] Sidney Webb, _Socialism True and False_, p. 12.

[726] _What the Farm Labourer Wants_, p. 4.

[727] _Allotments and How to get Them_; _Parish Council Cottages and
How to get Them._

[728] _The Revival of Agriculture_, p. 22.



CHAPTER XIX

SOCIALIST VIEWS ON BRITISH RAILWAYS AND SHIPPING


Many Socialists complain, and they complain with good cause, about the
railways of Great Britain. All the British railways are in private
hands, and they are very inefficient. They are in many respects very
backward, badly equipped, and badly managed. They have wasted their
capital, watered their stock, and have paid dividends out of capital;
their freight charges are exorbitant; besides, they give habitually
and by various means, with which it would lead too far to deal in this
book, preferential treatment of a very substantial kind to the
foreigner.

Many Socialists have extracted from British Government publications
instances of such preferential treatment. One of the most widely read
Socialist writers, for example, gives among others the following
freight charges favouring the foreigner:

"Carriage of a ton of British meat, Liverpool to London, _2l._:
Carriage of a ton of foreign meat, Liverpool to London, _1l. 5s._:
Carriage of a ton of eggs Galway to London, _4l. 14s._: Carriage of a
ton of eggs Denmark to London, _1l. 4s._: Carriage of a ton of plums,
apples, and pears, Queenborough (Kent) to London, _1l. 5s._: Carriage
of same from Flushing (Holland), _12s. 6d._: Carriage per ton of
English pianos Liverpool to London _3l. 10s._: Carriage as above of
foreign, _1l. 5s._: British timber per ton Cardiff to Birmingham,
_16s. 8d._: foreign as above _8s. 10d._ In the carriage of iron ore
and steel rails the American railways charge _6s. 3d._ where the
British charge _29s. 3d._"[729]

"The real enemy are the monopolists of land and locomotion--the
landlord and the raillord who are uprooting the British people from
their native soil. It is in fact by no means easy to say which is the
greater malefactor of the two."[730] Such differential charges are
bound to cripple the British industries, and in view of the harm which
is thus being done to British farmers, manufacturers, and traders, it
is only natural that British Socialists are unanimous in condemning
the anti-British freight policy of the railways and in recommending
that they should be taken over and managed by the State.

"There are nearly 24,000 miles of railway in the kingdom, the greater
part of which is owned or controlled by a dozen great companies, who,
moreover, have standing conferences through which they exercise a
virtual monopoly against the public, although they have all the
expenses of competing concerns. The public bears the costs and
inconveniences of competition without many of its benefits. The total
capital of the companies is _1,300,000,000l._ of which _200,000,000l._
is nominal or 'watered' stock. A very large part of the rest was for
extravagant sums paid to great landowners for their land and another
large part for legal expenses. On this huge capital a sum of
_44,000,000l._ has to be earned in dividends. If the State bought out
the railways, it could borrow this necessary sum for at least
_5,000,000l._ to _8,000,000l._ a year less than this, and at once
effect enormous savings resulting from the present competitive and
chaotic methods of the companies. Despite the virtual monopoly, there
are over 3,000 railway directors drawing fees or salaries amounting to
nearly _1,500,000l._ Of the principal of these there are eighty in the
Lords and twenty-five in the Commons. Mr. Gladstone predicted that if
the State did not control the railway companies, they would control
the State, and this has come to pass. Their servants are overworked
and underpaid, extortionate freights are charged on the carriage of
goods, unfair preferences are given, but Parliament is powerless to
check this."[731]

"The railway system to-day is the greatest protection ever heard of in
favour of the foreigner, and neither Mr. Chamberlain nor Mr. Balfour,
nor any other man makes a single proposal to touch the railway
question. Why? Because the House of Commons is dominated by the
railway interest."[732] "Our railway experience proves that it is not
enough to make preferential rates illegal. They reappear too easily in
the form of rebates and even of allowances which belong to the more
private chapters of capitalist history. The attempt of the Railway
Commission to abolish preference in railway rates has left us with a
system which could not be much worse from the national industrial
point of view."[733]

"Imperial trade suffers no more serious handicap than that imposed
upon it by shipping rings and railway companies, which exploit the
Imperial needs of transport for their own purposes, which hamper the
ready flow of Imperial trade, and, for an insignificant percentage,
turn the British seamen off the water in favour of the Lascar."[734]

"The railways of India, which yield a great portion of our Indian
revenue, are owned by the Indian Government. The well-managed and
prosperous systems of Australasia, with the best conditions of labour
and the lowest freights of any railways in the world, are State owned.
Why, then, should not the British Government own and control in the
public interest the systems which are so wastefully and inefficiently
managed by the present companies?"[735]

The last Annual Conference of the Independent Labour Party resolved:
"That in the opinion of this Conference the time is ripe for the
nationalisation of the railways of the country, and that our
representatives be asked to urge forward a measure to that effect in
Parliament."[736] The Fabians think that "An equitable basis of
purchase may be found in Mr. Gladstone's Act of 1844, which enables
the Treasury to buy out the shareholders of lines built since that
date at twenty-five years' purchase, calculated on the earnings of the
previous three years. The price of the railways need not be an
insuperable, or even a serious, difficulty in the way of national
possession of the means of transit."[737]

The demand of the Socialists that the Government should acquire the
railways would perhaps be reasonable if that demand was not coupled
with extravagant and fantastic ideas regarding their future
management. The different Socialistic views as to the proper
management of State railways are summed up as follows by Mr.
Blatchford: "The railways belong to railway companies, who carry goods
and passengers and charge fares and rates to make profit. Socialists
all say that the railways should be bought by the people. Some say
that fares should be charged, some that the railways should be
free--just as the roads, rivers, and bridges now are; but all agree
that any profit made by the railways should belong to the whole
nation, just as do the profits now made by the Post Office and the
telegraphs."[738]

One Socialist writer modestly proposes that the fare anywhere in
Great Britain should be a shilling. "Look at our railroads--might they
not be the property of the community at large as well as the high
roads, instead of being a monopoly in the hands of private persons
whose sole object is to enrich themselves at the cost of their fellow
citizens? If so, it has been proved that you could go to any part of
these islands with a shilling ticket."[739]

Other Socialists advocate that railway travelling should be made
absolutely free to all, and that the costs of running the railways
free of charge should be borne exclusively by the rich. "The blessings
of free travel are too many by far for enumeration, but one stands
out. It is the only effective means yet suggested for the extirpation
of our vile city slums. At present the sweated must live near their
work."[740] "Overcrowding can only be cured outright by one sovereign
remedy--by giving the toiler a home in the country; and free travel
alone makes this possible. There is no reason why a 'docker' should
not grow his own vegetables and be his own dairyman at the same time.
Free travel would in a few years change the whole face of
society."[741] "A nation that can afford to spend _140,000,000l._ a
year on strong liquors might not unreasonably be asked to strike even
the forty odd millions off its drink-bill--about half that amount
would suffice for the purpose--and take them out in free ozone."[742]
"Then would rise the question how to make up for the abolition of
passenger fares. The answer, it seems to me, is not far to seek. The
substitute tax must be levied on the 'unearned increment' of land,
urban and rural. The people must therefore unfalteringly press for the
reassessment of the 'land-tax' by gradual increase up to _20s._ in the
pound, and in the meantime procure any further funds necessary from
our surplus capital by a graduated income-tax. Personally I abhor
usury, whether in the shape of railway dividends or Government
Consols, as alike _contra naturam_ and _contra Christum_."[743]

In order to further the policy of free travelling by railway,
Socialists appear to have founded a "Free Railway Travel League,"
domiciled at 359 Strand, London, W.C. I am not aware whether the Free
Railway Travel League--every tramp should join it--exists still.

It is only logical that, if the railways should be made free for the
carriage of people, they should likewise be made free for the
transport of goods. "It is obvious that if railways can be worked free
for passengers they may be made free for goods as well. Free goods
traffic would everywhere equalise the price of commodities, be they
the produce of sea or land, mine or manufacture, and equal wages in
town and country would speedily follow equal prices with beneficial
results to the people altogether incalculable. Granted free passes,
free freights will doubtless in time follow almost as a matter of
course."[744]

When free travel by railway has been established, free travel by
tramway, which has already been demanded by municipal reformers (see
Chapter XVII.), will necessarily also be introduced. A publication
issued by the most scientific body of British Socialists, the Fabian
Society, urges: "There is only one safe principle to guide the
reformer. The tramways, the light railways, and the railways must be
regarded as the modern form of the king's highway. Our fathers spent
time and trouble ridding the roads of tolls; and railway rates and
passenger fares are merely modern tolls. Their abolition must come
sooner or later."[745] "We have abolished the turnpike gate and the
toll-collector, and our highways are free in the sense that they are
maintained by general assessment. And if the turnpike gate was an
odious obstruction to the traveller, how much more obnoxious to him,
or her, is the railway ticket-box?"[746]

Railways may be made free before the ideal Socialist State of the
future has been created, but they will certainly be free as soon as
the Socialist commonwealth has been established. "Railways will play a
very great part indeed in the Socialist State, They will be absolutely
'free' for every purpose. The cost of actual working is comparatively
inconsiderable, while the benefits of free transit are incalculable.
To decentralise the population so as to efface the distinction between
dwellers in town and country is to renovate humanity physically and
morally."[747]

After travel and transport has been made absolutely free on land
throughout the length and breadth of Great Britain, the free travel
and transport principle will of course be extended to travel and
transport by sea, and free travel and transport by sea will better
bind the Empire together than a Pan-Britannic Customs Union. The most
scientific body of British Socialists, the Fabian Society, says: "A
logical consequence of the national management of internal means of
communication will be the completion of the State control of our
oversea transit. It is impossible here to go into details. Let it
suffice to remark that already the nation has a direct financial
interest in the great steamship lines, through its mail subsidies and
Admiralty loans with corresponding claims for service in war; that
intellectually the nation, by its pride in its magnificent mercantile
fleet, regards it as a national possession, and declines to consider
our shipping as the mere private property of the shareholders of the
steamship companies; and finally, that our navy is maintained at
enormous public expense expressly to protect the mercantile fleet,
which at present is mainly private property."[748] "The notion that
the forces making for disintegration can be neutralised by 10 per
cent. preferential duties is not worth discussing; indeed, the raising
of the fiscal question seems at least as likely to reveal our
commercial antagonisms as our community of interests. And the huge
distances will be mighty forces on the side of disintegration unless
we abolish them. Well, why not abolish them? Distances are now counted
in days, not in miles. The Atlantic Ocean is as wide as it was in
1870; but the United States are four days nearer than they were then.
Commercially, however, distance is mainly a matter of freightage. Now
it is as possible to abolish ocean freightage as it was to make
Waterloo Bridge toll-free, or establish the Woolwich free ferry. It is
already worth our while to give Canada the use of the British Navy for
nothing. Why not give her the use of the mercantile marine for nothing
instead of taxing bread to give her a preference? Or, if that is too
much, why not offer her special rates? It is really only a question of
ocean road making. A national mercantile fleet plying between the
provinces of the Empire, and carrying Empire goods and passengers
either free or at charges far enough below cost to bring Australasia
and Canada commercially nearer to England than to the Continent, would
form a link with the mother-country which once brought fully into use
could never be snapped without causing a commercial crisis in every
province."[749]

The purchase of the whole British mercantile marine by the Government
would incidentally have the effect of abolishing the British shipping
rings, which, like the British railways, frequently penalise with
discriminating rates the British producer and shipper. "Of the real
conditions of ocean traffic, at present, the public has no suspicion.
All our lines of communication are controlled by shipping rings which
carry preferential rating (an illegal practice in our inland transit)
to an extent that would shock Mr. Chamberlain back again to Free
Trade if he realised it; for their preferences are by no means
patriotic; they have helped Belgium into our Indian market, and
Germany and America into South Africa and New Zealand. The cotton
conference of Liverpool directly assisted the American exporters of
cotton to China by the heavy charges they made against the Lancashire
manufacturer--charges which were modified only after repeated
protests. These rings and rates constitute the most dangerous
disintegrating force we have to face."[750]

There is much justification in the complaints of the Socialists with
regard to British railways and shipping, but their proposals are, as
usual, quite Utopian. For all ills of the body politic and economic,
the Socialists have only one remedy, and that an infallible
one--nationalisation, or rather Socialisation.

The policy of the British railway and shipping rings is no doubt a
national scandal, but their defects and delinquencies may no doubt be
counteracted by appropriate Government action and legislation. It is
probably now too late for the State to acquire the railways. The State
cannot afford to risk a large capital loss. Railway purchase would
apparently be too speculative an undertaking.

If the State should acquire the railways, they would certainly be run
at a profit. The sooner the Socialists abandon their fixed idea that
profit on private and national undertakings is immoral, the better
will it be for them. So long as they decry profit and propose to work
State undertakings without a profit, so long can they not be taken
seriously. Profit consists in part of the salary of direction, in part
of the earnings set aside for effecting the necessary alterations,
improvements, and extensions, and for forming a reserve fund for
making losses good, &c. Therefore abandonment of profit would mean the
decline and decay of the national capital.

FOOTNOTES:

[729] Davidson, _Free Trade_ v. _Fettered Transport_, p. 9.

[730] _Ibid._ p. 7.

[731] _Reformers' Year Book_, 1907, pp. 119, 120.

[732] Hyndman, _Real Reform_, p. 14.

[733] _Fabianism and the Fiscal Question_, p. 17.

[734] Macdonald, _Labour and the Empire_, p. 96.

[735] _Reformers' Year Book_, 1907, p. 120.

[736] _Independent Labour Party Report, Annual Conference_, 1907, p.
50.

[737] _Socialism and Labour Policy_, p. 14.

[738] Blatchford, _Britain for the British_, p. 86.

[739] Sorge, _Socialism and the Worker_, p. 13.

[740] Davidson, _Free Trade and Fettered Transport_, p. 17.

[741] Davidson, _Free Rails and Trams_, p. 9.

[742] _Ibid._ p. 13.

[743] Davidson, _Free Rails and Free Trams_, p. 7.

[744] _Ibid._ p. 14.

[745] _Public Control of Electric Power and Transit_, p. 10.

[746] Davidson, _Free Rails and Trams_, p. 5.

[747] Davidson, _The Old Order and the New_, p. 158.

[748] _Public Control of Electric Power and Transit_, p. 14.

[749] _Fabianism and the Fiscal Question_, p. 16.

[750] _Fabianism and the Fiscal Question_, p. 16.



CHAPTER XX

SOME SOCIALIST VIEWS ON MONEY, BANKS, AND BANKING


All Socialists wish to abolish private capital. Money embodies private
capital in its most portable form. It can easily be hidden, and as the
Socialists wish to prevent the re-accumulation of new private capital,
the abolition of money, and especially of gold and silver, has
prominently figured in all Socialistic programmes since the time of
Protagoras and of Plato. Socialists wish to effect the exchange of
commodities, the payment of labour, and the settlement of accounts
mainly by book-keeping.

"As there are no wares in the new community neither will there be any
money."[751] "In the Social-Democratic State the citizen will be
granted an income, which will be indicated by labour checks or credit
cards, as advocated by Gronlund, Bellamy, and John Carruthers."[752]
"Under ideal Socialism there would be no money at all and no wages.
The industry of the country would be organised and managed by the
State, much as the Post Office now is; goods of all kinds would be
produced and distributed for use and not for sale, in such quantities
as were needed. Hours of labour would be fixed, and every citizen
would take what he or she liked from the common stock. Food, clothing,
lodging, fuel, transit, amusement, and all other things would be
absolutely free, and the only difference between a Prime Minister and
a collier would be the difference of rank and occupation."[753]

"How will exchange then be carried on? By account facilitated by some
such contrivance as labour checks. When in the Co-operative
Commonwealth money becomes superannuated we shall have nothing but
checks, notes, tickets--whatever you will call them--issued by
authority."[754] And how will international exchange be carried on?
Very simply and easily. By barter. "So much tea is wanted from China.
The Chinese Government is advised of the quantity and asked what
British goods will be acceptable by the Celestials in exchange. There
will be international barter on a grand and equitable scale."[755] It
is quite logical that the Socialists who wish to introduce the
primitive Communism of the prehistoric ages (see Chapter XXIX.), wish
also to reintroduce the aboriginal system of barter.

However, the contemplated form of "international barter on a grand and
equitable scale" will have its difficulties. China, for instance, may
sell much silk and tea to England and take in exchange mostly foreign
manufactured goods from America, Germany, Belgium, and Japan, as she
does at present. It is to be feared that the "grand and equitable
system of international barter" will prove impracticable even if, as
most Socialists somewhat rashly assume, all States should become
Socialistic commonwealths, or if the grand Socialist Republic of the
world should actually be created. We have at present an international
currency, Gold. The contemplated creation of unlimited paper issues in
lieu of gold, the fulfilment of the ideal of many Socialists, would
have a very simple, a very certain, and a very unpleasant consequence.
Foreign merchants, doubting the value of the new paper currency and
the stability of the new Socialist Government, would of course refuse
to part with their goods. Not a pound of cotton, not a bushel of wheat
would reach England from abroad. The nation would be starving, and
Socialist deputations would hasten to search out Lord Rothschild in
the workhouse, where no doubt he would reside, and implore him to
reintroduce capitalism and food into Great Britain.

Some Socialists of the saner kind fear that it will not be possible to
abolish money. Kautsky, for instance, writes: "To abolish money I
consider impossible. Money is the simplest means as yet known which
renders it possible in a mechanism so complicated as the modern system
of production, with its enormously minute subdivision of labour, to
arrange for the smooth circulation of products and their distribution
among the individual members of society; it is the means which enables
everyone to satisfy his needs according to his individual taste
(naturally within the limits of his economic power). As a medium of
circulation, money will remain indispensable so long as nothing better
is found."[756]

Socialists declaim against the immorality of charging
interest--"usury" as they call it (see Chapters IV., IX., and XVII.),
and they are indignant that the banks are unwilling to advance gratis
unlimited funds to Socialist town councils to be wasted as fancy may
direct (see page 258). Therefore they wish to abolish "that most
costly of all modern parasites, the banker."[757] Some very
irreligious, if not atheistic, Anarchist-Socialists, such as Mr.
Morrison Davidson, pretend to object to interest on religious grounds
because, "the Way, the Truth, and the Life said, 'Lend hoping for
nothing again.'"[758] Other Socialists wish to abolish the banks and
the charging of interest for the benefit of the people and of the
Socialist municipal and other councils. "Usury--in that offensive
pregnant little word is contained the secret of Society's worries and
Man's woes. Abolish usury: that is the true Fiscal Reform
Policy."[759]

"Usury can be arrested at present by nationalisation of exchange. The
nationalisation of exchange must be undertaken. Metal must be
demonetised and reduced to the ranks. Banking must be undertaken by
the municipalities and county councils, and by these elective bodies
only, while a durable paper currency issued on the basis of the
ascertained wealth of the nation, and maintained in true relation to
it, shall supersede gold. Then we arrive at a scientific solution of
the question of exchange and put in operation the currency and credit
system of Socialism."[760]

When the banks and the gold currency have been abolished and when
"exchange has been nationalised" the Socialist local authorities will
no longer have any difficulty in procuring the unlimited funds they
need for the execution of their boundless plans. They will raise the
money by the printing of practically unlimited quantities of paper
money issued against the security of "the ascertained wealth of the
nation." If they wish to spend money, they simply "make it" by means
of an ordinary printing press. Could a simpler and more ingenious
system for making money be devised?

"Recently notice has been given by leading bankers of their intention
to discriminate against municipal loans. And as things now stand, it
is certain that, if an organised effort is made generally by the
bankers throughout the country by advising clients against such
investments and by refusing to accept municipal bonds as collateral
security for overdrafts, &c.--a serious check will be put upon public
enterprise. Those who imagine bankers either impotent or incapable of
such treason against the public interest should remember what took
place in the United States in 1893.

"The natural suggestion to be offered as a counter-move to the threat
of the bankers and their Industrial Freedom League is to add to those
enterprises now under municipal control that of banking. And surely
there is nothing which lends itself more easily to municipalisation!
If the credit of a banking house can be employed for promoting
enterprise and earning dividends, why cannot municipalities employ
their own credit directly? In others words, why cannot the credit of a
city be utilised to carry on its municipal works instead of it having
to borrow the credit of a bank and pay interest charges? Consider how
public works are now financed. The London County Council decides to
build decent and respectable houses in some locality for the working
classes. It requires, we will say, _500,000l._ with which to build
dwellings for 2,000 families. Bankers are invited to tender for the
loan, and finally the Council gets this advance on a guarantee of 3
per cent. per annum, the principal being repayable at the end of
thirty-three and a third years. At the end of this period the Council
will have paid the bank _500,000l._ in interest as well as the
_500,000l._ original loan. The charge for the loan is equal to the
entire cost of the whole undertaking; the result is that each family
must pay about twice the amount of rent that it would otherwise have
to pay if the Council had not incurred interest charges through
borrowing other people's credit. Was there ever greater lunacy in
public affairs?

"Suppose that instead of issuing credit in the shape of bonds of large
denomination, the Council issued it in notes of small denominations of
pounds and shillings. Does anyone mean to assert that that credit
which is eagerly purchased by a banker would be refused by a
bricklayer or stonemason? Supposing the London County Council was
empowered to issue its credit in one-pound notes, as well as large
amounts, and supposing it was compulsory that these notes were good
in payment of rates. Is there any question as to their being
acceptable? The plan is so simple and so safe that at first it seems
amazing it should have been so long out of employment."[761]

"Of course gold will drain off abroad--if the foreigners don't follow
in our footsteps at once. If the demonetised gold is withdrawn--well,
we can have a new currency by nationalising the railways and paying
the shareholders 'in current coin'" (which means in unconvertible
notes), "not in redeemable, interest-bearing bonds. So long as solid
wealth rests behind our issue, our financial policy is sound. Of
course, the railway and other shareholders will want fresh
investments; they won't find them, because no man will pay interest to
usurers when he can monetise his credit at the mere cost of banking
and exchange. They must therefore spend it, and the currency will
never be restricted henceforward. And this national ownership of
exchange can be operated to compel every monopolist to sell his
monopoly to the nation."[762]

This insane project is called by the writer, "A scientific way to
Socialism."[763]

Surely science is the most abused word in modern language. The
creation of money by unlimited issues of paper secured by the national
possessions was tried on the grandest scale at the French Revolution.
The "assignats" were secured on the national domains, and their
security seemed absolute to the revolutionaries. The great Mirabeau
had stated on September 27, 1790: "Our assignats are not ordinary
paper money. They are a new creation for which there is no precedent.
What constitutes the value of metal money? Its intrinsic value. Now I
ask you: Does paper which represents the foremost of the possessions
of a nation such as France not possess all the characteristics of
intrinsic and generally accepted value which metal money
possesses?"[764] The "assignats" speedily fell to a discount, although
dealing in them at a discount was made punishable with twenty years'
imprisonment with hard labour,[765] and they fell ultimately to
waste-paper value. A pair of boots worth thirty francs in gold cost
10,000 francs in paper. On paper all were immensely rich. Yet the
masses were starving. Unfortunately people cannot live by consuming
unlimited quantities of credit notes. They can become prosperous
neither by robbing the rich nor by calling a shilling a sovereign, but
only by producing more. Greater wealth means simply increased
consumption, and increased consumption, unless based on increased
production, can only be effected by intrenching upon and diminishing
the national capital, the national reserve store of food, clothing,
tools, &c., and thus causing widespread misery and starvation.

FOOTNOTES:

[751] Bebel, _Woman in the Past, Present, and Future_, p. 192.

[752] Leatham, _Socialism and Character_, p. 90.

[753] Blatchford, _Merrie England_, p. 100.

[754] Gronlund, _Co-operative Commonwealth_, p. 103.

[755] Davidson, _The Old Order and the New_, p. 157.

[756] Kautsky, _The Social Revolution_, p. 14.

[757] Jowett, _The Socialist and the City_, p. 44.

[758] Davidson, _The Old Order and the New_, p. 57.

[759] McLachlan, _The Tyranny of Usury_, p. 1.

[760] _Ibid._ pp. 10, 17.

[761] _How to Finance Municipal Enterprises_, pp. 3-5.

[762] McLachlan, _The Tyranny of Usury_, p. 20.

[763] _Ibid._

[764] _Nouvelle Biographie Générale_, vol. xxxv. p. 39.

[765] Roscher, _System_, p. 227.



CHAPTER XXI

SOME SOCIALIST VIEWS ON FREE TRADE AND PROTECTION


In his thoughtful book on Socialism, Mr. Ramsay Macdonald, M.P., the
Socialist leader, attributes the rise of the Socialist movement in
great Britain to various causes, one of which is "the reaction against
Manchesterism."[766]

Socialists, generally speaking, are opposed to Free Trade. Neither the
moderate nor the revolutionary sections of British Socialism have a
good word to say for it. The Socialist leaders, looking at the
question of Free Trade and Protection from the worker's point of view,
have arrived with Lecky at the conclusion that the whole Liberal Free
Trade agitation is one of the greatest political impostures which the
world has witnessed,[767] a view which, by the by, was also expressed
by Bismarck.[768]

Socialists are not under any illusion as to the causes which led to
the introduction of Free Trade into Great Britain, and they sneer at
the humanitarian cant with which its promoters successfully surrounded
it. One of the leading Socialist books states with regard to this
point: "Protection was no longer needed by the manufacturers, who had
supremacy in the world-market, unlimited access to raw material, and a
long start of the rest of the world in the development of machinery
and in industrial organisation. The landlord class, on the other
hand, was absolutely dependent on Protection. The triumph of Free
Trade therefore signifies economically the decay of the old landlord
class pure and simple, and the victory of capitalism. The capitalist
class was originally no fonder of Free Trade than the landlords. It
destroyed in its own interest the woollen manufacture in Ireland, and
it would have throttled the trade of the colonies had it not been for
the successful resistance of Massachusetts and Virginia. It was
Protectionist so long as it suited its purpose to be so. But when
cheap raw material was needed for its looms, and cheap bread for its
workers; when it feared no foreign competitor, and had established
itself securely in India, in North America, in the Pacific; then it
demanded Free Trade."[769] "Protection at home was needless to
manufacturers who beat all their foreign rivals, and whose very
existence was staked on the expansion of their exports. Protection at
home was of advantage to none but to the producers of articles of food
and other raw materials, to the agricultural interest, which, under
the then existing circumstances in England, meant the receivers of
rent, the landed aristocracy."[770]

The Free Trade manufacturers, who were chiefly interested in cheapness
of production, cared little what became of the workers. "The
individualist devotees of _laisser faire_ used to teach us that when
restrictions were removed, free competition would settle everything.
Prices would go down, and fill the 'consumer' with joy unspeakable;
the fittest would survive, and as for the rest--it was not very clear
what would become of them, and it really didn't matter."[771]

The doctrines and the boasts of the Free Traders are usually treated
by the Socialists with contempt. "Cobdenites ascribe every known or
imagined improvement in commerce, and the condition of the masses, to
Free Trade. Things are better than they were fifty years ago: Free
Trade was adopted fifty years ago. _Ergo_--there you are. There is not
a word about the development of railways and steamships, about
improved machinery, about telegraphs, the cheap post and telephones,
about education and better facilities of travel."[772]

The unsoundness of the fundamental doctrine of Free Trade, "Buy in the
cheapest and sell in the dearest market," has frequently been exposed
by Socialists. Mr. Blatchford, for instance, in a book of his of which
more than a million copies have been sold gives prominence to Cobden's
pronouncement in the House of Commons in which he expounded the
celebrated maxim: Buy in the cheapest and sell in the dearest market:
"To buy in the cheapest market and sell in the dearest, what is the
meaning of the maxim? It means that you take the article which you
have in the greatest abundance and with it obtain from others that of
which they have the most to spare; so giving to mankind the means of
enjoying the fullest abundance of earth's goods."[773] Mr. Blatchford
then comments upon Cobden's doctrine as follows: "Let us reduce these
fine phrases to figures. Suppose America can sell us wheat at _30s._ a
quarter, and suppose ours costs _32s. 6d._ a quarter. That is a gain
of 1/15th in the cost of wheat. We get a loaf for _3d._ instead of
having to pay _3-1/4d._ That is all the fine phrases mean. What do we
lose? We lose the beauty and health of our factory towns; we lose
annually some twenty thousand lives in Lancashire alone; we are in
constant danger of great strikes; we are reduced to the meanest shifts
and the most violent acts of piracy and slaughter to 'open up
markets' for our goods; we lose the stamina of our people, and we lose
our agriculture."[774]

Most Socialists recognise that under the Free Trade _régime_ Great
Britain has sacrificed her safety and her strength to profit. "Did you
ever consider what it involved, this ruin of British agriculture?
Don't you see that if we lose our power to feed ourselves we destroy
the advantages of our insular position?"[775] "Don't you see that the
people who depend on foreigners for their food are at the mercy of any
ambitious statesman who chooses to make war upon them? And don't you
think that is rather a stiff price to pay to get a farthing off the
loaf? No nation can be secure unless it is independent; no nation can
be independent unless it is based upon agriculture."[776] "We must buy
wheat from America with cotton goods; but first of all we must buy raw
cotton with which to make those goods. We are therefore entirely
dependent upon foreigners for our existence."[777]

"The present national ideal is to become 'The workshop of the world.'
That is to say, the British people are to manufacture goods for sale
to foreign countries, and in return for those goods are to get more
money than they could obtain by developing the resources of their own
country for their own use. My ideal is that each individual should
seek his advantage in co-operation with his fellows, and that the
people should make the best of their own country before attempting to
trade with other people's."[778] "The Free Traders tell me that under
their glorious system of free exchange nations naturally occupy
themselves in those industries which produce the most wealth. Thus, if
Great Britain, by employing a million men in growing corn, can produce
_50,000,000l._ a year, while she can produce _51,000,000l._ by
employing the men in getting coal. Great Britain will 'naturally'
employ those men in getting coal! Sending her coal abroad, Great
Britain can get _1,000,000l._ a year more wealth. What a beautiful
doctrine! Enormous increase in wealth. Foreigners can send us
_51,000,000l._ of corn for our coal, while Great Britain could only
grow _50,000,000l._ Free Trade for ever! It never occurs to the Free
Traders to ask: 'Is it better to have a million men working in the
bowels of the earth, or a million men tilling the surface?"[779]

"The idea is, that if by making cloth, cutlery, and other goods we can
buy more food than we can produce at home with the same amount of
labour, it pays us to let the land go out of cultivation and make
Britain the 'workshop of the world.' Now, assuming that we can keep
our foreign trade, and assuming that we can get more food by foreign
trade than we could produce by the same amount of work, is it quite
certain that we are making a good bargain when we desert our fields
for our factories? Suppose men can earn more in the big towns than
they could earn in the fields, is the difference all gain? Rents and
prices are higher in the towns; the life is less healthy, less
pleasant. It is a fact that the death-rates in the towns are higher,
that the duration of life is shorter, and that the stamina and
physique of the workers are lowered by town life and by employment in
the factories. And there is another very serious evil attached to the
commercial policy of allowing our British agriculture to decay, and
that is the evil of our dependence upon foreign countries for our
food. The plain and terrible truth is that even if we have a perfect
fleet and keep entire control of the seas, we shall still be exposed
to the risk of almost certain starvation during a European war. As I
have repeatedly pointed out before, we have by sacrificing our
agriculture destroyed our insular position. As an island we may be,
or should be, free from serious danger of invasion. But of what avail
is our vaunted silver shield of the sea if we depend upon other
nations for our food? We are helpless in case of a great war. It is
not necessary to invade England in order to conquer her. Once our
food-supply is stopped, we are shut up like a beleaguered city, to
starve or to surrender. Stop the import of food into England for three
months and we shall be obliged to surrender at discretion. And our
agriculture is to be ruined and the safety and honour of the Empire
are to be endangered that a few landlords, coal-owners, and
moneylenders may wax fat upon the vitals of the nation."[780] "For
over half a century we have been committing industrial suicide. By
laying waste our own land and throwing ourselves upon the mercy of the
foreign food-producers, we have been deliberately sacrificing the
millions and the future to the millionaires and the moment."[781]

The celebrated cheapness argument of the Free Traders has little
attraction for Socialists. "'Ah,' says the Free Trader, 'but think of
the cheaper grocery and the cheaper boots!' Yes, let us think of them.
What good does it do me, my countrymen, one of the unemployed, to
think of the wealth of the Rothschilds, or the cheap boots and the
cheap bread and the cheap clothes of those who benefit by these
things? I am one of the nation. Are these things that are so good for
the nation good for me? How can these cheap wares do me any good, who
have no money at all? The fact is that Free Trade and cheap goods are
only good for certain individuals. They are good for those who benefit
by them."[782]

Cheapness means low wages. Cheapness may benefit that strange and
mythical figure the abstract "consumer" of the text-books, but need
not benefit the working man. Very likely it will harm him, because
"Cheap goods mean cheap labour, and cheap labour means low wages. You
have nothing but your labour to sell, and you are told that it will
pay you to sell that cheaply."[783] "All commodities are produced by
labour, therefore to drive commodities down to their cheapest rate
must result in cheap labour."[784] Cheapness may fill those with joy
who have money in their pocket and who do not care how cheap goods are
produced. But incidentally the policy of Free Trade and of _laisser
faire_, the policy of cheapness which benefits the consumer and takes
no notice of the producer, encourages and causes sweating and untold
misery to the workers. "Do you ever consider the lives of the people
who make these marvellously cheap things? And do you ever think what
kind of homes they have; in what kind of districts the homes are
situated; and what becomes of those people when they are too ill, or
too old, or too infirm to earn even four shillings as the price of a
hundred and twelve hours' work?"[785]

Free Trade may have been beneficial in Cobden's time, when Great
Britain was the chief manufacturing country in the world. But what is
its effect under the changed conditions of the present time, and how
will these changes affect her industries and her workers? "In the
early days of our great trade the commercial school wished Britain to
be the 'workshop of the world,' and for a good while she was the
workshop of the world. But now a change is coming. Other nations have
opened world-workshops, and we have to face competition. France,
Germany, Holland, Belgium, and America are all eager to take our
coveted place as general factory, and China and Japan are changing
swiftly from customers into rival dealers. Is it likely, then, that
we can keep all our foreign trade, or that what we keep will be as
profitable as it is at present?"[786] "Suppose we lost a lump of our
export trade. Suppose the Japanese, Chinese, or Americans capture some
of our markets. Where should we get our food? If we could not sell our
exports, we could not buy imports of food. We are walking on thin ice,
my countrymen. And if competition became keener, what would the
champions of Free Trade do to meet it? They would say: 'We must sell
our manufactures, or you will get no food. To sell our manufactures we
must reduce the price. To reduce the price we must reduce the cost of
production. To reduce the cost of production we must cut down
wages.'"[787] "Free Trade means _laisser faire_ all round, not only in
regard to inanimate commodities, but in respect to that most important
commodity of all--human labour power. Chinese, Japanese, Indians,
negroes are all permitted under complete Free Trade to compete freely
on their lower standard of life against the white man."[788] "A demand
for a general reduction of wages is the end of the fine talk about big
profits, national prosperity, and the 'workshop of the world.' The
British workers are to emulate the thrift of the Japanese, the
Hindoos, and the Chinese, and learn to live on boiled rice and water.
Why? So that they can accept low wages and retain our precious foreign
trade. Yes, that is the latest idea. With brutal frankness the workers
of Britain have been told again and again that, 'If we are to keep our
foreign trade, the British workers must accept the conditions of their
foreign rivals,' and that is the result of our commercial glory! For
that we have sacrificed our agriculture and endangered the safety of
our Empire."[789]

The assertion of the Free Traders that Free Trade has made Great
Britain prosperous is treated with scorn. "The Free Traders say we,
the nation, are richer under this system than we should be under
Protection. By employing ourselves in those occupations in which we
can produce the cheapest article, we earn the most wealth in money
value.--In money value.--They do not consider the twelve million
underfed, the hundreds of thousands of unemployed. The nation, _we_,
are richer. That is the test. Well, my countrymen, I think it is a
damnable doctrine, and its results are damnable. The Free Traders
boast of our wealth. Are twelve million underfed, a million starving
children, a million paupers, an infantile death-rate of 150 per
1,000--are these signs of wealth? The question is not 'Is the nation
wealthy?' but 'Are the people wealthy?' Judged by this standard, how
poor a nation is this, my countrymen! The Free Traders tell us that we
earn more wealth under Free Trade than we should under Protection.
Again I ask: Who are _we_?"[790] A Socialist weekly lately said:
"Great Britain, I understand, has recovered its prosperity; our
exports are going strong, and our imports have nothing much to
complain about. Prosperity? Why, Great Britain is simply rolling
in--statistics."[791]

Socialists rightly demand that the effect of British fiscal policy
should be judged not by its effect upon the wealth of the few, but
upon the employment of the many, and they clearly recognise the
destructive effect which Free Trade has upon the national industries.
"Under Free Trade it is possible for a foreign trader to take trade
away from a British trader. If for any reason we lost an important
trade, or several small trades, our unemployed would naturally grow.
The Free Trade theory that the capital and the labour in the lost
trades will find other employment is simply theory. Suppose they
didn't. The Free Trader has no answer except: Look at our enormous
wealth. My countrymen, looking at another man's wealth does not feed
me, clothe me, and house me."[792] "When men are thrown out of work,
by competition, or depression, or any cause, they do not so easily
'transfer their services to some other new employment.' It is easy to
make them do so--on paper. And when they do get a fresh job, is it
always as good as the one lost? Do they not often lose all their
belongings, and get into debt, while looking for that new employment
which the Free Traders talk about so glibly? and do not capitalists
often lose a good deal of capital before they give up the fight for
the trade? Nevertheless, say the Free Traders, we, the nation, are
richer under this system than we should be under Protection. By
employing ourselves in those occupations in which we can produce the
cheapest article, we earn the most wealth in money value."[793] To
this argument the Socialists reply: "Does your moral law say it is
right that men should be thrown on the streets to starve because other
men in other countries produce goods 2-1/2 per cent. cheaper?"[794]

The statistics of an enormous foreign trade, which Free Traders
triumphantly display for the edification of the masses, give,
according to the Socialists, little consolation to the unemployed and
ill-employed workers. "Figures, be they never so dazzling, and
numbers, be they never so round, will not feed the hungry, house the
homeless, or bring light and warmth into the drear, precarious lives
of the mass of our people. The increase of trade means only an
increase of production, and not necessarily of persons employed or
wages gained. With the rapid concentration of industries and the
perfection of labour-saving devices, production has been enormously
increased without any corresponding increase of employment; in some
cases, with an actual decrease of employment. What the workers are
interested in is not the mere growth of profitable trade, but the
extent to which the industries of their country afford them and their
families a security of livelihood, and the reasonable comforts and
recreations which their labour has more than earned."[795]

Most Socialists frankly own that Free Trade has been a failure. "In
the House of Commons on March 12th, 1906, Mr. P. Snowden, M.P., said:
'Sixty years of Free Trade had failed to mitigate or palliate to any
considerable extent the grave industrial and social evils which Free
Traders and Protectionists alike were compelled to admit. Sir H.
Campbell-Bannerman had admitted them when he said that 30 per cent. of
our population were on the verge of hunger. He contended that whatever
improvement had been effected in the condition of the people during
the last sixty years was due to other causes than Free Trade."[796]

During 1907 the complaints among the Socialists about the effect of
Free Trade upon employment have become louder. The fact that British
unemployed workmen furnished an apparently inexhaustible supply of
strike-breakers to Continental employers, that men fought like wild
beasts at the registry offices in order to be allowed to act as
strike-breakers in Hamburg and Antwerp, has shown the great prevalence
of unemployment. Commenting hereon a Socialist monthly said in bitter
irony, under the heading "British Blacklegs": "The intervention in the
Antwerp dock-workers' strike of British workmen as blacklegs is a
striking commentary on the prosperity of the people of this country.
Under Free Trade we have been told--_ad nauseam_--by Liberal
politicians that the British working-man is the most prosperous and
well-fed human being on the face of the earth. He, with wages nearly
double those of the best-paid Continental workman, with all kinds of
provisions infinitely cheaper--thanks to Free Trade--than they can be
procured elsewhere, is indeed 'God's Englishman.' It would be as
unkind as rude to suggest that these honourable politicians had been
lying. The only alternative conclusion to be arrived at is that the
British workman is a most disinterested being, willing to sacrifice
his prosperity and comfort in order to compel the miserably paid
dockers of Antwerp and Hamburg to submit to the conditions against
which they have revolted."[797] The action of Mr. Haldane, the present
Secretary of State for War, in dismissing a large number of workmen
from Woolwich Arsenal and giving a contract for 100,000 horseshoes for
the British Army to an American firm on account of greater cheapness,
prompted the following verses:

    Mr. Haldane was smiling and suave
    As his views upon horseshoes he gave;
      He will buy from the Yanks
      (Who take orders with thanks).
    And believes that much money he'll save.

    How thankful we all ought to be
    That this most kind and careful M.P.
      Thus shows Woolwich men
      They will be employed when
    They're off to the States--Q.E.D.[798]

Some Socialists take a very pessimistic view of the economic position
of Great Britain. Mr. Hyndman said that "Great Britain had lost her
commercial and industrial supremacy. The United States now stood
first, Germany second, and Great Britain was forced into third
place."[799] Many years ago some far-seeing Socialists had prophesied
the coming industrial decline of Great Britain. "The notion that
Britain can hold a monopoly of engineering, or of any other trade,
must be given up. Britain cannot; countries that have been almost
wholly agricultural are rapidly becoming manufacturers too."[800] Of
late these pessimistic forecasts have become louder and more frequent.
The progress of industrial countries can be measured, to some extent,
by their output of coal, and "at no distant date Germany will probably
also surpass our output and we will be relegated to third place."[801]
This event will very likely take place about 1910. The statistics
published by the British Board of Trade are deceptive. They leave out
Germany's very large and constantly growing output of lignite, which
amounts to about 60,000,000 tons per annum, and which increases
Germany's coal output, as stated by the Board of Trade, by about 50
per cent.

British Socialists have found out that the Free Trade doctrine with
its hypothetical "consumer" for a centre is opposed to science, to
experience, and to common-sense. "The present system of trade is, in
my opinion, opposed entirely to reason and justice. Nearly all our
practical economists of to-day put the consumer first and the producer
last. This is wrong. There can be no just or sane system which does
not first consider the producer and then widely and equitably
regulates the distribution of the things produced."[802] They
recognise that Free Trade has caused ill-balanced production, and
that, through the stagnation and decay of industries, men who ought to
be engaged in production have been forced into more or less
unprofitable and more or less useless employments. "What this country
is rotting for is the want of more and better producers of
necessaries--more and better market-gardeners, fruit-growers,
foresters, general farmers, wool-workers, builders, and useful makers
generally. Instead of which, the present system is giving us more and
more non-producers--more and more shopkeepers, middlemen, commercial
travellers, advertising agents, dealers, and wasters generally.
According to the last census returns, we find that whilst the
agricultural class shows a terrible decline, and the industrial class
has barely kept pace with the population as a whole, on the other hand
the commercial, or selling class, shows an increase of over 42 per
cent. inside ten years."[803]

Free Trade has been tried and has been found wanting, and a return to
Protection, which is in accordance with the needs of the times and the
spirit of the workers, especially of the trade unionists, is
inevitable. "Capitalist Free Trade is a manifest failure. Trade
unionism is, in its essence, a very sturdy form of Protection, as we
can see, if not here in Great Britain, certainly in America and in
Australia."[804] "Society is constantly changing its form of living:
every day some supposed old truth goes into the limbo of forgotten
things, and, looking around us, those who have eyes to see and ears to
hear may see and hear on all hands the death-knell of the old
Manchester school of political economy."[805]

The claims of Free Trade and the cheap-food cry are disregarded and
treated with contempt. "Free Traders talk about the folly of
Protection. But Free Trade itself is a form of Protection. It protects
the strong and the cunning against the weaker and the more honest. It
protects the cheap and nasty against the good."[806] The founder of
modern Socialism had stated already in 1847: "What is Free Trade under
the present conditions of society? Freedom of capital."[807] Free
Trade undoubtedly directly protects capital and leaves labour
unprotected. "Your food will cost you more! I am to bow down to the
idol of cheapness. I, one of the unemployed. What is cheapness to me,
who have no money at all?"[808] "Your Manchester school treat all
social and industrial problems from the standpoint of mere animal
subsistence."[809] Declarations such as "The Social-Democratic
Federation stands for universal free trade or free exchange and for
the abolition of all indirect taxation,"[810] and "The only form of
Protection advocated by the Social-Democratic Federation is the
protection of the proletariat against the robbery and exploitation of
the master-class"[811] have not the ring of seriousness about them.

Only very rarely are utterances in favour of Free Trade to be found in
Socialist writings. However, frequently the demand is made that Tariff
Reform and Socialism must go hand in hand, and doubt is expressed
whether the Tariff Reform agitation is carried on for the benefit of
the manufacturer or for that of the workers. "Mr. Chamberlain is not a
Socialist. His Government will not be a Socialist Government. His plan
would protect only the rich. This fiscal fight is a fight between
capitalists as to who shall make the profits. It is not a fight for
the benefit of the 'nation.' That is what they tell you. The
capitalist who loses his trade through foreign competition is a Tariff
Reformer. He wants Protection. The capitalist who depends on cheap
foreign imports for raw material is a Free Trader. He does not want
his prices raised."[812] "Preferential trade is the proposal of
individual capitalists who desire to make profits out of our Imperial
connections."[813]

The Fabian organ looks at Free Trade and Protection merely as a
business proposition. "We care nothing for abstract Cobdenite
economics, and are quite willing to welcome Tariff Reform if its
advocates show us that it can be used as a lever for raising the
standards of life and labour. The Labour party is therefore eminently
wise in seeing how far it can be used for their advantage.
Protectionism of the Australian Labour party is the right kind of
Protectionism--Labour-Protectionism: a very different thing from the
Capital-Protectionism which is (with a few exceptions) the
characteristic mark of Tariff Reformers in this country."[814]

Some revolutionary Socialists are in favour of Free Trade because they
hope that it will bring on a revolution in Great Britain. Their great
leader, Karl Marx, taught sixty years ago, when Free Trade was being
introduced: "The Protective system is nothing but a means of
establishing manufacture upon a large scale in any given country.
Besides this, the Protective system helps to develop free competition
within a nation. Generally speaking, the Protective system in these
days is conservative, while the Free Trade system works destructively.
It breaks up old nationalities and carries the antagonism of
proletariat and bourgeoisie to the uttermost point. In a word, the
Free Trade system hastens the social revolution. In this revolutionary
sense alone I am in favour of Free Trade."[815] Those Socialist
revolutionaries who wish to increase the misery of the people, hoping
that unbearable poverty, owing to increasing unemployment and
consequent want, will at least madden the people and cause a
revolution--they remember that the great French revolutions were also
brought about by unemployment and consequent widespread misery--are
the most determined champions of Free Trade.

FOOTNOTES:

[766] Macdonald, _Socialism_, p. 16.

[767] Lecky, _History of the Eighteenth Century_, quoted in _Fabian
Essays in Socialism_, p. 81.

[768] Ellis Barker, _Modern Germany_, p. 531.

[769] _Fabian Essays in Socialism_, pp. 80, 81.

[770] F. Engels in Marx, _Discourse on Free Trade_, p. 5.

[771] _Fabian Essays in Socialism_, p. 90.

[772] Blatchford, _God and My Neighbour_, p. 154.

[773] Blatchford, _Merrie England_, p. 33.

[774] Blatchford, _Merrie England_, p. 33.

[775] _Ibid._ pp. 33, 34.

[776] _Ibid._ p. 35.

[777] _Ibid._ p. 34.

[778] _Ibid._ p. 12.

[779] Suthers, _My Right to Work_, p. 100.

[780] Blatchford, _Britain for the British_, pp. 97, 98, and 118.

[781] Hall, _Land, Labour, and Liberty_, p. 11.

[782] Suthers, _My Right to Work_, p. 82.

[783] Blatchford, _Merrie England_, p. 92.

[784] _Ibid._ p. 97.

[785] _Ibid._ p. 97.

[786] Blatchford, _Britain for the British_, p. 100.

[787] Suthers, _My Right to Work_, p. 103.

[788] _Justice_, November 23, 1907.

[789] Blatchford, _Britain for the British_, p. 100.

[790] Suthers, _My Right to Work_, pp. 102, 103.

[791] _Clarion_, October 25, 1907.

[792] Suthers, _My Right to Work_, pp. 96, 97.

[793] _Ibid._ p. 101.

[794] _Ibid._ p. 104.

[795] _Labour Leader_, January 12, 1906.

[796] _National Union Gleanings_, vol. xxvi. January-June 1906, p.
220.

[797] _Social-Democrat_, September 1907, pp. 519, 520.

[798] _Battersea Vanguard_, November 1907, p. 5.

[799] _Report, 27th Annual Conference Social-Democratic Federation_
1907, p. 29.

[800] Mann, _The International Labour Movement_, p. 8.

[801] Jones, _Mining Royalties_, p. 14.

[802] Blatchford, _Competition_, p. 9.

[803] Hall, _Land, Labour, and Liberty_, pp. 9, 10.

[804] _Justice_, November 23, 1907.

[805] George Lansbury, _The Principles of the English Poor Law_, p.
16.

[806] Suthers, _My Right to Work_, p. 104.

[807] Karl Marx, _A Discourse on Free Trade_, p. 39.

[808] Suthers, _My Right to Work_, p. 100.

[809] Blatchford, _Merrie England_, p. 15.

[810] H. Quelch, _The Social-Democratic Federation_, p. 11.

[811] _Ibid._

[812] Suthers, _My Right to Work_, p. 119.

[813] J. Ramsay Macdonald, _Labour and the Empire_, p. 97.

[814] _New Age_, October 10, 1907, p. 369.

[815] Karl Marx, _A Discourse on Free Trade_, p. 42.



CHAPTER XXII

SOCIALISM AND EDUCATION


The attitude of Socialists towards education is a peculiar one. They
see in it apparently less an agency for distributing knowledge and
discovering ability than an instrument for the propagation of
Socialism and an institution for relieving parents of all cost and
responsibility for the maintenance and the bringing up of their
children. Hence most Socialists, in discussing education, consider it
rather from the point of view of those who are desirous of State
relief than from the point of view of those who wish for good
education.

Among the "Immediate Reforms" demanded by the Social-Democratic
Federation, the following embody its education programme: "Elementary
education to be free, secular, industrial, and compulsory for all
classes. The age of obligatory school attendance to be raised to
sixteen. Unification and systematisation of intermediate and higher
education, both general and technical, and all such education to be
free. Free maintenance for all attending State schools. Abolition of
school rates; the cost of education in all State schools to be borne
by the national Exchequer."[816] An influential Socialist writer
demands: "Education should be fee-less from top to bottom of the
ladder, the universities included."[817] In accordance with the
Socialist views regarding the relation of the sexes, which are
described in Chapter XXV. "Socialism and Woman, the Family and the
Home,"[818] most Socialists demand co-education and identical
education for both sexes. "Under Socialism boys and girls will receive
exactly the same training and exercise in the fundamentals of a
liberal education. Success in examinations of whatever character shall
bring equal reward and distinction. There will be no separation into
boys' classes and girls' classes. The instruction being the same, they
shall receive it at the same time."[819] "Education will be the same
for all and for both sexes. The sexes will be separated only in cases
in which functional differences make it absolutely necessary."[820]

Socialists see in the schools chiefly a means whereby to abolish
parental responsibilities and to secure "free State maintenance" for
all children. In claiming free State maintenance, Socialists grossly
exaggerate with regard to the number of underfed children. "It is
doubtful if half the children at present attending school are
physically fit to be educated, and medical men of eminence have
unhesitatingly expressed the opinion that the alarming increase of
insanity, which is one of the most terrible characteristics of modern
social life, is largely, if not entirely, due to the attempt to
educate those who are too ill-nourished to stand the mental strain
that even the most elementary school-training involves. As a remedy
for this, the Social-Democratic Federation advocates a complete system
of free State maintenance for all children attending school. This is
an essential corollary of compulsory education. Only complete free
maintenance will meet the requirements of the case."[821] "All
children, destitute or not, should be fed, and fed without charge, at
the expense of the State or municipality. We propose that the regular
school course should include at least one meal a day. Thus only can
we make sure that all the children who need feeding will be fed."[822]
"To cram dates into the poor little skulls of innocent children when
you ought to be cramming dates down their throats is not a right thing
to do, especially when you remember that the most precious thing in
this world is a human life, and when you realise that you are
murdering systematically thousands of children every year because they
cannot get proper food--they cannot even get pure milk in the great
cities of our land. One of our first duties in this nation is to see
that every child has a right to the best and most ample provision for
its physical needs. That should be the primary charge upon the nation.
I am not here to-night to discuss the great question of the State
maintenance of children. Personally I am absolutely in favour of
it."[823] Experience of other nations has taught that the institution
of free meals for necessitous school-children is immediately and very
grossly abused by unscrupulous parents easily able to feed their
children. From Milan, for instance, we learn that "When in 1900 this
service began, meals were given on only 133 days out of a possible 174
days of school attendance. The outlay was then set down at 98,300
francs. During the second year, however, free meals were served on 153
days and cost 149,337 francs. In 1903 the free meals cost the
municipality 247,766 francs and 277,603 in 1904. The outlay will now
exceed 300,000 francs, and the number of pupils who manage to
establish their claim to be fed gratuitously is ever increasing."[824]
British experiments of free feeding on a smaller scale have shown that
"In the large majority of cases the children who are sent to school
hungry are so sent, not by honest and poor parents, but by those who
have an imperfectly developed sense of parental responsibility and are
willing to shuffle out of the duty of providing for their children if
they think anybody else will undertake it for them. These parents are
not in need of assistance--they are perfectly well able to feed their
own children; but if free meals can be had for the asking, they are
not too proud to tell the child to ask. It relieves the mother of the
trouble of preparing a meal for the child, and the money saved can be
used for some more attractive form of personal expenditure."[825] At
Birmingham, for example, numerous applications were made by the
teachers to the relieving officers on behalf of children under their
care, but when inquiries were made into the circumstances of the
parents it was found that many of them were earning over thirty
shillings a week, and in one case the parent was in constant
employment with an average wage of _3l. 17s. 6d._ a week.[826] In
Bolton, where during the winter of 1904-5 a charitable society
provided free meals for children in certain centres of the town, it
was found that the parents of some of the children who were partaking
of the free meals so provided, and even reported as being underfed,
were in receipt of as much as from _2l._ to _3l._ a week.[827] In
Fulham (London) "More than one hundred names were sent to the Boards
of Guardians of children who were adjudged to be underfed and were
receiving meals from public charity. In hardly one of these cases did
the relieving officer consider the complaint well founded. One family
was found by him to be earning an income of _4l. 4s._ a week, and yet
the children were sent to share in the charitable meals."[828] "Some
of the parents who sent their children to the Johanna Street school in
Lambeth said that they did not give their children food before going
to school as they knew that if they did not do so they would receive
it at the school, as the children of other people got food there and
they did not see why theirs should not too."[829] The fact that
Socialists grossly exaggerate in giving the proportion of underfed
school children, and in ascribing the cause of underfeeding solely to
the poverty of parents, is clear to all who have studied the problem
of poverty. Mr. Cyril Jackson, the chief inspector of public
elementary schools, for instance, in summarising the evidence of the
women inspectors appointed to inquire into the age of admission of
infants into elementary schools, says: "The question of underfed
children cannot fail to be touched in the course of such an inquiry.
It is interesting to find a general agreement that it is unsuitable
rather than insufficient feeding that is responsible for sickly
children. Want of sufficient sleep, neglect of personal cleanliness,
badly ventilated homes, are contributory causes of the low physical
standard reached."[830]

Some Socialists, though only a few, have been honest enough to express
similar views. A Fabian tract, for instance, says: "We have said that
universal free feeding appears to be the only way in which the evil of
improper (as distinct from insufficient) feeding can be removed. At
present many children whose parents get fairly good wages cannot feed
their children properly, either because they do not know what is the
best food to give, or because they have not the time or the skill to
prepare it. Manifestly the case of these will not be met by any system
which feeds only the patently starved and destitute child. But it will
be met both directly and indirectly by a universal system; directly,
because the children, whatever they get at home, will at least get
proper food at school; indirectly, because it will serve to educate
the next generation of mothers in the knowledge of what is the best
and most economical way of providing for their families. This is not
the place to go into the very large question of what is the ideal diet
for a child. All that need be insisted on here is that the provision
should be bought and prepared under expert advice, and that
consideration of cheapness should never be allowed to count as against
the needs of nourishment. Every child should receive at least one
solid meal in the middle of the day, and perhaps a glass of hot milk
on arrival in the morning."[831]

The "hungry children" argument is a valuable one for purposes of
agitation, and it is used by the Socialists to the fullest extent. The
workers are told: "The children are too ill provided for to be
educated. This is not because the worker is idle or thriftless, but
actually because he is too industrious and produces so much that his
labour as a producer is at a discount. It is objected that to provide
free State maintenance for all the children would be to destroy
parental responsibility. But it is too late in the day to urge this
objection, seeing that the State has taken upon itself the education
of the children and is prepared to undertake, and does undertake,
their maintenance and bringing-up when the parents are so careless of
their responsibilities as to neglect them entirely."[832] "The
old-fashioned prejudice fostered by the capitalists and their
hangers-on that it is degrading to accept anything from the State is
fast dying out"[833]--That workmen who are daily told by their leaders
that it is unreasonable to expect that they should bring up their
children frequently desert their family is natural. Every year many
thousands of wives and children are deserted. At every police station
the names of such men may be seen posted up, and those desertions are
undoubtedly largely due to Socialistic teaching.

The real object of the Socialists in demanding free maintenance for
the children is not humanity. In making that demand they do not even
think of the welfare of the children, as the following extracts will
prove, which clearly reveal the real object of their demands. "Free
maintenance for children should be accepted by trade unionists as
tending to raise the standard of comfort. All should demand it with
the object of personally benefiting themselves."[834] "In nine cases
out of ten it is the hungry child who breaks the back of the strike.
Let them feel assured that their children's dinner is secure, and they
will continue the struggle to a victorious end."[835] "Free
maintenance for children would be a tax on that surplus wealth which
the capitalists and the aristocracy share between them. To the worker
free maintenance for his children would be equivalent to an additional
income. His standard of living would rise. No doubt the capitalist
would reduce his wages as much as possible, but the worker would then
be able to fight him on more equal terms. His children being well
cared for, he would be able to hold out against the capitalist for an
indefinite period."[836] "We counsel the workers to accept the offer
as a small payment on account of a huge debt, but to accept it with no
more gratitude than is shown by the class which is maintained in
luxury, parents and children alike, by the collective industry of the
workers. By dint of organisation they may be able very soon to exact
payment of a more substantial sum--State maintenance, to wit."[837]

The doctrines above given have unfortunately been accepted by many
organised workers. A resolution of the Trades Union Congress at
Leeds, in September 1904, asserted:

"That having regard to the facts (_a_) that twelve millions of the
population are living in actual poverty, or close to the poverty line;
(_b_) that physical deterioration of the people is the inevitable
result of this; (_c_) that it is impossible to teach starving and
underfed children, this Congress urges the Government to introduce,
without further delay, legislation instructing education authorities
to provide at least one free meal a day for children attending
State-supported schools."

A resolution passed at the Scottish Miners' Conference on December 30,
1904, stated:

"That this Conference is in favour of State maintenance of children,
but that in the meantime we identify ourselves with the movement in
favour of free meals for school children."

Resolutions passed by the National Labour Conference on the State
maintenance of children, at the Guildhall, City of London, Friday,
January 20, 1905, declared:

"That this Conference of delegates from British Labour Organisations,
Socialist and other bodies, declares in favour of State maintenance of
children as a necessary corollary of universal compulsory education
and as a means of partially arresting that physical deterioration of
the industrial population of this country which is now generally
recognised as a grave national danger. As a step towards such State
maintenance this Conference, supporting the decision of the last
Trades Union Congress upon this question, calls upon the Government to
introduce without further delay such legislative measures as will
enable the local authorities to provide meals for children attending
the common schools, to be paid for out of the National Exchequer; and
in support of this demand calls attention to the evidence given by Dr.
Eichholz, the official witness of the Board of Education on the
Committee on Physical Deterioration, in which he stated that the
question of food is at the base of all the evils of child degeneracy,
and that if steps were taken to ensure the proper adequate feeding of
the children the evil will rapidly cease."

A Socialist has worked out in a widely read book the cost of free
education and State maintenance, which will require a yearly
expenditure of _458,750,000l._, a sum four times as large as the
entire national Budget. This outlay does not deter him. Combining the
State schools with State workshops, he promises that they will yield a
profit of exactly _105,850,000l._ a year.[838] This scheme should
recommend itself to Chancellors of the Exchequer in search of a few
millions.

Another imaginative Socialist would make the abolition of all existing
languages part of his educational scheme: "Socialism will steadfastly
aim at the adoption of a universal language, be it English or volapuk.
All the modern languages--and for the matter of that, the ancient
also--are but jungles of verbiage which retard, rather than
facilitate, human thought and progress. They have grown up anyhow; but
what we now want is a made language, constructed on scientific
principles, and so easy of comprehension that any intelligent person
can acquire it in a few months."[839]

Across the educational, as most other, proposals of British Socialists
should be written in large letters, Utopia!

FOOTNOTES:

[816] See Appendix.

[817] Davidson, _Democrat's Address_, p. 5.

[818] See p. 330.

[819] Ethel Snowden, _The Woman Socialist_, pp. 39, 40.

[820] Bebel, _Woman_, p. 218.

[821] Quelch, _The Social-Democratic Federation_, p. 8.

[822] Fabian Tract, _After Bread, Education_, No. 120, p. 9.

[823] Kirtlan, _Socialism for Christians_, p. 8.

[824] _Free Feeding of School Children_, p. 23.

[825] Cox, _Socialism_, p. 16.

[826] _Local Government Board Report_, Cd. 3105, p. 495.

[827] _Ibid._ p. 506.

[828] _Times_, March 17, 1906.

[829] Cox, _Socialism_, pp. 16, 17.

[830] _Cd._ 2726, p. iii.

[831] Fabian Tract, _After Bread, Education_, No. 120, p. 14.

[832] Quelch, _Social-Democratic Federation_, p. 9.

[833] _Socialism and Trade Unionism_, p. 5.

[834] _Socialism and Trade Unionism_, p. 5.

[835] Fabian Tract, _After Bread, Education_, No. 120, p. 11.

[836] _Socialism and Trade Unionism_, p. 5.

[837] Watts, _State Maintenance for Children_, p. 4.

[838] Richardson, _How It Can Be Done_, pp. 50-61.

[839] Davidson, _The Old Order and the New_, p. 166.



CHAPTER XXIII

THE ATTITUDE OF SOCIALISTS TOWARDS PROVIDENCE, THRIFT, AND TEMPERANCE


Socialism thrives upon the poverty, unhappiness, and misery of the
workers. Starving and desperate men may easily be aroused to
rebellion. Contented men will not become Socialists. Therefore it lies
in the interest of the professional Socialist agitators to maintain
poverty and misery among the masses, and if possible to increase it.
With this object in view, many Socialist agitators oppose all measures
which are likely to turn the propertyless wage-earner--the "wage
slave" as the Socialists like to call him, in order to exasperate
him--into an owner of property, a small capitalist. That might make
him a contented man. Therefore, as we have seen in Chapter XVIII., the
Socialist leaders strenuously oppose "for scientific reasons" the
creation of peasant proprietors. They distinctly encourage
improvidence and oppose, also "for scientific reasons," providence,
thrift, and abstinence among the workers. The philosopher of British
Socialism informs us: "Thrift, the hoarding up of the products of
labour, it is obvious, must be without rhyme or reason, except on a
capitalist basis,"[840] and the Socialists do not wish the workers to
become capitalists.

Some Socialists were indiscreet enough to confess that they opposed
providence, thrift, and temperance among the workers, as practised
especially by the members of trade unions, co-operative societies, and
friendly societies, because these are likely to elevate the masses
and rob the Socialist leaders of supporters. We read, for instance:
"The so-called thrift and temperance movements are essentially
antagonistic to Socialism."[841] "The trade co-operator canonises the
bourgeois virtues, but Socialist vices, of 'over-work' and
'thrift.'"[842] "Co-operation, though regarded by the individual
trader as an enemy, does not necessarily enter into conflict with the
capitalist at all. Indeed, so far as it transforms workmen into
shareholders, it forms a bulwark for capitalism, the same as the
creation of small landholders or any other class of small proprietors
would do."[843] "Co-operation, as carried on in England, is an
obstacle and a danger to the Socialist cause. Being capitalist
concerns pure and simple, co-operative societies are subjected to the
same influences as all other capitalistic ventures."[844] "The
friendly societies are the least promising of any of the democratic
movements from the political point of view. The doctrine of 'thrift'
also has been preached very vigorously to them. There is at present
little prospect of the friendly societies identifying themselves with
the general political labour movement of the country."[845] The
Anarchist Congress of 1869 at Marseilles stated very truly: "La
coopération démoralise les ouvriers en faisant des bourgeois."[846]

Now let us take note of the "scientific" arguments with which British
Socialists oppose providence, thrift, and sobriety among the workers.

"Under present circumstances, the more frugal, thrifty, and abstemious
working people as a class become, the more cheaply they have to live,
the more cheaply they have to sell their labour power to the
capitalist class, wages being determined by the cost of
subsistence."[847] "Temperance, thrift, industry only serve to make
labour an easier or more valuable prey to capital. If they reduce the
cost of living in any particular, they but reduce the cost of labour
to the capitalist."[848] "If _all_ the workers were very thrifty,
sober, industrious, and abstemious they would be worse off in the
matter of wages than they are now."[849] "The mere cheapening of the
cost of living only tends to reduce wages, and thus cannot advantage
the worker."[850] "If _all_ workers were to become teetotalers and
vegetarians, wages would inevitably fall to the wretched level,
perchance, of Oriental countries like India and China, where thrift in
every form is carried to incredible lengths."[851] "Is it not proved
that the Hindoos and the Chinese, who are the most temperate and the
most thrifty people in the world, are always the worst paid? And don't
you see that if the Lancashire workers would live upon rice and water,
the masters would soon have their wages down to rice and water
point?"[852]

The foregoing arguments, which are based on the "Iron Law of Wages,"
of which a refutation has been given in Chapter IV.,[853] may sound
plausible to the unthinking workman. They may infuriate him and
therefore serve the ends of the Socialist agitator, but they are
utterly false and dishonest, as all Socialist leaders know. Wages
depend partly on the supply and demand for labour, partly on the
productiveness of labour. In machineless countries, such as China and
India, the average worker produces very little, and the supply of
workers is unlimited. Hence their wages are low. If the Socialistic
arguments were right, Chinese and Hindoos could double or treble
their wages by becoming drunkards, and English navvies could earn
_5l._ a week by agreeing among themselves to drink champagne instead
of beer. If the cost of subsistence determined the rate of wages, the
wages for all workers in London ought to be approximately the same. In
reality, however, we find that wages range in London from _3l. 10s._
to _18s._ per week. The most skilled workers receive the highest, the
least skilled the lowest, wages. It is therefore evident that wages
are determined by the cost of subsistence only in the case of the
least skilled workers, provided an unlimited supply of such workers
and unrestricted competition among them for work drive down their
wages to the bare existence level.

Providence, thrift, and temperance are habitually attacked by
Socialists not only on "scientific" but also on moral and philosophical
grounds. For instance, Mr. Keir Hardie tells us: "As for thrift, much
which passes for such at present is little different from
soul-destroying parsimony. Men and women starve their years of healthy
activity that they may have enough to keep alive an attenuated old age
scarcely worth preserving."[854] In other words, he advises the workers
to spend all they earn and to become paupers in their old age. A very
influential Socialist writer says: "A man by starving his mind and his
body is able to save money. He borrows books instead of buying them. He
starves his emotional nature by neglecting to go to the theatre,
because to go to the theatre costs money. He doesn't go to concerts
because concerts cost money. He is a teetotaler, not so much because he
wishes to keep his stomach clean and his head clear, but because his
ideal men are teetotalers, grad-grinds, who mortify the flesh in order
to save. And the money is saved with a bad intention. The aim is either
to start independently in business, or else to secure shares in the
undertaking paying the highest dividends compatible with security. The
object of this man is to leave his class behind him, and to live _upon_
labour rather than _by_ it"[855]--According to this authority it would
be immoral for the rural labourer to save in order to be able to till
his own field and to live in his own cottage; it would be immoral for
the artisan to endeavour to have a workshop and a house of his own; it
would be immoral for the worker to put his savings into a savings-bank
or a friendly society, or some limited company, and to live upon his
savings during his old age. It would almost seem as if from the
Socialist point of view the only moral way of obtaining property was by
plundering the rich. "Waste all you earn and die in the workhouse" is
at present their advice to the worker, and the worker who follows that
advice and who lives from hand to mouth easily becomes a pauper. For
him a short spell of unemployment means starvation and despair. This is
evidently a state of affairs which Socialist agitators favour because
it will increase their following.--Another prominent Socialist writer
says: "Among the many quack remedies for poverty, the most venerable
and the most illusive is thrift or saving. The habit of saving is
always represented by the rich as the highest of social virtues; but it
is one they are careful rarely to practise themselves"[856]--If the
rich are so wasteful, how is it then that the national capital, held by
the rich, as the Socialists tell us, has increased from
_4,000,000,000l._ to _12,000,000,000l._ during the last sixty years,
notwithstanding huge capital losses caused by suffering industries? The
decay of agriculture alone has caused a capital loss which approximates
_2,000,000,000l._

The great co-operative movement in England was created by the
celebrated Rochdale Pioneers, the name given to the weavers of
Rochdale who started it. On a rainy night in November 1843, twelve men
met in the back room of a mean inn and commenced the co-operative
movement by organising themselves as "The Rochdale Society of
Equitable Pioneers." They agreed to pay twenty pence a week into a
common fund, but only a few of these twelve men were able to pay their
pence that evening. They began by buying a little tea and sugar at
wholesale prices, which they sold to their members at little more than
cost. In a year their number had grown to twenty-eight, and they had
collected _28l._, with which they rented a little store and stocked it
with _15l._ worth of flour. During the first year they made no profit.
In its second year the society had seventy-four members, _181l._ in
funds, _710l._ of business, and made _22l._ profit, 2-1/2 per cent. of
which was used as a fund for education.[857]

Gradually but constantly growing, this movement has branched out in
every direction, and the result is that there are now in Great Britain
1,685 co-operative societies with 2,263,562 members. These
co-operative societies are manufacturers, ship owners, bankers,
brokers, factors, merchants, millers, printers, bookbinders, and
shopkeepers of every kind on the largest scale. The rapidly growing
assets of the various undertakings represent a value of about
_50,000,000l._, the combined nominal capital comes to _42,813,348l._,
and the yearly net profits amount to about _11,000,000l._, or to more
than 35 per cent. per annum on the subscribed capital. In 1905 the net
profits amounted to 37.4 per cent., in 1906 to 36.4 per cent. on the
share capital.

Capitalised at 4 per cent, the co-operative societies represent an
investment value of about _300,000,000l._, or about _100l._ per
co-operator. The societies maintain an army of 107,727 employees.
Their progress during the last decade may be seen at a glance from
the following figures:

_Total Trade of British Co-operative Societies._

    1896                    £58,729,643
    1901                     88,394,304
    1906                    110,085,826[858]

Already the income of the co-operative societies is twice as large as
the interest paid on the whole of the deposits in the British
savings-banks. There is no reason why the co-operative movement should
not further grow and increase, and it is to be hoped that it will
further extend in every direction to the benefit of the industrious
and thrifty workers. There ought to be no propertyless workers in
Great Britain.

The British co-operative societies have proved to the dismay of the
Socialists that working men may improve their position unaided and may
become capitalists. They have proved that thrift and ability create
prosperity, and they have therefore incurred the hatred of the
Socialist agitators. The philosopher of British Socialism complains:
"Co-operation so far from being Socialism is the very antithesis of
Socialism. Trade co-operation is simply a form of industrial
partnership, in which the society of co-operators is in the relation
of capitalist to the outer world. The units of the society may be
equal amongst themselves, but their very existence in this form
presupposes exploitation going on above, below, and around them."[859]
The editor of "Justice" seems to regret that co-operation encourages
and rewards ability and thrift, for he says: "Co-operation is most
valuable to those among the workers who are best off. The artisan
earning a regular weekly wage has not only a better opportunity of
becoming a member of the co-operative society than the more
precariously employed and more poorly paid labourer, but the advantage
to him is greater by reason of his having more money to spend at the
store. In many cases the poorer members have to sell out, and then the
affair becomes simply a joint-stock company of the more fortunate, the
race being once more to the swift, the battle to the strong."[860]
"The ordinary workman can if he likes become a shareholder in the
"co-op." So he may become a shareholder in a railway if he likes; but
this does not make the capitalist domination of our railways less a
fact. In a co-operative store, as elsewhere, the man with _2l._ a week
is worth just twice as much as the man with _1l._ Co-operation as a
factor in social progress has effected nothing, and is absolutely
valueless except to a certain extent as an educational influence."[861]

Some Socialist writers show their hatred of the co-operative societies
and the co-operators by bitter and almost vicious attacks upon them.
One of them complains: "Instances of successful co-operation _in
production_ have, as yet, been very few, and their moral results
disappointing. Their general tendency has been, not to raise the
workers as a class, but to raise a certain number of prudent--I had
almost said selfish--workmen _out_ of their class, and so to
constitute a _Labour Caste_. Such co-operators employ and exploit
other workmen even more mercilessly than the capitalist employers, and
in struggles between Labour and Capital their sympathies have nearly
always been on the side of the capitalists."[862] Another says: "The
Rochdale Pioneers hire and fleece labourers in the usual manner.
Experience teaches, indeed, that such associations are the hardest
taskmasters. Their interest becomes identified with Capital; and if
ever circumstances should make it easier for the smarter labourers to
start companies of the kind successfully, the creation of a _Labour
Caste_ would be the result. In a general dispute between Labour and
Capital these associations, instead of being a vanguard of Labour,
will go over to the side of Capital. The sons of Rochdale Pioneers,
living in luxury, and imitating the airs and fashions of the wealthy
of all times, point the moral. Where, then, is the gain to the
labouring class? No, instead of advising workmen to save and to invest
their savings in such risky enterprises, it would be much better to
advise them to put their savings into their own flesh and bone."[863]

The foregoing extracts, and many similar ones which might be given,
display a regrettable hatred of ability, providence, and
thrift--qualities which, it is true, are not easily reconcilable with
the tenets of Socialism.

The British nation spends on intoxicating drink about _160,000,000l._
per annum. Out of this enormous sum--a sum much larger than the
national Budget--between _100,000,000l._ and _120,000,000l._ is spent
by the working class alone. Drink is a fearful evil in Great Britain.
The average working man spends every year two months' earnings in
drink, and as there are many moderate drinkers and abstainers, there
must be many who spend three months' earnings and more--that is,
one-quarter of their wages, sometimes one-half, and sometimes more
than one-half, on intoxicants. According to some of the foremost
authorities on social science, and according to some of the most
prominent medical men, drink is chiefly responsible for poverty,
underfeeding, ill-health, and racial degeneration. Nevertheless, the
British Socialists, instead of condemning drunkenness, rather
encourage, or at least excuse, this terrible vice; and again, the
universally discredited Iron Law of Wages is solemnly brought forth to
prove "scientifically" that sobriety and abstinence on the part of
the workers would not benefit the workers but the capitalists. "We are
not prepared to admit that, if all workers were to become teetotalers,
as I am, the _140,000,000l._ now spent on intoxicants would benefit
the workers to any appreciable extent. On the contrary, all economists
tell us that wages always tend towards the minimum subsistence
point--the level at which the wage-slave is willing to subsist and to
reproduce his kind."[864]

The Iron Law of Wages has been abandoned by all scientists because of
its manifest absurdity. However, supposing the Iron Law of Wages were
true, it would not by any means follow that general abstinence would
lead to a lower rate of wages. Non-abstemious wage-earners live
frequently in the most wretched homes, and are dressed in rags because
they spend all they can spend in drink. If they should become sober,
they would find better houses, better clothing, better furniture as
indispensable as drink is now to them. In reality abstinence, instead
of lowering wages, would probably increase them very considerably in
accordance with the increased productive power of the worker. It is a
general experience that the steady and abstemious worker commands a
higher wage than his more or less drunken, unreliable, and untidy
colleague.

Socialists are fond of excusing drunkenness by arguing that the worker
gets drunk "because he is physically and mentally exhausted, used up
with the day's work";[865] "because the wretched social condition of
the mass of workers of this country--the long hours, the uncertainty
of work, the insufficient food and clothing, and degrading home-life,
which are their daily portion--makes drunkards."[866] Another
well-known writer states: "If thousands of the workers drink to drown
the cares and sorrows of their dreary, degraded, wretched existence,
they do so at the expense of going without some of the merest
necessaries."[867] This is, unfortunately, only too true. But it is
not true that "Our damnable, infernal, profit-mongering system
manufactures and produces drunkards because huge profits can be made
out of the business for the brewer and the publican."[868]

The above statements, which excuse drunkenness as something natural
and unavoidable in Great Britain, are untrue. All civilised countries
are based upon the private possession of capital, and in all large
profits can be made by brewers and publicans. Now, if it were true, as
has been stated in the foregoing, that hard work and long hours cause
drunkenness, drunkenness should be greater in the United States,
Germany, and France than in Great Britain, for in these countries and
most others workers work much harder and work much longer hours than
in Great Britain. The British nation should therefore be the most
sober nation, but it is in reality the most drunken nation, a fact
which is known to all who have studied this question.

The majority of British Socialist leaders apparently desire to keep
the workers drunken, for every suggestion that the worker might
improve his position by greater moderation in drinking is passionately
denounced by them. In a speech Andrew Carnegie mentioned that "he had
employed forty-five thousand men at one time, and his experience was
that the man who drank was good for drinking and for nothing else. He
had nothing to do with the man who drank. He did not believe in the
Submerged Tenth, but what he wanted to do, remembering he was a
working man himself, was to take an honest, sober, well-doing,
hard-working man by the hand and help him if he could. He only wanted
to help those who could help themselves." Commenting on this speech,
one of the Socialist weeklies said: "According to the foregoing, no
drunkard, no matter how chronic, could display a greater specimen of
human demoralisation than does that reported speech of Dr. Andrew
Carnegie depict himself; soulless beyond imagination almost, in spite
of his self-advertised respect and sympathy for the honest, sober
working man." In the same article we read: "Total abstainers are
capable of viler actions than those of certain drunkards, while the
profoundest depth of ignorance and incapacity to think are attributes
of millions of total abstainers."[869] When Mr. John Burns advised the
workmen to help themselves by abstaining from drink and gambling, the
whole Socialist press raged, and he was called a traitor to the cause
and an agent of capitalism.

Only rarely does a Socialist rebuke drunkenness. In "Socialism for
Christians" we find a passage: "As long as you have a democracy sodden
in drink you will have a democracy under the hoofs of capitalists.
There is no hope for the democracy as long as it is content to grovel
before the great pewter pot which it has made into a god."[870]
However, that passage was not penned by a professional Socialist, but
by a clergyman, an outsider, and an amateur in Socialism.

While British Socialist leaders try to degrade the masses and to
increase their misery by encouraging them to waste a very large part
of their wages in drink, instead of spending the money on necessary
food and clothing, on sufficient living room and furniture, foreign
Socialists try to elevate their followers and to combat the drinking
evil among them. The foremost Belgian Socialist, who constantly
agitates against drunkenness, wrote:

"How often have we not found in Socialist pamphlets, or in our
newspapers, statements such as the following: 'Misery produces
alcoholism,' or 'Drink is a consequence of capitalism, and will only
disappear with the capitalistic system itself.' These are comfortable
theories indeed, but they unfortunately come in conflict with the
facts. The labourer must not only regard alcohol as one of the causes
of poverty, demoralisation, and degeneration, but as a canker which
destroys his strength and powers of resistance. We therefore address
to all our comrades this warning: The more earnest you are and the
stricter towards yourself, the greater will be the authority you bring
to bear upon the branding of this evil. Everything which decreases the
consumption of alcohol increases the helping powers of labour
movements, raises the moral tone of the working class, and gives it
fresh strength in its struggle for emancipation. Therefore all
Socialistic societies should break away from out-of-date ideas with
regard to alcoholism, and leave off expecting results from a social
revolution which they themselves can attain to-day. It is our bounden
duty to declare war against alcohol. War to the knife, for it is all
the more dangerous as it dwells in our midst in the guise of
friendship. When addicted to drink, the working class cannot do what
must be done. Alcohol, by its paralysing qualities, naturally leads to
fatigue, negligence, weakness, and impotence. Only those who can rule
themselves are able and worthy to rule the world."[871]

The German Socialist leaders also endeavour to elevate their followers
by fighting drunkenness. At the Congress at Essen in 1907, a
resolution was unanimously passed by the German Social-Democratic
party in which various recommendations were made to the Government
regarding the diminution of drunkenness, and which concluded with the
words: "The working-class organisations are invited to suppress in
their meeting all compulsion to consume alcoholic liquors, to put a
stop to its sale in schools, in registry offices, and in places where
collections are made for strikers, and to inform children and young
men by word of mouth and by the Press of the danger of alcohol, and to
watch over drinking habits which lead to the abuse of alcohol."[872] A
German Socialist periodical recently wrote: "Workers who drink neglect
their duties towards their family, drink away their wages, bring
disorder into their unions, lose the sympathy of the quiet and
industrious citizens, become the slaves of the public-house, and
damage Socialism. Therefore Socialists should abstain absolutely from
drinking intoxicating drinks. Ordinary capitalism exploits the
proletariat, but does not poison them too in their own persons and in
their posterity. But alcohol does both; it lames the power of a whole
nation and leads to the degeneration of the race, as does opium in
China. The drinker loses his self-respect, his higher aims as a human
being. It must be made a fundamental principle of the German
Social-Democratic party that the proletariat can vanquish capital only
after it has first vanquished drink. The sooner that victory is won,
the sooner the fate of society will be decided."[873]

Continental Socialist leaders recommend to their followers thrift,
sobriety, and co-operation. British Socialist leaders, who have taken
the whole of their doctrines from the Continent, condemn "on
scientific and moral grounds," thrift, sobriety, and co-operation.

FOOTNOTES:

[840] Bax, _Religion of Socialism_, p. 95.

[841] Bax and Quelch, _A New Catechism_, p. 40.

[842] Bax, _Religion of Socialism_, p. 94.

[843] Quelch, _Trade Unionism_, p. 16.

[844] _Social-Democrat_, April 1907, p. 212.

[845] Penny, _Political Labour Movement_, p. 11.

[846] Roscher, _Politik_, p. 575.

[847] Bax and Quelch, _A New Catechism_, p. 41.

[848] Quelch, _Economics of Socialism_, p. 16.

[849] Blatchford, _Britain for the British_, p. 127.

[850] Quelch, _Economics of Socialism_, p. 16.

[851] Davidson, _The Old Order and the New_, p. 107.

[852] Blatchford, _Britain for the British_, p. 129.

[853] See p. 53 ff, _ante._

[854] Keir Hardie, _Can a Man be a Christian on a Pound a Week?_ p.
13.

[855] Leatham, _The Class War_, p. 8.

[856] Davidson, _The Old Order and the New_, p. 105.

[857] Bliss, _Encyclopedia of Social Reform_, pp. 358 and 1195.

[858] _Labour Gazette_, December 1907.

[859] Bax, _Religion of Socialism_, p. 94.

[860] Quelch, _Trade Unionism_, p. 10.

[861] _Ibid._ p. 13

[862] Davidson, _The Old Order and the New_, p. 109.

[863] Gronlund, _Co-operative Commonwealth_, p. 51.

[864] Muse, _Poverty and Drunkenness_, p. 3.

[865] Leatham, _Was Jesus a Socialist?_ p. 11.

[866] Muse, _Poverty and Drunkenness_, p. 12.

[867] Glyde, _Britain's Disgrace_, p. 20.

[868] _Ibid._ p. 20.

[869] _Forward_, November 16, 1907.

[870] Kirtlan, _Socialism for Christians_, p. 15.

[871] Vandervelde, _Drink and Socialism_, pp. 3, 8.

[872] _Social-Democrat_, October 1907, p. 620.

[873] _Die Neue Gesellschaft_, November 1907, pp. 332, 337.



CHAPTER XXIV

SOCIALIST VIEWS ON LAW AND JUSTICE


Most Socialists have a very strong objection to the existing laws.
"Law is only a masked form of brute force."[874] "The laws to-day are
defences of the foolish rich against the ignorant and hungry poor. The
laws to-day, like the laws of the past, make more criminals than they
punish. The laws keep the people ignorant and poor, and the rich idle
and vicious."[875] "The laws were made by ignorant and dishonest men;
they are administered by men ignorant and selfish; they are dishonest
laws, good for neither rich nor poor; evil in their conception, evil
in their enforcement, evil in their results."[876]

Most Englishmen are proud of the English judges because of their
learning, high character, and integrity. To many Socialists the judges
are the most contemptible and mercenary of men. The philosopher of
British Socialism informs us: "It is an undoubted truth that no judge
can be strictly an honest man. The judge must necessarily be a man of
inferior moral calibre. A judge, by the fact of his being a judge,
proclaims himself a creature on a lower moral level than us ordinary
mortals, and this without any assumption of moral superiority above
the average on our part. He deliberately pledges himself, that is, to
be false to himself. He may any day have to pass sentence on one whom
he believes to be innocent. He lays himself under the obligation of
administering a law which he may know to be bad on any occasion when
called upon, merely because it is a law. He makes this surrender of
humanity and honour for what? For filthy lucre and tawdry notoriety.
Now, I ask, can we conceive a more abjectly contemptible character
than that which acts thus?"[877]

The cause of the hatred with which the British Socialists contemplate
the law and the judges is obvious:

    They're blocking up the highway; yes, they think to keep us back
    By piling barriers of law and falsehood on the track;
    We'll break the barriers down, and burn them into cinders black,
                As we go marching to liberty.[878]

    Come every honest lad and lass!
      Too long we've been kept under
    By rusty chains of fraud and fear--
      We'll snap them all asunder!

    That robbers' paction styled the Law
      To frighten honest folk, sirs,
    We'll set ablaze and fumigate
      The country with the smoke, sirs.[879]

When Jack Cade, whom the Socialists praise as a social reformer,
marched at the head of the insurrectionists into London, one of his
first acts was to burn the stored-up documents of the law, an act
which Shakespeare immortalised in his "Henry VI." in the following
words:

"Cade: Is not this a lamentable thing, that of the skin of an innocent
lamb should be made parchment? that parchment, being scribbled o'er,
should undo a man?... Away, burn all the records of the realm: my
mouth shall be the parliament of England.

"John (_aside_): Then we are like to have biting statutes, unless his
teeth be pulled out.

"Cade: And henceforward all things shall be in common."[880]

Socialism will abolish the law: "The great act of confiscation will be
the seal of the new era; then, and not till then, will the knell of
Civilisation, with its rights of property and its class-society, be
sounded; then, and not till then, will justice--the justice not of
Civilisation but of Socialism--become the corner-stone of the social
arch."[881] Therefore one of the first acts of Socialist government
will be "the abrogation of 'civil law,' especially that largest
department of it which is concerned with the enforcement of contract
and me recovery of debt."[882]

Socialists never tire of denouncing the barbarity of the existing law.
According to their religious views given in Chapter XXVI. (see p.
360), man is an irresponsible being. He does not know the difference
between right and wrong, between good and evil. Therefore it is
according to their opinion unjust and cruel to punish criminals. "The
Christian regards the hooligan, the thief, the wanton, and the
drunkard as men and women who have done wrong. But the humanist
regards them as men and women who have been wronged."[883] "Human law,
like divine law, is based upon the false idea that men know what is
right and what is wrong, and have power to choose the right."[884]
"Man becomes that which he is by the action of forces outside
himself."[885] "All human actions are ruled by heredity and
environment. Man is not responsible for his heredity and environment.
Therefore all blame and all punishment are unjust. Blame and
punishment, besides being unjust, are ineffectual."[886]

"To the Socialist, for every crime committed the State, or the society
in which it is committed, is as much or more responsible than the
individual."[887] "A society that employs the gallows and the 'cat'
pretty much deserves all it gets at the hands of criminals. If the
criminal, when he gets the chance of doing so with impunity, commits
the crime for which the gallows or the lash is reserved, society has
only itself to thank."[888]

From the foregoing considerations it logically follows that "a
Socialist administration would treat delinquents with the utmost
leniency consistent with the existence of society."[889] "A man of
average sense ought to be able to protect himself against fraud. Theft
only requires the restitution of the stolen property plus an addition,
such as the Roman law provided. The ideal condition of a community is
that the remorse following the commission of a crime should be an
adequate preventive of its commission"[890]--By its attitude towards
crime, Socialism should secure for itself the enthusiastic support of
the criminal classes. By abrogating the enforcement of contract and
the recovery of debt, it should secure for itself the equally
enthusiastic support of all fraudulent debtors. Conspirators and
revolutionaries since the time of Catiline have opened the gaols and
have relied on criminal desperadoes for the realisation of their
ambitions. It is worth noting that most Anarchists also recommend the
abolition of law and the law courts.[891]

Until the ideal Socialist commonwealth has been firmly established,
and "until the economic change has worked itself out in ethical
change, it is clear that a criminal law must exist. The only question
is whether its basis shall be a mass of anomalous statutes and
precedents or a logical system."[892] Bax decides that the logical
system and the Code Napoléon is to be introduced after the Socialist
revolution.[893] The fact that the people do not know the French laws
apparently does not matter.

Many Socialists complain that British laws, and American laws too, are
not collected and codified. Hence the citizen does not, and cannot,
know the law. "What is called 'the law' is something that no lawyer
can learn in a lifetime, both on account of the bulk of the Reports,
and because he never can be absolutely certain what is good and what
is bad law. The profession chooses rather than ascertains the
law."[894] Owing to lack of a code of laws, the law is uncertain and
exceedingly costly. Hence the poor man can obtain justice only with
difficulty, if at all. Besides, "The fear of litigation is a weapon
society places in the hands of the rich man to coerce the poor man,
irrespective of the merits of the case, by dangling ruin before
him."[895] There is much justification for these complaints.

We have seen in former Chapters that Socialism teaches that property
is theft and that rich men are criminals. In the present Chapter we
have learned that criminals are men wronged by society. The Socialist
conception of law and justice should recommend itself to all
criminals, and all criminals should be Socialists.

FOOTNOTES:

[874] Bax, _Outlooks from the New Standpoint_, p. 107.

[875] Blatchford, _Not Guilty_, p. 258.

[876] _Ibid._ p. 259.

[877] Bax, _Religion of Socialism_, p. 108.

[878] _Independent Labour Party Song Book_, p. 17.

[879] _Social-Democratic Federation Song Book_, p. 19.

[880] _King Henry VI._, Part II. Act IV. Scenes 2 and 7.

[881] Bax, _The Ethics of Socialism_, pp. 82, 83.

[882] _Ibid._ pp. 85, 86.

[883] Blatchford, _God and My Neighbour_, p. 100.

[884] Blatchford, _Not Guilty_, p. 19.

[885] _Ibid._ p. 23.

[886] Blatchford, _Not Guilty_, p. 251.

[887] Bax, _Outlooks from the New Standpoint_, p. 146.

[888] _Ibid._ p. 105.

[889] Bax, _Ethics of Socialism_, p. 59.

[890] Bax, _Outlooks from the New Standpoint_, p. 104.

[891] See Stirner, _Der Einzige und sein Eigentum_; Bakounine, _Dieu
et l'État_; Kropotkine, _Paroles d'un Révolté_, &c.

[892] Bax, _The Ethics of Socialism_, p. 88.

[893] _Ibid._ p. 89.

[894] Gronlund, _Co-operative Commonwealth_, p. 138.

[895] Bax, _Religion of Socialism_, p. 147.



CHAPTER XXV

SOCIALISM AND WOMAN, THE FAMILY AND THE HOME


Men in all classes of society save and endeavour to become owners of
some property, not so much for their own sake as for the sake of their
wives and of their children, whom they wish to leave "provided for."
Married men are notoriously more provident and thrifty than unmarried
ones. Property is the defence of the family. The fundamental aim of
Socialism is the abolition of that private property which is the prop
of the family. Consequently every prudent head of a family is likely
to resist Socialism, and thus there exists a natural and innate
hostility between Socialism and the family.

Besides, the idea of the family is not easily reconcilable with the
idea of the Socialistic State. The maintenance of the family requires
private capital, and the present capitalistic and individualistic
system of society, the modern State and modern civilisation, are based
upon the family and have sprung from it. The citizen of the modern
civilised State places the interest of his family above the interest
of the community. Socialism wishes to reverse the situation and to
subordinate the interest of the family to the interest of the
community.

Socialism strives after equality among the citizens. Therefore many
British Socialists are avowed communists, as will be shown in Chapter
XXIX. Now it is clear that a perfect equality among the citizens
cannot be created by abolishing merely the institution of private
property. The man who envied his neighbour for the exclusive
possession of his property may, after the abolition of private
property, envy him for the exclusive possession of a particularly
attractive wife. Therefore most of the great thinkers since Plato who
have mapped out systems for the equalisation of fortunes, have
logically insisted on the community of wives.

Lastly, the subordination of the private family under the State, the
control of work and food for all by the State, must logically lead
also to State control of the increase of the population. Two thousand
two hundred years ago, when in Athens the idea of the equalisation of
fortunes had come to the front, Aristotle wrote: "Whoever would
regulate the extent of private fortunes must also regulate the
increase of families. If children multiply beyond the means of
supporting them, the intention of the law will be frustrated and
families will be suddenly reduced from opulence to beggary, a
revolution always dangerous to public tranquillity."[896] At the same
time Aristophanes showed in his comedy "Ecclesiazusae" that the
community of goods would necessarily lead to the community of wives.

The assertion of the opponents of Socialism that Socialism means the
dissolution of the marriage tie and the abolition of the family has
been met with an indignant denial by many Socialists: "Socialism does
not 'threaten the sanctity of the home.' Socialism has no more to do
with the marriage laws than Toryism has."[897] "No party--neither
Socialist nor non-Socialist--has openly identified itself with the
views of its prominent members on this question. The idea that
marriage, as an institution, ought to be abolished has never received
the sanction of any political organisation in Great Britain."[898] "No
Socialist entertains the remotest idea of 'abolishing' the family,
whether by law or otherwise. Only the grossest misrepresentation can
fasten upon them such a purpose; moreover, it takes a fool to imagine
that any form of family can either be created or abolished by
decree."[899]

The above is confirmed by an official declaration of recent date. At a
meeting of the National Council of the Independent Labour Party, which
took place in London on October 4 and 5, 1907, the following
resolution was adopted:

"The National Council of the Independent Labour Party repudiates the
attack upon Socialism on the ground that Socialism is opposed to
religion, and declares that the Socialist movement embraces men and
women of all religions and forms of belief, and offers the most
complete freedom in this respect within its ranks. It further
repudiates the charge that Socialism is antagonistic to the family
organisation, and reminds the public that the disintegration of the
family, which has been in progress for some generations, has been
owing to the creation of slums, the employment of children in
factories, the dragging of mothers into workshops and factories, owing
to the economic pressure created by low wages, sweating, and other
operations of capitalism which the anti-Socialist campaign is designed
to support, and which it is the purpose of Socialism to supplant."

Now let us compare with these emphatic denials addressed to the
general public the deliberate statements of the intellectual leaders
of British and foreign Socialism regarding marriage and the family,
addressed to their followers.

The celebrated "Manifesto" issued by the founder of modern
international Socialism declares: "On what foundation is the present
family, the bourgeois family, based? On capital, on private gain. The
bourgeois family will vanish as a matter of course when its
complement vanishes. Bourgeois marriage is in reality a system of
wives in common, and thus, at the most, what the Communists might
possibly be reproached with is that they desire to introduce, in
substitution for a hypocritically concealed, an openly legalised,
community of women."[900] The founders of British Socialism state:
"Even now it is necessary that a certain code of morality should be
supposed to exist, and to have some relation to that religion which,
being the creation of another age, has now become a sham. With this
sham, moreover, its accompanying morality is also stupid, and this is
clung to with a determination, or even ferocity, natural enough, since
its aim is the perpetuation of individual property in wealth, in
workman, in wife, in child."[901]

"Like every other institution of existing society, marriage, as we
know it, is a consequence of private property. The primitive
swag-monger could think of no better method of keeping his swag
together after his death than by making the child of a particular
slave-wife his heir. The chief pre-eminence of the Sultana of the
harem lay in the fact that she acted, so to speak, as the conveyancer
of the estate."[902] The spokesmen of the Social-Democratic Federation
say: "What is the position of Socialism towards the question of
marriage as at present constituted? The existing monogamic relation is
simply the outcome of the institution of private or individual
property. It has developed, in proportion to the accentuation of the
institution of private, as against communal, property. When private
property ceases to be the fulcrum around which the relations between
the sexes turn, any attempt at coercion, moral or material, in these
relations must necessarily become repugnant to the moral sense of the
community."[903]

The foregoing statements lead to the inevitable conclusion that "The
transformation of the current family form into a freer, more real, and
therefore a higher form, must inevitably follow the economic
revolution which will place the means of production and distribution
under the control of all for the good of all."[904]

Another authority informs us "Socialism, Communism, or whatever one
chooses to call it, by converting private property into public wealth
and substituting co-operation for competition, will restore society to
its proper condition of a thoroughly healthy organism, and ensure the
material well-being of each member of the community. It will, in fact,
give life its proper basis and its proper environment. Socialism
annihilates family life, for instance. With the abolition of private
property, marriage in its present form must disappear. This is part of
the programme."[905] A distinguished Fabian proclaims: "The Socialist
no more regards the institution of marriage as a permanent thing than
he regards a state of competitive industrialism as a permanent
thing."[906] The leading book of the Fabian Society states: "The
economic independence of women and the supplanting of the head of the
household by the individual as the recognised unit of the State will
materially alter the status of children and the utility of the
institution of the family."[907] The leading periodical of the Fabians
says: "Of all the stupid theories regarding the family, the most
stupid is the belief that it is natural. On the contrary, the
trinitarian family organisation is plainly a work of art, a
deliberate device of man's. Nothing is more plain than the fact that
the hierarchy of the family has been employed, and is still employed,
as a model for the hierarchy of the State and of human society
generally; in other words, as a prop of aristocracy."[908] A leading
member of the Independent Labour Party tells us: "I do not believe it
is desirable to cultivate the family idea as at present understood,
which in the main is designed to teach the children to think more of
their own family than any other; I want to see the broader family life
of society taught in the spirit of the West Country motto, 'One for
all and all for each.'"[909]

Marriage is, according to many Socialists, not only incompatible with
Socialistic progress, but is also immoral. The philosopher of British
Socialism, going a step further than did Marx in his Manifesto,
endeavours to prove that marriage and prostitution are equally immoral.
"Both legalised monogamic marriage and prostitution are based
essentially on commercial considerations. The one is purchase, the
other hire. The higher and only really moral form of the marriage
relation which transcends both is based neither on sale nor hire.
Prostitution is immoral as implying the taking advantage by the woman
of a monopoly which costs her no labour for the sake of extorting money
from the man. But the condition of legal marriage--maintenance--does
the same."[910] This opinion is shared by the leading American
Socialist writer, who says: "The one has sold her person for money
under cover of marriage, the other has done the same thing outside
marriage."[911] Other Socialists express similar opinions: "The present
marriage system cannot be claimed by anyone as a success. Complete
economic independence of women will, however, solve the question. Under
Communism will and affection will be supreme. Marriage will be
infinitely holier and more permanent than it is to-day."[912] "Mere
legal matrimony and familism could not survive the communalisation of
property, and it may be well so. Marriage as we know it is merely one
of the many unwholesome fungi that grow out of the reeking, rotting
corpus of private property, and it would not be difficult to conceive
of a sexual order infinitely more angelic."[913]

There is no reason why an "infinitely more angelic sexual order"
should not replace marriage as at present conceived and constituted,
for "Marriage is no more a Christian ethic than it is a Mohammedan
ethic, or a Japanese custom. We have already 'considered' the marriage
laws and altered them. Where, then, is the immorality in demanding a
further consideration? Our notions concerning the relations of men and
women have changed with the changing times, and at each stage we have
reached a more exalted plane of understanding. What right have we to
assume, therefore, that the future does not hold a nobler ideal than
our present one?"[914]

The direction in which inter-sexual relations should be changed in
order to attain a nobler ideal than the present one is obvious: "What
we need is freedom from the restraints of an artificial existence;
liberty to make the most of our inherent capacity, and human longing
for a higher life will do all the rest."[915] "Socialism will strike
at the root at once of compulsory monogamy and of prostitution by
inaugurating an era of marriage based on free choice and intention,
and characterised by the absence of external coercion. For where the
wish for the maintenance of the marriage relation remains, there
external compulsion is unnecessary; where it is necessary, because the
wish has disappeared, there it is undesirable."[916] "The present
marriage system was based on the general supposition of the economic
dependence of the woman on the man, and the consequent necessity for
his making provision for her which she can legally enforce. This basis
would disappear with the advent of social economic freedom, and no
binding contract would be necessary between the parties as regards
livelihood; while property in children would cease to exist, and every
infant that came into the world would be born into full citizenship
and would enjoy all its advantages, whatever the conduct of its
parents might be. Thus a new development of the family would take
place, on the basis not of a predetermined life-long business
arrangement to be formally and nominally held to, irrespective of
circumstances, but on mutual inclination and affection, an association
terminable at the will of either party. There would be no vestige of
reprobation weighing on the dissolution of one tie and the forming of
another."[917]

Many Socialists, led by Bax, the philosopher of Socialism in Great
Britain, and by Bebel, the head of the Social-Democratic party in
Germany, take a very broad and a very primitive view with regard to
marital relations and to the greater freedom in these relations in the
Socialistic State of the future: "The whole of our sexual morality (as
such), in so far as it has a rational, as opposed to a mystical,
basis, is nothing but a 'plant' to save the ratepayers' pockets by
fixing the responsibility for the maintenance of children on the
individuals responsible for the procreation of them. To the consistent
Socialist, the sexual relation is, _per se_, morally indifferent
(neither moral nor immoral) like any other bodily function, but it
may easily become immoral _per accidentem_, i.e., from the special
circumstances under which it takes place, and whereby it acquires the
character of an act of injustice or treachery, such as seduction of a
friend's wife or daughter."[918] A very influential Socialist writer
asks: "Is chastity a virtue, and is there such a vice as unchastity?"
and he answers his question by quoting the above statement of
Bax.[919] "If it be asked, Is marriage a failure? the answer of any
impartial person must be--monogamic marriage is a failure--the rest is
silence. We know not what new form of the family the society of the
future, in which men and women will be alike economically free, may
evolve and which may be generally adopted therein. Meanwhile, we ought
to combat by every means within our power the metaphysical dogma of
the inherent sanctity of the monogamic principle. Economic development
on the one side and the free initiative of individuals on the other
will do the rest."[920]

Bebel thinks, "The satisfying of amatory desires is a law which every
individual must fulfil as a sacred duty towards himself, if his
development is to be healthy and normal, and he must refuse
gratification to no natural impulse. The so-called animal passions
occupy no lower rank than the so-called mental passions. A healthy
manner of life, healthy employment, and a healthy education in the
broadest sense of the word, combined with the natural gratification of
natural and healthy instincts, must be brought within the reach of
all."[921] Freedom of love is to be equal to men and women: "In the
choice of love woman is free just as man is free. She woos and is wooed
and has no other inducement to bind herself than her own free will.
The contract between the two lovers is of a private nature as in
primitive times. The gratification of the sexual impulse is as strictly
the personal affair of the individual as the gratification of every
other natural instinct. No one has to give an account of him or herself
and no third person has the slightest right of intervention."[922]

A prominent British Socialist shares Bebel's views: "For the
non-childbearing woman the sex-relationship, both as to form and
substance, ought to be a pure question of taste, a simple matter of
agreement between the man and her, in which neither the society nor
the State would have any need to interfere, a free sexual union, a
relation solely of mutual sympathy and affection, its form and
direction varying according to the feelings and wants of the
individuals."[923] The founders of British Socialism agree with the
foregoing opinion. "Under a Socialistic system contracts between
individuals would be free and unenforced by the community. This would
apply to the marriage contract as well as others, and it would become
a matter of simple inclination. Nor would a truly enlightened public
opinion, freed from mere theological views as to chastity, insist on
its permanently binding Nature in the face of any discomfort or
suffering that might come of it."[924]

"Socialists expect that, under Socialism, the terrible evil of
prostitution will disappear. If it does not, it will be either because
women are still denied political power, or because their votes have
decided that the prostitute must remain. But if, as at present, the
'unfortunate woman' be regarded as a necessity in those days of
advanced thought and increased opportunities, then her status must be
raised. She must not be an acknowledged necessity and a scorned
outcast at the same time, as is the case now. Her position in the
State will be clearly defined. She will be held to be performing a
necessary social service. Whether this idea meets with favour or not,
it is the only fair, the only possible, solution, if the prostitute is
to remain."[925]

"In a Socialistic State, no woman will be economically dependent upon
any one man, father, brother, or husband. Her living will be assured
to her by the community. Marriage will not make her the more
dependent. If she should have children, she will be salaried, or
otherwise supported, according to the number and the healthiness of
her offspring. If no children are born to her, she will be at liberty
to occupy herself with some other profitable work--not necessarily
household labour, certainly not household labour all the time--for
that will be reduced to a minimum. But she will engage in such useful
work as her special tastes will direct. A free woman, she will thus be
able to give her love freely."[926] "The 'subjection of woman' being
at an end in consequence of her economic emancipation, actions for
breach of promise or seduction, as well as prostitution itself, will
be rendered meaningless. When a woman sues for breach of promise she
is really suing for loss of a lucrative situation. When she plies for
hire on the public street, she does so because the scourge of
starvation is laid on her shoulders. Remove that scourge, and instead
of the hideous commerce between lust and lucre we shall, in all cases,
have the fair exchange of genuine human love for love."[927] "Free as
the wind, the Socialist wife will be bound only by her natural love
for husband and children."[928]

Men and women being sexually free in the Socialist State of the
future, the law will take cognisance neither of breach of promise,
seduction, prostitution, and desertion of the family, nor of even
graver offences against the present code of morality. The philosopher
of British Socialism informs us: "Society is directly concerned--(1)
with the production of offspring, (2) with the care that things
sexually offensive to the majority shall not be obtruded on public
notice, or obscenity on 'young persons.' Beyond this, all sexual
actions (of course excluding criminal violence or fraud) are matters
of purely individual concern."

"Offences connected with sexual matters, from rape downwards, may be
viewed from two or three different sides, and are complicated in ways
which render the subject difficult of discussion in a work intended
for promiscuous circulation. Here, as in the last case--viz. of theft
or robbery--we must be careful in considering such offences to
eliminate the element of brutality or personal injury, which may
sometimes accompany the crime referred to, from the offence itself.
For the rest I confine myself to remarking that this class also,
though not so obviously as the last, springs from an instinct
legitimate in itself but which has been suppressed or distorted. The
opinions of most, even enlightened, people on such matters are,
however, so largely coloured by the unconscious survival in their
minds of sentiment derived from old theological and theosophical views
of the universe, that they are not of much value. This is partly the
reason why the ordinary good-natured bourgeois, who can complacently
pass on by the other side after casting a careless look on the most
fiendish and organised cruelty in satisfaction of the economic
craving--gain--is galvanised into a frenzy of indignation at some
sporadic case of real or supposed ill-usage perpetrated in
satisfaction of some bizarre form of the animal craving--lust. Until
people can be got to discuss this subject in the white light of
physiological and pathological investigation rather than the dim
religious gloom of semi-mystical emotion, but little progress will be
effected towards a due appreciation of the character of the offences
referred to. It is a curious circumstance, as illustrating the change
of men's view of offences, that an ordinary indecent assault, which in
the Middle Ages--in Chaucer's time, for instance--would evidently have
been regarded as a species of rude joke, should now be deemed one of
the most serious of crimes."[929]

"When a sexual act, from whatever cause, is not, and cannot be,
productive of offspring, the feeling of the majority has no _locus
standi_ in the matter. Not only is it properly outside the sphere of
coercion, but it does not concern morality at all. It is a question
simply of individual taste. The latter may be good or bad, but this is
an æsthetic, and not directly a moral or social question."[930] "No
social and secular argument readily presents itself against the act
for which the brilliant and wretched Wilde is to-day the associate of
felons. In view of the exclamations of bated horror over this offence,
and the tacit assumption that it stands second only to murder in its
enormity, it may be worth while to point out that, tested by a
non-theological ethic, it is not quite certain that such practices are
immoral at all."[931] "It has been well said that there are few laws
so futile as those that profess to seek out and punish acts--normal or
abnormal--done in secret and by mutual consent between adult persons.
There are also few laws more unjust when the acts thus branded by law
are the natural outcome of inborn disposition and not directly
injurious to the community at large. The Moltke-Harden case brings
these considerations clearly before us afresh, and compels us to ask
ourselves whether it would not be possible to amend our laws in the
direction not only of social purity and sincerity but of reason and
humanity."[932]

The "social purity" of Socialism would be the purity of Sodom and
Gomorrah. It would be unrestricted bestiality.

The majority of Socialists who have seriously considered the marriage
problem in the Socialist State of the future--Marx, Lassalle,
Rodbertus, and others, consider only the economic problems--have
pronounced themselves in favour of free love in some form or the
other. In this the conclusions of the Socialists agree with those of
the Anarchists.[933] Indeed, "collective" marriage and other
abominations have been freely practised during a long time in the
Socialist colonies of North America, such as Oneida and
Wallingsford.[934] Some Socialist thinkers, such as Saint-Simon and
Enfantin, following the footstep of Plato, condemn marriage for life
and recommend the organisation of procreation by the State. Others,
such as Fourier, favour polygamy and polyandry. Others, such as
Bellamy[935] and Kautsky,[936] believe that the people will remain
attached to marriage as at present constituted. Others again find
consolation in the fact that "despite the marital customs of the East,
there is in the average human animal a strong monogamous
instinct."[937] Anton Menger compares free love with free competition,
and therefore objects to it[938] for the same reason for which
Aristophanes objected to it in his "Ecclesiazusae" 2200 years ago. He
thinks that free love would benefit the young, strong and
good-looking, and believes that the doctrine of free love owes its
rise to hatred of Christianity among Socialists,[939] monogamous
marriage being a Christian institution.

Socialists propose to break all the bonds which at present connect
woman with her husband and her children, and to put her into an
artificial and unnatural position calculated to unsex her. "For the
first time since the world began, woman will in every respect be the
equal of man. She will be the guardian of her own honour, and marriage
will assume an entirely novel character. All unions will be unions of
affection and esteem, and children, as of old, will primarily be the
children of the mother. Her right to select the father of her own
children is absolute. In such a society all children will be equally
'legitimate,' and the Seventh Commandment will become practically
obsolete, because the economic circumstances in which it was
formulated will have passed away. She will be the complete arbiter of
her own destiny. Her unsullied conscience will be the foundation of a
purer morality than is at present even conceivable."[940] The
principles expressed in the foregoing recall to one's mind the decree
of the French Convention, dated June 28, 1793, which runs as follows:
"La nation se charge de l'éducation physique et morale des enfants
abandonnés. Désormais ils seront désignés sous le seul nom
d'orphelins. Aucune autre qualification ne sera permise"; and the
principle of the French Code, "La récherche de la paternité est
interdite," will become a principle of British law. The State will
have to become the protector of the husbandless mothers and the
fatherless children.

"Woman stands to gain much from the growth of a Socialist State. Among
the free communistic services the right of the wife to maintenance
during the period of maternity will quickly find a place."[941] "For
every child born, the State will make provision. Either the mother
will be paid so much per child so long as it lives and thrives, as her
wages for important work done for society in bearing and rearing it"
(it should be noted that children will belong no more to their parents
but to "society," that childbearing will be "work" paid for by
"wages," and that the breeding of children will become as much a
business on the part of independent women as is now the breeding of
cats and dogs for profit), "or her absolute independence of her
husband will be secured in some other way. The State doctor (a woman
for this office) will prescribe and care for the child from the moment
of its birth, and State nurses will be in attendance to see that the
mother is in need of nothing for her own and the child's
well-being."[942] "Socialism will simply be the scientific development
of those natural tendencies which augment the happiness or improve the
comfort of the people. It is conceivable that every child shall come
under the care of the administrative assembly. The right of the child
is not interwoven with parental responsibility. They are separate
considerations. Only a madman will hold that in the event of its
parents being unmindful of their duties a helpless little one should
be allowed to suffer. The fact of its being is the child's title to
whatever provision society is able to make for it."[943] "Socialism
therefore teaches men to expect a communal watchfulness over infant
life. If parents refuse, or are unable, to meet the requirements of
the case, the State will supply the deficiency."[944] "A State that
truly represents its members will legislate generously for those who
announce frankly and without cant that they have no desire for the
care of children."[945]

In the Socialist State of the future, people could therefore get rid
of new-born babes far more easily than they now can of puppies and
kittens. The institution round the corner would be the general
foster-mother. Hordes of fatherless and motherless children would
throng the State nurseries. The words "father" and "mother" would lose
their meaning. However, we are told that "Socialism would begin by
making sure that there should not be a single untaught, unloved,
hungry child in the kingdom."[946] Love would evidently also be
"organised" by the authorities.

Some Socialists fear that, under a _régime_ of free love and free
State maintenance for mothers and children, life will become a riot,
that husbands will constantly change wives and wives husbands, and
that, owing to the absence of all responsibility on the part of the
parents for their offspring, over-population and consequent
pauperisation will take place. Therefore some Socialists think that "A
time will come when the patriot will consider it to be his duty, not
to kill as many enemies as possible in time of war, but to restrict
his family as far as possible in time of peace."[947] Socialist
daydreamers seem to be unaware that the best preventive against
over-population lies in the duty of parents to bring up and educate
their children, a duty which they wish to abolish.

As Aristotle pointed out 2200 years ago, the all-regulating State
would also have to regulate the increase of population. "If the State
is to guarantee wages, it is bound in self-protection to provide that
no person shall be born without its consent. The State is to sanction
the number of births; all others are immoral, because anti-social. As
national wealth increased, a larger number of births would be allowed,
or a larger sum would be expended on such as were allowed. An
unsanctioned birth would receive no recognition from the State, and in
times of over-population it might be needful to punish, positively or
negatively, both father and mother. As such births may be due to
ignorance or inefficiency of some check system, it would be the duty
of the State to scientifically investigate the whole system of checks,
and to spread among its citizens a thorough knowledge of such as were
harmless and efficient in practice."[948]

The State would control procreation. Intending couples would
apparently have to take out a procreation licence, which would be
granted only to those able to pass a searching examination. "Marriage
between the mentally weak will not be allowed. Imbeciles, lunatics,
and those with dangerous and ineradicable criminal tendencies will not
be permitted to reproduce their species at all."[949]

Unfortunately the writer fails to specify how unauthorised
reproduction of the species would be prevented, and how contravention
of the procreation laws would be punished. These details are furnished
by another writer. "All those actually certified as degenerates must
be prevented from procreating. Society has not only a right but a duty
to protect itself against such by-products, and it can only do this by
State control of marriage."[950] "Marriage without a satisfactory
medical certificate should be subjected to a penalty which would be in
effect prohibitive. In certain cases asexualisation and sterilisation
should be applicable under special safeguards and conditions."[951]

Free love has apparently its limitations and its dangers. The
procreation inspector might make an irreparable mistake.

There are, of course, Socialists who think that the family ought to be
preserved, and who oppose State nurseries. One of them writes: "The
State, in its own interests, will do everything it can to develop
individuality in its children. The barrack school and State
nursery--never much more than the Utopian dreams of amiable
people--are condemned by up-to-date psychologists. The personal touch
and affection of the mother, the surroundings and ethics of a small
community, the sense of continuity which comes to the maturing child's
mind from a personal organisation like the family, are all invaluable
to a State which must take as much care of its citizens of to-morrow
as it does of its citizens of to-day."[952] Mr. Macdonald's views on
Socialism are hardly orthodox, and he has been denounced by
thorough-going Socialists as an agent of the bourgeoisie.

As women may be the strongest opponents to the dissolution of the
family, Socialists addressing themselves to women try to persuade them
that they are forced into matrimony by necessity, that marriage is a
degradation to them and to their children, and that Socialism will
elevate them and make them free and happy. "The average young woman of
the working class, who is not herself employed in some well-paid
occupation, has nothing but marriage to which to look forward. She
gives herself and all she has or is in exchange for such board as her
husband's means permit."[953] "For the sake of bread and shelter she
marries and becomes the unpaid cook and housekeeper of a husband and
the mother of his children."[954] "Woman has been degraded, the mother
has been kept down; so the children have been born with slavish
instincts, ready to creep for any favour, and only just awakening to
the need for self-assertion and independence of action."[955]
Socialism will change all that, for "Socialism means freedom for
women, just as it does for men."[956]

What is the Socialistic conception of "freedom for women"? What are
its privileges and its advantages? "In considering the position of the
woman Socialist, one great central fact must be borne constantly in
mind. What she will be, what she will do, how she will live--all will
depend upon one great fact, the greatest fact in Socialism--a fact
which constitutes Socialism--namely, that she will be economically
free."[957] "The new order will make husband and wife equals simply by
enabling the wife to earn her living by fitting employment."[958] "A
living will be assured to every woman."[959] "In the new community
woman is entirely independent, a free being, the equal of man. Her
education is the same as that of man except where the difference of
sex makes a deviation from this rule and special treatment absolutely
unavoidable. She works under exactly the same conditions as a
man."[960] "Under a Socialist _régime_ every profession will be open
to women as to men."[961] "Socialism means enfranchising them, giving
them the vote, so that they can lift their voice alongside with men's
voice and fight with the same weapon for a better, happier
life."[962] "It is only by removing the disabilities and restraints
imposed upon woman, and permitting her to enter freely into
competition with men in every sphere of human activity, that her true
position and function in the economy of life will ultimately be
ascertained."[963] "Socialism alone offers woman complete economic
emancipation, with all that that implies. It provides her with
suitable work, and it pays her exactly as men are paid. It educates
her as men are educated, and protects her in pregnancy with tender
regard; and, in so doing, Socialism will raise the whole level of
society to a height of moral grandeur never yet attained and hardly
ever dreamed of by the most optimist of poets and philosophers."[964]

Apparently Socialists will elevate downtrodden woman by compelling her
to work for a living, and it is doubtful, as will be seen in Chapter
XXXVI., whether she will be allowed to select her task or whether she
will have to work under a system of forced labour. She will be given
that freedom and liberty which is now called licence by the abolition
of all the laws of morality. In the words of an exceedingly
straightforward Socialist, "Independence for women will mean a heavy
sacrifice for them, for it will mean for them compulsory work."[965]
In return for such work they will be given full sexual license and the
vote.

There is another aspect to be taken note of with regard to the
emancipation of woman. Many Socialists, in giving to woman equality
with man as a wage-earner and voter, wish to unsex her completely.
They wish to deprive her of those privileges which she possesses at
present owing to her sex. The philosopher of British Socialism informs
us: "The law nowadays makes no distinction of persons between men.
True; but it makes distinctions between men and women, and where law
draws no distinction, practice does. 'Benefit of clergy' is superseded
by 'benefit of sex.'"[966] "The tendency of the bourgeoisie world, as
expressed in its legislation and sentiment, has been towards a
factitious exaltation of the woman at the expense of the man--in other
words, the cry for 'equality between the sexes' has in the course of
its realisation become a sham, masking a _de facto_ inequality. The
inequality in question presses, as usual, heaviest upon the working
man, whose wife, to all intents and purposes, now has him completely
in her power. If dissolute or drunken, she can sell up his goods or
break up his home at pleasure and still compel him to keep her and
live with her to her life's end. There is no law to protect him. On
the other hand, let him but raise a finger in a moment of exasperation
against this precious representative of the sacred principle of
'womanhood,' and straightway he is consigned to the treadmill for his
six months amid the jubilation of the 'Daily Telegraph' and its
kindred, who pronounce him a brute and sing pæans over the power of
the 'law' to protect the innocent and helpless female. Thus does
bourgeois society offer sacrifice to the idol 'equality between the
sexes.' For the law jealously guards the earnings or property of the
wife from possible spoliation. She on any colourable pretext can
obtain magisterial separation and protection."[967] Bax concludes that
if the law is right in flogging men it should flog women too, for "the
brutality and cowardice of the proceeding is no greater in the one
case than in the other."[968]

The abolition of the marriage tie may mean that general barracks will
take the place of private houses. Is the home worth preserving? Most
Socialists think it is not. "It may be doubted after all whether it
is necessary to regard 'the home' in the sense in which the phrase is
here used as the final and immutable form of social organisation.
Humanity does not stand or fall by the arrangement whereby families
take their food in segregated cubicles."[969] "The entire preparation
of food will be undertaken by society in the future. The private
kitchen will disappear."[970] "Instead of a hundred kitchens and fires
and cooks, we shall have one. Instead of a hundred meals to prepare,
we shall have one. Instead of a hundred homes being made to reek of
unsavoury dishes, or the detestable odour of bad cooking, the
offensive effluvia will be confined to one building. Under Socialism
domestic duties will be reduced to a minimum."[971] "We set up one
great kitchen, one general dining-hall, and one pleasant
tea-garden."[972] Only a few Socialists are in favour of individual
houses, believing that "Each house should be self-contained."[973]

The proposals of British Socialists regarding woman, the family, the
home, and marriage are not new. They were tried in the French
Revolution, and the consequences of the experiments recommended by the
philosophers of the Revolution were as follows:

"The legislation of the Revolution diminished the paternal authority
and converted the family into a republic. Marriage became a contract
which could be broken at will by either party, a contract which
allowed of short notice and which could be concluded for any space of
time. People married for a year, sometimes only for a month. They
married for fun or for profit, and marriages were dissolved and others
contracted if it paid to do so."[974] The French police reports tell
us: "The depravity of morals is extremely great, and the new
generation is growing up in a state of disorder which promises to have
the most unfortunate and most far-reaching consequences to future
generations. Sodomy and Sapphic love flourish with the same
shamelessness as prostitution, and the progress of all these vices is
terrifying."[975] From another source we learn: "Society has become
terribly depraved; fornication, adultery, incest, and murder by poison
or violence are the fruits of philosophism. Things are as bad in the
villages as in Paris. Justices of the peace report that immorality has
spread to such an extent that many communes will soon no longer be
inhabitable by decent people."[976] This is the new and the better
world towards which Socialism is steering.

FOOTNOTES:

[896] Aristotle, _Politics_, Book ii. Chapter v.

[897] Blatchford, _What is this Socialism?_ p. 2.

[898] Russell Williams, _The Difficulties of Socialism_, p. 13.

[899] Kautsky, _The Socialist Republic_, p. 23.

[900] Marx and Engels, _Manifesto of the Communist Party_, pp. 19, 20.

[901] Morris and Bax, _Socialism: Its Growth and Outcome_, p. 9.

[902] Davidson, _The Old Order and the New_, p. 164.

[903] Bax and Quelch, _A New Catechism of Socialism_, p. 39.

[904] Bax, _The Religion of Socialism_, p. 145.

[905] Oscar Wilde, "The Soul of Man under Socialism," _Fortnightly
Review_, February 1891.

[906] Wells, "Socialism and the Middle Classes," _Fortnightly Review_,
November 1906.

[907] _Fabian Essays in Socialism_, p. 200.

[908] A.R. Orage in the _New Age_, November 21, 1907.

[909] Lansbury, _The Principles of the English Poor Law_, p. 10.

[910] Bax, _Outlooks from the New Standpoint_, p. 160.

[911] Gronlund, _Co-operative Commonwealth_, p. 151.

[912] Benson, _Woman, the Communist_, p. 16.

[913] Davidson, _Gospel of the Poor_, p. 149.

[914] Russell Williams, _The Difficulties of Socialism_, pp. 14, 15.

[915] _Ibid._ p. 15.

[916] Bax, _Outlooks from the New Standpoint_, pp. 159, 160.

[917] Morris and Bax, _Socialism; Its Growth and Outcome_, p. 199.

[918] Bax, _Outlooks from the New Standpoint_, pp. 114, 115.

[919] Leatham, _Socialism and Character_, p. 30.

[920] Bax, _Outlooks from the New Standpoint_, p. 160.

[921] Bebel, _Woman_, pp. 44, 86.

[922] Bebel, _Woman in the Past, Present, and Future_, pp. 229, 230.

[923] Karl Pearson, _The Ethic of Free Thought_, p. 108.

[924] Morris and Bax, _Manifesto of the Socialistic League_, p. 100.

[925] Ethel Snowden, _The Woman Socialist_, p. 56.

[926] _Ibid._ pp. 59, 60.

[927] Davidson, _The Old Order and the New_, p. 165.

[928] Ethel Snowden, _The Woman Socialist_, p. 61,

[929] Bax, _The Ethics of Socialism_, p. 62.

[930] _Ibid._ p. 126.

[931] Leatham, _Socialism and Character_, p. 24.

[932] "The Moltke-Harden Case" in the _New Age_, November 14, 1907.

[933] For details on this subject see Bebel, _Woman_; Meslier, _Le
Testament_, 1864, ii. 226; Dezamy, _Code de la Communauté_, 1842, p.
266; Godwin, _Enquiry concerning Political Justice_, ii. 507; Owen,
_The Marriage System_, 1838, p. 66; Owen, _Manifesto_, 1840, p. 56;
Owen, _What is Socialism?_ 1841, p. 40; Morris, _News from Nowhere_,
1899, p. 90; Tucker, _Instead of a Book_, 1897, p. 15; Grave, _Société
Future_, ch. xii.; Charles Albert, _L'Amour Libre_, 1899, p. 191, &c.

[934] See Nordhoff, _Communistic Societies_, 1875, p. 275; Noyes,
_History of American Socialism_, 1870, p. 623; Hinds, _American
Communities_, 1902, p. 196.

[935] _Looking Backward_, ch. xxiv.

[936] _Erfurter Programm_, 1892, p. 145.

[937] Leatham, _Socialism and Character_, p. 32

[938] Menger, _L'État Socialists_, 1904, p. 187.

[939] _Ibid._ p. 188.

[940] Davidson, _The Old Order and the New_, pp. 164, 166.

[941] Benson, _Woman the Communist_, p. 15.

[942] Ethel Snowden, _The Woman Socialist_, pp. 48, 49.

[943] Russell Williams, _The Difficulties of Socialism_, p. 9.

[944] Russell Williams, _The Difficulties of Socialism_, p. 10.

[945] _New Age_, Letter to Editor, November 14, 1907.

[946] Blatchford, _What is this Socialism?_ p. 7.

[947] A. Menger, _Volkspolitik_, p. 51.

[948] Karl Pearson, _Socialism and Sex_, pp. 12, 108.

[949] Ethel Snowden, _The Woman Socialist_, p. 49.

[950] Victor Fisher, _The Babies' Tribute_, p. 14.

[951] Victor Fisher, _The Babies' Tribute_, p. 15.

[952] Macdonald, _Socialism_, p. 98.

[953] Keir Hardie, _From Serfdom to Socialism_, p. 64.

[954] Ethel Snowden, _The Woman Socialist_, p. 13.

[955] _Ibid._ p. 42.

[956] _Independent Labour Party Leaflet_, No. 5.

[957] Ethel Snowden, _The Woman Socialist_, p. 37.

[958] Gronlund, _Co-operative Commonwealth_, p. 148.

[959] Ethel Snowden, _The Woman Socialist_, p. 57.

[960] Bebel, _Woman_, p. 229.

[961] Ethel Snowden, _The Woman Socialist_, p. 86.

[962] _What Socialism means for Women_, p. 1.

[963] Keir Hardie, _Citizenship of Women_, p. 6.

[964] Davidson, _The Old Order and the New_, p. 113.

[965] Menger, _L'État Socialiste_, p. 191.

[966] Bax, _Ethics of Socialism_, p. 66.

[967] Bax, _Religion of Socialism_, p. 116.

[968] _Ibid._ p. 117.

[969] _After Bread, Education_, p. 10.

[970] Bebel, _Woman_, p. 227.

[971] Ethel Snowden, _The Woman Socialist_, p. 70.

[972] Blatchford, _Merrie England_, p. 49.

[973] Jowett, _The Socialist and the City_, p. 60.

[974] Vandal, _L'Avénement de Bonaparte_.

[975] _Rapports de police publiés par Schmidt_, iii. p. 389.

[976] Roussel, _Un Evéque assermenté_, p. 298.



CHAPTER XXVI

THE SOCIALIST ATTITUDE TOWARDS CHRISTIANITY AND RELIGION


What is the attitude of Socialism towards Christianity and religion?

A clerical apologist of Socialism informs us that "Socialism is
founded on the doctrine of the Fatherhood of God and brotherhood of
man."[977] Another reverend gentleman states: "Socialism in the first
place means combination, bringing together men for the building up of
a sacred, holy life on this earth. It means the building up together
of the different elements of human life. It is, in the grand words of
the New Testament, which we were told Socialists did not believe in,
'No man liveth unto himself, and no man dieth unto himself.'"[978] A
third clergyman tells us that "The ethics of Socialism are identical
with the ethics of Christianity."[979]

Some British Socialist leaders explain that Socialists are good
Christians, and that Socialism attacks only the Church and professed
Christians, but not religion. "Much of what is regarded as
anti-Christian Socialist doctrine is only an attack upon the Churches
and professed Christians, and, so far from being anti-Christian, is,
as a matter of fact, inspired by the ethics of Christ's
teaching."[980] Other British Socialist leaders say that Socialism,
not being a religious doctrine, has no concern with religion and does
not meddle with it. "A charge against Socialists is that they are
Atheists whose aim is to destroy all religion and all morality. This
is not true. It is true that many Socialists are Agnostics, and some
are Atheists. But Atheism is no more a part of Socialism than it is a
part of Toryism, or of Radicalism, or of Liberalism."[981] "Socialism
has no more to do with a man's religion than it has with the colour of
his hair. Socialism deals with secular things, not with ultimate
beliefs."[982]

It is quite true that "there is at present no consensus of Socialist
opinion on religious questions,"[983] but it is hardly honest on the
part of Socialist leaders to assert that Socialism has nothing to do
with religion. The leading journal of the Fabian Society frankly
confesses: "There is the argument that Socialism has nothing whatever
to do with subjects such as religion and marriage. But if Socialism is
a theory of the State, nothing human is alien to it. It may be true
that no one of the specific theories of religion or marriage so far
put forward by Socialists has any claim to be regarded as the
Socialist view; but there is all the difference in the world between
such an admission and the denial that Socialism has any concern with
the questions at all."[984]

Some Socialists proclaim that Socialism will carry out the will of
Christ upon earth. Mr. Keir Hardie, for instance, says: "Christ laid
down no elaborate system of either economics or theology. No great
teacher ever did. His heart beat in sympathy with the great human
heart of the race. His words are simple and not to be misunderstood
when taken to mean what they say. His prayer--Thy kingdom come, Thy
will be done on earth as it is in Heaven--was surely meant to be taken
literally Are our opponents prepared to assert that in Heaven there
will be factories working women and children for starvation wages;
coal-mines and private property in land, dividing the population of
Heaven into two classes, one revelling in riches and luxury,
destructive of soul and body, the other grovelling in poverty, also
destructive of all that is best in life? If not, how can they
consistently support the system which inevitably produces that state
of things upon earth?"[985]

Other Socialists frankly confess that Socialism is absolutely
incompatible with Christianity and all other religions; that Socialism
can succeed only if religion be abolished, and that therefore religion
must be abolished. The philosopher of British Socialism states:
"Socialism utterly despises the 'other world' with all its stage
properties--that is, the present objects of religion. It brings
back religion from heaven to earth."[986] "As to the ethical
teaching of Christ, with its one-sided, introspective, and
individualistic character, we venture to assert that no one
acquainted with the theory of modern scientific Socialism can for one
moment call it Socialistic. Socialism has no sympathy with the morbid,
eternally-revolving-in-upon-itself transcendent morality of the Gospel
discourses. This morality sets up a forced, to the vast majority
impossible, standard of 'personal holiness' which, when realised,
has seldom resulted in anything but (1) an apotheosised priggism,
_e.g._ the Puritan type, or (2) in an epileptic hysteria, _e.g._
the Catholic saint type."[987] Mr. Blatchford states: "I have
been asked why I have 'gone out of my way to attack religion.'
In reply I beg to say that I am working for Socialism when I
attack a religion which is hindering Socialism, that we must pull down
before we can build up, and that I hope to do a little building, if only
on the foundation. I oppose the Christian religion because I do not
think the Christian religion is beneficial to mankind, and because I
think it an obstacle in the way of humanism."[988] Another very
influential writer says: "Personally I feel called upon to attack
Christianity as I would any other harmful delusion. I do not believe in
the theology of Jesus any more than I do in his sociology. It is no use
pretending that Socialism will not profoundly revolutionise religion.
The change in the economic basis of society is the more important thing
to strive for; but if the triumph of the Socialist ideal does not crush
supernatural religion, then we shall still have a gigantic fabric of
falsity and convention upon which to wage war. Happily Christianity
becomes less and less of a power every day. So far, indeed, from
Christianity being able to support Socialism, it goes hard with
Christianity to stand by itself. As a support to Socialism it would
surely prove a broken reed."[989]

A Socialist poet proclaims:

    The name of Christ has been the sovereign curse,
    The opium drug that kept us slaves to wrong,
    Fooled with a dream, we bowed to worse and worse.
    "In heaven," we said, "He will confound the strong."
    O hateful treason that has tricked too long!

    Had we poor down-trod millions never dreamed
    Your dream of that hereafter for our woe,
    Had the great powers that rule, no Father seemed,
    But Law relentless, long and long ago
    Had we risen and said, "We will not suffer so!"

    "O Christ, O You who found the drug of heaven,
    To keep consoled an earth that grew to hell,
    That else to cleanse and cure its sores had striven,
    We curse That name!"[990]

There is an eminently practical reason for the hostility of Socialists
to Christianity. Religious people are not likely to become Socialists.
"Christianity is like a set of manacles fastened upon the minds of
those who believe in it. It is vain for us to look for aid from the
Church and Christianity. It might be supposed that a hungry Christian
would rebel against his hunger as readily as a hungry Atheist. But it
is not the case."[991]

The belief in a life after death also is incompatible with Socialism,
and must therefore be combated: "We are compelled to abandon the
belief in immortality. He who is given to meditating on his latter end
and for whom the question of a post-physical future life for himself
as an individual is of primary importance, is, generally speaking,
indifferent where not positively hostile to social ideals."[992] "The
moment this belief in an after-death existence is erected into a
dogma, the moment it comes to be looked upon as an article of faith,
which it is a duty to hold, or at least which it is the evidence of an
ignoble disposition of mind not to hold, then it becomes an enemy to
be combated."[993]

The practical teachings of Christ are directly opposed to the
practical teachings of Socialism: "Jesus said, 'Blessed are the poor.'
Socialism recognises that wealth is a good thing, and it exists for
the purpose of securing a better share of it for the 'blessed' poor.
Socialism declares that all ought to work; but Jesus did no manual
work after he was thirty years of age, and he encouraged his disciples
to leave their occupations, to wander about and to beg, and this last
feature of discipleship has in all ages been well maintained.
Socialism incites the workers of all countries to unite for the
prosecution of the class war; but Jesus approved of obedience,
contentment, and humility of spirit."[994]

Socialism has no use for Christianity. "To-day we have to settle down
to our primers and our programmes, our Blue-books and our social
experiments, just as if Jesus had never lived, or perhaps all the more
because he lived. We get no assistance from Him. His followers are our
enemies in every country which owns His influence--and the worst
enemies of all because ever professing friendship."[995]

Christianity is, according to Socialists, an outworn creed. "As Marx
says, 'The religious world is but the reflex of the real world.
Christianity, like all religions, is but an expression of material
conditions, a direct outcome of social relations, the unsubstantial
image of a world reflected in the muddy pool of human intellect. Jesus
varies with the ages. Redeemer of Roman slave; War-God of Crusader;
General Overseer of Manufacturing Capitalist."[996] Besides,
Socialists resent "the continual reference of ideal perfection to a
semi-mythical Syrian of the first century when they see higher types
even in some now walking this upper earth, but in vulgar flesh and
blood and without the atmosphere of nineteen centuries to lend
enchantment to them."[997]

Lastly, Christianity has been a failure: "The success of Christianity
as a moral force has been solely upon isolated individuals. In its
effects on societies at large it has signally and necessarily
failed."[998] "Holiness! Your religion does not make it. Its ethics
are too weak, its theories too unsound, its transcendentalism is too
thin. There ought to be no such thing as poverty in the world. The
earth is bounteous: the ingenuity of man is great. He who defends the
claims of the individual, or of a class, against the rights of the
human race is a criminal. A hungry man, an idle man, an ignorant man,
a destitute or degraded woman, a beggar or pauper child, is a
reproach to society and a witness against existing religion and
civilisation. In such a world as this, friend Christian, a man has no
business reading the Bible, singing hymns, and attending divine
worship. He has not time. All the strength and pluck and wit he
possesses are needed in the work of real religion, of real salvation.
The rest is all 'dreams out of the ivory gate and visions before
midnight.'"[999] "In a really humane and civilised nation there should
be and need be no such thing as poverty, ignorance, crime, idleness,
war, slavery, hate, envy, pride, greed, gluttony, vice. But this is
not a humane and civilised nation, and never will be while it accepts
Christianity as its religion."[1000]

Our belief in God also must be abandoned, but if we continue believing
in God it follows that man is not responsible for his actions, that he
cannot do wrong: "Man is what God made him; could only act as God
enabled him or constructed him to act. If God is responsible for man's
existence, God is responsible for man's act. Therefore man cannot sin
against God."[1001] "If God is all-knowing, He knew before He made man
what man would do. If God is all-powerful, He need not have made man
at all, or He could have made a man who would be strong enough to
resist temptation. Or He could have made a man who was incapable of
evil. If God had never made man, then man could never have succumbed
to temptation. God made man of His own divine choice and made him to
His own divine desire. How then could God blame man for anything man
did? Man might justly say to God: 'I did not ask to be created. You
knew when You made me how I should act. If You wish me to act
otherwise, why did You not make me different? I was fore-ordained by
You to be and to do what I am and have done. Is it my fault that You
fore-ordained me to be and to do thus?' The actions of a man's will
are as mathematically fixed at his birth as are the motions of a
planet in its orbit. God, who made the man and the planet, is
responsible for the actions of both."[1002]

"Divine law says that certain acts are good and that certain acts are
evil; and that God will reward those who do well and will punish those
who do ill. And we are told that God will so act because God is just.
But I claim that God cannot justly punish those who disobey, nor
reward those who obey His laws. If God created all things, He must
have created the evil as well as the good. Who, then, is responsible
for good and evil? Only God, for he made them. He who creates all is
responsible for all. God created all: God is responsible for all. He
who creates nothing is responsible for nothing. Man created nothing:
man is responsible for nothing. Therefore man is not responsible for
his nature, nor for the acts prompted by that nature. Therefore God
cannot justly punish man for his acts. Therefore the Divine law, with
its code of rewards and punishments, is not a just law and cannot have
emanated from a just God."[1003]

"I do not pretend to say whether there is, or is not, _a_ God, but I
deny that there is a loving Heavenly Father who answers prayer. I deny
the existence of Free Will and possibility of man's sinning against
God. I deny that Christ is necessary to man's salvation from Hell or
from Sin. I do not assert or deny the immortality of the soul. I know
nothing about the soul, and no man is, or ever was, able to tell me
more than I know."[1004] "I do seriously mean that no man can, under
any circumstances, be justly blamed for anything he may say or do.
That is one of my deepest convictions."[1005]

Mr. Blatchford's philosophy excuses, and therefore encourages, every
action based upon a bad impulse, every vice and every crime, and his
creed should find the unqualified approval of habitual criminals and
loafers.

Views similar to those of Mr. Blatchford are expressed by many other
Socialists. We read, for instance: "It was pleasant to believe that a
benevolent hand was guiding the steps of society; overruling all evil
appearances for good; and making poverty here the earnest of a great
blessedness and reward hereafter. It was pleasant to lose the sense of
worldly inequality in the contemplation of our equality before God.
But utilitarian questioning and scientific answering turned all this
tranquil optimism into the blackest pessimism. Nature was shown to us
as 'red in tooth and claw': if the guiding hand were indeed
benevolent, then it could not be omnipotent, so that our trust in it
was broken: if it were omnipotent, it could not be benevolent; so that
our love in it turned to fear and hatred."[1006]

    As long as childhood pines in City slum;
      As long as Landlords steal their racking rent;
    As long as Love and Faith to gold succumb;
      As long as human life in war is spent;
    While false religion teaches men to pray
      To a false Tyrant, whom they misname God;
    Whose "Holy Will" is--so they glibly say--
      The poor should suffer 'neath His chast'ning rod;
    As long as men do buy and sell the soil,
      And thereby make their fellow men their slaves;
    While selfishness exacts its cruel spoil;
      While yet the poor are ground into their graves;
    Until these crying wrongs are made to cease
    Nowhere upon this earth can there be peace.[1007]

Although the Socialists have declared war against the Christian
religion and the Christian Churches, they freely quote the Scriptures
and the Fathers if it suits their purpose, and shamelessly misuse the
name of Christ. In support of their maxim "Property is theft," they
quote St. Jerome's saying: "Opulence is always the result of theft:
if not by the actual possessor, then by his predecessors."[1008] They
quote Christ in support of their demand for the abolition of private
property, marriage and the family. "Christ abolished all private
property, and with it the State. He abolished all distinctions of
race, rank, sex, and intellect. He made the first last and the last
first, acknowledging only devoted _service_ as true greatness; the
only law, the Law of Love. In His sweeping condemnation of egoism in
every form it seems doubtful if He did not even lay iconoclastic hands
on marriage and the family, as they existed and exist. In the
resurrection they neither marry nor give in marriage, but are as the
angels in heaven. Woman (to His mother), what have I to do with thee?
Whosoever shall do the will of My Father which is in heaven the same
is My brother, and sister, and mother."[1009] They use the name of
Christ for electioneering purposes. At a West Ham election, for
instance, the electors received leaflets which stated "If you vote for
the Municipal Alliance you vote against God. If Christ were in
Plaistow Ward, Christ would vote for Coe."[1010]

Professor Schäffle, perhaps the most fair-minded and moderate
scientist who ever criticised Socialism, was perfectly right in
stating: "Socialism of the present day is out-and-out irreligious, and
hostile to the Church. It says that the Church is only a police
institution for upholding capital, and that it deceives the common
people with a 'cheque payable in heaven,' that the Church deserves to
perish."[1011] The above words were written with regard to German
Socialism, and British Socialism is far more irreligious, violent, and
revolutionary than is the German variety.

FOOTNOTES:

[977] Rev. E.T. Russell in _Forward_, November 23, 1907.

[978] Rev. L. Jenkyns Jones in _Forward_, November 16, 1907.

[979] Rev. Frank Ballard in _Socialism: A Cancerous Growth_, p. 19.

[980] Macdonald, _Socialism_, p. 99.

[981] Blatchford, _Real Socialism_, p. 4.

[982] Macdonald, _Socialism_, p. 101.

[983] _New Age_, October 10, 1907.

[984] _Ibid._ p. 10.

[985] Keir Hardie, _Can a Man be a Christian on a Pound a Week?_ p.
18.

[986] Bax, _Religion of Socialism_, p. 52.

[987] _Ibid._ p. 97.

[988] Blatchford, _God and My Neighbour_, p. 189.

[989] Leatham, _Was Jesus a Socialist?_ p. 14.

[990] Francis Adams, _The Mass of Christ_, p. 12.

[991] Leatham, _Was Jesus a Socialist?_ p. 14.

[992] Bax, _Ethics of Socialism_, pp. 192, 193.

[993] _Ibid._ pp. 196, 197.

[994] Leatham, _Was Jesus a Socialist?_ p. 6.

[995] Leatham, _Was Jesus a Socialist?_ p. 16.

[996] _Socialist Standard_, December 1, 1907.

[997] Bax, _The Religion of Socialism_, p. 90.

[998] _Ibid._ p. 98.

[999] Blatchford, _God and My Neighbour_, p. 194.

[1000] _Ibid._ p. 197.

[1001] _Ibid._ p. 124.

[1002] Blatchford, _God and My Neighbour_, pp. 135, 136.

[1003] Blatchford, _Not Guilty_, pp. 11, 12.

[1004] Blatchford, _God and My Neighbour_, p. 122.

[1005] _Ibid._ p. 137.

[1006] _Fabian Essays in Socialism_, p. 27.

[1007] _The Deadly Parallel_, October 1907.

[1008] Wheatley, _How the Miners are Robbed_, p. 13.

[1009] Davidson, _Gospel of the Poor_, p. 149.

[1010] _Times, Municipal Socialism_, p. 42.

[1011] Schäffle, _Quintessence of Socialism_, p. 116.



CHAPTER XXVII

THE RELIGION OF SOCIALISM


We have seen in Chapter XXVI. that Socialism makes war upon
Christianity and upon religion, that it strives to eradicate religion
out of the people's hearts. Now the question arises: How do Socialists
propose to fill the void? What do they intend to put into the place of
that religion which they wish to destroy?

"Socialism involves a change which would be almost a revolution in the
moral and religious attitude of the majority of mankind."[1012]
"Religion will share the fate of the State. It will not be
'abolished,' God will not be dethroned, religion will not be 'torn out
of the people's hearts.' Religion will disappear by itself without any
violent attack."[1013] "The establishment of society on a Socialistic
basis would imply the definitive abandonment of all theological cults,
since the notion of a transcendent god or semi-divine prophet is but
the counterpart and analogue of the transcendent governing class. So
soon as we are rid of the desire of one section of society to enslave
another, the dogmas of an effete creed will lose their interest. As
the religion of slave industry was Paganism; as the religion of
serfage was Catholic Christianity, or Sacerdotalism; as the religion
of Capitalism is Protestant Christianity or Biblical dogma, so the
religion of collective and co-operative industry is Humanism, which is
only another name for Socialism."[1014] "The religion of the future
is to be the religion of the common life. It will have for its ideal
the complete organic unity of the whole human race. And this religion
will be a political religion. It will be a religion which will seek to
realise its ideal in our industrial and social affairs by the
application and use of political methods. The popular conception of
politics as something apart from religion is a cunning device of the
devil to serve his own ends; just in the same way as the popular
impression that politics is something apart from bread and butter, and
shorter hours, and better homes, and better industrial conditions.
There can be no separation between politics and religion. The religion
of the future will be an application of the moral truths of religion
through politics to our industrial and social conditions."[1015]

To root out the very memory of Christianity, Socialists would abolish
the Sunday. "We would surrender once and for all this chimerical
notion of one day of universal rest and institute three days a week,
or, if necessary, more, as days of partial rest, _i.e._ on which
different sections of the community would be freed from labour in
turn."[1016]

This proposal, like so many Socialist proposals, reminds us of the
French Revolution, which also simultaneously abolished the Christian
religion and changed the calendar. The month was divided into three
periods of ten days. The tenth day, the "_decadi_," replaced
Sunday.[1017] The people were compelled to rest on _decadi_ and to
work on Sunday. Peasants who on Sundays did not bring their vegetables
to market were prosecuted.[1018] Policemen who on _decadi_ heard
suspicious noises broke by force into houses to find out whether
people were "desecrating" _decadi_ by work, and the people
complained, "Where is the liberty you promised us when we may not even
dance on any day we like?"[1019]

The French Revolutionaries destroyed the statues and pictures in the
churches. British Socialists at present only propose to replace the
effigies of Christ and the saints by Socialist heroes: "Let the
painters, sculptors, poets, and musicians do honour to the heroes of
humanity, the apostles of science and progress, as they have
heretofore lavished their taste and skill and imagination on a
conventional Jesus, an ideal Madonna and imaginary saints, and Gospel
scenes; let statues arise to Bruno, Vanini, Servetus; let the
historian and the biographer recount with loving wealth of detail
their struggles, controversies, flights, imprisonments, and
martyrdoms; let poets and painters cast the halo of romantic art
around Caxton, Galileo, William the Silent, Milton, Harry Vane, and
great masterful Cromwell; let hymns be sung to Copernicus, Newton,
Harvey, to Massaniello, Danton, Garibaldi, Delescluze, to Grace
Darling, Sister Dora and Father Damien."[1020]

"To the Socialist, Marx has said the last word that need be said on
the subject of the relation of Socialism and religion. 'The religious
reflex of the real world can only finally vanish when the practical
relations of everyday life offer to man none but perfectly
intelligible and reasonable relations with regard to his fellow men.'
Material conditions rule. 'The English Established Church will more
readily pardon an attack on thirty-eight of its thirty-nine articles
than on one-thirty-ninth of its income.' This is as true to-day as
when written in 1867."[1021] Among the "Immediate Reforms" demanded by
the Social-Democratic Federation is, of course, "the disestablishment
and disendowment of all State churches."[1022]

British Socialists, like the French Revolutionaries, have issued
numerous travesties of the Christian church service. The following are
extracts from a widely read "Socialist Ritual."


"A CATECHISM FOR THE MOB

"Q. What is thy name? A. Wageworker.--Q. Who are thy parents? A. My
father was called Wageworker--my mother's name is Poverty.--Q. Where
wast thou born? A. In a garret under the roof of a tenement house
which my father and his comrades built.--Q. What is thy religion? A.
The Religion of Capital.--Q. What duties does thy religion lay upon
thee with regard to society? A. To increase the national wealth--first
through my toil, and next through my savings, as soon as I can make
any.--Q. What does thy religion order thee to do with thy savings? A.
To entrust them to the banks and such other institutions that have
been established by philanthropic financiers, to the end that they may
loan them out to themselves. We are commanded to place our earnings at
all times at the disposal of our masters."


"A LITANY

for the use of the respectable classes. Edited by Edward Carpenter.

"O God, the Father of Heaven, have mercy upon us, miserable
sinners.--Remember not, Lord, our offences, nor the offences of our
forefathers, neither take thou vengeance of our sins. Spare us, good
Lord; spare us whom thou hast brought into honour and good position
through the precious blood of the toiling masses, and be not angry
with us for ever: Spare us, good Lord.--From all evil and mischief,
from the crafts and assaults of the thief and the burglar, from
poverty and the everlasting damnation of the workhouse: Good Lord,
deliver us.--From bad trade and bogus dividends, from shady and
unprofitable investments, from all unsuccessful speculation and
losses, whether on the turf or in the City: Good Lord, deliver us."


"THE CAPITALIST'S TEN COMMANDMENTS

"I am Capital, thy Master, that brought thee out of the Land of
Liberty into a State of Slavery. Thou shalt not become thine own
Master, nor have any other Masters but me. Thou shalt commit murder
for my sake only. Thou shalt give thy daughters in prostitution and
thy wife in adultery to me."


THE LATEST DECALOGUE

    Thou shalt have one God only, who
    Would be at the expense of two?
    No graven images may be
    Worshipped, except the currency.
    Swear not at all, as for thy curse
    Thine enemy is none the worse.
    At Church on Sunday to attend
    Will serve to keep the world thy friend.[1023]

The foregoing representative statements and extracts clearly prove
that the teachings of Socialism, far from being in harmony with
Christianity, are incompatible and directly hostile not only to
Christianity but to all religion. The philosopher of British Socialism
has very truly said, "Socialism has been well described as a new
conception of the world, presenting itself in industry as co-operative
Communism, in politics as international Republicanism, in religion as
atheistic Humanism, by which is meant the recognition of social
progress as our being's highest end and aim."[1024] As there is very
little difference between "atheistic Humanism" and Atheism pure and
simple, Socialists have really no right to complain if their
opponents, relying on Bax's high authority, reproach them with being
Atheists. The excerpts given above show that the religion of Socialism
is a political and economic one. Its character and principles may be
found in the publications of the Labour Church Union and of the
Socialist Sunday School Union. The prospectus of the Labour Church
Union contains the following declaration of principles:

"(1) That the Labour Church exists to give expression to the religion
of the Labour movement. (2) That the religion of the Labour movement
is not theological, but respects each individual's personal
convictions upon this question. (3) That the religion of the Labour
movement seeks the realisation of universal well-being by the
establishment of Socialism--a Commonwealth founded upon justice and
love. (4) The religion of the Labour movement declares that
improvement of social conditions and the development of personal
character are both essential to emancipation from social and moral
bondage, and to that end insists upon the duty of studying the
economic and moral forces of society."

It will be noticed that the words Christianity, God, morality, virtue,
&c., do not occur in the foregoing statement.

Now let us study the details of the Socialist religion. These details
are taken from a statement of the aims, methods, &c. of the Socialist
Sunday Schools, published for the enlightenment of the public by the
Glasgow and District Socialist Sunday School Union, the principal
Socialist Sunday School Union of Great Britain. In that official
publication we read: "Socialism, which the children are taught, is an
idealism. It has been described as 'the highest flight of the ideal
into the realm of the practical.' It is a faith--a faith based on the
divine brotherhood and sisterhood of humanity--irrespective of class,
colour, or creed. It is a religion--a religion greater than creeds or
dogmas. It is a religion of love! Its followers and disciples are
lovers of mankind! Its worship is service to humanity! Socialism has
absorbed not only all the essential spiritual elements contained in
the Christ teaching, but it has also, as Christianity itself has done
before it, absorbed all the highest altruistic teaching of the ages.
But Socialism has done something more--it has struck a new note,
deep-sounding, far-reaching, and its vibrations are stirring in the
hearts of the nations! Socialism has proclaimed its tenets, declaring
the only possible ways and means whereby the sacred rites of the
religion of love can be observed, and without which there can be no
realisation of the divine sentiment--'the brotherhood of man.'

"The Church, the State, and the people alike, in so far as they
sanction and sanctify unrighteous social conditions, are equally guilty
of breaking the very first laws of brotherhood, and thereby of
violating the pure and holy religion of love. When the Sun of Social
Justice--Socialism--has arisen in its full glory, all the artificial
and unnatural causes of evil and error will have been rooted out from
the pathway of human progress. The sons and daughters of men may then,
without mockery, stand before the great throne of love and worship the
beauty and the wonder and the glory of the earth, sky, and sea, as
brothers and sisters in one holy unity, and be more worthy to fathom
the deeper mystery. Thus Socialism, or the law of the religion of love,
unfalteringly maintains: That private property in land is public
robbery. It is public robbery because, the land being the source of all
the necessaries of life, it should belong equally to all, by birthright
of our common inheritance in the brotherhood of the world. 'Let them
know that the earth from which they were created is the common
property of all men, and that therefore the fruits of the earth belong
indiscriminately to all. Those who make private property of the gift of
God, pretend in vain to be innocent, for they are the murderers of
those who die daily for want of it.' Such is the terrible and
unassailable dictum of one of the great founders of the early Christian
Church, Saint Gregory I. Private property in capital--whether in money,
railways, mines, factories, machinery, tools, &c.--is public robbery.
It is public robbery because it creates and divides the human family
into classes. Classes of rich and idle people who claim and hold all
these things as by right--and classes of hirelings who are thus forced
to pay for the use of them--as rent in land, interest in capital,
profit on labour. This means that the hireling classes require to give
all the work of their hands and brains in order to secure a small share
of the things which they need to live, and which they themselves have
produced out of Nature's ample store. And this at once hinders the
possibility of any unity of brotherhood or sisterhood and breaks the
law of love."[1025]

It will be noticed that in this lengthy statement God is mentioned
only for party purposes, and that the chief aim of the "religion of
love" is to sow hatred and to incite to plunder.

The Labour Church Union and the Socialist Sunday Schools use the same
form of the Socialist Ten Commandments, which are as follows:

"Love your schoolfellows, who will be your fellow-workers in life.
Love learning, which is the food of the mind, and be grateful to your
teacher as to your parents. Make every day holy by good and useful
deeds and kindly actions. Honour good men, be courteous to all, bow
down to none. Do not hate or speak evil of anyone, do not be
revengeful, but stand up for your rights and resist oppression. Do not
be cowardly, be a friend to the weak and love justice. Remember that
all the good things of the earth are produced by labour. Whoever
enjoys them without working for them is stealing the bread of the
workers. Observe and think in order to discover the truth. Do not
believe what is contrary to reason, and never deceive yourself or
others. Do not think that he who loves his own country must hate and
despise other nations, or wish for war, which is a remnant of
barbarism. Look forward to the day when all men will be free citizens
of one fatherland and live together as brothers, in peace and
righteousness. Socialism is the hope of the world."

Here also the words Christianity and God do not occur.

We are officially told that "Socialist Sunday Schools are intended to
serve as a means of teaching economic causes of present-day social
evils and of implanting a love of goodness in the child mind."[1026]

The following extracts from the "Red Catechism" serve to show how
"love of goodness" is inculcated in the Socialist Sunday Schools:

"Q. Is there any difference in the teachings at Socialist Sunday
schools and other Sunday schools? A. Yes.--Q. What is taught in
Christian schools? A. Christian morals and capitalist teachings.--Q.
What is meant by the term 'employing men for profit'? A. Capitalists,
when they pay wages, make the workers produce three or four times the
amount they pay them. The extra which the men produce over their wages
is called profit.--Q. What evidence is there that the workers earn a
great amount and get very little? A. The national amount of wealth
produced every year is two thousand millions and the amount paid out
in wages is only five hundred millions, showing that the poor are poor
because they are robbed.--Q. Who creates all wealth? A. The working
class.--Q. Who creates all poverty? A. Our capitalist society.--Q. Who
are the workers? A. Men who work for wages.--Q. What class of men get
into Parliament? A. The capitalist and aristocratic class?--Q. How is
that? A. Because the workers are opposed by men interested in keeping
them poor.--Q. How many children are there in London who go to school
insufficiently fed and clothed? A. It is stated as many as 100,000; a
number equal to the population of a small county.--Q. To what class do
these poor starving children belong? A. The working class.--Q. Is it
not the working class which creates all wealth? A. Yes.--Q. Do the
rich trouble about the poor children of London who are ill-fed and
clothed? A. No.--Q. What is a pauper? A. One who lives upon others,
while being able to work?--Q. Are the rich class able to work? A. Yes;
because they are well cared for when young and grow up strong?--Q. Do
they work? A. No; they consider it menial and beneath them.--Q. Then
they are paupers? A. Yes.--Q. Do the rich and their children live at
the expense of those who work? A. Yes.--Q. What does machinery enable
the workers to do? A. To produce wealth quicker.--Q. Do the workers
benefit by machinery? A. No. On the contrary. It generally reduces
their wages and throws them out of work.--Q. Why is that? A. Because
the machinery is controlled by the capitalist class.--Q. What is a
wage-slave? A. A person who works for a wage and gives all he earns to
a capitalist.--Q. What proportion does a wage-slave receive of what he
earns? A. On the average about a fourth. The slave and serf always had
food, clothing, and shelter. The wage-slave, when he is out of work,
must now starve or go into the workhouse and be made miserable, or
commit suicide.--Q. What is the remedy for wage-slavery? A.
Socialism.--Q. Who pays the rent? A. Father and mother.--Q. Who
demands the rent? A. The landlord.--Q. Can you say how much the
landlord takes from the wages of father, generally for rent? A. Yes; a
fourth.--Q. That is sheer robbery, is it not? A. Yes; but working men
cannot help it.--Q. Why is that? A. Because the landlord class have a
monopoly of land and houses, and workmen have no land and are too poor
to build for themselves."[1027]

With this mendacious stuff the "Religion of Love" systematically
poisons the innocent minds of little children. The religion of
Socialism is indeed a political religion, as Mr. Snowden, M.P., has
stated.

FOOTNOTES:

[1012] Ball, _The Moral Aspects of Socialism_, p. 23.

[1013] Bebel, _Woman_, p. 213.

[1014] Bax, _Religion of Socialism_, p. 81.

[1015] Snowden, _The Christ that Is to be_, pp. 6, 7.

[1016] Bax, _Religion of Socialism_, pp. 58, 59.

[1017] Mignet, _Revolution Française_, ch. viii.

[1018] Sciout, iii. 176.

[1019] Sciout, iv. 386.

[1020] Leatham, _Was Jesus a Socialist?_ p. 16.

[1021] _Socialist Standard_, December 1, 1907.

[1022] See Appendix.

[1023] _A Socialists' Ritual_, pp. 7-16.

[1024] Bax, _Religion of Socialism_, p. 81.

[1025] Glasier, _Socialist Sunday Schools_, p. 9.

[1026] Glasier, _Socialist Sunday Schools_, p. 10.

[1027] Hazell, _The Red Catechism_, pp. 3-10.



CHAPTER XXVIII

CHRISTIAN SOCIALISM


The position of the Christian Churches and of Christian ministers
towards Socialism is one of considerable difficulty. Socialism and
Christianity are two words which are not easily reconcilable. Chapters
XXVI. and XXVII. show that the attitude of British Socialists, not
only towards Christianity but towards all religion, is in the main a
hostile one. Their attitude is only logical. Socialists see in
religious men and in religious corporations obstacles to their
revolutionary and predatory progress. However, as many Socialists have
declared that the teachings of Christ and of Socialism are identical,
some large-hearted Christian ministers have tried to reconcile
Christianity and Socialism. Working under the banner of Christian
Socialism, these are rather trying to exercise practical Christianity
than to assist the Socialist agitation, as may be seen from their
programmes given in the Appendix.

Many Christian Socialist ministers are pious and worthy men whose
actions are wise and moderate. Others have adopted an attitude of
hysterical enthusiasm and admiration towards Socialism. Whilst the
former have only a few adherents, some of the latter have rapidly
secured for themselves a considerable Socialist following, and if one
takes note of their views, one cannot help doubting whether their
motives are entirely disinterested. The following utterances, for
instance, one would expect from the mouth of a Soudanese dervish or
an Indian fakir, but not from the pen of a Christian minister:

"Socialism is the Greatest Movement for Justice and Brotherhood that
this old Planet has ever known. Socialism is the Greatest Passion for
the Release and Freedom of the Human Soul that this world has ever
felt. Socialism is the Greatest Urge of the Average Man to stand
erect, independent, and free, without a Master and without a slave,
that the human race has ever experienced.

"The Spirit of the Lord of Life within me, burning as a fierce flame
in my bones, saith 'Speak unto the people these words': There is only
one Sacred Thing beneath the stars--Human Life. Human Life is the
Incarnation of the Desire of the Lord of Life. Behold! He awaits the
Full Expression, the Complete Emancipation, the Perfect Freedom of
that Human Life, as Life, in all its undisclosed majestic meanings.
And it doth not yet appear what it shall be! The Average Man at your
side in the street, next door--the average woman, any woman, the
child, any child--Behold here is the Sacred One. Love, Worship, and
Bless in the name of the Lord of Life. 'Inasmuch as ye have done it
unto one of the least of these, ye have done it unto Me.' No
artificial, conventional, social, or financial dignity can make that
Human One worthy; no present degradation or humiliation can finally
obscure that Radiant One. 'I see through your sham tinsel and title; I
see through the dirt and despair to the Human One shining there,'
saith the Living Truth. 'The worship that passeth these Darlings of My
Heart and leaveth them--that worship I am against,' saith the Lord of
Life. O stand erect now, just where you are, just as you read these
words. Thou hast no Superior! Thou art very Beautiful! Thou art the
Freedom Incarnate, whose Heart-beat shall dissolve all slaveries and
Injustice. I Love thee, O Thou Human One. There is only one Sacred
Thing beneath the stars--Human Life. Whatever hurts, harms, makes
cheap, blights, hinders, enslaves, subordinates, or profits off Human
Life is Wrong tho' demanded by ten thousand priests, tho' framed in a
thousand laws, tho' hoary with ten thousand years. Whatever hurts the
Son of man--that--that is the Blasphemy. Whatever helps, releases,
emancipates, makes free, glorifies, makes sacred, enlarges, enricheth
Human Life, that is the Right and Good, tho' persecuted by private
interests; that is the Truth, tho' withstood by dead men's creeds.
Whatever emancipates the average man--that--that is the coming of the
Lord. The Fundamental fact of Life is Bread. Man doth not--cannot live
by Bread alone. But man cannot live without Bread. In the eating of
Bread, behold the Divine Democracy of Human Life. The necessity of
eating Bread--there is the Universal Sacrament--all are present--all
partake. Behold, the Supper of the Lord is--just Bread--our common
Daily Bread. Why is this Bread Sacred? Not in itself. No! Why, then?
It is the food of the Sacred Ones--the Human Ones. It is the Food of
the Incarnation of the Lord of Life. And the first Basic Sacred
Ceremony of Man is--Labour in securing that Bread--the Fact of
Bread-Getting. If that is not Just, True, Right, Good, a
Blessing--then nothing is. All else is measured here. You cannot build
a Sacred Ceremony in the superstructure of Human Life if the Basis in
Bread-getting is a Lie, a Fraud, a Cheat, a Theft, a Slavery, a
Service to the Gain-god--Mammon, a Gamble with Human Flesh. Nay,
verily! 'I will not hear your prayers, your chants, your liturgies,
your praises; My soul hateth even your solemn meeting,' said the Lord
of Life, if thou wilt not see Me in these Human Ones as they struggle
for Bread, if thou wilt not make thy Bread-getting Just, and Holy, and
Good, and True.

"And now, O Capitalism, Thou art doomed! I am against thee, saith the
Spirit. O Capitalism, I have weighed thee in My balances--thou art
found wanting. O Capitalism, thou hast gambled with the Land that I
gave to all for Bread. O Capitalism, thou hast gambled with the great
machines that are for the bread-getting of the people. O Capitalism,
thou hast made Human need an asset of thy gains. Thy Purse is filled
with Bloody Coin. Thy Store-Houses burst where the many Hunger. The
Little Ones cry in the streets whilst thou hidest thy Plunder. I am
against thee, O Capitalism, I am against thee! Thou hast gambled with
the very Bodies and Souls of men in thy Mad Mammonism. Thy fierce
Profit-Hunger Hath rejoiced in the Hunger of Man. I am against thee, O
Capitalism!

"Behold! the Day Dawns! I see Justice arise. I see the Land redeemed!
I see the Titans of Iron, the machinery of shops, used for man! I see
the Toilers go forth to their labours and return with the product of
their toil! I see Capitalism lie prone! I see Mammonism fallen! I see
the Profit of the Many Arise! I see Freedom! I see Brotherhood! I see
the Socialist Age! I see the Commonwealth of Man! 'Tis the coming of
the Lord of Life."[1028]

Much of the foregoing is printed in half-inch letters. At the end of
these wild utterances we read in letters an inch tall: "Rally, Rally,
Rally! Great Social Crusade! Rally, Rally, Rally!"--which unpleasantly
reminds one of the shouting butcher's insistent cry, "Buy, Buy, Buy!"
to be heard in crowded thoroughfares on Saturday nights.

The moderate Christian Socialists cannot help opposing the most
important item in the Socialist programme. For example, "The Christian
Social Union asserts that it has not the slightest sympathy with
confiscation." In fact, "the whole question of expropriation is
tacitly ignored in the literature of Christian Socialism."[1029] "The
Christian who believes in the words: 'Take heed, and keep yourselves
from all covetousness, for a man's life consisteth not in the
abundance of the things which he possesseth,' cannot easily be a
Socialist, and a Christian minister cannot easily approve of the
spoliation of the Church."[1030] Professor Flint stated quite
correctly: "What is called Christian Socialism will always be found to
be unchristian in so far as it is socialistic, or unsocialistic in so
far as it is truly and fully Christian."[1031]

Christian Socialist leaders urge Socialists to join the Christian
Socialist movement. "Every Socialist who understands how deeply
religion has been concerned in every movement that has ever won the
enthusiasm of men, every Socialist who realises how enormous is the
work before him, must welcome the assistance of this ancient and
imperishable organ of love and justice. And every Christian who
rejoices in the singular growth of religious zeal in recent years must
long to see all that huge force given to the service of the Humanity
which Jesus Christ has taken up into the Godhead. For the man that
loves much is a Socialist, and the man that loves most is a saint, and
every man that truly loves the brotherhood is in a state of
salvation."[1032] These words seem rather perfunctory and laboured.

By far the largest number of Socialists regard the Christian Socialist
movement with suspicion and dislike. The philosopher of British
Socialism, Mr. Bax, for instance, wrote contemptuously: "The leaders
of the Guild of St. Matthew wish to accomplish vast changes through 'a
clarified Christianity'?--a Christianity which shall consist
apparently of the skins of dead dogmas stuffed with adulterated
Socialist ethics." A leading Socialist weekly wrote of the early
Christian Socialists: "Whether their labours were largely beneficial
depends on the way one looks at these things. We have no doubt that
for the capitalist class these labours were eminently beneficial, and
that is why Maurice and his friends are held in such great esteem by
them. For the working class, however, their labours spelt slavery, and
ought always to be remembered when similar attempts to 'Christianise'
Socialism are made by the 'servants' of the Church. Here, as in many
other things, the motto of the worker must be 'I fear the Greeks, even
when they come with gifts.'"[1033]

FOOTNOTES:

[1028] _The Social Crusade to Herald the Message of Truth and Freedom
to this Age, conducted by Rev. J. Stitt Wilson, M.A._, November 1907.

[1029] Woodworth, _Christian Socialism in England_, p. 161.

[1030] _Church and Socialism_, p. 39.

[1031] Flint, _Socialism_, p. 441.

[1032] Dearmer, _Socialism and Christianity_, pp. 22, 23.

[1033] _Justice_, October 19, 1907.



CHAPTER XXIX

SOCIALISM AND COMMUNISM


Socialism is not a simple but a complex movement. It contains a
powerful strain both of Communism and of Anarchism. In fact one might
almost divide all Socialists into two classes: Communist Socialists
and Anarchist Socialists. A study of the history of Socialism,
Communism, and Anarchism shows that all three movements have much in
common. It shows instances of Socialistic parties branching out and
having Communist and Anarchist offshoots, and shows instances of
Anarchist and Communist groups combining under the red banner of
Socialism.

Owing to its intimate historical and sentimental connection with
Communism and Anarchism, Socialism is hostile to the State, and many
Socialists desire its downfall: "The expropriation of all the private
proprietors of the means of production being effected, society starts
on a new basis. The conditions of existence and of human life are
changed. The State Organisation gradually loses its foundation. The
State expires with the expiration of a ruling class, just as religion
expires when the belief in supernatural beings or supernatural
reasoning powers ceases to exist."[1034] "The first act wherein the
State appears as the real representative of the whole body social--the
seizure of the means of production in the name of society--is also its
last independent act as State. The interference of the State in social
relations becomes superfluous in one domain after another and falls of
itself into desuetude. The place of a government over persons is taken
by the administration of things and the conduct of the processes of
production. The State is not 'abolished,' it dies out."[1035] "The
representatives of the State will have disappeared along with the State
itself--ministers, parliaments, standing armies, police and
_gens-d'armes_, law courts, lawyers and public prosecutors, prisons,
rates, taxes and excises--the entire political apparatus. The great and
yet so petty parliamentary struggles have given place to administrative
colleges and administrative delegations, whose function it is to settle
the best methods of production and distribution."[1036] "The
Co-operative Commonwealth will incorporate the whole people into
society. The whole people does not want, or need, any government at
all. It simply wants administration--good administration,"[1037]

The arguments contained in the foregoing extracts are exceedingly
shallow. The various authorities quoted tell us in more or less
involved language that the State disappears because "governments" will
be replaced by "administrations." Unconvincing verbiage apart, the
only change which would take place would be a change of name.
Countries would be ruled by Socialist governments instead of by
non-Socialist ones. The State could disappear only with the
disappearance of nations and of frontiers, with the advent of the
"Brotherhood of Man." The first Socialist State might of course
proclaim the Brotherhood of Man in accordance with the precedent set
by the French Revolution, but other nations might feel as little
inclined to join it as during the time when bloodthirsty demagogues
ruled France in the name of Liberty, Fraternity, and Equality, with
the liberal assistance of the rifle and the guillotine.

What is Communism? John Stuart Mill tells us: "The assailants of the
principle of individual property may be divided into two
classes--those whose scheme implies absolute equality in the
distribution of the physical means of life and enjoyment, and those
who admit inequality, but grounded on some principle, or supposed
principle, of justice or general expediency, and not, like so many of
the existing social inequalities, dependent on accident alone. The
characteristic name for the former economical system is
Communism."[1038] "Palgrave's Dictionary of Political Economy" says:
"Communism is the theory which teaches that the labour and the income
of society should be distributed equally among all its members by some
constituted authority."[1039]

Let us now take note of some Socialist views on Communism. "Laurence
Gronlund, whose 'Co-operative Commonwealth' has been styled the New
Testament of Socialism (as the 'Capital' is its Old Testament), has
tried to distinguish between Socialism and Communism by describing
Communism as meaning 'each according to his needs,' and Socialism 'each
according to his deeds.'"[1040] "As soon as the principle of equality
is applied to Socialism, Socialism becomes 'Communism.'"[1041]
"Socialism and Communism are very generally confounded, but they are
quite distinct economic systems. Socialists seek only to control the
instruments of production--Land and Capital; Communists leave nothing
to the individual which he can call his own. St. Paul was a Socialist,
Christ a Communist."[1042]

Many so-called Socialists are in reality avowed Communists who look
forward to the introduction of Communism more than to the advent of
Socialism. They see in Socialism merely an intermediate stage towards
their final goal. "If the millennial haven of Communism is to be
reached by mankind generally, it must be through the disciplinary
portal of Socialism."[1043] "Communism, the final goal of Socialism,
is a form of Social Economy very closely akin to the principles set
forth in the Sermon on the Mount."[1044] "Socialism and freedom 'gang
thegither.' Socialism implies the inherent equality of all human
beings. It does not assume that all are alike, but only that all are
equal."[1045] "Between complete Socialism and Communism there is no
difference whatever in my mind. Communism is, in fact, the completion
of Socialism; when that ceases to be militant and becomes triumphant
it will be Communism."[1046] "The vision of freedom is an
ever-expanding conception of life and its possibilities. The slave
dreams of emancipation, the emancipated workman of citizenship; the
enfranchised citizen of Socialism; the Socialist of Communism."[1047]

Some Socialists champion Communism because Communism, the equality of
all, is "natural," whilst individualism is "unnatural": "Capitalistic
individualism has no prototype in Nature and is therefore unnatural.
But some opponent will say, 'It is here, and therefore it must be a
natural product.' The answer is simple. It is here, but it is one of
Nature's failures. We have seen how, low down in the organic scale,
Nature makes many failures in order to achieve one success. Sometimes
even millions perish in order that one of high type may survive.
Nature always accomplishes her purposes in the end. We know that her
aim is Communism, for some of the higher species have already reached
it, and all are tending towards it."[1048] The assertion, "We know"
(who are we?) "that Nature's aim is Communism," can hardly be called a
sufficient scientific proof of the foregoing proposition. Other
Socialists assert that Communism is in accordance with the Bible:
"Christ's teaching is often said to be Socialistic. It is not
Socialistic, but it is Communistic, and Communism is the most advanced
form of the policy generally known as Socialism."[1049]

A Socialist Bible student and very prolific writer says: "Can anything
be conceived more diametrically opposed to the principle laid down by
Christ than the present system, based as it is on the principle of
competition? 'You are all brothers,' says Christ, and if all are
brothers, then it needs no philosopher to tell us that all should work
together for the common good."[1050] In support of this doctrine that
Communism is in accordance with the Bible, the said writer quotes Acts
iv. 32-35, "And the multitude of them that believed were of one heart
and of one soul: neither said any of them that ought of the things
which he possessed was his own; but they had all things common.
Neither was there any among them that lacked: for as many as were
possessors of lands or houses sold them, and brought the prices of the
things that were sold, and laid them down at the apostles' feet: and
distribution was made unto every man according as he had need."[1051]
The Socialist can quote Scripture for his purpose--and misquote it
too. Therefore the pious Socialist writer leaves out the lines which
follow: "But a certain man named Ananias, with Sapphira his wife, sold
a possession, and kept back part of the price."[1052] Will there be no
Ananiases in the Socialist Commonwealth? Besides, the early Christian
Communism was voluntary and dictated only by charity. It certainly was
not enjoined as a religious duty.[1053] Lastly, the first Christian
experiment in Communism proved immediately a failure, probably because
there were many Ananiases, and because Communism is opposed to human
nature and leads to poverty and strife, not to prosperity and peace.
Hence, St. Paul founded no more Communist settlements, but collected
everywhere for the "poor saints at Jerusalem" in order to relieve them
in their "deep poverty," as may be seen in Romans xv. 26-27, 1
Corinthians xvi. 1-3, 2 Corinthians viii. and ix. To misquote
Scripture in support of Socialist Communism with an attitude of deep
piety is not only in bad taste, but also dishonest. It is cant and
hypocrisy.

Another prolific Socialist writer, under the title "Was Jesus a
Socialist?" tells us that Socialism "claims complete equality of
rewards for all members of society, not on any theologico-metaphysical
ground, such as the Christian abstract principle of brotherhood, but
because it sees men to have on the whole the same natural endowments,
and the same natural needs."[1054] Have they? Considered merely as
two-legged animals requiring only food, warmth, and shelter, men have
not even the same physical needs.

It is very difficult to make out a good case in favour of Communism,
an equal reward for all, a doctrine which will be attractive only to
the lowest rank of workers, the lazy, and the inefficient. Therefore
Socialist Communists endeavour to make Communism appear more palatable
to the active and the efficient by the lavish use of poetry and
hyperbole. For instance, we learn: "He who makes the canvas is as
useful as he that paints the picture. He who cleanses the sewer and
prevents disease is as useful as the physician who cures the malady
after it has been contracted."[1055] To learn painting or medicine
requires at least ten years' study; sewer-cleaning requires no study.
The offer of equal rewards for an hour's work at painting, at
amputating in a hospital, and at cleaning sewers must be very
attractive to sewermen. Will it prove equally attractive to surgeons
and painters? Socialism is to be world-wide. Will the highly skilled
British trade unionist agree to work side by side with unskilled
Chinamen and for equal wages?

    In youth, as I lay dreaming,
      I saw a country fair.
    Where Plenty sheds its blessing down,
      And all have equal share.
    There Poverty's sad features
      Are never, never, seen;
    And each soul in the Brotherhood
      Scorns cunning arts or mean.[1056]

I think skilled workers will hardly hail with enthusiasm the day of
liberty and equality and of sewermen's wages all round, poetry
notwithstanding.

Other Socialists try to recommend Communism by a ridiculous and
dishonest play upon words: "He who declares himself an enemy of
Communism declares himself an enemy of common interest, an enemy of
society and mankind. Whoever wishes to annihilate Communism will have
to destroy the common roads, the schools, he will have to destroy the
public gardens and parks, he will have to abolish the public baths,
the theatres, the waterworks, all the public buildings; he will have
to destroy the railroads, the telegraphs, the post-office. For all
these belong to Communism."[1057] It would be as logical to say, "He
who opposes Socialism will have to destroy the Royal Society, and all
clubs, for all these are social institutions." The Social-Democratic
Federation says about Communism: "Has there not always been the
aggregation of wealth in the hands of a few in all stages of human
society?--Certainly there has been a tendency to such concentration
throughout history. In what did tribal society differ from civilised
society?--Briefly, it differed in that its underlying principle was
that of social solidarity and Communism. We may instance such examples
as survived in the village communities of India before the
establishment of British institutions; in the Russian Mir, in its
older form; in the Arab tribal organisation and the Javan village
communities."[1058] That "primitive Communism" of "tribal society,"
the organisation of savages and semi-savages, of the decadent and of
the unfit, Socialists wish to foist upon a highly cultured nation. The
above arguments, penned by the philosopher of British Socialism and
the editor of "Justice" in recommendation of Communism, suffice to
condemn it.

We have a survival of ancient Communism in the Russian Mir, and to the
Mir is the great backwardness of Russian agriculture chiefly to be
attributed.[1059] The Russian peasants, recognising the disadvantages
of the Communist Mir, are gradually abandoning it and converting
common into individual properties. Nevertheless some Socialists have
the hardihood to ascribe the universal disappearance of ancient
Communism to the tyranny of man, not to the logic of facts and the
action of Nature which replaces inefficient by efficient
organisations. "There have been attempts in all ages to introduce some
system of holding things in common in order to alleviate and soften
the hard struggle with Nature for food, clothing, and shelter. This
voluntary Communism rendered the workers too independent for the
governing classes, and the jealousy of Church and State invariably
destroyed it as the Russian village communes are now being destroyed
by the Government."[1060]

Another Socialist quotes with approval the pronouncement of Gregory
the Great "Let them know that the earth from which they spring, and of
which they are formed, belongs to all men in common, and that
therefore the fruits which the earth brings forth must belong, without
distinction, to all."[1061] China suffers from over-population and is
very poor. Would the writer give to the Chinese a share of Great
Britain's wealth since "the earth and its fruits belong without
distinction to all?"

Mr. Keir Hardie, M.P., who has apparently a somewhat elementary
knowledge of ancient history, and who seems to rely for information on
a primer such as "Little Willie's First History Book," recommends
Communism because "In Sparta there were not only common lands, but
also a common table, whilst dogs and horses were practically common
property also. Sparta, which kept its Communism almost to the end, was
also the Republic from which came the immortal heroes who made the
pass of Thermopylae one of the great inspirations of the world."[1062]
The Spartans were barbarians among the Greeks. Spartan Communism was
founded on slavery and on the virtual community of women.
Slave-murder, child-murder, rape, and theft were legally enjoined, and
that is the community which Mr. Keir Hardie bids us consider as our
model. Mr. Keir Hardie concludes: "We have seen how mankind when left
free has always, and in all parts of the world, naturally turned to
Communism. [Has it? When, and where?] That it will do so again is the
most likely forecast of the future which can be made, and the great
industrial organisations, the Trade Unions, the Co-operative Movement,
the Friendly Orders, the Socialist organisations and the Labour party
are each and all developing the feeling of solidarity and of mutual
aid which will make the inauguration of Communism a comparatively easy
task as the natural successor to State Socialism."[1063]

The ideas of Socialists with regard to Communism are incredibly
confused. For instance, we find in the same book the following
contradictory statements describing Socialism: "Socialism is the
common holding of the means of production and exchange, and _the
holding of them for the equal benefit of all_"[1064] (the italics are
in the original), and "To distribute the gifts of Nature justly
according to the labour done by each in the collective search for
them. This desire is Socialism."[1065] These absolutely contradictory
statements, telling us that Socialism is both individualistic and that
it is also Communistic, are taken from the fundamental book of the
Fabian Society, the most scientific body of Socialists, and they have
been reprinted again and again down to the edition bearing the imprint
"43rd Thousand."

Socialism is eternally between the horns of a dilemma. It promises to
make all men happy. If it rewards men by results, the inefficient and
the lazy will be dissatisfied. If it rewards all men alike
(Communism), the efficient, able, and energetic will be dissatisfied.
Reward by result will, in the absence of self-regulating commercial
demand and supply, require an autocratic and absolute authority which
arbitrarily apportions the unequal rewards of labour. It would be the
tyranny of the few over the many, and would mean the abolition of
democracy. Communism, equal rewards for all, would lead to the tyranny
of the many over the few, and would stifle all motives to excel. Well
might the Fabians ask: "Since we are too dishonest for Communism
without taxation or compulsory labour, and too insubordinate to
tolerate task work under personal compulsion, how can we order the
transition so as to introduce just distribution without Communism and
maintain the incentive to labour without mastership?"[1066]
Unfortunately for the Socialists, that question is unanswerable. It is
likely always to remain so, and the impossibility of answering it
makes Socialism impossible. However, since Socialists wish to array
the masses against the classes, the poor against the rich, they
naturally incline, for tactical reasons rather than from honest
conviction, to Communism, the worst of all tyrannies, and the most
retrograde and inefficient of economic organisations.

"Communism in proposing the appropriation of the results of the
unequally productive labour for a uniformly equal distribution
according to needs, seeks to establish a universal and monstrous
appropriation by one set of persons of the surplus value belonging to
others. Socialism would, in short, do to a far greater degree the very
thing with which to-day it so indignantly and bitterly reproaches
capitalism."[1067] Whilst Mr. Keir Hardie and his numerous followers
enthusiastically support a free Communism in which "the rule of life
will be--From each according to his ability, to each according to his
needs,"[1068] "the Fabian Society resolutely opposes all pretensions
to hamper the Socialisation of industry with equal wages, equal hours
of labour, equal official status, or equal authority for everyone.
Such conditions are not only impracticable, but incompatible with the
equality of subordination to the common interest which is fundamental
in modern Socialism."[1069]

The Communistic idea is not yet dead. The short-sightedness and folly
of mankind is such that Communism, in spite of a record of more than
2,000 years of universal failure, is still a power to be reckoned
with. Visionaries like Saint-Simon and Owen, and madmen like Fourier,
are still able to lead the people astray.

Fourier taught that Communism would alter not only man but the
physical world as well. The duration of the human race on earth would
be 80,000 years, divided into two periods of ascending and two of
descending vibrations. Lions would be taught to draw waggons, as a
symbol of the victory of man over Nature. Human life would on an
average last 144 years. The aurora borealis, which now rarely appears
in northern regions, would become permanently visible and be fixed at
the Pole. It would give out, not only light, as at present, but also
heat. It would decompose the sea water by the creation of citric
boreal acid and convert it into a kind of lemonade which would
dispense with the necessity of provisioning ships with fresh water.
Oranges would grow in Siberia and tame whales would pull becalmed
sailing-ships. The full indulgence of human nature in all its passions
would produce happiness and virtue. Society would harmoniously be
organised in groups (phalanxes) of 1,600 persons to inhabit a large
palace called a phalanstery. If England would introduce these
phalanxes, her labour would become so productive that she could pay
off her national debt in six months by the sale of hens' eggs. Labour
would be organised and occupation be changed every two hours. Workers
would be taken in carriages to and from their work, and agricultural
labourers would work under tents so as to be protected against the
rain. The relations between the sexes would be of the freest. All
should freely satisfy all their passions, and all passions would
naturally combine in one grand harmony. The world would become a huge
Republic which would be governed from Constantinople, and French would
be the universal language.[1070]

Notwithstanding the evident insanity of Fourier's proposals, and the
almost equally extravagant proposals of Owen, more than a hundred
phalansteries and other Communistic settlements were founded in Great
Britain and elsewhere, especially in the United States. Their failure
was universal and their immorality was very great.[1071] "The trouble
with all the Fourierite communities was that they were fanciful and
theoretical schemes, not simple and natural growths. They had little
definite religious spirit to hold them together. They had little
business headship. At the least discouragement and misfortune they
melted away. Only religious communism, the facts seem to prove, can be
successful."[1072] Only the communism of the convent and of the
monastery, the equality of all based on a fervent religious belief, on
a firm discipline, on an equal and absolute poverty, and on the almost
insurmountable difficulty of re-entering the world, has hitherto
proved practicable from the time of the Essenes to the present day.

FOOTNOTES:

[1034] Bebel, _Woman_, p. 178.

[1035] Engels, _Socialism: Utopian and Scientific_, pp. 76, 77.

[1036] Bebel, _Woman_, p. 212.

[1037] Gronlund, _Co-operative Commonwealth_, p. 123

[1038] Mill, _Political Economy_, Book iii. ch. i. par. 2.

[1039] _Palgrave's Dictionary of Political Economy_, vol. i. p. 297.

[1040] Leatham, _Socialism and Character_, p. 89.

[1041] Menger, _L'État Socialiste_, p. 35.

[1042] Davidson, _The Old Order and the New_, p. 93.

[1043] Davidson, _The Old Order and the New_, p. 94.

[1044] Keir Hardie, _From Serfdom to Socialism_, p. 36.

[1045] _Ibid._ p. 9.

[1046] Morris, _Communism_, pp. 11, 12.

[1047] Keir Hardie, _From Serfdom to Socialism_, p. 77.

[1048] Connell, _Socialism and the Survival of the Fittest_, p. 19.

[1049] Blatchford, _Real Socialism_, p. 5.

[1050] Ward, _Are All Men Brothers?_ p. 19.

[1051] Ward, _All Things in Common_, p. 5.

[1052] Acts v. 1, 2.

[1053] Acts v. 4.

[1054] Leatham, _Was Jesus a Socialist?_ p. 5.

[1055] Davidson, _The Old Order and the New_, p. 159.

[1056] _Clarion Song Book_, p. 27.

[1057] Sorge, _Socialism and the Workers_, p. 8

[1058] Bax and Quelch, _A New Catechism of Socialism_, pp. 20, 21.

[1059] See Simkhowitsch, _Die Feldgemeinschaft_, 1898; Haxthausen,
_Studien_, &c.

[1060] Benson, _Socialism_, p. 4.

[1061] Ward, _All Things in Common_, p. 1.

[1062] Keir Hardie, _From Serfdom to Socialism_, p. 17.

[1063] Keir Hardie, _From Serfdom to Socialism_, pp. 96, 97.

[1064] _Fabian Essays in Socialism_, p. 212.

[1065] _Ibid._ p. 4.

[1066] B. Shaw, _The Impossibilities of Anarchism_, p. 17.

[1067] Schäffle, _The Impossibility of Social Democracy_, p. 60.

[1068] Keir Hardie, _From Serfdom to Socialism_, p. 89.

[1069] _Report on Fabian Policy and Resolutions_, p. 7.

[1070] See Fourier, _Oeuvres_; Pellarin, _Fourier_; Sargant, _Social
Innovators_.

[1071] See Noyes, _History of American Socialism_; Nordhoff,
_Communistic Societies of the United States_.

[1072] Bliss, _Encyclopedia of Social Reform_, p. 319.



CHAPTER XXX

SOCIALISM AND ANARCHISM


Socialism is, on the whole, hostile to the State. All Socialists hate
the State as at present constituted, because it protects the property
which they wish to seize. However, many Socialists hate not only the
State in its present form. They have become doubtful whether private
capital or the State is the greater evil. They long for liberty, and
would not welcome the restraint of any State, and least of all that of
the absolute, all-regulating, and constantly interfering Socialistic
State. Hence many Socialists have become Anarchists. Socialists may be
divided into two classes--Communists and Anarchists--and Prince
Kropotkin, the foremost Anarchist leader living, described the two
Socialistic sections as follows: "A section of Socialists believes
that it is impossible to attain Socialism without sacrificing personal
liberty on the altar of the State. Another section, to which we
belong, believes, on the contrary, that it is only by the abolition of
the State, by the conquest of perfect liberty by the individual, by
free agreement, association, and absolute free federation, that we can
reach Communism."[1073] Many Socialists, seeing the enemy rather in
the State than in private capital, express their passionate hatred of
the State: "The State at present is simply a huge machine for robbing
and slave-driving the poor by brute force."[1074] "The Parliament ever
cries for more money, more money for the service of the State. Just
heavens! Of what service is the State? Of very little service to
honest, industrious men,"[1075] The philosopher of British Socialism
frankly confesses himself a revolutionary Anarchist: "As an
international revolutionist I have always been strongly sympathetic
with all movements for local autonomy as most directly tending to
destroy the modern 'nation' or centralised bureaucratic State."[1076]
"It is quite true that Socialism will have to take over the accursed
legacy of existing national frontiers from the bourgeois world-order;
but Socialism will take it over merely with the view of killing it off
and burying it at the earliest possible moment. The modern nation or
centralised State is a hideous monstrosity, the offspring of
capitalism in its various phases; in its present shape the outcome of
the developed capitalism of the great industry. We quite admit that in
form it may, and probably will, survive the earlier stage of
Socialism, but its ultimate disappearance is none the less certain.
The sentiment of the national patriotism will then, let us hope, be
reduced to its last expression--the holding of annual dinners, or some
harmless festivity of this sort, such as is affected by the natives of
certain English counties resident in the metropolis. The Nationalist
movement, therefore, is an old Radical 'plank' which clearly no longer
belongs to us as Socialists."[1077]

The Socialist-Anarchist hates State government in every form. To him a
Social-Democratic State is quite as hateful as any other form of
government: "The State is the evil, the inveterate foe of labour--be
the Government Autocratic, Bureaucratic, or Social-Democratic. For
what, after all, is our vaunted nose-counting, majority-ridden
Democracy but an expansion of the old-time tyranny of monarch and
oligarch, inasmuch as the Governmentalist, whatever his stripe, is
doomed to act on the two root principles of statecraft--force and
fraud? And, obviously, so long as that is so, his particular profession
of political faith is almost a matter of indifference."[1078] "What
was, what is the State, wherever it exists, but a community of human
beings barbarically held together by a well-drilled gang of
magistrates, soldiers, policemen, gaolers, and hangmen?"[1079] Mr.
Blatchford, who is apparently never quite sure in his mind whether he
is a Socialist, a Communist, or an Anarchist, gives voice to his
Anarchist sentiments in the words: "Rightly or wrongly, I am opposed to
godship, kingship, lordship, priestship. Rightly or wrongly, I am
opposed to imperialism, militarism, and conquest. Rightly or wrongly, I
am for universal brotherhood and universal freedom."[1080]

Another influential Socialist writer exclaims: "What is freedom but
the unfettered use of all the powers which God for use has
given?"[1081]--a sentiment which is heartily endorsed by all
Anarchists. However, the unfettered use of all powers means that the
will of the individual, not the will of society, is the supreme law.
It means the denial of the supremacy of society, the State,
government. Similar sentiments are expressed with greater energy and
greater fulness by many Socialist writers. Mr. Davidson, for instance,
says: "In the new order every man (woman, of course, included) will be
his own legislator. In the state of ultimate and universal freedom to
which we aspire, when the greatest of all tyrants, poverty, is slain
and plenty sits on the throne which the lean monster has so long
usurped--it may well be that there shall be no necessity for any law
except that which the purified conscience of every individual man and
woman will readily supply. Then will have come the true Golden Age,
the millennium of Christian Anarchism."[1082]

The claims, programme, and aims of Socialism and Anarchism are
curiously alike. Prince Kropotkin, the leading exponent of Anarchism,
writes: "Anarchy appears as a constituent part of the new philosophy,
and that is why Anarchists come in contact on so many points with the
greatest thinkers and poets of the present day. In fact, it is certain
that in proportion as the human mind frees itself from ideas
inculcated by minorities of priests, military chiefs, and judges, all
striving to establish their domination, and of scientists paid to
perpetuate it, a conception of society arises, in Which conception
there is no longer room for those dominating minorities. A society
entering into possession of the social capital accumulated by the
labour of preceding generations, organises itself so as to make use of
this capital in the interests of all, and constitutes itself without
reconstituting the power of the ruling minorities. Acknowledging as a
fact the equal rights of all its members to the treasures accumulated
in the past, it no longer recognises a division between exploited and
exploiters, governed and governors, dominated and dominators, and it
seeks to establish a certain harmonious compatibility in its midst not
by subjecting all its members to an authority that is fictitiously
supposed to represent society, not by trying to establish uniformity,
but by urging all men to develop free initiative, free action, free
association."[1083]

There is little difference between the Anarchism of Proudhon,
Bakounin, and Kropotkin, and the Socialism of many British Socialists.
The economic doctrines of Socialism and Anarchism are practically
identical. Socialism has taken the most important doctrines from
Proudhon,[1084] and, owing to the similarity of their views and aims,
Socialists and Anarchists are commingling and fraternising. Anarchists
see in Socialists a wing of the great Anarchist army of destruction,
and Socialists see in Anarchists associates and friends and partners
in the revolution and general pillage which both movements equally
strongly desire to bring about. Therefore a leading Fabian Socialist
tells us: "Kropotkin is really an advocate of free Democracy, and I
venture to suggest that he describes himself as an Anarchist rather
from the point of view of the Russian recoiling from a despotism
compared to which Democracy seems to be no government at all, than
from the point of view of the American or Englishman who is free
enough already to begin grumbling over Democracy as 'the tyranny of
the majority' and 'the coming slavery.'"[1085] If Kropotkin is a
"Democrat," then Ravachol, Vaillant, Henry, Pallas, and Bresci were
also merely Democrats.

British Anarchists are closely watching the British Socialist Labour
movement, which they wish to lead into Anarchist channels. Thus we
learn from an Anarchist monthly: "The question of the position to be
taken in relation to the labour movement is certainly one of the
greatest importance to Anarchists. It does not suffice for us to form
groups for propaganda and for revolutionary action. We must convert as
far as possible the mass of the workers, because without them we can
neither overthrow the existing society nor reconstitute a new one. And
since to rise from the submissive state in which the great majority of
the proletarians now vegetate to a conception of Anarchism and a desire
for its realisation, is required an evolution which generally is not
passed through under the sole influence of the propaganda; since the
lessons derived from the facts of daily life are more efficacious than
all doctrinaire preaching, it is for us to take an active part in the
life of the masses and to use all the means which circumstances permit
to gradually awaken the spirit of revolt, and to show by these facts
the path which leads to emancipation. Amongst these means the Labour
movement stands first, and we should be wrong to neglect it. In this
movement we find numbers of workers who struggle for the amelioration
of their conditions. They may be mistaken as to the aim they have in
view and as to the means of attaining it, and in our view they
generally are. But at least they no longer resign themselves to
oppression nor regard it as just--they hope and they struggle. We can
more easily arouse in them that feeling of solidarity towards their
exploited fellow-workers and of hatred against exploitation, which must
lead to a definitive struggle for the abolition of all domination of
man over man."[1086] Anarchists therefore constantly try to influence
the British Socialist Labour movement. When, for instance, in the
autumn of 1907 the possibility of a railway strike was being discussed,
Anarchists did their best to bring about a revolutionary struggle: "The
railway crisis must have shown very clearly that if the men had but the
will, they have the power to bring about at any time a revolutionary
situation in the struggle of labour against capital. Some day they will
have to do this, for the conditions of the conflict will leave them no
choice. They will perhaps learn also that the glorification of a man
like Bell--whose fooling of their cause is his method of
advertisement--means putting powers into one man's hands that no man
ought to possess. Nothing could be more absurd than the prolongation of
this 'crisis' which has been done so that one man might have the centre
of the stage, while hundreds of thousands of men toil on in suspense.
Bell is everything: the workers are mere cyphers. Yet this man is
mistrusted by many; and everyone knows how on occasion he can join the
feast of the directors and be one of them. And if generalship were
needed, what an ass this would be to attempt to lead the men to
victory! Successful strikes are never made by the farcical tactics of a
Bell. Recognition, forsooth! They'll recognise you when you strike.
Workers, watch your leaders!"[1087]

In view of the connection existing between British Socialism and
Anarchism, it is but natural that Socialists have become the
apologists of Anarchism. "The vulgar notion that Anarchism is a
synonym for disorder is as nearly as possible the reverse of the
truth. It is Governments and Laws that do all the mischief. They
produce the very evils they pretend to remedy."[1088] "Verily the
State is the evil. Back to the land. Back to the simple life. Away
with Governments, palavers, Dumas, and Courts of Law. Long live the
Commune."[1089]

Anarchists contend that the "Social Revolution" for which most
Socialists strive will become an Anarchist revolution: "If the workers
succeed by revolt in destroying the mutual insurance society of
landlords, bankers, priests, judges, and soldiers; if the people
become masters of their destiny for a few months, and lay hands on the
riches they have created and which belong to them by right--will they
really begin to reconstitute that blood-sucker, the State[1090]?" "On
the day when ancient institutions splinter into fragments before the
axe of the proletariat, voices will be heard shouting: Bread for all!
Lodging for all! Right for all to the comforts of life! And these
voices will be heeded. The people will say to themselves: Let us
begin by satisfying our thirst for the life, the joy, the liberty we
have never known. And when all have tasted happiness we will set to
work; the work of demolishing the last vestiges of middle-class rule,
with its account-book morality, its philosophy of debit and credit,
its institutions of mine and thine. 'While we throw down we shall be
building' as Proudhon said, 'we shall build in the name of Communism
and of Anarchy."[1091] Anarchists are authorities on revolutions. Very
likely Prince Kropotkin's view is right.

There are two kinds of Anarchists: Philosophic Anarchists who
propagate their views by speech and pen, and Anarchists of action who
propagate their views by dynamite and dagger, and the former are
responsible for the crimes of the latter. Many British Socialists
defend not only philosophic Anarchism, but also that form of Anarchism
which finds its expression in murder.

Leading British Socialists refer, for instance, to the four
Anarchists, Spies, Fischer, Engel, and Parsons, the heroes of the
Chicago bomb outrage, who were responsible for the death of six
policemen and for the wounding of about sixty, and who were hanged in
November 1886 in Chicago, as "martyrs,"[1092] and British Socialists
are urged to follow the glorious footsteps of the Chicago Anarchists:

    Then on to revolution, boys! Keep Freedom's highway broad.
    The path where Spies and Parsons fell--as fearlessly they trod;
    And though we fall as they fell--millions follow on the road,
              To carry the Red Flag to victory.[1093]

The sympathy which British Socialists feel for the Chicago Anarchists
arises from the similarity of their aims. The programme of the
American Anarchists was, according to the Pittsburg proclamation, as
follows:

(1) Destruction of the existing class rule, by all means, _i.e._ by
energetic, relentless, revolutionary, and international action. (2)
Establishment of a free Society based upon co-operative organisation
of production. (3) Free exchange of equivalent products by and between
the productive organisations without commerce and profit-mongery. (4)
Organisation of education on a secular, scientific, and equal basis
for both sexes. (5) Equal rights for all without distinction of sex or
race. (6) Regulation of all public affairs by free contracts between
the autonomous (independent) communes and associations resting on a
federalists basis.[1094]

The attitude of many leading British Socialists towards the murdering
of monarchs and statesmen may be gauged from the following extracts:
"On the occasion of the assassination of any potentate or statesman,
the public opinion of the possessing class and its organs is lashed up
to a white heat of artificial fury and indignation against the
perpetrator, while they have nothing but approbation for the
functionary--military or civil--who puts to death a fellow-creature in
the course of what they are pleased to call his duty. Evidently force
and bloodshed, when contrary to the interests of the possessing class,
is a monstrous crime, but when it is in their favour it becomes a duty
and a necessity."[1095] "We believe the 'potting' of the 'heads' of
States to be a foolish and reprehensible policy, but the matter does
not concern us as Socialists. We have our own quarrel with the
Anarchists, both as to principles and tactics, but that is no reason
why, as certain persons seem to think, we should put on sackcloth and
ashes, and dissolve ourselves in tears because, say, M. Carnot or the
head of any other State has been assassinated by Anarchists. What is
Carnot to us or we to Carnot, that we should weep for him? We do not
specially desire the death of political personages, while we often
regret their slaying on grounds of expediency, if on no others. But at
the same time Socialists have no sentimental tears to waste over the
heads of States and their misfortunes. To the Socialist the head of a
State, as such, is simply a figure-head to whose fate he is
indifferent--a ninepin representing the current political and social
order."[1096]

    We're low, we're low, we're very very low.
      And yet when the trumpets ring.
    The thrust of a poor man's arm will go
      Through the heart of the proudest king.[1097]

The "Socialist Annual" contains in its calendar pages numerous items
under the heading "For the Working Class to Remember," which is
filled with Socialist dates such as "birth of Mr. Blatchford," and
with the records of the most conspicuous Anarchist, Nihilist, and
Revolutionary crimes. Details regarding the deeds of Orsini and
Louise Michel, Jack Cade and Wat Tyler, the execution of Louis XVI.
and Marie Antoinette, the assassination of Presidents Lincoln,
McKinley, and Carnot, the attempt on King Alfonso, and other facts
are there recorded--"for the working class to remember." Earlier or
later the Socialist-Communist-Anarchist agitation in Great Britain
may, and very likely will, lead to Anarchist outrages.

FOOTNOTES:

[1073] Prince Kropotkin, _Anarchism_, p. 16.

[1074] B. Shaw, _The Impossibilities of Anarchism_, p. 24.

[1075] Davidson, _The Democrat's Address_, p. 15.

[1076] Bax, _Paris Commune_, p. 35.

[1077] Bax, _Essays in Socialism_, pp. 98, 99.

[1078] Davidson, _Christ, State, and Commune_, pp. 16, 17.

[1079] _Ibid._ p. 6.

[1080] Blatchford, _God and My Neighbour_, p. 195.

[1081] Thompson, _That Blessed Word Liberty_, p. 13.

[1082] Davidson, _The Old Order and the New_, p. 172.

[1083] Kropotkin, _Anarchism_, p. 8.

[1084] Brockhaus, _Konversations Lexikon_, vol. i. p. 578.

[1085] Shaw, _The Impossibilities of Anarchism_, p. 26.

[1086] _Freedom_, November 1907.

[1087] _Freedom_, November 1907.

[1088] Davidson, _Christ, State, and Commune_, p. 22.

[1089] _Ibid._ p. 31.

[1090] Kropotkin, _Anarchism_, p. 19.

[1091] Kropotkin, _The Wage System_, p. 15.

[1092] See Leatham, _Lives of the Chicago Martyrs_.

[1093] _Social-Democratic Federation Song Book_, p. 35.

[1094] Bliss, _Encyclopedia of Social Reform_, p. 63.

[1095] Bax and Quelch, _A New Catechism of Socialism_, p. 31.

[1096] Bax, _A Short History of the Paris Commune_, p. 78.

[1097] _Independent Labour Party Song Book_, p. 33.



CHAPTER XXXI

SOCIALISM AND REVOLUTION


The "Socialist Catechism" contains the following passage: "Q. How are
forms of government changed so as to readjust them to the economical
changes in the forms of production which have been silently evolving
in the body of society? A. By means of revolution.--Q. Give an
instance of this? A. The French Revolution of 1789."[1098]

Many British Socialists are revolutionaries. They hope to introduce
Socialism into Great Britain by revolutionary means. They have studied
the French revolutions, and have become pupils of the French
revolutionary leaders. "Socialism is essentially revolutionary,
politically and economically, as it aims at the complete overthrow of
existing economic and political conditions. We should organise and be
prepared for what might be described as a revolutionary outbreak. The
economic changes which are taking place, and the corresponding changes
in other conditions, are bringing about a revolutionary transformation
in human society, and what we have to do is to help on this
development, and to prepare the way for it."[1099] "We Socialists are
not reformers; we are revolutionists. We Socialists do not propose to
change forms. We care nothing for forms. We want a change of the
inside of the mechanism of society; let the form take care of
itself."[1100] British Socialism was founded by revolutionary
Communists. Marx was a revolutionary. "For a number of years the late
William Morris, the greatest man whom the Socialist movement has yet
claimed in this country, held and openly preached this doctrine of
cataclysmic upheaval and sudden overthrow of the ruling
classes."[1101] That idea has been revived by modern British
Socialists, many of whom believe that "The only effective way to
induce the ruling class to attempt to palliate the evils of their
system is to organise the workers for the overthrow of that
system."[1102] "In the International Socialist movement we are at last
in the presence of a force which is gathering unto itself the rebel
spirits of all lands and uniting them into a mighty host to do battle,
not for the triumph of a sect, or of a race, but for the overthrow of
a system which has filled the world with want and woe. 'Workers of the
world, unite!' wrote Karl Marx; 'you have a world to win and nothing
to lose but your chains.' And they are uniting under the crimson
banner of a world-embracing principle which knows nor sect, nor creed,
nor race, and which offers new life and hope to all created
beings--the glorious gospel of Socialism."[1103]

In many respects the French Revolution has served as a model to
British Socialists of the Anarchist-Revolutionary type. They have
adopted its outward emblems, its songs, and its most effective
catch-phrases: "Liberty, Equality, and Fraternity was the brave and
splendid legend inscribed on the blood-red banners of the French
Revolutionists. And in strange ways the oppressed and hunger-maddened
people sought to realise their ideal. It is still the battle-cry of
the English Socialists--indeed, of the world-wide Socialist
movement."[1104] In the Socialist song-books a translation of the
"Marseillaise" is to be found, which is sung at Socialist gatherings:

    Shall hateful tyrants, mischief-breeding,
      With hireling hosts, a ruffian band,
      Affright and desolate the land,
    While Peace and Liberty lie bleeding?
    To arms! to arms, ye brave!
      The avenging sword unsheathe!
    March on! March on! all hearts resolved
      On Liberty or death.[1105]

In the eyes of many British Socialists the French Revolution was not
sufficiently democratic, not sufficiently radical, not sufficiently
violent. We are told that the French revolutionaries were soft-hearted
men, and that our sympathy with their innocent victims, such as Queen
Marie Antoinette, is quite uncalled for. "The Revolution was in its
conception, its inception, and its results a middle-class revolution.
The revolution was inaugurated by the Parliament of Paris--a
pettifogging legal assembly. Marie Antoinette was but one fine useless
woman among the millions, and she personified the heedless prodigal
selfishness of autocracy. We of the Socialist movement, who are full
of the idea of social service, of making a full return to society for
the bread we eat, the clothes we wear out, and the house-room we
occupy, how can we be expected to think so much of the suffering of
one idle extravagant woman and so little of the age-long privation and
torture of the hard-working useful mothers and sisters of France? The
crimes of ignorant, passionate democracy, of which Burke and Carlyle
have made so much, are as a drop in the ocean by comparison with the
deliberate enormities perpetrated by enlightened cold-blooded
autocracy, from Herod to Nicholas. The democracy has always been
pitiful, extremely pitiful. Even the September massacres, carried out
by the lowest of the low in an enraged and degraded and
terror-stricken populace, are brightened by golden patches of clemency
and love such as the annals of class punishment nowhere reveal."[1106]

The outbreak of the Paris Commune of 1871, having been less a
"middle-class" revolution, is considered by Socialists with greater
approval than the French Revolution of 1789. The philosopher of
British Socialism writes: "The Commune of Paris is the one event which
Socialists throughout the world have agreed with single accord to
celebrate. Every 18th of March witnesses thousands of gatherings
throughout the civilised world to commemorate the (alas! only
temporary) victory of organised Socialist aspiration over the forces
of property and privilege in 1871."[1107] Another leading Socialist
writer says: "Year by year as the 18th of March comes round, it is the
custom with Socialists to commemorate the proclamation of the Commune
of Paris. As a Socialist I am a friend of the Commune."[1108]

What was the Paris Commune, and what did it do? In the words of an
impartial publication, "The Communard chiefs were revolutionaries of
every sect, who, disagreeing on governmental and economic principles,
were united in their vague but perpetual hostility to the existing
order of things. History has rarely known a more unpatriotic crime
than that of the insurrection of the Commune."[1109] "The Commune was
an insurrection which initiated a series of terrible outrages by the
murder of the two generals Lecomte and Thomas.... The incapacity and
mutual hatred of their chiefs rendered all organisation and durable
resistance impossible.... The Communists were committing the most
horrible excesses: the Archbishop of Paris, President Bonjean,
priests, magistrates, journalists, and private individuals, whom they
had seized as hostages, were shot in batches in prisons, and a scheme
of destruction was ruthlessly carried into effect by men and women
with cases of petroleum. The Hôtel de Ville, the Palais de Justice,
the Tuileries, the Ministry of Finance, the Palace of the Legion of
Honour, that of the Council of State, part of the Rue de Rivoli, &c.,
were ravaged by the flames; barrels of gunpowder were placed in Notre
Dame and the Pantheon ready to blow up the buildings, and the whole
city would have been involved in ruin if the national troops had not
gained a last and crowning victory."[1110]

Socialists have nothing but praise for the Communards, who killed and
burned, desecrated the churches and devastated the town. They speak
with enthusiasm of the leaders of that outbreak as of heroes who
fought for the "Brotherhood of Man," and they exalt them above the
saints of early Christianity. The philosopher of British Socialism
exclaims: "Limitless courage and contempt of death was displayed in
defence of an ideal, the colossal proportions of which dwarf
everything in history, and which alone suffices to redeem the
sordidness of the nineteenth century. Here was a heroism in the face
of which the much-belauded Christian martyrs cut a very poor
figure."[1111] "It was in the Commune that we saw manifested as never
before the strong compelling force of a secular altruism. Without hope
of heaven and without fear of hell, men lived and died for the idea of
a brotherhood of self-governing and self-respecting men and
women."[1112]

Even the murderous Paris Commune was too moderate for the taste of
many British Socialists, who favour sterner measures. The philosopher
of British Socialism informs us; "The Commune had one special fault,
that of a fatuous moderation in all its doings. Probably never since
history began have any body of men allowed themselves and theirs to be
treated as lambs in the slaughterhouse with more lamb-like forbearance
and absence of retaliation than the Commune and its adherents; we have
seen this illustrated by the incredible fact that up to the last, amid
all the slaughterings of Communists, the vast majority of the hostages
and prisoners in its hands remained unscathed."[1113] "One of the most
unfortunate characteristics of the leaders of the Commune was their
sensitiveness to bourgeois public opinion. The first thing for the
leader of a revolutionary movement to learn is a healthy contempt for
the official public opinion of the 'civilised world.' He must
resolutely harden his heart against its 'thrills of horror,' its
'indignation,' its 'abomination,' and its 'detestation,' and he must
learn to smile at all the names it will liberally shower upon him and
his cause."[1114]

Whilst the revolutionary criminals who ruled by murder and arson were
heroes and martyrs, the defenders of law and order were criminals
according to British Socialists: "The thirst of the well-to-do classes
for the blood of the Communards was insatiable. The latter were tried
and shot in batches."[1115] "The Communards, desperate as they were,
only faintly imitated the wholesale savagery of the regular
troops."[1116] Peaceful M. Thiers, being at the head of the
government, was "probably the cleverest, most hypocritical, and most
unscrupulous villain that ever denied the pages of history."[1117]

Although Socialists pose as democrats, they do not believe in majority
government.[1118] Being aware that they will hardly be able to gain
over the majority of the people to their revolutionary and visionary
plans, they may, like the Paris Commune, try to force Socialism upon
an unwilling majority. Therefore the attempt of the Parisian
Socialists to overrule France is not condemned but regretted by the
British Socialists: "The revolt was open to the objection that may be
urged against most insurrections. It was an attempt to impose the will
of a minority on a large majority of the people. The Socialists in the
Commune must have realised at times that the people of France were not
prepared for even the small instalments of Socialism which they sought
to introduce. The revolutionists may have thought to impose their
policy upon France by a mere _coup de main_."[1119]

The attitude of Socialists makes it appear possible that the
revolutionary outbreak of 1871 will not be the last. The next
revolutionary attempt may conceivably take place in Great Britain.
"One man with an idea in his head is in danger of being considered a
madman; two men with the same idea in common may be foolish, but can
hardly be mad; ten men sharing an idea begin to act; a hundred draw
attention as fanatics, a thousand and society begins to tremble, a
hundred thousand and there is war abroad."[1120] "Whilst our backers
at the polls are counted by tens, we must continue to crawl and drudge
and lecture as best we can. When they are counted by hundreds, we can
permeate and trim and compromise. When they rise to tens of thousands,
we shall take the field as an independent party. Give us hundreds of
thousands, as you can if you try hard enough, and we will ride the
whirlwind and direct the storm."[1121]

FOOTNOTES:

[1098] Joynes, _A Socialist Catechism_, p. 13.

[1099] Bax and Quelch, _A New Catechism of Socialism_, p. 37.

[1100] De Leon, _Reform or Revolution_, p. 3.

[1101] Keir Hardie, _From Serfdom to Socialism_, p. 23.

[1102] _Socialist Standard_, October 1, 1907.

[1103] Keir Hardie, _From Serfdom to Socialism_, p. 86.

[1104] Ethel Snowden, _The Woman Socialist_, p. 10.

[1105] _Independent Labour Party Song Book_, p. 20.

[1106] Leatham, _French Revolution_, pp. 13, 14.

[1107] Bax, _Paris Commune_, Preface.

[1108] Leatham, _The Commune of Paris_, p. 3.

[1109] _Encyclopædia Britannica_, vol. xxviii. p. 480.

[1110] _Encyclopædia Britannica_, vol. xviii. p. 294.

[1111] Bax, _Paris Commune_, p. 59.

[1112] Leatham, _The Commune of Paris_, p. 18.

[1113] Bax, _Paris Commune_, p. 74.

[1114] _Ibid._ p. 88.

[1115] Leatham, _The Commune of Paris_, p. 13.

[1116] _Ibid._ p. 19.

[1117] Bax, _Paris Commune_, p. 86.

[1118] See Chapters XV. and XXX. _ante._

[1119] Leatham, _The Commune of Paris_, p. 15.

[1120] Morris, _Art, Labour, and Socialism_, p. 24.

[1121] Shaw, _The Fabian Society and its Early History_, p. 28.



CHAPTER XXXII

STATE SOCIALISM


Most Socialist agitators in Great Britain oppose and condemn State
Socialism for two reasons: firstly, because, owing to their Communist
and Anarchist leanings, they oppose and hate the State as such, as has
been shown in the Chapters on "Socialism and Communism," "Socialism
and Anarchism," "Socialism and Revolution"; secondly, because with the
introduction of State Socialism their occupation would be gone.
Socialist agitators do not wish others to govern the State. They wish
to govern it themselves. The welfare of the masses is to them
apparently only a secondary consideration. Hence most British
Socialist agitators condemn the State Socialism of Germany, though it
has greatly benefited the masses, and perhaps because it has greatly
benefited the masses. They also condemn the British Post Office,
although, being not overburdened with scruples, they praise it to the
skies as a Socialistic model institution when it happens to suit them.
In fact, most Socialist leaders condemn all existing Government
institutions, ostensibly because they are capitalistic enterprises
which are run at a "profit," and because they "exploit" their workers.
It would of course be fatal to the Socialist agitators had they to
preach the gospel of envy and hatred, of destruction and pillage, to
the contented.

"The State of to-day, nationally and locally, is only the agent of the
possessing class."[1122] "Mere nationalisation or mere municipalisation
of any industry is not Socialism or Collectivism; it may be only the
substitution of corporate for private administration; the social idea
and purpose with which Collectivism is concerned may be completely
absent."[1123] "Mere Statification, as we may term it, does not mean
Socialism. The State of to-day is mainly an agent of the possessing
classes, and industrial or commercial undertakings run to-day by
Governmental bodies are largely run in the interests of these classes.
Their aim in all cases is to show a profit, in the same way as ordinary
capitalistic enterprises. This profit accrues to the possessing classes
in the form of relief of imperial or local taxation, mainly paid by
them, interests on loans, &c. In other words, these industrial
undertakings are run for profit and not for use, and their employees
are little, if at all, better off than those of private
employers."[1124] "The modern State is but the organisation which
capitalist society gives itself in order to maintain the external
conditions of capitalist production against the attacks both of the
workmen and of individual capitalists. The modern State, whatever its
form, is essentially a capitalist machine."[1125] "State administration
is very far from being the same as a Socialistic administration, as is
sometimes erroneously supposed. The State administration is just as
much a system of capitalistic exploitation as if the institutions in
question were in the hands of private undertakers."[1126] "A
bureaucracy--that is, a body of permanent officials, entrenched in
Government departments, according to whose piping ministers themselves
have willingly or unwillingly to dance--is totally incompatible with
the very elementary conditions of Socialistic administration."[1127]
"Bismarckian State control is brusque and baneful, and is certainly
not the desire of the true Socialist."[1128]

"State ownership, State tyranny, State interference exist to-day. We
have to bear them now; we have to submit to them now; we have to pay
for them now. The people, as such, own nothing. And the Socialists
demand that the people shall own everything. Not the 'State,' the
'People.' So great is the difference between the word 'State' and the
word 'people.'"[1129] "Do you propose that all these means of
production which are now owned by individuals, by this class, as you
say, should be made the property of the Government, like the Post
Office and the telegraph system are in this country, and the railways
as well in some others, or that they should be owned by municipal
bodies, as waterworks, tramways, gasworks, and so on, are in many
cases already?--No. Socialism does not mean mere Governmental
ownership or management. The State of to-day, nationally or locally,
is only the agent of the possessing class; the Post Office and the
other State-owned businesses are run for profit just as other
businesses are; and the Government, as the agent of the possessing
class, has, in the interests of its employers, to treat the employees
just as other employees are treated. The organised democratic society
contemplated by Socialists is a very different thing from the class
State of to-day. When society is organised for the control of its own
business, and has acquired the possession of its own means of
production, its officers will not be the agents of a class, and
production will be carried on for the use of all and not for the
profit of a few."[1130] "The Post Office to-day is an organised
sweating-den. The Government get the largest possible amount of work
for the lowest possible wages. That is capitalist wage-slavery under
Government control."[1131] "The country postman has to walk excessive
distances for miserable wages in order that the profit on the Post
Office may be filched from the employees and from the public by the
Chancellor of the Exchequer."[1132]

The Fabians, on the other hand, advocate State Socialism, but they are
a small minority. "The Socialism advocated by the Fabian Society is
State Socialism exclusively."[1133] Some Socialists would welcome
State Socialism in the hope that it would prepare the way for free
Communism. Mr. Keir Hardie, for instance, says: "State Socialism with
all its drawbacks, and these I frankly admit, will prepare the way for
free Communism, in which the rule, not merely the law of the State,
but the rule of life will be--From each according to his ability, to
each according to his needs."[1134]

"Socialists only believe in the fraternal State. Paternal State
Socialism all Socialists unanimously oppose."[1135]

FOOTNOTES:

[1122] Bax and Quelch, _A New Catechism of Socialism_, p. 8.

[1123] Ball, _The Moral Aspects of Socialism_, p. 9.

[1124] Bax, _Essays in Socialism_, p. 7.

[1125] Engels, _Development of Socialism from Utopia to Science_, p.
71.

[1126] Bebel, _Woman_, pp. 198, 199.

[1127] Bax, _Essays in Socialism_, p. 9.

[1128] Ben Tillett, _Trades Unionism and Socialism_, p. 14.

[1129] _Clarion_, October 18, 1907.

[1130] Bax and Quelch, _A New Catechism of Socialism_, pp. 8, 9.

[1131] Hyndman, _Social-Democracy_, p. 22.

[1132] _Fabian Election Manifesto_, 1892, p. 3.

[1133] _Report on Fabian Policy_, 1896, p. 5.

[1134] Keir Hardie, _From Serfdom to Socialism_, p. 89.

[1135] Bliss, _Encyclopedia of Social Reform_, p. 1262.



CHAPTER XXXIII

THE SOCIALIST ORGANISATIONS: THEIR MUTUAL RELATIONS AND THEIR POLICY


The Social-Democratic Federation is the most honest and
straightforward of the various Socialist organisations. Its aims are
revolutionary, as the following statement proves:

"The Social-Democratic Federation is a militant Socialist organisation
whose members--men and women--belong almost entirely to the working
classes. Its object is the realisation of Socialism--the emancipation
of the working class from its present subjection to the capitalist
class. The means by which it seeks to attain that end are: agitation,
education, and the organisation of the working class into a
class-conscious political party--that is, a party clearly conscious of
the present position of the workers as a subject class, in consequence
of all the means of production being owned and controlled by another
class, and clearly conscious of its duty and mission to free them from
that position by the conquest of all the powers of the State, and by
making all the means of production collective common property, to be
used for the benefit of all instead of for the profit of a class. To
this end the Social-Democratic Federation proclaims and preaches the
class war."[1136]

"According to the report for the year ending March 1907 it has 186
branches and affiliated societies. One of its members sits in
Parliament as a member of the Labour party, and about 120 are members
of various local bodies. Its gross income and expenditure through, out
the country is estimated at _15,500l._ It has a weekly paper,
'Justice,' and a monthly magazine, 'The Social-Democrat.'[1137] "In
its own estimation "Justice" is "the most respected of Socialist
newspapers."[1138]

The various Socialist organisations do not love each other. The Fabian
Society caustically remarks: "The Federation runs a newspaper called
'Justice' which has not hitherto been worth a penny to any man whose
pence are so scarce as a labourer's, and which has made repeated
attacks on the ordinary working-class organisations without whose
co-operation Socialists can at present do nothing except cry in the
wilderness. The branches are expected to sell this paper at their
meetings."[1139] "The Social-Democratic Federation is virtually the
oldest Socialist society and is certainly the most conservative. It
was founded as the Democratic Federation about 1880, and adopted its
present name in 1884. Mr. H.M. Hyndman, its most prominent member,
imported its doctrines--which were of German origin--and the S.D.F.
(as it is familiarly called) has ever since endeavoured to maintain an
unshaken faith in all the teachings of Karl Marx. In fact, the S.D.F.
changes its doctrines not with the times, but a dozen years or so
after; so that it is always rather out of touch with the actualities
of politics and attracts the type of mind that prefers clear-cut
principles to practical political progress."[1140]

Other Socialist organisations which are less straightforward than the
Social-Democratic Federation hide their identity and object under
misleading titles. The Independent Labour Party, for instance, is a
purely Socialist party notwithstanding its name. "Its object is, an
Industrial Commonwealth founded upon the Socialisation of land and
capital. Its methods are the education of the community in the
principles of Socialism; the industrial and political organisation of
the workers; the independent representation of Socialist principles on
all elective bodies."[1141] "No one will find much difference in the
programmes of the Social-Democratic Federation and the Independent
Labour Party."[1142] "The Independent Labour Party, commonly called
the I.L.P., which must be carefully distinguished from the Labour
party, is much the largest, and politically the most important,
Socialist organisation. It was founded at Bradford in 1892, by Mr.
Keir Hardie, M.P., and others, and it has from the first advocated
Socialism of the English type and endeavoured to work in harmony with
trade unionists. The Labour party is mainly due to its initiative, and
through its members in trade unions it largely controls the policy of
the party. In August 1907 it had over 700 branches, of which 155 had
been formed in the preceding six months. Its operations have recently
expanded with extraordinary rapidity, its central office expenditure
for the years ending February 28 having been _955l._ in 1905,
_1,817l._ in 1906, and _3,552l._ in 1907. It does a very large
business in the publication and sale of pamphlets and books, and has a
weekly paper, "The Labour Leader." At the general election of 1906,
eighteen of its members were returned to Parliament, all belonging to
the Labour party, and two more have since been elected, one for the
Labour party, and one, Mr. Victor Grayson, as an independent
Socialist. Over five hundred of its members sit on town councils and
other local bodies. The total membership is estimated at 40,000, and
its income and expenditure at perhaps _100,000l._"[1143] "The
Independent Labour Party was formed in January 1893. As years have
passed the Independent Labour Party has steadily strengthened its
programme, until it is to-day entirely Socialist, but it has not quite
got rid of the strain of opportunism, at elections its independence
being more in evidence in its name than in its conduct."[1144]

Wishing to secure Socialist and non-Socialist adherents, and
masquerading as a Liberal Labour party, the attitude of the
Independent Labour Party is not a straightforward one. One of its
competitors states: "The Independent Labour Party has continued its
policy of bargain-making with capitalist politicians. The leaders at
times call themselves Socialists, and at other times protest against
frightening their supporters by introducing the word into resolutions.
At the general election, Mr. Ramsay Macdonald at Leicester, and Mr.
James Parker at Halifax, were amongst the candidates who entered into
compacts with the Liberals. At the Amsterdam International Congress
they voted for a resolution extolling the 'tried and victorious policy
based on the class war,' and on their return to England referred to
the class war as a 'shibboleth' and as a 'reactionary and Whiggish
precept, certain to lead the movement away from the real aims of
Socialism.'"[1145]

The Fabian Society is the least open and the least straightforward
Socialist organisation. Ostensibly it adopted its curious name because
"for the right moment you must wait, as Fabius did most patiently when
warring against Hannibal, though many censured his delays; but when
the time comes you must strike hard as Fabius did, or your waiting
will be in vain, and fruitless."[1146] In reality the misleading title
was probably adopted because the Fabian Society habitually and on
principle sails under a false flag, wishing not to arouse suspicion as
to its objects.

The object of the small but powerful Fabian Society is a peculiar one:
"Founded on a small scale in 1884 and actually the oldest of the three
great Socialist organisations, the Fabian Society has never aimed at a
large membership or endeavoured to become a political party. Its work
has been mainly educational, its endeavour to translate the principles
of Socialism into practical politics suited to English conditions.
From the first it refused to accept Marxian teaching. The Fabian
Society is not a political body, in that it allows its members
complete freedom to adopt any method of carrying out the principles
they profess. Hence its members in Parliament belong to the Liberal or
the Labour party, and they sit as Progressives on London local bodies.
The Society is mainly middle-class, and the majority of its members
belong to London, where fortnightly meetings are held for the
discussion of Socialism. Its great force lies in the ability of many
of its members, some of whom, Mr. Bernard Shaw, the dramatist; Mr.
Sidney Webb, the political writer; Sir Sydney Olivier, now Governor of
Jamaica, have belonged to it from the start; whilst others, such as
Mr. H.G. Wells and the Rev. R.J. Campbell, are more recent recruits.
Recently it has greatly increased its membership, now nearly 2,000,
and has formed substantial branches in the Universities and in many
large towns. Eleven of its members sit in Parliament."[1147]

"The chief object to which the Society devotes its resources is the
education of the people in political, economic, and social subjects.
To effect this purpose it must in the first place educate itself by
the discussion of those problems which from time to time appear ripe
for solution. Its members therefore undertake the study of such
problems, and lay the results before the Society, where they are
considered from various points of view. Finally the conclusions
adopted and generally approved by the members are published, usually
in penny tracts, and by this means made available for the information
of all. The Society further endeavours to promote social amelioration
by the dissemination of information about existing institutions, in
order that better use may be made of the powers already possessed by
local administrative authorities, now too often neglectful of their
obligations. The same ends are sought to be attained by means of
circulating libraries supplied to Working-men's Clubs, Co-operative
Societies, Trade Unions, and similar bodies, and by the publication of
lists of best books on social and political subjects. The Society also
at times engages trained lecturers to give courses of lectures during
the winter months on social politics to working-class and other
organisations. The members of the Society who control its policy are
Socialists; that is to say, are committed to the theory of the
probable direction of economic evolution which is now often called
Collectivism."[1148]

"The object of the Fabian Society is to persuade the English people to
make their political constitution thoroughly democratic, and so to
socialise their industries as to make the livelihood of the people
entirely independent of private Capitalism. The Fabian Society
endeavours to pursue its Socialist and Democratic objects with complete
singleness of aim. For example: It has no distinctive opinions on the
Marriage Question, Religion, Art, abstract Economics, historic
Evolution, Currency, or any other subject than its own special business
of practical Democracy and Socialism. It brings all the pressure and
persuasion in its power to bear on existing forces, caring nothing by
what name any party calls itself, or what principles, Socialist or
other, it professes, but having regard solely to the tendency of its
actions supporting those which make for Socialism and Democracy and
opposing those which are reactionary. It does not propose that the
practical steps towards Social Democracy should be carried out by
itself, or by any other specially organised society or party. It does
not ask the English people to join the Fabian Society. The Fabian
Society does not claim to be the people of England, or even the
Socialist party, and therefore does not seek direct political
representation by putting forward Fabian candidates at elections. But
it loses no opportunity of influencing elections and inducing
constituencies to select Socialists as their candidates."[1149]

"The Fabian Society, far from holding aloof from other bodies, urges
its members to lose no opportunity of joining them and permeating them
with Fabian ideas as far as possible."[1150] "The typical Fabian is an
uncompromising Socialist and Democrat; but he holds aloof from no
association that can possibly be induced to push in his direction.
Instead of wasting time in forming new sects, he tries to inoculate
with his Socialism the existing organisations--the political clubs,
the caucuses, the trade unions, the Press, the co-operative societies,
and the rival party leaders."[1151]

Whilst the other Socialist organisations rely chiefly on direct
driving force, the Fabian Society relies chiefly on subtle, indirect
action and on intrigue. One of its most prominent men boasted: "In
1888 it only cost us twenty-eight postcards, written by twenty-eight
members, to convince the newly-born 'Star' newspaper that London was
aflame with Fabian Socialism."[1152] "Our policy has been to try to
induce some of these regular papers to give a column or two to
Socialism, calling it by what name they please. And I have no
hesitation in saying that the effect of this policy as shown in the
'Manchester Sunday Chronicle,' the 'Star,' the London 'Daily
Chronicle,' and other more exclusively working-class papers, notably
the 'Clarion,' has done more for the cause than all the time and money
that has been wasted on 'Justice' since the 'Star' was founded. Our
mission is to Socialise the Press as we hope to Socialise Parliament
and the other estates of the realm, not to run the Press
ourselves."[1153]

Owing to these peculiar methods, by which they secured the support of
many people who did not know they were Socialists, the Fabians have
been very successful in their policy: "In 1888 we had not been found
out even by the 'Star.' The Liberal party was too much preoccupied
over Mr. O'Brien's breeches and the Parnell Commission, with its
dramatic climax in the suicide of the forger Pigott, to suspect that
the liveliness of the extreme left of the Radical wing in London meant
anything but the usual humbug about working-class interests. We urged
our members to join the Liberal and Radical Associations of their
districts, or if they preferred it, the Conservative Associations. We
told them to become members of the nearest Radical club and
co-operative store and to get delegated to the Metropolitan Radical
Federation and the Liberal and Radical Union if possible. On these
bodies we made speeches and moved resolutions, or better still, got
the Parliamentary candidate for the constituency to move them, and
secured reports and encouraging little articles for him in the 'Star.'
We permeated the party organisations and pulled all the wires we
could lay our hands on with our utmost adroitness and energy; and we
succeeded so far that in 1888 we gained the solid advantage of a
Progressive majority, full of ideas that would never have come into
their heads had not the Fabian put them there, on the first London
County Council. The generalship of this movement was undertaken
chiefly by Sidney Webb, who played such bewildering conjuring tricks
with the Liberal thimbles and the Fabian peas that to this day both
the Liberals and the sectarian Socialists stand aghast at him."[1154]
Fabians rely for their success chiefly on their artfulness. "Always
remember that, even if you cannot convert a man to Socialism, you may
get his vote all the same."[1155]

Fabian middle-class Socialism differs from the democratic Socialism of
the larger Socialist organisations which appeal to the working class:
"The Socialism advocated by the Fabian Society is State Socialism
exclusively."[1156] "We have never advanced the smallest pretensions
to represent the working classes of this country."[1157] Therefore the
Fabians are very cordially hated by the Democratic Socialists. The
Social-Democratic Federation blames them for their "cynical
opportunism."[1158] Another organisation declares: "The Fabian Society
poses as a Socialist organisation, for we are told that this Society
'consists of Socialists.' It is indeed composed of middle-class men
who naturally deny the class struggle, profess to believe in
permeating the capitalist class with Socialism, and hold that the
tendency of society is towards government by the expert-Fabianism
therefore tends towards the rule of the bureaucrats or that section
of the educated middle-class. The Fabians are the cult of the civil
service and are Socialists neither in name nor in fact."[1159]

Let us now consider the genesis and character of the great Labour
party.

Formerly Socialists and trade unionists marched and fought apart.
However, "On the 27th February, 1900, a joint Socialist and Trade
Union Conference met in the Memorial Hall, London. One hundred and
seventeen delegates were present representing sixty-seven Trade
Unions, seven representing the Independent Labour Party, four the
Social-Democratic Federation, one the Fabian Society. The result was
the formation of the Labour Representation Committee,"[1160]
simultaneously representing trade unions and Socialists. "At the
General Election of 1906, the Labour Representation Committee ran
fifty candidates for Parliament and returned thirty. That year its
name was changed to the Labour Party."[1161] The Labour party
therefore unites trade unionists and Socialists. The Fabian Society
and the Independent Labour party have joined it. Only the
Social-Democratic Federation has so far kept aloof from it.

The Labour party, being chiefly composed of trade unionists, is fond
of posing as a non-Socialist party. It is true that "Mr. Keir Hardie,
the Labour leader, said they did not want Toryism, Liberalism, or
Socialism, only Labourism, but the same Keir Hardie sits as a delegate
on the International Socialist Bureau."[1162] "Many of the Labour
members in Parliament are avowed Socialists. The working-class
movement already is largely a Socialist movement, and is in continual
process of becoming more so. With the speculative side of Socialism
the average man with us has but small concern; it is its common-sense
which appeals to him. By inherited instinct we are all Communists at
heart."[1163]

"The Labour party, which now has thirty-one members in the House of
Commons, is not purely Socialist, but twenty-three or twenty-four of
its M.P.s, and nearly all its elected executive, are Socialists. It
has no official programme; but in view of its membership its policy is
and must be Socialist. This is not because the majority rules. It is
because the Socialist section has a policy and the non-Socialist
section approves of that policy so far as it can be translated into
Bills or resolutions to be laid before Parliament. There is no
anti-Socialism in the Labour party. There is far more difference
between sections of Liberals or Conservatives than there is between
Socialist and non-Socialist Labour men. All these bodies are working
more or less together for the same great ends."[1164] The connection
between organised Labour and organised Socialism is further
illustrated by the important letters printed on pages 141-143 of this
book.

The demands and semi-official programme of the Labour party are
practically identical with those of avowed Socialists, as may be seen
from the following statement of its Secretary:

"We are in favour of the special taxation of land values, of a minimum
income-tax on earned incomes, and a super-tax on a graded scale on all
incomes over, say, _1,000l._ This is described as robbing the rich.
That does not express either the purpose or the spirit of the Labour
party however. We call it--securing for the public values created by
the public. Our critics, if they are to have any effect on intelligent
public opinion, must understand this cardinal point in our creed, this
axiom in our programme-making. We do not regard taxation as a taking
by the State of property which belongs to other people, but the
appropriation of property which ought to belong to itself. This theory
of taxation goes very far, and its full application involves the
complete destruction of parasitic classes. It can only be applied
slowly, but as people get clearly to understand that socially-created
values should be socially-owned values, many of our most recondite
problems, like overcrowding, waste-lands, high rating, will be in a
fair way to settlement."[1165]

The foregoing shows that the Labour party, like the most predatory
Socialist, wishes to tax all private capital out of existence. "The
Labour party is not as yet a purely Socialist organisation, because
any attempt to make it such would disrupt it."[1166] However, its rank
and file are rapidly being permeated with Socialism.

The following table shows the composition of the Labour party and its
numerical strength and growth:

"GROWTH OF THE LABOUR PARTY

             Trades Union    Socialist
              Membership     Membership      Total
  1900-1        353,070       22,861       375,931
  1901-2        455,450       13,861       169,311
  1902-3        847,315       13,835       861,150
  1903-4        956,025       13,775       969,800
  1904-5        885,270       14,730       900,000
  1905-6        904,496       16,784       921,280
  1906-7        975,182       20,885      *998,338

*This total includes 2,271 co-operators"[1167]

Apparently only one-fiftieth of the members of the Labour party are
Socialists, but in reality their proportion is very much larger,
because only a few working men with Socialistic leanings have actually
joined a Socialist party. "When the daily Press states that out of a
million affiliated members of the Labour party there are only 17,000
Socialists, its readers naturally inquire, 'How then is it that there
are at least twenty Socialists among its thirty M.P.s?' The reply is
that as the trade union candidates were elected by the ballot of the
members of their respective societies, it must be supposed that those
candidates with Socialist views were the most acceptable to the
majority of members. This situation was strikingly reflected in the
results of the election of 1906. The votes cast for declared
Socialists account for 232,378, or 70 per cent. of the total Labour
Representation Committee poll of 331,280, whilst of the whole Labour
poll, comprising that of the L.R.C., Scottish workers, miners, trades
union group, and Socialists, the votes for declared Socialists
accounted for 274,631 out of 530,643, or nearly 52 per cent."[1168]
"The Labour party is not a Socialist party yet, but those who possess
an ear for the great changes now taking place in the depths of the
nation will understand that the Labour party is going to be a
Socialist party one day."[1169]

It seems likely that the more or less Socialist Labour party in
Parliament will soon absorb practically the whole trade union group.
"Of the eighteen miners' representatives in the House of Commons
fifteen are in the trade union group. In October 1907, at the
Conference of the Federated Miners' Associations, a resolution was
adopted declaring that the time had come for joining the Labour party
and ordering a ballot of the whole Federation area to be taken. It is
practically a foregone conclusion that the proposal will be carried,
in which case the fifteen miners' representatives now sitting on the
Ministerial benches will cross the House and practically double the
effective power of the Labour party as against the Government. The
trade union group will then practically cease to exist. The railway
servants have decided that all their candidates at the next election
must join the Labour party. Therefore Richard Bell must sign the
constitution of the Labour party or retire in favour of someone who
will. Of the remaining seven members of the group W.C. Steadman is the
only recognised leader of trade unionism."[1170]

Apart from the larger Socialist parties described in the foregoing,
there are two smaller organisations composed of revolutionary
Socialists of the most violent type, whose Socialism is a misnomer for
Anarchism. They are "The Socialist Party of Great Britain" domiciled
in London, and "The Socialist Labour Party" (an American importation),
domiciled in Edinburgh. Their programmes, as those of the other
Socialist organisations, will be found in the Appendix.

The numerous Socialistic organisations mentioned in this Chapter
oppose and fight one another. Many Socialists recommend that a united
Socialist party should be formed, but it is clear to all who are
acquainted with the inner history of British Socialism that "the vital
differences that exist among Socialist parties as to tactics--as to
the way to attain Socialism--cannot be glossed over by a few
expressions of brotherly love."[1171] The Socialists are divided among
themselves, and the rivalry and enmity between some of the sections is
deep-seated and bitter. Nominally they differ with regard to the
policy to be pursued, but in reality their differences seem to be
rather of a personal nature. Socialist leaders, though they have the
words "democracy," "freedom," "liberty," and "love" constantly on
their lips, are apt to be very autocratic as soon as their sphere of
political influence is threatened by competition, and as soon as their
private property, their political capital which they have created, is
threatened with "socialisation." The men who so glibly recommend the
world-wide brotherhood of man, and the socialisation and co-operation
of the world, cannot even co-operate among themselves although they
pursue the identical immediate aim: the plunder of the well-to-do. It
is an old experience that revolutionaries always end in cutting one
another's throats.

Some Socialist groups have been formed owing to very peculiar and very
unsavoury circumstances. A comparatively innocent though
psychologically highly interesting and characteristic Socialist new
formation has recently occurred in that ally of the Socialists, the
Women's Social and Political Union. "In September 1907 a bombshell was
thrown into the camp of the Women's Social and Political Union by the
extraordinary action of Mrs. Pankhurst, who, as 'the founder,'
announced that she had discharged the Executive Committee of the
Union."[1172] In the words of an opponent: "Mrs. Pankhurst tore up the
constitution, robbed the branches and members of all control over the
National Committee, abolished the annual conference, and elected
herself and a few personal friends as an autocratic permanent
committee answerable to no one in the world and to sit at her
pleasure."[1173] The consequence of this personal squabble among
leaders for supremacy was of course the splitting up of the party, and
the aggrieved ladies formed a new party, the "Women's Freedom League."

Socialists never tire of declaiming against competition, and of
praising co-operation. At present there are two "competitive" Women's
Freedom societies. If they continue pushing the identical article of
agitation, all custom will go to the larger party. Therefore we may
expect that, unless the breach is healed, the two parties will agree
to differ "on the basic principles of women's freedom" and will
recommend slightly different political mixtures.

The example of France, Germany, and other countries shows that the
jealousy and envy of leaders and party tyranny is nowhere greater than
among Socialists. It will not be easy for British Socialists to found
a united party, especially as it is more difficult to create unity
among individualistic Englishmen, who are by their nature impatient of
restraint, than among Frenchmen and Germans, who are more used to
co-operation and who through their military training have learned the
necessity of discipline and the duty of obedience.

FOOTNOTES:

[1136] Quelch, _The Social-Democratic Federation_, p. 3.

[1137] _Reformers' Year Book_, 1908, pp. 74, 75.

[1138] _Annual Report, Social-Democratic Federation Conference 1906_,
p. 2.

[1139] Shaw, _The Fabian Society_, p. 23.

[1140] The Secretary of the Fabian Society in _Daily Mail Year Book_,
1908, p. 72.

[1141] _Reformers' Year Book_, 1906, p. 73.

[1142] _Report of the Twenty-sixth Annual Conference,
Social-Democratic Federation, 1906_, p. 1.

[1143] _Reformers' Year Book, 1908_, p. 73; _Daily Mail Year Book,
1908_, p. 72.

[1144] _Annual Report, Social-Democratic Federation Conference, 1906_,
p. 3.

[1145] _Manifesto of the Socialist Party of Great Britain_, p. 2.

[1146] _Capital and Land_, Motto.

[1147] Secretary of Fabian Society in _Daily Mail Year Book, 1908_, p.
72.

[1148] Official Circular: _The Fabian Society_.

[1149] _Report on Fabian Policy_, 1896, p. 3.

[1150] _Ibid._ p. 4.

[1151] _Scottish Leader_, September 4, 1890, reprinted by Fabian
Society and issued in form of a leaflet.

[1152] Shaw, _The Fabian Society_, p. 26.

[1153] _Ibid._ p. 24.

[1154] Shaw, _The Fabian Society_, pp. 18, 19.

[1155] _How to Lose and How to Win an Election_, p. 1.

[1156] _Report on Fabian Policy_, 1896, p. 5.

[1157] Shaw, _The Fabian Society_, p. 23.

[1158] _Annual Report, Social-Democratic Federation Conference, 1906_,
p. 2.

[1159] _Manifesto, Socialist Party of Great Britain_, p. 11.

[1160] Macdonald, _Socialism_, p. 52.

[1161] _Ibid._ p. 53.

[1162] _Manifesto, Socialist Party of Great Britain_, p. 13.

[1163] Keir Hardie, _From Serfdom to Socialism_, pp. 33, 34.

[1164] Secretary, Fabian Society, in _Daily Mail Year Book_, 1908, p.
73.

[1165] R. Macdonald, M.P., in _Daily Mail Year Book_, 1908, p. 109.

[1166] _Manifesto, Socialist Party of Great Britain_, p. 3.

[1167] _Reformers' Year Book_, 1908, p. 8.

[1168] _Reformers' Year Book_, 1907, p. 51.

[1169] _Social-Democrat_, October 1907, p. 607.

[1170] _Reformers' Year Book_, 1908, p. 23.

[1171] _Socialist_, December 1907.

[1172] _Independent Labour Party Year Book_, 1908, p. 28.

[1173] _Forward_, November 23, 1907.



CHAPTER XXXIV

THE GROWTH AND DANGER OF BRITISH SOCIALISM


Up to a recent date the Socialists in Great Britain had neither power
nor influence. Whilst Germany, France, and other countries had large
Socialist parties, British Socialism was practically unrepresented in
Parliament. Many Englishmen thought that the free British democracies
did not offer a soil favourable to the growth of Socialism, whilst
many Socialist leaders believed that England possessed ideal
conditions for effecting a social revolution because no other country
contains, proportionally, so large a propertyless proletariat as
England.[1174] In view of the large number of propertyless people in
Great Britain and the nervous restlessness of the race since it has
become a race of town-dwellers we cannot wonder at the rapid growth of
British Socialism, and we must look forward to its further increase.

The following most interesting table gives a picture of the growth of
the Socialist vote in the three most Socialistic countries on the
Continent of Europe, and in Great Britain. It shows that Socialism has
apparently passed the zenith on the Continent of Europe, but that it
has not yet reached maturity in Great Britain.

          "GERMANY
                      Members of
             Votes    Parliament
  1867       30,000        8
  1878      437,158        9
  1887      763,123       11
  1890    1,427,298       35
  1893    1,876,738       44
  1896    2,107,076       57
  1903    3,010,472       81
  1907    3,258,968       43

          GREAT BRITAIN
                      Members of
             Votes    Parliament

  1895       46,000        0
  1900*      65,000        2
  1906*     335,000       30

          FRANCE
                      Members of
             Votes    Parliament

  1887       47,000       19
  1889      120,000        9
  1893      440,000       49
  1898      790,000       50
  1902      805,000       48
  1906      896,000       52

          BELGIUM
                      Members of
             Votes    Parliament

  1894      320,000       32
  1900      344,000       33
  1902      467,000       34
  1904      463,967       28
  1906      469,094       30

    *This is the vote of the Labour party candidates,
     not all of whom were Socialists."[1175]

A glance at the above table shows that the Socialist vote in Great
Britain is as yet insignificant by comparison with other countries,
and it seems likely to increase very greatly. More than a third of the
Australian House of Representatives and Senate consists of Socialists.
May not proportionately as large a Socialist party arise in Great
Britain, especially as no political party can outbid the Socialists?
The Socialist danger is probably greater in Great Britain than it is
in France, Germany, or Belgium. In those countries a vast body of
freehold peasants exists who are absolutely opposed to revolutionary
schemes. Besides, owing to the fact that the majority of Continental
workers have a substantial stake in the country, either in the form of
land, houses, or other property, Continental Socialism is
comparatively moderate, whilst it is violent, Anarchistic, and
revolutionary in Great Britain, where the majority of workers possess
far less property than the majority of French, German, and Belgian
workers. The German Socialists, since Germany's unity, have gone the
way of Lassalle, the patriot Socialist. "They have ceased to denounce
the churches. From a necessary evil or a mere stop-gap, the present
State has become to them gradually, and perhaps unconsciously, their
own State."[1176] It is true that the Socialist vote is ten times
larger in Germany than in Great Britain. Nevertheless the danger of
Socialist troubles of the very gravest kind is perhaps greater in
England than in Germany, especially as unemployment is far greater in
Great Britain than in Germany.[1177] It seems that Great Britain will
pass through bad industrial times, and it should not be forgotten that
the French Revolutions of 1789 and of 1848 were made by unemployed
workmen upon whom Socialist and Communistic doctrines had taken a firm
hold; that the distress caused by the siege of Paris led to the rising
of the Commune in 1871; that between 1837 and 1848 the Chartist
movement in Great Britain rose and declined in almost exact
correspondence with the variations in the economic distress of the
people.

The present aspect of Great Britain resembles the aspect of
pre-Revolution France, owing to the unequal distribution of property.
"Almost three-quarters of the soil of France belonged to the nobility
and the clergy, or to 350,000 people. The whole of the rest of the
nation possessed less than one-third of the soil."[1178] The absence
of a sturdy property-owning lower middle-class, the disappearance of
the yeomen, is a source of instability and weakness to Great Britain.
Vast numbers of British workers live from hand to mouth. They are
being inflamed by Socialist agitators against the wealthy, and they
are being promised an equal share in the whole wealth of the nation.
In case of very acute distress, either through purely economic causes
or through a war with a strong naval power, which might lead to
starvation in a country which is absolutely dependent on foreign
countries for its food, a revolutionary outbreak in the overgrown
towns of Great Britain seems by no means impossible. The revolutionary
centre of the world may conceivably move from Paris to London.

The Socialists in Great Britain may not always remain a chaotic
multitude led by rival agitators who fight and intrigue against one
another. Socialists believe: "So soon as Socialism becomes popular,
great statesmen and philosophers will arise and take their stand boldly
with the people in their fight for industrial freedom."[1179] There are
more than 2,000,000 trade unionists in Great Britain, and Socialism is
spreading rapidly among them. "Already the working-class movement is
largely a Socialistic movement and is in continual process of becoming
more so."[1180] The political character of the trade unionists is
changing owing to the influence of Socialism and of the new unions.
"The differences between the 'old' and 'new' unions are becoming more
and more accentuated. The former adhere to the 'No politics' cry,
_i.e._ no working-class politics, and still pin their faith to the
Liberal or even Tory party; while the latter, like their Continental
comrades, understand that their emancipation can only be achieved by
means of political action as a class."[1181] "It is not possible for
the working-class movement to dissociate itself from the Socialists, or
from Socialism, because Socialism, however vaguely the fact may yet be
recognised, is as essentially the political expression of that movement
as Toryism was the political expression of landlordism and Liberalism
is that of the bourgeoisie. In other words, there can be no
working-class movement as such without Socialism."[1182] "It is true
that the present Parliamentary Labour party is committed to
independence on 'Labour questions only,' but no one has yet defined
what is a 'Labour question,' and still less has anyone attempted to
show what political questions are not labour questions."[1183] The
letters printed on pages 141-143 of this book show that Socialism and
Labour are commingling.

Socialism and Socialist influence have grown far more rapidly in Great
Britain than is generally known. Their growth can be gauged not so
much by the result of the General Election of 1906, and of some
startling by-election results, as by the reports of the Socialist
societies, and especially by the sale of their literature. Therefore
the following facts indicating the growth of British Socialism should
prove to be of considerable interest.

The Independent Labour Party reported at its yearly meeting held at
Derby on April 1 and 2, 1907:

"No department of our activities has been more encouraging in its work
this year than that of literature. Last year our literature sales
amounted to _1,200l._, which was _600l._ more than the previous twelve
months. This year they amount to _2,830l._, or _1,600l._ more than
last year. The sales of books and pamphlets are nearly double that of
last year. This is a magnificent result. Many branches have
established literature stalls in the markets or public streets of
their towns, and have met with much success. The fruits of this
propaganda are certain, and will be reaped sooner or later by the
branches concerned. The income is larger than has been the case in any
former year, and amounts to the sum of _6,064l. 12s._, as against
_1,884l. 7s. 9d._ for last year. The excess of assets over liabilities
amounts to _3,729l. 2s. 5d._, as against _1,511l._ last year. The
financial position of the party is thus becoming increasingly solid
and stable."[1184]

Since the time when that report was given, the Independent Labour
Party has continued its rapid growth, as may be seen from the
following "Facts of Progress" recently published by that party. "At
the time of the Fifteenth Annual Conference of the Independent Labour
Party, held at Derby at Easter 1907, there were then in existence 545
branches of the party. Now (November 1907), there are 709 branches.
Gain in seven months, 164 branches. There are few Parliamentary
constituencies in the United Kingdom without branches, and it is hoped
before the present year to make even these omissions good. There are
now six branches of the Independent Labour Party in Ireland, and more
to follow. The Independent Labour Party has now 845 of its members on
local governing bodies, endeavouring to put into operation locally the
principles for which the party stands. During the summer nearly 2,000
meetings have been held each week throughout the country. Twenty-two
special organisers have been at work for this last six months."[1185]

The latest reports of the other Socialist Societies give a picture of
a similarly great activity, and of a similarly rapid growth.

It is true that the funds of the Socialist organisations are
comparatively small, but it must not be forgotten that "1,000 men who
subscribe _1d._ are stronger in the poll than one man who subscribes
_1,000l._"[1186] Besides, the Independent Labour Party has since 1893
spent more than _250,000l._ for purposes of propaganda. That is a
large sum to be spent in agitation. Furthermore, it is significant
that many Socialist pamphlets and books have been sold in more than a
hundred thousand copies, and a few even in more than a million
copies. The Socialist periodicals have a considerable circulation.
"The circulation of the 'Clarion' alone is 74,000."[1187]

The danger of British Socialism lies not only in its rapid increase
among the workers, but also in the fact that it is making converts
among the large class of people who possess no settled conviction of
their own, and who are easily carried away by a plausible catch-phrase.
The persons who count are the multitude of loose thinkers who are
drifting towards Socialism without knowing it. "Politicians who have no
suspicion that they are Socialists are advocating further instalments
of Socialism with a recklessness of indirect results which scandalises
the conscious Social-Democrat."[1188] "Year by year more legislation is
proposed of which the effect is to draw upon the earnings of the
efficient for the benefit of the inefficient. Year by year Parliament
makes life harder for those whose labour benefits the State and easier
for those who are a drag upon it."[1189] "There is in fact no definite
and declared Socialist party in the present House of Commons, and yet
what may be called the spirit of Socialism pervades the whole House to
a greater extent than in any previous Parliament."[1190] For instance,
Mr. Rutherford, M.P., in an anti-Socialistic speech brought forward a
"Democratic Tory Programme" which, in the words of a Socialist
periodical, was "cribbed almost bodily from the Socialist programme. He
advocated among other reforms-nationalisation of the railways, State
provision of work for the unemployed, payment of Members, manhood and
womanhood suffrage, the suppression of adulteration, town planning on
the German system, crime to be treated as a disease, compulsory closing
of slums, taxation of site values, and State powers to purchase any
site at the price on the rate-book, a national system of insurance
against accident and sickness, feeding and clothing poor children, free
opening of secondary schools and universities."[1191] In giving
prominence to this "anti-Socialist" speech the "Labour Leader"
sarcastically remarked: "The items do not, of course, take us quite as
far as we Socialists would go; but they are fairly good to be going on
with. Ours is to once again cordially welcome Mr. Rutherford as
champion against Socialism."[1192]

A further danger consists in this, that many Socialists in Parliament
and out of it like to sail under a false flag, in accordance with the
tactics usually employed by the Fabian Society (see _ante_, Chapter
XXXIII). Socialist publications inform us: "Among Socialists who stood
and were elected as official Liberals are P. Alden, Clement Edwards,
and L.G. Chiozza Money."[1193] "Many Liberals, like Mr. Chiozza Money,
Mr. Masterman, Mr. J.M. Robertson, not to speak of the Liberal-Labour
group, are committed to Socialist or semi-Socialist legislation. Many
Liberal newspapers, we cannot fairly deny, are avowedly on the side of
Socialism. The Liberal rank and file are also in the majority of
instances quite favourable to the general principles of
municipalisation and Labour legislation. Above all, as has so often
been predicted by us, the two political camps of landlordism and
capitalism are bound to combine together against Socialism, and they
can only do so effectively under the Imperialist, Tariff Reform,
anti-Land Reform, and anti-Municipalisation flags. The Liberal party
cannot attempt single-handed to withstand us."[1194] Socialism often
poses as Liberalism and is accepted as such by the unwary.

A further danger of British Socialism lies in the fact that it leads
to the deterioration of the national character. "The strength of every
community must finally depend on the character of the individuals who
compose it. If they are self-reliant, energetic, and dutiful, the
community will be strong; if, on the contrary, they have been taught
to rely upon others rather than on themselves, to take life easily and
to avoid unpleasant duties, then the community will be weak. Teach men
that they owe no duty to their families, no duty to their country, and
that their only responsibility is to humanity at large, and they will
quickly begin to think and act as if they had no responsibility to
anyone but themselves."[1195] "Many workmen are being ruined morally
and materially by Socialistic doctrines, because directly a man
becomes imbued with the idea that he is not receiving full recompense
for his labours he thinks himself justified in doing as little as he
can for his employer. The consequence is that his labour, which is to
him his stock-in-trade, depreciates in value and when business
slackens down he is one of the first to get the 'sack.'"[1196]

FOOTNOTES:

[1174] See Karl Marx, _Capital_; Yorke, _Secret History of the
International_; Stegmann und Hugo, _Handbuch_, p. 177; Kautsky,
_Social Revolution_.

[1175] Macdonald, _Socialism_, pp. 125, 126.

[1176] _Encyclopædia Britannica_, vol. xxxii. p. 666.

[1177] Ellis Barker, _Modern Germany_, p. 546.

[1178] Block, _Dictionnaire Général_, vol. ii. p. 822.

[1179] Keir Hardie, _From Serfdom to Socialism_, p. 8.

[1180] _Ibid._ p. 34.

[1181] Aveling, _Working-Class Movement in England_, p. 40.

[1182] _The Socialist Annual_, 1907, p. 38.

[1183] _Ibid._ p. 39.

[1184] _Independent Labour Party Annual Report Conference_, pp. 10,
12, 9.

[1185] _Labour Leader_, November 29, 1907.

[1186] _Reformers' Year Book_, 1906, p. 80.

[1187] _Clarion_, December 20, 1907.

[1188] _Fabian Essays in Socialism_, p. 188.

[1189] Lord Balfour of Burleigh in the _Times_, October 3, 1907.

[1190] Cox, _Socialism_, p. 7.

[1191] _Labour Leader_, October 18, 1907.

[1192] _Ibid._

[1193] _Reformers' Year Book_, 1907, p. 58.

[1194] _Labour Leader_, October 11, 1907.

[1195] Cox, _Socialism_, p. 20.

[1196] Daw, _Socialism Unmasked_, p. 7.



CHAPTER XXXV

HOW THE PROGRESS OF SOCIALISM MAY BE CHECKED


What can be done to check the growth of Socialism? Some most
interesting statistics supplied by the German Social-Democratic party
will furnish the best reply to that question. An analysis of the
electorate of Magdeburg and Bremen, two typical commercial and
industrial towns, gave the following result:


COMPOSITION OF ELECTORATE

                                 Magdeburg           Bremen
                              Numbers Per cent.   Numbers Per cent.
 1. Capitalists                  4,491 =  8.08      5,085 =  8.34
 2. High officials                 559 =  1.06        197 =  0.32
 3. Medium officials             2,304 =  4.35        615 =  1.01
 4. Lower officials              4,364 =  7.75      3,567 =  5.85
 5. Professional men             1,422 =  2.55      1,047 =  1.72
 6. Newer middle-class           3,924 =  7.06      4,882 =  8.01
 7. Independent artisans         3,704 =  6.67      5,196 =  8.53
 8. Bakers and grocers             932 =  1.57      1,124 =  1.84
 9. Older middle-class           2,787 =  5.01      4,074 =  6.68
10. Clerks and bookkeepers       3,121 =  5.62      5,247 =  8.61
11. Working men in State and
    municipal employment         1,424 =  2.55      1,415 =  2.32
12. Working men in privateer
    employment                  26,423 = 47.73     28,573 = 46.77
                                ------   -----     ------   -----
                                55,563 = 100       60,962 = 100[1197]

Commenting upon the foregoing table, a German Socialist periodical
wrote: "An analytical comparison of the electorate of Hamburg and
Bremen reveals an extraordinary similarity in its social composition.
It shows that the workers form hardly a majority of the population.
They can be victorious only when they march hand in hand with
professional men, the lower officials, and the newer middle-class.
However, not all working men are Socialists. At the last election
3,000 working men in Magdeburg, and 2,500 working men in Bremen, voted
against Social-Democracy. The patriotic anti-Socialist working-men's
associations are rapidly increasing their membership. A thousand
workmen, one-third of the whole occupied at the Krupp-Gruson Works in
Magdeburg, have joined the anti-Socialist working-men's associations.
The 'working-men's associations for fighting Social-Democracy' have
grown in a surprising fashion."[1198]

The lower middle-class forms the strongest bulwark against the
progress of Socialism, and Socialists know it. The philosopher of
British Socialism, for instance, wrote: "The proletariat proper, the
class which bears the future Socialist world in its womb, by no means
at present everywhere outweighs, numerically, all other classes. On
the contrary, so far as I am aware, this is only the case in Great
Britain and some of the North American States, and even in these
countries the majority is not large. The bulk of the non-proletarian
sections of the democracy are by no means proletarian or
Social-Democratic, even in their instincts, let alone Socialistic in
their convictions. The predominating, or at all events most
influential, elements in the non-proletarian democracy are what, for
brevity, I have rather loosely termed the clerk and the shopkeeping
class: in other words, they who are, or hope to become, small
capitalists, the small middle-class. This last section of the 'people'
or the democracy is, as such, the most formidable, because the most
subtle, enemy with which the Socialist movement has to contend. The
aim of the small capitalist, and of him who hopes to become one, is
security and free play under the most advantageous conditions for his
small capital to operate. On this account the little bourgeois, the
small middle-class in its various sections, is the great obstacle
which will have to be suppressed before we can hope to see even the
inauguration of a consciously Socialist policy. It must be destroyed
or materially crippled as a class before real progress can be
made."[1199]

Whilst many Socialists wish to destroy the lower middle-class, others,
especially the Fabians, endeavour to convert it to Socialism, and to
set it on against the wealthy. They argue: "The commercial clerk with
his reading, his writing, his arithmetic, and his shorthand is a
proletarian, and a very miserable proletarian, only needing to be
awakened from his poor little superstition of shabby gentility to take
his vote from the Tories and hand it over to us. The small tradesmen
and ratepayers who are now allying themselves with the Duke of
Westminster in a desperate and unavailing struggle--against the rising
rates entailed by the eight hours day and standard wages for all
public servants, besides great extensions of corporate activity in
providing accommodation and education at the public expense, must
sooner or later see that their interest lies in making common cause
with the workers to throw the burden of taxation directly on to
unearned incomes."[1200] "It only needs one evening's intelligent
discussion of this monstrous state of affairs to make a beginning of a
really sensible and independent organisation of the middle classes for
their own defence and for their escape from between the two millstones
of organised Labour and organised Plutocracy, which are at present
grinding the last penny in the pound out of them."[1201] It is
estimated that there are in England 500,000 clerks.[1202] With the
object of permeating this large section of the middle class with
Socialism, a new monthly paper, the "Clerk," has recently been started
under Fabian auspices.

Socialism is undermining the lower middle-class, and it is
unconsciously being assisted in this policy by short-sighted
anti-capitalistic Parliamentary legislation, which, as usual, hits
hardest the smaller capitalists. If Great Britain wishes to erect a dam
against the rising tide of Socialism, she must strengthen the lower
middle-class in town and country by well-devised legislation, and she
should before all re-create her peasantry. Great Britain should
encourage the accumulation of small capitals by encouraging thrift. At
present thrift is discouraged by the difficulty which small savers
experience in obtaining satisfactory investments. The low interest of
2-3/4 per cent. paid by the British savings-banks--Continental
savings-banks give 4 per cent.--is quite inadequate; and the British
Company Laws are so bad and sound investments so scarce that the small
investor who wants a higher return than 2-3/4 per cent. is almost
certain to lose his money if he buys stocks or shares. Leasehold
investments are very unsatisfactory, because the object bought
automatically reverts to the landlord, and small freehold properties
are as a rule unobtainable under the present system of land-holding.
Therefore the first and most important step to encourage thrift should
be to enable the small saver to invest his savings profitably and
securely in land and houses where it is under his own control.
Co-operation also should be encouraged. Co-operative banking, which is
highly developed in Germany, Austria-Hungary, and Italy, but almost
unknown in Great Britain, would at the same time greatly benefit the
small investor and the small _bonâ-fide_ borrower.

FOOTNOTES:

[1197] _Die Neue Gesellschaft_, September 1907, p. 325.

[1198] _Die Neue Gesellschaft_, September 1907, pp. 325, 326.

[1199] Bax, _Essays in Socialism_, pp. 40, 41.

[1200] Shaw, _The Fabian Society_, p. 26.

[1201] _New Age_, November 1907, p. 23.

[1202] _Clerk_, January 1908.



CHAPTER XXXVI

IS SOCIALISM POSSIBLE?--A GLANCE INTO THE SOCIALIST STATE OF THE
FUTURE


The realisation of Socialism, the creation of a Socialistic
commonwealth in which private property does not exist, seems
impossible. Socialists entirely leave out of their calculations two
elementary factors:


NATURE, AND HUMAN NATURE

A State devoid of private property is an unthinkable proposition.
Private property is not a fortuitous creation, but a natural growth.
It is founded not merely upon law, but upon immemorial custom which
owes its rise to a fundamental human instinct, an instinct which has
been a characteristic of the human race in all countries, and which is
as old as humanity itself. The instinct of acquisition, of
accumulation, and of property is common to all men from Central Africa
to the poles. It is equally strongly developed in the most civilised
nations and among savages.

However, supposing that the instinct of acquisition, of accumulation,
and of property, which is found not only among all races of mankind
but even among the higher animals, could be overcome, would human
nature allow of the creation of a co-operative commonwealth based on
voluntary co-operation, not on compulsion? Could the brotherhood of
man be made a reality, and would men co-operate without strife in that
mutual friendship and good-fellowship which one finds but rarely,
even among those who are connected by the closest ties of affection
and blood relationship, unless self-interest acts as the determining
factor? Did not Plato found his ideal commonwealth upon perfectly wise
and virtuous men? "Does not Socialist society presuppose extraordinary
human beings, real angels, as regards unselfishness and gentleness,
joy of work and intelligence? Is not the Social Revolution, with the
present brutal and egoistical race of men, bound to become the signal
for desolating struggles for the booty or for general idleness in
which it would go to ruin?"[1203]

"Who is more ready to tilt against society than the average Socialist?
And if the individuals in it are so deeply imbued with a double dose
of original sin as not to be able to handle any part of distribution
and exchange, it follows that you cannot trust the individual."[1204]
"In a social State you must consider two things--man and his
surroundings. You often forget man, because you think it easier to
alter his surroundings. The real question is: Can you produce men fit
for the new social State?"[1205]

"Socialism postulates an intelligent democracy."[1206] "The
proletariat will require high intelligence, strong discipline, perfect
organisation of its great masses. We may expect that it will only
succeed when it will have developed these qualities in the highest
degree."[1207] "Socialists demand a higher morality than any now to be
found."[1208] "It is incumbent upon Socialism to recognise the
existence of an intellectual motive, and it must place that motive
above the economic, because without it the economic struggle would be
devoid of any constructive value; it would be a mere tug-of-war; it
would never bring us to Socialism. It would lead to a scramble for the
spoils and mutual throat-cutting."[1209] "If 'each for all and all for
each' be nothing more than a text for a banner or a motto for a wall;
if its truth has not captured the hearts and minds of men and women in
that new society, we shall be an official-ridden people with our eye
on the best posts in the State for ourselves or our sons; and we shall
be as pitiable in our spiritual deformity as we are in our economic
bondage."[1210] "Socialism demands more than that we should merely
import Socialistic institutions into our midst. It insists on a moral
regeneration of society of the most complete and searching kind in
order to make a lasting foundation for the political and social
changes we many of us long to see."[1211] "Convey it in what spirit we
may, an appeal to class interest is an appeal to personal interest.
Socialist propaganda carried on as a class war suggests none of those
ideals of moral citizenship with which Socialist literature abounds,
'each for all and all for each,' 'service to the community is the sole
right of property' and so on. It is an appeal to individualism" [which
seems to be a euphemism for envy and cupidity], "and results in
getting men to accept Socialist formulæ without becoming
Socialists."[1212]

Unfortunately there is nothing ideal and elevating in the Socialist
teachings, as the previous chapters show. Socialism appeals to all the
passions and to all the vices, such as hatred, jealousy, envy,
cupidity. It encourages, or at least excuses, wastefulness,
improvidence, profligacy, and drunkenness. Its aim is plunder.

The voluntary co-operation of all for the benefit of all presupposes
the existence of wise, virtuous, and unselfish citizens. Do the
people in England, or in any other country, possess these high
qualities, or are these qualities likely to be created by the
teachings of the Socialists? A distinguished Socialist despairingly
exclaimed: "That spirit which animated the apostles, prophets,
martyrs, is alive in Japan to-day. Is it alive in us as a nation? If
not, if we have replaced it to any extent by some selfish opposite, by
any such diabolically careless sentiment as 'after me the deluge,'
then we as a nation have lost our soul, sold it for mere individual
prosperity, sold it in some poor cases for not even that, for mere
liquid refreshment, and we are on the down grade."[1213] Another
Socialist wrote: "We are all of us great-great-grandchildren of the
beasts. We carry the bestial attributes in our blood, some more, some
less. Who amongst us is so pure and exalted that he has never been
conscious of the bestial taint?"[1214] "Descendants of barbarians and
beasts, we have not yet conquered the greed and folly of our bestial
and barbarous inheritance. Our nature is an unweeded garden. Our
hereditary soil is rank."[1215]

The Socialists themselves acknowledge that Socialism presupposes a
nation composed of ideal individuals, industrious, gentle, mutually
helpful, unselfish, forbearing, and wise. They also acknowledge that
men are the descendants of barbarians and beasts. Do Socialist
agitators really believe that they can convert the descendants of
barbarians and beasts into ideal beings by constantly preaching to
them the gospel of hatred, envy, selfishness, self-indulgence, and
plunder, and by even encouraging them to continue poisoning themselves
and their descendants by over-indulgence in alcoholic drink?[1216]
Surely "the defective natures of citizens will show themselves in the
bad acting of whatever social structure they are arranged into. There
is no political alchemy by which you can get golden conduct out of
leaden instincts."[1217]

It is clear to most thinking Socialists that human nature, as at
present constituted, will make the realisation of Socialism
impossible. How do Socialists, then, propose to meet the difficulty?
Very simply. By bold assertions and prophecies. That which all
religions and all philosophers have been unable to accomplish during
3,000 years, Socialists will effect as by the touch of a magician's
wand. "Socialism will change human nature. The opportunity makes the
man. Socialism will take away the desire for accumulating riches.
Under such conditions the possession of riches will be a superfluous
burden which no sane man will wish to bear."[1218] "As soon as high
purpose, intense human attachments, are the springs of action and
resolve, discipline will come into our movement to crush out base
selfishness, vanity, and personal ambition,"[1219] This is very nice,
but how are "high purpose" and "intense human attachment" to be made
the "springs of action"? Unfortunately the writer keeps the secret to
himself.

The philosopher of British Socialism states: "Socialism only calls for
enlightened selfishness. But the fact that this selfishness is
enlightened and recognises that it can serve itself by serving the
common interest will completely change its character, so that it will
cease to be the narrow selfishness of to-day, which so often defeats
its own ends. Selfishness passing through the refining fire of
economic change ceases to be selfishness and becomes Socialism."[1220]
If selfishness ceases to be selfishness and becomes Socialism, then it
changes merely its name, and Socialism and selfishness are identical,
which is quite correct. Other Socialist leaders prophesy: "May we not
assume that under these conditions a new type of mankind will evolve
which will surpass the highest type which culture has produced up till
now? An overman, if you please, not as an exception, but as the
rule."[1221]

"Selfishness will become public spirit."[1222] "The desire to serve
the common life, to advance its welfare, will be the highest ambition
of the individual."[1223] "Just as the nightingale sings in the
evening shades, or the lark trills in the summer sky, so man in
natural surroundings" [does Socialism create "natural" surroundings or
unnatural ones?] "will seek to gratify his higher nature. Socialism
will create a condition of things favourable to the development of the
higher type of individuality."[1224] "This is the religious aspect of
labour. It is dignified, ennobling. That is the divine ideal, the
aspect concerning labour which God intended should be realised. Just
think of it! The ordinary working man as divinely taught and inspired
as the prophets and seers of old, and having the capacity to
understand the sublimest truths and the profoundest philosophy
concerning human life and the eternal destinies."[1225]

The statements given above, with their superlatives, their laboured
philosophy, their lyrics, hysterics, and prophecies, are singularly
unconvincing. The manner in which the simple question, "How do you
propose to fit actual human nature into your scheme?" is answered by
the Socialists, proves that they find that question unanswerable.
History teaches us that revolutions based on plunder, euphemistically
called confiscation, expropriation, or socialisation, have indeed
altered human nature, but they have altered it for the worse. All
revolutions have hitherto caused a fearful depravation of manners and
led to the most hideous crimes--and will a Socialistic revolution
prove an exception? Why should it be an exception? Are its teachings
such as make it seem likely that a Socialistic revolution will prove
an exception? An attempt to establish the Socialist Commonwealth would
undoubtedly lead, not to a revolution, but to a series of revolutions,
to Anarchism and to civil war. The tragedy of the great French
Revolution might be acted over again.

Now let us look into some practical questions which the Socialist
State of the future will have to settle. Let us, for instance,
inquire:


HOW WILL LABOUR BE REMUNERATED?

Many Socialists think that different workers should get different
wages: "The citizens shall be consciously public functionaries, and
their labours shall be rewarded according to results."[1226]
"Socialism does not propose that everyone shall have an equal share of
the product of collective labour."[1227] How, then, is the amount of
the unequal wages to be calculated? Some Socialists, following Marx,
propose to determine wages by means of labour-time. "Ascertain the
time taken to produce two commodities and we know their relative
exchange value. And this quality tallies with market valuations. So
far as creating value is concerned, then, one man creates as much
value as another, and on the basis of equal labour-time equal value,
Socialists rest their argument of social equality."[1228] "The working
time which the making of an article requires is the only scale by
which its social value can be measured. Ten minutes of social work in
one branch are exchangeable for ten minutes of social work in another.
It will be easy to calculate how much social working time each single
product requires."[1229] A hunter hunts all day and shoots a deer. A
fisher fishes all day and catches a sprat. Will the hunter exchange
his deer for the sprat, on the principle of equal labour-time? Will
highly skilled workers be satisfied to receive the same wages as the
most unskilled labourers? Will equal labour-time pay for all not lead
to universal dawdling, shrinkage in production, and consequent
starvation? Would workers not strive to get the maximum pay for the
minimum work? To prevent dawdling, could it be ascertained how long it
should take to repair a machine, paint a picture, amputate a leg,
plough an acre?

It is manifestly impossible to pay men of varying capacity and
productive power equal labour-time wages. Therefore many Socialists,
especially the Fabians, maintain: "The principle of inequality of
payment must be recognised. It is a necessary consequence of
inequality of ability."[1230] "Every man should receive from the
Commonwealth a fair equivalent in payments or services for the
payments or services which the Commonwealth receives from him. It is
not possible to say exactly how much each citizen has contributed to
the wealth of the State, and absolute economic justice is therefore
impossible."[1231] The question now arises how is the "fair equivalent
for services rendered" to be determined? Many Socialists teach the
doctrine that "the labourer is entitled to the entire product of his
labour."[1232] Should the labourer be given an equivalent to the
product of his labour _minus_ various necessary expenditures? Could
the value of the labour of an individual be calculated at all in the
complicated processes of modern industry? What is the value produced
by a day's labour of a ploughman, a railway porter, a postman, a
book-keeper, a policeman, a machine-minder? Mr. Bax very sensibly
argues: "What does each man produce of himself as an individual? Show
me how much cotton any given factory operative has produced in the
course of a year? I don't mean the amount of wages the capitalist has
given him for the exploitation of his labour power during that
period--but the actual product of his labour in the manufactured
article. You could not do so, because his labour, like all modern
labour, is associated; and the work of the individual producer is
completely and indissolubly merged in that of the group (factory,
mill) to which he belongs, which is again inseparable from that of the
machinery employed in the process and from that of other
groups."[1233]

It is impossible to calculate the exact value of service to the
community by work in a factory or a field as soon as the wages system
based on demand and supply has ceased to exist. Besides, differential
pay will be impossible, because none will be satisfied with the pay
received, except those who receive the highest pay. Therefore the same
Fabian Society which in other writings, such as those quoted in the
foregoing, advocates unequal payment, concludes: "Inequality of pay
would be odious; the impossibility of estimating the separate value of
each man's labour with any really valid result, the friction which
would arise, the jealousies which would be provoked, the inevitable
discontent, favouritism, and jobbery that would prevail: all these
things will drive the Communal Council into the right path--equal
remuneration of all workers."[1234] The Fabians, like so many other
Socialists, cannot apparently quite make up their mind whether to
plunge into the Scylla of equal pay or into the Charybdis of unequal
pay. Therefore they plunge alternately into the one or the other.

Many Socialists are in favour of equal pay: "The credits granted to
the citizens will be equal in all cases, without reference to skill,
intelligence, or the nature of the service performed."[1235] "The
labours of the bus driver or the mangler will be appraised just as
highly as those of the Prime Minister, with this difference perchance,
that if it can be clearly shown by statistics that buscraft uses up
the life energy of a man more rapidly than statecraft, four hours of
busmanship shall count, say, as five of statesmanship."[1236] Equal
wages should logically be followed by equal treatment for all. "An
anti-Socialist will say, 'How will you sail a ship in a Socialist
condition?' How? Why, with a captain and mates and sailing-master and
engineer (if it be a steamer) and A.B.s and stokers, and so on, and so
on. Only there will be no first and second and third class among the
passengers, the sailors and stokers will be as well fed and lodged as
the captain or passengers, and the captain and the stoker will have
the same pay."[1237]

So confused are the minds even of the leading Socialists with regard
to the important question of the remuneration of labour that Mr.
William Morris, one of the founders of British Socialism, in a poem
first recommends individualistic Socialism and pay according to
results:

    _For that which the worker winneth shall then be his indeed_,
    Nor shall half be reaped for nothing by him that sowed no seed.

Two lines later in the same poem he recommends Communism and equal pay
for all, regardless of the work done:

    _Then all Mine and Thine shall be Ours_, and no more
        shall any man crave
    For riches that serve for nothing but to fetter a
        friend for a slave.[1238]

The above extracts show that confusion reigns in the Socialist camp
regarding the settlement of the Wage Question.

Wage-earners are not philanthropists. Highly skilled men will not be
content with wages equal to those of unskilled labour, not even in the
name of Liberty, Equality, and Fraternity. In the absence of a free
demand and supply, which automatically graduates wages in accordance
with the social value of the work done, its attractiveness or
unattractiveness, &c., it cannot scientifically, though it can perhaps
autocratically, be determined how wages should be graduated. When it
comes to the fixing of differential wages in the Socialist State of
the future, quarrels will immediately arise, which will lead to strife
and rebellion, for all workers will use arguments such as the
following ones recently put forward by Mr. Smillie, President of the
Lanarkshire Miners' County Union. In reply to the reproach that
miners, by unduly high wages, increased the cost of coal to the poor,
Mr. Smillie answered: "Miners are being blamed in some quarters for
the high price of coal. Their wages at present range from _6s. 6d._ to
_8s._ per day, or from _30s._ to _2l. 5s._ per week when broken time
is taken into consideration. Will anyone grudge an income of this kind
to a worker whose labour is of a most uncomfortable and exhausting
nature, and who takes his life in his hand from the moment he steps
into the cage until he reaches the surface again? The miner recognises
that high-priced coal means pinching and suffering in the homes of the
poor, and he has real sympathy for this class, but he argues that the
true value of coal must include a reasonable sustenance for those who
risk their lives in its production."[1239] If miners claim higher
wages than other workers because their work is uncomfortable and
dangerous, railway workers, sailors, and many others will raise the
same claims; fishers and butchers will claim higher wages because
their work is disgusting; factory workers because their work is
sedentary and monotonous; waiters because it is menial; postmen
because they have to walk; drivers because they have to sit still;
washerwomen because they have to stand; farm labourers because they
have to work in the cold; bakers because they have to work in the
heat, &c. All workers would of course demand the maximum pay, and who
could adjudicate on all the rival claims? The Wages Question seems
likely to prove insoluble.


HOW WILL LABOUR BE ORGANISED AND DIRECTED?

We are told: "Labour will be organised on principles of perfect
freedom. Everyone decides for himself in which branch he desires to be
employed. If a superfluity of workmen occur in one branch and a
deficiency in another, it will be the duty of the executive to arrange
matters and readjust the inequality."[1240] In accordance with the
variations in demand and supply and the rise and decay of industries,
the introduction of labour-saving machinery, &c., labour requires
continual redistribution. That redistribution is at present
automatically effected largely through the rise and fall of wages. A
rise in the wages of industries which require more labour, and a
decline in the wages of industries which require less labour, cause
labour to turn from shrinking to growing industries. When wages are no
longer fixed with reference to commercial demand and supply, how will
the periodical and necessary redistribution of labour be effected?
Some Socialist leaders think: "As the workers, of course, will not be
drafted into the different branches of production under military
compulsion, irrespective of their wishes, it may well turn out that
some will have a superfluity of labour, while others will suffer from
scarcity. The necessary equilibrium could then be restored by reducing
the wages in those industries where the applicants are too many and by
raising them in those where the applicants are too few, till each
branch has just the number of workers which it requires. It could be
restored also by other means; for instance, by the shortening of the
hours of labour in those industries that are short of workers. With
all that, however, the general rate of wages throughout the working
class will be influenced no longer by supply and demand, but by the
quantity of available products. A general fall of wages in consequence
of over-production will be impossible."[1241] In other words, the
beautiful schemes of remuneration independent of the laws of supply
and demand discussed in the foregoing would immediately break down. In
order to redistribute labour, workers would either have to be
compelled by direct force to work in those trades which required
additional labour, or their wages or hours of work would arbitrarily
be altered in order to effect the necessary changes by economic
pressure--that is, by reducing their food. In other words, commercial
demand and supply would break down the Utopian regulations of the
Socialist Commonwealth as soon as they had been framed.

While some Socialists wish to distribute and redistribute labour by
arbitrarily changing wages and hours of labour, some of the more
logical and scientific Socialist leaders are frankly in favour of
compulsory labour: "We already see official salaries regulated, not
according to the state of the labour market, but by consideration of
the cost of living. This principle we seek to extend to the whole
industrial world. Instead of converting every man into an independent
producer, working when he likes and as he likes, we aim at enrolling
every able-bodied person directly in the service of the community for
such duties and under such kind of organisation, local or national, as
may be suitable to his capacity and social function. If a man wants
freedom to work or not to work, just as he likes, he had better
emigrate to Robinson Crusoe's island or else become a millionaire. To
suppose that the industrial affairs of a complicated industrial State
can be run without strict subordination and discipline, without
obedience to orders, and without definite allowances for maintenance,
is to dream, not of Socialism but of Anarchism."[1242] "Everyone
should have a legal right to an opportunity of earning his living in
the society in which he has been born; but no one should or could have
the right to ask that he shall be employed at the particular job which
suits his peculiar taste and temperament. Each of us must be prepared
to do the work which society wants doing, or take the consequences of
refusal."[1243] And what consequences would refusal to do the allotted
work at the allotted pay entail? Either dismissal, which would mean
starvation--for the State, as the sole employer, would control all
employment and all the food--or bodily chastisement, or imprisonment.
There could be no strike on the part of dissatisfied workers, for the
State--that is, the officials--holding all the wealth, would be able
to starve them out in a week.

Socialists admit: "Mankind is as lazy as it dares to be."[1244] "In
the average man there is a strong tendency to mere idleness and
aimlessness which, but for the compulsions and temptations of
existing circumstances, might run to great lengths. The trouble is
that, while the average man is willing to work occasionally where his
choice is free, he considers his lot a hard one if necessity compels
him to continue regularly at a given task. He is willing to work at
almost anything save that at which he is asked to work. It is a common
thing to hear even good workmen profess a dislike to their
trade."[1245]

How will shirking and idling be prevented in the Socialist
Commonwealth when men are no longer compelled by economic necessity
and free competition to do their best?

The leading American exponent of Socialism prophesies that workers
will work no longer in order to live in comfort, but that they will
henceforth see in work a semi-religious duty, which they perform owing
to their strong sense of beneficence: "In the New Commonwealth the
butcher will be conscious and satisfied that 'the essential thing is
not that he shall have a living, but that meat shall be supplied.' The
work of the citizen will be the willing performance of social office.
He will be a worker whose best efforts, best ardour, and highest aims
will be drawn out by his sense of the beneficence of his work, even
though it be such a coarse routine of manual labour as machinery
should soon remove altogether from human hands. He will be habituated
to regard his wages, not as a _quid pro quo_, but as the provision
made by society to enable him to carry out his labour."[1246] Will the
"sense of beneficence" induce men who are not satisfied with the
condition and remuneration of labour to transport milk and other
provisions during the night so that the townspeople may have them
early in the morning? Will men be induced by their sense of duty to
clean the sewers? To ask these questions is to answer them. Bebel
puts the question, "What becomes of the difference between the
industrious and the idle, the intelligent and the stupid?" and
answers, "There will be no such difference, because that which we
associate with these conceptions will have ceased to exist."[1247] "If
there is one vice more certain than another to be unpopular in a
Socialist community, it is laziness. The man who shirked would find
his mates making his position intolerable even before he suffered the
doom of expulsion."[1248] Arguments such as the above should really
not be placed before grown-up people. They are only fit for the
nursery.

The tendency towards lazing and idling, the desire to make money
without exertion, is strongly developed in Great Britain. "The essence
of gambling is the craving to obtain something from others without
giving an equivalent."[1249] Perhaps in no country is betting and
gambling in every form so much in evidence as it is in Great Britain.
Betting on the turf, missing-word competitions, limerick competitions,
&c., draw every year many millions of pounds from the pockets of
millions of British workers. How then can the natural tendency of men
to loaf and idle and to live rather by their wits than by their work,
which is strong in all men, be overcome in the Socialist State of the
future? The fundamental book of the Fabian Society, the most
scientific Socialist body in Great Britain, tells us: "A very small
share of the profits arising from associated labour acts as a
tremendous stimulus to each individual producer,"[1250] and it
suggests, as do many Socialist writers, that the workers will do their
best because they know that the more they produce the greater will be
their individual share in the general production. Great Britain has
12,000,000 workers. Therefore a worker will make as his own share an
extra sovereign if by extra exertion he succeeds in producing an
extra _12,000,000l._ worth of goods, a feat the accomplishment of
which will require several thousand years. That is a "tremendous
stimulus" to the individual producer! Can any argument be more foolish
than the foregoing one?

An influential Socialist writer tells us: "The credits granted to the
citizens will be equal in all cases, without reference to skill,
intelligence, or the nature of the service performed; but no credits
will be given to the able-bodied shirkers, who will thus be starved
into doing their share of the world's work without other
compulsion."[1251] Other Socialist writers have put forth similar
views. This is a cheerful outlook for the free citizens of the free
Socialist Commonwealth. The workers will become "wage-slaves" in the
fullest sense of the term. They will have to submit to forced labour,
arbitrary wages, and arbitrary hours of labour, and those who do not
produce as much as the official overseers require--and they may have a
private grudge against some unfortunate worker who does his best--will
be starved until they work harder. The lot of savages ruled by the
knout, the kourbash, and the sjambok will be preferable to the lot of
men ruled by starvation in the free Socialist Commonwealth of the
future. The former have at least some liberty, while the latter will
be kept by officials, who will distribute food and force them to work
by rewards of food alternated by starvation, like performing dogs and
apes.

To carry on the business of the country the Socialist Government would
have to drop the principle of perfect freedom and to rely on coercion,
and it would be justified in doing so. If, as Mr. Blatchford has
repeatedly told us, "man has no right to himself because he did not
make himself," if man belongs not to himself and his family, but to
"society," it logically follows that society may compel him to work,
apportioning to him his task and his pay, without reference to his
wishes. Society being represented by its officials, elected or
appointed, these officials would absolutely dispose of the people.
Great Britain would be ruled like a gigantic convict prison.

The spirit in which even moderate Socialists already contemplate the
freedom of the individual may be seen from an address on Sweated
Labour which Mr. Ramsay Macdonald, M.P., delivered in Glasgow in
autumn 1907. He said: "There was no use tinkering with the problem.
Personally, he was not in favour of home work at all. To eliminate it
might seem a cold-blooded way of dealing with sweating, but it was the
only way that would give definite and final results. He would,
however, proceed carefully and scientifically. Home work had got
extremes, but one section was much riper for treatment than the other,
and he would begin with the worst. The first difficulty was to find
out the sweated workers. It was certain that a great percentage
escaped detection by sanitary inspectors. Now his proposal was that,
instead of the sanitary inspectors hunting for the home worker, the
home worker should hunt for the inspector; and this he sought to
accomplish under the Bill introduced last session, by making it
necessary for the home worker to take out a licence and by making it
obligatory on the employer to keep an absolutely complete list of his
workers. The factory inspector must have right of access, and a
certificate must be obtained from him for a separate licence. The
casual home-worker would be discouraged." In other words, factory
inspectors should apparently be authorised to break without a search
warrant into private houses. They should certainly be empowered to
prosecute a working man if he defended the privacy of his house by
refusing the inspector admittance. That measure would abolish the
sanctity of the home. The "Right to Work," which the Socialists so
loudly champion, would be taken from the home-worker, and one cannot
help asking: Is that high-handed measure devised for the benefit of
the sweated or for that of the highly paid workers, represented by Mr.
Macdonald, who wish to abolish the competition of underpaid
home-workers? Sweated labour can be abolished and must be abolished,
and it can be abolished, as I may show in another book, without
destroying the home. If Mr. Macdonald should have his way, the
Socialist principle, "Property is robbery," will have to be
supplemented with the principle "Liberty is tyranny."

The unchecked absolutism of a Socialist State will hardly be palatable
to Socialist workers who have been told that Socialism means freedom,
and these see the only solution in the establishment of Anarchism:
"The damnable idea of being marshalled and drilled or numbered and
docketed like any other merchandise in a state of glorified capitalism
is not the Socialist's ideal, but its antithesis, no matter what the
capitalists and their protagonists, the pseudo-Socialists, choose to
name it. We don't want to be driven to the gate of the municipal or
other factory to hustle and elbow our fellows out of the way so that
we may catch the official's eye in the mad and sordid scramble for
mere belly food, for a mere animal subsistence. With the advent of
Socialism, the whole of the capitalist State and its superstructure
will collapse, with its cant of living wages, its Brotherhoods of Man,
and the rest of its nauseous humbug."[1252] "If the worker continues
to be paid in wages, he necessarily will remain the slave or the
subordinate of the one to whom he is forced to sell his labour force;
be the buyer a private individual or the State--it would still be an
odious tyranny."[1253] "Socialism will entail compulsory service on
all able-bodied members of the community, or rather the State. For
that is what we shall have; the State with its hosts of
functionaries, its big pots and its little pots, and its never-ending
officialism and petty tyrannies. Organisation must either be
compulsory or free. If compulsory, you have the military spirit with
all its attendant evils; if free, you have the Anarchist spirit with
all the advantages that arise when the fetters that hinder individual
initiative and development are removed."[1254]

The foregoing should suffice to show that the Socialist State could
organise work only by relying on forced labour and by creating the
most unbearable despotism which the world has seen, or by "organising"
the chaos of Anarchism, and it is difficult to say which of the two
would be the more hideous solution.


HOW WILL THE SOCIALIST STATE BE GOVERNED?

Socialists tell us rather vaguely: "Socialism means the elevation of
the struggle for existence from the material to the intellectual
plane. Socialism will raise the struggle for existence into a sphere
where competition shall be emulation, where the treasures are
boundless and eternal, and where the abundant wealth of one does not
cause the poverty of another."[1255] "State employment, when the State
itself is only an organised democracy and class distinctions cease,
means not slavery, but freedom."[1256] "Freedom and equality will then
be no longer empty and cheap phrases, but will have a meaning; when
all men are really free and equal, they will honour and advance one
another."[1257] "In Socialistic administrations there are no
employers, no superiors, no oppression; all are equals and enjoy equal
rights."[1258] "Under Socialism all the work of the nation would be
managed by the nation."[1259] "Under Socialism the State, as we have
known the State in the past, will have disappeared; for under
Socialism there will be no classes, but all the people will form one
class, and the Government and organisation will be democratic, each
individual having an equal voice in directing the affairs of the
common life."[1260] "The State will no longer be the bureaucratic
State of to-day, but a democratic State assisted directly by the whole
people."[1261] "All adult members of the commune, without distinction
of sex, take part in the necessary elections, and determine to what
persons the conduct of affairs shall be entrusted. There is no such
thing as a hierarchical system."[1262] "Appointments will be made from
below. In the Post Office Department, for example, the letter carriers
will elect their immediate superiors; these, we will say, the
post-masters; and these, in their turn, the Post-Master
General."[1263]

In other and plainer words, the Socialist State would, according to
the authorities quoted, be ruled by the same system by which it is
ruled at present, although elections might be more numerous, and
although the suffrage might be given a wider basis. Now if the system
of government remains the same as it is at present, is there any
reason for anticipating better results than those obtained at present?
Will the elected administrators no longer place personal and party
interests above national ones? And will not the infinitely greater
range of administrative functions make it more difficult to exercise
control and to allocate responsibilities, and thus make
irresponsibility, favouritism, dishonesty, and the evasion of
punishment more easy and more frequent? Is a larger number of voters
likely to pick out abler administrators than a small one? Does not the
elective system, according to the Socialists themselves, cause the
scum to rise to the top, and result in the election of plausible
windbags?[1264] Are the people's votes never won by any other means
than the testimony of results? Will there no longer be the fascination
of eloquence, the attraction of boundless promises, the glamour of
prejudice, the tie of party, the pressure put by an Association upon
its members? If amateurs show now little ability in administering a
few comparatively simple things, is it likely that results will be
better when they have to administer everything? Will not amateur
government prove an absolute failure?

Most thinking Socialists clearly foresee that the Socialist State of
the future could not possibly be administered by amateurs; that it
would have to be administered by experts, by permanent officials; that
Socialism would mean the death-knell of elected governors, and
therefore of democracy, as may be seen in Chapter XV. of this book.
The philosopher of British Socialism tells us: "Socialism aims at the
supersession of democracy, as of every other form of government. The
will of the majority of an ideal democracy, a social democracy, must,
as regards its special expressions, be subordinate to the general
moral canon of a Socialist Commonwealth. That in affairs of
management, of tactics, of administration, or in decisions requiring
special knowledge, authority, in its nature dictatorial, is necessary,
all must admit. There must be a controlling, an authoritative voice in
direction; so much must be clear, one would think, to all practical or
reasonable persons when once stated. The real point to determine is
the nature and limits of that amount of dictatorial power which, we
must admit, is essential in any organised community of which we can at
present conceive. _Social Democracy_, while it means all _for_ the
people, does not mean the impossible absurdity that everything should
be directly regulated _by_ the people, _i.e._ by a direct popular
vote."[1265] These views seem irrefutable, and it follows that not
only for economic reasons, but for political reasons as well, the
establishment of the Socialist State will lead to the establishment of
a "dictatorial authority."

If Socialism be introduced, the fall of democracy and the
establishment of absolutism cannot possibly be avoided. Democratic
States are ruled by public opinion. The voice of an individual does
not carry very far. Therefore public opinion can be formed only by
means of an independent Press. An independent Press is the strongest,
one might almost say the only, guarantee of national liberty. As long
as there are numerous independent papers owned by private people,
papers which represent all shades of opinion, everyone who has
something to say can always freely express his opinion in one set of
papers or the other. A striking speech is read the next day by the
whole nation; a striking injustice to a single individual, or a
Government blunder, may be taken up by the whole nation. The
disappearance of private property will necessarily mean the
disappearance of the free Press, and therefore of public opinion. All
newspapers would be owned, edited, and printed by the Government, and
is any Government likely to assist a hostile opposition by printing
its views, and to assist in bringing about a revolution, probably
accompanied by bloodshed and its own destruction? Such a thing has
never been. Such a thing will never be. People might be dissatisfied
and be ill-treated by the Socialist Government; they might be starved
to death or shot by the thousand; there might be risings and
rebellions and civil war in some parts of the country; the fleet might
be defeated and the colonies lost--yet not a word need appear in the
Socialist Government Press.

Some Socialists are childish enough to argue: "Though the printing
press will be a collective institution, it will be available to all.
Anyone, whatever unpopular opinions he may entertain, however hostile
to the administrators he may be, will be entitled to have anything
decent printed, provided he is ready to pay for the work done, or to
guarantee, or induce his friends to guarantee, that the cost will be
defrayed."[1266] "It would always be open to individuals or to groups
of individuals to publish anything they pleased on covering the cost
of publication. With the comparative affluence which would be enjoyed
by each member of the community, anyone who really cared to reach the
public ear would be able to do so by diminishing his expenditure in
other directions."[1267]

The Government would certainly neither print, nor circulate through
its post-office and newsagents, matter which it would consider to be
dangerous to its existence or seditious. The assertion that a private
individual in the Socialist Commonwealth might at his own expense
circulate his views throughout the country--there would be no more
millionaires but only wage-earners--is like asserting that a
bricklayer might with his savings pay off the British National Debt.

Lacking an independent public opinion, elections could be managed by
the officials through the official Press in their own interest;
elections would become a sham, and would no doubt soon fall into
disuse. The official class would become a caste of hereditary rulers
governing millions of serfs.

The foregoing makes it clear that in political as in economic matters
the Socialist State must fall a prey to the most complete absolutism
which the world has known, an absolutism which probably, through a
series of revolutions and civil wars, would at last end in anarchy. At
present a dissatisfied worker can change his employer, he can get
justice in the Law Courts, and in extreme cases he can put his
grievances before the nation. In the Socialist State there would be
only one authority--the all-controlling and all-powerful State, or
rather an all-controlling and all-powerful bureaucracy. The nation
would be composed of two classes: permanent officials possessing
absolute power, and ordinary citizens possessing neither power nor
right; overseers and workers; slave-drivers and slaves; and the only
way of escaping the tyranny of the State--for absolute and unchecked
power has always led, and will always lead, to tyranny--would be by
committing suicide. As in Rome under the rule of Nero and Caligula,
suicide would be the only way to liberty.

A leading Socialist wrote with unconscious humour: "The Utopist needs
no knowledge of facts. Indeed such a knowledge is a hindrance. For him
the laws of social evolution do not exist. He is a law unto himself;
and his men are not the wayward, spasmodic, irregular organisms of
daily life, but automata obeying the strings he pulls. In a word, he
creates, he does not construct. He makes alike his materials and the
laws within which they work, adapting them all to an ideal end. In
describing a new Jerusalem the only limits to its perfection are the
limits of the writer's imagination.... Humanity will rise to heights
undreamed of now; and the most exquisite Utopias, as sung by the poet
and idealist, shall to our children seem but dim and broken lights
compared with their perfect day. All that we need are Courage,
Prudence, and Faith. Faith above all."[1268] Every reader of this book
will no doubt heartily agree with the latter remark. Socialists are
wise to appeal rather to blind faith than to plain common-sense.

The philosopher of British Socialism tells us: "Socialism is the great
modern protest against _un_reality, against the delusive shams which
now masquerade as verities."[1269] Another Socialist leader asserts:
"Socialism is a scientific scheme of national government entirely
wise, just, and practical."[1270] A third leader affirms: "Socialism
is neither more nor less than the science of Sociology."[1271] The
"Socialist Catechism" asks: "How may Socialists reply to the taunt
that their scheme is impracticable? By quoting the opinion of John
Stuart Mill that the difficulties of Socialism are greatly overrated;
and they should declare that, so far from being an impracticable
Utopian scheme, it is the necessary and inevitable result of the
historical evolution of society."[1272]

Socialism stands condemned, not so much by the criticism of its
opponents as by the doctrines and proposals of its leaders, and these
are the men who aspire to rule the universe and who claim: "We mean
the establishment of a political power in place of the present
class-State, which shall have for its conscious and definite aim the
common ownership and control of the _whole_ of the world's industry,
exchange, &c."[1273]

I think the readers of the foregoing pages will be inclined to believe
that Socialism is methodised insanity.

FOOTNOTES:

[1203] Kautsky, _Social Revolution_, p. 41.

[1204] Socialism, _For and Against_, p. 7.

[1205] Clemenceau, in Jaurès' _Practical Socialism_, p. 11.

[1206] Snowden, _The Individual under Socialism_, p. 12.

[1207] Kautsky, _The Social Revolution_, p. 42.

[1208] Blatchford, _Real Socialism_, p. 5.

[1209] Macdonald, _Socialism and Society_, p. 126.

[1210] Ethel Snowden, _The Woman Socialist_, p. 7.

[1211] Ford, _Woman and Socialism_, p. 2.

[1212] Macdonald, _Socialism and Society_, pp. 122, 123.

[1213] Sir Oliver Lodge, _Public Service_ v. _Private Expenditure_, p.
11.

[1214] Blatchford, _Not Guilty_, p. 37.

[1215] _Ibid._ p. 251.

[1216] See _ante_, Chapter XXIII.

[1217] Herbert Spencer, _The Man versus the State_, p. 43.

[1218] Snowden, _The Individual under Socialism_, p. 9.

[1219] Ben Tillett, _Trades Unionism and Socialism_, p. 14.

[1220] Bax and Quelch, _A New Catechism_, p. 30.

[1221] Kautsky, _The Social Revolution_, p. 43.

[1222] Joynes, _The Socialist Catechism_, p. 14.

[1223] Snowden, _The Individual under Socialism_, p. 11.

[1224] _Ibid._ p. 18.

[1225] Ward, _Religion and Labour_, pp. 7, 8.

[1226] Gronlund, _Co-operative Commonwealth_, p. 77.

[1227] Kautsky, _The Social Republic_, p. 32.

[1228] Hazell, _Summary Marx's Capital_, p. 6.

[1229] Bebel, _Woman in the Past, Present, and the Future_, p. 193.

[1230] Sir Oliver Lodge, _Public Service versus Private Expenditure_,
p. 10.

[1231] _New Age_, November 21, 1907.

[1232] See _ante_, p. 61 ff.

[1233] Bax, _Outlooks from the New Standpoint_, p. 81.

[1234] _Fabian Essays in Socialism_, pp. 163, 164.

[1235] Leatham, _Socialism and Character_, p. 91.

[1236] Davidson, _The Old Order and the New_, p. 170.

[1237] Morris, _Communism_, pp. 14, 15.

[1238] _Independent Labour Party Song Book_, p. 40.

[1239] _Forward_, October 12, 1907.

[1240] Bebel, _Woman in the Past, Present, and Future_, pp. 183, 184.

[1241] Kautsky, _The Social Revolution_, pp. 16, 17.

[1242] Sidney Webb, _Socialism True and False_, pp. 17, 18.

[1243] _Socialism and Labour Policy_, p. 7.

[1244] _The Economics of Direct Employment_, p. 6.

[1245] Leatham, _Socialism and Character_, pp. 102, 103.

[1246] Gronlund, _Co-operative Commonwealth_, p. 169.

[1247] Bebel, _Woman_, p. 194.

[1248] _Fabian Essays in Socialism_, p. 167.

[1249] Ward, _The Ideal City_, p. 7.

[1250] _Fabian Essays in Socialism_, p. 167.

[1251] Leatham, _Socialism and Character_, p. 91.

[1252] _Socialist_, December 1907.

[1253] Kropotkin, _Anarchism, its Philosophy and Ideal_, p. 15.

[1254] _Freedom_, October 1907.

[1255] Snowden, _The Individual under Socialism_, p. 1.

[1256] Hyndman, _Socialism and Slavery_, p. 10.

[1257] Sorge, _Socialism and the Worker_, p. 14.

[1258] Bebel, _Woman_, p. 199.

[1259] Blatchford, _Real Socialism_, p. 14.

[1260] Snowden, _The Individual under Socialism_, p. 12.

[1261] Jaurès, _Practical Socialism_, p. 6.

[1262] Bebel, _Woman_, p. 181.

[1263] Gronlund, _Co-operative Commonwealth_, p. 126.

[1264] Thompson, _Hail Referendum_, pp. 3, 4.

[1265] Bax, _Essays in Socialism_, pp. 75, 76.

[1266] Gronlund, _Co-operative Commonwealth_, p. 135.

[1267] _Fabian Essays in Socialism_, p. 159.

[1268] _Fabian Essays in Socialism_, pp. 149, 169.

[1269] Bax, _Religion of Socialism_, p. ix.

[1270] Blatchford, _Merrie England_, p. 100.

[1271] Hyndman, _Socialism and Slavery_, Preface.

[1272] Joynes, _The Socialist Catechism_.

[1273] Bax and Quelch, _A New Catechism_, p. 9.



CHAPTER XXXVII

CONCLUSION


The leading Socialists claim that Socialism is at the same time a
scientific doctrine and a practical policy. A perusal of this book
should suffice to prove that it is neither the one nor the other. On
its scientific side it consists of twenty catch-phrases which are very
effective for propaganda purposes, but which are contrary to general
experience and to common-sense. On its practical side it consists of a
number of fantastic proposals which are likewise contrary to general
experience and to common-sense.

Socialism has two faces. The one which is turned towards the cultured
and towards the non-Socialists of the middle class constantly asserts
that Socialism is a scientific and perfect system of well-ordered
government and co-operation, which will evolve order and harmony out
of the chaos of individualism and of competition, and which will raise
men to the highest level of perfection. The other, which is turned
towards the masses, and which is by far the more important, is purely
predatory in character. It appeals to all the passions of the
multitude. It denounces law, religion, charity, thrift, temperance,
and all existing institutions. It preaches envy, hatred, greed,
selfishness, violence, civil war, and general plunder. It sets class
against class, and creates among its supporters a frame of mind which
makes not for harmony, order, and co-operation, but for disorder,
revolution, and anarchy.

The followers of Socialism do not see in it a science. "With the
speculative side of Socialism the average man has but a small concern;
it is its common-sense which appeals to him. By inherited instinct we
are all communists at heart."[1274] The attraction of Socialism to the
masses lies in its promise of the spoliation of the rich and of the
general division of their wealth. It is true that Socialists
habitually and very emphatically protest that Socialism is not a
system of robbery and of general division. It is true that Socialists
merely propose that all private property should be transferred to the
State by expropriation--which is a euphemism for confiscation--and
that the State should manage it for the general good of the masses.
However, that is a distinction without a difference. Property is
valuable because of the income which it yields. Therefore it comes for
all practicable purposes to the same, whether the Socialist leaders
propose dividing all the private property or all the income derived
from that property. A prominent Socialist writer has asked: "Is not
honesty--the sense of right of possession in the fruits of our
labour--the very basis of Socialism?"[1275] Regretfully one must
answer that question with a very emphatic "No."

Socialism is not a system of organisation and of national
co-operation, but merely a plan of spoliation and of general division.
That may clearly be seen from the fact that the Socialist leaders have
not the slightest desire to create a Socialistic model commonwealth,
and thus demonstrate the practical value of their highly speculative
doctrines, in a new country where Socialism could be introduced
peacefully, easily, and without a revolution, where co-operation and
exchange would be comparatively simple because wants are simple, the
commodities produced are few, and the opposition of vested interests
would be _nil_. In spite of all these great advantages, the Socialist
leaders prefer introducing Socialism into old countries where the
confiscation of the existing property seems a shorter way to wealth
than work, and where confiscation will have the most satisfactory
results to the despoilers.

We have seen that the various Socialistic organisations agree on
hardly one point in their constructive policy. However, they
absolutely agree in their main purpose--spoliation. On that point
there is absolute unanimity among all the British Socialists, and they
condemn State Socialism (see Chapter XXXII.) because State Socialism
would not mean confiscation and general division. Besides, it would
not enable the Socialist leaders to overturn the State and to seize
the reins of Government. British Socialism is purely destructive in
character, and if Socialism should ever be established in Great
Britain it would lead not to national co-operation, but to civil war
among the various Socialistic sections for the spoils, and to a series
of sanguinary _coups d'état_ similar to those which arose out of the
great French Revolution.

The "scientific" proposal of transferring all private property to the
State, and of using that property for the common good, merely
circumscribes the word and act of confiscation and of general
division. Therefore we may say that Socialism has no scientific basis,
unless we choose to call science a collection of fallacies expressed
in involved terms so as to deceive the simple. Karl Marx was not a
scientist but a professional demagogue and revolutionist, and his
merit from the Socialists' point of view consists only in this, that
he elaborated a formula of roundabout spoliation and general division,
which he took from his Anarchist predecessors, and gave it a much
needed, though rather transparent, cloak of scientific respectability.

Socialism is, in the first place, a business proposition. Therefore,
if it were practical, it should appeal particularly to business men.
However, it is noteworthy that the loudest champions of British
Socialism are not business men, of whom but few are to be found in the
Socialist ranks, but pushing writers in search of self-advertisement,
whose special domain is the highly spiced and the sensational, writers
who, knowing that many people mistake eccentricity for genius and
paradoxical absurdity for brilliancy, have discarded common-sense, let
their imaginations run riot, and outbid one another for notoriety.

The complaints of the Socialists about the unequal distribution of
wealth are as old as is humanity itself. Since the earliest times
demagogues have endeavoured to obtain a following by working upon the
misery, envy, short-sightedness, and passions of the poor, by
promising them equality and boundless wealth to be obtained by the
simple process of seizing and dividing up the property of the
well-to-do. The identical arguments and proposals which are now put
forward in the name of Marx, and of modern "scientific" Socialism, as
something new and original may be found throughout literature since
the very dawn of history.[1276] However, history teaches us that,
although countless Socialistic experiments have been made, all
attempts at enriching the poor by spoliation and at creating an
artificial equality among men have proved a failure. They have
invariably ended in national ruin, and have left the masses poorer and
more miserable than ever. The reason of this universal failure is
obvious. Man cannot reconstruct Nature. He may violate, but cannot
alter, the laws of Nature. Inequality rules throughout Nature, and it
seems as little possible to equalise the fortunes, as it is to
equalise the bodily and mental powers, of men. We all are the slaves
of Nature. The inequality of natural gifts and the division of labour
are the principal causes of the division of men into classes and of
the unequal distribution of wealth. Nature is only governed by obeying
her. We can certainly diminish poverty, but we cannot, for any length
of time, maintain an artificial equality among naturally unequal men.

The first duty of the State, as of the individual, is
self-preservation. British Socialism, being by those teachings which
it addresses to its supporters a revolutionary doctrine in the worst
sense of the term, and therefore a purely destructive factor, must
unconditionally be resisted and combated. However, at the same time
all that can be done must be done to alleviate the distress of the
British masses, which is undoubtedly very great, and which makes them
exceedingly receptive to the revolutionary doctrines of Socialism. As
it would require too much space to deal with the social problem in
Great Britain in its entirety, only a few of the most important points
can be touched upon.

The greatest scourge of the British worker is no doubt irregular and
ill-paid employment. The first step to improve his position is
therefore to improve employment. Hence the most urgent reform is the
revision of Great Britain's economic policy. Great Britain's present
economic policy, Free Trade, was based upon the supposition that Great
Britain, as Cobden prophesied, was, and always would remain, the
workshop of the world; that other countries were compelled to buy
British manufactures because British manufactures were as necessary to
them as foreign foodstuffs are now to Great Britain. In 1846, when
Free Trade was introduced, there was some reason for that supposition.
Before the advent of electricity manufacturing was based exclusively
upon coal. Great Britain's absolute predominance in manufacturing for
the markets of the whole world immediately before the introduction of
Free Trade may therefore best be seen from the following table:

PRODUCTION OF COAL IN 1845[1277]

               Quantity produced.      Percentage of
                       Tons           world's production
  Great Britain      31,500,000             64.2
  Belgium             4,960,077             10.1
  United States       4,400,000              8.9
  France              4,141,617              8.4
  Prussian States     3,500,000              7.0
  Austrian States       659,340              1.4
                     ----------             ----
                     49,161,034              100

The above table shows that Great Britain produced two-thirds of the
world's coal, and the coal of most other countries was supposed to be
unsuitable for manufacturing purposes. However, Great Britain produced
not only two-thirds of the world's coal, but she produced likewise
two-thirds of the world's iron, she consumed two-thirds of the world's
cotton, and she possessed two-thirds of the world's shipping. Her
railway mileage was greater than that of the whole Continent of
Europe.[1278]

Times have changed. Great Britain is no longer the workshop of the
world. British manufactures are no longer indispensable to foreign
countries. In the present age of steel, the production of steel is the
best index of a nation's manufacturing eminence, and how greatly
conditions have changed, and are still changing, to England's
disadvantage may be seen from the following figures:

OUTPUT OF STEEL

         United States.  Germany.       Great Britain.
            Tons            Tons           Tons
  1890    4,277,000       2,127,000      3,679,000
  1906   23,246,000      11,135,000      6,462,000

Great Britain, which formerly produced nine-tenths of the world's
steel, produces now little more than one-tenth of the world's steel.

As Great Britain has to buy vast quantities of food and raw material
from foreign countries, she must sell to foreign countries vast
quantities of manufactured goods. However, market after market is
being closed to her industries by ever-rising tariff walls, and the
profits from her exports have been greatly diminished through foreign
competition. Her home market has been reduced through the decay of her
agriculture and the shrinkage of her agricultural population, and it
is systematically spoiled by combinations of foreign manufacturers.
Foreign syndicates determine not only the price of British wheat and
meat, but of British iron and other manufactures too, and they
endeavour to ruin the British industries completely. Great Britain,
far from being the world's manufacturer, has become the world's
dumping ground. From the richest country in the world she is rapidly
becoming one of the poorer countries of the world. Her industries are
suffering, and the result is bad times, low wages, irregular
employment, unemployment, poverty, and distress. It is noteworthy
that, on an average, unemployment among the skilled workers in
free-trade Great Britain is always five times greater than it is in
protectionist Germany;[1279] that British emigration per million is
eleven times larger than German emigration; that German savings-banks
deposits are four times larger than British savings-banks deposits,
and that the former increase ten times faster than the latter.[1280]

What can be done to improve the position of the British workers?
Emigration on the largest scale has proved a palliative, but no
remedy. During the last twenty years almost five million people have
left Great Britain. Yet the labour market is as over-stocked, and
unemployment and poverty are as great, as ever. Besides, the United
States and the British colonies may not always be able to absorb the
vast and ever-growing numbers of British unemployed workers.
Employment and wages depend upon the prosperity of industries, and the
prosperity of industries depends on a sufficiency of markets. The
British industries have not a sufficiency of markets. Therefore the
British population suffers from irregular employment, unemployment,
and consequent want and misery; and want and misery among the British
masses are likely to continue increasing and ever increasing until
Great Britain adapts her economic policy to the altered circumstances
of the time, protects the industries by which her workers live, and
secures a sufficient outlet for their productions by preferential
arrangements with the self-governing Dominions. Under the shelter of
Protection at home and with the aid of preferential arrangements
throughout the empire, Great Britain will be able vastly to extend her
manufacturing industries. Great Britain has unrivalled facilities for
manufacturing. Whilst the manufacturing centres of the United States,
Germany, France, Austria-Hungary, Russia, Italy, and other countries
lie far inland near their coalfields, Great Britain has the unique
advantage of being able to manufacture on the seashore, where coal,
iron, great manufacturing towns, and excellent harbours lie in close
proximity. The potentialities of the British industries under fair
conditions and under the wise care of a fostering Government are
boundless.

Under the shelter of Protection the rural industries of Great Britain
may be revived, especially if the British peasantry be re-created. A
hundred years ago the great agricultural authority, Arthur Young,
wrote: "The magic of property turns sand into gold. Give a man a bleak
rock, and he will turn it into a garden. Give him a nine years' lease
of a garden, and he will convert it into a desert." Since the time
when these words were written most European countries have created a
freehold peasantry by buying out the landed proprietors and settling
the rural labourers on the land, and Great Britain will be wise in
following their example.

The tripartite question of Fiscal Protection for the home market, of
an Imperial Customs Union, and of Imperial Federation is not a party
question. It is a question of life or death for Great Britain. It may
soon become a question of prosperity or starvation for the masses.
Great Britain stands at the parting of the ways. She must either
protect and re-create her industries, federate with her colonies, and
make the British Empire a reality, or sink into insignificance, and
history knows no instance of a great nation becoming a small one
without the most intense suffering to the masses of the people. Great
Britain must either adopt that constructive and protective national
policy which the greatest statesmen and Empire builders of modern
times--Richelieu, Cromwell, Colbert, Lord Chatham, George Washington,
Alexander Hamilton, Benjamin Franklin, Stein, and Bismarck--have
pursued, or she will share the fate of the great commercial world
empires of the past, from Phoenicia to the Netherlands. She must
either follow the policy of Mr. Chamberlain, build up the Empire and
make it strong and prosperous, or that of revolutionary demagogues,
who will wreck the Empire and drag Great Britain through plunder and
ruin to destruction and anarchy.

The experience of other industrial nations allows us to conclude that
a wisely framed protective tariff will save the British industries and
improve employment and wages. But better wages alone will not improve
the position of the workers. A large part of the British working class
must alter their personal habits, and especially their drinking
habits. At present every rise in wages leads immediately to a great
increase in the Drink Bill, and therefore benefits rather the brewer
than the worker. "The strongest answer to the theory that poverty
causes drink is the statistical fact that as wages rise general
drunkenness follows, insanity increases, and criminal disorders due to
drink keep pace with all three. Wherever one seeks for information
dispassionately, one sees that drink does cause poverty to a greater
extent, overwhelmingly so, than that poverty causes drink. Poverty is
due to intemperance in varying degrees from twenty-five to fifty-one
per cent, of cases and areas investigated."[1281] "The Committee on
Physical Deterioration in 1904 declared that if the drink question
were removed three-fourths of the difficulty with regard to poverty
and deterioration would disappear with it."[1282] The drinking section
of the working class spends _18l. 15s. 4d._ per family on drink,[1283]
a sum much larger than that spent on rent. "There are two great causes
of physical deterioration--these are dirt and drink. The former is
responsible for nearly every form of disease. The latter is the direct
cause of the vast number of defects."[1284] "The most urgently needed
public health reform of the present day is not so much one of
environment as one of personal life."[1285]

Many British workmen are incredibly wasteful. When one visits
public-houses and working-men's clubs, when one goes to racecourses,
football or other matches, and music-halls, the British workers seem
to be the richest in the world. When one looks at their homes, their
clothes, and especially their savings, they seem to be the poorest in
the world. British working men drink, waste, and gamble to a much
greater extent than foreign working men. Therefore not only the higher
paid American workers, but also the lower paid French, German, and
Swiss workers, are better housed, better clothed, and better fed--and
are therefore better off and healthier--than British workers.[1286]
Besides, as their savings are much larger they are better able to
stand a short spell of ill-luck or of bad times. Whether a working man
is prosperous or poor, happy or unhappy, depends--under fair
conditions of employment, which Protection should create--perhaps more
on his personal habits and on those of his wife than on the actual
amount he receives in wages. Social reform, to be effective, must be
assisted in the home. The worker must aid the social reformer. Outside
assistance alone will little benefit wasteful and improvident men who
refuse to help themselves.

FOOTNOTES:

[1274] Keir Hardie, _From Serfdom to Socialism_, pp. 33, 34.

[1275] Leatham, _Socialism and Character_, p. 96.

[1276] See Mencius' Works in Legge's _Chinese Classics_; Euripides,
_The Suppliants_; Aristotle, _Politics_, vii. 5; Aristophanes,
_Ecclesiazusae_ and _Plutus_; Plutarch, _Tiberius Gracchus_, 9;
Livius, ii. 32; Sallust, _Catiline's Conspiracy_, 20, 23, 37-39;
Virgil, _Georgics_, i. 125; Tibullus, i. 3, 35 Propertius, ii. 13,
iii. 5, 11; Seneca, _Epistles_, 90, &c.

[1277] Taylor, _Statistics of Coal_, p. xxi.

[1278] See _Encyclopædia Britannica_, 8th edition, 1853-1860,
articles: Cotton, Iron, Railways; Meyer, _Konversations Lexikon_,
1839-1855, article: Grossbritannien; Porter, _Progress of the Nation_,
1847; MacCulloch, _British Empire_, 1846; MacCulloch, _Dictionary of
Commerce_, 1847; Macgregor, _Commercial Statistics_, 1844-1850, &c.

[1279] See _Board of Trade Labour Gazette_ and _Reichs Arbeitsblatt_.

[1280] Ellis Barker, _Modern Germany_, 546 ff.

[1281] Burns, _Labour and Drink_, pp. 15, 18.

[1282] Newman, _The Health of the State_, p. 189.

[1283] Whittaker, _Drink Problem_, p. 10.

[1284] McMillan, _The Child and the State_, p. 4.

[1285] Newman, _Health of the State_, p. 194.

[1286] See _Reports of the Mosely Industrial Commission to the United
States_; _The Brassworkers of Berlin and of Birmingham_; _The
Gainsborough Commission, Life and Labour in Germany_; Horsfall, _The
Improvement of the Dwellings--The Example of Germany_; Marr, _Housing
Conditions in Manchester_; _City of Birmingham, Report of the Housing
Committee_; Steele, _The Working Classes in France_; Rowntree and
Sherwell, _The Temperance Problem_; Rowntree, _Poverty_; the
publication of Charles Booth, &c.



APPENDIX

OFFICIAL PROGRAMMES OF THE SOCIALISTIC ORGANISATIONS


SOCIAL DEMOCRATIC FEDERATION

    _Programme and Rules as revised previous to the Annual
        Conference held at the Labour Institute, Bradford, Easter
        1906_

_Object._--The Social-Democratic Federation is a part of the
International Social-Democracy. It believes:--

1. That the emancipation of the working class can only be achieved
through the socialisation of the means of production, distribution,
and exchange, and their subsequent control by the organised community
in the interests of the whole people.

2. That, as the proletariat is the last class to achieve freedom, its
emancipation will mean the emancipation of the whole of mankind,
without distinction of race, nationality, creed, or sex.

3. That this emancipation can only be the work of the working class
itself,[1287] organised nationally and internationally into a distinct
political party, consciously striving after the realisation of its
ideals: and, finally,

4. That, in order to ensure greater material and moral facilities for
the working class to organise itself and to carry on the class war,
the following reforms must immediately be carried through:--


IMMEDIATE REFORMS

_Political._--Abolition of the Monarchy.

Democratisation of the Governmental machinery, viz. Abolition of the
House of Lords, Payment of Members of Legislative and Administrative
bodies. Payment of Official Expenses of Elections out of the Public
Funds, Adult Suffrage, Proportional Representation, Triennial
Parliaments, Second Ballot, Initiative, and Referendum. Foreigners to
be granted rights of citizenship after two years' residence in the
country, without any fees. Canvassing to be made illegal. All
elections to take place on one day, such day to be made a legal
holiday and all premises licensed for the sale of intoxicating liquors
to be closed.

Legislation by the people in such wise that no legislative proposal
shall become law until ratified by the majority of the people.

Legislative and Administrative independence for all parts of the
Empire.

_Financial and Fiscal._--Repudiation of the National Debt.

Abolition of all indirect taxation and the institution of a cumulative
tax on all incomes and inheritances exceeding _300l._

_Administrative._--Extension of the principle of Local
Self-Government.

Systematisation and co-ordination of the local administrative bodies.

Election of all administrators and administrative bodies by Equal
Direct Adult Suffrage.

_Educational._--Elementary education to be free, secular, industrial,
and compulsory for all classes. The age of obligatory school
attendance to be raised to 16.

Unification and systematisation of intermediate and higher education,
both general and technical, and all such education to be free.

State Maintenance for all attending State schools.

Abolition of school rates; the cost of education in all State schools
to be borne by the National Exchequer.

_Public Monopolies and Services._--Nationalisation of the land and the
organisation of labour in agriculture and industry under public
ownership and control on co-operative principles.

Nationalisation of the Trusts.

Nationalisation of Railways, Docks, and Canals, and all great means of
transit.

Public ownership and control of Gas, Electric Light, and Water
supplies, as well as of Tramway, Omnibus, and other locomotive
services.

Public ownership and control of the food and coal supply.

The establishment of State and municipal banks and pawnshops and
public restaurants.

Public ownership and control of the lifeboat service.

Public ownership and control of hospitals, dispensaries, cemeteries,
and crematoria.

Public ownership and control of the drink traffic.

_Labour._--A legislative eight-hour working day, or 48 hours per week,
to be the maximum for all trades and industries. Imprisonment to be
inflicted on employers for any infringement of the law.

Absolute freedom of combination for all workers, with legal guarantee
against any action, private or public, which tends to curtail or
infringe it.

No child to be employed in any trade or occupation until 16 years of
age, and imprisonment to be inflicted on employers, parents, and
guardians who infringe this law.

Public provision of useful work at not less than trade union rates of
wages for the unemployed.

Free State Insurance against sickness and accident, and free and
adequate State pensions or provision for aged and disabled workers.
Public assistance not to entail any forfeiture of political rights.

The legislative enactment of a minimum wage of _30s._ for all workers.
Equal pay for both sexes for the performance of equal work.

_Social._--Abolition of the present workhouse system, and reformed
administration of the Poor Law on a basis of national co-operation.

Compulsory construction by public bodies of healthy dwellings for the
people; such dwellings to be let at rents to cover the cost of
construction and maintenance alone, and not to cover the cost of the
land.

The administration of justice and legal advice to be free to all;
justice to be administered by judges chosen by the people; appeal in
criminal cases; compensation for those innocently accused, condemned,
and imprisoned; abolition of imprisonment for contempt of court in
relation to non-payment of debt in the case of workers earning less
than _2l._ per week; abolition of capital punishment.

_Miscellaneous._--The disestablishment and disendowment of all State
Churches.

The abolition of standing armies, and the establishment of national
citizen forces. The people to decide on peace and war.

The establishment of international courts of arbitration.

The abolition of courts-martial; all offences against discipline to be
transferred to the jurisdiction of civil courts.


INDEPENDENT LABOUR PARTY

_Constitution and Rules. 1907-8_

_Object._--An Industrial Commonwealth founded upon the Socialisation
of Land and Capital.

_Methods._--The education of the community in the principles of
Socialism.

The Industrial and Political Organisation of the Workers.

The Independent Representation of Socialist Principles on all elective
bodies.

_Programme._--The true object of industry being the production of the
requirements of life, the responsibility should rest with the
community collectively, therefore:

The land, being the storehouse of all the necessaries of life, should
be declared and treated as public property.

The capital necessary for industrial operations should be owned and
used collectively.

Work, and wealth resulting therefrom, should be equitably distributed
over the population.

As a means to this end, we demand the enactment of the following
measures:

1. A maximum of 48 hours working week, with the retention of all
existing holidays, and Labour Day, May 1, secured by law.

2. The provision of work to all capable adult applicants at recognised
trade union rates, with a statutory minimum of sixpence per hour.

In order to remuneratively employ the applicants, Parish, District,
Borough, and County Councils to be invested with powers to:

      (_a_) Organise and undertake such industries as they may
          consider desirable.

      (_b_) Compulsorily acquire land; purchase, erect, or
          manufacture buildings, stock, or other articles for
          carrying on such industries.

      (_c_) Levy rates on the rental values of the district, and
          borrow money on the security of such rates for any of the
          above purposes.

3. State pensions for every person over 50 years of age, and adequate
provision for all widows, orphans, sick, and disabled workers.

4. Free secular, moral, primary, secondary, and university education,
with free maintenance while at school or university.

5. The raising of the age of child labour, with a view to its ultimate
extinction.

6. Municipalisation and public control of the drink traffic.

7. Municipalisation and public control of all Hospitals and
Infirmaries.

8. Abolition of indirect taxation and the gradual transference of all
public burdens on to unearned incomes with a view to their ultimate
extinction.

The Independent Labour Party is in favour of adult suffrage, with full
political rights and privileges for women, and the immediate extension
of the franchise to women on the same terms as granted to men; also
triennial Parliaments and second ballot.


THE LABOUR PARTY

has no official programme. A semi-official programme, contained in a
statement of its Secretary, Mr. Ramsay Macdonald, M.P., will be found
on page 425 of this book.


THE FABIAN SOCIETY

_Basis._--The Fabian Society consists of Socialists.

It therefore aims at the reorganisation of Society by the emancipation
of Land and Industrial Capital from individual and class ownership,
and the vesting of them in the community for the general benefit. In
this way only can the natural and acquired advantages of the country
be equitably shared by the whole people.

The Society accordingly works for the extinction of private property
in Land and of the consequent individual appropriation, in the form of
Rent, of the price paid for permission to use the earth, as well as
for the advantages of superior soils and sites.

The Society, further, works for the transfer to the community of the
administration of such industrial Capital as can conveniently be
managed socially. For, owing to the monopoly of the means of
production in the past, industrial inventions and the transformation
of surplus income into Capital have mainly enriched the proprietary
class, the worker being now dependent on that class for leave to earn
a living.

If these measures be carried out, without compensation (though not
without such relief to expropriated individuals as may seem fit to the
community), Rent and Interest will be added to the reward of labour,
the idle class now living on the labour of others will necessarily
disappear, and practical equality of opportunity will be maintained by
the spontaneous action of economic forces with much less interference
with personal liberty than the present system entails.

For the attainment of these ends the Fabian Society looks to the
spread of Socialist opinions, and the social and political changes
consequent thereon, including the establishment of equal citizenship
for men and women. It seeks to achieve these ends by the general
dissemination of knowledge as to the relation between the individual
and Society in its economic, ethical, and political aspects.


THE SOCIALIST PARTY OF GREAT BRITAIN

_Object._--The establishment of a system of society based upon the
common ownership and democratic control of the means and instruments
for producing and distributing wealth by and in the interest of the
whole community.

DECLARATION OF PRINCIPLES

The Socialist Party of Great Britain holds that society as at present
constituted is based upon the ownership of the means of living (_i.e._
land, factories, railways, &c.) by the capitalist or master class, and
the consequent enslavement of the working class, by whose labour alone
wealth is produced.

That in society, therefore, there is an antagonism of interests,
manifesting itself as a class struggle, between those who possess but
do not produce, and those who produce but do not possess.

That this antagonism can be abolished only by the emancipation of the
working class from the domination of the master class, by the
conversion into the common property of society of the means of
production and distribution, and their democratic control by the whole
people.

That as in the order of social evolution the working class is the last
class to achieve its freedom, the emancipation of the working class
will involve the emancipation of all mankind, without distinction of
race or sex.

That this emancipation must be the work of the working class itself.

That as the machinery of government, including the armed forces of the
nation, exists only to conserve the monopoly by the capitalist class
of the wealth taken from the workers, the working class must organise
consciously and politically for the conquest of the powers of
government, national and local, in order that this machinery,
including these forces, may be converted from an instrument of
oppression into the agent of emancipation, and the overthrow of
privilege, aristocratic and plutocratic.

That as all political parties are but the expression of class
interests, and as the interest of the working class is diametrically
opposed to the interests of all sections of the master class, the
party seeking working-class emancipation must be hostile to every
other party.

The Socialist Party of Great Britain, therefore, enters the field of
political action determined to wage war against all other political
parties, whether alleged labour or avowedly capitalist, and calls upon
the members of the working class of this country to muster under its
banner to the end that a speedy termination may be wrought to the
system which deprives them of the fruits of their labour, and that
poverty may give place to comfort, privilege to equality, and slavery
to freedom.


PLATFORM OF THE SOCIALIST LABOUR PARTY

The Socialist Labour Party is a political organisation seeking to
establish political and social freedom for all, and seeing in the
conquest by the Socialist Working Class of all the governmental and
administrative powers of the nation the means to the attainment of
that end.

It affirms its belief that political and social freedom are not two
separate and unrelated ideas, but are two sides of the one great
principle, each being incomplete without the other.

The course of society politically has been from warring but democratic
tribes within each nation to a united government under an absolutely
undemocratic monarchy. Within this monarchy again developed revolts
against its power, revolts at first seeking to limit its prerogatives
only, then demanding the inclusion of certain classes in the
governing power, then demanding the right of the subject to criticise
and control the power of the monarch, and finally, in the most
advanced countries this movement culminated in the total abolition of
the monarchical institution, and the transformation of the subject
into the citizen.

In industry a corresponding development has taken place. The
independent producer, owning his own tools and knowing no master, has
given way before the more effective productive powers of huge capital,
concentrated in the hands of the great capitalist. The latter,
recognising no rights in his workers, ruled as an absolute monarch in
his factory. But within the realm of capital developed a revolt
against the power of the capitalist. This revolt, taking the form of
trade unionism, has pursued in the industrial field the same line of
development as the movement for political freedom has pursued in the
sphere of national government. It first contented itself with protests
against excessive exactions, against all undue stretchings of the
power of the capitalist; then its efforts broadened out to demands for
restrictions upon the absolute character of such power, _i.e._, by
claiming for trade unions the right to make rules for the workers in
the workshop; then it sought to still further curb the capitalist's
power by shortening the working day, and so limiting the period during
which the toiler may be exploited. Finally, it seeks by Boards of
Arbitration to establish an equivalent in the industrial world for
that compromise in the political world by which, in constitutional
countries, the monarch retains his position by granting a parliament
to divide with him the duties of governing, and so hides while
securing his power. And as in the political history of the race the
logical development of progress was found in the abolition of the
institution of monarchy, and not in its mere restriction, so in
industrial history the culminating point to which all efforts must at
last converge lies in the abolition of the capitalist class, and not
in the mere restriction of its powers.

The Socialist Labour Party, recognising these two phases of human
development, unites them in its programme, and seeks to give them a
concrete embodiment by its demand for a Socialist Republic.

It recognises in all past history a preparation for this achievement,
and in the industrial tendencies of to-day it hails the workings out
of those laws of human progress which bring that object within our
reach.

The concentration of capital in the form of trusts at the same time as
it simplifies the task we propose that society shall undertake, viz.
the dispossession of the capitalist class, and the administration of
all land and instruments of industry as social property, of which all
shah be co-heirs and owners.

As to-day the organised power of the State theoretically guarantees to
every individual his political rights, so in the Socialist Republic
the power and productive forces of organised society will stand
between every individual and want, guaranteeing that right to life
without which all other rights are but mockery.

Short of the complete dispossession of the capitalist class which this
implies there is no hope for the workers.

SPEED THE DAY.


THE CHRISTIAN SOCIAL UNION

The Union consists of members of the Church of England who have the
following objects at heart:--

1. To claim for the Christian law the ultimate authority to rule
social practice.

2. To study in common how to apply the moral truths and principles of
Christianity to the social and economic difficulties of the present
time.

3. To present Christ in practical life as the living Master and King,
the enemy of wrong and selfishness, the power of righteousness and
love.


THE CHURCH SOCIALIST LEAGUE

_Principles._--The Church has a mission to the whole of human life,
Social and Individual, Material and Spiritual.

2. The Church can best fulfil its social mission by acting together in
its corporate capacity.

3. To this end the members of the League accept the principles of
Socialism.

_Object._--To secure the corporate action of the Church on these
principles.

_Method._--1. To cultivate by the regular use of prayer and sacraments
the life of brotherhood.

2. Members undertake to help each other in fulfilling the object of
the League by speaking and lecturing and in other ways.

3. Members shall co-operate as far as possible to secure the
consideration of social questions at their various Ruridecanal and
Diocesan Conferences and the election of Socialists on these and other
representative bodies.

4. Members shall work for the disestablishment of the patron and the
substitution of the Church in each parish in conjunction with the
Church in the diocese in the patron's place.

5. To secure the representation of the wage-earning classes upon all
the representative bodies of the Church.


GUILD OF ST. MATTHEW

_Objects._--1. To get rid, by every possible means, of the existing
prejudices, especially on the part of "Secularists," against the
Church, her sacraments and her doctrines: and to endeavour to "justify
God to the people."

2. To promote frequent and reverent worship in the Holy Communion, and
a better observance of the teaching of the Church of England as set
forth in the Book of Common Prayer.

3. To promote the study of social and political questions in the light
of the Incarnation.

FOOTNOTES:

[1287] This paragraph is not to be understood as debarring individual
members of the possessing classes from participating in the work of the
movement.



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ANALYTICAL INDEX

     NOTE.--_The abbreviation "f." following a page number
     signifies "and following page"; "ff." "and following pages."_


ABSOLUTISM, Socialism makes for, 460 ff.

ABSTINENCE, Co-operation, and Thrift denounced by Socialists, 131 ff.,
  311 ff.

ADMINISTRATION, Imperial, Socialist views regarding, 179 f.
  National, Socialist views regarding, 213 f.

ADULT suffrage demanded, 213

ADULTERATION, cause of, 84 f.

AGITATORS, Socialistic, appeal to passions, 10, 446, 470
  Socialist wish to govern themselves, 411

AGRICULTURE, Socialist views on, 261 ff., 288 ff.

AIMS and policy of Socialists, 92 ff.

ALCOHOLIC DRINK, expenditure of British workers on, 166, 319, 479

ALLOTMENTS, 262 ff.

ANANIAS, the story of, 385

ANARCHISM and Socialism, similarity of views and aims of, and connection
  between them, 81, 90, 118, 328, 381 f., 394 ff.

ANARCHISTS, Chicago, and Socialists, 401 f.

ANGLO-FRENCH agreements, views of Socialists on, 188

ANTWERP DOCK strike, 295

APPROPRIATION without adequate compensation is theft, 102

ARBITRATION, international, Socialists on, 188, 190 f.

ARMED nation, why many Socialists are in favour of, 193 ff.

ARMIES, standing, are to be dissolved, 194 ff.

ARMY reform of Mr. Haldane, condemned by Socialists, 197 ff.
  Socialist propaganda to undermine discipline and cause revolt in, 200 ff.
  Socialist proposals regarding the, 192 ff.

ASSIGNATS, history of the, 283 f.

ATHEISM, Socialism and, 354 ff.


BANKS and banking, Socialist views on, 258 f., 278 ff.

BARRICADES, Socialist views on, 258 f., 278 ff.

BARTER, international, proposed by Socialists, 279

BENEFICENCE, sense of, relied on by Socialists as principal motive in
  men, 458 f.

BETTING, expenditure of working men on, 166

BLACKLEGS, British, in Antwerp and Hamburg, 295 f.

BREMEN, Socialism in, 440

BRITISH EMPIRE--_see_ Empire, British

BROTHERHOOD OF MAN promised and proclaimed by Socialists, 25 f.,
  185 ff., 370, 382, 444

BUDGET, national, Socialist proposals regarding, 160 ff.


CADE, JACK, 326 f.

CAPITAL is theft, 81 f., 102, 370
  national growth of, owing to savings of capitalists, 64 f.
  private, cannot leave the country, 153 f.
    is immoral, 80 ff.
    is not to be tolerated, 152 ff.
  why its constant increase is necessary, 45

CAPITALISTS and landowners are thieves, 38, 102, 370 f.
  and workers, division of national income between, 40 ff., 75 ff.
    relations between, 30 ff., 75 ff.
  are the managers and trustees of the national wealth, 35
  employ labour only at a profit, 33
  exploit the poor, 31, 75 ff.
  greatest, were originally working men, 60
  live in idleness, 30, 75 ff.
  maintain the workers, not the workers the capitalists, 168
  private, are responsible for commercial crises, 67 ff.
    are responsible for unemployment, 65 ff., 125 f.
      useless and unnecessary, 155, 168
    benefit from unemployment, 69 f.
    have no rights and no claims to consideration, 154
    their disappearance would be a blessing, 155, 168
    usefulness of, 64 f., 168, 315

CARNEGIE, ANDREW, on drink, 321 f.

CATECHISM for the mob, 367
  the Red, 372 ff.

CHEAPNESS, Socialist views on, 290 ff.

CHICAGO Anarchists and Socialists, 401 f.

CHILDREN, free maintenance of, demanded, 138
  free meals for--_see_ Free Maintenance
  production of, to be regulated by the State, 347 f.
  will belong not to parents but to society, 345 f.
  will belong to parents, 348

CHRIST, name of, used for electioneering purposes, 363

CHRISTIAN Socialism, 375 ff.
  programmes of, 490 f.

CHRISTIANITY and religion, Socialist attitude towards, 354 ff.

CIVILISATION, Socialist views on, 11 ff.

"CLARION," circulation of, 437

CLASS war doctrine, the, 72 ff.
  disproved, 79

CLASSES of society, are there only two? 72 ff.

CLERGY, Socialist views on the, 13

COAL, production of, in 1845, 475

COBDEN, Socialists on, 287

CODE NAPOLÉON, 329, 344

COIN--_see_ Money

COMMANDMENTS, the capitalists' ten, 368
  the Socialist ten, 371 f.

COMMONS, House of, Socialist views on the, 209 ff.

COMMUNE of Paris, Socialists and the insurrection of the, 407 ff.

COMMUNISM and Socialism, 381 ff.
  early Christian, 386
  in Sparta, 389
  of Fourier, 392 f.
  Socialist recommendations of, 21, 381 ff.
  why it is impossible, 393

COMMUNIST manifesto quoted, 77 f., 92, 103, 107, 112, 183 f., 332 f., 405

COMMUNITY of women, 331 ff.

COMPENSATION has no place in Socialist ethics, 100 f.
  or no compensation in expropriating private property? 95 ff., 149 f.

COMPETITION and co-operation, 82 ff., 312 ff., 444 ff., 470

COMPLAINTS, the, of Socialists, 30 ff.

COMPULSORY labour, necessity of, in Socialist commonwealth, 455 ff.

CONFISCATION, plans of, 95 ff.
  probable result of, 168 f., 251 f., 254

CONTRACT, freedom of, useless to workers, 33

CO-OPERATION and competition, 82 ff., 312 ff., 444 ff., 470
  cannot benefit British worker, 31
  greatly benefits British worker, 315 ff.
  is opposed by Socialists, 84, 131 ff., 311 ff.
  thrift and abstinence denounced by Socialists, 131 ff., 311 ff.

CO-OPERATIVE societies, record and statistics of the British, 315 ff.

COURTS-MARTIAL, Socialist agitation against, 201 f.

CRIME--_see_ Justice, Theft

CRIMES, sexual, Socialist views on, 340 ff.

CRISES caused by private capitalists, 67 ff.
  could they be prevented by Socialists? 70 f., 124 f.

CROWN, the--_see_ also Monarchy
  is unfit to administer the Empire, 179

CURRENCY--_see_ Money


DEBT, Local, huge increase and danger of, 246 ff.
  Local, will it be repudiated? 248
  National, repudiation of, 110, 156 ff.

DEMONETISATION of gold and silver--see Money

DESERTION of family, frequency of, 307

DISARMAMENT, Socialists and, 189 ff.

DISTRIBUTION, alteration of, will abolish misery, 65 ff.
  is more important than production, 65 ff.
    disproved, 70 f.

DIVISION, general, of existing property disclaimed, 93
  is the principal aim of Socialists, 471 f.

DOCTRINES, fundamental, of Socialism, 50 ff.

DOWNING STREET, Socialist views regarding government from, 179 f.

DRINK, expenditure of workers on, 166, 319, 479

DRUNKENNESS, condemned and combated by foreign Socialists, 322 ff.
  excused and encouraged by British Socialists, 319 ff.

DUTIES--_see_ Budget


ECONOMIC policy of Great Britain, 474 ff.

EDUCATION, Socialist views and proposals on, 302 ff.

EMIGRATION, 476 f.

EMPIRE, British, federation of, opposed by Socialists, 173 f.
  federation of, is necessary, 478
  German Socialists' views on the, 181 f.
  has been a failure, 179
  Socialists and the, 170 ff.

EMPLOYERS and capitalists benefit from unemployment, 69 f.
  and workers' interests are opposed, 77
    identical, 79
  are useless, 168

ENGLAND--_see_ Great Britain

ENTERPRISE, Governmental and municipal, inefficiency and wastefulness
  of, 85 ff., 251 ff.
  municipal, 240 ff.
    is undertaken regardless of cost and profit, 252 ff.

EQUALITY of all races proclaimed by Socialists, 185 ff.

ESPERANTO, why studied by Socialists, 188

ESTATE Duty--_see_ Budget

EXPENDITURE, local, 246

EXPROPRIATION of private property without compensation, 95 ff., 149 f.


FABIAN SOCIETY, details regarding, 94, 418 ff.
  programme of, 486 f.

FAMILY, desertion of, very frequent, 307
  Karl Marx on, 332
  Socialism and the, 330 ff.

FATALISM of Socialists, 327 f., 360 f.

FEDERATION, Imperial, opposed by Socialists, 173 f.
  why necessary, 478

FEEDING of school-children--_see_ Free Maintenance

FISCAL policy, Socialist views on, 285 ff.
  reform, why it is necessary, 474 ff.

FOOD--_see_ Agriculture and Protection

FORCED labour, necessity of, in Socialist Commonwealth, 455 ff.

FOREIGN policy, Socialist views on, 183 ff.

FOURIER, Communism of, 392 f.

FRANCE, aspect of, before the Revolution, 433

FRANCHISE and suffrage in Great Britain and other countries, 213

FREEDOM of contract useless to workers, 33

FREE love, 330 ff.
  maintenance for children, 138, 303 ff.
  trade and protection, Karl Marx on, 300
    Socialist views on, 285 ff.
    why it must be abandoned, 474 ff.

FRONTIERS are to be abolished, 184 ff.


GAMBLING spirit in Englishmen, 459

GERMAN and British Socialism compared, 88, 236, 432 f.
  Socialists' patriotic and imperial attitude, 181 f., 190 f., 205, 433
    views on colonial policy, 181 f, 190 f.
      Great Britain, 181 f., 190 f.

GERMANY, composition of electorate in, 440

GLASGOW, vast Socialist plans regarding, 252

GOD--_see_ Religion

GOLD and silver money are to be abolished, 21, 258 f., 278 ff.

GOVERNMENT--_see also_ Administration
  complaints about, 11 f., 394 ff., 411 ff.
  of Socialist State, 463 ff.

GREAT BRITAIN, aspect of, resembles pre-Revolution France, 433
  changed economic position of, 475 ff.
  dangerous position of, 484 f.
  German Socialists' views on, 181 f., 190 f.

GRIEVANCES of Socialists, 30 ff.

GRONLAND advises Socialists to appeal to the passions, 10


HALDANE, Mr., and Woolwich Arsenal dismissals, 296

HAMBURG DOCK strike, 295

HISTORY, all, is untrue, 91

HOME--_see_ Family

HOME RULE, Socialists and, 180

HOUSE OF COMMONS, Socialist views on the, 209 ff.

HOUSE OF LORDS, Socialist views on the, 211
    to be abolished, 109, 110, 216 i.

HUMAN nature and Socialism, 444 ff.

HUNGRY children--_see_ Free Maintenance


IDLING, how it is to be prevented, 457 ff.

IMMORALITY, sexual, Socialist views regarding, 336 ff.

IMPERIAL federation opposed by Socialists, 173 f.

INCOME, national, how divided between capitalists and workers, 40 ff.,
  75 ff.
  of workers and capitalists compared, 40 ff, 75 ff.

INCOME-TAX--_see_ Budget

INCREASING misery, law of, 56 ff.
  disproved, 57 f.

INDEBTEDNES, local, 246 ff.

INDEPENDENT LABOUR PARTY, details regarding, 417 f., 435 f.
  programme of, 485 f.

INDIA, Socialist views and aims regarding, 174 ff.

INHERITANCE, right of, 103 ff., 108

INTEMPERANCE--_see_ Drink, Drunkenness, Temperance

INTEREST, profit and rent are theft, 38, 80 ff., 102, 371, 374
  Socialist objections to, 38, 80, 258 f., 280 f.

INTERNATIONAL Arbitration, Socialists on, 188, 190 f.
  relations, Socialist views on, 183 ff., 469

INTOXICATING drink--_see_ Drink, Drunkenness, Temperance

IRON law of wages, 53 ff., 245, 312 f., 319 f.
  disproved, 54 ff., 313 f., 320


JUDGES, English, Socialists on, 325 f.

JUSTICE and Law, Socialist Views regarding, 100 f., 114, 325 ff., 396 f.


KEIR HARDIE resembles John the Baptist, 28


LABOUR CHURCH, the, and its teaching, 369
  fewer hours of, promised by Socialists, 117 f.
  forced, would be necessary in Socialist commonwealth, 455 ff.
  is the only source of wealth, 50 ff.
    disproved, 52
  organisation of, in Socialist commonwealth, 455 ff.
  Party, details regarding, 424 ff.
    informal programme of, 425 f.
  representation committee, details regarding, 424
  remuneration of, in Socialist commonwealth, 450 ff.
  sweated, proposals regarding, 461
  time theory, 450 f.

LABOURER is entitled to entire product of labour, 38, 61, 451
    absurdity of demand, 62 ff., 451 ff.
  receives only from one-third to one-fifth of his rightful wage, 30,
  43, 48 f.

LABOURERS, rural, 266 f.

LAND--_see_ also Agriculture
  and Landlords and Socialists, 145 ff.
  belongs to all, 102 f., 145 ff.
  individual men have no right to, 102 f., 145 ff.
  is to be had rent free from Socialist State, 146
  is not to be had rent free from Socialist State, 146 f.
  is to be seized without compensation to owners, 95 ff., 149 f., 486
  property in, is robbery, 38, 102, 145 ff., 370

LAND settlement policy of Socialists, 262 ff.

LAND Tax--_see_ Budget

LANDOWNERS and capitalists are thieves, 38, 102

LAW and Justice, Socialist views regarding, 100 f., 114, 325 ff., 396 f.
  iron, of wages, 53 ff., 245, 312 f., 319 f.
    disproved, 54 ff., 313 t, 320
  of increasing misery, 56 ff.
    disproved, 57 f.

LAZINESS, how it is to be prevented, 457 ff.

LIBERAL PARTY, Socialist dissatisfaction with, 233 ff.
  views of and attitude towards the, 226 ff.

LITERATURE, Socialist, increase of sales of, 435 ff.

LOAFERS and tramps, ideal conditions for, to be created by Socialists, 254

LOCAL expenditure, 245 f.
  Government, Socialist views and proposals regarding, 166, 240 ff.
  indebtedness, 246 ff.

LONDON, fantastic schemes regarding, 249 ff.

LORDS, abolition of the House of, demanded, 109, 110, 216 f.
  House of, views of Socialists on the, 211

LOVE, free, 330 ff.


MAGDEBURG, Socialism in, 440

MAINTENANCE, free, for children, demanded, 138, 303 ff.
  why demanded, 138, 308

MAN, brotherhood of, promised and proclaimed by Socialists, 25 f.,
  185 ff., 370, 382, 444
  has no right to himself, 102
  is not responsible for his actions, 327 f.

MAN, nature of, and Socialism, 444 ff.

MARRIAGE--_see also_ Family, Women
  is akin to prostitution, 335 f.

MARX and Engels, Communists' manifesto quoted, 77 f., 92, 103, 107 f.,
  112, 183 f., 332 f., 405

MARX, KARL, appreciation of, 89
  on Christianity and religion, 359, 366
  on Free Trade and Protection, 300
  on women and the family, 332 f.
  political programme of, 107 f.
  unmerited praise of, 88 f.
  was not a scientist, but a demagogue and a revolutionary, 472

MEALS, free, for school children--_see_ Free Maintenance

MEMBERS of Parliament, payment of, advocated, 213, 216

MIDDLE CLASS, importance of strengthening the, 441 ff.
  Socialistic attempt to permeate the, 442 f.

MIDDLEMAN, promised suppression of, by Socialists is illusory, 241 f.

MILITARY LAW, Socialist agitation against, 201 f.

MILLIONAIRES are criminals, 81

MINES and minerals to be taken over without compensation, 149

MIR, the, 388

MIRABEAU on paper money, 283 f.

MISERY, law of, increasing, 56 ff.
  disproved, 57 f.

MONARCHY, abolition of, 109, 110, 207 f.
  Socialism and the, 207 f.

MONEY, abolition of gold and silver proposed, 21, 258, 278 ff.
    consequences of, 279 f.
  banks and banking, Socialist views on, 258 f., 278 ff.

MORALITY, sexual. Socialist views regarding, 336 ff.

MUNICIPAL and national enterprise, inefficiency and wastefulness of,
  85 ff., 251 ff.
  enterprise, 240 ff.
  enterprises are undertaken regardless of cost and profit, 252 ff.
  Socialism, 240 ff.


NATIONAL budget, Socialist views regarding, 160 ff.
  debt, repudiation of, 110, 156 ff.
  enterprise, inefficiency and wastefulness of, 85 ff., 251 ff.
  income, how divided between capitalists and workers, 40 ff., 75 ff.

NATIONALISATION of land--_see_ Land

NATURE, human, and Socialism, 444 ff.


OFFENCES, sexual, Socialist views on, 340 ff.

OLD-AGE pensions, Socialist plans regarding, 19, 122 f.

OPINION, public, under Socialism, 466 f.

ORGANISATION of work proposed by Socialists, 17, 70 f., 124 I, 455 ff,
  fallacies regarding, 70 f., 85 ff., 124 f., 241 f.

ORGANISATIONS, Socialist, and their policy, 415 ff.

OVER-PRODUCTION, complaints as to, 66 f.
    are not justified, 70 f.
  can it be prevented by Socialists? 70 f., 124 f.
  is not the cause of crises and unemployment, but ill-balanced
  production, 70 f.

OVERWORK, complaints of, 16


PAPER money, unlimited issues of, proposed, 258 f., 278 ff.
  consequences of, 279 f.

PARIS Commune, Socialists and the insurrection of the, 407 ff.

PARLIAMENT, Socialism and, 209 ff.
  Socialist spirit in, 437 f.
  unofficial Socialists in, 438

PARLIAMENTARY Government to be abolished, 218 ff.

PARTIES, Socialist attitude towards the, 225 ff.
  the Socialist and their policy, 415 ff.

PASSIONS, Socialists appeal to the, 10, 446, 470

PATRIOTISM, Socialism is destructive of, 114, 186 f., 202 ff.

PAUPERISM and distress, growth of, under Socialist régime, 242 f.

PAYMENT of Members of Parliament advocated, 213, 216

PEACE conference, 189 ff.

PEASANT proprietors are everywhere hostile to Socialism, 263
  Socialists object to, 262 ff.

PEASANTRY, importance of re-creating the, 443

PENSIONS to workers, 19, 122

POLICY, agricultural, of Socialists--_see_ Agriculture
  and aims of Socialists, 92 ff.
  fiscal, of Socialists--_see_ Free Trade and Protection
  foreign, of Socialists--_see_ Foreign Policy

POPLAR, 243

POSTAGE, Socialist proposals regarding, 166 f.

POST OFFICE, British, praised by Socialists, 21
    condemned by Socialists, 411, 413
  fallacies regarding business aptitude of, 85 ff.
  servants, Socialist proposals regarding, 166 f.

POVERTY and drink and gambling, 166, 319, 479 f.
  extravagant Socialist estimates of, 165, 242, 302 f.
  complaints about, 16, 33, 165
  of the poor is caused by wealth of the rich, 30, 34 ff., 161
    disproved, 35, 159

PRESS, the, under Socialism, 466 f.

PRIVATE trader to be abolished, 242 ff.

PRODUCTION, ill-balanced, causes crises and unemployment, 70 f.
  is carried on for the profit of a class, 36
  is less important than distribution, 65 ff.
  is more important than distribution, 71

PROFIT, what it is and why it is necessary, 39, 45
  interest and rent are theft, 38, 80 ff., 102, 371, 374
  the working at a, objected to, 33, 38 ff., 252 ff.
  sharing in Socialist commonwealth, 459

PROGRAMME, political, of Karl Marx, 107 f.

PROGRAMMES of Socialism, 92, 107 ff., 481 ff.

PROPERTY--_see also_ Capital, Land, Mines
  instinct of, is as old as humanity, 444

"PROPERTY is theft," 81 f., 102, 370 f.

PROPERTY, private, general division of, disclaimed, 93
  is the real object of Socialism, 471 ff.
  private, is immoral, 80 ff.
    is to be acquired without compensation, 95 ff., 149 f., 486
    ought to be abolished, 82, 92
    Socialist plans regarding, 95 ff., 149 f.
  right to, denned by Socialists, 80, 96 ff., 102, 145

PROSTITUTION, 339 ff.
  is akin to marriage, 335 f.

PROTECTION, why it must be adopted, 474 ff.
  and Free Trade, Karl Marx on, 300
    Socialist views on, 285 ff.

PROUDHON quoted, 81, 90

PROVIDENCE--_see_ Thrift

PUBLIC opinion under Socialism, 466 f.


RAILWAY rates, preferential to foreigners denounced, 269 ff.

RAILWAYS and shipping, Socialist views on, 269 ff.
  nationalisation of, demanded, 271 f.
    seems too speculative an undertaking, 277
  should be run free of charge to all, 272 ff.
  wastefulness and inefficiency of, 269 ff.

RATES, alarming increase of, 245 f.
  increase of, means increase of rent, 243, 245

RED CATECHISM, the, 372 ff.

REFERENDUM demanded by Socialists, 217 ff.
  opposed by Socialists, 220

REFORM, fiscal, why it is necessary, 474 ff.
  social, the true, 480

RELIGION and Christianity, Socialist attitude towards, 354 ff.
  Socialism is a, 26, 364 ff.
  Socialist views on present, 13, 354 ff.
  the, of Socialism, 364 ff.

RENT, interest and profit are theft, 38, 80 ff., 102, 371, 374

REVOLUTION, French, parallels furnished to Socialist proposals by the,
  168 f., 283 f, 352 f., 365 f.
  aspect of France before the, 433
  Socialists and, 404 ff.

REVOLUTIONARY aims and plans of Socialists, 77 ff., 112 ff., 183 ff.,
  200 ff., 394 ff., 403, 404 ff., 410, 470 ff.

REVOLUTIONS always cause depravity of morals, 450

RICH, the, are the managers and trustees of the national wealth, 35
  are thieves, 80, 102, 370 f.
  cause poverty of the poor, 30, 34 ff., 161
    disproved, 35, 159

RICHES of the rich are the cause of poverty, 30, 34 ff., 161
  disproved, 35, 159

RIGHT to work, sinister aim of Socialists in proclaiming, 128 f.
  disregarded by Socialists, 461

RIGHTS of individual defined, 102

ROBBERY encouraged by Socialists, 82, 114

ROCHDALE Pioneers, history of the, 315 f.

RURAL labourers, 266 f.


SAVING--_see_ Thrift

SAVINGS, contemplated confiscation of, 157 ff.

SAVINGS banks deposits, 46

SELFISHNESS and Socialism, 444 ff.

SEXUAL crimes. Socialist views on, 340 ff.
  offences and crimes, 340 ff.

SMALL holdings, 262 ff.

SOCIAL-Democratic Federation, details regarding, 415 ff.
  programme of, 481 ff.

SOCIALISM and Anarchism, similarity of views and aims of, and connection
    between, 81, 90, 118, 328, 381 f., 394 ff.
  and Christianity and religion, 354 ff.
  and Communism, 381 ff.
  and education, 302 ff.
  and Free Trade and Protection, 285 ff.
  and law and justice, 325 ff.
  and the monarchy, 207 f.
  and Parliament, 209 ff.
  and revolution, 395 ff., 404 ff.
  appeals to passions, 10, 446, 470
  British and German compared, 88, 206
  Christian, 375 ff.
  definitions of, I ff., 390, 469
  flourishes on dissatisfaction and misery, 131
  fundamental doctrines of, 50 ff.
  growth and danger of, 431 ff.
  is a religion, 2, 26 ff., 364 ff.
  is a science, 1, 2, 3, 87
  is based, not on science, but on deception, 91
  is destructive of patriotism, 114, 186 f., 202 ff.
  is it possible? 444 ff.
  is merely a plan of spoliation and of general division, 471 f.
  is not a science, 87, 89 f., 470 ff.
  means absolutism, 460 ff.
  municipal, 240 ff.
    disregards cost and profit, 252 ff.
  presupposes perfect men, 444 ff.
  principal demand of, 92
  programme of, 92 ff.
  progress of, how it may be checked, 440 ff.
  promises to alter human nature, 448 f.
    to abolish war, 186 f., 189
    to make all races equal, 185 ff.
    why it is impossible, 390 f., 444 ff.

SOCIALIST and Anarchist doctrines compared, 81, 90 f.
  Labour Party, details regarding, 428
    programme of, 488 ff.
  literature, increase of sales of, 435 ff.
  organisations, the, and their policy, 415 ff.
  Party of Great Britain, details regarding, 428
    programme of, 487 f.
  spirit in Parliament, 437 f.
  State, how will it be governed? 463 ff.
    of the future, 5 f., 17 ff., 444 ff.
    -enterprise, will it be more efficient than private enterprise? 85 ff.
  Sunday schools, 369 ff.

SOCIALISTS, aims and policy of, 92 ff.
  and Chicago Anarchists, 401 f.
  and land and landlords, 145 ff.
  and revolution, 395 ff., 404 ff.
  and rural labourers, 266 f.
  and terrorist outrages, 402 f.
  and the Empire, 170 ff.
  and the two Parties, 225 ff.
  and the working masses, 115 ff.
  and Trade Unionists, official connection between, 141 ff., 434 f.
    relations between, 131 ff., 424 ff., 434 f.
  are antagonistic to providence, thrift, and temperance, 312 ff.
  are hostile to the Empire, 170 ff.
    to their own country, 114, 186 f.
  assert that all history is garbled, 91
  assert that man has no right to himself, 102
  condemn imperial administration, 179 f.
    national administration, 213 f., 394 ff., 411 ff.
    State Socialism, 411 ff.
  consist of two classes, revolutionaries and visionaries, 183
  demand free maintenance for children, 138
    Government purchase of all British railways and shipping, 271 ff.
  denounce co-operation, thrift, and abstinence, 131 ff.
  desire the destruction of the State, 381 f., 394 ff., 411 ff.
  different aims, proposals, and views of, 6 f.
  disregard right to work, 461
  encourage theft, 82
  excuse and encourage drunkenness, 319 ff.,
  grievances of the, 30 ff.
  numbers of, in various countries, 432
  on Free Trade and Protection, 285 ff.
  oppose co-operation, 84, 312
  promise brotherhood of man, 25 f., 185 ff., 370, 382, 444
    equal wages for all, 22
    gratis amusements, 22
      baths, 250
      clothing, 21
      concerts, 250
      food, 21
      fuel, 21
      libraries, 250
      lodging, 21
      travel and transport on railways and tramways, 22, 250, 272 S.
        on ships, 275 f.
      wash-houses, 250
      working men's clubs, 250
    to transform the world into a paradise, 19 ff.
  propose issuing paper money in unlimited quantities, 258 f., 278 ff.
  revolutionary aims and plans of, 77 ff., 112 ff., 183 ff., 200 ff.,
  394 ff., 403, 404 ff., 410
  try to destroy discipline in the army and so cause it to revolt, 200 ff.
  unofficial in Parliament, 438
  wish for an international language, 188
    to abolish parliamentary government, 218 ff.,
      the army, 192 ff.
      the existing languages, 310
      the monarchy, 109, 110, 207 f.
    to capture or abolish Parliament, 209 ff.
    to conquer Parliament, 238 f.
    to dissolve the army, 192 ff.
  German, on Peace Conferences, disarmament, and international
  arbitration, 190 f.
    patriotic and imperial attitude of, 181 f., 190 f., 205, 433
    views of, on colonial policy, 181 f., 190 f.
      regarding Great Britain, 181 f., 190 f.

SOCIETY, Socialist views on, 10 ff.

SPARTA, Communism in, 389

SPENCER, Herbert, 447 f.

SPOLIATION, plans of, 95 if., 149 f.
  probable result of, 168 f., 251 f., 254

STAMP duties, proposals regarding, 166 f.

STATE enterprise usually inefficient, 85 ff., 251 ff.
  Socialism, Socialist attitude towards, 411 ff.
  Socialist, of the future, 5 f., 17 ff., 444 ff.
    how will it be governed? 463 ff.
  Socialists are hostile to the, and desire its destruction, 381 f.,
  394 ff., 411 ff.

STOCKS, Municipal, are no longer first-class investments, 258

STUTTGART, International Socialist Congress at, 90, 177

SUFFRAGE, adult, demanded, 213
  and franchise in Great Britain and other countries, 213
  reform demanded, 213 f.

SUNDAY, will it be abolished? 365
  schools, Socialist, 369 ff.

SURPLUS-VALUE doctrine, 58 ff., 244 f.
  disproved, 59 f.

SWEATED labour proposals of Socialists, 461


TARIFF reform, Socialist views on, 285 ff.

TAXATION, indirect, condemned by Socialists, 165 f.
  leading Socialist principle of, 255
  local--_see_ Rates
  national--_see_ Budget

TAXING private property out of existence, plans for, 99 f., 149, 153,
  160 ff., 244 f., 255

TEMPERANCE condemned by British Socialists, 319 ff.
  praised and encouraged by foreign Socialists, 322 ff.
  providence, and thrift are antagonistic to Socialism, 131 ff., 312 ff.
    Socialistic views on, 131 ff., 311 ff.

TEN COMMANDMENTS, the capitalists', 368
  the Socialist, 371 f.

TERRORIST outrages. Socialist views on, 402 f.

THEFT encouraged by Socialists, 82, 114

THRIFT denounced by Socialists, 131 ff., 155, 311 ff.
  is immoral, 314 f.
  is theft, 155
  providence, and temperance are antagonistic to Socialism, 131 ff.,
  312 ff.
    Socialist views on, 131 ff., 311 ff.

TRADE Unionists and Socialists, official connection between, 141 ff.,
  434 f.
      relations between, 131 ff., 424 ff., 434 f.
  Unions and unemployed problem, 127 ff.
    have become Socialistic, 141 ff., 434 f., 471
    secretaries are to administer the Empire, 179

TRADER, private, to be abolished, 242 ff.

TRAMPS and loafers, ideal conditions for, to be created by Socialists, 254


UNDERFEEDING--_see_ Free Maintenance

UNEMPLOYED, the, 37, 474 ff.
  and agriculture, 266

UNEMPLOYMENT benefits employers, 69 f.
  could it be prevented by Socialists? 124 f.
  is due to private capital, 65 ff., 125 f.
    disproved, 126 f.
  real causes of, 70 f., 124 ff., 474 ff.
  sinister aims of Socialists regarding, 128 f.
  Socialist plans regarding, 123 ff.
    views on, 67 ff., 123 ff.

USURY--_see_ Interest


VOTES for women, 222 ff.


WAGES, amount and purchasing-power of, depends on production, 120 f.
  are to be abolished, 6, 21
  are not to be abolished, 22, 278, 386 f., 450 ff.
  are to be equal for all, 22, 278, 386 f., 450 ff.
  are not to be equal for all, 390, 450 ff.
  different views of Socialists regarding, 6, 450 ff.
  factors determining amount of, 54 ff., 313 f.
  great increase of, in Socialist State promised by Socialists, 118 ff.
    doubted by German Socialists, 120
  iron law of, 53 ff., 245, 312 f., 319 f.
    disproved, 54 ff., 313 f., 320
  rise in, 57 f.

WAR will be abolished by Socialists, 186 f., 189

WEALTH creates poverty, 30, 34 ff., 161
    disproved, 35, 159
  is a crime, 80 ff.
  labour is the only source of, 50 ff.
    disproved, 52
  love of, will disappear, 23, 448
  various sources of, 52
  why unequally distributed, 473

WEST HAM, 243, 363

WOMAN, the family, and the home. Socialism and, 330 ff.
  will be given the vote, 222 ff., 349
  will be made equal to man, 349 f.
  will be made free, 349
  will have to work for a living, 349 f.
  will her privileges be abolished? 350 f.
  will receive wages for childbearing, 345

WOMEN, community of, 331
  Karl Marx on, 332 f.

WOMEN'S Freedom League, 429
  Social and Political Union, 429
    split in, 429
  suffrage. Socialist views on, 222 ff.

WOOLWICH Arsenal dismissals, 296.

WORK, fewer hours of, promised by Socialists, 117 f.
  is a curse, 115
  organisation of, in Socialist Commonwealth, 455 ff.
  remuneration of, in Socialist Commonwealth, 450 ff.
  Socialist views regarding, 115 ff.

WORKERS and capitalists, division of national income between, 40 ff.,
  75 ft.
    relations between, 30 ff.
  are entitled to entire produce of their labour, 38, 61 ff., 451
    absurdity of demand, 62 ff., 451 ff.
  are most prosperous where capitalists are richest, 35, 159
  are swindled out of their earnings, 34
  become capitalists every day, 60
  British, are slaves, 15, 18, 31 f.
    how to improve conditions of, 474 ff.
  cannot acquire capital, 31 ff.
  expenditure of, on betting, 166, 479 f.
  on drink, 106, 319, 479 f.
  miserable state of, 13 ff.
  possess absolutely nothing, 33
  poverty of, 16, 33, 165
  receive only from one-third to one-fifth of their rightful wages,
  30, 43, 48 f.
  value of property owned by, 46

WORKING masses and Socialists, 115 ff.


PRINTED BY
SPOTTISWOODE AND C. LTD., NEW-STREET SQUARE
LONDON



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