The Economics of Socialism By Mr. Balfour Browne 1908
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A Lecture delivered before the above Society on the 5th instant, Mr. Joseph Patrick, C.A., in the chair.
It is the creed of Socialism that all wealth is produced by labour and that consequently to labour all wealth belongs. Many of those who profess this creed have some other ingenious tenets, but one illustration of the hare-brained fallacies of this blatant policy will suffice. Mr. Blatchford, the editor of the Clarion, says: "Just as no man can have a right to land because no man makes the land, so no man has a right to his self because he did not make that self." If the latter proposition is true it is difficult to see how the former can have any meaning. If a man does not belong to himself it is absurd to suppose that what he makes or produces belongs to him. But it is not such nonsensical metaphysics as this that will do any harm to the society in which we live, it is the economic promises which Socialism makes, which tickle the long ears of some who hear, and set palms itching for gains they can never grasp. In the same book Mr. Blatchford says: "It is true that at present the frugal workman only gets about one-third of his earnings, "under Socialism he, the worker, would get all his earnings." The calculation by which Socialists arrive at the conclusion that labour only receives one-third of the fruits of labour are curiously inaccurate. They start with a fallacy. When they use the word "labour" they mean the people to understand manual or muscular labour. It is well, as Mr. Pickwick said, "to shout with the largest mob." But the idiocy of supposing that all wealth is produced by hands is a supreme effort of nonsense. Even the carrier of a hod has to use some brains. But the real fact is that wealth is far more the creation of mind than of muscle, and if mere creation is to be the deeds of title, it is to genius and talent that wealth belongs rather than to the stupid hands which only do what they are bid. The man who makes the sweet furrow is the man who invented the plough, not the man who holds the stilts. The man who discovered the use of a fruit is more important to society than the man who merely gathers it.
Here, then, we are face to face with one of the staring economic fallacies of Socialism. I deny that it is "labour" in their sense that produces all wealth. I know that there is co-operation in the production of all values. Nature gives us the raw material, which is half the economic battle. Genius teaches us its uses—how to shape the iron, grow the grain, grind the corn, bake the bread. The sower had to be taught to scatter the grain which "lies warm in its earthy bed"; the reaper had to be taught to gather the harvest which the sun's alchemy has turned to gold for us. So much for the first great Socialist fallacy, one which is addressed, not without effect, to the eager cupidity of a class whose desire is "loot," and who are quite pleased to gratify their greed under the banner of Socialism, and the promise that the reward of their robbery will be a new heaven and a new earth.
But we must not in our criticisms do any injustice to the Socialist arguments. Socialism knows as well as we do that capital must exist. No Socialist desires to do away with capital; all they desire is to do away with the present capitalists. "Come, let us kill him, and the inheritance will be ours." The change then, although revolutionary—and to be brought about, as the Socialists themselves admit, by revolutionary methods—is not so great after all. It merely means a transfer of capital which is used in the production, the distribution, and exchange of wealth, from the hands of one set of persons to another. It is true it is a transfer from the hands of striving, competing individuals, who have under the pinch of poverty, under the incentive of self-interest, under the attraction of ambition, done the best they could for themselves and their families, into the hands of the officials of a Collectivist State—who will still be men, who will still be selfish, who will still be lazy, but who, I suppose, would do the best they could for themselves. As for their families, they would have none, for women and children are to belong not to men and their parents, but to the State. The object, then, of Socialism is to do away with all private property. Property is still to exist, but it is to be in the hands of the State bureau, for the benefit of all. That is what they think, or, at any rate, say.
Mr. Victor Grayson, when he was asked by a heckler, "Do you believe in private property?" answered, "I would nationalise the means of production, but a man would keep his toothbrush and toothpick." There is then to be some private property. But there is not much use in possessing, even for one's very own, those two indispensable articles of furniture unless the man has something to eat, and when he gets that surely that will be private property! Socialism will not follow the morsel into the alimentary canal. But suppose that the workman has got his "daily bread" for his day's work, and that that bread has become his private property. I suppose it would not be a crime on his part to eat the meat one day which had been earned on another day. He might like his grouse "high." But if he saves a meal, that is all that private property means. Capital is the past earnings of labour (in the larger sense), of genius, and of the bounty of nature. Thrift has turned the payments for these, which might have been consumed at once, into capital—a beneficial instrument, which, if invested, will put the poor to work, will increase the production of the country, and, therefore, increase the wealth of the community. We call the fruit of thrift savings; but it is capital; it pays wages to others, replaces capital which is worn out, and provides the new means of production and distribution which are always required in a progressive community for some dawning enterprise or promising adventure.
But the most important, the most "taking," Socialistic fallacy is that labour in future is to get all it earns. At present, as we have seen, the loose prints of Socialist literature assure the working man that he is cheated out of two-thirds of his earnings.
There is a radical theory—but most of the present day Radical theories are the stolen rags of Socialism—that as the value of the land increases with the increase of population the unearned increment should be taken away from the man who owns the land and given to the State. Why the State should have it I cannot say. But really almost all wealth is fortuitous. The land itself, the air, the sunshine, the workman himself, are all the gifts of a bountiful nature. But even when man has intervened and produced an article which has a value in exchange, the value is almost in every case an unearned value. If he has laboured for weeks and produces something that no one wants, he has produced no value. If he has laboured for an instant or two, and produced or brought to market something many people desire to have, by what is called "a stroke of luck" he has produced an article of value. It is, therefore, not his work, but others' wants that create wealth. Take the case of a railway. It is constructed between two towns, and in the course of time there is an increase in population. Let us suppose that this has resulted from the construction of the railway. Does this increased rateable value of the towns in question belong to the railway company? Or let us suppose that the increase in population is due to quite other causes, say, the discovery of valuable seams of coal in the vicinity of one of the towns. The goods passing between the two towns, the passengers travelling between them, increase. Here, then, is "unearned increment" to the railway company. I think if it belongs to anyone it ought to go to those who are developing the coal field The stocks and shares in the company increase in value, while the shareholder, an idle rich or an idle pool man, has done nothing to bring about the prosperity of the line. The increment is a piece of good fortune Is that to be taken away from him? But take the farmer's wealth on the labouring wain in the golden September, or the bulging turnips with their feathered heads in the crisp October! Was it his labour that brought about the bursting barn or the sweet winter food for the sheep and cattle? Not at all. It was the rich rains, the opulent sunshine. He sat idle while the spring and summer toiled for him. Are you going to take away the unearned increment from the farmer? But suppose I have a shop in a street, and the municipality or a company makes a tramway with a terminus close to my cunningly "dressed" window. My customers increase in number. I sell more of my wares. I have earned more, but without any extra labour. Is that to be taken from me? I am overdoing illustrations, but let me give you one more. Suppose there are two doctors in a provincial town, and that one of them dies. The practice of the successor is augmented. Are you going to take the increase from him? If you say "No" to all those questions you are answering the Radical contention that it is right to tax ground values and take from the owners of land the unearned increment.
But Socialism is more logical. The writer of one of the Fabian essays says: "No man can pretend to claim the fruits of his own labour, for his whole ability and "opportunity for working are plainly a vast inheritance "and contribution, of which he is but a transient and accidental beneficiary and steward, and his power of turning them to his own account depends entirely upon the desires and needs of other people for his services." Now, if that is so, Socialism claims to be entitled to deprive an individual of what he tins by his talent or labor personally produced, and to confer on the community the "unearned increment" derived from that personal ability. Where, then, is the economic advantage of Socialism to the worker? Under the capitalist system, by admission, he is allowed to keep one-third of his earnings, while the "fleecers" take two-thirds for themselves. Under the Socialist system he would have nothing for himself but the satisfaction of his needs, and the whole of his earnings would go to the State. It is, therefore, not true that under Socialism a workman will get all he earns, but this promise has touched the imagination of thousands of people in this toiling, moiling world.
The only sense in which such a statement can pretend to be true is that the earnings of every one will belong to the whole community, and of the total fund a man in this country might, after the revolution, be entitled to an undivided and indivisible 1-44 millionth part of the whole of the wealth. Well, much good may it do him.
You remember a pushing Britisher, who went on board a man-of-war at Portsmouth and asked to be shown over the vessel, on the ground that he was "one of the proprietors." "Oh," said the officer in charge, "one of the proprietors, of course," and he picked up a splinter of wood off the deck, and, handing it to the British subject, said, "Here, that's your share; be off!" It is only in a metaphysical sense that I can be said to be the part owner of all the pictures in the National Gallery. And the possession of all the wealth of the nation by all, is just as true under a capitalist as under a Socialist system.
But it is not true that all the earnings would go to the workers under Socialism. In my own view the propoition of the produced wealth which would go to the workers would be smaller after the revolution than before. But this is a fallacy which requires to be explained. If it can be shown that in future the workman will be a State slave, toiling for others and not paid for doing it, except by the satisfaction of his needs, how is he better off than the wage slave of to-day, who is paid one-third of the value of what he earns? He is in a worse plight economically, and, as for slavery, the slavery under capital may be whips, the slavery under Socialism will be scorpions.
One thing is obvious, and that is that the more that is produced the more there is to divide between Capital, Talent, and Labour. The system, then, which produces the greatest amount of wealth will be the best for the community as a whole. The question of equitable distribution amongst the contributories to the common stock of the nation is a different matter. Now there can be very little doubt that it is the capitalist system which produces the most wealth. Socialism proposes that there should be short and easy hours of labour, leisure and holidays for the workman, endowment for mothers, pensions for the old, free education and food for the young. These are the thieves of time. Production under such a system would diminish. Socialism is the endowment of sloth—the crowning incompetence. Dr. Schaffle says, I think rightly, that Socialism would "absolutely crush" out all willingness to labour on the part of the most skillful, and would thus result in an incalculable diminution "of the product of national labour, and hence also ot "wages." It must be obvious that when all men are to be equal, when a man is expected to work according to his ability, and to be paid, not according to his ability, but according to his needs, you are in fact bribing the able man to do the minimum amount of work. I agree with every word that Mr. Balfour said about this matter at Aston in November 1907. "The productive energies of this country must in future, as in the past, be based upon the individual energy of the citizens, and that individual energy can only be called forth by a system based upon the fact that what a man earns he possesses, and no greater injury can be done to the working classes of this country than to spread that feeling of insecurity about private property which is not the safeguard of the possessions of the rich so much as the absolute conditions upon which the production of rich and poor alike can alone successfully be carried on."
I agree, I say, that that dependence not on the individual energy of each citizen, incited to the best exertions by the hope of gain, but the falling back upon the compulsion which would be put upon every citizen of a Socialist State to do the minimum amount of work required by the State, would be a serious economic loss to the State as a whole. Instead of producing more, the workers would produce less. The disastrous result, therefore, of this Socialist expedient would be that the stock of wealth to be divided between the forty-four million people in this country would be diminished. This, then, would be a serious economic mistake on the part of Socialism. The modern corvee would be a blunder. No slave labour produces the same amount of value as free labour. Indeed, the policy of the one is to shirk, of the other to "toil terribly." It is the prizes of wealth, of position, of ambition, which tempt the man.
But, again, it is accumulated wealth which is of importance to a nation. Your Socialist State would try to live from hand to mouth. But to carry out great enterprises you require a "head" of capital, just as to get water to a great height you require a head of pressure. But individual thrift is like the thousand hollows in the hills which keep the showers in their hearts and feed the streams for months after the rain has ceased. This would be another disability of Socialism. If the State determined to remedy this and save large sums from the annual revenue for the purpose of future enterprise, all this would have to be taken from the wealth which is said to be produced by the workman, and which is said to belong to him. If it does belong to him he is not much better off by reason of the fact that it is in the State bank rather than in the private account of individuals, whose thrift has made a dam for the storage of the capital, which will set all your mills working just as the water in the reservoir will.
But there is another economic aspect of Socialism which it is worth looking at. We have seen the tempting bait which is dangled before the workman that to-day he only gets a fraction, under Socialism he would get the whole of the earnings of his labour. I have pointed out that the calculations of the figures of the division are the exaggerations which the heat of rhetoric always produce, and it is this heat that inflates balloons, which catch the eye and impress the imagination, especially if it is an imagination which flares up in the frame of a man who has hunger under his belt. Anyone can understand the fascination of Socialism when he appreciates the fact that in place of the "fleecing," and "cheating," and robbing of the poor, which is said to go on to-day, Socialism promises the hungry workman all that he earns. He is told, "You make it all; it is all yours." Mr. Grayson put up posters on the walls for election purposes with the taking cry on them "Ours for us." And Mr. Blatchford says, "At present the frugal workman only gets about one-third of his earnings; under Socialism he (the worker) would get all his earnings." This is a promise that the workman shall receive the entire product of labour and capital, and it is tempting—very tempting. But these economics are false. It is quite obvious that the workman will not get all he earns, even if it were true—which it is not—that labour produced the whole of the value.
First, Socialism is not foolish enough to suppose that any economic enterprise can get on without capital. As we have seen, it recognises the necessity of capital, but asserts it is in the wrong hands. But if to-morrow the whole of the capital was in the hands of the State, that capital would have to be managed, expended, and superintended by men. There would have to be a treasury bureau of gigantic proportions, with its red tape over all the capital of the country. But that bureau would have to be paid, or, at any rate, fed. The officials —they would be in shoals—must be a charge or tax on the gains of the workmen who produce all the gains. Even after the revolution it would not be "ours for us" But if there is to be capital, capital has a maw, and must be satisfied out of the total wealth. Machinery not only requires repair, but it requires renewal and improvement. In capitalist hands the renewal and improvement of machinery which is worn out, or which has become obsolete, has to come out of the receipts before the enjoyment of profit. And so it must be in a Socialist State. That must be paid before the labourer gets the gain of his labour. But a Socialist State is to be a State, and the staff under such a State would be enormous, as the duties devolving on the officials would be great. Not only would the Socialist Government have to perform all the functions that the Government of to-day does, but a great many more. The Government under Socialism is not only to be the policeman, the letter-carrier, the telegraphist, the judge, the commander of the army and the fleet, but is to run the railways, the manufactories, the ships, the mines, the bakeries of the nation. They would, too, have to be the ganger of the workmen, the compellor of labour, the regulator of production. "Suppose," said Herbert Spencer, "now that this industrial regime of willinghood acting spontaneously is replaced by a regime of industrial obedience enforced by public officials, imagine the vast administration "required for that distribution of all commodities, to all people in every city, town, and village, which is now effected by traders!" But all these servants of the State— and their name would be "legion"—would, however essential, be men who would be producing nothing in the Socialist sense, who would not be earning anything, and yet who would have to divide with the real producers—the workers—the fruits of their toil. Now the only question is whether these would take more out of the total wealth than is taken by the non-productive class—the men who at present organise capital, who regulate production at present. It is in this direction that the Socialist cannot help us. One writer says, "It is when we come to the question of the economic organisation of the future, the methods of direction and management, that the light fails, and we must grope our way into the great unknown." I would rather not accompany Socialists into the dark. Indeed, another Socialist writer, Mr. Kirkup, says: "It is the new type of industry and economic organisation, the practicability of which must be decided by the test of experience. The present competitive system must, therefore, be regarded as holding the field until Socialism has given adequate proof of the practicability of the theory which it offers." This groping reminds one of the Chinaman who stole a watch and who returned the next day to ask how to wind it up. Socialists could expropriate capitalists, but they would have to learn how to use capital.
But to our thinking there is evidence enough to condemn Socialism as a rash and ridiculous experiment. If it is true, as M. Emile Faquet writes, that "In truth, in the Socialist State I see half the nation occupied in compelling the other half to work," and I believe it is, what becomes of the boast that the labourer is to have all he earns? We have seen that there will be first the claims of capital for management, for renewal, for improvement, for extension, and for new enterprise, to be met out of these daily earnings, and now emerging this huge and tyrannical machine, the half of the nation occupied in compelling the other half to work. Here is a charge on the earnings of labour—before labour gets even its daily bread—and, if M. Faquet is right, this last demand alone would make labour the ultimate recipient only of half its poor productions. But there is a great deal more to come off his earnings before he receives the "all" that is promised him. The Socialist State of the future, unless it can time its Socialisation at the precise moment that all other countries in the world become Socialist too, will require an army and a fleet. It is true you may call it a "National Citizen Force," as some Socialists do, in order to get rid of the difficulty of having an organisation in a Collectivist State, with its ranks, its officers, its commands, its obedience, but call it what you will, the citizen soldiers and sailors must be fed, and as they produce no wealth, they must be a tax and a burden upon the gains of the workmen who are supposed to produce all value. It is possible to conceive that the State would still require ministers and ambassadors, and all these must be paid or fed. These illustrations show that we are only cheating the workman when we assure him that he will have all he earns. The "parasites" on a Socialist State will be more numerous than the parasites on a Capitalist State. Under it mothers are to be endowed "during lactation," the old to be maintained, the sick to be cared for and maintained, the young to be fed—by the State, out of the labour of the workman. But there is another difficulty in the Socialists' way. If this country were self-contained the experiment of communism might be made more easily. It would be possible to fix a subsistence allowance, a labour day, and a great many other things, but if our foreign trade is to continue, if we are to have any international commercial relations, then the element of competition enters into our production and exchange, and it may be necessary to sell our wares not at the price which equals the cost of production, but at another and lower price, in which case again the poor workman is cheated out of some of the earnings which were promised him.
Again, I pointed out that the Socialists saw that capital must exist. Of course, the first acquisition of capital by a Socialist State from its present owner by meansof the crowbar of revolution might seem easy enough. We have seen such experiments made on a large scale in history, and, on a small scale, any day in the records of police courts. They will "restore" the land to the people without compensation to the present owners. They will appropriate the means of production (manufactories and mines) and distribution (railways and ships) without paying for them. You remember the two vendors of brooms who met to discuss business matters. One said to the other, " I cannot understand how "you can sell your brooms cheaper than I can. I steal the "twigs which make the besom. I steal the handle, and I steal the string." "But I," said the other, a superior tradesman, "I steal the brooms ready made." If the Socialist State would follow that example they would steal the railways, mills, and mines ready made. But that would only tide them over a very short time. The total wealth of England is valued roughly at £8,000,000,000, and that is not much more than four times the total annual income of the country, which probably amounts to £1,700,000,000. But, as we have seen, machinery wears out, the progress of manufacture requires improvements every day. If Socialism stood still in this country, the people would starve. The State must go in in competition with other countries as our manufacturers do to-day. But to meet the wants of the future there must be accumulations of capital, for the £8,000,000,000 will not last long, and these accumulations in the hands of the State must again come out of the gains of labour before the poor slave gets his subsistence wage, which would be all that was given in answer to the clamour of his needs. And this is the man who was promised all and gets nothing—poor dupe!
One Socialist writer, with the view of misleading the poor pigeons of Socialism, writes thus: "Under Socialism, if Jones prefers objets d'art, and Smith prefers fast horses or a steam yacht, each will be free to follow his inclinations so far as his resources will permit." That is a good saving clause, "resources would permit." But does not Mr. Spargo see that the thing is impossible? If there can be private property in a Velasquez or a steam yacht there can be private property in anything. Indeed, his illustration shows that he contemplates the possibility of a capitalist class, which, under Socialism, is absurd. Mr. Grayson is on safer ground when he limits a man's possessions to his toothpick and toothbrush. I am not sure that, like the selfmade man who used to speak about "my house, and my carriage, and my servants," who was reproved by his wife, who suggested that it would be better to say "our," and who took the curtain lecture to heart, and the next morning when dressing was seen by his wife searching for something. She asked him, "what have you lost, what are you looking for?' "I am seeking for my—for our trousers," he answered. I am not certain, I say, that under a Socialist State our trousers would be our own. But I am certain that if under the Socialist regime a man might not own his own wife or children, it would be out of the question to recognise his ownership of a steam yacht. No, all these must belong to the cormorant State.
But there is another economic fallacy which will probably bring any Socialist community to grief, and that is a claim upon the part of workers to have work supplied by the State. The request is only that the State should perform miracles. The thing that gives work is desire unsatisfied. To begin at the wrong end, and do work when there are no desires or wants, is to make a huge economic
mistake. It is a mistake which has been made before, and has always failed. Work not wanted is waste. But the claim of the "right to work" sounds honest. I am, of course, persuaded that statecraft may do everything it can to see that the trade of this country is fairly treated in foreign markets; further, may by negotiation with our Colonies secure by preference the exchange of products between the various parts of the Empire. So far as the claim of a right to work depends upon such State assistance, I am in favour of the recognition of the claim. But in such an event the inducement to work comes through the natural channels of demand. All that the State has done is to prevent these natural channels being blocked by tariffsluices or diverted by the insidious channels of subsidies. But this claim of a right to work, whether there is any demand for the product or not, is only a claim to alms. The wages paid under such circumstances is only a more occult form of poor law relief. But universal poor law relief is obviously a futile expedient. But the experiments which have been made to put philanthropic fads in place of economic laws have been failures. The experiment was made under favourable circumstances at the instance of Louis Blanc in 1848. With the help of the Government he established a national workshop in answer to this claim of "a right to work." There was to be work for all who wanted it. A co-operative tailors' establishment was set up at the Hotel Clichy, and the experiment is described in The Economist of 20th May 1848. The account there given is too long to quote. The facts were these: The Government furnished the capital necessary for the experiment without charging interest. It gave the national workshop an order for 25,000 uniforms for the National Guard to begin with. The Government further agreed to pay the same contract price as private enterprise demanded, viz., eleven francs for each uniform. Fifteen hundred men were set to work under these most favourable circumstances. The Government was determined to load its economic dice, and promised to advance two francs (is, 7d.) to each man as "subsistence money," pending the ultimate division of profits. All this sounds like a dress rehearsal of Socialism. But when the accounts came in it turned out that instead of profit there was a loss. Every uniform had cost sixteen francs instead of eleven. The master tailors of Paris, who could still produce uniforms at eleven francs each, laughed in their sleeves, and the State retired from the business of national workshops and no longer recognised the "right to work." Lord Morley of Blackburn (then Mr. Morley), in speaking to a deputation of Labour and Socialist bodies on January 6 1906, summed up the history of the ateliers nationaux. The experiment, he said, of compelling the State to provide work at a standard wage "was tried in France in 1848, and what was the effect? There they set up public workshops and the rest of it, and they paid a wage at a very high rate. The result was that private enterprise was drained dry. The end was ruin in six months, private workshops were injured, the men were no better off, and it ended in a bloody and sanguinary catastrophe."
The economic results of such experiments made by Socialism must be a loss to the community, and in the future we will hear of ateliers nationaux and the employment of the unemployed on a colossal scale, and this must be borne by all the wealth, which is, we are told, produced by labour.
That brings me to consider the economic losses of a community. I have said, and I think most people will agree, that our present system is that which conduces roost to individual effort, to heroic enterprise. A man is in earnest when he is doing something for himself. We would then, under a Co-operative Commonwealth have none of the spires of enterprise which jut out over the common roofs of to-day. It is the envy of the meaner thatch which aims at their absence from an intruded on heaven. But for one promontory amongst men there are a dozen bays. We see the millionaire who has succeeded; we take no note of the fifty toiling geniuses who have failed. If you look at the patent list you will find that not more than one device in fifty turns out to be of any service. How many of the printed things which come helter-skelter from our press are real books? But do not suppose that the State is not indebted to these martyrs its failures. It is the innumerable attempts which result in the crowning success. Now under Socialism there would be no room for this. That men should toil and fail would be a crime in that new State where there is to be no recognition of ability, no tolerance for noble failure. Here, again, in my view the commonwealth would be an economic blunder. But the State itself must make losses. We have instanced the case of the wear and tear of machinery, the obsoletion of designs; but there are other losses, and they are innumerable, which Socialism must write off before the "hand" gets all it earns. Suppose that Socialism bas in the neighbourhood of a coal pit "set up one great kitchen, one general dining hall, and one pleasant tea garden, and that is the Socialist ideal of comfort under communism, and the seams are exhausted. The collier will have to go elsewhere under the direction of a drill sergeant State, but the hall, the kitchen, and the tea garden are left desolate. That obsoletion must be paid for out of the pockets, or if they have no pockets (for Nature has a way of atrophying and doing away with organs that are of no use, and the "pocket " will cease to exist, indeed even now it is regarded as a relic of barbarous capitalism), out of their labour.
Now, as a matter of account, we know to-day that all these things which I have referred to are paid out of capital, and in the future State would be a charge upon labour, and the question for economists is, Would the residue under Socialism which went to what they call "labour" be greater or less than it is to-day? Socialism, as we have seen, offers no answer to that all-important question, and invites us to "grope our way into the great unknown." I believe that anyone who will consider the question will, on the Socialists' own showing, come to the conclusion that the burden upon labour, upon the worker before he gets his wages, would be more onerous in the promised land of Socialism than in the not very satisfactory realm of to-day. Suppose I am right, and that there was no improvement in this respect, and that labour had still to be content with its pittance of one-third, then what have you effected by your revolution? Nothing. What has become of all your promises? You have done away with enterprise and produced sloth. You have done away with competition and produced monopoly, which only means the taxation of the industrious for the support of the indolent, regulating, and bureaucratic classes. You have done away with individual liberty and produced a crushing tyranny. And for what? To give the earner an interest in a larger portion of the productions of land, capital, talent, and work, and you have failed in that. You promised an Eldorado, and we are still in a slum.
I have not attempted to deal with the Morals of Socialism, because it has none. Its honesty is on a par with its morals. Its loyalty stands for the abolition of monarchy, of course. Its religion is atheism. I have only dealt with some economic aspects of a communistic regime. I am convinced that these economics are a mistake. The plan of the Socialists, even with the initial advantage of appropriation without payment, could only end in disastrous failure; and the revolution, which in fleeing from the evils of to-day had achieved only slavery and misery for the masses, would be followed by another revolution which would hark back to the better economic conditions of our own despised time.
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