Monday, October 17, 2016
Eminent Men of the Past who Denounced Socialism, 1906
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Socialism Means Industrial Bondage by Herbert Spencer 1906
It is not chiefly in the interests of the employing class that socialism is to be resisted, but much more in the interests of the employed class. In one way or other production must be regulated; and the regulators, in the nature of things, must always be a small class compared with the actual producer. Under voluntary cooperation, as at present carried on, the regulators, pursuing their personal interests, take as large a share of the produce as they can get; but, as we are daily shown by trades-union successes, are restrained in the selfish pursuit of their ends. Under that compulsory co-operation which socialism would necessitate the regulators, pursuing their personal interests with no less selfishness, could not be met by the combined resistance of free workers; and their power, unchecked as now by refusals to work save on prescribed terms, would grow, and ramify, and consolidate till it became irresistible. The ultimate result must be a society like that of ancient Peru, dreadful to contemplate, in which the mass of the people, elaborately regimented in groups of 10, 50, 100, 500, and 1,000, ruled by officers of corresponding grades, and tied to their districts, were superintended in their private lives as well as in their industries, and toiled hopelessly for the support of the governmental organisation.
The Impossibility Of Equality by J. Fitzjames Stephen
Legislate how you will; establish universal suffrage, if you think proper, as a law which can never be broken. You are still as far as ever from political equality. Political power has changed its shape, but not its nature. The result of cutting it up into little bits is simply that the man who can sweep the greatest number of them into a heap will govern the rest. The strongest man in some form or other will always rule the rest. If the Government is a military one, the qualities which make a man a great soldier will make him a ruler. If the Government is a monarchy, the qualities which kings value in counsellors, in generals, in administrators, will give power. In a pure democracy the ruling men will be the wire-pullers and their friends; but they will no more be on an equality with the voters than soldiers or Ministers of State are on an equality with the subjects of a monarchy. Changes in the form of government alter the conditions of superiority more than its nature In all ages and under all circumstances the rank and file are directed by leaders of one kind or another who get the command of their collective force In short, the sub-division of political power has no more to do with equality than with liberty.
The State Should Be Merely A Watch-dog by Hippolyte Adolphe Taine
The State uses the money it extorts from me to impose upon me unjust constraint. Such is the case when it prescribes for me its theology or its philosophy, when it forbids or insists upon a cult, when it pretends to regulate my morals and manners, limit my work or my expenditure, control and direct the education of my children, or fix the tariff of my merchandise or the amount of my salary. By the aid of the gold which I do not owe it, and which it steals from me, it defrays the expenses of the persecution it inflicts upon me. Let us jealously watch the encroachments of the State, and never suffer it to become more than a watch-dog.
Property The Basis Of Civilisation And Liberty by Joseph Cowen
The things that are produced by man, purchased by him, or given to him by others, who fairly own them, are his and no others. But it may be said he has a superfluity, while others want. Possibly. Still the State cannot honestly or wisely sequestrate. If it could, what would follow? The man would cease to labour. He would not work if the fruits of his toil were to be confiscated. He may give of his free will out of his abundance. That may be a moral obligation; but his obligation to give does not entitle the State to take. The institution of property and its security are the basis of civilisation and liberty.
A Plea For Liberty.
Every human being has an organisation peculiar to himself. He has his own life to live, his own work to do, and no one can live the one or do the other for him. It is with man as with nature. Each plant grows by itself, in the sunshine or the shade. The thistle gives no laws to the convolvulus; the oak and the willow have their different growths; the rose and the daisy have their different forms and hues. But each has its separate function, and each has its distinctive beauty. In humanity there is the same unbounded diversity. So all men, however different their capacity, should have equal liberty of germination. The same sun warms them, and the same wind breathes to them melodiously. Let each have the space and the culture most fitted for the unchecked unfolding of his powers.
The Evils Of Meddlesome Legislation.
The result of every attempt made to promote the well-being of mankind by taking the management of their affairs out of their own control, has been to deteriorate and not to improve their condition. It is through the perpetual gymnastics of political life that national character is purified, elevated, and strengthened. The State is a growth, and not a machine. It should have a free organic life. It is invested with authority to punish crime, and it cannot, with reason, be denied the power of preventing it. But this ought not to be a justification for meddlesome, inquisitorial, and enervating legislation, which aggravates the evil it is designed to cure. Under its operation society becomes stationary, torpid, and inactive. Uniformity produces monotony and stagnation. The State has no right to attempt to regulate the private actions of individuals, or to entrench upon their primary relations with one another. The stereotyping men into systems—encasing them in legal armour; dangling before them material Utopias; making the fleshpots the pivot on which all their efforts turn—is a prostitution of national aspirations, a violation of human liberty, an encroachment on individual life, and a barrier to progress.
The Land Nationalisation Folly by Thorold Rogers
The policy which would make the State the universal landlord, after providing for the compensation of existing interests, would only be less fatal and foolish than that which confiscated theft without compensation. It would confer on the State the most gigantic functions, which would require for their administration at machinery which, were it entirely honest and thoroughly efficient, would cost more than all the project hoped to gain; would create an enormous body of fundholders, recipients of the rents which the Government received for the use of the national estate — fundholders who would not be, by the very terms of the bargain, tied by a single responsibility to the society which paid them the dividends on the new stock; and would certainly lead to a bureaucracy which would be vexatious, inquisitorial, and corrupt. If the State is to revise its contracts with its tenants periodically, the tenant will be divested of all motives to improve his holding; if the new tenancy is to be a permanent one, the state of things which the nationalisation of the land was intended to obviate will instantly recommence.
"Laissez Faire." by John Stuart Mill
In proportion as the people are accustomed to manage their own affairs, by their own active intervention, instead of leaving them to the Government, their desires will turn to repelling tyranny rather than to tyrannising. Let alone, in short, should be the general practice; every departure from it, unless required by some great good, is a certain evil.
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