Puslapio vaizdai

"Who, for the poor renown of being smart,

Would leave a sting within a brother's heart."

If now it be asked whether Socialism proposes to remunerate all citizens in the employ of the State equally, we answer no. Some classes of workmen require more than others. The character of the work as to intensity, health, agreeableness, and many other features must be taken into


Socialism would not, however, tolerate a system of remuneration that would enable one member of the social body to be rich and lord it over another who was equally worthy and deserving. It would banish only such inequalities as spring from what is vicious in human nature, and cause men to hate and trample upon each other. It would uphold a law of wages founded in social justice, consonant with the principles of brotherhood, and sanctioned by the gospel of God.

Such is the moral foundation of the law of wages that Marx and all Socialists would adopt. It is essentially equitable and Christian, and if it be unscientific and uneconomic, so much the worse for science, falsely so called.

It is charged that this law of wages proposes to place an equal value upon all labor-time. This charge we have shown to have been conceived in prejudice, brought forth in misunderstanding, and maintained in misrepresentation.

VIII. As to the Impairment of Motives to Exertion.

"No thinking man will controvert that associated industry is the most powerful agent of production, and that the principle of association is susceptible of further and beneficial development." - JOHN STUART MILL.

It is objected to Socialism that it would impair the motives to exertion, and thus diminish production and retard progress. "The purely economic argument against Socialism is that it would be less efficient in producing wealth." This is important if true. Mr. Rae says, "The incentives to energy of production would be relaxed."1 Again he tell us that "producer's wealth, they [Socialists]

1 "Contemporary Socialism," p. 363.

hold, should be common property, and neither be owned nor inherited by individuals. If this theory were to be enforced it would be fatal to progress."

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It is admitted that without incentive men will not labor; that without labor there can be no production; and that without production there can be no progress; and, further, that, cæteris paribus, in proportion as these causes operate will be their respective effects. But this is not in issue. The question is, would Socialism weaken individual incentive and occasion the ills complained of? Mr. Rae answers in the affirmative. How does he know? He does not. He boldly assumes that society is still, and must continue to be, in that stage of development in which, if every man fights for himself and all fight each other, "production" and "progress " will be greater than if all the members of society should work together for a common end under a system of co-operation. Such co-operation is Socialism. In opposing Socialism, Mr. Rae finds it necessary to lay down the principle that in dis-union there is strength; a principle that antagonizes all history and experience.

The following considerations are pertinent to this subject:

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1. This objection does not affect the principles of Socialism, but only its modus operandi.


2. The objection is founded on the assumptions of the existing political economy, and is true under this system, but has no application to a Socialistic state. Adam Smith said, "A person who can acquire no property can have no other interest but to eat as much, and to labor as little, as possible." He is speaking only of slave labor under a capitalistic régime. His statement is a general truth. Under Socialism, where every one is a freeman and a joint owner of the entire capital, and the conditions are different, toto cœlo, it is unwarrantably declared that the results will be the same.

3. It is evident that no one can safely dogmatize in this Dr. Woolsey frankly admits that "an unknown


1 "Contemporary Socialism," p. 365.

3 "The Wealth of Nations" (Rogers' Edition), vol. i., p. 391.

quantity enters into the question. Everything depends on the influence of the new conditions of work and on the new causes in general acting upon the character of the workmen themselves. Will they be made manly, self-relying, conscientious, and provident, or the opposite of all this?"1 4. It is conceded that an economic interest on the part of the individual must be maintained under Socialism. Schæffle says, "Socialism would have to give the individual at least as strong an interest in the collective work as he has under the liberal system of production. It would have to secure to every sub-group a premium on extraordinary amounts of collective production, and a loss through collective slackness; . . . to bestow effective distinction on all special success in technical development, and duly to reward great individual merit." 2 It by no means follows, however, that the interest in the one system need be exactly equal to that in the other. An excess of economic zeal has destroyed the harmony and happiness of many lives.

5. The objection under consideration proceeds on the assumption that economic interest under any régime necessarily depends for its healthy existence and operation upon the opportunity and expectation of accumulating private riches. This assumption cannot for a moment be admitted.

6. Inasmuch as the income and social well-being of every individual would depend, first, upon his own zeal, and second, upon the zeal of others, he would be doubly interested in securing the largest possible product; for his share of this product would measure the amount of necessary comforts and luxuries which he would receive. Each workman would, therefore, have a personal interest in the work of every other. A careless or lazy workman would receive less than the more worthy; every one would be interested in the efficiency of labor, by which cost would be reduced and the social product increased. So far from impairing the motive to effort, it is easy to imagine almost any degree of honest pride and enthusiasm of labor when 1 "Communism and Socialism," p. 211. 24 'Quintessence of Socialism," p. 57.

every workman had a personal interest in the work of every other; and, on the other hand, the detestation with which idleness and laziness would be regarded when these vices assumed the character of direct injury to one's fellows and of treason to the State.

7. Because public functionaries in a capitalistic state are often indifferent as to economic results, it is erroneously inferred that the same would be true in the Socialistic state. "It would," we are told, "render universal the maladministration inherent in all public productive departments." It is entirely overlooked that the conditions are wholly changed. Under capitalism, the official has no economic interest at stake. Under Socialism, such interest is bound up with the results of the social production. In the former case he draws his pay regardless of the quality of his work; in the latter, both pay and position are affected by the quality of work. It is certain that when political preferment and honor depended upon economic products, a stimulus would be given to production.

8. At present large numbers do not work; they have no contact with labor, no interest in lightening its burden or improving its methods. Under Socialism, all are workers; all will therefore have an interest in lightening the burden of labor, and we might reasonably expect an era of labor-saving inventions such as capitalism has never dreamed of.

9. There are other motives to exertion even stronger than the desire of riches, but which are generally ignored by the critics of Socialism. There are, besides the demands which satisfy merely physical wants, the love of glory, the desire of esteem, family affection, the love of justice, the passion for knowledge, and even the religious principle, all of which are springs of human activity often more potent than the love of money; and when their activity and realization are made to depend entirely upon labor, manual, mental, or moral, is it reasonable to suppose that there would be any lack of incentive to economic or other social effort?

We have only to witness the generous and wholesome

rivalries among a thousand college students where the stimulus of pecuniary reward is unknown, to satisfy us on this point. We speak from personal observation and knowledge in saying that we have never witnessed a nobler ambition and spirit of self-sacrifice than was displayed in the army that suppressed the Rebellion. Soldiers, without the least regard to a money consideration, vied with each other in performing the most difficult and dangerous duties. 10. The maxim, Each for all and all for each, admits and demands only that kind and degree of self-interest which is just or tolerable in a state of society.

11. It is inherently probable that production would be. vastly greater when men assisted and encouraged each other, than when they opposed and ruined each other. To hold to the contrary is anarchistic, unethical, and unnatural. It is virtually to abandon all faith in God and all hope of the race.

12. Experience does not sustain this charge. Co-operative enterprises in which the share of each is affected by the total result, show no abatement, but rather an increase, of private zeal. This is one of the advantages urged in favor of co-operation. Does the soundness of the principle depend upon the size of the co-operative establishment? Evidently not: then it holds good of the co-operative commonwealth.

13. The capitalistic system, by depriving wage-workers of a just share in the product, tends to destroy their interest in the work, and to render them lazy, wasteful, and inefficient. In his excellent work on "Profit Sharing," N. P. Gilman holds that "the wages-system, viewed in its simplest form of time-wages, does not supply the necessary motives for the workman to do his best."1

The bitterest and most universal complaint of employers of labor is, "The workmen take no interest in their work." 14. A clear distinction should be made between the motives to efforts for a comfortable subsistence, and the motives to efforts for acquiring riches. It is the last class of motives of which capitalism is ever jealous, but for which

1 "Profit Sharing," p. 62.

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