صور الصفحة
PDF
النشر الإلكتروني

much may

deny that there is adequate social advantage in a system which permits him to convert this claim into a lien for a perpetual annuity, an enduring tribute from the workers for the use of that which only their using can keep from perishing, while he retains undiminished all the time his claim to the repayment of the original “saving."

The "saving" of capital, the increase of the instruments of production and of permanent commodities by the abstention from consumption of all wealth produced, is undoubtedly an advantage to society. If any individual, for the sake of rendering such advantages to society, abstains in any year from himself consuming all that he has earned, by all means let him be repaid in his old age, or whenever he wants the equivalent of his past activity. Why should we not, as a transitional expedient, treat such economizers as we treat inventors, and if they will not work without such a precise guarantee, if they are still purely individualist in their motive for activity, give them such a reward as we give individualist inventors* in their patent rights, so long as such encouragement is necessary for the creation and interest of our capital. But let that which society has maintained and fructified invariably pass to society within a limited period. So earned inccincosyssary for the present to promote saving out of

cap. saving out of the unearned incomes of rent and interest socie.,n even now take its own measures by taxation for the increase of public capital. As soon as industrial capital is owned by those who use it, provision out of income for all necessary maintenance and increase of the instruments of production will be an ordinary and obvious element in its administration, as it is now in a joint stock company, and our present precarious dependence on the caprice or acquisitiveness of individuals will be superseded.

We appeal, therefore, to Land Nationalizers to consider their reason for hesitating to work with us for the

Nationalization of Capital, on the ground that the evolution of industry has rendered land and capital indistinguishable and equally indispensable as instruments of production, and that, holding with J. S. Mill that the “deepest root of the evils and iniquities which fill the industrial world is ... the subjection of labor to capital, and the enormous share which the possessors of the instruments of industry are able to take from the produce," t we see clearly that if they would make any improve. ment in the condition of the agricultural laborer and his fellow wageslave in the towns, they will be forced to abandon the illogical distinctions that are sometimes drawn between the instruments with which they work.

bee

Non-individualist inventors are those who, like the late Thomas Stevenson (lighthouse engineering), Michael Faraday (industrial chemistry and electricity), Sir William Simpson (anästhetics), and a host of others, return gratuitously to society the fruits of their inventive genius, and take out no patents. † Quotation from Feugueray, in Principles of Political Economy, p. 477, edn. of 1865.

As instruments of production, the use and value of land and capital alike are due to human labor ; alike they are used for the hindrance or exploitation of industry by their proprietor ; alike they are limited in quantity, and consequently subject to monopoly; alike they enable a private monopolist to exact tribute from the workers for the use of that which the workers have produced.

The Political Situation. We appeal to political reformers of all parties to work with us in the spirit which is more and more merging politics in Socialism. However much they may hold aloof from the Land Nationalization movement and resent the imputation of Socialistic tendencies, they have yet been, and still are, and will be, forced to modify our social system in the Socialist direction. What were the Tory Factory Acts, the Truck Acts, the Mines Regulation Acts, the Workmen's Compensation Acts, but limitations of the power of capital ? What are the Adulteration Acts, the Merchant Shipping Acts, the Employers' Liability Acts? What was the abolition of the Corn Laws ? The Mark Lane Express has told us-a confiscation of the property of the landlords. What are the Irish Land Acts and the action of the Land Commissioners? What are the proposals of official Liberals for a "just taxation of land values and ground rents," and “taxation" (apparently not necessarily "just ") "of mining royalties," * and of politicians of both parties for a sliding scale of income tax, but projects for the partial recovery for the nation of the toll which property takes from industry? What are the Small Holdings and Allotments Acts, but the beginning of provision for the municipalization of land ?

In what respect, then, do the supporters of these measures differ from us on grounds of principle ?

Why are these reformers not Socialists ? Why do they hesitate to join the only party of social reform which has definite principles of action, and a clear vision of the course of economic evolution ? Have they not paved the way by their progressive restrictions of the despotism of the private employer ? And are they not constantly extending the sphere of social industry in the post office, the telegraphs, telephones, tramways, docks, harbors, markets, schools, the supply of gas, water, and electricity, and many other public undertakings ? Are they not steadily increasing the local taxation of realized property, and recovering rent for public use, by the rates on rent for education, parks, free libraries, public baths, and other social conveniences ?

All these are Socialistic measures, that is, they tend either to the recovery of some portion of the tribute which landlord and capitalist now levy, or to the assumption by the community of the control of land and industrial capital. These measures we would multiply by increased taxation, and by the extension of such communal administration, in the hope of leavening the Individualist society in rut o no lo he tu wiele Such advances serve as palliatives of Path on the samples to the slow of understanding,

* National Liberal Federation Resolution, 1891.

11 AM to the emotions and conservative. But whether The theo, this we hold indisputable, that until the

in the mother country collectively own and control

outlet wat work with, fill then are liberty and man

to other thin fri and that until we cease to pay to lilitoiston hudual sustenance, it will be impossible

Hii 1161111 0114144 that he and education in youth, that AMH A l those opportunities for hun

Hi ha hem Arrues our curry and 1111" 14 t44054, of Changed it with

[ocr errors]
[blocks in formation]

JIAN SOCIALIST SERIES

es of ding, ther the trol into le

ts of a revised, collected, and classified edition of of the most valuable of the famo rabian Tracts' style more suitable for the general reading public, supplying in a handy and attractive form the best and authoritative thought on What Socialism Means. ch booklet contains not less than 96 well-printed pages, od paper and good type, and is supplied in two forms, c., in attractive wrappers at 6d. each, nett, and in quarter oth boards, gilt top, at 1s. each, nett. Postage id, and 1. each respectively.

It

VOLUMES NOW READY :

I. SOCIALISM AND RELIGION. CONTENTS : (1) Christian Socialism,

by the Rev. Stewart D. Headlam. (2) Socialism and Christianity, by the Rev.
Percy Dearmer. (3) Socialism and the Teaching of Christ, by the Rev. John
Clifford. (4) A Word of Remembrance and Caution to the Rich, by John

Woolman, of the Society of Friends.
II. SOCIALISM AND AGRICULTURE. CONTENTS: (1) The Village and

the Landlord, by Edward Carpenter. (2) State Aid to Agriculture, by T. S.
Dymond. (3) The Secret of Rural Depopulation, by Lieut.-Col. D. C. Pedder.

(4) The Revival of Agriculture, by the Fabian Society. III. SOCIALISM AND INDIVIDUALISM. CONTENTS: (1) The Diffi

culties of Individualism, by Sidney Webb. (2) The Moral Aspects of Socialisin, by Sidney Ball. (3) The Impossibilities of Anarchism, by G. Bernard Shaw.

(4) Public Service versus Private Expenditure, by Sir Oliver Lodge. IV. THE BASIS AND POLICY OF SOCIALISM. CONTENTS: (1) Facts

for Socialists, by the Fabian Society. (2) Capital and Land, by the Fabian Society. (3) Socialism : True and False, by Sidney Webb. (+) Twentieth Century Politics, by Sidney Webb.

LONDON:

A. C. FIFIELD, 44 FLEET STREET, E.C.

and The Fabian Society, 3 Clement's Inn, Strand, W.C.

which we have to work. Such advances serve as palliatives of existing evils, as educational examples to the slow of understanding, as encouragements to the cautious and conservative. But whether the advance be slow or rapid, this we hold indisputable, that until the workers of this and every other country collectively own and control the instruments they must work with, till then are liberty and manhood impossible for the majority; and that until we cease to pay to non-effectives the half of our annual sustenance, it will be impossible for the many to obtain that existence and education in youth, that security and leisure in old age, and those opportunities for human and appreciative life, which the resources of our country and our civilization are amply sufficient to yield them.

BASIS OF THE FABIAN SOCIETY.

The Fabian SOCIETY consists of Socialists.

It therefore aims at the re-organization 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 labor, the idle class now living on the labor 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.

« السابقةمتابعة »