صور الصفحة
PDF
النشر الإلكتروني

thing--that it fosters a spirit of emulation, and prevents things from stagnating at a dead level. But if you are poor, you must know well that when equality is so outrageous as the figures above shew, it fosters nothing but despair, recklessness and drunkenness among the very poor ; arrogance and wastefulness among the very rich ; meanness, envy and snobbery among the middle classes. - Poverty means disease and crime, ugliness and brutality, drink and violence, stunted bodies and unenlightened minds. Riches heaped up in idle hands mean flunkeyism and folly, insolence and servility, bad example, false standards of worth, and the destruction of all incentive to useful work in those who are best able to educate themselves for it. Poverty and riches together mean the misuse of our capital and industry for the production of frippery and luxury whilst the nation is rotting for want of good food, thorough instruction, and wholesome clothes and dwellings for the masses. What we want in order to make true progress is more bakers, more schoolmasters, more woolweavers and tailors, and more builders : what we get instead is more footmen, more gamekeepers, more jockeys, and more prostitutes. That is what our newspapers call "sound political economy." What do you think of it? Do you intend to do anything to get it remedied?

No Remedy without Political Change. The produce of industry has been increased enormously during this last century by machinery, railways, and division of labor. But the first cost of machinery, railways and factories has to be paid out of savings, and not out of the money that people are living on. Now the only people who can spare money to save are those who have more than enough to live on : that is to say, the rich. Consequently the machinery has been introduced, and the factories built out of the savings of the rich; and as they paid for it (with money made by the labor of the poor), they expect to get all the advantage that comes by using it; so that here again the workers are left as badly off as

The worst of it is that when the rich find how easily they get still richer by saving, they think it is as easy for everybody as for themselves; and when the worker complains, they say, "Why don't you save as we do? How can you expect to be well off if you are not thrifty ?" They forget that though you can save plenty out of £18 a week without stinting your family, you cannot save anything out of eighteen shillings without starving them. Nothing can help the poor except political change from bad social institutions to good ones.

The Three Monopolies. Moreover the propertied classes, by giving their sons an expensive education, are able to put them into the learned professions and the higher managerial posts in business, over the heads of the wageworkers, who are too poor to get more than the Board School standards for their children. So that out of the price paid for the use of the land, the propertied classes save capital ; and out of the profits of the capital they buy the education which gives to their working members a monopoly of the highly paid employments; whilst the wage-workers are hopelessly cut out of it all. Here are the figures for the United Kingdom

ever.

or

*Income of Propertied Classes (10,500,000 persons) £850,000,000

left for Wage-workers (26,500,000 ) 500,000,000 Total National Income

£1,350,000,000 This means that the rich are masters of the wage-workers, because the whole country is governed by the House of Commons, the County Councils and Municipal Corporations, and only rich men can afford to give their time for nothing to these bodies, or to pay the heavy expenses of getting elected to them. The workman's vote enables him to choose between one rich man and another, but not to fill the Councils and Parliament with men of his own class. Thus the poor keep the rich up ; and the rich keep the poor ; wn; and it will always be so whilst the land and the machinery from which the nation's subsistence is produced remains in the hands of a class instead of in the hands of the nation as a whole.

What Socialism Is. Socialism is a plan for securing equal rights and opportunities for all. The Socialists are trying to have the land and machinery gradually

socialized," or made the property of the whole people, in order to do away

with idle owners, and to win the whole product for those whose labor produces it. The establishment of Socialism, when once the people are resolved upon it, is not so difficult as might be supposed. If a man wishes to work on his own account, the rent of his place of business, and the interest on the capital needed to start him, can be paid to the County Council of his district just as easily as to the private landlord and capitalist. Factories are already largely regulated by public inspectors, and can be conducted by the local authorities just as gas-works, water-works and tramways are now conducted by them in various towns. Railways and mines, instead of being left to private companies, can be carried on by a department under the central government, as the postal and telegraph services are carried on now. The Income Tax collector who to-day calls for a tax of a few pence in the pound on the income of the idle millionaire, can collect a tax of twenty shillings in the pound on every unearned income in the country if the State so orders. Remember that Parliament, with all its faults, 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. Inquirers will find that Socialism can be brought about in a perfectly constitutional manner, and that none of the practical difficulties which occur to everyone in his first five minutes' consideration of the subject have escaped the attention of those who have worked at it for years. Few now believe Socialism to be impracticable except those with whom the wish is father to the thought

* This item is made up of four hundred and ninety millions (6490,000,000) which go as Rent and Interest absolutely for nothing, and of three hundred and sixty millions (£ 360,000,000) incomes of professional men and profits of business manage ment. (See Fabian Tract No. 5, “Facts for Socialists One penny.)

SOCIETY.–The Fabian Society consists of Socialists

its Rules, etc., and the following publications can be obtained from the Secretary, at the Fabian Office, 276 Strand, London, W.C. FABIAN ESSAYS IN SOCIALISM.

(30th Thousand.) Library Edition, 6)- ; or, direct from the Secretary for Cash, 4/6 (postage, 4d.). Cheap Edition, Paper cover, 1/-; plain cloth, 2/-. At all booksellers, or post free from the Secretary for 1/- and 2 - respectively.

FABIAN TRACTS. 1.-Why are the Many Poor? 100th thous. 4 pp., 6 for 1d.; 1/- per 100. 5:-Facts for Socialists. A survey of the distribution of income and the con

dition of classes in England, gathered from official returns, and from the works of economists and statisticians. 6th edition ; revised 1893. 55th

thousand. 16 pp., 1d.; or 9d. per doz. 7.-Capital and Land. A similar survey of the distribution of property, with

a criticism of the distinction sometimes set up between Land and Capital

as instruments of production. 4th ed.; revised 1893. 16 pp., 1d.; or 9d. doz. 8.-Facts for Londoners. 5th thousand. 56 pp., 6d.; or 4/6 per doz. 10.-Figures for Londoners. 20th thous. 4 pp., 6 for 1d. ; 1/- per 100. 11.—The Workers' Political Program. 20th thous. 20 pp., 1d.; 9d. per doz. 12.—Practicable Land Nationalization. 4 pp., 6 for 1d.; or 1/- per 100. 13.--What Socialism Is. 80th thous. 4 pp., 6 for 1d.; or 1/- per 100. 14.--The New Reform Bill. A draft Act of Parliament providing for Adult

Suffrage, Payment of Members and their election expenses, Second Ballot,

and a thorough system of Registration. 15th thous. 20 pp., 1d.; 9d. doz. 15.---English Progress towards Social Democracy. 1d.; 9d. per doz. 16.-A Plea for an Eight Hours Bill. 4 pp., 6 for 1d. ; 11- per 100. 17.-Reform of the Poor Law. 20 pp., 1d. ; 9d. per doz. 18.--Facts for Bristol. 16 pp., 1d.; or 9d. per doz. 19.-What the Farm Laborer Wants. 4 pp., 6 for 1d.; or 1/- per 100. 20.--Questions for Poor Law Guardians. 4 pp., 6 for 1d.; or 1/- per 100. 21.- Questions for London Vestrymen. 4 pp., 6 for 1d.; or 1/- per 100. 22.—The Truth about Leasehold Enfranchisement, gives reasons why Soci

alists oppose the proposal, 4 pp., 6 for 1d.; or 1/- per 100. 23.—The Case for an Eight Hours Bill. 16 pp., 1d.; or 9d. per doz. 24.-Questions for Parliamentary Candidates. 6 for 1d.; or 1/- per 100. 25.-Questions for School Board Candidates. 6 for 1d.; or 1/- per 100. 26.-Questions for London County Councillors. 6 for 1d.; or 1/- per 100. 27.-Questions for Town Councillors. 4 pp., 6 for 1d.; or 1/- per 100. 28.--Questions for County Councillors (Rural). 6 for 1d.; or 1/- per 100. 29.-What to Read. A List of Books for Social Reformers. Contains the best

books and blue-books relating to Economics, Socialism, Labor Movements,

Poverty, etc. 2nd ed.; revised 1893. Paper cover, 3d. each; or 2/3 per doz. 38.-- A Welsh Translation of No. I. 4 pp., 6 for 1d.; or 1/- per 100. 39.-A Democratic Budget. 16 pp., 1d.; or 9d. per doz. 40.—The Fabian Manifesto for the General Election of 1892. 16 pp., 1d.

each; or 9d. per doz. 41.-The Fabian Society: What it has done and how it has done it.

32 pp., 1d. each; or 9d. per doz. 42.—Christian Socialism. By the Rev. STEWART D. HEADLAM.

16 pp., 1d. each; or 9d. per doz. 43.-Vote, Vote, Vote. 2 pp. leaflet; 5/- per 1,000. 44.-A Plea for Poor Law Reform. 4 pp: 6 for 1d. ; or 1/- per 100. 45.—The Impossibilities of Anarchism. By G. BERNARD SHAW. 28 pp., 2d.

each; or 1/6 per doz.

FABIAN MUNICIPAL PROGRAM (Tracts Nos. 30 to 37). 1. The Unearned Increment. 2. London's Heritage in the City Guilds. 3. Municipalization of the Gas Supply. 4. Municipal Tramways. 5. London's Water Tribute. 6. Municipalization of the London Docks. 7. The Scandal of London's Markets. 8. A Labor Policy for Public Authorities. Each 4 pp. The eight in a red cover for 1d. (9d. per doz.); or separately 1/- per 100.

The set post free for 2s. 3d.; Bound in Buckram, post free for 3s. 9d. Manifesto of English Socialists. Issued by the Joint Committee of Socialist Bodies. In red cover. 8 pp., 1d. each; or 9d. per doz.

Parcels to the value of 10/- and upwards, post free.

The New Reform Bill.

PUBLISHED BY

THE FABIAN SOCIETY.

POLITICAL POWER IS NOT AN END IN ITSELF, BUT ONLY A MEANS TO AN END."

PRICE ONE PENNY.

Published by John Heywood, Deansgate and Ridgefield, Manchester,

and 1, Paternoster Buildings, London ; and to be obtained also of the Secretary, 2 L Hyde Park Mansions, London, N.W.

FEBRUARY, 1891.

SINCE the time of the Chartist agitation, no attempt has been made to formulate a thorough scheme for the reform of the laws regulating our Electoral System, if the confused, inconsistent, and often unintelligible mass of Acts of Parliament on the Statute Book can be dignified by such a name. From the Statute of Edward I., establishing freedom of election, down to the County Electors' Act (1888), there have been between one hundred and fifty and one hundred and sixty Acts to regulate the Franchise, Registration of Electors, and Procedure at Elections, etc. ; of which, no less than one hundred and sixteen have been enacted since the passing of the Reform Act of 1832—a measure intended by Lord John Russell to settle finally the question of Reform.

With the single exception of the Corrupt and Illegal Practices Act (1883), no attempt has been made to codify any section of Electoral Law. One Act of Parliament nullifies another, and a superstitious reverence for antiquated modes of draughtmanship has only made confusion worse confounded. A vote is given to every male householder, only to be taken away from him by a cumbrous and iniquitous system of registration, with an arbitrary term of qualification, and an intentionally complex arrangement of claim, objection, and revision,

It is often said that the points of the People's Charter have been embodied in English law; but, as a matter of fact, the Ballot alone has been adopted in its simple entirety. The Suffrage has been considerably lowered, and some approach has been made to the establishment of Equal Electoral Districts, but nothing whatever has been done with regard to the Payment of Members and the Duration of Parliaments. The abolition of a Property Qualification for Members has been merely a nominal reform, and can only be rendered effective by Payment of Election Expenses.

In the following draft bill an attempt has been made to put into practicable legal shape the aspirations of advanced political reformers. Its provisions include the following points :ADULT SUFFRAGE.

EXTENSION OF THE HOURS OF POLLMINIMUM RESIDENTIAL QUALIFICA

RESTRICTION ON USE OF CONVEYEFFICIENT QUARTERLY REGISTRATION BY PAID OFFICERS.

PAYMENT

ELECTION ExSECOND BALLOT.

PENSES, AND OF NEARLY ALL THE SIMULTANEOUS ELECTIONS.

NECESSARY COST OF CANDIDATURE. ABOLITION OF PLURAL VOTING.

PAYMENT OF MEMBERS, AND OF THEIR ABSOLUTE SECRECY OF THE BALLOT.

TRAVELLING EXPENSES. ADEQUATE PROVISION OF POLLING TRIENNIAL PARLIAMENTS. PLACES.

To make a complete Reform Bill, provision should also be made for the establishment of Equal Electoral Districts, automatically re-adjusted according to population after every census; the consolidation of the eighty-five statutes dealing with the Disqualification of Candidates, and of the thirty-one dealing with the procedure at an election; the further simplification and strengthening of the law relating to Corrupt and Illegal Practices; and the Abolition of the House of Lords.

Until the electorate consists of the whole adult population, and perfect freedom of choice of members, combined with the fullest control over their legislative action, has been secured through Payment of Members and their election expenses, and the Second Ballot, the people will be seriously handicapped in the promotion and enactment of those measures of social reform, which will ultimately result in the socialization of industry and the establishment of the Commonwealth on a co-operative basis, for which end alone political reform is of any value.

ING.

TIONS.

ANCES,

OF

ALL

« السابقةمتابعة »