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2. The immediate municipalization of the supply of water, gas,
electric light ; of docks, markets, tramways, omnibus services, and pawnbroking; lake and river steamboat services;
and of all other local monopolies ; 3. The immediate undertaking by public authorities of : (a) the
manufacture and retailing of tobacco and bread; of the supply of coal, milk, and other universal necessaries; and of the building of dwellings for the workers; (b) the manu. facture and retailing of alcoholic drinks.
The Unemployed. The Congress declares : That the existence of a class of unemployed willing but unable
to find work is a necessary result of the present industrial system, in which every improvement in machinery throws fresh masses of men out of work, and the competition of capitalists for the market produces recurring commercial
crises; That, consequently, unemployment can only be abolished with
the complete abolition of the competitive system, and can only be limited in proportion as order and regulation are
introduced into the present competitive confusion; That while this process of evolution towards the co-operative
state is proceeding, the following measures are urgently
The Eight Hours Day ;
of all commodities required by them ;
supply of all common services and the provision of
healthy dwellings for the workers; The undertaking of useful Public Works in special cases.
War and Foreign Policy. That this Congress desires to call attention to the following facts concerning the great armaments maintained by modern capitalistic States : I That these armies act as a standing menace, not to neigh
boring States, but to the working populations of their own countries. A study of the strategical disposition of many of the great railway stations and barracks of the Continent will prove that the most important function of the modern army is to suppress the resistance of Labor to Capital in the war of classes.
2. That these huge armaments, far from making the nations
powerful in international affairs, actually paralyze them Through the intense fear and mistrust they engender. The Congress, repudiating the bravado of the capitalist press, emphatically declares that the nations it represents find it impossible to act in international affairs because of their jealousy of one another's intentions and their fear of one another's threats. The Congress points to recent events in Europe and the South of Africa as proving that the smallest States can successfully defy the interference of the great European military powers by adroitly playing off the
one against the other. 3. That since the resistance of the capitalist classes to any inter
ference by the State in commercially profitable enterprises makes it impossible to use national armaments to enforce order and public responsibility in the colonization and settlement of new countries, such operations are now left to filibusters acting as the agents of Chartered Companies. The rapacity of these companies, the aggressions of the irresponsible adventurers who lead their armed forces, and the competition of rival companies, produce endless disputes, in which each company calls on its mother country to support it by arms in the name of patriotism, the chairman being represented in the capitalist press as an imperial statesman, and its filibusters as national heroes. Thus the great European States, whilst they are powerless to undertake the work of colonization themselves, are expected to hold themselves continually in readiness to go to war, not only with barbarous races, but with one another, in defence of enterprises over which they have no control. The Congress desires to warn the workers of Europe against these appeals, to national pride and love of military glory, and to repeat that the tendency of the capitalist system is to make the army a catspaw for the speculator instead of an
instrument of national greatness and honor. 4. That the only possible guarantee for the peace of the world
lies in the consolidation of the interests of the most advanced States on a Social-Democratic basis. War exists at present mainly because huge profits can be made out of it by sections of the community. If this were made impossible by the socialization of industry in England, France, Germany and the United States of America, these four nations would not only cease to threaten one another, but would combine to impose peace on nations less advanced in social organization. Therefore, the Congress, whilst sympathizing heartily with the objects of the Peace and Arbitration Societies, urges them to bear constantly in mind that until the antagonism of social interests which produces conflicts between Capital and Labor at home is dissolved, international solidarity must remain impossible.
That this Congress earnestly presses upon Humanitarians and
advocates of reform of the criminal law, that the greatest obstacle to the attainment of their ends is the dependence of the capitalist system on a low standard of life and comfort among the mass of wage-workers. All attempts to make prison labor productive are regarded by private capitalists as attempts to compete with them and reduce their profils; and all reforms that aim at making prison life less cruel and more wholesome are resented in all classes on the ground that criminals should not be treated better than honest men. The Congress therefore urges the necessity of improving the conditions of the masses outside the prisons as the surest means of ameliorating the lot of those who are inside them,
X. Women's Political Rights. That this Congress calls upon all Trade Unionists and Socialists
to strive energetically to secure to women complete equality with men in all political rights and duties.
The Referendum. That this Congress warns associations of the working classes throughout the world to scrutinize with great care all proposals for transferring direct legislative and administrative power, including the appointment of public officials, from representative bodies to the mass of the electors. The people can only judge political measures by their effect when they have come into operation: they cannot plan measures themselves, or foresee what their effect will be, or give precise instructions to their representatives; nor can any honest representative tell, until he has heard a measure thoroughly discussed by representatives of all other sections of the working class
, what form the measure should take so as to keep the interests of his constituents in due subordination to those of the community. It is to be considered, further, that intelligent reformers, especially workmen who have grasped the principles of Socialism, are always in a minority: they may address themselves with success to the sympathies of the masses and gain their confidence; but the dry detail of the legislative and administrative steps by which they move towards their goal can never be made interesting or intelligible to the ordinary voter. For these reasons the Referendum, in theory the most democratic of popular institutions, is in practice the most reactionary, and is actually being strenuously advocated in England by noted leaders of anti-Socialist opinion with the openly declared intention of using it to stop all further progress towards Social Democracy. Again, the election of public officials by the general vote makes the official not only independent of the representatives of the people, but makes him practically irremovable, and therefore autocratic, as long as he does not openly scandalize public opinion by expressing unconventional views. The ordinary man, unable to judge whether important public functions are efficiently discharged or not, and reluctant to turn a man out of his employment without some very grave reason for doing so, invariably votes for the retention of an office by its present holder. This has been abundantly proved by the experience of English Trade Unions, in which the bureau, elected by the votes of all the members, is all-powerful, the sole exception being those unions in the cotton industry in which the officials are directly controlled by a representative body and not by the mass of members. The Congress, therefore, without attempting to lay down any general rule in the matter, most earnestly urges its supporters and sympathisers in all countries to study democratic institutions in the light of practice and not of theory alone ; to take careful note of the fact that the Referendum, the Initiative, the election of officials by universal suffrage, and the reduction of repres :ntative bodies to mere meetings of delegates recording the foregone conclusions of their constituents, usually produce results exactly the opposite of those expected from them by Democrats, and to oppose them strenuously in all cases where their effect would be to place the organized, intelligent and classconscious Socialist minority at the mercy of the unorganized and apathetic mass of routine toilers, imposed upon by the prestige of the aristocratic, plutocratic and clerical forces of reaction.
Minimum Wage. That this Congress urges upon public consideration the evils produced by allowing the standard of living among the mass of the people to be fixed by unrestrained commercial competition. Under existing circumstances, the market price of unskilled labor is so low that in all modern States competition wages are popularly called "starvation wages.” The Congress desires to point out that a healthy and vigorous national life can only be secured at present by fixing in all industries and in all districts a minimum wage sufficient to maintain laborers and their families in reasonable health and efficiency. The Congress points out that resolute agitation on the part of all electors can already secure a minimum living wage to all direct employees of the central State, the municipalities, and other local authorities; and that these bodies can also protect those whom they employ indirectly by the insertion of effective standard wage clauses in all contracts for public work and in all leases and concessions made to tramway companies, railway companies, dock companies, and other recipients of special powers and privileges. The Congress urges public authorities to endeavor, as far as possible, to organize and conduct public services and industries directly, without resorting to private contractors and companies. In the case of private employees, the Congress recommends Trade Unions and federations of Trade Unions in every industrial district to hold fast to the principle of the minimum living wage, and to resolutely limit by it all proposals—whether by sliding scale or otherwise-to make the remuneration of labor depend on the profits of the trade. In cases where the working classes themselves organize and employ labor, as in Co-operative Societies, the Congress feels justified in demanding the establishment of a minimum living wage as a pledge of the sincerity of the recognition by these societies of community of interest between the shareholders and their employees.
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 vell 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. It seeks to promote these by the general dissemination of knowledge as to the relation between the individual and Society in its economic, ethical and political aspects.