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tional idea of reward is relevant to the system of industry contemplated by the Socialist, a system under which the freest'industrial motive — the motive of work for work's and enjoyment's sake, the stimulus of self-expression-could be extended from the highest to the humblest industry. The incompatibility of pure industrial motive with our modern industrial system is, indeed, as Ruskin and Morris and Wagner have witnessed, its profoundest condemnation.
The Benefits of Commercial Competition. It is not to be denied that competitive private enterprise may develop character and discharge social services. But the character and the services are of a partial and inferior type : partial, because a few grow out of proportion to the rest, and therefore in a narrow and anti-social direction; inferior, because the character of the economically strong is not of the highest type; if it is of a type fittest to survive in a commercial and non-social world, it is not the fittest to survive in a moral and social order. And what can one say about the quality of products and standard of consumption ? Is it as such directed to evolve and elevate life? Matthew Arnold's description of an upper class materialized, a middle class vulgarized, and a lower class brutalized, is a fairly accurate description of modern commercial types.
Competition and Population. Not only is commercial competition inferior in form, but it is directly responsible for an increase in quantity over quality of population. The idea that unchecked competition makes for the natural selection of the fittest population is singularly optimistic. It is just that part of the population which has nothing to lose that is most reckless in propagating itself. The fear of falling below the standard of comfort at one end of the social scale, and the hopelessness of ever reaching it at the other, combine to increase the quantity of population at the cost of its quality. And what is a loss to society is a gain to the sweater; he is directly interested in the lowering of the standard of life, and in the competition of cheap labor; and the sweater is a normal product of commercial competition. Collectivism deliberately aims at the maintenance and elevation of the standard of life, and at such an organization of industry as would not enable one class of the community to be interested in the overproduction of another. It treats the “population question" as a problem of quality.
Socialism and Progress.
of course, many other aspects of Socialism than its adequacy to the requirements of a moral and social idea ; that is, of the principle of a progressive social life. It may be thought that Socialism is essentially a movement from below, a class movement; but it is characteristic of modern Socialism that its protagonists, in this country at any rate, approach the problem from the scientific rather than the popular view ; they are middle class theorists. And the future of the movement will depend upon the extent to
which it will be recognized that Socialism is not simply a working man's, or an unemployed, or a poor man's question. There are, indeed, signs of a distinct rupture between the Socialism of the street und the Socialism of the chair ; the last can afford to be patient, and to deprecate hasty and unscientific remedies. It may be that the two sides may drift farther and farther apart, and that scientific Socialism may come to enjoy the unpopularity of the Charity Organization Society. All that I am, however, concerned to maintain is that there is a scientific Socialism which does attempt to treat life as a whole, and has no less care for character than the most rigorous idealist; and I believe I am also right in thinking that this is the characteristic and dominant type of Socialism at the present day. It may not be its dominant idea in the future, but it is the idea that is wanted for the time, the idea that is relevant, and it i with relevant ideas that the social moralist is concerned.
Other Moral Aspects : Socialism and Religion. There are, again, other moral aspects than those with which I bave been concerned. I have said nothing as to the moral sentiment of Socialism, nothing as to the creation of a deeper sense of public duty. I have taken for granted the sentiment, and confined myself to its mode of action, or the more or less completely realized moral idea of Socialism, and tried to see how it works, or whether it is a working idea at all. The question of moral dynamics lies behind this, and the question of faith-as the religious sentimentstill further behind. Perhaps in an anxiety to divorce Socialism from sentimentality, we may appear to be divorcing it from sentiment. But the sentiment of Socialism must rest on a high degree of intellectual force and imagination, if it is not to be altogether vague and void. There is no cheap way, or royal road, to the Religion of Humanity, though there may be many helps to it short of a reflective philosophy. But it would be idle to deny that Socialism involves a change which would be almost a revolution in the moral and religious attitude of the majority of mankind. We may agree with Mill * that it is impossible to define with any sort of precision the coming modification of moral and religious ideas. We may further, however, agree that it will rest (as Comte said) upon the solidarity of mankind (as represented by the Idea of the State), and that "there are two things which are likely to lead men to invest this with the moral authority of a religion; first, they will become more and more impressed by the awful fact that a piece of conduct to-day may prove
curse to men and women scores and even hundreds of years after the author is dead; and second, they will more and more feel that they can only satisfy their sentiment of gratitude to seen or unseen benefactors, can only repay the untold benefits they have inherited, by diligently maintaining the traditions of service." This is the true positive spirit, and in something like it we must seek the moral dynamics of Socialism.
Juhn Morley's “Miscellanies": "The Death of Mr. Mill." Cf. also the passage n Socialistic sentiment in Mill's " Autobiography."
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