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spread physical unfitness, showed the chief belligerents the price they pay in ill-health for slums and low wages. On the other hand, excessive or unearned wealth may have equally disastrous effects on its recipienis, who in many cases have no occupation to prevent them from becoming mentally and morally flabby. Professor Irving Fisher describes American conditions as follows: “If the poor are too hard-working the rich are too idle; if the poor are underfed, the rich are over-fed; if the poor have the discomforts of squalor and shabbiness, the rich have the discomforts of excessive attention to personal appearance; if the poor suffer from overcrowding, the rich suffer from the burden of over-grown establishments; if the poor drink alcoholics to get rid of fatigue, the rich drink them to get rid of ennui.' Yet the rich bear these burdens with bacchanalian fortitude, and resolutely refuse to be relieved of their load.
Fourthly, inequality produces an industrial despotism. Although every capitalist would admit that capital without labour would be useless, the control of industrial conditions remains nevertheless largely in the hands of the man who provides the money. He alone has a voice in deciding the policy of the business, although his decisions may seriously affect those in his employ. True, in recent decades trade unions have secured some control over labour conditions, and industrial legislation has compelled employers to conform to certain standards. But in big matters of policy labour and the state have little voice. This growth of an economic autocracy is in marked contrast to the growth of political democracy. In politics a man is a "free and intelligent elector” whose vote is sought for with great zest. In industry he is a 'hand,” so much “labour power,” an impersonal item in the cost of production. This contrast is all the more important because of the control, which the economic rulers are able to secure over those institutions by which poli. tical democracy tries to work out its will. Parliament, ministers, and the press may be nominally servants of the people, but are really under the thumb of "big business.” Rich men get into parliament, or secure the return of their nominees. Contributions to party funds, presents of shares or “tips?', about impending stock exchange or real estate movements may be given, conditionally upon the passage of certain laws, the repeal of others, or the steering of administration in some desired direction. In its hunt for new markets, concessions, or fields of investment, big business sets to work to exert its influence on the country's foreign policy, and by reason of the apathy of the general public towards foreign affairs may successfully push its claims, even though such claims, cause international friction and: war. Wars are trade wars; treaties give trade spoils to the capitalists of the victorious side. Big business may buy control over inportant newspapers, or by threatening to withhold advertisements compel a paper to desert a line of criticism and propagate its ideas. In this way especially it may create, a fictitious “public opinion” and secure its ends under democratic guise. The result is to make political democracy little more than the tool of economic despotism. Hence in industry and politics alike we reach the condition of employment and government of the people by the few for the few.
This condition the socialist calls “wage-slavery,” and declares that political freedom is useless to the wage-earner, who is economically unfree. True, the wage-slave may be far more comfortable than the chattel-slave of earlier centuries, and his standard of life mạch above that of the land
owuing French peasant or Russian moujik. Capitalism, it is admitted, bas raised the level of life considerably. Large-scale production and powerdriven machines have created vastly increased quantites of wealth, and the labourer has secured some of this wealth; shorter hours have been made possible, and a higher standard of pleasure and education has been realized; travel is cheaper, quicker, and safer; famine and pestilence on a large scale had few terrors before 1914; disease has been brought more under control, and the average expectation of life is probably fifteen years longer than before the Industrial Revolution. But although the bed has been made more comfortable, the shackles of slavery has been riveted more securely on the wrists of the wage-earner. He gets more to live on, but is completely dependent for his living upon the owner of capital. That is what hurts— not merely inequality, but dependence.
To these economic criticisms moral and aesthetic ones can be added. Capitalism is bad because it panders to the selfish rather than the altruistic; it subordinates public service to private gain, and makes men fight each other like wild beasts. It places the making of profit above the making of good commodities, and thus debases art and craftsmanship. . It destroys all that is fine in human nature, and its dominating instincts are acquisitive rather than creative.
The Cure. In his criticism of existing society, outlined imperfectly above, the socialist frequently joins hands with others who, although as vigorous in their condemnations as he is, have very different ideas as to the cure for the disease or diseases. Many of these non-socialistic critics urge partial remedies for specific complaints, though others believe they have found a panacea.. Some urge the public to support independent papers, which will refuse to be bound and gagged by those who advertise in their columns. Others believe that greater publicity and more democratic control in diplomacy will check the use of the foreign offices for furthering commercial and financial interests. Others find in the legal minimum wage, housing and town-planning laws, a ministry of health, state resumption of land for allotments and small holdings, heavier taxation of large incomes and bequests, better educational facilities, the single-tax, and a hundred and one other devices, a partial or complete remedy for the ailments of society. Some seek to transform the despotism of capital into a limited monarchy by the adoption of co-partnership schemes, while not a few declare that the remedy is to be found in a spiritual revolution, and in the thorough application of Christian principles to industry and politics. The believers in each of these proposals organize themselves into groups or societies, each of which works feverishly for a time, regardless of, or suspicious of, all the other groups. A little success may be gained by legislation or voluntary action, but the energy is gradually dissipated in face of the absence of any big results. A new panacea is then discovered, and the pessimists, optimists once more, again throw their zeal into an agitation which is to bring heaven to earth. And so the movement of “social reform” travels along its spiral path, getting very little forrarder.
On all this effort the socialist looks with scarcely concealed contempt. These people are wasting their time, even assuming that they really wish to do good, which he often doubts. Either their aim is so to patch up capitalism as to keep it alive and postpone the day of judgment, or their sincere efforts are rendered futile because before prescribing a remedy they have not fully and accurately diagnosed the disease. The disease,
says the socialist, is not poverty, slums, secret diplomacy, and drunkenness. These are the accompaniments, the results of the disease, just as toothache is the result of a decayed tooth. The disease is capitalism-an economic system in which a few are enabled, by reason of their ownership of the means of production and exchange, to appropriate most of the advantages of industrial effort and progress, giving the labourers just sufficient to keep them alive at the current standard of living. And since character, social and moral standards, political and legal institutions are determined by the economic environment, all the evils and aches of individual and corporate life have their ultimate cause in capitalism. The remedy, therefore, is not to waste time attempting to assuage the toothache by applying pain-killing liquids, or by any social reform "stopping,"
or “crowning.' The only real cure is to have the tooth out, and replace it by Here the metaphor breaks down, for socialism is not to be a false tooth, but the result of the true and inevitable development of society. Just as slavery gave place to feudalism, and feudalism to capitalism, so will capitalism give place naturally to socialism.
Books Recommended. Macdonald, J. R., “The Socialist Movement”; Spargo, J., “Socialism”; Kirkup, T., “A Primer of Socialism"; Spargo and Arner, “Principles of Socialism”; Snowden, P., “Socialism and Syndicalism''; Ensor, R. C. K., “Modern Socialism.”
Having reviewed the socialist's criticism of capitalism, we must consider the alternative which he proposes. The critical stage was rapidly followed in the minds of most socialists by an attempt to construct on paper an alternative and better plan for society, and in spite of the refusal of such mer! as Marx to indulge in “Utopia-mongering,” the desire to paint pictures of the socialist state has been most fascinating. Before studying these pictures, it may be well first to define as accurately as possible the term "socialism.''
The word was first used about 1833, and from that time onwards rapidly passed into the common currency of economic discussion. It was applied at first to those schemes of social reconstruction advocated by Owen. It was then used loosely describe all attempts to assert the rights of society over the rights of individuals. The man who pleaded for a greater application of Christian principles to industrial and political life became known as a Christian Socialist, though on any precise definition of the word he was far more Christian than Socialist. Schemes for the regulation of industry by the state, factory acts, insurance and old-age pension provisions, free education and libraries, all were grouped together as socialistic. The phrase, "state socialism, came to be applied in Germany to the whole scheme of industrial regulation devised during the period of Bismarck's rule, and a man who believed in this extension of state control over private life and industry could declare with airy confidence, “We are all socialists nowa
But to the full-blooded socialist all such uses of the word were abhorrent. Marx and Engels in 1848 looked with profound contempt on the schemes of Owen and the Christian Socialists, and preferred therefore to describe their faith as communism. Since that time the exact meaning of the word has become more precise, and there is a clear line drawn round it to define its meaning. The drawing of the line has been impeded by the utterances of those who regarded socialism as a child of the devil. For seventy years socialism has been a bogey, fit to stand alongside evolution, republicanism, and the I.W.W. To some it meant robbery, and the socialist was described by the Corn Law Rhymer, Ebenezer Elliot, as one who is willing to give up his penny and pocket your shilling.” There was a belief that socialism meant the coming of a great dividing-up day, with its equal division of unequal earnings; to others, including Lord Rosebery, it meant atheism, the end of marriage, the end of the family, the end of property, the end of all things. Socialism stirred fear and hatred amongst its opponents, whilst rousing a sense of joy and happiness in its disciples. Herbert Spencer, the high priest of individualism, died in the belief that socialism would triumph inevitably in spite of all opposition, but would be the greatest disaster the world had ever known, and would sooner or later be brought to an end by the establishment of a military despotism. On the other hand, men like William Morris saw “A wonderful day a-coming, when all shall be better than well,” and such a belief has given millions a religious faith and fervour which Christianity failed to provide.
Socialism-A New Social System. From this mass of vague prejudices and superficial opinions we can turn to the definition of the word as given by its leading advocates. All are agreed on essentials. Socialism is a proposed economic system in which private ownership of property, with its consequent private appropriation of rent, interest, and profit disappears, giving place to social ownership and control of the means for the production of wealth. In this way the work of the world would no longer be dependent on the desire for private profit, but would be so shaped and directed as to serve the well-being of all who work. Life without work and comfort based on exploitation would vanish; all must do their bit, and then the man who does not work will not eat. Work will be compulsory, but men will do it gladly, since they feel that they are working for the welfare of society as a whole, and not for the maintenance of a small class of more or less idle ricn.
So far there is general agreement. But when one turns to some of the important details of socialist construction one encounters great diversity of opinion. This difference of ideas about ways and means frequently causes schism in the body socialist, equal in its intensity and bitterness to that prevailing in organized religion.
For instance, the question has to be faced, Shall the socialist system work through the state, through local administrative units, or shall the industries be owned and managed by those who work in them? Shall the state survive in its present or a modified form, or shall it disappear entirely? Will there be any place for voluntary organization? To the anarchist and syndicalist the state is the root of all evil, and must be removed along with its master-capitalism. To others the state, fully democratized, will play a big part in the administration of the socialist society, but there is no substantial agreement on the matter. Secondly, on what basis is remuneration to be made for services rendered Louis Blanc and Bernard Shaw have urged that the abolition of envy and class distinction can only come with the recognition of the principle of equal pay for all. Since all will be doing work recessary to the well-being of society, let all be paid the same rate. Other socialists have urged payment according to capacity, talent, output, with prizes for those who get to the top, but with equality of opportunity for all to get there. The German Social Democrats in 1875 said that all should enjoy the results of their labour “according to their reasonable wants,” but there is much room for dispute as to what are “reasonable wants."
Again, to what extent, if any, are men to be allowed to own property? Some would deny the right to hold any property, except such personal things as clothes; others adınit the right to own a house, garden, motor car, and other essentials to personal comfort and enjoyment, but forbid the existence of any property which will enable a man to take toll of otherse.g., a second house to be let, thus creating rent and interest, or machinery to be worked by others for the benefit of the owner. Opinion is now largely in favour of the recognition of private property in goods for use, but averse to private ownership of goods used for production. Here the socialist strikes a difficulty. In many countries peasant proprietorship prevails, and the peasant owns the land on which he works. He pays no rent to any landlord, and capital, land, and labour are provided by the same man. Here then theoretically there is no exploitation of labour. Shall the peasant be deprived of his holding when the socialist state is ushered in? This question bothered the German Social Democrats for decades, and their failure to