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It is only the more important
and fundamental industries, those which underlie all the processes of
manufacturing, or furnish the sheer necessities of the people, that must
necessarily be directly controlled by a Socialist society. "It may be
granted," says Kautsky, "that small establishments will have a definite
position in the future in many branches of industry that produce
directly for human consumption, for machines manufacture essentially
only products in bulk, while many purchasers desire that their personal
taste shall be considered. It is easily possible that under a
proletarian rÚgime the number of small businesses may increase as the
well-being of the masses increases." Of such industries Kautsky says
that they can produce for private customers or even for the open market.
As to-day, he insists, so also in the future, it will be open to the
working people to employ themselves either in public or private
industry.


"A seamstress, for example," he says, "can occupy herself for a
time in a national factory, and at another time make dresses for
private customers at home, then again she can sew for another
customer in her own house, and finally she may, with a few
comrades, unite in a co÷perative for the manufacture of clothing
for sale.

"The most manifold forms of property in the means of
production--national, municipal, co÷peratives of consumption and
production and private industry can exist beside each other in a
Socialist society--the most diverse forms of industrial
organization, bureaucratic, trades union, co÷perative and
individual; the most diverse forms of remunerative labor, fixed
wages, time wages, piece wages, profit sharing in the economies in
raw material, machinery, etc., profit sharing in the results of
intensive labor; the most diverse forms of distribution of
products, like contract by purchase from the warehouses of the
State, from municipalities, from co÷peratives of production, from
producers themselves, etc., etc. _The same manifold character of
economic mechanism that exists to-day is possible in a Socialistic
society._ Only the hunting and the hunted, the struggling and the
resisting, the annihilating and being annihilated of the present
competitive struggle are excluded, and therewith the contrast
between exploiter and exploited." (Italics mine.)[296]


Equally important, or more important, than private co÷perative
industries in the Socialist State, it is expected, will be the increase
of private _organizations of other kinds_, especially in the fields of
publications, education, etc., by what Kautsky calls free associations,
which will serve art and science and public life and advance production
in these spheres in the most diverse ways, or undertake it directly, as
the associations which to-day bring out plays, publish newspapers,
purchase artistic works, publish writings, fit out scientific
expeditions. _He expects such private organizations to play an even more
important r˘le than the government_, for "it is their destiny to enter
into the place now occupied by capital and individual production and _to
organize and to lead mankind as a social being_."[297] (Italics mine.)


"The utmost restriction of private property under Socialism," Mrs.
Gilman says, "leaves us still every article of personal use and
pleasure. One may still 'own' land by paying the government for it
as now; with such taxation, however, as would make it very
expensive to own too much! One may own one's house and all that is
in it: one's clothes and tools and decorations; one's horses,
carriages and automobiles; one's flying machines--presently. All
'personal property' remains in our personal hands.

"But no man or group of men could own the country's coal and decide
how much the public can have, and what we must pay for it. Private
holding of public property would be abolished."[298]


It can never be too often repeated or too strongly emphasized that, with
some unfortunate exceptions, from the time of Marx to the present,
Socialists have opposed not private property, but capitalism. It is the
domination of society by the capitalists, _i.e._ "capitalism" or the
capitalist system, that is to be done away with.


"The distinguishing feature of Communism," wrote Marx, using this
word instead of Socialism, "is not the abolition of property
generally, but the abolition of capitalist property. But modern
capitalist property is the final and most complete expression of
that system of producing and appropriating products that is based
on class antagonism, on the expropriation of the many by the
few."[299]


In seeking the better organization of industry and leaving the most
perfect freedom to individuals and to private organizations, what the
Socialists are really aiming at is really to restrict the government to
_a government of things rather than to a government of men_; and this
phrase is in common use among them. It is sought not to increase the
power of higher officials over government employees and citizens, but,
on the contrary, to limit their powers to the necessities of industry
itself, and to leave the most perfect and complete freedom to the
individual _in every other sphere_, as well as in industry, so far as
the physical conditions themselves allow. There is no doubt, for
instance, that whole departments of restrictive legislation directed
against individual liberty would at once be repealed by any Socialist
government (though not by a government of so-called "State Socialists").

Perhaps the idea is best expressed by the Belgian Socialist,
Vandervelde:--


"The capitalist State has as an end the government of men; it needs
centralized power, ministers ready to employ force, functionaries
blindly obeying the least sign. Enlarge its domain [_i.e._
institute 'State Socialism.'--W.] and you will create a vast
barracks, you will institute a republic of scoundrels.

"The Socialist State, on the contrary, will have for its end an
administration of things; it will need a decentralized
organization, practical men of science, industrial forces over
which spontaneity and initiative will be required above every other
quality."[300]


Surely such a State does not resemble in any way the paternalistic,
bureaucratic capitalism or "State Socialism" towards which we are at
present tending.


"It is quite as possible," says Mr. Spargo, "for a government to
exploit the workers in the interests of a privileged class as it is
for private individuals, or quasi-private corporations, to do so.
Germany with her State-owned railroads, or Austria-Hungary and
Russia with their great government monopolies, are not more
Socialistic, but less so than the United States, where these things
are owned by individuals or corporations. The United States is
nearer Socialism for the reason that its political institutions
have developed farther towards pure democracy than those of the
other countries named.... The real _motif_ of Socialism is not
merely to change the form of industrial organization and ownership,
but to eliminate exploitation.... Every abuse of capitalism calls
forth a fresh installment of legislation restrictive of personal
liberty, with an army of prying officials. Legislators keep busy
making laws, judges keep busy interpreting and enforcing them, and
a swarm of petty officials are kept busy attending to this
intricate machine of popular government. In sober truth, it must be
said that capitalism has created, and could not exist without, the
very bureaucracy it charges Socialism with attempting to foist upon
the nation."[301]


The Socialists are as far from proposing anything resembling a system of
mechanical and absolute equality as they are from attacking personal or
industrial liberty. Ninety-nine and one half per cent of the product of
the men of the different social classes, says Edward Bellamy, "is due in
every case to advantages afforded by modern civilization."[302] So that
if one man is twice as capable as another, it merely raises the
proportion of the product due to his personal efforts from one half of
one per cent to one per cent. International Socialism realizes with
Bellamy that the product is social in far greater proportion than is at
present recognized, but it does not deny that there are cases in which
the contribution of the individual is more important even than
everything that can be attributed to his social advantages. It does not
propose, therefore, to level incomes. It is true that this communist
principle of Bellamy's has a wide practical application both in the
Socialist scheme of things and in present-day society, as, for example,
in free schools and parks, and in the "State Socialist" program. But the
extension of such communism, the distribution of services to the general
public without charge, is due to-day, not to any acceptance of the
general principle, but to the fact that it is inconvenient or impossible
to attempt to distribute the cost of many services among individuals in
proportion as they take advantage of them.

Kautsky expresses the prevailing Socialist view when he says that the
_principle_ of equality, if distinguished from mere _artificial
leveling_, will play a certain r˘le in a Socialist society. Without any
definite legislation in that direction the natural economic forces of
such a society will tend to raise low wages, and at the same time, by
the increase of competition for higher positions, to lower somewhat the
highest salaries. For if Socialists are opposed to any kind of
artificial equality or leveling, they are still more opposed to
artificial inequality, and all the initial advantages that arise out of
the possession of wealth or privileges in education will be done away
with.[303]

On the supposition that Socialism proposes a communistic leveling of
income, it has been stated very often by Socialists that it would be
necessary to abolish wages, but there is no authority for this either
from Karl Marx or from any of his most prominent successors.



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