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Churchill has justified these measures, not as
increasing the relative share of the working classes, but as adding to
the total product. They are to add to the industrial efficiency of the
nation as a whole, and so incidentally to bring a greater income to
all,--but in much the same proportions as wealth now distributes itself.

In this country Mr. Roosevelt has advocated a typical "State Socialist"
program of labor reforms including:--


"A workday of not more than eight hours."

"The abolition of the sweat-shop system."

"Sanitary inspection of factory, workshop, mine, and home."

"Liability of employers for injury to body and loss of life" and
"an automatically fixed compensation."

"The passage and enforcement of rigid anti-child-labor laws which
will cover every portion of this country."

"Laws limiting woman's labor."


All these measures except the first were adopted long ago, in
considerable part at least, by the reactionary government of Prussia and
are being introduced generally in monarchical and aristocratic Europe,
and I have shown that the eight-hour day has been instituted for miners
in Great Britain and that Mr. Winston Churchill proposed to extend it.
Mr. Roosevelt himself concedes that "we are far behind the older and
poorer countries" in such matters. But an examination of the action of
State legislatures during the year just past will show that we are
making rapid progress in the same direction.

"Social" or "industrial" efficiency, promoted by the government, is
already the central idea in American labor reform. Government insurance
against old age, accident, sickness, and unemployment is regarded, not
as the "workingmen's compensation" for injuries done them by society,
but as an automatic means of forcing backward employers to economize the
community's limited supply of labor power--not to wear it out too soon,
not to overstrain it, not to damage it irreparably or lay it up
unnecessarily for repairs, and not to leave it idle. Mr. Louis Brandeis
points out that mutual fire insurance has appealed to certain
manufacturers because in twenty years it has resulted in measures that
have prevented more than two thirds of the expected losses by fire.
Similarly, he says, "if society and industry and the individual were
made to pay from day to day the actual cost of sickness, accident,
invalidity, premature death, or premature old age consequent upon
excessive hours of labor, of unhygienic conditions of work, of
unnecessary risk, and of irregularity in employment, those evils would
be rapidly reduced."[66]

This, as Mr. Brandeis says, is undoubtedly on the "road to social
efficiency" and its practical application will convince employers better
than "mere statements of cost, however clear and forceful." It will
remove a vast sea of human misery, and the process will immensely enrich
society. But like the other State Capitalist reforms (until they are
supplemented by some more radical policy) it will at the same time
automatically bring about an increase of existing inequalities of income
and an intensification of social injustice.

Mr. William Hard in a study of workingmen's compensation for
_Everybody's Magazine_ has reached a similar conclusion to that of Mr.
Brandeis: "Far from attacking the present relationship between employer
and employee, automatic compensation specifically recognizes it. The
backbone of the present so-called 'capitalism'; namely, the hiring of
the unpropertied class by the propertied class to do work for wages, is
not caused by automatic compensation to lose a single vertebra, and
automatic compensation has nothing whatever to do with Socialism except
that it is accomplished under the supervision of the State." If
compulsory insurance against accidents "has nothing whatever to do with
Socialism," neither have compulsory insurance against sickness, against
old age, against certain phases of unemployment.

The social reformers propose a labor policy that is _for_ the people
whether they like it or not; the only "rights" it gives them are "the
right to live" and "the right to work." Its first object is to produce
more efficient and profitable laborers, its second to have the
government take control of organized charity, to which aspect I must now
turn. Most of the labor reforms, enacted to secure for the laborer "what
for the Nation's sake even the poorest of its subjects should have,"
have been urged more strongly by philanthropists and political
economists than by representatives of the workers. In America "the
minimum wage," for example, is being worked up by a special committee
consisting almost exclusively of this class, while workmen's
compensation has been indorsed by the most varied political and social
elements, from the chief organ of American philanthropists, and Theodore
Roosevelt, to the Hearst newspapers.

With "the national efficiency" in view, Mr. Webb asks the British
government to take up the policy of a "national minimum," including not
only a minimum below which wages are not to fall, but also a similar
minimum of leisure, sanitation, and education.[67] Mr. Edward Devine,
editor of the leading philanthropic and reform journal in America, the
_Survey_, outlines an identical policy and also insists like Mr. Webb
that the Socialist can lay no exclusive claim to it.


"The social economist [_i.e._ reformer]," writes Mr. Devine, "is
sometimes confused with the Utopian [_i.e._ Socialist]. They are,
however, very distinct types of reformers. The Utopian dreams of
ideals. The social economist seeks to establish the normal.... The
social worker is primarily concerned, _not_ with the lifting of
humanity to a higher level, but with eradicating the maladjustments
and abnormalities, the needless inequalities, which prevent our
realizing our own reasonable standards."


Speaking in the name of American reformers in general, Mr. Devine
demands for the lower levels of society "normal standards" of life,
which are equivalent to Mr. Webb's national minimum, and definitely
denies the applicability of "the question-begging epithet of Socialism
which is hurled at all the reformers engaged in such work."

"Whether it belongs to the Socialist program," Mr. Devine objects, "is a
question so far as we can see of interest only to the Socialists. Our
advocacy of such laws as we enumerate has no Socialist origin." He
claims that the "expenditures legitimately directed towards the removal
of adverse social conditions, are not uneconomic and unproductive," and
that "they do not represent a mere indulgence of altruistic sentiment,"
but are "investments"; of which prison reforms and the expenditures for
the prevention of tuberculosis are examples.[68]

Another phrase for the proposed saving of the national labor resources
and the introduction of minimum standards in its philanthropic aspect is
"the abolition of poverty." When he speaks of this as a definite and by
no means a distant reform, the reformer refers to _that extreme form of
poverty_, so widely prevalent to-day, which results in the physical
deterioration and the industrial inefficiency of a large part of the
population.

This sort of poverty is a burden on industry and the capitalists, and
Mr. Lloyd George was widely applauded when he said that it can and must
be done away with. He has calculated, too, that this abolition can be
accomplished _at half the cost of the annual increase in armaments_.


"This is a War Budget," said Mr. Lloyd George in presenting the
reform program of 1910. "It is for waging implacable war against
poverty and squalidness. I cannot help hoping and believing that
before this generation has passed away we shall have advanced a
great step toward the time when poverty, and the wretchedness and
the human degradation which always follows in its camp, will be as
remote from the people of this country as the wolves which once
infested its forests."


Mr. H. G. Wells, who has been a leading figure in the British reform
world and in the Fabian Society for many years, speaks on this reform
movement not merely as a keen outside observer. As an advocate of more
radical measures, he argues that there is nothing Socialistic about "the
national minimum." This "philanthropic administrative Socialism," as Mr.
Wells calls it, is very remote, he says, from the spirit of his own.[69]
Yet, critical as Mr. Wells is, he also advocates a policy that could be
summed up in the single phrase, "industrial efficiency." "The advent of
a strongly Socialistic government would mean no immediate revolutionary
changes at all," he says. "There would be no doubt an educational
movement to increase the economic value and productivity of the average
citizen of the next generation, and legislation _upon the lines laid
down by the principle of the 'minimum wage'_ to check the waste of our
national resources by destructive employment. Also a shifting of the
burden of taxation of enterprise to rent would begin." (My italics.) The
Liberals who are already setting these reforms on foot disclaim any
connection whatever with Socialism, but Mr. Wells argues that they do
not realize the real nature of their policy.

The establishment of this paternal "State Socialism," whether based on a
philanthropic "national minimum" or a scientific policy of "industrial
efficiency," many other "Socialists" besides those of Great Britain
consider to be the chief task of Socialism itself in our generation.
Among the latter was the late Edmond Kelly, a member of the Socialist
party in this country at the time of his death, who, in his posthumous
work, "Twentieth Century Socialism," has summed up his political faith
in much the same way as the anti-Socialist reformer might have done. He
says that three of the four chief objects of Socialism are the
organization of society, first "to prevent that overwork and
unemployment which lead to drunkenness, pauperism, prostitution, and
crime"; second, "to preserve the resources of the country"; and third,
"to produce with the greatest economy, with the greatest
efficiency."[70] Yet Mr.



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Keywords: whether, nothing, increase, unemployment, whatever, sickness, generation, program, reformer, roosevelt
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