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honor is his works. The true hero asks for service, not for pay. “Ich Dien” is the real prince's motto all the world over. I'll have to look up a list of biographies, so that Smith and Co. may know what a hero is. They are rather scarce now. And it is curious that, at a time when the demand for a hero is very pressing, the supply has failed. That now, when heroes could have more gold and more promotion than were ever showered on them before, they do seem strangely loth to show themselves. I cannot explain this, unless by supposing that heroes are not ruled by the law of supply and demand, and do not much covet riches or places in the house of peers.
But let us take some homely illustrations of my contention that merit does not depend upon pay.
You know something about cricket. Take the Notts team. You will find that all the professionals are paid at the same rate. But you will not find them all equally good. Shrewsbury is the best bat in the team. He gets no more pay than a less expert
But does that fact prevent any one of us from recognizing his superior power? Do you not see that it is the same in all professions? I daresay Mr. Sims makes more money than Shakespeare would make now. But we never make a mistake as to which of the two stands at the head of his art. John L. Sullivan, the boxer, got, I am told, £500 a week for acting. But even if that be more than Mr. Irving would get, it does not follow that any man can believe Sullivan to be the better actor.
Homely illustration No. 2: That a man will do his best even when he gets no more pay than another of his trade less clever than himself. Here again we take Shrewsbury as an example. Put him into the Players' eleven. He will get no more money than any other batsman. Yet he is the best batsman. But will he, therefore, not try to score? Ask him. See him. Yes; I know what you will say.
If he does not do his best he will be thrown out, and then he will get no money. But Mr. Stoddard tries as hard as Shrewsbury, and he gets no money. And you will find in the Gentlemen and Players' matches that the gentlemen are as keen and as anxious to win as are the Players. And you will always find that the man who works or fights for love, or honor, or duty, or fame, will work harder and fight more fiercely and bravely than the man who fights for pay. Because the former has his heart in the work and the latter has not.
And notice another very curious thing about Mr. Bradlaugh's paragraph :
He tells us that Sir Charles Russell and Mr. William Black have been required to devote years of preliminary stụdy to their trades. He suggests, therefore, that now they shall be paid extra wages. Why?
Is not all wealth created by labor? How did Messrs. Black and Russell live during their period of education ? Who kept them? They were kept by the workers, and are, therefore, in debt to the workers, and not the workers to them. But of this more anon,
We may now go back to Mr. Morley. Of his six errors, I have answered three. We will take Nos. 3 and 4 together. They imply that the people are at present in the enjoyment of the necessaries of life.
What about the unemployed? What about pauperism? What about sweating? What about the payment of unskilled labor ? What about female labor? What about the railway workers, the canal workers, the chemical workers, the costermongers, the dockers, the chain and nail makers, the agricultural laborers ? What about the slums? Does Mr. Morley ever read any Blue Books ? Does he know anything about the condition of this country? If he does, he makes very bad use of the knowledge. Talk about a barbarous society in which men should have but the necessaries of life. Just cast your eye over this brief extract from Dr. Russell's pamphlet on life in one room:
“Of the inhabitants of Glasgow, 25 per cent. live in houses of one apartment.
No less than 14 per cent. of the oneroomed houses, and 27 per cent. of the two-roomed houses, contain lodgers-strange men and women, mixed up with husbands, and wives, and children, within the four walls of small rooms.
There are thousands of these houses which contain five, six and seven inmates, and hundreds which are inhabited by from eight to thirteen. Of all the children who die in Glasgow before they complete their fifth year, 32 per cent. die in houses of one apartment, and not 2 per cent. in houses of five apartments and upward.
From beginning to rapid ending, the lives of these children are short parts in a wretched tragedy.
I can only venture to lift a corner of the curtain which veils the life which is lived in these houses. It is impossible to show you more."
That is official testimony, and Mr. Morley talks about “necessaries" of life. Do you count fresh air, health, decency, and cleanliness as necessaries? If you do, what say you to the barbarism of Glasgow, of Liverpool, of London, and of Manchester ? Come, will you tell me how socialism is going to ruin Ancoats, or lower the moral standard of Whitechapel, or debase the ideal of Black Country life? It will be time enough for our statesmen to despise the necessaries of life” when they have made it poss sible for the people to get them.
Error No. 6, that socialism would encourage laziness, I shall deal with in a future chapter.
SOCIALISM AND SLAVERY.
For though wages be small
There's employment for all,
And the communist schemes
Are rejected as dreams,
- The Clarion. The common misconceptions of socialism are most perverse and foolish." Mr. Herbert Spencer wrote an article called “The Coming Slavery." I think he is responsible for the much-quoted opinion that socialism would result in a more odious form of slavery than any the world has yet known.
Clearly there are two things which Mr. Herbert Spencer, like most of our critics, has failed to understand. One of these things is socialism; the other is the condition of existing society.
I deny that socialism would result in any form of slavery; and I assert that a most odious form of slavery exists at present in this so-called free country.' Let us see.
First as to socialism. Mr. Spencer's idea appears to be that under socialism the state would compel men to work against their will,' or to work at occupations uncongenial to them.
This is a mistake. The state would not compel any man to work. It would only enable all men to work, and to live in peace and comfort by their labor.
If a man did not choose to work, he would not be coerced. He could either do his fair share of the work of the community, in return for his fair share of the wealth, or he could decline to work.
But if he declined to work, he would certainly have to starve, or to leave the state.
Now I want to point out to you, before I go any further, that as things are at present some men live luxuriously and do no work, many men do a great deal of work and live wretchedly, and nearly three quarters of a million of men who are willing to work can get no work to do.
To hear people talk about slavery under socialism, you would suppose we had freedom now. Robert Ingersoll says:
"Some of the best and purest of our race have advocated what is known as socialism.
Socialism seems to me to be one of the worst forms of slavery. · Nothing would so utterly paralyze all the forces, all the splendid ambitiops and aspirations
that tend now to the civilization of man.
Socialism destroys the family and sacrifices the liberties of all. If the government is to provide work it must decide for the worker what he must do, etc. Is it possible to conceive of'a despotism beyond this? The human race cannot afford to exchange its liberty for any possible comfort."
The human race cannot afford to exchange its liberty for any possible comfort ! But the human race has no liberty to exchange. The human race, at least the great majority, are slaves.
But, ask yourself what liberty of choice is left to you.
Suppose you are out of work; can you have work for the 'asking? No. But under socialism you could always have work. Is that a proof of slavery? Suppose under socialism you were told that you must work or starve! Would that be any more despotic treatment than the treatment you get now? Tell your present employers that you do not wish to work, and see what the alternative will be. You must work or starve now., The difference between present conditions, and the conditions of socialism, are that you now work long hours for a bare existence, whereas, in a socialistic state you would work short hours for a life of honor and comfort.
The socialistic state would not compel any man to work; it would prevent him from living on the work of others. It would organize the industries, production and distribution of the community, and would then say to the citizen, “If you would enjoy the benefits and share the wealth of this commonwealth, you must also obey the laws and share the labor.” Surely that is just. But in no case can it be twisted to mean slavery, for the man who did not like the conditions could refuse them, just as he can now.
But note that other statement of Mr. Ingersoll's;
“If the government is to provide work, must decide for the worker what he must do."
Must it? Why?
At present the capitalist finds work, but he does not decide what we must do. He cannot decide, or he would.
So when the state found work it would not decide what each man must do.
You will ask me how a socialist state would apportion the work. I ask you how the work is apportioned now.
You have a son, say a lad of fourteen, and wish to put him to a trade. You ask him his choice. He says he would like to be a cabinet-maker. You apply at the shops in your own town and you find that trade is bad, or that the allowed number of apprentices is made up. So you get the boy work as an engineer or a painter.
That is to say, your boy can choose his trade subject to the demand for labor of certain kinds. If all boys wanted to be engineers, they could not all get work at that trade.
These conditions would exist under socialism. The state or the municipality would need a certain number of plumbers and a certain number of painters. If more boys asked to be painters than the state needed to do its painting, some of those boys would have to take other work. Where does the slavery come in ?
Robert Ingersoll' is considered a very able man, and Herbert Spencer enjoys the reputation of being a great thinker.
What have these famous men been doing with their eyes ? How have they contrived to commit the egregious blunder of supposing that men have free choice of occupation now? How many men do you know, John Smith, who are working at the trade of their choice or living where and how they please ?
Let us return to your boy of fourteen. Suppose, instead of choosing to be a cabinet-maker, he said, “I want to be a doctor!" You would laugh at him. Why? Because it is absurd for a weaver's son to ask to be a doctor. Why?
Because it costs a lot of money to become a doctor. And, once more, why? Because a doctor has a great deal to learn, and education is dear.
So though your son wishes to be a doctor, though he might possess great talent for the work, he must go and be a candlestick-maker instead, for you are too poor to give him his choice.
But under socialism education would be free. It would be free to all. Therefore the competition for doctorships would be equal. It would not be what it is now-a close thing for the privileged classes. So your boy would have as good a chance as any other.
“Ah,” but you will say, “under socialism all the boys would want to be doctors and artists and writers.” Not likely. At present all the boys want to be “gentlemen," but very few of them get their wish, and many of them have to be beggars or thieves.
Under socialism any boy who had the industry and talent might qualify himself to get a diploma. Of course, when he had it, he might not get an appointment as one of the medical men for his town. But I understand that there are at present a good many doctors with no practice.
There is no greater blunder possible than the blunder of supposing that in this country, at the present time, every man may follow the work of his choice. It is a ridiculous error.
To read Mr. Bradlaugh, Mr. Ingersoll, and Mr. Spencer, you would think that things are so well ordered now that all kinds of work must fall to the men best fitted to do it.