« НазадПродовжити »
u The preceding considerations appear sufficient to show that an entire renovation of the social fabric, such as is contemplated by Socialism, establishing the economic constitution of society upon an entirely new basis, other than that of private property and competition, however valuable as an ideal, and even as a prophecy of ultimate possibilities, is not available as a present resource, since it requires from those who are to carry on the new order of things qualities both moral and intellectual, which require to be tested in all, and to be created in most; and this cannot be done by an Act of Parliament, but must be, on the most favourable supposition, a work of considerable time. For a long period to come the principle of individual property will be in possession of the field; and even if in any country a popular movement were to place Socialists at the head of a revolutionary government, in however many ways they may violate private property the institution itself would survive, and would either be accepted by them or brought back by their expulsion, for the plain reason that people will not lose their hold of what is at present their sole reliance for subsistence and security until a substitute for it has been got into working order. Even those, if any, who have shared among themselves what was the property of others would desire to keep what they had acquired, and to give back to property in the new hands the sacredness which they had not recognised in the old.
"But though, for these reasons, individual property has presumably a long term before it, if only of provisional existence, we are not, therefore, to conclude that it must exist during that whole term unmodified, or that all the rights now regarded as appertaining to property belong to it inherently, and must endure while it endures. On the contrary, it is both the duty and the interest of those who derive the most direct benefit from the laws of property to give impartial consideration to all proposals for rendering those laws in any way less onerous to the majority. . . .
"One of the mistakes oftenest committed, and which are the source of the greatest practical errors in human affairs, is that of supposing that the same name always stands for the same aggregation of ideas. No word has been the subject of more of this kind of misunderstanding than the word property. It denotes, in every state of society, the largest power of exclusive use or exclusive control over things (and sometimes, unfortunately, over persons) which the law accords, or which custom in that state of society recognises; but these powers of exclusive use and control are very various and differ greatly in different countries and in different states of society." And, after some historical illustrations of this proposition, he concludes:
"When, therefore, it is maintained, rightly or wrongly, that some change or modification in the powers exercised over things by the persons legally recognised as their proprietors would be beneficial to the public and conducive to the general improvement, it is no good answer to this merely to say that the supposed change conflicts with the idea of property. The idea of property is not some one thing identical throughout history and incapable of alteration, but is variable like all other creations of the human mind; at any given time it is a brief expression denoting the rights over things conferred by the law or custom of some given society at that time; but neither on this point nor on any other has the law and custom of a given time and place a claim to be stereotyped for ever. A proposed reform in laws or customs is not necessarily objectionable because its adoption would imply, not the adaptation of all human affairs to the existing idea of property, but the adaptation of the existing ideas of property to the growth and improvement of human affairs. This is said without prejudice to the equitable claim of proprietors to be compensated by the state for such legal rights of a proprietary nature as they may be dispossessed of for the public advantage."
L,—The Later History Of Socialism (p. 217)
It will be observed that the socialistic writings commented on by Mill were all of French origin and were none of them subsequent to 1869, the date of Mill's articles on Socialism referred to under Appendix K. The Socialism which has been of most influence in later years has been of German origin, and must be studied in the writings of its chief exponents, Karl Marx, Ferdinand Lassalle, Rodbertus, and Friedrich Engels. The most notable in this connexion of those of Lassalle were Arbeiierprogramm (1862: Eng. trans, as The Working Mans Programme), and Herr Bastiat Schulze von Delitzsch, der bkonomische Julian (1864: French trans, by Malon as Capital et Travail); of Rodbertus, Zur Beleuchtung der Sozialen Frage (1875 ; containing a new edition of Soziale Briefe an v. Kirchmann, 1850), and Die Handelskrisen (1858: Eng. trans, as Overproduction and Crises, 1898); and of Engels (in conjunction with Marx), Manifest der Kommunistischen Partei (1848: Eng. trans, revised by Engels 1888), and, alone, Die Entwiekelung der Sozialismus von der Utopie zur Wissenschaft (1882: Eng. trans, as Socialism, Utopian and Scientific), and Introductions to Marx's Capital. But of most importance for the theoretic formulation of Socialism have been the writings of Marx (1818-1883): Zur Kritilc der politischen Oe/conomie (1859), and, above all, Das Kapital (i. 1867: Eng. trans. Capital, 1887; ii. 1893; iii. 1894. An English abstract of the 1st vol. by Aveling appeared in 1891 as The Student's Marx). Fundamental ideas in the writings of Marx were those of Surplus-Value, of Class War, of the Concentration of Wealth, and of the Materialist Interpretation of History. The extent to which these particular teachings have been abandoned by those younger German socialists known as "Revisionists" may be gathered from Bernstein, Die Voraussetzungen der Sozialismus (1899: Eng. trans, as Evolutionary Socialism, 1909).
Among useful books on the history of Socialism in general, and of German socialism in particular, may be mentioned: Laveleye, Le Socialisms Contemporain (1881: Eng. trans. 1885); Ely, French and German Socialism (1885) ; Gonner, The Social Philosophy of Rodbertus (1900); Rae, Contemporary Socialism (3rd ed. 1901); Brooks, The Social Unrest (1903); Kirkup, A History of Socialism (3rd ed. 1906); Ensor, Modern Socialism (2nd ed. 1907),— a most useful collection of typical documents and speeches from all the leading countries of Europe; and Herkner, Die Arbeiterfrage (5th ed. 1908).
English socialism has pursued in some respects a line of development of its own; and it may be studied in Fabian Essays in Socialism (1889: Reprint, with a significant preface, 1908); various Fabian Tracts, especially Shaw, The Fabian Society (1892); Macdonald, Socialism and Society (1905); Wells, New Worlds for Old (1908); and Villiers, The Socialist Movement in England (1908).
Two popular works which have had a very large circulation are, in America, Bellamy, Looking Backward (1890), and in England, Blatchford, Merrie England (1894).
For French socialism see Jaures, Studies in Socialism (Eng. trans. 1906); Lavy, UOeuvre de Millerand (1902); and Millerand, Travail et Travailleurs (1908); for the recent developments of "Revolutionary Syndicalism," Gide and Rist, Hisloire des Doctrines Economiques (1909); and for Belgian socialism, Destree and Vandervelde, Le Socialisms, en Belgique (1903).
Among criticisms of socialism in various forms and aspects may be singled out Herbert Spencer, The Man v. The State (1884); Courtney, The Difficulties of Socialism, in Econ. Journal, i. (1891); Schaffle, The Impossibility of Social Democracy (Eng. trans. ]892); Ricliter, Pictures of the Socialistic Future (Eng. trans. 1893); Devas, Political Economy (2nd ed. 1901), bk. ii. ch. 7; Strachey, Problems and Perils of Socialism (1908); and Mallock, A Critical Examination of Socialism (1909). An individualist position is ably maintained in the writings of Helen Bosanquet, especially The Strength, of the People (1902).
M.—Indian Tenures (p. 328)
The whole subject must now be studied in the works of the late B. H. Baden-Powell, and especially in the three massive volumes The Land Systems of British India (1892), and the brief text-book based upon that work, Land Revenue in British India (1894). See also his Indian Village Community (1896), and the more popular Village Communities in India (1899); and on the special subject of the Origin of Zamindari Estates in Bengal, his article under that title in the (Harvard) Quarterly Journal of Economics, xi. (Oct. 1890).
N.—Irish Agrarian Development (p. 342)
The Irish Land Act of 1870 marked the beginning of an attempt to solve the agrarian problem in accordance with the principle popularly described as "dual ownership," by giving the tenants a right to " compensation for disturbance." The great Land Act of 1881 carried the process much further by accepting the proposals known as " the three F's" (fair rents, free sale of tenants' interests, and iixed tenure), and establishing a Land Court to fix "judicial rents " for a term of years. By the Land Act of 1903, however, a new departure was made; and machinery was provided for the voluntary transference to the tenants of the land still in the hands of the landlords, on terms attractive to both parties. This measure and the subsequent amending and supplementary Acts will probably, in no long time, bring about the establishment of a system of peasant proprietorship over a great part of Ireland. It should be added that there has of recent years been a rapid growth among Irish farmers of various forms of co-operation. For a brief account of the Act of 1881 and of its relation to contemporary Nationalism, see Low and Sanders, Political History of England during the reign of Victoria (1907). The least biassed accounts of Irish agrarian history during the last forty years are perhaps to be found in a brief work by a German economist, Dr. Bonn, Modern Ireland and her Agrarian Problem (Eng. trans. 1906), and in Bastable's articles in the (Harvard) Quarterly Journal of Economics, xviii. (Nov. 1903), and in the Economic Journal, xix. (March 1909). On the movement towards co-operation among farmers, see Plunkeit, Ireland in the New Century (1903), part ii. The details of the history are best looked for in the reports of Royal Commissions and similar documents, such as the Report of the Royal Commission of 1880-1, and of the Royal Commission of 1886-7, the Report of the Select Committee of the House of Commons of 1894 (" Morley's Committee."), and the Report of the Royal Commission of 1897-8 (" Fry's Commission "), together with a Report by Mr. W. F. Bailey, Legal Assistant-Commissioner, of an Inquiry into the Present Condition of Tenant Purchasers (1903), the Reports of the Irish Agricultural Organisation Society (from 1895), and of the Irish Department of Agriculture and Technical Instruction (from 1901). See also Coyne, Ireland, Industrial and Commercial (pub. by Irish Dep. of Agriculture, 1902), and for the text of the Acts, Cherry and Barton, Irish Land Law.
O.—The Wages Fund Doctrine (p. 344)
This doctrine was formally abandoned by Mill himself in the course of a review of Thornton's Labour in the Fortnightly Review for May 1869, reprinted in his Dissertations and Discussions, iv. The central passages of this article are as follows (Dissertations, iv. pp. 42 seq.):
"It will be said that . . . supply and demand do entirely govern the price obtained for labour. The demand for labour consists of the whole circulating capital of the country, including what is paid in wages for unproductive labour. The supply is the whole labouring population. If the supply is in excess of what the capital can at present employ, wages must fall. If the labourers are all employed, and there is a surplus of capital still unused, wages will rise. This series of deductions is generally received as incontrovertible. They are found, I presume, in every systematic treatise on political economy, my own certainly included. I must plead guilty to having, along with the world in general, accepted the theory without the qualifications and limitations necessary to make it admissible.
"The theory rests on what may be called the doctrine of the wages fund. There is supposed to be, at any given instant, a sum of wealth, which is unconditionally devoted to the payment of wages of labour. This sum is not regarded as unalterable, for it is augmented by saving, and increases with the progress of wealth; but it is reasoned upon as at any given moment a predetermined amount. More than that amount it is assumed that the wages-receiving class cannot possibly divide among them; that amount, and no less, they cannot but obtain. 80 that, the sum to be divided being fixed, the wages of each depend solely on the divisor, the number of participants. . . .
"But is there such a thing as a wages-fund, in the sense here implied? Exists there any fixed amount which, and neither more nor less than which, is destined to be expended in wages?
"Of course there is an impassable limit to the amount which can be so expended; it cannot exceed the aggregate means of the employing classes. It cannot come up to those means; for the employers have also to maintain themselves and their families. But, short of this limit, it is not, in any sense of the word, a fixed amount.
"In the common theory, the order of ideas is this: The capitalist's pecuniary means consist of two parts—his capital, and his profits or income. His capital is what he starts with at the beginning of the year, or when he commences some round of business operations; his income he does nos receive until the end of the year, or until the round of operations it completed. His capital, except such part as is fixed in buildings and machinery, or laid out in materials, is what he has got to pay wages with. He cannot pay them out of his income, for he has not yet received it. When he does receive it, he may lay by a portion to add to his capital, and as such it will become part of next year's wages-fund, but has nothing to do with this year's.
"This distinction, however, between the relation of the capitalist to his capital, and his relation to his income is wholly imaginary. He starts at the commencement with the whole of his accumulated means, all of which is potentially capital: and out of this he advances his personal and family expenses, exactly as he advances the wages of his labourers. ... If we choose to call the whole of what he possesses applicable to the payment of wages, the wages-fund, that fund is co-extensive with the whole proceeds of his business, after keeping up his machinery, buildings and materials, and feeding his family; and it is expended jointly upon himself and his labourers. The less he expends on the one, the more may be expended on the other, and vice versa. The price of labour, instead of being determined by the division of the proceeds between the employer and the labourers, determines it. If he gets his labour cheaper, he can afford to spend more upon himself. If he has to pay more for labour, the additional payment comes out of his own income; perhaps from the part which he would have saved and added to capital, thus anticipating his voluntary economy by a compulsory one; perhaps from what he would have expended on his private wants or pleasures. There is no law of nature making it inherently impossible for wages to rise to the point of absorbing not only the funds which he had intended to devote to carrying on his business, but the whole of what he allows for his private expenses, beyond the necessaries of life. The real limit to the rise is the practical consideration, how much would ruin him or drive him to abandon the business: not the inexorable limits of the wages-fund.
"In short, there is abstractedly available for the payment of wages, before an absolute limit is reached, not only the employer's capital, but the whole of what can possibly be retrenched from his personal expenditure: and the law of wages, on the side of demand, amounts only to the obvious proposition, that the employers cannot pay away in wages what they have not got. On the side of supply, the law as laid down by economists remains intact. The more numerous the competitors for employment, the lower, cceteris paribus, will wages be. . . .
"But though the population principle and its consequences are in no way touched by anything that Mr. Thornton has advanced, in another of its bearings the labour question, considered as one of mere economics, assumes a materially changed aspect. The doctrine hitherto taught by all or most economists (including myself), which denied it to be possible that trade combinations can raise wages, or which limited their operations in that respect to the somewhat earlier attainment of a rise which the competition of the market would have produced without them,—this doctrine is deprived of its scientific foundation, and must be thrown aside. The right and wrong of the proceedings of Trade Unions becomes a common question of prudence and social duty, not one which is peremptorily decided by unbending necessities of political economy." In spite of the remonstrances of Cairnes, and his attempt to restate the Wages Fund doctrine in a more satisfactory form, in his Leading Principles, part ii. ch. 1, it may be said to be abandoned now by all economists, at any rate in the form in which it was stated by Mill. For a criticism of Mill's retractation, and a statement of a sense in which it may still be allowable to speak of a Wages Fund, see Taussig, Wages and Capital, an Examination of the Wages Fund Doctrine (N. Y. 1896), especially part ii. ch. 11. And see Sidgwick, Principles, bk. ii. ch. 8, § 2; Marshall, Principles, i. App. J: The Doctrine of the Wages Fund; and Nicholson, Principles, bk. ii. ch. 10, § 8.
P.—The Movement Of Population (p. 360)
The rate of growth of the population of the several parts of the United Kingdom is shown by the following table: