Front Page Titles (by Subject) CHAPTER V.: THE EVOLUTION OF PROPERTY. - The Tyranny of Socialism
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CHAPTER V.: THE EVOLUTION OF PROPERTY. - Yves Guyot, The Tyranny of Socialism 
The Tyranny of Socialism, ed. J.H. Levy (London: Swan Sonnenschein and Co., 1894).
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THE EVOLUTION OF PROPERTY.
Collectivism is its Primitive Form—Agrarian Communes—Nothing is to remain held under joint-ownership.
The Socialist ideal, as depicted by the programmes which we have quoted, is Collectivism; and even some of those who do not go quite so far as this, advocate the buying up of the land by the State, under the name of land nationalisation.
Have societies converted individual into collective ownership, so that, in invoking the example of the past, we may say that in this we recognise progress? Is not the phenomenon which results from progress the reverse of this? Amongst hunting and nomadic tribes, a horde wanders across an expanse of land more or less extensive, and, when the tribe settles down, the ownership remains undivided among its members. At Rome, according to Mommsen, the agrarian commune was the first form of land administration in Italy; and everywhere, in ancient China as well as in Germany, and in Great Britain before the Norman Conquest, we find the agrarian commune, which has survived down to the present day in the Russian mir, amongst the southern Slavs, in Croatia, Servia, Bosnia, Bulgaria, Dalmatia, and Herzogovnia, but which always disappears upon the approach of a railway.
If the Collectivists of Gotha and Erfurt, or of the Bourse du Travail, would just propose to a French peasant to throw open his land—to offer it to the Mayoralty of his Commune, he would answer them according to the principle of justice which he understands better than any other: Nothing is to remain held in common.1 And he is quite right, for this joint-ownership is the negation of his own individuality.
Nul n’est tenu de rester dans l’indivision, a legal aphorism applying to inheritance; literally, “No one is bound to remain in joint-ownership.” The French peasant may say this without perhaps seeing that this principle begs the point in dispute; that it would mean that all the pictures in the Louvre, all the national buildings, lands, and other property must be sold; that what it is important not to hold in common is, not the fee simple of land, but its use; and that, in so far as his land is mortgaged, he has already parted with its fee simple.—Ed.