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CHAPTER VII.: PRACTICAL SELF-CONTRADICTION OF THE SOCIALISTS. - Yves Guyot, The Tyranny of Socialism 
The Tyranny of Socialism, ed. J.H. Levy (London: Swan Sonnenschein and Co., 1894).
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PRACTICAL SELF-CONTRADICTION OF THE SOCIALISTS.
The Government and Civil Service are Hateful and Contemptible, therefore entrust everything to them—Men or Automata?—Political Liberty and Economic Tutelage—Child and Adult.
By a flagrant contradiction, you wish to make use of those liberties which you demand, not in order to ask for the legal acknowledgment of personal rights still unrecognised—the full exercise of the freedom of labour—but in order to ask that the State shall be the only regulator of the economic activity in each nation. If you maintain that your social organisation, which involves the suppression of personal decision and the substitution of the State intervention for contract, is not a retrogression, tell me then why you consider political and religious liberty to be an advance?
What! you claim universal suffrage; you wish to direct the destinies of your country by vote; you desire to think, speak, and act as you like; and still you argue that this State, which you think bad, insufficient, and always suspicious, shall direct your purchases and sales by custom-house tariffs, fix your hours of labour and of rest, determine your salary, and become the regulator of the entire economic movement of the country. From the political point of view you wish to be men; from the economic point of view you wish to be automata.
How do you reconcile these contradictory demands which you make at the same time—Political Liberty and Economic Tutelage?
TheDeterminist.—Are you an elector?
Determinist.—Will you resign your rights as an elector?
Determinist.—You look upon yourself then as of full age?
Determinist.—But if you wish the State to determine contracts for you, you still look upon yourself as a minor. Make your choice between the two; be either an adult or a minor; but you cannot be both at one and the same time.
Delegate.—All that is middle-class science, made to deceive the people.
Determinist.—Be it so. But tell me what you think of the Government.
Delegate.—Nothing good! A pack of bourgeois, exploiters, and ignoramuses.
Delegate.—Yes. Allemane, Brousse, Vaillant, and others, have told us so. And in addition, they are a lot of Panama thieves.
Determinist.—Not all of them!
Determinist.—And in every country?
Delegate.—Yes, everywhere. They are all alike; the one is as bad as the other.
Determinist.—In Germany, Italy, England, and the United States?
Delegate.—Yes; worse luck.
Determinist.—You have a good opinion of the governing classes. How about the civil service?
Delegate.—Leather bands so placed as to prevent people dancing in a circle, and always lost in their waste paper baskets. All they can do is to complicate matters.
Determinist.—At any rate our civil service is honest.
Delegate.—You cannot make me believe that. Read the Libre Parole and l’Intransigeant. Look at the War Department and the Admiralty. Why you all talk, in the Chamber, of the abuses there are—of the squandering that goes on. You declare that we don’t get our money’s worth.
Determinist.—The army and the navy are the well administered departments of the State; in them she constructs and has workshops; she houses, clothes, and feeds people. And you say that is not a success?
Delegate.—No. It is not a success.
Determinist.—But then, if you believe that the Government is detestable and stupid, that statesmen are more fallible than other men, and stoop to all sorts of corruptions, evil influences, and passions; that the administration is clumsy, expensive, and behindhand; your demand should be that government should be more and more eliminated from the direction of social life, and that the civil service should have an ever-narrowing field of action.
Delegate.—That is what I want!
Determinist.—You want precisely the opposite, for you demand that this odious government, this detestable civil service, shall regulate the details of the whole economic life of the country. You multiply their functions. You enjoin upon these statesmen and these administrators that you cover with your scorn, to think, to provide, and to act for you.
Delegate.—Ah! but they won’t be the same people. Those who will govern will belong to us, will be good men.
Determinist.—And you believe that they will not commit abuses, that they will grant privileges to none, that they will be guilty of no injustice, that they will have intuitive knowledge, that in their government and their administration they will unite the virtue of Marcus Aurelius, the orderly spirit of Colbert, and the initiative of Napoleon?
Delegate.—Perhaps that is a good deal.
Determinist.—Yes; it will not, however, be too much to require to put your organisation in working order; for it can only succeed through miracles. Unfortunately, we have seen what your leaders and friends know of the work of administration and government.
Determinist.—During the Commune, for example.
Delegate.—That was a time of war.
Determinist.—Be it so. But is everything perfection at the Bourse du Travail? Do the members of the Executive and of the Central Committee never provoke complaints from those under their administration, and never have difficulties amongst themselves?
Delegate.—Yes, sometimes, but that does not matter.
Determinist.—And if you had the power, would there not be more parties among you? Would you all be united? Would you have no differences, no discussions?
Delegate.—Not like the bourgeois.
Determinist.—In fact, when on the 28th May the Marxites, Allemanists, Broussists and Blanqists, met at Père-Lachaise, they seemed to be all of one mind, but that was to abuse one another and to fight. This is a foretaste they have given us of the era of peace and happiness which we shall enjoy, if, some day, the economic life of each one of us is to be regulated by them.
Delegate.—That does not matter. Leave us alone. You will see what a success it will be.
Determinist.—In the name of the inductive method. I oppose this. Past experience, and the facts which I see everyday, cause me enough distrust to make me indisposed to put in your hands the insufferable despotism which your programmes demand. I will no more part with my economic liberty than with my political liberty: they are inseparable.
Having demonstrated that the Socialist programme, so far from being an advance, only represents a retrograde movement towards earlier and inferior types of civilisation, it remains for us to ask, by the aid of what sophisms, by what erroneous methods can the authors of this programme so present it as to win disciples who rally round it with a fierce and jealous passion.
We shall take the enumeration of these sophisms from the declaration of principles of the Gotha and Erfurt Congresses, which we stated above, so that we cannot be accused of misstating Socialist ideas in order to refute them the more easily. We are, nevertheless, obliged to add to these a few of the maxims, more or less explicitly borrowed from the French Socialists of 1848, which have come to be current arguments.