Front Page Titles (by Subject) CHAPTER I.: LABOUR AND WEALTH. - The Tyranny of Socialism
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CHAPTER I.: LABOUR AND WEALTH. - Yves Guyot, The Tyranny of Socialism 
The Tyranny of Socialism, ed. J.H. Levy (London: Swan Sonnenschein and Co., 1894).
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LABOUR AND WEALTH.
Borrowed from M. de Saint-Cricq—Confusion—Labour only a Means—The Law of Least Effort—Definition of Capital—Fixed Capital and Circulating Capital—Definition of Value.
At the head of the Gotha programme we find this sentence:
“Labour is the source of all wealth and all civilisation and as labour which is profitable to all is only made possible by society. . . .”
This sentence seems to be taken from the protectionist vocabulary, and more particularly from that of M. de Saint-Cricq: “Labour constitutes the wealth of a people.” The Protectionists of the Restoration, like those of our own day, make the same mistake as though they were confusing implements with production. If labour constituted the wealth of a nation it would suffice to create labour for labour’s sake, and we should increase our wealth indefinitely. Now, the facts of every-day life show that the most earnest labour may be unproductive; and, far from enriching him who devotes himself to it, it may leave him ruined and exhausted. Labour represents effort: and the Law of Least Effort, true in economic as in linguistic matters, impels man to use his labour in order, in the long run, to lessen it. If he constructs implements, boats, highways, bridges, it is because, this considerable effort once accomplished—and it grows more and more considerable, as the powerful implements of our day prove—he can obtain a certain number of services with more ease. And what are these implements, from the stone, the hatchet, and the hammer, down to the most perfect apparatus, if they are not capital?
Capital is man plus all the natural agents which he has bent to his use. We say, in contradiction to certain economists, who make a special capital of the soil: Capital is every utility appropriated by man.
Further, we distinguish two kinds of Capital. One kind, like a house a field, a hammer, a plough, a ship, etc., can only be of service to us upon condition of remaining a house, field, hammer, etc., by not changing in character.
The other, on the contrary, like coal for him who has a hearth to warm, corn for the miller, flour for the baker—in a word, all raw materials, including those foods which constitute fuel for man, are only useful to those who employ them, upon condition of their transformation. In the same way produce for the manufacturer, and for the merchant, are of no utility to him except upon condition of its being converted into money, or other value.
There are then, two sorts of capital: Fixed capital is all things useful the productive use of which does not change their character. Circulating capital is all things useful the productive use of which changes their character. In other words: Fixed capital consists in implements. Circulating capital consists in raw materials and their products.1
And what is value? It is the relation of the utility possessed by one individual to the needs of another individual.
See Menier’s Impot sur le Capital, and Yves Guyot’s La Science Économique. Money is also circulating capital.—This inclusion of money as circulating capital seems to me to break down the definition; for money is clearly an implement for effecting exchanges, and serves its purpose by not changing its character.—Ed.