Front Page Titles (by Subject) CHAPTER VII.: THE ABOLITION OF WAGES. - The Tyranny of Socialism
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CHAPTER VII.: THE ABOLITION OF WAGES. - 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 ABOLITION OF WAGES.
The Abolition of Wages—Means of accomplishing this—Process Employed—The Advantages of being an Employer—Tu l’auras voulu, George Dandin!
Socialist (triumphant).—What you have just been saying condemns the system of wages; because under it you admit that it would be impossible to take needs into account. The employer would allow the miserable martyr to bronchitis, of whom you spoke, to die of starvation. That is barbarous. There is only one remedy: abolish wages. M.Lafargue wasright when he said to M. Millerand: “So long as the wage-system remains in force you have accomplished nothing.”
Economist.—Then you believe that the abolition of wages would give work to that poor wretch, and that he would find it easier to live? Would his productive power be increased?
Socialist.—Others would work for him.
Economist.—That is just what happens now; and the function of public aid is, to come to the rescue of the unhappy people who cannot live by their own work. But this is quite a different question, which has no connection with production except the burden which it imposes upon it. It is quite alien to the question of the fixing of the rate of wages.
Socialist.—That is why we must suppress wages. True Socialists have no doubts upon this point. They are unanimous. The wage-system is robbery on the part of the masters. Karl Marx has proved this. We must compass the abolition of wagedom! Whilst that remains unachieved nothing is done!
Economist.—Well, you and your friends are at this moment working with consummate skill towards this end, and you will of a surety reach it, but in a different way to what you imagine. Pending the grand final upheaval, the employer may expect any day to see the legislature interfere in his affairs and change their conditions.
By the suppression of women’s night labour the power of production of certain manufacturers has been diminished and their sale handicapped by more than one-third, which is a singular way of favouring the increase of trades with small capitals and of developing our commercial power. The law of compulsory insurance in case of accidents adds another burden to the heavy load that the French manufacturer already has to carry, and which will doubtless help him to compete with more ease against foreign competition. He is, moreover, subjected to all sorts of inspections, which are to be still further increased, and a majority in the Chamber of Deputies has adopted the Bovier-Lapierre law by virtue of which every employer who dismisses a workman who is a member of a trade syndicate, with censure, renders himself liable to police correction like a vagrant, and may be condemned to fine and imprisonment. The Congress of Tours demands that employers shall be subject to the supervision of inspectors elected by the workmen, and that they shall be punished “if they have caused people to work for more than eight hours and below the wage rates accepted by the syndicate,” The workmen who are members of the conseils de prudhommes administer an oath always to condemn the masters, and set up the doctrine of partiality in matters of justice. Employers are compelled to put up with the presence in their offices of those who offer them nothing but insults and the language of hatred. They have the constant fear of strikes, which they cannot in any way prevent; and when this industrial war has once been declared, they are exposed to threats of assassination. They are obliged to send their wives and children out of harm’s way, and the very smallest risk they run is the pillage and destruction of part of their stock. Deputies come and place themselves at the head of these strikers to encourage their disorders. Ministers and Prefects intervene, and dread lest they shall be accused of siding with the employers. If some magistrate does his duty by condemning those guilty according to the common law, upon the first offence, the criminals are at once pardoned and return triumphant. If the employer ruins himself, he loses, not only his own capital and that of his sleeping partners, but he is disgraced into the bargain and becomes a miserable wreck. If he makes money, he is denounced in certain newspapers, at meetings, and in the tribune, and he is assured that he could be easily made to disgorge.
Do you think that under these conditions the position of employer is so full of attractions that many will be disposed to devote their capital and their lives to trade? Is it so tempting that the relatives of a young man, entering upon life, will encourage him to play such a dangerous rôle?
And then, if young, energetic, and active men, with capital at their command, are driven from trade by Socialist demands, do you not see you will attain your object to perfection, my dear Socialist. Yes, wages will be abolished, because there will be no more employers to pay them, because there will be no more manufactories to employ you, because, tender your labour as much as you like, you will find no one to buy it. Tu l’auras voulu, George Dandin!