Front Page Titles (by Subject) CHAPTER I.: CONTEMPT FOR THE LAW. - The Tyranny of Socialism
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CHAPTER I.: CONTEMPT FOR THE LAW. - Yves Guyot, The Tyranny of Socialism 
The Tyranny of Socialism, ed. J.H. Levy (London: Swan Sonnenschein and Co., 1894).
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CONTEMPT FOR THE LAW.
Disrespect of the Law—The Law of 1884 and the Bourse du Travail — Prud’hommes and Employers — Earning the Wages of a whole Year by Working Twenty-Four Weeks—Denial of Justice.
The Socialists demand legislation, the principle and character of which we have exposed. They get simple-minded people, flatterers, and weak people, to join them. They do but play with our institutions—with the liberty of discussion. They commit errors, and cause them to be committed; and it is for us to point them out and to change opinion regarding them by our arguments, our demonstrations, and the vigour of our propaganda. However monstrous certain conceptions may be, I do not proscribe them. There is no such thing as social orthodoxy or social heresy. I do not summon the secular arm to my aid for the extirpation of bad doctrines. I only ask for light.
But I do ask myself why Socialists send Deputies to Parliament, and why these show themselves so keen in laying down, defending, and voting for Bills of the nature of those we have just analysed, when their friends affect contempt for every law that displeases them. It really is not worth while for M. Bovier-Lapierre and his friends to waste time and energy in making a bad law, to insure the fixity of employment of the members of syndicates, when at the meetings which have taken place (May and June, 1893) at the Labour Exchange (Bourse du Travail) they have declared the contempt felt for the law of 1884 by these members of syndicates, and have insulted the Minister who reminded them of the existence of the law.
Would they have wished that the Bovier-Lapierre law should be used against the employers, to the profit of the members of syndicates, who declined to bind themselves down to the law of 1884?
Each day we have instances of this way of regarding the question of legality by the Council of Prud’hommes. Certain Prud’hommes hold a brief to always condemn the employers; and as M. Graillet, President of the Council of Prud’hommes (chemical manufacturers) said in a letter of June 14th, 1893:—Elected by a Committee, and having a programme, to which I rigorously adhere, and which alone dictates my conduct, I do not judge of the cause according to facts, but according to the pledges I have given.”
A young hairdresser, of a superior class to those extra hands of whom I spoke in my speech of May 8th, can earn supplies for a year by working only twenty-four weeks. He is hired by an employer, and during eight days he does his work well. On the ninth he abuses a client. The master, who fears that if his clients are treated thus, they will leave him, gives his assistant notice to quit. The master is at once summoned before the Council of Prud’hommes, and is condemned to pay eight days’ wages to the hairdresser, besides tips!
This way of interpreting their duties on the part of the Councillors of the Prud’hommes seems to us to be the most scandalous contempt of justice, contempt of the law, and of those amenable to the law, pushed to the extreme limit; and when M. Lockroy begins to expound the motives of his Bill by saying: “The jurisdiction of the Council of Prud’hommes is justly popular; it responds to the aspirations and needs of the modern democracy,” he either proves himself ignorant of their ways of procedure or that he considers “that the aspirations and needs of the modern democracy” are to establish the principle of partiality in the judge!