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BOOK VI.: RESPONSIBILITIES. - Yves Guyot, The Tyranny of Socialism 
The Tyranny of Socialism, ed. J.H. Levy (London: Swan Sonnenschein and Co., 1894).
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PARLIAMENT AND STRIKES.
Public Opinion and Strikes—Miners—Intervention of Deputies—Deputies at Bessèges in 1882—M. Fournière painted by M. Goblet—Deputies spat upon by M. Fournière—M. Clémenceau and the Anzin Strike—M. Clémenceau’s Arguments—M. Loubet’s Arbitration—How received by those who had asked for it—Deputies as Peacemakers—M. Baudin at Carmaux—Request for Intervention—An Answer—Strike in the Salt Provision Trade—The Rôle of the Deputies—Their true Gift.
A strike is a monopoly of labour; that is the economic phenomenon which this word expresses, but which those interested understand as little as the public. Opinion intervenes between masters and workmen, and comments on the strike. Public opinion is incapable of rendering an account of the problem before it, as to the legitimacy of the claims, which, often, are not even formulated; but it has sympathies which are shown in newspaper articles and by subscriptions: and those who subscribe to a coal strike do not neglect to buy their coals at as low a rate as possible. Miners, however, have for a long time benefited by the idea which most people who have never been down a mine have formed for themselves, of this trade. They imagine that these dark holes, several hundred yards in depth, lead to infernal regions. They picture the miners to themselves, as dwelling in the midst of constant explosions from firedamp, which kill, them. They imagine them in poverty, forgetting to ask themselves how, if the work is so hard, so dangerous, and so badly paid, it exercises such an attraction over man, that the number of miners is constantly on the increase, and that when once an agricultural labourer has become a miner, he never returns to his original calling.
The moment a strike breaks out in a coal mine, certain Deputies think it their duty to mix themselves up in it. They generally pretend that their intervention is pacific. As regards their intentions, this is possible. But as a matter of fact, it always produces the same effect as oil does on a fire.
On the 20th February, 1882, upon the invitation of M. Desmons, Messieurs Clémenceau, de Lanessan, Brousse, Laporte, Girodet, and Henri Maret, went to Alais to inquire into the Grand’ Combe strike, which had been over for a month. Just at the time of their arrival, the Bessèges strike broke out, as M. Goblet, then Minister of the Interior, not without malice, affirmed.
“Having gone,” as I told the Chamber, “to inquire into past events, they thought they ought to interfere in the new ones just occurring. They did not obtain a hearing, and for this reason: They found themselves in the presence of a political agitator, who had come to sow the seeds of revolution in the district of Bessèges, as he had previously done at Grand’ Combe—citizen Fournière.”
“It is my duty to make it known to the Chamber, because it was he who was the real author of this strike. Fournière is a young man of twenty-four or twenty-five years of age, originally a working jeweller, who now works at nothing but revolutionary propaganda.”
“He belongs to those who in Paris are known as members of ‘circles for social study,’ and he calls himself a Revolutionary Collectivist.”
“The Revolutionary Collectivists send revolutionary travellers down into the provinces; I have mentioned M. Fournière; I may also mention Messieurs Malon, Guesde, and citizen Paul Minck.”
“I have said, gentlemen, that Fournière was the instigator of the Grand’ Combe strike, last November. I hold in my hands the manifesto which was published at that time.”
“In this manifesto I read sentences such as this: Whilst waiting for the total emancipation of all workmen, whilst waiting for the time when the proletariat shall re-enter into possession of all its goods, unjustly withheld by the capitalist class, we must pursue this war of classes, triumph over the monopolists on one point, until the labour party, firmly constituted, and conscious of its goal, shall say to all citizens: ‘Brothers! stand up, forward to social emancipation!’” (Sensation.)
SomeMemberS ON THEExtremeLeft.—Hear! hear!
M. Goblet, Minister of the Interior.—Gentlemen, there is not one of you who can approve these words. . . .
M. YvesGuyot.—Well! gentlemen, Fournière and some Bessèges workmen are at this moment being prosecuted for violation of the law of 1864, and the suit will be instituted to-morrow before the correctional tribunal. Fournière has been questioned, and he was asked under what circumstances the manifesto was drawn up and published. Here is that part of his examination:
“Question.—Did you not draw up an appeal to the workmen commencing in these words: Comrades, miners of Grand’ Combe?
“Answer.—Yes, sir, it was put to the vote at the suggestion of M. Desmons, and adopted by the committees who added their signatures.”
“And when, after that, M. Desmons, with the best and most pacific intentions, I repeat, came, accompanied by Messieurs de Lanessan, Maret, etc., and preached peace to the workmen, and an arrangement with the employers, and asked for a pacific settlement of the questions at issue between them, how was it that when he found himself face to face with M. Fournière, the latter omitted to remind him that he had accepted the manifesto with him? (Double round of applause.)”
“What authority can you expect the honourable M. Desmons and his colleagues to have over workmen roused to a high pitch of excitement by M. Fournière? Their sympathies go out to Fournière. As to the Deputies on the extreme left, do you wish to know how they themselves judged the situation? They said: ‘Let us go, we have nothing to do with this. Fournière has told us that he will push the matter to the point of the shedding of blood, and continue the strike.’”
“He who spoke thus was M. de Lanessan, who had had a lively dispute with Fournière. He invited his colleagues to go to the railway station although it was long before the train was to start. In this he was particularly persistent. Thus, these gentlemen, Deputies of the Extreme Left, finding themselves in the neighbourhood for the purposes of the inquiry which they were desirous of making regarding the strike at Grand’ Combe, interfered, with the best intentions, in the strike at Bessèges, and this is how they had to leave the neighbourhood, declaring that there was nothing for them to do in the presence of men whose sole aim was to excite civil war.”
“Here are the words in which M. Fournière announced this fact in the Proletaire:—”
“‘Five o’clock; violent scene with de Lanessan, who amidst the plaudits of the convict-guards, tried to discourage the workmen, and Fourniere, who supports the general strike.—Cheers. Hurrah for the strike! Hurrah for social revolution! The black standard is unfurled.”
This reception and this ironic result did not, however, discourage other Deputies from making the same mistakes. In 1884, the Anzin strike broke out. Messieurs Giard and Girard, Deputies of the Nord, asked the Minister of Public Works to intervene in favour of the miners. M. Clémenceau, with some of his colleagues, went to the spot. The Chamber appointed a Commission of Inquiry as to the condition of industrial and agricultural labourers. M. Clémenceau reported upon the Anzin strike, and declared that after fifty-six days of agitation and trouble it had miscarried. But he did not follow up his report with any suggestions; and, since 1884, he has never taken the initiative in any legislative measures concerning miners.
But at each strike he has vehemently intervened to reproach the Government with neglect of duty, with not putting an end to the strike, and of not obtaining for the miners all that they demand, always repeating, with a few variations, the following passage of his speech of November 19th, 1891:—
“Can you, when we are in the presence of 30,000 men, who may, perhaps, in eight days be starving, come, with Bastiat in your hand, after having piously consulted the articles of faith of the economists of the College of France, and say to the workmen: ‘My good friends, I love you very much, I hold you in my heart, but see Bastiat, page 37, we can do nothing for you.’ (Applause and laughter from the Left.)”
“When I think of the very powerful means of action which the Government possesses over companies which exist by their tolerance, their sufferance. . . . Yes, I would invite the Government to do that which, to my mind, is its duty. Compel them, by a process which I am not here called upon to determine. . . . ” (Ah! ah! from various benches in the Centre. Which?)
M. Millerand.—That is not difficult.
M. ClÉmenceau.—Gentlemen, if you thought I should shrink from difficulties, you have deceived yourselves. (Noise.)
M. CamillePelletan.—That noise needs a signature.
M. ClÉmenceau.—If you wish it I will determine the process: there are ten, there are a hundred, but it is not my business to point them out to you.
No one has ever known either M. Clémenceau’s hundred, nor his ten processes, although he did not “shrink before difficulties.”
Finally, on the 19th October, 1892, he disclosed his great secret: he obliged M. Loubet, President of the Ministerial Council, and Minister of the Interior, to accept the post of arbitrator. He himself, with Messieurs Millerand and Camille Pelletan, became the miners’ delegates; and on the very day on which M. Loubet gave his decision—because, whilst ordering the re-instatement of M. Calvignac, it at the same time dismissed him, and did not insist upon the re-instatement of those miners who had been condemned by the Albi tribunal, and the expulsion of M. Humblot, the manager of the mine — the delegates, in an insulting letter, invited the miners to reject it. The very first occasion on which Messieurs Clémenceau, Millerand, and Camille Pelletan put arbitration to the test, these gentlemen showed that they only admitted it upon the condition that the decision should be a simple indorsement of the claims of their clients.
Formerly, Deputies had the modesty to present themselves as peace-makers. At the present time, Messieurs Baudin, Ferroul, Pablo Lafargue and their friends openly support strikes. They consider that the stirring up of a social war is part of their mission.
With some spitefulness they urge the strikers to ask the other Deputies to join them, so as to place some of their colleagues in an embarrassing position. As to myself, I answered the Carmaux strikers thus:—
13th September, 1892.
Citizens,—I have the honour to inform you of the receipt of your letter of September 10th, in which you ask me to speak in favour of the Carmaux Strike, and to come into your midst. I am ready to give you my co-operation, but under another form, which will necessitate an explanation, the frankness of which may be displeasing to you, but useful.
I have not to estimate the intentions, motives, and political opinions of the Company. I am ready to believe that you are more sincere Republicans than its managers. But this is not the question. It is this:—M. Calvignac has been elected Mayor. His official duties prevent his being able to conform to the conditions and regulations in force in the Carmaux mines. He desires, nevertheless, to retain his employment there, even whilst only going on such days and at such hours as he deems compatible with the claims of the Mayoralty. The Company does not agree to this, and then you declare that it violates universal suffrage.
But supposing that M. Calvignac was employed on a railway, was a guard, an engine-driver, a stoker, or pointsman, could he say to the Company, “I am a Mayor, I shall only do my work when the exigencies of the Mayoralty permit that I should? The trains can wait?”
Supposing that M. Calvignac was a commercial traveller, could he say to his employer, “I am now a Mayor, I can no longer travel about for several months together as I used to do, I shall only make those rounds which are compatible with my Mayoral duties? You will, however, keep my situation open for me?”
Are there not crowds of citizens who find themselves in analogous positions, not only salaried workmen, but tradesmen, merchants, ministerial officers, advocates, and doctors? How many are there who cannot undertake the duties, not of Mayors only, but of Deputies, because they would have to resign their clients and endanger their own interests? There is an incompatibility between the occupations of a whole host of French citizens, and the functions to which they might be elected; and neither the law nor the Government can guarantee to a doctor, or a merchant, the clients he will lose if he neglects them; nor to a clerk or a workman, his situation, if he assumes responsibilities which prevent his filling it.
When M. Joffrin became a municipal Councillor of Paris, he did not think of compelling a factory to retain him as a workman; his electors and his friends joined together and provided the means necessary for insuring his independence.
A similar solution of the difficulty seems to me to be the only possible one, in the case of M. Calvignac, and, by way of example, I am ready to contribute my share.
To act thus would, believe me, be better than speeches, violence, and declamation, which can only lead to crises, conflicts, and misery.
Receive, Citizens, the assurance of my profound sympathy for the true interests of working men.
Being invited by the workmen in the salting trade, who were out on strike, to take part in one of their meetings at the Bourse du Travail, I sent this simple letter in reply:—
29th November, 1892.
Gentlemen,—I have the honour to acknowledge the receipt of the invitation with which you have favoured me, to take part in the meeting which you hold today at the Bourse du Travail.
I regret not being able to accept it. I am of opinion that Deputies should no more interfere in discussions between employers and employed than they can in lawsuits between individuals.
The events at Carmaux have shown the deplorable effects of such meddling, as well as that of the Government. A Deputy’s duties are to pass good laws, based upon principles of liberty and equality, a thing apparently too often overlooked nowadays, and to compel the Government to maintain public order and respect for the law.
Accept, gentlemen, the assurance of a sympathy of which its frankness is the best guarantee.
Mr. Goblet held the same views as to a Deputy’s duties, in 1882, when he was Minister of the Interior; but, in 1892, he caused a memorandum to be published (21st September) saying that he had made an application to the Government “for the purpose of persuading it to make use of the means granted it by law, to put an end to a struggle which had already lasted too long.” Thus are strikers imposed upon by deluding them with hopes which can never be realised. Their miseries and sufferings are prolonged, and the Deputies and Senators, who took up their cause with such fervour, give them nothing but snares.
SUBSIDIES TO STRIKERS.
The Question before the Municipal Council of Paris—The 2nd April, 1884—My Argument—Demand refused—Strikes and the Seventh Municipal Council—Hypocritical Measures—Sympathetic Actions—M. Ferroul’s Proposition of November 25th, 1889—The 117.
While awaiting this final result, the interference of Deputies in the questions relating to strikes had convinced the strikers that the public authorities ought to come to their rescue with subsidies.
The first time that the question came before the Municipal Council of Paris was in 1884, with reference to the Anzin strike, upon a proposal of a subsidy of 10,000 francs brought forward by M. Pichon. I opposed it, and caused it to be rejected by 55 votes to 20, by some arguments which I will permit myself to recall:—
M. YvesGuyot.—I beg of you, gentlemen, to reject this proposal, in order that we may remain faithful to the principles of political liberty, from the economic point of view, adopted by you at the Municipal Council.
M. Joffrin.—Not I.
M. YvesGuyot.—If you to-day intervene between the employers and men, you will deny the principles to which you have given your adhesion—that each one shall intervene individually on behalf of the miners, and do that which seems to him best. (Hear! hear!)
We can only intervene collectively with money belonging to the ratepayers. If, to-day, you intervene in struggles between individuals, under the pretext of a strike, there is no reason why you should not take part to-morrow in any other strikes, without making any exceptions. For why should you refuse your co-operation to one of them? This would mean a perpetual intervention of the Council in individual covenants. We can no more subsidise the workmen than we could subsidise the company. . . .
By advocating the intervention of the city of Paris, you are asking for a policy of compression.
You in pity propose a subsidy of 10,000 francs. What are you about to do? You will delude the miners and create in them deceptive illusions; you will cause them to believe that the city of Paris will commit itself in their favour.
To-day people are suggesting a disgraceful intervention to you. . . .
If I followed that policy, it would not have been 10,000 francs that I should have asked for.
Because, when the 10,000 francs were exhausted, what would you do? If you wish to take effective measures, make up your minds to put 100,000 francs weekly, at the disposal of the miner’s families.
M. Joffrin.—That proposal would be rejected as well as mine.
M. YvesGuyot.—The mine, notwithstanding what you say, is private property; and the Anzin concession was originally granted to a few individuals.
People talk of realised profits. It seems as though the only wish of some French people was to see all their fellow-countrymen ruin themselves in all their undertakings. As for me, I regret that there are not a large number of mining companies who have realised the same profits; that would be far better than to see 45 per cent. of the concessions lying idle, as is shown by the Commission of Enquiry of 1873. . . .
I asked the Municipal Council, in order that it might be logical, to start a special chapter called: “Premiums and encouragements for strikes.” That which I suggested in irony has come to pass. The seventh Municipal Council has subsidised no less than twenty-two strikes.1 It has given 2,000 francs to the strike of the matchmakers, who are employed by the State. I do not know whether the Prefect approved of this intervention of the Municipal Council against the Government. On the 11th July, 1891, the Municipal Council granted a subsidy of 10,000 francs to the workmen of the Orleans Railway out on strike; and on July 24th, 1891, 20,000 francs to railway servants in general. These two decisions were cancelled; but the administration has not been so strict with all. It has compromised by not distributing the subsidy amongst the families until after the strike was over, as though, by this hypocritical means, it did not give moral and material support to the strike.
So clearly has it been support which the Municipal Council has given to the strikers, that at the Municipal Council, M. Mesureur, Reporter of the proposal to subsidise the Decazeville strike, which was led up to by the assassination of M. Watrin, said: “More than a manifestation of Platonic sympathy is needed for the miners of Decazeville. Action is needed.”
Whilst the Municipal Council has thus been subsidising strikes, I think the question has only once come before Parliament.
On November 25th, 1889, M. Ferroul brought forward a law proposing the opening of a credit of 150,000 francs for the aid of the victims of the strikes in the Nord, Pas-de-Calais, and Tours.
As Minister, I gave the same reception to this proposal as I had done five years earlier, whilst Municipal Councillor, to that of M. Pichon. Having said that “a strike was a voluntary act,” I was violently interrupted “from several benches on the Extreme Left;” but I again asked if we ought “to let social forces intervene, and charge the cost as part of the budget,” in favour of strikes; if we ought to lay down the principle of “the subsidising of strikes by the State.”
The proposal of M. Ferroul was rejected by 364 votes against 117.
THE EXECUTIVE, THE JUDICATURE, AND STRIKES.
Bad Psychological State—Amnesty—Pardons—Ministerial Intervention—Retirement of Magistrates—Juries—M. Lozé’s Circular—Armed Power—It is a Provocation!—The Carmaux Patrols—Weakness of the Government—The Taupe and the Grosménil Strikes—The Workmen of the State Factories—Concessions.
A strike, not being according to either the views or the actions of strikers, an economic question of supply and demand, employers, directly a strike breaks out, have to apprehend violence to their persons and their property, and non-strikers fear for their own safety; police, officials, magistrates, and ministers dread disturbances and the manner in which various events may react on Parliament. If the psychological and moral condition on the side of the strikers is bad, among those whom the strike may affect more or less indirectly, it is agitated and troubled.
Certain benevolent Deputies periodically hasten to ask for an amnesty “for events connected with the strike;” and other Deputies, who are not in the least revolutionary, join them. They voted for an amnesty for Watrin’s assassins, and for other strikers who have assaulted and wounded their fellow-workmen. By a singular aberration of intellect, they consider that the guilty party is the victim, and are full of indulgence, and even tenderness towards him. On October 28th, 1892, M. Terrier submitted a request for an amnesty for the events at Carmaux, which obtained 197 votes, of which 4 were those of members of the Right, as against 323. On 26th June, 1893, M. Camille Dreyfus submitted a request for a total amnesty, which obtained 115 votes!
Many Ministers imagine it to be their duty to intervene in strikes. In a letter of June 9th, 1886, M. Baïhaut invited the Decazeville Company to raise the price of certain work from 1 franc 90 centimes to 2 francs.
When the police, constabulary, officials, and magistrates see a Minister interfering in favour of the strikers, they know that if they themselves act with decision, they run the risk of being sacrificed. It is not with sentiments such as these that people can act with influence.
Certain magistrates, disapproving of the laws of 1881 and 1884, have seemingly taken it into their heads not to apply any law in these cases, with a view of preparing the way to order by allowing disorder.1 M. Lozé’s confidential circular of April 2nd, 1888, bears witness to this state of mind:—
Gentlemen,—I beg to inform you that the public prosecutor has not thought fit to take up certain actions brought, during these last few days, against strikers for fettering the freedom of labour.
He considers that, as a result of the repeal of Article 416 of the Penal Code, by the law of 1884, relating to trade syndicates, the use of violence to fetter the free power to work is only punishable if inflicted directly on the person, and that, consequently, those cannot be prosecuted, who, like most of the strikers arrested lately, have confined themselves to destroying tools, or in upsetting carts, without having previously threatened or struck the workmen whose work they sought thus to interrupt.
You would then, when the case came on, have to clearly specify in your action the nature of the threats or violence used, with which you charge the strikers, against whom you have drawn up your written statement, and would have to prove, if the action takes place, that, for instance, the destruction of tools was preceded by threats addressed to the workman in whose hands they were, or that the upsetting of the carts had not taken place until after menaces and violence had been used towards the driver.
According to this theory, strikers would not be simple citizens. They would have the right of destroying and pillaging the property of others.
It is true that the next day M. Lozé drew up another circular in the following terms:—
August 2nd, 7 p.m.
To the Commissioner of Police,—Please regard as null and void the confidential circular addressed to you, 31st July, at 5 p.m. The individuals guilty of carrying off and destroying tools, or those who have upset the contents of the carts, being the objects of judicial prosecution.
But what power can rest in a magistracy and an administration capable of such vacillation as this?
Some magistrates apply the Penal Code with a gentleness and indulgence which give any amount of latitude to the tyrants of Workshops and Syndicates. In the month of February, 1883, of twenty strikers of Rive de Gier, accused of interfering with the freedom of labour, by threats and blows, only two were retained, and condemned to a fine of 25 francs, and that notwithstanding that they had assaulted an aged man of seventy-four years of age.
Occasionally magistrates go so far as to condemn men to fifteen or twenty days’ imprisonment; on rare occasions, to some months. Short punishments only cause repetitions of the offences. Long sentences only are efficacious from the point of view of prevention.
The public prosecutor will answer you with more or less frankness:—If I take upon myself the responsibility of prosecutions, nothing but unpleasantness can be the outcome of it for me. I meet with no support. I am attacked in the newspapers and in Parliament. If I obtain a sentence, it is upset by an amnesty; and if the Government declines the amnesty, it promises and grants large diminutions of punishment. Why send people to prison, if I am obliged to set them free again, and to apologise to them?”
I must add that juries do not encourage magistrates, and now and again show a weakness which approaches complicity.
At the meeting of June 3rd, 1886, intended to celebrate the Decazeville strike, and presided over by M. Albert Goullé, then an escaped prisoner, now joint-editor with M. Goblet of the Petite République Francaise, Messieurs Jules Guesde and Pablo Lafargue delivered speeches, wherein they invoked “the liberating rifle;” wherein they stated that the way in which to solve the social question was to send “the Rothschilds, the d’Audiffret Pasquiers, and the Léon Says, to Mazas or to the wall!” They were arraigned before the Court of Assizes. M. Pablo Lafargue closed his defence by saying, “When we are the Government, we shall execute the financiers!” The jury, by acquitting them, seemed to approve these views.
With regard to the dynamite explosions, the Paris juries acquitted Chaumentin, Beala, the girl Soubière, Ravachol’s accomplices, and admitted extenuating circumstances for that amiable personage himself. Since this they have seemed to continue to thus manage matters, under various circumstances. When a strike breaks out, threatenings of death are uttered; a sad experience proves that it is wise to protect business places. The instigations which precede the 1st of May, demonstrate that on that day peace is not secure unless the rogues who enforce this idling are well assured that it is necessary to be prudent. Under these varying circumstances, one is obliged to have recourse to the army. Protests at once are raised. With regard to the Bessèges strike, M. de Lanessan accused M. Goblet of having been guilty of “provocation,” in sending troops to protect the mine ventilators, implying that it was not Fournière, but the General, who had proclaimed the strike. In 1886, M. Cayrade, Mayor of Decazeville, roughly ordered the dragoons back, at the moment of M. Watrin’s assassination, and on October 10th, 1892, M. Dumay could hit on nothing better in order to terminate the strike than to request the return of the troops. He found eighty Deputies ready to support this bright idea.
Thus supported, the generals, commanders, officers, and soldiers, requisitioned for this wearisome and—from all points of view—annoying work, must, with a patience such as is inculcated by the Gospels, accept insults and outrage, and submit to a variety of missiles without a protest.
Far from this being a means of preventing serious conflicts, it may lead to the most serious consequences; because there always comes a time when the audacity of the demonstrators grows in proportion to the gentleness shown to them. The troops are then compelled to extricate and defend themselves. The best way of avoiding bloodshed is, by precise, formal, and straightforward orders, to accustom men who come into contact with the army, to respect it. I must add that, from the point of view of our national dignity, we ought not to consent to anything that is of a nature to weaken the consideration to which it is entitled, when the Government is compelled to have recourse to its intervention.
From the 15th August, 1891, miners, patrols, moved about at Carmaux with M. Baudin, Deputy, at their head. Pointing a revolver at the police and soldiers, he insulted them, and called upon them to make way for the strikers, who shouted the Carmagnole, uttered threats, and had for their object the prevention of all attempts to resume work.
On October 10th, M. Loubet, the President of the Council, began to perceive that these patrols might not be the representatives of order, and the Prefect posted up an Order forbidding “all demonstrations, riotous assemblages, gatherings, meetings, or the formation of groups of people, of a nature to give rise to disputes, or to hinder free circulation on the public roads of Carmaux, Blage, Rosières and Saint-Benoît.” Was there any need for this order? Are such demonstrations, gatherings, etc., allowed on all other parts of the French territory, saving those of the Communes herein named? And wherefore this interdiction, after fifty-five days of feebleness, not to say connivance, during which the Minister of the Interior allowed, without one single protest, the publication of notes, and accounts of interviews with certain Deputies, in which it had been asserted “that they would intervene on behalf of the miners.” And the order being made, was it carried out? Did M. Baudin discontinue his walks? Did not the Mayors of the Communes designated answer with insults and outrages? The Minister of the Interior put the finishing touch to his policy of feebleness and incoherence by consenting to arbitration; and those who had called upon him to accept it, and to whom he had subordinated his whole policy for two months, tore up the sentence! It was a well-merited chastisement; for M. Loubet ought to have known that a minister ought not to interfere in a conflict of private interests, but ought to maintain public order by securing respect for the law.
In spite of the conclusive experience of Carmaux, we now see M. Charles Dupuy following the same tactics for the strikes at la Taupe and Grosménil (Haute Loire), and the sub-prefect of Brioude, with M. Dufour, a Delegate from the Bourse du Travail demanding that the Company shall pay an indemnity to two workmen it has dismissed because they were in the habit of doing from 20 to 25 per cent. less work than their companions; that work shall not be resumed for twenty-four hours after they have been found situations in a neighbouring mine; and that it shall engage that all strikers condemned for acts connected with the strike, shall be set at liberty.1
The Government employs workmen in its matchmaking and tobacco manufactories. The men receive a payment of 600 francs, the women 300, and sundry perquisites. These people struck (on 20th March, 1893), in order to demand a rise of wages of 15 per cent., the abolition of punishments, and the dismissal of certain overseers. The Minister of Finance accorded the increased wage asked for by the strikers, but adhered to the expulsion of Deroy who was the ringleader of the strike and who was a member of a syndicate; so that if the Bovier-Lapierre law had been in force, the Minister of Finance would have had to be condemned by a police court, and on the 28th he ended by accepting the reinstatement of Deroy, thereby giving an example of weakness with regard to the pretensions and demands of the strikers! When Deroy re-entered the Workshop, one of the Directors of the State Factories was obliged to leave. How can such instances of feebleness inspire the officials with energy and dignity?
The duties of officials and magistrates may be summed up thus:—
LIBERTY AND ANARCHY.
Not to be Confounded—An Example—The Bourse du Travail and its Occupations—Its Journal and the Army—Finding Situations—The Strike Hall—The Crime of Lèse syndicat—The Commune and the Bourse du Travail—The Central Committee and the Bourse du Travail—The Number of its Members—Its Installation by the Government—Its Reply—Extreme Negligence of the Administration—Liberty of Meeting in the United States—The True Question as to the Bourse du Travail—Permanent Anarchists.
We must not confound liberty with anarchy. Liberty is the reciprocal respect for personal rights, according to certain fixed rules known by the name of law. Anarchy is the privilege of some and the spoliation of others, according to the caprices and abitrary will of the cunning and the violent, and the feebleness and lack of energy of the timorous.
In the Bourse du Travail we have an example of a state of anarchy, established with the connivance of the Government.
Like all ideas worked by the Socialists, the conception of the Bourse du Travail is due to a “vile economist.” This was M. de Molinari,1 who, in 1843, thought it would be useful to establish centres of information where offers of employment and requirements of the same might be made known, and where the current price of labour might be settled, just as, at the financial Bourse, the rate of exchange is fixed, or as the current market prices of commodities are determined at the Commercial Exchanges. He followed up his idea with perseverance; communicated it in 1848 to M. Ducoux, Prefect of Police; endeavoured to carry it out by means of a newspaper in Belgium, in 1857; and finally, saw it take shape in the Bourse du Travail, founded on February 3rd, 1887, in the Rue Jean-Jacques-Rousseau, and later in Rue du Château d’Eau, in beautiful premises, valued at three millions of francs (£120,000), which the Municipal Council has had built for the purpose.
The building was put in the possession of some syndicates and incorporated societies placed under the control of the second Committee of the Municipal Council. When this Committee requires money, its members do not even take the trouble to inform the Council, as is shown by a letter from the President, of that Committee, dated December 15th, 1892. They consider themselves autonomous, though in the receipt of subsidies. They are not content with the firing and lighting supplied by the town. They had an allowance of 50,000 francs. They requested that it might be increased to 99,932 francs. The Municipal Council, alarmed by this increase of cent. per cent., halved it, and granted 75,000 francs, of which 46,000 francs are devoted to salaries and fees, and 11,700 to the printing expenses of the Bourse du Travail newspaper, of which half is reserved to pleas and plans for the organisation of social war, to all kinds of attacks on “the government of employers and bourgeois,” and to insults levelled at those who do not satisfy the executive, in terms of which the following sentence, 4th December, 1892, dedicated to our army, is an example:—
“The bourgeois papers deplore the loss of seventeen officers, since the commencement of the Campaign in Dahomey.”
“There is no reason whatever for such sorrow.”
The Bourse du Travail sends delegates to every place where a strike may be got up, so as to bring it to a head and prevent its miscarriage.
With regard to finding situations for workmen, according to the information with which it was anxious to furnish the Municipal Council, in the month of March, 1893, it has done little beyond negotiating for the employment of hairdressers’ assistants and super-numerary hotel servants. Employers do not trust them, and will not go to them for their workpeople and clerks. Those who keep the Bourse du Travail hoped that they would overcome this ill-will, by the laws relating to registry offices. Their anger was proportionate to their mistake, because I dared to say:
“Well, gentlemen, we have syndicates at the Bourse du Travail. We see them at work. We see what they are. Do you really believe that these syndicates are even regularly constituted? According to the papers which have been published, more than two-thirds of the syndicates registered at the Bourse du Travail are not regularly constituted, and they never-theless find situations for people.”
“You should have seen them recently in the Bulletin de la Bourse du Travail, loudly declaring that syndicates in agreement with them must not place themselves in conformity with the law of March 21st, 1884.”
“In short, Mr. Reporter, will you take a journey to the Bourse du Travail? I would like you to go there some Thursday, into the Strike Hall. It is there that the hairdressers’ assistants meet to seek “extras” for the following Saturday. You will there see people who only go in order not to find work, who are satisfied with an “extra” of one day per week, and who, for the remainder of the time, either loaf about or take shelter there in rainy weather. . . . ”
As they insisted on the following day, I called them “detritus.” For the rest, as was solemnly affirmed by M. Auguste Vacquerie, “these insults are not aimed at the Bourse du Travail, syndicates in general, nor the builders’ syndicates in particular.” Neither have they refrained from launching collective insults at me. In various meetings I have been abused, and condemned to a variety of expiations of my “crime of lèse-syndicat.”1 I accept these attentions with resignation and without surprise.
But I was surprised to learn that it was my words which had revealed to the Minister of the Interior a state of things which had nothing mysterious about it. The representatives of the Bourse du Travail have proclaimed, with the greatest earnestness, that there were syndicates there which were not legally constituted, and that they considered, not only that this illegality was their right, but that it had become a duty. They celebrated the 1st of May. They closed the Bourse du Travail on the 28th May, and went solemnly to render homage to the dead members of the Commune.
The Paris Bourse du Travail has affiliated with those of Lyons, Saint-Etienne, Marseilles, Bordeaux, Nimes, Montpellier, Toulouse, Cholet, Toulon, Calais, Cours (Rhone), and Troyes. To this federation labour questions are of secondary importance. Revolutionary questions come first. Just as it was easy to discern the embryo of the Commune in the Central Committee, it is easy to detect the preparations for social war in this organisation.
For the rest, the members of these associations consist of an agitated minority which has little right to speak in the name of the workers. Syndicates multiply by reason of the fees paid to their representatives; but there are syndicates which only consist of a staff: the rank and file are absent. According to The Annuaire du Ministre du Commerce, there should have been last year, at the Paris Association, 172 syndicates, representing 58,000 members—7⅓ per cent. of the working population of Paris, estimated at 790,000 persons. According to an inquiry instituted by M. G. Hartmann, in 1890, the number of workmen paying their club money regularly, did not exceed from five to six thousand. Having turned up the numbers of 19 syndicates at the Bourse du Travail, he found 1,740 members of trades in which 40,570 workmen were employed—that is, about 4¼ per cent.1
M. Charles Dupuy, Minister of the Interior, compelled those syndicates which were not legally constituted, which he found installed at the Bourse de Travail, to conform to the law before 5th July, 189[???] (ed. The original text has been corrected but the meaning is still not clear - it could read 1894) and on the 1st of July he suspended the subsidies.
The members of the Executive Commission and of the Committee replied: “The dignity and honour of the proletariat forbid that such an odious provocation as the unqualified affront just offered by the Minister of the Interior to the working classes shall be over-looked.”
Whence comes this storm if not from the yielding nature of the administration? The revolutionists of the Rue J. J. Rousseau had already given such good proofs of what they were in the waiters’ and navvies’ strikes of 1888, that M. Floquet thought it necessary to close it. When the large buildings in the Rue du Château d’Eau were, in 1892, handed over to the Syndicated Chambers and Corporate Societies, the object to which it was to be applied should first have been determined, and the manner in which it was to be administered should have been specified; so that the Government and the Prefecture of the Seine should have some responsible people to deal with; and they ought to have kept a hold over the concern so as to see that their conditions were strictly carried out. They found it was more simple to let these people act with plenary irresponsibility. They put off the difficulty, as if it were not more difficult to stop a runaway horse than to keep it at a steady pace.
If we take as our models those peoples who have attained their liberty long before us, and have known how to protect it, we shall not find one which would admit an institution such as the existing Bourse du Travail into a municipal building, and subsidise it from the rates.
The first amendment of the Constitution of the United States proclaims perfect liberty of meeting and of combination. But how is the right exercised? All meetings must be summoned with some definite object. Public inclination, as well as positive law, agrees that this shall be so; but if the meeting forgets the order of the day, its legal existence ceases. If it does not disperse of itself, it will be forced to disperse by the troops. There is the strongest reason for not hesitating to disperse all violent manifestations.1
It is not only a question of knowing whether these syndicates have conformed to Article 4 of the law of 1884; as the ministerial injunction would have the result of making the Bourse du Travail the home of syndicates exclusively which would become obligatory; whilst it should be open, under certain conditions, to all those who wish to deal with the questions of supply and demand of labour.
The object of an Exchange (Bourse) is to bring the vendors and purchasers together. At this so-called Exchange the vendors of labour wished to be isolated from the purchasers. They were the masters in this matter, but for the attainment of quite a different purpose from that implied in the word Exchange.
It would be well to know if syndicates, whether legally constituted or not, may take “the study and protection of economic interests” to mean an apology for, and propaganda of, a social war; if the rate-payers of Paris should put a public edifice at the service of revolutionaries—actual revolutionaries when possible, always so by desire; whether the Government should with benign condescension, maintain a disorderly household where illegality assumes the character of a dogma, where contempt for the Government and spoliation form the background of habitual conversation, and where the Government and the administration receive in exchange for their good offices nothing but the constant repetition of the assurance of scorn.
Dangerous anarchists are not men like Ravachol and his accomplices—half-lunatic criminals, who may secure a few victims, but who rapidly disappear. It is the permanent Anarchists, such as the agitators of the Labour Exchange, such as the municipal councillors and the Deputies, who become their flatterers and accomplices, and above all the governors and administrators, who let things slip so as not to “make work for themselves,” whom we have to fear.
THE SOCIALISM OF EMPLOYERS.
(I.) Share of Responsibility in the Socialist Movement—Limitations of the Workman’s Obligations—Mechanics’ Institutes—Whence Their Moral Check is Derived—Too much Philanthropy—Paternal Administration—The Workman’s Docility—No Gratitude—M. Cosserat’s Experience—Relations between Workmen and Employers—Master” is an Improper Word—(II.) Definition of Contract—Labour Contract—Its Limits—Vendor and Purchaser of Labour—Erroneous Antithesis of Capital and Labour—Wages do not come from Capital—(III.) Labour—Article 1780—The Law of December 27th, 1890—It ought to Abolish Strikes—(IV.) Rules for Employers in their Relations with their Workpeople.
I. Employers, too, are responsible to a very large extent for the Socialist movement. Not that I reproach them with harshness or asperity, and with not being sufficiently interested in their workpeople. On the contrary, I reproach them with being too much concerned in them, and that, in meddling with them, they have misunderstood the true character of the labour contract.
The employer is, in the nature of things, neither the religious guide, the political guide, nor the intellectual guide of his workpeople. When M. Chagot intervened to have a religious funeral for a workman, who had desired a civic one, he made a mistake. When M. Solanges makes use of his position of manager of the Carmaux mines to procure his election as a Deputy, what is the result? It is that the miners revenge themselves three years afterwards and select M. Baudin as their messiah
The workmen are under only one obligation with regard to their employer, and this is the performance of the productive labour for which they receive their wages. If the employer wishes to exact anything beyond this, he is guilty of an error. He invites servility, revolt, or hypocrisy; and is preparing for himself a terrible return.
If employers have too often failed to recognise this truth, it is because most of them still labour under the old idea of the headship of a tribe. They consider that the duties of their workpeople are as unde fined as their own rights. It is by virtue of this idea too that they desire to be benevolent and to take care of their people’s destinies. They are propelled at one and the same time by generosity, and an interest, which I characterised in the following manner, in the Senate, on July 21st, 1890:—
“Large tradesmen, large manufacturers, railway companies, have felt the necessity of strengthening the labour contract on the side of the workmen, so as not to be exposed to fortuitous desertions. They, therefore, instituted aid societies and pension funds; they opened schools before the establishment of free education, and they have provided their workpeople with medical aid. In short, they have granted them numerous material advantages in order to keep the workmen as much as possible near the establishment which employed them. I am assuredly far from disputing all the well-being which has been the result of this, nor the progress of those institutions which have originated thus. But, on the other hand, it must be admitted that this material progress has, in some directions, given an increase of arbitrary power to those who instituted it; for the more they surrounded those whom they employed with comforts, and, at the same time, the more they felt at ease with regard to them, the more they thought, as a matter of fact, that the workman was bound to them by his own interests, and that he would be more ready to endure an increased dose of arbitrary control, as he would hesitate to forego the security assured to him, his wife, and his children, by the institutions and fore-thought with which he had been surrounded.”
“I think, gentlemen, that it is useful to point out this contrast between these institutions for material well-being which have been established by the large industries, and the irritation which you have seen growing up amongst the very people who profited by these institutions—a situation which people interpret thus: Really, workmen have not the least gratitude for the good we do them! And yet, perhaps, workmen have not always been entirely in the wrong in this, because they have been made to pay dearly, from the moral point of view, for the well-being with which they have been favoured.”
On November 19th, 1891, whilst referring to the strikes of the Pas-de-Calais, I added: “The Coal Companies have made the great mistake of wishing to exercise too much philanthropy.”
The Journal Officiel reports “ironical exclamations on the Left,” which proves that those who uttered them did not understand what I said any better than they will probably understand what I have just said: and yet, from the point of view of the coal companies, experience is decisive.
M. d’Audiffret-Pasquier exclaimed at the time of the Anzin strike: “We spent more than a million and a half of francs in charities to our workmen. Our administration is paternal.” Yes! and therein lies the mischief! The companies have constructed barracks wherein they have immured their work-people. They have established co-operative societies which they have themselves administered. They have founded aid societies and refuges.
The workman perceived that he had no real share in the administration of these funds. He saw that in these co-operative societies, all the company’s money which he touched reverted to it, and that sometimes he did not even touch it at all. Finally, in these barracks he felt himself to be under the supervision of the company, which frequently interested itself in the religious instruction of his children, and in the habits of his wife or young daughter. When he left his work he still felt himself to be dependent. They withheld some of his money for the aid society and pension fund. He knows how much he has paid. He cannot compare eventual and distant advantages with the expenses which he realises. He knows that if he left the mine, or if he were dismissed, he would forfeit his deposits. He sees himself chained to the mine, tied down to it; and, on the other hand, the board of management did not dare to dismiss him for fear of being accused of an endeavour to rob him, and despoil him of his deposits. In this way, it saddled itself with discontented, and sometimes incapable, workmen. Finally, the workman learnt more or less vaguely that these funds were not in a sound financial condition, and he accused the companies of making use of them for their own purposes. And this mistrust, generally erroneous, was justified by the Bessèges and Terrenoire disasters.
The companies made use of these advantages to work upon the miners. They wanted to form them into regiments, and to discipline them by these processes. They succeeded admirably, so admirably that one day the docility of the miners was transferred to some agitators who placed themselves at their head, and they obeyed them as they had formerly obeyed the company’s engineers and agents.
In reality, these combinations of pensions had as a result the transformation of a man’s time-service into life-service. The workmen felt their fetters, and soft though they might be, they seemed to him unendurable: thence proceed his violent plunges and his impatience, which have recently manifested themselves in such a startling manner at Amiens.
M. Cosserat, a spinner, had started some pension funds, aid societies, and savings banks, and a cooperative society. His workmen asked him to do away with these institutions. M. Cosserat invited them to make known their preferences to him by votes, with the result that 552 votes were given in favour of suppression, and 76 against.1
After a result of this kind, the master says: “Workmen are not grateful. You may be as kind as you like to them, they are never content!”
There is no obligation on them to be so. Employers should make the best terms they can with the workpeople in their own interest, and the workpeople should do the same.
Good personal relations will only come as an outside question. Good humour, good character, loyalty in trade and financial matters, may facilitate such relations; but no further importance should be attached to them, nor any other rôle allotted to them.
I am going to make use of the English word employer, which is much more accurate and more just than the word master, which ought to disappear from our economic vocabulary, because it sanctions the idea of protection and tutelage on the one side, and of submission and deference on the other. This alters the true character of a labour contract, and most of the errors and faults committed arise from such points as are not clearly defined in the minds of those who have to decide them.
II. Acollas gives the following definition of contract: “The concurrence of one or more wills upon a given subject, in so far as this concurrence produces the effect of a law.”2
We will accept this definition, which be applies, moreover, to the contract of hiring.
After having drawn a dramatic picture of a miner’s life, he says: “Assuredly, it may seem paradoxical to place such a contract amongst those which favour individual autonomy; nevertheless, nothing is more correct. If the miner did not hire out his services, he would stand still for want of work and die. In hiring his services, he changes the risk of early death from hunger for the risk of death long delayed. . . . Therefore, that which the miner does in hiring himself out favours the autonomy of the miner.”
We may add that he is free to hire, or not to hire, out his services; to seek other occupation, etc. What is important is, to clearly specify that in the contract of hiring the workman only parts with one thing: his labour, and that his personality, apart from this service, remains entirely intact.
Amongst primitive peoples, in the horse-dealings at fairs, as well as in retail trades, in the market-places, you hear vendors and purchasers say: “Do that for me! I will let you have it at such a price, because it is you.” The individual is mixed up with the act of sale and transaction. But these habits disappear in proportion to the development of commerce. The corn merchants of Odessa, San Francisco, or Chicago, no longer have any personal knowledge of their customers in London, Antwerp, Paris, or Marseilles. It is no longer sympathy for this man or that which determines the rate of purchase and sale of the commercial exchange. The purchaser. who said to a vendor, “I am moved by the friendliest sentiments towards you, I regard you with paternal feelings; therefore, entertain some feelings of gratitude towards me, and prove them by selling me your goods at a reduction,” would meet with a poor reception.
When an employer and a working man meet, it should be simply as two negotiators: a vendor and a purchaser of labour.
What is the value of the labour? For how much will the vendor of labour sell it? How much can the purchaser of labour afford to give for it?
I purposely do not make use of the two terms under which this question is generally introduced: capital on the one hand, labour on the other; because the purchaser of labour does not represent capital, he represents consumption. He strives to produce an article of which he has no personal need, and of which he thinks others will have need. Moreover it is not with capital that he pays his workmen’s wages; or if it is, alas for the tradesman who is reduced to this, for bankruptcy awaits him. It is with his credit or his returns that he meets his wages.
It is therefore a clumsy error to represent the employer as the embodiment of capital, and to set labour in opposition to it. The employer does not rely upon his capital to pay his workpeople, but on the sale of his goods. He does not calculate his wages according to the amount of his capital, but according to the selling price of his merchandise. The employer does not purchase labour according to his wealth, but according to the amount of his turnover.
III. The contract of hiring is the same as any other contract, of which Article 1780 of the Civil Code lays down the true principles:—
Art. 1780. Service can be engaged only for a specified time or undertaking.
It seemed to me necessary to render this contract more stringent, and in my ministerial capacity I helped to pass the law of December 27, 1890, which completes it in the following manner:—
A letting of service made without the term of its duration being specified is terminable at the option of either of the contracting parties.
Nevertheless, the cancellation of the contract by the will of one only of the contracting parties may give rise to a claim for damages.
In order to fix such compensation, account shall be taken of trade custom, the nature of the services engaged, the time which has run, the work performed, and payments made, with a view to a retiring pension, and generally, all the circumstances which might prove the existence and fix the extent of the injury.
The contracting parties cannot relinquish in advance their future rights of claim for damages in accordance with the above provisions.
Disputes which may arise from the application of the preceding paragraphs shall, when taken before the civil tribunals and courts of appeal, be dealt with summarily.
This article gives a guarantee to the workman or employee against improper dismissal; but, at the same time, it prevents a sudden strike, provided that employers know how to avail themselves of it, and that the tribunals enforce it rigidly.
When, as was the case at Roubaix, workmen leave their work declining to conform to the delay of 15 days, which the custom of the place required; when miners or metal-workers throw up their work without a day’s notice being given; when clerks, with a right to pensions, such, for instance, as those employed in the State factories, throw up their work; when anybody, having undertaken specific engagements, break them, it is absolutely necessary that employers should have recourse to Article 1780, and see that the strikers are condemned in damages. The glass-makers of the Rhone acted quite rightly in this matter. In order to ensure the recovery of these damages, the employers can demand security from their workmen. Whether they actually make them pay damages or not is a secondary question: the important point is to demonstrate to the workman that the labour contract is not an empty word, but a reality, and that neither of the parties to it can break it at his own caprice and fancy.
Ideas on these points are still so vague that, when workmen have gone out on strike, the employer generally seems to think that the contract still holds good. He commences to debate with the delegates of “his” workmen, yet they have ceased to be this from the moment that they left his workshop or yard.
The employer should regard the labour contract as broken, and each striker as having ceased to be a part of his staff; and he should establish a hard and fast rule that he will, or will not, take back workmen who have left his employment, according as it may seem best to himself.
A striker has no better claim to reinstatement than has a vendor to compel a purchaser to accept delivery of goods which he has previously refused to send him, having originally contracted to do so.
One of the objections to “workmen’s houses” is, that, on the occasion of a strike, an employer who houses his workpeople finds himself unable to turn them out, and he thus retains in his neighbourhood, by his side, around his offices or his pits, a population which he cannot change, and which prevents the arrival of a fresh one.
IV. It is the Socialism of employers which has developed the spirit and the need of Protection amongst workpeople, and their readiness to accept Collectivist theories. The increased personal inter-course between employers and employed has multiplied difficulties, occasions of friction and discontent, and the pretexts for discontent. Employers who strive to anticipate all their workmen’s wants tend to make them improvident and ungrateful. Instead of developing their intellectual and moral qualities, they wither and corrupt them.
To my mind the rules which employers ought to follow, with regard to provident institutions, may be reduced to the following:—
If the manufacturer wish to interest the workman in his business, he should always be kept informed of its position.
Every institution which has the result of alienating the mutual independence of employer and employed, and of rendering the Labour Contract indefinite and immutable, is bad.
MILITARISM, PROTECTION, AND SOCIALISM.
Two Types of Civilisation—The Military Type—Conquest of Idleness—The Right to Apathy—Protectionist and Socialist—One Produces the Other.
The development of Socialism comes from two causes—Militarism and Protection.
Herbert Spencer has shown, with great force, the antagonism of the two types of civilisation—Military Civilisation and Industrial Civilisation.
Military Civilisation is based upon the passive obedience of the masses to the orders of the Chief, upon the established hierarchy of authority, upon the privileges annexed to each social rank, and upon the denial of personal rights.
Productive Civilisation is based upon the initiative of the citizens. It acquires its development through their industry and economy. It has competition for its motive force.
The two civilisations are incompatible, yet we endeavour to perform the miracle of making them co-exist.
Every German, every Frenchman,in passing through the army, receives the imprint of the type of military organisation, which is far easier to understand than the conditions of liberty.
Into his conceptions of economic life, he transfers the need of order, obedience, and search for least effort. At the bottom these unquiet revolutionaries have a conventual ideal; and that which they point out as a goal to the crowds which follow them is the attainment of idleness. They ask them to do themselves a lot of harm, and even to give and receive blows, so as to have a right to inertia. But is not this exactly the life of the savage warrior who scorns work? And have we not in this one more proof of the retrograde side of the Socialist programme?
According to the verifications which we have made, the word Socialism may be defined as “the intervention of the State in the economic life of the country.”1
But, then, are these men who, in the interests of landed proprietors, ask for taxes on corn, on oats, on horses, cattle, wood, and wines, Socialists? those who, in the name of “national industries” and “national work,” ask for duties on cottons, silks, linens, and all kinds of textile fabrics, all kinds of steel, from rails down to pens, medicines, chemical products, and all objects whatsoever, due to human industry?
To this interrogation I answer by the clearest and most positive affirmation.
Yes, large and small proprietors alike, those of you are Socialists, who beg for customs duties. For what is it you ask, if not for the intervention of the State to guarantee the revenue of your property? What is it you ask for, tradesmen and manufacturers of every kind, who seek the imposition of import duties, if not for the intervention of the State to guarantee your profits? And what is it the Socialists ask, if not for the intervention of the State to guarantee to the workman a maximum of work, a minimum of wage? In a word, what is it you all ask, if not for the intervention of the State to protect you all against competition? The Protectionist asks for protection from the competition of progress from without—the Socialist asks for protection from the competition of activity within—and in aid of what? To throw political interference into the scale so as to violate the Law of Supply and Demand for the arbitrary benefit of such and such a class of producers or workmen, and to the detriment of all consumers and ratepayers, which means—everybody.
This conception of the economic duties of the State is the same for the large landowner who calls himself “conservative,” for the large manufacturer who scorns the Socialists, and for the miserable Socialist who flings his scornful invectives against property and manufactures. They all make the same mistake. They are all victims of the same illusion. Those who look upon one another as enemies are brothers in doctrine. Hence it is that every recrudescence of Protection engenders a revival of Socialism. The Socialists of 1848 were the true sons of the Protectionist copyholders of the Restoration and of Louis-Philippe’s Government. If Protectionists deny this intimate relationship, I will introduce them to a Socialist who will say to them:
“You ask for customs duties so that your revenues and profits may be guaranteed. You appeal to the superior interests of agriculture and national labour. So be it. You have even asked me to join you for this purpose.1 But what share will you give to me—to me, the working man? You demand the aid of “society.” I, too, claim a share in it, and with so much the more right that in society I hold, at least in point of numbers, a larger place than yours.”
Before such language as this the Protectionist is obliged to remain dumb, especially as the Socialist might add:
“You protect yourself; you strike at corn, meat, wines, at the things which are necessary for my food. In the custom house, textile fabrics, things of everyday use, and, therefore, the cheapest, those things intended for me, carry the heaviest weight. It is, therefore, upon my needs, and consequently upon my privations, that you ask the Government to guarantee your revenues and your profits. In my turn, I shall retort and tell you to return to me that which you take from me. I claim my share. Guarantee me my wages. Limit my hours of labour. Suppress my competitors, such as women. Suppress piece-work, which may prove an incentive to over-production at too cheap a rate. This for to-day; but to-morrow it will be necessary that property and manufactures shall rest in my hands alone. The State shall be the sole producer, the sole merchant, and all the profits shall be for me.”
(I.) Despotism and Anarchy—The Courtiers of Socialism—The Action Révolutionnaire League—The Attainment of Political Power—Social Anarchy and Revolution—Utility of Concessions—Prince Bismarck—The Socialist Congress of 1889 and the Emperor of Germany—His Mistake—Insatiable Socialism—(II.) The Distribution of the Population in France, and Socialism—The Interests opposed to Socialism—Socialist Demagogues and Electoral Statistics — Messieurs Clémenceau and de Mun’s Confidence in Socialists—Christian Socialism—Anti-Semeticism—Lay Partisans—Something must be done—Above all, good Government—Respect for Law and Order—Reforms and Retrogression—The Fiscal Question—Fiscal Regulations—Non-intervention of the State in Exchange Contracts and Labour Contracts—(III.) Republican Programme, a Programme of Equality and Liberty—The Press and Common Law—Liberty to Incite to Crime—Weakness of the Chamber of Deputies—English Law relating to Explosives—(IV.) Socialists wish to Suppress Competition—Depressing Political Economy—Expansive Political Economy—Competition the Great Factor in Evolution—The Strong and the Weak—Public Assistance—Lamarck’s Law—Adaptation to the Environment—Predominance of Heredity amongst Socialists—(V.) Utilitarian Philosophy—Its Criterion—Laws of Social Evolution.
I. This study, which we might have greatly extended and enlarged, is, nevertheless, sufficient to show the retrograde and tyrannical character of Socialist con ceptions and practices. Saint-Simon said that society could not tolerate either despotism or anarchy. The Socialist offers us both at once.
Men who have begun by being of the Left-centre, who, as ministers, had to restrain the acts of individuals like Messieurs Fournière and Albert Goullé, connect themselves with revolutionary Collectivists, with the Action Révolutionnaire League, promising the expropriation or confiscation of railways and mines, and allowing a faint vision of a like something approaching for the “Haute Banque” and large proprietors. And why do M. Goblet, formerly Minister of the Interior and Minister of Foreign Affairs, and Messieurs Millerand and Jaurés always encourage the destructive passions, and promise to submit the law to their will? Why? So as to seize on political power. They began, in imitation of Boulangism, by stirring up anarchy, with the notion that, if it triumphed, they would evolve an order therefrom, of which they would be the masters; and in their blind ambition, they madly forgot that, in the language of their friends, and of their accomplices, this order is known as Social Revolution!
They wish, however, to make a choice between doctrines and practices; but what choice? Where is their criterion? Why do they stop here? Why do they not go further? The revolutionary Collectivist would always have the advantage over them of logic and precision, and could only cede then to the Anarchist.
In his alliance with the Action Révolutionnaire, M.Goblet accepts all the Socialist programmes in mass; he makes no reservations except as regards ways of carrying them out; he rejects violence. But outrages may be committed in legal form; and a statesman’s duty is to anticipate and prevent the law ever becoming an instrument of oppression and spoliation.
The Marseilles Congress has clearly decided for the Socialist, as to the utility of the concessions which may be granted them: “They strengthen us against our adversaries, who grow more feeble.”
The example of Prince Bismarck, who persecuted the Socialists, whilst at one and the same time he created a Socialistic legislature, only served in its absence of logic to develop Socialism in Germany. The Emperor William II. has continued this policy and arrived at the same result.
The International Socialist Congress, held at Paris on 14th to 21st July, 1889, demanded international legislation, establishing the eight hours day, the abolition of night work, the abolition of female labour, a thirty-six hours rest per week, and the inspection of workshops by inspectors, at least half of whom should be elected by workmen. This protective legislation for labour was to become the subject of laws and of international treaties. A deputy who pretends to be the working-man’s representative, M. Ferroul, re-introduced these resolutions of the congress in a proposed law; and it was not without surprise that on February 4th, 1890, we saw the rescripts of the German Emperor, who seemed to have appropriated M. Ferroul’s propositions, and the resolution of the Paris Congress, for the “regulation of the duration and nature of labour.”
If the Emperor William wished to make the ideas of the Socialist his own, he should have called Messieurs Bebel and Liebknecht to power. His Socialistic experiment only tended to deceive, and to give greater authority to their party, which is always bound to be in, at least, apparent opposition, because, from its very nature it is insatiable.
In France, the Socialistic Republicans, who wish to retain their authority over their train-bearers, are always obliged to vote against every ministry, even when composed of their friends, each time that they pass a law: an attitude which proves the political capacity of the party and its powerlessness to direct the affairs of the country!
II. If those politicians who consider themselves to be prudent men, were to consult the distribution of the French population, they would see that the land-owners cultivating their own land number 9 millions; small proprietors, 3,500,000; farmers, metayers, and planters, 5 millions; foresters and woodcutters, 500,000; and that they, representing 50 per cent. of the productive population of France, consider the demands of the workmen, who are only a minority, very obstructive and very outrageous.
With regard to manufactures and trade, 9 millions of people are engaged in them, of which 3,250,000 are engaged in large scale industries, and more than 6 millions in small industries. This makes up more than 65 per cent. Now, for whom are all these laws, these arrangements, these regulations, and this chaos, intended? For a minority of 35 per cent., which represents the large scale trades.
To hear Messieurs Clémenceau, Basly, or Dumay, one would think that we had nothing but miners in France, and that all parliamentary work, and all parliamentary politics ought to be subordinated to them, and they number 90,000 workmen all told! Do the Deputies who, in their demagogic zeal, blunder about in an environment of labour laws realise that laws apply to all those small retail trades where there is one master to every two workmen? If we set aside those who employ seven or eight, we see the number of those who only employ one. Do not these small employers represent the democracy, the proletariat of yesterday in process of transformation, those people who, being possessed of the spirit of enterprise, prefer its risks and practice to the security and tranquillity of wages. It is these small employers whom you attack with police laws, whom you disturb with inspectors; all these new functionaries whom you have created and set on foot.
And you think that in acting thus, you are making a clever political move! It has not even this quality as an excuse.
Commerce and transport represent close upon 4 millions of people, and this legislation can only have two results: to depress commerce in depressing manufactures, and in closing their outlets by the high price of the goods and the checking of the spirit of enterprise.
With regard to the railway staffs representing 550,000 persons, and that of the mercantile marine, representing 250,000 persons, there may well be a certain number who, after having made many applica tions to be admitted into the companies, allow themselves to be dragged in by Socialist agitators; but, at bottom, the majority understand quite well that if economic life is relaxed in this country, by Socialistic claims, the reaction will make itself felt by limiting the staff and by diminishing the resources which might otherwise be devoted to its remuneration.
Can people belonging to the liberal professions, and numbering 1,600,000 persons, if they reflect, accept this legislation, liable to so many dangers, and so adverse to the general interests of the nation? Is it the public forces, representing 550,000 persons, of whom 120,000 belong to the constabulary and the police? Is it the landowners and stockholders, who represent more than 2 millions of people, close upon 6 per cent. of the total population?
Some people wish to subordinate the whole of French legislation, all its policy, to the pretensions of a minority which will never be satisfied. Public men who place themselves at the head, or rather get in tow with this movement, the courtiers of Socialistic demagogy, have the deepest contempt for political economy and statistics. This is self-evident: for they prove that they do not even know the statistics of the electorate, the only ones which concern them. M. Clémenceau has devoted himself a great deal to mines, at any rate in the tribune; and yet it was neither at Valenciennes, at Bethune, nor at Saint-Etienne that he sought a constituency; but in a district which contains no manufactures at all, a district of small landowners and small husbandmen, Draguignan.
We observe the same lack of confidence on the part of M. de Mun, from the electoral point of view, in the miners and factory hands, for whom he speaks so often. In their service he plays the demagogue, promises them terrestrial paradises over and above the celestial, interprets certain verses of the Gospels after the manner of the ascetics, who never pretended to be economists, and sees nothing in the Popes’ encyclical letter Rerum novarum but the side which fits in with his own arguments, by leaving all the restrictions which are opposed to it in the shade; but it is to the credulity of the peasants of Morbihan that he appeals, to send him to the Chamber of Deputies. I have expressed myself elsewhere upon Christian Socialism. I shall not return to it.1
In France, the Catholic aristocracy, and, from a competitive spirit, the Protestant aristocracy, have engaged in the anti-Semetic campaign much more from envy of luxuries possessed by Jews, their drawingrooms and their theatres, than from hatred of their religion or race—from a spirit of revenge on the part of territorial wealth as opposed to wealth acquired in trade and in banking. But it only became popular because, in addition to the libels which constituted its unwholesome seasoning, has been added a hatred of the wealthy, the envy of those who have failed against those who have succeeded, and the spirit of spoliation. M. Drumont’s sectaries are lay Communists.
III. But there are very disinterested and very wellintentioned people who say:—Something must be done.” To these I answer that, to begin with, we must not do foolish things.
This is the first point; and in this we fail, with this officious, meddling legislation, which seeks “to give satisfaction,” and to whom? To the selfish, who, more often than not, do not wish for it, whose conditions of existence it disturbs, and whom it runs the risk of depriving of work and wages, by seriously damaging the economic life of our country. Such legislation may be serious in a very different sense to that of a passing riot or insurrection. We are commencing our experience with the revival of Protection.
But there is much to be done outside of “labour laws.” First of all we have to govern well, and administrate well. We have to enforce respect for law and order, to protect the future against the prejudices and passions of the moment, to protect general interests against the aggression of individual interests. A Government which had succeeded in doing this might not be considered anything very wonderful, and yet under its modest exterior it would have accomplished the most useful, the most efficacious, and perhaps the most difficult of labours.
With regard to reforms, the point is to make a selection, and not to mistake retrogression for progress. In good sooth, many present themselves; for in our legislation we must prune vigorously, following in this matter, Buckle’s formula, that great reforms have consisted less in making new laws than in demolishing old ones. The years that are to come will give us plenty of work, because we shall have to lop off not only ancient laws, but recent ones as well.
It is upon a budget which asks over three thousand million francs from the taxpayers, that the entire activity of the Legislature may be brought to bear, from the point of view of the economic intervention of the State. The work is heavy and laborious for those who endeavour to restore to our fiscal system a certain number of first principles, such as these: Taxes should be paid to the State only. They should serve no other purpose than to supply funds for the general services of the State. They should never be an instrument of spoliation or confiscation. They should be proportional. They should be objective, assessed on property, and not on the person. They must not injure traffic. They should be assessed on acquired property, and not on labour, trade, manufactures, or wealth in process of formation.
Indirect taxation fulfils none of these conditions, and a large proportion of it is taxation progressive in the wrong direction. Those who have acquired fortunes should themselves take the initiative in re-establishing proportional taxation. The personal sacrifices which they would thus make would give them an authority to resist the greed of the spoilers. They could talk of justice with so much the more authority for having shown that they knew how to apply it.
Among the tasks which will encumber the immediate future, it will not be an easy one to establish the principle of the non-intervention of the State, in contracts of exchange, and labour contracts: because, wonderful to relate, it is supported by the coalition of fierce adversaries.
What does it matter? To every politician who is not short-sighted, and who does not change his policy from day to day, who puts the interests of the country above his personal conveniences and his ambition, it is a matter of vital concern to steadfastly maintain the principle of individual liberty, against State Socialism, and against the pretensions of trade syndicates.
IV. We Republicans should recollect, that our programme was a programme of liberty and equality. The Republican party was false to it when, instead of placing the press under the government of the common law, it granted to it the privileges of the law of 1881, privileges through which the Republican party was the first to be attacked by calumnies and libels, incitements to murder, pillage, and other crimes.
Articles 23 and 24 of the law of 1881, punish provocations to murder, pillage, and incendiarism; but the person who is engaged in them cannot be arrested in anticipation. Furthermore, he cannot be arrested, unless the judgment is peremptory. By tricks of procedure he can suspend judgment for something like nine months; and during this time, he can continue his offences, multiply them, and accumulate judgments upon his head, with impunity. It is sufficient for him to cross the frontier upon the eve of the day when the first judgment will become peremptory, for him to escape all responsibility for his words and his actions. In the month of October, M. Loubet brought forward a scheme for putting an end to this state of things; but he was weak enough to allow an amendment of M. Jullien’s to pass, which destroyed it. The Senate suppressed this. The discussion came up again on May 4th, before the Chamber, when M. Jullien managed to pass an amendment by 272 votes, against 234, which permits the court to pronounce only provisional sentence. The Senate is awaiting the coming session in order to resume the discussion; and, in the meantime, the Anarchists and their emulators can continue to celebrate the high achievements of dynamite.
England did not stand on so much ceremony after the dynamite explosions which took place in her midst. In 1883, she adopted a carefully thought out law, which condemns every person causing an explosion of a nature to cause serious danger to life or property to penal servitude for life; every person doing anything to provoke an explosion of this kind, or making or storing explosives for this purpose, to twenty years of penal servitude; and every person making or storing an explosive substance under circumstances which he cannot innocently account for, to fourteen years penal servitude.
Finally, to complete these provisions, which arm the Government with all the power desirable against the partisans of the employment of explosive substances as revolutionary agents, the last clauses of the Act of 1883 give the widest powers to the Bench of Magistrates from the point of view of criminal information.
V. But what is it Socialists demand? The suppression of competition.
Their ideal—not only in the State of the future, which they prudently abstain from describing, as Liebknecht himself acknowledged at the Erfurt Congress, but of the legislation which they have agreed upon—is depressive political economy: based upon envy, jealousy, coercion, the violent destruction of privileges, the breaking up of the nation into classes, intent on snatching some rags of fortune by the aid of power (politics being regarded only as an instrument of plunder), upon contempt for the individual and his subjection to combinations of despotic and irresponsible cliques.
We, on the contrary, represent expansive political economy, which considers that in social relations as in all organic life, competition is the great factor in evolution.
This ideal of mere competence, in place of the ideal of development, is pursued by Socialists when they wish to impose a uniform rate of wages; and they arrive at this result: the strongest and cleverest workmen do not earn what they ought to earn. They carry the feeble workmen on their backs. And at the same time even the weak man does not receive any advantages from this position: because he does not find any work.
It is all very well to talk, in a charming way, of the protection which the strong owe to the weak. But for this protection to be efficacious, the strong must begin by being strong. Every combination which has as a result the sacrifice of the strong to the weak is a check to the development of humanity.
Moreover, who are the feeble? By what signs do we know them? Are you going to grant a privilege to idleness and apathy, so as to get as much as you can out of those who valiantly undertake to bear the burdens of life themselves, instead of passing them on to their neighbour? But if we maintain these feeble creatures of whom these good souls take so much care, we condemn them to remain in their state of debility.
Let us remember the law thus expressed by Lamarck: “The development of organs and their active powers is always in proportion to their employment.” There will be crises and difficulties in social life; we must not let them frighten us. Our needs change, and they always precede the definite formation of the organ. As Darwin taught us to see, each organ is the transformation of other, anterior, organs, pre-existing amongst ancestral forms in a different state and serving different functions. The problem is the same from the sociological point of view as from the biological: the adaptation to new functions is always difficult, and remains incomplete. Our endeavour should be to make it as easy, as little painful, and as perfect as possible. We should, above all, endeavour to prevent retrogressions, which are only the predominance of heredity over the adaptation to the environment; and as the Socialistic movement is only the expression of old forms of society, of old ideas, of old sophistries, survivals of fetishism, an attempt to subordinate industrial and economic progress to the modes of existence of primitive civilisations, we ought, in the name of progress, to oppose it: for the so-called “advanced” who direct the movement would carry back the social organism, with all its complex elements, more and more adapted to the division of labour, to primitive Collectivism. Man transforming himself into a jelly-fish! that is their ideal.
Every one in France now is free from all the old questions of dynastic policy. We should henceforth have only one policy, the utilitarian, saying with Bentham that individual interests are the only true interests. What test have we wherewith to judge as to whether a measure is useful or noxious? Is it “the happiness of the greatest number—a formula borrowed by Priestly from Helvétius?
But certain Protectionists will, in perfect good faith, declare to you that they apply this test. Does not the agricultural population of France represent 19 millions of people? They protect it; therefore they protect the greatest number. What does the workman want? Work! Therefore national labour must be protected, so as to insure his happiness. And the Socialist would add, that the end of all the legislation which he asks for is to protect him against surplus work, to watch over his health, his safety, and his well-being; and he will repeat with Plato: “What signifies restraint provided that man is made happier?”
The following are the four rules which, for us, must determine the utility of this or that measure.
If we turn back to primitive civilisations, we find that the weaker are brutally made use of by the stronger, woman by man, the vanquished becomes the food or the slave of the victor: and the man who thus abuses his strength as regards his fellow creatures is reduced to the most miserable state of helplessness with regard to the environment in which he lives, if it were only with respect to the inclemencies of the weather. Let us go further. By what signs do you recognise that modern civilisation is superior to the Roman civilisation? The conquerors of the world had not even windmills, and they pushed the employment of the vanquished to the point of the sanguinary saturnalia of the circus. Chief of the clan, tribal chief, Greek despot, Roman Cæsar, all represent the most crushing dominion over the members of the family, of the city, or of the nation.
By these facts we can prove this first sociological law:—
(1.)Progress is in inverse ratio to the coercive interference of man with man, and in direct ratio to the control by man of external nature.
And how do we see that this progress is accomplished? Sir Henry Sumner Maine says it is done by the substitution of contract for authoritative arrangements, in such fashion that the action of the State shall, in a word, be replaced in social life by individual action, and personal conventions; and then the chief function of the State is to guarantee against fraud, deceit, accidents independent of the contracting parties, and the execution of contracts.
But, wherefore these contracts? What is their origin? The intellectual and productive energy of man, his enterprise, and the necessity he is under of exchanging the things in his possession for things possessed by others. And then, if the substitution for sacerdotal or social regulations of contracts is an undeniable proof of progress, have we not the right to say:—
(2.) Every institution (or legislative, governmental, fiscal, or administrative measure) is injurious which has for its object the restraint of the intellectual or productive activity of man.
At the present time, we may place in this category restrictive laws on commercial societies, on labour contracts, or on contracts of exchange. And here we put our finger upon the mistake made by the Protectionists and Socialists, who are all advocates for the intervention of the State in economic relations, the former to promise monopolies, to guarantee profits to the workmen or to the manufacturers, and incomes to the proprietors, by shielding them all from outside progress, the latter to defend the indolent, the idle, and the unskilled against the competition of the more industrious or more skilful.
The proprietor, manufacturer, or tradesman who has obtained Protection, thinks he has achieved a great victory. Instead of occupying himself with the perfecting of his means of production, his thoughts are intent on arousing the intervention of the public powers in defence and augmentation of the Protection “which he enjoys.” But he falls asleep under the shadow of this Protection. It is his manzanilla tree; and it will cause his death, if he be not torn away from it.
That workman, instead of his ideal being to become a capitalist himself one day, or to make his son a capitalist, by means of work and increased effort, asks for Protection, eight hours’ work, a minimum wage, a monopoly of certain trades, and the restriction of the number of apprentices.
He sets himself and his children in a mould. He aims at resignation as little work as possible, the earning of a competent salary, but under hard and fast restrictions. He himself shatters the mainsprings of all his activity. We have an example of this in the mines of the Pas-de-Calais and of the Nord, where, from the new dread of personal initiative and taking responsibilities upon himself, the workman now prefers to remain in the ranks.
The Socialists voluntarily repeat a stereotyped formula of M. Victor Modeste: “The poor are becoming poorer.” But how has M. Victor Modeste established this? By proving, through the registers of Public Aid Societies that it is always the same families whose names are to be found there. Surely this is a decisive argument against Socialism; for it proves that the assistance given to these people, instead of helping them to develop and rise in life, has converted them into a society of paupers; and it will be the same with every measure which, by having for its object the reduction or suppression of the struggle for existence, diminishes man’s efforts.
By analogy, biology shows us that every species of vegetable or animal which is protected against competition—against the difficulties of existence, is condemned to atrophy, and to perish. Darwin proved how poor and limited were the flora and the fauna of the Islands of Oceania; and why? Because they are isolated, that is to say, protected. It is only through effort that organisms, whether plants, animals, or men, can develop themselves; and the universal experience of things and of centuries warrants us in saying:—
(3.) Every institution is pernicious which has for its object the protection of an individual, or a group of individuals, against competition; because it has as a result the apathy and atrophy of those whom it is sought to protect.
On the contrary, every social or collective action which aims at the development of the courage and strength of the individual, and attains thereto, is of a progressive character, and should be approved. Of this nature, for example, are the educational laws due to the Republic.1 They give worth to understandings which would otherwise remain uncultivated. They prepare man for more effective activity in the surroundings in which he is called upon to live. They should give him dignity, develop his powers of initiative, his readiness to make personal decisions. We add this last conclusion:—
(4.) Every institution is useful which has for its object the development of the aptitudes of the individual for the struggle for existence and his ability to act in the environment in which he must live.
In reality, there is a complete contradiction, starting from their very title, between the pretensions of Socialists, and their real character; because, as we have shown, they are anti-social. They pretend to be the advocates of equality, and they employ all their efforts in constituting inequalities. They demand liberty for themselves, but with the object of oppressing others and, reciprocally, themselves. They pretend to be “advanced,” and the measures which they propose come very near to arresting the development of those to whom they apply; and the ideal which they offer us is retrogression towards the civilisations of the past.
In the United Kingdom, as well as in France, we are paying the penalty of neglect of the principles of local government. Everywhere the just demand for Home Rule, for large areas as well as small, is upon us; but the limits within which such local government should be confined, so as to safeguard personal and proprietary rights, have not been considered.—Ed.
There can be little doubt that our reactionary Lunacy Acts of 1890–1 were prepared for in the same way by medical men forcing the hand of the Government.—Ed.
See the Siècle, June 16th, 1893.
See his Les Bourses du Travail.
Treason to Trades Unionism.—Ed.
See a series of artioles by M. Léon Ducret, in the Siècle of November 12th, 1892, and following dates.
Conditions du Travail, p. 16.
La Reforme Économique, 23rd April, 1893.
Acollas, Manuel de Droit civil, vol. ii., p. 718.
This definition is both too narrow and too wide for me. Too narrow, because it would exclude those interferences with personal rights which do not come within the economic domain, such as those of the Police des Mœurs. Too wide, because it would include all taxation, all legislation on contracts of an economic kind, all prevention by the State of frauds and nuisances arising out of economic conditions.—Ed.
Letter from the strikers of Lillebonne (Siècle, 7th June, 1893).
Etudes sur les Doctrines Sociales du Christianisme. New edition, 1893.
On this point I can only say that M. Guyot will have English Individualists against him. Is not the supply of education an economic function? If the education of one’s children is to be provided for on Collectivist priuciples, why not every other part of one’s household expenses?—Ed.