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LIBERTY AND RESPONSIBILITY

and enters into the rights and duties of the parties as they are related to one another in the organization.

It is one of the few things which are, I believe, agreed upon by all, that it is the function of capital to carry the time delay, and to bear the risk; it is an interesting question, however, whether the laborer has to pay the employer for carrying the risk. Lasalle demanded that the employee should be admitted to a share in the risk, because it is, as he assumed, only through the risk that the great gains come, and, therefore, on that view, the employee, if excluded from the risk, had no chance of the great gains.

The wages system is undoubtedly a high and intense organization, involving strict discipline upon all its members, employers as well as employees. It is therefore an intense constraint upon personal liberty. Some of the phrase-makers wax indignant at the notion that the laborer is viewed and treated "as a ware;" such indignation serves easily the purposes of rhetoric and declamation, but, in the cold light of fact and reason, it is only ludicrous. The Greeks called a laborer an "ensouled machine," which may be regarded as a more or a less offensive figure of speech than the other, but neither of them is anything else than a figure of speech. Such figures aside, the fact is that the laborer binds himself by a contract: his time and service are the subject matter of the contract, which binds his liberty. The employer is also bound by a contract: he is bound to furnish means of subsistence, according to the terms of the contract, whether the enterprise in which he and the laborers are jointly engaged is successful or not. Every man who earns his living is bound in contracts of this sort; employers and laborers, as we use those words technically, are only special cases. Our whole organization is held