"permits a minority of privileged individuals to dispose of the work, the strength and the health of the working classes and to levy on them a perpetual tribute." When Radicals talk of the sacredness of private property as against the attacks of Socialists and speak as if to do away with private property were to take away a very important human right, what they really mean is capitalist property, that is, the property of a class, the right of the few over the many. But the future will not necessarily be a continuance of this. Rather the evolution will go on. "Far from being immovable, the conception of property has been modified in the course of centuries, and there is no doubt that it will be further modified in the future … and it is certain that it is now going to evolve in the direction of greater complication, to richer complexity. A new force has to be reckoned with; a force which is going to complicate and transform all social relations, the whole property system. This new force is the human individual. For the first time since the beginning of history man claims his rights as a man, all his rights. The workman, the proletarian, the man who owns nothing is affirming his own individuality. He claims everything that belongs properly to a man: the right to life, the right to work, the right to the complex
development of his faculties, to the continuous exercise
- From Studies in Socialism. Trans, by M. Minturn.