sees the rich man's palace. They forget that whole generations perish in crowded slums, starving for air and sunlight, and that to redress this injustice ought to be the first task of the Revolution.
Do not let these disingenuous protests hold us back. We know that any inequality which may exist between town and country in the early days of the Revolution will be transitory and of a nature to right itself from day to day; for the village will not fail to improve its dwellings as soon as the peasant has ceased to be the beast of burden of the farmer, the merchant, the money-lender and the State. In order to avoid an accidental and transitory inequality, shall we stay our hand from righting an ancient wrong?
The so-called practical objections are not very formidable either. We are bidden to consider the hard case of some poor fellow who by dint of privation has contrived to buy a house just large enough to hold his family. And we are going to deprive him of his hard-earned happiness to turn him into the street! Certainly not. If his house is only just large enough for his family, by all means let him stay there. Let him work in his little garden too; our "boys" will not hinder him—nay, they will lend him a helping hand if need be. But suppose he lets lodgings, suppose he has empty rooms in his house, the people will make the lodger understand that he is not to pay his former landlord any more rent. Stay where you are, but rent free. No more duns and collectors, Socialism has abolished all that!
Or again, suppose that the landlord has a score of rooms all to himself and some poor woman lives near by with five children in one room. In that case the people would see whether, with some alterations, these empty rooms could not be converted into a suitable home for the poor woman and her five children. Would not that be more just and fair than to leave the mother and her five little one languishing in a garret, while Sir Gorgeous Midas sat at his ease in an empty mansion? Besides, good Sir Gorgeous would probably hasten to do it of his own accord; his wife will be delighted to be freed from half her big unwieldy house when there is no longer a staff of servants to keep it in order.
"So you are going to turn everything upside down, it seems, and set everybody by the ears. There will be no end to the evictions and flittings. Would it not be better to start fresh by turning everybody out of doors and redistributing the houses by lot?" Thus our critics; but we answer we are firmly persuaded that if only there is no sort of government interference in the matter, if all the changes are entrusted to those free groups which have sprung up to undertake the work, the evictions and removals will be less numerous than those which take place