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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 24.djvu/759

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THE COMING SLAVERY.

agencies. Even one of their own organizations for effecting social changes yields them proof. It is compelled to have its councils, its local and general officers, its authoritative leaders, who must be obeyed under penalty of confusion and failure. And the experience of those who are loudest in their advocacy of a new social order under the paternal control of a government shows that, even in private voluntarily-formed societies, the power of the regulative organization becomes great, if not irresistible; often, indeed, causing grumbling and restiveness among those controlled. Trades-unions which carry on a kind of industrial war in defense of workers' interests versus employers' interests find that subordination almost military in its strictness is needful to secure efficient action; for divided councils prove fatal to success. And even in bodies of co-operators, formed for carrying on manufacturing or distributing businesses, and not needing that obedience to leaders which is required where the aims are offensive or defensive, it is still found that the administrative agency acquires so great a power that there arise complaints about "the tyranny of organization." Judge, then, what must happen when, instead of combinations, small, local, and voluntary, to which men may belong or not as they please, we have a national combination in which each citizen finds himself incorporated, and from which he can not separate himself without leaving the country! Judge what must under such conditions become the power of a graduated and centralized officialism, holding in its hands the resources of the community, and having behind it whatever amount of force it finds requisite to carry out its decrees and maintain what it calls order! Well may a Prince Bismarck display leanings toward state-socialism.

And then, after recognizing, as they must if they think out their scheme, the power possessed by the regulative agency in the new social system so temptingly pictured, let its advocates ask themselves to what end this power must be used. Not dwelling exclusively, as they habitually do, on the material well-being and the mental gratifications to be provided for them by a beneficent administration, let them dwell a little on the price to be paid. The officials can not create the needful supplies; they can but distribute among individuals that which the individuals have joined to produce. If the public agency is required to provide for them, it must reciprocally require them to furnish the means. There can not be, as under our existing system, agreement between employer and employed—this the scheme excludes. There must in place of it be command by local authorities over workers, and acceptance by the workers of that which the authorities assign to them. And this, indeed, is the arrangement distinctly, but as it would seem inadvertently, pointed to by the members of the Democratic Federation. For they propose that production should be carried on by "agricultural and industrial armies under state control"; apparently not remembering that armies presuppose