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Page:Studies in socialism 1906.djvu/12

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consider the spectacle offered by modern societies, and to judge it according to two standards, the standard of abstract justice and the standard of social expediency.

 

I

The first thing that will strike such an observer is the extraordinary difference in the amount of material comfort enjoyed by different members of the same political group, a difference so great that the community may be almost said to represent two civilisations; and the next thing will probably be the difference in social standing, which practically divides the community into groups of masters and servants.

As he looks about him he sees some men beginning to work at sordid and unpleasant labour at seven o'clock in the morning and keeping on till six at night, and at the end of such a day going home to a two-room tenement; he sees that they and their wives and children are undernourished, that their clothing is insufficient, and that all the conditions of their lives are unsanitary and uncivilised.[1] And he sees some men whose

  1. "In this community, the saddest in which I have ever lived, fully fifty thousand men, women, and children were all the time in poverty, or on the verge of poverty. It would not be possible to describe how they worked and starved and ached to rise out of it. They broke their health down; the men acquired in this particular trade a painful and disabling rheumatism, and consumption