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Page:Studies in socialism 1906.djvu/236

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186
Studies in Socialism

"In the mines, the canals, the railroads, the ports, the prodigious applications of steam and electricity and all the great enterprises that develop the power and the pride of man, they have no part, no part at all, except that of inert instruments. They have no seat in the councils that decide on new undertakings and direct them; these are entirely in the hands of a limited class which knows all the joys of intellectual activity and hardy initiative, just as it possesses all the pleasures of wealth, and which would be happy if it were permitted to man to be happy apart from human solidarity. There are millions of labourers who are reduced to an inert and mechanical existence. And, terrifying as the idea is, if to-morrow machines could be substituted for them, nothing would be changed in human existence.

"When, on the contrary. Socialism has triumphed, when conditions of peace have succeeded to conditions of combat, when all men have their share of property in the immense human capital, and their share of initiative and of the exercise of free-will in the immense human activity, then all men will know the fulness of pride and joy; and they will feel that they are co-operators in the universal civilisation, even if their immediate contribution is only the humblest manual labour; and this labour, more noble and more fraternal in character, will be so regulated that the labourers shall always reserve for themselves some leisure