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Page:Studies in socialism 1906.djvu/33

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gested that the economy of a co-operative State would allow so much leisure to its citizens as might result in a strict surveillance of politics and official methods by the average man.

Under the Socialist system the natural differences between man and man would bring their natural differences in comforts and pleasure, and the average man's mainspring of activity would still be in operation.

But at this point we should note the classic objection to Socialism. Men, it is said, work from two motives, first, in order to amass wealth for themselves, and, second, in order to hand on the fruits of their labour to their children. Socialism would do away with both these motives, and the inference is that men would no longer work.

The error that underlies this criticism is that it is based on an observation of the mental processes of the owning class only. We have seen that the distribution of wealth under our present régime is such that the vast mass of workers never have the faintest hope of accumulating any wealth for themselves, while the idea of leaving anything whatever to their children would seem to them fantastic in the extreme. On the contrary, they count on their children to keep them out of the poorhouse when they are too old to support themselves.

It is, nevertheless, true that under our capitalistic system these two motives are very generally active with the wealthy minority. It has seemed