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Page:Studies in socialism 1906.djvu/80

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Studies in Socialism

the complex development of his faculties, to the continuous exercise of his free-will and of his reason. Under the double action of democratic life which has wakened or strengthened in him the pride of a man, and of modern industry which has given to united labour a consciousness of its power, the workman is becoming a person, and insists upon being treated as such, everywhere and always. Well, society cannot guarantee him the right to work or the right to life, it cannot promote him from the condition of a passive wage earner to that of a free co-operator, without itself entering into the domain of property. Social property has to be created to guarantee private property in its real sense, that is, the property that the human individual has and ought to have in his own person.

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Thus a social property right comes into being, for the benefit of the workers, and this right is extended to the many associations, local government units (communes), trade-unions, and co-operative societies, which, being in close touch with the individual, are able to protect his rights and guarantee his newly-won freedom of action more effectively and with greater suppleness than the nation could. In place, then, of the relatively simple and brutal capitalistic form of property, will be substituted an infinitely complex form, where the social right of the nation will serve as guaranty, by the intermediary of many local or