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Page:Studies in socialism 1906.djvu/87

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37
Rough Outlines

divided properties. But even this statement of the case is inaccurate and represents the evolution of rural life in too dry, too mechanical a manner. It is not merely that, by no stroke of authority, nor even by attraction, the peasant property will enter into the communistic movement. It will do this, in part at least, by its own internal evolution.

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One of the essential tasks of Socialism will be to give to the peasant proprietors a lively sense and a true understanding of the change that is obscurely taking place among them. When one makes them notice it they are astonished for a moment, then they recognise the extent of the change that is coming about little by little in their habits and thoughts. It is in prolonging and systematising these new tendencies that Socialism will come into contact with life and will borrow its strength. This co-operation, still superficial and limited, will have to be extended and organised and made adaptable. It would be necessary in many regions to inaugurate great works for the perfecting of agricultural processes: ditches must be dug, marshes drained, hills flattened, fertiliser carted, earth must be added and irrigation managed. It is possible that the nation will be called upon to encourage and subsidise these works, for it is irrational that there should be public works of communication and not public works of production. However, it is very clear