FROM FREEDOM TO BONDAGE. 735
endowment of those sentiments required to prevent the growth of a despotic bureaucracy.
Were it needful to dwell on indirect evidence, much might be made of that furnished by the behavior of the so-called Liberal party a party which, relinquishing the original conception of a leader as a mouthpiece for a known and accepted policy, thinks itself bound to accept a policy which its leader springs upon it without consent or warning a party so utterly without the feel- ing and idea implied by liberalism, as not to resent this tram- pling on the right of private judgment which constitutes the root of liberalism nay, a party which vilifies as renegade liberals, those of its members who refuse to surrender their independence ! But without occupying space with indirect proofs that the mass of men have not the natures required to check the development of tyrannical officialism, it will suffice to contemplate the direct proofs furnished by those classes among whom the socialistic idea most predominates, and who think themselves most interested in propagating it the operative classes. These would constitute the great body of socialistic organization, and their characters would determine its nature. What, then, are their characters as displayed in such organizations as they have already formed ?
Instead of the selfishness of the employing classes and the selfishness of competition, we are to have the unselfishness of a mutual-aiding system. How far is this unselfishness now shown in the behavior of workingmen to one another ? What shall we say to the rules limiting the numbers of new hands admitted into each trade, or to the rules which hinder ascent from inferior classes of workers to superior classes ? One does not see in such regulations any of that altruism by which socialism is to be per- vaded. Contrariwise, one sees a pursuit of private interests no less keen than among traders. Hence, unless we suppose that men's natures will be suddenly exalted, we must conclude that the pursuit of private interests will sway the doings of all the component classes in a socialistic society.
With passive disregard of others' claims goes active encroach- ment on them. " Be one of us or we will cut off your means of living," is the usual threat of each Trades Union to outsiders of the same trade. While their members insist on their own free- dom to combine and fix the rates at which they will work (as they are perfectly justified in doing), the freedom of those who disa- gree with them is not only denied but the assertion of it is treated as a crime. Individuals who maintain their rights to make their own contracts are vilified as "blacklegs" and "traitors," and meet with violence which would be merciless were there no legal penalties and no police. Along with this trampling on the liber- ties of men of their own class, there goes peremptory dictation to