Page:Studies in socialism 1906.djvu/37

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xxxi
Translator's Introduction

administered by a trained bureaucracy; others have the ideal of a less centralised politico-economic system, under which the commune or township would be the principal owner and employer of labour; others imagine associations of producers, each group owning and controlling the plant at which it works itself; while still others think that the future society will be a combination of all these forms, some property being vested in the nation, some in local government bodies, and some in the organised trades.[1]

It is interesting, and it may even be profitable, to attempt to foresee the exact form that the

  1. For a careful attempt to study this question from the legal standpoint, see Professor Monger's L'État Socialiste. Mr. and Mrs. Sidney Webb have sketched their idea of the probable organisation of the Democratic State of the future in the last chapter of Industrial Democracy. A more popular form of forecast is that presented by the Fabian Essays on Socialism. Mr. Edmond Kelly, in the second volume of Government or Human Evolution, gives in some detail another possible solution, which he calls Quasi-Collectivism. Under this system the State will manufacture the necessities of life, and require every citizen to work for it four hours a day. During the remainder of the day each man will be free to engage in any occupation he chooses: artists will devote themselves to their art with minds freed from anxiety, and energetic business men will create supplementary industries on the competitive plan. Since a decent livelihood is assured to every man by his State labour, the unjust advantage that purely capitalistic production gives to the owner is done away with.