Page:What Social Classes Owe to Each Other.djvu/83

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79
OWE TO EACH OTHER.

any Utopia its inhabitants would certainly be very insipid and characterless.

Those who have neither capital nor land unquestionably have a closer class interest than landlords or capitalists. If one of those who are in either of the latter classes is a spendthrift he loses his advantage. If the non-capitalists increase their numbers, they surrender themselves into the hands of the landlords and capitalists. They compete with each other for food until they run up the rent of land, and they compete with each other for wages until they give the capitalist a great amount of productive energy for a given amount of capital. If some of them are economical and prudent in the midst of a class which saves nothing and marries early, the few prudent suffer for the folly of the rest, since they can only get current rates of wages; and if these are low the margin out of which to make savings by special personal effort is narrow. No instance has yet been seen of a society composed of a class of great capitalists and a class of laborers who had fallen into a caste of permanent drudges. Probably no such thing is possible so long as landlords especially remain as a third class, and so long