Page:Studies in socialism 1906.djvu/149

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The Necessity for a Majority

feudal rights in connection with non-feudal property, but, on the whole, the nobles were the only ones affected. The very nature of feudal dues, which presupposed a bond of personal dependence, reserved the benefits accruing therefrom to a single class of persons.

It is quite otherwise with capital, whose very essence it is to be diffused. It has no certain and known limits. It is not concentrated in the hands of a corporation like the Church, or a caste like the nobility. It is of course true that the titles that represent it are very far from being as widely dispersed as the made-to-order optimism of bourgeois political-economists would have us believe. But it is true that they are not reserved to any given category of titular proprietors and that they are fairly generally distributed. There are small property-owners even in the villages. And if a coup-de-force of the minority were suddenly to abolish capitalist property, unexpected centres of resistance would spring into being everywhere. Only by definite and nicely graded steps, by which their interests are fully protected, can the medium and small owners be brought to consent to the transformation of capitalist property to social property. And it is perfectly certain that these legal adjustments can only be conducted and these guaranties established by the calm deliberation and legalised will of the majority of the nation.

In the same way the transformation of agrarian