Page:The future of democracy.djvu/18

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decent home. Unless a man has a decent home for his wife and children and himself you will never get a good family, and without good families you will not get a good State. All I am saying is in a two-fold interest, that of the State as well as of the individual.

I have spoken of two minima that the State must see to—the living wage and a decent home—and I can add a third, and that is sufficient knowledge. This is a delicate thing to deal with. I am speaking to-day, as you see, with the ægis thrown over me of the Workers' Educational Association, but that Association has got its enemies among certain sections of the Labour Party, who say: "What is education?" It means, they assert, the use of human faculties for the exploitation of the worker by the capitalist. "What is the use of education until you get rid of capital?" But you will not, I must tell you, get rid of the domination of capital unless you get rid of the domination of ignorance first That is where that section of the Labour Party (and I do not believe it is a large one, although I have heard a good deal of it) is utterly benighted and belated. Oh, that I had them here in a body to argue with them! I think I could break them up! Believe me, knowledge is power more really to-day than ever before. We see how formidable knowledge has been in Prussia; we see how valuable knowledge has been among ourselves in the conduct of this war. But the lesson is much wider than that. To the swift is given the race everywhere; to the man who knows is given the chance of raising his condition. You are hopelessly handicapped in the race of life unless you have knowledge, and it must be the concern of the State, in striving after the ideal of equality, to secure that every man and woman has a chance of knowing.

Now, you see, we are getting on in the development of our programme. If you have got a good home, a living wage, good education and knowledge—and capacity and mental