The success of industrial concerns is largely a question of management. Management signifies government, and government implies authority, and authority is the last thing which co-operators of the Utopian order are willing to recognise as an element essential to the success of their Schemes. The co-operative institution which is governed on Parliamentary principles, with unlimited right of debate and right of obstruction, will never be able to compete successfully with institutions which are directed by a single brain wielding the united resources of a disciplined and obedient army of workers. Hence, to make co-operation a success you must superadd to the principle of consent the principle of authority; you must invest in those to whom you entrust the management of your co-operative establishment the same liberty of action that is possessed by the owner of works on the other side of the repudiation of the rotten and effete regime of the Bourbons, the French peasants and workmen imagined that they were inaugurating the millennium when they scrawled Liberty, Equality, and Fraternity across all the churches in every city of France. They carried their principles of freedom and license to the logical ultimate, and attempted to manage their army on Parliamentary principles. It did not work; their undisciplined levies were driven back; disorder reigned in the Republican camp; and the French Revolution would have been stifled in its cradle had not the instinct of the nation discerned in time the weak point in its armour. Menaced by foreign wars and intestine revolt, the Republic established an iron discipline in its army, and enforced obedience by the summary process of military execution. The liberty and the enthusiasm developed by the outburst of the long pent-up revolutionary forces supplied the motive power, but it was the discipline of the revolutionary armies, the stern, unbending obedience which was enforced in all ranks from the highest to the lowest, which created for Napoleon the admirable military instrument by which he shattered every throne in Europe and swept in triumph from Paris to Moscow.
In industrial affairs we are very much like the French Republic before it tempered its doctrine of the rights of man by the duty of obedience on the part of the soldier. We have got to introduce discipline into the industrial army, we have to superadd the principle of authority to the principle of co-operation, and so to enable the worker to profit to the full by the increased productiveness of the willing labour of men who are employed in their own workshops and on their own property. There is no need to clamour for great schemes of State Socialism. The whole thing can be done simply, economically, and speedily if only the workers will practice as much self-denial for the sake of establishing themselves as capitalists, as the Soldiers of the Salvation Army practice every year in Self Denial Week. What is the sense of never making a levy except during a strike? Instead of calling for a shilling, or two shillings, a week in order to maintain men who are starving in idleness because of a dispute with their masters, why should there not be a levy kept up for weeks or months, by the workers, for the purpose of setting themselves up in business as masters? There would then be no longer a capitalist owner face to face with the masses of the proletariat, but all the means of production, the plant, and all the accumulated resources of capital would really be at the disposal of labour. This will never be done, however, as long as co-operative experiments are carried on in the present archaic fashion.
Believing in co-operation as the ultimate solution, if to co-operation you can add subordination, I am disposed to attempt something in this direction in my new Social Scheme. I shall endeavour to start a Co-operative Farm on the principles of Ralahine, and base the whole of my Farm Colony on a Co-operative foundation.
In starting this little Co-operative Commonwealth, I am reminded by those who are always at a man's elbow to fill him with forebodings of ill, to look at the failures, which I have just referred to, which make up the history of the attempt to realise ideal commonwealths in this practical workaday world. Now, I have read the history of the many attempts at co-operation that have been made to form communistic settlements in the United States, and am perfectly familiar with the sorrowful fate with which nearly all have been overtaken; but the story of their failures does not deter me in the least, for I regard them as nothing more than warnings to avoid certain mistakes, beacons to illustrate the need of proceeding on a different tack. Broadly speaking, your experimental communities fail because your Utopias all start upon the system of equality and government by vote of the majority, and, as a necessary and unavoidable consequence, your Utopians get to loggerheads, and Utopia goes to smash, I shall avoid that rock. The Farm Colony, like all the other departments of the Scheme, will be governed, not on the principle of counting noses, but on the exactly opposite principle of admitting no noses into the concern that are not willing to be guided by the directing brain. It will be managed on principles which assert that the fittest ought to rule, and it will provide for the fittest being selected, and having got them at the top, will insist on universal and unquestioning obedience from those at the bottom. If anyone does not like to work for his rations and submit to the orders of his superior Officers he can leave. There is no compulsion on him to stay. The world is wide, and outside the confines of our Colony and the operations of our Corps my authority does not extend. But judging from our brief experience it is not from revolt against authority that the Scheme is destined to fail.
There cannot be a greater mistake in this world than to imagine that men object to be governed. They like to be governed, provided that the governor has his "head screwed on right" and that he is prompt to hear and ready to see and recognise all that is vital to the interests of the commonwealth. So far from there being an innate objection on the part of mankind to being governed, the instinct to obey is so universal that even when governments have gone blind, and deaf, and paralytic, rotten with corruption, and hopelessly behind the times, they still contrive to live on. Against a capable Government no people ever rebel, only when stupidity and incapacity have taken possession of the seat of power do insurrections break out.
SECTION 7.--A MATRIMONIAL BUREAU.
There is another direction in which something ought to be done to restore the natural advantages enjoyed by every rural community which have been destroyed by the increasing tendency of mankind to come together in huge masses. I refer to that which is after all one of the most important elements in every human life, that of marrying and giving in marriage. In the natural life of a country village all the lads and lasses grow up together, they meet together in religious associations, in daily employments, and in their amusements on the village green. They have learned their A, B, C and pothooks together, and when the time comes for pairing off they have had excellent opportunities of knowing the qualities and the defects of those whom they select as their partners in life. Everything in such a community lends itself naturally to the indispensable preliminaries of love-making, and courtships, which, however much they may be laughed at, contribute more than most things to the happiness or life. But in a great city all this is destroyed. In London at the present moment how many hundreds, nay thousands, of young men and young women, who are living in lodgings, are practically without any opportunity of making the acquaintance of each other, or of any one of the other sex! The street is no doubt the city substitute for the village green, and what a substitute it is!
It has been bitterly said by one who knew well what he was talking about, "There are thousands of young men to-day who have no right to call any woman by her Christian name, except the girls they meet plying their dreadful trade in our public thoroughfares." As long as that is the case, vice has an enormous advantage over virtue; such an abnormal social arrangement interdicts morality and places a vast premium upon prostitution. We must get back to nature if we have to cope with this ghastly evil. There ought to be more opportunities afforded for healthy human intercourse between young men and young women, nor can Society rid itself of a great responsibility for all the wrecks of manhood and womanhood with which our streets are strewn, unless it does make some attempt to bridge this hideous chasm which yawns between the two halves of humanity. The older I grow the more absolutely am I opposed to anything that violates the fundamental law of the family. Humanity is composed of two sexes, and woe be to those who attempt to separate them into distinct bodies, making of each half one whole! It has been tried in monasteries and convents with but poor success, yet what our fervent Protestants do not seem to see is that we are reconstructing a similar false system for our young people without the safeguards and the restraints of convent walls or the sanctifying influence of religious conviction. The conditions of City life, the absence of the enforced companionship of the village and small town, the difficulty of young people finding harmless opportunities of friendly intercourse, all tends to create classes of celibates who are not chaste, and whose irregular and lawless indulgence of a universal instinct is one of the most melancholy features of the present state of society. Nay, so generally is this recognised, that one of the terms by which one of the consequences of this unnatural state of things is popularly known is "the social evil," as if all other social evils were comparatively unworthy of notice in comparison to this.
gruffly, explaining that he had always been fond of the
her sight, and she dreaded exposing her feelings, by, perhaps,
as much gentleness, persuasion, and humility, into his
replace him, whom, most unwillingly, I have destined to
the gunpowder was wanted for making a noise on their saint
drawing to a conclusion, notwithstanding her impatience