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looks on him as an enemy and an intruder, rative stores which are concerned with and tries to break him down as fast, as distribution ; but associations for producpossible by underselling him, or in any tion are now multiplying, and at least as other available way. In the Co-operative great results may be looked for from them. system the new comer is welcomed and In those few which I have had the opporhelped. The great wholesale Co-operative tunity of watching, I can speak with the Society at Manchester has been establish- greatest confidence of the admirable ined for this special purpose, one of its most fluence they have exercised on the characprominent objects being “to consolidate ter and habits of the associates. But I and extend the movement by enabling prefer to call in here the testimony of one small societies to purchase their goods on who has had as much experience and done the most advantageous terms—thus secur- as much work for the Co-operative moveing them from imposition in the days of ment in England as any living man. “If," their infancy and inexperience.” In this writes Mr. Ludlow, "a co-operative workway the weakest village store gets precise- shop has sufficient elements of vitality to ly the same advantages in purchasing its outlast the inevitable storms and struggles few shillings' worth of goods as Halifax, of its first few years, it begins to develop Oldham, or Rochdale, with their monthly a most remarkable series of results. Cothousands.
operation first expels from the shop drunkBut it is impossible to bring before you enness, and all open disorder, which are in the space I have at my disposal any- found wholly inconsistent with its success; thing like proofs of a tithe of the good introducing in their stead a number of which this movement has done; how it small adjustments and contrivances of a is steadily strengthening and purifying the nature to facilitate work, or promote the daily lives of a great section of our people. comfort of the worker. By degrees it I wish I could induce all here to look into exterminates in turn the small tricks and the matter carefully for themselves. Mean- dishonesties of work which the opposition time I may say that it has in the first place of interests between the employers and delivered the poor in a number of our employed too often excuses in the worker's great towns from the credit system, which eyes; it is felt to be the interest of each lay so hard on them twenty years ago, and all that all work should be good—that for the Co-operative system is founded no time should be lost. Fixity of employscrupulously on ready-money dealings. ment meanwhile, coupled with a common Next it has delivered the poor from adul- interest, creates new ties between man and terated goods and short weight and mea- man, suggests new forms of fellowship, till
, sure. It has developed amongst them there grows up a sort of family feeling, the honesty, thrift, forethought, and made only danger of which is, its becoming exthem feel that they cannot raise themselves clusive towards the outside. Let this state without helping their neighbors.
of things last a while and there is literally The management of business concerns developed a new type of working man, of this magnitude has developed an extraor- endued not only with that honesty and dinary amount of ability among the leading frankness, that kindness and true courtesy members, who in committees, and as secre- which distinguish the best specimens of taries and buyers, conduct the affairs of the order wherever they may be placed, the stores throughout the country. As but with a dignity and self-respect, a sense their funds have accumulated they have of conscious freedom, which are peculiar been invested in corn mills and cotton to the co-operator. The writer met with mills, most of which have been managed such a type first in the Associations Ouwith great ability and honesty, and are vrières of Paris. He has since had the returning large profits. There have been happiness of seeing it reproduced, with
. failures, of course, as there must be in all variations as slight as the differences of movements; but in scarcely any cases have nationality might render unavoidable, in these been owing to the deep-seated dis- English co-operative workshops; and he honesty, the lying, the 'puffing, and trick- therefore believes that its development ery, which have brought down in disgrace- may be confidently looked forward to as a ful ruin so many of our joint-stock com- normal result of co-operative production.” panies. I have been speaking hitherto These two parallel movements—differchiefly of the societies known as Co-ope- ing fundamentally in their principles and
objects—have had this in common, that rulers, this period has been an industrial they have done more than all other causes one, and that class may well point with put together to raise the condition of the pride to its achievements, and claim that great mass of the working people. By in- the sturdiness and energy which carried creasing manifold their power and weight, England so triumphantly
through the great they have at last won for them a place side revolutionary war have not failed her in by side with the other classes of the com- their keeping The' contrast between munity; and have given them a large share Great Britain in 1832 and 1867 is indeed in, if not the ultimate control of, the gov- astounding. In 1832 no railway ran into ernment and the destinies of our country. London, no iron ship had been built, and While they were disorganized they were no steamer had crossed the ocean. The powerless. They have found out the worth power of carrying out great enterprises by of organization, and are perfecting it in associated capital, did not exist except by both directions with an energy which must special privilege. All the necessaries of have very serious results for the whole na- life-air, light, and food—were heavily tion. That much of what they are doing taxed. The press was shackled by stamp in their Trades Unions is causing alarm, duties and paper duties. The Post Office and raising a spirit of hostility to these was a hindrance rather than a help to comorganizations throughout the country, is munication. The Poor Laws were pauplain to the most careless observer. I am perizing and degrading the nation. We . not here to defend many of their acts and were even then the workshop of the world, much of their policy. I feel the truth of but a shop in which the workers were many of the accusations which are brought hampered and trammelled by bandages of against them: of their carelessness of the all kinds, which look to us now inconceivacommon weal in the pursuit of their own bly mischievous and childish. On their ends; of the tyranny which they some- advent to power the middle class found times exercise over minorities in their own themselves bound hand and foot. They body; of the deterioration in work, the have burst every bond. The period bedawdling and incompetence which in many tweep the two Reform Bills set all these trades are not unjustly laid at their door. fiscal confusions and absurdities straight.
But before we blame them for these It has covered the land with railways, and things, let us glance back at the history of all seas with iron steamers; the earth is the country during the last fifty years, the belted by the telegraphs of English comperiod of the immense development of our panies. Every restriction on the association material prosperity, and see whether there of capital has disappeared. Food and light is not another side to the picture, whether are untaxed to rich and poor. All imposts much may not be pleaded on their side in enhancing the cost of consumption are mitigation.
gone, or are so reduced as to be no longer Fifty years ago the intensely national burdensome. We have the New Poor and aristocratic system under which Eng- Law, an improvement at any rate on the land had lived for centuries, and which old, and leaving perhaps little to be desired had carried her through the great struggle from a middle class point of view. We with Napoleon, with so much glory and at have the penny post and a free press. In such fearful cost, was tottering to its fall. the same period the capital of the country Happily for the nation the cost broke has multiplied at the rate Mr. Gladstone down the system, and in 1832 the first ke. has told us. These are the fruits of the form Bill brought the middle class fairly admission of the middle classes to their fair into partnership in the government of the share in the government of the countryBritish Empire—indeed, in the last resort no mean fruits, surely, and attained in the (as has been proved so often since), hand- active life of one generation. There are ed over to them the ultimate controlling still men in the House of Commons who power. During the next thirty-five years, sat in it before 1832. The representative whenever they have been deeply moved, man of the best side of this period, Mr. all opposition has gone down before them. Gladstone, to whom the great financial reThose years therefore stand out as a dis- forms which followed the repeal of the tinct period in our history, unlike and Corn Laws are due more than to any apart from anything which went before other, was already then in the full vigor of them. With the trading class as ultimate manhood.
But what did this same period of mid- right by unlimited competition; and they dle-class ascendency do for the working have been hitherto the class which has classes ?
taken least by the results of the struggle. The great free-trade struggle was its Laissez faire may have done great things culminating point, the repeal of the Corn for other classes; for them it has only Laws its crowning victory. A middle-class proved a hard taskmaster, and the new victory, it is true, but carried by the help period of our history, which commenced in of the working classes in the great towns, 1867, when the sceptre passed from the with whom the cry of the cheap loaf did middle class, and the first years of which good service. But it was not the appeal have been so full of change, will witness to their pockets which carried the working the struggle between that central belief of classes into the free-trade camp. Far more the middle-class period and the belief in, powerful than the cheap-loaf cry with them and practice of, organization, which has was the grand, if somewhat vague, teach- carried our working
classes (who are after ing of the free-trade leaders, of a reign of all, be it remembered, the great majority peace and universal good-will between of the nation) into partnership with the upnations, which the overthrow of aristocratic per and middle classes. The middle-class and commercial monopolies, and the break- period, they will remember, left the labor ing down of restrictions on trade, was to question almost untouched; and it was not inaugurate. I have no space here to prove till they had gained a voice in legislation the point, but let those who doubt it take that the Masters and Servants Bill, the one recent instance of the comparative Trades Unions Bill, the Hours of Labor power of self-interest and of high principle Regulation Act, and the Mines Regulawith the masses of our people. I refer to tions Bill have become law. Bearing these their conduct during the American war things in mind, and remembering also how and the cotton famine, when the chance of new and strange the feeling of power must averting want from their homes was reso- be to them, I think we shall be prepared lutely put aside lest the cause of the slave to make great allowances, even for the in America should be imperilled. Does doings of Trades Unions. any man doubt now that, if our operatives The other column of the industrial orhad cried out for breaking the blockade, ganizations of the working classes has no Napoleon's insidious proposals for interven- need to ask for indulgent criticism, and tion would have been accepted, and the will bear the keenest without wincing. Southern negroes would have remained en- They have never been aggressive. They slaved to this day? I own it seems to me have never even negatively encouraged —and I say it with some shame for my idleness, or class jealousies, or kept back own class—that, in our great free-trade the industrious and skilled worker, or prostruggle, the only part of our people which tested against piece-work. They have has nothing now to regret for the part they wrought out the emancipation of their own took is the working class. Our territorial members by patience, and diligence, and aristocracy and their retainers fought for honest dealing; and are giving proofs, their monopoly. Our trading classes sorely needed amongst us, that trade and preached justice, freedom, and the vital in- commerce, production, distribution, conterests which are common to all nations; sumption, may be made to conform theinbut what they fought for was, as the last selves to the ordinary moral laws which quarter of a century has shown too clearly, have been accepted, in theory at least, by not any commercial millennium in which the whole of Christendom for eighteen honest goods and just prices should reign, hundred years. The great reform, like but the greatest possible facilities for buy-. the greatest of all reforms, has come from ing cheap and selling dear. Our working below; and our upper classes are now beclass seized on the noble and human side ginning to imitate the example of the poor of the teaching of their natural leaders- weavers and cobblers, often however in are still, indeed, proclaiming that “labor is their imitations leaving out the best part of no country,” that “all nations are meant of their models, and setting up what are to live in peace and friendship”—but have nothing but ready-money shops, founded protested by the two movements we have merely with a view to profits, and calling been considering to-night against the no- them co-operative stores. tion that the world is to be saved and set If I am right as to the leading ideas of our working classes, it is obvious, then, the important parts of this new legislation that one of the chief problems of civi- are—first, that it gives the police power lization which must soon come to the front to arrest, and the magistrates to imprison, will be the proper functions of Govern- any person holding a license under the ment. They do not share the creed of Penal Servitude Acts (commonly called advanced Liberalism, the intense jealousy a "ticket-of-leave") whom the police have of Government except in the capacity of reason to believe is getting a livelihood by dispolicemen. The taking over of the rail- honest means; and secondly, that in the ways, a more active interference with case of proceedings against receivers of sanitary matters, with pauperism—with the stolen goods, it makes a previous convicliberty of the subject, in short-will have tion evidence of knowledge on the part no terrors for them. They will not be de- of the accused that the goods were stolen, terred, I take it, by such phrases as “grand- and throws the burden of proving the conmotherly government,” from insisting that trary on the accused. Now these are very society shall be organized precisely to that startling provisions. We all know that the point where organization will be found to maxims, “ Every man shall be held innoact most beneficially on the habits and life cent until proved guilty,” “The burden of of the great majority of the nation. I proof rests on the accuser,” lie at the root venture to think that when they get to of English criminal law. I suppose that understand these matters better, there will every Englishman values them as most be no difficulty in taking legislative means precious safeguards of liberty, and would to stop strikes. Legislation of a new kind be ready to fight for them if necessary. I will be pressed on the Government with certainly would myself, and it was with increasing persistence. The country will something very like misgiving that I silently have to consider how far it will go in new assented at last in the House of Commons directions, and will have no more difficult to the facts and arguments of the Home and delicate questions to consider. I have Secretary, and gave my humble support to little fear myself that we shall go too far, the Government. The result has been for certainly the first two experiments, the striking, and well worth the careful conHours of Labor Regulation Act and the sideration of all persons interested in these Habitual Criminals Act, have not fur- questions. In the year 1869, in the aunished the opponents of “ grandmotherly tumn of which the Habitual Criminals government ” with any arguments in favor Act was passed, the number of houses of of their views. I can answer from my receivers of stolen goods, and of houses own knowledge of the benefits conferred of known bad character, reached the highby the former, at the expense, I firmly be- est figure ever attained in England since lieve, of no liberty which any citizen had reliable records of such matters have been a right to use. Of the working of the kept. Their total number was 15,030. second I have the knowledge gained from In the following year the number fell to parliamentary papers.
13,081, and in 1871 to 11,072. In the I do not propose to detain you with the same period the houses of notoriously bad reasons which induced the present Govern- character, the resort of thieves and their ment to break entirely new ground in this companions, were reduced from 1,740 to matter. Suffice it to say, that on the uth 1,139.
The reduction of these nests of of August, 1869, an Act introduced by the vice and crime was in the first full year Home Secretary became law under the during which the Act was in operation, as title of “The Habitual Criminals Act, compared with the average of the previous 1869."
three years, equal to 26 per cent., and in It has been the fashion to speak of Mr. the next year (1871) to 36.8 per cent. Bruce as a weak Minister, timid in his po- The strife between employer and emlitical faiths, and easily turned from his ployed, the question of the proper limits of purpose by any resolute opposition. I am the functions of Government, the inevitanot one of those who agree with this esti- ble collision between the principle of laissez mate of him; and certainly the Habitual faire and the faith in organization which Criminals Act (and the Prevention of the working classes will endeavor to exCrime Act, 1871, which has followed it) press by legislation as soon as they feel cannot be cited as timid legislation. Só their power, are only superficial indicafar as the present question is concerned, tions after all of a far deeper struggle.
The signs of that struggle are all about supporting on one side the view which I us and around us. You cannot pick was urging on Tuesday as to the effects of up a newspaper without coming across civilization :-" These are the grounds on them. Perhaps the most remarkable of which it appears to me that there is a great them of late, spoken or written, have been deal of self-deception as to the nature of the speech of Mr. Gladstone at Liverpool, fraternity, and that the mere feeling of quoted in my Tuesday's lecture, and a eager, indefinite sympathy with mankind, in
, series of articles in the Pall Mall Gazette those cases in which it happens to exist, is on Liberty, Equality, and Fraternity.* not deserving of the admiration which is so Of the speech I need only say that I re- often claimed for it. I will say, in conclujoice that it was made. The articles I sion, a very few words on the opinion that must refer to a little more in detail. . the progress of civilization, the growth of
After a masterly examination of the wealth and of physical science, and the genutilitarian and positivist theories, the writer eral diffusion of comfort, will tend to excite explains his own views: how he has come or deepen such sympathy. I think it more honestly and bravely to the conclusion, probable that it will have exactly the opthat believers in " the service of humanity" posite effect. The whole tendency of modand “the religion of fraternity" have ern civilization is to enable each man to no solid ground beneath them why, stand alone and take care of his own intefor his part, he will resolutely continue to rests, and the growth of liberty and equality love his friend and hate his enemy, and will, as I have already shown, intensify will on no terms call all sorts of people, of these feelings. They will minimize all rewhom he knows and for whom he cares straints and reduce everyone to a dead nothing, his brothers and sisters—he pro- level, offering no attractions to the imaginaceeds :-“ The believer in the religion of tion or to the affections. In this state of fraternity cannot speak thus. He is bound society you will have plenty of public meet
. to love all mankind. If he wants me to ings, Exeter Halls, and philanthropic assodo so too, he must show me a reason why. ciations, but there will be no occasion for Not only does he show me none, as a patriotism or public spirit. France in rule, but he generally denies either the 1870, with its ambulances and its repretruth or the relevancy of that which, if sentatives of the Geneva Convention, was, true, is a reason—the doctrine that God after all, a poor, washy, feeble place in made all men and ordered them to love comparison with Holland three centuries each other. Whether this is true is one before. There are many commonplaces question ; how it is proposed to get peo- about the connection between the decay ple to love each other without such a be- of patriotism and the growth of luxury. No lief I do not understand. It would want doubt they have their weak side, but to me the clearest of all imaginable revelations they appear far more like the truth than to make me try to love a considerable the commonplaces which are now so comnumber of people whom it is unnecessary mon about the connection between civilito mention, or affect to care about masses zation and the love of mankind. Civilizaof men with whom I have nothing to do.” tion no doubt makes people hate the very It is healthy and bracing to hear or read thought of pain or discomfort either in such plain speaking; for, when one comes their own persons or in the case of others. upon a naked and transparently honest It also disposes them to talk and to potter denial, not only of modern theories, but of about each other's affairs in the way of muteaching which one learnt at one's mo- tual sympathy and compliment, and now ther's knee, upon which Christendom and and then to get into states of fierce excitecivilization, such as we have it, are sup- ment about them ; but all this is not love, posed to have been built up, a man must or anything like it. The real truth is, that be very careless or very dishonest who the human race is so big, so various, so litis not driven to ask himself plainly how tle known, that no one can really love it. far he agrees with it.
You can at most fancy that you love some The writer in question goes on, coming imaginary representation of bits of it, which, specially to the subject of these lectures, and when examined, are only your own fancies
personified. A progress which teaches * Since published separately, with the name people to attach increased importance to of Mr. Fitzjames Stephen to them.
phantoms is not a glorious thing, in my