A Critical Examination of Socialism eBook

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        Restatement of proposition as to the amount of the product of
        labour.

        The product of ability only partially described by assimilating
        it to rent.

        Ability produces everything which would not be produced if its
        operation were hampered or suspended.

        Increased reward of labour in Great Britain since the year 1800. 
        The reward now received by labour far in excess of what labour
        itself produces.

        In capitalistic countries generally labour gets, not less, but
        far more than its due, if its due is to be measured by its own
        products.

        It is necessary to remember this; but its due is not to be
        measured exclusively by its own products.

        As will be seen in the concluding chapter.

CHAPTER XIII

        Interestand abstract justice

        The proposal to confiscate interest for the public benefit, on
        the ground that it is income unconnected with any corresponding
        effort.

        Is the proposal practicable?  Is it defensible on grounds of
        abstract justice?

        The abstract moral argument plays a large part in the
        discussion.

        It assumes that a man has a moral right to what he produces,
        interest being here contrasted with this, as a something which
        he does not produce.

        Defects of this argument.  It ignores the element of time.  Some
        forms of effort are productive long after the effort itself has
        ceased.

        For examples, royalties on an acted play.  Such royalties herein
        typical of interest generally.

        Industrial interest as a product of the forces of organic
        nature.  Henry George’s defence of interest as having this
        origin.

        His argument true, but imperfect.  His superficial criticism of
        Bastiat.

        Nature works through machine-capital just as truly as it does in
        agriculture.

        Machines are natural forces captured by men of genius, and set
        to work for the benefit of human beings.

        Interest on machine-capital is part of an extra product which
        nature is made to yield by those men who are exceptionally
        capable of controlling her.

        By capturing natural forces, one man of genius may add more to
        the wealth of the world in a year than an ordinary man could add
        to it in a hundred lifetimes.

        The claim of any such man on the products of his genius is
        limited by a variety of circumstances; but, as a mere matter of
        abstract justice, the whole of it belongs to him.

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A Critical Examination of Socialism from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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