Utopia of Usurers and Other Essays eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 117 pages of information about Utopia of Usurers and Other Essays.
ever in practice, though they might have suffered confiscation in theory.  Mr. Lloyd George has four hundred a year as an M. P.; but he not only gets much more as a Minister, but he might at any time get immeasurably more by speculating on State secrets that are necessarily known to him.  Some say that he has even attempted something of the kind.  Now, it would be quite possible to cut Mr. George down, not to four hundred a year, but to fourpence a day; and still leave him all these other and enormous financial superiorities.  It must be remembered that a Socialist State, in any way resembling a modern State, must, however egalitarian it may be, have the handling of huge sums, and the enjoyment of large conveniences; it is not improbable that the same men will handle and enjoy in much the same manner, though in theory they are doing it as instruments, and not as individuals.  For instance, the Prime Minister has a private house, which is also (I grieve to inform that eminent Puritan) a public house.  It is supposed to be a sort of Government office; though people do not generally give children’s parties, or go to bed in a Government office.  I do not know where Mr. Herbert Samuel lives; but I have no doubt he does himself well in the matter of decoration and furniture.  On the existing official parallel there is no need to move any of these things in order to Socialise them.  There is no need to withdraw one diamond-headed nail from the carpet; or one golden teaspoon from the tray.  It is only necessary to call it an official residence, like 10 Downing-street.  I think it is not at all improbable that this Plutocracy, pretending to be a Bureaucracy, will be attempted or achieved.  Our wealthy rulers will be in the position which grumblers in the world of sport sometimes attribute to some of the “gentlemen” players.  They assert that some of these are paid like any professional; only their pay is called their expenses.  This system might run side by side with a theory of equal wages, as absolute as that once laid down by Mr. Bernard Shaw.  By the theory of the State, Mr. Herbert Samuel and Mr. Lloyd George might be humble citizens, drudging for their fourpence a day; and no better off than porters and coal-heavers.  If there were presented to our mere senses what appeared to be the form of Mr. Herbert Samuel in an astrakhan coat and a motor-car, we should find the record of the expenditure (if we could find it at all) under the heading of “Speed Limit Extension Enquiry Commission.”  If it fell to our lot to behold (with the eye of flesh) what seemed to be Mr. Lloyd George lying in a hammock and smoking a costly cigar, we should know that the expenditure would be divided between the “Condition of Rope and Netting Investigation Department,” and the “State of Cuban Tobacco Trade:  Imperial Inspector’s Report.”

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Utopia of Usurers and Other Essays from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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