Economic Sophisms/77

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<pagequality level="3" user="Zoeannl" />style="background: #ececec; text-align: left; padding-left: 0.5em; font-weight: bold;" class="table-rh"classes are flattered—fulsomely, servilely flattered; they are represented as in the condition of slaves, and men of common sense will soon be ashamed publicly to espouse their cause, for how can common sense make itself heard in the midst of all this insipid and empty declamation?

Far from us be this cowardly indifference, which would not be justified even by the sentimental affectation which prompts it Workmen! your situation is peculiar! They make merchandise of you, as I shall show you immediately.… But no; I withdraw that expression. Let us steer clear of strong language, which may be misapplied; for spoliation, wrapt up in the sophistry which conceals it, may be in full operation unknown to the spoliator, and with the blind assent of his victim. Still, you are deprived of the just remuneration of your labour, and no one is concerned to do you justice. If all that was wanted to console you were ardent appeals to philanthropy, to impotent charity, to degrading almsgiving; or if the grand words, organization, communism, phalanstère,[1] were enough for you, truly they would not be spared. But justice, simple justice, no one thinks of offering you. And yet, would it not be just that when, after a long day's toil, you have received your modest wages, you should have it in your power to exchange them for the greatest amount of satisfactions and enjoyments which you could possibly obtain for them from any one in any part of the world?

Some day I may have occasion also to talk to you of association and organization, and we shall then see what you have to expect from those chimeras which now mislead you.

In the meantime, let us inquire whether injustice is not done you by fixing legislatively the people from whom yon are to purchase the things you have need of—bread, meat, linens, or cloth; and in dictating, if I may say so, the artificial scale of prices which you are to adopt in your dealings.

Is it true that protection, which admittedly makes you pay dearer for everything, and entails a loss upon you in this respect, raises proportionally your wages?

On what does the rate of wages depend?

One of your own class has put it forcibly, thus: When twoTemplate:Smallrefs

  1. Allusion to a socialist work of the day.—TRANSLATOR.