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The endowments destined by the founders for purely elementary education were not within the scope of the Commission: and respecting these there is no difficulty, as they evidently ought to be applied in aid of that general plan for making elementary instruction universal, which statesmen and the public almost unanimously agree that it has become a duty to provide. The endowments with which the Commissioners were concerned were those that were intended to give an instruction superior to the elementary. These they propose should be taken, large and small together, to form, not indeed one common fund, but funds common to each of the districts into which the country is divided for registration purposes; each of these funds to be managed as a whole, and made to go as far as it can in establishing good and large schools for that district. This most judicious proposal is in accordance with one of the great educational principles with which Mr. Chadwick has so perseveringly identified himself—that there cannot be good teaching at a moderate expense in small schools. In a small school the same master is obliged to teach too many things, and to teach the same thing simultaneously to scholars differing too much in their degree of advancement; to the detriment necessarily of some, and generally of all. The schools proposed by the Commissioners are of three different grades, adapted not to adventitious differences in the quarter from whence the pupils come, but to the number of years which their parents are able and willing to spare for their instruction before they enter into active life. But the most important of all the Commission’s recommendations, showing an appreciation of the duties of society in the matter of education, the most enlightened that ever yet proceeded from any public authority in the United Kingdom, is that of which I have now to speak. The State does not owe gratuitous education to those who can pay for it. The State owes no more than elementary education to the entire body of those who cannot pay for it. But the superior education which it does not owe to the whole of the poorer population, it owes to the of them—to those who have earned the preference by labour, and have shown by the results that they have capacities worth securing for the higher departments of intellectual work, never supplied in due proportion to the demand. It is therefore proposed by the Commissioners that the principal use made of the endowments should be to pay for the higher education of those who, in the course of their elementary instruction, have proved themselves to be of the sort on whom a higher education is worth bestowing, but whose parents are not in a condition to pay the price. The fruits of such a proposal, under any tolerable arrangements for carrying it into effect, would be almost beyond human power to estimate. The gain to society, by making available for its most difficult work, not those alone who can afford to qualify themselves, but all those who would qualify themselves if they could afford it, would be but a part of the benefit. I believe there is no single thing which would go so far to heal class differences, and diminish the just dissatisfaction which the best of the poorer classes of the nation feel with their position in it. The real hardship of social inequalities to the poor, as the reasonable among them can be brought to see, is not that men unequal, but that they are born so; not that those who are born poor do not obtain the great objects of human desire unearned, but that the circumstances of their birth preclude their earning them; that the higher positions in life, including all which confer power or dignity, can not only be obtained by the rich without taking the trouble to be qualified for them, but that even were this corrected (to which there is an increasing tendency), none, as a rule, except the rich, have it in their power to make themselves qualified. By the proposal of the Commissioners, every child of poor parents (for, of course, girls must sooner or later be included), would have that power opened to him, if he passed with real distinction through the course of instruction provided for all; and the feelings which give rise to Socialism would be in a great measure disarmed, in as much of them as is unreasonable or exaggerated, by this just concession to that in them which is rational and legitimate.

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It is a simple rule, and under certain aspects a just one, to give equal payment to all who share in the work. But this is a very imperfect justice unless the work also is apportioned equally. Now the many different kinds of work required in every society are very unequal in hardness and unpleasantness. To measure these against one another, so as to make quality equivalent to quantity, is so difficult that Communists generally propose that all should work by turns at every kind of labour. But this involves an almost complete sacrifice of the economic advantages of the division of employments, advantages which are indeed frequently over-estimated (or rather the counter-considerations are under-estimated) by political economists, but which are nevertheless, in the point of view of the productiveness of labour, very considerable, for the double reason that the co-operation of employment enables the work to distribute itself with some regard to the special capacities and qualifications of the worker, and also that every worker acquires greater skill and rapidity in one kind of work by confining himself to it. The arrangement, therefore, which is deemed indispensable to a just distribution would probably be a very considerable disadvantage in respect of production. But further, it is still a very imperfect standard of justice to demand the same amount of work from every one. People have unequal capacities of work, both mental and bodily, and what is a light task for one is an insupportable burthen to another. It is necessary, therefore, that there should be a dispensing power, an authority competent to grant exemptions from the ordinary amount of work, and to proportion tasks in some measure to capabilities. As long as there are any lazy or selfish persons who like better to be worked for by others than to work, there will be frequent attempts to obtain exemptions by favour or fraud, and the frustration of these attempts will be an affair of considerable difficulty, and will by no means be always successful. These inconveniences would be little felt, for some time at least, in communities composed of select persons, earnestly desirous of the success of the experiment; but plans for the regeneration of society must consider average human beings, and not only them but the large residuum of persons greatly below the average in the personal and social virtues. The squabbles and ill-blood which could not fail to be engendered by the distribution of work whenever such persons have to be dealt with, would be a great abatement from the harmony and unanimity which Communists hope would be found among the members of their association. That concord would, even in the most fortunate circumstances, be much more liable to disturbance than Communists suppose. The institution provides that there shall be no quarrelling about material interests; individualism is excluded from that department of affairs. But there are other departments from which no institutions can exclude it: there will still be rivalry for reputation and for personal power. When selfish ambition is excluded from the field in which, with most men, it chiefly exercises itself, that of riches and pecuniary interest, it would betake itself with greater intensity to the domain still open to it, and we may expect that the struggles for pre-eminence and for influence in the management would be of great bitterness when the personal passions, diverted from their ordinary channel, are driven to seek their principal gratification in that other direction. For these various reasons it is probable that a Communist association would frequently fail to exhibit the attractive picture of mutual love and unity of will and feeling which we are often told by Communists to expect, but would often be torn by dissension and not unfrequently broken up by it.

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Whatever be the difficulties of the first of these two forms of Socialism, the second must evidently involve the same difficulties and many more. The former, too, has the great advantage that it can be brought into operation progressively, and can prove its capabilities by trial. It can be tried first on a select population and extended to others as their education and cultivation permit. It need not, and in the natural order of things would not, become an engine of subversion until it had shown itself capable of being also a means of reconstruction. It is not so with the other: the aim of that is to substitute the new rule for the old at a single stroke, and to exchange the amount of good realised under the present system, and its large possibilities of improvement, for a plunge without any preparation into the most extreme form of the problem of carrying on the whole round of the operations of social life without the motive power which has always hitherto worked the social machinery. It must be acknowledged that those who would play this game on the strength of their own private opinion, unconfirmed as yet by any experimental verification—who would forcibly deprive all who have now a comfortable physical existence of their only present means of preserving it, and would brave the frightful bloodshed and misery that would ensue if the attempt was resisted—must have a serene confidence in their own wisdom on the one hand and a recklessness of other people’s sufferings on the other, which Robespierre and St. Just, hitherto the typical instances of those united attributes, scarcely came up to. Nevertheless this scheme has great elements of popularity which the more cautious and reasonable form of Socialism has not; because what it professes to do it promises to do quickly, and holds out hope to the enthusiastic of seeing the whole of their aspirations realised in their own time and at a blow.

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Autobiography of a broken chair essay about myself

Of broken a chair Autobiography essay

In the Hebrew law, if a servant loved his master and his family, and desired to serve for ever, the master performed a symbolic act by which the servant became nailed to the house as a permanent part of it, and the same result would everywhere be a wholesome consummation. Our difficulty is that custom needs to grow up as a guide to law before enactments can be wise and profitable, while, in fact, custom has long been moving in the opposite direction, making the union of master and servant, as of buyer and seller, more and more transient. In ancient times religion did for a nation what law could not do, and so it might be with us if we would wink at some of our differences, and if the ministers of religion were not bound in iron fetters. Else, if I had a servant whom I esteemed, and who trusted me, why might I not come forward with him before the Church and exchange solemn pledges with him; I, declaring that I take him as my client, and promise to him a kindly protection and care for his welfare; and he, avowing that he takes me as his patron, and promises to me honour and respect? After such a mutual public recognition, a neglect of duty on either side would incur moral censure. Precedent would grow up, indicating and limiting the rights of the parties, and it would ultimately appear whether the sanction of legislation was also desirable. By the institution of clienship, every family rich enough to have servants would be brought into nearer contact with a number of poorer families. For when a client married, or on other grounds left the patron’s house, the bond would not be broken; and that result would in part be brought about, which is so very desirable in large towns, a definite relation between certain richer and certain poorer men.

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It is impossible to deny that the considerations brought to notice in the preceding chapter make out a frightful case either against the existing order of society, or against the position of man himself in this world. How much of the evils should be referred to the one, and how much to the other, is the principal theoretic question which has to be resolved. But the strongest case is susceptible of exaggeration; and it will have been evident to many readers, even from the passages I have quoted, that such exaggeration is not wanting in the representations of the ablest and most candid Socialists. Though much of their allegations is unanswerable, not a little is the result of errors in political economy; by which, let me say once for all, I do not mean the rejection of any practical rules of policy which have been laid down by political economists, I mean ignorance of economic facts, and of the causes by which the economic phenomena of society as it is, are actually determined.

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My difference with Mr. Thornton is in this case only theoretical; for I do not know of anything that ought to be legally interdicted to workmen in combination, except what would be criminal if done by any of them individually, viz., physical violence or molestation, defamation of character, injury to property, or threats of any of these evils. We hear much invective against Trades’ Unions on the score of being infringements of the liberty of those working men on whom a kind of social compulsion is exercised to induce them to join a Union, or to take part in a strike. I agree with Mr. Thornton in attaching no importance whatever to this charge. An infringement of people’s liberty it undoubtedly is, when they are induced, by dread of other people’s reproaches, to do anything which they are not legally bound to do; but I do not suppose it will be maintained that disapprobation never ought to be expressed except of things which are offences by law. As soon as it is acknowledged that there are lawful, and even useful, purposes to be fulfilled by Trades’ Unions, it must be admitted that the members of Unions may reasonably feel a genuine moral disapprobation of those who profit by the higher wages or other advantages that the Unions procure for non-Unionists as well as for their own members, but refuse to take their share of the payments, and submit to the restrictions, by which those advantages are obtained. It is vain to say that if a strike is really for the good of the workmen, the whole body will join in it from a mere sense of the common interest. There is always a considerable number who will hope to share the benefit without submitting to the sacrifices; and to say that these are not to have brought before them, in an impressive manner, what their fellow-workmen think of their conduct, is equivalent to saying that social pressure ought not to be put upon any one to consider the interests of others as well as his own. All that legislation is concerned with is, that the pressure shall stop at the expression of feeling, and the withholding of such good offices as may properly depend upon feeling, and shall not extend to an infringement, or a threat of infringement, of any of the rights which the law guarantees to all—security of person and property against violation, and of reputation against calumny. There are few cases in which the application of this distinction can give rise to any doubt. What is called picketing is just on the border which separates the two regions; but the sole difficulty in that case is one of fact and evidence—to ascertain whether the language or gestures used implied a threat of any such treatment as, between individual and individual, would be contrary to law. Hooting, and offensive language, are points on which a question may be raised; but these should be dealt with according to the general law of the country. No good reason can be given for subjecting them to special restriction on account of the occasion which gives rise to them, or to any legal restraint at all beyond that which public decency, or the safety of the public peace, may prescribe as a matter of police regulation.