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THE

CONQUEST

OF

BREAD

BY

Russian

In

Mutual

Aid:

Fields,
Revised
and

The

Edition.

Heinemann.)

Factor

Cheap

Factories,

Sons' Shilling

Great

French
65'.

(Ward and

(Smith,Elder.)

6s.
(Swan Sonnenschein.)

of

Edition.

and

Enlarged

and

Prisons.

Revolutionist.

of

AUTHOR

of Print.

Out

6d. Popular

1 2 J.

French

and

Downey.)
Memoirs

SAME

THE

Evolution.
3^, 6d.

Workshops.

Edition.

Library.)is.

(W.

New,

(Thomas
and

Revolution.

2s

Nelson

6a,

Heine(W. mann.)

THE

Conquest

of Bread

BY

P.
author

or
"the

NEW

KROPOTKIN
"pields,

memoirs

AND

factories,
of

and

workshop!'

etc.

revolutionist,"

CHEAPER

EDITION

LONDON

CHAPMAN

AND

HALL,

LTD.

London

]as.

Trcscott

"

Son,

Ltd.

CONTENTS
PAQS

CHAPTER
OUR

RICHES

I
I

------

CHAPTER
WELL-BEING

FOR

II

ALL

CHAPTER
ANARCHIST

III

COMMUNISM

EXPROPRIATION

l6

CHAPTER

32

IV

-----

47

CHAPTER
FOOD

--------65
CHAPTER

DWELLINGS

VI
i02

------

CHAPTER
CLOTHING

VII
-

-117
CHAPTER
WAYS

AND

MEANS

CHAPTER
THE

NEED

FOR

LUXURY

VIII
-

122

IX
-

-1.33

CONTENTS

vi

CHAPTER
AGREEABLE

WORK

X
-

"155
CHAPTER
FREE

AGREEMENT

XI
-

CHAPTER

OBJECTIONS

COLLECTIVIST

CONSUMPTION

AND

67

DIVISION

OF

SYSTEM

CHAPTER

214

237

247

XIV

XV

LABOUR

DECENTRALIZATION

AGRICULTURE

XIII

PRODUCTION

CHAPTER

NOTES

XII

WAGES

CHAPTER

THE

-189

CHAPTER

THE

--

CHAPTER
THE

XVI
OF

INDUSTRY

252

XVII

------

267

297

PEEFACE
to Communism,
of the current objections
and Socialism altogether, is that the idea is so
been realized. Schemes
old, and yet it has never
the thinkers of Ancient
of ideal States haunted
Greece; later on, the early Christians joinedin
communist
groups;
centuries later, large cominto existence during
came
munistbrotherhoods
Then, the same
ideals
the Reform
movement.
during
were
the great English
and
revived
French
Revolutions;
and finally, quite lately,
in 1848, a revolution, inspired to a great extent
Socialist ideals, took place in France.
with
*'
And
are
we
told, *'how far
yet, you see,"
is still the realization of your schemes.
away
Don't you think that there is some
fundamental
in your understanding
error
nature
of human
"
and its needs?

One

At first
very serious.
sightthisobjectionseems
hisHowever,
tory
we
the moment
consider human
We
more
attentively, it loses its strength.
first,that hundreds
have
see,
of millions of men
themselves,
amongst
succeeded in maintaining
in their village communities,
for many
hundreds
of years, one
of the main elements of Socialism
ment
the common
ownership
of the chief instruof production, the land, and the apportionment
to
the labour
according
of the same
capacities of the different families ; and we learn
that if the communal
possession of the land has
"

PKEFACE

viii
been
from

destroyed in Western
Europe, it was
not
from
but
within,
without, by the ments
governland
in
favour
which created a
monopoly
of the nobility and the middle
classes. We
learn, moreover,
that the medieval
cities succeeded
in maintaining
in their midst, for several
centuries in succession, a certain socialized

organization of production and trade ; that these


centuries were
periods of a rapid intellectual,
industrial, and
artistic progress;
while the
decay
insktutions
came
of these communal
of combining
mainly from the incapacity of men
the village with the city, the peasant with the
to oppose the growth
citizen, so as jointly
of the
military states, which destroyed the free cities.
The
history of mankind,
thus understood,
munism.
does not offer, then, an argument
against ComIt appears, on
a
as
the contrary,
succession
communist

of endeavours

to realize

some

sort of

endeavours
which
organization,
here and there with a partial
were
crowned
success
are
and all we
of a certain duration;
has not
authorized to conclude is, that mankind
form for combining,
on
yet found the proper
communistic
denly
principles, agriculture with a suddeveloped industry and a rapidly growing
international trade.
The latter appears especially
disturbing element,
it
is
as
a
no
since
longer individuals only, or cities, that enrich
themselves by distant commerce
and export; but
whole
nations
nations which
development.

These
the end

grow

lag

rich at the cost of those


behind
in their industrial

conditions, which
of the eighteenth

began

to appear

century,

by

took, how-

ix

PREFACE

in tlie nineteenth
tlieir full development
wars
cazne
century
only, after the Napoleonic
to an
has to
Communism
And
end.
modern
take them into account.
It is now
known
Eevolution,
that the French

ever,

its political significance, was


an
apart from
by the French
people, in 1793
attempt
made
or
and 1794, in three different directions more
It was,
first,the equaliless akin to Socialism.
zation
income
tax
of an
of fortunes^by means
and succession duties, both heavily progressive,
as
also by a direct confiscation of the land in
taxes
order to sub-divide it, and by heavy war
The second attempt
levied upon the rich only.
Communism
a sort
was
as
regards
of Municipal
ihe consumption
of some
of first necessity,
objects
bought by the municipalities, and sold by
And the third attempt was
them at cost price.
to introduce a
wide national system of rationfor
ally established 'prices of all commodities,
which the real cost of production and moderate
trade profits had to be taken into account.
The
Convention
hard at this scheme,
worked
and
had nearly completed
its work, when
reaction
took the upper hand.
It was
during
this remarkable
movement,
has
been
never
yet
which
properly studied, that
Fourierism
Socialism
born
was
modern
with
L'Ange,
Lj^ons,
nism
Commuat
and authoritarian
with Buonarotti, Babeuf,
rades.
and their comAnd it was
immediately
after the Great
Hevolution
that the
three great theoretical
founders
Socialism
Fourier, Saint
of modem
Simon,
Owen,
as
and Eobert
well as Godwin
forward; while
(thejN"o-State Socialism)came
"

"

"

PHEFACE

societies, originated from


Babeuf,
their
and
gave
to militant, authoritarian
Communism
stamp
for the next fifty years.
To be correct, then, we must say that modern
Socialism is not yet a hundred
years old, and
that, for the first half of these hundred
years,
two nations only, which stood at the head of the
industrial movement,
i.e., Britain and France,
Both
bleeding
took part in its elaboration.
inflicted
at that time from the terrible wounds
wars,
upon them by fifteen years of Napoleonic
reand both enveloped in the great European
action
from the East.
that had come

the secret commuDist


those of Buonarroti

"

In fact, it was
of
only after the Revolution
July, 1830, in France, and the Reform
movement
in this country, had begun
of 1830-1832
cussion
to shake off that terrible reaction, that the disof Socialism became
possible for a fewit
And
years before the revolution of 1848.
during those years that the aspirations of
was
Fourier, St. Simon, and Robert Owen, worked
out by their followers, took a definite shape,
and the different schools of Socialism which
defined.
were
exist nowadays
Owen
In Britain, Robert
and his followers
villages,
worked out their schemes of communist
industrial
time;
same
the
at
agricultural and
immense
co-operative associations were
started
for creating with their dividends more
communist
the Great Consolidated
colonies; and
founded
the forerunner of
Trades' Union was
days and the
Parties of our
both the Labour
Association.
International Working-men's
In France, the Fourierist Considerant issued
"

PEEFACE

xi

his

wliich contains,
manifesto,
remarkable
heautitiilly developed,
sideratio
all the theoretical conCapitalism,
the growth
of
upon
*'
Scientific Socialism."
described as
which are now
idea
his
Proudhon
out
of
worked
terfere
inState
Mutualism,
Anarchism
without
and
zation
Louis Blanc published his Organilater on
became
the
of Labour , which
and
programme
of Lassalle. Yidal in France
further developed, in
Lorenz Stein in Germany
in 1846 and
two
remarkable
works, published
1847 respectively, the theoretical conceptions of
Considerant; and finally Vidal, and especially
in detail the system
Pecqueur,
developed
of
Collectivism,
the former
the
which
wanted
National Assembly
of 1848 to vote in the shape
of laws.
However,
there is one
Socialist schemes of that
The three great
noted.
wrote
at the dawn
who

feature,

common

to all

period, which must be


founders of Socialism

tury
of the nineteenth cenby the wide horizons
were
so
entranced
which it opened before them, that they looked
it as a new
selves
themupon
revelation, and upon
as
the founders of a new
upon
religion.
Socialism had to be a religion, and they had to
its march,
as
the heads
of a new
regulate
Besides, writing during the period of
church.
lution,
Revoreaction which had followed the French
its failures than its
and seeing more
successes,
they did not trust the masses,
and
did
for
to
bringing about
they
them
not appeal

they
the chonges
thought
necessary.
which
They put their faith, on the contrary, into some
Socialist Napoleon.
He
great
ruler, some

PEEFACE

xii

the new
revelation ; he would
would understand
be convinced of its desiral)ility by the successful

of their phalansteries, or assoexperiments


ciations;
he
would
and
peacefully accomplish
by his own
the
authority
revolution
which
bring
happiness
to
manwell-being and
would
kind.
A military genius, Napoleon,
had just
been ruling Europe,
Why
should not a social
forward,
genius come
carry Europe
with him
Gospel into life? That
and translate the new
faith was
rooted very deep, and it stood for a

long time in the way

of Socialism ; its traces are


down
to the present day.
even
seen
us,
amongst
It was
only during the years 1840-48, when
felt everythe approach
was
of the Revolution
where,
beginning
to
and the proletarians were
plant the banner of Socialism on the barricades,
to enter
once
that faith in the people began
more
the hearts of the social schemers : faith,
Democracy,
the one
on
and
side, in Republican
the other side in free association, in the
on
organizing

powers

of

the

working-men

selves.
them-

then came
the Revolution
of February,
1848, the middle-class Republic,
with it,
and
Four months
only after the
shattered hopes.
rection
proclamation
of the Republic, the June insurof the Paris proletarians broke out, and
it was
crushed in blood. The wholesale shooting
But

"

deportations to
the mass
of the working-men,
New
Guinea, and finally the Napoleonian
couj)
d'etat followed. The Socialists were
prosecuted
fury,
so
terrible
out was
and the weeding
with
twelve or
that for the next
and so thorough
disfifteen years the very traces of Socialism

PREFACE

xiii

its literature vanished so completely


familiar before 1848,
so
once
names,
then
were
entirely forgotten; ideas which were
the stock ideas of the Socialists before
current
to be
1848
as
taken,
so
were
out
wiped
appeared;
that even

"

"

later

on,

by

our

generation,

for

coveries
dis-

new

a
new
revival began, about
when
Communism
and Collectivism once
forward, it appeared
that the conmore
came
ception
as to the means
of their realization had
deep change.
The old faith in
a
undergone
dying out, and the
Political Democracy
was
first principles upon which the Paris workingmen
the British trade-unionists
agreed with
and Owenites, when they met in 1862 and 1864,
was
that *'the emancipation
at London,
of the
be accomplished
by the
must
working-men
themselves.'* Upon another point
working-men
It was
they also were
that the labour
agreed.
have to get hold of
unions themselves
would
the instruments
of production,
organize
and
The French idea of the
production themselves.
*'
Fourierist and Mutualist
Association"
thus
joinedhands with Robert Owen's idea of *'The
Great Consolidated Trades' Union,"
which was
International
so as to become
an
extended now,
Working-men's
Association.
Again
this new
revival of Socialism lasted
but a few years.
Soon came
the war
of 187071, the uprising of the Paris Commune
and
free
development
Socialism
was
again the
of
impossible
in France.
But
rendered
while
Germany
from
hands
now
the
accepted
of its
German teachers, Marx and Engels, the Social-

However,
1866, when

"

PEEFACE

xiv

' '
forty-eigliters " that is,
of the Frencli
the Socialism of Considerant and Louis Blanc,
France
the Collectivism
and
of Pecqueur,
made a further step forward.

ism

"

1871, Paris had proclaimed


that
it would not wait for the retardato
tory portions of France : that it intended
its own
ment.
start within itsCommune
social develop-

In March,
henceforward

The

movement

was

too short-lived to give any-

only ;
communalist
positive result. It remained
it merely asserted the rights of the Commune
But the working-classes
to its full autonomy.
its historical
saw
at oncp
of the old International
They understood
that the
significance.
free commune
would be henceforth the medium
in which
Socialism may
the ideas of modern
to realization.
The free agro-industrial
come
in
communes,
so
was
of which
much
spoken
England
and France before 1848, need not be
small phalansteries, or small communities
of
They must
2000 persons.
be vast agglomerations,
like Paris, or, still better, small territories.
These communes
would federate to constitute
irrespectively
even
cases,
nations in some
the Cinque
of the present national frontiers (like
Ports, or the Hansa). At ihe same
time large
labour associations would
into existence
come
for the inter-communal
service of the railways,
the docks, and so on.
Such were
the ideas which began vaguely to
the
thinking
circulate
after 1871 amongst
especially in the Latin countries.
working-men,
In some
such organization, the details of which
life itself would
settle, the labour circles saw

PREFACE

XV

Socialist forms of
through
the medium
which
life could find a much
easier realization than
the seizure of all industrial property
through
by the State, and
the State organization of
agriculture and industry.
I have
to
ideas
These
are
the
which
less definite
to give a more
or
endeavoured
expression in this book.
back now
Looking
that have
at the years
say
written, I can
passed since this book was
in full conscience that its leading ideas must
have been correct. State Socialism has certainly
State railways,
progress.
considerable
made
State banking,
and State trade in spirits have
here and
But
been introduced
there.
every
in this direction, even
it
though
step made
modity,
resulted in the cheapening
of a given comfound to be a new
was
obstacle in the
for their emancipastruggle of the working-men
tion.
find growing
So that we
the
amongst
Europe,
working-men,
especially in Western
the idea that even
the working
of such a vast
as
a
national property
railway-net
could be
better handled by a Federated
Union of
much
railway employes, than by a State organisation.
On
that countless
see
the other side, we
have been made
Europe
attempts
all over
and
idea
leading
is,
America,
the
the
on
of which
one
side, to get into the hands of the workingmen
themselves
of production,
wide branches
and, on the other side, to always widen in the
cities the circles of the functions which the city
in the interest of its inhabitants.
performs
Trade-unionism,
a
tendency
with
growing
towards
the different trades interorganizing

PEEFACE

xvi

nationally, and of being not only an instrument


for the improvement
of the conditions of labour,
but also of becoming
an
organisation
which
take into its hands
might, at a given moment,
Co-operation,
the management
of production;
both for production
and for distribution, both
in industry and agriculture, and attempts
at
in
both sorts of co-operation
mental
expericombining
immensely
colonies;
and finally, the
Socialism
varied field of the so-called Municipal
these

"

are

the

three

greatest amount
of
developed lately.

Of

directions in

creative

power

the
which
has been

of these may, in any degree,


be taken as a substitute for Communism,
or
even
for Socialism, both of which imply the common
possession of the instruments
of production.
But we certainly must look at all these attempts
like those which
Owen,
as
experiments
upon
Fourier, and Saint Simon tried in their colonies
to
thought
which prepare human
experiments
of the practical forms in which
conceive some
a
society might find its expression.
communist
The synthesis of all these partial experiments
day by the conto be made
some
structiv
will have
some
one
of
genius
of the civilised
But
nations.
of the bricks out of
samples
which the great synthetic building will have to
be built, and even
samples of some
of its rooms,
being prepared by the immense
are
effort of the
constructive genius of man.
course,

none

"

"

Brighton.

January^

1913.

THE

OF

CO^^QUEST

CHAPTER
OUR

BEEAD

RICHES

long way, since


fashioned their
those remote
men
ages when
lived on
implements
the
of flint and
rude
leaving to their
precarious
spoils of hunting,
for their only
heritage
a
shelter
children
beneath
the rocks, some
and
poor
utensils
The

human

race

has travelled

"

Nature, vast, unknown,


and terrific,with whom
they had to fight for their wretched
existence.
During
the long succession of agitated ages
has neverhave elapsed since, mankind
theless
which
It
has
cleared
amassed
untold treasures.
forests,
down
hewn
the land, dried the marshes,
; it has been
mountains
made
roads, pierced
it
building,
inventing,
reasoning;
observing,
has created a complex
machinery,
wrested her
secrets from Nature,
and finally it pressed steam
And
the result
and electricity into its service.
is, that now
finds
the child of the civilized man
for its use,
immense
an
at its birth, ready
by those who
have gone
capital accumulated
before him.
And
to
this capital enables man

THE

CONQUEST

OF

BEEAD

labour combined
acquire, merely by his own
with the labour of others, riches surpassing the
dreams
of the fairy tales of the Thousand
and
One Nights.
soil is cleared to a great extent, fit for
the reception of the best seeds, ready to give a
rich return for the skill and labour spent upon
it a return
more
than
sufficient for all the
The methods
wants
of humanity.
of rational
cultivation are known.
The

"

On
the
wide
prairies of America
each
hundred
men,
the
with
of powerful
aid
can
machinery,
produce in a few months enough
to maintain
ten thousand
wheat
people for a
And
whole year.
where man
wishes to double
his produce,
it a
to treble it, to multiply
hundred-fold,
he makes
the soil, gives to each
thus
plant the requisite care,
and
obtains
While
enormous
the hunter of old
returns.
fifty or sixty square miles to find
had to scour
food for his family, the civilized man
supports
far
far
less
his household,
pains, and
with
more
part of that
certainty, on a thousandth
Climate is no longer an obstacle. When
space.
fails, man
the sun
artificial
replaces it by
heat; and we
the coming
see
of a time when
artificial light also will be used to stimulate
Meanwhile,
by the use
of glass
vegetation.
renders a given space
and hot water pipes, man
ten and fifty times more
productive than it was
in its natural state.
in industry are
The prodigies accomplished
W^ith the co-operation of
striking.
still more
those intelligent beings, modern
machines
"

RICHES

OUR

themselves the fruit of three or four generations


a hundred
men
of inventors, mostly unknown
ten
now
the stuff to provide
manufacture
thousand
persons with clothing for two years.
In well-managed
the labour of a
coal mines
hundred miners furnishes each year enough fuel
clement
infamilies under an
ten thousand
to warm
have
lately witnessed
And
we
sky.
the spectacle of wonderful
up
cities springing
for international exhibitions,
in a few months
without interrupting in the slightest degree the
regular work of the nations.
if in manufactures
in agriculture,
And
as
our
and as indeed through
whole social system,
the labour, the discoveries, and the inventions
of our ancestors profit chiefly the few, it is none
in general, aided
the less certain that mankind
by the creatures
iron which
it
of steel and
"

an
possesses, could
already
already
procure
for every one
existence of wealth and ease
of
its members.
far richer than we think ;
Truly, we are rich
already possess, richer still in
rich in what we
"

the

of our
possibilities of production
actual
we
outfit ; richest of all in what
mechanical
from
our
our
manumight
win
factures,
soil, from
from our
from
our
technical
science,
knowledge,
were
they but applied to bringing

about

the well-being

of all.
II

In
then

our
are

civilized societies
the many
poor?

we

are

Why

Why
rich.
this painful

a2

THE

drudgery
best paid

CONQUEST

OF

BREAD

for the

Why,
to the
even
masses?
for the
this uncertainty
workman,
in the midst of all the wealth inherited
morrow,
from
the past, and in spite of the powerful
ensure
means
which
could
of production,
for a few hours of
to all, in return
comfort

daily toil?
Socialists have said it and repeated it
strating
Daily they reiterate it, demonunwearyingly.
it by arguments
taken from all the
It is because all that is necessary for
sciences.
The

the land, the mines, the highways,


food, shelter, education, knowledge
machinery,
all have been seized by the few in the course
of that long story of robbery, enforced migration
wars,
and
and oppression,
of ignorance

production

"

"

has been
the life of the human
race
which
before it had learned to subdue
the forces of
Nature.
It is because,
taking
advantage
of
in the past, these few
alleged rights acquired
to-day two-thirds of the products of
appropriate
human
labour, and then squander
in the
them
It is because,
most
stupid and shameful
way.
having
to a point at which
reduced the masses
they have
not the means
of subsistence for a
for a week in advance,
or
even
the few
month,
can

the

of
and

from
force them

men

to work,

only on the condition


receiving the lion's share.
few prevent
the remainder
the things they need,
producing

many
of themselves
It is because
these

allow

to produce,

of life for all, but whatever


profits to the monopolists.
of all Socialism.

the necessaries
offers the greatest
In this is the substance

not

OUR
Take,
indeed,
forests which once

RICHES

The
civilized country.
covered it have been cleared,
a

drained, the climate improved.


It
the marshes
has been made
The soil, which bore
habitable.
formerly
is covered
only a coarse
vegetation,
The rock- walls in
to-day with rich harvests.
the valleys are laid out in terraces and covered
The
with
vines.
wild plants, which
yielded
but acrid berries, or
nought
roots,
uneatable
have been transformed
by generations of culture
into succulent vegetables or trees covered with
Thousands
delicious fruits.
of highways
and
furrow
the
earth, and
pierce the
railroads
The shriek of the engine is heard
mountriins.
in the wild gorges of the Alps, the Caucasus,
The rivers have been made
and the Himalayas.
the coasts, carefully surveyed,
are
navigable;
laboriously
easy of access;
artificial harbours,
dug out and protected against the fury of the
Deep
shafts
afford shelter to the ships.
been
in the rocks ; labyrinths
have
of
sunk
galleries haA^e been dug out where
underground
At
be raised or minerals
extracted.
coal may
the crossings of the highways
great cities have
their borders all the
up, and
sprung
within
treasures
of industry, science, and art have been
accumulated.
Whole
died in
that lived and
generations,
sea,

misery,
masters,

and
this immense
For

ill-treated by
their
and
worn
on
out by toil, have handed
inheritance to our century.

oppressed

have
thousands
of years millions of men
laboured
to
the forests, to drain the
clear
by land and
marshes,
and to open up highways

THE

CONQUEST

OF

BREAD

Every
cultivate in
of soil we
rood
has been watered by the sweat of several
Europe
has its story of
Every
races
acre
of men.
water.

labour,
toil, of the
of intolerable
enforced
Every
people's sufferings.
mile
of railway,
every yard of tunnel, has received its share of
human
blood.

their
still bear on
shafts of the mine
by the pick of the
made
rocky walls the marks
The
them.
toiled to excavate
workman
who
space between
each prop in the underground
be marked
as
a
miner's grave ;
galleries might
tell what each of these graves has
and who can
The

privations, in unspeakable
depended
to the family
on
who
wretchedness
the scanty wage
cut off in his
of the worker
prime by fire-damp, rock-fall, or flood ?
cost,

in

tears,

in

together by railroads and


cities, bound
have
lived
are
waterways,
which
organisms
Dig beneath them and you
through
centuries.
foundations
find, one
the
of
above
another,
ings.
streets, of houses, of theatres, of public buildThe

Search into their history and you will


how
its
town,
see
the
civilization
of the
industry, its special characteristics, have slowly
the co-operation
of
and ripened through
before it could
of its inhabitants
generations
And even
become
to-day, the
what it is to-day.
value of each dwelling, factory, and warehouse,
has been
the accumulated
which
created by
dead and
labour of the millions of workers, now
by the very presence
buried, is only maintained
labour of legions of the men
now
who
and
Each
inhabit that special corner
of the globe.
grown

OUE

RICHES

of the atoms composing


what we call the Wealth
its value to the fact that it is
owes
of Nations
What
a
a
part
of the great
whole.
would
London
dockyard
or
a
great Paris warehouse
be if they
were
not
situated in these great
What
centres
of international
commerce?
factories, our
become
mines, our
of our
would
the
without
transported

our
workshops,
and
railways,
immense
quantities of merchandise
every day by sea and land ?

beings have laboured to


of human
we
create this civilisation on
selves
pride ourwhich
to-day. Other millions, scattered through
it. Without
the
globe, labour to maintain
be left in fifty years but
them
nothing
would
ruins.
invention,
There is not even
an
or
a thought,
property, born of the past
which is not common
Thousands
the
of inventors,
present.
and
known
who have died in poverty,
and unknown,
in the invention
have
of each of
co-operated

Millions

these

machines

which

embody

the

genius

of

man.

Thousands
of writers, of poets, of scholars,
to
knowledge,
have
laboured
increase
to
dissipate error,
and to create that atmosphere
of scientific thought, without which the marvels
have appeared.
And
of our century could never
these thousands
of philosophers,
of poets, of
inventors,
have
been
themselves
scholars, of
by the labour of past centuries. They
supported
have been upheld
life,
through
and nourished
both
by legions of
physically
and
mentally,
workers

and

craftsmen

of all sorts.

They

have

THE

drawn

their

motive

BREAD

OF

CONQUEST
force

from

the

enyiron-

ment.

Grove,
a
of a Seguin, a Mayer,
industry in
to launch
has certainly done more
directions than
new
all the capitalists in the
But men
the
themselves
of genius are
world.
Not
children of industry as well as of science.
been
had
of steam-engines
until thousands
The

genius

for years before all eyes, constantly


working
force, and this
heat into dynamic
transforming
force into sound, light, and electricity, could
the insight of genius proclaim
the mechanical
origin and the unity of the physical forces. And
if we,
children of the nineteenth
century, have
know
how
this idea, if we
now
at last grasped
it, it is again because
The
the way.
prepared

to apply

has

daily experience
thinkers
of the
declared
it, but

saw
century
eighteenth
and
idea
because
the
the
remained
undeveloped,
eighteenth
century had not grown
up like ours,
Imagine
side by side with the steam-engine.
have passed while we
the decades that might
in ignorance
has
remained
of this law, which

industry, had Watt


revolutionized
not
modern
found
his
to embody
at Soho
skilled workmen
ideas in
metal, bringing
all the parts of his
engine to perfection, so that steam,
pent in a
docile
complete
mechanism,
and rendered more
than a horse,
more
than
water,
manageable
became
industry.
at last the very soul of modern
history
has had the same
Every
a
machine
long record of sleepless nights and of poverty,
ments
of disillusions and of joys,of partial improveby
discovered
of
several geneiations
"

RICHES

ova

to the
added
workers,
wlio have
nameless
original invention these little nothings, without
fruitless.
the most fertile idea would remain
which
invention is a
More than that : every new
ventio
inthe resultant
synthesis,
of innumerable
which have preceded it in the vast field
of mechanics
and industry.

Science and industry, knowledge


and application,
discovery and practical realization leading
discoveries, cunning
to new
of brain and of
hand,
toil of rnind
muscle
all work
and
Each
discovery, each advance,
together.
each
increase in the sum
its
of human
riches, owes
being to the physical
and mental travail of the
"

past and the present.


By
can
any one
right then
whatever
what
the least morsel of this immense
appropriate
This is mine, not yours ?
whole and say
"

Ill
It has

in the
about, however,
traversed by the human
race,
come

course

of

the ages
that all
to produce
that enables man
and to increase
his power
has been seized by the
of production
few.
Some
time, perhaps,
we
will relate how
this came
to pass.
For the present let it suffice
to state the fact
and analyse its consequences.
To-day the soil, which actually owes
its value
to the

of an
ever-increasing
population,
belongs to a minority
the people
who
prevent
from
it or do not
to
cultivating
allow them
to modern
cultivate it according
methods.
The mines, though
they represent the labour
needs

"

THE

10

CONQUEST

OF

BEEAD

derive tlieir sole


of several generations,
and
value from the requirements
of the industry of
a
nation and the density of the population
the mines also belong to the few ; and these few
restrict the output of coal, or prevent it entirely,
if they find more
for
profitable investments
Machinery,
too, has become
the
their capital.
a
when
exclusive property
of the few, and even
ments
incontestably
the improverepresents
machine
added to the original rough invention by
it none
three or four generations
of workers,
And
if the
the less belongs to a few owners.
inventor
descendants
conof the very
structed
who
for lace-making,
the first machine
a
"

to present

themselves
to-day
at Bale or Nottingham,
and
be
they
their rights,
told :
claim
would
''Hands
is not yours,"
off! this machine
and
be
if they attempted
they would
to
shot down
century
ago, were
in a lace factory

take

possession

of it.

be useless as so
would
the teeming
much
population
its industry, its commerce,
of Europe,
and its
belong
ignorant
to a few shareholders,
marts,
The

railways, which
old iron without

of the whereabouts
of the lines of rails
revenues
greater than those
which
yield them
And if the children of those
of medieval kings.
who
perished by thousands
while
excavating
perhaps

to
tunnels
were
and
cuttings
in their rags and
day, crowding
one
assemble
bread from the shareholders,
hunger, to demand
be met
they would
and grapewith bayonets
''
shot, to disperse them
and safeguard
vested
interests.'*

the

railway

OUE

11

EICHES

In

virtue of this monstrous


system, the son
life, finds no
field
on
of the worker,
entering
he may
he may
till, no machine
which
which
in which
he may
dig, without
tend, no
mine
he will
to leave a great part of what
accepting
He must
to a master.
produce
sell his labour
for a scant
His father
uncertain
wage.
and
have toiled to drain this
and his grandfather
field, to build this mill, to perfect this machine.
They gave to the work the full measure
of their
strength, and what more
could they give ? But
into the world poorer than the
their heir comes
lowest savage.
If he obtains leave to till the
fields, it is on
a
condition
of surrendering
quarter

of

the

to

produce
to the

his

master,

and
another
quarter
government
and the
And
this tax, levied upon him by
middlemen.
the State, the capitalist, the lord of the manor,
it
increasing;
is always
and the middleman,
leaves him
his
to improve
the power
rarely
If he turns to industry, he
system
of culture.
is allowed to work
though not always even
that
only on condition that he yield a half or twoto him
thirds of the product
the land
whom
"

"

recognises
We
cry

as

the

shame

the peasant

owner

on

of the machine.
the feudal baron who

to turn

forbade

clod of earth unless


to his lord a fourth of his crop.
he surrendered
But
if
We
times.
called those the barbarous
have
the relations have
the forms
changed,
is forced,
the same,
and the worker
remained
under
feudal
he can

the

name

of

free

to accept
contract,
he will,
turn
where

For,
obligations.
find no better conditions.

Everything

1^
has

THE

OF

CONQUEST

BEEAD

become

private
property,
die of hunger.

and

lie must

accept, or
The result of this state

of things is that all


direction.
our
tends in a wrong
production
Enterprise takes no thought for the needs of the
Its only aim is to increase the
community.
Hence
the constant
gains of the speculator.
fluctuations of trade, the periodical industrial
crises, each

of which throws
the streets.
on

of workers
The
working

of thousands

scores

cannot

purchase
they have

with
the wealth
their wages
produced,
which
industry
markets
seeks foreign
and
In
the monied
among
classes of other nations.
East, in Africa,
in Egypt,
the
everywhere,
Tonkin
Congo,
is thus
the
the European
or
bound to promote
And
the growth
of serfdom.
he does.
But soon
he finds that everywhere
so
people

All the nations


similar competitors.
lines, and wars,
perpetual
evolve on the same
in
break out for the right of precedence
wars,
for the possession of the
Wars
the market.
East, wars
for the empire
to
wars
of the sea,

there

are

impose

duties

on

to

those

*'

imports

and

to

states;
neighbouring
blacks
The
who
revolt!

dictate
wars

"

roar

conditions

against
of the

in the world, whole


races
are
the states of Europe
massacred,
spend a
in armaments
third of their budgets
we
; and
know
how
heavily
fall on
taxes
these
the
cannon

never

w^orkers.
Education

ceases

the privilege of a
still remains
small minority, for it is idle to talk of education
the workman's
when
child is forced, at the age

RICHES

OUR

13

into the mine or to help


of thirteen, to go down
his father on
It is idle to talk of
the farm.
home
in the
to the worker,
studying
who comes
by
its
toil, and
evening
excessive
wearied
brutalizing atmosphere.
Society is thus bound
to remain
divided into two hostile camps,
and
in such conditions freedom
is a vain word.
The
Radical begins by demanding
a
greater extension
but
he
that
soons
sees
of political rights,
the breath of liberty leads to the uplifting of
he
turns
the proletariat,
then
and
round,
his opinions, and
legislation and government
changes

to repressive

reverts

by the sword.

of courts, judges,executioners,
policemen,
and gaolers is needed to uphold these
privileges ; and this array gives rise in its turn
to a whole system of espionage, of false witness,
of spies, of threats and corruption.
live checks in its
The system under which we
vast

array

the growth
of the social sentiment.
that without uprightness,
without
all know
mutual
and
respect,
without
sympathy
kind must perish, as perish the few
human

We

turn

living
of animals
keeping
But
ants.
taste

of

the
a

by

rapine,
such ideas

or
are

self-

aid,
races

the

slavethe
not
have
they
to

ruling
classes, and
system
whole
of pseudo-science

elaborated
teach the contrary.
have
Fine sermons

to

been

the text
on
preached
have
that those who
should share with those
carry out this
who have not, but he who would
that these
principle would be speedily informed
beautiful sentiments are all very well in poetry,

but not in practice.

*'

To

lie is to degrade

and

THE

14

OF

CONQUEST

besmircli oneself," we
life becomes
huge
one
and

BREAD

say, and yet all civilized


lie. We
ouraccustom
selves
to

our

children
double-faced

hypocrisy,

to the

And since
morality.
lies, we cheat ourease
among
selves
Hypocrisy
and sophistry
with sophistry.
become
the second nature of the civilized man.
live thus ; it must return
But a society cannot

practice of a
the brain is ill at

to truth,

or

cease

to exist.

spring from the


the
spread through
original act of monopoly
of death,
pain
whole
of social life. Under
forced to return
to first
human
societies are
being the
of production
principles : the means
the product should
collective work of humanity,
Inbe the collective property
dividua
of the race.
Thus

the consequences

which

is neither
just nor
appropriation
All belongs
to all.
All things
serviceable.
for all men,
have need of
are
since all men
have worked in the measure
them, since all men
them,
of their strength to produce
and since it
is not possible to evaluate every one's
part in
the production
All things

of the world's wealth.


for all.
is an
Here
immense
; here are
all those
stock of tools and implements
iron slaves which
we
saw
call machines,
which
for us,
and plane, spin and weave
unmaking
and

remaking,
working
the marvels of our

up raw
time.

matter

to produce

But

has
nobody
the right to seize a single one
of these machines
if you want
it
to use
and say: ''This is mine;
tax on
a
pay me
you must
each of your
products,"
feudal
lord of
the
than
more
any

medieval

times

had

the

right

to

say

to

the

''

peasant
and you

15

EICHES

OUE

Tliis liiJl,this meadow

must

pay

me

tax

on

belong
every

to

me,

sheaf
build."

of

you reap, on every rick you


All is for all ! If the man
and the woman
bear their fair share of work, they have a right
to their fair share of all that is produced
by
corn

to secure
them
all, and that share is enough
No more
formulas
well-being.
of such vague
''The right to work,'' or " To each the whole
as
What
is
we
result of his labour.''
proclaim
The Eight
Well-Being
to
: Well-Being
for
All!

CHAPTER
WELL-BEIXG

II
FOR

ALL

It is posfor all is not a dream.


sible,
realizable, owing to all that our ancestors
liave done to increase our
powers
of production.
indeed,
"VVe know,
that
the
producers,

Well-Beixg

they constitute hardly one-third of the


although
inhabitants of civilized countries, even
now
produce
such quantities of goods that a certain
degree
to every
of comfort
could be brought
further that if all those who
hearth. We
know

to-day the fruits of others' toil were


squander
leisure inuseful work, our
forced to employtheir
wealth would increase in proportion to the number
know
Finally, we
of producers, and more.
by
to
that
the
theory
contrary
enunciated
Malthus
that Oracle of middle-class Economics
"

"

the productive

powers

of the human

race

crease
in-

its
rapid ratio than
The more
thickly men
powers
of reproduction.
are
the soil, the more
on
rapid is the
crowded
at

much

more

growth of their wealth-creating


power.
Thus,
the population
although
of England
has only increased from 1844 to 1890 by 62 per
has grown,
even
cent., its production
at the
lowest estimate, at double that rate
to wit, by
"

130

per

cent.

In

France,

where

the

popula-

WELL-BEING

FOR

17

ALL

in
more
slowly, the increase
grown
Notprod iction is nevertheless very rapid.
ture
which agriculwiths'-.anding the crises through
is frequently
passing, notwithstanding
State interference, the blood-tax (conscription)
duction
and finance, the proand speculative commerce
fold,
has increased fourof wheat in France
industrial
than
more
production
and
tenfold, in the course
of the last eighty years.
In the United. States the progress is still more

tion has

"

In spite of immigration,
or
rather
pean
precisely because of the influx of surplus Eurolabour, the United States have multiplied
striking.

their wealth tenfold.


However,
these figures give but a very faint
become
idea of what our
under
wealth might
For alongside of the rapid
better conditions.
development
powers
wealth-producing
of our
increase in the ranks
have an overwhelming
we
Instead
idlers and
of
of the
middlemen.
itself in a few
capital gradually concentrating
hands, so that it would
for
only be necessary
to dispossess a few millionaires
the community
its lawful heritage
instead of
and enter upon
true, the exact
this Socialist forecast proving
is coming
to pass : the swarm
reverse
of parasites
is ever
increasing.
"

In France

there are not ten actual producers


to every thirty inhabitants.
The whole agricultural
is
the
the
wealth of
country
work of less
than seven
millions of men,
and in the two great
industries, mining
and the textile trades, you
less than
will find that the workers
number
2 J millions.
But the exploiters of labour, how
B

many
little

are

OF

CO]N"QUEST

THE

18

In

tKey?

the

BREAD

United

Kingdon

men,
women,
workers
in all the textile
are
employed
and children,
thousand
trades; less than nine hundred
work
less than two million till the
the mines;
much
from
trial
the last' indusground,
and it appeared

over

one

million

that only

census

"

little over

four

million
in
employed

were
and children
So that the t^tatisticians
all the industries.*
have to exaggerate
all the figures in order to
of eight niillion producers
establish a maximum
inhabitants.
forty-five million
Strictly
to
men,

women

the creators
of the goods exported
speaking
from Britain to all the ends of the earth comprise
million workers.
only from
six to seven
And

is the

number
of the shareholders
levy the first fruits of
who
and middlemen
labour from
far and near,
up unand heap
earned
what

by

between
thrusting themselves
the producer and the consumer?
Nor is this all. The owners
of capital constantly
by
the output
restraining
reduce
production.
gains

We

need not speak of the cartloads


into the sea
to prevent
thrown
a
of oysters
for the rich, from
dainty, hitherto
reserved
for the people.
becoming
We
a food
need not
luxuries
speak of the thousand
and one
stuffs,
"

foods, etc., etc.


as
the oysters.
*

"

fashion
treated after the same
It is enough
to remember
the

in all the 53 branches


of
employed
different industries, including
the State Ordnance
in the ConWorks,
struction
engaged
workers
and 241,530
Maint-enance
their
of Railways,
and
the
aggregate
of
value
reaching
production
"1,041,037,000, and the net output being "406,799,000.
4,013,711

DOW

WELL-BEING

FOR

19

ALL

in wliich
the production
of tlie most
way
is limited.
Legions
things
of
necessaiy
dig
to
are
out
miners
ready
and
willing
it to those who
send
coal every day, and
too
a
are
often
shivering
cold; hut
with
are
third, or even
one-half, of their number
forbidden
to work
than
three days a
more
forsooth,
because,
the price of coal
week,
be kept up ! Thousands
are
must
of weavers
forbidden
to work
their
the looms, although
wives and children go in rags, and although
three-quarters of the population of Europe have

worthy the name.


tories
of blast-furnaces, thousands of facperiodically stand idle, others only work
half-time
and in every civilized nation there
is a permanent
population of about two million
individuals who ask only for work, but to whom
work is denied.
How
set
gladly would these millions of men
to work to reclaim waste
lands, or to transform
ill-cultivated land into fertile fields, rich in
harvests ! A year of well-directed toil would
suffice to multiply fivefold the produce
of those
in this country
lie idle
millions of acres
which
*'
now
lands
as
permanent
pasture,'* or of those dryin the south of France
now
which
yield
bushels
But
only about eight
of wheat per acre.
be happy
to become
hardy
men,
who
would
branches of wealth-producpioneera in so many
ing
idle because
the
activity, must
remain
owners
of the soil, the mines and the factories
taken in the first
prefer to invest their capital
in Turkish
the
or
place from
community
no

clothing
Hundreds

"

"

"

b2

20

THE

Egyptian
so

and

CONQUEST
bonds,

BEEAD

in Patagonian

or

Egyptian

make

OF

gold mines,
fellahs, Italian emigrants,

and Chinese coolies their wage-slaves.


This is the direct and deliberate limitation
but there is also a limitation
of production;
indirect and not of set purpose, which
consists
in spending
human
toil on
absolutely
destined

objects

useless,
only
satisfy the dull
vanity of the rich.
It is impossible to reckon in figures the extent
is restricted indirectly, the
to which
wealth
to which
extent
energy is squandered,
while it
or

to

might have served to produce, and above all to


to production.
prepare the machinery
necessary
to cite the immense
It is enough
sums
spent by
for the sole purpose
Europe in armaments,
of
forcing
acquiring control of the markets, and so
her own
territories, and
goods on neighbouring
the milexploitation
easier at home;
making
lions
paid every year to officials of all sorts,
function it is to maintain
the ''rights"
whose
the right, that is, of a few rich
of minorities
"

men

"

the

to manipulate
the economic
the
spent
nation;
millions

activities of

judges,

on

and
all the paraphernalia
cause
beof so-called justice spent to no
purpose,
know
that every alleviation, however
we
slight, of the wretchedness
of our
great cities
is always
followed
by a considerable
tion
diminuon
of crime ; lastly, the millions
spent
doctrines by means
propagating
pernicious
of
"
in the interest of
"cooked
the press, and news
prisons,

policemen,

"

this
group

or

that party,

of this politician

of speculators.

or

of that

WELL-BEING

FOR

21

ALL

take into
must
and above this we
account
all tlie labour tbat goes to sheer waste,
here, in keeping up tbe stables, tbe kennels,
and tbe retinue of the rich ; there, in pandering
tastes
to the caprices of society and the depraved
of the fashionable mob ; there again, in forcing
he does not need, or
to buy what
the consumer
foisting an inferior article upon him by means
on
the other hand
of puffery, and in producing
but prowares
are
absolutely injurious,
fitable
which
is squanto the manufacturer.
What
dered
in this manner
to double
would be enough

But

over

"

the production of useful things, or so to plenish


our
that
mills and factories with machinery
flood the shops with all that is
they would soon
lacking to two-thirds of the nation. Under
now
full quarter of the proa
our
present system
ducers
in every nation are forced to be idle for
in the year, and the labour
three or four months
of another quarter, if not of the half, has no
better results than the amusement
of the rich
or

the exploitation of the public.


Thus,
if we
the
consider on

one

hand

the

rapidity with which


civilized nations augment
their powers
the other
of production,
and on
hand
be it
the limits set to that production,
directly or indirectly, by existing
conditions,
but
we
cannot
conclude that an economic
tem
sys-

triflemore
to heap up in
a

reasonable
few years

would
so

permit

them

many

useful products
be constrained
that they would
to say
**
Enough!
We
have enough
coal and bread
Let us rest and consider how
and raiment !
best to use
our
our
powers, how best to employ
leisure."
"

THE

22

OF

CONQUEST

BEEAD

it
though
plenty for all is not a dream
for
indeed in those days when man,
a dream
was
all his pains, could hardly win a few bushels of
of land, and had to fashion
wheat from an acre
he used in agriculby hand all the implements
ture
dream,
is
longer
it
industry.
Now
a
no
and
No,

"

because man
has invented a motor
which, with
little
iron
few
a
sacks of coal, gives him
and a
the mastery
strong and docile as a
of a creature
horse, and
comcapable
plicated
of setting the most

in motion.
machinery
But, if plenty for all is to become
this immense
cities, houses,
capital

reality,
pastures,
education
arable lands, factories, highways,
to be regarded
as
cease
must
private property,
for the monopolist
to dispose of at his pleasure.
This rich endowment,
builded,
painfully won,
fashioned, or invented
by our
ancestors,
must
become
common
so
that the collective
property,
interests of men
may
gain from it the greatest
good for all.
There
be Expropriation.
The wellmust
being
the
of
all the
end;
expropriation
"

"

"

"

means.

II
Expropriation,
then
such
has put before
History
which

is the problem
the men
of the
to Communism

twentieth
: the
return
century
in all that ministers to the well-being

of

man.

23

ALL

FOR

WELL-BEING

be solved by
Eut this problem
cannot
imagines
No one
that.
of legislation.
the ricb, understand
as
poor,
well as
nor
the
existing Governments,
neither

means

The
that
any

political
arise out of possible
might
which
be capable
of finding such a
changes,
would
They
feel the necessity of a social
solution.
and both rich and poor recognize
revolution;
is imminent,
that it may
that this revolution
break out in a few years.
in thought
has taken place
A great change
during

the last half of the nineteenth


century;
it was,
by the propertied
but suppressed,
as
development,
its natural
classes, and denied

this

new

spirit must

now

violence and realize itself in


Whence
will the revolution
it announce
its coming?
No
these

questions.

The

its bonds

break

future

by

revolution.
how will
come?
one

can

is hidden.

answer

But

those who watch


and think do not misinterpret
tionists
the
and
signs : workers
exploiters, Revoluand Conservatives, thinkers and men
of
doors.
action, all feel that a revolution is at our
Wliat are we
Well, then,
going to do when
"

has fallen?
the thunderbolt
have
bent
We
all been
dramatic
side of revolutions

on

so

the
studying
much,
and the
little, that we

practical work of revolutions so


are
apt to see only the stage effects, so to speak,
the fight of the first
of these great movements;
But this fight, this first
days; the barricades.
skirmish, is soon
ended, and it is only after the
breakdown

that the real work


of the old system
be said to begin.
of revolution can

THE

24

CONQUEST

BREAD

OF

Effete and powerless,


soon
tlie old rulers are

attacked on
all sides,
by the
away
swept
In a few
days
insurrection.
breath
the
of
more,
no
of 1848 was
monarchy
middle-class
good his
making
and while Louis Philippe was
in a cab, Paris had
escape
already forgotten
'*

The government
of Thiers
citizen king."
1871, in a
disappeared,
the 18th of March,
on
nies.
few hours, leaving Paris mistress of her destitions.
Yet 1848 and 1871 were
only insurrecBefore a popular revolution the masters
of '^the old order'' disappear with a surprising
Its upholders fly the country, to plot
rapidity.
her

for
in safety elsewhere and to devise measures
their return.
having disappeared,
Government
The former
hesitating before the tide of popular
the army,
who
opinion, no longer obeys its commanders,
The
decamped.
have
troops
also prudently
stand by without interfering, or jointhe rebels.
The

are
at ease,
uncertain
police, standing
' '
Long
whether to belabour the crowd, or to cry :
"
!
live the Commune
retire to their
while some
''to await
the pleasure
quarters
of the new
Wealthy
Government.''
their
citizens
pack

to places of safety.
trunks and betake themselves
This is how
The people remain.
a
revolution
is ushered in.

In

is prothe Commune
claimed.
several large towns
In the streets wander
sands
scores
of thouthey crowd
and in the evening
of men,

do?"
take

"

What
clubs, asking :
shall we
and ardently discuss public affairs. All
interest in them;
those who
an
yesterday

into improvised

WELL-BEING

FOR

25

ALL

the most
perhaps
quite indifferent are
Everywhere
there is plenty of goodwill
zealous.
victory certain.
and a keen desire to make
devotion are
It is a time when
acts of supreme
were

The masses
occurring.
of the people
the desire of going forward.
All this is splendid, sublime;
but

full of

are

still, it is
that the

Nay, it is only now


revolution.
work of the revolutionist begins.
Doubtless
there will be acts of vengeance.
The Watrins
and the Thomases
will pay the
not

penalty
of their unpopularity;
incidents of the struggle
mere

Socialist

politicians,

but
"

not

these
the

are

revolution.

radicals,

neglected
both
orators
will hurry

of journalism,stump
middle-class
people and workmen
Hall, to the Government
to the Town
offices,to
Some
take possession of the vacant
seats.
will
lace
decorate themselves
to
with gold and silver
in
their hearts' content,
themselves
admire
geniuses

"

"

ministerial mirrors, and study to give orders


to their
with an air of importance
appropriate
How
new
their
position.
could they impress
comrades
of the office or the workshop
without
having
a
an
cap, and
red sash,
embroidered
selves
gestures ! Others will bury themmagisterial
in official papers, trying, with the best of
head or tail of them.
They will
wills, to make
indite laws and issue high-flown
decrees
worded
that nobody
will take the trouble to carry out
because
has come.
revolution
To give themselves
an
they
authority which
have not they will seek the sanction of old forms

"

26

THE

They

of Government.
'*
Provisional
Public

will take

Government/*
Safety,"
Mayor/'
^'

*'

Hall,"

Town

Safety/' and what

BEEAD

OF

CONQUEST

**

^^

the names
Committee

of
of
of the
Public

Governor

Commissioner
Elected
not.
in Boards
or

of
or

acclaimed,
in Communal

they will assemble


different
Councils, where men
of ten or twenty
together, representing
not as
schools will come
*'
it is often said,
as
many
private
"

chapels/'

different conceptions
as
the
many
regarding
scope, the bearing, and the goal of the revolution.
CoUectivists,
Radicals,
Possibilists,

but

Jacobins,

Blanquists,

be

thrust together,
Honest
men
warfare.

will

time in wordy
together
the ambitious
with
will be huddled
is power
ones,
and who spurn
whose only dream
All
are
the
they
sprung.
crowd
whence
diametrically
together
coming
with
opposed

and

waste

all forced to enter


in order to create
last a day.
Wrangling,

views,
but

"

reactionaries,
serious
trifles,producing

majorities

calling each

authoritarians,

of coming
measure,

into ephemeral
ances,
allithat can

to

an

dragged
nothing

other
capabl
rascals, in-

and

understanding
into discussions
better than

on

any

about
bombastic

an
proclamations;
all giving themselves
awful
importance
the
ment
real strength of the movewhile
is in the streets.
All this may
please those who like the stage,
Nothing
but it is not revolution.
has been
as
yet.
accomplished
And
the
meanwhile

people

idle, the workshops


factories are
is at a standstill.
The
worker

suffer.

The

closed ; trade
does not even

FOR

WELL-BEING
earn

the

meagre

was
which
With
price.

wage
in

Food

up
goes
devotion which

27

ALL

his before.
that

heroic

has always

them,
characterized
in great crises reaches the sublime,
and which
^'
We
the
people
will wait patiently.
place
these three months
at the service of the
of want
'^
Republic,"
they
their
said in 1848,
while
"

representatives

Government,

and the gentlemen


of the new
down
to
Jack-inthe meanest

office, received their salary


The people suffer. With

regularly.
the childlike faith,
who believe
of the masses
with the good humour
'*
in
in their leaders, they think that
yonder,"
Hall, in the Committee
the House, in the Town
Safety,
their welfare is being considered.
of Public
**

"

discussing
they are
yonder
except the welfare of
everything
under the sun
famine
In
1793, while
the people.
ravaged
France
Revolution
; whilst the
and crippled the
to the depths
people were
of misery,
reduced
Champs
Elysees
lined
the
were
although
with
luxurious
displayed
women
where
carriages
Robespierre
their jewels and
was
splendour,
But

to discuss his treatise on


the Jacobins
urging
Constitution.
While
the English
the worker
was
suffering in 1848 from the general stoppage
Government
and the
of trade, the Provisional

National

Assembly

were

over
wrangling
military
pensions
and prison labour, without
how
to live
troubling
the people
managed
during
the terrible crisis. And
cast
could one
a
was
at the Paris Commune,
reproach
which
born beneath
the Prussian
cannon,
and lasted

only

seventy

days,

it would

be

for this

same

28

OF

CONQUEST

THE

BEEAD

to
that the
this failure
understand
Revolution
unless those who
could not triumph
fed : that on fifteen
its side were
fought on
fight on the ramparts
cannot
pence a day a man
error

"

time support a tamily.


and at the same
**
The people suffer and say:
How
is
'*
out of these difficultiesto be found ?

way

III
answer
that there is only one
to this question : We
must
recognise, and loudly
his grade in
whatever
proclaim, that every one,
the old socie+y, whether
strong or weak, capable
incapable, has, before everything, the
right
or
to share
TO
LIVE,
that society is bound
and
the means
of
exception,
amongst
all, without
it has
We
at its disposal.
must
existence
it aloud, and
this, and proclaim
acknowledge
act up to it.
be managed
Affairs must
in such a way that
from the first day of the revolution the worker
is opening
before
that a new
era
shall know
him ; that henceforward
none
need crouch under
bridges,
the
while
palaces are hard by, none
need fast in the midst of plenty, none
need

It

seems

to

us

perish with cold near


shops full of furs; that
all is for all, in practice as well as in theory,
and that at last, for the first time in history, a

WELL-BEING

them

the NEEDS
in their

ALL

29

been

has

revolution

FOR

considers
accomplished
which
of the people before schooling

duties.

by Acts of
be brought
This
cannot
about
but only by taking immediate
Parliament,
and
to
effective possession of all that is necessary
the well-being of all ; this is the only
ensure
really scientific way of going to work, the only
be understood
way which can
and desired by the
We
take possession,
mass
must
of the people.
in the name
of the people, of the granaries, the
houses.
shops full of clothing, and the dwelling
We
be wasted.
Nothing
must
organize
must
to
to feed the hungry,
delay a way
without
to meet
all needs,
satisfy all wants,
not for the special benefit of this
to society
but so as to ensure
one,
its life and further development.

Enough
to work,"

1848,

and

hope

of

of ambiguous
with

which

which

are

misleading

words
the people

like

to produce
one

as

''

were

still resorted
Let
them.

that

or
a

whole

the right
misled in

to with

the

have

the

us

to recognise
that W ell-heing for all,
courage
henceforward
possible, must be realized.
When
the workers
the right to work
claimed
in 1848,
national
municipal
workshops
and
to
were
sent
organized,
workmen
and
drudge there at the rate of Is. 8d. a day ! When
'*
Organization
they asked the
the
of Labour,"
'*
Patience,
friends, the Government
was:
reply
were

it; meantime
here is your
brave toiler, after your lifelong
for food! "
in the meanAnd

to
will see
Is. 8d.
Rest now,

struggle

30

time the

OF

CONQUEST

THE

cannons

were

BREAD

the reserves
overhauled,
organiz
disthemselves
workers

the
and
by the many
to
methods
well known
fine day, in June,
the middle
classes, till one
1848, four months
after the overthrow
of the

called

previous

out,

Government,

they

told to go and

were

colonize Africa, or be shot down.


Very different will be the result if the workers
Well-being
! In claimto
ing
claim the Eight
the
that right they claim
right to take
possession of the wealth
of the community
to take houses to dwell in according to the needs
of each family; to socialize the stores of food
and learn the meaning
of plenty, after having
known
famine
They
too well.
their
proclaim
fruit of the labour
right to all social wealth
of past and present generations
and learn by
its means
to
higher
pleasures
of
enjoy those
have
been
too
long
art
and
science
which
by the rich.
monopolized
"

"

"

their right to live in


asserting
while
tant,
imporis still more
they assert, what
comfort,
their right to decide for themselves
what
to
this comfort shall be, what must be produced
it, and what
discarded as no longer of
ensure
value.
"
the possimeans
The ''right to well-being
bility
ing
beings, and of bringof living like human
to be members
of a society
up children
"
"
better than ours,
right to work
whilst the
a
the ri^ht to be always
wageonly means
and exploited by the
slave, a drudge, ruled over
The right to wellfuture.
middle class of the
And

WELL-BEING

FOE

ALL

31

ReTolution., the riglit to


but tbe Treadmill
mercialis
of Comnothing
work means
It is high, time for the worker
to
inheritance,
common
assert his right to the
and to enter into possession of it.

being

is tlie Social

III

CHAPTER
ANARCHIST

COMMUNISM

I
Evert

society, on abolisliing private propertyto organize itself


maintain,
will be forced, we
Anarchy
Anarchy.
the lines of Communistic
on
Communism
to
leads
to
Communism,
and
both alike being expressions
Anarchy,
of the
in modern
tendency
predominant
societies, the
of equality.
family could cona
was
when
peasant
sider
it sowed
the corn
and
reaped, or the
in the cottage, as the
woven
woollen garments
then this way
soil. But even
products of its own

pursuit
Time

of looking
the
were
common,

at things

was

and
roads
the swamps

There
in
made

not quite correct.

the

bridges

drained

by

common

toil,
hedges

by
pastures
communal
enclosed
kept in repair by each and all. If
which were
the looms for weaving
the dyes for colouring
or
fabrics
improved
by
were
somebody,
all

the

in those
days
even
a
profited ; and
peasant
family could not live alone, but was
dependent
in a
thousand
the village
the
on
or
ways
commune.

But

when

nowadays,

in

the

industry
of
interdependent,

present

is
when
everything
each branch of production

state

is knit up with

ANARCHIST

33

COMMUNISM

dividual
Into claim
an
attempt
origin for the products of industryThe astonishing peris absolutely untenable.
fection
by
the textile or
mining
attained
industries in civilized countries is due to the

all the

the

rest,

development
other
of a thousand
simultaneous
industries, great and small, to the extension of
to inter-oceanic
the railroad system,
tion,
navigato

the
to

manual
a

skill of

thousands

of
culture

of
certain standard
to
classes as a whole
reached by the working
in every corner
the labours, in short, of men
of
the globe.
died
Italians who
The
while
of cholera
in
Canal,
the
or
the Suez
of anchylosis
making
Tunnel, and the Americans
St. Gothard
mowed
by shot and shell while fighting for the
down
abolition of slavery, have helped to develop the
as
cotton industry in France
and England,
well
as
the work-girls who languish in the factories
Rouen,
and
and the inventor
of Manchester
(followingthe suggestion of some
who
worker)
in
improving
looms.
the
succeeds
How,
then, shall we
estimate the share of
to
all
contribute
riches which
each in the
?
amass
Looking
from
this general,
at production
hold with
cannot
synthetic
point of view, we
the CoUectivists that payment
proportionate to
the hours of labour rendered by each would be
ideal arrangement,
an
or
a
even
step in the
right direction.
Without
discussing whether
exchange
value
is
in
of goods
really measured
existing societies
workers,

"

CONQUEST

THE

34

OE

BREAD

it
to produce
of work necessary
Smith
to the
teaching
of Adam
according
has
in whose
footsteps Marx
Ricardo,
and
followed
ourselves
suffice it to say here, leaving
by

the amount

"

"

to the
free to return
the Collectivist ideal appears
a

society
labour
as

which
a

common

later, that
in
untenable

subject
to

us

considers the instruments


of
inheritance.
Starting

find
this principle, such a society would
itself forced from the very outset to abandon
all
forms of wages.
from

The

individualism
mitigated
could
certainly
system

of the

tivist
Collec-

not

maintain
the
a
partial
communism
alongside
of
socialization of land and the instruments
form of property
A new
requires
production.
form
A new
new
a
of remuneration.
method
cannot
exist side by side with
of production
the old forms
than
of consumption,
any more
it can
adapt itself to the old forms of political
itself

"

organization.
The wage
system arises out of the individual
ownership
of the land and the instruments
of
It was
labour.
for
the
the necessary
condition
development
of capitalist production,
and will
in
it,
guise
to disthe
perish with
spite of
attempt
**
it as
The
common
profit-sharing.'*
possession of the instruments
of labour must
it the
necessarily bring
with
enjoyment in
labour.
common
of the fruits of common
We
hold further that Communism
is not only
desirable, but that existing societies, founded
Individualism,
on
inevitably
impelled
in
are
CormnunisTn.
The developthe direction

of

ANARCHIST

35

COMMUNISM

during
the last three
of Individualism
vidual
centuries is explained by the eliorts of the indito protect himself from
the tyranny
of
he
For a time
Capital and of the State.
imagined,
and those who expressed his thought
for him
declared, that he could free himself
*'
By
entirely from the State and from society.

ment

he said, *' I
of money,''
But the individual
I need."

buy

all that
on
a wrong
was
history has taught him to
track, and modern
recognize that, without the help of all, he can
do nothing, although his strong-boxes are full

means

can

of gold.
In fact, along this current of Individualism,
history a tendency,
find in all modem
we
on.
hand to retain all that remains
the one
of the
partial Comm.unism
of antiquity, and, on the

other, to establish the Communist


principle in
developments
life.
the thousand
of modern
As
as
the communes
tenth,
soon
of the
eleventh, and twelfth centuries had succeeded
in emancipating
from
themselves
their lords,
ecclesiastical

or

lay, their

labour
communal
began
to extend
township
and not

communal
consumption
The
and develop rapidly.
freighted ships and equipped
private persons
expeditions, for the export of their manufacture,
and the benefit arising from the foreign
to individuals,
trade did not accrue
but was
At the outset, the townships
shared by all.

and

"

"

also bought
provisions for all their citizens.
Traces of these institutions have lingered on
into the nineteenth
century,
and the people

c2

36

CONQUEST

THE

piously cherish
legends.
All

that

has

the

OF

BREAD

memory

of them

disappeared.

But

in their
the

rural
the last

to

township

preserve
still struggles
it succeeds
Communism,
of this
and
the State throws its heavy
except
when
sword
into the balance.
Meanwhile
based on the
new
organizations,
to his
to every
man
same
according
principle
traces

"

"

different
a
thousand
spring up under
for without
munism
a
certain leaven of Comthe present
societies could not exist.
In spite of the narrowly
egoistic turn given to
by the commercial
men
s
the
system,
minds
needs
forms;

"

tendency
appearing,

Communism
towards
and it influences

our

is constantly
activities in a

variety of ways.
The bridges, for the use
a toll was
of which
levied in the old days, have become
public property
free
to
high
are
so
are
the
and
roads,
all ;
except in the East, where a toll is still exacted
from the traveller for every mile of his journey.
free libraries, free schools, free meals
Museums,
for

children;

streets

parks

and
gardens
lighted, free

and
to every house

paved

open
to

to

all;

all; water

or
without measure
stint
supplied
founded
on
are
the
all such arrangements
'^Take what
you need."
principle:
The
have
tramways
and
railways
already
introduced
season
tickets,
monthly
and annual
limiting
the
journeys
without
number
of
taken; and two nations, Hungary
and Russia,
have introduced
their railways the zone
on
tem,
systhe holder to travel five
permits
which

"

hundred

37

COMMUNISM

ANARCHIST

miles for the same


that to a
step from
already prevails in the

price.

eight hundred
It is but a short

uniform

charge,

or

such as
In all these innovations,

and in
postal service.
is not
to
thousand
tendency
a
others, the
One man
measure
the individual consumption.
to travel eight hundred
wants
miles, another
five

hundred.
There

These
is

should pay twice


his need is twice

no
as
as

are

ments.
require-

personal

one
sufficient reason
why
the other because
as
much
Such are the signi
great.
in our
individualist
now

even
appear
which
societies
Moreover,
there is a tendency, though
still a
feeble one,
to consider the needs
vidual,
of the indiirrespective of his past or possible services
to the community.
We
beginning
are

to think

which
that

of

is so
a

a
society as
each part of
whole,
intimately bound
up with the others

rendered

service

to

one

is

service

to all.

rendered
When

deed
not ingo into a public library
Library
the National
of Paris, but, say,
into the British Museum
or
the Berlin Library
"

the

you

librarian

have

rendered
book,
or
the

he

even

know

"

comes

how

of uniform

does not

ask what
services you
to society before giving
you the
fifty books, which
require;
you

assistance if you
By
the catalogue.

to your

to manage

do not
meani

credentials
and very often a contributio
is preferred
the scientific
of work
its museums,
its gardens,
its
opens
"

"

society
library, its laboratories, and

its annual

conver-

38

OF

CONQUEST

THE

BEEAD

saziones to each of its members,


whether he be a
Darwin, or a simple amateur.
At St. Petersburg, if you are elaborating an
invention, you go into a special laboratory,
a
are
given
place, a carpenter's
you
tools
bench, a turning lathe, all the necessary
provided only you
and scientific instruments,
know how to use them;
and you are allowed to
work there as long as you please. There are the
tools; interest others in your idea; join with

where

fellow workers skilled in various crafts, or work


alone if you prefer it. Invent a flying machine,
invent nothing
that is your own
or
affair. You
idea
that is enough.
an
are
pursuing
In the same
the lifeboat
way, those who man
do not ask credentials from the crew
of a sinking
launch
boat,
their
ship ; they
risk their lives
in the raging waves,
perish, all
and sometimes
to save
know.
And
men
they do not even
whom
'^They are human
them.''
what need to know
beings, and they need our aid
that is enough,
To
that
their
the
establishes
right
''
!
rescue
Thus we
find a tendency, eminently
communistic,
"

"

"

springing up on all sides, and in various


vidualis
guises, in the very heart of theoretically indisocieties.
Suppose
that
one
of our
great
cities, so
morrow
times, were
egotistic in ordinary
visited toby

stance
siege, for inthat same
selfish city would decide that
the first needs to satisfy were
those of the
Without
children and the aged.
asking what
likely to
services they had rendered, or were
"

some

calamity

"

39

COMMTJIsriSM

ANARCHIST

render to society, it would first of all feed them.


spective
be cared for, irreThen
the combatants
would
intelligence
or
the
courage
of the
and thousands
of
each had displayed,
which
men

women

outvie each other


would
to
the wounded.
unselfish devotion
This tendency
exists, and is felt as soon

and

the

in

as

satisfied,
needs of each are
the productive
as
power
of
and in proportion
increases.
It becomes
an
the race
active force
to oust the mean
every time a great idea comes
most

pressing

life.
of everyday
doubt, then, that when

preoccupations
How
can
we

strume
the in-

at the
placed
is conducted
on
labour,
having

are
production
business
service of all, when
Communist
principles, when

of

its place of honour


in society, produces
how
more
than is necessary to all
much
doubt
we
can
that
this force
(alreadyso
powerful),will enlarge its sphere of action till
it becomes
the ruling principle of social life?

recovered

"

Following

these indications,

considering
further the practical side of expropriation,
of
which we shall speak in the following chapters,
we
are
that our first obligation, when
convinced
the revolution shall have broken the power
upholding
the

Communism
But

ours

Fourier

and
State

Communism,
the

system,
delay.

will be to realize

without
is neither
the

German

"

present

and

Communism
the
Phalansteriens,
nor

Socialists.

Communism

Communism

of

It

is

without
the Free.

of
of the
Anarchist

government
It is the

40

OF

COIN-QUEST

THE

BREAD

synthesis of tlie two ideals pursued by humanity


Economic
throughout
the ages
and Political
Liberty.
"

II
In

taking

"

Anarchy

"

for

our

ideal

of
giving

are
we
only
political organization
to
tendency
of
another
expression
marked
European
human
Whenever
progress.
societies
have developed
to a
up
certain
point, they
have
shaken
off the yoke
and
of authority

founded
less on
a
more
or
substituted
system
liberty.
the
And
principles
of individual
history shows us that these
periods of partial or
the old governments
general revolution,
when
were
were
overthrown,
also periods of sudden
in the
tellec
progress both
economic
and the infield. So it was
after the enfranchisement
the

communes,

monuments,
whose
by the free labour of the guilds, have
produced
been surpassed ; so it was
never
after the great
brought
the
peasant
uprising
which
about

of

Reformation
the papacy;
and imperilled
and
it was
so
again with the society, free for a brief
was
space, which
created on the other side of
from the Old
the Atlantic by the malcontents
world.
And,

observe the present development


of civilized nations, we see, most unmistakably,
ever
more
tenda
movement
and more
marked
if

we

41

COMMUNISM

ANARCHIST

ment,
ing to limit the sphere of action of the Governliberty to the
and more
and to allow more
This evolution is going on before
individual.
by the ruins and
our
eyes, though
cumbered
rubbish of old institutions and old superstitions.
Like all evolutions, it only waits a revolution
block the
the old obstacles which
that it may find free scope in a regenerated

to overthrow

way,

society.
After having

striven long in vain to solve the


insoluble problem
the problem
of constructing
*'
dividu
a
government
which
will constrain the in"

to obedience

without

itself ceasing to
at last attempt
form of government

be the servant
of society," men
to free themselves
from every
and to satisfy their need for organization
by
free contracts
between
individuals
and

The independence
aim.
a
of each small territorial unit becomes
pressing need ; mutual
agreement
replaces law
in order to regulate individual interests in
view
of a common
object very often disregarding
the frontiers of the present States.

groups

the

pursuing

same

"

function of
is to-day
called in question.
Things
are
more
more
arranged
easily and
the intervention
satisfactorily without
of the
State.
in studying
And
in
the progress made
All that was
the Government

this direction,

looked

once

on

as

led to conclude
that the
tendency
is to reduce Government
race
of the human
interference
to zero
; in fact, to abolish
the

State,

oppression,

we

the

and

are

personification
monopoly.

of

injustice,

42
"We

OF

CONQUEST

THE

BEEAD

already catch glimpses of a world in


which the bonds which bind the individual are
longer laws, but social habits
the result of
no
felt by each
one
the need
of us to seek the
can

"

support,

the sympathy

the co-operation,

neighbours.
Assuredly

the

of his

idea

of a society without a
State will give rise to at least as many
objections
the political economy
as
of a society without
have all been brought
We
up
private capital.
from our
childhood to regard the State as a sort
; all
of Providence
learned
history we

our

at

the Roman
education,
school, the Byzantine

code which we
studied later under the name
Eoman
law, and the various sciences taught
believe
to
the universities, accustom
us

Government

and

in

the

virtues

of
at

in

of the State

providential.
To maintain
this superstition whole systems
have been elaborated and taught ;
of philosophy
all politics are based on this principle ; and each
his colours, comes
forward
politician, whatever
'*

Give
my
party the
and says to the people,
we
can
power;
and we
will free you from the
press so heavily upon
you."
miseries which
From
the cradle to the grave all our
actions
Open
by this principle.
are
any book
guided
and you will find
sociology or jurisprudence,
its organization, its acts,
there the Government,
filling so large a place that we
to believe
come
on

that

there

is nothing

outside

and the world of statesmen.


The Press teaches us the

same

the

Government
in every

con-

Whole

ceivable way.
parliamentary
while

43

COMMUNISM

ANAECHIST

debates

to

and

devoted

are

columns

to

trigues
political inlife of a nation

the vast everyday


given to economic
only in the columns
appears
to reports
devoted
in the pages
or
subjects,
And
law
cases.
you
when
and
of police
hardly
think
the newspapers,
of
you
read
beings
incalculable
the
of
all
number
die,
to
humanity,
so
up and
grow
say
who
"

"

know
sorrow,
and consume,
who
work
who
think and create outside the few encumbering
have
been so magnified
that
personages
who
is hidden by their shadows, enlarged
humanity
by our ignorance.

And

yet
to

matter

as

soon

we

as

life itself,

as

at
glance
society, we
infinitesimal part played

pass

soon

from

as

we

are

printed
throw
a
by
the

struck
by the Government.
how
Balzac
already
millions
remarked
of
the whole of their lives withpeasants
spend
out
knowing
the
about the State, save
anything
heavy taxes they are compelled
to pay.
Eyery
day millions of transactions are
made
without

Government
them
"

intervention,

those of

commerce

and

the

greatest of
of the Exchange
ment
that the Governto if one
of the

and
in
a
carried
such
way
could not be appealed
the intention
contracting parties had
of not
fulfilling his agreement.
Should
you speak to
are

"

on

he will tell
commerce,
who understands
business transacted
by
you that the everyday
merchants
would be absolutely impossible were
a

man

it not based on mutual


confidence.
of keeping his word, the desire not

The

habit

to lose his

44

BREAD

suffice to maintain
does
man
who

credit, amply
honesty.
The
slightest

OF

CONQUEST

THE

remorse

when
drugs

this relative
feel the
not
his customers

poisoning
covered
pompous
with
noxious
with
labels, thinks he is in honour bound to keep his
But
if this relative morality
engagements.
has developed
present conditions, when
under
is the only incentive and the only
enrichment
doubt its rapid
we
progress
aim, can
when
appropriation
of the fruits of others' labour
will no longer be the basis of society ?
Another

striking

characterizes
in favour of

fact,

which

especially
still more

our

generation, speaks
ideas.
It is the continual
our
due to
field of enterprise
extension
of the
ment
developprivate initiative, and the prodigious
We
of free organizations
of all kinds.
shall discuss this
devoted
to
Free

more

at length

in the chapter
Suffice it to

Agreement.
that the facts are
so
numerous
mention
and so
that they
the essence
are
customary
of the
half of the nineteenth
even
second
century,
though
political and
socialist writers ignore
them, always preferring to talk to us about the
functions of the Government.
These
free
infinitely
organizations,
and
varied,

are

so

civilization ;
federate
with
necessary
the needs

an
natural
they
expand
so

result

much
of the

of civilized

man

ease

of our
rapidly
and
they
are
so

outcome
so

continual
growth
lastly,
they
; and

of
so

ference,
interadvantageously
replace
governmental
in them
that
we
a
must
recognize
factor of growing
importance
in the life of

COMMUNISM

ANARCHIST

45

If they do not yet spread over


the
of life, it is that
whole
of the manifestations
find an
insurmountable
they
obstacle in the
in the divisions of
of the worker,
poverty
of
present society, in the private appropriation
in the
State.
Abolish
these
capital,
and
societies.

covering the
obstacles, and you will see them
immense
field of civilized man's
activity.
The history of the last fifty years furnishes
Government
that Representative
a living proof
is impotent
to discharge
all the functions we
have sought to assign to it. In days to come
the nineteenth
century will be quoted as having
witnessed the failure of parliamentarianism.
This impotence
is becoming
so
evident to all ;
the faults
the
of parliamentarianism,
and
inherent vices of the representative
principle,
few
thinkers who
are
so
self-evident, that the
have made
a critical study
(J.S. Mill,
of them
Leverdays),did but give literary form to the
dissatisfaction.
It is not
difficult,
popular
indeed, to see the absurdity
few
a
of naming
'*
laws reguMake
to them,
men
and saying
lating
all
one

our

spheres of activity, although


"
knows
anything
about them !

of you
We
beginning
are

means
majorities

by
that government
abandoning
all the affairs of
to

see

to the tide-waiters

the country

in the

House

majorities
; to

those,

in

opinion of their own.


Mankind
is seeking and
issues.
The
International
railway

not

unions,

and

who make
up the
mittees
and in election comhave no
word,
who

already finding new


Postal Union,
the
the learned societies give

CONQUEST

THE

46

OF

BEEAD

ment
examples
of solutions based on free agreein place and stead of law.
To-day,
groups
scattered far and wide
when
for some
or
wisli to organize themselves
us

object

other, they

no

longer

international

an

parelect
liament
They
proceed
of Jacks-of-all-trades.
it
is
Where
in a different way.
not possible to
by correto an agreement
directly or come
meet
spondence,
in
delegates versed
the question at

issue
to

are

come

sent, and they are


to an
agreement

told:
on

'^Endeavour

such

or

such a
law in

not with a
and then return,
your pocket, but with a proposition
ment
of agreeor
we
may
not accept."
may
which
is the method
Such
of the great industrial
the learned societies, and numerous
companies,
associations of every descripiton, which already
Europe and the United States. And such
cover
A society
will be the method
of a free society.
founded on serfdom
is in keeping with absolute
a
monarchy;
society based on the wage
system

question,

and

by the capithe exploitation of the masses


talists
finds its political expression
in parlia-

But
free society, regaining
a
mentarianism.
inheritance,
possession
of the common
must
free federations of
seek, in free groups
and
in harmony
a
new
groups,
organization,
with
the new
economic
phase of history.
Every
economic
phase has a political phase
to it, and it
corresponding
would be impossible
to touch private property
unless a new
mode
of
time.
political life be found at the same

IV

CHAPTER
EXPROPRIATION

I
It is told of Rothschild
that, seeing his fortune
hj the ReYohition
threatened
of 1848, he hit
'*I am
the following
quite
upon
stratagem:
fortune
said he, ''that my
willing to admit,"
has been accumulated
at the expense
of others ;
divided to-morrow
but if it were
the millions
among
of Europe,
to four
amount
undertake
if he asks

Having
our

the

only
of each would
Very well, then, I
shillings.
to render
to each his four shillings

me

share

for it."

given

due

publicity

to his promise,
usual to stroll

as
millionaire
proceeded
Three
the streets of Frankfort.
quietly through
four passers-by asked for their four shillings,
or

he disbursed with a sardonic smile.


His
which
stratagem
succeeded, and the family of the millionaire
is still in possession of its wealth.
It is in much
fashion that the
the same
heads among
the middle
classes reason
shrewd
I know
tbey say, ''Ah, Expropriation!
when
You
that means.
take all the overcoats
what

48

THE

OF

CONQUEST

BREAD

and lay them in a heap, and every one is free to


help himself and fight for the best/'
irrelevant as well as
But 8uch
jests are
is not a redistribution
flippant. What
we
want
although it must be said that even
of overcoats,
folk would
in such a case,
see
the shivering
in it. Nor do we want
to divide up
advantage
do
What
we
the wealth of the Kothschilds.
is so to arrange
things that, every human
want
being born into the world shall be ensured the
in the first instance of learning
opportunity,
some
skilled
useful occupation, and of becoming
in it; and next, that he shall be free to work
or
at his trade without
asking leave of master
handing
to landlord
owner,
over
and without
he proor
duces.
capitalist the lion's share of what
held by the E-othAs to the wealth
it will serve
to
us
schilds or the Vanderbilts,
organize our
day
The

of communal
production.
labourer
till the
the
may
when
he
half of what
away
paying
ground
without
the machines
necessary
produces, the day when
to prepare
the soil for rich harvests are at the
free disposal of the cultivators, the day when
the worker

system

in the factory

produces

for the community


that day will

and not the monopolist


see
the workers
clothed and fed, and there will
be no more
Rothschilds
or
other exploiters.
No one
will then have to sell his working
power for a wage that only represents a fraction
"

of what he produces.
**
So far so good,"
will have Rothschilds

How

are

you

"

say

to prevent

our

coming
a

critics,
in from

person

from

but

you

outside.
amassing

EXPEOPEIATION

49

millions in China, and then settling amongst


How
to prevent
are
you?
you going
such a
from
himself with
lackeys
one
surrounding
from
them
and
wage-slaves
exploiting
and
himself
?
at their expense
enriching
"
You
bring about a revolution all
cannot
Well, then
the world at the same
over
time.
"

"

to
you going
frontiers to
your
are

on
establish custom-houses
enter your
search all who
they bring
country
and confiscate the money
firing on
Anarchist
them?
with
policemen
"
travellers would be a fine spectacle!
"

there is a
of this argument
it have never
Those who propound
great error.
the fortunes of
come
paused to inquire whence
however,
little thought
A
the rich.
would,
them
that these fortunes have
suffice to show
in the poverty
their beginnings
of the poor.
When
there are no longer any destitute, there
will no longer be any rich to exploit them.
Let us glance for a moment
at the Middle
Ages, when
great fortunes began to spring up.
A feudal baron seizes on a fertile valley. But
as long as the fertile valley is empty
of folk our
His
land brings him in
baron is not rich.
nothing ; he might as well possess a property in
But

at the root

the moon.
does our
baron do to enrich himself?
What
for poor peasants !
He looks out for peasants
If every peasant-farmer
had a piece of land,
free from rent and taxes, if he had in addition
for farm
the tools and
the stock necessary
labour
Who
the lands of the
plough
would
baron?
Everyone
look after his own.
would
"

"

50

OF

CONQUEST

THE

BREAD

thousands
of destitute persons
drought, or pestilence. They
or
ruined by wars,
have neither horse nor plough.
(Ironwas very
But

there

are

costly in the Middle

Ages,

still more
so.)
All these destitute
better their condition.
road at the confines
to

who

One

day
our

they

to

trying

are

creatures

of
indicating

see

baron's

on

the

estate

by

signs
certain
the
that
comprehension

notice-board
adapted
labourer

draught-horse

and

their
is willing

to settle

on

this estate
to build his

will receive the tools and materials


his fields, and a portion
cottage and sow

of land
The
rent free for a certain number
of years.
is represented
by so many
number
of years
crosses

the

on

sign-board,

and
of these

the

peasant

the meaning
crosses.
understands
to settle on
So the poor wretches
come
the
They
baron's lands.
roads, drain the
make
In nine or ten years
build villages.
marshes,
Five years later
the baron begins to tax them.

he doubles it, and


Then
he increases the rent.
these
new
the
accepts
conditions
peasant
because
he cannot
find better ones
elsewhere.

Little by

little, with

by
the aid of laws made
^he barons, the poverty of the peasant becomes
he source
And
it is
of the landlord's wealth.
only the lord of the manor
who preys upon
him.
A
host of usurers
down
whole
swoop
upon the villages, multiplexing as the wretchedness
increases.
That is how
of the peasants
not

these

things

happened

in

the

Middle

Ages.

61

EXPROPEIATION

If
is it not still tlie same
thing?
free lands which the peasant could
there were
he pay "50 to
cultivate if he pleased, would
*'
"*
for condescending
some
shabble of a Duke
he burden
himself
Xo sell him a scrap ? Would
a
third of the
with a lease which
absorbed
he
the metayer
on
system
produce ? Would
to give the half of his harvest to the
consent
landowner?
But he has nothing.
So he will accept any
keep body and soul
conditions, if only he can
together, while he tillsthe soil and enriches the
landlord.
So in the nineteenth century, justas in the
Middle Ages, the poverty of the peasant is a
source
of wealth to the landed proprietor.
And

to-day

"

"

II
The

landlord

owes

his riches to the poverty


the wealth of the capitalist

of the peasants, and


from the same
source.
comes
Take the case
of a citizen of the middle class,
or
sion
other finds himself in posseswho somehow
He could, of course,
spend
of "20,000.
his money
at the rate of "2,000 a year, a mere
bagatelle in these days of fantastic, senseless
"

"

of a Duke
Carlyle ; it is a somewhat
"
le Vicomte,"
Monsieur
Shabble

meaning.

"

"

is

free

but

an

by
coined
of Kropotkine's
his
it expresses

expression

rendering
I think

Trcme.

d2

OF

CONQUEST

THE

52

BEEAD

he would have nothing left


''
being
a
So,
ten
the
practical
years.
end of
at
he prefers to keep his fortune intact,
person,"
littleannual income
and win for himself a snug

luxury.

But

then

as

well.
This is very easy in our
society, for the good
that tlae towns
reason
with
and villages swarm
to live
have not the wherewithal
who
workers
So our
fortnight.
for a month,
a
even
or
banks
The
citizen starts a factory.
worthy
hasten to lend hini another "20,000, especially
"
if he has a reputation for *' business ability
;
he can
the
command
and with this round sum
labour of five hundred
hands.
If all the men
in the countryside
and women
had their daily bread assured, and their
daily needs already satisfied, who would
work
for our
a
capitalist at a wage
of half a crown
day, while the commodities
one
produces in a
day sell in the market for a crown
?
or
more
Unhappily
poor

quarters

know

we

"

of

our

it all too well


the
towns
neighbourand the ing
"

full of needy
wretches,
whose
for
bread.
So,
before
the
children
clamour
factory is well finished, the workers
hasten to
Where
a hundred
are
offer themselves.
required
besiege the doors, and from the
three hundred
villages

are

if he only
time his mill is started, the owner,
has average business capacities, will clear "40
he employs.
a
year out of each mill-hand
is thus able to lay by a snug littlefortune ;
and if he chooses a lucrative trade, and has
"business
increase his
talents," he will soon

He

53

EXPROPEIATION
by doubling

income

exploits.
So be becomes

He

can
"

of the

tbe number

personage
afford to give dinners
to tbe local magnates,

men

lie

of importance.
to other personages
tbe civic, legal,
be can
bis money

and political dignitaries. With


"
*'
; by and by be may
money
pick and
marry
later
on
perhaps
cboose places for bis cbildren, and
from
Government
the
get something
good
for tbe police.
for the
a
or
contract
army
His gold breeds gold; till at last a war,
or

"

even

Stock

rumour

of

Exchange,

or

war,

gives

on

speculation
him
his great

tbe

tunity.
oppor-

in the
Nine-tenths of the great fortunes made
United States are (asHenry
George has shown
**
in his
Social Problems'') the
of
result
knavery
by
large
State.
on
a
the
scale, assisted
in
In Europe, nine-tenths of tbe fortunes made

have tbe same


and republics
monarchies
There are not two ways
a
of becoming
origin.
millionaire.
This is the secret of wealth : find the starving
and make
and destitute, pay them half a crown,
in the day,
five shillings worth
them
produce
crease
fortune by these means,
amass
a
and then inlucky speculation, made
it by some
with
tbe help of tbe State.
our

Need

we

go
by

attributed
and frugality,
in

to

speak

of

the

small fortunes
to forethought

economists
know
that
we
when
in nothing,
itself brings

the pence
famishing?
as

on

saved

are

not

used

mere
so

to exploit

sav-

ing
long
the

OF

CONQUEST

THE

54

BREAD

Grant that
for instance.
shoemaker,
is well paid, that he has plenty oi
his work
that by dint of strict frugality
custom,
and
Take

he

contrives

two

shillings

to lay by
a

day,

from

pence

eighteen
two

perhaps

to

pounds

month.
is never
ill,that he
Grant that our shoemaker
does not half starve himself, in spite of his passion
for economy;
or
that he does not marry
that he has no children; that he does not die of
consumption

; suppose

and

anything

everything

you please !
Well,
at the

age of fifty he will not have


together "800;
scraped
and he will not have
to live on during his old age, when
he is
enough
Assuredly
this is not how fortunes
past work.
But suppose our
are
soon
as
made.
shoemaker,
he has laid by a few pence, thriftily conveys
as
them to the savings bank, and that the savings
bank lends them
to the capitalist who
is just

about

to

poor.

'^

employ
Then
our

labour,*' i.e.,to exploit the


takes an apprenshoemaker
tice,

the child of some


poor wretch, who
will
think himself lucky if in five years' time his
has learned the trade and is
son
his
able to earn

living.
Meanwhile
our
shoemaker
him, and if trade is brisk he
and then
take two

a
or

does

takes

soon

third apprentice.
three working
men

By

lose by

not

and

second,
by he will

poor wretches,
for work
a day
and if our
maker
shoe"

thankful to receive half a crown


that is worth
five shillings,
''
is
in luck," that is to
say, if he is keen

56

EXPEOPRIATION

and
enough, his working men
enougli and mean
pound
apprentices will bring him in nearly one
day, over
a
of his own
and above the product
He
can
then enlarge his business.
toil. He
rich, and no longer have
will gradually become
in the necessaries of
snug little fortune to his

to stint himsef

need
life. He

any

will leave

son.

is what people call ''being economical


At
habits.''
having
frugal,
temperate

That
and
bottom

it is nothing

the face of the poor.


Commerce
seems
an

''Such

man,"

nor

more

we

less than

this rule.
tea in
told, "buys
to

exception
are

China, brings it to France,

grinding

and

realizes

profit
He
outlay.

of thirty per cent, on his original


has exploited nobody."
If
is quite similar.
Nevertheless
the case
had carried his bales on his back,
our
merchant
good !
exactly how

well and
was

and

so

no

one

In early medieval
foreign trade was

reached
days.

times

that

conducted,
tune
heights of for-

such giddy
Very few and

very hardly
the gold coins which
the medieval
earned were
long and dangerous
from
a
merchant
gained
less the love of money
It was
than the
voyage.
thirst of travel and adventure
that inspired his
as

in

our

undertakings.
Nowadays

is simpler.
A merthe method
chant
who has some
capital need not stir from
He telegraphs to
his desk to become
wealthy.
tons of
an
agent telling him to buy a hundred

THE

66

CONQUEST

OF

BEEAD

few weeks, in
sliip, and in a
if it is a sailing ship, the vessel
three months
He does not even
take
brings him his cargo.
the risks of the voyage, for his tea and his vessel
four thouinsured, and if he has expended
sand
are
he will receive more
than five or
pounds
that is to say, if he has not
six thousand;
in some
to speculate
novel commodities,
attempted
he
in which
runs
a
case
chance
of
his fortune or losing it altoeither doubling
gether.
tea;

lie freiglits

Now,

could he find men


willing to cross
the sea, to travel to China and back, to endure
hardship and slavish toil and to risk their lives
for a miserable
How
could he find
pittance?
dock labourers willing to load and unload his
How?
Because
ships for '^starvation wages'*?
Go to the seathey are needy and starving.
ports,
how

on
the
visit the cook-shops
and taverns
have come
quays, and look at these men
who
to hire themselves,
the dockcrowding
round
besiege
from
they
gates, which
early dawn,
hoping
to be allowed
to work
the vessels.
on
Look at these sailors, happy
to be hired for a
long voyage,
after weeks and months
of waiting.
All their lives long they have gone to the
in ships, and they will sail in
sea
others still,
until they have perished in the waves.
Enter their homes,
look at their wives
and
knows
children in rags, living one
not how till
the father's return,
the
and
you
will have
answer

to the question.

Multiply

vou
choose them
examples,
where
will, consider the origin of all fortunes, large or

67

EXPEOPEIATION
arising out of
the land.
or

small, whether

finance,

commerce,

Everywhere
you
manufactures,
springs
will find that the wealth of the wealthy
This is why
from the poverty of the poor.
an
anarchist society need not fear the advent of a
If
settle in its midst.
who would
knows
that
member
of the community
few hours of productive toil he will have

Rothschild
every

after
a

right to all the pleasures


and to those deeper

that civilization procures,


sources

of

enjoyment

science offer to all who

which art and


seek them,
for a starvation
he will not sell his strength
No one
wage.
will volunteer to work for tJie
Rothschild.
His golden
enrichment
of your
guineas will be only so many
pieces of metal
but incapable
useful for various purposes,
of
breeding
more.
"

In answering
the

man

any
"

Our

time

same

have at
the above
we
objection
indicated the scope of Expropriation.

It must apply to everything


that enables
be he financier, mill-owner,
lord
landor
"

to appropriate

formula

the product

is simple

of others' toil.

comprehensive.
do not want
We
to rob any one
of his coat,
but we
wish to giTe to the workers
all those
things the lack of which
fall an
them
makes

and

prey to the exploiter, and we


will do our
that none
utmost
shall lack aught, that not a
single man
shall be forced to sell the strength of
his right arm
to obtain a bare
subsistence for
himself and his babes.
This is what we
mean
easy

when

duty

talk of Expropriation;
this will be our
during the Revolution,
for whose coming
we

THE

58

COJSTQUEST

look, not two


very soon.
we

hundred

OF

BREAD

years hence, but

soon,

Ill
in general and of
ideas of Anarchism
Expropriation
in particular find much
more
are
than we
among
sympathy
apt to imagine
men
of independent
character, and those for
ideal.
idleness is not
the
supreme
whom
Still," our friends often warn
us,
take care
be
cannot
you do not go too far ! Humanity
in a day, so do not be in too great a
changed
hurry with your schemes of Expropriation
and
Anarchy,
or you
will be in danger of achieving
no
permanent
result.''
Now, what we fear with regard to Expropriation
is exactly the contrary.
We
are
afraid of
priation
not going far enough,
of carrying out Exprotoo small a scale to be lasting. AVe
on
have
impulse
the
not
would
revolutionary
arrested in mid-career, to exhaust itself in half
measures,
no
one,
content
which
would
and
in
a
tremendous
while
producing
confusion
its customary
society, and stopping
activities,
have
no
would
vital power
would
merely
discontent
inevitably
spread general
and
prepare
the way for the triumph of reaction.
There are,
in fact, in a modern
State established
it
is
sible
relations which
practically imposto m.odify if one
attacks them
only in
detail. There are wheels within
wheels in our
The

"

"

"

59

EXPEOPRIATION

is so
the
machinery
organization
one
that no
part
complex
and interdependent
disturbing
be modified
the whole.
can
without
is
This becomes
as
an
attempt
clear as soon
to expropriate
anything.
made
Let us suppose
a
that in a certain country
is eft'ected. For
limited form of expropriation
more
that, as it has been suggested
example,
lords
than 01) ce, only the property
of the great landis socialized, whilst the factories are left
economic

"

or
that, in a certain city, house property
untouched;
is taken over
by the Commune,
but everything
; or that,
else is left to private ownership
in some
centre, the factories are
manufacturing

communalized,

with.
The

but

the

land

is not

interfered

-a
result would follow in each caseindustrial
system,
of the
shattering
it on
the means
new
of reorganizing

same

terrible

without
lines. Industry

lock,
and finance would be at a deadto the first principles of
yet a return
have
been
justicewould
not
achieved,
and
find
itself
to
society would
construct
powerless
a harmonious
whole.
If agriculture
freed from
owners,
were
great landslave
the bondwhile industry stillremained
of the capitalist, the merchant,
and the
banker,
be accomplished.
The
nothing
would
to pay
peasant
suffers to-day not only in having
on
rent to the landlord; he is oppressed
all hands
by existing conditions.
He is exploited by the
him pay half a crown
tradesman,
for
who makes
a
by the labour spent
spade which,
measured
it, is not worth more
on
He is
than sixpence.

60

THE

0^

CONQUEST

BREAD

taxed by the State, which caniiot do withcHit its


hierarchy
formidable
of officials, and finds it
to maintain
an
army,
necessary
expensive
because the traders of all nations are perpetually
fighting for the markets,
and any day a little

of some
arising from the exploitation
result in war.
part of Asia or Africa may
Then
the peasant
the
suffers from
again
depopulation
places : the
young
of country
to
large
the
people are attracted
manufacturing
by the bait of high
towns
porarily
paid temwages
by the producers
of articles of luxury,

quarrel

stirring life.
trial
The artificial protection of industry, the indusexploitation of foreign countries, the prevalence
difficulty of
of
stock- jobbing, the
improving
the soil and the machinery
of duction
proall these agencies combine
nowadays
to work
against agriculture, which is burdened
not only by rent, but by the whole
of
complex
on
conditions in a society based
exploitation.
Thus, even
if the expropriation
of land were
free to till
were
accomplished,
and every one
the soil and
tage,
cultivate it to the best advanor

by

the attractions

of

more

"

even
rent,
paying
without
agriculture,
it should
by no
can
though
enjoy which
be taken
for granted
means
a
momentary
fall back into the slough
prosperity, would soon
"

"

in which it finds itself to-day.


have to be begun
over
would
difficulties.
The
converse

The

whole thing
crease
again, with in-

Take the
holds true of industry.
case
: instead
the agriculof turning
tural
labourers into peasant-proprietors,
make
same

61

EXPEOPRIATION

in them.
tLe factories to those who
work
but leave
Abolish
the master-manufacturers,
his money,
the landlord Lis land, the banker
his Exchange
the swarm
th e merchant
; maintain
live on the toil of the workmen,
of idlers who
the State
one
the thousand
middlemen,
and
industryits numberless
officials, and
with
over

"

no
purchasers
standstill. Finding
in the mass
remain
who
would
of peasants
material, and
poor ; not possessing the raw
to
on
their produce,
partly
export
unable
account
of the stoppage of trade, and still more
because industries spread all over
the world,
so

would

to

come

the manufacturers
would feel unable to struggle,
and thousands
of workers would be thrown upon
These
be
the streets.
starving crowds
would
ready

and

willing
to

to submit

to the first schemer

they would
themj
even
to return
to the old slavery,
consent
under
promise of guaranteed
work.
Or, finally, suppose you oust the landowners,
over
the mills and factories to the
and hand
worker, without interfering with the swarm
of
manumiddlemen
who drain the product of our
facturers,
and speculate in corn
and flour, meat
and groceries, in our
great centres of commerce.
Then,
is
as
as
soon
the exchange
of produce
left
as
soon
as
the great cities are
slackened;
bread, while the great manufacturing
without
find no buyers for the articles of luxury
centres
they produce,
is bound
the counter-revolution
to take place, and it
treading upon
would come,
who

came

exploit

"

the slain, sweeping


the towns
and villages with
in orgies of proscripshot and shell; indulging

THE

62

OF

CONQUEST

BREAD

in
deportations,
seen
tions and
such as were
in 1815, 1848, and 1871.
France
in a civilized society;
All is interdependent
it is impossible to reform any one thing without
Therefore, on the day a
altering the whole.

under
will strike at private property,
of its forms, territorial or industrial, it
any one
all. The very
will be obliged to attack them
it.
success
will impose
of the Revolution
desired, it would
be
if it were
Besides, even

nation

impossible

to

to a partial
the change
Once
the
the
of
principle
"
is shaken,
no
of Propertj^

confine

expropriation.
'*
Right
Divine

its overthrow,
of theorizing
will prevent
here by the slaves of the field, there by
the slaves of the machine.
amount

If

Paris for example,


to
were
great town,
ing
confine itself to taking possession of the dwellhouses or the factories, it would
be forced
also to deny the right of the bankers to levy
a

the
"2,000,000,

Commune

tax

to
amounting
in the form of interest for former
loans.
The great city would be obliged to put
itself in touch with the rural districts, and its
influence would inevitably urge the peasants to
free themselves
from the landowner.
It would
be necessary
to communalize
the railways, that

upon

the citizens might get food and work, and lastly,


to prevent
the waste
of sup])lies; and to guard
against the trusts of corn-speculators, like those
to whom
the Paris Commune
of 1793 fell a prey,
it would have to place in the hands of the City
the work
of stocking its warehouses
with commodities
the produce.
and apportioning

63

EXPROPRIATION

to estabSocialists still seek, however,


lish
Of course,"
distinction.
they say,
a
"the
tures
soil, the mines, the mills, and manufacstrume
be expropriated,
these are
the inmust
it is right we
and
of production,

Some

'^^

But
them
property.
public
should
consider
food, clothes, and
articles
of consumption
'^
dwellings
private property.
should remain
has got the better of
Popular
common
sense
"

"

We
are
this subtle distinction.
not savages
live in the woods, without other shelter
who can
The civilized man
than the branches.
needs a
It is true that
a bed.
a hearth, and
roof, a room,
the bed, the room,
of
and the house is a home
But
idleness for the non-producer.
for the
worker, a room,
properly heated and lighted, is
instrument
as
an
as
the tool
of production
much
It is the place where
or
the machine.
the
nerves

and

gather strength for the work


is the
The rest of the workman
of the machine.

sinews

of the morrow.
daily repairing
The
same
argument
to
food.
The
obviously

applies

even

more

so-called economists,
the
just-mentioned distinction,
make
who
in a
deny
hardly
that the coal burnt
would
is as necessary
to production
as
the
machine
food, withthen can
raw
material itself. How
out
human
do
the
no
machine
could
which
from the list of things indispensable
work, be excluded
Can this be a relic
to the producer?
The rich man's
feast
of religious metaphysics?
is indeed a matter
of luxury, but the food of the
is justas much
a
part of production
worker
the fuel burnt by the steam-engine.

as

64

THE

CONQUEST

OF

BREAD

The same
are
not New
witli clotliing. We
Guinea
if the dainty gowns
And
of
savages.
ladies
luxury,
our
there
must
rank as objects
of
is nevertheless
a
certain
of linen,
quantity
is a necessity of
cotton, and woollen stuff which
life to the producer.
The shirt and trousers in
he goes to his work, the jackethe slips
which
as
are
after the day's toil is over,
necessary
to him as the hammer
to the anvil.
"Whether we like it or not, this is what the
by a revolution.
As soon
as
they
people mean
have made
a
clean sweep
of the Government,

on

to themselves
they will seek first of all to ensure
decent dwellings and sufficient food and clothes
free of capitalist rent.
The methods
And
the people will be right.
in accordance
more
of the people will be much

"

science than those of the economists


who
instruments
between
distinctions
so
many
The
and articles of consumption.
of production
that this is just the point
people understand

with
draw

the Revolution
ought to begin ; and they
of the only economic
will lay the foundations
name
the
a
science
science
worthy
which
"
The
Study
Needs
be
:
called
might
of the
of
Economic
Means
Humanity^
to
the
and

where

"

of

satisfythem,'*

CHAPTER
FOOD

lution,
Revolution is to be a Social Revofrom all former
it will be distinguished

If the coming
uprisings
methods.

not

To

only

by

attain

its aim,
new

end,

but
new

also by
means

its
are

required.
The three great popular movements
which we
in France
have seen
during
the last hundred
years

differ from each


have one
common

other in many
feature.

ways,

but

they
In each case the people strove to overturn
the
old regime, and spent their heart's blood for the
Then, after having borne the brunt of
cause.
A.
the battle, they sank again into obscurity.
less
Government,
more
or
composed
of men
honest, was
formed
to organize
and undertook
a

new

1848,

regime : the Republic


Commune
Ihe Free

in 1793, Labour
in
in 1871.
Imbued

ideas, this Government


with Jacobin
occupied
itself firstof all with political questions, such as
the reorganization
of the machinery
of government,
the purifying
the
of the administration,
separation
and State, civic liberty,
of Church
It is true the workmen's
and such matters.

66

clubs kept
Government,
But
them.

OF

CONQUEST

THE
an

tlie members
of tbe new
their ideas on
often imposed
in these clubs, whether
the
on

eye

and
even

leaders belonged
classes, it

BREAD

to the middle

to the

or

was

working
ideas

middle-class
always
They
discussed
tical
various poliw^hich prevailed.
length,
but
forgot
to
at great
questions
discuss the question of bread.

Great ideas sprang


up at such times, ideas
the world; words were
that have moved
spoken
hearts,
interval
at the
of
still stir our
which
But
the
more
a
than
were
century.
people
starving in the slums.
From
lution
the very commencement
of the Revoindustry inevitably came
to a stop
the
"

circulation

of produce
itself. The

was

and capital
checked,
the employer
master
concealed
had nothing
to fear at such times, he battened
his dividends, if indeed he did not speculate
on
on
earner

the

wretchedness
was

"

"

around;
to live from

but

hand

the

wage-

to mouth.

reduced
at the door.
Famine
was
abroad in the land
such famine
hardly been seen
as had
under the old regime.
''The
Girondists are starving us!'' was
the
in 1793, and
cry in the workmen's
quarters
the Girondists were
thereupon
guillotined, and
"
''
full powers were
the Mountain
given to
and
to the Commune.
The Commune
indeed concerned
itself with the question
of bread, and
heroic efforts to feed Paris.
At Lyons,
made
Fouche
Collot d'Herbois
established
city
and
but
filling them
the sums
granaries,
spent on
insufficient. The town
were
woefully
councils

"Want knocked

"

67

FOOD

bakers
great efforts to procure corn; the
made
hanged
flour were
and still the
who hoarded
people lacked bread.
Then they turned on the royalist conspirators
They guilat their door.
lotined
and laid the blame
day
fifteen
dozen or
a
a
servants
and
for
the
duchesses
alike, especially servants,
But if they
duchesses had gone to Coblentz.
dukes and viscounts
had guillotined a hundred
less.
have been equally hopeevery day, it would
"

"

For the wage-earner


only grew.
live without his wage, and the wage was
cannot
difference could
forthcoming.
What
not
less make
to him ?
or
thousand corpses more
The

want

''
So
the people began to grow weary.
You are
for your vaunted
Revolution!
much
before,'* whispered
more
than ever
wretched
And
the reactionary in the ears of the worker.
little by little the rich took courage, emerged
from
their hiding-places,
and flaunted their
luxury in the face of the starving multitude.
They
dressed up like scented fops and said to

Then

"
ComCj
the workers:
of this foolery!
enough
have you gained by your Revolution ? "
What
And,
at an
sick at heart, his patience
end,
had at last to admit to himself
the revolutionary
lost once
He
was
that the cause
more.
retreated into his hovel and awaited the worst.

Then

reaction proudly
asserted itself, and
a
accomplished
counter-revolutionary
stroke.
The Revolution
dead, nothing remained
but to
trample its corpse under foot.

The

AVhite

Terror

began.

Blood

flowed like
e2

68
water,

THE

OF

CONQUEST

tlie guillotine

were

BREAD

idle, the prisons


the pageant
of rank and

was

never

crowded,
while
its old course,
fashion resumed
and went on as
merrily as before.
This picture is typical of all our revolutions.
"
In 1848 the workers
three
of Paris placed
'*
at the service of the
of starvation
months
E/Cpublic, and then, having
the limit
reached
in June, one
last
they made,
of their powers,
drowned
desperate effort an effort which
was
In 1871 the Commune
in blood.
perished for
for
It had taken measures
lack of combatants.
State, but it
the separation
of Church
and
neglected, alas, until too late, to take measures
it
for providing the people with bread.
And
so
to pass in Paris that elegantes and fine
came
the confederates,
gentlemen
and
could spurn
for
bid them
lives
a
go sell their
miserable
"
leave
feast at
^'betters
to
their
pittance, and
in fashionable
their ease
restaurants.
At last the Commune
its mistake,
saw
and
But it was
kitchens.
too
opened
communal
late.
Its days were
already numbered,
and
"

the troops

of Versailles

were

the ramparts.

on

it is bread
''Bread,
Hevolution
that the
"
needs !
Let
in
issuing
their time
spend
others
in decorating
selves
thempompous
proclamations,
lavishly with official gold lace, and in
talking about political liberty !
Be it ours
from the first day of the
to see,
Hevolutionto
ing
the last, in all the provinces fightfor freedom,
that there is not a single man
.

69

FOOD

lacks bread, not a single woman


compelled
to stand with
the wearied
outside the
crowd
loaf may
bakehouse-door,
that haply a coarse
be thrown
to her in charity, not a single child
of food.
pining for want
It has always
been the middle-class idea to
harangue
great lies
about
great principles'*

who

**

"

rather !
The idea of the people will be to provide bread
for all. And
citizens, and
while middle-class
ideas
infested
workmen
middle-class
with
**
Talking
their own
admire
rhetoric in the
Shops,'* and "practical
people'* are
engaged

in endless discussions on forms of government,


"
Utopian
dreamers"
the
we,
we
shall have
to consider the question of daily bread.
We
have the temerity to declare that all have
for
a right to bread, that there is bread
enough
"

all, and that with


All the Revolution

of Bread

this watchword
will triumph.

foi

II
That

Utopian

we
are

are
we

Utopians
that

we

that the Revolution

is well known.
So
believgo the length of ing
can

and

ought

to

assure

food, and
clothes to all an idea extremely
displeasing
to middle-class
citizens,
their party colour, for they are quite
whatever
alive to the fact that it is not easy to keep the

shelter,

"

70

THE

CONQUEST

hand

upper

of

satisfied.
All the same,
bread
be
must

people

OE

BREAD

whose

hunger

is

we

our
maintain
contention :
found
for the people of the
Revolution,
the question of bread must
and
take precedence
If it is
of all other questions.
in
interests of the
the
the
settled
people,
Revolution
the right road ; for in
will be on
we
solving the question of Bread
must
accept
the
principle
of equality,
which
will force
itself upon
to the exclusion
us
of every other
solution.
It is certain that the coming
Revolution
like in that respect to the Revolution
of 1848
in the middle
us
will burst upon
of a great
industrial crisis. Things
been
have
seething
"

"

for half

bad
new

now,
century
only go from
and can
Everything
to worse.
tends that way
nations entering the lists of international
a

"

trade and fighting for possession of the world's


increasing.
taxes ever
National
wars,
markets,
debts, the insecurity of the morrow,
and huge
in every
corner
colonial undertakings
of the
globe.
There

in
workers
millions of unemployed
Europe
It will be still worse
at this moment.
has burst upon us and spread
Revolution
when
like fire laid to a train of gunpowder.
The
are

as
of the out-of-works
will be doubled
barricades
as
are
and
erected in Europe
is to be done to
What
ITnited States.

number
soon

the

provide these
We
do not
"

ilves

multitudes
with bread?
know
the folk who
call
whether
have ever
asked
practical people
"

71

FOOD

in all its nakedness.


this question
themselves
the
But we do know
that they wish to maintain
therefore expect to
must
system,
and we
wage
"
*'
*'
have
public
and
workshops
national
"
a
means
as
of giving food to
vaunted
works
the unemployed.
Because
national

were
workshops
opened in
were
1789 and 1793; because
the same
means
because
Napoleon
III.
resorted to in 1848;
succeeded in contenting the Parisian proletariat
by
for eighteen
them
giving
years
public
its debt of
Paris
to-day
cost
which
works
tax of three or
"80,000,000,
and its municipal
"

a-head ;* because
"
the beast
taming
method
of
in Egypt
in Rome,
even
and

four

this excellent

pounds

**

years

ago;

and

lastly, because

was

customarv

four thousand
despots, kings,

have
the ruse
always
employed
and emperors
a
scrap of food to the people to
of throwing
it is natural
gain time to snatch up the whip
"
**
men
this
that
extol
practical
should
the wage
system.
of
perpetuating
method
brains when
have
What
we
need to rack our
the time-honoured
at
method
of the Pharaohs
disposal?
our
"

Yet

should

to start

as

In

1848,

on

Revolution
be so misguided
this path, it would be lost.
the

the
when
February

were
national workshops
27, the unemployed
on
opened
of
Paris numbered
fortnight
8,000;
later
a
only
increased
hnd
to 49,000.
They
they
already
*

The
debt
municipal
of
2.266,579.100
francs,
and
121,000.000
francs.

Paris

the

in

amounted
charges

for

1904
to
it were

OF

CONQUEST

THE

72

BREAD

have been 100,000, without


soon
counting
would
in from the provinces.
those who crowded
Yet at that time trade and manufacturers
in
France employed
half as many
hands as to-day.
know
in time of Revolution
And
that
we
industry
exchange
and
suffer most from the
ha\e
We
only to think,
general upheaval.
indeed,

of the number
depends
directly or

of workmen
indirectly

whose

labour

export
upon
in
hands
trade, or of the number
of
employed
luxuries, whose
consumers
are
the
producing
middle-class minority.
A revolution in Europe
means,
then, the unavoidab
least
half the factories
stoppage of at

It means
workshops.
their families thrown

millions of workers
And
the streets.
on
''
"
our
seek to avert this
would
practical men
truly terrible situation by means
of national
that is to say, by means
of new
relief works;
industries created on the spot to give work to
!
the unemployed

and
and

It

is

pointed

evident,
more

out

Proudhon

as

had

already
than fifty years ago, that the
upon
property will bring in its

smallest attack
disorganization
the
train
complete
of the
system based upon
private enterprise and wage
labour.
Society itself will be forced to take
production
people.
day,
a
certain

or

in hand,

in its entirety, and to reorgani


it to meet
the needs
of the whole
But
be accomplished
in
this cannot
even

time

and

in

month

to reorganize

during

the

this time

it must
system

millions

take

of production

of

men

FOOD

73

of subsistence.
of the means
will be deprived
What
then is to be done?
There is only one
really 'practical solution of
boldly
to face the
the problem
great task
which awaits us, and instead of trying to patch
we
up a situation which
ourselves have made
"

untenable,
on

new

to proceed

to reorganize

production

basis.

the really practical course


of action, in
be that the people should take
our
view, would
immediate
possession of all the food of the
insurgent
keeping strict account
communes,
of
it all, that none
be wasted, and that by
might
Thus

the

resources
every
aid of these accumulated
be able to tide over
one
the crisis.
might
have to
During
that time an agreement
would
be made
with the factory workers, the necessary
raw
the means
and
of
material
given them,
to
them, while they worked
subsistence assured
to supply the needs of the agricultural population.
For
forget
that while
we
not
must
France weaves
silks and satins to deck the wives
financiers, the Empress
of German
of Russia,
Islands, and
and the Queen of the Sandwich
Paris fashions wonderful
trinkets and
while
twoplaythings for rich folk all the world over,
have not proper
thirds of the French
peasantry
lamps
to give them
light, or the implements
Lastly, unproduct
necessary for modern
agriculture.
is plenty,
land,
there
of which
have to be turned to the best advantage,
would

yet,
soils enriched, and rich soils, which
do
a
the present
not
system,
under
yield
they might'
tenth of what
nor
a
quarter, no,

poor

BREAD

OF

COIS^QUEST

THE

74

to intensive
be submitted
would
care
as
a
as
tilled with
much
culture, and
market
garden or a flower plot. It is impossible
to imagine
any other practical solution of the
like it or not, sheer
we
and, whether
problem;
force of circumstances
will bring it to pass.

produce,

Ill
The

prominent
characteristic of our
is the wage
present
systeTn, which
capitalism
in brief amounts
to this :
most

"

or

man,

necessary
he

group
of men,
capital, starts some

the
possessing
industrial enterprise;

to supply
the factory or
undertakes
workshops
prowith raw
material, to organize
duction,
to pay the employes
a fixed wage,
and
lastly, to pocket the surplus value or profits,
himself for managunder pretext of recouping
ing
for running
the risks it may
the concern,

involve, and
market
To

for the fluctuations

of the
this
preserve
value

of price in the

wares.

system,

those

who

now

be ready to make
certain
to share, for example,
a part
concessions;
or
of the profits with the workers,
rather to
establish a "sliding scale, "which
would oblige

monopolize

capital would

to raise wages
them
when
brief, they would
consent

prices

were

to certain

high ; in
sacrifices

75

FOOD

to
that they were
condition
still allowed
direct industry and to take its first fruits.
does not abolish
know,
Collectivism, as we
it introduces
though
the wage
system,
derable
consion

into the existing order of


modifications
It only substitutes the State, that is
things.
ment,
Governform
to say, some
of Representative
local, for
the individual
or
national
it is
Under
Collectivism
employer
of labour.
the representatives
of the nation, or
of the
Commune,
and their deputies and officials who
to have the control of industry.
It is they
are
to themselves

the right of ing


employin the interests
the surplus of production
draws
Collectivism
a
of all. Moreover,
very
distinction between
subtle but very far-reaching

who

reserve

"

the work
of the labourer and of the man
who
has learned a craft.
labour in the
Unskilled
eyes of the collectivist is simple labour, while
the work
the mechanic,
the
of the craftsman,
of science, etc., is what
engineer, the man
Marx
calls complex; labour, and is entitled to a

higher

wage.

But

labourers

and

craftsmen,

weavers

men
of science, are
all wageand
"
servants
of the State
all officials," as was
said lately, to gild the pill.
Well,
Revolution
the coming
then,
could
than by
render no
greater service to humanity
in all its forms,
an
the wage
system,
making
impossibility, and by rendering
Communism,
"

which

is the negation

possible solution.
For
even
admitting

of wage-slavery,
that

the

the only

Collectivist

76

THE

OF

CONQUEST

BREAD

is possible,
modification of the present system
if introduced gradually during a period of prosperity
I
for
though
my
and peace
part
tion
quesits practicability even
under
such conditions
it would become
impossible in a period
of Revolution, when the need of feeding hungry
millions would spring up with the first call to
A political revolution
be accomarms.
can
plished
the foundations
of
without
shaking
industry, but a revolution where the people lay
hands
property
upon
will inevitably paralyse
The
exchange
millions of
and
production.
flowing into the Treasury
would
public money
not suffice for paying
wages to the millions of
"

"

out-of-works.
insisted upon ;
This point cannot be too much
basis
a
new
the reorganization
of industry on
(and we shall presently show how tremendous
in a
this problem
is)cannot be accomplished
few days; nor,
the other hand,
on
will the
to be half starved for' years in
people submit
to

the
uphold
oblige the theorists who
To tide over
the period of stress
wage
system.
demand
they
they have
always
will
what
in such
demanded
cases
communization
of
order

"

the giving of rations.


supplies
It will be in vain to preach
The
patience.
longer, and if food
people will be patient no
is not
forthcoming
they
the
will plunder
bakeries.
"

Then,

if the people are not


to
strong enough
they will be shot down,
carry all before them,
to give Collectivism a fair field for
experiment.
To this end '* order " must be maintained
at any

77

FOOD

And
as
order, discipline, obedience !
price
the capitalists will soon
realize tliat wlien the
by those who call themselves
people are shot down
itself
Revolutionists,
Revolution
the
hateful in the eyes of the masses,
will become
"

lend
to
they
their support
will certainly
they
the champions
though
even
of order
are
collectivists. In such a line of conduct, the
ing
of hereafter crushcapitalists will see a means
if
in
And
turn.
their
the collectivists
*'
in this fashion, the consequence
order is established"
Not
foresee.
to
are
content with
easy
the faction of
shooting down the "marauders,"
"

"

"

"order

ringleaders of the
will search out the
They
mob."
will set up again the law courts
The most
ardent
and reinstate the hangman.
It
be
to
the scaffold.
sent
revolutionists will
will be 1793 over
again.
Do

not

let

us

forget how

in tTie last century.


and "the
madmen,"

"

"

those
guillotined
Mignet,
with the memory
of the struggle
him,
upon
still called "Anarchists."

whom
fresh
The

reaction triumphed
First the
Hebertists

Dantonists

soon

were

"

followed

them;

and

when
had guillotined these
the party of Robespierre
in their turn
had
to
they
revolutionaries,
the scaffold; whereupon
the people, sick
lost,
of bloodshed,
and seeing the revolution
threw up the sponge, and let the reactionaries
do their worst.

m.ount

If

''order

democrats
Fabians

is restored,"
hang
the
will

will

hang

the

we

say, the social


the
anarchists;

social democrats,

and

OF

CONQUEST

THE

78

BEEAD

by the reactionaries;
will in their turn be hanged
to an
end.
will come
and the Revolution
But everything
confirms us in the belief that

far
of the people will carry them
the Revolution
takes
and that, when
enough,
Communism
place, the idea of anarchist
will
It is not an
have gained
artificial
ground.
the

energy

idea.

in

our

ever

it
have breathed
people themselves
is
ear,
of communists
and the number
increasing,
the impossibility
as
of any

The

becomes

enough,

evident.
and more
impetus
of the people is strong
affairs will take a very different turn.

Instead

of

day,

people of the
cities will take possession of the warehouses,
in fact of all the
the cattle markets,

other solution
if the
And

more

plundering
starving the

and
insurgent

the
next,

bakers'

shops

one

the

"

provision stores and


The well-intentioned

making

had.

to the task of
themselves
tents
general inventory of the con-

address
rough

of each

If such

to be

citizens, men
and women
into bands of volunthemselves
teers

both, will form


and

of all the food

in
namely,
the Commune

shop

and

warehouse.
breaks out in France,
revolution
Paris, then in twenty-four
hours

Paris has not


will know
what
found out yet, in spite of its statistical committees,
it
did
find
during
never
the
out
and what
the quantity of provisions it consiege ot 1871
tains.
In forty-eight hours millions of copies
"

will be printed
exact

account

of the tables giving a sufficiently


of the available food, the places

79

FOOD

where

it is stored, and

tlie

means

bution.
of distri-

in
of bouses, in every street,
bave
every town
ward, groups of volunteers will
been organized,
teers
volunand these commissariat
in unison
and
will find it easy to work
If only the
keep in touch
with each other.
Jacobin bayonets do not get in the way ; if only
theorists do not
the self-styled "scientific"
in to darken
Or
thrust themselves
counsel !
In

every

block

their muddle-headed
rather let them
expound
as
they
theories as much
they like, provided
have no authority, no power ! And that admirable
inherent
organization
people, above
all in every social grade
French
they have so
nation, but which
spirit of

in

the

of the

seldom
been allowed to exercise, will initiate, even
in
huge a city as Paris, and in the midst of a
so
Revolution, an immense
guild of free workers,
ready to furnish to each and all the necessary
food.

Give the people a free hand, and in ten days


the food service will be conducted
able
with admirOnly
have
those
never
regularity.
who
the people hard at work,
seen
only those who
have
ments,
docutheir lives buried
passed
among
doubt
it. Speak
can
of the organizing
''Great
Misunderstood,"
the
the
genius
of
it in Paris in the
people, to those who have seen
days of the barricades,
in London
during
or
the

dockers'

half a million
strike, when
of starving folk had to be fed, and they will tell
you how superior it is to the olticialineptness of
Bumbledom.
great

80

And

OF

CONQUEST

THE

BREAD

had
to endure
we
a
supposing
certain amount
of discomfort and confusion for
a fortniglit or
a month,
surely that would
not
For the mass
matter very much.
of the people
even

it would
improvement
on
their
still be an
former
of
and, besides, in times
condition;
Revolution
dine
can
one
contentedly
enough
cussing
on
a bit of bread
and cheese while eagerly disevents.

In any

be

case,

taneously
which springs up sponunder stress of immediate
need, will
infinitely preferable to anything
invented

between

sitting

four
on

system

walls

any

number

by

hide-bound

theorists

of committees.

lY.
people of the great towns will be driven
to take possession of
by force of circumstances
with the barest
all the provisions, beginning
The

munism
Comextending
gradually
to other
things, in order to satisfy
it
The
sooner
the needs of all the citizens.
it is done the less
is done the better ; the sooner
there will be and the less strife.
misery
be
But
basis
must
society
upon
what
necessaries,

and

have
in order that all may
their
organized
This is the quesdue share of food produce.
tion
that meets us at the outset.
We
answer
that there are no two ways of it.

FOOD

81

Communism
in which
is only one
way
be established
can
way
equitably, only one
instincts of justice
and is
satisfies our
which
the system
time practical ; namely,
at the same
communes
of
already adopted by the agrarian
Europe.

There

Take

for

example
even

matter

where,
Jacobins
have

commune,
peasant
in France,
where

no

the

their best to destroy all


If the commune
communal
possesses
usage.
long
there is
as
woods
and copses, then, so
for all, every
take
can
one
plenty
of wood
he wants,
as
as
much
other let or
without
hindrance
than the public opinion of his neighbours.
As to the timber-trees, which are always
scarce,

they

done

have

to be carefully

apportioned.
The same
land;
pasture
with the communal
while there is enough
and to spare, no limit is
the cattle of each homestead
put to what
may
to the number
consume,
nor
of beasts grazing
Grazing
are
the pastures.
not
upon
grounds
is fodder doled out, unless there is
divided, nor
All the Swiss communes,
scarcity.
and scores
in France
of thousands
and Germany,
wherever
land, practise this
there is communal
pasture
system.
in the countries of Eastern Europe, where
And
there are great forests and no scarcity of land,
felling the trees as they
you find the peasants
of the soil
need them, and cultivating as much
as they
require, without any thought of limiting
But the
each man's
share of timber or of land.

timber

will be allowanced,
and the land parcelled
household
to
its
to
out,
each
according

82

THE
as

needs,

CONQUEST
soon

OF

BREAD

either becomes
in Russia.

as

scarce,

as

is

already the case


In a word, the system
is this : no
stint or
limit to what the community
possesses in abundance,
but equal sharing and dividing of those
are
or
scarce
commodities
apt to run
which
short. Of the 350 millions who inhabit Europe,
200 millions still follow this system
of natural

Communism.
It is a fact worth remarking
that the same
in the distributi
system
prevails in the great towns
is
at least, which
commodity
of one
in abundance,
the water supplied to each

found
house.
As

long

as

there

is

no

fear of the supply


thinks of
company
in each
of water

water
short, no
the consumption
checking
But during
Take
house.
you please !
what
if there is any fear of the
the great droughts,
know
that
supply failing, the water companies
known
is to make
the fact,
all they have to do
in the papers,
by means
of a short advertisement
and the citizens will reduce their consumption
to waste.
of water and not let it run
But if water were
what would
actually scarce,
Recourse
be done?
would be had to a system

running

Such
of rations.
in common
inherent
asked to be put on

is

so

natural, so
that Paris twice
sense,
rations during the two sieges
a

measure

it underwent
in 1871.
which
to go into details, to prepare
Is it necessary
how the distribution of rations
tables, showing
may
work, to prove that it is just and equit-

83

FOOD

just and equitable than


able, infinitely more
All these tables
the existing state of things?
to convince those of
and details will not serve
the middle
classes, nor,
alas, those of the
tainted with middle-class
workers
prejudices,
as
a
the
ready
people
mob
of
savages
who regard
to fall upon
as
and devour each other, as soon
to direct affairs. But
ceases
the Government
have never
those only who
seen
the people
initiative could
resolve and act on their own
doubt for a moment
that if the masses
were
masters
of the situation, they would distribute
rations to each and all in strictest accordance
with justice
and equity.
in any gatherIf you were
to give utterance,
ing
delicacies
to
that
the opinion
of people,
game
and such-like
should be reserved for the
fastidious palates of aristocratic idlers, and
black bread given to the sick in the hospitals,
But say at the same
be hissed.
you
would
gathering, preach at the street corners
and in
cacies
delithe market places, that the most tempting
ought to be kept for the sick and feeble
especially for the sick. Say that if there are
only five brace. of partridge in the entire city,
case
and only one
of sherry, they should go to
Say that after
sick people and convalescents.
For them the milk
the sick come
the children.
goats
of the cows
and
should be reserved if
for all. To the children
there is not enough
and the aged the last piece of meat, and to the
dry bread, if the community
be
strong man
reduced to that extremity.
Say, in a word, that if this or that article of
"

"

"

f2

84

OF

CONQUEST

THE

BREAD

has to be doled
runs
short, and
consumption
have most
out, to those who
need most should
be given.
Say that and see if you do not meet
with universal agreement.
The man
who is full-fed does not understand
this, but the people do understand,
and have
it ; and even
the child of
always
understood
luxury, if he is thrown
the street and comes
on
into contact with the masses,
he will learn
even
to understand.
The
for
theorists
the
whom
soldier's
barrack
the
table
mess
are
uniform
and
civilisation's last word
would like no doubt to
"

"

Kitchens
regime
of National
and
Spartan
Broth."
They
would point out the
in
thereby
the economy
gained,
advantages
food, if such
fuel and
huge
kitchens
were
for
every one
established,
where
could come
their rations of soup and bread and vegetables.
We
We
do not question these advantages.
have
that important
are
economies
well aware
for
as,
already been achieved in this direction
start

'*

"

instance, when
baker's
oven

the handmill,

attached

to

quern, and the


house
were
each
or

We
can
see
perfectly well that it
abandoned.
to cook broth for a
be more
economical
would
instf^ad of lighting a
families at once,
hundred
know,
besides,
fires. We
hundred
separate
a
there are
thousand
ways
of preparing
huge
but
in
that
one
pot for a
cooked
potatoes,
be justas good.
families they would
hundred
in fact, that variety in cooking
know,
We

that

being
each

matter

cook

or

introduced
by
of the seasoning
housewife,
together
the cooking

FOOD

85

hundredweight
not
of a
of potatoes
would
from
dressing
prevent
each cook or housewife
And
and serving them in any way she pleased.
know
from meat
be
that stock made
we
can
different soups to suit
converted into a hundred
hundred
different tastes.
a
But
facts,

quite aware
of all these
has a right
that no one
we
still maintain
to take her potatoes from
to force the housewife
kitchen
the
ready
cooked if she
communal
pot on
prefers to cook them herself in her own

though

we

are

fire.

And, above all, we


should wish
to be free to take his meals with his
each one
in a
family,
his friends, or
even
or
with
if it seemed
restaurant,
good to him.
large public kitchens will spring
Naturally
her

own

to take

the place of the restaurants,


where
Already
the
nowadays.
people are
poisoned
Parisian housewife
gets the stock for her soup
it into whatfrom the butcher, and transforms
ever
housekeepers
soup she likes, and London
up

have a jointroasted, or an
tart baked
at the baker's for
apple or rhubarb
thus economizing
time and fuel.
a trifling sum,
know

that they

And when
bakehouse

can

kitchen
the common
the communal
is established, and
of the future
the
people can
get their food cooked without
the custom
or
poisoned,
risk of being cheated
doubt become
will no
general of going to the
kitchen for the fundamental
communal
parts of
the meal, leaving the last touches to be added
individual taste shall suggest.
as
But
make

"

"

to make
hard and fast rule of this, to
a
duty
home
food ready
a
our
of taking

86

THE

CONQUEST

OF

BREAD

be as
to our
that would
repugnant
cooked,
the
or
modern
minds as the ideas of the convent
barrack
ideas born in brains warped
morbid
by tyranny
or
superstition.
Who
a
right to the food of the
will have
commune?
will assuredly be the first question
Every
we
which
shall have to ask ourselves.
for itself, and we
township
are
will answer
that the answers
convinced
will all be dictated
by the sentiment
of justice.Until labour is
long as the disturbed period
as
reorganized,
lasts, and while it is impossible to distinguish
between
inveterate idlers and genuine
workers
the available food ought
thrown
out of work,
Those
to be shared by all without
exception.
to the new
have been enemies
order will
who
hasten of their own
accord to rid the commune
But it seems
to us that the
of their presence.
"

have always been


of the people, which
magnanimous,
and have nothing of vindictivein their disposition, will be ready to share
ness
masses

their

bread

with

all who

remain

with them,
It will be no

and conquerors
alike.
conquered
loss to the Revolution
to be inspired by such an
idea, and, when
work is set agoing again, the
antagonists of yesterday will stand side by side
A society where
in the same
work
workshops.
is free will have nothing
to fear from idlers.
**
But provisions will run
!"
short in a month
our
**

critics at
So much

once

exclaim.
better,"
the

say

we.

It will

prove that for the firsttime on record the people


have had enough
As to the question of
to eat.

87

FOOD

obtaining
in
means

fresh supplies, we
our
next chapter.

shall discuss the

means
could a city in a state of
what
be supplied with food?
We
revolution
shall
answer
this question, but it is obvious that the
means
on
the character
resorted to will depend
in
in the provinces, and
of the Revolution

By

If the entire nation,


neighbouring
countries.
better still,if all Europe
or,
should accomplish
Social Revolution
the
simultaneously,
and
Communism,
our
thorough-going
be simplified; but if only a
procedure
would
in Europe
few communities
the attempt,
make
to be
The
means
other
chosen.
will have
start

with

circumstances
will dictate the measures.
We
thus led, before we
are
proceed further,
to glance at the state of Europe,
and, without
to prophesy,
we
try to foresee
may
pretending
the Revolution
what course
will take, or at least
what will be its essential features.
Certainly it would be very desirable that all
Europe
that expropriation
should rise at once,
should

be general, and that communistic


should inspire all and sundry.

principles
Such a

to simplify the
universal rising would do much
task of our
century.
But all the signs lead us to believe that it

88

THE

CONQUEST

OF

BREAD

That the Revolution


will not take place.
will
Europe
do
doubt.
If
we
one
embrace
not
of
four
the
Paris,
great
continental
capitals
"

Yienna,

Brussels,

and overturns
certain that the
example
within
highly
moreover,

Berlin

rises in revolution
its Government,
it is almost
three others will follow its
few
It is,
time.
a
weeks'
probable that the Peninsulas
or

"

London
and even
and St. Petersburg
would
be long in following
But
suit.
whether
Revolution
would everywhere
exhibit the
characteristics is highly doubtful.

not

the
same

It is more
than probable that expropriation
carried into effect on a larger
will be everywhere
scale, and that this policy carried out by any
one
will influence
of the great nations of Europe

tion
of the Revoluall the rest; yet the beginnings
will exhibit great local differences, and its
In
in different countries.
will vary
1789-93, the French
took four years
peasantry
to finally rid themselves
of the redemption
of
feudal rights, and the bourgeois to overthrow
Let us keep that in mind, and therefore
royalty.
course

be prepared
itself somewhat

to

see

the Revolution

develop

Let us not be dishearten


gradually.
if here and there its steps should
less rapidly.
it would
Whether
move
take an
avowedly
socialist character in all European

is doubtful.
nations, at any rate at the beginning,
Germany,
is still
be it remembered,
Its
Empire.
realizing its dream
of a United
Jacobin
advanced
parties see
visions of a
Republic
like that of 1848, and of the organisa-

FOOD

89

tion of labour according to Louis Blanc; while


the French, people, on
the other hand, want
it
above all things a free Commune,
whether
be a communist
Commune
or
not.
There is every reason
to believe that, when
Revolution
the coming
takes place, Germany
will go further than France went in 1793. The
Revolution
in France
was
eighteenth-century
Revolution
an
on
the English
advance
of the
seventeenth,
abolishing as it did at one
stroke
the

power

of

the

throne

and

the

landed

influence still survives in


aristocracy, whose
But, if Germany
England.
goes further and
does greater things than France
did in 1793,
be

doubt

that the ideas which will


foster the birth of her Revolution
will be those
of 1848; while the ideas which will inspire the
Revolution
in Russia will probably
be a combination

there

can

no

of those of 1789 with those of 1848.


casts
to these forehowever,
Without,
attaching
importance
than they merit, we
a greater

tion
:
the Revoluthis much
safely conclude
will take a different character in each of
European
different
the point
the
nations;
attained in the socialization of wealth will not

may

be everywhere
the same.
it therefore
be
Will

necessary,
that the nations

as

is sometimes

in the vanguard
suggested,
should adapt their pace
of the movement
Must
lag behind?
to those who
we
wait till
is ripe in all
Communist
Revolution
the

civilised countries ?

Clearly

not !

Even

if it

90

THE

CONQUEST

OF

BREAD

thing to be desired, it is not possible.


History does not wait for the laggards.
Besides, we
do not believe that in any one

were

the Revolution
at
will be accomplished
a
stroke, in the twinkling
eye, as some
of an
It is highly probable that
socialists dream.*

country

if one of the five or six large towns of France


Paris, Lyons, Marseilles, Lille, Saint-Etienne,
Bordeaux
to
the Commune,
were
proclaim
"

"

its example,
and that
do
towns
the
same.
many
would
smaller
districts and
Probably
mining
also various
hasten
to rid themindustrial centres
selves
would
"
'*
**
owners
masters,'*
and
and
of
into
free
form themselves
groups.
But many
country
places have not advanced
to that point.
Side by side with the revolutionized
the

others would

follow

communes

remain
such places would
in an
on
expectant
go
attitude, and
would
turbed
Undisliving on
Individualist
the
system.
by visits of the bailiff or
the taxnot be hostile to
collector, the peasants would

the revolutionaries, and thus, while profiting


defer
by the new
state of affairs, they would
*

been
No
fallacy more
harmful
has ever
than
spread
is propaOi-e-day
Revolution,"
the fallacy of a
gated
which
in superficial Socialist pamphlets
speaking
of the
18th
March
Revolution
Berlin,
at
supposed
of the
of
its
is
have
Prussia
to
(which
given
absolutely
wrong)
Government.
We
saw
representative
made
well the harm
by such
fallacies in Russia
is
in 1905-1907.
The
truth
day,
like Russia
that up to 1871 Prussia,
of the present
stitution
Conhad a scrap of paper which
as
a
could be described
The
but it had no representative
Government.
budget
Ministry imposed
1870,
the
the nation, up till
upon
it chose to propose.
"

"

FOOD

91

the

of accounts
settlement
But
that
exploiters.
with

local
witli the
practical
enthusiasm

always
characterizes
agrarian
toil of 1792)
uprisings (witnessthe passionate
into the task of
they would
throw themselves
which

freed from
taxes
cultivating the land, which,
become
dearer
so
and mortgages,
would
much
to them.
As to other countries, revolution would break
but revolution
divers
out everywhere,
under
State Socialism, in
aspects; in one
country
Federation;
less
more
or
another
everywhere

Socialism,

not

to

conforming

any

particular

rule.

VI
Let

us

now

return

to

city in revolt, and


provide foodstuffs

our

consider how its citizens can


How
for themselves.
are
the necessary
provisions
to be obtained if the nation as a whole
has not accepted
Communism?
This is the
Take, for example,
one
question to be solved.
towns
take the
of the large French
Paris consumes
itself, for that matter.
"

capital
every
head

thousands
of tons of grain, 400,000
300,000
swine, and
calves, 400,000
of oxen,
than two millions of sheep, besides great
more
This huge city devours,
quantities of game.
besides, more
than 20 million pounds of butter,

year

92

THE

CONQUEST

OF

BREAD

200

in like
million eggs, and other produce
proportion.
It imports
flour and grain from tlie IJnited
States and from Rusia, Hungary,
Italy, Egypt,
Italy,
and tlie Indies ; live stock from Germany,
Spain
Roumania
even
and Russia; and as for
"

in the world
groceries, there is not a country
that it does not lay under contribution.
Now,
let us see how Paris or any other great
town could be revictualled by home-grown
produce,

could be readily and


of which
willingly sent in from the provinces.
To those who put their trust in ** authority "
They
the question will appear
quite simple.
supplies

by establishing a strongly centralized


furnished
Government,
all the
with
the police, the army,
of coercion
machinery
This Government
draw
the guillotine.
would
up a statement
of all the produce
contained in
France.
divide the country
It would
into districts
would

begin

"

of supply,
quantity

and
of

then

some

command

that a prescribed
foodstuff be

particular
such a day, and

delivered
place on
at such a station, to be there received on a given
day by a specified official and stored in particular
warehouses.
Now,
declare with the fullest conviction,
we
that such a solution is undesirable,
not merely
but that it never
could by any possibility be
It is wildly Utopian
!
put into practice.
Pen in hand, one may
dream
in
such a dream
the study, but in contact
with reality it comes
to nothing,
this was
proved in 1793 ; for, like
sent to such

"

all such

theories, it leaves out

of account

the

FOOD
spirit of independence
lead to
attempt
would
Vendees,
three or four

93
that

is

in

man.

The

universal uprising, to
to the villages rising
against the towns,
up in arms
all the country
defying the city for its arrogance
in attempting
to impose
such a system upon the country.
have already
We
had too much
of efacobin
if some
Utopias ! Let us
see
other form
of
a

the case.
organization will meet
During
Revolution,
French
the
the great
provinces
starved the large towns,
and killed
fact
And
the Revolutior.
yet it is a known
during
that the production
of grain in France
indeed, the evi179^3
had not diminished;
dence
But
goes to show that it had increased.
taken possession of the manorial
after having
lands, after having reaped a harvest from them,
the peasants would not part with their grain for

They
their produce,
withheld
tion
the introduca rise in the price, or
of gold. The most rigorous measures
of the
National
Convention
were
without
avail, and
her executions
failed to break up the ring, or
force the farmers
For it is
to sell their corn.
matter
of history that the commissaries
of the
paper-money.
waiting for

Convention

did

scruple to guillotine those


who witheld their grain from the market,
and
in
those
pitilessly executed
speculated
who
foodstuffs.
All the same,
the corn
was
not
forthcoming,
and the townsfolk
suffered from
famine.
But

not

in
offered to the husbandman
what was
for his hard toil?
Assignats, scraps
exchange
decreasing
in value every day, proof paper

94

THE

CONQUEST

OF

BREAD

A
could not be kept.
a palv
of
would not purchase
boots, and the peasant, very naturally, was
not
anxious to barter a year's toil for apiece of paper
buy a shirt.
he could not even
witb which
As long as worthless
paper-money
whether
labour
is
notes
called assignats or
offered to
it will always be the same.
the peasant-producer
The country will withhold its produce, and the

mises of payment,
forty-pound
note

whidi

"

"

if the recalcitrant
even
will suffer want,
peasants are guillotined as before.
We
for
must
offer to the peasant in exchange
his toil not worthless
but
the
paper-money,
towns

he stands in
manufactured
articles of which
immediate
ments
He lacks the proper impleneed.
to till the land, clothes to protect him
properly from the inclemencies
of the weather,
lamps and oil to replace his miserable rushlight
All these
or tallow dip, spades, rakes,
ploughs.
things, under present conditions, the peasant is
forced to do without, not because he does not
feel the need of them, but because, in his life
of struggle and
privation, a thousand
useful
things are beyond
his reach ; because he has no
to buy them.
money

loss of
apply itself, without
time, to manufacturing
all that the peasant
for the
geegaws
needs, instead of fashioning
wives of rich citizens. Let the sewing machines
try
of Paris be set to work on clothes for the counfor
folk : workaday
clothes
clothes
and
dresses
Sunday
too, instead of costly evening
for the English
landlords and the
and Russian
African
Let the facwives.
gold-magnates'

Let

the

town

95

FOOD
tories and
implements,

foundries

turn

out

spades, rakes, and


of waiting till the English
for French
France, in exchange

agricultural
stead
such-like, insend

them
!

to

wines
inspectors

Let the towns

to the
send no more
blue,
or
rainbowvillages,
red,
wearing
to
to
the peasant
scarves,
convey
coloured
orders to take his produce to this place or that,
to the
but let them
friendly embassies
send
countryfolk
and bid them in brotherly fashion :
''Bring
our
us
your
and take from
produce,

the manufactured
articles
provisions would
pour in
peasant
would only withhold
for his own
use,
and would
into
feeling
the
the
for the -first
rest
send
cities,
history that these toiling
time in the course
of
his comrades
townsfolk
his brethren,
were
and not his exploiters.
stores

and shops all


Then
you please.'*
on
every side. The
what he needed
"

"

We

be

that this would


told, perhaps,
try.
complete transformation
of indusments;
yes, that is true of certain departthere are
other branches
which
be
in
to
as
could
rapidly modified
such a way
furnish the peasant with clothes, watches, furniture,
for which
and the simple implements
him pay such exorbitant prices
the towns
make
Weavers,
time.
tailors, shoeat the present
makers,
tinsmiths,
cabinet-makers,
many
and
other trades and crafts could easily direct their
sary
energies to the manufacture
of useful and necesmere
articles, and abstain from producing
luxuries.
All that is needed is that the public
shall
necessitate a
Well,
but

mind

should

be

thoroughly

convinced

of

the

96

THE

OF

CONQUEST

BREAD

of this transformation,
it as an act of
to look upon
come
no
progress,
and that it should
itself to be cheated by that dream,
necessity

and

should
justice
and of
longer allow
dear to the
so

theorists
the dream
of a revolution which confines
itself to taking possession of the profits of
industry, and leaves production
and commerce
justas they are now.
This, then, is our view of the whole question.
Cheat the peasant
longer
no
with scraps of
be the sums
inscribed upon them ever
so
paper
"

"

large ; but offer him in exchange


for his produce
he, the tiller of the
the very things of which
soil, stands in need. Then the fruits of the land
into the towns.
If this is not
will be poured
in our
done
there will be famine
cities, and
reaction

and

despair

will follow in its train.

VII
have said, buy their
All the great towns, we
their meat,
their flour, and
not
only
grain,
but
from
the
also from
provinces,
abroad.
Paris not only spices,
Foreign
countries send
dainties, but also immense
fish, and various
and meat.
quantities of corn
But when
these cities
the Revolution
comes
little
will have to depend on foreign countries as
If Russian wheat, Italian or Indian
as possible.
Hungarian
or
wines abound
rice, and Spanish
Europe, it is not that
in the markets
of western
have a superthe countries which
export them

FOOD

97

or
that such a produce grows there
abundance,
In
of itself,like the dandelion in the meadows.
Russia, for instance, the peasant works sixteen
hours a day, and half starves from three to six
months
every year, in order to export the grain
with which he pays the landlord and the State.
To-day the police appears in the Russian village
as
soon
as
the harvest is gathered in, and sells
for arrears
the peasant's last horse and last cow
of taxes and rent due to the landlord, unless the
himself of his own
victim immolates
accord by
Usually,
to the exporters.
selling the grain
advantag
rather than part with his live stock at a dishe keeps only a nine months'
supply
in
Then,
of grain, and sells the rest.
order to
sustain life until the next harvest, he mixes
birch-bark
and tares with his flour for three
if it has been a good year, and for six
months,
if it has been bad, while in London
they are
eating biscuits made
of his wheat.

But
Russian

as

soon

comes,
the
the Revolution
for self
himwill keep bread enough

as

peasant
and his children ;the Italian and Hungarian
let us
the Hindoo,
peasants will do the same;
hope, will profit by these good examples;
and
be
hardly
farmers
America
the
of
able to
will

will
all the deficit in grain which Europe
So it will not do to count on their
experience.
contributions of wheat and maize satisfying all
the wants.
Since all our middle-class civilization is based
on
the exploitation of inferior races
tries
and counless
industrial
advanced
systems, the
with
Revolution
will confer a boon at the very out-

cover

THE

98

CONQUEST

BEEAD

OF
''

by

that
menacing
civilization/'and
to free
the so-called inferior races
allowing
themselves.
But this great benefit will manifest itself by a
diminution
steady and marked
of the food supplies
into the great cities of western
pouring
Europe.
set,

It is difficult to predict the course


of affairs in
On the one
the provinces.
hand
the slave of
the soil will take advantage
of the Revolution
to straighten his bowed
back.
Instead of working
fourteen or fifteen hours a day, as he does
at present, he will be at liberty to work
only
half that time, which of course
would have the
the production
effect of decreasing
of the
principal

articles of consumption

"

grain

and

meat.

But,

crease
will be an inthe peasant
as
as
soon
of production
realizes that he is no longer forced to support
New
tracts of land
the idle rich by his toil.
set
machines
and improved
will be cleared, new
on

a-going.
^*
Never

the other hand,

there

the land so energetically cultivated


had taken
in 1792, when
the peasant
as
he had
back from the landlord the soil which
coveted so long," Michelet tells us, speaking of
the Great Revolution.

Of

course,

be

was

before

the
would
within
machinery,
chemical
matters

at

the

long,

intensive

culture
Improved

of all.
manures,
and
all such
by the Commune.
be supplied
soon
would
But everything
tends to indicate that
be a falling off in
there would
outset
reach

99

FOOD
agricultural

products,

in

France

and

where.
else-

it would be wisest to count upon


In any case
from
the
such a falling off of contributions
is this
How
provinces as well as from abroad.
falling off to be made good ?
! by setting to work ourselves ! No need
Why
brains for far-fetched panaceas
to rack our
lies close at hand !
when the remedy
The large towns, as well as the villages, must
must
return to
undertake to till the soil. We
*'
tions
biology calls
the integration of funcwhat
''
after the division of labour, the taking
followed
this is the course
up of it as a whole
Nature.
throughout
Besides, philosophy
cumstanc
apart, the force of cirbring
about this result. Let
would
Paris see that at the end of eight months it will
be running short of bread, and Paris will set to
"

"

"

work to grow wheat.


Land
for it is round the
will not be wanting,
Paris especially, that
great towns,
and round
the parks and pleasure grounds
of the landed
These
thousands
gentry are to be found.
of
bandman
acres
only await the skilled labour of the husto surround
Paris with fields infinitely
fertile and productive than the steppes of
more

Russia, where the soil is dried up by


Nor will labour be lacking.
To what
should the two million citizens of Paris turn
they would be no longer
their attention, when
catering for the luxurious fads and amusements
of "Russian princes, Roumanian
grandees,
and
Berlin
financiers?
wives of

southern
the sun.

g2

100

THE

OF

CONQUEST

BREAD

inventions of the
mechanical
; with all the intelligence and technical
century
to deal with comskill 01 the worker accustomed
plicated
machinery;
with inventors, chemists,
professors of botany,
practical botanists like
With

all the

the market gardeners of Gennevilliers ; with all


for multiplying
the plant that they could use
and, finally, with
machinery;
and improving
the organizing
spirit of the Parisian people,
their pluck and energy
with all these at its
the
of the
anarchist
command,
agriculture
be a very different
Commune
of Paris would
from
thing
husbandry
the
the
of
rude
Ardennes.
"

Steam, electricity, the heat of the sun,


and
long
be
breath
the
of the wind, will ere
pressed
into ser\ice.
The steam
plough and the steam
harrow
do the rough
work
of
will quickly
the soil, thus
cleaned
and
and
intelligent
care
enriched, will only need the
of
be
to
man,
than man,
even
more
and of woman
once
not
clothed
with luxuriant
vegetation
but three or four times in the year.
Thus, learning the art of horticulture from
in different
trying experiments
experts,
and
on
methods
small patches of soil reserved for
preparation,

"

each other to obtain


in physical exercise,
the health and
or
without exhaustion
overwork,
so
strength which
often flags in cities, men,
to the
women,
children
and
will gladly turn
labour of the fields, when
longer a
it is no
but has become
a
slavish drudgery,
pleasure, a
festival, a renewal of health and joy.

the purpose,
vying
with
best
finding
the
returns,

"

101

FOOD
**

lands; the earth is


barren
is worth *'
man
that is the last
what
worth
word of modern
agriculture. Ask of the earth,
and she will give you bread, provided that you

There

are

no

"

ask aright.
A district, though

it were
as
small as the two
departments
of the Seine and the Seine-et-Oise,
and with so great a city as Paris to feed, would
be practically sufficient to grow upon it all the
fail to
food supplies, which
otherwise might
reach it.
The combination
of agriculture and industry,
in the same
the husbandman
and the mechanic
individual

is what
comthis
munism
anarchist
will inevitably lead us to, if it starts
fair with expropriation.
Let the Revolution
far, and
only get bo
is not the enemy
famine
it will have to fear.
No, the danger
it lies in
which
will menace
The
timidity,
and half -measures.
prejudice,
is where
Danton
it when
danger
he cried
saw
'*
I'audace,
De
to France :
de I'audace,
et
de Taudace."
The bold thought
first,
encore
and the bold deed will not fail to follow.
"

CHAPTER

YI

DWELLINGS

Those

the growth of
who have closely watched
Socialist ideas among
have
the workers
nmst

the
momentous
noticed that on one
question
housing
is
a definite conclusion
of the people
being
imperceptibly
It is a fact
arrived at.
that in the large towns of France, and in many
"

"

of the

the workers
ones,
are
smaller
coming
to the
dwellingthat
gradually
conclusion
houses
in no
the property of those
are
sense

the State recognizes as their owners.


whom
This idea has evolved naturally in the minds
of the people, and nothing
convince
will ever
them
that
the "rights
again
of property"
ought to extend to houses.
house was
The
built by its owner.
It
not
by innumerab
was
erected, decorated, and furnished
in the timber
the
workers
yard,
brick field, and the workshop,
toiling for dear
life at a minimum
wage.
"

The

was
money
spent by the owner
not the
like
toil. It was
product of his own
amassed,
twothe workers
all other riches, by paying
thirds or only a half of what was
their due.
Moreover
and it is here that the enormity
"

DWELLINGS

103

becomes
most
proceeding
glaring
its actual value to the profit
owes
can
this
out of it. Now,
which the owner
make
the fact that his house is
profit results from
built in a town
that is, in an agglomeration
of
houses,
thousands
of other
paved
possessing
ings,
streets, bridges, quays,
and fine public buildhabitan
affording to its inwell lighted, and
a thousand
comforts and conveniences
in regular comin villages; a town
municatio
unknown
with other towns, and itself a centre
science, and art ; a town
of industry, commerce,
thirty generations
or
which the work of twenty
has made
habitable, healthy, and beautiful.
A house in certain parts of Paris is valued at
thousands of pounds sterling, not because
many
thousands of pounds* worth of labour have been
that particular house, but because
on
expended
it is in Paris ; because for centuries workmen,
men
artists, thinkers,
of learning
and
and
Paris what it
letters have contributed to make
is to-day
commerce,
a
centre
of industry,
politics, art, and science; because Paris has a
to literature, the names
past; because, thanks
household
words in foreign
of its streets are
because it is the
countries as well as at home;
fruit of eighteen centuries of toil, the work of
fifty generations of the whole French
nation.
of the whole
the house
"

"

"

Who,

to himself
the
appropriate
building
tiniest plot of ground, or the meanest
in such a city, without committing
flagrant
a
injustice?Who, then, has the right to sell to
any bidder the smallest portion of the common

then,

heritage ?

can

THE

104

OF

CONQUEST

BEEAD

have said, the workers


On that point, as we
begin to be agreed.
The idea of free dwellings
its existence very plainly during
the
showed
for an abatethe cry was
ment
siege of Paris, when
demanded
pure and simple of the terms
during
by the landlords.
It appeared
again
the Paris workmen
the Commune
of 1871, when
to decide
expected the Council of the Commune
boldly on the abolition of rent.
And when
the
Revolution
it will be the first
'New
comes,
the poor will concern
question
which
with
themselves.
in time of revolution or in time of
Whether
peace,

the worker
must
he must
have

be housed

somehow

or

some
sort of roof over
other;
however
But,
his head.
tumble-down
and
is
be,
his
dwelling
there
may
always a
squalid
True, during the
landlord who can
evict him.
find bailiffsand
Revolution
the landlord cannot

to throw
police-serjeants

the

workman's
rags
but
knows
the street,
chattels
who
and
do
Government
to-morrow?
what the new
will
Who
can
say that it will not call coercion to its
the
aid again, and set the police pack upon
tenant
to hound
him out of his hovels?
Have
into

Commune
of Paris proclaim
the remission
of rents due up to the first of
April only ! *
After that, rent had to be paid,
in a state of chaos, and indusParis was
try
though
'^
federate '* who
at a standstill ; so that the
we

not

had
*

taken
The

the

seen

to defend

arms

decree

of

the

30

March
October,

due up to the terms


of
April, 1871, 'vere
annulled.

the independence
by
1870,
:

this
and

decree
January

of
rents

and

DWELLINGS
Paris
he

"

105

liad absolutely nothing


but
his family
and
"

fifteen pence a day !


Now
the worker
must
that in refusing to pay

to
an

be made

depend

upon
of
allowance
to

see

clearly
or
rent to a landlord
he is not simply profiting by the disorganization
owner
He must
of authority.
understand
that the abolition of rent is a recognized principle,
to
so
sanctioned,
speak, by
popular
that to be housed
assent;
rent-free ig a right
proclaimed
aloud by the people.
Are we going to wait tillthis measure,
which
is in harmony
honest
man's
sense
with every
of
is taken up by the few socialists scatjustice,
tered
the middle class elements, of which
among
Government
?
the Provisionary
will be composed
If it were
the people should have to wait
so,

long

till the return of reaction, in fact !


This is why, refusing uniforms
and badges
those outward
signs of authority and servitude
the people, the
and remaining
people among
earnest
revolutionists
side by side
will work
that the abolition of rent, the
with the masses,
become
an
accomexpropriation
of houses, may
plished
fact.
They
the
ground
will prepare
ideas
in
to
direction;
this
grow
and encourage
the fruit of their labours is ripe, the
and when
"

"

"

to expropriate
the houses
will proceed
giving heed to the theories which
without
will
in
thrust
their
theories
way
certainly be
to landlords,
compensation
about
paying
and

people

"

finding firstthe necessary


funds.
On the day that the expropriation
of houses
takes place, on that day, the exploited workers

106

THE

OF

CONQUEST

BEEAD

times have come,


will have realized that new
longer have to bear the
that Labour
will no
that Equalityyoke of the rich and powerful,
has been openly proclaimed,
tion
that this Revoluis a real fact, and not a theatrical makebelieve, like so many
it.
others preceding

II
be adopted by
If the idea of expropriation
the people it will be carried into effect in spite
of all the "insurmountable"
obstacles with
which
Of

we

are

menaced.
the good folk in new
course,
uniforms,
of the Hotel
seated in the official arm-chairs
in
to busy
de Yille, will be sure
themselves
They will talk of giving
heaping up obstacles.
to the landlords,
of preparing
compensation
Yes,
up long reports.
statistics, and drawing
be capable of drawing
they would
up reports
long enough to outlast the hopes of the people,
after waiting
who,
and starving in enforced
idleness, and seeing nothing come
of all these
lose heart and faith
official researches, would
in the Revolution
the field to the
and abandon
The
bureaucracy
new
reactionaries.
would
by
hateful
in
the
end
making
expropriation
eyes of all.
Here, indeed, is a rock which
might
wreck
shipBut if the people turn
hopes.
our
a
deaf ear
to the specious arguments
used to

107

DWELLINGS

life needs
and realize that new
the task
new
conditions, and if they undertake
be effected
then expropriation
can
themselves,
without any great difficulty.
How
how?
it be done?'* you ask
"But
can
We
us.
shall try to reply to this question, but

dazzle

them,

have no intention of
We
with a reservation.
in their
tracing out the plans of expropriation
that all
smallest details. We know beforehand
that any man,
or
group
of men,
could suggest
by the reality
be far surpassed
to-day would
it comes.
Man
greater
will accomplish
when
better and by
things, and
them
accomplish
than those dictated to him
methods
simpler

beforehand.

Thus
we
by
which

shall

merely

indicate

the manner
expropriation might
be accomplished
the intervention
of
without
to go out
do not propose
Government.
We
declare that
to answer
those who
way
of our

the thing

is impossible.

to replying

that

we

are

We

confine ourselves
not the upholders
of
We
of organization.

particular method
to demonstrate
that exproare
priation
only concerned
could be effected by popular initiative,
and could not be effected by any other means
whatever.
It seems
as
expropriation
very likely that, as soon
is fairly started, groups of volunteers
up in every district, street, and
will spring
block of houses, and undertake
to inquire into
the number
of flats and houses which are empty
any

of those

the unare
wholeso
overcrowded,
which
slums, and the houses which are too
spacious for their occupants
and might well be

and

THE

108

CONQUEST

OF

BREAD

used to house those who are stifled in swarming


In a few days these volunteers
tenements.
have
drawn
up
would
complete lists for the
ments,
the district of all the flats, tenestreet and
family mansions
and villa residences,
healthy and
all the rooms
and suites of rooms,
unhealthy,
small
and large, foetid dens and
homes of luxury.
Freely communicating
with each other, these
have their statistics comvolunteers would soon
plete.
in
False statistics can
be manufactured
iDoard rooms
and ofiices, but true and exact
begin with the individual and
statistics must
mount
up from the simple to the complex.
for anyone's
leave,
without
waiting
those citizens will probably
go and find their
living in miserable garrets
comrades
who were
"
It is
and hovels and will say to them simply :
a real Revolution
this time, comrades,
and no
to such a place this
mistake about it. Come
will be there;
evening; all the neighbourhood
are
we
going to redistribute the dwelling-houses.
If you are tired of your slum-garret, come
and
flats
five
that are
rooms
of the
of
choose one
have
to be disposed
once
you
of, and when
fear.
in you
The
moved
shall stay, never
in arms,
he who
are
up
and
people
would
to evict vou
to
venture
will have to answer
them.''
"But
fine house or a
a
every one
will want
"
we
are
told. No, you are quite
spacious flat!
It is not the people's way to clamour
mistaken.
for the moon.
On the contrary, every time we
Then,

"

have

seen

them

set about

repairing

wrong

we

109

DWELLINGS

have been struck by the good sense


and instinct
for justice
Have
the masses.
animates
which
known
demand
them
the impossible?
we
ever
Have
the people of Paris fighting
we
ever
seen
for their
themselves
among
while
waiting
during
the two
rations of bread or firewood
sieges or during the terrible years of 1792-1794?
The patience and resignation
which
prevailed
in 1871 was
presented
constantly
by the foreign Press corresponfor admiration
dents;
full
and yet these patient waiters knew
have to pass
well that the last comers
would
the day without food or fire.
among

We

them

do

deny
that there are
plenty of
We
egotistic instincts in isolated individuals.
But
we
are
that
quite aware
of it.
contend
to revive
these
the very
way
and
nourish
instincts would be to confine such questions as
to any
board
the housing
or
of the people
in fact, to the tender mercies
committee,
of
Then
indeed
officialism in any shape or form.
all the evil passions spring up, and it becomes
influential person on
a case
of who is the most
The least inequality causes
the board.
wranglings

and

advantage
hue
and

not

recriminations.
is given to ary
is raised
cry
"

If
one,

and

the
a

smallest
tremendous

not

without

reason.

But

if the people themselves,


by
organized
districts, and
to
streets,
parishes, undertake
into the
move
the inhabitants
of the slums
half-empty
dwellings of the middle
classes, the
the little inequalities
trifling inconveniences,
Rarely
has appeal
will be easily tided over.

110

THE

OF

CONQUEST

BEEAD

been made to the good instincts of the masses


the sinking ship
only as a last resort, to save
in times of revolution
but never
has such an
in vain; the heroism,
the
appeal been made
failed to
self-devotion of the toiler has never
it will be in the
to it. And
thus
respond
"

"

Revolution.
coming
inequalities,
But, when
all is said and done, some
inevitable
some
injustices,
undoubtedly
in our
There
individuals
are
will remain.
lift out of
no
societies whom
great crisis can
in which
the deep
they are
of egoism
mire
The question, however,
is not whether
sunk.
but rather how to
there will be injustices
or
no,
limit the number
of them.

Now
all history, all the experience
of the
human
race,
and all social psychology,
unite
in showing
is to
that the best and fairest way
trust the decision to those whom
it concerns
It is they alone who
can
conmost
sider
nearly.
details
and one
and allow for the hundred
in any
must
necessarily be overlooked
which
merely

officialredistribution.

Ill
Moreover,

it is by

no

means

an
absolutely
straightway
dwellings.
of all the
inconveniences
be some
doubt
be righted in
matters
will soon
has adopted expropriation.

necessary

make

to

equal
There
at
a

redistribution
will no
first, but

society which

111

DWELLINGS

When

the

masons,

and carpenters,
and all
know
in house
building,

are
concerned
who
that their daily bread is secured to them, they
better than to work
at their
will ask nothing
They will adapt
old trades a few hours a day.
the fine houses, which
absorbed the time of a
for giving shelter to
whole
staff of servants,
homes
several families, and in a few months
up, infinitely healthier and
will have sprung
more
than those of today.
conveniently
arranged
to those who
And
are
not yet comfortably
housed
Commune
the anarchist
will be
''Patience,
Palaces
able to say:
comrades!
fairer and finer than any the capitalists built
for themselves
will spring from the ground
of
belong
They
to
our
will
city.
enfranchised
The
have
those
most
need
of them.
who
does not build with an eye
anarchist Commune
These
to revenues.
monuments
erected to its

citizens, products of the collective spirit, will


to all humanity;
they will be
as
serve
models
yours."
If the people
the houses and

of the Revolution
expropriate
free
lodgings
the
proclaim
of houses and the right of each
communalizing
family to a decent dwelling
tion
then the Revolua
communistic
will have assumed
character
from
first,
from
the
course
a
and started on
easy to turn it. It
which it will be by no means
individual
at
will have struck a fatal blow
"

"

property.
For the expropriation
of dwellings
contains
in germ
the whole
On the
social revolution.
manner
depends
the
of its accomplishment

THE

112

CONQUEST

OF

BEEAD

Either we
shall
of all that follows.
a
start on
chist
good road leading straight to anaror
we
sticking
shall remain
communism,
in the mud
of despotic individualism.
It is easy to see the numerous
objections
hand,
the
theoretic on
the
one
practical on
As
to be met.
are
sure
we
other
with which
iniquity at
it will be a question of maintaining
character

"

"

protest
will of course
*'
'*
Is it not a crying
of justice.
*'
that the people
they will exclaim,
shame,"
of Paris should take possession of all these fine
houses, while the peasants in the country
have
But do
huts to live in?'*
only tumble-down
any price, our
*'
in the name

let

opponents

These enthusiasts
a
make
mistake.
for justiceforget, by a lapse of memory
to
'*
they are
the
which
crying
shame'*
subject,
defending.
they themselves
tacitly
are
which

not

us

forget that in this same


city the worker,
his wife
with
and
children, suffocates in a
he sees
noisome
garret, while from his window
forget that whole
They
the rich man's
palace.
generations
perish in crowded
slums, starving

They

for air and sunlight, and that to redress this


lution.
injustice
ought to be the first task of the Revo-

disingenuous
protests hold
us
that any inequality
which
in
town
the
may
country
and
exist between
early days of the Revolution
will be transitory
that will right itself from day
and of a nature
to day; for the village will not fail to improve
its dwellings as soon
as
the peasant has ceased
to be the beast of burden
the
of the farmer,
Do not
back.

let these
know
We

113

DWELLINGS

the money-lender,
and the State.
merchant,
In order to avoid an accidental and transitory
from
hand
inequality,
our
stay
shall we
righting an ancient wrong?
The
so-called practical
formidable
very
either. We

are
objections

not

bidden to consider
the hard case
poor fellow who by
of some
dint of privation has contrived to buy a house
justlarge enough to hold his family. And we
him
to deprive
are
of his hard-earned
going
tainly
into the street ! Cerhim
happiness,
to turn
are

his house is only just large


let him
for his family, by all means
enough
Let him work in his little garden,
stay there.
*'
boys '* will not hinder him
too; our
nay,
if
lend
helping
him
hand
a
they will
need be.
But suppose
he lets lodgings, suppose
he has
in his house ; then the people will
rooms
empty
the lodger understand
that he need not
make
Stay
rent.
pay his former landlord any more
duns
but rent free. No more
are,
you
where
has
collectors; Socialism
abolished
and
all
not.

If

"

that!
Or again, suppose
that the landlord has a
score
of rooms
all to himself, and some
poor
lives near
by with five children in one
woman
In
room.
the
that case
see
people would
whether,

with

some

alterations, these empty


converted into a suitable

could not be
home
for the poor woman
and her five children.
Would
not that be more
justand fair
than to leave the mother
and her five littleones
languishing
in a garret, while Sir Gorgeous
Midas
in an
sat at his ease
empty
mansion?
rooms

114

THE

OF

CONQUEST

BEEAD

Besides, good

Sir Gorgeous
probably
would
hasten to do it of his own
accord ; his wife wiU
half her big,
to be freed from
be delighted
house when
there is no longer a staff
unwieldy
of servants to keep it in order.
*'

So you are going to turn everything upside


down,"
say the defenders
of law and order.
*'
There
will be no
end to the evictions and
it not be better to start fresh
Would
removals.
by
turning
out
and
of doors
everybody
Thus
our
redistributing the houses by lot?''
firmly persuaded
that if no
are
critics; but we
if all
interferes in the matter,
Government
are
the changes
entrusted to those free groups
have sprung
the work,
up to undertake
which
the evictions and removals will be less numerous
than those which take place in one
year under
the present
landlords.

system,

owing

to the

rapacity

of

In the first place, there are in all large towns


houses and flats to lodge
empty
almost enough
As to the
all the inhabitants
of the slums.
palaces
many
and
suites of fine apartments,
if
in
they
them
not live
working
people would
One could not "keep
could.
up"
such houses
Their occuwithout a large staff of servants.
pants
find themselves forced to seek
would soon
less luxurious dwellings.
The fine ladies would
find that palaces were
not well adapted to selfhelp in the kitchen.
Gradually
people would
down.
There
be no need to conshake
would
duct
Dives to a garret at the bayonet's point,
instal Lazarus
in Dives's palace by the help
or

of

an

armed

escort.

People

would

shake

down

DWELLINGS

115

into the available dwellings with the


amicably
least possible friction and disturbance.
Have
we
not the example
of the village communes
redistributing fields and disturbing the owners
little than one
so
can
of the allotments
onlyintelligence
the
sense
of the
and good
praise
fields change
Fewer
they employ.
methods
hands
the management
under
of the Russian
Commune
holds
than where personal property
sway,
carrying its quarrels into
and is for ever
And are we to believe that the
courts of law.
inhabitants of a great European
city would be
less intelligent and less capable of organization
Hindoo
than Russian
or
peasants?
Moreover,
we
must
not blink at the fact that
a
every revolution means
certain disturbance
life, and those who
to everyday
this
expect
tremendous
climb out of the old grooves to be
as
jarringthe
accomplished
without so much
dishes on
selves
their dinner tables will find themIt is true that Governments
mistaken.
can
change without disturbing worthy
citizens
dinner,
but the crimes of society towards
at
those who have nourished and supported it are
not to be redressed by any such political sleight

of parties.
Undoubtedly
there will be a disturbance, but
loss; it must
it must
be
not be one
of pure
it is impossible to lay
And again
minimized.
too much
it will be by
this maxim
stress on
addressing ourselves to the interested parties,
"

"

and not to boards and committees,


shall best succeed in reducing the sum
for everybody.

that we
veniences
of incon-

h2

116

THE

CONQUEST

OF

BREAD

blunder on blunder when


people commit
hare-brained
they have to choose by ballot some
of representcandidate who solicits the honour
ing
himself
to know
them, and takes upon
all,
But
do
to
to
they
all, and
when
organize all.
to organize
they
take upon
themselves
what
know,
directly, they do it
touches them
what
better than
together
all the "talking-shops"
put
Is not the Paris Commune
instance
an
in point?
and the great dockers' strike? and
have we
not constant
evidence of this fact in
The

every

village commune?

CHAPTER

YII

CLOTHING

When
the houses have become
the common
heritage of the citizens, and when
each man
has his daily supply
forward
of food, another
The question of
step will have to be taken.
demand
clothing will of course
consideration
next, and again the only possible solution will
be to take possession, in the name
of the people,

of all the shops and warehouses


where clothing
is sold or stored, and to throw open the doors
to all, so that each can
he needs.
take what
The communalization
the right of
of clothing
"

to take what he needs from the


communal
have
to
it
for
him
or
stores,
at the tailors
made

each

is

necessary
corollary of the
of houses and food.
shall not need for that to despoil
all citizens of their coats, to put all the garments
in a heap and draw lots for them, as our
critics, with equal wit and ingenuity, suggest.
Let him
who has a coat keep it still nay, if
he have ten coats it is highly improbable
that
to deprive him of them,
for
any one
will want
folk would prefer a new
that
most
coat to one
has already graced the
fat
shoulders of some

and outfitters
communalization
Obviously we
"

"

118

THE

CONQUEST

bourgeois;

OF

BREAD

there will be enough


to spare, without
having

new

and

and

ments,
gar-

recourse

to second-hand

wardrobes.
inventory
If we
to take an
were
of all the
in
clothes and stuff for clothing accumulated
the shops
we
and stores of the large towns,
find probably
that in Paris, Lyons,
should
Bordeaux,
to
and Marseilles, there was
enough
enable the commune
the citizens, of both

to

offer garments
sexes;
and if all

to
were

all
not

the communal
suited at once,
outfitters would
know
We
soon
make
good these shortcomings.
how rapidly our great tailoring and dressmaking
establishments
work nowadays,
provided as they
are
with machinery
duction
specially adapted for prolarge scale.
on
a

"But

one

every

will want

sable-lined

coat

*'

exclaim our
adversaries.
velvet gown!
Frankly, we do not believe it. Every woman
does every man
does not dote on velvet, nor
Even now,
if we were
dream of sable linings.

or

to

ask

should

each
find

garment

to

fashionable

to

woman

choose

to prefer

some

all

the

her

gown,

we

simple, practical
fantastic trimmings
the

affects.
Tastes change with the times, and the fashion
in vogue at the time of the Revolution
tainly
will cerviduals,
Societies, like indimake for simplicity.

world

their heroic
of

to-day

of cowardice, but also


the society
and though
in the
poor figure sunk

their hours

have

moments;

cuts

very

personal interests and secondpursuit of narrow


different air when
a
great
rate ideas, it wears

CLOTHING

119

It has its moments


of greatness
Men
and enthusiasm.
nature
of generous
will
gain the power which to-day is in the hand of
jobbers. Self-devotion will spring up, and

crises

noble

come.

deeds

beget

their like; even


back,
of hanging

the egotists
and will be

will be ashamed
if not
to admire,
in spite of themselves
drawn
to imitate, the generous
and brave.
in
The
Revolution
great
of 1793
abounds
examples
of this kind, and it is always during

as
natural to
such times of spiritual revival
that the spring-tide
societies as to individuals
humanity
onwards.
of enthusiasm
sweeps
We do not wish to exaggerate the part played
by such noble passions, nor
is it upon
them
ideal of society. But
that we would found our
if we
we
are
not asking too much
expect their
difficult
the first and most
aid in tiding over
We
hope that our
daily life
moments.
cannot
inspired by such exalted
will be continuously
enthusiasms, but we may expect their aid at the
first,and that is all we
need.
It is justto wash the earth clean, to sweep
"

"

by
and refuse, accumulated
that the
centuries of slavery and oppression,
new
anarchist society will have
need of this
Later on it can
wave
of brotherly love.
exist
away

the

shards

to the spirit of self-sacrifice,


appealing
it will have eliminated oppression,
and
thus created a new
world instinct with all the
feelings of solidarity.

without
because

Besides, should
be such as we

Revoluthe character of the tion


have sketched here, the free

120

THE

OF

CONQUEST

BREAD

initiative of individuals would


find an
extensive
field of action in thwarting
tlie efforts of
the egotists. Groups
would spring up in every
to undertake
the charge
quarter
of
inventories of
They would
the clothing.
make
all that the city possessed, and would find out
the resources
at their
approximately
what were
street

and

disposal.

It is

more

likely that

than

in the

the citizens would adopt the


same
principle as in the matter
of provisions
that is to say, they would offer freely from the
to be
common
was
store
everything
which
found in abundance,
was
and dole out whatever
matter

of clothing

"

limited

Not

in quantity.
being able to offer to each

lined coat,

and

to every

society would

woman

man

sable-

velvet gown,
distinguish between the

probably
superfluous and the necessary, and, provisionally
the superat least, class sable and velvet among
fluities
of life, ready to let time prove whether
what

is

luxury

to-day

to all to-morrow.

common

may
While

not

become

the necessary
tant
to each inhabi-

be guaranteed
would
be left to
of the anarchist city, it would
for the sick and
private activity to provide
feeble those things, provisionally considered as
luxuries, and to procure for the less robust such

clothing

special articles,
daily consumption
*'

But,"

uniformity
in life and

as

would

not

enter

into

the

of ordinary citizens.
be urged, '* this means
it may
grey
and the end of everything beautiful

art.*'

CLOTHING

121

And,
still
reply.
on
already exists,
what
Anarchist
are
we
society
going to show how an
tastes
of its
most
artistic
satisfy the
could
to amass
the
them
allowing
citizens without
fortunes of millionaires.
''Certainly
not!*'
basing our
reasonings

we

CHAPTEE
WATS

If

VIII
AND

MEANS

to
territory, were
tants
of life to its inhabi(and we shall see how the conception of
be so extended
the necessaries of life can
to
as
include luxuries),
it would be compelled
to take
for propossession of what is absolutely needed
duction;
facland, machinery,
tories,
that is to say
Capital in the
means
of transport, etc.
hands of private owners
be expropriated,
would
to be returned
to the community.
The great harm
done by bourgeois society, as
have
is not only that
we
already
mentioned,
capitalists seize a large share of the profits of
industrial
each
and
commercial
enterprise,
to live without
thus enabling
themselves
ing,
workbut that all production
has taken a wrong
direction, as it is not carried on with a view to
a

society, a city, or
the necessaries
guarantee

"

securing well-being to all. There is the reason


it must
be condemned.
why
impossible
It is absolutely
that mercantile
production
should be carried on in the interest

of

all.

To

desire

it would

be

to

expect

the

WAYS

AND

capitalist to go beyond
duties that he cannot
be what
his own
based

he is

MEANS

123

liiaprovince and to fulfil


fulfil without ceasing to

priTate manufacturer
seeking
Capitalist organization,
enrichment.
"

dual
personal interest of each indiviemployer
of labour, has given to society
all that could be expected of it : it has increased
force of Labour.
The capitalist,
the productive
profiting by the revolution effected in industry
on

the

development
of
sudden
tions
and by other invenchemistry
and machinery,
has worked
in his own
century,
of our
interest to increase the yield of human
labour,
he has succeeded so far.
and in a great measure
But to attribute other duties to him
would be
For example,
to expect that he
unreasonable.
by

steam,

by

the

this superior yield of labour in the


should use
interest of society as a whole, would be to ask
a
philanthropy
charity
of him,
and
and
capitalist enterprise cannot be based on charity.
for society, first, to extend
remains
is limited to
this greater productivity, which
industries, and
to apply
it to the
certain

It

now

But it is evident that to utilise


genera] good.
this high
to
so
as
productivity
of labour,
itself
guarantee
well-being to all, Society must
take possession
Economists,

of all means
of production.
is their wont,
as
will not fail to
us
remind
of the comparative
of a
well-being
certain
category
of young
robust
workmen,
in
skilled
certain special branches
of industry
has been
the present
which
obtained
under
It is always
that is
this minority
system.

124

THE

OF

CONQUEST

BEEAD

But even
this
witli pride.
is the exclusive right of a
well-being,
which
few, is it secure?
To-morrow,
maybe,
gence,
negliimprovidence,
the greed
or
of their
pointed

out

to

us

these privileged
men
emploj^ers, will deprive
of their work, and they will pay for the period
they have
of comfort
enjoyedwith months and
destitution.
How
or
years
of poverty
many
important
industries
the textiles, iron, sugar,
"

etc.

"

to

mentioning
wiihout
trades, have we
not

all sorts of lived


shortdecline
or
come
seen
of speculations, or in

standstill on account
consequence
of natural displacement
of work,
from the effects of competition
or
the
amongst
! If the chief textile
themselves
capitalists
industries had to pass through
and mechanical

in
crisis as they have passed through
hardly need mention
we
the small trades,
have their periods of standstill.
all of which
too, shall we
What,
say to the price which
is paid for the relative well-being
of certain
it is
Unfortunately,
categories of workmen?
paid for by the ruin of agriculture, the shameless
the misery of
exploitation of the peasants,
In comparison
the feeble
the masses.
with
such
1886,

minority
how
from

hand

of workers
who
many
millions
to

enjoy a
of human

fort,
certain combeings live

a
secure
wage,
without
how
to
they are
go wherever
ready
wanted;
many
peasants
work fourteen hours a day for a
the country,
poor pittance ! Capital depopulates
the countries
the colonies and
exploits
but
little developed,
industries
are
where
dooms the immense
to
of workmen

mouth,

majority

WAYS

AND

MEANS

125

technical education, to remain


in their own
trade.
mediocre even
This is not merely accidental, it is a necessity
In order well to
of the capitalist system.

remain

without

peasants
certain classes of workmen,
beasts
burden
the
must
of society ; the
of
be deserted for the town ; small
must
country
in the foul suburbs of
trades must
agglomerate
little
large cities, and manufacture
a thousand
things for next to nothing, so as to bring the

remunerate

become

goods of the greater industries within reach of


bad cloth
buyers
with
small
salaries. That
be sold to ill-paid workers,
are
garments
may
by tailors who are satisfied with a starvation
made
in
lands
Eastern
!
a backward
state
wage
are
exploited by the West, in order that, under
the capitalist system, workers in a few privileged
industries may
of life.

obtain

certain limited

comforts

evil of the present system is therefore not


''
"
that the
goes to
of production
surplus-value
Marx
Rodbertus
the capitalist, as
said,
and
the Socialist conception
thus narrowing
and the
the
general
of the capitalist system;
view
itself is but a consequence
of
surplus-value
deeper causes.
The evil lies in the 'possibility
instead of a simple
of a surplus-value existing,
by each generation ; for,
surplus not consumed
The

that
should exist, means
by
men,
are
women,
compelled
and children
hunger
to sell their labour for a small part of
so,
this labour produces, and still more
what
their labour is capable of producing.
of what
But this evil will last as long as the instruments
that

surplus-value

126

THE

OF

CONQUEST

BEEAD

belong to the few.


As long as
of production
men
to pay a heavy
are
tribute to
compelled
holders
for the right of cultivating
property
land or putting machinery
into action, and the
free to
owners
are
of the land and the machine
bids fair to bring them
in the
produce
what
largest profits rather than the greatest amount
"

of useful commodities
well-being can
only be
to a very few ; it is only
temporarily
guaranteed
to be bought
by the poverty of a large section of
"

It is
society.
profits realized
the same
time
It
exploited.

OF

AMOUNT

GREATEST

OF

VTELL-BEING
OF

WASTE

sufficient to distribute the


by a trade in equal parts, if at
are
thousands
of other workers
is a case
thb
of producing
not

V^ITH

ALL,

HUMAN

GOODS

NECESSARY
THE

TO

LEAST

THB

POSSIBLE

ENERGY.

be the aim of a
generalized aim cannot
this is why
and
society as a
private owner;
whole, if it takes this view of production as its
to expropriate
ideal, will be compelled
all that
This

enhances
while producing
wealth.
well-being
It will have to take possession of land, factories,
means
etc., and
of communication,
mines,
besides, it will have to study what products will
promote
general well-being, as well as the ways
of an adequate production.
and means

II

How
to

many

produce

hours

day

nourishing

will man
food,

have to work
comfortable

WAYS

AND

MEANS

127

clotliing for his family?


and necessary
Socialists,
This question has often preoccupied
to the conclusion that
and they generally came
four or five hours a day would
suffice, on condition,
be it well understood, that all men
work.
At the end of last century, Benjamin Franklin
fixed the limit at five hours ; and if the need of
the power of production
comfort is greater now,
has augmented
too, and far more
rapidly.

home,

further on, we
of agriculture
be made to yield to
shall see what the earth can
he cultivates it in a reasonable way,
man
when
in a badly
instead of throwing
seed haphazard
In

speaking

In the
ploughed
soil as he mostly does to-day.
America,
some
great farms of Western
of which
30 square miles, but have a poorer soil
cover
than the manured
soil of civilized countries,
only 10 to 15 English bushels per English acre
obtained; that is to say, half the yield of
farms in the
farms
European
or
of American
to
And
States.
thanks
Eastern
nevertheless,
to
2 men
which
enable
plough
machines
in
100 men
4 English
a day,
can
acres
produce

are

year all that is necessary to deliver the bread


of 10,000 people at their homes during a whole

year.
Thus

it would

to work under
suffice for a man
the same
conditions for 30 hours j say 6 half-days
fivehours each, to have bread for a whole

of

to work

30 half

to guarantee
the
-days
to a family of 5
same
people.
We
shall also prove by results obtained nowadays,
that if we
to intensive
took recourse
agriculture, less than 6 half-days' work could

year;

and

128

THE

CONQUEST

OF

BREAD

bread,
even
procure
meat,
vegetables,
and
luxurious fruit for a whole family.
Again,
if we
study the cost of workmen's
dwellings, built in large towns
to-day, we
can
ascertain that to obtain, in a large English city,
little house, as they are built
a
semi-detached
for workmen
for "250, from 1400 to 1800 halfdays' work of 5 hours would be sufficient. And
as
a house
of that kind lasts 50 years at least, it
follows that 28 to 36 half-days' work a year

would provide well-furnished,


with
comfort
all necessary
Whereas
hiring the same
when
an

healthy quarters,
for a
family.

from
apartment
from 75 to 100

a
employer,
workman
pays
days' work per year.
Mark
figures
that
these
represent
house
in
England
costs
maximum
of what a
being given the defective organization

the
today,

of
houses
Belgium,
our
societies.
workmen's
in the cites ouvrieres have been built at a much
So that, taking everything
into
smaller cost.
in affirming that
consideration, we are justified
in a well-organized
society 30 or 40 half-days*
In

year will suffice to guarantee


home.
comfortable

work

There

perfectly

remains clothing, the exact value


of which is almost impossible to fix, because the
cannot
profits realized by a swarm
of middlemen
be estimated.
Let
take
us
cloth, for
and add up all the tribute levied on
example,
the sheep
every yard of it by the landowners,
mediate
owners,
the wool merchants,
and all their interagents, then by the railway companies,
dealers in ready-made
weavers,
mill-owners,
now

WAYS

129

MEANS

AND

agents, and we
clothes, sellers and commission
shall get then an idea of what we pay to a whole
swarm
of capitalists for each article of clothing.
is why
it is perfectly impossible
That
to say
days* work an overcoat
how many
that you pay
"3 or "4 for in a large London
shop represents.
is certain
is that
What
present
with
it is possible to manufacture
an
machinery

incredible

amount

of goods

both

cheaply

and

quickly.
few
A

in the
examples
will suffice. Thus
United States, in 751 cotton mills (forspinning
produce
and women
and weaving),175,000 men
2,033,000,000
yards of cotton goods, besides a
On
the average,
quantity
of thread.
great
12,000 yards of cotton goods alone
are
obtained by a 300 days' work of 9| hours
in 10 hours.
each, say 40
yards of cotton
Admitting
that a family needs 200 yards a year
to 50 hours'
this would be equivalent
at most,
And
work, say 10 half-days of 5 hours each.
we
should have thread besides; that is to say,
than

more

to

cotton

with,

so

as

sew

with,

and

to manufacture

thread

to

woollen

weave

cloth
stuffs mixed

with cotton.
As to the results obtained by weaving
alone,
States teach
the official statistics of the United
13 to 14
that in 1870, if workmen
us
worked
hours a day, they made
10,000 yards of white
cotton goods in a year ; sixteen years later (1886)
30,000 yards by working
they
wove
only 55
hours a week.
Even

weaving

in printed cotton goods they obtained,


and printing included, 32,000 yards in

130

THE

OF

CONQUEST

BREAD

2670 hours of work a year


say about 12 yards
hour.
Thus to have your 200 yards of white
an
and printed cotton goods 17 hours' work a year
to remark
that
suffice. It is necessary
would
raw
material
reaches these factories in about
from the fields, and
the same
state as it comes
"

by the
the transformations
through
gone
into goods are completed
piece before it is converted
But to
in the course
of these 17 hours.
hity these 200 yards from the tradesman,
a wellmust
paid workman
give at the very least 10 to

that

15 days' work of 10 hours each, say 100 to 150


hours. And as to the English peasant, he would
little more,
to
have to toil for a month,
a
or
obtain this luxury.
By this example
that by
we
already see
50 half-days'per year in a well-organized
working
society we could dress better than the lower
middle classes do to-day.
have only required 60
But with all this we
half-days' work of 5 hours each to obtain the
fruits of the earth, 40 for housing,
and 50 for
half a year's work,
only makes
clothing, which
if we
the year consists of 300 working-days
as

deduct

holidays.

There remain
still 150 half-days' work which
could be made use of for other necessaries of life
wine, sugar, coffee, tea, furniture, transport,

"

etc., etc.
It is evident

approximative,
another way.
in the
many,
nothing,

that these calculations are only


but they can
in
also be proved
When
how
take into account
we
so-called civilized nations, produce
how
many
at harmful
work

WAYS

AND

MEANS

131

to disappear,

and lastly, how


that
are
see
we
many
only useless middlemen,
in each nation the number
of real producers
if,
instead of every
And
be
doubled.
could
10 men,
20 were
occupied in producing
useful
if
commodities,
and
society took the trouble to
human
20
those
economize
energy,
people
would only have to work 5 hours a day without
And
it would suffice to
production decreasing.
is
the waste
reduce
of human
energy
which
going on in the rich families with their scores
in the administrations
or
of useless servants,

trades, doomed

one
occupy
which
officialto every ten or even
six inhabitants, and to utilize those forces, to
immensely
the productivity
augment
of a
In fact, work could be reduced to four
nation.
or
three hours a day, to produce
even
all the
goods that are produced now.
After studying all these facts together, we
may
arrive, then, at the following conclusion :
few million
Imagine
a
a
society, comprising
in agriculture and a great
inhabitants, engaged
Paris, for example,
variety of industries
with
Suppose
Department
Seine-et-Oise.
that
the
of
in this society all children learn to work with
their hands as well as with their brains. Admit
in the
women,
that all adults, save
engaged
to
education of their children, bind themselves
or
work 5 hours a day from the age of twenty
to forty-five of fifty, and that they
twenty-two
follow occupations they have chosen themselves
in any one
of those branches
of human
work
in
this city are
necessary.
which
considered
Such a society could in return guarantee
well"

i2

132
being

THE

CONQUEST

OF

BREAD

more
a
all its members,
well-being
by the
that
substantial tban
enjoyed to-day
moreover,
middle
classes. And,
eacb worker
have
belonging to this society would
posal
at his disday which
he could
a
at least 5 hours
devote to science, art, and individual
needs

to

do not come
under
but will probably

the category
do so later

sities,
of neceson,
when
have
man's
productivity
augmented,
and
will
longer
luxurious
those
appear
objectswill no
inaccessible.
or

which

IX

CHAPTER
THE

NEED

FOR

LUXURY

I
is not a being whose exclusive purpose in
Man
life is eating, drinking, and providing a shelter
for himself.
As soon
his material wants
are
as
satisfied, other needs, which,
generally speaking
may be described as of an artistic character,
forward.
These
will thrust themselves
needs
are
of the greatest variety ; they vary with each
the more
and
every individual;
and
society
is civilized, the more
be
will individuality
and the more
will desires be varied.
Even
denying
to-day we
see
men
and women
themselves
trifles,
necessaries to acquire mere
developed,

to obtain

some

particular gratification, or some


intellectual or material
tian
enjoyment. A Chrisdisapprove
an
or
of these
ascetic may
desires for luxury ;but it is precisely these trifles
that break the monotony
of existence and make
it agreeable.
Would
life, with all its inevitable
drudge
be worth
living, if,
and sorrows,
besides daily work, man
could never
obtain a
to
his individual
single
pleasure according
tastes ?
If we
it is no
wish for a Social Revolution,
doubt, first of all, to give bread to
; to
everyone

134

THE

CONQUEST

OF

BREAD

this execrable society, in wliich we


dangling
can
every day see
capable workmen
for want
their arms
of an
employer
who
will
women
exploit tbem;
and cbildren wandering
shelterless at night; whole families reduced to
dry bread; men,
women,
and children dying
for want
for want
of care
and even
of food.
It is to put an end to these iniquities that we
rebel.
But we
from
more
the Revolution.
expect
transform

We

to struggle
that the worker,
compelled
painfully for bare existence, is reduced to ignore
the higher delights, the highest within man's
see

reach, of science, and especially of scientific


discovery; of art, and
especially of artistic
is
in
It
to
order
creation.
obtain for all of us
joysthat are now reserved to a few ; in order to
give leisure and the possibility of developing
intellectual
the
that
capacities,
everyone's
daily bread to
social revolution must guarantee
all. After bread has been secured, leisure is
the supreme
aim.
hundreds
doubt,
No
and
when
nowadays,
beings are in need of bread,
thousands of human
is a crime;
coal, clothing, and shelter, luxury
to satisfy it, the worker's child must go without
bread ! But in a society in which all have the
food and shelter, the needs which we
necessary
keenly
consider luxuries to-day will be the more
do not and cannot
felt. And as all men
resemble
one
another (thevariety of tastes and needs is
there
the chief guarantee
of human
progress)
will always be, and it is desirable that there
whose desire
and women
should always be, men

NEED

THE

FOE

135

LUXURY

those of ordinary individuals in


will go beyond
some
particular direction.
Everybody
does not need a telescope, because,
if learning were
even
general, there are people
a microthings through
scope
prefer to examine
Some
to studying
the starry heaTcns.
vidual
like statues, some
A particular indipictures.

who

has

than to possess a
ambition
is pleased with an
good piano, while another
The
tastes vary, but
the artistic
accordion.
needs exist in all. In our present, poor capitalistic
no

other

has artistic needs


society, the man
who
cannot
satisfy them
unless he is heir to a large
fortune, or by dint of hard work
appropriates

himself
intellectual capital which
an
will
enable him to take up a liberal profession. Still
he cherishes the ho'pe of some
day satisfying his
tastes more
less, and for this reason
he reor
proach
the idealist Communist
societies with
having
the material life of each individual as
**
In your communal
their sole aim.
stores you
may
perhaps have bread for all," he says to us,
**
but you
have
beautiful pictures,
will not
to

optical instruments, luxurious furniture, artistic


jewelry in short, the many things that minister
"

to

infinite variety of human


tastes.
the possibility of obtaining
suppress
besides the bread
and meat
which

the

you

And

anything
the
linen in

oft'erto all, and the drab


which all your lady citizens will be dressed.'*
These
the
are
munist
objectionswhich all comhave
to consider, and
systems
which
commune

can

the founders
of new
societies, established in
American
deserts, never
They beunderstood.

136

THE

OF

CONQUEST

BEEAD

lieved that

if the community
could
sufficient cloth to dress all itsmembers,
^*
in which
brothers''
the
room
could
piece of music, or act a play from time
it

was

enough.

They

forgot

that

procure
a

music-

a
strum
to time,

feeling
well as in
that the

the

for art existed in the agriculturist as


the burgher,
and, notwithstanding
expression of artistic feeling varies according to
the difference in culture, in the main it remains
the

In

did

the

antee
guarcommunity
the common
necessaries of life, in vain
did it suppress all education that would tend to
in vain did it eliminate
develop individuality,
same.

vain

tastes
Individual
the Bible.
all reading save
discontent;
broke
forth, and
general
caused
quarrels arose
when
somebody
proposed to buy
a
piano or scientific instruments;
ments
and the eleThe society could
of progress flagged.
vidual
only exist on condition that it crushed all indifeeling, all artistic tendency,
and all
development.

be impelled by
the anarchist Commune
Evidently not, if it underdirection?
the same
stands
that while it produces
sary
all that is neceslife, it must
to material
also strive to
satisfy all manifestations
of the human
mind.

Will

"

II
We

the

frankly
abyss

of

confess

that

when

poverty

and

suffering

we

think
that

of
sur-

THE

NEED

FOR

137

LUXURY

liear the lieartremling cry


wo
rounds us, when
for
the streets begging
walking
of the worker
loth to discuss the question : How
are
work, we
are
act in a society, whose
members
will men
fed, to satisfy certain individuals
properly
desirous of possessing a piece of Sevres china or
a velvet dress?
We
sure
: Let us
are
tempted to answer
make
of bread to begin with, we
shall see to china
and velvet later on.
has other
recognize that man
besides food, and
as
the
of
needs
strength
lies precisely in that it understands
Anarchy
faculties and all passions, and ignores
all human
how
none,
we
explain
shall, in a few words,
man
can
contrive to satisfy all his intellectual
and artistic needs.
have already mentioned
We
that by working
4 or 5 hours a day till the age of forty-five or
fifty, man
sary
could easily produce all that is necesBut

as

we

must

to guarantee

comfort

to society.

But

the day's work of a man


to
accustomed
toil doeis not consist of 5 hours ; it is a 10 hours'
day for 300 days a
year, and lasts all his life.

is harnessed
to a
man
a
when
his health is soon
machine,
undermined
and his
intelligence is blunted; but when
has the
man

Of

course,

possibility

of varying

occupations,

and especially
intellectual

of alternating
manual
with
occupied without fatigue,
remain
work, he can
with pleasure, for 10 or 12 hours a
and even
day.
Consequently,
the man
who
will have
done the 4 or 5 hours of manual
work that are
before
for his existence, will have
necessary

138

THE

CONQUEST

OF

BREAD

6 hours which he will seek to employ


And these 5 or 6 hours
according to his tastes.
self,
a day
will fully enable him to procure for himif he associates with others, all he wishes
for, in addition to the necessaries guaranteed
him

or

to all.

He will discharge first his task in the field,


to society
the factory, and so on, which he owes
his contribution
to the general production.
as
And he will employ
the second half of his day,
his week, or his year, to satisfy his artistic or
scientific needs, or his hobbies.
Thousands
of societies will spring up to
gratify every taste and every possible fancy.
for example,
Some,
will give their hours of
leisure to literature. They
will then form
ters,
prinauthors, compositors,
comprising
draughtsmen,
a
all pursuing
engravers,
the propagation
common
of ideas that are
aim
dear to them.
Nowadays
that there is a
an
author knows
for the
beast of burden, the worker, to whom,
sum
entrust the
of a few shillings a day, he can
to
printing of his books; but he hardly cares
know what a printing office is like. If the compositor
if
the
and
suffers from lead-poisoning,
dies of ansemia,
child who sees to the machine

groups

"

to replace
there not other poor wretches
them?
But when
there will be no more
starvelings
for
to
a pittance,
ready
sell their work
when the
of to-day will be educated,
exploited worker
ideas to put down in black
and will have his own
are

and

white

and

to communicate

to others, then

THE

NEED

FOR

LUXURY

139

the authors and scientific men


will be compelled
to combine
the
themselves
and
with
among
printers, in order to bring out their prose and
their poetry.
So long as men
consider fustian and manual
labour
a
of inferiority, it will appear
mark
to see an author setting up his
to them
amazing
book in type, for has he not a gymnasium
own
by way
But when
or
the
games
of diversion?
labour has
opprobrium
connected with manual

disappeared,
their

hands,

when
all will have
there being no
one

to work
with
to do it for

them,

then the authors as well as their admirers


learn the art of handling
will soon
composingthe pleasure of
sticks and type ; they will know
together
coming
all admirers of the work to be
it into
to set up the type, to shape
printed
pages, to take it in its virginal purity from the
"

"

instruments
machines,
to the child who
them
attends on
of torture
from morn
till night, will be a source
of enjoyment
in
for those who will make
use
them
of
of their
order to give voice to the thoughts
favourite author.

press.

These

beautiful

Will literature lose by it? Will the poet be


less a poet after having worked
out of doors or
helped with his hands
to multiply
his work?
Will the novelist lose his knowledge
of human
nature
after having
rubbed
shoulders
with
in
forest
factory,
in
or
the
the
the
other men
laying out of a road or on a railway line ? Can
to these questions?
there be two answers
Maybe
books will be less voluminous;
some
but then, more
fewer pages.
will be said on

THE

140

fewer
Maybe
but the matter

OF

CONQUEST

BREAD

will be published;
printed will be more
attentivelybook
The
more
will
read and
appreciated.
better educated
to a larger circle of
appeal
waste-slieets

to judge.
readers, who will be more
competent
Moreover,
the art of printing,
that has so
is still in its
little progressed
since Gutenberg,
in
infancy.
It takes two
hours
to
compose
is written in ten minutes,
but more
type what

thought are
expeditious methods
of multiplying
being sought after and will be discovered.*
AVhat a pity every author does not have to
take his share in the printing
of his works !
have
What
printing
progress
would
already
made ! We
should no longer be using movable
letters, as in the seventeenth
century.

Ill
Is it a dream to conceive a society in which
become
received
all having
producers,
all having
to
an
that enables them
vate
cultieducation
leisure
having
to do
science or art, and all
"

to publish the works


combine
would
their choice, by contributing
each his share
have already hundreds
We
manual
work?
so

"

men

learned, literary, and


*

They
lines were

have

already
written.

other societies; and

been

discovered

since

the

of
of

of
these
above

THE

FOR

NEED

LUXURY

141

but voluntary
of
societies are
nothing
groups
interested in certain branches of learning,
men,
and
associated for the purpose
of publishing
The
their works.
authors who
write for the
periodicals of these societies are not paid, and
the periodicals, apart from a limited number
of
sent gratis to
copies, are not for sale; they are
all quarters of the globe, to other societies, cultivating
branches of learning.
This
the same
insert in its review
member
of the Society may
his observations;
a one-page
note summarizing
another may
publish therein an extensive work,
the results of long years of study; while others
will confine themselves to consulting the review
It
for further
as
a
research.
starting-point
does not

all these authors and readers


in
are
associated for the production
of works
which all of them take an interest.
matter

It is true that

learned
to

vidual
society, like the indi-

printing office where


to do
are
the printing.
workmen
engaged
to the learned
Nowadays,
belong
those who
labour which
indeed
societies despise manual
is carried on under very bad conditions; but a
a
community
give
generous
would
which
to all its
philosophic and scientific
education
how to organize manual
know
members,
would
labour in such a way that it would be the pride
Its learned
come
beof humanity.
societies would
lovers
associations
of
explorers,
of
a
all knowing
science, and workers
manual
trade and all interested in science.
author,

goes

"

If,

for

geology,

example,

the

Society

all will contribute

is studying
to the exploration

142

THE

OF

CONQUEST

BEEAD

of the earth's strata; each member


in
his share
ten
and
research,
have now
observers, where we
only a
in a year than we can
do
will do more

will take
thousand
hundred,
in twenty

And

to be pubtheir works are


when
lished,
ten thousand
men
and women,
skilled
in different trades, will be ready to draw maps,
designs, compose,
engrave
and print the books.
With
in
gladness will they give their leisure
in winter
to exploration,
to indoor
summer
And
they
their works
work.
appear,
when
but ten thousand
will find not only a hundred,

years.

"

work.
This

in

interested

readers

their

common

is the

direction in which
is
progress
Even
England
to-day, when
already moving.
felt the need of a complete
dictionary of the
language,
English
the birth of a Littre, who
devote
his life to this work, was
not
would
waited for.
a
thousand

Volunteers

appealed to, and


men
their
offered
services,
spontaneously
and gratuitously, to ransack the
libraries, to take notes, and to accomplish
in a
few

years

complete

were

work
which
in his lifetime.

one

man

could not
In all branches
of
spirit is breaking

human
intelligence the same
forth, and we should have a very limited knowledge
not guess that the
of humanity
could we
future is announcing
itself in such tentative
is gradually
taking
the
co-operation,
which
place of individual work.
For this dictionary to be a really collective
work,

it would

have

been

necessary

that many

THE
volunteer

NEED

authors,
have
should

FOR

LUXURY

printers,

143

and

printers'
in common
; but
readers
worked
in this direction is done already in
something
the Socialist Press, which offers us examples
of
intellectual
It
manual
and
work
combined.
happens
in our
that a Socialist
newspapers
in lead his own
article. True,
but they indicate in
are
rare,
attempts
such
which direction evolution is going.
They
In future,
the road of liberty.
show
a man
when
will have something
useful to say
a
the thoughts
word that goes beyond
of his
he will not have to look for an editor
century,
author

composes

"

He
the necessary capital.
might advance
those who
will look for collaborators among
know
the
the printing trade, and who approve
Together
idea of his new
they will
work.
book or journal.
publish the new
to be a
Literature and journalismwill cease
means
of money-making
and living at the cost
is there any one
knows
But
who
of others.
who

from within, and who


literature and journalism
does not ardently desire that literature should
at last be able to free itself from those who
formerly protected it, and who now
exploit it,
from

the

rare
which,
with
multitude
to its
pays for it in proportion
exceptions,
to the
ii
or
ease
mediocrity,
which
with
itself to the bad taste of the greater
adapts

and

?
number
Letters

take their
and
science will only
development
proper place in the work of human
bondage, they
when, freed from all mercenary

144

THE

OF

CONQUEST

BREAD

will be exclusively cultivated by those who


them, and for those who love them.

love

IV
be
Literature,
must
art
and
science,
Only on this condition
cultivated by free men.
in emancipating
themselves
will they succeed
from the yoke of the State, of Capital, and of
the bourgeois mediocrity
stifles them.
which
has

the scientist of to-day to


Should he
make
researches that interest him ?
ask help of the State, which can
only be given
to one
and which only
candidate in a hundred,
he may
obtain who promises ostensibly to keep
how the
Let us remember
to the beaten track ?
What

Academy
Darwin,

means

of
how

Sciences
of
the Academy

France

repudiated
of St. Petersburg
contempt,
and how the

treated Mendeleeff with


Royal
Society of London
in which
Joule's
paper,

refused to publish
he
determined
the
it
finding
of heat,

equivalent
mechanical
"
unscientific.'**
It is why all great researches, all discoveries
outside
revolutionizing science, have been made
by men
rich
and universities, either
academies
like Darwin
independent,
to remain
and
enough
Lyell, or by men
their health
who undermined
"

We

know

Joule'a death.

this from

Playfair,

who

mentioned

it at

THE

NEED

FOE

145

LUXURY

in poverty,
often in great
and
working
for want
time
of a
straits, losing endless
ments
laboratory, and unable to procure the instruto continue
books necessary
their
or
researches, but persevering
against hope, and
often dying before they had reached the end
is legion.
in view.
Their name

by

Altogether,
is so
State

of help granted by the


has
science
always
itself from it. For
to emancipate
the system
bad
that

endeavoured
there
are
thousands
reason
this very
of
by
learned societies organized and maintained
in Europe
America,
some
and
volunteers
having developed to such a degree that all the
resources
of subventioned
societies, and all the
their
not buy
wealth
of millionaires, would
No governmental
institution is as
treasures.
rich as the Zoological Society of London,
which
is supported by voluntary contributions.
It does not
buy
in
the
animals
which
thousands
people its gardens : they are sent by
other societies and by collectors of the entire
The Zoological Society of Bombay
world.
will
a
time
a
elephant as
send an
gift; another
hippopotamus
is offered by
or
a
rhinoceros
Egyptian
And
these magnificent
naturalists.
in every
day, arriving
are
presents
pouring
from all quarters of the globe
birds, reptiles,
Such consignments
collections of insects, etc.
often comprise animals that could not be bought
for all the gold in the world; thus, a traveller
who has captured an animal at life's peril, and
loves it as he would love a child, will give
now
it to the Society because he is sure
it will be
"

"

146
cared

THE
for.
they

CONQUEST
The

entrance

are

OF

BREAD

fee paid

by

visitors,
suffices for the
institution.

numberless,
maintenance
of that immense
is defective in the Zoological Society
What
of London,
and in other kindred societies, is

and

fee cannot
be paid in work ;
that the member's
that the keepers and numerous
employes
of this
large institution are not recognized as members

have
no
many
of the Society,
other
while
incentive to joiningthe society than to put the
letters
F.Z.S.
(Fellow of the
cabalistic
In
Zoological
a
Society)on their cards.
is a more
is needed
operati
perfect cowhat
word,

We
may
say the same
about inventors, thai
have said of scientists. Who
does not know
we
what sufferings nearly all great inventions have
Sleepless nights, families deprived
cost?
of
bread, want
ments,
of tools and materials for experithis is the history of nearly all those
have
industry
with inventions
who
enriched
the truly legitimate pride of our
are
which

civilization.
But what are

we

to do to alter conditions -that

is convinced are bad ? Patents have


everybody
been tried, and we know with what results. The
inventor sells his patent for a few pounds, and
the man
who has only lent the capital pockets
the enormous
profits often resulting from the
invention. Besides, patents isolate the inventor.
They

him to keep secret his researches


compel
therefore end in failure; whereas
the
which
from a brain less
simplest suggestion, coming

THE

NEED

FOR

LUXURY

147

idea, sometimes
absorbed in tbe fundamental
it
suffices to fertilize the invention and make
Like
all State control, patents
practical.
hamper
Thought
the progress
of industry.
being incapable of being patented, patents are a
in theory, and in practice they
crying injustice
result in one
of the great obstacles to the rapid
development
of invention.
What
is needed to promote the spirit of invention
is, first of all, the awakening
of thought,
our
the boldness of conception, which
entire
to languish; it is the spreading
education causes

which
of a scientific education,
would
increase the number
fold
of inquirers a hundredis going to take
; it is faith that humanity
because it is enthusiasm,
forward,
the
a step
of doing good, that has inspired all the
The Social Revolution
alone
great inventors.
can
give this impulse to thought, this boldness,
this co eviction of working
this knowledge,
for all.
hope

Then

shall have

institutes supplied
with motor-power
and tools of all sorts, immense
industrial laboratories open
to all inquirers,
we

vast

will be able to work out their dreams,


after having acquitted themselves of their duty
towards society; machinery
palaces where they
will spend their five or six hours of leisure;

where

men

where they will make their experiments ; where


they will find other comrades, experts in other
branches of industry, likewise coming
to study
difficult problem,
some
therefore able to
and
help and enlighten each other,
the encounter
"

k2

148

CONQUEST

THE

OF

BREAD

of their ideas and experience causing tlie


longed-for solution to be found. And yet again,
in
dream.
Solanoy
Gorodok,
this is no
Petersburg, has already partially realized it as
It is a factory well
regards technical matters.
furnished with tools and free to all; tools and
motor-power
and wood are

are

supplied gratis, only metals


fortunately
charged for at cost price. Unworkmen
only go there at night
out by ten hours' labour in the workwhen worn
shop.
Moreover,
they carefully hide their
inventions from each other, as they are hampered
by patents and Capitalism
that bane of
present society, that stumbling-block in the
path of intellectualand moral progress.
"

And
what about art? From
all sides we
hear lamentations about the decadence of art.
We are, indeed, far behind the great masters of
the Renaissance. The technicalities of art
have recently made great progress; thousands
of talent
of people gifted with a certain amount
to flyfrom
cultivate every branch, but art seems
headway,
civilization! Technicalities make
but inspiration frequents artists' studios less

than ever.
Where,
a

grand

indeed, should it come


idea can
inspire art.

Only
from?
Art is in our

THE

NEED

FOR

149

LUXURY

look
ideal synonymous
with creation, it must
a few rare,
very rare
ahead; but save
exceptions,
too philistine to
the professional artist remains
horizons.
perceive new
Moreover,
from
this inspiration cannot come
books ; it must
be drawn
from life, and present
it.
arouse
society cannot
Raphael

and Murillo painted at a time when


ideal could be pursued while
the search of a new
They
the old religious traditions.
retaining
painted to decorate churches
which themselves
represented
of a

the

tions
pious work
of several generaThe
basilic with its
given
city.
was
mysterious
aspect, its grandeur,
connected
life
itself
the
the
with
city, and could inspire
of
He worked for a popular monument
a
;
painter.
he spoke to his fellow-citizens, and in return he
inspiration ; he
to
the
received
appealed
in the same
the
multitude
way as did the nave,
the statues, and
pillars, the stained windows,
doors.
Nowadays
the
the
carved
greatest
honour
canvas,
museum,

can
painter
aspire to is to
framed
hung
in gilded
wood,
a

see

sort of old curiosity shop, where

his
in

you

in the Prado,
Murillo's Ascension
next
beggar
to a
the dogs
of Velasquez
of
and
Philip II.
Poor Velasquez
and poor Murillo!
see,

Poor

as

Greek

statues

which

lived in the Acropolis

of their cities, and are now


stifled beneath the
red cloth hangings
of the Louvre !
When
Greek sculptor chiselled his marble
a

he endeavoured
to express the spirit and heart
All its passions, all its traditions
of the city.

OF

CONQUEST

THE

150

BREAD

But
to live again in the work.
of glory, were
to-day the united city has ceased to exist ; there
is
The town
is no more
communion
of ideas.
do not
a chance
agglomeration
of people who
know

one

interest,
the

save

expense

have
no
common
another,
who
that of enriching
themselves
at
fatherland
The
of one
another.

does not exist.


international banker
.

What

fatherland

the
have in

can

and the rag-picker


? Only when
common
cities,territories, nations,
or
their
groups
of nations, will have renewed
harmonious
life, will art be able to draw its
inspiration from ideals held in common.
Then
will the architect conceive the city's monument
which
will no longer be a temple, a prison, or
fortress; then will the
a
painter, the sculptor,
know
the carver,
the ornament-worker
where
to
their canvases,
their statues,
put
and
deriving
their decorations;
their power
of
from
the same
execution
and
vital source,
gloriously marching
all together towards the
future.
The best
tillthen art can only vegetate.
that
those
canvases
artists are
of modern
represent nature, villages, valleys, the sea with
its dangers, the mountain
with its splendours.
the painter express the poetry of
But how can
he has only contemplated
work in the fields if
delighted in it
it, if he has never
it, imagined
it as a bird of
If he only knows
himself?
in his
he soars
over
the country
passage knows
If, in the vigour of early youth,
migrations?
he has not followed the plough
at dawn,
and
But

FOR

NEED

THE

151

LUXURY

grass with a large sweep of the


in
haymakers
to hardy
next
vying
scythe
energy
girls who fill the air
with lively young
The love of the soil and of
with their songs?
what grows on it is not acquired by sketching

enjoyedmowing

it is only in its service ; and


with a paint-brush
This is why
without loving it, how paint it?
in this
all that the best painters have produced
direction is still so imperfect, not true to life,
"

There is no
nearly always merely sentimental.
strength in it.
You must have seen
a sunset
when
returning
from
have
You
been
a
must
work.
peasant
to keep the splendour
among
peasants
of it in
You
have
been
must
your eye.
at sea
with
hours
fishermen
day
the
at all
of
and night,

have

fished yourself, struggled with the waves,


faced the storm, and after rough
work experienced
heavy net, or the
the joy of hauling
a

disappointment

of seeing it empty,
You
of fishing.
poetry

the

to

understand
have
must

the fatigues and


spent time in a factory, known
forged
by
the joys of creative work,
metals
the viTid light of a blast furnace, have felt the

life in

machine,

to understand

and to express it in a
in fact, be permeated
must,
to describe them.
man

work

with

the power
of art.

of
You

popular

ings,
feel-

works
of future artists who
life of the
lived
have
the
people,
will
like the great artists of the past, will not be
integral
for sale. They
destined
will be an
Besides,

part of

the

living whole

that would

not

be

com-

152

BEEAD

OF

CONQUEST

THE

than they would


any more
it. Men
will go to the
without
city to gaze at his work, and the
artist's own
beauty
spirited and serene
of such creations
its beneficial effect on heart and
will produce

plete without
be complete

mind.
Art,

them,

in order
industry

with
degrees,

to develop,

by

blended,

so

must

thousand

to say,

as

be bound

up
intermediate

Euskin

and

the

great Socialist poet Morris have proved so often


Everything
that surrounds
man,
and so well.
in the street, in the interior
and
exterior of
be of a pure artistic
public monuments,
must
form.
But

this

which

all

can

only be realized in a society in


Then
comfort
and leisure.

enjoy
we

see
only shall
art associations, of which each
for his capacity ; for art
member
will find room
infinity of purely
dispense
an
cannot
with

technical
tvorks.
supplementary
and
to
artistic associations will undertake
the houses
as
embellish
of their members,
those kind
volunteers, the young
painters of
Edinburgh,
did in decorating
the walls and
ceilings of the great hospital for the poor in
manual
These

their city.
A
has produced
or
a
painter
sculptor who
feeling will offer it to the
work
of personal
he loves, or to a friend.
Executed
for
woman
love's sake,
will his work, inspired by love, be
inferior to the art that to-day
satisfies the
"

vanity
much

of

the

money?

philistine,

because

it has

cost

THE

who

LUXURY

153

will be done as regards all pleasures


in the necessaries of life. He
comprised
piano will enter the
wishes for a grand

The
not

FOR

NEED

same

And
association of musical instrument
makers.
by giving the association part of his half-days*
leisure, he will soon
possess the piano of his
dreams.
If he is fond of astronomical
studies
he will jointhe association of astronomers,
with
its philosophers, its observers, its calculators,
with

its artists in astronomical

instruments,

its

and he will have the


scientists and amateurs,
telescope he desires by taking his share of the
associated work, for it is especially the rough
in an
that is needed
work
servato
obastronomical
bricklayer's, carpenter's, founder's,
"

mechanic's
work, the last touch being given to
the instrument
of precision by the artist.
In short, the five or seven
hours a day which
each

will have

consecrated

at

his

disposal,

several hours

to the

after

having

production

of

amply
necessities, would
suffice to satisfy all
longings for luxury, however
varied. Thousands
to supply them.
of associations would undertake
What
is now
insignificant
the privilege of an
be accessible to all. Luxury,
minority
would

ceasing to be a foolish and ostentatious


an
of the bourgeois class, would become

pleasure.
Everyone

would

be

the

happier

display

artistic

for it.

In

collective work, performed


with a light heart to
attain a desired end, a book, a work of art, or an
incentive
of luxury,
each will find an

object

154
and

THE
the

necessary

pleasant.
In working
between

happiness

humanity.

OF

CONQUEST

master

of

to

relaxation
put

an

end

and slave, we
for the
both,

BREAD
that
to

makes

the

life

division

for
work
happiness

the

of

CHAPTER
WORK

AGREEABLE

When

Socialists

freed from

the

maintain
rule of the

make
work agreeable, and
repugnant
and
unhealthy
laughed at.
And
yet even

that

society,

capitalists, would
suppress
all
would
drudgery,
they
are

to-day we
that is being made

the striking progress


direction ; and wherever

can

see

in this
has been

this progress
themselves on
congratulate
achieved, employers
the economy
of energy obtained thereby.
It is evident that a factory could be made
as
healthy and pleasant as a scientific laboratory.
be
it is no
less evident that it would
And
In a spacious and
it so.
to make
advantageous
well-ventilated factory the work is better ; it is
easy to introduce many
small ameliorations, of
of time or of
which each represents an economy
labour.
And
if most of the workshops
manual
know
foul and unhealthy,
it is because
we
are
in the organizathe workers are of no account
tion
because
factories,
the most
of
and
absurd
human
is
distinctive
feature
the
waste of
energy
of the present industrial organization.

Nevertheless,

now

and

again,

we

already

THE

156
find,

CONQUEST
now,

OF
factories

BREAD

so

well managed
that it would be a real pleasure to work in them,
if the work, be it well understood,
were
not to
last more
than four or five hours a day, and if
it
had
the possibility of varying
every one
to his tastes.
according
in
I know,
There are immense
works, which
even

some

counties, unfortunately
of the Midland
They
to engines
are
consecrated
perof war.
fect
intelligent
as
zation.
organiregards sanitary and
They
fifty
English
acres
of
occupy
land, fifteen of which are roofed with glass. The
pavement
of fire-proof bricks is as clean as that
fully
of a miner's cottage, and the glass roof is careby
a
cleaned
gang
of workmen
who do

one

forged steel
else. In these works are
blooms
twenty
as
or
as
much
weighing
tons;
you
when
and
stand thirty feet from
flames have
furnace,
a
the immense
whose
degrees,
temperature
than a thousand
of more

nothing
ingots

do not
its
save
guess its presence
when
And
great doors open to let out a steel monster.
is handled
by only three or four
the monster
here, now
there, open a tap
workmen,
who now
immense
to move
cranes
one
causing
way or
by the pressure of water.
another
You
enter these works
expecting to hear the
deafening
noise of stampers,
and you find that
there are no stampers.
The immense
hundredton guns
and the crank-shafts
of transatlantic
forged by hydra alio pressure, and
are
steamers
has but to turn a tap to give
the worker
shape
to the immense
mass
a
of steel, which
makes
far more
homogeneous
metal,
without
crack
you

WOEK

AGREEABLE
flaw,

or

of

thickness.
I expected

the

blooms,

whateTer

157
be

their

infernal grating, and


I saw
cut blocks of steel thirty feet
machines
which
long with no more
to cut
noise than is needed
I expressed my admiration
And when
cheese.
he
us
to the
round,
who
showed
engineer
answered
**
A

an

"

This
economy!
for
that planes steel, has been m
use
machine,
forty-two years.
It would not have lasted ten
*
years if its parts, badly adjusted, interfered
and creaked at each movement
of the plane !
mere

question

of

'

**

It would
be a
the blast-furnaces?
to let heat escape instead of utilizing it.
heat lost by
the founders, when
roast

And

waste

Why

radiation represents tons of coal?


*'
buildings shake
The
that made
stampers
Is it not better
five leagues off were
also waste.
it
by impact, and
to forge by pressure
than
costs less there is less loss.
"

*'

In

light, cleanliness, the


bench, are but a simple
is better done
Work
you do, and have elbow-

these

works,
to
each
space allotted
question
of economy.
when

you

can

see

what

room.

"It

is

true,"

*'

he

we
were
said,
here.
Land
before
coming
cramped
in the vicinity of large towns
expensive
are
so
grasping !

very
is so
"

lords
land-

"

It is even
We
know what mines
so in mines.
from Zola's descriptions
like nowadays
are
and
from newspaper
But
the
reports.
mine
of the
future will be well ventilated, with a temper-

158

THE

OF

CONQUEST

BREAD

easily regulated as that of a library ;


to die below the
there will be no horses doomed
traction will be carried on
earth : underground
by means
of an automatic
cable put in motion
Ventilators will be always
at the pit's mouth.
be explosions.
there will never
working,
and
This is no dream.
Such a mine is already to be
it. Here again
in England
down
seen
; I went
the excellent organization is simply a question
I speak, in
The mine
of economy.
of which
has an
depth (466
spite of its immense
yards),
tons of coal a day, with
output
of a thousand
five tons a day per
only two hundred
miners
for the two
the average
whereas
each worker,
thousand
at the time I visited
pits in England
hardly
in the early 'nineties, was
this mine
tons a year per man.
three hundred
ature

as

"

If

it would be easy to multiply


that as regards the material
examples
proving
not a Utopia.
organisation Fourier's dream was
has, however,
quently
freThis
been
so
question
discussed in Socialist newspapers
that
on
public opinion should already be educated
be
Factory, forge, and mine
this point.
can
healthy
finest
as
the
as
and
magnificent
laboratories in modern
the
universities, and
better the organization
the more
will man's
labour produce.
necessary,

If it be so,
can
we
become
a
pleasure and
of equals, in which

doubt

that

work will
a
relaxation in a society
*'
hands "
will not be
to sell themselves
to toil, and
to
compelled
Repugnant
accept work under any conditions?
tasks will disappear, because it is evident that

159

WORK

AGEEEABLE

harmful
to
are
conditions
Slaves can
submit to them,
society as a whole.
new
but free men
conditions, and
will create
their work will be pleasant and infinitely more
The
of to-day will be
exceptions
productive.
the rule of to-morrow.
to pass
The
as
same
regards
will come
domestic work, which to-day society lays on the
woman.
shoulders of that drudge of humanity
these

unhealthy

"

II

will
society regenerated by the Revolution
disappear
domestic
this last
make
slavery
form
the most
tenacious,
of slavery, perhaps
Only it
because
it is also the most
ancient.
dreamt
of by
about in the way
will not come
in
Phalansterians,
the
nor
manner
often
imagined
by authoritarian Communists.
A

"

Phalansteries
to millions of
are
repugnant
human
beings. The most reserved man
certainly
feels the necessity of meeting
his fellows for
becomes
the purpose
work, which
of common
he feels himself
the more
attractive the more
immense
But it is not so
a
part of an
whole.
for the hours of leisure, reserved for rest and
intimacy.

The

phalanstery
and the family stery
do not
take this into account,
or
else they
to supply
by
this need
endeavour
artificial
groupings.
A phalanstery,
which is in fact nothing but

THE

160

immense

an

CONQUEST
hotel,

OF

BREAD

can

please some,
and even
all
life,
but
their
a
the
at
certain period of
great
life (family life of the
mass
prefers family
future, be it
They prefer isolated

understood).

Anglo-Saxons
even
apartments,
going as far as
to prefer houses of from
in
six to eight rooms,
the family,
or
an
which
agglomeration
of
friends, can
live apart.
Sometimes
a
stery
phalanis a necessity, but it would be hateful,
it the general rule. Isolation, alternating
desire
with time spent in society, is the normal
This
is why
one
nature.
of human
of the
greatest tortures in prison is the impossibility
were

isolation, much
as
of
solitary confinement
becomes torture in its turn, when not alternated
with hours of social life.
As

to

economy,

which
favour
on
are
of
man.
phalansteries, they are those of a petty tradesimportant
The most
the only
economy,
life pleasant for all,
is to make
reasonable one,
is satisfied with his life
because the man
who
of
considerations
laid stress
sometimes

infinitely more
produces
his surroundings.*
curses
*

than

in

the

man

who

Tcaria had
that the Communists
of Young
the importance
of a free choice in their daily
understood
ideal of religious Communists
from
The
work.
relations apart
in
been to have
has always
common
; it is
meals
by meals in common
their
that early Christians manifested
is still a vestige of
Communion
to Christianity.
adhesion
it. Young
Icarians had given up this religious tradition.
but at small separate
in a common
dined
dining room,
They
It

seems

to the attractions
they sat according
tables, at which
of
have
Anama
Communists
The
their
the moment.
each
of
home,
house
dine
their
taking
at
at
and
while
provisions
stores.
will at the communal

WOEK

AGREEABLE
Other

Socialists

161

But
phalanstery.
how domestic work can
be
when
you ask them
*'
Each
do 'his
can
they answer:
organized,
My
the house; the
own
work.'
wife manages
And
if
wives of bourgeois will do as much."
it is a bourgeois
at Socialism
playing
who
the
reject

speaks, he will add, with a gracious smile to his


*'
Is it not true, darling, that you would
wife :
do without
in a Socialist society?
a
servant

You

like the wife of our


work
would
good
Paul
the
or
the
comrade
wife
of John
'*
carpenter?
Servant
or
on
wife, man
reckons
always
to do the house-work.

woman

But

too, at last claims

woman,

the emancipation
of humanity.
to be the beast of burden
wants
She considers it sufficient work

her share in
She no longer
of the house.
to give

many
her
her
to
life
the rearing of
children.
years of
She no longer wants to be the cook, the mender,
to
And,
the sweeper
of the house !
owing
American
women
taking the lead in obtaining
their claims, there is a general complaint
of
the

dearth

to
who
will condescend
domestic work in the United States.
My lady
prefers art, politics, literature, or the gaming
tables ; as to the work-girls, they are few, those

who

consent

of

to

women

submit
only found

to

apron-slavery, and
are
servants
with difficulty in the
States.
Consequently,
the
solution, a very
is pointed
by
life itself.
one,
simple
out
Machinery
three-quarters
undertakes
of the
household cares.
L

162

OF

CONQUEST

THE

BREAD

how
know
boots, and you
your
be more
is. What
can
this work
ridiculous
boot twenty
thirty
or
a
stupid than rubbing
times with a brush ? A tenth of the European
be compelled
to sell itself in
must
population
black

You

for a miserable shelter and insufficient


exchange
food, and woman
must
consider herself a slave,
in order that millions of her sex
should go
through
this performance
every morning.
But
hairdressers have
for
already machines
brushing
glossy or woolly heads of hair. Why
not apply, then, the same
should we
principle
to the other extremity?
So it has been done,
for blacking boots
the machine
and nowadays
is in general use in big American
and European
hotels.
Its use is spreading outside hotels. In

large English
the pupils are
schools, where
in the houses of the teachers, it has
boarding
been found easier to have one
single establishment
to brush
thousand
a
which
undertakes
pairs of boots every morning.
find a
As to washing
can
we
up ! Where
housewife who has not a horror of this long and
dirty work, that is usually done by hand, solely
because the work of the domestic slave is of no
account.

There
better.
are
hot water
of cities in which
already a number
is in
is conveyed
to the houses
as
cold water
In

Europe.

America

Under

they

do

conditions the problem


Mrs. Cochrane
a simple
one,
was
and a woman
twelve dozen
washes
solved it. Her machine
plates or dishes, wipes them and dries them, in
A factory in Illinois
less than three minutes.
these

"

"

WORK

AGEEEABLE

163

these machines
and sells them at
manufactures
a
price within reach of the average middle-class
And
why
purse.
should not small households
as
well
send their crockery to an establishment
It is even
that the
as
their boots?
probable
two functions, brushing
up, will
and washing
be undertaken
by the same
association.
Cleaning,
the skin off your hands'
rubbing
linen ; sweeping
when
washing
and wringing
brushing
floors and
carpets, thereby raising
clouds of dust which afterwards occasion
much
trouble to dislodge from the places where they
have settled down,
all this work is still done
because woman
remains a slave, but it tends to
disappear as it can
be infinitely better done by
Machines
machinery.
of all kinds
will be
introduced
into households,
bution
the distriand
in private houses will
of motor-power
enable

people

to work

them

without

muscular

effort.
Such machines
If
cost littleto manufacture.
for them, it is because
we
still pay very much
they are not in general use, and chiefly because
an
exorbitant tax is levied upon every machine
by the gentlemen
wish to live in grand
who
land, raw
have speculated on
style and who
material,

manufacture,

sale,

patents,

and

duties.
from domestic toil will not
But emancipation
by
be brought
about
small machines
only.
from
Households
are
their present
emerging
state of isolation; they begin to associate with
to do in common
other households
what they
did separately.

l2

164

THE

CONQUEST

In fact, in the
brushing
machine,

future

OF

BREAD

shall not have a


for washing
a
up
machine
linen, and so on,
plates, a third for washing
in each house.
To the future, on
the contrary,
belongs the common
heating apparatus
trict
that sends heat into each room
of a whole disand spares the lighting of fires. It is
cities. A great
already so in a few American
furnace
all houses
supplies
and
central
all
rooms
with hot water, which circulates in pipes;
we

the temperature
you need only
And
to have
turn
tap.
a
a
should you care
blazing fire in any
can
you
particular room
light the gas specially supplied for heating
and

to regulate

purposes
immense

from

central

All

the
ing
chimneys
and keepknows
what time it
reservoir.

work
of cleaning
fires
up
and woman
is disappearing.
takes
Candles, lamps, and even
gas have had their
day.
There
it is
are
entire cities in which
for light to burst
sufficient to press a button
forth, and, indeed, it is a simple
question of
knowledge
to
economy
and of
give yourself the
luxury
And
lastly, also in
of electric light.
America,
they speak of forming
societies for
the almost complete
suppression
of household
It would
to create a
work.
only be necessary
department
for every block of houses.
A cart
to each door and take the boots to
come
would
be blacked, the crockery to be
up, the
washed
linen to be washed,
the small
things to be
(ifit were worth while),the carpets to
mended
be brushed, and the next morning
bring
would
back the things entrusted to it,
all well cleaned.
"

"

165

WORK

AGREEABLE

few hours later your hot coiiee and your eggs


done to a nicety would
on
appear
your table.
It is a fact that between
twelve and two o'clock
than twenty
there are more
million Americans
Englishmen
and as many
who eat roast beef or
boiled pork, potatoes, and a seasonable
mutton,
And
at the lowest figure eight milvegetable.
lion
A

fires burn
this meat

roast

million

women

meal

during

two

or

three

hours

to

these vegetables ; eight


a
their time preparing
spend
taking all households,
represents
cook

and

which,
different dishes.
a dozen
at most
*'
fires burn,'*
Fifty
American
an
wrote
^^
woman
the other day,
sufwould
fice
where one
"
!
Dine at home, at your own
table, with
your children, if you like ; but only think yourself,
fifty
women
their
waste
why
should these
few cups of coffee
to prepare
a
whole morning
and

simple

meal

Why

fifty fires, when

two

people and one


suffice to cook
single fire would
all these pieces of meat and all these vegetables?
beef or mutton
to be roasted
Choose your own
Season the vegetables
if you are
particular.
if you prefer a particular sauce
!
But have a single kitchen with a single fire, and
organize it as beautifully as you are able to.
been of any
has woman's
Why
never
work
in every family are the mother
Why
account?

to your

taste

four

obliged to spend so
to
time
at
what
pertains
cooking?
much
Because
to emancipate
those who
manwant
kind
in their dream
have not included woman
their
of emancipation,
and consider it beneath
'^
dignity to think
of those
superior masculine

and

three

or

servants

166

kitchen
on

OF

CONQUEST

THE

BREAD

they ha"ve put


which
woman.
of that drudge
is not only to open
woman,

arrangements/'

the shoulders
To emancipate

"

the gates of the university, the law courts, or


**
*'
to her, for the
the parliaments
emancipated
domestic toil on to
throw
woman
will always
is to
To emancipate
woman
woman.
another

free her from

the brutalizing toil of kitchen and


it is to organise your household
in
her children,
her to rear
as to enable

washhouse;
such a way
if she be so
while
still retaining
minded,
sufficient leisure to take her share of social life.
It will come.
have said, things are
As we
improving.

Only

let

fully understand
intoxicated
that a revolution,
with the
beautiful words. Liberty, Equality, Solidarity,
be a revolution
if it maintained
not
would
Half humanity
to
slavery at home.

already

us

subjected

slavery of the hearth would


rebel against the other half.

the

still have

to

CHAPTER
FREE

Accustomed

as

XI

AGREEMENT

are

we

by

hereditary

prejudice
our
training
unsound
education and
and
to represent
the beneficial hand
ourselves
of
Government,
legislation and magistracy
where,
everyhave come
to believe that man
we
would

his fellow-man
to pieces like a wild beast
that
the day the police took his eye off him;
come
absolute chaos would
about if authority
during
And
were
a
overthrown
revolution.
eyes shut we
pass by thousands
with our
and
form
thousands
of human
groupings
which
freely, without any intervention of
themselves
the law, and attain results infinitely superior to
tear

tutelage.
under governmental
daily paper you find that its
a
transactions
are
entirely devoted to Government
from
and to political jobbery. A man

those achieved
If you open
pages

believe that,
world, reading it, would
another
the
of the Stock Exchange
with
exception
transactions,
save
gets done in Europe
nothing
by order of some
You find nothing
in
master.

the
grow

institutions that spring


up,
about
up, and develop without ministerial prescripti
Even
! Nothing
or
almost nothing !

paper

"

168

THE

CONQUEST

where there is
Fails
diners^
Trench

OF

heading,

*'

BREAD

Sundry

Events

'*

favourite
in
the
column
nected
papers),it is because they are conthe
A
family
drama,
an
with
police.
if the
act of rebellion, will only be mentioned
on
the scene.
police have appeared
Three hundred
and fifty million Europeans
love or hate one
another, work, or live on their
incomes; but, apart from literature, theatre, or
ignored by newspapers
sport, their lives remain
have not intervened
in it in
if Governments
It is even
so
some
way or other.
with history.
know
We
the least details of the life of a king
or
of a parliament;
all good and bad speeches
by the politicians have been prepronounced
served
*'
had the
never
that have
:
speeches
least influence on the vote of a single member,'*

Royal
said.
old parliamentarian
visits,
bad
humour
the good or
of politicians, their
jokesand intrigues, are all carefully recorded
But
have
for posterity.
we
the
greatest
as

an

difficulty to reconstitute a city of the Middle


Ages, to understand
the mechanism
of that
immense
commerce
that was
carried on between
Hanseatic
how
the city of
cities, or to know
Rouen
built its cathedral.
If a scholar spends
his life in studying

these questions,

his works
histories

unknown,
remain
and parliamentary
is
to say, the defective ones,
that
they only
as
treat of one
they
side of social life multiply;

"

"

are

circulated, they
In
this way
we

prodigious

work

are

do

taught
not

even

accomplished

in schools.
perceive the
every day by

FEEE

AGREEMENT

169

groups
of men,
spontaneous
which
constitutes
the chief work of our
century.
We
to point out some
therefore propose
of
these most striking manifestations,
and to show
how
men,
their interests do not
as
soon
as

clash, act in concert,

absolutely
and

collective work

perform

harmoniously,
a

of

very

complex

nature.

It is evident that in present society, based on


individual property
that is to say, on plunder,
and on a narrow-minded,
and therefore foolish
individualism
facts of this kind are necessarily
"

"

limited ; agreements
are
free, and
they
often
execrable aim.
But what concerns

which

which
taken
we

mean,

perfectly
if not

us

present

What

give us.
in spite

always

have

is not to give examples


be blindly followed, and which,

might

moreover,

not

we

of the
stifles us,

society could not possibly


have to do is to show that,
individualism
authoritarian
life,
in our
there
remains

whole, a very great part in which


fore
; and that thereonly act by free agreement
be much
it would
easier than is usually
as

to dispense

thought,

In support

of

our

view

and

railways,

Government.

with
we

have

we

will

already

now

mentioned

return

to

them.
We

know
over

network

that Europe

175,000

you
from

south,
Petersburg,

can

nowadays

east

and

miles
to

from

has

system
of railways,
long, and that on this

travel from

west,

from

north
Madrid

to
to

Calais to Constantinople,

THE

170

CONQUEST

OF

BREAD

delays,
even
without
changing
without
carriages (when you travel by express).More
than that: a parcel deposited at a station will
in Turkey
in
find its addressee
or
anywhere,
formality needed
Central
Asia, without
more
for sending it than writing its destination on
a bit of paper.
been obtained in two
Bismarck,
or
some
ways.
Europe,
having
would
conquered
potentate
from Paris, Berlin, or E-ome, draw
a
railway
The
map
and regulate the hours of the trains.
This

result might have


Napoleon,
A
a

Russian

I. dreamt
Tsar Nicholas
of such a
drafts of
he was
When
power.
shown
rough
Moscow
he
railways between
and Petersburg,
seized a ruler and drew on the map
of Russia a
straight line between these two capitals, saying,
**
Here is the plan."
And
built
the road was
in a straight line, filling in deep ravines, building
bridges

of a giddy height, which had to be


few year later, after the railway
a
"120,000
to "150,000
per
about

abandoned
had
cost
English mile.

This

is

managed

but happily
way,
Railways
differently.
one

things
were

were

constructed

joined
piece by piece, the pieces were
different companies,
together, and the hundred
to whom
these pieces belonged,
to an understanding
concerning

departure

gradually came
the arrival and

of their trains, and the running


of
on
their rails, from
carriages
all countries,
it passes
as
without
unloading
merchandize
from one network to another.

FREE
All

171

AGREEMENT
done

free

by
agreement,
exchange
of letters and proposals, and by congresses
delegates met
to discuss well
at which
this

was

by

to an agreespecified special points, and to come


ment
laws.
but
to
After
not
about them,
make
the congress was
the delegates returned to
over,
their respective companies,
not with a law, but
to be accepted or
with the draft of a contract

rejected.
in the way.
There
were
not be
obstinate men
who
would
But a common
interest compelled
convinced.
them to agree in the end, without invoking the
help of armies against the refractory members.
This immense
network
of railways connected
together, and the enormous
traffic it has given
rise to, no doubt constitutes the most
striking
Of

course

difficulties

were

met

trait of the nineteenth


century;
and it is the
If somebody
had
result of free agreement.
foretold it eighty years ago, our
grandfathers
would

have

thought

would

have

said:

him
*^

idiotic

They
mad.
will you be able to
hundred
companies

Never

or

the shareholders
make
of a
listen to reason
! It is a Utopia,
'

A central Government,
with
it.''
can
alone enforce

And

the

most

fairy tale.
iron ' director,

an

interesting

thing

is, that
is
there
organization
Government
Central
of Railways

No
a

minister

continental
!
committee

of railways,
parliament,
Everything

no

in

this
European
Nothing

dictator, not even


even
a directing
not

no

is done

by free agreement.

172
So

THE

CONQUEST

OF

BREAD

ask the believers in the State, who


''we
do without a
can
never
pretend that
it only for regulating
central Government, were
"But
how
do
the traffic," we
ask them:
European
railways manage
without them?
How
do they continue to convey millions of
travellers and mountains of luggage across
a
If companies
continent?
owning
railways
have been able to agree, why should railway
workers, who would take possession of railways,
not agree likewise? And if the PetersburgCompany
Warsaw
and that of Paris-Belfort
can
act in harmony, without giving themselves
the luxury of a common
why, in the
commander,
we

midst of our societies,consisting of groups of


free workers, should we need a Government?'*

II
When
that even

endeavour to prove by examples


to-day, in spite of the iniquitous
organization of societyas a whole, men,
provided
be
diametrically
their interests
not
opposed,
intervention
the
agree without
of authority, we
do not ignore the
that will be put
objections
forth.
we

All such examples have their defective side,


because it is impossible to quote a single
from the exploitation of
organization exempt
the weak by the strong, the poor by the rich.

FEEE

173

AGREEMENT

is why the Statists will not fail to tell us


logic:
You
see
that the
with their wonted
intervention of the State is necessary to put an
end to this exploitation !
This

**

"

Only

they

do not tell us

forget the lessons of history ; they


to what extent the State itself has
by
the
towards
existing
order

contributed
creating proletarians and delivering them up to
forget to pro\e us that it is
They
exploiters.
possible to put an end to exploitation while the
causes
poverty,
capital and
private
primal
are
two-thirds of which
artificially created by
the State
continue to exist.
When
we
speak of the accord
established
we
the railway companies,
expect them,
among
State, to say
the worshippers
of the bourgeois
"Do
to us:
panies
you not see how the railway comill-use
their employees
oppress and
and
is,
The
!
State
the travellers
that the
only way
should intervene to protect the workers and the
"

"

public!"
But have

we

not

said and repeated over


and
long
there
over
are
as
again, that as
capitalists,
be
It
these abuses of power
will
perpetuated.
is precisely the State, the
benefactor,
would-be
that has given to the companies
that monopoly
they
and those rights upon us
which
possess
it not
Has
to-day.
created
concessions,
guarantees ? Has it not sent its soldiers against
And
during
on
the first
railwaymen
strike?
it still in Russia),
trials (quitelately we
saw
has it not extended
the privilege of the railway
far as to forbid
as
the Press to
magnates

mention

railway

accidents,

so

as

not

to

174

OF

CONQUEST

THE

BEEAD

Has
it
shares it guaranteed?
the monopoly
not favoured
which has anointed
Polyakoffs,
Yanderbilts
the
the
the
and
directors of the P.L.M.,
the C.P.R.,
the St.

depreciate

Gothard,

the

"

Therefore,

the kings

if

of

days

our

"

the tacit
example
come
agreement
railway companies,
ideal of economical
it is by no
means
as
an
ideal of technical
nor
even
an
management,
It is to show that if capitalists,
organization.
without any other aim than that of augmenting
their dividends at other people's expense,
can
exploit railways successfully without ing
establishDepartment,
International
an
societies of
men
working
will be able to do it justas well,
better, without nominating
and even
-a'Ministry
European
of
railways.
Another
is
is more
objection 'Raised that
We
serious at firstsight.
may be told that the
we
agreement
speak of is not perfectly /ree,that
lay down
the large companies
the law to the
It might
for
be
ones.
small
mentioned,
give as
to between

we

an

"

that a certain rich German


company,
by the State, compel
travellers who
supported
go from Berlin to Bale to pass via Cologne and
Frankfort, instead of taking the Leipzig route ;
a company
or that such
carries goods a hundred
way (ona long
and thirty miles in a roundabout
to favour its influential shareholders,
distance)
lines.
In the
thus ruins the secondary
and
States travellers and
United
somegoods are
times
impossibly
to
travel
circuitous
compelled
into
flow
dollars
the
may
pocket
routes so that
example,

of

Vanderbilt.

FEEE

AGEEEMENT

175

Our
long as
answer
: As
will be the same
Capital exists, the greater Capital will oppress
the lesser. But oppression does not result from
It is also owing
Capital only.
to the support
by the State, to monopoly
given them
created
by the State in their favour, that the large
companies
oppress the small ones.
The early English and French
Socialists have
long since how
English
legislation did
shown
to ruin the small industries,
all in its power

drive the peasant to poverty, and deliver over


to wealthy
industrial employers
battalions of
to work
for no matter
men,
compelled
what
Railway
legislation
did
salary.
exactly the

Strategic

lines, subsidized lines, companies


Mail
International
which
received the
brought into play to
was
monopoly,
everything
forward
financiers.
the interests of wealthy
Rothschild,
When
creditor to all European
States, puts capital in a railway, his faithful
the ministers, will do their best to
subjects,
him earn
more.
make
same.

States, in the Democracy


that
ideal, the
hold up to us as an
authoritarians
has crept into
fraudulency
most
scandalous
Thus, if a
that concerns
railroads.
everything
by cheap fares,
company
ruins its competitors
it is reit is often enabled
to do so because
imburse
by land given to it by the State for a
In the United

Documents

concerning
recently published
trade have fully
the American
wheat
up the part played by the State in the

gratuity.

shown
Here,
exploitation of the weak by the strong.
too, the
power
of accumulated
capital has

176

THE

OF

CONQUEST

BREAD

increased tenfold and a hundredfold


by means
of State help. So that, when we see syndicates of
(a product of free agreement)
railway companies
in protecting their small companies
succeeding
big
we
are
ones,
against
at the
astonished
intrinsic force of free agreement
hold
that can
its own
Capital favoured
against all-powerful
by the State.
fact that little companies
exist, in
If in France,
spite of the State's partiality.
land of centralization, we
only see five or six
large companies,
there are more
than a hundred
and ten in Great Britain who agree remarkably
better organized
are
well, and who
certainly

It is

for the rapid transit of travellers and goods


than the French
companies.
and German
Large
Moreover,
that is not the question.
by the State, can
Capital, favoured
always,
if it he to its advantage, crush the lesser one.
to us is this : The agreeis of importance
What
ment
between
to whom

hundreds

the

established
government

of capitalist companies
belong, was
of Europe

railways
intervention
without
to lay down
the law

central
to the divers

of

gresses
of consocieties; it has subsisted by means
delegates,
discuss
of
who
composed
themselves,
proposals, not
among
and submit
It is a
laws,
to
new
their constituents.
from
differs completely
that
all
principle
governmental

principle,

monarchical

or

republic

It is
absolute or parliamentarian.
innovation that has been timidly introduced
an
but has come
to
into the customs
of Europe,
stay.

FEEE

AGREEMENT

171

III

How
not read in the writings
often haTe we
*'
Who,
then, will
of State-loving Socialists :
the regulation of canal traffic in the
undertake
future society?
it enter the mind
Should
of
'
*
to put his
one
of your Anarchist
comrades
barge across
a
canal and obstruct thousands
to
to yield
of boats,
who
will force him
reason?"
Let us confess the supposition
to be somewhat
fanciful.
Still, it might
be said, for
*'
instance:
Should
a
or
a
certain commune,
to make
their barges
want
group of communes,
block
pass before others, they might
perhaps
the canal in order to carry stones, while wheat,
in another
have
to
commune,
needed
would
Who,
by.
then,
the
regulate
stand
would
''
traffic if not the Government?
demonstrated
But
that
real life has again
be very well dispensed
Government
can
with
Free
free
here
as
agreement,
elsewhere.
replace that noxious
organization,
and costly
system, and do better.
to Holland.
know
We
canals mean
what
its highways.
We
They
how
are
also know
What
is
the canals.
traffic there is on
much
highroads
our
carried along
and railroads is
There
transported
on
canal-boats in Holland.
to fight, in order to make
you could find cause
before
boats
There
the
your
pass
others.
Government
might
really interfere to keep the
traffic in order.

178
Yet

THE

OF

CONQUEST

it is not

BREAD

The

Dutcli settled matters


in a more
practical way, long ago, by founding
These were
guilds, or syndicates of boatmen.
free associations sprung from the
very needs of
for the boats
The
navigation.
right of way
by the order of inscription in a
was
adjusted
to follow one
navigation
register ; they had
in turn.
Nobody
to get
was
another
allowed
others
ahead
of the
under
pain
of being
from the guild.
None
excluded
could station
days
than a certain number
more
of
along the
found no goods to carry
quay ; and if the owner
for him ;
during
the worse
that time, so much
to depart

he had

for

room

so.

with

newcomers.

barge to leave
his empty
Obstruction
thus
was
between
the competition

though
avoided, even
boats
the private owners
of the
continued
latter
Were
to
the
the
suppressed,
exist.
been
have
the more
only
agreement
would

cordial.
It is unnecessary
could adhere or
their business,
it. Moreover,

to add that the shipowners


That was
not to the syndicate.
but most of them elected to join

these

syndicates
offered such
that they spread also along
great advantages
the Oder, and as far as
the Rhine, the Weser,
Berlin.

boatmen

The

Bismarck

to

to appoint

an

annex

Navigation's
of the
a

General

number

Ober

did not wait for a great


Holland
to Germany,
and
Haupt
General Staats Canal

(Supreme Head Councillor


States Canal Navigation),
with

Rath

of gold
to the

stripes
length

his sleeves, corresponding


of the title. They

on

FEEE

17^

AGEEEMENT

to
coming
Besides, a

an

international

understanding.
of sliipowners,
number
and
whose sailing-vessels ply between Germany
bave
Scandinavia, as well as Russia,
also joined
these syndicates, in order to regulate traffic in
to bring
a
the Baltic, and
about
certain
harmony
in the chasse-croise of vessels. These
up freely, recruitingassociations have sprung
have
in.
volunteer
adherents,
and
nought
common
with governments.
It is, however,
more
than probable that here
too greater
lesser. Maybe
capital oppresses
to become
the syndicate has also a tendency
a
it receives
the
monopoly,
especially
where
precious patronage
of the State that surely did
not fail to interfere with it. Let us not forget
either that these syndicates represent associations
have
only
members
private
whose
interests at stake, and that if at the same
time
by
were
the
compelled
each
shipowner

preferred

"

consumption,
socializing of production,
and
to belong to federated Communes,
or
exchange
to a hundred
other associations for the satisfying
his
have
different
a
needs, things would
of
A group
on
aspect.
of shipowners,
powerful
feel weak
land, and they would
sea,
on
would
be obliged
to lessen their claims in order to
to terms
come
with
railways, factories, and
"

other
At

groups.

more

examples.
are
we
talking of ships and

discussing the future,


any rate, without
here is another spontaneous
association that has
Let
dispensed
Government.
us
quote
with
As

boats, let
m2

ua

180

THE

OF

CONQUEST

BREAD

one
mention
of the most
tions
organizasplendid
has brought
that the nineteenth
century
forth, one
of those we may
with right be proud
the English Lifeboat Association.
of
It is known
more
that every year
than a
the shores of
on
thousand
ships are
wrecked
At sea
fears a
England.
a
good ship seldom
danger
It is near
the
that
storm.
coasts
seas
threatens
that shatter her sternrough
post, squalls that carry off her masts
and sails,
that render her unmanageable,
currents
reefs
and sand banks on which
aground.
she runs
it was
in olden times, when
Even
a
custom
inhabitants of the coasts to light fires
among
in order to attract vessels on to reefs, in order
"

"

their cargoes, they always strove to


Seeing a ship in distress, they
the crew.
save
launched
their boats and went to the rescue
of

to plunder

shipwrecked
sailors, only too often finding a
Every hamlet
along
watery
grave themselves.
disthe sea
shore has its legends of heroism,
to save
as
plaj^ed by woman
well as by man,
in distress.
crews
No doubt the State and men
of science have
to diminish
the number
of
something
Lighthouses,
charts,
signals,
casualties.
have diminished
them
meteorological warnings
greatly, but there remains a thousand
ships and
lives to be saved every
human
several thousand
year.
To this end a few men
of goodwill put their
Being good sailors and
shoulders to the wheel.

done

navigators
that could

themselves,
weather

they
storm

invented
without

lifeboat

being

torn

FREE

181

AGREEMENT

capsizing, and they set to work to


interest tlie public in their venture,
to collect
funds for constructing boats, and
the necessary
for stationing them
along the coasts, wherever
they could be of use.
These men,
not being Jacobins, did not turn
to the Government.
They
that to
understood
bring their enterprise to a successful issue they
to pieces

or

have
the co-operation,
the enthusiasm,
the local knowledge,
and especially the selfsacrifice of the local sailors. They
also understood
must

the first signal


would launch their boat at night, in a chaos of
to be deterred
waves,
not suffering themselves
by darkness
breakers, and struggling
five,
or
six, ten hours against the tide before reaching
a
vessel in distress men
ready to risk their
lives to save
be a
those of others
there must
that

to find

men

at

who

"

"

feeling of solidarity, a spirit of sacrifice not to


It was
be bought
therefore a
with galloon.
from
movement,
sprung
perfectly spontaneous
dreds
Huninitiative.
individual
agreement
and
arose
along the coasts.
of local groups
The initiators had the common
sense
not to pose
They
looked for sagacity in the
as
masters.
fishermen's hamlets, and when
a rich man
sent
boat
"1,000 to a village on the coast to erect a lifestation, and his offer was
accepted, he left
the choice of a site to the local fishermen
and
sailors.
Models
of new
the Admiralty.

Association
boatmen

*^

should

boats were
to
not submitted
We
read in a Report
of the
As it is of importance
that lifehave

full

confidence

in

the

182

THE

CONQUEST

OF

BEEAD

tlie Committee
a
vessel they man,
will make
the boats
point of constructing
and equipping
the lifeboatmen's
accordingto
expressed wish."
In consequence
every year brings with it new
improvements.
The

is wholly conducted
by volunteers
work
in committees
organizing
and local groups; by
! Oh, Anarchists !
mutual
aid and agreement
Moreover,
they ask nothing
of the ratepayers,
in
a
and in
year they may
receive "40,000
"

spontaneous
subscriptions.
As to the results, here they are : In 1891 the
Association possessed 293 lifeboats.
The same
year it saved 601 shipwrecked
sailors and 33
its foundation
Since
vessels.
32,671 human
beings.
In

1886,

it

has

saved

lifeboats with
hundreds
at sea,

all their men


of new
teers
volunselves
themorganized
the agitation
and

three

having

perished
their names,
entered
into local groups,
resulted in the construction
of twenty
tional
addibaats.
As we
proceed, let us note that
men
every year the Association
sends to the fisherat a price
and sailors excellent barometers
three times less than their sale price in private
It
knowledge,
shops.
propagates
meteorological
and

warns

the parties concerned


of the
of weather
predicted by men

changes
sudden
of science.
Let us repeat that these
local groups
and

hundreds
are

not

of

committees

organized
hierarchically, and are composed
exclusively of
volunteers, lifeboatmen,
and people interested
in the work.
The Central Committee,
which is

of a centre
interferes.

more

It

IS

true

183

AGREEMENT

FREE

for correspondence,

tliat when

voting on
local taxation

or
of education
district, these committees

in a
Lifeboat Association
in the deliberations

do not,

as

in

some

no

wise
question

takes place
of tlie National
sucli, take part

unfortunately
which
modesty,
the members
of elected bodies do not
But, on the other hand, these brave
imitate.
do not allow those who have never
faced
men
"

about saving life.


At the first signal of distress they rush to their
boats, and go ahead.
There are no embroidered
a

storm

to legislate for them

uniforms, but much


goodwill.
Let us take another society of the same
kind,
Red
The
Cross.
that of the
name
matters
little; let us examine
it.
Imagine
saying fifty years ago :
somebody
"The
it is of massacring
State, capable
as
in a day, and of woundtwenty
men
thousand
ing
is incapable of helping
fifty thousand
more,
long as war
its own
as
victims; consequently,
intervene,
initiative must
and
exists private
of goodwill must
organize internationally
^'
for this humane
What
mockery
work !
would
have
dared
have
to
the
man
not
met
who would
To begin with, he would
have
speak thus !
been
if that did not
called a Utopian,
and
have been told: *'What
silence him he would
men

Your

found
volunteers
will be
wanting
precisely where they are most needed,
hospitals will be centralized in
your volunteer
e
safe place, while everything
will be wanting
in the ambulances.
Utopians
like you forget
nonsense

184

THE

CONQUEST

OF

BEEAD

the poor
the national rivalries which will cause
Such dishearteni
soldiers to die without any help."
have
only been
remarks
would
Who
equalled by the number
of
of speakers.
in
has not heard men
hold forth
us
this strain?
Now
know
Red
Cross
happened.
we
what
freely, everythemselves
societies organized
where,
in all countries, in thousands
ties
of localithe war
; and when
of 1870-1 broke out, the
Men and women
volunteers set to work.
offered
Thousands
hospitals
their services.
of
and
were
ambulances
organized ; trains were
started
linen,
carrying
ambulances,
provisions,
and
for
The
English
the
wounded.
medicaments
sent entire convoys
committees
of food, clothing,
beasts of draught, even
tools, grain to sow,
steam-ploughs
with their attendants to help in
by the
devastated
the tillage of departments
! Only
Croix
La
by
Rouge,
war
consult
Gustavo Moynier,
and you will be really struck
by the immensity
of the work performed.
As to the prophets ever
ready to deny other
men's
courage,
good sense,
and intelligence,
to be the only ones
and believing themselves
of
capable of ruling the world with a rod, none
The
devotion
their predictions were
realised.
Hed
beyond
Cross
of the
all
volunteers was
too
to
They were
occupy the
eager
only
praise.
posts ; and whereas the salaried
most dangerous
State fled with their
doctors of the Napoleonic
the Prussians
the Red
approached,
staff when

Cross volunteers continued


their work
under
fire, enduring
the brutalities of Bismarck's
on
officers,lavishing their care
and Napoleon's

FREE

AGEEEMENT

185

the
wounded
of
all nationalities. Diitcli,
Italians, Swedes, Belgians, even
Japanese
and
Chinese agreed remarkably
They
buted
distriwell.
their hospitals
their ambulances
and
They
to the needs of the occasion.
according
vied with one
another especially in the hygiene
man
a Frenchof their hospitals. And there is many
who
still speaks with deep gratitude of
he received from the Dutch
the tender care
or
German
in the Hed
Cross ambuvolunteers
lances.
But what is this to an authoritarian?

His

ideal is the regiment


doctor, salaried by
What
does he care
for the Eed
the State.
Cross and its hygienic hospitals, if the nurses
be not functionaries !
up but
organization, sprung
by
reckons its members
yesterday, and which
hundreds
of thousands;
possesses ambulances,
for
hospital trains, elaborates new
processes
treating wounds,
and is due to the
and so on,
initiative of a few devoted men.
spontaneous
Perhaps
we
shall be told that the State has
Yes,
to do with this organization.
something
States have laid hands on it to seize it. The
directing committees
by those
are
presided over
flunkeys
blood.
whom
call princes
of the
Emperors
lavishly
queens
and
patronize the
But it is not to this
the national committees.

Here

is then

an

that the success


patronage
of the organization
is due.
It is to the thousand
local committees
of each nation ; to the activity of individuals, to

the

devotion

try to help the


of all those who
And
be
this devotion
victims of war.
would
far greater if the State did not meddle
with it.

186

THE

In

OF

CONQUEST
it

BREAD
by

tlie order of
Directing
Committee
International
that
^n
men,
Swedes
Englishmen
and Chinaand Japanese,
to send help to the
bestirred themselves
in 1871.
It was
not by order of an
wounded
that hospitals rose
international
on
ministry
any

case,

was

not

the invaded

territory and that ambulances


were
It was
by the
to the battlefield.
carried on
from
initiative of volunteers
country.
each

Once

on

another

the spot, they did not get hold of one


by the hair as
foreseen by the
was

Jacobinists of all nations;

all set to work


without distinction of nationality.
We
may
regret that such great efforts should
be put to the service of so bad a cause,
and we
**
Why
may
ask ourselves like the poet's child :
inflict wounds
if you are
to heal them
afterwards?''
In striving to destroy the power
of
they

capitalist and middle-class authority, we


work
to put an end to the massacres
called wars,
and
far rather see the Red
Cross volunwe
would
teers
forth their activity to bring about
put
(withus) the suppression of war; but we had
immense
to
this
as
mention
organization
by free
another illustration of results produced
agreement
and free aid.
If we
to multiply
taken
wished
examples
from the art of exterminating
men
we
should
Suffice
to
never
the numerous
end.
quote
its
the German
owes
societies to which
army
force, that does not only depend on discipline,
is generally believed.
I mean
as
the societies
'whose aim is to propagate military knowledge.
At one
of the last congresses of the Military

FREE
Alliance
federated

187

AGREEMENT

delegates
(Kriegerbund),

from

2,452

151,712 memsocieties, comprising


bers,
But there are besides verywere
present.
Military
Games,
Shooting,
gical
Stratenumerous
Games,
Studies Societies
Topographical
in which the technical
these are the workshops
knowledge
is developed,
army
of the German
It is a formidable
not in regimental
schools.
network
of all kinds
of societies, including
"

men

and
and civilians, geographers
gymnasts,
sportsmen
and technologists, which
cuss,
rise up spontaneously,
organize, federate, disIt is these
the country.
explore
and
voluntary
and free associations that go to make
the real backbone
army.
of the German
Their aim is execrable.
It is the maintenance
is
But
Empire.
us,
of the
what concerns

military

to point out that, in spite of military

tion
organiza^'
Great Mission of the State,"
being the
is the more
in this branch
success
certain the
it is left to the free agreement
more
of groups
and to the free initiative of individuals.

free
is thus appealed to; and to further
agreement
teer
the Volunprove our
assertion let us mention
Corps of Switzerland
Topographers'
who
plane
Aeroin
detail
the mountain
passages, the
study
Corps of France, the three hundred
thousand
British volunteers, the British National
Artillery Association, and the Society, now
in
land's
course
of organization, for the defence of Engto the
coasts, as well as the appeals made
fleet, the Bicyclists' Corps, and the
commercial
Even

new

in

matters

organizations
launches.
steam

pertaining

of

private

to

war,

motor-cars

and

188

CONQUEST

THE

Everywliere
abandoning
individuals.
trespasses

on

future, when

BREAD

State is abdicating
the
and
functions
its boly
to
private
free
Everywhere
organization
its domain.
And
yet, the facts

have quoted
free agreement

we

OF

only a glimpse of what


in store
for us
in the
State.
there will be no more
give
has

us

CHAPTEE

XII

OBJECTIONS

Let
put

the principal
examine
objections
forth against Communism.
Most of them
us

now

evidently caused by a simple


misunderstanding,
important
they
yet
questions
raise
and merit our
attention.
It is not for us
to answer
the
objections
by
Communism
we
ourselves
raised
authoritarian
hold with them.
Civilized nations have
in the long, hard struggle
suffered too much
for the emancipation
own
of the individual, to disment
their past work and to tolerate a Governthat would make itself felt in the smallest
if that Governdetails of a citizen's life, even
ment
had no
other aim than the good of the
Should an authoritarian
Socialist
community.
society ever
succeed in establishing itself, it
soon
could not last; general discontent would
force it to break up, or to reorganize itself on
principles of liberty.
It is of an Anarchist-Communist
society we
are

"

about to speak, a society that recognizes the


absolute liberty of the individual, that does not
use
of no
admit of any authority, and makes
Limiting
to work.
to drive men
compulsion
our
side of the question,
studies to the economic
let us see if such a society, composed
of men
are

190

THE

CONQUEST

OF

BREAD

worse,
to-day, neither better nor
less industrious, would
have
nor
neither more
a chance
of successful development.
The
"If the existence
is known.
objection
of each is guaranteed,
and if the necessity of
to work,
does not compel
men
earning
wages
Every
man
nobody
will work.
will lay the
if he is not
burden
on
another
of his work
Let us first note the
forced to do it himself.'^
is
incredible levity with which
this
as

they

are

objection

that the real


realizing
raised, without
to
is merely
question raised by this objection
know, on the one
hand, whether you effectively
the results that are
said
obtain by wage-work
to be obtained, and, on the other hand, whether
even

more
productive
work is not already now
A
by
than
wages.
work
stimulated
question which, to be dealt with properly, would
in exact
But whereas
require a serious study.
on
sciences men
give their opinion
subjects
less
infinitely less important
complicated
and
after serious research, after carefully collecting
on
this question they will
and analysing facts
judgment without appeal, resting
pronounce
satisfied witn any one
particular event, such as,
for example,
comthe want
of some
munist
of success
They
act like
association in America.
does not see in the counsel
the barrister, who
for the opposite side a representative of a cause,
but a simple
or
an
opinion contrary to his own,
an
nuisance,
adversary in an oratorical debate ;
and if he be lucky enoug^h to find a repartee,
does not otherwise
to justifyhis cause.
care

voluntary

"

"

Therefore

the study

of this essential basis of

191

OBJECTIONS
all Political Economy,
favourable conditions
greatest

amount

tJie study

of

the

for giving society


of useful 'products with

most

the

the

least waste
human
energy ^ does not advance.
of
People
to repeating
either limit themselves
commonplace
assertions, or else they pretend
ignorance of our
assertions.
What
is most
striking in this levity is that
in capitalist Political Economy
even
you already
by facts to doubt
find a few writers compelled
the axiom
put forth by the founders
of their
is man's
best
science, that the threat of hunger
They begin to
for productive work.
stimulant
a certain collective
perceive that in production
element is introduced, which has been too much
neglected up till now,
and which might be more
important
The
inferior
than personal gain.
the terrible waste
quality of wage- work,
of
human
in modern
energy
and
agricultural
industrial labour, the ever-growing
quantity of
ta
on
pleasure-seekers, who
shift their burden
the absence
of a certain
others' shoulders,
in production
more
that is becoming
animation
to
all this is beginning
apparent;
and more
"^

"

the economists
classical
of the
if they
Some
of them
school.
ask themselves
nary
have not got on the wrong
track : if the imagito be
that
was
supposed
evil being,
tempted exclusively by a bait of lucre or wages,
into
really exists. This heresy penetrates even
universities; it is found in books of orthodox
preoccupy

economy.
But
this

does

Socialist reformers

not

prevent

from

great

remaining

many

partisans

192

THE

of individual

OF

CONQUEST
remuneration,

old citadel of wagedom,


it is being delivered over
assailants by its former

BEEAD

and

defending

notwithstanding
stone by stone
defenders.

the

that
to the

They

fear that without compulsion


the masses
will not work.
But during
lifetime, have we
our
own
not
heard the same
fears expressed twice?
Once,
by the anti-abolitionists in America
before the
emancipation
of the Negroes, and, for a second
time, by the Eussian

tion
nobility before the libera"Without
the whip
the
of the serfs?
Negro will not work," said the anti-abolitionist.
''Free from their master's supervision the serfs
will leave the fields uncultivated,"
said the
Eussian
It was
the refrain of the
serf -owners.
in 1789, the refrain of the
French
noblemen
Ages,
Middle
a
refrain as old as the world,
time
there is a
shall hear it every
and we
an
injustice.And
away
question of sweeping
The
each time actual facts give it tne lie.
liberated peasant
of 1792 ploughed
with an
to his ancestors ; the
eager energy,
unknown
his
Negro
than
more
emancipated
works
fathers ; and the Eussian peasant, after having
honoured
the honeymoon
of his emancipation
has
by celebrating Fridays as well as Sundays,
taken up work with an eagerness proportionate
to the completeness
of his liberation. There,
where the soil is his, he works desperately ; that
is the exact word for it. The anti-abolitionist
to
be of value to slave-owners;
as
refrain can
it is
the slaves themselves, they know
what
its motive.
worth, as they know

OBJECTIONS

193

Moreover,

who but the economists themselves


is
taught us that while a wage-earner's
work
intense
indifferent, an
very
often
productive
and
work is only obtained from a man
who
his wealth
increase in proportion
sees
to his
All hymns
in honour
efforts?
sung
of private
For

be reduced

can

property

it is remarkable
to celebrate

wishing
us

how

to this axiom.

that when
the blessings

economists,
of property,

or
marshy,
unproductive,
stony
soil is clothed with rich harvests when
cultivated by the peasant
proprietor, they in
nowise prove their thesis in favour of private
By
that the only guarproperty.
antee
admitting
not to be robbed
of the fruits of your
labour is to possess the instruments
of labour
is true
the economists
that
only prove
which
in
he works
man
most
really produces
when
freedom,
he has a certain choice in his
when
he has no overseer
to impede
occupations,
when
him, and lastly, when he sees his work bringing
in a profit to him and to others
who work like
him, but bringing in little to idlers. Nothing
be deducted from their argumentation,
else can
and this is what we
ourselves.
maintain

show

an

"

"

ments
of possession of the instruof labour, the economists
only mention
in their demonstration,
indirectly
as
a

As

it

to the

form

the cultivator that he shall not


be robbed of the profits of his yield nor
of his
improvements.
Besides, in support
of their
thesis in favour of 'private property
ajjainst all
guarantee

other

forms

to

of possession,
demonstrate
that

should
under

the economists
form
the
of

not

194

THE

CONQUEST

OF

BEEAD

land never
property
produces
oommunal
such
the possession is private.
rich harvests as when
But
this they could not prove; in fact, it is
the contrary
that has been observed.
Take for example
in the canton
a
commune
in the winter time, when
of Yaud,
all the men

in the forest,
of the village go to fell wood
belongs
It is precisely
to them
which
all.
during
festivals of labour
the
these
that
for work
congreatest
ardour
siderabl
and the most
human
display
are
energy
of
No salaried labour, no
effort of a
apparent.
bear comparison
can
private owner
with it.
Or let us take a Russian
all
village, when
to
belonging
field
its inhabitants
the
a
mow
by it.
There you will
farmed
commune,
or
he works in
man
can
see
what
produce
when
Comrades
for communal
common
production.

in cutting the widest


another
in their wake
bestir themselves
It is
so
as
not to be distanced by the mowers.
in which a hundred
a festival of labour,
people
in a few hours a work
that would
accomplish
not have been finished in a few days had they
What
a miserable
contrast
separately.
worked
to them, is offered by the work
of the
compared
isolated owner
!
one
with
swathe, women

vie

In

fact,

quote scores
of examples
might
in Swiss,
the pioneers
among
of America,
German,
in certain French
Russia,
and
lages;
vildone
by gangs
in Russia
the work
or
boatmen,
men,
fisher{artels)
carpenters,
of masons,
divide the
a task and
etc., who undertake

produce

or

we

the remuneration

among

themselves.

195

OBJECTIONS

without it passing through the intermediary of


or
of work I saw
else the amount
middlemen;
in English
the
when
ship-yards
performed
was
principle.
paid on the same
remuneration
We
the great communal
could also mention
infinite
hunts
an
tribes, and
of nomadic
number
of
successful collective enterprises.
in every case
And
we
tionable
could show the unquescomwork
pared
superiority of communal
to that of the wage-earner
or the isolated
private owner.
Well-being
that is to say, the satisfaction
needs, has
artistic, and moral
of physical,
to
been the most
stimulant
powerful
always
And
work.
where a hireling hardly succeeds
to produce the bare necessities with difficulty,
creasin
free worker, who
sees
ease
a
and luxury infor him and for others in proportion
to his efforts, spends infinitely far more
energy
luxury
inease
sees
a free
and
worker, who
The one
feels riveted
a far greater
abundance.
to misery, the other hopes for ease
and luxury
In this lies the whole secret.
in the future.
Therefore a society aiming at the well-being of
all, and at the possibility of all enjoyinglife
in all its manifestations, will give voluntary
will be infinitely superior and
work, which
than work has produced up till
yield far more
the goad of slavery, serfdom, or
now
under
wagedom.
"

II
Nowadays,
share

of

load
can
whoever
labour indispensable

his

on

others

to

existence,
n2

196

THE

does

be

so,

OF

CONQUEST

and

it is believed

BREAD

that it will always

80.

Now,

indispensable
is
to
work
existence
We
be artists or
essentially manual.
may
do without things
scientists ; but none
of us can
by
bread,
obtained
manual
work
clothes,
heat,
light,
And,
moreover,
etc.
roads, ships,
however
however
highly
artistic or
subtly
pend
our
are
metaphysical
pleasures, they all deit is precisely
And
labour.
on
manual
this labour
the basis of life that everyone
"

"

"

tries to avoid.
We
understand
perfectly well that it must
be so nowadays.
Because, to do manual
in
means
work now,
reality to shut yourself
up for ten or twelve
hours a day in an
unhealthy
and
workshop,
to remain
or

to the

chained

thirty years, and maybe


It means
to be doomed

the uncertainty
of the
often to destitution,

task for twenty


for your whole life.

same

to

morrow,

paltry
to want

wage,

to

of work,

not to
often than
forty
death in a hospital, after having worked
years to feed, clothe, amuse,
and instruct others
than yourself and your children.
more

of inferiority all
the politicians tell
your life ; because, whatever
inthe manual
us,
worker is always considered ferior
to the brain worker,
who has
and the one
It

means

to bear

the stamp

has not the time,


toiled ten hours in a workshop
to give himself
the
and still less the means,
high delights of science and art, nor
to
even
prepare

himself

to appreciate

them;

he

must

197

OBJECTIONS

be content with, the crumbs


from the table of
privileged persons.
We
that under these conditions
understand
labour is considered a curse
manual
of i'ate.
We
have but one
that all men
understand
dream
from,
that of emerging
or
enabling
from
their children to emerge
this inferior
dent*'
"indepenan
state; to create for themselves
"

To also
means
position, which
what?
live by other men's
work !
As long as there will be a class of manual
workers and a class of "brain"
workers, black
hands and white hands, it will be thus.
interest, in fact, can
What
this depressing
that
work have for the worker, when be knows
tbe fate awaiting him from the cradle to the
^rave
will be to live in mediocrity, poverty,
"

Therefore,
insecurity of the morrow?
and
take
see
the immense
we
when
majorityof men
feel
we
task every morning,
up their wretched
at their zeal
surprised at their perseverance,
for work, at the habit that enables them, like
blindly obeying an impetus given, to
machines
lead this life of misery
without hope for the
foreseeing
ever
so
morrow;
vaguely
without
day they, or at least their children,
that some
rich in all the
will be part of a humanity
in all the
treasures
nature,
of a bountiful
knowledge,
scientific and artistic
enjoymentsof
to a few
to-day
creation, reserved
privileged
favourites.
It is precisely to put an
tion
end to this separabrain
between
work that we
and
manual
to abolish wagedom,
the
that we
want
want

198

CONQUEST

THE

OF

BREAD

Then
work will no longer
a curse
what it
of fate : it will become
be
the free exercise of all the faculties

Social Eevolution.
appear

should
of man.
Moreover,
"

to a serious
it is time to submit
posed
analysis this legend about superior work, suplash
be
to
of wagedom.
obtained under the
It would
be sufficient to visit, not the model
find now
factory and workshop
that we
and
factories,
but
the
a number
ordinary
of
again,
to conceive the immense
energy
waste of human
For one
industry.
that characterizes modern
factory more
less rationally organized, there
or
hundred
man's
or
more
a
are
waste
which
labour, without
more
any
substantial motive
than that of perhaps bringing in a few pounds
more
per day to the employer.
Here you see youths from twenty to twentyfive years of age, sitting all day long on a bench,

their chests sunken in, feverishly shaking their


heads
and bodies, to tie, with the speed of
conjurers,the two ends of worthless scraps of
What
cotton, the refuse of the lace-looms.
progeny
will these trembling
and rickety bodies
bequeath
"But
to their country?
they occupy
little room
in the factory, and each of them
so
brings me
in sixpence net every day,'' will say
the employer.
immense
factory
London
In
we
saw
an
from
trays
girls, bald at seventeen
carrying
to
on
their heads from
one
room
of matches
the simplest
machine
another,
when
could
But
*'It
to
the
their tables.
matches
wheel
costs 80 little,the work of women
who have no

199

OBJECTIONS
special trade !
When
these can

Wliy should
do no more,

we

use

machine?
they will be easily
in the
many
of them

so
replaced, there are
street !''
On the steps of a mansion
on
you
will find a bare-footed child
in its arms
its bundle
of papers

icy night
asleep, with
childbe
it
little
emlabour costs so
that
may
ployed,
well
to
sell tenpenny-worth
every evening,
the poor boy will receive
of which
of papers,
And
half-penny.
cona
or
a
penny,
tinually
penny
in all big cities you may
see
robust
men
tramping
about who have been out of work
for months,
while their daughters grow pale in
an

for
the overheated
vapours
of the workshop
dressing stuffs, and their sons
filling blacking-pots
are
by hand, or spend those years during
they ought to have learned a trade, in
which
carrying about baskets for a greengrocer,
and
become
at the age of eighteen or twenty
regular

unemployed.
And
it is everywhere,
from San Francisco
so
to Moscow,
The
and from Naples to Stockholm.
is the distinguishing
waste
of human
energy

industry, not to
trait of our
and predominant
it attains still more
trade where
mention
collossal proportions.
Political
What
a
sad satire is that name,
to the science
Economy^
given
of waste
of
!
energy
under the system of wagedom
This is not all. If you speak to the director
factory, he will naively
of a well-organized
to
explain to you that it is difiicult nowadays
find

skilful,

vigorous,

and

energetic

work-

200

THE

OF

CONQUEST

BREAD

*'
Should such a
wlio works witli a will.
himself
or
man
twenty
the
present
among
for
thirty who
us
call every Monday
asking
if we
to be received, even
are
work, he is sure
We
hands.
recognize
of our
reducing the number
him at the first glance, and he is always
have to get rid of an
though
we
accepted, even
the next day.**
older and less active worker

man,

And

the

army

of

has just received notice to


who
it tomorrow,
quit, and
all those who
will receive
reservego to reinforce that immense
one

out of work
workmen
who
loom
bench
are
to
the
or
the
only called
when
there is pressure of work, or to oppose strikers.
And those others
the average workers who are
by the better-class factories as soon
sent away

capital

"

"

"

is slackened?
They
also join the
indifferent
army
of
aged
and
the
workers
continually circulate among
who
those which barely cover
second-class factories
their expenses
and make their way in the world
by trickery and snares
laid for the buyer, and
in distant countries.
especially for the consumer
if you talk to the workmen
And
themselves,
learn that the rule in such factories
you will soon
**
is never
best.
Shoddy
to do your
pay
is
this
the advice which
the
shoddy work!'*
man
working
receives from his comrades
upon
factory.
entering such a
business
formidable
as

"

"

"

For

that if in a moment
the workers know
of
generosity they give way to the entreaties of an
to intensify the work in
employer
and consent
order to carry out a pressing order, this nervous
work will be exacted in the future as a rule in

OBJECTIONS

201

Therefore in all such factories


the scale of wages.
to produce
they prefer never
as
as
much
In certain industries production
is
they can.
limited so as to keep up high prices, and sometimes
is given,
Go-canny,'*
the password,
"
which signifies, Bad work for bad pay !
it must
it cannot,
is serf
Wage-work
-work;
it
And
not, produce
all that it could produce.
is high
to disbelieve
time
the legend which
as
the best incentive to
represents
wagedom
If industry nowadays
brings
productive work.
m
times more
a hundred
than it did in the days
it is due to the sudden
of our
grandfathers,
'*

'^

awakening
of physical and chemical
sciences
towards
the end of last century;
not to the
but in spite
capitalist organization of wagedom,
of that organization.

Ill
have seriously studied the quesThose who
tion
do not
deny any
of the advantages
of
Communism,
be it well underon
condition,
stood,
be
Communism
that
perfectly free, that
is to
They
that
say. Anarchist.
recognize
disguised
even
work
paid with money,
under
''
*'
labour
the name
to Workers'
of
cheques,
by the State, would
keep
associations governed
up

the

characteristics of wagedom
and would
its
disadvantages.
They
retain
agree that the
it, even
soon
system
whole
suffer from
would
if Society came
into possession of the instru-

202

THE

OF

CONQUEST

BREAD

And
they admit
that,
of production.
to an
"integral"
thanks
complete
education
given to all children, to the laborious habits of
civilized societies, with the liberty of choosing
their occupations
and varying
and the attractions
of work done by equals for the well-being
of all, a Communist
society would not be wanting
in producers
soon
the
who
would
make
fertility of the soil triple and tenfold, and give
impulse
to industry.
a
new
ments

This

our

danger,'*

opponents
they
say,

agree
"will

to.
come

"But

from

the
that

minority
of loafers who
and
will not work,
in
habits,
have
will not
regular
spite of the
that would
excellent conditions
make
work
To-day the prospect of hunger
compleasant.
pels
the most
refractory to move
along with
the others. The one who does not arrive in time
is dismissed.
But one
black sheep suffices to
the whole flock, and two or three
contaminate
would lead the
sluggish or refractory workmen
others astray and bring a spirit of disorder and
that would
make
rebellion into the workshop
work impossible; so that in the end we should
to a system
have to return
that
of compulsion
into the
back
force such
ringleaders
would
Is not the system of wages,
And then,
ranks.
the only
paid in proportion to work performed,
to be employed,
that enables compulsion
one
of
without hurting the feelings of independence
the worker ? All other means
would imply the
"

intervention
that
of an
authority
continual
This, we
to free men."
be repugnant
would
fairly stated.
believe, is the

objection

OBJECTIONS
To

begin

with, such an
the category of arguments
the State, the Penal Law,
Gaoler.
"

As

203
belongs

objection

to

try to justify
which
the Judge,
and the

people, a feeble minority, who


the authoriwill not submit to social customs,"
tarians
"we
must
say,
magistrates,
maintain
tions
these institutribunals and prisons, although
become
a source
of new
evils of all kinds.'*
Therefore
have
we
can
only repeat what we
so
often said concerning
authority in general :
To avoid a possible e\il you have recourse
to
in themselves
means
are
a greater
evil,
which
become
the source
same
and
of those
abuses
do
to
For,
that you wish
not forget
remedy.
that it is wagedom,
the impossibility of living
labour, which
otherwise than by selling your
has created the present Capitalist system, whose
begin to recognize."
Besides, this
vices you
is merely
a
way
sophistical
of reasoning
the
justification
present system.
of the evils of
advanta
Wagedom
the diswas
not instituted to remove
; its origin, like that
of Communism
is to be
of the State and private ownership,
found
It is born of slavery and
elsewhere.
by force, and only wears
imposed
a
serfdom
in
Thus
the argument
more
garb.
modern
is as valueless as those by
favour of wagedom
they seek to apologize for private property
which
and the State.
there

are

*'

We

the
nevertheless, going to examine
and see if there is any truth in it.
objection,
First of all, Is it not evident that if a society,
founded
on
the principle of free work,
were
are,

"

204

CONQUEST

THE

OF

BREAD

loafers, it could protect


by
really menaced
itself without the authoritarian
organization
have
having
we
nowadays,
and
without
recourse

Let us
for some

to wagedom?

take

of volunteers, combining
its sucHaving
cess
particular enterprise.
ai heart, they all work
with a will, save
one
of the associates, who is frequently absent
from his post.
solve
disMust they on his account
the group,
elect a president to impose
fines, and work out a code of penalties?
It is
nor
the other will
evident that neither the one
be done, but that some
day the comrade
who
imperils their enterprise will be told : ** Friend,
we
should like to work
with you; but as you
are
your
post, and you do
often absent from
Go and
must
your work negligently, we
part.
find other comrades
who will put up with your
*'
indifference !
group

natural that it is practised


in all industries,
even
nowadays,
everywhere,
in competition
all possible systems
of
with
fines, docking
of wages,
supervision, etc. ; a
may enter the factory at the appointed
workman
badly, if he
time, but if he does his work
by his laziness or other
hinders his comrades
defects, if he is quarrelsome,
there is an
end
leave
is
to
he
it;
the
of
workshop.
compelled
This

way

is

so

it
is
that
the
pretend
employer
and his overseers
almighty
tain
who mainin
tories.
facquality
regularly
and
of work
In reality, in every somewhat
cated
complithe goods produced
enterprise, in which
hands
before
being
through
many
pass

Authoritarians

OBJECTIONS
finished, it is the factory

205
itself, the

workmen
as
a
unity, who see to the ^ood quality of the
Therefore
the best factories of British
work.
far less on
private industry have few overseers,
an
factories, and less
than the French
aTerage
than the British State factories.
A

certain standard of public morals is maintained


in the same
Authoritarians
way.
say
it is due to rural guards, judges,
and policemen,
whereas

in reality it is maintained

judges,policemen,
are

the

laws

and

in spite of

rural guards.

'*Many

**

producing

criminals!

was

said

long ago.
do things
Not only in industrial workshops
in this way;
it happens
go on
everywhere,
have
every day, on a scale that only bookworms
When
as
a
yet no notion of.
railway company,
federated with other companies,
fails to fulfil
its engagements,
its trains are
late and
when
at the stations, the other
goods lie neglected
threaten to cancel the contract, and
companies
that threat usually suffices.
believed, at any rate it is
It is generally
in State-approved
merce
taught
schools, that comfrom fear
only keeps to its engagements
Nothing
of the sort ; nine times in
of lawsuits.
has not kept his word will
ten the trader who
before a judge. There, where trade
not appear
is very active, as in London,
the sole fact of
lawsuit
driven a creditor to bring
a
suffices for the immense
majorityof merchants
to refuse for good
to have
any dealings with
a man
one
who has compelled
of them to go to
law.

having

THE

206
This

OF

CONQUEST

being

so,

why

BREAD

means
should
in the
workers

that

are

used to-day among


workshop,
in
traders in the trade, and railway companies
use
the organisation
of transport, not be made
of in a society based on voluntary work ?
Take, for example,
an
association stipulating
that each of its members
should carry out the

following

contract:

to give
^^We
undertake
houses, stores, streets, means

you the use of our


of transport,
schools, museums,
to
twenty
that, from

etc.,

on

con-

dition
forty-five or fifty
four or five hours a

years of age, you consecrate


day to some
recognized
work
Choose
existence.
yourself

to
necessary
the
producing

as

you wish to join,or organize a


which
to
new
that it will undertake
group, provided
And as for the remainder
produce necessaries.
together with whomsoever
of your time, combine
like, for recreation, art, or science,
you
according to the bent of your taste.
'*
Twelve
fifteen hundred
hours of work a
or
food,
year, in one
of the groups
producing
in public sanitaclothes, or houses, or employed
tion,
transport, and so on, is all we
ask of you.
groups

For

to you
this amount
guarantee
of work we
or
the free use of all that these groups produce,
But if not one,
of the thousands
will produce.

federation, will receive you,


of our
be their motive ; if you are absolutely
whatever
incapable
anything
useful, or if
of producing
isolated
you refuse to do it, then live like an
of groups

man

or

like

an

invalid.

If

we

are

rich enough
to give you the necessaries of life we
shall be
You are a man,
delighted to give them to you.

207

OBJECTIONS

But as you
to live.
and you have the right
leave
wish to live under special conditions, and
than probable that you will
the ranks, it is more
suffer for it in your daily relations with other
will be looked upon as a ghost
citizens. You
friends of
society, unless some
of bourgeois
yours, discovering
you to be a talent, kindly
from
you
society by doing
free
**

and
wide
with

obligation towards
all moral
all the necessary work for you.
finally, if it does not please you, go
And
look for other conditions elsewhere in the
world, or else seek adherents and organize
We
them on novel principles.
prefer our

own.'*

This is what
could be done in a communal
society in order to turn away
sluggards if they
became
too numerous.

IV
need fear this
a
contingency
society really based on the
entire freedom
of the individual.
idleness
In fact, in spite of the premium
on
of capital, the
offered by the private ownership
is comparatively
rare,
unless
really lazy man
We

very

much
in

his laziness be due


Among

bourgeois
enough

doubt

that

we

to illness.

it is often
workmen
There
idlers.
are

but

too,

they,
of them,
in
On
the contrary,

said
are
are

every

that

the

certainly
the exception.
industrial

208

THE

CONQUEST

OF

BREAD

to find one
sure
more
or
enterprise, you are
bourgeois who work very hard.
It is true that
the
leged
majorityof bourgeois profit by their privito
themselves
the least
position
award
tasks, and
that they work
unpleasant
under
hygienic
conditions of air, food, etc., which
to do their business
too
them
permit
without
But these are precisely the confatigue.
much
ditions
we
which
claim for all workers, without
exception.
It must
also be said that if, thanks to their

privileged position, rich people often perform


in
harmful
even
absolutely useless or
work
Heads
society, nevertheless the Ministers,
of
Departments,
factory owners,
traders, bankers,
number
of hours
less
they find more
or
every day to work which
tiresome, all preferring their hours of leisure to
if in nine cases
And
this obligatory work.
out
it
work, they find
of ten this work is a harmful
But it is prethe less tiring for that.
none
cisely
because the middle class put forth a great
in doing harm
even
(knowinglyor not)
energy,
their privileged position, that
and defending
defeating
the landed
m
they have succeeded
etc.,

subjectthemselves

for

to rule the
that they continue
long
idlers, they would
If they were
masses.
appeare
dissince have ceased to exist, and would have
In a society
like the aristocracy.

nobility, and

that would
of useful,

only four or five hours


pleasant, and hygienic
work,
expect

day
these

their
perform
middle-class people would
task perfectly well, and they certainly would
not put up with the horrible conditions in which

same

209

OBJECTIONS

If
toil nowadays
without reforming them.
Huxley
a
spent only five hours in the sewers
have
that he would
rest assured
of London,
found the means
as
them
sanitary
of making
his
laboratory.
as
physiological
As to the laziness of the great
of

men

majority

workers, only philistine economists and philanthropists


can
nonsense.
utter such
If you ask an
intelligent manufacturer,
he
will tell you that if workmen
only put it into
their heads to be lazy, all factories would have
to be closed, for no
measure
of severity, no
be of any use.
You
system
of spying would
in 1887
the terror
should have seen
caused
British employers
a few
among
when
agitators
^^
the
theory
go-canny
started preaching
"Bad
it easy, do not
"Take
pay, bad work";
overwork
yourselves, and waste all you can.'*
"
They demoralize the worker, they want to kill
industry!"
our
people who
cried those same
day
inveighed
before
the
against the immorality
of the worker and the bad quality of his work.
But if the workers
were
what they are represented
to be
the idler whom
the emnamely,
ployer
is supposed continually to threaten
with
dismissal from the workshop
what would the
'
' '
demoralization
word
signify ?
So when we speak of possible idlers, we must
that it is a question of a small
well understand
minority in society; and before legislating for
it not be wise to study
that minority,
would
Whoever
the origin of that idleness?
observes
''

"

"

"

"

that
with an intelligent eye, sees well enough
the child reputed lazy at school is often the one
o

THE

210

CONQUEST

OF

BEEAD

which simply does not understand, because he


is being badly taught.
Very often, too, it i"
from
by
suffering
cerebral
anaemia, caused
A
poverty and an
anti-hygienic
education.
boy who is lazy at Greek or Latin would work
he taught
were
admirably
science, especially
if he were
taught
the aid of manual
with
labour.
A girl who is stupid at mathematics
becomes the first mathematician
of her class if
she by chance meets somebody
who can explain
to her the elements

of arithmetic which she did


lazy in the
And
a workman,
not understand.
workshop, cultivates his garden at dawn, while
and will be at work
gazing at the rising sun,
all nature goes to its
again at nightfall, when
rest.

Somebody

has said that dust is matter in the


The
definition applies to
same
wrong
place.
are
nine-tenths of those called lazy. They
people gone astray in a direction that does not
to

answer

capacities.
men,

we

nor
their temperament
In reading the biography

struck with the number


lazy so
They were
them.
are

to

their

of great
^'idlers''
of
long as they

among
had not found the right path; afterwards they
Darwin,
laborious to excess.
became
son,
Stephenand many
others belonged to this category
of idlers.
to whom
Very often the idler is but a man
it

is repugnant
to spend all his life making
the
eighteenth part of a pin, or the hundredth
part
of a watch,
while he feels he has exuberant
like to expend
we
energy
which
would
elsewhere.
is
he
Often, too,
a
rebel who
cannot

211

OBJECTIONS

submit to being fixed all bis life to a work-bench


in order to procure a thousand
pleasures for his
himself to be far the
employer,
while knowing
his only
less stupid of the two, and knowing
fault to be that of having been born in a hovel
into the world in a castle.
instead of coming
^^
idlers *' are
Lastly, an immense
number
of
idlers because they do not know
well enough
to earn
by
the trade
which they are compelled
their living. Seeing the imperfect thing they
hands, striving vainly to
make with their own
do better, and perceiving that they never
will
of the bad habits of work
succeed on account
to hate
their
acquired, they begin
already
trade, and, not knowing
any other, hate work
in general.
Thousands
of workmen
and artists
from
failures
this cause.
who are
suffer

On the other hand, he who since his youth has


learned to play the piano well, to handle the
plane ivell,the chisel, the brush, or the file,so
that he feels that what he does is beautiful,
will
never
give up the piano, the chisel, or the file.
He will find pleasure in his work which does not
tire him, so long as he is not overdriven.
Under the one name,
idleness, a series of results
due to different causes
been
have
grouped,
be
a
source
of which
each one
could
of good,
instead of being
to
a
source
of evil
society.
Like all questions concerning
criminality and
faculties, facts have been
related to human
in common
collected having nothing
with one
People speak
another.
of laziness or crime,
without
analyse

themselves
giving
They
the cause.

are

trouble
the
in a hurry

o2

to

to

THE

212

CONQUEST

OF

BEEAD

inquiring if the
these faults without
punish
itself does not contain a premium
punishment
'*
laziness *' or '^ crime." *
on
This is why
free society, if it saw
the
a
number
of idlers increasing in its midst, would
doubt think of looking first for the cause
no
of
laziness, in order to suppress it, before having
to punishment.
it is a case,
When
recourse
have already mentioned,
we
as
of simple bloodlessness, then before stuffing the brain of a child
with science, nourish his system so as to produce
blood, strengthen him, and, that he shall
not waste his time, take him to the country or
to the seaside; there, teach him in the open
air,
tance
the disnot in books
geometry, by measuring
to a spire, or the height of a tree ; natural
sciences, while picking flowers and fishing in
the
the sea; physical science, while building
boat he will go to fish in.
But for mercy's
sake do not fillhis brain with classical sentences
Do not make an idler of
'and dead languages.
him !
"

Or, here is a child which


has neither order
culcat
Let the children first innor
regular habits.
themselves, and later on,
order among
that
the work
the laboratory, the workshop,
will have to be done in a limited space, with
the guidance
tools about, under
many
of an
intelligent teacher, will teach them
method.
do not make
But
disorderly beings
out
of
them by your school, whose only order is the
true
symmetry
of its benches,
and
which
"

See my
London,
1887.

book,

In

Russian

and

French

Prisons.

213

OBJECTIONS
image

of the chaos in its teachings


will never
inspire anybody
with the love of harmony,
of
in work.
consistency, and method
Do
that by your methods
see
not you
of
Ministry
for
by
teaching,
framed
a
eight
"

million scholars, who represent


eight million
different capacities, you only impose a system
good for mediocrities, conceived by an average
Your
becomes
a
of mediocrities?
school

University
University

is a
your
prison
of laziness, as
Make
the school free,
of crime.
University
abolish your
grades, appeal to the
volunteers of teaching ; begin that way, instead
laws against laziness which
of making
only
to
increase
it.
serve

self
himGive the workman
who cannot condemn
to make
particle of
all his life a minute
his
little
is stifled at
tapping
some
object,who
machine,
which he ends by loathing, give him
the chance of tilling the soil, of felling trees in
in the teeth of a
the forest, sailing the seas
storm, dashing through
space on an engine, but
do not make
idler of him by forcing him
an
to
all his life to attend to a small machine,
or to drill the eye of
plough the head of a screw,
a

needle.
Suppress the cause
of idleness, and you may
take it for granted that few individuals will
especially voluntary
work,
really hate work,
be
to
no
manufacture
need
and that there will
laws
their account.
on
a code of

CHAPTER
THE

COLLECTIVIST

XIII
SYSTEM

WAGES

In their plans for tlie reconstruction of society


in our
the collectivists commit,
fold
opinion, a twoWhile
error.
speaking
of abolishing
intend
to
nevertheless
capitalist
rule, they
retain two institutions which
Representative
of this rule
System.
the Wages'
"

the very
Government

are

basis

and

As

ment,
governregards so-called representative
hav3
it.
It is
we
often spoken
about
incomprehensible
to
tellige
that inus
absolutely
in the
men
and such are not wanting
"

can
collectivist party
remain
partisans
of
national or municipal
parliaments
after all the
lessons history has given them
in France,
in
England,
in Germany,
in the United States.
or
While
see
we
parliamentary
rule breaking
from
up, and
all sides criticism of this rule
louder
not only of its results, but also
growing
how
is it that the revoluof its principles
tionary
defend
a
socialists
system
already
to
die?
condemned
Built up by the middle classes to hold their
"

"

"

"

own

against

royalty,

sanctioning,

and,

at the

THE

COLLECTIVIST

SYSTEM

WAGES

215

the
over
their sway
strengthening,
a
workers, parliamentary
rule is pre-eminently
The
of this
rule.
upholders
middle-class
have never
that a
system
seriously maintained
same

time

or
a
parliament
municipal
council represent a
nation or a city. The most intelligent among
The middle
them know that this is impossible.
classes have
simply
used the parliamentary

system to raise a protecting barrier against the


the
of royalty, without
giving
pretensions
people liberty. But gradually, as the people
become conscious of their real interests, and the
variety of their interests is growing, the system
longer work.
Therefore
democrats
no
can
of
imagine
various palliatives.
all countries vainly
to be a
The Rejerendum is tried and found
is spoken
failure ; proportional representation
of minorities, and other
of, the representation
In a word, they strive
Utopias.
parliamentary
to find what is not to be found, and after each
bound
to recognize
they
are
new
experiment
a
that it was
Representative

failure ;

so

Government

confidence in
and
vanishes more

that

more.

the Wages'
It is the same
system;
with
because, once
the abolition of private property
is proclaimed,
of
and the possession in common
how
is
introduced,
can
of production
all means
in any form?
the wages' system be maintained
"

This is, nevertheless,


what
collectivists are
the use
doing
they
of the
recommend
when
for
labour-cheques
a
as
of renumeration
mode
for the great Collectivist
labour accomplished
the State.
employer
"

216

THE

CONQUEST

OF

BREAD

is easy
to understand
the early
why
English
socialists, since the time of Robert
Owen,
to the system of labour-cheques.
came
It

They

Capital and Labour


simply tried to make
They
the idea of laying
agree.
repudiated
hands
by
on
means
capitalist property
of
revolutionary measures.
Proudhon
It is also easy to understand
why
idea.
In
his
later on
took
the
same
up
Capital less
Mutualist system he tried to make
the
of
retaining
oflensive, notwithstanding
he detested from the
private property,
which
he believed to
bottom
of his heart, but which
individuals against
to guarantee
be necessary
the State.
Neither is it astonishing that certain economists,
less bourgeois,
labouror
more
admit
They care
little whether
the worker
cheques.
is paid in labour-notes or in coin stamped
with

They
or the Empire.
the effigy of the Republic
from
dual
destruction the indivito save
only care
ownership
of dwelling-houses,
of land, of
factories ; in any case
ing-houses
that, at least, of dwellfor
and the capital that is necessary
labour-notes
And
just
manufacturing.
would
"

answer

the

property.
As long

jewelsor

as

purpose

of upholding

labour-notes

can

this private

be exchanged
of the house

for

carriages, the owner


will
for
long
And
as
as
rent.
willingly accept them
dwelling-houses,
fields, and factories belong to
isolated owners,
men
will have to pay these
in one
for being
owners,
or
way
another,
allowed to work in the fields or factories, or for

THE

COLLECTIYIST

SYSTEM

WAGES

217

Tlie owners
living in tlie houses.
will agree to
in gold, in paperbe paid by
the workers
in cbeques exchangeable
for all sorts
or
money,
labour is
once
that toll upon
of commodities,
and the right to levy it is left with
maintained,
But how
defend
labour-notes,
them.
can
we
form of wagedom,
this new
we
when
admit that
the houses, the fields, and the factories will no
longer be private
that they
property,
will
belong to the commune
or
the nation?
"

II

Let

this system of renuclosely examine


by
done, preached
for work
the
meration
English, and Italian collecGerman,
French,
tivists (the Spanish
still call
anarchists, who
themselves
collectivists, imply by Collectivism
the possession in common
of
of all instruments
**
liberty of each group to
production,
and the
divide the
they think fit,according
as
us

produce,

other principles '').


It amounts
: Everybody
works in field,
factory, school, hospital, etc. The working-day
is fixed by the State, which owns
the land, the
is
Every
factories, the roads, etc.

to communist

or

any
to this

work-day

paid for with a labour-note^ which is inscribed


With
with these words : Eight hours' work.
can
this cheque the worker
procure
all sorts of
by the State
in the stores owned
merchandize
or

by divers corporations.

The

cheque

is divi-

218

THE

eible,

so

OF

CONQUEST

that you

can

buy

an

BREAD

hour's-work

worth

of meat, ten minutes' worth of matches, or half


hour
After
an
the Collectivist
of tobacco.

E-evolution, instead of
worth
saying ''twopence
of soap,'' we
shall say ''five minutes' worth of
soap."
Most

collectivists, true to the distinction laid


down by middle-class economists (and by Marx
as
well) between
qualifiedwork and simple
that
or
work, tell us, moreover,
professiona
qualified
be paid a certain quantity
work must
Thus one hour's work
more
than simple work.
to be
as
of a doctor will have
considered
to two or three hours' work
of a
equivalent
to three or five hours' work
hospital nurse,
or
"Professional,
or
navvy.
qualified work,
be
a
says the
will
multiple of simple work,"
"because
this kind
of
collectivist Gronlund,
less long apprenticeship."
or
work needs a more
Some other collectivists, such as the French
Marxist, Guesde, do not make
this distinction.
of

"
The
Equality of Wages."
They proclaim the
doctor, the schoolmaster,
and the professor will
be paid (inlabour-cheques)
rate as
at the same
Eight hours visiting the sick in a
the navvy.
hospital will be
as
the same
eight
worth
hours spent in earthworks
or
else in mines or

factories.
Some make
a
greater concession; they admit
that disagreeable or unhealthy
such as
work
sewerage
rate
could be paid for at a higher
One hour's work of a
than agreeable
work.
sewerman
would be worth, they say, two hours
"

"

of

professor's work.

THE
Let

COLLECTIYIST

WAGES

SYSTEM

219

add that certain collectivists admit of


for work
sum
corporations being paid a lump
done. Thus a corporation would say : ^'Here are
hundred
tons of steel. A hundred
a
workmen
were
required to produce them, and it took them
Their work-day
ten days.
being an eight-hours
day, it has taken them eight thousand
working
tons of steel
hours to produce a hundred
eight
For this the State would
hours a ton."
pay
hour
labour-notes of one
them
eight thousand
us

"

cheques
each, and these eight thousand
would
be divided among
the members
of the iron-works
they themselves
thought
as
proper.
On the other hand, a hundred
miners having

taken

twenty

days

to

extract

thousand
two hours

eight

a
of coal, coal would be worth
ton, and the sixteen thousand
cheques of one
hour each, received by the Guild of Miners,
their members
according
would be divided among
to their own
appreciation.

tons

ton
If the miners
protested and said that a
hours' work instead
of steel should only cost six
his
to have
of eight; if the professor wished
then
than the nurse,
day paid four times more
the State would interfere and would settle their
dift'erences.
Such is, in a few words, the organization the
Social
collectivists wish to see arise out of the
As we
their principles are :
see,
Revolution.
Collective property
duction,
of proof the instruments
to each according to
and remuneration
into
the time spent in producing,
while taking
As to
the productivity of his labour.
account
be the Parliait would
the political system,

220

THE

CONQUEST

OF

BREAD

tions
system,
modified by positive instrucendum
given to those elected, and by the Refer-

mentary

"

vote,

taken

by

noes

or

ayes

by

the

nation.
Let

ns

own

that

simply unrealizable.
Collectivists begin

this system

appears

to

us

by

a
proclaiming
revolutionary
the
principle
abolition
of private
than
property
and then they deny it, no sooner
by upholding
an
proclaimed,
organization of
"

"

production
and consumption
which
originated
m
private property.
They proclaim a revolutionary principle, and
ignore the consequences
that this principle will
inevitably bring about.
forget that the
They
in
very fact of abolishing individual property
land, factories, road,
the instruments
of work
launch
must
society into absolutely
capital
"

"

the
overthrow
completely
channels; must
present system of production, both in its aim as
daily relamust
tions
modify
well as in its means;
land,
individuals,
between
as
as
soon
of production
machinery,
and all other instruments
new

considered common
property.
''
No
They
and
property,'*
say,
private
immediately
private
after strive to maintain
"
You
in its daily manifestations.
property
far as regards proas
duction
shall be a Commune
are

fields, tools, machinery,


all that has
been invented up till now
factories, railways,
harbours, mines, etc., all are
Not the
yours.
slightest distinction will be made
concerning
the share of each in this collective property.
:

"

**

But

from

to-morrow

you

will

minutely

THE

WAGES

COLLECTIYIST

SYSTEM

221

going to take in the


in the digging
of
machinery,
creation of new
You
new
weigh
what
will carefully
mines.
You
part of the new
produce belongs to you.

debate

tlie share

you

are

your
that
not buy

of work, and you will


minutes
a
of your neighbours
minute
more
than yours.
should
**
in
And
hour measures
as
as
an
nothing,
to six powerfactories a worker can
see
some
looms at a time, while in another he only tends
force, the
two, you will weigh
the muscular
brain energy, and the nervous
energy you have

will count
take
care

You
calculate the
will accurately
expended.
in order to appraise the
years of apprenticeship
amount
tion.
each will contribute to future produchaving
declared
And
that'
this
after
his share in 'past
you do not take into account
"

production."
Well, for us it is evident that a society cannot
be based on two absolutely opposed principles,
two principles that contradict one
another continually
And
a
nation or a commune
which
be
have
an
such
would
would
organization
in the
to revert to private property
compelled
instruments
of production, or to transform itself
into a communist
society.

Ill
have
that
collectivist
certain
said
be made
writers desire that a distinction should
We

222

THE

between

OF

CONQUEST

BREAD

qualifiedor

work
and
professional
hour's
that an
work.
simple
pretend
work of an engineer, an architect, or a doctor,
be considered as two or three hours' work
must
a mason,
or
a hospital
nurse.
of a blacksmith,
distinction must be made
And the same
between
They

all sorts of trades necessitating apprenticeship,


and the simple toil of day labourers.

Well,

to establish this distinction


would

be

to

maintain
all the inequalities of present
It would mean
fixing a dividing line,
society.
from the beginning,
between
the workers
and
It
those who pretend to govern
them.
would
distinct
two
into
dividing
mean
very
society
placed
classes the aristocracy^ of knowledge
lower orders
the one
above the horny-handed
doomed
to serve
the other; the one
working
its
hands
to
feed
those
who,
with
and clothe
profiting by their leisure, study how to govern
their fosterers.
"

"

It would
mean
of the distinct
reviving one
peculiarities of present society and giving it the
It would
sanction of the Social Revolution.
mean
setting up as a principle an abuse already
in our ancient crumbling
society.
condemned
know
They
We
the answer
we
shall get.
"
''
Scientific Socialism
; they will
will speak of
too, to
quote bourgeois
economists,
and Marx
prove that a scale of wages has its raison d'etre,
*'
the labour-force"
as
of the engineer will have
"
labour- force "
to society than the
cost more
have
In fact
not
economists
of the navvy.
tried to prove to as that if an engineer is paid
it is because
than a navvy
twenty
times more
"

THE

WAGES

COLLECTIVIST
'*

'*

an
the
necessary
outlay to make
is greater tlian that necessary to make
lias not Marx
And
asserted that the
is equally logical between two
He
labour?
not
could
of manual
otherwise, having taken up on his own

Ricardo's
goods

223

SYSTEM

engineer
a

navTy?
distinction
same
branches
conclude
account

that
upheld
value, and
in proportion to the tity
quanexchanged
for their
socially necessary
work
theory

are

of

of
production.
to think of this. We
know
But we
what
know
that if engineers, scientists, or doctors

than a
times more
paid ten or a hundred
labourer, and if a weaver
three times more
earns
than an
agricultural labourer, and ten times
than a girl m a match factory, it is not by
more
are

reason

of their

'^

cost

but

of production,"

by

reason

poly
of education, or a monoof a monopoly
Engineers,
scientists, and
of industry.
doctors
their capital
their
merely
exploit
diplomas
as
middle-class employers
exploit a
"

"

factory,

or

as

nobles used to exploit their titles

of nobility.
As to the
twenty times

an
pays
employer
who
engineer
more
than a labourer, it is simply
due to personal interest; if the engineer
can
economize "4,000 a year on the cost of production,

the employer
And
if the
pays him "800.
has a foreman
"400 on the
employer
who saves
he gladly
work by cleverly sweating workmen,
He parts with
gives him "80 or "120 a year.
he expects to gain "400 by
an
extra "40 when
it; and this is the essence
of the Capitalist

224

THE

CONQUEST

OF

BEEAD

The
differences obtain among
same
system.
different manual
trades.
Let them, therefore, not talk to us of "the
cost of production"
raises the cost of
which
skilled labour, and tell us that a student who
has gaily spent his youth in a university has a
ten times greater than the son
right to a wage
of a miner who has grown
pale in a mine since
has a right
the age of eleven; or that a weaver
to a wage
three or four times greater than that
of an agricultural labourer. The cost of teaching

his work is not four times greater than


the cost of teaching a peasant his. The weaver
his industry
simply benefits by the advantages
in international
trade, from
reaps
countries
industries, and in conthat have
as
sequence
yet no
of the privileges accorded by all States
to industries in preference to the tilling of the
a

weaver

soil.
Nobody

has

duction
calculated the cost of proloafer
if
a noble
costs
of a producer ; and
far more
to society than a worker, it remains
does
to be seen
a
whether
robust day-labourer
to society than a skilled artisan,
not cost more
infantinto account
have
taken
we
when
the ravages
the poor,
of
among
mortality
deaths.
ancemia, and premature
Could they, for example,
make us believe that
the 3d.
the Is. 3d. paid to a Paris workwoman,
Auvergne
grows
peasant girl who
paid to an
the Is. 8d. paid to the
or
iDlind at lace-making,
their "cost
of production."
represent
peasant
for less,
full well that people work
We
know
but we
that they do so exclusively
also know
ever

THE

COLLECTIVIST

WAGES

SYSTEM

225

because,

thanks to our
organization,
wonderful
die of hunger
did they not accept
they would
these mock
wages.
is a complex
For us the scale of remuneration
tutelage, of
result of taxes, of governmental
In a word, of State and
Capitalist monopoly.
Therefore,
Capital.
we
say that all wages'
theories have been invented after the e\ent to
justifyinjustices
at present existing, and that
we
need not take them into consideration.
Neither will they fail to tell us that the Colment.
be an improvelectivist scale of wages
would
"It would be better," so they say, "to
two
or
certain artisans receiving a wage
labourers, than
three times higher than common
to see a minister receiving in a day what a workman
It would be a great
in a year.
earn
cannot
see

step towards equality."


For us this step would

be the reverse
gress.
of proTo make
between
distinction
a
simple
in
a
new
and professional work
society would
in
Revolution
the
nizing
sanctioning
result
and recogas
a
principle a brutal fact we submit to
but that we
nowadays,
nevertheless find unjust.
It would
imitating
mean
those gentlemen
of
the French Assembly
who proclaimed on August
4th, 1789, the abolition of feudal right-s, but
who on August 8th sanctioned these same
rights
by imposing
dues on the peasants to compensate
the noblemen,
placing these dues under the protection

It would
mean
of the Revolution.
imitating the Russian
Government,
claimed,
which proat the time of the emancipation
of the
henceforth
serfs, that
certain lands should

226

THE

OF

COiS^QUEST

belong

to the

lands

were

nobility,

considered

while
as

BREAD
formerly

these

belonging

to

the

serfs.

Or else, to take a better known


example,
when
the Commune
of 1871 decided to pay members
Council 12s. 6d. a day, while
of the Commune
the ramparts
the Federates
on
received only
Is. 3d., this decision was
hailed as an act of
democratic

In reality, the
equality.
only ratified the former inequality
functionary
between
and soldier, Government
from
Opportunist
Coming
an
and governed.

superior
Commune

Chamber
such a decision would
of Deputies,
but the Commune
have
appeared
admirable,
doomed
her own
revolutionary
principles when
into practice.
she failed to put them
Under

our

existing social system,


minister gets paid "4,000 a year, while
himself
must
content
with "40

when
a

or

workman
less ;

is paid two or three times more


there is
a
workmen
workman,
and among
8s. a day down
to the
gradation, from
every
disapprove
peasant
of the high
girl's 3d., we
ence
salary of the minister as well as of the differbetween
the 8s. of the workman
and the
^'
And
3d. of the poor woman.
Down
we
say,
when
than

foreman

with the privileges of education, as well as with


"
We
those of birth!
are
anarchists precisely
because these privileges revolt us.
They
revolt us already in this authoritarian
in a society
Could
we
them
society.
endure
that began by proclaiming
equality?
This is why some
coUectivists, understandingimpossibility
the
a
of maintaining
scale of

THE

COLLECTIVIST

WAGES

SYSTEM

227

wages in a society inspired by the breath of the


Revolution,
hasten
to proclaim
equality
of
But they meet with new
difficulties,and
wage.
becomes
their equality of wages
the same
unrealizab
Utopia as the scale of wages of other

collectivists.
A society having taken possession of all social
the right of
wealth, having boldly proclaimed
all to this wealth
share they may
whatever
have taken in producing
it will be compelled
in
to abandon
any system
of wages, whether
labour-notes.
or
currency
"

"

IV
**
To each according to
The collectivists say,
"
to his
his deeds
; or, in other terms, according
They
to society.
share of services rendered
into
to put this principle
think it expedient

the Social Revolution


will
instruments
all
of production
But
we
think that if the
common
property.
had the misfortune
Social Revolution
claiming
of proits
mean
such a principle, it would
failure ; it would
leaving the
mean
necessary

practice, as
have
made

soon

as

have
past centuries
social problem,
which
burdened
us
with, unsolved.
in a society like ours,
Of course,
in which
the more
a
man
the less he is remunerated,
works
this principle, at first sight, may
for justice.But
to be
a
appear
yearning
in reality it is only the perpetuation
of in-

r2

228

THE

CONQUEST

justice.It
that

was

wagedom
inequalities

OF

by proclaiming
began,
to
end

BREAD
this principle
in the glaring

of
all the abominations
and
from
the moment
present society ; because,
work
done began to be appraised in currency, or in
any
other form of wage, the day it was
agreed
that man
would only receive the wage he
to himself, the whole
"hould be able to secure
history of a State-aided Capitalist Society was
upon

in germ
good as written; it was
contained
in this principle.
Shall we,
then, return to our
starting-point,
and go through the same
evolution again ? Our
theorists desire it, but fortunately it is imposbe
we
must
eible. The Eevolution,
maintain,
if not, it will be drowned
in blood,
communist;
over
and have to be begun
again.
as

Services rendered
factory or field, or
in money.
valued
measure

termed

of

value

to society, be they

work

in

he
mental
services, cannot
There
be no
can
exact
(of what has been wrongly
nor
value, in
of use

exchange
value),
If two individuals work
terms
of production.
five hours a day, year in
for the community
is equally
year
out, at diiferent work
which
to them,
we
the
agreeable
say that on
may
whole their labour is approximately
equivalent.
But we cannot
divide their work, and say that
hour,
day,
the result of any
or
particular
is worth the result
minute
of work of the one
day, one
hour, or
one
of one
of the
minute
other.
We
who
may
roughly
say that the man,
during
his lifetime has deprived himself
of

THE

WAGES

COLLECTIVIST

229

SYSTEM
Las

given far
has only
to society than tlie one
more
who
five hours
himself of leisure during
deprived
day, or who has not deprived himself at all.
a
But we
take what he has done duringcannot
hours, and say that the yield of his two
two
leisure during

ten

hours

day

hours' work is worth twice as much


the yield
as
of another individual, who has worked only on"
in proportion.
hour, and remunerate
the two
It would
be disregarding
all that is complex
in industry, in agriculture, in the whole
life
of present society ; it would be ignoring to what
extent
all individual work is the result of the
past and the present labour of society as a whole.
It would
believing ourselves to be living
mean
in the Stone Age, whereas we
living in an
are
age of steel.
If you enter a modern
coal-mine you will see
in charge of a huge machine
that raises
a man
he holds a
In his hand
and lowers a cage.
lever that stops and reverses
the course
of the
its
he lowers it and the cage reverses
machine;
in the twinkling
course
of an eye; he sends it
into the depths of the
downwards
or
upwards
All attention^
shaft with a giddy
swiftness.
he follows with his eyes fixed on an indicator
him, on
a
which
shows
small scale, at which
point of the shaft the cage is at each second
the indicator
as
of its progress;
and as soon
certain level, he suddenly
stops
the course
of the cage, not a yard higher nor
And
lower than the required spot.
no
sooner
have the colliers unloaded their coal- wagonettes^

has

reached

and

pushed

empty

ones

instead,

than

he

re-

230

THE

verses

the lever and

OF

CONQUEST
again

BEEAD

back

sends tKe cage

into space.
During
eight or ten consecutive hours every
day he must keep the same
strain of attention.
Should his brain relax for a moment,
the cage
strike against the gear, break
its wheels, snap the rope, crush men,
and put
Should
he
to
in
the mine.
a stop
waste
all work
the
three seconds at each touch of the lever,
in our
extraction,
modern
perfected mines,

would

inevitably

"

would
day.

be reduced

from

twenty

to fifty tons

in the
Is it he who is the most necessary man
Or, is it perhaps
the boy who
mine?
signals
Is it the
to him from below to raise the cage ?
miner at the bottom
of the shaft, who risks his
life.every instant, and who
day be
will some
killed by fire-damp?
Or is it the engineer, who
lose the layer of coal,
cause
would
and would
the miners to dig on rock by a simple mistake

in

is it
Or,
calculations?
has put his capital into
owner
who
has
and
who
contrary
perhaps,
advice, asserted that excellent coal
found there?
in the
All those who are engaged
to the extraction of coal in
his

the

mine

the

mine,

to

expert
be
would

mine

con-

tribute
proportion
ledge,
to their strength,
their energy,
their knowtheir intelligence, and their skill. And
we
may
say that all have the right to live, to
their whims, when
satisfy their needs, and even
the necessaries of life have been secured for all.
But how can
we
appraise the work of each one
of them?

THE

WAGES

COLLECTIVIST

SYSTEM

231

have
they
coal
Is it not also
extracted
entirely tlieir work?
the work of the men
who have built the railway
leading to the mine
and the roads that radiate
from all the railway
Is it not also
stations?
And,

moreover,

Is

tlie

the work of those that have tilled and sown


the
fields, extracted iron, cut wood
in the forests,
built the
that burn
machines
coal, slowly
developed
industry
the mining
altogether, and
so

on?
It is utterly impossible to draw a distinction
To
between
the work
of each of those men.
by its results leads us to an
measure
the work
to divide
the total work,
and to
absurdity;
its fractions by the number
measure
of hours
the work
spent on
also leads us to absurdity.
One thing remains
the needs above the
: to put
workSf and first of all to recognize the right to
live, and later on the right to well-being for all
those who took their share in production.
But

"

take any other branch of human


activity
life
take the manifestations
as
a
of
whole.
Which
one
remuneration
claim the higher
of us can

for his work?


Is it the doctor who has
found
has
the illness, or the nurse
out
who
brought
by her hygienic
about recovery
care?
Is it the inventor of the first steam-engine,
or
day
the boy, who, one
the rope that formerly

tired of pulling
the valve to let

getting

opened

the piston, tied the rope to


under
the lever of the machine,
without
suspecting
he
invented
had
that
the essentia] mechanical
the automatic
part of all modern
machinery
steam

enter

"

valve.

232

THE

CONQUEST

OF

BREAD

Is it the inventor of the locomotive, or the


suggested
replacing
workman
of Newcastle,
who
the stones formerly laid under the rails by
ticity,
sleepers, as the stones, for want of elaswooden
Is it the
caused the trains to derail?
The
on
the locomotive?
engineer
signalman
The
who stops the trains, or lets them pass by?
line
who transfers a train from one
switchman
to another?
Again,
do we
to whom
owe
the transatlantic
Is it to the electrical engineer who
cable?
the
that
cable would
obstinately
affirmed
learned
transmit
men
messages
of
while
Is
declared
it to
be
impossible?
science
it to Maury,
the learned physical geographer,
that thick cables should be set
advised
who
? Or
aside for others as thin as a walking cane
from
else to those volunteers, come
nobody
knows
days
where, who spent their
and nights
deck minutely
on
examining
every yard of the
the nails that the sharecable, and removed
holders
of steamship
companies
stupidly caused
to be driven into the non-conducting
wrapper
it unserviceable ?
of the cable, so as to make
And in a wider sphere, the true sphere of life,
with its joys,its sufferings, and its accidents,
has
cannot
each one
of us recall someone
who
rendered him so great a service that we should
be indignant
if its equivalent
in coin wero
The service may
have been but a
mentioned?
word, nothing but a word s23oken at the right
have been months
time, or else it may
and years
of devotion, and are we going to appraise these
**

incalculable

"

services in ''labour-notes"?

THE
* *

COLLECTIVIST

SYSTEM

WAGES

233

' '

But human
society
works of eacli !
than two consecutive
not exist for more
would
did not give infinitely
if everyone
generations
more
than that for which he is paid in coin, in
The

**

The
in civic rewards.
or
race
cheques,"
become
did not
soon
would
extinct if mothers
of their childsacrifice their lives to take care
ren,
if men
did not gi\e continually, without
demanding
if men
did
an
reward,
equivalent

they expect no
give most
precisely when
reward.
If mfddle-class
is decaying,
if we
society
have got into a blind alley from which we cannot
not

emerge
without
attacking
past institutions
with torch and hatchet, it is precisely because
have
too much
to counting.
It is
we
given
because we have let ourselves be influenced into
It is because we
have
giving only to receive.

turning
society into a commercial
based on debit and credit.
company
After all, the Collectivists know
selves.
this themThey vaguely
that a society
understand
could not exist if it carried out the principle of
aimed

at

'*Each

to his deeds."
They have a
according
do not speak of
that necessaries
we
the needs of the individual, do not
his works.
Thus
De
to
correspond

notion

"

whims
always
"
The principle
Paepe tell us :
the eminently
however,
be
Individualist
would,
principle
tenqjered- by social intervention for the education
(including
persons
of children and young
lodging),and by the social
and
maintenance
for assisting the infirm and the
organization
They
sick, for retreats for aged workers, etc."
"

"

"

S34

THE

OF

CONQUEST

BREAD

that a man
of forty, father of three
has other needs than a young
man
of
'Children,
They
know
twenty.
that the woman
who
her
infant
suckles
and spends sleepless nights at
its bedside, cannot
do as much
worh as the man
They
to take
seem
ivho has slept peacefully.
in that men
by
worn
out maybe
and women,
for society, may
be incapable
"dint of overwork
of doing as much
work as those who have spent
their time leisurely and pocketed their "labour"
in
the
career
notes
of State
privileged
understand

functionaries.
They
are
eager
They

to

temper

their principle.
Society will not fail to maintain
up its children; to help both aged
"

and

say
bring

and

infirm.

doubt

Without

needs

will be the
will burden

of the cost that society


itself with, to temper
the principle of deeds.''
Christian charity,
Charity, charity, always
measure

They believe
by the State this time.
"organized
for foundlings, in
in improving
the asylums
to
as
^so
effecting old-age and sick insurances
"

temper

throw
healing

But
their principle.
they
aside the idea of "wounding

Thus,

' '

afterwards
after having

cannot

yet

first and

denied

Communism,

after
liaving laughed
at the formula
at their ease
"
*'
To each acording to his needs
these great
forgotten
discover that they have
"economists
the needs of the producers, which
something,
it is for the State to
Only
they now
admit.
for the State to verify if the
them,
estimate
"

"

needs

are

not

disproportionate

to the work.

THE

COLLECTIYIST

SYSTEM

WAGES

235

The State will dole out cliarity. Thence


to
is but
the English poor-law and the workhouse
a

step.
There

is but

slight difference, because even


this s-tepmother of a society against whom
we
in revolt has also been compelled
are
to temper
her individualist principles; she, too, has had
to make
in a communist
direction
concessions
form of charity.
and under the same
She, too, distributes halfpenny
dinners
to
the pillaging
builds
prevent
of her shops;
hospitals

"

often

very bad
to prevent

but

ones,

sometimes

the ravages
of contagious
diseases.
She, too, after having
paid
hours of labour, shelters the children
of

splendid
the

those

ones

she has

"

wrecked.

She

takes

their needs

into consideration and doles out charity.


have
Poverty,
was
we
said elsewhere,
It was
cause
poverty
of wealth.
primary

the

that

before
first capitalist; because,
"surplus
we
accumulating
value,'' of which
hear
had
to be
so
men
much,
sufficiently
the

created

destitute to consent
to sell their labour, so as
It was
that
not to die of hunger.
poverty
if the number
And
of the
made
capitalists.
increased
the Middle
so
poor
rapidly during
Ages,
that

the

it

was

followed

due
the

to

the

founding

invasions
of

and wars
States, and to

increase

the exof riches resulting from


ploitat
These two causes
tore
of the East.
that kept men
together in
the bonds

asunder
the agrarian
communities,
urban
and
and
taught them to proclaim the principle of wages.

236

THE

OF

CONQUEST

BREAD

tlie
tlie exploiters, instead
of
solidarity they formerly practised in their tribal
life.
And it is this principle that is to spring from
so

dear

to

dare
men
revolution
which
name
a
of Social ReTolution,
a

"

to
name

call
so

by

the

dear to

the starved, the oppressed, and the sufferers !


be.
For the day on which
It can
never
old
institutions will fall under the proletarian axe,
**
for
Bread, shelter, ease
voices will cry out:
'*
And those voices will be listened to ; the
all !
**
Let us begin by allaying our
people will say :
for liberty, that
thirst for life, for happiness,
have never
And
we
we
quenched.
when
shall
have

tasted of this joy,we


will set to work to
demolish
the last vestiges of middle-class rule :
from
drawn
its morality
its
account-books,
'

its * mine
debit and credit
philosophy,
and
'
'
In demolishing
institutions.
we
yours
shall
build,' as Proudhon
said ; and we shall build in
the name
of Communism
and Anarchy.'*
'

CHAPTER
CONSUMPTION

Looking

XIY
AND

PRODUCTION

its political organization


society and
from a different standpoint tlian that of
for we start from
all the authoritarian
schools
to reach a free society, instead
a free individual
at

"

of beginning
individual

by

the State to
follow
the

come

down

to the

in
method
We
economic
questions.
study the needs of the
by
individuals,
they
the means
and
which
discussing
before
Production,
satisfy them,
Taxation,
Exchange,
Government,
and so on.
At
first sight the difference may
appear
trifling, but in reality it upsets all the canons
of
official Political Economy.
If you open the works of any economist
you
i.e.,
will find that he begins with production,
by the analysis of the means
nowaday
employed
for the creation of wealth : division of labour,
the accumulation
the factory, its machinery,
of
From
Adam
Smith to Marx,
capital.
all have
proceeded along these lines. Only in the latter
do they treat of consumption,
parts
of their books
that is to say, of the means
resorted
to in our
present Society to satisfy the needs of
the individuals;
even
there they confine
and
"

themselves

we

to explaining

how

same

riches

are

divided

238

THE

CONQUEST

OF

BREAD

those who vie with one


another for their
possession.
Before
Perhaps
you will say this is logical.
among

the wheremust
create
you
withal
needs
But,
before
to satisfy them.
producing
feel
the need of it?
not
must
you
anything,
it not necessity that first drove man
to
Was
hunt, to raise cattle, to cultivate land, to make
implements,
and later on to invent machinery?
Is it not the study of the needs that should
To say the least, it would
govern
production?
therefore be quite as logical to begin by considering
the needs, and afterwards to discuss how
is, and ought to be, organized,
in
production

satisfying

order to satisfy these needs.


This is precisely what we mean
to do.
But as soon
look at Political Economy
as
we
from this point of view, it entirely changes
its
It ceases
to be a simple description of
aspect.
facts, and becomes
define
we
a science , and
may
"The
this science as:
study of the needs of
the means
Tnanhind,
and
of satisfyingthemhuTuan
energy.
with the least possible waste
of
Society.
Its true name
should be, Physiology

It constitutes

of

to the

parallel science
logy
physiois
the study
of plants and animals, which
animals,
and
and of
of the needs
of plants
the most advantageous
ways of satisfying them.
In
the
series of sociological sciences, the
economy
of human
societies takes the place,
occupied in the series of biological sciences by
the physiology
of organic bodies.
beings,
We
say, here are human

society.

All of them

feel the need

united in a
of living in

CONSUMPTION

AND

houses.

healthy

The

PEODUCTION
savage's

hut

23^
longer

no

less comor
fortable
satisfies them ; they require a more
The question is, then :
solid shelter.
forwhether, taking the present capacity of men
have a house of his
can
production, every man
him from havingown?
and what is hindering
it?

And

seeask this question, we


in Europe
that every family
could perfectly
have
house, such as are built
a comfortable
well
in England,
in Belgium,
in Pullman
City,
or
A certain
or
set of rooms.
else an equivalent
number
of days' work would
suffice to build a
little airy house, well fitted up and
pretty
lighted by electricity.
as

But

soon

as

nine-tenths
possessed a healthy

we

of Europeans
house, because

have

never

at all times

people have had to work day after day


to satisfy the needs of their rulers, and ha^ve
leisure or money
had the necessary
tonever
build, or
to have
built, the home
of their
dreams.
And
have no
houses, and
they can
common

will inhabit hovels as long as present conditions


remain
unchanged.
It is thus seen
is quite conthat our
trary
method
to that of the economists, who immortalize
the so-called laws of production, and, reckoningbuilt every year,
up the number
of houses
demonstrate
by statistics,that as the number
of*
houses
is
to
the new-built
too small
meet
all'
demands,
live
Europeans
must
of
nine-tenths
in hovels.
Let

us

enumerated

food.
to
on
pass
the benefits accruing

After

from

havingthe divi-

240

THE

OF

CONQUEST

BREAD

sion of labour, economists tell us


labour requires
tbat some
men

the division of
should

work

at

at
agriculture
and
manufacture.
others
Farmers
factories
so
so
much,
much,
producing
being
in
exchange
such a way, they
carried on
analyse the sale, the profit, the net gain or the
the taxes, banking,
surplus value, the wages,

and so on.
But after having followed them so far, we are
How
is
none
the wiser, and if we
ask them :
it that millions of human
in want
beings are
of bread, when
ficient
sufevery family
could grow
"

to feed ten, twenty,


a
and even
wheat
hundred
by
us
they answer
people annually?''
division of labour,
droning
the same
anthem
"

arriving
capital, etc.
is insuffic
at the same
conclusion, that production
to satisfy all needs;
a
conclusion
if true, does not answer
the question :
which,
"
Can or cannot man
by his labour produce the
is
And
if he cannot,
bread he needs?
what
it that hinders him?"
They need
Here are 350 million Europeans.
wages,

surplus

value,

"

bread, so much
meat,
much
wine, milk, eggs,
They
need so many
and butter every year.
This is the minihouses, so much
mum
clothing.
Can
they produce
of their needs.
all
if
this? and
they can,
will svifficientleisure be
left them
for art, science, and amusement?
in a word, for everything that is not comprised
so

"

in the category of absolute necessities ? If the


is in the affirmative,
hinders
What
answer
What
them
they do to
must
going ahead?
"

remove

the obstacles ?

Is it time

that is needed

CONSUMPTION

AND

PEODUCTION

241

Let them take it!


result?
But let us not lose sight of the aim of production
the satisfaction of the needs of all.
If the most imperious
remain
needs of man
increase
do
to
What
must we
unsatisfied now,
the productivity of our
work ? But is there no
Might
it not be that production,
other cause?
has
lost sight of the needs
having
of man,
direction, and
strayed in an absolutely wrong
is at fault.
And
we
as
that its organization
let us see how
can
that such is the case,
prove
to achieve

sucli

"

"

to reorganize

production

so

as

to really satisfy

all needs.
This seems
to us the only right way of facing
The
things.
that would
only way
allow of
Political Economy
becoming
the
a
science
Science of Social Physiology.
It is evident that so long as science treats of
"

production, as it is carried on
at present by
by
communes,
or
civilized nations, by Hindoo
hardly state facts othei-wise than
savages, it can
the economists
that is to say,
now;
state them
as
a simple descriiitive
chapter, analogous to the
descriptive chapters
of Zoology
and Botany.
But if this chapter were
written so as to throw
light on the economy
some
that
of the energy
is necessary to satisfy human
needs, the chapter
would gain in precision, as well as in descriptive
It would
the frightful
value.
clearly show
the present
waste
energy
of human
under
that as long as
system,
and it would
prove
this system
exists, the needs
be satisfied.
never

The

point of view,

we

see,

of humanity

would

will

be entirely
Q

242

THE

BEEAD

OF

CONQUEST

Behind
the loom
that weaves
so
changed.
the steel-plate
many
yards
of cloth, behind
behind
the
perforator,
safe in which
and
dividends are hoarded, we should see man,
the
more
not
often than
artisan of production,
from
for
the feast he has prepared
excluded
We
that the
also understand
should
others.
"
laws "
being
the
so-called
wrong,
standpoint
but a very false
are
exchange
and
of value
nowathey happen
as
days;
of events,
explanation
to pass very
and that things will come
is organized
in
differently when
production
to meet all needs of society.
as
such a manner

II
There is not one
single principle of Political
Economy
its aspect if you
that does not change
look at it from our point of view.
for instance, over-production,
Take,
a
word
Is there
which every day re-echoes in our ears.
or
single economist, academician,
candidate
for academical
honours, who has not supported
arguments,
proving that economic
crises are due

to
more

us,

that

at

cloth,
needed !

more

over-production
more

cotton,

than
thundered

who
more
than
However,

are

are

can
on

"

Have

given
watches
we

moment
are

not,

produced

all of

against the rapacity of the capitalists


producing
obstinately bent on
be
!
possibly
consumed
careful examination
all these

AND

CONSUMPTION

one
use

need

fact, Is there
those in universal

among
in greater quantity than
by one
one
all commodities

single commodity
which is produced

Examine

be.

243

In

nnsound.

prove

reasonings

PEODUCTION

exporting on a large scale,


and you will see that nearly all are produced
in insufficient
quantities for the inhabitants of
the countries exporting them.
It is not a surplus of wheat that the Russian
The most
peasant sends to Europe.
plentiful
harvests of wheat and rye in European
Russia
for the population.
And as
only yield enough
deprives himself of what he
a rule, the peasant
he sells his wheat
or
actually needs when
rye

sent

out by countries

to pay

rent and

taxes.

It is not a surplus of coal that England


sends
because
to the four corners
the
of
globe,
only
three-quarters of a ton, per head of population,
for home
domestic
conannually,
sumption,
remains
are
of Englishmen
and
millions
deprived of fire in the winter, or have only just
In fact,
to boil a few
enough
vegetables.
there is in
setting aside useless luxuries,

England,

which

country,

one

"

"

exports

more

than any other


in universal use
is sufficiently

single commodity
cottons
whose
production
great to perhaps exceed the needs of the community.
Yet when we look upon the rags that
by over
a third
pass for wearing apparel worn
oJ
inhabitants
Kingdom,
United
the
we
are
the
of
led to ask
the
cottons
ourselves
whether
exported would not, on the whole, suit the real
needs of the population?
Asa
rule it is not a surplus that is exported,
q2

THE

244

OF

CONQUEST

BREAD

The
have been so originally.
thougli it may
fable of the barefooted shoemaker
is as true of
formerly of individual artisans.
nations as it was
We
do

And we
the necessary commodities.
because the workmen
buy
so,
cannot
with
have
their wages
what they
produced,
and yay
besides the rent and interest to the capitalist
and the banker.
export

Not

does

the

of
need
the
strict
comfort
remain
Therefore,
life
are
often wanting.
necessities of
"
"
does 7wt exist, at
surplus production
least not in the sense
given to it by the theorists
of Political Economy.
Taking

only

ever-growing
unsatisfied, but

all economists tell us


another point
law : " Man
that there is a well-proved
produces
After
has
he
he
more
consumes."
than
lived on the proceeds of his toil, there remains
Thus,
family of cultivators proa
a
surplus.
duces
to feed several families, and so
enough
forth.
has
For
no
us,
this oft-repeated
sentence
If it meant
that each generation leaves
sense.
it would
future
to
generations,
something
farmer
be true; thus, for example,
a
plants
for thirty, forty,
tree that will live, maybe,
a
fruits will still
or
a hundred
years, and whose
be gathered
by
the farmer's
grandchildren.
he
few
Or
acres
of \irgin soil, and we
clears a
"

say that the heritage of future


been increased by that much.

has
generations
Roads, bridges,

canals, his house and his furniture are so much


to succeeding
wealth bequeathed
generations.
But this is not what is meant.
We
are
told

CONSUMPTION

AND

PRODUCTION

245

that the cultivator produces more


than he need
Eather
consume.
should they say that, the
him
large
State having
taken from
a
always
for taxes, the priest for
share of his produce
tithe, and the landlord for rent, a whole class
has been created, who
formerly
conof men
sumed
save
was
set
what they produced
what
aside for unforeseen
expenses
accidents, or
incurred in afforestation, roads, etc. ^but who
to live very poorly, from,
to-day are
compelled
hand
to mouth,
having
been,
the remainder
"

"

by the State, the landlord,


taken from them
the priest, and the usurer.
Therefore
we
prefer to say : The agricultural
labourer, the industrial worker and so on consume
because they are
less than they produce,
"

to sell most
compelled
of the produce
of their
labour
and to be satisfied with but a small
portion of it.
Let us also observe that if the needs of the
individual
taken as the starting-point
are
of
fail to reach
our
we
cannot
political economy,
Communism,
an
organization which enables us
to satisfy

economical

all needs
way.

in the most
thorough
if we
While
start from

and
our

present

method
of production,
and aim at gain
our
and surplus value, without asking whether
to the satisfaction
production
corresponds
of
or
needs, we
necessarily arrive at Capitalism,
^both being but two
at most
at Collectivism
different forms of the present
wages'
system.
In fact, when
we
consider the needs of the
"

individual
man

has

of society, and the means


which
resorted to in order to satisfy them

and

THE

246
during

OF

CONQUEST

liis varied

phases

BEEAD

of development,

we

the necessity of systematizing


our
haphazard
as
we
efforts, instead of producing
do nowadays.
It becomes
evident that the
by a few of all riches not conappropriation
sumed,
from
one
and transmitted
generation to
is not in the general interest.
And
another,
fact that owing
we
to these methods
see
a
as
the needs of three-quarters
not
of society are
satisfied, so that the present waste
of human
in useless things
is only the more
strength
criminal.
discover, moreover,
We
that the most advantageous
be, for
use
of all commodities
would
each of them, to go, first, for satisfying those
are
the most
pressing : that, in
needs which
"
other words, the so-called
of a
value in use''
does not depend
on
a simple
commodity
whim,
has often been affirmed, but on the satisfacas
tion
it brings to real needs.
see

once

at

Communism
which
whole

"

that is to say,

an

organization
tion,
would
correspond to a view of ConsumpProduction,
Exchange,
as
taken
a
and
the logical consetherefore becomes
quence
"

the
of such a comprehension
of things
in our opinion, that is really scientific.
only one,
A society ihat will satisfy the needs of all,
how to organize producwill know
tion
and which
to answer
to this aim
will also have to
"

make

conclean sweep
of several prejudices
cerning
industry, and first of all of the theory

often preached
Labour
theory

in the next

by
"

economists

which

chapter.

we

are

"

The

going

Division

of

to discuss

XV

CHAPTER
THE

DIVISION

OF

LABOUR

has always confined itself


Economy
in society, and justito stating facts occurring
fying
in the interest of the dominant
them
itself in favour
class. Therefore, it pronounces
Having
of the division of labour in industry.
found it profitable to capitalists, it has set it up
as a ijrinciple.
Smith,
Look at the village smith, said Adam
If
Political Economy.
the father of modern
to making
been accustomed
he has never
nails
he will only succeed by hard toil in forging two
day, and even
then they
a
or
three hundred
But if this same
smith has never
will be bad.
but nails, he will easily supply
made
anything
in the
two thousand
as
three hundred
as
many
And
hastened
to the
Smith
course
of a day.
"Divide
labour, specialize, go on
conclusion
specializing ; let us have smiths who only know
heads or points of nails, and by
how
to make
We
more.
this means
we
shall produce
shall

Political

"

grow rich.''
That a smith

for life to make the


condemned
lose all interest in his
heads of nails would
work, that he would be entirely at the mercy of
his employer
with his limited handicraft, that
four months
he would be out of work
out of

THE

248

CONQUEST

OF

BREAD

that his wages would fall very low


it would be easy to replace him by
did not think of all this
an
apprentice, Smith
"
Long
he exclaimed
live the division of
when
labour.
This is the real gold-mine
that will
''
in
And
enrich the nation!
all joined him

twelve, and
down, when

"

this cry.
And later on, when
or
a J. B. Say
a Sismondi
began to understand
that the division of labour,
instead
the whole nation, only
of enriching
enriches the rich, and that the worker, who is
for life to making
doomed
the eighteenth
part
of a pin, grows stupid and sinks into poverty
"

did officialeconomists propose ? Nothing


!
They did not say to themselves that by a lifelong
toil the
grind at one
and the same
mechanical
worker
would lose his intelligence and his spirit
that, on
the contrary,
a
and
of invention,
variety of occupations would result in considerably

what

But

augmenting
this is the

the productivity
of a nation.
issue we
have
to
now
very

consider.
If, however,

learned economists were


the only
to preach the permanent
tary
ones
and often heredidivision of labour, we might allow them to
it as much
But the
they
as
preach
pleased.
ideas taught
by doctors of science filter into
from
men's
them;
pervert
minds
and
and
hearing
division
the
repeatedly
of labour,
etc., spoken
profits, interest, credit,
of as
long since
problems
solved, all middle-class
too, end by arguing
like
people, and workers
fetishes.
they venerate
the same
economists;
Thus

we

see

most

socialists, even

those

who

have

not

OF

DIVISION

THE

feared

to point

LABOUR

tlie mistakes
the division
justifying
out

249
of

of
science,
economical
labour.
Talk to them about the organization
of
the Revolution,
work during
and they answer
be maintained
that the division of labour must
;
tion
that if you sharpened
pins before the Revoluthem
sharpening
go on
after.
have
to
than five
you will not
work more
but you will have to sharpen pins
a day,

you
True,

hours

must

designs for
all your life, while others will make
to sharpen
that
machines
will enable you
hundreds
time
of millions of pins during your life; and others again will be specialists in the
higher branches of literature, science, and art,
You
born
to sharpen
were
etc.
pins while
Pasteur
born
to invent
was
the inoculation
against anthrax, and the Revolution
will leave

Well,
you both to your respective employments.
to
it is this horrible principle, so
noxious
society, so brutalizing to the individual, source
harm,
that we propose to discuss in
of so much
its divers manifestations.
know
We
the consequences
of the division of
labour full well.
It is evident that, firstof all,
into two
divided
the one
we
are
classes : on
hand,
consume
very little and
producers,
who
from thinking because they only do
are
exempt
badly because
and
physical work,
who
work
inactive ; and on the other
their brains remain
hand, the consumers,
little or
who, producing
have the privilege of thinking
hardly anything,
for the others, and who think badly because the

whole world
is unknown

of those who
to them.

toil with their hands


Then,
have
we
the

THE

250

labourers

OF

CONQUEST

BEEAD

know
soil who
nothing
of
machinery,
while those who work at machineryignore
The
everything
agriculture.
about
idea of modern
industry is a child tending a
of the

that he cannot
not underand must
stand,
foreman
fines
if his
him
a
and
who
flags for a moment.
The
ideal of
attention
industrial agriculture
is to do away
with the
agricultural labourer altogether and to set a
man
who does odd jobsto tend a steam-plough
division of
The
or
a
threshing-machine.
labour means
for
labelling and stamping
men
machine

life

some

"

be foremen

to splice ropes
in a business,

in factories,

to

some

others to shove

huge

coal-baskets in a particular part of a mine ; but


as
none
of them to have any idea of machinery
And
a
of mines.
of business, nor
whole, nor
they destroy the love of work and the
capacity for invention that, at the beginning
industry, created the machinery
on
of modern

thereby

which
What

we

pride ourselves so much.


they have done for individuals,

they

to do for nations.
Humanity
was
also wanted
having
to be divided into national workshops,
Eussia, we
taught,
were
each its speciality.

destined by nature to grown


io spin cotton; Belgium
to weave
was

:Switzerland was
Moreover,
each
a

speciality.

vergne
^was

opened

nurses

separate
city
Lyons
to
was

and
was

weave

England

cloth; while
governesses.
to

establish
silk, Au-

lace, and Paris fancy articles.


field
economists
said, an immense
for production
and consumption,

to make

In this way,

to train

corn

THE
and

DIVISION

in this way

an

era

OF

LABOUR

of limitless wealth

251
for

was
at hand.
mankind
However,
these great hopes vanished as fast
knowledge
As
as
technical
abroad.
spread
long as England
stood alone as a weaver
of
on
a large scale;
cotton and as a metal-worker
long
Paris
as
as
only
made
artistic fancy
articles, etc., all went
well, economists
could
preach the so-called division of labour without
l3eing refuted.
But
induced
bye
a
new
current
of thought
and bye all civilized nations to manufacture
for themselves.
found
They
it advantageous
to produce
they formerly
what
received from
other countries, or from their colonies, which
in their turn aimed at emancipating
themselves
Scientific discoveries
from the mother-country.

and
of production,
universalized the methods
to
henceforth
it was
pay an
useless
exorbitant
be
for
produced
price abroad
what could easily
home.
And
that
this
now
we
see
at
already
blow
industrial revolution
strikes a crushing
at the theory
of the division of labour which
for a long time was
supposed to be so sound.

CHAPTER

XVI

Britain had nearlywars


the Napoleonic
succeeded in ruining the main industries which
had sprung
at the end of the preup in France
ceding
became
She also
mistress of
century.
importance.
She
had
no
the seas
and
rivals of
how to turn its
took in the situation, and knew
She
to account.
advantages
privileges
and
ing
and, imposestablished an industrial monopoly,
her prices for the goods
upon her neighbours

After

manufacture,
alone
could
accumulated
riches upon riches.
But as the middle-class
Revolution
of the
she

had abolished serfdom


eighteenth century
and
French
try,
induscreated a proletariat in France,
hampered
for a time in its flight, soared
the second half of the nineagain, and from
teenth
France
century
ceased to be a tributary
for manufactured
To-day
of England
goods.
into a nation with an export
she too has grown
She sells far more
trade.
than sixty million
pounds' worth of manufactured
goods, and twoThe number
thirds of these goods are fabrics.
*

A fuller development
in
of these ideas will be found
Factories,
book,
Fields,
by
WorksJiops, published
my
and
Nelson and Sons in their popular
Thomas
Messrs.
series
in 1912.

DECENTRALIZATION
of Frenchmen
their foreign

working
trade,

OF

INDUSTRY

for export or
is estimated

253
living by
at

three

millions.
France

longer England's
is therefore
no
In her turn she has striven to monotributary.
polize
branches
certain
of foreign industry,
clothes, and has
such as silks and ready-made
reaped immense
profits therefrom ; but she is on
for ever,
the point of losing this monopoly
just
is on
England
the point
as
of losing the
monopoly
of cotton goods.
industry has reached
Travelling
eastwards,
Germany
Fifty
Germany.
a
was
ago
years
France
for most
tributary of England
and
in
higher
the
manufactured
commodities
In
It is no longer so.
branches
of industry.
the course
of the last fifty years, and especially
has
Germany
war,
since the Franco-German
The
her
industry.
completely
reorganized
best
factories
new
the
are
with
stocked
; the latest creations of industrial art
machinery
in cotton
in silks
Manchester,
or
goods from
from
Lyons,
in new
now
etc., are
realized
German
factories. It took two or three generations
Lyons
Manchester,
to
of workers, at
and
but Germany
the modern
construct
machinery;
it in its perfected
Technical
state.
adopted
schools, adapted to the needs of industry, supply
the factories with an army
of intelligent workmen
can
])ractical engineers, who
work with
industry starts at
both hand and brain. German
"

the point which was


only reached by Manchester
in the
and Lyons
after fifty years of groping
dark, of exertion and experiments.

254

THE

OF

CONQUEST

It follows

BEEAD

tliat since Germany

manufactures
her imports
so
she diminishes
well at home,
from France
She
and England
year by year.
has not only become
their rival in manufactured
goods in Asia and in Africa, but also in London
Shortsighted
and in Paris.
people in France
Treaty;
the Frankfort
cry out
may
against
English
German
manufacturers
may
explain
by
little differences in railway
competition
tariffs; they
questions,
But it is

linger

may

on

the

petty side of
historical facts.

neglect
great
the less certain that the main
none
industries, formerly
in the hands
of England
have progressed eastward,
and France,
and in

and

Germany
they have found
a
country,
young,
full of energy, possessing an intelligent middle
class, and eager in its turn to enrich itself by
foreign trade.
While
has freed herself from subGermany
jectio
to France
has manuEngland,
and
factured
her own
cotton-cloth, and constructed
her own
in fact, manufactured
machines
all
industries
the
have
commodities
main
also
taken root in Russia, where the development
of
is
instructive
the
it
more
as
manufacture
sprang
but
up
yesterday.
"

"

At

in
the time of the abolition of serfdom
1861, Russia had hardly any factories. Everything

in the way of machines,


rails, railway-engi
fine dress materials, came
from the
"West. Twenty
years later she possessed already
85,000 factories, and the value of the goods
in Russia had increased fourfold.
manufactured
The old machinery
was
superseded, and now

needed

OF

DECENTRALIZATION

INDUSTRY

255'

in Russia, threeall the steel in use


quarters
of the iron, two-thirds of the coal^
nearly

all railway-engines,
nearly all steamers,
Russia,
destined

are

railway-carriages,
in Russia.
made

rails,

toeconomists
territory, has rapidly
an
remain
agricultural
She
into a manufacturing
developed
country.
from England,
and very
orders hardly anything
little from Germany.

Economists

hold

"

so

wrote

the customs

"

responsible

for

in
these facts, and
yet cottons
manufactured
Russia are sold at the same
price as in London.
Capital taking
no
cognizance
of fatherlands,
German
and English
capitalists, accompanied
by
foremen
their
own
engineers
and
of

nationalities, have introduced in Russia and


Poland
manufactories
whose goods compete
England.
excellence
with the best from

in
in
If

abolished to-morrow,
manufacture
by it.
Not
long ago
the
would
only gain
British manufacturers
delivered another
hard
blow to the import of cloth and woollens from
They set up in southern and middle
the West.
Russia immense
wool factories, stocked with the

customs

were

from
Bradford,
perfect machinery
and
Russia
imports
already now
only the highest
sorts of cloth and woollen fabrics from England^
France, and Austria.
The remainder
is fabricated
both in factories and as domestic
at home,
industries.
most

industries not only move


eastward,
they
are
the
spreading
also to
southern
The
Turin
Exhibition
peninsulas.
of 1884
demonstrated
in
the
already
progress made
The

main

256

THE

CONQUEST

OF

BEEAD

Italian manufactured
produce;
and, let us not
hatred
any mistake
make
about it, tlie mutual
of tlie French
and Italian middle classes has no
their industrial
than
other
rivalry.
origin
industrial country;
Spain is also becoming
an
has suddenly sprung
while in the East, Bohemia
into importance
as
new
a
centre
of manufactures,
provided
with perfected machinery
the best scientific methods.
and applying
We might also mention
Hungary's
gress
rapid proin the main
industries, but let us rather
Brazil
take
Economists
as
an
example.
Brazil to cultivate cotton for ever,
sentenced
it in its raw
to export
to receive
state, and
in exchange.
Europe
cotton-cloth from
fact, forty years ago Brazil
had
only
little cotton factories with 385
wretched

In
nine
spindles.

To-day
160 cotton-mills, posthere are
sessing
1,500,000
looms,
spindles and 50,000
500 million yards of textiles on
throw
which
the market
annually.
Even Mexico
is now
very successful in manufacturing
it
cotton-cloth, instead of importing
As to the United
from
States they
Europe.
European
have
from
quite freed themselves
developed their
tutelage, and have triumphally

manufacturing
But
proof

it was

to an
powers
India which gave

against

enormous

extent.

the most

striking
dustry
the specialization of national in-

the theory : the great European


nations need colonies, for colonies send raw
cotton fibre, unwashed
wool, spices,
material
And the mother-land,
etc., to the mother-land.
We

all know
"

OF

DECENTRALIZATION

INDUSTRY

257

of sending them manufactured


wares,
stuffs, her
gets rid of her damaged
which she
machine
scrap-iron and everything
for.
It
longer
has
no
costs her little
any use
or
the less the articles are
nothing, and none
sold at exorbitant prices.
Such was
the theory
the practice
such was
for a long time.
In London
and Manchester
fortunes were
being
made,
while India was
In the India
in London
Museum
ruined.
in
Calcutta
unheard-of
riches,
collected
by English merchants,
to be
are
and Bombay
under

pretence

"

seen.

But

other English merchants


and capitalists
idea
that it would
conceived the very simple
be more
expedient to exploit the natives of
India by making
cotton-cloth in India itself,
to import
than
from
to twenty-four
twenty
million pounds' worth of goods annually.
At first a series of experiments
ended in
failure.
Indian weavers
artists and experts
in their own
craft
could not inure themselves
to factory life ; the machinery
pool
sent from Liverbad; the climate had to be taken into
was
had to adapt
selves
themaccount;
and merchants
to new
fully mastered,
conditions, now
before British India could become the menacing
rival of the Mother-land
she is to-day.
She now
than 200 cotton mills
possesses more
which
employ
workmen,
about 230,000
and
than 6,000,000 spindles and 80,000
contain more
looms, and 40 jute-mills,
with 400,000 spindles.
She exports annually
to China, to the Dutch
Indies, and to Africa, nearly eight
million
"

"

258

THE

OF

CONQUEST

BREAD

white cotton- cloth,


wortli of tlie same
speciality. And
said to be England's
while
English workmen
are
often unemployed
and fn
by
Indian
women
weave
cotton
great want,

pounds'

for the Far East at wages


pence
of sixIn short, intelligent manufacday.
a
tnrers are fully aware
that the day is not far off
they will not know
what to do with the
when
**
formerly
factory hands"
wove
cottonwho
machinery

Besides which
cloth for export from England.
it is becoming
more
evident that India
and more
import
a
of iron from
single ton
will not

England.

The

coal and the


been overcome;

initial difficulties in using the


iron-ore obtained in India have

and foundries, rivalling those


have been built on the shores of
in England,
the Indian Ocean.
in
Colonies competing
with the mother-land
is
its production of manufactured
goods, such
in the
the factor which
will regulate economy
twentieth century.
And
why
should

What

should

be

the

India

manufacture?
Capital?
hindrance?
not

But

"

there are men,


poor
capital goes wherever
But
Knowledge?
be
to
exploited.
enough
barriers.
no
knowledge
national
recognizes
Are,
No.
Technical
worker?
skill of the
inferior to the hundreds
then, Hindoo
workmen
of boys and girls, not eighteen
of thousands
in the English
years old, at present working
"

textile factories?

OF

DECENTEALIZATION

259

INDUSTRY

II
having glanced at national industries
be very interesting to turn to some
it would
special branches.
an
Let us take silk, for example,
eminently
French produce in the first half of the nineteenth
Lyons
how
We
all know
century.
At
became
the emporium
of the silk trade.
France,
firstraw
silk was
gathered in southern
till little by little they ordered it from Italy,
from Spain, from Austria, from the Caucasus,
and from Japan, for the manufacture
of their
silk fabrics. In 1875, out of five million kilos
of raw
silk converted into stuffs in the vicinity
sand
thouof Lyons, there were
only four hundred
kilos of French
silk. But if Lyons manufactured
imported silk, why should not Switzerland,
Russia, do as much?
quently,
ConseGermany,
silk-weaving began to develop in the
Zurich.
Bale became
a
villages round
great
The
Caucasian
the
trade.
centre
of
silk
from
seilles
MarAdministration
women
engaged
from
Lyons
to teach
and
workmen
Georgians the perfected rearing of silk-worms,
silk into fabrics to
and the art of converting
followed.
Austria
Caucasian
the
peasants.
Then
Germany,
men,
with the help of Lyons workUnited
built great silk factories. The
States did likewise in Paterson.
After

And
French

in

to-day

the

monopoly.
in
Austria,

silk

trade

Silks

are

the

is

no

longer

made in Germany,
in
States, and
United

r2

260

CONQUEST

THE

OF

BEEAD

and it is now
reckoned that one-third
imported.
are
of the silk stuffs used in France
In
weave
peasants
silkwinter, Caucasian
handkerchiefs
that would
mean
at a
wage
Italy
starvation to the silk-weavers of Lyons.
send silks to France ; and Lyons,
and Germany
in 1870-4 exported
460 million francs'
which
worth of silk fabrics, exports now
only one-half
In
fact,
the time is not far off
of that amount.
Lyons
when
will only send higher class goods
few novelties as patterns to Germany,
a
and
Russia, and Japan.

England,

it is in all industries.
And
has
Belgium
so
longer the cloth monopoly;
no
in
cloth is made
in Russia, in Austria, in the United
Germany,
States.
Switzerland and the French
Jura have
no

longer

are
monopoly;
watches
clockwork
longer refines
Scotland no
made
everywhere.
sugar is
sugar for Russia : refined Russian
Italy, although
imported into England.
neither
her own
iron, makes
clads
ironpossessing coal nor
Chemical
and engines for her steamers.
is no
longer an
industry
English
monopoly;
in the
even
sulphuric acid and soda are made
Steam-engines,
Urals.
at Winterthur,
made
have
a
acquired
everywhere
wide reputation,
Switzerland,
and at the present moment,
which
has neither coal nor
iron, and no sea-ports to
import
but excellent technical
them
nothing
a

"

better and cheaper


makes
schools
machinery
England.
So
than
the
theory
ends
of
Exchange.
The
for all else, is
tendency
of trade, as
toward decentralization.
"

OF

DECENTRALIZATION

INDUSTEY

261

to
finds it advantageous
nation
agriculture with the greatest possible
combine
The
variety of factories.
specialization, of
highly,
certainly has
which economists spoke so
no
of capitalists, but is now
enriched a number
longer of any use.
On the contrary, it is to the
to
nation,
of every
region,
every
advantage
their own
their own
vegetables,
wheat,
grow
home
most of the produce
at
and to manufacture
This
diversity is the surest
they
consume.
of production
pledge of the complete development
by mutual
the
moving
co-operation, and
is
now
a
cause
of progress, while specialization

Every

hindrance to progress.
to
Agriculture
can
only prosper in proximity
factories.
And
does a single factory
no
sooner
appear than an infinite variety of other factories
must

spring

up

around,

that, mutually
by
one
another

so

supporting

their
and stimulating
inventions, they increase their productivity.

Ill
It is foolish indeed

and to
wheat
import flour, to export wool and import cloth,
to export iron and import
; not only
machinery
is a waste of time and
because
transportation
but, above all, because a country
money,
with
to export

industry
inevitably
developed
remains
because
behind
a
the
times in agriculture;
country
with no large factories to bring steel to
to be backward
finished condition is doomed
a
no

262

THE

OF

CONQUEST

BREAD

in all other industries; and lastly, because tlie


industrial and technical capacities of the nation
if they are not exercized in
remain undeveloped,
a variety
of industries.
holds together in the
Nowadays
everything
Cultivation of the soil
of production.
world
is no longer possible without machinery,
out
withrailways,
without
great irrigation works,
And
to adapt this
factories.
without manure
irrigation
these
these railways,
machinery,
a
certain
etc., to local conditions,
engines,
of
and a certain amount
spirit of invention,
developed,
be
technical skill must
while they
long as spades and
so
necessarily lie dormant
implements
the
are
of
only
ploughshares
cultivation.
If fields are

to be properly

cultivated, if they
harvests that man
has

to yield the abundant


the right to expect, it is essential that
are

shops,
workdevelop
factories
and
within
the reach of the fields. A variety of occupations,
and a variety of skill arising therefrom,
both working together for a common
these
aim
are
the true forces of progress.
let us imagine
And
now
the inhabitants of
foundries,

"

vast or small
whether
city or a territory
stepping for the first time on to the path of the
Social Revolution.
**
We
are
told that
sometimes
nothing
will
have changed"
: that the
mines, the factories,
be expropriated,
etc., will
and
proclaimed
a

"

property, that every


communal
will go back to his usual work, and that
Revolution
will then be accomplished.

national

or

"

man

the

OF

DECENTEALIZATION

INDUSTRY

263

tion
dream : the Social Revoluthis is a mere
take place so simply.
cannot
have already mentioned
We
that should the
in Paris,
break
to-morrow
Revolution
out
Lyons,
or
any other city
should the workers
banks,
lay hands
factories, houses,
on
and
But

"

tionized
production would be completely revoluby this simple fact.
to a standInternational commerce
will come
still;
so
also will the importation
of foreign
bread-stuffs ; the circulation of commodities
and
And then, the
of provisions will be paralysed.
to
city or territory in revolt will be compelled
provide for itself, and to reorganize its production,
its
to
If it
so
as
own
satisfy
needs.
fails to do so, it is death.
If it succeeds, it
life of the
the economic
will revolutionize

present

country.

The quantity of imported


provisions having
decreased, consumption
having
increased, one
for exportation
million Parisians working
poses
purhaving been thrown
out of work, a great
to-day from distant
number
of things imported
their
neighbouring
countries not reaching
destination, fancy-trade being temporarily
at a
standstill, What
will the inhabitants have to
eat six months
after the Revolution?

or

"

We

the stores containing


think that when
food-stuffs are
the masses
empty,
will seek to
They will see
obtain their food from the land.
the necessity of cultivating the soil, of combining
industrial
agricultural
production
with
in the suburbs
production
of Paris itself and
its en\ irons. They
the
will have to abandon

THE

264

ornamental

merely
most
A

OF

CONQUEST

urgent

need

"

trades
^bread.

and

BREAD

consider

their

of the
of tlie inhabitants
number
Not
agriculturists.
cities will have to become
in the same
manner
as the present
peasants who
for a wage that
themselves out, ploughing
wear
barely provides them
with sufficient food for
the year, but by following the principles of the
intensive agriculture, of the market gardeners,
of the best
applied on a large scale by means
invent.
has invented or can
that man
machinery
like the
They will till the land
not, however,
great

"

beast of burden : a Paris jeweller


would
They will organize cultivation
objectto that.
better principles ; and not in the future, but
on
during
the revolutionary
at once,
struggles,
from fear of being worsted by the enemy.
country

Agriculture
will have
intelligent lines, by men
themselves
organizing

to

be

carried

out

on

and women
availing
the
of
exj^erienceof the present time,
in joj^ous
themselves
gangs for pleasant

work, like those who, a hundred


years ago,
in
de
for
Champ
Mars
the
the Feast of
worked
the Federation
a
not
work
of delight, when
"

carried to

excess,

when
scientifically organized,
invents and improves
his tools and
man
when
is conscious of being a useful member
of the
community.
Of course,
they will not only cultivate wheat
they will also produce
those things
and oats
which they formerly used to order from foreign
And
let us not forget that for the habita
inparts.
territory, ''foreign
of a
revolted
include all districts that have not
parts'* may
"

DECENTRALIZATION

OF

INDUSTRY

265

joinedin

During
the revolutionary movement.
tlie Revolutions
of 1793 and 1871 Paris was
''
foreign parts '' meant
even
made to feel tliat
district at lier very gates.
The
the country
speculator in grains at Troyes starved in 1793
and 1794 the sansculottes of Paris as badly, and
even
worse,
than the German
armies brought
to French
on
soil by the Versailles conspirators.
The revolted city will be compelled to do without
'*
France
foreigners,'* and why not?
these
beet-root sugar when
invented
ran
sugar-cane
short during the continental blockade. Parisians
discovered saltpetre in their cellars when
they
Shall we
longer received any from abroad.
no
hardly
be inferior to our
grandfathers,
who

lisped the first words of science ?


A revolution is more
than a mere
change
of
It implies the
the prevailing political system.
intelligence, the increasing
of human
awakening
of the inventive spirit tenfold,
it is the dawn
new
of a

fold;
hundred-

science
Lamarck,
"

like Laplace,
the science
of men
Lavoisier.
It is a revolution in the minds
of
deep,
deeper
men,
as
and
still, than in their
institutions.

And
that

there

once

the

are
*'

tell us
still economists
who
revolution is made,"
everyone
his workshop,
if passing
as

to
will return
through
a
revolution were
going
forest !
walk in the Epping

To
hands

begin
on

necessity

with,

the

middle-class
of completely

home

after

sole fact of having laid


property will imply the
reorganizing

the whole

266

THE

CONQUEST

life in the
of economic
the factories.

OF

BEEAD

workshops,

yards,
the dock-

the revolution surely will not fail to act


in this direction.
Should
Paris, during
the
social revolution, be cut off from the world for

And

year

or

two

by

the supporters of middle-class


of intellects, not yet depressed

rule, its millions


by factory life that City of littletrades which
will show the
stimulate the spirit of invention
brain can accomplish
without
world what man's
but
from
help
the
motor
without,
asking any
"

"

force of the sun


that gives light, the power
of
impurities, and the
the wind that sweeps away
tread
silent life-forces at work in the earth we
on.

We

shall see then what a variety of trades,


on
a
mutually
spot of the globe
co-operating
do to feed,
by a revolution, can
and animated
clothe, house, and supply
of
with all manner
luxuries millions of intelligent men.
We need write no fiction to prove this. What
has already been experiwe
are
sure
of, what
mented
as
upon,
and
recognized
practical,
would
suffice to carry it into effect, if the
fertilized, vivified by the daring
were
attempt
inspiration of the Revolution
taneous
and the sponimpulse
of the masses.

CHAPTER

XYII

AGRICULTURE

Political
Economy
has often been reproacLed
cidedly
from
the dewith, drawing
all its deductions
false principle, that the only incentive
to augment
his power
capable of forcing a man
is personal interest in its narof production
rowest
sense.

reproach is perfectly true; so true that


epochs of great industrial discoveries and true
progress in industry are precisely those in which
inspiring men,
the happiness
and in
of all was
least thought of.
was
which personal enrichment
The great investigators in science and the great
inventors aimed, above all, at giving greater
if Watt,
freedom
And
son,
Stephenof mankind.
Jacquard,
etc., could have
only foreseen
The

a
their sleepless nights
state of misery
what
bring
to the workers,
they
would
certainly
have burned
their designs and broken
would
their models.
Another
Political
principle that pervades
Economy
is just as false. It is the tacit admission
to all economists, that if there
common
is often over-production
in certain branches, a
have sufficient
never
society will nevertheless

products

to satisfy the

wants

of all, and

that

268

THE

CONQUEST

OF

BREAD

come
tlie day will never
wlien
consequently
nobody
will be forced to sell bis labour in
is
for wages.
This tacit admission
exchange
found at tbe basis of all theories and all the so''
''
laws
taught by economists.
called
And
yet it is certain that the day when
any
civilized association of individuals would
ask
itself, what are the needs
of all, and the means
try
that, in indussee
them, it would
of satisfying
in agriculture, it already possesses suffias
cient

for all needs, on


abundantly
how
to apply these
condition that it knows
to satisfy real needs.
means
That this is true as regards industry no one
Indeed, it suffices to study the
can
contest.
to extract
processes already in use
coals and
to obtain steel and work it, to manufacture
ore,
on
a great
scale what is used for clothing, etc.,
crease
in order to perceive that w^e could already infourfold or more,
our
production
and yet
for that less work than we
use
are
using now.
We
We
assert that agriculture
go further.
is in the same
position : those who cultivate the
crease
soil, like the manufacturers,
already could into provide

their production,
not only fourfold but
tenfold, and they can
put it into practice as
as
they feel the need of it, as soon
soon
as
a
of work
blished
will be estasocialist organization
instead of the present capitalistic one.
"

is spoken
of, men
agriculture
bending
over
a
the plough,
peasant
haphazard
into the
badly sorted corn
throwing
for what
the
ground
and
waiting
anxiously
good or bad season
will bring forth ; they think

Each
imagine

time

269

AGEICULTURE

from
to night and
morn
working
a
rude bed, dry bread, and
reaping as reward
In a word, they picture ^'the
beverage.
coarse
'^
of La Bruyere.
savages
a

of

family

for these men,


ground
xVnd
relief that
misery, the utmost
is to reduce their taxes or their
do not
most
social reformers

down

to such

society proposes,
But even
rent.
dare

to

imagine

erect, taking leisure, and


standing
by a few hours' work
per day sufficient
producing
food to nourish, not only his own
family,
In their
but a hundred
men
more
at the least.
dreams
most glowing
of the future Socialists do
a

cultivator

not

go

which,

beyond

American
extensive
all, is but the infancy

after

culture,
of agricultural

art.

the thinking
agriculturist has broader
his conceptions
far
are
a
to-day
on
Ho only asks for a fraction of
grander scale.
in order to produce
an
acre
sufficient vegetables
for a family;
horned
and to feed twenty-five
beasts he needs no more
space than he formerly
his own
required to feed one ; his aim is to make
both
soil, to defy seasons
and climate, to warm
But
ideas

"

air and earth around


in a word, on
gather

from

fifty

fatigue

proplant; to duce,
he used to
what
that without
any

the young
one

acres,

acre

and

by greatly reducing, on the


excessive
He knows
contrary, the total of former labour.
by giving
that we will be able to feed everybody
to the culture of the fields no
time than
more
"

what each can


give with pleasure and joy.
This is the present tendency
of agriculture.
While
led by Liebig,
the
scientific men,

270

THE

CONQUEST

OF

BEEAD

theory of agriculture,
of the chemical
tack in their love of mere
often got on the wrong
theories, unlettered
up
agriculturists opened
Market-gardeners
to
new
roads
prosperity.
of
Rouen,
Paris, Troyes,
Scotch
English
and
Lombardian
farmers,
Flemish
gardeners,
and
farmers
on
peasants
and
of Jersey, Guernsey,
large
the Scilly Isles have
opened up such
horizons that the mind hesitates to grasp them.
While
up tilllately a family of peasants needed
to twenty
to live on the
acres
at least seventeen
produce of the soil and we know how peasants
live
longer say what
is the
we
can
now
no
creator

"

"

area
on
minimum
which all that is necessary to
be grown,
including articles
a family
can
even
by means
of luxury, if the soil is worked
of
intensive culture.

ago it could already be asserted


population
of thirty million individuals
importing
live very
anywell, without
thing,

Twenty

that

could

could be grown
now,
the
we
see
when
in France, in Germany,
on

But
made
when

years

what

in Great

Britain.

progress recently
in England,
and

horizons which
the new
contemplate
can
open before us, we
say that in cultivating
the earth as it is already
cultivated in many
on
poor soils, fifty or sixty million
places, even
inhabitants to the territory of Great Britain
would still be a very feeble proportion to what
man
could exact from the soil.
we

In any

case

(aswe

are

may
consider it as
if to-morrow
Paris and
we

Seine

and

of

about to demonstrate)
that
absolutely
proved
the two departments
of

Seine-et-Oise

organized

them-

AGEICULTURE
Anarchist

271

in whicli all
if the entire
worked
and
with their hands,
a
universe refused to send them
single bushel
of wheat, a single head of cattle, a single basket
of fruit, and left them only the territory of thetwo
departments,
they could not only producemeat,
and vegetables necessary for
all the corn,
themselves, but also vegetables and fruit which
luxury,
in
now
are
articles of
suJB"cient
for
quantities
all.
selves

And,

as

an

in addition,

commune,

total
affirm that the sum
far less than
be
that
of this labour
would
at present to feed these people with
expended
in Auvergne
harvested
corn
and Russia, with
little everywhere
by
a
vegetables
produced
in
extensive agriculture, and with fruit grown
the South.
It is self-evident that we in nowise desire all
we

to be suppressed, nor
that each region
exchange
that which
should strive to produce
will only
less
in
by
its
more
a
or
grow
artificial
climate
But
draw
to
care
we
culture.
attention to thefact that the theory
such as is
of exchange,
to-day, is strangely
exaggerated
understood
is often useless and even
harmful.
that exchange
We
that people have never
moreover,
assert,
labour
had a right conception
of the immense
that of Russian
of Southern
wine growers, nor
corn
whose
and Hungarian
excessive
growers,
labour could also be very much
reduced if they
adopted intensive culture, instead of their present
system
of extensive agriculture.
"

THE

272

OF

CONQUEST

BREAD

II

It would

be impossible to quote here the


base our
we
assertions.
which

mass

We
of facts on
therefore obliged to refer our
are
readers who
book,
further
information
to another
want
Above
"Fields, Factories, and Workshops."*
all we earnestly invite those who are interested
in the question to read several excellent works
in France
of
and
elsewhere,
and
published
which we give a list at the close of this book (1).
As to the inhabitants of large towns, who have
as

yet

no

real notion of what


be, we
advise them to explore
They
market-gardens.
need

can
agriculture
the surrounding
but observe and

question the market-gardeners,


and a new
world
They
will be open to them.
will then be able
to see what European
agriculture may be in the
twentieth
century;
and they will understand
with what force the social revolution
will be
armed when we know the secret of taking everything
we
need from the soil.
A few facts will sufficeto show that our assertions
We
in no
are
way
only
exaggerated.
few
to be preceded
by a
general
wish them
remarks.
know
We

pean
in what a wretched condition Euroagriculture is. If the cultivator of the
by the landowner,
he is
soil is not plundered
If the State taxes him
robbed by the State.
the money-lender
moderately,
enslaves him by
turns him
means
notes, and soon
of promissory
*

A
new
last year by
Library."

enlarged
Thomas

edition
of it has been
Nelson
and Sons in their

published
"Shilling

AGEICULTURE

273

in
into tke simple tenant of a ioil belonging
The landlord,
reality to a financial company.
the
thus plunder
the State, and the banker
of rent, taxes, and interest.
cultivator by means
The sum
varies in each country, but it never
falls below the quarter, very often the half of
In France and in Italy agrithe raw
culturist
produce.
paid the State quite recently as much
as 44 per cent, of the gross produce.
Moreover,
the share of the owner
and the
As soon
State always goes on increasing.
as

the cultivator has obtained more


plentiful crops
by prodigies of labour, invention, or initiative,
to the landowner,
the tribute he will owe
the
State, and the banker
in proportion.
will augment
If he doubles the number
of bushels
reaped per acre, rent will be doubled, and taxes
too, and the State will take care
to raise them
if the prices go up.
In
And so on.
still more

the cultivator of the soil


short, everywhere
works twelve to sixteen hours a day ; these three
vultures take from him everything he might lay
by; they rob him everywhere
of what
would
him
improve
to
his
This
is
enable
culture.
why agriculture progresses so slowly.
The cultivator can
only occasionally make
in
some
some
progress,
exceptional regions, under
quite exceptional circumstances, following upon
a
And
the three vampires.
quarrel between
have
the tribute
about
yet we
said nothing
to the
manufacturer.
cultivator pays
Every machine,
every spade, every barrel of
is sold to him at three or
manure,
chemical
Nor let us forget the
four times its real cost.

every

274

THE

middleman,

CONQUEST
who

OF

BEEAD

levies tlie lion's share

of the

earth's produce.
This is why, during all this century of invention
and progress, agriculture has only improved
from time to time on very limited areas.
Happily
there have always been small oases,
time by the vultures; and
neglected for some
here we
learn what
intensive agriculture can
few
for mankind.
Let us mention
a
produce
examples.
In the

prairies (which,however,
only yield meagre
spring wheat crops, from 7 to
15 bushels an
these are
acre,
often
and even
500 men,
marred by periodical droughts),
working
during
the
only
produce
eight months,
With
food of 50,000 people.
annual
all the
improvements
last three
one
years,
of the
man's
yearly labour (300days)yields, delivered
in Chicago as flour, the yearly food of 250 men.
Here the result is obtained by a great economv
in manual
labour : on those vast plains, ploughing,
in
harvesting,
are
thrashing,
organized
is no
There
useless
almost military fashion.

American

fro,

loss of time
all is done
with parade-like precision.
This is agriculture on a large scale
extensive
takes the soil from
agriculture, which
it. When
nature
without
seeking to improve
the earth has yielded all it can,
they leave it;
for a virgin soil, to be
they seek elsewhere
in its turn.
But there is also *' intensive
exhausted
to and

running

no

"

"

"

agriculture, which is already worked,


by machinery.
so,
and will be more
and more
Its
objectis to cultivate a limited space well, to

275

AGEICULTURE
manure,

to improve,

to concentrate

work, and
Tbis kind

the largest crop possible.


culturist
of culture spreads every year, and wbereas agriin the south of France
tbe
and on
America
fertile plains of Western
are
content
crop of 11 to 15 bushels per
with an average
by extensive culture, they reap regularly
acre
39, even
55, and sometimes
60 bushels per acre
in the north of France.
The annual consumption
from
less
is
thus obtained
than a
of a man
quarter of an acre.
intense the culture is, the less
And the more
to obtain a bushel of wheat.
work is expended
Machinery
at the preliminary
replaces man
work and for the improvements
needed by the
land
such as draining, clearing of stones
and
which will double the crops in future, once
for ever.
but
Sometimes
keeping
the
nothing
soil free of weeds, without manuring,
allows an
average soil to yield excellent crops from year
to year.
It has been done for forty years in
in Hertfordshire.
succession at Rothamstead,
However,
let us
not write an
agricultural
but be satisfied with a crop of 44
romance,
bushels per acre.
That needs no exceptional
soil, but merely a rational culture; and let us
see
what it means.
The 3,600,000 individuals who
inhabit the
two departments
sume
of Seine and Seine-et-Oise conyearly for their food a little less than 22
million bushels of cereals, chiefly wheat;
and
in our
hypothesis they would have to culti\ate,
in order to obtain this crop, 494,200 acres
out
It
of the 1,507,300 acres
which they possess.
to obtain

"

"

s2

276

THE

CONQUEST

OF

BREAD

iflevident they would not cultivate them with


That would
96
time
spades.
need too much
It would be
work-days
of 5 hours per acre.
for all
the soil once
preferable to improve
to drain what
needed draining, to level what
needed levelling, to clear the soil of stones,
it even
were
necessary to spend 5 million days
an
of 5 hours in this preparatory
average
work
10
of
work-days to each acre.
Then
they would
plough
with the steamdigger, which
take one
and three-fifths
would
of a day per acre,
and they would give another
one
and three-fifths of a day for working
with
Seeds would be sorted by
the double plough.
haphazard,
instead of taken
steam
and they
in rows
instead of
be carefully sown
would
Now
beiug thrown
to the four winds.
all this
work would not take 10 days of 5 hours per acre
"

"

"

if the work
were
But if 10 million

done

under

work-days
3 or 4 years,

good
are

conditions.

given

to good

the result will be


of 44 to 55 bushels per acre
half the time.
will be obtained by only working
Fifteen
million
work-days
will thus have
been
to give bread to a population
spent
of
inhabitants.
3,600,000
And
the work
would
be such that everyone
could do it without
having muscles of steel, or without having even
before.
The initiative and
the ground
worked
distribution of work would
the general
come
from those who know
the soil. As to the work
itself, there is no
townsman
so
of either sex
enfeebled as to be incapable of looking after
his share to
of contributing
machines
and
culture during
that later on crops

2T7

AGRICULTURE
agrarian

work

after

few

hours'

ship.
apprentice-

we
consider that in the present
when
in a city like Paris, without
chaos there are,
the unemployed
of the upper classes,
counting
there are always about 100,000 workmen
out of
that the
see
in their several trades, we
work

Well,

lost in

would
organization
alone suffice to give, with a rational culture, all
the bread that is necessary for the three or four
million inhabitants of the two departments.
fancy dream,
We
and we
repeat, this is no
have not yet spoken of the truly intensive agriculture.
We have not depended upon the wheat
(obtained in three years by Mr. Hallett)of

power

our

present

5,000 or
grain, replanted, produced
10,000 grains, which
and occasionally
for a family of
would give the wheat necessary
five individuals on an area
of 120 square yards.
On the contrary,
have only mentioned
we
what
it being already achieved by numerous
farmers
in France,
England,
Belgium,
etc., and what
be done to-morrow
might
with the experience
and knowledge
acquired already by practice on
large scale.
a
But without a revolution, neither to-morrow,

which
6,000,

one

after to-morrow
will see it done, because it
is not \o the interest of landowners
and capitalists;
find
peasants
and because
who
would

nor

their profit in it have neither the knowledge


to obtain what
the time
the money,
nor
necessary

The

nor

is

to go ahead.

society of to-day has not yet reached this


But
let Parisians
Anaran
stage.
proclaim

278

THE

OF

CONQUEST

BREAD

chist Commune,
and they will of necessity come
to it, because
they will not be foolish enough
luxurious
to continue
toys
(which
making
Vienna,
Warsaw,
Berlin
as
make
well
and
left
to run
the risk of being
and

already),

without bread.
Moreover,
agricultural work, by the help of
become
the most attracmachinery,
tive
would soon
and the most joyfulof all occupations.
*'
We have had enough
jewellery
and enough
'^
it is high
dolls' clothes,'' they would
say;
to recruit their strength
time for the workers
in agriculture,
to go in search of vigour,
of
impressions of nature,
of the joy of life, that
they have

forgotten

in the dark

suburbs."
In the Middle
Ages it
lands, rather than guns,

Swiss

Alpine

off lords

pasture
the
allowed
which
Modern
kings.
and

will allow a
the combined

city in revolt to free


bourgeois forces.

to shake

agriculture
itself from

was

factories of the

Ill
how the 3^ million inhabitants
Paris could find
of the two departments
round
ample bread by cultivating only a third of their
Let us now
territory.
pass on to cattle.
Englishmen,
consume
meat,
eat much
who
little less than 220 lb. a year
an
a
on
average
Supposing
all meats
per adult.
consumed
little
less
than the
a
that
oxen,
were
makes
We

have

seen

279

AGRICULTURE
third of

an

An

ox.

ox

year for 5 individuals

(includingchildren)is

a
sufficient
already
For Sj million inhabitants this would
ration.
an
of 700,000 head
consumption
annual
make
of cattle.
To-day, with the pasture system, we
need at
to nourish 660,000 head of
least 5 million acres
9 acres
per each head
of
cattle. This makes
horned
prairies
with
cattle. Nevertheless,
by
(as
water
spring
moderately
watered
in the
on
thousands
of acres
recently done
already
south-west of France),IJ million acres
is
if intensive
culture
tised,
pracsuffice. But
for
beet-root
is grown
fodder, you
and
that is to say,
only need a quarter of that area,
have recourse
if we
And
about 310,000 acres.
to maize
and practise ensilage (the compression
fodder
of
while
green) like Arabs, we
obtain fodder on an area
of 217,500 acres.
In the environs of Milan, where sewer
water
is used to irrigate the fields, fodder for 2 to 3
is obtained on
horned
an
cattle per each acre
few favoured
area
a
of 22,000 acres;
and on
fields, up to 177 tons of hay to the 10 acres
have
been cropped, the yearly provender
of 36 milch
Nearly nine acres
cows.
per head of cattle are
needed under the pasture system,
and only 2^
for 9 oxen
acres
or
cows
system.
under the new
These are the opposite extremes
in modern
culture.
agri-

In

Guernsey,

on

half

utilized, nearly
with
acres

cereals
remain

and
as

total

of

9,884

(4,695acres)are

kitchen-gardens;
On
meadows.

acres

covered
only 5,189
these 5,189

280

THE

CONQUEST

OF

BREAD

1,480 horses, 7,260 head of cattle, 900


fed, which
makes
sheep, and 4,200 pigs are
more
than 3 head of cattle per 2 acres,
out
withIt is
the sheep or
the pigs.
reckoning
needless to add that the fertility of the soil is
by seaweed and chemical manures.
made
Returning
to our
3| million inhabitants
belonging
to Paris
see
and its environs, we
that the land necessary for the rearing of cattle
to 197,000.
from 5 million acres
down
comes
Well, then, let us not stop at the lowest figures,
let us take those of ordinary intensive culture ;
for
let us liberally add to the land necessary
acres,

must
smaller cattle which
of the
replace some
horned beasts and allow 395,000 acres
for the
rearing of cattle 494,000 if you like, on the
1,013,000 acres
remaining
after bread has been
provided for the people.
Let us be generous
and give 5 million workdays
to put this land into a productive
state.
"

After having

in the course
therefore employed
half of which
of a year 20 million work-days,
for permanent
improvements,
are
we
shall have
bread and meat assured to us, without including
obtainable in the shape of
all the extra meat
fowls, pigs, rabbits, etc. ; without taking into

provided with
consideration that a population
less
excellent vegetables
and fruit consumes
than Englishmen,
their
meat
supplement
who
food.
by
poor
supply
of vegetables
animal
do ^0 million work-days
Now,
how
of
much
Very
little
5 hours
per inhabitant?
make

indeed.
have
at

of 3| millions must
population
least 1,200,000
adult men,
and as

281

AGRICULTUEE

Well,
then,
of work.
to all, it would
need
and meat
Add
only 17 half-days of work a year per man.
if
3 million work-days, or double that number
like, in order to obtain milk.
That will
you
25 work-days
of 5 hours in all nothing
make
than a littlepleasurable country exercise
more
to obtain the three principal products : bread,
The three products which,
meat,
and milk.
daily anxiety
to ninecause
after housing,
women
many
to give bread

capable

"

"

tenths

of mankind.
let us
yet

these
tire of repeating
have only told what
We
are
not fancy dreams.
is, what has been, obtained by experience on a
large scale. Agriculture
could be reorganized
if property
laws
in this way
to-morrow
and
did not offer opposition.
general ignorance
The day Paris has understood
that to know
it is produced,
is a
eat
you
what
and how
question of public interest; the day when everybody
that this question is
will have understood
infinitely more
important
that all the parliamentary
debates of the present times
on
that
day the Revolution
will be an
accomplished
fact.
Paris will take possession of the two
departments
And
then
and cultivate them.
laboured
the Parisian worker, after having
a
third of his existence in order to buy bad and
insufficient food, will produce it himself,
under
his walls, within the enclosure of his forts (if

And

"

not

"

"

in
they still
exist),

few

hours

of healthy

and

attractive work.
And now
we
pass on to fruit and vegetables.
Let us go outside Paris and visit the establish-

282

THE

ment

of

OF

CONQUEST

BEEAD

market-gardener
who
accomplislies
by
learned
(ignored
at a
wonders
economists)
few miles from tlie academies.
Let us visit, suppose,
M. Ponce,
the author
no
who makes
work on market-gardening,
the earth yields him, and who
secret of what
has published it all along.
M. Ponce, and especially his workmen,
work
like niggers.
It takes eight men
to cultivate
3 acres
a plot a little less than
(2 7-10). They
15 hours a day, that is to
work 12, and even
Twentythan is needed.
say, three times more
four of them
To
not be too many.
would
M. Ponce will probably
answer
that as
which
he pays the terrible sum
rent a year
of "100
for his 2 7-10 acres
for
"100
of land, and
bought
in the barracks, he is
manure
obliged
to exploit.
He would no doubt answer,
"Being
His installation
exploited, I exploit in my turn."
has also cost him "1,200,
cerof which
tainly
more
than half went
to
tribute
as
the
idle barons of industry.
In reality, this establishment
3,000
represents
at most
work-days,
less.
probably
much

of

But

his crops : nearly 10 tons


examine
of carrots, nearly 10 tons of onions, radishes,
and small vegetables, 6,000 heads of cabbage,
3,000 heads
of cauliflower, 5,000 baskets of
tomatoes,
5,000 dozen of choice fruit, 154,000
salads ; in short, a total of 123 tons of vegetables
120 yards long by 109
and fruit to 2 7-10 acres
than 44 tons of
yards broad, which makes more
vegetables to the acre.
But a man
does not eat more
than 660 lb. of
let

us

"

283

AGEICULTURE
and

vegetables

fruit

year, and

2^

acres

of

and
market-garden
vegetables
yield enough,
fruit to richly supply the table of 350 adults
during the year.
Thus 24 persons employed
a
of land,
whole year in cultivating 2 7-10 acres
5 hours a day, would produce
only working
sufficient vegetables and fruit for 350 adults,
which is equivalent at least to 500 individuals.
To put it in another way : in cultivating like
and

M.

Ponce

and his results have already been


350 adults should each give a little
surpassed
more
than 100 hours a year (103) to produce
for 500 people.
vegetables and fruit necessary
Let us mention
is not
that such a production
It takes place, under the walls
the exception.
by 5,000
area
an
of Paris, on
of 2,220 acres,
Only these market-gardeners
market-gardeners.
"

"

to
reduced
nowadays
burden, in order to pay an
are

state

average

of beasts

of
rent of "32

per acre.
But do not these facts, which
be verified
can
by every one,
(of the
prove that 17,300 acres
519,000 remaining
to
us) would suffice to give
all necessary
vegetables, as well as a liberal
amount
of fruit to the 3^ millions inhabitants
?
two departments
of our

As

pronecessary to duce
it would
these fruits and
vegetables,
to 50 million
amount
of 5 hours
work-days
by the
(50 days per adult male),if we measure
But
we
of work.
standard
market-gardeners'
to the quantity

of work

if we
had recourse
could reduce this quantity
in Jersey and Guernsey.
to the process in vogue
We
that the Paris marketmust
also remember

284

THE

OF

CONQUEST

BREAD

gardener is forced to work so hard because he


fruits, the high
mostly
early season
produces
have to pay for fabulous rents,
prices of which
and that this system
of culture entails more
for growing
the ordinary
work than is necessary
fruit.
Besides,
"vegetables and
staple-food
the market-gardeners
of Paris, not having the
to make
means
a great
outlay on their gardens,
heavily
for glass,
and being obliged to pay
wood, iron, and coal, obtain their artificial heat
be had at much
out of manure,
while it can
less cost in hothouses.

lY
forced to
The market-gardeners,
we
say, are
become
all joys of
and to renounce
machines
life in order to obtain their marvellous
crops.
But these hard grinders have rendered
a great
in teaching us that the soil
service to humanity
it with old hotbeds
They
be "made.''
can
make
of manure,
which have already served to
to young
give the necessary warmth
plants and
it in such great
to early fruit; and they make
to sell it in
quantity that they are compelled
part, otherwise it would raise the level of their
inch every year.
They do it so
gardens by one
well (so Barral teaches us, in his "Dictionary
in an
of Agriculture,"
article on
marketin
that
the
recent contracts,
marketgardeners)
he
that
gardener stipulates
will carry away his

285

AGEICULTUEE

soil with him when he leayes the bit of ground


Loam
he is cultivating.
carried away on carts,
that is the
glass frames
with furniture and
answer
of practical cultivators to the learned
"

treatises of a Ricardo, who represented rent as


the natural advantages
means
a
of equalizing
of the soil. ''The soil is worth what the man
is
worth/' that is the gardeners* motto.
And
yet the market-gardeners
of Paris and
Eouen
labour three times as hard to obtain the
in Guernsey
same
results as their fellow-workers
in England.
Applying
industry
to
or
their climate in
agriculture, these last make
addition to their soil, by means
of the greenhouse.
Fifty years ago the greenhouse
the luxury
was
It was
kept to grow exotic plants
of the rich.
for pleasure.
its use
begins to
But nowadays
has
be generalized.
industry
A tremendous
grown
lip lately in Guernsey
and Jersey, where

hundreds

are
with
of acres
covered
already
to say nothing
glass
of the countless small
kept in every little farm garden.
greenhouses
"

lately
have
of greenhouses
and acres
been built also at Worthing
(103acres in 1912),
in the suburbs of London,
and in several other
parts of England
and Scotland.
Acres

built of all qualities, beginning


to
with those which have granite walls, down
in
those which
mere
represent
shelters made
even
cost,
glass frames,
planks
and
which
now,
with all the tribute paid to capitalists
3s. 6d. per square
less than
and middlemen,
Most
heated
are
yard under glass.
of them

They

are

286

THE

CONQUEST

OF

BREAD

for at least three or four montlis every year;


are
but even
the cool greenhouses,
not
which
heated at all^ give excellent results
of course,
not for growing
grapes and tropical plants, but
for potatoes, carrots, peas, tomatoes,
and so on.
himself from
In this way
man
emancipates
time he avoids also
climate, and at the same
the heavy work with the hot-beds, and he saves
less manure
both in buying much
and in work.
Three men
to the acre,
working
each of them
less than sixty hours a week, produce
on
very
small spaces what formerly required acres
and
acres
of land.
The result of all these recent conquests
of
is,
if
that
culture
one-half only of the adults
of a city gave each about fifty half-days for the
culture of the finest fruit and vegetables out of
season,
they would have all the year round an
"

unlimited supply of that sort of fruit and vegetables


for the whole population.
But there is a still more
important
fact to
has nowadays
tenThe greenhouse
dency
a
notice.
to become
kitchen garden
a
mere
under
And
it
is
to
glass.
when
such a purpose,
used
the simplest plank-and-glass
unheated
shelters
stance
crops
already give fabulous
such as, for in600 bushels of potatoes per acre
as
a
first crop, ready by the end of April; after
which a second and a third crop are obtained in
high temperature
the extremely
which preTails
in the summer
under glass.
"

I gave

in my

"

shops,"
Fields, Factories, and Workstriking facts in this direction.

most
Sufficient to say

here, that at Jersey,

34

men,

287

AGEICULTUEE
with,
acres

tons

only, cultivate 13
gardener
whicK they obtain 143
under glass, from
for
of fruit and early vegetables, using
one

trained

this extraordinary
culture less than 1,000 tons
of coal.
And this is done now
in Guernsey
and Jersey
large scale, quite a
on
a
very
of
number
Guernsey
steamers
constantly
plying between
and London,
only to export the crops of the

greenhouses.
Nowadays,
in order to obtain that same
crop
we
of 600 bushels of potatoes,
must
plough,
every year a surface of 4 acres,
plant it, cultivate
it, weed it, and so on; whereas
with the
if we
to give perhaps,
^lass, even
shall have
to start with, half a day's
work
per square
in
we
yard
order to build the greenhouse
shall
save
afterwards at least one-half, and probably
three-quarters
of the yearly labour
required
formerly.
These are facts^
can
results which
every one
And
these facts are already a
verify himself.
hint as to what man
could obtain from the earth
if he treated it with intelligence.
"

In all the above

we

have

reasoned

upon

the test of experience.


withstood
culture of the fields, irrigated meadows,
hothouse,
and finally the kitchen garden

already
the

what
tensive
In-

under

glass

are

realities.

Moreover,

the

288

THE

CONQUEST

OF

BREAD

is to extend and to generalize these


they
methods
of culture, because
allow
of
more
less
obtaining
produce
with
work and
more
with
certainty.
In fact, after having
studied the most simple
we
glass shelters of Guernsey,
affirm that,
for
taking all in all, far less work is expended
obtaining potatoes under glass in April, than
in the open
in
them
air, which
growing
a
space four times as large,
requires digging
it, etc.
Work
is likewise
watering it, weeding
in employing
a
perfected tool or
economized

tendency

had to
initial expense
even
an
when
machine,
be incurred to buy the tool.
figures concerning
Complete
the culture of
common
vegetables under glass are still wanting.
This culture is of recent origin, and is
But we
ha^e
only carried out on small areas.
the fifty years old
already figures concerning
culture of early season
grapes, and these figures
are
conclusive.
In
the Scotch
on
the north
of England,
frontier, where coal only costs 3s. a ton at the
to
they have long
pit's mouth,
since taken
hothouse
Thirty years ago
growing
grapes.
these grapes, ripe in January,
were
sold by
the grower
at 20s. per lb. and resold at 40s.
III.'s table.
To-day the
per lb. for Napoleon
same
grower
sells them at only 2s. 6d. per lb.
He tells us so himself in a horticultural journal.
The fall in the prices is
caused by the tons
to
and tons of grapes
arriving in January
London
and Paris.
Thanks
to the cheapness
an
of coal and

AGRICULTUEE

289

intelligent

from
tlie north,
culture, grapes
travel now
southwards, in a contrary direction
to ordinary fruit. They
cost so little that in
May,
English
and Jersey grapes are
sold at
Is. 8d. per lb. by the gardeners, and yet this
price, like that of 40s. thirty years ago, is only
kept up by slack production.
In March,
Belgium
grapes are sold at from
6d. to 8d., while in October, grapes cultivated
in immense
quantities
under glass, and with,
little artificial heating
in the environs of
a
London
are
price as grapes
sold, at the same
bought
by the pound
in the vineyards
of
Switzerland and the Rhine, that is to say, for
Yet they stillcost two-thirds
a few halfpence.
too much,
by reason
of the excessive rent of
ing,
the soil and the cost of installation and heaton
which the gardener pays a formidable
tribute to the manufacturer
and middleman.
This being understood, we may
say that it costs
"next
to nothing'*
to have
delicious grapes
under the latitude of, and in our misty London
in autumn.
In one of the suburbs, for instance,
"

"

wretched glass and plaster shelter, 9 ft. 10 in.


long by 6|^
ft. wide, resting against our cottage,
us
gave
about fifty pounds
of grapes
of an
exquisite flavour in October, for nine consecutive
from a Hamburg
years. The crop came
vine-stalk, six years old. And the shelter was
bad that the rain came
so
At night
through.
the temperature
was
always that of outside.
It was
evidently not heated, for it would ha\e
been as useless as heating the street ! And the
care
which was
given was : pruning the vine,
a

290

THE

OP

CONQUEST

BREAD

half an hour every year ; and bringing a wheelbarrowful


over
was
thrown
of manure,
which
the stalk of the vine, planted in red clay outside
the shelter.
On the other hand, if we estimate the amount
of care
given to the vine on the borders of the
Ehine or Lake Leman,
the terraces constructed
stone upon stone on the slopes of the hills, the
transport
of manure
and also of earth to a
height of two or three hundred
feet, we
come
to the conclusion that on
the whole the expenditu
of work necessary to cultivate vines
is more
the
or
on
considerable in Switzerland
banks of the Rhine
than it is under glass in
London
suburbs.
This may
seem
paradoxical, because it is
selves
of themgenerally believed that vines grow
in the south of Europe, and that the vineBut gardeners
grower's
work costs nothing.
horticulturists, far from
contradicting
and

tageous
assertions. ''The most advanis vine culture,"
culture in England
a
wrote
practical
gardener,
editor of the
in the
''English Journal
of Horticulture"
Century.
Nineteenth
Prices speak eloquently

us,

confirm

our

for themselves,

as

we

know.

guage,
lanthese facts into communist
or
woman
we
may
assert that the man
who takes twenty hours a year from his leisure
little care
time to give some
very pleasant in
to two or three vine-stalks sheltered
the main
by simple glass under any European
climate,

Translating

"

"

will gather

as

many

grapes

as

their family

and

291

AGRICULTURE

friends can eat.


And that applies not only to
vines, but to all fruit trees.
Tlie Commune
that will put the processes of
intensive culture into practice on a large scale
will have all possible vegetables, indigenous
or
exotic, and! all desirable fruits, without
than about ten hours a year
employing more
per inhabitant.
In fact, nothing would be easier than to
by direct experiverify the above statements
ment.
Suppose 100 acres
of a light loam (such
into
have at Worthing) are transformed
as
we
a number
with its
of market gardens, each one
glass houses for the rearing of the seedlings and
Suppose also that 50 more
acres
young plants.
are
tion
covered with glasshouses, and the organizaof the whole is left to practical experienced
French maraichers
and Guernsey or Worthing
,

greenhouse
gardeners.
In basing the maintenance
of these 150 acres
on
the Jersey average, requiring the work of
three men
per acre
under glass which makes
it would
less than 8,600 hours of work a year
need about 1,300,000 hours for the 150 acres.
Fifty competent
gardeners could gi\e five hours
a day to this
work, and the rest would be simply
done by people who, without being gardeners
by profession, would soon
learn how to use
a
spade, and to handle the plants. But this work
it in a prewould yield at least we have seen
ceding
"

"

"

all necessaries and articles of


chapter
luxury in the way of fruit and vegetables for
Let us admit
at least 40,000 or 50,000 people.
this number
that among
there are 13,500 adults,
"

t2

292
willing

THE

CONQUEST

to work

each one
would
distributed over

OF

BREAD

at tlie kitchen garden;


have to give 100 hours

then,
a

year
hours of

These
the whole year.
become
hours of recreation spent
work
would
friends
in beautiful
among
and
children
beautiful
gardens, more
probably than those
Semiramis.
of the legendary
This is the balance sheet of the labour to be

in order to be able to eat to satiety fruit


deprived of to-day, and to have
we
are
which
now
so
scrupulously
vegetables in abundance,
housewife,
by
the
when
she has
rationed out
to reckon
must
go to
which
each halfpenny
(2).
enrich capitalists and landowners
had the consciousness of
If only humanity
what it CAN,
and if that consciousness only gave
!
it the power to will
If it only knew that cowardice of the spirit is
spent

the rock on
until now.

which

all revolutions have stranded

VI

horizons
easily perceive the new
before the social revolution.
opening
Each time we speak of revolution, the face of
food
the worker who has seen
children wanting
Will
darkens and he asks
"What
of bread?
there be sufficient, if everyone eats according to
if the peasants, ignorant
his appetite?
What
the black
tools of reaction, starve our towns
as
bands did in France
in 1793
what shall we
do?*'
We

can

"

"

293

AGRICULTUEE

Let tliem do their worst!


The large cities
will have to do without them.
At what, then, should the hundreds
sands
of thouare
of workers, who
asjjhyxiated to-day
in small workshops
and factories, be employed
Will
the day they regain their liberty?
on
they continue to shut themselves up in factories
Will they continue to
after the Revolution?
luxurious toys for export when
they see
make
their stock of corn
getting exhauste'd, meat
and vegetables disappearing
without being replaced?
Evidently not ! They will leave the town and
go into the fields ! Aided by a machinery
which
will enable the weakest of us to put a shoulder
to the wheel, they will carry revolution into

becoming

scarce,

they will have


ideas.

previously
enslaved culture as
carried it into institutions and

Hundreds

of

acres

will be covered with glass,


with delicate fingers, will

and men,
and women
foster the growth
Hundreds
of young
plants.
by steam, improved
of other acres
will be ploughed
by manures,
or
enriched by artificial
soil obtained
Happy
crowds

by

the

pulverization
of rocks.
of occasional labourers will cover
these acres
with crops, guided in the work and
experiments
partly by those who know agriculture,
but
especiallyby the great and practical
spirit of a people roused from long slumber and
illumined

by that bright beacon

the happiness

"

of all.

And

will

in two

relieve

or

the

three months
most

the early crops

pressing

wants,

and

294

THE

food for

BREAD

OF

CONQUEST

people who, after so many


centuries of expectation, will at least be able to
their hunger and eat according to their
appease
appetite.
In the meanwhile,
popular genius, the genius
its wants,
of a nation which revolts and knows
processes
will work at experimenting
with new
of culture that we
already catch a glimpse of,
and that only need the baptism of experience
to become
Light will be experiuniversal.
mented
that unknown
agent of culture
with
in
barley
forty-five days
makes
which
ripen
light, conthe latitude of Yakutsk;
under
centrate
heat
in
or
artificial, will rival
A Mouchot
hastening the growth
of plants.
to guide
of the future will invent a machine
them
the rays of the sun
and make
work, so
that we
shall no longer seek sun-heat stored in
Thev
coal in the depths of the earth.
will
the
the
tures
soil with culof
experiment
watering
a rational idea, conceived
of micro-organisms
but yesterday, which
will permit us to
sary
give to the soil those little living beings, necesto feed the rootlets, to decompose
and
parts of the soil.
a"similate the component
They
But let us stop
wiir experiment
here, or we shall enter into the realm of fancy.
Let us remain
in the reality of acquired facts.
With the processes of culture in use, applied on
large scale, and already victorious in the
a
can
struggle against industrial competition, we
for
give ourselves ease
and luxury in return
The
future will show
near
agreeable work.
provide

"

"

what

is practical in the processes

that recent

295

AGRICULTURE

scientificdiscoveries give us a glimpse of. Let


limit ourselves at present to opening up the
us
new
path, that consists in the study of the needs
them,.
and the means
of man,
of satisfying
The only thing that may
be wanting
to the
Revolution
is the boldness of initiative.
in our
With
our
already narrowed
minds
mature
youth and enslaved by the past in our
If a new
idea
hardly dare to think.
age, we
is mentioned
^before venturing
on
an
opinion
books a hundred
own,
we
of our
consult musty
"

old, to know what ancient masters thought


on
the
subject.
It is not food that will fail, if boldness of
to the
thought
and initiative are not wanting

years

revolution.
Of all the great days of the French Revolution,
the most beautiful, the greatest, was
the
from all
one
on
which delegates who had come
to Paris, worked
parts of France
all with the
de
of the Champ
spade to plane the ground
it for the fete of the Federation.
Mars, preparing
day

by
united : animated
the new
spirit, she had a vision of the future
in the working
in common
of the soil.
in comAnd it will again be by the working
mon
societies
of the soil that the enfranchized
will find their unity and will obliterate the
has
hatred
hitherto
oppression
which
and
divided them.
Henceforth,
able to conceive solidarity that
That

France

was

"

immense

and

power

creative

which
forces

increases
a

man's

hundredfold

"

energy

the

new

296

THE

CONQUEST

OF

BEEAD

of tlie
society will marcli to the conquest
future with, all the vigour of youth.
buyers^ and
Ceasing to produce for unknown
looking in its midst for needs and tastes to be
the life
satisfied, society will liberally assure
as
of each of its members,
well as that
and ease
moral satisfaction which work gives when freely
and the joy of
chosen and freely accomplished,
living without encroaching on the life of others.
daring
Inspired by a new
born of the feeling
together to
all will march
of solidarity
the conquest of the high joysof knowledge
and
"

"

artistic creation.
A society thus inspired will fear neither dissension
To the
enemies without.
within nor
mony,
harcoalitions of the past it will oppose a new
the initiative of each and all, the daring
which springs from the awakening
of a people's
genius.
Before such an irresistible force " conspiring
kings " will be powerless.
Nothing will remain
for them but to bow before it, and to harness
to the chariot of humanity,
themselves
rolling
horizons opened up by the Social
towards new
Eevolution.

NOTES

(1)Consult "La Repartition

des imp6ts,"

m^trique

vols., published by Guillaumin


in 1880.
beau'
(We do not in the least agree with Toubut it is a real encyclopeedia,
s conclusions,

by A. Toubeau,

two

be
can
the sources
prove
what
which
obtained from the soil.)*'La Culture maraichere,"
"
by M. Ponce, Paris, 1869.
Le Potager
Gressent,"
indicating

"
logic
Physioexcellent practical work.
*'
Le
et culture du bl6," by Risler, Paris, 1881.
by Lecoubl6, sa culture intensive et extensive,"

Paris, 1885,

an

Paris,

teux,

''

Simon.

"

1883.

Cite Chinoise,"

La

Le dictionnaire
Wm.

Fream,

London,

Field
manure,
etc. (the
without
"
Fields, Factories and Workshops,"
(Thomas Nelson " Sons.)

proving
departments
of

Depaetments

Average

office, editor).
by the author.

of

territory by
to obtain food,

Seine

and

employing
have :
we

"

Seine-et-Oise

in 1889

3,900,000
1,507,300

acres

number

of inhabitants

per
2-6

acre

Areas

culture

"

own

of inhabitants
in

"

the figures given on agriculture,


that the inhabitants
of the two
live
Seine and Seine-et-Oise can

perfectly well ton their


very little time annually

Area

1888

up

figures

Number

ments,"
Experi-

Rothamstead
''

(2) Summing

by Barral

d' agriculture,"

(Hachette, editor). **The


by

by Eugene

to be cultivated to feed

the inhabitants

(in

acres):

"

Com

and

cereals

Natural and

artificialmeadows

494,000

494,000

298

THE

CONQUEST

OF

BREAD

Vegetables

from 17,300
and fruit
Leaving
for houses, roads,
a balance
parks, forests

to 25,000

494,000

Quantity

to improve
necessary
of annual
work
cultivate the above surfaces in five-hour workdays

and

"

Cereals

(cultureand crop)

15,000,000

Meadows,

milk, rearing of cattle


Market-gardening
culture, high-class
fruit

10,000,000

Extras

12,000,000

Total

If

we

adults

(men

and

agriculture, we
be divided among
us

that

suppose

58

only

women)

see

half of the
are

70,000,000

able-bodied
to

work

that 70 million work-days


1,200,000 individuals, which

at

must

gives
these

for each of
of 5 hours
that the population
of the two
bread, meat,
would have all necessary

work-days
With
workers.
departments

willing

33,000,000

milk, vegetables, and fruit, both for ordinary


and
luxurious
To-day
even
a
consumption.
workman
food of his family (generally
spends for the necessary
is
less than what
at least one-third
of

necessary)

his 300

work-days

instead

of 290.

hours

too

much

about 1,000 hours be it,


That
is, he thus gives about 700
to fatten the idle and the woulda

year,

he does not produce his


be administrators,
because
in their
food, but buys it of middlemen,
own
who
turn buy it of peasants
by
who exhaust themselves
working
with bad tools, because, being robbed by
the landowners
procure
and the State, they cannot
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