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disable the defaulting workman from obtaining similar advantages elsewhere.

An entire regulation of the market, preventing either glut or exhaustion, is a mighty problem, from which we must as yet retire, yet it is only the problem of the Three Bodies," Capital, Labour, and Demand. The action of the well-informed public through the last of these may one day prove of the utmost importance in the history of our social institutions. Even a little foresight in giving orders, sufficient to avoid unduly hurrying workpeople, is now a great social benefit, but much more may be done by a more general system. It is by this means that a moral force can be brought to bear upon the powers of supply, in aid of any moral development of them from within. And although there may be follies and delusions which may captivate earnest minds, and turn aside many a sovereign from its most advantageous course, yet it is thus that the really successful schemes, which introduce effectual social reforms, will be nourished and fostered in their origin, and advanced to such strength as will enable them to make their own way to general adoption. The work is worth the waste, if the principle has any life and reality in it. And whether it has or not, a very few years will decide; though it may take many to accomplish what man's avarice and wilfulness must ever strongly resist, and what requires new and unknown arrangements to reconcile it even with the encouragement of enterprise and the maintenance of liberty.

That a real beginning has been made in the introduction of the cooperative principle into general trades and manufactures, cannot be questioned after a review of the reports of the Working Men's Association. It existed already, in joint-stock companies, for the class of capitalists, and in unions of masters, and of workmen. The step which may ultimately lead to comprehension of classes was taken when workmen began to unite in forming establishments for themselves. As these grow in wealth and importance, they must find a place for capital, and allow its due influence, and they must secure steadiness of management, by some plan of continuing it in the hands of individuals or small bodies. Nor can they fail, in the course of extensive operations, to find out the real value of master-minds. At present we find them talking of doing without masters, and while they do so the common remark is, that their work will be 'cheap and nasty.' Any well-regulated system will acknowledge property, and will also acknowledge the value of God's gifts in the way of mental endowment to each individual. They are as much his own as his hands, and as really, sometimes as calculably, productive. The great danger to the coopera

tive principle lies in the probability of those which are most successful becoming by degrees mere joint stock companies, the profits of which are monopolised by the first associates as proprietors, while the general interests of labour are neglected as soon as these individuals rise a little above the level of the labouring class. Should this be universally the case, the period of any general improvement in social relations by means of cooperation will be indefinitely deferred, unless other associations of a more comprehensive character can be formed, and a higher moral influence introduced.

The following extracts, especially the latter, show a good amount of common sense and resolution, but they do not indicate any prevailing disposition to look beyond the relative interest of a single class :

'One portion of the labours of the Society which cannot be overlooked, has reference to its relations with Trade Societies. Trade Societies, the legal recognition of which dates from the Act for the Repeal of the Combination Laws, and the utility of which is proclaimed by modern political economists, are the only real organization yet remaining amongst the working-classes, since the downfall of the guilds of the middle ages. It had been one of the most anxious wishes of many members of the Society, from the earliest period of its existence, to convert this organization to the purpose of co-operation, so as to suppress the very possibility of strikes, by leading the trade societies to devote to the employment of productive labour the sums which are now spent by them, for the defence of the class-interest of the worker, in maintaining men in unwilling idleness. Several efforts were made from time to time by various members of the Society, especially by Mr. Lloyd Jones and Mr. Walter Cooper, and afterwards by the Central Co-operative Agency, to effect this end in particular cases. The now well-known "Amalgamated Society,"-the most important trade society of the kingdom, was amongst those that were conferred with (and in this instance, by its own seeking) on the subject, nor did any other similar body show greater inclination towards Co-operative views.

When the great dispute in the Iron-trades broke out, the Society could not fail to feel a deep interest in it. On the one hand, the doctrines put forth in the "Representation of the case of the Employers of Operative Engineers," of the master's right to do what he liked with his own, when he had once bought his labour by a "lawful bargain," excited its strongest reprobation, as being opposed to all those principles of mutual dependence and mutual justice which it had been endeavouring to inculcate. On the other hand we could not but be deeply pained to see a contest, in which so much of right was on the side of the working-men, assume in its progress more and more the fruitless character of other similar disputes, and vast funds, which might have employed many a willing hand in co-operative labour, exhausted once more in the effort to maintain thousands in idleness. On the whole, our duty as a Society seemed to be to stand by, and, as far as might be, to secure justice for the working-men by enlightening opinion; --above all, to strive to turn the dispute, whatever might be its issues, to the advantage of the cause of fellow-work;-and in the meantime, to leave individual members of the Society to the exercise of their own discretion, as to the part which they might take in the matter, and the advice which they might give to either party.

There were not wanting those amongst us upon this occasion who

sought to impress upon the working engineers the need of immediate surrender, as the most useful, the greatest, the most solemn protest against the dictation of their employers,-that of avowed weakness yielding to brute force. Others tried hard, with small luck be it confessed, to obtain friendly mediation between the two belligerent parties, and received full gladly, side by side with the working-men, the insults of the newspaper press. One and all, we believe, are fully prepared to justify their conduct, and know well that even where accused of stirring up war they were in reality "seeking peace and ensuing it" by every means in their power. But the Society, we repeat it, as such, did not and could not engage in the conflict. All it could do was to organize a series of lectures, six of which were delivered on successive Friday evenings, from the 13th of February to the 20th of March, at the Marylebone Literary and Scientific Institution, 17, Edward Street, Portman Square, the three first by Mr. Ludlow, the two next by A. H. Louis, Esq., (ordinary member of the Council) and the last by Mr. Neale. We are bound to admit that, from various, causes, (the night amongst others being badly chosen,) these were in general but thinly attended. The three first and last have been published.

'But the success of the "Masters' Strike" has been the triumph of Cooperation. A hundred thousand pounds may have been wasted, or the opportunity of earning them foregone, by the working-men. But we have every reason to hope that it is for the last time that such an expenditure will take place. The Amalgamated Society has declared in favour of cooperative labour, and revised its laws so as to make the reproductive employment of its members the very hinge of its proceedings. The National Association of United Trades has proclaimed that "the time has come for the entire abandonment of strikes and turn-outs as a means of protecting labour," and that "the only thing left" is, in future, "to organize and carry out a self-supporting co-operativere productive system of employment." Out of the strike in the engineering trade itself, many associations of workingengineers, including the flourishing "East London Iron Works" and "Atlas Company" in London, have sprung up; and throughout the country many and many a trade society is engaged in discussing the propriety of entering upon co-operative labour, and availing itself of the provisions of the new act.'-First Report of Working Men's Associations, pp. 12–14.

"That men may truly work together, three things are indispensable, that they should exercise justice to each other, in the division among the producers of the proceeds of any work which many are jointly engaged in producing, and in the exchange of one kind of work for another; and that they should be ready to promote whatever conduces to the common advantage or enjoyment. These three qualities correspond to the three divisions of human action which the political economists point out as concerned with industry, Production, Distribution, and Consumption. The Co-operative Workshop or Industrial Society has, for its social object, to secure justice in production-to divide the results of all work done there among those who in any way, by capital, labour, or skill, contribute to produce it, according to what in justice each ought to have; not, as is the case in ordinary workshops, according to what each man's strength of body, of mind, or of position, enables him to snatch for himself. Again, the Co-operative Store or Provident Society, has for its object to secure justice in distribution and exchange, not carrying on this important function as society now carries it on, by placing men between the producer and consumer, with the maxim "make the most that you can out of both; "buy cheap and sell dear," as their "Golden Rule:" but providing for its being rried on upon its true basis, as an agency, for the mutual benefit alike, of producer to whom it will seek to give a just price for what he produces, of the consumer to whom it will supply these articles at only so much

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increase of price as is due to the capital, labour, and skill, required in the transaction (a).

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For the third function, that of consumption, or the enjoyment of the things produced, no special provision is made by the arrangements now contemplated. They leave the institutions adapted to promote this object to grow up, as we are satisfied they will grow up, of themselves, so soon as by the practice of justice in production and distribution, wealth becomes more equally diffused among the population, and self-interest less dominant, than is at present the case.

We believe that it is the absence of any proposals relating to this function of consumption, which, more than anything else, has made many zealous social reformers, look with comparative indifference on the workshops and stores to which Co-operative efforts have appeared to be limited. Their imaginations have been so accustomed to revel amongst the promised delights or advantages of a higher social condition, the gardens, the libraries, the halls, the schools, the pleasant dwellings, the varied occupations of that hoped-for world, that they do not recognize in the sterner working world of Co-operation, in its workshops and stores, the seeds of the very institutions to which they look forward. And yet is it not evident that before we can obtain the enjoyments which wealth secures, we must possess the sources from which wealth springs? And what are these, but those workshops and stores, those means of production and distribution, with which Co-operation busies itself? Have not these been, during the last century, the source of that vast accumulation of wealth in the hands of the manufacturing and trading classes in England, which has raised them to their present importance, and placed half the land of England in their hands? Let the working classes, whose limbs and whose brains are indispensable to all the operations of industry or trade, set themselves in right earnest to form centres of production and distribution for themselves, on those principles by which alone they, as a class, can benefit—the principles of mutual justice; and they may, if they will, change the wealthproducing process, from being one by which a few are made very rich by the labour of many, into one by which the whole body, through their joint exertions, gradually enrich each other. With the possession of wealth will come the means of creating the outward sources of enjoyment of which so much has been said: still more, with the possession of wealth thus acquired will come the spirit through which these sources of enjoyment will be able to be enjoyed. At present, if the population of England could be suddenly placed amidst such institutions as social reformers have dreamt of, we believe that they would be unable to keep them in operation. For all these institutions assume the general existence among those who are living under them, of a regard for what is due to others, a spirit of courtesy, a readiness to help each other, a trustful, unselfish disposition, of all which we see, unfortunately, but scanty traces at present, and cannot hope to see more, until we see in the dealings between man and man the general exercise of that virtue of justice, sterner and less attractive, but the indispensable condition of all social good.

Now the institutions by which justice may be secured in the production and distribution of wealth, the working classes of England have the power to found with an assurance of success, if only they have the will! The

(a) The Committee do not wish to be considered as intending by these words to cast any particular reproach on tradesmen, whether wholesale or retail, who individually may, in their several spheres, be kind and honourable men. They refer only to the false position in which, from the want of good social arranegments for carrying on the important functions of trade, all traders are necessarily placed. The same remark applies to what has been said about production.'

steps in the process are few and easy to be followed. The first step is to take the supply of their own consumption, the distribution of the articles which they require for their own use, into their own hands, as they may do by means of Co-operative Stores. The second step is to combine these Stores by means of general centres of supply, one of which already exists in London in the Central Co-operative Agency, and thus make themselves important as wholesale buyers. The third step is to use their power of buying, thus organized, in setting up productive institutions, with their proper centres of supply, to make what they want to buy. The fourth step is to institute among these productive institutions a system of exchange of labour, founded upon principles of strict justice. These arrangements will, doubtless, require time for their development, but they are clearly not impracticable. When these have been effected, the institutions, by which the advantages and enjoyments promised by Social Reformers may be attained, will begin to spring up on all sides; the forms of a higher social order of things will make themselves visible resting upon the solid foundation of just dealing, and gradually built up by the spirit of mutual trust and genuine good-will-which the exercise of this humbler virtue will call forth, or foster.

Let no man then suffer himself to be discouraged when he is engaged in the task, often difficult and wearisome, of setting in motion a Co-operative Store, or a Co-operative Workshop, by the thought that what he is doing costs much exertion and seems to be of little use. Ploughing and harrowing is hard, unpromising work, but let a good seed bed be once prepared, and the good seed sown, in due time the golden harvest will reward the husbandman's toil.

'Sow the good seed of justice, in those great functions of human activity-the production and distribution of the fruits of labour; prepare the good seed bed of institutions in which this seed can be properly nourished: the eternal laws of God's providence will not fail to give you in due time the glorious harvest of a true human society.'-Report of Cooperative Conference, pp. 4-6.

The experiment of cooperative association is at least in vigorous and intelligent hands, and its spread will be rapid as soon as some few evident tokens of success appear. But so long as it is antagonistic, so long as it is animated mainly by the proud and rebellious spirit which envies all superiority, it is in a course that may end in mutual collision and self-crushing rivalry. The Church alone possesses the true principle which can give life to a general cooperative union, for she alone has anything to give to him who truly surrenders his own individual pride and selfishness. But from the spiritual nature of her chief functions, she naturally requires some appearance in the world itself of a germ which she may foster. It must be a germ that draws its life from her own principles, and the laws of its organization from her precepts, but it need not be the direct creation of her authority.

Man, on the whole, produces more than he wants, and the problem of distribution can therefore scarcely be impossible. When population increases, man tends strongly still to produce

much as he wants, and in the fullest and most advanced untries he produces more commodities in proportion to his

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