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To the "North American Review," on May 3 and May 17, Mr. W. H. Mallock contri-

butes further instalments of his "Critical Examination of Socialism." In the first in-   stalment (as already explained in "The   Argus") he discussed the theory that   wealth is produced solely by labour, and showed that even socialists as thinkers were forced to admit the essential part played by the directive industrial ability of the few in augmentation and sustenta-   tion of the wealth of the modern world. As agitators socialists still preach the old fallacy of Karl Marx because admitting   the productive power of "ability" would

"knock the bottom" out of popular social-


Without individual capital, how, Mr. Mal-

lock proceeds to ask, is ability to enforce on the workers its minute and co-ordinated   injunctions? It is through his command of the capital, out of which wages are paid     or advanced, that the possessor of ability   controls production. If socialists are going to abolish "wagedom," how are the organis-     ing authorities to secure the obedience of the organised? The answer is obvious. It has been frankly stated by Mr. Sidney     Webb. The only substitute for the wage

system is a system of state coercion. This   is a return to slavery. The employing   class, "the natural monopolists of special   business ability," would be retained to exer-  

cise, as they do now, all their higher powers   in the direction of labour. They would themselves be the servants of the state, so   that the products of their ability would be taken by the state, not by themselves, and would thus be available for distribution       amongst the general mass of the community.      

The workers in their turn would have to   be the slaves of these slaves, driven by the   application of external force to carry out their orders.

Supposing the workers would submit to such rigid discipline, how is the state to   secure the services of the exceptional men?

"To secure from men the exertion of their   ordinary manual faculties by positive co- ercion, instead of by the inducement of

wages, is possible," says Mr. Mallock, "but  

it is possible for one reason only. In re- spect of the faculties embodied in ordinary labour, any one may by looking at another   can tell how far he is possessed of them— whether he can trundle a wheelbarrow,         carry a hod of bricks, hit a nail on the head, and so forth; and—what is still more     important—every director of labour knows   exactly the individual task which he wishes     each labourer to perform. But in respect   of the faculties—not ordinary, but excep- tional—which are distinctive of the men       by whom alone labour can be successfully directed, both these conditions are wanting.       It is impossible to tell that any man of ex-     ceptional ability possess any exceptional faculties for directing labour at all, unless     he chooses to show them; and, indeed, until circumstances supply him with some motive   for showing them he will probably be hardly aware that he possesses such facul-     ties himself." Burns might have been forced     to plough, or Shakespeare to hold horses at theatre doors; but no state compulsion   could have produced "Auld Lang Syne" or  

"Hamlet." Ability, and in particular in- dustrial ability, must be induced, for it can-     not he compelled, to disclose itself.

Socialists when confronted with this pro-  

blem suggest that industrial ability will   out, even if its rewards be withdrawn, just   as an artist may work from sheer love of   art, or a philosopher toil from pure devo-   tion to truth. Shakespeare and the greatest   of painters were largely influenced by their desire for the money which rewarded their   labours. Who, as Mr. Mallock asks, can suppose that the disinterested love of truth which made Kant and Hegel, for example, forget their dinners would stimu- late others to devote themselves to the         improvement of stoves and saucepans? Socialists themselves prove how ridiculous       such visionary notions are. They are for        

ever denouncing the greed of the men who   possess industrial ability. They admit that     the desire of personal gain is just as in-   separable from the temperament which goes     with the power of producing exceptional   wealth as "joy in creation" is from the     highest art. Yet in their scheme of an     imaginary socialistic future they are driven       to stake all their hopes on the possibility   of eliminating the motive of personal gain       from the very class of men of whose charac-   ter they vehemently declare that motive     to be, and to have been, an inseparable      


While the exceptional few are to undergo         this marvellous change through socialism,    

the many have the promise of increased per-   sonal gain, without any increased exertion,     held out to them as the bait for accepting socialism. They are to have not only the   share of wealth produced by themselves, but    

also a considerable slice of that produced       by the self-denying few. As it is, labour really receives in a highly civilised country   more than it, strictly speaking, produces. "Let us," says Mr. Mallock, "take produc-    

tion in England as it was at the close of the   eighteenth century, and compare it as it was     about 1880, thus dealing with a period co-     vered by the lifetime of one man. If the total income of the country at the earlier of these two dates had been equally divided amongst everybody each wage-earning         family would have prepared about £60 an-   nually. At the later date the amount which was actually distributed amongst the           wage-earners gave to each labouring family                 an average income of more than £80. Thus   in the year 1880 each labourer in England—     if we still speak in terms of averages—was           in the possession of considerably greater   wealth than could possibly have come to       him if during the lifetime of his father or     grandfather the entire wealth of the rich—               all their capital and their land included—         had been taken from their possessors, and     made over to the manual labourers in per- petuity. Now, the enormous increase in   wealth production is obviously not due to       any change in manual labour itself for this,       in point of mere muscular force and dex-   terity, has not been changed since the days of the Greeks and Romans. The only     change has been in the faculties that make     up directive ability. These facts show that,    

contrary to the supposition of the socialists,     the wealth of the man of ability is so far   from consisting, even partially, of amounts           really due to labour, because labour pro-     duced them, that a large and increasing     portion of what the labourer on an average       receives is derived from the products of the       ability of the able man; so that labour, as a whole, if we measure it by what it ac-     tually produces, has already been long re- ceiving not less than it produces, but more."