SLAVERY GENERATES POVERTY
Poverty is the symptom; slavery, the disease. Many are not enslaved because they are poor; they are poor because they are enslaved. Yet, socialists have all often fixed their eyes upon the material misery of the poor without realizing that it rests upon the spiritual degradation of the slave.
I do not think any responsible person can doubt that the evils of power in the present systems are vastly greater than is necessary, nor that they might be immeasurably diminished by suitable form of socialism. A few fortunate people, it is true, are now able to live freely and they could hardly have more liberty under any other system. But the great bulks, not only of the very poor, but of all sections of wage earners and even of the professional classes, are the slaves of needs. Almost all are compelled to work so hard that they have little leisure for enjoyment or for pursuits outside their regular occupation. Those who are able to retire in later middle age are bored because they have not learnt how to fill their times when they are at liberty, and such interests as they once had apart from work have dried up. Yet, these are the exceptionally fortunate; the majority have to work hard till old age, with the fear of destitution always before them, the richer one dreading that they will be unable to give their children the education or the medical care that they consider desirable. The conditions of the poor are more pathetic. They work hard to get escaped from the starvation. And almost all who have no voice in the direction of their work, throughout the hours of labour they are mere machines carrying out the will of a master. Work is usually done under disagreeable conditions involving pain and physical hardship. The only motive to work is wages: the very idea that work must be a joy is usually considered as utterly Utopian.