The Present Economic -Structure—Its Weaknesses and Injustices
—-Were things ever better ?—The Aim of State Socialism—
A Rival Theory—The New Movement of Guild Socialism—
Its Doctrines and Assumptions—Payment " as Human
Beings "—The " Degradation " of earning Wages—Produc-
tion irrespective of Demand—Is that the Real Meaning of
Freedom ?—The Old Evils under a New Name—A Con-
ceivably Practical Scheme for some other World.
MOST people will admit that there are many glaring
faults in the present economic structure of society.
Wealth has been increased at an exhilarating pace
during the last century, and yet the war has shown
us that we had not nearly realised how great is the
productive power of a nation when it is in earnest,
and that the pace at which wealth has been multiplied
may, if we make the right use of our plant and
experience, be very greatly quickened in the next.
The great increase in wealth that has taken place has
been certainly accompanied by some improvement
in its distribution; but it must be admitted that in
this respect we are very far from satisfactory results,
and that a system which-produces bloated luxtfty
plus extreme boredom at one end of the scale and
destitution and despair at the other, can hardly be
called the last weed, or even the first, in civilisation.