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Full text of "War-time financial problems"

ATTRACTIONS  AND MISGIVINGS    201

profit, the work of the world might be done much
better, because all the waste of competition and
advertisement would be cut out, machinery would
be given its full chance because it would be making
work easier instead of causing unemployment, and a
greater output, more evenly distributed, would
enable the nation to breed a race, each generation of
which would come nearer to perfection. So splendid
if true ; but one always felt misgivings as to whether
the general standard of work might not deteriorate
instead of improve if the stimulus of individual gain
were withdrawn; and that the net result might
probably be a diminished output consumed by a
discontented people, less happy under a possibly
stupid and short-sighted bureaucracy, than it is now
when the chances of life at least give it the glorious
uncertainty of cricket. Since the war our experi-
ences of official control, even when working on a
nation trained in individual initiative, have increased
those misgivings manifold; and hundreds of people
who were Socialistically inclined in 1914 will now
say that any system which handed over the regula-
tion of production and distribution to the State
could end only in disaster, unless we could first build
up a new machinery of State and a new people for it
to work on.

Partly, perhaps, owing to this discredit into which
the doctrines of State Socialism have lately fallen,
increasing attention has been given to a body of
theory that was already active before the war and
advocates a system of what it calls Guild Socialism,
under which industry is to be worked by National