NATIONAL GUILDS But to the Guild Socialists the identity of robbery with, capitalism seems to be so self-evident that it needs no proof. Next, as to the wage system. They seem to think that to earn a wage is slavery and degradation, but to receive pay is freedom. i With the best will in the world I have tried to see where this immense difference between the use of two words, which seem to me to mean much the same thing, comes in in their view, but I have not succeeded. Perhaps you will be able to if I give you Mr Cole's own words. On page 154 of the book cited, he says that the wage system is " the root of the whole tyranny of capitalism," and then continues : " There are four distinguishing marks of the wage system upon which National Guildsmen are accus- tomed to fix their attention. Let me set them out clearly in the simplest terms. " r. The wage system abstracts ' labour' from the labourer, so that the one can be bought and sold apart from the other. "2. Consequently, wages are paid to the wage worker only when it is profitable to the capitalist to employ his labdur. "3. The wage worker, in return for his wage, surrenders all control over the organisation of production. " 4. The wage worker, in return for his wage, surrenders all claim upon the product of his labour. " If the wage system is to be abolished, all these four marks of degraded status must be removed.