208 NATIONAL GUILDS sentiment which rightly makes society responsible for the subsistence of all those born under its wing; but it is not part of the scheme of the universe. Such are a few of the weaknesses involved by the theoretical basis on which Guild Socialism is built. When we come to its practical application we find the creed still more unsatisfactory. Even if we grant—an enormous and quite unjustified assump- tion—that the Guildsman, if he is to be paid merely for being alive, will work hard enough to pay the community for paying him, we have then to ask how and whether he will achieve greater freedom under the Guilds than he has now. Now, freedom is only to be got by work of a kind that somebody wants, and wants enough to pay for it. And so the con- sumer ultimately decides what work shall be done. The Guildsman says that the producer ought to decide what he shall produce and what is to be done with it when he has produced it. " Under Guild Socialism/' says Mr Cole,* " as under Syndicalism, the State stands apart from production, and the worker is placed in control/' Very well, but what one wants to know is what will happen if the Guilds choose to produce things that nobody wants. Will they and their members be paid all the same ? Presumably, since they are to be paid " as human beings " and not because there is a demand for their work. But if so, what will happen to the Guildsman as consumer ? There will be no freedom about his choice of things that he would like to enjoy. And * " The Meaning of Industrial Freedom," page 39.