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Full text of "War-time financial problems"

MODIFIED  FREEDOM             209

what about admission to membership of a Guild, the
price at which the Guilds will exchange products one
with another, and the provision of capital? The
nearest approach to an answer to these questions
is given by Messrs Bechhofer and Reckitt in
Chapter VIII. of the " Meaning of National Guilds."
This chapter describes " National Guilds in Being."
It tells us that " each man will be free to choose his
Guild/' which sounds .very pleasant, but is com-
pletely spoilt by the end of the sentence, which says
" and actual entrance will depend on the demand for
labour/' It sounds just like a capitalistic factory.
And thenó" Labour in dirty industries, sewaging,
etc.ówill probably be in the main of a temporary
character, and will be undertaken by those who are
for the time unable to obtain an entry elsewhere/'
Most sensible, but where is the freedom ? The
Guildsman will not be able to do the work that he
wants to do unless there is a demand for that kind of
labour, and in the meantime, just like the unem-
ployed in the days of darkness, he will be set to
cleaning the streets and flushing the drains. Messrs
Bechhofer and Reckitt are, in fact, so sensible and
practical that they abandon altogether the freedom
of the producer to produce what he likes. " Indeed/'
they write, " a query often brought to confound
National Guildsmen is this : What would happen to a
National Guild that began to work wholly according
to its own pleasure without regard to the other Guilds
and the rest of the community ? We may reply,
first, that this spirit would be as unnatural among the
Guilds as it is natural nowadays with the present