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210                NATIONAL GUILDS

anti-communal, capitalist system of industry"
(but under the present system any one who worked
without regard to the rest of the community would
very soon be in the hands of a Receiver); " secondly,
if it did arise in any Guild, this contempt for the rest
of the community would be met by the concerted
action of the other Guilds. The dependence of any
individual Guild upon the others would be necessarily
so great that a recalcitrant Guild would find itself at
once in a most difficult position, and a Guild that
pressed forward demands that were generally felt by
the rest of the community to" be impossible or
unreasonable would soon be brought back into line

Of course; but if so, where is the Guildsman's
alleged freedom ? Every Guild and every Guildsman
would have to adapt himself to the wants of the
community, just as all of us who work for our living
have to do now. He would be no more free than I
am, and I arn no more free than the person who is
sometimes described as a "wage slave/' The
Guildsman might be happier in the feeling that he
worked for a Guild rather than a capitalist employer,
but this is by no means certain. The writers just
quoted show with much frankness and good sense
that there would be plenty of opening for friction,
suspicion, discontent and strikes. " A Guild/' they
say, " that thought itself ill-used by its fellows would
be able to signify its displeasure by the threat of a
strike/' The officials of the Guild are to be chosen
by the " men best qualified to judge " of their ability,
whoever they may be, and every such choice would be