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both dying, side by side, and yet apart as heaven is from earth.
The hardships often extreme growing out of the industrial situation in the first quarter of the nineteenth century, the miseries untold to which the toilers were reduced, tended vastly more to their discontent than ever had any tyranny of any govern
It was the bourgeoisie, the middle class, that in 1789 quarreled with the king, led the Revolution, and profited by it. Fattened on the spoils of the church and the nobility, or prospered in undertakings, they had become the comfortable, the well-to-do class. In all lands men of this class were pushing the great enterprises and reaping the great harvests. Naturally they were satisfied with things as they found them, loyal to the existing order. Not so with the burden-bearers, the hewers of wood and drawers of water; or they in yet worse plight who found no wood to hew, no water to draw. And these were and always have been the great part of the human race. They had been patient, all-enduring in building the pyramids of Egypt, the temples and hanging gardens of Babylon; with scarce a murmur they had tramped to their death over the world with the worldconquerors; but now some of them had acquired a little knowledge, some had seen better days, and not a few in face of starvation openly revolted at their lot. Here and there, in desperation, they marched on the mills and destroyed the machines, which they took for mortal enemies, invaders of their domain, plun
derers of the poor, snatching the food from their mouths, the clothes from their backs. * But this was to contend with fate, to fight against the gods. Laying hold of the forces of Nature and applying them to the work of production, putting upon them the burden of toil which human hands before had borne, is the great step forward in the industrial world, the greatest ever taken, — the natural, inevitable step, and one which, under the proper social order, so far from inducing hardship to any one would have been fecund of blessing to all sorts and conditions of men round the whole earth, lightening every load, creating plenty, carrying into all households comfort, light, and joy. The very fact that multitudes were made miserable by the harnessing of steam and waterfalls to do the drudgery of life is itself proof positive that there was something radically wrong in the existing social order, something not to be glossed over, no minor defect calling for a little tinkering, but a structural viciousness, beyond remedy short of fundamental change.
To this view, after Napoleon's banishment had left Europe time to reflect, many thinkers came, and thenceforth with them the pressing problem was less a political than a distinctly social one. Some of them
* Shortsighted as this now appears to have been in the workers, in extenuation it is well to remember that even long after, many, including so distinguished a writer as John Ruskin, took the ground that the way out of labor troubles was to discontinue the use of machinery and return to hand-production.
saw and sympathized with the suffering and the ominous disquietude of the toilers, and with rare selfdevotion undertook measures for their relief; others, smitten themselves with a great unrest in view of the way the momentous social problem was left to drift, urged upon the State the duty, to take precedence of all other duties, of looking after the most vital interests of the great body of its people, and, by managing the great industries, prevent the abuse of them.
THE WORK OF SAINT-SIMON
The snows of only two winters had whitened the blood-drenched field of Waterloo when one of those geniuses came to the front who seem to rise now and then as if on purpose to make amends, materially or spiritually, for the losses inflicted on the world by another of their countrymen: * Claude Henri, Comte de Saint-Simon. Of aristocratic birth, as his title indicates, Saint-Simon early freed himself of the exclusive feeling characteristic of his class; and seeing the backward trend of France, — seeing too the wrongs done to the great mass of the toilers, who, driven to desperation by the situation in which they found themselves, must ultimately, if denied social justice, either break out in violent revolution or so degenerate physically and morally as to imperil the
* It will be remembered that Huxley said of Pasteur that his material service alone made good to France the indemnity of five milliards francs paid to Germany,
price of the folly, not to say the crime, of Napoleon III.
future of the whole race, - undertook with prophetic self-consecration to devise a social system which, resting on established scientific and ethical principles, should be free from the fatal drawbacks of the present order. He dissociated his system as far as possible from revolutionary politics, so far, indeed, that he even had hopes of its being accepted by Louis XVIII. and put immediately into operation. It will help toward an understanding of the social unrest we are considering to glance at this and some of the subsequent plans for meeting it.
To the mind of Saint-Simon the work of bettering human conditions, after all the stress and strain of a most perturbed generation, had made slight headway compared with what remained to be done. The Revolution had attempted something, but had soon lost its way and passed as a vision of the night. Napoleon had come and gone, leaving little more than tracks of fire and blood across the continent phantoms of death and hell passing with a deluded world under the name of glory. A social reconstruction was called for, which should put an end to the inimical competition of men with one another and the exploiting of the many for the aggrandizement of the few. Private fortunes should no
more be ground out of the toil of an army of operatives, but all enterprises, great and small, should be so managed that the proceeds would have equitable distribution among the contributors. The grave problem before Saint-Simon was to lay out a scheme to this end which
might reasonably be expected to work, and which, put in operation, should not disastrously quench the spirit of enterprise or benumb the power of initiative on which material progress so much depends. On this latter score, while admittedly some decline would result, it could be urged that a system of industry might be acceptable though it did tend to weaken the ambition of a few if at the same time it greatly strengthened the ambition of the many. It could be said that the overweening eagerness of the managers to get vastly rich is a blight on them and on the world, leading them often into such incessant and exhaustive outlay of vital force that they do not live out half their days, or live them in a sad neglect of what are really the best things in life. What is yet worse, this devouring ambition to gain a private advantage, while it develops enterprise, prompts that exploiting of the workers which takes all ambition out of them. The world therefore, thought Saint-Simon, can afford some curbing of the abnormal energy of the chiefs of industry if it can have an uplift and a quickening given to the spirit of its toilers. He held that the world would not lose the services of these chiefs if their private gains were very considerably restricted. He would keep them at their posts of management. They might work a little less furiously, but they would work sufficiently, for every man delights in the exercise of his capabilities. He proposed that the State assume oversight of all industries, and arrange affairs so that the products, or the value of them, should