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mined in advance in the form of a huge budget, the department will apportion to the different communities their labor of production, whether agricultural or mechanical. A department of distribution will undertake all the complicated wholesale and retail businesses of the system familiar to us. It will take the products from the department of production, arrange with the department of transportation for their delivery into certain central warehouses, and prepare to distribute to each citizen his pro rata proportion of the material. The department of labor will have the huge task of apportioning the masses of people to the necessary tasks for production, transportation, and distribution of goods. The workmen will theoretically be free to choose which field they wish to enter, but in case too many apply for one field and too few for another, the labor department will be justified in lowering the value of an hour's labor in the former in order to repel workmen and in increasing the value of an hour's labor in the latter in order to attract workmen. A large group of socialists advocate the abolition of money: payment for labor is to be in the form of labor checks, exchangeable for commodities at the public storehouse. Other departments, many of them, and bureaus as subdivisions of the departments, will be necessary to manage the complicated affairs and meet the manifold needs of a nation of a hundred millions of people: the rough qutline which has been given of three of these will, however, serve to indicate the radical change in economic conditions proposed by socialism.
Socially, the change which the socialist claims will result from the proposed system is equally radical. With the abolition of any form of income except that obtained from labor performed, and with the establishment of the ideal democracy, the social inequalities due to great wealth must inevitably disappear. The individual may save and thus accumulate for himself or his family some wealth, but with the opportunities removed for the investing of that wealth to obtain other wealth in the form of interest, rent, or dividend, his wealth
only temporarily can raise him or his family above the common necessity of labor. The economic equality thus introduced spells social equality and equal opportunity for all.
Difficulties in Carrying out the Socialistic Scheme.The above picture of the ideal socialist state is attractive; there are, however, greater difficulties in the way than the socialists seem willing to admit.
The destruction of private ownership in productive property is certain to remove one of the sharpest spurs to individual incentive. It can hardly be denied that the accumulation of sufficient capital to provide an income for old age, or to insure the care of one's family in the event of one's death, or to widen one's social opportunities, is at present an incentive to many men to put forth their utmost efforts in labor. If the possibility of such income be removed, if the earnest, self-sacrificing man be paid with the same laborcheck you give to the indifferent and lazy, it is too much to expect of human nature that the former's earnestness and zeal will continue. It seems to our modern ideas unfair that the inventor who saves the labor of thousands by some device, the chemist whose discoveries result in a new treatment of some deadly disease, the surgeon whose skill operates to save lives, should be paid on the same basis as the truck driver. Is the manager and director of the state's huge steel factory to receive approximately the same labor time-check as the night watchman at the same factory? Equality of income spells the death of initiative and energy.
Again, the socialist inveighs against the corruption and inefficiency of government under the present system: can he imagine that a government with infinitely more complex problems will be less corrupt? When the functions of a government are increased in number and widened in scope, the difficulties are immeasurably heightened. To put upon the government the determination of supply and demand for a nation of one hundred millions, the management of the entire wholesale and retail distribution of the products, the opera
tion of all means of transportation and communication, and to expect efficiency under such circumstances, is visionary.
It may be fairly argued, also, that the socialist régime would result in a general deterioration in the character of the individuals in the state. Lacking the personal incentive to labor, all men would tend to do their work indifferently and inefficiently. It is not enough to argue that a man in working for the democratic state is in reality working for himself: the results of his labor are too diffuse for him to appreciate its value to himself. He would be but one of a hundred millions producing for the welfare of the whole hundred millions. His consciousness of the benefits that would accrue to the whole hundred millions by his zealous labor as an individual would not, as human nature is at present constituted, inspire him.
On the whole, the socialist state incurs the suspicion of not being practical. Were men all altruistic, to be inspired by a high zeal for the common good of all fellow-men, the socialist state would be an ideal form of organization. With human nature as it seems still to be in this era, men need all the spurs of necessity and ambition to do their best work for themselves and for mankind.
III. "GENERAL WELFARE" THEORIES General Welfare Theory.--The "general welfare" theory with respect to the functions of government is that government should exercise such functions as tend to maintain and develop the general welfare of the people. In a sense, of course, both the individualistic and socialistic theories are also general welfare theories, for the adherents of each believe that the general welfare of the people in the state would be promoted by their respective systems. The term "general welfare," therefore, is used merely as a convenient distinguishing name.
In the individualistic system the functions of government are rigidly fixed at the irreducible minimum; in the socialistic
system these functions are extended to and maintained at the maximum; in the general welfare system the functions are assumed to shift according to conditions. In a state where the economic education of the people is on a relatively low plane, it may be advisable for the general welfare of the community for the government among its various functions to stimulate enterprise by entering the industrial field itself; in a neighboring state where conditions differ and the people are quick to discern and advance their own economic interests, the government may restrict its functions and allow an ever increasing amount of liberty to individuals to develop themselves to their best capacity. The flexibility of the general welfare theory as contrasted with the rigidity of the individualist and socialist theories is one of its most attractive features.
Difficulty of Determining Proper Functions under General Welfare System.—The obvious difficulty in this system lies in the determination of the functions which are conducive to the general welfare of the community. Wherever government extends its functions, there will always be bitter critics who point out the infringement upon the liberties of the individual; on the other hand, wherever government deliberately limits its functions, there will be equally bitter critics who lament the withdrawal of protection and encouragement from needy elements in the community. To illustrate these statements, it is only necessary to refer to the outcry in England at first when the factory and mining laws were enacted, and to the protest in the United States against the lowering of the high protective tariff. It may be taken for granted that under no circumstances will the scope of the government's functions be satisfactory to all persons and classes in the community. The government's primary duty under this system is to ascertain by all means possible the greatest good for the greatest number, and to take measures accordingly.
However difficult its application, the general welfare theory of the scope of governmental functions is in favor with states at the present time. The individualist theory is discredited, the socialist theory is distrusted: there remains only the effort of the government to exercise such functions as may increase the general welfare of its people.
IV. THE NECESSARY FUNCTIONS OF GOVERNMENT Classes of Functions.-In general, the functions exercised by modern democratic governments may be differentiated into two classes, necessary (or essential) and optional (or unessential). Naturally, with respect to the necessary functions a substantial agreement in the practice of states is to be found which may not be found with respect to the unnecessary or optional functions. The unnecessary or optional functions, however, indicate more strikingly the general character of the governments examined.
Necessary Functions.—The necessary functions of a government are those functions which it must exercise in order to insure internal peace and order and protection from external attack. They are the functions which all governments, from the primitive and rudimentary to the civilized and complex, find it essential to exercise in order to fulfill the primary purpose of the government's existence. These necessary functions may be classified as military, financial, and civil.
Military The military function of the government was the original, and is still the chief, function of the government. The very existence of the state depends upon the readiness of the government to maintain domestic peace and order, and to defend the state even at the cost of war when the nation's safety or vital interests are at stake.
Theoretically, for the enforcement of its military function a government may impress all able-bodied men in the state. Such impressment may practically be undertaken in critical war times. In ordinary times, however, a government main