A History of Factory Legislation. B. L. Hutchins , A. Harrison

A. P. Winston
1903 Journal of Political Economy  
analysis of the social relations, have drawn the sphere of duties too narrow. Sociology shows there is in society a transmitted fund of knowledge and organization which individuals are able to take advantage of only in very unequal degrees. He argues that those who are in a position to utilize this social capital owe somethinig to those debarred by circumnstance from exploiting this capital. Furthermore, there are risks attending social progress as well as gains, and these risks should be
more » ... sks should be compenisated out of these gains and not borne by innocent individuals. Let us, says M. Bourgeois, mutualize that portion of our prosperity which is of social origin. Let us reduce those inequa'lities of condition which arise, not fromi the natural inequalities of men, but fromi the unequal distribution of the risks and advantages of social progress. M. Bourgeois is neither communist nor collectivist. He believes in individual liberty and private property, but he would subject themn to heavier ethical obligations than the old moral individualism has imposed. Only by acquitting his debt to society can one moralize his possessions. Only by recognizing the facts of solidarity and discharging the resulting obligations does one achieve a sphere of righteous liberty. Frorn his principle of mutualizing social capital and social risk our author deduces the justice of gratuitous state education, restriction of child labor, limitation of the hours of labor, workingmen's insurance, old-age pensions, progressive taxation, the social appropriation of surplus value, and the suppression of special privileges and monopolies. 'I'he favor these measures have won outside of the working class is largely due no doubt to the very considerations the French statesman has set forth so eloquently. When it is remnenmbered that this statesman has helped to shape the new civic and moral teaching France imparts to her children, one will beware of belittling these "ideologies."
doi:10.1086/250999 fatcat:vx56ldmda5cpho22u62kmbetme