Answers to Correspondents

P. WRIGHT.—You are to be congratulated upon the alacrity with which you drop the religious issue. The point you try to uphold, however, is not a whit more defensible. It is not because production is carried on by a class that it is held to be social. Your “syllogism” is therefore beside the point.

“In dealing with production the word ‘social’does not’embrace every unit capable of taking part in that production.” You are evidently entangled in the coils of the absolute. All things are relative. The means of production in the middle ages were petty, individual, and practically self-sufficing. Today they are none of these things. Contrasted with the primitive tool the modern machine is a social instrument. The producer with his household is no longer self-sufficing. He depends on the simultaneous activity of millions. Even apart from the modern and essentially social factor of specialisation and the division of labour, the unit of production is now entirely dependent on the existence of huge and complex social organisations and forces, for production, regulation, communication, transport, and exchange. Both historically and economically considered, modern production has an obviously social character ; so much so that it cries aloud for social ownership, and the assertion that it has not this nature to-day is as little worth serious attention as is the statement that the earth is flat.

S. HADDEN.—The term “general” means all industries, and contraction can take place, for instance, by a larger amount of profit being converted iuto revenue.

Leave a Reply