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This prospect may appear too remote, and even visionary, to be an actuating motive with any considerable number of Unionists; but it is certainly not beyond the aspirations of the intelligent leaders of Unionism, and what is more, some great steps have already been made in the direction of its realisation. A generation ago all Unions were local, and in those days strikes were much more frequent, much oftener unreasonable, and much oftener attended with criminal excesses, than is the case at present. Since then, a number of the most important trades have been formed into Amalgamated Societies extending to the whole country, and a central council decides with a view to the interests of the entire trade, what conditions shall be imposed on employers, and in what cases strikes shall take place. And it is admitted that the rules of these Amalgamated Societies are much less objectionable than those of the local unions previously were, and that the central body prevents many more strikes than it sanctions. The immediate motive to the amalgamations was, of course, the experience that attempts in one town to obtain a rise of wages, only caused the transfer of the business to another. Concert having been at length substituted for competition between different towns, the Unions now aim at effecting the same substitution between different countries: and within the last few years there is a commencement of International Congresses of working people, to prevent the efforts made in one country from being frustrated for want of a common understanding with other countries. And there can be little doubt that these attempts to lay the foundation of an alliance among the artisans of competing countries, have already produced some effect, and will acquire increasing importance.

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Yes, and I certainly see great reason in that. The advantages which the possession of large capital gives, which are very great, and which are growing greater and greater inasmuch as it is the tendency of business more and more to be conducted on a large scale; these advantages are at present, not from any intention of the Legislature, but arising from things into which intention does not enter at all, to a great degree a monopoly in the hands of the rich, and it is natural that the poor should desire to obtain those same advantages by association, the only way in which they can do so. Perhaps I may add this also: I think there is no way in which the working classes can make so beneficial a use of their savings both to themselves and to society, as by the formation of associations to carry on the business with which they are acquainted, and in which they are themselves engaged as workpeople, provided always that experience should show that these associations can keep together. If the experiment should succeed, I think there is much more advantage to be gained to the working classes by this than by any other mode of investing their savings. I do not speak of political or social considerations, but in a purely economical sense. When it has happened to any one, as it must have happened to most people, to have inquired or to have known in particular cases what portion of the price paid at a shop for an article really goes to the person who made it, and forms his remuneration, I think any one who has had occasion to make inquiries into that fact, must often have been astonished to find how small it is, and how much less a proportion the remuneration of the real labourer bears to the whole price than would be supposed beforehand; and it is of great importance to consider what is the cause of this. Now one thing is very important to remember in itself, and it is important that the working classes should be aware of it; and that is, that this does not arise from the extravagant remuneration of capital. Capital, when the security is good, can be borrowed in any quantity at little more than three per cent., and I imagine there is no co-operative association of working-people who would find it their interest to allow less than that remuneration, as an inducement to any of their members who, instead of consuming their share of the proceeds, might choose to save it, and add it to the capital of the association. Therefore it is not from the remuneration of capital that the evil proceeds. I think it proceeds from two causes: one of them (which does not fall strictly within the limits of the inquiry which the Committee is carrying on) is the very great, I may say, extravagant portion of the whole produce of the community that now goes to mere distributors; the immense amount that is taken up by the different classes of dealers, and especially by retailers. Competition no doubt has some tendency to reduce this rate of remuneration; still I am afraid that in most cases, looking at it on the whole, the effect of competition is, as in the case of the fees of professional people, rather to divide the amount among a larger number, and so diminish the share of each, than to lower the scale of what is obtained by the class generally. Another cause, more immediately connected with the present inquiry, is the difference between interest which is low, and profits which are high. Writers have very often set down all which is not interest, all that portion of profit which is in excess of interest, as the wages of superintendence, as Adam Smith terms it, and, in one point of view, it is properly called so. But then it should be added, that the wages of the labour of superintendence are not regulated like other wages by demand and supply, but are in reality the subject of a sort of monopoly; because the management of capital is a thing which no person can command except the person who has capital of his own, and therefore he is able, if he has a large capital, to obtain, in addition to interest, often a very large profit, for one-tenth part of which he could, and very often does, engage the services of some competent person to transact the whole of the labour of management, which would otherwise devolve upon himself. I do not say that this is unjust in the present state of society, for it is a necessary consequence of the law of property, and must exist while that law exists in its present form; but it is very natural that the working classes should wish to try whether they could not contrive to get this portion of the produce of their labour for themselves, so that the whole of the proceeds of an enterprize in which they were engaged might be theirs, after deducting the real remuneration of the capital they may require from others, which we know does not in general, when the security is good, much exceed three per cent. This seems to be an extremely legitimate purpose on the part of the working classes, and one that it would be desirable to carry out, if it could be effected; so that the enterprizes in which they would be engaged would not be conducted, as they are now, by a capitalist, hiring labourers as he wants them, but by the labourers themselves, mental as well as manual, hiring the capital they require at the market rate.

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454.6-7 life. . . . Marriage, with . . . it,] life. [ 453.8 453.27 ] It is a specific duty of the Ruler to promote moral unions, and, with a view to them, to sanction permanent relations in various ways. Of these, that with which all civilization begins, is Marriage. To be without this, is to be lower than the lowest savages now known: yet, marvellous to say, this (with . . . it) (292) [ 456.n3-5 ]

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