What Shall We Do? : Chapter 39
(1828 - 1910) ~ Father of Christian Anarchism : In 1861, during the second of his European tours, Tolstoy met with Proudhon, with whom he exchanged ideas. Inspired by the encounter, Tolstoy returned to Yasnaya Polyana to found thirteen schools that were the first attempt to implement a practical model of libertarian education. (From : Anarchy Archives.)
• "...the dissemination of the truth in a society based on coercion was always hindered in one and the same manner, namely, those in power, feeling that the recognition of this truth would undermine their position, consciously or sometimes unconsciously perverted it by explanations and additions quite foreign to it, and also opposed it by open violence." (From : "A Letter to a Hindu: The Subjection of India- Its....)
• "People who take part in Government, or work under its direction, may deceive themselves or their sympathizers by making a show of struggling; but those against whom they struggle (the Government) know quite well, by the strength of the resistance experienced, that these people are not really pulling, but are only pretending to." (From : "A Letter to Russian Liberals," by Leo Tolstoy, Au....)
• "The Government and all those of the upper classes near the Government who live by other people's work, need some means of dominating the workers, and find this means in the control of the army. Defense against foreign enemies is only an excuse. The German Government frightens its subjects about the Russians and the French; the French Government, frightens its people about the Germans; the Russian Government frightens its people about the French and the Germans; and that is the way with all Governments. But neither Germans nor Russians nor Frenchmen desire to fight their neighbors or other people; but, living in peace, they dread war more than anything else in the world." (From : "Letter to a Non-Commissioned Officer," by Leo Tol....)
I have now finished, having said all that concerns myself; but I cannot restrain my desire to say that which concerns every one, and to verify my own deductions by several considerations.
I wish to explain why I think that a great many of my own class must arrive where I myself am, and I must also speak of what will result if even a few men arrive there; in the first place, if men of our circle, our caste, will only seriously think the matter out themselves, the younger generation, who seek their own personal happiness, will become afraid of the ever-increasing misery of lives which obviously lead them to ruin; scrupulous persons among us (if they would examine themselves more closely) will be terrified at the cruelty and unlawfulness of their own lives, and timid persons will be frightened at the danger of their mode of life.
The misery of our lives! However we, rich men, may try to mend and to support, with the assistance of science and art, this our false life, it must become weaker every day, unhealthier, and more and more painful: with each year, suicide, and the sin against the unborn babe, increase; with each year the new generations of our class grow weaker, with each year we feel more and more the increasing misery of our lives.
It is obvious that on this road, with all its increase of the comforts and delights of life, of cures, artificial teeth and hair, and so on, there can be no salvation.
This truth has become such a truism, that in newspapers advertisements are printed about stomach powder for rich people, under the title “Blessings of the poor,” where they say that only poor people have a good digestion, and the rich need help, and among other things this powder. You cannot ameliorate this matter by any kind of amusements, comforts, powders, but only by turning over a new leaf.
The contradiction of our life with our conscience. However we may try to justify to ourselves our treason against mankind, all our justification falls to pieces before evidence: around us, people are dying from overwork and want; and we destroy the food, clothes, and labor of men merely to amuse ourselves. Therefore the conscience of a man of our circle, though he may have but a small remainder of it in his breast, cannot be stifled, and poisons all these comforts and charms of life which our suffering and perishing brethren procure for us. Not only does every conscientious man feel this himself, but he must feel it more acutely at present, because the best part of art and science, that part which still retains a sense of its high calling, constantly reminds him of his cruelty, and of the unlawfulness of his position.
The old secure justifications are all destroyed; and the new ephemeral justifications of the progress of science for science's sake, and art for art's sake, will not bear the light of plain common sense.
The conscience of men cannot be calmed by new devices: it can be calmed only by turning over a new leaf, when there will be no longer any need for justification.
The danger to our lives! However much we may try to hide from ourselves the plain and obvious danger of exhausting the patience of those whom we oppress; however much we may try to counteract this danger by all sorts of deceit, violence and flattery,—it grows day by day, hour by hour,—it has long been threatening us, but now it is so ready that we are scarcely able to hold our course,—as in a vessel tossed by a roaring and overflowing sea,—a sea which will presently swallow us up in wrath.
The workman's revolution, with its terrors of destruction and murder, not only threatens us, but we have already lived above it for the last thirty years, and it is only by various cunning devices that we have postponed the explosion.
Such is the state in Europe: such is the state in Russia, and still worse there, because we have no safety-valves. The classes who oppress the people, with the exception of the Czar, have no longer any justification in the eyes of our people; they all keep up their position merely by violence, cunning, and expediency, i.e., skill; but the hatred towards us of the worst representatives of the people, and the contempt of us from the best, increases every hour.
Among the Russian people a new word full of significance has been circulating during the last three or four years: by this word, which I never heard before, people are swearing in the streets, and by it they give us a definition—“parasites.”
The hatred and contempt of the oppressed people are increasing, and the physical and moral strength of the richer classes are decreasing: the deceit which supports all is wearing out, and the rich classes have nothing wherewith to comfort themselves in this mortal danger. To return to the old order of things is impossible, to restore the old prestige is impossible. It only remains for those who are not willing to change the course of their lives, and to turn over a new leaf,—to hope that, during their lives, they may fare well enough, after which the people may do as they like. So think the blind crowd of the rich; but the danger ever increases, and the awful catastrophe comes nearer and nearer.
There are three reasons which should prove to rich people the necessity of turning over a new leaf: First, desire for their own personal welfare and that of their families, which is not secured by the way in which rich people are living; secondly, the inability to satisfy the voice of conscience, which is obviously impossible in the present condition of things; and thirdly, the threatening and constantly increasing danger to life, which cannot be met by any outward means. All these together ought to induce rich people to change their mode of life. This change alone would satisfy the desire of welfare and conscience, and would remove the danger. There is but one means of making such change,—to leave off deceiving ourselves, to repent, and to acknowledge labor to be, not a curse, but the joyful business of life.
To this it is replied, “What will come out of the fact of my physical labor during ten, eight, or five hours, while thousands of peasants would gladly do it for the money which I have?”
The first good result would be, that you will become livelier, healthier, sounder, kinder; and you will learn that real life from which you have hidden yourself, or which was hidden from you.
The second good result will be, that, if you have a conscience, it will not only cease to suffer as it now suffers when looking at the labor of men,—the importance of which we always, from our ignorance, either increase or diminish,—but you will constantly experience a joyful acknowledgment that with each day you are satisfying more and more the demands of your conscience, and are leaving behind you that awful state in which so much evil is accumulated in our lives that we feel that we cannot possibly do any good in the world; you will experience the joy of free life, with the possibility of doing good to others; you will open for yourself a way into regions of the world of morality which have hitherto been shut to you.
The third good result will be this, that, instead of constant fear of revenge upon your evil deeds, you will feel that you are saving others from this revenge, and are principally saving the oppressed from the cruel feeling of rancor and resentment.
But it is generally said, that it would be ridiculous if we, men of our stamp, with deep philosophical, scientific, political, artistic, ecclesiastical, social questions before us, we, state ministers, senators, academists, professors, artists, singers, we, whose quarter-hours are valued so highly by men, should spend our time in doing—what? Cleaning our boots, washing our shirts, digging, planting potatoes, or feeding our chickens and cows, and so on,—in business which not only our house-porter, or our cook, but thousands of men besides who value our time, would be very glad to do for us.
But why do we dress, wash, and comb our hair ourselves? Why do we walk, hand chairs to ladies, to our guests, open and shut the door, help people into carriages, and perform hundreds of actions which were formerly performed for us by our slaves?
Because we consider that such may be done by ourselves; that they are compatible with human dignity; that is, human duty. The same holds good with physical labor. Man's dignity, his sacred duty, is to use his hands, his feet, for the purpose for which they were given him, to spend the swallowed food in work, which produces the food, and not to be wasted by disuse, not merely that he may wash and clean them and use them only for the purpose of stuffing food and cigarettes into his mouth.
Such is the meaning of physical labor for every man in every society. But in our class, with the divergence from this law of nature came the misery of a whole circle of men; and for us, physical labor receives another meaning,—the meaning of a preaching and a propaganda which divert the terrible evil which threatens mankind.
To say that for an educated man, physical labor is a trifling occupation, is the same as to say, in the building of a temple, “What importance can there be in putting each stone exactly in its place?” Every great act is done under the conditions of quietness, modesty, and simplicity. One can neither plow, nor feed cattle, nor think, during a great illumination, or amid thundering of guns, nor while in uniform.
Illumination, the roar of cannon, music, uniforms, cleanliness, brilliancy, which we usually connect with the idea of the importance of any act, are, on the contrary, tokens of the absence of importance in that act. Great, true deeds are always simple and modest. Such is also the greatest deed which is left to us to do,—the solution of those awful contradictions in which we are living. The acts which solve these contradictions are modest, imperceptible, seemingly ridiculous acts, such as helping ourselves by physical labor, and, if possible, helping others too: this is what we rich people have to do, if we understand the misery, wrong, and danger of the position in which we live.
What will result from the circumstance that I, and another, and a third, and a tenth man, do not despise physical labor, but consider it necessary for our happiness, for the calming of our consciences, and for our safety? This will result from it,—that one, two, three, ten men, coming into conflict with no one, without violence either of government or of revolution, will solve for themselves the problem which is before all the world, and which has appeared unsolvable; and they will solve it in such a way that life will become for them a good thing: their consciences will be calm, and the evil which oppresses them will cease to be dreadful to them.
Another effect will be this: other men, too, will see that the welfare, which they have been looking for everywhere, is quite near them, that seemingly unsolvable contradictions between conscience and the order of the world are solved in the easiest and pleasantest way, and that, instead of being afraid of the men surrounding them, they must have intercourse with them, and love them.
The seemingly unsolvable economical and social questions are like the problem of Krilof's casket. The casket opened of itself, without any difficulty: but it will not open until men do the simplest and most natural thing; that is, open it. The seemingly unsolvable question is the old question of the utilizing some men's labor by others: this question, in our time, has found its expression in property.
Formerly, other men's labor was used simply by violence, by slavery: in our time it is being done by the means of property. In our time, property is the root of all evil and of the sufferings of men who possess it, or are without it, and of all the remorse of conscience of those who misuse it, and of the danger from the collision between those who have it, and those who have it not.
Property is the root of all evil, and, at the same time, property is that towards which all the activity of our modern society is directed, and that which directs the activity of the world. States and governments intrigue, make wars, for the sake of property, for the possession of the banks of the Rhine, of land in Africa, China, the Balkan Peninsula. Bankers, merchants, manufacturers, land-owners, laborers, use cunning, torment themselves, torment others, for the sake of property; government functionaries, artisans, struggle, deceive, oppress, suffer, for the sake of property; courts of justice and police protect property; penal servitude, prisons, all the terrors of so-called punishments,—all is done for the sake of property.
Property is the root of all evil; and now all the world is busy with the distribution and protecting of wealth.
What, then, is property? Men are accustomed to think that property is something really belonging to man, and for this reason they have called it property. We speak indiscriminately of our own house and our own land. But this is obviously an error and a superstition. We know, and if we do not, it is easy to perceive, that property is only the means of utilizing other men's labor. And another's labor can by no means belong to me. It has nothing in common with the conception of property,—a conception very exact and precise.
Man has been, and will always call his own that which is subject to his own will and joined with his own consciousness. As soon as a man calls his own something which is not his body, but which he should like to be subject to his will as his body is, then he makes a mistake, and gets disappointment, and suffering, and compels other people to suffer as well. Man calls his wife his own, his children, his slaves, his belongings, his own too; but the reality always shows him his error: and he must either get rid of this superstition, or suffer, and make others suffer.
Now we, having nominally renounced the possessing of slaves, owing to money (and to its exactment by the government), claim our right also to money; that is, to the labor of other men.
But as to our claiming our wives as our property, or our sons, our slaves, our horses,—this is pure fiction contradicted by reality, and which only makes those suffer who believe in it; because a wife or a son will never be so subject to my will as my body is; therefore my own body will always remain the only thing I can call my true property; so also money, property,—will never be real property, but only a self-deception and a source of suffering, and it is only my own body which will be my property, that which always obeys me, and is connected with my consciousness.
It is only to us, who are so accustomed to call other things than our body our own, that such a wild superstition can appear to be useful for us, and without evil results; but we have only to reflect upon the nature of the matter to see how this, like every other superstition, brings with it only dreadful consequences.
Let us take the most simple example. I consider myself my own, and another man like myself I consider my own too. I must understand how to cook my dinner: if I were free from the superstition of considering another man as my property, I should have been taught this art as well as every other necessary to my real property (that is, my body); but now I have it taught to my imaginary property, and the result is that my cook does not obey me, does not wish to humor me, and even runs away from me, or dies, and I remain with an unsatisfied want, and have lost the habit of learning, and recognize that I have spent as much time in worry about this cook as I should have spent in learning the art of cooking for myself.
The same is the case with property in buildings, clothes, wares; with property in the land; with property in money. Every imaginary property calls forth in me a non-corresponding want which cannot always be gratified, and deprives me of the possibility of acquiring for my true and sure property—my own body—that information, that skill, those habits, improvements, which I might have acquired.
The result is always that I have spent (without gain to myself,—to my true property) strength, sometimes my whole life, on that which never has been, and never could be, my property.
I provide myself with an imaginary “private” library, a “private” picture gallery, “private” apartments, clothes; acquire my “own” money in order to purchase with it every thing I want, and the matter stands thus,—that I, being busy about this imaginary property, which is not, and cannot be my property, however I may call it, and which is no object for activity, leave quite out of sight that which is my true property, upon which I may really labor, and which really may serve me, and which always remains in my power.
Words have always a definite meaning until we purposely give them a false signification.
What does property mean?
Property means that which is given to me alone, which belongs to me alone, exclusively; that with which I may always do everything I like, which nobody can take away from me, which remains mine to the end of my life, and which I ought to use in order to increase and to improve it. For every man such property is only himself.
It is in this very sense that imaginary property is understood, that very property for sake of which (making it impossible for this imaginary property to become a real one) all the sufferings of this world exist,—wars, executions, judgments, prisons, luxury, depravity, murders, and the ruin of mankind.
What, then, will result from the circumstance that ten men plow, hew wood, make boots, not from necessity, but in acknowledgment that man needs work, and that the more he works, the better it will be for him?
This will come out of it: that ten men, or even one single man, by thought and in deed, will show men that this fearful evil from which they are suffering, is not the law of their destiny, nor the will of God, nor any historical necessity, but is a superstition not at all strong or overpowering, but weak and null, which one need only leave off believing in, as in idols, in order to get rid of, and to destroy it even as a frail cobweb is swept away.
Men who begin to work in order to fulfill the pleasant law of their lives, who work for the fulfillment of the law of labor, will free themselves from this superstition of property which is so full of misery, and then all these worldly establishments which exist in order to protect this imaginary property outside of one's own body, will become not only unnecessary for them, but burdensome; and it will become clear to all that these institutions are not necessary, but pernicious, imaginary, and false conditions of life.
For a man who considers labor not a curse, but a joy, property outside his own body—that is, the right or possibility of utilizing other men's labor—will be not only useless, but an impediment. If I am fond of cooking my dinner, and accustomed to do it, then the fact that another man will do it for me, will deprive me of my usual business, and will not satisfy me so well as I have satisfied myself; and further, the acquirement of imaginary property will not be necessary for such a man: a man who considers labor to be his very life, fills up all his life with it, and therefore requires less and less the labor of others,—in other words, as property to fill up his unoccupied time, and to embellish his life.
If the life of a man is occupied by labor, he does not require many rooms, much furniture, various fine clothes: he does not require so much expensive food, or locomotion, or amusements. Especially a man who considers labor to be the business and the joy of his life, will not seek to ease his own labor by utilizing that of others.
A man who considers life to consist in labor, will aim, in proportion as he acquires more skill, craft, and endurance, at having more and more work to do, to occupy all his time. For such a man, who sees the object of his life in labor, and not in the results of his labor in acquirement of property, there cannot be even a question about the instruments of labor. Though such a man will always choose the most productive instrument of labor, he will have the same satisfaction in working with the most unproductive.
If he has a steam-plow, he will plow with it; if he has not such, he will plow with a horse-plow; if he has not this, he will plow with the plain Russian sokhá; if he has not even this, he will use a spade: and under any circumstances, he will attain his aim; that is, will pass his life in labor useful to man, and therefore will have fullest satisfaction. The position of such a man, in exterior and interior circumstances, will be happier than the condition of a man who gives his life away to acquire property.
According to exterior circumstances, he will never want, because men, seeing that he does not shirk work, will always try to make his labor most productive to them, as they arrange a mill by running water; and that his labor may be more productive, they will provide for his material existence, which they will never do for men who aim at acquiring property. The providing for material wants, is all that a man requires.
According to interior conditions, such a man will be always happier than he who seeks for property, because the latter will never get what he is aiming at, and the former in proportion to his strength (even the weak, old, dying, according to the proverb, with a Kored in his hands), will always receive full satisfaction, and the love and sympathy of men.
One of the consequences of this will be, that certain odd, half-insane persons will plow, make boots, and so on, instead of smoking, playing cards, and riding about, carrying their dullness with them, from one place to another, during the ten hours which every brain worker has at his command.
Another result will be, that these silly people will demonstrate in deed, that that imaginary property for the sake of which men suffer, and torment themselves and others, is not necessary for happiness, and even impedes it, and is but a superstition; and that true property is only one's own head, hands, feet; and that, in order to utilize this true property usefully and joyfully, it is necessary to get rid of that false idea of property outside one's own body, on which we waste the best powers of our life.
Another result will be, that these men will demonstrate, that, when a man leaves off believing in imaginary property, then only will he make real use of his true property,—his own body, which will yield him fruit an hundred-fold, together with happiness such as we have no idea as yet; and he will be a useful, strong, kind man, who will everywhere stand on his own feet, will be always a brother to everybody, will be intelligible to all, desired by all, and dear to all.
Then men, looking at one,—at ten such “silly” men will understand what they have all to do to unfasten that dreadful knot in which they have all been tied by the superstition respecting property, and to get rid of the miserable condition under which they are now groaning, and from which they do not know how to free themselves.
There is no reasoning which can so plainly demonstrate the unrighteousness of those who employ it as does this. The boatmen are dragging vessels against the stream. Is it possible that there could be found a stupid boatman who would refuse to do his part in dragging, because he alone cannot drag the boat up against the stream? He who, besides his rights of animal life,—to eat and to sleep,—acknowledges any human duty, knows very well wherein such duty consists: just in the same way as a boatman knows that he has only to get into his breast-collar, and to walk in the given direction. He will only seek to know what to do and how to do it after having fulfilled his duty.
As with the boatmen, and with all men who do any labor in common, so with the labor of all mankind; each man need only keep on his breast-collar, and go in the given direction. And for this purpose one and the same reason is given to all men that this direction may always be the same.
That this direction is given to us, is obvious and certain from the lives of those who surround us, as well as in the conscience of every man, and in all the previous expressions of human wisdom; so that only he who does not want work, can say that he does not see it.
What, then, will come out of this?
This, that first one man, then another, will drag; looking at them, a third will join; and so one by one the best men will join, until the business will be set a-going, and will move as of itself, inducing those also to join who do not yet understand why and wherefore it is being done.
First, to the number of men who conscientiously work in order to fulfill the law of God, will be added those who will accept half conscientiously and half upon faith; then to these a still greater number of men, only upon faith in the foremost men; and lastly the majority of people: and then it will come to pass that men will cease to ruin themselves, and will find out happiness.
This will happen (and it will happen soon) when men of our circle, and after them all the great majority of working-people, will no longer consider it shameful to clean sewers, but will consider it shameful to fill them up in order that other men, our brethren, may carry their contents away; they will not consider it shameful to go visiting in common boots, but they will consider it shameful to walk in goloshes beside barefooted people; they will not think it shameful not to know French, nor about the last novel, but they will consider it shameful to eat bread, and not to know how it is prepared; they will not consider it shameful not to have a starched shirt or a clean dress, but that it is shameful to wear a clean coat as a token of one's idleness; they will not consider it shameful to have dirty hands, but shameful not to have callouses on their hands.
All this will come to pass when public opinion demands it. Public opinion will demand it, when men get rid of those snares which hide the truth from them. Great changes in this direction have taken place within my memory. These changes occurred only as public opinion changed. Within my memory has happened this, that whereas rich men were ashamed if they could not drive out with a team of four horses, with two men-servants, and that it was considered shameful not to have a man-servant or a maid, to dress one, wash one, attend the chamber, and so on; now of a sudden it has become shameful not to dress and to wash oneself, without help, or to drive out with men-servants. All these changes have been accomplished by public opinion.
Can we not see the changes which public opinion is now preparing? Twenty-five years ago it sufficed to destroy the snare which justified serfdom, and public opinion changed its attitude as to what is praiseworthy, and what is shameful, and life changed. It would suffice to destroy the snares justifying the power of money over men, and public opinion will change its view, concerning things praiseworthy and things shameful, and life will change.
But the destroying of the snare justifying the power of money and the change of public opinion in this direction is already quickly taking place. This snare is already transparent and but slightly veils the truth. One needs only to look more attentively to see clearly that change of public opinion, which not only must take place, but which has been already accomplished, only not yet consciously acknowledged, not yet named. Let a slightly educated man of our time think of the consequences ensuing from those views he holds concerning the universe, and he will see, that the unconscious estimate of good and evil, of praiseworthy and shameful, by which he is guided in life, directly contradicts all his conceptions of life.
Let a man of our times dismiss himself, if only for a minute, from his own inert life, and looking at it, as an outsider, subject it to that very estimate, resulting from his conception of life, and he will stand aghast before the definition of his life, which results from his conception of the world.
Let us take as an example, a young man (in young people the life energy is stronger and the self-consciousness is more vague) of the wealthy classes, and of any shade of opinions. Every decent youth considers it a shame not to help an old man, a child, a woman; he considers it a shame to risk the life and health of another in common work while avoiding the danger for himself. Everybody considers it shameful and barbarous to do what Skyler tells about the Kirghiz: who during storms sent out their wives and old women to hold the corners of the tent, while they remained inside drinking their koumis; everybody considers it a shame to force a weak man to work for him and still more shameful when in such danger, as, say, on a ship on fire, for the strongest to push aside the weak and go first into the life-boat, and so on. Men consider all this shameful and would by no means act so under certain exceptional circumstances; but in everyday life the same actions and even worse,—being hidden by snares,—are constantly committed by them.
One need only think of it earnestly to recognize the horror of it.
A young man changes his shirts daily. Who washes them? A woman, whatever her state may be, very often old enough to be his mother or grandmother, often unwell. How would this young man call another who out of whim, changes his clean shirt and sends it to be washed by a woman old enough to be his mother?
A young man, that he may be smart, provides himself with horses and an old man, fit to be his father or grandfather, is set to training them, thus endangering his very life, and the young man rides on the horse when danger is over. What would the young man say about a man who, avoiding a dangerous situation for himself, puts another into it and for his pleasure allows such a risk?
Yet the whole life of the well-to-do classes consists of a chain of such actions. The overtaxing labor of old men, children and women, and work connected with danger to life done by others, not to help us to work but to satisfy our whims—these fill up our life. The fisherman gets drowned while catching fish for us, the washerwomen catch colds and die, the smith grows blind, those who work in factories get ill and injured by machinery, woodcutters are crushed by falling trees, workmen fall from roofs and are killed, needlewomen pine away. All real work is done with waste and danger to life. To hide this and refuse to see it is impossible. There is one salvation, one issue out of this situation, to wit—that if a man of our time is not to be obliged—according to his own principles—to call himself a scoundrel and a coward, who burdens others with work and danger to life—he must take from men only what is necessary for his life, and submit himself also to true labor associated with waste and danger to life.
Within my memory, more striking changes have taken place. I remember that at table, a servant stood with a plate, behind each chair. Men made visits accompanied by two footmen. A Cossack boy and a girl stood in a room to give people their pipes, and to clean them, and so on. Now this seems to us strange and remarkable. But is it not equally strange that a young man or woman, or even an elderly man, that he may visit a friend, should order his horses to be harnessed, and that well-fed horses are kept only for this purpose? Is it not as strange that one man lives in five rooms, or that a woman spends tens, hundreds, thousands of rubles for her dress when she only needs some flax and wool wherewith to spin dresses for herself, and clothes for her husband and children?
Is it not strange that men live doing nothing, riding to and fro, smoking and playing, and that a battalion of people are busy feeding and warming them?
Is it not strange that old people quite gravely talk and write in newspapers about theaters and music, and other insane people drive to look at musicians or actors?
Is it not strange that tens of thousands of boys and girls are brought up so as to make them unfit for every work (they return home from school, and their two books are carried for them by a servant)?
There will soon come a time,—and it is already drawing near,—when it will be shameful to dine on five courses served by footmen, and cooked by any but the masters themselves; it will be shameful not only to ride thoroughbreds or to drive in a coach when one has feet to walk on; to wear on week-days dress, shoes, gloves, in which it is impossible to work; it will be shameful to play on a piano which costs one hundred and fifty pounds, or even ten pounds, while others work for one; to feed dogs upon milk and white bread, when there are men who have neither milk nor bread, and to burn lamps and candles without working by their light; to heat stoves in which no meal is cooked, while there are men who have neither light nor fuel. Then it will be impossible to think about giving openly not merely one pound, but even six pence, for a place in a concert or in a theater. All this will be when the law of labor becomes public opinion.
From : Gutenberg.org
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