Modern Industrialism: An Outline of the Industrial Organization as Seen in the History, Industry, and Problems of England, the United States, and Germany

By Frank L. McVey | Go to book overview
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CHAPTER IV
GOVERNMENT OWNERSHIP

WILL the people of a state consent to be the serfs of a few shareholders or will they be willing to take over the management of industry? This is the query raised by the advocates not only of socialism, but by the expansionist of government function. The statement of the alternatives, ownership or feudalism, places the discussion of the principles on fundamental grounds. Whether a partisan of state socialism, or of socialism itself, the reasons urged for the adoption of wide social action are the same, but the resultant state organization, however, is a decidedly different one. The mere extender of government function hopes to retain the forces found in initiative and individual effort alongside of the present state activities; the state socialist expects the state to own and control the great industries; while the scientific socialist discards the present state and looks to a collectivist organization of industry for the solution of the difficulty. The first two groups of advocates touch in their contentions practical problems and possible solutions which are within the power of the present state, but the third is outside the realm of immediate possibilities and need not be considered as an essential factor in the solution of present-day problems. The remaining two, however, represent two important phases of opinion that differ only in degree and it is to the consideration of them that this chapter is devoted.

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