Guild Socialism: An Historical and Critical Analysis

Guild Socialism: An Historical and Critical Analysis

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Guild Socialism: An Historical and Critical Analysis

Guild Socialism: An Historical and Critical Analysis

Read FREE!

Excerpt

In 1913, while I was an undergraduate in Northwestern University, one of my instructors called my attention to a school of social thought which had just been promulgated in England. As my knowledge of labor problems and of social theories grew. I came to feel more and more strongly that this philosophy of National Guilds was of especial timeliness and significance. Accordingly, I selected it six years afterwards as the topic for my doctrinal dissertation in Harvard University, and later for personal investigation in England. Out of these years of study and of observation this book has been written.

I have somewhat regretfully come to the conclusion that Guild Socialism, as at present formulated, is not the sovereign remedy that at first it seemed. I find much of inconsistency, irrelevancy, and obscurity in its doctrines. Nevertheless, I feel that the Guild Idea contains elements of vital importance to the problems of industrial relations and of community organization that so urgently press themselves for solution to-day. Consequently, I feel that there may be use for a book that states the history and doctrines of Guild Socialism, and that also attempts an estimate of its strong and weak points. I realize only too well the shortcomings that are all but unavoidable in the presentation of so comprehensive a subject within the relatively narrow compass that it has seemed wise to set for this work. I realize also the difficulty of essaying anything like a definitive critique of a movement so new and so constantly in flux as the Guild Movement. I hope, however, that the general reader, seeking to acquaint himself with the Guild . . .

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