an infant association, fifty thousand dollars; and this increase of value would be both created and owned
In an ordinary township, however, the increase, though all created by Labor, is chiefly owned by Capital.
The majority of the inhabitants remain poor; while a few—merchants, land-owners, mill-owners, and manufacturers—are enriched.
That this is the fact in recently-settled townships, is undeniable.
That it would not be the fact in a township settled and cultivated on the principle of association, seems to me equally so.
H. J. Raymond. Dec. 14th
. But not to me. Suppose fifty men furnish fifty thousand dollars for an association upon which a hundred and fifty others are to labor and to live.
With that sum they buy the land, build the houses, and procure everything needful for the start.
The capitalists, bear in mind, are the absolute owners of the entire property of the association.
In twenty years, that property may be worth half a million, and it still remains the property of the capitalists, the laborers having annually drawn their share of the products.
They may have saved a portion of their annual share, and thus have accumulated property; but they have no more title to the domain
than they had at first.
If the concern should not prosper, the laborers could not buy shares; if it should, the capitalists would not sell except at their increased value.
What advantage, then, does association offer for the poor man's acquiring property superior to that afforded by the present state of things?
None, that we can see. On the contrary, the more rapidly the domain of an association should increase in value, the more difficult it would be for the laboring man to rise to the class of proprietors; and this would simply be an aggravation
of the worst features of the social system.
And how you associationists would
The skillful would be ever grumbling at the awkward, and the lazy would shirk their share of the work, but clamor for their share of the product.
There would be ten occasions for bickerings where now there is one.
The fancies of the associationist, in fact, are as baseless, though not as beautiful, as More's Utopia, or the Happy Valley
. No, Sir!
In association, those who