C4SS Feed 44 presents “The Individualist and The Communist: A Dialgoue” from the book Markets Not Capitalism, written by Voltairine de Cleyre, read by Stephanie Murphy and edited by Nick Ford.
COM.: “Well, I admit that much. Certainly the employé cannot compete with his employer.”
INDV.: “Then you admit that there is not free competition in the present state of society. In other words, you admit that the laboring class are not free to compete with the holders of capital, because they have not, and cannot get, the means of production. Now for your ‘what of that?’ It follows that if they had access to land and opportunity to capitalize the product of their labor they would either employ themselves, or, if employed by others, their wages, or remuneration, would rise to the full product of their toil, since no one would work for another for less than he could obtain by working for himself.”
COM.: “But your object is identical with that of Communism! Why all this to convince me that the means of production must be taken from the hands of the few and given to all? Communists believe that; it is precisely what we are fighting for.”
INDV.: “You misunderstand me if you think we wish to take from or give to any one. We have no scheme for regulating distribution. We substitute nothing, make no plans. We trust to the unfailing balance of supply and demand. We say that with equal opportunity to produce, the division of product will necessarily approach equitable distribution, but we have no method of ‘enacting’ such equalization.”
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