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Some Objections To Socialism
From "The Atheistic Platform", Twelve Lectures

written by "Bradlaugh, Charles, 1833-1891"
... mischief to those who are seeking to effect social reforms. For example, they declare that the whole of the land of the country is held by "a handful of marauders," who ought to be dispossessed, and when told that there are 852,438 persons owning on an average less than one fifth of an acre each, holding probably in the neighborhood of towns, and that more than half a million of these persons are members of building societies, paying for their small properties out of their wage-earnings, they only say: "Do you suppose those who hold building allotments will be dispossessed?" But if they are not dispossessed, if their private property is left to them, then "collective ownership" must have a new meaning. Pressed with the fact that there are 205,358 owning on an average fifteen acres each, they make no other answer. Yet this 1,037,896, representing with their families more than four millions of human beings, are clearly not a "handful," nor is there any evidence offered that they are "marauders." My complaint is that the possibility of early Land Law Reform is injured and retarded by such rashness. It is an undoubted evil that in this crowded kingdom so few as 2,238 persons should own 39,924,232 acres of land, and that the enormous holdings should be inadequately taxed, but we need the influence of the one million small landowners to enable us legally to reform and modify those obnoxious land laws which have facilitated the accumulation of such vast estates in so few hands. In the debate with myself, Mr. Hyndman spoke very contemptuously of the "small ownerships" and "paltry building allotments," yet he ought to know that the holders of these houses are law-abiding, peace-promoting citizens, who are encouraged by these slight possessions, which give promise of comfort in life, to strive so that the comfort shall be extended and secured. A sample of the wild and extraordinary exaggeration indulged in by the Democratic Federation may be ...

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