« ZurückWeiter »
of these creatures? The harpooners choose a place where the young are lying, knowing that the mothers will soon come to see if the young are safe, when they shoot them without mercy. This sort of work goes on a few days, till tens of thousands of young seals are left motherless, to die of starvation (40,000 old ones were killed last year, in March). It is horrible to see the young ones trying to suck the carcases of their mothers, their eyes starting out of their sockets. They crawl over and over them, no doubt wondering why they do not feed them. The noise they make is dreadful. If one could imagine oneself surrounded by four or five hundred thousand human babies, all crying together, he would have some idea of it, for the tiny seal's cries are very much like those of a child.
These motherless seals lie at last in groups of four or five, dying upon the ice; their heads becoming the largest part of their bodies as they starve slowly to death. It is suggested that this atrocious system of procuring the skins of seals should be prevented by securing by international treaty a close time for the seals while they are rearing their young. But the author argues that, for the the sake of luxury alone, man has no right to dispose of the lives of brute animals, and in no case is he justified to inflict pain and torture on them, when this can be avoided.*
Ostrich feathers are another article of luxury, the import of which is estimated at £176,000, and for which feathers of indigenous birds of the cock, for instance-could be fitly substituted; and no objection could reasonably be raised against this substitute, for the feathers of the cock adorn even the hat of the general.
"Plumes! pearls! that gem Beauty's diadem ¡
Your pomp and grace is the refuse base
Of the ostrich, oyster, and civet!
Of feathers for beds £108,000 worth are imported. But as the unhealthy featherbeds will everywhere be superseded by spring mattresses and flock beds, this expensive material will certainly fall into disuse, and give way to beds that can quickly
"The righteous man careth for his beast."
be made, which is so much more desirable as everyone will have to make his own bed.
The immense importation of fruit, amounting in value to £3,065,000, is also chiefly destined to administer to luxurious and so-called high living, or is called into requisition as a substitute for home-grown fruit. The distribution of food by the state will in the future greatly curtail luxury in the consumption of fruit; and as its cultivation, in orchards and hothouses, will be one of the principal cares of the small farmers in the future social state, the importation of £274,000 worth of apples, of £14,000 worth of cherries, of £20,000 worth of raw pears, of £131,000 worth of pine apples and melons, of £87,000 worth of grapes, of £42,000 worth of walnuts and other fruit can be dispensed with. Currants and raisins, which figure in the list of imports at £850,000 and £550,000 respectively, are mere articles of luxury; and although plum-puddings have become a national dish of the English, this most indigestible of all preparations of human food is probably the real cause of indigestion—a complaint so often heard of in England. Requiring, moreover, an extraordinary long time for boiling, the preparation of this favourite dish causes the waste of a great amount of fuel. This circumstance alone will, in the future social state, be a sufficient reason to banish plum-pudding for ever from the table of the Associated Home.
Ivory, which costs the nation £428,000, is also largely administering to luxury, and creates a needless waste of labour in the process of carving and polishing it. It is monstrous that the yearly importation of ivory into England alone should necessitate the annual slaughter of 500,000 elephants; an animal destruction which is the more lamentable as these beasts are capable of being domesticated and rendered highly useful to
The annual importation of pearls, costing £50,000, could be stopped at once, for there are already plenty of them existing in this country, and will, when once deposited in the national treasury and wardrobe, be found more numerous tha will be wanted for their occasional wear by all women.
The suppression of the use of intoxicating drinks will remove from the list of imports, wine worth £4,817,000, and spirits worth £3,218,000.
The suppression of tobacco smoking* will save £2,169,000. By the improved system of agriculture as described in a former chapter, all the corn, potatoes, etc., can be grown in sufficient quantities in this country, and butter, cheese, lard, eggs, pork, and bristles, can be obtained from home-farm produce. A more extensive breeding and fattening of cattle, especially by stable feeding on the one side, and a reasonable reduction in the consumption of animal food and extensive limitation of so-called high living on the other, will, in the future, result in the suppression of the importation of living animals, and £4,371,000 will be saved.
The small farm homesteads, coupled with stable feeding, will, moreover, produce an abundance of manure, and the importation of £3,476,000 of guano can be left off.
All these extensive reductions, just mentioned, are in the aggregate so large, that the necessary imports and exports in the future social state will only amount to one-tenth of their present quantity. In consequence of this, the whole amount of distributive labour of the real workers-of sailors, porters, carmen, dock-labourers, packers, and of all those who direct the distribution of produce-will be enormously diminished :-
Of these the hard-working classes amount to 606,000
This number will certainly be reduced to 100,000, which, calculated at 300 working-days per individual, will represent labour to the amount of 30,000,000 working-days, or one day annually for each person of the whole of 30,000,000 inhabit
* M. Alexandre Dumas used to be a great smoker; but one day, being at a bachelor's dinner, he heard a doctor descant upon the evils which come from the excessive use of tobacco-mental apathy, loss of reason, etc. He had got half through a cigar when the doctor began; he laid it down there and then unfinished, and although this happened twenty years ago, he has never lit another since.
CHAPTER XXXVI.-EDUCATIONAL LABOUR.
THIS kind of labour, which now is generally understood to be the work of the schoolmaster only, will in the future state of society comprise all manner of teaching, not only in elementary schools, but also in the workshop, factory, mine, on the farm, on the training ship, and in the art studio.
The work of teaching will be obligatory on all; and as every person in the new social state has himself had the very best instruction in industry, science, and art, very few will be disqualified for performing their duty as teachers. Besides, many will even find a pleasure in imparting their skill and knowledge to others. What is pleasure to some will be done by others from a sense of duty, either to lessen the tedious work of those who teach elementary subjects—a monotonous kind of labour-or to promote progress in arts and sciences; and in this latter case the artists and scientific men of the new social state will greatly differ from those of the present day, who are rather anxious of keeping the secrets of their arts and sciences to themselves. A celebrated English painter, of the so-called pre-Raphaelite school, is alleged to have said that he would not let guinea secrets out for five shillings, and persistently refused to accept pupils into his studio. How different will, in this respect, be the sentiment of artists in the future! The inducements now held out by the acquisition of wealth being removed by the abolition of money, the sordid feeling of monopoly in art and science will also disappear, and those who invent any novel method of executing works of art will, on the contrary, find the greatest pleasure in propagating and immortalizing their methods.
The fundamental principles which will form the basis of all education in the future social state will be the following five-1. Primary education to be compulsory. 2. In order to evoke genius or special aptitudes, all primary education will include instruction in the rudiments of sciences and arts. 3. Even the very first steps in primary education are to be
* "Education is eminently calculated to call forth the latent energies of the mind, and to develop the idiosyncracies of character."-ROBERT OWEN.
accompanied by industrial training, such as the knowledge and handling of tools used in the various trades, in order to prepare all children for the apprenticeship in the national workshops, in which industrial training is further perfected. 4. A general diffusion of arts and sciences by means of art training schools and scientific institutions is to be intrusted to a numerous staff of professors and teachers. 5. The full development of the bodily frame and muscular activity is to be promoted by frequent drilling, gymnastic exercises, and athletic games.
It has already been stated in a previous chapter that in the future social state all children will be lodged, boarded, clothed, and educated in Government establishments. There will, however, not be enforced any arbitrary confinement of the pupils in these schools, but frequent intercourse between parents and children will be permitted; and the pupils will have to take daily exercise by short walks in the surrounding districts, and excursions at intervals into more distant localities.
Having stated the principal outlines of the educational system which is to prevail in the future, the author will now treat of the performance of the educational work, and its universal obligation on all adult persons of both sexes.
An equal division of teaching amongst all those qualified for educational work will ensure great advantages, both for teachers and pupils. It will greatly lessen the time which every teacher has to pass amongst a number of children, the exhalations of whom must inevitably vitiate, to some degree, the air in the loftiest and best ventilated schoolroom.
The performance of teaching by alternate relays of teachers will render the work more interesting both to teachers and pupils; and the latter will, moreover, have the more tedious work of book learning diversified by the instruction in industry and trades of all kinds. All industrial apprenticeship being transferred to the public schools, where all children will be taught by qualified workmen, the teaching of all skilled labour will be of the most efficient kind; because every new teacher will be able to impart to the apprentices some new or peculiar method of handling a tool, or manipulating a certain process of labour in the quickest and surest manner. Model workshops and model factories will be erected adjacent to the