In proportion to the more complete application
of the principle of the division of albor, the workman becomes weaker,
more limited and more dependent.
A man who all his life has performed but one
operation certainly learns to execute it more quickly and more skilfully
than another; but at the same time he becomes less capable of every
other operation, whether physical or intellectual; his other faculties
are extinguished, and degeneration results in him, considered as an
individual. It is a sad account to offer of himself that he has never
made more than the twenty-sixth part of a pin… In result it may be said
that the division of labor is a skilful mode of employing the power of a
man; that it adds prodigiously to the products of a society; but that
it subtracts something from the capacity of each man taken individually.
I assert that the working class is turned over, body and soul, to the sweet will of industry.
most trifling speculation may change the price of bread one cent a
pound, which means $124,100,000 for thirty-six million people.
We have seen the old society perish, and with
it a swarm of democratic institutions and of independent magistracies,
which it bore within its bosom, a strong combination of private rights,
veritable republics within the monarchy. These institutions, these
magistracies, did not share the sovereignty, it is true, but everywhere
they placed limits to it, which honor defended obstinately. Not one has
survived, and none other has been erected in their place; the Revolution
has left only individuals. In this respect, the dictatorship
in which it culminated, completed its work. From this society reduced to
dust, sprang centralization; its origin need not be sought elsewhere.
Centralization did not come like other doctrines, head erect and with
the authority of principle. It crept in modestly, as a necessary
consequence. In fact, where there are only individuals, all businss
which is not theirs is public business, business of the State. Where
there are no independent magistrates, there are only delegates of the
central power. Thus we have become a bureau-ruled people, under the hand
of responsible functionaries, themselves centralized in the power of
which they are the ministers. In this condition, society was bequeathed
to the Restoration.
The charter then had to reestablish Government and Society
at the same time. Society was not forgotten nor neglected, indeed, but
left out. The Charter reestablished only the Government; and did so by
the division of sovereignty and the multiplicity of powers. But in order
that a nation may be free, it is not enough that it be governed by
several powers. The division of sovereignty brought about by the
Charter, is, no doubt, an important accomplishment, and one which has
mighty consequences, relatively to the royal power which it modifies;
but the Government which results from it, although separated into its
elements, is one in practice; and, if it meets no outside obstacle which
it must respect, it is absolute: the nation and the nation’s rights are
its property. It was only when it established liberty of thep ress,
that the Charter restored Society to its own.