chapter  15
44 Pages

Lecture VIII

The Period Of Collectivism
WithRichard A. Epstein

This chapter presents a lecture that deals with two topics: first, the principles of collectivism, as actually exhibited in, and illustrated by English legislation during the later part of the nineteenth century ; and, secondly the general trend of such legislation. Collectivism curtails as surely as individualism extends the area of contractual freedom. The combination law of 1875 is a compromise between the desire of collectivists to promote combined bargaining and the conviction of individualists that every man ought, as long as he does not distinctly invade the rights of his neighbours, to enjoy complete contractual freedom. The extension given by collectivists to the idea of protection makes easy the transition from that idea to the different notion of equalisation of advantages. The general trend of legislation is often as clearly traceable in Bills laid before Parliament, which have not passed into law, as in statutes.