chapter  6
126 Pages

Dogma and Diffidence

By the end of the nineteenth century, there was little in Co-operation, or in trade unionism, that Owen could have identified directly with his proposals to reconstitute the state as an industrial democracy and to create the productive classes, master-manufacturers and work-people, into a great estate of the realm. Proceeding as it does from dogma, the Marxist pronouncement on Owen and the idea of the industrial co-operative considered as an extension of democracy is a verdict from which there is no appeal. By contrast, the pronouncement of empirical Socialism on him is diffident. A contrary view is that 'Karl Marx united Romantic and working-class protest with the Jewish Messianic tradition to make them powerful elements in his "scientific" socialism'. The objectionable characteristics Marx finds in alienated work are, almost all of them, as much present in work done by a self-employed person as in work done by an employee for an employer.