Home » Languages » English (Sr. Secondary) » Solved Exercise for Precis writing with Title “Democracy and Economic Equality” Precis for Class 9, 10, 11, 12 and Higher classes.

Solved Exercise for Precis writing with Title “Democracy and Economic Equality” Precis for Class 9, 10, 11, 12 and Higher classes.

Passages with Solved Precis

Democracy means Equality; but what does Equality mean? Obviously it does not mean that we are all alike in political faculty or indeed in any faculty. Nature inexorably divides us into a mass of persons differing in attitudes and ability, with a percentage of nincompoops and a percentage of geniuses. But as their bodily needs are the same, their food and clothes and lodging can be rationed equally; and they are all equally indispensable. The cabin boy, in fact, needs more food and wears his clothes out faster than the ageing admiral; but the same income will provide for either of them: they are both equally necessary to the work of the fleet; and their common civilization is a necessary part of the civilization of the nation and indeed of the world. Admirals of the same rank are paid alike whether they are Byngs or Nelsons and cabin boys, quick or slow, clever or stupid, are paid alike also. All civilised communities consist mostly of classes within which wages and salaries are the same, the figures varying from class to class according to their customary standard of living, but not from individual to individual, however varied their characters and talents. Differences in Character and talent cannot be assessed in terms of money; for instance, nobody can suppose that because Mr. Joseph Louis, world-champion heavy weight boxer, can earn more in fifteen three-minute rounds than Einstein in fifteen years, his exertions are a hundred and eighty thousand times as valuable as Einstein’s. Nobody challenged to fix the incomes of the two on their merits could do so: it would be like trying to measure in money the difference between the relative value to a family of a frying-pan and a bible.

The prices of frying-pans and Bibles are fixed, not according to their merits, but their marginal cost of production: that is, production under the least favourable conditions. Bibles are cheaper than bottles of brandy, and suits of clothes than diamond rings, though their value is infinitely greater. The remedy is for the Government to control production according to its social desirability so that nobody shall be able to buy a diamond ring while children are going naked or in rags, and to see that the citizens shall pay no more for their goods than their averaged cost of production. But before this pitch of socialism, or civilization, or scientific humanism, or whatever you choose to call it, is reached, the government will have to provide the country with cabin boys and admirals; and consequently to fix their prices. Now it is easy for a democratic statesman to jump to the conclusion. That as well all cost the same to feed, clothes and house decently, no matter how our abilities vary, the simple solution is to give us all the same share of the national income. But this will bring him up against the fact that it costs more to produce an admiral as such than a cabin boy as such, though their needs as human beings are the same. If we reduce them to a common denominator, we shall get a superfluity of cabin boys and no admirals. The cost of production of a worker as such varies with the sort of worker required. In Japan the cost of a cotton operative as such is penny an hour. In Lancashire, it is twenty pence. In Tsarist Russia the cost of production of common labourer as such was twenty-four shillings a month. Within the British Commonwealth, we have black African workers who are expected by pink settlers to be grateful for a hut, a scrap of garden, the privileges of being British subjects, instruction in Christianity by missionaries, and eight shillings a month pocket money.

New legislators and administrators, managers and scholars, lawyers and clergymen, artists and philosophers are not to be had on these terms; they cost education, culture, gentle nature, privacy, decency and some leisure. When the Soviet Government in Russia started with the intention of giving all workers an equal share of the national income their labour was producing it found that they were not producing enough to give each of them more than ‘the pittance earned by the cheapest labour under the Stardom. It had either to increase the national income to such an amount as would enable it to pay every worker on the professional scale (i.e., on the scale of the incomes of doctors, lawyers, engineers, etc.) which was not immediately possible, or else do without an educated public service, which meant pulling the linchpin out of the Communist cart and collapsing in hopeless bankruptcy. Equality of income had, therefore, to be dropped until the national dividend could be raised lo the professional level. This level is attainable, and is within sight of being attained; but mean-while Russia has a bureaucracy and a professional class with incomes ten times greater than the hewers of wood and drawers of water.

Mathematical equality is not an end in itself. The politicians with whom Stalin lost patience when he derided them as Equality merchants were not only clamouring for it before it was possible, but failing to foresee that when achieved it will have lost its present urgency. Even in capitalist society, there is a level at which it ceases to matter. The difference between a class income of a couple of hundred pounced a year or less and a couple of thousands or more is disastrous, because the physically vigorous and habitually industrious two hundred class is cut off by its poverty from cultivating its natural stores of leadership and talent; and thousands class, debilitated by parasitic idleness, is equally cut off from interbreeding with the workers. But as between the class incomes of five thousand a year and fifty thousand, this restriction does not exist. Education in them is the same. The career is equally open to the talents. They associate on terms of equality; they belong to the same clubs; they eat the like food, wear the like clothes, and live in the same squares and streets in the same fashionable end of the town. Some of them may have five houses and others only two; but they can live in one at a time only. They employ the same lawyers and the same doctors; and they buy at the same shops. In short, they are intermarriageabie. There is so little personal advantage in being ten times as rich as one’s next-door neighbour that millionaires like Carnegie and Pierpont Morgan, Ford and Morris, give away their surpluses and found Rockefeller Trusts, Pilgrim Trusts, and the like to get rid of their unneeded money and ‘do good’ with it.

A legacy of twenty thousand pounds, which is the golden dream of a poor man, makes a rich one swear because it gives him the trouble of claiming and investing it. Consequently, when the entire population is brought up to our five thousand level, the main objects of equality of income will be sea ‘red; and the Government though it must still take care that co class gets poorer: need not prevent any individual becoming richer if he or she can, and thinks it worth the trouble. Such arc ambition may even be encouraged when it acts as an incentive to increase production. In the U.S.S.R., it was found impossible to increase production. or even maintain it, until, piecework and pay meet by results was established in spite of the Equality merchants when democratic socialism has achieved sufficiency of means, equality of opportunity, and national intermarriage ability nor everybody, with production kept in its natural order of priorities from necessities to luxuries, its work will be done; for these, and not a mathematical abstraction like equality of income are its real goal. The present stratification of society will be levelled up until the largest possibilities of human nature are no longer starved; but it will still be human nature with all its enterprises, ambitions, and emulations in full swing, and with its pioneering superior persons, conservative average persons and relative backward inferiors in their natural places. All, fully fed, educated up to the top of their capacity, and intermarriage able. Equality can go no farther.

( Words – 1368 )


Democracy and Economic Equality

Democracy does not seek to sanction almost a complete identical treatment to all the persons concerned. The disparity in extension of rewards of labour to persons of different cadre must be in proportion to the capacity of accomplishment and rank, performed and enjoyed in the social theatre of life. Wages and remunerations vary from class to class in accordance with their customary standard of living, though the scale of remuneration, thus distributed and paid, does not, however, assess the comparative worth of talents and characters of these individuals. It is, at the same time, worth taking note of, that all the workable persons, constituting our society, are almost indispensable for its successful working. Furthermore, the disparity between a labourer and an officer must not be appallingly wide, as the physical needs of the two, from the point of view of ‘bare necessity’, are the same. There are some champions of democracy, who go in for the extreme, in advocating equal distribution of national income among all the members of society. They, however, overlook the basic fact that the education and training of a specialist—say an admiral—cost much more than those of an ordinary worker. Consequently their standard of living is certainly much loftier than of a wage-earner-say, a cabin boy. Thus, the ideal of equalising income of all the members of the society is not only impossible butabsurd. On a remuneration, that can satisfy a raw-worker’s demands, we cannot satisfy the needs of a scholar or administrator. In Russia, the Government experimented their theory. They offered an equal share of the national income to all the members of the State, engaged in the production of income. The result was disappointing failure. The production was so low that it was well-nigh impossible for the Government to satisfy the minimum demands of even the lowest of the workers. Equality of income had, consequently, to be dropped until the national dividend could be raised to the professional level. Mathematical equality is incompatible with economic or political. There can never be a complete identity of opportunity between a person of specialized attainments and one, having only the physical capacity to serve. In that case genius will vanish. Ambition and enterprise are the inborn traits of human instinct. Unless just reward is paid to the incubators of the highest Feats of accomplishment and their standard of Living is maintained at the higher level, society can never make headway towards progress.

( Words – 411 )



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  1. Chahat says:

    Female title

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