Excerpt from August Bebel


This is an excerpt from August Bebel, _Society of the Future_,
which appears to be Progress Publishers' abridgement of Bebel's
_Woman Under Socialism_, 1879.
This text is copied from _Society of the Future_
chapter 1 - Basic Laws of Socialist Society
section 6, paragraphs 3-4
To do later:
Replace this file with the translation by Daniel De Leon

There being no "commodities" in the future society, neither can there be any money. Money appears as the antithesis of the commodity, but it is a commodity itself. Yet money, even though itself a commodity, is at the same time the social equivalent, the measure of value for all other commodities. The future society will not produce commodities but only articles for the satisfaction of needs, use values, whose production requires a definite amount of social labour time. The average labour time required for the production of an article is the only measure by which its social usefulness can be measured. Ten minutes of social labour time spent on an article are equal to ten minutes of social labour time spent on another article, no more no less. Society does not want to "profit", it only wants to organise among its members the exchange of articles of equal quality, equal use value, and ultimately it does not even need to establish a use value - it simply produces what it needs. If society should find that for the production of all necessary products it needs a three-hour working day, it will introduce one. Should methods of production so improve that requirements can be covered in two hours, a two-hour working day will be introduced. Should society conversely require the satisfaction of higher wants which, despite the increase in the labour force and higher labour productivity, cannot be satisfied in two or three hours, a longer working day is introduced. Its will is its kingdom of Heaven.

The amount of social labour time required for the production of every single article is easily calculated. The ratio of the part to the whole of the working time is measured accordingly. Some sort of a certificate, a piece of printed paper, gold or tin testifies to the number of hours worked and enables the owner to exchange this token for all manner of articles. Should he find that his wants come to smaller total than he has received for his efforts, he correspondingly works a shorter time. Should he want to give away what he has not consumed himself, there is nobody to stop him from doing so; should he wish to work for somebody else to enable that person to indulge in dolce far niente, or should he wish to share his title to the social products with him, there is nobody to prevent him from doing so. But no one can compel him to work for another's advantage, no one can withhold from him any part of his title to the social products he has earned.