We are opposed to that theory. Socialism, which is perfectly clear and unmistakable, says the thing you have got to take care of is your distribution. We have to begin with that, and private property, if it stands in the way of good distribution, has got to go.
A man who holds public property must hold it on the pub1ic condition on which, for instance, I carry my walking stick. I am not al1owed to do what I like with it. I must not knock you on the head with it. We say that if distribution goes wrong, everything else goes wrong-religion, morals - government. And we say, therefore (this is the whole meaning of our socialism}, we must begin with distribution and take all the necessary steps.
I think we are keeping it in our minds because our business is to take care of the distribution of wealth in the worId1 and I tell you, as I have told you be fore, that I don’t think there are two men, or perhaps one man, in our 47,000,000 who approves of the existing distribution of wealth. I will go even further and say that you will not find a single person in the whole of the civilized world who agrees with the existing system of the distribution of wealth. It has been reduced to a blank absurdity.
I think the day will come when we will be able to make the distinction between us and the capitalists. We must get certain leading ideas before the people. We should announce that we are not going in for what was the old-fashioned idea of redistribution, but the redistribution of income. Let it always be a question of income.
I have been very happy here to night. I entirely understand the distinction made by our Chairman to night when he said you hold me in social esteem and a certain amount of personal affection. I am not a sentimental man, but l am not 1nsensible to all that. I know the value of all tl1at, and it gives me, now that 1 have come to the age of seventy (it will not occur again and I am saying it for the first time), a great fee1ing of pleasure that l can say what a good many people can’t say.
英语演讲稿——ON HIS SEVENTIETH BIRTHDAY
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