Simonde de Sismondi Reforms Advocated

Jean Charles Leonard Simonde de Sismondi

Reforms Advocated

Sismondi recognizes a conflict be­tween public and private interests, and so logically calls upon the state to interfere: first to adjust production to revenue or demand (population), and secondly to apply certain particular remedies directly. Thus he urges the restriction of inventions, and advocates steps toward giving some property to labor. In agriculture, small proprietors are favored; in manufactures, more small-scale industry and increased responsibility on the part of the employer. Such responsibility, as for sickness, accident, old age, would give the laborer rights akin to those of property. In addition to all this, there are many vague appeals to statesmen to try to stay the struggle for increased industrial production. Under the head of more direct and less general re­forms would fall his advocacy of regulation of hours, and of child labor; and of legislation giving laborers the right to combine.3 In these matters, Sismondi's importance as an early thinker in the field of social reform will be recognized.