Besides the historic prejudice we spoke of last time, there is a further fact that has led to the guild system being discredited: it is the revulsion that is generally aroused by the idea of economic control by rule. In our own minds we see all regulation of this sort as a kind of policing, maybe vexatious, maybe endurable, and possibly calling forth some outward reaction from individuals, but making no appeal to the mind and without any root in the consciousness. It appears like some vast set of workshop regulations, far-reaching and framed in general terms: those who have to submit to them may obey in practice if they must, but they could not really want to have them. Thus, the discipline laid down by an individual and imposed by him in military fashion on other individuals who in point of fact are not concerned in wanting them, is confused by us with a collective discipline to which the members of a group are committed. Such discipline can only be maintained if it rests on a state of public opinion and has its roots in morals; it is these morals that 31count. An established control by rule does no more, shall we say, than define them with greater precision and give them sanction. It translates into precepts ideas and sentiments felt by all, that is, a common adherence to the same objective. So it would be strangely mistaking its nature only to regard its outer aspect and grasp the letter of it alone. From such an angle, this control may indeed have the appearance of being orders that are simply obstructive and prevent individuals from doing what they like, and all in an interest not their own. It is therefore natural enough that they seek to rid themselves of this obstruction or reduce it to a minimum. But beneath the letter lies the spirit that animates it: there are the ties of all kinds binding the individual to the group he is part of and to all that concerns that group; there are all these social sentiments, all those collective aspirations, these traditions we hold to and respect, giving sense and life to the rule and lighting up the way in which it is applied by individuals. So it is a strangely superficial notion—this view of the classical economists, to whom all collective discipline is a kind of rather tyrannous militarisation. In reality, when it is normal and what it ought to be, it is something very different. It is at once the epitome and the governing condition of a whole life in common which individuals have no less at heart than their own lives. And when we wish to see the guilds reorganized on a pattern we will presently try to define, it is not simply to have new codes superimposed on those existing; it is mainly so that economic activity should be permeated by ideas and needs other than individual ideas and needs, in fine, so that it should be socialized. It is, too, with the aim that the professions should become so many moral milieux and that these (comprising always the various organs of industrial and commercial life) should constantly foster the morality of the professions. As to the rules, although necessary and inevitable, they are but the outward expression of these fundamental principles. It is not a matter of co-ordinating any changes outwardly and mechanically, but of bringing men’s minds into mutual understanding.