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´╗┐Title: Social Justice Without Socialism
Author: Clark, John Bates, 1847-1938
Language: English
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Libraries)



Barbara Weinstock Lectures on The Morals of Trade

SOCIAL JUSTICE WITHOUT SOCIALISM.
By John Bates Clark.

THE CONFLICT BETWEEN PRIVATE MONOPOLY AND GOOD CITIZENSHIP.
By John Graham Brooks.

COMMERCIALISM AND JOURNALISM.
By Hamilton Holt.

THE BUSINESS CAREER IN ITS PUBLIC RELATIONS.
By Albert Shaw.



SOCIAL JUSTICE WITHOUT SOCIALISM



BY

JOHN BATES CLARK

PROFESSOR OF POLITICAL ECONOMY AT
COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY



BOSTON AND NEW YORK
HOUGHTON MIFFLIN COMPANY
The Riverside Press Cambridge
1914

COPYRIGHT, 1914, BY THE REGENTS OF THE
UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA

ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

_Published April 1914_



BARBARA WEINSTOCK
LECTURES ON THE MORALS OF TRADE

This series will contain essays by representative scholars and men of
affairs dealing with the various phases of the moral law in its bearing
on business life under the new economic order, first delivered at the
University of California on the Weinstock foundation.



SOCIAL JUSTICE WITHOUT SOCIALISM


It is currently reported that the late King Edward once said, "We are
all Socialists, now": and if the term "Socialism" meant to-day what His
Majesty probably meant by it, many of us could truthfully make a
similar statement. Without any doubt, we could do so if we attached to
the term the meaning which it had when it was first invented. It came
into use in the thirties of the last century, and expressed a certain
disappointment over the result of political reform. The bill which gave
more men the right to vote did not give them higher wages. The
conditions of labor were deplorable before the Reform Bill was passed
and they continued to be so for some time afterwards. A merely
political change, therefore, was not all that was wanted, and it was
necessary to carry democracy into a social sphere in order to improve
the condition of the poorer classes. The term "Socialism," therefore,
was chosen to describe a play of forces that would act in this way on
society itself, and was an excellent term for describing this right and
just tendency. The name was quickly adopted by those with whose
practical plans most of us do not agree; but its original idea was
democracy carried into business, and at present that is the dominant
tendency of all successful parties. For six months we have been living
under what may be called "triumphant democracy," not because the
Democratic Party has beaten its rivals and come into control of the
Government, but for a much deeper reason, namely, that a democracy
carried into industrial life is the dominating principle of every
political body that can hope for success. Every party must show by its
action that it values the man more than the dollar. To this extent we
are all democrats and wish the Government to act for the people as well
as to be controlled by the people.

When we differ, it is in deciding on the means to carry out our common
purpose; and here we differ very widely. Some would use the power of
the State to correct and improve our system of industry, and these
constitute a party of reform. Others would abolish that system and
substitute something untried. For private capital they would put public
capital and for private management, public management--either in the
whole field of industry or in that great part of it where large capital
rules. These are Socialists in the modern and current sense of the
term.

One difference of view which was formerly very sharp is now scarcely
traceable. Every one knows that we must invoke the aid of the State in
order to make industry what it should be. The rule that would bid the
State keep its hands off the entire field of business, the extreme
_laissez-faire_ policy once dominant in literature and thought, now
finds few persons bold enough to advocate it or foolish enough to
believe in it. In a very chastened form, however, the spirit that would
put a reasonable limit on what the State shall be asked to do happily
does survive and is powerful. It seeks a golden mean between letting
the State do nothing and asking it to do everything. It is this plan of
action that I shall try to outline, and it will appear that even this
plan requires that the State should do very much. Under an inert
government the industrial system would suffer irreparably.

The thing first to be rescued is competition--meaning that healthful
rivalry between different producers which has always been the guaranty
of technical progress. That such progress has gone on with bewildering
rapidity since the invention of the steam engine is nowhere denied; and
neither is it denied that competition of the normal kind--the effort of
rivals to excel in productive processes--has caused it. It has
multiplied the product of labor here tenfold, there, twentyfold, and
elsewhere a hundredfold and more.

This increased power to produce has rescued us from an appalling evil.
Without it, such a crowding of population as some countries have
experienced would have carried their peoples to and below the
starvation level. Machinery now enables us to live; and if
world-crowding were to go on in the future as it has done, and the
technical progress should cease, many of us could not live. Poverty
would increase till its cruelest effects would be realized and lives
enough would be crushed out to enable the survivors to get a living. Of
all conditions of human happiness, the one which is most underestimated
is progress in power to produce. Hardly any of those who would
revolutionize the industrial State, and not all of those who would
reform it, have any conception of the importance of this progress. It
is the _sine qua non_ of any hopeful outlook for the future of mankind.

I am to speak, however, of _justice_ in the business relations of life,
and it might seem that this shut out the mere question of general
prosperity. The most obvious issue between different social classes
concerns the division of whatever income exists. Whatever there is, be
it large or small, may be divided rightly or wrongly; but I am not able
to see that the mere division of it exhausts the application of the
principle of justice. While it is clearly wrong for one party to
plunder another, it is almost as clearly wrong for one party to reduce
the general income and so, in a sense, rob everybody. A party that
should systematically hinder production and reduce its fruits would rob
a myriad of honest laborers who are ill prepared to stand this loss and
have a perfect right to be protected from it.

Every man, woman, and child has a right to demand that the powers that
be remove hindrances in the way of production, and not only allow the
general income to be large and grow larger, but do everything that they
possibly can do to make it grow larger. It is an unjust act to reduce
general earnings, even though no one is singled out for particular
injury. On this ground we insist on trust legislation, tariff reform,
the conservation of natural resources, etc. I am prepared to claim that
it is in this spirit that we demand that private initiative, which has
given us the amount of prosperity that we have thus far obtained, shall
be enabled to continue its work without being supplanted by monopoly.
In a general way I should include public monopoly as well as private
among the things which would put a damper on the progress of
improvement and lessen the income on which the comfort of laborers in
the near future will be dependent. Monopoly of any sort is hostile to
improvement, and in this chiefly lies the menace which it holds for
mankind.

It is a fairly safe prediction that, if a public monopoly were to exist
in every part of the industrial field, the _per capita_ income would
grow less, and that it would be only a question of time, and a short
time at that, when the laborers would be worse off than they are now.
Though, at the outset, they might absorb the entire incomes of the
well-to-do classes, the amount thus gained would shrink in their hands
until their position would be worse than their present one. They would
have pulled down the capitalists without more than a momentary benefit
for themselves and with a prospect of soon sinking to a lower level
than as a class they have thus far reached.

The impulse to revolutionize the system comes from the belief that it
is irreclaimably bad. The first thing to be done is to see how much
reclaiming the system is capable of; and the only sure way to test this
question is to use all our power in the effort to improve it. When all
such efforts shall have failed, it will be time for desperate measures.

Our industrial system has many faults:--here we are happily agreed. It
is the inferences we draw from this fact that are different. The one
that I draw is like one which is recorded in a famous case in
antiquity. When the Macedonian armies seemed about to overwhelm Greece,
Demosthenes encouraged the Athenians by this very sound bit of
philosophy: "The worst fact in our past affords the brightest hope for
our future. It is the fact that our misfortunes have come because of
our own faults. If they had come when we were doing our best, there
would be no hope for us." Now the evils of our own social system which
result from mistakes or faults are just such a ground of hope. Every
such evil which can be cited describes one possible reform, and the
longer the list of evils, the greater is the sum total of gain which we
can make by doing away with them. If we cite them all _seriatim_, what
impression shall we get? Will it merely show how badly off we are? Will
it make us despair for our future? On the contrary, it should fill us
with hope for the future. We start from the fact that we have thus far
survived in spite of the faults. The worst off among us is above
starvation and most of us are in a tolerable state. If we can remove
the evils that exist, we shall make our state very much more than
tolerable. The greatness of the evils measures the gain from removing
them. Every single one that is removed improves the status of our
people. We can take, as it were, a social account of stock, measure our
present state, measure the extent to which we can improve it by putting
an end to one bad influence, count the number of such bad influences,
and so get an estimate of the gains of carrying out a complete
reformatory programme. It will show an enormous possibility of
improvement.

In the struggle for reforms we have the great middle class with us. All
honest capitalists, great and small alike, are natural allies of honest
labor, and they are interested mainly in the same reforms as are the
members of the working-class. If we recognize a necessity for a
struggle of classes, it is not one that marshals labor against all
wealth. The contention is rather between honest wealth allied with
honest labor, on the one hand, and dishonest wealth on the other; and
in a contest so aligned, victory for the former party means social
justice.

There is a preliminary reform to be carried through as a condition of
securing most of the others. Who can estimate the benefit which would
come from merely making our Government what it purports to
be--government by the people? The initiative, the referendum, the
recall, the short ballot, direct primaries, and proportionate
representation are all designed to transfer power from rings and bosses
to the people themselves. If they actually do it, as sooner or later
those or kindred measures probably will, they will so far restore the
democracy of our earlier and simpler days as to make us look back on
the rule of rings and bosses as on a nightmare of the past. When the
Government is thus really controlled by the people we can count on
having its full power exerted for them.

What are a few of the things that we shall then try to get?

The working day is too long. In some occupations it covers far too many
hours, and in most occupations it covers more than it ideally should.
There are doubtless some industries in which hours might be reduced
with no lessening of wages, because profits are large enough to bear
some reduction. In these cases a strong union might get either more pay
for a day of the present length or the present rate for a shorter day.
A universal reduction of the period of labor would have to mean a
reduction of the product of industry, and without immediate
improvements in method of production it would entail smaller wages.
Improvements, however, might soon obviate that necessity. With
machinery growing more and more efficient, the day may be shortened
with no diminution of wages; and the natural effect of increasing power
to produce has always been some shortening of labor-time coupled with
some enlargement of pay. Within the last one hundred years the period
of daily labor in some types of manufacturing has come to cover only a
little over one third of the twenty-four hours, instead of more nearly
two thirds; while the earnings have become much larger than they were
at the beginning of the period. Normally this progress should continue,
and long before the dawn of the twenty-first century we should see work
still less severe, less prolonged, and better paid. Where, as in some
departments of steel-making, labor in two shifts continues through the
twenty-four hours, there is a chance to make this gain without
appreciable waiting; and elsewhere it should be possible to make it
without waiting for the twenty-first century to come much nearer than
it is.

Dangerous and injurious occupations still continue; and our country is
slower than others in remedying this trouble. Many safeguards that are
easily obtainable are neglected. Protection for the workers and
indemnities for injuries when they occur can be insured by well-made
laws, properly enforced. Sanitary regulations and pure-food laws need
to be strengthened and more fully enforced.

Our protective tariff bears heavily on the poor man. His wardrobe
contains little or nothing that is made of wool, and he may well sigh
for the mixed cotton and shoddy of earlier days. Our import duties,
which do, indeed, try to spare his dinner-pail, should be made to spare
his wardrobe and the modest comforts of his life.

Commercial crises still occur and are followed by hard times; and while
a really wise reform of money and banking would not wholly prevent
them, it would greatly mitigate their severity.[1]

      [1] This was written before the recent reforms of import duties
      and of the banking system had been enacted.

Emergency employment is desperately needed when hard times come.
European Governments excel our own in providing it, but it is entirely
possible to adopt their methods and improve on them.

Our natural resources have been wasted in a prodigal way. Forests have
been recklessly cut, fires been invited and the soil itself has been
sacrificed. Natural gas and oil have been burned with no regard for the
future. Coal and other minerals have not been husbanded. It should be
possible for us to cease to play the spendthrift with the patrimony
that nature has given to us.

We have the beginnings of a parcel post, but we need a more highly
developed one that will come nearer to the standards maintained in
other countries. With it we need telephone and telegraph systems that
can be universally used.

In our larger cities, we are struggling to get rapid transit and shall
have to continue the struggle; but we ought to have, with urban
railroads, subways, and the like, measures that would reduce the amount
of traveling that has to be done between homes and places of labor. A
free use of the principle of "eminent domain" would make it possible to
acquire land for carrying out any policy of general beneficence, and
that, too, without robbing the owners of it. By resorting to this
measure much of the manufacturing which exposes great cities to
imminent danger of conflagration might and should be moved bodily to
outlying districts.

Of all industrial abuses of the past the cruelest has been the crushing
of the life of young children by hard and prolonged labor. We are
making headway in removing this evil, but much still remains to be
gained; and a vast amount is to be gained by a comprehensive policy for
improving the status of working-women.

Social justice demands some effective means of getting legal justice.
We have courts, certainly. Do they give the service that we need and,
in particular, do they give it to the poor? We do not here impugn the
motives of judges. Generally speaking, they are honest; but the whole
system of court procedure is hampered by detailed statutes and
technical rules, that mean an amount of cost and delay which in itself
is the very quintessence of injustice. A citizen is offered a choice
between submitting to the wrong inflicted by a fellow-citizen and
accepting the wrong inflicted by a dilatory and crushingly costly legal
procedure. We probably excel some nations in the rightfulness of the
decisions we can get if we live long enough and have money enough to
get them; but there are few civilized nations that do not excel us in
the rapidity and cheapness of the process. A Chinese student in
Columbia University served, during the first year of his residence in
New York, as judge of Chinatown, and, by giving up only the Saturday
evening of each week to the service, he settled the disputes which
arose between Chinese residents. As he was learned in the principles of
Confucius, I doubt not he settled them justly, and many a time in that
same city I have sighed for his services for native Americans.

The line of division between labor and capital ought not always to be
the sharp boundary that it is. Labor should be enabled to acquire a
modest share of capital and to invest it securely. Protection for small
investments is urgently needed, and would do much to change a
proletariat into an independent working-class. This is an essential
feature of the social system we wish for and work for. The man who
hereafter shall correspond to Longfellow's "village blacksmith" will
perhaps be the owner of a hundred shares in some corporation. In
agriculture small holdings may always survive; but there may be large
ones also, and in that case the farmer of the future may have either
five acres and a hoe, or forty acres and a mule, or a hundred and sixty
acres and a reaper, or an undivided share in a thousand acres and a
traction engine.

If we could carry through even the reforms thus far enumerated, it
would make us feel as if we had been lifted from a slough and placed on
a plateau abounding in air and sunlight; but if we stopped with this,
we should leave much to be desired. There are still more pressing
measures to be enacted.

Nearly the greatest evil we are facing is monopoly. This is not the
universal view. Though there are few who approve of monopoly, there are
those who regard it with toleration and think that, if we accept it and
regulate prices under it, we shall fare sufficiently well. As yet, it
is in an incipient stage of development and has by no means revealed
its full power for evil. If we let it grow freely, we shall find later
what it is capable of. Wise measures, adopted even now, will come early
enough to prevent it from ever growing to maturity.

With the steel trust, the Standard Oil trust, and other combinations
before our eyes, it seems an absurdity to speak of monopolies as being
in an incipient stage. Is it possible that anything whatever which
these great combinations represent can be nipped in the bud? Are they
not already in the fullest flower, and big and mature as they are ever
likely to be? The companies themselves, with their vast material
plants, certainly are so. What we are talking about, however, is not
the mere size of the companies, but _the element of monopoly that is in
them_. Have they such a power that they can safely charge anything they
please for their products? Is it as though they were licensed by the
Government to be the sole makers and vendors of their special wares?
Business men know that this is not the case; and that something puts a
check on their action. They can make their prices higher than they
should be--higher than it is for the interest of the country to have
them; but they cannot make them as high as they would be under a real
and secure monopoly. The point I am making is that we can destroy such
monopolistic power as they have. We can liberate competition, which
has, in the main, afforded reasonable prices, and has also guaranteed
that progress which is indispensable for maintaining a human life that
is worth living. It is to-day the only means of insuring a constantly
increasing power over nature--an ability to turn out, in greater and
greater abundance, the things which make life comfortable.

These combinations now possess a power which it is highly perilous to
let them keep. They can disable their rivals by foul play, which would
be impossible under proper rules of the ring. By securing control of
raw materials, by selling goods below cost in the territory where a
small rival is operating and keeping up the prices everywhere else, by
forcing merchants to boycott independent manufacturers, by getting, in
spite of laws and commissions, some advantages from railroads, and by
other similar practices, they can drive competitors out of business.
Yet every one of these practices can be defined and prohibited, and
resorting to any of them can be, if not wholly prevented, at least made
so perilous that the practices will become extinct.

It is possible to give to every competitor a fair field and no favor,
and, in so doing, to infuse again into the industrial system the life
and vigor which competition guarantees. This and only this will insure
that progress in production itself which is the _sine qua non_ of
future comfort. It may then be expected that inventions will continue,
that machines will become more perfect, and that the power of society
to pay wages will grow larger. Labor will then be the heir of the
centuries, and under proper laws can claim and get its inheritance. If
the world crowds itself fuller and fuller of population and progress at
the same time stagnates, nothing can prevent an increase of poverty
unrelieved by any bright outlook. Technical progress, power to make two
blades of grass grow where one grows now, and to do it in the various
departments where men labor, is the sole condition of a sound hope for
the future of the wage-earner. It will be as necessary under Socialism
as under the present system; but under Socialism it will be difficult
to get. In so far as it is possible to judge, it depends on the
preservation of normal competition in the general economic field.

Leaders of the Industrial Workers of the World have recently announced
an intention of forcing the hours of labor downward from ten hours per
day to eight, six, and finally, four, while at the same time the pay
will be forced up in a more or less corresponding ratio. They have also
announced an intention of making capital useless to its owners, by
crippling its productive power, and so making it easier to seize it. It
goes without saying that a four-hour day and high wages can never come
by a war which destroys most of the income to be divided. Make the
figures more moderate and allow time enough for it, and it may be made
to come by the diametrically opposite plan of making industry more and
more fruitful. The ten-hour day succeeded the twelve- or fourteen-hour
one of former times in exactly that way.

The division of the social income is of vital importance as well as the
general size of it. I have claimed for the regulation of monopoly that
it is nearly the greatest of possible reforms. Perhaps the very
greatest is a change in the mode of adjusting wages. They are fixed at
present in a rough-and-ready way, though not without some reference to
what labor produces and what employers can pay, and not, therefore,
without the action of a principle which makes, in a powerful way, for
justice. Any method, however, which involves many strikes and lockouts,
is bad economically and worse morally. The contests are always costly,
and they easily run into violent warfare; but underneath all these
struggles and the hates and horrors that result, there is working, if
we will see it, a law that makes for peace founded on justice. It tends
in the direction of a fair division of products between employers and
employed, and if it could work entirely without hindrances, would
actually give to every laborer substantially what he produces. In the
midst of all prevalent abuses this basic law asserts itself like a law
of gravitation, and so long as monopoly is excluded and competition is
free,--so long as both labor and capital can move without hindrance to
the points at which they can create the largest products and get the
largest rewards--its action cannot be stopped, while that of the forces
that disturb it can be so. In this is the most inspiriting fact for the
social reformer. If there are "inspiration points" on the mountain-tops
of science, as well as on those of nature, this is one of them, and it
is reached whenever a man discovers that in a highly imperfect society
the fundamental law makes for justice, that it is impossible to prevent
it from working and that it is entirely possible to remove the
hindrances it encounters and let it have the first play. Nature is
behind the reformer, often unseen, always efficient, and, in the end,
resistless. To get a glimpse of what it can do and what man can help it
do is to get a vision of the kingdoms of the earth, and the glory of
them--a glory that may come from a moral redemption of the economic
system. It is a redemption that man and nature can together bring about
if only man himself is worthy of this alliance.

Differences of mere interest between the various social classes are
inevitable. There will never be a time when, in the division of any
common property, the mere bald interests of the claimants are alike.
When two fishermen own one boat and fish together, each one is
interested in taking the whole catch. They divide, however, by a fair
rule and live in peace. Any similar division may proceed in harmony if
what the parties want is justice. Till recently American workmen have
lived with their employers without hating them; and if wages can be
fixed now by some appeal to the principle of justice, they can live
with them in that way again. This means a better method of adjudicating
claims than by a crude test of strength. There is no time to discuss a
scheme by which this can be done. I must claim that it can be done, and
take the responsibility of proving it when more time is available.
There are beginnings of a good method in New Zealand, in Australia, and
in Canada, and the point I am making now is that if we get a plan which
works well in the United States, we shall save a deplorable waste and
do more to revive the spirit of fraternity than we can by any measure
ever attempted. Struggles of classes there may be, as there are between
buyers and sellers everywhere; but this need not make the parties
enemies. Its effects do not need to extend to the heart and character
and to put distrust and hatred in the place of confidence and good
will. The moral effects of this reform will be the best ones, but the
economic effects also will be vast and beneficent.

I am not predicting a complete millennium merely as the result of the
reforms I have described. That would require also the moral perfection
of the human race. Not a little moral improvement is to be expected as
the effect of these measures, but it is too much to claim that they
will repress all vice and crime, reclaim all criminals, and give to
the race generally a keen devotion to duty. A belief in a State where
even this will be realized is deeply implanted in human nature, and
Socialism itself might easily get a major premise from it. The
syllogism would run thus: (1) A better State is bound to come. (2) It
cannot come under the system of private capital. (3) Therefore that
system must be abolished. So would we all say if the minor premise were
true--"The good State is impossible under private capital." We claim
that it is possible and that we can see how to realize it. We can trace
the forces which, without revolution, will make work lighter, pay
better. We also can make a syllogism, and it reads thus: (1) The
present State is tolerable. (2) Every reform will make it better, and
there are many to be made. (3) The coming State will be whatever we
have wit and energy enough to make it.

Our plea for the justice of the coming system will not convince any man
who starts with the assertion that capital ought to have _no_ return
whatever, and that interest is robbery, and that the men who bring
empty hands to the mill should take all the product of it. To most
men's instinctive judgment this view does not appeal. The general
verdict is that it is right for capital to get something.

If we are fishing together from the shore and I make a canoe which
multiplies my catch by five, I have a right to the extra return which
my new instrument gives me. If my neighbor asks me to lend it to him
and I do so, I deprive myself of the extra product I have been getting
by means of it, and it is right for him to pay me interest on the cost
of the boat. He can do it and make money by the transaction. If his
catch is now five times what it was, he can afford to pay me a part of
the extra return and still be better off than he was before.

If my share is still large, other men will make boats and offer them
for hire. They will compete in lending them till a modest percentage of
the cost is all that any owner can get. The borrowers will then get the
major benefit. This implies competition and shows the necessity of
preserving it.

If, in lieu of lending my canoe, I persuade another man to take it and
fish for me, I shall have to give him more fish than he was originally
catching; and the more the boats multiply, the larger the share which
will have to be given to the men who are hired to work them, and the
smaller the share which will be kept by the owner of any one boat.
_Under a normal condition, multiplying capital means in itself higher
wages._ Higher wages mean that laborers, in the end, begin to get boats
of their own, or shares in boats, and that the laboring-class and the
capitalist class are more and more merged. Invention--that is, devising
and introducing canoes--and accumulation of capital--that is, active
canoe-building--mean for laborers higher pay and a chance to save
capital.

Do you tell me that this is a primitive State, an Eden of the past and
hopelessly vanished from the present earth; that it is a lost Paradise
whose gates are forever barred? The whole point of the economic study
of which I have given the briefest outline is that it is practicable to
create in complex modern life the most essential condition of this
primitive life--its tendency toward justice. In the Scriptures the
primitive Eden was a garden, but the New Jerusalem is a city. What we
have before us for study is a vast centralized economic system
suggesting the city; and we have to see what can be made of it.

It is something extremely good. The late Edward Atkinson was fond of
saying that, if improvements are allowed to do their best, the time
will come when, as he expressed it, "it will not pay to be rich." The
workers will be so comfortable that the care of a great capital will
more than offset any additional comfort a man can get by owning it.
Grotesquely exaggerated as this claim may appear to be, it was based on
serious economic study. There are forces at work which, if they have
free play, will carry human life very far in the direction of the State
so described, with its comfort, contentment, and fraternity.

That fraternity is possible in spite of sharp contention is clear
whenever athletic teams meet and celebrate a game which has been a
victory for one and a defeat for the other; and the parties that
contend in the great industrial field may be equally brotherly if they
play fairly. Foul play always means enmity, and fair play, friendship.
The finest possible type of character grows up in the course of keen
but honorable rivalry. The noblest manhood that can anywhere be
developed would come from competing vigorously in the market and living
together as brothers when the contest closes. The beaten man may not
enjoy his defeat, but he may act rightly and feel rightly toward the
victor. Develop in these economic contests the sense of justice--let
both parties seek to follow a rule of right--and men's hearts, at
least, will not need to be embittered. You will then see a contest,
which, when it is waged with bombs and bludgeons, looks like a Sheol,
so changed that it shall open the way to a transformed world and make
the hope of a future Eden no day-dream, but a scientific deduction from
cosmic law. We may build a new earth out of the difficult material we
have to work with, and cause justice and kindness to rule in the very
place where strife now holds sway. A New Jerusalem may actually arise
out of the fierce contentions of the modern market. The wrath of men
may praise God and his Kingdom may come, not in spite of, but by means
of the contests of the economic sphere.

Socialism can have no monopoly of beatific visions. It offers much in
that direction. It draws a picture of a future State of great riches
and general equality; and the picture is glorified by a vision of
general brotherhood. To some this seems more attractive than any other
which imagination can create. I confess to a preference for a prospect
which assures, before all else, the continuance of progress, and shows
humanity striving to make forward steps and actually making them so
long as the universe shall exist. As between a stationary paradise and
a progressive purgatory, I should prefer the latter, for the sake of
the permanent well-being of the human race; but what I should choose in
preference to either is a progressive paradise. The capacity for
further improvement is the essential trait of the best condition now in
sight. The reformer can point to his delectable mountains and trace an
unending route to and over them, as they rise range beyond range and
lose themselves in the distance. Men are, in general, following the
route, and each generation advances beyond the point attained by its
predecessor. Every step is forward and upward, and the nearest goal
will soon be reached and passed. Our descendants will reach a better
and more distant goal and then press on to something remoter and still
better. Again and again barriers seemingly insurmountable will be
passed. The impossibility of to-day will be the reality of to-morrow,
and the dazzling vision of to-day will be the reality of the future and
the starting-point for still grander achievements.


The Riverside Press
CAMBRIDGE . MASSACHUSETTS
U . S . A





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