many times. But after a while they begin to build
with it. The man with a fact need not worry about
the indifference of the multitudes; let him tie up to
his fact. In due time it will find its place. But he
must be careful that it is a Fact, and not merely a
notion of something he thinks could be made a fact
if he could get enough people to agree with him.
Agreement doesn't make facts. But facts make agree-
ment. People who don't agree with facts get bumped
by them. But it is not your place to do the bumping
the fact takes care of that.
What kills propaganda is the obvious purpose be-
hind it. One little admixture of self-interest and
your effort is wasted. You cannot preach patriotism
to men for the purpose of getting them to stand still
while you rob them and get away with that kind of
preaching very long.
You cannot preach the duty of working hard and
producing plentifully, and make that a screen for an
additional profit to yourself.
There has been too much of this kind of psycho-
logical crime committed in the world these past few
years the crime of bringing men to act from the
highest and sincerest motives of self-sacrifice, and
then using that high spirit for the lowest purposes.
We are going to pay the price of that sort of
trifling, for there is nothing th?^ K eals so slowly and
hurts so long as wounded faith.
Just now the country is being flooded with propa-
ganda designed to improve the state of mind in which
the people find themselves with regard to industrial
and economic questions. This new propaganda con-
tains much truth, a great many things which the people
need to know, and knowing which they would be
saved from some very grave errors of thought and
But for the most part it is propaganda from a class
to a class, and it has a design behind it which arouses
The workingman is not going to take his views of
duty from a man or a class whose privileges or profits
depend on the workingman taking that point of view.
Employers or capitalists or close corporations of
HONEST AND DISHONEST PROPAGANDA
international speculators who think they can mobilize
the mind of the common people and issue orders to
it, or who think they can hire a few writers and speak-
ers and solve the whole troublesome situation with
nicely selected words and phrases, are either very ig-
norant of human nature or are unbalanced by an
exaggerated sense of their own importance and
The plain people have stood in line a long time
and have been lectured and ordered about. As long
as they were persuaded that it was for the good of
their country to be thus regimented, they agreed to it.
But the wastes and shameless profiteering which ac-
companied the war have brought them a disgusting
sense that in sacrifice as in other things there may be
class lines too ; one mass may do all the sacrificing,
while one class reaps all the gains.
Propaganda issuing from a recognized class whose
interests are all bound up in the preservation of the
old order of things, is not only a waste of effort, it is
a positive irritant to the people to whom it is ad-
dressed. They resent it, and there is hot blood in their
Undoubtedly the employing class possess facts
which their employes ought to know in order to con-
struct sound opinions and pass fair judgments; and
undoubtedly the employed class possess facts which are
equally important to the case and which everyone
ought to know.
It is extremely doubtful, however, that either side
has all the facts.
And this is where propaganda, even if it were
possible for it to be entirely successful, is defective.
It is not desirable that one set of ideas be "put over"
on a class holding another set of ideas, but that out
of both sets of ideas the true, constructive and har-
monizing truth may be brought forth.
If you are going to rely on ideas, that is the way
you must get them.
But there is something better, more immediatelv
effective than the propaganda of ideas just now, and
that is the Act that illustrates the Idea.
The best propaganda an employer can use is to
do right now for his own men what he knows he can
and ought to do.
We have been waiting too much for "social
changes." We might make a start with shop changes.
We have been talking too much about the "con-
flict of the classes." We might make a start toward
abolishing classes in our own sphere of influence.
The best propaganda you can ever have is the
reputation of being square, humane and thoughtful
of others all the time. There are some things you
can never tell men, nor persuade them of by speech
or literature. But if the things are there, the men will
know it you may be sure of that.
There is a great fever and flutter in certain high
financial circles, and much speaking and discussion,
about getting in closer touch with the men, introducing
the human element, and so on.
It is all very good. But you will have to take it
out of speeches and committees you will have to get
it into your own heart first. You have got to do
something that no one but yourself can do. That is,
what you do must be personal and it must cost you
something. It is too late in the day for mere "jolly-
ing" and "gladhanding." Men are ready to meet you
half way, but it must be something more than a senti-
ment they meet ; it must be the real thing; actual, mani-
Society isn't something thrust down upon us by
some law ; we make it ourselves. Social conditions
are not made for us from outside, like the weather ;
we make them ourselves ; they are the net result of the
daily relations between man and man. We give them
high-sounding names, but this is all they really are.
Every shop can become a center of a new social
order simply through the introduction of a new so-
cial spirit a new social spirit evidenced by some act
which costs the management something and which
benefits all. That is the only way you can prove your
good intentions and win respect for your attitude.
Propaganda, bulletins, lectures, everything that can
be hired done or made by machine fades into insig-
nificance beside the persuading, compelling power of
a right act sincerely done.
Grow Along With the Business
WE WHO have found our place in life and have
become matured, are sometimes inclined to for-
get that the young men who are coming after us are
troubled by the same urge and the same questions
which troubled us. Every young man who is sensitive
and intelligent enough to realize that the life before
him must be made is almost certain to pass through a
period of painful searching before he finds the place
which he feels will give him his opportunity. He
knows he must work, but where ? at what ? He knows
there is a place for him somewhere, but how can he
We are likely to forget this pain of youth. \Ve
are likely to forget how earnestly we sought counsel of
older folks, and how inadequate and unconvincing the
counsel was when we got it. And yet young men, in
spite of all their apparent difference from what we
were when we were young, are really treading the
same paths. The world of affairs has changed a great
deal, but man has not.
It is not the intention of this article to give any of
the ordinary advice to young men. There are certain
things which were true a thousand years ago and will
be true a thousand years hence if civilization endures
that long, and which everyone knows knows, that
is, as far as being aware can constitute knowledge ;
but there is a knowledge by experience which drives
the outer knowledge home and clinches it like a nail.
And this experience cannot be provided for another
or substituted. The best \ve can do in that matter is
to prevent as far as possible the needless and bitter
experiences which come from foil}'.
But perhaps it would serve a useful purpose if we
answered the young man's question as lo whether the
new industrial conditions of the world have had an
effect on his chances to achieve success in a special
wav ; that is, whether the intensive organization of
our life has not operated to close up some of the
former avenues of advancement.
There is no use whatever in dealing with stale
platitudes in such a matter or in giving the young man
a general counsel. Certain matters must be admitted
at once. There has been a change, but in what does
It is true, that more young men than ever before
make their start in places prepared for them. To the
young man with no influence, this looks like a disad-
vantage at the very outset. But he is exaggerating its
importance. For one thing, those boys who drop into
nice specially prepared places do not always make
good; indeed, a very small percentage of them do.
No man of affairs ever had enough sons or relatives to
run his business. The men who are in the important
places of American business concerns are not the men
who began in soft berths ; they are the men who
showed themselves more capable than those who were
born or lifted into those berths.
It may also be admitted that the young man who
enters industry today enters a very different system
from that in which the young man of 15 or 25 years
ago began his career. The system has been tightened
up, there is less "play" or friction in it ; fewer matters
are left to the haphazard will of the individual ; the
modern worker finds himself part of an organization
which apparently leaves him little initiative.
Yet, with all this, it is not true that "men are mere
machines." It is not true that opportunity has been
lost in organization. If the young man will liberate
himself from his false ideas of this matter and regard
the system for what it is, rather than for what it is
not, he will find that what he thought was a barrier
is really an aid.
Factory organization is not a device to prevent the
expansion of ability, but a device to reduce the waste
and losses due to mediocrity. It is not a device to
hinder the ambitious, clear-headed man from doing
his best, but a device to prevent the don't-care sort
of individual from doing his worst. That is to say,
when laziness, carelessness, slothfulness and lack-in-
terest are allowed to have their own way, everybody
GROW ALONG WITH THE BUSINESS
suffers. The factory cannot prosper and therefore
cannot pay living wages. When an organization makes
it necessary for the don't-care class to do better than
they naturally would, it is for their benefit they are
better mentally, physically and financially. Ask your-
self how much wages we should be able to pay if we
trusted a large don't-care class to their own methods
and gait of production. Now, the young man ought to
get that idea very firmly in his mind, and he ought to
look at the entire question seriously and observe the
system itself intelligently to see if this is not just the
way it works.
On the other hand, if the factory system which
brought mediocrity up to a higher standard, operated
also to keep ability down to a lower standard it
would be a very bad system, a very bad system indeed.
Even a system, be it ever so perfect, must have able
individuals to operate it. No system operates itself.
More brains are needed today than ever before,
but perhaps they are not needed in the same place as
they once were. It is just like power; formerly every
machine was run by foot power; the power was right
at the machine. But nowadays we have moved the
power back, concentrated it in the power-house ; it is
no longer necessary to generate it by muscular power
at the machine. Thus also we have made it unneces-
sary for the highest types of mental ability to be en-
gaged in every operation at the factory, and by doing
this we have enabled men of very ordinary mental
equipment to profit by the plans of men of larger
mental ability, and the consequence is that everybody
is producing more and enjoying more than ever before.
Everyone who knows anything and "knows that
he knows" this last is very important begins at
the beginning; that is to say, he begins wherever he is
fit to begin. Where are you fit to begin? "Well,"
says a young fellow, "I suppose I would have to be-
gin at the bottom." Good ! It is the best place to
begin and the easiest place to get away from.
But, remember this, you are not there to stay un-
less you ought to. It is really your duty to progress
in order to make room for the man behind you.
But you must not think that the factory exists for
the express purpose of promoting you. As long as
you are there, your business is to promote the business
of the factory. Then, as it advances, you go with it.
Every business that is growing is creating new
places for capable men. It cannot help but do so. A
settled business that is just holding its own, where
someone must die or resign before there can be ad-
vancements, is necessarily slow in promotions. But
growing businesses are not.
This does not mean that new openings come every
day and in groups. Not at all. Ambitious young fel-
lows often wish that chances would occur at a rate
which would be simply ruinous. But it is the fellow
who can stand the gaff of routine for a long time and
still keep himself alive and alert in it, that will be
remembered and chosen. It is not sensational bril-
liance we seek in our business, but sound substantial
dependability day after day. Not skyrockets, but
men whose sounder qualities can be depended upon.
More young men lose out through impatience than
any other cause. Big enterprises of necessity move
slowly and cautiously. When you become impatient,
you had better lay it away for a year or two. At about
the same time that you saw a certain thing ought to
be done, and were irritated because it was not done,
your superiors saw it too, and began to readjust af-
fairs so that it could be done. That takes time. Don't
lose your own chances by jumping out just when your
advancement might have been absolutely secured by
patient industry. Industry is just doing the same thing-
time after time with an effort to do it better. The
young man with an ambition for his own future ought
to take a long look ahead and leave an ample margin
of time for things to happen.
Revolutions Not Promoters
THE Root problem, after all, is human nature.
But to say that is to lay oneself open to the charge
of platitude. There is an almost instinctive human
dislike of any reminder that it is humanity, and not
something outside of humanity, that is responsible for
conditions. Even our wise men would rather talk
learnedly about the effects of faulty human nature, as
we view those effects in society, than about faulty
human nature itself. However, there is a very good
object to be secured in compelling people to think
deeply enough at times to penetrate as far as them-
selves, as far as their own secret natures, and as far
as their individual responsibility for conditions.
We don't want to standardize human nature -we
could not if we would. It is the endless variety of
individuality that makes society endurable. But what
all of us would like to do would be to standardize hu-
man moral dependability. We should like to be sure
that to a certain essential degree we could absolutely
depend on human nature "staying put." We are not
sure of that now. We are not sure that we ever shall
be sure of it.
We can depend on the ability of certain elements
which affect human nature. Man's need of food, sleep,
clothing and family life will influence him to a consid-
erable degree ; but even in spite of these he will still
remain an unknown moral quantity.
When you form blocks of granite into the shape
of a house, you arc pretty sure that the granite is
going to stay. But when you form men into an orderly
society, you are not at all sure how long that form
of society is going to stay. Unlike material of the
house, the material of society changes under ye 1 "'
hands. There is no forecasting whether it will turr,
into adamant or sponge. Tt is now solid, now fluid,
now hot, now cold, now orderly, now exultinjr in vast
Whatever may be the conditions in which we find
ourselves at present, this is absolutely true of them:
they were caused by people; they are being continued
by people ; they will change when people change, and
not before. We cannot control the weather, nor every
plague, but we can control rather, we could control
if we would our social weather, with its storms, its
uncertainty, its destructiveness and its unequal
One of the strange phenomena of the present is
the ascendancy of the destructive type of mind.
The world at large seems to be infatuated with the
idea that if something is pulled down, something is
thereby built up; if something is destroyed, something
is thereby created.
There is in every country a party which believes
that if it could destroy the orderly institutions of that
country, it would thereby create a new era of social
Every community has a group which believes that
if only the channels of orderly justice and decency
could be smashed, a new brotherhood of man would
rise automatically out of the ruin.
Would-be philosophers preach the doctrine of the
necessity of revolution ; never was any progress made,
they say, except through violent revolutions. But
everybody knows that every revolution was a mistake
and disgraced or postponed the liberties it sought. The
most revolutionary thing in the world is an idea, and
a conquering idea does not need to imprison, punish
or kill a man to make itself powerful.
In the name of Order, disorder is counselled ; in
the name of Liberty, the dictatorship of a few idle and
non-productive agitators is urged ; in the name of
Brotherhood, profound and venomous hatred between
the classes is fomented. Surely, human nature is the
sum of all contradictions !
What every thoughtful man should fear about a
possible revolution is not its occurrence, but the course
it would take after it was started.
The difficulty about revolutions is the impossibility
of controlling them an impossibility shared even by
the men who start revolutions. They get out of hand.
REVOLUTIONS NOT PROMOTERS OF PROGRESS
They rage like forest-fires. Very often they destroy
even those who instigated them.
Revolutions are not orderly, social forces march-
ing to the establishment of a new and better order.
They are an outlet of hellish hatreds and unbridled
passions, massive thefts, the death of moral and social
responsibility, a most horrible debauch of all that is
rottenest in human nature.
Humanity does not know of what stuff it is made
until the restraint of society is taken off, and the mask
is taken off, and human greeds and jealousies and
ignorances and passions are given full sway.
The revolutions of which we may read comfortably
in the books are not at all the revolutions the people
went through. The real thing is the collapse of every
element that justifies mankind considering itself as a
However, it is not alone to the disgruntled man
that we must look for these destructionist influences.
We are far too prone to talk as if the "Reds" were
the only ones engaged in destroying social order and
the solidity of social institutions.
Not at all. Any man, rich or poor, in business or
in politics, who does anything that undermines men's
faith in the essential justice at least of society's in-
tentions, is thereby destroying society aS rapidly, as
menacingly, as criminally as any "Red" could do it.
What you find at one extreme of society, that you
will find at the other. Rich criminals make poor
criminals. Lawless millionaires make lawless miners.
Lawless statesmen make lawless citizens. It works
out inevitably this way.
If you have profiteers in the big brownstone build-
ings, you will have hold-up men in the streets.
If you have a "to hell with the People" spirit in
your higher offices, you are going to have a "to hell
with the Government" spirit in the lower sections of
your cities and don't you forget it ! What's sauce
for the capitalistic gander is sauce for the laboristic
It is not too much to say that the whole impetus
of this present plague of lawlessness came from the
top. Its whole reason for being comes from what
we so wrongly call the "upper classes." These more
favored classes were lawless first. And their law-
lessness is coming back upon them with redoubled
retribution, for the very fact that it is they who are
now pleading for law and order is the reason why the
plea is laughed at. Yes, law that the people may be
kept in order, but no order so strict as that the priv-
ileged ones shall have to obey the law ! that is the
When they are trying the criminals of the Great
War, they ought not to overlook the profiteers.
The profiteer is the most dangerous of all the
"Reds" that have ever appeared on earth. He is more
dangerous than kings for we can get rid of kings.,
He is even more dangerous than militarists militar-
ists turn out to be very fallible men when their helmets
and gold braid are removed. But the profiteer is al-
ways there, playing inside all the lines, making money
out of soldiers' deaths and the distress of nations
the dirtiest money that ever found its way into a
The profiteer ought to be charged specifically with
(a) defrauding the Government, (b) treason to the
Army, (c) giving aid and comfort to the enemy, and
(d) fomenting disloyalty in time of war.
It is pretty hard to gainsay the now common argu-
ment that a society which harbors the profiteer is
itself in need of reform.
The profiteer is one of the excuses one of the
good excuses which the "Reds" offer for their pres-
ent attitude. And if the "Reds" would only center
their attention there and help us get rid of the
profiteers, that would be doing a regenerative and
The crimes of the profiteer after the war, the in-
crease of his already too big gains by speculating with
the food of the people, certainly point him out as the
one influence which more than any other has driven
people into enmity toward our present form of society.
This is where the destructive spirit was born.
Why would it not be a wise move to attack the
destructive spirit at its source? Why not go after
those men whose actions destroy the people's faith in
the possibility of justice? They ought to be made
to pay the penalty, and not society.
THE destructionist groups, which have been mak-
ing so much noise of recent months and causing
the government so much difficulty in dealing with
them, represent a type of individual which we always
have with us. If they are apparently very noisy now
about destroying the more settled and time-proved
institutions, it is only because these institutions hap-
pen to be to the fore. When the subject was some-
thing else, the attitude was the same.
That is to say, the man whose only remedy for
governmental flaws is to destroy the government, is
the same type of man who goes to breaking dishes on
the floor in a fit of anger. He would rather smash
his pipe than clean it ; he would rather strike his son
than counsel him ; he would rather damn his opponent
than understand him.
Whenever men of this type are placed up against
any problem which needs intelligence and patience for
its solution, they react at once to their temperamental
cure-all, destruction. They are the kind of men who
rip a collar to pieces because a buttonhole will not
readily open. In a world of their own these men
would not be bothersome, for in a world controlled
by them there would be nothing to destroy. The very
lack of the product of other men's constructive patience
would force them to grub for the means to live; it
would leave them no time for their peculiar disorder
to assert itself. There is mighty little of the de-
structive element in a state of society which strains
everybody's energies to make both ends meet.
Destructive temperaments are largely the product
of a condition of plenty and leisure. "Men kick when
they wax fat." Destructiveness is a pest which can
live only in cultivated fields. Let it destroy that on
which it lives, and the destructiveness dies too, like a
mania which has sated itself.
The world is large and there is much merit in a
recent suggestion that a fertile island under control
of the United States should be set aside for those who
apparently abhor government, an island where, with-