erect and manage their own industries, (live them
the benefit of our experience and guidance. And
then you have done something for the peace and pros-
perity of the world.
Short-sighted people are afraid of such counsel, for
they say, "Where would our foreign trade be then?".
When the natives of Africa begin raising their
own cotton and the natives of Russia begin making
their own farming implements and the natives of China
begin supplying their own wants, it will make a dif-
ference to be sure, but does any thoughtful man
imagine that the world can long continue on the pres-
ent basis of a few nations supplying the entire world?
We must think in terms of what the world will be
when civilization becomes general, when all the peoples
have learned to help themselves.
Take Germany for example. The United States
formerly depended on her for dye-stuffs. Now we
are making our own. Isn't it right that we should
make our own ? Had Germany any ground for believ-
ing that we should always remain dependent on her
when our own initiative could make us independent?
Is Germain- doomed because foreign trade is cut off?
Not at all. Germany has the land with which to
feed herself and in the absence of foreign trade she
is left free to develop herself.
When a country grows mad about foreign trade
it usually depends on other countries for its raw ma-
terial, turns its population into factory fodder, creates
a private rich class, and lets its own immediate in-
terests lie neglected.
Here in the United States we have enough work
to do developing our own country to relieve us of the
necessity of looking for foreign trade for a long time.
We have agriculture enough to feed us while we are
doing it ; and money enough to carry the job through
without a jolt.
If there is anything more stupid than the United
States standing idle because Japan or France or any
other country hasn't sent us an order, when there is
a hundred-year job awaiting us in developing our
own country, it would be difficult to discover it.
Every nation's country is its farm, so to speak.
CULTIVATE YOUR OWN MARKET
It can live on it. There are always chores to do to
keep up the farm. There are always improvements
to be made and there's the farmer to do it and food
in his granary to support him while he is doing it.
Commerce in its purity is a great fact. But com-
merce began in service. Men carried of their surplus
to people who had none. The country that raised
corn carried it to the country that could raise no corn.
The lumber country brought wood to the treeless plain.
The vine country brought fruit to cold northern
climes. The pasture country brought meat to the
grassless region. It was all service.
When all the peoples of the world become de-
veloped in the art of self-support, commerce will get
back to that basis. Business will once more become
service. There will be no competition, because the
basis of competition will have vanished. The tropics
have a monopoly of sunshine. The temperate zones
have a monopoly of the hardy grains. The great
pampas have a monopoly of pasturage for cattle
raising. The mineral regions and the oil depositories
have a natural monopoly of these things.
And the peoples will develop skill which will be in
the nature of monopoly and not -competitive. We al-
ready see evidence of these national gifts in the arts.
From the beginning the races have exhibited distinct
strains of genius: this one for government; another
for colonization; another for the sea; another for art
and music; another for agriculture; another for busi-
ness, and so on.
Lincoln said that this nation could not survive half-
slave and half- free. The human race cannot forever
exist half exploiter and half exploited. Until we be-
come buvers and sellers alike, producers and con-
sinners alike, keening the balance not for profit but
for service, we are going to have a topsy-turvy con-
Until society in its relations balances, the account
is going to be wrong. And the 1 best way to balance
it is to make everv nation as nearly self -supporting in
the common necessities as is possible. Then com-
merce may be built up on those articles which do not
depend on competitive throat-cutting for their ad-
vancement, but on sheer need and supply.
France has something to give the world of which
no competition can cheat her. So has Italy. So has
Russia. So have the countries of South America.
So has Japan. So has Britain. So has the United
Everyone kno\vs v , also, that our present system of
foreign exploitation is a menace to our own peace.
President Wilson saw that most clearly in the Mex-
ican situation. Fortunately for our country, both
President and people saw what the trouble was down
there. It was nothing more nor less than the demand
of exploiters that we protect them while they skimmed
the cream of Mexican natural wealth.
There is no backward country in the world but
would welcome any foreign producer who comes in
with a view to developing the country. Because, when-
ever you undertake to develop a country you must de-
velop the people, too. Whenever any people raises the
cry, "Our country for ourselves," as Mexico said,
"Mexico for the Mexicans," it is a sure sign that
they have been exploited by outsiders. Nobody ob-
jects to true development because everybody sees the
good and shares in the benefit of it. But human na-
ture, even in the black savages of Africa, who are
exploited in the rubber trade and the diamond mines,
objects to being regarded as mere human fuel for
foreign forge fires.
Men who are kept busy at home do not start wars
for foreign markets. And foreign markets that are
won through service and not through commercial
trickery are never the breeding cause of wars.
A nation, like a man, should be self-supporting.
Having squared bis own account, the man becomes a
good citizen, a good customer, and a peaceable factor
in the general prosperity. So also the nation.
But, if after the battle of guns, we are going back-
to the battle of goods again, in the same old spirit of
injury and deceit, we are only preparing for the day
when, as in 1914, we drop our order-books and seize
It is the part of wisdom to abolish war everywhere
and first of all in Commerce.
Labor and Capital" Are
AMONG the tools we work with are words. Words
stand for ideas, but ideas are often held back for
lack of words, as freight is held up for lack of cars.
Many men who possess ideas are hindered because
they do not possess enough words to deliver them.
You may notice this in current discussions of our
social problems. It sometimes happens that people
who indulge in these discussions exhibit a lack of
word-tools with which to complete their mental work.
For example : you may hear the whole human race
summed up under two heads, Labor and Capital ; and
you may hear serious discussions proceed on the
, assumption that these two "classes" comprise all the
elements of the social problem.
When you take the man who works with his hands
and set him on one side, and the capitalist-idler on
the other side, you have not divided the human world.
There are hosts of people in between. But because
we are tied to the terms Labor and Capital, we go
along under the notion that we have included every-
The figure 4 will not serve if 7 is meant ; neither
will the word "capitalist" serve when it is only "manu-
facturer" that is intended.
The trouble is that under the terms Labor and
Capital we include elements we do not intend.
We ought to be absolutely merciless in our intel-
lectual isolation of capitalists, so that we may see
them clearly by themselves and not mixed up with
other elements that do not belong there.
To speak only of Labor and Capital is to permit
too much good company to surround the mere capi-
talist who produces nothing and who skims the cream
off oilier men's product.
Under that formula which divides the world into
two classes, the dangerous capitalist is allowed to
escape in the crowd, or take to himself the credit of
other people who happen to be mistaken for mem-
bers of his class. lie claims the credit due the man-
ufacturer, banker, legitimate financier for it must
always be borne in mind that a man may be a manu-
facturer, a banker or a gifted financier without being
within a thousand miles of the status of a mere
There is a tendency in some circles to recognize
the poverty of these word-tools "labor" and "capital,"
and to help enrich them by adding another "public
The idea is that somewhere between "labor" on
the one hand and "capital" on the other, there stands
a neutral body of humanity which is neither "labor"
nor "capital," but the Public.
This idea is erroneous. It is applicable only in
the most narrowly local way. If a small group like the
street railway employes or the milkmen any small
group that serves the larger group has an industrial
disagreement which prevents its giving service, thus
causing public loss or danger, then this entity which
we call Public Opinion asserts itself, because the Pub-
lic is larger than the group that disturbs its functions.
But in the larger social sense, when you have
marshaled all the people who are involved in the social
problem, you have none left to classify as the Public
there are no neutrals. Public Opinion, as it is com-
mon!}- meant, can exist only when the majority is not
directly concerned in a disagreement but only affected
bv its results.
If there were "labor" and "capital" only, as two
camps, with Public Opinion between, and if this Pub-
lic Opinion were definitely decided as to the difference
between the two camps, then the difficulty would be
as good as settled.
If Public Opinion were some great Court of the
Human Conscience to which, on a set day. Labor and
Capital could both go to plead their cause and get a
verdict in agreement with the will of the Public, it
would be very simple. But in the larger social prob-
"LAIJOR AND CAPITAL" ARE FALSE TERMS
leni, when you have drawn up your litigants, there is
no one left to man the bench.
Better than Public Opinion is the Social Con-
science; this exists over and in and through all social
divisions. We know, some of us vividly and some of
us vaguely, that something is wrong with the social
system. And we know that we scarcely know enough
about the trouble to set it right. But the world and
his wife, of all classes and interests, are mulling the
matter over in their minds. By and by they will de-
cide that the trouble is here, and here, and there, and
having decided this, the Social Conscience, which is
far more effective than Public Opinion, will step in
and set right the wrong.
We arc- always doing that. The difficulty is that
no individual life is long enough to see how steadily
social progress has been made, how relentlessly the
Social Conscience has kept on the job. We can hardly
visualize the progress that has been made in our own
lifetime. Certainly we are leaving a better system to
our children than our fathers left to us. And it is
certain that those who come after us will build upon
our work where it is good, and tear it down where it
is bad. Our work is bad wherever we have allowed
selfish or class interest to rule it. It is good wherever
we have looked to justice and humanity to guide us.
But what we were saying is that in adding the
word-tool "Public Opinion" we have not helped very
much our poverty of word-symbols for the tilings we
are trying to think intelligently about.
If we must divide the world into two camps, win-
no! label them Producers and N on- Producers? That
rules out the idlers of everv class and we must isolate
the idlers first. When we find the producers and
classity them according to their value to the pro-
ductive process, then we are in a position to go on to
the question of distributing the rewards of production.
It is in industry as in the recent war: the war
could not have been carried on only bv the men who
bore rifles in the- front trenches. The engineers, tile-
transport men, the commissary, the managing officers,
the financial geniuses, the planners and managers both
military and civil - these also had a part in the war.
It required six men to maintain one soldier in the field.
So, when you say Labor or Producers, whom do
you mean? Not only the infantrymen of industry at
the machines in the shops, but all who in any way
are essential to the making of the product.
The man whose idea gave birth to the machine,
the draughtsman whose skill determined the relation
of part with part, the trained machine maker whose
ability and experience brought the machine into exist-
ence, all these have their part as well as the workman
who operates the machine after it is built and installed.
The manager who may not soil his hands at all,
whose workbench may be a desk, whose job is to make
the shop a harmonious whole so that neither time, ef-
fort nor material is wasted, also has a part in the
product. Management is an essential part of in-
dustry, it is a trade in itself.
Then there is the financial end of the business,
whose part is to see that enough money is brought in
to pay the workman and to carry the business over
slack periods or periods of expansion this also is pro-
ductive work. Everyone knows what a tragedy it is
when a business fails through mismanagement or bad
financiering. It simply destroys jobs, throws men
out of work, renders their earning ability a total loss
for the time being, and often makes a sad difference
in the condition of families.
So, when you have begun with the workman who
is the infantryman of industry and gone on through
all the departments which co-operate with the work-
man to render his work effective and his job profitable
and secure, you reach the man who is sometimes called
"the big boss." And yet because he is "the big boss"
it does not follow that he is a mere capitalist.
In the division of humanity into "Labor" and
"Capital" you may not fairly include the manufac-
turer with "capitalists."
A manufacturer works. He has a part in the pro-
duction of useful commodities. He earns his bread.
But a capitalist doesn't work at all. In a false
phrase, "his money works for him." Having control
of capital which he did nothing to acquire he uses it to
LABOR AND CAPITAL ARE FALSE TERMS
skim a heavy tax off other men's product. When you
get to these idlers who gamble in money, you have
reached the "capitalist," but in all fairness we ought
to be careful upon whom we place that name.
Someone asked recently who came first, the work-
man or the capitalist? The questioner meant who
came first, the workman or the manager, the laborer
or the inventor ?
In the simple work of the early man which con-
sisted entirely in self-support all were equal, but the
world was not the comfortable civilized sphere which
we have today.
In the work of industry, that is, the creation of
work for others by which articles of use might be
made for all, the man with the idea came first. In-
dustry did not begin spontaneously. Someone first
had an idea. Most of the men who had the idea which
set others to work, did not have the money. They
were not "capitalists" in the modern sense. Their
capital was in their idea. If they gained money af-
terward, they gained it by what people paid for the
use of their idea in usable form. Mere capitalists,
men who possess money and nothing else, men who
use their control of money to escape useful work this
class of "capitalists"" never has ideas that help the
world. It schemes to fatten on other men's ideas.
Sometimes the man with an idea makes money,
sometimes he doesn't. Our history is full of the tales
of men who really discovered the idea and failed to
profit by it. They were not managers. Some ''capi-
talist" took it and made money out of it.
But when the man with an idea combines man-
aging ability with it, and his idea fills a felt want in
the world, he makes money. He doesn't make it alone,
of course ; everyone who works with him helps him.
The question then conies : Does he make too
much? Does he take too large a share for himself?
Is he overpaid for what he has contributed?
\\ell, he usually begins in a verv small way. A
business that now employs over 50,000 men began
less than fifteen years ago with 20 men. The idea
proved useful and acceptable to the public, and busi-
ness grew. If whatever that idea made in money had
been equally distributed every Saturday night between
the proprietor and the 20 men then employed, do you
suppose the business would ever have had a surplus
on which to grow to its present dimensions, giving
employment under far better conditions and better
pay to 50,000 men than the first 20 men enjoyed?
No. Things being as they are, the business might
have lived and supported 20 men. But the chances
are it would have died, and the idea would have been
seized and exploited by others whose sole object would
have been profits and not service and industrial im-
Capital that a business makes for itself, that is
employed to expand the workman's opportunity and
increase his comfort and prosperity, and that is used
to give more and more, and ever more men work, at
the same time reducing the cost of service to the pub-
lic that sort of capital, even though it be under single
control, is not a menace to humanity. It is a working
surplus held in trust and daily use for the benefit of
To regard such surplus as a, personal reward is
hardly possible to the intelligent and honest possessor
or controller of it. One big reason stands in the way
of any man regarding such surplus as his own, namely,
that he himself did not make it all. It is the joint
product of his whole organization. The manufac-
turer's idea may have released all the energy and di-
rected it, but certainly it did not supply it. Every
workman, whatever his part, was a partner in the
creation of it.
And yet no business can possibly be considered
only with reference to today and to the individuals
engaged in it. To liquidate every day or every week
or every year would be the death of business ; it would
prevent expansion, it would subject the business to
the mercy of every up or down of conditions. This
means, of course, that it would constantly jeopardize
every job involved in (he business.
The best wages ought to be paid. A proper living
ought to be assured every participant in the business,
LABOR AND CAPITAL ARE FALSE TERMS
no matter what his part. But for the sake of that
business' ability to support those who work in it, a
surplus ought to be held somewhere for the business'
benefit. And that is the only relation the honest man-
ufacturer has with the surplus profits which his idea
Ultimately it does not matter where this surplus is
held nor who controls it ; it is its use that matters.
Capital that is not constantly creating more and
better jobs is more useless than sand.
Capital that is not constantly making the condi-
tions of daily labor better and the reward of daily
labor more just, is not fulfilling its highest function.
The highest use of capital is not to make more
money, but to make money do more service for the
betterment of life. Unless we in our industries are
helping to solve the social problem, we are not doing
our principal work.
The Right of a Man to His Work
THE Rights of Man! It has been the battle cry
of progress for generations. But what are the
rights of man? What determines them? And who
guarantees them? We talk quite glibly about hu-
man rights without stopping to consider whether they
are really rights or not, and if they are, how they
came to be.
It is one thing to claim a certain right. It is an-
other thing to have the community recognise your
claim as a right. And it is still quite another thing to
have that recognized claim acknoivlcdged in such a
way that you can avail yourself of it.
Human rights were not always what they are
With the organization of society, the number of
human rights tends to increase.
The reason for this doubtless is found in the fact
that when you organize human society you do it by
regulating everybody connected with it. You cut off
certain elements of freedom here and there. You do
this, of course, for the purpose of preventing trespass
on the freedom of all the people. Civilization is
But in doing this work of restraining the wild and
reckless tendencies of men, you balance it by denning
certain Rights which they keep. You cannot define
your own rights without denning the other man's, too.
When government is set up. taxation goes with it.
But the right of taxation on the part of the govern-
ment involves the right of representation on the part
of the man w r ho pays the taxes.
That in turn involves his equal participation in the
benefits which the tax money purchases.
Thus Civil Rights grow. They become by demand
"equal rights," for the only way to keep one man's
right from trespassing on another's, is to keep both
rights equal. And that is the essence of democracy.
THE RIGHT OF A MAN TO HIS WORK
Here in America we have long been proud to say that
we believe in "equal rights before the law" for all
men. Whether we really achieve that desirable con-
dition is another question.
But Civil Rights do not exhaust human rights.
Our rights as citizens are a small part of our real
rights as human beings.
To sum up the list of Rights claimed for people
today would make a list longer than this page. It
runs all the way from the right to be well born, to the
right to be fairly judged when life is done, and it in-
cludes all that goes between. If we were only as keen
about our duties as we are about our rights, this
would be a fine old world.
The Rights of which we hear most today are those
which concern men's life in Industry.
Now when men lived on the land and got their
living by farming, that mode of industry gave rise to
certain rights land rights, riparian rights, road rights
and the rest.
And so when men began to organize themselves in
modern industrial work, the new form of life brought
its rights along with it too they grew out of the cir-
cumstances ; they grew out of the human conscience
as it considered the balance of equity between man
Some of these rights we have discussed in this col-
umn at one time or another, but there is one which
is paramount, which precedes and conditions all the
It is The Right To Work.
Years ago. when anyone could get a plot of land
and support himself, besides adding a little to the
surplus of the world, they used to preach The Duty
There is not much chance tor that kind of preach-
ing nowadays. We are more accustomed to the sight
of men hunting for work than to the spectacle of men
trying to escape work.
Among the new industrial rights, then, is this
The Right of The Man to A Job.
As long as we have reorganized society on an in-
dustrial basis, we have got to see that our industries
offer a place to every worker to earn his living.
That is primary humanity. You may thresh around
it for a hundred years, but it will still be facing you
in the end.
It would not do much good to discuss the theory
of this. It is very simple. Every human being has
the Right to live in self-respect. It is the collective
duty to acknowledge that right by providing for it.
In a natural state of society it would take care of
itself. As matters are now, it must be deliberately
Now, assuming that there are more men than
there is work, what are we to do in order to protect
men in The Right To A Job.
A number of ways suggest themselves at once. We
shall do scarcely more than name them.
The work day might be shortened, thus curtailing
the output of a worker and forcing the hiring of an-
other man to keep up the output. The disadvantage
of this plan, of course, is that it cannot be extended
indefinitely. Let us agree that good management
could reduce the work day to a point where the phys-
ical health of the worker would be benefited and the
strength of the business not injured yet, even so, it
is doubtful if this alone would guarantee anyone a
Again : child labor might be diminished and its
place supplied with adults. Without doubt the em-
ployment of children has had the effect of keeping