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Man's productivity thereby was increased 1,000 fold. This invention wrought a veritable industrial revolution in the South. England's annual import of cotton at the end of the 17th century was 2,000,000 pounds, which amount was hardly one day's supply fifty years later. In other words, from 1800 to 1850 England increased her cottom importations over 300 fold.

The second invention was the patent reaper invented in 1834 by McCormick, with the aid of which and a team of horses it became possible to perform the work of about twenty-five hand laborers. Recently, the introduction of the gasoline tractor has again multiplied this advantage about 300 per cent, so that in this matter alone man's productivity has been increased, say 75 to 100 times over what it was during the 18th century.

I mentioned the mechanizing of the processes of industry as being another cause, going hand in hand with invention and aiding man greatly in his effort to produce wealth more rapidly. I mean to refer to the processes of manufacture whereby each man in a factory, like Ford's, for example, performs one simple operation and that only, and over and over again, and thus becomes just like a cog in a machine. Some beautiful illustrations of this mechanizing tendency are furnished, for example, by the stockyards industry in Chicago. "A few years ago fifty per cent of the slaughterers were master butchers. Each could kill, dress, quarter and prepare the hide. The rest of the force were their assistants. Today forty-four different workmen in succession perform their task on the animal." Another good illustration of this process of mechanizing industry, carried to an extreme, is found in the factory of the International Harvester Company. To give a single illustration: A small plate called a "sickle section" used on all grass cutting or grain cutting machines requires thirty operations in its fabrication.

It seems hardly necessary to suggest that this subdivision of processes, each process requiring practically no technical knowledge and a workman of the most passive, stolid temperament, has been one of the basic causes of present-day unrest. "Against the dead, stupifying monotony of such work a virile laborer is bound to rise and rebel."


Taken as a whole, no one knows to what extent man's produc

tivity has been increased during the 19th century. Certainly the increase has been very great. I think that it was Stephen Leacock, Professor of Political Economy in McGill University, Canada, who estimated that for illustrative purposes we could say that man's ability to produce wealth had increased 100 fold during recent decades, and that in the same time the world's population had increased three-fold, so that a net increase per capita could conservatively be placed at thirty-fold or more.

Had the world been willing to continue to live as did our greatgrandfathers, wearing coarse clothing, living in crude dwellings and subsisting on simple food, one or the other of two things might have occurred: Either 29 out of 30 men might have ceased work entirely, or if all could have arranged to do an equal amount, then it would not have become necessary for any one to work more than one day in thirty. But society did not choose to continue in its old ways nor to neglect its opportunities for development. The result we all know. During a century there has been produced immeasurably more wealth than in all the history of the world that has gone before. Our present-day city with its sanitary houses, streets well lighted, paved and drained, our homes interconnected by telephone and street car and automobile, and our cities interconnected by railroad and telegraph lines and aeroplanes, all of these things have replaced the London of the 18th century, aye, most of them have been developed and put into service within the memory of this generation.


The next sentence of our text is to the effect that as a result of these great material changes which have so profoundly affected the lives of every one of us, the "sociological and economic conditions of the world are in a state of flux leading to new alignments of society."

The last clause, "leading to new alignments of society," is capable of a wide degree of interpretation. If you hold the viewpoint of the Bourbon, you may see in "new alignments" the elimination of trial by jury and the suppression of free speech to the socialist and syndicalist and I. W. W.; but from the viewpoint of the bolshevik, "new alignments" may mean the overthrow of our present social order. These are but the extreme viewpoints as to what may be the outcome of our present state of social flux.

Have you a viewpoint? Have we, as a profession, a viewpoint? Have we not a responsibility, as individuals and a profession, which should lead us to study these social questions, obtain a viewpoint and become one effective factor in their solution?

In a recent book by Mr. John R. Commons, the author says: "Seventy years ago, or nearly 150 years after the times we have described, Karl Marx and his fellow socialists issued from London their Communist Manifesto. Two great conclusions were proclaimed: pacificism and internationalism. Both of these doctrines grew out of what Marx interpreted to be the economic development of history. Modern industry had grown up since the invention of the steam engine. Capitalism had spread beyond the bounds of a single nation. Capitalists knew no country and sought investments in all parts of the world where profits could be obtained.

"On the other hand, labor had nothing to expect from the governments or capitalists of Europe. The working men of all nations must organize throughout all nations. Because capital had become international.

And so, while Marx attacked both property and government, he also held up to the workingman a grand ideal of the international brotherhood of labor. Labor would ultimately, without any effort on its own part, but by the natural evolution of industry, come into possession of the machinery of production. The capitalists would disappear and with them would disappear nations."*

The teachings of Karl Marx have been a source of inspiration to most all modern radical agitators. His doctrines and theories have given rise to bolshevism and to soviet Russia and to many other isms that are dangerous fevers at work on the body of present-day society. Millions of men in Europe, and perhaps hundreds of thousands in America, largely as a result of the teachings of Nicholas Lenine, a disciple of Marx, are today afflicted with an infectious social malady. Many of these men deny the right of the state to exist and would destroy the church and the home and everything that goes to make up modern society. But radical socialism, bolshevism, syndicalism, I. W. W.-ism and all other isms that are at present disturbing society, although dom

*Industrial Good Will, by John R. Commons.

inant today in Russia and dangerous beyond question in many of the other nations of Europe, do not in America constitute our greatest problem.

Society in general, upheaved by war, is engaged just now in a sort of "economic Dance of Death," in which we are all "made to stand and deliver," and every one is trying to "get his” and get it quick and lots of it. The profiteer set the example, the workingman followed suit with alacrity and now, in self-defense, every other class is falling into line. Where is the end, gentlemen, of this wild orgy of extravagance and greed and selfishness that has possessed the people of this country? The spree must come to an end, you and I know and appreciate as well as any group. Have we no peculiar obligations as engineers, and if so, what are they; what is there to be done, and how can we do it?

May I not insert parenthetically some words of Carol Wight to the effect, "There is first of all a very pressing need for more honesty, charity and reverence in the world today than ever before. There can be no social life worth the name without mutual trust and no mutual trust without mutual hon

esty. There can be no abiding charity, if life is only a game of putting it over on the other man and getting by." The great trouble today is that mutual trust has disappeared. The "proletariat". has lost faith in the "bourgeoisie." How to restore this faith and fortify it, is the stupendous problem confronting us today, confronting you and me, men, as members of a great profession.


Whether we like it or not, the time has passed when the individual can hope to possess the influence in the affairs of society that he once enjoyed, except he stand as the leader of a group. In fact, democracy in America has always been dominated by one group or another. We were first ruled by a beneficient oligarchy of brains, and I might add, largely legal brains, later by organized capital, and today, the united power of men who work with their hands threatens to completely control, if not overthrow, government. Democracy during the recent war was a compromise between three organized units of society: organized capital, organized labor, and organized agriculture. For example, the price of wheat was determined by compromising the demands of representatives of the American Federation of Labor and representatives of "cer

tain farmers' organizations." The farmer wanted $2.50 a bushel. The laborers thought $1.84 was enough. "After several days they compromised on $2.20. But neither Mr. Hoover nor President Wilson fixed the price of wheat. Two strongly organized units of society did the job.

The results of the struggle during a generation between labor and capital have, on the whole, been beneficial not only to labor, but to the general public. All of the improvements in and surrounding modern industry have directly or indirectly resulted therefrom. But labor is fighting primarily for its own interests and not the interests of the public. The hand worker is necessary to the world, but likewise every other class of our intricate society. Special privilege for one class, be that class large or small, is undemocratic and the domination of class over class is tyranny.

Professional men have not yet spoken as a single social unit. Doctors, lawyers, teachers, engineers, and all the other products of our schools and universities who should be best fitted to represent the public in the councils of government, having rights at least equal to and responsibilities even greater than those of the capitalists, or the laborers, or farmers, have not yet been united into a single social class. Let me suggest that the perpetuation of democracy as we know it is going to depend upon whether or not these classes of our society become organized as units for social and political purposes and united in the great common aim of public service. Unless our educated and professional classes make a study of the social, economic and political problems of democracy and set out to put into force and effect those measures and movements necessary for their solution, democracy will disappear. No one anticipates that we will ever experience a soviet regime in America, but we are likely to suffer from the domination of one or more of its at present organized classes unless the other units of society, of which you and I are members, can become a sufficient force in government to act as the defenders of public rights.

To assist in leading our nation out of the economic chaos that now exists is surely a task worthy of our best endeavors. Herein to my mind lies the greatest reason for an all-comprehensive engineering organization, including all classes of engineers, unselfish in its controlling purpose and equal to the task of enabling that profession, which has heretofore been so largely responsible for

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