« PreviousContinue »
to maintain. All is for you. It is for the public and was only made possible by a oneness of aim and desire—that is to say coöperation.
Before coöperation comes in any line, there is always competition pushed to a point that threatens destruction and promises chaos; then to divert ruin, men devise a better way, a plan that conserves and economizes, and behold, it is found in coöperation. Civilization is an evolution. Civilization is not a thing separate and apart, any more than art is. Art is the beautiful way of doing things. Civilization is the expeditious way of doing things. And as haste is often waste the more hurry the less speed-civilization is the best way of doing things. As mankind multiplies in number, the problem of supplying people what they need is the important question of Earth. And mankind has ever held out offers of reward in fame and money-both being forms of power—to those who would supply it better things. Teachers are those who educate the people to appreciate the things they need. The man who studies mankind, and finds out
what men really want, and then supplies them this, whether it be an Idea or a Thing, is the man who is crowned with the laurel wreath of honor and clothed with riches. What people need and what they want may be very different. To undertake to supply people a thing you think they need but which they do not want, is to have your head elevated on a pike, and your bones buried in Potter's Field. But wait, and the world will yet want the thing that it needs, and your bones will then become sacred relics. This change in desire on the part of mankind is the result of the growth of intellect. It is Progress, and Progress is Evolution, and Evolution is Progress. There are men who are continually trying to push Progress along: we call these individuals “Reformers." Then there are others who always oppose the Reformer-the mildest name we have for them is “ Conservative.” ! The Reformer is either a Savior or a Rebel, all depending on whether he succeeds or fails, and your point of view to He is what he is, regardless of what other men think of him.
The man who is indicted and executed as a rebel, often afterward has the word “Savior carved on his tomb; and sometimes men who are hailed as saviors in their day are afterward found to be sham saviors—to wit, charlatans. & Conservation is a plan of Nature. To keep the good is to conserve. A Conservative is a man who puts on the brakes when he thinks Progress is going to land Civilization in the ditch and wreck the whole concern. Brakemen are necessary, but in the language of Koheleth, there is a time to apply the brake and there is a time to abstain from applying the brake. To clog the wheels continually is to stand still, and to stand still is to retreat. & Progress has need of the brakeman, but the brakeman should not occupy all of his time putting on the brakes. The Conservative is just as necessary as the Radical. The Conservative keeps the Reformer from going too fast, and plucking the fruit before it is ripe. Governments are only good where there is strong Opposition, just as the planets are held in place by the opposition of forces. And so civilization goes forward by stops and starts-pushed by the Reformers and held back by the Conservatives. One is necessary to the other, and they often shift places. But forward and forward Civilization forever goes--ascertaining the best way of doing things. In commerce we have had the Individual Worker, the Partnership, the Corporation, and now we have the Trust. The Trust is simply Corporations forming a partnership. The thing is all an Evolution-a moving forward. It is all for man and it is all done by man. It is all done with the consent, aye, and approval of man. The Trusts were made by the People, and the People can and will unmake them, should they ever prove an engine of oppression. They exist only during good behavior, and like men, they are living under a sentence of death, with an indefinite reprieve. The Trusts are good things because they are economizers of energy. They cut off waste, increase the production, and make a panic practically impossible. The Trusts are here in spite of the men who think they originated them, and in spite of the Reformers who turned Conservatives and opposed them. The next move of Evolution will be the age of Socialism. Socialism means the operation of all industries by the people, and for the people. Socialism is coöperation instead of competition. Competition has been so general that economists mistook it for a law of nature, when it was only an incident. Competition is no more a law of nature than is hate. Hate was once so thoroughly believed in that we gave it personality and called it the Devil. We have banished the Devil by educating people to know that he who works has no time to hate and no need to fear, and by this same means, education, will the people be prepared for the age of Socialism. The Trusts are now getting things ready for Socialism. Socialism is a Trust of Trusts. Humanity is growing in intellect, in patience, in kindness-in love. And when the time is ripe, the people will step in and take peaceful possession of their own, and the Coöperative Commonwealth will give to each one his due.