Page:American Journal of Sociology Volume 1.djvu/294

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282 THE AMERICAN JOURNAL OF SOCIOLOGY.

person. Yet if the minister lose his charge, or the lawyer his clients, or the doctor his patients, or the teacher his pupils, neither his skill, nor his learning, nor his need gives him any legal claim upon a chance to work worthily of his manhood in his own support. He is in a world that is parcelled out among others. The world has the same attractions for him that it has for them. He might put the world to as worthy uses as they, but other men have bonded it to themselves. If our pauperized pariah will join them in satisfying any of his desires he must first surrender the dearest desire of every man, the integrity of independent selfhood, and so obtain the concession of others like himself to be henceforth less than they.

Equal revenues from unequal services is an immoral concep- tion. Desire for such a condition deserves no sympathy from honest men. Desire for equality in title to a place in the world where happiness may be pursued without power of veto by any other human being is an outcropping of our common humanity. Civilization is so far inhuman until men have learned to live together upon terms which insure gratification of this desire. The equal claim of men to this satisfaction cannot rightfully be denied to any normal man. It may be forfeited, but of the fact of forfeiture impersonal not personal tribunals should render judgment.

The social problem — if for simplicity we may speak as though social tasks were one — is how to socialize ourselves to such degree that, without bankrupting all, each may have a secure lien upon a minimum share of nature's endowment for satisfying common human wants. Security of right to be on the earth and to use the full measure of personal power to gain happiness, is not yet completely assured in human society. Every human being who belongs in society at all belongs there as a citizen, not as a suppliant.

But, as its title indicates, this paper purposes to emphasize particularly the second of the two principles which I have called essential in right society ; namely, that not merely public office but private business is a public trust.