Page:American Journal of Sociology Volume 2.djvu/193

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If the organization of the group, the reciprocal relation of its elements has once become somewhat fixed, it persists, even if the motive and specific purpose from which it originated is thoroughly changed and even completely reversed. Quite new elements are introduced into the surviving form, yet in consequence of the stability of the form these substitutes exercise their functions in quite similar fashion. We shall presently meet again this further working of the form of organization.

In reference to those social structures which are characterized by the superiority of a number of persons, a social totality over individuals or other totalities, it is to be noticed at once that the consequences for the subordinates are very unequal. The highest wish of the Spartan and Thessalian slaves was to become slaves of the state rather than of individuals. In Prussia before the emancipation of the serfs the peasants attached to the state domains had a much preferable lot to that of those upon private estates. The situation of India under British administration is far better than under the sway of the East India Company and its private interests. In the great modern industrial enterprises where there is no entirely individual control, but which are either stock companies, or are under equally impersonal modes of administration, the employés are better off than in the smaller concerns where they are subject to the personal exploitation of the proprietor.

At the same time the contrary may be observed. The allies of Athens and Rome, the territories which were formerly subject to single Swiss Cantons, were more cruelly oppressed and plundered than could easily have happened under the tyranny of a single master. The stock company which, thanks to the methods in force in the business, as just now observed exploits its employés less than the private entrepreneur, is not at liberty in many cases, e.g., where indemnities or special aids are in question, to act as generously as would be possible for a private owner who need not give account of his outlays to any one. And in relation to momentary impulses; the cruelties which were perpetrated for the amusement of the Roman circus goers, the extrem-