Page:Earth-Hunger and Other Essays.djvu/278

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worse penalties now than he did in the lower forms of society, when a nomad horde or a hunting tribe expelled a dissenter. Likewise the real hardships of our social order come when one is thrown out, or falls out, himself innocent, from the organization.

The ancient classical civilization was founded on an enormous consumption of human power: the whole fabric was maintained by the expenditure of slave power underneath, and the weight of it became so great that the slaves could not and would not increase in numbers sufficiently to bear it, while the ruling body lost the power to conquer more nations and bring in new resources of enslaved men. Modern civilization is built upon machines and natural agents, brought into play through machines, that is, through capital. Herein lies the true emancipation of men and the true abolition of slavery. Then come these two questions: (1) can we keep the advantages and comforts of a high civilization, based on capital, while attacking the social institutions by which the creation of capital is secured? (2) are we prepared to give up the comforts of civilization rather than continue to pay the price of them? No one who forms his judgments on a study of facts can answer the first question in the affirmative; no one who is familiar with current thought will say that people are prepared to give an affirmative answer to the second.

Moreover, in the modern civilized community the path of greatest success is that of distinguished service to the organization. This service is highest when it consists in accumulating capital, in perfecting the organization, in new inventions and constructions, and in skilful use of the apparatus. As this goes on we educate, from generation to generation, men who are capable of more and more comprehensive control. At last a few such