Page:Earth-Hunger and Other Essays.djvu/279

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253
ANOTHER CHAPTER ON MONOPOLY

men, at the head of the great combinations which are essential to the support of our social life on its present grade of comfort, are able, by agreement among themselves, to bring in again the form of monopoly which previously existed, but had for a time been interrupted.

Hence we get "trusts" and "pools"; but here also the question is: whether to deal with the evil by pushing on to the next stage in which the progress of invention, or the modifications of process are likely to bring in competition in a manner disastrous to the monopolies, or to seek a remedy which will arrest the industrial forces in their development on which our social well-being depends.

Finally, we must notice that the monopolists who are the commonest, and also the most unpopular, are the man who has, by the accumulation of capital, raised himself above the grossest wants and hardships of life, and the son of such a man. The former has in this way raised himself into a position of superiority to his fellow-beings; he has also guaranteed the latter against the worst hardships of life and given him "a privileged position," as it is sometimes called for the sake of carrying over to it the odium incurred by artificial superiority and immunity. This case, however, brings me to the family as the stronghold of monopoly.