Page:Garden Cities.djvu/19

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10
GARDEN CITIES

process you would put an end to the mischief, and "back to the land" has been the cry. Back to the land by all means, but if by that is intended the hope of inducing the people in any great numbers, to relinquish mechanical industries and to return to agricultural, the hope is foredoomed to disappointment. In every country as civilisation and commerce advance, the tendency shows itself to turn from agriculture to manufacture, and why? Simply because there is a better return on capital devoted to the one than there is on capital devoted to the other, and consequently capitalists are more and more inclined to embark their money in manufacture, and less and less inclined to embark their capital in agriculture. The one is subject to the economic law of increasing returns, and the other is subject to the economic law of diminishing returns. Now labour must always follow capital. It has no effective method of controlling its application. The employment therefore of the working classes is determined by the capitalists, and (unless you can eradicate the desire for gain from the human heart) capitalists will continue to devote their capital to the employment which pays them best. Moreover, although labour must follow capital the process is not regulated with any precision, and to labour mechanical industries present a two-fold advantage, first an increase in wages, and secondly the gratification of the growing demand for the social advantages afforded by town life. The able and energetic consequently gravitate to the towns in numbers exceeding the opportunities for employment. Thus the country is left to the feeble and inefficient, and the multitude of the unemployed increases in the towns.

Now so far as health is concerned the advantages of country life over those of town life are universally admitted. The effect of fresh air in healing disease and recuperating physical force is becoming more and more