Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 31.djvu/755

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search
This page has been validated.
735
SOCIAL SUSTENANCE.

one species for another by direct supernatural creative act. Both admit the gradual development of the organic kingdom as a whole through stages similar to those of embryonic development; but the one regards the whole process as natural, and therefore strictly comparable to embryonic development, the other as requiring frequent special interference of creative energy, and therefore comparable rather to the development of a building under the hand and according to the preconceived plan of an architect—a plan, in this case, conceived in eternity and carried out consistently through infinite time. It is seen that the essential point of difference is this: The one asserts the variability of species (if conditions favor, and time enough is given) without limit; the other asserts the permanency of specific forms, or their variability only within narrow limits. The one asserts the origin of species by "descent with modifications"; the other, the origin of species by "special act of creation." The one asserts the law of continuity (i.e., that each stage is the natural outcome of the immediately preceding stage) in this, as in every other department of Nature; the other asserts that the law of continuity (i.e., of cause and effect) does not hold in this department; that the links of the chain of changes are discontinuous, the connection between them being intellectual, not physical.

So much for sharp contrasting characterization of the two views, necessary for clear understanding of much that is to follow.

 

SOCIAL SUSTENANCE.
By HENRY J. PHILPOTT.

IV.—ALLOTMENT OF SPECIALTIES.

THUS far we have left untouched, as nearly as possible, one vital question relating to specialties—namely: How shall they be allotted? What task shall each of us take, and to whom shall we leave this, that, and the other task which, if we do confine ourselves to one, we must leave to others? We are not concerned about personal names, but on what principles shall the allotment be made? What kind of people shall do the weaving, what kind the newspaper work, what kind the trading? Within each office, store, or factory, how shall we judge whom to select for the management, whom for the clerkships, whom for each different manual task? Passing from the monad to the mass, which community or which country shall devote its best energies to the production of which products? How shall the nations of the earth divide its work between them?

It is only in answer to this last question that, so far as I know, any economist has given any attention to the subject of allotment. It has never been elaborated, nor allowed to be the vital, rudimental question that I conceive it to be. The result is, that even those who