Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 82.djvu/513

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509
WELFARE AND THE NEW ECONOMICS

scarcely an effort to throttle their taskmasters—hunger and emulation—or to stay the hand of the grim reaper who annually sends seven hundred thousand of them to premature graves.

Irrigate! Drain! Lime! Fertilize! Aye, farmer, do these things, and you will reap a plenteous harvest. You possess the knowledge and the tools—then bend enthusiastically to your task.

Educate! Legislate! Reorganize! Adjust! Aye, citizen, do these things and you will gain a satisfying livelihood. You possess the knowledge, the wealth, the tools—then bend enthusiastically to your task.

The time has passed when the man with the hoe, "bowed with the weight of centuries," "gazes on the ground," toiling that he may pay an eternal tribute to the feudal overlord. To-day he looks the future full in the face, and, with the faith of a freeman, applies natural science to the solution of the heretofore inscrutable agriculture problems. The time is coming when the man at the machine—striving, frantically hurrying through the long reaches of the ten-hour day—that he may obtain the wherewithal to buy for him and his bread, books, shoes and pleasure trips—servile to economic laws which he can neither understand nor master—will look the present system of industrial society full in the face, and with the faith of an emancipated soul will consign its laws to the devil and use the knowledge and the tools which the past has given him, to provide himself with the means whereby he may live.

Political economy is not a science founded on eternal principles, but a philosophy of livelihood. Its aim is not to astound us with its mathematical premises, or to frighten us with its threats of world disaster, but to outline a method by which men may raise the heavy yoke of traditional servitude and secure a more satisfactory living.