Page:Rise and Fall of Society.djvu/58

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Society Are People

as best they can and which interfere with the work they are better equipped to do. Capital accumulation is the necessary antecedent of specialization. As more and more producers come to this pioneer community, either as specialists or primary extractors (who become, by the shifting of marginal burdens to others, specialists on their own account), the capital or savings accounts swell, all the while awakening new desires. That is the way of man. In a century or two, capital accumulations reach a point where the cobbler is replaced by a shoe factory, the pedlar by a department store, and the little red schoolhouse by a college. Specialization has piled on specialization not by conscious design and certainly not by coercion, but by (a) increasing population, (b) a consequent rise in the level of wages, and (c) the savings that this rise makes possible. Trace these factors to their causative principle and you come to the workings of the "economic man"—seeking ever to improve his circumstances and to widen his circumstances by the most efficient means at his disposal.

We are speaking of the rise and development of American Society. Other social integrations, like those of Tibet or Abyssinia, never emerged from the primitive stage, and still others, like those of Europe, took a much longer time in arriving at a comparative level. The difference cannot be accounted for by the make-up of these peoples, for the American Society is a composite of the peoples of the world, each of whom played their economic part according to the script. No doubt, climatic conditions and the availability of natural resources influenced the course of American Society, for man is, after all, a "land animal." But other peoples similarly blessed did not "go places," or as fast, and for cause we must look to some special advantage the American en-