Page:The future of democracy.djvu/24

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workmen who know a great deal and have knowledge enough to supervise the application of electrical energy. The workman would have to apply his mind very closely; like a Judge, he would have to attend to everything and never let his attention wander. Also, like a Judge, he would have to know a certain amount. But think, after six hours' work he would be able to spend time with his books, with his family, in the art gallery, in forming his mind, and generally in being more of a human being than he is now, when he is dog-tired at the end of the day.

I think that is quite possible, and what is more, I think it would be enormously to the advantage of the community, because if you had these great generating stations near the pit-heads, with great supply cables, they would probably be national, or under close State control, so that there would be little profiteering out of what would be a national resource. The cables would be kept going at a constant load, a constant quantity of electricity going along the network of lines, and in the day supplying power and after dark supplying light. And then in the small hours, when less labour would be required for it, the currents could be devoted to producing things we need much, and which electricity could give us even now were it not for the costliness of electrical power under the present wasteful system—nitrogen combinations from the atmosphere in a dozen forms which we have to import them to-day from across the seas—and this would make a great difference to our commercial and industrial world.

Now that is a suggestion which is, I believe, perfectly possible and compassable, and which would, if realised, make all the difference to the workman. He would take his part in the professional world of those who directed this new and scientific machine. He would have to be educated, and you must brush aside the idea that any illiterate person could do the work. The more intelligent the man, the