Popular Science Monthly/Volume 47/May 1895/Business, Friendship, Charity
By LOGAN G. McPHEKSON.
AS man has learned with increasing complexity of means toward an increasing variety of ends to wrest food and fuel and shelter from the earth and all that springs therefrom, each man has had to depend more and more upon the efforts of his fellowmen; and hence has arisen that marvelously intricate intertwining of effort that characterizes the civilization of to-day. Interwoven in ministering to the needs and gratifications of mankind are the laborer's muscle, the hand of the mechanic, the brain of the merchant, the painter's touch, the singer's voice.
This intertwining of effort is nowhere separable; the result is the blood of civilization that, flowing through the arteries of commerce, connects the hemispheres. Europe and America eat the cattle and the wheat of the western plains, wear the fabrics of England and France, and drink the tea of the Orient. The results of the researches of the German laboratory, and of the inventor of whatever nation, are utilized throughout the world, and books of whatever press penetrate to the households of every clime. Patti sings in San Francisco and St. Petersburg; Irving and Booth act in Berlin, Paris, London, and New York. In public gallery and public park the masterpiece of painter and sculptor is seen by thousands, and, as reproduced by engraving and etching, is brought to the sight of thousands more. The English specialist discovers a remedy that all physicians use; the American lawyer collates, systematizes, and formulates a code that eases the burden of all litigation.
In the simplicity of primeval life each man obtained for himself his own crude subsistence, prepared his own rude clothing, and fashioned his own rude tools. In time it was learned that, by yielding a portion of the result of one's efforts for the benefit of another in return for a portion of the results achieved by that other, increased benefit was obtained by each. Thus began that co-operation that, through the centuries of slavery, feudalism, and absolutism, has increased and extended until to-day all who by work of hand or brain achieve results that contribute to the benefit of others receive the measure of their material reward in money obtained as wages, salaries, fees, or profits.
The man of affairs, before taking the morning train that conveys him to his place of business, gives a penny to the boy at the station and receives in return a newspaper. In exchange for that penny he receives knowledge of the happenings of the previous day, which may play a part in determining his course in connection with the production and distribution of commodities that may directly affect hundreds of workmen and thousands of consumers. The boy who receives the penny receives many other pennies, a portion of which accrues to him as his profit from the sale of the papers. The greater portion goes with hundreds of other pennies, from each of hundreds of other boys, to the office of the newspaper, where they form a considerable portion of the fund that pays for the paper whereon, and the ink, type, and presses wherewith, the newspaper is printed; that goes in wages and salaries to the foreman, compositors, correspondents, and editors. The portion of this fund that goes to the manufacturers of ink, paper, and presses contributes to their profits and to the wages and salaries of the workmen employed by them. Portions of the wages and salaries of foreman, compositors, correspondents, and editors, and of the workmen that make ink, paper, and presses, are in turn paid by them to dealers in shoes, hats, clothes, meat, flour and potatoes, coal, furniture, carpets, and so on. The dealers in these commodities make remittances to the manufacturers who in turn, pay the wages of the workmen who produce shoes, hats, and clothes; to the killers of cattle; the packers and shippers of meat; the raisers of wheat and millers of flour; the miners of coal; the makers of furniture, and the weavers of carpets. Each is a purchaser of products that all are concerned in producing. The money that goes to each as a reward for his efforts is distributed through various channels to all others as a portion of the reward for their efforts. The exchange of the penny and the paper between the man and the newsboy is one of a myriad of exchanges between man and man that are interlinked one with the other in bringing to each a portion of the benefit of the efforts of all the others, and which, giving a broad significance to the term, constitute Business.
Without this interlinking of effort the fabric of our civilization would be impossible. Not under any conceivable conditions could any one family supply its needs as those needs are supplied by the various producing and distributing agencies of to-day.
With the increasing interdependence of man and man in ministering to material needs has been an increasing tendency toward association for that satisfaction which is obtained from the common enjoyment of a pleasure, the sharing of grief, the expression and exchange of thought and opinion, from social conversation. Association, from necessity or convenience, frequently develops a similarity of taste and habit that brings congeniality; the wider the range of association permitted by the conditions of their lives, the greater is the opportunity for persons of particular tastes and habits to form companionships affording the greatest gratification, and the likelihood that they will do so. With the congeniality thus formed is the growth of sympathy of one with the other, and this sympathy or fellow-feeling is the basis of that relation known as Friendship. This sympathy, leading to the desire on the part of those between whom it exists that the life of each shall be free from discomfort and annoyance, prompts the doing of kindly acts one for another. These acts are frequently the dispensing of hospitality; they frequently are the extending of aid in misfortune and adversity, and, now and then, result in the sharing of fortune, to a greater or less extent, by one more richly endowed with the means for the satisfaction of his material needs, with those to whom he is bound by this sympathy of friendship. It will be perceived, therefore, that when a person, prompted by this sympathy, contributes to the material welfare of another, that other receives from his gift benefit that he might not otherwise obtain, except as the reward of effort toward the satisfaction of the material needs of mankind. Thus friendship bestows what otherwise would not be obtained but through the channels of business.
Akin in a measure to that sympathy which prompts acts of kindness which inure to the benefit of one's friends, is that sympathy which prompts acts of charity intended to inure to the benefit of the needy and unfortunate—of those who, whether by reason of bodily, mental, or moral defects, or by the grinding force of untoward circumstance, live in misery. The giving of alms to a beggar, the contribution to a hospital, asylum, or missionary fund, springing from this feeling of sympathy, have directly or indirectly for their object the bettering of the material condition of the beneficiaries.
As the actions prompted by the desire for pecuniary gain, many of the actions prompted by friendship, and the actions prompted by charity have for their object the satisfaction of the desires of others, the conferring of benefit upon others, it is proper to consider to what extent, in what manner, and under what conditions one should confer benefit upon or receive benefit from others.
It has been demonstrated by the greatest philosophers that the highest end to be attained by each individual for the good of himself and the good of civilization is the greatest harmonious physical, mental, and moral development of which he is capable. The benefits conferred by each individual upon others should therefore be such as to lead to this end for each of the beneficiaries, and the benefits received by each individual from others should lead to this end for him.
To its wholesome use, as well as to its highest development, is essential that the body receive that food and clothing and the bodily organs that alternate exercise and rest that promote regularity and fullness of the vital processes; that nerves and muscles receive that training which brings them under the complete control of the will; that the perceptive organs be habituated to convey clear and accurate impressions to the brain.
To the wholesome use of the mind it is essential that the impressions coming thereto be perceived in their exact relation, so that nerve and muscle may be directed to most efficient result; its development means the more extended and the more complex correlation of an increasing number and variety of impressions.
The highest moral development is attained through the increasing and constantly more refined perception of that conduct which contributes to the highest good of one's self and others, and action in accordance therewith.
Here arises the fact that the physical and mental structures of different individuals are of greatly varying capacities. An amount of physical exertion that serves only as wholesome exercise to one man might ruin another of less sturdy structure. The amount of mental exertion upon which one brain thrives and develops would cause another pain, and would be utterly impossible for yet another. Different impressions coming under different conditions, through bodies of different fiber, to brains of different caliber, have, together with the mold given by differing influences of heredity, produced that difference of characteristics in different individuals that is so incalculable that it is accepted as a truism that no two persons are exactly alike. It is obvious, therefore, that no one can contribute to the totality of effort in greater degree or in kind other than his physical and mental structure and characteristics will permit. The laborer on the embankment has the muscle wherewith to use the pick and shovel, but ordinarily is incapable of that co-ordination of hand and brain which would enable him to use tools of a higher class. The blacksmith has that adjustment of brain and muscle which enables him to bend and shape the bars of iron. Through the ascending ranks of artisans this adjustment of brain and muscle becomes more delicate, reaching a rare degree of precision in, for example, the optician who grinds and shapes the glasses for spectacles, microscope, and telescope. The clerk who keeps journal and ledger, or who prepares deeds and mortgages, has that control of the hand and that mental development which suffice for this work. Neither laborer, blacksmith, optician, nor clerk could perform the work accomplished by the other; but each, by giving to others the benefit of effort of which he is physically and mentally capable, receives that which enables him to obtain the food, shelter, and clothing necessary to his maintenance.
And it is through work of body and brain that yet higher result is achieved. The blacksmith's son, compelled to contribute early in life to the support of himself, his brothers and sisters, becomes perhaps a machinist's apprentice. As he sweeps the shop, carries tools, and blows the bellows, he sees the firing of the boilers, the turning of the wheels and belts, and the men at their work. In time he comes to use tools and lathe himself. His hands become deft, and his brain increases in perception of what tools and machines can be made to do; he is being trained and developed, physically and mentally, to a capacity for increased usefulness, which brings increased reward. This development perhaps may result in the invention of appliances or the discovery of methods whereby greater results may be accomplished with less effort, thereby giving to civilization that extraordinary benefit and obtaining for himself that extraordinary reward which comes to the inventor. And so, likewise, with all men in all vocations. The printer's devil, step by step, may rise to the foremanship of the composing room, or to the editorship of the paper. The office boy becomes shipping clerk, or bookkeeper, and may acquire that knowledge of commerce and that judgment which fit him to control the operations of a great manufacturing or mercantile establishment.
Throughout the field of human effort, extraordinary achievement proceeds from a correlation of ideas in an original perception of far-reaching relation of cause and effect that, through nerve and muscle, results in handiwork or delivered word that places that relation in tangible shape for the benefit of mankind. And in any line of human effort extraordinary achievement is usually attained only after years of toil, in which body and brain are trained and tempered to this perception of far-reaching relation of cause and effect and the ability to give it expression. Different individuals, however, attain different degrees of usefulness, and different degrees of reward; only the few achieve extraordinary result, the vast majority in any vocation laboring year after year without more than average achievement or more than average reward. But the work of each brings that which sustains the body; it gives body and brain the use by which they are exercised and developed; it contributes to that totality of effort by which all individuals of the civilized world are sustained; and it is by means of toil that civilization is advanced; that better machines are made; that better cloths are produced; that more nutritious food is prepared; that better houses are built; that better books are written; and better songs are better sung.
In every community different people live in different degrees of comfort. Their habitations vary greatly in size, strength, and durability. Their clothing differs greatly in warmth and adaptability, and varies in quantity. There is great variety in the kind and quantity of food which each family can afford, and the opportunities for other pleasurable gratifications of the senses widely differ. And therefore the question, Why do different individuals obtain from the totality of effort different proportions of benefit?
The reply is suggested by the actions of men in primeval barter. When man first learned that, by yielding a portion of the result of his efforts for the benefit of another in return for a portion of the benefit of the result achieved by that other, increased benefit could be obtained for himself, he naturally yielded only so much of benefit as would bring him greater benefit in return, and so also with the other. Each yielded as little and obtained as much as he could. In that intricate intertwining of effort that characterizes the civilization of to-day that primeval principle of exchange holds good. The wage of the laborer and servant, or the salary of the clerk, as a rule, is as little as can be paid for the work which each performs; likewise with the fees of the physician, lawyer, writer, painter; and, as a rule, the least consideration for which commodities can be obtained is the price that is paid for them. And likewise laborer, servant, clerk, musician, lawyer, writer, or painter, as a rule, endeavors to obtain the highest price for his services or the result of his efforts, and the merchant the highest price for his commodities. And this basis, which seems to be of unmixed selfishness, is the only basis that will lead to ultimate justice to all.
For if A produces the same quantity, quality, and result of work as B, and receives greater wages, salary, fees, or profits in return therefor, he is able to obtain from the efforts of others a greater proportion than B of all that contributes to the wellbeing of himself and of his family. That is, in return for equal contributions to the totality of effort A receives more than B, which is manifestly unjust. If there can be obtained from C, D, E, or F the same quantity, quality, and result of work as is obtained from B and for the same reward as is paid to B, society, as a whole, by paying to A a greater reward than it pays to B, C, D, E, or F, diminishes the totality of effort by the amount of effort that B, C, D, E, or F would produce in return for the difference between the reward paid to A and that paid to B, C, D, E, or F for the same result. If, however, society can not obtain from C, D, E, or F, or any other source, the same quantity, quality, and result of work as it obtains from B—except for a reward equal to that paid to A, and it needs a greater amount of such work than can be produced by B—it is obliged to avail itself of all or a portion of the efforts of A, C, D, E, and F. If it continues to obtain results from B equal to the result obtained from either A, C, D, E, or F for less reward than is paid to A, C, D, E, or F, B by reason of the discrimination has a grievance which is not adjusted until his reward is made equal to that paid A, C, D, E, and F. But if from B, G, H, I, and K work can be obtained equal to that obtained from A, C, D, E, and F for the same reward to each as that paid to B, the totality of effort would be increased byemploying B, G, H, I, and K at the lesser reward. Society as a whole, therefore, receives greatest benefit, other things equal, by obtaining needed results for the least reward. But by paying unequal rewards for equal services it incites the antagonism of those discriminated against as soon as the discrimination is perceived by them. The merchant, who pays one clerk a greater salary than another whose services are of equal value, incites that other to the demand for an increase of salary. A class of laborers receiving wages less than other laborers to whose services they think their own equal, are incited to demand equal wages; and so throughout all society.
But if A and B for equal results receive equal reward, and in a given time A produces more than B, it follows that to make equal contributions to, and to receive equal reward from, the totality of effort, B must work longer than A. And if A in a given time produces not only more than B, but of more important result than B, it follows that his reward should be greater than that of B. In other words, to receive the greatest reward that he can obtain from the totality of effort, each individual should contribute to his capacity to that totality; and that the totality of effort may be the greatest, society must bestow upon each individual such proportion of benefit as in return for which the proportion of effort of which he is capable can be obtained.
And it is not difficult to perceive that the value of effort is directly proportionate to the intelligence with which it is guided and by which its results are directed. On roads and embankments, in the fields, mines, and quarries, is necessary a vast amount of work that depends almost entirely on physical exertion and endurance. While the aggregate of this work forms a large proportion of the totality of effort, the portion contributed by each individual is but an infinitesimal portion of the whole, and, as requiring but little intelligence or experience or training, it can be performed substantially as well by one as another the proportion of benefit accruing to each individual in return is small, and this also because such work is without avail unless it is directed to efficient result, and its results are co-ordinated to beneficial ends, and this directing and co-ordinating come from others than those performing the work. On the plane with these laborers may be classed teamsters, stevedores, porters, and like functionaries. For their individually slight and easily obtained services, which are immediately directed by the intelligence of others, society gives but slight reward. In stores and offices are needed the services of multitudes of clerks, who, by helping purchasers to secure desired commodities, by writing letters and keeping accounts, contribute to the benefit of society effort that requires a considerable degree of intelligence in addition to manual labor. Their contributions to the totality of effort, and likewise those of artisans, such as carpenters and machinists, to the performance of whose work is necessary a considerable degree of intelligence, training, and experience, meet with ampler reward than those whose efforts spring from physical exertion alone. To those who direct the efforts of others toward results of great benefit to a great number of people still greater reward is given. The manufacturer, who employs the services of numerous employees in producing commodities of a design and quality that cause them to be of use to multitudes of people throughout an extended territory, and the transportation manager and the merchant who utilize the efforts of legions of subordinates in effecting their distribution, frequently amass fortunes. Those from whose brains spring ideas that are of extraordinary benefit to mankind, and those who have made practical utilization of such ideas, have received extraordinary reward. Instance after instance occurs of inventors whose devices have wonderfully cheapened and facilitated production and distribution, and who have thereby reaped immense personal gain. And likewise throughout the professions and the arts. There is a vast difference between the remuneration accruing to the lawyer of slight and unimportant practice and that to him who contributes to the adjustment and maintenance of vast and important interests; between the reward given the actor of little histrionic ability and that flowing in upon a Jefferson or a Booth. At the extreme end of the scale are the vagabond and the tramp, who, contributing nothing to the well-being of any one, are entitled to nothing in return.
Out of the different capacities of different men that have been accentuated by the increasing specialization by which alone it has been possible to administer to the growing and varied needs of mankind has arisen the present industrial system. Each man, to obtain the satisfaction of his own needs, must contribute to the needs of others; each man, in the endeavor to obtain the most for himself, strives for higher wages and salaries and for greater fees and profits; and all men, that they may supply their own needs to the fullest extent, strive to obtain services and commodities for the lowest price. Therefrom arises the great force of competition that, acting through the merchant who sells, upon the manufacturer who produces articles of use and consumption, compels production in best adapted localities, the adoption of economical appliances and thrifty methods, the placing of particular functions in charge of those best fitted to their performance. The increasing use of machinery and the development of methods of production and distribution necessitate the employ of a constantly increasing, number of men of the higher grades of ability and intelligence and the efforts of other grades of those who work increase both in vigor and system toward securing the greatest remuneration for their services. The result, as amply proved by statistics, is that the reward of effort constantly increases both by reason that wages, salaries, and incomes become greater, and the prices of commodities and of the result of services become less. That this holds true even during the radical industrial readjustment of the past two years is evidenced by the following extract from the editorial summary of business in Dun's Review of January 5, 1895:
"The complete review of different branches of business given to-day places in a clear light the fact that prices of commodities are at the lowest level ever known. Eight years ago, in July, prices averaged only 73·69 per cent of the same articles and in the same markets January 1, 1860, and this remained the lowest point ever touched until August 10, 1893, when the average fell to 72·76, but early this year prices dropped below all previous records and have never recovered, the average December 26th being only 68·73 per cent of the prices in 1860. These changes contrast sharply with the decline of wages paid per hour's work, which, as was shown last week, average only 1·2 per cent less than a year ago."
It should, however, be perceived that the greatest contribution which any one can make to the totality of effort is not the result of effort pushed to excess in any one direction for a limited time, for such effort results in the premature impairment of physical and mental power; but the total result of his efforts for the longest time that his mental and physical efficiency can be preserved. It therefore follows that periods of expenditure should be followed by periods of recuperation; that each man for the benefit both of himself and of society should have that rest and recreation and the opportunity for that bodily and mental gratification which offset the wear and tear of energy persistently expended in one direction, and contribute to the preservation and symmetrical development and rounding of his bodily and mental life.
All the foregoing statement leads irresistibly to the conclusion that each man should work as best he can in fulfillment of his duty to himself and his duty to all others, whether his contemporaries or those who come after him. And therefore stands clear and firm the corollary that each man should find pleasure and satisfaction in that work which it is possible for him to do. And it doubtless would be so if throughout the world all people recognized the full meaning of work, and it were true, and all people clearly perceived it to be true, that each man receives benefit in proportion to the value of his efforts. But all history shows that man has ever had to fight for the fruit of his labor; to stand guard over that which his efforts have gained. Herein lies the meaning of theft. In broad significance, to steal is to deprive another of benefit without yielding benefit in return. The robber and the thief that directly filch are shown to become less in each decade in proportion to the total population; but, in the complexity of the growing industrial mechanism, the greed of the unscrupulous has found new channels through which to wrest from others that for which adequate recompense is not given. But after war is peace, and as a wider sense of justice has followed the struggles of mankind in the past, there is reason to believe that the industrial warfare that now confronts us on every hand and the discussion of political, economical, and industrial problems which is now intense throughout the civilized world will result in that increased intelligence and increased morality which tend ever more and more to give each man his due.
And contributing to this end must be a fuller understanding of the nature of friendship and charity and of their just limitations. For these much-extolled virtues are but too frequently with mistaken intent devoted to unworthy ends; in devious ways their counterfeits are made to serve as instruments for obtaining unearned gain. That a monarch of old who gave to a genial comrade power to devote tribute obtained from the subjects of the realm to his personal pleasure and indulgence allowed friendship for his comrade to result in wrong to his people is apparent without other proof than that of the fact. Because of the pleasure obtained by the king from association with him, the favorite benefited by the efforts of thousands of people to whom he contributed no benefit in return. And so also with every man occupying position of power or trust who bestows place, authority, or privilege because of friendship upon a man incompetent and unworthy. For, as the efforts of each man are interlinked in greater or less degree with the efforts of all others, so to do would be to diminish the totality of effort that is the lifeblood of civilization. The human nature quickly adjusts itself to that which is pleasant; the frequent bestowal of unearned benefit upon a friend tends to adjust his nature to the reception of that benefit, to lead him to expect it. His perception of the fact that benefit should come to him in proportion to the value of his contribution to the totality of effort is thereby weakened, to his mental and moral detriment. And he who by the display of a kindly interest, whether real or simulated, in another's welfare obtains benefit from the effort of that other for which he does not make due recompense adds to theft the vice of hypocrisy. It is only under the unhindered working of the law of supply and demand that exchange of effort can be made with ultimate justice to all, and this ultimate justice can only be attained when all persons whose efforts are interchanged clearly perceive the value of any particular effort, and willingly exchange effort for effort, benefit for benefit, in proportion to their true value. That increased morality which comes from increased intelligence alone will lead to this end.
And so also with charity. That there should be a distinction between helping those who can not work and contributing to the comfort of those who will not work, is being ever made more clear by those who have given studious attention to the ministration of charity. As to steal is to deprive others of benefit without yielding benefit in return, those who are physically and mentally able and have the opportunity to maintain themselves, but who abstract from others the benefit that conduces to that maintenance by the simulation of helplessness and appeal to sympathy, are no less than thieves. And, likewise, those who by appeal to sympathy obtain from others benefit in excess of that to which they are entitled under the unhindered working of the law of supply and demand, in common with those who because of sympathy extend that benefit, inflict a wrong upon society as a whole. Many persons of fine sensibilities, who live in comfort and are kindly disposed toward all men, feeling it their duty to alleviate pain, succor the distressed, and elevate the lowly, in the attempt to lift to a higher standard the life of those whose lot appeals to them in piteous contrast with their own, have scattered gifts and expended energy often misdirected because they have not recognized that the mold given by heredity and environment can not suddenly be changed, that true and lasting improvement to any one can only result from his own perception of and desire to reach a higher standard, and his own effort directed toward that end.
But, says one of the well-to-do, "Am I to be debarred from the exercise of kindness to my friends, to whom the giving of pleasure yields me manifold pleasure in return; am I not to have my good friend who lives more humbly than I at my house for dinner, for a drive in my carriage, or may I not take him with me for a journey that will give him needed rest and build up his health? Am I not to extend token of friendship by gifts to whom I choose?" The reply first and foremost is, that the highest end of friendship is removed far and above the exchange of material benefit. From the association of minds that are congenial and natures that accord, there is derived a rare and refined delight to which in proper bounds the exchange of kindness and gifts may minister; but it is polluted and broken the instant it becomes on either side a means for obtaining unrequited material gain.
Continuing the inquiry, he asks: "Is there no good to be accomplished by giving in charity? Am I to be prohibited from aiding the needy and giving succor to the distressed? Am I to use no endeavor toward bettering the lot of the more lowly than I?" The reply in part has been amply suggested. The highest charity to those who are able and have opportunity to work, but decline to do so, is to endeavor to make them clearly understand that unless they contribute as they are able to the benefit of others, there is no reason that from the efforts of others benefit should accrue to them. The highest charity to those who are able and willing to work, but have not the opportunity to do so, is to use every endeavor to establish conditions that will permit them to contribute as best they can to the benefit of others, and to receive benefit in full proportion to the value of their efforts in return; and, likewise, the highest charity to those who are susceptible to that training which would develop the capacity and willingness for contribution to the benefit of others, is to establish conditions whereunder they may receive that training. It should go without saying that those who are in affliction by reason of sickness, by the sudden death of those upon whom they have justly been dependent, or by reason of "plague, pestilence, or famine," should be given that succor which will restore or lead them to usefulness, and it should go without saying that, when it is just for one to give, it is just for the other to receive. And those who, from mental, moral, and physical defects, are actually incapable of maintaining themselves by their own exertions should be placed under conditions that will render them as little burdensome as possible to the community as a whole.
The foregoing are generalizations that bear upon the serious problems of the treatment of the criminal and shiftless, of labor, wages, and of education, and whose practical application under the existing status can not but often be most difficult. If, however, all who desire the betterment of their kind—all those who make and execute laws, who instruct their fellow-men in pulpit or press, who mold the minds of the young in school or home—would perceive as a principle that the greatest good to all comes from the contribution of each in kind and degree as may be possible to the totality of effort in return for benefit to the full value thereof, and would give that principle the fullest possible application in their own actions and in the endeavor to instill it in the minds of those under their guidance, or otherwise associated with them, all these problems, which are important factors in the great problem of civilization, will sooner or later, upon the basis of that principle, be solved.
It will be perceived that the full application of that principle will nullify many beliefs and traditions that, descending through the centuries, still influence the mass of mankind. For example, the injunction of the Old Testament, "In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread," which is reiterated from the pulpit as the decree of punishment that weighs as a burden upon mankind, fades in the perception of the grandeur of human effort; while a deeper significance comes to the injunction, "If any would not work neither should he eat"; and to the utterance, "Give every man according to his ways and according to the fruit of his doings." The fallacy that work is for hirelings, and the life of a gentleman a life of leisure, falls in the perception that no servitude is dishonorable, for from the maid in the kitchen to the statesman in the cabinet the efforts of all are in the service of mankind. The widely prevalent and not infrequently lauded practice in business circles, whereunder each party to every exchange endeavors to reap the entire benefit, will disappear. The man who ostentatiously disburses in so-called charity the fortune that he has amassed by sharp practice and overbearing greed will be unknown. When all people clearly perceive that they should receive benefit from all in proportion as they contribute to the benefit of all, the core will be reached of the dissatisfaction that breeds jealousy and distrust between the employer and employee, that leads to the grosser forms of socialism and anarchy; and when that perception is carried into practice the core will be removed. And not least, many of the accepted opinions in regard to the tenure of property acquired by inheritance will join the crumbled belief in the divine right of kings.
This essay, however, has not touched upon those actions whereby benefit is conferred by one upon another under the immediate relationship of family and marriage. The application of the principle to the elucidation of which it has been devoted can not but constantly be traversed by such actions, which comprise the begetting and rearing of children, the care by one for those who, under family ties, are justly dependent upon him, the transfer of property by marriage and inheritance. Did space permit it might be shown that in the last analysis all these actions, which are interwoven with all the other actions of mankind in the continuance and advancement of civilization, rest upon that principle also; that these, in common with all other actions, contribute to ultimate justice to all to the extent that that principle is recognized and given effect.
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