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may be drawn in few lines,- neglecting such minor extensions and exceptions as would properly be taken account of in any exhaustive description. Industry is conceived to be of the nature of handicraft; not of the nature of mechanical engineering, such as it has in effect and progressively come to be since his time. It is described as a matter of workmanlike labor," and of the skill, dexterity and judgment with which it is commonly applied." It is a question of the skilled workman and his use of tools. Mechanical inventions are "labor-saving devices," which "facilitate and abridge labor." The material equipment is the ways and means by manipulation of which the workman gets his work done. "Capital stock" is spoken of as savings parsimoniously accumulated out of the past industry of its owner, or out of the industry of those persons from whom he has legally acquired it by inheritance or in exchange for the products of his own labor. Business is of the nature of "petty trade" and the business man is a “middle man" who is employed for a livelihood in the distribution of goods to the consumers. Trade is subsidiary to industry, and money is a vehicle designed to be used for the distribution of goods. Credit is an expedient of the needy; a dubious expedient. Profits (including interest) are justified as a reasonable remuneration for productive work done, and for the labor-saving use of property derived from the owner's past labor. The efforts of masters and workmen alike are conceived to be bent on turning out the largest and most serviceable output of goods; and prices are competitively determined by the labor-cost of the goods.

Like other men Adam Smith did not see into the future beyond what was calculable on the data given by his own historical present; and in his time that later and greater era of investment and financial enterprise which has made industry subsidiary to business was only beginning to get under way and only obscurely so. So that he was still able to think of commercial enterprise as a middle-man's traffic in merchandise, subsidiary to a small-scale industry on the order of handicraft, and due to an assumed propensity in men "to truck, barter, and exchange one thing for another." And so much as he could not help seeing of the new order of business enterprise which was coming in was not rated by him as a sane outgrowth of that system of Natural Liberty for which he spoke and about which his best affections gathered. In all this he was at one with his thoughtful contemporaries.

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That generation of public-spirited men went, perforce, on the scant data afforded by their own historical present, the economic situation as they saw it in the perspective and with the preconceptions of their own time; and to them it was accordingly plain that when all unreasonable restrictions are taken away, the obvious and simple system of natural liberty establishes itself of its own accord." To this natural" plan of free workmanship and free trade all restraint or retardation by collusion among business men was wholly obnoxious, and all collusive control of industry or of the market was accordingly execrated as unnatural and subversive. It is true, there were even then some appreciable beginnings of coercion and retardation-lowering of wages and

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limitation of output by collusion between owners and employers who should by nature have been competitive producers of an unrestrained output of goods and services according to the principles of that modern point of view which animated Adam Smith and his generation; but coercion and unearned gain by a combination of ownership, of the now familiar corporate type, was virtually unknown in his time. So Adam Smith saw and denounced the dangers of unfair combination between "masters" for the exploitation of their workmen, but the modern use of credit and corporation finance for the collective control of the labor market and the goods market of course does not come within his horizon and does not engage his attention.

So also Adam Smith knows and denounces the use of protective tariffs for private gain. That means of pilfering was familiar enough in his time. But he spends little indignation on the equally nefarious use of the national establishment for safeguarding and augmenting the profits of traders, concessionaires, investors and creditors in foreign parts at the cost of the home community. That method of taxing the common man for the benefit of the vested interests has also grown to more formidable proportions since his time. The constituent principles of the modern point of view, as accepted advisedly or by oversight by Adam Smith and his generation, supply all the legitimation required for this larcenous use of the national establishment; but the means of communication were still too scant, and the larger use of credit was too nearly untried, as contrasted with what has at a later date gone to make the com

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mercial ground and incentive of imperialist politics. Therefore the imperialist policies of public enterprise for private gain also do not come greatly within the range of Adam Smith's vision of the future, nor does the "obvious and simple system on which he and his generation of thoughtful men take their stand comprise anything like explicit declarations for or against this later-matured chicane of the gentlemen-investors who have been managing the affairs of the civilised nations.

Adam Smith's work and life-time falls in with the high tide of eighteenth-century insight and understanding, and it marks an epoch of spiritual achievement and stabilisation in civil institutions, as well as in those principles of conduct that have governed economic rights and relations since that date. But it marks also the beginning of a new order in the state of the industrial arts as well as in those material sciences which come directly in touch with the industrial arts and which take their logical bent from the same range of tangible experience. So it happens that this modern point of view reached a stable and symmetrical finality about the same date when the New Order of experience and insight was beginning to bend men's habits of thought into lines that run at cross purposes with this same stabilised point of view. It is in the ways and means of industry and in the material sciences that the new order of knowledge and belief first comes into evidence; because it is in this domain of workday facts that men's experience began about that time to take a decisive turn at variance with the received canons.

A mechanistic conception of things began to displace those essentially romantic notions of untrammeled initiative and rationality that governed the intellectual life of the era of enlightenment which was then drawing to a close.


It is logically due to follow that the same general principles of knowledge and validity will presently undergo a revision of the same character where they have to do with those imponderable facts of human conduct and those conventions of law and custom that govern the duties and obligations of men in society. Here and now as elsewhere and in other times the stubborn teaching that comes of men's experience with the tangible facts of industry should confidently be counted on to make the outcome, so as to bring on a corresponding revision of what is right and good in that world of make-believe that always underlies any established system of law and The material exigencies of the state of industry are unavoidable, and in great part unbending; and the economic conditions which follow immediately from these exigencies imposed by the ways and means of industry are only less uncompromising than the mechanical facts of industry itself. And the men who live under the rule of these economic exigencies are constrained to make their peace with them, to enter into such working arrangements with one another as these unbending conditions of the state of the industrial arts will tolerate, and to cast their system of imponderables on lines which can be understood by the same men who understand the industrial arts and the system of material science which underlies the industrial arts. So that, in due course,

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