Puslapio vaizdai
PDF
„ePub“

shown that many two-year-old youngsters have a larger vocabulary than that, and that not a few children of three have command of more than a thousand words. In one case, that of the three-year-old son of Professor Whipple of Cornell University, a vocabulary of nearly eighteen hundred words has been recorded.

Obviously, even if the child by no means understands all the words he uses, the mere fact that he uses so many indicates a tremendous mental activity and a tremendous intellectual curiosity. This is otherwise and still more clearly indicated by the inquisitiveness of every normal. child. He wants to know, and he bombards his parents with a thousand questions. It is the contention of the advocates of the new theory of education that if his questions are not answered as fully and correctly as possible, and if advantage. is not taken of the opportunity to ground him in the rudiments of sound reasoning, his curiosity will die away, his mind will tire and cease to function actively, and he will enter school under a handicap of intellectual inertia. To quote one exponent of the new view, Dr. T. A. Williams, the Washington psychopathologist:

An impression prevails that growing organs should not be subjected to work. This is a gross error; for organs which do not work cannot grow well. Even the bones become tough, hard, and large in proportion to the stresses to which they are subjected by frequent and vigorous pulls where the muscles are attached. . . . What is true of structure is true of functional power. From ballet-dancers to violin virtuosi, artists must be trained from early youth. It may be objected that this is so because muscular agility is required, but this objection is only superficial; for dexterity of an artist is

made possible not in virtue of superior coordination of movements themselves, but by reason of the superior speed and accuracy of the guiding mental processes which reside in the brain. As intellectual dexterity is also a result of orderly functioning of mental processes seated in the brain, it should be manifest that these, too, should reach excellence best when they are trained by a capable hand during the formative period of early youth.

But, indeed, apart from all theoretical considerations, those upholding this doctrine of intensive child culture, find a powerful reinforcement for their arguments in the circumstance that the experiment of thus educating children has been tried not once, but several times, and always with astonishing success. Lord Kelvin and his brother, the eminent English engineer James Thomson, were educated in this way; so was John Stuart Mill; so was that great German scholar Karl Witte, the story of whose upbringing is told by his father in a book which I warmly commend to all parents, and which has recently been translated into English by Professor Leo Wiener. And in our own time a group of American parents, Dr. Sidis, Dr. Berle, Professor Wiener, and others have similarly educated their children, with results so impressive as to provoke nation-wide discussion in educational circles.

My own belief is that the new view is soundly based; that before many years have passed it will be generally accepted; and that, with ever-wider application of the discoveries regarding the physiological and environmental factors conditioning mental growth, it will result in an unprecedented development of the nation and of the human race.

TH

Industrial Relations

HREE years have passed since the Congress of the United States, realizing that where no wise guidance is the people falleth, but that in the multitude of counselors there is safety, directed the President Mr. Taft-to appoint a commission of nine members, of whom three should be employers and three should be representatives of organized labor, to inquire into the general condition of labor. in the principal industries of the United States, seek to discover underlying causes of dissatisfaction in the industrial situation, and report its conclusions thereon. The commission was to report on the relations between employers and employees, especially in corporations; health, sanitation, and safety in industries; growth and effects of associations of employers and of wage-earners; methods of collective bargaining; means for maintaining industrial peace; methods for avoiding or adjusting labor disputes through peaceful and conciliatory mediation and negotiations; the wider utilization of labor exchanges; and lastly to make suggestions to prevent the smuggling in of Asiatic labor.

Truly a liberal-sized order, with a checking-account of a hundred thousand dollars attached, and later increased to a total of half a million dollars. Mr. Taft, being at the close of a Presidential term, with troubles of his own requiring no little attention, generously handed over the appointment of the commission to his successor, perhaps as a genial bit of Presidential hazing, and doubtless accepted by the Presidential neophyte in like spirit.

There was as much to be expected from this commission of incompatible industrial harmonizers as from a bunch of Progressives and stand-pat Republicans, or female anti-Suffragists and male Suffragettes. The final printed report of the commission contains only one unanimous declaration; that is, a definition of the terms "closed" and "open" shop. On

everything else it was impossible for the commission in its entirety to reach any agreement whatever. Moreover, the members in special supplementary individual statements emphasize the important fact of having reached certain conclusions at variance with their fellow-members. This is specially gratifying to the public, inasmuch as the main force of their report would lie in the unanimity of its conclusions.

The report of the Director of Investigations, Basil M. Manly, occupying 252 pages, is signed by and commended by the four representatives of organized labor as "containing no statement that is unworthy of credence and that will not bear careful investigation." The conclusions and recommendations are warranted by the statement of facts and the accumulated evidence in the hands of the commission.

Five other commissioners find themselves unable "to agree to any of the findings of the staff or any resolutions based upon them because they have not the criticism of employers, employees, and others. affected by them, which we consider indispensable in order that we might have before us assurance that they were accurate and not chargeable with important omissions."

For these reasons Professor Commons has prepared an additional one-hundredpage report of his own and of Mrs. Harriman's, of which the chairman of the commission is so hard-hearted as to state, "I feel it my duty to dissent from the same in toto," expressing the opinion that its recommendations are undemocratic and its whole plan opposed to the habits, customs, and traditions of the American people; that its suggestions are impracticable and impossible of performance, opening up unlimited opportunities for graft and corruption, establishing bureaucratic supervision of the economic condition of workers, and an autocratic control over business opera

tions repugnant to American standards of freedom in manufacture and commerce.

So there we are. But where are we? It is certainly depressing to think of the final cost for a hundred million Americans if it costs five hundred thousand dollars to educate nine intelligent persons to the point where they cannot agree to disagree politely. A happy thought tells us that perhaps we may all continue to disagree contentedly without the aid of any commissions or the expenditure of a cent.

The American public has reason to criticize harshly a commission of industrial relations which was too restricted in outlook to comprehend the direction in which lies the solution of all problems involving industrial, legislative, or civic relations. Is it to be gainsaid that such problems are problems in education?

In corresponding measure to the degree and amount of ignorance in any community, there must coëxist justice and injustice, fair play or exploitation, contentment or unrest. In a country like ours, where millions of adults are unable even to read and write, and millions more rarely read even a daily paper, where many millions speak no English, and other millions are dependents and semi-defectives, is it strange that the more intelligent should be able to use to their own financial advantage the unschooled, the ignorant, and the unfortunate, that conditions of oppression should exist, and that industrial unrest should result? We should expect of a commission of industrial relations the analytical ability to tell their fellow-countrymen something more fundamental and less obvious concerning the causes of industrial unrest than that some people are rich and some are poor, that there exists unemployment, that judges are not always just, or that there are not everywhere right and opportunity to form effective labor organizations. We should expect an analysis of more basic factors underlying these self-evident conditions. We should look for a lucid exposition of how the public school may reach greater numbers for a longer period, and thus make for a better schooling of the people, and how the

application of knowledge may replace emotionalism, prejudice, and passion in industrial relations; we should be given an evaluation of illiteracy and its relation to industrial exploitation, a definition of wage-worth, and how it may be increased, an authoritative study of disease in its relation to industrial incapacity and consequent low earning-power; a convincing demonstration of the connection between low-wage standard, scant purchasing power, limited industrial outlets, and sequent industrial struggles; an exact analysis of the scientific wage, and how it may be introduced. More basic remedies should have been proposed than mere economic blood-letting in the form of an in

come-tax.

Instead of a serious analysis of industrial relations, we were treated for months to the edifying and continuous spectacle of an itinerant forensic circus with side-show attractions and unlimited free newspaper advertising of the personnel of the commission. We are within our rights in expecting from experts not commonplaces of conversation or special pleas for panaceas, but facts and practical common sense as related to fundamental social conditions, and clear-cut statements as a guide for remedial action, not glittering legislative inconsistencies. A priceless chance to improve work relations has been wantonly wasted through lack of team-work and constructive leadership.

[merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small]

reaping what we have sown in our amazing willingness to accept national expressions of religion as being one with the religion of Christ. If the war means only this one thing to the religious world, namely, that it brings out in lasting emphasis the fact that Christendom is in many things at opposite poles with Christ and in most at variance with the principles of His religion, how great a boon it will be to the cause of vital Christianity! For we have all too long blundered in our readiness to accept the official acts of governments nominally Christian as being in line, if not one, with the principles of Christ's Christianity. It is only as we rid ourselves of emotionalism in thinking that we realize the spirit of the world is still the spirit of get, where the spirit of the kingdom not of the world is ever that of give. We cannot reconcile these just because it looks or feels pleasant and appeals to an unthinking sentiment: they are irreconcilable, and must war one with the other until in the end one proves the conqueror.

There is nothing more than hope to justify the propaganda of religious bodies that this may be the last war; nor are we encouraged to believe that the preaching of such a tenet will seriously influence men and nations as they are to-day when we reflect that our present despondency and grief are not because of the sin of the fighting spirit, but chiefly because of the loss of friends and property, a totally dif ferent thing to that Christian mourning which has the promise of being comforted.

"My kingdom is not of this world: . . . then would my servants fight." No, the kingdoms of the world will continue to fight until the fighting spirit is subdued in the individual man. Wars may be fewer, partly as the indirect result of the influence that comes from all that is best in the religious sphere, but chiefly because war costs more than peace. It is only the "servants" who will not fight, because they share, or hunger to share, the spirit of the ruler of the kingdom not of this world, the realization of which should open up wide avenues for action on the part of

religious forces for increasing their numbers.

Those nations that are merely Christian by courtesy act naturally in fighting, just as the true servant of Christ, in abstaining from fighting, also acts naturally. With both it is, "first . . . that which is natural; and afterward that which is spiritual"; one is the only foundation of the other. We cannot build the structure until the foundations are properly understood and laid, and it is the failure to grasp this simple, but profound, truth which is largely accountable for the anemic quality of modern religion, our spirituality is to so great an extent unnatural. As things are, the onus of responsibility for fighting, in relation to God, rests upon the person who, claiming to be Christian, rejects deliberately the known teaching of Christ.

And this brings us face to face with the tremendous share of responsibility that rests upon corporate religion for the present bloodshed. So far from standing afar off and looking on with an air of lofty, outraged righteousness, corporate Christianity should be on its knees at the tribunal of penitence as it beholds its own sons in the thick of the carnage. This is the really shameful feature of the war, that the Christianity preached to the children has been of such a worldly, colorless, compromised nature as not even to suggest a check when the fighting spirit challenged.

If we are to profit by the lessons of this fearful bloodshed, clearly we must begin by realizing that war simply gives startling emphasis to conditions of life and action that form the norm of so-called Christian countries in times of peace. We war to get because we live to get; we oppress by force of arms because we oppress by the selfishness and self-interest of our social and economic life; we kill with shot and shell in war because we kill by callousness and lovelessness, treachery and self-seeking, in times of peace.

This is a day not so much for the repentance of nations as for the church to weep in penitence because it has been content to preach what it failed to practise.

Grand Central Types

Pictures by CHARLES HUARD Verses by W. R. Burlingame and W. R. Benét

The Money-goup

THIS person's face, I must confess, Is not suffused with tenderness, Nor does he savor, on the whole,

Of magnanimity of soul.

His mind, I fear, is bent on pelf,

And somewhat centered on himself;

Yet I may never hope to be

So rich an egotist as he.

The Golfer

THIS is the golfing-man, who thinks
In terms of lofters, lies, and links,
And foozles, baffs, and handicaps,
Or others, more profane, perhaps.
He may be Travers, Vardon, Ray,
Or even Ouimet. Who can say?
Or it is possible that he

Can never hit the ball-like me.

« AnkstesnisTęsti »