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MODES AND MORALS

THE NEW SIMPLICITY

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Y first caption was Democracy, Plumbing, and the War. That will hardly

do as a title, for it does not hint the heart of the matter; though the war has precipitated conditions which our special form of democracy has long been preparing us for, and plumbing is perhaps as symbolic as it is ubiquitous in the American domestic scene. All three, with all their implications, are factors, certainly, in our present problem of living, and if war has brought that problem to acuteness, democracy and plumbing (and what they may be taken to stand for) have made us ripe for upheaval. Edison and his like are as responsible, in their way, as Thomas Jefferson or William Haywood. All three have, without doubt, contributed to the present and future dilemma of educated people in moderate circumstances. War has, of necessity, turned moderate circumstances to actual poverty; but democracy and plumbing were already preparing the débâcle for this group. All of us—the educated classes as well as the uneducated—are guilty together, that is, of pampering ourselves with physical comforts; and democracy always makes for materialism, because the only kind of equality

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COPYRIGHT, 1918, BY HARPER & BROTHERS

COPYRIGHT, 1914, BY HENRY HOLT & COMPANY
COPYRIGHT, 1911, 1912, 1913, 1914, 1915, 1918, 1919, BY THE ATLANTIC MONTHLY

COMPANY

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THE SCRIBNER PRESS

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