Puslapio vaizdai


wants are not goods, but evils, not utilities, but inutilities and as such they are wasteful. We have no means of computing the amount of this waste. The capitalistic system, by guaranteeing men the right to do wrong industrially, that is, to produce and traffic for the sake of gain, in ways that injure society; by piling up wealth in the hands of the few, which enables them to indulge in the most lavish expenditures for dress, furniture, equipage, etc., which requires the labors of vast numbers of producers, puts a premium on luxury and keeps a large number from useful production. On the other hand, Socialism, by a more equal distribution of the burdens and benefits of society resulting from the nationalization of capital, would cut up by the roots this source of waste. It would remove not only the means which make vulgar display possible, and minister to passions and tastes that foster caste, effeminate the mind, and render flabby moral and physical fibre, but it would remove the desire of luxury, by causing it to be regarded as a public enemy.

14. Needless Charity.

Public sentiment has within a few years undergone a marked change in regard to both public and private charities. Charity in the way of almsgiving is now discountenanced by all wise philanthropy, on the ground that it creates more distress and pauperism than it relieves. In other words, our charities to a large extent are an economic waste. A French epigram says, "Charity creates one-half the misery she relieves, but cannot relieve one-half the misery she creates." We have the following testimony from Dr. Washington Gladden, one of the ablest American Sociologists: "I have no hesitation in saying, that until within the last few years the Christian churches of this country, in the distribution of what they call their charities, have done more harm than good. They have found and relieved some cases of actual want, and it would have been a great pity if these cases had not been found and relieved; but in doing this they have bred paupers by the thousand; by their careless and unquestioning doles they have paved the way for whole families to enter the steep


and slimy paths of beggary." In other words these church charities, the vast total of which we have no means of estimating, have been worse than wasted. We believe the aggregate of strictly private charities far exceeds that of church charities.

The well-to-do and kindly disposed people in all our cities and large towns are continually distributing money and clothing, fuel, etc., to those who are morally and physically rendered more helpless thereby. The greatest waste, however, occurs in connection with public charities, which capitalism renders more and more necessary. Paupers are of different classes. Those mentally or physically incapable of self-support are liable under any industrial system to become a public charge. Socialism, however, by relieving humanity of the fearful nervous strain to which competition subjects it, would largely diminish the number of this class of paupers, consisting of the insane, imbecile, and crippled. It would certainly at once and forever relieve society of the burden of supporting the out-door ablebodied poor, and this item alone would save England $20,000,000 per annum. Look at the famous Margaret Jukes's case, with reference to the economic waste of capitalistic, able-bodied pauperism. This woman was born in the State of New York more than a hundred years ago, and lived and died a vagabond and pauper. She had 709 descendants, of whom 280 were paupers, and received $60,000 in relief; the unrecorded charities they received would greatly increase this sum, all of which was waste. There are Jukes in almost every city and town in the land. They are the product of capitalism.

In 1880 we had 67,067 paupers in our poor-houses and almshouses, and 92,000 in our insane-asylums. Add to this the pauper population in all other public and quasipublic charitable institutions in the United States, and we have a total of at least 200,000 supported by public charity. The testimony of experts shows that the principal causes that lead to pauperism are directly traceable to the social order; that is, to "environment," to which must be referred

"Applied Christianity," p. 224.

over-crowding, looseness of the marriage relation, intemperance, etc.

Suppose that 100,000, or one-half the paupers in our poor-houses and asylums, are pauperized by the normal working of capitalism, and that the average cost of supporting each pauper is $400 per annum, including superintendence, buildings, and all other expenses; this would make an annual expenditure of $40,000,000. This is waste, pure and simple. An equal amount is probably worse than thrown away by church benevolences, private charities, and all sorts of indiscriminate giving to parasites and beggars. A grand total of $80,000,000 annually, or $255,591.05 for every secular day in the year, wasted in the name of charity! Modern organized charities are an immense gain; but the gain is moral rather than economic. Organization itself is expensive, and, in the matter of charity, may easily become as productive as it is curative of evils. The point to be emphasized is that capitalism tends to increase pauperism. It produces, also, magnificent charities, because they are needed, because humanity demands them, and because capitalism itself could not exist without them. The least that capitalism can do after lacerating and amputating the limbs of men, women, and children, is to furnish lint and salves in generous quantities. Christianity also requires such gifts. Men are generally disposed to mitigate evil effects to others when they themselves flourish by the cause. Only give a man the chance to play Dives over Lazarus, and he will cheerfully and plentifully throw crumbs to his victim. "A merciful man is merciful to his beast," even though his beast be a two-handed, rational, and God-imaged fellow-being. The difference between Capitalism and Socialism is, that the latter would stop the brutalizing process; stop lacerating and crippling men by pauperizing them, as the more economical as well as the more humane course. It is a painful and significant fact that the average citizen, and even Christian, is more interested in the methods of charity than in efforts to render it unnecessary; in relieving rather than in preventing pauperism. Such is the magic of capitalism, that men under

its spell are incapacitated for consistent and logical deductions. For example, the social causes of pauperism are rightly declared to be "illiteracy, intemperance, over-crowding, and the looseness of the marriage tie." But what is the cause of these causes? Capitalism. But capitalism is justified by those who condemn its legitimate fruits of illiteracy, etc., without a suspicion of inconsistency. It is like justifying a fever while condemning its symptoms. That the causes which produce pauperism have their source in the present social order, is admitted by nearly all sociologists.

[ocr errors]

Dr. Amory H. Bradford, in a thoughtful study on "The Problem of Pauperism," says pauperism has two causes, "Corrupt heredity and vicious environments." And he reduces heredity to environment as follows: "The correction for vicious heredity is change of environment, as the proper thing for a person by the seaboard with hereditary tendency to consumption is to go to Colorado or California."

In other words, the great cause of pauperism is environment, for which the social order is largely responsible. These secondary causes of pauperism, "illiteracy, intemperance, over-crowding, and looseness of the marriage tie," are important factors in the social environment of capitalism. "Illiteracy " in many quarters is on the increase. Capitalism makes it for the economic interest of employer and employee to place children who ought to be in school, at work, and to keep them there. Nobody will deny that "intemperance" is frightfully increased because there are fortunes in the traffic.

The third cause of pauperism, "over-crowding," is due mainly to capitalistic landlordism; and, finally, "the looseness of the marriage tie" is thus accounted for by a foremost American economist: "The causes for divorces have been shown by the National Department of Labor at Washington to be largely economic."

While we do not overlook the individual causes of pauperism, we unhesitatingly affirm that the existing social 1 "Andover Review," March, 1890, p. 261.

2" Political Economy" (Ely), p. 261.

order is largely responsible for them. These causes Socialism would seek to stamp out.

The whole genius of Socialism is opposed to "illiteracy, intemperance, over-crowding, and looseness of the marriage tie," the immediate social causes of pauperism which make louder and louder demands for both public and private charities, and thus entail upon society an enormous waste. 15. Needless Inefficiency of Labor from Ignorance.

Waste from the ignorance of the laborer is observable on every hand. The industrial efficiency of working men of different nationalities is in proportion to their knowledge. In his able and exhaustive study on "The Wages Question" (p. 65), Professor F. A. Walker says, "The general intelligence of the laborer is a factor of his industrial efficiency. This proposition is too well-established and too familiar to need extended illustration. The intelligent laborer is more useful, not merely because he knows how to apply his bodily force in his work with the greatest effect, but also because,

[ocr errors]

"(a) He requires a shorter apprenticeship and less technical instruction. A recruit,' says Professor Rogers, 'who knows how to read and write can learn his drill in half the time in which a totally ignorant person can.'


'(b) He requires far less superintendence. Superintendence is always costly. . .

[ocr errors]

(c) He is far less wasteful of material. . .

"(d) He can use delicate and intricate machinery. The cost of repairing and replacing this with ignorant labor very soon eats up the profits of production . . . 'Experienced mechanicians assert that . . . there is probably as much sound, practical, labor-saving invention and machinery unused as there is used; and that it is unused solely in consequence of the ignorance and incompetency of the work-people." "

[ocr errors]

If this is true, then millions of dollars are annually wasted which a higher and more general intelligence would save. It is precisely this advanced knowledge that Socialism every where and always demands.

16. Needless Inefficiency of Labor from Indifference.

« AnkstesnisTęsti »