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grievance; perhaps he has. But it's the same grievance that all the rest of us have. Why not be cheerful about it?
Every business has its periods of depression, but the business man doesn't go into bankruptcy and take the poor debtor's oath when trade is dull; he keeps right on at the old stand. If you are a progressive you oughtn't to be discouraged because you can't keep on progressing all the time. Why not make use of the interruptions to snatch a little spiritual refreshment. William Penn declared that the best year of his life was one in which he was forcibly prevented from being busy, and garnered what he called the "Fruits of Solitude." There is more than one way of getting forward. The social reformer comes to what seems the end of his road, and is tempted to turn back. Then he needs to be assured that it is not so bad as it seems. The road is under repair, which may be inconvenient for him, but in the interest of future wayfarers. In the meantime he may make a detour which is recommended as unsafe but possible. If he is really socially minded he will accept the explanation and go on without grumbling. I would like to point out two or three critical periods when a social worker needs a friend.
The first is when he gets a job. Now getting a job is not so difficult for a young person as liking a job: that is an acquired taste. An ideal is expansive, alluring, thrilling. On the other hand, a job is narrow, definite, confining. It is not an opportunity for the display of all your spiritual talents. It is something that has to be done. So to the eager idealist it is apt to be a come-down, as if one had to sacrifice inspiration to efficiency. One sets out to serve humanity and finds himself a rather humble member of an organization.
Before one has learned the necessity of specialization he is like a small boy who has a dime in his pocket, taken to a ten-cent store. There is nothing in the store that is beyond his means. He can have anything in the store which he chooses. He walks about like a prince in a palace of enchantments. The fair princesses at the counters wait upon his will. Each of the glittering articles makes its mute appeal. He is the fountain of honor. It is for him to say which ten-cent treasure is worth his ten cents.
Now, so long as he delays his decision he feels that the store is his potentially. He has an option which he has not yet used. But the pleasant indecision cannot last. He makes his choice and hands his dime to the maiden, who instantly loses interest in him. His whole attitude toward the store changes. What is a ten-cent store to one who no longer has ten cents?
For a moment he feels that he has a grievance. But the cheerful philosophy of youth reasserts itself. He reflects that he was told that he could have anything in that store, but he was not promised everything. He has got what he paid for; now if he wants something else he must earn another ten cents.
That seems a simple lesson in practical philosophy, but many earnest people do not seem to have learned it. They feel that they have not accomplished anything because they have not accomplished everything. Now, one cannot
reproach them for this lack of discrimination, but one can say that they lose a great deal of satisfaction that they are really entitled to.
Coming back to the ten-cent store, the wise boy who would get the utmost personal satisfaction out of his visit should provide himself with two tencent pieces: one to spend and one to remain with him unspent and free. And the happy worker is one who has enough interest in his own job to be efficient, and then enough interest in the big world outside his own job to be interesting. It is that overflow that is his real gift.
Another critical point where there is need of a broad and wholesome philosophy is when the social worker gets his eyes open to the faults of the social order to which he belongs. Starting out to be a servant of society, he has experiences which make him a critic. I take it for granted that every social worker who has his wits about him makes certain disturbing discoveries sooner or later. Things that he had admired are not so admirable as he had thought. When he started out he had a very clear idea of right and wrong. Right is what the best people in my community do. Wrong is that which is different. There is a sort of sea-level of righteousness from which everything can be measured. The philanthropist reaches down to the submerged classes and lifts them up to the proper level. This is the simple theory of the uplifter.
But the time comes when the uplifter looks upon his work with dismay. He has been laboring in behalf of the defective and the delinquent classes, but in tracing the causes of the defectiveness and delinquencies to the men higher up, he finds himself quite unexpectedly in the region of social respectability. Is this all I can do, he says: to drag people up to this dead level of local normalcy? He looks with inquiring eyes on the "best people," and asks, "Better than whom?"
Now when he begins to ask such questions he needs a friend. For the "best people” are like the rest of us: they have a good deal of human nature. We, all of us, are right-minded enough to wish to help other people to be as good as we are. The trouble begins when we are told that they ought to be better. We don't see the necessity for it.
Nothing is more characteristic of the thorough methods of the modern reformer than the survey of a community in order to ascertain the exact facts. But one should not expect immediate thanks for such service. The revelations may be very painful to those who had been unaware that anything was the matter with them. A fact-finder is judged by the facts which he finds. If he finds facts that are unpleasant, the community is likely to lay them up against him. When a scientific survey has been completed it does not mean that everyone is ready to act upon its recommendations. The community is divided into three classes; first a small and select group of those who have read the report; second, a somewhat larger group consisting of those who indignantly refuse to read it because they believe it is bad for business and that it has probably been inspired from Moscow; third, the vast majority of busy and right-minded people who have never heard of it and are not likely to hear of it unless someone in
whom they have confidence brings it to their attention. Now, the chances are that the people who have read the report and the people who conscientiously refuse to read it will begin verbal hostilities. Each bombards the other's position, but as each is without accurate range-finders, no casualties are reported.
The real objective for the reformer is that great mass of right-minded but busy people whose attention is not immediately turned to the evils which the few have discovered. It does no good to scold them; it is the sign of weakness to think scornfully of them. What we call "the public" is not a person. It is simply a name for all of us. Now it is not strange that all of us do not suddenly get excited over what some of us have just found out. A great deal of patient work must be done before the facts that have been discovered are understood by the majority of the citizens of our country. The work of interpretation has to be done by persons who have, beside the gift of moral insight, the gift of untiring patience. We praise the bold reformer who goes on "through good report and through evil report." My heart goes out to the people who go on with no report at all. Such people eventually overcome not only public hostility, but what is more difficult, public indifference.
Above all things the social philosopher must learn that when a special program in which he has been interested may seem to have failed, the great cause in which he has enlisted has not failed so long as it continues to enlist new recruits. Each new generation must try its own experiments in righteousness.
I got a good deal of encouragement from a bulletin of the Agricultural Department in regard to the treatment of the flatheaded apple-tree borer. It seems that the borer, in the fall, drills a hole through the bark of the tree and lays its eggs. One way to meet the pest is to find each tiny hole and push a wire up till it destroys the enemy. This takes a good deal of time and is not commercially profitable.
The other plan is to look after the tree. If it is kept in first-rate condition, in the spring the sap will rise with a rush and the young borers will be caught in the flood like Pharoah and his horsemen in the Red Sea. The advice of the agricultural experts is "Drown 'em with sap." This is excellent advice for the treatment of most social evils. May I end my discourse with my real text?— "The trees of the Lord are full of sap."
PRESENT SOCIAL ASPECTS OF THE COAL INDUSTRY
Edward T. Devine, Member of Federal Coal Commission; Formerly
The limiting words of our subject are not to be too narrowly interpreted. "Present" includes such recent past events as the anthracite suspension in Pennsylvania and the near-revolution in England. The future, with the expiration of the three-year period of the Jacksonville Agreement in sight, casts a dark shad
ow athwart present aspects. "Social," in this Conference, where it has been so often and so variously defined, is never limited to family welfare-that hardly needs saying-but just now it is comfortable to reflect that its horizen need not be that of a neighborhood or a nation. Our mandate, I take it, is to discuss fundamentals, even though they are economic; to consider significant aspects, even though they may be called political; to search the horizons, even though they stretch beyond the three-mile limit and lie within the League of Nations at their farther reach.
The first social aspect of the coal industry is not controversial. Of all the known coal deposits of the world, more than half are in the United States. Only 10 per cent are in Europe. Yet the Unites States, from its generous half, is producing hardly 40 per cent of the world's annual consumption; while Europe, from her precious tenth, is producing more than half the world's consumption. Europe supplies her own needs and exports to other continents. The United States, with relatively inexhaustible reserves, far more accessible and more easily mined, barely supplies its own fuel needs. England digs deep into the bowels of the earth, into thin seams and far out under the sea, to find coal to export to nations which have none, like Italy and Argentina. That may or may not be good industrial policy. Her loss of foreign trade, both in coal and in manufactures, through the dislocation of commerce and industry after the war, through the decrease in the purchasing power of European nations, the lowering of their standard of living, precipitated the prolonged crisis in her coal industry.
We all speak glibly now of the need for a thoroughgoing reorganization of England's coal industry. Commission after commission recommended it, but owners, operators, and statesmen shrank from tackling it. Thanks to the miners of England and to the trade-unions of England which joined them in the great nine-day demonstration, we may now have reorganization. The archbishops of the Church of England, the Roman hierarchy, the Protestant churches brought a new and vigorous note into the discussion at the critical time. Even royalty made its voice heard. And now Stanley Baldwin has promised it. Although Baldwin made a costly blunder when he broke off negotiations and precipitated the general strike at a moment when the negotiations were proceeding to a favorable conclusion, and although he may still fail to secure the cooperation of either miners or operators, everyone must admit his superb handling of the crisis, and especially his extraordinary success in defeating the attempts of the hardboiled employers to destroy the unions, cut wages, lengthen hours, and otherwise retaliate on the workers of the nation for their concerted stand in behalf of the miners.
Coal has been the cornerstone of modern industry, and for that reason it is the center of world concern when the very foundations of industry are rocked by the earthquake of war or a bad peace. Lloyd George had not heard of Upper Silesia before the war; but now Upper Silesia, the Saar, the Ruhr are more fa
miliar to our ears than the names of the battlefields of the war itself. Therein lies the most important social aspect of the coal industry.
Coal has to do with future wars and their prevention: with the promotion of social well-being among men. The nations will have to deal with the problem of access to raw materials and fuels. The nations will challenge before long, I think, the right of any one nation to deny access to oil or coal or iron ore or phosphates or rubber or other materials essential to agricultural and industrial life. The open door, identified with American foreign policy, has been applied heretofore to the backward nations, to regions which produce oil and rubber, to overpopulated countries. But is there no formula for the open door which can be applied also to the strong nations; to those which have coal and iron, as well as to those which have oil and rubber; to the British Empire and the United States, as well as to China and Mesopotamia?
Internationally speaking, the coal industry calls aloud for freedom of trade and for peaceful cooperation among the nations. From the miners of England, declaring desperately, with their backs to the wall, that their lowest wage must not go below forty-five shillings a week; from the harassed owners and operators who protest that they cannot carry on at a financial loss; and from the British taxpayers who cannot find the money both for a coal subsidy and for their payments on the American debt; from the vast stores of untouched, and at present untouchable, coal reserves in Siberia and China; from the ravaged mines of France and Belgium; from the reparation coal shipments out of Germany; from the furnaces of the industrial centers in Japan and Italy which must be constantly fed by imports-from every pit mouth of the world's coal mines, from every wheel of industry and every fireside, comes reinforcement of the idea that the nations of the world need peace and understanding and cooperation-need that social spirit which for half a century it has been the great aim of this Conference to inculcate in its own local and particular spheres, a cooperative policy, realistically based on facts accepted in common.
The second social aspect of the coal industry, to which I would earnestly, not to say beseechingly, invite your attention is its striking resemblance to all other industry. Strikes and controversies and the scarcity of fuel which results from them have created a sort of coal complex in our national psychology, which much of our current discussion has tended to intensify and fix rather than to analyze or dissipate or sublimate or whatever it is we should do with our fear complexes.
We hear much prophecy of what will be, as compared with any clear realization of what is and what can be. We are assailed with phrases, slogans, terrifying images, vehement assertions that since sooner or later we shall be compelled to do this or that we might as well yield to the inevitable and do it now. We hear this from operators as to the necessity for breaking the monopolistic power of the unions; but since it is the advocates of nationalization who have more, per