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succeed in other and dissimilar lines. Confidence in an individual because of some single success has caused many disappointments. There exists a strong tendency to place absolute confidence in some one individual, to make him the repository of confidence, and in social, economic or political matters, that individual is, for his group or his party, the dominant powerful intellect, and to him, individuals dominant in other things, leaders of reputation and experience, subordinate their own personalities; whatever he may advocate is accepted without question. This supremacy may be well deserved and worthy of the following; it may only be some strange fascination or some appeal to imagination. This power may be used for a worthy purpose, which when accomplished is of general benefit, or it may be used for a purpose, too large, involved and complicated for a leader who has the imagination to conceive great things but not the patience and ability to carry them to accomplishment. Before his followers realize his mistakes he may become so entangled, and he may have so entangled them, that the cause is lost and all have become involved in a maze of disastrous perplexities.
Or, the purpose he advocates may be false in principle, impossible yet plausible; even after his followers have lost confidence and failure is evident, they hesitate and are loath to assert themselves; some will not see, some will be held by a sense of personal loyalty, and some will selfishly hope for some individual benefit.
Greater disaster has been brought about, more characters have been smirched by blind confidence in individuals, than there have ever been thru intentional deceit or fraud.
This phase of human character must be taken into account, for it explains many events in life otherwise not possible to understand. These peculiarities account for many fundamental differences of opinion on vital questions upon which each enthusiast thinks that there should be no honest difference and that all are wrong who differ.
There always will be honest differences of opinion and the only way to reach a workable condition of human affairs is by an "understanding' reached thru discussion, and a "conclusion" reached thru mutual concession. In this way a course of action will be determined in which all can acquiesce and toward which all can work in a spirit of hearty accord for a common purpose.
While the conclusions may not be the very best—who can tell?—there is no question but that it will be the best that can be obtained.
Emotional movements are not permanent, nor are they stepping-stones to something better, for they are not based on any mental quality that leads to improvement.
It is easy, to say, but impossible to prove, what "would have happened.” Time settles definite prophetic statements, but "might-have-beens” can never be determined.
All improvements in our social relations must be based upon improvements of environment and habit of the human mind; an evolution thru systematic and practical education from existing conditions.
WHAT ARE THE INFLUENCES THAT HAVE BEEN WORKING FOR BETTER OF WORSE IN OUR ECONOMIC AND SOCIAL RE
LATIONS AND CONDUCT?
Within a recent period, no longer than one man's lifetime, tremendous changes have taken place.
When that individual was young, man was self-dependent. With the exception of the “luxuries” the man and the family produced and fashioned nearly every article of individual or household use, and were in a great measure independent of all others. Production and manufacture were by disassociated individual work, mostly by manual labor, or if centralized were in exceedingly small groups. Intercommunication was generally confined to the neighborhood; if extended beyond it was thru occasional visits, or semi-occasional letters to which exceptional importance was attached. Intercommunication, intercourse or interchange between separate sections or states was uncommon and between separate nations and continents almost negligible. There were a few centers of trade and commerce. Fully half of the world was substantially unknown.
What has been the change in one “recent man's” lifetime?
Now the great majority are dependent upon others for the comforts, conveniences and necessities of life. Extreme parts of the country are now in closer connection than were neighborhoods; personal intercourse between individuals widely separated are but every day occurrences. The food upon the table is brought from distant lands, seas and forests.
Instead of disassociated manual labor, laboris now centralized in vast establishments where machinery has largely replaced manual labor. On the farm the raw material and produce is exchanged for the necessities of life manufactured elsewhere. The trolley car passes your door, and frequent and swift trains or traveling hotels are convenient for customary journeys between distant towns. For intercommunication the mails are frequent. For immediate communication the telegraph annihilates distance and for social or business conversation, whether with those in an adjoining house or distant city, the telephone makes personal intercourse possible.
The changes in habits, customs and conventions of our social organization have been greater in that "recent man's” life than in any previous thousand years.
Everything or nearly everything which contributed to these new, if not better conditions, were introduced as luxuries, soon became conveniences and almost imperceptibly became necessities.
That which contributed most largely towards these changes, and without which they would be impossible, is "intercommunication" and "transportation."
Intercommunication and transportation, cheap and efficient, have made possible the enjoyment of the world's products in every section and the assembling of raw material from widely separated sections at the most favorable point for manufacture and distribution; it has made possible transactions and intercourse between all parts of the world. It is now easier to arrange matters between individuals widely scattered than formerly between those in the same community. As intercommunication and transportation develops, so develops commerce and society.
WHAT HAS BEEN THE EFFECT OF THESE CHANGES? The wealth of our country has been created by and is absolutely dependent upon these facilities; without them it would disappear. “Transportation and intercommunication change local stagnation to world-wide prosperity.” Transportation and intercommunication have created, and upon their continuance depend, the populous and prosperous commercial and social centers. All other public services are subordinate to these.
Wherever man lives, in city or country, he is dependent; he must be served.
In the beginning these services were hailed and welcomed as "beneficial advantages;" soon they were regarded as “dependencies” of public favor, and as public dependence upon them increased, they were regarded more from the point of self-interest, and narrow consideration became prominent in all dealings with them.
This attitude was no new characteristic. Society has never allowed that which is necessary to existence to be entirely controlled by private interest. It has always been brought under sufficient control and regulation to prevent extortion or oppression, without destroying the conventional rights of property, which were additionally safeguarded by its character, its small investment, its adaptability to other purposes.
The construction and equipment of present-day utilities require large “unrecallable” investment in special plant and equipment which has little or no liquidating value as a going concern of the same nature, and without equitable treatment there must be great loss.
These public services, to obtain the maximum benefit at the minimum cost, necessarily assumed the nature and many of the characteristics of “monopolies.” This was made an excuse for the enactment of restraining laws and made them too frequently the target of misrepresentation and at times of veritable persecution which might be brutally described in the expression “might makes right.”
The regrettable trouble, the greatest danger of all, is the lack of a proper recognition of the close interdependent relations between the prosperity of these utilities and the prosperity of the public.
Reckless methods of promotion, and disregard of public rights by some of the many connected with these utilities, have antagonized the public and created the idea that the practises of a few were the practises of all. Some of the managers may have given too much consideration to their shareholders and too little to the public, forgetting the mutual interdependence and common interests, but there has been and there is a growing tendency to meet the public in a broad and liberal way. In many of the most marked cases of maladministration and reckless financial management the underlying purpose was to profit thru the increase and improvement of facilities, and in nearly every, if not every instance, the public have obtained better, more extended and even cheaper services and facilities.
Much of the public misunderstanding and financial loss to the public has been thru new promotions, which under the name of “competition" and the cry of “down with monopoly”. duplicated in part existing utilities, covered only the profitable part of the business, and did not meet the essential raison d'être of a utility, which is, to afford facilities to all. Investment was increased without increasing facilities, and the power of the existing utility to extend service was lessened by dividing the profitable business.
ANOTHER AND EVEN GREATER CHANGE HAS TAKEN PLACE IN THE CONDITIONS WHICH CONTROL HUMAN PROGRESS IN
THIS COUNTRY During this same period, or one "recent man's ” life