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attractive. The appeals often made, not only to the young, but also to the “ sovereign citizen,” often tend to foster vain aspirations and to belittle industrious pursuits.
But most of the idleness which disgraces and degrades our industrial life is due to inborn laziness. A disinclination to work is no new thing under the sun. It is as old as human nature, and there is no evidence that it is peculiar to the educated and intelligent. On the contrary, the lower the condition of a people, the less their inclination to work. In savage tribes, the work is done by those who are compelled to toil either by hunger or external force. In half-civilized nations, the work is chiefly done by the women, who, in all material respects, are slaves. In all conditions of civilization, man does not work except from interest or necessity; and so long as human nature remains what it is, there will always be persons who prefer to get a living by their wits rather than by hard work.
These, and other causes which might be named, are certainly sufficient to account for the unsatisfactory condition of American industry, without charging it to the schools. Schooling may spoil some people, but many more are spoiled for the want of it. It is ignorance, not intelligence, that is degrading American labor and crippling American industry.
Over against these pet dogmas of aristocracy, before stated, permit me to put a few propositions, which are abundantly sustained by experience.
1. Education promotes industry and lessens idleness. It awakens and multiplies desires, and thus incites effort to secure the means of their gratification. The Indian builds his rude wigwam and fashions his bow
and arrow and tomahawk, and with these his wealth and industry cease. Ignorance everywhere clothes itself in rags and lives in hovels, but when man's nature is opened by education, his desires clamor at the gateway of every nerve and sense for gratification The awakened soul has wants as well as the body. Education thus touches both factors in the great law of wealth. It creates demands, and it also incites to effort for their gratification. Enter the homes of educated labor in the land, and take an inventory of the articles found therein, which minister to the desires of the soul as well as to the wants of the body, and then contrast the result with what is found in the hovels of ignorance. Some idea will thus be obtained of the industrial power of general intelligence. The elevation of a people in intelligence and taste increases their demands for the products of human industry and skill, and, at the same time, it intensifies human effort and multiplies and varies the forms of industry. Wealth is the child of education.
2. Education makes labor more skilful and more productive. This proposition is based on a wide comparison of intelligent and ignorant labor, and is sustained by such a multitude of observations that it is no longer questioned by any one familiar with the facts. In 1846 Horace Mann, then Secretary of the Board of Education of Massachusetts, opened a correspondence with business men, to ascertain the comparative productive value of educated and uneducated labor. The men addressed included manufacturers of all kinds, machinists, engineers, railroad contractors, officers in the army, etc., - men who had the means of determining the productiveness of labor by observing hundreds of persons working side by side, using the same tools and machinery, and working on the same material, and making the same fabrics. In many instances, the productiveness of each operative could be weighed by the pound or measured by the yard. The investigation disclosed an astonishing superiority in productive power of the educated laborer, as compared with the uneducated. “The hand,” wrote Mr. Mann,“ is found to be another hand when guided by an intelligent mind. Processes are performed, not only more rapidly, but better, when faculties, which have been exercised in early life, furnish their assistance. In great establishments and among large bodies of laborers, where men pass by each other, ascending or descending in their grades of labor, just as easily and certainly as particles of water of different degrees of temperature glide by each other, there it is found to be an almost invariable rule that the educated laborer rises to a higher and higher point in the kinds of labor performed and also in the wages received, while the ignorant sinks like dregs and is always found at the bottom.”
Some twenty-five years later the National Bureau of Education widened Mr. Mann's inquiries, addressing business men in all parts of the country, and with a similar result. The same lesson has been taught and enforced by the world's expositions. In all the great comparisons of national skill, the superiority of educated labor has been attested in a most striking manner, and the nations are appealing to education for success in the industrial markets of the world. The day of mere muscle has passed, and the day of mind has dawned. Every form of industry now demands the ingenious brain and the cunning fingers of educated labor.
3. Education improves the condition of the laborer. Mr. Mann's investigation showed that individuals " who, without the aid of education, would have been condemned to perpetual inferiority of condition, and subjected to all the evils of want and poverty, rise to competence and independence by the uplifting power of education.” What is true of individuals is true of the laboring people as a class. Nowhere do an educated people cover their nakedness with rags. They demand comforts and easements, and the miserable hovel is changed to the neat cottage.
It is true that an educated workman demands higher wages than an ignorant one, but his work is worth more. If he demands higher wages, he creates more value. Capital is not far-sighted when it looks upon the workman as a mere machine A machine may be set to the task of running another machine, but the result has never been satisfactory. But whatever the selfishness of capital may demand, the highest interests of the laborer are subserved by education. The workman is more than a machine. He is a human being, and his rights as such are as sacred and inviolable as those inherited by the more favored child of fortune. The artisan may be a hewer of wood, but if his life answer its highest purpose, he must also be a hewer of wrong. The laborer may be the head and guide of a family, a member of society, a citizen of the state, and out of these relations flow duties of the highest importance. To prepare man to meet the higher obligations of manhood is the highest function of education.
Permit me, in this connection, to allude to what is called the "over-education" of labor. This is the latest phase of the opposition of aristocracy to popular education. It is now willing to concede that a very little learning is not a dangerous thing for the laborer, but Capital, Caste, and Culture are greatly concerned lest the common people be spoiled by too much education. They see special danger in the attempt to put facilities for acquiring a higher education within easy reach of the children of toil. The free high school is assailed as the common enemy of both capital and labor.
I have only time to say that this opposition to the high school rests upon the same basis as the former opposition to the common school. A high-school education now no more unfits a boy for manual labor than an elementary education did when comparatively few received it. When the great body of laboring men were unschooled, the few who learned to read and write were thus fitted to fill positions demandiny intelligence more than muscle, and they were, in a sense, educated out of their former condition. Where all workmen, as in Germany, receive an elementary education, those whose education is carried to a higher point are best fitted for positions demanding intelligence. The menial labor in every community will, as a rule, be performed by those who are the least qualified to fill other positions. When only a few are educated, it will be performed by the unschooled; when all are educated, it will fall to the lot of those who are the least educated. It is impossible to carry the education of the people to so high a point that the great majority will not still represent the less educated. An education that would fit a person for what is called a higher position in an unschooled community might only fit him for the lowest grade of work in an educated community.
Aristocracy may dismiss its fears respecting the fu