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Full text of "War-time financial problems"

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200                NATIONAL QUILDS

something more romantic about the career of a man
who fought his way to success than about that of the
fortunate speculator in production or trade, to say
nothing of the lucky gambler who can in these times
found a fortune on market tips in the Kaffir circus
or the industrial " penny bazaar/' Nevertheless,
it is likely enough that even in the best of the
mediaeval days success was not only to the strong
and brave, but also went often to the cunning,
fawning schemer who pulled the brawny leg of the
burly fighting-man. How6ver that may be, there
can be no doubt that now the prizes of fortune often
go to those who cannot be trusted to make good use
of them or even to enjoy them, that Mr Wells's great
satire on our financial upstarts—" Tono-Bungay "—
has plenty of truth in it, and that our present system,
by its shocking waste of millions of good brains that
never get a chance of development, is an economic
blunder as well as an injustice that calls for remedy.
This being so, it is the business of all who want
to see things made better to examine with most
respectful attention any schemes that are put forward
for the reconstruction of society, however strongly
we may feel that real improvement is only to be got,
not by reconstructing society but by improving the
bodily and mental health and efficiency of its
members. The advocates of Socialism have had a
patient and interested hearing for many decades,
except among those to whom anything new is
necessarily anathema. There was something attrac-
tive in the notion that if all men worked for the good
of the community and not for their own individual