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FORD IDEALS 



Being a Selection from 

''Mr. Ford's Page" 

in 
The Dearborn Independent 



Published by 

The Dearborn Publishing Company 

Dearborn, Michigan 
1922 



KE ILH-5P- 



I HARVARD 
I UNIVtRSlTY 
LIBRARY 




Preface 



FROM the first number of The Dearborn Independ- 
ent under the presidency of Henry Ford, there has 
been presented weekly a department entitled "Mr. 
Ford's Page" in which it is sought to offer the ideas 
of Mr. Ford upon various questions. 

This page has enjoyed a very wide reading both at 
home and abroad and has been frequently reproduced 
in many languages and in many parts of the world. 
Its soundness and substantiality, its dependence upon 
the force of ideas rather than exuberance of statement, 
no doubt account in large measure for the number 
of friends it has made. 

The present selection for preservation in a volume 
has been occaisioned by the demand of readers of The 
Dearborn Independent not only for back copies of 
certain numbers of "Mr. Ford's Page," but also the 
very wide request for the **page" in book form. This 
is the sole reason for the present volume's existence. 
The selection has been made upon the principle of 
popularity as expressed by our readers, and also upon 
the principle of diversity, that the reader may have a 
variety of subjects to consider. A glance at the table 
of contents will indicate the wide range which the 
discussions cover. 

One characteristic of the page will be immediately 
apparent to the reader, namely, that independence of 
thought has not brought with it fantastic angles or 
impossible counsels. It is riot independence that makes 
for unsoundness ; a lack of independence is the fruit- 
ful cause of unsoundness because it seeks to square 
life with what is wrong to begin with. Independence 
is always giving life a chance to get upon a right basis. 
It is a constant renewal, a constant liberation from the 
human tendency to warpedness. Common sense is 
the most dynamic and independent force on the planet. 

The question has often been asked what part Mr. 
I^'ord personally takes in the preparation of "Mr. 



PREFACE 



Ford's Page/' Every essential part. He supplies the 
ideas. Very often he supplies the words in which his 
ideas are set forth. He does not manipulate the type- 
writer nor does he occupy himself with the detail of 
seeing the copy through the press, but the entire in- 
spiration, the point of view, the resistless analysis, the 
ripeness of judgment, are his. Without him there 
would be no "Mr. Ford's Page." 

This volume is sent out in the confidence that it 
represents a fair selection of the material that has 
appeared up to this time. 

February, 1922. 



Contents 



Opposite Views— And Both Right! 9 

'*No Help Wanted"— An Untrue Sign 13 

Managers Must Share the Blame 17 

On Taking Sides 21 

Wrong Ripens and Rots — a. Fact Worth Considering 25 

Poisons That Creep Into Industry 29 

Be Very Careful of Success 33 

Who Is the Real ''Owner"? 37 

"Swelled Head" in Business 41 
Regarding Charity, Welfare Work and Olher Matters 45 

Where High Wages Begin 49 

The Army Is Never "Laid Off" 55 

Prevention Is Better Than Sympathy 61 

Success Plays No Favorites 67 

Personal Relations — Their Importance for Life 74 

Cultivate Your Own Market 81 

"Labor and Capital" Are False Terms 87 

The Right of a Man to His Work 94 

The Fear of Change 99 

How Much Domestic Trouble Is Preventable? 106 

Farming — the Food-Raising Industry ' 113 

"A Few Strong Instincts and a Few Plain Rules" 119. 

.-The Farmer — Nature's Partner 124 

Limitations Are Guide Posts, Not Barriers 129 

All Men Are Created Needful 134 

Can You Make Your Job Bigger? 139 

A Nation of Pioneer Blood 144 

Human Nature and the Social System 149 

. The Modern City — A Pestiferous Growth 154 

Catching the Boss's Eye 159 

Patriotism an Inclusive Emotion 164 

False "Success Philosophy" 169 

Competition and Co-operation 174 

Land Is the Basic Fact 179 

Ideals Versus Ideas 184 

What Is Education — Cargo or Motive Power? 189 

When in Doubt — Raise Wages! 194 

Humanity Is Our Basic Wealth 199 

Managers and Men Are Partners 204 

New Paths to Fame 209 

Let Every Man Think for Himself 214 

Universal Training — Yes, for Usefulness 219 

Strike Profiteers Are the Cause of Strikes 224 

Unrest Is Not Disorder 229 
Employment Is Greater Than "Employer" or "Employe" 234 



CONTENTS 



^ 



Profit and Cost in a Day's Work 239 

Who Is the Producer? 244 

All Are Members of the Consuming Class 249 

Every Man Needs Elbow Room 253 

The Need oi Social Blueprints 257 

Party Politics 261 

Honest and Dishonest Propaganda 265 

Grow Along With the Business 269 

Revolutions Not Promoters of Progress 273 

The Obstructionist 277 

Would the Farmers Strike? 281 

Who Is Their Boss ? 285 

Tl\e American Shop 289 

The Small Town 293 

Man's Laws and Nature's Law 297 

The Fact Shortage 301 

Should Married Women Work? 305 

The Story of Jones 309 

What It Costs for War 313 

Paying for Greed's Mistakes 317 

Administration Versus Government 321 

Loyalty Has Two Sides 325 

What Shall Prevent War? , 329 

The County Fair ZZZ 

The Old Ways Were Good ZZ1 

It Is Imperfect— But It Works 341 

A New Year 345 

How It Will Be Solved 349 

Lining Up on Your Own Side 353 

Change Is Not Always Progress 357 

In Bondage to a Reputation 361 

Depression, First Step Back to Normalcy 365 

Flattery Used as Bribery 369 

Inflated Prosperity the Real "Bad Times" TPZ 

Choosing and Being Chosen 377 

Can You Stand Friction? 381 

If You're Settled You're Sagging 385 

When Not to Borrow Money 389 

Tariff — Taxes — Transportation 393 

Illusions Are Not Faith 397 

What Makes Immigration a "Problem"? 401 

The Three Foundation Arts 405 

A Few Remarks on Education 409 

Common Life Is Standard and Best 413 

Discouraging People From Thinking 417 

Getting Rid of Fear and Failure 421 

"The Exodus From the Cities 425 

Use Is Better Than Economy 429 

Interest Robbery in Bonus Loan 433 

On Being Fit for the New Era 437 

Much Nonsense in Titles 441 

Developing Talent in a Small Community 445 

Parties Are Born, Not Made 449 



y 



Opposite Views — And 
Both Right! . 



MOST of the things which people say they see, are 
actually seen. There is no imagination about it. 
The pessimist who sees things going to pieces, is not 
deluded; he is correctly reporting what he actually 
sees. The optimist who sees things soaring up to the 
height of perfection is an equally good reporter — he 
is not fooling us or himself — he sees what he says 
he sees. 

But the trouble is, too many people are doing all 
their seeing within too narrow limits, and while their 
reports of what they see are true, they are not com- 
prehensive. There is nothing more likely to be mis- 
leading than a field of vision so narrow as to leave out 
part of the points. It is like seeing the elephant so 
limitedly as to report only his tail or tusks. The 
animal appears quite differently in a comprehensive 
view. 

Now, all this has an important application to 
the state of mind in which many people find themselves 
today. There are perhaps more minds focused on 
economic problems than ever before, more people 
thinking, or perhaps it is more truthful to say they 
are wondering, about the conditions which have be- 
fallen human affairs. 

It is probably true that though we are all looking 
and wondering, we do not see very much as yet; but 
it is still a mighty fact that the minds of the people 
are focused on their affairs. Formerly we left it all 
to the government or destiny; but now the govern- 
ments have failed us, and destiny is not a thing to take 
without co-operation. And there is a million-fold 
more chance of seeing when we are looking than when 
we are not. That is the attitude of people today ; they 
are looking, and presently they will see. 

Some people see certain things going to pieces. 



FORD IDEALS 

They see correctly.' Certain' established customs, 
methods, processes, institutions, traditions we have 
been accustomed to lean upon, are undoubtedly going 
to pieces, and they are going to pieces irrecoverably 
too. 

It is that last element — ^the irrecoverability — ^that 
strikes fear to many people. They thought that "nor- 
malcy" meant the recovery of the old things, the re- 
establishment of the old way, the restoration of the 
old habitual leaning-posts. Most people thought of 
"normalcy" in that way — as yesterday come back. 
But yesterday is not coming back. 

The old world is dead, dead, dead. It is beyond 
recovery. God himself will not restore it, and Satan 
cannot. 

That is the a b c of the new alphabet, namely, the 
old world is dead. Not dying, but dead. The things 
you see going to pieces are its funeral, its decay. 

If people would only learn this a b c, it would 
save them from a great deal of confusion. 

But the point is this : those who say that everything 
they see is going to pieces, are telling the truth, because 
their eyes are focused on the things which belonged 
to the old era. The old era is dead, and is being 
buried bit by bit. Every day another fragment of 
it falls into dust. 

Now, if that is all that you see — and it will be all 
that you see if it is all that you look for — no wonder 
you have the feeling that everything is going to pieces. 

But if you turn around and see what is coming 
swiftly up behind your back, as you gaze apprehen- 
sively into the past, you will get the other half of the 
field of vision: you will see the things that are to be. 

Perhaps you have seen the oak take color in com- 
pany with other trees in the autumn. Then came the 
rains, and the other trees let go their leaves; not so 
the oak, only a few did he let fall. Then came the 
winds, and the branches of the other trees were left 
ragged ; but the oak held most of his leafage. Then 
came the frost, and all the trees were stripped clean 
and bare of leaves; but the oak leaves shriveled a bit 
and took on the tone of old Cordovan leather, but for 
the most part clung to the parent boughs. They are 

10 



OPPOSITE VIEWS — AND BOTH RIGHT ! 

a cheering sight in winter, those shriveled leaves that 
defied the frosts of autumn ; they are a cheering sight 
as they defy the winter's snow and blast. Then win- 
ter begins to wane, and spring is a promise in the 
air, and green things begin to appear, but still the oak 
holds tenaciously to last year's foliage. A little later 
and the leaves begin to fall — in spring. If you had 
not looked around upon the earth to see what else 
was transpiring there, if you did not know what com- 
pensating work was being done, you might well think 
that at last every leaf in the world was about to go. 

But this is the fact : the leaves that stayed longest, 
that we had learned to associate with stability — ^those 
are the leaves that fall before the new leaves appear. 

In the social order, is it not our seemingly most 
strongly established things that are beginning to 
flutter down? Are not the most solidly essential 
services the ones that are now most under doom? 
Certainly, as anyone who focuses his vision only on 
the passing things will tell you. It is the collapse of 
the most dominant methods and institutions that alarms 
most people. Well, it need not alarm anyone. When 
the leaves of the strongest tree fall, spring is here. 
If you will widen your field of vision you will soon 
see other things springing up to take the place of that 
which is passing. 

So, you have a choice. You can sit and look at the 
fading out of all that made the old "norrnalcy" and 
you can wail about calamity to come ; or you can stand 
up and watch the new era come in, looking for your 
place in its ranks. If you do the latter, you will see 
an entirely different state of facts. It will not be 
imagination, or mental suggestion, or this foolish 
mysticism of pretending things are all right whether 
they are or not; it will be fact — ^the thing is true, the 
new era IS here. 

A business man in a small town said it all very 
well the other day. Said he : "I just try to accustom 
myself to the thought that I have waked up in a new 
world. I don't know just what kind of world it is 
going to be, but I know it is my duty to keep on the 
watch to find out so that I may be ready for it. I 
know there is going to be a new way of salesmanship, 

11 



FORD IDEALS 

and I am trying to find out what it is. I know I shall 
have to keep wider awake, and I am trying to find 
out on what lines. I am in a new world and I have 
got to learn about it all over again. The only things 
that have carried across from the old world into the 
new are Service and Honesty — but you can drop the 
'Honesty' and save time, for when you say 'Service' 
you say it all." 

That is the attitude ! That man was awake to the 
fact that the new era is here ; he wanted to be alert in 
all his senses when it tried to teach him something. He 
says he hasn't learned much yet, but he has learned the 
basic thingi — without which he could not learn any- 
thing at all — he has learned that the world is new. 
If that plain fact could be dinned into people's heads 
and hearts, so that even without understanding it com- 
pletely, it could become the time-beat of their thinking, 
a great deal would have been accomplished. 

Certainly many things are going to pieces. They 
ought to ! And if you look at them long enough you 
may get ,the impression that everything is going to 
pieces. You should turn around and look the other 
way^ and see the New Era marching up the side of 
the hill. Then you will see that although the ruin of 
all our own stupid, inefficient, unjust and unproductive 
methods is unavoidable and good, the real cause of 
their disappearance is the New Way which is pushing 
them out. 

While you are looking, be sure and see it all. 



12 



« 



^'No Help Wanted" 
An Untrue Sign 



THERE are good signs and bad signs, but the most 
unwelcome and untruthful sign of all is that which 
sometimes hangs in the windows of business places — 
"No Help Wanted." Or, perhaps, it is not untruthful ; 
perhaps it is stating the exact truth, in which case it 
is much worse. It is one of those straws which in- 
dicate a certain mental current which, followed far 
enough, tips the voyager over destructive falls and 
into roaring abysses. 

Regard the world from the point of view of the 
No Help Wanted" sign and you get a few instructive 
glimpses for both employers and employes. 

Is it not plain fact that in periods when the "No 
Help Wanted" sign is most frequently displayed, that 
is just the time when the most "Help Wanted" con- 
ditions appear? It is rather strange, but it is true — 
help is never so much needed as when the signs state 
that it is not wanted. 

What does the man looking for a job want? — 
he wants help. It is true, of course, to a certain ex- 
tent, that he wants to give help also, but things have 
become so turned around in this world that it will be 
generally agreed by everybody that a man seeking a 
job is seeking help. He is willing to pay for the help 
with the service he can render, but the main object 
is to get the help he needs. 

Now, in these times, when in so many places the 
"No Help Wanted" signs are seen, when the pressure 
of a mismanaged world has dislocated all normal in- 
dustrial operations, just what does that sign mean? 
Does it really mean that no help is wanted? Does it 
mean that no help is needed? Is there any railroad 
today that can hang out the "No Help Wanted" sign 
and really intend the deepest significance of that state- 
ment? Is there any government that can say "No 

13 



FORD IDEALS 



/ 



Help Wanted"? Is there any condition whatever on 
the earth today that justifies that sign I 

Every one of these is in the direst need of help. 

The "No Help Wanted" sign is a limited state- 
ment addressed only to the job seeker, and to him it 
does not mean "No Help Wanted" at all; it means 
"We Have No Help To Give You." 

If you would just abbreviate the sign to read "No 
Help," as a general description of the slough in which 
the world finds itself ; and then if you would put up 
another sign — "Have You Any Help to Offer?" as a 
general description of the need of the world, you 
would go far toward providing honesty in signs. 

"Help Wanted" will always be the normal condi- 
tion of a world of progressive beings, but the dif- 
ference between that normal condition and the pres- 
ent would be the fact that the needed help would 
normally be obtainable. Everything seems to need 
help now, but it is not obtainable. 

There is doubtless a feeling of resentment in some 
breasts when you say that the man Ipoking for a job 
is really looking for help. In recent years we have 
been reared on a feeling that we have certain "rights" 
which we ought to "demand." Yes, we have rights, 
but "demanding" doesn't procure them. Our very 
rights are given us by the help of others. One of 
our rights is security of life and liberty-^-never having 
lived in a society where men are not sure of either of 
these, we do not vividly appreciate these rights. But 
we could not enjoy them were it not for the help of 
others in preserving them for us. 

The same way with security of property. Some 
people sneer at that, too. Well, they wouldn't sneer 
at it if they knew what the absence of it would mean. 
Demagogues talked a long time about "putting prop- 
erty rights above human rights," but it is very notice- 
able that in Russia when they abolished property 
rights, they abolished human rights also. When you 
do not respect the things that a man has gathered 
around him by his own labor for the use of his family, 
you don't respect his right to life. Robbery (a prop- 
erty crime) and murder (a crime against life) go to- 
gether, whether in the criminal records of our cities, 



14 



/ 



"no help wanted"— an untrue sign 

or in the "social revolutions" overseas. There is a 
vital link between property and life, just as there is 
between bread and life: bread is property; and the 
right to bread is property, also. 

So, we all have to have help, even in the most nor- 
mal times. When the business concern places the 
sign "Help Wanted" in its doorway, meaning that it 
needs more employes, it is seeking help just the same 
as the man who is looking for a job. The employer 
confesses that he cannot live without help, and the 
employe confesses the same thing; it is true of all of 
us. We had better recognize it and cease our profit- 
less flirting with fine-sounding fallacies which have 
collapsed wherever and whenever the slightest pres- 
sure of testing has been put on them. 

The so-called government of Russia proclaimed 
all the rights, real and imaginary, in the category of 
wild anarchy. It has failed even to procure the right 
of enough to eat. It was quite natural that Sovietism 
should be a political failure as at present operated, 
but why could not the Soviets raise wheat? All that 
Russia needed was bread. But even the simple laws 
of seedtime and harvest were ignored by the so-called 
"makers of the new world." Men who cannot feed 
themselves are thereby dethroned from the place of 
leadership. 

We need "direct action" of a constructive sort. 
The thing needed now is not theory, but something 
that hioves. 

Suppose you are a man out of a job. You see a 
shop which says "No Help Wanted" and you know, 
of course, that the sign means that the shop needs 
help before it can give any. Have you an idea that 
will start another wheel turning? Have you any 
help to give that shop? Can you open any channel 
for the outflow of its product? Can you serve as an 
ignition point in its organization? 

The man in the front office is tied ,in a knot by 
business conditions — can you untie him and set him 
going again?. He is smothered in his own habit of 
doing things — can you show him a way to shake 
loose and get into action again? 

The man who brings help with him is always wel- 

15 ^ 



FORD IDEALS 

come. The world wants help. It needs it. It will 
reward the man who brings it — whether to a little 
broom-shop in the alley, or the biggest business in 
the world. 

If you can set the smallest business going, you 
have done something at which the biggest men often 
fail. 

One poiat to consider is this: help differs with 
the need. A year or two ago the world asked only 
the kind of help which anybody could give, the help 
of energy and labor to keep it moving in the way it 
was then going. The kind of help then asked was 
virtually as easy as pushing business down hill. 

But conditions have changed. Business arrived at 
the foot of the hill in due time. And now it needs a 
different kind of help. 

There are, of course, thousands of theories, mil- 
lions of ideas. But what counts now is help to get up 
hill again. As a matter of fact, the world is through 
with theories. The world has starved on the best 
theories ever devised. What it asks is an object les- 
son in something actually going. If a man can start 
even a wheel-barrow, or dirt cart, he will take rank 
among the people whom the world is waiting for, the 
helpers that the world must haver 

If a man can start himself going, even; if he can 
swing out of his rut and so organize his efforts to 
start going and keep going at something which sup- 
ports himself and renders an equivalent to others, he 
has shown himself to be .of the quality of world- 
helpers. 

Great hosts are out asking for help. If they could 
start things for themselves by doing needed things 
they never thought of before, it would send such an 
impulse of energetic self-reliance through society, that 
the tide would turn ; for the tide is tumable. 



16 



Managers Must Share the 

Blame 



THE government will not be in a position to ad- 
vocate economy and efficiency in private business 
until it has demonstrated these qualities in public 
business. And the government will scarcely demon- 
strate these qualities until it gets the idea that economy 
is more than the cut-off of expenditure. Economy 
has frequently nothing whatever to do with the amoimt 
of money being spent, but with the wisdom used in 
spending it. The expensiveness of government is due 
to its inefficiency, and that cannot be cured by "saving 
money." It can only be done by reorganization. 'And, 
as reorganization frequently means the cutting out of 
useless jobs, it is easy to understand how, in politics, 
very little of it is undertaken. 

Cutting out jobs has an inhuman sound and it can 
be used with immense effect in rousing the prejudices 
of thoughtless people. If formerly it required ten men 
to do a piece of work, and a reorganization of ef- 
ficiency enabled that same work to be. done by nine 
men, resulting in a decrease of one-tenth in the cost 
to the public, there is danger of the habitual howlers 
setting up a cry : 

"Yes, but what about the tenth man who lost his 
job? And what about the other nine men who must 
work harder to make up the tenth man's work ?" 

The answers are, of course, quite simple and easily 
understood by anyone who will use his mind. 

In the first place, the fact that the work' is now 
being done by nine men does not imply that the tenth 
man is unemployed. He is merely not employed on 
that work, and the public is not unnecessarily carrying 
the burden of his support by paying more than it ought 
on that work — for after all, it is the public that pays ! 

An industrial concern that is wide enough awake 
to reorganize for efficiency, and honest enough with 

17 



FORD IDEALS 



the public to charge it necessary costs and no more, is 
usually such an enterprising concern that it has plenty 
of jobs at which to employ the tenth man. It is bound 
to grow, and growth means more jobs. A well-man- 
aged concern that is always seeking to relieve the labor 
cost to the public is certain \o employ more men than 
the concern that loafs along and makes the public pay 
the cost of its mismanagement. 

That, then, is a point worth remembering; the 
tenth man was an unnecessary cost on that certain 
commodity. The ultimate consumer was paying him. 
But, the fact that he was unnecessary on that par- 
ticular job does not mean that he is unnecessary in 
the work of the world, or even in the work of his 
particular shop. It is a matter of seeing that produc- 
tion costs no more than it should, and that the public 
is not loaded with costs which good management can 
avoid. 

The public pays for all mismanagement. More 
than half the trouble with the world today is the 
"soldiering" and dilution and cheapness and ineffi- 
ciency for which the people are paying their good 
money. Wherever two men are being paid for what 
one can do, the people are paying double what they 
ought. 

This should be ninderstood. There is a feeling 
that employers use efficiency to increase their personal 
profits. The surplus of an industrial enterprise is 
what insures it, keeps it going. Efficiency is not the 
act of taking a man's wages from him and putting it 
in the money box; efficiency is seeing that the public 
is not being charged two prices for one service. 

Human sympathy is a fine and potent power. But 
if the public knew how much of its burden is due to 
the unnecessarily heaped-up cost on some of its daily 
commodities, they would be able to view this question 
in another light. The tenth man, and the ninth man, 
and the eighth man too, if possible, should be lifted 
oflf the load which the people bear. As to the feeling 
that in such efficiency those who are left must work 
beyond what they ought, this should be considered : 
the test of good management is that it makes work 
easier, not harder. Efficiency that is obtained by 

18 



MANAGERS MUST SHARE THE BLAME 

loading an extra burden on men already doing a full 
day's work, is not efficiency. The difference must be 
made up out of the brains of the managers. It is not 
a question of eight men, or nine men doing ten men's 
work ; it is a question of good management finding 
ways of doing the same work with the lesser number, 
the difference being in the improvement of the method 
used. One man now moves a casting which twenty 
men formerly strained - themselves to lift. The one 
man now only presses a button. The difference is in 
the methods used, not in the greater burden heaped on 
the one man. In doing the work of 20 men he now 
does less than any one of the 20 formerly did. 

There is far too much shortsightedness and false 
feeling about it. This is the result of ignorance and 
thoughtlessness. People don't realize that the indus- 
trial system has no magic about it, and that they them- 
selves sustain it. When its wastefulness and care- 
lessness and laziness pile up, then everything stops, 
and the people wonder why! 

This readjustment should not be the task of the 
managers of industry alone; the workiiigman himself 
ought to bear a part in it. The workingman who has 
intelligence and foresight would be showing great 
efficiency in the management of his private affairs if 
he- would shun the job where he felt he was a sort of 
"fifth wheel to the coach." 

Labor can do half of this job of readjustment by 
simply realizing that a day's work means more than 
merely being "on duty" at the shop for the required 
number of hours. It means- giving an equivalent in 
service for the wage drawn. And when that equivalent 
is tampered with either way — when the man gives 
more than he receives, or receives more than he gives 
— it is not long before serious dislocation will be mani- 
fest. Extend that condition throughout the country, 
and you have a complete upset of business. All that in- 
dustrial difficulty means is the destruction of basic 
equivalents in the shop. 

Management must share the blame with labor. 
Management was lazy too ; management found it easier 
to hire an additional 500 men than so to improve its 
methods that 100 men of the old force could be re- 

19 



FORD IDEALS 



leased to other work. The public was paying, and 
business was booming, and management didn't care a 
pin. It was no different in the office than it was in 
the shop. The law of equivalents was broken just as 
much by managers as by workmen. 

And the process of reduction should go on among 
managers just as much as elsewhere. There are too 
many jobs up in the front office — and that is where 
the real trouble^starts. Reorganization for efficiency 
really begins where all the inefficiency came from, in 
the front office. 

As a matter of abstract fact, everybody agrees with 
the principle here stated. If we have 100 men tied 
up on jobs that can be done by 75, it is not only an 
inefficient use of human effort, it is also an unfair 
charge against • the public which must pay for the 
extra 25. The public has been doing this on every 
commodity it has used, and it has swamped the public. 
Everybody grants that. 

The matter of jobs is easily taken care of. There 
are thousands of things waiting to be done in the 
world. There is productive work waiting for more 
man-power than the world possesses. Jobs that are 
unnecessary to production are not jobs. They are 
cancers eating into the body of the people's earnings. 
Cutting them out is curative. 

We need more of it. It is the only way we can 
insure everybody going back to work. 



20 



On Taking Sides 



THE human race is not a brotherhood as yet. It 
may become so at some future time, but it is not 
so now. For one thing, there is no sentiment of 
brotherhood throughout the world. For another thing, 
there is a very strong and well-estabHshed sentiment 
of strangerhood, which education, civiHzation, con- 
tact and understanding have been powerless, to di- 
minish. 

We so commonly accept as possible facts, the 
things that we wish to be true, that it was once our 
habit to say that if the peoples of the world only un- 
derstood each other, the reign of perfect amity would 
arrive. But there is no lack of suggestion that, in 
some cases, the better some of the peoples understand 
each other, the more they dislike each other. 

It is not so very different in individual matters: 
we accept the majority of people because we do not 
know them; the majority of those we avoid are the 
ones whom we know. 

If it be true that there are in the world two or 
more opposite and antagonistic elements which can 
never be reconciled without doing violence to the very 
nature of things, then it follows that until the superior 
element arrives at mastery and the inferior element 
is disposed of, such a thing as unity is not to be 
thought of. 

Our present times are times of break-up. Many 
people stand aghast at the opening seams which appear 
throughout society. There are rips and fissures where 
apparently all was cemented into a solid whole. "What 
does it all mean?" the people cry in their anxiety. It 
simply means that where we thought there was unity, 
there was no unity at all — it was all veneer; society 
has been "kidding" itself into believing that it could 
ignore the profounder principles and secure a super- 
ficial sort of unity by the process of back-slapping and 

21 



FORD IDEALS 

glad-handing and general meaningless chatter about 
human unity. 

A suspicion of this is always with mankind. "Let 
sleeping dogs lie/' is a common proverb, but it does 
not describe a secure state of things. If security de- 
pends upon our keeping certain dogs asleep, then it 
is not security. For sleeping dogs will wake, and then 
security will be gone. If dogs awake are dangerous, 
the only possible security is in taming them so that 
asleep or awake they may be friendly, else remove 
them from any possibility of doing harm. 

Anyway, no matter what may appeal to us in the 
form of theory, the fact is present and indisputable, 
that there is in the world a new consciousness of dif- 
ferences between groups, and that this consciousness 
is most felt and is most manifested in countries which 
most profess democracy.. It is a popular manifesta- 
tion, that is, it appears among the people, growing up 
out of them, not imposed upon them from above or 
from without. 

It must be very clear to anyone who thinks about 
it that the present situation could not have arisen if 
the previous situation had been what we supposed it 
to be. That is, if everything had been as lovely as 
we supposed it to be, if the "sleeping dogs" were really 
not dangerous, then what has happened within the 
last year could not have occurred. There were sores 
left unhealed, there were differences left unsettled, 
there were rival claims left undecided. And there 
never will be peace until the sores are healed and until 
the differences are settled and until the rival claims 
are finally and rightly adjudged. 

Now, what does this mean, practically? It means 
this: there will be division and strife until the natur- 
ally and eternally superior thing is acknowledged in 
its superiority. 

"The survival of the fittest" is more than a term 
of science, it is more than a statement reeking with 
the sense of universal struggle, it is the declaration 
of the method of history and the objective of destiny 
— only the fit do survive. 

The main difference in human thinking arises with 
reference to what constitutes the fitness of the fit. 

22 



ON TAKING SIDES 



One side says that might makes right, and the other 
side says that right makes might. One side says that 
the brute will reign, the other side says that the angel 
will reign. To common sight it looks as if power 
would win, and money, and influence, and force, and 
majorities. That is the way flesh-minded men figure 
it. But faith-minded men see it differently and more 
truly. They see that there is an essential element of 
superiority without which money, majorities, force, 
influence and prestige are failures already. The flesh- 
minded men are always saying that the swiftest wins 
the race and the strongest wins the battle. But his- 
tory is sufficiently long for us to confirm the truth- 
fulness of the faith-minded man's declaration that 
"the race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the 
strong." 

But we must not be misled by this term "the sur- 
vival of the fittest" into the delusion that the fit sur- 
vive by struggle. Not so. If there is a "struggle for 
life" it is on the part of those elements which are 
already passing away; they struggle to retain their 
place. The superior elements of life do not have to 
struggle to maintain their place nor to retain their 
superiority. Not at all ; their whole strength is to be 
what they are; "he that believeth shall not make 
haste" ; struggle belongs to the defeated. 

All of which has a side light on tolerance. Some 
people do not like the word. Nevertheless it stands 
for a real elemental fact in our civilization. Tolerance 
is possible only to the superior ; the lower elements are 
always intolerant. The nearer right a man is, the 
more tolerant he is ; his tolerance is in ratio to his im- 
mersion in error. Good grows and multiplies of itself 
and crowds wrong to the corners; it is wrong that 
struggles and fights ; the good does not have to. 

What is occurring in the world today is this: 
under a false notion that vital differences could be 
patched up by a specious attempt at "good fellowship," 
the world has gone along for many years trying to 
pretend that nothing mattered much so long as nothing 
interfered with our fun or our pursuit of money. It 
has been mostly pretense, a rosy cloud of words with- 
out meaning. 

2i 



FORD IDEALS 



Well, reality has overtaken us again, as it always 
will. There are strains of blood that will not mix, 
there are great group ideas and ideals that will never 
agree, there are great contrary claims that will never 
be reconciled. We have been pretending that it doesn't 
matter, but life is teaching us that it does matter; the 
differences are rolled back upon the consciousness of 
humanity once more, to be dealt with more wisely 
than we dealt with it during the miscalled "era of 
good feeling," which was only an era of camouflage. 

A great deal of mushy sentimentalism has gone 
by the board. Some people, mistaking the matter, 
say that it is "idealism" that has disappeared. No, 
only sentimentalism. Sentimentalism is mushy, and 
soft, and polite, and likes a nice book in a cozy corner. 
Idealism is willing to fight, and be unpopular, and 
rouse nasty language and get its head cracked, if 
need be, for the honor of the idea. 

In the meantime, let every man be true to his own 
position, if he is honestly convinced it is the true one. 
And let us give room and liberty for everyone to 
profess his own loyalty. The world is breaking up 
iiito its component parts. Every man must line up 
with the group to which his inmost soul gives its vote. 
It is a time of taking sides, and a man must take his 
own side. Afterward, when once again the position 
is made clear, we may find a better plan of working 
and living together in spite of our differences, and yet 
without denying them. 



24 



Wrong Ripens and Rots — a 
Fact Worth Considering 



THERE are many good people in the world who 
are in great mental distress because they see very 
clearly the evils which exist, and because they are 
impatient to do away with them. This combination 
of clear seeing and impatient spirit is very destructive 
of interior peace, and many are running around with 
the impression that the rest of the world is wrong 
because it takes the matter less anxiously. 

Every man who is doing something, knows that 
there are thousands of people who have each chosen 
another thing that they think he can do. And most of 
these thousands are people who are troubled with the 
disease just mentioned — clear seeing, complicated 
with an impatient spirit. Their home-made prescrip- 
tion by which they hope to cure themselves seems to 
be a very simple one, namely, to get some one else 
started on the line of action which their impatient 
spirits dictate. 

There is a surprising number of people in the 
world who would be immensely relieved if yoi4 — "you 
are the one person in this world to do it" — would 
simply do the thing they want done, and which they 
are sure is the only proper thing to do. 

It is a rather difficult matter to deal with, because 
most of the activities proposed are good, with a 
promise of being useful. But most of them will never 
be realized at all, because they will never be done by 
one person for all the rest, but rather by all the people 
for themselves. And another reason is: the people 
to whom the work is given have the habit of looking 
around for someone else to do it. 

What we overlook is that only people can do 
things. It seems simple enough to say, and yet it 
is hardly simple enough to understand. Any number 
of individuals are buzzing around the world today 

25 



FORD IDEAI^S 

under the delusion that people are the last element to 
be selected, on the theory that you can always get 
the people if you can get the money. 

Indeed, that is the new process of beginning a 
"good work" — induce somebody to give money, and 
then, after the money is given, the person who receives 
it will undertake to find people to do the human side 
of the work; the consequence being that in a short 
time you discover that "the work" never had any 
human element at all, and that the money which it 
certainly had is gone. 

One would say offhand: If you see a thing to 
be done, go and do it. If you cannot do it all, do 
what you can; you cannot take the /fifth step until 
you have taken the first four. If you cannot do 
anything at all, consider whether the time has come 
to do anything. Times grow ripe, like everything else ; 
yet many people think they can pick ripe events off 
green years; which cannot be done any more than 
ripe apples can be picked in months when they are 
green. Many reforms are picked green; many pro- 
gressive plantings are done, not in mellow soil, but 
in the frozen ground. People don't observe the times 
and the seasons. 

Now, take the evils in the world. They are many, 
and perhaps the weightiest burden we have to carry 
is the wonderment that they are allowed to exist. But 
there they are. Everybody doesn't see them ; but you, 
let us say, can see them clearly. Everybody doesn't 
realize how these evils are eating into the life of the 
people; but you, let us say, see it so clearly that it is 
a pain to you. 

Now, you can spoil your own life, sour your 
friends and bring your very vision into question by 
insisting that everyone sees exactly what you see. 
They will see it when the time is ripe, but not until 
then, and you are very foolish if you fret about it. 

There are men working day and night on the 
problem of cancer; but as for you, you don't think 
much of cancer because it has not come within your 
life. And you would possibly resent it very much if 
a cancer researcher should continually insist that you 
take up an interest in cancer. You would say, "I 

26 



WRONG RIPENS AND ROTS — A FACT WORTH CONSIDERING 

don't want to. I am not called to consider cancer. 
That is your field, not mine." Very well, you would 
be right. 

Don't you see that with everyone working in his 
field, not insisting that the whole world come in also, 
much is being done? Every little while reports come 
from this field or that of achievements, and you had 
not even heard that men were working in those fields. 
Yet they are, each doing his work, and when the time 
is ripe, up goes the flag and the job is completed. 

There are sentries along the frontiers of all our 
problems, men and women here and there who are 
sometimes lonely, who wonder why they must pace 
their beat alone; but we know that where sentries 
walk now, the whole army will march soon. Some 
people are sentries, to whom it is given to be on watch, 
this one on the frontiers of cancer, this one on the 
frontiers of financial diseases, this one on the new 
boundaries of statesmanship, this one on the limits 
of a new order of social life. Sentries all, but never 
so foolish as when they insist on calling the whole 
army out before the day dawns. 

If it is given to a man to see that a certain condi- 
tion exists, he is sentry at that point to give the alarm. 
Presently at the right time, the time set by the director 
of destiny, his work will bear fruit. 

"Well, but," the impatient spirit cries, "what about 
the evil done in the meantime? We must do some- 
thing to prevent that!" 

Well, do it ! 

"But," says the impatient spirit, "I can't do it." 
Rightly said; you cannot, neither can anyone else. 
You cannot ripen an apple faster than it will ripen, 
and you cannot rot it faster than it will rot. These 
things appear to be under the law. 

The people have the evils they deserve, no more, 
no less. By "deserve" one does not mean the judg- 
ment which any human being can pass as to desert; 
one means that all of us together have the sort of 
life that we have made, and we will continue to have 
it until we are fit to remake it in better quality. 

When people begin to feel the evil; when there 
runs through society a new consciousness of the stu- 

27 



FORD IDEALS 

pidity and the wrong of certain things ; when the false 
notes begin to irritate us ; when the heat of indignant 
resentment begins to break out in thought and speech 
— ^these are the first streaks of the new day, or, to 
change the figure, these are the first flushes of color 
which begin to show that the fruit is ripening for the 
autumn. 

What is needed by people who see the evil is a 
still dearer sight; they need to see that the evil will 
collapse, utterly collapse. And what people of im- 
patient spirit need to learn is that they must detach 
themselves from the system they despise and turn their 
efforts against it. 

All of us want to slay the giant with one dramatic 
stroke of our sword. As a matter of fact, the giant 
usually dies from self -generated poisons. 

Whatever the moral judgment of the morally sensi- 
tive people is against, that thing is inevitably doomed. 
Though it become the social rage and sweep all the 
people within the circle of its viciousness, it is never- 
theless doomed. Indeed, when you see evil at the 
height of its popularity and power, when you see all 
who speak against it ridiculed and despised, you may 
be very glad — for from that apex the fall is swift and 
sure. Never forget that. That is the ripeness of the 
times for the fall of the fruit. It falls, it rots, its 
pulp fertilizes more wholesome growths. 



28 



Poisons That Creep Into 

Industry 



IT IS a pathetic illusion of the people that perfection 
can be found in government or iadustrial organ- 
izations. Ceasing to believe in the eternal verities they 
transfer their worship to little gods of temporary 
fashion, bowing down before each one of them in 
turn as if at last the answer to all questions had come. 

We have learned a great many things of recent 
years, one of which is that there is no perfect wisdom, 
foresight or ability. Governments get things done 
because they have the power to command power, they 
-have unlimited means to ride over all mistakes; some 
of their mechanical achievements a*e at a cost that 
would be ruinous to even the largest privately con- 
trolled means. It is not dishonesty, it is not wflful 
waste, it is mere human frailty which even connection 
with a government does not cure. 

Likewise a great industrial institution. At first 
it was a very wonderful thing that large production 
could be secured. The very bigness of growing busi- 
ness impressed the mind, and the increasing flow of 
goods made people believe that the apex of human 
daring and ingenuity had been reached. But new 
developments proved that mere bigness was not all. 
Big production sometimes spelled big waste. And so,, 
a new element entered industry — the element which 
took the name of "efficiency": the saving of time, 
labor, material, money: producing as good an article 
at a lower cost, or perhaps a much better article at a 
lower cost, and thus permitting the buyer to profit, too. 

That was merely the addition of brain to brawn, 
the mixing of mind with machinery. 

Then came something more: the element of hu- 
manity began to thrust itself up through industrial 
development, and forward-looking manufacturers and 
managers began to consider men. It was natural that 

29 



FORD IDEALS 



the product should usurp the center of the stage in 
its.^time, but it was also natural that the producer 
should arrive to share the attention given the product. 

This was the beginning of the era of good will in 
industry. Employers who were fit for their jobs be- 
gan to see that while it was an excellent thing that 
the buyers of their products were treated honestly, 
there were other people to consider, too — ^the men in 
the shop. 

Of course, a great deal of nonsense accompanied 
the eruption of this new idea. New ideas always have 
that handicap. Professional "welfare workers" saw 
their opportunity. A great deal of impertinent pa- 
ternalism was indulged in. Attempts were made to 
model men on office-made standards and to regulate 
home life on professional theories, and it did not work 
out very well, although it did accomplish some good 
and was a hopeful omen. The object of all welfare 
work ought to be to make itself unnecessary ; to estab- 
lish men in their sense of dependency is most harmful. 

But this arrival of the idea of humanity in industry 
has always had to reckon with the parasitic nature of 
men. It is amazing how many men would like to 
regard industries as perennial Christmas trees which 
hang with free fruits. No industry has anything but 
what is put into it by the men who are in it. What 
"the company ought to do" is only what work and 
management permit it to do. 

It has followed, therefore, that those who looked 
for the complete purification of industry by the hu- 
manitarian idea, have been disappointed. In the very 
best intcntioned industry, if it be of great size, there 
are undoubted injustices and perhaps even occasional 
brutalities, which do not grow out of the policy of 
the industry, but out of the nature of the men en- 
gaged in it. It is a matter of observation, and worthy 
of much thought, that the treatment accorded the 
workers between themselves, the cruelty of man to 
man, is beyond that which the least humane manage- 
ment would attempt. 

A great industry is like a human body. If you 
analyze it closely you will find all sorts of disease 
germs in it. If you specialize on the individual in- 



30 



POISONS THAT CREEP INTO INDUSTRY 

justices that may occur within it, you will appear to 
have gathered such a mass as spells death to any or* 
ganism or organization. Yet, the industry goes on. 
Its product is of service to the world. It provides 
the means of livelihood to thousands of families. It 
fills its place in the world and, in the main, has the 
respect and good will of men. 

It is undeniable that the disease germs are there. 
There are men whose sense of human relations may 
be blunted. There are perhaps general methods which 
could be improved. There is always the tendency of 
men and managers to break up into cliques — "office 
politics," "shop politics," as it is called. There are 
men who like to gain and keep personal power. There 
are men whose very ideas circulate as a poison through 
the organization. 

And when you segregate these men, these ideas, 
these tendencies, you wonder how in the name of 
decency the organization survives! 

Well, it is just like isolating a disease germ in 
the body. There is nothing to be said in favor of the 
disease germ. But we have learned that every healthy 
body contains disease germs. There is enough disease 
in any body to kill it, if resistance should fall below 
the requirement of health. The reason that the body 
remains healthy even while carrying disease germs is 
that the health germs are in the majority. You could 
make a very startling report on any body by merely 
finding and counting the disease germs within it. But 
it would not be a complete report. 

An industrial organization is like a human body in 
that respect. The poison creeps into it. There are 
methods of elimination, of course, but a certain 
amount of poison manages to lurk around. And the 
only reason for the organization retaining its health 
and activity is the existence of the Jiealth germs 
which always resist the poison. When resistance lags 
or ceases, death comes. 

This is an idea which should occupy the mind of 
every worker in any industrial concern which has 
this antagohism between good ideals and only partial 
achievements. In such a case, men tend to one of 
two extremes. Either they condemn the whole busi- 

31 



FORD IDEALS 

ness as one immense hypocrisy living on false esti- 
mates, or they totally deny that there is any evil in 
the business whatever. 

Both are wrong. The evil is there. But evil is to 
be resisted, it is to be overcome with good, the poison 
is to be drained off. That is the part of all who see 
where the wrong is. It is a big mistake so to focus 
your eyes that you can see nothing but^ the wrong ; it 
is an equally big mistake to close your eyes so that you 
cannot see the wrong at all. The evil, if it is there, 
is to be recognized and resisted. 

And this also is true: unless this warfare against 
the poison is kept up, it soon exerts its toxic power 
to such an extent as to paralyze all possible resistance. 
Some of this poison is in the management ; some of it 
is in the shop. It looks much worse when it is found 
in men of authority, than when it is found in the rank 
and file of the workers. But even officials are not 
immune from penalty. Usually they go quickest of 
all when they become poison to the organization. 

Nobody ought to assume for a moment that be- 
cause something is wrong it has got to stay wrong, or 
that it is going to stay wrong. They have got to as- 
sume that, like a gum boil, when it comes to a head 
it is going to burst. When poison becomes so mani- 
fest in an organization that the men begin to notice it 
and those who really desire the health of the institu- 
tion are beginning to feel it keenly, then is the time 
when it is just about ready to break. 

The only power any wrong can exert over us is to 
make us believe that it is here to stay. Expose its 
transient character and its sting is drawn. 



32 



Be Very Careful of Success 



SUCCESS is the enemy. It is the only enemy that 
can overcome men who are invincible to failure. 
Men who cannot be beaten though they fail a score of 
times, men who cannot be discouraged by an army 
of difficulties, sometimes go tumbling down as the 
result of a little success. More men are failures on 
account of success, than on account of failure. 

It is very easy to show how this comes to be. 

Here is a railroad that has suddenly come to its 
senses. It has not done anything very wonderful, it 
has merely roused itself out of its loafing. It has not 
introduced a single new plan, it has not practiced a 
single magical formula, it has simply taken the old, 
time-worn system and tightened up the bolts, put in 
some grease and compelled it to go ! It has done only 
the simplest and most common-sense things. It has 
cut out the slack and the loafing and the senseless 
waste. It has made cars and locomotives and men 
do what they were created for — move ! 

Now, it is a commentary on the slough into which 
we had fallen that when one railroad did that very 
simple thing, it made a sensation. That really is a 
point to think of. When the simple, common-sense 
thing is so unusual as to cause a sensation, it is proof 
that common sense is not being used very extensively, 
else people would be more familiar with it. 

But with all the buzz and talk, there comes another 
element, that most people would not look for. Every 
man down the line knows that the railroad is doing 
its work better than ever before, that a new spirit and 
a new alertness have come into the work, that clumsy 
duplication and the necessity for loafing have been 
cut out. And every man naturally feels better about 
it. Anyone who tells you that a man prefers the dog's 
life of loafing to the real life of going after something 
and getting it done, does not know men. 

Besides that, the common-sense thing is so unusual 

33 



FORD IDEALS 

that it causes a great deal of outside talk. Common 
sense in business administration appears to be so un- 
usual that it is "news." And thus the men on the 
railroad know that the world is talking about the big 
improvement they have made in railroad operation. 

They make clippings of the papers and magazines. 
They take a personal satisfaction (which is right and 
proper) in all the praise that is given. They enjoy 
it thoroughly. 

But all the time they are unconscious of what this 
praise, and all this credit for success, is doing to them. 
The most common mistake of all is the belief that when 
people begin to buzz, it is a sign that something has 
been definitely and finally accomplished, that success 
has been won. We are such* simple creatures that 
we imagine the race is run the moment the cheers 
are heard. 

Now, in the illustrative case of the railroad which 
we are using, it is very easy to see4iow praise and the 
sense of success works upon the minds and energies 
of men. 

If the manager has kept, his head at all, he knows 
that though much has been done in lifting the old 
system out of its rut, it is not to be compared with 
what is yet to be done. And just there is one of the 
diiTerences that mark men : you find one type of men 
standing still, complacently enjoying the little good 
work they have already done, smiling over it, receiving 
congratulations upon it, simply sucking it dry of all 
that can minister to their sense of pride and personal 
satisfaction. 

If the manager is of that type, he has reached the 
end of his achievement ; he is through, so far as mak- 
ing progress is concerned. The man who thinks he 
has done something, hasn't many more things to do. 

But there is the other type of manager who is so 
busy with the things yet to be done that he cannot 
stop to enthuse over what has already been done. His 
is a long-range program. What he has done he re- 
gards as a beginning — maybe a mighty good beginning, 
but only a beginning after all. His eye is far ahead 
on plans yet to be realized, new ideas yet to be intro- 
duced. He spends no time congratulating himself. Of 

34 



BE VERY CAREFUL OF SUCCESS 

course, he misses a lot of the soft enjoyment of the 
other type; he misses^ lot of that enervation which 
comes from basking in praise and adulation; he seems 
rather callous to public opinion — ^but all that is because 
he has not yet done the thing for which he will perhaps 
deserve praise. 

Now, this man sees defects that the satisfied crowd 
of men don't see. He sends for his railroaders, and 
points out what is wrong. He brings them to book 
on this dereliction of duty or that failure of alertness. 
He talks to them in a tone which reveals none of the 
self-satisfaction which they supposed 'was the con- 
stant atmosphere of the inside office — ^satisfaction 
with all the praise and buzzing which was going 
around. 

"Why, boss," they seem to say, "what difference 
does a little thing like that make? See how well we 
are doing. Why, here is a newspaper clipping which 
says . . . .," and they go down into their pocketbooks 
for the cherished bit of paper. 

Don't you see what the air of success does? Don't 
you see how it has seduced these men? Don't you 
see that after fighting failure through, they are now 
ready to surrender to a little success ? 

Success is the enemy. It brings those elements 
with it that minister to our softness. There are more 
people desiring to enjoy life than to contribute some- 
thing to life. A man wants recognition and reward ; 
we say these are natural desires, and so they are. 
But when a man gains recognition, the temptation is 
very great to stop and enjoy the recognition. And 
when he gains reward the temptation is to think that 
he has "arrived." Who can count the number of the 
men who have been halted and beaten by. recognition 
and reward! 

Make your program so long and so hard that the 
.people who praise you will always seem to you to be 
talking about something very trivial in comparison 
with what you are really trying to do. 

If success comes you will have to work twice as 
hard to keep on top of it ; once it gets on top of you, 
then success becomes your failure. 

People at large will never be convinced of this, of 

35 



FORD IDEALS 



course, and it is not necessary that th^y should. It 
is only when they apprpach the perilous place of 
popular approval that they must be sternly warned. 

The people transfer their own feelings to the 
successful person, and then think of his success under 
those terms. They see the statesmen carried aloft, 
the ruler exalted, the man of achievement moving 
along to the plaudits of the people. And they think 
how lovely, how enjoyable, how perfectly satisfactory 
such a position must be. And so the attainment of 
that loveliness and enjoyaWeness and satisfaction be- 
comes their idea of success. If they only knew it, 
the man so honored was probably fuming because he 
was wasting his time to make a public holiday — ^he 
wanted to get back to his work. 

This much is certain: had the man who was thus 
honored behaved himself so unseemly as to indicate 
that he thought he deserved all that adulation, had he 
shown that success was to him what the people thought 
it was, they would have dethroned him. 

It is all a very strange game, and the man who is 
deceived thereby is lost. Better have a job too big 
for popular praise, so big that you can get a good 
star! on it before the cheer-squad can get its first in- 
telligent glimmerings of what you are trying to do. 
Then you will be free to work. And being free to work 
you will have achieved the truest success and satis- 
faction. 



36 



Who Is the Real "Owner"? 



THE question of ownership is not so acute as it 
was. Not long ago therejvas a theory abroad that 
if so-called "private ownership" could be abolished 
and "public ownership" set up, then all our troubles 
would cease. It has been tried in various ways, on a 
huge scale as in Russia, on a small scale as in some 
American cities. The net result so far is this : if you 
propound a theory that the cook should be driven out 
of the kitchen and that the whole boarding house 
personnel should be brought into the kitchen to super- 
intend the cooking of the steak, you might be for- 
tunate enough to find a boarding house that would try 
out your theory. But from the standpoint of a well- 
cooked steak it is only a matter of time when you are 
going to call the cook back. 

The question of ownership will be settled when it 
ceases to be acute ; that is, it will settle itself. What 
the world is restless about is the recognition of cer- 
tain ideas, not the general position of the people. Ideas 
have a hard time being born, and restlessness is part 
of the general operation. Once born, however, the 
effect is rather greater easiness of miijd than a strong 
overturning of the fundamentals of life. 
' A man owns what is given him in his personality 
and what he earns by his labor — that, and nothing 
eke. If a man has character, he owns it; no one can 
claim a share in it. If he owns self-respect and the 
respect of his neighbors, it is his, absolutely his. If 
he has the gift of foresight, if he has the faculty of 
insight, if he has the power to plan and to manage and 
execute, if he has the qualities of a leader — these are 
all his own. They are his in a personal, private sense. 
The mind and the. eye are greater reapejs, and what 
they reap cannot be taken from them. 

But what else is his ? What can he absolutely own 
in the physical realm? By common consent he can 
own all that he needs for the living of his life — if he 

37 



FORD IDEALS 

earns it. Civilized mankind recognizes the investment 
of a man's soul and body into his home and all the 
material requirements of his life. That is what we 
mean by "the sacred right of property" — property is 
sacred by reason of the thought and sweat and blood 
that human beings have put into it. When you take 
that from a man, you take his life. Where property is 
not respected, life is not respected. 

But what about all this other wealth — ^this great 
expansion of industrial wealth that we see all around 
us? This is what people mean when they talk about 
"ownership." 

Well, take any big concern you may happen to 
think about. Who made it what it is? Everybody 
who had a hand in it. The man whose idea inspired 
it. The men he called in to help him. The public 
whose patronage supported the business. They all 
made it. They are the only ones who own it because 
they are using it. 

Well, but what about the "millions" that the busi- 
ness has made? Let us see where those millions are. 
There are "millions" in the buildings, "millions" in 
the machinery, "millions" in the outlying sources of 
supply, "millions" in railroads and tank cars, "mil- 
lions" in material, "millions" in goods on the market. 

Now, no one can put those "millions" in his pocket 
when he goes home at night. No one "owns" those 
"millions." vThey are out in use by hundreds of 
thousands of people all the time. If tomorrow the 
world should be turned upside down and another 
"class" should take control of business, it would have 
to leave the "millions" right where they are — else there 
would be no service nor business. 

That was the crude, childish thing that occurred in 
Russia. They rushed in and took those "millions" 
out and then wondered why they could no longer pro- 
duce their daily bread. 

There is a great deal of misunderstanding about 
wealth. Wealth is not money. Wealth is in things of 
use. That is where all the wealth of the big in- 
dustrial institutions is — in things of use. All of it lies 
out-of-doors. It cannot be locked up in safes. If, 
however, it were all divided equally, so that everyone 

38 



WHO IS THE REAL "OWNER"? 

now participating in its operative benefits could par- 
ticipate in its dead value as material, what would it 
amount to? — this one would have a few bricks, that 
one half a wheel, another a pile of junk. 

In fact, it was only because all this material and 
all this effort were successfully taken out of the field 
of absolute private ownership and piled together into 
one well-planned whole, that the public could be served 
as well as it is. Redistribute it all back to its private 
ownership, and the public is left gasping for every- 
thing that it needs. 

But what people usually have in mind when they 
talk about "ownership" is not the question of who 
ought to own the bricks and the mortar and the fur- 
naces and the mills, but rather the question "who ought 
to be boss?" That is really the big question in most 
minds. "Who set this man over us ?" is the often un- 
spoken challenge. 

Well, this is very much like asking, "Who ought 
to be the tenor in the quartette ?" Obviously, the man 
who can sing tenor. You could not depose Caruso. 
Let' any theory of musical democracy come, depose 
Caruso to the musical "proletariat"; very well, there 
is no substitute; Caruso's gifts are still his own. 

Who will be the leader of the army? The man 
who can lead. Who will be the pilot of the ship ? The 
man who knows the way. Who will be the leader of 
the country in a moral emergency: men say this one 
or that one, but God said "Lincoln." 

In lesser things it is the same. The man who can, 
is the man who does. No one chose the real leaders of 
today; they came forward because they could lead, 
and men followed them because they knew a leader. 
They came up from the ranks, all of them. The new 
leaders are in the ranks now. 

Some young men, poisoned by the cynicism of a 
false social philosophy, do not believe this. They feel 
sore within, they are straining and stressing. That is 
good. That is the way leaders are bom. There is a 
great deal of that kind of feeling before a man is 
forty. Don't interpret it as rebellion, it is growing 
pains. The old principles still hold true. Modem 
industrial development hasn't changed a single rule 

39 



FORD IDEALS 

of life — ^and cannot! Go back to your grandfather's 
copy books, and what the maxims said then is true 
now. Men rise today, just as they have always done, 
by backing their native gifts with their acquired 
energy. 

This much is certain: no one will long remain 
"boss'' who was not called to that work by nature and 
development. It would be an extremely simple matter 
to displace all the "bosses" and leaders today, but it 
would be an extremely difficult matter to replace them. 
That was the trouble in Russia. 

But say that by force you do replace the natural 
bosses with artificially created ones, what happens? 
Why, shortly there is nothing left to "boss," the whde 
thing has just crumbled away into uselessness. 

So, there are correctives. In the natural course 
of events the incapable man cannot get into positions 
of power, but if through an unnatural, artificial course 
of "pull" or "favor" or "relationship" an incapable 
man does rise to that position, natural law soon begins 
to operate : he fails and his failure is apparent to all. 

If there is a great industry which has ceased to 
serve the people; if there is a great industry whose 
leader has ceased to care for it and has begun to ex- 
ploit it; if there is a great industry who^e leader has 
been poisoned with the thought, "This is mine and 
exists for my benefit alone" — you will not long be 
puzzled about the problem of ownership. Nature will 
soon settle it. 



40 



"Swelled Head" in Business 



THERE is a disease known as "swelled head" 
which may be contracted in any line of activity, 
but which is particularly dangerous in business. Be- 
cause of the inelegance of its name and the common- 
ness of its occurrence among light and giddy youth, 
it is regarded not as a dangerous disease, but as some- 
thing light, like the ailments of childhood. We know, 
however, how serious the ailments of childhood can 
be when they attack grown persons. 

If we were to be very strict about words, we 
should perhaps say that the term "swelled head" was 
hardly descriptive. If the head of the patient ac- 
tually should enlarge and his brain power increase, 
the disease would not exist. It is the feeling of en- 
largement in heads that have not enlarged nor ex- 
panded at all, that constitutes the abnormal condition. 

That is to say, the condition described as "swelled 
head" is a delusion — the patient thinks he has ex- 
panded when he has not. The only element in him 
that has increased is his self-esteem, and when that 
increases out of proportion to everything else, there 
comes an unbalanced condition which is just as danger- 
ous to his affairs as insanity is to society. 

This ailment is not confined to men in small and 
unimportant positions, although it is found there too; 
but it is frequently found among men whom the world 
thinks to be "big men" because they wear big titles 
and deal in big things-. There would seem to be little 
reason for much swelled-headedness among the "big 
men" of today, for it is precisely in their fields that 
all the big failures and all the big humiliations have 
come. 

There is, of course, such a thing as a sense of self- 
satisfaction in one's work, a sense of being able to do 
the thing required, a sense of mastery, and a plain 
knowledge of having accomplished something when a 
good job has been done — these are the wholesome 

41 



FORD IDEALS 

flavors and reactions of honest work. They are not 
to be confused with the disease of "swelled head/* 
The difference between them is this: the former has 
the work for its center; the latter has one's self for 
its center. And self -centered persons (not necessarily 
selfish persons) are- in great danger of letting them- 
selves get in the way of their work. They are in 
great danger of the delusion that their work exists 
for their glory. 

The sign of a little man is so various that it is next 
to impossible for an ordinarily observant person to 
mistake him. He never forgets himself . He is afraid 
to surround himself with bigger men than himself, 
with men who know more, or who can give him help. 
Thus the little man is a fool; if he knew where his 
interest lay, he would surround himself with the 
biggest and best men, and by his just treatment of 
them retain their services. But the little man lives in 
daily dread that somebody will show up more meri- 
toriously than he, and he strives to keep a false pre- 
eminence by seeing to it that, little as he himself may 
be, those who surround him are smaller still. This is 
often true because the little man is usually himself a 
subordinate who fears displacement. But even a sub- 
ordinate who can surround himself with superior and 
efficient assistants is not in nearly so much danger of 
displacement as one who deliberately hammers down 
the standard of his organization. 

The disease of "swelled head" has its preliminary 
symptom in shortsightedness. No one who can see 
very far ahead or very far around, is ever troubled 
with it. The world is so big and there is so much to 
be done that a man can contract "swelled. head" only 
by comparing himself with himself. 

Is not that the trouble? The process is usually 
something like this : a man goes to work earnestly and 
intelligently, and as a consequence his work attracts 
attention. Any man who works this way is bound to 
make an impression. In course of time this man is 
advanced, and the recognition thus accorded has the 
effect of making him still more earnest and intel- 
ligent, and therefore more useful and desirable. So 

42 



"swelled head" in business 



another advancement inevitably comes; and perhaps 
another, and another. 

Then one day, the man stops to consider what has 
befallen him and the idea creeps into his mind that he 
must be quite a fellow. Look what he was then, and 
look what he is now! Comparing himself with him- 
self, you see. It is the first whisper of the tempting 
serpent. 

The man receives his last advancement — and us- 
ually it is his last — with the feeling that at length he 
has arrived. He has ceased to regard every new 
step as a new challenge to his ability ; he has come to 
regard it as a decoration pinned on him for what he 
has done some time in the past. As a result, he sits 
down to enjoy his new place and his new title — and his 
degeneration begins right there. He has caught 
"swelled head" and the treatment needed to cure that 
is ofien very drastic and severe. 

Where did the disease begin? In the man's 
thought that advancements are decorations instead of 
new challenges. Nobody has "arrived" imtil he has 
filled his post and is leaving it — only then can a judg- 
ment be rendered on his work. 

Can you imagine a newly elected President of the 
United States entering the White House with a smug 
smile and saying to himself, "Well, at last I have at- 
tained success — I have arrived — I have become Presii- 
dent" — can you imagine that? Oh, no, for just at 
that moment there would come thundering through the 
corridors of his soul the cutting challenge — "What 
kind of a President?" Ah! — that is a question to be 
answered after four or eight years of service. 

The President does not arrive until he leaves; it 
is then his record is made; it is then his measure is 
recorded on history's page. The exalted position is 
sometimes only a loftier stage upon which to enact a 
tragedy of failure. 

It is true everywhere. If you are promoted, it is 
only another burden, another demand laid on you, 
with the questions: "Can you carry that? Can you 
fulfill that?" The reward for good work done is 
always more work. Not decorations, nor titles, nor 

43 



FORD IDEALS 

"soft snaps" ; these are the snares which have wrecked 
many a career. 

It is better to remain a good bookkeeper and to 
be known as such, than to be promoted because you 
are a good bookkeeper and think that you can dis- 
pense with the quaHties that made you a good book- 
keeper. Unless you take those qualities with you, 
enlarged and intensified, you are only ascending the 
scale to a more spectacular failure. Promotion that 
is not regarded as a challenge to greater and better 
performance may easily become a snare. 

We want to write the word "success" too soon. It 
should be kept for the epitaph. Any man who thinks 
he is a' success, has come to his terminal. He is about 
ready to get off. He is running under the momentum 
of past steam. He is coming down with a form of 
"swelled head." 

One fact about this disease should be noted: it 
does not always take an offensive form. It does not 
always show itself in bumptiousness. A man may be 
a victim of it and yet never suspect it. When a man 
settles back as if he had done all he ought to do, when 
he begins to have the deliciously drowsy feeling that, 
after all, he has done pretty well — it is time to be on 
guard. The disease is not unpleasant to the victim and 
therein lies its danger. He should distrust such 
thoughts and go on a hunt for something hard and 
difficult and "impossible" to do — something that will 
bring back a normal sense of proportion. 



44 



Regarding Charity, Welfare 
Work and Other Matters 



THE world doesn't owe anybody a living, but ev- 
erybody owes it to the world that he get a living 
and in getting it leave a margin of service for the 
others. Nothing is more productive of a sour spirit 
than the mistaken belief that we are here to be waited 
on, and nothing is more productive of breadth and 
prosperity of life than the belief that we are here to 
do something beyond that which necessity compels us 
to do for ourselves. 

It is hard to get such an idea clearly accepted to- 
day, because there are so many words that have lost 
their meaning through overuse. It is next to im- 
possible to talk about "service" in these days without 
having the very word lose itself in a tangle of pre- 
conceived ideas — ideas which were bom in the wisjly- 
washy period of romantic idealism out of which we 
are happily passing. 

It is hard for another reason, namely that this 
whole period of sentimental idealism to which we have 
-just referred had the effect of giving a namby-pamby 
surfacing to any number of people. The idea went 
abroad that "service" was something that we should 
expect to be done for us. Untold numbers of people 
became the recipients of the well-meant but over-done 
"social service" of others. Whole sections of our 
population were coddled into the habit of expecting 
something, as children do. There grew up a regular 
profession of doing things for people, which gave an 
outlet for a laudable desire for service, but which 
contributed nothing whatever to the self-reliance of 
the people nor to the correction of the conditions out 
of which the supposed need for such service grew. 

Worse than this encouragement of childish ex- 
pectancy, instead of training for self-reliance and self- 
sufficiency, was the creation of a feeling of resentment 

45 



FORD IDEALS 



\^ 



which nearly always overtakes the objects of charity. 

People often complain of the "ingratitude" of 
tljose whom they help. Nothing is more natural. In 
the first place, precious little of our so-called charity 
is ever real charity, offered out of a heart full of 
interest and sympathy. In the second place, no per- 
son ever relishes being in a position where he is forced 
to take favors from anyone. 

This situation creates a strained relation: the 
recipient of another's bounty feels that he has been 
belittled in the taking of it, and it is just a. question 
whether the giver should not also feel that he has been 
belittled in the giving of it. Service is objected to by 
no one, appreciated by all; but who would designate 
charity as "service"? 

Charity never led to a settled state of affairs. The 
charitable system that does not aim to make itself 
unnecessary is not performing service: It is simply 
making a job for itself and is an added item to the 
record of non-production. 

Factory welfare work that does not educate the 
factory personnel to a point beyond the need of 
chaperonage, is not doing its duty. The work of 
every welfare worker is similar to that of the physi- 
cian, namely, to perform the work so well that it will 
soon be unnecessary. Welfare work is not a crutch 
for a permanent injury, it is an educational program 
which justifies itself only by placing its beneficiaries 
beyond need of it. Whatever is permanently necessary 
is just plain decency and justice and should not be 
decked out with names which suggest that somebody 
deserves credit for being just a little bit more human 
than he was expected to be. 

It may sometimes seem that an advance step is 
charity, but it need not be stigmatized by that word — 
it would better be called vision. A man sees the 
proper thing to do for those who have not the facilities 
as yet to do it for themselves, and he does it — it only 
means that he uses the power at his command to bring 
in the New Era in that particular matter. The New 
Era has been "inching along" for some time in this 
manner. 

This was really the way in which "human rights" 

46 



R£GAIU)ING CHARITY, WELFARE WORK AND OTHER MATTERS 

came in. They first began as "privilege." Those who 
could get "grivileges" got them. But the fact that 
"privileges" could be had by one group led the way 
to their being^had by all groups. Every inalienable 
right we now possess was once a "class privilege." We 
scold a great deal about "privilege" these days, and it 
is right to do so, for what we nowadays call "priv- 
ilege" is mostly daylight robbery ; but at the same time 
it is well to remember that there are instances where 
the privilege of the few is really a prophecy of the 
coming rights of the many. 

Humanitarianism is splendid when it is not pro- 
fessionalized. But it is not a good word. Suppose 
there comes a time when everyone will be self-suf- 
ficient, so far as the material assistance we can render 
each other is concerned, where then will be the field 
for "humanitarianism"? That is, the kind of human- 
itarianism that really gives you the feeling of vet- 
erinarianism. 

There is only human helpfulness, and directly that 
is systematized, organized, commercialized and pro- 
fessionalized, the heart of it is extinguished, and it 
becomes a cold and clammy thing. 

Human helpfulness which is never card catalogued 
nor advertised is the most helpful agency in the world 
today. There are more orphan children being cared 
for in the private homes of people who love them, than 
in the institutions. There are more old people being 
sheltered among friends, without money and without 
price, and with no thought of either, than you can 
find in the Old People's Homes. There is more afd 
by loans and other assistance between family and fam- 
ily than all the loan societies or banks are doing. That 
is, human society on a humane basis, looks out for 
itself. It is a grave question how far we ought to 
countenance the commercialization "of this instinct. 
We certainly ought to subject it to the severest 
scrutiny to find, if possible, by what interests and for 
what interests it is being commercialized. 

Above all, however, we should devote ourselves to 
the cultivation of the old-fashioned virtue of self- 
reliance in our people. Americans were formerly 
self-reliant; Americans in blood and spirit doubtless 

47 



FORD IDEALS 

form the self-reliant part of, our population now. But 
we have received large admixtures from other coun- 
tries where an obsequious attitude is counted neces- 
sary before one can even receive one's rights. 

That was carried to America by a sufficient num- 
ber of people to have its effect, especially on the of- 
ficers of municipal government. Foreigners thought 
an alderman was a great personage and a policeman a 
power to be placated. It wasn't good for the alder- 
man or the policeman to be thus exalted. Good old- 
fashioned American self-reliance is a much better 
attitude to adopt before all political powers. We need 
more of it in the country right now. 

One of the common sayings which came out of 
the dawn of common sense on this whole question was 
this: "Help a man to help himself." But how have 
we beefi doing it ? We have been starting too far this 
side of the root of the matter. The way to help a 
man to help himself is to get the idea firmly rooted 
in his understanding that his help is in himself. That 
is the entire basis of our much boasted self-govern- 
ment.. Only a self-reliant people can be self-govern- 
ing, and if we have found the government slipping 
away from ourselves, we may take it as a sign that 
we are losing our national virtue of self-reliance. There 
is something tragically comic in lazily relying on a 
government that relies on us. And if a government 
ceases to rely on the people, and the people cease to 
rely on themselves, that is the beginning of dissolu- 
tion. We do not, however, think of dissolution for 
this nation or government; it is made of the prin- 
ciples that forever endure. 

Let every American become self -protective from 
coddling. Americans ought to resent coddling like a 
drug. Stand up and stand out; let weaklings take 
charity; we will have Rights because we will simply 
go to work and make them; create them, and then 
enjoy them. 



48 



Where High Wages Begin 



HIGH wages sounds mighty good. That is, to 
most people. It is true that a few men seem to 
think that high wages will ruin business. But the 
majority of people know better than that. The grocer, 
the clothier, the furniture maker, the boot and shoe 
man, the banker — ^all know better. 

There are short-sighted men who cannot see that 
Business is a bigger thing than any one man's in- 
terests. Business is a process of give and take, live 
and let live. It is co-operation between many forces 
and interests. 

Whenever you find a man who believes that Busi- 
ness is a river whose beneficial flow ought to stop 
as soon as it reaches him, and go no farther to re- 
fresh and enrich other men's fields, you find a man 
who thinks he can keep Business alive by stopping 
its circulation. 

There are some men who, if they got all they 
wanted, would get everything, and so destroy the very 
thing they seek. This is lack of vision. 

What do we mean by high wages, anyway? 

We mean a higher wage than was paid ten months 
or ten years ago. We do not mean a higher wage 
than ought to be paid. Our high wages of today may 
be low wages ten years from now. 

If it is right for the manager of a business to try 
to make it pay larger dividends, it is just as right that 
he should try to make it pay higher wages. For wages 
are the chief dividend — on the money side at least—, 
and more people are dependent on them. 

But where the commonest mistake is made is here : 
We sometimes imagine that it is the manager of the 
business who pays the high wages. Of course, if he 
can and will not, then the blame is his. But if he can, 
it is not himself alone that makes it possible. 

When you trace it all down to its source, it is really 
the workmen who earn the wages. Their labor is the 

49 



FORD IDEALS 

productive factor. It is not the only productive fac- 
tor, of course, for poor management can waste labor 
just as it can waste material and make it unproductive. 

But in a partnership of good management and good 
labor, it is the workman who makes good wages pos- 
sible. He invests his energy and skill, and if he 
makes an honest, whole-hearted investment, good 
wages ought to be his reward. Not only has he earned 
them, but he has had a big part in creating them. 

The employer who, in fairness, is paying good 
wages is not, therefore, to be applauded as an angel. 
It is not all his doing. If his men did not do their 
part in making the business productive and profitable, 
he would not have the big wage to pay. So that the 
credit is not all his. He is only sharing justly, or 
nearly so, with the men who were his active partners 
in the business. 

It is not a question of the employer showing his 
generosity, or playing My Lord Bountiful, or any- 
thing like that. It is simply the square deal. And 
it is the only practical way of keeping a business pro- 
ductive and profitable. 

A business whose benefits come to a halt in the 
company's office is not a healthy business. The bene- 
fit has got to circulate so that every man who had a 
part in creating and running it has also a part in en- 
joying it. It is simple fairness. 

Paying good wages is not charity at all — it is the 
best kind of business. 

The kind of workman who gives the business the 
best that is in him is the best kind of workman a 
business can have. But he cannot be expected to do 
this indefinitely without proper recognition. 

Good wages help keep the good workmen a good 
workman for the sake of the business. 

The man who comes to the day's job feeling that 
no matter how much he may give, it will not yield 
him enough of a return to keep him beyond the margin 
of want, is not in shape to do his day's work. He 
is anxious and worried and it all reacts to the detri- 
ment of his work. 

But if a man feels that his day's work is not only 
supplying his basic need, but is also giving him a 

50 



/ 



WHERE HIGH WAGES BEGIN 



margin of comfort, and enabling him to give his boys 
and girls their opportunity and his wife some pleasure 
in life, then his job looks good to him and he is free 
to give it his very best. 

This is a good thing for him and a good thing for 
the business. The man who does not get a certain 
satisfaction out of his day's work is losing the best 
part of his pay. 

Do you know, the day's work is a great thing — b, 
very great thing! It is at the very foundation of our 
economic place in the world; it is the basis of our 
self-respect ; it is the only way to reach out and touch 
the whole world of activity. 

All of us are workingmen these days. If we are 
not, we are parasites. No amount of money excuses 
any man from working. He is either producer or 
parasite — ^take your choice. 

All of us don't do the same things, our jobs are 
different. But all of us are working for the same end, 
and that end is bigger than any of us. 

The employer who is seriously trying to do his 
duty in the world must be a hard worker. It is use- 
less for him to say, "I have so many thousand men 
working for me." The fact of the matter is that so 
many thousand men have him working for them — 
and the better they work the busier they keep him dis- 
posing of their products. 

Wages and salaries are in fixed amounts, and this 
must be so in order to have a basis to figure on. But 
where the profits exceed these there ought to be profit- 
sharing. Wages and salaries are a sort of fixed profit- 
sharing, but it often happens that when the business 
of the year is closed up it is discovered that more 
can be done, and then more ought to be done. Where 
we are all in the business working together, we all 
ought to have some share in the profits, either a good 
wage or salary, or added compensation. 

The business man's ambition ought to be to pay 
the best wages the business can carry, and the work- 
man's ambition should be to respond to make the best 
wages possible. 

A business man sometimes does not know just 
how to say this. There are men in all shops who seem 

51 



FORD IDEALS 



to believe that when they are urged to do their best, 
it is for their employer's benefit and not their own. 
It is a pity that siKh a feeHng should exist. But per- 
haps there have been enough abuses in the past to 
justify it in many instances. 

If an employer urges men to do their best, and 
the men learn after a while that their best does not 
mean any reward for them, then they simply go back 
into the rut and all the urging is wasted. 

But if men follow the urging and do their best, 
and then see the fruits of it in their pay envelope, it 
is proof to them that they are an essential part of that 
business, and that its success largely depends on them. 
They feel also that there is justice in that business 
and that their efforts will not be ignored. 

It ought to be clear, however, that the higher wage 
begins down in the shop. If it is not created there it 
cannot get into the pay envelopes. It must begin there, 
and it ought to keep on circulating until a just pro- 
portion of it gets back there, and when profit-sharing 
time comes the men who helped to make the profits 
should not be forgotten. 

So when the workman is urged to do his best, it 
ought not to be a game that is playing on him. His 
best ought to mean the best for him as well as for the 
business. And unless it does mean this his best is 
going to be hard to get. 

It is a sense of fellowship in work that we need. 
And fair dealing will give it to us. Why do we have 
these classes of "capital" and "labor" set apart as 
enemies? Simply because fair dealing has not been 
the rule. What is "capital" without "labor"? And 
what is "labor" but "capital"? And what earthly use 
is "capital" unless it labors and produces the things 
which life requires? 

We must get together on these matters, and the 
only way we can get together is to begin with fair 
dealing. 

One ounce of fair dealing is worth a ton of fair 
speeches. 

Every business that employs more than one man 
is a partnership. This is so whether the man at the 
head of the business acknowledges it or not. 

52 



WHERE HIGH WAGES BEGIN 



Suppose a man invents an article which is capable 
of wide use by the people. With his own two hands 
he cannot make enough of them to satisfy the demand. 
He might work hard all his life and make only a few. 

So he gets other men to give their labor that his 
creation may gain currency in the world. It is still 
his idea, but they help hinv to spread it. Without his 
idea there would not be so many jobs in the world. 
Without their labor there would not be so many 
articles of commerce. 

You see, the man at the head can no longer say 
MY business, but all of them together can say OUR 
business, and when this is the spirit, and it is prac- 
ticed all the way through, the very best kind of part- 
nership exists. 

There is too much of the "my" and too little of 
"our;*' both in the shops and the head office. The 
workman has got to assume that it is "our" business. 
It is the only way he can feel that it is '*his" busi- 
ness, too. 

The source of every productive result is the day's 
work. That is the seed from which every fruitful 
crop springs. The farmer gets no more out of the 
ground than he puts into it by his labor. And it is 
what the worker puts into the business that makes 
it pay. 

What would any of us be without work? Who is 
so pitiable as the man without an occupation that 
contributes something to the life of the race? 

And just as pitiable is the man who drags him- 
self through the day's work as if he were a slave, 
doing as little as possible, and that little badly. 

He is a brake on the wheels of industry. He is 
lowering its wage-paying power. He is like a faulty 
machine that costs more than it produces. Multiply 
him by a sufficient number and the business is ruined 
— it loses its power to support anybody connected 
with it. 

There will never be a system invented which will 
do away with the necessity of work. Nature has seen 
to that. Idle hands and minds were never intended 
for any one of us. Work is our sanity, our self-re- 
spect, our salvation. So far from being a curse, work 

53 



FORD IDEALS 

is the greatest blessing. It is only when it is mixed 
with indolence or injustice that it becomes a curse. 

Take it from a man who has worked from his 
earliest years, and who is a workingman now, and 
proud to be one, that no one can get any more out 
of his job than he puts into it. 

Not because any man says so, biif because it is the 
real nature of things. 



54 



The Army Is Never "Laid Off 



WE HEAR a great deal these days about getting 
back to a peace basis. Some countries seem to 
be finding it a hard thing to do. But this is probably 
because they hesitate to face the other charges that 
must come with the new peace. 

Our own problem is not simple, but it is not im- 
possible. We went on a' war footing in double-quick 
time. We broke alWecords, even the records of na- 
tions which were more accustomed to the war-thought 
than we were. 

Now we ought to get back as quickly as we made 
the first change. We ought not to wait to be pushed 
back by the pressure of business — we ought to go 
back under our own will. 

That seems to be the point where some plans 
failed ; it was expected that we would be pushed back 
into the old channels by a strong rush of business. 

The rush has not come. A sort of "between acts'* 
period is upon us. The world is readjusting its mind 
after nearly five years of strange experience. The 
new beginning has not been as brisk in certain lines 
as some people expected. 

But it is coming. There can be no doubt of that. 
The war is over in a way, and still it is not over. The 
iron hand is still on the world, stopping up many av- 
enues of action. So that we have not really arrived 
at the "after the war" period as yet. Peace has not 
been signed. Blockades have not been removed. The 
nations have not settled down to the work of re- 
building. When they do, you will see things begin 
to move in a hurry. 

America is in good condition to begin. We were 
a peace people clean through. Our industries were 
organized for peace. For that reason it was a bigger 
job for us than for others to go on a war footing. 
We had everything to get ready and to make. And 
we did it very well, considering the time we had. We 

55 



FORD IDEALS 



did it very well indeed. The Kaiser would agree 
with that. 

This will make it easier for us to go back where 
we were. Our peace machinery is all intact. It only 
needs to be set up and started. In many places it was 
not even taken down, but was set at once doing war 
work. We are ready for business. 

But suppose business isn't here. Are we to sit 
down and wait? Is there nothing for us to do? 

It is not the American way to sit down and wait. 
If not enough is doing, we must start something. 

When a man has not work enough for the mo- 
ment to keep his circulation up, what does he do? 
He begins to exercise for the sake of stimulating his 
circulation. He runs; he swings his arm. He starts 
doing something in order that he may not stagnate. 

Now, business is simply circulation. Usually there 
is enough of it to keep us going. That is, we have 
enough regular business to keep us warm. But if 
it slows up, the sensible thing is to refuse to slow up 
with it. If we cannot do a certain thing, we have 
been accustomed to do, we must do something else. 

For the cost of a month of war we could make 
such public improvements in this land as would be 
worth most of the territory involved in the war. We 
could make a new Eden of the Mississippi "Valley, 
turning it into the great garden and powerhouse of 
the country. We could build the canals and establish 
the waterpower we have been talking about and have 
never seen our way clear to do. We could develop a 
greater agricultural area and make the produce of 
former years look like a handful. 

There are any number of things waiting to be 
done which will bring fabulous benefits to our coun- 
try if we would only turn out to do them. And they 
are the very things which must be done if American 
business is not to burst its already tight bounds. 

Somebody may ask where the money would come 
from. That is easiest of all. If it were a shortage of 
men or food that confronted us, it would be serious; 
but money is the cheapest thing there is. 

All the money we spent on the war is here now. 
It is only the material that is gone. The war is paid 

56 



THE ARMY IS NEVER "lAID OFF" 

for, SO far as money for its support is concerned. 
Every man who contributed "a bushel of grain, a ton 
of material, or a day of labor to that great enterprise 
has been paid. All the borrowing we did, we borrowed 
from ourselves, and we spent it among ourselves. All 
the money we lent, or the larger part of it, was spent 
here among us.. When the borrowed money is paid 
back, it will be paid to the citizens who lent it. It 
will still be here. 

There never was such an outpouring of money as 
during the war. Everybody had money to lend to 
the Government, and everybody got part of the bene- 
fit of the money he lent. It made big things possible. 
It made large central management possible. It kept 
up the circulation at a critical time. 

Now, if it were necessary, why could not such a 
collective enterprise be undertaken for the purposes 
of peace? The Government is only ourselves. It is 
our central office. When the Government undertakes 
anything it is really ourselves doing it, whether it be 
fighting a war or building a canal. 

Lack of employment ought to be as rare in the 
United States as snow is in the tropics. And so it 
would be if we thought more of the collective welfare 
and less of individual profit. 

There is no denying that we gain or lose together. 
When everybody is busy, everything moves, and we 
all profit thereby. ^ 

And what makes everybody busy? Well, the first 
motive power is the necessity of three meals a day. 
If everyone stopped eating, very little business would 
be done. We must feed ourselves, and the work of 
doing that breeds a lot of related work, and so it 
goes on, broadening into what we know as modern 
business. 

When business slows up, is it a sign that the people 
have slowed up on food? No. Usually it is a sign 
that those who handle the money are afraid to set 
things going. With no pressure on their gainful 
nature from without, they refuse to start a motive 
power within. 

The basis of business is always with us, in the 
primary needs of life. The medium of business is 

57 



FORD IDEALS 



always with us in the form of money. It is only a 
question of starting the thing going. 

We don't have to wait for China or Germany to 
give us the sign to get busy; we can get busy right 
here among ourselves, on our own concerns. 

This brings it straight down to the individual who 
has capital, and who hangs on to it because he can- 
not see more of it rolling in. He ought to start some- 
thing. Every man of money has in his money the 
surplus push which will start the wheels turning again. 

The time to push is when the momentum from 
without has ceased. 

Now is the time for the man of the future to in- 
vest in the future. If he has any building to do, let 
him do it now. If he has a stock to create, let him 
make it now. 

Nobody is taking any chances when he gets busy 
meeting the future beforehand. 

This little breathing spell is a good thing to take 
advantage of. Now is the time to spend money and 
prepare for tomorrow's business, because it is going 
to come rolling in fast. 

And then there is the human side of it. Let us 
take a lesson from the Government in this. The Gov- 
ernment has a great army to provide for. The busi- 
ness of that army, is to fight. But suppose there comes 
a lull of months when there is no fighting to do. Dur- 
ing this war it has happened, as it sometimes does in 
industry, that there is nothing for an army to do in 
the task it was organized for. 

We have seen whole winters pass with nothing 
special for the armies to do. 

Did the Government lay the men oflF and stop 
their pay, saying, "Come back when the fighting opens 
up again and we'll put you on the payroll" ? 

No. The Government felt itself under obligation 
to keep that army intact and in good trim. 

Where is the difference between our fighting 
armies and the armies of peace — our great industrial 
army ? 

There are about twenty millions of men engaged in 
the industrial maintenance of the United States. They 
are our great standing army of production. They are 
necessary to our existence as a self-supporting people. 

58 



THE ARMY IS NEVER "LAID OFF" 

No calamity could overtake the country that would 
equal the removal of this great force from agri- 
culture, manufacturing and transportation. 

Yet what is done with these men in slack times? 
They are turned out at their own charges, and ex- 
pected to be on hand when they are needed again. 

It isn't good management. It isn't the kind of 
treatment to which loyalty responds. It breaks us up 
into separate interests, when really we are but one 
interest and ought to be united for the general wel- 
fare. 

This is one point where we are wrong. 

It is easy enough to place the blame, but it is hard 
to prove the blame. If any one man could remedy 
it, that man could be blamed for not doing so. But 
it is too big for any man or group of men to cure by 
their own efforts, and therefore it is too big for them 
to bear the blame for it. 

It is something we must all try to do together, 
and do on a system. We must so adjust matters that 
the slack in employment will be automatically taken 
up. Dullness in one .line must be offset by brisk ef- 
fort in another. 

If we set about it intelligently we could find profit- 
able productive work for twice the number of our 
present industrial army. America teems with work 
waiting to be done. America will never be oversup- 
plied with labor if we develop our resources as we 
ought. It is the duty of men of vision, men of re- 
source to lay out the new channels for the industry 
of new millions of men. There is enough to be done 
in America to engage our largest man-power to the 
farthest generation. 

Individually, it is our duty to endeavor as far as 
we possibly can to regard our own men as our own 
regiments in the struggle for industrial civilization, 
and to feel a responsibility for them in slack times. 
We do not allow our shop machinery to rust in times 
of dull business; why should we allow our men to 
deteriorate? The cost of tiding over enforced stop- 
pages ought to be figured in as a cost of the business 
itself. 

If we undertook to do this, we would be surprised 
at the speed we would make in looking for large public 

59 



FORD IDEALS 



undertakings to be started in order 'to fill up times of 
slack employment. In fact, we would soon have mat- 
ters arranged so that slack times would be impossible. 
When one line slowed up, we would simply switch 
on another, and so keep things going. 

It is our duty to do each of us our, bit in solving 
this problem, and we may be sure that when Amer- 
ican business men try to straighten out the industrial 
situation and make it square all round, they are going 
to succeed. Nothing but selfishness can hinder, for 
selfishness is blind. 

This talk of the returned soldier being a problem 
hardly squares with the facts. He is only two mil- 
lions of our twenty millions. He ought to fit back 
into business life as readily as he fitted into the army. 

To hear some men talk you would think that the 
returning soldier would double our dependent popula- 
tion. He is bringing up the reserve force that will 
put the country over the top. 

They talk of putting him to work building roads, 
booming worn-out real estate schemes, and so forth. 
It is a wonder they would not ask him about k first! 

No doubt, after the outdoor life of the army, 
thousands of yoimg men will have no desire to enter 
the office and store again. They would prefer the 
farm. But why plan to settle them 3,000 miles from 
the chief markets? There are hundreds of thousands 
of unused acres of farm land at the very back doors 
of our large eastern markets. 

Leave the big unsettled tracts of the West for 
wholesale reclamation and power projects. It would 
be splendid if we could enlist an army of men to 
make the desert bloom and make every mile of our 
streams and every foot of our land productive. That 
would be an Army of the United States indeed ! And 
it would appeal to heroism and constructive general- 
ship. And it would bring a service record of which 
any man might be proud. 

There are big days coming to us. We must get 
ready for them. We must act as if we had the or- 
ders in our hands now. We must begin to organize 
our forces and processes so as to achieve the most 
and the best we can. 



60 



Prevention Is Better Than 

Sympathy 



PAINTING the blotch on the skin, and leaving the 
blood unpurified, is poor medical practice and poor 
business. Unless we go to the root of our wrongs 
and grub them out, it is of no use to try to doctor 
the branches. Pruning the thorn will not change it 
into a potato plant. 

You can fight a symptom until the patient dies on 
your hands, but unless you get at the cause of his 
distemper you are only wasting your time and giving 
the disease a stronger hold. 

Take the life of our people, for example. We 
know that something is wrong with it. It would be 
extreme folly for us to deny that. 

The man who does deny it is usually the man who 
is profiting by the things that are wrong. Because 
his nest is soft, he coddles himself into believing that 
every nest is soft. He does not want to be disturbed 
by any other view of it. 

This is one of the strong marks by which you may 
distinguish sympathy from selfishness. 

Granting that something is wrong in our method 
of life, the wise course to take is not to go about 
tinkering and doctoring the effects, but to dig straight 
in toward the causes. 

You will find, for one part, that something is 
wrong with the people themselves. There is a great 
deal of shiftlessness in the world, a great deal of 
waste, a great deal of drifting. 

You will find men who want to be carried through 
on the shoulders of others. You will find men who 
believe that the world OWES them a living, by which 
they seem to mean that their employer owes them a 
living. They don't seem to see that we must all lift 
together and pull together, or nobody will have any 
living whatever. 

61 



y 



FORD IDEALS 

It is one of the /most harmful thoughts a man can 
harbor — that he is at the mercy of any other man. 
We are all units of power. We are all parts of the 
social order. Wherever one of us holds back or falls 
down, there is a gap, and the whole line suffers by 
that much. 

All this is true enough, but to stop here is to miss 
half the truth. Many people stop here. They lay 
the whole blame for poverty and failure and suf- 
fering and waste upon individuals. 

But our scheme of society is at fault, too. We do 
many things badly. We permit too many practices 
that take advantage of the weak. We open too wide 
a field to the grabber. After we have charged up 
all we can to individual fault, there is a big social 
fault that must be accounted for. 

And one of our most glaring mistakes is to try to 
cover up the results of social faults by charity, in- 
stead of striking at the causes which make charity 
seem necessary. 

Charity at its best is only a makeshift. It is an 
endless patching of a garment that ought to be thrown 
away and a new one made. Charity lowers the self- 
respect of the person who receives it and it deadens 
the conscience of the person who gives it. It offers 
far too easy an escape from a harder job. 

We say we are sorry for the hungry man. How 
sorry are we? We are sorry enough to give him a 
little food. But are we sorry enough to go out and 
tackle the conditions that make hunger possible? 

We say we are sorry for the unemployed. But 
how sorry are we ? Are we sorry enough to shoulder 
the job of abolishing unemployment from the land 
by a new and daring system of industrial advance? 

It is easy enough to be sorry, and to ease our own 
sorrow by a trifling gift. For that is really what we 
do in most of our makeshift charity — we simply ease 
our own pain at the sight of suffering. Whether we 
really ease the suffering of the other man, or improve 
his condition, is quite another matter. 

We were sorry for the man wounded in battle, and 
so we supported the Red Cross and other humane 
agencies. But how many of us were sorry enough to 

62 



PREVENTION IS BETTER THAN SYMPATHY 

undertake to abolish war altogether? To aid the 
wounded was easier than to tackle the big blunder 
that has been wounding men for centuries. 

We can go on to the end of time patching up the 
wounded who ought never to have been wounded, 
feeding the hungry who ought never to have been 
hungry, helping the poor who ought never to have 
been poor — and at the end of all our efforts we shall 
still have war and poverty as much as before. 

Regarded from the standpoint of efficiency our 
charity system fails; no matter how hard we try we 
are never able to cover the ground. We are always 
missing someone. From whatever angle you study 
it, charity is a poor substitute for reform. 

We must go deeper if we are ever to^accomplish 
anything worth while. 

And we must quit being satisfied with our charity 
if we are ever to see the real job that awaits us. And 
it is no easy job, either; it is not for bunglers, nor 
for hasty people, nor for any one who believes in any- 
thing but sound construction. 

The doctors are ahead of us on this line. Their 
great word now is, Prevention. When typhoid breaks 
out, they do not content themselves with giving their 
best service to the afflicted individuals; they know 
that typhoid is a disease that no man ever ought to 
have, and so they search out its source. They abolish 
it there. 

The progress of medicine does not consist merely 
in discovering cures for disease, but in abolishing it 
so /Utterly that it will cease to be a problem. 

We need that word in our efforts toward a better 
kind of social and industrial life — Prevention. 

Instead of organizing great machinery and making 
great appeals for money to camouflage the effects of 
our social system, we ought to be at work preventing 
the effects. 

The very best charity we know anything about is 
to help a man to the place where he wtH- never need it. 

Nothing seems more useless than the trouble we 
take to ease the effects, when half the trouble would 
serve to destroy the cause. 

We get up fancy dances, we give theatricals, we 



63 



FORD IDEALS 



make budgets and take up collections, we sell tickets 
for this and that from one year's end to the other — 
we undertake great expense to grant a little temporary 
benefit, and when we get through we haven't touched 
the real problem. 

Surely the futility of it ought to get through our 
minds very soon! 

It is not the charitable mind that one objects to. 
Heaven forbid that we should ever grow cold toward 
a fellow-creature in need. Human sympathy is a 
great motive power, and no cool, calculating attitude 
will take the place of it. One can name very few of 
the great advances which were not due to human sym- 
pathy. It is in order to do something for people that 
every notable service is undertaken. 

The trouble is that we have been using this great 
motive force for too small ends. If human sympathy 
prompts us to feed the hungry, why should it not give 
a much greater prompting toward making hunger im- 
possible ? 

If we have sympathy enough for people to help 
them IN their trouble, surely we ought to have feeling 
enough to help them OUT OF their trouble. 

The difficulty is that the latter is a different sort 
of task. This kind of help costs more than common 
charity. 

We must look beyond the individual to the causes 
of his misery, not* hesitating to relieve him in the 
meantime, of course, but not stopping with that. 

It is a pity that we have to confess that more 
people can be moved to help a poor family than can 
be moved to give their minds toward the removal of 
poverty altogether. 

We have a human conscience all right; cannot 
we develop it into a social conscience? 

But people say, "What can I do?" And men in 
positions of leadership say, "What can we do?" Well, 
this is certain — whatever is done will have to be done 
by all of us together, so that it is time for all of us 
to get busy. 

And this is certain — we cannot improve condi- 
tions by kicking over the methods which make our 
conditions as good as they are. 



64 



PREVENTION IS BETTER THAN SYMPATHY 

Grant that something is wrong; still we cannot 
say that everything is wrong. If it were, there would 
be much more suffering in the world than we now see. 

Comparing the present with the past, there is far 
less poverty than ever before; our material life is on 
a much higher level than it has ever been. 

So far, so good. But comparing the present with 
what ought to be, and what could be, we cannot fail 
to see that much is yet to be done. 

What can we do to create what ought to be? 

Our first duty is our own duty. We must do our 
best where we are. We must be fair where we are. 
We must do honest work where we are. 

No one who throws down his tools is helping to 
abolish poverty. 

Whatever we may agree to do in the future, we 
may be sure of this: we shall never be able to make 
any program go without work. 

If work is to be necessary in the better order of 
things, work is a good quality to develop now. 

Every man who works is helping to drive poverty 
out of the world-^first his own, and then that of his 
fellow-beings. 

The man who does better and more productive 
work today than he did yesterday is a social reformer 
of the highest type. He is doing something genuine. 
He is squaring his own account with the world, and 
helping others to square theirs. 

Every time a man stops work, he throws that 
much extra burden on others; he creates that much 
more poverty for the world. 

It is not the men who are domg the talking who 
are solving our problems, but the men who are at 
work. When they talk, they know what it is about. 

And after work, the next duty is to think. No- 
body can think straight who does .not work. Idleness 
warps the mind. It is a wonder we do not hear more 
about that fact — that the practiced hand gives bal- 
ance to the brain. 

Thinking which does not connect with constructive 
action becomes a disease ; the man who has it sees 
crooked; his views are lopsided. 

No one man can think out our great problems for 

65 



FORD IDEALS 

US. We believe in democracy because we believe that 
the collective mind is better than any single mind. 

It is the people thinking together, and planning to- 
gether, and acting together, that make the great ad- 
vances possible. 

In the long run the people are cool-headed. 

That is one of the reasons why changes seem to 
come so slowly: the people do not risk the big mis- 
takes which end in the big tragedies. Every age 
teems with theories which only require to stand awhile, 
and th^n their falsity is revealed. 

We don't have to test every theory that is offered. 
Let it stand. If it is right, it will endure. If it is 
wrong, the public mind simply outgrows it. 

No one can imagine how much worse off we 
should be if we followed every theory and every 
leader that promised us the Golden Age. 

So, if our progress seems slow, it is only the 
people's carefulness not to make a mis-step. 

But there is progress being made all the time, now 
in this direction, now in that, and then all along the 
line. And such progress is a social creation. It is 
the people moving up. 

And that is the only kind of progress there is. 

If we have not always gone forward rapidly, there 
is a very great fact to set against that fact: the race 
has not had to retrace many steps because of false 
moves. 



66 



Success Plays No Favorites 



SOMEONE has said that "imitation is the sincerest 
flattery," but that is only a hint to those who wish 
to flatter. Imitation is a confession that the thing 
which is imitated is better than one can do himself; 
it is also a confession that one is content to be an 
imitator. 

The truth about imitation is found in another 
saying — "Imitation is suicide." 

Certainly it is the end of initiative and independ- 
ence; it is the farewell of originality; it is the delib- 
erate abandonment of individuality, and the enemy of 
genius. 

This has a direct bearing on a subject in which 
everybody is interested — Success. 

Too often we hear Success spoken of as if it can 
be imitated. Successful men are held up as examples 
to young people who are advised, "Do as this man 
did it." Methods of success are held up for imita- 
tion with the counsel, "Follow this course and it will 
lead to success." 

But success does not come by imitation. An im- 
itation may be quite successful in its own way, but 
imitation can never be Success. 

Success is a first-hand creation. Take a thousand 
successful men, and each man's story will be different. 
It will be original. His grasp of opportunity, his 
methods, his plan of meeting and overcoming ob- 
stacles, all of these things will be different. 

The most dangerous notion a young man can 
acquire is that there is no more room for originality. 
There is no large room for anything else. 

Let us put to one side the usual arguments against 
imitation in the search for Success. Everybody knows 
what they are, so that we need not recount them here. 

But it is not always so clear why much of our 
Success advice is dangerous. 



67 



FORD IDEALS 



It is very unwise to look too long at the successful 
person. It is most unwise to copy after him. 

Because the things which you will first see, the 
qualities which will stand out as marking him, are 
probably not the ones to which he owes his success. 
And yet, because they are most prominent, it will 
appear that they hold the secret of his power. Very 
often they are blemishes, and had they not been over- 
balanced by other qualities which are not so easily per- 
ceived they might have caused his failure. 

You see a man who is very successful and who 
is at the same time very unfeeling. His heart is hard. 
He regards other men as so many bricks to build with. 
His conscience seems to be asleep. He rides over 
every human instinct and crushes every human con- 
sideration that would oppose him. Looking at such a 
man, it is easy to say, "To succeed, you musfbe like 
that; you must harden your heart and go rough-shod 
over everything." 

Or you may see another successful man who ap- * 
pears to be very daring. He seems to do everything 
thoughtlessly, on the spur of the moment, in a bril- 
liant dare-devil spirit. He does not appear to trust to 
anything but luck. But matters turn out fortunately 
for him, and therefore it is easy to draw the con- 
clusion, "The way to be successful is to fling ahead 
regardless, gamble with chance, and trust affairs to 
come out all right." 

These appearances may be very misleading. Dis- 
honest men do sometimes achieve great financial suc- 
cess — American financial history shows that. Un- 
feeling, cruel-hearted men sometimes win great for- 
tunes in industry — we don't have to look far to see it. 

But the question is: Is their success due to dis- 
honesty and hardness, or to qualities that are not so 
prominent ? 

We must declare that dishonesty is not sufficient to 
win success. A man must have something beside a 
hard heart to win success. 

He may have these undesirable qualities — he may 
have them in large measure — but has he other quali- 
ties beside? 



68 



X 



SUCCESS PLAYS NO FAVORITES 

If you look closely at these men you will see that 
they do have other qualities. They have strength, 
foresight, knowledge, skill, experience, endurance, ap- 
plication, determination, gifts of management, judg- 
ment. 

But these are not surface qualities. They do not 
stand out. They are seen only on close examination 
of the man and his business. 

Take a group of successful men, sort out the ones 
who have undesirable traits of character — men who 
have broken the laws of the land and the laws of 
humanity, men who have wrung their money out of 
other men's labor and out of the public's necessity — • 
and you can easily make out an argument that Suc- 
cess is the sign of a bad character. 

But the law of Success is impartial. So long as 
you have the qualities necessary for success, it is to 
be won, even if you have other qualities which alone 
would spell failure. 

You may have a character which is perfect in every 
other respect, and yet if you lack the qualities neces- 
sary to success, you will never win it. 

Success, then, is a matter of certain qualities com- 
ing into play. 

Now you cannot imitate a quality. You must cre- 
ate it, develop it. If you are fooled into thinking that 
hardness and dishonesty are qualities of Success, and 
you develop these, you will find that they will not 
make you a successful man at all. Hardness will make 
you a bully and dishonesty will make you a crook. 
You must develop other characteristics if you would 
be successful. 

We are not considering genius here at all. Genius 
is a gift. It comes to very few. We are discussing 
the normal man who enters life endowed with phys- 
ical health, his five senses, and the average degree of 
intelligence. 

The genius walks into his success. The rest of us 
must work for ours. 

Now, what is Success? 

Some say that Success is not mopey. Well, it is 
doubtless true that money is not the whole of Suc- 

69 



FORD IDEALS 



cess, and yet in these days you never see any kind of 
Success that does not have money somewhere around 
it. Certainly money is not the end of life, but it is a 
sign. Since everyone needs money to live as he ought, 
to develop himself, to give scope to his powers, money 
has become not only a necessary part of living, but 
the ambition to command enough of it to_do these 
things has become a commendable ambition. 

Success is each man finding the work he can do 
best, doing it to his highest satisfaction, and getting 
the proof of his service in a suitable reward. 

If he is the kind of pan who has still greater vi- 
sions of service which need still more money to realize, 
Success is his getting enough money to fulfill his serv- 
ice. There is no harm in large sums of money if 
they are kept at work opening up lines of opportunity 
and service. The only harmful money is the money 
which lies idle, or is used to block progress. 

Money for money's sake is a perfectly stupid motto. 
Money would be as useless as a heap of brass checks 
if it were not used for development. So that it is 
true that money itself is not the whole of Success. 

And then there are certain lines of service whose 
Success does not require money for their enlargement, 
and therefore money is not the sign of their worth. 
Take a successful surgeon, for example. His skill is 
his capital. He will make money, of course, and he 
deserves to make it. But often he will do service that 
makes him no money at all, and still it will be highly 
successful service, because it accomplishes its object. 
But the surgeon does not need millions in order to 
extend his skill. That skill is in his hand, controlled 
by his brain. He cannot multiply it. He cannot stand- 
ardize operations and do them by machine. There- 
fore, though his financial success is deservedly satis- 
factory, he has not the same need of capital as another 
would have. 

But in the industrial line it is indispensable that 
financial success be won, else there is no way to keep 
going, there is no way to open up new lines and cre- 
ate new jobs for men, there is no way of paying better 
wages and so contributing to the general human 
welfare. 

70 



SUCCESS PLAYS NO FAVORITES 

So that it is true again; money is not the only 
standard of success, though in some lines of service 
it is. 

But in every Success, whether it be professional 
or industrial, the same qualities are necessary. And 
these, cannot be imitated. They must be real. They 
must live in the man himself and grow out of his 
nature. Few of them are natural growth, however. 
They must be developed, trained, kept under discipline. 

No man wins success without paying for it. 

No man fails without good reason. 

Tht law of success is no respecter of persons. 
' If a man whom we feel to be bad turns out to be 
a success, it is because he has fulfilled the law of 
success. If a man whom we feel to be a very good 
man is a failure, it is because he has failed to fulfill 
the law of success. 

There is no favoritism. 

The law of success is a fair law. It gives all a 
chance. It doesn't choose the extraordinary man and 
favor him. Most successful men you meet are really 
ordinary men who have applied themselves to one 
thing and paid the price to win. 

And the law of failure is just and fair. We dis- 
like to think this sometimes, but unless it also is true, 
then there is nothing but confusion, no guide-posts to 
direct us. 

We know there are failures just as we know there 
are successes. Honest men fail and dishonest men 
fail. Hard-hearted men fail and kind, humane men 
fail. Why ? 

To find the reason we must examine failure as 
carefully as we examine success. And, as in the case 
of success, the truth is not on the surface. 

There is always a reason for failure, just as there 
is always a reason for Success, and it is found in dis- 
obedience to one part of the law of Success. 

If failures did not fail, there would be no law. All 
would be chance. The fact that failures fail is not a 
discouraging fact ; it is just the other side of the law 
by which those who have fulfilled the law of Success, 
succeed. 

71 



FORD IDEALS 

ft 

There is always a good reason, one which impresses 
ds as entirely fair when we iinderstand it. 

To state the law of Success is a pretty big task. 
We may try to state part of it at another time. But 
certain elements of it are clear at once. 

There is no Success without Application. This 
means concentration of mind, labor of hand and brain, 
and a complete surrender of one's powers to what one 
wishes to do. 

There must be Confidence in one's plan, not be- 
cause it is one's own plan, but because^ after surveying 
the whole field, the needs of the people, the fitness of 
the service one intends to give, one knows that he is on 
the right track. 

There must be Courage. Unless you have tried 
to do something for yourself, you have no idea now 
often your courage will be tested, how often you will 
stare bleak failure full in the face, how many almost 
crushing obstacles will arise to fall on you and block 
the way. The road to Success is hard, and often the 
feet bleed and the heart nearly fails. People only see 
the end of it, and even the end is not all sunshine. So 
unless you have courage, a courage within your own 
heart that keeps you going, always going, no matter 
what happens, there is no certainty of Success. It 
is really an endurance race. It is a test in holding out. 
The untried venture has no friends anywhere. It 
must make every friend it gets. 

You must have Knowledge of what you are doing. 
Now, this is within every man's reach. There is no 
favoritism here. You must know all there is to know 
of your particular field, and keep on the alert for new 
knowledge. The least difference in knowledge be- 
tween you and another man may spell his success and 
your failure. Guessing does not go. Trusting to luck 
is folly. Going it blind is taking a chance that may 
prove disastrous. You must KNOW. And this, of 
course, means that you must be a sincere searcher all 
the time. Yes, even when you have become what the 
world calls a success. For the world moves swiftly, 
and it is as bad not to keep up with it as never to have 
caught up with it. Today's success is no security for 

n 



SUCCESS PLAYS NO FAVORITES 



tomorrow's success. Your knowledge must be the 
up-to-the-minute kind. 

As to the moral qualities, the more you have the 
better. Dishonest men, by obeying the other laws of 
Success, may have won a place. But it is becoming 
harder and harder to do that. They may have been 
dishonest in dealing, but they cannot be dishonest with 
materials. They must build their brick wall true, or 
it falls down. They must honestly obey the law of 
strain, or their bridge collapses. They may cheat 
their customer once, they cannot cheat nature even 
once. Better not try to cheat either, for dishonesty 
is a dry-rot that creeps in everywhere. Other things 
being equal, the honest man has the better chance of 
winning. The same is true of human kindliness. All 
other qualifications being equal the humane man has 
the edge on the hard man. 



TZ 



^ 



Personal Relations — Their 
Importance for Life 



IF YOU trace down the troubles which afflict us all, 
the big disturbing troubles and the little nagging 
ones, you will discover that a large proportion of 
them have, their roots in personal relations. 

Trace them and see. See what an amazingly large 
influence is exerted on your life by what you think 
of other people, and by what you think other people 
think about you. 

Wrong personal relations are the greatest ob- 
struction that a man can meet. Almost any other kind 
of obstacle he can face with a high heart ; but broken 
relations between himself and his fellows afflict his 
nature like a wound. 

We were meant to get along one with another. 
We were meant to be in harmony. And no other 
proof 6T this is needed than the fact that the better 
we know each other the more we trust each other; 
and the larger the number of people who work in 
harmony the greater the results of their work. 

People always think better, work better, see more 
clearly when they are in harmony with the people 
whom they know. But their minds are clouded, tfieir 
hands are heavy and their foresight is blinded when 
they carry within them the feeling that they are at 
odds with their kind. 

It is like a strain in one's body; it is painful and 
hindering. Humanity-at-large seems to be one body; 
our immediate circle of associates, friends and kin 
make a sort of inner body, and any break or strain 
that occurs with them hurts and hinders us. 

If a man leaves the house in the morning after 
an angry word with his wife he has practically ruined 
his day and hers, too. He ought to go back and fix 
up the strained relations. Husband and wife simply 
cannot live their best or do their best under strained 
conditions. ' 

74 



PfJlSONAL RELATIONS — ^THEIR IMPORTANCE FOR UFE 

You can pretty nearly identify the man who left 
home in a sulk — ^probably you could identify the wife, 
too, if you saw her. The signs of moral accident and 
mental injury are about them. They are cripples so 
far as human harmony is concerned. 

Railroad managers long ago learned how danger- 
ous it was for an engineer to climb into his cab and 
take charge of a train, after he had left home in a 
tantrum. It would be safer to hold up the train while 
the engineer went back home and made up with his 
wife — far safer. 

If you cannot identify these injured minds by the 
faces they carry, you can usually, do so by the work 
they turn out. It is crippled work. None of us can 
work unless our minds are free. 

There is a hint for employers in this. It is just as 
possible to injure human relations by wrong shop 
methods as by wrong home conditions. 

The workman can be made to feel that he is under 
a driver or under a leader. If he feels that he is under 
a driver you have simply pinched up his initiative and 
good-will to such an extent that he cannot, at least 
does not, do his best. 

If he feels that he is under a leader, whom he re- 
spects and trusts, then his initiative and strength are 
released, and his day's work is free and full. 
' Nervous strain operates on people to their dis- 
advantage. Fill a child with the feeling of con- 
straint, and he will appear to you a most stupid young- 
ster, although he may in reality be a bright child. 
Chill a performer by criticism and antagonism in ad- 
vance, and you simply freeze up the stream of his skill. 

Now, if you simply want the people who help you 
in your shop to know who is boss, you can let them 
know it all right — ^know it in such a way that they will 
never forget it nor forgive you. 

The cheapest and easiest thing in the world is to 
show your authority. You can show your authority 
till doomsday and make people fear it too; but you 
will never make them respect it. 

The authority which men respect is the authority 
of superior knowledge and good- will. 

75 



FORD IDEALS 

When you fill a shop with f ej^r, making men slaves 
who bend to their tasks when the overseer's eyes are 
upon them and slacken when the "boss" passes on — 
you haven't a free industry at all. You are running a 
sort of prison. 

It is not the DRIVE of the boss that makes pro- 
duction; it is the loyal good- will of the workers. 

You see, this directly concerns personal relations 
in industry. Handling men, giving them leave to act 
upon their own good-will and not under constant com- 
pulsion, emancipating them from all fear and anxiety 
and insecurity in their thoughts of the shop and the 
job — ^this is the secret of good- will in production. 

You cannot secure all this by good wages alone. 
High wages help to relieve anxiety about living con- 
ditions at home. But if in order to keep those high 
wages a man is kept on tiptoe of anxiety while he is 
at the shop, the very purpose of high wages is per- 
verted. 

That is all we have to go on — personal relations. 
And personal relations mean that we know one an- 
other, that we acknowledge one another to be men, that 
we deal squarely with one another, that we have con- 
fidence in one another, and that we feel good- will 
toward each other. 

The day is coming when good-will shall be the 
most valuable asset a man can have. 

Now just to enlarge this circle of thought a little, 
take the so-called question of "labor and capital." 
When you boil it down, what do you get? — a lot of 
broken human relations. 

The capitalist is just a man. The laborer is just 
a man. They are bom, grow, marry, live and die in 
the same way. Their joys are pretty much alike, and 
so are their troubles. They are plain human beings. 
Circumstances have placed one in one job, the other 
in another job. But in the end it is always the same 
job. 

Well^ what has driven them apart? What makes 
them say hard things against one another? 

They have gotten out of touch with each other, 
broken the human relation, that's all — and often 
through no fault of their own. 

76 



PERSONAL RELiVTIONS— THEIR IMPORTANCE FOR UFE 

Take certain capitalist papers and read them. You 
will be amazed by some of the statements they make 
about the laboring class, as they call it. We who 
have been and still are a part of the laboring class know 
that the statements are untrue. We feel that if the 
writers only knew the people of whom they write, 
their views would be changed. 

And then take certain .of the labor papers and 
read them. You are equally amazed by some of the 
statements they make about "capitalists," so-called. 
Some of us who know that capitalists are just men, 
many of them working harder than they ever did 
years ago when they were classed "laboring** men, 
know how unjust some of these statements are. 

And yet on both sides there is truth, of course. 
The man who is a capitalist and nothing else, who 
gambles with money in the fruits of other men's 
labors, deserves all that is said against him. He is in 
precisely the same class as the cheap gambler who 
cheats workingmen out of their wages. There is no 
difference. 

Now, if you look close you will see that in the 
capitalistic and the labor press there is a sort of mid- 
dle-class who pander to the prejudices of the class 
they serve. The statements we read about the labor- 
ing class in the capitalistic press are seldom written 
by managers of great industries, but by a middle- 
class of writers who are writing what they think will 
please their capitalistic leaders. They write what they 
imagine will please; they have no desire to correct 
or instruct. 

Examine the labor press and you will find, in some 
parts of it, another middle-class of writers who seek 
to tickle the prejudices which they conceive the labor- 
ing man to have. 

And what is the result? Why, one class reads 
material that inflames it against the other, and the 
other does the same. The result is that we have two 
great necessary and complementary classes in con- 
tempt of each other without even knowing each other 
— ^taking the word of middlemen-writers for it. 

Now, this will never do. This is inhuman, un- 



FORD IDEALS 

reasonable. You can no more indict a class than you 
can indict a nation. Good and bad are mixed up in 
all classes. The only class line any sound-minded man 
ought to recognize is the line drawn by decency and 
morality. 

Because one man is at the machine end of an in- 
dustry and another man is at the management end, 
that is no reason why human relations should be 
broken between them. Th^t is no basis for class dis- 
tinctions. If the manager thinks it is, he is wrong. 
If the machinist thinks it is, he is wrong too. 

Men are not divided by the kind of work they do, 
but by the kind of men they are. 

Men who are doing their own work as ^well as 
they can, who are working out methods which will 
bring more justice into industry and more comfort to 
mankind, who are on the side of progress and order 
and humanity and right — these men belong to one 
class, no*matter what their financial rating may be. 

And men who are shirking work whenever they 
can, who are inventing new tricks to steal the fruits 
of others' labor, who oppose better conditions and who 
are standpatters on all the privilege and injustice and 
semi-slavery that exist — these men belong to another 
class, and some of them are capitalists and some of 
them are laborers. 

It is the first class that is going to make the world 
a better place to live in and the lot of humanity more 
desirable. It is the class to which every man of good- 
will should belong — does belong by his very nature. 

Nothing is more perilous to right human relations 
than to take your views of any man through a third 
man's eyes. 

Every one of us has had the experience of being 
made suspicious and unfriendly toward a person on 
another person's say-so, and having to revise our 
opinions as soon as we came to k*now the man himself. 

Something like this is going on all the time. It 
makes for disorder in all our relations, industrial, 
social and domestic. You see it in almost every shop 
— two men at loggerheads, simply because they have 
received their views of each other from unfriendly 
second-hand sources. 

78 



PliRSONAL RELATIONS — ^THtlR IMPORTANCE , FOR UFE 

The cure of all this is to come together, know each 
other, see the man as he is, know him in his natural 
feeling and intention — and when we can do this, there 
are very, very few human beings in whom we cannot 
find a basis of fellowship. 

And until we can do this, the wiser way is to sus- 
pend judgment altogether. 

Half the disharmony in human relations today is 
founded on assumption, guesses, misinformation. 

One of the regrettable and yet inevitable results 
of our modem industrial development is that it places 
us so far apart. We all remember the time when 
we knew every person in the shop; it was a kind of 
family. We knew about good luck and bad luck at 
home ; we knew about new babies and about the sick- 
nesses and deaths; we had a fellow-feeling for one 
another. 

Human beings have not changed. Human rela- 
tions are just as necessary now as they ever were. 
And men have not become machines in the meantime. 
We must contrive some way of retaining the human 
touch in industry. We shall need it as long as we 
need the human element and that will be until the 
end of time. 

One way to do this is to maintain the superiority 
of men over machines. You can drive a machine until 
it breaks — ^you must not drive men that way. 

Another way is to retain human initiative in in- 
dustry. A shop that is organized in fear may be ap- 
parently a smoothly working organization, but it has 
not the willing "shove" of the shop that works from 
loyalty. Even the driver cannot drive all the time. 
And the shop personnel that works all day in the feel- 
ing pf fear or anxiety is always on the look-out to get 
another job. It doesn't pay to be changing men. 

Old employes, like old friends, are best. 

Satisfied employes, men who are on their honor, 
men who feel that it is to their own interest to do 
their best — ^that is the best organization any business 
can have. But you cannot get it through friction. 
You must get it through real human relations. 

When we all feel that we can trust one another, 

79 



/ 



FORD IDEALS 

that we do not have to be continually on guard against 
each other, that our loyalty and interest are not going 
to be taken a mean advantage of, then how freely the 
work flows, how freely a man gives his best to his job ! 

We need better personal relations everywhere. It 
is the great need of the world just now. All that 
looks dark on the horizon of modern life is really the 
result of bad personal relations. And it can be cleared 
up by a new growth of genuine friendship among us. 

That, after all is said and done, is what the brother- 
hood of man means — we^ trust each other, we wish 
•well to each other, we help each other. 



80 



Cultivate Your Own Market 



THERE was a time when the wise men assured 
us that Commerce would be a world preventive 
of war. Trade was valuable, we were told, and only 
a fool would want to kill off his customers. Much 
was said also about the better acquaintance which 
would grow out of international business; we would 
like the Chinese better because we bought tea from 
them; we would understand and appreciate the Ger- 
man because we bought goods from him ; and every 
nation which did business with Americans would learn 
to love and respect them. 

Well, at the apex of the greatest commercial age 
the greatest war broke out. And if there is any truth 
at all in the mass of explanation that has been made, 
our business relations with each other had a great 
deal to do with it. Some of the greater business men 
of Germany have told how the war was figured in 
advance on a profit basis, and there are enough facts 
at hand to indicate that business had more to do with 
the outbreak than politics had. 

At the same time, and in spite of the commercial 
element in the causes of the war, there ought to be an 
enlightening and binding quality in the commercial 
relations between nations, and there would be if busi- 
ness were only what it ought to be and can be. 

The signs of the times are that the world is ready 
to go back to the same old business basis as before, 
and if it does we are only laying the basis for new 
misunderstandings. 

If the nations are to become business competitors 
again, the old spirit of antagonism will be revived. 

Two men or two firms may be competitors and 
live together without rupturing their relations with 
each other, without departing from the law of de- 
cency; but that is next to impossible for two nations 
to do. 

81 



.FORD IDEALS 

When the political power of a government puts 
itself behind the competitive commercial ambitions of 
its money magnates, acts are likely to be committed 
of which no private competitor would dream. 

It is to the credit of the United States that our 
Government refused to allow American business to 
take unfair advantage of the stricken nations of Eu- 
rupe in stealing their markets from them ; and one of 
the very great moral acts of the war was the assurance 
given by America that we were above making a grand 
grab for the very living of those nations for whose 
help we raised armies. 

And yet, in spite of this, there is every indication 
that the world is going to slip back into the old system 
of one nation cutting under another for the sake of 
trade. 

It isn't the amount of trade that makes a nation 
great, for if you will study the more recently indus- 
trialized countries you will discover that the change 
consists mostly in taking the people off the land, away 
from agriculture, and running them through a factory 
system whose sole aim and object is the creation of 
great private fortunes. 

The creation of private fortunes, like the creation 
of an autocracy, does not make any country great; 
nor does the mere change of an agricultural popula- 
tion into a factory population. 

What accomplishes the desired end is the wise 
development of its natural resources combined with a 
.high development of the skill of its people, and a gen- 
eral diffusion among all classes of the prosperity thus 
gained. 

Foreign trade is full of delusions. The ultimate 
basis of foreign trade is going to be the supply of 
those commodities which cannot be raised or manu- 
factured in the places to which we send them. 

If every nation were fully developed so that it 
could supply itself with the articles 'it now imports, 
foreign trade would be diminished just that much. 

We ought to wish for every nation as large a de- 
gree of self-support as possible. Instead of wishing 
to keep them dependent on us for what we manu- 

82 



CULTIVATE YOUR OWN MARKET 

facture, we should wish them to learn the arts them- 
selves, to clothe and feed and house themselves and 
build up a solidly founded civilization. 

When every nation learns to produce the things 
which every nation can produce, then we will be able 
to get down to a basis of serving each other along 
those special lines in which there can be no competi- 
tion. 

The north temperate zone will never be able to 
compete with the tropics in the special products of 
the tropics. Our country will never be a competitor 
with the Orient in the production of tea, nor with the 
South in the production of rubber. 

A very large proportion of our foreign trade is 
based on the backwardness of our foreign customers. 
Selfishness is a motive that would preserve that back- 
wardness. Humanity is a motive that would help the 
backward nations to a self-supporting basis. 

Better than shooting the African native to make 
him buy your cotton and your beads, is his develop- 
ment so that he can supply his own needs and build 
up a business in the commodities of which Nature 
has given his country a monopoly. 

Take Mexico, for example. We have heard a 
great deal about the "development" of Mexico. Ex- 
ploitation is the word that ought to be used instead. 
When its rich natural resources are exploited for 
the increase of the private fortunes of foreign capi- 
talists, it is not development, it is ravishment. 

You can never develop Mexico until you develop 
the Mexican. And yet how much of the "develop- 
ment" of Mexico by foreign exploiters ever took ac- 
count of the development of its people ? The Mexican 
peon has been regarded as mere fuel for the foreign 
money-makers, that's all. Foreign trade has been his 
degradation; 

Yet think what Mexico could be, with its people 
trained to use the resources of the land, and supplying 
the world with those commodities in which she most 
abounds. She would then become a different kind of 
a customer, it is true, but also a better kind. 

Start Mexico working. Teach her people how to 
erect and manage their own industries. Give them 

83 



FORD IDEALS 

the benefit of our experience and guidance. And 
then you have done something for the peace and pros- 
perity of the world. 

Short-sighted people are afraid of such counsel, ^f or 
they say, "Where would our foreign trade be then?"r 

When the natives of Africa begin raising their 
own cotton and the natives of Russia begin making 
their own farming implements and the natives of China 
begin supplying their own wants, it will make a dif- 
ference to be sure, but does any thoughtful man 
imagine that the world can long continue on the pres- 
ent basis of a few nations supplying the entire world? 
We must think in terms of what the world will be 
when civilization becomes general, when all the peoples 
have learned to help themselves. 

Take Germany for example. The United States 
formerly depended on her for dye-stuffs. Now we 
are making our own. Isn't it right that we should 
make our own ? Had Germany any ground for believ- 
ing that we should always remain dependent on her 
when our own initiative could make us independent? 
Is Germany doomed because foreign trade is cut off? 

Not at all. Germany has the land with which to 
feed herself and in the absence of foreign trade she 
is left free to develop herself. 

When a country grows mad about foreign trade 
it usually depends on other countries for its raw ma- 
terial, turns its population into factory fodder, creates 
a private rich class, and lets its own immediate in- 
terests lie neglected. 

Here in the United States we have enough work 
to do developing our own country to relieve us of the 
necessity of looking for foreign trade for a long time. 
We have agriculture enough to feed us while we are 
doing it ; and money enough to carry the job through 
without a jolt. 

If there is anything more stupid than the United 
States standing idle because Japan or France or any 
other country hasn't sent us an order, when there is 
a hundred-year job awaiting us in developing our 
own country, it would be difficult to discover it. 

Every nation's country is its farm, so to speak. 

84 



CULTIVATE YOUR OWN MARKET 

It can live on it. There are always chores to do to 
keep up the farm. There are always improvements 
to be made — ^and there's the farmer to do it and food 
in his granary to support him while he is doing it. 

Commerce in its purity is a great fact. But com- 
merce began in service. Men carried ef their surplus 
to people who had none. The country that raised 
com carried it to the country that could raise no com. 
The lumber country brought wood to the treeless plain. 
The vine country brought fruit to cold northern 
climes. The pasture country brought meat to the 
grassless region. It was all service. 

When all the peoples of the world become de- 
veloped in the art of self-support, commerce will get 
back to thafbasis. Business will once more become 
service. There will be no competition, because the 
basis of competition will have vanished. The tropics 
have a monopoly of sunshine. The temperate zones 
have a monopoly of the hardy grains. The great 
pampas have a monopoly of pasturage for cattle 
raising. The mineral regions and the oil depositories 
have a natural monopoly of these things. 

And the peoples will develop skill which will be in 
the nature of monopoly and not competitive. We al- 
ready see evidence of these national gifts in th6 arts. 
From the beginning the races have exhibited distinct 
strains of genius: this one for government; another 
for colonization ; another for the sea ; another for art 
and music ; another for agriculttif e ; another for busi- 
ness, and so on. 

Lincoln said that this nation could not survive half- 
slave and half-free. The human race cannot forever 
exist half exploiter and half exploited. Until we be- 
come buyers and sellers alike, producers and con- 
sumers alike, keeping the balance not for profit but 
for service, we are going to have a topsy-turvy con- 
dition. 

Until society in its relations balances, the account 
is going to be wrong. And the best way to balance 
it is to make every nation as nearly self-supporting in 
the common necessities as is possible. Then com- 
merce may be built up on those articles which do not 

85 



FORD IDEALS 



depend on competitive throat-cutting for their ad- 
vancement, but on sheer need and supply. 

France has something to give the world of which 
no competition can cheat her. So has Italy.. So has 
Russia. So have the countries of South America. 
So has Japan. So has Britain. So has the United 
States. 

Everyone knows, also, that our present system of 
foreign exploitation is a menace to our own peace. 
President Wilson saw that most clearly in the Mex- 
ican situation. Fortunately for our country, both 
President and people saw what the trouble was down 
there. It was nothing more nor less than the demand 
of exploiters that we protect them while they skimmed 
the cream of Mexican natural wealth. 

There is no backward country in the world but 
would welcome any foreign producer who comes in 
with a view to developing the country. Because, when- 
ever you undertake to develop a country you must de- 
velop the people, too. Whenever any people raises the 
cry, "Our country for ourselves,'* as Mexico said, 
"Mexico for the Mexicans," it is a sure sign that 
they have been exploited by outsiders. Nobody ob- 
jects to true development because everybody sees the 
good and shares in the benefit of it. But human na- 
ture, even in the black savages of Africa, who are 
exploited in the rubber trade and the diamond mines, 
objects to being regarded as mere human fuel for 
foreign forge fires. 

Men who are kept busy at home do not start wars 
for foreign markets. And foreign markets that are 
won through service and not through commercial 
trickery are never the breeding cause of wars. 

A nation, like a man, should be self-supporting. 
Having squared his own account, the man becomes a 
good citizen, a good customer, and a peaceable factor 
in the general prosperity. So also the nation. 

But, if after the battle of guns, we 'are going back 
to the battle of goods again, in the same old spirit of 
injury and deceit, we are only preparing for the day 
when, as in 1914, we drop our order-books and seize 
weapons. 

It is the part of wisdom to abolish war everywhere 
and first of all in Commerce. 



86 



''Labor and GapitaF' Are 
False Terms 



AMONG the tools we work with are words. Words 
stand for ideas, but ideas ar^ often held back for 
lack of words, as freight is held up for lack of cars. 
Many men who possess ideas are hindered because 
they do not possess enough words to deliver them. 
Yoii may notice this in current discussions of our 
social problems. It sometimes happens that people 
who indulge in these discussions exhibit a lack of 
word-tools with which to complete their mental work. 

For example : you may hear the whok human race 
summed up imder two heads. Labor and Capital ; and 
you may hear serious discussions proceed on the 
assumption that these two "classes'* comprise all the 
elements of the social problem. 

When you take the man who works with his hands 
and set him on one side, and the capitalist-idler on 
the other side, you have not divided the human world. 
There are hosts of people in between. But because 
we are tied to the terms Labor and Capital, we go 
along under the notion that we have included every- 
body. 

The figure 4 will not serve if 7 is meant; neither 
will the word "capitalist" serve when it is only "manu- 
facturer" that is intended. 

The trouble is that under the terms Labor and 
Capital we include elements we do not intend. 

We ought to be absolutely merciless in our intel- 
lectual isolation of capitalists, so that we may see 
them clearly by themselves and not mixed up with 
other elements that do not befong there. 

To speak only of Labor and Capital is to permit 
too much good company to surround the mere capi- 
talist who produces nothing and who skims the cream 
off other men's product. % 

Under that formula which divides the world into 

87 



FORD IDEALS 

two classes, the dangerous capitalist is allowed to 
escape in the crowd, or take to himself the credit of 
other people who happen to be mistaken for mem- 
bers of his class. He claims the credit due the man- 
ufacturer, banker, legitimate financier — for it must 
always be borne in mind that a man may be a manu- 
facturer, a banker or a gifted financier without being 
within a ^Jiousand miles of the status of a mere 
capitalist. 

There is a tendency in some circles to recognize 
the poverty of these word-tools "labor" and "capital," 
and to help enrich them by adding another — "public 
opinion." 

The idea is that somewhere between "labor" on 
the one hand and "capital" on the other, there stands 
a neutral body of humanity which is neither "labor" 
nor "capital," but the Public. 

This idea is erroneous. It is applicable only iru 
the most narrowly local way. If a small group like the 
street railway employes or the milkmen — any small 
group that serves the larger group — ^has an industrial 
disagreement which prevents its giving service, thus 
causing public loss or danger, then this entity which 
we call Public Opinion asserts itself, because the Pub- 
lic is larger than the group that disturbs its functions. 

But in the larger social sense, when you have 
marshaled all the people who are involved in the social 
problem, you have none left to classify as the Public 
— there are no neutrals. Public Opinion, as it is com- 
monly meant, can exist Only when the majority is not 
directly concerned in a disagreement but only affected 
by its results. 

. If there were "labor" and "capital" only, as two 
camps, with Public Opinion between, and if this Pub- 
lic Opinion were definitely decided as to the difference 
between the two camps, then the difficulty would be 
as good as settled. 

If Public Opinion were some great Court of the 
Human Conscience to which, on a set day. Labor and 
Capital could both go to plead their cause and get a 
verdict in agreement with the will of the Public, it 
would be very simple. But in the larger social prob- 

88 



"labor and capital" are false terms 

lem, when you have drawn up your litigants, there is 
no one. left to man the bench. 

Better than Public Opinion is the Social Con- 
science ; this exists over and in and through all social 
divisions. We know, some of us vividly and some of 
us vaguely, that something is wrong with the social 
system. And we know that we scarcely know enough 
about the trouble to set it right. But the world and 
his wife, of all classes and interests, are mulling the 
matter over in their minds. By and by they will de- 
cide that the trouble is here, and here, and there, and 
having decided this, the Social Conscience, which is 
far more effective than Public Opinion, will step in 
and set right the wrong. 

We are always doing that. The difficulty is that 
no individual life is long enough to see how steadily 
social progress has been made, how relentlessly the 
Social Conscience has kept on the job. We can hardly 
visualize the progress that has been made in our own 
lifetime. Certainly we are leaving a better system to 
our children than our fathers left to us. And it is 
certain that those who come after us will build upon 
our work where it is good, and tear it down where it 
is bad. Our work is bad wherever we have allowed 
selfish or class interest to rule it. It is good wherever 
we have looked to justice and humanity to guide us. 

But what we were saying is that in adding the 
word-tool "Public Opinion" we have not helped very 
mi^ch our poverty of word-symbols for the things we 
are trying to think intelligently about. 

If we must divide the world into two camps, why 
not label them Producers and Non-Producers? That 
rules out the idlers of every class — and we must isolate 
the idlers first. When we find the producers and 
classify them according to their value to the pro- 
ductive process, then we are in a position to go on to 
the question of distributing the rewards of production. 

It is in industry as in the recent war: the war 
could not have been carried on only by the men who 
bore rifies in the front trenches. The engineers, the 
transport men, the commissary, the managing officers, 
the financial geniuses, the planners and managers both 
military and civil — ^these also had a part in the war. 

89 



FORD IDEALS 



It required six men to maintain one soldier in the field. 

So, when you say Labor or Producers, whom do 
you mean? Not only the infantrymen of industry at 
the machines in the shops, but all who in any way 
are essential to the making of the product. 

The man whose idea gave birth to the machine, 
the draughtsman whose skill determined the relation 
of part with part, the trained machine maker whose 
ability and experience brought the machine into exist- 
ence, all these have their part as well as the workman 
who operates the machine after it is tuilt and installed. 

The manager who may not soil his hands at all, 
whose workbench may be a desk, whose job is to make 
the shop a harmonious whole so that neither time, ef- 
fort nor material is wasted, also has a part in the 
pro(^uct. Management is an essential part of in- 
dustry, it is a trade in itself. 

Then there is the financial end of the business, 
whose part is to see that enough money is brought in 
to pay the workman and to carry the business over 
slack periods or periods of expansion — ^this also is pro- 
ductive work. Everyone knows what a tragedy it is 
when a business fails through mismanagement or bad 
financiering. It simply destroys jobs, throws men 
out of work, renders their earning ability a total loss 
for the time being, and often makes a sad difference 
in the condition of families. 

So, when you have begun with the workman who 
is the infantryman of industry and gone on through 
all the departments which co-operate with the work- 
man to render his work effective and his job profitable 
and secure, you reach the man who is sometimes called 
"the big boss." And yet because he is "the big boss" 
it does not follow that he is a mere capitalist. 

In the division of humanity into "Labor" and 
"Capital" you may not fairly include the manufac- 
turer with "capitalists." 

A manufacturer works. He has a part in the pro- 
duction of useful commodities. He earns his bread. 

But a capitalist doesn't work at all. In a false 
phrase, "his money works for him." Having control 
of capital which he did nothing to acquire he uses it to 



/ 



90 



/'labor and capital" are false terms 

skim a heavy tax off other men's product. When yon 
get to these idlers who gamble in money, you have 
reached the "capitalist," but in all fairness we ought 
to be careful upon whom we place that name. 

Someone asked recently who came first, the work- 
man or the capitalist? The ^juestioner meant who 
came first, the workman or the manager, the laborer 
or the inventor? 

In the simple work of the early man which con- 
sisted entirely in self-support all were equal, but the 
world was not the comfortable civilized sphere Which 
we have today. 

In the work of industry, that is, the creation of 
work for others by which articles of use might be 
made for all, the man with the idea came first. In- 
dustry did not begin spontaneously. Someone first 
had an idea. Most of the men who had the idea which 
set others to work, did not have the money. They 
were not "capitalists" in the modem sense. Their 
capital was in their idea. If they gained money af- 
terward, they gained it by what people paid for the 
use of their idea in usable form. Mere capitalists, 
men who possess money and nothing else, men who 
use their control of money to escape useful work — ^this 
class of "capitalists" never has ideas that help the 
world. It schemes to fatten on other men's ideas. 

Sometimes the man with an idea makes money, 
Sometimes he doesn't. Our history is full of the tales 
of men who really discovered the idea and failed to 
profit by it. They were not managers. Some "capi- 
talist" took it and made money out of it. 

But when the man with an idea combines man- 
aging ability with it, and his idea fills a felt want in 
the world, he makes money. He doesn't make it alone, 
of course ; everyone who works with him helps him. 

The question then comes: Does he make too 
much? Does he take too large a share for himself? 
Is he overpaid for what he has contributed ? 

Well, he usually begins in a very small way. A 
business that now employs over 50,000 men began 
less than fifteen years ago with 20 men. The idea 
proved useful and acceptable to the public, and bu?t- 

91 



FORD IDEALS 



ness grew. If whatever that idea made in money had 
been equally distributed every Saturday night between 
the proprietor and the 20 men then employed, do you 
suppose the business would ever have had a surplus 
on which to grow to its present dimensions, giving 
employment under far better conditions and better 
pay to 50,000 men than the first 20 men enjoyed? 

No. Things being as they are, the business might 
have lived and supported 20 men. But the chances 
are it would have died, and the idea would have been 
seized and exploited by others whose sole object would 
have been profits and not service and industrial im- 
provement. 

Capital that a business makes for ^itself, that is 
employed to expand the workman's opportunity and 
increase his comfort and prosperity, and that is used 
to give more and more, and ever more men work, at 
the same time reducing the cost of service to the pub- 
lic — that sort of capital, even though it be under single 
control, is not a menace to humanity. It is a working 
surplus held in trust and daily use for the benefit of 
^11. 

To regard such surplus as a personal reward is 
hardly possible to the intelligent and honest possessor 
or controller of it. One big reason stands in the way 
of any man regarding such surplus as his own, namely, 
that he himself did not make it all. It is the joint 
product of his whole organization. The manufac- 
turer's idea may have released all the energy and di- 
rected it, but certainly it did not supply it. Every 
workman, whatever his part, was a partner in the 
creation of it. 

And yet no business can possibly be considered 
only with reference to today and to the individuals 
engaged in it. To liquidate every day or every week 
or every year would be the death of business ; it would 
prevent expansion, it would subject the business to 
the mercy of every up or down of conditions. This 
means, of course, that it would constantly jeopardize 
every job involved in the business. 

The best wages ought to be paid. A proper living 
ought to be assured every participant in the business, 

92 



"labor and capital" are false terms 

no matter what his part. But for the sake of that 
business* ability to support those who work in it, a 
surplus ought to be held somewhere for the business' 
benefit. And that is the only relation the honest man- 
ufacturer has with the surplus profits which his idea 
made possible. 

Ultimately it does not matter where this surplus is 
held nor who controls it ; it is its use that matters. 

Capital that is not constantly creating more and 
better jobs is more useless than sand. 

Capital that is not constantly making the condi- 
tions of daily labor better and the reward of daily 
labor more just, is not fulfilling its highest function. 

The highest use of capital is not to make more 
money, but to make money do more service for the 
betterment of life. Unless we in our industries are 
helping to solve the social problem, we are not doing 
our principal work. 



93 



The Right of a Man to His Work 



THE Rights of Man! It has been the battle cry 
of progress for generations. But what are the 
rights of man? What determines them? And who 
guarantees them? We^ talk quite glibly about hu- 
man rights without topping to consider whether they 
are really rights or not, and if they are, how they 
came to be. 

It is one thing to claim a certain right. It is an- 
other thing to have the community recognize your 
claim as a right. And it is still quite another thing to 
have that recognized claim acknowledged in such a 
way that you can avail yourself of it. 

Hiunan rights were not always what they are 
today. 

With the organization of society, the number of 
human rights tends to increase. 

The reason for this doubtless is found in the fact 
that when you organize human society you do it by 
regulating everybody connected with it. You cut off 
certain elements of freedom here and there. You do 
this, of course, for the purpose of preventing trespass 
on the freedom of all the people. Civilization is 
restraint. 

But in doing this work of restraining the wild and 
reckless tendencies of men, you balance it by defining 
certain Rights which they keep. You cannot define 
your own rights without defining the other man's, too. 

When government is set up, taxation goes with it. 
But the right of taxation on the part of the govern- 
ment involves the right of representation on the part 
of the man who pays the taxes. 

That in turn involves his equal participation in the 
benefits which the tax money purchases. 

Thus Civil Rights grow. They become by demand 
equal rights," for the only way to keep one man's 
right from trespassing on another's, is to keep both 
rights equal. And that is the essence of democracy. 

94 



tt 



THE RIGHT OF A MAN TO HIS WORK 

Here in America we have long been proud to say that 
we believe in "equal rights before the law" for all 
men. Whether we really achieve that desirable con- 
dition is another question. 

But Civil Rights do not exhaust human rights. 
Our rights as citizens are a small part of our real 
rights as human beings. 

To sum up the list of Rights claimed for people 
today would make a list longer than this page. It 
runs all the way from the right to be well bom, to the 
right to be fairly judged when life is done, and it in- 
cludes all that goes between. If we were only as keen 
about our duties as we are about our rights, this 
would be a fine old world. 

The Rights of which we hear most today are those 
which concern men's life in Industry. 

Now when men lived on the land and got their 
living by farming, that mode of industry gave rise to 
certain rights — land rights, riparian rights, road rights 
and the rest. 

And so when men began to organize themselves in 
modern industrial work, the new form of life brought 
its rights along with it too — they grew out of the cir- 
cumstances; they grew out of the human conscience 
as it considered the balance of equity between man 
and man. 

Some of these rights we have discussed in this col- 
umn at one time or another, but there is one which 
is paramount, which precedes and conditions all the 
rest. 

It is The Right To Work. 

Years ago, when anyone could get a plot of land 
and support himself, besides adding a little to the 
surplus of the world, they used to preach The Duty 
of Working. 

There is not much chance for that kind of preach- 
ing nowadays. We are more accustomed to the sight 
of men hunting for work than to the spectacle of men 
trying to escape work. 

Among the new industrial rights, then, is this — 
The Right of The Man to A Job. 

As long as we have reorganized society on an in- 

95 



FORD IDEALS 



* 



dustrial basis, we have got to see that our industries 
offer a place to every worker to earn his living. 

That is primary humanity. You may thresh around 
it for a hundre^i years, but it wiir still be facing you 
in, the end. 

It would not do much good to discuss the theory 
of this. It is very simple. Every human being has 
the Right to live in self-respect. It is the collective 
duty to acknowledge that right by providing for it. 
In a natural state of society it would take care of 
itself. As matters are now, it must be deliberately 
provided for. 

Now, assuming that there are more men tiian 
there is work, what are we to do in order to protect 
men in The Right To A Job. 

A number of ways suggest themselves at once. We 
shall do scarcely more than name them. 

The work day might be shortened, thus curtailing 
the output of a worker and forcing the hiring of an- 
other man to keep up the output. The disadvantage 
of this plan, of course, is that it cannot be extended 
indefinitely. Let us agree that good management 
could reduce the work day to a point where the phys- 
ical health of the worker would be benefited and the 
strength of the business not injured — ^yet, even so, it 
is doubtful if this alone would guarantee anyone a 
job. 

Again: child labor might be diminished and its 
place supplied with adults. Without doubt the em- 
ployment of children has had the effect of keeping 
many men out of work. We have seen in our own 
country — although it is quite common in other coun- 
tries — mere children in competition with their own 
parents for jobs. That is a most shameful condition. 

So that if there are those employed who by right 
ought to be in school or in the home, the placing of 
them in their proper spheres would release a large 
number of jobs for men to take. 

But it ought to be evident that these methods, in- 
cluding farm and labor colonies and other suggested 
remedies, only touch the problem in spots. 

The need is for something bigger and more de- 
pendable. These other improvements ought to be 

96 



THE RIGHT OF A MAN TO HIS WORK / 

made also, of course, but in themselves they are not 
sufficient to cure the whole evil. They ought to be 
undertaken on grounds of simple human justice, re- 
gardless of whether they really help to solve the prob- 
lem ' of unemployment or not. 

We have to begin to guarantee our national pros- 
perity where it begins — ^with the mass of workers. 

We have got to be just at the bottom of the ladder 
first, trusting that a policy of justice at the bottom 
will result in justice at the top too. But we ought not 
stop to speculate : we ought to begin to be just at the 
beginning of things, regardless. 

This is not asking charity for Labor. It is only 
asking for Labor what has already been done for 
Banks and Business — a Method to realize on its 
assets. 

A man awakes in the morning. His chief asset 
is his ability to perform a day's work. He ought to 
be assured of a chance to realize on that asset, just 
as the business man was assisted to realize on a stock 
of goods, or a bank on a stock of perfectly good notes. 

Neither would this involve a policy of "making 
work" — ^giving the men something to do for the sake 
of keeping them busy. 

With the advance of inventive genius and with the 
perfection of human methods of business management, 
more and more jobs are going to be created and the 
conditions of labor are going to be mcreasingly im- 
proved. Here and there we see private employers 
who are doing their full part to reduce the problem of 
unemployment, and they are not doing it as a charity, 
but because a busy world is a good world to do busi- 
ness in — it is a buying and selling world. 

But the Government, which has the whole country 
to oversee, has mountains of work that it ought to do 
too. The United States in many places resembles an 
unkempt, undeveloped farm. 

There are great campaigns of work needed be- 
fore our country can compare with any European 
country in the utilization of its advantages and re- 
sources. 

We have arid lands to irrigate, deserts to fertilize, 
water power to develop, national road systems to 

97 



/ 



FORD IDEALS 

build, railroad and other transportation systems to 
double and triple to take care of our needs; we have 
canals to build and reforestation projects to under- 
take — indeed, there is no end to the NECESSARY 
and URGENT work to be done. 

If the United States undertook to do all that ought 
to be done, it would drain private industry of its man- 
power. 

A Federal Industrial Reserve, established to take 
up the slack in employment would be a great step 
toward protecting in this country the Right of A Man 
To A Job. 

There are those who claim that a certain propor- 
tion of unemployed men is desirable from the in- 
dustrial standpoint. A crowd of men clamoring around 
the factory gates for jobs helps keep the men inside 
steady and helps keep wages down, they say. 

That is a detestable philosophy. It is cold specu- 
lation in flesh and blood and anxiety and hunger. We 
don't want any condition that is dependent on un- 
employment for its steadiness. 

What we want are enough jobs to go around. And 
just as there was enough wealth to do business, though 
not enough money until the Federal Reserve System 
got to work, so there is enough work for all, though it 
is not as yet divided into jobs, but will be when we 
tackle it in a big national way. When the People, 
through the Government, become an employer on 
great public projects, unemployment will become a 
thing of the past. 



98 



The Fear of Change 



VOICES on every side are counseling us to fill our- 
selves with fear. Wherever you go, whatever you 
read, the tones of calamity are strongly emphasized. 
The proper aftermath of war does not seem to be a 
sense of relief at all, nor a spirit of gratitude for the 
deliverance, nor yet a hopeful view of the future. 
Our loudest advisers would have us believe that the 
only proper feeling is one of dread for the dire events 
that are expected to follow. 

All this is very strange when you stop to consider 
it, because it is not so many months ago when any- 
one who forecasted the future in other than rosy hues 
was denounced as a **calamity howler." 

Today, however, Jeremiah is chief among the 
prophets. 

And when this occurs, it is a sign. 

No stronger sign could be given that something has 
been wrong and still is wrong in America than the 
readiness of a certain class to accept this counsel of 
fear. 

The man whom you can reduce to a state of fear 
by threats of retribution, is not reduced to such a 
state by your words, but by the corroboration of a 
guilty conscience within him. 

One is justified by human experience in gauging 
the degree of guilt by the readiness of the fear. When 
a spokesman arises and says, "Yes, we have a great 
deal to fear," it is probably true that he and those 
he represents really have much to fear. But it does 
not follow that everyone has. 

Those whose conscience is clear, who know that 
they have done their duty and have not denied theii 
obligations to humanity, who have not thought them- 
selves better or more deserving than their fellow- 
creatures — these do not have to take refuge in fears. 
They are free to scan the future and to greet what- 
ever it may have in store. 

99 



FORD IDEALS 

The accusing conscience, the life that knows it 
has ignored the rights of others, is Fear's ally. 

Well, what about the mysterious future? What 
are its portents ? What is the outlook ? False prophets 
always prophesy peace, and the reason their prophecy 
is false is that there never is peace in the way they 
mean it. 

So, if this page were to begin on the note of 
"Peace, peace," you could at once set it down as false. 
As long as there is life there is Change. The peace 
of stagnation is an attribute of death. 

That, therefore, is one element we may expect in 
the future — ^the element of Change. 

Whatever we may regret about it, the old world 
as we knew it can never come back. It can never be 
the same again. Even if every human being on the 
globe devoted himself to reconstructing the old world 
as it was, it could not be done. 

And the reason for this is that we ourselves have 
changed. We are not what we were. We can never 
be the same again. Something has passed over us 
and upon us that has rendered us different. We have 
changed our angle ^of view. That which formerly 
seemed all-important now occupies a lower place, and 
that of which we seldom thought has been made the 
chief interest of life. The world has really been 
turned upside down as far as its thinking is concerned. 

Of course, this is nothing new. It has always hap- 
pened, though not always so suddenly and inclusively 
as it has happened now. We are continually changing 
and life is always changing for us and the world is 
changing beneath and around us — so why fear 
Change ? 

And yet there are people who really do fear it. 
These are the people who are falling victims to the 
propaganda of Fear today. 

To shrink from a new situation is, in ordinary 
times, a sign of weakness. When a man feels that he 
is afraid to Jackie anything out of the ordinary routine, 
when circumstance throws an obstruction in his way 
and it cows him instead of rousing him, then he has 
lost his zest for real life. 

Life is just one unexpected thing after another, 

100 



THE FEAR OF CHANGE 

and if a man fails to appreciate the glory of the un- 
expected, his pulse is slowing up. It is Change that 
keeps men alive, just as it is the flow that keeps water 
pure. ^ 

But aside from the fear which is a sign of weak- 
ness, there is another fear which is a sign of selfish- 
ness. It is that fear which has clutched a whole class 
in America today. 

We have been pretty calm and easy-<going in 
America. We have left a great many leaks which 
shrewd men use to exploit for their personal gain. 
We+iave unregulated power w^ich unscrupulous men 
use to entrench themselves at the expense of others. 

And the whole posse of get-rich-quick thieves, and 
the whole clique of get-richer-still blunders, and the 
whole class of those who fatten on the productive 
thought and labor of others, are the ones who fear 
the specter of Change as it were an accusing spirit. 

And in their case impending Change is an ac- 
cusing spirit. For what can be changed to anyone's 
hurt is wrong to begin with. The right system cannot 
be changed. Even an improvement of the right sys- 
tem injures no one, but helps all. But if Change 
strikes the grafts of the idle rich class and hurts 
them, it is a proof that their system is wrong and 
harmful to others. 

Anyone who has been living by his productive 
thought and labor, who has been mindful to bring 
his fellow-men along with him, who has never thought 
in terms of his own wealth and glory but always in 
terms of the general good and prosperity, such a one 
has nothing to fear from Change. He usually fore- 
sees it and meets it half way. It is his friend and ally. 

Why should it be so hard to get this thought into 
men's minds, that Change can only hit those matters 
which ought to be changed for the better? 

If our rich idlers are made to work for their bread 
and contribute something beside their ornamental 
presence to the general good, will that be a disastrous 
change ? 

If those who live by dickering instead of by labor- 
ing are made to get down to business and earn their 
living, will that be a change to be feared ? 

101 



FORD IDEALS 



If the whole mass of human spiders, financial, 
professional and social, are hindered from spinning 
their webs to catch hard-working human flies and 
their earnings, is that a change to be dreaded? 

If the dishonest, shrewd, scheming, gambling, 
double-crossing tribe of shirkers are put out of their 
feathered nests and made to pay their labor for their 
living, will such a thing mean "the end of civilization" 
as some of the fear-peddlers tell us?- 

Instead of bringing "the end of civilization," they 
will constitute a very promising beginning along sadly 
neglected lines. 

It is a pretty safe method to follow, when you 
hear a man raving about the danger there is to Civ- 
ilization at the present moment, to ask him, "Which 
of your grafts is in danger?" 

You don't see people who do their daily work 
honestly and well going about and spreading this fear. 

You don't hear of the farmers calling mass-meet- 
ings and warning each other to look out, that some- 
thing is going to happen! 

Why? Because these people are doing their duty 
to mankind. They are producing their living. They 
are not living off other people. Their conscience 
doesn't accuse them. 

This is very significant. It is so significant that 
you had better consider it a moment. 

The fear-peddlers of the present hour are the priv- 
ileged class, the big grafter class, and its servants — 
and these servants are the reactionary politicians, and 
the newspapers which seem to believe that all Change 
and improvement is of the devil. 

Observe and see if this is not true. Watch the 
"voices of warning" and see if they do not issue from 
those classes where the Guilty Conscience would 
naturally become most active in times of threatened 
Change. 

Surveying the disorder in Europe, its cause would 
appear to be the determination of the privileged 
classes that the world shall go on in the old way, and 
the utter impossibility of the world going on in the 
old way. For we must remember that when kings 
were dethroned. Private Privilege was not dethroned. 



102 



THE FEAR OF CHANGE 



Kingship was always built upon the foundation of 
class privilege, and it was possible for the head to 
abdicate without breaking up the system. Kings were 
useful to private privilege because they helped keep 
the people's respect for high ghift. But Privilege 
can get along without kings if it can only control the 
people by other means. Here in the United States we 
have never had a king, yet we have a privileged aris- 
tocracy which can be as sharply defined as the nobility 
of England or the Junkers of Germany. 

So, unless these privileged classes of yesterday 
can start again on yesterday's plan, they will not start 
at all, and that is at the bottom of the disorder of 
Europe. They are trying to hold back the tide of 
progress, which is impossible. 

Europe has been the scene of. endless war simply 
because it has distrusted and feared Change. 

The danger of Europe today is not that Progress 
is knocking at her door, but that she will fear to open 
the door, and will come to her senses only when the 
door is broken down. Progress will pass, even though 
it must batter down the barricades of selfishness and 
prejudice. But it would rather pass peacefully through 
the doorways of those who trust and welcome it. 

Two thousand years of civilization have not taught 
certain parts of Europe the primary lesson that no 
nation or system is stronger than the strength and 
privilege of its humblest member. 

Things were coming to an end in Europe even if 
the war had not intervened. When men deliberately 
invent a philosophy, print it in books and teach it in 
schools, which pretends to prove that certain classes 
are the destined slaves of other classes, the question of 
privilege being a matter of caste or birth, it was sig- 
nificant that the end was near. For no sooner do you 
formulate an erroneous philosophy than you inform 
the world where to strike, and it strikes. 

The teaching that any class is good enough to rule 
another class is the old theory of the divine right of 
kings revamped and applied to a privileged aristocracy. 

Who is so foolish as to believe that the people of 
Europe, having rid themselves of autocrats, are going 

103 



FORD IDEALS 

to turn around and submit to the same misuse from 
aristocrats? 

"But," say some of those aristocrats with an ex- 
pression that would be comical were it not so pitiable, 
"But, if this new thing comes, then my privileges and 
my vast wealth and lands disappear!" 

And why not ? Why should not land be put .to 
productive use? Why should not wealth minister to* 
the good of all the people instead of the luxurious 
tastes of the few? 

The land cannot be destroyed, neither can the 
wealth. It is just a taking of the useless thing and 
making it useful. Surely that is civilized and right! 

There are two evils we want to abolish from our 
world : one of them is Poverty, the other is Privilege. 
Now, how can we abolish Poverty? You do not ac- 
complish it by destroying the poor. You accomplish 
it by destroying the causes of Poverty. 

Then how can we abolish Privilege? You do not 
do it by standing the privileged class against stone 
walls. You accomplish it by abolishing the causes of 
Privilege. Privilege has just as definite causes as 
Poverty, and they are just as easily controlled — just 
as easily. 

No one will be hurt in the good Changes that may 
be in store for this world. Not at all. 

Even the idle nobleman who loses his luxury is 
not going to be hurt — ^he will be a better man with- 
out his idleness, his useless luxury and his expensive 
vices. 

They say that some of the princes of Europe are 
going into business, becoming clerks and salesmen 
and farmers. Well, have they been harmed? Not at 
all. They are more princely now than they ever were 
with the baubles of rank dangling from their narrow 
chests. 

Get the gambling aristocrats and the selfish capi- 
talists to work for a year, and they would never go 
back to the old life. They will come round and thank 
the influences that made them get out and hustle and 
become of some use. 

If the poor will thank you for abolishing Poverty, 

104 



THE FEAR OF CHANGE 



the useless rich will thank you for abolishing Privilege. 

Because a good Change works good all round. 

That is why a man with a clear conscience need 
never fear a Progressive Change. If he is a worker 
now, he will be needed in the world whatever happens. 

Nothing will ever happen that will dethrone the 
worker. He is the one class whose place is secure 
throughout all time. The man who produces by his 
thought or his labor will always be in request and in 
favor. He constitutes the continuing class — ^he is the 
hold-over through every change. 

That is why the workers are not afraid. 

If a moral were needed, this might do: to escape 
fear and a guilty conscience, become a worker. And 
this applies very directly to the wealthy idler whose 
fears are very lively just now. 



105 



How Much Domestic Trouble 

Is PreventableP 



IT IS impossible to state the exact proportion of the 
world's trouble which is preventable, but we are 
well within the limit when we say that it approxi- 
mates 75 per cent. We shall never be in a position 
accurately to appraise mankind's earthly life until we 
have exhausted our last experiment for that life's 
betterment. 

Most of the trouble that man is heir to, except 
old age and death, is preventable; a vast amount of 
it is curable even after it occurs; and, taking life on 
its practical side, it could be made much smoother 
than it is. 

In excepting old age and death as troubles which 
are incurable, it is not intended to adopt a hopeless at- 
titude toward them. Old age is not a trouble, rightly 
speaking. It ought to be in many, respects a man's 
happiest period of life — its golden sunset. And it 
woiild be this if only other conditions were right. It 
is when old age comes before its time as the result of 
hard conditions or wrong methods of living, or when 
it comes without any sunset glow, that it becomes a 
burden artd a trouble. 

As for death — in the economy of nature it is one 
of the arrangements that make for progress. It lets 
the generations come on. It allows new ideas to sweep 
up on the shores of the world. Perhaps it also gives 
great assistance to the human personality in its own 
development. 

But even as inevitable as death now is, inevitable as 
perhaps it may remain throughout human history, 
there is no need of its being the trouble we experience. 
Ripe deaths are not grievous; it is only the untimely 
ones that leave scars upon our lives. When the young 
man dies with his future unfulfilled; when the young 
father dies leaving his wife and brood of children; 

106 



HOW MUCH DOMESTIC TROUBLE IS PREVENTABLE? 

when the strong men of the world drop off long be- 
fore their natural time and from causes that were 
clearly preventable, then death becomes unnatural — 
it becomes a great trouble. 

So that even when we are compelled to make ex- 
ceptions of old age and death from the list of pre- 
ventable troubles, there is a sense in which the injury 
they do is also preventable. When old age comes in 
its time, when death comes as the harvest comes, at 
the ripe end of a fruitful life, it is natural, often it is 
even beautiful, and the wounds thus made are not the 
unnatural ones which are made by untimely passings 
and breakdowns. 

Now, if these two great experiences can be so regu- 
lated as to lose their terror and hurt, what is there 
which we cannot say about the lesser troubles which 
harass us? 

Take domestic trouble, for example — ^perhaps one 
of the -bitterest of troubles which afflict mankind to- 
day. 

It is impossible for the man who is wrapped up in 
his own happiness and who has no means of knowing 
what is the exact condition among his fellow men, to 
realize just how much domestic trouble exists in the 
world. Get a few thousand men together and the 
bulk of such trouble, past or present, which they rep- 
resent is really appalling. 

And yet it is mostly preventable. Perhaps it is 
fair to say that it is all preventable. A little wisdom 
exercised beforehand, a little forbearance afterward, 
would be the cure of most domestic difficulties. 

Most people marry in the delusion that they are 
marrying Perfection. Of course they are not. But 
at least they are marrying a possibility of happiness. 

When two people believe that they think enough 
of each other to marry, they possess therein a possible 
foundation for future happiness no matter how little 
romance they may have in their lives. 

Domestic happiness is not so much a matter of 
'Love as of Good Sense. Many people who claim to 
love each other, are unhappy together. Many people 
who smile at the mention of love are very happy to- 
gether, simply because they have good common sense. 

107 



FORD IDEALS 



Those who say it is impossible to base domestic 
happiness on good sense, mutual forbearance and 
mutual respect are drawing their conclusions from 
novels instead of life. 

Many domestic disasters could be prevented by a 
knowledge of the course which domestic life often 
takes. Two young people marry — as it is right they 
should, and, other circumstances being favorable and 
equal, they can hardly marry too young — ^and they 
fancy they will never, never change. Sometimes they 
even swear to each other that they will never change. 

But, they do. They cannot help it. They change 
because they grow. He becomes more of a man, and 
she more of a woman. He becomes more critical — 
not necessarily in his manner, but in his insight; she 
opens her eyes also. If the truth were told it is prob- 
ably the woman who comes to the balanced view of 
matters first. 

Dreams cannot last forever, and it would be a pity 
if they should. For the realities are better. 

But the passing of the dream is a dangerous period, 
for it tends to make one or the other, sometimes both, 
to feel that they have been tricked. 

However, they have not been tricked. A hundred 
to (me they have not married unwisely. They are 
simply going through a normal experience — a. moult- 
ing period, as it were. 

But there is the first danger, the suspicion that 
they have married unwisely. 

The second danger is more to be feared, namely, 
the false belief that the first part of the married life 
is the best, and that if that part disappoints, there is 
nothing but misery waiting in the future. 

Now the fact is that the first part of marriage is 
not the best. It seems to be so at the time ; even out- 
side beholders are betrayed into thinking it so ; but it 
is not. It may be more ecstatic, more spring-like, more 
ruled by the stormier emotions of joy. 

But after all, there is no happiness like that of 
Darby and Joan at their own firesides many, many 
years after — she not a bit deluded about him but 
knowing him to be a true man, and he not a bit 
deluded about her but knowing her to be a true woman, 



108 



HOW MUCH DOMESTIC TROUBLE IS PREVENTABLE? 

and both loving each other more deeply than they ever 
did before, but perhaps not saying so. 

It should be incorporated into our marriage cere- 
monies, so that young folks would not be deluded 
when it arrives, that a time of change will come when 
the fresh young affection will begin to make room for 
something deeper and more enduring. 

It should be impressed upon young men and women 
that it is this latter time that they are really playing 
for, that all sorts of inconveniences and disappoint- 
ments in the readjustment period should be borne 
wisely for the sake of the better understanding and 
the better loyalty which is to come in later years. 

In business, in education, in every other line of 
life men play for the distant prize. In marriage the 
prize is to be loyally understood 25 years from the 
wedding day. It is worth everything to achieve that. 

If this second danger, the danger of thinking the 
first part the best, can be avoided, the course of do- 
mestic life is usually safe. 

All this, however, takes no account of those far 
too many homes which have snagged on both rocks. 
Because husband and wife think that the fading of 
the early glamour is proof of their having made a 
mistake, and because they mistakenly think that the 
end must necessarily be grayer and gloomier than the 
beginning, there is very, very much bitterness in the 
world. 

There is hardly any bitterness one can conceive that 
approaches the bitterness of a married couple who 
fancy they have made a mistake. 

That is why our divorce courts are so busy. 

But observe this: There are more mistaken di- 
vorces than there are mistaken marriages. 

We don't need divorce courts in this country half 
so much as we need Courts of Explanation and Courts 
of Reconciliation and Courts of Understanding. 

When you have divorced two people you have 
simply turned two soured souls into society to exer- 
cise a souring influence on others. 

The most powerful argument in favor of the di- 
vorce grist is that divorce is in the interest of the 
happiness of the parties concerned and not society; 

109 



FORD IDEALS 



and that argument is completely neutralized by the 
fact that the happiness of those parties more often 
consists in saving their marriage than in destroying it. 
> A certain lawyer, who once did a large divorce 
business, reformed, and for the purpose of making 
an experiment for his own satisfaction began to be 
the friendly adviser of all who applied to him to obtain 
divorces for them. Their application opened the door 
for hiis inquiries, and he found himself able in all but 
a negligible percentage of cases to be able to effect a 
good understanding and reconciliation. 

Our more progressive communities also are wak- 
ing up to the folly of grinding out divorces wholesale. 
They are now establishing intermediary courts where 
the applicants for divorce may be reasoned with. 

It is not to be expected that this official interven- 
tion for the sake of preventing divorce is going to be 
fully successful. In the first place, the relation of 
adviser in such matters should not be official at all, 
but friendly. In the second place, the official adviser 
is seldom the type of person who knows the prof ounder 
phases of the problem with which he deals. In the 
third place, the people whose domestic life is most 
worth saving are the very people with whom even 
these intermediary institutions would hesitate to deal. 

Yet it is true that husband and wife, in circum- 
stances of domestic bitterness, seldom possess the 
means of coming to an understanding by themselves. 
It is one of the strange aspects of this difficulty that 
people who, of all the people in the world, are closest 
to each other, should in their own most intimate and 
important concerns be farthest apart. But so it is — 
and it is far from being the only paradox that human 
nature presents. 

There must be some outside influence from some- 
where to enable two such unfortunate people to see 
their true condition. And even this influence cannot 
be effective unless the man and woman themselves 
adopt a spirit of simplicity and regard themselves as 
a grown boy and a grown girl who have simply lost 
their way in one of life's most intricate forests. Only - 
in this spirit can they profit by that which the heart 



no 



HOW MUCH DOMESTIC TROUBLE IS PREVENTABLE? 

of friendliness and the wisdom of experience would 
offer them. 

If it could be made clear as a matter of educa- 
tion or public information that changes of temperature 
in the married life are not abnormal but perfectly 
natural; if it could be made clear that the day of 
dreams comes to an end and the day of grown-up 
reality begins ; if it could be very strongly insisted that 
team-work, team-work and again team-work is the 
chief rule of domestic success — absolute confidence, 
loyalty and exchange of views — many domestic sor- 
rows would be avoided. 

And then if it could be made clear to everybody 
that the idea of divorce being an escape is not true — 
that instead of being an escape, divorce is more likely 
to be a leap into the fire — that would be of vast as- 
sistance also. 

If the testimony of divorcees could be taken on 
this point, the revelation would be ^startling. 

Marriage may be repaired ; it is broken, at great 
peril. 

Domestic happiness is not only of private im- 
portance. It is the world's business, the future's busi- 
ness, how our domestic life goes. A great many un- 
desirable conditions in the present day can be traced 
by the untoward domestic conditions. 

Take a shop which is manned by men of unhappy 
home life and compare it with a shop manned by men 
whose home life is happy, and you will see a vast dif- 
ference in the quality and quantity of the output. 
Moreover, you will see a vast difference in the wisdom 
and reasonableness with which the men manage their 
private and industrial affairs. 

The business man who is in domestic difficulty, 
and who is not doing anything to clear it up, is up 
against the strongest kind of competition in the busi- 
ness man whose home affairs are well adjusted. It 
would be an interesting sociological investigation to 
compute how many business failures have been con- 
nected with domestic failures. 

A man's first success ought to be in his home. 

There are no two men and women on the face of 
the globe, no matter how much they may prate about 

111 



FORD IDEALS 

"affinity," difference of temperament and "incompati- 
bility," who could not together make a most excellent 
home, one that would attract the widest and worthiest 
circle of friends, if they only wanted to. 

And it would be worth doing. It would be the 
strongest asset either of them could have. 

There is a baneful connection between domestic 
failure and every other kind of failure. 

' But cheating the domestic bogie means team-work. 
It means talking it out together. It means compromise 
here and there. It-means experiments, now with her 
Way of managing matters, now with his. It means 
"bear and forbear" and the old-fashioned rule that 
only one shall be grouchy at a time. It means a sense 
of humor, too, for the oldest and wisest of us are 
only boys and girls. 

But perhaps it means first and deepest of all the 
solid fact that domestic difficulty is absolutely pre- 
ventable. It is not fated. It is not necessary. It is 
not inevitable. It is preventable. And if through ig- 
norance or ill-will it is not prevented, then it is very 
far from the necessity of going through to a break-up, 
for it is curable. 



112 



^ 



Farming — the Food-Raising 

Industry 



Now that the planting time has come, it is the 
duty of everyone who can to get out of the 
factories and into the fields to raise food. Our all- 
year factory life is a mistake. It is a physical as well 
as an economic mistake. We somehow got started 
on the wrong track when the industrial system was 
established in America. Factory and farm should 
have been organized as adjuncts one of the other, and 
not as competitors. Men were never meant to stay 
within walls while Nature is waking the Earth to 
her annual labor and clothing the visible creation with 
beauty and fertility. 

If we adopted the practice of going outdoors to 
work when outdoor work was the seasonable and 
natural thing to do, and came back to indoor work 
when the food-producing processes of Nature were 
complete, we should be a happier, healthier people 
and many of our economic problems would be solved. 

It is the nature of men, when the spring-time 
comes, to^Avish to work in the soil. They take a de- 
light in the wholesome odor of the freshly upturned 
earth in their back yards. There is a deep instinct 
for the soil in every one of us. Where is the man who 
has not wished scores of times that he might live and 
work in the country among growing things? Our 
natures crave direct contact with Nature herself. 

The pity is that life is not organized so that this 
pet-fectly wholesome instinct might be gratified. If 
we could all leave the factories when the time comes 
to plant com, and return to the factories after the 
harvest, not only would we be better men physically 
and mentally, but the effect on the social situation 
would be most beneficial. 

We are engaged in something like that in our fac- 
tories. We are encouraging the men who can do so 

113 



FORD IDEALS 

to go back to their land, raise a crop, and come back 
to us when the crop is harvested. 

A man who works on the land in the proper season, 
and returns to work in the factory when the land is 
resting, is living a very wise program. He is living 
his life in rhythm with Nature. He is maintaining 
his health. He is keeping his mind in fine tone. And 
he is doing a service to society. 

We may talk as much as we please about in- 
dustrialism, but the fact remains that Agriculture is 
the first of the arts — it is basic. No wheels turn, no 
invention thrives, no commerce is carried on, no busi- 
ness is done if the furrows remain unturned. The 
farmer heads the van. When he stops the whole 
world-procession comes to a standstill. 

Everyone knows this. That is to say, everyone 
assents to the truth when such a statement is made. 
But very few realize it. Fewer still ever think of it 
as imposing a personal obligation on themselves. 

If we had the complete figures, showing to how 
great an extent the farm had been abandoned for 
the factory, they would be startling. They are startling 
enough for a single large concern. 

In one factory it was found that 10 per cent of the 
men had come directly from the farm to work in the 
factory, and half of these \vere owners of farms. 

Bear in mind, it is not the exodus of farmers' 
children we are considering now — that exodus which 
has been going on since the city lights first attracted 
boys from paternal acres — but the exodus of the 
farmers themselves, the mature generation upon whom 
the weight of agricultural responsibility rests. 

These men have come in by hundreds and thou- 
sands to take advantage of the high wages paid in 
modem industry. They are a good class of work- 
man. They are, for the most part, sober, steady, 
thrifty and intelligent. It is easy to understand why 
any employer should wish to keep them. 

But if the employer will check up his classifica- 
tion lists showing from what previous occupations his 
employes have come, he will very directly be met by 
the question whether he is not party to a serious dis- 

114 



Farming — the food-raisii^g Industry 

location of effort by inducing to stay with him men 
who would be better employed raising food. 

These farmers should be helped to see that any 
financial benefit they may seem to derive from farm- 
abandonment is only apparent and temporary. That 
is, in ceasing to raise food they are creating a condi- 
tion which nullifies the benefits of high wages. The 
price of food today is one of the reasons why our 
high wages possess less purchasing power than they 
should, and the high price of food is due to a decrease 
in the food supply, which in turn is caused by the 
movement from farm to factory. 

The man who comes from the farm to the factory 
for the sake of high wages may seem to profit for a 
time, but he is making it harder for everyone else, and 
eventually for himself also — for when he ceases to be 
a producer of food, becoming merely a consumer, he 
is caught in the jaws of the very situation he has 
helped to create. 

If a factory worker's land is lying idle, he should 
go and work it — always with the understanding that 
he can come back to the shop, if he wishes, when the 
crop is harvested. 

If he has rented his farm, he should go back at 
this season and see that it is being properly planted 
and maintained. 

The knowledge of farming is so precious that 

everyone who possesses it has a sacred duty to use it. 

Experienced farmers ought to be as unwilling to leave 

the land to inexperienced hands as are engineers to 

-leave valuable machinery in the hands of amateurs. 

It is not always possible to send back the man who 
did hired work on the farm, for often that would 
mean turning him out of one job to seek another 
which he might fail to find. 

But if we were living under a plan where it was 
understood that the Spring and Summer months were 
the months of outdoor work, these matters would be 
more easily adjusted. 

. Turn aside from the farming question for a mo- 
ment and look at the building question. In the upset 
of conditions that followed upon war, the various fac- 
tory industries absorbed thousands of trained build- 

115 



FORD IDEALS 



ers — carpenters, bricklayers, stone masons, plaster- 
ers, etc. 

Now, building is largely a seasonal trade. That 
is, it is best pursued in the "outdoor months." What 
a waste of power it has been to allow builders to hi- 
bernate through the winter, waiting for the building 
season to come round. 

And what an equal . waste of skill it has been 
when experienced building mechanics have been forced 
into factories to escape the looses of the winter sea- 
son, and, in order to hold their jobs in the factories, 
have been forced to stay there all through the building 
season when they might have been outdoors helping 
to build homes for the people or shops for industry. 

What a waste this all-year system has been, any- 
way! If the farmer could get away from the shop 
to till his farm in the planting, growing and harvest- 
ing season (it is only a small part of the year, after 
all), and if the builder could get away from the shop 
to ply his useful trade in its season, how much better 
they would be, and how much smoother the world 
would proceed. ^ 

Suppose we all moved outdoors every Spring and 
Summer — ^the whole nation with, its wife and family — 
and lived the wholesome life of outdoor work for 
three or four months! Wouldn't that be very much 
better than an insipid vacation at some inane sum- 
mering placfe? 

And after that we would all move back to the city 
for the Fall and Winter work in the mechanical and 
manufacturing field. But how much better we would 
be in every way upon our return! How invigorated! 
How tuned up! How balanced we would feel! 

Well, it is not at all impossible. 

What is desirable and right is never impossible. 

It would only mean a little team-work, a little less 
attention to greedy ambition and a little more atten- 
tion to life. 

Those who are rich find it desirable to go away 
for three or four months a year and dawdle in idle- 
ness around some fancy winter or summer resort. 
The rank and file of the American people would not 
waste their time that way even if they could. But 

116 



/ 



FARMING — ^THE POOD-RAISING INDUSTRY 

they would provide the team-work necessary to this 
outdoor seasonal employment, and they would be quick 
to see how much more evenly Nature's contribution 
and Humanity's contribution to Life would be 
balanced. 

It is hardly possible to doubt that much of the 
unrest we see about us is the result of an unnatural 
mode of life. Men who do the same thing continu- 
ously the year round, in the midst of the same scenes, 
and shut away from the health of the sun and the 
spaciousness of the great out-of-doors, are hardly 
to be blamed if they begin to see matters in a gloomy 
or distorted light. 

The physical strain consequent upon unnatural 
modes of life has a great deal to do with the causation 
of social irritability and general discontent. 

Why should a change of scene iilways be in the 
nature of a vacation, or upon the doctor's orders ? 

Why should we not have it as a part of the normal 
workaday affairs of life? 

What is there in life that should hamper normal 
and )vholesome modes of living? And what is there 
in industry incompatible with all the arts receiving in 
their turn the attention of those qualified to serve in 
them? 

It may be objected that if the forces of industry 
were withdrawn from the shops every summer it 
would impede production. But we must look at the 
matter from the most universal point of view. 

We must consider the increased energy of the 
industrial forces that should spend three or four 
months every year in outdoor work. 

We must also consider the effect on the cost of 
living which would result from this general return 
to the fields. 

Besides this, we must consider the great and steady 
increase of general needs which such a program would 
stimulate, and the prevention of "slack times" every- 
where. 

The farm has its "slack times." That is the time 
for the farmer to come into the factory and help pro- 
duce the things he needs to till the farm. 

The factory also has its "slack times." That is 

117 



FORD IDEALS 



the time for the workman to go out to the land to 
help produce the food which is the ultimate factor in 
all human activity. 

Thus, by taking the "slack" out of every line of 
work through the application of this seasonal dis- 
posal of industry, we should be restoring the balance 
between the artificial and the natural. 

But not the least, perhaps by far the greatest 
benefit would be the more balanced view of life we 
should thus obtain. The mixing of the arts is not only 
beneficial in a material way, but it makes for breadth 
of mind and fairness of judgment. A great deal of 
our unrest today is the result of narrowness of mind 
and prejudiced judgment. If our work were more 
diversified, if we saw more sides of life, if we saw 
how necessary was one factor to another, we should 
be more balanced. 

Every man is better for a period of work under 
the open sky. It clears his mind of cobwebs. It 
draws away the ill-humors of the blood. It puts us 
in touch with the ancient harmony of night and day, 
sun and shower, seedtime and harvest. We can live 
so closely with one thing and fill our minds so com- 
pletely with one aspect of life as to become unbalanced 
as far as any fair and practicable judgment upon the 
whole of life is concerned. 

Let us never be afraid of these ideals of better 
things. The very fact that they come to us is a 
prophecy that one day the reality will come, too. And 
where an ideal is social enough to include all of us 
in a new and beneficial plan, it is pretty certain to 
be a true ideal, destined to realization. 



118 



''A Few Strong Instincts and 
a Few Plain Rules" 



ALL that the world needs for the guidance of its 
. life could be written on two pages of a child's 
copy book. "A few strong instincts and a few plain 
rules" would set the world singing on its way, in- 
stead of tying it up in the periodical blunders which 
hinder progress and give a sense of infinite and ir- 
remediable confusion. 

Learning may need' large space, thousands of vol- 
umes, vast experiment and failure and progress; but, 
strange to say, Wisdom carries very little of such 
baggage. 

There are a few truths all of us know when we 
have reached the more mature years, and we see 
them to be the very foundation wisdom of life — plain, 
enduring, true. But when we happen to mention 
them in convers94:ion we are met, if not with the 
words, then with the spirit which says, "Old stuff! 
Give us something new." 

A curious illusion persists among us that because 
we have heard a thing, we therefore know it. Repeti- 
tion is not desired. We begin to refer contemptu- 
ously to "platitudes." 

Well, it is very evident to the observer that a 
"platitude" is a truth of which everybody has heard, 
but whi^h few really know. 

The world has heard everything that is necessary 
to the re-establishment of life in universal peace, uni- 
versal prosperity, and universal progress. It has 
heard every essential principle any number of times. 
And yet there is no sign that it fully knows them. 

If you saw a man continually making sums on 
paper in which 2 plus 2 equaled 5, you would say, 
"But 2 plus 2 equals 4." 

"Yes, yes," the man would reply, "every school 

119 



\ 



FORD IDEALS 



child knows that. Tell me something new/*^ and go 
on making the same mistake. 

He would be behaving very much like the human 
race today. 

"Yes, yes," says the world impatiently, when a 
simple principle of lif^ is uttered, "we know that. We 
heard it when we were children. Everybody knows 
that. Give us something new," and goes on in the 
same way as before. 

What does it mean? Simply that we do not know 
an)i:hing until, convinced of its truth, we act upon it. 

The truth of things escapes us, mostly because 
truth is so simple. If it came only in the scholar's 
vesture, in a dead and learned language, behind a 
barrier of books which a lifetime would not suffice 
to master, it would be hardly possible that the world 
should miss being wise. 

But Wisdom comes in such simple guise that more 
often she is received by the peasant than by the prince. 

All the personal and social morality known to the 
race is summed up in the brief Ten Commandments, 
and all the higher and finer principles of life are sum- 
med up in the Sermon on the Mount, and both of 
them together are not enough to fill a penny pamphlet. 

Whatever may be the form in which the World 
Covenant of the Nations is written, you will find 
every true assertion in it harking back to the Deca- 
logue;, and whatever may be the finer service attained 
by the choicer spirits among mankind, it will never 
exceed the Words Spoken on the Mount. 

And yet, these would be among the things of which 
lovers of newness would say, "It is old and stale. 
Give us something new." 

Now, as a matter of fact, there isn't anything new ; 
and if there were it could only be attained through a 
complete use and absorption of what is old and true. 

At the core of everything is The Principle, and 
principles are from eternity and to eternity. 

All of our apparent going forward is simply a 
progress farther into the heart of Principle. It is not 
a learning of new things, but a new learning of the old. 

It has always been wrong to steal ; it always will 

120 



"a few strong instincts and a few plain rules'' 

be wrong to steal, whether it affects the potatoes a 
farmer has planted, the child's affection which the 
parent possesses, or the territory which forms an in- 
tegral part of a nation's sovereignty. 

If you take this single matter of stealing, and 
trace it through all the operations of the political, 
financial, industrial, social and moral worlds, you will 
find that — shall we say more than half ? — of the world's 
trouble is caused by plain stealing. 

If the entire story of the recent war — including the 
quarter century of preparation for it — is studied along 
the line of this single clue of stealing, the discoveries 
would be amazing. 

It is not too much to say that if the world were 
to learn no more in the next century than to live by 
the truths it already knows, the year 2,000 would 
dawn upon an Earth without a single sore problem. 
So^ much of our progress consists in going back and 
starting over again on another plan, when it might 
consist in going from one complete conquest to an- 
other ! 

Yet, if you insist on these simple, fundamental 
principles without which no substantial achievement 
is possible anywhere, the ready retort is that "every- 
body knows them." 

Everybody does not know them, although every- 
body may have heard of them. 

You don't know that a lie is wrong until you know 
that when lies are circulated in the human inter- 
change of speech, it is like flooding monetary currency 
with bogus coins. 

Speech is the currency of thought among^men. 
We depend more on the genuineness of men's words 
than we do on the genuineness of the coins that cir- 
culate among us. Let the suspicion get abroad that 
men's words are bogus and not the coinage of truth, 
and the whole system of human exchange breaks down. 

Until we know that, until we act upon the knowl- 
edge that falsehoods injure the most delicate nerves 
in the social body, we cannot be said to know the 
simple principle of truth-telling. And until we do 
know it. It doesn't matter how many new-fangled 
matters may be presented to please our fancy. Truth- 

^ 121 



FORD IDEALS 

telling is mighty old-fashioned, but it will still be a 
vital principle a million years hence, wherever con- 
fidence between man and man is the basis of fellow- 
ship or co-operation. 

If a censor should go through the world today, 
cleaning out everything that needs a lie to bolster it 
up, abolishing everything that has the taint of deceit 
upon it, forbidding everything that needs to be" con- 
cealed or dissembled, there would be such a house- 
cleaning in governments, banking houses, industries, 
societies and combinations as would leave the world 
unrecognizably^ clean. 

Why, it is the very lack of confidence in the ability 
of high-placed persons to tell the truth and stand by 
it that has led to all the difficulty at the Conference of 
Paris ! The nations have no confidence in each other's 
fair professions. Why? Simply because they feel 
that this "old stuflF," this "platitude" about the basic 
importance of truth has not yet been learned by the 
world. 

Why demand novelties for a world that has yet to 
learn the A B C of common man-to-man honesty? 

The impatience of the world goes even deeper 
than that. There is not only a tendency to thrust aside 
these old-fashioned basic principles, but there is a 
still more dangerous tendency to believe that morality 
of mind and body has no place in big affairs at all. 

"Yes, yes," is a common remark, "we take these 
things for granted without mentioning them." 

The trouble is that we do not take them for 
granted unless we insist upon them. This world is 
built on morality — and morality is simply honest think- 
ing and honest doing. There is nothing that endures 
without this morality. 

There will never be any system of government, 
or society, or business, or progress — no possible liv- 
ing together at all, except on a basis of this morality. 

Yet we see one great group of men contending 
that all we need for the millennium is a new system 
of distribution, and another great group is insisting 
that all we need is a system that will forever guar- 
antee to the inheritor of a dollar the right to collect 

122 



"a few strong instincts and a few plain rules" 

6 to 10 per cent from the man who did not inherit the 
dollar. 

No. It doesn't matter^ how mechanically perfect 
a social system may be devised — the better it is the 
more miserably it will fail without a fundamental 
morality to infuse and sustain it. It is like making a 
hoe. The style may be fine, the proportions right, 
the pattern perfect; but if you make it of soft tin, it 
will not be a good hoe. 

The world teems with social plans and programs, 
but you will never get a just and happy society until 
there is a high degree of common morality to pour 
into the molds. 

It is one of the fallacies of modem thought, this 
notion that we may sidetrack this vital element which 
distinguishes man from the brute and raises society 
above the herd. 

In olden times the teachers of Wisdom refused to 
admit to their instruction any man who was not clean 
within and without, a man well grounded in the mor- 
alities. For the old masters reasoned that he who 
had not learned the fundamentals could not learn the 
other things. Wisdom presupposed morality. 

The old masters were right. They grasped a truth 
which is beginning to emerge again in our day, namely, 
that men who are in wrong relations with the moral 
universe are not to be trusted with the secrets which 
make for progress. 

We have seen what use was made by man of his 
command over the forces of nature in the recent war. 

We may shudderingly imagine what would have 
happened if man's knowledge of nature's mysteries 
had" been greater than it is. 

All of which impresses us strongly with the thought 
that if still more power is to be won by human beings, 
it must be kept under the restraint of conscience and 
used according to the dictates of morality. Else 
knowledge becomes our destruction instead of, as it 
was intended to be, our great good. 



123 



The Farmer — Nature's Partner 



THIS is the time of year when city people think of 
Nature as a big showroom, filled with bloom, per* 
fume and song. A sunnier season has come, liberating 
us from the protection of confining walls and the ne- 
cessity of stoking fires. Multitudes of people have no 
other conception of Spring than as a delightful change 
in the weather. 

There is one man, however, who knows better. He 
knows that the first songs of the returning birds are 
but the whistles annouhcing the turning of wheels in 
Nature's great food factory. The increased warmth 
of the earth is turning on the power which moves the 
processes of that first industry. Spring freshets, wood- 
land flowers, balmy breezes, cordial sunshine — ^all 
these are to him much more than themes for poetry; 
they are signs that for him his day's work has begun, 
a day which lasts from seedtime to harvest. 

Of course we know, even when we do not fully 
realize, that if the Farmers should let the birds whistle 
unheeded, and decide to let this year pass without 
labor, the wheels of nature could grind as they pleased, 
the sun could furnish heat and the clouds drop mois- 
ture, and it would not avail mankind. Without the 
labor of man — and in this relation, "man" means the 
Farmer — ^the whole produce of the earth would 
amount to no more than matted weeds. 

We are living and working today by virtue of the 
food which men planted in the Spring of 1918 and 
harvested in the Autumn of 1918. And we shall be liv- 
ing and working in 1920 as a result of the food which 
is even now in process of producti6n in this year, 1919. 

Farming is the First Industry. Without it there 
could be no other industry. The complete absence of 
steam or electric power from the earth would not re- 
sult in so absolute a tie-up of effort as would the ces- 
sation of farming. 

All this seems hardly worth the saying, it is so 

124 



THE FARMER — NATURE'S PARTNER 

elementary, so widely known. And yet if there is any 
division of human labor upon which the inhabitants 
of large cities expend little if any thought, it is the 
work of Farming. For all that multitudes of people 
know, their food is made in factories and purveyed 
in the stores. That the loaves of the bakeries were 
once brown fields of grain, the meats of the markets 
once grazing herds, the canned goods on the grocers' 
shelves once laboriously cultivated crops, is all too 
little considered. 

The purpose in calling attention to this is not to 
enlarge the consideration of the unintentionally incon- 
siderate, but to throw a sidelight on the general neglect 
which has been visited on the most fundamental 
industry. 

Because the Farmer's work was done at a distance 
from the cities, thus preventing him from acquiring 
that "veneer of civilization" which goes with starched 
collars and polished shoes, it became a superior fancy 
with city people that the man who trod the furrows 
was their inferior. The list of nicknames applied to 
the Farmer is ample proof of this. 

Of course, the Farmer had the better of this situa- 
tion all the time. He could see the joke. He knew 
wherein his position had advantages of which city 
dwellers were ignorant. The healthfulness, independ- 
ence, sterling honesty of the work in which he was 
engaged made it incomparably more desirable than 
the work by which many city people lived. 

Nevertheless, it reacted on the Farmer to this ex- 
tent : for a long time the inventive genius of the world 
was almost exclusively exercised in behalf of the city 
dweller and his industries. ^ 

Machinery for city industries, conveniences for 
city homes, opportunities for city people, all of these 
commanded the attention and services of progressive 
leaders, to the almost total exclusion of interest in the 
Farmer, his needs. and his situation. He was remem- 
bered chiefly at election time — and then it was to get 
something out of him, not to do something for him. 

Only a few persons were engaged in trying to 
make the farmer's business more efficient, and of 

125 



FORD IDEALS 



these fewer still did anything with an undivided pur- 
pose to aid him. 

How the Farmer has been held up by trusts when 
he bought; beaten down by trusts when he sold; de- 
rided by ignorance when he appeared in the city.; 
ignored when he would send his representatives to 
legislature — all these injustices form some of the best 
known chapters in the history of American agriculture. 

The effect of this soon began to a|)pear. Young 
people are sensitive, not so ready to weigh certain at- 
titudes in the balances of an impartial judgment ; thus 
there began a decrease in the number of Farmers' 
sons following the ancient profession of agriculture. 

This in turn had its effect on the life of cities, on 
the cost of living, until there was never a time in the 
history of the world when the value and virtue of 
Farming was more profoundly appreciated than it is 
today. We ought no longer to rest under any doubt 
as to where the credit is due for the great changes 
which have come not only in Farming itself but also 
in the public attitude toward it. 

The Farmer himself has furnished the initial stim- 
ulus for the vast improvements which have come or 
are coming into his business. He agitated for schools 
in which his boys could be taught scientific agriculture. 
The numerous agricultural colleges scattered through- 
out the land have made Farming a profession and 
given it the dignity of an art. It was only when med- 
ical knowledge was systematized, so that it could be 
tested by wide experience and communicated to in- 
quiring minds in an authoritative way, that medicine 
rose from the darkness of superstition into the clear 
light of practical science; and so with Farming. 

The science of the soil, the romance of rotation of 
crops, the creative improvement of strains of cattle, 
the organization of dairy production, the efficient 
planning of farm work and the business-like marketing 
of crops and produce — all of these have not only 
given the Farmer and his son the inner sense of be- 
longing to the great world of business, but have also 
placed in their purse the world's certificate of service 
in the form of handsome payments. 

More than that, |||yentive genius has placed itself 

126 



THE FARMER — NATURE'S PARTNER 

at the Farmer's service, and it will be found that this 
inventive ability did not originate in cities, but on 
farms. One who has gone from the Farm to the 
machine shop, or who all his life has worked at inter- 
vals in both, has a better idea of the Farmer's needs 
and a more ardent desire to meet them, than the 
engineer who simply seeks to design a new kind of 
implement or machine to catch the farm trade. 

Man-power and horse-power are rapidly receding 
before machine-power and water-power. 

The effect of this is to decrease the number of 
days work required to produce a crop, to decrease the 
strain upon the Farmer's strength, to decrease the de- 
mands upon his financial resources; while, on the 
other hand, it increases the time he has for planning 
his work, increases the reserve of energy he can give 
to the mental side of his job, and makes for a larger, 
broader life for him generally. 

Farming need not be an all-year job. The Farmer, 
his crop harvested and his field work done, should be 
free to devote himself to other lines of work and so 
broaden his experience and improve his point of view. 

The tendency to give credit for these betterments 
to conventions of city people is dying out, for it is be- 
coming more and more evident that only the Farmer 
could have done as much for the Farmer as recent 
years have seen done. 

We have greatly overestimated the cities — most 
people will agree with that. When we all stand up 
and sing, "My Country 'Tis of Thee," we seldom 
think of the cities. Indeed, in that old national hymn 
there are no references to the city at all. It sings of 
rocks and rivers and hills — the great American Out- 
of-Doors. 

And that is really The Country. That is, the 
country is THE Country. The real United States 
lies outside the cities. 

The food that sustains us, the raw material that 
feeds our factories, the broad waterways on which 
our commerce floats — all of these have their sources 
outside the cities. 

The wealth with which people speculate has its 
origin in scenes far different, and if you want to see 

127 / 



FORD IDEALS 

the true foundations of the Treasury of the United 
States, look at the soil beneath your feet. 

The fresh moist earth is the greatest of all gold 
mines, and the wealth it produces does only good and 
never harm. 

We are going back to this ideal of the land some 
day. Both as an economic measure and as a plan 
whereby each man may get the most pleasure and 
profit out of life, all of us are going to be proud to 
be known as tillers of the soil. 

Some one has humorously said that the dream of 
the Farmer is to occupy an office in a city skyscraper, 
while the office man in the skyscraper has one great 
desire, which is to raise chickens on a farm. 

Both desires are natural. The Farmer wants to 
have his share in the busy life of the world of in- 
dustry, exchange or professionalism. The worker, 
business man and thinker want to have a share in the 
processes of nature, to bury their hands in the soil and 
see growing things come to maturity beneath their care. 

Some day we are going to be sensible enough to 
see that the best thing that can happen to both classes 
will be such a seasonal interchange of work. City 
people grow narrow, too. Working in the soil would 
give them more wholesome views. And the modem 
improvements of farm conditions are doing mone to 
prepare for this new mode of life than any amount 
of economic argument to the contrary. 



128 



1 ' 



Limitations Are Guide Posts, 

Not Barriers 



IT IS better to be "narrow'' and to know a few 
things with certainty, than to be "broad" and be 
doubtful and hesitant about everything. Take, for 
example, the fact of limitation. Everybody has his 
limitations. Everywhere there are limitations. There 
are certain things some of us will never be able to do, 
and there are definite boundaries set up around every 
force and principle known to man. 

Limitation is not only a personal fact; it is a uni- 
versal fact. 

But to establish such a fact is not the end of the 
matter. There still remains the manner in which men 
react to it. Facts are facts, but to one man they may 
mean discouragement and defeat; to another man, 
guidance, inspiration and success. 

It is curious to contemplate, that we need to 
modify very, very few natural facts; but we need 
greatly to modify certain attitudes which men adopt 
^ toward the facts. 

Now, in the matter of personal limitations, this 
difference in the attitude of men is very marked : One 
man regards his limitations as a big "Forbidden" sign 
set squarely across his path, another man regards his 
limitations as a very useful signpost set up at the side 
of the road — "This Way To Achievement." 

We must not overlook the fact that both of these 
men may be right and still be contradictory of each 
-other. If a man is headed straight forward on the 
road that he should go, his limitations serve* as a guide- 
post. But if a man is determined to angle off and 
not keep the road that leads to his destination, then 
his limitations will confront him as prohibitions. 

It is all a question of whether a man regards his 
limitations as Nature's friendly hint, or as her hostile 
hindrance. 

129 



y 



FORD IDEALS 



We hear a great deal about the power of the 
human will, and he would be bold indeed who should 
set limits to what any man can do. If the most un- 
likely man should set himself with all his strength and 
will and spirit to achieve the most unlikely success, he 
would be likely to win to an amazing degree. The 
full exertion of the Will carries one far. 

But it goes without saying that such a man could 
not possibly win so full a measure of success as the 
man who was naturally equipped and applied himself 
just as diligently. 

The man who exerted all his powers in an unlikely 
field, that is, a field for which he was not intended, 
may have the satisfaction of overcoming difficulty, but 
it is quite apparent that had he applied the same energy 
to a likely field, a field for which his bent and ability 
fitted him, his success would have been very much 
greater. 

You see, in bucking his limitations he consumed 
so much of his power in negative effort that less of 
it was available for positive effort. If he had worked 
within his limitations, making them serve him, instead 
of fighting them and so losing their co-operative value, 
he would have had the stream of natural tendency 
with him instead of against him. 

Limitations are not to be condemned until they 
are understood. We misunderstand them when we 
regard them as wholly negative. We often think of 
limitations as the "Thou Shalt Nots" of life. You 
shall not be a poet. You shall not be a statesman. 
You shall not be a surgeon. You shall not be a 
scholar. You shall not be a society pet. You shall 
not .be a merchant. — ^That is how we thing of lim- 
itations. 

But limitations are positive. Instead of insisting 
on what you cannot do, they indicate what you can 
do. When the stream of your energy runs strongly 
toward one career, that is a positive indication; it is 
the limitation of your energy to the career in which 
your best chance of success may be found. 

Limitations in this sense are signboards guiding 
you into the right path, warning you against the by- 
paths which open on this side and that. 

130 



LIMITATIONS ARE GUIDE POSTS, NOT BARRIERS 

That which throws up limits against your being 
a poet, is the very strength which equips you to be an 
engineer, or whatever your special bent may be. 

Follow the direction in which your limitations 
point. V 

A man carries his own directions inside himself, 
in the nature of his tastes and capacities. 

Every thing he cannot do is a finger pointing to 
the thing he can do. 

Every failure he makes is an indication of the line 
in which his success may be found. 

Limitations exist; no one can deny the testimony 
of experience on that point ; but they exist as friendly 
hints to man, not as hindrances across his path. 

It is like this: you are driving along a highway 
across country, and the highway is fenced on both 
sides, preventing your driving out of the path and 
losing your direction. The fence is there, it is true, 
but it defines your path ; it does not obstruct it. That 
is what our limitations do: they define our path. But 
try to turn out of the path, and they obstruct us. We 
were meant to go forward. When we turn aside from 
the path of our nature and capabilities, our limitations 
become obstructions. 

That is the fundamental truth of limitations: — 
their principal function is not to tell you what you 
cannot do, but what you can do. Their service is 
positive. A man who takes counsel of his irremovable 
limitations will find the work he was meant for. Cer- 
tainly he cannot succeed in a work he was not meant 
for, and just here is where his limitations serve his 
interests. > 

The principle might be extended to include other 
phases of life. It is not only in the choice of our 
vocations that we find limitations, but in all other 
undertakings too. 

Society is as much hedged about as the individual. 
We know there are certain courses which society 
cannot countenance, because they are the antithesis of 
social integrity. All the laws of conduct relative to 
property, health, demeanor, traffic, industry, marriage, 
are simply signs of limitation which we set up because 
we have learned that outside certain limitations there 

131 



\ 



FORD IDEALS 



are no such desirable conditions as peace and security 
and progress. 

But you will notice that these limitations which 
society sets up are not for the discouragement of any 
proper activity; they only declass those conditions 
which make for disruption and ruin. 

Well-disposed people find these limitations to be 
a guide of conduct. Self-seeking persons find them 
to be a check. That is, those who are headed right 
find the law to be their friend, while those who are 
headed wrong find the law to be their foe. It is 
chiefly a matter of attitude. 

And then, ranging still farther afield, there are 
those wider and yet not less defined limitations which 
inhere in our humanity. 

Man is a creature whose vision excels his power, 
so that he is always apprehending with his imagination 
many, many matters which are far outside the reach 
of his hands. Mystery hedges him on every side. 
But here again the positive side of limitations comes 
into view, for the surrounding mystery has had as 
definite an eflfect on man's mind as the light has had 
on his skin. 

And here too the same impulse to ignore the lim- 
itation comes into view, and leads to many grotesque 
notions. But the impulse, here as elsewhere, springs 
from the same misconception as to why the boundary 
lines exist. 

Nothing seems more unreasonable than that, of 
two babes born in the same home and reared under 
the same conditions, one will exhibit an almost mirac- 
ulous aptitude for a given line of work and the other 
none at all. It would seem that if one man can do 
it, any man can. And in the same way, the limitations 
which surround our humanity seem unreasonable too. 
Man, we know, is the heir of all the Past and, we 
assume, the heir of all the Future too. Then why, 
we ask, cannot he penetrate this mystery or that? 
Why cannot he unlock all Nature's secrets with one 
turn of the key ? Why cannot he disclose the invisible 
world with one eflFort of his will ? Why is he limited 
to a small planet as far as his corporeal self is con- 
;:erned, and to a little space in time as far as his con- 



132 



LIMITATIONS ARE GUIDE POSTS, NOT BARRIERS 

sciousness is concerned ? Why these limitations, which 
in moments of swelling impatience he would thrust 
aside and enter boldly the long locked chambers of 
mystery ? 

Well, we may reasonably expect that the frontiers 
of mystery will recede little by little as man becomes 
able to occupy the new territory and use it for good 
instead of ill. But even with this expectation in view, 
it remains none-the-less true that our limitation with 
regard to those profounder matters is not a hindrance 
to our evolution. 

Always the price of man's advance is his faithful 
use of what he has. And it is only as mankind learns 
how to perfect and purify life on the simpler outlines 
now vouchsafed to him that he can expect new rev- 
elations of purpose and power. In becoming trust- 
worthy in what the race now has, it will become fit 
to receive more. 

So all through the sphere, from the matter of per- 
sonal vocation to that of racial status, the fact of 
limitation appears as a friendly one, capable of wear- 
ing a frowning face only when we view it from a re- 
bellious angle. 

Some Power has marked the path of individual 
destiny as well as the path of world destiny. It is all 
good destiny insofar as the super-hint, which we call 
limitation, is followed. Otherwise destiny becomes 
delayed and confused, until in a good hour we find the 
secret of limitation again, and follow it to achieve- 
ment. 



133 



All Men Are Created Needful 



IT WAS once the cnstom of men who posed as 
thinkers to do acrobatic stunts with that proposi- 
tion of our Declaration of Independence which asserts 
that "all men are created equal," and to spend weary 
and profitless hours discussing what "equality" meant 
and whether the proposition expressed a fact or 
merely an ideal with which the Fathers of the Re- 
public pleased themselves. 

We have been caught in the wake of that discus- 
sion many times and have heard it declared with 
monotonous persistency that men were not created 
equal, that they never could be equal, that equality 
would be a most tragical condition on the earth. 

Then, descending spirally from the tip of the ideal 
to the stump of the fact, we have heard it demon- 
strated over and over again that physical equality did 
not exist, that mental equality did not exist, that moral 
equality did not exist; and so on through all the pos- 
sible classifications of human divergences. 

So far as the meaning of the statement in the 
Declaration is concerned there is no room for wide 
diflPerence of opinion. The doctrine is that men are 
equally endowed with certain fundamental rights, not 
that they are equally endowed with certain qualities. 

Indeed, the very fact of the inequality of men in 
respect of their qualities, is the reason their equality 
of rights had to be declared and decreed. 

The minute you declare equality of human rights 
you imply inequality of human quality. It is one way 
of warning the highly endowed individual that his 
higher possessions do not give him any right to inter- 
fere with the fundamental rights of others. The most 
inferior individual has rights which even the most 
superior dare not violate. 

Of course, as long as we remain safely on the 
high plane of general principles we move along peace- 
fully without disturbing challenges. But when we 

134 



ALL MEN ARE CREATED NEEDFUL 

try to apply the principles, we find ourselves con- 
fronted with all the aspects of human nature. Within 
the limits of the Declaration of Independence we are 
safe etiough, for the Fathers were thinking mostly 
about the fundamentals of political rights. But when 
we approach the newer ideals of rights and equality 
we find ourselves floundering in a waste of conflicting 
theories. 

Someone has said that it makes all the difference 
in the world whether your attitude says, "I am as good 
as anybody else," or "Everybody else is as good as I 
am." And so it does. Likewise when a man preaches 
the equal division of property, it makes all the dif- 
ference between selfishness and sincerity whether he 
means that he should divide with his neighbor, or his 
neighbor with him. And as to equality, no matter in 
what we may agree that it consists, it makes a world 
of diflference whether the plan is to equalize every- 
body on a low standard or on a high one — ^levelling 
up, or levelling down. 

Some extremists seem, to believe that a levelling 
down will result in a levelling up. But they have not 
looked long enough at the figures. 

Certainly we ought to be agreed — it is probably 
time to say that we all are agreed — that certain in- 
dispensable necessities to self-respect and independ- 
ence must^ put within the reach of all. 

The physical basis of life must be made secure, 
not on the narrowest margin on which life can be 
maintained, but on a margin sufficient to permit soul- 
room, so to speak — room for the individual to grow, 
to show what is in him. 

To say that these ought to be made inalienable, 
that is, put beyond the possibility of loss, is to go 
further than common sense would warrant. To guar- 
antee a man a living simply because he took the trouble 
to be bom into the world would be to create a larger 
race of idlers than we now have. No; justice is 
served, humanity is honored and equality is estab- 
lished when we put the indispensable within the reach 
of all, even of those whose ability is not equalled by 
their willingness to do. 

The minimum rights of human beings are life, lib- 

135 



FORD IDEALS 

erty, the opportunity to express in service all the power 
that is in them, and in every emergency beyond their 
control a livelihood that is honorable to their manhood. 

These rights are based on our equality of need. 
All of us, regardless of our individual endowments of 
mind or heart, need food, shelter, clothing and the 
satisfaction of the social sense which is "a sense of 
belonging." The great man never becomes so great as 
to rise beyond the need of these ; the small man never 
becomes so imimportant as to sink beyond the need 
of them. They are the equal necessities of our com- 
mon humanity. 

With this equality established, even if no more 
were permitted, there would still be a firm f oimdation 
— a place to start from — ^which would in time see the 
inequalities .of endowment appear in human life. Na- 
tural gifts are never equal. Where we have erred is 
in lavishly rewarding the possession of great gifts as 
if they were the creation of the man possessing them, 
and penalizing the man who has no great gifts, as if 
the lack of them were his fault. 

To possess a great gift is in itself a great reward. 
To have power and insight, a stored-up energy and 
an intuitive knowledge as if in some mystic laboratory 
of the past all the drudgery of learning had been fin- 
ished — ^this is indeed a great reward, as also is the 
sense of usefulness in putting that gift at the service 
of others. 

We cannot pay the big mind that comes to earth 
with great visions to unfold and realize, and we 
should not penalize the little mind which comes only 
with two willing hands to help work out slowly and 
laboriously the other's glowing vision. The bodies of 
both inhabit the same environment under the same 
conditions, and the self-respect and honor of one re- 
quires asxareful safeguarding as those of the other. 

And yet equality can be so conceived and regu- 
lated as to destroy liberty. That would appear to be 
the difficulty in Russia. Taking a low standard which 
owes its existence in the first place to a denial of f im- 
damental human equality, and msdcing that the stand- 
ard to which the newer practice of equality must con- 

136 



ALL MEN ARE CREATED NEEDFUL 

form, the result is that equality is made a cage in- 
stead of an opportunity. 

The only inequalities within our power to remedy 
are those which have to do with the material side. 
Much is being said about so manipulating the condi- 
tions of human existence as to produce a super-race, 
but that is so far in the future, even should it be pos- 
sible at all, that it cannot serve as a substitute for what 
we ought to do today. 

It is sometimes said that if we were only economi- 
cally adjusted to a true and practical kind of equality, 
then would genius begin to blossom among us. We 
are told that it is our economic conditions which make 
for a scarcity of great leaders and seers and developers 
of new powers. 

Well, that sounds hopeful enough, and yet when 
one looks abroad on those classes which have never 
been "hampered by the necessity of working for their 
living," is the percentage of genius very large among 
them? 

Hardly. Outside of the new dances and new 
methods of flimflamming the producing public, we 
owe scarcely anything to them — certainly not enough 
to justify their position as idlers and meddlers and a 
sort of semi-royalty in this nation of ours. 

One is not even sure that an increase of economic 
equality will make us a morally better people. Look 
at those same classes which have been "emancipated 
from labor" and you don't find high morality in ex- 
cessive degree, do you? Why, those people are part of 
our inferior classes ! 

That is to say, it is easy to prophesy too much 
from our efforts to straighten out the imperfect prac- 
tices of our society. But even that ought not to deter 
us from the effort. For this must always be true : that 
upon those who see the wrong the duty devolves to 
right it, and they at least are better for the attempt. 
We must do right because it is right and not from 
delusive expectations of what results will be. 

Opportunity is equal now. If anything remains 
unequal it is the power to use it. You cannot make 
opportunity anything but equal. If a person cannot 
measure up to his opportunity, you cannot make him 

137 



FORD IDEALS 



measure up. The question of justice enters only in the 
event of that person having been subjected to such con- 
ditions as prevented him from having a fair chance to 
measure up. If he was deprived of early training; 
if compelled to work in early youth he ruined his 
health ; if constantly borne down under the burden of 
injustice he lost his spirit and ambition — ^these in- 
equalities, of course, are chargeable to society and are 
social sins. 

No one will deny that we have made progress along 
these lines, and if anyone points to the prevailing talk 
of disturbance, one may simply reply that it is one of 
the proofs that we have made progress. 

As our intelligence increases, our needs increase; 
and as our needs increase, our demands increase; 
and as our demands increase, the greater the readjust- 
ment necessary in industrial, social and political prac 
tices. 

We ought to welcome change for the better. No 
one wants the world to remain what it was even a few 
months ago. 

If there is one point on which counsel is required 
today it is this: Change is not the main thing, for 
mere Change may be Change For The Worse. We 
must keep our eye on the constructive and forward- 
looking effort, so that our changes may be toward a 
better and greater civilization. 



138 



Can You Make Your Job 

Bigger? 



THERE are many ways of forging ahead, some of 
which are mere spurts soon succeeded by retreats ; 
but the best way, the way that involves least doubt 
and yields most satisfaction, is the method of getting 
ahead with one's job. 

There are men who get l;hemselves ahead regard- 
less of whether their job goes ahead or not — self- 
boosters; but these men are soon looking for other 
things. 

There are men who get way ahead of their jobs, 
in which case they must be given more and greater 
opportunities to progress. 

But the man who goes ahead with the job and on 
the job and by reason of the job, is the man who makes 
the most substantial progress. 

This may sound very much like some of the ad- 
vice that was given us when we were young, but 
there is one quality about most of the advice we got 
then which we ought not to overlook — it was good and 
true; and much of it is just as true today as it was 
then. 

Everywhere there are men who think they could 
do something else much better than they are doing 
their present work. It is customary to make light of 
such men and their dreams, and even to doubt that 
they would be a bit better in another job than they are 
in their present one. 

But, taking for granted that 'their view of the 
situation is the true one, what is the answer? Simply 
this: either they must themselves act on their faith 
in themselves and find the other thing which they think 
they can do better ; or they must do so well the thing 
they are now doing that with this accumulated ex- 
perience their desire for something diflPerent will com- 
mand confidence and respect in those who may be 

139 



FORD IDEALS 

able to help them make the change. You see, it all 
comes back to the job. 

The job is the barometer of the man. No matter 
what it is, you can always tell how much of industry, 
judgment and carefulness a man brings to his work 
by watching how he does what he is doing. 

You can always tell a slouch by his work, whether 
his work be in finance or farming, in professional or in 
industrial life. 

It doesn't matter what it is, there is no job so 
menial that it cannot tell as much about a man as the 
presidency could. 

Just now there are more menial jobs than there 
will be in the future ; and as long as there are menial 
jobs, someone will have to do them; but there is no 
reason why a man should be penalized because his job 
is "menial." 

There is one thing that can be said about "menial" 
jobs that cannot be said about a great many so-called 
more responsible jobs, and that is, they are useful and 
they are respectable and they are honest. 

Did you ever see dishonest callouses on a man's 
hand ? Hardly. When men's hands are calloused and 
women's hands are worn, you may be sure that Hon- 
esty is there. And that's more than you can say about 
many soft, white hands ! 

But even so, the time is coming when the hand will 
not be subjected to so much hard work as falls to it 
today. Steel fingers and arms will do many things that 
fleshly arms and fingers now do, and a part of at least 
the physical burden will be lifted off our race. 

It is very natural for a man who is alive in his 
mind and vigorous in his ambition to desire a job that 
is fit for him. But does he ever stop to think of this : 
— ^What is to hinder any job being made fit for any 
man? 

There is not so much difference between men as 
we sometimes think. We like to classify men by races 
or intelligence or business success, and thus reach the 
conclusion that there are "superior" and "inferior" 
people. 

But any man who knows his own heart and his 
fellow men, knows there is scarcely any fundamental 

140 



CAN YOU MAKE YOUR JOB BIGGER? 

difference between human beings. There is more real 
difference between two breeds of dogs than there is 
between the mpst highly cultivated man in the world 
and the most unfortunate mortal. Our likeness to one 
another is astonishing. It ought to keep us more 
balanced in our judgments of our fellow men. 

People classify men according to false standards, 
and are quite satisfied to do so — why? Because by 
that means they can always contrive to make them- 
selves appear "superior" to someone. No matter how 
many people may be superior to them, if they can only 
be superior to men inferior still, that fully satisfies 
those who hanker after human gradations — our Amer- 
ican snobs. 

One of the reasons the man who is engaged in 
hand-work wants some other kind of work is this : he 
fancies that somehow hand-work is a little lower than 
head-work. Well, that formerly was the theory. But 
it isn't so any longer. Thank heaven ! the hand-worker 
has at last come into his own, and even measured by 
the financial rewards he is on a higher plane than many 
a so-called "head-worker." Many a man wears a 
white collar who isn't earning what a grimy handed 
worker is paid today. 

It is a terrible thing that we ever allowed this false 
idea to belittle the nobility of hand-work! Why, 
hand-work keeps the world going. When next you 
ride home on the street car at the rush hour, note the 
hands of the men who ride with you. They are not 
soft and pink and manicured ; they are big and rough 
and smeared with oil aiid smudge. Look well at those 
hands, for they turn the very world on its axis, mak- 
ing it a planet of power by day and a glory of light by 
night, and really give our country the industrial repu- 
tation it has gained. 

Hand-work! All the arts engage the hand. The 
balanced work-ration includes both head and hand. 
When the creative hand is denied its place in the 
world's work, life becomes unbalanced. 

But perhaps there is another and deeper reason why 
men sometimes grow discontented and seek a change : 
they want a career, and the job they have may not 
seem to promise a career. Again the question comes : 

141 



FORD IDEALS 



Could that job be made so as to afford a man his 
career ? 

The time has come, as already stated, when drudg- 
ery must be abolished out of labor. It is not work 
that men object to, but the element of drudgery in 
work. We must drive out drudgery wherever we 
find it and set men physically free. We shall never 
be wholly civilized until we remove the tread-mill from 
the daily job. 

Of course, invention is doing this in some degree 
now. We have succeeded to a very great extent in 
relieving men of the heavier and more onerous jobs 
that used to sap their strength, but even when lighten- 
ing the heavier labor we have not yet succeeded in re- 
moving monotony. That is another field that beckons 
us — the abolition of monotony, and in trying to ac- 
complish that we shall doubtless discover other changes 
that have to be made in our system. 

But here is the point : If invention must do these 
things for your job, why don't you search for the 
invention ? 

Your job is your field. If you say you are too 
good for your present job, have you ever given any 
thought to methods by which your present job could 
be made good enough, or even too good, for you ? 

You say you want a job on which you can look 
forward to a life's career: Have you ever studied 
your own job from the standpoint of making it a 
worthy life career? 

You know, if these things are to be done, some- 
body must do them. If all of us leave the job that 
doesn't fit us without doing something to make it fit 
men like us, we are not making progress very fast. 
If we simply desert our jobs, leaving them to whom- 
soever happens along, we are not making the world 
much better for our fellow men. If the man who fol- 
lows you on the job is going to be up against the same 
conditions that you were, the world has not moved 
forward one step so far as that particular job is 
concerned. 

Then, if someone is destined to do these things, 
why not you ? Who knows the job better than you do ? 
It is quite possible that men do not always find their 

142 



CAN YOU MAKE YOUR JOB BIGGER? 

career in the first job they get, nor always in the 
second. But this much is true : Every job is destined 
to become in some sense some man's career, and if 
that is true it ought to be so adjusted as to make a 
worthy career for him. 

Now, there is no worldly success greater than leav- 
ing more jobs and better jobs where we found new 
jobs and less desirable ones. The trend of progress 
will never be toward a decrease in the number or 
quality of jobs — always in an increase. Every new 
idea brings new jobs. Every time a job is improved, 
it breeds more of them, and by its influence makes 
better the jobs around it. 

This is just a suggestion toward finding a career 
and finding success: How do you know that the 
career you seek and the success you desire is not right 
there in the job you have? How do you know you 
cannot make it a career, and turn it into a success ? 
There's a field for your invention. There's a chance 
to serve humanity down to the last working day of 
Time. 

And be sure of this: in thus moving, not ahead 
of your job, nor in despite of your job, but in moving 
ahead with the job and on the job and by the impetus 
you give the job, the other rewards of labor, too, will 
be vours in abundance. 



143 



A Nation of Pioneer Blood 



ONE of the great things about the American peo- 
ple is that they are pioneers. They are of pioneer 
blood. Even though most of the world has been trod- 
den by man, and the farthest frontiers have been 
linked together by the intrepid inquiring spirit of the 
pioneer, the blood of high adventure has not thinned 
nor cooled, and where we lack lands and seas to ex- 
plore we are making up by conquering/new continents 
of life. 

Ask anyone you meet what his origin is, and you 
will discover that his family roots are overseas. If 
not a pioneer himself, he is a pioneer's descendant. _ 

The "forty-niners" are practically all gone, and 
those equally audacious men who visioned cities on 
the prairies ; but in any shop in any city you can find 
men who came half way round the world in search, 
not of a new country, but of a new life. Pioneers ! 

In a near-by neighborhood whose residents had 
long prided themselves on being completely American, 
the school-teachers inaugurated a letter-writing con- 
test about the advantages of life in the United States, 
and when the little essays were published in the local 
paper the neighbors were astonished to learn that 50 
per cent of the children wrote as travelers, as pioneers 
— ^they had not been long over -from foreign lands 
where they were bom. 

Astonished, too, by the testimony of their own eyes, 
that the little foreign-bom children could write better 
essays on Americanism than the American-bom chil- 
dren could, because the little immigrants had a back- 
ground of contrast. They had the outlook of the 
pioneer. 

It is perfectly clear, when we think of it, that a 
man who has spirit enough to pull up his roots and 
betake himself to a strange land and a strange people 
from a motive of bettering his condition, is a superior 
sort of man. 

144 



y 



A NATION OF PIONEER BLOOD 

He eould have remained overseas. He could have 
settled down into the conditions which satisfied his 
forbears, and which still satisfy many of Ms fellows. 
It is natural for men to do this, unless they have an 
urge within which drives them to seek the better thing. 

And so he comes to us, by way of the great sea- 
ports. He comes down the gang-plank a bk bewil- 
dered. His dress is not as ours ; his speech is not as 
ours; all his habits stamp him as a stranger. 

To the ignorant he brings amusement. To the 
exploiter of human labor, he brings a temptation. But 
to the man who sees and understands, he brings a 
prophetic vision. 

Who is this man with his bundle ? He is a pioneer. 
Make way for him. 

Now, wherever we go in this country we find 
pioneers or the sons of pionfeers. Not the pioneers of 
Mayflower nor yet of Revolutionary days — pioneers 
of five and ten years ago. 

It makes little difference if your forefathers did 
come over in the Mayflower — ^they were immigrants, 
strangers in a strange land, pioneers — ^and we are their 
sons. 

So that the spirit of initiative, the very blood- 
stream of high daring, the vitial urge to rest nowhere 
until Opportunity is attained, are bred in the very 
fibers of our bodies. 

Of no other people can it be said in the same sense 
as it is said of the people of the United States — "They 
are the pioneers of every people under heaven." 

It is only natural, therefore, that the pioneer spirit, 
denied further exercise in exploration of new seas and 
conquest of new continents, now- turns itself to other 
exploits, different, yet calling for the same old daring 
of the pioneer. 

It was natural at the outset that the first comers 
should pioneer upon a new venture into freedom. 
Had they been no more than colonists, set down in a 
certain place to build up sin imitation of the land they 
left, the history of the world would have been very 
different. 

Colonists they were at first, but colonists of their 
own free will, and that made them pioneers. 

145 



FORD IDEALS 



Therefore they were not imitators but creators, 
and it was not long before the attempted imitations of 
government and social conditions were banished in a 
great ebullition of the creative spirit. 

They called it "revolution" then, but it was crea- 
tion. It depends upon your point of view which one 
of these words you use. Creation is always an un- 
comfortable, even a reprehensible process in the view 
of the old, outworn but exceedingly profitable forms 
which it removes. 

It was just as natural that within this newly cre- 
ated form of opportunity new freedom of effort should 
reveal itself. Invention, enterprise, commerce, wealth, 
power followed quickly, as they always follow where 
men breathe free air. 

If the late war may be said to have expanded the 
limits of htmian freedom everywhere, especially where 
freedom was not complete before, it may also be said, 
as a consequence, that we are on the eve of a new era 
of inventiveness, a new influx of epoch-making ideas. 
. Just as rain cannot fall in some regions, so ideas 
cannot be bom and developed in an atmosphere of 
oppression. But the temperature of the world has 
become more favorable of late, and we may expect to 
see a great downpour of ideas which will further lib- 
erate man and make him free of the world in which 
he finds himself. 

All this is just another way of saying that we are 
a pioneering people. We seek the conditions of free- 
dom, and all else follows as day follows night. 

Our latest great pioneering effort was directed to- 
ward opening a new route through world war to world 
peace. We pioneered the thought of a war being 
fought to end all war. We pioneered the thought of 
a war being waged in utter scorn of material profit 
from it. We pioneered the thought of actually com- 
pelling .the^ peace terms which settled a single war to 
serve also as the machinery which should prevent all 
future wars. 

In doing these things we are exhibiting our pioneer 
blood in its best strains. We are striking out upon new 
paths as truly as did Columbus when he set sail toward 
the mysterious west. 



\ 



146 



A NATION OF PIONEER BLOOD 

The prominent feature of the American pioneering 
spirit is that it is constructive. We do not always 
realize that there is a perversion of the pioneering urge 
which it behooves us to watch. 

Illustrations of this lower sort of adventure are 
numerous in history. There are pioneers who rush to 
a land upon first reports of its richness, to strip it 
bare and carry away its wealth. There are other 
pioneers who move in to occupy the latid, develop and 
conserve it, and enhance its value and usefulness. 

Where we have known exactly what to do in our 
pioneering work, we have done it with directness and 
speed. But where we have not known exactly what 
to do, we have gone carefully, with true pioneer cau- 
tion, in order not to cause injury through our ig- 
norance. 

That, perhaps, is a fair description of our social 
attitude these days. There can be no doubt whatever 
that we feel the surge of pioneer blood in us once 
more as we contemplate social conditions in our coun- 
try. We feel the impulse once again to strike out new 
highways, new roads through the social wilderness, 
which the thronging feet of happy people may wear 
into great world paths by which all people may come 
to peace and prosperity. 

Just remember that we are a race of pioneers ; that 
there is no active blood in our nation that is not de- 
scended from the pioneers; and then examine the 
tendencies of today in the light of that thought, and 
see if our people are not feeling the unrest to be on 
the pioneer path once more and discover newer and 
better regions of life and its pursuits for all men. 

That, undoubtedly, is the direction in which we 
are going to explore next — the direction of social 
advance. 

But we are cautious about it. We know that ev- 
erything we have achieved in the 300 years of our 
occupancy of this continent is not bad. We know per- 
fectly well that we could not have worked and thought 
and sacrificed without accomplishing something wor- 
thy to be built into the noblest temple of social justice 
our breed could ever rear. So we are cautious about 

147 



FOKD nffiALS 



it: in trying to get rid of what is faulty and wrong, 
we do not desire to injure what is useful and good. 

It was not the pioneer who destroyed the wealth 
of game and forest and soil; it was the thoughtless 
hordes that followed — ^those who stayed at home until 
hardy men had struck out the paths and subdued the 
dangers. And the true pioneer will not bring disaster 
to what is good in the new regions which he seeks to 
subdue to justice and righteousness. 

No one can contemplate the nation to which we 
belong without realizing the distinctive prophetic char- 
acter of its obvious mission to the world. 

We are pioneers. We are the pathfinders. We 
are the road-builders. We are the guides, the van- 
guards of Humanity. 

The American people represent the human ex- 
tract of that which was the best in all other countries, 
the pioneers of all pioneers, and we are therefore 
destined to lead the plain peoples of the world in any 
path we lay out; they are confident that we will lead 
them into no slough, no miry swamp of disaster. 

Is not that a most solemn responsibility for us to 
bear? Ought it not to guarantee that such confidence 
will not be misplaced? • 

When the American Pioneer strikes out the path, 
the world may know that it will be safe for all the 
fathers and mothers, yoimg men and maidens, and all 
the little children of humanity — 2l safe road for man- 
kind. 



148 



Human Nature and the 
Social System 



V 



THERE are two positions from which one may 
consider the economic conditions under which we 
live, and the one you chose will determine the attitude 
and emphasis of any thought or action taken with ref- 
erence to those conditions. 

You may say that it is the economic condition 
which makes mankind what it is ; or you may say that 
it is mankind that makes the economic condition what 
it is. 

It is worthy of notice that wherever a situation 
is desirable, mankind usually claims the credit of 
creating it. But wherever a situation is faulty and 
self -destructive and full of injustice and pain, man- 
kind has a tendency to charge that up to "nature." 
So you will find a large proportion of partisans claim- 
ing that it is the economic system which makes men 
what they are. They blame the faults of our industrial 
system for all the faults which we behold in mankind 
generally. 

And you will find other men who say that man cre- 
ates his own conditions; that if the economic, in- 
dustrial or social system is bad, it is but a reflection 
of what Man himself is; his social conditions being 
determined by his own nature. 

It may be true, of course, that these things inter- 
act ; it probably is true. But it would be hard to gain- 
say that the point of beginning, the casual motive 
power, is in man himself. 

What is wrong in our industrial system, for ex- 
ample, is a reflection of what is wrong in man him- 
self. But there is no doubt that after he has created 
this wrong system, it begins to react upon him in puni- 
tive or other influential ways. That is, character acts 
upon conditions, and conditions upon character — ^an 
endless interaction. 

149 



FORD IDEALS 



It ought not to be hard to admit this. In fact, it 
seldom is hard when we remove the matter far enough 
from our own concerns. Teachers dislike to admit 
that the faults of the educational system are their own 
faults writ large. Physicians dislike to admit that 
the faults of the present systems of medicine are their 
own deficiencies organized. Manufacturers hesitate to 
admit that the mistakes of the present industrial meth- 
ods are, in part at least, their own mistakes system- 
atized and extended. But take the x[uestion outside 
of a man's immediate concerns, and he sees the point 
readily enough. 

The workman has no trouble whatever in seeing 
that the faults of modem business systems are not 
and cannot be anything other than the faults of busi- 
ness men themselves ; because business men make busi- 
ness systems. The business man sees just as readily 
that the faults of labor organizations are the faults of 
workingmen themselves. 

And all of us together — the whole of human so- 
ciety — make the social system. 

Now, if you allow relentless logic to take its course 
with this form of statement, and begin to speak of 
reforming the social system, then you find yourself 
confronted at once with the problem of making a 
profound and complete change in human nature. And 
that is a pretty big job. It has never been accomplished 
wholesale. 

It is just at this point that simon-pure idealists 
mount their cloud-horses and soar into regions where 
we cannot follow them. And it is also at this point 
that our so-called "practical" men propose programs 
that fairly clank with materialism. 

Why is it that so many fine idealists lose all con- 
tact with reality? And why is it that so many hard- 
headed practical men lose so completely their con- 
tact with idealism? 

If some method could be devised by which ideal- 
ists could be anchored to an anvil and a sledge ham- 
mer, and hard-headed practical men enlightened and 
refined by a dash of Vision and an infusion of a 
venturesome and divine belief in the supremacy of 

ISO 



HUMAN NATURE AND THE SOCIAL SYSTEM 

righteousness, then we should see both these types 
yield more useful service to their kind. 

We should be slow about drawing conclusions 
before we have all our data. 

No doubt, with a less faulty human nature than 
ours is, a less faulty social system would have grown 
up. Or, if human nature were worse than it is, a 
worse system would have grown up; though probably 
a worse system would not have lasted so long as the 
present one has. It is only its good points that have 
kept ours in force so long. 

But, things being as they are, there are very few 
who will claim that mankind -deliberately set out to 
create a faulty social system. Granting without re- 
serve that all the faults of the social system are in Man 
himself, it does not follow that he deliberately organ- 
ized his imperfections and established them. We 
shall have to charge a great deal up to ignorance, shall 
we not? We shall have to charge a great deal up to 
a certain innocence as well. Take the beginnings of 
our present industrial system, for example. There 
was then no indication as to how it would grow, nor 
as to the points in which it would show its greatest 
imperfection. Everyone was glad to see it begin. 
Every new advance was hailed with joy. No one 
ever thought of "capital" and "labor" as hostile in- 
terests. No one ever dreamed that the very fact of 
success would bring insidious dangers with it. 

And yet with growth every imperfection latent in 
the system came to light. A man's business grew to 
such proportions that he had to have more helpers 
than he knew by their first names; but that fact was 
not regretted, it was rather hailed with joy. And yet 
see what it has since led to! — an impersonal system 
wherein the workman has become something less than 
flesh and blood, a mere part of a system. 

No one believes, of course, that this dehumanizing 
process was deliberately invented. It just gr^w. It 
was latent in the whole early system, but no one saw 
it and no one could foresee it. Only prodigious and 
imheard of development could bring it to light. 

But there is yet another consideration which the 
first set of facts does not include. Take the industrial 

151 



FORD IDEALS 

idea; what is it? The true industrial idea is not to 
make money. The industrial idea is to express a 
serviceable idea, duplicate a useful idea, by as many 
thousands as there are people who need it. To pro- 
duce, produce; to get a system that will reduce pro- 
duction to a fine art; to put production on such a 
basis as will provide means for expansion and the 
building of still more shops, the production of still 
more thousands of useful things — ^that is the real 
industrial idea. 

"Yes, but what about the workingmen ?" Ah, that 
brings us to the point. When the system grows by 
its own momentum to such proportions that it begins 
to press upon fundamental human rights or to violate 
fundamental human instincts, the social question arises. 

And what is the social question? Simply the 
question of how this industrial system can be so ad- 
justed as to recognize human rights. 

The industrial idea did not start out with the in- 
tention of violating human rights. Nevertheless that 
is what its extreme development tended to do. There- 
fore the clash, which is called the social question. 

Here again we approach the problem: Which is 
first, human nature or its social and industrial en- 
vironment? It becomes clear that once a system and 
human nature come into conflict, human nature and 
human rights represent the stronger force. Man- 
kind is still creative enough to change the system to 
conform with human imperatives of Right. 

This also has a bearing on the changeability of 
human nature. Those who are sometimes discour- 
aged by reflecting upon the impossibility of changing 
human nature wholesale and for the better, thus 
changing the social system for the better also, should 
carry their reflections a little further. They should 
reflect on the impossibility of any system, n6 matter 
how important, changing human nature enough to 
make it content with violations of its needs and rights. 
Let any system of government, industry or business 
curtail or contravene fundamental human rights, and 
it is not human nature that changes — it is that system ! 

So that, after all, the inflexibility of human na- 
ture may be our most hopeful fact. 

152 



HUMAN NATURE AND THE SOCIAL SYSTEM 

We all know, we all feel, that the only way by 
which human nature at large could be influenced to 
condone or support a bad system of any kind, would 
be to render that bad system profitable to humanity at 
large. 

Now, we know that no bad system can be profitable 
to humanity at large. A system universally and un- 
exceptionally bad would simply collapse. It would 
be like trying to maintain a sound currency system in 
a nation of counterfeiters ; it would simply be impos- 
sible. The coimterfeit has its fleeting value simply 
because the mass of money is sound. And imfair, 
greedy, inhuman, wicked systems last as long as they 
do only because the opposite majority qualities give 
them room for profitable play. 

No doubt the faultiness of human nature is the 
cause of the faultiness of our social system. But 
equally without doubt the faultiness of our social 
system is not the intention of humanity, else the faults 
would not be so universally denounced and opposed. 

Our ignorance is responsible for the faults being 
there, but it is our incorrigible desire for public and 
social righteousness that makes it impossible for the 
faults to remain there forever. 

Mankind is not perfect by any means. But man- 
kind has not yet given its collective vote to the Devil. 



153 



The Modern City — 
A Pestiferous Growth 



THE modem City, with its suppression of all that^ 
is sweet in its natural environment, its enforce- 
ment of artificial modes of living, its startling dis- 
parities of leisure and employment, its hideous ex- 
tremes of self-conscious wealth and abject poverty, is 
probably the most unlovely sight this planet can of- 
fer ; certainly it represents the most imwholesome con- 
dition that challenges our thought today. 

For the City concentrates within its limits the Es- 
sence of all that is wrong, artificial, wayward and 
unjust in our social life. It is, as it were, the spot 
where the internal social impurities break out in a 
festering sore. 

Much discussion has been devoted to "the prob- 
lem of the City," but for the most part it h^s shuttled 
back and forth between a liking for community life and 
a liking for the companionship of nature, between 
the City lover and the country lover — ^and, of course, 
that is not the question at all. 

A City is a camp that has become stagnant and 
which grows by' accretion. A City is a camp that 
has ceased to march, a community that has called a 
halt. 

There will be no argument /in this page against the 
desirability of a settled life. Nor will there be any 
assertion of the superiority of that phase of society 
where the people followed their flocks as their flocks 
moved hither and thither seeking pasture. 

It was doubtless a milestone of progress when men 
began to plant vineyards, for vineyards have to be 
tended, and tending them keeps the vine-dresser resi- 
dent in one place. 

But to recognize the advantage of settled com- 
munity life is not to put in a plea for the modern 
City, for it is doubtful if the modern City can be 

154 



THE MODERN CITY — A PESTIFEROUS GROWTH 

considered as in any sense a community. Oh, we 
call it a community, of course; .we talk a great deal 
about community spirit, and the like; but anyone 
who knows the modem City knows that it is not a 
community — it is any number of communities, few of 
them sympathetic one to another. 

The modem City is broken into as many com- 
munities as there are interests in it, and the modern 
City is the great meeting place of all our social antag- 
onisms, both those that are engendered by differences 
in taste and culture and those which grow out of 
economic causes. The result is that such communi- 
ties as we have are antagonistic, competitive, mutually 
exclusive. 

The modern City is a classic illustration of what 
ensues when we fail to mix the arts. 

The three great arts are Agriculture, Manufacture 
and Transportation. 

The City automatically excludes agriculture as one 
of the arts possible to its inhabitants ; it does this be- 
cause the land whereon it stands is too crowded for 
the soil to exercise its natural function, and where it 
is not occupied by buildings it is overlaid with pave- 
ment. 

Manufacture was the center around which the 
City grew. It may have been a very simple form of 
manufacture at first, like the making of flour out of 
grain, or the making of shoes out of hides, or the mak- 
ing of cloth out of wool. 

But wherever a productive machine is set up with 
a roof over it and operatives around it, there the City 
begins. 

There are two bases for the community, one a 
necessity of nature, the other a necessity of progress. 
Man was not made for solitude. He is gregarious. 
Not only "hath he set the solitary in families," as 
the Scripture has it, but families also group with 
other families, and as the individual finds his ful- 
fillment in the family, so the family finds its fulfill- 
ment in the community. 

Then, again, progress is not solitary. We can do 
few things alone. Directly we undertake to achieve 
worth-while, results in the physical world, we dis- 

155 



r 



FORD IDEALS ^ 



cover that we need help. We discover also that men 
delight to work together, that they are formed for 
^ creative co-operation. 

So that it is a far different thing to condemn the 
I City than to condemn the community. The commimity 
I is natural. The City is not. 

It is the one-sided, lopsided development of in- 
dustry, as industry is represented by the manufacture 
of articles of use and commerce, that is, primarily re- 
sponsible for the modem City — ^that, and the neglect 
of the other two arts, agriculture and transportation. 

In our day,- however, transportation is beginning 
to catch up. It is still far from what it ought to be, 
but it is immeasurably better than once it was. And 
as a result, the City is beginning to feel the influence 
of an art that will be one of the chief forces in its 
undoing. 

At first it seemed as if transportation would have 
the effect of further augmenting the City, but now 
it is effecting a spreading out of cities and popula- 
tions. The suburban car and the automobile have 
rendered confinement within the City unnecessary for 
large numbers of people. And one of the most hope- 
ful facts is that, whereas only the well-to-do once 
found it possible to get away from the city, now the 
^ workingman finds it not only possible but advantageous 
to live in the country, and thousands of them are 
dorhg it even while they work in the City. 

And as transportation facilities become better and 
more numerous, this movement to the country will be 
increased. 

The "problem of the City" is a bundle of the most 
baffling problems we know. It not only includes prob- 
lems of health, morals, administration and economics, 
but problems which go deep into the very nature of 
man. 

The solution of this problem has eluded our best 
minds for decades and decades. In spite of all the 
expenditure of money and thought, all the sacrifice of 
labor and spirit, "the problem of the City" grows more 
acute instead of easier. 

And what is the answer to this? 

Plainly, so it seems to some of us, that the ulti- 



156 



THE MODERN CITY — ^A PESTIFEROUS GROWTH 

mate solution will be the abolition of the City, its 
abandonment as a blunder. 

There are a number of movements all converging 
to this end — some of them in utter unconsciousness 
of this end — ^and not the least of them is a certain 
theory of taxation which has seized upon the minds 
and imaginations of the people. Nothing will finally 
work more effectively to undo the fateful grip which 
the City habit has taken upon the people, than the 
destruction of the fictitious land values which the City 
traditions have set up and maintained. 

We shall solve the City Problem by leaving the 
City. 

Get the people into the country, get them into 
communities where a man knows his neighbor, where 
there is a commonality of interest, where life is not 
artificial, and you have solved the City Problem. You 
have solved it by eliminating the City. City life was 
always artificial and cannot be made anything else. 
An artificial form of life breeds its own disorders, 
and these cannot be "solved." There is nothing to 
do but abandon the course that gives rise to them. 

There is nothing impossible or unusual in this. 
We have seen in our own day cities spring up in a 
month. Well, if our people should be made free of 
the soil in their own country, you would see whole 
cities shrink to nothing in the same length of time. 

Nothing can long exist that is not self-sustaining. 
The City is not self-sustaining. No American City — 
^and we are the best fortified in the world in this re- 
spect — could survive, without suffering, a single week's 
interruption in the traffic in supplies from the farm. 

The farm is self-sustaining. The City can serve 
the farm with regard to conveniences, but not with 
essentials. Essentially, the farm is complete within 
itself. 

The City has exercised its illicit charm to draw to 
itself the very people on whose devotion to the art 
of agriculture it depended for its livelihood. As a 
result of this overgrowth of the City at the expense 
* of the farm, the City is now finding it hard to live. 
When the City is driven out to get food, it must go 
to the farm. And that is where it is going now. 

157 



PORD IDEALS 



The balance of life — in all its aspects — cart only 
be preserved by a natural balance in the attention given 
to all three major arts — ^Agriculture, Manufacture and 
Transportation — without which, or in the neglect of 
any of which, nothing goes very far. 

And the best way to obtain this balance, as we are 
beginning to learn, is to have the same people prac- 
tice more than one of them. 

As has been previously stated in these pages, there 
is no soimd reason whatever why one immense group 
of men should be confined within factory walls all the 
year round simply because they happen to live in the 
City, and there is just as little reason why another 
large group of persons should be confined to their 
farm-acres all the year roimd just because they hap- 
pen to be farmers. 

Agriculture would be better served if the man- 
power of the manufacturing interests were devoted to 
it a part of the time every year, and manufacturing 
would be better served if the man-power of the farms 
could change occupation during the season when the 
ground is resting. Aijd the life of everybody, the 
physical and economic life, would be benefited. Be- 
sides which, small manufacturing centers would dot 
all our countrysides, and wide farming areas would 
encircle our present dense communities, relieving 
them of <:ongested abnormality, and the country of 
its unnatural loneliness and separateness. 

The mingling of the arts will help restore us to 
economic balance and racial sanity. 



1S8 



Catching the Boss's Eye 



IT IS most unfortunate that we are so strongly under 
the influence of the idea that to catch somebody's 
eye, to attract admiring attention, to get full credit 
for what we do, is the one element which we must not 
omit from any effort we make; that to do a piece of 
work and not get the credit for it is little less than a 
calamity. 

Not very long ago it was urged in an article in- 
tended to stimulate the ambition of young men, that 
they should endeavor strenuously to do something that 
would catch their boss's eye. 

The surprising point about this advice is that it 
was given by an employer himself. Had it been writ- 
ten by an aspiring young workman, it would be easy 
to account for ; but how a boss could utter such coun- 
sel is beyond ordinary power to explain. 

If all our productive operations were manned by 
men who were straining to catch the boss's eye, in- 
dustry would become a sort of vaudeville, a game of 
catch-as-catch-can, a race for recognition. 

Of course, there are certain factors in this desir-e 
for recognition which must be reckoned with before 
we can deal intelligently with it. 

It is beyond dispute that our modem industrial 
system has warped this desire terribly out of shape 
and rendered it almost an obsession. There was a 
time when a man's personal advancement depended 
entirely and immediately upon his work, and not 
upon anyone's favor ; but nowadays it depends far too 
much, as we all know, upon the individual's good for- 
tune in catching some influential eye. 

It is perfectly clear that as long as this situation 
exists, 'men will strive to meet it ; that is, men will 
work with the idea of catching somebody's eye; they 
will work with the idea that if they fail to get credit 
for what they do, they might as well have done it 
badly or not have done it at all. 

159 



FORD IDEALS 

I 

One result of this, as far as the work itself is 
concerned, is that it becomes a secondary considera- 
tion. The job we are doing, the article we are pro- 
ducing, the special kind of service we are rendering, 
turtis out to be not our principal work at alL No. 
Our main work is our personal advancement. This 
thing we are doing nqw is not being done for its own 
sake, this service we are doing is not being done be- 
cause it is a service, but because it is a platform from 
which we may practice the art of catching somebody's 
eye, the art of skillfully attracting credit-bringing at- 
tention to ourselves. 

Now, we submit, this habit of making the work 
secondary and the recognition primary, is unfair to 
the work. It makes recognition and credit our real 
job, while the job we are paid to do is used merely as 
a kicking-off place. 

And it also has an unfortunate effect on the worker. 
It encourages a peculiar kind of ambition which is 
neither lovely nor productive. It produces the kind 
who imagine that by "standing in with the boss" they 
will get ahead. Every shop knows this kind of man. 
And the worst of it is there are some things in our 
present industrial system which make it appear that 
this kind of game really pays. Foremen are only hu- 
man, and it is natural that they should be flattered 
by being made to believe that they hold the weal or 
woe of workmen in their hands. It is natural also, 
that being open to flattery, their self-seeking sub- 
ordinates should flatter them still more to obtain and 
profit by their favor. 

The trend of industry is and ought to be farther 
and farther away from a condition which gives any 
individual the power of life and death — for that is 
virtually what bread-and-butter power is — over an- 
other. We don't want a race of overseers who fancy 
they control human destiny ; and we don't want a race 
of workmen who think they have to cringe and cajole 
to get recognition of their merits. 

'The desire for recognition is natural. But it is 
far from being the highest desire. The real work- 
man knows that his work is his unanswerable witness. 
Far higher than the desire for recognition is the cre- 

160 



CATCHING THE BOSS'3 EY^ 



ative desire, which finds its satisfaction in work well 
done whether anyone sees that it is well done or not. 

But of course, some modem industrial conditions 
tend to smother that kind of workmanship. Wherever 
the emphasis is on quantity at the expense of quality, 
wherever the emphasis is on profits at the expense of 
service, wherever the commercial side of production 
is emphasized at the cost of the human and service- 
able side, then the workman finds himself in a sort 
of scramble for selfish benefits whether of money, 
rank or job, and he can hardly help becoming infected 
with the regenerate tendency. 

Now, everyone will agree that the person who is 
over-anxious about getting credit for what he does 
is not an impressive person, to say the least. But he 
may not be entirely blamable, either. 

He may be a product of that false philosophy of 
life which teaches that a man is successful only in- 
sofar as he gets credit for being so ; and believing that, 
he may perhaps also have the experience of credit 
imjustly withheld from him, and so he grows over- 
anxious. One false extreme has simply worked an- 
other false extreme in him. He is to be pitied and 
led out of his obsession. Certainly, he is not to be 
dealt with in a way that would deepen his sense of 
injustice. The sense of personal injustice is one of 
the most painful burdens a man can bear about with 
him. 

Just where to draw the line between a laudable 
desire for recognition and an overwhelming thirst 
for credit is not easy to do; the one is normal and 
the other is abnormal. But we should say that the 
line of demarcation exists somewhere in the individ- 
ual's attitude toward the work he is doing. 

If his inclination is to do his work well whether 
he foresees special credit or not; that is, if he has a 
pride in his work quite apart from its possible rela- 
tion to other men's opinions, then it would be probably 
safe to say that his desire for recognition would be 
normal. 

But if his work means no more to him than an 
emblem with which to attract attention, if when with- 
out any hope of recognition for the particular job on 

161 



FORD IDEALS 

which he is engaged, he slurs it over and neglects it, 
then it is apparent that his desire for recognition is 
not bom of high workmanly pride, but of selfish per- 
sonal interest of a rather small caliber. 

It would be pleasant to declare that good work 
always is seen and recognized, but it would scarcely 
be true. There is far too much work produced for 
all of it to be judged accurately. But it would be 
absolutely true to declare that a good workman is al- 
ways seen and recognized. His work may escape ob- 
servation; he himself cannot well do so. All the 
carefulness, dependability, honest pride and power 
he builds into his work is somehow built back into 
himself. It is reflected back upon him. And, of 
course, that kind of shining cannot long be hidden. 
For it is a matter of character then, not merely of 
articles of manufacture. 

The matter of personal advancement is one which 
is not considered as carefully as it ought to be. And 
much of the misconception concerning one's credit 
for one's work grows out of the kind of idea of ad- 
vancement which he may hold. 

A great evil was begun when the sphere of ad- 
vancement was placed outside of the job instead of 
within it. 

Nowadays advancement means getting out of one's 
job into another job, if one can. It doesn't mean be- 
coming a better workman at what you are doing; it 
means becoming a workman at something else, at an- 
other rate of pay, and with another degree of respect 
attaching to your rank. 

Of course, when this kind of advancement means 
ako more of the means and comforts of life, more of 
the opportunities which one would give to one's fam- 
ily, nothing short of cosmic suppression could prevent 
men from striving for it. 

Thus the competitive element is injected into life. 
And we are strongly of the opinion that when these 
things, the means and comforts of life, the desirable 
opportunities 'which one would give to one's family — 
when these things are left at the peril of the bread- 
winner's success or failure in a mad competitive scram- 
ble for this favor called "advancement," then our 

162 



CATCHING THE BOSS's EYE 



system of life is sadly in need of humanizing readjust- 
ment. 

Under the present strife and strain men are not 
free to consider their work alone, they are driven to 
consider the methods — fair and unfair — ^by which 
they may attract attention, win favor and gain ad- 
vancement. 

If men were assured that their livelihood and re- 
spect as members of society were assured from the 
beginning, then we should have a sounder foundation 
on which to appeal to them to make their advance- 
ment within the limits of their work. 

But this subject of advancement deserves atten- 
tion by itself. Suffice it now to say that if a man has 
faith to trust his future to the quality of his work, 
the chances are very high that his faith will be re- 
warded. The strength of faith is that it does not look 
for the reward ; it does not demand what one deserves, 
it only asks that one be deserving. 

By doing the thing for which you know you may 
get no credit, you are doing something which will 
never be lost to you — ^you are building certain qualities 
which cannot be hidden. 

One of the commonest faults observable in men 
is that they overreach for credit. And, of course, 
where one overreaches one does not receive. After 
all, we must leave a little of our lives to Destiny. 



163 



Patriotism an Inclusive 

Emotion 



LOVE of country is a sentiment inherent in men. 
There is a sacred element in the spirit of patriot- 
ism for this reason. No matter how hard the land 
may have been to the dwellers thereon, no matter how 
harsh the governmental conditions imposed, no matter 
how bitter the memories which thoughts of native 
land evoke, no matter how unfavorably the place of 
our nativity may compare with the land of our adop- 
tion, there is still an ineradicable love of country which 
is a vital part of us from the earliest dawn of our 
consciousness until the last shadows begin to close 
in upon us. 

It is inconceivable that there could exist, outside 
the pages of fiction, a man who, regardless of griev- 
ances, was without a special love for some branch 
of the human race, some division of the earth's sur- 
face, some city, state or bit of homestead. 

All our love of the earth begins in love for our 
own land. All our love for Humanity begins in love 
for our own people. All our love for Freedom begins 
in love for our own institutions. 

As an illustration of the depth of the patriotic 
sentiment, look at the Irish. With their memories of 
their native land deeply colored by suffering, how 
they cling to Erin stilH How they laud her as the 
fairest ,among the isles ! 

Or take the Jew. He has been without a flag and 
a cotftitry these twenty centuries, yet how his heart- 
strings twine about old Jerusalem, the glories of her 
past and the greater glories prophesied for her future ! 

It is not merely because the land feeds us and 
caresses us and gives us pleasant lives that we love it. 
Men have most deeply loved the lands where they have 
suffered most. Patriotism in its purity is not a selfish 
sordid sentiment. 

164 



PAmonSM AN INCLUSIVE EMOTION 

Of course, every virtue has its counterfeit, every 
noble principle has its superficial imitation. The more 
sacred the principle the more readily is it seized upon 
by designing persons to lend an air of genuineness to 
their questionable purposes. This needs no proof. 
We see it with reference to every lofty sentiment, not 
patriotism only. 

The principal fallacy to which — ^not real patriotism, 
mark you — false patriotism succumbs is the fallacy of 
exclusiveness. Because we love one country we must 
suspect the motives and defeat the purposes of all 
other cotmtries — that is the fallacy. 

It is commonly reported, of course, that those who 
remember that they are members of the Human Race 
as well as of their own nationality, are promoting the 
doctrine that a man ought to love all countries, his 
own no more than another. 

Aside from this being merely theoretical, it is im- 
possible. No man ever has or ever can love another 
people as he loves his own, another land as he loves 
his own, or other institutions as he loves his own. 

He may wisely acknowledge the worth and beauty 
of the other land, the greatness and usefulness of the 
other people, the wisdom and character of the other 
institutions — ^but this is not patriotic love. He may 
even see that the other land is more desirable from 
many points of view, that the other people are more 
highly developed and more efficient, that the other in- 
stitutions are more advanced ; yet he will but love his 
own the more and covet for them the good character- 
istics of the others. We cannot get away from these 
facts. They are written in our very hearts. 

All love is given us for purposes of inclusion, not 
exclusion, because love is an expansive emotion. This 
is a truth which everyone will readily acknowledge. 
We have a respect for the women of other races be- 
cause we respect the mothers, wives and daughters 
of our own. We have a heart for the welfare of all 
children because we have a heart for the welfare of 
our own. Aad so on. We are able to understand, 
sympathize, respect, solely because we know from 
our own experience what the situation is. That is 
why we respect an alien's patriotic love for his own 

165 



FORD IDEALS 

country. We know that sentiment ki ourselves ; there- 
fore, we respect it in him. 

But reasoning from the analogy of the social af- 
fections a distinction should be made : there is a love 
of attachment and a love of respect. Our domestic 
affections form personal attachments. But there are 
people on the other side of the city, in another city, 
or in another cotmtry, with whom we should be very 
loth to form personal attachments — with whom, in- 
deed, nature would prevent us forming personal at- 
tachments — ^yet whose rights as men we cherish as 
strongly as we cherish our own. Isn't that true? 

You don't have to be willing to live in the same 
house with a man in order to cherish his rights as a 
man and citizen. By virtue of his membership in the 
human race you are "for" him in the protection of 
certain fundamental rights whicji as a human being 
he possesses, and which neither a diflference in speech 
nor allegiance can change. We know men as men, 
not as nationals. We know them as human beings. 
That is our primary knowledge of men, as members 
of our kind. 

There is a prof oundly natural element in patriotism. 
But something tragically artificial marks all national 
antagonisms. It is natural that a man should love his 
own people and his own spot of earth ; it is unnatural 
that he should hate another people or another spot of 
earth simply because it is not his. Love of our own 
country does not involve hatred of other countries. 
The man who tries to prove his patriotism by the ex- 
tent of his hatred is a suspicious patriot. 

In other words, patriotism is not an exclusive emo- 
tion — it does not shut out ; it lets in. And though we 
cannot love others as our own, we can still love the 
rights of others, their peace, their prosperity and the 
security of their children. The moment patriotism 
takes wings and enters the spiritual realm, that mo- 
ment it blesses all people. 

If there is any one quality in the Genius of Amer- 
ica to whose existence we can point with confidence, 
it is the quality of heightened regard in which we 
hold the rights of all peoples on the earth — ^an intema- 

166 



PATRIOTISM AN INCLUSIVE EMOTION 

tionalism of sympathy and understanding and good 
wishes. 

The United States never has and never will ber 
come productive soil for the seeds of international 
hatred. We will never rise against lands or peoples 
to do them harm; we will only rise against the ag- 
gressive Errors of which lands and peoples have be- 
come the self-deluded servants ; and we will even min- 
imize the chances of having to do that, by being in 
the world the friend of Light and Freedom. 

The United States was never more avowedly the 
Servant Nation of the world than now. And never 
did the Servant status hold nobler honor. 

The nations whose histories are embalmed in an- 
cient books, whose ruins dot the desolation of desert 
lands, fell before the subtlest temptation that can ever 
lure a nation — ^the temptation to Mastery. To bear 
world rule, to make vassals, to be world conqueror — 
this is the rock on which nations have made ship- 
wrecks of themselves. They forgot the eternal Wis- 
dom which taught: "He that would be greatest 
among you, let him be as one that serveth." 

The United States has never wanted to master any 
nation. The utmost expenditure of money and elo- 
quence and influence and false incentives of every 
kind, has utterly failed to inoculate our people €ven 
slightly with the virus of imperialistic ambition. 

Even after our part in the Great War, with re- 
sults that must be grateful to every lover of Liberty 
and Order, we find ourselves strangely untainted by 
the animus of militarism. We did what we had to 
do, we did it as well as we could, but it was not such 
business as we would care to be doing all the time. 

There is one source of pride to every American 
and that is, though we broke all our records of mil- 
itaristic preparation and achievement, though we 
gained a name for courage and initiative, yet with the 
spoils of the world laid down before us we have kept 
faith with our traditions and have refused one iota of 
reward. The nation paid in blood and sweat and 
sorrow — for what? For the privilege of serving the 
world without recompense. 

We ought to think more of our own United States 

167 



ford' ideals 



as the Servant Nation of Mankind, the great, strong, 
trustworthy, righteous nation whose joy is to serve 
all the peoples in the things which pertain to peace and 
progress. 

In proportion to our population, our area, our 
wealth, and the isxtent of our history, there are fewer 
of the means of destruction to be found within the 
boundaries or under the control of the United States 
than of any other nation. Why? Because we would 
rather serve than enslave, we would rather help than 
hurt, we would rather live in a family of nations than 
in an imperialistic system where the strongest des- 
perado among the nations ruled. 

Love the United States ! Why, even if the United 
States were but an ideal, but a dream, but an Utopia 
written in books, but not yet realized by man, we 
would love it! Unrealized, it would be like heavfen. 
How much more, then, does every human heart on the 
earth love the real United States? And if we are dis- 
trusted and disliked anywhere it is because some 
among us, forgetting who and what they are, have said 
or done things which made us appear in a light less 
than our own. 

We shall keep our people in prosperity and our 
neighbors in peace and the world in sanity and equi- 
poise by going quietly about our mission of serving 
all mankind in the things which endure. 



168 



False "Success Philosophy" 



T 



HIRTY years ago every boy in the United States 
was educated in the idea that it was possible for 
him to become President of the United States, that 
he ought to aspire to that position, that to achieve it 
would represent his success; and, of course, there 
was a great waste of human energy; we only needed 
four or five men for that job. It would be interesting 
to know how many of our Presidents were told in 
their boyhood that they might attain that, office. 

We do not waste so very much time on that sort 
of prospect for our boys nowadays. 

One reason may be our increase in regard for the 
Presidency. We think of it now as a place of Destiny. 
We judge any man a fool who would seek it as a 
personal distinction. We have seen too much of the 
responsibility it involves to make it the sign and sym- 
bol of any man's individual success. 

But perhaps another reason is that our idea of 
Success^ is also changing. 

There has been a great falling off in the "Success 
philosophy" recently, as you may have noticed. It 
was rather overdone for a long while. Its founda- 
tions were false; its motives were false; its emphasis 
was false. Moreover, it is doubtful if all the "pep" 
and "ginger" and "hustle" which it prescribed has 
increased the Success total of the nation one degree. 

No doubt we were in error in much of our "Suc- 
cess" teaching; not in insisting that everyone ought 
to be a Success, but in defining what it was. 

It goes without saying that any kind of Success 
which would put us all in administrative offices, and 
N leave none of us out on the farm or out in the shop, 

would be rash. 

It is wrong to advocate anything which, if uni- 
versally applied, would ruin the world. That is the 
difficulty about militarism: it says that a stiff bit of 
war now and then is a mighty fine idea; but immedi- 

169 



FORD IDEALS 



ately you apply that principle universally, what have 
you? A universal shambles! On the other hand, 
when you apply pacifism universally, what have you? 
Universal peace! A universal shambles would soon 
totally destroy all life. But universal peace inter- 
feres with jnothing that does good. 

What would be the result if this thing which we 
are advocating were to be applied everywhere in ev- 
erything and to everybody? — ^that is the question we 
ought to ask ourselves. 

And if we are advocating something which, if uni- 
versally adopted, would prove destructive; or some- 
thing which depends for its Success on a large sec- 
tion of the people being excluded from its benefits, 
then we may be sure ft is a fallacy. 

The great universals — ^those things which if ap- 
plied everywhere to everybody would be beneficial — 
are religion in the moral world, order in the social 
world, and fundarnental industry in the physical 
world. These things never turn destructive, no mat- 
ter how widely nor how thoroughly applied. 

The trouble with much of our "Success" doctrine, 
then, was this: if everybody had become successful 
in the way it advocated, this would have been very 
far from a successful world. It would be a most 
tragically unbalanced world. Not that failure is 
needed to balance Success — that is not the idea at all ; 
but Success must have certain imiversal qualities, or 
it is not Success at all. 

Several weeks ago we discussed the mistaken idea 
that one had to catch the boss's eye in order to obtain 
advancement. This matter of advancement is related 
to what we are discussing now. 

The principal reason the majority of men- wish 
to advance is that it means more material reward for 
them, more creature comforts, more opportunities for 
themselves and their families. 

When you put down in cold print that here in this 
human society of ours there is a majority of jobs 
which do not yield men these desirable things, and 
that there is a smaller number of jobs which do yield 
them, and for this smaller number the whole mass of 
men is scrambling, it doesn't seem right, does it? 

170 



FALSE "success PHILOSOPHY" 

When a man gives all of his day and an equal 
proportion of his strength and ability to his work, and 
still does not receive as many of the comforts of life 
as another man who also gives his day and his strength 
and ability to his job, it seems that something is out 
of order. 

Of course, it is easy to say, "Well, let him get more 
skill and get into a job that pays more ! Yes, but sup- 
pose he does. Suppose everybody does. Makie your 
theory of advancement universal, and you have a few 
"good jobs" crowded and a host of necessary jobs 
empty ! That kind of Success would be suicidal even 
for those who attained it, not to mention the general 
life of society. There are just two questions to settle 
in this relation: Is a man who contributes the same 
proportion, time, strength and skill as another entitled 
to the same proportion of the good and necessary 
things of life? That is, should the rule be, "From each 
according to his ability; to each according to his 
need" ? There is a great deal to be said for that view. 

And the second question is : Are those jobs which 
do not reward men with the good and necessary things 
of life, good and necessary jobs? Must we always 
have sections of human duty which stigmatize men 
with a diminished reward? Or is every honest em- 
ployment of equal dignity and usefulness in the gen- 
eral scheme of things and therefore entitled to a dig- 
nified reward? These are questions which ought to 
receive close attention. The opinion of the sponsor 
of this page is that every job should be a necessary and 
useful job, and on that ground should reward its 
performer — ^no matter what its nature may be — with 
the good and necessary things of life. 

That is to say, it is a great pity that advancement 
has come to mean advancing out of the job. If all 
the able men, men able to advance, should advance 
out of their jobs, the useful production of the world 
would stop. We need miners. What a fallacy it is to 
say that when the miner becomes a lawyer he becomes 
a "Success." If every miner capable of being a 
lawyer should "advance" to that profession, what 
would become of mining? 

171 



FORD IDEALS 



We must get over the snobbery of thinking that 
the men in the professions are the only men who 
could get there. 

We must cease the injustice of thinking that the 
men who remain in agriculture, mechanics and man- 
ual labor, remain there because they haven't the ability 
to get out of them ! We owe a great debt of gratitude 
to the men who stay in these callings because they 
like them, because the work satisfies their natures. 

It is due to our ignorance that we have been de- 
luded by a false "Success" philosophy into believing 
that if these men had possessed any "brains" they 
\yould have got out of productive employment into un- 
productive worl^. 

Too many people believe that Success consists in 
getting your bread and butter by dickering or talking 
instead of by producing. 

There are two kinds of advancement: one inner, 
the other outer. The inner advancement consists in 
improving the quality of the man himself, his char- 
acter, his experience, his skill. This ought to be the 
first concern of every ambitious young man. Instead 
of being keenly on the lookout for another job, he 
should be keenly on the task of learning how to put 
out better work. ^ 

As to the outer advancement, it is comparatively 
easy in this busy, restless, changing country of ours 
to get a chance at a better job. The test is in filling it. 

It is a pitiable mistake to think that all you have 
to do is to get the title, get the office, get the authority, 
and you are made. No. Attaining this outer court 
of Success is merely approaching the examination 
rooms where so many are found wanting and are 
turned back. 

It is no trick at all to get a chance at a more re- 
sponsible job than you have now ; the trick will come 
in holding it And then the advantage of interior ad- 
vancement will become apparent. You know, the 
directors of great enterprises are not simply in search 
of good-looking yotmg men who can adorn a title and 
imitate the air of business men. A title is never a 
bit bigger* than the man who holds it — and some 



172 



FALSE "success PHILOSOPHY" 



mighty big titles shrink to mighty little proportions 
through the lack of ability of those wh©- hold them. 

What a young man wants is a sure investment — 
and merely getting a chance at another job is just a 
chance, that's all. 

But when advancement begins within the man him- 
self ; when he advances from half interest to strength 
of purpose; when he advances from hesitancy of 
decision to decisive directness; when he advances 
from immaturity to maturity of judgment; when he 
advances from apprenticeship to mastery in the line 
of work he has chosen; When lie advances from a 
mere dilettante at labor to a worker who finds a gen- 
uine joy in work; when he advances from an eye- 
server to one who can be entrusted to do his work 
without oversight and without prodding — why, there 
is no use making any question about that man's ad- 
vancement; he is advancing; he is advancing himself 
and his work, and that is all there is to it. He is 
making himself irresistibly worth while advancing. 
And the consequence is that the boss who does not 
advance him outwardly to the limit of his inward ad- 
vancement is a fool who has no conception of his own 
interest. 

After all, about the only doctrine of the old "Suc- 
cess" philosophy that is true forever is that, in all 
essential things, a man's destiny is within his own 
control. His outer world corresponds pretty accu- 
rately to his inner world. 



173 



a 



Competition and Go-operation 



THERE was a time when we heard a great deal 
about the comparative merits of competition and 
co-operation, but somehow the interest has seemed 
to die away from such discussions during the last few 
years; we have had something definite to do, some- 
thing which we all had to unite to do, and in the 
practical requirements of the times we forgot mere 
academic talk. , 

It is possible, of course, to say a great deal in 
favor of competition as a principle; possible also to 
say a good deal in condemnation of it as we see it in 
practice. 

We may mean one thing when we use the term 
competition," and then be vastly surprised to see 
that the thing which really passes for competition in 
the world is not what we meant at all. 

Ordinarily, the competition which we have in 
mind during our discussions is a niuch higher grade 
activity than the actual competition of the work-a-day 
business world. 

There is a vast diflference between the competition 
of our philosophical moods, and the unprincipled 
throat-cutting and jabbing which actually goes on. 

Our generation has lived to see' the most com- 
petitive lines of business become closely organized 
trusts, simply because competition — ruthless and con- 
scienceless competition — ^became the death of com- 
petition. The most powerful and relentless competitor 
simply killed competition altogether. He did it by 
destroying the power of his competitor to compete. 

It is when competition is destroyed through that 
fashion that we begin to realize how beneficial it has 
been. We frequently make laws by means of which 
we try to bring back the old-time competitive condi- 
tions. And directly we get them back into practice, 
we begin to see that even they were not altogether 
desirable. 



174 






COMPETITION AND CX)-OPERATION 

We know enough now to say that the competition 
which ends in the powerlessness of the majority of 
competitors and in the kingship of one, is not the kind 
of competition that anyone with insight or foresight 
could commend as the rule for society as a whole. 

That is to say, the kind of competition which, 
raised to its highest power, results in the defeat of the 
many and the overlordship of a ruthless few, is there- 
by proved to be fallacious. For when you get a prin- 
ciple which cannot be tmiversally applied without do- 
ing infinite damage, you simply do not have a tmi- 
versal principle, that's all. This destructive kind of 
competition is not capable of universal application. 

If you will examine the kind of competition which 
merits this description, you will find that it lacks many 
of the qualities which must be found in that generous 
form of rivalry out of which progress comes. 

In the first place, it is personal. It hinges on the 
aggrandizement of some individual or group. It is a 
sort of warfare. It is inspired by a desire to "get 
someone, which is what "getting the better of him 
usually means. 

It is wholly selfish. That is to say, its motive is 
not pride in the product, nor a desire to excel in 
service, nor yet a wholesome ambition to approach to 
scientific methods of prodiKtion, but simply a desire 
to crowd out all others and monopolize the market 
for the sake of the money returns, and substitute a 
product of inferior quality. 

That is the competition which has strewn the path 
of life with ruined hopes, broken hearts and stained 
names — ^the competition which burned with fierce fires 
of lust for power and gain and prestige. 
^ It always ends in tragedy — ^the tragedy of winning 
under such conditions, and the tragedy of losing. No 
success can be called a true success which is bought 
at the cost of another's undeserved pain. It is open 
to the man who strives after success to make himself 
sweat and suffer as much as he dares in order to reach 
his honest goal, but to get there at the cost of other 
men's chances in life is far too large a price to pay. 
And it is a price which will one day be exacted of 
him who compels it. 

175 



FORD IDEALS 

That is the test : — extend your form of competi- 
tion out to its last success, and what does it do ? Does 
it draw hosts of men to you in glad co-operation ? Or 
does it drive hosts of men into the darkness as de- 
spairing wrecks? 

It will do no harm for the ambitious young man 
to measure his plans by this test. Young men ought 
to be planning, not according to the lower sort of rules 
which exist on certain planes of business today, but 
according to the higher rules which are bound to be- 
come operative wheii Business becomes Service and 
not mere selfish rivalry. 

To compete for money or markets, for themselves 
alone, and not with reference to a superiority of 
product or service, is to take the downward track in 
business. 

Now, there is a form of competition, which is 
really deserving of a better word to describe it, and 
which is an honest rivalry to improve conditions gen- 
erally by improving the articles of commerce and the 
conditions under which they are produced and 
marketed. 

When a man succeeds in this, he discovers that he 
has not played a shut-out game at all. He discovers 
that he has not ruined anyone in the process. He 
can go to sleep at night without a troubling conscience. 

For his success has not spelled defeat for any- 
body ; it has spelled opportunity for everybody around 
him. And instead of exalting him at the expense of 
other men's lives, it simply opens the door for the 
widest co-operation 4)etween himself and his fellow- 
men. 

He has not worked for personal glory. He has not 
worked for mere riches. He has worked to achieve 
the highest quality of product and service, and in his 
cup of success there are no bitter dregs at all — at 
least none of those dregs which come of taking unfair 
advantage or causing the ruin of other men. 

So there you have two forms of competition and 
their ends. One ends in a monopoly of the most 
autocratic and dangerous sort — all our great trusts 
were built by means of the financial bludgeon. The 

176 



COMPETITION AND CO-OPERATION 

Other ends in greatly increased opportunity and won- 
derfully extended forms of practical co-operation. 

The trend of everything which is lasting and good 
in the economic world is toward the co-operative prin- 
ciple, not necessarily along the express lines advo- 
cated by certain theoretical sociologists, but in har- 
mony with the principle that we are all fellow-work- 
men on the same essential task. 

If cut-throat,* personal, selfish competition were 
the natural and practical method of working, why is it 
that it cannot be applied within the group, instead of 
only between great groups ? 

That is, why is it that the workman within the 
shop is not encouraged to compete against the shop, 
to beat the interest of the industry in which he is en- 
gaged, to count his organization his enemy? That 
would be competition brought right down to the in- 
dividual workman — why isn't it done? 

Because such competition would ruin all produc- 
tion in a very short time. Competition made uni- 
versal would be universally destructive. It would 
be like the soldiers of two armies turning each man 
on his comrade — it would be fighting, but it would 
get nowhere. 

No. In order for the destructive competition of 
the larger groups of interest to continue, the men 
within each group must be co-operative; they must 
give up competition among themselves and work for 
the good of the whole. 

Well, then, if this wide substratum of co-opera- 
tion is necessary to the competition of the higher 
financial and speculative groups; and if the com- 
petition of the higher groups, when introduced to all 
the industrial groups that make production possible, 
would simply destroy all productive processes, it must 
be perfectly clear that the basis of our progress is 
co-operation and not combative competition at all. 

The principle that you cannot apply all round is 
a pretty doubtful one to follow at any time. 

The cause of the curse of competition, whether we 
view it as the strife of powerful financial groups 
which are gambling in the products of honest labor, 
or as the strife of the obscure individual to benefit 

177 



FORD IDEALS 

himself at the expense of the man who works next 
to him, is our false standard of reward. We have 
made that standard to be Money or Recognition. 

Rich man and working man both compete in the 
same hurtful spirit when they are under this wrong 
view of matters. We want to catch somebody's eye 
or the world's eye. We want first of all the money 
which this brings, when, if men only knew it, the 
quickest way to both recognition and reward is just 
the way of service and no other. 

If the world saw among all classes more com- 
petition for excellence, many of the evils of the time 
would disappear. 

For the conditions from which we suffer and of 
which we complain are not the fault of the Creator, 
nor of the earth, nor of nature, nor of the round of 
the seasons; they are just the result of twists in hu- 
man nature which has not yet learned the art of liv- 
ing, of so handling and distributing and using the 
wealth of the earth as that all shall be supplied. 

Modem competition is more like the mad scramble 
to get out of a theater at the cry of "Fire !^ than like 
anything else one can think of. If we would all be 
ready to do the best thing for every one as a whole, 
we should all come through safely and with rightfully 
earned wealth. We need to do the universal thing, 
and keep doing it. And the greatest and most inex- 
haustible of all the universals is — Excellence! He 
who strives to excel never fails, and in his success^ he 
never hurts a single soul. 



]78 



Land Is the Basic Fact 

IF LAND is the bottom economic fact, it is not be- 
cause land gives us a place to stand in the sun, 
but because it is the source of our physical sustenance. 
It is not room that is valuable, but productive power. 
Having room upon the earth is the privilege of every 
homeless wanderer, but having food is another matter. 
No human skill can produce food. It is the func- 
tion of utilizing the natural forces to do that. And 
as these forces do not function apart from the earth 
itself, land becomes the fundamental of property, and 
food the fundamental of wealth. 

It is one of the significant facts of human history, 
though one never sees it referred to, that the earth 
has always proved equal to its task of providing the 
entire living creation with the faculties to obtain its 
food. 

There has never been such a calamity as a world- 
wide famine. Local famines have sometimes occurred, 
and in the days before commerce and transportation 
such local famines had all the awfulness of a uni- 
versal famine. But it has always been the case that 
if one section failed from natural or other causes, 
other sections were plentifully able to fill up the lack. 

The fertility of the earth is such that certain sec- 
tions of it could feed the whole if necessary. 

A genuinely universal scarcity of food has never 
afflicted the earth. Nature has never failed. 

But we appear to be entering an era when human 
manipulation is seeking to produce the same results 
which, were they produced by Nature, would be 
deemed the height of human misfortime. 

It is an astonishing fact, this. Simple-minded 
people would think that men would not dare to pro- 
duce artificially the phenomena of widespread famine, 
and do it for gain. There is something terribly de- 
fiant of all retributive forces in the universe, in such 
a course. 

We are now learning that so abundant is the yield 

179 



FORD IDEALS 



of Earth that even during the great war, when it 
seemed that four-fifths of the world had been drawn 
into the work of destruction, there was still enough 
food for all and to spare. 

True, we felt a scarcity at times, but it was not a 
scarcity due to insufficient production ; it was a scarcity 
due to emergency diversion. 

Great quantities of food were diverted, not because 
there was much actual lack, but to reassure those who 
feared a future lack and whose morale was being 
broken by that fear. 

This diversion began at the home. The American 
wife and daughter began to save here and there, and 
the aggregate was enormous. 

As long as we were "doing without" of our own 
free will, as long as we knew that our deprivation 
was not caused by the greedy injustice of others, but 
by a humane program for helping the world, we did 
without gladly. The American housewife joked over 
her makeshifts and substitutes. They were not forced 
upon her by profiteers, but by dictates of humanity. 

It makes a very great difference why you do a 
thing. If you fast for three days on account of your 
health, doing it willingly, it is a very interesting ex- 
perience and costs you very little suffering. You are 
really eager throughout the time, interested in the 
experiment. 

But let a man miss one or two meals because of 
his poverty, and the deprivation is very, very bitter. 
It isn't only the loss of the food, but the loss of the 
sense of self-support, and this pulls him down far 
more quickly than mere physical fasting, could do. 

Yes, it makes a great difference, why we do a thing. 

It turns out upon investigation that much of the 
food we saved during the war period has accumulated 
into very large surplusage of war and other stores; 
so much so, indeed, that a fear has been expressed 
that the loosing upon the general market of these 
quantities of foodstuffs would result in a calamitous 
reduction of food prices. 

This very fear is evidence enough of the huge 
stores of accumulated food. 

But the fear is evidence of something else. 



180 



LAND IS THE BASIC FACT 

There was a time when the whole food situation 
was regarded from the point of view of the con- 
sumer. Men grew rich out of many things, but not 
out of food. The farmer did not grow rich, nor did 
the miller, nor did the baker. Food was free of the 
shackles of greed. 

But insensibly all that has changed. Within our 
own generation we have seen the beginnings of the 
financial exploitation of the food of the people. 

It began in wheat "corners" and "pools," which 
used to be so public and spectacular that the news- 
papers gave all details. So full and free was the in- 
formation concerning these market coups that the 
people protested against gambling in their very bread. 

Well, the protest only had the effect of stopping 
the individual daring of exploiters and the publica- 
tion of their acts. Nowadays the same thing is ac- 
complished, but far more disastrously to the country, 
and no one hears anything about it. All the food is 
cornered all the year round by all the exploiting in- 
terests, so that it is impossible for the poorest man 
to point to an edible on his table that is not taxed to 
the limit by a gigantic trust. 

Sometimes our attention is riveted to this or that 
commodity, such as wheat or meat; but it doesn't 
matter as to details ; the fact is the whole Food Sup- 
ply of the people has been placed under an exploiter's 
tax. 

When you find that meat is too expensive because 
it has increased 100 per cent in two years, you take 
to some perfectly adequate substitute like rice. 

And when you look into the channels through 
which the rice comes to you, you find it under the 
control of the same forces that made meat impos- 
sible to you. You find, moreover, that due to these 
"modem methods of merchandising," of which so 
much untruth is told, your rice costs you 75 per cent 
more than it did a year ago. 

It is certainly a great game that drives people to 
substitutes, and then corners the substitutes. The 
same forces that made butter impossible in hundreds 
of thousands of homes, has control of the oleomar- 
garine supply. 

181 



FORD IDEALS ^ 

Now, if there were not enough food, human na- 
ture would accept the fact with a certain degree of 
equanimity. 

But there is enough. There is more than enough 
right now. And there is very much more than enough 
in sight. 

But there's the "market" — ah, the delicate, high- 
strung, sensitive market! — that must be protected. 
And, pray, what is the "market"? Why, it is the oc- 
ploiters! Just the food gamblers! 

It is amazing how much nearer the truth we get 
when we strip away the verbiage and state matters as 
they are. 

If you want to see how far we have come from 
considering the people as having the first interest in 
the food supply, all you have to do is to observe the 
fear which is felt everywhere about giving the people 
a chance at the surplus food stocks. It would hurt 
the "market" ! 

Maybe it would; but would it help the people? 
That is a side of the matter which the exploiters never 
consider. 

The Food Question is the chief public economic 
question. It doesn't much matter if our ballot is free, 
if our bread is at the mercy of profiteers. 

We can chant about Liberty and Equality all we 
please, but it will not mean much if an invisible gov- 
ernment of food gamblers is able to levy extortionate 
tribute on our dinner tables. 

Fortunately this matter has. attracted the atten- 
tion of Congress; unfortunately the whole emphasis 
has been on the food "business." 

The only Food Business that can ever justify itself 
to the htmian race is the Business that raises Food 
in sufficient quantity and distributes it under such 
conditions as will enable every family to have enough 
of all that it needs. 

It may be that one way we shall take to break the 
food trust will be to raise such overwhelming quan- 
tities of all kinds of food as shall make manipulation 
and exploitation impossible. We shall probably do 
that by means of the new modes of power-farming 

182 '^ 



LAND IS THE BASIC FACT 



which are coming into vogue with such rapidity in all 
parts of the United States, and elsewhere in the world. 

And then, perhaps, we shall witness a revival of 
the small flour-milling business in our communities. 
It was an evil day when the village flour mill disap- 
peared. Co-operative farming will yet become so de- 
veloped and perfected that we shall see associations of 
farmers with their own packing houses in which their 
own hogs will be turned into ham and bacon, with 
their own flour mills in which their grain will be 
turned into commercial foodstuflfs. 

Why a steer raised in Texas should be brought to 
Chicago and then served in Boston is a question that 
cannot be answered on good business principles so 
long as there could be raised near Boston all the steers 
that city needs. This centralization of food manu- 
facturing industries, entailing as it does enormous 
costs for transportation and organization, is one very 
serious cause of the era of prohibitive prices in which 
we find ourselves. 



183 



^ 



Ideals Versus Ideas 



% 



AMERICANS are the most idealistic people in the 
world, yet of all human beings they are the most 
impatient of being called idealists because they fancy 
that somehow the name involves frills and fads with 
which practical people have nothing to do. They 
fancy that idealism is emotion and sentiment. They 
are under the impression that it is feminine. 

Well, the rose by any other name would smell 
just as sweet, and idealism may exist without the 
name. We may as well call it progressiveness, or 
wide-awakeness, or foresight. Idealism does not nec- 
essarily involve emotion or sentimentality. It takes 
its color, of course, from the temper and experience 
of * the person who possesses it, but so do politics, re- 
ligion and business. 

To be an idealist is simply to be able to see what 
does not yet exist in the minds of others. 

Things have two existences, an ideal existence and 
an objective existence. Or, to say it more simply, 
things are ideas before they are things; the idea is 
before the thing itself, and the thing itself cannot exist 
apart from its idea. 

The busy world around us existed in ideal before 
it existed in material. 

Someone thought of everything you see, before it 
really appeared. 

There never was a rubber eraser on the end of a 
lead pencil, until someone saw with the eye of his 
mind a rubber-tipped pencil. After seeing it in the 
ideal world, he proceeded to make a copy in the so- 
called "real" world. 

And that is the history of everything with which 
mankind has had to do. 

If you go back still further, it may be that this is 
also the history of the world and the stars; the cre- 
ative power first saw them as ideas, and then realized 
them in matter. 

184 



IDEALS VERSUS IDEAS 

Every inventor is an idealist, because he is work- 
ing on something that has not yet appeared. 

Every prophet is an idealist, because he is living 
in a world or in a social condition which has not yet 
come into existence. 

And, in a way, every one who looks backward and , 
lives in memory, every aged person who lives in a 
world of people long since vanished and amid ac- 
tivities long since ceased, is an idealist. That is, the 
idea occupies a larger place than the "real." 

Except for idealists, there would have been no 
United States of America. Our government and in- 
stitutions and liberties were spim out of the invisible 
essence of men's minds just as literally as the spider 
spins its web out of the substances of its body. The 
Fathers of the Republic had no pattern to go by, save 
the pattern of the ideal government which existed 
in their minds. They transferred that pattern out of 
their ideals and put it into constitutions and laws ; the 
people began to mould their lives in accordance with 
these ; and, lo ! the new political entity was bom. 

Take the League of Nations; it is nothing but 
an ideal. It does not function yet. It only lives in 
men's minds and ideas. Yet how real it is ! By watch- 
ing the growth of that absolutely new appearance on 
earth, we can observe the method by which things 
that nevefr existed before are bom out of the world 
of ideality into the world of reality. 

Therefore an idealist is nothing strange. 

The human mind is a channel through which 
things-to-be are coming into the realm of things-that- 
are. Were it not for ideas and idealists, the race 
would still be wandering around in the eastern deserts. 

But there is a difference in idealists, and perhaps 
this gives us a clue as to the disfavor with which 
some of them are regarded. 

There is, for example, the idealist who has no ideas. 
There are many such. 

The difference between ideals and ideas may be 
hard to define in theory, but it is clear in practice. 

An idea is a gangplank thrown across the gap 
between the ideal and the real. 

The air is full of many magnificent ideals that 

185 



FORD IDEALS 

cannot step ashore into the real world because there 
are no ideas for them to walk upon. 

If you have an ideal, that is good. If you have an 
ideal, and also ideas as to how to work it out, that 
is better. 

Idealists without ideas are often made the butt of 
jokes^ That is wrong. The very existence of the 
ideals, even in a hazy form, shows the pressure that 
is being exerted from the invisible side of life for the 
bringing of better ways. Every ideal,' particularly 
every moral and social ideal, indicates the pressure of 
better conditions which are trying to break through 
and become the rule of our life. But they cannot 
break through imtil roads are built for them, and 
these roads are the ideas wlych will work them out 
into practical use. 

As far as actual life-pressure is concerned, the 
idealist who has vision without ideas is living on a 
far higher plane than the practical man whose ideas 
were never enlightened by a single ideal. The mind 
of the idealist at least has wings. ,And then, again, 
there is the idealist whose vision is so distant from 
what we have or can have now, that he is derided as 
a deluded dreamer. Still, he may not be. Some 
minds have longer-sight than others, and it behooves 
the short-sighted mind to be modest in the presence 
of the other. 

The vision may seem the height of foolish im- 
possibility today; half a century hence it may be the 
commonplace of every day. 

There are idealists who see the things which will 
appear next year or ten years hence. They are the 
more practical kind, because their ideals are accom- 
panied with workable ideas. And then there are 
idealists who see further than the best of us can sense; 
but this is no reason for declaring that they do not 
see truly. 

The American is a practical idealist. That is, he 
is gifted with ideals which can be readily realized. 
He respects ideals that can be immediately brought 
down to reality. 

It must be confessed that the progress of our 
J4ealists is not evenly balanced. 



IDEALS VERSUS IDEAS 

We easily conceive new and better methods in 
mechanics and business; we teem with a practical 
idealism which can be harnessed to the interests of 
the workaday world ; and yet it must be said that we 
are not so successfiil when the ideal happens to be 
social or political. 

That is to say, our social and political progress has 
not equalled our mechanical and commercial progress. 

Why ? Is it because we have fewer social and 
political ideals ? Or is it because we are not so capable 
of translating social ideals into practical ideas, and 
political ideals into practical political ideas? 

Is it the American genius to work in iron and 
steel, and not in the substances which determine the 
social structure? 

We would be loath to admit this. And yet the 
facts stare us in the face. 

Let us not be like England. For centuries, she has 
been mistress of the seas. She has organized and 
ruled an empire so vast that the sun never sets upon 
her domain. She has reaped the harvest of com- 
merce from every quarter of the globe. She has in- 
fluenced the literature of the world. She has given 
igany of the pattern laws of the world's liberty. 

You would think that a country which could so 
organize the greater part of the world would have the 
most perfect home social conditions to show for it. 

Yet, England's social fabric threatens to fall to 
pieces. Few cotmtries are as upset as she is today. 
Few populations have such a list of injustices and 
oppressions to show. 

Thus it becomes clear that a nation may be very 
capable in many ways and yet neglect the greatest of 
tasks, the making of a happy, prosperous life for her 
own people. 

What will the United States gain even if she wins 
the commerce of the world, and cannot create just 
social conditions at home? 

What glory is it to any nation that one class rises 
in wealth and power, while all the other classes are 
made to feel an increasing burden of costs and un- 
, certainty? 

There is plenty of social idealism in the world. 

187 



FORD IDEALS 

Indeed, sometimes it would appear that that is the 
only kind of idealism which exists. 

Yet there is a great dearth of practical ideas of 
social betterment. There are hosts of theories. In 
some parts of the earth those theories are being tried 
by earnest believers in them, yet they are not proving 
successful. 

The need of the time is a social idealism which 
will also provide ideas by which the ideals may be 
worked out ; not only hazy desires for a better world, 
but practical plans for the building of a better world 
out of the one we now have. The world we now live 
in is the world we must transform ; we cannot destroy 
it; we must live with it until we leave it better; and 
practical ideals are our only hope of making it better. 



188 



What Is Education — Cargo 
or Motive Power? 



SOME people are proud of their good looks. Others 
are proud of their social standing. Still others 
are proud of their wealth. Most people are proud of 
their ancestry, because it was good and honest. But 
it would be very easy to find a large class of people 
who are proud of what they l^now, proud of the knowl- 
edge that they have gathered; and they would not be 
confined to the so-called educated classes either. 

Knowledge is such a vague term that it is well to 
understand just what may he meant by it. 

The fact that certain fluids will take stains out of 

-a tablecloth, is knowledge. If the housewife knows 

that, it may come handy to her. But you may search 

through thousands of books in the big library and 

never find that special part of knowledge mentioned. 

The farmer's boy knows at which pool the trout 
is to be Ifound, and that is knowledge, but it would 
never win him praise from a college. 

The weather-beaten land-looker can tell by a glance 
at the sky what the weather will be, but he could not 
qualify among the scientists who are wise in these 
things. 

There are many kinds of knowledge, and it de- 
pends on what crowd you happen to be in, or how the 
fashions of the day happen to run, which kind of 
knowledge is most respected at the moment. There 
are fashions in knowledge, just as there are in every- 
thing else. 

When some of us were lads, knowledge used to be 
limited to Bible knowledge. There were certain men 
in the neighborhood who knew the Book thoroughly, 
and they were looked up to and respected for it. 
Biblical knowledge was highly valued then. 

But nowadays it is doubtful whether deep ac- 
quaintance with the Bible would be sufficient to win 

189 



FORD IDEALS 

a man a name for learning. Although it must be 
said that knowledge of that Book would indicate a 
well-stored mind, it would not win much respect 
among the wiseacres of the day, becatfse fashions in 
knowledge have changed. 

Knowledge is something that somebody once knew 
and left in a form which enabled anyone else, who 
wanted to, to know it. 

If a man is bom with normal human faculties, if 
he is equipped with enough ability to use the tools 
which we call "letters" in reading or writing, there 
is no knowledge within the possession of the race that 
he cannot have — if he wants it! 

The only reason every man does not know every- 
thing that the human mind has ever learned is that no 
one has ever yet found it worth while to know that 
much. 

^Men satisfy their minds more by finding out things 
for themselves, than by heaping together the things 
which somebody else has found out. 

You can go out and gather knowledge all your life, 
and with all your gathering you will not -catch up 
even with your own times. 

You may fill your head with all the "facts" of all 
the ages, and your head may be just an overloaded 
fact-box when you get through. 

The point is this : Great piles of knowledge in the 
head are not the same as mental activity. A man 
may be very learned and very useless. Any college 
professor will tell you that. And then again, a man 
may be unlearned and very useful, very wide-awake 
in his mind — and any professor of psychology will 
tell you that, too. 

The object of education is not to fill a man's mind 
with facts; it is to teach him how to use his mind 
in thinking. 

And it often happens that a man can think better 
if he is not hampered by the knowledge of the past. 

If Columbus had paid attention to "facts," if he 
had held them in reverence, if he had believed that 
all knowledge was in the books and there was none 
to be had outside the books, he would never have set 

190 



WHAT IS EDUCATION — CARGO OR MOTIVE POWER? ' 

sail. Columbus did not study geography ; he made it. 

It is a very human tendency to think that what 
mankind does not yet know, no one can learn. And 
yet it must be perfectly clear to every one that the 
past learning of mankhid cannot be allowed to hinder 
our future learning. There is almost everything to 
learn yet. Mankind has not gone so very far, when 
you measure its progress against the knowledge that is 
yet to be gained, the secrets that are yet to be learned. 

One good way to hinder progress is to fill a man's 
head with all the learning of the past; it makes him 
feel that because his head is full, there is nothing more 
to learn. Why, you could take a thousand men, fill 
each man's head full of knowledge — so full that he 
could learn no more — ^and even then no two of those 
men would be learned in the same things. Each would 
be calling the other ignorant. Merely gathering knowl- 
edge that other men have acquired may become the 
most useless work a man can do. The only fair 
standard by which accumulated knowledge may be 
judged is this : Here is a lot of knowledge. ^Are you 
capable of learning it? If you are capable, you are 
an intelligent person. If you are not capable, you 
are not. If this or that subject were submitted to you 
to be learned, you could learn it. Left to yourself, 
perhaps, you would not learn it, not because you 
are incapable of learning it, but simply because it is 
not the kind of knowledge that your life or genius 
requires. 

Here is a man who knows a great deal about sea- 
shells. There is a whole science of sea-shells. This 
learned man is so interested in sea-shells, and has 
gathered so much knowledge about them, that he has 
written large volumes on the subject. But how many 
even of our learned men know anything about sea- 
shells ? How many want to know ? And yet — ^here is 
the point — ^they are capable of knowing, they would 
learn mighty quickly if a knowledge of sea-shells were 
of any use to them. 

All of us learn quickly the things we are inter- 
ested in, the things which we need in order to do our 
work in the world. 

Everybody is a specialist. The baker is a specialist 

191 



FORD IDEALS 



in doughs and yeasts and ovens. The molder is a 
specialist in sands and molds and iron "heats." The 
horseshoer is a specialist in hoofs and bellows and 
welding compounds. Our mothers used to learn more 
from the "feel" of cloth than could be written in 
many pages. Everybody is a specialist. 

Now, just how much knowledge must be held in 
common by everybody, is also a matter of fashion. 
It is largely a matter of the class of people you want 
to associate with. If you trot in one class you will 
discover that you are expected to be able to talk 
about art, and music, and poetry and similar subjects. 
Thousands of people are chattering about those things 
who don't know anything about them at all, but they 
have learned the phrases, and they pass for "educated." 
A scholar of wide fame said just a little while ago — 
"It is now possible in our best society to express 
opinions about a book without having read it, or to 
gabble about art without knowing a single fundamental 
principle." 

People do this because it is expected of them and 
because it is the fashion. Most of the fads of society 
are intellectual fads, which change like the style of 
hats. 

Of course, if you want to gather knowledge like 
pebbles and exhibit it, all right. There is one form of 
human vanity. But to flatter yourself that you are 
learned, while the man who does not follow your fad 
is unlearned, is to add a vicious flavor to your self- 
flattery. 

There is a young fellow, standing before you. His 
skin is clear, his eyes are bright, he understands what 
he sees, and his mind is awake. He doesn't know 
everything. As educational fashions go nowadays 
he may "know" comparatively little. That is, his 
head may yet be unburdened by a load of facts out of 
books. 

No, he doesn't know everything. But as you look 
at him, as you note his comprehending gaze, as you 
mark the cool glance of his eyes, this thought comes 
to you: "He doesn't know everything, but there is 
nothing he could not know if he wanted to; and 

192 



WHAT IS EDUCATION^ARGO OR MOTIVE POWER? 

when he chooses his work in life, he will learn it 
clear through to the end and beyond." 

He doesn't have much knowledge, but he has a 
lot of brains. 

And, listen! — if you are ever given a choice be- 
tween brains and knowledge, choose brains. 

With brains you can get any form of knowledge 
you need. But, better than that — with brains you 
can use any kind of knowledge that you have. With- 
out brains, no amount of gathered knowledge will 
ever amount to a straw. 

The best thing a book does for a man is to make 
him think. All that a school can do for a man is to 
teach him how to think. 

It isn't what you get out ^of a book, but what a 
book pulls out of you, that makes books useful^ 

A man is like a well. There is a lot in him, if he 
can only get it out. Sometimes ^ book, or a conversa- 
tion, or a course of instruction, acts on him like prim- 
ing on a pump — it brings out of him what is in him. 
And that is all that Education means. 

A man is like wood or stone. Some kinds of 
stones you can bring to a high degree of polish. Some 
kinds of wood, too. But many indispensable stones 
are rough and cannot be brought to a polish. So 
with some kinds of wood. All men do not take a pol- 
ish. Webster did; but Lincoln didn't. And it is a 
big mistake to say that the polish counts for all. It 
is the texture that counts. And the texture of a man 
.is his vitality, his energy, his character, his courage 
and his rock -bottom brain power. 



193 



When in Doubt — Raise Wages! 

THE first step to take in a situation like the presr 
ent is to raise wages where necessary. Simply 
raise wages. There may be other steps necessary to 
make, there may be other improvements to be insti- 
tuted, but this is the thing that ought to be done at 
once and widely — raise wages. Nothing that anyone 
can do in the time at our disposal can meet the situa- 
tion so thoroughly, nothing will go so far to restore 
confidence and establish a sense of the justice of our 
social intention, as just to raise wages. 

But this is the one step which the speculative and 
profiteering world seems determined not to do. 

"Why not do something else?" they say. And 
so we begin to see all sorts of substitutes offered for 
the simple solution of raising wages. 

There can be little or no doubt that many of the 
"investigations" which come up like mushrooms in 
times of great public complaint, are mere substitutes 
for the real and practical remedy, which is the in- 
crease of wages. 

If investigations had ever proved of practical as- 
sistance to the producing class, if they had ever really 
corrected the basic abuses, we might view them with 
more hopefulness. But what have they ever accom- 
plished? Have they ever made any appreciable dif- 
ference in the life problem of the working man ? 

Investigations have, as a rule, been substitutes for 
the direct cure. When public impatience approaches 
the breaking point, then someone seeks to allay it with 
an "investigation." The result usually is that the 
point of the investigation is changed, and before the 
work is over it has been cleverly maneuvered into a 
political boom for or against somebody. It develops 
a "hero" or a "goat," and the real problem is left just 
where it was before. 

There is just now a "food investigation" gathering 
force in all parts of the country. No one can say 

194 



WHEN IN DOUBT — RAISE WAGES ! 

aught against it. It is high time we knew all the 
details of profiteering in food. It is high time some- 
one discovered and exposed the faults in our system 
which permit even the people's bread to be put at the 
mercy of gamblers. 

But, does anyone honestly expect that the investi- 
gation will have more than a nominal and temporary 
effect ? • Does anyone believe that prices will ever 
again be what they were ten years ago ? No. 

We have been on the upgrade on food prices for 
ten years. If memories were not so short, it there 
were some sort of accounting in the household, it 
would be shown that food began to advance a decade 
ago and that we were in the pinch of high prices even 
before the European war began. Did anybody oifer 
to investigate then? No. We saw to it that certain 
wage advances were made to meet the rising costs. 

Then, fortunately for the speculators, the war 
came on and proved a handy alibi for the next four 
years. But two months after the war had ended, the 
price of food in the United States had advanced 25 
per cent over war prices. 

The country began to murmur, then to protest, 
then to threaten. There was but one obvious thing 
to do — raise wages. When a man is overboard, he 
needs a life preserver. You can investigate the acci- 
dent afterward. When a nation is actually in dis- 
tress over the food problem, when a people have to 
omit the other requirements of life in order to con- 
centrate their attention upon the matter of getting 
food, the first need is to relieve that situation, relieve 
it immediately. You can investigate afterward. 

Any difficulty with the food supply of a people, 
especially where the difficulty is a money difficulty, is 
equal to an emergency — a war emergency, if you will 
— and should be met by provisions for the people's 
safety. "Public safety" includes a safe margin of 
food obtainable without dangerous anxiety on the 
part of the people. 

The concealed logic of most "food investigations" 
would run somewhat on this line: "We must do 
something. If we raise wages, that will enable the 
people to buy food, but it will reduce our profits. If 

195 



FORD IDEALS 



we force a reduction of prices, that will hit our profits, 
too. The best way to do is to have an "investigation" 
and this will educate the people as to the reasons for 
high prices; if skillfully conducted it will frighten 
out the little profiteers, and the big profiteers will be 
whitewashed and, in effect, licensed to continue." 

Now, it makes all the difference in the world from 
whose standpoint you view the matter. The only 
safe point of view for any lover of the security and 
prosperity of his country to take is the point of view 
of the consumer, of the workman's wife who goes 
to the store with a greatly shrunken dollar, of the 
workman himself who finds that his utmost labor 
will scarcely provide a living. These, in the last an- 
alysis, constitute the food problem and it must be 
investigated from their standpoint and relieved in a 
way that will relieve them. 

Obviously the man with a family is not going to 
worry about potatoes being $2.50 a bushel, if he has 
the $2.50. Obviously he is not going to be anxious 
about the high cost of living if, after paying for his 
living, he has the same proportionate amount of 
money left over to put aside against a rainy day. 

To come down to the human side of the question 
as it affects our producers, the problem never has 
been the high cost of living but the inadequate rate of 
wages. They pay willingly if they have it. But they 
don't have it. Wages have not kept pace with cost 
increases. The result is very serious in our most 
vital interests. You cannot pinch the American home 
without injuring the heart and efficiency of the nation. 

Raise the wages first so that the people may live 
without anxiety during the period of your investiga- 
tion, and then proceed with your examination of the 
whole food system. But do not, as you value your 
coimtry's security and happiness — do not substitute 
an "investigation" for definite first afd. 

Everybody knows what the result of an investiga- 
tion will be.' There will be, first, a great uproar con- 
cerning hoarded food. This will not touch the greSit 
hoards of the chief food makers, but only the local 
stocks. Already there have been seizures in some 
of the large cities of the country, and the figures 

196 



WHEN IN DOUBT — RAISE WAGES 1 

that have been given out look very imposing in the 
newspapers, but they shrink to triviality when divided 
by the population of the city in which the stocks were 
found. The discovery of a million dozens of eggs 
in a city of 1,200,000 population simply means that 
that city is one dozen eggs ahead per person — a, week's 
supply. 

Then it will be discovered that the little local re- 
tailers have profiteered a cent or two on trust products, 
and they will be severely criticised for it, although it 
will never be published that the little local retailers 
are making less imder the high price regime than be- 
fore. That is a curious fact: the fortunes and div- 
idends of the big profiteers show upward curves of 
increase; the little fellows are barely scraping along. 
But punish the little fellows! 

And then it will be discovered that the cost of 
producing, preparing and marketing food has really 
increased. It will be possible to show that the farmer 
has received a well-merited, though not extravagant, 
share of the increase, and that certain material costs 
help to account for part of it; but there will still be 
the fact that at the top an increased profit arises, and 
that no one engaged in the food business has really 
suffered. 

Everybody "got theirs," as the expression is, but 
they have gotten it from the man whose family eats 
the food. And that man too commonly has not kept 
even within economizing distance of the rise in food 
costs. 

The figures make it clear. Wages have increased 
in this country about 50 per cent. This increase is 
practically eaten up by the increase in rents alone, not 
to mention clothing, medical attendance and^uel. But 
when you measure a food increase rimning all the way 
from 75 to 200 per cent, it becomes apparent whether 
wages have kept pace or not. 

If it were planned to produce a peasant class here 
in America, if there were a conspiracy among the 
money-kings to force the American people down from 
the standard of living to which they have lifted them- 
selves and create a race inured to poverty and dep- 
rivation, it could not be better attempted than just 

197 



y 



WHEN IN DOUBT — ^RAISE WAGES ! 

the way we are going now. No wonder the preachers 
of discontent and violence are seizing upon the oc- 
casion to say that now that the war is over, the Amer- 
ican people are being beaten down to the level of the 
lower class British workman or the French and Ger- 
man peasant. 

The emergency remedy — regardless of what the 
ultimate cure may be — is just this : some profits must 
be turned into wages. We are learning that it is no 
longer possible for one man to keep the profits. A 
profit-making business is the creation of profit-mak- 
ing men, and the only way the obligation of the busi- 
ness to the men can be recognized and met is by a 
scheme of profit-sharing. Whatever form this may 
take, it means higher wages. 

There is food here. There are people needing it. 
There is money enough to|transf er the food from those 
who have it to those who need it. We shall have to 
see that the money reaches the points which this food 
transaction has stinted. 

Having done this, you may then investigate with 
all the thoroughness possible, without the suspicion 
of making it a substitute for the right and needful 
thing. 



198 



Humanity Is Our Basic Wealth 



THE principal interest in this country is not busi- 
ness, markets nor profits; it is not agriculture, 
manufacturing nor transportation; it is not science, 
education nor any form of material progress : the com- 
modity of principal importance in this country is just 
— People. Without people the other interests would 
have no meaning. Without people they would not 
exist. It ought, therefore, to be plain to any mind 
that in relative importance People come first, and 
these others second. 

We pause here for a moment to permit the wise- 
acres to cry, "Platitude!" Any truth that is incon- 
veniently plain, too plain to be relished and yet too 
true to be ignored, is shelved by the cry of "plati- 
tude." But somehow it doesn't stay shelved. 

People sometimes say, "Yes, yes, we know all 
about that. Don't keep repeating it. Everyone agrees, 
but don't make the truth a nuisance by insisting upon 
it." 

But does everyone know, and does everyone agree ? 
Certainly there is little evidence of it in the situation 
which confronts us today. 

Here we are faced by a condition of affairs which 
may hold for the world greater danger than even the 
war held; we are at a time when the mistaken policy 
of greedy economic powers may set loose tendencies 
from which humanity might never recover — start 
lesions in the social organism that could never be 
healed. And yet do we ever hear that the place to 
begin our cure of the illness is with the People? 

No, we hear plenty of wise talk about protecting 
the market, protecting the expectations of those who 
bought low to sell high (how remarkably tender this 
coimtry has become of the gambling game of the 
speculative profiteer!), protecting this or that bad 
business condition due to mistaken theories that ought 
to be destroyed so thoroughly that they shall never 

199 



FORD IDEALS 



deceive the business world again — we hear anything 
and everything except what can and should be done 
for the relief and protection of the People! 

Our wise men seem to believe that the People are 
like the earth, a foundation that cannot be moved, a 
platform on which any kind of business or market 
program may be safely staged. But, the constant 
danger of surprise is just here — the people are not 
a stable mass on which anything whatever can be 
built ; they are not the unchangeable quantity that the 
soil of the earth is; they are subject to change, to 
independent action. 

Decrease of confidence is worse than decrease of , 
profits. 

And worse even than the lowering of the climax 
of business records is the lowering of the morale of 
the People. 

We can recover from almost any deterioration in 
this Country except a deterioration of the People. 

Why, ^ook at it a minute. What have we been 
doing the past 10 years? We have been trying to 
get a better class of people. American business saw 
very clearly a few years ago that its success depended 
on the elevation of the human standard in every in- 
dustry. We started educational and Americanization 
work. We supplied higher living standards. We en- 
couraged an increase of intelligence and self-respect 
and a higher level of material needs. And we sup- 
plied the increased wages necessary to maintain these 
desirable htmian qualities. 

What has happened to that clear vision? Surely 
something has happened to it. In the present condi- 
tion of national affairs we have scarcely thought of 
the People at all. We have thought of Things, Things, 
Things. We can afford to maJce a big sacrifice in 
Things if that will prevent a deterioration of the 
American standard of human values. 

Take the housing condition, for example. Isn't it 
true that we hear more of the need of the landlords 
to charge more rent than we do of the need of the 
people to be housed? The financial element is dis- 
cussed to the almost entire exclusion of the human 
element. 

200 ' 



HUMANITY IS OUR BASIC WEALTH 

There is a very, very serious lack of housing fa- 
cilities in all our industrial centers and it is working 
social deterioration to an observable degree. There 
is too much crowding for health and morals. There 
are too many "come downs" from dec^ent living quar- 
ters to unbearable ones— quite too many for the self- 
respect of thousands of families who were just be- 
ginning to taste the delights of clean, roomy, modem, 
wholesome living conditions. There is too much 
crowding among immarried work-people, thus doing 
away with the moral and physical hygienic value of 
personal privacy and freedom. 

In fact, if there were a deliberate conspiracy to 
lower the whole line of American standards of liv- 
ing, it could not be accomplished more surely than by 
just bringing about such a lack of housing accommo- 
dations as we are now suffering. 

Of course, it will be asked, "Why are there fewer 
houses? Are there so many more people in the 
world?" There are fewer people in the world. The 
lack of housing can be traced directly to the greatly 
increased appeal of industrialism to the people during 
the past five years. There are fewer people in the 
world but they have suddenly become newly distrib- 
uted ; there are more people in the cities. The housing 
problem is a problem of cities and of such- smaller 
towns as have industrial interests. 

Industrialism happens to be the cause, in this way : 
first, the war rate of wages enabled many families to 
move into better houses — which is very desirable, of 
course, though it is a reflection on the conditions 
which existed before the war when families lived in 
unfit conditions. Second, the families who formerly 
occupied a house between them, were enabled by war 
wages to take a whole house; and this tended to de- 
crease the number of available houses. And third, 
there was a great influx from the agricultural dis- 
tricts to the city factories. This was a movement so 
vast in its proportions as to constitute a migration — 
hundreds of thousands moving from the country into 
the city lured by the prospect of high wages for war 
work. 

In one city of the United States which before the 

201 



FOKD nSALS 



war always had a comfortable housing margin, there 
are now 25,000 families wondering where they can 
live. There are no houses to rent. Such houses as 
may be rented are held at rentals which in themselves 
constitute a serious hardship upon needy people. 

Out of this condition has arisen a great volume of 
complaint and discussion. Here and there an indi- 
vidual employer has adopted the role of house-builder 
for the sake of his own employes, but in the main the 
condition remains unchanged. 

There is vast complaint against rent profiteers and 
some attempts have been made to regulate the rapacity 
of their greed, but none has been successful. Again 
there is a great defense made of landlords. And so it 
goes on and on, everything discussed and nothing 
done, every interest protected and the People left to 
get along die best way they can. 

That is the danger. After all, it is not a question of 
houses. It is not a question of rent. It is a question 
of People. 

Transfer your interest to the food question and 
the same rule applies. It is not a question of profits. 
It is not a question of saving speculative values in 
storage house stocks. It is not a question of steadying 
the market. It is a question of People. 

Simply change the complexion of the emergency. 
Suppose it were a disease sweeping the land. Every- 
body would then see that it is a question of People. 
No one would stop to consider anything else. Of 
course, the element of social fear is more active in 
great plagues; we do what we can for the victims in 
order to save ourselves from contagion. With house- 
less families, it is different; we do not fear we will 
"catch" their homelessness. With hungry People it 
is different, too ; we do not fear we will "catch" their 
himger. Yet in permitting these conditions to exist 
we are encouraging an epidemic of low morale and 
discontent which may breed social dangers from which 
none of us can escape. If our sense of social safety 
were as well developed as our sense of physical safety, 
our concern for affairs today would be greatly in- 
creased. 

If this were a war emergency, what would we do? 

202 



HUMANITY IS OUR BASIC WEALTH 

Why, we would think of nothing but meeting it. All 
through the war everyone said, "Money doesn't mat- 
ter. Money is of no use whatever unless we use it 
to clear up this intolerable condition." 

Well, the case is not different now. Money is of 
no more use now than it was then, unless it be used 
to prevent the slump in American living ideals which 
the present food and housing conditions will bring 
about. 

The great fact is this: This is a situation which 
can be met, an emergency which can be relieved by 
money. The food is here. The material for housing 
is here. Money will make both available. After the 
emergency is met it will be time enough to take steps 
to prevent its recurrence. In the meantime infinite 
damage is being done to our first wealth, our most 
precious wealth, the one element which gives our na- 
tional resources any value at all — ^the People. If 
money can prevent a blow being delivered to their 
ideals and confidence, money must be used to do it. 

Not as a dole. In higher wages first, so that each 
family can meet its owil needs and prevent any de- 
terioration of health, or courage or self-respect. And 
in investment next — each man '^of means building 
houses by the hundred until the last homeless family 
shall be under its own ample roof. 

There will be just as much money in the country 
afterward as before. It will simply have been used 
to meet an emergency, that's all. But what is better 
than money, there will be a strong American People, 
maintained in their strength, in their initiative and in 
their respect for themselves and reverence for our 
country. 



203 



Managers and Men Are 

Partners 



WHEN a man has a business the responsibilities "^ 
of which he cannot carry alone, he looks for a 
suitable partner. He realizes without any special 
thought or argument that if he is to secure certain 
desirable qualities in his partner he must be ready 
to give assurance that those same qualities will be 
present in himself. That is to say, expecting loyalty, 
he will stand ready to be loyal. He recognizes that 
partnership' in business, to be most successful, must 
be something more than a mere financial arrangement ; 
he recognizes that it involves certain co-operative re- 
lations, and that if these are not properly adjusted the 
partnership will be a failure. 

A partner is not one who takes part of the pro- 
ceeds of the business, but one who contributes part 
to the success of a business. Partnership is a positive 
relation. 

Now, sometimes the partner contributes capital; 
sometimes skill and experience; most commonly he 
contributes only his labor. It is the latter form of 
partnership, commonly called "employment," which 
concerns us now. 

It is not usual to speak of an employe as a "part- 
ner," and yet what else is he ? Whenever a man finds 
the management of a business too much for his own 
time or strength, he calls in assistants who take part, 
or partnership, in the management with him. Why, 
then, when a man finds the production part of a busi- 
ness too much for his own two hands should he deny 
the title of "partner" to those who come into the 
factory and help him to produce? 

Every business that employs more than one man 
is a partnership, whether it is legally so termed or not. 
We may deny it as much as we please, we may resent 
what it implies, but nevertheless it is a fact. The mo- 

204 



MANAGERS AND MEN ARE PARTNERS 

ment a man calls in assistance in his business, even 
though the assistant be but a boy, that moment he has 
taken a partner. He may himself be sole owner of 
the resources of the business, sole director of its op- 
erations, but only as he remains sol^ manager and 
sole producer can he retain the title of "independent." 

No man is independent as long as he has to de- 
pend on another man to help him. 

The employer-is not independent; he cannot go 
down into his factory and with his own two hands 
produce sufficient to maintain the business. He is de- 
pendent on other men coming in and helping him. 

The employe is not independent; with his meager 
facilities he cannot produce articles up to modem re- 
quirements. He is dependent on other men who have 
created improved means and methods of production, 
who have cultivated the market, who have the gift of 
organization and administration which enable him to 
use his acquired skill. 

As our present social life is organized, the one 
without the other is helpless, as is proved by every 
dispute that stqps the wheels of production. 

It is useless for one group or the other to take 
airs to itself as if it were the one indispensable unit. 
Both are indispensable, and one can unduly assert its 
importance not only at the expense of the other but 
at its own expense as well. It is utterly foolish for 
the groups to think of themselves as groups at all — 
they are partners ; and when they pull and haul against 
each other, they simply injure the organization in 
which they are partners and from which they draw 
their support. 

Now, so much for foundation truth. Not every- 
one, df course, will agree with this view of the rela- 
tion between so-called "capital and labor." But it is 
very significant that in these times no responsible man 
will openly disagree. This question: if the employe 
is not a partner, what is he? — is a hard question to 
evade. It is a much harder question to answer if 
you desire to regard the employe as not belonging to 
the business. 

The fact is, we are up against the problem of hu- 

205 



FORD IDEALS 

man relations today, and we are up against it in a 
serious way. 

Not that the problem of human relations is a hard 
one, but it has been neglected so long that it seems 
mpre difficult than it really is. Human relations, 
especially in industry, have become the subject of first 
importance today not because of any fundamental 
change in life, but because they always were of first 
importance only heretofore we failed to recognize it. 

Yet we had many warnings. It was always easy 
to settle the material part of any undertaking. Wood, 
iron, sand, brick, machinery— these were never a 
problem. A brick was used in a conspicuous place or 
in an obscure place as the user desired, to be cut or 
broken or crushed without compunction, as the ne- 
cessities of the case required. Bricks were always 
bricks. Many times the material part of an under- 
taking was arranged beautifully, but just as it seemed 
that the whole business was to start off smoothly, 
something went wrong with the human equation. 

That is the only difficulty in the country today. 
The material world is just what it was, but some- 
thing has happened in the human world. 

Now, if an)i:hing went wrong with machinery 
or the mechanical processes of production, we would 
immediately know what to do. We would deal with 
machinery according to the law of machinery, with 
production according to the laws of efficient produc- 
tion. We would not expect machinery to exhibit 
qualities that belonged to the animal world, nor would 
we regard production from any standpoint but its own. 

Well,. if we are to establish human relations on a 
dependable basis we shall have to recognize that these 
working partners of the business are human. If you 
confuse them with the machinery, you will discover 
they have the power of will. If you try to confuse 
them with material processes of any character what- 
eVer, you will find that men live by mental and spiritual 
values. 

American business could well afford to devote the 
next six months to a thorough overhauling of the 
standard of human relations throughout every line 
of activity. 

206 



MANAGERS AND MEN ARE PARTNERS 

You may talk about material and efficiency and 
profits from now until the end of the world, but if 
you omit the human equation, all your plans are due 
for a fall some day. 

There is coal and ore aplenty in our mines; our 
fields supply us with the best and yield an immense 
surplus; business awaits us in overwhelming volume 
both at home and abroad ; if we are held up anywhere, 
it is in a lack of a spirit of partnership between those 
who plan and those who execute the work of a great 
business. 

You don't use force against, machinery when it 
does not work; you adjust it. What folly it is to 
think that force will take the place of righteous ad- 
justment in human relations! 

The difficulty has been that in the swift and en- 
thusiastic development of American industrial enter- 
prise, the first and only thought of both employers 
and employes was given to the business. Perhaps it 
is to that fact that American business owes its pres- 
ent standing in the world, that Americans of every 
degree have given it their undivided effort and atten- 
tion. 

But now that the material side of business has 
reached a growth that makes description impossible 
and dwarfs all the records of human achievement, it 
is becoming painfully apparent even to the dullest 
vision that we shall now have to catch up on the 
human side. 

Some of us saw this before others did. But it is 
evident now in the general condition of society. There 
is a definite demand that the human side be elevated 
to a position of equal importance with the material 
side. And it is going to be done. It is just a ques- 
tion whether it is going to be done wisely, in a way 
that will conserve the material side which how sus- 
tains us, or unwisely and in such a way as shall take 
from us all the benefit of the work of the past SO 
years. Business represents our national livelihood, it 
reflects our economic progress, and gives us our place 
among other nations. We do not want to jeopardize 
that. What we want is a be^tter recognition of the 
human element in that business. And surely that can 

207 



FORD IDEALS 



be achieved without dislocation, without loss to any- 
one, indeed with an increase of benefit to every human 
being. 

And the secret of it all is in a recognition of hu- 
man partnership. -Until each man is absolutely self- 
sufficient imto himself, needing the services of no 
other human being in any capacity whatever, we shall 
never get beyond the need of partnership. 

We have always been partners whether we ac- 
knowledged it or not, and it has been our refusal to 
acknowledge it which has created an atmosphere of 
antagonism instead of one of harmony among us. It 
is unnatural to deny what already is, and the denial 
brings other evils with it. 

Partnership means a unity of endeavor, a loyalty 
of effort, a sense of belonging and being necessary^ 
freedom of suggestion and initiative in the business, 
and a sharing in the profits according to one's con- 
tribution toward making these profits. If the employer 
wants his men to be his partners, he must stand ready 
to be their partner. If he expects them to contribute 
to his business achievements, he must expect to con- 
tribute to their success, too. Partnership means con- 
tributing to, as well as taking shares from. 

The fact is that we would not need complex and 
confusing systems if we only had the proper spirit. 
The very essence of right human relations is in hav- 
ing the right spirit. Nothing is impossible of satis- 
factory solution and adjustment when men confer in 
the right spirit, and the right spirit is simply this — 
the spirit of willingness to do the right thing. 



20.S 



New Paths to Fame 



IT ALL depends on what you are made of and your 
point of view, whether such times as the present 
appear to you as the end of all opportunity or the be- 
ginning of the new years of surpassing openings for 
invention, initiative or just plain productive industry. 
There never was a better time to be young than just 
now. In spite of all the apparent upset and unrest 
and change, these times are richer in material for 
new combinations of grit and power than any which 
this country has seen during the past 50 years. 

It is when humanity is solidified, and every proc- 
ess is hardened by custom, and ways of doing things 
become set and fixed, that it is difficult for the young 
man to create something of his own and get a new 
idea started on its way. 

But in times like these, when nearly everything 
seems ready to take new forms, when so many prob- 
lems are pressing for solution, everybody is hospitable 
to new ideas, the times are kind to new enterprises, 
and people look with hopefulness upon an)i:hing that 
promises relief and benefit. 

The pity is that there are not more good ideas to 
take advantage of these favorable circumstances. 

It may not at once be clear to the young man why 
the times should be so propitious. But it can be made 
clear by a simple illustration. It is a common remark 
that opportimities were many "when the country was 
new." It means that before the life of the nation 
became limited to certain channels there was a certain 
freedom of initiative, there was a clear field to be 
laid out any way desired. 

Well, in a better sense than ever before, the coun- 
try is again "new." 

In pioneer days the man with initiative had al- 
most nothing to work with. There were few people, 
little available material, limited fields -for develop- 
ment. But what a difference nowadays! Here are 



209 



FORD IDEALS 

over 100,000,000 people. Here are rich stores of 
materials and inexhaustible resources, and there is 
no limit to expansion. 

The country is "new" again with every advantage 
ready to the hand of the man with vision enough and 
courage enough to go in and mould plastic conditions 
to his idea. 

There never was more to be done; there never 
was a wanner welcome for the Doer ; there never was 
so much backing ready waiting for the man with a 
serviceable idea. The future of America is being 
made right now, and the shining names of the next 
half century will be names which today sCre wholly 
obscure. 

This does not mean that we are predicting the ap- 
pearance of great men of genius in the country. The 
need is not so much for genius as for vision and 
courage. 

There is a good deal of misunderstanding about 
"great men," anyway. Great men are only men who 
do great things, and it frequently occurs that they 
themselves are only ordinary men who have shown 
extraordinary devotion to their own idea and their 
own job. 

It isn't genius we want so much as ordinary ability 
used for all it is worth. Ordinary ability is all the 
world needs ; the concentration of ordinary ability on 
the problems awaiting solution. 

As to great men in the special sense, they are 
usually in waiting before a national or world emer- 
gency. The emergency reveals them. The recent war 
created no great men, it only revealed them, called 
them forth. 

But with successful, useful men the case is dif- 
ferent. They are the result of the reconstruction 
period that follows an emergency. They are the men 
who take advantage of the new combinations of cir- 
cumstances. With conditions to* be rebuilt, they take 
the opportunity of getting in on the ground floor. And 
the ground floor was never so large, opportunities 
were never so numerous as they are now. 

This is not the time to preach success ; this is the 
time to put into practice all the success doctrine you 

210 



NEW PATHS TO FAME 

have ever heard. The present moment is supremely 
the moment of action. 

We need a revival of old-fashioned American am- 
bition to get ahead. 

The gouging and gambling, the profiteering and 
plunging which characterize some of the business of 
today, do not spring from the American spirit of "get- 
ting ahead." They are destructive, illegitimate, false. 

American ambition is first to DO something, 
achieve some great and useful service, and then to 
reap the reward. 

We ought to return to the old-fashioned system 
of encouraging boys to go out and make their- mark, 
and to deserve well of their fellow-men. In other 
days boys were instilled with the confidence that 
nothing was too high for an American boy to aspire 
toward. And it is just as true todj^y as it was then, 
indeed, if one may say so, it is truer, for where there 
was one path upward in those days there are a hun- 
dred paths now. The young man of today is so much 
better off that it may be worth while to indicate it in 
detail. There was a time when the path to distinction 
and service in this country was almost exclusively a 
professional path. A boy could study law and gradu- 
ate into politics. Indeed, to wear one's hair a little 
longer than other men's, and to make speeches in the 
legislature was once considered the height of success. 
And then through politics, he could branch into what- 
ever business happened to open up. 

There was little or no emphasis laid on the in- 
dustrial path. Few people ever thought of Work — 
plain work — as a path upward. No. It must be pro- 
fessional, genteel, dealing with the abstract ideas of 
politics and government, or with some other science. 

Today, however, all that is changed. The first 
thing the majority of American boys think of as a 
successful career is not some statesman making a 
speech, but some artisan making a useful commodity, 
and making it so well and in such quantities that every- 
one buys and uses it. 

Some people are inclined to say that this is a 
descent to "materialism" — this emphasis on making 
things. 

211 



/ 



FORD IDEALS ^ 



But anyone with his eyes open can see very clearly 
that the major part of our trouble today is just a lade 
of this kind of "materialism." If we had more houses 
for people to live in, if we had more railroad cars to 
carry them what they need, if we had more means 
of enabling the farmer to farm more land with less 
help, if we had better and more productive systems 
of mining coal and other raw materials — ^why, that 
would pretty nearly solve all the troubles that afflict 
us now. 

The world is full of ideas as to what ought to be 
done — ^but of what use are these ideas until a man 
comes along who will actually do the things and set 
it going? 

You don't have to be a statesman to help the world 
nor a philosopher, nor a poet; you have only to think 
out something, perform something which will make it 
easier for the world to live. 

To take an illustration from the problem of the 
day : — the man who could multiply houses with rapid- 
ity would be a world blessing just now. We make 
ever)rthing quickly but houses. We manufacture ma- 
chinery in a new way, we fabricate ships differently 
than was ever done before, but we build houses in 
practically the way they have always been built. 

If, for example, someone should discover an art 
which would enable us to build a house out of the 
earth excavated for its cellar, what a boon to human- 
ity that would be ! Nor is the idea so far-fetched as 
it may seem. One reason why the war-torn portions of 
France are being restored to the people so quickly is 
that the French dwelling is usually constructed out of 
materials found on the premises. The French family's 
house is literally dug out of the earth. 

Go to the root of all the so-called "capital and 
labor difficulty" today and what do you find ? Simply 
the lack of houses for people to live in, and the conse- 
quent high prices of such houses as there ^re. Or a 
lack of food, and high prices of such food as there is. 

All the difficulty, you will observe, is due to the 
lack of production of such articles as mankind can 
produce. Houses are a product, so is food, so is every 
other article man needs in his living. 

212 



NEW PATHS TO FAME 

Well, then, the way to serve the world at this stage 
of its trouble is not to enunciate new laws, nor give 
it a new art or literature, but simply give it the things 
it is suffering for — houses, food and the various arti- 
cles of use. 

We don't need statesmen to solve the difficulties 
of our country at this time: we need workers. We 
need men who will tell us new and better ways to pro- 
duce what we lack. We need fresh eyes to examine 
our old methods and cut them down where they are 
cumbersome and wasteful. We need men who are 
young enough and free enough to cut loose from the 
old and settled ways, and break new paths for the 
world's energy to use. 

This is the call that awaits ambitious young Amer- 
ica. Time was when the utmost encouragement you 
could give a boy was to say, "You may be President 
some day." But now we can say to him, "You may 
be the man who is to discover the new way of housing 
the people." "You may be the man who is to revolu- 
tionize the methods by which food is produced." 
"You may be the man who will teach us how to make 
a pound of coal do the work of ten and still retain all 
of the coal for heating purposes." 



213 



Let Every Man Think 
for Himself 



CONFERENCES are often good and sometimes 
useful, providing the right peopFe confer. Even 
when conferences do not end in agreement, they at 
least end in a clearer understanding of what the parties 
claim. But a clearer understanding does not neces- 
sarily make for agreement, because where there is no 
desire to agree, an understanding of your opponent's 
claim simply enables you to attack it with straighter 
aim. This was illustrated in the recent Senate in- 
vestigation of the steel strike; each side claimed that 
its contention was proved by the other side's state- 
ment. The better they understood each other, the 
further they were apart. So that a good deal more 
than mere conference is needed in important dis- 
agreements. Conference is simply the bringing to- 
gether of the several elements of the dispute. If the 
elements be like oil and water, they will not mix. If 
they be like fire and powder, there will be a blow-up. 
Conference may issue in conflict as well as in co- 
operation. It all depends on the things involved, and 
on the spirit which the conferees bring. 

The difficulty with most conferences is that they 
are too small. An individual or a small group wants 
to be taken as the embodiment of the grievances, as- 
pirations, wisdom and determination of a whole class, 
yet everyone knows how difficult it is for another to 
act for him in vital matters. We select a little hall 
holding 200, and we try to pack into it the men who 
claim to represent every phase of opinion in the 
United States upon a certain emergency question, and 
the result is we make speeches and debate and resolve 
and pledge — and leave the mass of the interested par- 
ties unenlightened and unbound in any way. 

It may be argued that everybody cannot go to the 
great national conferences. But maybe there would 

214 



LET EVERY MAN THINK FOR HIMSELF 

not be so much need of the big conferences if there 
were more little ones — informal, casual ones between 
man and man. 

Industrially, there should be such an intimate 
knowledge of all the conditions by both parties, and 
the spirit of fair adjustment should be so constantly 
operative, that a stoppage of work for the purpose of 
fighting each other by argument should be as unnec- 
essary as a stoppage of work to keep the roof from 
leaking. 

A whole lot of conferring is made necessary be- 
cause a whole lot of conferring has been neglected. 

Things have come to a pretty pass when workmen 
can only speak to their employer through the medium 
of a government committee, and when employers can 
only speak to their men through the medium of agents 
whose entjre interest — financial, professional and so- 
cial — is bound up in the continuance of a quarrel and 
the fomenting of misunderstanding. 

The blame for it is to be found in the day-by-day 
neglect of daily communication between employer and 
employe. ' 

The employer who knows his job never lets a bad 
condition come to a head any more than an engineer 
who knows his job allows his engine to break down 
before he repairs it. 

The employer who knows his job does not permit 
bad conditions to remain a day after they are dis- 
covered, any more than an aviator would allow a leak 
in his gas tank to run longer than was required to fix it. 

When an improving eye is kept constantly on the 
business, when an employer knows all that his men 
know about the business, when a spirit of partnership 
reigns so that both parties feel free to commimicate 
one with the other, then the matters which tend to 
grow big and demand big conferences to settle them, 
are nipped in the bud and never allowed to work harm 
either to the conditions of the business or the rela- 
tions between the men engaged in it. 

There is always great satisfaction expressed when 
a conference goes ahead to settle something. But 
there will be more ground for satisfaction when con- 
ditions become such that no conferences are needed. 

215 



FORD IDEALS 

Conference indicates that the parties have grown 
so far apart that something extraordinary is required 
to bring them together. Absence of conferences will 
indicate that the parties are in communication and 
agreement all the time, which should be their normal 
state. There are, however, certain naturally opposed 
interests which cannot be exclusively identified with 
any class, which ought to be more or less in sincere 
conference all the time. 

First, there is the conflict between Individual In- 
terest and Collective Interest. 

We are learning that, even though we may possess 
the power to satisfy our utmost desire, it may be very 
unwise to use it, because individual interesb sometimes 
gets into the way of collective good. We can live to- 
gether in society only as we recognize the balance that 
should exist between rights and duties. What we call 
"rights" are usually our individual rights; what we 
call "duties" are usually the rights of others. 

Men sometimes say they are "claiming their rights" 
when what they are really doing is infringing on the 
rights of others. 

There should be a subconscious conference always 
in session within a man's heart, and its subject should 
be the maintenance of a balance between the individual 
and the collective good. 

Sometimes individual good is collective harm; in 
which case it must be modified. For it cannot be in- 
dividually good in an enduring way if it is collectively 
harmful, since the individual, too, is part of the col- 
lective interest and will suffer in this degree from his 
own wrong-doing. 

Neither should the collective good be pushed to 
the extent of harming the individual. That is the 
trouble with most robust theories of the state — ^they 
make the collective interest everything and the in- 
dividual little or nothing. 

Freedom and progress depend on keeping the 
balance between these two, making each contribute 
to the best interests of the other. 

Many of the problems which vex our life today 
could be boiled down into the simple statement that 
individual good is trying to increase itself at the ex- 

216 



LET EVERY MAN THINK FOR HIMSELF 

pense of the collective good. It cannot be done. For 
a time it may seem to be possible, but it cannot be 
done. The moment one or the other interest becomes 
selfishly dominant, the law of compensation is dis- 
turbed and that moment the source of both begins to 
dry up, and both suffer. 

Again: there should be constant conference be- 
tween the Present and the Future. We sometimes 
forget that there is a tomorrow coming. In some 
respects our forefathers forgot that generations were 
to follow them; their inability to foresee the future 
led to much waste of energy and material. 

The tendency is to use up today and all its stores 
recklessly, heedless of the generations to follow. Here 
is where individual and collective interests appear again 
in conflicting attitudes. Individual desire is to con- 
serve something for the next generation; the father 
tries to prepare the future for his son, just as he tries 
to prepare his son for the future. But collectively we 
are almost entirely indifferent to the future. It is with 
the utmost effort that any legislation can be secured^ 
which conserves the natural resources of the country 
against criminal wastage, and saved for the future. 

So that where there are opposing tendencies, there 
ought to be continuous balancing of ends, that there 
may be no destructive overreaching. 

To revert to the industrial situation again : where 
there is a distinct difference between the individual and 
the collective good, there ought to be a. balancing of 
their claims in each man's mind. 

The best kind of conference takes place in the 
mind of the man who calmly balances both interests 
and judicially assigns to each its share. If one in- 
terest absorbs all, then the reaction that comes from 
the other interest is fatal. Never did any interest go 
up at the sore cost of another legitimate interest but 
it came down again in loss and .sorrow. 

We are swayed too much by the speeches of others 
who are paid to speak, by the writings of others who 
are paid to write; we are swayed too little by the 
judicial thought of our own and other sincere minds. 

There is a danger of outside conferences taking 
the place of our own thought. 

217 



FORD IDEALS 

Let every mail think for himself. Let every man 
call a conference of his own powers, his Common 
Sense in the chair, his desires and his knowledge of 
things as they are pleading the c^se before him. Let 
every man be his own judge. There is safety in the 
quiet thought of the people, safety and constructive 
progress. 

It is a patriotic duty — ^patriotic not only to the 
Country, but to all Humanity — in these days when to 
demand is to have, to consider carefully what the end 
of any course must be. All of us have common sense 
enough to know that a system of "everything coming 
in and nothing going out" is just as disastrous as the 
opposite course. 

Every man must seek the solid footing on which 
he can stand secure for life, and that footing is the 
same for every one of us; a decent return to the 
world for our living, and a decent return from the 
world for our labor. 



218 



Universal Training- 
Yes, for Usefulness 



IT MAY be said once for all that there can be no 
objection whatever to "universal training." The 
sooner we recognize that fact and get down to con- 
structive details, the better it will be for the country 
and the people of the country. If there is anything 
of which our nation shows an increasing daily need it 
is "universal training," and enough energy is wasted in 
debates upon the point to start the whole program 
and give it a strong push toward success. 

We have a sort of "universal training" now. Our 
system of elementary education is that. We require 
that every child shall be trained in the use of figures 
and letters. We do this in order that the native in- 
telligence of the people may be developed and then 
liberated into usefulness. Education is mostly the 
giving of the "know how" to minds that are capable 
of doing, once they know. 

We are insisting on that in our industries, too. 
Ability to read and write is an important factor in 
obtaining safety in our industrial operations. Safety 
can be ^taught; much of it can be taught by print; 
but if the factory personnel cannot read, of what use 
is the print ? So we establish schools in our factories 
in order that men may be taught to read and write, 
and thus be brought into contact with printed in- 
formation. A mind without command over figures 
and letters is like a country without postal or tele- 
graph service: communication is very slow and dif- 
ficult. 

We have entered upon campaigns in which we 
try to bring "universal training" to a city or state 
with regard to health. There are certain diseases, like 
tuberculosis and typhoid, which may be as totally ex- 
terminated as rattlesnakes have been. But it cannot 
b^ done until all the people co-operate. And in order 

219 



FORD IDEALS 

to co-operate they must be instructed. And so we 
enter upon campaigns of instruction, and we can 
measure the results very accurately. When we mobi- 
lize public co-operation for any of these activities, we 
see the success of it almost immediately. 

The principle of "universal training," then, is quite 
firmly established in our common life. 

The difficulty and dissension arises when we try 
to determine just what form that universal training 
shall take. 

Some men say, "We ought to train everybody to 
shoot," and so they make the slogan read thus: "uni- 
versal military training." 

Shooting is admittedly not a productive art. We 
don't use it in our daily business. Millions of people 
get along very nicely without ever firing or even own- 
ing a gun. Indeed, there have been great campaigns 
of education against the use of guns. We teach boys 
that to use guns on birds is a very destructive sport, 
which costs the nation dearly in loss of bird service 
to our crops. We have laws prohibiting the use of 
guns on birds whose plumage attracts the milliner. 
If you fire a gun in your village street, the village 
marshal will apprehend you and the village justice of 
the peace will fine you. The skillful use of firearms 
may be an admirable accomplishment, but the con- 
sensus of public opinion in our families, in our neigh- 
borhoods, in our cities, in our states, is that the fewer 
guns there are, the safer it is. Indeed, our social sense 
is so much against guns that if you are caught carrying 
one without a special permit the authorities will con- 
sider you a questionable character. 

But without further arguing that — it has been 
threshed out quite fully on both sides — ^the way to 
determine what form our "universal training" should 
take is to ascertain in what particulars our people most 
need to be trained. That we all need to be trained in 
the use of our faculties goes without saying; and we 
have the schools for that. That we need to be trained 
in respect for law is also agreed ; and we have public 
opinion and the laws for that. 

But there are other needs for training which most 
people are always talking about, but which they sel- 

220 



UNIVERSAL TRAINING — YES, FOR USEFULNESS 

dom consider as proper subjects for "universal 
training." 

We Americans are too individualistic. That is a 
rather smooth and inoffensive way of saying we are 
selfish. The selfish man is always an individualist. 
If the individualist isn't always personally selfish, the 
effect of his attitude is the same. 

We need universal training in teamwork. That is 
one of the arguments the militarists put forth, that 
military training teaches teamwork. True. But any 
work which engages large numbers of men in a com- 
mon object will train them in teamwork. Militarism 
is teamwork with a destructive object. Isn't it possible 
to get the same degree, yes, even a higher degree of 
teamwork with a constructive object? 

It would be a splendid thing if young men could 
be drafted into the public service for a year, for 
discipline in serving the general good — "soldiers of 
the common good," is a phrase someone used. Service 
for someone beside ourselves is the most broadening 
experience we can have. It surrounds our natural 
individualism with a wide circle of "otherism." When 
^ man lives only for himself, thinks only of himself, 
he is in danger of human dry-rot. So, then, imagine 
that we had a system of conscription by which young 
men should be drafted for a year of training and 
service. 

Their training would consist in all the things a 
young man ought to know. The authorities had to 
do all that when they called the army in 1917, but 
they had not time to do it thoroughly. They were 
calling those young men for another purpose than to 
make them more valuable to their country. But under 
real "universal training" for constructive national 
service, these young fellows, taken at an age when they 
can either be bent for life or straightened up for life, 
would be trained to be fine bodies. And then they 
would be trained to be fine, alert, steady minds. And 
then they would be trained to be useful, willing serv- 
ants of society at large. 

•The nation is suffering from a house famine. Sup- 
pose we had an army of 500,000 or a million men who 
could do for the homeless of the United States what 

221 



' FORD IDEALS 

small detachments of our army are doing for the 
homeless of France and Belgium. 

Sometimes the health of the nation suflfers, and 
thousands of deaths and measureless sorrow could be 
prevented if only we had an army of public servants 
who could go in and do the things necessary to halt 
the plague and abolish it from the stricken section 
forever. Most of the work of this kind that is being 
done now is dependent on the voltmteers of science 
and the yolimteers of humanitarian sympathy. Why 
could it not be done by conscripts of the nation whose 
conscription would be a noble and ennobling initiation 
into the greatness of public service ? 

We leave for greed and private interest to do many 
of the things which we ought to do for ourselves as a 
collective interest. If we did them we should not only 
have, as a nation, the profit of them when accom- 
plished, but we should also have the training and ex- 
perience of having performed a constructive act as a 
public service. 

More than that, we need "tmiversal training" in 
economic facts. The over-reaching ambitions of spec- 
ulative capital as well as the unreasonable demands of 
irresponsible labor are both due to ignorance of the 
economic basis of business. Nobody can get more 
out of a business than the business can produce, and 
yet nearly everybody thinks he can. Speculative cap- 
ital wants more ; labor wants more ; the source of raw 
material wants more and the purchasing public wants 
more — and the poor business that tries to satisfy them 
all succeeds in satisfying none, and in the end destroys 
itself. 

The family has to be trained that it cannot live 
beyond its father's income, and presently even the 
children know that ; but the public never seems to learn 
that it cannot have more than it produces. 

If we had "tmiversal training" in the facts of eco- 
nomic balances, we should keep our affairs on a more 
even keel most of the time. There would b^ none of 
this utterly false belief that only a state of war can 
keep the balance between the various parties to pro- 
duction. That theory is nothing but militarism with- 
out a uniform; it is introducing into economic life all 

222 



UNIVERSAL TRAINING — ^YES, FOR USEFULNESS 

the destructive fallacies which make war the colossal 
stupidity which it is. 

There are dangerous interests in our country which 
are very active in trying to propagate a "universal 
training" in economic tmtruth. The world has just 
been treated to the spectacle of one whole nation prac- 
tically ruined so far as its economic organization is 
concerned, because the forces of unrest and ignorance 
had actually succeeded in getting a real "universal 
training" of the people in wrong notions of things. 
No doubt the people were sincere, but even sincerity 
does hot change the facts. And in this cotmtry the 
same danger threatens, that the people will be trained 
in a theory of economic life which is false, and which 
they may not discover to be false until they work it 
and suffer ruin from it — ^unless, of course, a better 
"universal training" intervenes to prevent that. 

Our whole "Americanization" work ought to go 
deeper than proficiency in English, knowledge of our 
governmental structure and loyalty to the Flag; it 
ought to deal with the deep foundations of moral, so- 
cial and economic sotmdness. Well-grounded in the 
nature-of-things-as-they-are, the American people 
would be so "universally trained" in the truth that 
they would be defended against the attractive half- 
truths which are current everywhere^ today. 



/ 



223 



Strike Profiteers Are the 
Cause of Strikes 



WHEN two unreasonable parties refuse to reach 
an agreement, their quarrel should be confined 
to themselves alone; it should be prevented from do- 
ing harm to others. But when two reasonable parties 
cannot come to agreement, it is time to Ipok behind 
the scenes for a third party whose interest is to keep 
them quarrelling. This applies to labor disputes as 
well as other disputes. Sometimes both employer and 
employe are unreasonable and do not seek agreement 
but conquest: in which case their unreasonableness 
ought not to be permitted to cause inconvenience or 
loss to the public. But there have been occasions 
when both employers and employes were reasonable 
enough to be able to reach an agreement, and were 
prevented by hidden influences. 

It should not be forgotten for a single minute that 
though a strike may mean loss of money, time and 
peace of mind to all directly concerned — ^to working- 
man, manufacturer and pubUc — ^it does not necessarily 
mean the same loss to everyone. 

There are interests that make money out of certain 
kinds of strikes. If these strikes did not pay some- 
body, there would be fewer of them. 

An analysis of the matter shows that there are 
three kinds of industrial disputes. 

First, there is the justifiable strike — ^the strike for 
those proper conditions and just rewards to which 
the workingman is in all fairness entitled. 

The pity is that men should be compelled to use 
the strike to get what is theirs by right. No American 
ought to be compelled to strike for his rights. He 
ought to receive them naturally, easily, as a matter of 
course. 

These justifiable strikes are usually the employer's 
fault. Some employers are not fit for their job. Em- 

224 



STRIKE PROFITEERS ARE THE CAUSE OF STRIKES 

ployment of men, direction of their energies, arrang- 
ing that their reward shall be in honest ratio to their 
production and to the prosperity of the business — ^that 
is no small job. 

An employer may be imfit for his job, just as a 
man at the lathe may be incompetent. The lathe man 
gets into trouble with his work, and so does the in- 
competent employer with his. Justifiable strikes are 
a sign that the boss needs another job — one that he 
can handle. 

The unfit employer causes more trouble than the 
unfit employe. You can change the latter to a more 
suitable job. But the former must usually be left to 
the law of compensation. 

The justified strike, then, is one that need never 
have been called if the employer had done his work 
as he ought. 

But there is a second kind of strike — ^the strike 
which may be named The Strike With a Concealed 
Design. In this kind of strike the workingmen are 
made the tools of some hidden manipulator who seeks 
his own ends through them. Whoever this manipu- 
lator may be, his designs will not stand the light. 

To illustrate this kind of strike: Here is a great 
industry whose success is due to having met a public 
need, to its efficient and skillful methods of produc- 
tion, and to its known record for just treatment of 
its workingmen. Such an industry presents a great 
temptation to speculators. If they can only gain con- 
trol of it they can reap rich benefit from all the 
honest effort that has been put into it. They can de- 
stroy its beneficiary wage and profit-sharing, squeeze 
every last dollar out of the public, the product and 
the workingmen, and reduce it to the plight of other 
business concerns which are run on these low prin- 
ciples. 

Their motive may be the personal greed of the 
speculator, or they may wish to change the policy of a 
business whose example is embarrassing to employers 
who do not want to do what is right by their employes. 

But how gain control? — ^that is the speciilator's 
problem. One of the simplest ways is The Strike 
With a Concealed Design. 

225 



N 



FORD ' IDEALS 

It works this way: The industry to be attacked 
cannot be touched from within, because its men have 
no reason to strike. So another method is adopted. 
The business in question may keep many outside 
shops busy supplying it with parts or material. If 
these outside shops can be tied up then the great in- 
dustry may be crippled, and that is what the specu- 
lators want. 

So strikes are fomented in the outside industries. 
Every attempt is made to curtail the factory's source 
of supplies. It is a simple game when once tmder- 
stood, and the public has no idea how often it is 
played. 

Now, if the workingmen of the outsjde shops knew 
what the game is, they would refuse to play it, but 
they don't know ; they serve as the tools of designing 
capitalists without knowing it. There is one point, 
however, that ought to rouse the suspicions of work- 
ingmen engaged in this kind of strike. If the strike 
cannot get itself settled no matter what either side 
offers to do, it is almost positive proof that there is a 
third party, a hidden hand, interested in having the 
strike continue. That hidden influence does not want 
a settlement on any terms. Its whole profit is in the 
trouble and in the continuance of the trouble. 

If such a strike is won by the strikers, is the lot 
of the workingmen improved? After throwing the 
industry into the hands of outside speculators, are 
the workmen given any better treatment or wages? 

Who is most likely to work with the workingman 
along lines of progress and prosperity: the manufac- 
turer whose home is where his plant is, whose reputa- 
tion among his neighbors is dear to him, whose inter- 
est in his employes is bom of acquaintance and daily 
fellowship? — or the outsider, the speculator, the 
profiteer, who does not know his men from iron 
spikes and whose only interest in the industry is to 
squeeze dollars out of it until it is dry? 

That is the pity of some strikes which linger on and 
on after settlements are possible — ^the deluded strikers 
are fighting the battles of cunning speculators and 
do not know it. 

Then there is a third kind of strike — ^the strike that 

226 



STRIKE PROFITEERS ARE THE CAUSE OF STRIKES 

is provoked by the Money Interests for the purpose 
of giving Labor a bad name. The American Work- 
man has always had a reputation for sound judg- 
ment. He has not allowed himself to be led away 
by every shouter who promised to create the millen- 
nium out of thin air. He has had a mind of his own 
and has used it. He has always recognized the funda- 
mental truth that the absence of reason was never 
made good by the presence of violence. 

In this way the American Workingman has won 
a certain prestige with his own people and throughout 
the world. Public Opinion has been inclined to re- 
gard with respect his opinions and desires. 

But there seems to be a determined effort now 
being made to fasten the Bolshevik stain on Amer- 
ican Labor, by inciting it to such impossible attitudes 
and such wholly tmheard of actions as shall change 
public sentiment from respect to criticism. 

It is quite in keeping with the higher disorderly 
elements that they should employ the lower disorderly 
elements for the purpose of destroying the morale and 
reputation of the American Workingman. All the dis- 
order does not originate with the workingman. Much 
of it comes from higher up. 

The American Workingman's most valued asset 
is his reputation for cool-headed, balanced judgment 
and respect for law and order. If he loses that, what 
does he gain ? 

But — and here is the point — if he does lose that, 
the powers that would exploit him and reduce him 
to the lowest form of wage-slavery, would be the gain- 
ers. Losing his good name, the American Working- 
man loses all ; his enemies are the gainers. 

It is time for us to ask some questions: If the 
workingman does not make money out of strikes, who 
does? 

It is time for every striker to ask himself : Who 
stand to make money out of this strike ? Who will get 
the chief benefit if we break down this industry ? 
Whose game are we playing, anyway? 

The man who makes profit out of strikes, be he 
billionaire manipulator or self-seeking labor leader, is 
a menace to the nation, a traitor to the well-being of 

227 



FORD IDEALS 

humanity, and the personal assailant of every work- 
ingman. 

In the second and third kinds x)f disorder which ' 
have been described here, the concealed speculator 
orders the strike ; the dishonest labor leader plans it ; 
the rowdy element fans it into violence — ^and the hon- 
est misled workingman pays for it, and continues to 
pay! 

Anyone who knows the American Workingman as 
he really and naturally is, must be convinced that he 
does not want to be the tool of evil designers who 
are not his friends, and who cannot build prosperity. 
Some people make prosperity ; other peojde sap it'; the 
latter devitalize and destroy it. 

There ought to be high wages everywhere — ^as high 
as the business will warrant ; and any business that is 
serving the world and is efficiently managed will war- 
rant it. There ought to be profit-sharing too, that 
each man may be a partner and not merely a "hand." 

But it is not the boss who makes high wages ; it is 
the men. If the boss stands in the way of men getting 
what they earn, he is not fit to be boss. The day has 
come when such a man will not be able to keep work- 
men in his shop. 

Once the boss picked out his men. Now men are 
able to pick out their boss. 

Big wages are not philanthropy. Big wages are 
plain business rights. 

The speculators who are always ready to stir up 
labor trouble are not interested in high wages. They 
are usually interested in hindering the man who pays 
high wages.' They want to hurt him, to drive him out 
of business. The American Workingman will not 
play that game, once he understands it. 



228 



Unrest Is Not Disorder 



PEOPLE whose business is to talk and write are 
sometimes more active with their imaginations 
than M^ith their eyes; their dramatic instinct sends 
them off on fancies which do not exist, and they ad- 
mire the role of prophet more than that of reporter ; 
but men who can see, see straight, and tell exactly what 
they see — ^men who are, that is to say, superlatively 
good reporters of plain facts — are very useful citizens 
today, and if there were more of them there would be 
fewer hectic headlines in our papers and fewer fever- 
ish flashes in our thoughts of the times. 

It is a fact which needs special emphasis just now 
that there is less actual disorder in the country than 
there is said to be. 

Great outbreaks are heralded which do not occur. 
Great dislocations of business are threatened which 
never take place. Great strikes are said to be "going 
on," whose strength had failed weeks ago and the 
major part of whose supporters had returned to work. 

There is far less disorder than is reported, as the 
most casual investigation shows. Everybody seems 
to be talking of this or that outbreak, but it is always 
somewhere else; and everybody, while he talks, goes 
on about his work. "Everybody" is said to be off on 
a strike crusade, and yet a survey of the situation 
shows that pretty nearly everybody came down to 
work this morning and intends to keep coming. 

The fact is, there is less disorder than unrest, A 
vital distinction exists here. Unrest indicates one 
thing, disorder another. And this is not said in pallia- 
tion of the situation at all, but only in the interest of 
strict analysis. 

Disorder would mean that our people had some- 
how lost their heads, that all the important parties to 
our common American life had developed a sudden 
fateful stupidity which marked the end of our fa- 
mous American common sense. Disorder indicates a 

229 



FORD IDEALS 

brain-storm, the utter collapse of intelligent resource, 
the breakdown of every sense of responsibility, the 
destruction of all devices developed by the energy an4 
efficiency of our civilization. Disorder simply means 
the disintegration of the times. ^ ^ 

But unrest may mean something far different. It 
may mean only that our people are sensing a new pres- 
sure, glimpsing a new light, are conscious of a new 
coming time. 

Unrest may be a herald, as well as a warning. 
Unrest may signify the revival of new life in the 
people. It has all kinds of hopeful significance once 
it is hopefully viewed and used. 

Not that one would intimate for a moment that 
as long as it is only imrest we see, and not disorder, 
we need not worry much. That is not the point at all. 
The very fact that the people of the United States are 
even f eding the stirrings of imrest as they contemplate 
their social status is far more important than would 
be the fact that another people, not so intelligent and 
well-supplied and, sensible, were engaged in widespread 
disorder. 

Now, no more foolish way could be taken with 
this fact of imrest than to imagine that we shall be 
doing quite enough to satisfy its immediate causes and 
allow root causes to remain. 

There is a short-sighted prudence among the em- 
ploying classes of the United States which may be 
colloquially stated thus : "Let's feed them a sop, not 
enough to make them greedy for more, just enough 
to satisfy them, and let us do this after they have 
hajd to fight for it so that it may seem to come hard. 
It will never do to admit that we could have done this 
for them before, but would not." 

Such an attitude can have only one basis — ^the be- 
lief that there is a master-class and a servant-class 
among us, and that the only way the master-class can 
keep its mastery is by dealing shrewdly with the 
servant-class, as ignorant dependents. 

Let us be rid at once of that survival of feudalism 
among us. 

Let us get rid at once of the idea that unrest can 
be thoroughly dealt with by a system of hand-outs, 

230 



UNREST IS NOT DISORDER 



on the theory that the dog, never bites while he is 
eating. 

Let US wipe out of American business phraseology 
such phrases as "keeping them contented," as if they 
were children, and "three squares a day keeps the 
Bolshevist away," as if our people were mere animals. 

The whole philosophy is degrading to anyone who 
believes it or who acts upon it. It is not degrading 
to the American workingman, because he does not 
agree with it for one instant. 

As long as we adhere to the program of piece-meal 
settlements, granting a concession here and doing a 
favor there, "for the sake of keeping the working- 
class quiet," we are simply dealing in postponements, 
not in settlements. Now, we know what the demands 
and program of the disorderly elements are — ^they are 
tmreasonable and destructive in the extreme; and it 
would make absolutely no difference whether those 
demands were granted, or whether they were with- 
held and the destructive program carried out — ^the 
result would be exactly the same. To grant a demand 
which no equitable system can carry is just as fatal 
as to refuse it and have industry destroyed by violence. 
Industry would be destroyed either way. There are 
some things which cannot be done no matter how much 
we may wish to do them. We may wish to feed 1,000 
people, but if there is only one bushel of potatoes it 
cannot be done. The demand of the disorderly ele- 
ment is practically that everybody be requested to 
raise fewer potatoes, and yet that everybody be given 
more potatoes. One end of the program kills the 
other. It is all unreason and confusion. If every- 
body does less work and everybody gets more of the 
product of work, how long can it last? And where 
will the unproduced _and unearned part come from? 

But the meanings of imrest must not be confused 
with this. The unreasonable demands of the disorderly 
forces are simply the coimterpart of the unreasonable 
attitude of those who believe that a safe and work- 
able system can be arrived at by a master-class hand- 
ing out favors to a servant-class. 

Unrest may mean something far more intelligent, 
more constructive and more just. 

231 



FOBb IDEALS 

It would surprise many employers of labor to 
learn that the unrest among their men does not pri- 
marily concern money. That is to say, the central 
thought of the major part of our citizens who are 
becoming concerned about our social and industrial 
problems is not "more money at any cost," but 
"justice." 

Certainly justice will mean more money in many 
places. Certainly no industry can' be said to be justi- 
fying itself which survives at the expense of its em- 
ployes and thrives upon their losses. 

But there is this to say : if justice were done and 
it so happened that justice did not mean more money, 
there would be a great wave of real, not temporary, 
contentment sweep over the working world. 

If it were shown and proved that wages as they 
exist everywhere today were strictly just and equit- 
able, forming an unimpeachable balance between pro- 
ducer and consumer, there would be instant satisfac- 
tion with the wage scale. 

Why? Because what men miss most is not the 
extra money in their pay envelope, but the sense of 
justice in their hearts. They want to live in a world 
that is playing square with them. They want to be 
at peace with their fellow-men. True, they want pros- 
perity, but they do not want it at the cost of injustice 
to others. 

The hardest burden of poverty is not its depriva- 
tion, but its bitter reflection that the other side of 
poverty is the injustice of successful greed. 

So, while the disorderly elements want nothing so 
much as to ravage the firm's bank account, the true 
rank and file of the laboring world wants a system of 
labor and reward that is equitable and just in itself, 
no matter what its figures may show. It wants a 
world fotmded on rectitude. It wants to know that 
the square deal rules. It wants to know that it is 
neither being taken advantage of, nor is taking ad-, 
vantage of any other. 

It is a phase of the human spirit we are dealing* 
with, and whenever we fail to see that, we rim afoul 
of elements which are most vital to social and in- 
dustrial stability. 

232 



UNREST IS NOT DISORDER 

Here is where all conferences and committees fail. 
They meet each other, one to force the other forward 
and one to force the other back. They are combatants 
from the start. They talk about dollars. One side 
tries to get the other side's dollars away from it by 
disputing that side's ownership of the money ; equally 
disputatious and material-minded they simply shut 
out any high considerations. And the result is what 
anyone might have foreseen. 

We must get a higher meeting grotmd. We have 
got to get together to consider what complete industrial 
justice is, regardless of which side will be most af- 
fected by that justice when it is arrived at. We must 
keep it high and above all our petty selfishness and 
ambitions. We must, indeed, have but one ambition 
— ^the noble ambition to be one of the creators of in- 
dustrial justice. 

And if we find that justice means adjustment of 
working conditions, of wages, the admission of work- 
ingmen to profit-sharing and to a part in the manage- 
ment as it affects them, then we must consider who 
will contribute the difference made by changed hours 
and wages, and we must consider how these changes 
can safely be put into effect without disturbing the 
business in its standing. 

All this can be arrived at with great friendliness 
and common sense between employers and employes 
if they only seek the higher unity and not their own 
limited interests. And if so be an employer, having 
been once a workingman himself, sees the need of 
adjustments and makes them before his men ask him, 
so much the better — ^his act means a great increase in 
confidence and a new feeling that the world still has 
a square deal left in it. 

This is the way to find a settlement that will stand. 
Not a contract which may be broken, but an agree- 
ment of minds and hearts in a new social industrial- 
ism which will endure simply because it is founded on 
conviction and not on limited interest. 



233 



Employment Is Greater Than 
'"Employer" or ''Employe" 



IN THE discussion which goes on about "capital" 
and "labor** we forget something. We leave out 
the very thing that it is all about. We talk a great 
deal about employers, and a great deal about employes, 
and say practically nothing about the industry which 
brings them both together. We hear a great deall 
about the differences between these two groups, but 
we almost entirely overlook the foimdation that is 
holding both of them up while they dispute. If the 
business they are arguing about should suddenly fall 
to pieces and disappear, the argument would be over ; 
both parties would find themselves floimdering in the 
midst of chaos. 

So it may be a worth-while contribution to the 
general subject if we just make room somewhere be- 
tween "employer" and "employe** for that very im- 
portant element. Employment. 

Let us begin as near the beginning as we can. 
Everyone — except the hermit of the woods who lives 
on berries, roots and game, whose business in life be- 
gins and ends with himself — olives by serving some- 
one else. 

He can dig, or plant, or build, or teach, or lay out 
plans, or heal, or amuse, or give general help vrhere 
labor is required. And those who need his services 
in digging or planting or building or teaching or heal- 
ing or amusing, or whatever it may be, go to him for 
that service and he lives by it. That is his business. 
The more widely known he becomes for what he can 
do, and the more customary it becomes with the peo- 
ple to call upon him, the more solidly is his business 
established. That is, the more accurately he can speak 
of his "trade" as distinct from himself. 

That business, that established custom by which 
people come to him for his services and by which he 

234 



EliPLOYMENT IS GREATER THAN EMPLOYER' OR EMPLOYE^' 

renders them, becomes his foundation in life, just as 
the farm becomes the farmer's foundation. His busi- 
ness has a life of its own. It is known by its name. 
It has a reputation. It can be injured. It can be 
killed. It is a created entity which is almost human 
in its response to demands or conditions. 

Now, it makes no difference to the principle in- 
volved whether that business is a cobbling shop em- 
ploying only its owner, or a great factory employing 
40,000 men. The business is the medium through 
which the livelihood of its members comes; it is the 
medium through which their service is extended to 
the world in exchange for a livelihood from the world ; 
and any disturbance of the medium results inevitably 
in serious hindrance to the service both ways. 

This idea is, of course, a very simple one, and that 
is the reason why it is so difficult to make clear. The 
simplest, most obvious facts are hardest fo value 
properly, because they are so easy to undervalue. They 
are the small bolts and nuts of thought, apparently 
trivial in themselves, but their loss is important enough 
to cripple the whole machine. 

If there were ten of us living off a farm of 100 
acres, the fundamental economic fact for us would be 
that^farm. We should be just plain fools to stand 
around and argue while the farm went to waste. If 
we did that, and the farm did go to wrack and ruin, 
the argument would be over; we simply should have 
argued ourselves into the lack of an3rthing worth 
arguing about. 

A shop or a business is exactly the same. It is the 
living of those engaged in it. It is the place where we 
win our food and raiment and shelter. Th^re may be 
something wrong with the relations that exist between 
individuals there; there may be grave differences in 
the degree of justice with which the distribution of 
rewards is effected; still it is true that the business is 
the grotmd we all depend on, and it is worth a much 
larger part of our consideration than many seem dis- 
posed to give it. 

Ruin a business, disorganize it, scatter it abroad, 
and you will have no further worry about "capital" 

235 



FORD IDEALS 



or "labor" — it will then become a question of saving 
our economic lives. 

Now, the nucleus of a business may be an idea. 
That is, an inventor or a thoughtful workman works 
out a new and better way to serve some established 
human need; the idea commends itself, and people 
want to avail themselves of it. In this way a single 
individual may prove, through his idea or discovery, 
the nucleus of a business. 

But the creation of the body and bulk of that busi- 
ness is shared by everyone who has anything to do 
with it. No manufacturer can say "I" built this busi- 
ness if he has required the help of thousands of men 
in building it. It is a joint production. Everyone em- 
ployed in it has contributed something to it. By work- 
ing and producing they make it possible for the pur- 
chasing world to keep coming to that business for the 
type of service it provides, and thus they help estab- 
lish a custom, a trade, a habit which supplies them 
with a livelihood. All this has a certain practical 
bearing on the discussions which are prevalent today 
and which sometimes threaten to damage the good 
points along with the bad. 

When two men are in mid-lake in a boat, their 
common interest, no matter what their personal dif- 
ferences may be, is in the integrity of that boat. They 
may differ and argue and contend as much as they 
please regarding what seat each ought to occupy, but 
if they break the boat or swamp it, the seat question 
ceases to exist — and possibly the men too. 

It will not make much difference how we decide 
to divide the golden egg, if during the squabble we 
destroy the goose that lays it. 

"What ought the employer to pay?" and "What 
ought the employe to receive?" are minor questions, 
the basic question beiiig, "What can the business 
stand ?" 

Certainly no business can stand an outgo that ex- 
ceeds its income. When you pump water out of the 
well at a faster rate than the water runs in, your well 
goes dry. And when the well rtms dry, those who 
depend on it go thirsty. And if, perchance, they 
imagine they can pump one well dry and then jump 

236 



EMPLOYMENT IS GREATER THAN ^EMPLOYER" OR EMPLOYE" 

to some other well, it is only a matter of time before 
the same shortsighted policy will dry up all the wells. 

Just now, when there is such a widespread insistent 
demand for more justly divided rewards, it must be 
recognized that there are limits. The business itself 
sets the limits. You cannot distribute $150,000 out 
of a business that only brings in $100,000. 

Instead, therefore, of men saying that the "em- 
ployer" ought to do thus-and-so, the expression ought 
to be changed to, "the business ought to be so stimu- 
lated and managed that it can do thus-and-so." Be 
cause, only the business does it. Certainly the em- 
ployer cannot do it if the business will not warrant it. 
But if the business will warrant it and the employer 
will not do it, there is a way to secure it without en- 
dangering the business. 

As a rule the business means the livelihood of too 
many men, to be tampered with. Nothing could be 
more criminal in the economic realm than the as- 
sassination of a business to which large numbers of 
men have given their labors and to which they have 
learned to look as their field of usefulness in the 
world and their source of livelihood. It must be said, 
however, that this form of assassination has been more 
frequently practiced by speculative capitalists than by 
workingmen. 

So that in making the adjustments which a new 
industrial order will require, it will be better if the 
employer stops looking at the employes as he asks 
himself, "How little can I get them to take?" and it 
will be better if the employe takes his eyes off the 
employer as he asks, "How much can I force him to 
give?" 

It will be infinitely better if both turn their eyes 
upon the business and ask, "How can this industry be 
made safe and profitable, so that it will be able to 
provide a sure and comfortable living for all of us?" 

If the two groups would take their eyes and minds 
off each other and turn them to the industry as the 
only possible means of obtaining what both of them 
want, there would be an advantage gained. 

First, there would be the advantage of forgetting 
personalities. It is when we talk about labor and 

237 



FOIiO IDEALS 



capital that we find class lines appearing, and class 
prejudices, and class antipathies. The two opposed 
groups look too much at each other as men, and 
imagine too many wrong things against each other. 

Second, there would be the advantage of both 
groups converging and centering on one common in- 
terest ; and there is no question whatever that the so- 
lution of our problem will never be the find of any 
one group, but the creative construction of both groups 
working together. When we cease to talk about "capi- 
tal" and "labor," and begin to talk about Industry, 
then both capital and labor are talking about the same 
thing — ^that on which they both equally depend for 
their living. 

Let workmen stop imagining this and that about 
the boss and let bosses stop imagining this and that 
about the workmen; let both of them get back to nor- 
mal thoughts by thinking more of the job. 

The job is the place where capital and labor, pro- 
ducer and consumer, financial and industrial and pub- 
lic interests meet on common ground. All that any of 
them will ever get, they will have to get out of the 
job. 

And it may well be that, thinking less of employer 
and employe, which are terms of division today, and 
more of Employment, which is a term of tmity, we 
may reach a good understanding, a fuller justice and 
a deeper contentment much earlier than we have 
expected. 



238 



Profit and Cost in a 
Day's Work 



How much profit does a workman reap from his 
day's labor? How much ought he to reap? Does 
a "good living" come tmder the head of profit, or is 
it properly a part of the cost of producing a day's 
labor? How far can human energies be measured and 
human values standardized in order that the cost of a 
day's labor may be standardized? \ 

Questions like these occur in one period or another 
of every man's thought about a system of economics 
which shall be niore solidly based than any which 
serves us now. ^ ^ 

But a more than academic interest attaches to 
these questions, for they are the real, even if tmspoken, 
basis for much of the irritation and confusion which 
exists in the industrial world today. 

The A^orkingman is beginning to understand that 
he is in business. His raw material is human energy. 
His product is a day's work. All other business men 
seek a profit above cost of production, why should 
not he? 

The difficulty thus far has been in making out the 
cost sheet. How much does it cost to produce a day's 
work? — that is the question for which there seems to 
be no satisfactory basic answer. 

It is perhaps possible accurately to determine — 
albeit with considerable interference with the day's 
work itself — how mngh energy the day's work takes 
out of a man. But it is not at all possible accurately 
to determine how much it will require to put back 
that energy into him against the next day's demands. 
Nor is it possible to determine how much of that ex- 
pended energy you will never be able to put back at 
all — ^because a "sinking fund" for the replacement of 
the body and vital strength of a worker has never been 
invented. 

239 



FORD IDEALS 



It IS possible, however, to consider these latter 
problems in a lump and provide for them under a form 
of old-age pensions; but even so, we have not thus 
attended to the question of profit which each day's 
labor ought to yield in order to take care of all of 
life's overhead, all physical losses, and the inevitable 
deterioration which falls upon all earthly things. 

Moreover, there are questions having to do with 
the pre-productive period, which would have to be 
solved. Here is the man, let us say, ready to begin 
his service to society by turning out days' work 
throughout his life. How much did it cost to rear and 
educate him to his present age and usefulness? Ancl 
how can that be figured as part of the cost of the 
energy he puts forth as he works today? Now, if it 
were the case of a machine, you would know what 
to charge. The machine cost a certain sum ; it wears 
out at a given rate; it would cost such-and-such an 
amount to replace. It is a simple matter to figure the 
actual cost of the machine and its productive work, 
and add the profit. 

Can we do that with men? Rather, can men do 
that for themselves, so that selling a day's work they 
will have as intelligent an idea of the cost of that 
day's work and the profit it ought to bring as any 
manufacturer ought to have of his product? 

The problem becomes more complicated when you 
consider the man in all his aspects. For he is more 
than a workman who spends a certain number of hours 
at his work in the shop every day. 

If he were only himself, the cost of his mainte- 
nance and the profit he ought to have would be a simple 
matter. But he is morethan himself. He is a citizen, 
contributing by his cultivation and interest to the wel- 
fare of the city. He is probably a householder, living 
under conditions which represent more than mere 
maintenance, in that they represent the graces of so- 
cial life. More than that, he is probably a father with 
a more or less numerous progeny, all of whom must 
subsist and be reared to usefulness on what he is able 
to earn. 

Now, it is obvious that to regard the man alone, 

240 



PROFIT AND COST IN A DAY's WORK 

refusing to reckon with the home and the family in 
the background, is to arrive at a series of facts which 
are misleading and which alone can never suffice even 
for a temporary solution of the questions that con- 
cern us. 

How are you gjoing to figure the contribution of 
the home to the day's work of the man? You are 
paying the man for his work, but how much does that 
work owe to his home ? How much to his position as 
a citizen? How much to his position as the pro- 
vider of a family? The man does the work in the 
shop, but his wife does the work of the home, and 
the shop must pay them both; on what system of 
figuring is the home going to find its place on the cost 
sheets of the day's work? It finds its place there 
already in a sort of haphazard way. If a man cannot 
support himself, his wife, his children, his habitation, 
his position in society — why, he doesn't stay at the 
job, that's all. It isn't a matter of cost and profit to 
him ; it is the matter of a "living." 

Is a man's own livelihood the "cost" ? And is his 
ability to have a home and a family the "profit" ? 

Is the profit on a day's work to be computed on a 
cash basis only, measured by the amount a man has 
left over after his own and family's wants are all 
supplied? 

Is the livelihood of five or six persons beside those 
of the actual worker to be charged up to "profit" ? 

Or, are all these relationships to be considered ^ 
strictly under the head of "cost," and the profit to be 
computed entirely outside of them? That is, after 
having supported himself and family, clothed them, 
housed them, educated them, given them. the privil- 
eges incident to their standard of living, ought there 
to be provision made for still something more in the 
way of savings profit, and all properly chargeable to 
the day's work? These are questions which call for 
accurate observation and computation. 

Perhaps there is no one item connected with our 
economic life that would surprise us more than a 
knowledge of just what excess burdens the day's work 
actually carries. 

241 



/ 



FORD IDEALS 



It carries all the worker's obligations outside the 
shop; it carries all that is necessary in the way of 
service and management inside the shop. The day's 
productive work is the most valuable mine of wealth 
that has ever been opened. 

Certainly it cannot be made to' carry less than all 
the worker's outside obligations. And certainly it 
ought to be made to take care of the worker's simset 
days when labor is no longer possible to him, and 
should be no longer necessary. And if it is made to 
do even these, industry will have to be adjusted to a 
schedule of production, distribution and reward which 
will stop the leaks toward the pockets of men who do 
not assist production in any way, and turn all streams 
for the benefit of those who do. In order to create 
a system which shall be as independent of the good- 
will of benevolent employers as of the ill-will of selfish 
ones, we shall have to find a basis in the actual facts 
of life itself. 

It costs just as much physical strength to turn 
out a day's work when wheat is $1 a bushel as when 
wheat is $2.50 a bushel. Eggs may be 12 ceijts a 
dozen or 90 cents a dozen — it makes no difference in 
the units of energy a man uses in a productive day's 
work. 

One would think that the real basis of value would 
be the cost of transmuting human energy into articles 
of trade and commerce. But no; that most honest 
of all human activities is made subject to the specu- 
lative shrewdness of men who can produce false short- 
ages of food and other commodities, and thus excite 
anxiety of demand in society. 

It is not in industry that the trouble lies, but in 
those regions beyond, where men lie in wait to seize the 
fruits of industry and create false scarcities for the 
sake of arousing an anxious demand for things which, 
normally, are and ought to be accessible to all who 
engage in daily productive pursuits. 

We must begin with the land; we must continue 
with the day's labor; and we must keep so close, so 
jealously close to both these fundamentals that we 
shall be suspicious and fearful of all that robs the 

242 



^ PROFIT AND COST IN A DAY's WORK 

land of men, and robs labor of its primal importance 
in material life. 

We shall think out, and try out, and establish 
more enduring economic systems as we go on about 
our work, than we shall ever be able to do sitting idle 
with our heads in our hands trying to "think" a new 
world system out of our brains. 

The day's work is the hub around which the whole 
wheel of earth-life swings. It must be kept central, 
both in our thinking and our action. Any system that 
shtmts the day's work ,off to one side as unimportant, 
is riding to a fall. 



243 



Who Is the Producer? 



WHO is the Producer? It is really an important 
question in these days of revised thinking, be- 
cause there is growing up a new class-conscious aris- 
tocracy which calls itself "the producers," and is very 
exclusive of everyone else. It is, of course, a good 
sign that emphasis is being placed on production and 
that a new appreciation has come for the producer; 
and perhaps it is natural that a kind of class pride 
should grow up which would limit the right to wear 
that honorable name; but all this makes it the more 
necessary that we should be clear in our minds as to 
who the Producer really is. 

The most common description of the Producer 
would lead us to believe that he is the man from whose 
hands comes the finished product. We are easily de^ 
ceived on this point. This man, we say, makes horse- 
shoes. He produces something useful. He is thus 
a valuable member of society. We can see his work, 
we can see him perform it, we can see h(3w it serves 
the immediate needs of the community. Therefore, 
we have no hesitancy in awarding him the title of 
Producer. 

But behind that man are others whom we do not 
see. There is the miner who dug out the iron ore. 
There is the mule-driver who transported the ore to 
the mine shaft. There is the engineer who hoisted it 
to the top. There are the men who handled it in the 
smelter. There are the other men who sailed the ships 
that carried it to the steel mills. Then in the steel 
mills it passed through the hands of many men who 
transformed it into steel ; and there were railroad men 
and truckmen who carried it to the place where ma- 
terial was needed. Finally there was the blacksmith 
who with his brawny arm and practiced eye shaped it 
into the article that was needed — a rod, a brace, or a 
horseshoe. 

244 



WHO IS THE PRODUCER? 

When you actually trace any article of use through 
the numerous hands that worked upon it, and then 
attempt to divide the price of the article among those 
various men, you not only get an idea of the vast co- 
operation which production involves, but also how 
quantity production is the only method by which a low 
price to the purchaser and an adequate wage to the 
producer can be maintained. 

During this process of tracing, you would also 
come upon another fact which is often overlooked; 
you would become aware of a very considerable body 
of workers whose hands did not directly touch the 
product. at all, but whose whole work was in serving 
the Producers duYing the time they were actually en- 
gaged in the work of production. We are not now 
speaking of the various forms of service rendered to 
the Producers outside the shop, but that service which 
is rendered them inside the shop. 

Take the shop sweepers, for example. They never 
touch the product of the shop. To the careless eye 
they are not producing anything at all. They are 
mere "extras," so to speak. Many would indignantly 
deny them the title of Producers. 

Yet they serve the processes of production in an 
indispensable way. Sweeping the shop has a direct 
bearing on the production of the special article which 
the shop exists to make. For example, an accumula- 
tion of waste would hinder production in two ways; 
first, the waste itself would get in the workers' way; 
second, to get it out of his way the worker would have 
to leave his job and go sweeping. 

Now, when the sweeper goes through his appointed 
section of floor space with his broom, he is clearing 
the way for the worker, he is allowing the workei 
to continue straight on with his job, unhindered. 

Again, the sweeper serves the worker in a still 
more indirect yet important way: cleanliness of the 
shop brings sanitary benefits with it, and so the 
sweeper serves the worker's health, and through it, 
production, by cutting down lost time due to illness. 

Perhaps the most subtle service the sweeper ren- 
ders is a psychological one. A clean shop has an in- 

245 



FORD IDEALS 



fluence on the men. They become more clean-cut in 
their own work. Wherever you see a shop cluttered 
up with a mass of waste, or with material dumped 
around anywhere in disorderly fashion, you will find 
that the workmen's minds become cluttered too; they 
partake of the general disorderliness. Now, the 
sweeper has worked for weeks and months and has 
not touched a single process of what we call produc- 
tion, and yet he has served the Producer and aided 
production. 

If the man whom we call the Producer had been 
compelled to stop and do his own sweeping, he would 
have drawn the same rate of pay for handling a broom 
as was given him for the skilled use of a tool. It 
would have been a waste of skill. The sweeper re- 
lieved him of that necessity, and so made it possible 
to keep the mechanical skill where it was most needed. 

And because the sweeper is thus a contributor to 
production through rendering service to the more di- 
rect Producer, it is believed that he is entitled to a 
wage that recognizes his value. That is why the min- 
imum wage, which always ought to be high enough 
to support a very creditable standard of living, should 
include the sweepers also, or any other similar workers 
whose efforts contribute to the general work of pro- 
duction. 

Are we going to deny the name of Producer to 
those whose services are a part of the immediate pro- 
ducer's services? 

That is just what is sometimes done. Ther^ is a 
sort of an aristocracy of skill growing up. There is 
an exclusiveness which would shut out the contributors 
to production from the status and rewards of Pro- 
ducers. It is rather strange to see these divisions 
arise, and to see how the urge of human pride always 
makes for separateness afnong men. There are others, 
of course, beside the sweepers, who serve the immedi- 
ate Producers of articles of use. The man who plans 
the work, who makes it possible for the Producer to 
begin the job at once instead of waiting to lay it out 
and plan it ahead — ^he, too, has his part in production. 

Then, before any of these came upon the scene at 

246 



/ 



WHO IS THE PRODUCER? 

all, there is the man who had vision enough and faith 
enough to win the necessary means to start the work 
going in the first place: the man whose credit or 
whose idea was good enough to secure capital and 
machinery and a place to work. Surely it will not 
be denied that he, too, had his part in Production — 
that he served Production and the Producer, too. 

The difficulty has been in the past very similar to 
that which confronts us now, namely, a tendency on 
the part of one group to minimize the importance of 
the other group, as if that were the only way to se- 
cure its own importance. 

Our enormous and insistent demand for the fin- 
ished product has, in these days, given an exaggerated 
prominence to the man who does the finishing. The 
last man to handle the article is the first man the pub- 
lic sees, and thus he is the one who is most often 
given the title of Producer. 

The man who "turns it out" is the man whom mod- 
em opinion acclaims as the real creator. 

And yet it must be clear to all that this man could 
not "turn it out" unless a whole series of processes 
had produced it to his hand almost ready to be "turned 
out." 

When all is said and done, it is the organization 
that produces, and no individual worker. And by 
"organization" is meant not only the specific shop 
which makes the specific article, but the whole in- 
dustrial process, from those which deal with the raw 
materials of the earth, to those that give the finishing 
touches which prepare the worked material for the 
market and for use. 

They are all part of the plan. It may be that some 
of the processes could be shortened up a little ; it may 
be that profiteers push in here and there to collect an 
tmwarranted tax on the completed article as it passes 
along the channels of commerce ; but aside from these, 
which can easily be remedied, it will be found that the 
actual shaping of the article occupies a place about 
midway in the whole process of Production. It is not 
the whole. It is indispensable, of course; but it is 
not warranted in assuming a lordly dominaiy:e over all 
the others. 

247 



FORD IDEALS 

Certainly there is no place in a just and well-reg- 
ulated world for any labor that does not in some meas- 
ure contribute to Production. This is not to take a 
sordid view of life, but only to insist on usefulness in 
the things which we support. Every man who eats and 
wears clothes and enjoys creature comforts, does so 
at the expense of someone else's labor. Now, he ought 
to yield an adequately useful return for what he re- 
ceives — ^that is the pi;incip)e. 



248 



» 

All Are Members of the 
Consuming Glass 



A CORRESPONDENT suggests that in classifying 
society into groups, such as the Producing, the 
Consuming and the Public groups, or the Capital, the 
Labor and the Public groups, there should have been 
added the Government group, thus placing the struc- 
ture on four solid legs, instead of leaving it the "three- 
legged stool" of recent popular expression. 

The suggestion illustrates the fundamental falsity 
of dividing society at all, for it is an undivided organ- 
ism. If we set it off into classes and interests, we do 
so simply as an aid to our thinking, as children first 
use blocks to learn arithmetic; we never imply that 
society is really thus divided; we never imply that 
life is such a hard and fast matter that every man 
is shut up into one caste or class. 

That is where class-consciousness usually fails as 
a motive, and that is why the propagandists of a 
class-conscious strife are doomed to failure — ^you can- 
not cage an individual in any one class. Even.while 
you are tagging him, he eludes you and glides into an- 
other class, if only for an hour. In a free country like 
ours, a man usually does — ^at least he always may — 
belong to all classes at once, except perhaps artificial 
and tmwholesome classes like that which we call "the 
leisure class." To belong to the "leisure class" simply 
means that down in the mine and at the forge and in 
the shop there are men working for themselves and for 
idlers whom they never saw; it is to be a sponge, a 
parasite, a sign of economic disease. 

There is one class in which none of us escapes 
membership, and that is the Consuming class. By the 
law of nature we are all consumers. It means our 
very life. Rich or poor, learned or ignorant, it does 
not matter— every living organism consumes the ma- 
terial of life, and for us this means mostly food for 

249 



/ 



the body and the material necessities of residence on 
the earth. 

Every man, be he the greatest producer ever 
known, is a consumer the first thing in the morning 
when he sits down at his breakfast table. Whether 
he produced what he consumes, or whrther someone 
else produced it, does not matter — sitting at that taUe 
and eating, he has joined the Consuming dass. The 
total produce of the world is a little less because he 
sat there. 

And then he goes to his work. He enters the shop 
and takes up his task, and by that act he has passed 
into the Producing group. No jolt and no jar attended 
the transition, no change in his fundamental interests 
occurred, he is not on one side of the fence while he 
is eating his breakfast and on the other as he plies his 
job — he is just a human being trying to support him- 
self and dependents in a world maze. 

Membership in the Consuming dass is onnpulsory 
if life is to go on, but evidently membership in the 
Producing class is not, for there are some — a very few 
comparatively — ^who go on consuming all day long, 
week in and week out, during a whole lifetime, with- 
out ever putting back a single valuable contribution 
into the general supply. "They are living on their 
money/' we say. But they are not. They are living 
on the grain which other men raised, the dothing which 
other men spun, the commodities which other men 
made — and their "money" is one of the uKxlem 
fetishes by which they are enabled to do this. Mcmey 
is always a sign of production, but its possession is not. 

But rettUTiing to the normal man who has no de- 
sire to escape his duty, and who is willing to replace 
by production the stuff which he takes for ccmsump- 
tion, what is his relation to these two conditions? The 
fomenters of labor strife say that he should be a 
"bull" when it is a question of how much he shall be 
paid for production, and a "bear" when it is a ques- 
tion of what he shall pay for what he constunes. In 
other words, make the loaf of bread cost more to bake, 
but sell it for less because the man who was highly 
paid for baking it will presently come around the front 
door and buy it for his family. 

250 



ALL ARE MEMBERS OF THE CONSUMING CLASS 

This, of course, would be a very favorable arrange- 
ment for the baker, if it could be kept up; but un- 
fortunately for that dream, there is an inviolable re- 
lation between the cost of consumption and the cost 
of production; even in the physical body, when re- 
pair and replacement cease to equal waste and use, 
old age comes and death is not far. Decrepitude and 
collapse come to business from the same cause. 

There is, doubtl^s, a difference in the interests of 
the individual as Producer and that same individual 
as Consumer, but the difference merges into the same 
interest at last, namely, to gain enough as Producer 
to meet the demands made upon him as Consumer. 

Some would-be guides talk as if all this could be 
easily arranged if the Producer took what he pro- 
duced and let it go at that. The matter is complicated 
by another class which comes into existence between 
the production and the consumption. The producer 
is not buying of himself as producer, but of someone 
else who has acquired his product. This gives room 
for a mixture of motives — to get as much as he can 
as producer and give as little as he can as constimer. 

This double attitude is assisted by the man's belief 
that he is dealing with two sets of persons whose in- 
terests seem opposed to his — ^his employer, who he 
thinks is trying to get out of him more labor than the 
wage is worth; and the merchant or trader, who he 
thinks is trying to get out of him more money than 
the article is worth. 

The man doesn't see that — ^banish human greed 
from the equation — ^he is dealing only with himself 
after all, and that if he robs commodities at one end 
of the process, they rob him at the other; and so 
equality is established, though in a very unsatisfactory 
sort of way. 

Now, there are advisers who insist that the way out 
of this condition is for the Producer-Consumer to add 
to his "class membership" and become Trader, too. 
For that is all that the abolition of the commercial 
class could mean. But as very few men could subsist 
on the commodity which they produce (the commodity 
usually being only a part in some larger process of 

251 



FORD IDEALS 

production), and would have to stop producing in or- 
der to hawk their product in the market and gain the 
wherewithal to procure a subsistence, the process 
might end practically in the same place as the present 
one does — ^but probably it would end in a much lower 
degree of efficiency and in a much lower state of gen- 
eral comfort. 

In our capacity as workers we are interested in 
just rates of reward; in our capacity as consumers 
we are interested in just rates of exchange; in our 
public capacity we are interested in the general wel- 
fare, not of ourselves alone, but of all men. 

So, when our correspondent suggests that we add 
the Government group, it means just this: we add to 
all our other "class memberships," a new member- 
ship which carries power and authority with it. 

The Government is not a group of men who con- 
trol a group of the Public and a group of Producers 
and a group of Consumers; the Government is the 
Public, the Producers and the Consumers united to 
produce a political life which shall be the safeguard 
of all their rights and their just interests: 

Perhaps the time has come for Government to con- 
sider taking over the control of economic conduct as 
well as those other phases of conduct which are indi- 
cated in existing laws. Certainly a Government that 
has power to say what shall be the standard quart or 
bushel, should also have power to say what shall be 
the standard day of work and the standard rate of 
reward. 

The world is now moving around in a dazed sort 
of way simply because some extremely simple ques- 
tions have not been answered — questions relating to 
the cost of a day's work to the man who gives it, and 
the rate of reward he ought to have to put him on 
an equality with other men who also are rewarded. 

There is natural wealth enough, there is human 
energy enough ; one is also persuaded that there could 
be foimd enough human good will, if mankind only 
knew what to do. The race is waiting for someone 
to show it the simple way out, that all interests may 
be brought into harmony, and the friction of unjust 
conflict abolished. 

252 



Every Man Needs Elbow Room 



WHEN ^ man deals in theories it is very easy for 
him to exaggerate, because a world that is spun i 
out of fancy can be more easily rearranged than a 
world of throbbing, driving life. Men find it easy to 
rear Utopia in their dreams, and make changes over- 
night that would dislocate the whole human race if 
they were decreed in a real world. But when we are 
dealing with real days and actual conditions we find 
that our very life is so bound up in the conditions 
which surround us — ^as the life of the body inheres in 
its organs — ^that sudden and total changes, which are 
fortunately impossible, would be fatal, if they were 
possible. The danger of our dream-worlds is that 
they influence us too greatly in discounting the real 
world in which we live. On the whole it is not a bad 
world, as practically everybody will admit. It is not 
perfect by any means; it will stand much retouching 
here and there, much adjustment and improvement; 
but on the whole even the most ordinary mind is able 
to see that what we have is infinitely better than it 
might be, infinitely better than some of the systems 
which are now being proposed by men whose minds 
would Be clearer if they worked for their living. 

Every man with red blood in his veins will agree 
that whatever else we may desire, we do not desire a 
world that will leave no elbow room for individual 
initiative and ambition. 

No man would wish to place his son in a school 
where the lad would not be required to meet things 
that would test his qualities and develop his powers. 
He would not want his son coddled. He would want 
him to take boy's luck with the rest of the boys, learn 
by the friction generated by rubbing against hard 
tasks and other people's natures. He would want for 
his son such a discipline as would render him a self- 
reliant man. 

And, when we take time to think of it, that is just 

253 



FORD IDEALS 

the kind of world we ask for ourselves. We don't 
want to be supported by government, clothed by legis- 
lature, and apportioned our work and reward by com- 
missary ; we don't ask to live in houses furnished us by 
the state, fed on fixed ration, and educated according 
to certain schedules fixed for the various classes of 
society. 

What the normal man wants is a free field and no 
favorites, a chance to show what is in him, and take 
the measure of success and reward that he is able to 
win. For that is Freedom in the economic sense. 
Some people talk as if economic freedom meant lib- 
eration from the necessity pf toil, but as food itself 
means toil, and as food is a necessity, that view is 
clearly wrong. Freedom means an opportunity to go 
out with other men, working with them in co-opera- 
tion, and alongside them in friendly competition, so 
that every man shall have the chance to demonstrate 
his ability. 

That is what gives life its zest, and any social 
program that takes that zest out of life is foredoomed 
to failure even before it is tried. Indeed, it never 
will be tried, because the healthy zest of human na- 
ture is against it from the beginning. 

What Y^e want for our boys is what we ask for 
ourselves — free opportunity on the field of endeavor, 
a fair chance to measure powers with other men, and 
may the best man win ! 

Now, when we have tried this opportunity for a 
number of years it is inevitable that we settle into the 
classifications which our abilities, our use of our op- 
portunities, and our general value to society, fix for 
us. That is the only classification possible. Each man 
eventually finds his own place. He finds his own 
work. He is rewarded according to the contribution 
he makes to the general welfare. 

There is nothing arbitrary about it. It is not done 
by lel^slation nor by th^ pressure of group interests. 
It is purely natural in its operation. Cotton goes into 
cloth and iron goes into dredges; there is no dis- 
crimination ; there is only classification by fitness. 

But the contest of life leaves a certain proportion 
of human beings very low in the economic scale, and 

254 



/ 



EVERY MAN NEEDS ELBOW ROOM 

this constitutes the largest item in our social problem. 

This residuum near the bottom has heretofore 
been waste material to a very large extent. We have 
been just as wasteful of mien as we have of certain 
materials. For generations we have been throwing 
away what we called the "waste" of mines and the 
"rubbish" and "garbage" of cities. But we have now 
awakened to their value and are making them useful 
and therefore valuable. In the same way we have 
been counting certain classes of unskilled individuals 
as waste. Humanity's scrap-heap has at times been 
very large. But modem industry has turned all this 
waste humanity to new and increased usefulness, thus 
making these classes of men more valuable to them- 
selves and society. 

It was not so much a miatter of "man's inhumanity 
to man," as it was society's lack of managerial ability 
to use the naturally less useful classes, which led to 
the sad spectacle of "a human scrap-heap." Modem 
industry went to that scrap-heap and found good use- 
ful stuff, and today even the unskilled man can feel 
that he is playing his part in the making of the world. 
The man of initiative, ability, and energy has always 
been able to take care of himself. He has asked no 
favors and has agitated no new form of society. The 
problem has always been the other man who must be 
hdped to help himself. 

That man is receiving more of the material of 
self-help today than at any time in human history. He 
counts for something. He is necessary to the work 
of the world. Productive processes have been so 
standardized that his steadiness is as good an asset as 
genius, and his labor as prime an investment as capital. 

And still more will be done for him. He has not 
only been given a place in the world ; he will be given 
a share in the wealth he helps to create over and above 
that share which comes to him as wages, He will par- 
ticipate in the "extras"; he will be enabled to count 
his connection with his job not only on the basis of the 
day's wage, but of the year's bonus and dividend. All 
this is made possible not by a soft sentimentalism, but 
by new methods of production and new genius for 

255 



FORD IDEALS 



management which have given value to the work of 
these formerly discounted groi;ps of men. 

There is a theory that profit-sharing is imprac- 
ticable because it is not balanced by loss-sharing, that 
a full partnership between capital and labor would 
involve a sharing of the risks as well as the benefits. 

The theory is faulty at several points. Whatever 
profit a business shows is produced by labor in con- 
junction with efficient management, and labor is there- 
fore clearly entitled to a share. Moreover, the losses, 
whether caused by ill-management, depression or other 
conditions which are still beyond control, are certain 
to be shared by labor, whether it will or no. 

But why expect losses at all? Why should a 
business which supplies a legitimate need of the 
people, ever suffer from lack of work at a profitable 
figure? Eliminate the speculative element, contribute 
efficient management, give honest labor on an honest 
product at an honest price, and you have established 
business on a substantial basis, at the minimum of 
risk. 

Labor and management are partners — if both be 
efficient, the results are as certain as human affairs 
can be. Management furnishes the method, labor 
furnishes the medium; both together spell service; 
service is the basis of reward ; and upon the basis of 
honest reward, prosperity is built. 

With capital making the first move toward fair- 
ness and equality, there is bound to be a receptive 
spirit on the part of labor, and a revision of some of 
the old prejudices and misconceptions. After all, we 
are only human — ^all of us ; and a real man can always 
sense the note of sincerity, or its absence, in another's 
proffer of friendship. 

The sincere desire of the manufacturer to be just 
to his men and to the public must result in a tide of 
loyalty rolling in to meet, augment and solidify the 
new spirit which is coming into industrial relations. 



256 



The Need of Social Blueprints 



ALMOST anyone you maychance to meet will tell 
i you that "something ought to be done" and will 
assure you that it must be done very soon. But you 
will' travel a long way before you will meet anyone 
with a plan that has a single point of practicability. 

Many plans, so-called, are not plans at all; they 
are pleasant pictures of conditions as they may be 
after all the planning, all the preparatory work and 
all the constructive labors are done. A plan is not an 
oil-painting of a complete object ; a plan indicates the 
"how" and the "where" and the "what" of every joist, 
joint and pillar. You cannot build a house from a 
charming photograph ; you will need a blueprint. 

Every thoughtful man has an idea of what ought 
to be; but what the world is waiting for is a social 
and economic blueprint. 

There is something deadly exact about a blue- 
print. It is not a speech; it is not a propaganda; it 
is not a burst of enthusiasm; it is a simple thing of 
lines and signs which tells you what to do and just 
where to do it. It speaks of only one quality — orderly 
work. 

Now, this is why good intentions are of so little 
value to the practical solution of the problems that 
confront us. Good intentions, of course, are very 
good — ^as intentions. And doubtless good intentions 
must eidst in every good plan. But everyone has had 
enough experience with well-meaning people to know 
that good intentions are often sterile. 

It is very surprising to learn how much of the 
distrust of people in plans for the advancement of 
justice in human relations is due to the failure of so 
many ill-planned and badly managed good intentions. 
Human history is full of the wreckage of high and 
noble intentions for social good and human better- 
ment, which failed simply because they had the vi- 
sionary quality without the creative quality. 

257 



FORD IDEALS 

And one result of this is the almost universal as- 
sumption that whatever is good, generous, just and 
warmly htunan, is prevented by those very qualities 
from, being practical. There is an unspoken belief 
that if a plan is to be practical it must disregard hu- 
manity to a greater or less extent. Consideration of 
others and success for oneself are believed to be in- 
compatible. 

Another result is the assumption that "creative 
work" can only be undertaken in the realm of vision. 
We speak of "creative artists" in music, painting and 
the other arts. We thus limit the creative fimctions 
to productions that may be himg on gallery walls or 
played in concert halls, or otherwise displayed where 
idle and fastidious people gather to admire each other's 
show of "culture." 

But, if a man wants a field for real vital creative 
work, let him come where he is dealing with higher 
laws than those of sound, or line or color; let him 
come where he may deal with the very laws of per- 
sonality and society. Creative work ! We want artists 
in industrial relationships. We want masters in in- 
dustrial method, both from the standpoint of the pro- 
ducer and the product. We want those who can mold 
the political, social, industrial and moral mass into a 
sound and shapely whole. 

We have limited the creative faculty too much and 
have used it for too trivial ends. We want men who 
can create the working design for all that is right and 
good and desirable in our life together here. 

Now, it is pretty clear that the creative plan, when 
it comes, will propose surprisingly little that is new; 
it will consist largely in a readjustment of the old 
things. 

We shall not outgrow the need to work. Some 
people are talking as if the "good time coming" is 
going to eliminate labor altogether. Some people ap- 
pear to think that the only thing that is wrong with 
our present system is that people have to work for 
their living. 

Well, we may be sure on one point: work is not 
what ails the world. The world would be infinitely 
worse off than it is, both physically and morally, if it 

258 



THE NEED OF SOCIAL BLUEPRINTS 

were not for work. One of the danger-spots of the 
present time is that so many men are trying to evade 
work as if it were a disease. There is a class of men 
who regard the white collar as a sign of emancipation 
from work. An idea like that, if true, would soon 
bring the white collar into disgrace. 

There are too many men dickering in real estate 
and not enough men digging in it. 

There are too many agitators, who do not work 
at all, telling these groups who cannot think for them- 
selves that they are to be commiserated because they 
have to work. 

Think of it! here in America, the one country in 
the world where it has always been held honorable 
that a man should work with his hands — in this coun- 
try honest work is sought to be made the badge of 
servility ! 

Say what you will, the man who works with his 
hands has the best of it — other things being equal. 
And what we all want in this country is that the work- 
ingman shall have the best of it all around. This can- 
not be done by abolishing work, for work cannot be 
abolished ; but it can be done by abolishing those lim- 
itations and false practices which have kept from the 
worker the reward which ought to be his. 

Profit-sharing, additional annual bonuses, stock- 
sharing and dividends, a close and sympathetic inter- 
change of counsel between the production and man- 
agement parts of the business; or, to state it another 
way, between the strictly business and the strictly hu- 
man aspects — these constitute a promising beginning. 
The htunan part must serve the business part, else 
there would be no great center of useful work which 
would provide the living of all employed there; yet 
the business part must also serve the human part, else 
the service which the business can render to human 
well-being would be cut in half. 

The principle which must become clear to the mind 
of this and the coming generation is that good inten- 
tions plus well-thought-out working designs, can be 
put into practice and can be made to succeed. 

There is nothing inherently impossible in plans to 
increase the well-being of the workingman. 

259 



FORD IDEALS 



If there has seemed to be, it is only because the 
world has heretofore thrown all of its thought and 
energy into selfish schemes for personal profits. 

If the world will give as much attention and in- 
terest and energy to the making of plans that will 
profit the other fellow, such plans can be established 
on just as practical a basis as the others were — with 
this additional advantage : the latter kind of plan will 
last longer than the other kind, and will be far more 
profitable both in human and financial values. 

What this generation needs is a deep faith, a pro- 
found conviction in the practicability of righteousness, 
justice and humanity in industry. 

If we cannot have these qualities, then we were 
better off without industry. Indeed, if we cannot get 
those qualities, the days of industry are numbered. 
But we can get them. We are getting them. 

There will come men whose highest joy will be 
to diffuse benefits instead of accumulating heaps of 
personal profits which they will never use. There will 
come a race of men to whom money will mean only 
the opportunity to develop still bigger benefits for the 
men and their families who carry the world on their 
shoulders. 

If selfishness can only be curbed, if the long-range 
values can only be shown in their desirable lights, if 
men who are in authority could only see the wisdom 
of exchanging the low gratifications of mere gain for 
the finer gratifications of human service — why, theft 
there would be no end to what might be done. 

The Good is the only practicable. Anything less 
than that is not only impracticable in any sense what- 
soever, but it is vanishing too. 



260 



Party Politics 



^ 

THE open season for politics is upon us. The 
voice of the candidate is heard in the land. "Key- 
notes," which are strangely out of key with the 
thought and needs of the people, are being piped in 
various quarters. And the offices of authority and 
influence, which are soon to be opened for a con- 
firmation or a change of policy, have not the smallest 
opportunity to go seeking for men to fill them, they 
are always besieged beforehand by men of all degrees 
of fitness and unfitness; so that the attaining of an 
office has come to be a more thrilling political motive 
than the filling of it. 

There is nothing, to say against politics as such, 
but only against its governing motives when these are 
wrong. The only motive that can keep politics pure is 
the motive of doing good for one's country and its 
people. 

Originally, politics belonged to the citizens of the 
state. They inaugurated the issues and they proposed 
the policies that should be applied. Politics was simply 
the application of the community mind to the com- 
munity problem. As such, politics may have been 
unwise sometimes, but not unclean. A community 
may not always know what is best to do for itself, 
but whatever it does is done with good intention. It 
is contrary to experience to say that the people are 
the depository of political wisdom; political wisdom 
exists in small quantities at any time; but it is abso- 
lutely true, and it is our duty always to insist upon it, 
that the people are the depository of political power, 
yi/^herever political power is permitted the people in 
its fullness, there is likely to be fewer errors; and 
when errors are made there is likely to be a readier 
and more pliant reversal of them, than where the peo- 
ple are permitted only partial power. 

But politics in our day is not so much a popular 
matter as a professional matter. Instead of being 

261 



/ 



VOID IDEALS 

always the exact effect of the whole community's 
thought upon public questions, it is often only the 
community choice between two limited programs pre- 
pared by professional partisans who themselves have 
personal aspirations to serve or whose Welfare is 
linked up with the personal aspirations of others. 

There was a time when parties represented very 
accurately the divisions of public conviction upon pub- 
lic questions. It is questionable if they do so now, 
to as great an extent. In any event, there is a less 
rigid adherence to party on the part of the people; 
there is an easy passage back and forth as one party 
or another seems to represent the popular mind. 

This of itself indicates that professional partisan- 
ship and not popular influence constitutes the mechan- 
ism of politics. Parties come more and more to mean 
the men who are in charge of the partisan machinery, 
the political corporation, so to speak, of this name or 
that. They constitute a hierarchy which exists within 
itself, with very slender sanction from below. 

This upper and inner circle is a sort of unofficial 
supreme court. It passes on issues and policies and 
candidates. Its purpose is to "sell" itself to a ma- 
jority of the voting public by setting forth the most 
attractive candidate or the most alluring promises. 
When the "party" goes into power, it is really a very 
few men who go into power. The party is the support 
this inner circle was able to win at the polls. 

It is very easy to see that this view is correct if 
you will consider how many times and for how long a 
time the people have had to knock at the door of party 
councils to induce the "leaders" to consider some is- 
sue and some reform which the people deemed press- 
ingly necessary. We have had some experiences along 
that line that make very curious spectacles indeed. 

Imagine a party, supposed to be the channel and 
outlet of the people's thought, having power enough 
in its upper councils to refuse to consider the people's 
* thought and insist upon determining within what lim- 
its the people shall think and vote. Politics as a par- 
tisan profession has always been the barrier and enemy 
of politics as the natural upflow of the popular mind 
on public questions. It has frequently occurred that 

262 



PARTY POLITICS 

by an apparent agreement between the leaders of both 
arties, the people who adhere to the parties were nar- 
rowly limited as to the matters they could vote upon. 
Whereas politics in its real sense makes for the fullest 
expression, in its partisan sense it has been the strong 
instrument of suppression. The "slate" has been a 
boundary which the people have been forbidden to 
pass. 

i It is apparent, however, that a change is beginning 
to come. Not that the partisan and professional poli- 
tician has changed his spots — which even an optimist 
could not expect — ^but an alarming aloofness from 
partisan political authority is being exhibited by the 
people. 

The people plainly have the "leaders" guessing. 
The "leaders" were never more a close corporation 
than they now are, but they can no longer count the 
people as one of their safe assets. The people have de- 
veloped something more than independence of mind, 
it even approaches contempt for a class of self-styled 
leaders. 

The people have apparently left the "organization" 
high and dry, and politics in the ordinary sense fails 
to get the rise out of them that it used to get. 

And yet, anyone who would believe, as a result of 
this condition, that the people are simply indifferent 
and will leave the whole question to the party corpora- 
tions, does not know the American people. They are 
not indifferent. They are not going to surrender their 
citizens' rights to anyone. They are going to exer- 
cise them, but just how, upon what issue, or for what 
candidate, has not yet appeared. 

The people are interested in wider views than the 
politicians are ready to entertain. 

As a result of our political system, the people have 
had a very costly experience in recent years. The war 
gave them a new education in national and interna- 
tional affairs. They are thinking in broader terms 
than ever before. They are not thinking in terms of 
one state, or one party, or one nation. They know 
now that all humanity is interrelated. They know that 
any prosperity we buy at the cost of adversity to an- 
other people is sure to react upon us. They know 

263 



FORD IDEALS 

that we cannot build our little paradise here or any- 
where else, and remain regardless of the world around. 
The internationalism of humanity, of liberty, of eco- 
nomic balance, of supply and demand, of service and 
reward, have all been very plainly observed by our 
people. And there is no indication that the leaders of 
the partisan coimcils have been nearly so observant, 
or that their education has been broadened by the 
events through which the world has passed. 

It is too late now to talk of nationalism or inter- 
nationalism. That question was settled when we en- 
tered the war. 

Something bigger than a "party ticket" is asked 
by the people this year. Something that carries more 
assurance than the "party platform" of other years. 

"Getting power" or "keeping power" have nothing 
to do with the vital and fundamental needs of the 
nation at this time, both in its internal affairs and its 
international relations. We want a program, Amer- 
ican and humanitarian, which the American and hu- 
manitarian elements of all parties would be bound to 
support and put through. Such a program would 
leave little room for partisan fights, but it would clear 
the stage for the next step of progress which already 
has been far too long delayed, and enable us to pro- 
ceed with the work of reconstruction. 



264 



Honest and Dishonest 
Propaganda 

WE HAVE^ seen a great deal of propaganda dur- 
ing the last five years and have had ample oppor- 
tunity to appraise its wisdom, sincerity and effective- 
ness. The fact that it still continues to be used for 
one purpose or another, with an assurance that the 
human mind can be wheeled into position and marched 
this way or that as the propagandist desires, is be- 
ginning to get on the nerves of the people ; they are 
reaching out beyond the propaganda for the facts, just 
as in a lawsuit the jury reaches out beyond the con- 
tentions of the lawyers to get at the knowledge which 
the witnesses may have. 

Like the great financial "drives," this new busi- 
ness of propaganda has become so very obtrusive that 
it is compelling a rather critical scrutiny. There was 
a time when all you had to do was to start a "drive," 
threaten the non-contributors with an unpopular 
stigma, and millions rolled in. But even the "drives" 
are falling down. And the simple reason is that you 
cannot "drive" people to think any more than you 
can "drive" them to give. 

Legitimate propaganda during the war period is 
very simply described. The nation was agreed that, 
being rightly in the war and on the right side, it had 
to win. It did not have to be urged to a desire to win. 
The desire was there. Propaganda did not create it; 
propaganda did not increase it. All that propaganda 
did was to tell the people how they could help to win. 
It was a distribution of information, not a storm of 
argument; it was knowledge and education, not mere 
exhortation. 

And that is the mark of legitimate propaganda at 
all times — ^the facts. A fact is like granite — it stays. 
Winter will not freeze it, summer will not melt it, 
rains will not wash it away. Men may neglect it for 
a long time. They may stumble over it and curse it 

265 



POBD IDEALS 

many times. But after a while they begin to build 
with it. The man with a fact need not worry about 
the indiflFerence of the multitudes; let him tie up to 
his fact. In due time it will find its place. But he 
must be careful that it is a Fact, and not merely a 
notion of something he thinks could be made a fact 
if he could get enough people to agree with him. 
Agreement doesn't make facts. But facts make agree- 
ment. People who don't agree with facts get bumped 
by them. But it is not your place to do the bumping — 
the fact takes care of that. 

What kills propaganda is the obvious purpose be- 
hind it. One little admixture of self-interest and 
your eflFort is wasted. You cannot preach patriotism 
to men for the purpose of getting them to stand still 
while you rob them — ^and get away with that kind of 
preaching very long. 

You cannot preach the duty of working hard and 
producing plentifully, and make that a screen for an 
additionsd profit to yourself. 

There has been too much of this kind of psycho- 
logical crime committed in the world these past f€W 
years — the crime of bringing men to act from the 
highest and sincerest motives of self-sacrifice, and 
then using that high spirit for the lowest purposes. 

We are going to pay the price of that sort of 
trifling, for there is nothing thp*^ *^eals so slowly and 
hurts so long as wounded faith. 

Just now the country is being flooded with propa- 
ganda designed to improve the state of mind in which 
the people find themselves with regard to industrial 
and economic questions. This new propaganda con- 
tains much truth, a great many things which the people 
need to know, and knowing which they would be 
saved from some very grave errors of thought and 
action. 

But for the most part it is propaganda from a class 
to a class, and it has a design behind it which arouses 
suspicion. 

The workingman is not going to take his views of 
duty from a man or a class whose privileges or profits 
depend on the workingman taking that point of view. 

Employers or capitalists or close corporations of 

266 



HONEST AND DISHONEST PROPAGANDA 

international speculators who think they can mobilize 
the mind of the common people and issue orders to 
it, or who think they can hire a few writers and speak- 
ers and solve the whole troublesorfie situation with 
nicely selected words and phrases, are either very ig- 
norant of human nature or are unbalanced by an 
exaggerated sense of their own importance and 
wisdom. 

The plain people have stood in line a long time 
and have been lectured and ordered about. As lone 
as they were persuaded that it was for the good of 
their country to be thus regimented, they agreed to it. 
But the wastes and shameless profiteering which ac- 
companied the war have brought them a disgusting 
sense that in sacrifice as in other things there may be 
class lines too; one mass may do all the sacrificing, 
while one class reaps all the gains. 

Propaganda issuing from a recognized class whose 
interests are all bound up in the preservation of the 
old order of things, is not only a waste of effort, it is 
a positive irritant to the people to whom it is ad- 
dressed. They resent it, and there is hot blood in their 
resentment. 

Undoubtedly the employing class possess facts 
which their employes ought to know in order to con- 
struct sound opinions and pass fair judgments; and 
undoubtedly the employed class possess facts which are 
equally important to the case and which everyone 
ought to know. 

It is extremely doubtful, however, that either side 
has all the facts. 

And^ this is where propaganda, even if it were 
possible for it to be entirely successful, is defective. 
It is not desirable that one set of ideas be "put over" 
on a class holding another set of ideas, but that out 
of both sets of ideas the true, constructive and har- 
monizing truth may be brought forth. 

If you are going to rely on ideas, that is the way 
you must get them. 

But there is something better, more immediately 
effective than the propaganda of ideas just now, and 
that is the Act that illustrates the Idea. 

The best propaganda an employer can use is to 

267 



FORD IDEALS 

do right now for his own men what he knows he can 
and ought to do. 

We have been waiting too much for "social 
changes." We might make a start with shop changes. 

We have been talking too much about the "con- 
flict of the classes." We might make a start toward \ 
abolishing classes in our own sphere of influence. 

The best propaganda you can ever have is the 
reputation of being square, humane and thoughtful 
.of others all the time. There are some things you 
can never tell men, nor persuade them of by speech 
or literature. But if the things are there, the men will 
know it — ^you may be sure of that. 

There is a great fever and flutter in certain high 
financial circles, and much speaking and discussion, 
about getting in closer touch with the men, introducing 
the human element, and so on. 

It is all very good. But you will have to take it 
out of speeches and committees — ^you will have to get 
it into your own heart first. You have got to do 
something that no one but yourself can do. That is, 
what you do must be personal and it must cost you 
something. It is too late in the day for mere "jolly- 
ing" and "gladhanding." Men are ready to meet you 
half way, but it must be something more than a senti- 
ment they meet ; it must be the real thing ; actual, mani- 
fest, worthy. 

Society isn't something thrust down upon us by 
some. law; we make it ourselves. Social conditions 
are not made for us from outside, like the weather; 
we make them ourselves ; they are the net result of the 
daily relations between man 'and man. We give them 
high-sounding names, but this is all they really are. 

Every shop can become a center of a new social 
order simply through the introduction of a new so- 
cial spirit — 2L new social spirit evidenced by some act 
which costs the management something and which 
benefits all. That is the only way you can prove your 
good intentions and win respect for your attitude. 
Propaganda, bulletins, lectures, everything that can 
be hired done or made by machine fades into insig- 
nificance beside the persuading, compelling power of 
a right act sincerely done. 

268 



Grow Along With the Business 



WE WHO have found our place in life and have 
become matured, are sometimes inclined to for- 
get that the young men who are coming after us are 
troubled by the same urge and the same questions 
which troubled us. Every young man who is sensitive 
and intelligent enough to realize that the life before 
him must be made is almost certain to pass through a 
period of painful searching before he finds the place 
which he feels will give him his opportunity. He 
knows he must work, but where ? at what ? He knows 
there is a place for him somewhere, but how can he 
find it? 

We are likely to forget this pain of youth. We 
are likely to forget how earnestly we sought counsel of 
older folks, and ho^ inadequate and unconvincing the 
counsel was when we got it. And yet young men, in 
spite of all their apparent difference from what we 
were when we were young, are really treading the 
same paths. The world of affairs has changed a great 
deal, but man has not. 

It is not the intention of this article to give any of 
the ordinary advice to young men. There are certain 
things which were true a thousand years ago and will 
be true a thousand years hence if civilization endures 
that long, and which everyone- knows — ^knows, that 
is, as far as being aware can constitute knowledge; 
but there is a knowledge by experience which drives 
the outer knowledge home and clinches it like a nail. 
And this experience cannot be provided for another 
or substituted. The best we can do in that matter is 
to prevent as far as possible the needless and bitter 
experiences which come from folly. 

But perhaps it would serve a useful purpose if we 
answered the young man's question as to whether the 
new industrial conditions of the world have had an 
effect on his chances to achieve success in a special 
way; that is, whether the intensive organization of 

269 



FORD IDEALS 

our life has not operated to close up some of the 
former avenues of advancement. 

There is no use whatever in dealing with stale 
platitudes in Such a matter or in giving the yotmg man 
a general counsel. Certain matters must be admitted 
at once. There has been a change, but in what does 
it consist? 

It is true, that more young men than ever before 
make their start in places prepared for them. To the 
young man with no influence, this looks like a disad- 
vantage at the very outset. But he is exaggerating its 
importance. For one thing, those boys who drop into 
nice specially prepared places do not always make 
good; indeed, a very small percentage of them do. 
No man of affairs ever had enough sons or relatives to 
run his business. The men who are in the important 
places of American business concerns are not the men 
who began in soft berths; they are the men who 
showed themselves more capable than those who were 
bom or lifted into those berths. 

It may also be admitted that the young man who 
enters industry today enters a very different system 
from that in which the young man of 15 or 25 years 
ago began his career. The system has been tightened 
up, there is less "play" or friction in it ; fewer matters 
are left to the haphazard will of the individual; the 
modem worker finds himself part of an organization 
which apparently leaves him little initiative. 

Yet, with all this, it is not true that "men are mere 
machines." It is not true that opportunity has been 
lost in organization. If the young man will liberate 
himself from his false ideas of this matter and regard 
the system for what it is, rather than for what it is 
not, he will find that what he thought was a barrier 
is really an aid. 

Factory organization is not a device to prevent the 
expansion of ability, but a device to reduce the waste 
and losses due to mediocrity. It is not a device to 
hinder the ambitious, clear-headed man from doing 
his best, but a device to prevent the don't-care sort 
of individual from doing his worst. That is to say, 
when laziness, carelessness, slothfulness and lack-in- 
terest are allowed to have their own way, everybody 

270 



GROW ALONG WITH THE BUSINESS 

s&ffers. The factory cannot prosper and therefore 
cannot pay living wages. When an organization makes 
it necessary for the don't-care class to do better than 
they naturally would, it is for their benefit — ^they are 
better mentally, physically and financially. Ask your- 
self how much wages we should be able to pay if we 
trusted a large don't-care class to their own methods 
and gait of production. Now, the young man ought to 
get that idea very firmly in his mind, and he ought to 
look at the entire question seriously and observe the 
system itself intelligently to see if this is not just the 
way it works. 

On the other hand, if the factory system which 
brought mediocrity up to a higher standard, operated 
also to keep ability down to a lower standard — ^it 
would be a very bad system, a very bad system indeed. 
Even a system, be it ever so perfect, must have able 
individuals to operate it. No system operates itself. 

More brains are needed today than ever before, 
but perhaps they are not needed in the same place as 
they once were. It is just like power; formerly every 
machine was run by foot power; the power was right 
at the machine. But nowadays we have moved the 
power back, concentrated it in the power-house; it is 
no longer necessary to generate it by muscular power 
at the machine. Thus also we have made it tmneces- 
sary for the highest types of mental ability to be en- 
gaged in every operation at the factory, and by doing 
this we have enabled men of very ordinary mental 
equipment to profit by the plans of men of larger 
mental ability, and the consequence is that everybody 
is producing more and enjoying more than ever before. 

Everyone who knows anything and "knows that 
he knows"— this last is very important— begins at 
the beginning ; that is to say, he begins wherever he is 
fit to begin. Where are you fit to begin? "Well," 
says a young fellow, "I suppose I would have to be- 
gin at the bottom." Good! It is the best place to 
begin and the easiest place to get away from. 

But, remember this, you are not there to stay tm- 
less you ought to. It is really your duty to progress 
in order to make room for the man behind you. 

But you must not think that the factory exists for 

271 



FORD IDEALS 

the express purpose of promoting you. As long as 
you are there, your business is to promote the business 
of the factory. Then, as it advances, you go with it. 

Every business that is growing is creating new 
places for capable men. It cannot help but do so. A 
settled business that is just holding its own, where 
someone must die or resign before there can be ad- 
vancements, is necessarily slow in promotions. But 
growing businesses are not. 

This does not mean that new openings come every 
day and in groups. Not at all. Ambitious young fel- 
lows often wish that chances would occur at a rate 
which would be simply ruinous. But it is the fellow 
who can stand the gaff of routine for a long time and 
still keep himself alive and alert in it, that will be 
remembered and chosen. It is not sensational bril- 
liance we seek in our business, but sound substantial 
dependability day after day. Not skyrockets, but 
men whose sounder qualities can be depended upon. 

More young men lose out through impatience than 
any other cause. Big enterprises of necessity move 
slowly and cautiously. When you become impatient, 
you had better lay it away for a year or two. At about 
the same time that you saw a certain thing ought to 
be done, and were irritated because it was not done, 
your superiors saw it too, and began to readjust af- 
fairs so that it could be done. That takes time. Don't 
lose your own chances by jumping out just when your 
advancement might have been absolutely secured by 
patient industry. Industry is just doing the same thing 
time after time with an effort to do it better. The 
young man with an ambition for his own future ought 
to take a long look ahead and leave an ample margin 
of time for things to happen. 



Z7Z 



Revolutions Not Promoters 

of Progress 

THE Root problem, after all, is human nature. 
But to say that is to lay oneself open to the charge 
of platitude. There is an almost instinctive human 
dislike of any reminder that it is humanity, and not 
something outside of humanity, that is responsible for 
conditions. Even our wise men would rather talk 
learnedly about the effects of faulty human nature, as 
we view those effects in society, than about faulty 
human nature itself. However, there is a very good 
object to be secured in compelling people to think 
deeply enough at times to penetrate as far as them- 
selves, as far as their own secret natures, and as far 
as their individual responsibility for conditions. 

We don't want to standardize human nature — we 
could not if we would. It is the endless variety of 
individuality that makes society endurable. But what 
all of us would like to do would be to standardize hu- 
man moral dependability. We should like to be sure 
that to a certain essential degree we could absolutely 
depend on human nature "staying put." We are not 
sure of that now. We are not sure that we ever shall 
be sure of it. 

We can depend on the ability of certain elements 
which affect human nature. Man's need of food, sleep, 
clothing and family life will influence him to a consid- 
erable degree; but even in spite of these he will still 
remain an unknown moral quantity. 

When you form blocks of granite into the shape 
of a house, you are pretty sure that the granite is 
going to stay. But when you form men into an orderly 
society, you are not at all sure how long that form 
of society is going to stay. Unlike material of the 
house, the material of society changes under yoi<»* 
hands. There is no forecasting whether it will turn 
into adamant or sponge. It is now solid, now fluid, 
now hot, now cold, now orderly, now exulting in vast 

273 



FORD IDEALS 

Whatever may be the conditions in which we find 
ourselves at present, this is absolutely true of them: 
they were caused by people ; they are being continued 
by people; they will change when people change, and 
not before. We cannot control the weather, nor every 
plague, but we can control — rather, we could control 
if we would — our social weather, with its storms, its 
uncertainty, its destructiveness and its unequal 
seasons. 

One of the strange phenomena of the present is 
the ascendancy of the destructive type of mind. 

The world at large seems to be infatuated with the 
idea that if something is pulled down, something is 
thereby built up ; if something is destroyed, something 
is thereby created. 

There is in every country a party which believes 
that if it could destroy the orderly institutions of that 
country, it would thereby create a new era of social 
justice. 

Every community has a group which believes that 
if only the channels of orderly justice and decency 
could be smashed, a new brotherhood of man would 
rise automatically out of the ruin. 

Would-be philosophers preach the doctrine of the 
necessity of revolution ; never was any progress made, 
they say, except through violent revolutions. But 
everybody knows that every revolution was a mistake 
and disgraced or postponed the liberties it sought. The 
most revolutionary thing in the world is an idea, and 
a conquering idea does not need to imprison, punish 
or kill a man to make itself powerful. 

In the name of Order, disorder is counselled; in 
the name of Liberty, the dictatorship of a few idle and 
non-productive agitators is urged; in the name of 
Brotherhood, profound and venomous hatred between 
the classes is fomented. Surely, human nature is the 
sum of all, contradictions! 

What every thoughtful man should fear about a 
possible revolution is not its occurrence, but the course 
it would take after it was started. 

The difficulty about revolutions is the impossibility 
of controlling them — ^an impossibility shared even by 
the men who start revolutions. They get out of hand. 

274 



REVOLUTIONS NOT PROMOTERS OF PROGRESS 

They -rage like forest-fires. Very often they destroy 
even those who instigated them. 

Revolutions are not orderly, social forces march- 
ing to the establishment of a new and better order. 
They are an outlet of hellish hatreds and unbridled 
passions, massive thefts, the death of moral and social 
responsibility, a most horrible debauch of all that is 
rottenest in human nature. 

Humanity does not know of what stuff it is made 
until the restraint of society is taken off, and the mask 
is taken off, and human greeds and jealousies and 
ignorances and passions are given full sway. 

The revolutions of which we may read comfortably 
in the books are not at all the revolutions the people 
went through. The real thing is the collapse of every 
element that justifies mankind considering itself as a 
high animal. 

However, it is not alone to the disgruntled njan 
that we must look for these destructionist influences. 
We are far too prone to talk as if the "Reds" were 
the only ones engaged in destroying social order and 
the solidity of social institutions. 

Not at all. Any man, rich or poor, in business or 
in politics, who does anythihg that undermines men's 
faith in the essential justice at least of society's in- 
tentions, is thereby destroying society as rapidly, as 
menacingly, as criminally as any "Red" could do it. 

What you find at one extreme of society, that you 
will find at the other. Rich criminals make poor 
criminals. Lawless millionaires make lawless miners. 
Lawless statesmen make lawless citizens. It works 
out inevitably this way. 

If you have profiteers in the big brownstone build- 
i^^gs, you will have hold-up men in the streets. 

If you have a "to hell with the People" spirit in 
your higher offices, you are going to have a "to hell 
with the Government" spirit in the lower sections of 
your cities — and don't you forget it! What's sauce 
for the capitalistic gander is sauce for the laboristic 

It is not too much to say that the whole impetus 
of this present plague of lawlessness came from the 
top. Its whole reason for being comes from what 
we so wrongly call the "upper classes." These more 

275 



FORD IDEALS 



favored classes were lawless first. And their law- 
lessness is coming back upon them with redoubled 
retribution, for the very fact that it is they who are 
now pleading for law and order is the reason why the 
plea is laughed at. Yes, law that the people may be 
kept in order, but no order so strict as that the priv- 
ileged ones shall have to obey the law! — ^that is the 
mocking answer. 

When they are trying the criminals of the Great 
War, they ought not to overlook the profiteers. 

The profiteer is the most dangerous of all the 
"Reds" that have ever appeared on earth. He is more 
dangerous than kings — for .we can get rid of kings. 
He is even more dangerous than militarists — ^militar- 
ists turn out to be very fallible men when their helmets 
and gold braid are removed. But the profiteer is al- 
ways there, playing inside all the lines, making money 
out of soldiers' deaths and the distress of nations — 
the dirtiest money that ever fotmd its way into a 

The profiteer ought to be charged specifically with 
(a) defrauding the Government, (b) treason to the 
Army, (c) giving aid and comfort to the enemy, and 
(d) fomenting disloyalty in time of war. 

It is pretty hard to gainsay the now common argu- 
ment that a society which harbors the profiteer is 
itself in need of reform. 

The profiteer is one of the excuses — one of the 
good excuses — which the "Reds" offer for their pres- 
ent attitude. And if the "Reds" would only center 
their attention there and help us get rid of the 
profiteers, that would be doing a regenerative and 
constructive act. 

The crimes of the profiteer after the war, the in- 
crease of his already too big gains by speculating with 
the food of the people, certainly point him out as the 
one influence which more than any other has driven 
people into enmity toward our present form of society. 
This is where the destructive spirit was bom. 

Why would it not be a wise move to attack the 
destructive spirit at its source? Why not go after 
those men whose actions destroy the people's faith in 
the ' possibility of justice? They ought to be made 
to pay the penalty, and not society. 

276 



The Obstructionist 



THE destructionist groups, which have been 'mak- 
ing so much noise of recent months and causing 
the government so much difficulty in dealing with 
them, represent a type of individual which we always 
have with us. If they are apparently very noisy now 
about destroying the more settled and time-proved 
institutions, it is only because these institutions hap- 
pen to be to the fore. When the subject was some- 
thing else, the attitude was the same. 

That is to say, the man whose only remedy for 
governmental flaws is to destroy the government, is 
the same type of man who goes to breaking dishes on 
the floor in a fit of anger. He would rather smash 
his pipe than clean it; he would rather strike his son 
than counsel him ; he would rather damn his opponent 
than understand him. 

Whenever men of this type are placed up against 
any problem which needs intelligence and patience for 
its solution, they react at once to their temperamental 
cure-all, destruction. They are the kind of men who 
rip a collar to pieces because a buttonhole will not 
readily open. In a world of their own these men 
would not be bothersome, for in a world controlled 
by them there would be nothing to destroy. The very 
lack of the product of other men's constructive patience 
would force them to grub for the means to live; it 
would leave them no time for their peculiar disorder 
to assert itself. There is mighty little of the de- 
structive element in a state of society which strains 
everybody's energies to make both ends meet. 

Destructive temperaments are largely the product 
of a condition of plenty and leisure. "Men kick when 
they wax fat." Destructiveness is a pest which can 
live only in cultivated fields. Let it destroy that on 
which it lives, and the destructiveness dies too, like a 
mania which has sated itself. 

The world is large and there is much merit in a 

277 



FORD IDEALS 

t 

recent suggestion that a fertile island under control 
of the United States should be set aside for those who 
apparently abhor government, an island where, with- 
out duress or hindrance but with unlimited encourage- 
ment, they could work out their own theories to logical 
conclusions and see with their own eyes the end 
thereof. 

However, it is not the destructionists that society 
needs to fear today, but another and larger class which 
we may call The Obstructionists. The absolute de- 
structionists are few and futile. They never really 
destroy except in the physical sense, they never really 
change anything; at best they are but the tools of 
those whose principles are constructive. 

But the Obstructionists are many and influential. 
The friends of destruction form the red-hot center, 
but there is an outer rim of people who escape the fire 
but remain within range of the heat — a more numer- 
ous group than the others, but very harmful. 

One of the differences between the two is this : the 
destructionist is always conscious of his position and 
purpose, but a man may be an obstructionist without 
knowing it. It may show itself in him not so much 
a temper as a bad habit. 

If we could assemble the wastes, the leaks, the 
costly hindrances against which the world must make 
headway every day, the sum of them would stagger us. 
They are all the result of intentional or thoughtless ob- 
structionism. 

Take the coal situation : everybody connected with 
it in any way whatsoever has come in for his criticism, 
and yet thei;;e is an element we never hear about that 
affects every coal user. The little thieves that rake 
the coal cars at every stop — ^how much do they add to 
the price of coal? 

Very considerably. A car is shipped containing so 
many tons. It arrives containing a less weight. Short- 
age claims are made and the railroads have to make 
up the difference. These shortages amount to very 
large sums of money. Who pays it? Ultimately the 
coal user. The railroad, to protect itself against the 
shortages caused by thievery, adds the cost to the price 
of carrying the coal. The man who uses the coal 

278 



THE OBSTRUCTIONIST 

pays for the average amount of coal the thief takes, 
in order that he may get the amount of coal he ordered. 
Probably never a single coal thief ever dreamed that 
he was an element in the situation at all, but he is. 
He is an obstructionist. 

Little dishonesties, multiplied by twenty-five or 
thirty million citizens, are a far costlier drain on the 
country than the large dishonesties of a few powerful 
rich men. Yet it is more convenient to blame the 
prominent few than the obscure multitudes. 

In fact it is a fetish with the people that everyone 
may be wrong but them. And it is one of the signs 
of a true leader of the people that he dares rebuke 
them, that he does not praise them as all-wise and 
perfect. 

Obstructionism is the real trouble of the country 
today. The attitude of a large portion of our people 
seems to be to sag back in the breeching. The only 
use of a breeching is to hold the wagon back ! When 
the breeching is most in use, the wagon is going down 
hill ! Let this be a word to the wise. 

The yard-master down at the freight yards is also 
a very important factor. If he is still playing the old 
game of waiting for a bribe before he will move 
urgently needed cars in or out, he is an obstructionist. 
One day's delay on a car may mean the loss of 10,000 
days of work. A day's delay on material may mean 
the loss of an important contract. No one can com- 
pute the loss which has been forced on the people of 
the country by incompetency or unwillingness among 
men who are responsible for the movement of ma- 
terial and cars throughout the land. 

But it is the same wherever obstructionism prevails. 
Even an office boy may have his part in slowing up 
the business day, or snarling it at some important 
point. The stenographer may unconsciously disar- 
range a whole series of transactions. The janitor re- 
sponsible for the lighting or heating of an office or 
factory may help the organization press forward into 
the collar, or assist it to sag back in the breeching. 

Someone may say, "Why talk of breeching in a 
day of gears? Only farmers and horsemen will un- 
derstand what you mean by breeching." 

279 



FORD IDEALS 



Well, this is the reason: life, after all, is run by 
man-power. You may dispense with horse-power 
both in man and beast — for the ordinary use of hu- 
man energy for purposes that might as well be an- 
swered by machinery, is just taking your horse-power 
out of men's bodies, that is all. 

Man-power, not muscular power, but man-power, 
is still the staple of all achievement. 

Men harness themselves to a task. The power 
they put forth in it is their interest, their efficiency, 
their hope. When these are present in full force, men 
press forward into the ccdlar ; when these are lacking, 
men sag back into the breeching, for our jobs are only 
the harnesses we have put on in order to accomplish 
something. If we sag back on the job, we hold back 
the load, we don't deliver the goods. 

We have machinery to take the place of man's 
muscles; we have no machinery to take the place of 
his willingness and interest. Man is like a pulse, he 
beats strong and full, or slow and weak, but it is the 
pulse that determines all matters at last. There is no 
substitute for men, there is no substitute for human 
co-operation and industry and willingness to put things 
through. , 

We suffer for lack of that man-power which it is 
peculiarly the gift of man to put forth — the power 
of self-motivation, the power of going at it and stick- 
ing to it and getting it done. Too many of us have 
become wheelbarrows which must be trundled along. 
We need to become self-starters, and so move ob- 
structions out of the way, instead of becoming an 
obstruction ourselves. 



280 



Would the Farmers Strike? 



PERHAPS you overlooked it in the day's news, 
because the most important occurrences are not 
always deemed worthy of emphasis in the newspapers. 
But the fact that the farmers of the United States 
have considered the "strike" as a method of solving 
their own difficulties, and have arrived at the con- 
clusion that they have no moral right to strike, is one 
of the most significant decisions made in this genera- 
tion. And the conclusions which the. farmers draw 
from their own attitude and belief are of very great 
importance to the labor question in general. Every- 
body at one time or another has asked himself the 
question, "Suppose the farmers should strike — what 
then?" Serious men have been appalled by the mere 
suggestion. 

But wiseacres, who apparently do not know what 
is going on, have put it aside as impossible. "Why, 
the farmers are not organized," they say. Which 
shows how little they are informed. 

It was at a national meeting of the organized 
farmers of the United States — ^The National Grange, 
the Patrons of Husbandry, the American Farm Bureau 
Federation, the Cotton States Board and the Asso- 
ciation of Farmers' Union Presidents — whose aggre- 
gate membership covers the country and whose in- 
fluence is unimpeachable, that the decision referred 
to was made. If the farmers had so far forgotten 
their relation and duty to humanity at large as to put 
their private or class rights above the Public Right, it 
would not be impossible for them to start a curtailing 
movement that would make the wiseacres turn pale. 

This national meeting adopted a memorial from 
which we quote one paragraph: 

'What would be the verdict of the people if the 
farmers of the United States should go on a strike 
and should refuse to supply the wants and needs of 
those who are not in a position to produce food and 

281 



FORD IDEALS 

clathing for themselves? The farmers would be con- 
demned from one end of the country to the other, and 
the fact would be pointed out that the owners and 
tillers of the land had no right, either moral or legal, 
to bring about such a calamity. If the farmer has no 
such right, those who handle his products have no such 
right/' 

That is basically sound — ^both in economics and 
morals. It is especially notable because in the last 
sentence it links all industry with farming, and this 
is a point that we often forget. 

We are accustomed to say that the farmer pro- 
duces our food. That is a partial statement. He 
produces our clothing too. Where do the wool and 
the cotton and the leather and the flax come from? 
Why, they come from the farm! 

Farming produces railroading too. Would there 
be any railroads without farming? The farmer feeds 
the trainmen, and the moving of crops is the basic 
reason for the railroads' existence. Farming pro- 
duces manufacturing too. It may be the coal beneath 
the boilers that keeps the factory wheels turning, but it 
is the farmer's products that keep the workers going. 
Food is the fuel of human effort. 

Now, whenever railroad men, or mechanics, or 
miners go out on strike, they go out on the food which 
the farmer furnishes. The farmer is the commissary 
of everything, good and bad. And he has a right to 
his word when the very products of his toil are used 
to create conditions which make it harder for all the 
people to live. 

The three great arts are linked together — ^Agri- 
culture, Transportation, Manufacture. They all serve 
each other. But the origin and sustenance of all is 
Agriculture. 

The farmer feels this more keenly than anyone 
else, because he still lives amid conditions that make 
for sanity of mind. He lives under the sky, he deals 
with the soil, he knows the flawless and beautiful order 
of nature's laws; and he sees also that the anarchy 
of himian society is not constructive but steadily de- 
structive. 

Yes, he could strike too. The farmer could strike 

282 



WOULD THE FARMERS STRIKE? 

hardest of all. Why doesn't he? Because he feels 
d6ep and sacredly in the core of his heart that when 
mere man grows so impudent as to attempt to hold 
up the God-given processes of nature, it would con- 
stitute the last rebellion of mankind on the physical 
plane. Whether he would say it in just those words 
or not, this is what the farmer feels. If he struck 
he would be a traitor to Nature.. The shining sun, 
the falling shower would rebuke him. Seedtime with- 
out seed would denounce him, and harvest-time with- 
out harvest would curse him. 

No, the farmer is not going to trifle with the 
Powers that are above and around him. He is Priest 
of the Soil. He would not profane his earthly altar. 
America should be thankful for the strength of the 
moral imperative among American farmers! Now, 
the question is, "Has any other man who handles the 
fruits of the soil the right to do what the farmer has 
no right to do?" 

Has the miner the right to refuse coal that the 
wheat may be baked into bread? Has the spinner a 
right to refuse labor that the cotton and^wool may be 
spun into clothing? Has the railroad man a right to 
refuse his skill that food and clothing and the means 
of living might be transported to those who need 
them? Clearly, if the farmer has no right to with- 
hold, the others have not. 

To say these things is to challenge many popular 
fallacies. Our economic past has been so filled with 
greed and selfishness and absolute wrongdoing that it 
is difficult for some to believe that to deny the right 
to strike is not also to deny the right to high wages, 
proper working hours and conditions. 

Let it be said right here that labor has a right to 
high wages, a right to proper hours, a right to proper 
conditions, a right to a share in the profits, a right to 
a voice in the conduct of industry. These are moral 
rights ; they are inherent. Whether they are acknowl- 
edged or not, whether they are granted or not, they 
still remain rights, because they are fundamentally 
human rights — ^they are just, they are good, they are 
humane, they are practicable, they produce social good 
and prosperity. 

283 



FORD IDEALS 



But that these rights entitle anyone — ^to quote again 
from the Farmers' memorial — "to starve the people 
of the cities," in order to force, by the suffering of 
the innocent, a proper respect for rights on the part 
of the employing class, is drawing an unwarrantable 
conclusion. 

"How are we going to get our rights without 
striking?" Here again we rim up against one of the 
snags of our industrial system. If an employer won't 
do right, how is he to be made to do right ? 

Well, how would it do to educate the employer to 
a knowledge of how he could do the right thing and 
make it pay? And the men can do that, if the em- 
ployer is not bright enough to see it for himself. (An 
employer who cannot see these things for himself is 
not fit to direct his workmen.) Men have been di- 
viding themselves ofif into classes for the sake of 
hindering and hurting each other, when they should 
have endeavored to draw themselves nearer together 
for the sake of educating each other in different points 
of view. The employer knows things that the employe 
doesn't know, and the employe knows things that the 
employer doesn't know — and all about the same eco- 
nomic conditions too. The sensible, direct way would 
be, not to begin to try to starve each other out because 
they don't know the same things, but to come to- 
gether and share their light, and all get the broader 
point of view, and go on together in partnership of 
production and profits. 

A strike is war. War is imnecessary. War is an 
irrecoverable loss to both winner and loser. Let us 
delay both war and strikes and use the simpler and 
more effective means of meeting man to man, face to 
face, as fellow-laborers who desire to find the right 
basis. For it is only the right basis that can continue. 
Anything that is not right, whether it temporarily 
favors the employes or the employers, cannot last — 
because it is not right. 

And anything that is not consistent with our duty 
to ourselves, our work and the community, is not right. 



284 



V 



Who Is Their Boss? 



THERE has been an interesting evolution in the 
questions which the people have put to office- 
seekers. Years ago we asked candidates what they 
were seeking office for. This was the consequence of 
a period of school instruction by which the American 
boy was taught to admire the fame and glory of public 
office. Merely to achieve an office and a title was 
considered to be "success," and naturally men did not 
scruple as to the methods by which the success was 
achieved. Their principal occupation after election 
was to repay at public expense the political trainers 
who groomed them for the race and counted them in. 
In the general disgust which has followed this seek- 
ing of office for glory's sake, the people are beginning 
to ask candidates for what they were working. The 
people exalted the standard of Fame Through Service 
rather than fame through office. 

There is now, however, a new question. It doesn't 
go directly or exclusively to the motives a candidate 
might think he has, but to the masters he has. The 
question to ask of candidates today is not only, "Why 
do you want this office ? What do 5^ou think your mo- 
tives are in seeking it?" but rather, "Who specially 
wants you to have it? Who i^ your master? For 
whom are you working?" The basis of the new ques- 
tion is this : Power goes with office, regardless of the 
strength or weakness of the incumbent. There are 
concealed interests whose whole existence depends 
on such a hold of the higher offices. Indeed, it is the 
higher offices of our government that are most neces- 
sary to the continuance of certain interests and priv- 
ileges. It is therefore of vital importance to them 
that they retain their control, and there is no surer 
way of doing this than by guarding all the approaches 
to our highest offices so that only a certain kind of 
men are permitted to arrive there. 

The question, "For whom are you working?" is 

285 



FORD IDEALS 

therefore a most important one for every electorate 
to ask and every candidate to consider. 

But here is the amazing thing — some candidates 
don't know who it is they are working for! They 
fancy they are working for themselves. They some- 
times believe they are working for the people. But 
they do not always know who their real masters are. 
There are lawyers in America who do not know who 
their .ultimate clients are : they know the person with 
whom they do business, they do not know in whose 
ultimate interest the business is done. 

Likewise there are financial institutions in Amer- 
ica and elsewhere which apparently are independent 
concerns, managed by and in the interests of the men 
whose names appear as officers and directors. But 
sometimes even these men do not know whose game 
they are playing. They are but the "fronts" of in- 
terests which are neyer known to the public, and which 
keep their identity concealed that they may the better 
play interest against interest. 

Strange as it may seem, not every man knoWs^ 
for whom he is working. There are highly placed 
men in these United States who would get the sur- 
prise of their lives if they followed back the clues 
which would lead them to their real masters. 

When a man is in honest business he wants his 
name to appear at the front of the business. The 
young man opens a shop or a store and he is proud 
to have his name in front. He puts out a useful and 
honestly made product and he is proud to have his 
name known in connection with it. But the biggest 
business interests in the world, those who play back 
and forth with the riches and the destiny of nations, 
never want their names to be known, ndr their organ- 
ization, nor their power. They break themselves up 
into numerous corporations in each of which only a 
trusted agent will appear, while the remainder of the 
men will apparently be the real masters of the busi- 
ness, and sometimes actually think they are. 

That is why it is said that not every man knows 
who his master is. And it behooves every man to 
find out ; especially those men who commit their lives 
to the searching test of public service. 

286 



V 



WHO IS THEIR BOSS? 

This concealed international control of the world 
flourishes because people do not believe it exists. They 
don't see how it can exist. They imagine no selfish 
group could hold together strongly enough to manage 
the world. But if they knew the special international 
elements involved they would readily see how possible 
it is. Some day a world-wide exposure will be made 
and many things explained which have always puzzled 
the plain people, and we shall see that much which we 
have charged up to the "mystery of life" has really 
been the deliberate efifect of a deep-wrought, unified 
international but private program. 

In politics the effect of this control has been to 
take out the local and human element. That is, can- 
didates are no longer selected for their individual at- 
titude with reference to public problems, but for their 
relationship to this invisible hierarchy. 

Few states select their own senators any longer, 
save in very exceptional instances. The national 
group, taking care of its end of the international 
group's business, knows the kind of man it wants, 
chooses in each state one of the men it has kept in 
training, and creates the conditions under which the 
people elect him. It appears that senators no Jonger 
represent their states; they seem to represent "in- 
terests" which are interstate and international. 

The same is true of almost every office. Repre- 
sentatives to the state legislature are becoming less 
and less district representatives, and more and more 
the representatives of state and national "interests" 
in their districts. Representatives in Congress also 
tend to become less than formerly the representatives 
of the people who voted for them, and more the rep- 
resentatives of the interests who groomed them and 
nominated them. Even governorships are going the 
same way. 

It simply indicates that instead of Government 
rooting down into the people, it is heading up into an 
international control that picks out of the midst of 
the people the men who will serve it. 

And some men serve it unconsciously. They do 
not always know the source of the business that has 
been thrown their way. They do not always know the 

287 



FORD IDEALS 

source of the interest which is shown in them. They 
do not always see the vision which others have of 
their future usability in office. And so they go on, 
fancying they are being carried on the pleasant crest 
of cumulative success, when really they are being 
picked out because their inclinations or obligations may 
render them useful at some time. It is a wonderful 
system and its ramifications have no end. Cities are 
networks, states are networks, nations are networks, 
and the whole net is drawn by interests who have no 
nationalistic interests whatever. They are apart from 
the world, living upon the world, using the world as 
their counting table. The whole system is founded 
on self-interest. Everyone allied with it gets some- 
thing out of it. The little fellows get a little, the big 
fellows get more. Usually the little fellows get an 
income and a taste of public honor. The big fellows 
get the big public honors. It is what the public has 
within its gift that keeps the system going. The sys- 
tem never sacrifices anything for principle; it has no 
inspired reformers ; seldom are its servants big enough 
to be called, States; the whole system exists to curb 
and destroy the wisdom and foresight of true states- 
men. 

Who is master of all these men who want the high 
offices within your gift? Do you know? Do they 
know? 

Who has chosen them ? Who has groomed them ? 
Who is supplying the means by which the bait of their 
personality is dangled before the public? 

Is there any diflference in them? Can you see in 
the lot of them one man who really stands out in all 
his records and ideas as a free man, untangled by any 
favors? ' 

That is the mark of distinction. Where all can- 
didates are equally acceptable to the concealed inter- 
ests, it simply is proof that they own the field. 



288 



The American Shop 



IF YOU ask an employer what kind of a shop he 
has, he should be able to make the proud reply, 
"An American Shop." If you ask an employe in 
what kind of a shop he works, he too should be able 
to say, "An American Shop." There are all kinds of 
names for shops; there is the closed shop and the 
open shop— terms which are redolent of strife and ex- 
clusion ; there is the piece-work shop and the straight 
wage shop; there is the shop that is booming along 
all the time because of the quality of its workmanship, 
management and output, and there is the shop which 
hoT)bles along like a cripple, hardly able to live ; there 
is the shop where human principles rule, and the shop 
where men are treated as impersonally as if they were 
but raw material. But the main difference that exists 
between shops is just this : either they measure up to 
the American ideal, or they do not. 

There are many employers who indulge in great 
talk these days about "100 per cent Americanism." It 
would be a good thing if they were required to ac- 
company their boast by a statement of the profits they 
took from the government in the recent war. It would 
be found that the percentage of their profits was 
equal to or in excess of the percentage of purity they 
claim for their Americanism. 

The flag that flies above the shop is not the only 
index of Americanism a shop can have ; the policy that 
is practiced inside tells the story. We all reverence 
Our Flag as the symbol of a great free people, but 
we cannot reverence all the uses to which profiteers 
have put it. 

America needs the American Shop. It needs it 
not only to meet the vast economic problems which 
confront us in the production of an adequate quantity 
of goods; but also to solve the problems which have 
grown out of past injustices on the part of both lead- 
ership and labor. 

289 



FORD IDEALS 

It is pretty well conceded, even by the most slow- 
minded employer, that the question of production 
cannot be settled until the question of the producer is 
settled. The principal and controlling factor in all 
our difficulties is the human element. Indeed, all our 
difficulties, of whatever nature, are human difficulties ; 
they are^the signs of humanity in trouble. 

What would be some of the characteristics of a 
true American Shop? In personnel and policy it 
would be representative. There is no room for na- 
tional, racial or religious prejudices in an American 
Shop. Its purpose is industry, and that ought to open 
wide its doors to all the industrious. The need of 
men's labor, and the need of men themselves to labor, 
is universal. Work is the burden laid on us all and no 
man shirks it without doing harm to himself and the 
whole social body. No race is superior, noN-ace is 
inferior, neither is any individual so superior or in- 
ferior as to escape the necessity of work. In the 
arctics and in the tropics, among civilized and bar- 
barous peoples, the rule of "work to live" is operative, 
and men are found obeying it. There are no class dis- 
tinctions in industry. The only nobleman an enlight- 
ened estimate can recognize is the citizen who is 
carrying his own end of the common burden and do- 
ing a little more in order that society may be carried 
along prosperously and harmoniously. 

By being representative in policy is meant that 
the American Shop will be conducted with a view to 
all the rights and benefits of the men engaged there 
and that portion of the public which it serves. It is 
too sadly true that in the past most shops have been 
conducted with a view to the benefit of one individual, 
one family or one group of investors. But we have 
come upon a new vision in industry. We have caught 
sight of the power of industry to make men as well 
as the commodities of commerce. When we consider 
how much of our waking time is spent in working, it 
is a thousand pities if the time so spent does nof con- 
tribute to the workman himself, in his moral, social 
and intellectual life, as well as to his physical needs. 
Work is sanative; it is educative; it is preservative. 
It produces results in the man himself as well as in 

290 



THE AMERICAN SHOP 

the material that passes under his hand. But, if it 
only saps the man, if it makes him less a man, if it 
withdraws him from a sense of belonging to and serv- 
ing society, there is something wrong. An American 
Shop will protect the rights of all engaged in it. One 
of the greatest errors into which commercial greed 
and selfishness have led us is the acceptance of a 
policy that no rights are to be granted until it is ab- 
solutely impossible to withhold them any longer. This 
has led to a sense of industrial disturbance which has 
seriously affected the foundations on which we live 
at peace with one another. The American Shop will 
grant rights because they are Rights, in the sound 
faith that whatever is right is practicable, and if not 
practicable under the present system, then under a 
revised system which common sense and justice shall 
erect. 

This simply means that the principles upon which 
we live together as a nation and out of which we have 
reared our great free institutions shall operate in in- . 
dustry also. It is the transcription of the Declaration 
and the Constitution into industrial terms. It is the 
act of making our political liberty complete by adding 
thereto economic liberty also. 

Our nation has been slowly made, but it had a 
great advantage in starting right. Little by little it 
has modified its Constitution, not to change the spirit 
of it, but to enlarge its application and to render it 
more effective in achieving its original objects. 

And in this way our industrial relations must be 
remade. We have certain sound foundations now. 
We believe that labor is what all must engage in for 
self-development, for social service, and to promote 
the evolution of humanity. We have no fatuous idea 
that we shall ever be free of the necessity of work. 
Baked bread will never grow on trees, nor will Nature 
ever provide us with homes and schools ready built. 

If practices and attitudes have crept in which are 
not in harmony with the truth that we are all human 
beings of equal needs, then these will have to be rie- 
vised and corrected. All of us are fallible. The one 
and only superman has not come, but we are in a 
super-stage of society wherein the general level of 

291 



power and visioo is devated to a degree that a previous 
age would have considered miracaloas. Therefore we 
are better fitted to work ont oar proUems by our- 
selves, in the American Way. And what is the Amer- 
ican Way? WTiy, by all of us starting out with the 
agreement that wisdcmi is not the exdusive possession 
of any man or party. All that we have in this coun- 
try is the outcome of many points of view merged into 
a woricaMe program. We have all shades of c^inion 
in this country, each of them strongly endorsed and 
propagated. But the country itself merges all shades 
into one distinctive American whcrfe. 

The American Way is constructive. It grows out 
of ideas, not out of violence. It works by education, 
not by disint^^tion. Nothing permanent is accom- 
plished by forces pulling apart, because in this coun- 
try everything that is accomplished comes by various 
opinions pulling together toward a desired end. 

There is no diflFerence of opinion in this country 
as to what we desire our common life to be. All 
agree on the desired object. The difference comes in 
the methods of attaining it. But even this difference 
is educational. Radical and conservative interact upon 
each other, modify each other, until presently they 
come together for united achievement. That is the 
American Way, and the results of it stand. 

The American Shop should reflect the Republic in 
its highest ideals. Liberty, unity and fraternity should 
be its bond and its method from the front office to the 
last man at the last machine at the end of the shop — 
and then out beyond to all the families which the shop 
serves, and to the public which is the benefidary of its 
work and planning. 



292 



The Small Town 



WE LIVE better in small communities than in 
large ones. Individually and in small groups 
we are human, but in great masses our human quali- 
ties seem overruled. Cities have no souls because 
their whole tendency is toward soulless conditions. 
In small communities the better qualities of our nature 
have a chance; they have a much better chance of 
setting the standard ; but in large communities it is the 
looser standards and the more heartless qualities that 
set our fashions and our customs. 

Every social ailment from which we suffer today 
originates and centers in the great cities. But you 
will find the smaller communities living along in uni- 
son with the seasons, having neither extreme poverty 
nor wealth, and none of the violent plagues of up- 
heaval and unrest which afflict our great populations. 
There is something about a city of a million people 
which is untamed and threatening, while 30 miles away 
are happy and contented villages that read of the 
ravings of the city as if it were an unexplainable 
phenomenon. A great city is really a helpless mass. 
Everything it uses is carried to it. Stop the transport 
and the city stops. It lives oflF the shelves of stores, 
but the shelves produce nothing. The city cannot feed, 
clothe, warm nor house itself ; its industries are de- 
pendent on the raw materials brought to them, often 
from a thousand miles. 

City conditions of work and living are so artificial 
that men's instincts sometimes rebel against the un- 
naturalness of them. Groups of men soon learn how 
to dislocate the city's life and they take a malicious 
pleasure in doing it. Designing mpn know how to 
upset a city's sense of security and thus force for 
themselves concessions which the rest of the people 
have to pay. The city, especially of late years, has 
been at the mercy of any one of a dozen groups, all 
of which in turn use their dislocating and disturbing 

293 



FORD IDEALS 

power to compel the other people to satisfy them. 
The strike of any industry is a strike against the rest 
of the city. If it be more than a local strike, it is a 
strike against the rest of the country. All strikes, in 
their last analysis, are against the people. ^ 

If we lived in smaller communities it is conceivable 
that we should still sometimes rebel against being shut 
up within four walls all the year round. It is a strain 
upon our natures to work indoors all the time. There 
is a part of the year which calls all free men out-of- 
doors, the time of the year when indeed men must go 
out-of-doors to labor if food is to be provided for the 
people. 

Now, if we lived in small communities where the 
human touch would not be lost in the mass; if we 
had a good and useful manufactory set up beside the 
nearby stream which would supply us with water 
power and where we could work during the indoor 
months; then, when springtime came and the land 
called to us, we could go. 

And we could go in the consciousness that we were 
not quitting work, nor curtailing production, nor dis- 
locating the economic processes of society, but doing 
the thing most needful at the time. 

The city not only produces conditions which tend 
to make men reckless of their duty to bear their share 
of the work of production, but it also makes it im- 
possible for men to give vent to their grievance, what- 
ever it may be, in any way except by idleness. Every 
protest they make by the strike method is sheer loss. 
Leaving out of the question the other damage it does in 
increasing the feeling of uncertainty and undepend- 
abjlity, the-tiistress it causes, and its general contribu- 
tion to the prevailing condition, a strike is sheer eco- 
nomic loss. 

If a body of men became dissatisfied with their 
work in the railway yards or the shop and left their 
jobs to go out and work in the fields for a while, there 
would be no economic loss. What they withdrew from 
transportation or manufacture they would simply con- 
tribute to agriculture. Their productive capacities 
would at least be employed in a useful field, and result 
in benefit to some one. But as it is now, the strike is 

294 



^-' 



THE SMALL TOWN 

an appeal to idleness and loss as prime weapons in 
coercing society. The men just stop. And as a re- 
sult, a world that is already behind in everything it 
needs, is thrust behind thousands and millions of days 
of labor more, simply because a few men have learned 
and applied their hindering power. 

Industrial disturbances, we are learning, are not So 
much due to wages or hours or any other tangible 
condition, as to "human nature." Just plain human 
nature. A workingman in a certain institution com- 
plained of his job. He was carefully taken around to 
other jobs, some of them less important, some of them 
more important than the one which irked him. He 
was given a trial on all of them. But still he chafed. 
Finally he said, "Well, I guess I won't work at all for 
a little while." 

Now, all the industrial conferences in the world 
could not make a reputation dealing with that case. 
None of the usual elements of the labor problem af- 
fected that man; it was just "human nature," a sort 
of schoolboy carelessness. He had been drawing good 
wages and therefore felt that because he had money 
in his pocket he had a right to withdraw himself from 
production, even though the world was suffering for 
lack of the article on which he worked. 

Maybe the man was tired. Maybe he wanted a 
change. If we were organized in small communities, 
with the town manufacturing establishment next door 
to the food-producing fields, such a man would have 
had his summer work out-of-doors, and he would 
have had interest and stamina enough for his indoor 
manufacturing work. He would have had, in other 
words, a balanced work-ration. 

It is useless to say that everybody ought to go on 
the farm and stay there, for if everybody did that, 
farming would soon decline as a satisfactory occupa- 
tion. It is just as useless for everyone to flock to the 
manufacturing towns, for if the farms be deserted, of 
what use are manufactures? A city cannot live on 
its own manufactures. 

But when a reciprocity exists between farming 
and manufacture, the manufacturer giving the farmer 
what he needs to be a good farmer, and the farmer 

295 



FORD IDEALS 

and other producers of raw materials giving the manu- 
facturer what he needs to be a good manufacturer; 
and then when Transportation comes in to act as the 
messenger between Manufacture and Agriculture, we 
have a system that is stable and sound because it is 
built on service and employs these three principal arts. 
If we lived in smaller communities where the tension 
of living were not so high, and where the products 
of the fields and gardens could be had without the 
interference of so many profiteers, there would be 
less unrest. 

Many of our problems, at least the fiery edge of 
many of our problems, may be analyzed down to 
"nerves." But "nerves" are very real none-the-less. 
Only when the condition is largely "nerves" it would 
help us if we were to recognize that fact, and' not 
charge the condition to some other cause that is not 
responsible. 

There is no reason why life should be lived at such 
a nervous tension. Moreover, money is not a cure 
for "nerves." The cure is in a saner way of living, 
under more natural conditions. Economy of produc- 
tion will probably always mean large groups of men 
working together. But that need not preclude them 
working irl close proximity to the open fields where 
they may be in touch with the most basic industry, 
the production of food. 

When we begin to use the water power of the 
smaller streams and establish our workshops through 
the country districts, we shall then see men working 
and living under natural conditions, with an annual 
opportunity for out-of-door work; we shall see the 
necessity of transporting coal done away with and 
manufacturing villages free of smoke; and we shall 
also see men healed of their restlessness which always 
causes and seldom cures their trouble. 

/ 



296 



Man's Laws and Nature's Law 



WE ARE told that 60,000 laws were made in this 
country last year. This seems to be quite a num- 
ber for one people to bear. But probably the most 
of them were improvements on old rules, and a con- 
siderable proportion of them were probably called 
into being by the new conditions that have arisen. 
Most of our so-called laws are only rules which we 
lay down to facilitate action, like the rules of the 
road which are based on a knowledge of the acts which 
most often cause trouble. By establishing such rules 
we promote safety and ease of progress, we give every 
man a very definite idea of his rights, we provide a 
standard by which he may know what to expect from 
others. 

It has become quite fashionable, rather it was a few 
years ago, to make sport of the laws. Unequal and 
incomplete laws which lent themselves to the jugglery 
of lawyers and the evasion of the powers that prey, 
became the butt of popular ridicule. Sometimes, too, 
the action of the agencies appointed to administer the 
law gave rise to the opinion that there was one law 
for the rich and another for the poor. Or, if not that, 
then so many more laws into which the rich man could 
wriggle because he could pay for it, that finally he 
could tangle justice in its own web and go free. 

There are three kinds of laws, and their intention 
is, each in its degree, to save us from the next higher 
one, if only we let it. 

At the bottom of the ladder is man-made law. It 
is a hiunan product. It is subject to all the fallacies 
and faults which inhere in human efforts. There prob- 
ably never was an absolutely perfect human statute. 

Still, to confess that does not indicate that human 
law is worthless. Human law is an attempt to crystal- 
lize the fruits of our experience into rules by which 
others may benefit by our experience without having 
to pay the price that we had to pay. Men found that 

297 



FORD IDEALS 



certain ways of doing things wrought hardship, in- 
justice and danger. They found that certain Hnes of 
conduct terminated in certain conditions. They found 
that if the community pursued a certain course with 
reference to social relations or material possessions, 
certain distressful results ensued. So, instead of 
running the risk of everybody upsetting the order of 
life while he was learning by his own mistakes, the 
community simply made rules in which its experience 
was embodied and which saved it from a continual 
suffering of the same kinds of disappointment and 
pain. 

Now, if men do not heed man-made laws, if they 
escape the first barrier which society itself has reared 
across false paths, then there is another barrier — ^they 
will come in conflict with economic law. 

Economic law is that law which is written in the 
nature of things. Not in the nature of the human 
soul and mind, but only in things. We know very 
little about it as yet. If we knew very much we could 
write our knowledge down in man-made laws and so 
prevent society tumbling headlong every little while 
over some economic law which will doubtless seem 
very clear and simple once we discover what it is. 
Many learned men have composed books on political 
economy, and many other learned men have composed 
other books on the same subject to show that the 
former books were wrong. 

This law isn't written in books at all; if it were, 
we should all know it. It is written in things, and as 
a matter of fact the world has been too busy getting 
the things to pay much attention to the law of them. 
Fundamental in that law is the system of the earth, 
the seasons. Without sowing, no reaping. Wild sow- 
ing, little reaping. Without work, little product. We 
have compressed part of the law into a saying that 
"you cannot get something for nothing." That ap- 
pears to be one certain rule of economic law. You 
might evade and befool man-made law, but economic 
law operates infallibly. But it isn't limitedly personal 
in its operation. Sometimes a few powerful men 
violate the law by idle and unproductive speculation, 
and then a great number of people who did not violate 

298 



man's laws and nature's law 

it at all are made to suffer. That is where man-made 
law will come in again when we know economic law: 
we shall prevent by law any man doing things the 
consequences of which will be adverse to people who 
are innocent of wrongdoing. 

If you take it more limitedly still, we may say 
that a yoimg man may disobey and positively deride 
his father's advice that he ought to be industrious. 
Well, he may be able to escape his father's law, but 
if he isn't industrious the economic law will get him, 
and it is a great deal harder to deal with. 

There is still a higher law which gets all without 
exception — it is the moral law. You may violate man- 
made law, and no one be the wiser and, apparently, 
no one the worse. You may violate economic law 
and still be carried through by the momentum of so- 
ciety's economic soundness. But the moral law you 
can never evade. You cannot even break it! 

That may seem extremely odd, and perhaps un- 
true. You may say, "T"he moral law says, *Thou shalt 
not lie.' Very well, I here and now deliberately utter 
a lie. Have I not broken that moral law which you 
say cannot be broken?" 

No, you have not. The law stands there in its 
eternal integrity. You have not broken it, but you 
have broken something in yourself against it. In con- 
flict with the moral law all that we can break is our- 
selves. If we steal, we break some bulwark of self- 
respect within us — inevitably break it. If we lie, we 
break some tissue of integrity within us. If we de- 
ceive our fellow men, we break down the subtle some- 
thing that advertises us as trustworthy to those about 
us. If we are always motivated by narrow selfishness, 
we ground the living current which connects us in 
social sympathy with our fellows. 

Every virtue we practice is a battery filling us with 
power, for there is power in straightforwardness. It 
gives power to the eye, the voice, and to the subtle 
effluence of personal influence. And everything that 
is not virtuous, but indirect, unclean and shifty, takes 
power from the eye and confidence from the voice and 
steadiness from the purpose; the electric substances 

299 



FORD IDEALS 

which flow from an lU-Hved life advertise its low 
estate. 

Many men have escaped man-made law, they have 
escaped economic law — so far, at least (nobody need 
be too cocksure about this, for the end of the test has 
not come), but no man ever lived without receiving 
sentence in himself upon every violation of the moral 
law. It gets us all, for sentence or reward. High or 
low, none escape. It is godlike in its impartial opera- 
tion. It cannot be postponed, nor fought to a higher 
court, nor bribed. No one else can take the sentence 
for us — ^the law is there, and no man ever so much as 
shook it a hair's breadth. It has the final word, and 
its word is final. 

Now, with these things in view, ought not' our 
regard to increase for the purpose of man-made law ? 
Man-made law is an attempt to prevent men going so 
far as to become liable to the penalties of the higher 
laws. Eventually the transgressor in every field will 
^ be dealt with by some law. Some transgressions are 

so great that they are dealt with by all three laws at 
once. But it is safe to say that if all had regard to 
the experience of society as boiled down into our 
written statutes, there would be far fewer candidates 
for the higher and harder degrees of discipline and 
retribution. Man-made law is really the expression 
of wiser ones' desire that those who come after 
should not pay too high a price to learn what might 
be learned by the experience of others. 



300 



The Fact Shortage 

THE question of spending money in politics is like 
the question of earning money in business, it is a 
matter of honesty. Money may be dishonestly spent 
just as it may be dishonestly acquired, and a great deal 
of it is being dishonestly spent all the time, even out- 
side politics. All waste is dishonest, especially the 
waste of that into which another's labor has entered, 
or that out of which a good use might be obtained. 
Thus all appeal to the extravagant tastes of the people 
is also dishonest, the tempting of buyers with gewgaws 
that merely "get the money" and never give it equiv- 
alent in use. Everything that wastes material, debases 
taste, encourages a flashy, thoughtless, spendthrift 
habit, is dishonest. 

Now, spending money in politics is partly a matter 
of taste, partly of conscience, partly of law. Ordinary 
personal modesty ought to prevent a man spending 
his own money to gain a prefermeht for himself. A 
good colonel would not think of buying promotion to 
the rank of general ; he would desire to win that rank 
by the method of merit. A lawyer would not be fit 
for the bench who would consider buying his way 
there ; as a lawyer he would get more satisfaction out 
of the honor by having it bestowed upon him through 
the unbiased judgment of others as to his worthiness. 
Honors that do not confer Honor are of all things 
the emptiest; they are like hired cheers or subsidized 
tears, abhorrent to the normal man. 

Yet money is made to be spent and there was prob- 
ably never a time in the world, especially in this na- 
tion, when so many men were anxious to get into the 
spending orgy. Men have a sort of blind faith that 
if they throw enough dollars into the machine of 
destiny it will come out just what they desire — a 
presidency, world church unity, complete American- 
ization, or whatever it may be. 

By all means let money be spent by those who have 
money to spare, but let the spending contribute to the 

301 



FORD IDEALS 

general wealth of the people, let it meet some actual 
need, let it go to accomplish something more than 
further glutting the mails with political propaganda, 
or serving selfish purposes. 

If all the money thus far spent on the Presidential 
campaign by candidates who will never see more than 
the exterior of the White House had been used to 
meet the great Fact Shortage from which the country 
suffers, th^ benefit to the country would have been 
greater than if all the aspirants landed in office. 

This is a suggestion which may be worth consid- 
ering by men who are wondering what to do with 
their money. Granting that a number of. men who 
can never be President, nor hold any other office com- 
mensurate with their dignity, are truly desirous of 
serving the Nation, this suggestion is offered for their 
candid consideration — Why not spend some money in 
relieving the people from the Shortage of Facts? It 
is positively startling to discover how little reliable 
knowledge is to be had on any of the real problems 
that confront us — ^not the speculative problems deal- 
ing with untried forms of social life, and new proposi- 
tions of industrial adjustment, but the concrete prob- 
lems having to do with wheat, sugar, coal, houses, and 
the like. 

Sugar is scarce. Sugar is high. Is it scarce only 
in the retail store, or in the world ? Is it high because 
it is really scarce, or because its flow is being held 
back to boost prices and thus bring more profit to 
speculators? Do you know? 

Opinions are useless. Guesses solve nothing. De- 
nunciation does no good. The one thing that is worth 
a thousand opinions and guesses and would accomplish 
the work of the most terrific denunciations is the Fact 
About Sugar. 

The fact is obtainable. Some people say, "The 
Government ought to get that fact." Perhaps so, but 
whatever the Government has done or omitted to do, 
it is certain that the demonstrated, unchallengeable 
Fact has not been given to the people. There is no 
one really "informed" on the question; everybody 
seems to walk in a haze, as if men had as little con- 
trol over the work of their own hands as over the 

302 



THE FACT SHORTAGE 

weather. The sun shines or it rains; sugar goes up 
or down — people regard both with the same sort of 
helplessness to change them. Now, sugar is not a 
principle. It is not a theory. It is not a mystery. 
It is grown, refined and distributed. It is absolutely 
possible to know whether it was grown. It is abso- 
lutely possible to know whether it was refined. It is 
absolutely possible to know where it is now, why it 
is kept there, and what and who determines the price. 
These are not deep scientific problems; they are not 
mysteries nor veiled philosophy. They are Facts which 
can be found out. For an amount less than some 
candidates have expended in their campaign propa- 
ganda, they could be brought to light — and the man 
who would spend his money that way for the unselfish 
purpose of giving the people some bedrock facts to 
work upon, would recommend himself for a position 
of service to the people much more than any speech- 
making or self-advertising campaign could ever do. 

Perhaps the time has come when we shall demand 
of candidates preliminary specimens of the work they 
would do if elected, the thoroughness and persistence 
they would bring to the big questions. 

Does anyone know how much coal is being mined, 
or whether next winter's needs will be met? 

Does any one know what the wheat acreage is for 
this year, and whether in event of the promised crop 
shortage, as some say, the unsold portion of last year's 
crop will still prove sufficient, as others say? There 
are two sets of statements made upon that question — 
which is the true one? or is the truth somewhere be- 
tween them? It would not be impossible to find out. 
It would cost money, but not as much as some cam- 
paigns are costing. 

From one point of view it is a splendid advantage 
for the country to have fifteen or twenty men who 
openly admit their ability and desire to be President. 
It is splendid that so many men are willing to serve 
the entire nation. And the incident of their failure 
to win nomination or election is not sufficient reason 
for laying aside so laudable a desire. Let them go on 
and serve — let them get to work, spending their 
money, using their executive ability and proving their 

303 



FORD IDEALS 

separation from the exploiting class, by meeting the 
present , Shortage of Facts. 

It would be a genuine benefit to the nation if, in ad- 
dition to the candidate showing before the nomina- 
tions a piece of worlc of presidential size and impor- 
tance, the defeated candidate after the elections should 
go ahead and demonstrate some of the services he had 
it in mind to render had he been elected. 

National service is not restricted to men in office. 
It would perhaps not be too much to say that much 
of the valuable service rendered the nation, aside from 
purely executive decision, has been rendered by men 
out of office. There is a sense in which a man out of 
office is freer to get at the truth than the man in office. 
It should not be so, but often it is. If there is any- 
thing being "put over" on the American people to- 
day in the matter of clothing, food, fuel and special 
necessaries of life, it is being done under cover of 
darkness, and the darkness is nothing but lack of 
knowledge whic6 is a lack of Facts. The only light 
that is needed to drive conspirators against the people 
ihto oblivion is the light of Facts. Merely to have 
the thing known, to have the method exposed, to have 
the Fact itself exploited is to accomplish what courts 
and investigations and threats could hardly do. 

If there is any conspiracy against the easy access of 
the people to procurable necessaries of life today, that 
conspiracy proceeds under cover of such phrases as 
"scarcity," "increased costs," "the war," and so on, 
which mean little or nothing, mere words that serve 
as "blinds." If there is no scarcity, if the charges are 
increased out of all proportion to the increase in costs, 
if the condition is not due to the war but to the ma- 
nipulation which profiteers learned from the war, Facts 
will explode the whole delusion. 

The exploiters of the people fear the Facts, which 
is one more reason why the aspirant to office should 
show he is not in fear of the exploiters by showing 
the Facts, which service would also prove him to be 
free of the charge of exploiting. The Fact is worth 
money. Facts would put the public in control of the 
situation. The main shortage is a shortage, not so 
much of necessities, but of Facts. 

304 



Should Married Women Work? 



THE question of women in the work of the world 
comes up to claim attention every little while, 
even though it had a year or two of rest during the 
war. It has been a very persistent question, and al- 
though its first character was industrial, its significance 
is now becoming social. In earlier and freer forms of 
society there was never any question about women 
working; they simply worked because the work was 
there to do. Sometimes it was work which we^now 
class as men's work, but with a different meaning, for 
in a former period all work was directly connected 
with the production of food or the simpler necessities 
of life, while nowadays we refer to "work" more as a 
means of getting money. Anyway, the women who 
were the mothers and grandmothers of the present 
mature generation were not trpubled by the question — 
they solved it before any one thought to ask it; they 
worked. 

Women appeared in industry at a later period, that 
is, women working for money at labor disconnected 
from their homes. There was objection to this, first 
by the people themselves who fancied it was some- 
what beneath women's dignity to work for wages at 
anything but housework. or nursing; and then the later 
objection from organized labor that women were in 
danger of usurping men's places, or effecting a gen- 
eral reduction in wages. These fears were genuine 
at the time, and illustrate how little the accuracy with 
which some tendencies are forecast. The tendency 
has been for women to go up to men's scales of wages, 
as indeed they should where they are producing work 
of equal value. Even the labor unions, some branches 
of which very stubbornly resisted the entrance of 
women into certain trades, have opened their doors 
for membership on equal terms to women. 

Nowadays there is seldom a question raised as to 
the propriety of women supporting themselves by paid 

305 



FORD IDEALS 

labor. In even the wealthy families the idea of rearing 
a daughter in idleness is rapidly dying out, although 
there is always, of course, the consideration of a choice 
of labor. 

In fact, it may be regarded as settled, and no ques- 
tion at all, that the girls of the family may renounce a 
life of idleness and become self-supporting, or con- 
tributors to the support of the home, without being 
even the slightest the less womanly for it, as some of 
the forefathers thought they were. The self-support- 
ing type of young woman has added a new strain to 
American femininity, a strain of wholesome self-re- 
liance, clear-eyed vision of the facts of life, and a 
general sanity of reaction. She has not been made 
masculine; rather, the sounder qualities of womanli- 
ness have been brought out in her. The so-called 
"new woman" really represents womanhood released 
from artificial effeminacy. 

But now comes a new angle to the question. Or- 
dinarily upon her marriage a woman stopped working 
for wages. Her sphere thenceforth became the home, 
not that she worked less, but her husband became the 
bread-winner while she became the home-maker. To 
assume the work of keeping a house is not exactly a 
retirement from work, as every woman knows. 

This was a division of labor which seemed in har- 
mony with the fitness of things, and which we are 
convinced will remain the normal condition in spite 
of instances or periods of aberration. 

We appear to be in one of those periods now, and 
hence arises in many quarters the question. Should 
Married Women Work? Employers are frequently 
asked for their views upon it. Social workers are 
very outspoken upon it. More than that, thousands 
of the very women involved in the matter are wonder- 
ing whether they are really the pioneers of a new era. 
or whether they are merely the signs of a period in 
which many standards are temporarily disturbed. It 
seems pretty true to say that however numerous may 
be the present day instances of married women work- 
ing, they are not the pioneers of a new condition of 
things in which it will be thought right and proper 

306 



SHOULD MARRIED WOMEN WORK? 

that all married women should work outside the home 
for wages. 

Certain factors are irrcmovably opposed to such a 
practice becoming established. There is the idea of 
Home, for one. A Home is a place inhabited, not an 
apartment to which two working people come tired 
from their labor, to rest from a day's work. A Home 
is a place inhabited by the spirit of home-making 
which spirit somehow requires the pretty constant 
bodily presence of the home-maker, who is supremely 
the woman. 

Then there is the idea of Family. Certainly the 
intrusion of even one child breaks up the plan of the 
wife going out to work. And, not to repeat the coun- 
sel which has been given on this subject from the 
earliest times, who can separate between the idea of 
Home and Family? 

There are, of course, exceptional circumstances, 
but as a rule, where the man of the house is able- 
bodied, he should be the sole representative of the 
family in the industrial world, at least until his chil- 
dren grow up. He should make the living and his 
wife should make the home. 

It is unpleasant to relate that while some married 
women are forced to work for their living, there are 
far too many who work merely to gratify those ex- 
travagant tastes which a normal family income cannot 
support. 

To say it plainly, the great majority of married 
women who work do so in order to buy fancy clothes. 
And not the clothes that they need, not necessary de- 
cency and tastefulness of covering, but extravagance 
of decoration. It is not to keep the home together that 
they work, but to maintain an outside appearance en- 
tirely out of keeping with the kind and quality of their 
home. It is amazing to see the peacocks that emerge 
from commonplace cottages, and to see the ridiculous 
excess of finery which can only be accounted for by 
an excess income represented by the wife at work. Is 
there anything more pitiful, more disregardful of the 
real dignity and beauty of life than that a woman 
should choose menial labor through the day in order 

307 



FORD IDEALS 



that, though tired, she may shine in cheap imitation 
silks and plumes an hour or two at night? 

People sometimes argue that if these married 
women work, they at least contribute to production. 
It is a question whether they do or not. Indeed, it is 
very doubtful that they do. For, whatever their labor 
may contribute, 'the use they make of their wages is 
to encourage a number of nonessential industries that 
cater to cheap tastes, and thus they destroy by their 
money what they create with their labor. 

There are doubtless cases, heroic cases, where the 
married woman goes out to labor to gain some substan- 
tial benefit for the home which otherwise would not 
be had. There is no danger of these cases ever being 
confused with the others. Little more is needed than 
a glance at the face of a wife who works to see 
whether her reasons are high and serious, or whether 
they are selfish and trivial. 

These serious ones who know all that they are 
leaving, and who are really the victims of a situation 
instead of the exploiters of a situation — ^these are the 
ones to whom everyone would listen if they should 
give their own hearts' thought about the advisability 
of married women working. There is no doubt as to 
what they would say. 

As a broad rule, a great deal can safely be sacri- 
ficed to preserve the spirit of Home. There are many 
impressively dressed women whose homes are not im- 
pressive. The b^st setting any woman ever had is her 
own home. 

The cost of living is not so high as the cost of 
pretending to live better than one really can. The 
cost of anything real is not quite so high, in compari- 
son with the values- possessed, as is the cost of pre- 
tense. Least of all should any sacrifice of substantial 
values, such as the Home atmosphere, be made for 
mere pretense. 



308 



The Story of Jones 



THE story is told of a man named Jones who, with 
others, was shipwrecked. They were hoping to 
be saved by main strength at the pumps, keeping the 
hulk afloat. To stimulate their energies, they began 
to ask one another what they were pumping for, and 
one by one each man named the dearest object in his 
life. One man was pumping that his aged mother 
might not be deprived of her only son; another, that 
his wife might not be a widow ; another, that his chil- 
dren might not be left fatherless. At last the question 
came around to Jones — "What are you pumping for, 
Jones ?" And Jones replied, "I'm pumping for Jones." 

In a ^way Jones was right, and in a way he was 
wrong. Every stroke of his arm at the pump was for 
others as well as himself. Every gallon of water he 
ejected from the leaky hulk bought an added chance 
of life for his companions as well as himself. Every 
strain of his muscle which he thought was solely for 
Jones, was for Smith and White and the rest. He 
could not keep his part of the deck afloat without 
helping to keep the whole ship afloat. 

They all came safely ashore, but the man who 
saved least was Jones. 

A man may work as selfishly as he pleases; he 
may rule out of his mind all thought or intention or 
desire to do something for someone else, but he will 
find in the end that Nature has tricked him; he has 
not been permitted to live for himself alone ; his very 
wprks of selfishness have been made to serve others : 
he has only deluded himself, robbed himself of the 
higher and more satisfactory rewards which come 
trom including the good of others in one's own good. 

Suppose a man should deliberately set out to be 
absolutely selfish, the benefactor of none and the bene- 
ficiary of all. He could not do it. There is no possible 
system upon which he could organize his life in total 
selfishness. He could not keep a cow, without serving 

309 



FORD IDEALS 



the cow by ttulking her. He could not raise enough 
grain for his own need without serving the seed in its 
life destiny and opening the very soil of the earth her- 
self to a fuller expression and value. He could not 
breathe without delighting the cells of his lungs and 
making his very blood glad. A man who would be 
absolutely selfish would have no outlet but to lie down 
and die, even then Nature would outwit him, for she 
would take the very materials of his body and dis- 
tribute them in one form or another to the plant world. 

Everyone knows, however, that there are selfish 
men in the world — that is, men who are selfish in their 
intention. They don't mean to help anyone else. They 
would not go out of their way to advance another's 
good. They may even flatter themselves that they 
are going through life on the narrow gauge line of 
"Every man for himself, and the devil take the hind- 
most." But they are simply the dupes of a fallacy. 
The baker may bake bread and have no other motive 
than his own profit. Yet others are fed by his bread, 
but he IS- not himself fed by the sense of having 
helped his fellow men. The farmer may till his land 
with no thought in his mind but the money profit of 
it ; the thronging cities are supplied just the same even 
though the farmer has been cheated out of a finer 
harvest than can be cut with a scythe. The surgeon 
may go home hugging his fee, but he has saved a 
home from disruption by the saving of a threatened 
life. A manufacturer may invent and administer and 
expand his business, with no other conscious object 
than to amass a great fortune, but he is providing 
jobs for workmen ; he is really working for his work- 
men, although he does not realize it. He would get 
a double profit if he only knew that secret. 

We cannot do anything which brings us the right 
to live, without extending some service which helps 
others to live. Narrow people may think that they 
can, but wise old Nature lets them play with the idea 
even while it is being disproved. - 

There was a man in a Michigan village who al- 
ways voted against public improvements, especially 
against adequate fire protection. The time came when 
he constructed some valuable buildings which held 



310 



THE STORY OF JONES 

an inflammable stock. Then he demanded of the 
village, that as his enterprise redounded to the com- 
mercial importance of that place, fire protection ought 
to be provided for it. He wanted it only for himself, 
but in order to give it to him, it had to be given to 
all the residents. But that man did not have in his 
own heart the satisfaction of knowing he had made 
every other villager's home safer. 

^ A man may be selfishly concerned for the pro- 
tection of his own children from disease, but he can- 
not quiet that concern without providing for town 
sanitation, pure water, healthful school buildings and 
public health rules — and when he achieves these for 
the protection of his own children, he will discover 
that he has given them to every other child in the 
community. 

Pumping is the weariest work in the world when 
it is done for Jones alone ; and if it is for Jones alone, 
the time will come at the shriveled end of his life 
when he will wonder if it was worth the effort. The 
things we seek for ourselves alone dry up and lose 
their flavor sooner than any others. In 999 cases out 
of a thousand — ^yes, in all but one case out of a mil- 
lion, the person who is "tired of life" is not tired of 
life at all, but tired of living solely for himself. 

The action of life upon us, if we have the least 
wisdom to react to it, is to draw us out of ourselves 
into a sense of human unity. Here is a big,* crude, 
selfish hulk of a boy. His motto is "Get." There is 
something almost barbarous in his self-centeredness. 
Human society is as yet an unborn idea with him. 
Mankind, if he visualizes it to his mind at all, is but 
a collection of beings who possess something which 
he must get for himself by hook or crook. He is an 
initial product of nature, the raw material of hu- 
manity, a man in the rough. 

Then Nature wakens him to love a girl, a girl who 
attracts him — perhaps he does not define it — ^by her 
unselfishness, by her regard for the rights and feel- 
ings and interests of others. Ah ! he is no longer the 
self-centered cub that he was ; he finds himself think- 
ing day and night of some one else, and planning ways 
to please her. Nature has divided him into two, en- 

311 



FORD IDEALS 



larged and amplified him, widened the boimds of his 
hurtianity. 

But even that love may be tinged with the desire 
to possess, so when he has won the girl, Nature sends 
him a babe. He is now divided by three. Perhaps in 
time he may be divided by four or five. He is no 
longer working for himself, he is working >f or a fam- 
ily. He sees other men through his own experiences 
and gradually widens his sympathies and insight — ^his 
sense of humanity-at-large. 

That is the strange arithmetic of nature ; it multi- 
plies by division. It is the good which we cut in two 
and share with another that doubles in value and 
brings good to us. A man cannot be unselfish without 
serving himself best. "He that loseth his life shall 
find it." 

The young man meets this problem at the very 
threshold of his active life. What work shall he 
choose? What shall his life motto be? What shall 
be the reward he seeks ? 

He will find at the very outset that the work which 
promises him most is that which serves most people. 
If he sets out to serve himself, he will be his own pay- 
master, and he will be restricted to payment in the 
worthless coin of his own selfish spirit. 

It is just there that selfishness loses. Gain it ever 
so much, it misses the very element which gives value 
to gain. Some gains are very bitter; they are like 
heaped-up ashes ; they are flavorless and colorless be- 
fore they are well in hand. They have not the stamp 
of social approval on them, and lacking that stamp 
they are coimterfeit and worthless. 

Jones saved his carcass. He lost his character. 
Thereafter it little mattered what he gained or lost 
until he had retrieved that first imperishable wealth. 



312 



What It Costs for War 



IT COSTS money ]to run the United States, but not 
so much money a^ the people pay for that purpose. 
. ... If a politician should say thaCt you would pass' it 
over with the thought that he was only charging his 
political opponents with extravagance. But that is 
not the nature of the statement made on this page. It 
has nothing to do with politics, nothing to do with 
politicians, nothing to do with any propaganda what- 
ever. On the basis of figures prepared in a department 
of the Government of the United States — a discussion 
of which appears elsewhere in this issue — ^the state- 
ment is made that more money — much more money — 
is paid by the people than is needed actually to run 
the United States Government. 

How much more ? About fourteen times as much. 
That is to say, if you take the budget for the fiscal 
year which ended May 1, 1920 — ^the whole sum being 
$5,868,005,706 — ^you may leave the billion figures stand 
($5,000,000,000), and then if you will divide the mil- 
lion figures, the $868,005,706 which follow that big 
"5," you will still have more than is actually spent in 
the real work of government. You haven't diminished 
the billions at all, you have scarcely cut the millions 
in two, and yet the billions and half of the millions 
represent the amount that is not necessary for the 
conductive, civilized functions of government. 

Some people are dazed when they see figures. This 
is a form of blindness which permits the political and 
economic sharpers to get the better of them. The 
people would do well in their own interests if they 
would become accustomed to figures. Just set down 
on a piece of paper the sum, $5,868,005,706. And 
then beneath it set down the sum $406,384,443. The 
smaller sum represents all that is spent on the real 
work of government. Do a little work in subtraction 
and you will find that the difference is $5,461,621,263 
— and this is the amount which we spend annually for 

313 



FORD IDEALS 



what we call government and is not government at all. 

What do we mean by Government ? Well, we mean 
the public business of the nation. There is Congress, 
the legislative body; we must have it and it costs 
money, but its cost is hardly a drop in the bucket 
compared with the cost of other nationd responsibili- 
ties. Then there are the President, the White House 
with its domestic and official staff, the Federal courts 
and officers and penal institutions — sometimes dis- 
tinguished by the terms executive and judicial depart- 
ments. And then there are the various administrative 
departments organized for the purpose of managing 
the multitude of interests which every nation has — 
law enforcement, foreign relations, the coinage, cus- 
toms, public lands, relations between the states of the 
Union. There is also the expense incident to the Dis- 
trict of Columbia as a special bit of territory assigned 
to the use of the Federal Government. 

Now all this, from President down to United States 
Marshall, costs only $181,087,225. These are the 
primary functions of government. Compare their cost 
with the total. 

The Post Office, Land Office, Panama Canal and 
other public departments are not included because they 
are self-sustaining; the work which they do and the 
service which they render bring in enough money to 
pay their expenses. Instead of living by taxes they 
live by fees for the service rendered, as when you 
give two cents to have your letter carried. 

Besides these there are necessary works, including 
the improvement of rivers and harbors, the construc- 
tion of public buildings, the reclamation of waste lands, 
the establishment and maintenance of national parks, 
which every prosperous nation desires to see carried 
forward, and these cost the sum of $168,203,557. 

Not to daze anyone with rnore figures, look now 
at a comparatively smaller amount, namely, $57,093,- 
661. It is the smallest amount yet used. And what 
is it for? It is for all the research, development and 
educational work which the government is doing. The 
Department of Agriculture (and remember that our 
farm products are worth more than 25 Billions an- 
nually) ; our Bureau of Mines (and we produce each 

314 



y 



WHAT IT COSTS FOR WAR 

year metals and minerals vaUied at Six Billions) ; our 
highly useful Bureau of Standards which keeps us 
straight with regard to the real values and uses of 
the more than 12 billions of dollars* worth of raw ma- 
terials that enter into our manufactured products every 
year; our Bureau of Fisheries; our government re- 
search into problems of health, housing, fuel, gasoline 
and every big pressing problem that vitally relates to 
the life of the people — all this real work of advance- 
ment and human benefit is supported to the extent of 
$57,093,661. Just look at it as a matter of percentages. 
Cast your eye again upon that first big total — ^$5,868,- 
005,706. Now the sum spent on the official functions 
of government, from the President to the most ob- 
scure Federal clerk, represents a little more than three 
per cent of that sum. The public works of the gov- 
ernment, represented in rivers, harbors, national parks 
and Federal buildings, account for another three per 
cent; while research, education and development is 
supported by the munificent proportion of one per 
cent! 

There you have seven per cent of your govern- 
ment expenditures accounted for, or seven cents of 
your government dollar. 

Where does the other 93 per cent go ? Where does 
$5,461,621,263 out of the sum of $5,868,005,706 go? 
Out of Five Billion some odd dollars, how does it 
come that only the "some odd" dollars go for straight 
government expenses? Where does the Five Billion 

go? 

Listen! These are figures prepared in a govern- 
ment department at Washington. They are not the 
figures of any propagandist. You can get the figures 
for yourself if you want them. And the figures will 
show you this — 

That 93 per cent of the expenditures of the United 
States Government are because of, and in the interest 
of, War! 

The bills of our national housekeeping read this 
way : Peace, seven per cent ; War, 93 per cent. 

"Oh," says someone, "the war figures are so high 
because we have just finished a war." 

No! Recent and previous war expenses comprise - 

315 



/ 



FORD IDEALS 

67.8 per cent, and the annual upkeep of army and 
navy represent the other 25 per cent. 

We are paying for w^rs — ^all the wars — ^the United 
States ever fought. That is, we are not paying for 
them, for we are not able ; we are only paying interest 
on them. The Public Debt is very largely the debt in- 
curred by war. But no one ever speaks of paying the 
Public Debt. All that the country can do is to pay 
interest on it. 

There is no doubt that protection is one of the 
functions of government, just as much as legislation 
or administration is. But try to realize the proportion 
which this item of protection has assumed — ^93 per 
cent ! It would be worth it, if it were necessary. But 
is it necessary in a civilized world ? — or can it be called 
a civilized world in which such a tax on safety is 
necessary? If every family were compelled to spend 
93 per cent of its income to save itself from violence, 
living on the other seven per cent, could that family 
be said to be living in a civilized community? 

Someone is benefiting by that 93 per cent. Some 
influence has been brought to bear everywhere to cause 
this great and continuous outpouring of wealth, gen- 
eration after genenation, in a single direction to con- 
tinue. The nations have, been tricked into a situation 
which the nations themselves could break up — ^which 
the people themselves would break up — if the enormity 
of the fact were only made clear. 

Perhaps if our government should spend more than 
seven per cent on the civilizing and constructive func- 
tions, these might in time bring so much enlightenment 
and prosperity as to crowd out the other. There is a 
strong movement afoot in that direction, and it may 
be the movement which is going to show up war from 
another effective angle and perhaps indicate those 
whose interest is to foment war. 



316 



\ 



Paying for Greed's Mistakes 



SOONER or later we pay for the follies of our 
past. A great deal of the cry about our trans- 
portation difficulties is due to our past sins in this 
respect. This is not always understood: people are 
led to believe that something suddenly has gone wrong. 
Nothing of the kind has happened. The mistaken 
and foolish things we did years ago are just overtaking 
us and collecting their due. At the beginning of rail- 
way transportation in the United States, the people 
had to be taught its use, just as they had to be taught 
the use of the telephone. Also, the new railroads had 
to make business in order to keep themselves solvent. 
And because railway financing began in one of the 
rottenest periods of our business history, a number 
of practices were established as precedents which have 
influenced railway work more or less ever since. 

One of the first things to be done was to throttle 
all other methods of transportation. There was the 
beginning of a splendid canal system in this country 
and a great movement for canalization was in the 
height of its enthusiastic strength, when the railroad 
companies bought out the canal companies and let the 
canals fill up and choke with weeds and refuse. All 
over the eastern and in parts of the middle western 
states are the reniains of this network of internal 
waterways. They are being restored now as rapidly 
as possible; they are being linked together; various 
commissions, public and private, have seen the vision 
of a complete system of waterways serving all parts 
of the country, and, thanks to their efforts and per- 
sistence and faith, progress is being made. 

That was one folly which the advent of railway 
transportation forced upon the country. 

But there was another. This was the system of 
making the haul as long as possible. Anyone, who is 
familiar with the exposures which resulted in the for- 
mation of the Interstate Commerce Commission, knows 

317 



FORD IDEALS 



what is meant by this. There was a period when rail 
transport was not regarded as the servant of the trav- 
eling, manufacturing and commercial publics, but when 
it regarded itself as a Moloch to be served by all these. 
Business was treated as if it existed for the benefit of 
the railways. 

During this period of folly, it was not good rail- 
roading to get goods from their shipping point to 
their destination by the most direct line possible, but 
to keep them on the road as long as possible, send them 
around the longest way, give as many connecting lines 
as possible a piece of the profit, and let the public 
stand the resulting loss of time and money. That was 
once counted good railroading. It has not entirely 
passed out of practice today. 

One of the great changes in our economic life to 
which this railroad policy contributed was the cen- 
tralization of certain activities, not because centraliza- 
tion was necessary, nor because it contributed more 
to the well-being of the people, but because, among 
other things, it made double business for the railroads. 

Take those two staples, meat and grain, for ex- 
ample. If you look at the maps which the packing 
houses put out, and see where the cattle are drawn 
from; and then if you consider that the cattle, when 
converted into food, are hauled again by the same 
railways right back to the place where they came from, 
you will get some sidelight on the transportation prob- 
lem and the price of meat. 

Take also the matter of grain. Every reader of 
advertisements knows where the great flour mills of 
the country are located. And they probably know 
also that where the great mills are located is not rep- 
resentative at all of the sections where all the grain of 
the United States is raised. There are staggering 
quantities of grain, thousands of trainloads, hauled 
uselessly long distances, and then in the form of floui 
hauled back again long distances to the states and 
sections where the grain was raised — a burdening of 
the railroads which is of no benefit to the communi- 
ties where the grain originated, nor to any one else 
except the monopolistic mills and the railroads. The 
railroads can always do a big business without helping 



318 



\ 



PAYING FOR greed's MISTAKES 



the business of the country at all ; they can always be 
engaged in just such useless hauling. On meat and 
grain and perhaps on cotton, too, the transportation 
burden could be cut in half, yes, reduced by more than 
half, by the preparation of the product for use before 
it is shipped at all. If a coal community mined coal in 
Pennsylvania, and then sent it by railway to Michigan 
or Wisconsin to be screened, and then hauled back 
again to Pennsylvania for use, it would not be much 
sillier than the hauling of Texas beef alive to Chicago, 
there to be killed, and then shipped back dead to 
Texas ; or the hauling of Kansas grain to Minnesota, 
there to be ground in the mills and hauled back again 
as flour. 

It is good business for the railroads, but it is bad 
business for business. One angle of the transporta- 
tion problem to which too few men are paying any 
attention is this useless hauling away and hauling back 
of material wHich should be hauled only once. If the 
problem were tackled from the point of ridding the 
railroads of their useless hauls, we might discover 
that we are in better shape than we think to take care 
of the legitimate transportation business of the country. 

In commodities like coal it is necessary that it be 
hauled from where it is to where it is needed. The 
same is true of the raw materials of industry — ^they 
must be hauled from the place where nature has stored 
them to the place where there are people ready to work 
them. And as these raw materials are not often found 
assembled in one section, a considerable amount of 
transportation to a central assembling place is neces- 
sary. The coal comes from one section, the copper 
from another, the iron from another, the wood from 
another — they must all be brought together. 

But wherever it is possible a policy of centraliza- 
tion ought to be adopted. We need instead of mam- 
moth flour mills at one comer of the country, a multi- 
tude of smaller mills distributed through all the sec- 
tions where grain is grown. Wherever it is possible, 
the section that produces the raw material ought to 
produce also the finished product. Grain should be 
ground to flour where it is grown. A hog-growing 
country should not export hogs, -but pork, hams and 

319 



FORD IDEALS 

bacon. The cotton mills ought to be near the cotton 
fields. 

This is not a revolutionary idea. In a sense, it is 
a reactionary one. It does not suggest anything new ; 
it suggests something that is very old. This is the 
way the country did things before we fell into the 
habit of carting everything around a few thousand 
miles and adding the cartage to the consumer's bill. 

This idea is not advanced solely for its relation to 
the transportation problem — although ft would bring 
inestimable relief there — ^but also for its effect on our 
life generally. Our communities ought to be more 
complete in themselves. They ought not to be unnec- 
essarily dependent on railway transportation. Out 
of what they produce they should supply their own 
needs and ship the surplus. And how can they do 
this imless they have the means of taking their raw 
materials, like grain and cattle, and changing them intd 
finished products? If private enterprise does not yield 
these means, the co-operation of farmers can. The 
chief injustice sustained by the farmer today is that, 
being the greatest producer, he is prevented from be- 
ing also the greatest merchandiser, because he is com- 
pelled to sell to those who put his products into mer- 
chantable form. If he could change his grain into 
flour, his cattle into beef and his hogs into hams and 
bacon, not only would he receive the fuller profit of 
his product, but he would render his near-by communi- 
ties more independent of railway exigencies, and 
thereby improve the transportation system by reliev- 
ing it of the burden of his unfinished product. 

The thing is not only reasonable and practicable, 
but it is becoming absolutely necessary. More than 
that, it is done in many places. But it will not register 
its full effect on the transportation situation and upon 
the cost of living until it is done more widely and in 
more kinds of materials. 



320 



Administration Versus 
Government 



IT WOULD be a beneficial act if someone could get 
it noised among the people that there is to be no 
change in the Government of the United States this 
year or next, but only a change in its administration. 
One would almost be led to think, by some of the 
statements that are being issued and some of the prom- 
ises that are being made, that a most revolutionary 
change is coming and that the country is to swing off 
on a path entirely new and imtried before. 

The Old Ship of State is going to nm as usual, 
but there will be a new First Mate. And he will not 
be able to upset the winds, nor reverse the ocean cur- 
rents, nor change the position of the stars — ^the best 
he can do will be to make things shipshape and steer 
a safe course. 

The Government is not going to change, but only 
some of the chief men on duty there. 

The Government of the United States is an estab- 
lished institution ; it might be just as well to have that 
understood. The Government, in its personnel, is not 
the United States by any means ; it is only a committee 
of citizens, so to speak, who have been selected to look 
after the public affairs of the citizens of the United 
States. 

The affairs which they shall handle and the manner 
in which they shall handle them are all set forth in 
the Constitution of the United States. While we are 
about it, it might be just as well if it were very clearly 
known that underneath the Government of the United 
States is the Constitution of the United States, and 
underneath the Constitution is the great mass of 105 
million Americans. 

The Constitution of the United States is written 
on paper. It was written a long time ago. The 
original copy is kept under lock and key at Washing- 

321 



FORD IDEALS 

ton. But even if that copy were destroyed, the Con- 
stitution would not be lost, because it is written upon 
the heart and mind of the people who compose our 
nation. 

The Constitution was not handed down from 
heaven and no one has ever said it was a complete and 
perfect instrument, although there is none nearer per- 
fect in the world. It has this in its favor, however, 
that under its provisions there has developed on this 
continent a type of national life of which none need 
be ashamed, for which none need be apologetic. 

This paper is a social contract to which you and 
105,000,000 other persons agree for the purpose of 
regulating our lives together. We agree on our rights, 
we agree on our duties, we write our agreement down, 
we appoint men with certain powers to become cus- 
todians of the agreement to see that its terms* are 
observed and to perform other duties with reference 
to all of us ; and there you have the Government, based 
on the Constitution. 

Several times in the more than fourteen decades 
since the Constitution was first written, it has been 
changed, not, however, to undo anything it had done, 
but to do something it did not foresee. That is, the 
details of the Constitution have been somewhat en- 
larged; the spirit of it has not been changed. 

Within the Constitution itself are described the 
methods by which it may be amended. It is one of 
the marks of the nobility of this document that it has, 
as it were, an open side looking toward progress. Its 
makers did not regard it as a fence, but as a founda- 
tion. 

So, whenever anyone feels that there is a defect 
that goes deeper than government administration he 
is free to suggest an amendment of the Constitution, 
and if he can get a sufficient number of states to agree, 
the amendment will be made. 

But there are certain changes advocated today 
which never could be made because to do so would be 
to destroy the principle of the Constitution itself. It 
goes without saying that if anyone should propose an 
amendment which would destroy a man's right in 
what his labor has produced, and if such an amend- 

322 



ADMINISTRATION VERSUS GOVERNMENT 

ment should be made, something more would be done 
than merely to add another article to the Constitution. 
The very spirit of the instrument would be wounded 
and killed. 

There are some things which could never become 
constitutional though you wrote them into the Con- 
stitution a thousand times and confirmed them by the 
thousand ratifications of all the states. The reason 
is that they are not in the constitution of justice. 

So, while the people are indeed supreme over the 
written Constitution, the spiritual constitution is su- 
preme over them. The French Revolutionists wrote 
constitutions too — every drunken writer among them 
tossed off a constitution. Where are they? All van- 
ished. Why ? Because they were not in harmony with 
the constitution of the imiverse. The power of the 
Constitution is not dependent on any Government, but 
on its inherent rightness and practicability. The power 
of the Government^ however, is entirely dependent on 
the Constitution, and because that parchment says 
certain things about elections,- the administration of 
the Government is this year being put before the peo- 
ple for a new selection. 

The administration of government is so vitally 
connected with the people's welfare that it is amazing 
to see how really little initiative interest they take in 
the selection of the administrators. 

No one will deny the statement that there is more 
interest being shown in the Government today by the 
would-be administrators than by the people in whose 
interest the Government is to be administered. 

There are, of course, several reasons for that. One 
is that the people know that whichever old party is 
appointed by the people's vote to the administration 
of the Government, the difference will not be notice- 
able. But perhaps the strongest reason is that the 
desire of the would-be administrators to get into the 
office is greater than the desire of the people to put 
any of them in. That is to say, the election now ap- 
proaching is like many another in that respect: those 
who are seeking office have made up their mind as to 
what they want, with far more decision and ardor 

323 



FORD IDEALS 



than the people have made up their mind as to whom 
they want. 

The people are caught between two currents. One 
current drives heavily in favor of the idea of gov- 
ernment as an aid to the people in all their interests. 
"The Government can do it," is the keynote. This is 
true — ^however much it may be overdone, it is true. 
Why should it not be true that the people acting col- 
lectively — ^that is, through the Government — should 
not be able to accomplish whatever they wish ? 

Well, then, this faith in the Government is built up. 
And then another current sets in — an administration 
is put into office which, through incompetency or dis- 
honesty, absolutely disappoints the expectation of the 
people. Then follows that sinister propaganda which 
spreads distrust of all government and suspicion of 
all administrations. 

This nation is founded on the Constitution, and 
the Constitution provides for the government, but if 
the Administration fails to administer the Government 
for the people for whom it was set up by the Consti- 
tution, thtn it is serving the dark forces which work 
to undermine all confidence in the idea of government. 

The people should be aroused to the truth that, if 
the Administration does not serve them, it is not the 
fault of government, and that if they wish the Gov- 
ernment to serve them they must themselves make the 
choice of those who administer it. 

Election time — ^good old Constitution-protected 
election time — ^puts the whole matter directly into the 
people's hands. Conventions have nothing to do with 
it. Parties have nothing to do with it. The people^ 
may have it all their own way, to put in whom they 
will. 



324 



Loyalty Has Two Sides 



IT MAY be useful, for a change, to commence a 
discussion of Loyalty in Industry at the point of 
the Loyalty of the Employer. There is always enough 
being said about the need of loyalty in the employes, 
and indeed that is a most important point. But the 
other is important too. Loyalty, to be fruitful and 
enduring, must issue from opposite sides. Loyalty on 
the part of employes must be met by loyalty on the 
part of the employer. Perhaps, in these times, it is 
the part of the employer to be first to demonstrate 
loyalty. 

What are we to be loyal to? If we can settle that 
question, or even throw a little light upon it, it might 
do much to help us think straight. 

What is it that brings employer and employe to- 
gether in the first place? In modem industry they 
first meet as strangers. Sometimes, so far as personal 
acquaintance goes, they remain strangers. Yet it is 
not long before they get a pretty definite idea of each 
other. The idea may be wrong, but it is definite. The 
employe may have a wrong mind-picture of his em- 
ployer's intentions, because of the harshness and in- 
justice of superintendents or foremen. It is one of 
the biggest problems on the human side of manage- 
ment to prevent the employer's real ideas for the good 
of his men from losing all their vitality by the time 
they have filtered down through the subordinates of 
the organization. 

On the other hand, the employer may have a wrong 
mind-picture of the employes, because of the actions 
and utterances of a noisy and obstructive minority. 
Whatever may be said about "collective bargaining," 
so-called, and other related matters, one objection is 
that there is too little "collectiveness" about it. A 
spokesman who does not work in the shop, who does 
not work in any shop, whose sole ambition perhaps is 
never again to have to work in a shop, is usually the 

325 



FORD IDEALS 



"bargainer," and it is from what he says or does that 
many employers draw their opinion of the men in the 
shop. 

This, of course, is wrong, and it leads to many 
misrepresentations and misunderstandings which 
could be adjusted in a minute if the two parties ac- 
tually knew each other and the conditions under which 
each of them have to work. No thoughtful man will 
deny for a moment that there are too many "go-be- 
tweens" who are really "keep-aparts" ; they increase 
the distance between the two interested parties. 

Here is a man, perhaps a wage-earner, who gets 
a mechanical idea which he develops and in which he 
sees possibilities of great usefulness. He cannot put 
it on the market alone — no man can do much alone — 
and so he calls in men to help him, and he pays them. 
If he is a success, his force increases, and with it his 
own managerial problems increase, until he is so busy, 
and the men in the shop are so busy and numerous, that 
personal contact largely ceases. Those who knew 
him when his office problems were so light that he 
could lend a hand in the shop are usually loyal to 
him personally. They know him ; they know him to 
be one with them in his ideas and experience and 
sympathies. 

But after while the business itself grows so large 
as to supplant the personality af the man. In a big 
business the employer is just like the employe — he is 
partly lost in the mass. Together they have created 
a great productive organization which sends out 
articles which the world buys because they are useful, 
and which bring in money which provides a livelihood 
for everyone engaged there. The business itself be- 
comes the big thing. 

There is something humanly sacred about a big 
business which provides a living for hundreds and 
thousands of families. When one looks about at the 
babies that are coming into the world and carefully 
tended, at the boys and girls who are being sent to 
school and educated, at the young working men who, 
on the strength of their jobs, are being married and 
setting up for themselves, at the thousands of homes 
that are being paid for in installments out of the earn- 

326 



LOYALTY HAS TWO SIDES 



ings of the men — when one looks at a great productive 
organization that is enabling all these things to be 
done by those who are engaged in it and for their 
families, one feels it to be like murder, a terrible crime, 
to attempt or to risk anything that would jeopardize 
in the least degree a business on which so many depend. 

The employer is a man like any of his employes, 
subject to all the limitations of humanity. The only 
thing that justifies him in holding his job is that he 
can fill it. If he can steer the business straight, if his 
men can trust him to run his end of the work prop- 
erly and without endangering their settled condition in 
life, then he is filling his place just like anyone else. 
Otherwise he is no more fit for his position than a 
schoolboy would be on an important job of pattern 
making. The employer is judged by his ability, just 
as everyone else should be. 

He may be but a name to the men — a name on a 
signboard. But there is the business — it is more than 
a name. It produces the living of everyone in it, and 
a living is a pretty tangible thing. The business is a 
reality. It does things. It is a going concern. The 
evidence of its fitness is that the pay envelopes keep 
coming. 

Why not begin loyalty there? If the shop is keep- 
ing your family, educating your children, buying your 
home, providing you with a reasonable certainty of 
employment and a money return that you can do 
things on, you are entitled to regard it as something 
which is definitely connected with your interest: its 
welfare is yours. 

As to personal loyalty, only the independent em- 
ployer can be loyal to his men. The other kind of 
employer may want to be, but the influences above 
him on which he depends often prevent him. The in- 
dependent employer, who does not have to bow to 
capitalists above him, can prevent anything being done 
that will decrease the return which his men draw 
from the business. He can, indeed, freely devote him- 
self to devising ways and means by which they shall 
be enabled to draw more. Not only may he feel- this 
to be a duty which he owes to his men, but he takes 
a pride in it. High wages are the result of two ele- 

327 



FORD IDEALS 



ments: the industry of the men, first. But this in- 
dustry can be nullified by bad management. So the 
second element is good management, and it is here 
that the employer's pride may come to him. When 
he adds good management to' his men's industry, and 
this enables a great return to be made all round, the 
business as a human concern is a success. There is a 
great distinction between a manufactured article being 
a success, and the organization that manufactures it 
being a success. The one is a mechanical problem; 
the other is a human problem. 

The forces which are aiming to undermine Amer- 
ican industry — ^and some of these forces have a very 
high capitalistic origin, don't forget that! — ^aim first 
for the breakdown of loyalty of any character what- 
soever. They want it to break down. 

It is a truth which every American workman ought 
to know that 95 per cent of the agitation which they 
see around them does not grow up out of the working 
people, but it comes down through hired agitators 
from the would-be capitalistic rulers who want to use 
the workmen themselves to break down the very in- 
dustries on which the workmen depend, in order that 
then the workmen may be thrown on their tender 
mercies. 

You are not hitting the capitalist when you hit 
industry; you are hitting the workman. Industry, 
independent industry, is the only foe the capitalist 
fej^rs. Employers and employes have a^ common in- 
terest against the speculative capitalists. These in- 
ternational capitalists know that if they can split 
employer and employe apart, and so break up iitdustry, 
they can control the field. And the pity of it is that 
so many employers and employes are blindly playing 
the game of their common enemy. 

A man is loyal to the house that shelters him. He 
doesn't see what is to be gained by knocking it down. 
The same kind of loyalty to the industries that pro- 
vide for us will block the game which the hired de- 
structionists are playing. 



328 



\ 



What ShaU Prevent War? 



THERE will be a "next war" just as certainly as 
tomorrow will be a new day, if there is a more 
deliberate organization for it than there is against it. 
It is not a question of what thexpeople "want"; it is 
a question of what they Will. It can be safely said 
that the people seldom "want" war ; but just as seldom 
do they Will peace. In 1914 when those who saw 
the stupidity of war in this age went out into the arena 
and tried to stop it, they found that there were no 
tools to work with. The world had been systematically 
organized for war; there were no instruments, no 
weapons prepared for a peace offensive. Just as truly 
as there can be no war without preparation, so there 
can be no peace without preparation. Preparedness 
is a necessary condition; it is just a question of what 
we are to prepare for. 

A small well-organized minority in favor of war 
is more than a match for a large, tmorganized ma- 
jority which is sentimentally inclined toward peace. 
The world is ruled by organized minorities. In Rus- 
sia there are 180,000,000 people; yet 600,000 Bol- 
sheviks rule them. 

It is not so despicable as it once was considered to 
be interested in world peace. Previous to 1914 the 
person who was interested in the peace of the world 
was regarded as an amiable faddist; he would have 
been counted more virile had his diversion been poker. 

But the past six years has shown the world what 
war is, and now everybody professes to believe that 
it is unspeakably cruel and stupid. The most amazing 
confessions have been made by those who were for-^ 
merly the most ardent militarists as to the uselessness 
of it all. It is true that soldiers exhibited super-human 
courage and devotion; it is true that nations proved 
almost niiraculous capacity for sacrifice; the human 
contribution lavished upon war was most glorious in 
its pure unselfishness ; but the men who promised most 

329 



FORD IDEALS 



for the achievements of the war are confessing one 
by one that they were mistaken. 

The criticism of war is not of the qualities which 
are contributed to it — life, love, loyalty and every sac- 
rifice — ^but that war, having these immeasurable riches 
to work with, could do so little with them. 

If any constructive program of humanity could 
command a tenth, a hundredth part of the human 
values that war can command, this world could be 
completely transformed in little time. 

The "next war" is being planned when the last 
one ceases; that is, men whose principal business is 
to fight make preparations for doing it again. It may 
not be that they desire it, but they fail to see in hu- 
man nature any direct "set" against it. 

In one of the countries a force of 5,000 military, 
naval and air experts is already at work on plans. 
This does not mean that th^y intend to provoke war; 
they are merely getting ready. Tt is pretty certain 
that the old formality of a declaration of war is a 
thing of the past. The next war will not be "declared." 
There will be no exchange of notes and a sparring for 
time. In the older days it was military etiquette to 
permit the enemy to fire first. After many years this 
was abandoned, but out of respect for the public 
opinion of nations a "declaration of war" was made 
in formal fashion. We all remember how those dec- 
larations were made in 1914, and how our own dec^ 
laration was made after an all-night session of Con- 
gress. 

The next war will sweep down like a tropical storm, 
unannounced by any trumpet of thunder or herald 
of lightning. That is being planned by those who are 
studying the future. 

It is certain that if war is permitted again to deluge 
the earth — and to permit it, all we have to do is to 
fail to prevent it — the tactics of the Great War will 
be as out-of-date as if it had been fought in ancient 
times. War will be less an affair of men and more 
an affair of machines. The individual soldier with 
his rifle is almost a thing of the past. Even battle- 
fields, vast armies confronting each other in the same 
territory, belong to outworn methods. Invisible gases, 

330 



-\ 



WHAT SHALL PREVENT WAR? 

the suffocation of whole cities without noise, silent 
horrors of every kind, stealthy assaults by very few 
men armed with most potent powers, will be the new 
order. The forces of nature will be used more and 
more to supplant the muscular force of soldiers. Ray 
warfare is already the theme of militar>' study and 
experiment on a large scale. Light rays and heat 
rays are being trained to become allies of Mars. The 
old heroic manner of man fighting man will be largely 
done away; warfare will become world murder, with 
nature as accomplice — if nothing happens to prevent. 

Germ warfare had already made its appearance 
before the recent war closed its main phase, but it was 
still in a crude stage. Wells were poisoned, cholera 
and typhus germs were let loose, women who carried 
disease were early recognized as capable of great use- 
fulness against an enemy. But all this was very crude. 

Things were done wbich the common people of 
very few of the nations would have approved. No 
nation, no government ever felt it safe during the re- 
cent war to take its people into its^ confidence even on 
matters that the enemy knew full well. All through 
the war and even today the only people who do noi 
know the whole truth about the war — not the diplo- 
matic or political truth, but the truth about the actual 
conduct of the fighting itself — are the people who 
stood the brunt of it all. 

The people don't know the truth about war con- 
tracts, about war profits, about the connection of gov- 
ernment ehiployes with private business, about the 
"inside" group that really ran things — the people don't 
know any of the truth, and no government has ever 
dared to let them know. 

There are people making money out of war today. 
Millions are being minted out of blood and suffering 
this very minute. There is enough war tinder lying 
about to kindle the whole fire again — if nothing pre- 
vents. 

What is there to prevent? Nothing, except the 
people's Will. But they must exert that Will. 

You do not have to speculate about what the people 
will do : you are one of them — judge by yourself. Ten 
chances to one you yourself are thinking this moment 

331 



FORD IDEALS 

that it is a waste of time to talk about war and peace. 
"The war is over," you say, and let it drop at that. 
But is War over? That is the question. Is War 
over? 

War is not over. It never will be over until peace 
actually is more than a sentiment and becomes a 
program. 

Nothing but the Will to Peace of the people can 
put an end to war. Nothing but that. You may have 
everything else, but if you lack that, War is still 
possible. 

The world had a Peace Palace at The Hague; it 
did not have the Will to Peace in the people ; therefore 
war came. Suppose we have a League of Nations, a 
World Court, a Parliament of Man. We ought to 
have it. We have the opporttmity of getting it now. 
But, without the Will to Peace, without a strong set 
toward peace as an ideal, a League of Nations would 
be of as little consequence as was the Belgian treaty. 

Paper can only hold ink. But \ht Will of the 
People for Peace can hold back every warlike force 
in the world. 

This is not an academic question. But no doubt 
it is so regarded. It begins to seem as if peace will 
have to make as hard a fight as if there had been no 
Great War at all. 

One point is important just now: the world this 
moment is doing more for war preparedness than for 
peace preparedness. Does that concern yoii now? If 
not, it will later. 



332 



The County Fair 



THERE is one American institution not provided 
for in the Constitution of the United States which 
could command the votes of all of us if it required 
them — and that institution is the County Fair. At this 
season of the year it begins to emerge in a gorgeous 
array of colored lithographs, with promises of "better, 
bigger, best" liberally sprinkled over them, and 
adorned with scenes of grain field and pasture land. 
The very air, as autumn comes on, is redolent of the 
soil and the harvest. 

Town and Country meet at the County Fair, or 
State Fair, in a manner and under auspices that can- 
not be equaled. And anyone who has observed the 
efforts — ^the deliberate efforts — made of recent years 
to divide Town and Country and provoke antagonism 
between them, knows how necessary such a meeting is. 

It is natural that the Country should be interested 
in the Fair, because the Fair is first and foremost an 
exhibition of Farming skill and progress. Men in the 
same business like to compare results, and that is 
how the idea of a Fair began. In Fair-Time the 
year's work is mostly done; its results are fairly ap- 
parent, and it is possible to pass a verdict on it all. 
Choice grains, fruits, vegetables; the choice of flock 
and herd and dairy — ^these are brought together for 
the judgment of the farming community. The do- 
mestic side of farming is represented too— choice 
quiltings, embroideries, and the handiwork of the 
women of the farm. 

If you go to any one of the little one-day Fairs 
held in the mountains of Vermont you will see this 
institution in its pristine simplicity — a Fair where 
there is nothing to sell, but where the choice of the 
hills has been turned out to show. There is nothing 
elaborate about it, but everything you see has come 
from the hills. The exhibits are not large, but behind 
each of them is the home-farm, and you can read 

333 



FOKO IDEALS 



everywhere, in the legible writing of life, whatever 
the hardships or whatever the successes have been. 
There are Fairs and Fairs, and many famous ones, but 
it is in the little Fairs of the Eastern United States, 
where families still come behind ox-teams, and where 
a crate of chickens brought for exhibition gains free 
admittance for the whole family, that you see the Fair 
as it was in the beginning. 

But Fair-Time is money-time on the Farm, and 
therefore was added a commercial element by which 
the Farmer and the Manufacturer were brought in 
touch with each other. That is to say, the Fair be- 
came hospitable and widened its borders so that the 
Town could come in and exhibit its year's progress 
too. And so it comes that when we have wandered 
up and down the long rows of well-washed sheep, 
and have listened to the pleasant laughter of the chil- 
dren where the little pigs delight them, and have 
emerged from the noisy shed where the chickens are 
displayed, and have passed in admiration past the big 
box stalls where glossy horses nuzzle the caressing 
hands of passers-by, and have breathed the aroma of 
the fruit exhibit and observed the clever manner in 
which the grain display has been arranged — we are 
drawn away toward the clatter of the threshing ma- 
chine, the ditch digger, the farm tractor, and other 
impressive exhibits which warn each succeeding Fair 
crowd that the day when the Farmer had to work like 
his horse is past, and the day when the Farmer may 
become an engineer is here. 

The old single-beam plow, the old windmill, the 
old method of harvesting by hand, all the old ways 
which broke men's backs and burdened women's hearts 
— ^they look very pleasant in pictures and they were 
very romantic in fiction; but they were often cruelly 
hard on flesh and blood. We shall never be able to 
thank the old-time farmer for his devotion and his 
toil. 

But that day is passing, it is passing before our 
eyes. Farming in the old style is rapidly fading into 
a picturesque memory. The benefits of modem in- 
vention and standardized manufacture are being 
heaped upon the Farmer with a plenitude which makes 



334 



THE COUNTY FAIR 



Up for its too long delay. This does not mean that 
work is going to be removed from the Farm. Work 
cannot be removed from any life that is productive. 
But Power-Farming does mean this — Drudgery is go- 
ing to be removed from the Farm, Power-Farming 
is simply taking the burden off flesh and blood and 
putting it on steel. 

Farming, of course, has advanced. Time was 
when men dug with their fingers the hole where the 
seed was planted, and pulled the crop by hand. There 
was an era of Hand-Farming. 

Then came the time of Tool-Farming. The plow 
supplanted the spade; the disk took the hoe's place, 
and the harrow the rake's. The drill lifted the seed- 
bag off the farmer's shoulder. The threshing machine 
put the flail into the discard. The mower retired the 
scythe and grain cradle. No one can deny that Tool- 
Farming made great strides. 

But it was still the Farmer whose muscle and 
nerve made the tools go. The Farmer does not need 
new tools so much as he needs Power to make the 
tools go. And thus we are in the opening years of 
the Era of Power-Farming. The motor car has 
wrought a revolution in modern Farm Life not be- 
cause it was a vehicle, but because it had Power. 

That is what the noise of machinery on the Fair 
Ground means. It means that Power-Farming is 
coming in. Power-Farming is using motors instead 
of men's muscles, machine speed instead of the droop- 
ing gait of the tired man or horse. Power-Farming 
is the magic of modern mechanics whereby the element 
of Drudgery is extracted from Work. 

So Town and Country meet at the Fair, the one 
to see the fruits of the fields, the other to see the 
fruits of the factories. Both serve each other. The 
trouble is that they do not serve each other more di- 
rectly. There are too many interests squeezing in 
between them. There is too big a tax or toll exacted 
on the exchange between them. 

It would be a good thing if we could add a third 
section to our Fairs — a section where large groups of 
city people could meet with large groups of country 
people, discuss their problems together, and make 

335 



FORD IDEALS 



trade arrangements direct. Suppose 100 families liv- 
ing on Block 9, Smith avenue, should say to Farmer 
Johnson, "We want you to be our farmer. We, 100 
families, will guarantee you a straight direct sale for 
all your produce." What would be the result? Farmer 
Johnson would get more from those people than from 
the men with whom he now deals, and he could sell 
to the city people for less than they have to pay now. 
Both would make money, and neither would be at the 
mercy of artificially created market conditions. Only 
a "bad year," that is, an act of Nature, could affect 
the arrangement. 

Frank judges would probably say that of the two 
classes who meet at the Fair, the farmer has the better 
of it. He may look toward the Town and sometimes 
envy the things which City Folk have and he has not. 
But something must be allowed for illusion. Things 
are not always what they seem. City Folk have many, 
many things that are not desirable at all, and, strangely 
enough, these are usually the very things which give 
glamour to the city. The city has nothing worth while 
that the Country has not, or cannot have if it will. 
It is too bad tha,t the City shines so gloriously from 
afar in the eyes of the young people of the Farm. 
If they could only see the City as it really is, they 
would thank the good fortune that brought them to. 
birth on a Farm. Many and many a boy and girl 
learns this bitterly. 

So we are all going to the Fair. Old and young, 
rich and poor, the city rube and the farmer, all are 
going to the Fair. And you will notice one very sig- 
nificant thing: the fruits, the grains, the fowl, the 
cattle which are produced where Power-Farming is 
practiced, are just as flavorous, just as nutritious, just 
as "country" — in short, just as natural as Nature 
herself ; only, they are more plentiful, and the Power- 
Farming family will look much more natural, because 
now they have more leisure for self-development, more 
time to grow, more money to aid their happiness. 



336 



The Old Ways Were Good 



ONE of the American poets has a line which runs 
somewhat like this — "All of good the past hath 
had, remains to make our own time glad." He prob- 
ably had his own special thought about that fact when 
he wrote the words, and being a poet it is quite likely 
that some aspects of the truth, or illustrations of it, 
did not occur to him. But the heart of any great ut- 
terance, the quality that makes it live, is its element of 
truth. And many a truth is uttered, the full meaning 
of which is not comprehended by him to whom it is 
given to utter it. There is a prophetic element in 
truth — ^the future keeps fulfilling it. 

If you begin even at so common a point as house 
furnishing, the poet's line still holds good. There was 
something about the old-fashioned furniture that not 
only satisfied the demand of utility but also satisfied 
the eye. The old chairs were not only strong and 
comfortable, but because they were that they were 
graceful also. They were pleasant to look upon as 
well as rest upon. They became "old-fashioned" in 
the eyes of a succeeding generation, and were displaced 
by strange designs which were often neither useful 
nor ornamental. But now, do you notice, they are 
coming back, the old-fashioned rocking chairs, the 
old-fashioned straight chairs, the old-fashioned sofas 
and the old-fashioned tables. And for no other rea- 
son than that they satisfy better than the new fash- 
ioned ones. 

This is perhaps more generally noticeable in the 
return of fireplaces. It was once the fashion to board 
up the fireplaces in old-fashioned homes and "paper" 
over the space. Stoves were all the style. Stoves, of 
course, are useful, but people like to see the fire. 
Children love to see "eyes of fire" shining through the 
sliding front doors of the kitchen cookstove. Adults 
like the sight of fire in the old-fashioned "self-feeder," 
now rechristened the "base-burner." 

337 



FORD IDEALS 

But none of these satisfy like the free leaping 
flames of the fireplace, and it is becoming quite the 
custom in many parts to build even the smaller homes 
with fireplaces. Our contact with fire is about the 
only natural contact we can keep in our city life. Fire 
is elemental. Fire is common to the earth beneath 
and the stars and sun above. We feel united again 
to the natural order in the presence of domestic fire. 
Simply to look at it — ^how it draws our gaze, how it 
fascinates us into dreams and visions ! 

There is a passage in the Bible which says all this 
in a few words : "I am warm ; I have seen the fire.*' 
The very sight of fire, domestic fire, is comfortable 
both to the spirit and the body. The fireplace is com- 
ing back because it is one of the good things of the 
past which the present is not willing to let disappear. 

It is so with wheels. In the earlier days everyone, 
or nearly every family, had its own conveyance. It 
was so much a necessity, a family necessity, that no 
one thought of it as a luxury. Animals were cheap, 
conveyances were easily constructed. 

Then with the invention of steam transportation 
and the growth of cities, individual conveyances began 
to decrease in number, so much so that in England 
the term "gigman," or a man who owned a gig, was 
descriptive of aristocracy. Until a few years ago 
everyone, except a comparative few in the whole popu- 
lation, traveled by train or street car. And although 
the railway did a great deal toward diminishing the 
greater distances, it tended to increase the lesser dis- 
tances.. The intercommunication of the community 
was decreased. People could not so easily get about 
their immediate environment. It became difficult even 
to cross the space of a city. Wheels for local convey- 
ance became fewer and fewer. 

But once more the world is on wheels, and it will 
never get off them again. Individual and family trans- 
portation is not only a nation-wide but a world-wide 
fact. Instead of there being less wheels under per- 
sonal direction in the future, there will be more and 
better ones. What the past found good and necessary, 
the present is finding good and necessary, and it will 
be the same in the future. 

339 



THE OLD WAYS WERE GOOD 

So, you could go through the whole round of daily 
living and find the old things coming back. We are 
even going back to the use of water power to a greater 
extent than ever our forbears did. It may be that 
we shall some time find many of the old-time domestic 
arts return to the household. What an influence for 
good it would have on trade at large if the households 
of the land learned again what constitutes good qual- 
ity in clothing and food. We are being clothed with 
shoddy because we do not know how to identify good 
quality in the goods we buy. Our mothers could run 
their fingers over a piece of cloth and tell to the thread 
what constituted it. They were good buyers because 
they knew material qualities. But since the house- 
hold arts have disappeared, we are at the mercy of 
the adulterator in foods and fabrics and other manu- 
factured materials. Who knows but that the spinning 
wheel may yet return alongside the fireplace, the old 
settle, and the family conveyance? Who knows but 
that the family bake oven will return also? One thing 
is quite clear, if there were more of the art of baking 
bread in the land, the price of bread would more 
nearly conform to the price of wheat than it does now. 
But this phase of return to the old ways awaits a 
period of invention which will put at the disposal of ' 
the housewife the same improvements which have 
come to pass in other fields. We may yet see con- 
trivances appear which will make the household more 
a self-sustaining community than it now is. Con- 
trivances that shall separate the work from the drudg- 
ery will revolutionize the work of housekeeping, as 
they have done in other fields. 

One former practice ought to come back at once, 
and that is the good old-fashioned habit of providing 
for the winter. All-the-year-round industrialism has 
had a tendency to make us an improvident folk in this 
regard. The fervor of the old-time Thanksgiving 
arose from the fact that men could see their winter 
provisions ahead of them. They had a feeling of 
snugness and security. The woodpiles were ample, 
the cellar was stored with the substantial necessities 
of life. There was no dread of the ordinary prevent- 
able lacks of supply. 

339 



FORD IDEALS 



/ 



It would seem that this practice is well worth re- 
storing and preserving. It is an undeniable fact that 
although we live in cities, although we have largely 
left the agricultural field, we are still affected by the 
seasons, just as it is true that although we have prac- 
tically abolished night from our cities, we are still af- 
fected by the night. Civilization has not abolished 
winter in the least, only a few of its physical dis- 
comforts. 

We should be approaching the winter in a better 
frame of mind if we could think of all the families of 
the country as well provided against their winter 
needs. If we could feel today, in looking abroad on 
our country and the world, that like the bees and the 
squirrels, the families of the earth had kept winter 
in mind all through the allurements ta summer ex- 
travagance, and had fortified themselves against the 
slackness and needs of winter, it would generate a 
spirit of thankfulness which would be entirely purged 
of selfishness and would itself constitute a hymn of 
happiness. 

The old ways were not so foolish after all. They 
met the old necessities, and the old necessities are with 
us yet. Life is a business to be managed, and a great 
many people are "poor managers." This is not be- 
cause they cannot be anything else, but simply be- 
cause they have not grasped the idea that life is to 
be managed. The home is a little corporation in itself 
and needs something of the wise foresight, the wise 
repression of unprofitable impulses which keep other 
institutions solvent and afloat. 

The old industry, the old thrift, the old preference 
of the necessary rather than the unnecessary, will help 
bring back something of the old material security. 



340 



It Is Imperfect — But It Works 



IF YOU take our present social system and set it 
down as a diagram on paper, as the various re- 
formers do with their social schemes, you will dis- 
cover a curious thing — ^you will discover that the 
present system of society is utterly impossible, it will 
not work. Yet it does work! As you diagram it, it 
would seem to contradict itself at every step, it would 
seem to be the most unbalanced and ill- jointed and 
incoherent entity that anyone could conceive. Yet 
here it is, and it answers certain ends. 

On the other hand, if you take Bolshevism or any 
of the other various forms of socialism, and put them 
upon paper in diagram form, you will iapparently have 
before you the perfect scheme of a perfect society, 
and you may be easily convinced that it will work. It 
seems plain that it must work. Thousands of people, 
viewing the diagram, are thoroughly persuaded that 
it cannot help but work. Nothing remains to do but 
start it! Yet, the curious and disillusioning fact is 
that it does not work. 

That is one of the strangest discoveries we can 
make: the utterly impossible thing goes; the appar- 
ently perfect thing fails. Make a diagram of social 
and economic life in the United States, and you would 
be ready to say, "Impossible!" Make a diagram of 
Bolshevist social theory, and you would probably be 
ready to say, "How practical, perfect and desirable !" 
Yet life in the United States goes on securely, while 
Russia, except, to a few grafters, is a nearer approach 
to hell than was ever witnessed on this planet. Any 
Bolshevist who has had a full taste of Bolshevism as 
it is, will tell you so. 

So many things are clumsy, stupid and imperfect ; 
and so many offered substitutes are clever, logical and 
alluring, that it grows to be a wonder why the im- 
perfect thing lasts and why the apparently perfect 
thing does not take its place. 

341 



FORD IDEALS 



The reason seems to be a deep-set instinct of hu- 
manity that paper-plans may be all right on paper, 
but society is an organism, society is a process, a life, 
a growth, which cannot be laid out on a blueprint, any 
more than a soul can be diagramed. 

There is little chance of an intelligent people 
running wild with the ftmdamental processes of eco- 
nomic life. Most men know they cannot get some- 
thing for nothing. Most men feel, even if they do 
not know, that money is not wealth. The ordinary 
theories which promise everything to everybody, and 
demand nothing fronv anybody, are promptly denied 
by the instincts of the ordinary man, even when his 
mind does not form reasons against them. He knows 
that they are wrong, and that is enough. 

But that does not dispose of the other fact that the 
present order, always clumsy, often stupid, and in 
many ways imperfect, can work along as well as it 
does. Admitting that it is not a perfect order by any 
means, it still has this advantage over the others — it 
works. To be sure, this is a fact in its favor, but it is 
not a fact which cannot be true of any other order. 
Doubtless this order will merge by degrees into an- 
other, and the new one will work also, not so much by 
reason of what it is, but by reason of what men will 
bring into it. 

The reason why Bolshevism did not work, and 
cannot work, is not economic at all. It doesn't mat- 
ter whether industry is privately managed or socially 
controlled; it doesn't matter whether you call the 
workers* share "wages'* or "dividends"; it doesn't 
matter whether you regimentalize the people as to 
food and clothing or shelter, or whether you allow 
them to eat what they like, wear what they like and 
live where they like. These are mere matters of de- 
tail. The incapacity of the Bolshevik leaders is indi- 
cated by the fuss they made over such details. 

No, the reason for Bolshevism's failure is its de- 
liberate ignoring of common morality and human na- 
ture. Human nature is addicted to moral revolts, but 
it never respects a system that depends upon the moral 
revolt being constant. There are conditions under 
which every man will steal, but not even the confirmed 

342 



IT IS IMPERFECT — BUT IT WORKS 

thief respects the system that drives everyone to 
thievery. Bolshevism has exacted the greatest sacri- 
fice ever demanded of a people — the sacrifice of their 
essential morality and the sacrifice of their former 
freedom. It was a great price, a price worthy of a 
great return. But there will be no return. Why? 

There is no truth and sincerity, therefore there 
can be no mental or moral strength. These things go 
together. Bolshevism does not know it. You may 
change social methods as much as you please ; as long 
as the earth gives her yield, and as long as men are 
sincere, a satisfactory form of life will be possible. 
The trouble with perfect social diagrams is that they 
assume the control of men who are destitute of the 
moral sense, and who have no conception of the depths 
and heights of common human nature. 

That is the explanation of the operation of our 
own social system as at present constituted. Wrong? 
— of course it is wrong, at a thousand points ! Clumsy ? 
of course it is clumsy; reminiscent of the Dark Ages 
at a hundred points ! By all right and reason it ought 
to break down. Why doesn't it? Because it is in- 
stinct with certain economic and moral fundamentals. 
That is the reason. 

The economic fundamental is, of course, labor. 
Labor is the human element which makes the faithful 
seasons of the earth useful to men. It is men's labor 
that makes the harvest what it is. That is the eco- 
nomic fundamental ; every one of us is working with 
material which we did not and could not create, but 
which was presented to us by nature. 

The moral fundamental is, of course, -men's rights 
in their labor. This is variously stated. It is some- 
times called "the right of property." It is sometimes 
masked in the command, "Thou shalt not steal." It 
is the other man's rights in his property that makes 
stealing the crime that it is. When a man has earned 
his bread, he has rights in that bread. If another 
steals it, he steals more than bread; he makes an in- 
vasion of sacred human rights. 

Now, there is just enough of the presence of these 
two fundamentals to enable society to continue after 
a fashion and to yield the fruits of life to an increasing 

343 



FORD IDEALS 



number of people. The majority of people work. 
Of course there are some who do not, but they have 
been so small a minority that they do not affect the 
whole. Property rights are acknowledged to a large 
extent. Not to the full, perhaps, b^t sufficiently to 
keep the social scheme intact and working. 

"Not to the full," has just been said, but surely 
nearer the full than to total denial of rights. The 
scale will show that progress has been made more 
than half way, at the very least ; yes, very much more 
than half way; and, what is better, moving toward 
the "full" all the time. You know, all there is to di- 
vide is what we altogether create. What we together 
create is distributed, that is, pretty well divided al- 
ready; if it were not there would be no commerce. 
The contention seems to be as to whether the rewards 
have been divided. And regardless of differing atti- 
tudes as to this, the fact remains that here too the 
scale is rising toward the "full." 

So that is what keeps our society afloat. Clumsy 
as it seems when put on paper, it has that saving 
essence within it — ^an essence compounded of industry 
and morality. You cannot build society without mor- 
ality any more than you can build a span of broken 
planks. Indeed, what represents tensile strength in 
the social world is just this thing we call morality-^ 
no society is stronger than its moral conceptions, and 
when you seek the caliber of a society's moral concep- 
tions you look at the security of the rights of property 
among them — ^the rights of the individual in himself 
and in the products of his labor. 



344 



A New Year 



IT IS a New Year, but there will be an astonishing 
number of old things about it. Its newness is un- 
deniable, but its iamiliar lines are unmistakable. One 
would find it not an easy task to separate the newness 
from the oldness during the year. Yet the Year itself 
is new. Every experience that shall befall us during 
its 52 weeks, will also be new. It may be familiar, 
known, but still it will be new. Life is made up of a 
repetition of similar experiences, with now and then 
an unfamiliar one to stand out as a landmark. 

It is a new cycle of time. A new breath, as it 
were, woven in the Loom, raw material of which to 
make what we will. That — ^the time cycle — ^at least 
so far as we are concerned, is new. 

But it is raw material. The fully made-up year is 
the finished product. What it may be like we have 
just had the opportunity to see. A made-up year has 
just passed out of the Time-factory, to take its place 
among the other 1919 years of this era. 

It is not a particularly flattering product, the year 
we have just finished. Stand it up, turn it around, and 
examine it, and it doesn't stand scrutiny very well. It 
appears to be decidedly amateurish and very much 
botched. In no single particular is it standardized. 
There are spots here and there upon it which would 
seem to indicate that moments came to the makers 
when they really had an idea of making Something — 
but then they seem to have resumed their aimless put- 
tering again. 

No ; as we look at the year upon which history has 
just affixed the label "1920" we are not willing that it 
should serve as a sample year. It isn't good enough. 

The reason is, of course, simple to understand. 
The human race has not been very long in the business 
of Year-Making. There are only 1920 credited to 
the production record of the Christian Era, and that 
is a comparatively small number. 

345 



FORD IDEALS 



"But after making 1920 years, a perfect year ought 
to be turned out now and then/' might appear to be a 
natural objection. 

That brings us to the "labor turnover." The same 
people have not been engaged in making the entire 
1920 years. There is an immense turnover of human- 
ity every generation. People appear on earth, pass a 
few careless apprentice years, and then seriously try — 
some of them — to do a man's work upon the making 
of the Years. But hardly have they learned the rudi- 
ments when a new shift comes, new and unaccustomed 
hands take up the work. The years run on, they come 
out precisely at the end of December on schedule time, 
but they do not show on their human side the marks of 
unity iand mastery. 

The year is after all but a small bit in the mosaic of 
the Age, and perhaps we shall be better able to judge 
it from a perspective which enables us to see the whole 
pattern; but even so, we are right in feeling that the 
whole mosaic of the age would be better, if each bit 
were better made. 

Inevitably, next December, we shall have to deliver 
to the Builder of the Age another year, and it is 
natural to wonder what it may turn out to be. 

What have we new about the year? Very little, 
except the time. That has never been used before, 
will never be used again. 

But the old things that troop along into the N.ew 
Year are very numerous. It is almost like the same 
old family moving into a new house; very little is 
changed after all. 

It is the same old Earth, for one thing. And that 
is a genuine benefit. We know what the Earth will 
do. We know what we can absolutely depend on it 
to do. That is a great saving of time, for, if this year 
the human race had to begin all over again and by 
careful and costly experiment find out the powers of 
the Earth, the year would be almost empty. 

But we know that the soil will radiate the sun's 
warmth in spring, that moisture and heat will create 
chemical conditions out of which man's food will 
come; we know that the earth will produce lumber 
and ores and material for clothing. We have learned 



346 



A NEW YEAR 



all that. It is no longer a question of anxious un- 
certainty. Take up a handful of soil; in it are the 
elements of food, clothing, shelter for all mankind. 

Then, we bring into the New Year the same old 
necessity of getting busy in order to set the soil doing 
for us the things we need. And it is remarkable, when 
you begin to put the soil to work, how many men 
you have to put to work too. If it is the era of "the 
man with the hoe," somebody has to make the hoe. 
And then somebody must take part of the product of 
the hoe's work to the man who helped make the hoe; 
and before you know it you have started the Great 
Sisterhood of Arts in motion — Agriculture, Manufac- 
ture, Transportation. 

It may be a better Agriculture — exchanging the 
hoe for a tractor; it may be a better Manufacture — 
exchanging the burden from men to machines ; it may 
be a better Transportation — cleaving the hand-drawn 
or ox-drawn cart for the motor vehicle on land or in 
air ; but in spite of improvements it is the same raising, 
making and carrying of what we need. It is work 
in its primary and essential forms. 

We are also taking with us into the New Year the 
old-fashioned rule that what a man earns is his own, 
and no one has the right to take it unjustly from him. 
It is a very good rule; without the stability it offers, 
society would be as impossible as agriculture would 
be if there were no certainty about the order of the 
seasons or the operations of nature. Many men try 
to change this rule; they want what another man has 
earned, and they want to take it in the name of "so- 
ciety." But people who have learned this funda- 
mental wisdom and justice of the relation between 
personal and property rights, never unlearn it. 

It would be very hopeful, however, if we could 
get some new things for the New Year. We begin 
work on 1921 under strange conditions. The Earth 
is just what it always was. Human needs, which are 
the mainspring of all activity, are just what they 
always were. Material and men, the essential com- 
ponents of civilization, are both here in abundance, 
and yet there is a stoppage of activity. 

Why? Because, ^parently, something has hap- 

347 



FORD IDEALS 



pened to-^what? To the soil? No. To men? No. 
To material resources ? No. But something has hap- 
pened to that quantity known as Money. They are 
making it "less" in the country, "contracting the cur- 
rency," they call it. They are trying to make money 
more nearly measure up with the gold. Why? Be- 
cause "they" have decreed that Gold is the basis of 
Money. 

There is not enough gold to go around. Even as 
a measure of wealth, there is not enough gold to equal 
in figures the actual wealth. There is not enough gold 
in existence to pay the interest on the war debts ac- 
cumulated by the nations during the last few cen- 
turies. To make business wait on gold is like mak- 
ing the passenger traffic of a main line dependent on 
the facilities of a local branch with one small train 
a day. If gold did the work it might be as acceptable 
as anything else ; but it doesn't. 

It would be a splendid thing if in 1921 some finan- 
cier, whose business is making prosperity instead of 
making money, should show us the way to avoid hav- 
ing business tied up for money, when all the ele- 
ments of business are here. Financiers have been 
very skillful in devising schemes which draw all the 
money to New York; now for a financier who shall 
devise a scheme to keep the money in the local com- 
munities where it is needed ! As long as we must have 
money, let us have it under a system where it helps 
instead of hinders, where it keeps men in their jobs 
instead of letting them out. Such a plan would make 
1921 a great year. It would help the millions who 
are not financiers, but who are always undef the pres- 
sure of our present financial system. 



348 



How It Will Be Solved 



WHEN men grew tired of waiting for the wind 
to blow, they invented something that would 
take its place. For sails they substituted steam en- 
gines. For windmills they substituted force pumps. 
There was no objection to the wind, but there was ob- 
jection to waiting for it. Men wanted something they 
could start themselves. They could light a fire in the 
steam engine and make things go. They could work 
the pump handle and keep water flowing. They could 
start things. 

That is really the mark of human progress, when 
men can start things going, without waiting for the 
usual natural currents to create a movement. Some 
men can think ; that is, they can start their mind work- 
ing, they can determine when and on what problem 
their mind shall go to work, quite regardless of mood 
or liking. But other men can only receive thoughts ; 
they are recipients, not projectors. Their minds are 
open stretches over which plays now cloud, now sun; 
they take what impressions they receive; their minds 
are sensitive plates, not creative dynamos. 

There has been a certain amount of control 
achieved in the material world, but until the same de- 
gree of control is achieved in the economic and so- 
cial world, we can hardly be said to have made 
progress. 

Men no longer wait for the wind to blow, but they 
"wait for business to start up again." 

Men no longer depend on the wind-driven pump, 
but they still wait for "things to take a turn." 

That is, in everything but mechanical power we 
are still in the primitive age of our fathers. We are 
still dependent on the whim of the wind. If it blows, 
we go; if it is calm, we stand still. We speak about 
"business" with something of the same tone of the 
inevitable that we use when speaking about the 
weather. Panics come like rainstorms, depression like 

349 



^ FOKD n^ALS 

cloudy days, prosperity like "a bright spell," for all 
that human beings can do with regard to controlling 
these things. 

The question is constantly becoming more and 
more pressing as to the amount of control that man- 
kind can exercise over these matters. 

As a matter of fact, the heart of the problem is 
just in that point. It is a human cause, whether you 
designate it ignorance or selfishness or what not — it 
is human. If it be mostly ignorance, the cure is in 
knowledge. If it be mostly selfishness, the cure is in 
social-mindedness. 

But the one point to be clear about is that the cause 
is in himianity and not in outer Nature. If the Earth 
had at any time failed, the basis of human society would 
have been wrecked beyond repair. But there have been 
seed time and harvest continuously, and though there 
have been local crop failures, never has a failure oc- 
curred that would have prevented the whole world 
being satisfied if transportation conditions had been 
equal to the need. The Earth has always yielded 
enough to feed the people on it; the Earth goes on 
doing it year by year. Even with Central China and 
Eastern Europe starving, there is still enough food 
on the earth to feed the entire human race. 

Now, we may use very high-sounding names to 
describe the activities which engage us during this 
life, but the one term which describes them all is 
**getting a living." And a living means food, clothing, 
shelter. Food means agriculture; clothing means 
manufacture ; all three mean transportation. The basis 
of all is the Earth ; it has never failed. 

And yet it cannot be denied that as long as man- 
kind regards its economic welfare as the effect of 
natural forces, now blowing toward prosperity and 
now toward depression, there is sufficient appearance 
of uncontrollable fate to give color to the supposition. 
If things are let alone to go down to zero, they do 
come back; and if things are left to rage along in a 
riot of prosperity with no thought of the future, they 
do come to a fall. There is just enough to justify man's 
lazy supposition that "if it's to be, it's to be" and 
nothing that he can do can change the result. 

350 



HOW IT WILL BE SOLVED 

There are economic laws, but who knows what 
they are? The bankers don't know. The men who 
would frame the laws so that a gold dollar would 
mean much more than a man's labor don't know. No- 
body whose interest is merely himself, whose sense of 
prosperity ends with his own position or business, can 
possibly know what economic laws are. And that ac- 
counts for the various rules set up for finance and 
industry — wholly artificial rules — which pass as 
"laws," but which break down with sufficient fre- 
quency to prove that they are not even good guesses. 

The basis of all economic reasoning is the Earth 
and its products. If these are present, you have the 
beginning. The process then becomes a simple use 
of what is on hand in order that it may reproduce 
itself in the necessities of life. To make the yield 
of the Earth, in all its forms, large enough and de- 
pendable enough to serve as the basis for real life, the 
life which is more than eating and sleeping, is the high- 
est service of any economic system. 

Now, just there is probably where the sprout of 
the next development is to be looked for. We can 
make things — why, the problem of production is one 
of the most brilliant instances of human ingenuity. We 
can make any number of different sort of things by 
the millions. The material side of our life is splen- 
didly provided for. There are enough processes and 
improvements now pigeonholed and awaiting applica- 
tion, to bring the physical side of life to almost mil- 
lennial completeness. 

Then what's the trouble? Principally this: if we 
had advanced to a type of life which was not mainly 
material (although, of course, it would necessarily 
rest on a material basis), then our interest would 
naturally center there, and our only interest in the 
underlying material and economic processes would be 
to see that they worked right. 

Just now, we are wrapped up in the things we are 
doing without being particularly concerned about the 
reasons why we do them. Our whole competitive sys- 
tem, our whole creative expression, all the play of our 
faculties are confined to one of the lower chambers 
of life, which is the chamber of material production 

351 



FORD IDEALS 



and its by-products of success and the going standard 
of wealth. And it is regarded by some very short- 
§ighted people as being to their interest that the pres- 
ent system never shall be perfect because it would in- 
terfere with the narrow scope of rivalry which is now 
afforded. It is perfectly plain why the outlook upon 
a standardized economic world should fill some people 
with dismay because of its dullness. 

No need as yet to fear the dullness of a world 
which is in perfect economic adjustment, for man- 
kind will never consent to perfect adjustment until he 
finds in a higher sphere the same outlet he now finds 
in the lower sphere. There was a time when part of 
man's business was to make fires, and keep making 
fires; making fires was a career to him. Then came 
the time when higher interests claimed him, and he 
wanted a fire that would bum of itself without both- 
ering him. Finally he put his fire downstairs in a 
furnace where he could not even see it and where it 
need not trouble him more than once a day. Lately 
he has been putting it farther away still, in a central 
power house where it doesn't bother him at all. And 
it is all the time becoming a more perfect fire. He 
has grown. He now wants only the products of the 
fire. He does not want imperfections in his fire to 
distract attention from his higher interests. 

Just so with mankind ; it will wholly solve the eco- 
nomic problem when it gets an interest higher than 
the economic problem. Any kind of life mankind may 
live needs bread. Therefore, in order to prevent the 
question of bread breaking into his higher interest, 
he will come to the point where he will agree that the 
whole bread question ought to be placed on a standard 
base. 



352 



Lining Up on Your 0>vn Side 



WE ARE on the very threshold of a new age. The 
dates are unimportant, for in the advance of the 
plan of the ages it is not the sharp-cut dates, but 
periods of time, that are important. Old things pass 
away in a fading-out process; new things gradually 
dawn. Only on looking backward do the people 
usually realize that "a great thing took place back 
there." Surprisingly few of the real turning points 
of the world come amid signs and wonders and people 
standing in awe of what is passing. In the minds of 
most, the War was the cataclysm, because it was noisy ; 
but something greater than the War, though much less 
clamorous, is in passage now. 

It is neither for man to help or hinder, but hold 
himself ready to do what is right, whatever may be 
the circumstances. When the age begins to turn, we 
are too late to stop it, for the causes thereof were set 
in motion long ago and are now invincible. Nor can 
we help the new age be born, because we are but 
creatures of months, and the new age is generations 
in process of formation. We can but will the Right, 
not for our particular race but religion or nationality, 
but the Universal Right, which harms none, and in 
which each finds its own fulfilment. ^ 

One of the principal human duties that devolve 
during periods of change is the duty of conscious al- 
legiance. What do you, as a personality and in your 
personality, stand for? And are you standing for it 
by standing with others who are standing for it? 
These are questions which are pressing home from 
many directions today. The bugles of Time are 
blowing "Assembly" and men are dividing themselves, 
each according to the moral-note within. 

It is not a question of allegiance to opinions or 
programs or philosophies ; it is a question of allegiance 
to moralities. A man may be hopelessly wrong in all 
his opinions, but if he is morally right, he is of the 

353 



FORD IDEALS 



Stuff of the continuing order of life. On the other 
hand a man may be perfectly correct in his opinions 
and knowledge, and yet everything he does may col- 
lapse and die because of moral anemia. In this time 
of change it is not a question of having the correct 
economic theory, it is a question of being loyal to the 
Right. Immoral or unmoral men never yet constructed 
an enduring social structure, nor enforced a single 
beneficial social change. 

This coming to conscious allegiance is not always 
a pleasant experience. Especially in this day when 
everybody is obsessed more or less with the idea of 
wanting to be a "good fellow," and when the flabby 
philosophy of "Boost" has reduced us to spongy 
masses of saccharine sweetness. 

Men have been taught to put even their moral con- 
victions in the background, indeed to possess no ob- 
structive moral convictions, in order that a false show 
of fellowship may be made. 

This fellowship has now fallen apart. It was based 
on nothing enduring. It had no meaning except a 
desire to escape the penalty for being "different," 
^yhich so many people fear. 

It is a time now when conscious allegiance costs 
something, for it will mean division, and the very first 
division must be between those who will be loyal to 
moral conviction and those who will not. And this, 
quite apart from the consideration of persons or ma- 
jorities. 

The country has had considerable experience lately 
in the lining up of majorities on questions like Peace 
and Temperance, and because the majority of the 
people always believe, as a matter of principle, in 
Peace and Temperance, it has been made to appear 
that moral allegiance is always just that easy. It is 
not. The line-up, impressive as it was, has brought 
us neither Peace nor Temperance; and no such easy, 
popular line-up ever will. 

The majority of the people are naturally straddlers. 
They are not in the world to pioneer but to be as 
happy as possible. If pioneering in a cause brings 
discomfort, they would rather not. If Truth and Er~ 
ror meet in combat before their gaze, they would 

354 



LINING UP ON YOUR OWN SIDE 

rather wait and see which proves the stronger. They 
may have a lazy faith that Truth at last will win, but 
it may not be the time as yet, and they do not wish 
to lend a premature support. 

And yet majorities are essential, not to the truth, 
but to the acknowledgment of the truth ; and minori- 
ties are essential to the fructifying of majorities. The 
majority is the sodden dough, the minority the yeast; 
it is the yeast that changes the character of the dough 
to something better. Majorities are the position to 
be taken, as it were, and sometimes Truth takes it, and 
sometimes Error. 

The natural tendency to straddling inheres in most 
people, and the exceptions to this tendency are not al- 
ways praiseworthy. There are those who are merely 
contrary, because they like it ; others are contrary be- 
cause moral allegiance compels them. The majority 
wants to know if this thing cannot be amicably settled. 

No! It cannot be settled. There are some op- 
posites in the world that shall never be reconciled. 
There are some programs that shall never be har- 
monized. There are some wars which must continue 
until one side is exterminated. And that is what 
frightens some people. They want to be happy ; they 
want to live and let live; they do not want to be 
bothered. They want leave to enjoy the world as it 
is, and if there are those who would improve the 
world, let them do so, but not in a way that interferes 
with the present schedule. 

It is not hard or hardened men that the world 
needs, but men of moral hardiness who possess spir- 
itual backbones. Men to whom the palliatory "per- 
haps" comes too easily, who are so impressed with 
the idea of "relativity" that they seek refuge in a 
near-vacuum', are men who are lacking in moral gristle. 
An Idea may be very valuable to them, but they are 
of no value to the Idea. And the world advances only 
as Ideas gather believing men about them. 

It is a time of taking sides. There is a growing 
pressure to that end. Whether men desire it or not, 
the time is rapidly approaching when they will be 
counted on one side or another. In this country, at 
least, it may be expected that the majority will finally 

355 



FORD IDEALS 

line up on the right side, but it will be an impressed 
majority — impressed by the force without in alliance 
with the still small voice within. 

To take sides is not to exhibit prejudice. That is 
where many people mistake. The men who are freest 
from any taint of prejudice are those who have taken 
sides with their convictions, and stand there as sen- 
tinels and defenders. 

If you want to know where the prejudice in the 
world lurks, look where there is no taking of sides, 
where everybody is trying to pretend that there is 
nothing to take sides about. That is where you will 
find most of the world's prejudice. 
^ A man who has taken sides is thereby freed from 

prejudice. His step is open, frank, straightforward. 
His energies are free to flow naturally. But a man 
who fears to take a side finds prejudice grow within 
him like a cancer; it grows from the irritation of an 
unexpected antagonism in conflict with an unexpressed 
allegiance. It is suppression. 

However, the movement has set in, and will be 
complete before the old era completely passes and the 
new begins. Everyone will have to take his own side. 
It is not too early now for everyone to begin to ponder 
on which side he really belongs, and whether, morally 
belonging to that side, he has the moral hardihood to 
give that side what belongs to it. 



356 



V 



Change Is Not Always 
Progress 



STRONG efforts have been made to fasten upon 
the public mind the belief that newness and 
change spell progress. A state of mind has been gen- 
erated in which the mere statement, "Oh, that is the 
way they did it years ago,'* is considered sufficient to 
condemn anything. A fever of newness has been ev- 
erywhere confused with the spirit of progress. 

For many years the learned men who were sup- 
posed to know more than anyone else about social 
tendencies, were of the opinion that there were mys- 
terious seasons and wind currents in human life, and 
that these accounted for almost everything, but that 
these seasons were as unalterable and these wind cur- 
rents as uncontrollable as those of the natural world. 

This idea has largely passed away. Most of the 
manifestations which we see in human life today have 
been started and promoted by people who know ex- 
actly what they want and how to get it. Many of the 
so-called "social tendencies" are just as much invented 
and controlled by human wills as is the organization 
of a grocery store or an oil stock company. 

Last year men wore hats of a certain color, a cer- 
tain shape, a certain material. One year the tone is 
brown, the next year green. One year the material 
is velours, the next year felt. One year a slouchy, 
rakish form is affected, the next year a shape at once 
free and neat. 

Why green hats last year? Was it just an unex- 
plainable fancy of the public that it wanted the color 
green to predominate that year ? Of course not. The 
public had nothing to say until the hats came on the 
market. And those who placed the hats on the mar- 
ket had determined a year before what the people 
should wear. It was a promotion scheme. If you are 
in the right circles it is possible for you to get a pretty 

357 



FORD IDEALS 

accurate idea of what the crowds on our streets will 
look like for several years in the future. These are 
matters of engineering, not of free taste and tendency. 

The reasons, of course, are commercial. Hats are 
no better than they ever were ; materially they are not 
as good, except when special prices are paid. The 
purpose is that a man shall buy several hats a year — 
four or five. It is not planned that any of them shall 
last over the year. In case, however, the quality does 
outlast the year, the style is changed, and that, of 
course, with people who are easily influenced, puts a 
perfectly good hat out of commission. 

So that the basis of more than one line of business, 
involving vast quantities of material and human en- 
ergy, is built not upon the durability of that material 
and the serviceability of that labor, but only upon 
the decree of some interested parties that this is "old" 
and that is "new." 

Next to the fiction that gold is wealth, this fiction 
of "style" is one of the most potent devices for rob- 
bing the public purse. Both fictions originated with 
and are propagated by the same groups and for the 
same purposes. 

These remarks are only illustrative of what now 
follows: There is just as deliberate a plan to flood 
the popular mind with changed ideas, and thus bring 
it into a condition where it will not think anyibing 
that is not "new," and where it can easily be led away 
from any truth that may perchance be labelled "old." 

This course is most successful among those who 
do not think — and whether these are a majority or a 
minority is left to the reader's own observation and 
judgment. 

The effect, however, is harmful, and in time will 
prove ruinous. The jack-in-the-box thinker is not im- 
pressive simply because his utterance belongs to 
today instead of yesterday. Ever)rthing we have is 
yesterday's, even to the bread we eat — ^which is liter- 
ally last year's; and even to the political ideals we 
share — which are literally last century's, and earlier. 
We are not such "smart folks" as we think we are. 
The world today is full of the soimd of crashing fail- 
ures built on fresh, upstart theories. The trouble with 

358 



CHANGE IS NOT ALWAYS PROGRESS 

US today is that we have been unfaithful to the White 
Man's traditions and privileges. We hav« permitted 
a corrupt orientalism to overspread us, sapping our 
courage and demoralizing our ideals. There has al- 
ways been a White Man's Code, and we have failed 
to follow it. It is natural for those outside the White 
Man's tradition to inVent their destructive devices and 
ideas, but it is unnatural for the White Man to fall an 
easy victim to them. 

Capital and labor are apart today, in spite of the 
natural tendency of the White Man's Code to bring 
them together, because an oriental idea has been 
thrust in between them for the poisoning of both. 

The White Man's Code has always been to "do 
things"; the accomplishment of useful results is his 
highest satisfaction. For that reason the White Man 
has been throughout history pre-eminently the Doer. 
But an orientalism has crept in under cover of a social 
discovery, which has proved progressively destructive 
of everything it has touched — ^the professions, man- 
agement and industries. 

Industrial leaders have been poisoned to the ex- 
tent that some of them look on their industries as 
"money makers," instead of plow-makers, or chair- 
makers, or clothing-makers. That is the new code: 
"Get the money." If you can get the money quicker 
by destroying the business, then destroy the business ! 

Professional life has also been infected with the 
same idea. Lawyers once had clients and doctors 
patients: now they have "customers." It is a sad 
drop, but it is precisely the condition desired by the 
orientalists who are busy injecting "new ideas" into the 
public mind today. 

In industry, the man who still takes pride in his 
day's work, who really looks for satisfaction in the 
labor of his hands, is rated by his fellows as a "boob." 
He is a "back number." Even the American boy 
coming into life no longer believes that merit counts 
for anything; he is inoculated by the oriental virus 
which causes him to pull back, remain sullen and 
stupid, and give as little as he can. 

At Ellis Island where formerly the immigrant used 
to come with shining eyes and hopeful heart, what 

359 



FORD IDEALS 

do we now see? A horde of people who have been 
systematically educated beforehand in the thought that 
the United States is "a capitalistic country/' not to be 
enjoyed but to be destroyed; and the very first lit- 
erature put into their hands on American soil con- 
veys the same idea. We read a great many touching 
stories in fiction papers about the hopefulness and 
longing of the immigrant. The immigrants we have 
been getting for several years have no hopes nor 
dreams : they have a program. 

All of these things come from the same source — a 
subtle orientalism that is breaking down the rugged 
directness of the White Man's Code. 

We ought to go back to it. The type that made 
this country is still here, but its backbone needs stiffen- 
ing. It needs to hear the call of its own race. It needs 
to seal its ears against the false cry of "Peace, Peace, 
when there is no peace." That which we used to re- 
cite in the village school — ^* Eternal Vigilance Is the 
Price of Liberty,'* is more than a saying, it is a Truth ; 
and its truth is being proved now, when Liberty is 
slipping away because of our lack of vigilance, not 
only, but our impatience with anything that requires 
vigilance. 

The White Man's . Code has three main points : 
Square Dealing; Fear of God and Absolute Fearless- 
ness of Man ; Unrelenting Vigilance. 

These three points, if practiced today, would cleanse 
our country of every lurking foe. And the practice 
of the last point would keep it clean. 



360 



In Bondage to a Reputation 



IT IS not with the distinction between reputation 
and character that this page deals today, although 
that distinction may well be kept in mind during 
its perusal. Reputation is what people think a man 
is; character is what he really is. Usually reputation 
and character go along hand in hand; what people 
think a man is, he is very likely to be ; but not always. 
There are just a sufficient number of differences be- 
tween men's reputations and characters, to make a 
sweeping statement impossible, except to emphasize the 
distinction. 

One distinction not often thought of is this: the 
people make a man's reputation ; the man himself makes 
his character. Reputation is repute. Repute is just 
what the people think over and over again; a repeti- 
tion of thought, a multiplication of opinion. It is clear, 
then, that reputation is something the people give to 
a man. He himsjelf, of course, must be sufficiently 
active or interesting or important to give the initial 
impulse to their thought; but, after all, it is their 
thought that paints his public portrait. 

The public makes mistakes. It must have its devils 
and its angels, and its devils must be very bad, even 
as its angels must be very good. The hankering of 
the public after a good man to believe in is very pa- 
thetic. Being too wise to have anything to do with 
God, they set up a statesman, a philanthropist, a pub- 
lic benefactor of any kind, and then they begin to 
weave about him a romantic robe of dreams until he 
becomes a cross between Santa Claus and Gabriel. 

No man is ever so good as the public wants its 
good idols to be; and no man is ever so bad as the 
public wants its bad idols to be. The reason is that 
the public gives repute, and not the man himself. 

Reputation is, of course, an important point, but 
it is not of first importance. A man who is always 
careful of his reputation usually has not much to spare. 

361 



FORD IDEALS 



Reputations are such partial things anyway. Here 
is a man who has a reputation for ready wit. An- 
other, during some retentive period of his mental life, 
stored up much knowledge of the sort which quickly 
turns to attic lumber — he has a reputation for learn-^ 
ing. Another, because of, some act performed in a 
moment of indignation, gets the reputation of being 
quick-tempered or courageous. Another, a normal 
man, not self-centered, but living free in mind and 
body, does for a friend, without thinking of it, an act 
involving danger to himself, but effecting the other's 
salvation. He awakes to find himself a hero. There 
is nothing funnier than finding oneself a hero. One 
has read of heroes, admired them, dreamed one's boy- 
ish dreams of emulating them, but we supposed that 
heroism was something very grand to fe^l. We thought 
the hero felt heroic, felt as heroic indeed as the hero 
looked upon the stage. But he doesn't. The hero 
discovers for himself the immense difference between 
reputation and the inner sense thereof. 

It is only part of the man that is involved in the 
reputation, good or bad. G. K. C. has a reputation 
as a writer; but he is more than that. M. J. P. has 
the reputation of being a good mender of boots, pro- 
fessionally a cobbler; but he is more than that. Rep- 
utations are such partial things. 

But it is only when reputations become something 
to trade upon that they begin to bind men. 

There are some men who regard their reputations 
as assets, who ought to regard them as liabilities, and 
they are "good" reputations, too, in the moral sense. 
It is a mistake to think that it is the "bad" reputation 
that is always the liability. Not at all. Good repu- 
tations sometimes hang like millstones around a man's 
neck; they are, in reality, the millstones on which his 
epitaph is already carved. A man has a reputation 
for cautiousness. Well, cautiousness is only a partial 
virtue. Sometimes a man ought to be cautious, and 
sometimes greatly daring. Sometimes he ought to 
walk across the street and sometime^ he ought to run. 
To commit himself to follow either course all the time 
would be equal to a prison sentence. 

Other men have a reputation for what is called 

362 



IN BONDAGE TO A REPUTATION 

"common sense." Common sense is; as the term im- 
plies, the common possession of common people. It 
is very valuable. The majority of people are actuated 
by common sense. They are conservative. The ma- 
jority mnst be conservatk/e. That is the majority's 
business — ^to have and to hold, to protect and conserve 
the good of the past. If it were not for the conserva- 
tive we should have nothing at all. He is the brother 
who stays at home and keeps the family farm in shape 
while his other brother roams afield, sometimes as a 
prodigal. In the end, all radicals come home to the 
conservatives ; that is where conservatives justify them- 
selves. 

But, see what a hindrance a reputation for com- 
mon sense may become. A man says to himself, "I 
have always been known as a man of common sense. 
I have always done what most people do, with an ele- 
ment of protective caution thrown in. People do busi- 
ness with me because they know I am *safe and sane.' 
Yet, here I have a vision which I know is safe with 
a higher safety and sane with a higher sanity than any 
of my neighbors know, and I am moved to follow 
this vision — ^but if I do, bang goes my reputation for 
common sense!" 

In siiich an instance, a reputation is the death war- 
rant of a man's growth. He is not living up to his 
real self; he is lizHng down to the self that he was 
twenty or thirty years ago. He is simply refusing to 
outgrow the features of the portrait called "reputa- 
tion" which public opinion has sculptured in the gal- 
lery of public imagination. For that is all public opin- 
ion is, and that is all fame is, and that is all reputa- 
tion is, just public imagination. 

Too many men are afraid of being fools. It is 
granted, of course, that public opinion is a powerful 
police influence for those who need it. Perhaps it 
may be true that the majority of men need the re- 
straint of public opinion. In this class of cases, pub- 
lic opinion keeps a man better than he would other- 
wise be — if not better morally, at least better as far 
as his social desirability is concerned. But doubtless 
there are cases, and many men feel the truth of it, 
where reputation keeps a man from being as good and 

363 



FORD IDEALS 

as useful as he might be, because in service he would 
be led into the "unusual, don't you know." 

Well, it is not a bad thing to be a fool for righteous- 
ness' sake. The best of it is that such fools usually 
live long enough to prove that they were not fools, 
or the work they have begun lives long enough to prove 
they were not foolish; and so the fool for righteous- 
ness' sake is revenged on Reputation after all. 

Heaven help the man who has been poisoned by 
regularity! Not that Belonging to the regulars, and 
being regular in everything from agriculture to re- 
ligion is an evil thing — not at all. If a man delib- 
erately chooses and selects a place among the "regu- 
lars" for the good he can do them, very good. The 
regulars need their servants and prophets, too. Many 
men are justified in saying, "I cannot do that, because 
it would injure the influence which I now possess in 
this special channel of work." There are men who, 
for the sake of moral usefulness among men, must make 
deliberate sacrifice of certain otherwise desirable things, 
and to these rightfully belongs their meed of honor. 

This is not the class of men to be warned. These 
are not victims of regularity; they are missionaries to 
it. Others, however, who believe that the present form 
of regularity is the eternal pattern, who are in nervous 
fear of being so regular that they succeed only in being 
stupid, to them there might be given a stimulus to forego 
the bugaboo Reputation, and let their native decent 
impulses expand to fill the pattern they were meant 
to fill. 



364 



Depression, First Step 
Back to Normalcy 



TIMES of piping prosperity are often bad for busi- 
ness. Strange as it may sound, this statement will 
appear very plain and true upon a little consideration. 
We may say what we please about the business condi- 
tions which have hit the country during the last two 
months, but the real damage was done when everybody 
said that everything was lovely and the goose hung 
high. 

By the same token, this period of depression through 
which we have been going has been good for business. 
The best thing that could have happened — it did not 
happen too soon. Business is on a better basis today 
than it was three months ago ; it will be on a better basis 
next month than it would have been had not a halt 
been called. 

These are simple ideas, but they are worth turning 
over. 

You can see the good effects of poor business by 
just looking at the stores, the corner stores, and the big 
downtown concerns. It was not long ago that the ordi- 
nary frugal buyer was somewhat in contempt. Clerks 
caught the contagion of the profiteers, and it was "Buy 
it or leave it*' almost wherever you went. The morale 
of salespeople slumped at a terrific rate, and that is a 
pretty serious thing for business. 

Not so very long ago the coal merchant sat in his 
office with the air of a king dispensing favors. His 
attitude in many cases was, "I don't know whether I 
will sell you or not — I'll think it over." It was bad 
for him and for his customers. When any business 
man in any line of business becomes independent of the 
public, or even thinks he is, it is a calamity for his 
business. 

In some industries all that has remained for sales- 

365 



FORD IDEALS 



men and managers to do during the last few years has 
been to take orders and deposits, and adopt the air of, 
'*We may let you have it in about six months — ^if you 
deposit enough now." Orders came without effort. 
Customers were doing all the clamoring and worrying. 
Whereas once it was the customer who favored the 
merchant by dealing with him, conditions changed until 
it was the merchant who favored the customer by sell- 
ing to him. 

Now all that is bad for business. Monopoly is bad 
for business. Profiteering is bad for business. The 
lack of necessity to hustle is bad for business. Business 
is never so good and sound and healthy as when, like a 
chicken, it must do a certain amount of scratching for 
what it gets. 

Things were coming too easily. There was a let- 
down of the principle that an honest relation ought to 
obtain between values and prices. The puyic no longer 
had to be "catered to." There was even a "public-be- 
damned'* attitude in many places. / 

It was intensely bad for business, all that kind of 
prosperity. 

But there has come a change. The era of rampant 
prosperity so-called died down. The reckoning-up time 
came. Customers no longer besieged the doors. Indeed, 
customers have a memory, arid they remembered that 
in the heyday of trade they were treated rather cava- 
lierly. Many merchants are discovering today that he 
was a wise man who was just as anxious to serve and 
please his customers when trade was brisk, as he is now 
when trade is a little slower. 

The best point of all is that this period of slack- 
ness is showing up the damage which false prosperity 
did to business ethics and efficiency. A good business 
is one that can sail along comfortably in the face of 
adverse gales. Since 1914 almost any fool could do 
business. There was more business to be done than 
there were business devices with which to do it. 

It will be generally conceded that the period of so- 
called prosperity had a very deleterious effect on sales- 
manship. Salesmanship is more than taking orders, but 
that is about all it has amounted to during the last six 
or seven years. 

366 



DEPRESSION, FIRST STEP BACK TO NORMALCY 

When the rush of prosperity began to dwindle and 
then to cease, and it became necessary to pull in the 
collar rather than hold back in the breeching, then was 
the test. It was found in many cases that salesmanship 
had softened. The easy-chair and order-taking habit 
had demoralized it. It could not stand for the rough, 
hard work of going out and being refused, and being 
refused again. 

So, it has been a blessing for business, all round, 
this period of depression; it has shown up the flabby 
spotS^. It has disclosed those people who were content 
comfortably to watch the wheels go round, but were 
not very handy in getting out and making the wheels 
go round. 

We were getting to a place where no one cared about 
costs except the consumer — and he didn't count. Not 
only did no one make a move toward reduction of costs, 
they actually dreaded to think of the time when it would 
have to come. Business lay abed, like a boy who hates 
to get up and go into the cold barn to do the chores. 
Business was soft with too much good living. 

Nothing has happened in our history to render out 
of date the business philosophy of Benjamin Franklin. 
Poor Richard's Almanac is still the best business com- 
pendium. The old American virtues of thrift and in- 
dustry have no successors or substitutes. Business suc- 
cess is still a matter of making friends by service, and 
not a case of cornering necessitous people in such a way 
that they will have to come to you. 

Free trade still exists in the local sense. Trade will 
always remain free regardless of monopoly or combine. 
Trade gravitates toward the man who has the desire 
and the will to please and serve those who need what 
he can give. When a man gets bigger than his business, 
when he begins to think that he has got things coming 
his way, and therefore may relax, he is in a bad state. 

Every successful business is troubled with that sort 
of disease — complete satisfaction and relaxation. It 
should be ruthlessly exterminated. If this disease 
strikes the principal leader of the business, he should 
retire or be removed as quickly as anyone else would be. 
That kind of success is very bad for business. 

Young men have been asking for a number of years 

367 



POtD IDEALS 

whether there was any possible chance for them to start 
for themsehres in a world which is apparently so com- 
pletely organized. Sometimes the answers were encour- 
aging, sometimes not. 

But now they can see for themsdves. It is any 
man's game now who will play it according to the old- 
time rule of "value received." A business man is a 
servant, and when he gets too rich, or too high and 
mighty for that, then something happens, and some one 
else gets a chance. And that is occurring on a large 
scale now. Business is weeding out the over-ripe ones. 

Thus it comes, reasonably enough, that a period of 
bad business is really a good thing for business, because 
it drives business back to its sounder fundamentals of 
honor in n^otiations, quality in merchandise, and will- 
ingness in service. 

It is a splendid lesson for the younger group of 
business men. They will keep their heads better during 
the next rise of commercial prosperity. They will be 
taught to trust more confidently in those principles of 
business which are as indispensable in brisk times as in 
slow times. 

And, on the whole, it has been an easy lesson. It 
might have been much more severe. It will have been 
worth all it cost to all classes of society, if only we have 
sense enough to remember it. 

We have been influenced too much by the grab-bag 
philosophy. We are making careers, and that is incom- 
patible with the practice of "getting while the getting 
is good." Such getting is not good for long. 



368 



/ 



Flattery Used as Bribery 



AMONG the dishonest ways of getting along is the 
practice of working on the self-esteem of men by 
praising them to such a point that they feel inclined 
to favor you. Some crooks chloroform their victims to 
rob them; others just suffocate their good judgment 
with praise. The first method has at least the virtue 
of directness ; the second, even at its best, is suspiciously 
on the other side of frankness. 

We have developed in this country a habit which 
must be modified by honesty, and that is the habit of 
back-slapping and indiscriminate boosting, the glad 
hand and the oily compliment. These never did go 
down with men of hard horse sense, but they had a 
considerable and pernicious influence on young men, 
because young mennaturally thought that this was the 
standard way to do things. 

Now, this is a situation which more mature business 
men have observed with something of impatience and 
something of misgiving. It must not be assumed, how- 
ever, that they regretted to see a more human tone come 
in business relations. Nor must it be assumed that they 
protest because their ideal of a business man is one who 
is strong as steel and just as cold, who cannot be bent, 
nor even melted except in the hottest fires. 

There is just the danger, that returning from the 
orgy of back-slapping and artificial good-fellowship 
which has marked the last few years — the era in which 
the "smooth" person "got by" — ^we shall revert to the 
opposite extreme of coldness and brutality. Not at all. 
Extremes are always to be avoided. But whatever the 
attitude, sincerity is desirable about all things. And 
it is just the lack of sincerity which made so much of 
this praise-mongering to be nauseating to plain men. 

There are two great barriers to the free intercourse 
of minds, to absolute transparency of conduct, and they 
are, first, a designing attitude toward another; and 
second, that which the designing attitude breeds, namely, 

369 



FORD IDEALS 



suspicion in the mind of the man against whom the de- 
sign is laid. They are both unwholesome mentally, and 
disruptive socially. They constitute the major part of 
the silent warfare of life. 

Now, all men like praise. If a man says he doesn't, 
he should examine himself again. He may not like to 
be praised to his face. He may be irritated by the 
fawning form in which praise is offered him. He may 
be angered by his knowledge that the offered praise is 
insincere and has an ulterior motive. He may be sick- 
ened by the hoUowness of it. A man who had done 
something very well was once pained by the praise he 
received. He said, "They all praised me for the wrong 
thing." They had not considered his work enough to 
see the real point in it. And what he wanted was not 
the sticky sweetness of personal compliments, but dis- 
criminating and appreciative consideration of his work. 

All men like their good work to be praised — ^but 
that is quite a different thing. There is something 
normal and wholesome about friends being able to meet 
frankly in consideration of a piece of work. 

So, if a man says he dislikes praise, he must define 
what he means. When a man is able to praise his own 
work to himself, to behold the work of his hand and 
take pleasure in it, he is taking praise, just as much 
as if he eagerly drank in compliments spoken by 
another. ^ 

Now, the evil of life consists in all these wholesome 
and pleasurable sensibilities being misused to selfish 
ends. No matter what* department of human nature 
you look into, the evil you see comes from selfish mis- 
use. And so men have brought in evil through the gate 
of praise. 

If you see that a man's weakness is flattery, and you 
take advantage of that to manipulate his judgment and 
his will, you are following, precisely the same tactics 
as the man who sees another's purse conveniently ex;^ 
posed, and takes it. 

If you see that a man is built of such malleable 
material that a friendly, complimentary advance dis- 
arms him and lays him open to your power, and you 
deliberately thus disarm him for the accomplishment 
of your design, whatever it may be, good or bad, you 

370 



FLATTERY USED AS BRIBERY 



are working along a dangerous line;' you are exalting 
yourself to a place which no human being is entitled to 
assume toward another for reasons of profit. It is a 
serious thing to descend to this kind of strategy or 
trickery even for the best purposes. 

No one takes these tactics without sacrificing a great 
deal of sincerity. And besides, they are not necessary. 
There is nothing that this sort of strategy can accom- 
plish, that frankness, honesty of purpose and even blunt 
truthfulness of statement cannot better accomplish. 
The straight open way is healthier for the mind of the 
man who is making the advance, and it cements a better 
relation with the man who, is being advanced upon. 

Now, inasmuch as there are still in the world many 
hold-overs from the last regime, who still trust in the 
strategy of the tongue, it is just as well that young 
ipen, especially young business men, should be on their 
guard. Instinctively, the majority of them are. There 
is something inside the normal human being — ^a sort of 
spiritual submarine detector — which warns of the ap- 
proach of hollow words. Many lies are told : very few 
lies get across. Many deceptions are planned ; compara- 
tively few succeed. The interior detector sounds an 
alarm in most people. They are protected. 

But there is among young men a native kindness 
which prevents them revealing the impostor to himself. 
When it is said that very few lies get across, that is 
true ; but the liar does not know it ; people whose detec- 
tor warns them do not always tell him what they think. 
They sometimes act as if they believed the lie — and so, 
insincerity creeps in from the other side, too. 

The young business man will more fully trust the 
older man who does not flatter him and who does not 
follow his flattery with presumptions on the young 
man's favor. Thousands of people are that way : they 
pay a compliment, and they believe that constitutes an 
admission ticket to special privileges. Deny them the 
privilege, and they go away saying quite opposite things 
about the person they hoped to "work." It is the mean- 
est kind of cadging, this passing of compliments, and 
then waiting until the complimented man is so commit- 
ted by the reception of the praises that he cannot say 
"no" without embarrassment. That is the meanest 

371 



FORD IDEALS 



kind of trickery. But young men who have been 
tricked that way soon learn the technique of it and are 
on their guard. 

A certain delicacy of character would teach the 
self-seeking person that it is a vast presumption to offer 
praise to anyone, and the only consideration that can 
justify it is its sincerity and unselfishness. Otherwise, 
it is a profanation of one of the finest forms of human 
relationship. 

If a young man in business is wise he will pay less 
attention to those who flatter his self-esteem, and more 
to those who stir his energies. A good, well-balanced 
critic who is looking to the success of the work and not 
to the feelings of the men who may be at the head of 
it, is the best kind of friend for a young business man 
to have. And if the young business man is keen he will 
see that such a one's interest and attention is the most 
real, yet the most delicate form of friendship and 
praise. It is strong. It is based on frankness. AND 
it will be there though failure and unfavorable criticism 
overwhelm the project. 

Divide between your flatterers and your friends, and 
you already have a chart by which to sail. 



m 



Inflated Prosperity the Real 

"Bad Times" 



ONE of the common habits people fall into is to ex- 
plain everything by the term "business." We 
explain depression by saying that "business is bad." 
We explain far-reaching changes by saying that "busi- 
ness is undergoing a readjustment." We look hope- 
fully toward the time "when business will pick up 



agam." 



The mistake is rather childlike, as if we should de- 
clare that the thermometer governs the weather. To 
be sure, the thermometer is "down" when it is cold, and 
"up" when it is warm, but the thermometer is acted 
upon by other forces ; it does not act upon them. 

Business is a barometer. It registers various condi- 
tions. But it is not the master-force in the world. It 
is a sign of life and creative activity; more than that, 
it is the sign that for the moment the interaction of 
all the social elements has reached a degree of harmony 
sufficient to give all men the happiness of being busy 
and the satisfaction of being supplied. So, when it 
happens that business is "down," like the thermometer, 
it does no good to put it "up" by artificial jneans. The 
thing to do is to change the general condition, whatever 
it may be, and business will reflect the result as surely 
as the mercury rises with the first mild days of spring. 

Many other adjustments must occur before we get 
the "business adjustment" which people believe is the 
one thing necessary. 

And these adjustments are now in process. That is 
a point we ought to bear in mind: these adjustments 
are now going on. 

People often say "things are at a standstill." No, 
they are not. If we could see the whole economic 
process, not merely the one point where it makes contact 
with us as individuals in our jobs, we should see that 
nothing is at a standstill, but that everything is moving 

373 



FORD IDEALS 

and changing — even now, when everything seems to 
be dull. 

• What We call "hard times" are economically the be- 
ginning of "good times/' That is, a period of depres- 
sion is not the tail end of the old era ; it is the introduc- 
tory period of a new era. Now, that idea is worth get- 
ting, for it shows us as by a light just how foolish we 
mortals are in the matters which most vitally affect us 
in our economic interests. 

We think that this business slump is the end of the 
old period ; it is really the beginning of the new. If we 
had been wise we would have recognized that the fever- 
ish prosperity of last spring and the preceding winter 
were the real "bad times" of which we should have 
been afraid. Wise men told the people that, but did 
anyone heed ? Only a few. That feverish, flashy pros- 
perity during which money was spent in fast and 
furious manner, and everybody was independent and 
felt that he could walk out of his job any time he 
wanted ; that complete let-down of all common sense in 
expenditures and manufacture and labor — ^that com- 
prised our hard times ! But we did not know it. 

That period had to end. That was the ruinous pe- 
riod. All the damage was done then. And when it did 
end, then readjustment immediately began. The slow- 
down and stoppage was the first sign of healthy recov- 
ery from the fever of irresponsible folly. The slow- 
down was not the disease; it was the convalescence. 
We were sick, sick during what we thought was the 
heyday of our economic golden age ; so sick, that in our 
delirium we mistook dangerous economic conditions for 
"prosperity." 

Whatever disaster may be falling now is not a con- 
sequence of present conditions, but of former condi- 
tions. From this time forward, indeed from the time 
the fever left us, the general economic condition has 
been on the mend. 

When people are able to see that the time to be 
fearful is in times of irresponsible prosperity, in the 
drunken revel of profiteering — then, we may hope for 
the prevention of periods of what we call "hard times." 
The only way you can eliminate the periods of conval- 
escence is by eliminating the periods of illness. And 

374 



INFLATED PROSPERITY THE REAL "bAD TIMES" 

the only way to eliminate economic illness is not to con- 
fuse it with economic convalescence, as the people have 
done for a century. 

The whole matter is so intertwined that you cannot 
speak of it under such terms as "money," business," 
"credit," or the like. These only represent a special 
angle of the general whole. The crucial readjustments 
that take place at times like this are not fiscal at all, 
but human. The whole secret of economic recovery 
is stated in human, and not banking terms. 

When a crowded excursion ship is lurching too 
heavily on one side, threatening to capsize, what is the 
remedy? Readjustment of the burden. If all the peo- 
ple have rushed to the port side, have half of them 
return to the starboard side. This equalizes the burden. 
It is evenly distributed, and thus more easily carried. 

Something like that has happened to the economic 
ship. Too many people crowded over to one side. The 
City constitutes but a small part of the world. The 
Manufactory constitutes only one part of the work of 
the world. Yet everybody wanted to crowd into the 
City, and to enter the Factory. And the result was that 
an artificial congestion arose, and we called the fever 
of that congestion by the delusive name of "prosper- 
ity." All sorts of unnatural things came out of it. 
Unnatural ideals of life. Unnatural exaggeration of 
the value of money. Uhnatural disproportion between 
qualities of materials and the price asked for them. 
Unnatural notions of what constituted "a good standard 
of living."' Unnatural waste of materials in cheap and 
gaudy "luxuries," which were only toys. The whole 
condition was unhealthy in the extreme, but because 
there was a hectic flush upon its features, men thought 
it was the color of "economic health." It was the con- 
suming fever of economic dissipation. 

You see, therefore, what line some of the readjust- 
ments had to take. People had to do a lot of readjust- 
ing themselves. What is the meaning of the "For Rent" 
signs in our cities and the deflation of the rent 
profiteers' balloons? Simply this : people are readjust- 
ing the inequality of the population between country 
and city. Thousands of people are going back to the 
real country, which lies outside the cities. 

375 



FORD IDEALS 



The people who are now going back to the country 
are an advance guard. The time is coming when, if 
industry needs them, it will go to the country and get 
them, erecting pleasant little workshops beside the local 
streams, and begin industry anew under natural condi- 
tions. It is natural for people to like industry, to want 
to work in industrial institutions; but it is unnatural 
that a million people should have to be packed in the 
narrow area of the City in order to gratify that desire. 

We must not think, therefore, that those who are 
leaving the cities are the defeated ones. Not at all. 
Heaven forbid that our standard of success should ever 
be in the present type of city life! Those who are 
going back are the vanguard of a new movement which 
will continue ^ until a proper adjustment has been 
reached. 

So, all these wholesome things are occurring now. 
The whole situation is mending fast. No one will doubt 
that the people are in a much more wholesome frame of 
mind than they were a year ago. And there can be iio 
prosperity, without this sound state of mind on the part 
of the people. The first essential of prosperity has 
therefore come back already: the fever has left the 
public mind. 



376 



Choosing and Being Chosen 



MOST of the wisdom of the world was in the copy 
books. The lines we used to write over and over 
again, the homely old maxims on which we practiced 
to obtain legibility of our p's and q's, were the essence 
of human wisdom. They were the first-aid packages 
which the philosophers made to assist men who might 
need help out in the midst of the field of life. Most 
of the books that have been written since the copy books 
are only commentaries thereon ; they say with more and 
harder words what we used to read in our first lessons. 

It isn't learning, it is wisdom or plain sense that 
helps one through. Any man can learn all that he needs 
to know. No one ever learns more than he wants to 
know. We never learn anything unless we want to. 
Sometimes you will find a man with what appears to be 
a lot of useless learning, and you discover that he accu- 
mulated it not because of his interest in its special 
departments, but because he thought that acquaintance 
with a multitude of subjects added to his prestige. He 
accumulated knowledge as he accumulated neckties or 
golf sticks. 

The whole secret of a successful life is to find out 
what it is your destiny to do, and then do it. 

Now, that idea has several sides. When we speak 
of what we "do'' we usually mean what it is we "do" 
for a living. "What are you going to do when you are 
a man?" we sometimes ask the children; it means at 
what occupation are they to be engaged. 

Well, we all have to work. But most of us have 
something else to "do" as well. If all that a man has 
to "do" in the world is the mechanical operations he 
performs during working hours, then it would follow 
that if machinery should be invented to perform that 
operation for him, he would have nothing to "do." 
One of the really useful figures of his time used to say 
that his work was of quite a different character than 
appeared to observers ; the observers thought he was a 

^77 



FORD IDEALS 

cobbler; but he said he mended shoes only to pay the 
expenses of his proper work. 

We toil because we have to square our debt with 
the earth — we have to pay for the wealth she lends us 
in every material thing we use. But what do we do 
with the life that we thus buy? That is the true form 
of the question as to what we "do." 

But there is something besides our toil — ^there is 
also our work. Our toil is what we have to do to bear 
our part of the work of production in which mankind 
is engaged, and the fruits of which are essential to our 
well-being. That is our toil. But our Work is that 
which we would do all the time if we, could. Happy is 
the man whose toil and work are one. There are many, 
however, not so happily situated. 

Most of us are doing two things: that by which 
the body is kept alive, and that by which the higher part 
of our nature lives. We go to the job to pay expenses, 
and then we indulge ourselves in what we like to do, 
and maybe were meant to do. 

That is the secret of all the "amateurs" in the 
United States. Amateurs are not always what we think 
they are. They are often more intelligent and skillful 
than the professionals. We shall have to change our 
ideas of the meaning of amateur] formerly it meant 
those who knew very little and were unskillful; those 
who had a liking for an art or a science, but merely 
dabbled. That idea will have to go in favor of the 
truer one, that the "amateur" differs from the profes- 
sional only in this, that the professional gets his living 
by it and the amateur does not. In some respects the 
amateur is better off, for he has two fields — ^that by 
which he pays expenses, and that in which he finds 
expression. 

It is amazing to find how many people in the United 
States have evolved financial systems. Here, there, 
ever)rwhere are men who have occupied their spare 
hours with the great subject of money. Farmers, store- 
keepers, mechanics, country editors, could collectively 
roll up a mass of research and speculative literature on 
this subject that would literally swamp the received 
authorities in the region of finance. 

All this has a meaning. It means that the people 

378 



CHOOSING AND BEING CHOSEN 



are being prepared for something in the money realm. 
When you^'find receptive minds in all classes of society 
being moved by the same master note, you may be 
sure something is coming. All this mass of thoug^ht 
by plain people is the prophetic soil whence shall come 
the one whose mind can gather up all the fruitage of 
the others and bring the epochal change to pass. 

In truth there are no discoveries. Nothing is ever 
entrusted to one man alone. We know now that no one 
man invented printing; the idea was seeking incarna- 
tion and found its way into life through several men 
at about the same time. Columbus was not the only 
discoverer of America : other men's thoughts had been 
set this way. Destiny takes precaution that no purpose 
shall fail through the unfaithfulness of one man; and 
so the new truth is entrusted to several. It is this which 
leads to so many bickerings in the matter of discoveries; 
it is hard to prove who was "first" ; the idea was abroad 
"in the air," and it came through to the minds that were 
receptive, that were keyed to its quality. 

Now, when you look at this from another side it is 
a mighty encouraging thing. Some day there may come 
to you the duty to do a disagreeable task, to take up a 
cause which will yield you no reward, which will at first 
envelop you in misunderstanding and abuse, which will 
make you look like a fool before men. You will shrink 
from it naturally, yet if you are the person selected 
for the task, some way it will make itself known to you 
as a serious proposition regardless of your likes and 
dislikes. 

The appointed task may be less to your likes than 
you expected. A man's real work is not always what 
he would have chosen to do. A man's real work is what 
he is chosen to do. There is all the diflFerence between 
choosing and being chosen. Sometimes our choices are 
our destruction. 

But when you are sure of what you have to do — 
and un'^elfish sincerity, simple willingness to do what 
is right are the only compasses by which you can be 
sure — ^then you may also be sure of this: you are not 
the only one. 

Others have been notified and called out, too. But 
maybe not to initiate the work. Maybe just to form 

379 



FORD IDEALS 

the silent background, the receptive soil for the effects 
which your work will bring about. No man ever stands 
alone in any cause, if it is a righteous cause. When be 
calls, his voice will be heard and answered. He will be 
made aware by a thousand means that what he trem- 
bled before as a stem, forbidding task, is really the 
silent interest of many people. 

There is a great deal of nonsense spoken about "the 
lonely heights." They are not lonely, though they may 
be silent The loneliness comes when a man settles 
within himself whether he is to be a mere form, follow- 
ing a conventional routine, or whether he is to listen 
and obey the voice of changeful life. It is lonely for 
him while he is deciding. If he decides to do what duty 
bids him, then he is no longer lonely ; he comes at once 
into the fellowship of all liberated souls. The only 
liberated souls are those dedicated to perpetuate obedi- 
ence. 

Most of us will never get fame. Ii) a way this is 
to be regretted, for if we could get it we should know 
how well-off we are without it. Most of us will never 
shine as the captain-leader of great movements ; but the 
real success and achievement of life is to be one of the 
foot soldiers of those great silent movements which, 
like the motion of the sea, keep humanity from stagna- 
tion 



380 



Can You Stand Friction? 



PITY the poor fellow who is so soft and flabby that 
he must always have "an atmosphere of good feel- 
ing" around him before he can do his work. There are 
such men. They produce with a sort of hothouse fer- 
vor while they are being coddled, but the moment the 
atmosphere chills and becomes critical they become per- 
fectly helpless. And in the end, unless they obtain 
enough mental and moral hardiness to lift them out of 
their soft reliance on "feeling," they are failures. Not 
only are they business failures ; they are character fail- 
ures also ; it is as if their bones never attained sl suffi- 
cient degree of hardness to enable them to stand on 
their own feet. 

There is altogether too much reliance on good feel- 
ing in our business organizations. People have too 
great a liking for working with the people they like. In 
the end it spoils a good many valuable qualities. 

Don't misunderstand ; when the term "good feeling" 
is used, it means that habit of making our personal likes 
and dislikes on purely affinitive and emotional grounds, 
the sole standard of judgment. 

Suppose you don't like that man. Is that anything 
against him ? It may be something against you. What 
has your like or dislike to do with the facts, anyway? 
If you are a man of common sense you must know that 
there is many a man whom you dislike, whom you must 
admit is better than yourself. 

When you were a lazy young fellow you probably 
disliked the boss who tried to keep you busy. When 
you were a careless, wasteful young sport, you probably 
disliked the wise old head who took you aside and told 
you how many kinds of a fool you were. When you 
got into business and settled into a rut, you probably 
disliked the progressive fellow who came along with 
some live- wire competition and make you get out and 
hustle again. 

But what do these dislikes show ? Simply what you 

381 



FORD IDEALS 



were. That ought to be enough to make you careful 
to remember that your dislike always tells more about 
you than it does about the other fellow. Your dislike 
may be wrong about, the other fellow; it is perfectly 
unmistakable in what it says concerning you. 

Now, if you are one of those easy-going^people who 
prefer to have a certain type of persons around you — 
just that type and no other — ^it is a sign of which you 
ought to take notice. There is a dangerous psychology 
in having only agreeable people around you; it is too 
much like a man reclining on cushions all the time. 
Some men like to have around them women who "un- 
derstand" them, and men who agree with them, and 
friends who will always defer to them, and a public 
that will always say "Bravo" no matter what is done. 

The worst of it is, a man can have just these things 
if he wants them. But they leave him without gristle 
and marrowbone in the end. 

You can have far too much harmony, especially in 
business. You can go too far in picking men because 
they harmonize with you in your nature. You can 
have so much harmony that there will not be any of 
the thrust and counter-thrust which means life, any 
of the competition or friction which means effort and 
progress. 

It is one thing for an organization to be working 
harmoniously toward one object, but it is another thing 
for an organization to work harmoniously with each 
individual unit of itself. 

Some organizations use up so much energy and time 
maintaining a feeling of harmony in themselves that 
they have no force left to work toward the object for 
which the organization was created. 

The organization is secondary to the object. The 
only harmonious organization that is worth anything 
is an organization which is all bent on the one main 
purpose — not to get along imth itself, but to get along 
toward the objective. A common purpose, honestly 
believed in, sincerely desired — that is the great har- 
monizing principle. 

Now, if John Smith does not like James Jones, 
what does that matter? The main question is, does 
James Jones know his business? Can he advance this 

382 



CAN YOU STAND FRICTION? 

program toward its objective? Away with personal- 
ities! This trivial, unexplainable temper which turns 
to likes on one hand and to dislikes on the other; this 
apparently unreasonable and irresponsible influence of 
attraction and repulsion — these are stray mental phe- 
nomena Nwhich may have reasons and meanings in 
some spheres of our being, but the man who allows 
such feelings to be the sole jtrdge of men and the sole 
determinant of his comfort in working with men, is 
certainly laying out trouble for himself. 

The whole matter of harmony has been over-em- 
phasized. Not only over-emphasized but wrongly 
based. Everybody has the idea that harmony means 
the various units of the organization getting along well 
with each other, after the manner of guests at a party. 
But that is not the basis of the harmony that achieves : 
the only basis for effective organizational harmony is 
a common belief in a common cause. 

A certain amount of friction is a good thing every- 
where — not antagonism, for that is waste; not jealousy, 
for that is infantile stupidity; not a selfish and un- 
principled cutting under of another fellow — ^but frank, 
open understanding that on this job at least we stand 
for what we are and nothing more. 

Everybody knows of businesses where fellows are 
being "held up'' through friendship. The staff thinks 
that So-and-So is a good fellow, or the boss likes him, 
or he maintains a sort of position because he "is easy 
to get along with.*' But what about the business? 
For everybody thus being held up, someone is doing 
the holding up, and the business is burdened to hold 
up both of them. 

An organization can be so perfectly "harmonious" 
that it has lost the power and the courage to prune 
itself of its own dead limbs. 

An organization can be so perfectly "harmonious" 
that its only salvation depends on someone coming in 
and making it work with people it "doesn't like," and 
making it do work that it "doesn't like" — in short, 
making it amount to something by doing what it doesn't 
like. 

Don't do all the things you like to do ; and do most 
of the things you don't like to do; and then you will 

383 



FORD IDEALS 

become a character strong enough to step out and ac- 
complish things with men whom you don't like and 
who possibly don't like you. 

The young man, especially the young business man, 
had better put this "like" stuff away from him entirely ; 
it is as enervating as lolling among cushions all day. 
The wise manager will get most of his work done 
through men whom he doesn't like and who may not 
like him; all that is necessary is for him to know and 
respect their ability and dependability. 

Men who know will agree with this: there is a 
stronger bond between men who respect each other 
for their strong qualities, than there is among men 
who "like" each other for their merely amiable qual- 
ities. 

How would you measure a man's value? You re- 
ply, "By what he is worth." Not by what you think 
of him, that is, not by how you react to his personality 
in liking or dislike? "No." Very well. If that is 
the rule you follow, you will not be likely to do an 
injustice to your fellow-man by misjudging him, nor 
to do an injustice to yourself by fortifying the always 
human tendency to unreasonable prejudices. 

If you feel yourself getting soft and ineffectual, 
get out where there will be no sympathy, no under- 
standing, no admiration, but just plain challenge to 
do what is in you. That will brace you up. 



384 



If You're Settled 
You're Sagging 

THE pull of gravitation upon us is mostly felt in 
the desire to find some routine that will almost 
run itself, to organize a business that will operate itself 
automatically and for an indefinite period, to strike a 
single comfortable rut and to keep it. This is the 
downpull which men ought to resist, especially in these 
changeful times when the future is offering itself to 
foresight, and will be the servant of those who are 
able to detach themselves from the familiar and ad- 
venture with the new. 

In the horse age we used to see this tendency rep- 
resented in animals who were accustomed, to a certain 
daily round. The doctor went to certain houses, and 
his horse became accustomed to stop there, and would 
always turn in whether reined in or not. The milk- 
man went his round, and his horse behaved as if dis- 
pleased if any change was made in the daily program. 

Men fall into the same half-alive habit. Seldom 
does the cobbler take up with the new-fangled way of 
soleingf shoes, and seldom does the artisan willingly 
take up with new methods in his trade. Habit con- 
duces to a certain inertia, and any disturbance of it 
affects the mind like a trouble. It will be recalled that 
when a study was made of shop methods, so that the 
workman might be taught to produce with less useless 
motion and fatigue, it was most opposed by the work- 
men themselves. Though they suspected that it was 
simply a game to get more out of them, what most 
irked them was that it interfered with the well-worn 
grooves in which they moved. 

There are business men who are going down with 
their businesses because they like the old way so well 
they cannot bring themselves to give it up. One sees 
them all about — men who do not know that yesterday 

385 



1 



I 



FORD IDEALS 



is past, and who woke up this morning with their last 
year's ideas. 

It could almost be written down as a prescription 
that when a man begins to think that he has at last 
found his method, he had better begin a most searching 
examination of himself to see whether some part of 
his brain has not gone to sleep. There is a subtle 
danger in a man thinking that he is "fixed" for life. 
It indicates that the next jolt of the wheel of progress 
is going to fling him off. 

The only business that has a promise of security 
is the business whose manager has hardihood enough 
to change it, even though he may love it ever so much, 
when his common sense tells him that a change is 
coming. It is a hard thing to do, but the hard things 
are usually the right things to do, and a man is better 
for following his vision instead of his "likes.'* 

And what makes it hard?. It will not be hard for 
the man who comes to do it for the first time — ^why 
is it hard for the other? Because he has softened 
down into the old methods; he has allowed them to 
mold him, instead of himself molding them; he has 
become a creature of his method, instead of its con- 
troller. 

The past has a strong hold on us through its de- 
tail. We cannot break with the past, but we can scrape 
off the clinging seaweed of its details. We can break 
down the whimpering laziness of mind which resents 
the intrusion of new methods. We can acknowledge 
each day as a new day and not a mere repetition of 
yesterday. 

Life is not a "battle" except with our own tend- 
ency to sag imder the downpull of the habit of "get- 
ting settled." If to petrify is success, all one has to 
do is to humor the lazy side of the mind ; but if to 
grow is success, then one must wake up anew every 
morning and keep awake all day. Great businesses 
become but the ghost of a name because some one 
thought they could be managed just as they were al- 
ways managed, and though the management niSy have 
been most excellent in its day, its excellence consisted 
in its alertness to its day, and not in slavish follow- 
ing of its yesterdays. It is not likely there will ever 



386 



IF you're settled you're sagging 

be many really new thingsi to do, but it is certain that 
most of the old works will be performed in a new way. 
Fundamentally, agriculture will always mean produc- 
ing foodstuffs and clothstuffs from the field; trans- 
portation will always mean conveying materials by 
wheel across the surface of the earth or by bottoms 
across the surface of the waters; manufacture will 
always mean armies of men working raw materials 
into articles of use. 

Everything we now point to boastfully as evidences 
of our progress consists simply in doing some old 
work in a new way. Most of that progress consists 
in getting light from filaments instead of tallow, get- 
ting wheel-movements from fire instead of ox-muscle. 
Most of the history of material progress can be writ- 
ten as a story of the successive ways by which wheels 
have been made go round. There is nothing new ex- 
cept in the way it is done. 

Society is always in danger from two classes, those 
who fear change, and those who crave it. The first 
class tends toward decay, the second toward destruc- 
tion. Change is not to be sought for itself alone, but 
in following to best advantage the obvious beckoning 
of the times. 

There is always something outside ourselves that 
gives the signal; a motion of advance that comes over 
the earth like the coming of spring, and those that 
are alive respond to it; those who prefer to continue 
their hibernation in the old methods, fall out of step 
with the advance. They remain comfortable enough, 
no doubt, but they no longer count. 

It pays a man always to have ideas in advance of 
what he is doing; that is the only valuable capital. 

Changes are coming in every field, and the ^cause 
of the jagged interval between two periods is men's 
hesitancy to give up the old and plunge into the new. 
The old leaves fall to make room for the new. The 
old methods are suddenly found to be inadequate be- 
cause new combinations are arriving. The sleepy side 
of our minds complains that we are being shaken out 
of our old life ; the vividly alive side of* our minds 
would show us, if we would permit it, that we are only 
being shaken into our new life. 

387 



FORD IDEALS 



It is not given to every generation to pass through 
a period of change. Life ran placidly for our fore- 
fathers for long stretches at a time, and in the older 
countries a certain method of life became so fixed that 
it left century-long traces on city and countryside. But 
in these latter days the intervals of change become 
shorter and shorter. The pace is quickening. Period 
follows period out of all reckoning with, the old cal- 
endars. We have seen an almost complete revolution 
in the past 15 years, and now we are on the eve of 
another; and as soon as that will have come, another 
will be visible on the horizon. The world is moving 
with breathlessly eager haste to some new position, and 
we cannot stop it. We can only stop ourselves from 
following along. 

Life is not a location, but a journey. Even the 
man who most feels himself "settled" is not settled, 
he is probably sagging back. Everything is in flux, 
and was meant to be. Life flows, and is not in the 
same stretch of country for very long. Even the solar 
universe, we are told, is flying along like a flock of 
shining birds always occupying a new position in space. 
We may live at the same number of the street, but it 
is never the same man who lives there. 

These facts may be resented or welcomed : the man 
who acknowledges them in a practical way in the form 
his service takes will always find himself in service; 
the others will be retired. Finding it hard to give up 
an incrusted method is a sign of a hardening of the 
mind which, like the hardening of the arteries," is not 
to be neglected. 



388 



When Not to Borrow Money 



THE time for a business man to borrow money, if 
ever, is when he does not need it This is a rule 
whose observance would prevent a great deal of trouble 
and, what is more, would turn out a better disciplined 
class of business men. 

A business is one entity which must stand on its 
own feet. There is a great deal of talk about the 
souUessness of business and about the ruthlessness 
with which big concerns take their own wherever they 
are able, but just the same, if business were superin- 
tended by sentiment and managed by dreamers, there 
would be no business. 

It is the unconscious compliment which people pay 
to business, that they always are ready to believe that 
business can help them, but who ever saw the public 
run to the aid of a sinking business? Why? Because 
there is an unconscious belief that the business that 
cannot stand on its own feet is not worth bothering 
about. And it is true. That is the whole austerity 
and severity of business; there is no monastic rule 
more austere; there is no military discipline more se- 
vere ; that business is justifiable only as, it serves, and 
that it is permanent only as long as it can stand by 
right and not by favor. 

A business concern is a living body, though not 
nearly so perfect as the human body. If the business 
entity were as united and as responsive as the human 
body, the progress that we are making now would seem 
nothing in comparison with the progress we should 
then make. In the human body, the executive func- 
tions located in the office up in the head are able to 
convey their orders directly to the hands, feet, eyes or 
mouth. Normally, orders are precisely obeyed. But 
in business it often happens that the executive ideas 
could not be recognized by the time they have passed 
half-way down the shop. 

Now, because business is like a living body, it is 

389 



FORD IDEALS 

capable of derangement, sickness. We make a great 
mistake when we think that business becomes sick 
only from without. The real illness to fear is not "de- 
pressed trade" (that is an outer condition), but de- 
ranged functions, an internal malady. 

Take the tree. In times of "good business," so 
to speak, it clothes itself luxuriantly with leaves; it 
pumps streams of sap from the nourishing earth; all 
its leaf-factories are kept going, in the daytime gath- 
ering the necessities of life and growth, in the hours 
of darkness absorbing them. Then come "bad times," 
so to speak : autumn storm, winter cold. The tree easily 
and naturally adjusts itself to the change. It detaches 
its leaves. It slows down. But it does not "fail." It 
does not "borrow." It simply trims itself to the sit- 
uation; it does not even freeze up. When the life 
processes begin to flow full again, the tree is there 
ready to receive them. It stands on its own feet. If it 
did not, it would die. Indeed, the failure to do that is 
all that constitutes dying. 

Now, the internal ailments of business are the ones 
that require most attention. "Business" in the sense 
of trading with the people is largely a matter of filling 
a want of the people. If you make what they need, 
and sell it at such a price as will make possession a 
help and not a hardship, then you will do business as 
long as there is business to do. People buy what helps 
them just as naturally as they drink water. 

But your process of making the article will require 
your constant care. Machinery wears out and needs 
to be restored. Men grow uppish or lazy or careless, 
and that is a situation that must be remedied, too. 
A business is men and machines united in the produc- 
tion of a commodity, and both the men and the ma- 
chines need repairs and replacements. It is a fact 
which every business man should realize that sometimes 
it is the men "higher up" who need this treatment most 
and get it least. 

When a business becomes congested with bad 
methods; when a business becomes ill through lack of 
attention to one or more of its functions ; when exec- 
utives sit comfortably back in their chairs as if the 
plans they have inaugurated are going to keep them 

390 



WHEN NOT TO BORROW MONEY 

going forever; when business becomes a mere planta- 
tion on which to live, and not a big work which one 
has to do — then look out for trouble. 

You will wake up some fine morning and find your- 
self doing more business than you have ever done 
before — and getting less out of it. Keep on, and you 
will begin to feel the pinch. It is then that you show 
what is in you; it is the la§t examination to determine 
whether you are entitled to the degree of Business Man. 

In such a situation you can borrow money. And 
you can do it, oh, so easily. People will crowd it on 
you. It is the most subtle temptation the young busi- 
ness man has. 

Or in such a situation you can take off your coat, 
plunge into the business and see what ails its internal 
workings. Go through it like a surgeon. Remove dan- 
gerous growths, cut off wastes, purge away accumu- 
lated customs which hinder, put your business on the 
operating table and give it a chance for its life. 

If you borrow money, you are simply borrowing, 
stimulus to whatever it may be that is wrong. You 
are feeding the disease. Is a man more wise with 
borrowed money than he is with his own? Not as a 
usual thing. To borrow under such conditions is to 
mortgage a declining property. 

The time for a business titan to borrow money, if 
ever, is when he does not need it. That is, wheh he 
does not need it as a substitute for some things he 
ought himself to do. If a man's business is in excellent 
condition and in need of expansion which the business 
can take care of, that is another matter. But if a 
business is in need of money through mismanagement 
or a disorder of the internal functions, then the thing 
to do is to get after the business and correct the trouble 
from the inside, not poultice it by loans from the out- 
side. 

Money is only another tool in business, anyway. 
It is just a part of the machinery. You might as well 
borrow -100,000 lathes as $100,000, if the trouble is 
inside your business. More lathes won't cure it ; nei- 
ther will more money. Only heavier doses of brains 
and thought and wise courage can do it. A business 
that misuses what it has, will continue to misuse what 

391 



FORD IDEALS 

it can get ; the point is, cure the misuse. Then, when 
that is done, the business will begin to make its own 
money, as a repaired human body begins to make suffi- 
cient pure blood. 

Borrowing may easily become an excuse for boring 
into the cause of the trouble. 

Borrowing may easily become a sop for laziness 
and pride. Some business men are too lazy to get 
into overalls and go down to see what is the matter. 
Or they are too proud to permit the thought that any- 
thing they have originated could go wrong. But the 
laws of business are like the laws of gravity, and 
the man who opposes them feels their power. 

Borrowing for expansion is one thing; borrowing 
to make up for waste and mismanagement is quite 
another. You don't want money for the latter, for 
the primary reason that money cannot do the job. 
Waste is corrected by economy; mismanagement is 
corrected by brains and application; and neither of 
these correctives can be confused with money. Indeed, 
money under certain circumstances is the worst enemy 
of these desirable qualities. And many a business man 
thanks his stars for the pinch which showed him that 
his best capital was in his own brains and not in bank 
loans. ^ 

Borrowing under certain circumstances i§ just like 
the drunkard taking another drink to cure the effect 
of the last one. It doesn't do what it is expected to do. 
It simply increases the difficulty. It is the capstan 
of the young business man's education when he sees 
that the tightening up of the loose places in his busi- 
ness is much more profitable than any amount of cap- 
ital at 7 per cent. 



392 



Tariff— Taxes — Transportation 



GOVERNMENT never will be efficient through 
and through because tliat is not what Government 
exists for. But in its tasks, in the various things it 
undertakes to do as specific services for the people, 
it should be a model of efficiency. After all is said 
and done, Government is a business organization^ and 
something more. In so far as it is the culmination 
of national purpose and aspiration, it is as foolish to 
require efficiency of a Government as of a poem. That 
is not the sphere of governmental efficiency. But if 
it is a matter of digging a canal, of surveying a road, 
of delivering a letter — if it is anything like the things 
men undertake in individual or lesser corporate ca- 
pacity, then we have a right to expect of the Govern- 
ment a perfect performance. 

These services, however, are but a part of the 
work of Government. They lie on the factory side 
of Government, so to speak, and should be organized 
under efficient superintendents who are held responsible 
for results. But there is a great region of policy and 
progress where efficiency,, by the very nature of the 
case, cannot be maintained, but where wisdom is in- 
dispensable. Efficiency consfsts in doing in the best 
possible way anything which we already know how to 
do. But in the field of government there are some 
things which we have yet to learn how to do. We 
are still in the experimental stage. 

Tariff is one of these experimental matters. Think 
of the many minxls that have devoted themselves to 
this problem, of the party battles that have been waged 
over it, of the artificial prosperities and the needless 
distresses that have cursed whole populations as the 
tariff pendulum swung this way or that. 

It would be most uncharitable to say that none of 
this effort to reach the basic principle of tariff has 
been honest ; doubtless most of it has been ; and doubt- 
less the tariff idea rests largely on the confidence that 

393 



FORD IDEALS 



a tariff is justified because it is serviceable to the peo- 
ple. 

Perhaps there never will be a perfect tariff adjust- 
ment until the world itself is perfected, and then there 
will be no need of tariffs. It is because of the inequal- 
ities of the nations and the imperfection of thf earthly 
federation that these walls are wanted. Formerly they 
walled each city apart from the rest; now they only 
wall each country. 

It is all imperfect, of course, and tariffs are but 
a part of the general imperfection. We can perhaps 
tolerate them better for knowing that they are an effect 
more than a cause. Certainly the tendency of the times 
is toward less tariff restriction rather than more. 

There was once a hope held by a party that the 
tariff problem could be solved on the principle of 
"tariff for revenue only," but if that rule were liter- 
ally applied now, we probably should have the highest 
tariff wall in our history. 

Tariff has always been relied on as a tax producer, 
and as a side line it served the industrial party — the 
greedy and short-sighted financial party — ^as a monop- 
oly-maker. It is right to protect American industries 
when this does not mean protecting and coddling the 
greedy inefficiency of individual Americans. This 
country does not protect the individual that way; why 
should it protect a group of individuals formed into 
a corporation? If it is an American industry, it can 
meet the world. If it cannot meet the world, it should 
not be artificially sustained to represent American in- 
dustry. 

Taxation is another problem still in the experimen- 
tal room of government. There never was an ideal tax 
because there never has been an ideal expenditure of 
taxes. There has never been a perfect basis of taxa- 
tion because we have no basis of value. Many plans 
have been suggested to meet this lack. The single- 
taxer would make land the basis; others would take 
a certain percentage of the income. We try both after 
a fashion, and instead of people feeling that the tax 
is their contribution to the cost of the benefits they 
enjoy under their Government, they oftener feel that 

394 



TARIFF — TAXES — ^TRANSPORTATION 

it is a burden. The very word has come to have an 
ugly sound. 

The present administration must raise taxes, and 
of recent months most of the tax-producing sources 
have dried up. What happens then? What does the 
Government do then? Maybe the Government will go 
into production to earn its own money. We have 
100,000,000 people here who never stop eating, who 
continue to wear clothes — it is a pretty good market 
and ought always to keep business pretty brisk, if 
there were not some kink in the money machinery 
which the Government says it controls. 

It is easy to say, "Lower taxes." But to stop 
taxes altogether might mean to lower our Flag. How 
would you like a 50 per cent reduction in all your 
taxes ? Well, that could easily happen, and stilt give 
the Government 40 per cent more than it is now re- 
ceiving for the purposes of government, if we were 
not so dumbly tied up with a system that takes oceans 
of gold every year for the upkeep of our man-killing 
machinery. 

If the tax system were even 50 per cent perfect; 
if people had a view of the course of their tax monies 
which should be half as clear as their view of the in- 
fluence of their ballots — ^that is, if the people knew 
their government, or if the facts of government were 
such as would make the government desirous of hav- 
ing the people know them, then the payment of taxes 
would become a pleasant ceremonial, like unfurling the 
Flag or firing off firecrackers on the Fourth of July. 
Taxes provide the method by which people enter most 
closely into the work of Government, yet nobody knows 
it. Fundamentally there is a wrong, wrong principle. 

Then there is Transportation — ^that also is still an 
experiment. Nothing is more arresting than the serv- 
ice breakdown of the railways five years ago under 
increasing business, and their fiscal breakdown now 
under increasing income. When more business breaks 
a business, and more income renders it poorer, there's 
something deeper th^n mere mismanagement, there is 
something fundamentally wrong. 

Of course, fiscally, our railroads are paying for 
multitudes of dead horses. Gamblers first controlled 

395 



FORD IDEALS 

our railroads, robbed them till there was no- more gam- 
ble in them, and left it to honest management to pay 
the lOU's. Railroads developed artificially because 
their gambling controllers strangled the railroad's side 
partner, the canal — the canal, which, had it been kft 
alone to perform its functions, would have assisted the 
railroad to grow on a more natural basis. But, no, 
the gamblers filled the canals with rubbish, and today 
the railroads are breaking down for lack of waterways 
to help them. 

Our railroads are striking illustrations of the retri- 
bution which overtakes even a national and interna- 
tional business which is victimized by speculation. By 
being regarded as mere financial devices, railroads were 
cheated of the mechanical development which today 
would have enabled them to meet the changed condi- 
tions. Worse than being inefficient, worse than being 
near bankruptcy, our railroads are not admirable even 
in the railroad sense. They are equipped wrongly and 
operated wrongly and they never will be efficient and 
they never will be profitable again until they have been 
changed from the bottom. You can't run railroads 
from a speculator's office. 

There, then, are three problems, all of them touch- 
ing our times pretty vitally — Tariff, Taxes, Transpor- 
tation. Each of them a field for dreams that come 
true. 



396 



Illusions Are Not Faith 



MANY a man thinks he has lost faith when he 
has lost only his illusions. It is one of the pen- 
alties we pay for not making proper distinctions be- 
tween values. The power of illusion is so great, that 
when the illusion vanishes we think that the bottom 
has fallen out of reality; the truth is that only the 
mists have been dispelled. The mists sometimes give 
illusions of flowery meadows beyond; when they lift 
we see a hard road. 

Illusions can be lost, but faith cannot. A good 
deal of credulity can be turned into skepticism, but 
faith cannot. A man may lose many things, but he 
cannot lose anything that he once possessed as part 
of his very self ; and faith is such a part. 

It is perhaps impossible correctly to see illusions 
until they have vanished, because they fill so large a 
part of the foreground of our minds while we have 
them. They are like the dreams of youth which are 
very real while they last, and even after they pass 
leave fragrant vestiges behind, but which in the clearer 
light of reality we see to have been wrongly placed. 
They were beautiful, but they were not true; at least 
they were not yet true. They may have been fore- 
gleams, as when a sunny day foretells the Spring but 
is succeeded by weeks of raw and changeable weather. 

Illusions are numerous and take their color from 
the man himself. Perhaps the most common of them 
all relate to ourselves and society. There is a com- 
fortable feeling which most of us possess at some time 
in our lives and which is based on the supposition that 
all men are good and unselfish. This feeling seems 
to be confirmed during youth, for as a rule the world 
does not show its hard side to young people. A great 
defect in ordinary education is the teaching that every- 
one is all right, when later experience, if it be normal, 
cannot but show that everyone is not all right. There 
is a sort of education which tends to make us soft 

397 



FORD IDEALS 

and overdeveloped on the conciliatory side, so pathet- 
ically anxious for harmony that we are afraid to stand 
up for the truth which comes like a divisive sword and 
cuts men into parties. 

Society is suifering a reaction from that attitude 
now, because of the weakness in ordinary thinking 
which leads the ordinary mortal, for a time at least, to 
say to himself, "Everybody is for himself alone; I 
will therefore be for myself alone, and the devil take 
the rest/' 

There are people who in their reaction turn to a * 
deeper dye of the thing which they thought was not 
there and have found to be there ; their reaction is not 
toward the actual condition as a real condition but 
incomplete, and then goes still further toward the con- 
dition that ought to exist. That is, men disappointed 
in their illusions as to human society often turn de- 
fensive and predatory, instead of constructive. 

That is the cause of what is called "class conscious- 
ness" today — a predatory attitude toward a class to 
which one conceives he does not belong. It is seen 
at its most fateful development in Russia, and its ex- 
istence is a warning to all men. 

There is enough good in society to preserve it for 
all social purposes, but it is not of the ice cream party 
or missionary kind. It doesn't go out in large and 
generous waves, but it is there, waiting to greet its 
own kind when it comes along. But some men's bit- 
terness upon the loss of their illusions is so strong 
that they miss the very thing for which their natures 
are searching. In the great social upheaval in Russia, 
there is a terrible lack of idealism. As one who has 
been through it says, the idealists become rapacious 
hypocrites as soon as they come into power. No po- 
litical or social philosophy can be blamed for this; it 
IS simply human nature. 

Illusions are fine things to keep us afloat until we 
find our feet, and the best thing that can be said of 
them is that they trend mostly in the right direction. 
If they were not mainly tinged with the right color, 
they would not last long as illusions. Uncomfortable 
illusions depart sooner than any other, for truth drives 

398 



ILLUSIONS ARE NOT FAITH 

them out; if truth is kindlier to our comfortable il- 
lusions, it may be because these are more akin to truth 
itself. However, illusion is at best a mirage, while 
faith has something solid about it — ^it is perhaps the 
solidest thing in the world. All faith at last is one 
faith, though the expressions of it may vary. 

People do not commonly think of faith as solid and 
substantial; they regard it as an airy fairy nothing, 
colored balloons which one sends up for one's own 
amusement. This is because they have confused faith 
with something else. 

Faith is know-so more than hope-so. Faith may 
begin as a conscious preference; it ends as an ironclad 
proof. The man who has faith knows. There may 
be still much work to be done on the drawing board 
or in the experimental room to make his faith articu- 
late, but nevertheless he knows just as assuredly as 
if the thing were the commonplace of everyday agree- 
ment. 

Faith is a higher grade of intelligence and is ac- 
cessible even to those whose brains do not move easily 
in routine methods, who do not manufacture their 
thoughts according to the rules made and established 
by the professionals. 

The rule ought to be, the less illusion the more 
faith, because illusion may be balmy, but faith is dyna- 
mic. Illusions are sedative, faith is stimulative. A 
man rests on his illusions, he climbs on his faith. Il- 
lusions grow less and less as life goes on ; faith grows 
more and more. Illusions are many, faith is one. 

Faith is the material out of which all the things 
that are yet to be are made. It is an invisible and 
plastic substance capable of taking upon itself the 
reality of visible form. Not only is it substance, but 
it is force as well. It probably does not create any- 
thing that already does not exist, but it has power to 
bring the invisible things into the visibfe plane where 
all men may use them. Faith is the matter out of 
which new pattern things are made, and after they 
appear, then commonplace men may make the same 
things out of wood or laws or systems, or whatever 
it may be. 

We talk about having faith in ourselves. Well, 

399 



FORO IDEALS 



if we know what that means, it is true; but too often 
it means only a stimulated self-confidence, the assump- 
tion and presumption of a "front." But plainly and 
simply, faith must be in ourselves, because there we 
make the only contact with reality that we can make. 
It is faith in ourselves as having become at last a use- 
ful part of the whole, that the term really signifies. 

We sometimes talk about faith and sight as if they 
were opposed; they are the same thing. The only 
man who walks by sight is the man who walks by faith, 
for he is the only man who can see. Nobody sees 
anything until faith has brought it within the sphere of 
vision. 

Faith is the sixth sense that completes all the others 
and it shows itself chiefly in loyalty to Duty, for Duty 
sums up all the creative work we do. Our career is 
our duty, and our duty is our contribution to life. 
Creative work is not a fine and pleasant frenzy; it is 
often doing what we would not choose to do, for we 
are chosen oftener than we choose. A man plodding 
along at what he knows to be his duty is an agent of 
the universe, in his right place. Not only is he doing 
something, but something is being done for him. Faith 
works changes both in the agent and the objective. It 
is the creative medium, without any limit that has been 
found. 



400 



What Makes Immigration 
a ''Problem?" 



THE immigration question has come to the front 
again and gives another illustration of the diffi- 
culty of deciding national policies with rigid mathe- 
matical precision. The fact that this question occurs 
is proof that something is wrong; the fact that no 
offered solution can be considered as final is proof 
that we have not yet found the principle that should 
govern us. 

Two points are fixed, of which it will be very hard 
to dispose. One is our national tradition as a place 
of refuge for all people. It will be impossible to cause 
the people of the United States to turn their faces like 
flint against the populations of the Old World who 
wish to come to us. We have stood before the world 
as the open door for all who would begin their lives 
again in a condition of liberty; we have never refused 
sanctuary to the person fleeing from persecution. 

The other point has already been made : our na- 
tional attitude is the first; the plight of the alien is 
the second ; they merge together. To close our doors 
is not a national act alone, it reacts upon human beings 
elsewhere. And that we shall ever be loath to do. 

That is to say, perhaps, that we are incurable sen- 
timentalists on this question. We may admit this, even 
while we keep a shrewd eye on those who diligently 
play upon our sentimentality for their own purposes. 

We may admit most of what the spokesmen tell us, 
too — the spokesmen who are more interested in other 
races than they are in America. We may admit, for 
instance, that this country was made by immigrants. 
So it was. The pioneers were immigrants. They 
came to a wilderness and made it blossom. They came 
to a bleak and stormy coast and filled it with commerce. 
It is impossible to honor them too much. 

We ought to be frank enough, however, to see that 

401 



FORD IDEALS 



not all modern immigrants arje of pioneer quality. It 
is one thing to come to a country to help make it, and" 
quite another thing to come to a countn'' as to a ripe 
tree to pick it. There was no immigration problem in 
the United States so long fls immigrants came to help 
make the country. The country knew its friends, felt 
the impulse of new life with every shipload of those 
who came seeking a place to bestow their best. But 
as soon as the type of immigration changed to include 
people who came to pluck the country of its good 
things, immediately the body of the nation felt its 
vitality decreasing, as with some slow insidious disease, 
and presently we knew that we had an immigration 
problem. 

The pioneers came on their own initiative. A very 
large proportion of those who come now, are brought ; 
they are transported as literally as an army is; they 
do not form that surging forward of the free and in- 
dependent portions of other peoples which character- 
ized our former immigration tidal waves. No country 
can have too much of the pioneer spirit, too much of 
that loyalty which contributes to the upbuilding of its 
institutions. 

But what have we been getting in this country, 
particularly of late? What have we been importing 
besides immigrants? The immigration of destructive 
ideas has been enormous, too. It is easier to deal 
with immigrants, in whatever condition of physical, 
mental or financial decrepitude they may come to us, 
than with the false ideas which so many of them bring. 
That i^ one of the conditions that make the immigra- 
tion question: we are importing something^^lse besides 
people and the danger of disease; we are importing 
dangerous and false ideas — dangerous because false. 

Now America is on the right road, or she is on the 
wrong road. The United States stands for personal 
liberty within the limits prescribed by the public good, 
and for equality before the law, or it does not* Our 
Constitution is the charter of a proper kind of national 
life, or it is not. We must take one side or the other 
on these matters, and we must classify men according 
to the side they choose. If they are of the opinion that 



402 



WHAT MAKES IMMIGRATION A "PROBLEM"? 

the United States ought to be changed into something 
else, let them be so classified. They, however, cannot 
be considered as citizens contributing to the upbuilding 
of this country. If there is a class of people who come 
to us saying, "Wq are the apostles of a new era ; your 
way of doing things is wrong ; your whole system must 
be changed," we are entitled to say in reply, "That 
many of our ways are imperfect, we have long known ; 
we are trying to perfect them ; tell us how it is that a 
light has shone on you with reference to American 
problems that has never shone on us; show us what 
you have behind you in achievement and then we shall 
consider your fitness to become our rulers." 

And, for the most part, we find that these people 
have no constructive record at all, and have nothing 
within or upon them that recommends them to us as 
the friends of the American spirit. They may prop- 
agate the idea that Americans think them dangerous 
only because they are dangerous to certain practices 
by which some Americans practice: they are wrong; 
we think them dangerous because they run contrary to 
the spirit of America. 

The immigration problem is not only a question of 
numbers. The country is not in danger of being over- 
populated. There are still great areas of land waiting 
for people. It is not the number of the newcomers 
that constitutes the problem, but their unwillingness to 
begin as pioneers, with the land, and their unwilling- 
ness to become American in the American sense. 

This, of course, is due to several causes. And be- 
fore the immigration question can be tackled satisfac- 
torily, a number of things must be done. 

The custom of hawking about Europe for immi- 
grants who have least to leave should be prohibited. 
We are getting now those classes which their home 
governments are gladdest to get rid of. Indeed, their 
home governments are so glad to be rid of them that 
they facilitate their progress hither. 

The custom of certain societies in the United States 
of assisting thousands of immigrants to evade the law 
by providing them with the amount of money required 

403 



FORD IDEALS 



should be stopped. The same fold of bills brings any 
number of immigrants into the country, thus destroy- 
ing the virtue of the law which makes possession of a 
certain sum an indication of certain desirable qualities. 

The custom of immigrants settling in the cities 
should be so regulated as practically to be stopped. 
What immigration is doing for cts now is simply ex- 
tending the slums of our large cities until they threaten 
^o taint every part of every community. The United 
States should assume the right which other govern- 
ments have assumed and say to the immigrants, "You 
may go here and settle where you will, but you may 
not go there." President Taft once said he wished 
that Russian Jew immigrants would go elsewhere than 
to the cities. "The more we spread them out in the 
West the better I like it," he said. "I have tried to 
help it along so we could help them directly on to the 
plains of Texas." 

This custom of city settlement is encouraged, it is 
believed, merely to give power to racial rulers which 
set themselves up in every large city. Settled on the 
land, the immigrant would more readily imbibe Ameri- 
can ideas and would be less amenable to the leaders' 
plans, and thus a leadership built upon so-called "racial 
solidarity," but really upon ignorance of American 
ways, would fall. This type of leadership is a very 
grave danger in this country, and it is the cause of 
some very disquieting manifestations in our national 
life. 

More stringent rules of citizenship should be made. 
The immigrant should be more stringently required to 
look forward toward citizenship as an important part 
of his career, and the standard of the requirements of 
citizenship should be much higher and more strictly 
applied. It should not be more difficult to acquire 
membership in a lodge than it is to acquire member- 
ship in the citizenship of the United States of America. 
We have been far too negligent. 



404 



The Three Foundation Arts 



No MAN is more dangerous, in war or in peace, 
than the man who tries to stop the processes by 
which the legitimate needs of the people are supplied. 
When a man attempts that in time of war, he is dealt 
with as a traitor. His character does not change when 
he carries on his work in time of peace, although his 
punishment does. The reasons which move him to act 
at one time are precisely the same as at another. He 
wishes to aid some cause by breaking down the estab- 
lished character of the people's lives. 

Everyone remembers what was thought during the 
war of men who tried to induce the farmers to raise 
less food, the shop workers to complete less work, the 
railwaymen to invent unnecessary delays. 

Now, suppose there is today a return of that same 
program, is it to be regarded as any more desirable 
now than it was then? If a thing is good and right 
to do, is there ever any justification for a conspiracy 
to stop doing it ? Yet there is considerable propaganda 
at work today to make men quit doing the right things 
for society. The farmer is urged to raise no more 
than he needs; the shopman is urged to do no more 
than he must; the transport man is encouraged to let 
society go hang. 

And this propaganda is having a certain amount 
of effect. To understand it, however, you must not 
too hastily condemn it. It is not enough to say that 
the program is wrong in every way in which it is pos- 
sible to be wrong. We must understand why men 
are persuaded to such a wrong program. Men do not 
enter wholesale into a conspiracy to do wrong. Ameri- 
cans do not undertake to injure society for the fun or 
malice of it. They have been persuaded that it is a 
means to a good end — a harsh means, perhaps, but to 
be condoned for the sake of what it has in view. 

405 



FORD IDEALS 



That is the point. Take the farmer's case, for ex- 
ample. Many farmers are saying now that they will 
not raise any more this season then they need — little 
more, anyway. The farmer is, in many cases, sore in 
his mind. Things have gone badly with him — not in 
failure of the crops, nor in the enmity of the elements, 
nor yet in the loss of public esteem for his profession — 
but in a money way. He has as much of the wealth 
of the earth as he ever had, much more in fact, but it 
has not meant so much in tnoney. Farming has ceased 
to be only a matter of making the earth perform her 
yearly miracle; it has been hooked up with banking; 
and, of course, the taint of money exerts a disturbing 
influence. 

Wheat will make as much bread as before, but it 
will not make as much money. 

Now, men have been busy telling the farmer that if 
he will forbid the earth to yield as much food this year, 
if he will exercise a prohibition over the beneficent 
forces of nature, prices will go up next year. 

Doubtless they will, and with them will go up the 
cry of the people because of a scarcity of food. 

The farmers are persuaded to do this as a protest 
against the banking and financial system that juggled 
their prices downward. That is to say, farming has 
been advised to annex the evils of the financial system 
in order to get even. It is a clear case of two wrongs 
being counseled in order to make a right. 

The farmers do not deliberately say, "We'll make 
food scarce in the cities." They say, "We'll do some- 
thing to check this game the hiasters of the money 
market have been playing on us.'* Yet the latter 
means the former. And even then, it does not mean 
that the game will be won. Instead of food there will 
be prices, and nothing was ever sustained on prices 
alone. 

Now, having this understanding of what the farm- 
ers are taught will result from their action, let us see 
how the whole case stands. 

Society is like a city. There are some functions 
which, in a city, can never stop without disaster: they 

406 



tHE THREE FOUNDATION ARTS 

are the primal functions, for the benefit of which peo- 
ple gather together in cities of similar communities. 
They are such things as water, light, police and fire 
protection. 

Now, these things must be supplied, regardless. If 
the city is wild or drunk, still the firemen and police- 
men must stand guard, and the water . station must 
keep pumping. If the city government is inefficient 
and the revenues of the city wasted, still policemen 
must pace their beats and fire stations must keep the 
watch alert. There are some duties which, if deserted, 
destroy the last chance of betterment and reform. 

In the great national community, in the great world 
community, there are certain primary functions with- 
out which modern life is simply impossible, and even 
primitive life is impossible. 

These are Agriculture, Manufacture and Trans- 
portation, the three great arts. Community life is im- 
possible without them. They hold the world together. 
Raising things, making things and carrying things are 
as primitive as human need and yet as modem as any- 
thing can be. Yet we cannot get beyond them. They 
are of the essence of physical life. They are to the 
world what water, light and fire protection are to the 
city — indispensable. When they cease, community life 
is no longer possible. 

Now, the truth is this : things get very much out of 
shape in this present world under the present system, 
but the hope we have of a betterment of matters is that 
certain things are going to stand firm. The basis for 
a better state of things is here, if someone does not 
destroy the basis. As long as the foundations stand 
sure, a better building is always possible. Destroy the 
foundation, and no building at all is possible. 

The great delusion today is to make the Men of the 
Foundation feel that they may trifle with the part they 
have been given by Destiny to play in the social proc- 
ess. They are being told that they are the victims', 
when as a matter of fact they are the world's chief 
hope, socially and economically. If they stand firm, 
they will help bring about the order that is desired ; if 

407 



FORD IDEALS 



they go fooling with the fundamentals committed to 
their care, no one knows what will happen. 

Now, we have the main timbers for the new order, 
whatever it may be and whenever it may come. These 
main timbers are the men and means to grow things, 
to make things and to carry things. These will be the 
hold-overs, so to speak, or a better figure still, they are 
the bridges all set to see us across without disaster. As 
long as Agriculture, Manufacture and Transportation 
go on, the world can carry any economic or social 
change. 

But, if this bridge is destroyed, who knows what 
will come? And if it is destroyed, it will only have 
to be rebuilt again, and of the same men and means, 
and for the same purposes — growing food, making 
utensils, carrying goods. 

It seems that if the men engaged in the three arts 
were only able to see the part they play, that they are 
really the great natural elements which prevent the old 
order from being as bad as it might be, and are abso- 
lutely indispensable to the new order, they would re- 
gard their responsibility more highly than the prop- 
agandists wish them to do. 

The best service any man can now do to bring 
about a better state of things is to be absolutely loyal 
to the thing he is doing in the Three Principal Arts. 
Speculators may have to stop, but not farmers. Money- 
makers may have to quit, but not plow-makers. These 
necessary things tide over any break, and are already 
the substance of the newer time. 

Anyone laboring in the Three Principal Arts today 
has a hand in remaking the world for his children. 
Anyone curtailing them is holding back society. 



408 



/ 



k Few Remarks on Education 



EVERY little while the old question is brought up 
again — "Does Education Educate?*' — ^and we 
have more or less entertaining demonstrations of the 
ignorance of college students, the illiteracy of the read- 
ing public, numerous diverting tests of knowledge, and 
debates concerning the difference between wisdom and 
learning. 

It is one of our favorite sports, this habit of getting 
fun out of the question of knowledge : we make fun of 
men who never went to college, because they did not 
go; and we make fun of men who went to college, 
because going did apparently so little for them. 

There never was and probably never will be a sys- 
tem devised that will put brains into men's heads, and 
until such a system appears we must expect to find in 
men the same differences that have always marked 
them, whether with books or without them, in or out 
of college. 

Take a group of wholly illiterate men, men who 
cannot read a date on the calendar, who cannot write 
their own names, and you will find a difference in brain 
power among them. Equally illiterate, one man will 
exhibit more native intelligence ; he has brains even if 
he has little book knowledge ; he has foresight, insight, 
initiative; he knows what he knows, and, therefore, 
possesses confidence and a sense of mastery. 

Passing that group through college would probablv 
not change the comparative brain values; one would 
still be brighter than the others. The average of ability 
might be raised, but there would be no essential en- 
largement of native br^ain power. 

Just as there are some stones that will not take a 
polish, so there are minds that cannot be standardized 
so far as knowledge and the ability to use it is con- 
cerned. 

' 409 



FORD IDEALS 



. An able man is a man who can do things, and his 
ability to do things is dependent on what he has in him, 
and what he has in him depends on what he started 
with and what he has done to increase and discipline it. 

An educated man is not one whose memory is 
trained to carry ^a few dates in history, but one whose 
mind can accomplish things. A man who cannot think 
is not an educated man, however many college degrees 
he may have acquired. Thinking is the hardest work 
any one can do, which is probably the reason we have 
so few thinkers. 

There are two extremes to be avoided; one is the 
attitude of contempt toward education, the other is the 
tragic snobbery of assuming that marching through an 
educational system is a sure cure for ignorance and 
mediocrity. One benefit that education can confer on 
a man is to give him an equal start with his fellows. 
Sometimes even that is not an advantage, but in the 
main and for the general run of human beings, per- 
haps it is. You cannot learn in any school what the 
world is going to do next year, but you can learn some 
of the things which the world has tried to do in former 
years, and where it failed, and why it succeeded. 

If education consisted in warning the young stu- 
dent of some of the exploded false theories on which 
men have tried to build, so that he may be saved the 
loss of time in finding this out by bitter experience, its 
good would be unquestioned. One sees a great deal 
along this line among the amateur inventors of the day. 
Inventors, by the way, are not made by education, but 
if they have enough education to save them from put- 
tering away over the mistakes that have been con- 
clusively proved to be mistakes, it saves them time. 
There are men at work today on theories fundamen- 
tally wrong, but they do not know that other men have 
followed that road and have had to come back. An 
education which consisted of signposts indicating the 
failures and the fallacies of the past, doubtlessly would 
be very useful. If education had as its objective the 
putting of the student in possession of the world up- 
to-date, so that leaving the school he could start in step 

410 



A FEW REMARKS ON EDUCATION 

with humanity, it would be a great service. But 
whether this is the objective, it may be better to let 
educators themselves decide. 

It is not education and it is not learning to be in 
possession of the theories of a lot of professors who 
do not know and never will know. Speculation is very 
interesting, and sometimes profitable, but it is not edu- 
cation. To be learned in science today is merely to 
be aware of a hundred theories that have not teen 
proved. And not to know what those theories are is 
to be "uneducated," "ignorant," and so forth. But 
neither the man who knows these theories nor the man 
who does not know them, really knows anything. If 
knowledge of guesses is learning, then one may be- 
come learned by the simple ejcpedient of making his 
own guesses, and by the same token he can dub the 
rest of the world "ignorant" because it does not know 
what his guesses are. 

But the best that education can do for a man is 
to put him in possession of his powers, give him con- 
trol of the tools with which destiny has endowed him, 
and teach him how to think. The college renders its 
best service as an intellectual gymnasium, in which 
mental muscle is developed and the student strength- 
ened to do what he can. 

To say, however, that mental gymnastics can only 
be had in college is not true, as every educator knows. 
A man's real education begins after he has left school, 
as any university graduate will tell you. True education 
is gained through the discipline of life. 

The trouble is not with the schools altogether 
(though their one-sidedness in filling the field with 
books and leaving no place for the training of eye and 
ear and hand is recognized), but with the public illu- 
sion that schools can do for a young man what he must 
do for himself. If young men come out of college un- 
educated it is their own fault, and the same would be 
true if it were a canning factory Jhey came out of, or 
a boiler shop, or anywhere else. Any place, any work 
offers an opportunity for education, but it is something 

411 



FORD IDEALS 

the recipient takes, it is not something that can be 
handed to him. 

Here is a farmer boy working in the greatest school 
that ever existed, walking all day long on the greatest 
textbook ever written. If he could master the secrets 
of one acre, or even one square foot of land, he would 
be a learned man. There are more things to be learned 
on one farmstead than in Harvard, Yale and Prince- 
ton put together ; though it sometimes occurs that the 
young man doesn't know this until he has gone through 
school first. 

' We are a nation of casual readers. We read to 
escape thinking. Reading has become a dope habit 
with us. Learning has become a thing of accent and 
of facts. It is "learning" to have read the latest novel, 
but not to know that it's a silly, trivial thing. It is 
"learning" to have looked into this or that book-suf- 
focated man's speculation, but not to know that he 
would be a wiser man and have more wholesome blood 
coursing through his brain if he would take a hammer 
or an ax and get out where he could sense life. Book- 
sickness is the modern ailment. There's more wisdom 
in the shop where men deal with real materials and real 
persons every day. 

What can you do to help and heal the world ? — that 
is the educational test. If a man can hold up his own 
end, he counts for one. If he can help ten or a hun- 
dred or a thousand other men hold up their ends, he 
counts for more. He may be quite rusty on many 
things that inhabit the realm of print, but he is a 
learned man just the same. When a man is master 
of his own sphere, whatever it may be, he ha^ won his 
degree — he has entered the realm of wisdom. 



412 



Common Life Is Standard 

and Best 



THE time is here when many young people are leav- 
ing school and casting about for clues by which 
they may settle the question of their careers ; they want 
to know what they are going to do, what niche they 
will fill, what name people will know them by as to 
trade, service and success. It is a trying period. It is 
astounding sometirpes how little can be done to help. 
The very anxiety of the search seems to be a stage 
through which the developing life must come. 

There is probably not so much nonsense to be got 
rid of by the person leaving school nowadays, as there 
formerly was. Years ago no school was believed to 
have done its duty which did not send out every pupil 
filled with the idea that some day he (and now it would 
be also she) might become President. As the United 
States has required only 29 Presidents in the 145 years 
of its national existence, there has been a rather alarm- 
ing waste of raw material. 

The majority of people are blessed by being des- 
tined to the very best kind of life there is, the life of a 
plain person upon whom all the liberties descend and 
who with others of his kind constitute the ruling class 
of the world. They will not be President, nor Con- 
gressman, nor town councilman, nor even secretary of 
their lodge; they will just be folks. 

It is very easy to state this another way. It may 
be said that "they are doomed to mediocrity." It may 
be said that "they are destined to live the colorless life 
of the common man.'' It may be said, "They are sen- 
tenced to a proletarian life." , 

These phrases are the scum that rose to the surface 
of those old false teachings that success consisted in 
getting the place that was accessible to only a few in a 

413 



FORD IDEALS 



generation. Failing that, then life was "doomed" to 
be common. Utter rant and nonsense ! 

The very word "proletariat" is an insult, and if the 
majority of the people knew what it meant they would 
repudiate it and cast off the propagandists that foisted 
the name upon them. Proletariat means that class that 
is good for nothing but to raise children for the state 
— the lowest, most vulgar and useless type of human 
beings. 

Yet whole bodies of well-read and highly useful 
American citizens are induced to parade around calling 
themselves the Proletariat, and reading about them- 
selves as Proletarians. The man who calls himself a 
Proletarian, and knows what the word means, ought 
to be ashamed to look his wife and family in the face. 

There are no such people as common people, in the 
sense that makes all the others uncommon. We are 
all common, or we are all uncommon, however you 
choose to look at it. The king is common, once you 
get to know him. The Presidential office is not a com- 
mon office, but the President is common. Ask him, 
and_ he will tell you that he never felt himself to be 
anything but common. That is to say, people on the 
same plane of character are common possessors of 
pretty much the same qualities ; they are citizens of the 
same commonwealth. 

To say that the king is common and that the Presi^ 
dent is common, is, however, not quite the whole truth ; 
for these statements are made sometimes to soothe 
those who are in rebellion against being themselves. 
The major half of the truth is that no man is com- 
mon; individuality, personality, the moral dignity of 
a human being as a creation of the infinite mind, these 
are the most imcommon things we can think about. No 
man is common. But in the compass of that fact, all 
men are common. They have a common uncommon- 
ness by virtue of their being human beings. Their 
commons is the universe. 

Now, the book that the majority reads is said to be 
the best book. The food that the majority eats is held 
to be the most natural and nourishing food. The mode 

414 



COMMON LIFE IS STANDARD AND BEST 

of life which the majority pursues is held to be the 
most satisfactory mode. The life that the majority 
leads may be called the standard, the normal of life. 
Very well; that standard, normal life is the same life 
we call common, and which som^ poor pitiable people 
regard as a life of failure. Life itself is at once the 
common and the uncommon thing. The richest and 
nK)st successful person is the one who has the most 
life; and life fe within; it is within and from within; 
there is no favoritism, no "puir* at the source of life. 

Now that is what is meant when the false guides 
say "the majority are doomed to live the life of the 
masses," and that also is what is meant when others 
say, "the majority are going to live the standard, 
normal human life." That life is common to all. It is 
the life which everybody must live in order to live at 
all; the life of labor and food, of day and night, of 
home and family, of body and soul — the same life 
which the President must live in his White House and 
the pioneer in his prairie home. It is the same life. 
It ought to be a relief to know in advance that it is to 
be ours. 

Life is divided into two main periods — the period 
when we take in and the period when we give out. 
Youth is the receptive period, and although that period 
does not end, there comes to keep company with it an 
expressive period when the individual makes his or 
her contribution to the general life. He does more 
than that, however; in his work he also makes a con- 
tribution to himself. The sum of earth life is the mak- 
ing of character. It is inevitable. 

We make character whether we want to or not. 
We make it whether we are conscious of it or not. 
We make it wherever we are and by whatever we do. 
There is no special location or no special occupation 
which is more favorable to character-making than is 
another location or occupation. There is no station in 
life that is favorable to the production of a finer type 
of character than is any other station. 

The more and better character that is made, the 
more the outer world is changed to conform to it. The 

415 



VOKu OfiALS 

money question, the industrial question, the political 
question, the social question — ^all these wait for the 
settlement of the character question. 

The reason that high office is so powerless to bring 
about reforms, the reason that titles and prerogatives 
are helpless in making a clean sweep of injustices, is 
just this — ^no office or authority gets any further than 
the character that creates and fills it. Character is the 
great authority. Given character, office can be dis- 
pensed with. Presidents and kings and magnates of 
all degrees are but the servants of great characters. 
And great characters are independent of riches or 
power. They are rich and they have power, and are 
therefore invincible in whatever right things they un- 
dertake. 

We have rather successful inventions, successful 
businesses, successful policies, but not enough success- 
ful men. The success of a man is to become a Man in 
the character and power that make him, stripped and 
alone, a Man. And this is all within his own control ; 
no outer circumstance can control that, but he can use 
that to control outer circumstance. 

No one should be content with poverty, because if 
it is poverty instead of the clean, hard type of bareness 
which constitutes the voluntary "doing without" of 
camp life, it is degrading. If a man is poor, it should 
only be by his own choice. Many men have been poor 
by their own choice, and therefore they escaped the de- 
pression of poverty. In the perfect society, most peo- 
ple will choose to live on the plane of the average man 
of today — it is more comfortable, more human, more 
conducive to peace. The state to which the majority 
of society has attained today, with such corrections of 
the money and governmental system as will prevent dis- 
honest tampering, is, with certain changes, approxi- 
mately the state that will prevail when society becomes 
what it ought to be. Why not? What better base is 
there for the development of character? 






416 



Discouraging People From 

Thinking 



THERE is a false theory which dates from ancient 
times that the way to prevent social or political 
disruption is to prevent the people from thinking. 
Keep their minds off fundamental problems and every- 
thing will go along without disturbance. Sometimes 
this was done by free circuses and free distribution of 
food, as in ancient Rome. Sometimes it was done by 
bringing on a war when the population seemed to be 
growing restless. Sometimes it is achieved by bring- 
ing upon the stage a leader with a Roosevelt personal- 
ity who captures the imagination of the people and 
gives an appearance of rushing hither and thither on 
an endless series of hopeful quests. 

In these days, the same doctrine is preached with 
reference to unemployment — ^keep the people employed, 
because if you do not, they will begin to think, and 
thinking is not a good sign. 

It is doubtless true that unemployment is unneces- 
sary, or would be unnecessary if our affairs were man- 
aged by plain common sense. There is always enough 
to do and always enough people willing to do it, but 
there is always also that, little-understood matter of 
money which usurps so big a position in the question. 
Unemployment is everybody's fault, and not the fault 
of a class only, as the false teaching of the day asserts. 
The class propaganda is merely a postponement of the 
sense of general responsibility which all the people must 
feel before substantial and enduring progress can be 
made. 

As to the dangers of the people thinking, there are 
several points to observe. Thought, of course, is the 
most powerful dynamite in the world. Thought has 
achieved whatever we see. Wrong thought has achieved 

417 



FORD IDEALS 

all the wrong we see. It is not thought that is danger- 
ous, but its temper and direction. 

It is perhaps true that one of the root causes of our 
troubles today is that there is too little public thought. 
More people are reading than ever before — ^as witness 
the enormous editions of incendiary literature which 
the radical organizations circulate — ^but what they read 
stirs up something besides thought. It stirs up passion, 
resentment, hatred, the latent destructive faculties, and 
puts the man into fierce vibration, but this is not stir- 
ring up thought. Thought has quite another tone and 
result. 

What little thought may be mixed in these "manifes- 
tations of the destructive passions is thereby contamin- 
ated, prostituted and neutralized. Men cannot think 
under such conditions. The real problem is not how to 
prevent the people thinking and asking questions, but 
how to make it possible for them to think under right 
conditions. 

During the period of stress and unemployment 
which is now happily past, many people did a great 
deal of so-called thinking. That is, they brooded and 
they made vows and they gave vent to great denuncia- 
tions. It was not purposeful thinking. How could it be ? 
When a man is in a corner, how can he be expected to 
be philosophical? Unless, of course, he is an extraor- 
dinary man; and if he were that, the chances are he 
would not be in a corner. 

Our best social thinking is not done in periods of 
stress and enforced idleness. Indeed, you can measure 
the difference between real thinking and brooding, by 
measuring the difference between leisure and idleness. 
Leisure is necessary to thought, but idleness seems to 
be the enemy of thought. Leisure is a breathing 
period in a situation in which the man feels secure; 
idleness is a brooding period in a situation in which the 
bottom has apparently dropped out of the man's secur- 
ity. If the lay-off last winter could have been em- 
ployed as leisure, if men had been so well provided for 
that they could have looked upon the lay-off as a wel- 
come vacation, the mental results would have been 
beneficial to the country. As it was, the idleness was 

418 



DISCOURAGING PEOPLE FROM THINKING 

not leisure, and the psychological recovery is just as 
necessary as the economic recovery. 

The farmer is a good illustration of this. No one 
can deny that the farmer has been very hard hit and 
that his problem is the problem of every one of us. 
Until we regard the farmer's problem as our own, we 
are neglecting a bulwark of our economic security 
and our social solidarity. We hear in other countries 
of "Soldiers' and Workmen's Committees"; what we 
need in this country is a better understanding and a 
closer relation between workmen and farmers. 

During the slack season of the winter, when the 
farmer himself was shut out of his fields bv win- 
ter, he did a great deal of brooding. He had enough 
to brood about, too. And he expressed himself quite 
fully. His leisure was robbed of its value because of 
the change that had come in his economic standing, 
and his thoughts veered likewise. He said, among 
other things, that he would not raise a bushel more 
grain this year than he needed for himself and family ! 
He was through being the football of the profiteers! 
He would show them that they could not do as they 
liked with him! 

It was a serious threat. Aside ffom the economic 
phase of it, there was something ominous in the 
priests of the soil threatening to prevent the forces of 
nature doing their seasonal work. 

But what has occurred? The sun of spring began 
to shine and the spring rains came down, and the farm- 
er went forth to his fields. He began to work. Work 
began to heal him. It is safe to guess that what the 
farmers think by the end of the season, by the time of 
harvest, will be more constructive than what they 
thought during the winter. 

If the people only would think, and if conditions 
could be maintained which would enable them to think 
constructively, few problems would remain unsolved. 
Prosperity is the best time to think, for then you have 
the elements which are desirable to be maintained, 
and which the thoughtlessness of the people is some- 
times a very large element in destroying. 

419 



FORD IDEALS 

Why is it that public thinking, under conditions of 
prosperity, is more valuable to the public interest than 
the so-called thinking which is done under economic 
stress ? 

The answer is clear. First, the man is free to 
think without bias or resentment. There is no sense of 
personal wrong resting upon him, no feeling of bitter- 
ness twisting all his views into one channel. Second, 
the elements which are fundamental are present be- 
fore him — the fact of work and its necessity ; the fact 
of home and its security; the fact of society and the 
great dependence it has on ordered industry. Third, a 
general view into all grades of life which ease of mind 
permits him and which stress of mind often shuts out ; 
he can consider his children and their education ; mor- 
als and their sanction ; literature, science, politics — ^all 
the things which are shut out and undervalued when 
mental stress forces the mind into merely class ques- 
tions. 

Now, with none of these things present, but with 
himself forced down to the animal plane of finding 
something to eat, plainly the man is not in a position to 
do all-round thinking. And it is all-round thinking that 
is going to save the people from lopsided mistakes. Our 
education cannot be too general, our acquaintance with 
the grades of life too wide, for in the breadth of our 
view comes the correction of our tendencies to narrow- 
ness. 

Therefore, the agitators of destruction know ex- 
actly what they are doing when they choose the times 
of depression for their propaganda. Would that the 
children of light were as wise to choose the times of 
prosperity for the cultivation of sound, unbiased and 
constructive thinking upon the matters pertaining to 
our common life! 

Anyone who preaches that the people must be pre- 
vented from thinking is as dangerous to society as are 
those who spend immeasurable zeal in their efforts to 
make society think wrongly. It is when all the people 
think, normally and wholesomely, that the world will 
become what it might be. 

420 



Getting Rid of Fear and Failure 



THE only communism that ever helped men, and 
that ever will help men, is the communism of 
thought and understanding. Our modern life has 
taken a direction which makes it necessary for people 
to become acquainted all over again. We form our 
conclusions of persons and classes apart from them 
and, as a result, the world is dealing with dummy fig- 
ures which never existed, and with types of men who 
are few and unimportant. 

There was a time when people knew one another 
more intimately than they do now, and that time is 
still present in other countries. People knew one an- 
other in America when they were more dependent on 
one another. When neighborliness consisted in a com- 
munity of understanding, sympathy and helpfulness, 
when neighborliness was a duty such as "keeping up 
an appearance" is now regarded, there was a wide- 
spread social knowledge, gained by contact, which is 
now only imperfectly gained from other sources. 

Then the industrial era opened ; the amount of 
money handled by each family increased; the things 
that people used to do for one another, were hired 
done, or done within the family; in a word, people 
became more independent of one another, and thus 
drifted apart. Neighborhoods, on the surface at least, 
^re not what our forbears remembered them to be, nor 
even what they were in our youthful years. Indeed, 
there are no "neighborhoods" in the larger cities ; there 
are just "localities." 

Perhaps it is not as bad as this ; it only appears as 
bad. From time to time there comes news of a re- 
vival of the old neighborly spirit. Trouble comes to 
a family that has lately moved in and whom no one 
knows, and presently the neighborhood spirit — sleep- 
ing, but apparently not dead— discloses itself again in 
t^bose old and homely acts which, while they often have 

421 



FORD IDEALS 



small power to heal the circumstance, have ne.«^rthe- 
less a very potent power to soothe sore hearts. 

Try as we may to relegate all this to the realm of 
useless sentimentality, the fact remains that there is 
mysterious power in just the compassion of men for 
one another in their difficulties. There is not enough 
of it, and the reason is that we have made ourselves 
believe that material sufficiency makes us independent 
of all men. Not so. As a matter of^ fact, no one is so 
constantly dependent on other men as he whose inter- 
ests and responsibilities are great. 

But if experience teaches us anything it is this, that 
there is no readjustment without its compensation. The 
only constant and reliable fact is change. Life is a 
river whose sources are hidden, whose ultimate sea is 
not in view, and no work of man is quite so vain as 
that which seeks to fix life in a certain form for all 
the future. Create the form you dote on; establish it 
by revolution or the people's suffrage; yet as soon as 
it is established, the law of change begins to eat it 
away, and in a generation men reared under your form 
will be sadly saying, "Things are not what they used 
to be." 

And if we have been dislodged ''out of our reliance 
on the neighborhood, it has all been a profitable thing ; 
by it we have been thrown back into more reliance 
upon ourselves. 

After all, the successful man is the man who has 
no fear of himself. The true man of the world is the 
man who feels that as long as the earth turns round 
and the seasons come he is in his proper home, with 
all needful things awaiting his command. 

If there is one element of darkness which one 
would banish from the earth sooner than any other^ it 
is this element of fear. Fear is the offspring of a reli- 
ance placed on something outside — on a foreman's 
good will, perhaps, on a shop's prosperity, on a mar- 
ket's steadiness. That is just another way of sa)ang 
that fear is the portion of the man who acknowledges 
his career .to be in the keeping of earthly circumstance. 
Fear is the result of the body assuming ascendancy 
over the soul. It is the fruit of the mind that ac- 

422 



GETTING RID OF FEAR AND FAILURE 

knowledges itself to be a bond-slave. Many men fear 
every undertaking, and when you analyze the sources 
of their fear you will find that it is nothing but the 
memory pi their own previous failures. Men are like 
colts; if they are permitted to fail too often, it becomes 
a habit with them. Colts, however, fail because they 
are overloaded ; men, because they do not "adjust their 
efforts to obstacles" — which was Napoleon's rule. 

This habit of failure is purely mental and is the 
mother^of fear, and like any other bad habit, it carries 
a great deal of blameworthiness with it. Men fail — 
everybody fails — experiment and the getting o^expert- 
ness can be achieved by no other means than by items 
of failure; but to let failure in details or in experiment 
fix the ha'bit and the fear of failure on the mind is not 
only tragic but positively sinful. 

This habit gets itself fixed on men because they 
lack vision ; that is, they start out ^.o do something that 
reaches from A to Z of a certain matter. Now, at A 
they fail, at B they stumble, and at C they meet what 
seems to be an insuperable difficulty, and then they 
throw the whole task down — beaten! They have not 
even given themselves a chance to fail; they have not 
given their vision a chance to be proved or disproved ; 
they have simply been beaten by the natural difficulties 
that attend every kind of effort. 

It is a very serious thought that more men are 
beaten than fail. It was not wisdom they needed, nor 
money, nor brilliance, nor "pull," but just plain gristle, 
plain bone. This rude, simple, primitive power which 
we call "stick-to-it-iveness" is the uncrowned king of 
the world of endeavor. 

People are utterly wrong in their slant upon things. 
They s^ie the successes that men have made and some- 
how they appear to be easy. But that is a world away 
from the fact. It is a failure that is easy. Success 
is always hard. A man can fail in ease; he can suc- 
ceed only by paying all that he is and has. It is this 
which makes success so pitiable a thing if it be in lines 
that are not useful and uplifting to the people. 

Men ought to learn not to keep putting their trust 

423 



FORD IDEALS 



into what they deem untrustworthy. If a man is in 
constant fear of the industrial situation he ought to 
change his life so as not to be dependent on it. There 
is always the land,, and fewer people on the land now 
than there ever was before. 

If a man lives in fear of an employer's favor 
changing toward him, he ought to extricate himself 
from dependence on any employer. He can become 
his own boss. It may be that he will be a poorer boss 
than the one he leaves, and that his returns will be 
much less, but at least he will have rid himself of 
the shacipw of his pet. fear, and that is worth a great 
deal in money and position. 

Better still, is for the man to come up through him- 
self and exceed himself by getting rid of his fears in 
the midst of the circumstances where his daily lot is 
cast. Become a freeman in the place where you first 
surrendered your, freedom. Win your battle where 
you lost it. And you will come to see that, although 
there was much outside of you that was not just right, 
there was more inside of you that was wrong. Thus 
you will learn that the wrong inside of you spoils even 
the right that is outside of you. 

A man is still the superior being of the earth. 
Whatever happens, he is still a man. It may rain to- 
morrow — he is still a man. Business may slacken to- 
morrow — he is still a man. He goes through the 
changes of circumstances, as he goes through the 
variations of the temperature — still a man. If he can 
only get this thought reborn in him, it opens new wells 
of water and new mines of wealth in his own being. 
There is no security outside of himself. There is no 
wealth outside of himself. The elimination of fear is 
the bringing in of security and supply. 



424 



The Exodus From the Cities 

IT IS human nature to want to sit down contented, 
to get everything so nicely arranged that it will go 
without tending; but everyone knows that that is not 
the way life goes. There is a difference of tempo, a 
difference of purpose, a difference of method between 
human nature and life. Human nature would seem 
to be the sleepy pupil, and the forces of life the stern 
teacher who prods the pupil and keeps him doing what 
he would rather not do. Which, of course, is the high- 
est education, the best discipline— the power to do 
what we would rather not do. 

Every now and again something comes along to jar 
us loose, and start us going again. The conditions we 
thought were settled turn out not to be settled at all. 
The method we thought was established turns out to 
be the most temporary of expedients. Life steps in 
and orders us to move on. 

The thermometer is one of the staffs of authority 
which life wields over us. You will find within a cer- 
tain belt around the world all the progress that is con- 
tained within the world, and the secret of that belt's 
prosperity, progress, morality and superiority is re- 
vealed to us by the thermometer. The thermometer is 
mightier than the sword. Those races whom destiny 
has not set within that earth-belt need not be fought 
with swords; the thermometer fights them and keeps 
them in their place. The People of the Four Seasons 
are four times set upon every year by the forces of 
nature ; they have the sternness of winter, the promise 
of spring, the rich fruitfulness of summer and the 
beauty of autumn in their make-up. They are not 
suffered to loll upon the earth as others are. The gad 
of destiny is always whisking their flanks. 

Take the gentler upset which the coming of the 
present season brings to our ways of thinking. "Spring 
fever,'* so-called, and summer discontent are not mere 

425 



FORD IDEALS 



individual restlessnesses, they are comparable to the 
tremor which sometimes runs through the earth; they 
indicate that new settlements, new bases are being 
sought for. What we overlook too often is the fact 
that our desires are our prophets, foretelling what is 
to be. Millions of people at this season of the year 
are becoming sensible, often in a dull, dumb, uncon- 
scious way, of the difference between the way we have 
organized our life and the way in which nature has 
organized the world. 

People go out under the trees and beside broad 
waters ; they endure, dust and heat and crowding and 
the plaints of children, to seek a place where they may 
lie on a shaded hill and idly watch the cloud-fleets sail 
the sky. They get a new sense of the expanse and 
freedom of the world. Their minds range where there 
are no walls, no bounds, no close schedule of limita- 
tions. 

Say what you will, this contact with nature, though 
it be but for a day, is more than a pleasure, more than 
a vacation from work ; it is a jolt. People are made 
sensible of a jar between what is and what might be. 
Reflective people do not even enjoy the time of their 
vacation as they ought to, because it comes so clear to 
their minds that something is wrong. They may be 
inclined to think that it is merely their freedom from 
their usual work that causes this uneasiness, their free- 
dom to think once more — but that is not always the 
case. The Voice of Nature is saying to them, "Up,, 
for this is not your rest, you must march on!" 

It is not that the city is hot ; the country is hot too. 
It is not that the city means daily toil; there is daily 
toil in the country too. But somehow, at this season 
of the year, when the men of the cities come into the 
temples of the groves, and see miles of meadows and 
the sweep of rivers, they are torn between two feelings 
— first, that the cities have their disadvantages ; second, 
that the cities have their advantages too. 

One thing you may set down as true is that the 
cities are doomed. Not immediately, but perhaps much 
sooner than even the most adventurous are willing to 
believe. There is no city now existing that would be 

426 



THE EXODUS FROM THE CITIES 

rebuilt as it is, if it were destroyed; which fact is in 
itself a confession of our real estimate of our cities. 

There is a strange new movement afoot, which is 
well to attend a little. Never was there such an influx 
of people from the country into the cities; never was 
there such an exodus of people from the cities into 
the country. The two go on together. The people 
who don't know the cities are flocking in, as many as 
can. The people who do know the jcities are flocking 
out, as many as can. 

Now it means this : the city has had a part to play 
in the civilization of the world, and that part is now 
being played with accelerated speed. All our cities 
have changed their inhabitants the last few years. 
More and more people have been passed through them 
to gain wha^ they have to give. When the full part 
is played, and it is being played out fast, cities will pass 
off the stage. To this many lines of indication agree. 

So, the unrest we are beginning to feel, and which 
we increasingly feel at this season, is prophetic. Men 
are going to live nearer the source of things, not walled 
away like exiles from the very sun by which they live, 
and from the very soil that gives them bread. 

The city had a place to fill, a work to do. Doubt- 
less the country places would not have approximated 
their present livableness had it not been for the cities. 
By crowding together, men have learned some secrets. 
They would never have learned them alone in country 
life. Why, even the fresh air method of treating 
tuberculosis is a city discovery. Sanitation, lighting, 
social organization, all these are products of men's 
experience with each other in the city. 

That is to say, practically all the improvements that 
have been made in country life have originated in the 
city and have passed on to bless the country. In that 
we may see the city's place in the world — it was a 
gathering place in which men might work out those 
necessary devices of successful living which, when 
transplanted into the country, would make the desert 
blossom as the rose and, what is better, make the gray 
waste of life a colorful thing. 

People who are getting out of the cities now are 

427 



FORD IDEALS 



taking the best of the cities with them — ^those discover- 
ies and inventions which make life safe and pleasant, 
and which unburden men of loads that are better borne 
by iron and steel. 

\^ It is not the advantages of cities that are doomed, 
but the disadvantages — ^the congestion, the inequality 
which reigns even in the matter of air and sunlight and 
ground space. And yet, the world has known for 
many centuries that air and sunlight and ground space 
were not of >J:hemselves the infallible sources of happi- 
ness and success, for without certain improvements 
even country life becomes an insupportable drudgery 
and an unrelieved loneliness. The advantages of the 
country are natural; the advantages of the city are 
human ; when both are fused, as they are being fused, 
the cities lose in large degree their justification for 
existence. When they bring their best to the country, 
their work is done. 

Cities, in the sense of central assembling places for 
manufacture and commerce, may continue to exist; 
but people will live outside them. Wherever people 
can carry with them the advantages which the city has 
produced, they move out of the city. And that is the 

- natural, necessary movement ; for you cannot carry the 
country into the city, it cannot be done ; or if it could 
be done, the city would be destroyed in the process. 
But you can carry the city into the country, without 
destroying the country, but even improving, it. 

So while it is clear that cities are to pass, let us not 
regard them as a sad blunder; they were a school for 
the race. They taught us something. They filled their 
place and did their work of education. But an end 
comes to every phase of education, and it seems clear 
that an end is coming to this also. 



N 



428 



Use Is Better Than Economy 



IT IS rather a strange arrangement of nature that 
only the most precious values can be wasted. You 
can waste time, you can waste labor, you can waste 
material — and that is about all. You cannot waste 
money. You can misuse money, but. you cannot waste 
it; it is still somewhere. You can waste your own 
opportunity to use it for benefit, but that is all. Which 
would seem to put money in at least the second class. 

Time, energy and material are worth more than 
money, because they cannot be purchased by money. 
Not one hour of yesterday, nor one hour of today can 
be bought back. Not one ounce of energy can be 
bought back. Material wasted,, is wasted beyond re- 
covery. These things are in the front rank of values. 
They are the precious elements ^ut of which all wealth 
is made. 

It is worth noting that these precious values are 
not of human creation. We have done a great deal 
with our human intelligence and energy, we have ac- 
complished much by the manipulation of natural mate- 
rial and forces, but the severely modifying fact remains 
that ourselves and all we have worked with, and the 
very intelligence we have worked by, were not our own 
creation. So, while mankind may be pleased, and even 
thankful, it ill becomes it to be boastful. 

All our values were given us. Mind-values, power- 
values, material-values were all here. And we, the 
human race, have simply been cutting our eye-teeth on 
vSome of the elementary problems. The tree makes 
apples, mankind makes engines and philosophies — the 
tree cannot boast itself to be very original and power- 
ful; it does what it was given power to do. 

But mankind always has promise of being per- 
mitted to do still greater things. If trees bore different 
and finer apples every succeeding year, we should say, 
"Well, there is progress in the apple kingdom, and 

429 



(( 



FORD IDEALS 



some day those apple trees are going to develop into 
beings of wonderful powers." But we don't see that. 
We see, however, mankind putting out different and 
better fruits age by age, and even helping the tree 
bear better apples, and the bush better berries; and 
therefore we say, "Well, there will cotne a time when 
this wonderfully endowed and protected race of beings 
will work in some finer material than steel, and by 
some finer force than electricity or gasoline explosions. 
Its present progress has every sign of being only 
preparation." 

The waste which we practice upon the original 
store of wealth is always repairing itself. That is to 
say, the time we waste is wasted for us, not for Time 
— somewhere the unused hours and days return to 
original source where there are neither days nor hours, 
nor yet Time, but endless duration. Hours and days 
are doled out to us as small coin to see how we will 
use them. 

It is the same everywhere. Wasted material is re- 
placed; the earth never ceases making what we need 
and is prepared to fill future needs of which we have 
not now the slightest fore-knowledge. If men waste 
energy, it is lost to them as individuals — the great 
reservoir of energy on wh^ch all life draws is not 
exhausted. 

Therefore the great word of life is Use. 

Some would say Economy. Not so. The word 
economy represents a half-idea born of fear. Its his- 
tory is something like this: the great and tragic fact 
of waste is brought home to the mind by some circum- 
stance, usually of a most materialistic kind; or there 
comes a violent reaction against extravagance — for 
even nature rebels against our unwise courses (which 
is the reason why so many people break down from 
"overwork," which is not overwork at all) ; and as a 
sudden revulsion against it all, the mind catches hold 
of the idea of "economy." It flies from a greater evil 
to a lesser one ; it does not make the full journey from 
error to truth. 

Economy is the rule of half-alive minds. There 
can be no doubt that it is better than waste, neither 

430 



USE IS BETTER THAN ECONOMY 

can there be any doubt that it is not as good as Use. 

People who pride themselves on their economy 
sometimes bristle when it is attacked, as if one of the 
virtues had been denounced. It is principally in the 
interests of the economizers that this attitude is taken. 
For if there is anything more pitiable on earth than a 
poor, pinched mind spending the rich days and months 
pinching at a few pieces of metal, or paring the outer 
necessities of life to the very quick — if there is any- 
thing more pitiable, where is it? 

Obviously, a practice that so pinches the mind is a 
wrong one. We all know economical people who seem 
to be niggardly even about the amount of air they 
breathe and the amount of appreciation they will allow 
themselves to give anything. They are all shriveled 
up. 

Indeed, economy is waste: it is waste of the juices 
of life, the sap of living. For there are two kinds of 
waste : that of the prodigal who throws his substance 
away in riotous living, and that of the sluggard who 
allows his substance to rot from non-use. Ill the 
precious things of life the strict- economizer is in dan- 
ger of being classed with the sluggard. 

The beauty of the principle of Use is that it obtains 
all the advantages of economy and at the same time 
gives healthy expression to all the instincts of which 
wastefulness is the diseased symptom. Most people's 
extravagance is a reaction from severe suppression of 
expenditure. Most people's economy is a reaction 
from extravagance. 

Under the principle of Use the expansive experience 
of expenditure is obtained, as well as the seU-control 
and economic discipline of "economizing.** 

Everything- was given us to use. There is no evil 
from which we suffer that did not come about through 
misuse. There is no function which human beings can 
fulfill that is not good. But we have all about us the 
spectacle of whole nations having to make laws against 
things, not bad fundamentally, but bad in their mis- 
use. The worst possible sin we can commit against the 
things of our common life is to misuse them. "Misuse'* 
is the wider term. We like to say "waste," but waste is 

431 



FORD IDEALS 

only one phase of misuse. All waste is misuse; all 
misuse is waste. 

It is possible even to overemphasize the savings 
habit. It is proper and desirable that everyone have a 
margin; it is really wasteful not to have one, if you 
can have one. But it can be overdone. 

We teach children to save their money. As an at- 
tempt to counteract thoughtless and selfish expenditure," 
it has its value ; but it is not positive ; it doesn't lead the 
child out into safe and useful avenues of self-expression 
or self-expenditure. 

To teach a child to invest is better. Most men are 
saving a few dollars who, if they would invest those few 
dollars, first in themselves, and then in some useful 
work, would find it easier to save because they would 
have more to save. • , 

Young men ought to be investing instead of sav- 
ing. They ought to be investing in themselves to in- 
crease their creative value; after they have brought 
themselves to their peak of usefulness, then will be 
time enough to think of laying aside, as a fixed policy, 
a certain substantial share of income. 

You are not "saving" when you are preventing your- 
self from becoming more productive. You are really 
taking out of your ultimate capital; you are reducing 
yourself in value as one of nature's investments. 

The principle of Use is the main guide-post. Use is 
positive, active, life-giving. Use is alive. Use adds 
to the sum of good. Start out on that principle. You 
will have just as much materially, but you will have a 
great deal more mentally and spiritually. Investment is 
the prerequisite of returns. Investment is in the old- 
fashioned term, "putting out to use." 



432 



Interest Robbery in Bonus Loan 



THE word "bonus" is frequently heard these days in 
connection with the men who fought for our 
country in the Great War. And wherever it is heard, 
there will be found two opinions upon it Perhaps 
everybody, those who are for it and those who are 
against it, feels that at best it is a makeshift, that the 
granting of a bonus will not do much for the soldier 
after all, and that it will constitute no permanent good 
for him. The principal element is the spiritual : to re- 
fuse the bonus is felt to be ingratitude, and this is to 
be avoided as an evil spirit. But at the same time 
no one will be found to say that to grant the bonus, a 
mere $10 or $15 for every month of service, is an ade- 
(Juate show of gratitude. It doesn't discharge the debt. 
Heaven help us if we measure our gratitude to our 
soldiers by the amount of any bonus. 

So there are the two points : the bonus pays nothing. 
It is a small and temporary aid to men who may be in 
need of ready money by reason of unemployment, but 
who would prefer a return of their rightful work in the 
world to anything else we could do for them. 

The American Soldier, the boy who left shop and 
store and office and school, taking a year or two out of 
his life to settle the military question overseas, should 
not be placed in a false light in all this discussion. He 
is not asking for charity. He would not take charity. 
He should not be used in argument or plea as if he 
were asking or expecting charity. 

But he has a right to expect that after having done 
what we asked him to do, we shall give him the oppor- 
tunity to regain the place he left, and shall leave noth- 
ing wanting in our effort to restore him to the same 
degree of competence which he had before. 

That is one of the really black blots on our whole 
war organization. We had a splendid organization for 
the handling of copper, for example. We had many 

433 



FORD IDEALS 



men ready to leap in and offer their services where it 
was a matter of rounding up war supplies. Our war 
government, with its price fixers and its general manip- 
ulators of "understandings" here and there, was cer- 
tainly an amazing institution. But when it came to 
cleaning up tHe ruck and riot of war, there wasn't one 
to help. They had all resigned. There is no profit in 
teaching a blind soldier a trade. There is no profit in 
helping to salvage the human wreckage of the war. 
There is no profit in taking the armless and the l^less 
and the shell-shocked and helping to restore them again. 
And so our famous "war government*' is not on the 
job. It is out looking for other worlds to conquer. 
And about the only thing we hear is complaints about 
the mistakes and lacks of the restorative program, and 
urges for the bonus. 

The soldier has a right to complain, although to his 
credit be it said that he is not complaining for himself 
so much as for his wounded "buddy" who isn't getting 
the chance he ought to have. And he also has a right to 
reflect that the so-called "bonus" is a mighty little thing 
after all. 

In one state where it is proposed to pay the soldiers 
a bonus, no soldier will receive more than $300, yet the 
state will expend about $30,000,000 in paying the 
amounts, and an additional $54,000,000 for interest on 
the bonds which it had to issue in order to raise the 
bonus money. There is the matter of $150 to $300 
for the soldier, and a matter of $54,000,000 for the 
money-lenders. Indeed, whatever bonus the soldier 
gets, he will pay for over and over again in his ta^ces. 

Now, if the people of that state should go down into 
their pockets and by a self-imposed assessment of about 
$10 a head, raise a fund to present to their soldiers as a 
special ^if t to tide them over a tough time, there would 
be something tremendously human and moving about 
that. But the trouble is that bonuses have not even 
that much sentiment. They are first politics, then they 
are debts, and the only people who really benefit are the 
money-lenders. They get their "bonus" regularly for 
30 years afterward. 

If a bonus, no matter how small it was, came as a 

434 



INTEREST ROBBERY IN BONUS LOAN 

wreath of victory ; if it were really the conscious act of, 
the people in sho\ying their appreciation, that would be 
quite another thing. But all it amounts to nowadays 
is the sale of interest-bearing bonds. 

If a state really wants to do something for the 
soldiers, why does it not give them the interest f If 
the state would arrange to give the soldiers the interest 
on the projected bonus loans, the soldiers would get 
nearly twice as much, and the state would save the en- 
tire principal. 

To give its soldiers $30,000,000 the state in question 
is going to give the money-lenders $54,000,000 ; a total 
of $84,000,000 in all to finance the giving away of 
$30,000,000. If the state would give its soldiers the 
interest, $54,000,000, it would save the principal, or 
$30,000,000. And the soldiers would get nearly twice 
as much. 

If a state can pay interest to the banks, it can pay 
interest to the men it ought to help. 

Now the soldier himself does not regard our sys- 
tem as a very good one, when it works out that way. 
He is not impressed with the wisdom of a system that 
mortgages a state for 30 years in a great sum, and still 
doesn't do much for the soldier. 

If the bonus really set the soldier up for life, if it 
established him in his place as a professional man, com- 
mercial man, mechanic or farmer, ii the bonus settled 
anything at all, it might be worth any state's eflFort to 
do it. 

But what does a scrawny $150 to $300 do for a 
man? It is totally inadequate as a testimonial of the 
state's gratitude ; it is totally inadequate to the establish- 
ment of the soldier in his place in the world. 

When you give a soldier $300 and a banker $540 
interest for the privilege, it would seem much wiser as 
well as much kinder to give the soldier the $540 in- 
terest and save the $300, thus costing the state only $240 
when measured by the other plan. And, if the state 
wanted to go as far as it goes under the bond plan, 
let the soldier have the $300 and the $540 too, $840, and 
let the state pay both interest and principal to herself. 

The best bonus that can be given the soldier is a 

435 



FORD IDEALS 



-place to work where he can snap his finger^at bonuses, 
and a state to live in where the money-lenders have not 
the deciding voice about everything. 

Money is the least valuable of all the commodities, 
yet it brings the highest price ; and though we have the 
manufacture of it in our own hands as a nation, yet it 
is the scarcest of all the things we make. The control- 
lers of money were able to smooth the way for the sol- 
dier when they wanted him to fight; they seem 
strangely helpless to smooth the way for him now that 
he only wants to work. 

There is doubtless a duty and a debt to those who, in 
response to our call, suffered loss, of whatever kind the 
loss may be. Certainly there is an element of fairness 
in the consideration that the man who stayed at home 
and had a year or two advantage over the man who 
went, should not thus put the soldier at a disadvantage. 
The breaks of war were many; they must be repaired 
where possible; many of the breaks can never be re- 
I>aired. But can it be done in this slip-shod, half- 
hearted borrowing which profits nobody but the lender ? 
If a state desires to give its soldiers $30,000,000, let it 
tax its people for that amount, instead of taxing its 
people for $84,000,000 in order to expend $30,000,000. 

The soldier himself would be of that opinion. 



/ 



436 



On Being Fit for the 

New Era 



IT HAS become common and almost boresome to say 
that we are on the threshold of a new era. It ought 
to be one of the most startling announcements that any- 
one could make or hear. But it has always been true 
that great changes have come over the human race, 
never to be noticed until, a century after, some observ- 
ing soul has said, "That was a great period back there 
one hundred years ago." We understand gunshots and 
wars and industrial failures and depression, but the 
real changes of which these are the passing signs, go 
mostly over our heads. 

The trouble is we don't realize that the "new era" is 
going to mean something to us — something different 
than we have supposed. We think everything is going 
to be lovely and that the world is to be humored along 
in its old ways. 

In short, when it is said that we are entering a new 
era it is accepted as meaning that now, at last, things 
are going to be very nearly what we lazily wanted them 
to be. 

We have been using the phrase for comfort, when 
really it is challenge. 

If it were said that tomorrow we are to wake up on 
another continent to make our lives over again, it would 
not be regarded as a very soothing sort of statement. 
We should find it hard to lie back in our chaifs and 
say, "Well, times are going to be all right again." The 
knowledge that we were to begin anew, under unknown 
conditions, would keep us awake and alert. 

You remember how it was when you went to school. 
It was great to be promoted, but the "next grade" was* 
never viewed with ease of mind. That "next grade" 
loomed up before you with its unknown tests and tasks, 
and your mind was set to grapple with something 
bigger than you had yet encountered. 

437 



FORD IDEALS 

Well, something like that should be our feeling when 
we contemplate the fact that we are entering upon a 
"new era/' It is the next grade. We are not going 
back to retravel familiar ground, we are entering upon 
a new continent with new tests and new tasks. The past 
is past in a double sense now ; not only is the Time that 
made it, gone; but the temper and principles out of 
which it was built are gone too. 

All the mature generations of tod'ay have grown up 
in the era of their own fathers. There were improve- 
ments upon their fathers' times, of course, but the gen- 
eral period was the same. Sires and sons were in the 
same "grade," so to speak, one nearer the beginning of 
the "term," the other nearer the end. The sons have 
now come to the end of the "term." The road ahead is 
untraveled. The conditions to be passed are new. 

Just why this comes about as it does, no one knows. 
It would be useless to guess. Something has been 
switched of?, and something else has been switched on. 
The time that was, is not ; the time that is to be, begins. 
One course of lessons has been finished, the doors of the 
next "grade" open. 

There seems to be a difference, however. In school, 
there is an examination. The standard you maintam 
in your examination determines your fitness to leave 
the lower grade. In the present change that is reversed ; 
examinations will determine whether we are fit to enter 
the higher grade — the new era. It is quite possible that 
in matters of character a man stays on the lower plane 
until he is ready to enter the higher plane ; but when the 
new era is fully arrived there will not be vestiges ot the 
old era left — ^all the people will be New Era People who 
have shown themselves fit to be promoted. The others 
will have vanished as worn-out and unprogressive races 
have always vanished. 

You see, therefore, that it is more than afi eloquent 
flourish of words to say that "we are on the threshold 
of a new era." It is as startling to the individual as was 
the announcement of the new conscription law in 1917. 
The question for every individual is, What will it mean 
to me? Am I fit to be one of the New Era People? 

433 



ON BEING FIT FOR THE NEW ERA 

Am I going to pass the examination requirements into 
the new time ? 

The test is going to be made all down the line, but it 
is going to begin at what we call the "top/' There will 
always be leaders. Even in anarchic Russia they have 
leaders — ^very hard leaders, too. Leaders are necessary 
and have a special part to play and bear an extra degree ^ 
of responsibility. We say leaders are at the "top," pre- 
sumably because they ought to be found at the head of 
the column. And that is where the testing and weeding 
out is to commence. 

V It is in process now. We are not speaking of some- 
thing that will begin next year ; we are speaking of what 
has silently overshadowed the world for several years. 
It is a Day of Judgment for the leaders of the old era. 
If they cannot pass their examinations, if their faces 
are not toward the future, if their hearts are not more 
devoted to righteousness than to the preservation of 
some old and respected iniquity, they fail. They dis- 
appear. New leaders take their places. 

Look where you will — in railroading, in banking, in 
manufacturing, in commerce, in teaching or preaching, 
in making newspapers, in farming — everywhere the 
New Era is crowding in and is crowding out those who 
are against its coming. It is not merely a matter of 
new and better ways of doing things, but a new and 
better spirit and purpose in doing them. There have 
been New Era People in the world for some time, but 
they have been rated as "fools" ,-^ now their day is 
come. 

This is news worth while for the young fellow. It 
is genuine news. He has been hearing for a long 
time past that opportunity was pretty well sewed up. 
Indeed, certain labor leaders have written and preached 
that no one has any right to expect to improve his 
condition in the world, that "the laboring class" con- 
stituted an iron-bound caste out of which it was prac- 
tically impossible for anyone to break. 

Of course, no one ever breaks out of "the labor- 
ing class" unless he turns gambler or some other sort 
of financial criminal. Honest men stay in "the labor- 
ing class" all their lives. But this is what the false 

439 



FORD IDEALS 

teachers mean: that a man need not hope to rise to 
his own level of ambition and ability in the laboring 
class, and that is false. This is the New Era, and 
New Era People are in demand to fill the places of 
old era leaders who failed in their examinations; and 
the present time is the most glorious period to be young 
and ambitious. There wasn't much chance during the 
last ydars of the old era, that is why it closed so quick- 
ly. But it is morning again and a new day is full of 
opportunity. 

The only "hold overs*' from the old era are the 
qualities which gave it its worth. They are the old- 
fashioned virtues of honesty, industry and courage. 
They are just as necessary now as in the first year 
after the Independence of the United States or the 
first year after the Civil War. Ir^ fact, they are never 
out of date. Many people seem to think that the New 
Era is merely another chance for them to work their 
old games, cheating the laws of value, the laws of 
work, and every other good law. Not at all. The 
old era died of these old games, and died in discred- 
itable circumstances, too. 

Rewards will not be less but greater in the New 
Era. New Era People are going to produce as much 
or more, but they are going to have a larger share in 
it, they will live broader lives. The world is going to 
continue practical— always practical — even more prac- 
tical than before, because the world was not practical 
while it tried to break the laws of value, and work, 
and justice. Some people had the notion that in the 
New Era we were to sit down under the trees and spin 
beautiful theories. No ; we are going to spin beauti- 
ful realities on the loom of more and better work. 



440 



Much Nonsense in Titles 



RECENTLY a financier made a speech in which 
he said a few plain things about the effect of 
titles in business. He was of the opinion that it was 
being very much overdone. / He thought he observed 
harmful effects on industrial and business organiza- 
tions by this method of decoration, and he seemed to 
feel that something ought to be done about it. 

It is a refreshing sign of the times that a business 
man could be found who had the courage to stand up 
at a banquet and talk about so simple a matter. It 
is refreshing because it shows a willingness to climb 
down from the pedestal and look at the machinery of 
business as it actually works. 

We are all going back to work — even the men in 
the front office. Business has made a discovery, it has 
rediscovered work. The magic of money has been ex- 
ploded and the invincible power of work is again be- 
coming appreciated. 

Business men have believed for too long a period 
that you could do anything by "financing" it. The 
most frequent item of business news that has marked 
the past five years has related to hundreds upon hun- 
dreds of concerns that have been "refinanced." The 
process of "refinancing" is simply the game of sending 
good money after bad. In the majority of cases the 
need of "refinancing" has arisen through bad manage- 
ment, and the effect of "refinancing" is simply to pay 
the poor managers to keep up their bad management 
a little longer. It is merely the postponement of the 
day of judgment which is overtaking, and must over- 
take, all concerns that have not played fair with the 
law of Use and Service. 

This makeshift of "refinancing" is, of course, a 
device of the speculative financiers. Their money^ is 
no good to them unless they can connect it up with 
a place where real work is being done, and they cannot 
connect it up with a place where real work is being 

441 



FORD IDEALS 



done unless, somehow, that place is poorly managed. 
Thus, the speculative financiers delude themselves that 
they are putting their money out to "use/* They are 
not; they are putting it out to waste, and the end of 
the transaction is usually a- sad experience. 

That, indeed, is one of the elements in the present 
condition of affairs which has troubled the country, 
but from which there is now a promise that we shall 
emerge. ^ 

Take the railroads, for example. Theirs has been 
one long story of dependence on money before every- 
thing else. True, the railroads are a great national 
institution. True also, there have been men of vision 
connected with their development. But the major part 
of j-ailroad history has had to do with stock markets 
and games of exploitation. 

Today far too many railroads are run, not from the 
offices of practical men, but from banking offices, and 
the principles of procedure, the whole outlook, is finan- 
cial — not transportational, but financial. 

There has been a breakdown of railroading gener- 
ally, in this the greatest railroad country in the world, 
simply because more attention has been paid to rail- 
roads as factors in the stock market than as servants 
of the people. Outworn ideas have been retained, de- 
velopment has been practically stopped, railroad men 
with vision have not been free to grow — ^the dead hand 
of finance has been heav^ on every department. 

As a result — what? Why, it is thought that per- 
haps One Billion Dollars, or thereabout, will solve the 
difficulty. Let this be understood — One Billion Dol- 
lars will only make the difficulty One Billion Dollars 
worse. The purpose of the billion is simply to con- 
tinue the present methods 'of railroad management, 
and it is because of the present methods that we have 
any railroad difficulties at all. 

This is not new. Every business man who thinks, 
knows it. But it is hard to get out of the ruts. 

Going back to dependence on Work and not on 
Money will make a big difference everywhere, and one 
of the effects will be the displacement of titles by real 
jobs. Titles are too often the dress uniform that should 
be laid aside for field uniform. 

442 



y 



MUCH NONSENSE IN TITLES x 

A foreign observer, in a recent book, has written 
that in America we are very strong on titles. Every- 
body seems to be a president of something. There is 
a story of a President of the United States sojourning 
in the country and calling up the village post office 
on the phone. "This is the President," said he. "Pres- 
ident of what?" inquired the boy at the other end. 
In his village there were plenty of presidents, from the 
town government to the ladies' aid society. 

Most men can swing a job, but they are floored by 
a title. The effect of a title is very peculiar. It has 
been used too much as a sign of emancipation from 
work. It is ahnost equivalent to a sign — "This man 
has nothing to do but regard himself as important 
and all others as inferior." Not only has it been in- 
jurious to the wearers, but it has had its effect on 
others as well. There is perhaps no greater single 
source of personal dissatisfaction among men than the 
fact that the title-bearers are not always the real lead- 
ers. Everybody acknowledges a real leader, a man 
who is fit to plan and command; but there are moun- 
tains of evidence everywhere that the real leaders are 
not always the titlebearers. And when you do find a 
real leader who bears a title, you will have to inquire 
of some one else what his title is. He doesn't boast it. 

It has been greatly overdone and business has suf- 
fered from it. One of its specially bad effects is such 
a division of responsibility as amounts to a removal 
of responsibility altogether. Where responsibility is 
broken up into many small bits and divided between 
many departments, each department under its own 
titular head, who in turn is surrounded by a group 
bearing their nice sub-titles, it will be difficult to find 
anyone who really feels responsible. 

Everyone knows what "passing the buck" means, 
and the game must have originated in industrial or- 
ganizations where the departments simply shove re- 
sponsibility dong. 

The health of every organization depends oti every 
member of it, whatever his place, feeling that every- 
thing that happens to come to his notice relating to 
the welfare of the business, is up to him. Railroads 

443 



FORD IDEALS 



have gone to the devil under the eyes of departments 
that say, "Oh, that doesn't come under our depart- 
ment" — some other department 100 miles away has 
that in charge, and the interests of the road go to rot 
and ruin while each department tries to keep within 
its own narrow limits. 

There was formerly a lot of advice given to offi- 
cials not to hide behind their titles. The very neces- 
sity of the advice showed a condition that needed more 
than advice to correct it. And the correction is just 
this — abolish the titles. A few may be legally neces- 
sary; a few may be useful in directing the public 
where to do certain kinds of business with the cQncem, 
but for the rest the best rule is to get rid of them. 

As a matter of fact, the record of business just 
now is such as to detract very much from the value 
of titles. No one would boast of being president of 
a bankrupt bank. Well, business has not been so skill- 
fully steered as to leave much margin for pride in 
the steersmen. The right to bear titles is to be won 
all over again ; the field is open ; past honors are with- 
ered ; the contest is on anew. 

The men who bear titles now and are worth any- 
thing are forgetting their titles and are down in the 
foundations of their business looking for the weak 
spots. They are back again in the places from which 
they rose trying to reconstruct from the bottom up. 
They are leaders in the reconstruction. And when a 
man is in that work, he doesn't need titles. His work 
decks him with honors. 



414 



Developing Talent in a Small 

Community 



WHEN the passing of city life is discussed, and 
the rediscovery of the small town is affirmed, one 
of the commonest questions to arise is this: "What 
are your small towns going to do for the advantages 
of the city — ^the theater and entertainments, for ex- 
ample?" That is the form in which the question usu- 
ally comes, with an anxiety about the "theater and 
entertainments." 

The question assumes two conditions: First, that 
a majority of city people attend the theater and other 
entertainments to such an extent that these institu- 
tions have become a necessary element in their lives; 
and, second, that the theater and entertainments nor- 
mally fulfill the human desire and need for recreation. 
Neither of these assumptions is true. 

It may be found to be just a question whether the 
theater is as popular — in point of attendance compared 
with the population — ^as it was 50 years, ago. The 
totals are larger, but it may be doubtful that the pro- 
portions are. We are not half so theater-mad as some 
people suppose. The proportion of regular attendants, 
people who haunt the theater, who are always looking 
over the list of shows for "a place to go tonight," is 
not very great. In a certain city where it was as- 
sumed that the theater was carrying everything before 
it and that church attendance was a contemptible little 
quantity in comparison, it was found that the church 
with one day a week excelled in drawing power all 
the legitimate theaters of that city with seven nights 
a week and two matinees. Leaving the modern theater 
would not be such a terrible loss, as tens of thousands 
who have moved to the small town can testify. 

And as to the "entertainment" values of the mod- 
ern commercialized amusement enterprise, the bored 
audiences of any large city bear eloquently silent wit- 

^^ 445 



FORD IDEALS 



ness. The fresh, blithe wholesomeness which repro- 
duces the childishness of human life is lacking. Real 
entertainment is lacking and would be undoubtedly 
considered as amateurish, so depraved has the public 
taste become through bedroom farces and bathroom 
dramas. Those who are inoculated with the sordid 
sensuousness of the stage would undoubtedly miss that 
kind of thing in the small town, just as the drug addict, 
locked in a sanitarium, would miss. his favorite poison. 

However, that still leaves the question where it 
was: what are the small towns to do for recreation, 
for the indulgence of the play spirit? The play spirit 
is a part of life. Its misdirection leads to harm. In 
youth especially it is a safeguard, in maturity and 
age a recreative force. Temperaments differ, but taken 
by and large the human race will play. 

There are, however, no profits in mere playing. 
That is the reason amusements became commercialized. 
Instead of play, there arose the spectacle. People 
ceased to play, and watched players. Football is a 
husky game, but of the thousands of "fans" who shout 
for football, how many take the risks of it? The same 
is true of baseball; it is called "sport" to sit on the 
bleachers and boo or boost. We are mere spectators; 
other men do the so-called "playing/' and because we 
are merely spectators their playing is not Play at all, 
but work. There is no community of entertainment 
and enjoyment, there is no participation. 

In the small town of the future there will be a 
Little Theater, and the play instinct of the people 
.will work itself out through themselves, not by wage 
earners called "actors" or "players." There will be 
many actors and players, of course,^ but they will not 
be under the commercial domination which every sin- 
cerely devoted actor and player feels today. The great 
geniuses in the dramatic world will still have their 
vogue — or, to state it more accurately, their vogue will 
return, because in these sad days dramatic genius is 
not necessary. The art of play will be like the art 
of music, imported into the community for daily con- 
sumption, and not retained in the concert hall as dra- 
matic art is retained in the modern theater. The thea- 



446 



DEVELOPING TALENT IN A SMALL COMMUNITY 

ter as a servant of life is being tided over these de- 
structive times by the Little Theater which is spring- 
ing up in small communities, where the people are 
developing themselves. 

The commercial monopoly of this natural phase of 
life is being broken. And why not? If, when a writer 
completes a story, we may all have a copy of it to read 
in our own homes; why may we not also have the 
play of the playwright, interpreted in our own com- 
munity by our own people in our own way? The 
question has been answered. The flow of people back 
to the country places is bringing with it these new pos- 
sibilities. And the benefit is double: the country is 
being lifted out of the crude and inexpressive practices 
into which its play exercise degenerated for the lack 
of inspiration — and — the people from the city are being 
benefited by the wholesome restraint which comes from 
amusements which have their rise and issue in the 
same community. / 

That is a point well worth remembering: when the 
community shall provide its own recreation and enter- 
tainment out of its own resources and by means of 
its own people, indecency will simply automatically 
disappear. Why? Well, consider what constitutes the 
present situation: a theater audience gathers, a few 
hundreds from a city of half a million or a million 
people, an audience of strangers. The shield of ano- 
nymity protects them all. Young women are there, 
but they reflect that no one knows them. The people 
on the stage are from another city, strangers, too. The 
condition is ideal for putting across anything which 
common shame would otherwise prevent. 

Now, in the home town, with the home folks in 
the chairs and home folks on the stage, it would simply 
be impossible — there is not enough brazenness in hu^- 
man nature to permit home folks to enact bedroom 
farces before home folks, or to revel on the stage in 
matter that would not be permitted within a thousand 
miles of any home-town parlor. 

That will be one of the eflFects of a return to the 
small town, and a necessity of drawing upon the com- 
munity's creative powers to supply the normal need 
for entertainment. 

447 



FORD IDEALS 



Of course, the principle extends further. Refer- 
ence has been made to amusements only because it 
was involved in the question which has been asked. 
But the principle applies to every element of com- 
munity life. City living has made us entirely too de- 
pendent. City dwellers will soon lose the art of build- 
ing fires. Most of the other domestic arts are "lost 
arts" already. And the art of providing entertainment 
or amusement for ourselves was about to disappear. 

The ideal community is self-sustaining to a greater 
extent than any community now is. If near flowing 
water, every community should be self-sustaining in 
matters of power, heating and lighting. Every com- 
munity in the midst of an agricultural district should 
be self-sustaining in the matter of food. The grain 
grown near by should be milled near? by, a sufficient 
supply reserved and the surplus sent to the great cen- 
ters of consumption. Each community should be con- 
structed out of materials near at hand, and thus pre- 
serve unity with its basic soil. And each community 
should derive from the wellsprings of its own life those 
finer inspirations and recreative activities which put a 
bloom and a flavor upon life. ' It is all contained in 
that principle known as "self-development." The re- 
ward of self-development should be self-sustenance, 
with the community as well as with the individual. 



448 



Parties Are Born, Not Made 



POLITICAL parties are like poets, born, not made. 
And yet political parties have been found to be 
so useful to certain purposes and interests that numer- 
ous attempts have been made to manufacture them for 
occasion. A political party is a publicity organization, 
a semi-legislative organization, often a coercive organ- 
ization which can render more service to special inter- 
ests than it can sometimes render to the public. 

The people, of course, who are living mostly in the 
nursery atmosphere with regard to these things, imag- 
ine that a political party is a fellowship of conviction 
upon certain principles. That is what it ought to be; 
and it is the belief that the political party is just that, 
which keeps it going. But the party is other than 
that. It would take almost psychic eyes to see just 
what the so-called political organizations consist in, 
what holds them together, where their ramifications 
run, and what type of mind it is that finds congenial 
the atmosphere of the "organization." Perhaps it is 
the least moral organization in the world, outside the 
realm, of those which are distinctively subversive. 

And yet, such is the irony of things, this lower 
network of organization forms the basis for much 
good work. All men who are interested in politics 
are not on the inside of the "organization,** not at all. 
The real motive power of politics, so far as the motion 
of the people's mind is concerned, is in the "idea," 
the "issue,** the genuine proposals of government policy 
and legislative action. But these seldom have their 
source in the "organization.** They are imported from 
the people. All that the "organization,** or the "party** 
does (the "party** not being the whole number of ad- 
herents, but the hierarchy of leaders) is to sort out 
the possible issues and select the group which they 
think will "sell** at the election. Any other set of 
issues — even quite opposite issues — ^would do just- as 

449 



FORD ide;als 

well if they would "sell/' The main object is to keep 
the "organization" in offices. The party never gets the 
offices ; only the "organization" does that. As a whole, 
our offices are manned by the prettiest lot of political 
gamesters that any country ever saw. 

So, there we have the genesis of two evils. One 
evil is the existence of a party which has neither po- 
litical nor moral principle, but which lives for the thing 
called "power," using as its steps to power such "issues" 
as appeal to popular approval ; the other evil is the view 
of certain apostles of moral or political principles that 
a political organization can be whisked into existence 
by publicity agent methods, to serve the purpose of a 
certain candidate or a certain principle for a single 
election only. So, on the one hand we have the pol- 
iticians whose object is office, poking around among 
possible "issues," ignoring the ones which would re- 
quire moral courage to espouse, and choosing the ones 
that seem ready to ripen in a campaign; and on the 
other hand, we have the possessors of progressive 
ideas looking for a party to "put them across." 

It is a situation which speaks indisputably of the 
sorry collapse which has overtaken political effort in 
this country. 

The "third party" demonstrations have been a sign 
of the same condition. The only third parties that ever 
had a reasonable and sincere motive and purpose were 
never permitted to attain party maturity, because the 
older parties took their issues and rode to power upon, 
them. An illustration of this may be seen in the adop- 
tion of the Prohibition Party's most distinctive plank 
by both the older parties. 

Lately our "third parties" have been launched either 
for the purpose of putting a candidate across (which 
must be the final judgment on Mr. Roosevelt's effort) 
or for the purpose of cementing the radical elements 
of political disorder and giving them the respectable 
appearance of political organization. Both were vivid 
commentaries on the truth that political parties are 
bom, not made. When the genuine Third Party comes, 
it will not be a Third Party at all, but the First Party, 
relegating lx)th old parties to secondary status. It 

450 



/ 



PARTIES ARE BORN, NOT MADE 

will be a national party, summoning New Era Men 
from all the old parties, and from no party at all, to 
do the work which others have neglected. 

We do not need a "third party'' in the United 
States, we need a party that is first for Americanism, 
by which we mean the principle that the fulfillment 
of life consists in the largest liberation of the creative 
and constructive forces in nature and in humanity for 
the service and prosperity of all. Americanism is com- 
munistic only in that it stands for a community benefit, 
instead of an exclusive personal benefit, proceeding 
from all industrial, financial and political activity. The 
Old Era was individualistic in its objective. The New 
Era will remain necessarily individualistic in its meth- 
od, but will enwrap the whole community in its ob- 
jective. Communism fails just because it is not com- 
munism, because it is individualism of a type that de- 
feats the benefits of individuals, and so cheats also the 
community of its benefits. We are individuals in action 
and communists in responsibility. 

The division between modern parties is not political, 
nor philosophical, nor moral any longer, but purely 
sentimental. All of the old subjects of division are 
now subjects of scientific examination and adjustment. 
Locally, politics has come to be a preference of indi- 
viduals for office: one group wishes to place this man, 
another wishes to place the other man. A sufficient 
number of experienced electioneers finds this kind of 
politics a sport, to give it zest. But, as for the pro- 
found political convictions which marked the birth and 
the vigorous years of the Democratic and Republican 
parties, they simply don't exist. 

The two great parties are being used — that is, the 
"organization" of them is being used more and more 
as bulwarks against the changes which must inevitably 
overtake the stupidities and injustices which have be- 
come fastened in our national life. Every old slogan 
which warns the people against progress as something 
dangerous finds its hearty echo in the political "organ- 
ization." The "organization" knows nothing about fi- 
nance, administration, international relations — literally 
nothing about anything that aflfects the heart of our 

451 



FORD IDEALS 



N 



national life — but it is always ready with the cries 
which sustain the old order of things. 

That is where the two old parties are in the great- 
est danger: they have anchored to an era that is even 
now growing dim in the distance : unless they cut the 
cable, they will disappear with it. 

And it is just here that we mark the fatal distinc- 
ticr» between party and people. The people do not 
comprise the party. Parties are merely bidders for 
the people's suffrage. When parties disappear the peo- 
ple remain. This is the logic of third parties. The 
old parties simply die off the limb like leaves that have 
ceased to nourish themselves with the life of the tree 
that bore them. The people grow and keep growing. 
If parties lag behind, as parties now are lagging be- 
hind, a new party is inevitable — not to put a chosen 
candidate across, not to stampede the people for a new 
"interest,'* but as an expression of the life-ef the peo- 
ple. Parties are the people's political clothing; when 
the coat grows too small it is discarded. 



452 



I