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Human Instincts in Reconstruction: 
An Analysis of Urges and Suggestions for Their Direction. 


National Industrial Management: 
Practical Suggestions for National Reconstruction. 


Ways and Means 
To Gain Industrial Democracy. 


Skill Economics 
For Industrial Democracy. 


A Protest Against Mechanistic Efficiency. 




By William Henry Smyth 




Reprinted from the Gazette, Berkeley, California 
Copyright, 1920, by W. H. Smyth. 



Human Instincts in Reconstruction. 
An Analysis of Urges and a Suggestion For Their Direction. 

By William Henry Smyth 

Note The author shows that the forces of the four great human 
instincts to live, to make, to take, to control are as essential in mod- 
ern social life as at any time in the past. But all of these urges in a 
living democracy should be controlled without being controlled. To 
achieve this seeming paradox we must have a great national purpose, and 
unselfish leadership such as could come through a National Council 
of Scientists. 

Mr. William Henry Smyth has been in general practice as a con- 
sulting engineer since 1879. He is the inventor of many machines and 
mechanical devices, including a system of raising water by direct 
explosion on its surface, the device being known as the "direct explo- 
sion pump." He has been an engineering expert in many patent cases, 
and is a frequent contributor to technical journals. As well as a pioneer 
in mechanics, Mr. Smyth is a pioneer in economics. He is a member 
of the leading scholarly associations in that field, including the Amer- 
ican Economic Association and the Royal Economic Society of Great 

Parts I, II and III appeared originally in "Industrial Management" 
of New York. The concluding PartIV has not heretofore been published 
and will appear exclusively in The Gazette. Editor. 

Instincts Control. 

Instincts are the most persistent 
human urge factors. Seemingly, 
they are less subject to change than 
even the most unchanging aspects 
of our physical environment. 

The Instinct to Live (self-preser- 
vation) is as dominating today as 
in the days of our cave-man an- 
cestors; the Instinct to Construct 
is as persistent in Man as in the 
beaver; the Mastery Instinct (desire 
to control others) is as vital as 
ever; the Thievish Instinct (desire 
to acquire and hoard) shows no 
change, and is the same old urge 
as that disclosed by the pre-man 
stores of insects, birds and various 

Indeed, without these primordial 
urges Man could not have developed, 
and the loss or atrophy of any one 
of them would probably mean the 

H 6 

rapid extinction of the race. Thus it 
would seem that our fundamental 
instincts are essentially necessary to 
human continuance at least, to our 
social existence. So let us look 
once more at these vital factors, in 
the light of recent events, in order 
to see what part they now take and 
are likely to play in our future social 

Brute Force. 

No lesson of the war, probably, is 
more obvious or more clearly de- 
fined than the rapid trend toward 
Skill as a predominating and con- 
trolling factor in our immediate so- 
cial development. 

Recorded history and archaeologic- 
al investigation confirm the sugges- 
tion that in the matter of economic 
control of human activities and their 
products, the possession of this con- 
trol has oscillated to and fro under 


the influence of one or other of the 
instinctive urges, so that character- 
istic types of men secured alternate 

Starting in the pre-human period, 
before the dawn of definite self-con- 
sciousness, and continuing during 
eons in the twilight of human intelli- 
gence, raw brute force must have 
been the dominating economic factor. 

The influence of Skill during this 
period was practically negligible, ex- 
cept in so far as it affected indi- 
viduals. Of this the huge prolonga- 
tion of the unchanging "Stone Age" 
is sufficient demonstration. 

Contest With Cunning. 

The gradual growth and rapid 
culmination of the Skill factor is 
an important consideration in our 
present inquiry and likewise in our 
Social Reconstruction problems. For 
while Purposive Skill is of slow de- 
velopment Purposive Cunning, on the 
contrary, is inherently otherwise. 
Indeed, Cunning and Purposiveness 
both imply mental alertness and 
hence are in some wise synon- 

For these reasons, in the early 
stages of human development, raw 
strength and animal cunning must 
alone have contended to satisfy the 
other instinctive urges to live, to 
control practically uninfluenced by 
the relatively modern urge of Pur- 
poseful Skill. 

Doubtless this simple conflict (of 
raw strength and brute cunning) 
waged with varying results, slowly 
oscillating, age by age and race by 
race, in favor of one or other human 
type as environmental conditions or 
racial admixtures gave one or other 
the advantage of circumstance. 

And, as Economics implies: the 
usages, laws, and institutions where- 
by a community endeavors to or- 
ganize its methods and means of 
living: those whose activities char- 
acterize the times initiate and ad- 
minister its economics. 

Age-Long See-Saw. 

So, with these age-long oscilla- 
tions of control types, economic in- 
stitutions necessarily underwent like 
changes, conforming to _the dom- 
inating human characteristics of each 

Age and Nation. That they did so 
oscillate and economically conform, 
in the vaguest dawn of human be- 
ginnings, is the teaching of archae- 

During the past few thousand years 
the contest of Strength and Cun- 
ning is shown by reliable historical 
records to have oscillated with com- 
parative rapidity between one and 
the other extreme including consid- 
erable periods during which Strength 
and Cunning unified control by 
union of Church and State. 

Prior to the immediate present was 
a transition stage caused by the 
gradual weakening of the bond be- 
tween Church and State, with a 
coincidental shifting of control 
favor of Cunning (under a changed 
and relatively modern guise repre- 
senting the instinctive Urge 
Take) expressing itself as Commer- 
cialism. With this change came 
consequent modification of usages, 
laws, and institutions appropriate to 
its highest expression Capitalism 
capitalistic economics. The result of 
this ' last oscillation of control 
favor of (acquisitive) Cunning was 
that Germany became a nation of 
slaves, England a nation of paupers, 
France quit breeding, and the 
States went wealth crazy! 

Challenge by Purposive Skill. 

The war represents the conclusive 
termination (in this period) of the 
age-long contest of Force and 
ning for the control of men, and 
tbo products of their activity. 

But this last and most spectacu!; 
conflict is complicated by the intru- 
sion of the most modern and most, 
rapidly developing factor- Organizes 
Purposive Skill. 

Here, then, Skill enters the arena 
with a challenge to both earlier con- 
testantsfor the prize of human 
control, and mastery of the social 
machinery; enters that contest- 
than the race itself the struggle 
satisfy the primordial instinct 
Live to Control to Take. 

Strength vs. Cunning vs. Skill. 

Thus the contest has become a 
triangular fight between the Strong, 
the Cunning, and the Skilful; a fight 


in which raw brute force is a par- 
ticipant of rapidly diminishing im- 
portance a modified continuation of 
the old time bloody contest, for a 
humanly undesirable outcome. 

Cunning-control is today the vic- 
tor, and in possession of the spoils 
the financial wealth of the world. 
But all the evidence points to a 
short enjoyment and a losing fight 
against the organized forces of Pur- 
poseful Skill. 

Creaking Capitalism Cracking. 

Capitalism under war stress 
shows convincing evidence of in- 
adequacy. The non-effectiveness of 
money and credit wealth has be- 
come so obvious as to procure the 
enactment of "Work or Fight" laws. 
Thus, into the discard went our pre- 
war money evaluation of men to be 
substituted by a standard which 
measures millionaire and hobo alike 
in accordance with their relative 

Our pre-war faith in the mysteri- 
ous Magic of Money too received a 
staggering shock when all the pri- 
vate fortunes enmassed and all _ the 
billions of national credit combined 
utterly failed to add a single pound 
of much needed sugar to our limited 
supply, necessitating the "two pounds 
of sugar per person" apportionment 
-a commonplace vulgar fraction 
measure applicable to Financial 
Potentate and Weary Willie alike! 

Producer Versus Parasite. 

On broader lines also the evidence 
points the same way: purposive skill is 
inherently productive, while purpose- 
ful cunning is naturally parasitic. 
Then, the capability of cunning to 
rule, and the continuance of its suc- 
cess in controlling others, resides in 
and depends upon the stupidity and il- 
literacy of the governed: mystery and 
magic are its weapons equally in the 
realm of modern Finance as in the 
ancient Theocracies. 

Skill implies the reverse of all this, 
for skill is intelligence physically 
manifested. It is knowledge of Na- 
ture's Laws utilized dexterously and 
the spread of scientific information 
characterizes our age. Thus as the 
bulwarks of cunning-control crumble, 



the weapons of skill are multiplied and 

So the outcome seems a foregone 

With this outcome, our methods 
of life will necessarily change. Capi- 
talistic customs, laws, and institutions 
will be substituted by others differing 
as widely from those with which we 
are familiar as the motor ideas and 
ideals of purposeful cunning differ 
from those of purposeful skill. 

"Work or Fight" Lesson. 

Peradventure, the "Work or Fight" 
and the "2 pounds of sugar per per- 
son" measures are tonic foretastes of 
the coming Skill-Economics. 

Obviously we are in transition to a 
new social order. 

The signs of the times portend the 
dethroning of decadent acquisitive 
capitalism and the crowning of pro- 
ductive skill Autocrat of the new 
Age Artizanism. 

This change has been in dubious 
process for years; the War has merely 
speeded its progress and made the 
outcome practically inevitable. But, 
whether it be brought about by evolu- 
tion or revolution, or whether it comes 
in clean-cut aspect or befogged by ir- 
relevant social factors and forces, it 
is in no sense a rational or final so- 
lution of our "social problem." 

In any event, should Artizanism 
come, it will be merely another social 
spasm, probably shorter than, but 
equally as futile as, our present world- 
wide finance madness. 

Instincts Not A Rational Basis. 

While it is conceivable that human 
societies could be organized upon and 
with any one of the stated basic In- 
stincts as dominant factor and 
raison d'etre; it is practically certain 
that any such national society would 
be quite ineffective, and transient. For 
obviously it would not and could not 
satisfy even our present limited intel- 
ligence, our rational imagination, or 
our modern spiritual ideals. 

No very extended analysis would be 
required to show the validity of this 
proposition. The past has already 
demonstrated the insufficiency of so- 
cieties based upon the Mastery In- 
stinct Autocracy. The present amply 



nrovcs the failure of the Acquisitive 
Instinct as a social basis Plutocracy. 
A moment's thought will show that 
a society based upon the Making In- 
stinct would simply crumble in its 
formative process under the demands 
of our complicated modern mental 
make-up, for clearly this instinct pro- 
vides inadequate Human scope and 
hence presupposes parasitism in even 
more extended form than that of ac- 
quisitive Capitalism. And worse 
than all a society based upon the In- 
stinct to Live and Propagate, would 
return us at once to the brute state 
from which we have arisen through 
ages of struggle, strife, and bloodshed. 

Control Without Control. 

Still, it is apparent that the basic 
instincts which urge "to live," "to 
make," "to take," "to control," are as 
useful, yes, are as essential in and to 
modern social life as they have been 
in all the past. But, while all are 
necessary, no one of them constitutes 
a proper basis law of operation for 
a rational human society organization. 
They are factors, necessary and desir- 
able contributary parts, no one of 
which is inherently adapted to func- 
tion as the machine's unifier, its strain 
and speed equalizer its control ele- 

Thus, the determination of a suit- 
able character of "control" element is 
seemingly the crux of our social prob- 
lem; the problem of controlling with- . 
out control, that old, old paradox: 
Freedom made effective by restraint 
a paradox, however, which the war 
may have resolved for us, by demon- 
strating its non-existence. 

It has, in somewise, answered our 
troublous question by clear definition 
in the statement of the Nation's ob- 
ject in going to war. 

The war has answered the question, 
in another aspect, by the Nation's 
adoption of the method (forced upon 
it by logical compulsion) whereby 
success was achieved. 

"To make the World safe for De- 
mocracy" is the clearest and most uni- 
versally accepted statement of our 
purpose in going to war Self-govern- 
ment for Nations, Self-government for 

Concept of Control. 

Control by others, then, is antitheti- 
cal to the ideals for which we have 
waged this last, the greatest, and, 
it is hoped, the final bloody contest for 

Control is equally antithetical to our 
Ideals of Self-government whether the 
control is exercised by "others" char- 
acterized by the Instinct to live and 
breed the Masses; or whether the 
control is exercised by "others" char- 
acterized by the Instinct to Make 
the Skilled Artizan; or whether the 
control is exercised by "others" urged 
by the Instinct of Mastery the_ Em- 
ployers; or whether the control is ex- 
ercised by "others" under their domi- 
n at ing Acquisitive Instinct -- the 

Indeed, the concept: control by 
"others," is an idea inherent in and 
appropriate only to now discredited 
Autocracy a concept which the War 
has rendered an obsolete ideal if we 
are yet intelligent enough to profit 
by its costly teaching. 

Discard Cave-Man Control. 

To be rationally consistent this 
"control" concept should be as ab- 
sent as it is obsolete (in fact and 
effect) in our inevitable reconstruc- 

This Autocracy "control" concept 
must be thrown in the discard where 
we have dumped the European auto- 
crats whose ideal it was if our recon- 
struction efforts are intended to pro- 
duce a rationally organized Modern 
Human Society; a Society founded up- 
on the Ideals consecrated by the life 
blood of our bravest and best. 

But our age-long familiarity wjth 
"control by others," in our halting 
progress, from brute beast to modern 
Man, has so deeply ingrained in our 
mental fiber this stone-age concept as 
to make it almost impossible for us 
to even conceive the idea of a society 
lacking this cave-man spiked-club 

Yet, no fact and lesson of our par- 
ticipation in the War is more clear 
and free from doubt than the spon- 
taneous acquiescence by the people of 
the United States rich and poor, arti- 
zan and laborer, alike in self-control, 
self-repression, self-dedication to the 


united will and unified purpose of the ingly difficult problems of long 

standing, the solution has evaded us 
by reason of its very obviousness. 
Such a unifying factor has always 
existed in plain view unutilized in 


No lesson of the War is more 

significant than: Given a National its proper function of Social Strain 

Purpose, intelligently comprehended Equalizer. Indeed, this urge factor, 

and acquiesced in only unselfish more even than the Instincts "to 

Leadership is needed, and neither Live," "to Make," "to Take," "to 

control by force nor control by Control" is the most universal and 

cunning is necessary to bring about most humanly characterizing trait of 

the unification of effort needed to that most marvelous complex Man. 

accomplish the Nation's Objective. 

The significance of this lesson is 

the utter irrationality of national 

Desire to Know. 

I refer to Curiosity curiosity ra- 

control in the hands of any class tionahzed into Desire to Know, 

characterized by self-centered in- Desire to Know, while equally 

stincts, or that strength or skill or urgent for gratification, inherently 

cunning should be dominating fac- lacks the undesirable and inappro- 

tors in the social structure. priate qualities which render the 

Though none of these factors other human Instincts unsuitable as 

should dominate, each and all of organizing and strain equalizing fac- 

these vital and necessary elements tors in the social structure. Also it 

should have free scope for the so- possesses qualities and attributes 

cially effective outflow of its which make it peculiarly adapted to 

particular expression of life energy. perform the rationally harmonizing 

Second only in significance to the function so irrationally assumed in 

acquiescence and co-operation of the all earlier social organizations under 

united people is the method irre- the guise of Forceful and Cunning 

sistibly forced upon the Nation by Control. 

the logic and necessities of its stu- 
pendous War problem. 

First Real Nation. 

Desire to Know is as imperative 
in its demands as any of the self- 
centered motor Instincts to live, to 
make, to take, to control but it is 

This most modern economic m- impersonal; while it is as aggressive 

titution, and the unified co-opera- as other Instinctive Urges, charac- 

tion ot the united people, are the teristically its energies and activities 

two outstanding lessons of the War are directed at Nature, not in ag- 
gression on human opponents; hence 

Taken together, they point sig- it engenders no human strife; and 

mficantly to the solution of our while it drives f ur i ou sly, it drives 

social problem the lacking element none but its possessor in the pur- 

which should and could consciously, su j t o f Knowledge 

deliberately, and rationally unify the Desire to Kno ' while profoundly 

basic instinctive urges into an har- intereste d in all that pertains to 

monious direction of national effort Human Life and living _to eugenics 

and so produce a humanly efficien and radal development-character- 

national orgamzation-the first real istica]ly its possessor would risk his 

Nation on earth! 

own life in the pursuit of Knowledge. 


The lacking element? the element Desire to Know, though urgently 

which is adapted to assume the func- interested in Nature's Laws and in 

ion and position to be vacated by a ll that concerns the correct making 

he obsolescent autocratic concept and constructing of things, charac- 

rbitrary "control" the element ca- teristically lacks desire to make or 

pable of controlling without con- construct things, but seeks only sys- 

trol, of making Freedom effective, tematized concepts of Knowledge. 

Democracy a living fact as well as Desire to Know, while deeply in- 

a noble Ideal! terested in all that pertains to the 

In this, as in many other seem- desirable things of the world and to 


economic affairs, characteristically 
lacks the thievish impulse the In- 
stinct to Take, to acquire physical 
possession: supremely acquisitive it 
craves only to acquire Knowledge. 

Desire to Know, while surpass- 
ingly Masterful, desires no mastery 
of Men; it craves instead, God-like 
insight, pre-vision, prophecy power 
in the boundless realms of Knowl- 


Here then is an indomitable CJrge 
lacking all the inappropriate qualities 
of the strife producing Autocratic 
Force-and-Fear Control motor con- 
cept of Social Organization, and 
possessed of all the unifying quali- 
ties of .Social Leadership. 

A Human Society or Nation is 
sanely designed and rationally or- 
ganized on correct principles only 
when it has a Purpose, and (as in 
the case of a well considered ma- 
chine) only when full cognizance is 
taken of all its contributory elements, 
together with their essential func- 
tions and their proper co-ordination. 

A National Objective. 

A truly efficient National Organi- 
zation would facilitate (not suppress 
or prohibit) the expression of all 
inherent Instinctive Urges, rational- 
izing their outflowing life energy 
(by sane institutional conventions) 
into unification in a fully pre- 
determined National Purpose. 

In a crude but clearly perceptible 
manner the United States, during the 

War, gave suggestion of such an 
Ideal Social Arrangement. 

It had a defined and universally 
accepted purpose: 

Its Scientific (Desire to Know) 
Men and its Scientific Societies were 
(more or less) organized into a Uni- 
fying and Advisory Board to formu- 
late and suggest methods and means 
for sane living and to accomplish 
the predetermined purpose of the Na- 

We have accomplished the object 
of the War: 

We have made the World safe for 

Now, let us inaugurate a Demo- 
cracy a Democracy with an object 
for its existence a Democracy with 
a Purpose. 

By the peril to its life, the Nation 
has been shocked into momentary 
sanity. Let us while still rational, 
rationally take to heart the lessons 
which the War has taught at so 
staggering a cost: 

First: The need of a National 
Purpose; a purpose based upon peace 
and rational Human Development; 
a purpose as inspiring and as unify- 
ing as War for Democracy, and as 
high as our highest Ideals of Life. 

Second: The need of a Supreme 
National Council of Scientists 
supreme over all other National In- 
stitutions to advise and instruct us 
how best to Live, and how most effi- 
ciently to realize our Individual and 
our National Purpose and Ideals. 

But, First and Last, a unifying Na- 
tional Objective. 

Fernwald, Berkeley, December, 1918. 




National Industrial Management. 
Practical Suggestions for National Reconstruction. 

By William Henry Smyth 

NOTE: After outlining and characterizing the great economic drifts 
in the national developments of the past, the author declares that during 
the period of war the United States has developed the new form in gov- 
ernment for which there is no precedent in human experience. He calls 
this "Technocracy" the organizing, co-ordinating and directing through 
industrial management on a nation-wide scale of the scientific knowledge 
and practical skill of all the people who could contribute to the accomplish- 
ment of a great national purpose. Carry this new form of government into 
the days of peace and we will have industrial democracy a new common- 
wealth. Editor. 

Economic Drifts. 

The United States is obviously in 
social flux, in unstable economic equili- 
brium in transition. Customs and 
usages which a few years ago received 
universal approval and legal sanction 
are now punished as crimes. Eco- 
nomic expedients which but yester- 
day were deemed irrational imagina- 
tions of Utopian visionaries are today 
accomplished facts. And in every di- 
rection immemorial methods and time 
honored social processes have lost 
their sacrosanctity. 

Like ocean streams enfolding in 
mass-flow all this whirling confusion 
of economic cross-currents, legal revo- 
lutions, and social agitations, there are 
to be observed certain super-control- 
ling drifts. 

Centralization of Government. 

Concentration of Wealth. 

Unification of Mechanical Industries. 

Force, Wealth, Industry. 

These great economic drifts indi- 
cate the mass resultant of myriad in- 
dividual activities expressing that pe- 
culiarly human quality which has made 
man the dominating animal factor on 
earth unquenchable desire to con- 
trol the Mastery Instinct. And what 
is more important in the present con- 
nection, these super-controlling social 
drifts also indicate the only directions 
possible for the social expression of 
this indomitable human urge: 

Direct control of men by force and 
fear exemplified in Centralization of 
Government; indirect control of men 
by controlling their products shown 
in Concentration of Wealth; mutual- 
ized control (i. e., utilization) of Na- 
ture expressed in Unification of Me- 
chanistic Industries. 

Conflicting Ideals. 

In these various forms of social ag- 
gregations there are, broadly speak- 
ing, but three human types involved: 

The type characterized by aggres- 
sive physical strength; the type char- 
acterized by alert mental cunning; the 
type characterized by purposive skill. 

Of these the last the purposive 
skill type is significantly modern, 
brought into social prominence by 
that most stupendous social factor, 
experimental science, science which is 
the effective cause and basis of this 
era of invention our industrial age. 

A triangular conflict of ideals of life 
and of social purpose has thus been 
inaugurated; a conflict which ac- 
counts for and is expressed in 
our "social unrest," "conflict of 
capital and labor," our "social 
problem" and "reconstruction." The 
strife for supremacy of social ideal 
and community purpose thus indicat- 
ed, is co-extensive with the human 
race; its most spectacular climax is 
the World War. And notwithstand- 
ing the many confusing forms and 
many-sided aspects which this world- 



wide human struggle presents, it is, 
of course, at bottom the ages old con- 
test of Slavery and Liberty, Bondage 
and Freedom. 

The Golden Age? 

Our answer to this old but ever new 
problem will determine whether our 
industrial age will progress to a so- 
cial condition of individual freedom to 
which nothing in the past is compar- 
able, or whether our time shall be, to 
future generations, the Golden Age! 
the highwater mark of human liberty 
the age of a noble but a futile fight 
for a great ideal Democracy. 

Club Economics. 

In simple cave-man times the boss- 
parent, quite naturally, made and ad- 
mmistered suitable primitive eco- 
nomics with his persuasive club as a 
very practical emblem of authority. 
Under this raw-force regime the 
weaker "fagged" for the stronger; and 
the doings and havings of the "rags" 
made life more likeable for the force- 

As the procreator of his subjects 
and superior in strength during most 
of their lives the "ownership" of 
them and theirs by the boss-parent 
was as "natural" as any other obvious 
fact; and chattel slavery as necessary 
as parent ownership is self-evident. 

Mystery Economics. 

Then, Miracle-Fire-Maker and Ani- 
mal Breeder came along, and dis- 
turbed many of the time honored and 
well established customs playing 
havoc generally with club-economics. 
By his wonder working magics cun- 
ning Miracle-worker put the fear of 
gods (more potent than physical 
strength) into the heart of simple old 
skull-cracker parent-god. So Miracle- 
worker waxed fat, and in his turn 
initiated and administered suitable 
economics fire worship and mystery- 
economics, otherwise Theocracy. 

With theocracy came the greatest 
of all social revolutions; the dethron- 
ing of brute strength and the crown- 
ing of mental alertness Cunning. 
This marked an epoch in human his- 
tory, in man's upward progress as 
a social animal. Also it marked the 
beginning of control of men (and their 
products) through man's instinctive 

fear of the unknown the Rule of the 


With varying fortunes force-eco- 
nomics and cunning-economics con- 
tended for supremacy till in compara- 
tively modern times autocracy was 
found an effective compromise. In this 
most practical arrangement, the (by 
that time conventionalized) parent- 
god received his authority from the 
All-powerful God-of-Magic. So was 
initiated modernized force-mystery- 
economics. And the human race has 
as yet found no more efficient means 
for the control of organized society 
than force-mystery-economics; meth- 
ods, means, and institutions which, but 
superficially modified since old Miracle 
worker's day, still function in our 
twentieth century (autocratic and 
democratic) customs, usages, conven- 
tions, and legalized economic systems. 


In cave-man economics, the real 
function of the club or the purpose 
of Club-er was not to incapacitate 
Club-ee, but to induce the latter to do 
and supply the matters and things 
which otherwise would require greater 
and more constant expenditure of ef- 
fort on the part of the economist, than 
the semi-occasional swing of his skull- 

Old Skull-cracker's motives (though 
more crudely expressed) were the 
same as mine are, in the employment 
of my cook and my gardener, that is 
economy of effort on my part; other- 
wise working-by-proxy. 

But the club-economic-system was 
essentially wasteful and inefficient; its 
operating expenses were outrageously 
high, notwithstanding the low cost of 
raw (human) material. Indeed, the 
system was apt to defeat its own ends, 
especially in those strenuous days, 
when zeal commonly outran discre- 

Doers and Suppliers. 

Thus mystery-coercion represents 
an enormous economic advance over 
raw physical force. Fear of unknown 
but awesome consequences for failure 
to do and supply matters and things is 
fully as effective as the club and be- 



yond measure less wasteful of Doers 
and Suppliers.- 

So i. is quite natural and inevitable 
that crude force methods and pro- 
cesses of economic control should 
lose favor in competition with mystery 
economic systems. And long race ex- 
perience has proved that a judicious 
combination of club and mystery 
(otherwise force and cunning) makes 
for the highest degree of efficiency in 
a Working-by-Proxy economic sys- 


Such economic systems, however, 
obviously imply direct or indirect 
slavery ownership of the body or 
control of the mind of the proxy. And 
for the latter the mystery method is 
peculiarly adapted and most satisfac- 

For self-evident reasons, control 
over another's mind is more effective 
and economical than property owner- 
ship of his body, taking into con- 
sideration the practical responsibility 
which the latter entails. So quite na- 
turally, direct ownership of Proxy by 
the economical Worker-by-proxy gives 
place to customs, usages, and conven- 
tions (economics), facilitating control 
over the results of Proxy's activities. 

Then, too, complex division of labor 
and specialization render chattel slav- 
ery impractical, indeed unworkable, in 
a society highly organized for pro- 
ductive industry. So an ideal work- 
ing-by-proxy economic system would 
permit complete physical liberty to do 
and to make, while arranging appro- 
priate usages, customs, and laws which 
automatically transfer ownership of 
the matters and things done and made, 
from the doers and makers to the 

. Economic Science? 

The difference between modern and 
primordial economics is not in idea or 
purpose, but only in added obscurity 
of method and in greater complexity 
of detail. Incidentally, also, it has be- 
come evident that "economics" is not 
a "science" in any proper sense, but 
a variable system of community us- 
ages intended to facilitate the pre- 
dominating social activities. And, 
hence, to be workable an "economic 
system" must be in keeping with the 

activities which characterize the times. 
In cave-man times, the boss-parent 
and his club-men had to make cave- 
economics. A system initiated by the 
"fags" would have been obviously un- 
workable. The priesthood had to 
initiate and administer theocratic eco- 
nomics. And so on, through the 
various changes in social organization: 
Those whose activities characterize 
the times must initiate and administer 
its economics. 

Economic Experiments. 

Raw force has been relegated to 
the economic backwoods to the 
facially infantile tribes of darkest 
Africa, and to the social usages of 
our anachronistic "criminal elements," 
the yegg, the thug, the gun-fighter, 
the strong-arm gangs of the under- 
world of modern organized society. 

Theocracy, with its crude cunning, 
its childish terrors and its dazzling 
promises of future (super-mundane) 
rewards, has practically vanished as a 
recognized dominant social factor a 
fading shadow of ancient greatness. 

Autocracy, that cunning combination 
of force and fear economics, has just 
now been dumped into the scrap-heap 
of out-worn social expedients, at the 
cost of the most atrocious and blood- 
iest of all wars, and the flower of the 
World's Manhood. 

Plutocracy, with its autocratic capi- 
talistic economics (while weakened 
and shaken by the shocks and stresses 
of the World War) is still a virile 
contestant for the throne of World 

Strength, Skill, Cunning. 

Economics efficient for autocracy 
must necessarily differ from eco- 
nomics appropriate to theocracy; and 
these would differ from economics 
suitable for plutocracy; and these 
again would 'differ still more from 
economics appropriate to and efficient 
for Industrial Democracy. In brief: 
Force-economics, Cunning-economics, 
and Skill-economics must necessarily 
differ as widely as the essential dif- 
ferences between the basic qualities, 
Strength, Cunning, Skill. 

Hence any attempt to organize or 
"re-construct" a social aggregation 
with these three basic human traits 
as contemporary economic bases 



means simply continual social warfare; 
a war which, sooner or later, must be 
decided by victory for the Strong, the 
Cunning, or the Skilled unless human 
ingenuity can devise a form of society 
which will permit and facilitate the 
full, unified, and socially useful expres- 
sion of these three irrepressible forms 
of life energy. 

Mechanized Industry. 

Thus we return to the three great 
social drifts: 

Centralization of Government; 

Concentration of Wealth; 

Unification of Mechanistic Indus- 

Of the first two little need be said, 
for they are familiar racial experi- 
ences. But the last the mechanizing 
of life is quite otherwise; hence it is, 
if for no other reason, the most sig- 
nificant factor to be taken into account 
in the social problems with which we 
are now confronted our problem of 
economic reconstruction. 

And, truly, our modern mechaniza- 
tion of human life is a most dubious 
social experiment a danger-fraught 
development a dynamitic racial ad- 

Modern Science. 

Back of the mechanizing of human 
functioning is that greatest of all mod- 
ern marvels experimental science. 

Science has brought about a pro- 
found revolution in our mental atti- 
tude toward life, and in our methods 
of dealing with nature. It has swept 
into the discard practically all our pre- 
vious notions regarding ourselves and 
our relations to the laws of nature 
to Universal Reality. It has, at the 
same time, debased man's pride in the 

dust of humility, and glorified intelli- 
gence and human worth to God-like 

Science is, of course, the effective 
cause of our present mechanistic de- 
velopment with all its physical bene- 
fits and all its spiritulil horrors; for 
science knows neither morals nor eth- 
ics, and is equally potent for social 
"bad" as for social "good." 

Science works just as effectively in 
criminal hands as in thos,^ of a saint. 
It is an impersonal, ethically neutral 
force and factor so potent that even 
in the chaotic condition in which it 
now exists it has brought about a 
world revolution in man's mental out- 
look and his physical activities, both 
individually and collectively. Indeed 
it has shown to man a new Heaven, 
a new Earth, and a new Hell. 

Our social Heaven we have yet to 
construct, but the World War is suf- 
ficiently impressive proof of what 
social Hell can be wrought by Science 
in the hands of self-interest. 

Past and Present. 

As the result of modern science, 
the present time is without precedent, 
hence no valid analogy exists or can 
be imagined between an economic 
system appropriate to our science- 
taught mechanistic age and earlier 
economic systems suitable to condi- 
tions of life, the warp, woof, and pat- 
tern of which were Mystery, Magic, 

That no helpful comparison can be 
made between the past and the pres- 
ent would be completely true, were 
it not that our science teachings affect 
but the thinnest superficial layer of 
our conscious thinking, while the 

There is a serenity, a long view on the part of science, which seems 
to be of no age, but to carry human thought along from generation to 
generation, freed from the elements of passion. Every just mind must 
condemn those who so debase the studies of men in science as to 
use them against humanity and, therefore, it is part of your task and of 
ours to reclaim science from this disgrace, to show that she is devoted to 
the advancement and interest in humanity and not to its embarrass- 
ment and destruction. The spirit of science is a spirit of seeking after 
truth so far as the truth is ready to be applied to human circum- 

From President Wilson's address before the Academy of Lincei in 



fabric of our thought processes, our 
familiar customs, our current usages, 
our economic institutions remain prac- 
tically unchanged our racial heritage. 
But, even so, the unceasing con- 
flict of past and present, of slavery 
and freedom, of bondage and liberty, 
of error and truth, goes ever on and 
on a blood soaked path; a path of 
misery, strife and disappointment, 
though hopefully ever upward toward 
our ideal Industrial Democracy with 

* personal freedom for Self-realization. 
Mental Inertia. 
Without a concurrent change of 
economic institutions appropriate to 
the amazingly rapid psychical devel- 
opment and refinement of our modern 
ideals brought about by the advent 
of science the realization of these 
ideals will be impossible. And sorrow- 
fully we recognize that man's instinc- 
tive resistance to change of old estab- 
lished modes of thought howsoever 
irrational makes progress in this di- 

K-ection seem almost hopeless. 
Familiar Fallacies. 
Most reluctantly are familiar fal- 
acies relinquished, indeed, we hang 
on to them with irrational tenacity 
ages after their unworkable character 
has time and again been tragically 

As in our bodily functions and skele- 
tal frame there still persist the char- 
acteristics of our Saurian primordial 
ancestry, so ancient modes of thought 
live unnoted in our present day think- 
ing processes; and our social institu- 
tions represent the seemingly out- 
grown superstitions constituting 
man's mental heredity during every 
past age since the infancy of the 
human race. 

"Gott mit tins." 

Medievalism characterizes our sa- 
cred and secular institutions and 
energizes our customary actions. 
Demonology is practically as prev- 
alent as in the past; unnoted in 
ourselves but easily perceived in the 
"Gptt mit uns" attitude of the 

We ^ pray for health, heedless of 
nature's laws; we pray for long life 
while disregarding the simple rules 
of right living; we beseech forgive- 

ness of "sin" while making sin 
profitable by deliberate legal enact- 
ment. In a world filled to over- 
flowing with all good and humanly 
desirable things to be had for the 
striving, we economically steal from 
our industrious neighbors; like 
paupers we beg "God" for vicari- 
ously earned joys, for unearned 
prosperity, and for all other forms of 
undeserved "good fortune;" and like 
pert children we urge silly advice 
on our man-made Providence, for 
the conduct of common human af- 
faiis, which we are too lazy, too 
stupid, too self-indulgent to bring to 
desired outcome by our own effort. 

The God of Chance. 

Important departments of life and 
the distribution of the products of 
industry trade, speculation, oppor- 
tunity, recreation involve large ele- 
ments of "luck," for by grotesquely 
solemn "laws" the issues are left 
to the "God of Chance." Just pre- 
cisely as in the old days when mo- 
mentous matters were settled by the 
entrails of sacrificial animals. 

The killing of President McKinle} 
by a madman "caused" the depre- 
ciation in the value of stocks to the 
extent of thousands of millions of 
dollars; the San Francisco calamity 
which rendered half a million hu- 
man beings homeless -"made" for- 
tunes for the owners of and specu- 
lators in suburban property; the 
Titanic disaster threw a hundred 
millions of wealth (others' products) 
into the hands of a school-boy, and 
with it control over the lives of 
thousands of human beings; and eveu 
the supreme tragedy of a World 
at War is the prolific "cause" of 
transforming hundreds of mediocre 
men into multi-millionaires and 
hence into powerful social factors 


All this represents kindergarten 
thinking, primitive and childish ^ as 
nursery prattle of prixies and fairies, 
Aladin's lamp, and all the other 
forms of Old World superstition and 
diabolism, worthy only of the in- 
fancy of the race. 

Were it not that these grotes- 
queries characterize our "economic 



and finance system" and our solemn 
Professors soberly teach them, they 
would be utterly incredible in this 
Age of Science and Mechanics. 

But, as already indicated, our "eco- 
nomics and finance" are merely sur- 
vivals from pre-science times; an in- 
heritance from the days of wizardry 
and witchcraft, mystery and magic. 

Our quaint "economics" and queer 
"finance" are as anachronistic, as 
inconsistent, and as ineffective in this 
Mechanical Age of Industrialism, as 
astrology would be in an astrono- 
mical observatory, alchemy in a 
chemical laboratory or "perpetual mo- 
tion" in a machine shop. 

Scientific Foresight. 

Imagination based on science en- 
ables us to foresee the oak in the 
acorn coming events latent in pres- 
ent happenings. But so strong is 
custom, so firm is the grip of the 
past, so compelling is the obses- 
sion of ancient superstitions, that 
with all our lately acquired capa- 
bility for rational scientific thinking 
only the tragedy of the accom- 
plished fact has sufficient power to 
jolt our sluggard wits into momen- 
tary activity. 

Ten, fifteen, yes, twenty-five years 
ago, it required no more intelligence 
to foresee the present war than to 
anticipate a crop in the Fall from 
seed sown in the Spring. 

Even less scientific imagination is 
now needed to foretell a condition 
of social disintegration, one more wide- 
spread and disastrous than the War, 
as the logical and inevitable outcome 
of our irrational and antiquated so- 
cial conventions our "economic and 
financial system." 

Taking Instinct. 

If taking by force or diverting by 
cunning, in whole or in part the 
product of another's effort, without 
adequate equitable return, be accept- 
ed as a valid social principle of 
action between individuals, it must 
be equally good and proper as be- 
tween social groups, as between na- 

But however disguised in smooth 
sounding phrases the "chances of 
business," the "profits of trade," 
the "opportunity of others' misfor- 

tune," the "prize of the victor," the 
"fortunes of war," the "right of 
might" taking expresses the par- 
asitic and predatory instincts. And, 
called by whatsoever name or how- 
soever disguised, taking others' mak- 
ings by force, or diverting others' 
products by stealthy cunning, inevit- 
ably involves unending strife; strife 
within . the group and recurring wars 
of nations strife to settle the rela- 
tive strength or cunning as between 
individuals, and wars to determine 
the relative might of nations. 

Predatory Economics. 

Our "economic system" is essen- 
tially autocratic in means, in method, 
in objective. Being a left-over from 
an Age of Predatory Autocracy, 
necessarily its ideals are materialis- 
tic its motor instinct and urge im- 
pulse being self-centered "greed and 
grab." Naturally its means are force 
and cunning and its methods are 
ruthless, for its object is power- 
power, irresponsible and absolute. 

Our Modern Ideals. 

If we are to remain true to our 
ideals ideals which the flame of war 
has illumined to our normally pur- 
blind spiritual insight our course 
is determined. We have no choice 
but to choose freedom: pioneer a 
virgin trail, slash a course unblazed 
by history, uncharted in race experi- 
ence a courage testing National Ad- 

The race has never before been 
confronted with a situation in any 
way analogous to the one in which 
we now find ourselves, nor a prob- 
lem the like of that which we are 
now compelled to solve; yes, and 
solve correctly, if we would avoid 
distintegration into social chaos 
overwhelmed by a science-made 

Science Is Dynamitic! 

Science has, however, put into our 
hands an instrumentality of such 
immeasurable potency, that, used 
with intelligent courage, we may con- 
quer all our difficulties, surmount all 
our social obstructions. 

But, Science left to chance, or in 
the hands of unintelligent self-interest, 






the chances are it will work untold 
social calamity. 

There are so many roads to go 
wrong, and only one way to go ri^ht. 

To leave a force and factor of 
such supreme social significance ;ind 
potentiality as Science in its present 
condition socially uncontrolled and 
unorganized for the commonweal 
is more crassly unintelligent than to 
permit fused and capped dynamite to 
be scattered around promiscuously, 
to the chances of any carelessly or 
maliciously applied spark. 

(A striking and significant parallel- 
ism to the thought here expressed 
was subsequently voiced by Presi- 
dent Wilson in one of his speeches 
at the Versailles Peace Conference: 

"Is it not a startling circumstance, 
for one thing, that the quiet studies 
of men in laboratories, that the 
thoughtful developments which have 
taken place in quiet lecture rooms, 
have now been turned to the de- 
struction of civilization? 

'The enemy whom we have just 
overcome had at his seats of learning 
some of the principal centers of 
scientific study and discovery, and he 
used them in order to make de- 
struction sudden and complete; and 
only the watchful, continuous co-op- 
eration of men can see to it that 
cience as well as armed men are 
ept within the harness of civiliza- 


In the rough, Democracy is the 
ule of the mob, the rule of the 

asses, the rule of the majority the 
ule of un-intelligence. But even so, 
t is better than any form of govern- 
mental control based upon self-inter- 
est not excepting "Beneficent Autoc- 

Humanly bad and socially ineffi- 
cient as it may be, and has been, De- 

ocracy alone encloses and fosters 
he living germ of freedom self- gov- 

But, during the scant two years that 
we were at war, no ordinary or ac- 
cepted definition of Democracy could 
make that term descriptive of the 
United States; indeed, under the life 
threatening stress of a World War, 
our great but chaotic nation in self- 

preservation ceased to be a Democ- 


In that remarkable war transfor- 
mation, we certainly did not become 
an Autocracy; even less so a Plutoc- 
racy; and least of all a Theocracy. In 
fact, during this thrillingly interesting 
time, the United States developed into 
a form of "Government" for which 
there is no precedent in human ex- 

National Industrial Management 

The characterizing peculiarity which 
rendered our great country unique 
during this period of national stress 
and not only unique but uniquely ir- 
resistible, was the fact that we ra- 
tionally organized our National Indus- 
trial Management. We became, for 
the time being, a real Industrial Na- 

This we did by organizing and co- 
ordinating the Scientific Knowledge, 
the Technical Talent, the Practi- 
cal Skill and the Man Power of the 
entire Community: focusing them in 
the National Government, and apply- 
ing this Unified National Force to the 
accomplishment of a Unified National 

For this unique experiment in ra- 
tionalized Industrial Democracy I 
have coined the term ''Technocracy." 

It was but an experiment a forced 
one to meet an exceptionally serious 
emergency; and like most other ex- 
perimental devices, it doubtless was 
far from perfect in many ways and 
details. Still, as it seems to me, it 
presented an important suggestion, the 
germ of a novel and significant idea 
a pioneer idea in the ancient art of 


Until appropriate economic institu- 
tions and instrumentalities are avail- 
able, humanly effective Industrial De- 
mocracy must remain an unrealizable 
ideal, a theory unattainable as a work- 
a-day principle of social life, and for 
the efficient distribution of the pro- 
ducts of toil, upon which human life 

The practical working out of our 
present efforts in this direction, has so 



far only resulted in a frenzied scram- 
ble for wealth, place, power a brut- 
ish-instinct-scramble, in which greed, 
cunning, and lust for human mastery 
are the urges; "dog-eat-dog" the 
"practical" ideal; and mystery, 
medievalism, law-loaded-dice and 
chuck-a-luck instrumentalities the con- 
trolling factors. 

The Greedless Scientist. 

In this weird social (?) conglomera- 
tion how incongruous seems and, in- 
deed, is the greedless scientist, who 
seeks but to learn, to comprehend, and 
to co-ordinate the laws of nature; and 
who cares naught for human mastery. 
In this frenzied scramble for science- 
created wealth what earthly chance 
has its real creator the scientist? 

Practically none! 

None, unless he sells himself into 
virtual slavery; unless he debauches 
his truth-seeking to the interest of 
those who more "practical" devote 
their energy and cunning to the "prac- 
tical" enterprise of gaining power by 
securing control of wealth. And yet, 
the United States is characteristically 
a nation of technologists scientists, 
inventors, workers in and utilizers of 
the raw materials and the forces of 
nature. Not only are we instinctively 
mechanistic, but we are by heritage, 
by force of circumstance, and by tra- 
dition born lovers of personal free- 
dom. Freedom is our ideal self- 

Prior to the War, our de-humaniz- 
ing ideal was Mechanistic Efficiency, 
under its soul-searching stress was 
born a Humanly Effective Nation. 

Our Costly Lesson. 

With all these considerations before 
us, and our fleeting glance at the pos- 
sibilities of socially unified skill, tech- 
nology, and science, how worse than 
foolish to revert to our pre-War "dog- 
eat-dog" practices and practical (?) 

Instead of so doing, would it not 
be well to take to heart the lessons 
forced upon us at so stupendous a 
cost of life and human misery? 

Would it not be wise statesmanship 
to experiment further on the lines of 
direction into which we were forced 
by the compulsions and stresses of 

Reconstruction With a National 

The War is over won! 

We are now facing the in reality- 
more stupendous problems of social 

For the War, we enlisted, conscript- 
ed, commandeered all our men who by 
natural aptitude, and by personal in- 
clination, were adapted to the require- 
ments of war. We organized and co- 
ordinated them for the intended pur- 
pose; we trained and exercised their 
bodies and their minds to meet known 
and unknown trials; we energized 
their loyalty to the Flag the Com- 
monweal; we stirred their personal de- 
votion to the Nation's ideals; we en- 
thused their wills to the accomplish- 
ment of the unified Will of the Nation 
-the National Objective. 

Rationalized Industrial Democracy. 

No need is there to speak of the 
result of this Unification of National 
Spirit and National Purpose the War 
is over; won! gloriously won! 

As we enlisted all those peculiarly 
adapted to the destructive functions 
of War, let us now systematically 
unify those peculiarly adapted to the 
constructive functions of Peace our 
scientists, our technologists, our in- 
ventors, indeed, all who by natural 
aptitude and personal inclination are 
specially fitted to deal with the social 
and constructive problems of peaceful 
industry; nationally unify them and 
their accomplishments for the Com- 

Let us organize our scientists, 
our technologists, our exceptionally 
skilled; let us commandeer, conscript, 
enlist, their loyalty, their devotion, 
their enthusiasm, their intelligence, 
their interest, their talents, their ac- 
complishments for the purposes oi 
Peace and the realization of a Noble 
National Purpose. 

Let us rationalize our Industrial De- 

Public Service First. 

We are up against the problem oi 
national reconstruction; let us not 
tinker with futile details let us na- 
tionally Re-construct. 

Such a national co-ordination oi 
Science and Technology, as is here 
suggested, would produce and consti- 



tute a living and Social life-giving Na- 
tional Reservoir of Science practical 
and theoretical; a Technical Army de- 
voted to Peace and Construction. 

It would constitute a National Army, 
from which alone Private Interests 
could draw their needed scientific and 
technical personnel; personnel whose 
loyalty is primarily to the Common- 
weal the Nation; the Nation of which 
they are honored Public Servants. 

This is the exact reverse of our pres- 
ent unpatriotic, un-democratic order 
and organization. Yet, such an intim- 
ate, but subsidiary, relation to public 
service, as is suggested, would liberate 
not hamper individual energy and free- 
dom of private enterprise, for it would 
permit the free expression of self- 
interest unified in the commonweal. 
Also it would, without conflict, fa- 
cilitate the full and socially useful out- 
flow of the three vigorous forms of 
life energy Strength, Skill, Cunning. 

Industrial Apex. 

From this co-ordinated Army of 
Science, Technology, and Skill should 
be selected (by a process of realized 
capability and recognized social worth) 
a representative and comprehensive 
National Council of Scientists as Man- 
aging Directors our Supreme Social 

This National Council should be the 
apex of the Nation's Industrial Man- 
agement. It should constitute the 
Leadership of our thus rationalized 
Industrial Democracy. 


But this reconstruction revolu- 
tionary as it doubtless will appear to 
many is only preparation for our 
National Task. 

It would, indeed, make of us an or- 
ganized human aggregation a unified 
social machine, capable of intelligent 
self-conscious national life; and then 
comes the question: 

For what worthy purpose have we 
constructed this huge highly organized 
Human Instrumentality? 

This problem a Nation no less 
than an individual unescapably faces, 
the instant it has become really self- 

It is the Nation's first, its final, its 
only problem the final problem of 
human existence. 

And this all-important matter, every 
Nation (like every individual) must 
settle for itself settle between itself 
and Universal Rationality: The ob- 
ject of the Nation's being; its con- 
scious Rational purpose its National 

Fernwald, Berkeley, January, 1919. 




Ways and Means 
To Gain Industrial Democracy. 

By William Henry Smyth 

NOTE: In the two preceding essays Mr. Smyth forecasts a new form 
of government that he calls "Technocracy" National Industrial Man- 
agement. This article discusses ways and means to develop, guide and di- 
rect purposive industrial democracy and so usher in a new commonwealth. 

The author suggests three practical thoughts for economic reconstruc- 
tion: That permitting chance to influence our lives and conditions means 
ignorance. That the flow of time is not reversible the future cannot help 
the present. That cause and effect, not whim, is the law in nature's pro- 
cesses. Editor. 

Social Structures. 

Democracy and Autocracy are the 
antitheses of social organization and 
express opposite underlying principles 
of human interaction. 

The structural details of any human 
contrivance whether Mechanical or 
Sociological must be in keeping with 
its underlying idea. Change in prin- 
ciple necessarily entails functional re- 
organization reconstruction. 

Hence, ways and means that have 
proved effective for autocracy, or that 
long usage has shaped to facilitate 
its aims and outcomes, must needs be 
not only unworkable in, but subversive 
of, democracy. So it will be helpful 
in our quest to keep constantly and 
clearly in mind the differences be- 
tween these mutually exclusive no- 
tions of Government. 


Probably the most radical difference 
between these two forms of social 
structures is the assumed sources from 
which each gets its authority. 

Autocracy derives its powers from 
"God." This assumption pre-supposes 
inherent social distinctions between 
individuals --occult privileges con- 
ferred upon some to control the acts 
of others. But effectively to control 
acts makes requisite control of 
thoughts, for consecutive thought 
necessarily precedes purposive action. 

Thus Autocracy implies a "God- 
given" right of censorship over other 
men's physical and mental function- 
ing. Hence, it also pre-supposes the 

non-neutrality of Nature cosmic- 
favoritism; for clearly nature's "God" 
could not look with favor upon dis- 
obedience or lack of submission to the 
mandates of His authorized agents. 

A social organization framed upon 
this general idea implies constructive 
details, i. e., customs, laws, institutions 
economics comprising : 

1. A Supreme Control element, de- 
riving its authority from and respon- 
sible only to a super-mundane source. 

2. Social instrumentalities to en- 
force obedience physically coerce hu- 
man actions, and super-naturally con- 
trol men's thoughts. 

3. A descending series of conferred 
authority starting with the "God-ap- 
oointed Ruler" and ending with the 
popular "masses" void of rights. 

Thus ^the measure of efficiency in 
this social system is the absoluteness 
of control -- completeness of en- 
forced obedience in act and subservi- 
ence in thought to the "God-inspired 
will" of the Autocrat and his Agents. 


Democracy derives its authority 
from Man. This pre-supposes general 
intelligence sufficient at least for self- 
conscious Individual wants and Mass 
purposes, with freedom for their pur- 
suit; thus it assumes super-mundane 
non-interference with human wants 
and purposes, and a rational Cosmic 
Order corresponding or co-ordinated 
to human intelligence in suchwise as 
to be knowable and responsive there- 
A social system based upon this gen- 



eral idea implies constructive details 
in consonance with: 

1. The neutrality of nature. 

2. Inherent individual rights flowing 
from the facts of rational human ex- 

3. Equality of individual rights. 
Thus the measure of efficiency in a 

Democracy is to be gaged by the com- 
pleteness of individual freedom of 
thought and liberty of action in rela- 
tion to each other and of access to 
nature's stores, resources and forces 
freedom and liberty being based upon 
rationality as determined by work- 
ability in the production of general 
human happiness, prosperity and op- 
portunity for self-development. 

Autocracy is based upon the idea 
of the essential manship (i. e. man- 
likeness) of "God" and the inher- 
ent unrighteousness irrationality of 

Democracy is based upon the idea 
of the essential God-ship (i. e. God- 
likeness) of Man and the inherent 
righteousness rationality of the Uni- 

Thus we get a clear concept of our 
chosen social Ideal, and from it indi- 
cations as to the character of means 
appropriate to or discordant therewith. 
In other words we have on broad lines, 
bases for rational economic conven- 
tions, adapted to make effective a so- 
cial system on the basic principles of 


Neither by mutual agreement, nor 
by legal enactment, nor constitutional 
provision, nor even as a concession 
to ancient custom and universal con- 
sent may we make two units and two 
units constitute five units being con- 
trary to the facts of nature. For pre- 
cisely the same reasons we cannot (by 
any or all of these social expedients) 
successfully adopt or retain economic 
devices at variance with the essential 
principles of Democracy. 

Industrial Democracy Purpose. 

Autocracy and Democracy are both 
merely forms of human organization, 
group contrivances social machines 
built on different basic ideas or prin- 
ciples; machines to accomplish some- 

A Nation (no less than an individ- 
ual) that would build (or "recon- 
struct") without first clearly deter- 
mining the purpose of the proposed 
structure, would be indulging in 
a foolish and futile waste of en- 
ergy. But what our national purpose 
is, is quite apart from the present in- 
quiry. And, indeed, it is not the prov- 
ince of an individual, but of consensus 
to determine the ultimate National Ob- 

Industrial Democracy. 

The people of the United States 
have, however, agreed and decided 
upon the idea of the National Or- 
ganization and its proximate charac- 
ter Industrial Democracy. Or 
perhaps this outcome represents the 
resultant of choice and circumstance. 
Be that as it may, we are now con- 
sciously launched on a career of 
mechanistic Industrial Democracy; 
and the aim of the present inquiry 
is to investigate the functional con- 
sistency (appropriateness) of the 
working parts to the accepted prin- 
ciple of the National Social Machine. 

Neutral Nature. 

The greatest and most consequence- 
breeding thought that has ever found 
lodgement in the human mind is the 
idea that: Nature is neutral toward 
Man and in regard to all Human con- 

The greatest and most conse- 
quential human discovery is: The 
Orderliness rationality of Nature. 

These two concepts are the mar- 
velously fruitful germs from which 
all modern Science has developed. 
And, as exact science based upon 
experimental proof owes its con- 
tinued development to machines of 
precision; it may with ultimate sig- 
nificance be said that our idea and 
Ideal of Human Liberty, self-govern- 
ment, as we today conceive it, is 
one of the many wonderful products 
of the machine shop our Mechan- 
istic Industrialism. 

Motor Impulse of Autocracy. 

Man's soul is free, hence Rational 
Liberty is his social motor impulse. 

Clearly, with an anthropomorphic 
"God" interested in human wants, 
wishes, purposes, and projects, and 



with unlimited power and inclination 
to meddle in human concerns, to 
help or hinder, to make or mar them; 
human "freedom of thought" would 
be futile, and human "liberty of ac- 
tion" a farce. 

We have seen that the motor im- 
pulse of Autocracy is super-mundane 
in origin; its initiative is super- 
human; its means are mysterious 
occult powers derived from "above"; 
that privilege maintained by ruthless 
force and cunning is an essential 
element; and power absolute and 
humanly irresponsible is its objec- 

These factors therefore present 
some criteria wherewith to gauge 
the validity of present economic con- 
ventions; also to test their appropri- 
ateness in a Democracy, the basis of 
which is human experience energized 
by individual human initiative; like- 
wise to measure their probable worth 
in a society in which the powers 
to do, and the opportunity to be, 
are derived from the consensus of 
free and equal human wills; wills 
subject to none, but co-operating to 
facilitate individual and mutual pur- 
poses purposes socially unified in 
the purposive National Will. 

Nature Non-Ethical. 

In . the light of Modern Science, 
human experience shows that Na- 
ture's dealings with Man carry no 
more moral or ethical significance 
than in the problems of Practical 
Mechanics. Scientifically enlightened 
experience teaches that Humanity 
alone is ethical or takes account 
of motives: 

Impartially the sun warms and 
scorches, blesses or blasts; brings 
famine and plenty, life and death. 
The sea, the wind, earthquake and 
torrent, and all the forces of Nature 
build and destroy, with utter disre- 
gard to Man or his handiworks, his 
hopes or his faiths, his motives or 
his morals. The wondrous mechan- 
ism of Creative Evolution performs its 
myriad functions no less oblivious to 
Man's existence than are the ponder- 
ous machines of Man's own devising. 
Nature, like them, fosters or over- 
whelms with heedless indifference; 
ruthless, pitiless, appalling to ignor- 
ance, error, and fear; but helpful, in- 

dulgent, obedient to knowledge, 
intelligence and courage; neither 
kind nor cruel, nor good, nor bad 


In the past, with childlike faith we 
have relied for support and guidance 
in human affairs upon the assumed 
beneficence of occult Powers. Upon 
this basis, Autocracy is the only con- 
ceivable form of social organization. 

Yet, the autocratic idea and Ideal 
has proven, (in the opinion of many), 
to be a disastrous failure under mod- 
ern conditions; and we in the United 
States have decided to try its 
antithesis Democracy. 

But while discarding the old for 
the new Ideal, we have, most illog- 
ically, retained substantially un- 
changed the effective conventions, 
the ways and means, of the old 

And now, with modern Science and 
Mechanics hindered and hampered 
at all points by our futile and in- 
appropriate "Economic System"- -we 
are fighting for National life and 
Democracy against efficiently or- 
ganized Autocracy. Not alone the 
Autocracy of organized military force 
but also the Autocracy of system- 
atized and unified financial Cunning. 

Thus the urgent need for scientific 
reconstruction of our whole social 
system is multiplied manyfold, if we 
are to rectify our past sins against 
reason and retrieve our pitiful social 

Modern Dependence on Machinery. 

The life of the ordinary modern 
man differs from that of all previous 
times in his peculiar dependence upon 
complicated machinery machinery 
over which he exercises no personal 
control. The manifold activities 
which in past times depended upon 
individual muscular effort are now 
performed by prime movers and 
power driven machines, so that the 
individual man's work and effort is 
unmeaning and useless apart from 
these instrumentalities of life and 

Thus the United States is one huge 
mechanistic industrial workshop.. 

The organization of these com- 
plex, specialized, power-driven mech- 



anisms and the sources of power and 
of the raw materials with and upon 
which they operate, together with 
the distribution of the output, are 
the functions of Scientific and Tech- 
nical Industrial Management. 

There should be, it would seem, 
no room or occasion in such an ar- 
rangement, for chance, mystery or 

Old Customs. 

That the average individual prefers 
old customs to new, helps to account 
for much that is strange in present 
conditions; but it fails to explain 
completely how it happens _ that 
occultism has been wholly banished 
from the Machine Shop the Social 
Producing Element and remains so 
conspicuously interwoven in oui 
"Economics" the Social Distributive 

It would seem that we are com- 
pelled to assume that our deep seated 
human instinct of self-interest is the 
controlling factor in maintaining this 
incongruous combination of Science 
and Occultism. 

It would seem that the cunning 
acquisitive instinct of certain excep- 
tionally alert minded men in the com- 
munity taking advantage of the 
normal preference of the average man 
for old ways and customs, and his 
preoccupation in his favorite work- 
ings and doings is employing these 
ancient and familiar usages to befog 
and obscure the stealthy diversion of 
an undue proportion of the Commun- 
ity Product. 

If this be so, it should be interest- 
ing to glance at the ways and means, 
the prestidigitatorial bag-o-tricks by 
which it is accomplished. Later we 
will scrutinize them more closely and 
in greater detail. 

Money and Credit. 

The bases of Mechanics in all its 
simple and complex expressions are 
two commonplace elements the 
Wedge and the Lever; the bases of 
pur Economic and Financial System 
in all its curious manifestations are 
also two commonplace elements 
"Money" and "Credit." 

Here the similarity ends. 

There is not on ordinary fourteen- 
year-old school boy in the United 

States but who knows and intelli- 
gently uses the wedge and lever; and 
there does not exist a Mechanical 
Expert who could reasonably ques- 
tion the practical accuracy of the 
boy's knowledge regarding these 
elements of mechanics. 

Under our present economic us- 
ages, customs and laws, each one of 
us man, woman and child is com- 
pelled, willy-nilly, to use daily and 
hourly some form of "money" and 
"credit"; and there is not in the world 
a man who understands either of 
these economic elements, as the 
boy knows the wedge and lever. 
Nor is there an Economic Specialist 
or Financial Expert whose attempted 
explanation of either "money" or 
"credit" (or the functions of either) 
whose supposed elucidation would 
not be ridiculed and controverted by 
a multitude of Economic and Mone- 
tary Experts of equal or greater au- 

The average man of affairs Law- 
yer, Doctor, Editor, Tradesman, Mer- 
chant or Mechanic freely admits his 
incapacity to understand the "mys- 
teries of finance," and frankly says: 
"I don't know a damn thing about 
it." Even Bankers and Brokers, 
Financiers and Economists, whose 
business it is to deal in and mani- 
pulate these most remarkable com- 
modities, will quite frequently make 
the same honest confession of ignor- 
ance. Indeed, the subject is common 
stock in the jokesmith's workshop. 

Mystery, Magic Failure. 

In no other department of human 
interest is so much mystery, confu- 
sion and controversy regarding the 
basic "facts" and assumptions, except 
possibly institutional religion which, 
avowedly, rests upon the miraculous 
and supernatural. Indeed, the paral- 
lelism between these two ancient ac- 
tivities is curiously complete. Both 
transcend human experience, and 
neither submits to the tests of Sci- 
ence weighing, measuring, cause- 
and-effect experimental proof. 


Like our religious forms, our Eco- 
nomic System is hoary with age a 
survival from ancient Babylonian cus- 



toms. It rests on assumptions un- 
sanctioned by science; its effects are 
causeless; the miraculous supersedes 
natural causation; mystery takes the 
place of human reason; and endless 
futurity is its heavenly storehouse of 
all humanly desirable things. 

A Thievish Process. 

From this miraculous store the 
"Wizard of Finance," with his wonder- 
working wand "Credit" filches back 
(for a slight ' present tangible con- 
sideration and without the owners' 
consent) the imagined products of 
imagined future toil of unborn gen- 
erations of workers a doubly thievish 
process, as black in morals as in 


While supposedly representing life- 
less things (that wear out by use), 
"money" is conventionally endowed 
(by financial magic) with everlasting 
life, and also with life's unique func- 
tion reproduction. So "Money 
makes money" for ever and ever 
for the Magician. 

Peace, super-abundance, and endless 
idleness "retirement from business"- 
is "the Promised Land, flowing with 
milk and honey" of Economic Saint- 
hood the earthly Heaven of "Fi- 

But . . ! Never was work 
more urgent nor idleness less com- 
mon; rjever was peace more scarce nor 
strife so universal; the labor of future 
generations has been crazily "mort- 
gaged" by thievish "economic" (!) 
conventions beyond all possibility of 
redemption (in spite of the fact that 
science and mechanics have multiplied 
manifold the effectiveness and produc- 
tiveness of present labor); and Man's 
present vocation is social suicide the 
destruction of w r ealth and the slaugh- 
ter of his fellow men! 

A stupendous and tragic record of 
"Economic" folly and failure!. 

The Mechanic's Philosophy Success. 

The "God" of our nursery tradi- 
tion has been banished from the Ma- 
chine Shop and the world of Me- 
chanics. The result of this courage- 
ous spiritual Declaration of Indepen- 
dence has been our "Conquest of Na- 

ture," our Age of Productive Indus- 

Seemingly a like rending of thought 
shackles, a similar breaking of mental 
prison bars, is needed in the realm of 

When scientific imagination and 
knowledge of Nature's Laws are sub- 
stituted in our economics for chance, 
mystery, and magic; when the regu- 
lation of our Nation-wide industry is 
taken out of the hands of quib- 
b 1 i n g "lawyers", and nature's 
forces, resources, and the mechanical 
instrumentalities for their transforma- 
tion into human necessaries and de- 
sirables are no longer the play-things 
of money-juggling gamblers, and the 
products of Nature and Mechanic Arts 
no longer glut the instinctive craving 
of Acquisitive Cunning; when this 
economic childish irrationality is 
sanely substituted by organized 
Science, Technology, and specialized 
Skill co-ordinated in National Indus- 
trial Management, then will begin real 
civilization, the Age of Social Sanity, 

"Chance" Catastrophes. 

The "God of Chance" or "God's 
mysterious providence"- -which per- 
mits the killing of a President by a 
madman; the obliteration of a great 
city by fire; the sinking of a huge pas- 
senger-ship in mid-ocean; and a 
world-war are merely misleading 
euphemisms for human ignorance, 
human improvidence, and childish 
shirking of responsibility. 

Social conventions our Economic 
and Financial system which by 
"money magic" make these "chance" 
catastrophes into controlling factors 
in the distribution of the product of 
human effort, are simply tragic 
monuments to ignorant superstition, 
mental laziness, and criminal folly. 
, Indeed, our whole "Economic Sys- 
tem" is so incredibly unscientific, 
so irrational, so utterly puerile, 
that, were it not for custom- 
induced mental myopia, its glaring 
absurdities would long ago have suf- 
ficed without a world-war to shock 
our moral sense and intelligence into 

"Chance" in Economics. 

A machine is certain in action and 



uniform in output, because scientific 
imagination has foreseen, and con- 
structive intelligence has provided for, 
the elimination of the "chance" ele- 

The forces which will devastate the 
results of man's industry, through the 
"natural" action of an uncontrolled 
torrential stream, (with equal uncon- 
cern) if scientifically directed, will 
make the same country-side teem w r ith 
human happiness but, not by 
"chance." In like manner, the same 
"natural" social forces which make 
poverty, wretchedness, and vice, will 
(with equal unconcern) produce the 
opposite results but never by 


Human institutions founded upon 
"chance" merely express Man's brute- 
unintclligence. That our "Economic 
System" makes "chance" a controlling 
factor for the distribution of wealth, 
merely shows the persistence of ignor- 
ance and that old habits of thought 
are more compelling than modern in- 
telligence. To legalize "chance" delib- 
erately is to relinquish our Godlike 
control over the results of Nature's 
processes, and thus voluntarily enslave 
ourselves to ruthless Nature, and to 
abandon even our authority over the 
outcomes of our own actions. Hence, 
it would seem, that the first step to- 
ward a new and Rational Economics is 
a courageous declaration of our free- 
dom from tyranny of the insensate 
"God of Chance." 


A\ hen a Mechanic has decided upon 
an idea or principle as the basis of a 
proposed machine, he has exercised his 
rational freedom of choice. Regard- 
less of whether his choice is wise or 
not (in this decision) he has placed 
definite limits upon the range of sub- 
sequent selection in regard to detail 
instrumentalities. Indeed, he has en- 
tered into an implied contract as- 
sumed a rational responsibility to em- 
ploy only such means in the construc- 
tion of his machine as (in accord with 
Universal Order) are appropriate to 
make effective his proposed mechanical 
contrivance; with failure as the pen- 
alty for wilful or ignorant error 
breach of his implied contract. 

History demonstrates conclusively 
that races, nations, civilizations (equal- 

ly with individuals), are subject to the 
same rational limitations, are bound 
by the same responsibility, and incur 
the same penalty for wilful or ignorant 
error in exercising their human free- 
dom of choice. 

Out Last Warning! 
The practical difficulties of forestall- 
ing the hazards of birth, of death, and 
of disaster, are doubtless great, and 
the problem of eliminating the 
"chance" element from our economic 
system is a man-sized job with a slim 
probability of complete success. But, 
it is reasonably certain, that, if courage 
to make the needed change is lacking, 
or if our intelligence is insufficient 
for the task, our social adventure in 
Democracy will prove a tragedy. And 
the world war is, I believe, our last 

Laisser Faire. 

Nor may we drift; laisser faire is 
lazy fear cowardly re-submission to 
the dog-eat-dog jungle law, right-of 
might principle of Nature and of Au- 
tocracy from which our modern con- 
science has revolted. 

The Mechanic. 

While caution bids us pause and 
realize that Nature is ruthless in its 
punishment of ignorance and error, 
courage reminds us that Nature also is 
infinitely lavish in its rewards for 
knowledge and intelligence; and cour- 
age points to the Practical Mechanic 
as an exemplar and an object-lesson 
for the Social Constructor. 

Mechanic vs. Nature 

The Mechanic has courageously in- 
vaded Nature's guarded realm; has ac- 
cepted her "no quarter" terms; and 
has assumed complete responsibility 
for his revolt against all the ancient 
Occult Powers. 

He has tacitly assumed that "God" 
and "Nature" are supremely and pre- 
eminently self-sufficing; that these all- 
inclusive profundities utterly trans- 
cend the utmost limits of his acts or 
his art that the "plans of God" and 
the Mechanic's problems cannot in 
anywise conflict. 

He predicates that "God" and "Na- 
ture" are limitlessly competent to care 
for their own infinite concerns; hence, 



that his problems involve only what 
the Mechanic wants, and not "the 
wants of God." In so far as concerns 
his art (and with reverence for Uni- 
versal Order, which makes his art pos- 
sible) the Mechanic, in effect, says: 
"This I will," "Thus I do." "I am 
the Earth-god of things, of matter, 
and of motion." 

The Mechanic's Achievements 

And how gloriously has the Me- 
chanic made good! 

Even the most most cursory survey 
of his accomplishments, in manufac- 
ture, in transportation, in communica- 
tion, in reclamation, in power utiliza- 
tion generally, staggers while it exalts 
the mind. 

Has he not with wheat and corn 
from Eastern steppe and Western 
prairie, and with fresh and wholesome 
meat from the Antipodes, fed the hun- 
gry workers of Europe; and brought 
from the four corners of the Earth 
materials for their needs, their uses, 
and their industries? Yes! And from 
the teeming estuaries of the North he 
has served the World's table with 
dainty fish, and with wine and oil and 
luscious fruit from the fertile valleys 
of the Pacific Slope. 

By his use of Nature's forces, he 
has immeasurably out-rivalled imag- 
ination's Magic Carpet, transporting 
by his mechanisms untold millions of 
work-weary families from cramped 
and life-worn areas to the free spaci- 
ousness of many wide scattered Edens 
of plenty, there to found Empires. 

And more, he has bound these 
broadcast settlements in bonds of mu- 
tual help with space-negating bands of 
steel and steam; and on the one-time 
pathless ocean he has marked out 
highways with light and life of swift- 
moving commerce, till, in the utter- 
most ends "of the earth, friend greets 
friend as though but a mile from 
home. Seas no longer separate, nor 
continents divide, for Man now talks 
with Man as face to face across the 
soundless void. 

As with a broom, he has swept sul- 
len ocean back to its deeps and bared 
Netherland's fertile plains; and with 
dyke, and mill, and pump he holds 
his prize secure from angry wave and 
wind and shifting sand. A prize in- 
deed! a rich and prosperous country 

of towns and villages, of farms and 
homesteads, all interlr % .ed with road 
and rail and placid water-way; a hive 
of human industry a kingdom 
snatched from ocean's grasp. 

In torrid Egypt, too, he has tamed 
the turgid Nile to flood the desert 
sands and made thereof a nation's 

He has moved mountains, split" 
continents, harnessed Niagaras to his 
machines; subdued the land, triumph- 
ed over the sea, and now seeks do- 
minion of the air. 

And, East and West and North 
and South he has sluiced and swept 
with giant streams the high-piled 
gravels, and ript and smashed and 
ground to powder, fine as from the 
mills of the gods, mountains of 
crystalline quartz; and dredged, and 
plowed, and sifted the frozen Arctic 
tundra, to tear from reluctant Earth 
its golden treasure for counters 
wherewith to play Man's world-wide 
commerce game. 

The Economist's Failure. 

All this stupendous output of hu- 
man experience, human reason, hu- 
man industry rivalling creation itself 
is in startling contrast with our 
world-wide tragedy, the outcome of 
our world-wide economics. A con- 
trast doubly significant; significant 
in the entire absence of chance, of 
mystery, of magic from the work of 
the mechanvc; and again as expres- 
sing the practical extremes of glori- 
ous success and of failure most tragic. 

Selective Rejection. 

The human mind, like the body, 
can advance only step by step, from 
the solid ground of the known and 
tested to the doubtful footing of the 
unfamiliar. Human progress is like 
adventuring through a _ morass of 
ignorance toward a far-distant goal; 
with disaster the penalty for every 
false step. 

In the great adventure called iu- 
man Progress" the "Occult" has 
proved a will-o-the-wisp guide. 

Notwithstanding all the stupend- 
ous accomplishments which charac- 
terize productive industry and the 
present era as the Age of Mechanics, 
the process which has brought it all 
about, is the same step-by-step- 



proof by experiment scientific 
method. We can think of the new 
and unknown only in terms of the 
old and familiar. 

Still errors detected and fallacies 
perceived are guides for inventive 
synthesis construction. 

Selection is but a process of in- 
verted rejection. So having deter- 
mined that our ideal social structure 
is the antithesis of the Autocratic idea, 
we may with confidence assume that 
the characteristic elements of Auto- 
cracy are inappropriate for our pur- 
pose. Thus by a process of (selec- 
tive) rejection we should arrive at 
economic expedients more in har- 
mony with our Social Ideal. 

Democracy vs. Anarchy. 

Universal Order is the key-note of 
modern Science; and upon this order- 
liness of Nature scientific thinking 
is based. Hence, the much abused 
phrases "human liberty" and "hu- 
man freedom" cannot imply anarchy 
or chaos, i. e. dis-order. 

Liberty means absence of irrational 

Freedom of thought can have but 
self-imposed limitations. 

Social Freedom simply means lib- 
erty for rational individual activity 
tending to the accomplishment of 
Community Purpose. 

National Self-determination. 

When a Nation exercising its 
freedom of choice discards Autoc- 
racy and selects Democracy as its 
social principle it cannot sucessfully 
retain the working elements of the 
discarded social organization. If it is 
to survive, it must adopt ways and 
means and methods of life in con- 
sonance with its chosen principle. 

Our Futile Experiment. 

The United States, like a novice 
in Mechanics, has seemingly under- 
taken the futile experiment of build- 
ing an Industrial Democracy out of 
the functional elements of Preda- 
tory Autocracy. The natural result is 
noise, friction and heat. And worse 
a dangerously large proportion of 
pur energy is wastefully expended 
in constant readjustment to keep the 
outfit running, and to prevent its 
pounding itself into scrap. Prac- 

tically the whole of our "Economic and 
Financial System" is a left-over from 
the days when absolutism and privilege 
were universally accepted ideas and 
ideals; and when magic-causation was 
an unquestioned "fact." Quite natur- 
ally our economic customs, conven- 
tions and laws are in keeping with 
these antiquated assumptions. Sub- 
stantially our "Economics" is a ves- 
tige, and as with other vestiges like 
our vermiform appendix it is now 
functionally useless, and frequently 
causes much unnecessary pain and 
trouble; which sooner or later may end 
in tragedy. 

Not All Bad. 

While, in the foregoing, there is no 
real cause for pessimism, there is even 
less reason for happy-go-lucky optim- 

Mentally reviewing this matter, 
there appear several implications 
which stand out clearly as definite 
practical suggestions for economic re- 

Suggestions for Reconstruction. 

First: That "chance" means ignor- 

The elimination of even the crudely 
obvious "chance" factors from our 
laws, customs and economic conven- 
tions, would do away with much rank 
injustice in our social functioning. 
_ Second: That the onward flow of 
time is not reversible the future can- 
n*ot help the present. 

A clear appreciation and practical 
application of this seemingly axiom- 
atic proposition would go far to rem- 
edy the grosser evils of capitalistic 
economics, and strip "money" and: 
"credit" of their conventionally en- 
dowed time-reversing magic. 

In every physical human accom- 
plishment, there are involved but 
three factors or elements: raw Ma- 
terial (Nature's free gift); human 
Time; human Energy. Every product 
(food, clothing, housing, transporta- 
tion facilities, or what not), represents 
a definite amount of past human time 
and past human energy gone beyond 
recall. Neither by ghostly hands nor 
by flibber-gib financial conventions can 
future work or future product be 
yanked back into the present, to be 
used for present purposes, or to meet 



present emergencies even if self-re- 
spect and common honesty did not suf- 
fice to prevent such inexcusable cam- 
ouflaged robbery of the helpless, the 
quintessence of "taxation without rep- 

Third: That cause-and-effect, not 
whim, is the order of Nature's pro- 

Science shows us that, so far as Man 
is concerned, Nature is infinite poten- 
tialities; potentialities realizable in 
terms of individual and collective pur- 
poses. We can if we will providing 
our aims and objectives are in accord 
with the Rational Order of Nature. 

It is only in purposive action that 
human freedom self-determination 
is expressed. 

An aimless man or a purposeless 
"nation" is an equally insignificant 
fragment of raw material in Nature's 
Evolutionary and Devolutionary pro- 
cesses. But, knowledge of Nature and 
of Nature's Laws co-ordinated by Hu- 

man Intelligence in rationally purpos- 
ive actions, have all of Nature's in- 
finite potentialities and stupendous 
forces as tools to facilitate accom- 

Purposive Co-ordination. 

Obviously the control of our Great 
National Workshop the United States 
should not be in the hands 
of selfish Mr. Acquisitive Cunning 
"who knows the price of everything 
and the value of nothing" facile only 
in getting something for nothing and 
whose highest social ideal is: "To buy 
cheap and sell dear"; but in reason, 
in common horse sense! our purpos- 
ive Industrial Democracy should be 
guided ard directed by nationally or- 
ganized and co-ordinated specialists in 
all the branches of Skill, Technology, 
and Science which are involved in its 
Social Life and requisite to the suc- 
cessful accomplishment of its Great 
National Objective. 

Fernwald, Berkeley, February, 1919. 



Skill Economics for Industrial Democracy. 

By William Henry Smyth 

Note In the previous essays of this series the author shows that men's 
characterizing activities express certain instincts or instinctive urges and 
that human societies (nations) today consist of uncoordinated groups, each 
bent upon gratifying its predominating instinctive urge at the expense 
of other groups and regardless of the common weal. He proposes as a 
remedy for this social strife a plan of National Co-ordination Technocracy. 

This article discusses some of the important phases more in detail, 
with constructive suggestions for the elimination of "chance," "mystery," 
and "magic" from our present economic processes, the substitution of 
intelligent purposive ways and means for haphazard methods; and for 
self-interested autocratic control, the substitution of Scientific Leadership 
organized for the accomplishment of consensus National Objectives. Editor 

Our Nationwide Machine Shop. 

Attempting to make a robust man 
conform to nursery usages and 
swaddling clothes conventions would 
be no more absurd than our present 
efforts to conduct Twentieth Cen- 
tury life on the Hunter and Sheep- 
herder customs of our racial infancy. 

Indeed, it would be less preposter- 
ous than our continued efforts (de- 
spite tragic experience) to have law- 
yers and gamblers run our nationwide 
Machine Shop by methods and under 
conventions not differing essentially 
from ancient Babylonish laws of King 
Hamurabi and economic customs in 
vogue two thousand years before 

Childish Economics. 

Human society started with Brute- 
force Economics, suitable to Cave- 
man Hunter .and Fighter -- times. 
Then humanity advanced through the 
Pastoral animal breeder stage, be- 
ing therein confronted, socially and 
economically, with the awe-inspiring 
marvel of phallic phenomena, the fear- 
ful mystery of Death and the joy- 
inciting miracle of Life life with its 
seemingly endless sequence of pro- 
duction and reproduction. 

The Animal Breeder stage of de- 
velopment, indeed, seems to have left 
an indelible. impression; seems to have 
peculiarly influenced man's mental 
outlook and modified his thinking pro- 
cesses so profoundly as to have 

shaped even our modern business con- 
ventions and daily practices or at 
least to have provided favorable 
psychic habitat for our conventional" 
economic irrationalities. 

Mysticism and Symbolism. 

The mind-staggering miracle of 
generation seems to have thrown 
primitive human thinking back upon 
itself in dazed befogment bewilder- 
ment and mistunderstanding of Na- 
ture's laws, out of which confusion of 
thought emerged Mysticism with its 
magic symbolism. 

This mental chaos of mystic sym- 
bolism the endowment of the sym- 
bol (or "representative") with the 
qualities and functions of the thing 
symbolized is a primordial explana- 
tory perversion which still character- 
izes our commonplace thinking on 
monetary matters. The "power of 
money" is proverbial among us; and 
that "money makes money" is axio- 
matic to the average man; also that 
"money makes the mare go," and that 
it performs many other strenuously 
animistic stunts. 

Money, Mortgages and Nehemiah. 

Down through the ages occasion- 
ally we find (both in ecclesiastic and 
lay writings) clearly reasoned repro- 
bation of practices based upon this 
naive misinterpretation of the facts of 



"The words of Nehemiah, the son of 
Hacaliah" and cup bearer of Ar- 
taxerxes, king of Persia, are as "mod- 
ern" today as on the day they were 
uttered nearly five hundred years 
before Christ. 

And they are as applicable to the 
"civilized" world today as they were 
to the kindergarten usages and anti- 
social practices of our civilization's 
nursery Mesopotamia. 

"Some also there were that said, 
We are mortgaging our fields and our 
vineyards, and our houses: let us get 
corn, because of the dearth. There 
were some also that said, We have 
borrowed money for the king's tribute 
upon our fields and our vineyards. Yet 
now our flesh is as the flesh of our 
brethren, our children as their chil- 
dren: and lo, we bring into bondage 
our sons and our daughters to be ser- 
vants, and some of our daughters are 
brought into bondage already: neither 
is it in our power to help it; for other 
men have our fields and our vineyards. 

"And I was very angry when I 
heard their cry and these words. 

"Then I consulted with myself, and 
contended with the nobles and the 
rulers, (or deputies) and said unto 
them, Ye exact usury, every one of 
his brother. And I held a great as- 
sembly against them. 

"And I said unto them, We after 
our ability have redeemed our breth- 
ren the Jews, which were sold unto the 
heathen; and would ye even sell your 
brethren? and should they be sold 
unto us? 

"Then held they their peace, and 
found never a word. 

"Also I said, The thing that ye 
do is not good: 

"And I likewise, my brethren and 
my servants, do lend them money 
and corn on usury. I pray you let 
us leave off this usury. 

"Restore, I pray you, to them, even 
this day, their fields, their vineyards, 
their olive yards, and their houses, 
also the hundredth part of the money, 
and of the corn, the wine, and the oil, 
that ye exact of them. 

"Then said they, We will restore 
them, and require nothing of them; 
so will we do, even as thou sayest. 
'Then I called the priests, and took 
an oath of them, that they should do 
according to this promise. 

Also I shook out my lap, and said, 

So God shake out every man from 
his house, and from his labor, that 
performeth not this promise; even 
thus be he shaken out, and emptied. 

"And all the congregation said, 
Amen, and praised the Lord. 

"And the people did according to 
this promise." (Nehemiah Chap. 5.) 

Money, Reason and Rome. 

Practical minded ancient Rome, 
from whom we have learned so 
much of pur work-a-day jurispru- 
dence while retaining many other 
gross superstitions seems to have 
rejected this animistic pecuniary 
absurdity, as is shown by the familiar 
expression: Money does not procreate 
money "Nummus nummum non 

Money, Sheep and Shylock. 

The genius of Shakespeare realized 
me fatuity of this pastoral-age- 
founded pecuniary delusion that 
"money breeds money" (which still 
obsesses our misbegotten finance 
conventions), and holds it up to de- 
served ridicule: 

(The Merchant of Venice Act 1 

Scene 3.) 


When Jacob grazed his uncle Laban's 


And what of him? Did he take 


No, not take interest, not, as you 

would say, 
Directly interest: mark what 

. Jacob did. 
When Laban and himself were 

That all the eanlings which were 

streaked and pied 
Should fall as Jacob's hire, the ewes, 

being rank, 
In the end of autumn turned to 

the rams, 
And, when the work of generation 

Between these woolly breeders in 

the act, 
The skilful shepherd peel'd me 

certain wands 
And, in the doing of the deed of 

He stuck them up before the fulsome 

Who then conceiving did in eaning 




Fall parti-colored lambs, and those 

were Jacob's. 
This was a way to thrive, and he 

was blessed: 
And thrift is blessing, if men steal 

it not. 

This was a venture, sir, that Jacob 

served for; 
A thing not in his power to bring 

to pass, 
But sway'd and fashion'd by the 

hand of heaven. 
Was this inserted to make interest 

Or is your gold and silver ewes 

and rams? 

I cannot tell; I make it breed as fast: 

Adolescent Economics. 

Magic-Mystery tinged Breeder- 
economics and vocational experience 
(misinterpreted) quite naturally re- 
sulted in Theocracy and Theocratic- 
economics; and from Theocracy the 
course is straight, the steps easy and 
obvious to Working-by-proxy social 
systems Privilege-economics as 
represented by Autocracy, Aris- 
tocracy, and modern Plutocracy. 

Thus the race has successively 
adopted Strength-economics, Cun- 
ning-economics, and Cunning-Strong- 
economics; each system appropriate 
to the conditions of life and stage 
of development, in the past. 

Adult Economics. 

Today is the day of Doer, Work- 
er, Maker practical utilizer of 
Nature by skill of hand and science- 
taught brain the Mechanic. 

This is an age of applied Science 
the utilization of Nature's Laws and 
forces - - consequently the earlier 
mystic, _ predatory, and parasitic 
economic usages and conventions are 
now antiquated and impracticable. 
Hence ^ they are beginning to revolt 
our science-developed practical com- 
mon sense, our sense of propriety, 
and our modern sense of justice. 

Furthermore, it is significantly in 
accord with race experience, with 
commonsense and with reason that: 

Those whose activities characterize 
the times, must initiate and adminis- 
ter ats economics. 

So if our Mechanistic Age, our 
Democratic Dispensation is not to 

prove a futile race experiment, a 
will-o-the-wisp ideal, we must ini- 
tiate Skill-economics, economics of 
our Twentieth Century mechanis- 
tically characterized activities eco- 
nomics of the Scientist; of the Tech- 
nologist, of the Mechanic, on a 
nationwide scale, in other words: 
National Industrial Management 

Skill Economics. 

The Mechanic's philosophy as- 
sumes: the neutral orderliness of 
Nature; personal freedom; and per- 
sonal responsibility for the outcome 
of his acts. 

The Mechanic's practice is based 
upon: personal initiative; self- reli- 
ance; and the validity of experience. 

The Mechanic's success results 
from: knowledge of Nature's laws; 
experimental proof; and the elim- 
ination of "chance." 

It is reasonable, therefore, to 
assume that upon these fundamentals 
also must be framed our new work- 
a-day Skill-economics, in order to be 
workable in our work-a-day Mechan- 
istic Age. 

As applied to our present obso- 
lescent economics these principles 

Elimination of Magic (as a tacitly 
assumed factor) in the means and 
methods of production. 

Elimination of Mystery from our 
means and methods of exchanging 
human efforts and resulting products. 

Elimination of Chance from in- 
dustrial organization and distribution. 

Twixt Devil and Deep Sea. 

Stated as generalities, few will 
question the desirability of such 
changes; for it will readily be con- 
ceded that "chance," "mystery," and 
"magic" are merely expressions of 
ignorance clothed in old and familiar 
superstitions. But, when one comes 
truly to realize not just verbally 
admit how completely magic, mys- 
tery, and chance are woven into the 
fabric of our modern life and 
thought processes, then the true sig- 
nificance of the propositions strikes 
the mind with a sense of shock. 

We are, indeed, between the devil 
and the deep sea! 

Radically change we must, or our 



"Civilization" will go the way of 
previous abortive social experiments 
Assyria, Egypt, Phoenicia, Greece, 
Rome, Spain, and . . . Europe. 

But, characteristically, the huge 
majority of us would rather be 
socially damned in the good old- 
fashioned way, than accept social 
salvation through radical change. 
Yet, if human experience proves any- 
thing, it demonstrates conclusively 
that irrationality cannot persist in 
the rational Order of Nature. 

Chuck-a-Luck Economics. 

Thus it will, perchance, be help- 
ful to indicate some implications of 
the suggested eliminations, by more 
specific applications to present social, 
economic and financial customs, 
usages, and conventions. 

Birth, Marriage, Death, are the 
time-worn dice in our chuck-a-luck 

Birth, in surroundings of wealth 
or poverty on Fifth Avenue or in 
the Bowery decides whether a child 
shall be a Master or a Servant, an 
owner or a slave, a nationally con- 
trolling factor or one of a million 
mere "cogs," regardless of inherent 
fitness to the "chance" ordained 
position, or to further the aims of 
the community. 

Marriage, under our quaint eco- 
nomic conventions, decides into 
whose hands shall be entrusted 
power represented by vast accumula- 
tions of wealth, regardless of the 
chances that the easily acquired 
wealth may be frivolously squan- 
dered or used adversely to national 

Death, with sardonic irrelevance, 
plays skittles with the lives of the 
living; for our weirdly jocund "laws 
of devise" empower dead hands 
from the grave to control thousands 
of living men's activities. 

Makers and Takers. 

Under our "economic and finance 
system" to be born into our Mechan- 
istic Age with mechanical and con- 
structive traits dextrous hands, inge- 
nious brain, and irresistible instinctive 
urge to do, to work, to make the 
things which constitute our "wealth" 
is to be fore-doomed by "chance" to 
lifelong obscurity, social impotence, 
and relative poverty; while to be born 

with instinctive acquisitive cunning 
and insatiable greed, is to be elected 
by "chance" to social distinction, 
wealth and power. 

Indeed, it would seem, that of all 
the facts, circumstances, and incidents, 
constituting present conditions of hu- 
man life, "blind chance" has irration- 
alty been selected as the controlling 
factor in that antiquated collection of 
queer customs, quaint conventions and 
grotesque superstitions, that, with 
childish fatuity, we call our "Science 
of Economics and Finance." 

Magic Ancient and Modern. 

To gage the folly of earlier ages 
by our own advance is an easy and 
vanity satisfying diversion; to correct- 
ly measure the ignorance and super- 
stition of our own times is a hopeless 

Thus we look back with smiling con- 
tempt upon Devil-raising, Soul- 
selling, Fountain-of-youth, Witch's- 
broomstick, and other wondrous para- 
phernalia of "Black Art." And yet, no 
essential difference exists between the 
old witchcraft, by which a "magic po- 
tion" added years to human life, and 
modern "financial" black art which 
gives everlasting life to inanimate 
"capital" and endows lifeless "money" 
with life's unique function reproduc- 
tion so that "money makes money" 
for ever and ever. Indeed, of the two 
the modern magic causation is the 
more crudely illogical and unscientific; 
for while the ancient black art only 
purported to prolong life already ex- 
isting, modern financial magic pre- 
tends to perform the still greater 
miracle of infusing life into inanimate 

Do I seem to exaggerate? 

Then read what Economic High 
Priest Boehm-Bawerk says in his 
"Capital and Interest A Critical His- 
tory of Economic Theory"; says seri- 
ously, supremely uncon-scious that he 
is describing a crazily impossible mir- 
acle a miracle, however, in which 
there is a substantially universal con- 
sensus of ignorant .belief. 

"And finally it (interest) flows to 
the capitalist without ever exhausting 
the capital from which it comes, and 
therefore without any necessary limit 
to its continuance. It is, if one may 
use such an expression about mundane 
things, capable of an everlasting life. 



Thus it is that the phenomenon of in- 
terest as a whole presents the remark- 
able picture of a lifeless thing produc- 
ing an everlasting and inexhaustible 
supply of goods." 

Was ever gross superstitious ignor- 
ance or "black art" more crassly 
at variance with facts and Nature's 
Laws or the Sciences of Physics and 
Mechanics, than this self-filling "magic 
purse" of financial wizardry? 

Time Turned Tailward! 

If there is one fact in human ex- 
perience, the validity of which is be- 
yond question, it is that the onward 
flow of Time is non-reversible, the fu- 
ture cannot help the present. 

We can change the direction of mo- 
tion in physical things back up a 
horse, a train, or a boat, or even in 
some instances reverse the flow of a 
river; but to turn back the inexorable 
forward march of Time is unthinkable. 

To suggest shooting the Germans 
with future bullets and feeding out- 
soldier boys with future food substi- 
tuting "future savings" (!) of future 
generations for present savings and 
present work, seems to a Mechanic- 
like the insane imaginings of a magic- 
crazed brain. 

Yet, these are the stupendous mir- 
acles which the "magic of finance" se- 
riously purports to accomplish for a 
small present consideration. 

Do I seem to exaggerate? 

Then read the serious proposal of 
Financial Wizard Frank A. Vander- 
lip, President of the National City 
Bank of New York. 

'This war must be financed, not out 
of past savings, but out of future sav- 
ings. Future savings are for the mo- 
ment not available and some other 
device must therefore be brought into 
play. That device is bank credit, and 
this loan and subsequent loans will in 
the main be floated through an expan- 

Ision of credit." 
Truly human credulity is limitless 
or the day of witchcraft and miracles 
is not past! 

Futilities of Magic. 

Never in one solitary instance, in all 

the hundreds of years and millions of 

sacrificial victims, did entrails of 

slaughtered animals foretell a future 

happening; never did any of the armies 
of Devils and "familiar spirits," in- 
voked by magic incantations, effect 
any earthly result w r hich would not 
otherwise have occurred; never was 
solitary grain of gold transmuted from 
base metal by the magic of the 
myriads of guaranteed "Philosopher's 
Stones"; never did any of these mir- 
acles happen except in the distorted 
imaginings of the simple ones who 
paid the Magicians for their futilities. 
And the poor boobs who "paid the 
piper" didn't know any more about 
magic then, than the average man of 
today who frankly asserts: "I don't 
know a damned thing about Econom- 
ics and Finance." 

"Future Savings"! 

Recalling practical warlike Rome, 
fighting her world-conquering battles 
or refraining from attack on the au- 
gury of fowl's entrails; remembering 
philosophical Greece conducting her 
civil, military, and economic affairs up- 
on the assumed guidance of similar 
irrationalities; not forgetting that in 
comparatively recent times, by "sell- 
ing indulgences,"- dealing in "future 
savings," "treasures in heaven," i. e., 
"floating (super-mundane) credit"- 
and by commerce in other optimistic 
and supposititious commodities, "the 
Church" acquired legal ownership to 
over half of the land and wealth of 
England; not overlooking the fact that 
by similar supposititious means mod- 
ernized, the Mormon Church of the 
Latter Day Saints has become one of 
the wealthiest and socially most pow- 
erful capitalistic corporations in our 
midst today; calmly and dispassionate- 
ly turning these facts over in the 
mind, causes one to pause and reflect. 
Indeed, mentally reviewing this ages 
long and unquestionable historical ev- 
idence, one embued with modern 
scientific notions begins to wonder. 

Questions and Doubts. 

One wonders how "dollars" or 
"debts" can be magically endowed 
with life? 

How magically endowed with "ever- 
lasting life?" 

How magically endowed with the 
capability of unending reproduction? 

-"a lifeless thing producing an ever- 
lasting and inexhaustible supply of 



And thus wondering, one questions 
and doubts. . . . 

Can it be that the "miracles of fi- 
nance" and the "magic of credit" are 
of a piece with the ancient miracles and 
magic? only, (in keeping with the 
h. c. 1.) gone up in cost to the simple 
ones who pay for the "miraculous" 

But what a co.t! 


Science and Mechanics have multi- 
plied manifold the productive effect of 
human effort during the past century, 
so that the resulting products and in- 
strumentalities of production have in- 
creased in like ratio. 

So the question naturally arises as 
to what disposition has been made 
of this great aggregation of National 
Commissariat Stores in the United 
States under our alleged "economic" 

How have the "Financiers" our 
book-keepers kept tab on the "debits 
and credits"? 

How have they (numerically less 
than one per cent) distributed this 
product of the combined work of the 
twenty million families that, in round 
numbers, constitute (the other ninety- 
nine per cent of )the population? 

The Balance Sheet. 

In round numbers the books show: 
$250,000,000.000 "wealth" ; 

$70,000,000,000 gross "profits"; di- 

$50,000,000,000 "income" to the 

$20.000,000,000 "wage" to the fam- 

$1,000 average family "wage." 
Thus the balance sheet shows that 
the self-selected and socially irrespon- 
sible score-keepers the "Financiers" 
-have apportioned the gross yearly 
"profits" of the United States National 
Industrial Enterprise in the ratio of 
five-sevenths to themselves and two- 
sevenths to the 20 million families. 

"Business" and Instincts. 

In the jargon of "Business," "the 
Financiers" "charge" fifty billion dol- 
lars ($50,000,000,000) yearly for "fi- 
nanciering" the United States. 

That is to say: "The Interests" as- 
sess the People of the United States 

fifty billion dollars ($50,000,000,000) 
"interest" tribute yearly, in perpetuity, 
for permitting the people the privilege 
of practicing national honesty and 
for the magic of (mysteriously con- 
ventionalized) "Credit." 

In other words: "The Capitalists" 
tax the People of the United States 
fifty billion dollars ($50,000,000,000) 
yearly for permitting the People the 
privilege of utilizing the Nation's hu- 
man and other natural resources and 
for (the miracles of) "Capitalization." 
^ In simple terms of human instincts: 
The Instinctive Takers take the In- 
stinctive Makers' makings for permitt- 
ing the Makers to make the Nation's 
natural raw materials into desirable 

Feeding and Breeding. 

The families must, of course, be 
UMJ clothed and housed, and the 
children schooled, or the supply of 
Makers would soon peter out. 
, F L these unavoidable necessities 
Financiers" allow, on an average 
thousand dollars a year per family- 
bare living wage" in exchange for 
a whole year of the brief work-life 
(of twenty odd years), for life-energy 
irrecoverably used up in making the 
wealth; wealth out of which bare sus- 
tenance is all that goes to its Makers. 

Worse and More of It. 

Nor is this all, nor the worst. 

It deals with things only, now in 
existence. And it refers to an appor- 
tionment of the gross "profits" ar- 
nved at (more or less) by our own 

But, by the wondrous working of 
Credit" -the "Financiers" have ' vir- 
tually pawned (in their own pawn 
shop) the whole Industrial World! 

The "Financiers" have placed a per- 
petual mortgage plaster of at least one 
thousand billion dollars ($1,000,000,- 
000,000) on the work and products of 
unborn generations of the hundred 
million families constituting the 
"White World." 

The "Financiers" have chained thus 
a $10,000 debt, paying "interest" trib- 
ute of $2.00 per day (for ever) upon 
the back of each and every family in 
the "civilized world"- a perpetual 
thraldom of debt; debt secured by 
"Bonds," by "Mortgage," by "Capi- 



talization" and by "National Debt" 

The "Financiers" have thus placed 
this huge mortgage debt (in perpet- 
uity) upon future generations with- 
out their consent the most stupend- 
ous case of tyrannous "taxation with- 
out representation" in all the dark 
ages long tragic experience of long 
suffering humanity. 

What petty "Pikers" were the Shy- 
locks of old Nehemiah's day compared 
to our . . . our . . . "Financiers"^. 

Crowning Paradox. 

Poverty is the opposite of riches; 
debt the negation of wealth; bank- 
ruptcy the reverse of solvency; they 
are antithetical the plus and minus 
signs of human interaction in the 
world of "Business." 

A modern man, by the aid of scienti- 
fic and mechanistic instrumentalities, 
accomplishes more today than one-, 
two-, and in some cases ten-score men 
of a hundred years ago; so, despite 
war and every other destructive 
agency, production outstrips bare 
need today as at no time in the past. 

The world is constantly increasing 
its total products. 

Yet, notwithstanding these facts, 
the richer the world grows, the more 
it owes both relatively and actually; 
the greater its wealth, the deeper it 
is plunged in debt. 

Thus, under the regime of capitalis- 
tic "High Finance," is achieved the 
crowning paradox of all time the 
acme of miraculous causation: 

The functions of plus and minus are 
reversed; more is less! The larger 
a thing grows the smaller it becomes! 
The more efficient men get, the less 
effective relatively is the outcome! 
The faster the world cistern is filled 
with wealth the more nearly empty 
it is, the more completely is the 
White World bankrupt!! 

The ancient miracle of "the 
widow's cruse" is inverted by mod- 
ern Financial Magic. 

An Old Delusion. 

Now it is not intended to impute 
deliberately dishonest or intentionally 
unethical methods to our Financiers 
and Capitalists, under a vague and 
metaphorical term, "Magic." On the 
contrary, I use the word "magic" in 

its ordinary meaning supernatural 

I am convinced that the great ma- 
jority of us capitalist and laborer 
alike are still obsessed with the fal- 
lacy of magic causation; an ancient 
delusion that has dominated men's 
minds and befogged their thinking 
from the very beginning of man's 
efforts to explain the causes of un- 
usual happenings. 

"Magic" is the oldest and easiest 
way to account for strange things, 
and still holds its ancient sway over 
men's minds outside the laboratory 
of the scientist and the workshop of 
the mechanic. 

Elimination of this fallacy as a con- 
trolling factor in the distribution of 
products wealth is a necessary step 
toward a rationally workable eco- 
nomic system; a system adapted to 
20th Century life and the mental at- 
titude of our science-made Mecha- 
nistic Age. 


"Chance" implies insufficient knowl- 
edge of causes. 

"Magic" implies misinterpretation 
of causes. 

"Mystery" implies inherent un- 
knowableness of causes. 

While increasing knowledge tends 
ever toward minimizing the "chance" 
element and lessening of "magic" 
errors, mystery presents a different 

The laboratory, or the factory, or 
the workshop, or the countinghouse, 
is no place for "mystery," for to 
the workers therein mystery means 
ignorance lack of intelligence. In 
human life at large, it is quite other- 
wise as concerns the essential All- 
inclusive Mystery and religious mys- 
ticism. This is a fact of profound 
significance in relation to the larger 
aspect of our "Social Problem." 

Our new Skill Economics, there- 
fore, may not discourage man's in- 
nate love of mystery, his inborn re- 
ligious spirituality nor curb the 
spirit which tempts him to adventure 
courageously into the unknown; but 
instead should provide advantageous 
scope for its personal expression. 

But as in the machine shop 
"mystery" is out of place in finance; 
out of place because the function of 



"money" in an economic system cor- 
responds to the purposes of checks 
and gauges, templets and measuring 
instruments of the technologist and 
the mechanical constructor. 

The essentials of such devices are 
accuracy, certainty, invariability the 
antitheses of the qualities of mys- 

Yet in no branch of human activity 
are its measuring devices so incon- 
sistent, contradictory, inaccurate; so 
mysteriously variable, so subject to 
anti-social self-interested control as 
are those of the Financier his twin 
mysteries, "Money" and "Credit." 

Our Queer Dollar. 

One of the many quaint functions 
of the dollar is that of a "standard 
of value." As a matter of fact, no 
one knows or can determine from 
moment to moment, what is the 
value of a dollar. We only know 
that its worth is diminishing, vari- 
ously, to the vanishing point. 

Neither the Nation nor the Mone- 
tary Experts, nor the Professors of 
Economics, nor the Financiers, nor 
the Interests, nor the Capitalists, nor 
the Common Man, have ever suc- 
ceeded in fixing our "standard of 
value" standardizing the value of 
our "standard of value" the worth 
of our Dollar. 

Mr. Worker contends that the con- 
traction of the dollar is due to ex- 
pansion in the cost of living; so he 
strikes for more dollars, and effects 
another shrink. Mr. Trader says the 
contraction is due to the expansion 
of wages; so he boosts up the price 
of products, and effects still another 
contraction. And so on and on, and 
the end is not yet! 

Indeed, there are as many different 
explanations of this mysterious 
""spooky" phenomenon in our 
"Standard" almost as there are ex- 
plainers and their number is legion. 

An Elastic Foot Rule! 

If our foot-rule were subject to 
similar mysterious fluctuations, its 
length would have increased to a 
yard or more in the past five years, 
with innumerable variations from 
time to time. 

Imagine the chaos, had such a mys- 
teriously variable standard of mea- 

surement been used in the machine 

The stress of War conditions has 
so completely demonstrated the in- 
utility of our mysteriously elastic so- 
called "standard of value and medium 
of exchange" that it is now virtually 
in the discard, stacked up uselessly 
in private and in national treasury 

Our alleged "standard of value and 
medium of exchange" never was a 
standard of value, and now it is not 
even a medium of exchange. Quaint, 
but true! 

A practically costless, hence un- 
varying, "medium of exchange" a 
one-function money is another much 
needed step toward a rational eco- 
nomic system. 


But if our money is a mysterious 
commodity, what shall be said of 

"Money" i.e., "gold coin of the 
United States of the present standard 
of weight and fineness"- even though 
lacking in practical utility, is at least 
a physical commodity. It occupies 
space (however uselessly) ; it has 
color, weight, length, breadth and 
thickness, it possesses physical char- 
acteristics easily determinable by 
scientific tests. 

Not one of these facts is applicable 
to "Credit." 

"Credit" is a state of mind, a 
psychological condition hypnosis a 
mesmeric dream. Naturally it lacks 
all the qualities of physical things, 
and possesses all those of phan- 
tasms. A man dreams he is wealthy, 
and for all dream purposes he is 
wealthy; even though in actual fact 
he is dying of starvation in squalor 
and want. 

So too, in like manner, a nation 
dreams itself some (or many) billions 
of additional wealth; sets the print- 
ing presses going to record the 
dream in "bonds"; and forthwith 
becomes billions wealthier (in its 
mind), though, as a matter of fact, 
the physical wealth may have shrunk 
to the danger point of general in- 
digence and starvation. 

This is the danger-fraught "World 
condition" today. 



Boundless Credit Wealth 

Seemingly human stupidity is lim- 
itless and human credulity infinite! 
This boundless, unweighable, unmea- 
surable, hope-created dream-stuff 
("Credit") is sliced and apportioned, 
like beef or butter, and sold in the 
market place by self-appointed pur- 
veyors of public optimism. 

Yes! Sold and exchanged for the 
limited, measurable, physical prod- 
ucts of sweaty and grimy toil and 
strenuous human effort. 

Like all other dreams and dream- 
stuff. ''Credit" visions know no 
bounds but those of desire. Millions 
or billions or scores of billions it's 
all the same in the wonderland 
dreamworld of "Finance": wish them 
and dream them, and presto! they 
exist. They exist: dream ships, 
dream cannons, dream food irides- 
cent wealth bubbles blown up and 
"floated through an expansion of 
credit," as proposed by Finance Wiz- 
ard Vanderlip-. 

Dream Wealth. 

It is not surprising therefore that 
in the wonderland of Finance this 
dreamworld's dream wealth "Credit" 
as represented by "credit instru- 
ments," i. e., stocks, bonds, mortgages, 
national debts, etc. transcends great- 
ly the workaday world's physical 
utilities real wealth. 

But what is going to happen when 
we are jolted awake to the rationality 
of workaday reality, and dream 
visions vanish; when the airy 
floating credit bubble bursts as bub- 
bles do? When Germany and Austria 
follow Russia's (Bolshevik) example, 
and France follows Germany, and 
then England, and then . . . ? 

Then what? 

When this happens, the world will 
discard the silly delusion that time is 

I reversible by financial magic credit; 
"credit," the greatest of all myths and 
magic makebelieves by which cunning 
men in all ages have sought- to get 
something for nothing. 

In all the historically recorded cases 
of collective human delusions from 
practical Rome's entrail augury to 
shrewd Yankee Salem's witchcraft 
there is none which surpasses, in col- 
lective crass credulity, our great Credit 

A national (non-tribute) bookkeep- 

ing system equitably to determine real 
ownership of the products of effort, 
is a much needed economic conven- 


Experimental Science. 

It would seem that with the advent 
of Experimental Science occurred an 
epoch in the history of our Race; an 
epochal event to which none other 
is comparable, except possibly the ac- 
quisition of Self-consciousness itself. 
Indeed it would seem that these two 
super-significant events so unthink- 
ably far apart in time are, in essence, 
closely related. 

By coming to Self-consciousness 
the Brute became Man potentially, 
though not actually, a self-determining 

By the coming of Science based 
upon the idea of the rationality and 
neutrality of "nature"- -potential Free- 
dom ceased to be a mere possibility 
and became a realizable Ideal. 

To Make or Break Shackles. 

Science and Technology are, how- 
ever, but tools in Man's hands; tools 
wherewith to make effective Man's 
transcendent privilege: Freedom of 

Groups of men (like Germany) may 
use these great instrumentalities to 
forge social shackles upon themselves, 
and upon Humanity the bondage of 

Or, they may use them to make hu- 
man Liberty effective, as is the ideal 
of the United States. 

Human beings, whether as individ- 
uals, or as groups, or as nations, are 
"free" self-determining only w T hen 
purposively initiative; for it is only 
in purposive action that liberty can be 

Freedom, then, means will to intelli- 
gent self-expression liberty ex- 
pressed in rational accomplishment. 


On all the foregoing considerations, 
our problem of "Social Reconstruc- 
tion" on a scientific basis implies sys- 
tematizing our great but inchoate Na- 
tion upon economic principles appro- 
priate to an Industrial Democracy. 

The basis of modern industry being 
scientific knowledge of nature's laws 
whereby nature's resources are made 
available for human use and enjoy- 



ment through the aid and agency of 
technical skill, "Reconstruction" be- 
comes essentially a process of selec- 
tive rejection of present inappropriate 
economic usages; discarding customs 
which unduly facilitate the acquisitive 
instincts, and substituting others 
which tend to minimize social ob- 
stacles to the freer expression of the 
constructive or industrial instincts 
in the interest of the commonweal. 

As industrial processes involve spe- 
cialized skill and expert technical 
training, made effective by intelligent 
co-ordination, it is clear that a hu- 
manly efficient Industrial Democracy 
necessitates leadership by those who 
possess the requisite knowledge, skill, 
and technical training. 

So, when we speak of Industrial De- 
mocracy, what we really mean is: 
Nation-wide Industry managed by 
Technologists a Nation of free and 
socially equal workers, scientifically 
organized for mutual benefit and uni- 
fied purpose a Technocracy. 


By way of summary, a few of the 
more obviously inappropriate present 
usages which, seemingly with advan- 
tage, we might consign to the limbo 
of outworn social expedients, here fol- 

(I) Discard usages founded on the 
autocratic idea of "the State"; 

Substitute therefor in fact as well 
as in theory others resting upon the 
self-evident right of a man to inalien- 
able and complete pwnership of him- 
self; hence (in effect) inalienable own- 
ership of the industrial product result- 
ing from the functioning of his mind 
and body limited only by others' 
equal right. 

(II) Discard conventions resting 
upon the parasitic idea that (legal) 
possession is equivalent to production: 

Substitute natural ownership based 
on making for conventions that legal- 
ize taking. 

(III) Discard institutions legaliz- 
ing "chance" as a controlling factor 
for the distribution of things; 

^ Substitute therefor collective fore- 
sight based upon experience; and hu- 
man need for instinctive animal greed 

-in the interest of the commonweal. 

(IV) Discard "financial magic" 
practices resting upon the animistic 
fallacy that inanimate objects can (by 

convention) be endowed with life's- 
unique function reproduction; 

Substitute others on the evidential 
fact that only human beings can make 
usefully available the things we call 

(V) Discard the "mysteries of fi- 
nance" in wealth distributing pro- 
cesses the private purveying of pub- 
lic optimism for gain and the "man- 
ufacture of credit" for sale; 

Substitute therefor a community 
(national) bookkeeping system, in 
which figures clearly tell what each 
individual and each group has added 
to the common stock. 

(VI) Discard institutions resting 
upon the erroneous notion that con- 
ventional symbols, i. e., "representa- 
tives" of wealth, "bonds," "credit," 
"capital," etc. are equivalent to and 
can perform the functions of the in- 
strumentalities they "represent," and 
can continue so to function long after 
the instrumentalities have ceased to 
exist or have become obsolete; 

Substitute others making -the use- 
rent of things, i. e. "usury," "interest," 
correspond to and be contingent upon 
the effective worth and the continued 
usefulness of the things rented. 

(VII) Discard customs based upon 
mystic symbolism and the animistic 
fallacy that "money" can perform the 
functions of the life-energy or pro- 
ducts "represented"; 

Substitute a costless one-function 
national check medium of exchange. 

(VIII) Discard "business" practices 
based upon the anti-social dictum 
that: "one man's misfortune is an- 
other's opportunity"; 

Substitute therefor the proposition 
that: the illhaps of unavoidable social 
hazards and chance favors of good 
fortune should (in social effect) be 
equally shared by all. 

(IX) Discard all institutions and 
conventions facilitating the function- 
ing of anti-social predatory and para- 
sitic instincts; 

Substitute others tending to en- 
courage willing self-interested co- 
operation energized by national unity 
of purpose. 

(X) Discard the strife inducing in- 
stitutions of erroup industries based 
upon the hunger-slavery idea of em- 
ployer and employee organized for 
mechanistic human efficiency in output 
of products for purely private profit; 



Substitute others based upon ra- 
tional human initiative and develop- 
ment with the aid of all the resources 
of the Nation, co-ordinated for the 
commonweal under the management 
of Scientific Leadership to accomplish 
a. consensus National Objective. 

Save Civilization! 

\Vhether these proposed changes 
are effectively workable or are only 
"visionary," "impracticable," "Utopian 
dreams," is, of course, debatable; but 
there can be no question regarding 
the truth of the solemn warning of 
Lloyd George: "Civilization, unless we 
try to save it, may be precipitated 
and scattered to atoms." 


That our Civilization is in danger of 
Toeing "shattered to atoms," raises the 
question of culpability for the present 
ominous state of affairs, and hence 
of responsibility for averting the 
threatened outcome. 

The Masses cannot be held respon- 
sible, for they are simply impelled by 
their instinct "to live"; they do not 
think, they do what is much more im- 
portant: they breed. Their magnifi- 
cent all-inclusive social function is re- 
production. Hence, they feel feel 
hunger, feel passion they feel with 
all the vital energy of the race. 

Thus, when social conditions be- 
come unbearable or threaten their vital 
function, they reflex with unrestrained 
ferocity against such conventional re- 
straints to the natural expression of 
their instinctive urges. 

The Skilled Artisans cannot be held 
responsible, for they are merely obey- 
ing the instinct "to make." Their 
mental activity is analogous to and 
for the same social purpose as the 
cycle of brain functioning that pro- 
duces the mathematical cell of the bee, 
the carpentry of the beaver, and the 
nest building of the bird. 

The Employers cannot be held re- 
sponsible, for they only express the 
instinct "to control," 'the Mastery in- 
stinct an urge which could not be 
satisfied unless others willingly sub- 
mitted to domination. Their social 
function is to energize to counteract 
human inertia for the preservation 
of the Race. 

The Financiers cannot be held re- 
sponsible, for they only reflex the in- 
stinct "to take," the urge to hoard, 

like and for the same social pur- 
pose as the hoarding of the squir- 
rel or the honey storing of the bee. 
They probably are least imaginative 
of all. Their social function is con- 
servation, the converse of progressive 

Typically, none of these social ele- 
ments think; think in the sense of the 
imaginative pioneer theorizing of cre- 
ative thought seeking for truth apart 
from its immediate application to self- 
preservation searching with spiritual 
insight for paths into the unknown to 
be later trod by careless earth-bound 

The Scientist is in a different cate- 
gory. Characteristically he lacks the 
instinctive urges which distinguish the 
other elements of human society. 

But, it is his social function to think. 

He does think he has functioned 
with a vengeance! 

One of the results of his high- 
pressure thinking is that: "Civilization 
may be shattered to atoms" or Hu- 
manity raised to Godlike heights, by 

While it is quite questionable 
whether Science, so far, has proved a 
blessing or a curse to Humanity, 
there can be no doubt that its poten- 
tialities in either direction are limit- 
less. Praiseworthy or culpable, as the 
case now stands, responsibility for the 
outcome rests squarely upon the 
shoulders of the Scientist. 

National Leadership. 

Notwithstanding appearances to the 
contrary popular unrest, growth of 
socialism, spread of I. W. W.-ism, 
the whirlwind of Bolshevism and 
other terrifying upsurgings of de- 
structive Massism the "Masses" do 
not desire to lead, do not seek "pro- 
letarian dictatorship." 

Human herds have always followed 
leaders, like other gregarious animals; 
followed their leaders willingly, blind- 
ly, thoughtlessly. 

The herd will follow till following 
becomes vitally dangerous, threatens 
its social life hinders the normal 
functioning of its instinctive urges to 
growth and reproduction. 

Nations have followed the leader- 
ship of Autocracy till starved white 
by plundering conventions or bled 
white by wars. 

Nations have followed the leader- 
ship of Theocratic Mystics into 



mental chaos, and confusion of human 
ideals and social purpose. 

And we today, with sheeplike docility, 
have followed Plutocratic leadership 
into a social morass of crazy financial 
conventions, till the raising of families 
has become an unbearable burden, an 
impossible social handicap; till the 
opportunity to work is a dubious 
privilege; till the future of the worker 
and breeder the proletarian offers 
only a soul shriveling bondage of de- 
basing and inescapable debt! 

Modern Manhood's Mandate. 

The present "World condition" 
means only that the proletariat has 
balked, revolted, at this sordid threat 
to the sanity and the sanctity of 
Human existence. 

The "World condition" is a World 
Cry! a cry not for Proletarian Dic- 
tatorship, nor for Mob Rule, but for 
new Leaders. 

The World demands new Leaders! 
Not new and more "efficient" slave 
drivers Trust Barons, or Kings of 
Commerce, or Emperors of Finance. 

The Modern World demands mod- 
ern Leaders, Men! Men with ideas 
that rise higher than swapping jack- 
knives even in carload or shipload 

The "World condition" expresses 
this demand by modern men for mod- 
ern leaders, leaders with modern spir- 
itualized ideals. 

Our "Social Unrest" is a demand for 
torch-bearers and pathfinders to social 
freedom of opportunity; a demand for 
leaders with luminous imagination to 
visualize our War-born Nation's de- 
sired Peace Goal; leaders with scien- 
tific knowledge to realize and actualize 
the rational aspirations, ambitions, 
and ideals of free modern American 


Auto-, Theo-, and Pluto-crat 

While the Autocrat, the Theocrat, 
and the Plutocrat, are decadent 
products of outworn ways and obso- 
lescent materialistic manners of think- 
ing, the Scientist, on the contrary, is 
the most modern development of 
modern intelligence, modern ideals, 
and modern spiritualized modes of 

The Scientist is essentially a pioneer, 

a pathfinder, a torch bearer, a seeker 
after Truth and Rationality. 

The Scientist is the modern re- 
ligionist, the priest of selfless Truth: 

Truth which grows with Man's 
growth and luminously emerges with 
the purifying of human Intelligence: 

Truth that all-inclusive Something 
behind the physical facts of nature 
which makes for Right for mechan- 
ical, for personal, for ethical, for 
spiritual, for social righteousness the 
ultimate Unifying Ideal. 

Truly, "the stone which the builders 
rejected is become the head of the 
corner": the keystone of the social 

Rational Leadership. 

The Scientist is, seemingly, our one 
best, if not our only hope for Rational 

Then, too, the Scientist by un- 
leashing the limitlessly powerful nat- 
ural forces, in uncoordinated, haphaz- 
ard science - made instrumentalities 
has got us into much of our present 
social muddle. 

So it is up to the Scientist to lead 
us out; or at least, to harness for 
human service the science-created 
non-moral mechanistic monster that 
he has liberated. 

Guideless and Aimless! 

But if the Scientist shirks this great 
task, if he lacks the desire for, or 
the courage of, or the will to Leader- 
ship; if for any reason he evades this 
obvious responsibility, or is daunted 
by its obvious difficulties . . . then 
indeed, blindly plunging deviously on- 
ward guideless and aimless -"our 
Civilization may be precipitated and 
shattered to atoms," and our Indus- 
trial Democracy adventure prove a 
World Tragedy. 

Yes! the most pathetic of all human 
tragedies futility. 

Lacking: Purpose. 

Our Nation of great expectations, 
of magnificently vague hopes and stu- 
pendous possibilities, (if^ nothing 
worse happens), will slump into futile 
pottering desuetude, lacking inspiring 
purpose to live for, lacking worthy 
achievement to work for, lacking 
worthwhile goal to strive for, lacking 
a Great National Objective. 

Fernwald, Berkeley, March 20, 1919. 

Working Explosively 

A Protest Against Mechanistic Efficiency 
By William Henry Smyth 

(Reprinted from Industrial Management, January, 1917.) 

We all know the Explosive Worker 
type and generally recognize him with 

The trouble with working explo- 
sively is that the individual addicted to 
this character of activity won't fit into 
any decently organized scheme of pro- 
duction. He's a sort of human bomb- 
shell lacking a timer. So he "goes 
off" at any old time, day or night 
always unexpectedly with the utmost 
disregard to sensitive nerves and es- 
tablished conventions. 

In the family he's the juvenile 
"problem"; in school, the hopeless im- 
possible! and in the shop, the idlest 
of idle apprentices (with a big ?). In 
the factory, he's the man one is always 
going to discharge, but ... Or 
he's our Boss, who is "a Holy Ter- 

Working Explosively. 
There are but two places for the 
Explosive Worker to land at the top 
or at the bottom. And, characteris- 
tically he's rapid in getting there. 
Still worse, when true to type, he is 
disconcertingly apt to reverse his lo- 
cation from time to time, whether top 
or bottom, with the speed of a light- 
ning change artist. 

The Efficiency Expert has no place 
for the Explosive Worker except in 
his vocabulary of dynamic expletives 
and fulminative epithets. 

Of course, all this refers to the typ- 
ical Exploder; but, curiously enough, 
each one of us at times looks back 
with self-hugging secret joy to occa- 
sions and experiences of working ex- 
plosively in our own otherwise hum- 
drum career. And, reflecting, realizes 
with some surprise that these stand 
luminously out as our really worth 
while adventures life's decisive bat- 

Such reminiscences, and the feelings 
evoked, jolt one into thinking to 
wondering. . . . 

Work Is Human. 

There appears to be, nay, there 
surely is, something amazingly hu- 
manly human about working explo- 
sively. We feel that there is truly 
something warm, vital, hot-blooded, 
about this sort of activity which is 
lacking in the efficient routine of eight- 
hours-a-day work at so-much per. 

In fancy we flit backward and aban- 
donedly re-erupt our own little ex- 
plosions. . . . Eight hours! Pah! 
Twenty-four is all too short! Hours! 
Days! What are they to the Explo- 
sive Worker during eruption. Mere 
irrelevant astronomical incidents. 

But, with a sigh returning to here 
and now from memory's fecund 
realm, where we too forged vibrant 
dreams most strenuously into things 
of beauty, worth and substance, paint- 
ed with comets' tails, playing skittles 
with time and space (Oh magic state, 
wherein all work is play, and play 
means working explosively!) there 
still remains that work-a-day remind- 
er, the vivid impression, potent intui- 
tion, the "hunch" of discovery, so sug- 
gestive of revelation in its flash-like 

And this is the "hunch": 

Essence of Living. 

Explosive Working? Why, explo- 
sive activity is not "working" at all! 
It is the essence of living. Life itself! 

"Efficient" working and working ex- 
plosively are wholly and essentially 
different matters of experience. 

"Efficient" working expresses obedi- 
ence to the outside pressure of brute 
mechanistic Nature in the struggle to 

Working Explosively is inner life 
insistent of self-expression, the willful 
impulse of vital personality in raptur- 
ous culmination, realizing life the joy 
of being expressed in doing. God-like 



One means Compulsion; the other 

Routine working is an efficient 
means to an indefinitely desirable end. 
Explosive Working is an end in itself, 
regardless of outcome. The very joy 
of working. Self realization. 

One suggests Force and Mechanism; 
the other, Life and Liberty. 

In one we function, contract, and 
serve a purpose; in the other we live, 
expand, dominate. In one we work 
by necessity as more or less efficient 
"elements" in a mighty but cold and 
incomprehensible machine; in the 
other I am the living IT Earth-God 
of things, of matter, and of motion 
the Mechanician. 

Is Human Problem. 

This issue involves no mere moot 
or academic distinction, about which 
idle men may split dialectic hairs or 
bandy fluent phrases to fill a vacant 
hour. Profoundly is it otherwise, for 
it touches closely on the deepest and 
most significant of all human prob- 
lems the eternal paradox of freedom. 
At bottom it is this question of human 
worth as against human productive ef- 
ficiency which is being fought out in 
the World-conflict today and not 
alone in the spectacular European 

So much for the "hunch." And now 
for the questions which it raises. 

These are many tough conundrums, 
which I have no intention of now at- 
tempting to answer. 

Here is one, by way of example: 
Is the ultimate outcome of mechan- 
istic efficiency humanly desirable? Is 
the Art of Efficiency itself efficientr 

Clearly, there is no place in this 
"Art" for "Explosive" working; and 
less than no place for the "Exploder." 
Both are too spasmodic, orgastic, con- 
vulsive; and either would burst into its 
ultimate primordial atoms the most 
systematic efficiency organization ever 
invented. Yet, almost equally clear is 
it, that without both of these joyous 
unruly factors there would be no Art 
dramatic, artistic, nor even produc- 
tive in which to be efficient, to prac- 
tice the Art of Efficiency. 

Often Overlooked. 

A real Art of Human Efficiency 

must, of course, take cognizance of 
the inherent characteristics of the hu- 
man elements; and the most basic 
quality of life certainly of life exem- 
plified in Man is this very quality of 
explosiveness explosiveness which we 
all so commonly overlook and insist- 
ently ignore till made to sit up and 
take notice by some extra-violent 
eruption in our own vicinity, or in 
one's own self. 

Here, then, seems to be a funda- 
mental difficulty: Efficiency requires 
control in order to be efficient. But 
human beings, to be human, must 
freely effervesce uncontrollably erupt 
or contract to mere efficiency rou- 
tine-output-producing machines. 

This raises the question at once: 
To what end is the modern Art of. 
Efficiency directed? What is its con- 
sciously desired goal? 

Of course, we all know the obvious 
and seemingly conclusive answer: To 
make better men in order to increase 
their productiveness. 

This answer, it seems to me, in- 
stead of being conclusive, only raises 
another string of deeply vital ques- 

Is "Efficiency"' Efficient? 

Can an Art of Efficiency, dealing 
with human elements incidentally, bn, 
with products as its first considera- 
tion, conceivably result in other than 
ultimate disaster to the incidental 

Can the finished human output of 
our boasted Art become more desir- 
ably Human and less machines than 
the inefficient human raw materials? 

By Efficiency's first law, must not 
the primary object necessarily divert 
to itself all consideration de-human- 
ize the Human Element into highly 
efficient mechanisms for production? 

Is mechanistic efficiency Humanly 

Is the Art of Efficiency, by any 
chance, mis-directed? Misdirected 
towards products as an end in itself, 
instead of towards the development of 
vitally initiative human individuals- 
joyous workers, to whom product is 
a by-product, wealth an incident 
MEN, who, for the very joy of the 
working, work explosively? 

Fernwald, Berkeley, November, 1916. 

Working Explosively 


Working Efficiently 

By William Henry Smyth 

Leprinted from Industrial Management, May, 1917.) 

Between working efficiently and 
working ineffectively there can be 
no question as to which is the more 
desirable, nor would I raise any such 

"Working Explosively" is not an 
argument for inefficiency, quite the 
contrary. The article, as I intended 
it, and as I think it indicates to the 
thoughtful reader, is merely a Stop! 
Look! Listen! signal; a hand raised; 
a suggestion to pause pause a mo- 
ment to consider whether we are 
intelligently directing our efforts 
toward the end for which we seek, 
the goal for which we strive, the 
reward for which we all struggle. 

My own experience with life 
ranges through the whole gamut, 
from the coarsest forms of manual 
labor up to original constructive 
mental work, both as employed and 
employer at the grind of "work- 
ing efficiently" and the joy of 
"working explosively/' I have as- 
sociated on terms of equality with 
hoboes, with laborers, with mechan- 
ics, and with captains of industry 
and finance. And far from being 
a socialist, I am individualistic to the 
nth degree. Thus, my Stop! Look! 
Listen! warning is based on facts, 
and upon experience, not upon the 
fancies of an overwrought imagina- 

Importance of Worker 

Based upon this varied experience, 
the question I wish to raise involves 
the relative importance of the work- 
er, or his work human worth, or 
the products of human toil. 

Efficiency is no new invention; it 
is as old as intelligence itself. None 
realize efficiency so completely as 
the creative genius, our Darwins, 
Faradays, Edisons, and Fords, and 
none so completely practice and ex- 
emplify working explosively. Genius 
itself, we are told, is the capability 
for taking infinite pains. 

The Art of Efficiency proposes to 
substitute the short- cut of imitating 
efficient mechanical tricks for the 
toilsome process of becoming a 

The Explosive Worker is a strenu- 
ous worker whose intense preoccupa- 
tion is with accomplishing perfectly 
that predetermined end in which his 
interest is centered. He works with 
intelligent personal intention driven 
by the explosive energy of his pur- 
pose. If he is driving rivets, he 
is driving them so that they will 
accomplish the object intended. 

Working Explosively is human 
purpose expressing itself through 
inanimate material; it is not the 
function of an unhurried efficient 
human machine striking so many 
well directed blows in a definite 


Means Personal Energy 

Working Explosively means per- 
sonal energy, strenuously applied to 
the accomplishment of a personally 
desirable result. 

Working Explosively is not a 
matter of habit, instinct, or routine. 
It involves the concentration of all 
the faculties upon the work in hand 
to the end of producing the result 
desired. It is subconscious impulse 
raised to conscious effort of accom- 

The Efficiency Expert joyously 
fills his God-like function as he 
shuffles numbered human 'hands" 
and rearranges his human "pegs" 
into round or square holes, so that 
"hands" and "pegs" shall contribute 
most efficiently to production. But, 
soulless pegs and automaton hands 
which will passively stay put are 
somewhat different factors from 
Men and Women with personal likes 
and dislikes and smouldering pas- 
sions which must explode either in 
Work or War hence industrial un- 
rest and warfare. 



The "Art of Efficiency" is merely 
a new name for an old and very 
dangerous form or misdirection of 

The essential question is not how 
many more billion dollars worth 
of product can be made or saved, 
but how many more million human 
beings can express themselves in the 
direction of personal accomplish- 
ment. And, in my view, this latter 
course is the more logical and the 
more likely one to produce the for- 
mer results indirectly through the 
interest of the worker than directly 
through the efficient control of his 

Outside Worker 

"Working Efficiently" assumes 
control outside of the worker, direct- 
ing his actions and efforts toward a 
purpose in the mind of the con- 

"Working Explosively" assumes 
control inside of the worker, di- 
recting his action and energy 
towards an interesting outcome. 

In a broad sense, one is Autocracy 
and the other Democracy. Imper- 
fectly but significantly, Germany 
and the United States repre- 
sent these two opposite ideals 
of human activity. The one repre- 
sents efficient working, the other 
a crude and embryonic form of 
working explosively. One makes for 
mechanistic efficiency, the other for 
human liberty. 

Hopefulness is a personal quality, 
it cannot exist in connection with 
work in the outcome of which the 
worker is not interested, and Hope- 
fulness is a fundamental factor in 
working explosively. 

"Working Explosively" and "Work- 

ing Efficiently" express only imper- 
fectly the underlying idea in each. 
In essence, they imply two opposite 
ideals. In the former, emphasis is 
placed upon the worker; in the latter, 
emphasis is placed upon the work. To 
my way of thinking the two points 
of view are essentially antithetical. 
Of course, the only way of bring- 
ing about the welfare of human kind 
is on the basis of right and justice. 
But, who shall determine these mo- 
mentous bases? You or I? The 
Efficiency Expert or the "pegs" 
which he re-arranges into round or 
square holes? The employer or the 

Conflict Exists 

To close our eyes and pretend that 
there is no conflict between employer 
and employed is futility itself. To 
say that the interest of these is mu- 
tual when the employer has all of 
the joy of working explosively and 
the employed all the grind of work- 
ing efficiently is equally futile. 

I gird neither against employer 
nor employed. My proposition is: 
from the joy of the work Working 
Explosively come better men. 
more worthy citizens, and greater 

I hold that a human being human 
personality is of infinitely more 
consequence than the product of the 
hands and brain; that a true ulti- 
mate efficiency implies the liberation 
of Man rather than the efficient con- 
trol of his actions; that the ultimate 
well-being of all implies not the ^ in- 
telligent control of passively^ efficient 
human elements, but the liberation 
of men and women to purposeful 
joy of Working Explosively. 

Fernwald, Berkeley, March, 1917.