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EARTH HUNGER AND OTHER ESSAYS

together by contracts, and we are all "wares," if anybody is. If the name is offensive, we may change it to some other, but we shall all stand just where we do now, viz., under the necessity of subjecting our individual wills and preferences, that is, our liberty, to the conditions of the contracts by which we hold our places in the organization. The term "labor" cannot be taken in any narrower sense than that of contributions of any kind to the work of society, and, in that sense, we see that when we labor we set aside our liberty for the sake of some other good which we consider worth more to us under the circumstances.

The advantages of the wages system are that the man who has nothing makes a contract which throws the risk on capital, and is able, reckoning on a fixed and secure income, to make plans for the accumulation of capital under his circumstances, whatever they are, without any element of speculation. The defects of the wages system appear in so far as the wages income is not fixed and secure, and in so far as the laborer does, in fact, find himself involved in the business risk. I am of the opinion that the path of improvement and reform lies in the perfection of the wages system in these respects, and not in any of the pet notions which are propounded for supplanting the wages system by some other.

Therefore we find that in the historical development of the industrial organization there have been, in the forms and modes of laboring and of combining ourselves for greater power in supplying human wants, changes in status and relation, but that the necessity of working for a living has been and is a thraldom from which there is no escape. The century which has seen slavery as an institution cease to exist almost throughout the whole human race, has easily come to believe in an ideal state