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EARTH HUNGER AND OTHER ESSAYS

grounds of expediency, offers one of the most reasonable and proper occasions for state regulation of a sound kind. As a matter of fact, state regulation of life insurance has been outrageously abused, showing how difficult it is to execute regulation wisely and righteously even where its legitimacy may be defended. But the grounds of state regulation in the expediency of the case still remain. Life insurance is a mystery to all except those who make a study of it; one party to the contract acts ignorantly and in the dark; the equities which arise from the relation of insurer and insured are subtle and complicated, and so the insured cannot, for various and obvious reasons, defend his interests. If then the state adopts general regulations for the conduct of that business, which are germane to the nature of the business, and which will prevent the insurer from perpetrating a swindle and give confidence to the insured, we have a case where the grounds for state interference to prescribe methods and fix responsibility, are as strong as in any case which can be mentioned. It is not, however, a case of monopoly, so that the dogma of interference with natural monopolies fails to include one of the widest, most important, and least questioned of the interferences now practised by civilized states.

In preceding pages I have defined and discussed representative cases over the whole field of natural monopoly; and among the other cases it was shown that literary productions, whether books or periodicals, are cases of natural monopoly. If the state is to regulate natural monopolies, the moral grounds, and the grounds of expediency, for regulating literary productions, are stronger than those for regulating any other monopoly. The moral grounds for a censorship of the press are far stronger than the similar grounds for regulating trusts, adulter-