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ECONOMICS AND POLITICS

the political ideals of liberty and equality. There is no sense at all in the talk we hear about "democracy of industry." Industry is carried on by talent, which is select and aristocratic. It is work, in regard to which men are, from the outfit which they possess and the conditions under which they work, unequal and unfree. We have inherited from the last two centuries a great stock of undigested notions which affect our minds whenever social topics come under discussion. These notions keep us from seeing realities. We have a school of publicists whose discussions consist in a reiteration of pet phrases and watchwords, which never contain more than a small fraction of truth.

We must also notice that the men who engage in economic enterprises are divided by their interests, and the parties to the several interests, if they are defeated in the economic struggle, have another chance in politics. They assail the legislature with loud complaints of their rivals and opponents, and demand that the power of the state shall be used to alter the conditions of industry or to make rules which will limit their rivals. The whole modern industrial organization is full of these conflicts of interests. The ethical elements in them are never simple; they generally depend at last on the most recondite and delicate play of economic forces and individual talent. When the legislator tries to deal with them so as to do "justice," he never has the case before him as it is before the mind of a party to the quarrel. In fact it is not possible that he ever could gain such knowledge of it. Some one aspect of the question fills his mind, and it is his prejudices and prepossessions which determine which aspect will win his attention; then he enacts something from the standpoint which he has adopted, and does wrong to all other interests. At any moment