Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 33.djvu/52

This page has been validated.

eration and altmism, both of which are undoubtedly stimulated by the emergencies of a rigorous climate. A hard-headed north-lander who has himself been snow-bound and frost-bitten will not ignore the distress of a help-needing neighbor; while the religious charity of the Siamese peasant is apt to be modified by the reflection that, after the total loss of their fruit-crop, his storm-stricken brethren in Buddha can still eke out a tolerable living in the woods.


WHEN, a few months ago, announcement was made, in despotic opulence of mural decoration, that Mr. Barnum's and Mr. Forepaugh's circuses had pooled their attractions under a single tent, the American small boy lodged no protest, nor did he invoke the statutes of this republic against the dangers with which its institutions were threatened. But when whisky, or coal, or cotton-seed oil, or prunes, or beeswax, propose to adhere in happy family compact, the occasion is not allowed to pass without jeremiad on the perils of this commonwealth and the departure of the liberties of this people.

In a paper entitled "Modern Feudalism," in the "North American Review" for April, 1887, I understand Mr. James F. Hudson to suggest that any old-fashioned ideas as to the economy of large producers over small ones, and supposed consequential security of wages, greatest good of the greatest number, etc., which may still obtain in the community, are survivals of the dark ages, and without place in the enlightened civilization of this continent; and to assert that any combination of corporations or large manufacturers or producers for manufacture or production of a single staple, which shall purchase the interest or business of smaller manufacturers or producers, is a menacing danger, not only to the consumer, but to the State. Mr. Hudson has nothing to submit as to any possible small competitor who might perhaps be willing or even anxious to be crushed out "for a consideration" rather than assume all the chances of himself crushing out the larger competitor. Nor do I find him discussing the question as to what interest it is to the consumer whether the product he consumes be manufactured or quarried by a small concern or a large one. His propositions, however, are sufficiently startling to the old-fashioned reader of what once was the science of political economy to warrant, I think, a passing notice in the pages of "The Popular Science Monthly."

Mr. Hudson, to begin with, is of opinion that any incorpora-