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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 34.djvu/648

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THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.

levy of a just tax will make the people sharers in the advantages of "trust" organizations. Their affairs published, their managers will have a better chance to cultivate a sense of public responsibility than at present, when, without status, their security threatened by attacks of all sorts, they seem intent on making the most of an opportunity which they expect to be brief. Because less in direct legislation than in residual competition lies the curb of extortion, this must be insured by strict enforcement of adequate laws against conspiracy. Were "trusts" legalized, it is said—did publicity attend their transactions—it would be both wise and profitable for them to make the public willing parties to their existence by employing their systematization of business to serve the public better than unorganized competition in the past has ever been able to do.

To this proffered solution of the "trust" question is opposed the objection that it involves an extension of governmental powers much in advance of existing evidences of governmental efficiency. Yet public control or restraint in some form is imperative. Whatever truth the self-regulating theory of private enterprise may have had in the days before combination, vanishes at a time when individual monopoly can levy a national tax in the shape of extortionate profit. However reluctantly we may admit it, more and more does exigency tend to enlarge the scope 'of State authority. Hence greater need than ever that public-spirited effort should purify politics, and endeavor to lift it to statesmanship. When the nation has been threatened by foes without or within, her citizens have ever given prompt response to the call for defence. To-day she seeks protection, not from armed invaders, but from economic oppressors. It is war again, but war demanding in its generalship not only courage in an unpicturesque field, but business sagacity of the highest order.

 


 
Knowledge of geography is important, says General R. Strachey, to the statesman, because upon it depend largely the right determination and definition of boundaries, the lack of which has been the cause of some of the greatest differences between states; to the soldier, for the intelligent planning of his campaigns, marches, and minor movements; to the engineer, who must have exact representations of the horizontal and vertical features with which he will have to deal, and knowledge of the climate, rainfall, and natural productions of the country; to the physician, who prescribes "change" to his patients; to the merchant, for the judicious dispatch of his wares; and to the emigrant, for a wise selection of his new home. Geography furnishes the key to the interpretation of many events of the past, and materials and aids in scientific research. Meteorology is largely indebted to it for the advance it has recently made. Without the aid which exploration has furnished, the generalizations of Darwin and Wallace concerning the origin and distribution of species and the influence of geographical conditions could not have been obtained.