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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 38.djvu/283

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without imposing any check upon their reproductive activity. All this is very foolish. A man is either able to maintain himself or he is not. If he is not, and declares himself not to be by the systematic acceptance of alms, then society may reasonably declare that he is not fit to found or control a family, and he should henceforth be assisted under such conditions and restrictions as should at least prevent him from casting new burdens upon society. If we could stop our miserable political (so called) wranglings long enough to take a common-sense view of the situation and become really interested in plans for its amelioration, the difficulties would not be found at all insuperable. Fit for civil rights or unfit for civil rights?—that is the question to be applied to every member of the community. If we persist, through sheer indolence and love for all that is paltry in the rivalry of parties and the squabbles of public men, in according civil rights to those who do not merit them through an active co-operation in the industrial life of the community, there is serious trouble in store for us. "We might as well voluntarily take diseased persons into our households as keep morally and economically diseased persons on the roll of our citizens. What the latter want is control and segregation at whatever momentary cost. We simply recommend a quarantine that society has the full right to exercise. It would be cheaper at once to give rations to these people than to allow them to subsist on occasional charity and occasional stealings, while seriously interfering with the hygienic condition of the community, to say nothing of perpetuating their kind. Just how they should be dealt with when separated, what work should be exacted in return for maintenance, what educational measures should be adopted—these are questions for later consideration. The "human selection" that is required is primarily a selection that will put aside those members of society who in moral character or in the power of self-help fall below the requirements of decent living. This can be carried out as soon as we have sense enough to attempt it; and when once such a separation has been effected, and we have no longer in the heart of society a perennial spring of baseness and incapacity, the march of improvement in all directions will be rapid; while year by year the burden thus assumed by the state will diminish.




We have the pleasure of putting before our readers in this issue of the Monthly the first of a series of articles which will give a comprehensive view of the evolution of each of the great manufacturing industries in America since the time of Columbus. They will be written in the popular style which has always characterized the Monthly, avoiding mere technical details and wearisome columns of statistics. At the same time, the writers have had long acquaintance with the practical side of the industries which they describe, and this complete command of their subjects enables them to present just those features which the general reader demands. Mr. William F. Durfee, who opens the series with an article in the present number, is known to the iron and steel men all over the country as a man of wide experience in the building and operation of iron and steel works, and is at present General Manager of the Pennsylvania Diamond Drill and Manufacturing Company. Our history of the cotton manufacture will be furnished by Mr. Edward Atkinson, who needs no introduction to the readers of this magazine. Mr. S. N. D. North, Secretary of the National Association of Wool Manufacturers, is the author of our account of the woolen manufacture. The development of glass-making will be described by Prof. C.