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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 57.djvu/647

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637
MENTAL ENERGY.

tariffs due to selfishness and stupidity; and the contest of labor and capital due to the errors of the ignorant workman and the ignorant capitalist alike. All interests are harmonious. The evolution of science and invention will surely bring them together on the lines of righteousness, peace and material abundance.

This essay has been condensed from a lecture prepared and given before a Clergymen's Club some months ago. In it I tried to show the necessary connection of religion and life as developed by economic study, the law of mutual service being the rule by which commerce lives and moves and has its being. This lecture has since been read to several clubs of very different types of men, and from the great interest excited I am led to think there is something in it fit for the student of facts and figures to say.

I may, therefore, venture to repeat the statement of two principles which are presented in this treatise, which I think have been seldom if ever fully developed in any of the standard works upon political economy. To my own mind these are basic principles which when applied may profoundly modify many of the concepts of students of economic science. I join in the view that the family is the unit of society, the home the center. The end of all production is consumption. Nothing is constant but change, and there is no such thing as fixed material capital of any long duration in the progress of time. The two principles which I have endeavored to enforce are as follows:

First. The cost of each person or head of the family is what he and his immediate dependents consume. His income, whether measured in terms of money or in products, is, therefore, no measure of his cost; what he distributes in payment for service rendered being expended by those who receive it in procuring the commodities which constitute their cost to the community.

Second. No person who is occupied or is in the employment or service of others is paid for what he does. His work may occupy long hours and may be applied to arduous manual labor, or it may be done in a short number of hours per day, with but little physical effort. Neither the hours nor the effort constitute any measure on which payment can be based. The measure of payment is fixed by the measure of the work saved to him who makes the payment, consciously or unconsciously estimated.

These two precepts or principles, coupled with the theory that there is no conceivable limit to the power of mind over matter, or to the number of transformations of physical energy to which direction may be given in the material support of humanity, bring the visions of the Utopians within the scope of a law of progress in material welfare to which no limit can be put in time or space.