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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 72.djvu/556

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552
POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY

dustry has relieved one class of workers, "of the cares of business"; and they "have with increasing specialization given their attention to the mechanical processes involved in the production for the market." The remarkable increase of the indirect method of labor is a factor in the modern industrial problem. The workers no longer produce directly to satisfy their own wants; each produces for others, while all furnish something for each individual. It is a round-about process; the connection between effort and satisfaction is hidden. The direct reaction between effort and satisfaction has been superseded by a very complex social and industrial chain of actions and reactions. The worker often becomes a drudge, a drone, an unthinking piece of mechanism, partially because he does not recognize or feel that his work has any social significance, because there is little apparent causal relation between effort and wages. Industry has been "depersonalized."

Modern specialization of industry, diversification of demands, and increase in the variety of consumption have tended to divide the population into a large number of classes and interests. Progress has always resulted from class struggles, the clash of interests; but to-day the form of this contest has become complex. There are the familiar traditional classes—land-owners, manufacturers, merchants, professional men and laborers; but each one of these classes is now split into subgroups, on the one hand, while, on the other, many individuals may be classed under two or more classes or sub-classes. Nevertheless, many difficulties and obstructions now face the workman who aspires to become an employer, who struggles to rise out of his class. John Mitchell believes that the workers are, as a rule, acting on the principle that they can not rise out of that class. For the vast majority it is once a wage-earner, always a wage-earner. The amount of capital now required to set up in nearly every business is large. Even the farmer who runs in debt for his farm, finds it almost impossible to pay off the mortgage from the profits of the farm in many sections of this country. The amount of money required to enter the iron and steel business is measured by hundreds of thousands or millions of dollars. Consolidation of business interests reduces the numbers of managers and superintendents. The great industrial concerns and the railroads are becoming large civil-service systems. A man must enter their employ in his youth, at the bottom, remain with the company year after year, gradually working into better-paid and more responsible positions. But he always remains an employee. The young man can no longer work hard for a few years, save a few hundreds or thousands of dollars, and then set up in business as an employer of others, many of whom will follow in his footsteps within a few years. The person who now accumulates a small amount of property is obliged to turn the management of it over to others. Investments in stocks and bonds, deposits