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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 72.djvu/559

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EDUCATIONAL ADVANCE

and crude economic goods, toward a greater variety in quantity and quality of demands. As Clark has shown, the tendency of dynamic economics, as seen from the purely economic point of view, is toward variety in consumption and specialization in production. But after a certain point is past specialization in production tends to prevent greater variety in consumption. These economic considerations, as well as those of an ethical or social nature, set bounds beyond which specialization ought not to pass. This limit is not fixed and invariable. For example, the man who has an avocation, who utilizes his leisure in such a way as to broaden his view of life, so as to exercise many different sets of muscles and brain cells, may specialize his work much more minutely without individual detriment or economic and social loss, than the man who talks shop, or does nothing to diversify his tastes or to open up new lines of thought and action, during his leisure hours. In the terms employed by the economist, the ideal point of equilibrium is where the descending curve of the social value of the products due to additional subdivision is met by the ascending curve of disutility due to long-continued and narrow specialization on the part of the individual members of society. Other things remaining the same, the additional products which come into being through increasing subdivision, gradually diminish in value as increment after increment is added, according to the well-known law of diminishing returns; and on the contrary the detriment to society as a whole increases as individuals are forced into narrower and narrower rounds of duty.

Ethical considerations lead directly and unequivocally to the conviction that men must not be treated as machines, that the true end and aim of industry is the production of men, not the multiplication of profits. True long-run economic aims coincide with ethical ideals. As Walt Whitman has taught us: "Produce great men, the rest follows." Primitive industry was always a means to an end which was plainly seen; it was never an end in itself. It has remained for modern times to heap up complexity, confusion, and cross-purposes until the fundamentals have been hidden from view. When the methods of modern complex industry come into collision with the true economic and ethical demands of society, the former must be modified. It is one of the functions of education to harmonize the demands of these two apparently conflicting and opposing forces. It should so train the members of society as to allow the greatest possible advantage to be taken of efficient productive methods consistent with the welfare and best development of the individual members of society of all classes and conditions.

Both the internal and external organization of industry now tend to remove variety, irregularity, risk, chance and speculation. The