Page:Southern Historical Society Papers volume 36.djvu/78

This page has been validated.
Southern Historical Society Papers.

our midst in proportion to native born than any other nation on earth.

The storm signals are up. There are unmistakable signs of unrest among the masses. The war between capital and labor, the dissatisfaction existing between employer and employee. The vast increase in the necessaries of life without a corresponding increase in the daily wage. The gradual absorption of enterprises heretofore conducted by individuals, by the trusts and combines, who, with their vast aggregations of capital have driven to the wall so many less favored. The destruction of personal initiative. The covetous and inconsiderate spirit displayed by those engaged in various manufactures, out of which they have amassed wealth through the faithful labor of their employees and the loyalty of their patrons in selling out to these combines regardless of interests other than their own, has alienated this class of the community, to a great extent, from those who looked to them, not only for employment and for their support, but for sympathy and encouragement. But one by one these old concerns have hauled down their flags, folded their tents and, like the Arab, stolen silently away, carrying the swag of the trust with them. Many thousands of workmen in this city and throughout the country have thus been deprived of the means of livelihood, in which they have labored for years and have been compelled to work for less wages at other occupations. In their old age they have had the doors closed in their faces and seen posted on the portals "Sold out to the trust." This may be business; it is legitimate, but is it carrying out the divine injunction "love thy neighbor as thyself?" There used to be a pride in the transmission of a reputable business from sire to son, and the employee's sons took the same pride and interest in the business as their fathers did before them. There existed a loyal, genial, friendly vassalage between the employer and the employee, born of respect, friendship, and appreciation, but "corporations have no souls" and this kindly sentiment no longer exists. The question arises, should business be conducted entirely along selfish lines? Should not a vein of sentiment, like a golden thread in the woof of a garment, enter into business transactions and influence its operations? In every large business the good will includes the result