Image provided by: University of Nebraska-Lincoln Libraries, Lincoln, NE
About The Conservative (Nebraska City, Neb.) 1898-1902 | View Entire Issue (Dec. 29, 1898)
'Cbe Conservative. li
the steam engine and the rise of 'the
present industrial system , which I have
called the "machina-facture. " This last
stop has produced and is still producing
a series of social changes which give
rise to the social antagonisms of today ,
and which passing into the sphere of
politics become questions of political
The evolution of the industrial sys
tem was the force which socialized the
clans and tribes into nations , and is the
force today which is socializing the na
tions together with the ethical and re
ligious ideals which are in corresponding
process of evolution.
But it is the purpose of this paper to
trace only in outline the beginnings and
development of the industrial system
which is rapidly enveloping the world
and is socializing all mankind.
And the particular object in this is to
show how the origin and organization of
an industrial system formed a new basis
and purpose for political combination.
As the appearance of infancy in the ani
mal world was ground for the genesis
of the family , so man's economic wants
and his inventing the means to supply
those wants were the ground for greater
political combinations than the clan and
the rise of another great institution
the political state.
By the organization and development
of an industrial system based on the
right of private property and contract ,
the food supply was first enormously in
creased. It could bo indefinitely in
creased by peaceful industry. This fact
alone tended to do away with fighting.
But that which was of the most pro
found and far-reaching significance was
the fact of the free exchange of the pro
ducts of labor arising out of the division
When one man found that by reason
of some local advantage and superior
personal skill he could produce more oJ
a certain economic good than some other
man who in turn by reason of his loca'
advantage and personal skill could pro
duce a different economic good and each
could produce beyond his own wants , and
each wanted what the other had , then
the two men found out the advantage OJ
free exchange of the products of their
When , in this matter of the exchange
of the products of labor or services men
found that one man's interest was not
opposed to another man's interest thci
exchange was substituted for robbery
Men did not at first recognize this
fact. They have not yet learned it
There is a largo class of men yet who
persist in interpreting the conditions o
our present industrial life in accordant
with the traditions of primitive life
when one man's success did rneai
another man's starvation.
Our tariffs miscalled protective ar
survivals of the barbarous mode o
hinldng which fitted the ages before
ndustrial civilization began.
The pacific implications of free ox-
hango between persons and places with-
n the same political organization are
ully recognized in all civilized states ,
jut not yet between all civilized nations.
Nevertheless it is true that the begin-
lings of agriculture and commerce
narked the beginning of the greatest
ocial revolution in the career of man-
The conditions for the maintenance of
ho physicnl life were changed from that
of the animal world and that of primi-
Two animals wolves confront one
another. A fierce fight ensues. The
stronger wins the carcass which the
veaker had found and captured. That
s primitive man. Two human beings
civilized men confront each other.
Sach has wants , not merely physical
wants , but them , and hundreds of
ligher spiritual wants developed by civ-
lizatiou. Through division of labor
each has what the other wants. They
exchange on an equitable basis.
Tliat is civilized man. The interests
of industry are antagonistic to war.
The beginnings of an industrial system
founded upon property and contract are
; he beginnings of human interests that
.ire tending constantly to the elimina
tion of warfare.
In the rise of industrial civilization
are found the causes which tend to the
elimination of warfare and the consequent
quent development of the idea of the n < t-
Looked at from the standpoint of the
political state , progress in the formation
of states has boon made by the coalesc
ing of small groups or tribes into larger
and larger political aggregates.
This process has not gone on regu
larly and uninterruptedly and its ten
dency has been apparent only to the
seer and the poet. The process of union
and coalescence has been brought about
by the needs and under the impulse of
industrial civilization. The chief ob
stacle to union has been universal hos
tility and warfare inherited from prime
The history of mankind has been
made up of fighting ; much but not all
of it useless.
During the historic period the wars ol
Europe have been contests between the
industrial and the predatory types of
society , or , contests incident upon the
imperfect organization of largo politico
In the interest of the family and of
the industrial society great political ag
gregates have been formed in three
ways. First , by conquest without in
corporation. A single powerful tribe
conquered and annexed its neighbo
but did not admit the conquered peopl
to a share in its government. The con
quering tribe used the conquered trib
to increase its military strength , robbet
ho producers of wealth of the fruits of
heir labor and tlmfl , virtually enslaved
hem. This is the onjgitiil typo of union.
Nothing pacific about in ( JA '
The second mode of union wojithat , of
onquest with incorporation. Thereon ; '
quering tribe annexed its neighbor and , /A , > s
radually admitted some of the people C / I-
o a share in the government.
Thus arose the Roman Empire ; the
argest , most stable and the most pacific
ocial aggregate the world had seen. It
succeeded in breaking up the clan sys-
em in the best part of Europe. Its
jrcat contribution to civilization and to
he development of the idea of the na-
ion was its development of the concep-
ion of rights and duties coextensive
with humanity , or the idea of law as
The third mode of union of different
social groups is by the device of repre-
entation , by which political power is
retained in all parts of the community
while its exercise is delegated to a cen
This mode permits a vohintury union
ind is therefore pacific in its nature.
The other two modes are involuntary.
Partly for this reason and partly be
cause of the military pressure to which
; he frontier was constantly exposed the
Roman government became a despotism
.vhich . gradually took on many vices of
; ho oriental type. This political weak
ness resulted in the overrunning of Eur
ope by people of lower civilization or
ganized in clans and tribes.
Then was retrogression toward primi
tive ages. But the retrogression was
temporary and partial.
The third method of forming great
political aggregates mentioned is feder
ation. Fighting was essential under the
two lower methods fighting for con
quest in the beginning and then fighting
the rebellions that followed.
Under the method of federation there
is no conquest , but a voluntary union of
small political groups into a great poli
tical group. Each smaller political
group preserves its local independence
intact while forming at the same time
a part of an indissoluble whole from
which is no secession.
The first two methods are involuntary :
brought about by force and held by force.
The last is a voluntary union and is
therefore pacific. It is self-constituted ,
and hence is free. But the conditions
for this federation are high intelligence
and high ethical development.
In early times such union was impos
sible. It is impossible now with savage
and half civilized groups. Federation
was first attempted by the Greeks. The
plan failed for want of the device of
representation. In later times it has
been put into successfnl operation on a
small scale by the Swiss and on a larger
scale by our English ancestors. ,
The coalescence of shires into the
Kingdom of England effected by means
of a representative assembly and at the
Powered by Open ONI