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About Hesperian student / (Lincoln [Neb.]) 1872-1885 | View Entire Issue (May 15, 1887)
THE HESPER1A N.
"THE TIIKKE PHASES OE CO-OPERATION IN THE WEST."
1IY A. G. WARNER.
With the growth of an industrial organism, greatly owing
to and aided by the invention and perfection of labor-saving
machinery, and in proportion to the complexity-of the "di
vision of labor," have combinations on the part of capital,
grown more necessary and more irequcnt. Partly owing to
this fact, but in a much larger degree owing to the conditions
which precede the possibility of the law of competition exer
cising perfect sway.capital tends to thcincreasc of that part of
production which is accorded to labor. It is not that the con
dition of the laboring classes is actually worse and the ten
dency always downward, that dissatisfaction on the part of
the wage worker grows and that a halt must be called. The
condition of the laborer is only relatively worse, if worse at
all, when compared with the heights obtained, or obtainable
by capital, only worse again when tried by a much advanced
and a most exacting standard of living. To gradually do away
with this disparity, to lessen the growing differences, to level
on the one hand and to raise on the other, setting one com
mon and medium standard of living, is the work to be done,
states the general mind of labor on combinations. There must
be a justification for revolutionary acts and measures without
exception and without question, else they are bad, utterly bad.
Strikes and boycotts are, though often justifiable, objectiona
ble, they arc revolutionary. Co-operation and profit-sharing
arc, on the other hand, remedial, and unobjectionable. In
theory they are very promising. Arc they practical remedies?
Viewing them from a purely theoretical standpoint we at once
formulated these conclusions: "Co-operation promises best in
the less complex and less exacting enterprises, Profit-sharing
may be successfully carried on in the most exacting indus
tries. Neither is a panacea, a cure-all; and neither can be ap
plied under all circumstances. Philanthropic and humane men
will always be necessary to insure success." But a history of
co-operation and profit sharing was what wc needed to con
firm us in our opinions, and to further demonstrate the condi
tions under which success was insured or failure inevitable;
and such a history of "co-operation" in our twn economic
and social world, wc find in the monograph before us, by
Amos G. Warner, '85, U. of N., and now Fellow in History
and Political Science at Johns Hopkins University. This
monograph was issued in March, 1887, from the press of the
American Economic Association, and is but one of a series of
valuable publications, our interest in it being heightened by
our interest in its author. The title is "Three Phases of co
operation in the West," and those phases arc: "Co-operation
among Farmers," "Co-operation among Wage-earners," "Co
operation among Mormons." The district covered by this
study of practical co-operationjincludes the states of Ohio,
Michigan, Indiana, Illinois, Missouri, Kansas, Nebraska,
Colorado, and Nevada and the territory of Utah. Among
Anicricanfarmers, Mr. Warner finds co-operation to have been
put to a practical test only by the Grange societies in the
shape of distributive supply agencies and stores, and in the
operation of creameries. The Grange stores have failed in
the majority of cases, while co-operative creameries, under all
favorable circumstances, have proved a success Mr. War
ner finds in his study of this phase, some half dozen more or
less immediate causes of failure. To summarize: "there
are," he thinks, "conditions under which the co-operative is
demonstrably inferior to the distinctively competitive organi
zation for the attainment of given objects." A lack of prop
er legislation is given as a second cause of failure. Again,
rural life and character arc ill adapted to
the co-operative method oi managing business.
The general indebtedness of the farming class, the intense
hostility of the regular tradesmen, and local quarrels and
jealousies, make up the list of potent and sufficient causes of
tailurc. The educational benefits, the better regulation of
prices, the habit of going to first sources for supplies, and the
demonstration of the fact that with good management under
right laws success may be achieved, arc the important bene
fits which Mr. Warner finds to have remained as the residual
of approximate failure.
We have noticed in detail this first part of the monograph
because of its special interest to the farmers of the state. The
remainder of the work is characterized by the same concise
and analytical treatment. The whole furnishes quite a store
house of data and illustrations from which to argue the most
promising results for cooperation under the proper condi
tions. We must congratulate Mr. Warner upon the excellent
style and treatment he has given his subject. There was a
great opportunity for a dflfusc and lengthy treatment, which
would yet have been of value, but instead Mr. Warner has
made it characteristically straightforward, concise and thor
ough, and hence unusually valuable.
Practical Piety: four discourses delivered at Central Mu
sic Hall, Chicago, by Jcnkin Lloyd Jones. Chicago: Chas.
H. Kerr & Co. Pre 30 cents. For sale By A. T. Lcming
This little book supplies a long felt want. The sermons
arc given in a candid, straightforward manner which cannot
fail to interest and charm the reader. Mr. Jones possesses
that rare faculty of being able to express sound and practical
truths in forcible, beautiful and intelligible language. The
whole book abounds in excellent thoughts, and in reading of
them one feels intuitively the earnestness emanating from
him who gave them expression.
The Legend of Hamlet, by Geo. P. Hansen, late U. S. Con
sul at Elsmorc, in Denmark; edited by Charles B. Simmons.
Chicago: Cahs. II. Kerr & Co. Price 25 cents. For sale by
A. T. Lcming & Co.
The great and absorbing interest felt for the character of
Shakespeare's character of Hamlet makes anything pertain
ing to it more than ordinarily interesting. The legend of
Hamlet as given by Mr Hansen, is told in a pleasant, off
hand way. and the fact that the author was conversant with
the scenery of the legend, lends to it an additional charm.
Those of the students who have made a study of the play
under Professor Sherman will find in this little volume much
to instruct, amuse, and interest them.
Progress from Poverty. Review and criticism of Henry
George's Progress and Poverty and Protection or Free Trade,
by Giles B. btebbins, Detroit, Michigan. Chicago: Chas.
Ii. Kerr & Co. Price 25 cents. For sale by A. T. Leming
We have not seen an exposition of this important subject
more comprehensive and thorough than the one before us.
The mere mention of its title ought to secure for it a ready
acceptance. But when a man of Mr. G. B. Stebbin's ability
undertakes to discuss the question the success of the book is
assured. Mr. Stcbbins has, with keen perception, seized
upon the arguments of Mr. George and laid bare their falla
cies. Wc cannot refrain from giving the opening paragraph
entire, in order to give the reader some idea of the style in
which the book is written.
"Henry George has written a book, the title of wh'ich out
lines its theory. "Progress and Poverty implies thatwelflth
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