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$94,000. As has been seen, there was a variety of industries, and no ordinary person could form an approximately correct estimate of the values of the various assets, so the statement was accepted as true. It may be of interest to see how this large estimate was obtained. For a particular purpose an estimate was once asked for of the value of the sawmill machinery, etc. When obtained, it was found to be only one-third of the last annual inventory. When the foreman was asked to explain the discrepancy, he said that he had been instructed by the officials not to make the inventory lower than that of the preceding year. A lot of catalogues and two old directories, one of Chicago and one of St. Louis, were inventoried at $65. Nearly all, if not all, the buildings were inventoried at from two to five times their value; and the buildings which were bought on the farms, and should therefore not have been inventoried at all, since the farms were inventoried at their purchase price, or higher, were put in at a high figure. The gristmill appeared a third time in the inventory with the mill machinery. These and other facts lead me to believe that the net assets were not more than one-third or one-fourth of the value given to them in the annual statement. Another statement which went the rounds of the press was that the colony was rated A 1 by Bradstreet. The fact is that in 1899 it was rated merely C by Bradstreet.
So many things had been given to the colonists by wellmeaning friends outside the colony that they had become a little pauperized. There was a feeling that, if they needed anything, they had only to express their wants in their paper and some good friend of the colony would send it to them. They were undeceived, however, when a receiver was appointed, and their appeals for aid, through the paper and by letters, were practically unanswered.
The colony had a constitution which could be amended by a vote of the members. A board of thirteen directors legislated for the colony, but their actions were at all times subject to a referendum vote, if demanded. Colonists also had the privilege
of the initiative, and sometimes availed themselves of it. There was an executive committee of three, of which the president was chairman, which directed the daily work of the colony and carried out the orders of the board of directors. The secretary looked after the correspondence and orders, and performed the usual duties of that office. There was a treasurer, who, strange to say, was not required to give bonds.
There was a political ring composed of some five or six members. This ring had succeeded in ousting another ring in or about 1897. The latter retaliated by injunctions of various kinds, and they and their adherents became known as "injunctionists." I do not mean to say that this was the sole reason that injunctions were applied for, but it was one of the reasons. The object of the ring was mainly to secure offices and easy positions. I do not know whether there were any who made a profit out of their office, but one of them was suspected of such dishonesty. The ring had apparently not gotten to the point where money is used to influence voters in various ways. Liquor could not easily be used for this purpose, for none was allowed to be sold there.
If the writer may judge from his limited observations, he would say that the worst thing a co-operative colony has to contend with is lack of ability among its members to manage its affairs. M. Godin led his employees into co-operation gradually, so that they learned one step at a time, and that is perhaps the only way to start a co-operative colony successfully. Mr. Wayland, the founder of the Coming Nation and of the Ruskin Colony, had put himself under obligations to turn the whole thing, paper and all, over to the colonists, and he could not control them after that. He became discouraged with them and left the colony. If he could have controlled affairs until the colonists had learned business principles and acquired habits of economy, things would perhaps have gone differently. The Oneida Community also had to face a crisis, some time after they had begun to co-operate, when they found that they had
lost some $40,000. However, there was such religious discipline there, and the leaders had such good sense, that they were enabled to institute a system of rigid economy in the colony which put them on their feet once more. There was no religious discipline at Ruskin, but an economic control would, I think, have answered the purpose.
Another serious evil that colonies have to contend with is the political ring. This will spring up in favorable soil, and it has a tendency to put incompetent men into office, who can do the colony serious injury.
The successful co-operative village furnishes more opportunities for economy, culture, and amusement than any other village of its size. It creates neither beggars nor tramps, but, recognizing its duty toward dependents and defectives, it supports them in a rational way. It gives security of employment and of a livelihood. The intelligent and strong help those who are not so fortunate. It is in many respects like a large family, and tends to restore some of the good features of medieval family life. It is, therefore, a subject worthy of further experiment by intelligent and successful business people.
J. W. BRAAM.
G = quantity of goods
THE purpose of this article is to discuss and prove the following proposition: The degree of life-satisfaction of separate individuals or of whole societies is measured, not by the absolute quantity of goods possessed, but by the rapidity with which this quantity is increasing. In other words, the feeling of satisfaction or of self-contentment is a result or a function, not of the quantity of goods, but of the rapidity with which the quantity varies from time to time. Mathematically, this proposition may be expressed thus: Let the curve PQRST in the accompanying diagram represent the aggregate quantity of goods-material, moral, and intellectual-possessed at any given time by an individual, a human society, or a nation. This curve, which we may call the "progress curve," generally has an aspect like that shown in the diagram:
An organism or a society develops first very slowly and then with increasing rapidity; hence the corresponding part, PQ, of the curve (early civilization) rises slantingly. In youth
the process of self-improvement goes on in the most active manner, but when the organism begins to mature, the speed decreases; this is represented by the portion QRS of the "progress curve," rising first rapidly, then more slowly. Finally the organism becomes tired, and decadence is the result; this is illustrated by the last part, ST, of the figure, showing diminishing ordinates. It seems to me—and this is precisely my contention -that an individual or a society feels most contented, most satisfied, not at the point S of the curve, but at the point R (i. e., at the point of the greatest inclination of the curve), notwithstanding the fact that the quantity of goods enjoyed at S is perhaps twice as large as that at R. I make this assertion because at R the quantity of goods increases most rapidly in a given time. The individual at this period is sanguine and full of hope; every day brings something new into his life; he is conscious of the fruits of his labor.
At S the contrary is the case. The absolute quantity of goods possessed is here comparatively large; but this quantity is immovable; every day brings the same thing; the entire work of the organism is expended uselessly at some point, just as in a bad machine friction and internal resistances impede the movement-in spite of its labors, it does not go forward. Thus it is clear that life-contentment must be smaller here than at R. Moreover, I assert that even at PQ, where the absolute quantity of goods is very small, there is more satisfaction than at S, because there is still some progress at PQ, while there is none at S.
In short, my thought may be expressed mathematically as follows: The degree of life-satisfaction of an individual or a society is independent of the ordinate of the “progress curve," but is a function of the angle which the tangent to this curve forms with the axle of the abscissa; or
where S is the degree of life-satisfaction, G the quantity of goods possessed, and the time.1 The truth of this statement is
For those unfamiliar with mathematical analysis it may be observed that the