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does not abuse it, and deals fairly with the consumers, nothing illegitimate, nothing exceptional even, in his preliminary destruction of a competitor. If he does abuse his power, the offense lies in that abuse, not in the acts which have made the abuse possible.
At all events, theory aside, Professor Clark's remedy is practically unavailable. The most astute lawyer will give up as hopeless the task of framing an act to suppress the local cutting of prices or the reduction of prices in certain varieties of merchandise. If nothing stood between society and socialism except Professor Clark's anti-discrimination policy, then socialism would indeed be inevitable.
But Professor Clark, like Mr. Macrosty, assumes too much in saying that trusts are born of the necessity of eliminating waste and securing greater efficiency. This is one of the things to be demonstrated. Not all business-men are ready to credit trusts with the "economy" claimed by them. Mr. Carnegie, we saw, a captain of industry if ever there was one, does not allow the plea of economy. In fact, if economy and efficiency were the basis and justification of trusts, smaller and independent manufacturers could not possibly compete with them. Even the steel combination has stimulated competition. The demand for commodities has been extraordinary in the past few years, it will be said, and there has been work for all, great as well as small. A series of lean years may come- must come, if we are to judge by the history of crises and industrial depressions. Which will go to the wall, the colossal trust or the small corporation? The answer is not at all certain. The talk regarding the efficiency and superiority of the trust is, as a rule, superficial, not to say ignorant. There can be no efficiency, no economy, no superiority, without conservatism in management, and this conservatism is a rare quality. The number of trusts overtaken by disaster or doomed to disaster furnishes an argument more weighty than the question-begging of the current catch phrases. The trust has not passed its experimental stage. We are too ready to assume, because of the truism that a large corporation is more economical than a small one, that a corporation of cor
porations is more efficient than a single corporation. But it ought to be patent that a corporation may be too big as well as too small.
However, let it be granted, for the sake of the argument, that trusts and combinations are "inevitable" and that it is idle, and worse than idle, to seek to prevent their formation. How is the public to be protected from extortion and oppression under a policy of industrial freedom? Socialism would of course abolish trusts, but it would abolish some other things along with them. Certainly the American people are not prepared to adopt the heroic remedy of collectivization of all industry. They are still "individualistic," in Professor Clark's confessedly vague sense of the term, and therefore they may be supposed to prefer measures in consonance with private enterprise, free competition, and free contract. What has been suggested, what may be suggested, along those lines?
Several years ago the head of the sugar trust declared that the tariff was the mother of trusts. That was an exaggeration, but only an exaggeration. It contained a great deal of truth, as even protectionists now admit. Governor Cummins, a Republican, vigorously supports the demand for the removal of protective duties from trust-controlled industries. There is no inconsistency between this position and a general belief in protection for new or weak industries. Who has ever known of a trust in an "infant industry"? The industry which invites consolidation has graduated from the infant school, and there is no reason for a vestige of protection in its interest. Those independent firms which are strong enough to withstand the trust would be strong enough to hold their own under a low tariff or free trade. At any rate, as Governor Cummins has said, the interests of the consumers are paramount. When we are compelled to choose between high duties for the benefit of a few manufacturers and their employees, and reasonable prices for the public, hesitation is scarcely possible.
But the protective tariff is not the only breeder of monopoly. Perhaps enough has been said of late about secret rebates and illicit favors to trusts on the part of common carriers.
These illegal privileges confer advantages different in degree, but not in kind, from those enjoyed by the coal-carrying railroads in the anthracite region, whose monopoly of transportation made it impossible for mine-owners to retain their properties. There is, fortunately, no difference of opinion as to the necessity of breaking up the alliance between industrial combinations and railroad companies. The problem, however, is becoming much more complicated under the extension of the community-of-interest plan. The Atlantic shipping combination will have a sort of lien on the freight of certain powerful railroads, and it will not be easy for non-trust ship-owners to compete with the great combination.
The dependence of trusts upon monopoly of natural resources is less obvious, except in such cases as the anthracite coal com. bination or the steel combination. This is not the place to raise the question of private vs. public ownership of land and natural resources generally, but it may be pointed out that the principle of private property in land does not justify the appropriation of nature's gifts by the few, and the exclusion of the many from the enjoyment of those gifts. There are no agricultural trusts in America, because of the beneficent operation of the homestead acts and the virtual application of the occupancy-anduse principle. Have the right principles been followed in the disposition of other parts of the general inheritance—mines, for example? Voices have been raised for the acquisition by the public of the anthracite coal mines, and whatever we may think of the merit of the plan, it involves a recognition of a fundamental fact. If it can be shown that trusts derive their power, not from the possession of capital, but from special privileges related to natural opportunity, will not the remedy have to be sought in establishment of equality of opportunity?
Finally, since there is so general an agreement as to the necessity of preserving potential competition as a check upon actual monopoly, has not the question of credit, the supply of capital to the business community by the banks, been unduly neglected so far as it bears on the possibilities of competition? A rigid, inadequate, crude currency and banking system favors
concentration and monopoly. It discourages limited enterprises by prohibitory interest rates. Branch banking and asset currency would constitute anti-trust agents of no mean influence, though they are fiercely opposed by the average man on account of their supposed tendency to monopoly in credit and banking.
To each of these remedial proposals objections are offered, but is not this true of any anti-trust suggestion? None meets with universal acceptance, and reform by unanimous consent is someting unknown in politico-social history. The individualists have nothing better to propose; they believe that the indicated remedies would be adequate. But it is impossible to blink the fact that society is disposed to try restrictive and prohibitive measures first. Monopoly is making conscious and unconscious socialists at an amazing rate.
VICTOR S. YARROS.
THE BASIS OF SOCIALITY.
TO JOIN the hue and cry against Spencer's analogical comparison of society with an organism, though popular in certain sociological circles, is paying but scant respect to the real value of one of the pioneer attempts to secure a scientific basis for that foundling science-sociology. As a heuristisches Princip its most perdurable value lies in the fact that it has materially aided in the consideration of the sociological as a continuation of the biological. Strictly speaking, the biological probably includes human interaction or the social phenomena of human life, but for the purposes of a division of labor in the scientific world there has been a strong unconscious, though some unkind critic will say all too conscious, current in favor of founding a new discipline and department of human knowledge. Certainly the problems are ample enough to justify the division, and despite the similarity of laws the differences are sufficient to mark the boundaries of a new province of scientific research. Darwin's Origin of Species was really a description of organic technology, and the extra-organic sense and motor organs of social evolution are but the extensions of the tools and instruments which were so successful in the organic conflict. Organic heredity is continued in social heredity, the instinctive giving way, as second in importance, to oral and written tradition and the transmission of institutional life. The organic gains of the individual become objectified and perpetuated for all time in the environment, and an attainable object of possession for all socially minded people. The language of gestures of organic biology becomes the language of symbols with its priceless economy of time and labor. These laws and many others provide ample scope for the most untiring laborer and the most brilliant genius in the field of research. Spencer's analogy, therefore, is insufficient, and the attempt to base sociology on the specifications laid down for an organism is but little superior to the attempts of certain other sociologists who find all sociology bound up in the consciousness