The laws of physics (ultimately) evendetermine our decisions about which side to takein a college bull session about "predestination versus free will."
There are, at present, according to Carroll D. Wright's governmental statistics, on an average, over one million able-bodied men in the United States willing to work, yet unable to find employment. The pressure of these upon the ranks of the employed effectually prevents wages rising above the point of mere subsistence. Hence the very fact that we in the United States have such a fertile soil, in such unlimited quantities, such ingenious labor-saving machinery, together with an industrious and intelligent population, tends to make the problem of the unemployed but the more threatening, since these very elements only conduce to an enormous product per capita, with no corresponding methods of distribution. The old-time argument,that our great farming population, with its members all owning their own homes, would always prove an inseparable barrier to Socialism in the United States, is completely out of date, now-a-days, seeing that the greater part of our farmers are already proletarians, while the few that still own their own farms are hopelessly in debt, and even they are demanding the most Socialistic measures, such as national warehouses for grain, and nationalization of railways. Considering how near at hand is the great social metamorphosis, I would earnestly advise the readers of these exceedingly clever and able essays to give them deepest thought. They express clearly the nature of the crisis through which we are now passing, a crisis in which none who well understand it can fail to be vitally interested. We are now swinging on the hinge of destiny, we are in the transition state of the greatest sociologic event that history has yet recorded. Let him who runs, read.
The story of the growth of capitalism is not yet complete. The "ring" is being succeeded by a more elaborate organization known as the "trust." Although in England great combinations like the Salt Union are rapidly rising, yet we must again travel to America to learn what the so-called "trust" is. The fullest information on the subject of trusts is contained in a report of a Committee of the New York State Legislature, which was appointed to investigate the new combination. The following trusts were inquired into: Sugar, milk, rubber, cotton-seed oil, envelope, elevator, oil cloth, Standard oil, butchers', glass, and furniture. A trust is defined by the Committee as a combination "to destroy competition and to restrain trade through the stockholders therein combining with other corporations or stockholders to form a joint-stock company of corporations, in effect renouncing the powers of such several corporations, and placing all powers in the hands of trustees." The general purposes and effects are stated to be "to control the supply of commodities and necessities; to destroy competition; to regulate the quality; and to keep the cost to the consumer at prices far beyond their fair and equitable value." It is unnecessary to deal with all these trusts, which possess certain features in common. I will select one or two, particularly the great Standard Oil Trust and the Cotton-seed Oil Trust.
The Standard Oil Trust is probably the largest singlebusiness monopoly in the world, the value of all its included interests being estimated, according to the evidence submitted, at £29,600,000. In the report it is described as "one of the most active and possibly the most formidable moneyed power on this continent. Its influence reaches into every State, and is felt in remote villages; and the products of its refineries seek a market in almost every seaport on the globe." The germ of this huge monopoly was a small petroleum refinery near Cleveland, bought by one Rockefeller, a book-keeper in a store, and a friend of his, a porter, with borrowed money. Rockefeller formed an acquaintance with a rich whiskey distiller, who advanced money and put his son-in-law Flagler into the business. This person's doctrines are thus described: "He says that there is no damned sentiment about business; that he knows no friendship in trade; and that if he gets his business rival in a hole he means to keep him there." Such a man is eminently fitted to be the founder of a monopoly: he is a hero of self-help; for he helps himself to anything he can lay his hands on. A second refinery was established in Ohio, and a warehouse opened in New York. The concern grew, and was incorporated as the Standard Oil Company. It is charged with having secured special legislation by judicious expenditure in the lobbies of the Ohio and Pennsylvania Legislatures. By entering into arrangements with the trunk railway lines, it secured special rates for transit. New refineries were established and new oil lands in Pennsylvania acquired; the capital was increased; and an enormous yearly business was done. After a time the company controlled every avenue of transportation; managed all the largest refineries in the land; and was able to shut off every competitor from either receiving supplies or shipping its products. New companies, nominally distinct,but all under the control of the same men, were incorporated in New Jersey, Ohio, West Virginia, and other States. The monopoly elected one of its chief stockholders into the United States Senate, it is said, through bribery in the Ohio Legislature, over which body it certainly acquired strong hold. These tactics were known as "coal oil politics." All the dirty work was, of course, done through agents, the directors pretending perfect innocence. In 1882 the Standard Oil Companies were consolidated into the Standard Oil Trust. The stockholders surrendered their stock to the trustees, nine in number, created under the agreement, and received certificates in the place thereof, the representatives of the Trust and the stockholders in the refineries making a joint valuation of the refineries, and the certificates being issued to that amount. Thus the separate concerns were merged in one gigantic business, controlled by nine men (owning a majority of the stock), having a monopoly of nearly all the oil lands in America, controlling legislative votes, forming a solid alliance with the railway and shipping interests, and determining to a gallon how much oil shall be produced and refined, and to a fraction of a cent what shall be its price. In 1887 there was a cash dividend of 10 per cent. declared, besides a stock dividend of 20 per cent. on the certificates of four years' aggregation. In addition to the emormous stock they hold, the trustees receive an annual salary of £5,000. What are the economic results of this combination? It has not raised prices, as the trusts were charged by the committee with doing. On the contrary there has been a steady decrease in price during the decade 1877-1887. The consumption of oil has also enormously increased. The working and producing expenses have been greatly lowered by the dismissal of needless labor and vast improvements in machinery; the pipe lines controlled by the trust having displaced 5,700 teams of horses and 11,400 men in handling the oil. Thus of this trust we may say that though the means used to establish it were morally doubtful or even bad, the political results disastrous, the economic results have been beneficial, except in the matter of helping to form an unemployed class through the dismissal of needless labor consequent on the development of machinery.
Combinations in the United States have been made by the Western millers, the New York icemen, Boston fish dealers, manufacturers of sewer pipe, copper miners, makers of lamps, pottery, glass, hoop-iron, shot, rivets, candy, starch, sugar, preserved fruits, glucose, chairs, vapor stoves, lime, rubber, screws, chains, harvesting machinery, pins, salt, hardware, type, brass tubing, silk and wire. In these trades freedom of production and sale has been for a time partially or wholly destroyed. The American business man is very angry when boycotting is resorted to by workmen; but he is quite ready to boycott others when his interests lead that way. The stamped tinware makers in 1882 formed a ring and expelled members who sold at lower prices than the fixed rates, and refused to allow anyone in the pool to sell to the offenders. Some of theprevious facts are taken from an article by Mr. Henry D. Lloyd, who has investigated capitalist combinations with much knowledge and insight. From the same article I quote the following:
Thanks for comment. It is inappropriate, in my opinion, in serious writing (and in almost all forms of communication, for that matter). It is used in the essay as an example because it is common in speech as metaphor, but in creating literary stories, it reflects both poor writing and storytelling . . . and should not be used with the argument it defines character through dialogue the character would use–an argument that indicates poor authorial choice.
Again, thanks. WHC
By "revolution" is to be understood, of course, not violence, but a complete change of system; and by "revolutionists," those who advocate such a complete change. As Lassalle reminded us years ago, trifling reforms may be, and often have been, accompanied by excessive bloodshed, while revolutions have worked themselves out in the profoundest tranquillity.
Both spellings are variations of weird, which in Shakespeare's time did not mean "freakish," but "fateful" - having to do with the determination of destinies....
The social revolution, when it does come, must soon be international, (though resting perhaps for a period upon national Socialism). I imagine, for instance, that on gaining universal suffrage, Belgium's proletariat should expropriate the capitalists and inaugurate a successful coöperative commonwealth. Is it possible to conceive that workingmen of all nations would not make a successful demand for the establishment of a like social system in their own respective countries? Moreover, the general industrial condition of the great nations is approximately the same. All complain of overproduction. All are vainly trying to solve the question of the unemployed; in all the tendency to great social change is a marked feature. In all the great capitalists, crushing out their smaller rivals and concentrating wealth into fewer and fewer hands, are the true progenitors of the revolution.
Believing in predestination frees people from worry. Talking about unalterabledestiny is extremely popular among soldiers going into battle -- a powerful antidoteto obessive fear that would slow or distract a warrior.
In the US, the "Free Will Baptist" denominationemphasized evangelization and need to work hard to bringothers to Christ, against those who thoughtthat God's predestination made this unnecessary.Some Hindus and Buddhistshave taught that a person's behavior ina past life predestines happiness or misery in the current one,by the laws of karma.
Desire and motivation provide the quality, power, and credibility of why characters do what they do. This essay provides ideas and examples for writers aspiring to improve characterization and plot by expanding ideas about desire and motivation.