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I have spoken of causes which affect the laborer's bone and sinew, his physical integrity and his muscular activity.
I have spoken also of causes which affect his intellectual qualification for his work, the intelligence which shall direct his bodily powers to the end of production. The causes now in view are moral, affecting the will.
After all, it is in the moral elements of industry that we find the most potent cause of differences in efficiency. If it constitutes one a sentimentalist to recognize the power of sentiment in human action, whether in politics or in economics, the writer gladly accepts the appellation. Cheerfulness and hopefulness in the laborer are the spring of exertions in comparison with which the brute strength of the slave or the eye-server is but weakness.
The inferiority of the labor of the slave' to that of the freeman, even of the lowest industrial grade, is proverbial. Slave labor is always and everywhere ineffective and waste ful because it has not its reward.' No matter how complete the authority of the master over the person and the life, he cannot command all the faculties of his slave. The slave may be made to work, but he can not be made to think; he may be made to work, but he can not be kept from waste; to work, indeed, but not with energy. Energy is not to be commanded, it must be called forth by hope, ambition, and aspiration. The whip only stimulates the flesh on which it is laid. It does not reach the parts of the man where lie the springs of action. No brutality of rule can evoke even the whole physical power of a human being. The man himself, even if he would, can not
* Prof. Cairnes, in his able work on “ The Slave Power," sums up the economical defects of slave labor under three heads : “ It is given reluctantly ; it is unskilful ; it is wanting in versatility." (P. 44.)
*" The experience of all ages and nations, I believe, demonstrates that the work done by slaves, though it appears to cost only their maintenance, is, in the end, the dearest of any. A person who can acquire no property can heve no other interest but to eat as much and to labor as little as possible." -Adam Smith, Wealth of Nations, i. 390, 391.
render his own best service unless some passion of the higher nature, love, gratitude, or hope, be awakened. The nervous force, which is to the muscular what the steam is to the parts of the engine, is only in a small degree under the control of the conscious will. It is a little fire only that fear kindles, and it is a little force only that is gene. rated thereby to move the frame. I speak of fear alone, that is, mere fear of evil. When love of life and home and friends are present and give meaning to fear, the utmost energies may be evoked; but not by fear alone, which is, the rather, paralyzing in its effect.
Were it not for this impotence of the lash, the nations would either not have risen from the once almost universal condition of servitude, or would have risen far more slowly. The slave has always been able to make it for his master's interest to sell him freedom. He could always afford to pay more than could be made out of him. This is a wellrecognized principle, and hence the former slave States of the American Union, building their political and social institutions on slavery as the corner-stone, had to forbid entirely or to put under serious disabilities the exercise of manumission. Even with the little the brutalized black could apprehend of the privileges of freedom, even with his feeble hopes and aspirations, condemned, as he knew, by his color to perpetual exclusion, he could always buy himself if permitted. This unprofitableness of slave or bond labor' has prepared the way for those great changes, generally, it is true, effected immediately under the pressure of political necessities,' which have transformed whole populations of slaves or serfs into nations of freemen.
* Mr. Turnbull, in his work on Austria, says: “A large Bohemian proprietor, who with his brothers counted on their estates 18,000 subjects, has frequently observed to me that he found it usually more advantageous to accept even a very small part of the legal commntation-money, and to hire labor from others, than to take it in kind from those who were bound to yield it."
• Instance the action of the nobles of Hungary, at the outbreak of
But great as is the superiority, arising from this cause alone, of free over serf or slave labor, the difference is yet not so great as exists between grades of free labor, as cheerfulness and hopefulness in labor, due to self-respect and social ambition, are found, in greater or in less degree, animating classes and communities of laborers.
It is in the proprietor of land under equal laws that we find the moral qualities which are the incentive of industry most highly developed. Arthur Young's saying bas become proverbial : “ Give a man the secure possession of a bleak rock, and he will turn it into a garden ;”” as also his other saying, “ The magic of property turns sand into gold.” The energy which fear and pain can not command, joy and hope call forth in its utmost possibilities. The man not only will, he can. The waste of muscular force is perhaps not half as great in toil which is taken up freely and gladly. Nervous exhaustion comes late and comes slowly when the laborer sees his reward manifestly growing before his eyes.
It is the fulness and the directness of this relation of labor to its reward which, without bell or whip, drives the peasant proprietor afield, and,
"From the rising of the lark to the lodging of the lamb,”
the revolution of 1848, in transmuting the urbarial tenure of lands into unrestricted tenure by freehold. “By this great and voluntary concession," says Alison, " the property of 500,000 families, consisting of little estates from 30 to 60 acres each, and comprehending nearly half a kingdom, was at once converted from a feudal tenure, burdened with numerous duties, into absolute property.”-History of Europe, xxii. 612.
1“ An activity has been here that has swept away all difficulties before it, and has clothed the very rocks with verdure. It would be a disgrace to common-sense to ask the cause : the enjoyment of proper. ty must have done it. Give a man the secure possession of a bleak rock, and he will turn it into a garden; give him a nine years lease of a garden, and he will convert it into a desert.”—Travels in France, Pinkerton, iv. 122.
* How the magic of property turns sand into mold, a truer source of wealth than placers or auriferous quartz, has been shown in the maritime districts of Belgium,
employs his every energy, directed by all his intelligence, towards the maximum of production with the minimum of loss and waste. Thus it is that Mr. Inglis describes the peasantry of Zurich :
“When I used to open my casement, between four and five in the morning, to look out upon the lake and the distant Alps, I saw the laborer in the fields; and when I returned from an evening walk, long after sunset, as late perhaps as half past eight, there was the laborer, mowing his grass or tying up his vines.”
“No men in the world,” says Prof. Hearn, “exhibit a greater degree of habitual energy than the Scottish subjects of Queen Victoria ; yet when her great-grandfather was heir to the throne, the Scottish people were conspicuous for their incorrigible indolence. The lazy Scotch were in the last century as notorious as the lazy Irish' of a later day. In both countries a like effect was produced by a like
When we turn from the proprietor of land to the hired laborer, we note at once a loss of energy. In the constitution of things it can not be otherwise. When the relation of labor to its reward becomes indirect and contingent, and the workman finds that the difference, to himself, of very faithful or but little faithful service is only to be experienced in a remote and roundabout way, according as the master's future ability to employ him may be in a degree affected thereby, his own present wages being fixed by contract, and secure upon compliance with the formal requirements of service; or according as his own reputation for efficiency or inefficiency may lead to his being longer retained or earlier discharged, in the event of a future reduction of force-I say, when the relation of labor
· Arthur Young in 1777 described the Irish as “ lazy to an excess at work, but spiritedly active at play" (Pinkerton, iii. 872.) When the Irishman has a fair chance under equal laws, he imports all this activity into his work.
• Plutology, p. 41.
to its reward becomes thus indirect and contingent, the workman not only will not, he can not, being man, labor as he would labor for himself. Even without the least wilful intention to shirk exertion or responsibility, there will be, there must be, a falling off in energy and in carefulness : a falling off which will make a vast difference in production long before it is sufficiently a subject of consciousness on the part of the laborer himself to become "eye-service," or of observation on the part of the employer to lead to complaint.
But the loss of energy and carefulness due to the making distant or doubtful the reward of extra exertion on the part of the workman, will be much greater with some than with others under precisely similar conditions, and will vary greatly, also, as conditions vary. Whether it be superiority in faith, in conscience, or in imagination, that makes the difference, there are those who can work in another's cause almost as zealously and prudently as if it were in their own. Such men more clearly apprehend, however they come to do it, the indirect and remote rewards of zeal and fidelity, or, apprehending these no more strongly than others, they are yet better able to direct their energies to an end, and control and keep under the appetites and impulses which make against a settled purpose. Some men, some races of men, are easily recognized as more genuine, honest, and heroic than others, and these differences in manly quality come out nowhere more conspicuously than in the degrees of interest and zeal exhibited in hired labor.
I have not chosen to introduce into the body of the foregoing discussion the effects of drunkenness and dishonesty
'I will guard myself against a critic's sneer at the introduction of this word into a treatise on wages by citing Mr. Mill's remark, “ It is very shallow, even in pure economics, to take no account of the influence of imagination.”-Pol. Econ., i. 392, 893.