One illustration will serve for almost every phase of the cause. In the manufacture of products we have the whole story. It applies to all combinations of human industry, as stimulated and enlarged by the inventions of this scientific age. Formerly articles were manufactured at the domestic hearth or in small shops which formed part of the household. The master and his apprentices worked side by side, the latter living with the master, and therefore subject to the same conditions.
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When these apprentices rose to be masters, there was little or no change in their mode of life, and they, in turn, educated in the same routine succeeding apprentices. There was, substantially social equality, and even political equality, for those engaged in industrial pursuits had then little or no political voice in the State. What were the luxuries have become the necessaries of life. The laborer has now more comforts than the landlord had a few generations ago.
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But the inevitable result of such a mode of manufacture was crude articles at high prices. Today the world obtains commodities of excellent quality at prices which even the generation preceding this would have deemed incredible. In the commercial world similar causes have produced similar results, and the race is benefited thereby.
The poor enjoy what the rich could not before afford. The farmer has more luxuries than the landlord had, and is more richly clad and better housed. The landlord has books and pictures rarer, and appointments more artistic, than the King could then obtain. The price we pay for this salutary change is, no doubt, great. We assemble thousands of operatives in the factory, in the mine, and in the counting-house, of whom the employer can know little or nothing, and to whom the employer is little better than a myth.
All intercourse between them is at an end. Rigid castes are formed, and, as usual, mutual ignorance breeds mutual distrust. Each caste is without sympathy for the other, and ready to credit anything disparaging in regard to it. Under the law of competition, the employer of thousands is forced into the strictest economies, among which the rates paid to labor figure prominently, and often there is friction between the employer and the employed, between capital and labor, between rich and poor.
Human society loses homogeneity. The price which society pays for the law of competition, like the price it pays for cheap comforts and luxuries, is also great; but the advantage of this law are also greater still, for it is to this law that we owe our wonderful material development, which brings improved conditions in its train.
But, whether the law be benign or not, we must say of it, as we say of the change in the conditions of men to which we have referred: It is here; we cannot evade it; no substitutes for it have been found; and while the law may be sometimes hard for the individual, it is best for the race, because it insures the survival of the fittest in every department. We accept and welcome therefore, as conditions to which we must accommodate ourselves, great inequality of environment, the concentration of business, industrial and commercial, in the hands of a few, and the law of competition between these, as being not only beneficial, but essential for the future progress of the race.
Having accepted these, it follows that there must be great scope for the exercise of special ability in the merchant and in the manufacturer who has to conduct affairs upon a great scale. That this talent for organization and management is rare among men is proved by the fact that it invariably secures for its possessor enormous rewards, no matter where or under what laws or conditions. The experienced in affairs always rate the MAN whose services can be obtained as a partner as not only the first consideration, but such as to render the question of his capital scarcely worth considering, for such men soon create capital; while, without the special talent required, capital soon takes wings.
Such men become interested in firms or corporations using millions; and estimating only simple interest to be made upon the capital invested, it is inevitable that their income must exceed their expenditures, and that they must accumulate wealth. Nor is there any middle ground which such men can occupy, because the great manufacturing or commercial concern which does not earn at least interest upon its capital soon becomes bankrupt.
It is a condition essential for its successful operation that it should be thus far profitable, and even that, in addition to interest on capital, it should make profit. It is a law, as certain as any of the others named, that men possessed of this peculiar talent for affair, under the free play of economic forces, must, of necessity, soon be in receipt of more revenue than can be judiciously expended upon themselves; and this law is as beneficial for the race as the others.
Objections to the foundations upon which society is based are not in order, because the condition of the race is better with these than it has been with any others which have been tried. Of the effect of any new substitutes proposed we cannot be sure. The Socialist or Anarchist who seeks to overturn present conditions is to be regarded as attacking the foundation upon which civilization itself rests, for civilization took its start from the day that the capable, industrious workman said to his incompetent and lazy fellow, "If thou dost not sow, thou shalt not reap," and thus ended primitive Communism by separating the drones from the bees.
One who studies this subject will soon be brought face to face with the conclusion that upon the sacredness of property civilization itself depends--the right of the laborer to his hundred dollars in the savings bank, and equally the legal right of the millionaire to his millions. To these who propose to substitute Communism for this intense Individualism the answer, therefore, is: The race has tried that. All progress from that barbarous day to the present time has resulted from its displacement. Not evil, but good, has come to the race from the accumulation of wealth by those who have the ability and energy that produce it.
But even if we admit for a moment that it might be better for the race to discard its present foundation, Individualism,—that it is a nobler ideal that man should labor, not for himself alone, but in and for a brotherhood of his fellows, and share with them all in common, realizing Swedenborg's idea of Heaven, where, as he says, the angels derive their happiness, not from laboring for self, but for each other,—even admit all this, and a sufficient answer is, This is not evolution, but revolution.
It necessitates the changing of human nature itself a work of eons, even if it were good to change it, which we cannot know. It is not practicable in our day or in our age. Even if desirable theoretically, it belongs to another and long-succeeding sociological stratum. Our duty is with what is practicable now; with the next step possible in our day and generation.
It is criminal to waste our energies in endeavoring to uproot, when all we can profitably or possibly accomplish is to bend the universal tree of humanity a little in the direction most favorable to the production of good fruit under existing circumstances. We might as well urge the destruction of the highest existing type of man because he failed to reach our ideal as favor the destruction of Individualism, Private Property, the Law of Accumulation of Wealth, and the Law of Competition; for these are the highest results of human experience, the soil in which society so far has produced the best fruit.
Unequally or unjustly, perhaps, as these laws sometimes operate, and imperfect as they appear to the Idealist, they are, nevertheless, like the highest type of man, the best and most valuable of all that humanity has yet accomplished. We start, then, with a condition of affairs under which the best interests of the race are promoted, but which inevitably gives wealth to the few. Thus far, accepting conditions as they exist, the situation can be surveyed and pronounced good. The question then arises,—and, if the foregoing be correct, it is the only question with which we have to deal,—What is the proper mode of administering wealth after the laws upon which civilization is founded have thrown it into the hands of the few?
And it is of this great question that I believe I offer the true solution. It will be understood that fortunes are here spoken of, not moderate sums saved by many years of effort, the returns on which are required for the comfortable maintenance and education of families. This is not wealth, but only competence which it should be the aim of all to acquire.
There are but three modes in which surplus wealth can be disposed of. Under the first and second modes most of the wealth of the world that has reached the few has hitherto been applied. Let us in turn consider each of these modes. The first is the most injudicious. In monarchical countries, the estates and the greatest portion of the wealth are left to the first son, that the vanity of the parent may be gratified by the thought that his name and title are to descend to succeeding generations unimpaired.
The condition of this class in Europe to-day teaches the futility of such hopes or ambitions. The successors have become impoverished through their follies or from the fall in the value of land.
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Even in Great Britain the strict law of entail has been found inadequate to maintain the status of an hereditary class. Its soil is rapidly passing into the hands of the stranger. Under republican institutions the division of property among the children is much fairer, but the question which forces itself upon thoughtful men in all lands is: Why should men leave great fortunes to their children? If this is done from affection, is it not misguided affection? Observation teaches that, generally speaking, it is not well for the children that they should be so burdened.
Neither is it well for the state. Beyond providing for the wife and daughters moderate sources of income, and very moderate allowances indeed, if any, for the sons, men may well hesitate, for it is no longer questionable that great sums bequeathed oftener work more for the injury than for the good of the recipients.
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Wise men will soon conclude that, for the best interests of the members of their families and of the state, such bequests are an improper use of their means. It is not suggested that men who have failed to educate their sons to earn a livelihood shall cast them adrift in poverty.
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There are instances of millionaires' sons unspoiled by wealth, who, being rich, still perform great services in the community. Such are the very salt of the earth, as valuable as, unfortunately, they are rare; still it is not the exception, but the rule, that men must regard, and, looking at the usual result of enormous sums conferred upon legatees, the thoughtful man must shortly say, "I would as soon leave to my son a curse as the almighty dollar," and admit to himself that it is not the welfare of the children, but family pride, which inspires these enormous legacies.
As to the second mode, that of leaving wealth at death for public uses, it may be said that this is only a means for the disposal of wealth, provided a man is content to wait until he is dead before it becomes of much good in the world. Knowledge of the results of legacies bequeathed is not calculated to inspire the brightest hopes of much posthumous good being accomplished.
The cases are not few in which the real object sought by the testator is not attained, nor are they few in which his real wishes are thwarted. In many cases the bequests are so used as to become only monuments of his folly. It is well to remember that it requires the exercise of not less ability than that which acquired the wealth to use it so as to be really beneficial to the community.
Besides this, it may fairly be said that no man is to be extolled for doing what he cannot help doing, nor is he to be thanked by the community to which he only leaves wealth at death. Men who leave vast sums in this way may fairly be thought men who would not have left it at all, had they been able to take it with them. The memories of such cannot be held in grateful remembrance, for there is no grace in their gifts. The church follows what it understands to be the teachings of Jesus, both in the Bible and in other scriptures, such as the Book of Mormon.
According to that book, Jesus Christ is "the Son of God, the Father of heaven and earth, the Creator of all things from the beginning; and his mother shall be called Mary. This is one sense in which he shares the title "Father" with God the Father. Because he has the "Divine Investiture of Authority" from the Father, the church teaches that Jesus Christ often speaks in the scriptures as though he were God the Father, because in so doing he is representing the Father.
The church teaches that those who accept Christ and are baptized are symbolically born again and become the children of Christ. The church also believes in the physical resurrection of Jesus' body. Instead, the church tends to focus on the belief that Jesus overcame suffering and death and that he lives today. The Holy Ghost is regarded as "a being endowed with the attributes and powers of Deity and not a mere force or essence. And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you forever. The plan of salvation or gospel of Christ is a series of steps, a continuum, or means to come to God through the mediation of Jesus.
It comprises those teachings of Christ which enable a mortal man or woman to overcome the fall of Adam and Eve in his or her life, and ultimately return to the presence of God, to enjoy the kind of life lived by God the Father, or, more succinctly, "exaltation", also known as "eternal life". The specific teachings include the fact that Adam and Eve fell, becoming subject to the temptations of the devil, bringing upon themselves and their posterity both physical death and spiritual death, separating themselves from God.
As a remedy for Adam and Eve's predicament, consistent with God's nature and objective to produce divine heirs, God gave Adam and his posterity the moral agency and choice to either 1 follow and serve Christ, or 2 follow and serve Satan Mosiah To overcome the lasting effects of the fall, Christ offered himself an infinite sacrifice for the sins of all those willing to repent and enter into a covenant with him, trusting in his righteousness or merits for salvation Alma ; Moroni , while all the rest must depend on their own good works for salvation, or answer the ends of the law themselves, falling short of the glory of God 2 Nephi —26 ; Romans Furthermore, Christ brought about the universal resurrection of all men and women, as they were not responsible for the fall, leaving them to account only for their own deeds in the flesh Articles of Faith ; Alma — Also, as the agent of the Father and judge of all, Christ is able to be both merciful and just John ; Romans To obtain his mercy, or be saved from his wrath on the day of judgment, men and women must 1 have faith in Christ, 2 repent of their sins, 3 be baptized by one of his authorized agents in water in the likeness of his burial, to come forth born again of the Spirit, 4 receive the Holy Ghost by the laying on of hands, again by an authorized servant of God bearing his priesthood, and 5 endure with faith in Christ and repentance from sins to the end of their mortal lives.
See also 2 Nephi —30 ; Articles of Faith —4. Multiple scriptural names for this limited and oft-repeated body of teachings are: gospel of Jesus Christ 3 Nephi —22 , doctrine of Christ 3 Nephi —41 , plan of salvation, plan of redemption Alma —41 , words of eternal life John , gospel of repentance, gospel of baptism, gospel of salvation, good tidings Isaiah , our report Isaiah , gospel of the kingdom Matthew , good tidings of great joy Luke , gospel of the grace of God Acts , gospel of peace Romans , "good news," and other equivalent names. Once a man or woman has obeyed the first principles of the gospel, he or she must press forward, feasting on the words of Christ, going on to perfection through Christ Hebrews —14 ; Hebrews —3.
The plan of salvation describes humanity's place in the universe and the purpose of life. The church teaches that there was a pre-mortal existence , a place which existed prior to mortality in which all people and all life were created in spirit form.