Search America's historic newspaper pages from 1789-1963 or use the U.S. Newspaper Directory to find information about American newspapers published between 1690-present. Chronicling America is sponsored jointly by the
National Endowment for the Humanities and the Library of Congress. external link Learn more
Image provided by: Central Michigan University, Clark Historical Library
Newspaper Page Text
THE B3EA3RBOE22J msmPSiWSm
.hJm isLfU- 'ITHX Mr. Ford's Page 1 Ml i j i rs i i H 111 II HJUIMMIIIIBIITM k .1 V v -.A- Till- year has given us many vivid illustra tions, if not new revelations, of the pe culiar instability of human nature and the tendency of mankind to take very short and narrow view of its grated problems. It is now common- place of daily Ipeecll that the outlook which men thought the had at the beginning of 1919 has proved delusive. We expected many thingl to come during the year which have not come, and the reason is that we did not make them come. Nothing "comes" that we do not bring in with us through intelligent purpose and well-direeted effort It there is one point which should be emphasized more than another for onr COUntel during the year that is before us, it is this; wt must think mueh more broadly than we have and w must generate a new insistence that the people s thinking shall lu put into Operation by the people's servants. National thought must register itself in order to be effective; it must register itself upon those institutions of government which can give it effect. There is just a danger here that such counsel will meet needless opposition because of its apparent disregard of the reasons why nun take short-sighted and narrow views of the situation. W hen it is a matter oi keeping a fire in his own cookstove a man cannot be expected to sit down coolly and consider the whole ques tion oi ownership, control and distribution of natural resources as it appears in the coal situation. And when it is a question of hav ing to obtain bread enough for the next meal a man cannot be expected to take it calmly and make the needs of his family lecondary to "the solution of the social question" as such. The sense of personal injustice, of pressure, of emergency need; the urge to immediate effort, instant gain, in or der to keep the home going these do not assist the frame of mind in which a man may think nationally, interna tionally or socially. Of course, it is a question how much i actual need there is in the Inited States at this time. There is probably 1 ss than ever before. Certainly, in the ordinary sense, there is little reason for need among the people today. T B UT there is unquestionably more anxiety than for many years past. The mental pressure is very great. Peo ple are not suffering physically, but they .oe suffering a feeling of uncertainty. 1 hey have money, they have what they need; certainly the expenditures for lux uries in the I nited States this winter indicates a very widely diffused financial prosperity; but there is with it all a feeling of deep insecurity, a fear of change, a sense of shifting foundations, and. worse than all. a conviction that we are i utering a region where no foresight, no political or economic theories, and no experience can guide us. This mental agitation, then, and this absence of actual pressing physical suffering, ought to make the best compound of circum stances in which to do broad thinking. Whatever the next order of progress will be we may be sure of this; it will be nothing other than what the people think it ought he. These things are built first out of thought, and thought is built in people. We blow a few things to begin with. We know that it is possible for one man to succeed at the cost of another's failure. We know that it is possible for one line of business to succeed at the expense of another necessary line of business. We have seen iuch things happen. We know also that it is possible to "speed up business" without uiy relation whatever between the public need for what we have to lUpply and the service which can be supplied by the article we til. All of us liav.. s.tm siuh times of prosperity when there IIN KING in narrow circles that is one cause of present conditions. No deal is ever confined to the two per sons who deal. To "make money" may be to unmake all that gives money its value. Artificial prosperity is always paid for twice. Conscience ana common sense, the two great guardians, of the moral and practical worlds, are sorely needed now. great counting of money dividends, all without the slightest Increase in the world's wealth or the lUghtes! increase in the world's ability to make life more livable. It is one ol the most enlightening lubjecti we can study th way in whieh "busings' can be made out oi wasted labor, wasted material, etwftess fust about thingi thai not only waste nature's products but human energy too. and serve only to distribute various degrees of harmfulness. If we could Iran, but one thing this year, and that thing this: that to make money" is not necessarily to do anything constructive or serviceable it would be a very valuable lesson. Everyone has been altogether too keen on the money end of the business. The immediate reward the short-v.ew purpose, the cateh-as-catch can method of artificial trading these are the practices which bung ui to a periodica ac counting with the laws of life, and these are the practices which we usually resume once the way opens up again. The resumption of "non-essentiar industries in full iwing a few months after the war. and still increasing their volume at a time and in a world where a dangerous shortage of essentials still iMs, is an illustration of this tendency. THE only honorable way of "making money is to make those articles and perform those sericrs which res! upon a solid basis of need and value, in whose creation there is no waste, in whose use there is no vanity. To put this matter on strictly moral grounds, labor is jut as culpable when it offers itself for my purpose that will pay its price, as is capi tal wnen it serves a wasteful and harmful desire of humanity because it "pa v" Labor must think of these things, and think seriously. We must get a con science as to the things we work on. Not only must we make certain that the day's work will give US the da pay, but we must be certain that after we give the day's work to our employer, be in turn will use it to the advantage and service of society. Conscience and common sense would very soon weed out non-essential, arti ficial and wasteful Industries, and would very soon put SOUnd industries on a sound basis of service and reward. And when we have mentioned C0- scienc and common ttnst we have struck bottom, for these are the essential marks of human value. And in that order, too; for conscience, as the moral element, must always come first; and common sense, the intellectual element, second, as the servant of conscience. The world has been working and Complaining, waiting and hop ing for a long time, and its progress in mastering the philosophy of the day's work has not been very great, for the simple rea son that the day's work has not been generally considered in its widest relations. Men have not generally gone very far beyond their own immediate interest in considering it. Is it strange, there fore, that the whole economic skein gets tangled at times? No. It is only strange that the tangling doesn't come oftener and in more serious terms. It would more than double the chance of a new world order, set not in wrath and disruption but in wisdom and good J we made it one of our New Year's resolutions to think in wider circles. And to think in these wider circles not only with reference to the justice we feel WC should receive from the world, but alo the serious justice which the world is entitled to rWCerff iiom uv We are over-ready to think of ourselves always as recipients, but we are also gisers. and it is the qualit of the giftl gicn b the plain people that determines the character of life. It is not onl what Capital will do, but what labor will do and was a great clinking of coin, and a great rush of sales, and a uot as a class but as humanity-that will determine the future.