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Machinery v. Men.

An American Press correspondent recently wrote :—That there is some defect in the Bocial and industrial arrangements in America is clear from the clamor that is everywhere raised against machinery. Machines take men's places. Machines do not eat nor have families to feed ; men do ; therefor© machines must give place to men. The cry of overproduction reveals another defect in our social and industrial system. Over-pro-duction when people are in need and want! The trouble with machinery is that it is owned by private citizens. They are men who have toiled and saved and invested. They are fearful of losses, so they strive to adjust the production to the demand. Shield them from possible losses, and they would gladly let the machinery run and do all it could for humanity. If mankind has wit enough to solve the problem of supplying human wants and needs by machinery, without stopping from fear of over-production, it must use past experience in the solution, and not cut away from it; and so must manage to make use of the ' tremendous power that is for mankhri in private ownership. In 1780 Arthur Young told of the wretched condition of the people in every part of France. In 188!) Miss Betham Edwards went over Arthur Young's route of a century before. She found the same country rich and fertile as a garden, and thf* poonlu not only prosperous but rich. What m«de the difference 1 Private ownership of tho land and its products. "There ;irc in France now sumo eight millions of person:; who own the soil, the great mass if whom are peasants." That wrought the transformation from penury to plenty. The providence that governs the world is constantly bringing what seems to be wrong tendencies to right ends. Trusts and syndicates and pools all seemed to be going the wrong way. They desire to limit production while Want is holding out its empty hands on all sides. What Want needs is not leys production but mors, not scarcity but plenty. The laboring people clamor for shorter hours, form Unions, try to shut out other workers, and prevent pjenty. Now the farmers are organising on the same line. They will form a fanners' trust that will control farm production by witholding grains from the markets until the prices are favorable, though the hungry famish for bread, There is a break up of tho old competitive system now going 011 everywhere, Political parties, schools, and churches are as powerless to bring back the old order of things—competition, small tradesmen, and supply and demand—-as they are to restore the cave-dweller. It may be that the way to restore the former things, if they ought to be restored, is to abolish private ownership of production and producing forces. If the people, instead of the individual, owned production, then there would be no danger of individual loss from overproduction, The people could produce up to the limit of need without fear or loss,

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Bibliographic details

Machinery v. Men., Ashburton Guardian, Volume VII, Issue 2503, 28 August 1890

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Machinery v. Men. Ashburton Guardian, Volume VII, Issue 2503, 28 August 1890