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And this Mr. Wilson makes very
emphatic:--


"Business must be looked upon, not as the exploitation of society,
not as its use for private ends, but as its sober service; and
private profit must be regarded as legitimate only when it is in
fact a reward for what is veritably serviceable,--serviceable to
interests which are not single but common, as far as they go; and
politics must be the discovery of this common interest, in order
that the service may be tested and exacted.

"In this acceptation, society is the _senior partner_ in all
business. It first must be considered,--society as a whole, in its
permanent and essential, not merely in its temporary and
superficial, interests. _If private profits are to be
legitimatized, private fortunes made honorable_, these great forces
which play upon the modern field must, both individually and
collectively, be accommodated to a common purpose." (My italics.)


Business is no longer "to be looked upon" as the exploitation of
society, private profits are to be "legitimatized" and private fortunes
"made honorable"--in a word, the whole business world is to be
regenerated and at the same time rehabilitated. This is to be
accomplished, as Mr. Wilson explained, in a later speech (April 13,
1911), not by excluding the large capitalists from government, but by
including the small, and this will undoubtedly be the final outcome. He
said:--


"The men who understand the life of the country are the men _who
are on the make_, and not the men who are made; because the men who
are on the make are in contact with the actual conditions of
struggle, and those are the conditions of life for the nation;
whereas, the man who has achieved, who is at the head of a great
body of capital, has passed the period of struggle. He may
sympathize with the struggling men, but he is not one of them, and
only those who struggle can comprehend what the struggle is. I
would rather take the interpretation of our national life from the
general body of the people than from those who have made
conspicuous successes of their lives."


But the "Interests" are not to be excluded from the new dispensation.


"I know a great many men," Mr. Wilson says further, "whose names
stand as synonyms of the unjust power of wealth and of corporate
privileges in this country, and I want to say to you that if I
understand the character of these men, many of them--most of
them--are just as _honest_ and just as patriotic as I claim to be.
But I do notice this difference between myself and them; I have not
happened to be immersed in the kind of business in which they have
been immersed; I have not been saturated by the prepossessions
which come upon men situated as they are, and I claim to see some
things that they do not yet see; that is the difference. _It is not
a difference of interest_; it is not a difference of capacity; it
is not a difference of patriotism. It is a difference of
perception....

"Now, these men have so buried their minds in these great
undertakings that you cannot expect them to have reasonable and
rational views about the antipodes. They are just as much chained
to a task, as if the task were little instead of big. Their view is
just as much limited as if their business were small instead of
colossal. _But they are awakening._ They are not all of them
asleep, and when they do wake, they are going to lend us the
assistance of truly statesmanlike minds.

"We are not fighting property," Mr. Wilson continues, "but the
wrong conception of property. It seems to me that business on the
great scale upon which it is now conducted is the service of the
community, and the profit is legitimate only in proportion as the
service is genuine. I utterly deny the genuineness of any profit
which is gathered together without regard to the serviceability of
the thing done.... Men have got to learn that in a certain sense,
_when they manage great corporations, they have assumed public
office_, and are responsible to the community for the things they
do. _That is the form of privilege that we are fighting."_ (Italics
mine.)[33]


A second glance at these passages will show that Mr. Wilson speaks in
the name rather of struggling small capitalists, business men "on the
make," than of the nation as a whole. His diplomacy is largely aimed to
move the "honest" large capitalists. These are assured that the only
form of privilege that Mr. Wilson, representing the smaller business
men, those "on the make," is attacking, is their freedom from political
and government control. But the large capitalists need not fear such
control, for they are assured that they themselves will be part of the
new government. And as there is no fundamental "difference of
interests," the new government will have no difficulty in representing
large business as well as small.

No better example could be found of the foreshadowed treaty between the
large interests and the whole body of capitalists, and their coming
consolidation, than the central banking association project now before
Congress. Originated by the "Interests" it was again and again moderated
to avoid the hostility of the smaller capitalists, until progressives
like Mr. Wilson are evidently getting ready to propose still further
modifications that will make it entirely acceptable to the latter class.
Already Mr. Aldrich has consented that the "State" banks, which
represent chiefly the smaller capitalists, should be included in the
Reserve Association, and that the President should appoint its governor
and deputy governor. Doubtless Congress will insist on a still greater
representation of the government on the central board.

Mr. Wilson emphasizes the need of action in this direction in the name
of "economic freedom," which can only mean equal financial facilities
and the indirect loan of the government's credit to all capitalists,
through means of a government under their common control:--


"The great monopoly in this country is the money monopoly. So long
as that exists, our old variety and freedom and individual energy
of development are out of the question. A great industrial nation
is controlled by its system of credit. Our system of credit is
concentrated. _The growth of the nation, therefore, and all our
activities are in the hands of a few men_ who, even if their action
be honest and intended for the public interest, are necessarily
concentrated upon the great undertakings in which their own money
is involved, and who necessarily by every reason of their own
limitations, chill and check and destroy genuine economic freedom.
This is the greatest question of all, and to this statesmen must
address themselves with an earnest determination to serve the long
future and the true liberties of men." (My italics.)


Undoubtedly this is a great question; the establishment of a political
control over credit will mean a political and financial revolution. For
it will establish the power of the government over our whole economic
system and will lead rapidly to a common political and economic
organization of all classes of capitalists for the control of the
government, to a compromise between the group of capitalists that now
rules the business world and that far larger group which is bound to
rule the government. The financial magnates have seen this truth, and,
as Mr. Paul Warburg said to the American Association (New Orleans, Nov.
21, 1911), "Wall Street, like many an absolute ruler in recent years,
finds it more conducive to safety and contentment to forego some of its
prerogatives ... and to turn an oligarchy into a constitutional
democratic federation [_i.e._ a federation composed of capitalists]."

Mr. Roosevelt has announced a policy with regard to monopolies that
foreshadows even more distinctly than anything Mr. Woodrow Wilson has
said the solution of the differences between large and small
capitalists. He urges that a government commission should undertake
"supervision, regulation, and control of these great corporations" even
to the point of controlling "monopoly prices" and that this control
should "indirectly or directly extend to dealing with all questions
connected with their treatment of their employees, including the wages,
the hours of labor, and the like."[34]

This policy is in entire accord with the declarations of Andrew
Carnegie, Daniel Guggenheim, Judge Gary, Samuel Untermeyer,
Attorney-General Wickersham, and others of the large capitalists or
those who stand close to them. It is in equal accord with the
declarations of _La Follette's Weekly_ and the leading "Insurgent"
writers.

It is true that the private monopolies, as Mr. Bryan pointed out (_New
York Times_, Nov. 19, 1911), "will soon be in national politics more
actively than now, for they will feel it necessary to control Colonel
Roosevelt's suggested commission, and to do that they must control the
election of those who appoint the commission."

But the private monopolies will soon be more actively in politics no
matter what remedy is offered, even government ownership. The small
capitalist investors, shippers, and consumers of trust products can only
protect themselves by securing control of the government, or at least
sharing it on equal terms with the large capitalists.

The reason that Mr. Roosevelt's proposal was hailed with equal
enthusiasm by the more far-sighted capitalists, whether radical or
conservative, small or large, was that they have an approximately equal
hope of controlling the government, or sharing in its control. The
unbiased observer can well conclude that they are likely to divide this
control between them--and, indeed, that the complete victory of either
party is economically and politically unthinkable. Already banks,
railways, industrial "trusts," mining and lumber interests, are being
forced to follow a policy satisfactory to small capitalist investors,
borrowers, customers, furnishers of raw material, and taxpayers--while
small capitalist competitors are being forced to abandon their effort to
use the government to restore competition and destroy the "trusts."

In the reorganization of capitalism, the non-capitalists, the wage and
salary earning class are not to be consulted.



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Keywords: profit, commission, financial, capitalist, honest, italics, association, themselves, interest, monopolies
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