The Problem of Group Responsibility to Society: An Interpretation of the History of American Labor; Submitted in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy, in the Faculty of Philosophy, Columbia University by John Herman Randall (Paperback / softback, 2015)
Excerpt from The Problem of Group Responsibility to Society: An Interpretation of the History of American Labor; Submitted in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy, in the Faculty of Philosophy, Columbia University Such men, and they are growing in number every day, are busy asking themselves, Why? What is the cause of all this unsettling scramble? Whither are we as a civilization tending? And they are patiently seeking, in the very framework and structure of our modem society, the answer to these questions. The most striking difference between the society of today and that of the pre-industrial period lies in the far-reaching and intricate ecomic structure which has taken the place of the old simple agricultural community. In the old society the single family was the ecomic unit; all essentials were produced in the household itself, and there was very little need to bother about the families who lived in the next valley. Whatever exchange of commodities took place was limited to the village; and there was really small reason why if one of these self-sufficient communities had been shut off by impenetrable walls from the rest of mankind, it could t, with never a thought of the others, have thriven and prospered greatly. The industrial revolution has been changing all that. It has taken these little communities, spread at random over the surface of the land, and made of them one ermous and intricate machine for the satisfaction of human needs. One by one the various functions which the farmer used to perform for himself have been absorbed by highly specialized industries; and each further specialization has made the rest of the community more and more dependent upon those who control the physical means and the technical skill necessary for the performance of their chosen function in industrial life. Men formerly cut their fuel in the neighboring forest; w they are dependent upon the distant coal-mine. Men formerly grew wool, spun it, wove it into cloth, and sewed it into garments, all in their own household; w they are dependent upon the Western sheep-raiser, the New England mill, the New York tailor. Today even the farmer, and still more the city-dweller, would be utterly helpless if any breakdown in the great industrial machine forced him to rely upon himself for the necessities of life. Each of the functions necessary to the carrying on of life has been assumed by a specialized type of worker, and all depend upon the intricate system of transportation and exchange whereby products are transferred from those who have made them to those who can use them. About the Publisher Forgotten Books publishes hundreds of thousands of rare and classic books. Find more at www.forgottenbooks.com This book is a reproduction of an important historical work. Forgotten Books uses state-of-the-art techlogy to digitally reconstruct the work, preserving the original format whilst repairing imperfections present in the aged copy. In rare cases, an imperfection in the original, such as a blemish or missing page, may be replicated in our edition. We do, however, repair the vast majority of imperfections successfully; any imperfections that remain are intentionally left to preserve the state of such historical works.