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pictures, like Medici prints, so there should be an everchanging, but not always open, case of beautiful natural objects-shells and stones, feathers and withered leaves -which turn into fairy gold. ("What awful joukerypawkery!')
Much more is meant than lessons in elementary physiology and psychology. There must be some of these, no doubt, but there is great danger in premature analysis and self-vivisection. One wishes rather to cultivate an enthusiasm for vigour, both of mind and body; an awareness of the rapidly increasing control of life, whether through vitamins or Couéism ; a knowledge of common-sense ways of avoiding disease and gratuitous mistakes; an understanding of the cult of joy and the art of forgetting ; an enjoyment of mental gymnastics as well as of enduring bodily hardness; a letting in of sunlight to kill the microbes that lurk in dark corners of our being; instruction, in short, in the art of life. This is, undoubtedly, the most difficult part of education, especially as its success will be in proportion to its indirectness.
In conclusion, the biologist is in the fortunate position of studying a central science. There is a legitimate field for the chemistry and physics of living creatures, so he must appreciate that. There is also a psychology of many animals and a sociology of a few, so he must appreciate that. And then there is Biology itself. Therefore the biologist has least excuse for partial views, because perforce he must take so many. His final word must therefore be: Let us try to take an all-round view.
The first inclination of many is to plead for wealth, the mastery of natural energies, their economical use and transformation. The great chemist, Sir William Ramsay, once declared that 'real progress consists in learning how better to employ energy-how better to effect its transformation.' This is profoundly true, and yet how very limited! What is wealth without health ? No doubt the curse of the poor is their poverty, but the biological ideals rise beyond the transformation of energy to vigour, initiative, adaptation to stimulating and enriching surroundings : health, for short. But the same sort of mistake will be made if we lay all the stress on the healthy body. For what will it avail if the body is fair and the mind foul? We must complete the trilogy: wealthy, healthy, and wise. We hear about the balance of bodily food, but what of the nurture of the mind ? Just as there may be Calcium starvation, so there may be Beauty starvation. We must look to it that we do not shut ourselves off from the ultra-violet rays of the spirit. But even wealthy plus healthy plus wise is incomplete, for we are social organisms in our very essence, citizens of no mean city, members of the body politic, members one of another, folk working together in a given place. Thus social considerations must be supreme, even over the ideals of 'wealthy, healthy, and wise.'
We cannot conclude, however, without a reference to ants, bees, and wasps, which offer a lurid warning to the social reformer. Some people are fond of speaking of 'the human herd' and others play with the phrase 'the human hive.' Both terms are fallacious, but they may be of service in reminding us that we may pay too dear for our socialising. Let us go to the bee, for instauce, upheld as an embodiment of all the virtues except hospitality. Bees are wonderful creatures, the finest children of instinct in the world, and the social organisation of the hive is marvellous. But is it admirable ? When we look into the matter more critically, what a very seamy side is disclosed! There is the establishment of a reproductive, non-productive caste-a loathsome idea ; there is the dependence of the whole system on a huge population of suppressed females, instinctively servile and largely unintelligent; there is the terrible thirling of the queen to her exaggerated maternity; and, as a bitter bathos, there is the massacre of the drones. Heaven help us from going to the bees !
The generalised moral is this, that social organisation is not necessarily a good thing in itself. It requires to be scrutinised not only in terms of wealth and health, both so conspicuous in the bee-hive, but in terms of the higher values—the good, the beautiful, and the true, with their outcome in the evolution of man's personality. • For what is a man profited if he gain the whole world and lose his own soul?'
J. ARTHUR THOMSON.
Art. 3. — PROFIT-SHARING AND
MANY speakers and writers have on occasions advocated that some method of sharing the profits of industry with the workers is desirable. The arguments and reasons for the proposed change are as numerous as the variations in the different schemes that have been proposed, but behind all the various and sometimes conflicting proposals, is the main idea that in times of prosperity the workers should receive some definite share of the improved profits.
When labour is dissatisfied with its position, and the reward for its efforts, it is the time to consider any reasonable scheme that may be proposed which may to some extent allay the dissatisfaction, and give to labour a better reward when the industry can afford it. Higher wages when profits are very small, or when losses are being made, can only make the position of the industry still worse, by raising the costs of production, and consequently the charges for the commodities produced, which will lead to a smaller demand and reduced employment, and a smaller dividend on capital. If, as is probable, when an industry is doing badly, the charges cannot be raised, the higher wages lead to still greater losses, and if they be long continued, to the ultimate bankruptcy and closing down of the business or trade. When this happens, both capital and labour suffer, as well as the community.
When, however, trade is good, it would be possible, out of improved profits, to give to labour a share of them. The sharing of the profits would make the workers feel that they were receiving, in addition to their regular wages, a portion of the profits they were helping to create, and that they, as well as the capitalists, were sharing in the improved conditions in the trade. Some of the workers think, and the extremists preach the doctrine, that capital is taking an unfair share of the proceeds of industry. When there are no profits there can be nothing more for labour to take. When there are good profits, if there be some method of profitsharing with the employees, this argument of the extremists loses its force, and the workers realise that their income improves with the profits of the organisation in which they work.
The argument may be advanced against profit-sharing that, from the capitalist's point of view, it is 'heads I lose, tails you win. If there should be good profits, labour takes a share of them, and when there are losses, capital has to bear them all. In a certain sense this may be correct, but when trade is bad and there are no profits, labour as well as capital suffers from the depression. When trade is going through a serious slump, capital receives little or no dividend, but at the same time unemployment is rife and many workers lose their jobs and receive no wages at all; while others work short time or lose the overtime pay which is a usual source of additional income in many industries in times of good trade. There is also another way in which labour does bear a part of the losses in industry. When trade is bad for a long time, the wages are often permanently lowered, and the workers find their standard of living reduced, just as the capitalist-owing to reduced dividends-would find his standard of living reduced if if he had not some other source of income.
There are many employers-particularly those who own and control their businesses, and are not merely managing directors controlled by shareholders—who would like to share in some way with their workers the profits that are made in good years. It would be almost impossible for them to raise the wage-rate above that paid by their competitors, as when bad trade returned and small or no profits were made, they would not be able to continue paying the higher rates, and a reduction of wages to the standard rates would cause grave dissatisfaction. The standard wages could be paid to the employees, and in good years a share of the profits, without disturbing the basic rate generally recognised in the trade.
While many employers might be willing to adopt some scheme of profit-sharing with their employees, if they could find a satisfactory method, there are many others who argue that the employees have little to do with the success or profits of the concern, and that they should not, therefore, share in the prosperity. Like
many sweeping statements, there is a measure of truth in this argument. The success and development of any business depend upon the energy, judgment, knowledge, and ability of the few brains which direct and control the organisation, and only to a minor degree upon the efforts of the workers. The truth of this statement can be gauged by comparing the position of two similar businesses in the same locality. The workers may be equally skilled and work as hard in both firms, but in one, losses may be made, and in the other, very handsome profits. The reason for the striking difference in the two concerns lies in the qualities and characteristics of the few men at the head of the successful business, who have abilities which are lacking in their competitors. The successful leaders select able men to assist them, dismiss the incompetent, and train and secure skilled workers; seek new markets and improved methods, scrap their old machinery, and have the business acumen to know when to take a great risk and when to avoid it. These are some of the qualities of commercial leaders, without which labour is impotent, and the importance of these qualities tends to make some persons ignore the aid that labour may be able to give to the management to improve the efficiency and profits of the concern, if its interest and enthusiasm be aroused.
In some industries the ratio of the cost of wages to the value of materials consumed is so small, that the improvements and economies that might be made by labour would have only a negligible effect upon the costs of production. There are, however, a vast number of manufacturing concerns in which the cost of labour is as great or greater than that of material, and it is in these businesses that there is more scope for the economies and improvements that would be the result of a successful profit-sharing scheme.
It may be asked how can a workman affect the cost of production, or suggest economies in a business that is well organised, and in which the overseers and managers are competent men. In modern factory life the work is so subdivided that it is often very monotonous. A man is paid the standard wage to do a certain job, and the tendency is that he will do it in such a way as not to incur the censure of his overseer. Anything outside