The Organization of Industry

land, energy, labor, physical, productive, conditions, activity, agencies and production

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If at any given time an economic society has at its disposal much unoccupied land suitable for industry, it has not merely standing room for a larger number of workers, but also the physical forces supplied by the sun's rays which fall upon it, by the coal which may lie buried be neath it, by the germinating power of its soils, and even by the animals which feed upon its grasses and grains. The possession of land at least the privilege of working upon it — is the first consideration of economic society. Without it man cannot exist. Any part of the entire product of industry short of that necessary to bare maintenance might be ex acted by those who control it if they themselves could become independent of other equally essential agencies, —an impossible condition.

It has been shown that land considered as a productive agency is a more comprehensive term than land in the ordinary use of the term ; but in certain other directions it is more re stricted than in popular usage. It does not include any industrial product. When we speak of land as a source of income, we usually include many improvements, some recent, and others, it may be, very remote. Land, sharply distin guished from capital and other productive agen cies, however, cannot include other than natural products and forces. As a French economist has we need some ground to stand on, rather more to lie down on, vastly more to feed our flocks and build our factories. We need further the cooperation of the various forms of physical energy, and this, too, depends upon the possession of land.

An increase in the supply of land thus under stood must always accompany any considerable extension of industrial activity, but it by no means involves necessarily the opening up of new land areas. Any discovery which leads to a new development of physical energy from the natural products, and forces now available, is for all practical purposes an increase in the supply of land. Increased command over the resources of nature on a given area permits an extension of industry, just as does the occupation of new Gide, Principles of Political 7cononzy, Amer. Ed., p. 99.

land. Except in new countries where good land is still unoccupied, an increase of land means, as a rule, a better use of the possibilities of production lying in the land already occupied, but not utilized in the most productive manner. Partly by the discoveries of science, partly by the diffusion of skill, this process of increasing the usefulness of land goes constantly forward, and may be indefinitely continued long after there is no longer any additional land area for occupation.

The two remaining productive agencies are labor and intelligence. Those two are insepa rably connected in man, as land and capital are inseparably connected in external nature ; but they are distinct in function. Muscular activity

presupposes a certain degree of rational direc tion, while the highest degree of mental activity remains subject to the necessity of receiving bodily support, in which is included muscular action. The term "labor" is sometimes used in a broad sense to designate all human exertion directed toward productive ends. Even in its broadest use, however, labor cannot include the mental faculties themselves ; it can refer only to the bodily activity which is a condition to the exercise of those faculties. Intelligence is clearly to be distinguished from the labor which it directs. It is true that a man's labor must be guided in part by his own intelligence, but it introduces needless confusion to class intelli gence, therefore, as a form of labor. In the study of production it is important to discover, not how many agencies are united under the control of the individual producer, but what agencies there are. Not how many different sources of income are open to a single person, but what is the explanation of the possibility of income, — what are the active forces that unite to-produce wealth.

Man's energy, both mental and physical, is to a considerable extent dependent upon outer conditions. These must not be ignored. The efficiency of production is determined in very large part by the amount of human energy which capitalists and laborers bring to their task. Attention has already been called to the indirect influence of climate on production through its influence on man's energy and in dustrial activity. It is a matter of common experience that greater endurance, heartier re sponse to unexpected demands, and more vigor ous prosecution of new and uncertain ventures may be expected from a people whose climatic surroundings are healthful and stimulating than from those whose lives arc spent under unwhole some conditions. Greater energy is possible where the working day is of reasonable length, where the laborer has a direct interest in the product of his industry, where the State is active in promoting favorable conditions of life. The degree of energy which we may expect to see displayed in any community depends thus partly on outward physical conditions, partly on social and industrial conditions which the people of the community themselves create. Every thing which contributes to the hopefulness and cheerfulness of the laborer, everything which adds to his physical strength and his mental power, because they have these results, deserve mention in any enumeration of the productive agencies. If they are found to be incapable of modification by man, they should be intelligently utilized. If they are found to be within the sphere of man's influence, they should be sys tematically developed and encouraged to the end that the highest degree of human energy may be secured.

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