Infomotions, Inc.Creative Impulse in Industry A Proposition for Educators / Marot, Helen, 1865-1940



Author: Marot, Helen, 1865-1940
Title: Creative Impulse in Industry A Proposition for Educators
Publisher: Project Gutenberg
Tag(s): workers; industry; industrial; labor; factory; enterprise; wage; efficiency; shop; scientific; scientific management; production; standards; wealth
Contributor(s): Bracker, M. Leone, 1885-1937 [Illustrator]
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Title: Creative Impulse in Industry
       A Proposition for Educators

Author: Helen Marot

Release Date: June 12, 2004 [EBook #12594]

Language: English

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CREATIVE IMPULSE IN INDUSTRY

_A Proposition for Educators_

BY

HELEN MAROT


1918




TO

CAROLINE PRATT

WHOSE APPRECIATION OF EDUCATIONAL FACTORS IN THE PLAY WORLD OF
CHILDREN, INTENSIFIED FOR THE AUTHOR THE SIGNIFICANCE OF THE GROWTH
PROCESSES IN INDUSTRIAL AND ADULT LIFE.




PREFACE


The Bureau of Educational Experiments is a group of men, and women who
are trying to face the modern problems of education in a scientific
spirit. They are conducting and helping others to conduct experiments
which hold promise of finding out more about children as well as how
to set up school environments which shall provide for the children's
growth. From these experiments they hope eventually may evolve a
laboratory school.

Among their surveys the past year, one by Helen Marot has resulted in
this timely and significant book. The experiment which is outlined at
the close seems to the Bureau to be of real moment,--one of which both
education and industry should take heed. They earnestly hope it may be
tried immediately. In that event, the Bureau hopes to work with Miss
Marot in bringing her experiment to completion.

THE BUREAU OF EDUCATIONAL EXPERIMENTS, 16 West Eighth Street, New York
City.




CONTENTS

CHAPTER

I. PRODUCTION AND CREATIVE EFFORT

II. ADAPTING PEOPLE TO INDUSTRY. THE AMERICAN WAY

III. ADAPTING PEOPLE TO INDUSTRY. THE GERMAN WAY

IV. EDUCATIONAL INDUSTRY AND ASSOCIATED ENTERPRISE




CREATIVE IMPULSE IN INDUSTRY




INTRODUCTION


A friend of mine in describing the Russian people as he observed them
in their present revolution said it was possible for them to accept
new ideas because they were uneducated; they did not, he said, labor
under the difficulty common among educated people of having to get rid
of old ideas before they took on new ones. I think what he had in mind
to say that it is difficult to accept new ideas when your mind is
filled with ideas which are institutional. The ideas which come out of
formal education, out of the schools, out of books, are ideas which
have been stamped as the true and important ones; many of them are,
as they have proved their worth in service. But as they represent
authority, they pass into a people's mind with the full weight of
an accepted fact. The schools, the colleges, and the books are
not responsible primarily for the fixed ideas; every established
institution contributes fixed ideas as well as fixed customs and rules
of action. The schools and colleges circulate and interpret them.
The movement for industrial education in the United States is an
illustration of this.

The ideas which we find there have not sprung from schools or colleges
but from industry. The institution of industry, rather than the
institution of education, dominates thought in industrial education
courses. It is the institution of industry as it has affected the life
of every man, woman and child, which has inhibited educational thought
in conjunction with schemes for industrial schools. No established
system of education or none proposed is more circumscribed by
institutionalized thought than the vocational and industrial school
movement.

Educators have opposed the desire of business to attach the schools
to the industrial enterprise. They have rightly opposed it because
industry under the influence of business prostitutes effort.
Nevertheless, hand in hand with industry, the schools must function;
unattached to the human hive they are denied participation in life.
Promoters of industrial education are hung up between this fact of
prostituted industry and their desire to establish the children's
connection with life. They have tried to meet opposing interests; they
have not recognized all the facts because the facts were conflicting,
and their minds as well as their interests, institutionally speaking,
were committed to both.

This was the impasse we had apparently reached when the war occurred;
it is where we still are. But ahead of us, sometime, the war will end
and we shall be called then to face a period of reconstruction. The
reconstruction will center around industry. The efficiency with which
a worker serves industry will be the test of his patriotic fervor, as
his service in the army is made the test during this time of war. All
institutions will be examined and called upon to reorganize in such
ways as will contribute to the enterprise of raising industrial
processes to the standard of greatest efficiency.

The standard of mechanical efficiency as it was set by Germany was one
of refined brutality. During the progress of the war, the significance
of that standard is being grafted into the consciousness of the common
people of those nations which have opposed Germany in arms. It is the
industrial efficiency of Germany, uninhibited by a sense of human
development that has made her victories possible. It is that
efficiency which has kept a large part of the world on the defensive
for over three and a half years. Germany's military strategy is, in
the main, her industrial strategy; it represents her efficiency in
turning technology to the account of an imperial purpose.

But those organizations of manufacturers and business politicians who
believe that the same schemes of efficiency will function in America
will call upon the people after the war, it is safe to predict, to
emulate the methods which have given Germany its untoward strength.
While it is these methods which have made much hated Germany a menace
to the world and while the menace is felt by our own people, the
significance of the methods is but vaguely realized. It is probable
that after the war it will be said that it was not the German
methods which were objectionable, but that it was their use in an
international policy. Before the time for reconstruction comes, I hope
we shall discover how intrinsically false those methods are; and how
untrue to the growth process is the sort of efficiency Germany
has developed. I hope also that we shall realise that a policy of
paternalism has no place in the institutional life of our own country.
Before the war these German methods bore the character of high
success, and they had a large following in this country. There are
indeed many thousands of men and women in the United States, who,
while giving all they most care for, for the prosecution of the war
against Germany still support industrial and political policies and
dogmas which are in spirit essentially Prussian. The professional
Reformer here in America is not even yet fully conscious that German
paternalism (a phase of German efficiency) is the token of an enslaved
people.

The German educational system as much if not more than its other
imperial schemes has been instrumental in developing the German
brand of industrial efficiency. The perfection in Germany of its
technological processes is made possible as the youth of the country
has been consecrated and sacrificed to the development of this
perfection in the early years of school training. Parents contribute
their children freely to an educational system which fits them into an
industrial institution which has an imperial destiny to fulfill. Each
person's place in the life of the nation is made for him during his
early years, like a predestined fact.

American business men before the war appreciated the educational
system which made people over into workers without will or purpose of
their own. But the situation was embarrassing as these business men
were not in a position to insist that the schools, supported by the
people, should prepare the children to serve industry for the sake of
the state, while industry was pursued solely for private interest.
Their embarrassment, however, will be less acute under the conditions
of industrial reconstruction which will follow the war. Then as
patriots, under the necessity of competing with Germany industrially,
they will feel free to urge that the German scheme of industrial
education, possibly under another name, be extended here and adopted
as a national policy. In other words as Germany has evolved its
methods of attaining industrial efficiency, and as the schools have
played the leading part in the attainment, the German system of
industrial education, private business may argue, should be given for
patriotic reasons full opportunity in the United States. If the German
system were introduced here, of course it is not certain that it could
deliver wage workers more ready and servile, less single-purposed
in their industrial activity than they are now. It was in Germany a
comparatively simple matter for the schools to make over the children
into effective and efficient servants, for, as Professor Veblen
explains, the psychology of the German people was still feudal
when the modern system of industry, with its own characteristic
enslavement, was imposed, ready-made, upon them; the German, people
unlike the Anglo-Saxon had not experienced the liberating effects of
the political philosophy which developed along with modern technology
in both England and America.[A]

[Footnote A: Thorstein Veblen.--Imperial Germany and the Industrial
Revolution.]

First, then, it is not certain that the system of German industrial
education would succeed; and, second, if it did succeed it is not the
sort of education that America wants.

America wants industrial efficiency, it must have efficient workers if
it holds its place among nations, and American people will prove their
efficiency or their inefficiency as they are capable of using the
heritage which industrial evolution has given the world. But what
shall we use this efficiency for? For the sake of the heritage? For
the sake of business? For the sake of Empire?

Business knows very clearly why it wants it, but as a rule most of us
are not clearly conscious that we need, for the sake of our expansive
existence, to be industrially efficient. We are not even conscious
that industry is the great field for adventure and growth, because we
use that field not for the creative but for the exploitive purpose.

It is the present duty of American educators to realize these two
points: that industry is the great field for adventure and growth;
that as it is used now the opportunities for growth are inhibited
in the only field where productive experience can be a common one.
Shortly it will be the mission, of educators to show that by opening
up the field for creative purpose, fervor for industrial enterprise
and good workmanship may be realized; that only as the content of
industry in its administration as well as in the technique of its
processes is opened up for experiment and first-hand experience,
will a universal impulse for work be awakened. It is for educators,
together with engineers and architects, to demonstrate to the world
that while the idea of service to a political state may have the power
to accomplish large results, all productive force is artificially
sustained which is not dependent on men's desire to do creative work.
A state as we have seen, may invoke the idea of service. It might
represent the productive interests of a community if those interests
sprang from the expansive experience of a people in their creative
adventures.

In the reconstructive period educators may have their opportunity to
extend the concept that the creative process is the educative process,
or as Professor Dewey states it, the educative process is the process
of growth. The reconstruction period will be a time of formative
thought; institutions will be attacked and on the defensive; and out
of the great need of the nations there may come change. Educators will
find their opportunity as they discover conditions under which the
great enterprise of industry may be educational and as they repudiate
or oppose institutions which exclude educational factors.

It is for educators to realize first of all that there can be no
social progress while there is antagonism between growth in wealth
(which is industry) and growth in individuals (which is education);
that the fundamental antagonisms which are apparent in the current
arrangement are not between industry and education but between
education and business. They must know that as business regulates and
controls industry for ulterior purposes, that is for other purposes
than production of goods, it thwarts the development of individual
lives and the evolution of society; that it values a worker not for
his potential productivity but for his immediate contribution to the
annual stock dividend; or if, as in Germany where his productive
potentiality is valued in terms of longer time, it is for the imperial
intention of the state and not for the growth of the individual or the
progress of civilisation.




CREATIVE IMPULSE IN INDUSTRY




CHAPTER I

PRODUCTION AND CREATIVE EFFORT


As a human experience, the act of creating, the process of fabricating
wealth, has been at different times as worthy of celebration as the
possession of it. Before business enterprise and machine production
discredited handwork, art for art's sake, work for the love of work,
were conceivable human emotions. But to-day, a Cezanne who paints
pictures and leaves them in the field to perish is considered by the
general run of people, in communities inured to modern industrial
enterprise, as being not quite right in his head. Their estimate is
of course more or less true. But such valuations are made without the
help of creative inspiration, although the functioning of a product
has its creative significance. The creative significance of a product
in use, as well as an appreciation of the act of creating, would
be evident if modern production of wealth, under the influence of
business enterprise and machine technology, had not fairly well
extinguished the appreciation and the joy of creative experience in
countries where people have fallen under its influence so completely
as in our own.

It is usual in economic considerations to credit the period of
craftsmanship as a time in the evolution of wealth production that was
rich in creative effort and opportunity for the individual worker.
The craftsmanship period is valued in retrospect for its educative
influence. There was opportunity then as there is not now for the
worker to gain the valuable experience of initiating an idea and
carrying the production of an article to its completion for use and
sale in the market; there was the opportunity then also as there is
not now, for the worker to gain a high degree of technique and a
valuation of his workmanship. It is characteristic of workmanship that
its primary consideration is serviceability or utility. The creative
impulse and the creative effort may or may not express workmanship
or take it into account. Workmanship in its consideration of
serviceability oftentimes arrives at beauty and classic production,
when creative impulse without the spirit of workmanship fails. The
craftsmanship period deserves rank, but the high rank which is given
it is due in part to its historical relation to the factory era which
followed and crushed it. While craftsmanship represented expansive
development in workmanship, it is not generally recognized that
the Guild organization of the crafts developed modern business
enterprise.[A] Business is concerned wholly with utility, and not like
workmanship, with standards of production, except as those standards
contain an increment of value in profits to the owners of wealth. It
was during the Guild period that business came to value workmanship
because it contained that increment. In spite of business interest,
however, the standard of workmanship was set by skilled craftsmen, and
their standards represented in a marked degree the market value of the
goods produced by them.

[Footnote A: Thorstein Veblen; Instinct of Workmanship, pp. 211-212.]

While the exploitation of the skill of the workman in the interest of
the owners of raw materials and manufactured goods, had its depressing
and corrupting influence on creative effort, the creative impulse
found a stimulus in the respect a community still paid the skill and
ability of the worker. It was not until machine standards superseded
craft standards and discredited them that the processes of production,
the acts of fabrication, lost their standards of workmanship and their
educational value for the worker. The discredits were psychological
and economic; they revolutionized the intellectual and moral concepts
of men in relation to their work and the production of wealth.

As machine production superseded craftsmanship the basis of fixing
the price of an article shifted from values fixed by the standards of
workers to standards of machines, Professor Veblen says to standards
of salesmen. It is along these lines that mechanical science applied
to the production of wealth, has eliminated the personality of the
workers. A worker is no longer reflected in goods on sale; his
personality has passed into the machine which has met the requirements
of mass production.

The logical development of factory organisation has been the complete
cooerdination of all factors which are auxiliary to mechanical power
and devices. The most important auxiliary factor is human labor. A
worker is a perfected factory attachment as he surrenders himself to
the time and the rhythm of the machine and its functioning; as he
supplements without loss whatever human faculties the machine lacks,
whatever imperfection hampers the machine in the satisfaction of its
needs. If it lacks eyes, he sees for it; he walks for it, if it is
without legs; and he pulls, drags, lifts, if it needs arms. All of
these things are done by the factory worker at the pace set by the
machine and under its direction and command. A worker's indulgence in
his personal desires or impulses hinders the machine and lowers his
attachment value.

This division of the workers into eyes, arms, fingers, legs, the
plucking out of some one of his faculties and discarding the rest
of the man as valueless, has seemed to be an organic requirement of
machine evolution. So commendable the scheme has been to business
enterprise that this division of labor has been carried from the
machine shop and the factory to the scientific laboratories where
experiment and discovery in new processes of technology are developed,
and where, it is popularly supposed, a high order of intelligence is
required. The organization of technological laboratories, like the
organization of construction shops to which they are auxiliary, is
based on the breaking up of a problem which is before the laboratory
for its solution. The chemists, physicists, machinists and draftsmen
are isolated as they work out their assigned tasks without specific
knowledge of what the general problem is and how it is being attacked.
Small technological laboratories are still in existence where
the general problem in hand is presented as a whole to the whole
engineering staff, and is left to them as a group for independent and
associated experimentation. But even in such cases the technological
content does not necessarily supply the impulse to solve the problem
or secure a free and voluntary participation in its solution. Those
who are interested in its solution are inspired by its economic value
for them. In all technological laboratories, either where the problem
is broken up and its parts distributed among the employees of the
laboratory, or where it is given to them as a whole for solution, it
is given not as a sequence in the creative purpose of the individuals
who are at work on it, nor is its final solution necessarily
determined by its use and wont in a community. Problems brought to
the laboratory are tainted with the motive of industry which is not
creative, but exploitive.

The tenure of each man employed in production is finally determined
not by any creative interest of his own or of his employer but by
whether in the last analysis, he conforms better than another man to
the exigencies of profits. If profits and creative purpose happen to
be one and the same thing, his place in an industrial establishment
has some bearing on his intrinsic worth. Under such circumstances his
interest in the creative purpose of the establishment would have a
foundation, and he himself could value better than he otherwise would
his own part in the enterprise.

The economic organization of modern society though built on the
common people's productive energy has discounted their _creative
potentiality_. We hold to the theory that men are equal in their
opportunity to capture and own wealth; that their ability in that
respect is proof of their ability to create it; a proof of their
inherent capacity. It is a proof, as a matter of fact, of their
ability to compete in the general scheme of capture; their ability to
exploit wealth successfully. While the prevailing economic _theory_ of
production takes for granted men's creative _potentiality_ there is no
provision in our industrial institution for the common run of men to
_function_ creatively. There is no attempt in the general scheme for
trueing-up or estimating the creative ability of workers. In the
market, where the value of goods is determined, a machine tender has a
better chance than a craftsman. The popular belief is that the ability
of workers has native limitations, that these limitations are absolute
and that they are fixed at or before birth. This belief is a tenet
among those who hold positions of industrial mastery. Managers
of industry for instance who control a situation and create an
environment, demand that those who serve them meet the requirements
which they have fixed. They do not recognize that industrial ability
depends largely on the opportunity which an individual has had to make
adjustments to his surroundings and on his opportunity to master them
through experiment. A factory employee is required to do a piece of
work; and he does it, not because he is interested in the process or
the object, but because his employer wants it done.

In Anglo-Saxon and Teutonic countries, where people have fallen most
completely under the influence of machine production and business
enterprise, and where they have lost by the way their conception
of their creative potentiality, work is universally conceived as
something which people endure for the sake of being "paid off." Being
paid off, it seems abundantly clear, is the only reason a sane man can
have for working. After he is paid off the assumption is his pleasure
will begin. A popular idea of play is the absence of work, the
consumption of wealth, being entertained. Being entertained indeed
is as near as most adult men in these countries come to play. Their
Sundays and holidays are depressing occasions, shadowed by a forlorn
expectancy of something which never comes off.

The capacity of the French people for enjoying their holidays is much
the same as their capacity for enjoying their work. This, no doubt, is
a matter of native habituation. But however they came by it, it has
had its part in determining the industrial conditions of France. The
love of the people for making things has resisted in a remarkable way
the domination of machine industry and modern factory organization.
The French work shop, averaging six persons, is as characteristic
of France as the huge factory organization with the most modern
mechanical equipment is characteristic of American industry. As the
workers in these shops participate more intimately in the fabrication
of goods they come more nearly to a real participation in productive
enterprise. This close contact with the actual processes of production
gives the workers a sense of power. A sense of their relation to the
processes and their ability to control them engenders courage. Indeed
it is the absence of fear, rather than the absence of work, that
determines the capacity of men for play.

It was not accidental that the movement of the French workers for
emancipation emphasized a desire for control of industry. The
syndicalism of France has expressed the workers' interest in
production as the labor movements of other countries have laid stress
exclusively on its economic value to them. The syndicalists' theory
takes for granted the readiness of workers to assume responsibility
for production, while the trade unionists of England, Germany and the
United States ask for a voice in determining not their productive but
their financial relation to it.

It is the habit of these other peoples to credit the lack of interest
in work to physical hardships which the wage system has imposed. But
the wage system from the point of view of material welfare has borne
no less heavily on the French than on other workers. It is also
difficult to prove that the physical hardships of modern methods of
production are greater than the hardships of earlier methods. The
truth is that neither hardships nor exploitation of labor are new
factors; they have both, through long centuries, repressed in varying
degree the inspirational and intellectual interest of workers in
productive effort. It is not the economic burdens which followed the
introduction of machinery and the division of labor that distinguish
these new factors in industry, but the discredit which they throw
around man's labor power. They have carried the discredit of labor
in its social position further than it had been carried, but this
is merely a by-product of the discredit they cast on the skill and
intellectual power which is latent in the working class. In this
connection the significant truth for civilization is that while
exploitation of labor and physical hardships induce the antagonism
between labor and capital, modern factory organization destroys
creative desire and individual initiative as it excludes the workers
from participation in creative experience.

The new discoveries in inorganic power and their application to
industrial enterprise are possibly more far reaching in their effect
on the adjustment and relationships of men than they have been at any
other time in the last century and a half. Whatever the world owes
to these discoveries and their applications it cannot afford to lose
sight of a fact of great social significance, which is, that people
have accepted mechanical achievements, not as labor saving devices but
as substitutes for human initiative and effort. They have not, indeed,
saved labor to the advantage of labor itself, and they have
inhibited interest in production. Outside of business enterprise and
diplomacy--the political extension of business--mechanical devices
have lost the surprise reaction and resentment which they originally
set up. As a competitor with human labor they have established
themselves as its fit survivor. The prophesy of Theophrastus Such
seems to have been already fulfilled, and any new machine added to
those already in power in the Parliament of Machines can scarcely add
to the worker's sense of his own impotency. The business valuations
which were evolved out of craftsmanship and which were further
developed under the influence of the technology of the last century
and a half, emphasized the value of material force, and repressed
spiritual evaluations, such as the creative impulse in human beings.

Modern industrial institutions are developed by an exclusive
cultivation of people's needs and the desire to possess. They are
developed independently, as we have seen, of any need or desire to
create. The desire to possess is responsible for the production of a
mass of goods unprecedented and inconceivable a century and a half
ago. The actual production of all of these goods is unrelated to
the motive of men's participation in their production; the actual
production in relation to the motive is an incident. The sole reason
for the participation in the productive effort is not the desire for
creative experience or the satisfaction of the creative impulse; it
is not an interest in supplying the needs of a community or in the
enrichment of life; it is to acquire out of the store of goods all
that can be acquired for personal possession or consumption. There is
no more fundamental need than the need to consume; but for the common
run of men as a motive in the creation of wealth, it is shorn of
adventure, of imagination and of joy.

The ownership of many things, which mass production has made possible,
the intensive cultivation of the desire to own, has added another
element to the corruption of workmanship and the depreciation of its
value. Access to a mass of goods made cheap by machinery has had its
contributing influence in the people's depreciation of their own
creative efforts. As people become inured to machine standards, they
lose their sense of art values along with their joy in creative
effort, their self regard as working men and their personal equation
in industrial life.

Where the motive of individuals who engage in industry is the desire
to possess, the rational method of gaining possession is not by the
arduous way of work but of capture. The scheme of capture is a scheme
whereby you may get something for (doing) nothing; nothing as nearly
as possible in the way of fabrication of goods; something for the
manipulation of men; something for the development of technology and
mechanical science; and high regard for the manipulation of money.
"Doing nothing" does not mean that manual workers, managers of
productive enterprises, speculators in the natural resources of wealth
production and manufactured goods, as well as financiers, are not busy
people, or that their activity does not result in accomplishment. They
are indeed _the_ busy people and their accomplishment is the world's
wealth. Nevertheless the intention of all and the spirit of the scheme
is to do as near nothing as possible in exchange for the highest
return. _The whole industrial arrangement is carried on without
the force of productive intention; it is carried forward against a
disinclination to produce_.

I have said that industry was shorn of adventure for the common
man. Adventure in industrial enterprise is the business man's great
monopoly. His impetus is not due to his desire to create wealth but to
exploit it, and he secures its creation by "paying men off." Commonly
he is peevishly expectant that those he pays off will have a creative
intention toward the work he pays them to do, although in the scheme
of industry which he supports the opportunity provided for such
intention is negligible. An efficiency engineer estimated that there
is a loss in wealth of some fifty per cent, due to the inability of
the business man to appraise the creative possibilities in industry.

When exploitation of wealth is referred to, those who own it are
generally meant. But exploitation of wealth is the intention of
the worker as well as of the business man. To get, as I have said,
something for (doing) nothing is the dominating _motif_ in the
industrial world. It is supposed to reflect the self-interest of
individuals, to reflect, that is, their economic needs.

This motive of circumscribed self-interest during an era of political
and industrial expansion has been adopted by philosophers as the guide
as well as a clue to conduct; it was hailed by them as a sufficient
and complete motivation for wealth creation; they used it as a basis
of a theory for race progress resting solely on the efforts of men to
satisfy their material needs through their ability to capture goods.
This motive together with the possibilities which machine production
opened up for wealth exploitation, gave birth to the dismal science of
Political Economy; it suggested the materialistic interpretation
of history, and brought to earth utopian schemes of brotherhood.
Political science is dismal because it is an interpretation of
dismal institutions. It may be ungenerous to speak slightingly
of institutions which have yielded such great wealth, which have
transformed inert matter into productive power and brought in
consequence the whole world into acquaintanceship and rivalry. It
would be ungenerous if it were not for a fact which has become
poignant, that the exploitation of wealth and undigested relationships
are to-day the outstanding menace to civilization.

The present world conflict has made it clear that relationships cannot
remain undigested; that they are not in their nature passive. They are
either integrating in their force or disintegrating. Socialism has
undertaken for two generations to prove that exploitation, carries
with it its own seeds of destruction. The position of the socialists
is passing out of theory and propaganda through the hands of
diplomatists, into statutes. Both the socialists and their successors
would eradicate exploitation by repressing it. The socialists would
repress it by shifting ownership of wealth from individuals to the
state, while the diplomatists, through the same agency, would regulate
those who own it.

It is an historical fact as well as a psychological one that you do
not get rid of traits or institutions except as you replace them with
something of positive service, or greater competitive value. The
institution of capitalism exists not because of its predatory
character, but because in spite of its exploitation it _promotes_
industry, and labor and other industrial technicians do not. As our
industrial institutions have grown out of a predatory concept instead
of a creative one, as capture has been rewarded rather than work, as
the possessive desire has been stimulated and the creative desire
has been sacrificed, as employers of men and owners of machines have
engaged in production because of their interest not in the process or
in the use of the product, but in the reward, as wage workers have
hired out for the day's work or continued during their adult life in
their trade without interest in its development, because like their
employers they wanted the highest cash return, wealth exploitation
has come to be synonymous in the minds of men with wealth creation. A
creative concept which could survive and inhibit the predatory concept
must rest on such elements of creative force as are now absent from
our industrial institution.

It is almost axiomatic to say that a system of wealth production which
cultivated creative effort would yield more in general terms of
life as well as in terms of goods, than a system like our own which
exploits creative power. It is obvious that the disintegrating
tendency in our system is due to the fact that production is dependent
for its motive force on the desire to possess. It is also obvious that
a rational system of industry which sought to give that desire among
all men full opportunity for satisfaction would also undertake to
cultivate the creative impulse for the sake of increasing creative
effort The result would be an increase in production. As logical
as this observation may be, it is not so obvious how such a social
transformation as this implies, may be effected.

Every advance in wealth creation which has become an institutional
part of an economic system has been impelled and sustained by the
material interests of people who at the time held the strategic
position in the community. The world has progressed, or retrogressed,
as the most powerful interests at any time adjusted the institutions
and customs governing wealth production to their own advantage. As
the controlling interests in our present scheme are the business
interests, it is the business man, not the workman, who directs
industry and determines its policy as well as the general policy of
the nation in which it operates. It is to the advantage of private
business run for private gain, to control creative effort for the
purpose of appropriating the product, and to inhibit free creative
expression as an uncontrollable factor in the enterprise of
exploitation.

The appalling and wanton sacrifice of life which are incident to the
evolution of machinery and the division of labor seem to demand at
times their elimination. In weariness we are urged to retrace our
steps and go back to craftsmanship and the Guilds. But it is idle to
talk about going back or eliminating institutionalized features of
society. We cannot go back, we have not the ability to discard this or
that part of our environment except as we make it over. The result of
this making over might be vitalized by methods which had belonged
to earlier periods, but neither the methods nor the periods, we can
safely say, will live again. Neither our own nor future generations
will escape the influence of modern technology. It will play its part.
It may be a part which will lead away from some of the destructive
influences which developed in the era of craftsmanship and which
dominate the present. But a society too enfeebled to use its own
experience will not have the power to use the experience of another
people or of another time. It is beside the point to look to some
other experience or scheme of life and choose that because it seems
good, unless the choice is based on a people's present fitness to
adapt that other experience or other scheme of life to their own
experience. The proposition to revert to an earlier period suggests
nothing more than the repetition of an experience out of which the
present state of affairs has evolved.

Nor is there ground for the hope that in time institutions and
relationships will be regulated on principles of altruism. It is not
apparent indeed that such regulations would yield even the present
allowance of happiness incident to our own immature method of
capturing what wealth we can without relation to social factors. As
unfortunate as we are in pursuit of that blind method, it is safe to
predict that the world would be a madder place than it is to-day if
every one devoted himself to doing what he believed was for the good
of everybody else.

The hope of social revolutionists that private business would
overreach itself and defeat its own purpose, grew out of the
expectation that its tribute exactions would draw the subjects of
capital together in a common defensive movement; that the movement on
account of its numbers would overturn business and that in place of
private management democratic control would be instituted. Some
such outcome, sooner or later, seems inevitable if civilization is
scheduled to advance. The labor union movement, unlike the political
socialist revolutionary movement, undertakes in its operation to
supply labor with a certain working content, which the administrative
scheme of industry has excluded from the experience of its workers.
But this content is not sufficient to stimulate the imagination of the
trade unionists with the thought that the world of industry is the
field of creative adventure. Their conception born of experience is
not so flattering. It would be a brave man who would undertake to
convince the twentieth century adult wage earner, involved in modern
methods of machine production, that his poverty is less in his
possession of wealth than in his growth and in his creative
opportunity.

The industrial changes which the labor movement proposes to make are
on the side of a better distribution of goods. A better distribution
would have a dynamic significance in wealth production, if the
actual increase which labor secured in wages and leisure were a real
increase. But exploiting capital provides for such exigencies as high
wages by increasing the price of products, thus reducing the wage
earners' purchasing power to the former level. High wages fail to
disturb the relative portion of capital and labor even more than they
fail to affect the purchasing power of the worker.

It is often suggested that if the state assumed control of industry
the blight of business could be removed. But in the transfer we would
not necessarily gain opportunity to enjoy the adventure which industry
holds out. Industry as a creative experience, it is safe to predict,
would be as rare a personal experience and as foreign an influence
in social existence under state management as it is under business
management. The state would curb the amount of wealth exploitation
possibly, but would not alter the universal attitude toward wealth
production, which is to take as much and give as little as one can get
off with.

Although political socialism may be the economic sequel of private
capital there is no foundation for the belief that it will of itself
induce creative effort or stimulate creative impulse. The faith back
of the socialist movement that desirable attributes like the creative
impulse, which men potentially possess, will begin to operate
automatically and universally as soon as there is sufficient
leisure and food for general consumption, is blind and historically
unwarranted. The signs are that a socialist state would lean
exclusively on the consumption desire for production results, just as
the present system of business now does. Neither fat incomes nor large
leisure have furnished the world with its people of genius. In spite
of the inhibiting influence of exploitation, they have come, what
there are of them, out of intensive application to some matter
of moment. Possibly they would come, and more of them, from the
work-a-day world under socialism with the inhibiting influence of
organized exploitation removed, but more of them would not insure a
democracy in industry or elsewhere. Nothing insures that short of
a strong emotional impulse, a real intellectual interest in the
adventure of productive enterprise.

The creative desire is an incident or a sort of by-product of the
economics of socialism as it is of classical economics; neither
one nor the other depends on its cultivation. Either is capable of
achieving mass production, but neither insures a democratic control of
industry, neither provides for growth, for education in the productive
process. A democracy of industry requires a people's sustained
interest in the productive enterprise; their interest in the
development of technology, the development of markets, and the release
of man's productive energy.

It happens that in machine production and in the division of labor
there are emotional and intellectual possibilities which were
non-existent in the earlier and simpler methods of production. As
power latent in inorganic matter has been freed and applied to common
needs, an environment has been evolved, filled with situations
incomparably more dramatic than the provincial affairs of detached
people and communities. Although this technological subject matter,
rich in opportunities for associated adventure and infinite discovery,
is not a part of common experience, it exists, and if called out from
its isolation for purposes of common experimentation, it is fit matter
for making science a vital experience in the productive life of the
worker.

Industry under the direction of business will not open up the
adventure with its stimulating factors to its subservient labor force,
unless it happens that the present methods fail, in time, to carry
forward industrial enterprise on a profit-making basis; or unless
labor develops the power which springs from desire for creative
experience, to undertake the direction and control of industry.

The present is better than any time earlier in the history of
technology for the development of a concept of industry as a socially
creative enterprise. As craftsmanship extended and intensified an
interest in personal ownership, it magnified the value of possessions;
as it deepened the desire for protection of private property and
the strengthening of property laws against human laws, it was not
a _socializing_ force. While the craftsmanship period strengthened
personal claims on workmanship and interest in it, mechanical power
and division of labor have impersonated industry.[A] In the labyrinth
of mechanical processes and economic calculation it is not to-day
possible for a worker to think or speak of a product as his. He has no
basis for ownership claims in any article; even the price is arranged
between buyer and seller and he is not the seller. An article owes its
existence to an infinite number of persons and its place in the market
to as many more.

[Footnote A: Thorstein Veblen--Instinct of Workmanship, Chapter V.]

A worker's claim to the product of his labor is merged in an infinity
of claims which makes the product more nearly the property of society
than of any one individual. And this merging of claims which has
resulted in the submerging of all wage workers, has set up the new
educational task of discovering the possibilities for creative
experience in associated enterprise.

While an article manufactured under business conditions is the product
of enforced association, we have in this condition the mechanics of
a real association. As it now stands, the association is one of
individuals, with the impulse for association and for creative effort
left out. The interests of some ninety workers associated together in
the making of a shoe are not common but antagonistic, except as they
are common in their antagonism to the owner of the shoe on which they
work. They hang together because they must; their parting is the best
part of a working day.

And yet the practice of dividing up the fabrication of an article
among the members of a group instead of confining the making of it
to one or two people, opens up the possibility of extensive social
intercourse, and has the power, we may discover, to sublimate the
inordinate desire for the intensive satisfaction of personal life.
Although the division of labor has given us a society which is
abortive in its functioning like a machine with half assembled parts,
it offers us the mechanics for interdependence and the opportunity to
work out a cooerdinated industrial life.




CHAPTER II

ADAPTING PEOPLE TO INDUSTRY--THE AMERICAN WAY


As machine power rivalled hand work, promoters of industry until
recently relied for its advancement on the perfection of technology,
giving little thought to the perfection of labor. It was confidently
assumed that labor, out of its own necessities, would adapt itself
automatically to the new requirements of the machine, and to the
shifts of business interest. When it was discovered that there were
limitations to labor's voluntary adaptation under the conditions laid
down, intelligent business in America decided that the responsibility
for realizing labor's adaptation or "labor's cooeperation" as they
call it, must be assumed by the management of industry and that that
management must be scientifically worked out and applied.

Scientific management is scientific as it subjects the labor
operations on each job, each specific job to be performed in a
factory, to a testing out of the energy consumed; to discovering
how to secure labor's maximum productivity without waste of time or
energy. It is scientific as the manager's state of mind towards the
physical and psychological reactions of the workers is one of inquiry
and a readiness to accept, as facts of mechanical science are
accepted, the reaction of the workers. A scientific manager, or
engineer as he is often called, bears the same relation to the labor
force in a factory that an electrical engineer bears to the electrical
equipment. If his attention to the emotional reaction of the workers
is less detached than scientific standards require, it must be
remembered that he is trying to make adjustments which must first of
all meet definite business conditions. Where the reactions of the
workers interfere with the whole scheme of business administration,
(and interfere they ceaselessly do), he has to substitute measures
which are not strictly speaking scientific. On these occasions he
adopts humanitarian schemes, which are generally spoken of as welfare
work. It is the introduction of these schemes which look like a "slop
over" from science to charity, that makes it difficult for outsiders
to tell just what scientific management is and what it is not.

Mr. Frederick W. Taylor, the founder of scientific management, was
capable of scientific detachment in studying working men in relation
to the specific job. He was able more notably than others had been
before him, and more than many who have followed him, to extend the
impersonal state of mind, which he enjoyed in the study of inorganic
energy, to his study of human energy. Mr. Taylor's interest did not
emanate from sympathy with labor in its hardships; his interest was
centered in an effort to conserve and apply labor energy with maximum
economy for wealth production. Mr. Taylor awakened the consciousness
of industrial managers to the fact that the energy of workers like the
power of machinery is subject to laws. He demonstrated that it was
possible in specific operations to discover how the highest degree of
energy could be attained and the largest output result, without
loss through fatigue. He showed how efficiency could be enhanced by
transferring the responsibility of standards of work from the workers
to the managers. He formulated, as a business and industry doctrine,
that a definite relation between the expenditure of labor energy and
the labor reward could be established; that the wage incentive, if
applied to labor in relation to energy expended, would yield, or might
be expected to yield increased returns. These incentives, rewards,
stimuli, which employers could apply would produce, he stated with
unscientific fervor, the workers' initiative. The inability of Mr.
Taylor and other scientific managers to distinguish between initiative
and short lived reaction to stimulus is simple evidence that their
scientific experiments were confined to comparisons which they could
make between a yield in wealth where the stimulus to labor is weak,
and a yield where it is strong. They will not discover what a worker's
productivity is, or might be, when incited by his impulse to work, nor
will they secure labor's initiative, until they release the factors,
latent in industry, which have inspirational, creative force.

The attitude of Mr. Taylor and his followers, however, differs from
that of the ordinary manager who maintains an irritated disregard of
the disturbing elements instead of accepting them and, as far as is
consistent with business principles, allaying or cajoling them. The
significant contributions which scientific management has made are in
line with the experiments originally introduced by Mr. Taylor. They
call for the study of each new task by the management, for discovering
the economy in the expenditure of labor energy before it is submitted
to the working force; the standardizing of the task in conformity with
the findings; the teaching of the approved methods to the working
force; the introduction of incentives which will insure the full
response of labor in the accomplishment of the task. Beside the
standardizing of tasks and the relating the wage to the fixed
standard, scientific management has made intensive experiments in
the scheduling of the various operations to be performed, which are
divided among the working force, so that no one operation is held up
awaiting the completion of another. It has shown in this connection
that work can be "routed" so that the time of workers is not lost. The
most successfully managed factories also plan their annual product
so that employment will be continuous. They have discovered that the
periods of unemployment seriously affect the personnel of a labor
force and they estimate that the turnover of the labor force which
requires the constant breaking in of new men is an item of serious
financial loss. The Ford Automobile Works at one time hired 50,000 men
in one year while not employing at any one time more than 14,000. They
estimated that the cost of breaking in a new man averaged $70.00. To
reduce this cost, they instituted profit sharing, as an incentive for
men to remain. Other factories have estimated the cost of replacing
men from $50.00 to $200.00. A rubber concern in Ohio has a labor
turnover of 150 per cent. In connection with the effort to reduce the
turnover in the labor force the management of well organized factories
takes great care to estimate a worker's value before employing him.
The policy of transferring a man from one department to another where
he is better suited yields evidently valuable results. In factories
where there is effort to hold labor, to make employment continuous,
the turnover has been reduced in some cases to as low as 18 per cent.
Generally, however, it is still high; frequently as high as 50 per
cent, and 50 per cent is still considered low, even in factories which
have given the subject much consideration.

There is a tendency in developing the mechanics of efficiency, as they
relate to labor, to establish for machine production standards of
workmanship. Long and weary experience has proved that wage earners
under factory methods and machine conditions are not interested in
maintaining standards of work. The standards which are set by the
scientific management schemes of efficiency are not, to be sure, the
qualitative standards of craftsmanship but they are qualitative as
well as quantitative standards of machine work. The tendency to
establish standards should have educational significance for workers.
It would have, if the responsibility for setting standards as well
as maintaining them rested in any measure with the workers; it would
have, that is, if the workers had the interest in workmanship, which
as things now stand they have not. The point in scientific management
is that efficiency depends, wholly depends they believe, on
centralizing the responsibility for setting and maintaining
workmanship standards, on transferring the responsibility for
standards of work from workers who do it, to the management who
directs it done. I have learned of only one manager who realizes
that although the factory workers are not to be trusted to maintain
standards, a management nevertheless will fail to get the workers'
full cooeperation until it arouses their interest in maintaining them.

The manager is Mr. Robert Wolf, who illustrated this point at a
meeting of the Taylor Society in March, 1917. In describing the
process of extracting the last possible amount of water from paper
pulp, he said:

    "Our problem was to determine the best length of time to keep the
    low pressure on, as the high, pressure is governed entirely by the
    production coming from the wet machine. After having determined
    that three minutes of low pressure ... gives maximum moisture
    test, we furnished each man on the wet machines with a clock and
    asked him to leave this low pressure on just three minutes. As
    long as the foremen kept constantly after their men and vigilantly
    followed them up we obtained some slight increase in the test; but
    it required a constant urging upon our part to focus the attention
    of the men upon this three minute time of low pressure.... We
    realized finally that in order to get the results we were after,
    it was necessary for us to produce _a desire_ upon the part of
    our men to do this work in the proper way ... so we designed an
    instrument which would give us a record of the time lost between
    pressing operations, also the number of minutes the low pressure
    was kept on. It took us something over a year to perfect this
    machine, but after it was finally perfected and a record of the
    operations made, we found that the men actually were operating at
    an average efficiency of 42 per cent, and our moisture test was
    running about 54 per cent. Our next step was to post a daily
    record of the relative standing of the men in the machine room,
    putting the men who had the best record at the top of the list, in
    the order of their weekly average efficiencies. (The efficiency of
    low pressure, which proved to be the most important factor, was
    computed by calling three minutes of low pressure 100 per cent and
    two minutes either way 0 per cent.) As a result of simply posting
    this record our efficiencies rose to over 60 per cent and our
    moisture test increased a little less than 1 per cent. Some of the
    best and most skilled men had an efficiency of over 80 per cent,
    but quite a large percentage of them were down below 50 per cent.
    We therefore decided that it was necessary to have the foreman
    give more detailed information to the men as to what the machine
    meant and how their efficiencies were obtained and to put the
    instrument which did the recording into a glass case in the
    machine room where all the men could see it. Each foreman took a
    portion of the chart and one of the celluloid scales by which, we
    obtained the efficiencies and explained in detail to each one of
    the men how their records were calculated. As a result of this,
    our efficiency rose from 60 per cent to 80 per cent in less than
    four weeks, and it has remained at 80 per cent ever since--(ever
    since being over two years)--enabling us to get a moisture of over
    56 per cent."[A]

[Footnote A: Bulletin of the Taylor Society--March, 1917.]

This was accomplished, Mr. Wolf told them, without resorting to piece
work or bonus or any of the special methods of payments, their
men being hired by the day throughout the entire plant. Mr. Wolf
accomplished the result by giving meaning to a meaningless task,
by letting the men see for themselves how they arrived at results,
letting them see the different processes of getting results and
knowing on their own account which were the most valuable.

There may be other managers who appreciate the value of letting men
in on the experimental effort of getting results but it is not the
practice to do so and it is opposed to the idea of transferring
the responsibility from the workshop to the manager's office or
laboratory. Because of this practice the educational value of
establishing standards of workmanship is lost so far as the workers
are concerned. Mr. Wolf's criticism of orthodox scientific management
and his conclusions are illuminating; they are indeed revolutionary
in nature as they come from a manager of a successful industrial
enterprise:

    "Our efforts, ever since we began to realize the workman's point
    of view, have been not to take responsibility from him. It is our
    plan to increase his responsibility and we feel that it is our
    duty to teach him to exercise his reasoning power and intelligence
    to its fullest extent. There is _no advantage gained by
    stimulating a man's reasoning power, and through this means his
    creative faculty, if the management relieves the man of the
    responsibility for each individual operation_. The opportunity
    for self expression, which is synonymous with joy in work, is
    something that the workman is entitled to, and we employers who
    feel that management is to become a true science must begin to
    think less of the science of material things and think more of
    the science of human relationships. Our industries must become
    _humanized_, otherwise there will be no relief from the present
    state of unrest in the industries of the world.

    "In this connection it might be well to observe that our
    experience in the pulp industry has been that instructions which
    go _too much into detail_ tend to deaden interest in the work. We
    realize fully the value of sufficient instructions to get uniform
    results, but we try to leave as much as possible to the judgment
    of the individual operator, making our instructions take more
    the form of constant _teaching of principles_ involved in the
    operation than of definite _fixed rules_ of procedure. It is
    necessary to produce a desire in the heart of the workman to do
    good work. No amount of coercion will enlist him thoroughly in the
    service.

    "The new efficiency is going to reckon a great deal more with the
    needs of the individual man; but in order to do this, it must have
    some philosophical conception of the reason for man's existence.
    _It is beginning to be understood that when we deny to vast
    numbers of individuals the opportunity to do creative work, we are
    violating a great universal law_."

Scientific management is sacrificing educational opportunity latent
in the realization of workmanship standards in the same way that
machinery sacrificed it. They both curtail the workers' chance to
discover first-hand what the processes of fabrication are, the
processes in which they are involved; they must adopt ready-made
methods of doing their work, they must accept them out of hand without
questioning, or chance to question, their validity. Workers endowed
with good health and moral vigor resist these attempts to put
something over on them, irrespective of their good or evil results.

The workers have resisted machinery not only because as individuals
they were thrown, out of jobs for a time or lost them permanently, but
because the machine imposed on them a method of work, of activity over
which they had no control. Scientific management has undertaken to
gather up whatever bits of initiative the machine had not already
taken over and to hand back to the workers at the bench directions
for them to follow with a blind ability to accept instruction. It is
incredible to factory managers that workers object to being taught
"right" ways of doing things. Their objection is not to being taught,
but to being told that some one way is right without having had the
chance to know why, or whether indeed it is the right way. This
resistance to being taught, it seems, is nothing more nor less than a
wayward desire of a worker to do his own way because it is his way,
and of course from the managers' point of view, that is stupid. It
is stupid, but the stupidity is in the situation. What does this
waywardness of the worker to do his own way suggest? Not that he has
a way worth bothering about but that he wants to exercise the
quality which all industrial managers agree he does not possess--his
initiative. Now a man who has the desire to exercise initiative and
does not know how to put anything through is not only a useless person
in society but the most pestiferous fellow in existence. Allowing that
he is does not mean that he has not the power of initiative or that he
could not have learned to put this initiative to good use, if at any
time in his manhood or youth he had been taught to use it, instead of
being required to follow the accepted ways of doing things without
having had the experience of trial and error. Schools and factory
management give workers scant opportunity to discover whether they
have initiative or have not.

Mr. Wolf finds that "while it is possible, under certain conditions,
to compel obedience, there is no possible way in which a man can be
compelled to do his work willingly and when he does it unwillingly he
is far from being efficient. He must have the opportunity to enjoy
his work and realize himself in its performance." "In our plant,"
he remarks, "we never made it a practice to determine arbitrarily
standard methods for performing an operation, for we believe that
the men who are actually doing the work have generally as much to
contribute as the foremen and department heads in deciding standard
practices; and because we give the workman the chance to have the most
to say about the matter, he is willing to conform to the standard,
because it really represents a concensus of opinion of the men in his
particular group." It is significant in this connection to remember
that he does not pay the men by special methods to get the return. "I
am not necessarily opposed to piece work or task and bonus methods
of payment.... We have been able to obtain splendid results without
resorting to a system of immediate money rewards." He thinks it is
better to pay the workers liberally so that they "can forget this
economic pressure and do good work because of the joy that comes from
the consciousness of work well done."

Scientific management like ordinary management as a matter of fact
does not want to cultivate initiative in the rank and file of workers;
it would like to find more of it; and its eternal expectation is that
enough of it will rise out of the oppressive atmosphere of the factory
system to supply its limited needs. Scientific management especially
wants this, as it must have more foremen and teachers to carry forward
its advanced schemes of organization. But every manager will tell you
that industry does not produce men with sufficient initiative to
fill these positions. Their estimates of the number of men found in
industry who have initiative varies from one to five per cent. The
rest they believe are born, routine workers. They speak of their
limitations as native. Managers do not stop to consider that their
judgments are based wholly on the reaction of the mass of wage workers
to the special stimuli which they offer. They say also that high
school and college boys show up very little if any better in respect
to initiative than the lower school product. The truth is that schools
and colleges are more concerned with passing on the standards of an
older generation to a younger, and the younger that generation is
the less it is entrusted with opportunity to make its own first hand
inquiries. That is, the lower schools which deal with a generation at
its most plastic time, furnish the higher schools with minds inured to
the pressure of accepting subject matter without independent inquiry
or curiosity.

Factory management like college and school management, instead of
depending on the subject matter to interest the workers, instead of
opening up to them the factors of interest in industrial enterprise,
has adopted incentives for getting the required work done. Enlightened
school practice, out of long failure to get the children's initiative
by the artificial stimulus of rewards for work done, now depends upon
the content of the subject matter and the children's experiments with
it, to develop their desire to do the work. The practice of depending
on school rewards instead of interest in subject matter is largely
responsible for superficial knowledge and lack of ability to think as
well as to act. As schools fail to incite the interest of the children
they train them to put through this and that task and reward them for
it without having added to their power of undertaking tasks on their
own account. Indeed, as they fail to give them the chance to do that,
they actually decrease whatever power they may have had.

The doing of tasks in factories for the sake of rewards, gives the
workers experience in winning rewards. As they are interested only
in the reward, they carry away no desire or interest in the work
experience. As the method of doing the work is prescribed in every
detail and their only requirement, under scientific management, is to
follow directions with accuracy, they are trained to do their tasks as
the children in school are trained. They are trained in routine, and
to do each task as it is given. This is not education, it is training
to do tricks. The worker does not take over what can be called
experience from one task to another. He forms certain motor habits,
called skill. But under the efficient methods of scientific management
the acquirement of this skill is robbed even of the educational value
that it had under the unscientific method of factory work, which
within its limited field, left the worker to discover by trial and
error what were the best methods of getting results. Moreover, the
standards of workmanship which scientific management sets up are not
the worker's own standards; he has had no part in the making of
them or in deciding on the comparative merits of the results. He
accomplishes the results as he follows directions, not for the sake of
the result, not for the sake of good workmanship, but for the reward.

As I have said scientific management has given the subject of
incentives the same careful thought that it has given to the study of
lost energy. The two important incentives for inducing the response
of labor to productive enterprises which scientific management has
carried forward in their applications, are wages and promotion.
The general assumption is that the wage as an incentive has no
limitations, except the physical limitation of a human being in
response to stimulus. And surely it is true that the chance to "make
money" is to-day the most powerful stimulus in use. But thoughtful
managers of industrial enterprise tell you, incredible as it may seem,
that the worker's objection to applying himself to his task is not
invariably overcome by anticipation of the wage return; he will slack
or be perverse or throw over a job in the face of opportunities to
earn as good a wage or a better one than he can get elsewhere. It is
well known that workers joint unions in the face of opposition of
employers and at the risk of losing permanent positions.

A resourceful manager in one of the most intelligently managed plants
in the United States told me that women were less susceptible than men
to the wage incentive. He found that many of them are content when
their wage covers a sum which represents for them their personal
requirements; that they cannot interest them in trying for more. On
that account the manager takes up the case of the individual girl to
see if her ambition to earn more money cannot be stimulated. They find
sometimes that a mother requires her daughter to give in her whole
wage at the end of the week and that the girl has no pleasure in the
spending of it; they visit the mother and persuade her to let the girl
keep a proportion of her wage and point out to the mother that she is
limiting the girl's ambition. They also find girls who have entire
control over the spending of their wages, who are without ambition to
earn over and above a certain sum because that sum will meet their
own recognized needs. The case of these girls the management tries to
cover by encouraging them to save for vacations and other purposes
which they offer by way of suggestion. In both of these instances the
management undertakes to create new wants or ways of realizing wants
which were not recognized by the workers themselves. The satisfaction
of these wants may or may not be in the direction of extending
experience and expanding contacts. But that is neither here nor there.
The point is, the manager of the industry has used an incentive for
increasing production which has no relation to production itself.
He is forced to do this because he fails to make the process of
production a matter of interest to the worker. The processes of
production do not of themselves as we know compel the workers'
application or stimulate their desire for productive enterprise.

It is in the nature of the case impossible to increase the wage
incentive indefinitely. One large and scientifically managed plant has
made remarkable provisions for staving off the time when the dead line
is reached. They have taken stock account of the labor power they
require, the amount of energy which each worker possesses, for the
purpose of evaluation and payment. They have undertaken to cover as
separate items each condition which affects a worker's relation to
his job. They rate as separate items the worker's proficiency,
reliability, continuity in service, indirect charges, increased cost
of living, and periods of lay-off; they rate him according to the
number of technical processes he is proficient in, whether or not he
is engaged on more than one; they rate him if he attends the night
school connected with the factory and shows in this way a disposition
to learn other operations than, those he already knows. Why, they
wonder, does only ten per cent of the force take advantage of the
school and what, they are eager to find out, can they do further to
secure the men's cooeperation. For "cooeperation," they say, "in a
special way deserves credit, since it is unexpected ... certain well
defined acts of cooeperation will bring extra reward." Their rewards so
carefully calculated did not seem to enlist response as spiritual in
its nature as cooeperation. It seemed that they had reached "the dead
line" where wage stimulus fails to draw its hoped for response.

To get from the workers the highest efficiency the scientifically
managed plants pay for a task a stated rate based on piece or time; if
the task is performed within the time set and the directions for doing
the task as laid out by the management, are followed, the worker
receives in addition to the regular rate, a bonus. Mr. H.L. Grant,
while working with Mr. Taylor, discovered that there was weakness in
the system of paying bonuses, and the weakness was not overcome until
he devised a method of paying the workman for the time allowed plus
a percentage of that time according to what he did. This method he
declares constantly induced further effort and overcame what they
discovered was the weakness in a flat bonus. As fair or as superior as
this bonus may be in relation to the prevailing rate in the market,
managers say that the workers are apt in time to fall below the
standard as their work becomes routine, unless the incentive after a
time is increased or changed in character. In other words the wage
incentive is like a virus injection. The dose is not continuously
effective, except as the amount is increased or altered.

A usual method of keeping alive the financial incentive is profit
sharing and schemes for participation in profits, but they are rewards
of general merit and bids for continuity of service; they have no
direct relation to the workers' efficiency and compliance with
standards which distinguish the wage rewards of scientifically managed
plants.

Promotion, the incentive second in importance to the wage incentive,
is of assistance in postponing the time when the dead line for the
worker is reached. Nothing better illustrates the limitations of
promotion in this respect than the fact that in factories where
the turnover is the lowest, the opportunity to promote the workers
decreases; it falls in proportion to the length of their term of
service. That is, chances for promotion are the lowest in factories
where conditions otherwise are favorable to the worker. In the factory
where the turnover is only 18 per cent the management says that
promotion is a negligible factor. Where the turnover is high there is
greater opportunity in plants scientifically managed than in others to
promote men, as the scheme of organization calls for a larger number
of what they call "functionalized foremen" and teachers in proportion
to the working force.

It is as I have said, on account of the necessity of these positions
in the general scheme that managers of factories are interested in
finding more men who have initiative, than industry under their
direction has produced.

Before scientific management was discovered, business management and
machinery already had robbed industry of productive incentives, of the
real incentive to production; a realization on the part of the worker
of its social value and his appreciation of its creative content. All
that was left for scientific management to gather together for its
direction were bits of experience which workers gained by their own
experimental efforts at how best to handle tools. Their efforts it
is true were not sufficiently great in this direction to promise
progressive industrial advance. The margin for experiment which was
still theirs was not sufficiently largo to insure continued effort
inspired by an interest in the work.

When we have taken into full account the repressive effect of
scientific management on initiative, we may well admit an advantage:
educationally speaking, the repression is direct. The workers are
fully aware that they are doing what some one else requires of them.
They are not under the delusion that they are acting on their own
initiative. They are being managed and they know it and all
things being equal (which they are not) they do not like it. The
responsibility they may clearly see and feel rests with them to find a
better scheme for carrying industry forward. The methods of scientific
management are calculated to incite not only open criticism from
the workers but to suggest that efficient industry is a matter of
learning, and that learning is a game at which all can play, if the
opportunity is provided.

Scientific managers have hoped that their plans to conserve energy
and increase the wage in relation to expenditure of energy would meet
little opposition. They also have hoped that the paternalistic feature
of welfare work would allay opposition. But I am not inclined
to include the welfare schemes in a consideration of scientific
management; they have little light to throw on what educational
significance there is in the efficiency methods which scientific
management has introduced in industry. The playgrounds attached to
factories, the indoor provisions for social activity, the clubs, while
not having an acknowledged relation to the scientific management
of the factory and while repudiated by some managers, are a common
feature of plants which claim to be scientifically managed. There are
scientifically managed plants which object to the recreational and
other features which have to do with matters outside the province of
the factory, on the ground that it is a meddling with the personal
side of people's lives. "A baseball game connected with the factory,"
said the educational manager of a certain plant, "has the effect of
limiting the workers' contacts; it is much better for them, as it is
for every one, not to narrow their relationships to a small group, but
to play ball with the people of the town." It is significant that this
concern deals with the union and conforms to its regulations. Whether
this more generous concept of the workers' lives yields more in
manufactured goods than one that confines the activity of the workers
to the factory in which they labor, scientific management, so far as I
know, has not discovered.

The very nature of the welfare schemes suggests that they are inspired
more out of fear of the workers' freedom of contact than launched on
account of comparative findings which relate strictly to the economy
of labor power. The policy of leaving the workers free, it was clear
in the instance just cited, had been adopted out of a personal
preference for freedom in relationships. The introduction of clinics,
rest rooms, restaurants, sanitary provisions, and all arrangements
relating directly to the workers' health have a bearing on efficiency
and productivity which is well recognized and probably universally
endorsed by efficiency managers, even if they are not invariably
adopted.

Scientific management wants two things; more men in the labor market
to fill the positions of functionalized foremen, more men than modern
industrial society has produced; and it wants an army of workers who
will follow directions, follow them as one of the managers said, as
soldiers follow them. It wants this army to be endowed as well with
the impulse to produce. It may by its methods realize one of its
wants, that is, an army of workers to follow directions; but as it
succeeds in this, as it is successful in robbing industry of its
content, and as it reduces processes to routine, it will limit its
chances to find foremen who have initiative and it will fail to get
from workers the impulse to produce goods.

During the last four years, under the stress of a consuming war every
stimulus employed by business management for speeding up production
has been advanced. Organized efficiency in the handling of materials
has increased the output, as increased rewards to capital and labor
have stimulated effort. But the quantitative demand of consumption
requirements is insatiable. It is not humanly possible under the
present industrial arrangements to satisfy the world's demand for
goods, either in time of war or peace. It was never more apparent than
it is now, that an increase in a wage rate is a temporary expedient
and that wage rewards are not efficient media for securing sustained
interest in productive enterprise. It is becoming obvious that the
wage system has not the qualifications for the cooerdination of
industrial life. As the needs of the nations under the pressure of war
have brought out the inefficiencies of the economic institution, it
has become sufficiently clear to those responsible for the conduct of
the war and to large sections of the civil population, that wealth
exploitation and wealth creation are not synonymous; that the
production of wealth must rest on other motives than the desire of
individuals to get as much and give as little as particular situations
will stand.

In England and in the United States, where the individualistic
conception of the industrial life has been an inherent part of our
national philosophy, the governments, with cautious reservations, have
assumed responsibilities which had been carried in normal times by
business. Because business administration had been dependent for its
existence on a scheme of profiteering it is not in the position where
it can appeal to labor to contribute its productive power in the
spirit of patriotic abandon. But governments as they have taken over
certain industrial responsibilities are in a better position to make
such appeals to capital as well as to labor.

The calculable effect of the appeal to capital to assume the
responsibility is in the long run of passing importance, as under the
present business arrangement that is the position capital occupies. In
other words, the appeal will mark no change in capitalist psychology
as it promises to do in the case of labor.

The calculable effect on labor psychology may have revolutionary
significance. It is quite another sort of appeal in its effect from
the stereotyped and familiar one of employers to labor to _feel_ their
responsibility. That appeal never reached the consciousness of working
men for the reason that it is impossible to feel responsible or to be
responsible where there is no chance of bearing the responsibility.
Experiencing responsibility in industry means nothing more nor less
than sharing in the decisions, the determination of procedure, as well
as suffering from the failure of those decisions and participating in
their successful eventuation. As the governments in the present case
have made their appeals to labor they have carried the suggestion of
partnership in responsibility because the government is presumably the
people's voice and its needs also presumably are the common needs and
not the special interests of individuals. It is hardly necessary to
point out that it was not the intention of government officials who
made the appeal to excite a literal interpretation; they did not
expect to be taken so seriously and up to date they have not been
taken more seriously than they intended by American labor. All they
mean and what they expect to gain, is what employers have meant and
wanted; that is labor's surrender of its assumed right to strike
on the job, its surrender of its organized time standards and its
principle of collective bargaining. But when officials speak in the
name of a government what they mean is unimportant; what it means to
the people to have them speak, and the people's interpretation of what
they say, is the important matter.

These appeals of the governments in this time of war to the working
people have the tendency to clear the environment of the suggestion
that common labor, that is the wage earning class (as distinguished
from salaried people, employers and the profiteers pure and simple)
are incompetent to play a responsible part in the work of wealth
production. A responsible part does not mean merely doing well a
detached and technical job; it means facing the risks and sharing in
the experimental experience of productive enterprise as it serves the
promotion of creative life and the needs of an expanding civilization.
As the appeals of the governments at this time bear the stamp of a
nation's will, its valuation and respect for common labor, there
is the chance, it seems, that they may carry to the workers the
energizing thought that _all_ the members of the industrial group must
assume, actually assume, responsibility for production, if production
is to advance. Equally important in the interest of creative work is
the power of these appeals to shift the motive for production from
the acquisitive to the creative impulse. In the midst of the world's
emergency, driven by the fear of destruction the nations have turned
instinctively to the _unused_ creative force in human and common
labor, that is to the ability of the wage earner to think and plan. If
the response of labor is genuine, if with generous abandon it releases
its full productive energy, it is quite certain as matters now stand
that neither the governments nor the financiers are prepared to accept
the consequence.

If labor in answer to these appeals gains the confidence that it is
competent to carry industrial responsibility, or rather that common
labor, together with the trained technicians in mechanics and
industrial organization are competent _as a producing group_ to carry
the responsibility, one need we may be sure will be eliminated which,
has been an irritating and an unproductive element in industrial life;
I mean the need the workers have had for the cultivation of class
isolation. As the workers become in the estimation of a community and
in their own estimation, responsible members of a society, their more
rather than less abortive effort to develop class feeling in America,
will disappear. Under those conditions concerted class action will be
confined to the employers of labor and the profiteers, who will be
placed in the position of proving their value and their place in the
business of wealth creation. On this I believe we may count, that
labor will drop its defensive program for a constructive one, as it
comes to appreciate its own creative potentiality.

       *       *       *       *       *

Judging from recent events in England, where the government appeals
to labor have had longer time to take effect, it seems that new brain
tracks in labor psychology have actually been created. English labor
apparently is beginning to take the impassioned appeals of its
government seriously and is making ready to assume the responsibility
for production. The resolutions adopted by the Labor Party at its
Nottingham Conference in November in 1917 covered organized labor's
usual defense program relating to wage conditions. The Manifesto which
was issued was first of all a political document, written and compiled
for campaign purposes. But the significance of the party's action
is the new interpretation which it is beginning to give industrial
democracy. It is evident where state ownership is contemplated that
the old idea that industry would pass under the administrative
direction of government officials, is replaced by the growing
intention and desire of labor to assume responsibility for
administration whether industry is publicly or privately owned. The
Party stands for the "widest possible participation both economic and
political ... in industry as well as in government." In explanation
of the Manifesto, the leader of the Party is quoted in the Manchester
Guardian as saying, that when labor now speaks of industrial democracy
it no longer means what it did before the war; it does not mean
political administration of economic affairs; it means primarily
industrial self-government.

       *       *       *       *       *

Perhaps an even better evidence of the intention of English labor in
this direction is the movement towards decentralization in the trade
union organization. This movement, known as the "shop-stewards"
movement is essentially an effort of the men in the workshops to
assume responsibility in industrial reconstruction after the war, a
responsibility which they have heretofore under all circumstances
delegated to representatives not connected directly with the work in
the shops. As these representatives were isolated from actual problems
of workshop production and alien therefore to the problems in their
technical and specific application, they were incapable of functioning
efficiently as agents of productive enterprise. This "shop stewards"
movement recognizes and provides for the interdependence of industrial
interests, but at the same time it concerns itself with the competent
handling of specific matters.

Such organization as the movement in England seems to be evolving, the
syndicalists have contended for as they opposed the German idea of
state socialism. But the syndicalists in their propaganda did not
_develop_ the idea of industry as an adventure in creative enterprise.
Instead they emphasized, as did the political socialists and the trade
unionists, the importance of protecting the workers' share in the
possession of wealth. They made the world understand that business
administration of industry exploited labor, but they did not bring out
that both capital and labor, so far as it was possible for each to
do, exploited wealth. That was not the vision of industry which they
carried from their shops to their meetings or indeed to their homes.
Their failure at exploitation was too obvious.

An interesting illustration of what would happen in the ranks of
the syndicalists if the business idea of labor's intellectual and
emotional incapacity for functioning, gave way before a community's
confidence in the capacity of labor--we have in the case of the
migratory workers in the harvesting of our western crops. The
harvesters who follow the crops with the seasons from the southern to
the northern borders of the United States and into Canada are members
of the most uncompromisingly militant organization of syndicalists,
The Industrial Workers of the World. On an average it takes ten years
for these harvesters to become skilled workers and these men, members
of this condemned organization, are the most highly skilled harvesters
in the country. On account of their revolutionary doctrines and their
combined determination to reap rewards as well as crops, they are
considered and treated like outlaws, and outlaws of the established
order they are in spirit. When the owners of the farms of North Dakota
realized that their own returns on the harvests were diverted in the
marketing of their grain, they combined for protection against the
grain exchanges and the elevator trusts. While developing their
movement they discovered that the natural alliance for their
organization to make was with the men who were involved with them
in the production of grain. And as the farmers have accepted the
harvesters as partners they have formed in effect a cooerdinated
producing combination. Without finally settling the problem of
agriculture, they have strengthened the production group and
eliminated strife at the most vital point.

In the period of reconstruction the industrial issues of significance
to democracy will be whether or not management of industry as it has
been assumed by the state for the purpose of war shall revert after
the war to the condition of incompetency which the war emergency
disclosed or whether state management shall be extended and developed
as it was in Germany after the Franco-Prussian War. Fortunately,
these evidences of a new interest of labor in industry as a social
institution, give us some reason to hope that we shall not be confined
to a choice between business incompetency and state socialism. The
evidence of the desire on the part of the labor force to participate
in the development of production is the factor we should keep in
mind in any plans for democratic industrial reconstruction. It is
inevitable that an effort to open up and cultivate this desire
of labor will be regarded by the present governing forces with
apprehension. The movement of labor in this direction is now looked
upon with suspicion even by people who are not in a position of
control. The general run of people in fact outside of those who
recognize labor as a fundamental force in industrial reconstruction,
conceive of the labor people as an irresponsible mass of men and view
their movements as expressions of an irresponsible desire to seize
responsibility. They are the men who are not experienced in business
affairs and therefore cannot, it is believed, be trusted. The
arguments against trusting them are the same old arguments advanced
for many centuries against inroads on the established order of
over-lordship. But over-lordship has flourished at all times, and in
the present scheme of industry it flourishes as it always has,
in proportion to the reluctance of the people to participate as
responsible factors in matters of common concern. Corruption and
exploitation of governments and of industry are dependent upon the
broadest possible participation of a whole people in the experience
and responsibilities of their common life. It is for this reason that
we need to foster and develop the opportunity as well as the desire
for responsibility among the common people.

After the war, it is to be hoped that America will undertake to
realize through its schemes for reconstruction its present _ideals_ of
self-government. As it does this, we shall discover that the issues
which are of significance to democracy are of significance to
education; for democracy and education are processes concerned with,
the people's ability to solve their problems through their experience
in solving them. If America is ever to realize its concept of
political democracy, it can accept neither the autocratic method of
business management nor the bureaucratic schemes of state socialism.
It cannot realize political democracy until it realizes in a large
measure the democratic administration of industry.




CHAPTER III

ADAPTING PEOPLE TO INDUSTRY--THE GERMAN WAY


Statemanship in Germany covered "industrial strategy" as well as
political. Its labor protection and regulations were in line with its
imperial policy of domination. Within recent years labor protection
from the point of view of statesmanship has been urged in England and
America. The waste of life is a matter of unconcern in the United
States so long as private business can replenish its labor without
seriously depleting the oversupply. It becomes a matter of concern
only when there are no workers waiting for employment. The German
state has regulated the conditions of labor and conserved human energy
because its purpose has been not the short-lived one of private
business, but the long-lived one of imperial competition. It was the
policy of the Prussian state to conserve human energy for the strength
and the enrichment of the Empire. Whatever was good for the Empire was
good, it was assumed, for the people. The humanitarians in the United
States who tried to introduce labor legislation in their own country
accepted this naive philosophy of the German people, which had been so
skilfully developed by Prussian statesmen, without appreciating that
its result was enervating. Our prevailing political philosophy,
however, that workers and capitalists understand their own interests
and are more capable than the state of looking after them, stood in
the way of adopting on grounds of statesmanship the German methods.

The American working man has never been convinced that he can get odds
of material advantage from the state. His method is to get all he
can through "pull," good luck or his superior wits. He could find
no satisfaction like his German brothers in surrendering concrete
interests for some abstract idea of a state. He could find no greater
pleasure in being exploited by the state than he now finds in
exploitation by private business. The average American values life for
what he can get out of it, or for what he can put into it. He has
no sentimental value of service, nor is service anywhere with us an
institutionalized ideal. We judge it on its merits, detached perhaps,
but still for what it actually renders in values.

In conformity with American ideals, wage earners look to their own
movements and not to the state for protection. Their movements require
infinite sacrifice, but they supply them with an interest and an
opportunity for initiative which their job lacks. The most important
antidote for the workers to factory and business methods is not
shorter hours or well calculated rest periods or even change-off from
one kind of routine work to another. As important as these may be,
reform in labor hours does not compensate the worker for his exclusion
from the directing end of the enterprise of which he is a part and
from a position where he can understand the purpose of his work The
trade union interference with the business of wealth production is in
part an attempt to establish a cooerdination of the worker which is
destroyed in the prosecution of business and factory organization. The
interference of the union is an attempt to bridge the gulf between
the routine of service and the administration, and direction of the
service which the worker gives.

I do not intend to imply that the labor movement is a conscious
attempt at such cooerdination. It is not. The conscious purpose is the
direct and simple desire to resist specific acts of domination and
to increase labor's economic returns. But any one who follows the
sacrifices which organized workers make for some small and equivocal
gain or who watches them in their periods of greatest activity, knows
that the labor movement gets its stimulus, its high pitch of interest,
not from its struggle for higher wage rates, but from the worker's
participation in the administration of affairs connected with life in
the shop. The real tragedy in a lost strike is not the failure to gain
the wage demand; It is the return of the defeated strikers to work, as
men unequipped with the administrative power--as men without will.

There could be no greater contrast of methods of two movements
purporting to be the same, than the labor movement in Germany and in
the United States. The German workers depended on their political
representatives almost wholly to gain their economic rewards. Their
organizations made their appeal to the sort of a state which Bismarck
set up. They would realize democracy, happiness, they believed, when
their state represented labor and enacted statutes in its behalf.

If Germany loses the war the chances are that the people may recognize
what it means for the people of a nation to let the title to their
lives rest with the state; they will know perhaps whether for the
protection they have been given and for the regulation of their
affairs and destiny they have paid more than the workers of other
countries, who, less protected by law, suffered the exigencies of
their assumed independence.

How much the German people depended upon the state and how much their
destiny is affected by it is illustrated better by their educational
system and its relation to industry than by any labor legislative
protective practices or policy.

George Kerschensteiner, the director of the Munich schools, in his
book on "The Idea of the Industrial School," tells us that the
_Purposes <and Duties_ of the schools are to realize the ideal ethical
community, and that this realization is possible in so far as the
educational provisions are made from the standpoint of the ethical
concept of each state. In America we do not think of the state as the
embodiment of our ethical concepts. The state, as we know it, is one
of the several instruments for realizing ends, ethical as well as
material. The state is supposed to serve the common ends of all
people. A state may be used, we are all aware, as an instrument,
either by Prussian junkers or American business men; either may
capture a state to serve their ends. But as a state serves special
individuals it belies its professed reason for existence, and in
America is in danger of falling from grace, so far, that is, as the
common people are concerned. But when a state stands in the minds of a
people as the embodiment of their ideals as it has in Germany, it
must for its own purpose spend time and substance in purchasing the
people's confidence. In assuming the place of guardian it must of
necessity minister to the physical needs of the people. If it retains
the people's confidence in its guardianship, it is incumbent on it
to pursue this policy. It is incumbent on such a state to mould the
people's ideas of what their needs are. The schools obviously offer
the most hopeful media for the accomplishment of that result, and
they have been used in Germany more effectively in this way than the
schools of any other country. The German school system follows hard
and fast preconceptions of aims and ends, and because of this it
was possible for Germany to put over its own particular sort of
efficiency.

As a first requisite of efficiency, Germany classifies its people,
gives them a place in the scheme of things, and holds them there.
By circumscribing within definite limitations the experience of
individuals it produces specialists at the sacrifice of a larger human
development. The classification of the people and the training of them
naturally for the German purpose falls to the schools. The sorting
out of individuals begins at the early age of ten in the elementary
schools, when each child's social and economic position is practically
determined. It is decided then whether he shall be one of the great
army of wage workers or whether he shall fall into some one of the
several social classes and vocations which stand apart from the common
mass of wage earners. The children in the German schools, who are
selected at the age of ten for a more promising future than the trades
hold out, have more leeway in the making of their decision. But even
these children from the American point of view are summarily disposed
of and fatally consigned.

The telling off of children at the age of ten and assigning them to
a place in the social scheme for life is not American in spirit, nor
does it conform to our habits and institutions. But, it is complained,
the American habit of taking chances is not efficient. The habit of
letting children escape into life with their place unsettled creates
confusion and makes calculations in serious things like industry
difficult. Therefore, unfaithful to the development of our own
concepts of life we are expected to emulate Germany and to determine
the destiny of the child. Germany undertakes to eliminate the chances
of the individual and the taking of chances by the state, while the
American ideal is to leave its people free to make the most of each
new exigency that life turns up.

At the age of fourteen it is decided in Germany what industry or trade
the children shall enter, that is, the children who at ten are told
off to industry. After they enter their trade, their special education
for their job is looked after in the continuation schools as well
as in the shop. Their attendance at the continuation schools
is compulsory. This compulsory attendance does not only insure
supplementary training for a particular job, but holds the children to
the industry which was chosen for them. That is, a boy is compelled,
if he works in the dining-room of a hotel, to attend the continuation
school for waiters, until he is eighteen. He may not go to a
continuation school for butchers if he decided at the end of a year
or so in his first job that he would rather be a butcher, or that he
would rather do anything than wait.

The continuation schools protect German manufacture and the national
industrial efficiency against indulgence in such vagaries. A butcher
would prefer to engage lads who have had experience in butcher shops
and butcher continuation classes. Avenues of escape from jobs just
because they are uncongenial are thus quite effectively closed
together with, the chance to experiment with life--the chance which
Americans take for granted. But it is just this element of waywardness
and the opportunity America leaves open for its indulgence among
working people that makes labor from the standpoint of American
manufacture so inefficient. For want of opportunity to put
individuality to some account we frequently fall back on waywardness
in an awkward and futile protest against domination.

While the German scheme of placing its workers is efficient in its own
way, so also is the training for each particular trade. A child is
trained first to be skillful and second, to quote Mr. Kerchensteiner,
"to be willing to carry out some function in the state ... so that
he may directly or indirectly further the aim of the state." "Having
accomplished this," he says "the next duty of the schools is to
accustom the individual to look at his vocation as a duty which he
must carry out not merely in the interest of his own material and
moral welfare but also in the interest of the state." From this, he
says, follows the next and "greatest educational duty of the public
school. The school must develop in its pupils the desire and strength
... through their vocation, to contribute their share so that the
development of the state to which they belong, may progress in the
direction of the ideal of the community."

His assumption in defining the "greatest duty" is that the members of
the state are free to evolve and will evolve a progressive ethical
community. But after a child has passed through the hands of a
competent teaching force which fits him successfully into a ready-made
place, after he has accepted this ready-made place on the authority
of modern technology and business, on the authority of the state
and religion, that the place given him is his to fill; to fill in
accordance with the standards determined by the schools and by
industry--after all this, it is difficult to imagine what else a child
could do but conform. He could do no more, thus trained, than go
forward in the direction he is pushed and in the direction determined
before he was born. This is not our idea of a progressive life.

It has been understood generally in America that Germany's preparation
and classification of her future workers and their placement in
industry, was more responsible than any other policy for Germany's
place in the world market. British and American manufacturers before
the war urged the emulation of German methods of education and a
reorganization of school systems more in conformity with the German.
The demand of the manufacturers for reorganization came at a time
when intelligent educators in America were recognizing that some
reorganization was necessary to bring the school experience of
children into relation with their environment and with the actualities
of life. The industrial education movement in this country was based
on the German, and the German idea was the dominating one. The
movement here has shown little-imagination as it adopted a system
foreign to America, instead of initiating schemes which represented
the aspirations of a free people.

Herman Schneider, of the University of Cincinnati, has made one of the
most intelligent contributions in the adaptation of the German scheme
of education. He divides trades into two classes, which he calls
energizing and enervating. In those which are energizing there is an
element of individual expression and opportunity for self-direction.
The enervating trades are wholly automatic, and induce a lethargic
state of mind and body. His comment on the situation is: "We are
rapidly dividing mankind into a staff of mental workers and an army of
purely physical workers. The physical workers are becoming more and
more lethargic. The work itself is not character building; on the
contrary, it is repressive and when self-expression comes, it is
hardly energizing mentally. The real menace lies in the fact that in a
self-governing industrial community the minds of the majority are in
danger of becoming less capable of sound and serious thought because
of lack of continuous constructive exercise in earning a livelihood."

Professor Schneider undertakes to enrich this barren soil by
alternating the time of pupils between the shop or store and the
school, thus cooerdinating the worker's experience, with the assistance
of schoolmasters who go into the shops and follow the processes the
pupils are engaged in and who see that the experience of the week in
the shop is amplified and supplemented in the school. The arrangement
also provides that the pupils shall be taken through the various shop
processes in the course of apprenticeship. The experience while it
lasts may have educational value for the pupil. But in spite of what
it may or may not hold, for the general run of pupils it leads up a
blind alley because the apprenticeship does not fulfill the promise
which apprenticeship supposedly holds out. That is, the pupil, when he
becomes a worker, will be thrown back into some factory groove where
his experience as an apprentice cannot be used, where he is closed
off from the chance to develop and use the knowledge or training he
received. If, as Dean Schneider asserts, "we are rapidly dividing
mankind into a staff of mental workers and an army of purely physical
workers," and if "we cannot reverse our present economic order of
things," then any apprenticeship, even this brave effort of his, is a
pseudo-apprenticeship and even in the most energizing of the trades
leads the pupil nowhere in particular. Even the skilled trade of
locomotive engineering, which Dean Schneider classes as the most
highly energized of trades, does not escape. As a spokesman for the
Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers observes: "The big electrical
engines which are being introduced in the railroad system are rapidly
eliminating the factors of judgment on the part of the engineer and
transforming that highly skilled trade into an automatic exercise."

The one-time value of a trade apprenticeship to a youth was that
it furnished the background for mastery of machine processes; but
apprenticeship under modern factory methods can do no more than make a
youth a good servant to machines. The Schneider system fills, as well
as can be filled, a scheme of apprenticeship in conformity with
the prevailing shop organization and requirements, but it is not a
fulfillment for youth; it is not educational. There is no progression
from apprenticeship to industrial control; no chance to use the
knowledge gained where opportunity for participation in administration
and reorganization of industry is cut off. The best of trades is a
blind alley, educationally speaking.

However abortive such an effort as Dean Schneider's might be in
giving workers opportunity to enrich their experience for their own
reconstructing purposes, it offered the pupils more content and better
training than the ordinary school drill in its colorless and vapid
subject matter. This fact is necessary to bear in mind, but it
should not obscure the even more significant fact that the blighting
character of industry is due to its motivation, which is wealth
exploitation and not wealth creation. All of the industrial
educational experiments have succumbed to the fatalism involved in the
adaptation of their experiments to that fact.

A staff of investigators, who made a year's survey of the industries
of Cleveland with a view of determining what measures should be
adopted by the school system of the city to prepare young people for
wage earning occupation and to provide supplementary trade training
for those already employed, concluded that the choice of occupations
should be governed primarily by economic considerations; that even
from the point of view of the school, educational factors could not
take precedence over economic. They said: "The primary considerations
in the intelligent selection of a vocation relate to wages,
steadiness of employment, health risks, opportunity for advancement,
apprenticeship conditions, union regulations and the number of chances
there are for getting into it. These things are fundamental, and any
one of them may well take precedence over the matter of whether the
tastes of the future wage earner run to wood, brick, stone or steel."

This conclusion is fatalistic, but it is a brave one. It does not fall
back on weak substitutes for reality; it does not throw the glamor of
history and the aesthetics of industry around trades with the poor
hope that they make up for the content which is not there; it does
not foster the assumption that training in technique of industry or
physical science can enrich, under the circumstances, the worker's
experience to any important extent. It accepts the bald truth that all
the material classed as cultural will count for nothing of value in a
factory worker's life in comparison with the highest possible wage in
the most enervating of industries. It stresses this highly important
factor, as it should, but merely as a physical necessity. There
is vital education in the consciousness of self-support, in the
consciousness that one is earning the living one gets. But under
present conditions the educational experience of wage recompense is
not so significant as it might be if it measured the value of the
labor performed; if it paid the worker according to his needs, and if
he gave in return for the wage according to his ability.

The Gary school system is a notable effort in public school education
to fulfill children's desire for productive experience. It is in
striking contrast to the German scheme as it is based on processes
which have educational force and significance. In saying this I
differentiate between training for industry and participation in
the industrial activity which is an organic part of the life of the
children and of the community. The children are an actual part of the
repair and construction working force on Gary school buildings and on
the equipment. As the children are involved in the upkeep of a school
it becomes their school. They experience the responsibility of
maintaining the school plant, not by some artificial scheme of
participation, but by the actual application of trade standards and
acquired technique to operations which have for them and those with
whom they live important significance. They gain in their work a first
hand knowledge of industrial processes and activity. In conjunction
with skilled mechanics they work on the carpentry, the plumbing, the
masonry, the installation of electricity used in the school building.
They do the school printing and accounting.

The children's life in these schools is an experience in industry
where there is nothing to hide, no trade secrets to keep back. The
children have the full opportunity of seeing their work through to its
completion and understanding its purpose and recognising its value and
use. It provides more than any other school system a liberal field for
productive endeavor. But the Gary schools are not industry; they are a
world apart; they represent, as all schools are supposed to, moments
sacred to education and growth. They are not subjected to the test
of cooerdination in the world of industry. They give the children a
respect for productive enterprise that should be invaluable later
in effecting their resistance to the prostitution of their creative
power. They do not give them experience in the administrative side of
industry for which the children of high school age are ready and in
need. But in an admirable way they subordinate training in technique
to purpose and give the children the experience of exercising control
over their own industrial activity. As an industrial experience for
children of grammar school age, it is richer than any other school
system which has been developed.

The industrial education of Germany which was recommended for our
adoption and which we have emulated to an alarming degree in our
industrial towns, imposes prevailing methods of industry and technique
of factory processes as final and determined. As industrial history
and technique are taught in the schools, in effect they bind the
children to the current industrial practice and to the current
conditions. They stifle imagination and discourage the concept that
industry is an evolving process. The effect of technical training in
the German continuation schools (and the tendency is the same in our
own industrial education courses) is to teach the children that the
methods and processes as they are carried forward in the shop are
_right_. No question of their validity is raised in the school. They
are accepted by the children in the spirit of authority which the
school carries, as they would not be so finally accepted by them in
the shop. The impress of a developed curriculum, connected with an
active trade experience, that is, a trade in which the children are at
work, like the curriculum of a continuation school, is greater than
the curriculum which has been evolved for its abstract cultural
values. As the curriculum cooerdinates shop and school activities and
as it fails at the same time to stimulate inquiry on the part of the
pupil into industrial or special trade processes as they are practiced
in the shop, it becomes a positive, inhibiting factor in the
intellectual life of the children. The perfection of an industrial
school room equipment with its trade samples, its charts and maps, its
literature, relating to the extension, of trade and of commerce, has
the tendency like the curriculum to impose on the children the weight
of accomplishment, if this equipment is not used to stimulate inquiry
and experiment in industry as the ever fresh field for adventure that
it is. But the intention of these industrial schools is to train
the children in the acceptance of processes and methods which are
established. Nowhere, in no country, has this intention been so
successfully realized, because nowhere has it been so successfully
organized as in Germany through its continuation school system. And
nowhere as in Germany are the people so successfully subjected to
an institutionalized life as it has been worked out in the light of
modern technology and business.

       *       *       *       *       *

There are other and special reasons why the best of industrial
education experiments in America have not met with greater
hospitality. The average American parent still believes that a boy
"rises" in the industrial world, not as they once thought through his
ability as a workman. The men of their acquaintance who have been
successful, have attained wealth and position, not as a rule through
their mastery of technique or their skill in a trade; they have not
come by their promotion merely on account of good workmanship, but
through influence. It might be that they had had their "chance"
through a relative or successful business man, or it might be that
they "got next" to a politician, who required no other qualification
than "smartness." A boy in a telegraph or a lawyer's office has a
better opportunity to reach influence than a boy in a workshop.
The scholastic requirement for such advancement as these vocations
contemplate, is provided for in the established school program of the
lower grades. A certain display of a few historical and literary
facts beside a facility in reading, writing, and arithmetic are the
qualifications which average parents believe are the necessary ones
for their children's advancement. And, taking the situation in general
as it is, they are right, and will be as long as the whole social
system discounts productive effort and rewards exploitation of
productive enterprise.

Obviously false from an educational point of view as these school
standards are, they are true to the facts, to the actual situation
which the parents have to face. The wave of popular opposition to a
reorganization of the schools for a preparation of the children for
factory life expresses the original conception of popular education
among sovereign people. The common school system exists, it is still
assumed, to fit the children to rule their own lives; to give them
an equipment which will protect them from a servitude to others. Its
ability to do this had not been questioned a generation ago and,
theoretical as its original intention is to-day, its traditional
purpose to develop the power of each child to govern his destiny,
holds over. If training children to read, write and count, training
them in facts relating to history and language, did not, as it had
been hoped, lay the world at the feet of the children, training them
in factory processes, parents felt competent to declare, laid the
children at the feet of exploiters. That is where in any case, in
the light of common experience, they might expect them to land. To
reorganize the schools with that possibility in mind was for the
parents a surrender of their gambling chance.

The promoters of industrial education, with some success, have made it
clear to the community generally that parents were giving heavy odds
in their gamble, but these promoters would have made this more obvious
to parents if they could have shown that the assets accruing from the
new school curriculum increased more materially than has the wage
earning capacity of their children. The results for individual
children are not sufficiently striking to advertise the departure, and
if they were, the departure would not warrant the endorsement of the
community on the ground of the higher wage, as wages are fixed by
competition. They are advanced by a general increase in productivity.
But the increase that occurs through more efficient methods in
productive enterprise is not a real increase; it does not relatively
affect the social or economic position of the wage earner.

In the last analysis, the wage return is not an educator's criterion,
in spite of the pragmatic recommendation of the Cleveland Survey. The
Survey's recommendation for a reorganization of the school system is
based on the belief that the school is, or should be, an integral
expression or reflection of the life of the community; that to
function vitally it must be contemporaneous with that life, as are all
serviceable institutions. As a school reflects the life of a community
it enriches the experience of the children and endows them with the
knowledge and power to deal with environment. When a school system
disregards, as our established system does, the entire reorganization
of the industrial world, it stultifies growth and cultivates at the
same time an artificial concept of life, a false sense of values.
The German system of industrial education has recognized the
reorganization of the industrial world, but this recognition has meant
the sacrifice of individual life and development; it has come to
mean in short the prostitution of a people and the creation of a
Frankenstein.

None of our industrial educational systems or vocational guidance
experiments disclose the full content of the industrial life nor do
they give the children the knowledge or power to deal with it. The
general dissatisfaction with these school movements is that they
neither prostitute the schools in the interest of the employers nor
endow the children with power to meet their own problems. The training
in technique which they supply has a bearing on the every day life
around them which stories of Longfellow's life have not. But that
technique, divorced as it is from its purpose, its use or final
disposition, is as valueless as a crutch for a man without arms.
An elaboration of technology through instruction in the general
principles of physical science, industrial and political history and
the aesthetics of industry only emphasizes the absence of the
really significant factors. The conspicuously absent factors in all
industrial educational schemes are those which give men the ability to
control industry. No work in subject matter is educational which does
not in intention or in fact give the person involved the ability to
participate in the administration of industry, or the ability to judge
the extent of his mastery over the subject. Industrial educational
schemes, even the best of them, leave the pupils helpless before
their subject. As they furnish them with a certain dexterity and
acquaintance with processes and a supply of subject matter necessarily
more or less isolated, the pupils gain a sense of the power of the
subject to control them, rather than an experience in their power to
master the subject. The industrial school emphasizes the fact that the
administration and disposition of wealth production is no concern of
those versed in the technique of fabrication.

Many educators appreciate the lack of content provided by industrial
school systems as, with weak emphasis, they undertake to embroider the
system with history and aesthetics of textiles or other raw material
which the workers handle, or introduce the story of past processes.
As this furbishing of impoverished industry fails dismally to add
content, it succeeds in emphasizing the actual poverty that exists.

Dr. Stanley Hall makes the suggestion that books on the leading trades
should be written to stimulate the interest and intelligence of the
young who are engaged in industry or preparing to become the wage
earners of the trades. In speaking of "the urgent necessity now of
books on the leading trades addressed to the young," he says;[A] "The
leather industry, particularly boot and shoe manufacture, is perhaps
the most highly specialised of all in the sense that an operator
may work a lifetime in any one of the between three and four score
processes through which a shoe passes and know little of all the rest.
Now the _Shoe Book_ should describe hides and leathers, tanning,--old
and new methods, with a little of the natural history of the animals,
describe the process of taking them, of curing and shipping, each
stage in the factory, designating those processes that require skill
and those that do not, and so on to packing, labeling and shipping,
with descriptions showing the principles of the chief machines and
labor-saving devices, at any rate so far as they are not trade
secrets; it should include a glance at markets, prices, effects of
business advance, depression and strikes, perhaps something about
the hygiene of the foot, about bootblacks and what is done for them,
history of the festivals and organizations from St. Crispin and the
guilds down, tariffs, syndicates, societies, statistics, social
conditions in shoe towns, nationality of operatives,--all these
could be concisely set forth to show the dimensions, the centers of
interest, the social and commercial relations of the business, etc.
What is not yet realized is that all these things could and should be
put down in print and picture, almost as if it were to be issued as a
text-book or a series of them; all of this could be done to bring out
the very high degree of culture value now latent in the subject. Just
this is what pedagogues do not and will not see, and what even shoe
men fail to realize; viz., that the story of their craft rightly told,
would tend to give it some degree of professional and humanistic
interest and dignity which the most unskilled and transient employee
would feel. It would foster an esprit de corps, pride in membership
and above all an intelligent view of the whole field that would make
labor more valuable and more loyal. This material, once gathered,
should be used in some form in all industrial schools and courses in
towns where this industry dominates. It would bring a wholesome sense
of corporeity, historic and economic unity, would give a touch of the
old guild spirit and more power to see both sides on the part of both
employers and workmen. Nothing is so truly educational in the deepest
psychological sense of that word as useful information vitalized by
individual and vocational interest."

[Footnote A: Stanley Hall, Educational Problems; p. 624.]

Dr. Hall's idea of a Book of Industry might have emanated from the
heart of Mr. Carnegie. With the same benign detachment he seems to
have mused at his desk about the shoe industry and the people engaged
in it. It would not take more than a passing acquaintance with the
girls and men in shoe manufacturing towns to know that if there was
established a village library equipped with the history of shoes,
the aesthetics of shoes, shoe economics, shoe technology, and shoe
hygiene, not one of the girls or men who worked in the shoe factories
would darken its doors to read about shoes. They would not for this
simple reason; the workers' "individual and vocational interest" does
not exist. They would say that they already knew more than they cared
to about shoes. No literature could add culture or dignity to the
job of stitching vamps for all the working hours and days of a wage
earner's year, while there is no experience of cultural value in
the occupation, divided as the making of a shoe is into some ninety
operations, and distributed among ninety workers. Dr. Hall's
suggestion that a Shoe Book be written is a good suggestion but he
must supply a better basis for a reader's interest than industry has
given him, that is, industry as it is now administered. He cannot
impose culture or dignity through books on a trade which is
prostituted by business for profiteering. If the purpose of the Shoe
Book was to create the glamor that was intended around the present
day arrangement of making shoes, it would be a false contribution in
schoolroom equipment; it would be as pernicious as other literature
that introduced an artificial note into a real and living experience
like industry.

The most romantic account of shoe making will do nothing to bridge the
gulf between capital and labor as Dr. Hall seems so confidently to
believe it should. The problem is not so simple or so easily disposed
of. As Dr. Hall himself says: "As long as workmen are regarded as
parts of the machinery to be dumped on the scrap heap as soon as
younger and stronger hands can be found, the very point of view
needful for the correct solution of vocational education, is
wanting."[A] Dr. Hall recognizes some evils which are inherent in the
present scheme of industry and which are antagonistic to growth,
but neither he nor any of the advocates of the German methods of
industrial education make provisions in their educational schemes for
eliminating the aspect which contemplates the dumping of workers on
scrap heaps. None of the advocates view the equipment of workers for
industry in terms radically different from the terms in which they
are viewed by business men; they offer them technique and matter of
insignificance and indirection; they make no suggestion or move
to open up the adventure of industry for the worker's actual
participation in it; they accept the organization of industry which
excludes their participation as an unalterable fact; even unalterable
as an experience in the prevocational schemes of education.

[Footnote A: Stanley Hall--Educational Problems, p. 632.]

National, state and local campaigns have been carried on in America
during the last fifteen years for the protection of childhood and
youth. They have been on the whole successful in their purpose to
get children out of factories and stores and into schools. It was
an embarrassment to the pioneers in the campaign to find that the
children were against them; that they preferred factory or commercial
life to the schools. The evidence of this preference was their
wholesale exodus from schools when they reached an age where they were
acceptable to employers or where they were not prevented by law. Back
of the exodus, universal as it is, there is an urge of elemental
force. A common accounting for it, the nearest at hand, is that
parents of working class children are penurious; or that they are too
ignorant to understand the deteriorating effect of factory life on
children; or that they are too hard pressed in their physical needs to
consider the best interest of the children. This reason given for the
failure of the schools to supply children with matter of interest or
significance to them, explained only why children did not want to stay
in school; it did not explain their eagerness to enter industry. None
of the reasons accounted for the zest of the children for wage earning
occupation.

The failure of the schools to hold the children gave educators who
recognized the artificial character of school curricula, their best
reason for introducing matter relating to industrial life. The
children's preference was indeed a valuable indication where reality
or real subject matter would be found. The change off from old school
subject matter to instruction in methods of industry was a logical
experiment. But the movement for industrial education was not inspired
by a watchful sympathetic observation of children's needs; it was in
line with the general theory, more or less accepted, that schools
should be a reflection of the children's environment; it was in line
with the demand of employers for efficient workers either equipped for
specific processes or adaptable to factory methods.

If the promoters of industrial education had been observers of
children from twelve to fourteen and sixteen years, they would have
found that as they left school they were eager not for skill in
technical processes, not for wages, not for greater freedom of
association in adult life, not for any of these alone, but for all of
these as they were a part of the adventure of the adult world in which
they lived. "We have neglected to study the most vital thing in the
situation, namely the zests of the young ... we have not taken account
of the nature of the great upheaval at the dawn of the teens, which
marks the pubescent ferment and which requires distinct change in the
matter and method of education. This instinct is far stronger and has
more very ostensive outcrops than in any other age and land, and it is
less controlled by the authority of school or the home. It is a period
of very rapid, if not fulminating psychic expansion. It is the natal
hour of new curiosities, when adult life first begins to exert its
potent charm. It is an age of exploration, of great susceptibility,
plasticity, eagerness, pervaded by the instinct to try and plan in
many different directions."[A]

[Footnote A: Stanley Hall--Education Problems, pp. 544-545.]

Children of this adolescent time would respond more readily to school
instruction, related to the adult activities which held their
interest and connected in some way with their own conception of their
functioning in the adult world. Courses of study in processes of
industry and practice in the technique of those processes would have
actual bearing on the environment of which they were eager to be a
part.

But instruction in mechanical processes and practice in technique of
manufacture are the husks of industry when divorced from the planning,
the management, the examination of problems, the determination of the
value of goods in their use and in their place in the market, the
division of labor throughout an enterprise, the relation of all
persons involved to each other and to the product. The schools with
their industrial education courses do not undertake to supply their
young people with an opportunity to plan; they are true reflections of
factory existence as they eliminate all the adventure of industry, the
opportunity for experiment and discovery; they do not satisfy the high
impulse of young people to be of use, to be a part of the world of
work. The spirit of the schools is preparation for something to come;
the spirit of the children is in the present, and the present pressing
impulse of adolescence is to share adult responsibilities.

The impulse of youth to take its place in adult life is exploited by
industry and repressed or perverted by a system of education which
fits the children into a system of industry without giving them the
insight and power to effect adjustments. The actual job in a trade has
satisfying features which the school lacks. It pays wages. That fact
for eager children is estimated beyond its purchasing power. For
them it is an acknowledgment, a very real one, that they have been
admitted, are wanted in the big world where they are impelled by their
psychic needs, to enter. It places them more nearly on an equality
with the older members of their family and entitles them to
consideration which was not given them as dependent children. They
learn shortly of how little account they are to the boss employer but
they are establishing all the time a new basis of contact and a new
place in their personal relations; they are establishing it because
they have economic value in the world outside of home as well as in
it.

The industrial schools and the old type of schools are both adult
schemes of getting children ready for adult life, not by experiencing
it, but by doing certain things well so that they can be entrusted to
do later on, what adults in their wisdom have decided that they are to
do. But they fail to prepare children for the future as they fail to
supply the children's present urgent needs. They use the period for
ulterior purposes; purposes ulterior to the period of growth with
which they are dealing. As they use this period for another time than
its own, in effect they exploit it. Without consciousness of the fact
so far as the children are concerned, the schools exploit this period
of growth as effectively as the employers reap the profits of child
labor. Employers as beneficiaries have more reason than the schools
for diverting youth from its own purposes, as they are under the
necessity of a price system which is competitive. The schools as
well as industry use up the placticity of youth; they kill off the
eagerness of children to explore and plan, and cast it aside for more
consequential ends.

The consequential ends in America, we have seen, have been less
clearly defined than in Germany. Within a year, the United States has
become conscious as a nation of place and power, conscious that it is
to play a part with the other states of the world. In playing this
part, will it retain its role of servant of the people, or will it
assume with its new world dignity the role, if not of master, then of
leadership? If still servant, will it serve more efficiently than it
has our dominant institution, industry? If the silent partnership
between business and the state is strengthened, will not the promoters
of industry be in a better position than before to appeal through the
state, through the patriotism intensified by our newly acquired world
position, for a more universal and a systematized adaptation of
workers in industry? The schools in their disinterested capacity,
disinterested, that is, in the profits of production, it would seem
could be used most effectively toward this end. German manufacture
made that clear to American manufacture before the war. It also must
be remembered that it was Prussian pride for imperial position that
inspired the complete and efficient surrender of the German schools to
the needs of the German manufacturers.

America is, of course, "different." All peoples are. But so is our
position in the world different from what it was. Our position is not
now, nor could it be, the German position. Our past is different,
and that will continuously have its effect on our future. But we are
facing a great period of change, and the strongest forces in the
country are the industrial, and the strongest leaders are the
financiers. What the financiers and industrial managers most want is
efficient, docile labor. The German system of education, in spite of
the fact that we are different, might conceivably have that effect on
the youth of this country. Under the pressure of industrial rivalry
after the war, under the pressure of an imperial industrial policy, it
may be that the people of the country will yield to the introduction
of a scheme of education which it has been proved elsewhere can fit
children better than any other known scheme into a system of mass
production.

It is clear that industry could set up models of behavior more
successfully in the name of education than in its own, and to the
extent American children come up to these models the more employable
they would be from the standpoint of business. If the pressure is
sufficiently strong the people may yield to the introduction of a
system of compulsory continuation schools similar to those of Germany.
If they do, I believe they will eventually fail. But there is danger
through loss of energy and loss of purpose in their introduction. Is
it impossible for us to hold to our native experimental habits of life
and attain standards of workmanship? Is it possible to realize the
full strength of associated effort and at the same time advance wealth
production?

Germany's industrial supremacy was due, as Professor Veblen shows,
to the fact that machine industry was imposed ready-made on a people
whose psychology was feudal. The schools of Germany, an essential part
of her industrial enterprise, were organized on the servility of the
people. We now know what building as Germany has built her educational
and industrial system on the weakness of a people means. We are in the
process of discovering whether in sacrificing the expansion of her
people she can secure a permanent expansion of her Empire. It would
seem the better part of statesmanship in America after the war to
build industrially on the strength of our people and not on the
weakness of another. It is the business of educators to point out the
danger and to discover whether efficiency may not be gained in the
country by giving children in their adolescent period the impulse for
production and high standards of work, not for the sake of the state,
but for themselves, for the sake of the community,--out of love of
work and for the value of its service.




CHAPTER IV

EDUCATIONAL INDUSTRY AND ASSOCIATED ENTERPRISE


As capital and so far labor have failed to make industry an expansive
experience it becomes, as Professor Dewey has pointed out, the
business of educators concerned with the growth of individuals to
cultivate the field.

If educators regard opportunities for growth with sufficient jealousy
they will not wait for industry to emerge with a new program, or
system of production; they will initiate productive enterprises
where young people will be free to gain first hand experience in the
problems of industry as those problems stand in relation to their
time and generation. Their alliance should be made with engineers and
architects and the managers of industry who have made themselves,
through experience and training, masters of applied science and
the economics of production. Engineers, not under the influence of
business, are qualified to open up the creative aspects of production
to the workers and to convince them through their own experience that
that there are adventurous possibilities in industry outside the
meagre offerings of payday. Mr. Robert Wolf is one of the engineers
who is ready for the venture. He told the members of the Taylor
Society that "scientific managers have not been scientific enough in
dealing with this very important subject of stimulating the thinking
and reasoning power of the workman, thereby making him self-reliant
and creative." In describing the field in which practical engineers
should operate, he laid stress on their giving large space to the
originating, choosing, adapting power in men and the direction of it
into positive constructive channels; to men's self-consciousness of
their place in the great scheme of things.

This conception of the field of operation for engineers also described
the field for educators. The latter have failed to seize the chance
in the present industrial arrangement for the development of "the
originating, choosing power" in the working man because they have been
obsessed by the business appreciation of the working man's power of
adaptation. It is because they labor under this obsession that they
turn industrial education into industrial training whenever they
include industry in their curricula. Educators know that there is
adventure in industry, but they believe that the adventure is the rare
property of a few. They believe this so finally that they surrender
this great field of experience with its priceless educational content
without reserving the right of such experience even for youth.
They know, as we all do, that industrial problems carry those who
participate in their solution into pure and applied science; into the
market of raw materials and finished products; into the search for
unconquered wealth. They know that the marketing of goods is an
extensive experience in the world of men and desires. They are not
alone in their lack of courage to admit that limiting this experience
perverts normal desires and creates false ones. For the sake of
education it is to be hoped that such engineers as Mr. Wolf may
overcome the timidity of educators, and that, in conjunction with men
capable of productive enterprise, they will undertake to give young
people an experience which is not tagged on to industry under the
influence of profits, but which is inspired by the desire to produce
and the opportunity to develop the inspiration.

Before establishing a system of industrial education like Germany's,
or extending the makeshift attempts which have been introduced here in
the United States, it would seem well to undertake experiments which
would stimulate the impulses of youth for creative experience,
which would give them an industrial experience where the motive of
exploitation is absent and where the stimulus was the content which
the production of wealth offers. Such experiments would entail the
organization of workshops in connection with schools in which the
workshop experience was translated and extended.

Such workshops would be financed independently of the schools. They
would not be financed on a basis of profits, but the capital invested
would draw a legal rate of interest. The enterprise would be under the
direction of managers competent in technological processes, in the
estimate of costs, and the organization of the work on a basis of
productive efficiency. The working force would be a corps of young
people who had received their elementary school certificates and their
certificates for employment together with the necessary complement of
adult workers for the successful development of the plant. The working
force would be paid the market rate of wages. The juvenile members of
the force would be paid on a half-time basis as they would work in
alternate shifts in the shop and in the school, so that work in the
shop would be continuous and would run on full time. The exchange of
shifts between the shop and school would occur daily or weekly or
semi-weekly, as it was conducive to the health and the intellectual
experience of the children and to the needs of production in the
organization of the shop.

The workshop would be devoted to the production of some marketable
article or articles which are simple in construction. The selection of
the product would not depend upon technical processes of construction
to furnish educational subject matter. Educationally speaking, the
acquisition of technique is a factor, but not a primary one, in the
modern scheme of production. The primary factors are those which have
universal significance, that is which are common to all industry, the
relation of labor, of mechanical equipment, of raw material, of the
finished product to the whole and to each other; the relation of the
market to productive effort and an effective organization of all of
these.

The technical processes or their acquisition are of educational value,
because they furnish the necessary experience for the evaluation and
appreciation of workmanship; or would furnish a basis for such a
valuation if the educational factors which are common to all industry
were matters in which all the workers participated and were matters
which they understood. It may be that there are certain mechanical
processes which have universal technical significance and on that
account would have special educational value, but even if those
processes were determined and selected for industrial instruction and
acquisition, it would not imply that those who acquired them were
industrially educated. They would be industrially equipped to act as
efficient factory attachments, but the acquisition of processes, even
the fundamental ones we have had ample opportunity to discover, do not
inspire creative interests and desires.

Because educational content in modern factory work is not accessible
to the mass of workers, we have fostered the illusion that the
educational subject matter of industry was inherent in the technical
process of fabrication. As we have fostered this illusion, we have
missed the educational principle applicable to the craft period,
as well as to the present, that the condition of the educational
requirement, is that workers' participation in productive enterprise
coincide in the long run with creative intention and accomplishment.
This central requirement of industrial education means that
individuals learn to function with conscious creative intention in the
environment in which they live and that their learning furnishes a
basis for critical and informed evaluations in industrial activity. In
the craft period the creative intention required the worker's mastery
over every process of his craft. In this machine age of associated
enterprise the creative intention requires the ability to associate
with others in the administration of industry as well as to take the
place of an individual in the routine of factory work

For the reasons I have just stated the educational experiments I am
suggesting could cover advantageously one of the many industries
which are generally classed as unskilled, and almost any one of these
unskilled routine industries would serve as well as another. Almost
any one of the so-called child labor industries could be made over
into opportunities for young people to experience the stimulating
effect of associating with others in a productive effort, and gain the
impetus which the stimulation supplied to pursue their subject matter
far afield in general mechanics, science, economics, geography,
history and art.

For the educational purposes of the experiment the selection of the
industry would not be made on the ground that the technical processes
of one required greater intellectual activity than another; neither
would the selection depend upon whether or not the industry chosen
offered young people better chances than another for entrance to a
trade where jobs, comparatively speaking, drew fair rates of wages,
or the economic conditions were in other respects superior. The
experiment would in no sense be a trade preparation but an experience
where the enterprise of production was opened up and the possibilities
of creative life were realized in association with others, so far as
the conditions and time allowed.

The industrial basis for selection of such experiment should hinge,
first, on whether or not the young people could function in the
industry advantageously to themselves educationally speaking and
to the industry socially considered: that is, whether or not the
productive processes were in line with the capacity of adolescent
children and the product was of social value; second, whether the
product could be introduced successfully in the market and the
enterprise become self-supporting.

At the present time, a proposition for the promotion of such an
educational experiment is being worked out. Wooden toys have been
chosen as the article for manufacture, because, first, the models were
sufficiently simple in construction to make the work practical for
young people who make up the workshop staff; it is practical for the
majority of the staff to range in age from 14 to 17 years. Second, the
work done by Caroline Pratt on children's playthings has disclosed the
fact that the present toy market is below grade from the point of view
of the service of toys to children. The market does not supply the
children with the sort of material and the sort of tools they require
in their play schemes. Therefore, the product chosen has a legitimate
social claim on the market. However, it would be valid, though not so
interesting, if a certain sort of paper box which filled a legitimate
trade need had been selected and a paper box factory had been set up
as the basis of the experiment. As a theoretical illustration of my
general thesis, paper boxes would serve better than wooden toys,
because the latter product, as it is conceived, covers special
intellectual content. But the particular sort of content is not a
fundamental requirement for the educational purpose of the experiment.
However, as the experiment is actually being planned in connection
with wooden toys, I shall use the plan, as far as it is worked out,
as my illustration. I shall refer later in discussing the school
curriculum to the special intellectual content which the manufacture
of these toys will represent.

After I set down the details of the experiment, which is now being
planned for a workshop and school concerned with the production of
play materials, I am hoping that educators and industrial managers may
readily make the application to other lines of industry. The plan is
tentatively confined to a two years' course. It may be found that two
years is too long a time to confine the pupils to the work and the
problems of the shop. It may be found in the first year that the
pupils will be interested in following some of the problems not
in relation to their work and in that case they would break their
connection with the shop.

The working staff of the Toy Shop will include forty young people
(twenty at work at a time in the shop) from 14 to 17 years who have
received their working certificates and have left school with the
intention of going to work. It will include also six or seven adults
who will do the work on machines too heavy or unsafe for children to
handle and who will help to supervise and direct the children in
their tasks. The shop itself will equal the best of shops in point of
equipment, safety and sanitation. It will not, however, like many of
the best, elaborate these basic features in ornamental expenditures.
The shop will present itself to the young workers as sustaining the
best and most essential standards in use, but like all other problems
connected with the shop, the best will always be presented as a
temporary achievement which with sufficient attention can be improved.
An important source from which improvements may be expected is the
staff of workers who are in constant contact with the plant. In other
words, nothing will be offered the workers in the spirit of final
achievement, and the suggestion of completeness will be avoided. The
opportunity to test out and appreciate the standards will occur in the
shop experience, and the chance to achieve or experiment with other
standards will be reserved, as I shall show presently, for the school
hours. This will be the case with methods of work and with shop
organization. During the hours in the shop the workers will be
occupied wholly with their special tasks as they would be in any other
shop, that is in any shop which had due consideration for the labor
force; as much consideration as it usually has for the economy and the
protection of the mechanical force would be considerable.

The workers may acquire the technique of all or of several of the
processes. Their general facility in technique may contribute to their
productive value in the shop or their mastery over several processes
may have its educational value for them in relation to the industry as
a whole; they may to advantage shift from one process to another to
relieve the strain of routine work. For the sake of production and for
the sake of the educational value to the workers, the shifting of the
workers from one process to another will be a matter of experiment.
But the workers will not be shifted from one construction process to
another for the sake of learning all the processes because skill
in all the processes is not a requisite either of education or
production. The experience in the shipping of goods and in the
handling of raw materials, in the installation of power, in the
upkeep of the equipment and the general care of the factory will be
participated in by all the workers in their turn, according to the
requirements of the industry.

While there will be adjustment of the workers, and trials as to the
place of each will be made in the shop, intensive experiments in shop
organization, like other shop problems, will be carried out in the
school. This arrangement will serve the educational and the productive
purpose, as experimentation should not be limited by the requirements
of the shop, but by the requirements of industry at large. The school
will be indeed the workshop laboratory where problems which originate
in the shop can be taken over for analysis and solution. These
concrete shop problems will represent required school subjects as the
progress of the shop and the success of the enterprise depend upon
their solution.

Among these required subjects are:

    _First: The Technical Problems of Manufacture_, such as (a) the
    receiving and the storing of stock; (b) making out orders for
    stock from shop orders and bills of materials; (c) planning
    operation and routing work; (d) standardizing materials and
    simplifying operations; (e) the elimination in loss of time in
    waiting for material; (f) the division of labor; (g) advantages
    and disadvantages of supervising in certain operations; (h)
    machine versus hand work and quantity production; (i) preparing
    and routing shipments; (j) making out bills of lading; (k) study
    of friction, loose belts, improper oiling, tool cutters and saws.

    _Second: Keeping the Financial Accounts and Estimating Costs._ (a)
    Making out bills of materials; (b) calculating costs of material
    from bill; (c) calculating board measure and unit cost of direct
    labor and indirect labor; (d) calculations of power used by each
    unit of machine power; (e) calculating pay roll; (f) making out
    business forms, such as billing goods, invoices, calculating
    discounts; (g) paying bills by check, note and draft; (h) business
    correspondence; (i) banking, depositing money, obtaining money on
    notes, discounting notes, drawing notes, balances of check books
    and checking up cancelled vouchers and obtaining bank balances;
    (j) time and call loans; (k) calculations and payment of interest
    on capital; (l) maintenance of sinking fund.

    _Third: Up-keep of the Working Force, Buildings and Equipment._
    (a) Heating, ventilating and lighting of the factory in relation
    to its effect on the workers; (b) valuation for each worker of his
    own physical condition and expert advice in regard to nutrition
    and other physical needs; (c) care of motors and mechanical
    equipment, care of belts, saws and cutters; (d) efficient
    installation of motors, sectional drive and individual drive;
    (e) disposition of sawdust, etc., study of exhaust fans and
    construction operation and function.

    _Fourth: The Economics of the Enterprise._ (a) The market of the
    raw material--the study of the market in relation to grades, to
    cost, to transportation, to quantity in cost of purchases, to time
    of purchase; (b) manufactured product; selection of models
    in relation to their use and their art values; their cost of
    manufacture; relation to the selling price; the relation of cost
    to quantity and quality; (c) the relation of the rate of wages
    paid in the shop to rates paid in similar industries, to cost
    of production, to needs of the workers; (d) necessary margin of
    income over expenses for the up-keep of the plant, for its
    extension, for the maintenance of the sinking fund and possible
    contribution to the expense of the school; (e) the economic value
    of the school to the work of the shop.

    _Fifth: Art and Service._ The shop will not depend upon the pupils
    in the school for models, but will welcome models which come from
    the pupils as evidence that the shop experience is a stimulating
    one. But it will be recognized that the pupils will have little to
    offer on account of their inexperience and that there is a world
    of designers from whom to draw and the shop is eager to command
    the best models which are obtainable. There will be a Jury for the
    determination of models to be manufactured. This Jury will
    receive certain instruction on the subject of toys, and will be
    responsible for making further study of the subject. But as has
    been pointed out for the last ten years by Caroline Pratt, who
    has given the subject scientific attention, toys are the t
    of little children which, they use in their effort to become
    acquainted with their environment, which they use in schemes of
    play, and which are in fact efforts on their part to try out and
    experience the adult life into which they are thrown.

    Because this is true and the market is unsupplied with toys of
    serious value to children, the subject will be a matter for
    development and the introduction in the market of models which
    will serve the purpose of children in their play will be
    considered a matter of social importance and demand the serious
    consideration of the Jury. This Jury will be composed of the
    workers in the shop, the manager of the shop, an artist, and
    one or two people who have given the subject of toys careful
    attention. Discussion of the Toy Jury on submitted toys will
    center around, first, the value of the toys as tools to the
    children in their schemes of play, and second, around the art
    value. Both these points will entail much examination and thought.
    The first will involve fundamentally the subject of education,
    and the second, the technique of art as it is expressed through
    drawing, color and design, but the decision in regard to
    models for manufacture finally can not rest on either of these
    fundamental points. It will hinge on whether or not the models
    selected are practical for production and whether they can be
    marketed at a price which will cover cost of manufacture.

    The attention of the pupils will be directed to the factory and
    school buildings and the importance of making them a pleasant
    workplace and an acquisition to the neighborhood in which they are
    situated. The problem of noise from machinery and dirt and
    dust from fuel will be taken up as subjects demanding generous
    consideration.

    _Sixth: Literature and History._ Authentic accounts and
    inspirational stores of industrial life, especially of the lumber,
    the woodworking, and the toy industry will be gathered by the
    pupils and the teachers. Special excursions, investigations, or
    general observations casually or unexpectedly made by the pupils
    and teachers will be turned to literary use or historical record.
    The pupils will be given full opportunity to write out statements
    of facts they have discovered or to write stories or plays
    or poetry which are inspired by the subject matter they have
    gathered. These literary productions will not be called for as
    exercises in the art of writing or of fact-recording, but as
    contributions toward the equipment of the school. The books
    which are collected as well as the original compositions will be
    submitted to critical analysis and accepted as accessions to
    the library if they come up to standards in authenticity and in
    literature. The teachers as well as the pupils will submit new
    books or other matter and before they are accepted, they will be
    subject to the same critical analysis as the material submitted by
    the children. This analysis will be the literary experience and
    training as it will be participated in by all the pupils who are
    interested in this expression of their work.

Not all of this school work is incident to the success of the shop, if
we measure success by usual business standards. But it is all incident
to the development of a creative impulse in the individual, and it
is incident to the development of industry as a socially productive
enterprise. The fact that the school and shop work represent the
planning and the decisions, that they demand knowledge and experience,
does not signify that the young people will assume to carry more
responsibility than they are capable of, or that more will be
expected of them than they are equal to. It does not mean that their
insufficiency will not be recognized and admitted. On the contrary
the accumulated knowledge and experience of the adult workers and the
teachers will be appreciated by the pupils as they have the chance
to make real and full evaluations. All the members of the staff will
carry on the work in the shop as producers and learners and it is
hoped they will carry on the work in the school in the same spirit.
Young people will stand in the relation of partners as well as pupils
to the adults associated with them. If the school and the workshop
experience gives its pupils a regard for high accomplishment it will
be unnecessary to stress the fact that as responsible members of
the working staff the learners are not on a footing with the expert
workers. The teachers or shop managers will help the younger members
to gain the knowledge and facility which they have acquired as fellow
members of an enterprise In which all have a common interest The
participation of the young members in the enterprise will be great or
small depending upon their achievement of standards. For instance, in
the case of office work whether the individual children are entrusted
with the correspondence, bookkeeping or banking, will depend upon
whether or not they have achieved the adult standards in the shop
for such business details. But standards in business accounting, in
estimating costs, in planning operations, and in technique, will not
be maintained as they usually are in industrial schools for the sake
of the training, but for the purpose of carrying forward successfully
the actual work with which the shop is concerned. While the
educational experience is concerned in part with appreciation of
workmanship, creative inspiration in modern industry will never be
a common experience until the workers gain an understanding and
recognise the significance of their special enterprise in relation to
other industrial enterprises and to the business of wealth production
as a whole.

If the school experience is educational, the interest of the pupils in
subject matter will not end with the solution of their shop problems
or with their experience in industry. The above outline of tentative
school subjects representing as they do the solution of the problems
of a specific industry signifies merely the starting point of an
adventure for young people in the serious affairs of adult life. There
will be a large margin for choice in the election of subjects in which
individual children will care to specialize but these subjects will
be related more or less directly to the industry. The pupils will
doubtless be freer in the second year than in the first to choose
where they want to specialize as they will have had time in which to
establish their ground work.

But the election of studies in a two years' half-time course will not
admit of flights very far afield of the subject in hand and of the
problems originally set up. Those children who find that their
participation in a productive enterprise is an enriching experience
may elect to follow some special leads in science, in the past
and present history of manufacture and commerce, in economics, in
literature or in art. The intention of the school is to open up
opportunities for such expansive expressions of the concrete
experience as time and the capacity of the pupils admit, provided
that the expression has its valid relation to the promotion or the
enrichment of the enterprise of which they are responsible members.

Certain pupils, we will say, will elect to carry further than others
the testing of fuel, of heating and ventilating. Others may be
concerned with experiments in power. A subject possibly will become
of such absorbing interest to a pupil that he will want to experiment
with the one he elects for its own sake and without relation to the
problems in the shop. His interest may carry him into pure science,
unattached to any problem in hand. In such cases the pupil should
be given a chance to test out his interest; he should be placed on
probation in relation to his elected subject and if his interest
holds and is sufficiently serious he will be advised to give up the
school-shop work and follow the lead his interest has taken in some
other place or school.

Indeed the value of the experiment will rest on discovering whether or
not it holds the interest of the pupils, or how and where it diverts
it. The experiment is launched on the assumption that the normal
adolescent child is concerned with the responsibilities of adult life;
especially it is assumed that he is concerned to function creatively,
to associate with others in productive work, to help supply such
fundamental needs as the housing, feeding and clothing and the
pleasures of the world demand. It is assumed that the desire for
experience in pure science, in art for art's sake, comes _before_ as
well as after this period when the need for social contact is, it is
again assumed, the dominating emotion. We have no scientific proof
that any of these things are true, but we have sufficient evidence to
justify an experiment.

Whether or not it is possible for modern industry to offer young
people a proper chance for making their social adjustments is also a
question which I hope this experiment may help to answer. We can do no
less than use the conditions of industry as they present themselves
to us as our basis for a trial. I have started with the belief that
possibly the division of labor and scientific methods of management
if handled by the workers in conjunction with engineers and people of
experience can be made the instruments of associated life. If there is
ground for this assumption it will be important to induce the young
people who enter the school and work shop to give their industrial
experience a fair trial and to postpone the pursuit of pure science or
art for its own sake.

The subject matter taken up in this school can be subjected to a
formal school classification, under such regular academic headings
as Mathematics, Science, Economics, Geography, History, Reading,
Composition and Drawing. While these subjects will be experimentally
rather than academically pursued, it will be a matter of small moment
and short time for pupils to makeup deficiencies which the traditional
school courses require. This is true because the pupils will have had
first hand experience with the subject matter in which the ordinary
school child is trained or hears about. The free pursuit of their
studies will give them a familiarity and speaking acquaintance with
the subject matter with which the traditional school is avowedly
concerned but which it handles and guards as though it were the
custodian of some precious, but insubstantial matter, belonging to a
world somewhat attenuated.

It is the intention of this educational experiment to bring down the
great enterprise of industry, so far as it is possible to its real
character and to high accomplishment, and in so doing to give the
young people the experience of the industrial adventure and full
achievement, lest they become the subjects of those who control the
movements of industry and determine the character of its advance. The
practical test of the experiment briefly outlined would be: (1) Was
the creative impulse aroused? (2) Were standards of workmanship
discovered and sustained? (3) Was a broad as well as a working
knowledge of subject matter acquired? (4) Did the children approach
established methods in a spirit of hospitality and of inquiry as to
their validity? (5) Did the problems create sufficient interest to
arouse the desire and will to reject faulty methods, and introduce
others of greater service? (6) Was the enterprise a productive one
from the point of view of the market and an educational one from the
point of view of growth?

Such experiments educators and engineers would enter together and
together enjoy in reality the development of creative effort, which
is their profession. Such productive educational experiments in the
absence of profiteering would give meaning to the early years of
industrial life which now lead the children nowhere. They would give
the young people, as the experiments come up to the test, the spirit
for the adventure of industrial life, the courage and desire for
solving the pressing issues of their time.

If the claim made by employers were true, that from 95 to 99 per
cent of the working force is without productive impulse, that this
condition of development represents, as they say it does, the "native
limitation" of the men who work, industry as a progressive enterprise
is doomed and high hopes for civilization are without foundation.

If the position of employers is true and the limitations of
individuals are as final as they have determined, there is nothing to
do except perfect the mechanical responses of men. This preeminently
would be the business of employers and not of education which is
concerned with the growth of the individual. On such a basis, it is
inconceivable that educators would concern themselves with preparing
people for industry. If, however, these limitations are not native,
but are due to some incompatibility between the institution of
industry and the interest of the labor force, then the limitations of
workers and of industry are a matter of paramount importance in the
field of education.

As I have said before there is a common supposition among people who
are not employers of labor, that such features of industry as the
mechanical devices of modern technology and the division of labor in
factory organization, are in their nature opposed to the expansive
development of the people involved; that these features of apparent
intrinsic importance to mass production, are antagonistic to
individual growth and to the interest of workers in productive effort.

Without question, it is the business of educators to determine whether
such features of industry as machinery and the division of labor are
fundamentally opposed to growth or whether they are opposed only
in the way in which they have been put to use and directed. We can
discover whether or not these features are opposed only as the people
concerned have the chance to master them and undertake, through their
experience, to turn them to account.

Because industry has been impersonalized and the mechanics of
associated effort in industry worked out in such large measure, it
is to-day possible to conceive of spiritual as well as physical
association in productive enterprise. A difficulty in the way of this
conception, aside from the business complex, is our habit of thinking
exclusively of creative effort as an individual expression. In
describing the individual expression we would say that a man may
create a machine but that when men jointly produce one they work. The
creative act is in the conception of the machine in conjunction with
its construction, and the conception, after our habit of thinking,
is an individual and isolated achievement. As a matter of fact it
frequently is. A man may create a machine if he conceives it and
constructs it or if he conceives and directs its construction. Those
he directs, those who do the work of construction alone, do not
participate in the creative act, as the creative act is the
concentrated intellectual and emotional expression and effort to
produce an article or idea. The creative impulse is concerned with the
transforming of a concept or some material into an expanded concept or
a new object. The creative impulse itself finds its satisfaction in
the process of completion and loses its force when the concept or
object is produced. The use of the concept or object created is not a
characteristic of the creative but of the social impulse. A man who is
interested in the use or application of a product, the value it has
for others, possesses the social impulse as well as the creative. One
impulse is intensive and the other extensive.

But the creative effort is not _necessarily_ an individual matter.
It may be possible for a group of people to associate cordially and
freely together with a single creative purpose and endeavor. It may be
possible for each worker to experience the joy of creative work as
he takes part with others in the planning of the work along with the
labor of fabrication. It is a creative experience or dull labor as
his association with others in the solution of the problem is freely
pursued and genuine, or as it is forced and perfunctory.

My justification for making this assertion will be recognized by every
one who has had the opportunity to attend shop meetings of a newly
organized trade union. These meetings are unique as they disclose the
force in a productive group, and the value of giving the individuals
engaged in routine work the opportunity to pool their common
experience and pass judgment on methods of work. Whatever decisions
these workers come to, none are fully realized or freely pursued under
conditions which industry imposes. But in the course of shop meeting
discussions, it becomes clear to an observer that methods of work is
as absorbing a topic as the relation of the work to the wage. The
routine which is the apparent result of the division of labor, becomes
under discussion a matter of technical import. The workers' knowledge
of labor saving devices and their resources for inventing new ones are
as expert as is the business man's knowledge of how labor cost can be
saved. This matter under discussion is of high interest and concern.
There is an integrity in the concern which evidently springs from
experience and the suppressed interest in perfecting methods and the
inter-relation of the workers in a shop. The vitality and intelligence
of these machine tenders may well inspire the agitator who addresses
their meetings to curse a system which withholds full knowledge of the
workshop and blocks the opportunity for eager workers to try out new
schemes born of intensive experience and failure to function in the
fullness of their capacity.

Industry offers opportunities for creative experience which is social
in its processes as well as in its destination. The imaginative end of
production does not terminate with the possession of an article; it
does not center in the product or in the skill of this or that man,
but in the development of commerce and technological processes and
the evolution of world acquaintanceship and understanding. Modern
machinery, the division of labor, the banking system, methods of
communication, _make possible_ real association. But they are real and
possible only as the processes are open for the common participation,
understanding and judgment of those engaged in industrial enterprise;
they are real and possible as the animus of industry changes from
exploitation to a common and associated desire to create; they are
real and possible as the individual character of industry gives way
before the evolution of social effort.

We speak of interdependence in industrial enterprise as though it were
some new thing. The early interdependence had its roots in the common
knowledge and use of an inherited technology, where property was
common in the common use of it. Interdependence due to modern
technology has increased, and the interdependence which characterizes
our own time is economic. The tools of industry as well as the natural
resources are owned, and only by application to the owner can a man
live or labor. However disastrous that ownership has been to past
generations, it has bound men together in their use of what we
ironically call labor saving devices; devices which have not saved
labor in the interest of labor.

Out of this close association of men in industry have grown our
national and international business corporations and our national
and international labor unions. These corporations and unions are
transforming local and provincial relations into cosmopolitan
acquaintanceship. The recognized value of the acquaintance is in
the extension of knowledge of people through their use and wont of
material things, of the ways and means of life outside limited and
personal areas. The acquaintanceship does not imply friendship
or sympathy or understanding among men or nations, it does not
necessarily result in wisdom, and to date, it does not result in a
larger social spirit. The acquaintanceship is based not on mutuality
of interest, but rather on rivalry and misinterpretations.

While our institutional life is an acknowledgment that interdependence
is a necessary factor in modern wealth production, we still measure
the strength of a man, or a society, or a nation, and say of all that
they are strong or weak as they are able apparently to stand alone. We
have not yet discovered that a desire to stand alone in an enterprise
where people are of necessity dependent, is a weakness and that our
ability to cooeperate with others in such an enterprise is a measure
of our strength, "From a social standpoint dependence denotes a power
rather than a weakness; it involves interdependence. There is always
danger that increased personal independence will decrease the social
capacity of an individual. In making him more self-reliant, it makes
him more self-sufficient; it may lead to aloofness and indifference.
It often makes an individual so insensitive in his relation to others
as to develop an illusion of being really able to stand and act alone,
an unnamed form of insanity which is responsible for a large part of
the remediable suffering of the world."[A]

[Footnote A: John Dewey--Democracy and Education, p. 52.]

This provincial desire of individuals to stand apart and prove to
themselves and to others that they are exceptional people is a
primitive ambition in conflict with the actual facts of a present day
society where interdependence is a law of living. This conflict is
kept alive by the industrial motive of exploitation of people and of
wealth. Exploitation precludes sympathy as it precludes growth. "For
sympathy--as a desirable quality is something more than mere feeling;
it is cultivated imagination for what men have in common and rebellion
at whatever unnecessarily divides them." And further, Professor Dewey
remarks: "It must be borne in mind that ultimately social efficiency
means neither more nor less than capacity to share in a give-and-take
experience. It covers all that makes one's own experience more worth
while to others and all that makes one participate more richly in the
worth while experiences of others."[A]

[Footnote A: John Dewey--Democracy and Education, p. 141.]

What Professor Dewey says in reference to the growth of children and
adults is as abundantly significant in its application to society.
"Normal child and normal adult alike ... are engaged in growing. The
difference between them is not the difference between growth and no
growth, but between the modes of growth appropriate to different
conditions. With respect to the development of powers devoted to
coping with specific scientific and economic problems we may say
the child should be growing in manhood. With respect to sympathetic
curiosity, unbiassed responsiveness, and openness of mind, we may say
that the adult should be growing in childlikeness."[A]

[Footnote A: John Dewey--Democracy and Education, p. 59.]

As America and the greater part of Europe have been for over a century
devoting their attention to coping with specific scientific and
economic problems, is their manhood due to appear? Is the raw,
immature character of present day association and interdependence to
be enriched by sympathetic curiosity, unbiased responsiveness and
openness of mind? In the midst of this world war I venture no
prediction on the appearance of manhood. But clearly there is a line
of action for educators to pursue. Clearer than ever before it is
evident that it is the business of educators to see that schemes of
education are introduced which do not fit children into a system of
industry that serves either Empire or business, but a system that
serves whole-heartedly creative enterprise as it might be pursued in
the period of youth as well us in adult life. Within the past century
and particularly in the past generation we have made brave efforts at
cooeperation, but our failures to realize the spirit of cooeperation are
as notorious as the efforts themselves. The effort to work together in
industry has been brutal rather than brave. We shall account for this
brutality in industry and recognize why the spirit for cooeperation in
other fields has failed, as we distinguish between a puerile desire
of individuals to express themselves and their impulses for creative
enterprise.

As industry through the ages has changed from the isolated business
of provisioning a family to the associated work of provisioning the
world, it has blazed a pathway for relationships which are socially
creative. But art in social relationships will not be realized until
a passionate desire for the unlimited expression of creative effort
overcomes inordinate desires of individuals for self-expression.
Art in living together is possible where the intensive interest of
individuals in their personal affairs and attainments, in their social
group, in their vocation, in their political state, is deeply tempered
by a wide interest and sympathetic regard for the life of other
groups and people. Art in social relationships is contingent on broad
sympathies and extended relationships, and it is contingent as well
on ability to work for social ends while remaining in large measure
disregardful of the personal stakes involved. Because of our inability
to lose our personal attachment for our own work, because of what it
may yield us in personal ways, the world never yet has experienced the
joy and creative possibility of associated effort And because it has
not we have still to experience art in social contact.

In group work there may be as much power to release emotional and
intellectual creative force as in individual work; there may be
more--we do not know. There is a tendency we do know in isolated,
individual creative effort, _unless highly charged with creative
impulse_, to cultivate personal equations intensively, limit
relationships, and circumscribe vision. As the movement of our time
is toward world acquaintanceship, the desire of individuals to limit
their experiences for the sake of intensifying them, signifies from a
social point of view as well as a personal, a neurotic tendency. There
is a common and false supposition that the neurotic temperament is
induced in the world of art. It is true that an art environment
attracts people whose creative impulse is feeble or not sufficiently
strong to sublimate the desire for intensive personal excitation.
Such people choose art associations _because_ they are limited to
individual expression and not because of the overpowering necessity to
do work which is creative. As the era in which we live represents a
struggle for associated work and common interests and its highest
concept is opposed to limited interests and autocratic rule, we may
well give our best endeavor to realizing creative impulse in the field
of associated effort, in the hope that the field of art will be some
day coextensive with life, and that its expressions will not be
confined to the limited world of sculptors, painters, musicians and
poets.





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