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Problems of Humanity - Chapter III - The Problem of Capital, Labor and Employment
In every nation, such men and organizations - responsible for the capitalistic system - are to be found. The ramifications of their businesses and their financial grasp upon humanity were, prior to the war, active in every land and though they went underground during the war, they still exist. They form an international group, closely interrelated, working in complete unity of idea and intention and knowing and understanding each other. These men belonged to both the Allied Nations and the Axis Powers; they have worked together before and through the entire period of the war through interlocking directorates, under false names and through deceptive organizations, aided by neutrals of their own way of thinking. Today, in spite of the disaster which they have brought upon the world, they are again organized and renewing their methods; their goals remain unchanged; their international relationships remain unbroken; they constitute the greatest menace mankind faces today; they control politics; they buy prominent [72] men in every nation; they insure silence through threat, cash and fear; they amass wealth and buy a spurious popularity through philanthropic enterprise; their families live soft and easy lives and seldom know the meaning of God-ordained work; they surround themselves with beauty, luxury and possessions and shut their eyes to the poverty, stark unhappiness, lack of warmth and decent clothing, the starvation and the ugliness of the lives of the millions by whom they are surrounded; they contribute to charities and church agencies as a salve to their consciences or to avoid income taxes; they provide work for countless thousands but see to it that these thousands receive so small a wage that real comfort, leisure, culture and travel are impossible.

The above is a terrible indictment. It can, however, be substantiated a thousand times over; it is breeding revolution and a growing spirit of unrest. The masses of the people in every land are aroused and awakening and a new day is dawning. A war is starting between the selfish monied interests and the mass of humanity who demand fair play and a right share of the world's wealth.

There are those, however, within the capitalistic system who are aware of the danger with which the monied interests are faced and whose natural tendency is to think along broader and more humanitarian lines. These men fall into two main groups:

First, those who are real humanitarians, who seek the good of their fellowmen and who have no desire to exploit the masses or to profit by the misery of others. They have risen to place and power through their sheer ability or through inherited business position and they cannot avoid the responsibility of the disposal of the millions in their hands. They are frequently rendered helpless by their fellow executives and their hands are largely tied by the existing rules of the game, by their [73] sense of responsibility to their stockholders and by the realization that, no matter what they do - fight or resign - the situation remains unchanged. It is too big for the individual. They remain, therefore, relatively powerless. They are fair and just, decent and kind, simple in their way of life and with a true sense of values, but there is little of a potent nature that they can do.

Second, those who are clever enough to read the signs of the times; they realize that the capitalistic system cannot continue indefinitely in the face of humanity's rising demands and the steady emerging of the spiritual values. They are beginning therefore to change their methods and to universalize their businesses and to institute cooperative procedures with their employees. Their inherent selfishness prompts the change and the instinct of self-preservation determines their attitudes. In between these two groups are those who belong to neither the one nor the other; they are a fruitful field for the propaganda of the selfish capitalist or the unselfish humanitarian.

It might be well to add here that the selfish thinking and the separative motivation which distinguishes the capitalistic system is also to be found in the small and unimportant business men - in the corner grocery, the plumber and the haberdasher who exploits his employees and deceives his customers. It is the universal spirit of selfishness and the love of power with which we have to contend. The war has, however, acted like a purge. It has opened the eyes of men to the underlying cause of war - economic distress, based on the exploitation of the planet's resources by an international group of selfish and ambitious men. The opportunity to change things is now present.

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