The Gospel of Wealth
And Other Timely Essays
by Andrew Carnegie

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--- Page 50. The Gospel of Wealth - III The Advantages of Poverty ---

III

The Advantages of Poverty

1. Two essays from my pen, published in the North American Review, have been doubly fortunate in Britain in being reprinted by the Pall Mall Gazette under the new and striking title of "The Gospel of Wealth," and in attracting the attention of the one man who, of all others, could bring them most prominently before thinking people. Mr. Gladstone's review and recommendation in the November number of this Review gave them the most illustrious of sponsors; he is followed in the December number by others of the highest eminence and authority. The discussion has taken a wide range, but I shall restrict myself to its bearings upon the ideas presented in "The Gospel of Wealth."

Baha'i Comment

2. Mr. Gladstone first calls attention to the portentous growth of wealth. From every point of view this growth seems to me most beneficial; for we know that, rapid as is the increase of wealth, its distribution among the people in streams more and more numerous is still more rapid, the share of the joint product of capital and labor which has gone to

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labor during this generation being much greater than in any generation preceding, and constantly increasing. Evidences, drawn from many independent sources, converge and prove this beyond question. A few enormous fortunes have been amassed during the present generation in this new and undeveloped continent, but under conditions which no longer exist. In our day, even in the United States, it is much easier to lose a great fortune than to make one, and more are being lost than made. It is rather surprising, therefore, that the Rev. Mr. Hugh Price Hughes should say: "Whatever may be thought of Mr. Henry George's doctrines and deductions, no one can deny that his facts are indisputable, and that Mr. Carnegie's 'progress' is accompanied by the growing 'poverty' of his less fortunate fellow-countrymen."

    (2) Hughes's belief that "the rich were getting richer and the poor poorer" was a widely quoted aphorism of this period. It had little factual basis. Henry George (1882-1916), the American economist and author of Progress and Poverty (1879), justifying the "single tax," accepted the commonly held notion.

Baha'i Comment

3. So far as I have observed, all writers of authority upon social and economic subjects have not only disputed Mr. George's statements, but pronounce their opposites to be the truth. Mr. George's "Progress and Poverty" is founded upon two statements: first, that the rich are growing richer, and the poor poorer; and second, that land is going more and more into the hands of the few. The truth is that the rich are growing poorer, and the poor growing richer, and that land is passing from the hands of the few into the hands of the many. A study of Mulhall's Fifty Years of National Progress (pages 23-27)

    (3) Michael George Mulhall (1836-1900). His book, one of several on economic matters and statistics, appeared in England in 1887.

is strongly recommended to those desirous of learning the truth in regard to the distribution of wealth, upon which Mr. Mulhall says: "Nor does this wealth become congested among a small number of people; on the contrary, the rich grow less rich and more numerous every year, the poor fewer in ratio to population."

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Baha'i Comment

Baha'i Comment

(NUMBER OF FARMS) *
1850
1,449,073
1860
2,044,077
1870
2,659,985
1880
4,008,907
AVERAGE SIZE OF FARMS (ACRES)
1850
203
1860
199
1870
153
1880
134

    * In 1890 the number of farms in the United States was 4,564,641 and the average size 136 and 1/2 acres. -- ED. [Note in original edition.]

This tendency to more numerous and smaller holdings exists also in Britain, although hampered in its operation by repressive laws.

Baha'i Comment

5 I rejoice that Mr. Hughes quotes the well-known passage from Herbert Spencer,

    (4) The passage is from Spencer's Study of Sociology, pp. 256-59.

which, as he says, "exposes the sad delusion that great wealth is a great blessing"- a passage which is throughout profoundly true; but is it possible that Mr. Hughes can be uninformed of the position Mr. George occupies in the wise mind of our mutual teacher? In speaking to me of Mr. George's book, Mr. Spencer said that he had read a few pages, and then thrown it down as "trash." I know of no writer or thinker of recognized authority, except Mr. Hughes, who differs with the philosopher in this judgment.

Baha'i Comment

6. So far as the reference to myself is concerned, -I understand, of course, it is in nowise personal, but only as the representative of a class, -I beg to assure Mr. Hughes that the indisputable fact I know is that my "progress" has inevitably carried with it not the "sowing poverty," but the growing riches of my fellow-countrymen, as the progress of every employer of labor must necessarily carry with it

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the enrichment of the country and of the laborer. Imagine one speaking of "growing poverty" in the United States! The American, more than any other workman, spends his savings for the purchase of a home. The savings-banks are only one of several depositories used by him.

Baha'i Comment

7. Nevertheless, the returns just made for the year 1890, for all the New England and Middle States (where millionaires do most abound), comprising a population of 17,300,000 more than half the total population of Britain -- show that the deposits are $1,279,000,000 -- say 255,000,000, the increase for the year being 13,000,000. The number of depositors is 3,520,000, showing that about one out of every five men, women, and children has a bank-account, equal practically to one to each family. The amount of savings invested for homes far exceeds the savings-bank deposits.

Baha'i Comment

8. The United States census of 1880 shows only 88,665 public paupers in a population of 50,000,000, mainly aged and superannuated - one third being foreigners. There were more blind and idiotic people in the public charitable institutions than paupers, and half as many deaf-mutes, although the percentage of the "defective classes" is less than half that of Europe. The total number of all "dependent" persons cared for was less than five per thousand, as compared with thirty-three per thousand in the United Kingdom. This percentage for Britain is happily only about one fourth of what it has been, and its steady decrease is most encouraging. Good and charitable workers among the poor can best accelerate this decreasing process, until something like the American figure is reached, by instilling within the working classes of Britain those feelings of manly self-respect and those habits of sobriety and thrift which distinguish their race here, and keep it almost free, not only from pauperism, but from want or extreme poverty, except as the necessary result (accident and sickness excepted) of their own bad habits.

Baha'i Comment

9. Mr. Hughes would not give currency knowingly to state-

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ments that were the reverse of correct. I earnestly hope, therefore, that he will satisfy himself that every writer of authority is not deceived when he asserts that poverty, want, and pauperism are rapidly diminishing quantities; and most significantly so, not so much through almsgiving, or efforts of the rich, but because of an improvement through education in the habits of the people themselves - the only foundation upon which their continued progress can surely be built. Mr. Hughes can also readily learn another indisputable fact by inquiring at the shipyards of Glasgow, the iron and steel mills of Sheffield, the coal-mines of the Midlands, or at industrial establishments generally - namely, that the working-classes receive much greater compensation for their services than they ever did or now do for any other form of labor, and much greater than they could possibly receive, except for the establishment of great enterprises by men of wealth. In these days of excitement and exaggeration, let it always be borne in mind that at no period in the history of the English-speaking race, wherever that race resides, has it been so easy as it is to-day for the masses not only to earn comfortable livelihoods, but to save and have money in bank for a rainy day. When they fail to do so, the true reformer looks more to their habits than to existing conditions for a satisfactory explanation.

Baha'i Comment

10. So far from its being a fact that "millionaires at one end of the scale mean paupers at the other," as Mr. Hughes says, the reverse is obviously true. In a country where the millionaire exists there is little excuse for pauperism; the condition of the masses is satisfactory just in proportion as a country is blessed with millionaires. There is not a great millionaire among the whole four hundred millions of China, nor one in Japan, nor in India; one or two perhaps in the whole of Russia; there are two or three in Germany, and not more than four or five in the whole of France, monarchs and hereditary nobles excepted. There are more millionaires upon the favored little isle of Britain than in the whole of

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Europe, and in the United States still more, of recent origin, than in Britain; and the revenues of the masses are just in proportion to the ease with which millionaires grow. The British laborer receives more for one day's handling of the shovel than the blacksmith or carpenter of China, Russia, India, or Japan receives for a whole week's labor, and double that of his Continental fellow-workman. The skilled artisan of America receives more than twice as much as the artisan of Britain. Millionaires can only grow amid general prosperity, and this very prosperity is largely promoted by their exertions. Their wealth is not made, as Mr. Hughes implies, at the expense of their fellow-countrymen. Millionaires make no money when compelled to pay low wages. Their profits accrue in periods when wages are high, and the higher the wages that have to be paid, the higher the revenues of the employer. It is true, and not false, therefore, that capital and labor are allies and not antagonistic forces, and that one cannot prosper when the other does not.

Baha'i Comment

11. I feel as if I should apologize for taking so much space in stating truisms; but much of the prejudice and hostility which unnecessarily exist between capital and labor arise from such statements as those quoted.

Baha'i Comment

12. To return to Mr. Gladstone. Would that his adhesion to "The Gospel of Wealth" in its entirety could be obtained! Deeply gratifying is the favor which he accords in general to its scope and aim; but the destructive character of its criticism upon one vital point is important. He is quite right in saying that, "though partial, it is a serious difference." It arises from his fond, clinging affection for the principle of hereditary transmission of position and wealth, and of business, and for magnificence upon the part of those in station. We must treat this serious matter at the threshold.

Baha'i Comment

13. The fundamental idea of the gospel of wealth is that surplus wealth should be considered as a sacred trust to be administered by those into whose hands it falls, during their lives, for the good of the community. It predicts that the day

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is at hand when he who dies possessed of enormous sums, which were his and free to administer during his life, will die disgraced, and holds that the aim of the millionaire should be to die poor. It likewise pleads for modesty of private expenditure

Baha'i Comment

14. The most serious obstacle to the spread of such a gospel is Undoubtedly the prevailing desire of men to accumulate wealth for the express purpose of bequeathing it to their children, or to spend it in ostentatious living. I have therefore endeavored to prove that at the root of the desire to bequeath to children there lay the vanity of the parents, rather than a wise regard for the good of the children. That the parent who leaves his son enormous wealth generally deadens the talents and energies of the son, and tempts him to lead a less useful and less worthy life than he otherwise would, seems to me capable of proof which cannot be gainsaid. It is many years since I wrote in a rich lady's album, "I should as soon leave to my son a curse as the almighty dollar." Exceptions abound to every general rule, but I think not more exceptions to this rule than to others - namely, that "wealth is a curse to young men, and poverty a blessing"; but if these terms seem rather strong, let us state the proposition thus: that wealth left to young men, as a rule, is disadvantageous; that lives of poverty and struggle are advantageous.

Baha'i Comment

15. Mr. Gladstone asks: "Is it too much to affirm that the hereditary transmission of wealth and position, in conjunction with the calls of occupation and of responsibility, is a good and not an evil thing? I rejoice to see it among our merchants, bankers, publishers; I wish it were commoner among our great manufacturing capitalists." He also says: "Even greater is the subject of hereditary transmission of land - more important and more difficult." Mr. Gladstone does not favor entails of money, but adds: "But is it another matter when in commerce, or in manufacture, or in other

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forms of enterprise, such for example as the business of a great publishing house, the work of the father is propagated by his descendants?"

Baha'i Comment

16. These passages imply that the hereditary transmission of wealth and position and of business are not detrimental - as I think them - but desirable: a good and not an evil thing. Let us take the first form, that of sons following the occupations of their fathers. Little, I think, does one know, who is not in the whirl of business affairs, of the rarity of the combined qualities requisite for conducting the business enterprises of to-day. The time has passed when business once established can be considered almost permanently secure. Business methods have changed; good will counts for less and less. Success in business is held by the same tenure, nowadays, as the Premiership of Britain -- at the cost of a perpetual challenge to all comers. The fond parent who invests his son with imaginary business qualifications, and places him in charge of affairs - upon the successful management of which the incomes of thousands depend - incurs a grave responsibility. Most of the disastrous failures of the day arise from this very cause. It is as unjust to the son as to the community. Out of seven serious failures during a panic in New York, five were traced to this root. One of these sons is an exile to escape punishment for breaking a law which he did not clearly understand. I have joined with others in asking the President to pardon him - a step I have never taken before on behalf of any law-breaker, but in this case I consider the father, not the son, the guilty party. The duty of the head of a great enterprise is to interest capable assistants who are without capital, but who have shown aptitude for affairs, and raise these to membership and management. The banker who hands over his business to sons, because they are sons, is guilty of a great offense. The transmission of wealth and rank, without regard to merit or qualifications, may pass from one peer to another, not without

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much, but without serious injury, since the duties matter of routine, seldom involving the welfare or of others; but the management of business, never.

Baha'i Comment

17. But assuming that business enterprises can be handed over properly in deference to hereditary claims, is it wise or desirable that they should be? I think not. The millionaire business man rates his vocation higher than I, who sees in it the best or highest, or even a desirable career for his sons. The sons of the wealthy have a right instinct which tells them that to engage in work where the primary object is gain is unworthy of those who, relieved from the necessity of earning a livelihood, are in a position to devote themselves to any of the hundred pursuits in which their time and knowledge call be employed primarily for the good of the community. The sons of the millionaire are to be regarded with approval who cannot be induced to take the absorbing and incessant interest in their father's business which is necessary to save it from ruin. The day is over when even the richest can play at business, as rich men's sons almost invariably do. There are exceptions where the son shows tastes and decided ability which render him the natural successor; but these are rare, far too rare to take into account in estimating the value of a custom. This ability, moreover, should be proved in some other establishment than that of the father.

Baha'i Comment

18. When we come to the hereditary transmission of land, Mr. Gladstone's words are most touching. He paints a lovely picture of the "wonderful diversity and closeness of the ties by which, when rightly used, the office of the landed proprietor binds together the whole structure of rural society,.... that cohesion, interdependence, and affection of the gens which is in its turn a fast-compacting bond of societies at large." But is this a picture of to-day? Has not that day passed also, except in a few instances such as that furnished by the late lamented Lord Tollemache,5 and upon

    (5) Lord Tollemache (1805-1890) was the landlord of two estates, totaling 33,000 acres, in Suffolk and Cheshire. He contributed a phrase and a practice to land reform by giving each of his 250 cottage tenants "three acres and a cow," from the rectums of which they could supplement their wages on neighboring farms. At the same time he divided his own estates into farms of 200 acres as the most profitable unit of cultivation. He had the most advanced ideas about a landlord's responsibility and knew every tenant and his capabilities. On his death in 1890 the Times characterized him "as the finest practical agriculturist in the country."

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a smaller scale by Mr. Gladstone himself, in that earthly Paradise, Hawarden?"

    (6) Gladstone's large private estate in Wales, site of an ancient castle.

Baha'i Comment

Carnegie Text Goes Here

19. The cultivation of land is now a business conducted upon a commercial basis by independent men, whom the landed proprietor no longer leads, and who most fortunately can lead themselves. The American citizen, who is himself landlord, factor, tenant, and laborer, requiring from the land he owns and tills only the support of himself and family, has rendered impossible the maintenance of more than one class from the product of agricultural land anywhere in the world. Knowing the kind of citizen which this condition creates, and knowing also the character of the Scotch farmer, as evolved through the operation of long leases which make him practically independent, -although in his case the magic power of ownership, which counts for so much, is still lacking, - and estimating these classes as men and as citizens, I have no doubt that the balance of advantage, both to the individual and to the State, is largely in favor of the change. Should the abolition of primogeniture and entail come with the changes democracy is expected to inaugurate, large estates in Britain would probably be divided into farms and owned by the people. The history of Denmark in this particular might then he that of Britain; and the temptation which now exists to leave territorial domains to eldest sons would thus be removed, and with it one great obstacle to the adoption of the gospel of wealth - the desire, futile as vain, to found or maintain hereditary families.

20. Mr. Gladstone instances the Marquis of Salisbury 7 suc-

    (7) Lord Salisbury was a Cecil. The family, one of the most distinguished in English history, attained eminence at least as early as the reign of Queen Elizabeth. Robert Cecil, the first Earl of Salisbury, younger son of William Lord Burghley, was Queen Elizabeth's famous Lord Treasurer. A lineal descendant, Robert Arthur Talbot Cascoyne-Cecil, third Marquis of Salisbury, was born in 1830. His father, disapproving of the young man's marriage, gave him only a limited income. Thereupon he became a contributor to magazines, notably Bentley's Quarterly Review and the Saturday Review. On the death of an older brother in 1865 he became his father's heir. Meanwhile in the Commons he had made a reputation as a conservative and a foe of Gladstone. After serving as Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs and in other positions, he became in 1885 prime minister for the first time. Through the next fifteen years he recurrently held this office as well as that for foreign affairs. He left office for the last time in 1902 and died the following year.

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ceeding to the office of Prime Minister, which office ten generations ago was filled by one of his ancestors, and asks: "Is not this tie of lineage a link binding him to honor and to public virtue?" Is not Mr. Gladstone unfortunate in naming Lord Salisbury in support of his views? I have always regarded him as a striking instance of the advantage of not being born to hereditary wealth and position. Like the great founder of the Cecils, Lord Salisbury himself was born a commoner - a younger son with a younger son's portion; and with the promptings of decided ability within him, he did everything in his power to prevent being narrowed and restricted by the smothering robes of rank and wealth. The laws of his country forced him to sink his individuality in a peerage, but for which English history might have told of a first and a second. Cecil, as it tells of a first and a second Pitt -- men too great to be obliterated as men by any title. It is a sad descent in historical rank from "Cecil" to the "Marquis" of anything. The highest title which a man can write upon the page of history is his own name. Mr. Gladstone's will be there; Gladstone he is, Gladstone he will remain, even if he tried to make future generations lose his commanding personality in the "Dukedom of Clydesdale," or any title whatever. But who among his contemporaries in public life is to stand this supreme test of masterdom? There is room for one only in each generation. It is safe to predict that, whoever he be, he will resemble "Gladstone" in one essential feature: he will be of the people, free from the dis-

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advantage of hereditary wealth and position, and stamp his name and personality upon the glittering scroll. "Disraeli" promised well for a time, but he fades rapidly into Beaconsfield

    (8) Benjamin Disraeli (1804-1881) became Earl of Beaconsfield in 1876 but did not exactly "fade" as statesman until 1880.

becoming a Shadow of a name. The title proves greater than the man.

Baha'i Comment

21. As a "Saturday Reviewer," Robert Talbot Cecil (what a glorious name to lose!) had proved himself a power: it is a hundred to one that, had he been born to the hereditary title, he would have remained an obscure commonplace Marquis, resembling in this respect the many generations of Marquises of Salisbury which had followed each other, and whose noble history is comprised - and fully comprised - in "Burke's Peerage in the three letters, b, m, d. The only man of his family from whom he can derive inspiration "binding him to honor and to public virtue," is the great original Cecil, and the founder of his own branch of the house, who, like himself, was a younger son, and had neither wealth nor rank. He did not even reach knighthood till late in his career. The great Cecil sprung from the people, and had none of the advantages which Mr. Gladstone, as I think wrongly, attributes to hereditary wealth and position. Lineage is indeed, most important, but only the lineage of the immediate parents; for in each generation One half of the strain is changed. Fortunately for the high-placed ones of the earth, it is unnecessary for them to scrutinize the characters of their ancestors beyond the preceding generation. Happy for the royal children of Britain that they can dwell upon the virtues of father and mother, and stop there. Lord Salisbury, like many able men, perhaps, owes his commanding qualities to his mother, who was the daughter of a country gentleman - a commoner, secure from the disadvantages of the hereditary transmission of wealth and rank. It is curious that the present ruler of the other branch of the English race, our President, has the same good fortune Mr. Gladstone claims for the

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Marquis of Salisbury, his grandfather having been President.

    (9) Benjamin Harrison (1833-1901), twenty third President of the United States, was the grandson of William Henry Harrison, the ninth.

But it is safe to say that the American ruler would never have occupied that high office had he received fortune and position from his grandfather, or had he himself acquired riches. No party is so foolish as to nominate for the Presidency a rich man, much less a millionaire. Democracy elects poor men. The man must have worked for his bread to be an available candidate; and if, like Lincoln, he has been so fortunate as to be compelled to split rails, or, like Garfield,

    (10) James A. Garfield (1831-1881) reputedly was the last president to be born in a log cabin.
to drive mules upon a canal, and subsequently to clean the rooms and light the fires of the school in part payment for his tuition, or, like Blaine,
    (1l) James G. Blaine (1850-1893), Secretary of State in Garfleid's administration (1880-81) and again in 1889-1902, taught school at Western Military Institute, Georgetown, Kentucky, and at an institution for the blind in Philadelphia.

to teach school, so much more successfully does he appeal to the people. This applies not only to the Presidency: one of the strongest aspirants for that office lost his renomination to the Senate because a house that he erected in Washington was taken as an indication of tastes incompatible with republican simplicity of life.

Baha'i Comment

22. Nothing is more fatal to the prospects of a public man in America than wealth, or the display of wealth. The dangers of a plutocracy that his Eminence Cardinal Manning fears are, I assure him, purely imaginary. There is no country in which wealth counts for so little as in the Republic The current is all the other way. Is the influence of lineage less upon the republican President, in binding him to honor and public virtue, because neither hereditary rank nor wealth was transmitted? Because he is poor and a commoner, is he less sensitive to the promptings of honor and virtue? I think it will be found that the best and greatest of Britain do not differ from the greatest and best of other lands. These have had a lineage which linked them to honor and to public virtue, but almost

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without exception the lineage of honest poverty - of laborious, wage-receiving parents, leading lives of virtuous privation, sacrificing comforts that their sons might be kept at school - lineage from the cottage of poverty, not the palace of hereditary rank and position.

Baha'i Comment

23. Mr. Gladstone himself has a lineage. Does it bind him less than Lord Salisbury is bound by his to honor and public virtue? His ancestors were Scotch farmers without wealth or rank, yet I doubt not that Mr. Gladstone's career has been as strongly and as nobly influenced by his knowledge or recollections of the poor and virtuous lives lived by his forefathers as that of any hereditary monarch or noble who ever lived could be by thoughts of his ancestors; and of one thing I am absolutely sure: he has reason to be much prouder of his lineage than nobles or monarchs in general can possibly be of theirs. Among many advantages arising, not from the transmission of hereditary wealth and position, but from the transmission of hereditary "poverty and health," there is one which, to my mind, overweighs all the others combined. It is not permitted the children of king, millionaire, or noble to have father and mother in the close and realizing sense of these sacred terms. The name of father, and the holier name of mother, are but names to the child of the rich and the noble. To the poor boy these are the words he conjures with - his guides, the anchors of his soul, the objects of his adoration. Neither nurse, servant, governess, nor tutor has come between him and his parents. In his father he has had tutor, companion, counselor, and judge. It is not given to the born millionaire, noble, or prince to dwell upon such a heritage as is his who has had in his mother nurse, seamstress, teacher, inspirer, saint - his all in all.

Baha'i Comment

24. Hereditary wealth and position tend to rob father and mother of their children, and the children of father and mother. It cannot be long ere their disadvantages are felt more and more, and the advantages of plain and simple living more clearly seen.

Baha'i Comment

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25. Poor boys reared thus directly by their parents possess such advantages over those watched and taught by hired strangers, and exposed to the temptations of wealth and position, that it is not surprising they become the leaders in every branch of human action. They appear upon the stage, athletes trained for the contest, with sinews braced, indomitable wills, resolved to do or die. Such boys always have marched, and always will march, straight to the front and lead the world; they are the epoch-makers. Let one select the three or four foremost names, the supremely great in every field of human triumph, and note how small is the contribution of hereditary rank and wealth to the short list of immortals who have lifted and advanced the race. It will, I think, be seen that the possession of these is almost fatal to greatness and goodness, and that the greatest and best of our race have necessarily been nurtured in the bracing school of poverty-the only school capable of producing the supremely great, the genius.

Baha'i Comment

26. Upon the plea made by "The Gospel of Wealth" for modesty of private expenditure, Mr. Gladstone says: "Among those whose station excuses or even requires magnificence, there are abundant opportunities and there are also beautiful and graceful examples of personal simplicity and restraint." This seems to me a branch from the upas-tree of hereditary transmission of wealth and position. Is it true that station requires magnificence, or true that true dignity of station is enhanced by simplicity?

Baha'i Comment

27. Here are some words of President Cleveland in his message to Congress upon this point: "We should never be ashamed of the simplicity and prudential economies which are best suited to the operation of a republican form of government and most compatible with the mission of the American people. Those who are selected for a limited time to manage public affairs are still of the people, and may do much by their example to encourage, consistently with the dignity of their official functions, that plain way of life which

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among their fellow-citizens aids integrity and promotes thrift and prosperity."

Baha'i Comment

28. President Cleveland only follows the teachings and examples of every American President, and of all others in official station. There are no pecuniary prizes in the Republic for judge, bishop, or President; neither any pensions,

    (12) On the other hand, Carnegie, pained by the ingratitude of republics, bequeathed in his will an income of $10,000 a year to ex-President Taft and $5,000 a year each to Mrs. Grover Cleveland and Mrs. Theodore Roosevelt.

except that judges are retired upon half-pay at seventy years of age. The very moderate salaries given to all officials enforce modest expenditure, and the influence of this upon the nation is as powerful as salutary. Were some future King of Britain to announce that the serious consideration of the subject of wealth and poverty had led him to resolve to live as the President of the United States and his family live, upon ten thousand pounds a year, and to return to the nation, or devote to public uses, the hundreds of thousands of pounds spent for magnificence, and were he to live in accordance with this resolve, would it lessen or enhance the true dignity of his life and station? Would it lessen or enhance his influence? Is it reasonable to estimate that all the good that monarch could possibly do in his restricted position would equal that which would flow from setting the example of living a quiet, unostentatious, modest life -- administering his surplus not upon himself, but for others? The only objection that might be raised against such action is that it would render the king a personage far too powerful for the system of constitutional monarchy, which requires "king" to be but a word meaning the will of the Cabinet. The man capable of taking such action would be not only titular "king-," but a power ill the State. The Right Hon. John Morley,

    (13) English statesman and author (1838-1923), Secretary of Ireland under Gladstone and Secretary for India, 1905-1910.

replying to a question asked by a constituent at a meeting in Newcastle, some time ago, bearing upon this very point of expend-

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iture and magnificence in the State, gave expression to the hope that the highly placed might learn that the truest dignity consisted in quiet and simple living. I do not quote his words but the sense of his reply. Mr. Gladstone himself will leave behind him many titles to the affection, gratitude, and admiration of his countrymen; but when the future eulogist says of him - as he will truly be able to say - what is said of Pitt upon his monument in G[u]ildhall, he will pay him the greatest of all tributes. These words are: "Dispensing for many years the favours of his sovereign, he lived without ostentation, and died poor." If we cannot have Mr. Gladstone preaching in favor of modest living upon the part of those in station, we rejoice that none excels him in the practice of that virtue. It is seldom we are permitted to extol the example beyond the precept of the sage.

Baha'i Comment

29. Upon this subject I thank Mr. Hughes for the words he has written. He says: "The real question is not how much we ought to give away, but how much we dare retain for our own gratification." These words strike home to every man of wealth and station: "How much dare we retain for our own gratification?" This is a troublesome question which will not "down." Giving the one tenth - the tithe - is easy. The true disciple of the gospel of wealth has to pass far beyond that stage. His conscience may be quieted by arguing that he and his family are entitled to enjoy in moderation the best that the world affords. The earnest disciple can easily discover the efficacy of running in debt, as it were, by anticipating his expected surplus, and engaging in works for the general good before the cash is in hand, to an extent which really keeps him without available surplus, and even entails the necessity of figuring how to meet engagements. He can, when so situated, consider himself poor, and he will certainly feel himself so. The personal expenditure of the very rich forms so small a part of their income, provided the rule is obeyed which forbids such extravagance as would render them conspicuous, that they can, perhaps, also find refuge from self-

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questioning in the thought of the much greater portion of their means which is being spent upon others. But I do not profess that this is entirely satisfactory, and I am glad to agree with Mr. Hughes in the very low estimate he places upon this partial treatment of the serious question he has raised: "How much dare we retain for our own gratification?"

Baha'i Comment

30. Upon the subject of giving, Mr. Gladstone thinks that I am severe in my judgment of private charity when I estimate that of every thousand dollars spent in so-called charity nine hundred and fifty of them had better be thrown into the sea. The history of the Charity Organization Society of New York is here most instructive,

    (l4) The Charity Organization Society Of New York was established in 1881 to correlate the efforts and grants of the many private charity organizations "engaged in teaching and relieving the poor of the city in their own homes." It was an example of a general movement in the late nineteenth century to introduce more efficiency and less duplication in the bestowal of private charity.

Its confidential monthly bulletin recently gave the names of twenty-three bogus organizations which were soliciting contributions, many of them, unfortunately, with success. These have their printed annual reports, lists of distinguished contributors, - in many cases, alas! these are genuine, - their lady collectors, and all the other details. When the various charitable societies first combined and compared lists of those receiving aid, it was found that many names were upon seven or eight of the lists. Did my space permit, a story could be told that would upon every wealthy person that his duty is not to resolve to give, but to withhold until certain that his aid will not increase the area of what is called, in the stirring language of the day, the "hell of want and misery," which he longs to remove. The towns of Connecticut have recently been getting light upon almsgiving. A morning paper says: "The experience of Hartford with well-to-do public beggars may be duplicated in almost every town in Connecticut. A year or two ago, in Norwich, a town agent investigated the condition

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of the numerous persons who were receiving town aid. In forty instances he found that the applicants for charity had from five hundred to three thousand dollars in the savings bank; in one case, that of a woman who had been drawing 'town money' for years, it was found she had nearly twenty thousand dollars in a local bank."

Baha'i Comment

31. This is the least deplorable side of the matter, for the money given to prudent, saving people, even if they may not need it, cannot produce the serious consequences of that given to the much more numerous class who use it for the gratification of vice, and to enable them to live in idleness. Unless the individual giver knows the person or family in misfortune, their habits, conduct, and cause of distress, and knows that help given will aid them to help themselves, he cannot act properly; and if he does act to save his own feelings -which one is very apt to do -he will increase rather than diminish the distress which appeals to him. There is really no true charity except that which will help others to help themselves, and place within the reach of the aspiring the means to climb.

Baha'i Comment

32. I notice a prevalent disposition to think only of the unfortunate wretches into whom the virtues necessary for improvement cannot be instilled. Common humanity impels us to provide for the actual wants of human beings - to see, through our poor laws, that none die of starvation, and to provide comfortable shelter, clothing, and instruction, which should, however, always be dependent upon work performed; but in doing this our thoughts should also turn to the benefits that are to accrue to those who are yet sound and industrious and, seeking through labor the means of betterment, by removing from their midst and placing under care of the State in workhouses the social lepers. Every drunken vagabond or lazy idler supported by alms bestowed by wealthy People is a source of moral infection to a neighborhood. It will not do to teach the hard-working, industrious man that there is an easier path by which his wants can be supplied.

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The earnest reformer will think as much, if not more, of the preservation of the sound and valuable members among the poor, as of any real change which can be effected in those who seem hopelessly lost to temperance, industry, and thrift. He will labor more to prevent than to cure, feeling that it is necessary to remove the spoiled grape from the bunch, the spoiled apple from the barrel, mainly for the sake of the sound fruit that remains. He who would plunge the knife into the social cancer, if any good is to be effected thereby, must needs be a skilled surgeon with steady hand and calm judgment, with the feelings as much under control as possible; the less emotion the better.

Baha'i Comment

33. One reads or hears everywhere of rash proposals, well meaning, no doubt, full of the innocence of the dove; but there is no task which more requires the wisdom of the serpent, which seems woefully lacking in these sensational schemes. The following from Rabbi Adler is sound to the core: "Giving, however, is an easy matter; it needs neither special training nor sustained thought. But the purpose and methods of charitable relief cannot be learned without a long and diligent apprenticeship, for which discipline in the painful school of personal experience is alone of any avail."

Baha'i Comment

34. Sorry as I am to say it, the more attention I give to this subject, the greater the genuine knowledge obtained, the higher I am disposed to raise my estimate of the evil produced by indiscriminate giving.

Baha'i Comment

35. From the standpoint of "The Gospel of Wealth" Mr. Gladstone's criticisms are, indeed, serious - almost fatal; for it will be readily seen that if the hereditary transmission of wealth and position and of business concerns be not pernicious as a rule, as I hold, but advantageous to the individuals receiving these bequests, and to the nation as well, and if, instead of simplicity, as I think, station requires magnificence, it will be hard indeed, if not impossible, to teach the wealthy that surplus wealth should be regarded as a sacred trust to be administered during their lives for the public

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good; they will continue to gather and leave fortunes to their families or spend them for magnificence as hitherto. I turn, therefore, for support to the views of the other contributors.

Baha'i Comment

36. His Eminence Cardinal Manning says:

    Mr. Carnegie tells us plainly, first, that the accumulation of stagnant wealth to be bequeathed to heirs is a vainglory in the giver, and may be a ruin to the receiver; secondly, that the bequeathing of wealth for charities when the man is gone out of life is an empty way of making a name for generosity; thirdly, that to distribute all beyond the reasonable and temperate reserves due to kindred and their welfare, inter vivos, or now in life, with his own will, judgment, and hand to works of public and private beneficence and utility, is the highest and noblest use of wealth. This is a gospel, not according to capital, but according to the mind and life of the Founder of the Christian world. It is nothing new. It is no private opinion or exorbitant notion of a morbid prodigality, but the words of soberness and truth. If men so acted they would change the face of the world.

Baha'i Comment

37. The Rev. Mr. Hughes writes:

    In the long and arduous task of reconstructing society on a Christian basis, with due and careful regard to all legitimate existing interests, it would be an inestimable public service if every one whom Mr. Carnegie represents would follow the example of Mr. Carnegie in getting rid of his money as quickly as possible. Mr. Carnegie's gospel is the very thing for the transition period from social heathenism to social Christianity. If a man is so unfortunate as to have enormous wealth, he cannot do better than act upon Mr. Carnegie's distributive principles.

Baha'i Comment

38. I cannot but express the hope that further reflection upon the vital points may bring Mr. Gladstone into closer agreement with our colleagues in the discussion. In none of their articles is there a word in support of the advantages of the hereditary transmission of wealth and position, or of the necessity for magnificence upon the part of those in station. Their views seem to be in quite the other direction.

Baha'i Comment

39. Fortunately, from this point forward we have Mr. Gladstone's powerful and unreserved support. He says: "The accumulation of wealth has had adversaries, but it has been too

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strong for them all; it is the business of the world." "The Gospel of Wealth" advocates leaving free the operation of laws of accumulation. It accepts this condition as unassailable, and seeks to make the best of it by directing into new and better channels the streams of accumulated and accumulating wealth, which it is found impossible to prevent. But in this, while we have Mr. Gladstone with us, we have regretfully lost Mr. Hughes, who rises in stern opposition and says: "If 'Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon the earth'

    (15) Matt. 6:19.

does not forbid the accumulation of wealth, the New Testament was written on Talleyrand's principle and was intended to 'conceal thoughts.'

    (16) Also attributed to Voltaire, Dialogue XIV, Le Chapon et la Poularde - "Men employ speech only to conceal their thoughts."

Baha'i Comment

40. It is quite true, as Mr. Hughes says, "that expositors can prove anything, and that theologians can explain away anything." When applied to a rich man, his view of this very text only part of which is quoted by Mr. Hughes - was that he strictly complied with the injunction by always placing his treasures in the safety deposit company, where he was quite sure "neither moth nor rust could corrupt, nor thieves break through and steal." Mr. Hughes quotes the parable of the master of the vineyard, whose conduct is cited by Christ with approval. How came he master of a vineyard? Can he have sinned and 'accumulated wealth" for the payment of labor? Mr. Hughes says: "Christ distinctly prohibited the accumulation of wealth." But when Christ spoke, the revenues of a leading minister, even if divided among the whole twelve apostles, would have been accounted "wealth." It seems to me we have only to interpret literally, in this manner, a few parts of isolated texts to find warrant for the destruction of civilization. Five words spoken by Christ so interpreted, if strictly obeyed, would at one blow strike down all that distinguishes man from the beast. "Take no thought for tomorrow."

    (17) Matt. 6:34

There is reason to believe that the

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forces of Christianity are not thus to be successfully arrayed against the business of the world-the accumulation of wealth. The parable of the talents'

    (18) Matt. 25:14-28.

bears in the other direction. It was: those who had accumulated and even doubled their capital to whom the Lord said: "Well done, thou good and faithful servant: thou has been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy Lord."

Baha'i Comment

41. Those who had "laid up" their treasures and not increased them were reprimanded. Consider the millionaire who continues to use his capital actively in enterprises which give employment and develop the resources of the world. He who manages the ships, the mines, the factories, cannot withdraw his capital, for this is the tool with which he works such beneficent wonders; nor can he restrict his operations, for the cessation of growth and improvement in any industrial undertaking marks the beginning of decay. The demands of the world for new and better things are continuous, and existing establishments must supply these, or lose even the trade they now have. I hope Mr. Hughes will find good ground for an interpretation which justifies the belief that the text has no bearing upon him, but is intended solely for those who hoard realized capital, adding the interest obtained for its use to the principal, and dying with their treasures "laid up," which should have been used as they accrued during the life of the individual for public ends, as the gospel of wealth requires.

Baha'i Comment

42. Acting in accordance with this advice, it becomes the duty of the millionaire to increase his revenues. The struggle for more is completely freed from selfish or ambitious taint and becomes a noble pursuit. Then he labors not for self, but for others; not to hoard, but to spend. The more he makes, the more the public gets. His whole life is changed from the moment that he resolves to become a disciple of the gospel of wealth, and henceforth he labors to acquire

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that he may wisely administer for others good. His daily labor is a daily virtue. Instead of destroying, impairing, or disposing of the tree which yields such golden fruit, it does not degrade his life nor even his old age to continue guarding the capital from which alone he can obtain the means to do good. He may die leaving a sound business in which his capital remains, but beyond this die poor, possessed of no fortune which was free for him to distribute, and therefore, I submit, not justly chargeable with belonging to the class which "lay up their treasures upon earth."

Baha'i Comment

43. In this connection I commend to my reverend colleague the sermon of the founder of his church (The Use of Money, American edition, vol. i. p. 44, Sermon 50). He says:

    Gain all you can by honest industry. Use all possible diligence in your calling. Lose no time. Gain all you can by common sense, by using in your business all the understanding which God has given you. It is amazing to observe how few do this -- how men run on in the same dull track with their forefathers.

    Having gained all you can by honest wisdom and unwearied diligence, the second rule of Christian prudence is, "Save all you can." Do not throw it away in idle expenses -- to gratify pride, etc. If you desire to be a good and faithful steward, out of that portion of your Lord's goods which he has for the present lodged in your hands, first provide things needful for yourself, food, raiment, etc.

    Second, provide these for your wife, your children, your servants, and others who pertain to your household. If then you have an overplus, do good to them that are of the household of faith. If there be still an overplus, do good to all men.

      (19) John Wesley (1703-1791), the "founder" of Methodism, Mr. Hughes's denomination, accumulated about $250,000 by his writings. The quotations, as Carnegie cited them, are from the Works of John Wesley. There are several "first" American editions. The earliest to include this sermon, here numbered LIII, was published by J. & J Harper (New York, 1826-1827), VI, 101. The sermon is numbered L in the First American Complete and Standard Edition from the Latest London Edition (New York: Emory & B. Waugh, 1831), I, 444.

Baha'i Comment

44. Upon this sermon the gospel of wealth seems founded. Indeed, had I known of its existence before writing upon the subject, I should certainly have quoted it. I shall, therefore, not be shaken, even if a leading disciple of Wesley informs

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us that Mr. Carnegie (as representing the millionaire class, of course) is an "anti-Christian phenomenon," a "social monstrosity," and a "grave political peril," and says that "in a really Christian country - that is, in a country constructed upon a Christian basis - a millionaire would be an economic impossibility." The millionaire class needs no defense, although Mr. Hughes thinks it no longer of use since joint stock companies provide the means for establishing industries upon the large scale now demanded. It is most significant that the business concerns which have given Britain supremacy are, with few or no exceptions, the creations of the individual millionaire - the Cunards, Ismays, Allens, Elders, Bessemers, Rothschilds, Barings, Clarks, Coatses, Crossleys, the Browns, Siemens, Cammels, Gillotts, Whitworths, the Armstrongs, Listers, the Salts, Bairds, Samuelsons, Howards, Bells,

    (20) These are families who established great 19th century British enterprises-shipping and ship-building, finance, manufacturing, metallurgy, chemicals, textiles, armaments, mining, etc. -- and who in many cases promoted philanthropic and educational projects in England.

and others. Joint-stock companies have not yet proven themselves equal to managing business properly after such men have created it. Where they have succeeded, it will be found that a very few individuals, and generally but one, have still control of affairs. Joint-stock companies cannot be credited with invention or enterprise. If it were not for the millionaire still in business, leading the way, a serious check would fall upon future improvement, and I believe business men generally will concur in the opinion, which I very firmly hold, that partnership - a very few, not more than two or three men - in any line of business will make full interest upon the capital invested; while a similar concern as a joint-stock company, owned by many in small amounts, will scarcely pay its way and is very likely to fail. Railroads may occur to some as examples of joint-stock management, but the same rule applies to these. America has most of the railroads of the world, and it is found that whenever a few able men control a line and make

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its management their personal affair, dividends are earned where before there were none. The railways of Britain being monopolies, and charging from two to three times higher rates for similar service than those of America, only manage to pay their shareholders a small return. It would be quite another story if these were the property of one or two able men and managed by them.

Baha'i Comment

45. The "promotion" of an individual into a joint-stock concern is precisely what the promotion of the individual is from the House of Commons to the House of Lords. The push and masterfulness of the few owners who have created the business are replaced by the limited authority and regulation performance of routine duties by salaried officials, after promotion. While the career of both concern and individual may continue respectable, it is necessarily drill. They are no longer in the race; the great work of both is over. It would not be well for Britain's future if her commercial and manufacturing supremacy depended upon joint-stock companies. It is her individual millionaires who have created this supremacy, and upon them its maintenance still depends. Those who insure steady employment to thousands, at wages not lower than others pay, need not be ashamed of their record; for steady employment is after all, the one indispensable requisite for the welfare and the progress of the people. Still, I am neither concerned nor disposed to dispute Mr. Hughes's assertion that in a state under really Christian principles a millionaire would be an impossibility. He may be right; it is a far guess ahead. But the millionaire will not lack good company in making his exit; for surely nothing is clearer than that in the ideal day there can be no further use whatever for those of Mr. Hughes's profession. The millionaire and the preacher will alike have to find some other use for their talents, some other work to do that they may honorably earn and cat their daily bread. In this I doubt not both will continue to be eminently successful. The successors of the Rev. Mr. Hughes and myself, arm in arm, will

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make a pretty pair out in search of some light work with heavy pay.

Baha'i Comment

46. Upon speculations as to the future of the race involving revolutionary change of existing conditions, it seems unwise to dwell. I think we have nothing whatever to do with what may come a thousand or a million years hence, and none of us can know what will come. Our duties lie with the present -with our day and generation; and even these are hard enough to discern. The race toils slowly upward step by step; it has even to create each successive step before it can stand upon it, for

    [Yet] Nature is made better by no mean
    But nature makes that mean.

      (21) Winter's Tale, Act IV, scene 3, line 89.

Baha'i Comment

47. If it attempts to bound over intervening space to any ideal, it will not rise, but fall to lower depths. I cannot, therefore, but regard such speculations a waste of time - of valuable time -- which is imperatively required for dealing with the next step possible in the path upward. And it is in this light that Mr. Gladstone's suggestion is of the greatest value. It accepts and builds upon present conditions - accommodates itself to our present environments. Mr. Gladstone has been engaged during his long public career in focusing, as it were, the various wishes of others, and so grouping them for a common end that practical results might follow. It has been his mission to restrain extremes, and to unite in common action the advance, the center, and the rear. He shows his rare constructive skill in suggesting that there should be formed a brotherhood of those who recognize their duties to their fellows less favored with this world's goods. This society will, no doubt, be so wide as to admit all, no limit being put to the amount of percentage of his surplus which each can secretly resolve to devote to others, nor any interference attempted with the wide field of its application. We may expect kindred societies to be formed throughout the

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world, and, at intervals, delegates from these might meet together in one world-wide brotherhood, thereby strengthening each other in the desire and effort to do their best to improve the condition of the masses, and to bring rich and poor into closer union. Those who ask, "not how much we ought to give away, but how much we dare retain," would represent the advanced section. Passing from this through many gradations, those who still fondly plead for the continued hereditary transmission of wealth and position and for magnificence in station would constitute the other great wing of the army. All would be equally welcome, equally necessary, it being enough that members of the brotherhood feel that the duty of the day is that, intrusted as they are with surplus wealth beyond their wants, - as their conscience may determine these wants, - they should regularly set apart and expend all or a proportion, greater or less, of the remainder, for the good of their less fortunate fellows, in the manner which seems to each best calculated to promote their genuine improvement. Should Mr. Gladstone's suggestion find the response which it deserves, he will have added much to the usefulness of his life in a sphere happily far removed from and far above the political; a field in which there can be room neither for strife, jealousy, gain, nor personal ambition; a cause so high, so holy, that all its surroundings must breathe of peace, good will, brotherhood!

Baha'i Comment

48. Every earnest good man, anxious to leave the world a little better than he found it, will wish Mr. Gladstone Godspeed in his new, inspiring task - a task which is indeed "too great for haste, too high for rivalry."

Baha'i Comment