When the business man who fights to secure special privileges, to crowd his competitor off the track by other than fair competitive methods, receives the same summary disdainful ostracism by his fellows that the doctor or lawyer who is 'unprofessional,' the athlete who abuses the rules, receives, we shall have gone a long way toward making commerce a fit pursuit for our young men.
The theory that the man who raises corn does a more important piece of work than the woman who makes it into bread is absurd. The inference is that the men alone render useful service. But neither man nor woman eats these things until the woman has prepared it.
Sacredness of human life! The world has never believed it! It has been with life that we settled our quarrels, won wives, gold and land, defended ideas, imposed religions. We have held that a death toll was a necessary part of every human achievement, whether sport, war or industry. A moment's rage over the horror of it, and we have sunk into indifference.
One of the most depressing features of the ethical side of the matter is that instead of such methods arousing contempt they are more or less openly admired. And this is logical. Canonise 'business success,' and men who made a success like that of the Standard Oil Trust become national heroes!
Buy cheap and sell high is a rule of business, and when you control enough money and enough banks you can always manage that a stock you want shall be temporarily cheap. No value is destroyed for you - only for the original owner.
Rockefeller and his associates did not build the Standard Oil Co. in the board rooms of Wall Street banks. They fought their way to control by rebate and drawback, bribe and blackmail, espionage and price cutting, by ruthless efficiency of organization.
You cannot settle a new country without suffering, exposure, and danger. Cheerful endurance of hardships and contempt of surroundings become a virtue in a pioneer. Comfort is a comparatively new thing in the United States.