[On dishonest business methods:] ... frequently the defender of the practice falls back on the Christian doctrine of charity, and points out that we are erring mortals and must allow for each other's weaknesses! - an excuse which, if carried to its legitimate conclusion, would leave our business men weeping on one another's shoulders over human frailty, while they picked one another's pockets.
How defeated and restless the child that is not doing something in which it sees a purpose, a meaning! It is by its self-directed activity that the child, as years pass, finds its work, the thing it wants to do and for which it finally is willing to deny itself pleasure, ease, even sleep and comfort.
The surprise of the fight on the long day, of the experiments with the shorter one, has been not only that the business could stand it, but that the business thrived under it as surely as the man did. It is but another of the proofs which are heaping up in American industry to-day that whatever is good for men and women - contributes to their health, happiness, development - is good for business.
We are a commercial people. We cannot boast of our arts, our crafts, our cultivation; our boast is in the wealth we produce. As a consequence business success is sanctified, and, practically, any methods which achieve it are justified by a larger and larger class.
I came then to a conviction that has never left me: that there is too much for me to attend to in this mortal life without overspeculation on the immortal, that it is not necessary to my peace of mind or to my effort to be a decent and useful person, to have a definite assurance about the affairs of the next world.
There is no gaming table in the world where loaded dice are tolerated, no athletic field where men must not start fair. Yet Mr. Rockefeller has systematically played with loaded dice, and it is doubtful if there has ever been a time since 1872 when he has run a race with a competitor and started fair.
Perhaps our national ambition to standardize ourselves has behind it the notion that democracy means standardization. But standardization is the surest way to destroy the initiative, to denumb the creative impulse above all else essential to the vitality and growth of democratic ideals.
The whole force of the respectable circles to which I belonged, that respectable circle which knew as I did not the value of security won, the slender chance of replacing it if lost or abandoned, was against me.
Very often people who admit the facts, who are willing to see that Mr. Rockefeller has employed force and fraud to secure his ends, justify him by declaring, 'It's business.' That is, 'it's business' has come to be a legitimate excuse for hard dealing, sly tricks, special privileges.