America and the New Epoch

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9781230308012: America and the New Epoch
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This historic book may have numerous typos and missing text. Purchasers can usually download a free scanned copy of the original book (without typos) from the publisher. Not indexed. Not illustrated. 1916 edition. Excerpt: ... THE INDIVIDUALISTIC ERA: PROM COMPETITION TO CO-OPERATION THE epoch of the French Revolution, ushered in by the declaration of the rights of man--liberty tyalite, fraternitS--struck the fetters of feudalism from the human race, and gave free play to the intelligence, energy, and initiative of all the millions of human beings. The development of the steam-engine, of steamship and locomotive, and later of telegraph, telephone, and electric power, forged the tools; the free and unrestrained competition, which is the industrial expression of the individualistic age, gave the driving force which led to the great industrial development of the last century. The result was that the last century has seen a greater progress of mankind than all the previous centuries together. Competition thus became the industrial expression of the individualistic era. Under the competitive system of industrial organization--"capitalistic society," as it is often called--the means of production, transportation, and distribution of commodities have increased enormously and apparently without limit. As the result, the standard of living of mankind steadily rose, and things which in one generation were a luxury available only to a few, became a common necessity to the next generation. The increased productivity cheapened the cost and so stimulated consumption, and this again increased the production, led to further improvements, cheapening the cost and increasing the consumption. The competitive age thus has given to the masses of people a standard of living superior to that of the privileged classes in the feudal age. But in spite of the enormous and very often artificially stimulated increase of consumption of commodities, a check had to come in the wild race...

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