Is it really the contention of the Conservative Party that the State is bound to view all processes of wealth-getting with an equal eye, provided they do not come under the criminal codes? Is that their contention? Are we really to be bound to impose the same burden upon the hardly won income of the professional man and the extraordinary profits of the land monopolist?
This is shown by the fact that the two great productive enterprises which he singles out as typical of modern wealth-getting generally are held up by him as examples of acquisition pure and simple. "The steel kings," he says, "did not invent steel. The oil kings did not invent oil."
The mighty, indeed, were fallen and the weapons of wealth-getting perished! Yet never had Iglesias felt so drawn in sympathy towards his late employer, for the spectre of possible ruin had made Sir Abel almost humble, almost human. "I am obliged to you for responding to my summons so promptly yes, sit down, my good friend, sit down," he said.
As the inflation proceeds and the real value of the currency fluctuates wildly from month to month, all permanent relations between debtors and creditors, which form the ultimate foundation of capitalism, become so utterly disordered as to be almost meaningless; and the process of wealth-getting degenerates into a gamble and a lottery. Lenin was certainly right.
Upon its evolutionary or dynamic side sociology may be considered a sort of philosophy of history; at least it attempts to give a scientific theory which will explain the social changes which history describes concretely. Economics is that special social science which deals with the wealth-getting and wealth-using activities of man.
Yet it is evident that the wealth-getting and wealth-using activities of man are strictly an outgrowth of his social life, and that economics as a science of human industry must rest upon sociology.
There can be no sane and stable family life until we are willing to subordinate the requirements of industry, that is, of wealth-getting, to the requirements of the family for the good birth and proper rearing of children. For brief reading: HENDERSON, Social Elements, Chap. IV. DEWEY AND TUFTS, Ethics, Chap. XXVI. ADLER, Marriage and Divorce, Lecture I.
Germany has been the most convinced, the most conscious, the most relentless exponent of the pernicious belief that the ultimate welfare of the state depends primarily on the wealth-getting power of its citizens. She has exalted an economic theory into a religion of nationality with mystical appeals.