THE THREE AMERICAS PERMANENT EXHIBITION

1888 Science  
I have only one more word t o say, just t o call your attention t o another aspect of this case, ant1 t o commend it to your efforts. W e live in a time when m e n multiply fast, but apparently the means o f supporting t h e m do not multiply as rapidly ; when there is vehement competition, and occasionally intervals o f deep depression. And if you should look more closely, you will find that one cause, at least, o f this phenomenon is that man, as the mere owner o f muscle, is being edged out
more » ... is being edged out b y another and more powerful competitor. Merely as an agent o f physical force, as the possessor o f the power o f labor, the steam-,engine is a competitor which drives him easily out o f the market. And more and more the mere unskilled labor is being made unnecessary b y the development o f the forces which mechanical science has discovered. And as the world goes on, you must expect this tendency t o increase. Y o u must expect mechanical force t o become more varied and more powerful and more cheap, and the .competition with human arms and limbs t o become more hopeless. But there is one region where the machine can never follow the 'human being, and that is in the exercise o f thought. In skill, in cultivated mind, in the power t o adapt the processes o f thought t o t h e laws o f nature, in all that w e call 'skilled labor' o f the highest kind, -in that man must always have a monopoly, and need fear n o encroachment from the competition o f the steam-engine. It is t o the development o f his powers in that respect that the increase in the means o f subsistence, and the opening o f new paths o f selfsupport, must be found. O n all o f us, in whatever position w e are, is pressing, as one o f the most anxious subjects o f public care, the discoveries o f methods b y which the teeming millons o f this country shall b e able t o maintain themselves in a prosperous, decent, and comfortable condition. ZYe cannot find in their unskilled labor a satisfaction o f that want. T h e difficulties are enhanced b y the fact that our neighbors in other countries have been sensible o f the superiority which skilled etlucation can confer, ant1 have not been slow t o take advantage o f it. I f w e will not be left behind in the race, if w e desire to find any satisfactory solution for the deepest and the most inscrutable problem o f our time, if w e wish our complex community and high civilization to be maintained secure from all the dangers which the prcsence o f unfed, unprosperous, untaught millions must bring upon them, w e shall do our utmost t o give a healthy and a rapid development to the secondary education o f the working-classes." ---~---
doi:10.1126/science.ns-11.282.303 pmid:17832805 fatcat:mvcgnsnmtneunnf7xqovcus6du