Employment Psychology: The Application of Scientific Methods to the Selection, Training, and Grading of Employees. Henry C. Link

Harry Dexter Kitson
1919 Journal of Political Economy  
things essential to health and efficiency, combined with liberty in "luxuries," is probably what we shall have to come to; but Mr. Woolf has thrown little light on the solution of the staggering problems of detail which swarm into view when we consider carrying out the suggestion. Perhaps the most serious criticism, and one cutting most deeply into fundamentals, is the author's much emphasized assumption that the sole legitimate aim of economic life is the consumption of goods, that as a
more » ... s, that as a starting-point all industrial productive activity must be recognized as an evil, though a necessary one. Our older economics ran in terms of human needs; latterly we are making more use of the term "wants" instead; it is time to face the fact that even this concept is too much "ontologized." We really know very little about human motives, and still oversimplify them disastrously in nearly all discussion. Some criticism of the existing order amounts virtually to contending that a game is unfair if anybody comes out ahead. Real human needs have in a sense a first place in our thinking; but not only is it impossible to tell definitely what these are, but however defined, their place in the problem of social organization is after all a relatively small one. The larger problem is to arrange things so that people will find their lives interesting and will grow into such personalities that they can respect themselves, admire others and enjoy their society, appreciate thought and beauty, and in general look upon creation and call it good. Question may be raised as to just how much will be contributed to this end by giving the worker any new sort of suffrage (in addition to that which he already has as a voter and free chooser of his own work and expenditure of its proceeds) for the control of industry. The book is very well written indeed, and makes interesting and stimulating reading. It is unfortunate that it seemed necessary to print it in such small type. It has a good index, and is a useful source of information in regard to the British co-operative movement, outside of its missionary appeal.
doi:10.1086/253229 fatcat:cipoi6p5czfhjkfh63mkbkwoae