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The author sees that the organic theory of society is fatal to his position, and accordingly devotes a chapter to its overthrow. Society is not essentially a growth, but a product of human art. It is therefore chiefly the result of a process of construction. This brings us to "Justice," which is defined as equality. "The act of justice itself is the struggle, the effort to make the inequality of nature bear as little hardly as possible upon her victims." Yet the inequalities to be remedied are not after all natural inequalities since they are not due to heredity, for not only are men "born unequal, but they must continue to be born unequal or no improvement can take place. In other words, it is vital to the interest of the race that the environment be such as to tend to the birth of better types; and so long as better types are produced, these better types, being superior to the rest, must make natural equality between men impossible." The remediable inequalities are due to the "non-natural causes of inequality, the greatest of which is wealth." Justice is then "the struggle or effort to diminish in human relations the cruelty and inequality which characterize social relations in nature. Inequalities of wealth, inequalities of education, inequalities of marriage and the industrial inequalities which result from these three."
The book is in short an historical and philosophical plea for collectivism or a large amount of state interference. The fundamental fault of the work is that the idea of justice is not inductively derived from the facts presented. It is the ghost of a buried natural right. It is true that government is more or less conscious and involves effort, but this is not at all to say that this effort has been or is directed toward securing equality. That it should be directed toward such an end is quite another matter— an assumption important enough to require proof. It is further forgotten that most of the efforts to ameliorate unfortunate conditions and to secure a maximum amount of opportunity to each individual originate in personal initiative and cannot be appropriated as a function of government. Again, the idea of justice offered is self-destructive. The personal individuality—the measure of variation-expressed in hereditary endowment and approved by Mr. Kelly is itself the ultimate expression of ancestral conditions, which are largely of a material nature; just those inequalities which he condemns and proposes to level. When the chief causes of variation are removed will variations persist? The comparative uniformity of the savage mental and physical type is the answer.
The book is rightly a glorification of effort, but if history teaches anything, it is that equality is destructive of all effort, unless it be the effort of a collectivist state to maintain its tyranny. Admitting certain distinctions between natural evolution and human evolution (or between the lower and higher ranges of evolution), we are unable to admit that the fundamental laws of the former are inverted in the latter. For untold ages creatures have struggled to be unequal, i. e., better than their fellows, nature aiding the attempt, and now at the end of it all comes the ideal gospel of forced equality! Wealth is not non-natural, but merely one of the modern forms through which fitness expresses itself. It develops and expresses personality. Then there are other forms of expression, more varied than ever before, which are entirely neglected by the author.
In detail a great many statements are open to criticism, particularly those expressing the manifest bias against individualism.
Mr. Kelly's work is, in spite of all to the contrary, an able one. In his style there are many charming suggestions of the Platonic dialogue—perhaps too many for the clearness of his thought—and he is always interesting.
D. COLLIN WELLS.
La Protection Ouvrière au Japon. Projet de Loi et Enquête Personnelle. Par Saïto Kashiro. Paris, 1900—pp. 188.
This book is an analysis of proposed Japanese labor-legislation by one who has himself studied the subject closely as a member of labor commissions and the like. The general plan of the treatise is that of a commentary upon the several articles of the proposed law; in discussing their applicability and timeliness a general sketch of Japanese labor and factory conditions is given. The whole is written in simple, straightforward style, with abundance of interesting facts and figures, and constitutes a valuable addition to the general knowledge of Japanese labor and industries.
The chief characteristic of Japanese labor in the past has been its subserviency to the almost absolute domination of the employers. The innate submission of the working classes prevented rebellion, even under the most trying circumstances. This the author calls the Chinese system of labor, and he says it is now passing away. Thus far there has been little supervision by the state; it was believed that state-interference would place the country, with its under-developed industries, in a position of even greater economic inferiority, and that the alleged cordiality of relationship between
employer and employed would be destroyed by an attempt to regulate rights and juridic relations. The writer regards these reasons as far from weighty, and says that such affectionate relations between master and man exist only in theory. The number of small industries and the difficulty of inspection, however, do render state-regulation particularly onerous and hard to accomplish.
It is noted that contracts are arranged for the most part by word of mouth. These contracts are often broken by the flight of the laborers; the latter are unused to regular work on machines, and speedily tire of it. They leave their positions to enter a different trade or are attracted to other establishments by the offer of higher wages. There is much knavery in this proceeding, especially on the part of the intermediaries, who make a business of securing such alienations; all sorts of subterfuges are employed to give legal plausibility to such desertion. The results have been generally disappointing to the laborers, and a strong prejudice has arisen against all recruiters of labor. Severe laws have been passed to do away with this irregularity.
Provisions for assuring health and wellbeing to the employees are quite insufficient. A temperature of 110°F. is common in the shops. Child-labor is met with everywhere, and is justified by the excuse that it keeps the young out of vice. Under the proposed law, no child under ten years of age can be employed in an industrial establishment (exceptions being allowed in special cases), and no child under fourteen is to be employed over ten hours a day. Only 60 per cent. of the young children attend school, and do not work. Education is poor and insufficient, and instruction is given at night, when the long labor-day (average, 12 hours) is over; the edict of 1881 orders that children shall attend school for eight years (from 6-14 years of age), but it is disregarded.
In case of accident, payments are made, but the laborer's right is very incomplete and poorly guaranteed. Payments are small; $15 and burial (costing $3.50-$15) seem to be the maximum in case of death in Osaka. Societies for mutual aid are good because otherwise than by their agency it is hard for workmen to get medical attendance at all. Hygiene is never assured; the laborers are ignorant of the most elementary of hygienic principles. The total expenditure for hygiene in all establishments of any size is given as $6,202,620.
One yen ($0.50) seems to be the highest wage paid-to men of the first class; women and children of the first class receive respec
tively one-half and one-quarter of this sum (in cotton-mill in Kanégafutchi). Small premiums are paid for regularity and other desirable qualities in employees. To prevent desertion of laborers a system of employee's cards has been instituted; there is a great deal of labor, verification and red tape generally connected with this, leading to much idleness and loss of wages. It is a restriction to the natural competition of growing industries.
Wages are paid generally once or twice a month; two or three times in six months certain workmen receive an increase of wagesnever, however, of over 10 sens ($.05) per diem. Little saving is possible on such wages; besides this, the people have no habits of economy. They squander their wages in gourmandizing. A system of so-called obligatory saving has been put into operation whereby three-sixths per cent. of the monthly wage is laid aside for the laborer, drawing five-tenths per cent. interest. The workman cannot draw this amount until his term of contract is completed, and here emerges the true character of the system; its real object is to retain a hold upon the laborer so as to force him, under penalty of confiscation of his savings, to remain at work and to submit to strict regulations. The writer regards this as a covert attack on the system of property right. A voluntary system also exists (one in each cotton-mill) but it does not flourish; $4,585 savings of 951 persons for the year 1897 are reported in Kanégafutchi and $120 for 212 in Hirono. Recompenses are balanced off by penalties; the latter are said by the author to be especially regular in their incidence. The apprentice-system even now demands a long novitiate (three-five years); most apprentices do not stay out their time, but desert as soon as they have acquired a smattering of their trade, and hire out as workmen.
There follow regulations regarding industrial establishments, their location, noise, provisions against fire, accident, etc. These differ in different provinces, as there is no fixed national law on this subject. The system of workmen's barracks and "cities" is briefly discussed; the movement is in favor of the latter. Inspection is not very efficacious, having been in the hands of the Commissioner of Police, a man very busy in his proper vocation; the new law proposes to place it under the Minister of Agriculture and Commerce. Penalties upon employers are not severe for violations of provisions regarding factories, etc.; the highest fine noted is $100.
On the whole, Japanese labor is almost helpless in the hands of the employing class and needs special protection.
A. G. KELLER.
Railroad Operations: How to Know Them. By J. Shirley Eaton,
Mr. Eaton, who in the course of a varied experience as a railway officer has had abundant opportunity to become acquainted with the matters of which he treats, has written a book which cannot fail to be of great value to railway men. It is a study of the application of statistical methods to the current investigation of railroad business from the point of view of those who have been charged by the owners of those properties, with the duty of administering them in such a way as to secure a satisfactory return upon the capital invested. It is a comprehensive and detailed statement of the daily practice, and, better still, of the daily aspirations of an officer who wishes to secure for his branch of the service the highest possible utility. The work will unquestionably have a permanent and authoritative place in the limited literature to which practical railway men turn for instruction.
From the point of view of the academic student of transportation, it has a different but none the less a definite value. It covers the entire range of railway activities, so far as these can be expressed numercially, and has the appearance of having been compiled, without much rewriting, from notes and memoranda made during the intervals in daily routine by an active railway officer. As such, it displays to the student a picture of the practical aspects of the transportation industry that can scarcely be obtained elsewhere. It is not easy reading for those without railway experience, for the writer has made constant use of the technical terminology of his profession and frequently presupposes an amount of practical knowledge that few outside of it possess. The extreme condensation is something of a difficulty. There is an occasional indefiniteness of expression that is undesirable and there are other blemishes of style, all of which tend to obscure the meaning and detract from the real value of the work. Nevertheless the student who, in spite of these obstacles, will master this work will be amply repaid, not cnly by the practical knowledge of railway methods that he will gain, but by obtaining also a clearer appreciation of the point of view of those who administer railway properties.
One of the strongest features of the book is the clearly indicated appreciation of the limitations of statistics and the futility of attempting to determine, by its method, questions wholly beyond The criticism of some of the statistical statements that