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PREFATORY NOTE o - - -
ENGLAND IN 1760–AGRICULTURE, MANUFAC-
TURE, Politics . - - -
THE MECHANICAL REvolution AND its
ECONOMIC EFFECTS - - -
THE BREaking Up or THE OLD ORDER o
REvolt AGAINST LAISSEz FAIRE AND BEGINNING
or ORGANISAtion . - e g
THE INDUSTRIAL PROBLEM FROM THE
STANDPoint or MECHANICS AND SOCIAL

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PREFATORY NOTE

My friend Mr. Beard asks me to put a few words of preface to his little book. I do not know that it needs any such introduction, and I remember what Mandeville has wisely and wittily said about prefaces, but I cannot refuse to do as he wishes, for I think that what he has written will be useful to the working people for whom he has written, and I am grateful to him for giving me the opportunity of saying, and desiring me to say here some things to them I have wished to say for some time. The classes that labour with their hands for weekly wages have now entrusted to them much of the power possessed by the Government of this country. The future of this country, and the parts of the world dependent on it must be largely settled by the use, wise or foolish, good or evil, they will be making of this power. Their own future depends on it. If they refuse to think, if they choose to listen to fools' advice, if they do not take advantage of the opportunities they have for making themselves better, morally, physically, and intellectually, the world will pass them by speedily and inevitably. Goodwill is no excuse in face of facts; nly good deeds will count. Knowledge and the will to use it, and the courage and perseverance required to use it rightly, these are the necessities of progress and of well-being of any kind. Ignorance that may be felt (but that may by honest effort be destroyed) is the cause of many more of our troubles than we like to admit. Science, not Creed, is the Deliverer, if we will only take the trouble to follow it. There will be plenty of mistakes on the way, but if a man means to learn by his former mistakes, he nearly always has the chance, and the advance, though slow, will be continuous. Democracy is no heaven-born institution, There is no right divine about it. Darwin has dismissed the fatal poisonous absurdities of Rousseau to the limbo of lost rubbish. If democracy cannot do its work, it will, and must, go as other political methods and expedients have gone. If this country is not healthier, stronger, wiser, happier, and better off in the highest sense under a democracy than it was under an oligarchy, democracy will have failed, and some other plan of go.o. be tried, whether people like it or not. Democracy is on its trial. If it is worked by wise men and honest men, it may do well; if it is worked by ignorant, prejudiced, gullible, and selfish persons, it will not do well. The greatest enemy of the democracy is the lie-maker, the flatterer, and the person who tries to persuade the voter that dishonesty is not always the worst policy, and that a bit of boodle for himself cannot hurt him or anyone else. A democracy, of all governments, is the least able to afford to listen to lies, or to grow corrupt, or to remain self-indulgent or ignorant. Its stability depends upon the persons it trusts; if it trusts the wrong persons, it falls sooner or later—generally sooner. These are commonplaces, but they are not sufficiently attended to. Democracy is a good or bad thing as they are remembered and attended to or not. It is worse and more unpleasant and more dangerous to be ruled by many fools than by one fool or a few fools. The tyranny of an ignorant and cowardly mob is a worse tyranny than the tyranny of an ignorant and cowardly clique or individual. Rulers are not wise by reason of their number or their poverty, or their reception of a weekly wage instead of a monthly salary or yearly income. Again, workers are not respectable or to be considered because they work more with their hands or feet than with their brains, but because the work they do is good. If it is not good work they do, they are

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