This is a government of the people, by the people and for the people no longer. It is a government of corporations, by corporations, and for corporations.
Today, as in the Gilded Age, we live in a world where a morality of personal responsibility rubs shoulders with a culture of greed and of flagrant social irresponsibility. Now as then, business has shed its collective responsibility for employees - just as government has for its citizens.
The life-fate of the modern individual depends not only upon the family into which he was born or which he enters by marriage, but increasingly upon the corporation in which he spends the most alert hours of his best years.
Although our productions have afforded more extensive and unaffected pleasure than those of any other literary corporation in the world, no species of composition has been so much decried. And what are you reading, Miss -- -? Oh! it is only a novel! replies the young lady; while she lays down her book with affected indifference, or momentary shame. It is only Cecilia, or Camilla, or Belinda ; or, in short, only some work in which the greatest powers of the mind are displayed, in which the most thorough knowledge of human nature, the happiest delineation of its varieties, the liveliest effusions of wit and humor, are conveyed to the world in the best chosen language.
One aspect of modern life which has gone far to stifle men is the rapid growth of tremendous corporations. Enormous spiritual sacrifices are made in the transformation of shopkeepers into employees. The disappearance of free enterprise has led to a submergence of the individual in the impersonal corporation in much the same manner as he has been submerged in the state in other lands.
You have despoiled churches. You have threatened every corporation and endowment in the country. You have examined into everybodys affairs. You have criticised every profession and vexed every trade. No one is certain of his property, and nobody knows what duties he may have to perform to-morrow. This is the policy of confiscation as compared with that of concurrent endowment.
Do the days work. If it be to protect the rights of the weak, whoever objects, do it. If it be to help a powerful corporation better to serve the people, whatever the opposition, do that. Expect to be called a stand-patter, but dont be a stand-patter. Expect to be called a demagogue, but dont be a demagogue. Dont hesitate to be as revolutionary as science. Dont hesitate to be as reactionary as the multiplication table. Dont expect to build up the weak by pulling down the strong. Dont hurry to legislate. Give administration a chance to catch up with legislation.
Corporation: An ingenious device for obtaining profit without individual responsibility.
What we're doing is what NASA or a large corporation would call R&D, or research and development. But what we call it is R&D-I-Y, or research and develop it yourself.
An executive is a man who can make quick decisions and is sometimes right.