Newer Ideals of Peace
CHAPTER VI : PROTECTION OF CHILDREN FOR INDUSTRIAL EFFICIENCY
In the previous chapters it was stated that the United States, compared to the most advanced European nations, is deficient in protective legislation. This, as has been said, is the result of the emphasis placed upon personal liberty at the date of the first constitutional conventions and of the inherited belief in America that government is of necessity oppressive, and its functions not to be lightly extended.
It is also possible that this protection of the humblest citizen has been pushed forward in those countries of a homogeneous population more rapidly than in America, because of that unconscious attitude of contempt which the nationality at the moment representing economic success always takes toward the weaker and less capable. There is no doubt that we all despise our immigrants a little because of their economic standing. The newly arrived immigrant goes very largely into unskilled work; he builds the railroads, digs the sewers, he does the sort of labor the English
(152) speaking American soon gets rid of; and then, because he is in this lowest economic class, he falls into need, and we complain that in America the immigrant makes the largest claim upon charitable funds. Yet in England, where immigration has counted for very little; in Germany, where it has counted almost not at all, we find the same claim made upon the public funds by people who do the same unskilled work, who are paid the same irregular and low wages. In Germany, where this matter is approached, not from the charitable, but from the patriotic side, there is a tremendous code of legislation for the protection of the men who hold to life by the most uncertain economic tenure. In England there exists an elaborated code of labor laws, protecting the laborer at all times from accidents, in ways unknown in America. Here we have only the beginning of all that legislation, partly because we have not yet broken through the belief that the man who does this casual work is not yet quite one of ourselves. We do not consider him entitled to the protective legislation which is secured for him in other countries where he is quite simply a fellow-citizen, humble it may be, but still bound to the governing class by ties of blood and homogeneity.
Our moral attitude toward one group in the
(153) community is a determining factor of our moral attitude toward other groups, and this relation of kindly contempt, of charitable rather than democratic obligation, may lend some explanation to the fact that the United States, as a nation, is sadly in arrears in the legislation designed for the protection of children. In the Southern States, where a contemptuous attitude towards a weaker people has had the e most marked effect upon public feeling, we have not only the largest number of unprotected working children, but the largest number of illiterate children as well. There are, in the United States, according to the latest census 580,000 children between the ages of ten and fourteen years, who cannot read nor write. They are not the immigrant children. They are our own native- born children. Of these 570,000 are in the Southern States and ten thousand of them are scattered over the rest of the Republic.
The same thing is true of our children at work. We have two millions of them, according to the census of 1900 -- children under the age of sixteen years who are earning their own livings.
Legislation of the States south of Maryland for the children is like the legislation of England in 1844. We are sixty-two years behind England
(154) in caring for the children of the textile industries May we not also trace some of this national indifference to the disposition of the past century to love children without really knowing them? We refuse to recognize them as the great national asset and are content to surround them with a glamour of innocence and charm. We put them prematurely to work, ignorant of the havoc it brings, because no really careful study has been made of their capacities and possibilities -- that is, no study really fitted to the industrial conditions in which they live.
Each age has, of course, its own temptations and above all its own peculiar industrial temptations and needs to see them not only in the light of the increased sensibility and higher ethical standards of its contemporaries, but also in relation to its peculiar industrial development. When we ask why it is that child-labor has been given to us to discuss and to rectify, rather than to the people who lived before us, we need only to remember that, for the first time in industrial history, the labor of the little child has in many industries become as valuable as that of a man or woman. The old-fashioned weaver was obliged to possess skill and strength to pull his beam back and forth. It is only through the elaborated inventions of our own age that skill as well as
(155) strength has been so largely eliminated that, for example, a little child may "tend the thread" in a textile mill almost as well as an adult. This is true of so many industries that the temptation to exploit premature labor has become peculiar to this industrial epoch and we are tempted as never before to use the labor of little children.
What, then, are we going to do about it ? How deeply are we concerned that this labor shall not result to the detriment of the child, and what excuses are we making to ourselves for thus prematurely using up the strength which really belongs to the next generation? Of course, it is always difficult to see the wrong in a familiar thing; it is almost a test of moral insight to be able to see that an affair of familiar intercourse and daily living may also be wrong. I have taken a Chicago street-car on a night in December at ten o'clock, when dozens of little girls who had worked in the department stores all day were also boarding the cars. I know, as many others do, that these children will not get into their beds before midnight, and that they will have to be up again early in the morning to go to their daily work. And yet because I have seen it many times I take my car almost placidly -- I am happy to say, not quite placidly. Almost every day at six o'clock I see certain factories pouring out
(156) a stream of men and women and boys and girls. The boys and girls have a peculiar hue a color so distinctive that one meeting them on the street, even on Sunday when they are in their best clothes and mingled with other children who go to school and play out of doors, can distinguish them in an instant, and there is on their faces a premature anxiety and sense of responsibility, which we should declare pathetic if we were not used to it.
How far are we responsible when we allow custom to blind our eyes to the things that are wrong ? In spite of the enormous growth in charitable and correctional agencies designed for children, are we really so lacking in moral insight and vigor that we fail even to perceive the real temptation of our age and totally fail to grapple with it? An enlightened State which regarded the industrial situation seriously would wish to conserve the ability of its youth, to give them valuable training in relation to industry, quite as the old-fashioned State carefully calculated the years which were the most valuable for military training. The latter, looking only toward the preservation of the State, took infinite pains, while we are careless in regard to the much greater task which has to do with its upbuilding and extension. We conscientiously ignore industry in relation to government and because we assume that its regu-
(157)-lation is unnecessary, so we conclude that the protection of the young from premature participation in its mighty operations is not the concern of the Government.
The municipal lodging-house in Chicago in addition to housing vagrants, makes an intelligent effort to put them into regular industry. A physician in attendance makes a careful examination of each man who comes to the lodging-house, and one winter we tried to see what connection could be genuinely established between premature labor and worn-out men. It is surprising to find how many of them are tired to death of monotonous labor, and begin to tramp in order to get away from it -- as a business man goes to the woods because he is worn out with the stress of business life. This inordinate desire to get away from work seems to be connected with the fact that the men started to work very early, before they had the physique to stand up to it, or the mental vigor with which to overcome its difficulties, or the moral stamina which makes a man stick to his work whether he likes it or not. But we cannot demand any of these things from the growing boy. They are all traits of the adult. A boy is naturally restless, his determination easily breaks down, and he runs away. At least this seems to be true of many of the men who come to the
(158) lodging-house. I recall a man who had begun to work in a textile mill quite below the present legal age in New England, and who had worked hard for sixteen years. He told his tale with all simplicity; and, as he made a motion with his hand, he said, "I done that for sixteen years." I give the words as he gave them. "At last I was sick in bed for two or three weeks with a fever, and when I crawled out, I made up my mind that I would rather go to hell than to go back to that mill." Whether he considered Chicago as equivalent to that, I do not know; but he certainly tramped to Chicago, and has been tramping for four years. He does not steal. He works in a lumber camp occasionally, and wanders about the rest of the time getting odd jobs when he can; but the suggestion of a factory throws him into a panic, and causes him quickly to disappear-from the lodging-house. The physician has made a diagnosis of general debility. The man is not fit for steady work. He has been whipped in the battle of life, and is spent prematurely because he began prematurely.
Yet the state makes no careful study as to the effect upon children of the subdivided labor which many of them perform in factories. A child who remains year after year in a spinning room gets no instruction -- merely a dull distaste for work.
(159) Often he cannot stand up to the grind of factory life, and he breaks down under it.
What does this mean? That we have no right to increase the list of paupers -- of those who must be cared for by municipal and State agencies because when they were still immature and undeveloped, they were subjected to a tremendous pressure. I recall one family of five children which, upon the death of the energetic mother who had provided for it by means of a little dress-making establishment, was left to the care of a feeble old grandmother. The father was a drunkard who had never supported his family, and at this time he definitely disappeared. The oldest boy was almost twelve years old -- a fine, manly little fellow, who felt keenly his obligation to care for the family.
We found him a place as cash-boy in a department store for two dollars a week. He held it for three years, although his enthusiasm failed somewhat as the months went by, and he gradually discovered how little help his wages were to the family exchequer after his carfare, decent clothes and unending pairs of shoes were paid for. Before the end of the third year he had become listless and indifferent to his work, in spite of the increase of fifty cents a week. In the hope that a change would be good for him, a place as ele-
(160)-vator-boy was secured. This he was unable to keep, and then one situation after another slipped through his grasp, until a typhoid fever which he developed at the age of fifteen, seemed to explain his apathy.
After a long illness and a poor recovery, he worked less well. Finally, at the age of sixteen, when he should have been able really to help the little family and perhaps be its main support, he had become a professional tramp, and eventually dropped completely from our knowledge. It was through such bitter lessons as these we learned that good intentions and the charitable impulse do not always work for righteousness; that to force the moral nature of a child and to put tasks upon him beyond his normal growth, is quite as cruel and disastrous as to expect his undeveloped muscle to lift huge weights.
Adolescence is filled with strange pauses of listlessness and dreaminess. At that period the human will is perhaps further away from the desire of definite achievement than it ever is again. To work ten hours a day for six days in a week in order to buy himself a pair of stout boots, that he may be properly shod to go to work some more, is the very last thing which really appeals to a boy of thirteen or fourteen. If he is forced to such a course too often, his cheated nature later re-
(161) asserts itself in all sorts of decadent and abnormal ways.
An enlightened state would also concern itself with the effect of child labor upon the parents. We have in Chicago a great many European immigrants, people who have come from country life in Bohemia or the south of Italy, hoping that their children will have a better chance here than at home. In the old country these immigrants worked on farms which provided a very normal activity for a young boy or girl. When they come to Chicago, they see no reason why their children should not go to work, because they see no difference between the normal activity of their own youth and the grinding life, to which they subject their children. It is difficult for a man who has grown up in outdoor life to adapt himself to the factory. The same experience is found in the South with the men who come to the textile towns from the little farms. They resent monotonous petty work, and get away from it; they will in preference take more poorly paid work, care of horses or janitor service_ work which has some similarity to that to which they have been accustomed. So the parents drop out, and the children, making the adaptation, remain, and the curious result ensues of the head of the household becoming dependent
(162) upon the earnings of the child. You will hear a child say, "My mother can't say nothing to me. I pay the rent ;" or, "I can do what I please, because I bring home the biggest wages." All this tends to break down the normal relation between parents and children. The Italian men who work on the railroads in the summer find it a great temptation to settle down in the winter upon the wages of their children. A young man from the south of Italy was mourning the death of his little girl of twelve; in his grief he said, quite simply, "She was my oldest kid. In two years she could have supported me, and now I shall have to work five or six years longer until the next one can do it." He expected to retire permanently at thirty-four. That breaking down of the normal relation of parent and child, and the tendency to demoralize the parent, is something we have no right to subject him to. We ought to hold the parent up to the obligation which he would have fulfilled had he remained in his early environment.
A modern state might rightly concern itself with the effect of child labor upon industry itself. There has been for many years an increasing criticism of the modern factory system, not only from the point of view of the worker, but from the point of view of the product itself. It has
(163) been said many times that we can not secure good workmanship nor turn out a satisfactory product unless men and women have some sort of interest in their work, and some way of expressing that interest in relation to it. The system which makes no demand upon originality, upon invention, upon self-direction, works automatically, as it were, towards an unintelligent producer and towards an uninteresting product. This was said at first only by such artists and social reformers as Morris and Ruskin; but it is being gradually admitted by men of affairs and may at last incorporate itself into actual factory management, in which case the factory itself will favor child labor legislation or any other measure which increases the free and full development of the individual, because he thereby becomes a more valuable producer. We may gradually discover that in the interests of this industrial society of ours it becomes a distinct loss to put large numbers of producers prematurely at work, not only because the community inevitably loses their mature working power, but also because their "free labor quality," which is so valuable, is permanently destroyed.
Exercise of the instinct of workmanship not only affords great satisfaction to the producer, but also to the consumer, if he be possessed of any
(164) critical faculty, or have developed genuine powers of
appreciation. Added to the conscience which protests against the social waste of child
labor, we have the taste that revolts against a product totally without the charm which
pleasure in work creates. We may at last discover that we are imperiling our civilization
at the moment of its marked materialism, by wantonly sacrificing to that materialism the
eternal spirit of youth, the power of variation, which alone is able to prevent
it from degenerating into a mere mechanism.
It would be easy to produce many illustrations to demonstrate that in the leading industrial countries a belief is slowly developing that the workman himself is the chief asset, and that the intelligent interest of skilled men, the power of self-direction and co- operation which is only possible among the free- born and educated, is exactly the only thing which will hold out in the markets of the world. As the foremen of factories testify again and again, factory discipline is valuable only up to a certain point, after which something else must be depended on if the best results are to be achieved.
Monopoly of both the raw material and the newly- opened markets is certainly a valuable factor in a nation's industrial prosperity; but while we spend and treasure to protect one and
(165) secure the other, we wantonly destroy the most valuable factor of all, intelligent labor. Nothing can help us here save the rising tide of humanitarianism, which is not only emotional enough to regret the pitiless and stupid waste of this power but also intelligent enough to perceive what might be accomplished by its utilization.
We are told that the German products hold a foremost place in the markets of the world because of Germany's fine educational system, which includes training in trade-schools for so many young men. We know, too, that there is at the present moment a strong party in Germany opposing militarism, not from the "peace society" point of view, but because it withdraws all the young men from the industrial life for the best part of three years during which their activity is merely disciplinary, with no relation to the industrial life of the nation. This anti-military party insists that the loss of the three years is a serious matter, and that one nation cannot successfully hold its advance position if it must compete with other nations which are also establishing trade-schools but which do not thus withdraw their youth from continuous training at the period of their greatest docility and aptitude.
England is discovering that the cheap markets afforded by semi-savage peoples, which she has
(166) thrown open to her manufacturers, are now reacting in the debasement of her products and her factory workers. The manufacturer produces the cheap and inferior articles which he imagines the new commerce will demand. The result upon the workers in the factories producing these unworthy goods, is that they are robbed of the skill which would be demanded if they were ministering to an increasing demand of taste and if they were supplying the market of a civilized people. It would be a curious result of misapplied energy if those very markets which the Briton has so eagerly sought, would finally so debase the English producers that all the increased wealth the markets have brought to the nation would be consumed in efforts to redeem the debased working population.
We have made public education our great concern in America, and perhaps the public-school system is our most distinctive achievement; but there is a certain lack of consistency in the relation of the State to the child after he leaves the public school. At great expense the State has provided school buildings and equipment, and other buildings in which to prepare professional teachers. It has spared no pains to make the system complete, and yet as rapidly as the children leave the schoolroom, the State seems to lose
(167) all interest and responsibility in their welfare and has, until quite recently, turned them over to the employer with no restrictions.
At no point does the community say to the employer, We are allowing you to profit by the labor of these children whom we have educated at great cost, and we demand that they do not work so many hours that they shall be exhausted. Nor shall they be allowed to undertake the sort of labor which is beyond their strength, nor shall they spend their time at work that is absolutely devoid of educational value. The preliminary education which they have received in school is but one step in the process of making them valuable and normal citizens, and we cannot afford to have that intention thwarted, even though the community as well as yourself may profit by the business activity which your factory affords.
Such a position seems perfectly reasonable, yet the same citizens who willingly pay taxes to support an elaborate public-school system, strenuously oppose the most moderate attempts to guard the children from needless and useless exploitation after they have left school and have entered industry.
We are forced to believe that child labor is a national problem, even as public education is a national duty. The children of Alabama, Rhode
(168) Island, and Pennsylvania belong to the nation quite as much as they belong to each State, and the nation has an interest in the children at least in relation to their industrial efficiency, quite as it has an interest in enacting protective tariffs for the preservation of American industries.
Uniform compulsory education laws in connection with uniform child labor legislation are the important factors in securing educated producers for the nation. Fortunately, a new education is arising which endeavors to widen and organize the child's experience with reference to the world in which he lives. The new pedagogy holds that it is a child's instinct and pleasure to exercise all his faculties and to make discoveries in the world around him. It is the chief business of the teacher merely to direct his activity and to feed his insatiable curiosity. In order to accomplish this, he is forced to relate the child to the surroundings in which he lives; and the most advanced schools are, perforce, using modern industry for this purpose. The educators have ceased to mourn industrial conditions of the past generation, when children were taught agricultural and industrial arts by the natural cooperation with their parents, and they are endeavoring to supply this inadequacy by manual arts in the school, by courses in industrial history,
(169) and by miniature reproductions of industrial processes, thus constantly coming into better relations with the present factory system. These educators recognize the significance and power of contemporary industrialism, and hold it an obligation to protect children from premature participation in our industrial life, only that the children may secure the training and fibre which will later make this participation effective, and that their minds may finally take possession of the machines which they will guide and feed.
But there is another side to the benefits of childlabor legislation represented by the time element, the leisure which is secured to the child for the pursuit of his own affairs, quite aside from the opportunity afforded him to attend school. Helplessness in childhood, the scientists tell us, is the guarantee of adult intellect, but they also assert that play in youth is the guarantee of adult culture. It is the most valuable instrument the race possesses to keep life from becoming mechanical.
The child who cannot live life is prone to dramatize it, and the very process is a constant compromise between imitation and imagination, as the over-mastering impulse itself which drives him to incessant play is both reminiscent and anticipatory. In proportion as the child in later life is to be subjected to a mechanical and one-sided
(170) activity, and as a highly subdivided labor is to be demanded from him, it is therefore most important that he should have his full period of childhood and youth for this play expression in order that he may cultivate within himself the root of a culture which alone can give his later activity a meaning. This is true whether or not we accept the theory that the aesthetic feelings originate in the play impulse, with its corollary that the constant experimentation found in the commonest forms of play are to be looked upon as "the principal s ource of all kinds of art." At this moment, when industrial forces are concentrated and unified as never before, unusual care must be taken to secure to the children their normal play period, that the art instinct may have some chance, and that the producer himself may have enough individuality of character to avoid becoming a mere cog in the vast industrial machine.
Quite aside also from the problem of individual development and from the fact that play, in which the power of choice is constantly presented and constructive imagination required, is the best corrective of the future disciplinary life of the factory, there is another reason why the children who are to become producers under the present system should be given their full child-life period.
The entire population of the factory town and of those enormous districts in every large city in which the children live who most need the protection of child-labor legislation, consists of people who have come together in response to the demands of modern industry. They are held together by the purely impersonal tie of working in one large factory, in which they not only do not know each other, but in which no one person nor even group of persons knows everybody. They are utterly without the natural and minute acquaintance and inter-family relationships that rural and village life afford, and are therefore much more dependent upon the social sympathy and power of effective association which is becoming its urban substitute.
This substitute can be most easily elaborated among groups of children. Somewhere they must learn to carry on an orderly daily life -- that life of mutual trust, forbearance, and help which is the only real life of civilized man. Play is the great social stimulus, and it is the prime motive which unites children and draws them into comradeship. A true democratic relation and ease of acquaintance is found among the children in a typical factory community because they more readily overcome differences of language, tradition, and religion than do the adults. "It is in
(172) play that nature reveals her anxious care to discover men to each other," and this happy and important task, children unconsciously carry forward day by day with all the excitement and joy of co-ordinate activity. They accomplish that which their elders could not possibly do, and they render a most important service to the community. We have not as yet utilized this joy of association in relation to the system of factory production which is so preeminently one of large bodies of men working together for hours at a time. But there is no doubt that it would bring a new power into modern industry if the factory could avail iself of that esprit de corps, that triumphant buoyancy which the child experiences when he feels his complete identification with a social group; that sense of security which comes upon him sitting in a theatre or "at a party," when he issues forth from himself and is lost in a fairy land which has been evoked not only by his own imagination, but by that of his companions as well. This power of association, of assimilation, which children-possess in such a high degree, is easily carried over into the affairs of youth if it but be given opportunity and freedom for action, as it is in the college life of more favored young people. The esprit de corps of an athletic team, that astonishing force of co-operation, is, how-
(173)-ever, never consciously carried over into industry, but is persistently disregarded. It is, indeed, lost before it is discovered -- if I may be permitted an Irish bull -- in the case of children who are put to work before they have had time to develop the power beyond its most childish and haphazard manifestations.
Factory life depends upon groups of people working together, and yet it is content with the morphology of the the group, as it were, paying no attention to its psychology, to the interaction of its members. By regarding each producer as a solitary unit, a tremendous power is totally unutilized. In the case of children who are prematurely put to work under such conditions, an unwarranted nervous strain is added as they make their effort to stand up to the individual duties of life while still in the stage of group and family dependence.
We naturally associate a factory with orderly productive action; but similarity of action, without identical thought and co-operative intelligence, is coercion, and not order. The present factory discipline needs to be redeemed as the old school discipline has been redeemed. In the latter the system of prizes and punishments has been largely given up, not only because they were difficult to
(174) administer, but because they utterly failed to free the powers of the child.
"The fear of starvation," of which the old economists made so much, is, after all, but a poor incentive to work; and the appeal to cupidity by which a man is induced to "speed up" in all the various devices of piece-work is very little better. Yet the factory still depends upon these as incentives to the ordinary workers. Certainly one would wish to protect children from them as long as possible. In a soap factory in Chicago little girls wr[ap] bars of soap in two covers at the minimum rate of 3,000 bars a week; their only ambition is to wrap as fast as possible and well enough to pass the foreman's inspection. The girl whose earnings are the largest at the end of the week is filled with pride - praiseworthy, certainly, but totally without educational value.
Let us realize before it is too late that in this age of iron, of machine-tending, and of sub" divided labor, we need as never before the untrammeled and inspired activity of youth. To cut it off from thousands of working children is a most perilous undertaking, and endangers the very industry to which they have been sacrificed.
Only of late years has an effort been made by the city authorities, by the municipality itself, to conserve the play instinct and to utilize it, if not
(175) for the correction of industry, at least for the nurture of citizenship. It has been discovered that the city which is too careless to provide playgrounds, gymnasiums, and athletic fields where the boys legitimately belong and which the policeman is bound to respect, simply puts a premium on lawlessness. Without these places of their own, groups of boys come to look upon the policeman as an enemy, and he regards them as the most lawless of all the citizens. This is partly due to the fact that because of our military survivals the officer is not brought in contact with the educational forces of the city, but only with its vices and crime. He might have quite as great an opportunity for influencing the morals of youth as the school teacher has. At least one American city spends twenty per cent. more in provision for the conviction of youths than for their education, for the city which fails to utilize this promising material of youthful adventure does not truly get rid of it, and finds it more expensive to care for as waste material than as educative material. At a certain age a boy is possessed by a restless determination to do some thing dangerous and exciting -- a "difficult stunt," as it were -- by which he may prove that he is master of his fate and thus express his growing self-assertion. He prefers to demon-
(176)-strate in feats requiring both courage and adroitness, and it may be said that tradition is with him in his choice. That this impulse is mixed with an absurd desire on the part of the boy to "show off," to impress his companions with the fact that he is great and brave and generally to be admired, does not in the least affect its genuineness. The city which fails to provide an opportunity for this inevitable and normal desire on the part of the young citizens makes a grave mistake and invites irregular expression of it. The thwarted spirit of adventure finds an outlet in infinite varieties of gambling; craps, cards, the tossing of discarded union buttons, the betting on odd or even automobile numbers, on the number of newspapers under a boy's arm. Another end which can be accomplished, if the city recognizes play as legitimate and provides playgrounds and athletic fields, is the development of that selfgovernment and self-discipline among groups of boys, which forms the most natural basis for democratic political life later.
The boy in a tenement-house region who does not belong to the gang is not only an exception, but a very rare exception. This earliest form of social life is almost tribal in its organization, and the leader too often holds his place because he is a successful bully. The gang meets first upon the
(177) street, but later it may possess a club room in a stable, in a billiard room, in an empty house, under the viaduct, in a candy store, in a saloon or even in an empty lot. The spirit of association, the fellowship and loyalty which the group inspires, carry them into many dangers; but there is no doubt that it is through these experiences that the city boy learns his political lessons. The training for political life is given in these gangs, and also an opportunity to develop that wonderful power of adaptation which is the city's contribution, even to the poorest of her children. A clever man once told me that he doubted whether an alderman could be elected in a tenement-house district unless he had had gang experience, and had become an adept in the interminable discussion which every detail of the gang's activity receives. This alone affords a training in demo- cratic government, for it is the prerogative of democracy to invest political discussion with the dignity of deeds, and to provide adequate motives for discussion. In these social folk-motes, so to speak, the young citizen learns to act upon his own determination. The great pity is that it so often results in a group morality untouched by a concern for the larger morality of the community. Normal groups reacting upon each other would tend to an equilibrium of a certain liberty to all,
(178) but this cannot be accomplished in the life of the street where the weaker boy or the weaker gang is continually getting the worst of it. And it is only on the protected playground that the gangs can be merged into baseball nines and similar organizations, governed by well-recognized rules.
We have already democratized education in the interests of the entire community; but recreation and constructive play, which afford the best soil for establishing genuine and democratic social relations, we have left untouched, although they are so valuable in emotional and dynamic power. Further than that, the city that refrains from educating the play motive is obliged to suppress it. In Chicago gangs of boys between fourteen and sixteen years of age, who, possessing workcertificates are outside of the jurisdiction of the truant officer, are continually being arrested by the police, since they have no orderly opportunity for recreation. An enlightened city government would regard these groups of boys as the natural soil in which to sow the seeds of self- government. As every European city has its parade- ground, where the mimics of war are faithfully rehearsed, in order that the country may be saved in times of danger, so, if modern government were as really concerned in developing its citizens as it is in defending them, we would look upon every
(179) playing-field as the training-place and paradeground of mature citizenship.
Frederick the Great discovered and applied the use of the rhythmic step for the marching of soldiers. For generations men had gone forth to war, using martial music as they had used the battle-cry, merely to incite their courage and war spirit; but the music had had nothing to do with their actual marching. The use of it as a practical measure enormously increased the endurance of the soldiers and raised the records of forced marches. Industry at the present moment, as represented by masses of men in the large factories, is quite as chaotic as the early armies were. We have failed to apply our education to the real life of the average factory producer. He works without any inner coherence or sense of comradeship. Our public education has done little as yet to release his powers or to cheer him with the knowledge of his significance to the State.