Industry and Trade: A Study of Industrial Technique and Business Organization

Industry and Trade: A Study of Industrial Technique and Business Organization

Industry and Trade: A Study of Industrial Technique and Business Organization

Industry and Trade: A Study of Industrial Technique and Business Organization

Excerpt

The present volume is a study of industry and trade; with special reference to the technical evolution of industry, and its influences on the conditions of man's life and work. It is designed to be followed by a companion volume, which is to be occupied with influences on those conditions exerted by the resources available for employment; by money and credit; by international trade; and by social endeavour.

Its motto is:—The many in the one, the one in the many. Many tendencies have gone to the making of each industry and each economic institution: therefore a thorough realistic study of any part of the economic field, calls for some reference to the interaction of many diverse tendencies, and gives occasion for some care in analysis. And, conversely, almost every important tendency is so far modified by the conditions under which it operates, that an exhaustive study of it may need to range over many fields of work. This motto supplements the motto of my Principles which is:—Natura non facit saltum: i.e. economic evolution is gradual and continuous on each of its numberless routes.

My aim has been to present as accurate a picture as I can of a part of the field of economics, and not to advocate any particular conclusions. A politician is compelled to seek his allies among those who desire the same ends as his; and therefore political influences on economic studies are not always wholesome. But a student's natural allies are those, whose aims and methods of work are akin to his own. It is of no concern to him whether a particular argument makes for or against his own ultimate conclusion: in either case he is equally grateful for any solid new suggestion that is contained in it; and equally repelled by any that seems to be based on inadequate data, or to reason . . .

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