Essays of William Graham Sumner - Vol. 2

Essays of William Graham Sumner - Vol. 2

Essays of William Graham Sumner - Vol. 2

Essays of William Graham Sumner - Vol. 2

Excerpt

The essays in this second volume, falling as they do within the range of economics and politics, date from an earlier period in Sumner's life. They are not for that reason the less timely; that they may make reference to runaway horses rather than to scorching automobiles is a matter of no moment. There are hoary errors and follies which, apparently, cannot be finally eliminated by experience, but recur under new names, or even under the old ones, and must be embraced, suffered from, exposed, and rejected over and over again.

Sumner's unrelenting, though often lonely, championship of hard money and free trade deserves recalling for the same reason that a military strategist studies the campaigns of doughty fighters of the past. If his assaults upon state interference are ever to repay re-reading, it is in the present period of emotional and muddled "experimentation." In an age of yearning after collectivism, the antidote of a powerful statement by a hard-hitting individualist is a good thing to have at hand; for it will be needed, later on, even if crowded to the back of the medicine-closet, for a time, by patented narcotics and stimulants that are sure to produce a morning after.

The reason why Sumner's positions will eventually be vindicated is because they are the result of the hardest kind of study, over many years, by a realist with insight. He had an appreciation of the inevitabilities -- of those deep-lying laws of society's life and evolution which cannot be altered a whit by condemnatory resolutions, nor escaped by artful dodging, nor even melted away by the . . .

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.