XV -- SPIRIT AND CULTURE UNDER THE MACHINE

By HARVEY N. DAVIS


I

SPIRIT and culture are difficult to define. The spirit, élan, dash of a man is an intangible something that spurs him on to eager activity, that makes him tackle his job with a confident smile, that adds a touch of gaiety and assurance to the serious business of life. It is that something that distinguishes the selfreliant leader from the plodding follower. As we look back over history, there must have been, in general, but little spirit among the slaves of antiquity, or among the mediæval land serfs, both of which groups formed large majorities of their respective populations. By contrast, the spirit of the corresponding classes of today is high indeed.

Culture is that which makes a man feel unembarrassed and at home wherever and with whomsoever he finds himself. One of the ingredients of culture is poise or self-possession. Another is responsiveness to worth-while impressions from without; responsiveness to ideas; responsiveness to beauty, whether it be the sensory beauty of a fine painting or a fine symphony, a fine cathedral or a fine skyscraper, or the intellectual beauty of style in writing and in speech, of wit and wisdom, of clearness in exposition, of keenness in debate, or of vision and inspiration in poetry. It is this responsiveness to impressions from without that can make life a continual joy to one who has eyes to see, ears to hear, and a heart to understand. A third ingredient of culture is tolerance, that happy faculty of respecting those with whom one happens not to

-282-

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Toward Civilization
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Preface v
  • Contents vii
  • Introduction 1
  • I- The New Age and the New Man 21
  • II- Science Lights the Torch 38
  • III- The Spirit of Invention in an Industrial Civilization 47
  • IV- Power 69
  • V- Transportation 98
  • VI- Communication 120
  • VII- Modern Industry and Management 137
  • VIII- Agriculture 159
  • IX- Engineering in Government 176
  • X- Art in the Market Place - The Industrial Arts in the Machine Age 196
  • XI- The Machine and Architecture 213
  • XII- Work and Leisure 232
  • III- Education and the New Age 253
  • XIV- Machine Industry and Idealism 273
  • XV- Spirit and Culture under the Machine 282
  • XVI- Summary- The Planning of Civilization 297
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