Wealth and Want
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Rev. A. C. Auchmuty: Gems from George, a themed collection of excerpts from the writings of Henry George (with links to sources)

Co-operation — its Two Modes

ALL increase in the productive power of man over that with which nature endows the individual comes from the co-operation of individuals. But there are two ways in which this co-operation may take place. 1. By the combination of effort. In this way individuals may accomplish what exceeds the full power of the individual. 2. By the separation of effort. In this way the individual may accomplish for more than one what does not require the full power of the individual. . . . To illustrate: The first way of co-operation, the combination of labor, enables a number of men to remove a rock or to raise a log that would be too heavy for them separately. In this way men conjoin themselves, as it were, into one stronger man. Or, to take an example so common in the early days of American settlement that "log-rolling" has become a term for legislative combination: Tom, Dick, Harry and Jim are building near each other their rude houses in the clearings. Each hews his own trees, but the logs are too heavy for one man to get into place. So the four unite their efforts, first rolling one man's logs into place and then another's, until, the logs of all four having been placed, the result is the same as if each had been enabled to concentrate into one time the force he could exert in four different times. . . . But, while great advantages result from the ability of individuals, by the combination of labor to concentrate themselves, as it were, into one larger man, there are other times and other things in which an individual could accomplish more if he could divide himself, as it were, into a number of smaller men. . . . What the division of labor does, is to permit men, as it were, so to divide themselves, thus enormously increasing their total effectiveness. To illustrate from the example used before: While at times Tom, Dick, Harry and Jim might each wish to move logs, at other times they might each need to get something from a village distant two days' journey. To satisfy this need individually would thus require two days' effort on the part of each. But if Tom alone goes, performing the errands for all, and the others each do half a days' work for him, the result is that all get at the expense of half a day's effort on the part of each what otherwise would have required two days' effort. — The Science of Political Economy — unabridged: Book III, Chapter 9, The Production of Wealth: Cooperation — Its Two Waysabridged: Part III, Chapter 7, The Production of Wealth: Co-operation: Its Two Ways

Co-operation — its Two Kinds

WE have seen that there are two ways or modes in which co-operation increases productive power. If we ask how co-operation is itself brought about, we see that there is in this also a distinction, and that co-operation is of two essentially different kinds. . .. There is one kind of co-operation, proceeding, as it were, from without, which results from the conscious direction of a controlling will to a definite end. This we may call directed or conscious co-operation. There is another kind of co-operation, proceeding, as it were, from within, which results from a correlation in the actions of independent wills, each seeking but its own immediate purpose, and careless, if not indeed ignorant, of the general result. This we may call spontaneous or unconscious co-operation. The movement of a great army is a good type of co-operation of the one kind. Here the actions of many individuals are subordinated to, and directed by, one conscious will, they becoming, as it were, its body and executing its thought. The providing of a great city with all the manifold things which are constantly needed by its inhabitants is a good type of co-operation of the other kind. This kind of co-operation is far wider, far finer, far more strongly and delicately organized, than the kind of co-operation involved in the movements of an army, yet it is brought about not by subordination to the direction of one conscious will, which knows the general result at which it aims, but by the correlation of actions originating in many independent wills, each aiming at its own small purpose without care for, or thought of; the general result. The one kind of co-operation seems to have its analogue in those related movements of our body which we are able consciously to direct. The other kind of co-operation seems to have its analogue in the correlation of the innumerable movement, of which we are unconscious, that maintain the bodily frame — motions which in their complexity, delicacy and precision far transcend our powers of conscious direction, yet by whose perfect adjustment to each other and to the purpose of the whole, that co-operation of part and function, that makes up the human body and keeps it in life and vigor, is brought about and supported. — The Science of Political Economy — unabridged: Book III, Chapter 10, The Production of Wealth: Cooperation — Its Two Kindsabridged: Part III, Chapter 8, Cooperation: Its Two Kinds

To attempt to apply that kind of co-operation which requires direction from without to the work proper for that kind of co-operation which requires direction from within, is like asking the carpenter who can build a chicken-house to build a chicken also. — The Science of Political Economyunabridged: Book III, Chapter 10, The Production of Wealth: Cooperation — Its Two Kindsabridged: Part III, Chapter 8, Cooperation: Its Two Kinds

ALL living things that we know of co-operate in some kind and to some degree. So far as we can see, nothing that lives can live in and for itself alone. But man is the only one who co-operates by exchanging, and he may be distinguished from all the numberless tribes that with him tenant the earth as the exchanging animal. . . . Exchange is the great agency by which what I have called the spontaneous or unconscious co-operation of men in the production of wealth is brought about, and economic units are welded into that social organism which is the Greater Leviathan. To this economic body, this Greater Leviathan, into which it builds the economic units, it is what the nerves or perhaps the ganglions are to the individual body. Or, to make use of another illustration, it is to our material desires and powers of satisfying them what the switchboard of a telegraph or telephone, or other electric system, is to that system, a means by which exertion of one kind in one place may be transmitted into satisfaction of another kind in another place, and thus the efforts of individual units be conjoined and correlated so as to yield satisfactions in most useful place and form, and to an amount enormously exceeding what otherwise would be possible. — The Science of Political Economyunabridged: Book III, Chapter 11, The Production of Wealth: The Office of Exchange in Productionunabridged Chapter 9, The Office of Exchange in Production

MENTAL power is the motor of progress, and men tend to advance in proportion to the mental power expended in progression — the mental power which is devoted to the extension of knowledge, the improvement of methods, and the betterment of social conditions. — Progress & Poverty — Book X, Chapter 3, The Law of Human Progress

To compare society to a boat.  Her progress through the water will not depend upon the exertion of her crew, but upon the exertion devoted to propelling her. This will be lessened by any expenditure of force required for baling, or any expenditure of force in fighting among themselves or in pulling in different directions.

Now, as in a separated state the whole powers of man are required to maintain existence, and mental power is only set free for higher uses by the association of men in communities, which permits the division of labor and all the economies which come with the co-operation of increased numbers, association is the first essential of progress. Improvement becomes possible as men come together in peaceful association, and the wider and closer the association, the greater the possibilities of improvement. And as the wasteful expenditure of mental power in conflict becomes greater or less as the moral law which accords to each an equality of rights is ignored or is recognized, equality (or justice) is the second essential of progress.

Thus association in equality is the law of progress. Association frees mental power for expenditure in improvement, and equality (or justice, or freedom — for the terms here signify the same thing, the recognition of the moral law) prevents the dissipation of this power in fruitless struggles. — Progress & Poverty — Book X, Chapter 3, The Law of Human Progress ... go to "Gems from George"


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Wealth and Want
... because democracy alone hasn't yet led to a society in which all can prosper