Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Grosscup on Anti-Trust Laws, III: Our Legislation Wrong in Principle

Here is the second part of Judge Grosscup’s talk on Anti-Trust Laws given in Chicago in October 1907, and lost until rediscovered recently by CESJ researchers.  Judge Grosscup continued,

Our Legislation Wrong in Principle

We should all fail like this.
But though what I am saying means, perhaps, that the aim of the American public thus far, in its treatment of incorporated industry, is not directed toward the right mark, it does not mean, that in the great new industrial life that this generation of men is living, so largely an incorporated life, there is nothing that is wrong. Somewhere in that life, something is wrong; for though in the midst of material prosperity, the country is without contentment; and there must be something wrong in a prosperity that does not bring contentment — something that, in the nature of things, in some way pinches and wounds some deep-seated human instincts. Nor does it mean that the administration of President Roosevelt has been a failure. As a preparation of the public mind for the great practical thing yet to be accomplished, that administration has been a great success.

Corporations Represent Concentrated Control

Cadbury's had a form of worker ownership.
What, then, is the wrong that lies at the bottom of the popular disquiet, and what is the work yet to be done? I can best answer that question, perhaps, in the statement of three facts. The first of these is: that not only is the corporation to modern industry organized, what government is to mankind politically organized, but, that as it is through effective free government alone that political power is diffused among the people, it is through the corporation alone that the ownership of the industries of the country can ever be widely diffused among the people; for outside the field of agricultural properties, property is not now held, each individual piece by some individual man; between the man who seeks to own, and the thing to be owned, there is, throughout the industrial field, the State-created intermediary called the corporation.

(Tomorrow: “Diffusion of Wealth in the United States”)