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beauty of the work of thine own hands.' And it is made plain that industrious effort is expected in the living-making process. “Thou shalt not be idle ; for he that is idle shall not eat the bread nor wear the garments of the laborer.”2

The spirit of the United Order tends naturally to weaken the conception of private property. If an individual is made to feel that ownership belongs to God and that, at best, he is but a steward over a certain portion, and that this portion is intended to be roughly equal to other portions, he will naturally feel that his equity in property is not so final as is common to consider it under present arrangements. In practical operation, however, the deeding of the portion to the individual and the definite understanding that it belongs to him and to his heirs after him, gives the individual as great a final control over his portion as exists under the most extreme forms of capitalism. Such an arrangement, while possessing many advantages, cannot but involve grave problems, particularly when the important question of the surplus arises. But this difficulty will be considered later. Here suffice it to point out that private property is made the foundation on which the United Order rests. Not the possibility of unlimited acquirement but an assured amount sufficient for the “wants and needs” of the family until such time as the success of the movement, if such there be, makes possible the gradual enlargement of all the stewardships in the community involved.

The theoretical incentive of capitalism to industry, it is evident, falls off considerably. Particularly does the prospect of wealth for the able member of the United Order look small when compared to the wonderful possibilities which nineteenth century America offered to men of energy and ability. Then, unmeasured possibilities beckoned to the individual and many responded with heroic efforts. The net results were, that practically everybody worked hard, a considerable number became wealthy, the big majority obtained a comfortable living, and a large number remained poor. The call of "unlimited possession” operated powerfully and does so today, in getting the world's work done.

The practical call to industrious effort as opposed to the theoretical one, is not so strong, however, under present day capitalism. It has been pointed out that with a large proportion of national wealth concentrated in relatively few hands, and with the national income going, to a proportionately large extent, to the possessors of great wealth, the real incentive which lies back of the "call” to go to work and by industry and intelligent effort become a millionaire, is but a small one to the average man. What theoretically is intended to encourage to effort, practically discourages and antagonizes. If the average man is able through industrious effort to make a comfortable living for his family, he is doing well, and he sees many hard workers whose standard of living is none too high. This is true. It is also true, however, that the condition of the average man is better today than it has ever been in the history of the world, and it must not be forgotten that it is the present system that is responsible for the advance made. We are concerned at this point only with incentive. While the United Order plan does not make the promises to the individual man of ability that capitalism has made, it does make better promises to the average man and much better promises to the poor, among whom it may be hoped, there may be found under more favorable conditions many who will rise above the average. There are also in the United Order other compensations besides the strictly wealth enhancement one for the man of unusual ability. These will be considered more fully in a later chapter.

1 Doctrine and Covenants, Sec. 42:40. 2 Ibid., Sec. 42:42.

CHAPTER XVI

CONSECRATION

THE PROCESS OF LEVELING DOWN AND OF LEVELING UP

To bring about a high degree of equality in wealth ownership and in income, industrial organization must not only bring about a redistribution of wealth, but must also devise a means of preserving the equality so attained. It is evident that if an equal distribution were made there are such great differences in capacity that laisses faire, unhindered, would, within a few years, restore the former inequalities. The United Order proposes to attain to a fair approach to equality and to maintain it after it is once achieved, in the following manner :

And behold, thou wilt remember the poor, and consecrate of thy properties for their support that which thou hast to impart unto them with a covenant and a deed which cannot be broken

and they shall be laid before he bishop of my church and his counsellors, two of the elders, or High Priests, such as he shall or has appointed for that purpose. And it shall come to pass, that after they are laid before the bishop of my church

every man shall be made accountable unto me, a steward over his own property, or that which he has received by consecration, inasmuch as is sufficient for himself and family.1

Also, “It is wisdom in me that my servant Martin Harris should be an example unto the church, in laying his moneys before the bishop of the church.” And further, “this is a law unto every man that cometh into this land, to receive an inheri

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tance."2

After substantial equality has thus been attained, it is to be maintained by placing in the common treasury all surplus that results from improving the inheritances.

And all moneys that you receive in your stewardships, by improving upon the properties which I have appointed unto you, in houses, or in lands, or in cattle, or in all things, save it be the holy and sacred writings, which I have reserved unto myself for holy and sacred purposes, shall be cast into the treasury as fast as you receive moneys, by hundreds, or by fifties, or by twenties, or by tens, or by fives.3

Since the stewardships would become more or less different in productivity under different kinds of management, this provision might be expected to come into operation, or, perhaps, fail to come into operation, relatively early. It could not fail to give rise to some concern on the part of administrative officers and to be a source of dissatisfaction. Some would withhold, or perhaps con

1 Doctrine and Covenants, Sec., 42:30-32. 2 Ibid., Sec. 58:35 and 36. 3 Ibid., Sec. 104:68.

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ceal, part of their surplus; others would give it all. As to whether a redistribution is intended after inequalities in inheritances became pronounced, nothing definite is given, though a hint is contained in the first “revelation” on the Order in the use of the words “after this first consecration.' It could be assumed that other consecrations would take place. But this may or may not be a proper inference, for, since each new steward must consecrate his property before receiving his "inheritance," individual consecrations would be appearing regularly and the reference may be to these later individual consecrations. But whether such further redistribution occurs or not, substantial equality might well be achieved and as will appear shortly that seems to be what was desired.

The leveling down and the leveling up which is to result from it, in the working out of such a plan, can become an accomplished fact, it is evident, only providing a proportionate number of the rich as well as the poor become members. If middle class and poor only join, there will be some leveling down but little leveling up and all will be relatively poor. If the poor only join, difficulties will multiply and, even under favorabe circumstances, perseverance, unity, and ability alone can overcome the unpropitious beginning. The plan contemplates and requires as any such plan must do, capital to begin with. In short, an average commilnity, with its small complement of rich and poor alike, and its larger body of middle class, constitutes the working material out of which the United Order is expected to mould a new industrial life.

i Doctrine and Covenants.

Sec. 42:33.

CHAPTER XVII

THE MANNER OF DIVIDING INHERITANCES

Perhaps there is no one thing which conduces more to an understanding of the source of Joseph Smith's power over his followers than does a study of his attitude on personal freedom. Individualism and free enterprise, which have done so much for modern civilization that they may be said to be the corner stones of the structure, have found their fullest expression in America. Born in 1805 in Vermont, Joseph Smith came in on the crest of the wave which carried individualism to its greatest height. Always on, or near, the frontiers, it is not surprising that he absorbed, not from political or industrial theory as found in books, but from the spirit of the times in which he lived, from independent frontier America, a strong individualistic bent. America has produced few religions. Mormonism, whether good or bad, is one of them. With respect to its attitude toward the individual it is typically American, for, in it the thread of compulsion is refined to the vanishing point and individual responsibility is made the foundation of the soul's salvation. This aspect of Joseph Smith's character deserves a much fuller treatment, but we shall consider its bearing only on the immediate question of the division of the inheritances.

The main difficulty that any new economic organization must encounter in an attempt to supplant or improve upon the present capitalistic system, is to be found in the necessary limitation of individual freedom. It has already been pointed out that liberty may mean, and often does in practice become, license. In the past the group has suffered much in order that the individual might be free to do many things that later experience has shown he should not be permitted to do at all. Legislation, during the last fifty years, has been concerned chiefly with the task of weeding out practices which in the earlier order of laisses faire were permitted. Social, or group interests, required the change. Unbridled individualism cannot exist in civilized society, for society presupposes social as well as individual interests. Only when the two are made to harmonize can the highest good be attained.

Again, another difficulty which any attempt to achieve equality involves, is the tendency toward sameness and monotony. In communism the average man soon develops a longing for a change. Everybody is much alike. He is but a cog in the social wheel and he must fit in where he is wanted. The rut is always close at hand, and ere long, he is in it and cannot get out. To him then does not come the rush of life, the spirit of adventure, the eternal newness of living, which, so far as its bearing on production goes, takes the pain out of toil, and often the regret out of

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