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powerful headman of that section. These conditions apply today.
The Indian, therefore, never thinks of the government or, above that, of the "president"-he thinks only of his own patron or master and fights for him.
An army in those days and in fact to the present time is not an organization of so many brigades-it is still, in large measure, a group of caciques, or headmen, with their henchmen, peons and Indians. One of the greatest problems of the Mexican "president" always has been to provide sufficient loot or income to keep these caciques, or generals, from turning against him and starting another revolution.
In the great mass of the people there is no national consciousness, there is no patriotism, as we understand it. The common soldier never fights for a principle always does he give himself for some person, usually the petty official closest to him.
Mexico is an Indian country and the traditions of her masses come down from Toltec and Aztec sources. Her people do not think as we think. They do not react to a given set of circumstances as we would react to them. We never reach right conclusions when we try to judge them by our standards; hence, the conclusions of our government officials and private individuals are often wrong. This accounts for a continuous state of irritation in our relationships.
The Mexican constitution calls for regular elections and democratic government, but neither is possible with a 90 per cent population of Indians and peons of the lowest type. Mexico's rulers are not "presidents" as we think of presidents. They are dictators who control lawmaking, law enforcement and the courts. When a "president" fails to monopolize these functions a stronger dictator generally takes his place.
Mexico's rulers reach their office by force or show of force and not by the will of the people. Probably no form of government other than an unlimited dictatorship could control that
overwhelming majority of low race elements.
The president and the land commissioners can do pretty much as they please, under the present constitution, in the matter of land distribution. Under these conditions no one will buy or sell land, or lend money on rural properties in Mexico. The American can only buy land under permission of the Mexican president, and then only after having waived his rights as an American citizen. Failure to conform in this makes his property subject to outright confiscation.
Spanish is the official language of Mexico, but one-third of the population cannot understand it. There are no schools as we know schools. Almost none of the Indian and peon mass receives instruction in public schools. Outside of two dailies, used as publicity mediums for those in power in the capital, Mexico has no independent press in the American sense.
The marriage institution in many sections has been all but abolished through a divorce system whose latitude makes marriage a farce. In Yucatan a man might obtain a divorce within 24 hours, without notice to his wife.
A large number of the children born in Mexico today are "natural" born. One woman may have four children by as many different fathers. The care and upbringing of this brood devolves upon the mother, the father not even recognizing his parenthood.
Civilization in Mexico as it applies to the greater part of the population is in a semi-barbaric state. A small group of whites and half-breeds, the educated class (and, up to the present era of radicalism, the ruling class), know the same civilization that we have developed. They are highly educated, capable men. This limited group is civilization's only hope in that country today. They for four centuries have attempted to impose an Aryan civilization and culture upon a primitive mass. An observer must report that their effort has left slight imprint.
America Takes the Lead in Aviation
Condensed from The World's Work (April '26)
7ITHIN the next few weeks more airplanes (and all of them American-built) will be flying on regular schedules in the United States than in all European countries combined.
Aircraft investigations of the past five years have been most important, for Congress has become educated in aviation matters. The Kelley bill, passed in February, 1925, went long way toward forming a national air policy in authorizing the Postmaster-General to contract with private parties for flying the mails between designated points. Immediately a group of prominent men announced the formation of the National Air Transport to operate airplane services between principal cities. The character of the organizers produced striking results immediately. Bankers, capitalists, big business houses, and leaders in rail and water transport commenced talking air traffic and, moreover, investing their personal funds in aviation projects.
The Bingham bill has passed the Senate and is on its way through the House with the promise of members that it will become a law. The measure provides for a bureau of civil aviation in the Department of Commerce which shall control all civilian flying in the United States. All pilots must be licensed, their machines registered and supervised by periodic inspections to prove that they are safe. The department will chart airways for commercial use, procure landing fields, hangar equipment, repair shops, radio stations, aerial beacons, ground and route lights. The government, in short, will maintain public highways of the air, just as it provides lighthouses, harbors, radio service, ice
patrol, and other facilities for the merchant marine.
Secretary Hoover is prepared to place the bureau in operation immediately after receiving authority, and unless the unforeseen occurs the bureau will be functioning within a few months. Mr. Hoover possesses a keen vision of our immediate future in the air. He sees cargo planes operating between all large cities and controlled by financially sound companies organized like the railroads and merchant marine. He knows that the entire industry will become a self-supporting reserve in the defensive establishment. The industry is confident that Mr. Hoover will place American aviation so far on the road to permanent progress that there will be no chance of failure.
The operators now entering the field point to the increasing popularity of the transcontinental air mail route. The Federal air mail service been developed from a short day line started between New York and Washington in 1918. It is now a day and night service between the coasts and more mail is carried through the air on that one route alone than in all other countries combined.
Night flying equipment has been developed here to a greater extent than in Europe. Recent tests with the radio direction finder show encouraging progress and it is believed that the day is not distant when pilots flying in storm, fog, mist, snow, and at night will be able to keep to the route regardless of their ability to see past the nose of the machine. It will be the greatest safety device in aviation.
The night route between New York and Chicago already returns a profit
to the Post Office Department. The service west of Chicago is not selfsupporting but is showing gradual improvement. The public is becoming more generous with air mail stamps. The transcontinental route will be leased or sold to private companies when they prove their ability to operate it, or it will become a part of the national airways system under the Department of Commerce. It would then be available to the public, corresponding to the Lincoln Highway-fields, lights, and auxiliary equipment maintained by the government for private machines.
Another reason for widespread encouragement among flyers has been Henry Ford's entrance into aviation.
Late in January contracts had been let by the Post Office Department for nine routes, all to be in operation by April. These routes are: New York, Hartford and Boston; Chicago, Springfield and St. Louis; Chicago, St. Joseph, Kansas City, Wichita, Okla. homa City, Dallas and Fort Worth, Texas; Salt Lake City and Los Angeles; Elko (Nev.), Boise (Ida.) and Pasco (Wn.); Detroit and Cleveland; Detroit and Chicago; Seattle, San Francisco, and Los Angeles; Chicago, Milwaukee, St. Paul and Minneapolis.
Other routes which are scheduled to be operating or well under way before this article is published include a line between Cleveland and Birmingham, taking in Indianapolis, Louisville, and Nashville; another between Atlanta, Jacksonville and Miami; another between Los Angeles and Kansas City; and another between Ohio and New Orleans. According to present indications, more than 100 planes will be carrying the mails on American air routes before the end of the summer. Each company receives a pro rata share of the receipts for special air mail postage at 10 cents an ounce.
That is only a beginning. At first the companies are planning to carry only the mail, gradually working into parcel post, which offers a wide and profitable field. Passenger carrying will follow.
Approximately 100 air transport companies are in process of organization in the United States. A third are financed by private subscription. Another third are proceeding on a shoestring, trusting to luck and future events to pull them through. The remaining 30, possibly more, are stockselling, blue-sky outfits that do not intend to operate and should be driven out of business before they unload their worthless shares on the public. There is little doubt that the history of commercial aviation will parallel that of surface transportation. Every medium from railroads to canals and motor cars has claimed its share of sacrifices.
One hundred and ten cities are now preparing air harbors for the craft which they expect in the near future.
The uses for aircraft are amazing in their variety. One company alone is using 20 planes in "cotton dusting" to exterminate the boll weevil. It is officially estimated that the maximum use of planes for this purpose alone would save the cotton growers about $135,000,000 a year. The U. S. Topographic Survey plans to cover 44 per cent of its field work in 1926 by airplanes, with a saving to the government of about $9,000,000. Three of the larger aerial photographic companies aggregated nearly a million dollars in 1925. Other planes are flying in forest fire patrols, timber cruising, relief work, and in fact, all emergency duties where speed is essential.
This country is geographically fitted for air traffic on a scale impossible in Europe. Distances are vast. Unlike Europe's, our transportation does not radiate from one or two cities. There are about 50 centers, all important. Standards of living are higher here. More traveling is done per capita and more mail carried than anywhere else. With Federal supervision of civil aviation and with the general interest it is believed that we shall be able to maintain our lead in the air, chiefly because everybody now recognizes that it is possible for us to do it.
Taking the Curse Off Labor
Condensed from The Nation's Business (April '26)
HEN first I knew Minnesota, an attendance of 400 at the State University was trumpeted as a triumph for higher education. There are today in the State University and its extensions and affiliations 20,000 students.
When first I visited Washington, 200 graduates a year were subject for congratulations. There are today, 8000 students in Washington University.
Now, a lot of persons are asking where this growing army of graduates are to get jobs in an area whose peculiar demand is the horny hand and brawny muscle for forest, mine and farm. Will the white-collar and kid-glove graduate doff collar and glove for blisters from an axe, aching muscles from a miner's pick, and tired back from plow and pitchfork?
It is well known that one big Middle West university last year graduated more teachers than there were teachers' jobs open in the whole state. It is also equally well known that in the slump of 1920-23, there were more starving lawyers and doctors and professional men than there were clients and patients and customers. Perhaps 'starving" is too strong a word; but it is the word they, themselves, used in confessional moods.
I was having dinner one night with President and Mrs. Suzzalo of Washington University. President Suzzalo had worked up from a penniless SlavItalian boy to where he is recognized as one of the wisest heads in the West. I said to him:
"You have 8000 students attending a university in a country where the pri mary need is for men to turn metals and logs and soil into cash. Will your white-collar boys and girls do it? Your masons and bricklayers and car
penters today are earning more than your doctors and lawyers and preachers. What are all these graduates going to do with their education to earn a living?"
"How are they going to earn their living? By taking the curse off labor," the President replied. "If the teacher and the preacher and the doctor and the lawyer are getting, we'll say, only from $1000 to $2500 a year, which is, we'll say, from $3 to $7 a day, and the mechanic is getting from $10 to $20, the cultured man is going to carry his trained mind into mechanics ard 'take the curse off labor.' It will make culture universal instead of the privilege for the few."
"But with four centuries, more or less, of false ideals as to what constitutes an aristocracy of worth, will white collars and kid gloves take to brawn and blisters?"
"They'll have to. Necessity forces these things."
That week I motored down to two of the greatest lumber mills in the world-one was the Weyerhauser; the other was the Long-Bell at the new city of Longview on the Columbia. Now I have known lumber mills all my life; and the lumber-mill machines are the most human monsters I know on earth. The chains and derricks haul up like matches logs that are giants. A machine barks them as a boy would whittle a switch. The great saws and levers toss them like chips and the planed boards or bridge timbers slip out like tape from a ticker. Another derrick and the boards and timbers are being swung aboard ships and rail cars.
Yet there were brains--trained, cultured brains and trained human hands behind the machine. Here was the waste of sawdust, shavings, scant
lings being burned to generate enough electricity to light and heat a city, to cut the logs in the forest, to hoist those logs on flat cars, to run those cars to the water front or mill, then to run a mill which yearly turns out enough lumber for 40,000 houses of five or six rooms-and all with less physical drudgery than the shifting of gears on a motor car.
One of the most marvelous operations is the sawing of the big timbers to boards in lengths of from 2 to 50 feet by a man who operates a switchboard as easily as one would run a typewriter but demanding concentration to the nth degree, and good judg. ment to avoid waste.
But what I wanted to know was, how would the university graduate fare here.
"In the first place, we employ no unskilled men here," said the manager. "We can't afford them. We employ the last word in machinery to do the drudgery and increase the output; but we must always have the man with the trained mind to think for the machine. He must be master of the machine. He must be its brains.
"He must think as quickly as the machine acts; and he must have good judgment to handle it to prevent waste in length, cut, thickness, character of the board, grain of the wood, discard knot holes, snip off slightly decayed or water-spoiled ends and that sort of thing. The first requirement of a good operative in the new electric mechanics is that he must have brains to think for the machines."
"Then good-by old bunk houses with straw beds and pork and beans. You'll have to supply college dormitories and modern hotels and hospitals-"
"Go out and see them," said the manager.
I did. I found the workers' inns clean, modern, scientific as a hospital. In two great mill centers visited, there was a bathroom between each two bedrooms. There were libraries. There were pool and billiard rooms
and swimming pools and tennis courts and radios and phonographs and dance halls and athletic departments.
I also found where many of the women graduates are absorbed. I found them in the scientific kitchens -only they didn't call them "maids." They were "diet specialists." I found them in the libraries, in the hospitals, in the community houses acting ostensibly as entertainers but really as mentors. These conditions are more general than exceptional from the paper mills and lumber mills in the hinterlands of James Bay to the big timbers of Northern British Columbia and Washington and Oregon.
The last day I was in Longview was the end of the university year; and in that week came university graduates from as far south as Missouri, and as far north as Canada, seeking manual jobs; and 70 had been placed in one day. The minimum wage was $100 a month. The highest placed was a technical chap at $300-as much as the governors of some states get today. . . .
Consider what the machine is doing today. The self-binder drawn by a tractor will cut 40 acres in ten hours, or what formerly required the backbreaking work of 40 men for 16 hours a day, for rich crops know no union hours.
One signal on a rail track today replaces the labor of seven, and though you may howl over the displaced seven men, also think of the lone lantern man in wintry blizzards at 40 degrees below.
I saw on the Pacific, salmon brought in, which were cleaned, cut, cooked, canned, sealed and put on a vessel ready for shipment within one half hour from the time the fish were tossed up from the nets, uncontaminated by a human hand after the first toss. I saw the same thing with strawberries after the first hand-picking and hulling.
Yes, the curse is being taken off labor, as President Suzzalo said.