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have, so that the same number of applied with equal success to the im. acres with the labor of fewer men provement of human beings. shall produce many times as much
"One law governs all; it governs the food.
plants and it governs us," he said "In the next few years I hope to earnestly. "In human breeding, as in produce fruits that will have the pow- plant breeding, there is no satisfactory er to resist heat, cold, dampness, and substitute for intelligent selection the attacks of fungi and insect pests. and crossing. Here in America, naI hope also to produce fruit without ture is forming a mighty combination seeds, stones, spines, or thorns.
of various races. If the right princi.
ples are followed, we may hope for a "The world needs, and we shall de
race far better and stronger than velop, better fiber plants; better coffee
Americans of today; a magnificent and tea plants; more productive spice
race. But crossing, even when guidshrubs; trees that will produce pure
ed by intelligence, produces a myriad rubber in larger quantities and can be of inferior types while producing a tapped as are maple trees. Now, in
few good types. Often, I have prothe tropical rubber forests, the gather
duced a million plant specimens to ing of the rubber means the destrus
find one or two superlatively goodtion of the tree.
and then destroyed all the inferior "We need, too, nuts which contain specimens. more oil, new and better dyewoods, "Inferior human beings, of course, plants that will produce starches in cannot be treated as if they were inprofitable quantities, and plants that ferior plants. But if civilization is to will yield better perfumes than the endure, some way must be found to synthetic perfumes now manufactured. produce more of the fit, and fewer of We need trees exclusively for wood the unfit. Like plant development, pulp, and other trees that will grow racial improvement is a matter of more rapidly than wild trees and pro- heredity, selection, proper crossing, duce larger quantities of timber. and environment. We must begin
with the child. To improve the race, "Every one of these developments, and thousands more, are within our
the children of the race must be reach. Man is just beginning to real
healthy. I could not work successfully
with diseased plants that would spread ize that he may some time control certain forces of nature and guide
disease among the other plants. Marthem to produce desired results with
riage of the physically, mentally and a rapidity and sureness hitherto un.
morally unfit should be prohibited, dreamed of."
and that prohibition made absolute.
"For half a century there has been Luther Burbank's first important
growing steadily in my mind the contribution was the Burbank potato.
knowledge that in the development of For this discovery he received $150,
the plant lies a great object lesson and with this modest capital and a
for human beings. This fact I consupply of his famous tubers, he left
sider my most valuable discovery. I his native state of Massachusetts for
have proved it many times, and I may California. If he had been able to
state it in two sentences: patent this improved potato and had
"First, that plants are pliable and received a royalty of one cent on each bushel that has been grown and sold,
amenable to the wishes of man, and he would today be the world's richest
that they may be bred and trained and
developed just as animals may be bred man.
and trained and improved. Second, Burbank believes that the most im- that the human plant, the child, may portant lesson he has learned in more be trained, developed and improved than a half century of study of nature just as, under the hand of a skilled is that the laws applicable to the pro- botanist, the best that is in each plant duction of improved plant life may be may be brought out."
Horse Bandits and Opium
Condensed from The Forum (April (26)
is conducted by “Ma Fei," horse
bandits, that powerful, well organized, ably directed band of outlaws in Manchuria, and unless we find the means to control these bandits, we cannot hope to suppress the traffic in narcotics.
Ma Fei includes men of all classes and conditions. There are common robbers as well as political exiles. There are soldiers out of pay, and aspirants for governmental positions. This turning of soldiers into bandits occurs quite frequently, as can be seen from the adage that "To maintain soldiers is to maintain robbers."
It may seem strange that aspirants for governmental positions should attempt to realize their ambition by entering the ranks of Ma Fei. But, as a little study of Who's Who in China will prove, the Chinese Government actually does give high positions to bandit leaders.
As there are many who conduct banditry as an avocation-tradesmen and farmers who participate in order to tide over hard times—it is impossible to determine the number of men who constitute Ma Fei. All we know is that Ma Fei consists of about 95 divisions, and that each of these di. visions has one leader and from 40 to 1000 men.
Ma Fei are thoroughly acquainted with the land they work on, and move about with the stealth and swiftness of the fabled ghost riders. They are well supplied with firearms, from machine guns down to revolvers. But they are not well equipped with am. munition, and seldom waste it. Any one found wasting bullets is given three incense sticks; which means that he must stand guard until three incense sticks burn to ashes. Ransom
is sometimes demanded in terms of powder as well as of money.
Because terrorism is an effective weapon, Ma Fei are highly vindictive, punishing their enemies with unspeakable atrocities. It is not unusual for them to carry off the wife and children of their enemy, and sell them into slavery, or torture them to death, writing in the meantime to the enemy of the treatment his loved ones are receiving at their hands.
We can surmise the extent of the power wielded by Ma Fei from the fact that the Government often offers high positions to some of them. Another proof of their power is the existence of the system of burglar insurance which is conducted, not against Ma Fei, but in cooperation with them. The express company where the insurance is sold, insures the safe transportation of luggage on the strength of the pact it has made with the bandits.
Like other bandits, Ma Fei rob, kidnap, and blackmail. But in most cases they indulge in these pursuits in order to earn the cost of opium production. That is why they are comparatively inactive--that is, inactive as robbers—during the opium season between June and August. During this period they are too busy with the care of the great secret gardens to waylay travelers, or kidnap them for ransom. They hide thenselves in the forests of the northwestern part of Kirin province, and grow the "dream flowers,” or protect those who grow them.
This care of the great secret gardens is an ideal occupation for Ma Fei. In the first place, the dream flowers do not require much care, needing but to be thinned and seeded occasionally. In the second place, they bring enormous profit, which amounts to about $200 per capita-a profit which it takes an average farmer in China about four years to earn.
Opium is manufactured from the sap extracted from the capsule of white poppies. The capsule is cut near the stem, at first lightly, then deeply. The sap which flows from the cut is gath. ered, boiled down, bottled, and buried in the ground. It is really better to sun-dry the sap than to boil it, for. then the product will be pink in color instead of brown, and have a much better flavor. But Ma Fei do not like to risk discovery.
In addition to the actual profit on the crop, Ma Fei collect a fee for protecting the growers. The average fee is from $40 to $70 worth of opium for each "One Hand Knife." The term One Hand Knife means two men, because of the fact that in harvesting opium two men work side by side, one knif. ing the capsules and the other collecting the sap. As there are vast numbers of growers working under their protection, this fee amounts to thou. sands of dollars. The yearly output of opium in Manchuria is about 50,000 pounds, and nine-tenths of this opium is produced by, or under the protection of Ma Fei.
should be reenforced; that the Government should find some profitable form of livelihood for the people in Man. churia, and thereby keep them from the lure of opium money. But no one knows how effective and feasible these measures are.
There is, however, one thing we can do, one long, fundamental course we can take. We can help the Chinese to bave more constructive patriotism, and less hero worship. The Chinese are great hero worshippers. They are always waiting for some such superman as Chang Liang, Con Ming, or Tseng Con Ming to appear and lead them into fame and fortune. And one of the easiest ways to become a hero in their eyes is to collect a number of men and defy the Government. Fundamentally China is a democratic country, and the people have the right to banish any ruler who has proved himself unworthy of his position as the Son of Heaven. In the last 2000 years China has been governed by many dynasties succeeding one another, not through inheritance, but by the right of conquest, and whenever a rew dynasty came into power certain subjects of the former dynasty have shown their courage and loyalty by turning themselves into bandits and defyirs the new Gavernment. These subjects have performed many
remarkable feats, and the memory of their heroic deeds is treasured and glorified in the literature of the country.
It is this tendency to idolize the anti-governmental heroes that must be toned down. It is a slow, laborious task, requiring years and years of ef. fort; but it must be done if we would free China from the grip of bandits. In this respect I am glad that America is spreading Christianity in that coun. try, and at the same time educating Chinese students in accordance with Western ideals. Many wonders are being worked by sons of the dragon who have been educated in America. May this work of christianizing and westernizing the Chinese continue, and drive from its throne the power behind the opium traffic.
Opium mapufacture is therefore an ideal occupation for Ma Fei, and the bandits will not give it up while there is breath left in them. That is why experts on the opium situation agree on the point that Ma Fei must be exterininated before the opium traffic can be suppressed.
Yes, Ma Fei must be exterminated, but how? No one is able to answer this question with certainty. Of course we can say many things,-tñat the Chinese Government should open a direct attack upon Ma Fei and not stop until the last member of the organi. zation is brought to justice; that the Government should stabilize itself so that there will be more national unity; that the soldiers should be paid regu. larly so that they will not be tempted into bribery; that the police system
The Unions Lose San Francisco
Condensed from The American Mercury (April '26)
David Warren Ryder OT until the triumphant cam- That was the Golden Age of unpaign of 1876 in San Francisco
ions, and their power in industry was trade unionism an active,
was matched by their power in poligo-getting, bellicose force in Amer- tics. Not until 1912 was their poliica. It was the brilliant effective
tical power finally shattered. When ness, political and otherwise, of
their downfall came at last, it was Dennis Kearney's Workingmen's a debacle indeed. To-day, though Party that gave unionism in the
they still exsist on paper, they are Middle West and East the encour
wholly impotent. It was the old, old agement it then SO desperately story of what happened to the calf needed, and prepared the way for when it got too much rope. For that gigantic organization, the Amer- years the unions had their own way. ican Federation of Labor.
grew in size and strength, seized
more and more power. In San Francisco unionism grew
During the like a weed, and a decade after the
war there was not even a show of campaign saw almost every skilled opposition to them. What they trade unionized. Not a hammer was
asked for they got, and they asked lifted, a brick laid, or a pipe fitted
for plenty. Finally in December, without the sanction of the unions.
1920, there came the show-down. Let an employer discharge a drunken
The public was showing, by an inor incompetent workman without
creasing reluctance to build at ali, the union's consent and he found
that it was tired of being made the himself facing a strike, compelled
goat. The unions made new wage to reinstate the discharged work
demands. The contractors not only man, and pay him and his fellows
refused to acquiesce, but countered for the time they were out. Here
with a proposal for decreases in cerare some rules that were rigidly en
tain crafts. After several weeks of forced in the building industry
bickering the entire dispute was subalone:
mitted to a wage arbitration board, The roofers' union would not allow an both sides agreeing in writing to asphalt heater to commence work before
abide by its findings. That award eight o'clock; the rest of the crew had to loaf half an hour while the asphalt was
reduced wages in seventeen of the heating.
fifty-two building trades crafts by The bricl:layers' union limited the
7 12 per cent. The unions refused number of bricks a member was allowed to lay in a day, and prohibited appren
to accept the award, and on May tices for many years.
9th the whole building trades group No plumber was allowed to bend a pipe struck, tying up the whole city. to f: into an offset, but was required to l'ge more fittings instead, to cause more
Up to this time the community at work.
large had taken no more than a perDetailed reports had to be made. Men who did more work than the standard functory interest in the matter. Now set by the union were disciplined for i: became a community catastropire: their efficiency.
something had to be done. A group No employer was allowed to stay on a plumbing job more than two hours a of business and professional men day.
met and decided to try the open The plasterers' union demanded double
shop-in other words, to tackle the time for Saturday morning, and strictly
unions head on, and try to dispose prohibited labor-saving devices.
craft was back in the saddle, and all the old union rules and regula. tions restored, decided instantly on a plan to hold the wobbling contractors in line. There was established the permit system, under which no plumbing contractor who would not agree to conduct his job as an open shop could get a permit to buy plumbing materials. The dealers agreed to require such permits before making sales. The contractor was not compelled to employ even 50 per cent of union men. A crew of ten union men and two non-union men was satisfactory.
Since the termination of the plumbers' and plasterers' strikes (early in 1923) there has not been a job or jurisdictional strike in the building trades of San Francisco. (There were more than 40 in the three years immediately prior to the adoption of the open shop.)
The unions, of course, continue to exist in San Francisco. Their more optimistic leaders even claim greater union membership than ever before. But the unions have been deprived of their old despotic control over industry. From 80 to 90 per cent of the manual labor of San Francisco is now done under open shop conditions.
What has been the effect of all this? During the first year of the open shop, building construction jumped nearly 100 per cent and has been increasing constantly since. Through the abolition of restrictions on output and efficiency, costs to the employer have been cut appreciably. As for the employes, union and nonunion: work has never so steady nor more plentiful; there have been no decreases in wages, and several increases. The average union man has ceased to be a two-fisted battler, ready to strike at the drop of a hat, and has become a property-owning, tax-paying, respectable citizen. The old gaudy days are gone. The walking delegate walks softly, and his old roar is heard no more.
With these preparations made, the open shop was announced to take effect in the building trades on July 1st, and an organization known as the Industrial Association was formed to take charge of enforcing it. Workers were recruited throughout the
country to replace those on strike. At the same time a public announcement was made that there was no desire and would be no attempt to destroy the unions, and inviting the strikers to return to work with the assurance that there would be no discrimination against them, but with the proviso that they must not refuse to work with non-union men. Many returned; and to replace those who did not, men were rapidly brought in from outside, and by the middle of August the building industry was operating at 60 or 70 per cent of its normal strength. Then the strikers, seeing their jobs going to outsiders, voted in defiance of their leaders to return to work as individuals under the open shop.
By the end of the year, the fight Was over and the unions were in cullapse. Complete industrial peace reigned. But only for a few months. it was discovered that the plumbing contractors were backsliding on their agreement to support the open shop. They claimed that to organize nonunion crews would cause them to lose money. The Industrial Association, knowing that if the union plumbers won it would only be a matter of a few months until every other