The Lack of a noble Presence. Soldiers and

The Lack of a noble Presence. Soldiers and their leaders have always a much higher mode of comportment toward one another than workmen and their employers. At present at least, all militarily established civilisation still stands high above all so-called industrial civilisation; the latter, in its present form, is in general the meanest mode of existence that has ever been. It is simply the law of necessity that operates here: people want to live, and have to sell themselves; but they despise him who exploits their necessity and purchases the workman. It is curious that the subjection to powerful, fear-inspiring, and even dreadful individuals, to tyrants and leaders of armies, is not at all felt so painfully as the subjection to such undistinguished and uninteresting persons as the captains of industry; in the employer the workman usually sees merely a crafty, blood-sucking dog of a man, speculating on every necessity, whose name, form, character, and reputation are altogether indifferent to him. It is probable that the manufacturers and great magnates of commerce have hitherto lacked too much all those forms and attributes of a superior race, which alone make persons interesting; if they had had the nobility of the nobly-born in their looks and bearing, there would perhaps have been no socialism in the masses of the people. For these are really ready for slavery of every kind, provided that the superior class above them constantly shows itself legitimately superior, and born to command by its noble presence! The commonest man feels that nobility is not to be improvised, and that it is his part to honour it as the fruit of protracted race-culture – but the absence of superior presence, and the notorious vulgarity of manufacturers with red, fat hands, brings up the thought to him that it is only chance and fortune that has here elevated the one above the other; well then – so he reasons with himself – let us in our turn tempt chance and fortune! Let us in our turn throw the dice! – and socialism commences.

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