The Industrial Revolution (Classic Reprint)by Charles Beard
My friend Mr. Beard asks me to put a few words of preface to his little book. I do not know that it needs any such introduction, and I remember what Mandeville has wisely and wittily said about prefaces, but I cannot refuse to do as he wishes, for I think that what he has written will be useful to the working people for whom he
Excerpt from The Industrial Revolution
My friend Mr. Beard asks me to put a few words of preface to his little book. I do not know that it needs any such introduction, and I remember what Mandeville has wisely and wittily said about prefaces, but I cannot refuse to do as he wishes, for I think that what he has written will be useful to the working people for whom he has written, and I am grateful to him for giving me the opportunity of saying, and desiring me to say here some things to them I have wished to say for some time.
The classes that labour with their hands for weekly wages have now entrusted to them much of the power possessed by the Government of this country. The future of this country, and the parts of the world dependent on it must be largely settled by the use, wise or foolish, good or evil, they will be making of this power. Their own future depends on it. If they refuse to think, if they choose to listen to fools advice, if they do not take advantage of the opportunities they have for making themselves better, morally, physically, and intellectually, the world will pass them by speedily and inevitably. Goodwill is no excuse in face of facts; only good deeds will count.
Knowledge and the will to use it, and the courage and perseverance required to use it rightly, these are the necessities of progress and of well-being of any kind. Ignorance that may be felt (but that may by honest effort be destroyed) is the cause of many more of our troubles than we like to admit. Science, not Creed, is the Deliverer, if we will only take the trouble to follow it. There will be plenty of mistakes on the way, but if a man means to learn by his former mistakes, he nearly always has the chance, and the advance, though slow, will be continuous.
Democracy is no heaven-born institution.
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