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THIS UGLY 

CIVILIZATION  

by

RALPH BORSODI

  

NEW YORK

SIMON AND SCHUSTER

1 9 2 9

 

ALL RIGHTS RESERVED COPYRIGHT, 1929, BY SIMON AND SCHUSTER, INC.
37 WEST 57 STREET NEW YORK
PRINTED IN U. S. A. BY VAIL-BALLOU PRESS, BINGHAMTON
BOUND BY H. WOLFF EST., N. Y.

 

 

 

Dedicated to

MYRTLE MAE BORSODI

Whose Courage, Initiative and Resourcefulness

Made the adventure possible

Which inspired this book

And for whose patient cooperation in its production

A tribute of mere words is wholly

Inadequate

@

 

 

 

--PREFACE--

 

   This book in its present form is an attempt, still largely unsatisfactory to myself, to project certain ideas evolved from a quest of comfort--material and philosophical--in some respect quite different from that which engages most of us today.

   If I have ventured to step from the humdrum practicality of economics to the sacred and dangerous precincts of philosophy, it is because philosophers generally seem to forget that the acquisition of food, clothing and shelter is prerequisite to the pursuit of the good, the true and the beautiful. Epistemology, ethics and esthetics acquire reality only if related to economics.

   While not too sanguine about my success in venturing into this field, the book cannot wholly fail if here and there it spurs men and women to free themselves from the ugliness of this civilization. If it directs the attention of even a few thinkers to the questions with which it deals, I will feel fully justified in having published it.

   It is impossible to acknowledge my indebtedness to all from whom I have taken counsel in the preparation of this book, but special mention must be made of my friend Guy M. Carleton, with whom I have discussed almost every point in it, and who has been good enough not only to study the manuscript, but to make many suggestions for its, improvement.

RALPH BORSODI

Suffern, New York.

August, 1929

 

--CONTENTS--

BOOK I
THE QUEST OF COMFORT

PART I
THIS UGLY CIVILIZATION

I THIS UGLY CIVILIZATION

II MACHINES

III EFFICIENCY

PART II
THE FACTORY

IV THE FACTORY ITSELF

V THE FACTORY'S PRODUCTS

VI THE FACTORY WORKERS

VII THE FACTORYS CUSTOMERS

VIII THE CONQUERING FACTORY SYSTEM

PART III
THE PERSONS IN THE DRAMA
The Great Men and the Small

IX THE PERSONS IN THE DRAMA

X JOHN DOE, AVERAGE MAN: THE HERD-MINDED TYPE

XI JOHN D. ROCKEFELLER: THE QUANTITY-MINDED TYPE

XII CHARLES W. ELIOT: THE QUALITY-MINDED TYPE

BOOK II
THE CONQUEST OF COMFORT

PART IV
THE MATERIAL ASPECT

XIII COMFORT

XIV FOOD, CLOTHING AND SHELTER: THE ESSENTIALS OF COMFORT

XV THE FACTORS IN THE QUEST OF COMFORT: I. THE HOMESTEAD

XVI THE FACTORS IN THE QUEST OF COMFORT: II. TIME

XVII THE FACTORS IN THE QUEST OF COMFORT: III MACHINES

XVIII THE FACTORS IN THE QUEST OF COMFORT: IV. WISDOM

PART V
THE PHILOSOPHIC ASPECT

XIX THE CONQUEST OF COMFORT

XX THE BARRIERS TO COMFORT
The Economic Barrier
The Physiological Barrier
The Social Barrier
The Biological Barrier
The Religious Barrier
The Political Barrier
The Moral Barrier
The Psychological Barrier
The Educational Barrier
The Individual Barrier   

L'ENVOI

XXI L'ENVOI

REFERENCES