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But sweating is also due to the imperfect moral development of the people. In the purely animal condition the struggle for life has full sway, and the weakest does not fail to go to the wall and to be effectually crushed out. From this condition we are moving upwards towards a human life in which reason shall prevail ; in which we shall recognise the Brotherhood of Man, and competition and anarchy be replaced by rational organisation and co-operation. We have now reached a stage where the sense of a common good is still but weak, and the control of the individual by the Whole, which is necessary for its realisation, prevails only in a few departments of social life. By our laws we guarantee to the few a share in the material inheritance of the nation, which has been slowly gained for us through the ages by social co-operation, whilst the mass of the people are obliged to obtain leave from these favoured few to work that they may earn a more or less precarious and insufficient livelihood. If any of them have been allowed access to the spiritual inheritance of the race to the stores of knowledge painfully acquired in the course of centuries—they have a great advantage in the struggle. Of such are the professional and trading classes and the skilled workers. Below them lie the completely disinherited, condemned to strive for the crumbs which fall from the tables of the classes above them, and even these they can only get by long hours of monotonous and exhausting toil. The misery and suffering endured by this class, and especially by the women, is indeed simply appalling. Did not use and wont, and the feeling of the powerlessness of the individual to alter the working of the great economic machine, in which each of us is a mere wheel or cog of a wheel, make us despair, it would be impossible for such of us as have any knowledge of the facts and any human feeling to endure these things longer. As it is, the thought that many of the necessities and comforts of our life are bought at the expense of the very heart's-blood of our fellow creatures embitters our existence and poisons all our joy.
It is not possible for the most callous wholly to ignore the solidarity of mankind, and the very growth in sensibility and refinement of feeling which is the highest gift of civilisation renders us more susceptible to the sufferings of others and more capable of sympathy with their wretchedness and woe. This sympathy, indeed, is ever extending and deepening in intensity, yet it is at present but slightly developed, and its action is for the most part occasional, spasmodic, and not seldom irrational. We erect vast hospitals and spend large sums of money yearly for their support. In these the poorest may have good nursing and the best treatment which medical science can furnish. The most wretched victim of sweating, if knocked down, or stricken by illness, can be taken to one of these hospitals and be treated as a human being and skilfully nursed. Should he recover, however, he is again thrust forth into the abyss of destitution to continue his desperate struggle, and society troubles itself no further about him till he once more becomes ill or commits some crime.
Surely this is irrational! Let us have, we are tempted to exclaim, either the pitiless struggle of the animal worldwhich, just because it is pitiless and thoroughgoing, leads to the survival of young, vigorous, and therefore happy life-or such an organisation of society that the struggle of man against man may be replaced by co-operation, and the pitiless extermination of the weaker by loving care, aided by the rational use of those means which would prevent disease and destitution.
For the full solution of the problem of sweating, as of all the other problems of social life, we must look forward to the growth of sympathy, guided by reason, which shall not merely shudder at tales of injustice and suffering, but shall vigorously work to discover their causes, and, having discovered these, shall intelligently organisethe whole of life in accordance with Insight and Love.