<a href=http://planomenology.wordpress.com/2009/08/07/utopian-schemes-king-gillette-and-frederi ck-engels/Planomology </a> King Gillette, creator of the safety razor and founder of the Gillette Company, was also the author of several strange utopian socialist treatises: The Human Drift (1894), World Corporation (1910), and the unfortunately unavailable The People’s Corporation (1924). Gillette fiercely rejected the corrosive effect of capitalist competition on society, claiming it led to a general loosening of the social fabric or ’social drift’. Gillette claims that the segment of society capable of keeping apace with competitive enterprise is dwarfed by the increase in the population as a whole. Competitiveness is not, in Gillette‘s view, reducible to subjective traits of ingenuity, persistence, et cetera, but is defined by the degree of conformity with rational organization exhibited by the enterprise in question, and hence by the leader of that enterprise. The proportional increase of the general population relative to these loci of rational organization implied a accelerating growth in the distance between the former and the latter, an increasing alienation of ordinary people relative to the intelligence actualized in competitive enterprise: the general per cent. increase in number of competitive individuals in any avenue of necessary production does not keep pace with the per cent. increase of population. As a consequence, there is a rapid increase of those who are dependent on wages, and a decrease of those who are masters or proprietors; and this, in combination with the rapid improvement in machinery for displacing manual labor, is the main cause of depression in business. Hard times are here to stay, and our intervals of good times must become fewer and shorter as the years pass. This must result in increase of poverty and crime, such crimes as have their birth in desperation, and send a thrill of horror throughout the world. Shall we wait till the dagger falls, or is it our duty to recognize the danger which threatens, and avert it if we can ? [The Human Drift p 5] It was Gillette‘s view that all individuals should be capable of participating in social intelligence or rational organization, and that the fragmentation of such organization amongst competing firms was an affront to reason. Moreover, this imperative was not simply the prerogative of those enlightened visionaries, like himself, who could offer a plan to institute such rational organization. Rather, the drift away from competitive/rational organizing centers was at the same time a drift toward a new convergence, one he saw demonstrated in the tendency of competitive markets to become dominated by a small number of massive corporate powers: the drift of commercial affairs is moving with constantly accelerating force toward a common focus, that focus being the final control of the commercial field by a few mammoth corporations. [ibid.] The human drift is simultaneously away from centers of intelligence, and toward the corporate power that grow out of them. What had once been small enterprises whose success was dependent upon the unifying power of extraordinary individuals increasingly displaced that power into a massive, depersonalized organizational structure that could increasingly accommodate the reabsorption of alienated individuals as motor parts or cogs. Thus, for Gillette, while competition leads to disproportionate success for a small number at the expense of the majority, this success is converted into a structure – the corporate structure – that, once freed from its competitive interests, could become a new source of unity great
enough to encompass all of society â€“ a united intelligence or united company, or what he would later call the world corporation. Competition, while feeding a dynamic of drift and disintegration, nonetheless harbored the antidote to its own destructive tendency. open competition must logically result in final control. Therefore, competition has within itself the seeds of its own destruction; for with final control of any product competition ceases. [ibid.] With the final centralization of control in a totally unified rational organization â€“ a single corporation that would manage all of society â€“ Gillette imagine a realized utopia. The World Corporation would no longer take success in competition as its motive force, as there would no longer be any external competition. They only purpose left would be the continuous improvement of society itself. Gillette believed this centralization should occur not only nominally, but literally, claiming that populations should converge in cities so large that only one would be needed per continent, or perhaps only one for the entire world. He proposed, as site of this urban convergence, an imagined city just south of Lake Ontario, whose power source would be Niagara Falls. He went quite far in planning out his Metropolis, drawing detailed architectural sketches and street-plans:
Images from The Human Drift [<a href= http://www.library.cornell.edu/Reps/DOCS/gillette.htm target=_blank> Library Cornell</a>] Gilletteâ€˜s meticulous diagrams of his imagined city reveal a striking homogeneity, in which each building literally resembles a cog fit into a massive interlocking grid. While he may have abhorred the excesses of industrial capital, he nonetheless betrays an unmistakable factory aesthetic in these remarkable sketches. The image of the cog is more than a superficial conceit. Rather, it is a design paradigm that penetrates into the deepest tissues of the social fabric: the intimate experiential level of individual life. For Gillette, the human drift, in stripping the masses of the unique traits that define â€—intelligentâ€˜ individuals, reduced them to the status of blank, pliable machinic parts that required integration into a larger mechanism. And this pliability encompassed not only their laboring capacity, but the entirety of their being: mass individuals may have sensory capacities and organs, but they progressively lose the motive force that directs and uses these organs, their motor parts are dispossessed as they drift not only from centers of organization in society, but from themselves as unique individual self-motivating centers. Mass individuals would in time
become increasingly loosened, increasingly unstable bundles of motor and cognitive capacities without a motivating program to put them to work, to make something of them
Yet the drift or deterritorialization of the motor, sensory, and cognitive powers of the masses was, as mentioned above, not only a drifting away, but also a drifting toward, a convergence or reterritorialization. What appeared to be a drift toward an infinitely receding horizon would prove to otherwise, instead destined to reach a point of maximal extension coinciding with the reversal of motion and return to the source: organizing centers of intelligence as motive force. And because this force would becoming increasingly unified in corporate powers always growing in size while shrinking in numbers, the loosened limbs of the masses would become reattached to the new collective intelligence engines as the organs of a new super- and trans-human organism: Man Coporate. You may better understand ‖ World Corporation‖ if your attention is directed to the Corporate Man who represents the incorporated people of the earth,—upwards of four billion human beings. This great body and mind and soul is a highly specialized individuality with acute and wonderful perceptive senses. His eyes are the corporate eyes of the world, and he sees all that they see that is worth seeing; he hears all that all the individuals in the world hear that is worth hearing; he scents all that all the individuals in the world scent; he tastes all that all the individuals in the world taste; he feels all that all the individuals in the world feel. It could not be otherwise, for all his senses are the combined senses of all the individuals in the world. His body and brain combine four billion human atoms which can only find expression through his highly specialized senses. Look again at this great corporate body and mind! See how the brain reasons, sifts, examines, weighs, and discriminates in its judgment, which, when given, is final; for it is the judgment of the highest specialized intelligence of man. See those enormous arms. They are the arms and muscles of the world combined in one great corporate body, directed in their manual labor and skill by the wonderful corporate brain. Does it occur to you how nearly like unto yourself is this great anatomical structure? Like you its mind comes in contact with nature and nature‘s laws through its senses of perception. Like you it reasons, sifts, analyzes, and discriminates and accepts or rejects. Like you its mind and body is made up of billions of living cells which live their life and die and pass away, their place being taken by other cells. In the case of the great World Corporate Body and Mind, the billions of living cells are the billions of human beings that inhabit the earth, who live their allotted time and die, others being born to take their place, each contributing its intelligence to the great corporate mind. Thus does the whole material structure of the great corporate body and mind change every few years; but the knowledge, memory, accumulating intelligence, and soul of this great corporate body, which constitutes its individuality and life, lives on and on, until the world grows old and night descends. [World Corporation p 94-6, bold mine] Such a remarkable, even brilliant madness! Remarkable for its sincere speculation whose proto-science-fictional weirdness cannot but seem startling even today. Brilliant for the lucidity of its foresight concerning the plasticity of phenomenological coordination, and the possibility of a massive ‗re-wiring‘ of the human mind from its discrete limitation into a massively integrated
system – a possibility which now appears not only evident, but manifest with the appearance and progression of the Cloud. Nonetheless, Gillette again betrays his industrial context in his conflation of coordination with control, or what is also known as the anthropic delusion of mastery, or the classical theory of technology. Gillette unsurprisingly holds the view that the coordination of a system is necessarily top-down, driven by an organizing center that reduces its periphery to the carriers of its program. Intelligence is, for Gillette, more than the capacity to find the most efficient and rational means of accomplishing a task, but simultaneously the capacity to assign a task or motive, a final cause or telos, which acts as the locus around which means are organized. Control is thus the capacity to subsume a region of existence under a motive power, or to warp the space of actuality by way of a hypothetical or virtual point whose gravity draws everything within range toward it. Yet this is not the only form of coordination, nor is it primary. Nature itself has no motive or telos, but is drift itself. Out of infinite drift, trajectories can randomly coagulate into unintentional or accidental processes of organization, which, given sufficient cases, can express the small but real probability that massive complexity can derive from aimless ‗trial and error‘. This is of course the great lesson of Darwinian evolution. Moreover, processes of centralized or intentional systems can only arrive as distant descendants of originary accidental organizations, and hence belong to the latter as a sub-class. What, from the prerogative of ‗intelligence‘ looks like the expression of a free and autonomous will is in fact only a pretense serving as the occasional expression of an encompassing accidental drift. Centers of intelligence become decentered, reconceived as local catalysts embedded in a universal drift. Due to his high-industrial prerogative on control, Gillette could not but place the corporation – the paradigm of control disembodied, abstracted from its human avatars and allowed to assemble a new body for itself – at the center of his utopian vision. Remarkably, he poses corporatism against capitalism, rather than recognizing in the former capitalism tout court. For Gillette, market forces and competition were allies of drift and decay, the antithesis of rational organization driven by intelligence, even if society was obliged to pass through this antithesis to attain a finally United Intelligence. Yet capitalism is not identical to competition and the market – it is rather that occult agglomeration of a cancerous dynamic that finally instrumentalizes drift itself in the name of control. No longer fixing control on a substantial goal, capitalism makes the expansion of control by way of drift the only motive force. Hence, the dynamic Gillette describes in which drifting away is also drifting towards does not mark a fundamental break with capitalism, but rather captures its essential dynamic. Gillettte dreamed of a final expulsion of drift from the human condition, and the arrival at a destined fixation that would carry humanity until its final extinction. What he failed to see was the fundamental complicity between corporatism and drift, an oversight caused by his misidentification of capitalism and competition. Competition in the service of control of course can become a bloody and ruthless affair, but the solution is not to purge control of its competitive urges. Rather, the approach should be to free competition from its controlled constriction. Competition without purpose would not seek a brutal domination of competitors, but only an endless perpetuation of itself, its dynamic and the multiplicity of competitors which express it. This sort economy – a market economy distinct from capital’s anti-market economy – would return intelligence to an instrument of drift, sundering its fetishization of control.
Rationality without purpose, or reason-without-reason, becomes a processes of endless experimentation with possible organizations, whose only motive force is to perpetuate experimentation or to unfix every end, to continuously loosen every arrangement. It would amount to a subordination of control to drift, as opposed to capital‘s subordination of drift to control. In this regard, we can see the manner in which Gillette‘s utopian vision falls prey to the same vulgar ambition that Engels so decisively denounced only decades prior, in his Socialism: Utopian and Scientific. Engels regarded the tradition of Utopian Socialism as ultimately doomed for its dependence on the ‗genius‘ of irreconcilable individual visions, whose purely delusional detachment from practical or empirical rigor made choosing amongst them impossible: The Utopians‘ mode of thought has for a long time governed the Socialist ideas of the 19th century, and still governs some of them. Until very recently, all French and English Socialists did homage to it. The earlier German Communism, including that of Weitling, was of the same school. To all these, Socialism is the expression of absolute truth, reason and justice, and has only to be discovered to conquer all the world by virtue of its own power. And as an absolute truth is independent of time, space, and of the historical development of man, it is a mere accident when and where it is discovered. With all this, absolute truth, reason, and justice are different with the founder of each different school. And as each one‘s special kind of absolute truth, reason, and justice is again conditioned by his subjective understanding, his conditions of existence, the measure of his knowledge and his intellectual training, there is no other ending possible in this conflict of absolute truths than that they shall be mutually exclusive of one another. Hence, from this nothing could come but a kind of eclectic, average Socialism, which, as a matter of fact, has up to the present time dominated the minds of most of the socialist workers in France and England. Hence, a mish-mash allowing of the most manifold shades of opinion: a mish-mash of such critical statements, economic theories, pictures of future society by the founders of different sects, as excite a minimum of opposition; a mish-mash which is the more easily brewed the more definite sharp edges of the individual constituents are rubbed down in the stream of debate, like rounded pebbles in a brook. [bold mine] The comical contestation of ‗absolute truths‘ was futile not only for its solipsistic immersion in pure theory, without regard to its actual implementation, but due to its lack of theoretical rigor as well. For Engels, theory must be dialectical, meaning absolute truth is inseparable from its emergence within practical, material instantiation. There was no pure, intellectual intuition by way of which one could access the true, ideal organization of society, because the emergence of this organization is inseparable from the process by which it is implemented. There is no finally achieved perfect society which we must envision, enshrine as telos, and then install as the motive force around which the means of actualization are organized. Rather, man’s existence cannot be subordinated to the ideal deduced by pure reason alone, as the latter becomes a purely contingent effect produced by the material processes in which the former is embedded. The idealist vision of social progress would thereby give way to a scientific vision: ―now a materialistic treatment of history was propounded, and a method found of explaining man‘s ‗knowing‘ by his ‗being‘, instead of, as heretofore, his ‗being‘ by his ‗knowing‘.‖ Instead of fixing socialism as an a priori utopian ideal, the former can only be the contingent outcome of the concrete struggle to resolve the antagonisms that exposed society to drift and decay. There is no way of deducing what the ideal society will be, and then of simply figuring
out how to attain it. Rather, there is no ideal that is not generated as the concrete product of actual, material struggle – in other words, socialism would be inseparable from the process by which it is realized, and as Engels says with Marx in The German Ideology, ―Communism is for us not a state of affairs which is to be established, an ideal to which reality [will] have to adjust itself. We call communism the real movement which abolishes the present state of things. The conditions of this movement result from the premises now in existence.‖
Thus, while Gillette‘s corporate utopia, in which human beings are reduced to the material extension of corporate intelligence, may appear similar to Engels‘s infamous endorsement of the ‗administration of things‘ that would replace government, there is a crucial difference. For Gillette, there remains an essential dichotomy between the corporate intelligence as center of control, and its material body composed of the ‗things‘ that were once part of integrated human individuals. Yet for Engels, the administration of things can only emerge once control has fully consumed itself: When, at last, [the State] becomes the real representative of the whole of society, it renders itself unnecessary. As soon as there is no longer any social class to be held in subjection; as soon as class rule, and the individual struggle for existence based upon our present anarchy in production, with the collisions and excesses arising from these, are removed, nothing more remains to be repressed, and a special repressive force, a State, is no longer necessary. The first act by virtue of which the State really constitutes itself the representative of the whole of society — the taking possession of the means of production in the name of society — this is, at the same time, its last independent act as a State. State interference in social relations becomes, in one domain after another, superfluous, and then dies out of itself; the government of persons is
replaced by the administration of things, and by the conduct of processes of production. The State is not “abolished”. It dies out. [bold mine] Gillette envisioned drift as a self-cancelling process, in which the eclipsing of control by accelerating drift would finally culminate in a total dissemination, at which point drift becomes terminally extended or taut, slowing to total rest and revealing drifting-away as always already a drifting-toward, finally attained in the complete consolidation of control bereft of its division by competition (or the drift internal to the expression of intelligence, splitting it against itself). Once drift is maximally extended, competition is totally resolved and materiality is left inert, having dispelled its aberrant resistance to consolidation in toto. Engels held an almost symmetrically opposed view. He foresaw control as the self-cancelling process: control was always sustained by the minimal maintenance of a segment of society with ‗no place‘ within the rational ‗totality‘ of organized means. Once control – exemplified in the State – completely encompassed society, representing the real totality of interests, the essentially antagonistic character of this totality could no longer be denied. While the State was ostensibly that which fixed as telos the ideal or rational interest of the whole of society, the fact was that there was no such all-encompassing rational interest. Rather, taken to the extreme, the rational interests of the different classes were essentially contradictory and hence irreconcilable – in short, there was no encompassing interest, no ideal purpose, and the only way to resolve the antagonistic ends of the different classes was to dissolve the entire social organization in which classes were so constituted. By finally forcing the State to explicitly confront this antagonism, this impossibility of reconciliation, this recognition of that control would ceaselessly produce a surplus of resistance or drift that could never be integrated, the State as control in the flesh would consume itself and fall lifelessly into the unintentional drift of material processes. At this point, the administration of things reveals itself as the immanent or accidental coordination of material processes freed from their subordination to control. The administration of things does not mean the administration of things by people, but the administration of things – now including people as totally resolved into their material infrastructure or identity with cosmic drift – by themselves, a sort of acephalous and undirected administration. Yet Engel‘s vision is no less problematic than Gillette‘s, a fact belied by their ultimate symmetry. The problem with Engels is a paralyzing incompletion, a failure to describe the dynamic between control and drift as more than abstract negation. Even if scientific socialism refuses to provide a substantial vision of the ideal for which it strives, it nonetheless defines this ideal abstractly as the absence of control, or as its total immanentization as the ‗natural‘ control of things by things. This empty ideal ultimately proved even more dangerous than the predicted clamour of absolutes that would arise from utopian socialism in practice, culminating in the terrifying death march of Sovietism, first with Stalin‘s purges, then with Mao‘s Cultural Revolution. In both cases, the empty locus of communism motivated what Badiou calls the destructive passion for the real, the drive to peel away every superficial layer of reality in an attempt to reach the ideal core they obfuscated…which only ever found the fragments of a ruined world where utopia was expected.
In short, Engels erred in maintaining total immaentization as the purpose or motive force which should finally organize manâ€˜s liberation from himself. He erected immanetization itself as the transcendent ideal prescribing a meta-control in the name of undoing control, and so no matter how vigorously the state attempted to totally encompass society, it was only ever society that whithered away, leaving an increasingly obsessive and paranoid State. The State refused to die out because the pure form of this death as imperative required the maintenance of control to sustain its prescriptive valence, otherwise any number of other forces could step in to fill the vacuum with a new imperative and a new control. Socialism, which was conceived as an essentially intermediary stage preceding total liberation, could not be scientific, because it necessarily preserved the form of prescription, even while refusing to assign it any content. Science cannot decide a priori what its outcome will be; it cannot prescribe any outcome, it can only make tentative predictions. Science is not an intermediary preceding some imagined culmination or completion, it is not instrumentalized in the name of total self-transparency. Science is, on the contrary, the intermediary itself once it no longer requires any fixation by the end. Science has no goal but to continue doing science, to continue theorizing and experimenting â€“ and experimentation is really only theory externalized, cognition no longer restricted to an individual brain, but distributed into the things themselves. To call this a goal is wrong, because it is already achieved; to call it a purpose is vulgar, because it does not pretend to justify itself, it simply carries on without justification.
Scientific socialism is oxymoronic, because socialism is always the anticipation of communism, or the total resolution of social antagonisms. Socialism maintains the empty form of prescription, even while refusing to speculate on its content. What would be needed is the theoretical inventiveness of the utopian socialists, but without pretense of absolute fixation; a utopian speculation totally submitted to an ethic of experimental immanentization; a utopia that locates itself in the endless passage toward its own ungrounding, or the total submission to drift and decay. Utopia as the unbinding of every normative fixation in the name of the complete resolution of practice into experiment without end: scientific utopianism. A society born of the decaying corpse of a state that does not cleanly wither away, persisting as a laboratory for experimental heresy, a putre-factory producing temporary futures from the ruins of a dead world.
King Cam Gillette, â€œWorld Corporationâ€? (1910) METROPOLIS. "WOULD CORPORATION" must gradually centralize the divided manufacturing industries of North America at one centre. This is not a question for argument, but a fact. There may be industries, which, because of their peculiar nature and requirements as to climatic conditions and environment, must be located at points best adapted to their needs; but of such there will be few when compared with the great mass of industries that will gravitate to one centre. The same law which centralizes and brings together the scattered parts of a particular industry when brought under Corporate Control, applies to the centralization of all plants of industry when brought under control of "WORLD CORPORATION." This means the building of a central city, for we cannot maintain and keep intact the present cities and towns if we withdraw from them the present manufacturing industries and the scattered farming interests which are the very foundation of their existence. There will be ports of entry in various parts of the world, and beautiful cities for rest, recreation, health, and pleasure, wherever the natural surroundings and climatic conditions are an attraction; but the real home of the people will be where the activities of life and the seat of learning are centred. Scattered cities and towns are parts of a competitive system, and, like scattered plants of industry, they are wasteful and cannot be retained under a corporate system. When manufacturing begins to centralize and the control of the agricultural field and field of raw production come under the direction of the Corporate Mind, the people will begin to gravitate to the industrial centre and the great Metropolis will be born. Acquisition of the agricultural field and its organization will be in direct line with control of manufacturing, and organization, or army methods, in the field of agriculture will take the place of the present divided system, movements of these organized bodies being directed from the Central City. This means the depopulation of all cities and towns that are dependent on, and tributary to, fanning sections.
Thus scattered cities and towns will disappear, for there are very few buildings in America that will long survive after they are deserted. When we speak of ninety per cent waste, it will be better understood when centralization of the people and industry by Corporation, into one or a few cities, is considered in contrast with the maintenance of fifty thousand cities, towns, and villages scattered over the continent, which entails so much waste of energy in keeping them in repair and in the handling and distribution of products. Ninety per cent of our present industrial plant is tributary growth that contributes nothing to actual necessary industry, but multiplies the cost of necessary products to consumers ten times. In this plant, consisting of thousands of cities and towns and millions of small stores, factories, mills, and workshops, there is no co-ordination of parts, no predetermined purpose, and each individual is a go-as-you-please entity. It must be so under a competitive system, for there is nothing to hold people together, no means of determining the wants of the people or supplying such wants: in consequence of this, our whole industrial system is chaos. It was not the Author's intention to attempt a picture of "WORLD CORPORATION" as it might be when the people had attained control of the world's assets, and the rearrangement of the machine of industry had begun. His reason for not desiring to do so was because it would be a speculative individual idea, and give an opening for unfair criticism, and, again, because a single intelligence cannot grasp or picture by words, even in faint degree, the possibilities of a World Corporate Mind. A World's Fair is the co-operation of Nations, States, Cities, and Individuals for the purpose of representing man's intellectual and material progress. The whole is carried forward on a cooperative plan, by which all parts are blended together in harmonious relation, the idea aimed at being to centralize and show in miniature the progress man has made in the arts, sciences, mechanics, and invention, thereby disseminating knowledge to the mass of individuals, and raising the general average of intelligence. Individual exhibitors undoubtedly have the ulterior motive of private gain in thus bringing before the visiting public their products; but the exhibition, as a whole, is educational and impersonal, and carried forward upon the supposition that it will promote progress. The White City in Chicago in 189S was materialized into life from a Corporate Mind, made up of a few individual minds. Though designed for temporary purpose and constructed of wood and plaster, it was a wonderful conception of architecture, art, and beauty that brings forcibly to mind the possibilities of a World Corporate Mind building a city and home for the people,窶馬ot a city of wood and plaster for temporary use, but a city built for permanency and made beautiful because it was to be the home of the people. Our present knowledge and our present tools are all we need to build a city to accommodate all the people on this continent, that would be beyond the imagination of any mind in the world; for such a city would embody the best imaginings and ideals of millions of people working in harmony with a common purpose in view. Such a city would draw upon all the science, art, and engineering talent of the world, and the knowledge accumulated would be sifted and refined by the Corporate Mind, adopting always the best, until the city as a whole and in every minute detail combined the most progressive ideas of man. Every building, for whatever purpose designed, would be a sparkling gem set in a diadem of
gems, each standing alone, separate and distinct, an exponent of architectural progress and artistic beauty. As I see these buildings, they are small cities in themselves, accommodating in comfort and happiness thousands of individuals, containing all the conveniences and luxuries of the most advanced conception of home life, but with the absence of that part of home life which entails care, worry, and anxiety. FOOD OF EVERT KIND, SCIENTIFICALLY PREPARED AND SERVED, WOULD BE A PART OF THE INDUSTRIAL SYSTEM OF "WORLD CORPORATION," AND ALL THE LABOR INCIDENT THERETO WOULD BE SUPPLIED AND MAINTAINED BY "WORLD CORPORATION" UNDER ITS GENERAL SYSTEM OF LABOR ALREADY DESCRIBED. The building of such a city is simply the extension of the same economic idea that induces a manufacturer to abandon a badly located, old, worn-out plant, machinery and build- ings, and build a modern, up-to-date plant in a good location. It may seem like a waste to abandon the old plant, but in reality it is a great gain. In New York City at the present time a new municipal building is being constructed which, it is said, will accommodate eight thousand people in its offices. This building is built by the co-operative effort of the people and paid for by the people. What it is possible for the people to do through its municipal government in New York for accommodating eight thousand employees, it is possible for the people to do in the building of home structures under "WORLD CORPORATION." It would only take ten thousand buildings, holding ten thousand people each, to accommodate one hundred million people. Under our present system it requires 50,000 scattered cities, towns, and villages to accomomodate between eighty and ninety million. If the reader will contrast the economic, mechanical, and sanitary perfection of a building holding ten thousand people such as described, with a town of ten thousand population, under the present system, he will get some idea of the wonderful utility and economy of the system proposed. Then, if he will contrast the economic perfection of a city containing ten thousand of these perfect buildings and their possible automatic and mechanical system of distribution, with the scattered fifty thousand cities and towns and their intricate system of distribution, he will be able to understand some of the ninety per cent. loss under competition.
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Would it not be worth while, even to the wealthy class, to give up time and money in order to forward the building of this city? Would it not be a period of interest in the history of the world that would make the blood race through one's veins with pleasure and excitement,â€”a period in advance of all past periods and in advance of any period of the future, because it would mark a turning point in the history of man? To see this city rise like a beautiful picture sentient with life, reflecting the very essence of progress in its embodiment would make life worth living. As I see this city, it radiates in all directions from a centre,â€”the great "WORLD CORPORATE CONGRESS." Around this great Congressional Building, but distant from it, would be the circle of Administration Buildings, each Administration Building specializing one of the great divisions of indufiiy. The next circle wcJJ contain the great Chemical Laboratories and buildings of Technical and Experimental Science and Research, which would cover every field of human endeavor in its effort to understand nature, nature's laws, and the combinations of material substances and their relation to each other.
Plan of Building shown by the Author of â€œThe Human Driftâ€? Published in 1894.
The next circle would be the great Manufacturing Industries; then the circle of Warehouses of the people, for there would be no stores; then Educational Buildings, Art Buildings, Museums, Nurseries, etc.; then the homes of the people radiating outward in every direction. This construction of a city permits of a most economic system of transportation from any part to the centre/where all the activities of the people are located, also for convenient distribution of products outward from the centre to the great home buildings. The water, sewage, and transportation systems BHOUUD BE ABOVE GROUND, and means provided for the protection of individuals from weather or climatic conditions, when moving from one part of the city to another. Both of these objects could be met by the construction of two open chambers throughout the length and breadth of the city, the lower chamber to be used for the water system, sewage system, electric wires, and the transportation system; the upper would, be the means of intercommunication of the people in moving from building to building or throughout the dty. The transportation system of the lower chamber would provide the means of distribution of incoming raw materials to the mills and factories, the incoming products of consumption, and the systems whereby food and other products were distributed to residential buildings of the city. All parts of this city would be lighted, heated, and its machinery, elevators, and transportation systems operated by electricity from a central power plant. The upper or outdoor platform above the chambers would have depressions or pits made of steel and lined with concrete supported on steel foundations. These depressions would take up all the outdoor space between buildings, except such as was utilized for walks and roadways,
and, in many instances, be several acres in extent, at least ten feet in depth, and filled with prepared earth. The whole outdoor part of the upper platform would thus be made into a beautiful park system with avenues, roads, and walks lined with trees, and lawns made into gardens dotted with beds of flowering plants and shrubs. In this park system would be the buildings of the city, each standing separate and apart in its setting of nature, a gem of architecture and art. These homes of the people would be real homes, not hotels or apartments as we understand such, and would combine everything for comfort, economy, convenience, and freedom from care that a Corporate Intelligence could think of. Light, air, and roomy expanse would be the first consideration, and their only likeness to our modem apartments would be that individual homes would be parts of vast structures operated on the plan of most advanced modem hotel methods, the service throughout being maintained as a department of the "AUTOMATIC LABOR SYSTEM." The location selected by the Author for this city is that portion of the United States and Canada surrounding Niagara Falls, for there does not appear another spot in the world so well adapted to a large and increasing population. Such a city requires an inexhaustible supply of pure water, and we have it here in the great Watershed that feeds Lakes Superior, Michigan, Huron, and Erie, whose waters find their outlet over Niagara Falls into Lake Ontario,â€”330 feet below Lake Erie,â€”and from Lake Ontario to the Ocean by way of St. Lawrence Kiver. By striking a circle at Buffalo of forty miles radius, as shown on the accompanying map, a territory is outlined that is perfectly adapted to the needs of a great city: first, because the water supply is inexhaustible, and flows uncontaminated from the Great Lakes; second, because the city lies from one to three hundred feet above Lake Ontario, which would give a perfect system of drainage and sawage; and, third, because the difference between the level of Lake Erie and the level of Lake Ontario is 330 feet. The difference in level of these two lakes and the amount of water now passing through Niagara River means millions of horse power, every pound of which could be harnessed and used in the great city. The plan proposed is to direct the water of the four upper lakes in its course to Lake Ontario (now forming Niagara River) through canals or conduits across the narrow neck of land lying between Lake Erie and Lake Ontario, which is 20 to 25 miles wide. Welland Canal is now operated across this neck by a series of locks. Water directed through canals or series of conduits would utilize the power of the water now going through Niagara River, and even the water used in the city for domestic purposes would render up a tribute of hundreds of thousands of horse power in its discharge as sewage or waste into Lake Ontario. How long would it take to build the city, and could we afford to build it? These questions are important, but the answers are dependent uponhow much embellishment we are willing to dispense with, in order to save time and labor. It could not be expected that we should arrive at as beautiful a concept in attempting to do the work in a few years that should have taken a hundred. If we sacrifice embellishment to a future time and content ourselves with putting up steel and reinforced concrete structures, we could put up ten thousand buildings for the homes of one hundred million people, in ten years at most. To put up as many such buildings per year as we desired, would simply mean a multiplication of the labor and material used in erecting the new municipal building in New York. One thousand structures per year would give us ten thousand
in ten years, and these would accommodate one hundred million people.
It should be possible to erect one of these buildings in a year with five thousand workmen. If so,
it would require five million workmen to complete one thousand buildings per year, and t years to complete ten thousand, sufficient to care for one hundred million people. In addition to this it might take five million more workmen during that period to erect the Hall of Congress, the Administration Buildings, Departments of Industry, Educational Buildings, Manufacturing Establishments, Power System, Transportation, Telegraph, Telephone System, Lighting, Water Supply, Sewage Systems, etc. In considering question of cost, it is not necessary to figure in dollars, but in labor; for we would have millions of men to employ who are now non-producers. It would cost no more to supply these millions of men with food, clothing, and habitation than it does now. It would simply mean that labor in building the city and its industrial buildings would be paid for in dollars or units of labor, or in shares of "WORLD CORPORATION," AND THESE WOULD TAKE THE PLACE OF THE DOLLARS NOW BEING PAID TO PEOPLE IN TJNPRODUCTIVE CHANNELS. In one case you would have at the end of ten years the most beautiful city and industrial plant the world has ever seen. On the other hand, you must pay out the same money to a non-producing class, and at the end of ten years your money is spent and nothing to show for it, except an aggravated picture of the Hell we are now living in.
utopia socialista-corporações económicas