« ForrigeFortsæt »
to get around a statute, or give him advice which is immoral or CHAP. . anti-social in its tendency. Aside from the reputation of satisfying his patrons, he has no legitimate way of bringing his merits to the attention of the public other than scholarly activity in his profession or free work for needy individuals or for the community.
The electoral canvass is a species of competition and with the and by growth of popular government has come a need of defining what Laws constitutes improper electioneering. Vote buying, personation, treating voters, betting in order to influence an election, deceiving illiterate voters, contributing to churches or charitable institutions during a campaign, providing conveyances for voters, forging campaign literature, publishing false statements of the withdrawal of candidates, keeping electors from the polls, intimidating electors, influencing employees — these and other pernicious practices of political contestants have been prohibited either because they drive good men out of politics or because they enable a minority candidate to win. In our time we have seen a great clarification of the citizen's The Spolls
System mind as to the proper basis of competition for appointive office. versus Long ago nepotism fell into bad, odor. Then patronage, the System of right of private irresponsible individuals to name office holders, Baltic came under a cloud. Afterward was challenged the awarding Servants of offices for party work or party contributions, or on the promise of such contributions. The merit system of recruiting civil servants, under which applicants are rated according to training, experience, and proficiency, as revealed by examination, raises the plane of competition and improves the quality of office-holders. Many who aspired under the spoils system now have no prospect and many who formerly had no prospect now aspire. The superiority of trained intelligence over party work as a qualification for office-holding measures the improvement brought by the merit system. Since organization is growing like Jonah's gourd, it becomes a
Basis Shah matter of great moment on what basis promotion shall be made. Promotion
B. Made? In private business the superior, on account of his presumed personal interest in the success of the enterprise, has generally been free to promote whom he would. But in large concerns, where the superior is often a salaried man and not financially interested, his choice is likely to be affected by family, social standing
as a Basis
and personal liking. Here, as in the public service, “ free proXVI
motion” often gives the relative, the fawner or the wire-puller the advantage over the modest man of worth. On the other hand, where, as in church or university, promotion goes by group
or collegiate choice, there is less chance for " influence." Seniority The great rival principle is that of seniority. This is simple for Pro. and certain and leaves no room for favoritism and prejudice. It
prevails in nearly all armies and navies, because the officers are not greatly dissimilar in ability and training, while length of experience is of great importance. Its principal merit, however, is that it insures that the loyalty and obedience of subordinates shall not be impaired by the jealousies and resentments which spring up like devil grass when promotion appears to be arbitrary. In the civil service, it has less place, but it finds favor with all unions of government employees because more complicated systems lend themselves to manipulation. American railroads after futile attempts to instal a system of efficiency ratings have been forced by the organizations of their employees to
promote on the seniority principle. Its Good Points and The great merit of the principle is that, being automatic, it not Bad Points only eliminates such improper motives of promotion as personal
favor, family influence and political “pull,” but it excludes the suspicions and heart-burnings which so undermine the morale of an organization. On the other hand, it is a deadening principle. Not only is the oldest man in point of service not necessarily the most efficient, but, by checking competition for promotion, it takes away one incentive for acquiring efficiency. Furthermore, by putting age in the saddle, it subjects society to the reign of blind conservatism. The open-mindedness, enthusiasm, and decision of young men are needed to break the crust of custom continually forming in society. Under a system of promotion by seniority only rarely is it possible for a young man to attain to a respon
sible position. Efficiency
We see therefore that seniority is status and the negation of a Basis competition. “Free promotion” is competitive, but unfair in
so far as advancement turns on irrelevant things such as favor and influence. Everywhere, therefore, the attempt is being made to work out some scheme of efficiency ratings by which the employee makes as he goes along the record on which one day will be decided whether he or another shall be advanced to greater
responsibility or reward. During the World War our army and
CHAP. navy sought to base promotion upon the frequent and detailed reports of superior officers as to the professional zeal, ability and attainments of their subordinates. The method of rating merit is too technical a matter to go into here, but it is agreed by all that it is possible to promote on a basis which will stimulate efficiency yet work to the satisfaction of the force.
May rival colleges in their circulars make invidious compari- Where sons? May the theatre owner with propriety call the public's Line Be
Drawn Beattention to the greater fire risk of a rival place of amusement ? Is it " hitting below the belt" for a baking powder manufacturer Proper in advertising to cast doubt on the wholesomeness of other proper
Methods of brands? Is it " foul" for an applicant to submit truthful matter Competireflecting on the qualifications or worthiness of another appli
tion? cant? May the Protestant and the Catholic clergy proselytize from each other, or shall they confine themselves to winning the anchurched? While evidence as to comparative merit is always pertinent, the judgment of a competitor is so subject to bias that invidious comparisons by him should be ruled out. Generally * war to the knife" between rivals proves ruinous to both good morals and good manners.
The general principle to follow in drawing the line between The Prin. proper and improper methods of competition is relevancy. Men Relevancy have a just horror of " political influence" in official circles, but Jo not object to learned bodies and institutions being heard from when it comes to filling an important post calling for technical knowledge. Their influence is relevant to the problem. The physician may not advertise, for self-laudation in print is irrelesent to merit. Vot so is his appointment as lecturer in the facwly of the local medical college. It is relevant for preparatory schools to list the institutions which admit their graduates on certificate and to call attention to the performance of these gradua:es in college and university. Boastful comparisons are irreletant to the competition of religious denominations, which ought rater to be decided by the type of character which they produce is their members. The awarding of public office on the basis of Services to the political party is intolerable, because party work
irreletant to the successful conduct of the office.
In other words, we resent a success won by some other prowess than the one called for. We are disgusted by the fight that
" foot-race" and by the foot-race that becomes a fight, by the slugging match that becomes a joint debate and the joint debate that becomes a slugging match. We resent that social tact irrespective of scholarship should govern a university appointment and equally that scholarship irrespective of social tact should govern a diplomatic appointment.
COMPETITION AND MORALS
Does Com. petition
It depends chiefly upon the kind of practices tolerated whether Demoral- or not a competition will lower those who take part. If paid ize Those Who Take puffery, kowtowing, assurance, blowing your own trumpet, fe
male influence and such like regularly win, then the field will be abandoned by every one who will not stoop to such methods. The greater the number of attractive fields in which such methods prevail, the greater the proportion of ambitious young people who will relinquish their high standards and sink to a lower moral level. It is of little avail for parents to plant moral scruples in their children if in many of the alluring arenas of competition success is seen going to the tricky and ingratiating. Let clergymen take note that raising the plane of competition may accom
plish quite as much in saving souls as successful evangelism. Raising
In the early frontier communities and in certain isolated Amerthe Plane of Com
ican communities to-day biting and gouging are accepted methods petition
of fighting. In earlier American political contests, “ rough-andtumble” was the rule, while rival newspapers resorted to a scurrility now unknown. In old societies on the other hand the recognized forms of competition are hemmed in by standards, so that in most arenas honorable young men may compete without losing their self-respect. The rearing of a ring fence about every competition indicating just what is and what is not permitted is a moral achievement which takes time. These restraints originate with the better element in society, the capable, the sensitive, the high-spirited, in a word, with the élite, and only slowly do they find one another out and arrive at a consensus. No young society has such restraints any more than it has mossy manses and ivy-clad church towers.
COMPETITION AND SYMPATHY
Some assume that competition regularly begets ill-will and imagine that medieval society with its fixed strata knew more contentment and good feeling than modern society. The fact is,
XVI there is no fatal connection between competition and hostility. In a society like ours, where any man may try to be anything, there will be much disappointment but not necessarily much hard feeling A graduate of a law school joins the bar of a town with a score of lawyers. At the end of a year or two he may have to give up the law, but very likely he cannot hold any particular competitor responsible for his shipwreck. So it is with business men. The failure realizes he has been eliminated by general conditions rather than by a rival. Even when the loser of a competition knows the winner he need competi:
Need not hate him, provided that the competition has taken place under Not Engen.
der III-wi reasonable rules, which have been loyally observed. Bitterness there will be when one believes that the rules have not been lived up to by one's rivals or that one is the victim of malicious discrimination. In large organizations there will be bad blood if it is suspected that favor governs promotions. If, on the other hand, the patently efficient man is promoted, the congratulations and good will of his competitors may go with him as he rises. In the field of college sports the most intense rivalry to “make the team" will not generate personal bitterness provided that the coach is competent. In case justice rules the competitive struggie, people like the British and the Americans, who have absorbed much of the spirit of sportsmanship, will attribute their failures to something in themselves. But no little envy and ill-will attend personal rivalries among peoples like the Poles, the Italians or the South Americans, who inherit an ideal of sensitive aristocratic pride and have little experience of competitive sports.
THE LIMITS TO COMPETITION In Japan the code of the jinrikisha men forbids one runner to Limits to
Competi pass by another going in the same direction. The young and tion in
Japan srong runner is not to dash past the old and feeble runner lest the latter be so much the sooner eliminated from the calling. When you have had a house built in Japan you have entered into a relation which cannot lightly be broken off. Whatever repairs mr.ay be needed during the life of the house must be arranged for with your builder, never with anybody else. None but he has the righ to send for the plasterer, the roofer, the tinsmith. So is it with a garden. The maker looks after it season after season and