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The world is agreed that labor is the source from which human wants are mainly supplied. There is no dispute upon this point. From this point, however, men immediately diverge. Much disputation is maintained as to the best way of applying and controlling the labor element. By some it is assumed that labor is available only in connection with capital -- that nobody labors, unless somebody else, owning capital, somehow, by the use of that capital, induces him to do it. Having assumed this, they proceed to consider whether it is best that capital shall hire laborers, and thus induce them to work by their own consent; or buy them, and drive them to it without their consent. Having proceeded so far they naturally conclude that all laborers are necessarily either hired laborers, or slaves. They further assume that whoever is once a hired laborer, is fatally fixed in that condition for life; and thence again that his condition is as bad as, or worse than that of a slave. This is the "mud-sill" theory. ... By the "mud-sill" theory it is assumed that labor and education are incompatible; and any practical combination of them impossible. According to that theory, a blind horse upon a tread-mill, is a perfect illustration of what a laborer should be -- all the better for being blind, that he could not tread out of place, or kick understandingly. According to that theory, the education of laborers, is not only useless, but pernicious, and dangerous. In fact, it is, in some sort, deemed a misfortune that laborers should have heads at all. Abraham Lincoln

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The world is agreed that labor is the source from which human wants are mainly supplied There is no dispute upon this point From this point however men immediately diverge Much disputation is maintained as to the best way of applying and controlling the labor element By some it is assumed that labor is available only in connection with capital that nobody labors unless somebody else owning capital somehow by the use of that capital induces him to do it Having assumed this they proceed to consider whether it is best that capital shall hire laborers and thus induce them to work by their own consent or buy them and drive them to it without their consent Having proceeded so far they naturally conclude that all laborers are necessarily either hired laborers or slaves They further assume that whoever is once a hired laborer is fatally fixed in that condition for life and thence again that his condition is as bad as or worse than that of a slave This is the "mud sill" theory By the "mud sill" theory it is assumed that labor and education are incompatible and any practical combination of them impossible According to that theory a blind horse upon a tread mill is a perfect illustration of what a laborer should be all the better for being blind that he could not tread out of place or kick understandingly According to that theory the education of laborers is not only useless but pernicious and dangerous In fact it is in some sort deemed a misfortune that laborers should have heads at all Abraham Lincoln

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