In the choice of all economic essays I have been guided by the advice of my colleague, Professor F. Fairchild, a fellow-student under Sumner and a fellow-admirer of his character and career. It is the once-famous lecture on “The Forgotten Man,” and is here printed for the first time.
When “War and Other Essays” was being prepared, we had no knowledge of the existence of this manuscript lecture; and, in order to bring into what we supposed was to be a one-volume collection this character-creation of Sumner's, one often alluded to in modern writings, we reprinted two chapters from “What Social Classes Owe to Each Other.” It has been found impracticable in later reprintings of Vol.
I have not troubled myself to keep or to throw off scientific or professional dignity.
I have tried to make my point as directly and effectively as I could for the readers whom I address, ., the intelligent voters of all degrees of general culture, who need to have it explained to them what protectionism is and how it works.
As one surveys, through these volumes of essays, the various phases of scholarly and literary activity of their author, and then recalls the teaching, both extensive and intensive, done by him with such unremitting devotion to what he regarded as his first duty — and when one thinks, yet again, of his labors in connection with college and university administration, with the Connecticut State Board of Education, and in other lines — it is hard to understand where one man got the time, with all his ability and energy, to accomplish all this.
In the presence of evidence of such incessant and unswerving industry, scarcely interrupted by the ill-health that overtook Sumner at about the age of fifty, an ordinary person feels a sense of oppression and of bewilderment, and is almost willing to subscribe to the old, hopeless tradition that “there were giants in those days.” In the preparation of this set of books the editor has been constantly sustained and encouraged by the interest and sympathy of the woman who stood by the author's side through life, and to whom anything that had to do with the preservation of his memory was thereby just, perfect, and altogether praiseworthy.In so far as classification is possible, under the circumstances, it is made by way of the index. As conveying his estimate of protectionism, it is only fitting that his little book on “The -Ism which teaches that Waste makes Wealth” should be recalled from an obscurity that it does not deserve; it is typical of the author's most vigorous period and witnesses to the acerbity of a former issue that may recur. I do not need to thank either of these men, for what they did was a labor of gratitude and love.In default of a single, comprehensive companion-piece in the field of finance, and one making as interesting reading, it has been necessary to confine selection to several rather brief articles, most of them dating from the campaign of 1896. The title essay will be found at the end of the volume.These manuscripts, as left, represent no more than a preliminary survey of a wide field, together with more elaborately worked out chartings of sections of that field.The author planned to re-write the whole in the light of “Folkways.” The continuation, modification, and completion of this enterprise, in something approaching the form contemplated by its author, must needs be, if at all possible, a long task.I have therefore pushed the controversy just as hard as I could, and have used plain language, just as I have always done before in what I have written on this subject.I must therefore forego the hope that I have given any more pleasure now than formerly to the advocates of protectionism.Protectionism seems to me to deserve only contempt and scorn, satire and ridicule.It is such an arrant piece of economic quackery, and it masquerades under such an affectation of learning and philosophy, that it ought to be treated as other quackeries are treated.And it is now the purpose of the publishers to form of these singly issued volumes a set of four, numbered in the order of their issue. Davie; and are but a part of the service he has performed in the interest of an intellectual master whom he could know only through the printed word and the medium of another man.Since the series could not have been planned as such at the outset, this purpose is in the nature of an after-thought; and there is therefore no general organization or systematic classification by volumes. Sumner's dominant interest in political economy, as revealed in his teaching and writing, issued in a doughty advocacy of “free trade and hard money,” and involved the relentless exposure of protectionism and of schemes of currency-debasement.