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THE PRINCIPLE 

B BY GEO. L. DILLMAN V V 



THE PRINCIPLE 



THE PRINCIPLE 



SAN FRANCISCO: 

A. M. ROBERTSON 

MCMXXII 




BRUCE BROUGH, PRINTER: SAN FRANCISCO 



FOREWORD 

Somebody, probably Bacon, who has been 
blamed with many things, including Shake- 
speare, said "Principles are reached by in- 
duction" Some may be. It is also submitted 
that they may arrive another way. The induc- 
tion method is not in accord with the story of 
Newton, the apple and the Law of Gravity. 
Accident and inspiration may at times be 
credited. 

Principles must stand the test of induction. 
Any fact in contradiction will upset any 
alleged principle. "The Principle" here 
formulated did not arrive as a result of con- 
sistent study. It came out of a clear sky. This 
is its genesis: 

When I was a young man, I had charge of 
a division of railroad construction. There 
was a dispute with a bridge contractor. Some 
extra work was necessary. If it were my fault, 
it should be estimated and paid for. If it were 
his fault, he should do it at his own expense. So 
far as "The Principle" is concerned, it makes 



941292 



no difference which was right. He appealed 
to my superior, who came and looked into the 
matter, told me that my other work would take 
all my time and that he would send another 
engineer to take charge of that bridging. 

In a day or so the bridge engineer came 
with the usual letter. The last paragraph, how- 
ever, said, "This does not relieve you of any 
responsibility for that bridging." I slept over 
the letter, put the new man to work in the 
morning, as one of my crew. He had charge 
of the bridging, under my direction. That was 
not what the resident engineer had intended, 
nor what the bridge engineer had understood. 
It was what I interpreted the letter to mean. 
The viewpoint does affect the reason. 

The matter was passed up to the resident 
who again came down, hot-foot, to settle the 
thing. My reply to his question was to call his 
attention to the last paragraph of his letter, 
adding, " You can't saddle me with responsi- 
bility and deny me authority to execute it. If 
you take from me all authority, you must 
relieve me of responsibility. 1 ' 

The idea then expressed, with no premedi- 
tation, has grown into this formulation. It 
was good then. Its importance increased (to 



my understanding) for years. Now I know 
it is the most important item of knowledge so 
far formulated by and for the human brute. 

Its presentation has been intermittent, one 
interruption being the World War. It has been 
so well received by well known executives of 
the World that it is now known to be true en- 
tirely aside from my own consciousness. "The 
Principle" will not be copyrighted. I thank the 
many friends who have allowed me to quote 
them. 

Geo. L. Dillman. 

San Francisco, June 1922. 




THE PRINCIPLE 

Authority and Responsibility should 
lie together. 

A^EW understand this. Others partially 
understand it. To some it is so patent 
that the words seem synonymous. 
Yet they are perfectly antithetic. Its im- 
portance lies in: 

1. Its universality, applying to every act 
or failure to act, of every individual, every 
community of individuals, up to nations 
and combinations of nations. 

2. Its practicability, requiring no con- 
census of opinion to operate it. Each indi- 
vidual will operate it to the extent he under- 
stands it. 

3. Its simplicity, being much simpler 



]6 //}'!; JHE PRINCIPLE 

than these or any words in which it can be 
expressed. 

4. Its infallibility. Every accordance is 
right. Every right act is in accord. Every 
violation is wrong. Every mistake, error, 
sin or crime is a violation. Every accordance 
is rewarded. Every violation is punished. 

Bacon says, "Words in all languages are 
commonly false or inadequate marks or 
signs of things and by no means convey just 
and perfect notions." This is a perfect no- 
tion. That reader and writer may be en 
rapport, these definitions are in order: 

Authority is the right to do something. 
The abstract right without the means of 
performance is null. So to the right must be 
added the means of performance. 

The means are various, according to cir- 
cumstances. Tools, strength, money, repu- 
tation, organization, courage, are some of 
them. The potency of any means of perfor- 
mance is enhanced by knowledge of how to 
use them. Without knowledge, authority is 
often unused, misused, perverted. 

So authority is complete when the right 
to act and the means of performance are 



THE PRINCIPLE IJ 

joined to a knowledge of when, where and 
how to use them. 

Authority is naturally desirable. We all 
want to own things, to control things, to 
use things, to do things. An overwhelming 
majority of the human race wants to boss 
the job, no matter what it is. Each and 
every one of these things is right and proper 
when the authority of ownership, control, 
use, performance, is accompanied by the 
corresponding responsibility of possession, 
use, action. Otherwise they are wrong. Au- 
thority includes all that is desirable. There 
is nothing anyone naturally wants that is 
not some form of authority. 

Responsibility is also of various kinds, 
physical, moral, financial, etc. Whatever 
its intimate nature, its general nature is a 
load to be shouldered, a burden to be borne. 

Responsibility is naturally undesirable. It 
is sometimes shirked. Passing-the-buck is a 
common human activity. But it is the price of 
authority. It must be paid or penalty follows. 

The necessary relation of authority and 
responsibility is what this is about. It is 
called "The Principle." 



1 8 THE PRINCIPLE 

Authority and responsibility should lie 
together. Every act in accordance spells 
advance, success. Every act in violation 
spells failure, trouble. Since there is only 
one way to be right and many to be wrong, 
examples of violation are more common 
than examples of accordance. Bacon says, 
"In the raising of axioms, negative in- 
stances have the greater weight." 

Take a man driving a horse. 

1. Horse properly hitched. Man in con- 
trol. Knows how to drive. Safe trip. Author- 
ity and responsibility with man. 

2. Same man, same horse. Man drunk, 
lines break or, in some manner, man loses 
control. Docile horse. Goes home. Avoids 
collisions. Safe trip. Authority and respon- 
sibility with horse. 

3. Same man, same horse, same loss of 
control. Horse gets scared, runs away. Au- 
thority with horse. Responsibility scat- 
tered, with the man, passing vehicles, 
pedestrians. 

4. Same man, same horse, same loss of con- 
trol, passenger. Passenger recovers control. 
Authority and responsibility with passenger. 



THE PRINCIPLE 19 

5. Guest gets rattled, grabs lines, neither 
controls nor allows driver to. Disaster. 

And so on, with an infinite number of 
variations. We are the drivers. We are the 
horses driven. We are passengers. We are 
passers-by. We are cognizant of our abili- 
ties. We are ignorant. We shoulder our 
responsibilities, sometimes help others. We 
butt in. We shirk. We pass the buck. We 
let others butt in to our affairs. 

There is no trouble possible that does not 
come from some violation of "The Princi- 
ple." Generally it comes direct and 
promptly to the violator. It always reaches 
him finally. Violation is all that provokes 
righteous anger. We are angry when it 
affects us and ours. We despise the violator 
when it affects others. 

"The Principle" is a true yardstick to 
measure the meanness or greatness of men, 
singly and collectively, past and present, 
dead and alive. It measures us all. It is the 
one thing that will justify ourselves to our 
own souls. We can't dodge it. Nobody can. 

Since men are judged by their perfor- 
mances, "The Principle" is also a perfect 



2O THE PRINCIPLE 

measure of the greatness or meanness of all 
acts or failures to act. Every clause of 
every treaty or edict or declaration or con- 
stitution or statute since the dawn of his- 
tory can be measured by it, has been right 
or wrong as it accorded with or violated it. 
As one reads history and biography, 
"The Principle" is in evidence in each inci- 
dent, each character; advance and success 
in accordance always; trouble and failure 
in violation, just as certainly. 

"The Principle" is put into operation by 
these three don'ts, which cover every case 
of contact and conduct: 

1. Don't butt in. Butting in is excercising 
some form of authority when you do not 
shoulder the corresponding responsibility. 
If the responsibility lies elsewhere or you 
are unable or unwilling to shoulder it, 
don't butt in. 

2. Don't shirk. Carry your natural or 
acquired responsibilities. Shirking your 
share of a joint load puts extra burden on 
your associates, at times to the breaking 
point. Don't overload yourself. Don't have 
to call for help. You may not get it. The 



THE PRINCIPLE 21 

attempt to accept responsibilities beyond 
one's ability to execute them causes suicides 
and fills our asylums. Don't pass the buck. 
Don't shirk. 

3. Don't let anybody butt into your af- 
fairs. This sounds warlike. It is warlike. It 
is the only justification for war. It's a per- 
fect justification. The individual or the or- 
ganization or the nation that violates this 
"don't" deserves the slavery that ensues. If 
the butter-in is stopped at the beginning, 
there is no resentment on his part. If it is 
allowed to continue a little, the idea of 
vested rights gets into his mind and it is 
harder to stop. If it is allowed to continue, 
it becomes a divine right. That was Ger- 
many's case. The German people were for 
the Government, not the Government for 
the people. 

The line between one's own business and 
the affairs of others is usually very plain. 
There are cases where it is not so plain but 
it is always there. The most important pur- 
pose of education is to enable one to dis- 
cern it, that 'The Principle" may be prop- 
erly applied. 



22 THE PRINCIPLE 

"The Principle" is a Natural Law. To 
the extent we know natural laws, we are 
educated. To the extent we are in accord 
with Natural Laws, we are successful. To 
the extent we violate Natural Laws, we are 
failures. Natural Laws never change. Our 
perceptions change. Our knowledge in- 
creases but Nature's Laws are fixed. 

"The Principle" is a wonderful rule of 
conduct. To-do-or-not-to-do is an every 
day question with everybody, often many 
times a day. The facts examined in the 
light of "The Principle" will give the right 
answer every time. Without it there is often 
much doubt. With it, we make no experi- 
ments, take no chances, run no risks. Any- 
thing that puts authority and responsibility 
together is right. Anything that separates 
them is wrong. There is no other right, no 
other wrong. 

The statements made are so broad it 
hardly seems they can all be true. They are 
true, every one. Truth never clashes with 
other truth. Truth clashes with error and 
errors with each other but no two truths 
are ever contradictory or inconsistent. 



THE PRINCIPLE 2J 

Contradiction is proof that supposed truth 
is not entirely so. Another thing. Truth may 
exist without our perceiving it. If you can 
see "The Principle," it is yours. Don't take 
another's say-so for it. That would be a 
violation of "The Principle" itself. 

Magna Charta, the Edict of Nantes, the 
Declaration of Independence, the Consti- 
tution of the United States, are applica- 
tions of "The Principle." Some of the 
amendments of the last are violations. 
Taxation without representation was a 
violation. We seceded from England 
largely on that account. If we had been 
given representation, we might be a Colony 
of Great Britain today. Our secession un- 
doubtedly helped other British colonies to 
get representation, or their own parlia- 
ments. 

All the sins of commission consist of 
butting in, wielding authority without re- 
sponsibility. All the sins of omission are 
shirking, refusing to wield authority when 
it should be done. AH the sins of slavery, or 
submission, are letting some one else butt 
in to our affairs. 



24 THE PRINCIPLE 

This is a big thing. All principles are big 
things. That's what principle means. Its 
application is co-extensive with human 
activity. It invades the physical world. 
The effect of posting or trussing an arch 
hurts it as an arch. The attempt to make a 
dam tight in more than one place weakens 
the dam, sometimes to destruction. Load- 
ing a bridge beyond its capacity, steam in 
a boiler beyond the strength of its joints, 
current through a wire beyond its capacity 
to carry juice, tension in a rod beyond its 
strength, are all violations of "The Prin- 
ciple," therefore failures. Strength or ca- 
pacity is authority. Load is responsibility. 

To the individual, "The Principle" is a 
safe guide in all performances. A Natural law 
is higher than a man-made law. It is more 
important that it be obeyed. Man-made 
laws change. Natural laws are permanent. 
One may escape detection or, on detection, 
avoid punishment for a breach of man-made 
law. No such immunity exists for violation 
of Natural laws. So the fiction that ignor- 
ance of the law is no excuse has a founda- 
tion jieeper than is*generally considered. 



THE PRINCIPLE 25 

To parents and children "The Principle" 
is most important. When parents are in 
accord, each shouldering their own and 
recognizing the other's responsibilities, con- 
ceding authority for their execution, the 
happiest family is the result. We are not 
far removed from barbarism. Civilization 
is a thin veneer. It was almost rubbed off 
in the World War. In family affairs fre- 
quently one or the other wants to be boss. 
Sometimes both do. When the question is 
settled, if the dominant one carries the 
responsibilities and the other concedes such 
dominance, the result is still a very happy 
combination. When either butts in to the 
other's affairs or shirks their own responsi- 
bilities, the result is friction, trouble, un- 
happiness, divorce. 

In the case of children, growth from in- 
fancy needs "The Principle" at every step. 
Authority may be given as fast and as far 
as responsibility is felt, but never faster. 
The youth given liberty, tools, horses, au- 
tomobiles, money, beyond his feeling of 
responsibility for each of those things, is 
awfully handicapped in life. "The curse of 



26 THE PRINCIPLE 

wealth" and "The blessings of poverty" are 
proverbs arising from ability and inability 
respectively, to violate "The Principle." 

Volumes could be written on applica- 
tions of "The Principle" to politics. A very 
common trouble is our way of campaigning. 
When the elected one comes to office with 
no strings on him, the best results ensue 
with that officer. By pre-election promises, 
party or personal fealty, the officer has ob- 
tained only the responsibility of office, hav- 
ing ceded the authority for the sake of 
election. Then the Civil Service Board 
compel him to work with tools of their, not 
his, selection. The result is less then good. 
He fails, partly or wholly, as a result of 
conditions. One who understands "The 
Principle" will not accept office under those 
conditions. That is the main reason why 
inferior minds clamor for office and men of 
better intelligence refuse to stand for elec- 
tion. The recall is for the elected one, or 
political oblivion or both. If he makes his 
promises good, he ruins his future. If he 
repudiates them, his past is vulnerable. 
The man best fitted to administer an office 



THE PRINCIPLE 27 

is often entirely unfitted to obtain it. The 
people suffer and they should. They curse 
politics and it is their own fault. They 
should not require or allow pre-election 
promises. The man who knows exactly 
what he is going to do in any future case is 
generally a liar anyway. 

If there is any one thing the lay mind 
can understand it is that our Constitution 
contemplated three branches of govern- 
ment, with some checks between, generally 
acting independently, with defined author- 
ity in each case. Whether that is the best 
may be a matter of opinion, but that intent 
is the fact. These are the Legislative, the 
Executive and the Judicial. 

The President, largely through patronage, 
has affected Congress. This began under 
Jackson and has increased until it is now 
fairly complete. The President either dic- 
tates legislation or is consulted about it 
prior to enactment. So the laws of Congress 
are the President's ideas instead of the 
mind of Congress. The President is butting 
in to the extent of such control. It is a 
change in form of Government, a leaning 



28 THE PRINCIPLE 

toward autocracy. It makes no difference 
what the President's name is. It is the 
biggest graft in our whole system. Graft of 
money is insignificant by contrast. Ordi- 
nary graft is to gain power. This is graft of 
power itself. It is weilding power without 
responsibility. 

Congress is shirking. The Constitution 
gave it authority to do specific things. 
Passing the buck to the President is as bad 
as the President's butting in. Congress 
should not do the first nor allow the second. 
President and Congress are not immune 
from Natural laws. They are punished for 
violation, same as others. Violation by both 
is the reason for their being called "Dicta- 
tor" and "Rubber stamp" respectively. 
The serious thing is that the country suffers. 

Organization is the welding of parts into 
units. Its purpose is to develop strength by 
concerted action. A battering ram is organi- 
zation. Organizations are battering rams. 
Their keynote is subordination. Every part 
must be subordinate. The ultimate superior 
must be subordinate to the purposes of the 
organization. 



THE PRINCIPLE 29 

There is no difference in principle be- 
tween civil, military, political, business or 
other organizations. That is, the same ideas 
make for success or failure. There is a differ- 
ence in the penalties paid for failures. 

Discipline is the habit of subordination. 
It exists willingly, thro' appreciation of the 
necessities of the case; or forcibly, thro' fear 
of punishment. The latter is the Prussian 
variety. The efficiency of an organization is 
directly related to its discipline. Insubordi- 
nation in any degree is akin to a balky mule. 
The rest of the team has to pull the mule as 
well as the rest of the load. Sometimes they 
get stuck. 

"The Principle" teaches all there is to 
organization, discipline, efficiency. Super- 
iors should have ability and be given au- 
thority. They must be considerate and 
shoulder responsibility. Subordinates are 
guided by the same rules. There are de- 
grees of subordination. They must not butt 
in to superiors' affairs. They must initiate 
subordinate moves and carry on. 

This brings up the Initiative of the Sub- 
ordinate. Some years ago, Captain (now 



3O THE PRINCIPLE 

Admiral) Sims made a talk on this subject 
to the Naval Militia of Philadelphia. After 
expurgation by Mr. Daniels, it was pub- 
lished. That was applied to military organi- 
zations. It applies to all organizations. 

The efficiency of any organization de- 
pends largely on the initiative of the sub- 
ordinate. The purpose, the movement of 
the moment, general directions, should 
proceed from the head down. All details 
that can be left to subordinates should be 
so left. It relieves the head, encourages the 
subordinate, develops esprit de corps, gets 
things done, done right, done promptly. 

Heads of affairs frequently say they have 
no one in their organization to succeed 
them. The fault is theirs. They have never 
allowed their subordinates any latitude. 
They have attended to unnecessary details 
themselves. The result is bad, for the sub- 
ordinates, themselves, the organization. 
The only way to learn how to do anything 
is to do it. 

Like other things, initiative can be over- 
done. When it applies to any but subordi- 
nate moves to the known end, it is insub- 



THE PRINCIPLE JI 

ordination and may be as disastrous as 
direct disobedience of orders. 

Ethics is defined as the basic principles of 
right action. "The Principle" covers them 
all. 

Morality has reference to mental attitude 
rather than performance. There can be 
nothing immoral if "The Principle" is fol- 
lowed. Everything immoral is violation. 

Law and its administration are not en- 
tirely satisfactory in any country. Statutes 
are sometimes wrong. Judicial findings 
sometimes do wrong. The influence of pull 
is frequent. Since nothing is permanently 
settled till it is settled right, laws are con- 
stantly changing. 

Nobody in the trial of a case is interested 
in abstract justice. The parties and their 
attorneys are after a verdict. They are fre- 
quently not particular how they get it. 
The witnesses are generally partial. The 
alleged experts, no matter how unbiased 
they start, are as partial as the attorneys, 
once their opinion is formed. The presiding 
officer should be and generally is neutral. 
He is so hedged about with rules of evi- 



32 THE PRINCIPLE 

dence, precedents, court procedures, cus- 
toms, that his concern largely, sometimes 
wholly, is to avoid error, subsequent rever- 
sal and its consequences in reputation. 

Every item in the unsatisfactory state of 
the law is a direct violation of "The Prin- 
ciple." Partial interest, self interest, local 
interest, pull, compromise, expediency, 
sophistry, politics, delay, all are violations. 
Justice would be vastly improved if "The 
Principle" were a guide in the enactment 
of laws and in the rulings and findings of 
courts. 

Religion is many things to many people. 
They all teach right living here, proper con- 
duct in this life. There is not much agree- 
ment about our origin. That is beyond 
change, so it is interesting as throwing some 
light on the hereafter. There is little agree- 
ment, except hope, about the hereafter. 
There is quite general agreement that good 
conduct here will be rewarded there, if 
there is any "there." 

Heaven and hell may be here or here- 
after. If here, acts in accord with "The 
Principle" are rewarded here, every day, 



THE PRINCIPLE 33 

visibly. Acts in violation are punished. 
If hereafter, as a universal rule of conduct, 
it teaches right living here and the reward 
hoped for hereafter, or vice versa, as the 
case may be. 

"I intend to use your gospel as oppor- 
tunity offers. Responsibility is a big 
thought. Recognition of it and the conse- 
cration that follows is all that is vital in 
any religion." Chas. A. Murdock, S. F. 
1917. 

Philosophy is a compound of eternal veri- 
ties, with their applications. The first 
philosophers sought the base of things. 
Some found air, some earth, some water, 
some fire. Another school found ideas, 
logic, mathematics, religion. 

Bacon discarded all earlier philosophies, 
accused Aristotle of confounding philos- 
ophy with logic, Plato of mixing it with 
religion, others of other faults, and founded 
a philosophy of works, to be reached by a 
contemplation of Nature. 

German writers have written at length 
on what they call philosophy but have de- 
veloped nothing new. Their discussions 



34 THE PRINCIPLE 

have descended to wrangling over defini- 
tions. 

As an eternal verity, as a basis of things, 
as a perfect idea, as resulting in works, as 
a Natural law, "The Principle" is truly 
philosophic, no matter what school is 
followed. 

"The Principle" guides thought, there- 
fore action. Minds are increased in 
strength by it. Interest in all literature, 
history, biography, fiction, the daily news, 
current discussions, humor, is increased by 
it. A lecturer on psychology said that 
'The Principle" was the best expression of 
practical or applied psychology ever form- 
ulated. Maybe it is. It is a foundation of 
every other branch of learning, why not 
include psychology. 

Any man who knows his business is 
educated, whether he can read and write or 
not. If he sticks to his business, he suc- 
ceeds. Schooling is of less importance in 
education than is usually credited. School- 
ing alone is never education. When one 
tries to operate beyond their ability, they 
fail or, if they succeed, the success is acci- 



THE PRINCIPLE 35 

dental. There are so many ways to be 
wrong to each one way to be right, these 
accidents are remarkable. 

Judgment teaches you what to do. It is 
born with us. Skill teaches you how to do. 
It is acquired by practice. "The Principle" 
teaches you when to do. It can be learned 
right here. It is not taught in the schools 
either by precept or practice. Yet it is the 
veritable trunk of the tree of knowledge. 

Labor is the most respectable thing in the 
World. It seems about the only thing that 
is intrinsically respectable. The greatest 
satisfaction comes from some construction 
with our own hands, without help. The 
man with the hoe is to be envied, not 
despised. 

Why is he despised? Because he despises 
himself. He is envious. He is ambitious. 
He enters into political combinations that 
get laws passed exempting him from opera- 
tion of general laws, outlawing himself by 
statute. He joins unions. They decree 
various things, who may work, who may 
learn how to work, who may employ, who 
may not. The whole World seems to be 



36 THE PRINCIPLE 

making rules for the other fellow, not for 
themselves. Unions fall in line. All such 
things violate "The Principle." 

What's the answer? Follow "The Prin- 
ciple." Organize if you want to. Strike if 
it's to your advantage. Apply the three 
don'ts. Don't butt in. Don't shirk. Don't 
let any one butt into your business. And 
especially don't agree beforehand to let 
others butt into your affairs. That means 
don't promise to follow some other fellow 
till you know where he is heading. 

A Natural law is higher than any statute. 
Statute law, through fear of political re* 
prisals, has exempted labor unions from 
prosecution and legal penalty for certain 
acts. They cannot avoid the penalty for 
the breach of Nature's law, irresponsible 
authority. When they know and apply 
"The Principle," they will gain the respect 
they deserve, their own and others. 

Capital is the surplus product of labor. It 
is available until wasted, sometimes for 
generations after its accumulation. It is 
stored power, one form of authority. When 
used with a feeling of responsibility, it is 



THE PRINCIPLE 37 

good. When used without such feeling, it 
is bad. The wrong lies in its irresponsible 
use. 

A lot is said about the conflict of capital 
and labor. Examination shows no conflict. 
Irresponsible performances of either arouse 
antagonisms of the other. The careless 
observer has come to think the conflict 
natural and unavoidable. It is absolutely 
avoidable by applying "The Principle." 

The Commonwealth Club of California 
had an evening to discuss Capital and 
Labor. The Committee changed the sub- 
ject to Employer and Employe, making 
three parties interested, employer, em- 
ploye and the public. 

The proponent of Capital or Employer 
stated that he disagreed with the Commit- 
tee. He did not think the public were to be 
considered and made his talk from that 
viewpoint. 

The proponent of Labor or Employe 
recited that Capital, being the product of 
Labor, Labor was going after its own. He 
assumed that labor and labor-unions were 
synonymous. 



38 THE PRINCIPLE 

Neither of these men was called down. 
One said "The public be damned." The 
other proposed highway robbery. Yet 
the Commonwealth Club is made up of men 
of good intentions. 

Some years ago a rich man called in one 
of his railroad presidents, proposed a cer- 
tain thing, giving instruction that it be 
done. The president demurred. 

"Can't I do as I please with my own?" 

"Not entirely. This is a public utility. 
It must render service. Your proposal 
would deteriorate service and make me 
liable for breach of laws regulating service." 

"Will you do it?" 

"I will not." 

"Then resign." 

In a few years the aforesaid rich man lost 
control of that railroad, also of all other 
railroads in which he was interested. He 
is in no sense a railroad man, which had 
been his ambition and the ambition of his 
father, from whom he had inherited great 
wealth and railroad prestige. 

The wrong of capital is getting into ir- 
responsible hands. The wrong done by 



THE PRINCIPLE 39 

such capital is not a good reason but is 
somewhat an excuse for the wrongs of labor. 
"An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth" 
is bad practice. Two wrongs never made 
a right. Observance of "The Principle" 
will avoid all such conflicts. 

Employment, a job and a salary, are 
always in request. Unemployment is not 
solved by any Country. At times, it is 
very serious. No work, no pay. No 
money, no food. 

Employment is one form of acquired 
authority. The employe who shoulders 
his responsibilities, makes good, is con- 
tinued longest in employment and hired 
first after unemployment. When the other 
way, he is first fired and last hired. 

What brings steadiest employment, big- 
gest pay? It isn't brains, or strength, or 
knowledge. It is dependability. Physique, 
brains and knowledge are desirable, but 
reliability is the real thing. Dependability, 
reliability, are entirely indicated by "The 
Principle." The questions are: 

Can and will he shoulder the responsibil- 
ity of place? 



4<3 THE PRINCIPLE 

Can and will he prove dependable? 

Will he take pride in his work? 

These exact questions may not be asked 
but they are in the mind of every employer 
of labor, whether the employe be the man 
with the hoe or a railroad president. 

The Panama Canal is a wonderful 
example of violation, then partial accord, 
finally full accord with "The Principle." 

First, Wallace tried to shoulder the re- 
sponsibility of performance under a Com- 
mission in Washington. He wasn't a 
member of the Commission at the start. 
He didn't get far. 

Then Stevens undertook the same re- 
sponsibility. He was a member of the . 
Commission, had more authority than 
Wallace, but his Commission had its office 
and president in Washington. Stevens 
made some progress. Then a set of con- 
ditions arose under which Stevens felt that 
his authority was not commensurate with 
his responsibility. He severed his connec- 
tion with the work, not before he had things 
going well. So much was this the case that 
Colonel Goethals said once when patted on 



THE PRINCIPLE 4! 

the back "I was preceded by a man who 
understood transportation. My progress 
is somewhat due to Stevens' plan for the 
removal and disposal of the material of 
Culebra cut." 

Then the responsibility was taken by 
Goethals, with full authority. He was 
Chief Engineer. He was President of the 
Commission. The rest of the Commission 
were largely his subordinates. The result 
was the most successful construction or- 
ganization in the history of the human race. 

Wallace and Stevens were sacrificed to 
the education of Washington. They failed, 
not from lack of ability but from lack of 
authority. Goethals or anyone else would 
have failed from the same cause. Goethals 
understood "The Principle." He didn't 
attempt to shoulder the responsibility till 
he had sufficient authority. 

The writer was Chief Engineer for a 
railroad company, the Treasurer being, 
say Brown. Brown was also the manager of 
a bank, the depositary of the company. 

Brown sent word that the appropriate 
thing would be for me to keep my personal 



42 THE PRINCIPLE 

account with his bank. The reply was that 
I was working for the railroad for so much 
per, that when the "per" arrived, it was 
mine to handle as I saw fit. 

Brown wanted to send one of my assist- 
ants off for a month on some private work, 
asking one day when it would be convenient 
for him to go. The reply was that it would 
never be convenient, that he was needed 
where he was, that if he went, he would be 
replaced permanently. 

Brown asked why a certain firm was not 
patronized. After investigation, the reply 
was that we could do better. 

Brown issued an order that all bills in 
excess of five dollars should not be paid in 
the field but be sent to his office for pay- 
ment. I called Brown's attention to the 
fact that this would hamper the work. His 
reply was that the order had been issued 
after consultation with the President and 
it must be obeyed. This correspondence 
was bundled up and sent to the President 
with about this letter: "Despite Mr. 
Brown's statement to the contrary, I do 
not believe that you are issuing your orders 



THE PRINCIPLE 43 

over his signature. If I am mistaken, you 
may replace me as soon as convenient. I 
am personally countermanding the order 
in cases where obedience will hamper the 
work." The order was countermanded. 

When the purchase of right of way began, 
Brown sent word that he had some men he 
wanted put on that work. The reply was 
"If you will be entirely responsible for the 
integrity and ability of these men, they will 
be put to work at once. If I am to be in any 
way responsible, you may submit their 
names and qualifications." 

Brown's last meddling act was to return 
some bills asking that the necessity for the 
purchases be written across their face. The 
reply was "These bills seem regular. They 
have the O. K. of the engineer who made 
the expense. They have the approval of 
the resident engineer in charge of that di- 
vision. They have been further approved 
in my office and have been sent to your 
office for payment. As for the necessity, 
it is none of your business in any way, shape 
or manner." 

Brown was sent to the penitentiary for 



44 THE PRINCIPLE 

embezzlement. If he had been allowed to 
butt into my affairs, I might have been 
smirched. As it was, I had sustained 
intimate business relations with a rascal 
for two years, with never a chance to lose a 
cent or a particle of reputation, by applying 
"The Principle." Application is always 
good. It is wholly worth while. 

The writer had a chance to apply "The 
Principle" in organizing troops for France 
in 1918. He talked it directly. He showed 
its application in every day affairs. The 
usual formula with new officers was "We 
have commissions and uniforms. They 
make us look like officers but do not make 
us so. Our commissions give us the right 
to make ourselves officers if we have the 
ability. Your business is to develop the 
efficiency of the enlisted man. To the 
extent you do it, you are officers. To the 
extent you fail to do it, you are not officers, 
no matter what your commissions say. My 
principal business is to see that you do it. 
This is the general problem. Let's go to it. 
If doubts arise as to details, come and see 
me. That's what I'm here for." 



THE PRINCIPLE 45 

Similar instruction to non-coms had a 
visible effect in esprit de corps. That 
battalion went to France in a good humor, 
worked eleven hours a day for months 
without a murmur and their barracks were 
the show barracks of Camp Montoir. 

One young man volunteered for service 
in North Russia after the armistice. In 
June, 1919, he wrote me a chatty letter 
from a box car alongside Lake Onega, tell- 
ing of his work, the Country, the people, and 
added "I want to keep in touch with you. 
I specially want to thank you for "The 
Principle." It has kept me out of most of 
the trouble I have rubbed against and 
gotten me out of the rest of it." 

The officers liked it. The men liked it. 
Its application makes a good organization. 
It effects the best kind of discipline. There 
are two ways to spoil a man, abusing him 
and coddling him. Fair treatment de- 
velops him and nothing else does. "The 
Principle" teaches what fairness is in every 
case, in every detail of every case. 

Business is getting production to the 
consumer. It is a necessary activity, a 



46 THE PRINCIPLE 

little overdone, according to some. It in- 
cludes banking, transportation, storage, 
advertising, wholesaling, jobbing, retailing, 
with their thousands of details. 

When business serves, it is good. When 
business makes others serve it, it is bad. 
Each kind can be accurately judged by 
"The Principle." 

Value is a word much used in business. 
It doesn't mean anything. AH value is a 
matter of opinion. There is no part of 
value that is anything else. Yet the term 
is used in business as though it were a 
matter of ascertainable fact. This is one 
of the fictions of business. There are 
others. This is written, not to point out a 
particular reform but to advertise "The 
Principle," by which all reforms can be 
effected. 

In a business, there is always a nominal 
head. If this is also an actual head, pos- 
sessing the means (knowledge, initiative, 
funds, judgment; in other words, authority) 
the result is success. Every trouble comes 
of somebody's butting in or shirking. Both 
crimes are sometimes committed by the 



THE PRINCIPLE 47 

same act. The owners butt in and inter- 
fere with the management; the manager 
butts in, interferes with details, withholds 
authority where he expects responsibility; 
departments clash; subordinates fail to 
obey orders; a thousand and one things go 
wrong. On proper analysis, every one of 
the troubles, partial failures, complete 
failures, can be traced to some violation of 
"The Principle/' 

The Navy League was organized to arouse 
the Country to our need of a larger Navy. 
When that was done, its original purpose 
was fulfilled. So far, so good. Organizing 
for a desirable and legal purpose is always 
good. Some dropped out at this stage of 
the performance. There was still a large 
paying membership. With no chance for a 
membership expression, the purpose was 
changed. It was to do other things, to knit 
for the sailors, to publish a paper. 

Its head started to butt into the affairs 
of the Secretary of the Navy. The paper 
published a statement reflecting on the 
Secretary of the Navy, that was never 
proven, on the alleged say-so of someone 



48 THE PRINCIPLE 

that was never named. Look at all that 
violation of "The Principle." Mr. Daniels 
has been charged with many things about 
which I know little or nothing. If his every 
other act was wrong, resistance in this case 
was right. 

The President of the League had the 
welfare of the Navy at heart. He may have 
intended to benefit the Navy and the 
Country by his action. His method was 
wrong, to himself, to the Navy League, to 
the Secretary, to the Navy, to the Country. 
He had violated 'The Principle." 

The Constitution of the United Sates 
started out with well defined authorities. 
The Legislature was to do specific things in 
specific ways. So with the Executive and 
Judicial departments. 

State Constitutions were generally in 
accord, but have lately varied considerably 
from that of the United States. The main 
divergences lie in enacting what should 
have been statutes as constitutional pro- 
visions. So we have various ideas existing 
in various degrees, as laws, some of which 
violate "The Principle." 



THE PRINCIPLE 49 

Civil Service is one of them. It started as 
a cure for "Turn the rascals out" or "To 
the victors belong the spoils." The disease 
was not very serious. The cure is many 
times worse. We are cursed and hampered 
by Civil Service Commissions in National, 
State, Municipal, affairs. They dictate 
who may be employed and examine dis- 
missals, sometimes ordering re-instate- 
ments. Their legal authority is great, 
their assumptions greater. In no single 
case is Civil Service a move toward effi- 
ciency or economy. In every case it 
hampers and is expensive. In no case is 
any responsibility shouldered for the au- 
thority wielded. 

Commissions generally are wrong. Here 
is cited specifically the Interstate Com- 
merce Commission, the California Railroad 
Commission, all other California Commis- 
sions, even to the Commission to regulate 
Commissions, the Board of Control. 

Every large railroad company in the 
United States, every considerable public 
service corporation in the State of Cali- 
fornia has a department for the sole purpose 



5O THE PRINCIPLE 

of appearing for those corporations before 
the Commissions regulating them. The 
result is extra cost with no benefit. In- 
creasing the tax eaters at the expense of 
the tax payers is bad political economy. 
"The Principle" is violated in this way. 
Commissions are given irresponsible au- 
thority by the law creating them. Such 
authority relieves the corporations of re- 
sponsibility. In the mix-up, Commissions 
are greedy for power, corporations are 
greedy for profits and the public pay, the 
bills. 

The Initiative and the Referendum, to be 
intelligently administered, requires every 
voter to study every law, every detail of 
every law, so enacted. The consequence is 
that they are not intelligently administered, 
do not add to efficiency, complicate voting, 
confuse the people, make expense with no 
benefit. We employ legislators to make 
laws, pay them for it, then do it ourselves. 
And so we get the privilege of voting on the 
California Water and Power Act, choosing 
between Socialism and the inefficiency of 
our Railroad Commission. 



THE PRINCIPLE 5! 

The Recall of elected officials relieves 
every one of them from responsibility. The 
recall of Judicial decisions spells anarchy. 
That has not yet been accomplished but is 
threatened. It is entirely in line with the 
other political fads. It is just as logical as 
Civil Service, Regulative Commissions as 
they are administered, the Initiative or the 
Referendum. These things are all per- 
fectly measured by "The Principle." 

"The Principle" has had a great many 
approvals, by men of the present, men of the 
recent past and men long gone. It has 
been practiced more than preached. Care- 
ful search will show that it has also been 
preached, many, many times. 

"Every one shall die for his own iniquity. 
Every man that eateth the sour grape, his 
teeth shall be set on edge." Jeremiah,31,30. 

"He that thinks of the greatness of his 
place more than the duty of his place shall 
soon commit misprisons." Sir Francis 
Bacon. 

"Let us stand to our authority or let us 
lose it." Coriolanus. 

"Thus can the demi-god authority make 



52 THE PRINCIPLE 

us pay down for our offense, by weight. The 
words of heaven, on whom it will, it will; 
on whom it will not, so. Yet still 'tis 
just." Measure for Measure. 

"Stay, where's your commission, Lord? 
Words cannot carry authority so weighty." 
Henry VIII. 

"I have told him Lepidus was grown too 
cruel; that he his high authority abused." 
Antony and Cleopatra. 

"My duty will I boast of, nothing else." 

"My duty pricks me on to utter that 
which else no worldly good should draw 
from me." Two Gentlemen from Verona. 

"I should not urge thy duty past thy 

might." Julius Caesar. 

"But 'twas a maxim he had often tried, 
that right was right and there would he 
abide." The Squire and the Priest. 

"The path of duty was the way to 
glory." Tennyson. 

"Because right is right, to follow right 
were wisdom in the scorn of consequence." 
Tennyson in Fatima. 

"A sense of duty pursues us ever. It is 
omnipresent like the Deity. If we take to 



THE PRINCIPLE 53 

ourselves the wings of the morning and 
dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea, 
duty performed or duty violated is still 
with us, for our happiness or our misery." 
Daniel Webster. 

"He who through force of will or of 
thought is great and overlooks thousands, 
has the responsibility of overlooking." 
Emerson. 

"Men seek to be great; they would have 
offices, wealth, power, fame. They think 
that to be great is to get only one side of 
Nature the sweet, without the other side 
the bitter." Emerson. 

"Let us have faith that right makes 
might; and in that faith dare to do our 
duty as we understand it." Lincoln. 

"When an end is legal and obligatory, all 
the indispensable means to that end are also 
legal and obligatory." Lincoln. 

"If the British Government in any way 
approach you directly or indirectly with 
propositions which assume or contemplate 
an appeal to the President on the subject 
of our internal affairs, whether it seem to 
imply a purpose to dictate or to mediate or 



54 THE PRINCIPLE 

to advise, or merely to solicit or persuade, 
you will answer that you are forbidden to 
debate, to hear or in any way to receive, 
entertain or transmit any communication 
of the kind." Lincoln, to our Ambassador 
to England. 

"To act in absolute freedom and at the 
same time to realize that responsibility is 
the price of freedom, is salvation." Elbert 
Hubbard. 

"A corporation, no more than an indi- 
vidual, can be bound hand and foot and yet 
be active and give good service." Theo. N. 
Vail, 1915. 

"There is a tendency on the part of 
Bureau officers to reach out for more 
power, even if they do not assume author- 
ity which the law does not give them." 
John W. Weeks, 1915. 

" The Principle' is undoubtedly violated 
by many of our present day practices, both 
social and political. It is well for us to be 
jarred into thinking whether each item of 
the established order is in fact the right and 
true practice." Harry M. Wright, Master 
in Chancery, U. S. Court, S. F. 



THE PRINCIPLE 55 

"You have put the matter in a very 
interesting way." Max Thelen, San Fran- 
cisco. 

"Hope you will spread the truth of 'The 
Principle' far and wide." Harry F.Atwood, 
Lecturer, Chicago, 1921. 

"I have been following 'The Principle* 
for the last thirty-five years, discovering it 
like yourself early in life, since when I have 
insisted on putting it into operation in 
everything I have undertaken." Geo. W. 
Goethals, 1916. 

" 'The Principle' is indeed a corner-stone 
to an orderly condition of society and can- 
not be too strongly emphasized." Dr.F.W. 
Durand, Stanford University, 1916. 

"Thank you for your address on respon- 
sibility and authority, which I have read 
with much interest and with which I fully 
agree." Jas. K. Lynch, Gov. Fed. Res. 
Bank, S. F., 1917. 

"I have been an upholder of 'The Prin- 
ciple' for many years, but, until I read your 
paper, I was not aware that it was so far- 
reaching." Wm. Kent, Mechanical En- 
gineer, 1917. 



56 THE PRINCIPLE 

"I cannot imagine any success unless 
power goes with responsibility. It is the 
principle upon which I have always acted 
and am acting now." Admiral W. S. Sims, 
1918. 

"I believe every word of it and have 
practiced The Principle' for years. It may 
be of interest to you to know that the 
affairs of the Pacific Fleet are administered 
in accordance with The Principle' set forth 
in your article." Admiral Hugh Rodman, 
1919. 

' The Principle' is so pithy and so worth 
while that I would like to reprint it for free 
distribution." Alfred Bickford, Ex. Sec. 
Assoc. Industries of Seattle, 1921. 

: The Principle' has many applications 
in my profession of medicine and surgery, 
As you say, it applies to all activities." 
Admiral McCormick, M. C, U. S. N. 1921. 

"I thoroughly enjoyed reading The 
Principle.' Thank you." Admiral H. B. 
Wilson, U. S. N., 1921. 

" The Principle' is really a big thing and 
I see its applicability very often. I use it 
lots of times, giving you more or less 



THE PRINCIPLE 57 

credit." Alex. T. Vogelsang, Ex-Assistant 
Secretary of the Interior, Washington, 
1921. 

A great many common every day expres- 
sions are partial statements of "The Prin- 
ciple," such as: 

"Mind your own business." 

"Noblesse oblige." 

"Don't bite off more than you can chew/' 

"Don't butt in." 

"Quit rocking the boat." 

"Look out for deep water." 




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