Document Type



The Problem of Anti-Trust Reform, 32 Columbia Law Review 173 (1932)


For some inscrutable reason the Creator has equipped man with a mind that cannot quite keep up with the times. The course of unintended events hurries our culture towards its unknown future and man belatedly brings up his intellectual resources. He sees with his mind as well as.with his eyes, and crowds his observation of things new under the sun into customary categories. To him the emerging corporation is a person ; industrial relations concern masters and servants ; the work of the machine is manufacture; capitalism is a mere extension of handicraft. It was decades after the old order had felt its shock before the Industrial Revolution was even a name. However strange the new phenomenon may be, man has an old name for it.

Man, the actor-on-the-spot, unlike the leisurely historian a-top of Olympus, must meet events head-on. As a new technology, a novel thing called business, an unusual way of life, a strange trend of thought emerges, the familiar gradually gives way to the unfamiliar. The familiar wears the obvious aspect; the unfamiliar appears but a little revealed,- an implication in an acceptable usage, a potentiality which want and occasion must quicken into life. Change comes by stealth, and its novelties may win a tacit acceptance before their strangeness is noticed; it is not for the men of the times to read between the lines of current happenings and to discover there impending social arrangements. When eventually novelties are too omni-present to be any longer denied, and untoward things seem to be going forward, an alarum is raised over departures from the ·accepted folk-ways. The people demand that something be done to domesticate the turbulent forces into instruments of order and well-being. To that end there must be a program; the program must be made out of ideas; the only ideas its makers can use are those they possess-and those which belong to common-sense have emerged out of the stress and strain of crises which are gone.

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