to go into effect tomorrow morning there would be here tonight neither lecturer nor audience. The good dinner would remain untasted in the ovens. Every mortal soul of us would be scooting from one Social magnate to another to assure that we were on the slate for the soft jobs and that nobody was crowding us off. I have no faith in human nature except as it is constantly strengthened and purified by struggle. That struggle is an irrepressible conflict existing in all nature, and from which man cannot escape. It is better for mankind that it go on openly and in more or less accord with known rules of warfare than in the secret conspiring chambers of the class which in the end controls popular movement. All serious conflict involves evil, but it is also strengthening to the race. I wish misery could be banished from the world, but I fear that it cannot be so banished. I have little confidence in human ability to so thoroughly comprehend the structure and functions of the Social body as to correctly fortell the steps in its evolution, or prescribe constitutional remedies which will banish Social disease. If I were a Social reformer — and were I with my present knowledge still an ingenuous youth in the fulness of strength with my life before me I do not know that I would not be a Social reformer — I would profess myself a Social agnostic, and prosecute my mission by the methods of the opportunist. I would endeavor to direct the Social ax to the most obvious and obtrusive roots of the Social evil, and having removed them and watched the result, would then determine what to do next. Possibly I would endeavor to begin with the abolition of wills and collateral inheritance, and so limiting direct inheritance that no man able to work should escape its necessity by reason of the labor of his forefathers. I might say that I recognized the vested rights of the Astors to the soil on Manhattan Island, but that I recognized no right as vested in beings yet unborn. I might say that it was sufficient stimulation and reward for the most eminent Social endeavor to select, within reason, the objects of public utility to which resulting accumulations should be applied and to superintend during one’s lifetime their application to those purposes. I might think in this way, and might not, were I an enthusiastic Social reformer in the heyday of youth, but it appears to me now that at any rate we shall make most progress toward ultimate universal happiness if we recognize that out of the increasing strenuousness of our conflict there is coming constantly increasing comfort and better division thereof, and if we direct that portion of our energies which we devote to the service of mankind toward such changes in the direction of the Social impulse as can be made without impairing the force of the evolutionary movement, rather than to those which involve the reversal of the direction of the force with the resulting danger of explosion and collapse.
 This was written and originally printed long before the death of Mr. Morgan, but there is a general feeling that he has left no successor of his caliber.