- Jan 2016
It is impossible that the man with capital and the man without capital should be equal. To affirm that they are equal would be to say that a man who has no tool can get as much food out of the ground as the man who has a spade or a plough; or that the man who has no weapon can defend himself as well against hostile beasts or hostile men as the man who has a weapon. If that were so, none of us would work any more.
The sentence highlights the social inconsistency within the age of the second industrial revolution. At this time, social inequality was due to political corruption and how wealth was distributed. Thus, the man with capital had more power and wealth than the man who does not have capital. Also, what I found distinct about this quote is that Sumner contrasted it with the idea of the first paragraph, in which he stated and acknowledges that equality was possible if everyone could "share" the wealth and power, then inequality would be solved. However, by stating the quote (highlighted), there would be no work and that it was necessary to have men with capital because they are the propellers of success in society.