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Selected Papers on Social and Economic Questions (Classic Reprint)

Selected Papers on Social and Economic Questions (Classic Reprint)

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Excerpt from Selected Papers on Social and Economic Questions

From among many papers by Sir Benjamin Browne, the following thirty-two have been selected as the most useful and characteristic. While many existed only in manuscript or in the fugitive form of letters or articles to daily papers, some have already appeared in magazines, and for leave to reprint these, we desire to express our thanks to the Editors of the National Review, the Times and the Engineer, and at the same time to offer our apologies if we have in any instance failed to ask permission.

Sir Benjamin Browne felt strongly that when the great underlying principles of life had once been discerned, they could be applied to politics, industrial questions, and private conduct alike. These were the permanent Form, into which could be moulded the material of each day's events as they arose. This necessarily involved a certain amount of repetition in his writings, because, in discussing different questions before different listeners, or in approaching them from different standpoints, he came back again and again to these underlying principles, and drove them home by reiterated blow's. Reading through his scattered writings is like listening to a sonata where three or four leading themes dominate the music, emerging repeatedly in varying keys, and giving coherence to the whole.

The dates when the various papers were written must of course be borne in mind, as some of the statistics, accurate at the time, may have altered. The date of each paper is printed at the head of the page. From the historic point of view, they show the consistent evolution of his opinions.

One good result of this disastrous war may be that all classes of the nation, with conscience aroused, may attack the problems of the industrial world in a better spirit.

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