The Economic Functions of Vice

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Author: John McElroy
Published: 1908
Language: English
Wordcount: 4,830 / 15 pg
Flesch-Kincaid Reading Ease: 55.2
LoC Category: PN
Downloads: 531
Added to site: 2007.06.01
mnybks.net#: 17157
Genre: Essays
Excerpt

t of good wine, which is scum and froth at the top, dregs and sediment at the bottom, and good, pure, clear liquor in the middle. Vice does admirable work in skimming away the supernatant scum and in drawing off the dregs and settlings.

Unceasing fermentation seems to be a condition necessary to the health of society. The humblest work incessantly to lift themselves into the ranks of the middle-classes, the middle-classes strive as earnestly to make themselves plutocrats, aristocrats, and lordlings. This ambition for worldly advancement is one of society's most powerful adjuncts for good. When a man at last reaches the social summit he desists from further efforts at improvement. He becomes like a man who after struggling forward to reach the head of the procession refuses to march another step. Some vice, mayhap merely over-eating, is likely to remove him and secure the ground for another man to come to the front, who is also removed summarily when he becomes obstructive. If the fortune-builder is not

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