Now the abrupt alternation between rich and poor became really apparent. Abundance and poverty lived so close together that the saddest consequences could and inevitably did arise. Poverty and frequent unemployment began to play havoc with people, leaving behind them a memory of discontent and embitterment. The consequence of this seemed to be political class division. Despite all the economic prosperity, dissatisfaction became greater and deeper; in fact, things came to such a pass that the conviction that ‘it can’t go on like this much longer’ became general, yet without people having or being able to have any definite idea of what ought to have been done.
These were the typical symptoms of deep discontent which sought to express themselves in this way.
But worse than this were other consequences induced by the economisation of the nation.
In proportion as economic life grew to be the dominant mistress of the state, money became the god whom all had to serve and to whom each man had to bow down. More and more, the gods of heaven were put into the corner as obsolete and outmoded, and in their stead incense was burned to the idol Mammon. A truly malignant degeneration set in; what made it most malignant was that it began at a time when the nation, in a presumably menacing and critical hour, needed the highest heroic attitude. ….
The stock exchange began to triumph and prepared slowly but surely to take the life of the nation into its guardianship and control.