Read GOOD NEWS AND HARD WORK - NEWS AND GOVERNMENT - CHAPTER XIV of Crowds A Moving-Picture of Democracy, free online book, by Gerald Stanley Lee, on


We want to be good and the one thing we need to do is to tell each other.  Then we will be good.  Our conveniences for being good in crowds are not finished yet.

We have invented machines for crowds to see one another with and to use in getting about in the dark.  One engine whirls round and round all night so that half a million people can be going about anywhere after sunset without running into each other.

Crowds have vast machines for being somewhere else-run in somewhat the same way all from one unpretentious building they put up called a Power House.

A great many of our machines for allowing crowds of people to move their bodies around with have been attended to, but our Intelligence-Machine, our machine for knowing what other people really think, and what they are like in their hearts so that we can know enough to be good to them, and have brains enough to get them to be good to us, is not finished and set up yet.

The industrial problem instead of being primarily an economic problem is a news problem.

If a President were to appoint a Secretary of Labour and were to give him as one of his conveniences, a news engineer-an expert at attracting and holding the attention of labour unions and driving through news to them about themselves that they do not know yet, who would be practically at the head of the department in two years?  The Secretary or the Secretary’s news engineer?  News is all there is to such a department, finding out what it is and distributing it.  Any one can think of scores of labour-union fallacies, news they do not know about themselves that they will want to know at once when their attention is called to it.

If nine members of the President’s Cabinet were national news agents, experts in nationalizing news, one member could do with his subordinates all the other things that Cabinet members do.

The real problem before each Cabinet member is a problem of news.  If the Secretary of Commerce, for instance, could get people to know certain things, he would not need to do at all most of the things that he is doing now.  Neither would the Attorney General.

If everything in a Cabinet position turns on getting people to know things, why not get them to know them?  Why not take that job instead?  Why not take the job of throwing one’s self out of a job?  Every powerful man has done it-thrown himself out of what he was doing, by making up something bigger to do from the beginning of the world.

In every business it is the man who can recognize, focus, organize, and apply news, and who can get news through to people, who soon becomes the head of the business.

The man who can get news through to directors and to employees and make them see themselves and see one another and the facts as they are, soon gets to be Head of the factory.

The man who can get news through to the public, the salesman of news to people about what they want to buy and about how they are to spend their money-very personal, intimate news to every man-soon rises to be Head of the Head of the factory and of the entire business.

It will probably be the same in a cabinet or in a government.  If the Secretary of the Department of Commerce has a news engineer as a subordinate in his department and begins to study and observe how to do his work best, how to solve his problem in the nation, we will soon see the head of the department, if he really is the head of the department, quietly taking over his news engineer’s job and letting his news engineer have his.

It is a news engineering job, being a Secretary of Commerce.

Every member of the Cabinet has a news engineering job.

And the fact seems to be that the moment the news is attended to in each member’s department-applied news, special and private news, turned on and set to work where it is called for-most members of cabinets, secretaries of making people do things, and for that matter, the Presidents of making people do things will be thrown out of employment.  The Secretaries of What People Think, and the President of What People Think-the engineers of the news in this nation-will be the men who govern it.