Public v. Private Industry

He described his military experience in the first World War to me with satisfaction. "I was young then," he said, "and I am amazed that I showed such good sense. I have often thought," he went on, "that if any big company like General Motors or Standard Oil should start a private army, no public army would stand a chance against it. A private company is organized to do something or to produce something, profit or gold or steel. It has a direction. But a public army is made up of millions of individuals all working for themselves. Some want promotions, some want to steal, some want personal power or glory, and some want simply to get out. Very few have any interest in winning a war."

Ed Ricketts
About Ed Ricketts by John Steinbeck

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