The railroad company builds for the future. These men with prophetic vision now that the traffic will eventually warrant the expenditure, even if it does not now.
They set their stakes and the world comes to them.
Thus does the Octopus do for civilization what your detached and individual citizens never can do for themselves.
The Uganda railroad has done more to civilize Africa than all the work of all the missionaries in two thousand years. It gives a new environment. “You change me only as you change their environment,” says Darwin.
Elbert Hubbard’s Selected Writings Vol. 2 : Olympians, p 139. (previously on Vulgar Army: The Standard Oil Company pamphlet published by Roycroft)