Industrial progress . . . tends to displace physical by mechanical power in every branch of productive industry; in other words, it increases the proportion of the material to that of the personal factor. A given quantity of products or services is produced at the cost of less labour, and the quality of the product is also improved. A thousand railwaymen, engineers, mechanics, stokers, &c., transport with ease more material than a million porters could move; or a thousand spinners and weavers by mechanical process manufacture stuffs which an incomparably larger number of handworkers could not produce in a lifetime. It is even no dream to prophesy that science will one day so perfect our knowledge of agriculture that a hundred thousand men—ploughmen, reapers, sowers, &c. — will harvest a quantity of corn which a million labourers could not so much as sow.
Gustave de Molinari, The Society of To-morrow: A Forecast of Its Political and Economic Organisation (1899; 1904), II.12.9.