Skip to main content

Full text of "The passing of capitalism, and the mission of socialism"

See other formats


BOUGHT  WITH  THE  INCOME 
FROM  THE 

SAGE  ENDOWMENT  FUND 

THE  GIFT  OF 

Slenrg  M.  Sage 

.A...^^lj."zj:. ^^is^'il...... 


3  1924  099  273  124 


The  original  of  tliis  book  is  in 
tine  Cornell  University  Library. 

There  are  no  known  copyright  restrictions  in 
the  United  States  on  the  use  of  the  text. 


http://www.archive.org/details/cu31924099273124 


2..  i)0OjaSj>.>bAv\    vrb .  JaJv/w:^   lev/- , 


Price,  25  Cents. 


THE  PASSING  OF 
CAPITALISM 


BY 


ISADOR  LADOFF. 


DEBS  PUBLISHING  COMPANY, 
TEREE  HAUTE,  IND. 


October,  1 90 1.     PROGRESSIVE  THOUGHT.  No  17. 

'•''•         ,     Published  Quarterly.  50-cbnts  a  Year 

Entered  at  the  PostolHce  at  Tene  Haute,  Ind.,  as  second-class  matter. 


BEYOND  THE  BLACK  OCEAN 

STORY  OF  A  SOCIALIST  REVOLUTION. 

BY  REV.  T.  McGRADY. 


This  novel  by  Father  McGrady,  is  the  most  original  and  startling  the  Socialist 
movement  has  yet  produced.  It  exposes  the  causes  for  the  evils  that  afflict  mod- 
ern society,  and  points  to  Socialism  as  the  only  remedy. 

It  is  intensely  dramatic  and  will  interest  thousands  who  have  attempted  no 
serious  study  of  Social  problems. 

Read  it  and  circulate  it !    ,  ^  ,  -  . '  '■  ■ 

304  pages,  cloth,  $1,00;  papet,  50  cts. 

3  copies,  cloth,  $2.40 ;    3  copies,  paper,  sill. 20  / 

12      "  "         8.00;  12        '       ,      "        4.00. 

DKBS  PUBlwISHING  CO., 


:i  i 


THE  PASSING  OF  CMILISM, 


The  Mission  of  Socialism. 


BY 


ISADOR  LADOFF, 

Authirr  of  ''My  Exile  lo  Siherin.^' 


DEBS  PUBLISHING  COMPANY. 

TERRE  HAUTE,  IND. 

1901. 


Copyright,  1901. 
By  IsADOB  Ladofp. 


INDEX. . 

I    The  Passing  of  Capitalism  and  the  Mission  of  Social- 
ism       4 

II    The  First  National  Campaign  of  the  Social  Demo- 
cratic Party  of  America 8 

III    Two  Philosophies  of  Life 14 

IV    Science  and  Art  in  Their  Belation  to  Socialism  ,  .  .    19 

V    Anarchism 25 

VI    Tilts  at  the  Windmill  of  State  Socialism 35 

VII    The   Blonde  Beast,  the  Man  with  the  Hoe  and  the 

Philosophy  of  Despair 39 

VIII    Religious  and  Secular  Socialism .44 

IX    Rationalistic  Socialism 47 

X    The  Ethical  Movement 51 

XI    Is  Socialism  Materialistic  ?    .   .    .  60 

XII    Economic  and  Sociological  Aspects  of  Socialism  .   .    68 
XIII'   Capitalism  and  Liberty.    Freedom  and' Socialism    .    71 

XIV    Cataclysm  or  Revolution  ? 75 

XV    Communism  and  Collectivism 78 

XVI    Social  Revolution  and  Reformers 82 

XVII    Blissful  Socialism 86 

XVIII    The  Single-tax  versus  Socialism      90 

XIX    Individualism  and  Crime 95 

XX    Suicide  and  Industrial  Anarchy       100 

XXI    The  Clamor  for  Peace  in  Capitalistic  Society  ....  104 
XXII    The  Rights  of  Women 108 

XXIII  The  Bights  of  Children 112 

XXIV  The  Social  Evil  and  Commercialism 115 

XXV    Should  Trade  Unions  Enter  Politics  ? 119 

XXVI  May  Day  apd  Working-Class  Holidays 123 

XXVII  The  Capitalistic  Press ."      .126 

XXVIII  Modern  Philistinism 131 

XXIX  Popular  Education  as  Influenced  by  Capitalism  .   .  134 

XXX  Our  Municipal  Policy 137 

XXXI  What  Shall  be  Done  With  the  Man  With  the  Hoe?  .  141 

XXXII  Industrial  Insurance  and  Old  Age  Pensions    ....  145 

XXXIII  Building  of  the  Co-operative  Commonwealth    .  .  .  149 

XXXIV  Intellectual  Proletariat 153 

XXXV  On  the  Eve  of  the  Twentieth  Century.    A  Vision  .   .  156 


I.  THE  PASSING  OF  CAPITALISM  AND  THE  MIS- 
SION' OF  SOCIALIS^M. 

Why  does  capitalism  flourish  in  our  midst  like  a  venomous 
fungoid  ?  Why  did  the  greatest  achievements  of  the  human 
genius  in  the  conquest  of  dead  matter  result  in  the  actual  re- 
turn to  barbarism?  Simply  l)eeause  our  philosophy  of  life 
is  behind  our  jjrogross  in  the  domain  of  purely  material 
or  industrial  activity.  Simply  because  the  modern  methods 
of  production  and  distribution  of  wealth  are  far  more  ad- 
vanced than  our  ideals  and  conceptions  about  right  and  wrong. 
Our  methods  of  economic  activity  are  incorporating  (although, 
incompletely)  the  progressive  principle  of  socialization,  while 
our  philosophy  of  life,  our  moral  ideals,  remain  still  individu- 
alistic or  anarchistic. 

In  this  incongruity,  in  this  contradiction  between  our  con- 
ceptions of  human  inter-relations  on  one  hand  and  actual 
material  conditions  on  the  other,  is  concealed  the  center  of 
gravity  of  all  social  problems'  of  the  day.  This  incongruity 
and  contradiction  is  felt  instinctively  by  everybody.  Very  few 
however  have  a  clear  vision  of  the  hidden  causes  of  these 
phenomena.  Deep  is  the  general  unrest,  broad  is  the  general 
nervousness  of  the  people,  obvious  are  the  symptoms  of  our 
social  abnormalities,  absurdities  and  crimes,  but  very  few 
penetrate  beneath  the  mere  surface  of  things. 

Dissatisfaction  permeates  every  class  of  the  people,  and 
many  are  the  remedies  proposed  and  advocated  by  all  kinds 
of  so-called  reformers  whose  name  is  legion.  The  middle 
class  "reformers"  of  the  democratic-populistie  stamp,  those, 
blind  leaders  of  the  blind,  preach  reaction,  return  to  semi- 
medieval  individualism,  as  a  means  of  escaping  the  perplex- 
ities of  our  modern  industrial  conditions.  Their  watchword 
is:  "Backward,  backward,  Don  Kodrigo!"  Another  variety 
of  half-hearted,  one-idea  reformers  try  to  concentrate  all 


their  attention  on  some  single  panacea,  bound  to  save  hu- 
manity in  twenty-four  hours  after  its  inauguration.  Such 
are  the  prohibitionists,  single-taxers  etc.  All  these  would-be 
saviors  of  hvimanity  lack  historic  sense  and  philosophic  train- 
ing of  mind.  They  are  delightfully  puerile  in  their  Utopian 
faith  in  the  miraculous  power  of  legislation  on  paper,  and 
do  not  se6  the  forest,  because  .stubbornly  insisting  on  looking 
at  one  tree  only.  -  They  imagine  themselves  to  be  Joshuas, 
commanding  the  sun  of  industrial  evolution  to  stop  at  the- 
Ajalon  of  dwarfed  capitalism. 

Socialism  has  another  mor^e  sensible  and  cheering  message 
for  humanity.  Its  watchword . is  ,":i!'orward !  Forward !"  It 
recognizes  the  absurdity  of  all  the  attempts  to  turn  the  wheel 
of  historical  development  backward^it^epnsiders  as  insane  the 
advice  to  undo  all  the  marvelous  achievements  of  science  ap- 
plied to  arts.  It  is  primarily  an  educational  movement.  Its 
task  consists  in  teaching  people  to  conform  their  philosophy 
of  life,  their  social  ideals  and  moral  principles  to  the  new  in- 
dustrial conditions.  .<..  . 

The  economic  structure  of  our  modern  society  is  clearly 
drifting  towards  the  socialization  of  industry,  and  Social- 
ism is  preparing  the  people  for  this  revolutionary  change. 
The  time  is  near  when  the  tools  of  production  and 
raw  material  will  be  turned  over  to  the  people  engaged  in  pro- 
duction, when  production  will  be  carried  on,  not  for  profit, 
but  for  consumption,  when  socialized  production  will  be  car- 
ried on  by  society  in  the  interest  of  society;  in  short,  when 
society  at  large  will  be  the  master  of  its  own  economic  destiny. 
Such  a  revolution  in  economic  life  demands  a  radical  revision 
and  readjustment  of  our  moral  conceptions;  it  demands  a 
clear  vision  of  the  drift  of  our  time  and  a  great  deal  of  en- 
thusiasm in  the  cause  of  human  welfare.  This  clearness  of 
vision,  this  enthusiasm  and  the  gospel  of  a  new  system  of 
ethics  Socialism  brings  to  the  people. 

The  passing  capitalistic  era  with  its  profit  system,  with  its 
zoological  system  of  competition,  with  its  eternal  fluctuations 
between  supply  and  demand,  with  its  reckless  speculation  in 
human  sweat  and  blood,  with  its  brutal  degradation  of  man- 
hood  and  womanhood,  with  its  flagrant  injustice  and  absurd- 
ities, did  not  fall  from  heaven,  (or  rather,  rise  from  hell) 
into  a  community  of  innocent  and  reasoning  beiings.  Capital- 
ism is  the  product  of  our  own  irrationality  and  perverted 


sense  of  right  and  wrong.  Capitalism  is  passing  m  the  mea- 
sure that  we  are  outgrowing  it  morally  and  mentally,  ine 
mission  of  Socialism  is  to  help  and  hasten  our  jnental  and 
moral  growth  into  a  higher,  better,  nobler  social  system.  It 
can  do  this  because  it  stands  on  firm  historical  ground  and 
takes  up  the  work  just  where  it  was  left  by  the  middle  class 
French  Eevolution.  Time  has  proved  the  futility  of  political, 
without  economic,  freedom  and  equality.  Events  have  proved 
that  freedom  and  equality  in  the  purely  political  sense  of 
these  terms  are  mere  worthless  abstractions,  a  snare  and  de- 
lusion for  the  proletarian.  Socialism  demands  economic 
democracy,  economic  liberty  and  equality  as  the  only  real 
democracy,,  liberty  and  equality  worth  striving  for. 

"Well,  all  that  is  certainly  very  nice  and  sounds  well ;  but  is 
it  possible  to  change  human  nature  so  as  to  make  men  live 
like  loving  brothers?"  is  the  usual  sceptical  objection  of  wise 
practical  men  to  all  Socialistic  arguments.  This  objec- 
tion is  by  no  means  new.  The  "wise  and  practical  man- 
eater  certainly  did  object  in  the  same  way  to  the  radical  re- 
former who  first  suggested  that  to  enslave  prisoners  of  war. 
would  be  preferable  to  eating  them.  "It  would  indeed  be  very 
nice,  but  our  fathers  and  forefathers  ate  their  prisoners  of  war. 
You  cannot  change  human  nature."  And  yet  centuries  passed, 
and  slavery  formed  the  under  structure  of  great  civilizations, 
like  those  of  the  Hellenic  and  Eoman  empires.  The  wise 
slave-owner  argued  in  the  same  way  with  the  abolitionist,  and 
yet  the  shackles  fell  from  the  limbs  of  a  race  whose  only  crime 
consisted  in  the  pigment  of  its  skin.  Is  it  necessary  to  meet 
the  objection  of  our  wise  and  practical  anti-socialists?  It 
would  be  too  tedious. 

The  middle  class,  the  most  typical  representatives  of  which 
are  the  capitalists,  was  not  always  as  conservative,  nay,  some- 
times reactionary,  as  it  appears  at  present:  far  otherwise. 
The  absolute  power  of  the  kings  and  emperors  of  Europe, 
owing  to  which  the  nobility  and  clergy  occupied  the  most 
privileged  position,  was  a  thorn  in  the  flesh  of  the  middle 
class.  The  middle  class  was  the  carrier  of  the  noble  ideals 
of  (political)  freedom,  equality  and  (do  not  laugh,  dear 
reader)  brotherhood.  At  the  time  of  the  French  Eevolution 
it  represented  .the  advance  guard  of  humanity.  It  fought 
nobly  and  conquered  ^nth  the  aid  of  proletarian  blood  of 
course.    This   accomplished,   the   middle   class   ha.^stoned  to 


forget  its  revolutionary  traditions,  and  for  obvious  reasons. 
As  long  as  their  class  interests  coincided,  or  seemed  to  coin- 
cide, with  the  interests  of  the  human  race,  the  human  cause 
was  their  cause,  and  no  farther.  Indeed  political  freedom 
proved  ta  be  an  excellent  thing  without  its  economic  counter- 
part for  the  "valiant  possessor  of  the  valuable,"  as  Euskin 
aptly  defined  rich  people.  Who  enjoys  economic  freedom  be- 
cause his  is  "valiant,"  can  use  political  freedom  as  a  means  to 
get  advantage  over  his  less  valiant  fellow-citizens,  as  we  wit- 
ness in  Switzerland,  France  and  the  United  States.  The 
government  of  so-called  free  countriss  is  as  easily  run  in 
the  interests  of  a  plutocracy  as  a  monarchy  in  the  interests 
of  an  aristocracy.  The  proletarian  is  left  to  his  fate.  He  is 
doomed  to  be  dependent  on  his  only  possession — ^his  labor 
power  as  a  ware  in  the  market.  All  the  insecurity,  the  fluctua- 
tions of  supply  and  demand,  competition  and  other  beauties 
connected  with  the  mercantile  system,  are  burdening  the 
broad  shoulders  of  the  dispossessed  class  of  the  people.  The 
interests  of  this  class  are  at  present  identical  with  the  inter- 
ests of  the  human  race.  This  class  is,  therefore,  naturally 
the  carrier  of  the  highest  ideals  of  the  age,  is  the  advance 
guard  of  humanity  struggling  for  its  emancipation.  Social- 
ism is  the  mouthpiece  of  this  struggle,  its  interpreter,  its 
advocate  and  leader.  Socialism  must  train  the  proletarian 
class  and  lead  it  against  the  hosts  of  capitalism. 


II.  THE  FIRST  NATIOXAL  CAMPAIGN  OF  THE  SO- 
CIAL DEilOCEATlC  PARTY.  ITS  SIGNIFICANCE 
AND  NATIONAL  IMPORT. 

After  love,  spring  was,  is  and  probably  always  will  be  a 
favorite  subject  with  the  poets  of  all  zones.  And  indeed  where 
can  be  found  a  more  grateful  subject  for  song? 
It  evidently  is  more  agreeable  to  behold  a  rapidly  flowing 
brook  than  a  frozen  one;  evident  that  flowers 
look  and  smell  better  than  fallen  leaves;  that  a  long  sunny 
day  is  more  pleasant  than  a  short,  murky  one ;  that  the  arrival 
of  hosts  of  feathered  singers  is  preferable  to  their  departure 
for  shores  unknown.  The  poet  has  the  comparatively  easy 
task  of  putting  these  and  like  natural  phenomena  in  more  or 
less  euphonious  sounds,  and  the  susceptible  hearts  of  all  in- 
nocent youths  and  maidens  will  overflow  with  vague  but 
beautiful  emotions  and  bless  the  lucky  rhymer.  No  wonder 
that  there  are  so  many  spring  poets. 

But  we  should  like  to  transport  one  of  these  spring  poets 
to  the  arctic  regions  and  there  let  him  try  his  skill  and  talent. 

The  arctic  spring  has  no  fragrant  flowers,  no  flowing 
brooks,  no  singing  birds.  And  yet  a  true  poet  would  be  able  to 
express  in  one  way  or  another  that  mysterious  '"something," 
which  forms  the  incomparable  charm  of  the  dawn  of  the  year 
in  the  arctic  zone.  There  is  in  the  air  the  calm  hopefulness 
and  serene  joy  of  the  pure  platonic  love  of  a  chaste  maiden. 
Look  around  you !  The  sun  shines  as  bright,  the  sky  is  as  clear, 
the  snow  as  white,  the  trees  are  as  barren  as  in  winter.  Never- 
theless everything  in  nature  seems  changed,  transformed. 
You  cannot  tell  in  words,  how  and  why,  but  you  feel 
these  changes  and  transformations  intensely  with  all  the 
fibres  of  your  body,  with  all  the  strength  of  your  soul.  You 
feel  more  than  you  perceive  with  your  eyes  while  the  caressing 
rays  of  sunny  skies  ardently  kiss  away  the  icy  fetters  and 
snowy  covers  of  the  earth,  that  sleeping  beauty. 

There  were  and  are  many  gifted  writers  who  have  under- 
taken the  comparatively  grateful  task  of  describing  graphical- 
ly great  historical  events,  the  dawn  of  new  eras,  the  spring  of 
a  new  epoch  in  the  life  of  nations.  And  all  the  noble  enthusi- 
asts, the  sober  and  honest  thinkers,  the  great  statesmen  and 


modest,  unknown  toilers  in  the  cause  of  humanity,  feel  them- 
selves indebted  to  these  writers  for  inspiration  in  the  dark 
hours  of -pessimistic  despair,  for  consolation  in  the  exasperat- 
ing moments  of  unexpected  failure,  for  the  grand  lessons 
they  offer  at  a  time  when  these  lessons  are  more  precious  than 
all  the  treasures  of  the  earth.  But  there  are  not  many  writers 
who  discern  the  signs  of  a  time  preceding  some  great  trans- 
formation in  the  history  of  humanity — signs  escaping  the  eyes, 
of  the  ordinary  observer.  Such  writers  are  prophets,  seers  in 
the  true  sense  of  the  word. 

On  the  eve  of  great  historical  changes,  as  before  the  birth 
of  Christ,  the  dawn  of  the  renaissance,  the  French  revolution 
and  the  Declaration  of  Independence,  there  were  only  a  few 
who  understood  rightly  that  the  old  regime  had  outlived  its 
utility  and  was  bound  to  go  and  make  way  for  a  new  order  of 
things.  Everything  around  seemed  to  the  superficial  observer 
just  as  unchanged,  solid  and  firm  as  in  good  olden  times. 
But  the  Christs,  the  Van  Houtens,  the  Mirabeaus  and  the 
Franklins  Imew  better.  They  felt  that  mysterious  "some- 
thing" which  forms  the  charm  of  the  dawn  of  new  epochs  in 
the  history  of  humanity.  They  experienced  the  calm  hope- 
fulness and  pure  joy  of  seers  who  are  sure  that  their  most 
ardent  desires,  their  most  sacred  ideas  and  ideals  are  soon  to 
be  realized.  They  felt  intensely  in  every  fibre,  with  all  the 
strength  of  their  great  souls,  the  reviving  rays  of  human  rea- 
son and  sympathy  dispersing  .the  dense  darkness  of  the  past 
and  preparing  a  brighter  future  for  generations  to  come. 
They  felt  this  themselves  and  imparted  these  feelings  to  many 
of  their  more  susceptible  contemporaries  and  formed  in  such 
a  way. 

L'armee  de  la  pensee, 
L'armee  toujours  sacree, 
Qui  fait  a  le  progres 
Marcher  I'humanite ! 

(The  army  of  thought,  the  ever  sacred  army,  which  makes 
humanity  move  along  the  highway  of  progress). 

In  our  own  time,  the  winter  of  capitalism  seems  to 
have  its  full  sway,  with  sheets  of  paper  money  for 
skies,  with  a  golden  eagle,  as  its  sun,  a  silver  dollar 
for  its  moon,  and  innumerable  small  coin  for  stars,  with 


10 

iprofil,  competition  and  mammon  as  its  holy  trinity. 
i'Sordid  selfishness,  hypocritical  religiosity,  barren  mer- 
cantilism, gross  negligence  of  civic  duties  and  social 
obligations,  'anarchistic  industry  based  on  the  rule  homo 
homini  lupus,  all  these  beauties  of  the  capitalistic  system 
reign  supreme. 

And  yet  even  in  our  sad  times  there  is  undoubtedly  a  mys- 
terious "something"  in  the  air,  which  augurs  a  great  change 
in  the  social-economic  structure  of  humanitv.  This  "some- 
thing" is  no  longer  confined  to  single  isolated  seers,  to  small 
circles  of  new  parties,  to  pioneers  of  great  ideas  and  noble 
ideals.  It  is  to  be  met  with  everywhere,  in  the  general  press, 
in  the  pulpit,  in  the  court-room,  in  the  theater,  in  political 
gatherings,  in  the  sanctuaries  of  science  and  art.  Only  those 
who  intentionally  shut  their  eyes  and  ears  do  not  see  and  hear 
these  signs  of  the  times,  these  death-knells  of  the  mercantile 
system  of  society.  It  is  tnie  that  these  signs  of  the  times  are 
very  frequently  so  blurred  and  intangible  that  they  may  seem 
insignificant  if  taken  by  themselves,  but  taken  all  in  all  they 
speak  volumes. 

One  presidential  campaign  in  the  United  States  is 
conducted  in  about  the  same  way  as  another.  The 
professional  politicians  of  both  old  parties  organize  their 
forces,  manufacture  issues,  work  out  platforms,  shape 
party  pledges,  give  birth  to  campaign  catch-words,  flood 
the  country  with  "educational"  campaign  literature  and 
oral  eloquence,  violently  denounce  their  opponents  and 
profess  their  great  love  and  admiration  for  the  common  peo- 
ple. The  thoughtless  crowd,  the  cattle  of  the  ballot  box, 
shout  and  whoop  and  sell  their  birthright  to  either  one  or  the 
other  of  the  old  parties  for  a  mess  of  nasty  pottage.  After  the 
campaign  is  over  there  may  be  sonie  change  in  the  personal 
constituency  of  the  actors  on  the  political  arena,  some  shift- 
ing and  readjustment  of  the  stage  decorations.  The  play 
enacted,  however  will  remain  ever  the  same — the  exploitation 
of  the  unorganized  many  by  the  organized  few,  the  merciless 
exploitation  of  the  weak  by  the  strong,  the  honest  and  simple- 
minded  by  the  crafty  and  unscrupulous. 

Did  I  say  this  play  will  ever  remain  the  same?  No,  not 
forever,  but  as  long  as  any  of  the  old  parties,  it  is  immaterial 
which,  shall  remain  in  power.  And  that  cannot  be  very  long. 
The  middle  class  parties  have  no  vital  principles  to  incorpo- 


11 

rate,  and  a  political  party  without  vital  principles  is  like  a 
body  without  a  soul. 

\  The  dense  ignorance  and  criminal  good-nature  of  the  peo- 
ple may  for  a  short  time  allow  the  old  parties  to  preserve  the 
outward  appearance  of  life.  The  "mene  tekel  upharsin"  of 
the  old  parties,  however,  is  written  with  fiery  letters  on  the 
walls  of  the  modem  Belshazzars  of  Commercialism  and  Capi- 
talism. 

The  Social  Democratic  party — the  first  Socialistic  political 
organization,  that  reached  national  and  international  pro- 
portions in  the  United  States — started  its  first  national  cam- 
paign under  the  brightest  auspices.  There  was  a  demand,  a 
pressing  need,  for  a  new,  honest  third  party,  a  national  politi- 
cal party  which  would  unite  all  enlightened,  public-spirited 
men  who  are  opposed  to  our  present  commercial  and  capital- 
istic system  and  its  corrolaries — ^the  management  of  national 
affairs  by  the  hirelings  of  the  capitalistic  and  commercial 
classes  in  the  interests  of  these  classes  solely,  and  to  the  de- 
triment of  all  the  rest  of  the  people,  of  toiling  humanity  with- 
out distinction  of  class. 

The  strength  of  the  capitalistic  parties  in  our  days  is  not 
in  the  capitalistic  class  itself,  but  in  the  ignorance  and  indol- 
ence of  the  people  in  general  and  especially  in  the  utter  der 
moralization  of  the  capitalistic  mob. 

By  the  term  "capitalistic  mob"  we  mean  the  thoughtless 
crowd  of  people  who — far  from  being  capitalists  themselves 
or  having  a  ghost  of  a  show  to  become  capitalists — are  always 
ready  to  back  up  the  institutions  of  commercialism  and  capi- 
talism o\it  of  sheer  stupidity  and  despicable  success-worship. 
The  power  of  the  pro-slavery  party  of  the  South,  just  before 
the  abolition,  consisted  likewise  in  the  slavish  trend  of  mind 
of  the  thoughtless  crowd  of  retainers  who  could  never  afford 
to  own  a  slave  themselves.  This  ignorance,  this  indolence 
and  demoralization  were  the  most  formidable  enemies  of  the 
party  for  the  abolition  of  black  slavery. 

The  same  ignorance,  indolence  and  demoralization  are  the 
most  formidable  enemies  of  the  Socialistic  movement  that 
undertakes  the  task  of  abolishing  the  slavery  of  the  white 
wage-workers. 

The  surest  way  to  victory  for  Socialism  is  by  public  en- 
lightenment, and  the  best  means  are  agitation  and  propa- 
jranda. 


12 

The  Social  Democratic  party  entered  into  its  first  national 
campaign  with  no  sordid  aims  and  purposes  of  ofRce-hunting 
or  self-aggrandizement.  Those  chosen  not  as  leaders  but  as 
chief  servants  of  the  party  (every  member  of  the  party  was  a 
leader),  had  no  personal  ambition  but  were  inspired  by  the 
opportunity  to  promote  the  great  cause. 

The  Socialistic  movement  is  fully  aware  that  the  presiden- 
tial election  is  the  axis  around  which  all  the  political  machin- 
ery of  the  country  moves.  It  regards  the  office  of  the 
president,  in  its  present  shape,  as  a  menace  to  the  freedom  of 
the  people  and  is  certainly  opposed  to  the  present  system  of 
election  by  party.  It  detests  all  the  tactics  of  the  old  parties. 
It  merely  uses  the  presidential  campaign  as  an  excellent  op- 
portunity for  missionary  work.  It  must  fight  the  old  parties 
with  their  owq.  ^weapons  on  their  own  ground. 

The  Socialistic  movement  has  tried  to  open  the  eyes 
of  the  people  to  the  evils  of  o\ir  present  public  institutions; 
to  unmask  fools,  who  parade  as  sages;  rogues  pretending  to 
be  models  of  honesty,  and  charlatans  who  profess  to  be  emi- 
nent specialists:  to  show  the  hideous  features  of  salaried 
back-yard  politicians  posmg  as  statesmen,  and  to  point 
out  the  difference  between  the  purposeless  loafing  of  super- 
fluous office-holders  from  genuine  earnest  work  in  the  inter- 
est of  the  community.  It  has  tried  to  lift  the  curtain  of  many 
a  snug  corner  of  our  administration,  honeycombed  as  it  is 
with  corruption. 

At  the  same  time,  however,  it  has  tried  to  keep  before  the 
eyes  of  the  people  the  great  principles  and  ideals  it  represents. 
The  critical  and  constructive  work  of  the  movement  must 
go  on  at  the  same  time. 

A  clean  work  needs  clean  hands. 

Great  principles  and  lofty  ideals  demand  a  great  and  loftv 
man  as  their  representative.  Such  a  man  was  the  nominee  of 
the  Indianapolis  convention,  Eugene  V.  Debs. 

A  truer  heart  and  purer  mind,  a  more  sincere  friend  of  toil- 
ing humanity  has  riot  been  born  in  our  country  and  ccnturv. 

"The  time  is  ripe,  and  rotten  ripe  for  change ; 
Then  let  it  come;  I  have  no  dread  of  what 
Is  called  for  by  the  instinct  of  mankind  ; 
Xor  think  I  that  God's  world  will  fall  apart 
Because  we  tear  a  parchment  more  or  less. 


Ic 


Truth  is  eternal,  but  her  effluence. 
With  endless  change,  is  fitted  to  the  hour ; 
Her  mirror  is  turned  forward  to  reflect 
The  promise  of  the  future,  not  the  past. 
He  who  would  win  the  name  of  truly  great 
Must  undei-stand  his  own  age  and  the  next. 
And  make  the  present  ready  to  fulfil 
Its  prophecy,  and  with  the  future  merge 
Gently  and  peacefully,  as  wave  with  wave." 


14 
III.     TWO  PHILOSOPHIES  OF  LIFE. 

INDIVIDUALISM    AXD    SOCIALISM,    AN.VliCHISM     AND    KACKISM 

Science  has  not  supplied  us  so  far  with  a  satisfactory  de- 
finition of  matter,  and  for  obvious  reasons.  A  definition  is  the 
result  of  comparing  two  or  more  similar  subjects,  eliminating 
the  identical  and  fixing  our  attention  exclusively  on  the  pe- 
culiar and  characteristic  properties  of  these  subjects.  As  all 
the  world,  including  that  mysterious  something  that  we  call 
our  ego  or  soul,  consists  only  of  matter  in  various  kinds  and 
degrees  of  motion,  a  comparison  of  matter  with  something 
else  which  is  not  matter  is  impossible.  The  cause  of  various 
kinds  and  degrees  of  motion  of  matter,  making  up  the  ap- 
parently endless  variety  of  the  visible  world  is  called  energy. 
The  two  fundamental  laws  of  nature  are  the  indestructibility 
of  matter  and  the  conservation  of  energy.  These  two  laws 
may  be  stated  more  comprehensibly  as  follows:  Not  a  par- 
ticle of  matter  can  be  destroyed  or  created  anew;  matter  is 
eternal.  It  may,  however,  undergo  an  endless  chain  of  varia- 
tions, owing  to  the  kind  and  degree  of  motion  of  its  smallest 
parts  in  space,  caused  by  the  different  manifestations  of 
energy.  Energy  may  be  considered  as  a  condition  of  matter, 
more  consistently  from  the  monistic  point  of  view,  than  as  a 
cause  of  this  condition.  AVhatever  our  views  of  energy  may 
be,  the  fact  is  established  beyond  any  shadow  of  doubt,  that 
energy  is  just  as  indestructible  as  matter  itself.  As  one  con- 
dition of  matter  may  make  place  for  another,  one  kind  of 
energy  may  be  transformed  into  another,  but  never  lost  to  the 
world  at  large. '  The  instinct  of  self-preservation  in  the  living 
world  is  one  of  the  corrolaries  of  the  fundamental  laws  of 
nature  just  stated.  If  matter  and  energy  were  destructible, 
the  material  world  would  not  exist,  if  there  were  no  instinct 
of  self-preservation  no  life  would  be  possible  on  earth. 

All  the  great  achievements  of  human  culture  and  civiliza- 
tion are  due  on  one  side  to  the  ingenuity  with  which  humanity 
has  directed  natural  forces  into  artificial  channels  favorable  to 
human  life,  and  on  the  other  side  to  the  ardent  instinct  of 
self-preservation  so  deeply  rooted  in  human  nature,  the  pas- 
sionate desire  to  exist  individually  and  racially.  This  in- 
stinct of  self-preservation  is  a  natural  force.  Natural  forces 
are  blind.    The  same  wind  that  in  its  furv  tears  down  build- 


1.-. 

ings  and  destroys  human  life  may  bi;  turned  into  useful 
channels  and  compelled  to  propel  mills.  The  same  applies 
to  the  instinct  of  self-preservation  in  human  nature ;  it  may 
be  destructive  and  constructive  according  to  the  channels  in 
which  it  moves.  Even  the  most  ignorant  savage  knows  so 
much  of  nature  as  to  be  convinced  of  the  futility  of  fighting 
natural  forces.  Eather  the  reverse  is  true;  the  savage  turns 
the  natural  forces  into  so  many  deities,  with  which  he  colo- 
nizes his  Ohnnpus.  It  is  childishly  crude  to  regard  the  in- 
stinct of  self-preservation  as  an  evil  called  selfishness  which 
must  he  eradicated,  rather  than  a  necessary  force,  which 
needs  intelligence,  as  a  guide  to  life  itself. 

Don  Quixote  fought  windmills,  but  he  had  too  much  sense 
to  fight  wind  itself,  that  means  the  air  in  its  motion.  That 
is  just  what  our  Utopian  friend  the  revolutionary  (anarchis- 
tic philosophers  or  philosophical  anarchists)  and  conservative 
(middle-class  philosophers  of  the  ethical  culturists  and  church 
moralists)  individualists  advocate.  They  propose  to  eradicate 
this  fundamental  social  force  and  change  human  nature 
so  as  to  take  away  from  it  the  very  motive  of  its  existence,  to 
cure  a  headac-he  hj  decapitation,  to  huild  up  a  society  by  de- 
stroying the  building  material  on  hand  and  killing  the  huilder. 
^  A  more  irrational  undertaking  is  hardly  imaginable. 

The  Socialistic  view  of  selfishness  and  the  way  to 
utilize  it  in  the  interests  of  the  human  race  we  have  treated 
in  some  of  our  former  articles  and  hope  to  treat  later  many  a 
time.  Let  us  here  pass  this  phase  of  the  problem  and  try 
to  see  how  the  instinct  of  self-preservation  in  humankind 
has  originated  two  diametrically  opposed  philosophies  of  life. 
Taking  for  granted  that  self-preservation  is  the  fundamental 
force  of  life,  we  have  to  deal  with  the  ways  and  means  to 
direct  it.  Between  two  points — ^the  starting  point  and  point 
of  final  goal  of  a  force  (the  term  final  is  used  in  a 
relative  sense),  the  shortest  road  is  a  direct  line;  the  most 
economic  road  from  the  point  of  view  of  preservation  of 
energy  is  the  curved  line  of  least  resistance.  This  law  of 
mechanics  applies  likewise  to  social  life  in  general.  On  the 
lower  stages  of  life,  taking  the  desire,  for  food  as  the 
starting  point  and  its  satisfaction  as  the  final  point,,  the 
animal  will  directly  reach  for  the  food  just  as  it  presents  itself 
to  its  feelings,  without  any  consideration  as  to  the  ratio  be- 
tween the  energy  to  be  expended  and  the  end  to  he  aceom- 


1-G 

plished.  The  higher  an  aiiiiual  stands  on  the  evolutionary 
ladder  the  more  considerations  of  economy  in  energy  enters 
into  its  mode  of  satisfying  its  needs,  the  more  the  line  of 
least  resistance  is  followed.  Cunning  and  prevision  take  the 
place  of  brute  force  and  immediate  impulses,  association  is 
resorted  to  and  the  elements  of  social  co-operation  appear  on 
the  surface,  as  in  the  case  of  the  ant,  the  bee  and  the  herd 
animals.  The  individual  arrives  at  the  conclusion  that  his 
interests  will  be  best  served  by  the  somewhat  roundabout  way 
of  apparently  merging  his  individual  interests  into  the  sea  of 
racial  interests.  This  is  the  starting  point  of  raceism,  of 
which  modern  Socialism  is  the  most  typical  expression,  while 
individualism  belongs  to  a  lower  stage  of  life  and  survives  at 
present  only  as  a  hypocritical  cant  on  the  part  of  middle- 
class  philosoiihers  and  as  a  Utopian  dw.xm  of  unphilosophic 
philosoi)hiial  anarchists.  Individualisn^  celebrates  its  orgies 
in  our  present  ago  of  mercantilism  and  capitalism,  and  will 
die  with  it  the  ignominious  death  of  a  philosophy  of  brute 
force  and  slavery.  liaccisn\ — the  philoso])hy  of  Socialism — 
is  gaining  ground  with  every  day,  and  will  usher  in  a  new, 
higher  and  nobler  stage  of  ciiltiirc  and  civilization  and  be  the 
crowning  glory  of  the  human  race,  the  religion  of  the  future. 

There  never  was  and  certainly  never  will  he  a  human  crea- 
ture without  some  philosophy  of  life,  without  some  theory 
about  the  non  ego,  the  not  myself,  the  outward  world,  and  some 
conception  about  the  mutual  relations  between  the  outward 
and  the  subjective  inward  world,  generally  called  the  human 
soul.  We  are  justified  in  going  even  one  step  farther  and  ven- 
turing to  state,  that  the  higher  types  of  animals  have  some 
rudimentary  conceptions  of  their  relations  towards  the  out- 
ward world.  Fanciful  as  this  statement  may  appear,  it  is 
however  true  that  a  bird  protecting  its  nest  or  a  tiger  hunting 
a  weaker  animal,  each  respectively  acts  in  accordance  with 
some  conception,  however  crude,  of  its  place  in  nature.  The 
hackneyed  distinction  between  instinct  and  mind  is  unsci- 
entific, as  there  is  only  a  difference  in  degree  between  these 
two  properties,  or  rather  functions,  of  the  brain. 

It  is  true  that  strictly  speaking,  there  are  as  many  concep- 
tions in  life  as  there  are  human  individuals,  and  thai;  these 
variations  increase  with  the  progressive  evolution  of  the  in- 
dividuality. And  yet  we  may  very  precisely  distinguish  be- 
tween two  cardinal  principles  in  the  popular  conception  of 


17 

life,  principles  diametrically  opposed  to,  nay,  even  excluding 
each  other. 

One  of  these  principles  is  ego-centrism,  individualism,  or 
anarchism.  This  principle  is  a  survival  of  the  exploded  geo- 
centric and  anthropomorphic  theories,  according  to  which  the 
entire  univer.se  is  created  by  some  supernatural  being  for 
the  special  benefit  of  a  certain  chosen  human  unit  inhabiting 
the  grain  of  cosmic  dust  called  earth.  BVom  this  puerile 
point  of  view,  the  outward  world  is  only  to  be  considered  as 
a  means  of  satisfying  the  desires  and  cravings  of  animals. 
Prom  such  a  view  it  logically  follows  that  might  is  right.  An- 
arohism  as  a  philosophy  of  life  is  as  old  as  the  oldest  forms  of 
Jife  on  earth.  The  prototype  of  an  accomplished  anarchistic 
philosopher  in  the  animal  kingdom  is  the  tiger,  just  as  an 
exploiter  of  human  labor  is  an  accomplished  tiger  in  huma-n 
shape.  The  tiger  considers  himself  the  sole  object  of  the 
world's  bounty,  and  therefore  fully  entitled  to  the  flesh, 
blood  and  marrow  of  animals  weaker  than  himself.  The  ex- 
ploiter of  human  labor  is  the  representative  of  the  same  tiger 
philosophy,  in  spite  of  his  outward  appearance. 

The  conception  of  life  diametrically  opposed  to  anarchism 
may  be  traced  in  its  inceptive  stage  in  the  animal  kingdom  to 
the  gregarious  mammals.  Life  in  herds  presupposes  some  in- 
stinct of  a  social  or  racial  nature.  It  is  only  natural  that  the 
racial  instinct  should  reach  its  highest  stage  of  development 
in  the  human  kind. 

The  tmderlying  principle  of  race-consciousness  (as  op- 
po~sed  to  individual  self-consciousness)  is  the  recognition  of 
the  fact,  that  the  interests  of  the  individual  are  best  served  by 
their  subjection  to  the  interests  of  the  aggregate.  The  plain 
principle  of  racc-conxciousness  is  nothing  but  the  princi- 
ple of  international  socialism:  Socialism  is  therefore  primar- 
ily a  philosophy  of  life  based  on  the  recognition  of  the  pre- 
fect solidarity  of  the  interests  of  all  the  members  of  human- 
kind. Socialism  in  the  broadest  sense  of  the  term  is  as  old  as 
the  human  race. 

All  the  Zoroasters,  the  Buddahs,  the  Moseses,  Isaiahs  and 
Christs,  all  the  hoary  seers  of  the  past,  who  preached  race- 
consciousness,  were  emotional  or  religious  socialists.  There 
is,  however,  a  vast  difference  between  the  socialism  expounded 
and  propounded  by  the  founders  of  great  religions  of  the 
world,  the  half-rationalistic,  Utopian  or  imaginary  socialism 


18 

of  a  Thomas  Move,  Babeuf,  Fourier  or  Eobert  Owen,  and  the 
thoroughly  critical  socialism  of  Eodbertus  and  Marx. 

The  Utopian  socialists  had  no  idea  of  society  as  a  natural 
product  of  biological  and  anthropological  development,  as  a 
complex  result  of  the  action,  reaction,  and  co-operation  of 
natural  forces  inherent  in  society.  The  Utopians  rather 
thought,  that  society  is  entirely  the  result  of  the  free  play  of 
hitman  will  and  may  be  arbitrarily  remodeled  according  to 
artificial  designs  or  fancies  at  a  moment's  notice.  The 
Utopians  judged  society  from  a  high  level  of  moral  feeling 
and  ideas  (just  as  the  religious  teachers  of  the  past)  and  also 
appealed  to  the  higher  qualities  of  the  human  mind.  Their 
conception  of  history  was  thoroughly  metaphysical. 

Modern  Socialism  is  the  child  of  modem  social  conditions 
and  a  critical  trend  of  mind.  One  of  the  most  character- 
istic features  of  modern  socialism  is  its  so-called  materialistic, 
or  rather  realistic  conception  of  history,  as  opposed  to  the 
metaphysical  conception  of  older  schools.  The  great 
expounders  of  modern  socialism,  Eodbertus  and  Marx,  first 
proved  that  not  the  will  and  whim  of  kings  are  the  most 
important  factors  in  the  process  of  shaping  the  destinies  of 
nations,  but  social  and  economic  forces  inherent  in  the  masses 
and  classes  composing  nations.  They  first  proved  that 
economic  and  social  institutions  are  the  result  of  these 
highly  complex  forces  and  siibjected  to  evolutionary  and  re- 
volutionary, to  progressive  and  regressive  changes.  They  first 
investigated  social  and  econoniic  phenomena,  vising  exact 
and  strictly  scientific  methods.  They  first  established  the 
existence  of  laws,  the  mutual  relations  between  causes  and 
effects  in  social  and  economic  life.  They  were  the  Bacons 
and  Darwins  of  economics.  They  first  attempted  to  base  the 
ideals  of  the  future  on  a  rational  conception  of  the  past  and 
present.  Sociology  is  the  science  of  the  development 
of  society.  Modern  socialism  is  the  art  of  applying 
the  resiults  of  scienticic  investigations  and  deduction  toi 
the  practical  problems  of  human  society.  It  is  the 
meeting-ground  of  religion,  rational  ethics  and  pure 
science.  Eeligion  or  rational  ethics  supplies  the 
motive,  the  why,  while  science  shows  the  way  Tiow  to  accom- 
plish the  true  (not  the  mystical)  salvation  of  humanity  from 
the  burden  of  spiritual  and  material  anarchy,  from  the  course 
of  selfishness,  the  stupid  subserviency  to  brute  force  and  the 
arrosrancc  of  material  wealth. 


10 


IV.    SCIENCE  AND  AET  IN  THEIR  RELATIONS  TO 

SOCIALISM. 

Is  Socialism  an  idle  fancy  of  noble  dreamers,  or  an  exact 
science  founded  on  the  impregnable  rock  of  economic  ma- 
terialism ?  Is  it  a  panacea  for  all  the  evils  of  humanity,  or  an 
antidote  to  the  poison  of  capitalism — a  kind  of  an  antitoxin 
against  the  microbes  of  modern  economic  materialism  ? 

Frenchmen  say :  "A  comparison  is  no  reason,"  and  yet  an 
analogy  elucidates  sometimes  more  than  volumes  of  scientific 
proofs.  We  will  therefore  make  an  attempt  to  ansvi^er  the 
question  put  at  the  head  of  this  note  by  using  a  comparison. 
Medicine,  preventive  and  curative,  is  an  art  founded  on  the 
so-called  natural  sciences  and  on  the  knowledge  of  the  human 
body.  Rational  medicine  is  impossible  without  this  knowl- 
edge. A  physician  without  it  is  a  dangerous  quack.  Society 
exists,  just  as  the  human  body,  according  to  certain  conditions 
of  its  life  and  activities.  If  these  conditions  are  in  accord 
with  natural  laws,  society  prospers,  and  vice  versa. 

Human  society  can  be,  and  is,  studied  by  scientists.  The 
science  of  society  is  known  by  the  name  of  Sociology. 
Sociology  is  to  society  what  natural  sciences  are  to  the  human 
body — the  real  basis  and  foundation  of  its  treatment  in  health 
and  disease.  Socialism,  however,  is  the  "art  of  Sociology," 
tlie  "application  of  science  to  the  practical  problems  of  social 
life,"  the  "materia  medica,"  the  hygiene  and  curative  methods 
of  the  social  body.  This  conception  of  Socialism  is  immensely 
broader  and  more  harmonious  than  that  of  the  economic  ma- 
terialist, since  it  takes  into  consideration  all  the  human  wants 
instead  of  only  the  material  ones.  The  social  unit  of  the 
economic  materialist  is  not  a  living  human  being,  with  all 
Ihis  faults  and  passions,  desires  and  ambitions,  altruistic  and 
egotistic  inclinations,  moral  and  immoral  tendencies.  This 
social  unit  is  an  abstraction,  a  man  from  whom  all  human 
traits  are  eliminated,  except  greed  for  possession  of  maternal 
goods.  Economic  problems  play  a  great  part  in  human 
life,  and  consequently  in  social  life,  too.  But  they  do  not 
constitiite  all  of  it.  Economy  as  a  science  is  a  part  of  Soci- 
ology; the  skeleton  is  a  very  important  part  of  the  human 
body ;  but  a  living  man  is  infinitely  more  than  a  skeleton. 


20 

Tlie  scieDce  about  the  bones,  osteolog}',  is  necessan'  for  the 
general  knowledge  of  the  human  body.  But  would  it  not  be 
preposterous  for  osteologists  to  say  that  iheir  science  is 
all  that  is  necessary  for  a  practical  physician?  Economics 
are  the  osteology  of  human  society,  and  to  base  on  it  the  art 
of  the  treatment  of  society  is  simply  preposterous. 

As  the  knowledge  of  all  the  parts  of  the  human  body  is  the 
condition  sine  qua  non  of  a  good  physician,  the  knowledge  of 
all  the  laws  of  the  interrelations  of  human  beings  is  neces- 
sary for  every  Socialist  who  deserves  the  name.  Socialism 
is  no  longer  an  idle  dream ;  it  is  not  a  panacea,  or  a  specific 
cure  against  a  certain  disease,  it  is  not  a  science  by  and  for 
itself.  It  is  infinitely  more  than  all  that.  It  is  the  applica- 
tion of  all  the  results  of  scientific  investigation,  of  the  results 
of  human  thought  and  noblest  feelings  to  the  problems  of 
social  life.  Great  is  the  dignity  of  a  healer  of  the  afflictions 
of  the  human  body,  and  the  preserver  of  health,  but  great-  are 
also  his  responsibilities.  To  be  called  a  Socialist  is  the  high- 
est compliment  that  can  be  paid  by  one  man  to  another.  To  be 
a  true  Socialist  is  the  highest  distinction  a  man  can  attain  on 
earth.  But  how  many  deserve  to  be  called  so,  and  how  many 
pretend  to  be  Socialists,  without  any  shadow  of  right  to  be 
counted  as  such?  It  is  not  enough  to  repeat  thoughtlessly 
certain  ready-made  maxims  and  sentences  in  order  to  be  a 
Socialist.  It  is  necessary  to  study  society  in  all  its  aspects 
and  phases,  to  read,  think  and  investigate  much  and  long, 
in  order  to  have  the  right  to  call  one's  self  a  Socialist.  One  in- 
dependent thinking  man  is  worth  thousands  of  thoughtless 
repeaters  of  other  people's  ideas.  It  is  a  great  and  noble  thing 
to  "make  Socialists,"  but  the  proper  way  to  do  it  is  to  make 
them  study,  think  and  judge  for  themselves,  to  put  them  on 
their  own  feet.  Peeling  alone,  sincere  and  deep  as  it  may  be, 
is  not  a  secure  foundation  for  a  soldier  of  Socialism.  Knowl- 
edge, and  conviction  coming  from  knowledge,  and  independ- 
ent thought,  are  the  most  precious  qualities  of  a  healer  of 
social  wrong  and  a  true  social  reformer.  The  so-called  social- 
istic leaders  who  are  opposed  to  academic  study  of  society, 
because  they  "want  fighters,"  are  false  prophets".  Socialism 
in  order  to  succeed  must  conduct  an  educational  crusade. 
German  Socialists  owe  their  success  to  the  systematic  educa- 
tion of  the  masses,  started  by  the  genial  Ferdinand  Lassalle 
and  kept  up  to  our  day.     The  Socialists  of  England  try  to 


21 

do  the  same.     The  American  Socialists  must  adopt  the  same 
policy.    An  ignorant  soldier  is  a  poor  fighter. 

Societj'  is  not  aTi  organism,  but  an  organization.  Indeed, 
it  is  the  highest  stage  of  organization  of  matter  to  be  met  with 
in  nature. 

Sociology  is  a  natural  science  in  the  full  meaning  of  the 
term.  Society  is  governed  by  the  same  laws  that  rule  the 
rest  of  the  organic  and  inorganic  world.  The  proper  method 
of  studying  society  consists  in  the  analysis  of  the  forces  which 
form  and  keep  societies  alive.  Before  we  begin  this  analysis, 
however,  we  must  cast  a  cursory  glance  at  the  probable  stages 
of  the  development  of  society  among  primitive  men. 

The  first  stage  consisted  probably  of  u  grouping  of  men  in 
small  numbers  for  the  purpose  of  a  more  successful  acquire- 
ment of  food.  The  second  stage  was  the  association  of  larger 
numbers  of  men  in  consequence  of  their  more  rapid  multipli- 
cation due  to  increased  sagacity  in  providing  food.  The  estab- 
lishment of  some  rude  forms  of  government  formed  the  third 
stage  of  social  life.  Tribal  development  can  be  accepted  as 
the  fourth  stage  of  the  association  of  man,  eventually  result- 
ing in  the  union  of  tribes  into  nations,  and  the  union  of 
nations  into  higher  aggregates  of  a  cosmopolitan  character. 

Let  us  now  see  what  are  the  social  forces  of  which  we  have 
spoken.  Society  is  an  aggregation  of  men,  and  we  have  there- 
fore to  consider  the  forces  of  human  activity  in  particular  in 
order  to  understand  their  general  and  ebmplex  manifestations 
in  society.  The  animal  world  is  governed  by  two  primary 
principles.  One  is  the  self-preservation  of  the  individual, 
and  the  other  the  propagation  of  the  race.  These  principles 
are  manifested  in  corresponding  desires.  These  desires  are 
natural  forces,  compelling  their  agents  to  perform  certain 
acts  leading  to  certain  results.  The  human  animal  makes 
no  exception  to  these  primary  principles  of  organic  life. 

Hunger,  thirst  and  cold  are  the  most  powerful  stimulants 
to  human  activity.  It  is  want  of  food,  clothing  and  shelter 
that  compels  men  to  work,  to  create  industries,  to  accumulate 
wealth,  to  proclaim  rights  of  property,  to  fix  rules  of  con- 
duct, to  found  cities  and  establish  states,  to  inaugurate  wars 
and  arrange  peace.  The  great  difference  between  man  and 
the  brute  creation  consists  not  in  the  desire  of  the  individual 
to  live  and  reproduce  his  kind,  but  rather  in  the  method  of 
gratifying  thes^o  blind  but  slrong  desires,  which  Schopenliauer 


I'l 


22 

.,il!s  the  "will."  Tn  animals  the  method  is  brute  force,  form- 
ing a  straight  line  between  the  point  of  desire  and  the  point 
of  gratification.  In  man  the  method  is  indirect  and  along  the 
line  of  least  resistance.  Nature  is  prodigal  in  its  methods, 
man  economical.  Nature  has  efficient  causes,  but  no  aims  or 
purposes.  Man  does  everything  with  an  aim  or  purpose  in 
view. 

Whv  does  llu>  human  being  employ  indirect  methods,  while 
the  rest  of  the  living  world  employs  direct  ones  ?  The  answer 
is  found  in  the  fact  of  the  peculiar  spiritual  mind  of  man. 
Nobody  denies  now  that  man  is  an  animal,  but  very  many  for- 
get that  he  is  immensely  more,  that  his  reasoning  faculty  ele- 
vates him  far  above  the  rest  of  the  living  world.  This  rea- 
soning intelligence  in  man  constitutes  a  powerful  force  in 
human  society.  Men  use  their  intellects  to  their  own  advan- 
tage. They  observe  and  study  nature  in  all  its  manifestations 
and  use  the  acquired  knowledge  for  their  practical  purposes. 

The  knowledge  of  nature  is  science;  the  application  of 
science  is  called  art.  The  primitive  appliances  of  the  savage 
of  the  Stone  Age  for  hunting  animals,  his  rude  cave  dwelling, 
the  manufacture  of  skin  clothing,  the  discovery  and  produc- 
tion of  fire,  all  were  the  results  of  some  crude  knowledge  of 
the  laws  of  nature,  and  an  awkward  attempt  to  apply  them 
to  the  needs  of  practical  life.  All  the  progress  of  the  human 
race  was  of  necessity  along  these  lines  of  knowledge. 

But  there  was  another  field  of  knowledge,  the  knowledge  of 
human  nature  itself.  Increased  intellect,  deepened  sympathy, 
and  refined  feeling  resulted  not  only  in  the  perfection  of 
food,  shelter  and  clothing,  in  the  development  of  con- 
ceptions of  duty  and  justice  and  in  economic  progress, 
but  it  created  the  desire  for  fine  arts,  evolved  the 
higher  feelings  of  patriotism,  and  the  desire  to  serve 
humanity  out  of  the  purest  motives  of  xisefulness  to 
the  race.  The  knowledge  of  nature  and  men  is 
a  means  to  these  ends.  Once  we  know  what  must  happen 
under  certain  conditions,  we  may  either  modify  these  condi- 
tions or  take  precautionary  measures.  Knowledge  enables 
men  to  artificially  change  their  environment.  All  the  culture 
and  civilization  of  the  world  is  in  this  sense  artificial — the 
result  of  art,  of  applied  science.  It  is  the  indirect  method 
of  gratification. 

The  return  to  nature  advocated  liy  Rousseau  would  mean 


23 

return  to  animalit^m,  the  degradation  of  man  to  the  brute 
level.  The  artificiality  of  society  is  not  only  not  unnatural, 
but  is  in  entire  harmony  with  nature.  Society  in  its  advanced 
condition  contains  both — ^highly  developed- individualism  and 
co-operation  in  all  fields  of  activity.  Nature  works  through 
competition,  i.  e.,  through  the  survival  of  the  fittest  in  the 
struggle  for  existence.  Men  as  rational  beings  prefer  the 
economical  method  of  co-operation  which  leads  to  the  sur- 
vival of  the  best.  Nature  destroys  its  weak  children  without 
mercy;  men  protect  theirs  with  love  and  sympathy.  Compe- 
tition is  .a  brute  force,  co-operation  a  humane  method, 
founded  on  rational  principles  of  conservation  of  energy  and 
economy  of  forces. 

Even  monopolization  of  transportation,  exchange,  finance 
and  industry  is  a  higher  stage  than  chaotic  competition.  It 
is  not  true  that  competition  leads  to  cheapness  and  monopoly 
to  higher  prices.  Competition  is  always  wasteful  and  un- 
economical. If  monopolies  lead  to  higher  prices,  it  is  not 
on  account  of  the  inherent  quality  of  the  organization  itself, 
but  in  consequence  of  the  unchecked  avarice  of  the  owners  of 
the  concerns. 

The  real  remedy  for  monopolies  is  not  their  abolition,  but 
their  nationalization. 

The  overwhelming  power  of  so-called  capital,  as  opposed  to 
so-called  labor,  the  superiority  of  the  so-called  monopolies  as 
opposed  to  the  great  numbers  of  consumers,  consists  only  in 
the  fact  of  their  organization,  as  opposed  to  competition. 
The  laborers  and  consumers  compete  with  each  other,  while 
the  capitalists  and  monopolists  co-operate. 

The  real  way  out  of  this  dilemma  of  seemingly  opposed  in- 
terest is  organization  of  the  consumer  and  worker. 

To  expect  success  in  a  fight  against  organization  with  the 
weapons  of  competition  is  just  as  reasonable  as  it  would  be  to 
expect  victory  for  the  scattered  warriors  of  an  Indian  tribe 
armed  with  arrows,  in  battle  with  a  company  of  trained 
soldiers  armed  with  rifles  of  the  latest  pattern.  Another 
great  popular  fallacy  is  the  principle  of  "lesser  faire," 
"lesser  passer," — ;let  alone — in  the  domain  of  social  life.  His- 
torically, the  principle  of  extreme  individual  liberty  and  all 
possible  limitations  of  the  controlling  powers  of  the  state 
was  a  negation  of  the  extreme  paternalism  of  the  French 
monarchy.       The    let-alone-policy     long    ago    outlived    its 


24 

usefulness.  Thouglitlcp-s,  illogical  and  ignorant  people  have 
built  a  whole  syslscm  on  this  foundation  of  sand.  ^lisuse 
of  a  principle  does  not  prove  its  inherent  inadequacy.  The 
transgression  of  legitimate  limits  by  the  French  or  other  de- 
spotic governments  does  not  prove  that  governmeni  In  general 
is  hurtful.  Just  the  reverse  must  be  the  strictly  logical  con- 
clusion. If  a  government  under  unfavorable  conditions  may 
be  a  powerful  agency  for  evil,  the  counterpart  of  this  pro- 
position must  be  equally  true.  That  means  that  government 
under  favorable  conditions  must  be  a  powerful  agency  for 
good.  Organized  society  is  an  artificial  creation  of  men 
with  the  purpose  of  the  best  possible  accommodation  of  its 
individual  members.  Tt  is  a  mistake  to  look  on  government 
as  something  apart  from  the  people  and  hostile  to  their  inter- 
ests. The  so-called  evils  of  government  are  due  to  misgovem- 
ment  or  false  government.  Blessings  would  result  from  a  , 
truly  social  democratic  government. 


25 


V.     AXARCHISM  FROM  THE  SOCIxVLISTIC  POINT 
OF  A^IEW. 

Every  error  contains  a  grain  of  truth,  and  every  truth  the 
germs  of  error.  The  modus  operandi  of  people  without 
principles  in  dealing  with  opponents  consists  in  throwing  all 
the  "ists"  in  one  heap  and  labelling  them  indiscriminately 
as  cranks  and  miscreants.  But  people  with  genuine  convic- 
tions and  ideas  of  their  own  can  well  afford  to  be  just  to 
those  who  honestly  disagree  with  them.  Truth  fortu- 
nately cannot  be  monopolized  b}^  anybody,  and  sincere  truth- 
seeking  is  more  precious  than  the  possession  of  truth  itself. 

The  object  of  this  chapter  is  to  examine  sine  ira  et  studio 
the  arguments,  philosophy  and  ideals  of  anarchism,  from  the 
Socialistic  point  of  view.  There  is  no  line  of  thought  so 
alien,  so  diametrically  opposed  to  Socialism,  as  so-called 
anarchism.  And  yet  no  teaching  is  so  often  mistakenly 
confounded  witli  Socialism  by  the  popular  mind  as  anarchism. 
And,  what  signifies  far  more,  the  mixing  up  of  these  two 
theories  of  future  social  development  is  not  altogether  due 
to  ignorance  or  malice. 

There  are  indeed  quite  a  number  of  points  in  common 
between  Socialism  and  philosophical  anarchism.  Both 
theories  are  essentially  revolutionary.  Both  agree  in  their 
negation  of  the  present  state  of  society.  Both  are  in  favor  of 
free  association  and  opposed  to  the  zoological  struggle  for 
existence  called  competition.  The  points  of  divergence  are, 
however,  very  important.  Socialism  stands  first  of  all  for 
TFlTIE  "equality,"'"  for  EQUx\L  opportunities  to  all  members 
of  society,  for  Jusiice.  Philosophical  anarchists  insist  chiefly 
on  individual  liberty.  Socialism  considers  as  paramount 
the  interests  of  the  race ;  anarchism  of  the  person.  Socialism 
is  based  on  the  principle,  "the  highest  boon  to  the  largest 
number,"  the  anarchists  want  to  guard  the  rights  and  privi- 
leges of  minorities.  Socialism  demands  in  return  from  each 
member  of  society  the  fulfillment  of  certain  duties.  Anarch- 
ism knows  no  limits  to  the  part  of  the  common  produce  and 
wealth  which  may  be  consumed  by  each  individual.  To  the 
Socialist  the  state  of  government  is  all,  and  all  are  the  state. 
The  anarchist  abhors  the  state  and  government  with  the 
suporstitioiis  fear  entertained  \y  the  orthodox  priests  of  the 


CO 

medieval  ages  towards  the  evil  one.  Indeed  the  relation  of 
the  anarchists  towards  the  state  cannot  be  characterized 
better  than  by  the  expression  superstition,  as  we  shall  prove 
later. 

Socialists  wish  to  organize  society  according  to  a  general 
plan,  founded  on  certain  principles  of  science  and  ethics. 
Anarchists  recognize  only  the  chaotic  play  of  "wills,"  of  single 
individuals,  which  will'  eventually  result  in  voluntary  co- 
operation and  association.  Such  are  in  a  nutshell  the  difEer- 
ences  between  Socialistic  and  anarchistic  doctrines. 

Before  however  we  venture  to  analyze  the  soundness  of  the 
anarchistic  antithesis  to  Socialism,  we  have  to  touch  briefly 
upon  two  groups  of  men,  who  are  quite  frequently  identified 
withphilosophical  anarchists  Vi^ithout  the  slighest  justification. 
I  mean  the  individualists  of  the  Spencerian  school  on  one  side 
and  the  Hoedels,  Oteros,  Nobilings,  Passanantes,  Eavachols, 
and  tutu  quanti  on  the  other  side.  The  middle  class  in- 
dividualists are  anything  hut  revolutionary  in  their  ideals  and 
tendencies.  They  worshij)  zoological  evolution  and  expect  the 
salvation  of  humanity  from  the  exploitation  of  the  weak  by 
the  strong,  from  competition,  and  other  beauties  of  our  pre- 
sent social  system.  Their  practical  ethics  may  be  summed  up 
in  their  golden  rule:  "Each  for  himself  and  the  devil  take 
the  hindmost."  On  every  attempt  of  organization  and  con- 
trol of  social  forces  they  look  with  disfavor  as  slavery  in 
disguise.  "Let  alone  and  evolution  will  do  the  rest,"  is  their 
somewhat  fatalistic  maxim.  All  kinds  of  egotism  and  nide 
selfishness  may  pass  under  this  pseudo-scientific  cover.  In- 
dividualists of  this  stamp  are  in  more  than  one  sense  anarch- 
ists, but  it  would  be  an  injustice  to  such  philosophical 
anarchists  as  Peter  Krapotkin  and  Elisee  Eeclus  to  be, classed 
with  the  champions  of  our  present  industrial  anarchy. 

The  assassins  of  persons  of  high  social  standing,  some  of 
whose  names  we  mentioned  above,  we  would  call  Herostra- 
tians,  from  their  prototype,  Herostratus.  This  degenerate 
burned  one  of  the  wonders  of  ancient  Greece,  the  temple  of 
Diana  of  Ephesus,  from  no  other  motive  than  morbid  desire 
of  fame. 

The  Herostratians  are  a  pathological  set  of  men.  Not  able 
to  be  great,  they  want  to  be  notorious.  Their  acts  of  violence 
have  no  relation  whatever  to  any  particular  social  doctrine. 
It  is  the  morbid  ambition  of  people  who  have  nothing  to  lose 


27 

except  their  wretched  lives,  and  nothing  to  gain  except  the 
thoughtless  admiration  of  their  like,  that  moves  their  dagger 
or  throws  their  bomb.  Bom  in  misery  and  squalor,  reared 
among  the  scum  of  the  population,  these  step-children  of 
society  are  full  of  hatred  towards  all  who  seem  to  rule  it. 
Poorly,  if  at  all,  educated,  they  are  unable  either  to  see  any- 
thing below  the  surface  of  social  relations,  or  to  distinguish 
between  systems  and  persons  seemingly  representing  these 
system's. 

This  class  of  altruistic  criminals  ought  to  be  treated  like 
irresponsible  lunatics.  The  rulers  of  our  present  society 
however  prefer  to  surround  them  with  the  halo  of  (martjnrdom 
for  an  idea,  with  the  purpose  of  impressing  the  popular  mind 
with  the  belief  that  all  the  radical  movements  are  pernicious 
and  senseless.  Once  the  popular  prejudice  is  created,  every  act 
of  the  Herostrations  is  used  as  a  pretext  for  repressive  mea- 
sures against  "all  the  enemies  of  society,"  that  is,  all  radicals. 
It  is  a  notable  fact  that  countries  like  Italy,  Spain  and  Kussia, 
the  most  backward  politically,  socially  and  economically, 
where  the  people  are  kept  in  dense  ignorance  and  dire  dis- 
tress, produce  most  of  these  Herostratians.  They  are  the 
blind  tools  of  Nemesis  pronouncing  the  memento  mori  to  a 
system  of  affairs  that  has  outlived  its  usefulness  and  is  about 
to  pass  into  eternity.  Without  desiring  it,  the  Herostratians 
best  serve  the  retrograde  and  conservative  elements  of  society 
and  retard  considerably  the  march  of  progressive  ideas. 

But  let  us  return  to  the  teachings  of  the  philosophical 
anarchists.  Says  Peter  Krapotkin:  "The  essence  of  col- 
lectivism may  be  reduced  to  these  points:  Partial  com- 
munism in  the  possession  of  instruments  of  production  and 
education.  Competition  among  individuals  and  groups  for 
bread,  housing  and  clothing.  Individualism  for  works  of  art 
and  thought.  The  state's  aid  for  children,  invalids  and  old 
people.  The  state  will  be  substituted  for  the  employer,  and 
his  role  of  buyer  and  overseer  of  labor  will  be  still  an  odious 
tyranny."  Prince  Krapotkin  obviously  does  not  care  to  dis- 
tinguish between  competition  and  emulation.  To  competition, 
Socialists  are  opposed  from  principle  (and  with  more  justifi- 
cation than  individualists,  however  radical  in  their  views) 
but  they  have  no  objection  to  the  incentive  of  emulation. 
Obviously,  however,  the  cardinal  point  in  the  criticism  of  col- 
lectivism is  with  Prince  Krapotkin,  as  with  all  anarchists,  the 


28 

negation  of  the  state  or  goverament.  State  and  government 
are  their  bugaboos.  According  to  them  a  state  or  government 
is  not  only  essentiallv  bad,  but  sure  to  spoil  the  best  men,  once 
they  come  in  contact  with  it.  No  state  or  government  so  tar 
has  been  free  from  abuse  and  this  is  considered  a  valid  argu- 
ment against  that  institution  in  general. 

The  irrationality  of  such  a  conception  will  become  clear  at 
once  if  we  apply  the  same  method  of  reasoning  to  association. 
Associations  of  men  are  liable  to  be  exploited  by-  a  few 
unscrupulous  people  to  the  detriment  of  the  rest.  Does 
it  follow  from  this  that  associations  are  pernicious  in- 
stitutions? Would  not  the  opposite  conclusion  be  rather 
more  logical  ?  What  can  be  abused  can  be  used  also  !  Anar- 
chists insist  so  much  on  liberty,  that  they  forget  equality. 
But  what  is  liberty  without  equality  ?  Is  it  not  a  snare  and  a 
delusion  in  our  great  republic? 

A  recently  immigrated  German  laborer  defined  liberty  as 
follows :  "if  you  have  no  money  to  buy  bread,  you  are  at 
liberty  to  go  hungry ;  if  you  have  no  money  to  hire  a  lodging 
you  are  free  to  sleep  on  the  street."'  Kemarkably  enough, 
the  anarchists  are  not  in  the  least  afraid  of  the  abuses  of 
liberty  "because  only  those  who  do  nothing  make  no  mis- 
takes." To  the  anarchists  the  state  is  personified  in  a 
ferocious-looking  policeman  with  a  vicious  club  in  his  hand, 
striking  to  the  right  and  left.  The  state  is  to  the  anarchist 
something  outside  of  the  people,  not  an  organic  growth  with 
a  justification  in  the  past  and  capable  of  development;  it 
was,  is  and  shall  always  be  an  angel  with  the  sword,  keeping 
humanity  out  of  the  anarchistic  paradise  for  its  sins  of  com- 
mission and  omission.  The  anarchists  seldom  take  even  the 
trouble  to  define  what  they  mean  by  the  expressions  state  and 
government,  taking  it  for  granted  that  everybody  will  have 
in  view  the  state  in  which  he  happens  to  live.  They  do  not 
take  into  account  the  historical  perspfective. 

Let  us  try  to  define  what  we  Socialists  mean  by  state  or 
government.  We  mean  by  it  nothing  more  nor  less,  than  the 
direct  administration  of  all  public  affairs  by  the  people  itself. 
The  highest  aim  and  purpose  of  government  or,  if  you  prefer, 
national  administration,  is  the  attainment  of  the  highest  pos- 
sible ideal  of  ethics,  and  the  state  must  be  looked  upon  as 
the  means  of  attainment  of  the  highest  possible  happiness  of 
mankind.     The  rights  of  individuals  must  be  sacrificed  only 


29 

as  far  and  as  long  as  it  is  absolutely  necessary  to  the  welfare 
of  society  at  large.  Coercion  is  not  an  essential  function  of 
the  state.  Attractive  is  preferable  to  prohibitive  legislation, 
and. enlightened  citizenship  is  possible  without  the  use  of 
force.  Politics  may  be  treated  as  a  special  science,  whichjn 
conjunction  with  political  economy  and  jurisprudence,  repre- 
sents a  part  of  the  system  of  humanitarian  sciences  known 
.  as  social  science.  The  object  of  the  science  of  politics  is  the 
State,  the  theory  of  state-craft,  and  the  description  of  the 
different  forms  of  government  in  the  past  and  present. 

The  origin  of  the  state  was  supposed  by  the  scientists  and 
thinkers  of  the  past  century  to  be  a  voluntary  agreement  be- 
tween the  citizens  of  a  given  locality,  a  "Social  contract," 
as  Rousseau  styled  it.  It  ^vas  supposed  that  people  lived 
originally  in  a  so-called  natural  anarchistic  state  and  then 
agreed  to  create  the  state.  The  anarchists  still  adhere  to  this 
myth,  reminding  us  of  the  teaching  of  the  church  about  the 
'  fall  of  man,  but  all  scientists  have  abandoned  it  for  the  histor- 
ical point  of  view.  Man  is  a  gregarious  being.  On  the  lowest 
stages  of  civilization  there  are  already  noticeable  some  ele- 
ments of  authority,  this  essential  attribute  of  the  state. 
There  was  a  time  when  the  state  tried  to  subject  all  the 
economical  activity  of  the  nation  to  the  fiscal  interests  of 
the  state  treasury.  Hence  arose  a  violent  opposition  upon 
the  part  of  a  certain  economic  school.  The  opposition  was 
well  founded,  and  led  to  the  policy  of  non-interference  of  the 
State  in  economic  affairs.  The  era  of  industrial  anarchy 
called  capitalism  was  the  result.  It  went  from  bad  to  worse. 
The  Socialistic  state  will  resume  tlie  control  of  the 
economic  functions  of  society.  The  purpose  and 
aim  of  the  control  will  be  purely  ethical,  the  pro- 
tection of  the  human  individuality  from  the  fate  of 
a  mere  accessory  to  tools  of  production,  the  preserva- 
tion of  life,  health  and  well-being  of  the  toiling  masses. 
It  will  not  be  the  state  of  the  past  or  present,  but  a 
new  institution,  corresponding  to  the  needs  and  demands  of 
a  new  social  system.  It  will  be  the  highest  stage  of  human 
consociation  attainable.  Bach  citizen  will  have  certain 
functions  to  perform  and  the  dwij  of  the  state  will  consist 
in  such  a  correlation  of  these  fimctions,  as  to  insure  the  most 
perfect  effectiveness  in  their  performance,  for  the  entire 
society.     As  the  element  of  profit  and    exploitation,    com- 


30 

petition  and  compulsion,  will  be  entirely  eliminated,  it  will 
be  the  obvious  interest  of  each  and  all  to  perform  their  respec- 
tive social  functions  in  the  best  way  possible.  Those  who  may 
feel  the  burdens  of  citizenship  in  the  Socialistic  state  too 
hard  will  have  the  choice  of  leaving  it.  But  the  attractions 
and  advantages  of  a  Socialistic  organization  will  undoubtedly 
be  so  great  that  cases  of  dissatisfaction  with  the  whole  system 
will  be  very  few  indeed. 

Savs  G.  F.  Eatzentofer  in  his  "Positive  Philosophy  of  Social 
Life."  "He,  who  belongs  to  his  social  group  only  condi- 
tionally and  unreliably,  becomes  an  egoist.  But  in  so  far  as 
such  reflections  spring  from  the  interest  of  the  species,  or 
finally  from  social  interests,  they  guide  the  man  to  moral 
renunciation  of  self,  whereby  he  receives  impetus  to  co-ordi- 
nate or  even  sub-ordinate  his  individual  weal  to  that  of  his 
community.  This  is  an  evolutionary  phenomenon,  which 
points  to  the  underlying  principle  of  all  creation.  The  pro- 
cess of  unifying  mutual  relationship  manifests  itself  in  the 
face  of  the  individualistic  atomizing  impetus  as  indispensable 
for  the  natural  development  of  society.  The  degeneration 
caused  through  individualization  leads  partly  to  voluntary, 
partly  to  forced,  sub-ordination  of  individuals  in  a  social 
union.  The  more  life  incites  individual  interests,  the  more 
important  is  social  constraint  to  limit  the  degenerating  dif- 
ferentiation, in  order  not  to  endanger  the  species  and  its 
social  structures  through  war  of  all  against  all." 

Clearly  there  is  nothing  arbitrary  in  the  phenomena  of 
social  life.  Every  phenomenon  of  social  life  is  subject  to  the 
general  laws  of  causation.  The  state  is  no  exception  to  this 
rule.  It  is  a  product  of  evolution,  and  is  bound  to  evolve,  as 
humanity  progresses  on  the  road  of  rationalization  and  mor- 
alization  of  its  social  institutions. 

The  attitude  of  anarchists  toward  the  state  is  obviously 
not  only  unscientific,  but  truly  irrational.  This  attitude  is 
simply  a  survival  of  •  the  fantastic  conceptions  of  a  Jean 
Jacques  Eousseau,  about  the  blessings  of  a  "natural  state," 
which  never  and  nowhere  existed.  It  is  not  a  progressive,  but 
rather  a  retrograde  attitude,  an  attempt  to  return  to  a  state 
of  things  characteristic  only  of  the  lowest  stages  of  animal 
life.  The  anarchists  deny  the  state  in  the  name  of  the  free- 
dom of  the  individual.  But  they  take,  in  their  short-sighted- 
ness, the  means  for  an  end. 


'51 

o  L 

Freedom  is  only  one  of  the  means  of  human  happiness, 
But  freedom  alone  cannot  guarantee  happiness  to  men. 
Eather  the  reverse  of  this  is  true.  Even  anarchists  recognize 
that  man  is  a  social  being.  And  social  life  is  unthinkable 
without  some  limitations,  voluntary  or  otherwise,  of  the  free- 
dom of  the  individuals  composing  it.  The  anarchistic  theory 
is  purely  negative  and  therefore  purely  destructive.  It  works 
to  destroy  authority  (how  is  it  about  the  "authority  of 
science?")  in  all  its  aspects,  it  demands  the  abrogation  of 
all  laws  and  the  abolition  of  the  mechanism  that  serves  to 
impose  them,  it  refuses  all  hierarchical  organizations. 

But  when  trying  to  build — ^they  turn  Socialists,  they  then 
"preach  free  agreement,  establishment  of  such  relations  be- 
tween men  that  the  interests  of  each  should  be  the  interests 
of  all."  Of  course  the  anarchists  pretend  to  insist  on  FREE 
agreement,  not  on  free  AGREEMENT,  which  last  is  Social- 
istic pure  and  simple.  We  are  sure,  however,  that  every  im- 
partial man  will  call  it  a  distinction  without  a  difference. 
Anarchists  are  against  repressive  measures  as  a  means  of 
maintaining  a  certain  moral  level  and  rely  rather -on  moral 
teaching  and  the  practice  of  mutual  help.  But  so  do  the 
.  Socialists  likewise.  Anarchists  are  very  solicitous  about  the 
development  of  individual  originality.  But  Socialism  will 
be  the  best  soil  for  development  of  originality  of  thought,  of 
exquisite  taste,  and  inventive  spirit.  The  satisfaction  of  the 
lower  needs  will  not  consume  so  much  time  and  energy  as  at 
present,  and  there  will  be  splendid  opportunities  to  develop 
the  higher  faculties  of  mind. 

Minorities  are  not  less  near  and  dear  to  the  hearts  of 
anarchists  than  individual  freedom.  They  claim  that  the 
Socialistic  state  will  of  necessity  be  a  rule  of  the  majority 
over  the  minority.  But  how  about  the  minority  of  those  who 
may  refuse  to  enter  into  the  FREE  agreement  ?  "Will  they 
be  obliged  to  take  to  the  woods  ?"  As  we  see,  individual  free- 
dom, the  rights  of  minorities  are  the  good  genii  and  the  state 
is  the  evil  spirit. 

The  evil  spirit  must  be  expelled,  and  the  good  genii  care- 
fully guarded.  There  is  considerably  more  heat  than  light  in 
this  creed.  We  call  this  dogmatic  view  of  State,  individual 
freedom  and  minority  right,  a  creed,  because  there  is  no  valid 
proof  behind  it,  because  it  is  rather  a  product  of  emotion  than 
reason. 


How  much  deeper  and  broader  is  the  Socialistic  conception 
of  tlie  f  utnre  of  society !  Socialism  does  not  destroy  anything, 
not  even  capitalism."  Capitalism  is  bound  to  work  out  its 
own  destruction.  Socialism  lets  the  dead  bury  their  dead 
and  uses  every  available  material  in  the  present  stage  of 
society  for  the  upbuilding  of  the  future  society.  It  hiis 
neither  prejudice  nor  superstitions,  neither  fetishes  nor  pet 
genii,  which  it  blindly  worships.  It  does  not  mix  up  means 
with  aims.  It  is  strictly  evolutionary  and  critical  in  its 
philosophy',  clear  in  its  ideals,  and  appeals  with  equal  suc- 
cess to  tlie  intellect  and  to  the  hearts  of  men.  Anarchism 
is  the  reduction  to  absurdity  of  the  individualism  of  Herbert 
Spencer,  and  the  individualism  of  Spencer  is  half-way 
anarchism. 

There  is  no  justification  in  the  criticism  of  our  present  in- 
dustrial anarchy  upon  the  part  of  anarchists  as  such.  We 
mean,  there  is  no  logic,  no  consistency  in  it.  Our  present 
industrial  anarchy,  with  its  principle,  homo  liominia  lupus. 
is  the  result  of  the  chaotic  play  of  individual  wills  that  oughl 
to  gladden  the  heart  of  every  true  anarchist.  And  still  all 
honest  anarchists  denounce  it  almost  in  the  same  terms  as  the 
Socialists.  Why?  Simply  because  there  is  confusion 
of  thought  in  their  heads.  What  reason  indeed  have  the 
anarchists  to  expect  wonders  from  the  chaotic  play  of  in- 
dividual wills  in  the  future  wlien  they  condemn  its  results 
in  the  present  society  ?  Is  it  not  puerile  to  expect  that  wolves 
will  enter  into  voluntary  agreement  with  lambs  to  co-operate 
in  "establishing  of  such  relations  between  them,  that  the 
interests  of  each  should  be  the  interests  of  all?''  Where  is 
the  foundation   to  this  delightful  optimism  ? 

In  all  nature  the  species,  (the  race,)  is  paramount.  The 
individual  plays  only  a  secondary  part.  Xature  is  very  much 
concerned  about  the  preservation  of  the  kind,  but  cares  very 
little  about  the  preservation  of  the  individual.  Should  hu- 
manity make  an  exception  to  that  rule,  that  is,  should  the 
interests  of  the  human  aggregation  be  less  important  than 
that  of  a  single  unit  ? 

Is  not  the  term  freedom  itself  misleading?  Only  those 
who  do  not  believe  in  fixed  relations  between  effects  and  causes 
(and  their  number  is  fortunately  growing  smaller  everv  day) 
recognize  a  free  will.     But  if  there  is  no  free  will,  what  is 


33 

left  of  individual  freedom  ?  Is  not  freedom  a  mere  negation 
of  the  opposite  condition — un-freedom,  dependence,  slavery 
in  some  shape  or  form  ? 

Once  more  we  call  attention  to  the  fact ,  that  the  exponents 
of  anarchistic  ideas,  Bakounin,  Krapotkin  and  others,  were 
born  and  reared  in  countries  whose  government  is  below  any 
criticism;  where  the  state  is  the  worst  possible  oppressor  and 
exploiter  of  the  people.  N^aturally  enough,  the  justified  nega- 
tion of  the  state  and  government  with  which  they  were  ac- 
quainted, turned  into  negation  of  the  state  and  government  in 
general.  It  is  also  natural  that  the  prophets  of  anarchism 
should  best  succeed  in  countries  so  badly  governed  as  Spain 
and  Italy.  This  is  a  natural  result  of  Just  indignation  and 
noble  emotion,  although  irrational  and  illogical  in  conception. 
With  the  same  sharp  knife  we  use  to  cut  our  brfead  some  man 
may  cut  another's  throat,  but  that  would  be  no  argument 
against  the  use  of  knives  in  general.  It  is  natural  that  bad 
government  should  breed  anarchists,  people  who  are  super- 
ficial enough  to  be  satisfied  with  the  negation  of  the  use  of 
a  tool  because  it  is  misused  under  their  very  eyes.  But  ne- 
gation of  that  kind  can  not  satisfy  thoughtful  people.  Ne-' 
gation  will  only  lead  them  to  careful  observation  and  study, 
and  observation  and  study  are  bound  to  lead  them  to  social- 
ism. 

We  believe  we  are  justified  in  claiming  that  there  is  not 
one  economist  and  sociologist  of  note  in  this  country  and 
abroad,  who  is  not  more  or  less  socialistic  in  his  views.  Even 
the  old  political  parties  begin  to  feel  uneasy  on  account  of 
the  rapid  spread  of  socialistic  ideas  and  emotions  among  the 
people  and  try  to  throw  sand  in  their  eyes  by  adopting 
pseudo-socialistic  planks  and  programs.  Such  was  the  State 
Socialism  of  Count  Bismarck,  such  is  the  municipal  owner- 
ship howl  in  the  United  States.  It  is  hypocrisy,  of  course. 
But  hypocrisy  is  the  tribute  paid  by  vice  to  virture,  it  is  the 
involuntary  recognition  "of  a  surely  coming  dreaded  power. 

It  is  not  Socialism  that  prepares  the  field  for  anarchism. 
It  is  anarchism  that  clears  the  ground  for  socialism.  Dis- 
satisfaction leads  to  negation,  negation  to  thought  and  study, 
and  thought  and  study  to  the  affirmation  of  socialism. 

In  conclusion  let  us  answer  the  question:  What  should 
be  the  attitude  of  the  socialists  towards  philosophic  anarch- 
ism ?    We  think  this  attitude  should  be  friendly,  courteous, 


34 

but  reserved  and  uiu^ompromising.  There  is  not  the  slightest 
doubt  of  the  honesty  and  high-mindedness  of  such  men  as 
Peter  Krapotkin  or  Elisee  Eeclus.  As  we  have  seen,  they  are 
practically  socialistic  in  their  views,  still  they  are  enemies 
of  socialism,  paradoxical  as  it  may  sound.  Logically  they 
are  the  natural  allies  of  the  capitalistic  individualists;  emo- 
tionally, they  are  in  accord  with  socialists.  Poor  fellows  !- 
they  may  well  exclaim  with  Faust:  "Zwei  Herzen,  ach, 
wohnen  in  meiner  Brust !"'  Their  ideals  are  of  a  past  that 
never  existed,  of  a  paradise  that  could  not  be  lost  because  it 
was  never  found,  a  T^topia,  a  nowhere,  a  Nirgendslieim.  The 
few  grains  of  truth  contained  in  the  anarchistic  philosophy 
are,  as  we  have  seen  not  anarchistic,  but  rather  socialistic. 
The  rest  is  composed  of  the  sand  of  individualism,  on  which 
one  can  only  build  airy  castles,  peopled  with  phantoms  of  the 
imagination. 

Having  no  positive  ideas  and  ideals  of  its  own — anarchism 
is  bound  to  expire  long  before  the  socialist  state,  will  be 
inaugurated.  As  soon  as  bad  government — the  only  raison 
d'etre  of  anarchism  shall  pass  away,  nothing  will  be  left  for  it 
to  feed  upon.  The  present  state  or  government  is  the  Carthage 
of  the  anarchists,  and  they  are  never  tired  of  repeating  the 
key-note  of  all  their  philosophy:  "Ceterum  censeo — Carth- 
aginem  esse  delendani !"  But  when  the  new  Socialistic 
Carthage  shall  be  built  on  the  mins  of  the  old  one,  the 
anarchists  will  go  out  of  business. 


35 


VL     TILTS  AT  THE  WINDMILL  OF  STATE  SOCIAL- 
ISM. 

What  is  state  Socialism  ?  Who  advocates  and  who  opposes 
state  Socialism?  These  and  similar  questions  suggest  them- 
selves to  many  earnest  students  and  observers  of  modern 
social  economic  conditions  and  theories.  Capitalistic  anarch- 
ists agree  with  the  proletarian  anarchists  in  their  attitvido 
towards  the  complex  political  institution  called  state,  at  least 
in  theory.  The  reactionary  individualist  of  the  Manchester 
school  and  the  revolutionary  anarchist  of  action  of  the  red-hot 
type  both  look  iipon  the  state  as  an  evil.  There  is,  however, 
a  diversity  of  opinion  as  to  the  degree  of  toleration  accorded 
to  the  bugaboo  state,  between  the  right  and  left  wing  of  con- 
temporary anarchy.  The  right  wing,  the  capitalists,  want  to 
limit  the  prerogatives  and  functions  of  the  state  to  police 
duties,  to  the  protection  of  personal  liberty  and  private  pro- 
perty, while  the  left  wing,  the  proletarian  anarchist,  demands 
the  entire  abolition  of  the  state.  This  diversity  of  opinion 
is  due  mainly,  to  the  difference  between  the  social  economic 
status  of  those  wings.  The  capitalist  has  in  his  possession 
worldly  goods  and  tries  to  keep  them  with  the  aid  of  a  police 
state.     He  needs  law  and  order,  that  would  put  him  in  a 

position  to  do  as  he  "d d  pleases"  in  his  private  business 

affairs  in  general,  and  treat  his  employes  as  he  "d d 

pleases"  in  particular.  Any  other  function  of  the  state,  ex- 
cept police  functions,  is  dficried  by  the  capitalist  as  paternal- 
ism and  state  Socialism.  The  proletarian  anarchist  abhors 
the  very  law  and  order  his  twin  brother  in  philosophy  de- 
mands as  a  necessary  evil.  The  proletarian  anarchist  has  no 
worldly  goods  to  lose.  He  sees  in  the  modern  state  an  in- 
geniously regulated  and  skillfully  manipulated  machine  for 
the  exploitation  of  the  economically  weak  by  the  powerful. 
The  capitalist  is  shrewd  enough  to  make  the  state  subservient 
to  his  personal  and  class  interests.  The  proletarian  anarchist 
cannot  conceive  of  any  kind  of  state  except  a  police  state.  He 
is  politically  blind  in  the  same  sense  as  there  are  color-blind 
people.  Indeed  this  political  Daltonism  makes  the  revolu- 
tionary anarchists  the  allies  of  capitalism  and  fanatical  op- 
ponents of  Socialism. 

The  respectable  iildividualist  of  the  Spencerian  type  and 


36 

the  slum  proletarian  of  aiiareliy  agree  in  their  denunciation 
of  any  school  and  all  schools  of  Socialism  as  state  Socialism, 
bent  on  the  destruction  of  personal  freedom.  The  extremes 
meet.  The  bourgeois  fights  Socialism  by  all  available  means; 
this  is  natural  enough.  There  is,  however,  much  that  is  trag- 
ically comic  in  the  assistance  he  gets  from  the  so-called  revo- 
lutionary anarchism.  The  future  historians  of  the  spiritual 
life  of  our  age  of  contradictions  will  have  to  unravel  the 
enigma  of  the  mental  aberration  called  philosophical  anarch- 
ism, a  mental  aberration  causing  men  like  Peter  Krapotkin 
to  waste  their  great  mental  and  moral  capacities  in  a  cause 
doomed  by  its  very  nature  to  barrenness  of  results  and  phrase- 
ological Don  Quixotism.  Anarchism  minutely  describes  what 
its  devotees  must  abstain  from  doing,  but  it  is  mere  negation  as 
far  as  any  positive  program  of  action  is  concerned.  Indulg- 
ence in  phraseological  gymnastics  of  pseudo  revolutionary 
denunciation  of  everybody  and  everything  non-anarchistic, 
i.  e.,  of  all  the  world  and  all  there  is  on  it  and  in  it — cannot 
be  considered  as  action,  but  rather  as  a  harmless  amusement. 
This  absence  of  any  positive  program  of  action  (the  only 
logical  deduction  of  which  is  non-resistance  to  evil)  makes  it 
the  more  fascinating  for  some  indolent  minds,  is  the  secret  of 
its  success  in  certain  society  circles  and  of  its  tendency  to 
become  the  official  philosophy- of  the  bourgeoisie. 

Let  us,  however,  leave  the  revolutionary  phrasemongers 
of  anarchism  and  their  allies,  the  conservative  individualists, 
to  their  fate  and  engage  in  proving  how  far  their  ideas  about 
state  Socialism  are  correct.  Marx  explains  the  process  of 
Socialization  of  industry  as  follows:  "The  proletariat  will 
turn  the  tools  of  production  at  the  start  into  the  property 
of  the  state.  By  this  very  act,  however,  the  proletariat  de- 
stroys itself  as  the  proletariat  and  does  away  with 
class  distinction  and  class  differences,  does  way  with 
state  as  state."  Does  this  sound  like  state  Social- 
ism? Bngels  in  his  "Development  of  Socialism,"  expresses 
the  belief  that  after  the  inauguration  of  the  co-operative 
commonwealth  the  struggle  of  individual  existence  with  its 
conflicts  and  excesses  will  be  eliminated  and  the  (police)  state 
will,  having  nothing  in  repress,  die  away.  In  his  "Anti- 
Duehring,"  Engels  unequivocally  recognizes  the  state  of  the 
past  and  present  as  an  organ  of  politie»l  .repression.  Bern- 
stein defines  Democracy  as  the,  negation  of  class  rule  or  class 


privileges  of  any  kind.  "Democracy  means  the  equality  of 
rights  among  all  the  members  of  the  community.  This 
equality  of  rights  is  the  barrier  against  majority  rule  in  each 
actual  case  of  popular  government.  The  more  this  concep- 
tion of  Democracy  penetrates  into  the  consciousness  of  so- 
ciety, the  more  "vvill  Democracy  be  identified  with  the  highest 
possible  degree  of  freedom  for  all.  Of  course  Democracy 
does  not  mean  the  negation  of  all  law.  What  distinguishes 
a  Democracy  from  other  political  systems  is  the  elimination 
of  laws  creating  exclusive  rights,  laws  creating  inequalities 
among  the  members  of  society.  In  our  age  it  is  almost  a  cer- 
tainty that  a  majority  of  a  Democratic  community  will  ab- 
stain from  making  laws  restricting  for  a  considerable  length 
of  time  personal  freedom.  The  majority  of  today  may  turn 
out  to  be  the  minority  of  tomorrow  and  any  law  calculated 
to  suppress  the  minority  may  have  retroactive  influence  on 
the  lawmakers  themselves.  Socialism  does  not  want  to  create 
a  new  bondage  (Gebundenheit).  The  individual  shall  be 
free,  of  course,  not  in  the  metaphysical  sense,  as  the  anarch- 
ists dream,  i.  e.,  free  from  all  duties  toward  society,  but  free 
from  all  economic  pressure  in  the  choice  of  calling  and  in 
his  movements.  Such  freedom  for  all  can  be  accomplished 
by  the  means  of  organization." 

That  modern  Socialism  is  not  tied  up  by  any  special 
scheme  of  state  organization  will  be  obvious  from  the  -fol- 
lowing words  of  the  known  Socialistic  writer,  Dr.  David  of 
Mainz:  "The  final  goal  of  Socialism  is  the  greatest  possible 
welfare  of  all.  This  is  the  essential  part  of  it.  All  the  rest 
in  our  program  has  to  be  considered  only  as  a  means  to  at- 
tain that  final  goal.  The  socialization  of  the  means  of  pro- 
duction even  is  only  a  means.  What  we  struggle  for  is  not 
the  beauty  of  Socialistic  principles,  but  the  greatest  possible 
welfare  of  all.  Everything  must  be  sub-ordinated  to  this 
final  goal  even  the  Socialistic  principles.  The  recognition 
that  these  principles  are  the  best  means  to  attain  the  final 
goal  makes  us  Socialists.  But  even  the  Socialistic  principles 
of  social  economics  will  have  to  be  modified  and  restricted 
in  respect  to  time,  manner  and  extent  of  their  practicability, 
if  we  some  day  arrive  at  the  conclusion,  that  their  radical 
introduction  would  not  yet  lead  or  not  lead  at  all  to  the 
greatest  possible  welfare  of  all.  Society  is  of  higher  import- 
ance to  us,  than  any  of  its  forms." 


These  quotations  will  suffice  to  show  how  far  modern  So- 
cialism is  from  the  bugaboo  of  respectable  bourgeois  phil- 
istines  and  of  the  philistine  of  thd  revolutionary  an- 
archistic phrase.  State  Socialism  was  inaugurated  by  the 
iron  and  blood  chancellor  of  Germany,  the  astute  Prince  Bis- 
marck, in  direct  opposition  and  as  a  kind  of  an  antidote 
against  the  "Virus  of  Social  Democracy."  It  was  intended 
as  a  means  to  gain  the  laboring  class  for  the  military  and 
police  state  by  bribing  it,  by  granting  certain  beneficiary  in- 
stitutions. State  Socialism  proved  to  be  a  flat  failure,  while 
Socialism  is  gaining  more  and  more  ground  in  all  civilized; 
countries^ 

Enrico  Ferri  sayn:  "The  xmconquerable  force  of  Social 
Democracy,  the  secret  of  its  life  energy,  consists  in  the  fact 
that  Socialism,  like  the  hero  Anthaeus,  constantly  touches  the 
earth,  i.  e.,  the  real  things  and  actual  life.  Socialism  draws 
its  unconquerable  powers  from  the  material  and  spiritual 
needs  of  actual  life.  The  forceful  teachings  of  Marx,  that  re- 
placed the  hazy,  platonic  and  subjective  idealism  of  other 
political  parties  and  Utopian  Socialism  (and  anarchism.  Ee- 
mark  of  the  author)  gives  us  a  direction  and  aim,  and  makes 
it  possible  for  us  to  remain  on  the  soil  of  reality." 

Modern  Socialism  is  critical  and  constructive.  Utopian  or 
anarchistic  Socialism  may  fight  the  windmills  of  state  So- 
cialism to  the  glee  of  the  individualistic  philistine  of  the 
middle  class  and  the  heart's  delight  of  all  the  Sancho-Panchos 
of  the  revolutionary  phrase.  So-called  philosophical  and  un- 
philosophical  anarchists  may  indulge  as  much  as  they  please 
in  XOT  believing  in  God  and  devil,  NOT  voting,  NOT  or- 
ganizing, NOT  recognizing  any  social  institutions,  NOT 
doing  anything  particular  except  occasionally  dropping  an 
explosive  at  the  wrong  time,  the  wrong  place  and  injuring 
the  wrong  parties.  They  may  pass  their,  time  in  missionary 
propaganda  consisting  in  a  diarrhea  of  words  and  constipa- 
tion of  ideas.  They  may  dream  about  a  fool's  paradise  with 
plenty  of  enjoyment  and  fun,  but  no  law,  no  state,  no  church,, 
no  family,  no  social  obligations,  where,  however,  everything 
is  free,  including  lunch  and  love,  and  everybody  may  do  as 
he  wishes.  Socialism  will  accomplish  its  mission  in  spite  of 
all  that,  by  daring  and  doing  the  right  thing  at  the  right 
time  and  in  the  proper  way. 


39 


VII.     THE  BLONDE  BEAST,  THE  MAN  WITH  THE 
HOE  AND  THE  PHILOSOPHY  OF  DESPAIE. 

Rationalistic  modern  Socialism  is  based,  not  exclusively  on 
certain  economic  theories  and  maxims,  as  some  narrow-minded 
"Socialists  pure  and  simple"  think  and  would  fain  make 
others  believe,  but  on  the  broad  foundation  of  modern  science 
and  thought.  The  economic  theories  peculiar  to  modern 
Socialism  are  derived  from  the  application  of  the 
results  of  the  achievements  of  modern  knowledge 
and  philosophy  to  the  field  of  social  economics.  The 
trouble  with  the  "Socialists  pure  and  simple"  is  in  the  ex- 
treme limitations  of  their  mental  horizon.  They  happen  to 
know,  or  rather  imagine  that  they  have  mastered  Marxian 
economics,  while  modern  science  and  philosophy  remains  to 
them  a  sealed  letter.  That  is  why  they  get  irritated  whenever 
and  wherever  they  meet  in  the  socialistic  press  an  article  con- 
taining something  else  than  the  everlasting  parrot-like  repeti- 
tions of  pseudo  socialistic  commonplaces  and  shibboleths. 
Every  attempt  to  present  to  the  attention  of  the  readers  of 
socialistic  publications,  glimpses  of  the  radiant  world  of 
science  and  philosophy,  leading  up  to  socialistic  ideas  and 
ideals  in  all  their  world-redeeming  significance,  appears  to 
the  simple-minded  and  superstitious,  simon-pure  Socialists, 
as  an  attack  on  somebody  or  something,  as  a  heresy  and 
heterodoxy  of  some  kind.  To  such  people  the  religion  of 
science  is  the  religion  of  ignorance,  and  vice  versa,  ignorance 
is  their  religion  and  science. 

But  what  have  these  remarks  to  do  with  the  theme  of  this 
chapter,  with  the  blonde  beast,  the  man  with  the  hoe  and  the 
philosophy  of  despair?  Nothing;  except  that  they  serve 
to  show  the  utter  helplessness  of  the  simon-pure  Socialist 
when  confronted  with  problems  of  deeper  and  broader  sig- 
nificance than  "surplus  value"  and  iron  laws  of  "supply  and 
demand,"  problems  without  the  solution  of  which  an  actual 
knowledge  even  of  these  economic  theories  is  impossible.  A 
simon-pure  Socialist  is  sure  that  he  is  in  possession  of  the 
truth,  of  the  whole  truth  and  nothing  but  the  truth,  that  all 
who  do  not  exactly  agree  with  hlni  in  his  dogmatic  faith  are 


40 

either  fools  or  knaves,  or  both  at  the  same  time.  He  is  happy 
in  his  belief.  Ask  him,  however,  what  and  why  he  thinks 
one  way  or  another  about  the  philosophy  of  Nietsche  or  Tol- 
stoi and  you  will  hear  him  call  them  names  instead  of  bringing 
forth  arguments  tending  to  show  the  same  materialistic  con- 
ception of  history  he  pretends  to  represent  in  the  capacity  of 
an  orthodox  Marxist. 

We  will  in  this  chapter  not  mention  again  the  orthodox 
Marxists,  fearing  that  we  be  accused  of  attacking  them,  which 
is  not  our  intention;  we  will  limit  ourselves  to  the  considera- 
tion of  the  two  great  German  and  Eussian  individualistic  or 
anarchistic  thinkers  from  the  socialistic  point  of  view. 
Nietsche,  philosopher  of  an  epoch  of  blood  and  iron  in  the 
German  history,  and  Tolstoi,  the  representative  of  the 
thought  of  the  Eussian  era  of  Czarism,  are  as  unlike  each 
other  as  are  the  respective  races,  eiilture  and  civilization 
to  which  they  belong.  Two  things  are,  however,  common  to 
them.  The  philosophy  of  Neitsche,  the  idealizer  of  brute 
force,  leads  to  the  same  blind  alley  of  despair  in  the  future 
fate  of  humanity ,to  utter  pessimism,  as  the  philosophy  of  Tol- 
stoi, the  preacher  of  non-resistance  to  evil.  Both  Nietsche  and 
Tolstoi  declare  for  the  supremacy  of  the  individual  over  the 
race  and  despise  social  institutions  as  tending  to  the  deterio- 
ration of  the  individual ;  both  are  anarchists  in  their  trend  of 
thought.  That  some  anarchists,  do  not  see  in  Nietsche  one  of 
their  apostles,  a  man  who  dared  to  reduce  the  anarchistic 
philosophy  to  its  outmost  logical  conclusion,  the  apotheosis 
of  the  brute  force  in  man,  of  the  blonde  beast,  goes  only  to 
show  that  there  are  so-called  philosophical  anarchists  just  as 
narrow  and  simple  minded  as  some  of  our  friends,  the  Social- 
ists pure  and  simple. 

The  historical  conditions  created  the  landed  gentry  or 
junker  caste  in  Germany,  an  arrogant,  ignorant  and  brutal 
class  of  semi-feudal  and  semi-capitalistic  stamp.  This  class 
represents  the  type  of  physical  health  and  perfection  of  the 
Caucasian  branch  of  the  animal  styled  by  learned  men  homo 
sapiens.  The  .blonde  beast  is  endowed  by  nature  with 
gigantic  appetite  a,nd  absence  of  any  moral  restraint; 
it  is  ready  and  willing  to  devour  all  and  every- 
thing in  sight  and  out  of  sight.  It  glories  in  its 
physical  force  and  has  no  conception  whatever  of  the  spiritual, 
mental  or  moral  part  of  human  nature  except  as  a  means  to 


41     ' 

its  chief  and  only  aim,  the  satisfaction  of  its  desires.  All 
those  who  do  not  happen  to  belong  to  the  Junker  class 
are  not  aristocratic  overmen,  or  blonde  beasts,  but  com- 
mon undermen,  (or  rather  underdogs),  a  lower  race,  whose 
business  it  is  to  feel  happy  and  dignified  by  subordination 
to  a  higher  one.  The  German  Junker,  as  overman  and  blonde 
beast,  is  the  first  bom,  the  beloved  son  of  God  and  Nature, 
the  fittest  to  survive.  All  other  mortals  are  expected  to  obey 
when  the  blonde  beast  gives  orders.  The  common  undermen 
must  slave  all  their  lives  in  order  to  allow  the  overman  to  en- 
joy life  and  multiply. 

This  is  the  law  of  God  and  Nature,  according  to  the  phi- 
losophy of  Nietsche,  with  one  slight  modification.  The  phi- 
losopher of  the  blonde  beast  broke  the  cast  line  and  substi- 
tuted the  purely  individual  qualifications  of  a  blonde  beast  for 
the  accident  of  birth.  He  was  liberal  enough  to  admit  that 
there  were  blonde  beasts  outside  of  the  Junker  caste  and  that 
some  Junkers  may  accidentally  be  under-men. 

But  enough  of  that  nude  brute  Junker  anarchism  of  war 
and  strife.  Let  us  turn  to  the  more  sympathetic,  although  just 
as  pathologic,  anarchism  of  peace  and  passive  submission  to 
evil,  the  philosophy  of  Count  Leo  Tolstoi.  If  the  triumphant 
but  stupid  blonde  beast  arouses  our  just  indignation  and 
hatred,  the  Russian  Mushik,  the  genuine  man  with  the  hoe, 
deserves  our  pity  and  compassion,  our  sympathy  and  moral 
support.  Count  Leo  Tolstoi  is  the  philosopher  of  the  Rus- 
sian man  with  the  hoe,  just  in  the  same  sense  as  Nietsehe  of 
the  German  Junker.  It  does  not  require  much  mental  exer- 
tion to  understand  the  philosophy  of  the  blonde  beast,  its 
origin  and  psychology.  But  it  is  quite  a  task  to"  unravel  the 
mystery  of  the  soul-life  of  the  man  with  the  hoe.  We 
westerners  are  all  more  or  less  blonde  beasts  in  our  daily  life, 
but  we  have  no  key  in  our  mind  to  the  Psychology  of  the  Rus- 
sian mushik,  who  is  so  far  from  us  in  every  respect.  Imagine 
a  human  being  bom  and  reared  in  a  primitive  rural  com- 
munity in  entire  dependence  of  the  uncertainties  of  nature 
and  whims  and  fancies  of  an  awkward,  antediluvial,  cruel  and 
wasteful  police-state  and  state-church.  Nature  and  social 
conditions  both  work  in  the  direction  of  creating  deep  dis- 
satisfaction and  recognition  of  the  uselessness  of  all 
individual  efforts  to  find  the  source  of  the  evil,  its  causes  and 
remedies  against  it.    The  Russian  peasant,  on  account  of  his 


12 

dense  ignorance,  is  not  able  to  correct  the  irregularities  of 
nature  by  artificial  irrigation  and  fertilization  of  the  soil. 
He  is  brought  up  in  deep,  slavish  reverence  for  all  authority, 
state  and  church.  He  silently,  like  a  Eoman  gladiator,  dies  of 
starvation  arid  submits  without  grumbling  to  all  the  extor- 
tions in  blood  and  money  of  the  Czar's  government. 

The  man  with  the  hoe  is  not  a  beast,  but  a  poor,  suffering, 
thinking  human  being.  He  cannot  fail  to  see  that  there  is 
evil,  and  much  of  it,  in  the  world.  The  powers  confronting 
him  are  the  state  and  its  handmaid,  the  church.  Is  it  not 
natural  that  the  Kussian  jumps  at  the  conclusion  that  the 
state  is  intrinsically,  essentially  an  evil,  the  work  of  the  anti- 
Christ?  The  conclusion  that  the  church  is  an  evil  is,  how- 
ever, modified  by  the  intense  religious  instincts  of  the  Slavic 
race.  The  Eussian  peasant  can  create  for  himself,  and  as  a 
matter  of  fact  does  create  for  himself,  another  better  religion, 
than  that  presented  by  the  oflicial  state  church  in  the  shape  of 
numerous  semi-rationalistic  sects.  He,  however,  does  not 
know  of  any  government  but  that  of  the  Czar.  Hence  his 
religious,  unconscious  anarchism.  Ages  of  submission  and 
eslavement  to  the  dominant  classes  on  one  side  and  a  healthy 
idealism  and  touching  faith  in  the  ultimate  victory  of  light 
and  truth  over  darkness  and  falsehood  inherent  in  the  soul 
of  the  man  with  the  hoe,  are  the  sources  of  the  obviously  ab- 
surd maxims  of  non-resistance  to  evil.  The  Eussian  Mushik 
is  a  truth-seeker  by  nature  and  inclination,  but  he  gropes  in 
the  dense  darkness  of  ignorance  and  superstition. 

Count  Leo  Tolstoi  is  only  the  spokesman  of  the  plaia  Eus- 
sian peasant.*  He  does  not  believe  in  science,  because  it  has 
not  so  far  benefitted  the  man  with  the  hoe ;  he  denies  art  for 
the  same  reason :  he  fights  the  institutional  church,  but  finds 
himself  in  accord  with  the  original  teachings  of  the 
genuine  religion  of  the  man  with  the  hoe,  of  Jesus  of 
Nazareth;  he  denies  all  kinds  of  government,  because 
it  is  the  very  personification  of  evil  in  his  native  land 
and  far  from  perfection  in  other  countries.  The 
immense  physical  powers  in  the  command  of  the  Eus- 
sian ruling  classes  in  the  shape  of  a  blindly-obedient, 
excellently-drilled  army,  crushing  all  opposition  at  its  very 
inception,  is  the  explanation  of  his  non-resistance  to  evil. 
The  blonde  beast  philosophy  of  Nietsche  leaves  no  hope  for 
the  \mder-man,    the    plain    people.      The-man-with-the-hoe 


philosophj'  of  Tolstoi  preaches  submission  to  the  blonde 
beast.  There  is  perfect  harmony  between  Nietsche  and  Tol- 
stoi, in  spite  of  the  immense  distance  dividing  them  as  men 
and  thinkers. 


4-J 


VIII.     RELIGIOUS  AND  SECULAR  SOCIALISM. 

Religion  is  a  philosophy  of  life  based  on  intuition,  on  sub- 
jective evidences  of  our  inner  consciousness  and  conscience; 
a  philosophy  of  life  in  which  emotion  and  imagination  pre- 
vail over  reason.  Religion,  may  be  considered  as  com- 
posed of  two  principal  disciplines.  One  of  these 
disciplines  is  the  ontological  and  presents  some  theory 
of  the  non  ego,  the  not  ourselves,  the  outward  world 
at  large,  its  origin,  existence  and  future  and  the  mutual  re- 
lation between  this  world  at  large  and  men.  The  other  dis- 
cipline is  ethical  or  moral.  It  embraces  some  theory  about 
social  institutions,  and  contains  rules  and  regulations  of  hu- 
man conduct  corresponding  to  this  theory.  The  first  dis- 
cipline of  religion- — the  ontological  or  eosmological — is  at 
present  supplanted  by  scientific  philosophy  based  on  an  end- 
less array  of  facts,  observations  and  experiments — ^the  monis- 
tic philosophy — in  wliich  neither  emotion  nor  imagination 
play  any  conspicious  part.  The  monistic  philosophy  is  gaining 
more  and  more  ground  among  scientists  and  thinkers  of  all 
shades  of  religion  and  thought,  and  all  religious  cosmogenies 
are  classed  with  myths,  as  products  of  the  imagination  of  bar- 
baric or  semi-barbaric  tribes. 

The  second  discipline  of  religion,  its  ethical  part,  is  still 
of  great  vital  importance  as  a  social  power,  modifying  and 
regulating  human  inter-relations  and  consociations  for  better 
or  for  worse,  according  to  conditions.  Science  has  not  suc- 
ceeded so  far  in  supplanting  entirely  the  subjective  intu- 
itional, emotional  and  imaginative  elements  of  religion  by 
results  of  objective  reasoning  and  impartial  observation  and 
investigation.  The  so-called  humanitarian  sciences,  the 
sciences  concerning  the  past,  present  and  future  of  the  hu- 
man race,  as  history  and  sociology  will  for  obvious  reasons 
be  the  last  of  all  natural  sciences  to  be  freed  from  subjec- 
tivity and  deductive  methods  of  reasoning.  Scientific 
utilitarianism,  as  preached  by  Jeremiah  Bentham  and  John 
Stuart  Mill,  and  Meliorism  propounded  by  George  Eliot,  are 
attempts  not  crowned  with  singular  success.  It  does  not  ap- 
peal to  human  nature. 

It  is  therefore  clear  that  religion  may  be  of  great  assist- 


45 

ance  to  secular  Socialism  by  arousing  the  human  passion  for 
righteousness,  by  appealing  to  race  instincts  and  noble  emo- 
tions, by  directing  the  imagination  to  a  grand  vista  of  future 
human  bliss  and  happiness,  of  heroic  deeds,,  of  self-sacrifice 
and  martyrdom,  of  fame  and  glorj',  of  immortality.  It  is  in 
this  sense  that  the  greatest  agnostic  and  scientist  of  the  past 
century,  Huxlej',  said: 

"I  can  conceive  the  existence  of  a  church  in  which,  week 
by  week,  services  should  he  devoted,  not  to  the  iteration  of 
abstract  propositions  in  theology,  but  to  the  setting  before 
men's  minds  of  an  ideal  of  true,  just  and  pure  living. 

A  place  in  which  those  who  are  weary  of  the  burden  of  daili- 
cares  should  find  a  moment's  rest  in  the  contemplation  of 
ilie  higher  life,  which  is  possible  for  all,  though  attained  by  so 
few. 

A  place  in  which  the  man  of  strife  and  of  business  should 
have  time  to  think  how  small,  after  all,  are  the  rewards  he 
covets  compared  with  peace  and  charity." 

Socialism  of  today  is  sorely  in  need  of  such  a  church  with 
a  great  religious  prophet  at  its  head. 

There  is,  however,  a  vast  distinction  to  be  made  between 
such  an  ideal  and  idealistic  religious  movement  as  conceived 
by  Huxley  and  the  institutional  churches  of  today. 

.^gainst  "Churchianity"  we  must  be  warned  for  another 
reason  than  its  hollowness  and  souUessness ;  its  petrification 
and  false  pretense:  its  fostering  of  prejudices,  superstition 
and  narrow  sectarian  exclusiveness ;  its  intolerance  and 
bigotry:  its  tendency  to  side  with  the  powerful  and  strong 
and  preach  slavish  virtues  to  the  "humble  and  lowly"  pro- 
letarian; its  blasphemous  attempts  to  sanctify  the  crying  in- 
justices of  tlie  social  institutions  of  their  time  and  country. 
This  reason  is  the  policy  of  the  institutional  churches  to  take 
hold  of  irresistible  popular  movements  in  order  to  keep  them 
in  check  and  control  them  in  the  interest  of  the  ruling  classes. 
Such  an  attempt  to  avert  the  Socialistic  movement  into  chan- 
nels desired  by  the  institutional  church  is  represented  by  the 
so-called  Christian-Socialistic  party  of  Germany,  the  So- 
cialist-Catholic party  and  others.  Church  Socialism  in 
Europe  is  the  worst  enemy  of  secular,  political  Socialism, 
especially  in  Germany  and  Austria.  All  kinds  of  small  po- 
litical tricksters,  Jew-baiters  and  demagogues  of  the  worst 
kind  find  refuge  in  the  so-called  Christian-Socialist  parties, 


46 

and  turn  the  term  Socialism  into  a  by-word  and  reproach. 
This  is  the  reason  why  Socialism  fn  Europe  is  outspokenly 
anti-churchian,  and,  so  far  as  church  and  religion  are  identi- 
cal, anti-religious. 

There  is  besides  this  a  historical  foundation  for  the  an- 
tagonism between  the  church  and  the  proletarian  class  in  the 
old  country.  This  foundation  is  the  traditional  attitude  of 
the  institutional  church  toward  all  attempts  of  the  so-called 
lower  classes  of  society  to  better  their  condition.  The  church 
in  Europe  was  from  time  immemorial  the  hand-maid  of  the 
state,  that  means  the  servile  tool  of  the  ruling  clasges.  Xot 
only  the  Catholic  church,  but  even  the  most  advanced  Pro- 
testant churches,  were  inimical  to  popular  revolutions.  Even 
the  great  Gei-man  religious  reformer,  Martin  Luther,  thun- 
dered anathemas  at  the  peasants  engaged  in  riots  against  their 
oppressors — the  landlord. 

The  American  proletarians  may  reproach  the  institutional 
church  of  the  United  States  with  staunchly  supporting  negro 
slavery  in  the  south  (and  that  in  the  name  of  the  Saviour!) 
and  with  showing  great  indiilerence  to  THE  social  problem 
of  the  age,  the  struggle  of  wage  slaves  against  economic  de- 
pendence, social  subjection  and  actual  political  bondage. 
American  Socialists  are  therefore  justified  in  their  distrust  of 
the  attempts  of  some  churchmen  to  use  Socialism  to  such  an 
extent  as  to  cover  all  kinds  of  opinions  and  absence  of  opinions 
on  social  and  economic  problems,  to  emasculate  Socialism  to 
such  a  degree  as  to  make  it  acceptable  tO'  muddle-headed 
"non-partisan  partisans"  of  silver-plated,  back-number  refor- 
mers like  W.  J.  Bryan.  To  the  preachers  of  such  "blissful 
social  unions"  we  say:  "We  fear  the  Greeks  even  when  they 
offer  presents." 

Socialists  are,  however,  by  no  means  prejudiced  against 
come  every  sincere  and  honest  attempt  to  spiritualize  the 
sincere  and  honest  religious  Socialism  as  such.  They  wel- 
duU  masses  of  the  people  and  present  to  them  high 'ideals 
and  noble  precepts  of  conduct;  every  sincere  and  honest  en- 
deavor to  clarify  the  visions  of  the  unthinking  crowd,  ob- 
structed by  the  intellectual  rubbish  with  which  it  is  lavishlv 
supplied  by  the  subservient  pulpit  and  press;  every  sincere 
and  honest  attempt  toward  broadening  and  diffusing  Social- 
ism Itself  into  a  modem  world-redeeming  gospel  of  the  human 
race. 


47 


TX.    RATIONALISTIC  SOCIALISM. 

Who  made  whom  'i  Did  the  gods  create  men  or  men  their 
gods  ?  The  prevalent  view  that.  Socialism  has  nothing  to  do. 
with  this  and  similar  problems  is  far  from  being  correct.  In- 
deed, Socialism,  as  a  philosophy  of  life,  cannot  afford  to  ig- 
nore any  problems  of  life,  cannot  do  it  with  impunity.  Ger- 
man Socialists  tried,  out  of  considerations  of  tactics,  to 
dodge  religious  issites.  entirely.  The  appearance  of  a  self- 
styled  "Christian"  Socialistic  party  (a  thoroughly  disreput- 
able and  unprincipled  conglomeration  of  medieval  race 
hatred,  religious  bigotry  and  gentry  arrogance)  ss^as  made 
possible  by  the  systematic  silence  olaserved  by  the  bona-fide 
Socialists  on  religious  matters.  Had  the  German  Social  Dem- 
ocrats from  the  start  declared  for  free"  thought  as  the  only 
logical  understructure  of  their  philosophy  of  life,  had  they 
unequivocally  taken  the  stand  that  Socialism  is  founded  on 
the  solid  rock  of  human  reason  and  science,  had  they  fairly 
and  squarely  propounded,  agnosticism  as  the  only  safe  and 
honest  attitude  towards  the  Unknowable,  much  confusion  of 
ideas  as  to  that  for  which  Socialism  actually  stands,  would 
have  been  avoided  and  eliminated. 

We  do  not  intend  to  say  that  religious  views  necessarily 
hinder  a  man  or  woman  from  sympathizing  with  Socialistic 
ideas  or  even  from  being  an  active  worker  for  the  cause  of 
Socialism.  What  we  do  maintain  is  that  Socialism,  being  a 
purely  rationalistic  movement,  a  child  of  modern  conditions 
and  modem  thought,  ought  to  be  emancipated  once  for  all 
from  the  hazy  mysticism  and  unhealthy  hypnotic  influence 
of  neo-Christianity  as  expounded  by  some  native  preachers 
without  congregations,  who  have  heard  a  voice  calling  them  to 
spiritualize  Socialism.  Socialism  is  not  necessarily  antago- 
nistic to  religion  as  a  moral  force.  It  is  rather  sorely  in  need 
of  such  a  force  in  order  to  shake  up  the  mental  and  moral 
torpor  and  inertia  of  the  masses  and  classes.  But  consist- 
ency with  one's  owii  fundamental  principles  and  a  regard 
for  truth  deserve  the  first  consideration  of  every  honest  So- 
cialist. Neo-Christianity  has  just  as  little  right  to  be  called 
Socialism  as  church-Christianity — old  and  new  alike;  as  far 
as  it  contains  any  rudiments  of  a  social-economic  doctrine,  it 
is  simply  individualism  or  anarchism.     No  amount  of  so- 


48 

called  higher  criticism  and  exegetic  mental  or  phrase- 
ological jugglery  can  do  away  with  this  plain  fact.  The  man 
who  succeeded  best  in  imbibing  and  expounding  the  teach- 
ings of  the  prophet  of  Nazareth,  Count  Leo  Tolstoi,  preaches 
religious  anarchism.  The  American  disciples  of  the 
great  Russian  artist  and  moralist  do  not  openly  declare 
for  religious  anarchism  because  they  either  lack  the  clearness 
of  vision  of  their  teacher  or  do  not  possess  his  moral  courage 
of  convictions.  At  any  rate,  the  sooner  the  nco-Christians  will 
honestly  show  their  real  color  the  better  for  clear-cut  ration- 
alistic Socialism. 

Let  us,  however,  return  to  our  problem.  Who  made  whom  ? 
N'atural  Sciences  lead  to  the  conclusion  that  the  God  idea 
appeared  as  an  attempt  of  men  to  account  for  and  explain 
the  phenomena  of  nature  in  a  way  and  manner  corresponding 
to  their  mental  capacity.  The  less  self-conscious  and  critical 
the  mind  of  men  was,  the  more  subjective,  the  more  human- 
like were  their  conceptions  of  natural  forces.  For  a  savage 
the  field,  the  forest,  mountain  and  lake — ^the  whole  of  nature 
— are  the  abode  of  friendly  or  inimical  human-like  beings 
or  Gods.  This  is  the  origin  of  polytheism.  The  recognition 
of  the  unity  of  all  natural  forces  by  the  higher  Semitic  races 
resulted  in  the  one-God  idea,  or  monotheism.  The  personal 
deity  of  the  advanced  races  retained,  however,  even  to  our 
days,  its  human-like  character.  The  great  thinker, 
Spinoza,  renounced  the  idea  of  a  personal  deity  and  declared 
all  the  world  as  divine.  This  all-God  idea,  or  pantheism,  is, 
a  somewhat  refined  negation  of  the  God  idea  in  general. 
The  greatest  modern  scientists  have  come  to  the  conclu- 
sion that  neither  the  existence  nor  the  non-existence  of  a  per- 
sonal deity  can  be  demonstrated  by  proofs  of  our  senses. 
They  therefore  declared  all  speculations  in  favor  or  against 
God  ideas  to  be  beyond  the  scope  of  the  human  mind  and  con- 
sequently to  be  futile  and  purposeless. 

This  honest  and  candid  admission  of  the  limitation  of  hu- 
man mind,  called  agnosticism,  is  the  proper  point  of  view 
for  all  rational  Socialists  to  maintain.  The  real  material 
world  around  and  in  us  ought  to  be  and  is  our  field  of  ac- 
tivity. The  arduous  task  of  making  the  real  material  world 
a  habitable  place  for  the  highest  possible  type  of  humanity 
is  great  enough  to  occupy  all  our  attention.  Agnosticism  is 
entirely  in  accord  and  harmony  with  evolutionary  or  monistic 


49 

philosophy  and  consequentlj'  with  Socialistic  doctrines.  Neo- 
Christianity,  or  Christ's  Christianity  as  it  is  styled  by  Count 
Leo  Tolstoi  and  his  followers,  is  not  of  this  world.  It  does 
not  care  about  the  human  mortal  frame  and  its  physical  well- 
being.  It  preaches  humility,  forbearance,  passive  submission 
to  evil,  meekness — all  virtues  of  slavery  and  bondage.  It 
wants  peace  at  any  price  and  advocates  charity  instead  of  so- 
cial justice.  It  indulges  in  a  morbid  idealization  of  physical 
wretchedness  and  suffering  as  an  atonement  for  sins  in  the 
eyes  of  a  cruel  human-like  deity.  It  puts  a  premium  on 
spiritual  poverty  and  exults  in  the  suppression  of  all  natural 
human  instincts  of  love  for  kith  and  kin  in  favor  of  a  mystical, 
slavish  subndssion  to  the  supposed  will  of  a  man-made,  su- 
pernatural, heavenly  being.  Even  in  its  alleged  cardinal 
principle — love  to  humanity  in  general — it  goes  beyond  the 
limits  of  the  normal  human  mind  in  advocatu  j  love  to  those 
who  are  our  foes.  Christianity  is  thoroughly  pessimistic.  It 
does  not  believe  in  the  inherent  force  and  nobility  of  human 
nature,  biit  always  insists  on  its  weakness,  frailty  and  wick- 
edness. 

That  such  a  philosophy  has  nothing  in  common  with  the 
thoroughly  optimistic,  healthy  and  vigorous  Socialistic 
movement  of  our  day,  must  be  obvious  to  any  unprejudiced 
mind.  In  fact,  Christianity  cannot  be  harmonized  with  the 
monistic  philosophy.  Christianity  represents  an  entirely  dif- 
ferent cycle  of  ideas  and  conceptions  than  modern  monistic 
philosophy  and  must  of  necessity  be  diametrically  opposed 
to  modern  Socialism,  which  is  nothing  else  but  the  applica- 
tion of  monism  or  evolution  to  society  as  an  organization 
of  men.  To  combine  the  terms  Christianity  and  Socialism  is 
just  ai^  sensible  as  to  combine  the  terms  Anarchism  and  So- 
cialism. One  excludes  the  other  as  its  antithesis,  its  negation. 
Christian- Socialism  is  a  contradiction  in  terms,  a  niisnomer, 
as  )nuch  so  as  Anarchistic-Socialism  would  be. 

Socialism,  as  we  stated  before,  is  sorely  in  need  of  a  moral 
or  religious  force.  But  such  a  religious  force  must  be  and' 
actually  is  graduallv  being  developed  in  a  thoroughly  ration- 
alistic idealism,  full  of  vigor  and  faith  in  the  inherent  no- 
bility and  great  future  of  the  human  race  here  on  our  mother 
earth ;  in  a  self-sacrificing  passion  for  social -economic  justice 
in  human  society ;  in  a  tender  sympathy  with  all  downtrodden 
and  dispossessed  children  of  toil;  in  a  hatred  of  all  evil  and 


50 

wrong  in  htiman  interrelations;  in  a  fierce  contempt  of  all 
false  pretense,  shams,  hypocrisy  and  conventional  lies  per- 
meating our  present  mercantile  civilization ;  in  an  arduous  de- 
sire for  a  nobler,  higher,  more  truly  human  culture.  Such  a 
religion  of  a  divine  humanity,  moving  onward  and  onward  on 
the  highroad  of  physical  and  spiritual  perfection,  is  the  re- 
ligion of  Socialism. 


51 


X.    THE  ETHICAL  MOVEMENT  AS  VIEWED  BY  THE 
SOCIALIST. 

At  the  time  of  the  earthly  career  of  Jesus  of  Nazareth, 
two  rival  schools  of  learning  flourished  in  Judea.  Rabbi 
Shamy  stood  at  the  head  of  one  of  these  schools  and  Rabbi 
Hillel  of  the  other.  A  heathen  once  came  to  Shamy  and 
asked  him:  "Tell  me,  teacher,  the  essence  of  your  science 
while  I  am  standing  on  one  leg."  The  rabbi  chased  away 
the  infidel  in  anger  and  disgust.  The  inquisitive  heathen 
then  went  to  Rabbi  Hillel  and  repeated  his  request  to  him. 
"Gladly,  my  son,"  replied  the  sage,  "the  essence  of  our  teach- 
ing is— love  your  neighbor  as  yourself— all  the  rest  is  only  a 
commentar}^"  Do  not  get  scared,  dear  readers!  I  am  not 
going  to  preach  a  sermon. 

I  have  related  this  beautiful  story  only  as  a  striking  illus- 
tration of  laconic  brevity. 

Now — ^if  some  modern  infidel  would  ask  the  writer  of  these 
lines  to  tell  him  the  essential  difference  between  the  philos- 
ophy of  life  of  the  past  and  future  while  he  was  standing  on 
one  leg — ^he  would  get  the  following  reply:  "The  old  philos- 
ophy of  life  may  be  expressed  in  the  sentence :  I  do  believe  in 
spite  of  its  absurdity  (credo  quia  absurdum  est) ;  while  the 
new  philosophy  of  life  may  be  expressed  in  the  sentence : 
I  exist  because  I  think  (cogito  ergo  sum)."  Faith  was  the 
watchword  of  the  past,  reason  shall  be  the  guide  of  the 
future.  To  doubt  was  a  crime  in  the  good  olden  time, 
to  criticise  and  test  the  truth  of  all  phenomena  of 
life  shall  be  the  moral  duty  of  the  future..  Tra- 
dition and  authority  constituted  the  bulwark  of  the 
past,  knowledge  shall  be  the  cornerstone  of  the  n  future. 
Man  was  considered  by  our  forefathers  a  mere  toy  in  the 
hands  of  capricious  deities.  Science  emancipated  man  from 
the  phantoms  of  his  own  imagination  and  showed  him  the 
way  to  be  master  of  his  own  destinies. 

This  radical  change  going  on  in  the  minds  of  men  could 
not  fail  to  affect  in  its  turn  the  domain  of  ethics. 

"Thou  shalt  do  this,  or  abstain  from  that,  because  the 
■Deity  has  ordered  it.  Woe  to  those  who  transgress  this  com- 
mand. But  those  who  obey  shall  be  rewarded."  Such  is  in  a 
nutshell  the  view  of  the  past  on  practical  ethics.    To  the  ad- 


52 

vanced  thinker  of  our  sceptical  ago,  however,  such  motives  are 
puerile  HITMAN  HAPPINESS  OX  EARTH  IS  THE 
PURPOSE  AND  AIM  OF  MODERN  ETHICS.  Indeed 
modem  ethics  are  unthinkable  without  the  knowledge  of  the 
laws  governing  the  relations  between  men  and  as  members  of 
society. 

Says  Herbert  Spencer:  "From  the  sociological  pomt  of 
view  ethics  becomes  nothing  else  than  a  definite  account  of 
the  forms  of  conduct  that  are  fitted  to  the  associated  state, 
in  such  wise,  that  the  lives  of  each  and  all  may  be  the  greatest 
possible,  alike  in  length  and  breadth."  This  definition  em- 
phasizes two  points:  the  utilitarian  foundation  of  ethics  and 
its  essentially  social  nature.  Professor  John  Dewey  of  Chi- 
'  cago  goes  so  far  as  to  affirm  that  morality  is  nothing  else  but 
sociability. 

The  theory  of  ethics  is  two-sided,  psychological  and  social. 
The  psychological  side  has  to  do  with  the  individual,  the  so- 
cial side  with  his  relations  to  his  fellow-men.  Biologically 
speaking  the  starting-point  of  morals  or  morality  is  simulta- 
neous with  the  appearance  of  intelligence ;  that  is,  the  faculty 
of  reasoning  in  conjunction  with  some  knowledge  of  nature, 
however  rude  and  imperfect.  Ultimate  moral  forces  and  mo- 
tives are  nothing  more  nor  less  than  social  intelligence,  the 
power  of  obeerving  and  comprehending  social  situations  and 
powers.  Professor  DaGarmo  of  Pennsylvania  calls  the  moral 
type  of  men,  the  social  type.  According  to  his  definition,  the 
moral  type  is  distinguished  by  its  readiness  to  participate  in 
group  activity  for  the  common  good. 

The  emancipation  of  ethics  from  the  tenets  of  old  creeds 
and  its  reconstniction  on  a  purely  rational  foundation  was  a 
great  step  forward  on  the  road  of  human  progress. 

Rational  ethics  consists  of  two  disciplines':  the  science  or 
theory  of  conduct,  and  the  art  or  practice  of  conduct.  The 
science  of  ethics  leads  even  such  strictly  individualistic  think- 
ers as  Herbert  Spencer  to  the  recognition  of  the  purely  social 
character  of  ethics.  More  unbiased  authorities,  as  we  have 
partly  seen,  identify  ethics  with  social  virtues  in  general.  In 
other  words  the  theory  of  ethics  by  the  force  of  logic  leads  to 
Socialism  in  its  broadest  sense  Just  as  inevitably  as  the  study 
of  natural  sciences  lead  to  hygiene  and  prophylactic  medicine. 
Still  closer  is  the  relation  between  the  art  of  conduct  and 
Socialism.    As  it  is  impossible  for  the  human  body  to  be  and 


^  63 

remain  health}'  in  an  anti-hygienic  environment,  practical, 
ethics  or  moral  health  m  an  impossibility  in  a  state  of  society 
■whose  institutions  are  bnilt  on  an  essentially  immoral  founda- 
tion and  impregnated  with  the  miasma  of  the  animal  strug- 
gle for  existence.  In  such  a  society  ethics  of  neccessity  must 
be  a  snare  and  delusion,  a  hypocritical  cant  and  a  fruitless 
endeavor.  Socialism  alone  will  make  right  conduct  possible 
by  creating  social  institutions  and  conditions  in  the  highest 
degree  favorable  to  the  development  of  the  human  mind  and 
character. 

Those  who  look  upon  Socialism  as  an  artificial  scheme, 
concocted  by  a  few  speculative  economists,  with  the  exclusive 
purpose  of  improving  the  material  condition  of  a  certain  class 
— ^however  large  in  numbers  and  worthy  of  sympathy — ^have 
too  narrow  a  view  of  the  movement,  its  depth,  scope  and 
breadth.  Socialism  is  the  inevitable  result  of  the  organic 
growth  and  evolution  of  human  mind.  It  is  an  historical 
necessity,  as  were  cannibalism,  slavery,  serfdom  and  the  pre- 
sent social  system  (or  utter  absence  of  any  rational  system). 
Rational  beings  like  men  are  bound  by  nature  to  manage  their 
affairs  on  strictly  rational  principles.  Socialisin  means  noth- 
ing else  but  the  reconstruction  and  management  of  all  social 
affairs  according  to  the  principles  of  science,  reason  and 
ethics.  The  economic  side  of  the  Socialistic  doctrine,  al- 
though at  present  the  most  prominent,  is  not  by  any  means 
all  there  is  in  it.  Socialism  is  in  no  way  merely  a  class  move- 
ment, although  at  present  for  obvious  reasons  it  is  identified 
with  the  special  interests  of  the  industrial  proletariat.  So- 
cialism is  essentially  a  humanitarian  movement — broad  as 
humanity  and  deep  as  the  mystery  of  life.  Socialism  aims  at 
the  abolition  of  all  class  distinctions  among  men,  and  has 
in  view  all  interests  of  men,  moral,  mental,  aesthetical,  as  well 
as  economic.  The  ideals  of  Socialism  are  not  limited  by 
any  artificial  lines  or  classifications.  They  are  the  ideals  of 
humanity,  the  ideals  of  right  living,  of  bodily  health,  of  in- 
tellectual development,  of  a  happy,  harmonious,  beautiful 
life  on  earth,  of  a  li-^e  worth  living.  Socialism  teaches  people 
to  consider  themselves  and  others  not  only  as  individuals,  but 
as  integral  parts  of  the  human  race,  as  heirs  of  the  trea- 
sures left  by  generations  gone  by,  and  responsible  predec(>s- 
sors  of  future  generations. 

Can  there  he  a  conception  more  beautiful,  true  and  elevat- 


54 

ing?  How  small  and  insignificant  our  fate  as  individuals 
appears  in  comparison  with  the  fate  of  humanity,  an  infi- 
nitesimal social  part  of  which  we  constitute !  But  once  we 
recognize  as  paramount  the  interests  of  the  race  to  which  we 
belong,  our  significance  as  workers,  however  humble  and  weak, 
in  the  interests  of  the  race  grows  and  widens,  and  life  acquires 
a  new,  richer,  broader  and  deeper  meaning.. 

When  a  new  idea  is  born  into  the  world,  it  meets  with  a  cold 
reception.  The  parents  of  new  ideas  are  stamped  as  fools, 
charlatans,  and  cranks.  They  are  subjected^to  social  ostrac- 
ism, persecuted,  and  sometimes  deprived  of  life.  Neverthe- 
less its  inherent  power  and  harmony  make  a  new  idea  self- 
sustaining.  It  thrives,  grows  and  blossoms  into  beauty  in 
spite  of  all  unfavorable  circumstances  and  influences.  Just 
these  inherent  qualities  gradually  win  for  it  more  and  more 
friends,  even  in  the  headquarters  of  its  most  bitter  enemies — 
among  the  "upper  ten  thousand,"  the  so-called  "respectable 
people."  This  stage  however,  is  fraught  with  the  utmost 
danger  for  young  ideas.  In  order  to  be  acceptable  to  re- 
spectable people,  the  new  idea  has  to  undergo  a  certain  pro- 
cess of  remodelling  agreeable  to  the  tastes  of  the  new  con- 
verts. It  is  thrown  into  the  straight- jacket  of  conventional- 
ity, trimmed,  polished,  painted  and  perfumed  like  a  faded 
beauty.  All  its  originality  and  reality  is  carefully  eliminated 
and  cast  off.  Deprived  of  its  simple  but  genuine  shape,  it 
loses  its  original  vigor,  not  unlike  Sampson,  after  his  hair 
was  cut  off  by  his  Philistine  wife.    And  what  then  ? 

Every  one  of  us  has  had  a  chance  to  observe  curious  petri- 
factions, representing  in  their  outward  appearance  some  plant 
or  animal.  How  did  these  curious  phenomena  take  place  in 
the  workshop  of  nature?  The  organic  substance  of  the  ani- 
mal or  plant,  particle  by  particle,  was  displaced  by  mineral 
substance.  The  outward  appearance  of  the  fossil  testifies 
silently,  but  eloquently,  that  in  times  gone  by  the  curious 
body  really  lived. 

The  once  tender,  highly  complex  structure  and  mysterious 
molecular  activity,  or  if  you  choose  to  call  it  so,  the  "soul," 
has  vanished  never  to  return  again,  while  the  stone  is  left. 
Phenomena  of  that  kind  are  not  limited  to  nature  alone. 
Wc  meet  them  in  the  domain  of  human  psychology  in  the 
shape  of  fossilized  ideas.    Do  not  petrified  dogmas  replace  the 


55 

living  soul  of  once  young    and    buoyant  religious  creeds? 
The  living  Gods  have  turned  into  go.  many  dead  idols. 

Allow  me  now  to  ask  a  few  pertinent  questions.  Is  not 
the  rationalistic  ethical  movement  confronted  by  the  danger 
of  becoming  a  sharer  in  the  sad  fate  of  other  creeds,  founded 
on  the  one  solid  rock  of  human  emotion  and  fancy  ? 

Shall  we  not  be  alarmed  by  the  marked  tendency  of  the 
ethical  movement  to  grow  "respectable,"  to  suit  the  tastes  of 
the  refined  few?  Is  not  the  ethical  movement  showing  a 
tendency  to  degenerate  into  a  rationalistic  sect  with  dogmatic 
morality  as  its  confession  of  faith  ? 

Do  not  many  ethical  culturists  look  upon  the  apostle  of  in- 
dividualism, Herbert  Spencer,  as  their  Messiah,  and  his 
Principles  of  Ethics  as  their  Bible  ? 

According  to  their  views,  there  are  no  social,  no  economic, 
even  Jio  j)olitical  problems  to  solve.  The  only  thing  necessary 
is  to  be  moral  in  private  life.  All  the  rest  will  somehow  and 
sometime  regulate  itself  automatically.  A  very  optimistic 
theory  indeed — personal  morality  as  a  panacea  against  all 
evils."  Let  all  people  be  personally  moral,  and  the  world  will 
turn  into  a  paradise  and  in  the  most  peaceful  manner.  There 
will  be  no  more  bloody  revolutions,  no  artificial  legislation, 
no  complex  social  institutions,  even  no  expensive  governments 
necessary.  How  puerile,  but  how  "conservative,"  and  there- 
fore "respectable !"  The  personal  morality  theory  seems  to 
be  indeed  a  splendid  foundation  for  the  shal.y  philosophical 
palace  of  "laissez  faire." 

Ask  some  of  the  extreme  individualists  in  the  movement: 
"What  are  ethical  societies  for?"  and  you  will  hear  some  such 
reply  as  this:  "Ethical  societies  are  a  kind  of  asylums  for 
unchurched  people,  a  kind  of  ethical  dormitories." 

The  writer  was  a  close  observer  of  the  convention  of  the 
American  Ethical  Union,  held  at  Milwaukr  in  1898.  All  the 
lights  of  the  movement,  Dr.  F.  Adler,  New  York ;  W.  L. 
Sheldon,  St.  Louis;  F.  Chubb,  New  York;  Wm.  M.  Salter, 
Chicago;  S.  B.  Weston,  Philadelphia;  Dr.  John  Elliott,  New 
York,  and  others,  took  part  in  the  exercises  of  the  convention. 

The  oratorical  feast  extended  to  various  topics.  "The  Mes- 
sage of  the  Ethical  Movement  to  the  Eeligious  Nature  of 
Man,"  "Its  Eelation  to  Emerson  and  to  Free  Eeligion,"  "Its 
Relation  to  the  laberal  Movement  in  America,"  "Its  Relation 
to  Orthodox  Religion,"  "Club  work  among  Men  and  Boys  in 


56 

the  Tenement  House  T>istvicls,"  "Seli-eiilture  methods  among 
Working  Poeple,"  "The  Contribution  of  Ethical  Societies  to 
Philanthropy,"  "The  Mission  of  the  Ethical  i.iovement," 
were  the  subjects  treated  more  or  less  exhaustively  by  the 
speakers  of  the  convention.  The  confession  of  faith  in  the 
movement  was  distinctly  stated  by  the  various  representatives 
and  delegates.  Dr.  Felix  Adler,  the  founder  of  the  movement, 
claimed  for  it  the  endeavor  to  create  a  delnand  for  social  re- 
forms by  educating  the  children  in  ethical  schools.  He  ad- 
vised employers  to  look  upon  their  business  as  a  social  func- 
tion, a  sacred  duty  imposed  upon  them  by  society.  The  em- 
ployer should  consider  himself  the  priest  of  the  industrial 
church., 

A  very  euphonious  phrase !  A\'as  it  dense  ignorance  of  the 
actual  social  and  economical  conditions  of  our  tiine  or  de- 
liberate begging  of  the  question  ? 

Does  not  the  learned  doctor  know  the  beautiful  flower  of 
our  industrial  anarchy,  called  competition?  Does  he  not 
know  that  one  swallow  cannot  make  a  summer  ? 

Does  he  not  know  that  it  is  not  the  free  will  or  whim  of  the 
employers,  but  the  iron  laws  of  the  present  industrial  system.', 
which  crush  the  industrial  proletariat? 

An  employer  must  treat  his  employes  in  the  same  way  as 
his  fellow  employers  in  his  branch  of  production  or  trade 
treat  theirs,  or  else  go  out  of  business.  He  is  a  slave  of  the 
capitalist  system,  just  as  much  as  the  common  laborer,  al- 
though a  somewhat  favored  slave.  He  is  the  turnkey  of  the 
industrial  prison. 

Still  more  peculiar  was  the  assertion  that  it  is  necessary 
to  create  a  demand  for  social  reforms  by  the  aid  of  schools 
connected  with  ethical  societies.  Deep  dissatisfaction  with 
the  existing  social  and  economical  conditions  is  one  of  the 
most  prominent  features  of  our  time.  There  is  a  nervous 
restlessness  even  among  the  representatives  of  our  shoddy 
aristocracy.  The  whole  civilized  world  is  literally  craving 
for  economic  and  social  reforms.  But  now  our  learned  doctor 
steps  forward  and  proclaims :  "Patience  !  you  naked,  starving, 
freezing,  persecuted  and  exploited  children  of  toil  and  mis- 
fortune. Wait  till  we  shall  create  a  demand  for  social  re- 
forms." Humanity  has  to  play  the  part  of  the  camel,  to  be 
driven  through  tlie  narrow  eye  of  the  needle,  represented  bv 
the  only  school  existing  in  connection  with  the  'Sl^'w  York 


,57 

Ethical  Soriety,  in  order  to  make  soe'al  reforms  possible. 
rPoor  humanity! 

That  this  line  of  argument  was  not  an  accidental  slip'  of 
the  tongue  is  obvious  to  me  for  the  following  reason.  A  few 
years  ago  I  happened  to  listen  to  a  lecture  delivered  by  an- 
other light  of  the  movement,  Mr.  Mangasarian.  Touching 
upon  the  labor  problem,  he  implored  employers  to  give  their 
wage  slaves  more  leisure.  And  for  what  purpose  ?  For  the 
study  of  classics.  "What  a  consolation  it  would  he  for  the 
scavengers  or  collectors  of  garbage,  during  the  fulfillment 
of  their  laborious  and  unpleasant  duties  to  recite  passages  of 
Homer,  Virgil  and  Cicero !"  And  Mr.  Mangasarian  did  not 
even  smile  when  he  uttered  these  absurdities  before  a  numer- 
ous and  supposedly  enlightened  audience  in  Chicago. 

But  another  assertion  by  Dr.  Adler  is  still  more  astounding. 
IJe  claimed  that  many  social  reformers  undermine  iiiorality 
by  criticizing  the  bourgeois  morality.  They  should  limit  them- 
selves to  the  criticism  of  the  narrow-mindedness 'of  the  ap- 
plication of  the  principles  of  morality  by  the  niiddle  class, 
but  respect  the  principles  themselves.  Now  is  that  not  simply 
delicious  ?  We  should  like  to  have  those  reformers  who  un- 
dermine morality  called  by  their  names.  As  far  as  we  are 
I  informed,  the  foundation  of  all  reformatory  movements  has 
always  been  a  deep  ethical  current  passing  through  society. 
An  immoral  reformer  is  a  contradiction  in  terms,  a  nothing. 
One  could  well  expect  that  the  founder  and  leader  of  a  new 
movement  would  be  better  informed  on  common  social  sub- 
jects or  at  least  be  more  guarded  in  the  expression  of  his 
opinions. 

Dr.  John  Elliot  was  another  delegate  of  the  convention, 
who  proved  his  ignorance  of  Socialism  by  claiming  that  it 
is  a  purely  materialistic  movement.  He  said  that  the  So- 
cialists were  mistaken  in  expecting  a  millenium  by  satisfying 
the  material  needs  of  man,  in  ignoring  1  '^  spiritual  interests. 
Nothing  is  further  from  the  truth  than  this  assertion.  So- 
cialism as  stated  before,  is  only  apparently  an  economic 
movement.  But  its  moving  power,  as  well  as  its  final  aims 
and  purposes,  are  purely  ethical,  and  therefore  spiritual  par 
excellence.  Be  it  far  from  us  Socialists  to  condemn  any. line 
of  honest  endeavor  to  elevate  manhood  and  womanhood  to  a 
higher  level  only  because  the  people  engaged  in  it  do  not 
agree  with  our  views  on  social  activity.     The.  convention  in 


68 

the  main  produeeti  a  very  favorable  impression.  The  dele- 
gates were  all  enlightened,  enthusiastic  and  broad-minded 
people  with  pronouncedly  humanitarian  inclinations.  The 
more  the  pity  that  they  fail  to  see  the  fallacy  of  so-called  in- 
dividual morality. 

What  individual  morality  means  is  simply  a  tendency  to 
avoid  unnecessary  friction  among  members  of  society.  So- 
ciety is  to  a  certain  estent  a  complex  mechanism,  whose  con- 
stituent parts  are  its  members.  The  less  perfect  the  social 
organization^  the  more  obvious  is  the  necessity  of  avoiding 
friction,  and  vice  versa,  the  more  perfect  the  social"  organism, 
the  less  apparent  is  the  necessity  of  avoiding  friction.  The 
analogy  between  social  and  mechanical  friction  is  complete. 
The  poorer  the  construction  of  a  machine,  the  more  lubricat- 
ing oil  it  needs.  Friction  is  a  property  of  matter  and  can- 
not be'  eliminated  entirely,  but  may  be  reduced  to  a  minimum 
by  a  skillful  application  of  mechanical  principles.  In  the 
Socialistic  state  of  society  there  will  be  very  little  use  for  the 
lubricating  oil  of  personal  morality.  But  socialism  is  impos- 
sible without  social  ethics,  just  as  complete  social  ethics  is 
impossible  in  our  present  individualistic  stage  of  culture. 

The  advanced  science  of  sociology  will  furnish  the 
practical  statesmen  of  the  future  with  sufficient  data  to 
invent  new  methods  of  organization  and  co-operation, 
just  as  mechanics  enables  the  constructors,  of  machines 
to  make  them  more  and  more  perfect.  Social  dyna- 
mics are,  however,  infinitely  more  complex  than  me- 
chanics. "Mind  is  the  highest  quality  of  matter,  as  society 
is  the  highest  product  of  evolution  of  matter,"  says  Lester 
Ward,  the  greatest  sociologist  in  the  United  States.  Society 
therefore  depends  on  the  mind.  Ethics  is  an  inherent  part 
of  the  human  mind.  Not  only  the  lowest  human  races,  but 
even  animals  have  some  conceptions  about  right  and  wrong. 
Ideas  about  ethics  evolve  along  with  society,  and  Socialism — 
as  the  highest  stage  of  social  evolution — will  make  the  reali- 
zation of  high  moral  ideals  possible. 

Eecognizing  the  utility  of  the  ethical  movement  in  our 
time  of  sordid  selfishness,  we  however  think  that  much  of 
its  energy  will  be  wasted  as  long  as  it  fails  to  grasp  the  inter- 
dependence between  the  conduct  of  men  and  their  social  en- 
vironment. 

Another  stumbling-block  of  ethical  societies,  is  their— per- 


59 

haps  unintentional — social  exclusiveness..  The  people — the 
toiling  class — are  not  attracted  by  these  societies  to  any  ap- 
preciable extent.  The  ethical  society  of  the  people  will  be  the 
child  of  a  brighter  future,  when  education,  enlightenment, 
and  culture  will  not  be  monopolized  by  a  few,  but  accessible 
to  all  alike.  The  ethical  society  of  the  people  will  be  the 
Socialistic  state,  of  society. 


60 


XI.    IS  SOCIALISM  MATEKIALISTIC? 

"Socialism  is  grossly  materialistic.  It  eliminates  from  hu- 
man nature  everything  human  and  preaches  the  brutal  gospel 
of  the  stomach. "  Socialists  are  after  the  tieshpots  of  Egypt, 
but  protest  against  Egyptian  labor.  They  are  the  vandals 
of  modern  times.  Eeligion,  the  fine  arts,  aesthetics,  ethics 
and  idealism,  are  according  to  their  views  nothing  else  but 
the  sickly  outgrowth  of  a  transitory  stage  of  society.  Let 
everybody  have  enough  to  eat  and  to  drink,  provide  everybody 
with  homesteads,  and  other  means  of  subsistence,  and  hu- 
manity's salvation,  the  millennium  of  highest  bliss  possible 
on  earth,  will  be  an  accomplished  fact.'"  Such  is  the  alleged 
ultimatum  of  Socialism.  Such  are  the  harangues  against 
Socialism  met  with  in  the  general  press,  on  the  pulpit  and 
political  platform. 

It  is  hard  to  tell  how  many  of  these  accusations  against 
Socialism  originate  from  the  ignorance  and  prejudice  of  the 
opponents  of  our  doctrine  and  how  much  of  it  is  conscious 
slander,  deliberate  calumny,  of  a  hated,  feared,  new  and 
growing  power.  In  both  cases,  however,  the  result  is  the 
same.  The  indolent  crowd  lends  a  ready  ear  to  all  that  is 
brought  forth  against  the  new  teaching.  And  many  an  other- 
wise well  informed  and  fairminded  man  demonstrates  a 
marked  inability  to  grasp  the  real  meaning  and  import  of 
these  accusations  and  takes  them  on  credit.  Indeed  it  is  so 
easy  to  take  somebody's  assertion  for  granted  even  if  need 
be  with  a  grain  of  salt !  And  life  is  too  short  to  investigate 
matters  and  arrive  at  conclusions  independently  of  what  Tom, 
Dick  and  Harry  present  as  evidence!  Is  it  to  be 
wondered  at,  that  the  mere  sound  "Socialism,"  seems  to  have 
an  almost  shocking  effect  on  the  ear  of  many  cultured  men 
and  women  of  our  enlightened  age?  You  may  pre- 
sent sub  rosa  the  most  radical  Socialistic  doctrine 
and  an  enlightened  audience  will  listen  spe]l-b6und  to 
your  expositions  and  arguments,  and  will  show  the  deepest 
interest  and  sympathy.  But  as  soon  as  you  allow  the  sound 
"Socialism"  to  slip  from  your  lips  the  spell  will  be  at  once 
broken  and  the  majority  of  your  attentive  and  sympathetic 
listemers  will  stare  at  you  and  feel,  or  pretend  to  feel  scanda- 
lized.    Obviously  not  the  doctrine  produced  that  effect,  but 


61 

the  prejudices  aroused  and  nourished  by  accusations  of  the 
kind  before  mentioned. 

It  is  our  privilege  and  duty  to  disprove  the  truth  of  the 
imputation  that  Socialism  is  materialistic,  in  any  except  the 
philosophical,  or  rather  historic  sense  of  the  term.  i 

What  is  materialism  ?  There  is  a  materialistic  philosophy 
of  the  universe.  There  is  a  materialistic  philosophy  of  hu-' 
man  life,  and  finally  there  is  a  materialistic  philosophy  of 
the  history  of  humankind.  Of  which  of  these  materialisms  is 
Socialism  guilty? 

The  materialistic  philosophy  of  the  universe  is  now  ac- 
cepted as  the  only  scientific  view  of  the  subject.  Its  essence 
is  briefly  stated  as  follows.  Matter  is  conceived  as  composed 
of  small  physical  particles,  which  are  moved  in  dbediencfe 
to  merely  physical  principles,  and,  hems:  themselves  without 
sensations,  may  produce  sensations  and  thought  by  particular 
forms  of  their  combinations.  Sensations  do  not  exist  inde- 
pendent of  matter,  and  have  to  be  considered  only  as  the 
effects  of  ordinary  material  changes. 

The  opposite  school  of  philosophy  maintains  however,  that 
we  know  the  world  only  through  our  perceptions  and  conse- 
quently cannot  know  how  things  are  related  to  each  other, 
outside  our  perceptions.  The  extreme  idealists  do  not  sup- 
pose that  there  is  anything— by  and  for  itself — per  se 
without  its  corresponding  to  our  conceptions  of 
things.  For  instance,  if  we  perceive  a  tree  we 
may  be  sure,  that, — except  in  relation  to  the  eye,  into 
which  it  sends  its  rays, — the  tree  has  no  existence.  The  trpe 
is  only  a  phenomenon  of  our  sense  of  vision  and  not  a  thing  in 
itself..  This  idealistic  conception  of  the  world  around  us 
is  obviously  metaphysical  and  conseqiiently  unscientific. 
Even  if  we  should  admit  for  the  sake  of  argument,  that  the 
tree,  as  a  thing  in  itself,  does  not  exist — still  for  all  practical 
purposes  the  tree  exists  for  us  and  all  arguing  to  the  eontrarr 
is  idle  hairsplitting. 

Obviously  the  materialistic  philosophy  of  the  universe 
has  very  little,  if  any,  bearing  at  all  on  social  problems.  So- 
ciology has  for  its  subject  not  so  much  the  world  at  large: 
with  its  innumerable  atoms,  stars,  ether  and  boundless  spaces, 
as  the  species  homo  sapiens  inhabiting  our  minute  planet. 
And  Socialism  is  but  the  practical  application  of  Sociological 
principles  to  actual  life,  the  art  of  living  in  society.      The 


62 

materialistic  conception  of  the  world  has  even  very  little,  if 
any  at  all  bearings  on  the  philosophy  of  human  life,  as  a 
basis  of  conduct.  I  may  for  instance  be  convinced  that  noth- 
ing exists  but  our  conception  of  things  in  our  consciousness, 
i.  e.,  be  an  extremely  idealistic  ontologist,  and  still  be  the 
most  unscrupulous  exploiter  of  the  weak  and  poor,  the  most 
cruel  and  profligate  husband,  in  fact  a  monster  of  depravity. 
And  inversely — I  may  be  certain,  that  nothing  exists  but 
matter  and  be  the  personification  of  altruism,  the  best  mem- 
ber of  society,  the  embodiment  of  the  highest  ideal  of  hu- 
manity. Idealism,  and  materialism  as  the  foundations  of 
the  philosophy  of  human  life,  are  entirely  independent  of 
ontological  idealism  and  materialism.  The  terms  have  an 
entirely  different  meaning  in  these  two  different  cases. 

Before,  however,  we  try  to  investigate  how  far,  if  at  all. 
Socialism  preaches  or  is  conducive  to  a  materialistic  philoso- 
phy of  life,  and  consequently  unethical  conduct,  it  seems 
expedient  to  find  out  whether  Socialism  is  guilty  of  ex- 
pounding a  materialistic  philosophy  of  history.  Is  this  a 
just  accusation  against  Socialism?  In  answer  to  that 
question  Socialism  must  step  forward  before  the  tribunal 
of  its  judges  and  proclaim  "Mea  culpa !  mea  maxima  culpa !" 
Yes,  Socialism  did  it  through  the  agency  of  its  foremost  and 
most  brillant  champion — Karl  Marx.  Tjet  us  now  candidly 
explain  how  and  why  it  was  done.  The  Socialism  of  the 
Utopian  period  tried  to  propagate  their  ideas  by  appealing 
to  the  higher  sentiments  of  love,  sympathy  and  compassion 
with  the  persecuted,  weak  and  down  trodden,  they  attempted 
to  win  the  aid  of  the  current  religious  ideas  and  recognized 
ethical  principles — ^but  all  in  vain. 

The  social  and  economic  development  and  structure  of  so- 
ciety was  not  in  the  least  influenced  by  this  generous  appeal 
to  the  higher  human  emotions.  The  economic  and  social 
institutions  were,  and  remained  imbued  with  grossly  materi- 
alistic spirit  (in  the  most  common  sense  of  the  word)  and  the 
principle  homo  homini  lupus  reigned  supreme  after,  just  as 
before  the  activity  of  the  Utopian  Socialists  started.  The  so- 
called  classical  school  of  national  economy  sanctioned  by  its 
apparent  superior  wisdom  and  scientific  dignity  the  exploi- 
tation of  the  many  by  the  few,  the  masses  by  the  classes, 
the  weak  by  the  strong,  the  honest  by  the  unscrupulous. 
The  new  science  totally  eliminated  from  human  nature  every- 


63 

thing  human  and  preached  the  gospel  of  the  stomach  in  all 
its  egotistic  brutality.  The  economists  considered  it  quite 
appropriate  and  normal,  that  the  valiant  few  should  take  pos- 
session of  the  valuable  flesh-pots  of  Egypt,  of  production  and 
distribution,  while  the  non  valiant  masses  should  bear  all 
the  burden  of  the  Egyptian  slave  labor  and  feed  on  the  morsel 
of  crumbs  falling  from  the  overladen  table  of  their  em- 
ployers and  exploiters.  The  classical  economists  ignored 
entirely  religion,  the  fine  arts,  aesthetics,  ethics  as  irrelevant 
to  the  material  well  being  of  nations.  They  were  deeply 
concerned  about  the  wealth  of  nations,  balance  of  trade,  etc., 
but  did  not  care  a  particle  about  the  fate  of  those  who  created 
this  wealth  and  balance  of  trade.  Man  was  to  them  an  ab- 
stract being  endowed  with  the  insatiable  desire  to  accumulate 
wealth  for  the  nation,  and  this  accumulation  was  considered 
as  the  most  desirable  of  all  human  pursuits.  The  new 
science  advocated  the  wildest  individualism;  declared  com- 
petition the  life  of  trade  and  rejected  interference  in  eco- 
nomic affairs  on  behalf  of  the  materially  weaker  as  injurious 
to  the  wealth  of  nations — ^their  fetish. 

That  the  economic  structure  of  society  is  subjected  to 
laws  of  evolution  similar  to  those  ruling  the  entire  organic 
world  was  only  dimly  recognized  by  the  leading  economists, 
whose  climax  of  wisdom  concentrated  itself  in  the  purely 
negative' maxim — ^let  alone  (lesser  fair,  lesser  passer).  The 
historical  perspective  was  totally  absent  in  their  treatises  on 
economic  problems.  The  historical  science  properly  did  not 
want  to  know  anything  about  national  economic  factors  in  its 
turn.  The  only  factors  it  did  recognize  were  petty  court 
intrigues,  wars,  dynastic  rivalries,  religious  fanaticism  and 
racial  antagonism.  The  narrowness  and  one  sidedhess  of 
economics  ignoring  history  and  history  ignoring  economics, 
is  just  as  glaring  a  phenomenon  as  the  lamentable  divorce 
between  national 'economy  and  Sociology.  All  these  three 
sciences  are  necessarily  supplementary  to  each  other.  No 
rational  historian  can  get  along  without  the  knowledge  of 
economics  and  Sociology.  And  the  same  is  true  in  relation  to 
the  Sociologist  and  economist  respecting  history. 

Karl  Marx  was  the  first  critical  Socialist.  He  was  the 
first  to  meet  the.  classical  economists,  the  defenders  of  the 
existing  social  and  economic  structure  with  all  its  cannibal- 
like brutality,  on  their  own  ground  and  to  fight  them  with 


6-1 

their  own  Avcapou.  It  was  and  is  still  an  heroic  strife,  the 
battle  is  still  nndecided  as  far  as  actual  conditions  are  con- 
cerned, but  the  theoretical,  scientific  victory  is  undoubtedly 
on  the  side  of  Karl  Marx  and  his  school.  Marx  recognized 
the  futility  of  Utopian  phantasma  and  sentimental  appeals 
from  the  part  of  a  lamb  to  the  wolf.  He  talked  to  the  wolves 
in  their  own  dialect  and  showed  them  sharper  and  stronger 
claws  and  teeth  of  logic  and  knowledge  than  they  ever  pos- 
(sessed.  He  considered  the  world,  or  rather  the  historical 
life  of  nations  and  the  problems  of  individual  existence,  from 
the  standpoint  of  physiological  evolution  according  to  natural 
laws. 

Certain  modes  of  economic  activity  correspond  to  cer- 
tain social  stages  of  development  with  certain  political, 
religious,  moral,  literary,  philosophical  and  artistic  fea- 
tures. With  the  change  of  these  modes  of  economic 
life  are  closely  connected  changes  in  all  other  ac- 
tivities of  a  nation.  That  theory  he  applied  to  the  modern 
conflict  between  capital  and  labor  and  arrived  at  generallv 
Icnown  conclusions.  Only  a  superficial  student  of  Marx' 
and  Engels'  works  will  not  notice  that  below  the  cool,  de- 
liberate, almost  mathematically  precise,  reasoning  of  the 
scientist  there  is  hidden  a  warm  human  breast,  a  heart  aglow 
(with  love  for  the  human  race  and  burning  with  righteous  in- 
dignation at  the  injustice  and  beastly  exploitation  of  the  weak 
by  the  strong. 

This  love  for  the  human  race  and  higher  ethical  ideals 
are  the  real  keynotes  to  all  of  Marx's  and  Engel's 
scientific  researches  and  political  activity.  The  same 
is  true  in  respect  to  Lassalle  and  other  Socialist  leaders  of 
note.  That  they  stepped  forward  mainly  and  apparently  ex- 
clusively as  economists  was  not  their  fault.  This  was  the 
only  way  to  reach  their  purpose  in  a  time  when  all  considera- 
tions" of  justice  and  right  are  subjected  to  economic  problems 
of  gain,  loss,  profit,  rent,  interest.  Not  the  Socialists  created 
this  grossly  materialistic  spirit  of  our  times.  The  Socialists 
want  to  abolish  profit,  rent,  interest,  this  unholy  trinity  of 
our  economic  system,  in  the  name  of  the  higher  interests 
of  the  race.  But  in  order  to  combat  that  unholy  trinity  suc- 
cessfully they  have  had  to  do  it  as  economists. 

It  is  true,  that  Socialism  demands  before  all,  economic  jus-  ' 
tice,  social  rights  actually  equal  for  all  human  beings,  with- 


66 

out  any  distinction  of  race,  sex  or  material  wealth;  it  wants 
a  true  democrac}'.  But  I  defy  anybody  to  prove  to  us  that 
Socialism  considers  the  inauguration,  of  this  minimum  of 
material  justice  and  equality  as  its  iinal  goal  and  highest 
aim  and  purpose.  Quite  the  reverse  of  it  is  true.  Socialism 
recognizes  that  only  after  economic  and  social  justice  is  in- 
augurated can  the  higher  development  of  the  race  begin. 
And  is  it  not  a  recognized  fact  that  only  those 
nations  and  classes  reach  the  highest  point  in  science, 
philosophy,  fine  arts,  which  enjoy  a  certain  degree  of 
economic  security  and  independence?  Is  it  not  true  that 
material  want  and  the  feeling  of  insecurity  of  daily  bread 
for  one's  self  and  family  tend  to  produce  a  stifling  efEect  on 
human  ambition  and  lead  inevitably  to  the  atrophy  of  mental 
and  spiritual  interests?  Is  not  material  need  brutalizing 
and  degrading? 

We  leave  it  to  the  kind  reader  to  decide  whom  deserve 
more  the  imputations  of  gross  materialism. 

On  one  side  we  have  the  individualists,  who  preach 
the  zoological  bellium  omnium  contra  omnes,  the  war 
of  all  against  all,  and  non-interference  of  society, 
who  advocate  the  chaotic  play  of  social  or  rather 
anti-social  forces,  who  put  might  before  right  and  even  affirm 
that  might  is  right,  who  consider  selfishness  as  the  best  guide 
of  social  conduct  and  sole  basis  of  economic  activity,  who  put 
a  premium  on  low  cunning,  reckless  speculation  and  un- 
scrupulous exploitation  of  men  by  men,  who  wash  their  hands 
in  human  blood  and  indirectly  feed  on  huma'n  flesh  and  mar- 
row. 

On  the  other  hand  we  see  the  raceists,  or  Socialists,  who 
consider  the  interests  (all  the  interests — the  spiritual  a* 
well  as  the  material) — of  humanity  as  a  whole,  the  interests 
of  the  masses  as  paramount,  who  look  upon  every  man  as  a 
unit  of  society  (in  the  broadest  and  deepest  sense  of  the 
word),  who  advocate  harmony  and  brotherhood  between  those 
units  of  society,  who  proclaim  the  solidarity  of  the  interests 
of  all  men,  who  substitute  co-operation  for  competition, 
who  preach  altruism  as  the  wisest  and  safest  basis  of  social 
conduct,  who  maintain  that  right  is  superior  to  might,  who 
by  a  rational  reconstruction  of  society  want  to  do  away  with 
eyery  incentive  of  selfishness,  who  despise  low  cunning,  who 
consider  speculation  with  the  products  of  human  labor  as 


66 

criminal,  who  are  always  to  be  found  in  the  tents  of  those  per- 
ishing for  the  great  cause  of  human  love  and  reason. 

It  is  necessary  to  argue  now  as  to  what  may  or  must  be 
the  bearing  of  the  Socialistic  doctrine  on  the  philosophy  of 
life  and  consequently  on  human  conduct  ?  Who  is  more 
likely  to  devote  his  activity  and  energy  to  materalistic  pur- 
suits— ^the  gain  of  wealth,  for  its  own  sake  and  by  any  means, 
the  egotistic  enjoyment  of  this  ill-gained  wealth  in  glut- 
tony, drunkenness  and  other  dissipations-r-the  individualists 
or  the  Socialists  ?  Which  of  these  two  types  of  our  present  age 
is  more  likely  to  devote  his  life  to  the  disinterested  service 
in  the  cause  of  the  human  race,  to  acquirement  of  knowledge, 
to  lead  a  life  of  high  thinking  and  pure  esthetic  enjoyment  ? 
Which  of  these  two  types  is  more  likely  to  develop  into  a  high 
type  of  humanity  ? 

Par  from  being  exclusively  an  economic  theory  of  society 
Socialism  is  preeminently  an  ethical  movement.  Mr.  L. 
Duncan,  the  lecturer  of  the  Milwaukee  Ethical  Society,  said 
in  one  of  his  brilliant  addresses  concerning  Socialism: 

"But  probably  the  most  characteristic  expression  of  the  so- 
cial movement,  and  the  one  which  is  exercising  the  deepest 
and  widest  influence  in  its  methods  and  institutions,  is  So- 
cialism. Socialism,  whatever  else  one  may  think  or  say  about 
it,  is  aflame  with  the  humanitarian  passion.  It  is  painfully 
aware  of  the  economic  injustice  and  social  destitution  and 
their  concomitant  miseries,  which  have  obtained  under  the 
prevailing  system  of  industry  and  forms  of  government,  and 
aims  at  the  reconstruction  of  society  upon  lines  which  it 
believes  will  insure  to  every  man  equal  rights  and  equal  op- 
portunities with  every  other,  to  a  happy  and  harmonious 
development  of  all  his  powers  that  will  make  life  worth  liv- 
ing. It  conditions  the  development  of  such  a  life  upon  the 
equality  of  political  and  economic  rights,  charges  th*  pre- 
' vailing  inequalities  and  social  miseries  to  the  private  owner- 
ship of  the  means  of  production  and  distribution  and  looks 
for  the  remedy  in  the  abolition  of  such  private  ownership,  and 
substitution  of  collective  ownership  and  control.  The  motive 
which  animates  that  movement  and  the  aims  and  purposes 
to  which  it  addresses  itself,  are  humanitarian,  the  desire  to 
increase  human  happiness  and  well  being,  to  make  better  men 
and  women,  and  among  the  aims  and  purposes  which  Social- 
ism hopes  to  realize  through  its  methods,  and  chief  among 


67 

them,  is  the  development  of  a  higher  type  of  manhood  and 
womanhood,  not  simply  a  better  fed  and  better  dressed  ani- 
mal, but  an  intellectually  enlightened  and  morally  strong 
human  being,  able  and  williiig  to  live  a  good  life  and  to  con- 
tribute his  full  share  towards  making  the  good  life  possible 
to  others.  The  fact  that  the  methods  of  Socialism  are  so 
exclusively  political  and  economic  arises  from  the  thieory 
which  pervades  its  philosophy,  namely,  that  the  good  life  is 
practically  impossible  under  wrong  social  conditions  and  that 
to  make  possible  the  most  desirable  type  of  moral  manhood, 
the  social  conditions  and  institutions  most  favorable  to  the 
right  development  of  the  human  mind  and  character  must 
first  be  created.  This,  Socialism,  by  its  methods,  promises 
to  do." 

Such  is  the  opinion  of  a  thoughtful  outsider  on  our  move- 
ment. There  is  so  far  no  written  philosophy  of  the  Social- 
istic movement  and  every  new  thought  and  new  point  of  view 
advanced  by  candid  observers  and  students  of  society  is 
highly  welcome.  We,  therefore  need  to  deepen  and  broaden 
the  scope  of  Socialistic  thought  and  sentiment  and  build  up 
our  system  of  philosophy  with  care  and  deliberation  as  good 
social  architects. 


68 


XII.      ECONOMIC    AND    SOCIOLOGICAL    ASPECTS 
OF  CAPITALISM. 

Human  society  is  subjected  to  the  same  laws  of  evolution 
and  devolution,  development  and  decay,  organization  and  dis- 
organization, as  the  rest  of  the  organic  world.  All  institu- 
tions of  human  society  are  of  a  transitory  character,  they 
develop,  grow  and  succeed  each  other  according  to  certain, 
laws.  Cannibalism  was  succeeded  by  slavery,  slavery  by 
serfdom,  serfdom  by  free  individual  production,  individual 
production  by  socialized  manufacture,  and  at  last  by  machine 
production,  the  prevalent  mode  of  production  in  our  own  time. 

Socialism  is  the  advance  agent  of  a  higher  stage  of  moral 
evolution,  of  economic  freedom  based  on  socialized  produc- 
tion of  economic  democracy,  as  the  true  and  only  safe  founda- 
tion of  political  democracy.  Socialism  stands  on  the  firm 
ground  of  monistic  philosophy  and  regards  society  from  a 
purely  scientific  point  of  view.  It  recognizes  that  there  was  a 
time  when  slavery  was  a  progressive  institution  in  comparison 
with  cannilialism;  that  serfdom  was  the  legitimate  heir  of 
slavery,  when  the  last  outlived  its  utility;  that  individual 
production  in  its  primitive  stage  had  to  be  succeeded  by  some 
more  economic  mode  of  socialized  production,  and  that  the 
modern  machine  production  is  a  perfectly  natural  successor  of 
the  previous  stage  of  economic  social  activity.  There  is  not 
one  clear-sighted,  or,  if  you  please,  critical  socialist,  who 
would  advocate  the  return  to  individual  production.  All  the 
enumerated  types  or  stages  of  social  life  have  two  aspects — a 
purely  economic  and  a  broader,  sociological  one.  Slavery,  for 
instance,  may  be  looked  upon  as  an  economic  phenomenom  on 
one  hand  and  as  a  social  institution  on  the  other.  The  so- 
called  classical  school  of  economists — Adam  Smith,  Eicardo 
and  others — refused  to  see  in  social  life  anything  but  its  econo- 
mic functions.  .  Society  was  to  them  a  somewhat  loose  con- 
glomeration of  abstracts  economic  units,  bent  on  creating  na- 
tional wealth.  They  recognized  only  one  all-absorbing  social 
force-greed.  This  metaphysical  and  Utopian  view  was  re- 
jected by  the  founders  of  critical  Socialism — Rodbertus  Jage- 
trow  and  Marx.  Recognizing  the  economic  factor  as  the  fun- 
damental principle  of  human  history,  they,  however,  pointed 
out  that^  as  the  Sabbath  is  for  men  and  not  men  for  the  Sab- 


bath,  wealth  is  only  a  means  to  human  happiness,  not  a  pur- 
pose in  itself.  According  to  the  spirit  of  their  teachings,  the 
interests  of  the  producers  of  wealth  are  paramoimt,  while 
..wealth  itself,  it's  production  or  preservation,  are  matters  of 
secondary  consideration. 

Critical  Socialifim  rejected  the  idolatry  of  the  fetish  of 
the  material  wealth  of  nations,  this  modern  Moloch  on  the 
golden  altar  of  which  the  middle  class  or  vulgar  economists 
were  and  are  ready  to  sacriiice  the  creators  of  this  very  wealth. 
Critical  Socialism  raised  its  voice  for  the  human  rights  of  the 
laboring  class — the  proletariat — ^by  pointing  out  that  society 
is  not  a  mere  conglomeration  of  abstract  economic  units,  but 
a  consociation  of  living  human  beings ;  that  the  laws  governing 
human  society  are  far  more  complex  than  the  vulgar  econo- 
mists supposed.  In  other  terms,  modem  Socialism  insisted 
on  the  recognition  of  the  broader,  sociological  aspect  of  dif- 
ferent stages  of  social  life.  Capitalistic  production  from  the 
purely  economic  point  of  view  represents  the  highest  stage  ever 
attained,  if  we  take  in  consideration  the  ratio  between  the 
amount  of  human  energy  expended  and  the  results  attained  in 
respect  to  the  commodities  produced.  The  middle  class  econo- 
mists indulge  in  eulogies  of  this  system  of  production.  So- 
cialists study  and  demonstrate  the  results  of  this  mode  of  pro- 
duction on  the  producers  themselves.  They  prove  that  capi- 
talist production,  being  the  most  perfect  system  of  exploitation 
of  men  by  men,  is  practically  the  most  refined  species  of 
cannibalism  in  disguise. 

We  can  easily  imagine  socialized  machine  production  in  a 
state  of  society  where  society  at  large  will  own  the  means  of 
production,  where  the  raw  material  and  tools  of  production 
(Including  land)  will  be  public  property.  Socialism  is  not  op- 
posing the  economic,  but  the  social  element  of  capitalism, 
because  this  social  element,  the  private  ownership  of  the  means 
of  production  and  distribution,  turn  capitalism  into  cannibal- 
ism, into  a  curse  to  humanity.  Substitute  collective  owner 
ship  of  the  means  of  production  and  distribution,  and  so- 
cialized machine  production  will  turn  into  a  blessing  to  hu- 
manity. 

'Though  capitalism  is  the  most  perfect  system  of  exploita- 
tion of  men  by  men,  it  is  by  no  means  the  only  mode  of  ex- 
ploitation of  men  by  men,  in  the  annals  of  history.  Exploita- 
tion existed  long  before  and  may  exist  in  one  form  or  another 


70 

long  after  capitalistic  exploitation  shall  be  a  thing  of  the  past. 
Capitalism,  historically  considered,  is  only  a  phase  of  the  mer- 
cantile or  profit  system,  of  subservience  of  the  human  per- 
sonality to  the  things  created  for  satisfying  his  needs.  Aside 
from  slavery,  serfdom  and  wage  bondage,  exploitation  is  the 
essential  element  of  any  state  of  society  where  commodities 
are  produced,  not  for  use,  but  for  profit.  In  an  ideal  state 
of  siociety,  like  that  advocated  by  Socialism,  there  will  be  no 
place  for  profit.  Society  will  'own  and  operate  all  its  means 
of  production  with  the  single  object  in  view  of  satisfying  in 
the  most  rational  way  the  needs  of  its  individual  members. 

Capitalism  is  one  of  the  many  phases  of  social  life  through 
which  humanity  had  to  pass  on  its  triumphant  advance  to 
higher  culture  and  civilization.  There  was  a  time  when  capi- 
talism was  progressive  and  useful,  being  instrumental  in 
training  the  proletariat  in  the  noble  art  of  socialized  pro- 
duction. The  day,  however,  is  fast  approaching  when  the 
proletariat  will  be  ready  to  take  possession  of  all  the  econo- 
mic functions  of  society  and  operate  them  in  the  interests 
of  society  at  large  and  eliminate  the  capitalistic  class  as  an 
entirely  useless  and  superfluous  element. 


71 


XIIL    CAPITALISM  AND  LIBEKTY;  FEEEDOM  AND 
SOCIALISM. 

CLASS  CONSCIOUSXESS  AND  RACE  CONSCIOUSNESS. 

The  capitalistic  mode  of  production  leads  inevitably  to  the 
socialization  of  industries.  The  gigantic  scale  of  application 
in  our  time  of  the  principle  of  combination  of  individual  for- 
tunes for  the  purpose  of  the  exploitation  of  organized  and  un- 
organized labor,  in  the  shape  of  stock  companies  and  trusts, 
is  a  phenomenon  of  far-reaching  importance  and  of  deep  sig- 
nificance as  a  transitory  stage  of  socialization.  The  individ- 
ualistic principle  of  competition  is  gradually  superseded  by 
its  opposite.  The  purpose  of  stock  companies  and  trusts  is 
to  eliminate  entirely  the  element  of  competition  and  sub- 
stitute co-operation  and  combined  action. 

The  socialization  of  economic  activities  under  the  capi- 
talistic regime,  however,  is  accomplished  in  the  interests  of 
one  class  and  to  the  detriment  of  the  race  in  general.  The 
capitalistic  class  takes  advantage  of  the  applied  principles  of 
socialization  in  its  own  interest.  Capitalists  are  one-sided 
Socialists.  They  strenuously  oppose  any  attempt  to  apply  the 
principle  of  socialization  in  the  interests  of  the  people  at 
large  and  the  working  class  in  particular.  Out  of  mere  sel- 
fishness they  preach,  for  popular  use,  the  gospel  of  individual- 
ism and  hypocritically  erect  altars  to  the  fetish 'of  liberty, 
viz.  the  competition  of  the  economically  weak  among  them- 
selves. Indeed  the  more  competition  there  is  among  the  un- 
organized and  economically  weak,  the  easier  it  will  be  for  the 
socialized  and  economically  strong  to  exploit  the  former. 
This  is  obvious  enough.  The  strange  thing,  however,  is  that 
many  superficial  thinkers  try  to  deduct  socialistic  principles 
from  the  anarchistic  principle  of  liberty.  They  somehow 
do  not  distinguish  between  two  entirely  different  terms — 
freedom  and  liberty;  and  this  leads  them  into  an  abyss  of 
confusion  of  thought. 

Liberty  is  an  individualistic  ideal,  while  freedom  is  a  truly 
Socialistic  ideal.  Socialists  wish  to  abolish  capitalistic  liberty 
and  inaugurate  freedom,  by  the  means  of  an  all-sided  and  com- 
plete socialization  of  economic  functions  in  the  interests  of 
the  whole  race. 


What  is  liberty?  In  the  first  instance,  it  is  a  mere 
negation — the  absence  of  open  coercion.  To  build  a  system - 
of  thought  on  the  basis  of  a  mere  negative  term  is  a  striking 
absurdity.  Suppose  someone  should  attempt  to  build  a  sys- 
tem of  public  hygiene,  on  the  principle  of  the  absence  of 
physical  pain.  What  could  be  said  in  favor  of  such  a  sys- 
teni  ?  The  worshipers  at  the  shrine  of  the  capitalistic  and  an- 
archistic fetish,  liberty,  forget  the  old  truth— that  the  Sabbath 
is  for  men,  and  not  men  for  the  Sabbath.  They  are  never 
tired  of  repeating  the  platitude  that  men  are  born  for  liberty. 
Thev  forget  that  liberty  is — as  it  necessarily  must  be— the 
deadly  foe  of  freedom.  "Liberty  means  the  rule  of  the  physi- 
cally, and  economically  strong,  and  the  absence  of  freedom 
for  "the  rest.  Ijiberty  is  incompatible  with  real  equality, 
while  freedom  is  unthinkable  without  it.  Liberty  is  a  prin- 
ciple of  the  sub-human  world,  while  freedom  is  a  purely  hu- 
man ideal.  A  tiger  is  at  liberty  to  kill  any  animal  weaker 
than  himself.  A^man,  however,  can  he  free  only  in  case  he 
lives  in  a  perfectly  organized  community,  where  in  return 
for  certain  functions  performed  by  him  in  the  interests  of 
society,  he  is  assured  all  the  necessities  of  life  and  happiness. 


Another  term  derived  by  Socialists  from  the  capitalistic 
dictionary  is  the  so-called  class  consciousness. 

If  liberty  is  a  fetish  of  the  somewhat  muddle-headed  ne- 
ophytes of  Socialism,  class  consciousness  is  the  idol  of  nar- 
row-minded, dogmatic,  pseudo-scientific  Socialists  of  the 
orthodox  type.  Dogmatism,  orthodoxy  and  narrow-minded- 
ness, however,  are  dangerous  symptoms  of  spiritual  atrophy 
and  degeneration.  There  has  been  and  is  too  niuch  of  this 
among  the  old  school  Socialists. 

It  will  be  well  to  anah^ze  the  terms  class  consciousness,  and 
the  class  struggle,  which  are  so  commonplace  in  the  social- 
istic vocabulary.  We  have  knowledge  of  the  struggle  be- 
tween slave  and  master,  between  the  privileged  classes 
of  the  feudal  period  and  the  middle  class,  and  we  witness 
now  with  our  own  eyes  the  combat  between  the  middle  class 
and  the  proletariat.  Historically  speaking,  the  class  struggle 
has  been  and  is  a  mighty  dynamic  power  for  good  or  evil, 
according  to  conditions.    At  certain  periods  of  history,  one  or 


another  class  represents  the  interests  of  the  race  in  general, 
and  the  fate  of  that  class  is  closely  linked  with  the  general 
interests  of  the  race.  So  the  middle  class  not  long  ago  repre- 
sented the  advance  guard  of  humanity  in  its  struggle  against 
feudalism,  which  had  outlived  its  utility.  At  present,  how- 
ever, this  same  class  is  not  only  conservative,  but  rather  re- 
actionary, and  the  role  of  the  advanced  gfiard  of  humanity 
belongs  by  right  to  the  proletariat.  There  has  been  hardly  any 
class  in  the  history  of  humanity  more  conscious  or  rather  more 
self-conscious  than  the  middle  class.  In  fact,  class  conscious- 
ness is  a  distinctly  middle  class  virtue  or  vice,  just  as  we 
choose  to  view  it.  As  a  matter  of  tactics,  the  proletariat  must 
fight  the  middle  class  with  its  own  weapons  and  possess  class 
consciousness  in  order  to  be  successful  in  its  battle  against  a 
class-conscious  enemy. 

Let  us  not,  however,  make  a  virtue  out  of  necessity. 

Class  interests  in  the  end  are  only  a  little  better  than  in- 
dividual interests  as  a  motive  for  conscious  evolutionary  ac- 
tivity. If  the  struggle  of  the  middle  class  against  feudalism 
had  been  only  a  struggle  in  the  exclusive  interests  of  that  class, 
no  earnest  thinker,  poet  or  public-spirited  man  would  have  felt 
inspired  to  take  part  in  the  struggle.  It  was  the  interest  of 
all  humanity — rightly  or  wrongly  conceived — which  impart- 
ed the  inspiration  to  noble  deeds  and  sacrifices  on  the  part 
of  the  great  actors  .of  the  French  revolution.  The  middle 
class,  after  its  selfish  class  interests  were  secured,  became 
satisfied  and  used  the  new  conditions  to  the  advantage  of  its 
own  class  interests. 

Shall  the  proletariat  be  trained  in  the  same  narrow  and 
selfish  channels  of  thought  and  sentiment?  Shall  the  pro-, 
letariat  repeat  the  same  sad  and  sordid  comedy  of  achieving 
only  class  interests  under  the  guise  of  euphonious  but  empty 
phrases  of  fraternity  (of  the  Cain  variety),  liberty  (tiger 
liberty)  and  equality  (after  death),  connected  by  the  middle 
class  with  the  dawn  of  its  victory?  Are  not  the  class  con- 
sciousness and  the  class  struggle  so  emphasized  by  some 
fanatical  ante-diluvian  Socialists,  exceedingly  narrow  and 
near-sighted?  There  must  be  a  struggle  between  the  pro- 
letariat and  the  middle  class,  but  this  struggle  is  of  an  emi- 
nently deeper  and  broader  significance  than  any  other  class 
struggle  in  the  history  of  humanity.  It  is  only  a  class  strug- 
gle, if  viewed  from  the  surface,  but  as  a  matter  of  fact  it  is 


74 

a  struggle  of  all  the  human  race  against  social  institutions 
which  have  outlived  their  utility,  a  struggle  of  all  the  hu- 
man race  for  the  entire  reconstruction  of  our  present  social 
fabric  on  principles  of  reason  and  justice,  a  struggle  of  a 
truly  human  philosophy  of  life  against  a  conception  of  life 
peculiar  to  the  beasts  of  prey. 

Socialism  is  the  movement  not  of  a  single  class — ^however 
large  and  worthy  of  sympathy — ^but  the  movement  of  all  the 
toilers,  all  producers,  all  the  people  working  for  a  living,  all 
those  who  honestly  and  without  reserve  have  at  heart  the  inter- 
ests of  the  laborer  in  the  broadest  sense  of  that  term. 

Let  us  therefore  preach  race  consciousness  as  a  higher  ideal 
than  of  class  consciousness. 

The  struggle  between  classes  in  history — if  analyzed  closely 
and  candidly — is  in  the  end  a  struggle  between  old  and  new 
forms  of  life.  Let  the  dead  bury  the  dead,  and  the  living 
take  their  places  with  a  sense  of  the  continuity  of  the  life  and 
activity  of  the  human  race,  of  which  we.  all  form  infinitesimal 
links. 


XIV.    CATACLYSM  OR  EVOLUTION. 

Times  are  changing  and  we  change  with  them.  It  cannot 
be  otherwise.  Life  itself  is  constant  change,  perpetual  trans- 
formation, everlasting  development.  That  life  on  earth,  or, 
rather,  its  forms  and  manifestations,  are  not  uniform  and 
constant,  but  subjected  to  changes  and  transformations  of 
the  most  pronounced  character  was  noticed  by  the  thinkers 
of  all  ages.  Observers  of  nature  could  not  fail  to  discover 
that  species  of  plants  and  animals  existed  at  some  periods  and 
were  replaced  by  quite  different  types  at  other  periods  of  the 
existence  of  our  globe.  The  human  mind  could  not,  however, 
be  satisfied  with  the  mere  statement  of  these  facts.  The  re- 
ligious philosophers  explained  the  changing  forms  of  life 
on  earth  as  the.results  of  the  activities  of  a  personal,  human- 
like, supernatural  being,  as  results  of  consecutive  creations. 
The  earth  was  looked  upon  by  them  as  a  kind  of  divine  experi- 
mental station,  where  the  deity  indulged  in  the  sport  of 
creating,  destroying  and  creating  anew  different  species  of 
plants  and  animals  according  to  whim  and  fancy.  Poetical 
as  this  assumption  may  appear,  it  did  not  satisfy  the  analy- 
tical mind  of  modern  scientists.  The  great  French  natural- 
ist, Cuvier,  for  instance,  advanced  the  semi-scientific  theory 
of  cataclysms.  According  to  this  theory,  the  globe  is  sub- 
jected to  periodical  violent  perturbations,  changing  its  entire 
surface  and  burying  under  its  ruins  the  existing  types  of 
life.  These  cataclysms  are  followed  by  a  long  period  of  crea- 
tive rest,  during  which  new  types  of  plants  and  animals  re- 
appear and  multiply.  The  theory  of  cataclysms  fails  to  ex- 
plain the  causes  of  the  violent  perturbations,  and  presupposes 
the  possibility  of  creation  of  living  organisms  out  of  mere 
debris  of  a  dilapidated  world.  In  some  respects  the  Cuvier 
theory  was  less  satisfactory  than  the  previous  theological 
one,  with  its  supernatural  deus  ex  maehina  of  a  creator  of 
something  out  of  nothing. 

Darwin  (the  grandfather  of  Charles  Darwin),  Goethe, 
Lamark,  Jofroi  St.  lUer,  Charles  Darwin  and  other  modern 
naturalists  established  firmly  the  theory  of  evolution,  of 
gradual  development  of  life,  on  earth  from  the  most  simple 
and  primitive  forms  to  its  highest  type,  the  human  race. 

Mankind  is  but  a  part  of  animal  life  on  earth.    Obviously 


76 

the  philosophy  of  life  as  advanced  by  the  Darwinian  school 
must  find  its  application  in  social  economics.  The  last  of  all 
sciences,  however,  to  be  studied  on  evolutionary  principles 
appears  to  be  sociology,  the  science  of  human  society.  This 
curious  fact  finds  its 'explanation  in  the  comparative  youth 
of  the  just  named  science  and  its  great  complexity. 

The  honor  of  the  first  attempt  to  apply  evolutionary  me- 
thods to  the  history  of  men  unmistakably  belongs  to  the 
great  founder  of  the  materialistic  conception  of  history,  Karl 
Marx.  Without  the  conception  of  human  society  as  a  product 
of  evolution,  critical  Socialism  would  be  an  impossibility, 
As  a  matter  of  fact,  critical  Socialism  is  nothing  else  but 
a  rational  system  of  philosophy  of  human  social  life  in  the 
light  of  the  theory  of  evolution.  The  so-called  materialistic 
conception  of  history  is  to  be  called  more  properly  the  evolu- 
tionary conception  of  history.  Indeed,  to  explain  all  changes 
in  the  social- economic  life  as  the  results  of  gradual  develop- 
ment of  modes  of  production  and  distrubution  from  the  sim- 
plest and  therefore  most  stable  forms  to  the  most  complex 
and  consequently  least  stable  means  to  apply  evolutionary 
methods  to  social-economic  sciences.  That  the  evolutionary 
or  materialistic  conception  of  human  history  ought  to  lead 
to  such  an  eminently  evolutionary  movement  as  we  witness 
in  modern  Socialism  goes  without  saying. 

Historians,  economists  and  sociologists  of  the  old  schools 
could  well  afford  to  adhere  either  to  the  theological  theories  of 
the  interference  of  a  supernatural  being  in  human  affairs  or 
adopt  Cuvier's  theory  of  cataclysms  or  revolutions,  according 
to  their  respective  personal  predilections.  They  might  con- 
sistently recognize  so-called  revolutions,  violent  social  up- 
heavals, as  the  efficient  causes  of  different  types  of  social- 
economic  life  and  activity.  Critical  Socialism,  however, 
must  necessarily  look  upon  social-economic  cataclysms,  as  the 
great  French  revolution,  not  as  causes  of  a  change  in  social- 
economic  forms  of  life  and  activity,  but  as  their  inevitable 
consequences.  Bevolts  and  revolutions  in  social  life  are  what 
thunder  and  lightning  are  to  atmospheric  electricity.  Social 
forces  if  checked  and  hampered  by  irrational  and  anachro- 
nistic institutions  turn  destructive,  but  destruction  is  not  by 
any  means  the  essential  feature  of  social  evolution. 

Social  forces  intelligently  and'  rationally  managed  are  eon- 


77 

structive.     Cataclysms  in  social  life  or  revolutions  are  not 
necessarily  progressive. 

In  view  of  these  facts,  it  is  rather  humiliating  to  see  and 
hear  Socialism  identified  with  obsolete  Jacobinic  cataclysmic 
aspirations,  as  it  is  frequently  the  case  in  our  time  of  general 
confusion  of  causes  and  effects  in  social  life.  We  do  not 
mean  to  maintain  that  there  will  be  no  social  cataclysms  in 
the  future,  or  that  Socialism  will  necessarily  be  inaugurated 
peacefully.  But  critical  Socialism  in  its  educational  crusade 
will  teach  the  people  to  see  coming  social  events  and  use  its 
clear  vision  for  the  purpose  of  foreseeing  and  avoiding,  as  far 
as  possible,  social  cataclysms.  The  knowledge  of  social  forces 
will  enable  humanity  to  control  and  direct  these  forces  in 
channels  of  the  greatest  constructive  usefulness.  Socialistic 
or  rather  pseudo  socialistic  Jingoism  is  just  as  contemptible 
as  any  other  indulgence  in  irrational  misuse  of  language. 


78 


XV.  COMMUNISM  AND  COLLECTIVISM. 

La  propriete  c'est  le  vole — propertj'  is  theft — according  to 
radical  thinkers  like  Proudhon.  Private  property  is  the  very 
foundation  of  our  culture  and  civilization,  according  to  con- 
servative thinkers  of  all  ages.  Communism  is  the  highest 
ideal  attainable,  according  to  the  first,  and  the  very  incarna- 
tion of  evil,  according  to  the  last.  There  is,  however,  a  third 
view  of  the  subject  of  property,  and  this  is  represented  by  so- 
called  collectivists.  It  is  of  vital  importance  for  each  and 
every  Socialist  to  gain  a  clear  conception  of  all  these 
views  and  theories  on  private  and  common  property.  As  in 
all  cases,  the  best  way  of  arriving  at  strictly  scientific  con- 
clusions is  to  go  back  to  the  first  principles  of  natural  sciences 
and  use  strictly  naturalistic  methods  of  reasoning. 

The  first  question  suggesting  itself  is  the  origin  of  prop- 
erty. The  conception  of  private  property  we  meet  in  the  ani- 
mal kingdom  in  a  quite  distinct  form,  especially  among  the 
beasts  of  prey.  The  motive  of  property  in  this  case  is  the  in- 
stinct of  self-preservation  and  the  means  of  its  attainment 
and  preservation — brute  force.  Might  and  right  are  identical 
for  the  "individualists"  of  the  animal  world.  Common  utili- 
zation of  pastures  by  animals  living  in  herds  may  serve  as  an 
illustration  of  the  opposite  type  of  use  of  property.  The  ele- 
ments of  common  use  of  property,  resulting  from  the  co-opera- 
tion of  the  members  of  an  organized  group  of  workers,  we  meet 
in  studying  the  social  life  of  bees.  In  that  the  foundation  of 
property  appears  to  be  a  higher  principle  than  brute  force,  the 
principle  of  work.'  It  is  true  that  the  community  of  a  bee 
hive  will  attack  any  of  its  members  not  willing  to  contribute 
towards  the  common  property,  and  try  and  keep  away  any 
intruder  from  outside  by  force  and  sting.  But  force  and 
sting  are  in  this  instance  only  a  means  of  self-defense,  while 
the  Justification  of  the  defense  lays  in  accomplished  work. 
Might  is  in  this  case  only  an  adjunct  to  right,  a  means  to  en- 
force and  maintain  it. 

This  element  of  work  is  of  far-reaching  importance.  In 
the  instance  of  the  individualistic  tiger — the  mere  act  of  kil- 
ling an  animal  weaker  than  himself  can  hardly  be  called 
work,  from  the  economic  point  of  view  at  least.  The  con- 
suming of  grass  on  the  pasture  by  herd    animals    requires 


79 

still  less  exertion  on  their  part.  In  both  cases  nature  pro- 
vides the  food  in  a  condition  ready  for  immediate  consumption. 
It  is  quite  different  with  the  honey  accumulated  in  a  behive. 
The  raw  material  out  of  which  honey  has  to  be  formed  must 
be  collected  by  patient  workers  from  many  flowers,  transferred 
to  the  beehive  and  transformed  into  new  products  of  a  certain 
shape^  quality  and  quantity.  It  is  a  quite  complicated  opera- 
tion, demanding  a  great  deal  of  exertion  on  the  part  of  the  co- 
operating bees.  This  exertion  forms  the  ethical  moment  of 
property  rights. 

Work  means  the  overcoming  of  a  resistance.  The  overcom- 
ing of  a  resistance  may  be  accomplished  only  by  an  expendi- 
ture of  bodily  energy  on  the  part  of  the  worker,  an  expendi- 
ture of  their  very  substance.  The  resulting  wax  and  honey 
represent,  partly,  at  least,  the  transformed  bodily  substance 
and  energy  of  the  co-operating  bees. 

Turning  our  eyes  to  human  society  we  find  that  only  on  the 
very  first  s.tages  of  civilization  and  in  exclusively  favorable 
conditions  men  could  exist  on  what  nature  furnished  them  in 
the  shape  of  fruits  of  the  field  and  animals  of  the  forest- for 
food,  in  the  shape  of  a  cave  as  a  shelter  from  the  inclemency  of 
the  elements  and  seasons.  The  element  of  labor  entered  more 
and  more  extensively  into  the  life  of  man  as  he  advanced  on 
the  evolutionary  ladder,  shaped  his  ideas  about  possession  of 
property  and  determined  the  form  of  property  at  the  time. 
The  mode  of  production,  the  method  of  applying  labor  to  the 
products  of  nature,  in  order  to  produce  commodities  for  con- 
sumption and  use,  determined  the  mode  of  use.  and  consump- 
tion of  these  commodities — the  system  of  property.  When, 
for  instance,  a  tribe  of  Indians  killed  a  buffalo  in  a  joint  hunt- 
ing expedition  the  buffalo  was  considered  the  common  prop- 
erty of  the  hunting  party.  On  the  other  hand,  in  stages  of 
culture  when  individual  production  prevailed,  the  form  of 
property  holding  was  individual.  We  cannot,  therefore,  decide 
for  all  times  and  conditions  which  form  of  property  is  the 
most  just  and  rational,  as  our  friends  the  Utopians  do. 

Socialism  objects  to  the  present  strictly  individual  form 
of  property,  in  general  and  the  tools  and  materials  of  pro- 
duction in  particular,  not  from  any  abstract  and  arbitrary 
point  of  view,  not  on  sentimental  grounds,  but  because  the 
present  system  of  property  is  in  direct  contradiction  with  the 


80 

present  mode  of  production  and  distribution  of  commodities. 
The  present  system  of  production  and  distribution  is  co-opera- 
tive and  becoming  more  and  more  socialized  with  every  year, 
while  the  system  of  property  holding  and  use  remains  in- 
dividualistic ;  and  is  kept  so  artificially,  in  violation  of  all  the 
laws  of  nature  and  society,  reason  and  justice.  This  incongru- 
ity can  not,  ought  not  and  will  not  exist  much  longer.  The 
masses  suffer  under  this  incongruity  materially,  while  the 
classes  degenerate  into  useless  parasites  and  drones  of  society. 

Socialism  works  in  the  direction  of  removing  this  incon- 
gruity and  restoring  equilibrium  between  production  and  con- 
sumption in  the  name  of  reason  and  justice.  The  socializa- 
tion of  all  the  industries  in  the  interest  of  society  at  large  is 
demanded-  This  co-operative  commonwealth  does  not  mean 
necessarily  communism,  or  consumption  in ,  common  of  the 
commqdities  produced  in  common.  Utopians  indulge  in, 
dreams  about  soldier-like  life  in  barrack-lilce  phalansteries, 
where  everything  is  in  common.  Modern  Socialists  take  into 
consideration  human  nature  with  its  pronounced  individual- 
istic tastes  and  proclivities,  with  its  yearnings  towards  the 
sanctuary  of  home  and  privacy  of  family  life.  It  takes  into 
consideration  the  fact  that  these  individualistic  tendencies  are 
the  natural  outcome  of  the  evolution  of  the  human  type. 

The  evolution  of  the  human  individuality  can  and  ought  to 
be  turned  into  channels  where  it  would  become  an  inexhausti- 
ble source  of  constructive  and  organizing  power  for  social  wel- 
fare. That  humanity  may  in  the  distant  future  prefer  com- 
munal life  and  consumption  of  commodities  we  do  not  feel 
justified  to  deny.  ^ut  Modern  Socialism  is  more 
inclined  towards  collectivism  than  communism  of  the 
Utopian  pattern.  Collectivism  is  favorable  to  the  full  de- 
velopment of  the  human  individuality  without  encroachment 
upon  the  interests  of  other  members  of  society.  Under  col- 
lectivism freedom,  fraternity  and  equality  may  for  the -first 
time  turn  into  a  reality  instead  of  an  empty  sound.  Among 
these  the  term  equality  from  the  collectivist  standpoint  needs 
some  elucidation.  Opponents  of  Socialism  love  to 
insist  that  collectivism  and  communism  are  identical  terms 
and  must  necessarily  lead  to  the  dead  level  of  slavery.  This 
assertion  is  by  no  means  justified.  Under  collectivism  the 
equality  of  chances  for  all  the  members  of  the  community  will 


81 

be  assured,  while  there  will  be  left  the  largest  opportunities 
for  the  development  and  utilization  of  individual  talents. 

Far  from  leading  to  a  dead  level  of  slavery,  collectivism 
would  make  people  really  free  to  live  the  fullest,  deepest  and 
sublimest  life,  a  life  worth  living. 


82 


XVI.  SOCIAL  EVOLUTION  AND  THE  EEFOKMEES. 

Modern  Socialism  is  a  distinctly  conscious  evolutionary 
movement.  It  demands  a  radical  reconstruction  of  the  present 
mercantile  and  capitalistic  system  of  society  on  entirely  differ- 
ent planes.  It  demands  that  all  industrial  and  economic 
functions  of  society  should  be  managed  by  society  in  the  in- 
terest of  society  as  a  whole.  It  considers  the  democratization 
of  commerce,  trade  and  industry  as  the  only  reliable  founda- 
tion of  political  democracy  and  safe  guaranty  of  true  social 
equality. 

The  co-operative  commonwealth  advocated  by  Socialism 
is  thoroughly  in  accord  with  the  results  of  modern  philoso- 
phy— science  and  ethics.  Social  justice  and  the  light  o^  rea- 
son shall  regulate  the  civic,  economic  and  other  inter-relations 
of  the  members  of  this  commonwealth  of  the  future.  Blind 
chance  and  chaotic  play  of  unrestricted  and  uncontrolled  indi- 
vidual endeavor  and  action,  characterize  the  present  anarchic 
state  of  society  and  are  favorable  for  the  most  brutal  struggle 
for  existence  between  man  and  man,  man  and  woman,  man  and 
child  in  the  field  of  industrial  slavery,  a  struggle  resulting  in 
the  survival  of  the  most  cunning,  unscrupulous  and  heartless, 
in  a  boundless  sea  of  human  suffering  and  degradation,  in 
crime,  carnal  and  moral  prostitution. 

In  our  present  society  the  individual  or  class  is  allowed  to 
exploit,  nay,  encouraged  to  prey  upon,  the  mass  of  humanity. 
Socialism  has  raised  the  banner  of  the  downtrodden, 
exploited  and  demoralized  masses  of  humanity,  the 
so-called  lower  classes.  It  champions  the  cause  of 
the  emancipation  of  these  lower  classes  from  the  unbearable 
yoke  of  irrational  and  unjust  social  conditions.  It  has  pro- 
claimed the  identity  of  the  interests  of  the  individual  with 
the  interests  of  the  race  in  general,  and  is,  therefore,  an  inter- 
national, world-wide  movement  as  far  as  general  principles 
are  involved.  Socialism  stands  for  the  brotherly  co-opera- 
tion of  all  the  members  of  the  human  race  for  the  purpose  of 
exploiting  the  inexhaustible  treasures  of  our  common,  benevo- 
lent mother — ^nature — ^for  emulation  instead  of  competition, 
for  the  survival  of  the  best  instead  of  the  fittest,  for  the  ele- 
vation instead  of  the  degradation  of  the  human  type,  for  the 


83 

entire  abolition  of  class  distinctions,  for  the  propaganda  of 
race  instead  of  class  consciousness. 

Socialism  does  not  expect  to  change  human  nature  by 
elevating  the  morality  of  single  individuals  born,  reared, 
educated  and  compelled  to  live  in  a  grossly  immoral  environ- 
ment, in  a  state  of  society  inviting  immorality  by  its  very 
construction  and  putting  a  premium  on  immorality  by  hea- 
thenish success  worship,  as  the  conservative  and  revolutionary 
Utopian  indrvidiialists  expect.  It  proposes  only  to 
direct  the  instinct  of  self-preservation,  so  deeply  rooted 
in  human  naturoj  into  channels  where  the  most  potent  social 
powers  will,  by  the  laws  of  social  mechanics,  turn  constructive 
instead  of  destructive,  organizing  instead  of  disorganizing,  hu- 
manizing instead  of  bestializing. 

The  most  rational  way  to  abolish  an  evil  is  to  remove  the 
incentive  for  committing  it.  Where  there  is  no  motive  for  ex- 
ploitation of  one  man  bj"^  another  there  can  be  no  exploitation. 
Socialism  fortunately  passed  the  Utopian  stage  in  which  the 
individualists  still  linger.  It  builds  its  magnificent  edifice 
for  the  future  of  humanity  not  on  the  sand  of  personal  mor- 
ality, but  on  the  solid  rock  of  knowledge  of  human  nature  and 
the  laws  of  social  and  economic  life.  It  does  not  believe  in 
creating  social  conditions  by  legislative  fiats.  It  maintains 
that  only  such  laws  are  operative  which  sanctify  existing  so- 
cial and  economic  conditions,  laws  expressing  deep-rooted  con- 
victions of  the  broad  masses  of  the  people. 

As  Eome  could  not  be  built  in  one  day,  the  herculean  task 
of  emancipating  the  human  race  from  i^  own  irrationality 
and  injustice  to  itself  cannot  be  accomplished  by  a  single 
stroke  of  the  sword  or  pen.  The  masses  of  humanity  must 
learn  a  great  deal  in  order-to  understand  their  own  interests 
and  how  to  consciously  and  rationally  modify  economic  and 
social  conditions  in  acordance  with  these  interests.  The 
masses  are  born,  reared  and  trained  by  the  dominating  and 
domineering  classes  in  a  slavish  attitude  of  mind,  in  slavish 
virtues,  which  are  the  free  man's  vices. 

There  are  three  ways  to  learn:  By  original  thinking,  by 
imitation  and  personal  experience.  The  most  noble  of  these 
three  ways  of  learning,  the  original  thinking,  is  done  by  a  very 
few, while  the  masses  of  humanity  live  by  the  thoughts  of  other 
people,  mostly  of  the  past  generations.  The  second  method 
of  learning  is  the  easiest.    Even  apes  and  parrots  can  imitate. 


84 

Unfortunately,  however,  the  higher  classes  represent  a  very 
poor  paragon  for  imitation  by  their  high  living  and  low  think- 
ing, by  their  arrogance,  ignorance,  and  false  pretense.  (The 
morals  of  the  slaveholder  were  never  much  higher  than  that  of 
his  slaves  and  vice  versa.)  The  third  way  of  learning  is  the 
hardest  and  most  certain  of  all  three.  Personal  experience, 
however,  does  not  enlighten  everybody.  A  slave  may  know 
How  hard  his  lot  is  and  yet  bear  his  chains  complacently  as 
long  as  he  is  a  slave  in  thought  and  feeling,  that  means  as 
long  as  he  recognizes  the  institution  of  slavery  as  something 
legitimate,  as  long  as  he  objects  to  slavery  only  on  personal 
grounds  and  aspires  to  be  a  slave  driver  or  slave  owner  him- 
self and  not  a  free  man  among  equals. 

It  is  obvious  that  Socialism  will  be  obliged  to  do  much 
uphill  educational  work,  and  for  a  while  limit  its  political 
activity  to  gradual  measures,  to  so-called  reforms,  without, 
however,  leaving  out  of  mind  for  a  single  moment  the  final 
goal  in  view.  This  way  Socialism,  being  a  worldwide,  con- 
scious, evolutionary  movement,  may  at  certain  periods  in 
certain  countries  be  engaged  in  reformatory  activity,  without 
being  inconsistent,  without  losing  its  conscious  evolutionary 
character. 

If,  however.  Socialists  may  at  times  engage  in  reformatory 
work,  the  question  arises:  What  should  be  their. attitude  to- 
ward reforms  inaugurated  or  advocated  by  middle  class  par- 
ties? Middle  class  reforms  may  be  divided  into  the 
following  categories;  1.  Eeforms  in  the  exclusive 
interest  of  the  middle  class,  but  pretending  to  ben- 
efit the  people  at  large,  as,  for  instance,  tlie  protective 
tariff  in  the  United  States.  2.  Eeforms  having  the  appear- 
ance of  radical  measures,  but  destined  only  as  a  blind  for  vot- 
ing cattle  into  the  hands  of  demagogues,  as,  for  instance,  the 
free  silver  movement.  3.  Reforms  having  in  view  to  discred- 
it directly  real  radical  reforms  in  the  eyes  of  the  unthinking 
multitude,  as  were  the  measures  taken  by  the  rulers  of  Rome 
during  the  agrarian  agitation  by  the  Gracchi  brothers,  in 
France  by  granting  some  demands  by  Blanqui,  in  Germany, 
during  the  state-Socialism  period  of  Bismarekian  policy ;  and 
(4)  bona  fide  reformatory  movements  of  shallow,  sympto- 
matic, short-sighted  ephemeral  kind,  as,  for  instance,  single 
tax,  prohibition  and  such  like.  We  do  not  need  to  waste 
words  on  the  first  three  kinds  of  middle-class  reforms.  These 


85 

reforms  have  to  be  fought  by  Socialists  with  all  the  weapons 
within  their  reach  and  power  as  strictly  inimical  to  the  inter- 
ests of  the  toiling  masses. 

But  what  shall  be  our  attitude  toward  the  honest,  sincere, 
fanatical  blind  leaders  of  the  blind — like  the  single  taxers, 
prohibitionists,  anarchists  and  all  the  would-be  reformers? 
All  these  people  are  Utopians  to  a  larger  or  smaller  degree. 
They  do  not  realize  the  complexity  and  lawfulness  of  social 
life.  They  do  not  care  to  study  human  society  as  a  result  of 
historical  evolution  and  social  statics  and  mechanics;  they 
blindly  believe  in  the  miracle-working  power  of  paper  legisla-  - 
tion.  The  worst  of  all  is,  however,  that  the  middle-class  re- 
formers never  arrive  at  the  conclusion  that  it  is  futile  to 
attempt  to  introduce  a  measure,  however,  apparently  salatary 
to  the  oppressed,  which  is  out  of  joint  with  the  whole  system 
of  the  social  fabric,  that  such  a  measure,  even  if  introduced, 
would  be  either  entirely  inoperative  or  misused  by  the  classes 
in  power  in  their  exclusive  interest  and  to  the  detriment  of  the 
masses  of  the  people. 

Nothing  short  of  broad  tolerance  on  our  part  toward  the 
"blind  leaders  of  the  blind"  will  do.  The  grain  of  truth  that 
is  sometimes  contained  in  their  teachings  will  remain  intact 
while  the  "sands  of  mistaken  fads  and  notions  will  be  washed 
and  carried  away  in  the  ocean  of  oblivion  by  the  tide  of  time. 


86 


XVII.    BLISSFUL  SOCIALISM. 


Rev.  W.  D.  P.  Bliss  is  the  leader  of  the  Social  Eeform 
Union.  Being  weary  of  the  strife  of  Socialists  (in  which,  by 
the  waj',  he  played  the  part  of  an  onlooker  only)  and  the 
Socialism  of  strife,  he  decided  to  step  forward  with  an  olive 
branch,  the  "symbol  of  what  shall  be."  This  is,  of  course,  very 
natural.  The  reverend  gentleman  is  weary  and  wants  peace. 
He  does  not  believe  in  strife,  but  does  believe  in  peace.  He 
believes,  however,  in  many  other  things.  He  believes  "in  one 
life,  in  all  the  people  and  in  all  the  people  in  one  life."  The 
reverend  gentleman  is  not  only  exceedingly  broad  in  his  faith, 
but  somewhat  oracular  in  its  expression.  In  religious  affairs, 
however,  a  little  haziness  of  style  is  considered  graceful  and 
lofty.  Indeed,  W.  D.  P.  Bliss  is  not  a  common  mortal — he 
is  a  prophet,  an  apostle  of  a  new  Socialism,  the  Socialism  of 
the  twentieth  century,  the  Socialism  of  Peace  (with  a  big  P. ) 
"What  will  such  a  Socialism  mean  ?"  asks  the  prophet,  and  re- 
plies himself:  "It  will  mean  all  that  is  in  man — sex, 
bodies,  heads,  souls,  matter.  What  is  matter?  Never  mind. 
It  will  mean  mind.  What  is  mind  ?  No  matter !"  In  regard 
to  transparency  of  style  the  sentences  of  the  Pythian  oracle 
are  far  superior  to  the  style  of  the  apostle  of  the  Socialism  of 
the  twentieth  century,  but  all  great  ideas  have  to  be  clothed 
in  the  language  of  poesy.  In  spite  of  all  the  poetic  license  of 
the  profession,  or  rather,  confession,  of  faith  of  the  founder 
of  the  Socialism  of  Peace,  one  thing  is  clear  as  "the  glow  of  ^ 
Homer's  rolling  sun" — namely,  that  it  will  mean  a  great  deal 
more  than  the  Anarchism  of  Peace  as  expounded  and  pro- 
pounded by  Count  Leo  Tolstoi.  Judge  for  yourself,  dear 
reader.  The  Blissful  Socialism  of  Peace  will  mean  matter 
(and  that  means  a  great  deal),  no  matter,  mind,  never  mind 
and  many  other  things  and  nothings,  the  enumeration  of 
which  we  are  compelled  to  omit  for  sheer  lack  of  space. 

The  most  encouraging  aspect  of  Blissful  Socialism  is,  how- 
ever, that  it  will  mean  sex  and  for  obvious  reasons.  Rev.  W. 
D.  P.  Bliss  is  not  only  the  prohpet  of  a  new  gospel,  a  new 
savior  of  humanity,  but  a  great  organizer.  He  found  out 
that  "people  are  weary"  (again  this  characteristic  expression 


8/ 

of  the  reverend  gentleman's  state  of  mind,  this  time  general- 
ized; believing  in  "all  the  people  in  one  life,"  he  identifies 
himself  with  the  people  to  whom  he  belongs)  "of  discussion, 
they  want  action."  Therefore,  he  is  starting  "an  organization 
that  will  eventually  make  parties  unnecessary.  Today  reform 
needs  not  so  much  education  as  unity,  the  unity  of  the  whole 
people."  There  is  obviously  nothing  small  about  the  founder 
of  Blissful  Socialism.  He  is  opposed  to  parties,  because  a  party 
stands  for  a  part.  We  must  have  an  organization  into  which 
anyone — ^man  or  woman — ^may  enter.  It  must  respect  ev- 
eryone's opinion,  alike  the  millionaire's  and  the  pauper's.  It 
must,  therefore,  as  an  organization,  have  no  opinion,  NO 
PLATFORM,  NO  PRINCIPLES !  But,  secondly,  having  let 
everybody  in,  it  must  find  out  what  all  want.  How  will  this 
bring  in  Socialism  ?  It  will  not  bring  in  Socialism  until  the 
majority  of  the  people  want  it,  "and  then  it  will."  This  idea 
of  ushering  in  Socialism  by  uniting  all  men  and  women  of 
the  world  in  an  organization  without  principles  is  so  grand;, 
fco  unique,  so  original  and  at  the  same  time  so  delightfully 
simple  that  it  would  make  Rev.  W.  D.  P.  Bliss  immortal  if 
he  did  not  otherwise  deserve  it.  Let  us  imagine  "an  organiza- 
tion to  which  everybody  may  belong  and  yet  remain  perfectly 
free  to  vote  as  he  pleases.  Those  who  Ihink  they  can  do  the 
most  good  by  working  through  one  of  the  old  po- 
litical parties  may  still  do  so,  those  who  believe  in 
a  class-conscious  party  can  go  on  with  their  efforts 
and  party.  It  can  bind  no  one ;  it  can  unite  all, 
because  brotherhood  (among  the  millionaires  and  pau- 
pers) is  more  adhesive  (not  cohesive,  mind  you,  but  adhe- 
sive !)  than  strife."  In  respect  to  tolerance,  broadness  and 
liberality  this  organization  leaves  nothing  to  desire,  since 
"anybody  can  belong  to  it,  without  committing  himself  to  any 
economic  view,  without  making  any  pledge  to  support  or  not 
to  support  any  party." 

Eev.  W.  D.  P.  does  not  believe  in  a  class-conscious  proleta- 
rian struggle.  His  motto  is,  "Brotherhood  by  brotherhood, 
peace  by  the  path  of  peace."  His  ideal  is  the  sea  "of  deep,  sun- 
crowned  fraternity."  A  fitting  conclusion  to  Eev.  W.  D.  P.'s 
manifesto  of  Blissful  Socialism  would  be  the  paraphrase  of 
the  historical  concluding  sentences  of  the  Communist  mani- 
festo :    Workingmen  of  all  countries,  good-night ! 


88 

What  is  Blissful  Socialism?  It  is  a  conglomeration  of  con- 
servativo  or  bourgeois:  with  Utopian  Socialism.  To  quote  the 
Communist  manifesto : 

"A  part  of  the  bourgeoisie  is  desirous  of  redressing  social 
grievances  in  order  to  secure  the  continued  existence  of  the 
bourgeois  society.  The  bourgeois  Socialists  want  all  the  ad- 
vantages of  modern"  social  conditions  without  the  struggles 
and  dangers  necessarily  resulting  therefrom.  They  desire  the 
existing  state  of  society  minus  the  revolutionary  and  disinte- 
grating elements.  They  wish  for  a  bourgeoisie  without  a 
proletariat.  In  requiring  the  proletariat  to  carry  out  such  a 
system,  and  thereby  to  march  straightway  into  the  social  New 
Jerusalem,  it  but  requires  in  reality  that  the  proletariat  should 
remain  within  the  bonds  of  existing  society,  but 
should  cast  away  all  its  hateful  ideas  concerning 
the  bourgeoisie.  It  is  summed  up  in  the  phrase:  The  bour- 
geoisie is  a  bourgeoisie,  for  the  benefit  of  the  working  class. 
The  undeveloped  state  of  the  class  truggle,  as  well  as  their 
own  surroundings,  cause  Socialists  of  this  kind  to  consider 
themselves  far  superior  to  class  antagonism.  They  want  to  im- 
prove the  condition  of  every  member  of  society,  even  that  of 
the  most  favored.  Here  they  habitually  appeal  to  society  at 
large,  without  distinction  of  class — ^nay,  by  preference  to  the 
ruling  class.  Here  they  reject  all  political,  and  especially  all 
revolutionary  action ;  they  wish  to  attain  their  ends  by  peace- 
ful means,  and  endeavor  by  small  experiments,  necessarily 
doomed  to  failure.  By  degrees  they  sink  into  the  category  of 
the  reactionary,  conservative  Socialists,  differing  from  them 
only  by  more  systematic  pedantry  and  by  their  fantastical  and 
superstitious  belief  in  the  miraculous  effect  of  their  social 
science.  They  therefore  violently  oppose  all  political  action 
on  the  part  of  the  working  class;  such  action,  according  to 
them,  can  result  only  from  blind  unbelief  in  the  new  gospel." 
We  consider  Rev.  W.  D.  P.  Bliss's  "movement"  not 
only  ridiculous  (although  well  meant),  but  decidedly 
harmful,  as  it  is  likely  to  create  more  confusion  in  respect 
to  what  Socialism  really  means  and  stands  for  than  already 
exists  among  the  general  public.  Eev.  D.  W.  P.  Bliss  is  what 
we  would  call  a  confusionist,  as  he  suiRciently  proved  by  his 
would-be  public  activity  for  many,  many  years,  a  man  with- 
out a  clear  vision  ,without  courage  of  his  convictions,  without 
backbone,  a  straddler.    Such  people  are  fretful,  they  try  to 


89 

please  everyone,  attempt  much  and  finally  accomplish  noth- 
ing; they  usually  fail  to  grasp  situations,  and  grope  around 
in  the  dark  without  realizing  it. 

Socialism  can  afford  to  look  with  compassion  on  the  activity 
of  such  petty  middle-class  reformers  posing  as  saviours  of 
humanity. 


90 


XVIII.  THE  SINGLE  TAX  VERSUS  SOCIALISM. 

When  preparing  for  long  years  of  exile  into  the  "remotest 
and  least  populated  parts  of  liastem  Siberia,"  (to  use  the 
official  expression  of  the  ukase  of  the  Czar,  by  which  I  was 
banished  as  a  political  offender),  I  included  in  my  modest 
traveling  library  the  "Progress  and  Poverty"  of  Henry 
George.  At  first  I  immensely  enjoyed  the  study  of  the  gospel 
of  single  tax.  Indeed  the  charm  of  the  inspired  words  of  the 
apostle  and  prophet  of  the  nationalization  of  the  soil,  his  reli- 
gious enthusiasm,  beautiful  style  and  warm  humanitarian 
spirit,  captivated  me  at  once.  In  the  dreary  Arctic  wilderness, 
"Progress  and  Poverty"  sounded  to  me  like  a  new  revelation.  I 
read  it  and  re-read  it,  and — alas!  the  more  I  read  it,  the 
less  satisfied  was  I  with  the  trend  of  the  ideas  of  the  author, 
his  arguments  and  conclusions.  The  disenchantment  was  com- 
plete when  I  began  to  analyze  the  views  of  the  author  on  capi- 
tal and  labor.  It  was  a  puzzle  to  me,  how  such  a  seemingly 
brilliant  economist  (at  least  on  the  subject  of  rent)  could, 
make  such  puerile  blunders  when  dealing  with  the  foremost 
problem  of  the  day.  I  was  at  a  loss  to  understand  how  it  was 
possible  for  such  an  ardent  advocate  of  the  nationalization  of 
the  soil,  to  fail  to  grasp  the  grander  and  more  general  idea  of 
the  nationalization  of  all  tools  of  production,  including  the 
soil  as  a  part  of  the  whole  system  of  the  socialization  oi  pro- 
duction. 

The  single  tax  scheme  looked  to  me  then  like  the  compro- 
mise of  a  petty  politician,  rather  than  the  great  plan  of  a 
philosopher  and  humanitarian.  That  social  problems  never 
were  and  never  will  be  solved  by  financial  or  fiscal  reforms  was 
an  axiom  known  to  me  when  a  high  school  boy.  The  single 
tax  scheme,  represented  at  first  only  as  a  means  to  the  nation- 
alization of  the  soil  (and  it  is  a  very  poor  means  at  that),  in 
the  end  turned  into  a  purpose  itself,  into  a  panacea  against 
all  social  and  economic  evils.  Here  my  suspicion  was  aroused 
to  the  highest  degree.  The  mountain  gave  birth  to  a  mouse ! 
The  great  thinker  and  humanitarian  turned  into  a  dispenser 
of  sure  cures  and  patent  medicines.  What  a  pitiful  sight! 
But  is  Mr.  Henry  George  indeed  the  great  thinker  and  scien- 
tist I  took  him  for?  I  asked  myself.  I  began  once  more 
to  carefully  study  "Progress  and  Poverty,"  and  to  my  great 


91 

surprise  found  much  poverty  of  thought  and  little  scientific 
progress  in  the  book. 

About  fifteen  years  have  passed  since  the  time  when  I  first 
became  acquainted  with  the  gospel  of  the  single  tax,  and  since 
then  the  theory  has  not  deepened,  broadened  or  advanced  the 
fraction  of  an  inch.  In  our  time  of  mediocre  scribbling  and 
indiscriminate  printing,  even  the  single  tax  can  boast  of  hav- 
ing a  literature  of  its  own.  But  great  Gods — ^what  a  litera- 
ture !  It  consists  of  nothing  but  a  dull  chewing  over  and  over 
of  the  stale  old  cud,  contained  in  the  once  famous  book  of  its 
originator.  Such  is  the  fate  of  all  pseudo-reformatory  schemes 
conceived  in  half-knowledge,  born  in  mental  narrowness  and 
reared  by  political  incapacity. 

The  single  tax  theory  has  not  only  proved  itself  incapable 
of  healthy  growth  and  development,  but  has  become  a  stum- 
bling block  for  many  timid  and  feeble  minds,  which  other- 
wise woiild  be  receptive  to  some  sound  line  of  thought  and 
reasoning. 

It  is  not  the  intention  of  the  writer  to  bore  his  readers  with 
even  a  brief  exposition  of  the  single  tax  theory.  I  shall  neither 
endeavor  to  point  out  the  one-sidedne§s  of  its  explanation  of 
pauperism,  nor  the  total  inadequacy  of  the  ways  and  means 
it  proposes  for  the  cure.  The  enlightened  reader  will  do  this 
himself.  We  shall  however  expose  some  of  the  main  fallacies 
of  this  still-born  scheme  of  universal  salvation  of  humanity 
by  the  faith  cure  of  a  single  tax. 

Let  us  turn  our  attention  first  to  Mr.  George's  views  of  in- 
terest on  capital.  According  to  his  theory,  interest  on  capital 
is  a  natural  product  of  capital,  but  in  no  case  an  abstraction 
from  the  earnings  of  labor.  For  instance,  the  aging  of  wine, 
the  increase  of  cattle  and  fruits  are  natural  consequences  of  the 
investment  of  capital  and  therefore  belong  to  the  capitalists 
and  to  nobody  else.  This  statenient  is  not  original  with  our 
author.  It  was  tendered  before  as  early  as  the  sixteenth  cen- 
tury by  Biel,  by  Calvin  (in  his  treatment  of  the  canonical  in- 
terdiction of  usury)  and  most  prominently  by  the  physiocrats. 

Nearest  to  Mr.  Oeorge  comes  Bentham,  who  tries  to  refute 
the  objection  of  ^ristotle  to  usury.  The  immortal  Hellenic 
thinker  declares  that  usury  is  unethical,  because  of  the  barren- 
ness of  coin  but  Bentham  replies,  that  once  exchanged  for  cat- 
tle or  invested  in  farming,  money  turns  fruitful.  The  mis- 
take, however,  of  Mr.  George  and  his  predecesors  consists  in 


92 

the  elimination  of  the  element  of  labor  from  the  so-called 
natural  products  of  capital.  Indeed  natural  sciences  prove 
beyond  any  doubt  that  labor  must  always  be  applied  to  natural 
resources  in  order  to  create  values.  It  is  therefore  idle  to  try 
to  distinguish  vi^here  the  natural  resources  play  a  more  and 
where  a  less  prominent  part  in  production. 

But  aside  from  the  superstitious  idea  of  values  created  by 
nature  alone — the  question  arises:  Where  is  the  justification 
of  the  exclusive  ownership  of  the  interest  on  capital  by  the 
capitalists,  even  if  we  admit  for  the  sake  of  argument,  that 
this  intejest  is  the  result  of  the  bounty  of  mother  nature 
alone?  The  confusion  of  the  interest  theory  of  Mr.  George 
appears  still  denser  when  we  takp  into  consideration  that  he 
at  least  partly  admits  that  human  labor  is  the  only  source 
of  the  creation  of  value.  He  considers  rent  on  soil  a  crying 
injustice  (and  rightly),  because  there  is  no  labor  involved 
in  the  mere  fact  of  possession  of  land.  But  he  justifies  interest 
on  capital.  The  link  between  the  theory  of  value  and  interest 
on  capital  was  somehow  lost  by  Mr.  George,  although  both 
interest  on  capital,  and  rent  on  land  obviously  belong  to  one 
and  the  same  category  of  exploitation  of  labor  by  the  monopo- 
listic owners  of  the  tools  of  production.  The  fallacy  of  this 
distinction  between  rent  and  interest  on  capital  makes  all  the 
rest  of  the  reasoning,  of  our  author  unsound.  The  interest 
theory  is  the  sand  on  which  he  builds  his  airy  castle  of  single 
tax. 

His  second  fallacy  is  the  so-called  harmony  between  capital 
and  labor.  It  is  true  that  in  new  countries,  as  the  United 
States,  interest  and  wages  are  both  comparatively  high,  and 
for  many  reasons.  But  in  old  countries  there  is  a  pronounced 
antagonism  between  interest  and  wages.  In  other  words,  the 
interest  on  capital  is  higher  where,  and  when  wages  are  lower, 
and  vice  versa.  In  his  zeal  as  an  antagonist  of  rent,  Henry 
"George  went  even  so  far  as  to  deplore  the  encroachment  of 
the  greedy  landlord  on  the  poor  capitalist.  It  is  almost  touch- 
ing to  see  the  crocodile  tears  shed  by  the  prophet  of  single  tax 
in  view  of  the  sad  fate  of  capital  exploited  by  landlordism ! 
But  as  a  matter  of  fact  the  landlord  in  all  countries  is  the 
victim  of  capital.  The  indebtedness  of  the  landed  proprietor 
to  movable  capita)  is  a  growing  evil  everywhere,  and  in  some 
countries  reaches  alarming  proportions. 

Toynbee,  in  his  lectures  on  the  industrial  revolution  in 


93 

England,  proves  that  the  riches  of  capitalists  increase  a  great" 
deal  faster  than  the  wealth  of  the  owners  of  land.  The  won- 
derful industrial  evolution  furnished  every  advantage  to  capi- 
talism, while  favoring  landlords  only  slightly  in  comparison. 
The  peculiar  nature  of  the  agricultural  industry  has  kept  it 
so  far,  and  is  likely  to  keep  it  a  long  time,  outside  of  the 
domain  of  Socialized  labor  characterizing  the  factory  system 
of  production.  The  prominence  given  to  rent  is,  therefore, 
entirely  out  of  date,  and  anachronistic  to  the  extent  of  being 
ridiculous.  It  reminds  one  of  Don  Quixote  fighting  wind- 
mills, which  he  takes  in  his  delirium  for  knights  and  giants. 

But  perhaps  a  single  tax,  in  spite  of  all  its  wrong  economi- 
cal theories,  would  be  a  great  fiscal  reform?  Well,  let  us  see. 
Take  for  instance,  Mr.  George's  assertion,  that  a  single  tax, 
equal  to  the  value  of  rent,  would  be  more  than  sufficient  to 
cover  all  the  expenses  of  government  and  administration  and 
would  make  all  other  taxes  superfluoTis.  Is  this  true?  No- 
where in  the  world  is  rent  so  high  as  in  England.  The  expro- 
priation of  that  rent,  however,  would  not  cover  even  three- 
fifths  of  the  budget  of  the  United  Kingdom.  Let  us  not 
insist  on  the  immense  difliculties  of  the  introduction  of  a 
single  tax.  Let  us  suppose  it  to  be  as  easy  as  the  naive  fol- 
lowers of  George  imagine.  What  would  be  the  inevitable  re- 
sult ?  The  small  owners  of  land — the  overwhelming  majority 
of  farmers — would  be  ruined  and  compelled  to  swell  the  over- 
crowded ranks  of  the  city  proletariat. 

But  would  the  larger  land  owners  profit  by  it  ?  Under  the 
present  condition  their  indebtedness  is  growing,  and  a  heavy 
tax  on  the  soil  would  lead  to  a  still  greater  depreciation  of 
land,  which  would  then  fall  entirely  into  the  hands  of  the 
owners  of  movable  capital. 

The  single  tax  proposition  sounds  simply  like  a  sneer  in  our 
time,  when  the  mass  of  agriculturists  hardly  cover  their  ex- 
penses, and  landed  proprietors  with  great  difficulty  get  even 
a  small  interest  on  their  invested  capital. 

And  the  laborer  ?  How  would  the  laborer  be  affected  by  the 
single  tax  scheme  ?  The  capitalists  would  certainly  not  miss 
the  opportunity  of  screwing  down  the  scale  of  wages  corres- 
pondingly lower.  It  is  no  wonder  therefore  that  the  Social- 
ists of  Germany  are  opposed  to  the  single  tax  reform. 
The  Socialists  "of  the  United  States  cannot  fail  to  see 
in  the  single  tax  movement  one  of  the  innumerable  reforms 


94 

that  do  not  reform,  and  that  besides  have  the  drawback  of 
turning  the  attention  of  the  voters  from  the  burning  questions 
of  the  day,  from  living  issues  of  the  age  to  false  issues  and 
illusive  watch-words  of  conscious  or  unconscious  dema- 
gogues. 


95 


XIX.     INDIVIDUALISM  AND  CEIME. 

Divinely  beautiful  are  the  spring  nights  in  the  tayga,  the 
primeval  forests  of  Siberia.  Natlire  is  full  of  life,  the  bushes 
and  fields,  the  grassy  plains  and  ponds,  the  hills  and  valleys, 
the  lakes  and  rivers,  the  azure  sky  and  emerald  earth.  The 
paradise-like  air  is  almost  overburdened  with  the  exquisite 
fragrance  of  numberless  flowers.  Nature  is  resting  with  the 
repose  of  a  young  giant.  Mysterious  sounds  now  and  then 
reach  the  ear  of  the  listener,  the  whispering  of  the  leaves, 
the  splashing  of  a  brook,  the  rustle  of  wings  of  a  scared  bird, 
the  rapid  run  of  a  beast  of  prey.  These  noises  hush  down  as 
suddenly  as  they  come,  and  then  quiet  reigns  supreme,  the 
quiet  of  life,  joy  and  power. 

In  the  midst  of  this  primeval  forest^  there  is  one  spot  which 
appears  to  be  a  habitation  of  men.  Let  us  observe  this  spot 
more  closely.  It  turns  out  to  be  a  miserable,  wooden  shanty, 
serving  as  a  prison  station  for  the  passing  and  repassing  bands 
of  "criminals"  on  the  main  Siberian  road.  Let  us  step  a  lit- 
tle closer  to  the  building  and  take  a  peep  inside..  The  weary 
sentinel,  a  raw  recruit  just  taken  from  the  plow,  is  looking 
in  the  opposite  direction  and  dreaming  about  his  native  village 
and  probably  the  girl  he  left  behind  him,  and  consequently 
will  not  notice  us.  Merciful  sleep  reigns  in  this  filthy  den, 
full  of  the  dregs  and  scum  of  humanity,  just  as  majestically 
as  in  the  gorgeous  palaces  of  the  favorities  of  fate,  the  demi- 
gods of  the  crowd.  Will  you  examine  attentively  the  features 
of  the  sleeping  criminals?  Standing,  sitting,  lying  in  the 
closest  vicinity  to  the  huge  night-tub  whose  contaminating 
contents  flow  over  its  rims  and  reach  the  floor  in  streams, 
they  sleep  as  comfortably  or  uncomfortably  as  they  can  or 
must.  Not  a  breath  of  the  paradise-like  air  of  the  surround- 
ing primeval  forest  penetrates  into  the  prison.  It  is  stifling 
and  hot  inside.  The  "air^'  filling  the  room  is  nothing  but 
an  infernal  compound  of  deadly  miasma.  The  pale,  haggard, 
care-^orn  features  of  the  sleepers,  expressing  all  kinds  of 
vice,  hate,  disappointment  and  above  all,  a  deep  weariness  of 
life,  make  you  shudder.  Their  features,  however,  express 
more  than  that — a  bitter  reproach. 

"Yes,  look  at  ns  attentively,  j'ou  virtuous  citizens  of  the 
community,  you  fathers  and  children  of  respectable  families !" 


9G 

these  features  seem  to  say :  "look-  at  us,  children  of  ill-fate, 
conceived  in  sin,  born  in  squalor  and  misery,  reared  in  extreme 
poverty.  We  erred  grievously  against  you — respectable  citizens 
— against  society.  And  here  we  are,  a  warning  and  example 
to  others.  But  did  you,  good  citizens  as  you  are,  take  care 
of  our  mothers  when  we  were  about  to  be  born  ?  Did  you 
watch  us  when  we  were  still  innocent  babies  in  the  cradle? 
Did  you  feed  us  when  we  were  hungry,  did  you  quench  our 
thirst,  did  you  clothe  our  nakedness  when  we  shivered  from 
cold  ?  Did  you  teach  us  how  to  live  and  love  humanity  ?  Did 
you  supply  us  with  work  when  we  were  idle  ?  It  is  true,  we  are 
now  the  worst  enemies  of  society.  But  did  not  society  treat 
us  as  enemies  from,  the  moment  of  our  appearance,  in  the 
world?  Oh!  run  away,  you  'good  citizens.'  This  place 
is  not  good  enough  for  you!  Leave  us  in  our  pan-demonium 
and  visit  some  of  your  multi-millionaires.  The  multi- 
millionaire's royal  palace  is  an  earthly  paradise.  He  is  sur- 
rounded by  a  happy  family  and  all  the  wortd  pronounces  his 
name  with  deep  reverence.  And  why  not?  He  spends  for- 
tunes for  charitable  purposes  of  all  kinds,  builds  churches, 
erects  and  endows  universities,  patronizes  high  art  and  litera- 
ture. But  do  not  ask  from  whom  and  where  he  got  his  treas- 
ures. Evil  tongues  aflirm  that  he  never  in  his  life  earned 
a  penny  by  the  work  of  his  hands.  Many  a  merchant  or 
clerk  has  ended  his  life  by  suicide.  Many  a  widow  and  orphan 
have  been  compelled  to  take  the  beggar's  staff.  Many  a  fair 
maiden  has  been  driven  to  tread  the  thorny  path  of  sexual 
slavery.  Many  a  frugal  and  honest  laborer  has  died  a  pauper. 
And  evil  tongues  affirm  that  all  this  misery  was  the  direct  re- 
sult of  the  marvelous  manipulations  of  tlus  financial  wizard. 
The  evil  tongues  even  affirm  that  your  twentieth  century  spe- 
culator, promoter,  railroad  king,  trust-magnate  and  political 
boss  hurt  society  more  than  we  miserable,  old-fashioned  and 
stupid  criminals !"' 

That  is  what  the  features  of  the  sleeping  criminals  seem 
to  say.    Do  we  interpret  them  rightly? 

Society  is  responsible  for  the  consequences  of  the 
imperfections  of  its  organization.  -Criminals  are  the 
products  of  these  imperfections.  The  professional 
criminals  acquire  their  criminal  habits  in  earliest 
youth,  in  the  midst  of  the  lowest  strata  of  the 
slum  proletariat,  in  over-populated  districts  of  industrial  cen- 


97 

ters.  Boys  usually  start  their  criminal  career  with  common 
vagrancy,  turn  thieves  under  the  pressure  of  direct  want,  and 
end  with  graver  offenses,  when  hardened  by  the  persecution 
of  the  authorities  and  the  heartlessness  of  the  people  in  gen- 
eral. Criminal  propensities  show  themselves  at  a  very  tender 
age  and  develop  into  full  bloom  only  where  the  conditions 
for  their  development  are  especially  favorable.  If  counter- 
acted in  time,  these  propensities  are  checked  forever.  Chil- 
dren with  criminal  inclinations  form  a  well-marked  type  of 
physical  degeneracy,  a  low  stature,  a  small  head,  weak  eyes, 
a  nervous  temperament,  unsatisfactory  general  development, 
excessive  leanness,  pallor,  and  aversion  to  any  exertion.  These 
physical  defects  are  to  a  considerable  extent  the  cause  of  their 
dreary  profession.  They  are  unable  to  compete  with  the  nor- 
mal laborer.  There  is  left  for  them  only  the  choice  between 
perpetual  starvation  and  crime.  Criminals  are  as  a  rule  men- 
tally inferior,  they  are  either  stupid  or  have  no  will-power, 
or  suffer  from  both  defects  at  once.  The  conditions  of  family 
life  to  which  they  owe  their  birth,  are  in  the  majority  of 
cases  highly  unfortunate. 

Most  criminals  have  lost  both  parents  or  at  least  one  at  a 
very  tender  age,  or  if  they  are  both  alive  they  are  of  such  a 
character  as  to  have  only  a  demoralizing  influence  on  their 
offspring. 

About  80  per  cent  of  the  parents  of  criminals  are  either 
very  immoral  or  themselves  professional  criminals.  The  eco- 
nomic condition  of  the  young  recruits  of  the  irregular  army 
of  criminals  is  a  very  sad  one.  They  can  expect  nothing  from 
their  parents  and  are  physically  and  mentally  weak  them- 
selves. All  these  conditions,  hereditary  taint,  physical  and 
mental  degeneracy,  orphanage  or  bad  parents,  deep  poverty,, 
and  the  low  moral  standard  of  their  environment,  push  chil- 
dren with  criminal  tendencies  on  the  inclined  plane  of  a  crim- 
inal profession,  where  they  naturally  sink  lower  and  lower, 
till  they  reach  a  stage  where  they  are  beyond'  redemption  and 
become  the  worst  enemies  of  society. 

And  how  does  our  capitalistic  society  treat  its  stepchildren, 
the  criminals,  the  victims  of  wickedness  and  irrationality? 
It  maintains  a  highly  complicated  and  expensive  machinery 
of  secret  and  oflBcial  police,  public  prosecutors,  criminal  courts 
with  all  their  paraphernalia,  prisons  of  all  kinds,  in  order  to 
catch  the  criminals  in  the  act,  or  after  they  have  committed 


98 

a  crime,  and  then  i)unish  them,  that  is,  take  vengeance  on 
them. 

That  punishment  of  any  kind  does  not  have  the  effect  of 
decreasing  crime  or  making  it  less  atrocious,  is  a  generally 
acknowledged  fact.  And  yet  this  barbarous  penal  system 
seems  to  gratify  the  feeling  of  "justice"  of  our  capitalistic 
mob. 

The  capitalistic  mob  divides  humanity  into  two  parts^  the 
well-intentioned  and  malcontents.  The  malcontents  have  to 
be  kept  in  eliook  by  any  means  possible.  It  is  not  considered 
necessary  to  study  the  criminal  class  and  to  find  out  from 
where  it  comes,  to  where  it  goes,  how  it  thinks,  feels  and 
suffers.  The  capitalistic  mob  is  probably  afraid  that  such 
study  would  compel  it  to  resign  its  pharisaic  and  complacent 
self-adulation,  that  it  would  show  that  not  all  criminals  are 
behind  the  bars,  nor  all  the  well-intentioned  on  this  side 
of  the  grating. 

Probably  this  mob  is  afraid  that  such  a  study  would  lead  to 
the  overturning  of  the  whole  system  of  the  present  treatment 
of  criminals,  and  replace  the  barabarous  precept  "an  eye  for 
an  eye,  a  tooth  for  a  tooth,"  with  the  more  humane  principle, 
"tout  comprendre  c'est  tout  pardonner,"  (to  understand  all 
means  to  pardon  all).  How  low  the  moral  standard  of  the  cap- 
italistic mob  is  can  be  concluded  from  the  generally  acloiowl- 
edged  fact,  j;hat  persons  committing  grave  crimes  against  so- 
ciety, provided  they  are  sufficiently  rich  and  belong  to  the  so- 
called  upper  class,  succeed  in  escaping  the  odium  of  convic- 
tion by  a  court  of  "justice,"  and  do  not  lose  caste.  A  success- 
ful rascal  is  even  held  in  higher  esteem  than  an  honest  man 
who  fails  to  succeed  in  a  material  way.  The  first  is  considered 
a  smart  fellow,  the  second  a  fool.  Thus  a  premium  is  put 
on  artful  avoidance  of  the  clutches  of  the  blind  goddess  of 
capitalistic  justice  in  our  present  society. 

What  shall  we  do  with  our  criminal  class:  is  a  problem 
treated  in  various  ways  by  the  press,  pulpit  and  statesman, 
and  perplexing  many  a  learned  man.  This  problem  will  not 
and  cannot  be  solved  so  long  as  the  foundations  of  society 
are  such  as  to  breed  crime  and  criminals.  Eent,  profit  and 
unpaid  human  labor,  in  short  our  capitalistic  system,  must  be 
replaced  by  a  higher,  more  humane  social  system,  before 
crime  will  disappear  as  a  menace  to  society.  Moral  conduct 
is  just  as  normal  to  men  as  physical  health. "  An  immoral  man 


99 

is  a  sick  man.  As  hygienic  measures  are  preferable  to  drug- 
ging, so  is  prevention  of  crime  preferable  to  punishment  for 
committed  crimes.  Eational  and  ethical,  social  economic 
conditions  would  destroy  the  commonest  motives  of  crime  and 
make  it  a  relic  of  a  barbarous  past. 

In  the  'Socialistic  state,  there  would  be  no  proletariat  de- 
voured by  a  superior  class,  there  would  be  no  orphans  left  to 
their  own  fate.  Children  with  criminal  propensities  would 
be  treated  in  special  schools  and  their  vices  eradicated  before 
they  grew  too  strong  and  unmanageable.  There  would  be  no 
necessity  for  criminal  courts,  prosecuting  attorneys,  police  and 
all  the  rest  of  the  safeguards  of  our  capitalistic  iniquity. 
There  would 'be  no  private  property  to  protect,  no  hunger  to 
be  appeased  by  stealing,  no  contrast  between  immensely  rich 
and  wretchedly  poor  to  arouse  the  anxiety  of  the  former 
and  the  envy  of  the  latter.  There  would  be  no  social  condi- 
tions leading  to  over-refinement  and  ennui  on  one  side  and  to 
bestialism  on  the  other. 

The  German  poet  says :  "Das  eben  ist  der  Pluch  der  boesen 
That,  dass  sie  fortzeugend  Boeses  muss  geben."  (That  is 
the  very  curse  of  the  evil  deed,  that  it  gives  birth  to  more 
prolific  evil).  The  capitalistic  system  itself  is  based  on  cri- 
minal exploitation  of  men  by  men.  It  is  cannabalism  in  dis- 
guise, nay  worse  than  cannabilism.  The  human  flesh  eaters 
of  Phidshy  kill  their  victims  before  they  eat  his  body.  The 
capitalist  system  devours  the  bodies  of  the  wage-slaves  and 
their  families,  drinks  their  blood  and  swallows  their  brains 
while  they  are  still  alive  and  palpitate  with  energy  and  vigor. 
Is  it  a  marvel  that  it  breeds  crime? 


100 


XX.    SUICIDE  AND  INDUSTRIAL  ANARCHY. 

The  absolute  and  relative  growth  of  suicide  in  our  modern 
times  and  in  all  civilized  countries  of  Europe  is  simply  ap- 
palling. For  lack  of  space  we  will  glance  at  a  few  figures 
relating  to  France  only : 

YEARLY  AVERAGE  OF  SUICIDES. 


Year 


c  S 

Annual  Number 

n§ 

rt  « 

^^ 

•^i 

1,739 

54 

2,119 

67 

3,574 

76 

2,953 

85 

3,446 

97 

3,639 

100 

4,003 

110 

4,661 

134 

5,307 

135 

5,471 

150 

6,250 

168 

7,399 

193 

8,268 

316 

1837-1830 
1831-1835 
1836-1840 
1841-1845 
1846-1850 
1851-1855 
1856-1860 
1861-1865 
1866-1869 
1872-1875 
1876-1880 
1881-1885 
1886-1890 


In  itself,  suicide  is  not  a  very  important  phenomenon,  some 
one  may  say.  True  enough.  But  dropsy,  for  instance,  is  not 
a  very  important  sickness  in  itself,  in  fact  no  sickness  at  all, 
but  a  grave  symptom  of  a  frightful  organic  disease  of  the 
human  body — of  heart  disease.  So  is  suicide  a  grave  symptom 
of  some  frightful  social  disease,  a  memento  mori  to  the  exist- 
ing social  system  itself.  The  tremendous  increase  of  suicides 
shows  beyond  any  doubt  that  the  whole  social  body  is  organ- 
ically unsound.  By  analyzing  the  causes  of  suicide  we  may 
learn  something  useful  about  the  social  organic  disease  pro- 
ducing it. 

First  of  all  we  must  agree  on  the  definition  of  suicide. 
What  is  suicide  ?  The  celebrated  French  sociologist,  E.  Duerk- 


101 

heim,  defines  it  as  follows:  "Suicide  is  any  kind  of  death 
directly  or  indirectly  resulting  from  active  or  passive  actions 
(for  instance,  abstention  from  food)  of  a  person,  perpetrated 
in  full  knowledge  of  the  inevitableness  of  the  consequences." 
This  definition  excludes  the  unconscious  suicide  of  a  lunatic, 
and  includes  the  death  of  "martyrs,  dying  for  convictions,  or  a 
mother  for  her  child."  Suicide  is  not  accidental,  it  is  subject 
to  certain  social  laws,  like  every  other  phenomenon  of  human 
life  and  death.  In  every  society  there  exist  "suicidal  cur- 
rents," whose  strength  and  dimensions  are  determined  and 
conditioned  by  the  peculiarities  of  the  social  structure  itself 
to  such  an  extent  as  to  be  a  fixed  feature  of  this  structure. 
The  average  of  suicides  for  the  period  1840-1870  was  in 
France  33  per  thousand,  in  England  28,  Denmark  20,  Italy 
31,  and  Austria  32.  The  difference  between  these  numbers 
is  exceedingly  small,  being  equal  to  11/^  per  cent  only.  The 
general  mortality,  however,  in  these  countries  fluctuates  in 
still  narrower  limits,  1  1-4  per  cent.  But  the  most  discourag- 
ing feature  of  this  analysis  is  the  fact  that  when  the  tendency 
of  natural  mortality  is  unmistakably  in  the  direction  of  a 
common  level  and  fixedness  for  long  periods  and  in  different 
countries,  the  average  of  suicide  is  alarmingly  increasing.  A 
careful  study  of  the  cosmic,  organic,  physical,  racial,  religious 
and  economic  causes  of  suicides  leads  to  the  conclusion  of 
the  subordinate  and  secondary  importance  of  these  causes. 
The  main  factor  of  the  increase  or  decrease  of  suicide  in  a 
given  time  and  society  is  the  degree  of  the  integration  or 
disintegration  of  that  society.  In  other  words,  everything 
tending  to  unite  man,  diminishes  the  number  of  suicides,  and 
vice  versa.  Duerkheim  distinguishes  two  kinds  of  suicide 
(what  he  calls  the  "anomic"  kind  of  suicide  is  only  a  sub- 
division, according  to  our  view,  of  the  egotistic  kind  of  sui- 
cide, and  we  allow  ourselves  the  liberty  of  omitting  it  as  a 
separate  category.  Eemark  of  the  author)  namely: 
1,  egotistic,  and  2,  altruistic,  suicides.  Egotistic  sui- 
cide is  the  consequence  of  the  boundless  expansion 
of  personal  inclinations,  desires  and  interests  in 
conjunction  with  a  perfect  absence  of  consciousness 
of  social  obligations  and  duties.  :  Our  contemporary  so- 
ciety, with  its  pronounced  individualistic  tendencies  and  ex- 
tremely loose  social  consciousness  is  favorable  for  the  growth 
of  egotistic  suicides.  Altruistic  suicide  is  committed  by  persons 


102 

whose  individual  ambitions  and  desires  are  very  little  devel- 
oped in  comparison  with  consciousness  of  kind  and  the  col- 
lective interests  of  the  society  to  which  they  belong.  The 
archaic  communes  formed  the  most  favorable  field  for  such 
kinds  of  suicides.  And  even  in  our  time  some  exceptional 
personalities  consciously  sacrifice  their  lives  on  the  altar  of 
some  grand  idea.  Altruistic  suicides  are  possible  only  in 
highly  integrated  societies. 

Family  ties  are  to  a  great  extent  a  safeguard  against  sui- 
cide, but  in  the  main  only  so  far  as  they  fulfil  their  task,  that 
is,  so  far  as  they  are  blessed  with  offspring.  This  safeguard 
is  directly  proportional  in  its  efficiency  to  the  number  of  chil- 
dren. The  number  of  suicides  among  childless  married 
women,  for  instance,  is  considerably  higher  than  that  among 
unmarried  women  of  the  same  age.  It  is  the  integrating  pow- 
er of  mutual  attachment  that  makes  the  family  a  safeguard 
against  suicide. 

The  same  is  noticeable  in  the  relation  of  the  citizen  to  the 
state.  Civic  disintegration  always  leads  to  an  increase  of  sui- 
cides, as  was  the  case  in  the  time  of  the  fall  of  the  Eoman 
empire,  during  the  decline  of  ancient  Greece,  and  before  the 
French  revolution.  But  times  of  revival  of  civic  consciousness 
and  virtues  are  always  characterized  by  a  fall  in  the  number  of 
suicides.  Even  great  social  perturbances  and  popular  wars 
leading  to  an  immense  losBT)f  life  and  destruction  of  property 
work  in  the  same  direction,  as  can  be  illustrated  by  the  great 
French  revolution,  the  revolution  of  1848,  the  time  of  the 
Franco-Prussian  war,  and  the  Commune.  The  struggle 
against  a  common  danger  unites  people  and  makes  them  feel 
as  units  of  a  great  whole.  Religious  bodies — as  far  as  they 
are  an  integrating  power  and  entirely  independent  of  their 
ethical  or  philosophical  value — counteract  likewise  the  ten- 
dency to  suicide. 

Industrial  disturbances  form  the  arena  for  great  increases 
in  the  number  of  suicides,  as  is  shown  by  the  crisis  in  Germany 
during  the  so-called  "Gruenderthum"  following  the  victory 
over  Prance,  by  the  collapse  of  the  Catholic  bank  of  Bontoux 
in  1882  and  many  others.  It  is  not  poverty  that  drives  people 
to  suicide,  but  the  economic  insecurity  and  continual  fluctua- 
tion, the  ups  and  downs  of  "prosperity"  and  "hard  times." 

In  primitive  societies,  the  individual  amounted  to  nothing, 
while  tije  social  group  was  every  thing.    The  enslaving  of  the 


103 

personality  to  the  community  was  highly  unfavorable  to  any 
kind  of  progress.    The  reaction  against  this  ancient  regime 
was  natural.    The  emancipation  of  the  individual  from  the 
yoke  of  the  community  has  advanced  rapidly  in  our  time  and 
seems  not  yet  to  have  run  its  full  course.     The  Manchester 
school  gave  to  extreme  individualism  its  quasi-scientific  sanc- 
tion.   Even  the  theory  of  evolution  was  dragged  in  by  the  hair 
for  the  same  purpose.      Prudhon    and  Krapotkin  reduced) 
so-called  "liberalism"  to  the  absurdity  of  anarchism.    Accord- 
ing to  them  the  individuality  should  be  everything,  while  the 
community  should  be  left  to  exist  from  the  crumbs  falling 
from    the   individual   table  of   the     sovereign   personality. 
To    whom    shall    the    future    belong?      To    the     sovereign 
personality  or  to  the  sovereign  community?     But  is  there 
such  an  alternative?      Could  not  both  extremes  be  united, 
without  any  injury  to  the  sovereignty  of  either  ?    Indeed  the 
excess  of  the  personal  interests  in  our  modern  society  leads 
just  as  surely  to  social  disintegration  and  suicide  as  the  lack 
of  it  in  primitive  societies  to  stagnation   and   degeneration. 
The  real  remedy  against  both   extremes   is  constructive  So- 
cialism, the  application  of  the  results  of  the  scientific  study  of 
sbeiety  to  the  practical  purposes  of  the  reorganization  of  socie- 
ty on  new,  sound  and  rational  principles  of  brotherly  co-opera- 
tion.^ The  principle  "homo  homini  lupus"  of  the  present  social 
system  of  animal  struggle  for  existence  must  be  replaced  by 
solidarity,  savage  competition  by  enlightened  emulation.    The 
industrial  anarchy  and  speculation  in  trade  must  be  regu- 
lated according  to  strict  principles  of  supply,  demand  and 
rules  of  equity.    The  future  belongs  to  a  Socialistic  structure 
of  society,  in  which  each  individual  member  shall  with  full 
consciousness,  and  without  any  physical  coercion,  but  from 
purely  rational  motives  and  ethical  emotions,  co-operate  ac- 
cording to  his  powers  with  other  fellow  citizens  with  the  clear 
purpose  of  furthering  directly  the  common  weal,  and  indi- 
rectly his  own  private  happiness.    The  means  leading  to  such 
a  bright  future  are  in  the  hands  of  all  productive  members 
of  our  commonwealth.    Let  us  make  society  a  special  object 
of  our  study,  let  us  build  and  maintain  trade  unions  and  other 
professional  organizations,  let  us  use  our  civic  rights  as  voters 
intelligently,  and  conscientiously,  and  the  results  will  not  fail 
to  come  our  way. 


164 

XXI.  THE  CLAMOR  FOR  PEACE  IN  CAPITALIST  SO- 
CIETY. 

Let  us  imagine  a  grain  of  dust  whirling  through  endless 
space  and  inhabited  by  ridiculously  small  living  atoms.  If 
these  tiny  creatures  could  realize  the  colossal  dance  they  par- 
ticipate in,  they  might  lose  their  senses  from  mere  terror. 
Their  fragile  dwelling  rushing  through  emptiness  is  kept  to- 
gether only  by  the  mutual  attraction  of  its  parts  on  one  side 
and  of  similar  grains  of  dust,  in  company  with  which  it  is 
rapidly  moving  toward  an  unknown  goal  on  the  other  side. 

This  grain  of  dust  called  the  earth,  together  with  its  inhabi- 
tants, is  rotating  around  its  own  axis  and  at  the  same  time 
moves  around  the  sun  with  the  astounding  rapidity  of  600,000 
miles  in  twenty-four  hours.  The  entire  system  of  the 
visible  starry  world  is  rushing  into  space  with  the  hardly  im- 
aginable rapidity  of  sixty  million  miles  in  a  year.  We  move  two 
miles  a  second  without  a  moment  of  rest.  The  earth  can  never 
get  to  the  bottom  of  the  awful  abyss  called  space,  and  millions 
of  years  of  constant  motion  do  not  make  a  difference  of  a 
hair's  breath  in  the  position  of  the  earth  from  the  point  of 
of  view  of  eternity!  These  infinitesimal  living  atoms — 
human  beings  clinging  tenaciously  to  the  rotating  grain  of 
dust — the  earth.  0  how  small  and  insignificant  are  they  from 
the  point  of  view  of  eternity.  Insignificant  as  the  race  is  from 
this  point  of  view,  it  is  a  giant  in  one  respect,  being  endowed 
with  the  divine  gift  of  reason.  Human  reason  which  is 
capable  of  grasping  the  whole  world,  of  measuring  the  distance 
between  stars  and  of  determining  the  velocity  of  their  motion. 

Ought  not  these  reasoning  beings  realize  their  role  in  nature 
and  bend  all  their  energies  in  the  direction  of  mutual  help- 
fulness, good  will  and  fellow-feeling? 

Ought  not  they  devote  the  small  space  of  time  allotted  to 
them  as  a  gift  of  life  in  the  most  rational  manner  to  acts  of 
fraternal  love,  peace  and  co-operation? 

Ought  not  the  consciousness  of  the  stern  and  unchangeable 
laws  of  the  inanimate  world  weld  them  together  in  emulation, 
in  spiritual  achievements,  noble  aspirations,  scientific  research 
and  fine  arts  for  the  general  benefit  of  the  race  ? 

Ought  not  Justice,  Freedom  and  Peace  be  the  dearest  treas- 
ures of  humanity? 

The   past    and  present    of    the    human    race    represents, 


105 

however,  the  very  picture  of  struggle,  strife  and  war 
between  man  and  man,  tribe  and  tribe,  cast  and  cast,  class  and 
class.  All  the  ingenuity  of  men  is  bent  towards  the  invention 
of  new  methods  and  tools  of  annihilation,  of  murder.  Arrows 
are  dipped  in  poison,  swords  sharpened,  fire  and  iron  put  into 
the  service  of  death,  armies  drilled  and  organized,  national, 
race  and  class  hatreds  cultivated  artificially.  Even  science 
and  fine  arts  are  turned  into  subservience  to  the  moloeh  of  war 
and  strife. 

The  most  sacred  feelings  are  profaned  in  the  interests  of 
cold-blooded  murder  on  a  grand  scale  called  war.  Civilization, 
Culture,  Christianity  are  often  claimed  as  demanding  blood- 
shed. The  grain  of  cosmic  dust  called  the  earth  is  soaked 
with  IJie  blood  of  the  living  atoms  called  rational  human  be- 
ings. Nations  boasting  of  representing  the  highest  type  of  hu- 
manity are  constantly  engaged  in  the  so-called  art  of  war. 
We  kill  off  the  lower  races  in  order  to  civilize  them,  to 
christianize  them,  to  raise  the  level  of  their  culture.  We 
Mil  off  the  lower  races  just  because  we  love  them  so  dearly 
and  want  them  to  be  as  good  as  we  ourselves.  We  feel  deeply 
our  obligation  towards  our  younger  brothers  in  humanity 
and  if  we  thrash  the  life  out  of  them  in  our  unselfish  effort 
to  raise  them  to  our  level  of  culture  and  civilization  it  is  of 
course  not  our  fault.  The  fittest  always  survive  and  we  are 
fortunately  the  fittest. 

Let  us,  however,  for  a  moment  pause  and  reflect  in  the  en- 
deavor to  find  the  clue  to  the  fatal  incongruity  between 
the  peace  and  fraternity  so  deeply  woven  into  human 
nature  and  the  sordid  zoological  self-destruction  practiced 
by  the  hunian  race  from  time  immemorial  till  the  twentieth 
century — the  age  we  so  childishly  boast  about. 

The  strongest  instinct  in  human  nature  is  the  instinct  of 
self-preservation.  We  want  to  live  and  all  the  efforts  of  our 
body  and  mind  are  devoted  to  the  creation  of  conditions  favor- 
able to  the  preservation  of  our  life.  These  conditions  are 
modifications  of  our  environment.  Our  environment  consists 
of  the  sub-human  and  human  world.  On  the  lowest  stage  of 
civilization  the  work  of  creating  an  artificial  environment  out 
of  the  elements  found  in  nature  was  quite  frequently  a  very 
hard  task.  The  primitive  tools  and  undeveloped  skill  of  the 
primeval  man  were  unequal  to  that  task,  and  it  was  quite 
natural  that  killing  off  a  fellow-being  was  considered  as  quite 


106 

legitimate  when  done  for  the  purpose  of  preserving  one's  life. 
This  was  the  epoch  of  cannibalism.  The  strong  were 
considered  as  the  fittest,  as  in  our  time ;  but  in  a  narrower 
sense.  With  the  advance  of  civilization  this  struggle 
with  the  sub-human  and  human  environment  changed 
gradually  in  intensity.  The  more  perfected  tools  and 
skill  enabled  men  to  master  nature  with  great  ease. 
As  far  as  the  conquest  of  natural  forces  is  conqerned,  the  crea- 
tion of  the  artificial  environment  necessary  for  the  existence 
of  men  is  almost  a  solved  problem.  The  necessity  for  a  strug- 
gle between  man  and  man  has  practically  disappeared  and 
with  it  the  moral  justification  of  such  a  strife.  The  ideals  of 
eternal  peace  and  brotherhood,  as  all  human  ideals,  are  the 
outgrowth  of  actual  material  conditions.  They  are,  however, 
always  the  advance  agents  of  a  higher  stage  of  culturfe  and 
civilization.  The  ideals  of  a  preceding  age  form  the  fabric 
of  actual  conditions  of  the  following  age. 

Our  present  social  status  represents  a  chaotic  conglomera- 
tion of  the  germs  of  future  institutions.  The  archaic 
institutions,  institutions  which  have  outlived  their  utility, 
prevail.  Chief  among  these  archaic  institutions  is  the  eco- 
nomic basis  of  society,  the  basis  of  a  struggle  between  man 
and  man  in  contrast  to  the  future  co-operation  of  men  against 
nature.  As  long  as  the  principle  of  so-called  competition  and, 
consequent  exploitation,  the  mercantile  ideas  about  profit  and 
gain,  the  industrial  individualism  and  subjugation  of  the 
producer  to  the  drones  of  society  prevail,  eternal  peace 
of  necessity  remains  a  beautiful  dream.  Indeed,  it  is 
futile  to  expect  the  cessation  of  war  in  a  society  founded  on 
struggle  and  strife.  To  talk  about  abolition  of  war  in  OTir 
present  mercantile  and  capitalistic  society  means  to  indulge 
in  cant.  The  realization  of  the  beautiful  dream  of  eternal 
peace  is  left  to  a  higher  stage  of  culture  and  civilization, 
when  men  will  have  left  behind  them  the  inheritance  of  bar- 
baric ages,  the  so-called  struggle  for  existence  between  men 
and  men;  when  commodities  will  be  manufactured,  not  for 
profit  and  speculation,  but  for  use  and  enjoyment;  when 
man's  power  will  not  be  degraded  into  a  purchasable  com- 
modity; when  the  soil  and  all  its  bounty  will  be  considered 
the  legitimate  inheritance  of  all  human  beings,  irrespective 
of  race,  class  or  sex  distinctions;  when  reason  and  the  best 
instincts  of  human  nature  will  be  the  sole  guides  of  conduct. 


107 

Eternal  peace  is  possible  only  in  a  society  founded  on  the 
principle  of  brotherly  co-operation.  Philistine  morality, 
preaching  and  exhortation,  are  as  little  likely  to  bring  about 
eternal  peace  as  conjuring.  Without  a  conscious  evolution 
of  economic  conditions  we  may  clamor  till  doomsday,  but 
there  will  be  no  peace. 


108 


XXII.     THE    EIGHTS    OF   WOMEN. 

There  can  be  no  "l)rotherhood  of  men"  without  the  corres- 
ponding sisterhood  of  women  ;  the  so-called  "rights  of  men" 
will  remain  a  dead  letter  until  the  rights  of  women  shall  have 
been  attained.  There  can  be  no  equality  among  men  as  long 
as  the  equality  of  women  with  men  is  not  recognized.  A  "free 
man."  in  the  true  ssense  of  the  term,  can  be  bom  of  and 
brought  up  only  by  a  free  mother.  A  man  cannot  be  actually 
free  as  long  as  his  sisters,  his  wife  and  daughter  are  slaves. 
He  cannot  be  a  good  citizen  as  long  as  they  are  deprived  of 
the  rights  of  citizenship. 

A  true  democracy  is  unthinkable  without  the  full  and  un- 
equivocal recognition  of  the  civic  rights  of  women.  Reason, 
justice  and  practical  considerations  are  on  the  side  of  the 
champions  of  women's  rights.  Ignorance,  superstition  and 
aristocratic  tendencies  are  against  the  emancipation  of  women 
from  their  subjugation  to  the  so-called  stronger  sex. 

Can  there  be  any  doubt  as  to  the  attitude  of  the  Socialists 
of  America  towards  this  problem?  There  may  be  some  di- 
versity of  opinion  as  to  the  ways  and  means  of  solving  the 
-problem,  however.  The  Socialists  of  the  old  school  would  like 
to  erect  a  Chinese  wall  between  the  women  of  the  laboring 
class  and  their  bourgeois  sisters,  adding  to  their  general  theo- 
ries of  class-consciousness,  that  of  class-exclusiveness.  The 
orthodox  Socialists  forget  that  women  have  their  own  class- 
interests  apart  from  the  interests  of  the  class  to  which  their 
fathers  and  husbands  belong. 

Engel  said:  "In  the  family,  man  is  the  bourgeois 
and  woman  represents  the  proletariat."  The  woman  of 
the  bourgeois  class  is  a  slave  while  her  proletarian  sis- 
ter is  a  slave  of  a  slave.  AVhy,  then,  in  the  name  of 
common  sense,  should  the  proletarian  woman  refuse  to 
struggle  with  her  bourgeois  sister  side  by  side  as  far  and  as 
long  as  their  interests  as  a  class,  as  women,  are  identical? 

The  proletarian  woman  can  not  expect  her  emancipation 
before  the  entire  sex  is  emancipated.  She  has  a  double  bur- 
den to  bear,  the  burden  of  a  woman  and  the  burden  of  a  pro- 
letarian. She  belongs  at  one  and  the  same  time  to  two  ex- 
ploited, downtrodden  and  disinherited  classes.  To  demand 
from  her  that  she  should  forget  her  sex  class-interests  for 


109 

her  social-economic  interests  is  the  climax  of  absurdity. 
We  might  as  well  ask  a  negro  slave  to  forget  his  double  chains 
of  racial  and  economic  slavery  and  renounce  any  attempt  to 
free  himself  from  the  yoke  of  the  white  slave  holder  in 
order  to  reserve  all  his  energies  for  the  general  struggle  of  the 
laboring  class  against  their  exploiters. 

Is  not  the  political  disfranchisement  of  women  in  all  civi- 
lized countries  actually  identical  with  political  slavery?  Is 
economic  emancipation  imaginable  without  political  rights? 
That  the  male  proletarian  is  an  exploiter  of  the  female  pro- 
letarian is  an  undeniable  fact.  Is  there  any  sense  in  demand- 
ing that  she  devote  all  her  energies  to  improve  the  condition  of 
her  exploiters  in  expectation  that  her  own  fate  may  improve 
indirectly,  instead  of  uniting  with  others  of  her  class  in  de- 
manding political  freedom.  Only  by  gaining  political  rights 
will  the  proletarian  woman  become  a  political  power,  and  then 
she  will  be  able  to  help  more  effectively  in  the  stuggle  of  the 
proletarian  class  against  capitalism. 

Another  objection  to  the  co-operation  between  women  of 
all  classes  for  the  purpose  of  conquering  political  rights  ad- 
vanced by  some  orthodox  Socialists  is  that  the  emancipation 
of  women  cannot  be  accomplished  under  our  present  social 
economic  system.  This  objection  is  hardly  true.  If  the 
women  of  the  United  States,  for  instance,  should  seriously 
demand  political  rights,  they  would  obtain  them.  That  the 
women  of  the  United  States  have  no  political  rights  is  not 
wholly  because  men  oppose  it,  but  chiefly  because  the  women 
themselves  have  not  become  conscious  of  their  class  needs. 
Superficial  observers  may  think  lightly  about  women's  clubs 
and  sneer  at  the  club-woman.  There  is  not  the  slightest 
doubt,  however,  that  these  seemingly  insignificant  institutions 
perform  quietly  and  unostentatiously  a  useful  missionary 
function  in  developing  a  class-conscious  political  woman 
movement.  That  this  movement  is  bound  in  the  near  future 
to  crystalize  into  a  direct  demand  for  civic  rights  for  women 
is  certain. 

What  the  effects  of  the  political  emancipation  of  women  on 
the  prospects  of  Socialism  in  the  United  States  would  be  is 
a  very  interesting  question.  It  is  true  there  are  fewer  women 
Socialists  in  the  country  than  men.  Even  the  wives  of  many 
Socialists  are  indifferent  or  outspokenly  opposed  to  Socialism. 

The  propaganda  of  Socialism  among  them  has  been  neg- 


110 

lected.  Futhermore,  women  have  not  had  the  development 
which  comes  from  working  with  their  peers  for  a  common 
master.  Bach  woman  has  been  trained  to  look  out  for  her 
own  exploiter  on  whom  she  is  to  be  doubly  dependent.  It  has, 
therefore,  been  more  difficult  for  them  to  recognize  their  com- 
mon interest.  The  recognition  of  Socialism  comes  from  a 
consciousness  of  class  interests  and  organization  is  promoting 
that  consciousness. 

Women  are  as  easily  interested  in  tho  new  social  economic 
theories  as  men,  iDut  their  mode  of  reasoning  is  diilerent, 
and  the  spurs  to  their  interest  must  be  made  to  their  feminine 
needs. 

It  ought  to  be  easy  to  prove  to  women  that  the  transforma- 
tion from  a  capitalistic  system  to  a  collectivist  one  will  be  to 
her  gain.  As  a  child,  a  girl,  a  wife,  or  a  mother  she  is  at  a 
great  disadvantage  in  this  industrial  age.  Her  training  is 
such  as  to  fit  her  for  an  inferior  position  in  society.  She  is 
expected  to  appear  at  the  best  advantage  in  the  matrimonial 
show-window  as  a  waiting  commodity  or  ware.  As  marriage 
is  considered  to  be  her  final  destination,  all  the  qualities  and 
graces  calculated  to  please  her  future  sovereign  are  carefully 
developed,  all  those  likely  to  repel  him  are' as  carefully  re>- 
pressed.  The  approval  of  man  is  her  objective  aim,  and  her 
economic  dependence  stimulates  competition  among  the  mar- 
riageable women  and  degrades  them. 

IN'othing  is  more  pitiable  than  a  girl  hunting  for  a"  hus- 
band. The  bourgeois  woman  in  such  a  case  is  more  pitiable 
than  her  proletarian  sisier.  Accustomed  to  a  certain  ease  of 
life,  unfit  to  compete  industrially,  she  is  entirely  at  the  mercy 
of  the  fluctuations  in  the  matrimonial  market. 

This  market,  with  all  its  humiliation  and  indignity,  is  be- 
ing contracted  by  the  disintegrating  influences  of  industrial 
activity,  which  are  bearing  also  upon  family  life.  The  stand- 
ard of  life  among  men  is  advancing  in  inverse  ratio  to 
their  ability  to  earn  a  living ;  the  uncertainty  of  employment, 
the  demoralizing  influence  of  constant  contact  with  the  lower 
types  of  the  proletarian  woman  in  shop  and  factory  lead  to 
their  disinclination  to  marry.  The  economic  bondage  of  capi- 
talism weighs  more  heavily  on  the  proletarian  woman  than 
on  the  man.  Her  lower  physical  standard,  her  legal  dis- 
ability, her  political  disfranchisement  make  her  an  unwelcome 
and  dangerous  rival  wherever  machine  production  is  intro- 


Ill 

duced,  so  that  unenviable  as  is  the  life  of  the  married  prole- 
tarian woman  the  life  of  the  single  woman  is  more  so.  A  lone- 
ly life  filled  with  monotonous  toil,  cramped  by  insufficient 
wages  leads  to  a  miserable  old  age.  The  solution  of  the  woman 
problem  must  follow  the  evolutionary  lines  of  the  man  pro- 
blem. Her  economic  emancipation  must  follow  her  political 
emancipation.  She  is  now  entering  upon  the  class-conscious- 
ness of  the  latter;  that  attained,  her  recognition  of  the  next 
step  will  quickly  follow  and  all  effort  to  keep  the  proletarian 
woman  apart  from  the  bourgeois  woman  until  after  their  poli- 
tical enfranchisement  is  the  worlj  of  a  remnant  of  capitalistic 
instinct  dormant  in  proletarian  man. 


112 


XXIII.    THE  RIGHTS  OF  CHILDREN. 

In  its  solicitude  for  the  preservation  of  species,  nature  im- 
planted in  the  heart  of  the  animal  the  instinct  of  aifection 
for  offspring.  Even  the  most  ferocious  beats  of  prey — the 
tiger  and  lion,  are  endowed  with  the  instinct  of  love  for 
their  progeny.  The  higher  an  animal  species  stands  on  the  lad- 
der of  evolution,  the  longer  is  the  period  of  its  helpless  in- 
fancy, the  better  the  care  given  it  during  that  period. 

That  the  instinct  of  attachment  to  oilspring  reaches  its 
highest  stage  of  development  in  the  human  race  is  only  nat- 
ural. "Child"  is  the  most  pathetic  word  in  the  human  vo- 
cabulary. The  human  heart  does  not  know  any  more  endear- 
ing sight  than  that  of  an  infant  in  its  touching  helplessness 
and  perfect  abandon.  The  human  heart  is  overflowing  with 
tender  emotion  at  the  contemplation  of  the  sweet  enigma  of 
childhood.  In  the  entire  material  world  there  is  nothing  more 
sacred,  pure  and  full  of  radiant  hope  than  childhood  with  its 
vast  possiblities  of  development  into  an  ideal  maturity.  What 
a  dismal  desert  life  without  childhood  would  be !  What  is  a 
human  family  without  the  crowning  glory  of  children  ? 

These  and  similar  considerations  and  thoughts  involuntar- 
ily suggest  themselves  to  every  student  of  human  society. 
The  development  of  human  society  from  a  herd  of  half -brutes 
and  savages  to  a  race  of  civilized  and  cultured  beings  may 
be  measured  by  the  kind  and  degree  of  care  and  attention  it 
bestows  upon  its  offspring.  The  higher  a  nation  stands  on 
the  stage  of  culture  and  civilization  the  stronger  is  its  race- 
consciousness,  the  more  pronounced  is  the  recognition  of  its 
duty  towards  future  generations,  the  more  emphatic  is  its  as- 
sertion of  the  rights  of  children  as  members  of  society. 

Time  and  space  allow  us  to  point  out  here  only  the  most  im- 
portant rights  of  children.  In  the  first  instance  each  and 
every  human  child  has  a  right  to  be  well  bred  physically.  It 
is,  therefore,  the  duty  of  society  to  see  that  no  physical  wrecks, 
degenerates,  incurably  sick,  especially  those  affected  with  con- 
tagious constitutional  diseases,  should  be  allowed  to  burden 
future  generations  with  their  offspring.  This  duty  may 
appear  cruel  and  tyrannical  to  those  who  will  be  denied  by 
its  fulfillment  the  rights  to  family  life.  There  is,  however, 
immensely  more  cruelty  in  the  conscious  deterioration  of  the 


113 

human  race  by  the  breed  of  unfortunates,  who  are,  by  their 
very  nature,  bound  to  be  a  burden  to  themselves  and  a  curse 
to  their  fellow  beings.  We  take  great  care  in  constantly  im- 
proving the  physical  type  of  our  domestic  animals  by  con- 
scious sexual  selection,  but  are  reckless  in  this  respect  as  far 
as  the  human  race  is  concerned,  as  if  the  human  race  should 
be  subjected  to  other  laws  of  evolution  than  the  rest  of  the 
animal  kingdom. 

In  our  present  commercial  society  the  most  sacred  human 
relations — the  family  relations — are  corroded  by  stupid  and 
cruel  mercantile  considerations  and  irrational  economic  con- 
ditions. The  matrimonial  market  is  a  recognized  social  in- 
stitution, in  the  same  sense  as  the  board  of  trade.  Pure  affec- 
tion between  the  representatives  of  different  sexes  at  the  age 
of  maturity  seldom  furnishes  the  basis  of  family  life. 
In  most  cases  love  is  declared  by  the  "prudent  parents"  to  be 
mere  moonshine  and  nonsense  and  young  people  are  mis- 
mated  and  sacrificed  on  the  altar  of  mammon.  The  result 
of  such  family  life,  which  is  nothing  but  legalized  prosti- 
tution, on  the  progeny  piust  be  disastrous.  Imbeciles,  pro- 
fligates, professional  criminals  and  degenerates  may  get  the 
sexual  commodity  called  husband  or  wife  on  the  matrimonal 
market  if  they  happen  to  be  financially  well  situated. 
The  proletarian,  however,  sound  in  body  and  mind  he  may  be, 
is  often  denied  the  privilege  of  normal  matrimonial  life,  the 
blessing  of  healthy  and  spiritually  gifted  children,  by  the 
existing  economic  conditions.  The  result  in  this  case  is  pro- 
stitution not  recognized  by  law.  Capitalism  this  way  under- 
mines the  very  foundation  of  human  society  by  disintegrating 
and  perverting  its  basic  institution — ^the  family,  and  causing 
the  degeneration  of  the  race. 

The  right  of  children  to  be  well  bred  physically  will  be  fully 
inaugurated  in  the  co-operative  commonwealth,  where  the  hu- 
man family  will  be  emancipated  frorii  the  curse  of  commer- 
cialism, the  shams  of  conventional  mercantile  morality  and 
the  hypocrisy  of  institutional  religion. 

The  other  right  of  children  is  the  right  to  the  full 
development  of  all  the  faculties  of  their  body  and  mind 
by  society,  to  the  best  advantage  of  society.  In  our 
present  capitalistic  society  there  is  quite  a  little  done 
for  the  educational  and  professional  training  of  the 
upper    classes,     the     children    of     the   masses,    however, 


114 

are  more  or  less  left  to  their  own  fate!.  Even  in  our  so-called 
glorious  republic,  only  an  insignificant  fraction  of  the  chil- 
dren of  the  proletariat  are  able  to  take  advantage  of  the  public 
schools,  while  the  high  schools,  colleges  and  universities  exist 
only  for  the  so-called  higher  classes.  This  inequality  of  edu- 
cational opportunities  tends  to  perpetuate  the  social — econo- 
mic inequalities  of  our  industrial  age,  to  the  advantage  of  the 
classes  and  to  the  detriment  of  the  masses.  The  accident  of 
birth,  not  the  ability  of  a  child,  determines  the  position  it 
shall  occupy  in  society,  owing  to  the  education  it  will  receive 
or  to  the  denial  of  any  education.  The  result  is  that 
genius  often  plods  behind  the  plough,  while  mediocrity  oc- 
cupies a  higher  position  in  life.  The  waste  of  energy  and 
ability  due  to  such  abnormal  conditions  is  beyond  calcu- 
lation. The  inequality  of  opportunities  between  the  child  of 
a  capitalist  and  the  child  of  a  proletarian,  in  respect  to  the 
chances  to  be  useful  to  society  to  the  full  extent  of  their  capa- 
eitj^,  are  striking  enough  to  make  all  phrases  about  democracy 
and  equality  under  our  present  system  odious  and  contemp- 
tible to  every  fair  minded  man.  The  child  of  the  proletarian 
not  only  enters  the  arena  of  struggle  for  existence  under 
highly  unfavorable  conditions  in  comparison  with  that  of  the 
capitalist,  but  the  disadvantages  increase.  The  exhausting 
and  soul-killing  drudgery  of  physical  labor,  the  humilation 
of  poverty  and  insecurity  of  means  of  livelihood,  with  its 
anxieties  and  cares,  weaken  his  physical  power  and  dull  his 
mind.  , 

Under  the  co-operative  commonwealth  all  class  distinctions 
will  be  abolished.  There  will  be  neither  tramps  nor  million- 
aires, neither  proletarians  nor  capitalists.  A  human  child 
will  be  looked  upon  as  precious  material  for  the  up-building 
of  society.  Society  will  be  directly  interested  in  making  the 
best  use  of  this  material  to  its  own  best  advantage.  Education 
and  professional  training  will  be  not  only  free  and  accessible 
to  all,  but  obligatory  upon  all.  Ignorance  and  illiteracy 
will  be  banished  forever  from  human  society  and  every  talent 
will  find  ample  field  for  fruitful  activitiy.  The  human  child 
will  be  in  the  fullest  sense  installed  in  "its  inalienable  rights 
and  prerogative. 


115 


XXIV.   THE  SOCIAL  EVIL  AND  COMMERCIALISM. 

It  is  not  easy  to  cure  a  deep-rooted  organic  disease,  even 
when  the  patient  is  fully  aware  of  his  ailment  and  volun- 
tarily submits  to  any  treatment  prescribed  by  the  expert  phy- 
sician or  surgeon.  The  task  is  indisputably  harder,  however, 
when  the  patient,  unconscious  of  his  precarious  condition, 
does  not  consider  himself  'sick  at  all,  and  scorns  the  idea  of 
medical  treatment. 

It  is  not  easy  to  free  slaves,  conscious  of  their  slavery;  it 
is,  however,  a  far  harder  task  to  free  slaves  who  were  born, 
reared  and  live  in  the  illusion  of  being  free  men. 

And  this  is  exactly  the  case  with  the  American  proletariat. 
A  European  workingman  knows  that  he  cannot  always  get  or 
retain  his  "job."  The  average  American  workingman,  however, 
is  still  imagining  that  "jobs'^are  ready  for  him  as  soon  as 
prosperity  sets  in,  and  that  prosperity  may  be  brought  about 
by  professional  politicians  of  one  or  the  other  of  the  old  par- 
ties. He  scorns  the  idea  of  being  a  slave,  because  he  does  not 
see  and  feel  his  chains  with  his  eyes  and  hands,  as  Thomas 
the  doubter,  felt  the  wounds  on  the  body  of  Jesus  Christ.  The 
American  proletarian  is  still  living  in  the  illusion  that  by  dint 
of  perseverance  and  a  turn  of  gpod  luckj  he  may  become  a  capi- 
talist himself,  and  then  treat  his  fellow  workers  as  he  is  now 
treated  by  his  master.  He  is  himself  a  capitalist  in  spirit, 
his  ethics  and  philosophy  of  life  are  those  of  his  masters.  If 
he  objects  to  capitalistic  rule  at  all,  he  does  it  on  narrow,  per- 
sonal grounds.  He  would  like  to  be  an  exploiter  himself, 
and  has  little,  if  any,  objection  to  exploitation  in  itself.  We 
know  these  are  hard  assertions.  But  truth  is  more  important 
than  the  friendship  of  Plato. 

The  task  of  Socialism  is  to  open  the  eyes  of  the  pro- 
letariat of  the  United  States  to  its  actual  condition,  to  make 
it  feel  and  realize  the  weight  of  its  chains,  and  to  abandon 
its  capitalistic  philosophy  of  life  and  code  of  ethics.  Until 
this  is  a,ccomplished,  the  Socialistic  movement  cannot  expect 
to  be  a  power  in  the  land.  The  best  means  to  accomplish  this 
is  to  prove  that  Socialism  is  not  a  theory  but  a  conscious  evo- 
lutionary movement;  to  use  the  facts  of  actual  life  as  an 
illustration  of  the  real  condition  of  -the  proletariat ;  to  allow 
the  modern  Thomas,  the  doubter,  to  touch  with  his  hands  the 


116 

bleeding  wounds  of  his    own    class,  of  his  brothers,  sisters, 
wives  and  children. 

If  the  male  proletarian  is  a  slave,  the  female  proletarian  is 
a  slave  of  slaves,  if  the  male  proletarian  is  compelled  to  sell 
his  working  power,  his  muscles,  nerves  and  blood  to  the  capi- 
talist or  starve ;  if  he  is  degraded  to  a  simple  machine  produc- 
ing wealth  for  somebody  else,  nay,  to  a  mere  appendage  of  a 
dead  machine — ^his  mother,  sister,  sweetheart  or  wife,  under 
similar  conditions,  is  frequently  coinpelled  to  drop  lower  even 
than  that,  to  lose  even  the  dignity  of  a  a  animal,  and  sell  her 
person  for  the  privilege  of  leading  the  miserable  vegetation 
(it  cannot  be  called  life)  of  a  sexual  slave,  of  a  prostitute, 
Prostitution  is  the  direct  consequence  of  commercialism,  of 
a  state  of  society  in  which  human  beings  are  considered  a 
mere  commodity,  salable  and  purchasable  for  money  like  any 
other  commodity.  Prostitutes  are  proletarians  in  the  first  in- 
stance, and  prostitution  is  a  phenomenon  of  social  pathology 
due  to  the  same  causes  as  those  which  produce  the  proletarian 
class. 

In  the  period  of  the  decadence  of  Greece  and  Eome,  the 
institution  of  slavery  was  shaken,  and  mercantilism  raised  its 
head  for  the  first  time  in  the  history  of  the  West.  Indigent 
women  appeared,  who  were  dependent  for  their  existence  on 
their  sexual  nature.  The  first  professional  prostitutes  were 
"freed  slaves.'  Prostitution  or  sexual  slavery  was  at  once 
recognized  as  a  social  institution.  In  the  middle  ages  the 
class  of  prostitutes  was  organized  into  a  guild  or  trade  union, 
and  enjoyed  legal  recognition  in'the  person  of  a  yearly  elected 
"queen"  of  prostitutes.  This  queen  was  duly  sworn  in  by  the 
government  and  empowered  to  prosecute  all  "scab"  prosti- 
tutes. At  that  period  the  rule  of  the  male  over  the  female  in 
human  society  was  in  full  sway,  and  even  the  fathers,  brothers 
and  some  of  the  proletarian  women  looked  with  complacency 
on  such  institutions  as  the  "jus  primae  noetis."  The  alleged 
infidelity  of  a  wife  was  punished  by  compulsory  prostitution 
for  life.  Municipalities  engaged  in  the  business  of  running 
houses  of  ill-fame.  Even  some  of  the  popes  of  Eome  kept 
such  houses,  from  which  they  derived  a  part  of  their  princely 
income  (Sixtus  IV.,  for  instance).  Eome  never  was  especially 
scrupulous  about  the  source  of  the  money  flowing  to  it,  ac- 
cording to  its  own  proverb,  "non  olet"  ("It  does  not  smell" — 
that  is,  ill-gotten  money). 


117 

The  rapid  spread  of  protestantism  and  syphilis  put-  an  end 
to  the  institutional  period  of  sexual  slavery.  The  discovery 
of  America  and  the  general  development  of  commerce  ushered 
in  the  most  typical  and  perfect  form  of  commercialism — our 
modern  industrial  or  capitalistic  era.^  More  perfect  methods 
have  been  applied  to  the  trade  in  human  flesh  called  prostitu- 
tion. Sexual  slavery  has  been  turned  into  a  regular  branch  of 
international  trade.  Hundreds  of  thousands  of  "free"  proletar- 
ian women  are  enticed  by  professional  agents  into  dismal 
abodes  of  vice,  standing  under  the  official  or  secret  protection 
of  the  police,  and  kept  there  in  order  to  eke  out  a  miserable 
existence  for  themselves  and  create  fortunes  for  their  "em- 
ployers." These  professional  agents  travel  from  one  end  of 
the  globe  to  the  other  in  search  of  fresh  sexual  slaves  destined 
to  take  the  place  of  the  rapidly  used-up  old  ones.  The  de- 
mand for  additional  bands  of  slaves  in  some  localities,  where 
there  is  a  prospect  of  even  a  temporary  influx  of  people  is 
eagerly  watched  by  these  agents  and  met  by  them  promptly, 
as  in  the  case  of  fairs  or  army  maneuvres. 

Where  do  all  the  professional  prostitutes  come  from  ?  This 
is  a  highly  interesting  question.  Any  one  knowing  the  nature 
of  women,  not  from  the  point  of  view  of  a  man  whose  mind  is 
poisoned  with  ideas  belonging  to  the  pestilential  atmosphere  of 
sexual  profligacy,  but  from  the  point  of  view  of  a  son,  brother 
or  husband,  will  admit  that  no  innocent  woman  will  take, re- 
fuge in  professional  prostitution,  even  under  the  pressure  of 
the  direst  need ;  that  an  honest  woman  brought  up  in  the  pure 
atmosphere  of  love  and  devotion,  will  prefer  suicide  to  sexual 
slavery.  In  fact,  the  professional  prostitute  has  fallen  grad- 
ually down  the  inclined  plane  of  professional  vice  till  she  has 
reached  a  stage  where  there  is  no  hope  of  a  decent  life  for 
her.  Economic  conditions  compel  the  proletarian  to  send  his 
own  daughters,  usually  before  they  reach  maturity,  into  the 
industrial  field,  where  they  compete  with  him.  They  succeed 
in  lowering  his  earnings,  but  themselves  get  wages  that  are 
ridiculously  insufficient  to  cover  their  most  urgent  needs.  The 
young  girl  knows  little  of  the  perfidy  of  life,  nothing  of  the 
beastly  meanness  of  the  male  animal  lurking  in  almost  every 
man.  She  is  young  and  perhaps  beautiful.  She  wants  to  live 
and  enjoy  life  like  her  more  fortunate  sisters.  Her  earnings 
do  not  allow  her  even  to  dress  herself  decently.  Her  cousin 
proletarian,  with  whom  she  works,  cannot  afford  to  marry  her, 


118 

although  he  loves  her  dearly.  Suppose  she  works  in  one  of 
the  mammoth  department  stores.  The  manager  notices  that 
she  is  poorly  dressed  and  thinks  that  this  may  hurt  his  trade. 
He  tells  her  she  must  dress  better  or  quit  the  job.  "But  I  do 
not  earn  enough  even  to  pay  my  board,"  answers  the  girl  in 
despair.  "Have  you  no  gentleman  friend  who  will  help  you  ?" 
is  the  cynical  suggestion  of  the  manager,  who  perhaps  is  him- 
self not  disinclined  to  be  for  a  while  this  friend  in  need.  But 
then  there  is  a  whole  class  of  professional  and  unprofessional 
young  men  who  want  to  live  and  enjoy  life,  but  cannot  ailord 
to  keep  up  a  family  on  a  standard  corresponding  to  their  ideal 
of  living  decently.  The  proletarian  girl  has  no  trouble  in 
finding  a  friend,  and  gets  along  for  a  time  in  the  bliss  of 
"first  love,"  at  least  on  her  part.  The  friend  betrays  her.  She 
loses  faith  in  human  nature,  turns  cynical,  and  after  a  few 
such  experiences  engages  in  prostitution  as  a  "side  line." 
Then,  little  by  little,  the  "side  line"  turns  into  a  regular  pro- 
fession, and  she  is  lost. 

Who  will  dare  to  throw  a  stone  at  the  modern  proletarian 
Magdalene  ?  Did  we  not,  as  members  of  the  present  society, 
deliberately  drive  her  to  her  fate  ?  Is  the  prostitute  not  pun- 
ished enough  in  that  she  stands  in  need  of  our  Pharasaic  com- 
passion and  charity?  This  unfortunate  daughter  of  the  pro- 
letariat wants  justice,  not  charity !  Is  the  capitalistic  class 
any  more  moral  than  the  class  of  proletarians  ?  Is  not  com- 
mercialism permeating  all  the  philosophy  of  life  of  the  middle 
class?  Does  not  the  matrimonial  market  of  the  "upper 
classes"  bear  a  purely  commercial  aspect  ?  Do  not  young  men 
and  women  of  so-called  "respectable  families"  look  chiefly  for 
pecuniary  advantages  in  their  matrimonial  affairs?  Are  not 
many  matrimonial  unions  sanctioned  by  law  and  church  worse 
than  prostitution,  because  the  element  of  dire  need  as  an  ex- 
cuse is  eliminated  ? 

Proletarians!  are  your  sisters,  daughters  and  sweethearts 
in  danger  under  the  present  economic  system?  Save  them 
from  sexual  slavery  by  abolishing  the  system  enslaving  your 
own  class. 


119 


XXV.  SHOrLD  TRADE  UNIONS  ENTER  POLITICS? 

What  would  you  think  of  the  South  African  Boers,  if  in 
their  struggle  with  England,  they  should  refuse  to  take  ad- 
vantage of  the  very  best  modern  weapons  of  warfare,  prefer- 
ring the  use  of  bows,  arrows,  spears  or  other  paraphernalia  of 
ante-deluvian  arsenals  ?  To  put  this  question  is  to  answer  it. 
No  sane  person  would  attempt  to  argue  against  the  proposi- 
tion, that  in  order  to  have  the  ghost  of  a  show  of  success, 
one  must  fight  with  weapons  just  as  efficient  as  those  of  the 
enemy)  and  meet  the  adversary  on  his  own  grounds  and  pre- 
mises if  possible. 

And  yet  there  are  quite  a  number  of  people  who  would  fain 
make  believe,  that  the  best  way  to  improve  the  condition  of 
the  workingmen  as  a  class  is  to  turn  them  into  political  eu- 
nuchs, to  emasculate  them  politically.  These  would  be  friends 
of  the  workingmen  pretend  to  be  the  true  and  the  only  true 
champions  of  simon-pure  trade-unionism  and  like  to  pose  as 
opponents  to  the  introduction  of  the  virus  of  political  corrup- 
tion into  labor  organizations.  According  to  the  dicta  of  these 
simon-pure  trade-unionists  the  struggle  between  laborers  and 
exploiters  is  a  purely  economic  struggle  and  has  nothing  to 
do  with  politics.  Nay — even  more  than  that.  "The  introduc- 
tion of  politics  into  trade  unions" — so  the  simon-purists 
maintain — "would  result  in  the  dissolution  of  labor,  organiza- 
tions." 

Let  us  how  examine  the  arguments  just  briefly  mentioned 
and  stated.  First  of  all,  let  us  see  if  it  is  true,  that  the  strug- 
gle between  labor  and  its  exploiters  is  a  purely  economic 
struggle.  Who  runs  our  national,  state  and  municipal  ad- 
ministration!, if  not  the  exploiters  of  labor  and  their  hired 
servants  ?  Why  do  they  spend  millions  in  "educational  cam- 
paigns" in  order  to  gain  political  power  and  influence  ?  Are 
they  taking  all  this  trouble  out  of  pure  love  of  country  and  the 
"dear  people  ?"  Of  course  not.  The  exploiters  of  labor  and 
their  obedient  hirelings,  the  professional  politicians,  certainly 
engage  in  practical  politics,  for  the  economic  power  it  gives 
them  over  those  who  are  "not  in  politics"  or  play  in  it  the 
part  of  underdog.  As  masters  of  the  legislative  and  exe- 
cutive power  the  exploiters  of  labor  may  and  do  enact  laws 
and  execute  and  enforce  them  according  to  their  own  sweet 
will  and  discretion.    As  conjmanders  of  the  regular  army  and 


120 

the  militia  they  direct  this  tremendous,  trained  physical  power 
wherever  and  whenever  they  want  it,  in  order  to  accomplish 
results  desirable  for  themselves,  for  instance- the  intimidation 
and  subjection  of  "riotous"  laborers,  or  the  creation  of  new 
colonial  markets.  As  owners  of  the  press,  as  patrons  of  the 
pulpit,  as  endowers  of  universities,  and  as  political  bosses,  they 
educate  generation  after  generation  in  a  way  and  manner  fav- 
orable to  their  class  interests.  The  exploiters  of  labor  know 
very  well  that  it  is  futile  to  try  to  draw  a  line  between  -the 
economic  and  political  domains  of  power  and  influence.  They 
use  their  accumulated  wealth  for  the  acquirement  of  political 
power,  and  use  this  power  for  the  pixrpose  of  increasing  their 
wealth.  Politics  and  economics  cannot  be  divorced  from  each 
other  in  our  time  of  modern  industrialism  and  so-called  "po- 
litical democracy" — every  political  leader  will  tell  you  this, 
if  you  happen  to  gain  his  confidence  in  a  moment  of  frank- 
ness. 

If  this  is  true  in  respect  to  the  exploiters  of  labor,  can  it  be 
otherwise  in  respect  to  the  exploited  laborer  ?  If  politics  proves 
to  be  the  mightiest  weapon  in  the  hands  of  the  capitalists, 
would  it  not  prove  suicidal  on  the  part  of  labor  organizations 
to  keep  out  of  politics?  "Politics  are  corrupt,"  claim  the 
simon-pure  trade  unionists.  Granted  that  this  is  true,  we  still 
ask  these  venerable  advocates  of  non-resistance  to  political  evil 
the  following  pertinent  questions.  Is  the  fact  that  a  weapon 
is  misused  by  some  miscreants  an  argument  against  its  rational 
and  beneficial  use  ?  Should  we  refuse  the  use  of  a  sharp  knife 
for  cutting  bread,  because  some  criminal  uses  a  sharp  knife  for 
cutting  his  victim's  throat?  Are  not  the  exploited  laborers 
committing  an  offense  of  omission  in  refusing  to  become  a 
factor  in  politics,  because  the  capitalist  and  his  retainers  are 
guilty  of  the  crime  of  commission  in  using  politics  as  a  means 
of  perpetuating  and  intensifying  their  dominion  over  labor? 
But  the  "pure  and  simple"  trade-unionists  are  ready  with  the 
retort  that  they  are  not  objecting  to  the  exercise  of  civic  duties 
by  the  laborers  as  individuals,  but  as  members  of  a  labor  or- 
ganization. The  fiimsiness  of  this  sophistic,  distinction  with- ' 
out  a  difference  is  too  obvious  to  need  further  elucidation.  If 
the  task  of  a  labor  organization  consists  in  fighting  for  the  in- 
terests of  labor,  and  the  best  weapon  in  this  struggle  proves  to 
be  political  action— why  then  in  the  name  of  common  sense 
should  not  labor  organizations  as  such  enter  into  politics  and 


121 

engage  in  the  battle  with  capitalism,  using  its  own  weapon 
and  standing  on  its  own  ground?  The  fear  that  differences 
in  political  views  may  lead  to  the  disintegration  of  labor  or- 
ganizations is  ill  considered  and  without  foundation.  Indeed 
it  is  nothing  but  a  bugaboo  to  scare  the  timid  and  bewilder, 
the  weak-minded.  The  average  laborer  at  present  knows  very 
well,  that  he  cannot  expect  anything  from  the  state  of  which 
he  is  nominally  a  free  citizen,  nor  from  the  middle  class  par- 
ties any  thing  except  gross  and  vulgar  flattery  before  election 
and  neglect,  and  injustice,  after  election.  If  he  still  votes  for 
the  middle  class  parties  it  is  because  he  is  not  aware  of  the 
existence  of  a  great,  honest,  bonafide  Socialistic  political  or- 
ganization. And  it  is  the  sacred  duty  of  the  trade  union 
to  lift  and  educate  its  members  to  a  higher  plane  of  aspira- 
tions than  the  mere  selfish  increase  of  wages  and  decrease 
of  working  hours  of  those  of  his  fellow-toilefs  who  happen 
to  belong  to  his  union.  The  sacred  duty  and  high  privilege 
of  the  trade  unions  consist  in  making  their  members  not  only 
better  fed  and  better  clad  animals  but  in  making  them  bet- 
ter, nobler  men,  more  self-sacrificing  citizens,  true  Socialists, 
who  stand  first  and  last  for  the  broader  interests  of  all  toil- 
ing humanity  as  opposed  to  its  oppressors  and  exploiters. 

But  political  action,  far  from  being  a  menace  to  trade- 
unionism,  is  as  a  matter  of  fact  its  most  reliable  support.  The 
real  foundation  of  trade-unionism  is  skilled  labor,  as  was  the 
case  with  the  guilds  of  the  middle  ages.  The  most  successful 
unions  are  those  whose  craft  demands  the  highest  individual 
training,  and  it  is  hardest  to  organize  unions  among  common 
laborers.  The  tendency  of  our  modern  industry  is  to  do  away 
as  far  as  possible  with  the  necessity  for  skill  on  the  part  of 
the  laborers.  In  other  words,  the  tendency  of  modem  indus- 
trialism is  in  the  direction  of  undermining  the  very  founda- 
tion of  trade-unionism.  It  is  only  by  conscientious  and  syste- 
matic exercise  of  political  action  that  the  laborers  may  expect 
to  battle  successfully  for  their  economic  rights. 

So  far  we  have  spoken  only  of  the  honest  bona-fide  oppon- 
ents of  political  action  on  the  part  of  trade  unions.  There  is 
however  a  large  number  of  so-called  "labor  leaders"  who  op- 
pose political  action  from  purely  selfish  motives.  Using  their 
infiuence  over  their  over-confident  but  not  over-bright  fellow- 
workers  in  the  interest  of  some  old  party  politician,  they 
derive  personal  benefit  from  selling  this  infiuence  to  the  high- 


122 

est  bidder.  These  men  are  traitors  to  the  cause  of  their  own 
class  and  are  the  first  to  raise  their  voice  against  political 
action.  Honest  workers  should  regard  such  protest  with  sus- 
picion and  investigate  the  motives  which  prompt  it. 


123 


XXVI.      MAY   DAY    AND    W0KKING-CLAS3    HOLI- 
DAYS. 

Tt  is  rather  remarkable  thai  social  economy  and  socialistic 
literature  pay  so  little  attention  to  the  problem  of  securing 
tb  the  proletariat  possibilities  of  employing  the  little  leisure 
allotted  to  it  in  our  age  of  wage  slavery  in  a  way  and  manner 
tending  to  raise  the  children  of  toil  to  a  higher  level  of  phy- 
sical and  spiritual  enjoyment  and  recreation.  The  sociologi- 
caland  educational  value  of  holidays  for  the  working  class 
can  hardly  be  overestimated.  The  real  character  of  men  is 
revealed  more  in  the  way  and' manner  they  employ  th&ir  lei- 
sure than  in  their  work  and  business  occupation.  In  the 
shop,  the  factory,  the  office,  any  man  in  any  position  of  life 
is  to  a  great  extent  deprived,  of  the  freedom  of  action  and  be- 
havior by  the  strict  code  of  rules  and  regulations  of  the  trade 
or  profession  in  which  he  is  engaged.  This  is  especially  true 
of  proletarians,  who  are  compelled  to  submit  to  an  almost 
military  discipline  diiring  their  working  hours.  The  rul- 
ing classes  know  that  a  Sunday  spent  in  drunken  riot,  gamb- 
ling and  dissipation  is  not  likely  to  tend  to  make  the  working- 
man  fit  for  his  labors  during  the  rest  of  the  week.  That  is  the 
reason,  or  one  of  the  reasons,  rather,  why  the  labor  employers 
and  their  handmaid,  the  institutional  church,  are  so  solicit- 
ous about  Sunday  rest  for  the  working  class.  At  the  last 
Paris  world's  fair,  among  the  mimerous  congresses  that  were 
h^d,  one  was  exclusively  devoted  to  the  problem  of  insuring 
a  strict  observance  of  Sunday  as  a  day  of  rest  for  the  prole- 
tariat. The  members  of  that  congress  were  almost  exclusive- 
ly clergymen  and  capitalists,  people  whose  life  is  actually  a 
continuous  holiday.  Not  one  representative  of  the  wage  work- 
ers or  their  interests  took  part  in  the  deliberations  of  that  con- 
gress and  very  few  of  them,  if  any,  knew  that  such  a  congress 
held  its  sessions  at  that  time  in  Paris. 

It  is  time  that  the  proletariat  should  emancipate  it- 
self from  the  paternalistic  care  of  the  ruling  classes.  It  is 
time  that  the  actual  creators  of  the  wealth  of  nations 
should  take  control  not  only  of  the  tools  of  production 
they  work  with,  but  also  of  their  leisure  and  holidays  in  a 
class-conscious  and  rational  way.  The  institutional  churches 
would  fain  turn  Sundays  and  all  liolidays  into  barren  and 


124 

dreary  days  of  praying  and  devotion  to  a  supernatural  being 
whose  sole  agents  and  representatives  they  pretend  to  be ;  they 
would  fain  close  on  Sundays  and  holidays  all  places  of  amuse- 
ment, recreation  and  instructive  pastimes,  as  theaters,  lec- 
ture rooms,  libraries  and  museums.  By  these  means  they 
would  deprive  the  working  class  of  the  only  possibility  of 
taking  advantage  of  these  institutions.  A  puritanic  Sunday 
and  holiday  may  be  a  good  thing  for  the  ruling  classes,  but 
it  is  a  powerful  agency  in  the  hands  of  the  institutioiial  church 
for  the  spiritual  impoverishment  and  debasement  of  the  work- 
ing classes  in  the  interests  of  the  social  economic  parasites  of 
our  industrial  age. 

The  wage  workers  need  strictly  enforced  Sunday  and  holi- 
day laws  more  than  any  other  class  of  people  but  not  the  Sun- 
days, and  holidays  of  puritan  times.  The  proletariat 
needs  Sundays  and  holidays  conducive  to  physical  rest 
and  recreation,  to  spiritual  elevation,  to  intellectual  en- 
richment, to  development  and  gratification  of  artistic 
tastes  and  inclinations,  to  the  consciousness  of  the  higher 
nature  and  worth  of  the  human  race  as  a  whole.  Such 
Sundays  and  holidays  are  incompatible  with  so-called 
church  and  legal  or  religious  and  state  holidays.  The 
religious  and  state  holidays  do  not  appeal  any  more 
to  the  imagination  and  inner  feeling  of  modem  proletarians. 

The  holidays  of  the  wage  workers  should  be  taken  from  the 
historical  events,  affecting  the  fate  of  that  class,  from  the  an- 
nals of  the  struggle,  conscious  or  unconscious,  of  that  class 
for  its  emancipation  from  the  thraldom  of  exploitation  by 
the  ruling  classes.  Such  holidays  would  tend  to  develop  a 
spirit  of  brotherhood  and  solidarity  among  workingmen  and 
enlighten -them  as  to  the  great  historical  mission  of  their 
class,  a  mission  greater  and  holier  than  any  mission  of  any 
other  class  in  any  time  in  the  memory  of  men.  Such  holidays 
would  tend  to  spiritualize  and  ennoble  the  proletariat  and  to 
discipline  it  into  a  conscious  host  of  workers  in  the  cause  of 
a  higher  civilization,  founded  on  the  recognition  of  the  soli- 
darity of  the  interests  of  all  the  actual  producers  of 'national 
wealth  on  the  globe  irrespective  of  age,  sex,  race  and  color. 

Such  an  international  proletarian  holiday  is  the  May  day 
observed  in  all  civilized  countries  of  the  world.  It  is  a  day  set 
for  the  express  purpose  of  manifesting  this  solidarity  of  in- 
terests.   On  this  day  the  laborer  of  Prance  extends  his  hand 


125 

to  the  workmen  of  Germany,  the  American  wage  worker  to 
his  brother  in  Spain,  the  Indian  riah,  the  Chinese  coolie,  the 
Eussian  mushik.  On  this  day  the  polyglot  slaves  and  semi- 
slaves  of  the  world  try  to  make  themselves  understood  by  each 
other  in  the  international  language  of  human  brotherhood 
and  sisterhood.  The  persecuted,  the  downtrodden,  the  ex- 
ploited, the_  disinherited  of  all  climes  and  lands  lighten  their 
burden  by  the  consciousness,  that  their  sufferings  and  sacri- 
fices are  shared  by  others,  that  the  recognition  of  the  superior- 
ity of  right,  justice  and  reason  over  might,  privileges  and 
superstition  is  growing  every  day  stronger  and  stronger,  that 
the  hour  is  near  when  a  new  civilization  of  solidarity  and  co- 
operation will  be  huilt  on  the  ruins  of  the  old  civilization 
of  strife  and  competition. 

On  May  day  all  the  roaring  waves  of  the  mighty  ocean,  all 
the  high  mountains  of  the  continents  are  not  able  to  stifle  and 
silence  the  tide  of  warm  human  sympathy  between  fellow  suf- 
ferers from  unjust  and  irrational  social  economic  conditions. 
Socialism,  the  great  international  movement  in  the  interest 
of  social  economic  justice,  indorses  heartily  the  celebration  of 
May  day,  not  only  as  a  means  of  propaganda  of  its  ideas  and 
ideals,  biit  as  an  attempt. to  unite  the  proletarians  of  all  na- 
tions in  one  harmonious  concert  of  mutual  love  and  helpful- 
ness. Socialism  has  especial  reason  to  celebrate  this  day  in 
the  United  States,  where  all  kinds  of  political  and  social  eco- 
nomic superstitions,  unchecked  individualistic  aspirations  and 
the  reckless  spirit  of  "let  alone"  are  so  dominant;  where  com- 
mercialism and  money-making  cyncism  reach  the  degree  of  a 
national  vice.  In  a  country  so  typically  capitalistic  as  the 
United  States  there  is  more  need  to  emphasize  the  solidarity 
of  i)roletarian's  interests  than  anywhere  else.  The  Socialists 
of  America  celebrate  May  day  as  the  real  international  prole- 
tarian holiday,  a  holiday  not  prescribed  by  the  institutional 
church  of  the  official  state,  not  a  holiday  imposted  upon  the 
laboring  classes  by  the  ruling  classes,  but  as  a  genuine  work- 
men's rationalistic  and  class-conscious  holiday,  as  a  precursor 
of  the  many  holidays  in  the  future  calendar  of  the  proletariat. 


126 


XXVII.    THE  CAPITALIST  PEESS. 

The  action  of  mind  on  mind,  by  the  means  of  articulated 
sounds  called  language,  belongs  to  the  most  subtle  distinctions 
between  man  and  animal.  The  degree  of  development  of  the 
language  of  a  given  human  group  is  justly  considered  as  a 
true  standard  of  the  stage  of  culture  and  civilization  attained 
by  it.  Language — as  a  means  of  expressing  desires,  thoughts 
and  ideas—developed  along  with  the  development  of  de- 
sires, thoughts  and  ideas,  is  subjected  to  the  same  natural 
laws  as  any  other  manifestation  of  the  human  mind.  A 
savage  or  degenerate  man  cannot  have  the  desires,  thoughts 
and  ideas  of  highly  cultured  and  noble  types  of  humanity; 
hence  the  difference  in  their  vocabulary,  their  language. 
Noble  aspirations,  deep  thoughts  and  high  ideals  will  neces- 
sarily be  eispressed  in  noble,  deep  and  refined  language.  The 
reverence  with  which  we  meet  noble  aspirations,  deep  thought 
and  high  ideals  is  naturally  transplanted  to  the  form  and 
shape  they  are  clothed  in — to  the  language.  This  explains 
the  reverence  and  awe  with  which  the  ancients  considered 
the  so-called  sacred  books,  or  bibles;  the  reverence  and  awe 
with  which  the  simple-minded  man  of  the  people  still  sin- 
cerely regards  the  Hebrew  Bible.  Only  superficial  spirits  and 
men  without  principles  may  scoff  at  this  reverence  and  awe. 
Thoughtful  people,  on  the  contrary,  will  look  upon  this  fact 
as  a  sign  of  healthy  moral  condition  and  try  to  transfer  this 
reverence  to  a  more  worthy  subject,  from  the  myths  and  super- 
stitions of  a  half  barbaric  age  to  the  enlightened  philosophy  of 
life,  of  an  age  of  science  and  art. 

It  was  always  a  source  of  deep  gratification  to  the  writer  of 
these  lines  to  watch  the  implicit  faith  in  printed  matter  ex- 
pressed with  touching  childish  simplicity,  by  Eussian  pea- 
sants for  instance,  when  he  considered  the  contempt  with 
which  every  educated  and  cultured"  man  is  compelled  to  feel 
and  entertain  toward  the  prostituted  press  of  our  shameless, 
profane  and  frivolous  mercantile  civilization.  And  it  occurred 
to  him  at  such  moments  that  the  ignorant  peasant,  this  simple 
child  of  a  simple  people,  is,  after  all,  better  off  morally  and 
even  mentally  than  the  blase  inhabitant  of  a  large  metropolis, 
accustomed  to  swallow  the  filth  and  poison  of  a  thoroughly 
degraded  daily  press  as  a  source  of  information  about  what 


127 

is  going  on  in  the  beautiful  world  that  is  turned  into  hell  by 
irrational,  unjust  and  bnitalising  social  institutions.  These  in- 
stitutions founded  on  the  inhuman  principles  of  gross  materi- 
alism, of  exploitation  of  man  by  man,  of  parasitism  on  one  side 
and  degrading  slavish  toil  on  the  other;  of  brute  force  on 
one  side  and  mute  subjection  on  the  other,  breed  low  aspira- 
tions, shallow  thought,  vulgar  taste  and  coarse  ideas  in  the 
ruling  and  ruled  class  alike.  And  this  leads  to  a  lowered 
moral  and  mental  currency  of  the  press,  that  always  was  and 
will  be  a  true  image  of  the  actual  spiritual  condition  of  its 
age.  Was  and  will  be,  we  said.  It  would  be,  however,  an  in- 
justice to  say  without  any  qualification  that  the  press  of  the 
present  age  actually  represents  a  true  image  of  the  spiritual 
life  of  our  time.  In  manv  instances  the  reverse  of  it 
is  the  fact;  it  represents  its  distorted  image,  its  hideous 
caricature. 

The  incongruity  between  actual  conditions  and  its  reflection 
in  the  press  is  a  direct  result  of  the  deep-rooted  contradictions 
and  contrasts  of  our  age.  The  marvelous  achievements  in  the 
field  of  applied  sciences,  in  the  domain  of  purely  technical 
progress,  form  a  deep  contrast  with  the  stagnation  and  partial 
regress  in  social  and  political  institutions  of  the  modern  state.' 
The  comparatively  highly  developed  modes  of  production  and 
distribution  of  material  wealth  are  entirely  out  of  harmony 
with  the  profit  and  wage  system.  Socialized  production  and 
competition  produced  a  small  class  of  drones  of  society  with 
so-called  vested  rights  to  fabulous  treasures  on  one  side,  and  a 
vast  number  of  people  devoid  of  all  property,  depending  on 
their  ability  to  work  and  chances  of  finding  opportunity  to 
sell  it  to  the  highest  bidder  on  the  market  for  a  living — the 
proletariat — on  the  other.  The  progress  in  production  and 
distribution  has  raised  the  standard  of  life  of  the  masses  of  the 
people,  and  has  at  the  same  time  increased  their  dissatis-' 
faction  and  unrest. 

The  world  may  be  considered  as  growing  better  or  worse  by 
idle  philosophers,  acording  to  their  standpoint,  but  the  people 
are  not  growing  any  happier,  that  is  certain.  Our  ruling  phil- 
osophy of  life  is  thoroughly  individualistic,  while  our  material 
progress  is  due  to  the  enhanced  growth  of  socialization  in  in- 
dustrial and  commercial  activity.  These  and  many  other  con- 
tradictions, contrasts  and  incongruities  of  our  age  lead  inevit- 
ably not  only  to  deterioration  of  our  spiritual  life,  to  cynicism, 


128 

frivolity  and  absence  of  all  principles  except  that  of  boundless 
egotism,  it  leads  to  conventional  lies,  to  hypocrisy,  to  cant,  to 
donble-facedness  and  insincerity.  Language,  instead  of  being 
a  true  expression  of  the  human  mind,  is  largely  a  means  of 
misrepresenting  it.  Hypocrisy,  however,  is  the  tribute  paid 
by  vice  to  virtue,  and  is,  therefore,  to  be  taken  as  an  encour- 
aging sign  of  a  better,  truer,  nobler  future.  "The  times  are 
ripe  and  rotten  ripe  for  change,"  and  they  would  change  rap- 
idly if  two  factors  would  not  co-operate  in  delaying  this 
change  for  the  better. 

One  of  these  factors  is  the  indolence  and  ignorance  of  the 
masses,  who,  like  children  when  feeling  uncomfortable,  in- 
dulge in  a  hearty  and  lusty  cry  without  being  able  to  give 
themselves  an  intelligent  account  of  what  ails  them;  The 
other  is  the  conscious  endeavor  on  the  part  of  the  ruling  classes 
to  perpetuate  their  power.  Armed  with  knowledge  and  physi- 
cal power,  utilizing  all  the  latest  results  of  science  and  backed 
by  carefully  trained,  drilled  and  equipped  armies,  the 
ruling  classes  recognize  the  supreme  importance  of  keep- 
ing the  exploited  and  disinherited  masses  in  dense  ignorance 
of  their  real  social  condition,  of  demoralizing  them  by  sensa- 
tionalism, of  obscuring  their  spiritual  vision  by  petrified 
"ehurchianity,"  of  flattering  their  vanity  with  vulgar 
demogogic  tricks,  of  feeding  their  imagination  with  pictures 
of  low  life.  The  current  press  is,  therefore,  called  by  the 
ruling  classes  to  do  this  ignominious  work.  Instead  of  trying 
to  educate  the  people,  to  lead  them  in  all  walks  of  life,  to  tell 
them  the  truth  about  everything,  to  elevate  their  morals,  to 
ennoble  their  ideals,  they  follow  the  policy  of  perverting  truth, 
of  catering  to  the  lowest  instincts  of  the  masses,  of  dishing 
out  before  them  with  especial  relish  in  minutest  detail  descrip- 
tions of  crime,  vice  and  degradation.  The  private  life,  acts 
and  amusements  of  the  njighty  and  rich  are  described  in  order 
to  dazzle  the  eyes  of  the  thoughtless  multitude.  Common 
gossip,  wire-pulling  for  some  dishonest  speculation  on  the 
stock  exchange,  deliberate  prevarications  and  misrepresenta- 
tions in  the  interests  of  some  political  clique  or  party,  black- 
mail and  calumny  of  opponents — are  considered  as  perfectly 
legitimate  in  our  current  press.  Pools  are  represented  as  sages, 
pretentious  charlatans  as  eminent  specialists,  salaried  back- 
yard politicians    as    statesmen,    the    purposeless  jaunts  of 


129 

superficial  and  superfluous  office-holders  as  earnest  journeys 
in  the  interests  of  the  commonwealth. 

The  most  typical  representation  of  our  daily  press  is  the 
Sunday  edition  of  our  large  dailies.  What  is  a  Sunday  edi- 
tion of  a  "great  daily"  paper?  Dear  reader!  You  surely 
watched  your  servant,  housekeeper  or  landlady  sweep  your 
room  or  rooms  carefully  every  day,  gather  the  heap  of  rub- 
bish and  throw  it  out.  This  heap  of  rubbish  is  a  symbol 
of  our  daily  press.  The  same  servant,  housekeeper  or  land- 
lady does  her  sweeping  with  special  care  some  one  par- 
ticular day  in  the  week,  usually  Saturday.  That  heap  of  rub- 
bish is  comparatively  larger  on  that  special  day  of  houseclean- 
ing.  Sunday  edition  of  a  daily  paper  is  nothing  else  but  a 
public  housecleaning,  or  rather  the  result  of  a  thorough 
weekly  housecleanijig — an  extraordinary  huge  heap  of  rubbish. 
Sensations,  wholesale  or  retail  murder,  political  lies,  crimes 
against  decency,  suicides,  hold-ups,  would-be  scientific  notes 
written  by  a  pseudo-scientist,  coarse  Jokes,  vulgar  pictures, 
stories  calculated  to  gratify  the  coarse  taste  of  the  reader, 
the  senseless  babble  and  self -adulation  of  prize  fighters — this 
is  "the  stuff"  that  fills  the  paper  calculated  to  amuse  and  edify 
you.  And  the  pity  of  it  is  that  this  "stuff"  is  often  the 
only  mental  food  of  many  a  workingman  or  small  trader. 

The  mercantile  and  capitalistic  system  maintains  a  press 
that  serves  best  its  purposes — ^that  is  natural.  But  the  more 
urgently  is  felt  the  necessity  of  a  decent,  truthful,  high- 
minded,  humanitarian  great  daily  paper,  that  would  fearlessly 
expose  all  the  crimes  and  vices  of  our  social  system  and  hold 
before  the  eyes  of  the  public  the  noble  ideals  of  Socialism. 
The  tendency  to  start  Socialistic  papers  in  all  nooks 
and  corners  of  the  United  States  is  a  sign  of  the  healthy 
growth  of  Socialism,  but  a  professional  Socialistic  press  can- 
not reach  the  people  as  well  as  a  daily  newspaper,  and  can- 
not have  its  influence.  This  splitting  of  forces  is  rather 
to  be  regretted,  as  one  central  Socialistic  organ  would  have 
the  advantage  of  material,  just  is  well  as  moral  and  mental 
force.  And  as  capitalism  can  be  abolished  and  the  co-opera- 
tive commonwealth  can  be  established  only  by  a  Socialistically 
enlightened  proletariat,  and  as  the  daily  press  is  one  of  the 
most  powerful,  if  not  the  most  powerful,  agent  shaping  the 
public  opinion,  public  sentiment  and  public  conscience  the 


130 

need  of  a  Socialistic  press,  at  the  same  time  popular  and  in^ 
structive,  newsy  and  high-minded,  fascinating  but  not  sensa- 
tional, truthful  and  fair,  is  a  pious  desire  of  all  thoughtful 
Socialists. 


131 


XXVIII.  MODERN  PHILISTINISM. 

Do  you  know  what  element  of  the  population  of  the 
civilized  countries  is  in  modern  times  the  most  stubborn 
and  persistent  opponent  of  social  economic  progress  ?  Do  you 
know  what  class  is  the  staunehest  supporter  of  the  old,  delapi- 
dated  institutions  and  tries  to  stem  the  mighty  tide  of  the  on- 
coming social  revolution?  Do  you  think  those  enemies  of 
progress  and  friends  of  stagnation  are  the  ignorant,  the  lowly, 
the  scum  and  dregs  of  society?  By  no  means.  They  are  the 
Philistines,  belonging  to  the  "better"  and  "best"  class  of  socie- 
ty. If  I  were  a  painter  I  would  impersonate  the  Philistine  as 
a  small  burgher  in  a  night-cap,  dressing-gown  and  slippers. 
Indeed,  the  type  of  a  Philistine  is  so  widely  predominant  in 
the  middle  class  that  it  appears  to  an  extent  characteristic  of 
the  entire  class.  Even  the  most  active  and  shrewd  business 
man  of  our  hustling  and  bustling  times  turns  into  a  Philistine 
once  he.  leaves  his  shop,  factory  or  office.  If  he  does  not  put 
on  actually  a  night-cap,  dressing-gown  and  slippers  as  soon  as 
he  leaves  his  business  place,  he  does  it  spiritually,  so  to  say. 
There  are,  of  course,  a  variety  of  undertypes  of  a  Philistine, 
but  they  all  have  certain  general  features  and  family  likeness. 

What  are,  then,  the  characteristic  features  of  this  type  of 
our  middle  class?  In  the  first  instance  the  Philistine  is  a 
pronounced  individualist,  in  the  most  elementary  sense  of  the 
word.  His  spiritual  horizon  is  extremely  limited  by  indol- 
ence, almost  morbid  selfishness  and  prejudice.  All  his  life  is 
devoted  to  pursuits  calculated  to  promote  his  own  petty  per- 
sonal interests.  A  Philistine  may  happen  to  inherit  from 
his  parents  a  kind  heart.  In  that  case  he  may  be  a  member 
of  the  Society  for  the  Protection  of  Dumb  Animals.  He  will, 
however,  not  move  a  finger  for  the  protection  of  human  chil- 
dren and  frail  women  against  the  brutalizing  influences  of  the 
profit  system  in  general  and  capitalism  in  particular.  The 
.proletariat  has  actually  to  turn  into  a  herd  of  dumb  animals 
in  order  to  deserve  the  compassion  and  gracious  protection 
of  the  "humane"  Philistine.  Or  a  Philistine  may  engage,  in  a 
passive  way,  of  course,  in  charity,  degrading  the  giver  and  the 
receiver  simultaneously.  He  will  try  to  help  the  "deserving" 
poor.  The  material  need  of  a  few  who  happen  to  come  to  his 
attention  does  not  suggest  to  his  dull  mind  the  general  prob- 


132 

lent  of  poverty,  its  causes  and  its  effects  on  victims  and  society 
at  large.  The  idea  and  conception  of  social-economic  justice 
does  not  find  room  enough  in  the  Philistine's  brain.  Poor 
people  should  not  insist  upon  rights  according  to  Philistine 
social  philosophy,  but  should  be  humble  like  Uriah  Heap  in 
order  to  be  classed  with  the  deserving.  A  Philistine  may  be  a 
member  of  some  church  and  even  go  to  the  extent  of  teach- 
ing in  a  Sunday  school  or  attending  revival  meetings.  He 
loves  his  precious  self  so  dearly  that  he  is  not  satisfied 
virith  insuring  for  himself  a  comfortable  life  here  on  earth, 
but  is  inclined  to  procure  for  his  soul  a  snug  corner  in  the 
other  world.  The  humanitarian,  moral  side  of  the  world  reli- 
gions, with  its  obligations  towards  society  at  large  and  sacri- 
fices of  interests  and  comforts,  is  a  sealed  letter  to  the  Philis- 
tine. The  latter  knows  that  the  proletariat  does  not  feel  at 
home  in  churches  and  sees  in  it  a  sign  of  degradation  of  the 
plain  people,  instead  of  blaming  the  church  for  losing  its  hold 
on  the  plain  people.  Not  that  the  Philistine  is  necessarily 
a  bigoted  fanatic  of  religion  in  general.  A  Philistine  may 
be  an  infidel  occasionally,  and  yet  view  with  alarm  the  irreli- 
giosity  of  the  plain  people.  According  to  the  conception  of 
Philistines,  religion  is  the  only  thing  that  keeps  the  common 
people  from  committing  all  kinds  of  crime.  In  case  a  Philis- 
tine happens  to  be  an  infidel,  he  may  be  a  member  of  an  ethical 
culture  society  and  profess  crude  animal  evolutionism  with  the 
struggle  for  existence,  survival  of  the  fittest  and  other  ill- 
digested  half-truths,  which,  when  applied  by  them  to  social- 
economic  affairs,  mean  downright  anarchistic  barbarity  and 
brutal,  imbecile  Nietscheism.  The  most  characteristic  features 
of  Philistines  are,  however,  not  their  crude  theories  about  state 
or  society,  but  their  utter  indifference  to  social-economic  prob- 
lems. 

A  Philistine  may  in  a  general  way  be  interested  in  politics, 
etc.  He  will,  however,  stay  away  from  the  polls  when  the 
weather  is  not  especially  inviting,  or  vote  against  his  convic- 
tions in  order  not  to  "lose  his  vote."  The  Philistine  may  be 
disgusted  with  the  corruption  of  politicians,  but  does  not  rea- 
lize that  politics  and  politicians  are  the  result  of  his  own  cri- 
minal indifference  to  public  affairs.  Some  Philistines  are  quite 
radical  in  their  views,  well  read  and  informed  on  political, 
economic  and  sociological  lines.  Their  moral  cowardice,  the 
lack  of  courage  of  their  convictions,  paralyzes  their  latent  use- 


133 

fulness.  Leading  themselves  a  life  of  sordid  selfishness,  the 
Philistines  decry  every  disinterested,  public-spirited  man  as  a 
crank.  Philistinism  is  certainly  a  social  malady,  a  moral 
sickness  of  deep  and  far-reaching  significance.  It  is  nothing 
but  Philistinism  that  causes  people  to  abstain  from  the  sacred 
duty  of  exercising  their  civic  prerogatives.  It  is  Philistinism 
that  leaves  the  administration  of  all  public  affairs  in  the  hands 
of  incompetent  and  dishonest  professional  drones  of  society — 
politicians.  It  is  Philistinism  that  diverts  the  best  forces  of 
the  nation  from  public  service  to  private  pursuits.  It  is 
Philistinism  that  chills  and  kills  generous  aspirations  for  pub- 
lic weal  as  soon  as  it  is  kindled  in  the  breast  of  a  youth.  Phil- 
istinism is  responsible  for  the  sordid  materialistic  tendencies 
of  our  times,  for  low  aspirations  and  absence  of  ideals  in  social 
life,  for  depriving  modern  life  of  the  very  highest  and  noblest 
motives. 

Socialists  must  look  upon  Philistinism  as  its  deadliest 
enemy  and  fight  it  with  all  its  might.  And  Philistin- 
ism is  not  a  formidable  enemy,  after  all,  if  we  take  into 
consideration  that  it  is  a  merely  negative  phenomenon,  a  kind 
of  a  hypnotic  condition  of  a  considerable  part  of  society.  Let 
us  first  of  all  shake  off  from  ourselves  all  Philistinism ;  arouse 
in  ourselves  and  then  instill  in  others  a  passion  for  social - 
economic  justice,  the  righteousness  of  modern  times.  What 
we  need  is  not  a  purely  intellectual  recognition  of  our  ideals, 
aims  and  aspirations  only,  but  a  deep^  emotional  power,  a 
world-saving  enthusiasm,  like  that  experienced  at  the  dawn  of 
Christianity  and  on  the  eve  of  the  French  revolution.  We 
need  af  present  more  prophets  than  professors,  more  inspira- 
tion than  cool  reasoning.  One  great  poet  would  do  more 
for  our  movement  than  a  hundred  economists. 


134 


XXIX.     POPULAE   EDUCATION   AS   INFLUENCED 
BY  CAPITALISM. 

The  celebrated  German  leader  of  the  Social-Democratic 
party.  Comrade  Bebel,  said  once:  "In  the  last  instance  the 
solution  of  all  social  problems  depends  on  popular  education." 
Indeed  the  most  powerful  tool  and  weapon  of  the  human  kind 
is  the  intellect.  Education  is  the  process  of  perfecting  this 
tool  and  weapon.  As  any  other  tool  or  weapon — the  intellect 
may  be  used  for  the  good  and  advantage  of  society  or  misused 
for  the  purpose  of  furthering  apparent  individual 
or  class  interests  to  the  detriment  of  society.  Educa- 
tion, or  rather  instruction,  does  not  necessarily  improve 
morals,  does  not  insure  against  selfishness  and  other  vices  of 
individual  hypertrophy.  And  a  highly  educated  rogue  is  of 
course  a  thousand  times  more  dangerous  to  society  than  a 
stupid  ignoramus.  There  is  therefore  always  an  alundance 
of  social  abuses  in  a  country  where  education  is  monopolized 
by  a  few,  while  the  nation  at  large  is  buried  in  dense  ignor- 
ance. And  the  stronger  numerically  the  class  of  the  educated 
in  comparison  with  the  "great  unwashed"  mass  of  the  popu- 
lation, the  greater  and  deeper  the  social  abuses  are  likely  to  be. 
That  ratio  between  the  educated  and  ignorant  of  any  epoch 
or  country  may  justly  be  considered  as  an  indicator  of  the  ex- 
tent and  degree  of  social  abuses.  It  is  so  easy  for  the  intel- 
lectually superior  to  exploit  the  ignorant  and  the  temptation 
is  so  powerful  that  only  exceptionally  high-minded  and  gener- 
ous individuals  will  abstain  from  doing  it  or  go  to  the  extent 
of  helping  the  weak  in  his  uneven  struggle. 

For  the  thoughtful  student  and  observer  of  national  life, 
it  is  not  the  education  of  individuals  and  classes,  but  the 
instruction  of  the  masses,  that  has  the  highest  value.  Develop 
the  intellect  of  the  "great  unwashed"  if  you  wish  to  eliminate 
or  at  least  lessen  the  possibility  of  its  being  exploited  by  the 
crafty  and  unscrupulous  few,  forming  the  so-called  "higher 
class."  It  is  a  notorious  fact  that  the  ruling  individuals 
(kings,  czars,  popes)  and  classes  (aristocracy,  clergy  and  plu- 
tocracy) were  and  are  openly  or  at  heart,_opposed  to  the  men- 
tal elevation  of  the  masses  exploited  by  them.  Parasites 
thrive  best  in  darkness. 

It  is  obviously  of  the  highest  importance  to  ascertain  the 


135 

degree  of  mental  instmction  actually  enjoyed  by  the  people  at 
large  by  the  so-called  "lower  classes."  Unfortunately  the 
statistical  data  on  this  subject  are  very  incomplete,  as  far  as 
the  United  States  is  concerned.  And^  yet  attempts  have  been 
made  to  generalize  these  statistical  data — among  others  by  my 
friend,  the  sociologist.  Dr.  Daniel  Folkmar.  Here  are  some  of 
them  relating  to  Chicago  and  Milwaukee: 

Of  all  the  children  that  enter  the  public  schools  of  the  two 
named  cities. 

1.  About  one-third  go  no  further  than  the  first  grade. 

2.  About  one-half  go  no  further  than  the  second  grade. 

3.  About  two-thirds  go  no  further  than  the  third  grade. 

4.  About  three-fourths  go  no  further  than  the  fourth 
grade. 

5.  About  nine-tenths  go  half  way  only  through  the  twelve 
grades. 

6.  About  ninety-seven  in  every  hundred  drop  out  before 
reaching  the  high  school. 

7.  Only  three  in  every  thousand  finish  the  entire  course, 
or  more  exactly  the  following  per  cents  drop  out  at  each  grade : 

Gradel,  33  per  cent;  2,  51;  3,  66;  4,  78;  5,  86;  6,  92;  7. 
95;  8,  97;  9,  98.6;  10,  99.3;  11,  99.7. 

Another  line  of  argument  leads  to  the  conclusion  that  the 
schooling  of  the'  average  pupil  does  not  embrace  more  than 
three  grades.  If  these  numbers  are  not  appalling.  I  do  not 
know  what  is !  The  self-complacent  average  American  citizen, 
is  justly  proud  of  the  public  school  system,  but  he  little  knows 
to  what  extent  the  people  are  able  to  take  advantage  of  it. 
But  maybe  Chicago  and  Milwaukee  form  an  exception  as  to 
the  duration  of  school  attendance  ?  Ex-State  Superintendent 
C.  L.  T.  Smart  of  Ohio  states  that  only  about  3  per  cent  of 
the  pupils  enrolled  in  the  public  schools  ever  enter,  and  from 
them  less  than  1  per  cent  graduate;  50  per  cent  of  the  youth 
enrolled  in  the  public  schools  of  the  state  do  not  attend  school 
more  than  four  years;  75  per  cent  stop  attending  school 
before  entering  the  eighth  year  or  grade,  and  97  per  cent  do 
not  attend  bevond  the  eighth  year.  Dr.  Wm.  T.  Harris, 
United  States  "Commissioner  of  education,  says  in  his  report 
of  the  committee  of  fifteen :  "The  average  number  of  pupils 
of  the  St.  Louis  schools  in  the  lowest  three  years  of  the 
course  was  about  73  per  cent  of  the  entire  number  enrolled. 
Nearly  three  fourths  of  all  the  pupils  of  the  public  schools 


136 

are  in  the  studieg  of  the,  first  three  years  or  in  primary  studies. 
Six-sevenths  of  the  population  of  the  United  States  on  arriv- 
ing at  the  proper  age  for  the  secondary  education  never  re- 
ceive it.  Thirty  out  of  thirty-one  fail  to  receive  higher  educa- 
tion upon  arriving  at  the  proper  age.  Obviously  the  data 
of  Milwaukee  and  Chicago  are  typical  for  the  United  States 
in  general.  The  question  now  arises — what  is  the  main  cause 
of  this  remarkably  short  duration  of  school  attendance  ?  Mr. 
C.  L.  T.  Smart  says :  "A  majority  of  the  patrons  of  the  pub- 
lic schools  cannot  do  without  the  labor  of  their  children  and 
therefore  cannot  give  them  time  to  attend  school  longer." 
frof .  D.  Folkmar  states :  "I  answer  without  hesitation  that 
the  chief  factors  are  economic  conditions.  Too  many  either 
cannot  support  their  children  as  they  desire,  or  cannot  spare 
them  through  a  longer  period  of  schooling." 

The  Moloch  of  Capitalism  wants  to  perpetuate  itself  by  the 
shameful  system  of  child  labor  keeping  the  industrial  pro- 
letariats in  ignorance.  The  free  public  school  proves  to  be 
a  snare  and  delusion  for  the  proletarian.  And  the  remedies  ? 
Many  advocate  compulsory  education  laws.  But  is  not  then 
the  state  obliged  to  take  care  of  the  children  during  their 
schooling ;  feed,  dress  and  lodge  them  if  their  parents  are  un- 
able to  do  it?  Is  not  the  state  in  duty  bound  to  make  the 
fi-ee  public  school  system  "really  free  and  public  ?"  But  that 
would  be  Socialism  pure  and  simple.  And  what  would  the 
capitalistic  Mrs.  Grundy. say  to  it? 


137 


XXX.     OUR  MUNICIPAL  POLICY. 

The  founders  of  the  republic  of  the  United  States  declared 
for  political  freedom.  Since  the  birth  of  our  nation,  however, 
a  revolution  in  industry  has  taken  place.  Formerly  hand  or 
individual  labor  produced  the  necessities  of  life.  At  present 
machine  labor  and  socialized  production  displace  individual 
or  hand  labor.  AVhile  in  former  times  it  was  the  imperative 
duty  of  government  to  protect  the  individual  in  the  posses- 
sion of  property  he  had  produced,  at  present,  a  new  duty 
developes  upon  the  state,  the  duty  to  protect  the  whole 
body  of  working  people  against  the  encroachments  of  the 
owners  of  the  means  of  production,  and  distribution, 
the  capitalistic  class.  Thus  it  develops  that  the  bat- 
tle for  human  rights  against  so-called  vested  rights, 
rights  of  individual  property  against  the  rights  of  men,  has 
become  a  battle  to  determine  which  form  of  government  we 
shall  have  in  the  future — semi-anarchic  plutocracy  or  Social 
Democracy. 

In  1890  three  hundreths  of  1  per  cent  of  the  nation  held 
20  per  cent,  of  the  nation's  wealth.  Eight  and  ninety- 
seven  hundredths  per  cent,  of  the  population  held  51 
per  cent,  of  the  wealth.  The  middle  class,  consisting  of 
38  per  cent  of  the  population,  held  30  per  cent  of  the  wealth. 
The  proletariat  consisted  of  two  distinct  categories,  the  com- 
aratively  well-to-do,  upper  strata  comprising  11  per  cent  of  the 
population,  hold  4  per  cent  of  the  wealth.  The  other — ^the 
poor  class,  the  sub-strata  of  the  proletariat — consisting  of 
52  per  cent  of  the  population,  held  but  5  per  cent  of  the 
national  wealth.  This  5  per  cent  includes  personal  unproduc- 
tive property  of  all  kinds.  The  nation  is  very  rich  as  a  whole, 
but  its  riches  belong  to  the  vested  rights  as  individual  prop- 
erty to  a  very  small  minority  of  exploiters  of  human  toil. 

Dr.  C.  B.  Spahr  says:  "Less  than  half  the  families  in 
America  are  property-less  (proletarians),  seven-eights  of  the 
families  hold  but  one-eighth  of  the  national  wealth, 
while  1  per  cent  of  the  families  hold  more  (wealth)  than 
the  remaining  ninety-nine."  These  figures  prove  that  by  the 
economic  development  of  modern  society  this  nation  has  out- 
grown the  old  system  of  government  and  must  modify  it  to 
correspond  to  the  new  conditions.     Political  rights  without 


138 

economic  freedom  turn  into  a  snare  and  a  delusion.  Modern 
evolutionary  Socialism  is  neither  Utopian  Socialism,  that  does 
not  take  into  consideration  the  facts  of  human  nature  and  the 
actual  conditions  now  prevailing,  nor  state  Socialism,  that 
would  fain  turn  the  state  into  a  gigantic  capitalistic  monop- 
oly, the  operation  of  which  could  only  result  in  the  continued 
enslavement  of  the  proletariat.  Modern  Socialism  works  for 
political  freedom  and  industrial  democracy,  based  on  eco- 
nomic association  and  insuring  individual  liberty.  The  Social- 
ist movement  of  America  is  essentially  and  eminently 
an  evolutionary  movement.  In  the  United  States  the  con- 
quest of  public  power  by  the  dispossessed  class  cannot  be  the 
result  of  the  instantaneous  overturning  of  the  present  sys- 
tem. It  must  be  the  result  of  persistent  and  conscious  efEort, 
and  the  work  of  proletarian  organization,  on  the  economic 
and  political  field,  of  the  physical  and  moral  regener- 
aey  of  the  laboring  class.  Charity  begins  at  home.  And 
justice,  social  economic  justice,  championed  by  the  Social- 
ists of  America,  must  be  established  first  of  all  in  our  munic- 
ipalities and  local  legislative  and  executive  public  institu- 
tions. There  is,  however,  a  vast  distinction  between  Social- 
istic methods  of  munici})al  administration  and  the  municipal 
ownership  suggested  and  sought  for  by  the  two  old  political 
or  new  middle-class  reform  parties,  who  clamor  for  city  con- 
trol and  ownership  for  the  purposes  of  cheapening  illumni- 
nating  gas,  reducing  street  car  fares,  using  the  large  dividends 
and  profits  accruing  from  these  enterprises  to  lighten  taxa- 
tion, etc.  Socialism  wants  to  use  the  municipal  administra- 
tion as  a  means  to  inaugurate  and  achieve  a  magnificent  sys- 
tem of  social-economic  improvements,  to  provide  employ- 
ment for  the  unemploj'ed  under  conditions  impossible  under 
the  existing  order  of  affairs,  to  insure  shorter  hours  and 
better  renumeration  to  the  laboring  class  and  generally  to 
raise  the  standard  of  life  of  all  engaged  in  public  service.  The 
middle-class  reformers  clamor  for  a  business-like  adminis- 
tration, that  means  an  administration  of  exploitation  of  the 
proletariat  in  favor  of  the  capitalist  class.  Socialism 
wants  immediate  economic  improvement  of  the  condition  of 
the  toilers  and  producers  of  wealth,  who  are,  under  the  pres- 
ent system,  deprived  of  the  greater  part  of  their  earnings. 

By  taking  hold  of  municipalities,  the  Socialists  propose  to 
enrich  the  city  treasuries,  to  relieve  the  congestion  of  the 


139 

labor  market,  to  insure  the  children  of  the  poor,  school  edu- 
cation, to  turn  the  difEerent  branches  of  municipal  adminis- 
tration into  effective  channels  of  direct  usefulness  to  the  peo- 
ple, to  improve  the  sanitary  conditions  of  the  parts  of  the 
cities  that  need  it  most,  the  quarters  inhabited  by  the  work- 
ing class.  The  municipal  platforms  of  the  Socialistic  organ- 
izations all  over  the  United  States  ought  to  strike  at  the  root 
of  municipal  evils— the  rule  of  the  old  corrupt  political  par- 
ties, backed  up  by  the  money  power — the  rule  in  the  interest 
of  the  semi-criminal  and  exploiting  classes.  These  platforms 
ought  to  be  drawn  on  local  lines,  to  meet  local  conditions,  not 
leaving,  however,  out  of  consideration  the  general  principles 
and  aims  to  be  attained  by  Modem  Socialism,  the  liberation 
of  the  wage  slave  from  the  capitalistic  servitude  and  degrada- 
tion of  the  drudges  of  industry  incident  thereto. 

It  is  true  that  municipal  elections  offer  only  partial  op- 
portunities for  the  execution  of  our  general  program ;  but  the 
opportunities  are,  nevertheless,  immense.  Let  us  prove  to  the 
nation  at  large  that  we  are  willing  and  able  to  manage  local 
affairs  to  the  best  interest  of  the  people — the  tillers  of  the 
ground  and  toilers  of  the  factories — and  the  conquest  of  the 
national  administration  will  be  only  a  question  of  time.  It 
is,  of  course,  impossible  to  give  a  general  putline  of  local 
municipal  programs  for  a  country  so  vast  and  variegated  as 
the  United  States.  The  following  outline  is  therefdre  to 
be  considered  as  tentative  and  suggestive  only : 

1.  Such  changes  and  amendments  in  the  state  laws  and  city 
charter  as  may  be  necessary  to  enable  the  people  to  give  prac- 
tical effect  to  a  municipal  administration  in  accordance  with 
the  objects  and  principles  of  International  Socialism. 

2.  Public  construction,  ownership  and  operation  of  all  sub- 
ways and  underground  conduits. 

3.  Public  ownership  and  operation  of  all  street  railways,  gas 
and  electric-lighting  and  power  plants,  telephones  and  other 
public  utilities,  not  for  profit,  but  to  the  best  advantage  of 
the  consumers. 

4.  Public  construction,  ownership  and  maintenance .  of 
modern  homes  for  workingmen  on  land  acquired,  or  to  be, 
when  necessary,  acquired  by  the  municipality,  to  relieve  over- 
crowding and  provide  healthful  environments  for  the  people. 

5.  Public  construction,  ownership  and  maintenance  of  mu- 


140 

nicipal  hospitals,  commodious  and  of  modem  equipment,  free 
dispensaries  and  homes  for  the  aged. 

6.  Obligatory  life  and  accident  insurance  for  the  aid  of 
those  who  depend  on  their  work  for  a  living,  and  for  old  age 
pensions. 

7.  Public  bath  houses,  natatoriums,  playgrounds,  gymna- 
siums and  other  similar  sanitary  and  hygienic  institutions  for 
the  people. 

8.  The  establishment  of  municipal  schools  of  industrial 
training,  useful  and  fine  arts. 

9.  All  educational  facilities  to  be  furnished  free  to  all  chil- 
dren of  the  community,  and  when  necessary,  clothing  and 
food. 

10.  Free  legal  and  medical  advice. 

11.  Abolition  of  private  contract  system  on  public  work. 

1 2.  Strict  civil  service  rules  and  merit  system  of  promotion 
'  in  all  departments  of  public  service  without  exception. 


141 

XXXI.  WHAT  SHALL  BE  DONE  WITH  THE  MAN 
WITH  THE  HOE? 

What  shall  be  done  with  the  man  with  the  hoe  ?  Ask  a  simon- 
pure  Socialist,  an  orthodox  ultra  Marxist,  who  is  more  of  a 
Marxist  than  Marx  himself,  what  shall  be  done  with  the  indus- 
trial proletariat.  He  will  tell  you  all  about  it  as  a  bright  and 
industrious  high  school  boy,  who  learned  his  lesson  by  heart. 
He  will  relate  to  you  the  economic  theory  on  which  the  great 
teacher  of  the  gospel  of  modern  Socialism  built  the  magnifi-' 
cent  edifice  of  evolutionary  social-economics,  in  a  somewhat 
dogmatic  manner.  He  will  emphasize  to  you  the  class  struggle 
and  class  consciousness  of  the  industrial  proletariat,  the  crisis 
theory  and  the  "inevitableness"  of  the  impending  collapse  of 
the  entire  capitalistic  system,  owing  to  the  ever-increasing 
concentration  of  capital  on  one  side,  and  the  gradual  and  cer- 
tain impoverishment  of  the  masses  on  the  other.  Das  Kapital 
is  his  Bible,  the  more  sacred  and  infallible,  the  less  he  under- 
stands it.  As  the  Mohammedan  conjurer  of  Alexandria  re- 
garded the  Koran,  he  considers  Das  Kapital  as  the  book  of 
books.  He  would  rather  burn  all  the  famous  libraries  of  the 
world  than  lose  one  iota  of  Das  Kapital.  If  a  book  contains 
a  truth  it  must  be  only  a  repetition  of  it,  taken  from  the  Koran 
(viz.,  Das  Kapital).  Else 'it  is  worthless,  because  the  truth 
about  economic  conditions  was  revealed  for  all  eternity  in  Das 
Kapital  and  nothing  can  be  either  added  or  taken  from  it 
witnout  impairing  or  perverting  the  truth  itself. 

Das  Kapital  deals  exclusively  with  modem  indus- 
trial conditions,  their  causes  and  effects.  To  con- 
clude from  this  fact  that  the  interest  of  the 
sub-industrial  rural  proletariat  were  not  near  to 
the  heart  of  Karl  Marx,  the  Darwin  of  social-economics  and 
great  lover  of  human  kind,  means  to  insult  the  sacred  memory 
of  his  name.  As  with  all  great  intellects,  the  mind  of  Karl 
Marx  had  its  limitations.  And  Marx  himself,  as  all  great 
thinkers,  knew  its  limitations.  He  knew  that  it  requires  more 
than  a  lifetime  to  accomplish,  even  imperfectly,  the  gigantic 
task  of  introducing  truly  scientific  and  rational  evolutionary 
methods  in  the  study  of  the  past  and  present  of  human 
society  in  one  of  its  phases.  Marx  knew  that  to  undertake 
more  would  be  identical  with  accomplishing  nothing.  He 
knew  the  strength  and  economy  of  the  concentration  (d  the. 


142 

mind  on  one  particular  field  of  research  and  considered  the 
tendency  of  mental  mediocrities  to  do  it  all  just  as  silly  as 
their  pretense  of  knowing  it  all.  Marx  did  not  treat  as  ex- 
tensively in  his  classical  work  the  sub-industrial  strata  of  the 
proletariat,  the  rural  proletariat  as  he  did  the  industrial  pro- 
letariat, simply  because  it  happened  to  be  outside  of  his  partic- 
ular field  of  research.  That  great  iconclasts  and  critics  are 
turned  by  the  unreasoning  crowd  of  their  followers  into  idols 
and  infallible  popes  of  dogmatized  petrified  creeds  is  an  irony 
of  fate. 

This  is  precisely  the  case  with  Marx,  and  his  orthodox  fol- 
lowers. Ask  an  orthodox  Marxist  what  shall  be  done  with  the 
man  with  the  hoe,  the  rural  proletariat.  And  you  will  get 
the  rather  startling  reply:  "This  is  none  of  our  business."  So- 
cialists are  interested  in  the  fate  of  the  industrial  proletariat, 
but  not  in  any  other  class.  The  man  with  the  empty  dinner 
pail  and  hammer  in  his  hand  is  the  subject  of  constant  solici- 
tude of  the  simon-pure  Socialist;  but  the  man  with  the  hoe 
is  a  stranger  to  him.  Cranks  and  fanatics  always  move  in 
abstractions.  The  proletarian  is  to  them  a  certain  economic 
category,  not  a  living,  suffering,  reasoning  being  with  vices 
and  virtues,  noble  and  mean  traits  of  character,  animal  appe- 
tites and  idealistic  aspirations.  Cranks  and  fanatics  are 
never  moved  by  deep  humanitarian  sympathy  with  the  suffer- 
ings and  privations  of  their  fellowmen,  but  by  some  fixed  idea 
or  craze.  The  man  with  the  hoe  is  just  as  human  as 
the  man  with  the  empty  dinner  pail  or  hammer  in 
his  hand.  They  both  suffer  the  pangs  of  hunger 
and  thirst ;  they  both  feel  tired  when  overworked,  they  both 
feel  the  inclemency  of  the  weather  when  poorly  housed 
and  dressed,  they  botl.  feel  the  degradation  of  slave-like  ex- 
istence with  its  insecurity  of  daily  bread  for  themselves  and 
their  families,  they  both  yearn  after  the  attachments  of  a 
warm  human  heart  beating  in  unison  with  theirs,  they  both  ■ 
suffer  when  compelled  to  see  their  dear  ones, — their  parents, 
brothers,  sisters  and  children, — deprived  of  the  necessities  and 
luxuries  of  life,  they  both  are  in  need  of  salvation  from 
wicked  and  cruel  social-economic  conditions,  they  both  scorn 
degrading  charity  and  demand  simple  justice.  The  simon- 
pure  Socialist,  however,  draws  a  line  of  demarkation  between 
the  industrial  and  rural  proletarian,  and  declares  the  last  as 
imworthy  of  his  attention.    Why  ?    Because  the  man  with  the 


143; 

hoe  belongs  to  another  economic  category  than  the  man  with 
the  hammer,  because  Karl  Marx  wrote  books  about  the  last 
and  did  not  have  time  to  write  books  about  the  other. 

The  folly  of  a  negative  attitude  towards  the  rural  proleta- 
riat on  the  part  of  modern  Socialism  is  recognized  in  Germany 
by  such  high  authorities  as  the  best  interpreter  of  Marx — 
Kautsky,  who  lately  devoted  considerable  attention  to  a  far- 
mer's platform  on  Social  Democratic  principles.    But  when 
some  leading  spirits  in  the  S.  D.  P.  of  America  made  an  at- 
tempt to  formulate  a  farmers'  plank  as  an  integral  part  of  the 
party  platform  the  howling  dervishes  of  simon-pure  Socialism 
in  and  outside  the  S.  D.  P.  raised  such  a  noise  that  the  plan 
was  dropped  at  its  very  inception.    According  to  the  theories 
of  our  native  simon-purists  of  Socialism,  American  farmers 
are  not  proletarians  in  the  mathematical  sense  of  the  term, 
because  they  own  a  patch  of  arid  land  and  a  few  agricultural 
implements,  even  in  case  this  land  is  heavily  mortgaged  and 
the  implements  not  worth  more  than  scrap-iron.     Further- 
more,  agricultural  products  grow  on  the  soil  under  sunn;^ 
skies,  instead  of  being  manufactured  in  the  most  fitting  and 
scientific  way  by  means  of  expensive  and  complicated  ma- 
chinery, with  the  aid  of  div^ion  of  labor  within  the  walls  of 
a  dingy  and  noisy  factory.    If  it  were  practicable  to  put  in  the 
seeds  of  cucumbers  in  one  part  of  a  self-acting  machine  in 
order  to  draw  jars  of  pickles  from  the  others,  it  would  be  a 
different  proposition.     According  to  the  maxims  of  native, 
so-called,  scientific  Socialism,  all  the  land  must  be  monop- 
olized legally  by  a  few  capitalists,    all    the  farms  must   be 
turned  into  bonanzas  and  the  farmers  work  for  wages  in  order 
to  deserve  the    attention  of  revolutionary    Socialists.     The 
American  farmers,  as  they  are  at  present,  may  starve,   their 
families  deteriorate,  their  labor  products  be  expropriated  by 
stock  exchange  and  board  of  trade  gambling,  without  any  det- 
riment to  the  real  proletariat,  the  man  with  the  hammer.  The 
American  farmer  belongs  to  a  different  economic  category, 
to  the  middle  class.  And  simon-pure  Socialism  long  ago  rung 
the  death  knell  and  made  all  necessary  preparation  for  the 
funeral  of  the  middle  class.    That  the  middle  class  and  small 
farmers  stubbornly  refuse  to  die  is,  however,  their  own  fault 
and  not  that  of  their  undertakers,  the  ultra-orthodox  Marx- 
ists.    Let  the  small  farmers  as  such,  be  crucified  by  agrarian 
capitalism  and  be  resurrected  as  mathematical  proletarians 


144 

after  the  approved  scientific  method  devised  by  the  simon- 
pure  Socialists  and  the  last  will  take  good  care  of  the  first. 
Who  will  dare  to  laugh  at  this  criminal  folly ! 

Fortunately,  there  is  a  Modem  Socialist  movement  in 
America,  a  movement  broad  and  humanitarian  enough  to 
embrace  in  its  folds  the  tillers  of  the  soil  as  well  as  the  toilers 
of  the  factory,  a  movement  of  social-economic  justice  to  all 
who  produce  and  labor  for  the  common  weal  of  the  nation, 
without  hair-splitting  as  to  mathematical  and  economic  cat- 
egories of  the  proletarians.  It  will  stand  or  fall  as  the  cham- 
pion of  the  cause  of  all  those  who  are  exploited  by  the  para- 
sites of  society.  The  Modern  Socialist  movement  of  America 
will  not  lose  time  in  fruitless  mental  gymnastics,  artificial 
claseifications  and  labeling  of  economic  sub-species,  but 
work  out  in  the  near  future  special  planks  for  its  general 
political  platform,  designed  to  alleviate  immediately  the  eco- 
nomic abnormities  of  our  farming  population.  The  hands 
of  the  man  with  the  hammer  and  the  man  with  the  hoe  will 
be  clasped  in  token  of  brotherly  co-operation  in  the  struggle 
against  their  common  enemy — ^the  present  profit  and  com- 
petitive system  and  in  the  reconstruction  of  society  at  large 
on  the  basis  of  Socialistic  ideals  and  ideas. 


145 


XXXII.  STATE  INDUSTEIAL  INSUKANCE  AND  OLD 
;    AGE  PENSIONS. 

The  labor  problem  occupies  a  conspicuous  place  in  the  pub- 
lic mind  of  our  time.  The  insecurity  of  the  economic  condi- 
tion of  the  wage  worker  is  undoubtedly  one  of  the  principal 
causes  of  the  prominence  given  to  the  discussion  of  social- 
economic  conditions  and  theories  by  all  public-spirited  mem- 
bers of  society.  The  prevalent  system  of  production  not  only 
caused  this  insecurity,  but  shows  a  tendency  to  increase  it  in 
the  future  in  direct  proportion  to  the  ever-progressing  per- 
fection of  the  system  itself.  The  alienation  of  the  tools  of 
production  and  raw  materials  necessary  for  production  from 
the  producer — ^the  modern  wage  worker — resulted  in  the 
gradual  but  inevitable  shifting  of  the  point  of  gravity  of  pro- 
duction from  the  producer — the  living,  thinking  and  feeling 
laborer  to  his  dead  tools,  to  his  dead  raw  materials  and  their 
legal  possessor — ^the  capitalist.  Commodities  or  wares  are  pro- 
duced not  for  consumption,  but  for  gain  and  profit.  The 
ethical  moment  in  production,  the  satisfaction  of  human 
needs,  is  entirely  lost  sight  of  and  economic  anarchy  reigns 
supreme.  In  the  insane  scramble  for  profit,  human  labor  is 
degraded  to  the  role  of  a  mere  commodity  and  subjected  to  all 
the  indignities  arising  from  the  chaotic  fluctuations  of  sup- 
ply and  demand. 

The  laborer  divorced  from  his  tools  is  compelled  to  beg  the 
man  having  vested  rights  in  these  tools  for  a  chance  to  work, 
to  be.  graciously  allowed  'to  create  a  surplus  value  for  one 
who  has  the  tools  in  his  possession,  but  does  not  labor.  It  is 
true,  that  the  capitalist  class  cannot  get  along  without  the 
laboring  class.  Unfortunately,  however,  the  laboring  class 
does  not  present  a  solid  front,  as  a  social-economic  unit  to  the 
organized  force  of  its  exploiters — ^the  capitalists.  The  labor- 
ing class  is  rather  split  up  into  groups  and  individuals,  not 
only  not  co-operating,  but  directly  competing  with  each  other 
for  the  privilege  of  selling  their  labor-power.  The  wage  work- 
er is  thus  worse  off  not  only  than  the  black  slave  and  even 
the  beast  of  burden,  for  whose  sustenance,  as  an  individual 
and  a  species  of  animals,  their  owner  had  to  provide  for  pater- 
nally. The  wage"trQrker  is  even  worse  off  than  the  tools  he 
works  with.    If  a  machine  is  out  of  shape,  it  is  not  thrown 


146 

out,  but  carefully  fixed  or  modernized.  The  machine  costs 
money  to  its  owner,  the  capitalist.  The  living  appendage  to 
the  machinery,  the  wage  worker,  is  not  the  product  of  a  ma- 
chine shop,  but  a  child  of  Dame  Nature,  a  son  of  man,  and 
does  not  belong  to  the  capitalist  legally.  The  capitalist  is 
not  an  idle  dreamer,  not  a  sentimentalist,  but  a  business  man, 
and  from  the  point  of  view  of  gain  and  profit  it  would  be 
the  climax  of  folly  to  take  care  of  a  laborer  (temporarily  or 
permanently  as  the  case  may  be)  injured  and  disabled  to  work. 
Accidents,  sickness,  old  age,  do  not  exist  for  the  lords  of  our 
modern  machine  production  as  far  as  laborers  are  concerned. 
The  lords  of  modern  machine  production  would  fain  prefer  to 
have  metallic  automatons  instead  of  frail  human  beings  as 
appendages  to  their  tools  of  production ;  giants  of  mechanical 
force  with  the  subtle  intelligence  of  a  human  being,  but  with- 
out the  troublesome  organs  of  the  human  frame,  without 
stomach  and  heart;  monsters  silent  like  the  grave,  obedient 
like  carefully  trained  beasts  of  burden,  with  no  desire  for  free- 
dom, no  yearning  for  personal  bliss  and  happiness.  These 
automatons  do  not  exist  and  may  never  be  invented. 
The  capitalists,  however,  manage  to  get  along  nicely  without 
them.  The  labor  market  is  constantly  overflowing  with  young 
and  vigorous  recruits  ready  and  willing  to  pitch  in  whenever 
and  wherever  an  old  soldier  of  the  industrial  army  wavers, 
weakens  and  falls  in  the  economic  battle. 

Accident,  sickness  and  old  age  of  wage  workers  are  ignored 
by  the  captains  of  industry.  Unfortunately,  however,  this 
ignoring  is  just  as  little  effective  in  doing  away  with  acci- 
dents, sickness  and  old  age  as  Christian  Science  or  Dowieism. 
Accidents  will  always  happen,  people  will  always  grow  old  if 
they  live  long  enough,  and  sickness  will  never  be  eradicated 
entirely  from  human  life.  Accidents  and  sickness  ruin  many 
a  worker*s  family;  old  age  finds  many  an  honest,  thrifty  and 
industrious  laborer  in  the  poorhouse  and  the  potter's  field  is 
saturated  with  proletarian  flesh  and  blood. 

Self-help  is  a  beautiful  principle  for  the  strong,  but  a  cruel 
mockery  when  preached  by  the  strong  exploiter  to  his  victim. 
The  average  wage  worker  is  not  able  to  earn  enough  in  his 
best  years  and  in  so-called  good  times  to  provide  foi*  many 
rainy  days  in  the  summer  of  his  life  and  for  the  winter  of  life, 
his  age  of  physical  decline.  The  industrial  proletariat  in  its 
present  unorganized  condition  is  not  able  to  take  care  of  its 


147 

own  invalids.  The  few  unsuccessful  attempts  on  the  part  of 
mutual  aid  and  sick  benefit  laborers'  asociations  to  cope  with 
the  problem  prove  our  contention.  Indeed,  as  long  as  the 
economic  condition  of  the  individual  members  of  such  organi- 
zations is  insecure — there  can  be  no  talk  about  the  security 
of  the  institution  itself. 

Who  shall  then  take  the  burden  of  providing  for  the  in- 
valids of  the  industrial  army  of  the  proletariat?  Society  at 
large  represented  by  the  state  in  general,  and  the  capitalist 
class  in  particular.  The  wage  worker  gives  to  society  at  large 
and  the  capitalist  in  particular  his  best  powers,  he  wastes 
the  strength  of  his  muscles  and  the  energy  of  his  nerves  in  his 
endeavor  to  create  the  commodities  necessary  for  the  life  and 
happiness  of  all  members  of  society.  But  when  the  strength 
of  his  muscles  is  becoming  exhausted,  when  the  energy 
of  his  nervous  system  is  over-strained  in  the  service  of  society 
he  is  turned  into  an  object  of  frigid  and  bitter  charity.  How 
different  is  the  fate  of  a  private  of  the  industrial  army  trained 
in  the  peaceful  and  useful  arts  of  creating  things  necessary 
for  life  and  its  enjoyment,  from  that  of  a  soldier  trained  in 
the  craft  of  wholesale  murder  and  destruction  called  war. 
The  Cain  of  militarism  is  the  beloved  son  of  our  Christian 
civilization,  while  the  Abel  of  peaceful  and  useful  arts  is 
treated  as  a  slave. 

The  usual  objection  raised  by  the  Philistines  of  our  time 
against  any  measure  tending  to  the  protection  of  the  proleta- 
riat is  his  (the  Philistines)  aversion  to  paternalism  and  his 
fear  of  the  ghost  of  state  Socialism.  Curiously  enough  the 
Philistine  has  no  objection  against  paternalism  and  state  So- 
cialism, when  legislation  in  favor  of  the  ruling  classes  is  the 
object  of  distussion.  The  Philistine  does  not  see  either  pater- 
nalism or  state  Socialism  in  the  protection  by  the  state  of  such 
lusty  infants  of  industry  as  the  giant  steel  trust  or  sugar-trust 
babies  or  poverty-stricken  railroad  corporations. 

The  Socialists  of  America,  the  champions  of  the  pro- 
letariat, must  demand  justice  for  the  invalids  of  the  prole- 
tariat. They  must  demand  that  the  state  should  include  in  its 
functions,  the  creation  of  institutions,  providing  for  the  sick 
and  invalids  of  the  laboring  class,  just  as  it  provides  for  its 
soldiers.  In  all  European  countries,  including  even  little 
Eoumania  and  the  colossus  of  Eussia,  there  is  a  system  of  leg- 
islation creating  protection  for  the  victims  of  accidents  during 


148 

work,  to  the  sick  laborers  and  to  invalids  of  labor.  German}', 
owing  to  the  influence  of  the  strong  Social  Democratic  party, 
has  gone  farther  in  that  direction  than  any  other  country  and 
provided  an  insurance  for  laborers  even  in  case  of  protracted 
inability  to  work  in  consequence  of  an  accident  or  sickness.  It 
is  impossible  to  present  here  an  approximate  idea  of  the  mag- 
nitude of  the  work  done  in  Europe  in  that  direction  within 
the  limits  of  one  article.  It  will  suffice  to  present  here  brief 
statistical  data  concerning  Germany.  In  1893  there  were 
legalized  21,226  benefit  institutions  with  7,106,804  insured; 
2,794,027  persons  benefited  during  46,199,436  days  of  sick- 
ness. The  expenditure  amounted  to  126,018,810  marks,  while 
the  total  income  reached  83,811,959  marks.  In  1894  there 
were  18,060,000  persons  insured  against  accidents;  266,400 
accidents  were  adjusted.  The  old  age  pension  benefited  in 
1894  11,510,000;  insured,  295,200.  The.  forty  institutions 
had  an  income  of  109,580,000  marks,  an  expenditure  of  35,- 
560,000  marks.  Their  capital  amounted  to  329,500,000 
marks.  The  sum  furnished  tO'  it  by  the  state  amounted  to 
1 3,920,000  marks.  Each  member  of  the  sick  benefit  associa- 
tions is  entitled  in  Germany  to  free  medical  attendance  and 
medicine  and  likewise  to  spectacles,  crutches  and  similar, 
things  in  ease  of  need.  Beginning  with  the  third  day  a  sick 
benefit  is  paid  out  at  the  rate  of  one-half  of  the  wages  received 
by  the  patient.  A  death  benefit  amounting  to  a  sum  equal  to 
twenty  times  the  wages  earned  by  the  deceased  is  provided  in 
compulsory  associations.  Accident  insurance  is  provided  for 
every  insured  person,  irrespective  of  consideration  as  to  the 
party  to  be  blamed  for  the  accident.  This  provision  elimi- 
nates costly  and  protracted  !1*igation.  The  authority,  Mau- 
rice Black,  points  out  in  his  book,  Les  Assurances  ouvrieres 
en  Allemagne,  Paris,  1894,  that  the  field  of  charity  contracts 
with  the  extension  of  labor  insurance  and  old  age  pensions. 


149 


XXXIII.    BUILDING  OF  THE  CO-OPERATIVE  COM- 
MONWEALTH, 

Evolution  consists  mainly  in  progressive  organization  and 
co-ordination  of  forces.  The  degree  of  complexity  of  an  or- 
ganism is  an  indication  of  its  place  on  the  evolutionary  ladder. 
The  more  complex  the  higher  it  stands.  Organization  and 
co-ordination  are  the  most  economic  modes  of  utilizing 
natural  forces.  Indeed  the  higher  a  plant  or  animal  is  from 
the  evolutionary  point  of  view,  the  more  minute  and  thorough 
iB  the  division  of  labor  among  its  various  organs,  the  greater 
their  mutual  interdependence,  the  more  specialized  their 
fimctions. 

This  is  equally  true  in  respect  to  the  organization  called  hu- 
man society.  The  more  advanced  a  social  organization  is  the 
more  minute  and  thorough  must  be  the  division  of  labor  among 
its  members,  the  more  specialized  their  functions.  A  striking 
illustration  of  the  fact  is  furnished  by  the  industrial  system 
of  production  of  modern  society,  as  compared  with  that  of  pri- 
mitive societies  of  savages  or  semi-barbarians.  The  advan- 
tages of  co-ordination  of  the  results  of  division  of  labor  and 
its  specialization  for  any  kind  of  social  activity  are  obvious. 
The  armies  of  all  civilized  nations  are  managed  strictly  in 
accordance  with  that  method.  But  even  in  the  field  of  mind 
activity,  as,  for  instance,  in  natural  sciences,  division  of  labor 
or  specialization  goes  hand  in  hand  with  co-ordination  or 
generalization.  A  Charles  Darwin  presupposes  a  host  of  well- 
trained  specialists  diligently  pursuing  minute  investigations 
observations  and  experiments  in  their  particular  field  of 
knowledge.  The  origin  of  castes,  classes  and  other  social  sub- 
divisions is  traceable  to  the  ever-increasing  division  and  spe- 
cialization of  social  labor  from  time  immemorial  to  our  day. 

On  these  facts  of  social  evolution  Socialist  thinkers  build 
their  system  of  society.  Socialism  represents  a  conscious  en- 
deavor so  to  organize  and  co-ordinate  the  forces  inherent  in 
society  as  to  attain  the  highest  possible  physical  and  spiritual 
welfare  of  the  greatest  possible  number  of  its  members.  So- 
cialists are  conscious  evolutionists.  Lester  Ward  says :  "So- 
ciety, which  is  the  highest  product  of  evolution,  naturally  de- 
pends upon  mind,  which  is  the  highest  property  of  matter." 
The  same  authority  defines  the  aim  of  dynamic  sociology 


150 

as  "the  organization  of  liappiness,"  and  claims  that :  "The 
dynamic  department  of  psychology  becomes  also  that  of  so- 
ciology the  moment  we  rise  from  the  individual  to  society." 
Human  mind  must  modify  and  direct  the  evolutionary  powers 
of  society  in  order  to  "organize  happiness." 

Socialist  writers  devote  a  great  deal  of  their  attention  to 
pjirely  economic  problems.  There  are,  however  quite  a  few 
fields  of  social  activity  not  elucidated  sufficiently  from  the  So- 
cialistic point  of  view,.  One  of  these  is  the  general  technical 
understnicture  of  Socialism  and  the  administration  of  public 
affairs  in  particular.  In  European  countries  the  administra- 
tive functions  rest  on  the  broad  shoulders  of  a  special  class — 
the  bureaucracy.  In  the  United  States  we  have  for  that  pur- 
pose a  host  of  public  officials.  The  European  bureaucracy  is 
(with  the  exception  of  Eussia)  competent,  but  meddlesome. 
The  officialdom  of  the  United  States  is  notorious  for  its  incom- 
petence and  corruption,  due  to  the  debasing  system  of  rota- 
tion of  office,  founded  on  the  principle  "to  the  victor  belongs 
the  spoils."  The  so-called  civil  service  reform  has  only  recent- 
ly been  introduced  in  a  half-hearted,  fragmentary  and  crude 
manner.  Indeed,  the  two  old  parties  exist  only  for  all  there 
is  in  politics — i.  e.,  for  the  spoils,  and  it  would  be  rather  too 
sanguine  to  expect  from  them  the  introduction  of  an  honest 
and  able  measure  doing  away  with  the  political  spoils,  the 
very  sub-stratum  on  which  they  live. 

The  fundamental  principle  of  civil  service  reform —  that 
the  public  is  entitled  to  the  best  services  of  the  best  men  in 
the  community — is,  however,  sound  and  entirely  in  accord 
with  Socialistic  ideas  about  the  administration  of  all  public 
affairs  by  specialists,  educated  and  trained  for  that  purpose 
in  special  schools.  The  state  maintains  special  schools  for  the 
purpose  of  providing  the  army  and  navy  with  competent 
officers.  AVhy  should  not  the  state  do  the  same  for  the  civil 
department  of  administration?  Society  is  certainly  more 
benefited  by  the  peaceful  civic  activity  of  its  administration 
than  by  the  development  of  the  destructive  arts  of  war.  It 
is  true  that  as  long  as  the  capitalistic  state  of  society  exists 
the  Socialistic  ideal  of  administration  of  public  affairs  by 
specialists  cannot  be  realized  in  all  its  perfection  and  purity. 
In  the  first  instance,  the  capitalistic  state  will  only  occasional- 
ly attract  to  public  S(>rviee  some  of  the  best  members  of  society. 
The  danger  of  an  hereditary  cast  of  officials  fostered  bv  the 


151 

state  can  be  entirely  eliminated  only  in  a  perfect  Social  De- 
mocracy. Besides  this,  only  a  perfect  Social  Democracy  will 
present  a  real  equality  of  opportunities  to  all  its  citizens  to 
choose  and  prepare  themselves  for  any  kind  of  social  activity. 
These  and  similar  considerations,  however,  ought  not  to  deter 
Socialists  from  the  support  of  the  civil  service  reform,  even 
in  its  present  mutilated  and  embryonic  shape,  on  account  of  its 
principle. 

Advanced  Socialist  thinkers  do  not  expect  any  sudden 
transformation  of  the  present  capitalistic  state  of 
society  into  a  co-operative  commonwealth  by  the 
means  of  a  popular  revolt  or  in  consequence  of  a 
general  economic  collapse.  They  do  not  unduly 
idealize  the  proletariat  as  a  creative  social  facJ;or  ready  to 
perform  miracles  of  constructive  work  when  given  a  fair 
chance  aftei*  a  violent  social  upheaval.  History  does  not  war- 
rant such  an  idealization.  History  does  not  support  the  faith 
of  the  Socialists  of  the  old  school  that  capitalism  is  bound 
to  work  out,  mechanically,  so  to  speak,  its  own  destruction  and 
then  be  replaced  automatically  by  Socialism,  even  in  case  no 
conscientious  and  conscious  endeavor  to  work  in  that  direction 
exists  on  the  part  of  the  members  of  society.  History  abounds 
rather  in  examples  of  civilization  of  thousands  of  years'  stand- 
ing that  crumbled  like  dust  and  were  replaced  by  barbarism 
under  the  stress  of  social-economic  incongruities.  Socialism 
may  save  our  modern  civilization  from  such  a  fate  if  con- 
sciously innoculated  and  diligently  reared  in  the  midst  of 
the  Capitalistic  society,  but  not  otherwise.  The  transforma- 
tion of  the  capitalistic  state  into  a  Socialistic  one  can  be 
brought  about  more  or  less  gradually.  Socialism  must  grow, 
so  to  speak,  into  our  present  society  and  permeate  its  entire 
system  until  it  absorbs  and  transforms  it  into  the  new  order. 

Such  a  conception  of  the  process  of  the  socialization  of  so- 
ciety does  not  leave  any  space,  either  to  optimistic  fatalism,  or, 
to  use  a  Utopian  phrase — ^revolutionism,  but  is  conducive  to 
untiring  immediate  work  for  a  gradual  realization  of  the  So- 
cialistic ideal.  Neither  complacent  dreams  about  the  future 
millennium,  nor  empty  phraseology  or  revolutionary  cant  can 
be  of  any  avail  to  the  advanced  Socialist  conscious  of  the  mag- 
nitude and  scope  of  the  task  before  him  and  of  the  grave  re- 
sponsibilities connected  with  it.  We  have  to  start  the  realiza- 
tion of  our  ideals,  as  far  as  our  powers  reach,  in  our  own  tim? 


152 

in  our  present  social  environment.  If  we  do  not  succeed  in  ac- 
complishing much,  we  will  at  least  lay  the  foundation  on 
which  future  generations  will  build  the  magnificent  structure 
of  Socialistic  society. 

Fanatics  and  revolutionary  phrase-mongers  may  look  idly 
on  our  endeavor  and  soothe  their  ill-humor  by  sneering  at  us 
as  "reformers"  engaged  in  patch-work.  They  may  brag  about 
their  uncompromising  attitude  toward  the  present  society. 
Our  work  and  the  results  of  our  work  will  be  our  vindication. 


153 


XXXIV.     INTELLECTUAL  PKOLETARIAT. 

Can  there  be  a  more  pathetic  sight  than  that  of  a  sick  infant 
in  its  utter  helplessness  and  abandon?  It  feels  acutely  the 
intense  pain  without  having  the  slighest  idea  about  its  origin, 
causes  and  nature,  without  being  able  to  relieve  the  nervous 
strain  by  articulated,  intelligent  speech.  The  task  of  physi- 
cians treating  infants  is  therefore  of  a  higher  order  and  their 
responsibilities  of  a  graver  nature  than  those  of  a  general 
practitioner.  An  infant's  physician  must  diagnose  the  sick- 
ness on  the  foundation  of  his  own  observation  and  studies 
and  adopt  a  method  of  treatment  according  to  his  own  con- 
clusions. 

The  broad  masses  of  the  people  may  be  aptly  compared 
with  an  overgrown  infant.  Indeed,  the  masses  are  conscious 
of  the  social-eccjnomic  diseases  of  the  time  as  far  as  they  feel 
their  painful  results.  This  consciousness  is,  however,  of  a 
rather  vague  character  and  does  not  extend  to  an  intelligent 
conception  of  the  origin,  causes  and  nature  of  the  diseases 
and  the  ways  and  means  of  their  elimination.  At  times  when 
the  social-economic  diseases  of  an  epoch  reach  their  climax 
and  the  pain  inflicted  by  them  appears  insufferable,  the  infant- 
people  loses  its  angelic  patience.  The  long  suppressed  forces 
of  resistance  to  social  "wrong  find  their  vent  in  a  purely  ele- 
mentary stroke  at  some  object  that  happens  to  concentrate 
on  itself  the  hatred  of  the  masses.  This  object  may  be  a  Bas- 
tile  or  a  king's  head.  Once,  however,  the  fury  of  the  people's 
wrath  has  spent  itself  the  masses  of  the  people  relapse  into 
the  customary  spiritual  apathy  and  mental  lethargy.  The 
powers  for  evil  once  more  reign  supreme. 

Fortunately  there  is  a  class  of  people  in  all  the  civilized 
countries  of  the  world  that  are  able  and  willing  to  cope  with 
the  difficult  task  and  grave  responsibilities  of  physicians  of 
social-economic  diseases  of  their  time.  This  class  is  called 
the  class  of  intellectuals.  The  intellectuals  impart  rational 
consciousness  to  the  blind  social  forces  and  try  to  direct  them 
in  certain  channels  of  usefulness.  The  intellectuals  represent 
the  brain  and  heart  of  the  people,  the  reason  and  conscience 
of  their  generation,  the  mind  of  their  country.  The  intel- 
lectuals incorporate  and  preserve  in  their  sanctuary  the  nob- 
lest ideals  and  highest  aspirations  of  the  human  race.    In  the 


154 

days  gone  by  the  intellectuals  rarely  belonged  themselves  to 
the  broad  masses  of  the  people,  to  the  oppressed  and  disin- 
herited lower  classes.  If  they  identified  themselves  with  the 
interest  of  the  popular  masses  it  was  done  by  them  out  of  con- 
siderations of  a  higher  order  than  mere  sordid  selfishness. 
It  was  the  deep  consciousness  of  the  highest  interests  of  the , 
race  as  a  unit. 

WTiat  is  likely  to  be  the  part  enacted  by  tlie  intellectuals 
in  the  modern  social-economic  struggle  of  the  proletariat 
against  the  encroachments  of  the  exploiting  upper  classes? 
is  the  question  that  must  interest  every  thoughtful  student 
of  our  times.  Whatever  our  answer  may  be,  there  is  no  doubt 
that  the  intellectuals  of  the  modern  ages  have  a 
stronger  motive  to  work  in  the  interest  of  the  pro- 
letariat than  the  intellectuals  of  preceding  historical 
epochs.  The  Socialists  of  the  old  school  may  still 
insist  on  overalls  and  tin  pails  as  necessary  insignia  of  a  true 
proletarian.  Some  middle  class  optimists  may  still  fondly 
cling  to  the  legend  about  the  self-made  man.  These  narrow 
ideas  and  antiquated  notions  of  people,  that  neither  forget 
nor  learn  anything,  are  doomed  to  disa,ppear  under  the  pres- 
sure of  events.  The  mills  of  the  tin  gods  of  capitalism  grind 
a  great  deal  faster  and  finer  than  the  old-fashioned  mills  of 
the  ancient  dieties  of  Olympus  used  to  do.  The  intellectual 
worker  is  turned  into  an  insignificant  appendix  of  the  soul- 
less giant  corporations  of  manufacture,  trade  and  commerce, 
just  as  fast  and  thorough  as  the  ordinary  unsophisticated 
proletarian  is  transformed  into  an  appendix  of  the  dead  tool  of 
production,  the  machine. 

The  same  social-economic  conditions  that  created  the  in- 
dustrial wage-slave  system  gave  birth  to  the  intellectual  pro- 
letariat. That  the  last  must  feel  more  in  touch  with  the 
modem  proletariat  class  as  a  whole,  that  it  must  be  endowed 
with  a  deeper  sympathy  with  the  suffering  of  the  masses,  that 
it  must  fight  with  greater  ardour  for  the  cause  of  the  eman- 
cipation of  labor  from  capital  than  was  the  case  with  the  in- 
tellectuals of  other  historical  epochs  appears  obvious.  In- 
deed the  intellectual  of  other  times  was  at  best  a  benevolent 
stranger  to  the  people,  while  the  intellectual  modern  prole- 
tarian is  one  of  the  people  himself  and  cannot  help  suffering 
and  feeling  with  the  people.     The  advantages  to  be  derived 


155 

from  such  an  intimate  relation  between  the  proletariat  and 
the  class  of  brain  workers  are  bound  to  prove  themselves  in 
the  near  future.  Capitalism  is  itself  cementing  the  union  be- 
tween the  different  wings  of  the  proletariat  class.  The  clerk, 
the  teacher,  the  physician,  the  engineer,  the  chemist,  the  law^ 
yer  and  other  professional  men  feel  more  and  more  the  grow- 
ing economic  insecurity  of  their  occupations,  due  to  the 
economic  insecurity  of  the  actual  producer,  the  industrial 
laborer  and  the  farmer.  There  seems  to  be  an  overproduction 
or  underconsumption  of  professional  men  in  the  same  meas- 
ure as  there  is  an  excess  of  supply  of  labor  of  all  kind.  The 
reserve  army  of  proletarians  includes  professors,  teachers,  phy- 
sicians, chemists  and  other  members  of  the  liberal  professions. 
Our  present  society  teems  with  people  able  and  anxious  to  be 
„  useful  to  society,  but  finding  no  employment,  while  there  exists 
a  great  need  everywhere  of  men  anxious  and  capable  of  work- 
ing. The  anarchy  of  our  social-economic  system  is  the  cause  of 
this,  as  of  many  other  incongruities  and  absurdities  that  can- 
not fail  to  engage  the  attention  of  our  intellectual  proletariat 
and  impart  a  powerful  impetus  to  critical  thought  and 
prompt  action.  Indeed  the  press,  the  pulpit,  the  representa- 
tives of  science  are  diligentlv  discussing  the  most  striking 
phenomena  of  our  social-economic  system,  such  as  the  trusts, 
disturbances  of  the  labor  market,  boai^i  of  trade  manipula- 
tions, in  a  spirit  of  frank  desire  to  arrive  at  the  truth,  that 
is  very  encouraging  to  the  advocates  of  conscious  social  evo- 
lution. The  social-economic  diseases  of  our  time  approach 
their  climax,  the  afflictions  of  the  broad,  masses  of  the  people 
are  becoming  insufferable  and  the  intellectuals  are  preparing 
themselves  to  perform  their  historical  mission  as  leaders  in  the 
righteous  struggle  for  justice  and  right  in  human  intei'-rela- 
tions. 


156 


XXXV.     ON  THK  EVE  OF  THE  TWENTIETH  CEN- 

TUEY. 

A  VISION. 

'.'       -  •       Sub  Specie  Aeternitatis. 

I  dreamed  I  was  once  more  in  exile  in  the  Arctic  region 
watching  the  dark  blue  starry  skies  at  night  I  saw  nearly 
in  the  center  of  the  northern  part  of  the  horizon  a  deep  dark 
segment,  so  dark  and  menacing  that  feeling  of  awe  and  ter- 
ror crept  unawares  over  me.  Strangely  enough,  the  segment, 
glaring  like  a  bottomless  abyss  under  the  feet  of  a  daring 
mountain  climber  and  ready  to  swallow  him  at  any  moment, 
not  only  did  not  repel  me,  but  rather  attracted  all  my  atten- 
tion with  an  unexplainable  fascination.  Gray  clouds  of  in- 
distinct, perpetually  changing  shape  and  outlines  were  slowly 
creeping  forward  and  backward  over  the  black  abyss  like 
shadows  of  dethroned  ancient  deities.  At  times  the  shadow 
broadened,  glimmered  with  phosphorescent  flames,  covering, 
like„a  huge  fantastic]  curtain,  a  considerable  paxt  of  the  hori- 
zon and  then  vanished  at  once,  leaving  behind  the  same  dense 
Egyptian  darkness.  The  gigantic  shadow  then  reappeared, 
took  more  distinct  shape  and  outlines,  more  intense  colors; 
green,  blue,  red — all  the  shades  and  hues  of  the  rainbow  in 
the  most  unexpected,  but  always  harmonious  combinations. 

It  was  a  chaotic  vision,  a  series  of  perpetually  changing 
magnificent  pictures.  At,  times  a  part,  at  times  the  whole 
horizon,  at  times  the  starry  heavens  and  the  snowbound  sea, 
and  even  the  intensely  cold  atmosphere  appeared  in  flames,  as 
if  all  the  volcanoes  of  the  globe  were  thrown  iuto  a  state  of 
the  most  violent  eruption.  The  waves  of  the  ocean  of  colored 
flames  seemed  to  menace  everything  and  everybody  on  earth. 
And  not  a  sound,  even  the  faintest,  could  be  heard.  I  looked 
and  waited  and  wondered.  A  crushing  feeling  of  my  human 
nothingness  overwhelmed  me.  I  felt  like  shutting  my  eyes, 
dazzled  and  tired  out  by  the  vision,  when  suddenly  a  divine 
being  approached  before  me,  as  if  borne  by  the  waves  of  the 
irresistible  flood  of  flaming  air.  It  would  be  futile  and  sacre- 
ligious  at  the  same  time,  on  my  part  to  attempt  to  describe 
the  heavenly  apparition— so  celestially  beautiful  and  radi- 
ant and  yot  so  humanly  plain  and  simple.    I  felt  more  happy, 


157 

calm  and  hopeful  than  ever  in  my  life  before  or  since.  So 
much  goodness,  so  much  sweetness  and  sublime  simplicity 
radiated  from  the  childlike,  womanly  countenance  of  thegod- 
deffs,  that  I  felt  at  that  moment  with  all  the  fibres  of  my  body, 
with  all  the  powers  of  my  soul,  that  I  was  in  the  presence  of 
a  divine  being,  and  all  the  dross  of  everyday  drudgery,  cares, 
fears  and  anxiety,  melted  away,  lieaviiig  behind  the  pure  gold 
of  an  exalted  human  existence. 

The  goddess  touched  me  with  the  flaming  torch  carried  in 
her  left  hand.  She  spoke,  and  her  voice  sounded  like  the  mur- 
mur of  flowers  caressed  by  the  Spring  zephyr :  "Follow  me" 
she  said.    "I  am  the  future  of  the  human  race. 

T  had  no  will  but  hers,  and  obeyed  silently  arid  joyfully, 
like  a  child,  the  command  of  a  well-beloved  mother.  The 
earth  at  once  lost  the  power  of  attraction  for  my  body  and 
soul,  and  I  felt  lifted  to  heights  unspeakable.  I  lost  all  idea 
about  space  and  time. 

Born,  wither  and  how  long,  I  know  not„  we  came  to  a  pri- 
son, located  in  the  very  midst  of  a  primeval  forest  of  Siberia. 
A  prematurely  aged  man  with  remarkably  noble  and  intel- 
ligent features  whose  hands  and  feet  were  chained  to  the 
slimy  wall  slept  on  a  wooden  bench  swarming  with  the  most 
abominable  vermin.  Fearful  phantasma  seemed  to  disturb 
the  prisoner's  rest.  The  goddess  touched  him  with  her  torch 
The  prisoner  did  not  rise,  but  a  happy  smile  for  a  moment 
rejuvenated  the  careworn  face  of  the  martyr. 

"It  is  new  year,  the  first  of  a  new  century.  You  know  me. 
I  am  come  to  console  you,"  said  the  goddess. 

"To  console  me  ?"  bitterly  retorted  the  unfortunate  in  a 
faint,  broken  voice,  once  so  musical  and  magnetic.  "Do  not 
trouble  yourself  about  me!  You  had  no  more  devoted  ser- 
vants than  I.  I  sacrificed  my  lifehood  to  the  cause  of  hu- 
manity, and  here  I  am,  a  slave  of  slaves,  a  broken  vessel!  Go 
to  the  mighty  of  the  earth,  to  the  kings,  emperors  and  czars !" 
He  then  turned  away  hi;;  face  to  the  slimy  wall  inconsolable 
in  his  great  affliction. 

An  indescribable  sadness  over-shadowed  the  divirie  features 
of  the  goddess  and  we  departed.  Again  we  floated  silently 
through  the  space  t"ill  we  stopped  before  a  small  frame  build- 
ing and  entered  a  room  filled  with  books,  manuscripts,  maps 
and  philosophical  instruments.    A  venerable  sage  was  dream- 


158 

ing  in  his  olclfashioned  chair.  The  goddess  touched  him  with 
her  torch  and  repeated  her  greeting. 

"A  new  century,  indeed!  What  a  mighty  consolation!" 
answered  the  sage  sarcastically.  "My  whole  life  has  been 
spent  in  the  search  of  truth.  I  opened  new  vistas  of  thought, 
made  many  discoveries  and  inventions  ?  What  of  it  ?  Did  all 
this  improve  the  conditions,  lighten  the  burden  of  the  poor, 
the  downtrodden,  the  disinherited  part  of  the  human  race? 
Go  to  the  priests,  to  the  successful  captains  of  industry,  to  the 
professional  politicians."  Again  sadness  darkened  the  face 
of  the  goddess  and  we  departed.  We  then  entered  the  splen- 
did palace  of  a  mighty  ruler — ^the  Czar  of  Eussia.  Sur- 
rounded by  almost  inhuman  luxury  and  treated  like  a  demi- 
god, he  dreamed  on  his  gorgeous  throne.  The  deity  did  not 
touch  him  with  her  torch,  and  he  took  no  heed  of  us.  His  wife 
and  child  came  in  and  congratulated  him  on  the  advent  of  the 
new  year,  a  new  centiiry.  The  ruler  of  hundreds  of  millions 
of  subjects  did  not  seem  to  be  happy  and  contented.  "T  wish 
I  could  be  a  poor  peasant,"  said  he  to  his  wife.  The  bur- 
den of  my  crown  is  too  heavy  for  my  head.  I  am  the  least  free 
of  all  my  subjects,  and  my  rule  is,  after  all,  only  nominal. 
I  do  not  and  cannot  know  and  ascertain  the  real  needs  of  my 
people,  and  even  if  I  would  and  could  I  should  be  powerless  to 
accomplish  any  real  good.  I  am  the  servant  of  my  advisors 
and  cannot  make  one  step  independently.  I  am  surrounded 
by  people  I  cannoj:  trust  and  must  be  ready  any  moment  to 
meet  a  violent  death.  The  future  does  not  belong  to  us  so 
called  mighty  rulers.  Our  days  have  passed.  0  for  the  hum- 
ble lot  of  the  poorest  of  my  subjects !" 

Not  less  surprising  was  our  experience  in  the  palace  of  one 
of  the  richest  men  on  earth.  "Do  not  congratulate  me  with 
new  years  and  centiiries,"  said  he  to  his  intimate  friends. 
"The  future  does  not  belong  to  us,  financial  kings.  Our  days 
are  passing  never  to  return  again.  And  I  really  am  not  quite 
certain  if  there  is  any  cause  to  lament  it.  Frankly  speaking, 
my  life  was  a  failure  as  far  as  real  human  happiness  is  con- 
cerned. I  exhausted  all  my  energies  in  amassing  fabulous 
wealth.  At  first  I  enjoyed  success,  but  soon  got  used  to  it 
and  looked  upon  it  as  a  matter  of  course.  I  had  no  time  to 
enjoy  life  in  my  young  years  and  lost  the  capacity  for  enjoy- 
ment in  my  declining  age.  My  friends  are  few,  while  my  ene- 
mies' name  is  legion;  and  my  conscience  bothers  me  some- 


159 

times  more  than  I  care  to  confess.  I  did,  alas !  many  a  thing 
in  my  career  I  would  give  my  life  now  to  be  undone.  0!  for 
the  humble  lot  of  one  of  the  humblest  of  my  employes !  My 
wealth  becomes  more  and  more  burdensome  to  me,  it  crushes 
me  with  every  hour." 

We  next  visited  the  pope  of  Eome.  He  at  once  recognized 
the  goddess,  but  did  not  seem  to  be  especially  edified  by  her  ar- 
rival. "I  do  not  see  any  reason  to  rejoice  in  the  advent  of  the 
new  century.  As  a  representative  of  one  of  the  strongest  dog- 
matic religions  I  have  to  confess,  that  our  days  have  passed 
and  the  future  does  not  belong  to  us  churchmen.  Thie  old 
dogmatic  creeds  are  decaying  fast.  And  what  -replaces  them  ?" 

Again,  we  soared  through  space  till  we  stopped  in  the  midst 
of  one  of  the  largest  cities  of  the  United  States.  A  mighty 
throng  of  listeners  was  gathered  around  a  speaker.  He  was 
a  young  carpenter,  unusually  handsome,  and  his  striking  ap- 
pearance was  enhanced  by  a  half  mystical,  but  wholly  self- 
reliant  radiance  of  mien,  showing  a  firm  faith  and  deep  ab- 
sorption in  his  theme.  His  voice  was  remarkably  clear, 
strong  and  winning.  The  audience  was  spell-bound  and 
thoroughly  in  touch  with  the  magnetic  personality  of  the 
speaker.  He  spoke  with  unsurpassed  eloquence  about  the  pros- 
pects of  the  new  century  and  compared  it  with  the  passed. 
The  nineteenth  century  was  the  epoch  of  unchecked  individ- 
ualism, selfishness  and  pessimism,  of  purely  negative 
ideas,  of  destruction  of  old  institutions  without  build- 
ing new  ones  to  replace  them,  of  religious  hypocrisy  and  gen- 
eral moral  cowardice.  The  speaker  hailed  in  glowing  words 
the  twentieth  century  as  the  dawii  of  a  new  era  of  race  con- 
sciousness instead  of  class-  consciousness  and  individualism, 
altruism  instead  of  selfishness  and  optimism  instead  of  pes- 
simism. Positive  ideas  as  a  basis  for  the  entire  reconstruction 
of  anachronistic  social  institutions,  ideals  of  true  human 
brotherhood  and  perfect  solidarity  of  interests  will  replace  the 
old  fetishes  of  so-called  sovereign  personality.  There  was  no 
trace  of  declamation  or  mannerism  to  be  noted  in  the  speaker. 
He  appealed  not  only  to  the  reason,  but  to  the  innermost 
hearts  of  his  listeners,  to  the  holy  of  holies  of  the  human  soul. 
And  there  was  not  one  man  or  woman  so  hardened  and  soiled 
by  the  meanness  of  life  who  were  not  touched  and  ennobled  for 
the  time  being.  The  divine  spark  feebly  glowing  under  the  ^ 
heaps  of  moral,  or  rather  immoral,  rubbish  even  in  the  most 


160 

depraved  human  being  was  blown  into  flames  and  the  enthus- 
iasm of  the  audience  was  great.  Indeed,  before  their  spiritual 
eyes  were  enrolled  vistas  of  thought  and  sentiments,  of  the  ex- 
istence of  which  they  never  dreamed,  motives  of  action  were 
pointed  out,  about  which  they  never  before-  had  heard.  But, 
above  all,  they  were  made  to  feel  for  the  first  time  in  their  bar- 
ren lives  the  deep  sacredness,  the  high  dignity  and  the  true 
significance  of  human  relations.  He  preached  the  gospel  of 
humanity  turned  divine,  of  humanity  identified  with  divinity, 
of  the  total  renunciation  of  the  personality  in  the  interests 
of  the  race — this  sublime  unity  with  a  past,  full  of  mysterious 
charm  and  a  future  too  glorious  to  be  imagined  by  us.  The 
longer  he  spoke  the  higher  ran  the  enthusiasm  of  his  en- 
chanted listeners,  the  more  their  numbers  grew.  Every  word 
of  the  new  prophet  of  Kaceism  was  wired  by  special  reporters 
to  all  the  nooks  and  corners  of  the  globe  and  aroused  every- 
where the  same  enthusiasm,  kindled  the  same  religious  ardor, 
implanted  the  same  ideals  and  aspirations.  For  the  first  time 
in  the  history  of  the  world  all  humanity  was  united  in  one  all- 
absorbing  thought — its  perfect  solidarity  as  a  race. 

Again  we  soared  through  space  till  we  arrived  at  Paris  to 
the  world's  congress  of  nations  assembled  with  the  purpose  to 
inaugurate  eternal  peace  on  earth  and  good  will  to  men,  to  de- 
yise  new  social  and  economic  institutions  on  the  basis  of  reason 
and  equitj',  to  do  away  forever  with  exploitation  of  men  by 
men,  of  one  class  by  another  in  any  shape  or  manner,  to  in- 
augurate real  economic  freedom  and  social  equality,  to  pro- 
claim the  religion  of  divine  hiimanity.  The  world's  history 
never  witnessed  deliberations  so  profound  in  their  nature,  so 
"broad  in  their  scope,  so  deep  in  their  significance.  So  en- 
thused was  I  by  the  sight  of  the  world's  congress  of  nations, 
that  I  ventured  to  say  a  few  words  myself,  but  at  that  moment 
I  awoke  and  the  vision  vanished. 

The  sun  was  still  under  the  horizon,  but  its  light  messen- 
gers, the  rosy  Aurora,  spread  like  a  heap  of  sheaves  upward 
into  the  deep  azure  of  the  starry  sky.  The  East  glowed  in  a 
sea  of  molten  gold,  silver  and  rubies.  The  upper  rim  of  the 
sun  appeared  over  the  horizon,  blending  the  joyous  specta- 
tors with  its  fiery  light  and  inaugurating  the  glorious  dawn 
of  the  twentieth  century,  the  century  of  Socialism. 


VANDERVELDE'S  COLLECTIVISM. 

One  of  the  greatest  needs  of  American  Socialists  has  long  been  a  book  that 
^ould,  at  once,  give  a  thorough,  scientific  explanation  of  socialism  in^U  its 
phases  so  as  to  make  a  reliable  text-book  for  socialists,  and  still  be  so  simple  in 
its  language  and  elementarjy  in  its  treatment  of  the  subject  that  it  could  be  put 
into  the  hands  of  new  inquirers. 

This  want  is  now  supplied  in  the  book  recently  published  by  Professor  Emile 
Vandervelde,  of  Belgium,  entitled  '*  Collectivism  and  Industrial  Evolution." 
Some  idea  of  the  value  placed  upon  this  work  by  European  socialists  is  shown  by 
the  fact  that  within  a  few  weeks  from  its  first  issue  it  was  being  translated  into 
German,  Russian  and  Italian.  It  is  also  worth  noting  that,  although  the  author 
is  a  Belgian,  the  book  is  issued  by  one  of  the  foremost  socialist  publishing 
houses  at  Paris. 

A  short  summary  of  the  contents  of  the  work  will  give  a  clear  idea  of  its 
value:  The  first  part  deals  with  the  subject  of  capitalist  concentration  and  the 
disappearance  of  the  "peasant  proprietor,"  "artisians"  and  "small  retailers." 
This  IS  discussed  with  a  wealth  of  illustration  and  argument  nowhere  else  to  be 
found.  "  The  Progress  of  Capitalist  Property  "  is  then  traced  through  the  succes- 
sive stages  of  corporations,  monopolies  and  trusts.  The  attempts  of  capitalist 
writers  to  explain  away  this  process  of  evolution  are  then  taken  up  and 
thoroughly  answered. 

The  second  part  of  the  work  deals  with  "  The  Socialization  of  the  Means  of 
Production  and  Exchange,"  and  is  by  far  the  most  exhaustive  study  of  the  tran- 
sition from  capitalism  to  socialism  that  has  yet  appeared  The  final  chapter 
discusses  the  objections  to  socialism  in  a  thoroughly  satisfactory  manner.  Of 
the  book  as  a  whole,  it  is  not  too  much  to  say  that  it  is  destined  to  become  the 
standard  test-book  of  International  Socialism  and  the  greatest  propaganda  work 
yet  issued.  r^  -,- 

200  Pages.    Cloth  50  cents ;  Paper  25  cents. 


h    . 


LIEBKNECHT'S  LIFE  OF  MARX. 


When  the  history  of  the  Socialist  movement  is  written,  one  of  its  most  inter- 
esting- chapters  will  be  the  period  when  Marx.  Engles,  Liebknecht  and  other 
active  Socialists  from  the  continent  of  Europe  were  exiles  in  England,  carrying 
on  from  there  a  tireless  campaign  with  pen  and  press  which  by  and  by,  with  the 
march  of  economic  forces,  brought  them  back  in  triumph  to  theirnative  countries. 
Shortly  before  his  death  Liebknepht,  urged  by  many  friends,  published  a  delight* 
ful  volume  of  his  personal  recollections  oi  Marx,  dealing  mainly  with  the  period 
just  mentioned. 

It  is  not  too  much  to  say  that  no  volume  of  tales  ever  published  would  be  of  as 
intense  interest  to  the  Socialist  reader  as  these  that  L,iebknecht  has  so  charm- 
ingly told  of  this  trying  time.  There  is  humor  that  will  drive  away  the  most 
pronounced  melancholy,  and  a  pathos  that  wrings  the  heart.  No  matter  what 
the  reader  may  think  of  the  doctrines  held  by  the  characters  described  he  cannot 
but  be  intensely  interested  in  the  book  as  a  series  of  short  stories,  and  it  is  safe 
to  say  that  its  literary  charm  will  attract  many  who  would  never  glance  at  a  work 
on  economics.  To  the  Socialist  reader  the  charm  will  be  raanyfold  greater,  for 
he  will  be  constantly  conscious  of  new  light  on  his  philosophy  and  new  facts 
concerning  the  origin  of  Socialist  doctrines  and  the  beginning  of  the  Socialist 
movement.  .  '  ■  ;• 

-  181  Pages.    Cloth  50  cents. 


SOCIALISM 

Vs.  Single  Tax 


A  Verbatim  Report  of  a  Debate  held  at  Twelfth 
Street  Turner  Hall,  Chlcailo,  December  20th,  1003 


For  Socialism 

Ernest  Untermann 

Seymour  Stedman 
A.  M.  Simons 


For  Single  Tax 

Louis  F.  Post 

Henry  H.  Hardihge 
John  Z.  White 


WITH  PORTRAITS  OF 
KARL  MARX,  HENRY  GEOR-GE,  AND  THE  SIX  DEBATERS 


PRICE  25  CENTS 


Five  Copies  for  $1.00, 12  Copies  for  92.00:  Postatfe  Included 


Published  by 

CHARLES  H.  KERR  £»•  COMPANY  (Co-Operative) 

36  Fifth  Avenue,  Chicago 


lis* 


1^% 


KARL    MARX. 

' 'I  Ills    iiiM'li'ait    Ik    I'eprodiHCf]    llii-miylj    thr    rniii-(i..sy    ,,1' 
Llie  t'limi'ade  Co-operatiyp  Company,  New  York.^ 


.,^p.,.  . 

..^^^ 

> 

k 

■  ■■  •■■a^M^Bm^^^i^-  -  ■^•mI 

r 

k 

^^^m' 

|-;^^M 

p*  ^ 

m^MiiM 

m     ^ 

p      4     -f    ■>ji^   -;     9 

i^ 

.    » 
^ 

€^kimm.  1 

».« 

*^^ 

■t        .';.i 

f3 

1 

'^■'^ 

« 

■  1 

'     .    ,^' 

i^^^'X 

itf^'i'^ 

fe^fe 

^^^ 

Kw^kdaMoJ 

y.^-:..^, 

HENEY  GEOKGE. 


SOQALISM  VS.  SINGLE  TAX. 

The  Chairman  (Hon.  Frank  W.  Jones,  ex-Senator  of 
Massachusetts):  Ladies  and  gentlemen — It  is  entirely 
unexpected  to  me  to  have  the  honor  and  the  pleasure  of  pre- 
siding at  this  debate  today.  I  came  over  as  a  spectator 
because  I  saw  in  a  newspaper  an  announcement  that  you 
were  to  discuss  the  question  of  Socialism  ani  the  Single 
Tax.  We  have  six  speakers  and  these  speakers  are  lo  be 
allowed  thirty  minutes  each.  The  affirmative  will  be  by  the 
Socialist  speaker  and  he  will  be  controverted  in  a  thirty- 
minute  argument  by  the  Single  Tax  speaker,  and  the  Social- 
ist will  have  ten  extra  minutes  at  the  close  of  the  series  of 
thirty-minute  addresses  in  which  to  close  the  debate,  and 
we  propose  to  keep  closely  to  the  time.  I  now  have  the 
pleasure  of  introducing  to  you  the  first  speaker  in  the  af- 
firmative, Mr.  Untermann,  who  represents  the  Socialist  side. 


ERNEST  UNTERMANN. 

The  subject  of  this  debate  is  formulated  in  the  following 
resolutions:  "Resolved,  That  it  is  to  the  interest  of  the 
working  class  to  take  up  the  propaganda  of  Socialism  rather 
than  that  of  the  Single  Tax." 

Mr.  Dinkelspiel,  the  funny  philosopher  of  Hearst's  Chica- 
go American,  stated  one  of  his  great  half  truths  when  he 
said :  "It  is  easy  to  be  a  philosopher ;  all  you  have  to  do  is 
to  think  of  something  that  somebody  else  said  and  then  sit 
down  and  say  something  different."  We  Socialists  say 
something  different  from  the  Single  Taxers,  but  we  gladly 
waive  our  claim  to  be  included  among  Mr.  Dinkelspiel's 
philosophers.  The  Single  Taxers,  on  the  other  hand,  can 
not  lay  any  claim  to  be  included  among  the  distinguished 
Dinkelspiders,  because  they  have  never  said  anything  else, 
anything  dif5ferent,  about  land  reform  ever  since  Moses,  the 


first  land  reformer,  laid  down  the  rules  for  his  followers. 
Numerous  Single  Tax  ideas  are  found  in  the  Old  Testament, 
and  the  same  Old  Testament  also  shows  that  land  is  not  the 
only  means  of  exploitation.  For  there  was  free  land  galore 
in  Jacob's  time,  yet  he  worked  fourteen  years  for  Laban  in 
order  to  get  what  the  people  of  that  time  considered  as  means 
of  production,  two  wives. 

In  spite  of  the  numerous  stringent  rules  which  forbade 
land  speculation  during  the  time  following  the  patriarchal 
age,  nevertheless  the  great  mass  of  the  Jews  and  of  all 
ancient  nations  believing  in  the  principle  of  private  owner- 
ship of  the  means  of  production  were  very  nearly  landless.. 
Periodical  redistribution  of  land  was  then  resorted  to  as  a 
means  of  relieving  the  conditions,  yet  no  matter  how  often 
it  was  tried  it  always  proved  futile.  To  demonstrate  this 
let  me  mention  a  few  conspicuous  examples : 

In  594  B.  C.  Solon  of  Athens  forbade  mortgages  on  farms 
and  landed  property.  He  fixed  a  maximum  allowance  of 
land  ownership,  and  thus  he  freed  the  farmers  by  giving 
them  land,  and  yet  he  lived  to  see  these  same  farmers  whom 
he  freed  again  landless,  and  during  the  time  of  the  Tyrants 
the  great  mass  of  the  Athenian  people  were  again  without 
land. 

Rome  started  with  common  ownership  of  land,  took  up 
private  ownership,  tried  various  schemes  for  freeing  the 
land  and  ended  in  the  morass  of  immense  latifundian  estates 
tilled  by  slave  labor. 

The  early  Qiristian  Church  denounced  speculation  and 
monopoly  of  land,  yet  that  did  not  prevent  the  Catholic 
Church  from  becoming  the  great  feudal  lord  of  the  middle 
ages. 

The  Reformation  armed  the  peasants  of  middle  Europe 
against  the  feudal  lords,  yet  the  freed  peasants  very  soon 
groaned  under  the  load  of  mortgage  and  tenantry. 

From  William  the  Conqueror  to  Wat  Tyler,  from  Wat 
Tyler  to  Cromwell,  from  Cromwell  to  the  Chartist  move- 
ment, from  the  Chartist  movement  to  the  Irish  League — 
these  are  some  of  the  stages  in  the  attempt  to  free  the  land 
for  the  English  people,  and  they  have  not  got  it  yet. 

The  French  revolution  freed  the  peasants  by  giving  them 
land,  only  to  rob  them  of  their  rights  of  common  and  their 
secular  rights;  to  load  them  with  a  burden  of  taxation,  to 
deliver   them  into  the  hands  of  land  sharks   and  money 


sharks,  and  to  force  them  to  compete  with  their  primitive 
tools  against  the  great  landlords  and  their  mighty  ma- 
chines. 

The  United  States  gave  away  millions  of  acres  to  settlers, 
with  practically  no  compensation,  and  yet  today  of  15,963,- 
965  private  families  as  many  as  11,236,42;^  live  in  mortgaged 
or  rented  homes. 

In  Russia  when  it  was  found  that  after  the  freeing  of  the 
serfs  from  feudal  rule  so  many  peasants  had  become  land- 
less that  there  was  considerable  falling  off  in  taxation,  the 
czar  resorted  to  the  measure  of  declaring  the  land  common 
property,  making  the  commune  liable  for  the  debts  of  its 
members,  and  apportioning  out  to  these  members  land  in 
order  that  they  might  all  have  an  equal  opportunity — ^to  pay 
taxes.  When  the^e  peasants  showed  their  ingratitude  at  be- 
ing so  freed  and  revolted,  they  very  soon  found  themselves 
face  to  face  with  "freedom"  in  the  shi.pe  of  the  knouts  and 
the  swords  of  the  Cossacks.  The  ungrateful  rebels  were 
whipped  publicly  and  sent  to  the  mines  of  Siberia.  In  the 
United  States  the  capitalists  do  not  yet  send  us  to  Alaska 
when  we  rebel  against  their  freedom.  They  may  do  that 
by  and  by,  when,  in  accordance  with  Senator  Spooner's 
suggestion,  the  President  of  the  United  States  will  be 
elected  ifor  a  term  of  twenty  years,  and  when  the  Dick  mili- 
tary bill  will  have  turned  this  country  into  a  military  despot- 
ism. As  yet  the  capitalists  are  satisfied  with  sending  us  to 
the  free  land  in  the  free  bull  pen  (laughter),  when  we  re- 
fuse to  yield  them  profits.     (Applause.) 

There  in  the  bull  pen  we  will  have  plenty  of  leisure  to 
consider  the  advantages  of  free  competition  with  scabs  and 
of  the  freedom  that  is  thrust  upon  us  at  the  point  of  the 
bayonet.  The  Single  Taxers  want  to  give  us  free  land 
instead  of  the  bull  pen,  so  that  we  may  live  at  the  lowest  mar- 
gin of  subsistence  and  pay  to  the  capitalist  government,  as 
does  the  Russian  peasant,  all  that  we  produce  above  that 
margin.  And  if  then  we  rebel  against  that  capitalist  govern- 
ment the  same  as  the  Russian  peasants,  we  will  go  back  from 
the  free  land  to  the  free  bull  pen.  (Laughter.)  It  may 
be  necessary  for  some  of  our  Single  Tax  friends  to  go 
through  some  such  experience  in  order  to  find  out  that  capi- 
talist oppression  under  the  Single  Tax  is  little,  if  any, 
different  from  capitalist  oppression  under  capitalism.  (Ap- 


plause.)  These  short  hints  may  suffice  to  demonstrate  to 
you  that  there  are  more  things  between  human  freedom 
and  free  land  than  are  dreamed  of  in  the  Single  Tax  philos- 
ophy. 

If  in  spite  of  thousands  of  years  'of  earnest  effort  to  free 
the  land,  you  still  leave  millions  of  the  oppressed  landless, 
there  must  be  some  fundamental  mistake  which  all  forms 
of  land  reform  have  overlooked.  Now  I  do  not  claim  that 
because  those  reforms  failed  to  accomplish  what  they  were 
designed  to  accomplish  the  Single  Tax  for  that  reason  will 
also  fail  to  accomplish  that  now,  but  I  have  a  right  to  ask : 
What  was  it  that  made  all  those  land  reforms  futile,  and 
does  the  Single  Tax  now  go  to  the  bottom  of  the  matter? 
If  we  put  the  question  in  this  way  we  at  once  come  to  the 
parting  of  the  ways  between  the  Single  Tax  and  Socialism. 

Before  the  modern  Single  Taxer  ever  thought  of  the 
Single  Tax  the  Socialist  had  already  analyzed  it  and  rejected 
it  as  absolutely  inadequate.  The  early  sessions  of  the  In- 
ternational Workingmen's  Association  had  taken  it  up  and 
dropped  it.  As  early  as  July  21  and  22,  1872,  the  English 
branch  of  the  International  Warkingmen's  Association  met 
at  Nottingham,  England,  and  at  that  congress  the  Single 
Tax  idea,  couplied  with  money  reform,  a  kind  of  cross  be- 
tween the  Single  Tax  and  Populism,  was  already  used  to 
combat  the  Socialist  program,  the  Socialization  of  land  and 
all  the  means  of  production  and  distribution. 

As  early  as  1853,  Lassalle,  the  Socialist  leader  in  Ger- 
many at  that  time,  writing  to  Marx  about  Ricardo's  theory 
of  ground  rent,  said  that  he  regarded  it  as  the  "Most  emi- 
nent communist  feat."  And  in  1863,  in  writing  to  Rodber- 
tus,  a  German  economist,  he  referred  to  the  idea  of  abolish- 
ing ground  rent  by  levying  a  tax  on  it,  and  asked :  "How 
can  that  be  done?  Very  simple;  simply  by  levying  a  tax 
which  will  leave  free  the  land  of  the  lower  classes,  but  tax 
all  the  margin  of  cultivation  out  of  the  land  of  the  higher 
classes."  Yet  Lassalle  never  indulged  in  any  illusions  as  to 
the  efficacy  of  that  Single  Tax  idea  for  the  emancipation  of 
the  working  class.  In  the  first  place,  he  knew  that  it  would 
not  be  applicable,  and  could  not  be  enacted  in  his  time. 
In  the  second  place,  he  recognized  that  this  very  Ricardian 
theory  of  ground  rent  was  based  on  the  distinction  that  the 
poorest  land,  while  it  might  not  yield  any  ground  rent,  still 
might  yield  enormous  profits  on  capital.     In  other  words. 


he  saw  plainly  that  the  abolition  of  the  landlords  would  not 
abolish  the  industrial  capitalist,  hence  would  not  abolish 
capital  and  relieve  wage  labor. 

But  the  world  rolled  on,  and  suif ering  humanity  patiently 
waited  for  the  Moses  that  was  to  lead  it  out  of  the  capitalist 
Egypt.  And  in  1880  a  new  star  appeared  on  the  horizon 
with  the  once  brand  new  idea  of  freeing  the  land  by  levying 
a  single  tax  on  it.  That  star  was  Henry  George.  (Applause.) 
He  unreservedly  accepted  the  Ricardian  theory  of  ground 
rent,  and  he  fell  so  in  love  with  it  that  he  built  on  it  his 
Single  Tax  scheme  which  he  magnified  into  a  beautiful 
philosophy  that  would  bring  down  justice  and  emancipation 
from  the  clouds.  He  entirely  overlooked  the  fact  that  today 
the  agricultural  classes  are  no  longer  the  essential  element 
in  production,  but  that  the  essential  element  today  is  the 
great  capitalist  class  with  its  modern  machine  production 
and  its  great  army  of  dependent  wageworkers.    (Applause.) 

But  thirty-two  years  before  Henry  George's  "Progress 
and  Poverty"  was  written,  and  fifteen  years  before  Lassalle 
wrote  that  letter  to  Rodbertus,  a  twin  star  had  arisen  in  the 
proletarian  firmament — Karl  Marx  and  Frederick  Ehgels. 
(Applause.) 

They  did  not  regard  the  Ricardian  theory  of  ground  rent 
as  the  "most  eminent  Communist  feat."  Much  less  did 
they  magnify  it  into  a  fundament  for  a  new  world  philos- 
ophy. They  recognized  that  the  Ricardian  theory  of  ground 
rent  dealt  simply  with  a  phenomenon  which  was  in  no  way 
calculated  to  offer  a  solution  of  the  social  problem.  They 
recognized  that  it  was  merely  a  symptom  that  pointed  to  a 
deeper  cause.  And  investigating  that  cause,  they  found  the 
key  which  opened  all  the  secrets  of  capitalist  production  and 
history:    The  Economic  Interpretation  of  History. 

In  1848  Marx  and  Engels  expressed  the  greatest  historical 
truth  when  they  said  that  "The  history  of  all  societies  based 
on  private  property  is  the  history  of  class  struggles."  And 
when  Marx  in  his  introduction  to  his  "Critique  of  Political 
Economy"  said:  "The  economic  forces  of  production  form 
the  fundament  on  which  are  built  up  human  laws  and  from 
which  arise  all  political,  religious  and  moral  ideas,"  he  took 
politics,  law,  religion  and  ethics  down  from  the  clouJs  and 
placed  them  on  a  scientific  foundation  that  has  not  beep 
shaken  since.  All  the  leading  economists  of  the  world,  capi- 
talist and  all,  today  use  the  Marxian  method  of  invef^'^ation, 


although  they  very  seldom  give  him  credit  for  it.  (Ap- 
plause ) 

The  Marxian  Conception  of  History  clearly  shows  that 
great  historical  changes  are  not  brought  about  by  the  mag- 
nificent personalities  of  certain  great  and  inspired  :nen.  It 
shows  that  great  historical  changes  flow  from  changes  in  the 
economic  basis  and  that  political  phenomena  are  determined 
by  those  changes  in  the  economic  basis ;  that  the  thoughts  of 
men  are  reactions  caused  by  natural  and  social  environment, 
in  the  same  way  that  chemical  changes  in  the  stomach  sug- 
gest the  thought  that  the  individual  must  eat. 

Summed  up,  the  Socialist  philosophy  says  in  so  many 
words  that  the  economic  foundation  of  society  determines  the 
form  of  human  thought  and  activity ;  that  a  society  based  on 
production  for  private  profit  consists  of  classes  with  antagon- 
istic interests.  Such  society  is  subject  to  certain  laws.  In 
following  those  laws,  economic  antagonisms  are  gradually 
intensified  by  the  concentration  of  wealth  and  the  means  of 
production  in  the  hands  of  great  capitalists  and  the  creation 
of  a  large  body  of  dependent  workers  who  have  no  other 
means  of  existence  but  the  sale  of  their  manual  or  intellec- 
tual labor  power  to  the  owners  of  the  means  of  production. 
One  class  after  another  rises  through  changes  in  the  eco- 
nomic system,  becomes  politically  supreme,  and  uses  its 
political  power  for  the  maintenance  of  its  rule  against  all 
other  classes. 

Today  in  the  present  capitalist  system  we  distinguish  three 
great  economic  categories:  Above  is  the  great  capitalist 
class,  the  owners  of  the  great  machinery  of  production.  At 
the  bottom  of  society,  the  great  mass  of  the  wage  working 
class,  the  dependent  proletarians.  In  between  them  there  is  a 
so-called  middle  class,  which  is  partly  proletarian  and  partly 
capitalist  in  character.  So  far  as,  with  the  minority  of  that 
middle  class,  their  capitalist  interests  prevail  over  their  pro^ 
letarian  interests,  to  that  extent  they  belong  as  parasites  in 
the  capitalist  class.  But  the  great  mass  of  the  middle  class 
today  is  practically  reduced  to  the  level  of  the  proletarian 
wage  workers,  and  their  economic  and  political  interests  are 
on  the  side  of  the  wage  workers.  Between  the  great  capital- 
ist class  and  the  working  class  there  gradually  arises  a  strug- 
gle for  the  conquest  of  the  political  powers.  Owing  to  the 
disappearance  of  the  capitalist  class  as  an  essential  factor  in 

6    • 


production,  that  struggle  will  end  in  the  conquest  of  the 
political  power  by  the  working  class.  The  victory  of  the 
working  class  will  abolish  all  classes  and  all  class  antagon- 
isms, because  there  is  no  lower  class  below  the  working  class 
whom  they  might  subjugate.  The  historical  force,  the  his- 
torical party,  that  will  bring  about  the  victory  of  the  working 
class  is  the  International  Socialist  Party.  It  is  international 
because  exploitation  is  world  wide  and  cannot  be  abolished 
in  any  single  country  separately.  Therefore  the  workers  of 
the  world  must  unite  to  abolish  exploitation  all  over  the 
world.  (Applause.) 

I  hope  I  shall  not  hear  the  hackneyed  and  irrelevant  ob- 
jection that  I  am  preaching  class  hatred.  The  enunciation  of 
the  doctrine  of  the  class  struggle  is  no  more  an  appeal  to 
class  hatred  than  the  enunciation  of  the  doctrine  of  the 
struggle  for  existence  by  Darwin  was  an  appeal  to  species 
hatred.  When  I  say  to  a  man:  "A  leech  is  sucking  your 
blood,"  I  am  not  telling  him  to  hate  that  leech.  He  will  hate 
it  anyway  and  get  rid  of  it.  And  when  I  say  to  the  working 
class :  "The  capitalists  are  parasites  who  are  sucking  your 
blood,"  I  am  not  telling  them  to  hate  those  parasites.  They 
hated  them  before  I  told  them.  I  am  simply  telling  them 
not  to  vote  either  for  the  capitalist  parasites  or  for  those 
parasites  of  parasites,  the  capitalist  politicians.  I  am  advising 
the  working  class  to  unite  politically  against  the  capitalist 
class  and  to  abolish  all  class  antagonisms  and  causes  for 
class  hatred  by  voting  for  the  party  of  their  class,  the 
Socialist  Party.  (Applause.) 

Equipped  with  the  Marxian  philosophy  of  history,  we  are 
at  once  enabled  to  point  out  why  former  reforms  were  futile 
and  failed,  and  why  the  Single  Tax  is  inadequate  to  meet 
the  present  problem.  First  of  all,  we  say,  then,  that  whoever 
wants  to  alleviate  the  suffering  of  humanity  must  have  a 
comprehensive  grasp  on  the  history  of  humanity.  He  must 
also  take  into  account  the  economic  classes.  He  must  fur- 
thermore recognize  that  the  moving  force  of  history  is  not 
sentimentalism  but  definite,  hard  and  cruel  material  laws  by 
which  the  great  mass  of  humanity  is  swayed.  (Applause.) 

A  hasty  glance  at  the  history  of  ground  rent  suffices  to 
show  that  ground  rent  has  gone  through  many  different 
phases  and  forms,  and  therefore  the  Ricardian  theory  of 
ground  rent  is  not  applicable  indiscriminately  to  any  and  all 
historical  periods.    If  I  had  time  I  could  easily  show  that  it 


falls  far  short  of  meeting  the  problem,  if  applied  to  the  pres- 
ent time.  Before  the  Single  Taxer  therefore  can  apply  his 
philosophy  he  must  first  of  all  know  that  the  particular  form 
of  ground  rent  which  he  wishes  to  aboUsh  is  the  product  of  a 
definite  historical  period.  What  does  he  mean  by  ground 
rent,  and  what  does  he  mean  by  land  values  that  he  wants 
tc  tax  ?  Does  he  mean  the  land  values  that  arise  simply  out 
of  the  speculative  increase  of  land  price  ?  Does  he  mean  the 
land  values  that  arise  out  of  improvements  put  into  the  soil  ? 
Does  he  mean  land  values  that  change  with  the  various  crops 
that  you  put  into  the  soil?  I  hope  the  gentleman  on  the 
other  side  will  not  fail  to  answer  these  questions,  because 
it  is  important  that  we  should  know.  Or  do  they  mean  that, 
together  with  those  speculative  and  agricultural  land  values, 
they  will  also  take  what  is  produced  on  the  land  by  the  aid 
of  capital  ?  In  the  first  three  cases  I  can  show  that  the  Sin- 
gle Tax  will  fail  to  accompUsh  what  the  Single  Taxers 
claim  for  it,  and  in  the  fourth  case  the  Single  Tax  would  not 
be  the  Single  Tax.  (Applause.) 

In  regard  to  the  first  three  forms  of  ground  rent,  I  may 
say  in  general  that  this  is  not  the  essential  form  of  exploita- 
tion at  all.  The  essential  form  of  exploitation  is  today 
carried  on  in  giant  industries  which  are  organized  for  the 
exploitation  of  wage  labor.  (Applause).  HOw  it  is  that 
capitalist  exploitation  exceeds  the  exploitation  through 
land  may  be  shown  by  this  simple  example  which  I  shall 
illustrate  by  round  figures.  In  1900  the  total  value  of  indus- 
trial products  amounted  to  about  twelve  billion  dollars.  The 
wage  workers  employed  in  those  industries  received  in  wages 
two  billion  dollars,  leaving  ten  billion  dollars  in  the  hands 
of  the  exploiters.  In  rent  those  wage  workers  paid  from 
their  two  billion  dollars  one  billion  dollars  to  the  landlords. 
The  wage  workers  could  have  afforded  much  better  to  lose 
that  one  billion  dollars  of  rent  than  to  lose  that  ten  billion 
dollars  of  profit.  (Applause.)  Now,  do  not  accuse  me  of  be- 
ing unjust  to  the  poor  capitalist  because  I  am  not  counting 
what  he  pays  out  for  raw  materials  and  incidental  expenses, 
because  in  that  case  I  am  going  to  show  you  by  statistical 
figures  that  at  no  time  in  the  history  of  the  United  States 
did  the  capitalists  have  enough  money  to  pay  the  wages  and 
pay  for  the  raw  material  in  one  single  year,  let  alone  pay 
profits  or  dividends. 

A  tax  on  speculative  land  values,  on  the  other  hand,  does 


not  touch  the  grand  industrial  combinations.  The  steel  trust, 
the  oil  trust,  the  egg  trust,  the  fruit  trust,  the  packing  trust, 
all  these  great  trusts  own  practically  no  land  capital  com- 
pared with  the  value  of  their  industrial  capital.  (Applause). 

Census  Bulletin  No.  122,  dated  December  30,  1901,  enu- 
merates 183  industrial  combinations  whose  total  capital 
amounted  to  $1,432,804,920.  The  total  land  capital  of  those 
combinations  amounted  to  only  $152,266,753,  or  one-ninth  of 
the  total  capital  used  for  exploitation.  Tax  every  cent  of 
land  value  out  of  their  hands  and  they  would  still  have 
eight-ninths  left  to  continue  exploitation.  Nor  would  they 
pay  that  tax  if  it  were  imposed  on  them,  for  having  in  their 
control  all  the  production  and  distribution  they  would  shift 
the  Single  Tax  in  the  form  of  prices  to  the  shoulders  of 
the  consumer.  (Applause.)  We  Socialists  say  that  the  Single 
Tax  is  simply  a  fiscal  measure  urged  with  great  zeal  by  the 
Single  Taxers  for  the  purpose  of  taxing  themselves,  and 
they  have  the  nerve  to  come  before  the  working  class  and 
ask  them  to  help  them  in  such  a  suicidal  policy.  (Applause.) 

The  Single  Taxers  claim  that  the  capitalists  could  not 
continue  exploitation  after  the  Single  Tax  was  instituted,  be- 
cause the  workers  would  flock  in  droves  to  the  free  land. 
Perhaps  they  would,  if  they  believed  the  Single  Taxers. 
But  pause  and  consider.  If  you  leave  these  great  industries 
and  go  out  on  the  free  land  with  bare  fists  to  produce,  you 
will  tiirow  humanity  back  into  the  primitive  stage  of  produc- 
tion and  rob  it  of  thousands  of  years  of  evolutionary  effort 
by  leaving  these  great  machines,  your  product,  in  the  hands 
of  the  exploiters.  (A  voice,  "That's  right.")  If  these  ma- 
chines cannot  be  used,  then  you  must  return  to  the  primitive 
stage  of  production,  without  the  hardihood  of  the  primitive 
savage.    (Applause.) 

And  how  would  the  great  mass  of  people  in  the  United 
States,  the  most  numerous  class — the  small  peasantry — ^be 
benefited  by  the  Single  Tax?  If  the  Single  Tax  is  a  tax 
on  improvements  also,  then  it  is  simply  a  tax  which  puts  a 
premium  on  depreciation  and  decreased  production,  because 
no  one  will  care  to  put  any  improvement  on  the  land  when 
the  whole  margin  of  cultivation  is  taxed  out  of  him.  So  the' 
Single  Tax,  as  far  as  the  small  farmers  are  concerned,  means 
simply  an  increase  of  taxation  for  them,  and  I  recall  that 
Henry  George  claims  himself  that  they  would  have  to  pay 
more  tax.     It  is  true  he  claims  that  there  would  be  many 


benefits  they  would  get  from  the  Single  Tax,  but  I  have 
shown  you  that  instead  of  being  benefited  they  would  be 
exploited  still  more.  To  rush  to  the  country  is  to  give  up  the 
amenities  and  productive  advantages  of  association.  In  that 
case  many  workers  would  prefer  to  work  for  wages  rather 
than  to  starve  on  free  land. 

Under  the  Single  Tax  the  farming  class  in  the  United 
States  would  be  transformed  simply  into  tenants  of  a 
capitalist  government.  We  want  to  oust  the  capitalist  gov- 
ernment, and  in  order  to  oust  that  capitalist  government  we 
need  a  political  party  of  the  workers.  But  the  Single  Tax- 
ers  do  not  believe  in  a  separate  political  party  for  the  working 
class,  but  they  have  a  very  peculiar  affinity  for  the  democratic 
donkey  who  uses  his  political  power  to  crush  labor  when  it 
strikes  for  higher  wages. 

The  capitalist  system  will  fall  in  obedience  to  the  great 
economic  and  political  laws  to  which  it  is  subject,  but  above 
its  ruins  will  tower  the  giant  statue  of  labor,  that  true  God 
of  Liberty  who  will  dethrone  that  lying  prostitute  of  the 
dollar  almighty,  the  capitalist  Goddess  of  Liberty.  (Ap- 
plause.) The  victory  of  the  working  class  will  not  only  free 
the  men,  but  also  the  better  half  of  humanity,  the  women. 
(Applause.)  Socialism  will  write  a  new  Declaration  of  In- 
dependence which  will  read :  "All  men  and  women  are  born 
equal  and  have  an  equal  right  to  life,  liberty  and  happi- 
ness."    (Applause.) 

The  Qiairman:  You  have  listened  to  a  most  scholarly 
presentation  of  the  Socialist  question  by  our  friend  Mr.  Un- 
termann,  which  has  given  us  great  intellectual  pleasure  and 
profit.  We  have  with  us  to  open  the  debate  on  the  side  of  the 
Single  Tax  one  of  the  most  eloquent  and  able  advocates  of 
that  question  in  the  United  States,  and  it  gives  me  pleasure 
to  present  to  you  Mr.  Louis  F.  Post.     (Applause.) 


LOUIS  F.  POST. 

Ladies  and  Gentlemen — I  am  going  to  move  to  strike  out 
of  the  record  those  complimentary  remarks  of  the  chairman. 
The  Chairman:  The  motion  is  not  in  order.  (Laughter.) 
Mr.  Post:     I  make  the  motion  now,  because  maybe  the 
audience  will  want  to  make  it  when  I  am  through.  (Laugh- 
ter.) 

10 


Now,  ladies  and  gentlemen,  this  question,  correctly  read 
by  my  adversary  who  opened  on  the  other  side,  invites  us  to 
consider  if  it  is  to  the  interest  of  the  working  classes  to  take 
up  the  propaganda  of  Socialism  in  preference  to  that  of  the 
Single  Tax.  Well,  if  we  should  ask  confirmed  Socialists 
whether  it  is  to  the  interest  of  the  working  classes  to  take 
up  Socialism  instead  of  the  Single  Tax,  of  course  they  would 
say  yes.  If  we  should  ask  confirmed  Single  Taxers  if  it  is 
to  the  interest  of  the  working  classes  to  take  up  Socialism 
instead  of  the  Single  Tax,  of  course  they  would  say  no. 
So  there  is  absolutely  no  use  in  our  debating  this  question  be- 
fore Socialists  and  Single  Taxers.  They  have  made  up 
their  minds.  The  men  and  women  we  must  address  are  the 
working  classes.  Do  they  consider  it  to  their  best  interest 
to  take  up  Socialism  in  preference  to  the  Single  Tax?  Un- 
less we  can  convince  them,  our  debate  either  way  is  of  no 
great  moment.  It  is  only  as  what  we  say  may  go  out  to  and 
influence  the  working  classes  that  it  can  be  of  any  real 
benefit. 

Now,  the  working  classes,  as  my  friend  has  already  stated, 
do  not  include  merely  the  men  and  women  who  work  for 
hired  wages,  who  work  as  hired  men  or  hired  women ;  but 
a  very  large  proportion,  as  he  says,  of  the  middle  class  also 
really  belong  to  the  working  classes,  because  their  interests 
are  the  same  as  the  interests  of  the  working  classes.  To  that 
extent,  of  course,  we  agree.  So  we  are  addrssing  a  great 
mass  of  people,  some  of  whom  are  in  what  we  call  distinc- 
tively the  working  class,  and  others  of  whom  are  in  the  mid- 
dle class,  but  all  of  whom  really  belong  in  the  working  class. 
All  of  them  have  identical  interests  so  far  as  the  interests  of 
labor  are  concerned.  It  is  the  interests  of  labor  against  the 
interests  of  exploiters  of  labor — that  is  the  real  question  that 
we  confront.   (A  voice,  "Hear,  hear.") 

My  friend  observes  that  it  is  rathe^-  nervy  on  the  part  of 
the  Single  Taxers  to  propose  the  Single  Tax  philosophy  to 
the  working  classes  as  a  remedy  for  their  condition.  It  may 
be,  ladies  and  gentlemen,  I  don't  know,  I  would  rather  leave 
that  to  the  working  classes  to  decide  than  to  my  good  friends 
who  represent  the  Socialist  side  of  this  question.  But  if  that 
is  nervy,  if  it  is  nervy  for  Single  Ta,x  men  to  propose  their 
remedy  to  the  working  classes,  what  shall  we  say  of  the  nerve 
of  my  good  friend  who  comes  upon  this  platform  and  tries  to 
convince  the  working  classes  that  figures  which  are  cooked 

II 


up  in  the  figure-cooking  factory  at  Washington  are  worthy 
to  be  presented  anywhere  to  an  intelligent  audience?  (Ap- 
plause.) I  am  not  going  to  waste  any  time  in  discussing 
figures  purporting  to  show  certain  facts.  Figures  are  not 
enough  in  themselves;  you  must  mix  common  sense  with 
them.  Even  if  those  figures  about  twelve  billions  and  two 
biUions  were  true — ^that  there  were  twelve  billion  dollars' 
worth  of  product  and  two  billion  dollars  of  it  paid  as  wages 
to  labor,  the  question  arises,  What  labor?  Hired  manual 
labor  alone.  That  is  the  only  kind  that  is  meant.  What 
about  self-employed  laborers?  What  about  the  labor  of  the 
self-employed  American  farmer,  of  which  there  is  no  record 
at  all?  Those  other  figures,  the  ten  billion  balance,  how  far 
do  they  go  to  compensate  men  who  are  not  hired  workers? 
We  are  not  told  by  the  figure-cooking  factory  at  Washing- 
ton. The  figures  are  utterly  unreliable  to  begin  with,  as  a 
matter  of  fact ;  and  if  they  were  true,  my  friend's  application 
of  them  has  no  bearing  and  really  no  value  with  reference 
to  this  discussion. 

Now,  I  say  it  is  the  working  classes  that  we  must  address 
on  either  side — the  working  classes  that  are  not  yet  con- 
vinced either  that  Socialism  or  Single  Tax  is  what  they 
want.  This  is  an  important  question.  It  is  a  vitally  im- 
portant question  to  you,  my  friends  of  the  working  class, 
because  the  time  is  rapidly  coming  when  labor  strikes  will 
cease  to  be  effective.  They  have  almost  ceased  to  be  effective 
now.  (Applause.)  There  is  only  one  place  where  labor  can 
strike  and  strike  effectively,  and  I  think  my  friend  will  agree 
with  me  that  that  place  is  at  the  ballot  box.    (Applause.) 

Whether  you  are  inclined  toward  Socialism,  or  whether 
you  are  inclined  toward  Single  Tax,  the  place  you  have  got 
to  strike  at  is  the  ballot  box.  And  whether  you  shall  strike 
there  for  the  Single  Tax  or  for  Socialism  is  a  vital  question. 
I  do  not  claim  to  be  a  prophet,  but  I  do  believe  that  the  real 
contest,  at  least  in  this  country,  the  first  really  great  labor 
contest  at  the  ballot  box  is  going  to  be  between  the  principle 
of  the  Single  Tax  on  one  side  and  the  principle  of  Socialism 
on  the  other.  (Applause.)  I  do  not  care  what  the  names 
may  be.  It  may  not  be  called  the  Single  Tax  on  the  one 
side,  it  may  not  be  called  Socialism  on  the  other;  but  the 
underlying  principles  of  those  opposing  schools  are  the 
principles  which  we  shall  have  to  fight  over  at  the  ballot 
box.    So,  my  friends  of  the  working  classes,  it  is  for  you 

12 


to  consider,  and  to, consider  very  seriously,  which  side  you 
will  vote  with  when  this  question  comes  up  for  your  decision. 
It  is  true  that  in  many  respects  we  have  views  in  common. 
Socialism  and  the  Single  Tax  touch  at  many  points.  But 
fundamentally  they  are  apart.  In  principle  they  are  hostile, 
and  the  working  classes  must  so  consider  them. 

Now,  what  is  the  issue  that  we  are  to  meet?  I  am  going 
to  assume  that  the  working  classes  want  what  Is  right ;  that 
they  want  what  is  fair  between  man  and  man.  My  friend 
has  said  that  sentiment  does  not  move  the  world,  that  noth- 
ing but  materialistic  conditions,  nothing  but  materialistic 
aspirations  moves  the  world.  In  the  short  run  that  is  often 
true.  We  are  going  through  a  period  now  when  it  seems 
to  be  true.  But  he  who  reads  history  and  reads  it  with  an 
open  mind,  can  see  that  in  the  long  run  the  greatest  force 
in  human  society  throughout  all  history  has  been  the  appeal 
to  sentiment,  the  appeal  to  men's  ideas  of  the  rightness  and 
fairness  of  things.  (Applause.)  So  I  believe  today  that  the 
great  mass  of  the  working  classes  of  all  kinds  can  be  appealed 
to  with  reference  to  what  is  right.  No,  they  do  not  need  to 
be  appealed  to.  They  are  not  seeking  what  is  wrong.  The 
demand  they  are  making  is  for  what  is  right.  And  I  doubt 
if  my  friend  upon  the  other  side  will  deny  that  fundamentally 
that  should  be  the  human  aspiration — to  reach  a  condition  of 
righteousness  as  between  man  and  man,  fairness  as  be- 
tween man  and  man,  in  our  economic  life. 

In  the  first  place,  then,  we  want  to  preserve  the  right,  and 
to  advance  farther  and  farther  towards  the  right — ^towards 
fairness. 

In  the  next  place,  we  want  to  preserve  the  material  ad- 
vances that  have  been  made.  Some  of  our  friends  seem  to 
imagine,  as  my  friend  has  already  indicated,  that  what  the 
Single  Tax  men  are  urging  upon  the  working  classes  is  that 
they  should  go  back  to  primitive  conditions.  But  we  start 
out  with  the  understanding,  admit  the  demand  of  the  Social- 
ists, that  the  material  advances  which  have  been  secured 
shall  be  retained.  I  am  willing  to  rest  our  whole  case  upon 
that  proposition.  If  what  we  propose  is  going  to  get  rid  of 
the  material  advances  already  made,  we  lose  our  case  before 
the  working  classes.  What  the  Single  Tax  demands,  and 
demands  as  strenuously  as  Socialism  does,  is  that  all  ma- 
terial advances  that  have  been  made  shall  be  retained  and 
secured.     No  one  proposes  to  send  men  under  the  Single 

13 


Tax  out  to  eat  sand  on  free  land  a  thousand  miles  away  from 
all  civilization.  (Applause.)  One  needs  but  to  read  the  lit- 
erature of  the  Single  Tax  to  see  that  I  am  not  merely  stat- 
ing my  own  opinion.  I  am  stating  the  principle  of  the  Single 
Tax  philosophy. 

What  we  want  is  right,  don't  we  ?  We  want  to  preserve 
the  material  advances  that  we  have  made.  And  we  want 
personal  liberty.  Those  are  three  things  that  the  working 
classes  surely  require,  surely  demand.  Those  are  three  things, 
at  any  rate,  that  the  Single  Taxers  demand.  We  have  not 
got  them  now.  The  working  classes  have  not  got  them  now. 
The  working  classes  are  not  fairly  treated;  they  are  not 
getting  righteous  treatment;  they  are  not  getting  the  benefit 
of  the  material  advances  that  have  been  made;  they  do  not 
have  personal  liberty.  My  friend  can  say  nothing  about 
"bull  pens"  that  I  won't  echo  with  all  the  vigor  at  my  com- 
mand. The  working  classes  haven't  got  those  three  things ; 
and  if  you  will  analyze  the  situation  you  will  find  that  the 
reason  they  haven't  got  them  may  be  summed  up  in  one  or 
two  explanations. 

In  the  first  place,  they  are  under-paid  for  their  labor. 
There  is  no  man  that  works  who  gets  the  full  product  of  his 
labor.  I  do  not  have  to  go  to  Washington  for  statistics  to 
prove  that.  All  I  need  to  do  is  to  point  to  the  men  who  get 
a  great  deal  without  labor.  They  cannot  get  it  from  any 
other  "Source  than  from  the  men  and  women  who  do  labor. 
(Applause.)  The  working  classes  are  not  getting  what  they 
earn ;  they  are  not  getting  fairness ;  they  are  not  getting  the 
best  out  of  the  material  advances  of  civilization,  not  as  much 
as  they  ought  to  get.  They  are  not  getting  what  they  earn, 
I  say.  That  is  one  of  the  explanations.  And  they  are  disem- 
ployed.  There  is  lack  of  employment.  You  could  probably 
sum  it  all  up  in  those  two  things :  Inadequate  pay  for  work, 
and  the  army  of  the  unemployed — more  men  than  there  are 
jobs.  The  men  out  of  jobs  compete  with  the  men  who  have 
jobs,  and  so  wages  are  kept  down. 

Those  are  the  two  conditions.  There  is  the  sore.  There 
is  the  diagnosis  of  social  conditions  at  present — of  the  social 
state  with  reference  to  the  working  classes.  Poor  wages — 
underpay ;  and  a  lack  of  employment  relatively  to  the  number 
of  people  that  seek  to  be  employed.  (A  voice,  "Hovy  are 
you  going  to  remedy  it?") 

My  friend,  I  will  come  to  that  in  tiw^,    We  have  to  pro- 

H 


ceed  in  order.  One  step  at  a  time,  and  the  closer  we  hold  to 
that  one  step  at  a  time  the  more  likely  we  are  to  get  at  the 
truth.  If  we  start  with  the  truth,  and  then  try  to  build 
up  from  that,  we  are  very  likely  to  reach  a  true  solution.  I 
am  trying,  to  build  up  from  what  seems  to  me  to  be  the 
truth. 

Now,  as  to  the  remedies  of  this  condition  of  underpay 
and  lack  of  labor  opportunity.  The  Socialist  remedy  in  sub- 
stance comes  down  to  this — ^whatever  form  it  may  be  stated 
in — that  organized  society  should  furnish  opportunities  for 
work ;  that  it  should  do  so  by  taking  over  all  the  land  and 
socializing  it,  as  it  is  said,  and  all  implements  of  produc- 
tion, and  making,  so  far  as  the  large  industries  are  con- 
cerned, a  great  organized  social  workshop  where  everybody 
should  have  employment;  and  then  by  regulating  wages. 
That  is  to  say,  organized  society  shall  as  a  matter  of  fact 
furnish  employment  to  all  and  shall  regulate  the  wages  of  all. 
That  is  what  it  comes  down  to.  No  matter  how  the  Socialist 
proposes  to  get  it,  no  matter  what  steps  he  expects  to  take, 
that  is  what  it  all  sums  up  in — a  great  governmental  work- 
shop in  which  everybody  shall  be  employed — ^(applause) — 
I  am  glad  to  recognize  by  the  applause  that  I  am  stating  it 
correctly— -a  great  governmental  workshop  with  wages  regu- 
lated by  organized  society. 

Now,  that  can  be  made  to  give  work  to  all,  and  it  can  be 
made  to  give  wages  to  all — if  the  man  on  horseback  doesn't 
ride  in  and  ruin  the  whole  concern.     (Applause.) 

I  am  not,  however,  criticising:  I  am  comparing  the  two 
philosophies — stating  what  they  propose. 

On  the  other  hand,  the  Single  Taxers  propose  merely  this 
— no  matter  what  their  method ;  if  their  method  is  wrong  it 
won't  work,  and  it  is  open  to  criticism;  we  are  submitting 
it  to  your  criticism — what  they  are  aiming  at,  what  they  are 
trying  to  get  is  to  remove  the  obstacles  which  prevent  there 
being  a  natural  demand  for  labor,  demand  not  merely  from 
employers,  but  by  one  man  of  another,  that  natural  demand 
which  will  always  keep  the  demand  for  labor  in  excess  of 
the  supply  of  men  wanting  work.     (Applause.) 

I  am  going  to  give  you  a  simple  and  crude  illustration 
for  the  purpose  of  making  it  concrete,  nothing  more,  simply 
that  you  may  see  my  point  better.  Suppose,  under  existing 
conditions,  that  for  every  ten  men  who  want  to  work  there 
are  only  nine  opportunities,  only  nine  jobs.     That  is,  in  a 

IS 


rough  way,  our  present  condition — more  men  than  jobs. 
Under  that  condition  you  can  see  that  wages  are  bound  to 
go  down,  for  you  have  got  one  man  out  of  work  all  th^ 
time,  or  the  equivalent  of  one  man,  competing  against  the 
others.  Ten  men  competing  each  against  the  other  for  only 
nine  opportunities ;  that  is  the  present  condition,  crudely  il- 
lustrated as  it  may  be.  What  the  Single  Tax  men  propose, 
if  their  method  will  accomplish  it — what  they  propose  is  to 
reverse  that  and  to  open  up  opportunities  so  that  there  shall 
all  the  time  be  ten  jobs  for  every  nine  men,  or  more  jobs 
than  men.  (Applause.)  When  you  have  that  condition,  more 
opportunities  for  work  than  you  have  workers  offering  to 
work,  then  you  will  have  no  unemployed  army  at  any  time, 
and  you  will  have  wages  tending  all  the  time  upward  to- 
ward the  full  earnings  of  the  man.  And  that  is  the  only 
way  of  determining  what  the  earnings  of  men  are. 

What  do  men  want?  Work?  That  is  not  what  they 
want.  They  want  what  work  will  get.  What  they  want  is 
food,  clothing,  shelter,  and  those  things  that  we  call  luxuries. 
That  is  what  the  working  classes  want.  Why  don't  they 
get  them  ?  They  make  them  all.  The  working  classes  make 
all  those  things.  Why  are  they  without  them?  Do  they 
give  them  up  voluntarily  ?  If  they  do,  it  is  their  right.  But 
I  do  not  believe  that  they  give  them  up  voluntarily.  They 
give  them  up  under  some  coercion.    What  is  the  coercion? 

Our  friend  on  the  other  side  says  that  the  coercion  is  the 
monopoly  of  machinery,  the  monopoly  of  capital.  Monopoly 
of  what  ?  Monopoly  of  capital  ?  Well,  let  us  stop  a  moment 
and  see  what  is  meant  by  capital.  Is  a  factory  capital? 
I  suppose  it  is,  with  all  its  equipm'ent  of  build- 
ings and  machinery.  Is  the  ground  on  which  it 
stands  capital?  If  it  is,  then  you  are  speaking  of 
two  entirely  different  things  under  the  same  name,  and  may 
be  charging  to  capitalism  evils  that  result  from  landlordism. 
Now,  capital — ^machinery  and  all  such  things — ^is  produced 
by  labor  itself,  by  laborers.  How  does  it  get  away  from 
them  ?  It  is  not  a  question  of  the  history  of  the  past ;  it  is 
a  question  of  the  present  hour,  because  all  the  capital  that 
exists  today  would  last  but  a  little  while  if  labor  ceased  util- 
izing and  maintaining  it.  Labor  is  producing  it  all  the  time. 
How  does  it  slip  away  ?  It  is  not  enough  to  say  that  it  slips 
away  because  somebody  has  got  it  monopolized.    You  have 

(i6 


EKNliST    UNTEUMAxNN. 


LUUIS    !•.    I'OSl. 


to  go  deeper  and  inquire  what  are  the  conditions  under  which 
it  is  produced. 

We  know  that  labor  produces  all  that  is  produced.  We 
also  know  that  labor  cannot  create  it.  Then  how  can  it  pro- 
duce it?  Only  by  getting  access  to  the  natural  source  from 
which  it  must  come.    You  have  got  to  go  to  the  land. 

My  friend  is  mistaken  in  imagining  that  the  farm  question 
is  the  land  question.  He  seems  to  think  that  nobody  but 
farmers  live  on  land.  Why,  if  you  measure  land  by  the  de- 
mand for  it  and  its  value,  we  use  more  land  in  cities  than  do 
our  farmers.  The  mines  furnish  material  as  well  as  the 
farms.  The  city  furnishes  sites,  the  great  country  furnishes 
the  highways  that  control  industries  and  control  commerce. 
The  land  question  is  the  globe  question.  It  is  the  question 
of  the  ownership  of  the  earth.  Labor  has  got  to  go  to  the 
globe  for  all  the  capital  that  it  produces  and  for  all  the 
products  of  that  capital.  The  Single  Taxers  put  land  into 
a  category  alone  and  make  capital  another  category.  They 
say  land  is  the  natural  source  of  labor  products,  and  that 
man  must  have  access  to  it.  Having  that,  he  can  make  and 
use  capital.  Not  having  that,  he  is  under  the  control  of 
men  that  you  may  call  capitalists  if  you  wish,  but  who  are 
really  landlords. 

We  have  some  men  in  Chicago  that  own  $18,000,000  of 
stock  in  a  street  car  company,  worth  $27,000,000  on  the 
market.  The  plant  of  that  company,  the  machinery,  etc.,  is 
worth  but  very  little.  What  makes  that  twenty-seven  millions 
of  value?  The  monopoly  of  the  streets  of  Chicago,  the 
monopoly  of  the  land  which  the  streets  are  built  upon  in 
Chicago.  (Applause.)  And  yet  you  say  that  man  is  a  cap- 
italist. We  say  he  is  a  landlord.  You  say  that  is  capitalism. 
We  Say  it  is  landlordism,    (Applause.) 

Now,  we  propose  to  abolish  landlordism,  for  it  is  landlord- 
ism that  is  the  base  of  industrial  trouble.  We  propose  to 
abolish  landlordism.  But  let  me  ask  you  to  remember  that 
"landlordism"  is  broader  than  the  term  "landlord."  I  think  I 
have  indicated  to  you  that  what  is  called  a  capitalist  may  to  a 
very  great  degree  be  a  landlord,  although  he  does  not  go  by 
that  name.  Don't  let  us  be  misled  by  the  terms  of  our  friend 
Mr.  Untermann,  but  let  us  look  at  the  substance  of  the  thing. 
To  the  extent  that  a  man's  wealth  is  capital  he  is  a  capitalist,, 
but  to  the  extent  that  it  is  land,  he  is  a  landlord,  whether  he 

17 


goes  by  the  other  name  or  not.    That  is  the  essence  of  the 
thing. 

We  propose  to  abolish  landlordism.  How  are  we  going 
to  do  it?  Think  a  moment  of  what  land  value  is,  which  is 
what  we  propose  to  levy  taxes  upon.  We  propose  to  tax 
men;  but  we  propose  to  levy  the  tax  in  proportion  to  the 
value  of  their  land.  My  friend  wants  to  know  what  ground 
rent  is,  what  land  value  is.  There  is  no  difficulty  in  defin- 
ing it.  You  can  find  out  from  Single  Tax  books,  you  can 
find  out  from  Socialist  books,  you  can  find  out  by  talking 
with  your  real  estate  agent,  what  land  value  is.  He  will 
tell  you  what  land  value  is  if  you  go  to  talk  about  renting  or 
buying,  but  if  you  go  to  talk  about  the  Single  Tax  with  him 
he  don't  know  any  more  about  what  land  value  is  than  my 
friend  does  who  wants  us  to  explain  it.     (Laughter.) 

We  would  tax  land  value.  But  the  mere  taking  of  the 
money  into  the  treasury  is  not  all  of  it.  If  we  could  only  de- 
vise a  way  by  which  we  could  throw  the  equivalent  of  all  the 
land  values  into  the  ocean,  or  bum  up  all  wealth  that  repre- 
ssnted  land  values,  we  should  produce  an  immensely  better 
condition  than  we  have  now,  because  the  land  values  that 
go  to  people  now  through  land  monopoly,  excite  other  people 
to  buy  land.  A  great  many  of  them  buy  in  the  wrong  place, 
and  that  land  does  not  go  up  in  value,  but  the  speculation 
is  going  on  all  the  time,  and  it  monopolizes  the  land  of  this 
whole  continent,  here  in  the  city  and. out  over  the  country, 
until  eighty  millions  of  people  are  actually  crowded,  in  this 
immense  country  of  ours.  But  they  are  crowded  not  by 
other  people;  they  are  crowded  by  wire  fences  that  arc 
stretched  across  the  land  under  this  landlordism  that  exists 
here  in  the  cities  and  also  in  the  country.  (Applause.) 

One  effect  of  taxing  land  value  would  be  to  remove  all 
taxation  from  industry,  so  that  if  a  man  wanted  to  build  a 
3iouse  he  would  have  no  burden  of  taxation  on  the  ma- 
terials, and  the  burden  of  taxation  which  now  begins 
at  the  time  the  house  is  done  would  be  gone.  What  is  the 
result?  It  makes  men  want  to  build  houses.  You  could 
build  more  houses,  you  could  build  better  houses.  What 
does  that  mean?  A  greater  demand  for  labor.  The  very 
moment  that  occurs  you  are  getting  to  a  point  where  you 
have  ten  jobs  for  nine  men  instead  of  nine  jobs  for  ten 
jnen. 

But  that  is  not  all.    The  thing  grows.    As  you  take  away 

i8 


land  values  you  remove  all  incentive  to  hold  land  out  of  use. 
Vacant  land  would  then  be  of  no  value  in  the  market.  It 
would  not  be  monopolized,  because  there  would  be  plenty 
more  vacant  land  as 'good.  When  you  have  done  that  you 
make  it  still  easier  to  build  houses,  you  make  it  still  easier  to 
do  any  of  the  things  that  labor  makes  its  living  by  doing, 
you  have  a  still  closer  approach  to  the  abolition  of  monopoly ; 
and  if  you  get  it  completely  done,  if  you  bring  it  up  to  the 
ideal,  then  you  have  a  condition  in  which  no  man  will  coerce 
labor,  because  labor  cannot  then  be  coerced. 

Let  me  give  you  an  illustration  of  that  point,  for  I  have 
a  minute  or  two  of  time  for  that  purpose.  Suppose  a  con- 
tinent should  rise  up  in  mid-ocean,  and  that  is  more  than  a 
thousand  miles  away.  Suppose  it  to  be  a  rich  continent. 
Let  there  be  an  assurance  that  there  never  shall  be  land  mon- 
opoly there,  and  that  labor  shall  always  be  free  to  go  from 
this  continent  to  that.  Let  that  be  a  continent  where  any 
man  can  go  and  take  up  land.  Now,  with  that  assurance, 
that  the  land  shall  never  be  monopolized,  that  the  Single 
Tax,  for  instance,  shall  be  in  operation,  cities  will  spring  up 
there,  great  industries  will  spring  up  there.  Where  will 
they  come  from  ?  From  the  labor  of  the  men  who  find  there 
a  better  place  to  exercise  their  labor  power  than  here.  Wages 
will  rise  there  to  the  full  earning  of  the  laborer.  And  how 
long,  let  me  ask,  would  they  then  be  less  here? 

In  conclusion,  let  me  ask  you  men  and  women  of  the 
working  classes  to  consider  this : '  The  Single  Tax  will  begin 
to  yield  its  benefits  step  by  step  from  the  very  start.  The 
very  moment  that  you  abolish  taxation  of  personal  property 
you  will  begin  to  get  some  of  its  benefits.  The  moment  you 
abolish  taxation  of  products  of  labor  generally,  you  will 
get  more.  The  moment  you  turn  a  larger  part  of  the  rent  of 
land  into  the  public  treasury,  you  will  get  more.  Make  it 
progressive  and  you  get  the  benefit  progressively  all  the 
way  from  the  beginning.  But  with  Socialism  you  first  have 
got  to  win  an  election,  and  you  have  got  to  hold  your  power, 
and  you  have  got  to  change  the  old  order ;  you  have  got  to 
abolish  the  existing  condition  of  things — root  and  branch. 
(Applause  and  a  voice,  "Three  cheers  for  Socialism.") 
You  do  not  begin  to  get  any  benefit  whatever  under  Socialism 
until  you  have  done  all  that.  (Applause).  Socialism  is  revo- 
lution, is  it  not?  (A  voice,  "Yes.")  The  Single  Tax  is 
progressive.  (A  voice,  "No.")    Yes,  it  is  progressive.  There 

19 


you  have  an  essential  difference  between  them,  which,  if 
there  were  no  other,  whether  you  like  it  or  not,  my  friends, 
will  appeal  to  the  working  classes  in  favor  of  the  Single 
Tax.  It  will  give  them  benefits  as  it  goes  along.  That  ad- 
vantage will  appeal  to  human  nature  over  a  movement  that 
gives  no  benefit  until  you  have  organized  a  party  that  can 
control  the  whole  world  and  have  abolished  the  old  order  of 
things  and  set  up  a  new  order.  Even  under  your  own  phil- 
osophy, my  Socialist  friends,  you  do  not  begin  to  get  any 
benefit  from  Socialism  until  that  time  comes.  You  begin 
to  get  the  benefits  from  the  Single  Tax  from  the  very  mo- 
ment that  you  begin  even  in  the  most  timid  way  to  put  it 
into  operation,  and  those  benefits  grow  and  grow  as  you  ad- 
vance. 

Now  I  can  understand  that  confirmed  SociaUsts,  such  as 
compose  this  audience,  may  very  well  say  (applause) — I 
knew  it  (laughter) — confirmed  Socialists  (prolonged  ap- 
plause).   How  much  time  have  I,  Mr.  Chairman. 

The  Chairman :  A  minute.  I  wish  to  say  that  we  do  not 
care  to  have  interruptions  of  a  speaker.  You  will  have  an 
opportunity  to  hear  both  sides. 

Mr.  Post :  Since  I  have  but  a  minute  this  is  all  I  care  to 
say.  You  Socialists  who  are  confirmed  may  be  willing  to 
wait  until  you  uproot  the  existing  order ;  you  may  be  willing 
to  forego  any  benefits  until  that  long  distant  time  comes. 
But  the  great  mass  of  the  working  classes  are  not  willing  to 
wait  that  long  nor  to  act  in  that  way.     (Applause.) 

The  Chairman :  It  is  a  healthy  sign  of  the  times  that  of  a 
winter  afternoon  an  audience  of  this  size,  some  two  thousand 
people,  will  gather  to  listen  to  dry  economic  questions.  I  have 
thought  many  times  during  the  past  few  years  that  we  were 
slowly  drifting  into  the  grasp  of  an  oligarchy,  but  when  I  see 
an  audience  of  this  size  and  this  intelligence  leaving  the  com- 
fort of  their  homes  to  listen  to  arguments,  and  arguments 
which  appeal  only  to  reason,  I  have  hope.  I  have  been  told 
that  warmer  things  are  yet  to  come.  It  becomes  my  pleasure 
now  to  present  to  you  one  of  the  gentlemen  who  will  attempt 
and  probably  will  warm  up  the  discussion  to  a  higher  tem- 
perature than  it  has  yet  reached — ^Mr.  Stedman. 


20 


SEYMOUR  STEDMAN. 

Mr.  Chairman,  Ladies  and  Gentlemen — Mr.  Post  in  almost 
the  opening  sentences  of  his  address  made  the  statement  that 
sooner  or  later  the  Socialist  cause,  perhaps  not  under  that 
name,  would  be  launched  against  the  Single  Tax  movement. 
I  can  well  understand  why  that  may  be  possible.  The  Single 
Tax  is  simply  the  crowning  of  capitalism.  (Applause.)  It 
stands  for  shifting  the  taxes  of  a  portion  of  the  capitalist 
class  upon  the  shoulders  of  another  part  of  the  capitalist  class 
— namely  the  landowners.  And  by  doing  that  they  do  not  at 
all  claim  or  believe  that  it  will  result  in  the  abolition  of  all 
classes.  The  Socialist  movement  will  live  and  thrive* and 
grow  until  there  are  no  classes  within  the  civilized  world. 
(Applause.) 

Seeing  that  it  is  ^Sunday,  it  may  be  well  to  read  a  little 
from  the  Single  Tax  Koran.  I  read  from  page  358  of 
"Progress  and  Poverty" :  "To  buy  out  the  individual  prop- 
erty rights  would  merely  be  to  give  the  landholders,  in  an- 
other form,  a  claim  of  the  same  kind  and  amount  that  their 
possession  of  land  now  gives  them.  It  would  be  to  wrest 
from  them  by  taxation  the  same  proportion  of  the  earnings 
of  labor  and  capital  that  they  are  now  enabled  to  approprite 
in  rent." 

As  stated  before,  the  Single  Tax  simply  contemplates  a 
change  in  the  form  of  taxation  and  it  does  not  for  one 
moment  propose  to  abolish  exploitation.  Socialism  will 
abolish  exploitation.  That  is  why  Socialism  is  revolutionary 
in  its  character.  (Applause.)  And  let  me  say  here  that  in 
using  the  term  "Revolutionary"  Socialists  do  not  at  all 
mean  physical  force  (applause),  but  we  mean  by  revolution 
not  a  mere  reform  but  a  complete  change  in  the  fundamentals 
of  society.  On  the  loth  of  August  the  French  revolutionists 
enfranchised  the  citizens,  abolished  titles  and  overthrew  the 
nobility,  which  formed  {he  fabric  of  feudalism,  and  there 
was  no  blood  shed  on  that  day. 

Mr.  Post  stated  that  the  speaker  who  preceded  him  an- 
nounced the  doctrine  of  material  interests.  The  speaker~who 
preceded  him  in  substance,  said  this:  That  the  material 
interests  of  a  people  is  that  which  governs  and  determins 
their  laws,  mode  of  production,  their  lives,  morals  and  ethics. 
He  did  not  mean  that  sentiment,  religion,  ethics  and  morals 
failed  to   play  any  part  in  molding  the  character  of  men. 

21 


The  class  in  control  determines  the  prevailing  standard 
of  morals  and  religion,  and  its  purposes  are  always  consist- 
ent with  their  materialistic  aims  and  interests,  which  it  re- 
quires and  nourishes.  Mr.  Post  forgot  his  earlier  statement, 
and  in  conclusion  said :  "What  does  the  working  class  want  ? 
It  wants  food,  it  wants  clothing,  it  wants  shelter."  There 
is  the  materiaHstic  argument  that  the  Single  Tax  ethical 
preacher  sets  forth  to  prompt  you  into  action  and  to  urge 
the  working  class  to  dispossess  one  class  of  capitalists  in 
favor  of  another.    (Applause.) 

He  talks  about  rights,  and  then  he  fails  to  define  them.  He 
talks  about  natural  monopoly,  and  I  hope  the  speaker  that 
follows  me  will  define  that. 

Mr.  Post,  in  reply  to  Mr.  Untermann,  said :  "Mr.  Unter- 
mann  asks,  'What  are  land  values'?"  In  reply  Mr.  Post 
said:  "Go  and  ask  a  real  estate  broker,  go  and  ask  your 
landlord,  read  books  on  Single  Tax,"  and  then  proceeded  to 
say,  "We  will  take  that,"  never  making  any  attempt  himself 
to  answer  the  question.  (Applause.) 

He  says  "the  Socialists  propose  a  government  that  shall 
regulate  things  in  a  stereotyped  manner."  The  Socialist 
movement  in  its  program  and  its  purposes  must  conform  to 
the  economic  evolution  and  tendencies  of  the  time.  We  real- 
ize that  by  organized  industry  and  associated  effort,  today  we 
have  the  social  regulation  and  the  social  method  of  produc- 
tion and  distribution  of  wealth,  but  the  contradiction  exists 
in  the  private  ownership  of  these  socialized  means  of  produc- 
tion, and  the  Single  Taxers  propose  to  let  it  stand  and  con- 
tinue. 

I  ask  the  speaker  who  will  follow  me  to  answer,  do  you 
believe  in  profit?  Let  us  not  have  any  evasion  of  that  ques- 
tion. (Applause.)  The  moment  you  believe  in  profits, 
you  must  believe  in  interest.  Interest  and  profit  you  can 
calculate  to  infinity,  but  the  possibilities  of  actual  produc- 
tion are  finite.  The  moment  you  uphold  profit  you  uphold 
a  system  of  Carnegies  and  Rockefellers,  and  the  private 
ownership  of  the  means  of  production  and  distribution. 
(Applause.) 

Furthermore,  the  Single  Tax  proposes  that  no  man  would 
go  into  a  factory  and  work  for  less  than  he  could  earn  upon 
the  land.  They  tell  us  that  with  free  land  we  may  all  build 
more  homes.    But  what  are  we  going  to  build  more  homes 

22 


with  ?  Will  we  all  become  carpenters  ?  What  will  we  wear 
and  eat  while  we  are  building  those  houses  ? 

Furthermore,  the  Single  Tax  proposition  that  a  man  can 
go  upon  the  land  and  maintain  his  existence,  is  a  reversion 
of  progress,  a  degeneracy  to  the  ancient  system  of  savage 
life,  because  what  you  can  produce  without  the  modern 
methods  of  'production  and  distribution  is  exemplified  by  all 
savages  that  exist  to-day,  and  we  know  their  limitations  and 
capacity  for  production.  We  cannot  in  our  production  ig- 
nore the  machine  as  a  means  of  wealth  creation. 

In  speaking  of  farmers,  I  call  attention  to  the  fact  that 
they  are  averaging  about  $29  a  month,  excluding  all  in- 
terest upon  the  capital'  invested  in  land  or  utensils  which 
they  use  in  their  production. 

Moreover,  I  want  to  ask  Mr.  White  how  he  would  ap- 
portion land  values  where  among  a  thousand  men  who  have 
labored  for  a  year,  to  find  an  oil  well,  who  have  spent  their 
time  to  enrich  the  community,  but  failed  through  accident, 
and  some  other  man  who  by  chance  finds  the  oil  well  ?  What 
would  he  tax  that  land,  and  what  would  you  pay  those  who 
lost  in  the  original  search  and  who  have  nothing  to  show 
for  their  effort? 

We  have  a  real  Utopia  built  by  Mr.  Post  on  free  land  on 
an  island  a  thousand  miles  from  shore.  Mr.  Post  had  it 
populated  by  emigration  and  forgot  the  most  essential  thing 
in  populating  the  island,  which  was  a  steam  boat.  (Ap- 
plause.) And  then  the  question  arises  who  owns  the  steam 
boat?  At  the  present  time  the  water  is  free  and  yet  we 
know  that  the  steam  boat  traffic  is  an  industry 
owned  by  a  few  and  monopolized.  Let  us  assume 
that  you  go  out  there  on  the  island  and  one  man 
has  a  Mergenthaler  machine,  the.  type  and  capital 
with  which  to  run  a  newspaper,  hasn't  that  man 
an  advantage  over  a  man  who  comes  there  with  no  capital 
except  the  ability  to  run  a  Mergenthaler,  and  who  has  abso- 
lutely no  money  with  which  to  compete  with  the  man  who 
owns  the  machine?  We  may  say  in  Chicago  to  a  man  out 
of  work,  "We  have  got  free  land."  But  what  he  wants  is 
profitable  employment.  He  goes  down  to  Marshall  Field, 
and  says,  "I  want  a  job  as  counter  jumper.  I  am  a  man 
out  of  work.  If  I  was  employed  here,  I  might  get  a  salary 
of  twelve  dollars,  I  want  a  salary  here  working  for  you." 
Marshall  Field  replies,  "No,  we  don't  need  you."    The  job 

23 


hunter  replies,  "Well,  but  the  land  is  free,  and  if  you  don't 
employ  me  at  twelve  dollars  a  week,  I  will  go  out  here  to 
67tii  street  (seven  miles  from  the  center  of  business)  and 
build  a  department  store."  (Laughter.)  "No,"  Marshall 
Field  would  say,  "You  can't  do  it,  your  capital  is  insuffi- 
cient." "Well,  I  will  get  a  hundred  men  and  women  who 
will  pool  their  savings  and  together  we  will  all  buy  a  de- 
partment store."  Field  would  reply,  "That's  right,  you  go 
out  there  and  put  up  a  department  store,  my  place  will  con- 
tinue here  at  the  corner  of  State  and  Washington  streets, 
and  after  you  have  run  for  about  a  year,  I  will  go  out  there 
and  buy  in  your  goods  at  bankrupt  sale  and  sell  them  here 
as  a  job  lot."    (Applause.) 

Furthermore,  the  great  industries  of  this  country  at  the 
present  time  do  not  rest  upon  land  value,  or  the  proprietor- 
ship of  land  by  them.  You  can  go  to  countless  cities  around 
Chicago  and  they  will  give  you  a  factory  site  for  the  purpose 
of  inducing  you  to  locate  there.  The  Standard  Oil  Trust  is 
not  in  the  business  of  owning  territory  or  oil  wells.  It  owns 
refineries,  which  stahd  between  the  laborer  in  the  refineries 
and  on  the  land,  and  the  consumer  in  the  market.  Not  only 
that,  but  the  sugar  beet  and  cane  refineries  are  not  based 
upon  land  ownership.  They  go  to  a  little  town  and  talk  to 
the  farmers  and  tell  them  what  they  can  make  in  growing 
beets,  and  then  build  a  factory  there.  The  value  of  that  trust 
does  not  rest  upon  the  beet  farms  or  cane  fields  that  are 
owned  by  the  farmers;  it  is  based  upon  the  fact  that  they 
have  millions  of  dollars'  worth  of  plants  and  machinery  and 
buildings  in  which  the  refining  is  done. 

You  can  go  down  the  list  and  single  out  one  industry 
after  another.  The  higher  priced  land  means  that  instead 
of  having  one-story  houses  to  live  in,  we  have  five-story 
and  six-story  flats  and  live  away  up  in  the  air  with  a  lot  of 
vacant  land  around  us.  A  beautiful  dream.  A  Utopia  of 
plenty  of  land  and  high  buildings. 

Every  single  workingman  in  this  hall  wants  what  ?  Better 
houses,  better  clothes,  better  working  conditions  and 
higher  wages  to  raise  his  standard  of  life.  What  does 
the  capitalist  want?  He  wishes  to  pay  lower  wages  and 
impose  longer  hours.  He  does  not  produce  for  utility; 
he  does  not  produce  for  use.  His  interest  is  entirely  dif- 
ferent from  that  of  the  working  class,  arising  from  an 
entirely  different  motive  in  the  production  of  wealth. 

24 


With  competition,  you  have  a  warfare  condition  for  do- 
mestic markets.  The  failure  of  the  local  market  means  that 
you  must  contest  with  the  world  powers  for  foreign  mar- 
kets. Your  contest  for  foreign  markets  means  that  you  must 
maintain  armies  and  support  navies,  and  all  that  goes  with 
the  perpetuating  of  class  rule  or  government. 

You  tell  us  about  government.  The  Socialists  can  agree, 
perhaps,  with  the  logical  Single  Taxer,  for  the  logical  Single 
Taxer  lands  in  one  of  two  camps.  He  becomes  either  a  com- 
munistic anarchist  or  a  Socialist.  (Applause.)  And  your 
government  will  live  as  long  as  the  Single  Tax  will  be  in 
operation,  because  government  is  the  police  power  and  the 
force  that  is  used  by  the  dominant  class  to  further  its  own 
material  existence  and  perpetuate  itself.  Government  will 
never  fall  until  all  class  war  disappears,  and  that  will  come 
when  you  have  industrial  freedom. 

He  wants  liberty.  Who  is  to  define  your  liberty?  Al- 
ways heretofore  in  history  the  class  that  had  control  have 
told  you  in  what  your  liberty  consists.  They  tell  you  what 
our  freedom  shall  be.  Tell  us,  Mr.  White,  will  the  Single 
Tax  abolish  classes,  will  it  abolish  the  economic  antagonism 
of  classes?  Will  it  abolish  on  the  one  hand  the  workers 
searching  for  food  and  products  to  consume,  and  on  the 
other  hand  the  men  who  own  and  control  the  industries  and 
run  them  for  profit?  Will  it  change  the  motive  and  the 
purpose  which  arrays  these  two  great  classes  against  each 
other?  Mr.  Post  has  said  that  you  cannot  accomplish  that 
until  you  accomplish  it  throughout  the  world.  Sir,  we  know 
it.  The  capitalist  class  is  a  world  class,  but  so  is  the 
proletariat.    (Applause.) 

Let  us  contemplate  for  a  moment  what  Single  Tax  intends. 
What  is  the  curse  and  idiocy  of  the  modern  system?  The 
waste  that  is  based  upon  the  present  form  of  industrial  so- 
ciety. One  of  the  strongest  points  in  Socialism  is  that  it 
will  do  away  with  the  waste  that  exists  in  the  competitive  life 
in  which  we  live.  There  was  appropriated  for  your  schools 
only  about  ^  two  hundred  million  dollars  a  year,  but  for 
armies,  eight  hundred  and  fifteen  million  dollars  a  year,  an 
amount  that  would  reproduce  the  buildings  of  thirty-seven 
complete  world  fairs,  such  as  we  had  in  Chicago  in  1893. 
The  destruction  by  war  of  property  alone,  eliminating  the 
question  of  men,  in  the  last  century  was  something  like 
1,405  billion    dollars,    enough    to  erect  over  six  thousand 

25 


world's  fairs.  This  will  give  you  some  conception  of  the  loss 
of  effort  and  the  waste  that  exists  under  present  conditions. 
How  many  instances  are  there?  Take  advertising,  pick  up 
your  daily  paper,  examine  the  street  cars,  go  along  the 
thoroughfares  and  look  at  the  bill-boards  and  you  can 
imagine  the  terrific  amount  of  waste  there  is  in  this  line. 
Consider  the  useless  persons  that  exist  at  the  present  time — 
one  hundred  thousand  in  the  penitentiaries.  I  admit  that 
there  may  be  such  a  thing  as  congenital  criminals  and  anti- 
social characters,  but  the  great  class  of  criminals  are  pro- 
duced by  the  economic  struggle  which  saps  the  life  of  the 
people. 

We  see  a  man  who  is  a  hobo  on  the  street,  and  we  think, 
"Well,  there  is  one  man  that  has  spent  a  useless  life  and  he 
is  a  wreck,"  but  if  you  go  down  to  his  past,  you  may  find 
that  he  was  taken  off  the  farm  and  put  into  a  glass  factory 
when  he  was  six  or  seven  years  of  age ;  that  he  worked  there 
ten  years  to  create  profits,  which  the  Single  Taxers  believe 
in — and  it  has  completely  sapped  his  vitality  and  life. 

There  are  about  80,000  or  90,000  lawyers  in  the  United 
States,  with  an  equal  number  of  clerks.  (Applause,  and  a 
voice,  "You  are  a  lawyer.")  Yes,  it  is  true,  as  long  as  there 
is  a  working  class  that  is  stupid  enough  to  labor  from  seven 
~  o'clock  in  the  morning  until  six  at  night  and  perpetuate  this 
system,  I  shall  get  down  at  ten  o'clock  in  the  morning 
(laughter) ;  as  long  as  this  system  plays  favorites,  I  shall 
try  and  be  one  of  them.  When  socialism  comes,  I  suppose 
I  shall  have  to  earn  an  honest  living. 

You  have  a  large  number  of  insane,  and  I  want  to  call  at- 
tention to  the  fact  that  the  isolated  life  and  hardships  of  the 
American  farm  send  more  men  and  women  per  capita  to  the 
insane  asylums  than  do  the  cities.  Free  land  would  increase 
the  hardships  of  the  farm,  and  the  Single  Tax  may  thus  in- 
crease the  insanity  that  exists.     (Applause.) 

They  tell  us  about  coal  lands,  and  the  unused  coal  fields 
which  exist.  I  grant  it.  Can  we  increase  the  pay  of  the 
coal  miner  by  opening  up  the  countless  fields  that  exist  sur- 
rounding us  in  other  states,  and  increasing  competition 
among  them  by  your  process  ?  Instead  of  having  one  gen- 
eral store  you  will  have  half  a  hundred.  Did  you  ever  no- 
tice that  where  there  is  only  one  grocery  store  in  the  neigh- 
borhood, the  owner  will  open  the  store  at  six  o'clock,  seven  or 
eight,  and  close  reasonably  early,  but  if  another  man  comes  in 

26 


and  starts  a  grocery  store  next  to  him  and  he  opens  at  seven 
and  closes  at  nine,  the  other  must  do  the  same.  Each  must 
open  as  early  and  close  as  late  as  his  rival.  By  doing  that 
through  competition  you  are  wasting  your  labor  and  lives  in 
competition.  The  Socialist  proposes  that  you  use  your  labor 
for  actual  production  and  the  blessings  of  life.  (Ap- 
plause.) 

What  does  the  system  of  competition  produce  in  morals, 
in  ethics  ?  It  puts  sand  in  your  sugar  and  turmeric  in  your 
mustard,  chicory  in  your  coffee  and  alum  in  your  baking- 
powder — 'adulteration  on  every  hand.  The  Senate  of  the 
United  States  appointed  a  committee  to  investigate  the  sub- 
ject of  adulteration,  and  I  read  from  the  report  of  that  com- 
mittee : 

"The  adulteration  of  prepared  and  manufactured  foods  is 
very  extensively  practiced,  and  in  many  cases  to  the  discredit 
of  our  manufacturers."  (How  pathetic.)  "It  is  only  fair 
tc  say,  however,  that  a  large  proportion  of  American  manu- 
facturers who  are  engaged  in  adulteration  of  food  products 
do  so  in  order  to  meet  competition." 

That  is,  the  manufacturers  say :  "We  would  like  to  quit 
adulterating  goods,  but  in  doing  so  our  competitors  would 
take  the  trade  away  from  us." 

The  first  thing  that  every  man  is  confronted  with,  and  the 
paramount  thing,  is  the  struggle  for  existence.  If  the  man 
next  to  him  employs  machines,  he  must  do  the  same.  If  he 
employs  women  and  children  he  must  secure  women  and 
children.  If  one  adulterates  his  goods,  becoming  a  crimi- 
nal, the  other  must  follow  him  in  his  career  of  crime,  or 
must  cease  to  live  or  become  a  wage  worker  working  for  his 
heartless  competitor.  (Applause.)  And  I  want  to  know 
how  the  opening  of  land  (if  it  will  not  decrease,  but  on  the 
contrary,  increase,  competition)  will  do  away  with  adultera- 
tion ?  They  tell  us  that  we  haven't  competition  now  and  that 
we  are  going  to  get  that  when  we  get  the  Single  Tax. 
Whether  you  call  it  voluntary  rivalry  or  emulation  or  com- 
petition, what  you  mean  is  the  struggle  for  profit,  whether 
you  call  it  by  one  name  or  another.  It  makes  no  difference 
what  the  name,  the  result  is  the  same;  the  capitalist  com- 
petitors are  both  after  profits.    The  motive  is  the  same. 

Furthermore,  let  us  understand  this :  In  all  historic  epochs 
we  have  had  contests  between  classes.  Do  you  think  manu- 
facturing and  landed  interests  will  unite  on  the  Single  Tax 

27 


program?  By  no  means.  The  factory  legislation  in  Great 
Britain  was  due  to  the  fact  that  the  agricultural  proprietors 
endeavored  to  shift  the  burden  of  taxation  upon  the  cities 
and  towns,  the  bourgeoise.  Those  in  the  towns  endeavored 
to  shift  it  back  upon  the  land,  and  the  earlier  factory  legisla- 
tion was  due  to  the  conflict  between  those  two  classes,  mak- 
ing concessions  favorable  to  the  employes  of  their  rivals, 
which  resulted  in  some  beneficial  legislation  to  laborers,  the 
result  of  capitalist  conflicts  rather  than  the  organized  effort 
and  protest  of  the  working  classes.  So  from  capitaUst  con- 
flicts some  benefit  comes  at  times  to  the  workingmen. 

The  Single  Tax,  as  a  fiscal  measure,  proposes  the  con- 
fiscation of  land.  You  say  you  are  taking  land  values. 
That  is  all  that  has  any  utility  to  society,  and  when  you  take 
all  in  land  that  has  any  utility  to  society,  you  then  advocate 
confiscation — a  capitalist  revolution. 

The  gentleman  speaks  of  the  public  opinion 
which  must  be  aroused.  Db  you  know  what 
public  opinion  is?  Let  me  illustrate  it.  In 
the  summer  when  the  days  are  warm  and  the 
thermometer  is  dancing  away  up  in  the  nineties,  the  Chi- 
cago papers  come  out  and  say  that  business  is.  dull  because 
the  people  are  all  out  of  town.  We  know  who  are  out  of 
town ;  those  who  can  afford  to  go  to  the  mountains  and  the 
seaside.  They  are  the  people,  and  those  are  the  people  that 
make  public  sentiment.  Let  me  tell  you  now  that  if  you  had 
a  marriage  in  this  hall  between  people  of  questionable  in- 
tellect, but  with  much  paraphernalia ;  the  Qiicago  American 
would  be  loaded  down  to-morrow  morning  with  two  or 
three  pages  devoted- to  it  (laughter),  while  this  meeting  will 
probably  get  about  three  lines,  and  it  may  not  get  that  much. 
Were  it  not  for  the  fact  that  the  Single  Taxers  dearly  love 
the  democrats  more  than  they  do  the  repulicans,  I  do  not 
think  we  could  get  even  those  three  lines. 

Mr.  Post  tells  you  that  Mr.  Untermann  says  as  a  class  we 
ask  the  support  of  the  middle  class.  Let  us  not  misunder- 
stand that  middle  class  proposition  and  their  support  of  us. 
That  is  only  partially  explained  by  the  statement  made  by 
Mr.  Post,  and  even  by  Mr.  Untermann.  The  man  who  is 
working  in  a  grocery  store,  or  in  a  small  business,  working 
twelve  or  fourteen  hours  a  day,  should  join  the  Socialist 
movement,  because  with  Socialism,  his  hours  of  labor  would 
be  cut  down  to  a  civilized  basis  and  his  income  would  be 
raised  to  permit  him  to  enjoy  some  of  the  luxuries  of  life. 

28 


But  do  you  for  one  moment  suppose  that  those  people  who 
belong  to  the  class  depending  for  their  existence  upon  the 
continuance  of  the  wage  system  will  come  to  us  ?  We  know 
well  they  will  not.  We  know  that  like  the  democrats  and 
republicans  in  Haverhill,  Mass.,  they  will  unite  against  us. 
(Applause.)  We  know  that  like  the  Manufacturers'  Asso- 
ciations which  unite  the  capitalists  against  the  trade  unions 
and  the  Economic  Leagues  of  proprietors  and  capitalists 
united  against  the  Socialists.  We  know  that  when  there  is  a 
strike  of  delivery  teamsters  at  one  department  store,  the 
capitalist  who  is  a  rival  of  that  store  will  send  over  to  de- 
liver Jiis  rival's  goods.  We  understand  the  unity  of  inter- 
est which  capitalist  class  have  against  the  Socialists,  and  we 
also  understand  the  unity  of  interest  which  every  intelligent 
workingman  must  recognize  in  each  other,  against  the  capi- 
talists, and  that  their  salvation  comes  only  from  a  recog- 
nition of  that  and  their  economic  class  interests  expressed 
at  the  ballot.     (Applause.) 

Mr.  Post  referred  doubtingly  to  the  figures  that  had  been 
made  by  the  statisticians  in  Washington.  Certainly,  they 
cannot  be  regarded  as  favoring  Socialism.  (Applause,  and  a 
voice,  "Sure.")  And  if  they  do,  we  can  refer  to  the  more 
open  and  obvious  lessons  to  which  we  can  draw  attention. 
We  know  that  if  in  this  hall  at  this  moment  it  should  be 
proclaimed  that  the  land  was  free,  every  man  who  had 
money  would  desire  to  invest  where  he  could  draw  the 
largest  return,  and  if  he  thought  he  could  make  more  by 
investing  in  something  else  than  building  houses  he  would 
be  governed  accordingly. 

The  Single  Tax  is  not  a  philosophy.  It  is  a  proposed 
patch  work  for  the  purpose  of  remedying  certain  presumed 
abuses  of  the  capitalist  system.  Socialism,  on  the  contrary, 
is  far  different.  We  recognize  certain  changes  which  have 
taken  place  in  the  past  and  which  show  the  evolution  from 
savage  to  barbaric  life,  and  from  barbaric  to  civilization  or 
capitalism,  and  an.  inevitable  change  into  a  new  form  of  in- 
dustrial existence.  These  changes  and  occurrences  lead  us 
to  believe,  with  a  great  deal  of  certainty,  that  the  next  in- 
dustrial era  which  will  follow  the  present  will  be  Socialism. 

We  recognize  that  you  cannot  destroy  a  single  link  in  the 
process  of  social  evolution,  but  you  can,  through  industrial 
activity,  hasten  the  death  of  an  epoch  that  is  injurious  to  the 
men  or  women  who  are  passing  through  it.    You  can  no 

29 


more  destroy  an  essential  link  in  the  process  through  which 
the  evolution  of  society  is  taking  place,  any  more  than  you 
can  eliminate  any  stage  in  life  (childhood  or  maturity),  from 
conception  to  death.  The  SociaUsts  propose  to  gather  all 
the  achievements  and  utilities  of  the  past  which  can  be  of 
service  to  society,  and  to  take  full  advantage  of  all  modern 
methods  of  production  and  distribution,  collecting  the  riches 
of  the  past  and  the  wealth  of  the  present,  and  march  for- 
ward to  industrial  freedom,  comrades  in  the  greatest  cause, 
and  striving  for  the  noblest  achievement  that  ever  warmed 
the  heart  or  inspired  the  brains  of  men.     (Applause.) 

The  Chairman:  I  think  you  will  agree  with  me  that 
the  temperature  is  higher  (laughter),  and  I  have  no 
doubt  but  what  the  thermometer  will  rise  still  higher. 
(Laughter.)  You  know  it  is  always  good  policy  to  keep 
the  good  things  until  the  last,  and  without  any  reflection 
upon  those  who  have  gone  before  in  this  argument  I 
have  no  doubt  that  the  other  gentlemen  will  send  us  all 
up  to  the  boiling  point.  I  now  have  the  pleasure  to  pre- 
sent Mr.  Hardinge,  who  will  take  issue  with  the  last 
speaker. 

HENRY  H.  HARDINGE. 

You  should  not  disappoint  the  audience  by  telling 
them  what  they  are  going  to  get.    They  might  not  get  it. 

Socialism  is,  to  my  mind,  the  unscientific  protest  of 
the  dissatisfied.  (Hisses.)  You  are  taking  up  my  valu- 
able time  by  hissing;  Not  that  I  am  opposed  to  dissatis- 
faction. All  of  the  progress  of  the  human  race  flows 
from  intelligently  directed  dissatisfaction.  But  I  am 
opposed  to  anything  that  is  unscientific,  because  it  will 
not  work.  What  is  science?  It  is  the  discovery  and  the 
a5)plication  of  the  laws  and  the  forces  of  nature  to  the 
uses  of  mankind.  This  is  the  beginning  and  the  end  of 
science.  It  is  based  upon  a  recognition  of  natural  laws. 
If  there  is  any  one  thing  that  scientists  do  lay  particular 
stress  upon,  it  is  the  existence  and  immutability  of  nat- 
ural laws  and  the  persistence  of  force.  Socialists — and 
with  particular  reference  to  the  gentleman  who  will  fol- 
low me,  Mr.  Simons — ^have  many  times  in  my  hearing 
in  public,  repudiated  the  existence  of  natural  law,  which 

30 


is  the  basis  of  all  science,  so  that  it  is  almost  pathetic  to 
hear  them  insist  upon  the  fact  or  statement  or  principle 
that  Socialism  is  nothing  if  it  is  not  scientific,  and  yet 
repudiate  its  foundation. 

Be  that  as  it  may,  Mr.  Stedman  has  raised  many  ques- 
tions. He  says  that  under  the  Single  Tax,  if  you  could 
not  make  money  by  investing  in  land  you  could  invest 
it  in  buildings.  True,  that  is  just  what  you  would  do, 
because  there  are  only  two  things  you  can  put  money 
into;  one  is  land  and  the  other  is  labor;  one  is  monopoly 
and  the  other  is  industry.  Under  the  Single  Tax  you 
would  not  have  to  buy  monopoly;  there  would  be  no 
monopoly  to  buy.  Therefore,  in  spending  money, 
whether  you  are  a  rich  man  or  a  poor  one,  you  would 
buy  labor,  if  you  bought  anything,  because  there  would 
be  nothing  else  to  buy.  What  effect  would  that  have 
upon  the  labor  market?  If  a  man  were,  for  example,  a 
millionaire — if  there  were  such  a  thing  under  the  Single 
Tax,  and  I  doubt  it  very  much — if  he  did  spend  money 
he  would  spend  it  in  buying  things  and  nothing  but 
things,  because,  if  you  eliminate  land  monopoly,  what 
have  you  got  in  which  men  can  invest  money?  In  order 
to  produce  anything  at  all  you  need  land.  For  instance, 
here  are  some  gentlemen  in  New  York  paying  five  mil- 
lions cash  for  a  site  along  Broadway  and  putting  four 
and  a  half  millions  into  the  largest  and  finest  office  build- 
ing in  the  world — paying  half  a  million  more  for  the 
chance  to  put  the  building  there  than  for  the  building 
itself.  They  are  paying  four  and  a  half  millions  for  labor 
and  five  millions  for  monopoly.  Under  the  Single  Tax 
they  would  have  all  of  that  $9,500,000  to  spend  for 
labor,  and  then  would  have  a  building  more  than  twice 
as  valuable.  That  is  one  of  the  supreme  advantages  of 
the  Single  Tax ;  it  will  compel  every  man  who  buys  any- 
thing ^o  buy  labor,  because  when  you  buy  a  house  or  a 
loaf  of  bread  or  a  pair  of  shoes,  you  are  buying  labor, 
because  they  are  made  by  labor. 

Now,  as  to  classes  and  the  class  struggle  and  the  class 
consciousness  which  Socialists  everywhere  insist  upon  so 
urgently.  Classes  and  the  differentiation  of  society  into 
classes  are  simply  the  result  of  institutions  that  make 
classes.  Forty  years  ago  we  had  chattel  slavery  in 
America.    Two  classes  were  involved,  the  slave  owner 

31 


and  the  slave.  With  the  abolition  and  extinction  of  the 
institution  of  slavery  both  classes  went  by  the  board,  and 
the  only  way  to  destroy  present  classes  is  to  destroy  the 
institution  on  which  they  are  based — ^land  monopoly. 
This  the  Single  Tax  will  do;  it  will  dispense  with  landlord- 
ism and  landlords  and  monopoly  of  every  kind. 

As  to  competition  and  the  competitive  age,  this  is  not  the 
competitive  age  in  any  proper  sense  of  the  term,  or  any 
proper  interpretation  of  the  term  "competition."  This  is  the 
monopolistic  age.  There  never  was  a  time  in  the  history  of 
the  world  when  monopoly  reigned  as  supremely  as  it  does 
to-day,  and  hence  competition  was  never  at  so  low  an  ebb. 
Competition  has  not  free  play  to-day.  Nowhere  has  it  half 
a  fair  chance.  Monopoly  is  in  control  of  nearly  everything, 
and  competition  is  throttled  and  almost  destroyed.  This  is 
certainly  the  monopolistic  age.  All  of  the  evils  of  which 
Socialists  complain  grow  out  of  monopoly  and  not  com- 
petition; this  includes  the  evils  in  competition  itself,  which  is 
one-sided  and  not  universal  as  it  would  be  under  the  Single 
Tax.  Natural  competition  would  be  the  great  distributor 
of  wealth  and  social  advantages.  The  Single  Tax  is  a  tax 
upon  monopoly,  and  the  basic  monopoly  at  that. 

As  to  the  coal  trust  and  other  trusts  mentioned,  Mr. 
Stedman  has  said  that  there  are  very  few  of  the  great  in- 
dustrial combinations  to-day  which  owe  their  existence  to 
the  ownership  of  land.  Let  us  examine  this  statement. 
The  coal  trust  consists  of  nine  railroads  combined  with  all 
or  nearly  all  of  the  available  hard  coal  beds  of  Pennsyl- 
vania, consisting  of  about  450  square  miles  of  territory. 
Without  railroads  you  cannot  get  a  pound  of  hard  coal  to 
the  market.  Nine  railroads  tap  that  vast  region.  The  re- 
sult is  that  by  controlling  the  railroads  and  ore  beds  they 
control  the  situation,  dictating  to  the  American  consumers 
what  they  shall  pay  for  coal  and  to  the  miners  what  they 
shall  get  as  wages  for  producing  the  coal.  The  Single  Tax 
will  be  a  tax  in  Pennsylvania  exclusively  upon  land  values, 
and  the  bulk  of  Pennsylvania  land  values  lies  in  the  coal 
.beds  of  Pennsylvania,  the  cities  and  the  oil  region,  three  of 
the  most  valuable  things  they  have,  and  the  Single  Tax 
will  strike  them  and  strike  them  hard,  and  the  operation  of 
the  same  laws  that  tax  land  values  will  force  unused  coal 
beds  into  the  market,  which  will  compel  the  use  of  the  coal 
beds,  which  will  employ  more  labor,  which  will  enormously 

32 


SEYMOUR  STEDilAN. 


IllCNUY    II.    IIAItDIXGE. 

■5  '^ 


increase  the  visible  supply  of  coal,  which  will  increase  the 
demand  for  labor,  which  will  increase  wages,  and  by  the 
same  bold  stroke  that  you  increase  the  demand  for  labor 
and  increase  wages  you  will  increase  the  supply  of  coal. 
(Applause.)  You  need  simply  to  reverse  the  process  of 
starving  the  market  and  charging  higher  prices  to  the  con- 
sumer. You  simply  turn  it  around,  reverse  it,  have  more 
work  lor  the  worker,  more  coal  for  the  consumer,  higher 
wages  for  the  miner  and  cheaper  coal.  Land  cheap,  wages 
high.  That  is  what  the  Single  Tax  will  do  in  regard  to  the 
coal  trust. 

So  far  as  the  railroad  problem  is  concerned,  a  railroad  is 
but  "Two  streaks  of  rust"  and  a  right  of  way,  and  the  right 
of  way  is  the  only  thing  which  does  not  wear  out,  which 
does  not  have  to  be  repaired.  It  is  the  only  thing  that  gets 
more  valuable  as  invention  goes  on  and  population  multi- 
plies. The  basis  of  the  railroad  trust  is  certainly  land 
monopoly,  and  more  than  half  of  the  capitalized  value  of 
the  railroads  in  this  country  consists  in  land  monopoly  pure 
and  simple.  The  railroads  are  capitalized  at  about  eleven 
billions.    The  Single  Tax  is  a  tax  upon  land  monopoly. 

As  to  advertising,  we  see  as  plainly  as  anyone  the 
enormous  waste  resulting  from  advertising  to-day.  No 
way  to  get  rid  of  goods,  the  market  is  out  of  balance.  The 
trick  is  not  to  make  goods,  but  to  sell  goods,  to  find  a 
market.  This  is  not  because  there  are  not  enough  people 
to  buy  goods;  no,  not  through  scarcity  of  people,  but  of 
money.  There  are  not  enough  buyers  for  goods  because 
purchasers  have  not  got  the  money  to  buy  back  the  goods 
they  have  made.  They  have  not  got  the  money  because 
they  do  not  get  wages  enough.  They  do  not  get  wages 
enough  because  work  is  scarce,  and  work  is  scarce  because 
of  land  monopoly,  and  the  worst  feature  of  land  monopoly 
is  land  speculation.  The  Single  Tax  is  a  tax  upon  land 
monopoly  and  will  destroy  it  and  destroy  it  forever,  (Ap- 
plause.) 

And  when  you  destroy  land  monopoly  and  make  oppor- 
tunities free  to  all  men,  how  much  freer  can  opportunity  be 
under  Socialism  or  any  other  ism?  Subtract  land  from 
man  and  what  is  left?  Nothing,  because  we  are  made  of 
it.  Land  is  the  basis  of  all  production,  and  if  you  are  the 
owner  of  the  land  you  can  control  the  people.  Unless  you 
solve  this  problem  you  cannot  solve  the  social  problem. 

33 


If  you  own  the  capital  and  I  own  the  source  of  capital  I 
will  control.  If  there  were  but  2,500  people  in  the  world 
and  I  owned  the  land  there  would  be  just  2,499  too  many 
in  the  world,  and  they  would  have  to  come  to  me  and  make 
their  bargain  with  me  if  I  insisted  on  my  legal  rights.  The 
Single  Tax  will  destroy  the  private  ownership  of  the  earth 
in  3ie  only  intelligible,  practicable,  simple,  scientific  and 
just  way  that  it  can  be  destroyed,  and  it  will  work,  and  that 
is  why  the  landlords  fear  it. 

As  to  wasted  energy,  a  gentleman  sent  me  a  letter  yester- 
day and  he  said:  "I  know  that  it  will  cost  much  more  to 
get  these  things  which  you  make  for  us  on  the  market  than 
it  will  cost  to  make  them."  What  kind  of  a  social  condition 
have  you  got  if  that  is  true,  when  men  need  and  make  use- 
ful things  everywhere,  and  yet  it  costs  more  to  get  those 
things  to  the  people  who  need  them  than  it  does  to  make 
them?  Now,  if  that  is  not  commercial  and  industrial  up- 
sidedownedness,  then  there  is  no  such  thing,  and  it  results 
from  scarce  opportunity. 

Who  would  define  liberty?  Mr.  Stedman  asks.  What  is 
liberty?  Those  only  can  define  it  who  understand  it.  It  is 
the  right  to  live.  What  does  the  right  to  live  amount  to  if 
the  right  to  labor  is  destroyed  or  taken  away  from  youi? 
Where  does  liberty  come  in,  or  what  does  the  pursuit  of 
happiness  amount  to  if  a  man  cannot  pursue  anything 
without  paying  a  price  to  somebody  for  the  privilege  of 
working,  or  being  free,  or  being  happy? 

Armies  and  navies,  says  Mr.  Stedman,  are  to  defend  the 
capitalists.  All  the  armies  and  navies  of  the  world  have 
one  object  and  one  purpose,  and  that  is  this:  to  grab  and 
to  hold  land.  Everywhere  in  the  world  that  is  true.  We 
do  not  need  an  army  in  Chicago.  All  our  vast  industrial 
and  commercial  enterprises  here  are  carried  on  by  produc- 
tive industry  and  without  armies  and  navies.  Armies  and 
navies  consume  everything,  they  produce  nothing.  We  do 
not  need  them  in  the  city ;  we  need  policemen  only,  and  un- 
der the  Single  Tax  we  would  not  need  one  where  we  now 
need  a  hundred,  for  nearly  all  policemen  are  employed  in 
surpressing  the  victims  of  land  monopoly.  Why  do  we 
want  armies  and  navies  elsewhere?  To  grab  and  hold  land, 
that  the  land  monopolists  who  own  this  country  may  use  said 
lands  for  the  exploitation  of  other  peoples,  as  they  do  our 
own  people  who  are  landless.    Armies  and  navies  have  but 

34 


one  object  and  no  excuse,  that  the  exploiters  of  labor  may 
grab  and  hold  land.  No  nation  can  grab  and  hold  land  in 
outside  territory  without  armies  and  navies.  Land 
monopoly  rests  upon  the  use  of  armies,  navies  and  police- 
men, the  visible  expression  of  physical  force.  There  is  no 
natural  or  just  excuse  for  land  monopoly,  and  moreover, 
if  the  men  who  to-day  get  the  benefit  of  land  monopoly 
through  the  use  of  the  armies  and  navies  had  to  pay,  as 
they  would  have  to  pay  under  the  Single  Tax,  the  value  of 
their  monopoly  would  dwindle  down  to  the  point  of  ulti- 
mate extinction. 

As  to  the  making  of  goods  for  profit  and  not  for  utility 
and  use,  I  challenge  that  statement.  I  challenge  it  be- 
cause it  is  not  true  and  I  can  prove  it.  I  am  a  mechanical 
engineer.  I  use  the  finest  kind  of  measuring  instruments 
and  tools.  Without  this  perfection  I  cannot  accomplish 
my  ends.  I  find  in  these  things  the  visible  expression  of 
the  most  beautiful  workmanship.  They  are  constructed 
for  use  and  utility,  and  unless  they  are  so  constructed  they 
would  be  utterly  useless  for  accurate  work.  He  said  goods 
were  made  to  sell  and  not  to  use.  I  tell  you  they  are  made 
to  use  primarily  and  to  sell  incidentally.     (Applause.) 

So  with  food,  clothing  and  shelter,  the  sale  is  incidental, 
because  when  a  man  is  running  a  shoe  factory  if  he  pro- 
duces more  shoes  than  he  has  personal  use  for,  he  must  ex- 
change them  for  things  he  has  use  for;  therefore  the  sale 
of  shoes  is  incidental,  for  unless  people  wanted  to  use  them 
he  would  cease  making  them.  And  so  through  the  whole 
complex  series  of  exchanges,  unless  at  bottom  all  goods 
were  made  to  use  they  would  not  be  sold,  and  under  a  fair 
industrial  adjustment  all  things  would  be  made  both  to  use 
and  to  exchange.  That  is  all  there  is  to  production  carried 
on  as  it  is  to-day.  It  is  utterly  useless  to  produce  unless 
exchange  takes  place,  and  under  the  Single  Tax  there 
would  be  fair  exchanges. 

As  to  the  steel  trust,  about  a  year  and  a  half  ago,  Mr. 
Schwab,  who  knows  as  much  about  steel  as  any  man  in 
this  audience,  for  he  is  a  shop  man,  brought  up  in  the  works 
at  Pittsburg,  went  before  the  industrial  committee  at  Wash- 
ington, was  examined,  and  gave  his  testimony.  He  was 
asked  this  question  by  the  chairman  of  that  committee: 
"Mr,  Schwab,  don't  you  think  the  steel  trust  is  over-capi- 
talized?"    He  said:     "No,  I  don't."     "Why?"  "Because 

35 


ill  the  Connellsville  coking  region  of  Pennsylvania  there  are 
60,000  acres  of  coal,  the  best  coking  coal  in  the  world  for 
steel  making  purposes.  We  have  got  it.  We  own  it.  That 
land  was  appraised  and  the  value  was  based  upon  the  pres- 
ent and  the  expanding  uses  of  steel,  for  this  is  the  steel 
age.  That  land  is  worth  now  $60,000  an  acre  and  $60,000 
multiplied  by  60,000  gives  $3,600,000,000."  That  value 
in  private  hands  represents  nothing  but  tribute-levying 
power,  nothing  but  land  monopoly,  nothing  but  land  value. 
You  may  not  know  what  land  values  are,  Mr.  Stedman,  but 
Mr.  Schwab  does.  (Applause.)  He  said:  "The  $3,- 
600,000,000  is  more  than  twice  our  present  capitalization. 
I  think  we  are  under-capitalized."  In  his  testimony  he  did 
not  say  one  word  about  steel  mills,  rail  mills,  plate  mills, 
bloom  and  billet  mills,  blast  furnaces  or  the  various  ma- 
chinery and  capital  entering  into  the  production  of  steel 
plates,  blooms,  rails,  sheets  or  anything  of  the  kind.  What 
he  did  say  was  that  the  steel  trust  rested  on  land  monopoly 
in  the  State  of  Pennsylvania,  a  monopoly  given  to  them 
by  the  laws  of  Pennsylvania  and  upheld  by  the  people  of 
Pennsylvania.  He  was  talking  about,  thinking  about  and 
discussing  nothing  but  land  monopoly.  He  did  not  care 
for  the  rest  because  he  knew  he  could  duplicate  every  rail 
mill,  steel  mill,  billet  mill,  bloom  mill,  steamship  and  ore 
dock.  That  is  not  what  constitutes  the  monopoly.  The 
monopoly  exists  in  the  ownership  of  that  which  can  not  be 
duplicated.  You  cannot  duplicate  land  because  land  cannot 
be  made  by  man,  not  an  ounce  of  it,  and  for  that  reason 
those  who  own  it  have  an  absolute  monopoly.  You  cannot 
find  a  substitute  for.  it,  and  the  men  who  own  it  have  got 
an  absolute  monopoly,  and  the  Single  Tax  would  destroy 
that.     (Applause.) 

When  Mr.  Schwab  was  before  the  Marquette  Qub  here 
in  Chicago  he  said:  "You  have  heard  many  complaints 
about  the  steel  trust  being  over-capitalized.  Let  me  tell  you 
something.  Up  in  Michigan,  in  Minnesota  and  in  Wis- 
consin we  own  or  control  between  eighty  and  ninety 
per  cent,  of  the  best  available  iron  ore  beds  discovered  in 
this  country  for  making  iron  or  steel.  When  you  consider 
the  enormous  production  of  steel  and  the  increasing  demand 
for  it  all  over  the  world,  you  will  see  that  this  is  the  steel 
age."  He  never  said  a  word  about  bloom  mills,  plate  mills, 
billet  mills  or  blast  furnaces.     He  was  thinking  about  the 

36 


monopoly  of  the  source  of  supply.  That  was  the  only 
thing  he  was  interested  in.  And  he  said  this  in  substance 
to  the  industrial  commission  and  the  Marquette  Qub: 
"Land  monopoly  in  Pennsylvania,  land  monopoly  in  Mich- 
igan, land  monopoly  in  Wisconsin  and  land  monopoly  in 
Minnesota  is  our  sole  source  of  power,  our  sole  source  of 
monopoly."  The  only  power  of  the  steel  trust  to  underpay 
workmen  and  overcharge  customers  lies  in  its  monopoly 
of  land  and  the  tariff  on  steel,  amounting  to  $ii  per  ton. 
The  Single  Tax  will  destroy  both  at  one  fell  swoop.  (Ap- 
plause.) 

The  Standard  Oil  trust.  The  Standard  Oil  trust  owes  its 
monopoly  to  two  things,  the  private  operation  and  owner- 
ship of  railroads  and  pipe  lines  based  upon  franchises  and 
land  values  and  the  private  ownership  of  oil  wells.  Abolish 
this  by  the  Single  Tax  and  there  is  nothing  left  of  the 
standard  oil  trust  as  a  monopoly,  and  if  the  average  citizen 
could  buy  transportation  just  as  he  can  now  buy  postage 
stamps,  without  favoritism,  he  would  not  have  to  pay  thir- 
teen or  fourteen  cents  a  gallon  for  six  cent  gasoline.  People 
pay  that  now  only  by  virtue  of  land  monopoly  secured  to 
the  trust  under  statutory  law. 

As  to  the  sugar  trust.  The  Single  Tax  is  a  tax  on  land 
values  only.  When  you  abolish  all  tariffs  the  sugar  trust 
will  lose  its  power  to  do  evil.  The  evil  power  of  the  sugar 
trust  is  simply  the  power  to  overcharge  customers  for  re- 
fined sugar,  and  that  it  does  by  means  of  the  differential 
tariff  on  refined  sugar  and  the  prevention  of  foreign  com- 
petition by  the  tariff.  The  Single  Tax  will  operate  to  destroy 
the  tariff  and  thus  destroy  whatever  there  is  of  power  for 
evil  in  the  sugar  trust. 

As  to  the  steamship  trust — there  is  no  steamship  trust. 
It  went  to  pieces  when  Mr.  Schwab  and  Mr.  Morgan  water- 
logged and  sunk  it.  The  ocean  cannot  be  monopolized,  hence 
steamship  trusts  are  ephemeral,  they  cannot  last,  they  haven't 
got  their  feet  upon  the  ground,  like  the  fabled  Anteus,  and 
the  coal  trust,  and  would  never  be  thought  of  were  it  not  for 
the  private  monopoly  of  docks  and  terminal  facilities  now 
controlled  by  the  railroads,  and  the  Single  Tax  will  render 
both  forever  impossible. 

As  to  Marshall  Field  and  these  other  gentlemen  who  own 
department  stores,  Mr.  Stedman  said  that  Marshall  Field 
would  say  to  these  other  men  who  wanted  to  start  a  depart- 

37 


ment  store,  "Go  on  and  start  your  store,  and  in  a  year  from 
now  I  will  buy  your  goods  as  a  bankrupt  stock."  Mr.  Field 
might  also  say  to  them,  "Your  capital  don't  amount  to  any- 
thing. You  haven't  got  the  right  place  to  sell  goods.  You 
are  not  on  the  right  kind  of  dirt.  The  kind  of  dirt  to  sell 
goods  on  is  down  on  State  street,  and  I  have  got  a  monopoly 
of  a  large  section  of  State  street.  I  have  the  customers, 
and  if  you  want  to  get  customers  you  have  got  to  come  down 
here  alongside  of  me  where  the  customers  are.  Your  capital 
don't  amount  to  anything.  You  are  no  use  as  capitalists." 
(Applause.)  You  have  proved  conclusively  that  the  power 
of  capitalists  does  not  consist  in  the  ownership  of  capital 
merely,  but  in  ownership  of  monopoly.  Mr.  Field  would 
be  powerful  only  as  a  landlord  and  not  as  a  man  engaged 
in  production,  exchange  or  useful  industry.     (Applause.) 

Mr.  Stedman  asked,  "Gentlemen,  how  are  you  going  to 
ascertain  the  value  of  oil  land?"  Well,  it  took  Mr.  Crow- 
ther,  of  the  King  Crowther  combination,  of  Texas,  just 
seven  years  to  get  control  of  7,500  acres  of  land.  Why  did 
he  do  that  ?  In  order  to  engage  in  production  ?  Not  at  all. 
In  order  to  become  useful  to  his  fellow  men?  Not  at  all. 
In  order  to  get  a  land  monopoly,  so  that  he  might  sell  out 
to  those  who  needed  oil  in  their  industries ;  that  is  why  he 
did  it.  The  land  speculator  is  not  a  useful  citizen  and  so- 
ciety does  not  need  him.  He  is  simply  the  man  that  gets 
there  first.  Land  monopoly  is  at  the  bottom  of  your  oil 
trust,  your  oil  kings  and  your  millionaires.  Mr.  Crowther 
is  said  to  have  "got"  several  millions;  he  "made"  nothing. 
Now,  Mr.  Stedman,  how  did  this  man  ascertain  the  value 
of  that  oil  land? 

As  to  rent,  profit  and  interest.  To  divide  the  present  sys- 
tem of  distribution  into  rent,  profit  and  interest,  as  Socialists 
do,  is  just  as  foolish  as  to  talk  about  the  human  family  be- 
ing divided  into  three  classes,  men,  women  and  human  be- 
ings. All  there  is  to  society  is  men  and  women.  All  there 
is  to  distribution  is  rent,  wages  and  interest.  You  call  a 
landlord  a  monopolist  and  class  his  rent  as  profits ;  he  calls 
it  interest  on  his  investment — ^two  names  for  the  same  thing. 
The  vast  bulk  of  so-called  interest  now  paid  is  rent,  ground 
rent  for  the  use  of  the  earth.  The  power  of  Shylock,  which 
both  Socialist  and  Single  Taxer  condemn,  arises,  not 
from  the  avarice  of  the  man  who  takes  the  last  pound  of 
flesh,  but  from  the  necessities  of  his  victim  which  drive 

38 


him  into  the  Shylock's  den.  The  Single  Tax  will  abolish 
such  necessities  by  making  people  free,  by  making  industry 
free.  All  industry  is  based  upon  land.  By  making  the 
land,  the  source  of  all  wealth,  free,  men  can  then  engage 
in  production  under  such  conditions  that  they  will  not  need 
the  aid  of  a  Shylock,  and  all  will  have  plenty  without  going 
to  a  Shylock.  JJo  matter  how  greedy  the  Shylocks  are,  they 
can  not  extort  by  the  mere  fact  of  greed,  for  it  takes  two 
to  make  a  bargain,  and  the  very  instant  you  make  men  free 
you  take  away  the  advantage  of  any  Shylock  to  crush  his 
fellow  men.  You  can  not  crush  an  eggshell  unless  you  have 
something  on  the  other  side,  even  with  the  weight  of 
Jupiter.  And  you  have  got  to  have  something  underneath 
the  worker  to  compel  him  to  give  up  the  bulk  of  what  he 
produces  for  the  opportunity  to  work.  Why  does  he  do  it 
now?  Because  his  hand  is  palsied  by  lack  of  opportunity, 
and  the  "thing  on  the  other  side"  is  land  monopoly.  What 
is  it  today  that  stands  between  industry  and  its  products? 
Three  things  only :  land  speculation,  taxes  upon  production 
and  taxes  upon  exchange — just  three.  The  Single  Tax  would 
abolish  taxes  upon  production  and  tax  land  monopoly  only. 
It  would  abolish  taxes  upon  exchange,  and  tax  land  values 
only.  It  will  remove  the  taxes  from  these  two  things  and 
place  the  burden  upon  the  other  thing,  on  land  speculation. 
Every  vacant  piece  of  land  is  a  tramp  factory.  When  you 
abolish  land  monopoly  you  leave  industry  in  a  condition 
for  unhampered  production.  Men  will  be  free  to  produce 
what  they  like,  where  they  like,  when  they  like,  and  how 
they  like,  and  there  will  be  a  more  equitable  distribution, 
for  by  the  same  bold  stroke  that  you  abolish  land  monopoly 
you  abolish  the  three  things  which  now  stand  in  the  way 
of  industry — ^you  abolish  the  desperation,  the  poverty,  and 
the  dependence  of  the  worker.  The  dependence  of  the 
worker  explains  his  willingness — ^no,  not  willingness,  but 
necessity,  for  giving  up  the  bulk  of  his  products  for  the 
opportunity  to  work.  As  soon  as  that  dependence  is  abol- 
ished, so  soon  does  he  become  free  as  an  American  citizen 
should  be.  Now  youi  SociaUsts  have  got  to  deal  with  this 
question  of  taxation.  You  have  to  meet  it.  You  can  not 
abolish  it  without  abolishing  all  government.  I  am  not 
opposed  to  government ;  I  am  not  an  anarchist,  nor  yet  are 
you.  What  will  you  do  with  it?  You  have  got  to  deal 
with  it.    There  are  only  two  things  you  can  tax :  one  is  labor 

39 


and  the  other  is  land  monopoly.  If  you  tax  labor  as  it  is 
now  taxed,  by  taxing  personal  property,  and  everything  in 
sight  produced  by  labor,  you  will  do  the  very  thing  that 
brings  about  our  present  industrial  problems,  the  very  con- 
dition you  wish  to  destroy.  If  you  ever  achieve  political 
power  you  will  have  to  do  this  first.  If  you  do  that,  you 
will  abolish  the  very  evils  that  you  are  organized  to  com- 
bat, and  nothing  else  will  be  left  to  combat,  for  what  can 
a  people  not  accomplish  when  they  are  industrially  free? 

We  want  co-operation ;  so  do  you,  and  we  know  how  to 
get  it.  We  want  it  to  be  voluntary  and  universal.  We  know 
that  men  co-operate  because  it  is  natural  and  necessary,  be- 
cause men  seek  to  gratify  their  desires  with  the  least  exer- 
tion, and  if  you  remove  the  trinity  of  burdens,  prohibitive 
land  values  and  taxes  upon  production  and  exchange,  you 
will  at  once  make  production  perfect,  unlimited  and  uni- 
versal ;  and  the  moment  you  do  that  you  will  have  the  free 
industrial  system  that  the  world  today  is  looking  forward 
to ;  for  already  the  sun  of  liberty  has  risen  above  humanity's 
horizon,  and  when  it  reaches  the  full  zenith  of  its  power 
and  glory  no  Socialist,  no  Paternalist,  no  Protectionist,  no 
advocate  of  the  extension  of  governmental  power  and  no 
apologist  for  privilege  will  be  able  to  look  upon  its  face  and 
live.    (Applause.) 

The  Chairman:  The  general  summing  up  and  conclu- 
sion of  the  arguments  in  favor  of  Socialism  and  the  Single 
Tax  will  be  given  by  two  well-known  gentlemen,  after 
which  ten  minutes  will  be  given  to  Mr.  Simons  on  the  So- 
cialist side  of  the  question.  I  will  now  present  to  you  Mr. 
Simons. 


A.  M.  SIMONS. 

For  one  thing,  I  want  to  thank  our  opponents.  I  want 
to  thank  Mr.  Post  that  he  came  out  here  and  said  two  things : 
in  the  first  place,  that  they  were  willing  to  rest  their  case 
with  the  working  class  of  the  world,  and  in  the  second  place 
that  the  coming  struggle  which  is  to  shake  the  foundations 
of  society  was  to  come  between  Socialism  and  Single  Tax. 
We  know  what  that  means.  The  Single  Tax  to-day  is  but 
the  tail  of  the  democratic  kite,  and  Haverhill,  Brockton  and 
a  dozen  other  places  have  shown  that  democrat  is  but  an- 

40 


other  name  for  republican,  and  justify  what  we  have  always 
said,  that  in  the  last  greit  line-up  between  plutocracy  and 
Socialism,  the  Republican  party  and  the  Socialist  party, 
standing  face  to  face  will  fight  the  battle  of  humanity  in 
America.     (Applause.) 

I  want  to  taJse  up  for  a  moment,  before  proceeding  to 
my  main  discussion,  some  of  the  things  that  Mr.  Hardinge 
put  before  you.  He  told  us  that  the  Single  Tax  would  comi- 
pel  everybody  to  buy  labor.  May  I  ask  Mr.  White,  who  is  to 
follow,  who  there  would  be  that  would  sell  labor,  if  everybody 
was  to  buy?  If  there  are  buyers  then  there  are  sellers.  (Ap- 
plause.) And  we  know  enough  about  what  is  the  result 
when  human  flesh  and  blood,  the  power  of  muscle,  the  skill 
and  brain  of  the  workers  is  sold  in  the  markets  of  the  world 
to  not  want  to  move  a  finger  to  carry  that  phase  of  society 
on  through  another  stage  of  our  existence. 

Again,  he  told  us  that  to-day  was  not  competitive;  that 
to-day  was  monopolistic,  but  the  fact  of  the  thing  is  that 
the  evil  of  competition  of  which  we  are  complaining  is  here. 
(Applause.)  And  he  gave  no  evidence  whatever  to  show 
that  the  Single  Tax  which  should  usher  in  this  era  of  glori- 
fied and  beatific  competition  would  take  away  the  damnable 
waste  of  advertising,  of  armies,  of  lawyers,  of  the  whole 
mass  of  parasites  that  to-day  ride  upon  the  backs  of  the 
working  class  in  America. 

He  told  you  that  the  armies  were  the  real  foundation  of 
your  land  monopoly.  Was  it  to  secure  land  monopoly  that 
soldiers  shot  down  strikers  in  the  City  of  Qiicago  in  1894? 
(Applause.)  When  soldiers  and  sailors  are  sent  beyond  the 
seas  is  it  to  acquire  land  ?  No,  it  is  to  acquire  human  beings 
that  they  go  there,  that  is,  the  possibility  of  consuming  the 
things  that  American  laborers  are  creating  and  which  capi- 
talism denies  them  any  opportunity  to  enjoy.  (Applause.) 
When  to-day  in  the  "bull  pens"  of  Colorado  the  soldiers  are 
carrying  on  a  reign  of  terror  beside  which  that  of  the  Cos- 
sacks of  Russia  is  mild  indeed,  they  are  doing  it  not  to  add 
more  territory  to  the  United  States,  not  to  produce  more  rent 
for  the  landlord,  but  to  give  more  profits  to  the  Rockefellers 
and  the  Gateses  who  own  the  Colorado  Iron  and  Fuel  Com- 
pany.    (Applause.) 

He  told  us  the  Single  Tax  would  make  so  many  more 
buyers  you  would  not  any  longer  need  to  advertise.  Evi- 
dently tiiis  gentleman  never  had  any  experience  in  the  ad- 

41 


vertising  world.  It  is  when  the  buyers  flock  on  State  street 
that  the  State  street  merchants  advertise.  Why  do  they  ad- 
vertise ?  Did  you  see  as  much  advertising  in  the  time  when 
those  streets  were  deserted,  in  the  terrible  panic  times  of 
1894?  No,  the  greater  the  crowd  of  buyers  the  more  the 
waste  that  is  spent  in  decorating  bill-boards,  covering  up 
and  padding  our  magazines,  sending  an  army  of  drummers 
across  the  country,  and  the  greater  the  general  waste,  not 
simply  of  dollars,  but  of  the  life  and  blood  and  energy  of 
the  working  class  of  America.     (Applause.) 

We  asked  them  who  would  define  liberty,  and  he  told  you 
that  those  who  knew  the  most  would  define  it.  That  was  not 
a  very  clear  explanation,  because  I  don't  believe  we  would 
all  agree  as  to  which  one  knew  the  most.  I  will  answer  the 
question  for  him  that  in  any  stage  of  society  it  will  be  that 
class  which  dominates  and  rules  and  controls  the  social  or- 
ganism. Under  the  Single  Tax,  as  under  capitalism,  witH 
two  classes,  there  would  be  a  ruling  and  exploiting  class. 
I  do  not  want  any  ruling  class  to  say  what  shall  be  liberty 
for  you  and  me.  I  say  that  you  have  no  right  to  define 
Hberty  for  those  who  chance  to  belong  to  the  working  pro- 
ducing classes.  There  is  a  fact  that  these  gentlemen  ut- 
terly overlook;  that  every  stage  of  society  has  a  different 
definition  for  right  and  wrong  and  liberty  and  all  these 
catch-phrases  which  are  juggled  here.  Under  Socialism 
there  would  be  a  different  definition.  The  class  that  would 
do  the  defining,  that  would  decide  what  was  right  and  wrong 
and  what  was  liberty,  would  be  the  great  producing  class 
of  the  world,  who  would  then  be  the  Social  rulers  and  the 
Social  whole.     (Applause.) 

Again,  they  took  up  the  trust  question,  and  I  want  to 
make  a  few  comments  along  that  line  and  then  since  I  am 
going  to  devote  the  most  of  my  talk  to  the  subject  of  in- 
dustrial concentration,  I  may  come  back  to  these  questions 
again: 

He  told  us  a  few  things  that  I  do  not  want  you  to  miss. 
He  told  us  that  the  steel  trust  rested  almost  exclusively 
upon  land  monopoly.  I  hold  here  in  my  hand  "Trust  Fi- 
nance," by  Edwin  F.  Mead,  recognized  as  the  greatest  au- 
thority in  the  realm  of  trust  finance,  the  man  who  foretold 
that  Morgan  was  trying  to  sell  gold  bricks  when  he  started 
the  steel  trust ;  that  compelled  the  steel  trust  to  issue  a  state- 
ment in  order  to  explain  away  those  predictions,  and  then 

42 


every  one  of  those  predictions  proved  true,  and  who  to-day 
is  feared  by  Wall  street  as  well  as  recognized.  And  he  tells 
us  what?  He  tells  us  that  with  regard  to  these  coke  ovens, 
with  regard  to  these  coal  mines,  that  they  are  a  source  of 
weakness  because  in  them  is  tied  up  capital,  while  substi- 
tutes are  being  constantly  found  for  the  Connelsville  coal. 

On  page  281  he  says:  "Since  1893,  however,  and  es- 
pecially since  1897,  this  monopoly  of  the  Connellsville  coke 
maker,  upon  which  President  Schwab  places  such  a  high 
value,  has  been  gradually  undermined.  The  agencies  which 
have  brought  this  about  are  the  by-product  coke  oven  and 
the  open-hearth  process  of  steel  making.  In  the  by-product 
process,  first  introduced  into  the  United  States  in  1893,  the 
coal  is  coked  in  a  high  narrow  retort;  that  is  to  say,  under 
h_eavy_  pressure,  and  by  the  application  of  external  heat,  no 
air  being  admitted  to  the  coal.  By  this  method  it  has  been 
found  practicable  to  produce  a  strong  coke  from  a  great 
variety  of  coals.  Western  Pennsylvania  is  full  of  coking 
coals,  which,  while  unsuitable  for  the  beehive  oven,  do  very 
well  in  the  by-product  oven.  Coke  is  now  made  by  this 
process  from  coal  produced  outside  the  Connellsville  region, 
by  a  number  of  independent  steel  companies,  the  Lacka- 
wanna Iron  and  Steel  Company,  the  Cambria  Steel  Com- 
pany, and  the  Maryland  Steel  Company  being  among  the 
number.  There  is  no  longer  much  doubt  that  any  steel  com- 
pany which  can  pay  $icx3  to  $200  per  acre  for  coal  land  can 
make  itself  independent  of  the  coal  land  of  the  Connellsville 
region."  Thus  he  shows  that  a  change  in  the  tools  and 
methods  of  production  has  rendered  the  land  monopoly  val- 
ueless and  proves  once  more  that  capital  has  supplanted  land 
as  the  dominant  industrial  factor. 

He  goes  on  to  show  why  land  ownership  is  of  little  im- 
portance to  the  men  that  are  ruling  the  industries  of  the 
world  to-day.  Do  not  our  opponents  know  that  a  national 
bank  is  forbidden  by  law  to  own  land?  Because  it  is  such 
a  disadvantage,  the  ownership  of  land  by  a  great  life  in- 
surance company  is  looked  upon  as  indicating  its  probable 
downfall.  In  the  great  field  of  "high  finance"  where  to-day 
industries  are  made  and  wrecked  and  social  forces  formu- 
lated and  controlled  and  governments  set  up  and  used  as 
puppets,  the  land  is  looked  upon  as  an  incumbrance  and  a 
nuisance. 

Now,  then,  I  want  to  take  up  this  whole  question  of  con- 

43 


centration.  Not  to-day,  but  in  the  early  days  of  capitalism, 
competition  was  looked  upon  as  the  great  ruling  social  force. 
On  it  rested  the  entire  fabric  of  capitalism,  and  when 
monopoly  came  in  it  seemed  to  those  whose  lives  depended 
on  the  perpetuation  of  capitalistic  exploitation,  and  rightly, 
that  the  whole  great  structure  was  tottering  to  its  fall.  And 
so  they  did  not  see  what  the  socialist  foretold  a  half  cen- 
tury ago,  that  "one  capitalist  devours  many,"  that  the  larger 
the  industrial  unit  the  cheaper  it  could  produce,  and  the 
cheaper  it  could  produce  the  larger  the  industrial  unit  grew. 
And  as  transportation  became  improved  and  communication 
perfected  and  the  circles  of  the  market  grew  larger  and 
larger,  the  territory  within  which  a  single  industry  could 
dominate  grew  and  grew  and  grew  like  the  circles  around  a 
pebble  cast  into  the  water,  until  at  last,  for  many  lines  of 
industry,  it  became  coterminous  with  the  equator  and  the 
meridians,  and  the  whole  great  world  became  one  market 
in  which  the  master  who  rules  in  any  industry  could  rule 
supreme.  Well,  when  the  concentration  first  began  along 
certain  lines  the  little  capitalist  who  felt  himself  squeezed 
to  the  wall  began  to  howl  and  he  tried  first  to  meet  it  with 
anti-trust  laws,  and  then  he  tried  to  explain  it  away  with 
his  philosophy;  he  tried  first  with  anti-trust  laws  to  correct 
and  stop  it,  and  then  he  tried  with  his  philosophy  to  show 
that  it  had  no  right  to  exist  anyhow.  (Laughter.)  To  him 
concentration  was  something  abnormal,  something  out  of 
the  way,  something  "unnatural,"  my  friend.  (Laughter.) 
It  was  simply  that  despairing  howl  of  a  class  that  felt  the 
great  wheel  of  industrial  progress  rolling  over  it  and  sought 
to  stop  it  by  pushing  with  their  puny  hands. 

But  still  it  grew  and  grew  and  grew,  and  their  explana- 
tions did  not  seem  to  explain.  Their  anti-trust  laws  did  not 
seem  to  check  it,  and  finally  some  of  them  took  up  the  line 
of  national  or  governmental  ownership,  by  which  they 
sought  to  put  in  the  hands  of  the  government  the  whole  in- 
come from  the  great  trusts  and  leave  the  little  field  open 
for  the  small  exploiters  still  to  graze  in.  So  the  Single 
Taxer  who  realized  that  the  landlord  was  squeezing  him, 
and  the  man  that  owned  a  little  shop  out  on  West  Madison 
street  or  on  Milwaukee  avenue,  whose  rent  was  of  mighty 
importance,  thought  that  if  he  could  get  rid  of  it  he  would 
be  free  to  run  Marshall  Field  out  of  business.  Marshall 
Field  cared  nothing  for  the  land,  because  only  a  few  of  the 

44 


great  department  stores  own  land;  they  pay  it  over  to  a 
landlord  in  the  form  of  rental,  and,  if  you  make  that  rental 
higher,  then  it  would  certainly  keep  the  little  fellow  out, 
and  if  you  make  it  lower,  then  it  certainly  would  help  the 
big  fellow.  You  can  take  either  horn  of  the  dilemma.  So 
the  small  capitalist  seeks  to  enter  a  field  in  which  he  can  live 
and  still  ride  upon  the  backs  of  the  workers,  and  naturally 
he  turns  to  various  phases  of  reform.  He  is  not  satisfied 
alone  with  the  taxing  of  land.  He  is  continually  adding 
something  else  to  the  idea  of  land  monopoly.  He  has  to 
bring  in  the  coal  beds,  then  the  little  strip  of  land  that  the 
railroad  runs  on.  Because  anything  touches  the  land,  there- 
fore it  is  the  land  which  constitutes  the  land  monopoly,  until 
it  finally  reaches  the  height  of  the  ridiculous  by  Henry 
George,  Jr.,  telling  us  that  the  tobacco  trust  rested  upon 
the  ownership  of  a  little  chunk  of  land  down  in  Cuba  which 
the  trust  had  bought  only  after  its  position  had  been  as- 
sured, and  it  had  dominated  the  world  for  three  or  four 
years.  This  was  his  argument,  that  the  trusts  can  not  exist 
without  land.  This  is  all  the  land  the  trust  owns,  and 
therefore,  the  tobacco  trust,  touching  this  piece  of  land, 
must  be  made  a  monopoly  by  virtue  of  that  ownership.  It 
sounds  very  much  like  some  of  the  arguments  that  Mr. 
Hardinge  has  put  up.  He  was  great  on  these  successive 
clauses  as  lines  of  argument,  as  you  probably  noticed.  But 
as  a  matter  of  fact  concentration  could  not  reach  a  high 
point  until  the  time  should  come  when  the  industry  should 
be  practically  free  from  land,  and  concentration  found  its 
first  field  in  those  industries  most  thoroughly  removed  from 
the  land. 

It  goes  into  the  banking  industry  in  which  the  owners 
are  forbidden  by  law  to  own  land.  It  comes  into  the  rail- 
road industry,  in  which  the  ownership  of  land  is  infinitesi- 
mal. It  goes  into  a  whole  mass  of  others  where  land  is  of 
less  and  less  importance. 

Oh,  but  that  brings  in  a  new  argument,  that  of  "special 
privileges."  They  tell  us  that  the  sugar  trust  exists  be- 
cause of  the  tarifiF.  What  under  the  sun  has  the  sugar  trust 
got  a  lobby  for  in  Washington;  what  is  it  working  for? 
Free  trade  with  Cuba.  (Applause.)  That  is  what  they 
are  working  for.  It  is  said  that  the  tariff  is  the  foundation 
of  industrial  trusts,  and  yet  trusts  are  located  in  England, 
the  classic  land  of  free  trade.    Over  there  they  have  noth- 

45 


ing  but  free  trade,  and  Chamberlain  wants  to  put  a  tariff 
on  it  to  stop  concentration.  Too  much  "privilege"  over 
there.  How  do  they  account  for  the  fact  that  today  the 
Coates  thread  works,  located  in  Paisley,  Scotland,  owning 
no  land  save  what  it  stands  on,  is  dominating  the  market, 
dividing  the  entire  world  between  its  different  branches  re- 
gardless of  free  trade  or  tariff,  patent  legislation  and  land 
legislation  of  every  possible  form  and  kind?  No.  You  can 
go  into  any  country  in  the  world  and  you  can  find  that,  no 
matter  what  these  "privileges"  are,  wherever  capitalism 
is  there  the  trust  is  formed.  But  let  us  analyze  that  term 
"special  privilege."  It  is  simply  another  way  of  saying  that 
the  capitalists  use  the  government  in  their  own  interest.  Of 
course  they  do — of  course  they  do.  (Applause.)  When  the 
capitalists  of  America  want  one  kind  of  a  law  they  have  it, 
and  when  they  want  another  they  have  it,  and  "special  privi- 
lege" is  simply  a  general  term  for  the  various  things  that 
these  members  of  the  capitalist  class  of  America  or  any  other 
country  want  from  the  government  at  various  times. 

But  the  Socialist  contemplates  concentration  from  an- 
other point  of  view.  He  says  it  is  a  perfectly  logical — 
"natural,"  if  you  like  that  word  better — evolution  from  a 
previous  condition,  and  he  says  to  you  that  it  grows  larger 
and  larger  until  it  divides  society  into  two  great  classes, 
the  capitalist  class  upon  the  one  hand  and  the  laboring  class 
upon  the  other;  the  workers  with  hand  and  brain  upon  the 
one  hand,  and  the  parasites  who  live  upon  those  workers 
upon  the  other.  Those  classes  are  struggling,  first  in  the 
economic  field,  then  in  the  political  field,  to  gain  economic 
advantage,  to  gain  the  food  and  the  clothing  and  the  shelter 
that  Mr.  Post  told  you  they  wanted.  And  finally,  they  see 
that  the  time  will  come  when  that  class  will  become  the 
ruler — when  the  working  class  will  become  the  rulers  by 
virtue  of  their  overwhelming  numbers.  Then  the  question 
arises,  what  will  they  do?  Why,  act  in  accord  with  their 
material  interests,  to  be  sure.  What  are  those  material  in- 
terests ?  They  are  demanding  the  end  of  the  condition  which 
today  holds  them  in  slavery.  That  condition  is  the  owner- 
ship of  the  things  that  they  must  use  in  order  to  live.  There- 
fore the  workers  propose  to  own  those  things.  They  can- 
not own  them  individually  because  they  are  indivisible  and 
they  are  more  economical  of  operation  on  a  large  scale,  and 
therefore  they  propose  to  own  them  collectively,  and  they 

46 


propose  to  use  the  social  organism,  which  they  would  con- 
trol, for  the  purpose  of  operating  those  industries. 

But,  says  Mr.  Post,  you  propose  to  tear  down  and  de- 
stroy and  revolutionize.  We  do  propose  to  revolutionize, 
not  to  tear  down  and  destroy.  We  hurl  back  the  accusa- 
tion upon  those  that  say  we  would  tear  down  and  destroy. 
It  is  they  who  would  reduce  the  standard  of  living,  for  those 
men  of  the  working  class  who  through  their  union  have 
raised  it  a  trifle  above  what  the  savage  could  raise  from 
the  soil,  down  to  the  point  of  what  man  with  naked  hands 
wrests  from  the  niggard  soil — a  mere  subsistence.  We  do 
not  propose  to  tear  down.  We  propose  to  use  the  whole 
structure  and  push  it  on  to  its  legitimate  conclusion.  We 
propose  to  take  the  magnificent  machinery  into  which  the 
life  blood  and  skill  and  strength  of  generations  and  genera- 
tions of  workers  have  been  poured — we  propose  to  take  that 
for  the  use  of  the  workers. 

I  want  to  ask  them  again  as  I  have  before,  if  they  justify 
the  return  from  the  ownership  of  capital.  That  is  the  whole 
question  on  which  we  differ.  We  do  not  justify  their  land- 
lord. We  stand  here  to  make  no  plea  for  him.  But  we  ask 
them  do  you  justify  the  capitalist?  That  is  the  question. 
And  by  capitalist  we  mean  not  some  man  who,  owning  a  lit- 
tle shop,  is  more  than  half  a  worker.  That  is  not  what  the 
word  means  in  the  literature  of  today,  in  the  language  of 
today,  in  the  public  thought  of  today.  We  means  those 
men  that  live  by  virtue  of  ownership  and  that  hire  other 
men  to  do  the  superintending,  the  bossing,  the  managing 
and  the  organizing;  the  men  whom  the  French  call  the 
rentier  class  as  distinguished  from  the  entreprenewr  class; 
the  men  who  own  stocks  and  bonds  and  mortgages,  and 
who  by  virtue  of  that  ownership  are  able  to  reach  into  the 
pockets  of  every  man  who  toils  and  take  from  him  from 
5  to  90  per  cent  of  all  that  he  produces  and  keep  it  for  their 
own  use.  Do  they  justify  that?  If  they  do,  then  Mr.  Post 
was  right  when  he  said  that  the  last  great  struggle  was  com- 
ing between  Socialism  and  the  Single  Tax.  (Applause.) 
As  for  us  we  are  not  interested  in  the  squabbles  between 
these  wings  of  the  capitalist  class.  Today  we  find  that  the 
continued  slavery  of  the  working  class  rests  upon  the  per- 
petuation of  the  quarrels  between  their  masters,  and  it  is  for 
that  reason  that  we  antagonize  the  Single  Tax,  because  we 
see  in  that  an  instrument  to  weld  the  chains  firmer  upon  our 

47 


wrists.  W!e  see  that  the  struggle  is  pushing  forward  on  a 
clear  field  between  capital  and  labor,  and  that  they  seek  to 
come  between  and  help  to  give  the  pretendedly  warring 
parties  of  capitalists  more  excuse  for  continuing  that  farcical 
fight. 

And  that  brings  us  to  the  question  of  tactics  and  the 
means  of  getting  what  we  want,  and  there  we  break  clearly 
and  firmly  with  the  Single  Taxer.  The  Socialist  shows  you 
here  that  the  interests  of  the  working  class  are  in  everlast- 
ing war  with  all  forms  of  exploitation,  whether  of  the  land- 
lord or  the  capitalist.  (Applause.)  And  we  carry  that  war 
into  the  political  field,  and  we  cannot  fellowship  there  with 
any  whose  interests  are  opposed  to  us.  Therefore  we  seek 
to  express  in  the  political  field  that  class  war  which  is  run- 
ning through  society,  which  we  did  not  create,  but  the  con- 
cealment of  which  is  so  important  for  the  continuance  of 
capitalism'.  We  seek  to  express  that  condition  in  the  politi- 
cal field,  and  as  quick  as  that  is  done  our  victory  is  as- 
sured. Therefore  the  only  hope  of  a  continuation  of  capi- 
talist rule  is  to  be  found  in  these  pretended  divisions.  Here 
it  is  that  the  Single  Tax  becomes  of  value,  because  it 
affiliates  with  one  of  the  great  political  parties  today  and 
lends  its  support  to  them.  So  they  have  to  bear  the  sins  of 
that  party.  When  they  fasten  themselves  on  to  the  demo- 
cratic party  they  accept  responsibility  for  the  treatment  of 
the  southern  negro,  while  they  ask  our  sympathy  through 
the  tears  they  shed  over  the  poor  Filipino.  They  accept  with 
that,  if  you  please,  the  fact  of  anti-boycott  laws  in  Alabama 
and  the  absence  of  child  labor  legislation  of  all  kinds 
throughout  the  sunny  south.  (Applause.)  That  is  sup- 
posed to  be  of  little  importance ;  it  is  of  more  importance 
than  may  appear  at  first  sight.  For  today  capitalism  is 
shifting  its  center  of  domination  to  the  southern  states,  and 
if  it  can  build  its  stronghold  amid  a  disfranchised  negro 
laboring  class  and  on  the  bodies  of  helpless  child  slaves  with 
the  help  of  the  philanthropic  Single  Taxer  of  the  north,  it 
can  maintain  its  rule  for  many  years  over  the  exploited  wage 
slaves  of  the  north  and  south.     (Applause.) 

For  that  reason  we  attack  them,  and  so  we  place  in  op- 
position, first  our  philosophy,  and  in  that  today  we  in  com- 
mon with  the  whole  scientific  world  recognize  no  "natural" 
or  "unnatural"  laws.  He  wanted  me  to  say  something  about 
that.    If  that  term  "natural  law"  has  any  earthly  meaning 

48 


^l^-^r^ 


i 


.J^ " 


~r^ ; ] 


A     M.    SIMONS. 


JOHN   Z.   WHI'iU. 


at  all,  it  means  the  laws  that  are  found  today  in  the  realms 
of  physics  and  chemistry — the  laws  of  chemical  affinity  and 
the  laws  of  gravitation.  And  do  they  pretend  to  tell  us  that 
land  values  and  rent  are  determined  by  laws  of  gravitation 
or  chemical  affinity?  "Natural  law,"  like  any  other  law  of 
any  kind  whatever,  is  simply  an  expression  of  the  fact  that 
there  is  an  observed  succession  of  phenomena.  They  claim 
to  have  observed  a  certain  succession  of  phenomena  in  so- 
ciety which  we  deny  exists,  and  so  we  ask  you  to  judge  be- 
tween us  on  the  proof  submitted  and  not  on  the  phrases  ap- 
plied, if  you  please.     (Applause.) 

And  so  we  tell  you  that  the  Socialists  look  upon  this  con- 
centration as  the  "natural"  (if  you  like  the  word)  outgrowth 
of  our  competitive  system  of  today.  We  look  upon  it  as  a 
desirable  thing,  because  it  abolishes  the  tremendous  waste 
of  competition,  and  it  certainly  does  not  put  any  heavier 
yoke  upon  the  laborer  than  is  upon  him  today,  for  if  you 
did  he  could  not  maintain  his  efficiency,  hence  he  would  not 
be  as  valuable  a  laborer  and  you  could  not  squeeze  him. 
And  so  we  are  not  interested  in  the  question  of  whether  we 
have  big  capitalists  or  whether  we  have  little  ones.  We  are 
Jiot  interested  in  the  question  of  whether  we  have  one  boss 
above  of  us  or  whether  we  have  fifty.  But  we  are  inter- 
ested in  the  question  of  getting  rid  of  all  bosses,  all  master-' 
ship,  all  exploitation.     (Applause.) 

Then  again  Mr.  Post  made  one  other  statement  that  I 
want  to  thank  him  for,  and  that  is  when  he  said  he  wanted 
to  leave  his  case  with  the  working  class  of  the  world.  That 
is  a  mighty  significant  thing,  and  I  am  glad  that  we  have 
got  the  Single  Taxers  on  record  on  that.  The  working  class 
of  the  world  have  shown  that  they  care  very  little  for  the 
Single  Tax.  (Applause.)  And  today  when  you  look  over 
the  entire  capitalist  world  and  you  see  the  gathering  hosts 
that  are  following  the  red  flag  of  Socialism;  when  you  see 
them  lining  up  all  over  the  world,  today  some  thirty  mil- 
lion strong  in  followers,  over  eight  million  strong  in  votes, 
and  when  we  see  this  mighty  army  marching  on  and  join- 
ing hands  across  the  sea,  from  far  away  Japan  over  across 
America,  from  the  golden  gate  to  the  coast  of  Labrador,  oh 
across  the  Atlantic  and  across  the  Russian  steppes;  when 
we  see  that  tremendous  body  moving  in  solid  step  against 
enthroned  tyranny  and  exploitation ;  when  we  see  the  mighty 
fight  that  is  coming,  it  is  at  least  a  consolation  to  know 

4? 


where  our  enemies  are.  And  therefore  we  thank  him  for  the 
fact  that  he  tells  us  that  in  that  final  day  he  is  going  to  be 
on  the  other  side,  against  that  mighty  army  of  the  workers. 
(Applause.)  Not  that  we  would  not  welcome  him  as  an 
individual  to  our  ranks.  But  we  must  hew  to  the  line;  we 
cannot  stop  to  discuss  where  the  chips  may  fall.  And  so 
we  would  rather  know  men  as  open  enemies  than  as  doubt- 
ful friends.  But  we  do  not  believe  that  he  will  be  an  open 
enemy.  We  believe  that  the  great  mass  of  the  Single  Tax- 
ers  today  will  take  the  other  wing  of  that  logical  develop- 
ment that  Mr.  Stedman  pointed  out,  and  land  in  the  Socialist 
movement.     (Applause.) 

Let  me  then  sum  up.  On  the  one  side,  on  the  side  of  the 
Single  Tax,  stands  the  defenders  of  all  the  terrible  waste  of 
our  society  today,  the  four  times  the  public  school  fund  spent 
for  army  and  navy,  and  ten  times  the  public  school  fund 
spent  in  advertising ;  stands  for  the  defense  of  capitalist  ex- 
ploitation as  such ;  stands  in  the  field  of  tactics  for  support 
of  the  democratic  party,  one  of  the  great  divisions  of  the 
capitalist  class,  and  I  would  like  to  know  how  they  will 
stand  when  that  party  fuses  with  the  republican  party  in 
Chicago  as  it  has  elsewhere  before  the  specter  of  Socialism. 
(Applause.) 

On  the  other  side,  under  the  banner  of  the  Socialists, 
stands  the  determination  to  enjoy  the  full  fruition  of  all 
that  modern  science  and  the  skill  and  brains  of  the  working 
class  have  produced;  stands  the  determination  to  end  all 
forms  of  exploitation;  stands  the  determination  to  use  all 
the  instruments  of  production  that  the  mind  of  man  has  de- 
vised and  man's  skill  and  strength  made  possible  for  the  pro- 
duction of  wealth  and  the  conservation  of  all  that  wealth 
for  the  use  of  the  producers  and  none  else ;  and  that  stands 
for  a  society  that  shall  be  ruled  by  the  working  class,  when 
all  are  members  of  that  class,  and  that  stands  today  for  the 
great  worldwide  revolt  of  the  workers  who  are  to  form  a 
society  that  shall  know  no  class,  no  exploitation,  no  land- 
lords, or  capitalists.    I  thank  you.     (Applause.) 

The  Qiairman:  The  closing  argument  and  analysis  for 
the  Henry  George  Association  will  be  made  by  that  well- 
known  advocate,  John  Z.  White,  whom  I  take  pleasure  in 
presenting  to  you.    (Applause.) 


SO 


JOHN  Z.  WHITE. 

Mr.  Chairman,  Ladies  and  Gentlemen:  As  we  Single 
Taxers  have  patiently  submitted  to  being  compared  to 
Dinklespiel,  and  have  patiently  submitted  to  certain  sugges- 
tion that  our  logical  faculties  were  more  or  less  out  of  order, 
I  trust  that  the  assembled  Socialists  will  patiently  submit 
if  I  say  some  things  not  in  severe  criticism,  but  in  explana- 
tion of  my  own  mental  attitude.  I  do  not  ask  you  to  agree 
with  me.  When  my  neighbors  agree  with  me  I  begin  to  get 
suspicious  of  myself.  (Laughter.)  Nearly  all  my  neigh- 
bors support  the  protective  tariff;  I  don't.  Nearly  all  my 
neighbors  support  landlordism ;  I  don't.  I  am  used  to  being 
associated  with  the  minority,  and  I  have  no  objection  to 
being  in  the  minority  this  afternoon.  (Applause.)  But 
being  in  the  minority  does  not  in  any  way  give  the  majority 
a  right  to  express  its  superiority  over  me  physically.  (Ajh 
plause.)  We  have  recently  passed  a  law  at  Washington 
whereby  men  must  not  disbelieve  certain  things,  on  pain  of 
being  thrown  out  of  the  United  States,  and,  aiiother  bill 
is  introduced  under  which  we  must  not  disbelieve  certain 
things,  on  pain  of  being  put  behind  bars.  Now  there's  a 
whole  lot  of  things  I  disbelieve.  Among  other  things,  I  dis- 
believe Socialism  (applause)  ;  and  I  do  not  propose  to  be  put 
behind  bars  for  this  disbelief,  physically  or  metaphorically, 
unless  by  compulsion.  I  want  to  find  out  whether  this 
audience  is  of  the  same  temper  as  that  which  is  endorsing 
this  legislation  at  Washington. 

Single  Taxers  are  not  JHnklespiels ;  that  is  admitted. 
Much  obliged.  Socialists  are  opposed  to  Single  Taxers,  and 
we  may  possibly  draw  a  conclusion. 

We  are-  told  the  International  Association  dtopped  the 
Single  Tax  when  it  was  proposed  many  years  ago.  That 
settles  it ;  they  dropped  it.  Napoleon  I.  dropped  the  needle 
gun  when  it  was  placed  in  his  hands,  and  for  failure  to 
realize  the  value  of  the  needle  gun,  the  breech-loading  rifle. 
Napoleon  died  on  St.  Helena.  The  mere  fact  that  somebody 
has  dropped  something  proves  nothing,  except  that  he 
dropped  it.  (Applause.)  That  is  the  historical  method  of 
getting  at  matters. 

"Historic  changes  in  society  flow  from  changes  in  the 
economic  basis."    Marx  said  so,  Engels  seconded  the  mo- 


tion,  the  International  Association  voted  unanimously,  and 
that  settles  that. 

This  sort  of  history  is  not  good  history.  No  man  in  this 
audience  is  determined  wholly  by  his  material  surroundings. 
Some  men  are  largely  determined  by  material  affairs.  Some 
men  are  determined  almost  entirely  by  emotions,  and  I  am 
sorry  to  say  that  my  experience  has  been  that  the  Socialist 
groups  in  Chicago  are  a  complete  confirmation  of  the  latter 
assertion.  (Laughter.)  I  notice  that  the  appeal  this  afternoon 
is  made  to  the  emotions,  made  to  the  sentiments.  The  gen- 
tlemen who  appealed  to  you  are  tolerably  well  acquainted 
with  their  audience.  (Laughter,  and  a  voice,  "Tell  us  some- 
thing about  the  Single  Tax,"  and  hissing.) 

I  am  doing  the  talking  now.  (Applause.)  I  want  to 
find  out  whether  I  am  to  be  put  behind  bars  metaphorically 
or  not.  This  is  my  turn;  and  the  minute  you  overstep  that 
line,  gentlemen,  you  furnish  me  with  the  chiefest  argument 
against  your  system.  (Applause.)  This  is  not  the  first  of 
this  sort  of  interruption.  I  have  met  it  before.  I  scorn  a 
man  who  is  not  square.    I  despise  a  man  who  is  not  square. 

"The  Single  Tax  will  fail  because  land  rent,  ground 
rent,  has  gone  through  many  phases  historically."  That 
ground  rent  goes  through  many  phases  is  true.  It  is  going 
through  a  lot  of  them  now. 

Our  railroads,  we  are  told  this  afternoon,  give  control 
of  industries;  that  it  is  not  land  which  gives  control  of  peo- 
ple and  control  of  wages;  and  the  element  of  land  in  rail- 
roads is  referred  to  as  infinitesimal.  A  gentlemen  by  the 
name  of  Larrabee,  who  was  once  governor  of  the  State  of 
Iowa,  wrote  a  book  in  which  he  gave  all  of  the  figures  he 
was  able  to  gather  from  all  sources,  and  these  figures  show 
the  element  of  land  in  railroad  values  is  more  Ihan  50  per 
cent.  But  that  50  per  cent  is  "infinitesimal !"  '  An  expert 
gives  $11,000,000  as  the  physical  value  of  the  Chicago  City 
Railway,  and  $27,000,000  as  the  market  value  of  its  stock, 
a  difference  of  $16,000,000.  Isn't  that  land?  If  not,  what 
is  it?  (Voices,  "Water,"  "Wind.")  Wind?  The  gentle- 
man needs  to  read  some  book  on  political  economy  where 
terms  are  defined,  and  he  will  find  that  wind,  which  labor 
has  not  touched,  is  land  in  the  economic  sense.  Land  in  the 
economic  sense  includes  water  and  all  natural  forces. 

We  are  told  by  the  first  speaker,  Mr.  Untermann,  that 
the  landlord  would  shift  the  tax,  even  if  we  could  institute 

52 


it  I  merely  refer  him  to  the  literature  on  this  question.  It 
is  a  maitter  that  was  settled  before  Henry  George  was  born. 
You  might  just  as  well  tell  me  that  the  mathematical  axiom 
that  the  whole  is  equal  to  the  sum  of  all  the  parts  is 
not  sound,  as  to  come  at  me  with  the  proposition  that  land- 
lords can  shift  a  tax  laid  upon  the  value  of  land.  Why 
don't  you  tell  me  that  a  stone  thrown  up  in  the  air  will  stay 
there?  A  story  is  told  of  the  extreme  cold  of  California 
in  the  early  days.  A  cat  leaping  across  an  open  space  froze 
stiff  and  remained  in  the  air.  A  man  to  whom  this  story  was 
told  said,  "Nonsense,  the  law  of  gravity  would  bring  it 
down."  "Yes,"  said  the  story  teller,  "but  the  law  of  gravity 
was  froze  up  too."    (Laughter.) 

As  to  the  figures,  they  were  disposed  of,  I  think,  by  Mr. 
Post. 

Capital  does  not  last.  Land  does.  All  through  history 
labor  has  been  held  in  subjection.  What  held  it?  Some- 
thing that  lasted  all  through  history,  and  something  that 
still  continues.  What  is  it?  What  things  have  continued 
in  all  the  history  of  humanity?  Two  things,  man  and  the 
globe  on  which  he  lives.  (Applause.)  To  hold  man  in 
subjection  you  will  have  to  either  enslave  his  body,  make 
-him  a  serf,  or  hold  the  land  on  which  he  must  live  if  he 
lives  at  all. 

Capital:  a  gentleman  wanted  to  know  what  we  meant 
by  capital,  if  we  believe  in  capital  continuing,  if  I  remember 
the  question  correctly. 

Mr.  Post:     "Capitalism." 

Mr.  White:  If  we  believe  in  capitalism?  Well,  then 
he  went  on  to  tell  us  what  the  word  meant.  He  says,  as  I 
understand  him,  it  means  the  power  which  some  man  has  to 
hold  another  man  in  subjection  and  to  take  what  his  labor 
earns.  If  that  is  what  he  means,  we  certainly  do  not  believe 
in  it.  But  what  has  that  got  to  do  with  this  question?  We 
are  considering  a  method  which  will  remove  this  power. 
(Applause.)  We  understand  that  laboring  men  are  de- 
spoiled. You  undierstand  that  laboring  men  are  despoiled. 
We  are  both  opposed  to  the  process.  (Applause.)  Now, 
what  shall  we  do  in  order  to  destroy  the  process?  (A  voice, 
"Join  the  democratic  party.")  There  is  another  gentleman 
who  thinks  he  knows  someliiing  about  the  matter,  and  it 
looks  very  much  as  though  he  does. 

Mr.  Post  referred  to  a  revolution,  and  our  friends  on 

53 


the  other  side  denied  the  purpose  of  a  bloody  revolution,  and 
in  support  of  that  position  referred  to  the  surrender  of  the 
feudal  tenures  in  France,  but  so  far  as  they  were  able  con- 
cealed from  this  audience  the  fact  that  that  surrender  was 
voluntarily  made  in  response  to  a  national  sentiment,  not 
in  response  to  a  change  in  the  physical  basis  of  economic 
life.  Mr.  Post  did  not  imply  a  bloody  revolution.  He  meant 
a  complete  upsetting  and  rebuilding  of  social  institutions. 
That  does  not  mean  blood,  nor  did  he  mean  it.  Blood  may 
or  may  not  be  incidental  to  the  result.  That  is  the  position 
that  your  writers  take. 

Then  they  want  to  know  what  profit  is,  and  want  no 
evasion  of  the  question.  In  reply  we  say,  here  is  the  globe, 
the  planet,  with  sufficient  capability  for  all,  that  live  on  it. 
Maybe  I  am  mistaken.  Maybe  some  of  our  Socialistic  ex- 
horters  can  prove  that  notion  wrong.  It  is  also  my  notion, 
that  if  we  would  get  something  to  eat,  we  will  grow  it  out 
of  the  ground,  out  of  this  earth,  out  of  this  planet;  that  if 
we  want  a  house  to  live  in,  we  will  get  the  material  out  of 
this  planet;  that  if  we  want  clothes,  we  will  find  the  ma- 
terial provided  by  this  planet,  and  with  our  labor  we  will 
make  every  article  which  we  will  use  as  clothing.  Now, 
what  becomes  of  the  articles?  Under  our  law  some  men 
own  the  earth  and  they  won't  let  us  use  it  unless  we  will 
pay  them  for  it.  Therefore,  we  have  to  give  a  part  of  what 
we  produce  to  those  who  own  the  earth,  and  they  call  such 
income  rent;  and  we  look  upon  it  as  ico  per  cent  "profit" 
to  the  landlord.  That  is  one  form  of  what  we  mean  by 
profit.  Then  we  notice  that  men  who  do  the  work  get  some- 
thing, get  a  part  of  what  they  produce,  and  we  look  upon 
that  as  profit  to  them.  We  know  that  some  men  have  made 
tools  with  which  production  may  be  accelerated,  and  they 
are  given  a  part  of  the  total  product  for  the  use  of  their 
tools,  and  we  look  upon  that  as  a  portion  of  profit.  Upon 
what  basis  is  there  any  other  division  ?  Here  are  rent,  wages 
and  interest,  and  each  represents  a  profit  to  those  who  re- 
ceive it.  That  is  what  we  mean  by  profit.  Now,  when  you 
say  rent,  wages,  interest  and  profit,  it  is  as  though  you 
were  to  say  men,  women,  children  and  human  beings.  If  it 
is  not  that,  why  not? 


54 


Mr.  Field  could  tell  the  loo  men  supposed  to  conduct  a 
co-operative  store  that  he  would  buy  them  out  in  a  few 
months  when  they  broke  up,  because  "that  is  not  the  place 
to  put  up  a  department  store.  This  is  the  place  down  here, 
and  I  have  got  it."  What  is  the  "place?"  Is  it  not  a  part 
of  the  surface  of  this  planet  that  we  call  the  earth?  Isn't  it 
land?  And  according  to  their  own  statement,  viewing  the 
facts  that  they  as  rational  men  perceive,  Marshall  Field's 
cinch,  his  power,  lies  in  the  "place"  that  he  holds,  that  he 
monopolizes.  He  monopolizes  this,  gentlemen,  under  law, 
and  we  propose  that  the  Single  Tax  will  fall  upon  the  value 
of  that  place,  and  all  advantage  that  comes  to  Mr.  FielJ 
from  the  possession  of  this  place  will  flow,  through  the 
operation  of  this  tax,  into  the  public  treasury.  Now,  if  there 
is  any  advantage,  and  my  friends  point  out  that  there  is, 
in  the  ownership  of  this  place,  then  that  advantage  under 
the  operation  of  this  tax  will  not  inure  to  Marshall  Field, 
but  will  inure  to  the  people  of  Chicago,  because  they  contrcrf 
their  own  treasury  if  they  want  to.     C Applause.) 

Then,  "will  the  Single  Tax  abolish  classes?"  Why,  of 
course  we  think  it  will.  We  assert  that  it  will.  You  assert 
that  it  will  not.  Making  answers  to  questions  of  this  sort  is 
simply  a  form  of  begging  the  question;  it  is  not  argument. 
It  is  understood  that  you  believe  that  only  Socialism  will 
abolish  classes.  It  is  also  understood  that  we  believe  that 
the  Single  Tax  will  abolish  classes. 

Why  am  I  asked  this  question  ?  Do  you  want  to  find  out 
whether  I  believe  in  social  classes  or  not?  No,  of  course  I 
don't.  (Applause.)  In  the  dictionary  sense  of  the  term, 
in  the  historical  sense  of  the  term,  I  am  a  democrat.  In  the 
party  sense  of  the  term  I  am  a  democrat,  or  not,  as  my 
notion  of  expediency  determines.  If  I  think  th^  are  going 
to  abolish  the  tariff,  I  will  be  with  them.  If  I  think  they 
are  going  to  re-elect  Grover  Cleveland  I  will  be  opposed  to 
them.  (Applause.)  In  the  next  election,  if  they  put  up 
Mr.  Roosevelt  and  Mr.  Gorman,  I  will  in  all  probability,  so 
far  as  I  can  see  now,  vote  the  Socialist  ticket.  (A  prolonged 
applause,  and  a  voice,  "We  don't  want  your  vote.")  Per- 
haps you  won't  applaud  just  so  loudly  when  I  tell  you  why. 
(Laughter.)  I  will  vote  that  ticket  because  I  know  you 
haven't  got  any  chance  on  earth  to  win.  (Laughter.)  As 
much  as  I  dislike  the  republican  party  under  Roosevelt,  I 
like  it  better  than  I  do  the  Socialist  Party.    As  much  as  I 

55 


dislike  the  democratic  party  under  Grover  Cleveland  or  Gor- 
man, I  like  it  better  than  I  do  the  Socialist  Party.  But  I  am 
opposed  to  all  three.  (A  voice,  "Don't  vote  at  all.") 
Wouldn't  vote  at  all,  the  gentleman  says.  That  is  like  little 
Mary,  who  says,  "Well,  if  you  are  going  to  do  that,  why,  I 
won't  play ;  I  will  go  home ;  so  now."  I  do  not  think  there 
is  any  considerable  dignity  in  that  position. 

"Socialism  will  do  away  with  waste."  Well,  I  don't 
know.  They  tell  us  about  the  waste  of  advertising  and  war. 
If  a  war  is  in  defense  of  liberty  and  in  opposition  to  tyranny, 
gentlemen,  I  view  it  as  anything  but  waste.  (Applause.) 
During  the  American  revolution  a  foreign  king  endeavored 
to  maintain  tyranny  in  this  land.  That  war,  from  the  stand- 
point of  the  American  patriots,  was  of  the  highest  degree 
of  productive  utility.  When  we  proposed  to  overthrow  the 
institution  of  chattel  slavery  in  the  South,  it  was  necessary 
to  levy  war  in  order  to  accomplish  the  result.  I  view  that 
war  as  anything  but  waste.  I  think  a  fair  comparison,  a 
reasonable  and  direct  comparison,  would  be  of  this  nature: 
Suppose  Socialism  in  possible  operation;  then  suppose  the 
Single  Tax  in  operation;  where  in  these  two  cases  would 
appear  the  greater  waste  ?  And  I  will  insist  that  the  Single 
Tax,  under  free  competition,  will  furnish  you  the  highest 
point  of  production  and  the  lowest  possible  point  of  waste. 
Upon  the  other  hand,  your  Socialistic  arrangement,  no  mat- 
ter how  you  may  order  it,  will  give  you  the  lowest  point  of 
production,  and  therefore  as  a  consequence  the  highest  point 
of  waste  (applause),  for  a  reason  which  was  pointed  out  by 
one  who  endorses  Socialistic  principles.  In  one  of  your  re- 
cent histories  of  the  growth  of  the  Socialistic  ideal  in  the 
modern  world  it  was  stated  that  every  time  one  of  your 
Socialistic  societies  hired  a  man  from  outside,  this  man  did 
twice  as  much  work  in  a  day  as  any  member  of  the  com- 
mune ordinarily  did.  Therefore,  I  insist  that  governmental 
control,  pubUc  control,  of  all  industries  will  remove  the 
force  that  is  necessary  to  carry  material  civilization  to  its 
greatest  height — ^that  of  individual  initiative.  That  is  the 
power  which  all  of  your  Socialistic  arrangements  is  calcu- 
lated to  kill.  Free  competition  is  absolutely  necessary  to  re- 
move tyranny.  I  want  to  remove  tyranny,  but  I  insist  that 
it  is  not  necessary  to  destroy  individual  ambition  in  order  to 
accomplish  that  result.  (Applause.)  There  is  the  dividing 
line;     If  you  will  allow  all  men  to  produce,  associating  in 

56 


such  way  as  they  will,  but  deny  to  any  man  the  legal  author- 
ity whereby  he  can  crush  or  trample  upon,  or  in  any  manner 
dictate  to  another — just  that  moment  will  each  and  every 
man  stand  free. 

You  talk  about  a  man  with  a  great  warehouse  full  of 
machinery.  What  good  is  that  machinery  to  him  if  he  can- 
not get  men  to  run  it  ?  And  if  he  would  get  men  for  this 
work,  must  they  not  be  removed  from  direct  cultivation  of 
the  ground  ?  Wfe  are  told  that  if  the  land  were  free  work- 
ingmen  could  only  get  at  it  with  their  bare  hands.  Did 
you  ever  see  a  community  grow  up  in  that  kind  of  style? 
Are  you  talking  seriously  ?  Do  you  mean  to  debate  this  mat- 
ter on  its  merits  ?  That  is  not  the  way  modern  primitive  so- 
cieties began,  nor  ancient  primitive  societies  either.  Not 
within  the  range  of  history  has  civilization  ever  begun  in 
that  kind  of  style.  Are  you  practical  men?  Are  you  talk- 
ing about  real  things,  or  are  you  talking  about  the  figments 
of  your  distorted  imaginations?     (Apfriause.) 

They  want  to  know  how  the  Single  Tax  would  open  coal 
land.  To  illustrate:  A  few  years  ago  there  was  a  very 
lucrative  industry  for  private  parties  in  the  river  beds  of 
the  Carolinas,  where  a  man  with  an  old  horse,  an  old  wagon, 
old  harness,  old  pick  and  old  shovel,  and  in  an  old  suit  of 
clothes,  poor,  a  distinctive  representative  of  the  Southern 
"white  trash,"  could  go  down  into  the  river  bed  and  fill  that 
wagon  with  phosphate  and  haul  it  up  to  the  depot  and  sell 
it  just  as  a  farmer  does  his  grain,  and  he  could  make  two, 
three,  four,  five  or  six  dollars  a  day.  A  law  was  enacted 
giving  to  a  corporation  the  control  of  this  phosphate  in  the 
river  beds,  and  immediately  this  very  man  was  reduced  to 
a  position  first  of  a  dollar  and  a  half  a  day,  for  he  was  work- 
ing for  a  corporation,  then  a  dollar  and  a  quarter,  then  ninety 
cents,  and  then  negroes  were  imported  and  herded  in  stock- 
ades, and  one  of  them  shot  while  trying  to  escape.  Now,  put 
your  tax  on  those  phosphate  beds  today,  and  will  they  hold 
them  idle?  They  are  not  fully  using  the  phosphate  beds. 
They  are  using  them  in  spots  just  as  in  the  anthracite  coal 
region  they  are  using  the  coal  deposits  in  spots.  Spread  your 
taxes  over  that  three  bilHons  of  land  value  referred  to  by 
Schwab,  the  Connellsville  coal,  and  will  they  leave  it  in  the 
ground,  as  they  are  doing  now  ?  Take  it  home  to  yourselves. 
Suppose  you  own  it  individually  and  we  put  our  tax  upon  it, 
where  will  you  get  the  money  with  which  to  pay  that  tax? 

57 


You  will  get  it  in  one  way  and  one  way  only,  and  that  will, 
be  by  putting  men  at  work  digging  coal.  When  you  do 
that,  and  all  other  landlords  do  that,  where  are  they  going 
to  get  the  men  from ?    (Applause.) 

They  want  to  know  if  competition  puts  sand  in  sugar. 
Yes,  it  does ;  and  it  caused  men  in  the  Black  Hole  of  Calcutta 
to  tear  out  one  another's  eyes.  A  few  minutes  before  they 
were  perfectly  peaceful;  they  were  outside  in  the  fresh  air. 
Competition  acts  differently  in  different  conditions.  That 
is,  it  does  among  all  people  except  Socialists.  (Applause.) 
If  you  have  a  Socialistic  state  I  know  of  no  reason  on  earth 
to  prevent  men  doing  things  that  they  ought  not  to  do.  If 
you  know  how  they  come  to  do  it,  then  you  are  probably  like 
the  representative  of  the  Civic  Federation  down  here  before 
the  city  council  the  other  day,  who  said  that  the  duty  of 
the  state  is  to  make  persons  and  property  safe.  We  told  him 
to  put  the  persons  in  Joliet  and  lock  the  property  up  in  the 
First  National  Bank  safety  deposit  vaults  and  they  would  be 
safe.  That  is  the  duty  of  the  state,  under  his  definition.  I 
do  not  think  that  is  the  duty  of  the  state.  It  is  the  duty  of 
the  state  to  make  persons  and  property  safe  in  freedom. 
(Applause.) 

"Socialism  will  reduce  hours."  I  don't  know  whether 
it  will  or  not. '  You  think  it  will.  But  we  do  know  that  all 
of  the  Socialistic  institutions  that  have  been  attempted  up 
to  today,  many  under  very  favorable  circumstances,  have 
gone  to  pieces.  However,  as  I  understand  it,  this  matter  of 
reduced  hours  is  not  a  necessary  part  of  socialistic  philoso- 
phy. The  philosophy  of  Socialism  is  this :  that  through  the 
process  of  evolution  a  few  men  known  as  the  landed  aris- 
tocracy, as  feudal  lords,  over-lords,  lords  paramount,  got 
control  of  the  ancient  civilization,  and  the  economic  neces- 
sities of  the  trading  and  manufacturing  classes  compelled 
them  steadily,  slowly,  with  many  fluctuations  and  discour- 
agements, to  force  their  way  through  this  old  aristocracy 
until  they  assumed  control  of  the  political,  social  and  re- 
ligious institutions,  assumed  control  of  all  the  forces  of  civi- 
lization, dictating  policies  and  commanding  the  situation. 
Today  the  necessities  of  the  laboring  class,  we  are  told,  are 
compelling  laborers  to  do  the  same  things  for  this  middle 
manufacturing  class  that  it  formerly  did  for  the  landed  class ; 
it  is  forcing  its  way  up  through,  and  will  assume  control  of 
all  political,  religious  and  social  forces  and  dictate  their- 

58 


management  in  their  own  interest.  This  is  the  idea  of  So- 
cialism that  I  have  gathered.  I  simply  want  to  challenge  the 
assertion  that  the  middle  class  have  ever  got  rid  of  the 
ancient  aristocracy.  It  is  not  true.  The  ancient  landed 
aristocracy  is  now  in  control — (applause) — today,  as  in  the 
ancient  time,  it  is  the  landed  interest,  no  matter  in  what 
guise,  that  dominates  the  economic  situation  everywhere. 

"We  are  all  going  to  invest  in  houses  when  the  land  is 
forced  on  the  market."  Then,  "when  there  are  no  more 
people  needing  houses,  we  will  invest  in  something  else." — 
Yes,  and  we  will  keep  on  investing  in  "something  else"  till; 
in  all  lines,  returns  on  investments  are  equal,  and  continue 
equal,  and  are  maintained  at  an  equality.  Because  every 
fellow  can  go  into  that  line  which  is  offering  the  advantage, 
as  shown  by  larger  margins.  That  is  what  we  mean  by  free 
competition.     (Applause.) 

They  want  to  know,  when  all  buy  labor,  according  to  Mr. 
Hardinge's  proposition,  who  will  sell.  Why,  gentlemen,  if 
I  make  a  thing  and  sell  it  to  you,  and  you  make  a  thing 
and  sell  it  to  me,  each  of  us  has  bought  labor.  That  is,  we 
have  bought  the  energy  that  is  expressed  in  the  article  that 
is  placed  on  the  market.  I  thought  an  explanation  of  the 
simplest  form  of  barter  would  furnish  a  clear  statement  that 
even  a  Socialist  might  understand.     (Laughter.) 

They  want  to  know  if  it  was  for  land  that  the  soldiers 
shot  people  in  the  streets  of  Chicago.  Yes,  and  for  nothing 
else.  (Applause.)  What  was  being  done  here  in  Chicago? 
According  to  the  1894  authorities  laborers  and  strikers  here, 
and  the  mobs,  were  destroying  the  value  of  Chicago  prop- 
erty. (Applause.)  That  is  what  they  claimed  was  being 
done  in  PuUman,  that  is  what  they  claimed  was  being  done 
at  Homestead,  that  is  what  they  claimed  was  being 
done  in  the  Couer  d'Alene,  that  is  what  they  claimed  was 
being  done  everywhere ;  that  they  were  destroying  the  value 
of  property.  What  is  it  that  goes  down  in  value?  The 
value  of  land  falls,  and  nothing  else. 

Mines  tied-up  capital,  according  to  Schwab,  and  that 
was  one  of  its  weaknesses,  acording  to  Mr.  Mead.  You  can 
see  that  easily  enough.  Here  is  a  corporation  that  has  a 
million  dollars  and  spends  three-quarters  of  it  for  land  and 
has  the  other  quarter  left  to  invest  in  machinery,  and  has 
not  capital  enough  to  carry  on  the  business  economically  as 

59 


a  result,  because  so  much  is  locked  up  in  land.  That  is  what 
Mead's  testimony  meant. 

"Ownership  of  land  against  the  national  bank  law." 
Why?  The  men  that  framed  the  national  bank  law  knew 
that  they  were  giving  to  the  owners  of  the  banking  busi- 
ness a  monopoly.  They  knew  that  when  you  put  the  money 
monopoly  on  top  of  the  land  monopoly  all  history  proves 
that  you  have  a  power  which  will  crush  every  other  com- 
mercial force  that  exists  in  that  territory.  Therefore  the 
right  of  a  national  bank  to  own  land  was  denied.  That  was 
the  reason  for  it.    Notoriously  so. 

"Capital  need  not  fear."  We  say  it  need  not,  so  long  as 
your  agitation  is  of  such  a  nature,  gentlemen,  that  it  does 
not  indicate  knowledge  of  natural  commercial  law ;  so  long 
as  your  agitation  is  of  the  kind  that  Emperor  William  of 
Germany  found  in  J.  Pierpont  Morgan,  when,  in  his  inter- 
view, he  said  that  "Talk  as  we  would,  after  two  hours'  speech 
with  Mr.  Morgan,  I  could  not  discover  that  he  had  any 
knowledge  of  the  great  antagonisms  and  harmonies  that 
control  the  commercial  world."  So  long  as  any  agitation 
fails  to  realize  the  nature  of  these  antagonisms  and  har- 
monies, just  so  long  it  will  fail  to  solve  the  social  riddle. 
It  was  only  when  mechanical  laws  and  chemical  laws  came 
to  be  known  and  to  be  applied,  that  the  modern  world  be- 
came a  possibility.  It  was  not  the  dissatisfaction,  it  was  not 
the  unrest;  it  was  the  increase  in  knowledge  that  made  all 
these  things  possible.    I  thank  you.     (Applause.) 

The  Chairman:  As  we  approach  the  close,  I  think  I 
may  say  that  we  have  much  to  congratulate  ourselves  on  this 
afternoon,  to  be  able  to  be  here  and  listen  to  the  able,  schol- 
arly and  eloquent  manner  in  which  these  gentlemen  have 
discussed  these  economic  questions.  The  closing  presenta- 
tion from  the  Socialistic  standpoint  and  analysis  of  the 
previous  arguments  will  be  made  bv  Mr.  Simons,  who  will 
be  given  ten  minutes,  after  which  we  will  close. 


A.  M.  SIMONS. 

I  scarce  know  just  how  seriously  to  treat  the  combina- 
tion of  sneers  at  the  audience  and  assertions  and  reckless 
denials  that  have  been  put  before  you  by  the  last  speaker  as 
a  debate. 


60 


His  roasting  of  the  audience  comes  with  especially,  poor 
grace  from  a  member  of  an  organization  that  forbade  So- 
cialists an  opportunity  to  speak  upon  its  floor,  and  that  shut 
oflE  its  outdoor  meetings  because  questions  were  asked.  (Ap- 
plause.) I  regret  that  our  members  have  interrupted  suflS- 
ciently  to  give  an  excuse  for  such  action  and  the  consequent 
rebuke. 

Now,  let  us  turn  for  a  moment  to  the  other  points.  I 
want  to  say  that  the  sneer  at  Marx  and  Engels  and  at  the 
Socialists  as  being  followers  of  two  men,  comes  also  with 
mighty  poor  grace  from  a  philosophy  of  one  man  and  one 
book.     (Applause.) 

We  asked  him  to  answer  this  question,  that  the  fact 
might  better  be  brought  to  the  front,  whether  or  no  he  stood 
for  the  defense  of  capital  and  the  capitalist,  the  ownership 
of  stocks,  of  bonds,  mortgages  and  instruments  by  whidi 
wealth  was  taken  from  the  worker.  He,  like  all  the  other 
Single  Tax  speakers,  carefully  side-stepped  the  question 
and  replied  by  telling  us,  when  we  asked  about  profits,  thiat 
he  thought  of  a  globe  spinning  in  space,  and  then  talked  as 
if  we  could  all  build  houses.  He  made  no  attempt  to  define 
capital,  but  only  replied  with  a  sneer;  only  asserting  and 
never  arguing. 

Again,  he  told  us  that  if  we  meant  by  profit  on  capital 
anything  else  than  payment  for  the  use  of  tools  to  the  maker 
of  the  tools  it  was  nonsense,  thus  showing  that  his  idea,  as 
we  have  said  all  the  way  through,  was  that  of  the  old  primi- 
tive domestic  production  of  individuals  who  exchanged  their 
products,  and  that  he  had  no  comprehension  of  the  great 
complex  capitalist  organization  of  society  where  things  are 
made  to  sell  and  not  to  use.  Notwithstanding  what  he  said 
about  everything  being  made  for  use,  I  wonder  if  they  put 
sand  in  the  sugar  and  poison  in  other  things  in  order  that 
we  might  use  them  or  in  order  that  they  might  sell  them. 
(Applause.) 

He  made  another  assertion.  He  said  equality  would 
Come  from  the  Single  Tax,  and  that  it  would  break  the 
power  of  the  capitalist,  but  he  forgot  to  tell  us,  and  none  of 
them  did,  how  changing  the  capitalist  landlord  from  the  in' 
dividual  landlord  to  ti^e  state  landlord  would  break  the 
power  of  either  landlord  or  capitalist,  so  long  as  there  were 
ruling  classes  and  a  capitalist  controlled  government. 

Again,  he  told  us  with  regard  to  tactics,  when  we  asked 

6i 


him  if  he  believed  in  classes  he  said,  no,  he  did  not  believe 
in  them,  but  he  did  not  tell  us  how  or  why  they  would  dis- 
appear.   Another  bare  assertion. 

Again,  when  it  came  to  the  question  of  tactics,  he  told 
us  that  if  the  democrats  and  republicans  put  up  certain  par- 
ticular puppets  in  order  to  attract  attention  that  he  would 
flop  from  one  side  to  the  other ;  showing  that  it  was  men,  not 
principles,  for  which  he  worked.     (Applause.) 

He  declared  that  he  was  opposed  to  tyranny  and  that  war 
in  opposition  to  tyranny  was  not  waste,  but  the  worst 
statistics  that  we  had  quoted  were  the  statistics  of  the  army 
and  navy  of  America,  and  I  do  not  believe  that  he,  an  anti- 
imperialist,  will  claim  that  even  money  spent  in  foreign  war 
was  in  defense  of  tyranny.  Certainly  the  money  that  was 
spent  in  Colorado,  that  was  spent  at  Homestead,  that  was 
spent  at  Pullman,  that  was  spent  at  Pittsburg,  that  has  been 
spent  by  the  million  throughout  the  country  in  putting 
down  the  working  class  at  the  behest  of  industrial  capital, 
was  certainly  not  in  defense  of  tyranny.  That  was  the  waste 
we  asked  you  to  talk  about,  and  not  the  waste  of  the  revo- 
lutionary war  or  the  French  revolution.  (Applause.)  He 
told  us  when  it  came  to  a  comparison  of  waste  that  we  had 
offered  no  argument,  and  then — I  quote  him  verbatim,  and 
if  I  am  wrong  I  would  like  to  be  corrected  by  the  stenogra- 
■ers  at  the  close.  He  said,  "/  assert  that  the  Single  Tax  will 
be  economical  and  Socialism  wasteful,"  and  a  lot  of  Single 
Taxers  in  the  audience  applauded  him  and  thought  he  said 
something.     ( Applause. ) 

Again,  he  stood  up  here  and  quoted  a  statement  as  to  the 
greater  productiveness  of  individual  labor,  and  he  thought 
3iat  we  would  not  recognize  the  book  from  which  he  quoted, 
but  we  did.  He  quoted  from  Hillquit's  "History  of  Social- 
ism and  the  Socialist  Movement  in  America,"  but  he  was 
not  honest  enough  to  tell  you  that  the  quotation  referred  to 
what  was  done  in  the  Oneida  community  after  it  had  turned 
into  a  purely  capitalist  corporation.  (Applause.)  We  know 
that  quotation. 

Again,  we  met  the  old  ghost  that  has  died  a  thousand 
times,  a  thousand  deaths,  that  Socialism  would  destroy  in- 
centive; that  a  system  that  would  make  it  possible  for  the 
worker  to  receive  all  his  product  would  destroy  the  in- 
centive for  production ;  that  if  we  take  away  the  system  of 
legislation  that  today  enables  employers  to  make  men  con- 

62 


tract  away  a  right  to  their  earnings,  that  compels  them  to 
live  on  the  smallest  subsistence,  that  grinds  them  down  un- 
til their  individuality  is  sunk  in  a  number,  until  they  are 
known  only  by  a  series  of  numbers — that  if  you  take  that 
away  you  would  destroy  individuality.  (Applause.)  I  want 
you  to  note  that  I  am  not  asserting,  I  am  putting  up  facts. 
(Applause.) 

Again  he  told  us  that  the  man  on  the  margin  of  whom 
he  was  talking  was  a  man  that  had  a  rich  phosphate  bed  at 
his  very  door.  Unfortunately,  there  isn't  any  in  my  back 
yard.  And  my  friend  there  would  not  have  that  sort  of 
thing  under  the  Single  Tax  for  every  man.  The  marginal 
producer  would  be  the  man  who  works  with  bare  hands.  He 
says  that  today  in  primitive  communities  they  do  not  begin 
with  bare  hands.  I  was  born  and  raised  on  the  frontier  of 
America,  and  I  tell  you  that  the  tools  we  had  were  little 
more  than  our  hands;  there  was  a  little  more  than  an  ax. 
That  was  about  the  only  thing  we  had  to  work  with,  out- 
side of  a  sharpened  stidj  and  hoe  that  we  used  to  put  our 
com  in  with,  and  I  want  to  tell  you  that  I  don't  want  to  go 
back  to  that  state  of  society  if  I  can  possibly  help  it.  (Ap- 
plause.) On  the  frontier  prairie  of  today  it  is  true  you  do 
not  begin  with  bare  hands,  because  the  man  that  goes  out 
there  is  simply  the  agent  of  the  capitalist  who  is  sent  out 
there  to  produce  profits  on  the  land  with  the  complex  tools 
he  uses.  Those  tools  practically  belong  to  a  capitalist  who 
lets  him  use  them  to  create  profit.  But  wherever  you  have 
primitive  industry  you  have  little  more  than  bare  hands. 
Where  is  he  going  to  get  the  improved  machinery?  If  he 
is  going  to  build  it  up  in  each  little  community,  if  he  is  going 
to  go  through  the  whole  slow  process  of  reproducing  these 
things,  then  we  say  that  is  a  tremendous  social  waste. 

Again,  the  question  came  as  to  whether  Socialism  would 
bring  shorter  hours  and  again  he  offered  the  wonderful  argu- 
ment— I  quote  him  verbatim — "I  don't  know  about  that." 
We  showed  him  that  it  would  abolish  these  tremendous 
wastes,  we  showed  him  that  it  would  utilize  all  the  powers 
of  society,  and  he  does  not  know  whether  it  would  shorten 
hours. 

He  says  that  the  German  Emperor  William  said  that  J. 
Pierpont  Morgan  did  not  understand  monopoly.  I  guess  he 
did  not  read  that  interview  right.  What  the  Emperor  said 
of  Morgan  was  that  he  wondered  that  he  did  not  understand 

63 


Socialism;  tliat  is  what  he  said.  (Applause.)  The  question 
of  what  the  working  men  of  Germany  who  are  Socialists  are 
going  to  do  to  him  was  what  interested  the  Emperor,  and 
don't  you  ever  forget  it. 

Now,  then,  in  conclusion  we  offer  to  you  on  the  one 
side  a  great  worldwide  army  of  the  workers  of  the  world 
that  stand  on  a  clear  cut  and  uncompromising  program  to 
secure  the  material  interests  of  themselves  and  their  families 
and  the  heritage  of  all  the  world  for  the  workers.  On  the 
other  side  are  a  handful  that  seek  to  exempt  the  small  mas- 
ters or  exploiters  from  the  squeezing  of  the  landlords.  We 
have  on  one  side  a  single  taxer  playing  the  puppet  before  the 
different  divisions  of  the  capitalist  class.  On  the  other'  side, 
the  big  army  of  the  workers  of  the  world  standing  firm  for 
all  the  product  for  those  who  labor.  "Choose  whom  ye  will 
serve,"  and  you  will  vote  either  the  republica^n  or  the  So- 
cialist ticket.  I  can  assure  you  that  in  the  end  you  will  have 
to  swallow  the  Socialist  ticket,  even  if  you  do  not  like  it, 
or  else  stand  for  capitalism.    (Applause.) 

THE    END. 


64 


SINGLE  TAX  LITERATURE 

Henry  George 

Progress  and  Poverty,  paper,  50c;  doth,  $1.00. 

Social  Problems,  paper,  50c;  cloth,  $1.00. 
1  The  Land  Question,  paper,  50o;  cloth,  $1.00. 

Protection  vs.  Free  Trade,  paper,  50o;   cloth,  $1.00. 

A  Perplexed  Philosopher,  paper,  50c;  cloth,  $1.00. 

Science  of  Political  Economy,  cloth,  $2.50. 

Our  Land,  and  Land^  Policy.  Speeches,  Lectures  and  Miscel- 
laneous Writings.     Cloth,  $2.50., 

Moses,  5c. 

Compensation,  5c. 

The  Single  Tax;  What  It  Is;  Why  We  Urge  It,  5e. 

Story  of  My  Dictatorship,  lOe. 

The  Study  of  Political  Economy  and  the  Effects  of  Material 
Progress,  5c. 
Henry  George,  Jr. 

Life  of  Henry  George,  doth,  $1.50;  library  edition,  $2.50. 
Thomas  G.  Shearman 

Natural  Taxation,  paper,  50c;  cloth,  $1.00. 
Louis  F.  Post 

A-  Single  Tax  View  of  Trusts,  5e. 

Ethics  of  Democracy;  a  Series  of  Optimistic  Essays  on  the 
Natural  Laws  of  Human  Sodety,  cloth,  $2.00;  by  imiil,  $2.15. 

Success  in  Life,  5c.  .        , 

The  Single  Tax;  an  Explanation,  with  Colored  Charts  and  Il- 
lustrative Notes,  of  the  Land,  Labor  and  Fiscal  Beform  Ad- 
vocated by  Henry  George,  25c. 

Look  Ahead,  5e. 

The  Public,  a  weakly  leview,  which  prints  in  concise  and  plain  terms 
with  lucid  explanations,  and  without  editorial  bias,  all  the  news  of  the 
world  of  historic  value;  16  pages;  $2  a  year. 

Bolton  Hall 

The  Game  6f  Life,  $1.00. 

Things  As  They  Are,  cloth,  $1.25.  x. 

Even  As  You  and  I,  cloth,  $1.00. 
John  S.  Crosby 

Government;  An  Inquiry  Into  the  Nature  and  Functions  of  the 
State,  doth,  25c.     ; 
Lawson  Purdy  / 

Local  Taxation,  doth,  25c. 

Burdens  of  Local  Taxation,  cloth,  25c. 

Taxation  of  Personal  Property,  25e. 
Oliver  R.  Trowbridge 

Bisddalism :    The  Beign  of  the  Man  at  the  Margin,  cloth,  $1.50 ; 
by  mail,  $1.65. 
Miscellaneous 

The  Single  Tax  and  Direct  Legislation,  10c. 

Single  Tax  Catechism,  5c. 

Sm^ler  Profits,  Reduced  Salaries  and  Lower  Wages;  the  Con- 
dition, the  Cause  and  the  Cure,  by  a  Business  Man,  5c. 

The  Single  Tax  and  Direct  Legislation,  10c.  ' 

F.  W.  HAGUIRE,  Ubtarian  Henry  George  Assn..  508  SCHILLER  BLDG.,  CHICAGO 


The  Literature  of  Socialism 

18  far  too  comprehensive  to  be  catalogued  within  the  limits  of 
a  single  page.  The  ablest  writers  and  deepest  students  of  Italy, 
Pranee,  Germany,  Belgium  and  other  countries  of  continental 
Europe  are  constantly  adding  to  it,  since  socialism  is  the  one 
vital  movement  in  the  evolution  of  political  systems  today.  Amer. 
ica  and  England  have  been,  for  economic  reasons,  slower  in 
developing  a  socialist  movement  up  to  this  time,  but  to  describe 
the  socialist  literature  now  available  for  readers  in  the  English 
language  requires  an  illustrated  book  of  thitty-six  large  pages. 
A  copy  of  this  book,  entitled  ' '  What  to  Bead  on  Socialism, ' '  will 
be  mailed  free  of  charge  to  any  one  requesting  it. 


To  keep  in  touch  with  the  work  of  the  Socialist  Party  of  the 
United  States,  and  partionlarly  in  Illinois  and  Chicago,  it  is  necessary 
to  read  the  excellent  weekly  paper  called  THE  CHICAGO  SO- 
OIAIiIST,  published  at  181  Washington  Street,  Chicago.  Subscrip- 
tion price,  50  cents  a  year,  sample  copy  free. 


To  keep  in  touch  with  the  beet  Socialist  thought  of  the  world  and 
to  realize  the  nieaning  of  Socialism  as  a  world  movement,-  it  is  neces- 
sary to  read  the  INTERNATIONAL  SOCIALIST  REVIEW.  This  is 
a  monthly  magazine  of  sixty-four  pages,  edited  by  A.  M.  Simons  and 
published  by  us.  The  price  is  10  cents  for  a  single  copy,  or  fl.OO  for 
a  year's  subscription.  We  will  send  the  INTERNATIONAL  SO- 
CIALIST REVIEW  and  the  CHICAGO  SOCIALIST  one  year,  either 
to  the  same  address  or  different  addresses,  for  $1.25. 


CHARLES  H.  KERR  &  COMPANY  (Co-Opcrative) 
56  FIFTH  AVENUE,  CHICAGO 


PUBLISHED  iBY      -     / 

GHAS^HJCEFffi  ftCOMPANYrooprntiyi, 

.     -" Z6i'  EAST^KINZIE  ST.  CMltJAGaUS^- 


MttmaMiSsa 


mtmimmmmmtmiimfm 


THE  COMMON  SENSE 
OF  SOCIALISM 


A  SERIES  OF  LETTERS  ADDRESSED  TO 
JONATHAN  EDWARDS,  OF  PITTSBURG 


BY 


JOHN  SPARGO 

Author  of    "The  Bitter  Cry  of    the  Children,"  "Socialism: 

Summary    and   Interpretatfon    of    Socialist    Principles," 

"  The  Socialists  :  Who  They  Are  and  What  They. 

Stand  For,"   "  Capitalist  and  Laborer," 

Etc.,  Etc.,  Etc. 


80 


CHICAGO 

CHARLES  H.  KERR  &  COMPANY 

1908 


Copyright  1908  ^ 

By  Charles  H.  Kerr  &  Company 


TO 

GEORGE  H.  STROBELL 

AS 

A  TOKEN  OF  FRIENDSHIP  AND  LOVE 

THIS  LITTLE  BOOK  IS  AFFECTIONATELY   INSCRIBED 


CONTENTS 


CHAPTER  PAGE 

1    By  Way  of  Introduction i 

II  What's  the  Matter  with  America?       .....      4 

III  The  Two  Classes  in  the  Nation 12 

IV  How   Wealth  is  Produced  and  How  it  is  Dis- 

_        tributed 26 

V    The  Drones  and  the  Bees 44 

VI    The  Root  of  the  Evil 68 

VII    From  Competition  to  Monopoly 81 

VIII  What  Socialism  is  and  What  it  is  Not     ...    94 

IX  What  Socialism  is  and  What  it  is  'Hot— Continued  118 

X  The  Objections  to  Socialism  Answered     .     .     .136 

XI    What  5HALL  We  Do,  Then  ? 170 

APPENDICES: 

I  A  Suggested  Course  of  Reading  on  Socialism  .  175 

-  II  How  Socialist  Books  are  Published      ....  179 


THE  COMMON  SENSE  OF 
SOCIALISM 


BY  WAY  OF  INTRODUCTION 

Socialism  is  undoubtedly  spreading.  It  is,  therefore,  right 
and  expedient  that  its  teachings,  its  claims,  its  tendencies,  its 
accusations  and  promises,  should  be  honestly  and  seriously  ex- 
amined.—  Prof.  Flint.    . 


My  Dear  Mr.  Edwards:  I  coynt  it  good  fortune  to 
receive  such  letters  of  inquiry  as  that  which  yon  have, 
written  me.  You  could  not  easily  have  conferred  greater 
pleasure  upon  me  than  you' have  by  the  charming  candor 
and  vigor  of  your  letter.  It  is  said  that  when  President 
Lincoln  saw  Walt  Whitman,  "  the  good,  Gray  Poet," 
for  the  first  time  he  exclaimed,  "  Well,  he  looks  like  a 
man !  "  and  in  like  spirit,  when  I  read  your  letter  I  could 
not  help  exclaiming,  "  Well,  he  writes  like  a  man !  " 

There  was  no  need,  Mr.  Edwards,  for  you  to  apologize 
for  your  letter :  for  its  faulty  grammar,  its  lack '  of 
"  style "  and  "  polish."  I  am  not  insensible  to  these, 
being  a  literary  man,  but,  even  at  their  highest  valuation, 
grammar  and  literary  style  are  by  no  means  the  most 
important  elements  of  a  letter.  They  are,  after  alt,  only 
like  the  clothes  men  wear.  A  knave  or  a  fool  may  be 
dressed  in  the  most  perfect  manner,  while  a  good  man 

1 


2  COMMON    SENSE   OF   SOCIALISM 

or  a  sage  may  be  poorly  dressed,  or  even  clad  in  rags, 
Scoundrels  in  broadcloth  are  not  uncommon;  gentlemen 
in  fustian  are  sometimes  met  with. 

He  would  be  a  very  unwise  man,  you  will  admit,  who 
tried  to  judge  a  man  by  his  coat.  President  Lincoln  was 
uncouth  and  ill-dressed,  but  he  was  a  wise  man  and  a 
gentleman  in  the  highest  and  best  sense  of  that  much 
misused  word.  On  the  other  hand,  Mr.  Blank,  who 
represents  railway  interests  in  the  United  States  Senate, 
is  sleek,  polished  and  well-dressed,  but  he  is  neither  very 
wise  hor  very  good.  He  is  a  gentleman  only  in  the  con- 
ventional, false  sense  of  that  word. 

Lots  of  men  could  write  a  more  brilliant  letter  than 
the  one. you  have  written  to  me,  but  there  are  not  many 
men,  even  among  professional  writers,  who  could  write 
a  better  one.  What  I  like  is  the  spirit  of  earnestness 
and  the  simple  directness  of  it.  You  say  that  you.  have 
"  Read  lots  of  things  in  the  papers  about  the  Socialists' 
ideas  and  listened  to  some  Socialist  speakers,  but  never 
could  get  a  very  clear  notion  of  what  it  was  all  about." 
And  then  you  add  "  Whether  Socialism  is  good  or  bad, 
wise  or  foolish,  /  want  to  know."' 

I  wish,  my  friend,  that  there  were  more  working  men 
like  you ;  that  there  were  millions  of  American  men  and 
women  crying  out:  "  Whether  Socialism  is  good  or  bad, 
wise  or  foolish,  /  want  to  know."  For  that  is  the  begin- 
ning of  wisdom:  back  of  all  the  intellectual  progress  of 
the  race  is  the  cry,  /  want  to  Tinow!  It  is  a  cry  that 
belongs  to  wise  hearts,  such  as  Mr.  Ruskin  meant  when 
he  said,  "  A  little  group  of  wise  hearts  is  better  than  a 
wilderness  full  of  fools."  There  are  lots  of  fools,  both 
educated  and  uneducated,  who  say  concerning  Socialism, 
y  which  is  the  greatest  movement  of  our  time,  "  I  don't 
know  anything  about  it  and  I  don't  want  to  know  any- 


BY   WAY   OF    INTRODUCTION  3 

thing  about  it."  Compared  with  the  most  learned  man 
alive  who.  takes  that  positionj  the  least  educated  laborer 
in  the  land  who  says  ",I  want  to  know !  "  is  a  philosopher 
compared  with  a  fool. 

When  I  first  read  your  letter  and  saw  the  long  list  of 
your  objections  and  questions  I  confess  that  I  was 
somewhat  frightened.  Most  of  the  questions  are  fair 
questions,  many  of  them  are  v^ise  ones  and  all  of  them 
merit  consideration.  If  you  will  bear  with  me,  Mr. 
Edwards,  and  let  me  answer  them  in  my  own  way,  I 
propose  to  answer  them  all.  And  in  answering  them  I 
shall  be  as  honest  and  frank  with  you  as  I  am  with  my 
own  soul.  Whether  you  believe  in  Socialism  or  not  is 
to  me  a  matter  of  less  importance  than  whether  you  un- 
derstand it  or  not. 

You  complain  that  in  some  of  the  books  written  about 
Socialism  there  are  lots  of  hard,  technical  words  and 
phrases  which  you  cannot  properly  understand,  even 
when  you  have  looked  in  the  dictionary  for  their  mean- 
ing, and  that  is  a  very  Just  complaint.  It  is  trUe  that 
most  of  the  books  on  Socialism  and  other  important  sub- 
jects are  written  by  students  for  students,  but  I  shall  try 
to  avoid  th^  difficulty  and  write  as  a  plain,  average  man 
of  fair  sense  to  another  plain,  average  man  of  fair  sense. 

All  your  other  questions  and  objections,  about  "  stir- 
ring up  class  hatred,"  aboijt  "  dividing-up  the  wealth 
with  the  lazy  and  shiftless,"  trying  to  "  destroy  religion," 
advocating  "  free  love  "  and  "  attacking  the  family,"  all 
these  and  the  many  other  matters  contained  in  y?)ur  let- 
ter, I  shall  try  to  answer  fairly  and  with  absolute  honesty. 

I  want  to  convert  you  to  Socialism  if  I  can,  Mr.  Ed- 
wards, but  I  am  more  anxious  to  have  you  understand 
Socialism. 


II 

what's    the    matter    with    AMERICA? 

It  seems  to  me  that  people  are  not  enough  aware  of  the 
monstrous  state  of  society,  absolutely  without  a  parallel  in  the 
history  of  the  world,  with  a  population  poor,  miserable  and 
degraded  in  bodyapd  mind,  as  if  they  were  slaves,  and  yet 
called  freemen.  The  hopes  entertained  by  many  of  the  effects 
to  be  wrought  by  new  churches  and  schools,  while  the  social 
evils  of  their  conditions  are  left  uncorrected,  appear  to  me 
utterly  wild. —  Dr.  Arnold,  of  Rugby. 

The  working-classes  are  entitled  to  claim  that  the  whole  field 
of  social  institutions  sTiould  be  re-examined,  and  every  question 
considered  as  if  it  now  arose  for  the  first  time,  with  the  idea 
constantly  in  view  that  the  persons  who  are  to  be  convinced 
are  not  those  who  owe  their  ease  §nd  importance  to  the  present 
system,  but  persons  who  have  no  other  interest  in  the  matter 
than  abstract  justice  and  the  general  good  of  the  comm^inity. 
—  John  Stuart  Mill. 

I  presume,  Mr.  Edwards,  that  you  are  not  one  of 
those  persons  who  believe  that  there  is  nothing  the 
matter  with  America;  that  you  are  not  wholly  content 
with  existing  conditions.  You  would  scarcely  be  inter- 
ested in  Socialism  unless  you  were  convinced  that  in  our 
existing  social  system  there"  are  many  evils  for  which 
some  remedy  ought  to  be  found  if  possible.  Your  inter- 
est in  Socialism  arises  from  the  fact  that  its  advocates 
claim  that  is  a  remedy  for  the  social  evils  which  distress 
you  —  is  it  not  so  ? 

I  need  not  harrow  your  feelings,  therefore,  by  draw- 

4 


what's   the    matter    with    AMERICA?  5 

ing  for  you  pictures  of  dismal  misery,  poverty,  vice, 
crime  and  squalor.  As  a  workingman,  living  in  Pitts- 
burg, you  are  unhappily  familiar  with  the  evils  of  our 
present  system.  It  doesn't  require  a  professor  of  po- 
litical economy  to  understand  that  something  is  wrong 
in  our  American  life  today. 

As  an  industrial  city  Pittsburg  is  a  notable  example 
of  the  defective  working  of  our  present  social  and  in- 
dustrial system.  In  Pittsburg,  as  in  every  other  modern 
city,  there ^ are  the  extremes  of  wealth  and  poverty.. 
'There  are  beautiful  residences  on  the  one  hand  and  mis- 
erable, crowded  tenement  hovels  upon  the  other  hand. 
There  are  people  who  are  so  rich,  whose  incomes  are  so 
great,  that  their  lives  are  made  miserable  and  unhappy.. 
There  are  other  people  so  poor,  with  incomes  so  small, 
that  they  are  compelled  to  live  miserable  and  unhappy 
lives.  Young  men  and  women,  inheritors  of  vast  for- 
tunes, living  lives  of  ijileness,  uselessness  and  vanity  at 
one  end  of  the  social  scale  are  driven  to  dissipation  and 
debauchery  and  crime.  At  the  other  end  of  the  social 
scale  there  are  young  men  and  women,  poor,  overbur- 
dened with  toil,  crushed  by  poverty  and  want,  also  driven 
to  dissipation  and  debauchery  and  crime. 

You  are  a  workingman.  All  your  life  you  have  known 
the  'condttions  which  surround  the  lives  of  working  peo- 
ple like  T^ourself.  You  know  how  hard  it  is  for  the  most 
careful  and  industrious  workman  to  properly  care  for 
his  family.  If  he  is  fortunate  enough  never  to  be  sick, 
or  out  of  work,  or  on  strike,  or  to  be  involved  in  an 
accident,  or  to  have  sickness  in  his  family,  .he  may  be- 
come the  owner  of  a  cheap  home,  or,  by  dint  of  much 
sacrifice,  his  children  may  be  educated  and  enabled  to 
enter  one  of  the  professions.  Or,  given  all  the  condi- 
tions stated,  he  may  be  enabled  to  save  enough  to  pro- 


6  COMMON    SENSE   OF   SOCIALISM 

vide  for  himself  and  wife  a  pittance  sufficient  to  keep 
them  from  pauperism  and  beggary  in  their  old  age. 

That  is  the  best  the  workingman  can  hope  for  as  a 
result  of  his  own  labor  under  the  very  best  conditions. 
To  attain  that  level  of  comfort  and  decency  he  must 
deny  hipiself  and  his  wife  and  children  of  many  things 
which  they  ought  to  enjoy.  It  is  not  too  much  to  say 
that  none  of  your  fellow-workmen  in  Pittsburg,  men 
known  to  you,  your  neighbors  and  comrades  in  labor, 
have  been  able  to  attain  such  a  condition  of  comparative 
comfort  and  security  except  by  dint  of  much  hardship 
imposed  upon  themselves,  their  wives  and  children. 
They  have  had  to  forego  many  innocent  pleasures;  to 
live  in  poor  streets,  greatly  to  the  disadvantage  of  the 
children's  health  and  morals;  to  concentrate  their  ener- 
gies to  the  narrow  and  sordid  aim  of  saving  money;  to 
Cultivate  the  instincts  and  feelings  of  the  miser. 

The  wives  of  such  men  have  had  to  endure  privations 
and  wrongs  such  as  only  the  wives  of  the  workers  in 
civilized  society  ever  know.  Miserably  housed,  cruelly 
overworked,  toiling  incessantly  from  morn  till  night,  in 
sickness  as  well  as  in  health,  never  knowing  the  joys  of 
a  real  vacation,  cooking,  scrubbing:,  washing,  mending, 
nursing  and  pitifully  saving,  the  wife  of  such  a  worker 
is  in  truth  the  slave  of  a  slave. 

At  the  very  best,  then,  the  lot  of  the  workingman 
excludes  him  and  his  wife  and  children  from  most  of 
the  comforts  which  belong  to  modern  civilization.  A 
well-fitted  home  in  a  ;good  neighborhood  -^  to  say  noth- 
ing of  a  home  beautiful  in  itself  and  its  surroundings  — 
is  out  of  the  question;  foreign  travel,  the  opportunity 
to  enjoy  the  rest  and  educative  advantages  of  occasional 
journeys  to  other  lands,  is  likewise  out  of  the  question. 


what's   the    matter    with    AMERICA?  7 

Even  though  civic  enterprise  provides  public  libraries 
arid  art  galleries,  museums,  lectures,  concerts,  and  other 
opportunities  of  recreation  and  education,  there  is  not 
the  leisure  for  their  enjoyment  to  any,  extent.  For  our 
model  workman,  with  all  his  exceptional  advantages, 
after  a  day's  toil  has  little  tirrie  left  for  such  things,  and 
little  strength  or  desire,  while  his  wife  has  even  less  time 
and  even  less  desire. 

You  know  that  this  is  not  an  exaggerated  account. 
It  may  be  questioned  by  the  writers  of  learned  treatises 
who  know  the  life  qi  the  workers  only  from  descriptions 
of  it  written  by  people  who  know  very  little  about  it, 
but  you  will  not  question  it.  .As  a  workman  you  know 
it  is  true.  And  I  know  it  is  true,  for  I  ^  have  lived  it. 
The  best  that  the  most  industrious,  thrifty,  persevering 
and  fortujiate  workingman  can  hope  for  is  to  be  decently 
housed,  decently  fed,  decently  clothed.  That  he  and  his 
family  may  always  be  certain  of  these  things,  so  that 
they  go  down  to  their  graves  at  last  without  having 
experienced  the  pangs  of  hunger  and  want,  the  worker 
must  be  exceptionally  fortunate.  And  yet,  my  friend, 
the  horses  in  the  stables  of  the  rich  men  of  this  coiintry, 
and  the  dogs  in  their  kennels;<  have  all  these  things,  and 
more!  For  they  are  protected  against  such  overwork 
and  such  anxiety  as  the  workingman  and  the  working- 
man's  wife  must  endure.  Greater  care  is  taken  of  the 
health  of  many  horses  and  dogs  than  the  most  favored 
wcJrkingman  can  possibly  take  of  the  health  of  his  boys 
and  girls. 

At  its  best  and  brightest,  then,  the  lot  of  the  working- 
man  in  our  present  social  system  is  not  an  enviable  one. 
The  utmost  good  fortune  of  the  laboring  classies  is,  prop- 
erly considered,  a  scathing. condemnation  of  modern  so- 


8  COMMON    SENSE   OF   SOCIALISM 

ciety.  There  is  very  little  poetry,  beauty,  joy  or  glory 
in  the  life  of  the  workingmaii  when  taken  at  its  very 
best. 

But  you  know  very  well  that  not  one  workingman  in 
a  hundred,  nay,  not  one  in,  a  thousand,  is  fortunate 
enough  never  to  be  sick,  or  out  of  work,  or  on  strike,  or 
to  be  involved  in  an  accident,  or  to  have  sickness  in  his 
family.  Not  one  worker  in  a  thousand  lives  to  old  age 
and  goes  down  to  his  grave  without  having  known  the 
pangs  of  hunger  and  want,  both  for  himself  and  those 
dependent  upon  him.  On  the  contrary,  dull,  helpless, 
poverty  is  the  lot  of  millions  of  workers  whose  lines  are 
cast  in  less  pleasant  places. 

Mr.  Frederic  Harrison,  the  well-known  conservative 
English  publicist,  some  years  ago  gave  a  graphic  de- 
scription of  the  lot  of  the  working  class  of  England,  a 
description  which  applies  to  the  working  class  of  Amet- 
ica  with  equal  force.     He  said: 

"  Ninety  per  cent,  of  the  actual  producers  of  wealth  have  no 
home  that  they  can.  call  their  own  beyond  the  end  of  a  week, 
have  no  bit  of  soil,  or  so  much  as  a  room  that  belongs  to 
them ;  have  nothing  of  value  of  any  kind  except  as  much  as  will 
go  in  a  cart;  have  the  precarrous  chance  of  weekly  wages  which 
barely  suffice  to  keep  them  in  health;  are  housed  for  the  most 
part  in  places  that  no  man  thinks  fit  for  his  horse ;  are  separated 
by  so  narrow  a  margin  from  destruction  that  a  month  of  bad 
trade,  sickness  or  unexpected  loss  brings  them  face  to  face  with 
hunger  and  pauperism."*  ' 

I  am  perfectly ,  willing,  of  course,  to  admit  that,  upon 
the  whole,  conditions  are  worse  in  England  than  in  this 
country,  but  I  am"  still  certain  that  Mr.  Harrison's  de- 
scription  is   fairly   applicable  to  the   United   States  of 

♦Report  of  the  Industrial  Remuneration  Conference,  1886,  p. 
429. 


what's   the   matter   with    AMERICA?  Q 

America,  in  this "  year  of  Grace,  'nineteen  hundred  and 
eight. 

At  present  we  are  passing  through  a  period  of  indus- 
trial depression.  Everywhere  there  are  large  numbers 
of  unemployed  workers.  Poverty  is  rampant.  Notwith- 
standing all  that  is  being  done  to  ease  their  misery,  all 
the  doles  of  the  charitable  and  compassionate,  there  are 
still  many  thousands  of  men,  women  and  children  who 
are  hungry  and  miserable.  You  see  them  every  day, in 
Pittsburg,  as  I  see  them  in  New  York,  Philadelphia, 
Boston,  Cleveland,  Chicago,  and  elsewhere.  It  is  easy, 
to  see  in  times  like  the  present  that  there  is  some  great, 
-vital  defect  in  our  social  economy. 
,  Later  on,  if  you  will  give  me  your  attention,  Jonathan, 
I  want  you  to  consider  the  causes  of  such  cycles  of 
depression  as  this  that  we  are  so  patiently  enduring. 
But  at  present  I  am  interested  in  getting  you  to  realize 
the  terrible  shortcomings  of  our  industrial  system  at  its 
best,  in  normal  times.  I  want  to  have  you  consider  the 
state  of  affairs  in  times  that  are  called  "  prosperous  "  by 
the  politicians,  the  preachers,  the  economists,  the  statis- 
ticians and  the  editors  of  our  newspapers.  I  am  not 
conce;rned,  here  and  now,  with  the  exceptional  distress 
of  such  periods  as  .\he  present,  but  with  the  ordinary, 
normal,  chronic  misery  and  distress;  the  poverty  that 
is  always  so  terribly  prevalent. 

Do  you  remember  the  talk  about  the  "great  and  un- 
exampled prosperity  "  in  which  you  indulged  during  the 
letter  part  of  1904  and  the  following  year?  Of  course 
you  do.  Everybody  was  talking  about  prosperity,  and 
a  stranger  visiting  the  United  States  might  have  con- 
cluded that  we  were  a  nation  of  congenital  optimists. 
Yet,  it  was  precisely  at  that  time,  in  the  very  midst  of 
our  loud  boasting  about  prosperity,  that  Robert  Hunter 


lO        '  COMMON   SENSE   OF   SOCIALISM 

challenged  the  national  brain  and  conscience  with  the 
statement  that  there  were  at  lease  ten  million  persons  in 
poverty  in  the  United  States.""  If  you  have  not  read  Mr. 
Hunter's  book,  Jonathan,  I  advise  you  to  get  it  and 
read  it.  You  will  find  in  it  plenty,  of  food  for  serious 
thought.  It  is  called  Poverty,  and  you  can  get  a  copy 
at  the  public  library.  From  time  to  time  I  am  going  to 
suggest  that  you  read  various  books  which  I  believe  you 
will  find  useful.  "  Reading  maketh  a  full  man,"  pro- 
vided that  the  reading  is  seriously  and  wisely  done. 
Good  books  relating  to  the  problems  you  have  to  face 
as  a  worker  are  far  better  for  reading  than  the  yellow 
newspapers  or  the  sport'ing  prints,  my  friend. 

When  they  first  read  Mr.  Hunter's  startling  statement 
that  there  were  ten  million  persons  in  the  United  States 
in  poverty,  many  people  thougjjt  that  he  must  be  a  sen- 
sationalist of  the  worst  type.  It  could  noti^be  true,  they 
thought.  But  when  they  read  the  startling  array  of  facts 
upon  which  that  estimate  was  based  they  modified  their 
opinion.  It  is  significant,  I  think,  that  there  has  been 
no  very  serious  criticism  of  the  estimate  made  by  any 
reputable  authority. 

Do  you  know,  Jonathan,  that  in  |^ew  Vork  of  all  the 
persons  who  die  one  in  every  ten  dies  a  pauper  and  is 
buried -in  Potter's  Field?  It  is  a  pity  that  we  have  not 
statistics  upon  this  point  covering  most  of  our  cities, 
including  your  own  city  of  Pittsburg.  If  we  had,  I 
should  ask  y9U  to  try  an  experiment.  I  should  ask  you 
to  give  up  one  of  your  Saturday  afternoons,  or  any  day 
when-  you  might  be  idle,  and  to  take  your  stand  at  the 
busiest  corner  in  the  city.  Ihere,  I  Vould  have  you 
count  the  people  as  they  pass  by,  hurrying  to  and  fro, 
and  every  tenth  person  you  counted  I  would  have  you 
note  by  making  a  little  cross  on  a  piece  of  paper.     Think 


what's  the   matter   with   AMERICA?  II 

what  an  awful  tally  it  would  be,  Jonathan.  How  sick 
and  weary  at  heart  you  would  be  if  you  stood  all  day 
counting,  saying  as  every  tenth  person  passed,  "  There 
goes  another  marked  for  a  pauper's  grave ! "  And  it 
might  happen,  you  know,  that  the  fateful  count  of  ten 
would  mark  your  own  boy,  or  your  own  wife. 

We  are  a  practical,  hard-headed  people.  That  is  our 
national  boast.  You  are  a  Yankee  of  the  good  old  Mas- 
sachusetts stock,  I  understand,  proud  of  the  fact  that 
you  can  trace  your  descent  right  back  to  the  Pilgrim 
Fathers.  But  with  all  our  hard-headed  practicality,  Jon- 
athan, there  is  still  some  sentiment  left  in  us.  Most  of 
us  dr?ad  the  thought  of  a  pauper's  grave  for  ourselves 
or  friends,  and  struggle  against  ^ch  fate  as  we  struggle 
against  death  itself.  It  is  a  foolish  sentiment  perhaps, 
for  when  the  soul  leaves  the  body  a  mere  handful  of 
clod  and  marl,  the  spark  of  divinity  forever  quenched, 
it  really  does  not  matter  what  happens  to  the  body,  nor 
where  it  crumbles  into  dust.  But  we  cherish  the  senti- 
ment, nevertheless,  and  dread  having  to  fill  pauper 
graves.  And  when  ten  per  cent,  of  those  who  die  in 
the  richest  city  of  the  richest  nation  on  earth  are  laid 
at  last  in  pauper  graves  and  given  pauper  burial  there  is 
something  radically  and  cruelly  wrong. 

And  you  and  I,  with  our  fellows,  must  try  to  find  out 
just  what  the  wrong  is,  and  just  hdV  we  can  set  it  right. 
Anything  less  than  that  seems  to  me  uncommonly  like 
treason  to  the  republic,  treason  of  the  worst  kind. 
Alas!  Alas!  such, treason  is  very  common,  friend  Jona- 
than—  there  are  many  who  are  heedless  of  the  wrongs 
that  sap  the  life  of  the  republic  and  careless  of  whether 
or  no  they  are  righted. 


Ill 

THE   TWO    CLASSES    IN    THE    NATION 

Mankind  are  divided  into  two  great  classes  —  the  shearers  and 
the  shorn.  You  should  always  side  with  the  former  against  the 
latter.^-  Talleyrand. 

All  men  having  the  same  origin  are  of  equal  antiquity;  nature 
has  made  no  difference  in  their  formation.  Strip  the  nobles 
naked  and  you  are  as  well  as  they;  dress  them  in  your  rags, 
and  you  in  their  robes,  and  you  will  doubtless  .be  the  nobles. 
Poverty  and  riches  only  discriminate  betwixt  you. —  Machiavelli. 

Thou  shalt  not  steal.  Thou  shall  not  be  stolen  from. — 
Thomas  Carlyle. 

I  want  you  to  consider,  friend  Jonathan,  the  fact  that 
in  this  and  every  other  civilized  country  there  are  two 
classes.  There  are,  as  it  were,  two  nations  in  every  na- 
tion, two  cities  in  every  city.  There  is  a  class  that  lives- 
in  luxury  and  a  class  that  lives  in  poverty.  A  class 
constantly  engaged  in  producing  wealth  but  owning  little 
or  none  of  the  wealth  produced  and  a  class  that  enjoys 
most  of  the  wealth  without  the  trouble  and  pain  of  pro- 
ducing it. 

If  I  go  into  any"  city  in  America  I  can  find  beautiful 
and  costly  mansions  in  one  part  of  the  city,  and  miser- 
able, squalid  tenement  hovels  in  another  part.  And  I 
never  have  to  ask  where  the  workers  live.  I  know  that 
the  people  who  live  in  the  mansions  don't  produce  any' 
thing;  that  the  wealth  producers  alone  are  poor. and 
miserably  housed. 

Republican  and  Democratic  politicians  never  ask  you 

12 


THE   TWO   CLASSES   IN   THE   NATION  I3 

to  consider  such  things.  They  expect  you  to  let  them 
do  all  the  thinking,  and  to  content  yourself  with  shout- 
ing and  voting  for  them.  As  a  Socialist,  I  want  you  to 
do  some  thinking  for  yourself.  Not  being  a  politician, 
but  a  simple  fellow-citizen,  I  am  not  interested  in  having 
you  vote  for  anything^^  you  do  not  understand.  If  you 
should  offer  to  vote  for  Socialism  without  understanding 
it,  I  should  beg  yovt  not  to  do  it.  I  want  you  to  vote  for 
Socialism,"  of  course,  but  not  unless  you  know  what  it 
means,  why  you  want  it  and  how  you  expect  to  get  it. 
You  see,  friend  Jonathan,  I  am  perfectly  frank  with  you,, 
as  I  promised  to  be. 

You  will  remember,  I  hope,  that  in  your  letter  to  me 
you  made  the  objection  that  the  Socialists  are  constantly 
stirring  up  class  hatred,  setting  class  against  class.  I 
want  to  show  you  now  that  this  is  not  true,  though  you 
doubtless  believed  that  it  was  true  when  you  wrote  it. 
I  propose  to  show  you  that  in  this  great  land  of  ours 
there  are  two  great  classes,  the  "  shearers  and  the  shorn," 
to  adopt  Talleyrand's  phrase.  .  And  I  want  you  to  side 
with  the  shorn  instead  of  with  the  shearers,  because,  if  I 
am  not  sadly  mistaken,  my  friend,  you  are  one  of  the 
shorn.  Your  natural  interests  are  with  the  workers,  and 
all  the  workers  are  shorn  and  robbed,  as  I  shall  try  to 
show  you. 

You  work  in  one  of  the  great  steel  foundries  of  Pitts- 
burg, I  understand.  You  afe  paid  wages  for  your  work, 
but  you  have  no  other  interest  in  the  establishment. 
There  are  lots  of  other  men  working  in  the  same  place 
"under  similar  conditions.  Above  you,  having  the  au- 
thority to  discharge  you  if  they  see  fit,  if  you  displease 
them  or  your  work  does  not  suit  them,  are  foremen  and 
bosses.  They  are  paid  wages  like  yourself  and  your  fel- 
low workmen.     True,  they  get  a  little  more  wages,  and 


14  COMMON    SENSE   OF   SOCIALISM 

,  they  live  in  consequence  in  a  little  better  homes  than  most 
of  you,  but  they  do  not  own  the  plant.  They,  too,  may 
be  discharged  by  other  bosses  above  them.  There  are  a 
few  of  the  workmen  who  own  a  small  number  of  shares 
of  stock  in  the  company,  but  not  enough  of  them  to  have 
any  kind  of  influence  in  its  management.  They  are  just 
as  likely  to  be  turned  out  of  employment  as  any  of  you. 

Above  all  the  workers  and  bosses  of  one  kind  and 
another  there  is  a  general  manager.  Wonderful  stories 
are  told  of  the  enormous  salary  he  gets.  They  say  that 
he  gets  more  for  one  week  than  you  or  any  of  your  fel- 
low workmen  get  for  a  whole  year.  You  used  to  know 
him  well  when  you  were  boys  together.  You  went  to 
the  same  school ;  played  "  hookey  "  together ;  bathed  in 
the  creek  together.  You  used  to  call  him  "  Richard " 
and  he  always  used  to  call  you  "  Jon'thtin."  You  lived 
close  to  each  other  on  the  same  street. 

But  you  don't  speak  to  each  "other  nowadays.  When 
he  passes  through  the  works  each  morning  you  bend  to 
your  work  and  he  does  not  notice  you.  Sometimes  you 
wonder  if  he  has  forgotten  all  about  the  old  days,  about 
the  games  you  used  to  play  up  on  "  the  lots,"  the 
"hookey  "  and  the  swimming  in  the  creek.  Perhaps  he 
has  not  forgotten :  perhaps  he  remembers  well  enough, 
for  he  is  just  a"  plain  human  being  like  yourself  Jona- 
than; but  if  he  remembers  he  gives  no  sign. 

Now,  I  want  to  ask  you  a  few  plain  questions,  or, 
rather,  I  want  you  to  ask  yourself  a  few  plain  questions. 
Do  you  and  your  old  friend  Richard  still  live  on  the 
same  street,  in  the  same  kind  of  houses  like  you  used 
to?  Do  you  both  wear  the  same  kind  of  clothes,  like 
you  used  to  ?  Do  you  and  he  both  go  to  the  same  places, 
mingle  with  the  same  company,  like  you  used  to  in  the 
old  days  ?    Does  your  wife  wear  the  same  kind  of  clothes 


THE   TWO   CLASSES    IN    THE    NATION  I5 

that  fe  wife  does?  Does  his  wife  work  as  hard  as  your 
wife  doe^?  Do  they  both  belong  to  the  same  social 
"  set,"  or  does  the  name  of  Richard's  wife  appear  in  the 
Social  Chronicle  in  the  daily  papers  while  your  wife's' 
does  not?  When  you  go  to  the  theater,  or  the  opera, 
do  you  and  your  family  occupy  as  good  seats  as  Richard 
and  his  family  in  the  same  way  that  you  and  he  used  to 
occupy  "  quarter  seats  "  in  the  gallery  ?  Are  your  chil- 
dren and  Richard's  children  dressed  "equally  well?  Your 
fourteen-year-old  girl  is  working,  as  a  cash-girl  in  a 
store  and  your  fifteen-year-old  boy  is,  working  in  *a  fac- 
tory. What  about  Richard's  children  ?  ,  They  are  about 
the  same  age,  you  know/:  is  his  girl  working  in  a  store, 
his  boy  in  a  factory?  Richard's  youngest  child  has  a 
nurse  to  take  care  of  her.  You  saw  her  the  other  day, 
you  remember:  how  about  your  youngest  child  —  has 
she  a  nurse  to  care  for  her? 

Ah,  Jonathan!  I  know  very  well  how  you  must  an- 
swer these  questions  as  they  flash  before  your  mind  in 
rapid  succession.  You  and  Richard  are  no  longer 
chums ;  your  wives  don't  know  each  other ;'  your  children 
don't  play  together,  but  are  strangers  "to  one  another; 
you  have  no  friends  in  common  now.  Richard  lives  in  a 
mansion,  while  you  live  in  a  hovel;  Richard's  wife  is  a 
fine  "  lady "  in  silks  and  satins;  attended  by  flunkeys, 
while  your  wife  is  a  poor,  sickly,  anaemic,  overworked 
drudge.  You  still  live  in  the  same  city,  yet  not  in  the 
same  world.  You  would  not  know  how  to  act  in  Rich- 
ard's home,  before  all  the  servants;  you  would  be  em- 
barrassed if  you  sat  down  at  his  dinner  table.  Your 
children  would  be  awkward  and  shy  in  the  presence  of 
his  children,  while  they  wOuld  scorn  to  introduce  your 
children  to  their  friends. 

You   have   drifted   far   apart,   you   two,   my   friend. 


l6  COMMON    SENSE   OF    SOCIALISM 

Somehow  there  yawns  between  you  a  great,  impassable 
gulf.  You  are  as  far  apart  in  your  lives  as  prince  and 
pauper,  lord  and  serf,  king  and  peasant  ever  were  in 
the  world's  history.  It  is  wonderful,  this  chasm  that 
yawns  between  you.     As  Shakespearie  has  it :  ■- 

Strange  it  is  that  bloods 
Alike  of  colour,  weight  and  heat,  pour'd  out  together. 
Would  quite  confound  distinctioj),  yet  stand  off 
In  differences  so  mighty. 

I  am  not  going  to  say  anything  against  your  one-time^ 
friend  who  is  nOw  a  stranger  to  you  and  the  lord  of 
your  life.  I  have  not  one  word  to  say  against  him. 
But  I  want, you  to  consider  very  seriously  if  the  changes 
we  -have  noted  are  the  only  changes  that  have  taken 
place  in  him  since  the  days,  when  you  were  chumg  to- 
gether. Have  you  forgotten  the  Great  Strike,  when 
you  and  your  fellow  workers  went  out  on  strike,  demand- 
ing better  conditions  of  labor  and  higher  wages?  Of 
course  you  have  not  forgotten  it,  for  that  was  when  your 
scanty  savings  were  all  used  up,  and  you  had  to  stand, 
humiliated  and  sorrowful,  at  the  relief  station,  or  in  the 
"Bread  Line,"  to  get  food  for  your  little  family. 

Those  were  the  dark  days  when  your  dream  of  a  little 
cottage  in  the  country,  with  hollyhocks  and  morning-- 
glories  and  larkspurs  growing  around  it,  melted  away 
like  the  mists  of  the  morning.  It  was  the  dream  of  your 
young  manhood  and  of  your  wife's  young  womanhood; 
it  was  the  dream  of  your  earliest  years  together,  and 
you  both  worked  and  saved  for  that  little  cottage  in  the 
suburbs  where  you  would  spend' the  sunset  hours  of  life 
together.  The  Great  Strike  killed  your  beautiful  dream  i 
it  killed  your  wife's  hopes.  You,  have  no  dream  now  and 
no  hope  for  the  sunset  hours.     When  you  thinlc  of  them 


THE   TWO    CLASSES    IN    THE    NATION  \'J 

you  become  bitter  and  try  to  banish  the  thought.  I 
know  all  about  that  faded  dream,  Jonathan. 

Why  did  you  stay  out  on  strike  and  suffer?  Why 
did  you  n6t  remain  at  work,  or  at 'least  go  back  as  soon 
as  you  saw  how  hard  the  fight  was  going  to  be  ?  "  What ! 
desert  my  comrades,  and  be  a  traitor  to  my  brothers  in 
the  fight?  "  you  say.  But  I  thought  you  did  not  believe 
in  classes !  I  thought  you  were  opposed  to  the  Socialists 
because  they  set  class  to  fight  class !  You  were  fighting 
the  company  then,  weren't  you ;  trying  to  force  thern  to 
give  you  decent  conditions?  You  called  it  a  fight,  Jona- 
than, and  the  newspapers,  you  remember,  had  great  head- 
lines every  day  about  the  "  Great  Labor  War." 

It  wasn't  the.  Socialists  .who  urged  you  to  go  out  on 
strike,  Jonathan.  You  had  never  heard  of  Socialism 
then,  except  once  you  read  something  in  the  papers  about 
some  Socialists  who  were  shot  down  by  the  Czar's  Cos- 
sacks in  the  streets  of  Warsaw.  You  got  an  idea  then 
that  a  Socialist  was  a  desperado  with  a  firebrand  in  one 
hand  and  a  bomb  in  the  other,  madly  seeking  to  burn 
palaces  and  destroy  the  lives  of  rich  men  and  rulers. 
No,  it  was  not  due  to  -Socialist  agitation  that  you  went 
out  on  strike. 

You  went  out  on  strike  because  you  had  grown  des- 
perate on  account  of,  the  wanton,  wicked,  needless  waste 
of  human  life  that  went  on  under  your  very  eyes,  day 
after  day.  You  saw  man  after  man  maimed,  man  after 
man  killed,  through  defects  in  the  machinery,  and  the 
company,  through  your  old  chum  and  playmate,  refused 
to  make  the  changes  necessary.  They  said  that  it  would 
"  co'st  too  much  money,"  though  you  all  knew  that  the 
shareholders  were  reaping  enormous  profits.  Added  to 
that,  and  the  fact  that  you  went  hourly  in  dread  of 
similar  fate  befalling  you,  your  wife  had  a  hard  time 


l8  COMMON    SENSE   OF    SOCIALISM 

to  make  both  ends  meet.  There  was  a  time  when  you 
could  save  something  every  week,  but  for  some  time 
before  the  strike  there  was  no  saving.  Your  wife  com- 
plained; your  comrades  said  that  their  wives  complained.' 
Finally  you  all  agreed  that  you  could  stand  it  no  longer ; 
that  you  would  send  a  committee  to  interview  the  man- 
ager and  tell  him  that  unless  you  got  better  wages  and 
unless  something  was  done  to  make  your  lives  safer  you 
would  go  out  on  strike. 

When  you  and  the  manager  were  chums  together  he 
was  a  kind,  good-hearted,  generous  fellow,  and  you  felt 
certain  that  when  the  Committee  explained  'things  'it 
would  be  all  right.  But  you  were  mistaken.  He  cursed 
at  them  as  though  they  were  dogs,  and  you  could  scarcely 
believe  your  own  ears.  Do  you  remember  how  you 
spoke  to  your  wife  about  it,  about  "the  change  in 
Dick"? 

You  went  out  on  strike.  The  manager  scoured  the 
country  for  men  to  take  your  places.  Ruffianly  men 
came  from  all  parts  of  the  country ;  insolent,  strife-pro- 
voking thugs.  More  than  once  you  saw  your  fellow- 
workmen  attacked  and  beaten  by  thugs,  and  then  the 
police  were  ordered  to  club  and  arrest--^ not  the  ag- 
gressors but  your  comrades.  Then  the  manager  asked 
the  mayor  to  send  for  the  troops,  and  the  mayor  did  as  he 
was  bidden  do.  What  else  could  he  do  when  the  leading 
stockholders  in  the  company  owned  and  controlled  the 
Republican  machine?  So  the  Republican  mayor  wired 
to  the  Republican  Governor  for  soldiers  and  the  soldiers 
came  to  intimidate  you  and  break  the  strike.  One  day 
you  heard  a  t-ifle's  sharp  crack,  followed  by  a  tumult  and 
they  told  you  that  one  of  your  old  friends,  who  used  to 
go  swimming  with  you  and  Richard,  the  manager,  had 


THE   TWO    CLASSES    IN    THE    NATION  I9 

been  shot  by  a  drunken  sentry,  though  he  was  doing 
no  harm. 

You  were  a  Democrat.  Your  father  had  been  a  Dem- 
ocrat and  you  "  just  naturally  growed  up  to  he  one." 
As  a  Democrat  you  were  very  bitter  against  the  Repub- 
lican mayor  and  the  Republican  Governor.  You  hon- 
estly thought  that  if  there  had  been  a  good  Democrat  in 
each  of  those  offices  there  would  have  been  no  soldiers 
sent  into  the  city;  that  your  comrade  would  not  have 
been  murdered.  You  spoke  of  little  else  to  your  fellows. 
You  nursed  the  hope  that  at  the  next  election  they  would 
turn  out  the  Republicans  and  put  the  Democrats  in. 

But  that  delusion  was  shattered  like  all  the  rest,  Jona- 
than, when,  soon  after,  the  Democratic  President  you 
were  so  proud  of,  to  whom  you  looked  up,  as  to  a  mod- 
ern Moses,  sent  federal -troops  into  Illinois,  over  the  pro- 
test of  the  Governor  of  that  Commqnwealth,  in  defiance 
of  the  laws  of  the  land,  in  violation  of  the  sacred  Con- 
stitution he  had  sworn  to  protect  and  obey.  Your  faith 
in  the  Democratic  Party  was  shattered.  Henceforth  you 
could  not  trust  either  the  Republican  Party  or  the 
Democratic  Party. 

I  don't  want  to  discuss  the  strike  further.  That  is  all 
ancient  history  to  you  now.  I  have  "already  gone  a  good 
deal  farther  afield  than  I  wanted  to  do,  or  than  I  intended 
to  do  when  I  began  this  letter.  I  want  to  go  back  — 
back  to  our  discussion  of  the  great  gulf  that  divides  you 
and  your  former  chum,  Richard. 

I  want  you  to  ask  yourself,  with  perfect  candor  and 
good,  faith,  whether  you  believe  that  Richard  has  been 
so  much  better  than  you,,  either  as  workman,  citizen, 
husband  or  father,  that  his  present  position  can  be  re- 
gairded  as  a  just  reward  for  his  virtue  and  ability?     I'll 


20  COMMON   SENSE   OF   SOCIALISM 

put  it  another  way  for  you,  Jonathan:  in  your  own  heart 
do  you  believe  that  you  are  so  much  inferior  to  him  as  a 
worker  or  as  a  citizen,  so  much  inferior  in  mentality  and 
in  character  that  you  deserve  the  hard  fate  which  has 
come  to  yoii,  the  ill-fortune  compared  to  his  good  for- 
tune ?  Are  you  and  your  family  being  punished  for  your 
sins,  wjiile  he  and  his  family  are,  being  rewarded  for  his 
virtues?  In  other  words,  Jonathan,  to  put  the  matter 
,  very  plainly,  do  you  believe  that  God  has  ordained  your 
respective  states  in  accordance  with  your  just  deserts? 

You  know  that  is  not  the  case,  Jonathan,  You  knOw 
very  well  that~both  Richard  and  yourself  share  the  frail- 
ties and  weaknesses  of  our  kind.  Infinite  mischief  has. 
been  done  by  those  who  have  given  the  struggle  between 
the  capitalists  and  the  workers  the  aspect  of  a  conflict 
between  "  goodness  "  on  the  one  side  and  "  wickedness  " 
upon  the  other.  Mtiny  things  which  the  capitalists  do 
appear  very  wicked  to  the  workers,  and  many  things 
which  the  workers  do,  and  think  perfectly  proper  and 
right,  the  capitalists  honestly  regard  as  improper  and 
wrong. 

I  do  not  deny  that  there  are  some  capitalists  whose 
conduct  deserves  our  contempt  and  condemnation,  just 
as  there  are  some  workingmen  of  whom  the  same  is  true. 
Still  less  would  I  deny  that  there  is  a  very  real  ethical 
measure  of  life;  that  some  conduct  is  anti-social  while 
other  conduct  is  social.  I  simply  want  you'  to  catch  my 
point  that  we  are  creatures  of  our  environment,  Jona-' 
than ;  that  if  the  workers  and  the  capitalists  could  change 
places,  there  would  be  a  corresponding  change  in  their 
views  of  many  things.  I  refuse  to  flatter  the  workers, 
my  friend:  they  have  been  flattered  too  much  already. 

Politicians  seeking  votes. always  tell  the  workers  how 
greatly  they  admire  them  for  their  intelligence  and  for 


THE  TWO  CLASSES  IN  THE  NATION  :2I 

their  moral  excellencies.  Btit  you  know  and  I  know 
that  they  are  insincere;  that,  for  the  most  part,  their 
praise  is  lying  hypocrisy.  They  practice  what  you  call 
"the  art  of  jollying  the  people"  because  that  is  an  im- 
pprtant  part  of  their  business.  The  way  they  talk  to 
the  working  class  is  very  different  from  the  way  they 
talk  of  the  working  class  among  themselves.  I've  heard 
them,  my  friend,  and  I  know  how  most  of  them  despise 
the  workers. 

The  working  men  and  women  of  this  country  have 
many  faults  and  failings.  Many  of  them  are  ignorant, 
though  that  is  not  quite  their  own  fault.  Many  a  wOrk- 
ingman  starves  and  pinches  his  wife  and  little  ones  to 
gamble,  squ^dering  his  money!,  yes,  and  the  lives  of  his 
family,  upon  horse  races,  prize-fights,  and  other  brutal, 
and  senseless  things  called  "  sport." ,  It  is  all  wrong, 
Jonathan,  and  we  know  it.  Many  of  our  fellow  work-^ 
men  drink,  wasting  the  children's  bread-money  and  mak- 
ing beasts  of  themselves  in  saloons,  and  that  is  wrong, 
too,  though  I  do  not  wonder  at  it  when  I  think  of  the 
hells  they  work  in,  the  hovels  they  live  in  and  the  dull, 
soul-deadening  grind  of  their  daily  lives.  But  we  have 
got  to  struggle  against  it,  got  to  conquer  the  bestial 
curse,  before  we  can  get  -better  conditions.  Men  who 
soak  their  brains  in  alcohol,  or  who  gamble  their  chil- 
dren's bread,  will  never  be  able  to  make  the  world  a  fit 
place  to  live  in,  a  place  fit  for  little  children  to  grow  in. 

But  the  worst  of  all  the  failings  of  the  working  class, 
in  my  humble  judgment,  is  its  indifference  to  the  great 
problems  of  life.  Why  is  it,  Jonathan,  that  I  can  get 
tens  of  thousands  of  wojiJcingmen  in  Pittsburg  or  any 
large  city  excited  and  wrought  to  feverish  enthusiasm 
over  a  brutal  and  bloody  prize-fight  in  San  Francisco, 
or  about  a  baseball  game,  and  only  a  man  here  and  there 


22  COMMON   SENSE  OF   SOCIALISM 

interested  in  any  degree  about  Child  Labor,  about  the 
suffering  of  little  babies?  Why  is  it  that  the  workers, 
in  Pittsburg  and  every  other  city  in  America,  are  less 
interested  jn  getting  just  conditions  than  in  baseball 
games  from  which  all  elements  of  honest,'  manly  sport 
have  been  taken  away;  brutal  slugging  matches  between 
professional  pugilists ;  horseraces  conducted  by  gamblers 
for  gamblers;  the  sickening,  details  of  the  latest  scandal 
among  the  profligate,  idle  rich? 

I  could  get  fifty  thousand  workingmen  in  Pittsburg 
to  read  long,  disgusting  accounts  of  bestiality  and  vice 
more  easily  than  I  could  get  five  hundred  to  read  a 
pamphlet  on  the  Labor  Problem,  on  the  wrongfulness  of 
things  as  they  are  and  how  they  might  be  made  better. 
The  masters  are  wiser,  Jonathan.  They  watch  and 
guard  their  own  interests  better  than,  the  workers  do. 

If  you  owned  the  tools  with  which  you  work,  my 
friend,  and  whatever  you  could  produce  belonged  to  you, 
either  to  use  or  to  exchange  for  the  products  of  other 
workers,  there  would  be  some  reason  in  your  Fourth  of 
July  boasting  about  this 

Blest  land  of  Liberty. 

But  you  don't.  You,  and  all  other  wage-earners,  depend 
upon  the  goodwill  and  the  good  judgment  of  the  men 
who  own  the  land,  the  mines,  the  factories,  the  railways, 
and  practically  all  other  means  of  producing  wealth  for 
the  right  to  live.  You  don't  own  the  raw  material,  the 
machinery  or  the  railways;  you  don't  control  your  own 
jots.  Most  of  you  don't  even  own  your  own  miserable 
hoines.  These  things  are  ovvlied  by  a  small  class  of 
people  when  their  number  is  compared  with  -  the  total 
population.    The  workers  produce  the  wealth  of  this 


THE  TWO   CLASSES   IN   THE   NATldN  23 

and  every  other  country,  but  they  do  not  own  it.  They 
get  just  enough  to  keep  them  alive  and  in  a  condition  to 
go  on  producing  wealth  —  as  long  as  the  master  class 
sees  fit  to  have  them  do  it. 

Most  of  the  capitalists  do  not,  as  capitalists,  contribute 
in  any  manner  to  the  production  of  wealth.  Some  of 
them  do  render  services  of  one  kind  and  another  in  the 
management  of  the  industries  they  are  connected  with. 
Some  of  them  are  directors,  for  example,  hit  they  are 
always  paid  for  their  services  before  there  is  any  dis- 
tribution of  pro-fits.  Even  when  their  "  work  "  is  quite 
perfunctory  and  useless,  mere  make-believe,  like  the 
games  of  little  children,  they  get  paid  far  more  than 
the  actual  workers.  But  there  are  many  people  who 
own  stock  in  the  company  you  work  for,  Jonathan,  who 
never  saw  the  foundries,  who  were  never  in  the  city 
of  Pittsburg  in  their  lives,  whose  knowledge  of  the  af- 
fairs of  the  company  is  limited  to  the  stock  quotations 
in  the  financial  columns  of  the  morning  papers. 

ThinR  of  it :  when  you  work  and  produce  a  dollar's 
worth  of  wealth  by  your  labor,  it  is  divided  up.  You 
get  only  a  very  small  fraction.  The  rest  is  divided  be- 
tween the  landlords  and  the  capitalists.  This  happens  in 
the  case  of  every  man  among  the  thousands  employed 
by  ftie  company.  Only  a  small  share  goes  tq  the  work-' 
ers,  less  than  one  per  cent'.,  perhaps,  the  remainder  being 
divided  among -people  who  have  done  none  of  the  work. 
It  may  happen,  does  happen  in  fact,  that  an  old  profligate 
whose  delight  is  the  seduction  of  young  girls,  a  wanton 
woman  whose  life  would  shame  the  harlot  of  the  streets, 
a  lunatic  in  an  asylum,  or  a  baby  in  the  cradle,  will  get 
more  than  any  of  the  workers  who  toil  before  the  glaring 
furnaces  day  after  day. 


'24  COMMON   SENSE  OF  SOCIALISM 

These  are  terrible  assertions,  Jonathan,  and  I  do  not 
blame  you  if  you^doubt  thern.  I  shall  prove  them  for 
you  in  a  later  letter. 

At  present,  I  want  you  to  get  hold  of  the  fact  that  the 
wealth  produced  by  the  workers  is  so  distributed  that  the 
idle  and  useless  classes  get  most  of  it.  People,  will  tell 
you,  Jonathan,  that  "  there  are  no  classes  in  Amerca," 
and  that  the  Socialists  lie  when  they  say  so.  They  point 
out  to  you  that  your  old  chum,  Richard,  who  is  now  a 
millionaire,  was  a  poor  boy  like  yourself.  They  say  he 
rose  to  his  present  position  because  he  had  keener  brains 
than  his  fellqws,  but  you  know  lots  of  workmen  in  the 
employ  of  the  company  who  know  a  great  deal  more 
about  the  work  than  he  does,  lots  of  men  who  are  cleverer , 
than  he  is.  Or  they  tell  you  that  he  rose  to  his  present 
position  because  of  his  superior  character,  but  you  know 
that  he  is,  to  say  the  least,  no  better  than  the  average  man 
who  works  under  him. 

The  fact  is,  Jonathan,  the  idle  capitalists  must  have 
some  men  to  carry  on  the  work  for  them,  to  direct  it  and 
see  that  the  workers  are  exploited  properly.  They  must 
have  some  men  to  manage  things  for  them;  to  see  that 
elections  are  bought,  that  laws  in  their  .interests  are 
passed  and  not  laws  in  the  interests  of  the  people.  They 
must  have  somebody  to  do  the  things  they  are  too  "  re- 
spectable "  to  do  —  or  too  lazy.  They  take  such,  men 
from  the  ranks  of  the  workers  and  pay  them  enormous 
salaries,  thereby  making  them  members  of  their  own 
class.  Such  men  are  really  doing  useful  and  necessary 
work  in  managing  the  business  (though  not  in  corrupt- 
ing legislators  or  devising  swindling  schemes)  and  are 
to  ^ll,  extent  producers.  But  their  interests  are  with 
the  capitalists.  They  live  in  palaces,  like  the  idlers;  they 
mingle  in  the  same  social  sets;  they  enjoy  the  same  lux- 


THE  TWO  CLASSES  IN  THE  NATION  25 

uries.  And,  above  all,  they  can  invest  part  of  their  large 
incomes  in  other  concerns  and  draw  enormous  profits 
from  the  labors  of  other  toilets,  sometimes  even  in  other 
lands.  They  are  capitalists  and  their  whole  influence  is 
on  the  side  of  the  capitalists  against  the  workers. 

I  want  you  to  think  over  these  things,  friend  Jona- 
than. Don't  be  afraid  to  do  your  own  thinking !  If  you 
have  time,  go  to  the  library  and  get  some  good  books  on 
the  subject  and  read  them  carefully,  doing  your  own 
.  thinking  no  matter  what  the  authors  of  the  books  may 
say.  I  suggest  that  you  get  W.  J.  Ghent's  Mass  and 
Class  to  begin  with.  Then,  when  you  have  read  that,  I 
shall  be  glad  to  have  you  read  Chapter  VI  of  a  book 
called  Socialism:  A  Smnmary  and  Interpretation  of  So- 
cialist Principles.  It  is, not  very  hard  reading,,  for  I 
wrote  the  book  myself  to  meet  the  needs  of  just  such 
earnest,  hard-working  men  as  yourself. 

I  think  both  books  will  be  found  in  the  public  library. 
At  any  rate,  they  ought  to  be.  But  if  not,  it  would  be 
worth  your  while  to  save  the  price  of  a  few  whiskies 
and  to  buy  them  for  yourself.  You  see,  Jonathan,  I 
want  you  to  study. 


rv 

HOW   WEALTH   IS   PRODUCED  AND   HOW   IT  IS  DISTRIBUTED 

It  is  easy  to  persuade  the  masses  that  the  good  things  of 
this  world  are  unjustly  divided  —  especially  when  it  happens  to 
be  the  exact  truth. — /.  A.  Freude. 

The  growth  of  wealth  and  of  luxury,  wicked,:  wasteful  and  • 
wanton,  as  before,  God  I   declare  that  luxury  to  be,  has  been 
matched  step   by   step   by   a   deepening  and  deadening  poverty, 
which  has. left  whole  neighborhoods  of  people  practically  without 
hope  and  without  aspiration. —  Bishop  Potter. 

At  present,  all  the  wealth  of  Society  goes  first  into  the  pos- 
session of  the  Capitalist.  .  .  .  He  pays  the  landowner  his 
rent,  the  labourer  his  wages,  the  tax  and  tithe-gatherer  their 
claims,  and  keeps  a  large,  indeed,  the  largest,  and  a  constantly 
augmenting  share  of  the  annual  produce  of  labour  for  himself. 
The  Capitalist  may  now  be  said  to  be  the  jirst  owner  of  all  the 
wealth  of  the  community,  though  no  law  has  conferred  on  him 
the  right  of  this  property.  .  .  This  change  has  been  effected 
by  the  taking  of  interest  on  Capital  .  .  .  and  it  is  not  a  little 
curious  that  all  the  lawgivers  of  Europe  endeavoured  to  pre- 
vent this  by  Statutes  —  viz.,  Statutes  against  usury. —  Rights 
of  Natural  and  Artificial  Property  Contrasted  (An  Anonymous 
work,  published  in  London,  in  1832). —  Th.  Hodgskin. 

You  are  ribt  a  political  economist,  Jonathan,  nor  a 
statistician.  Most  books  on  political  economy,  and  most 
books  filled  with  statistics,  seem  to  you  quite  unintelli- 
gible. Your  education  never  included  the  study  of  such 
books  and  they  are,  therefore,  almost  if  not  quite  worth- 
less to  you. 

But  every  working  man  ought  to  know  something 
about  political  economy  and  be  familiar  with  some  sta- 

26 


HOW   WEALTH    IS   PRODUCED   AND   DISTRIBUTED        2'J 

tistics  relating  to  social  conditions.  So  I  am  going  to 
ask  you  to  study  a  few  figures  and  a  little  political  econ- 
omy. Only  just  a  very  little,  mind  you,  just  to  get  you 
used  to  thinking  about  social  problems  in  a  scientific 
way.  I  ■think  I  can  set  the  fundamental  principles  of 
political  economy  before  you  in  very  simple  language, 
and  I  will  try  to  make  the  statistics  interesting. 

But  J  want  to  warn  you  again,  Jonathan,  that  you 
must  use  your  own  commonsense.  Don't  trust  too  much 
to.  theories  and  figures  —  especially  figures.  Somebody 
has  said  that  you  can  divide  the  liars  of  the  world  into 
Jihree,  classes  —  liars,  damned  liars  and  statisticians. 
Some  people  are  paid  big  salaries  for  juggling  with  fig- 
ures to  fool  ^he  American  people  into  believing  what  is 
not  true,  Jonathan.  I  want  you  -to  coiisider  the  Ifiws  of 
political  ^economy  and  all  the  statistics  I  put  before  you 
in  the  light  of  your  own  commonsense  and  your  own 
practical  experience. 

Political  economy  is  the  name  which  somebody  long 
ago  gave  to  the  formal  study  of  the  production  and  dis- 
tribution s)l  wealth.  Carlyle  called  it  "the  dismal  sci- 
ence," and  most  books  on  the  subject  are  disrnfil  enough 
to  justify  the  term.  Upon  my  library  shelves  there  are 
some  hundreds  of  volumes  dealing  with  political  econ- 
omy, and  I  don't  mind  confessing  to  you  that  some  of 
them  I  never  have  been  able  to  understand,  though  I  have 
-put  no  little  effort  and  conscience  into  the  attempt.  I 
have  a  suspicion  that  the  authors  qf  these  books  could 
not  understand  them  themselves.  That  the  reason  why 
they  could  not  -write  so-  that  a  man  of  fair  intelligence 
and  education  could  understand  them  was  the  fact  that 
they  had  no  clear  ideas  to  convey.        * 

Now,  in  the  first  place,  what  do  we  mean  by  Wealth? 
Why,  you  say,  wealth  is  money  and  money  is  wealth. 


28  COMMON   SENSE  OF   SOCIALISM 

But  that  is  only  half  true,  Jonathan.  Suppose,  for  ex- 
ample, that  an  American  millionaire  crossing  the  ocean  ■ 
be  shipwrecked  and  find  himself  cast  upon  some  desert . 
island,  like  another  Robinson  Crusoe,  without  food  or 
means  of  obtaining  any.  Suppose  him  naked,  with  a 
tool  or  weapon  of  any  kind,  his  one  sole  possession  being 
a  bag  containing  ten  thousand  dollars  in  gold  and  bank- 
notes to  the  value  of  as  many  millions.  With  that 
money,  in  New  York,  or  any  other  city  in  the  world,  he 
would  be  counted  a  rich  man,  and  he  would  have  no 
difficulty  in  getting  food  and  clothing. 

But  alone  upon  that  desert  island,  what  could  he  do 
with  the  money  ?  He  could  not  eat  it,  he  could  not  keep 
himself  warm  with  it?  He  would- be  poorer  than ^ the 
poorest  savage  in  Africa  whose  only  possessions  were  a 
bow  and  arrow  and  an  assegai,  or  spear,  wouldn't  he  ? 
The  poor  kaffir  who  never  heard-of  money,  but  who  had 
the  simple  weapons  with  which  to  hunt  for  food,  would 
be  the  richer  man  of  the  two,  wouldn't  he  ? 

I  think  you  will  find  it  useful,  Jonathan,  to  read  a  little 
book  by  John  Ruskin,  called  Unto  This  Last.  It  is  a  very 
small  bosk,  written  in  very  simple  and  beautiful  lan- 
guage. Mr.  Ruskin  was  a  somewhat  whimsical  writer, 
and  there  are  some  things  in  the  book  which  I  do  not 
wholly  agree  with,  but  upon  the  whole  it  is  sane,  strong 
and  eternally  true.  He  shows  very  clearly,  according 
to  my  notion,  that  the  mere  possession  of  things,  or  of 
money,  is  not  wealth,  but  that  wealth  consists  in  the  pos- 
session of  things  useful  to  us.  That  is  why  the  posses- 
sion of  heaps  of  gold  by  a  man  living  alone  upon  a  desert 
island  does  not  make  him  wealthy,  and  why  Robinson 
Crusoe,  with  wefepons,  tools  and  an  abundant  food  sup- 
ply,- was  really  a  wealthy  man,  though  he  had  not  a 
dollar. 


HOW    WEALTH    IS   PRODUCED   AND  DISTRIBUTED       29 

In  a  primitive  state  of  society,  then,  he  is  poor  who  has 
not  enough  of  the  things  useful  to  him,  and  he  who  has 
them  in  abundance  is  rich,  or  wealthy. 

Note  that  I  say  this  of  "  A  primitive  ^tate  of  society," 
Jonathan,  for  that  is  most  important.  It  is  not  true  of 
our  present  capitalist  state  of  society.  This  may  seem- 
a  strange  proposition  to  you  at  first,  but  a  little  careful 
thought  will  convince' you  that  it  is  true. 

-Consider  a  moment:  Mr.  Carnegie  is  a  wealthy  man 
and  Mr.  Rockefeller  is  a  wealthy  man.  »They  are,  each 
of  them,  richer  than  most  of  the  princes  and  kings  whose 
wealth  astonished  the  ancient  world.  Mr.  Carnegie 
owns  shares  in  many  companies,  steelmaking  companies,; 
railway  companies,  and  so,  on.  Mr.  Rockefeller  owns 
shares  in  the  Standard  Oir  Company,  in  railways,  coal 
mines,  and  so  on.  But  Mr.  Carnegie  does  not  personally 
use  any  of  the  steel  ingots  made  in  the  works  in  which 
he  owns  shares.  He  uses  practically  no  steel  at  all,  ex- 
cept a  knife  or  two.  Mr.  Rockefeller  does  not  use  the 
oil-wells  he  owns,  nor  a  hundred-millionth  part  of  the 
coal  his  shares  in  coal-rriines*represent. 

If  one  could  get  Mr.  Carnegie, into  one  of  the  works 
in  which  he  is  interested  and  stand  with  him  in  front  of 
one  of  the  great  furnaces  as  it  paured  forth  its  stream 
of  molten  metal,  he  might  say  :^  "  See !  that  is  partly 
mine.  It  is  part  of  my  wealth !  "  Then,  if  one  were  to 
ask  "  But  what  are  you  going  to  do  with  that  steel,  Mr. 
Carnegie  —  is  it  useful  to  you?"  Mr.  Carnegie  would 
laugh  at  the  thought.  He  would  probably,  reply,  "  No, 
bless  your  life !  The  steel  is  useless  to  me.  I  don't 
want  it.  But  somebody  else  does.  It  is  useful  to  other 
people." 

Ask  Mr.  Rockefeller,  "  Is  this  oil  refinery  your  prop- 
erty, Mr,  Rockefeller?"  and  he  would  reply:    "It  is 


30  COMMON   SENSE  OF   SOCIALISM 

partly  mine.  I  own  a  big  shafe  in  it  and  it  represents 
part  of  my  wealth."  Ask  him  next :  "  !^ut,  Mr.  Rocke- 
feller, what  are  you  going  to  do  with  all  that  oil  ?  Surely, 
yon  cannot  need-  so  much  oil  for  your  own  use?"  and 
he,  like  Mr.  Carnegie,  would  reply :  "  No  f  The  oil  is 
useless  to  me.  I  don't  want  it.  But  soiiiebody  else  does. 
It  is  useful  to  other  people." 

To  be  rich  in  our  present  social  state,  Jonathan,  you 
must  not  only  own  an  abundance  of  things' usefur  to  you, 
but  also  things  useful  only  to  others,  which  you  can  sell 
to  them  at  a  profit.  Wealth,  in  our  present  society;  then 
consists  in' the  possession  of  things  having  an  exchange 
value  —  things  which  other  people  will  buy  from  you. 
So  endeth  our  first  lesson  in  poKtical  economy. 

And  here  beginneth  dur  second  lesson,  Jonathan.  We 
must  now  consider  how  wealth  js  produced. 

The  Socialists  say  that  all  wealth  is  produced  by  labor 
applied  to  natural  resources.  That  is  a  very  simple  an- 
swer, which  you  can  easily  rememljer.  But  I  want  you 
to  examine  it  well.  Think  it  over :  ask  yourself  whether 
anything  in  your  experience  as  a  workingman  confirms 
or  disproves  it.  Do  you  produce  wealth?  Do  your  fel- 
low workers  produce  wealth?  Do  you  know  of  any 
other  way  in  which  wAlth  can  be  produced  than  by  labor 
applied  to  natural  resources?  Don't  be  fooled,  Jona- 
than.   Think  for' yourself  I 

The  wealth  of  a  fisherman  consists  in  an  abundance 
of  fish  for  which  there  is  a  good  market.  But  suppose 
there  is  a  big  demand  for  fish  in  the  cities  and  that,  at 
the  same  time,  there  are  millions  of  fish  in  the  sea,  ready 
to  be  caught.  So  long  as  they  are  in  the  isea,  the  fish 
are  not  wealth.  Even  if  the  sea  belonged  to  a  private 
individual,  as  the  oil-wells  belong  to  Mr.  Rockefeller 
and  a  few  other  individuals,  nobody  would  be  any  the  bet- 


sow    WEALTH    IS   PRODUCED   AND   DISTRIBUTED       3I 

ter  off.  Fish  in  the  sea  are  not  wealth,  but  fish  in  the 
mai-ket-places  are.  Why,  because  labor  has  been  ex- 
pended in  catching  them  and  bringing  them  to  market. 

There  are  millions  of  tons  of  coal  in  Pennsylvania. 
President  Baer  said,  you  will  remember,  that  God  had 
appointed  him  and  a  few  other  gentlemen  to  look  after 
that  coal,  to  act  as  His  trustees.  And  Mr."  Baer  wasn't 
joking,  either.  That  is  the  funny  part  of  the  story :  he 
was  actually  serious  when  he  uttered  that  foolish,  blas- 
phemy! There  are  also  millions  of  people  who  want 
coal,  whose  very  lives  depend  upon  it.  People  who  will 
pay  almost  any  price  for  it  rather  than  go  without  it. 

The  coal  is  there,  millions  of  tons  of  it.  But  sup- 
pose that  nobody  digs  for  it ;  that  the  coal  is  left  where 
Nature  produced  jt,  or  where  God  placed  it,  whichever 
description  you  prefer?  Do  you  thirik  it  would  do  any- 
body any  good  lying  there,  just  as  it  lay  untouched  when 
the  Indian  roved  through  the_  forests  ignorant  of  its 
presence?  Would  anybody  be  wealthier  on  account  of 
the  coal  being, there?  Of  course  not.  It  only  becomes 
wealth  when  somebody's  labor  makes  it  available.  Every 
dollar  of  the  wealth  of  our  co^l-mining  industry,  as  of 
the  fishing  industries,  represents  human  labor. 

I  need  not  go  through  the  list  of  all  our  industries, 
Jonathan,  to  make  this  truth  clear  to  you.  If  it  pleases 
you  to  do  so,  you  can  easily  do  that  for  yourself.  I 
simply  wanted  to  make  it  clear  that  the  Socialists  are 
stating  a  great  univeitsal  truth  when  they  say  that-  labor 
applied  to  natural  resources  is  the  true  source  of  all 
wealth.  As  Sir  William  Petty  said  long  ago :  "  Labor 
is  the,  father  and  land  is  the  mother  of  all  wealth." 

But  you  must  be  careful,  Jonathan,  not  to  misuse  that 
word  "  labor."  Socialists  don't  mean  the  labor  of  the 
hands  only  when  they  speak  of  labor.     Take  the  case  of 


32  COMMON   SENSE   OF   SOCIALISM 

the  coal-rtiines  again,  just  for  a  moment :  There  are  men 
who  dig  the  coal,  called  miners.  But  before  they  can 
work  there  must  be  other  men  to  make  tools  and  machin- 
ery for  them.  And  before  there  can'be  machinery  made 
and  fixed  in  its  proper  place  there  must  be  surveyors  and 
engineers,  men  with  a  special  education  and  capacity,  to 
draw  the  plans,  and  so  on.  Then  there  must  be  some 
men  to  organize  the  business,  to  take  orders  for  the 
coal,  to  see  that  it  is  shipped,  to  collect  the  payment 
agreed  upon,  so  that  the  workers  can  be  paid,  and  so  on 
through  a  long  list  of  things  requiring  mental  labor. 

Both  kinds  of  labor  are  equally  necessary,  and  no  one 
but  a  fool  would  ever  think  otherwise.  No'  Socialist 
writer  or  lecturer- ever  said  that  wealth  was  produced  by 
manual  labor  alone  applied  to  natural  resources.  And 
yet,  I  hardly  ever  pick  up  .a  book  oi*  newspaper  article 
written  against  Socialism  in  which  that  is  not  charged 
against  the  Socialists!  The  opponents  of  Socialism  all 
seem  to  be  lineal  descendants   of  Ananias,   Jonathan! 

For  your  special,  personal  benefit  I  want  to  cite  just 
one  instance  of  this  misrepresentation.  You  have  heard, 
I  have  no  doubt,  of  the  English  gentleman,  Mr.  W.  H. 
Mallock,  who  came  to  this. country  last  year  to  lecture 
against  Socialism.  He  is  a  very  pleasant  fellow,  per- 
sonally—  as  pleasant  a  fellow  as  a  confirmed  aristocrat 
who  does  not  like  to  ride  in  the  street  cars  with  "  common 
people  "  can  be.  Mr.  Mallock  was  hired  by  the  Civic 
Federation  and  paid  out  of  funds  which  Mr.  August 
Belmont  contributed  to  that  body,  funds  which  did  not 
belong  to  Mr.  Belmont,  as  the  investigation  of  the  af- 
fairs of  the  New  York  Traction  Companies  conductecl 
later  by  the  Hon.  W.  M.  Ivins,  showed.  He  wa§  hired  to 
lecture  against  Socialism  in  our  great  universities  and 
colleges,  in  the  interests  of  people  like  Mr,  BelrnOnt. 


HOW    WEALTH    IS   PRODUCED   AND   DISTRIBUTED       33 

And  there  was  ndl  one  of  those  universities  or  colleges 
fair  enough  to  say:  "We  want  to  hear  the  Socialist  side 
of  the  argument !  "  I  don't  think  the  word  "  fairplay," 
about  which  we  used'  to  boast  as  one  of  the  glorias  of 
our.  language,  is  very  much  liked  or  used  in  American 
universities,  Jona.than.  And  I  am  very  sorry.  It  ought 
not  to  be  so. 

I  should  have  been  very  glad  to  answer  Mr.  Mallock's 
silly  and  unjust  attacks;  to  say  to  the  professors  and 
students  in  the  universities  and  colleges :  "  I  want  you 
to  listen  to  our  side  of  the  argument  and  then  make  up 
your  minds  whether  we  are  right  or  whether  truth  is  on 
the  side  of  Mr.  Mallock."  That  would  have  been  fair 
and  honest  and  manly,  wouldn't  it?  There  were  several 
other  Socialist  lecturers,  the  equals  of  Mr.  Mallock  in 
education  and  as  public  speakers,  who  would  have  been 
ready  to  do  the  same  thing.  And  not  one  of  us  would 
have  wanted  a  cent  of  anybody's  money,  let  alone  money 
contributed  by  Mr.  Augiist , Belmont. 

Mr.  Mallock  said  that  the  Socialists  make  the  claim 
that  manual  labor  alone  creates  wealth  when  applied  to 
natural  objects.  That  statement  is  not  true.  He  even 
dared  say  that  a  great  and  profound  thinker  like  KarJ, 
Marx  believed  and  taught  that  silly  notion.  The  news- 
papers of  America  hailed  Mr.  Mallock  as  the  long-looked- 
for  conqueror  of  Marx  and  his  followers.  They  thought 
he  had  demolished  Socialism.  But  did  they  know  that 
.they  were  resting  their  case  upon  zlie,  I  wonder?  That 
Marx  never  <for  a  moment  believed  such  a  thing;  that 
he  went  but  of  his  way  to  explain  that  he  did  not? 

.1  don't  want  you  to  try  to  read  the  works  of  Marx,  my 
friend  —  at  least,  not  yet.     Capital,  his  greatest  work,  is 
a  very  difficult  book,  in  three  large  volumes.     But  if  you . 
will  go  into  the  public  library  and  get  the  first  volume  in 


34  COMMON    SENSE   OF    SOCIALISM 

English  translation,  and  turn  to  page  145,  you  will  read 
the  following  words.: 

"  By  labor  power  or  capacity  for  labor  is  to  be  under- 
stood* the  aggregate  of  those  mental  and' physical  capa- 
bilities existing  in  a  human  being,  which  he  exercises 
when  he  produces  a  use-value  of  any  description."  * 

I  think  you  will  agree,  Jonathan,  that  that  statement 
fully  justifies  all  that  I  have  said  concerning  Mr.  Mal- 
lock.  I  think  you  will  agree,  too,  that  it  is  a  very  clear 
and  intelligible  definition,  which  any  man  of  fair  sense 
can  understand.  Now,  by  way  of  contrast,  I  want  you 
to  read  one  of  Mr.  Mallock's  definitions.  Please  bear 
in  mind  that  Mr.  Mallock  is  an  English  "  scholar,"  by 
many  regarded  as  a  very  clear  thinker.  This  is  how  he 
defines  labor: 

"  Labor  means  the  faculties  of  the  individual  applied 
to  his  own  labor."  » 

I  have  never  yet  been  able  to  find  anybody  who  could 
make  sense  out  of  that  definition,  Jonathan,  though  I 
have  submitted  it  to  a  good  many  people,  among  thein 
several  college  professors.  It  does  not  mean  anything. 
The  fifty-seven  letters  contained  in  that  Sentence  would 
mean  just  as  much  if  you  put  them  in  a  bag,  shook  them 
up,  and  then  put  them  on  paper  just  as  they  happened  to 
fall  out  of  the  bag.  Mr.  Mallock's  English,  his  veracity 
and  his  logic  are  all  equally  weak  and  defective. 

I  don't  think  that  Mr.  Mallock  is  worthy  of  your  con- 
sideration, Jonathan,  but  if  you  are  interested  in  read- 
ing what  he  said  about  Socialism  in  the  lectures  I  have 
been  referring  to,  they  are  published  in  a  volume  en- 
titled, A  Critical  Exa'mination  of  Socialism.  You  can 
get  the  book  in  the  library:  they  will  be  sure  to  have  it 

*'Note:  In  the  American  edition,  published  by  Kerr,  the  page 
is  186. 


HOW    WEALTH    IS    PRODUCED   AND   DISTRIBUTED        35 

there,  because  it  is  against  Socialism.  But  I  want  you  to 
buy  a  little  book  by  Morris  Hillquit,  called  Mr.  Mullock's 
.  "Ability,"  and  read  it  carefully.  It  costs  only  ten  cents 
—  and  you  will  get  more  amusement  reading  tlie  careful 
and  scholarly  dissection  of  Mallqck  than  you  could  get 
in  a  dime  show  anywhere.  If  you  will  read  my  own 
reply  to  Mr.  Mallock,  in  my  little  book  Capitalist  and 
Laborer,  I  shall  not  think  the  worse  of  you  for  doing 
so. 

Now,  let  us  look  at  the  division  of  the  wealth,  It  is 
all  produced  by  labor  of  manual  workers  and  brain  work- 
ers applied  to  natural  objects  which  no  man  made.  I  am 
not  going  to  weary  you  with  figures,  Jonathan,  because 
you  are  not  a  statistician.  I  am  going  to  take  the  sta- 
tistics and  make  them  as  simple  as  I  can  for  you  —  and 
tell  you  where  you  can  find  the  statistics  if  you  ever  feel 
inclined  to  Ary  your  hand  upon  them. 

But  first  of  all  I  want  you  to  read  a  passage  from  the 
writings  of  a  very  great  man,  who  was  not  a  "  wicked 
Socialist  agitator "  like  your  humble  servant.  Arch- 
deacon Paley,  the  great  English  theologian,  was  not  like 
many  of  our  modern  clergymen,  afraid  to  tell  the  truth 
about  social  conditions ;  he  was  not  forgetful  of  the  social 
aspects  of  Christ's  teaching.  Among  many  profoundly 
wise  utterances  about  social  conditions  which  that  great 
and  good  teacher  made  more  than  a  century  ago  was  the 
passage  I  now  want  you  to  read  and  ponder  over.  You 
might  do  much  worse  than  to  commit  the  whole  passage 
to  memory.    It  reads: 

"  If  you  should  see  a  flock  of  pigeons  in  a  field  of  corn,  and 
if  (instead  of  each  picking  where  and  what  it  liked,  takitig  just 
as  much  as  it  wanted,  and  no  more)  you  should  see  ninety- 
nine  of  them  gathering  all  they  got  into  a  heap,  reserving  noth- 
ing for  themselves  but  the  chaff  and  the  refuse,  keeping  this 


36  COMMON   SENSE  OF   SOCIALISM 

heap  for  one,  and  that  the  weakest,  perhaps  worst,  pigeon  of 
the  ■  flock,  sittiijg  round  and  looking  on,  all  the  winter,  whilst 
this  one  was  devouring,  throwing  about  and  wasting  it;  and  if 
a  pigeon,  more  hardy  or  hungry  than  the  rest,  touched  a  grain 
of  the  hoard,  all  the  others  instantly  flying  upon  it,  and  tearing 
it  to  pieces;  if  you.  should  see  this,  you  would  see  nothing  more 
than  what  is  every  day  practised  and  established  among  men. 
"Among  men  you  see  the  ninety-and-nine  toiling  and  scraping 
together  a  heap  of  superfluities  for  one  (and  this  one,  too, 
oftentimes  the  feeblest  and  worst  of  the  set,  a  child,  a  woman, 
a  madman  or  a  fool),  getting  nothing  for  themselves,  all  the 
while,  but  a  little  of  the  coarsest  of  the  provision  which  their 
own  industry  produces;  looking  quietly  on,  while  they  see  the 
fruits  of  all  their  labor  spent  or  spoiled;  and  if  one  of  their 
number  take  or  touch  a  particle  of  the  hoard,  the  others  join- 
ing against  himi,  and  hanging  him  for  theft." 

1 

If  there  were  many  men  like  Dr.  Paley.in  our  Amer- 
ican churches  to-day,  preaching  the  truth  in  that  fearless 
fashion,  there  would  be  something  like  a  .revolution, 
'Jonathan.  The  churches  would  no  longer  be  empty  al- 
most ;  preachers  would  not  be  wondering  why  working- 
men,  don't  go  to  church.  There  would  probaljly  be  less 
show  and  pride  in  the  churches ;  less  preachers  paid  big 
salaries,  less  fashionable  choirs.  But  the  churches  would 
be  much  nearer  to  the  spirit  and  sf^ndard  of  Jesus  than 
most  of  them  are  to-day.  There  is  nothing  in  connection 
with  modern  religioiis  life  quite  so  glaring  as  the  infi- 
delity of  the  Christian  ministry  to  the  teachings  o| 
Christ. 

A  lady  once  addressed  Thomas  Carlyle  concerning 
Jesus  in  this  fashion :  "  ,lIow  delighted  we"  should  all 
be  to  throw  open  our  doors  to  him  and  listen  to  his 
divine  precepts !  Don't  you  think  so,  Mr.  Carlyle  ? " 
The  bluff  old  puritan  sage  answered :  "  No,  madam,  I 
don't.  I  think  if  he  had  come  fashionably  dressed,  with 
plenty  of  money,  and  ,preachiiig  doctrines  palatable  to 


HOW   WEALTH    IS   PRODUCED   AND  DISTRIBUTED       37 

the  higher  orders,  I  might  have  had  the  honor  of  re- 
ceiving from  you  a  card  of  invitation,  on  the  back  of 
which  would-  be  written,  '  To  meet  our  Saviour.'  But  if 
he  came  uttering  his  sublime  precepts,  and  denouncing 
the  Pharisees,  and  associating  with  publicans  and  the 
lower  orders,  as  he  did,  you  would  have  treated, him.  as 
the  Jews  did,  and  cried  out,  '  Take  him  to  Newgate  and 
hang  him.' " 

I  sometimes  woncjer,  Jonathan,  what  really  would  hap- 
pen if  the  Carpenter-preacher  of  Gallilee  could,  and  did 
visit  some  of  our  American  _  churches.  Would  he  be 
able  to  stand  the  vulgar  show  ?  Would  lie  be  able  to 
listen  in  silence  to  the  miserable  perversion  of  his  teach- 
ings by  hired  apologists  of  social  wrong?  Would  he 
want  to  drive  out  the  moneychangers  and  the  Masters 
of  _  Bread,  to  hurl  at  them  his  terrible  thunderbolts  of 
wrath  and  scorn?  Would  he  be  welComed  by  the 
churches  bearing  his  name  ?  Would  they  want  to  listen , 
to  his  gospel?  Frankly,  Jonathan,  I  doubt  it.  A  few 
Socialists  would  be  found  in  nearly  every  church  ready 
to  'receive  him  and  to  call  him  "  Comrade,"  but  the  ma- 
'jority  of  church-goers  would  shun  him  and  pass  him 

by.,..;-  *   ■  :  '  ■         ■ 

I  should  not  be  surprised,  Jonathan,  if  the  President- 
of  the  United  States  called  him  an  "  undesirable  citizen," 
as  he  surely  would  call  Archdeacon  Paley  if  he  were 
alive. 

I  wanted  you  to  read  Paley's  illustration  of  the  pigeons 
before  going  into  the  unequal  distribution  of  wealtli. 
It  will  help  you  to  understand  another  illustration.  Sup- 
po'se  that  from  a  shipwreck  one  hundred  men  are  fortu- 
nate enough  to  save  themselves  and  to  make  their  way 
to  an  island,  where,  making  the  best  of-  conditions,  they 
establish   a  little  community,  which  they  elect  to  call 


38  COMMON   SENSE   OF   SOCIALISM 

"  Capitalia."  Luckily,  they  have  all  got  food  and  cloth- 
ing enough  to  last  them  for  a  little  while,  and  they  are 
fortunate  enough  to  find  on  the  island  a  supply  of  tools, 
evidently  abandoned  by  some  former  occupants  of  the 
island. 

They  set  to  work,  cultivating  the  ground,  building 
huts  for  themselves,  hunting  for  game,  and  so  on.  They 
start  out  to  face  the  primeval  struggle  with  the  sullen 
forces  of  Nature  as  our  ancestors  did  in  the  time  long 
past.  Their  efforts  prosper,  every  one  of  the  hundred 
men  being  a  worker,  every  man  working  with  equal 
will,  equal  strength  and  vigor.  Now,  then,  suppose  that 
one  day,  they  decide  to  divide  up  the  wealth  produced, 
by  their  labor,  to  institute  individual  property  in  place 
of  common  property,  competition  in  place  of  co-operation. 
What  would  you  think  if  two  or  three  of  the  strongest 
members  saidj*  "  We  will  do  the  dividing,  we  will  dis- 
tribute the  wealth  according  to  our  ideas  .of  justice  and 
right,"  and  then  proceeded  to  give  55  per  cent,  of  the 
wealth  to  one  man,  to  the  next  eleven  men  32  per  cent, 
and  to  the  remaining  «igRty-eight  men  only  13  per  cent, 
between  them?  ^ 

I  will  put  it  in  another  way,  Jonathan,  since  you  are 
not  accustomed  to  thinking  in  percentages.      Suppose 

'  that  there  were  a  hundred  cows  to  be  divided  among  the 
members  of  the  community.  According  to  the  scheme 
of  division  just  described,  this  is  how  the  division  would 
work  out: 

I  Man  would  get        55  Cows  for  himself 

II  Men  would  get        32  Cows  among  them 
88  Men  would  get        13  Cows  among  thern  * 

When  they  had  divided  the  cows  in  this  manner  they 
would  proceed  to  divide  the  wheat,  the  potato  crops,  the 


HOW    WEALTH    IS   PRODUCED   AND   DISTRIBUTED         39 

land,  and  everything  else  owned  by  the  community  in 
the  same  unequal  way.  I  ask  you  again,  Jonathan,  what 
would  you  think  of  such  a  division? 

Of  course,  being  a  fair-minded  man,  endowed  with 
ordinary  intelligence  at  least,  you  will  admit  that  there 
would  be  no  sense  and  no  justice  in  such  a  plan  of 
division,  and  you  doubt  if  intelligent  human,  beings  would 
submit  to  it.  But,  my  friend,  that  is  not  quite  so  bad  as 
the  distribution  of  wealth  in  America  to-day  is.  Suppose 
that  instead  of  all  the  members  of  the  little'  island  com- 
munity being  workers,-  all  working  equally  hard,  fairly 
sharing  the  work  of  the  community,  one  man  absolutely 
refused  to' do  anything  at  all,  saying,  "  I  was  the  first  one 
to  get  ashore.  The  land  really  belongs  to  me.  I  am  the 
landlorjl.  I  won't  work,  but  you  must  work  for  me." 
And  suppose  that  eleven  other  men  said  in  like  manner. 
"We  won't  work.  We  found  the  tools,  we  brought'the 
seeds  and  the  food  out  of  the  boats  when  we  came.  We 
are  the  capitalists  and  you  must  do  the  work  in  the  fields. 
We  will  superintend  you,  give  you  orders  where  to  dig, 
and  when,  and  where  to  stop.  You  eighty-eight  common 
fellows  are  the  laborers-  who  must  do  the  hard  work 
while  we  use  pur  brains."  And  suppose  that  they  actu-- 
ally  carried  out  that  plah  and  then  divided  the  wealth  in 
the  way  I  have  described,  that  would  be  a  pretty  good 
illustration  of  how  the  wealth  produced  in  America  un- 
der our  existing  social  system  is  divided. 

And  I  ask  you  what  you  think  of  that,  Jonathan  Ed- 
wards.   How  do  you  like  it? 

These  are  not  my  .figures.    They  are  not  the  figures  of 

-any  rabid  SociaHst  making  frenzied  guesses.     They  are 

taken  from  a  book  called  The  Present  Distribution  of 

Wealth  in  the  United  States,  by  the  late  Dr.  Charles  B. 

Spahr,  a  book  that  is  used  in  most  of  our  colleges  and 


40 


COMMON   SENSE  OF  SOCIALISM 


universities.  No  serious  criticism  of  the  figures  has  ever 
been  attempted  and  most  economists,  even  the  conserva- 
tive ones,  base  their  own  estimates  upon  Spahr's  work. 
It  would  be  worth  your  while  to  get  the  book  from  the 
library,  Jonathan,  and  to  read  it  carefully. 

In  the  meantime,  look  over  the  following  table  which 
sets  forth  the  results  of  Dr.  Spahr's  investigation,  Jona- 
than, and  remember  that  the  condition  of  thjngs  has  not 
improved  since  1895,  when  the  book  was'written,  but 
that  they  have,  on  the  contrary,  very  much  worsened., 

SPAHR'S  TABLE  OF  THE  DISTRIBUTION   OF 
.WEALTH  IN  THE  UNITED  STATES 


•    Class 

No.' of 
Families 

Per 
Cent 

Average 
Wealth 

Aggregate    - 
'    Wealth 

Per 
Cent 

Rich  

Middle  ... 
iPoor. ..... 

Very  Poor. 

.   125,000 
1,362,500 
4,762,500 
6,250,000 

I.O 

10.9 

38.1 
.50.0 

V  ■ 

8263,040 

.    14,180 

1.639 

32,880,000,000 

29,320,000,000 

7,800,000,600 

54.8 
32.2 
130 

Total.... 

13,500,000 

100.0 

»4.8oo 

$6o,oop,ooo,ooo 

1 00.0 

Now,  Jonathan,  although  I  have  taken  a  good  dfeal  of 
trouble  to  lay  these  figures  before  you,  I  really  don't  care 
very  much  for  them.  Statistics  don't  impress  me  as  they 
do  some  people,  and  I  would  far  rather  rely  upon  your 
commonsense  than  upon  any  figures.  I  have  not  quoted 
these  figures  because  they  were  published  by  a  very  able 
scholar  in  a  very  wise  book,  nor  because  scientific  men, 
professors  of  political  economy  and  others,  have  accepted 
thetrt  as  a  fair*  estimate.  I  have  used  them  because  I 
believe  them  to  be  true  and  reliable. 

But  don't  you.  rest  your  whole  faith  upon  them,  Jona- 


BOW   WEALTH   IS   PRODUCED  AND  DISTRIBUTED      4I 

than.  If  some  fine  day  a  Republican  spellbinder,  or  a 
Democratic  scribbler,  tries  to  upset  you  and  prove  that 
Socialists  are  all  liars  and  false  prophets,, just  tell  him  the 
figures  are  quite,  unimportant  to  you,  that  you  don't  care 
to  know  just  exactly  how  much  of  the  wealth  the  rich- 
est one  per  cent,  gets  and  how  little  of  it  the, poorest 
fifty  per  cent.  gets.  A  few  millions  more  or  less  don't 
trouble  you.  Pin  him  down  to  the  one  fact  which  your 
own  commonsense  teaches  you,  that  the  wealth  of  the 
country  is  unequally  distributed.  Tell  him  that  you 
know,  regardless  of  figures,  that  there  are^many  idlers 
who  are  enormously  rich  and  many  honest,  industrious 
workers  who)  are  miserably  poor.  He  won't  be  able  to 
deny  these  things.     He  dare  not,  because  they  are  true. 

Ask  any  such  apologist  for -capitalism  what  he  would 
think  of  the  father 'or  mother  who  took  his  or  her 
eight  children  and  said:  "Here  are  eight  cakes,  as 
many  cakes  as  there  are  "boys  and  girls.  I  am  going 
to  distribute  the  cakes.  Here,  Walter,  are  seven  of  the 
cakes  for  you.  The  other  cake  the  rest  of  you  can  di- 
vide among  yourselves  as  best  you  can."  If  the  capital- 
ist defender  is  a  fair-minded  man,  if  he  is  neither  fool 
nor  .liar  nor  monster,  he  will  agree  that  such  a  parent 
would  be  brutally  unjust. 

Yet,  Jonathan,  that  is  exactly  Tiow  our  national  wealth 
is  divided  up.  One-eighth  of  the  families  in  the  United 
States  do  get  seven-eights  of  the  weajth,  and,  beings  I 
hope,  neither  fool,  liar  nor  monster,  I  denounce  the  sys- 
tem as  brutally  unjust.  There  is  no  sense  and  no  mor- 
ality in  mincing  matters  and  being  afraid  to  call  spades. 
spades. 

It  is  because  of  this  unjust  distribution  of  the  wealth 
of  modern  society  that  we  have  so  much  social  unrest. 
That  is  the  heart  of  the  whole  problem.     Why  are  work- 


42  COMMON   SENSE   OF   SOCIALISM 

ingmen  organized  into  unions  to  fight  the  capitalists,  and 
the  capitalists  on  their  side  organized  to  fight  the 
workers?  Why,  simply  because  the  capitalists  want  to 
continue  exploiting  the  workers,  to  exploit  them  still 
more  if  possible,  while  the  workers  want  to  be  exploited 
less,  want  to  get  more  of  what  they  produce. 

Why  is  it  that  eminently  respectable  members  of  so- 
ciety combine  to  bribe  legislators  - —  to  buy  laws  from  the 
lawmakers!  —  and  to  corrupt  the  republic,  a  form  of 
treason  worse  than  Benedict  Arnold's?  Why,  for  the 
same  reason:  they  want  to  continue  the  spoliation  of  the 
people.  That  is  why  the  heads  of  a  great  life  insurance 
company  illegally  used  the  funds  belonging  to  widows 
and  orphans  to  contribute  to  the  campaign  fund  of  the 
Republican  Party  in  1904.  That  is  why,  also,  Mr.  Bel- 
mont used  the  funds  of  the  traction  company  of  which 
he  is  president  to  support  the  Civic  Fedeiration,  which  is 
an  organization  specially  designed  to  fool  and  mislead 
the  wage-earners  of  America.  That  is  why  every  investi- 
gation of  American  political  or  business  life  that  is  hon- 
estly made  by  able  and  fearless  men  reveals  so  much 
chicanery  and  fraud. 

You  belong  to  a  union,  Jonathan,  because  you  want  to 
put  a  check  upon  the  gi;eed  of  the  employers.  But  you 
never  can  expect  through  the  union  to  get  all  that  right- 
fully belongs  to  you.  It  is  impossible  to  expect  that  the 
union  will  ever  do  away  with  the  terrible  inequalities  in 
the  distribution  of  wealth.  The  union  is  a  good  thing, 
and  the  workers  ought  to  be  much  more  thoroughly  or- 
^  ganized  into  unions  than  they  are.  Socialists  are  al-. 
ways  on  the  side  of  the  union  when  it  is  engaged  in  an 
honest  fight  against  the  exploiters  of  labor. 

Later  on,  I  shall  take  up  the  question  of  unionism  and 
discuss  it  with  you,  Jonathan.     Meanwhile,  I  want  to 


HOW   WEALTH   IS  PRODUCED  AND  DISTRIBUTED       43 

impress  upon  your  mind  that  a  wise  union  man  votes  as 
he  strikes.  There  is  not  the  least  bit  of  sense  in  belong- 
ing to  a  union  if  you  are  to  become  a  "  scab  "  when  you 
go  to  the  ballot-box.  And  a  vote  for  a  capitalist  party 
is  a  scab  vote,  Jonathan. 


V 

THE   DRONES  AND   THE   BEES 

Hitherto  it  is  questionable  if  all  the  mechanical  inventions 
yet  made  have  lightened  the  day's  toil  of  any  human  being. 
They  have  enabled  a  greater  population  to  live  the  same  life 
of  drudgery  and  imprisonment,  and  an  increased  number  ot 
manufactures,  and  others,  to  make  large  fqrtunes. —  7 ohn  Stuart 
Mill. 

Most  people  imagine  that  the  rich  are  in  heaven,  but  as  a 
rule  it  is  only  a  gilded  hell.  There  is  not  a  man  in  the  city 
of  New  York  with  "brains  enough  to  own  five  millions  of  dol- 
lars. Why?  The  money  will  own  him.  He  becomes  the  key 
to  a  safe.  That  money  will  get  him  up  at  daylight;  that  money 
will  separate  him  from  his  friends;  that  money  will  fill  his 
heart  with  fear;  that  money  will  rob  his  days  of  sunshine  and 
his  nights  of  pleasant  dreams.  He  becomes  the  property  of  that 
money.  And  he  goes  right  on  making  more.  What  for?  He 
does  not  know.  It  becomes  a  kind  of  insanity. —  R.  G.  Ingersoll. 
Is  it  well  that,  while  we  range  with  Science,  glorying  in  the 

time. 
City  children  soak  and  blacken  soul  and  sense  in  City  slime? 
There,  among  the  gloomy  alleys.  Progress  halts  on  palsied  feet. 
Crime  and  Hunger  cast  our  maidens  by  the  thousand  on 'the 

street. 
There  the  master  scrimps  his  haggard  seamstress  of  her  daily 

bread. 
There  a  single  sordid  attic  holds  tjje  living  and  the  dead; 
There  the  smouldering,  fire  of  fever  creeps   across   the   rotted 

floor,  ^ 

In  the  crowded  couch  of  incest,  in  flie  warrens  of  the  poor. — 

Tennyson. 

When  you  and  I  were  bqys  going  to  school,  friend 
Jonathan,  wef  were  constantly  admonished  to  study  with 

44  ' 


THE   DRONES   AND    THE   BEES  45 

admiration  the  social  economy  of  the  bees.  We  learned 
to  almost  reverence  the  little  winged  creatures  for  the 
manner  in  which  they 

Improve  each  shining  hour, 
And  gather  honey  all  the  day 
From  every  opening  flower. 

We  were  taught,  you  remember,  to  honor  the  bees 
for  their  hatred  of  drones.  It  was  the  great  virtue  of 
the  bees  that  they  always  drove  the  drones  from  the  hive. 
For  rhy  part,  I  learned  the  lesson  so  well  that  I  really 
became  a  sort  of  bee-worshipper.  But  since  I  have 
grown  to  mature  years  I  have  come  to  the  conclusion 
that  those  old  lessons  were  not  honestly  meant,  Jonathan. 
For  if  anybody  proposes  to-day  that  we  should  drive  out 
the  drones  from  the  human  hive,  he  is  at  once  denounced 
as  an  Anarchist  and  an  undesirable  citizen." 

It  is  all  very  well  for  bees  to  insist  that  there  must  be 
no  idle  parasites,  that  the  drones  must  go,  but  for  hu- 
man beings  such  a  policy  won't  do !  It  savors  too  much 
of  Socialism,  my.  friend,  and  is  unpleasantly  like  Paul's 
foolish  saying  that  "If  any  man  among  you  will  not 
work,  neither  shall  Jie  eat."  That  is  a  text  which  is  out 
of  date  and  unsuited  to  the  twentieth  century ! 

"  Allah !    Allah  !  "    cried    the    stranger, 

"Wondrous  sights  the  traveller  sees;- 
But  the  greatest  is  the  latest, 
Where  the  drones  control  the  bees ! " 

Every  modern  civilized  nation  rewards  its  drones  bet- 
ter than  it  rewards  its  bees,  and  in  every  land  the  drones 
control  the  bees. 

I  want  you  to  consider,  frjend  Jonathan,  ^e  lives  of 
the  people.     How  the  workers  live  and  how  the  shirkers 


46  COMMON    SENSE   OF   SOCIALISM 

live;  how  the  bees  live  and  how  the  drones  live,  if  you 
like  that  better.  You  can  study  the  matter  for  your- 
self, right  in  Pittsburg,  much  better  than  you  can  from 
•books,  for  God  knows  that  in  Pittsburg  there  are  the 
extremes  of  wealth  and  poverty,  just  as  there  are  in 
New  York,  Chicago,  St.  Louis  or  San  Francisco.'  There 
are  gilded  hells  where  rich  drones  live  and  squalid  hells 
where  poor  bees  live,  and  the  number  of  truly  happy 
people  is  sadly,  terribly,  small. 

Ten  millions  in  poverty!  Don't  you  think  that  is  a 
cry  so  terrible  that  it  ought  to  shame  a  great  nation  like 
this,  a  nation  more  bounteously  endowed  by  Nature  than 
any  other  nation  in  the  world's  history?  Men,  women 
and  children,  poor  and  miserable,  with  not  enough  to 
eat,  nor  clothes  to  keep  them  warm  in  the  cold  winter 
nights;  with  places  for  homes  that  are  unfit  for  dogs, 
and  these  not  their  own ;  knowing  not  if  to-morrow  may 
bring  upon  them  the  last  crushing  blow.  All  these  con- 
ditions, and  conditions  infinitely  worse  than  these,  are 
contained  in  the  poverty  of  those  millions,  Jonathan. 

If  people  were  poor  because  the  land  was  poor,  be- 
cause the  country  was  barren,  because  Nature  dealt  with 
us  in  niggardly  fashion,  so  that  all  men  had  to  struggle 
against  famine ;  if,  in  a  word,  there  was  democracy  in 
our  poverty,  so  that  none  were  idle  and  rich  while  the 
rest  toiled  in  poverty,  it  would  be  our  supreme  glory  to 
bear  it  with  cheerful  courage.  But  that  is  not  the  case. 
While  babies  perish  for  want  of  food  and  care  in  dank 
and  unhealthy  hovels,  there  are  pampered  poodles  in 
palaces,  bejeweled  and  cared  for  by  liveried  flunkies  and 
waiting  maids.  While  men  and  women  want  bread,  and 
beg  crusts,  or  stand  shivering  in  the  "  bread  lines  ■"  of 
our  great  cities,  there  are  tnonkeys  being  banqueted 
at  costly  banquets  by  the  profligate  degenerates  of  riches. 


THE  DRONES   AND   THE   BEES  47 

Its  all  wrong,  Jonathan,  cruelly,  shamefully,  hellishly 
wrong!  And  I  for  one,  refuse  to  call  such  a  brutalized 
system,  or  the  nation  tolerating  it,  civilised. 

Good  old  Thomas  Carlyle  would  say  "  Amen ! "  to 
that,  Jonathan.  Lots  of  .people  wont.  They  will  tell 
you  that  the  poverty  of  the  millions  is  very  sad,  of 
course,  and  that  the  poor  are  to  be  pitied.  But  they  will 
remind  you  that  Jesus  said  something  about  the  poor 
always  being  with  us.  They  won't  read  ydu  what  he 
did  say,  but  you  can  read  it  for  yourself.  Here  it  is: 
"  For  ye  have  the  poor  always  with  ypu,  and  whensoevej^ 
_ye  will  ye  can  do.  them  good."  *  And  now,  I  want  you 
to  read  a  quotation  from  Carlyle:    , 

"  It  is  not  to  die,  or  even  to  die  of  hunger,  that  makes'  a  man 
wretched;  many  men  have  died;  all  men  must  die, —  the  last 
exit  of  us  all  is  in  a  Fire-Chariot  of  Pain.  But  it  is  to  live 
miserable  we  know  not  why;  to  work  sore  and  yet  gain  nothing; 
to  be  heart-worn,  we*y,  yet  isolated,  unrelated,  girt-in  with  a 
cold  universal  Laissezfaire :  it  is  to  die  slowly  all  our  life  long, 
imprisoned  in  a  deaf,  dead.  Infinite  Injustice,  as  in  the  accursed 
iron  belly  of  a  Phalaris'  Bull !  This  is  and  remaifls  forever 
intolerable  to  all  men  whom  God  has  made." 

"  Miserable  we  know  not  why  " — "  to  die  slowly  all 
our  life  long  " — "  Imprisoned  in  a  deaf,  dead,  Infinite 
Injustice  " —  Don't  these  phrases  describe  exactly  the 
poverty  you  have  known,  brothej-  Jonathan? 

Did  you  ever  stop  to  think,  my  friend,  that  poverty  is 
the  lot  of  the  average  worker,  the  reward  of  the  pro- 
ducers of  wealth,  and  that  only  the  producers  of  wealth 
are  poor?  Do  you  know  that,  because  we  die  slowly  all 
our  lives  long,  the  dpath-rate  among  the  working-claSs  is 
far  higher  than  among  other  classes  by  reason  of  over- 

*Mark  14:7. 


48 


COMMON   SENSE  OF   SOCIALISM 


work,  anxiety,  poor  food,  lack  of  pleasure,  bad  housing, 
and  all  the  other  ills  comprehended  in  the  lot  of  the  wage- 
worker  ?  In  Chicago,  for  example,  in  _the  wards  where 
the  wellvto-do  reside  the  death-rate  is  not  more  than 
12  per  thousand,  while  it  is  37  in  the  tenement  districts. 
Scientists  who  have  gone  into  the, matter  tell  us  that 
of  ten 'million  persons  belonging  to  the  well-to-do  classes 
the  annual,  deaths  do  not  number  more  than  100,000, 
while  among  the  very  best  paid  workers  the  number  is 
not  liess  than  150,000  and  among  the  very  poorest  paid 
workers  at  least  350,000.  To  show  you  just  what  those 
proportions  are,  I  have  represented  the  matter  in  a  little 
diagram,  which  you  can  understand  at  a  glance: 

DIAGRAM 

Showing  Relative  Death-Rate  Agiong  Persons  of  Differ- 
ent Social  Class*. 


m 


Well-to-do  Class. 


m 


m 


Best  Paid  Workers. 


^ 


Worst  Paid  Workers. 


There  are  some  diseases,  notably  the  Great  White 
Plague,  Consumption,  which  we  call  "  diseases  of  the 
working-classes  "  on  account  of  the  fact  that  they  prey 
most  upon  the  wearied,  ill-nourished  bodies  of  the  work-' 
ers.  Not  that  they  are  confined  to^the  workers  entirely, 
but  because  the  workers  are  most  afflicted  by  them.     Be- 


(J     THE  DRONES   AND  THE   BEES  49 

cause  the  workers  live  in  crowded  tenement  hovels,  work 
in  factories  laden  with,  dust  and  disease  germs,  are  over- 
worked and  badly  fed,  this  and  other  of  the  great 
scourges  of  the  hiiman  race  find  them  ready  victims. 

Here  is  another  diagram  for  you,  Jonathan,  showing 
the  comparative  mortality  .from  Consumption  among  the 
workers  engaged  in  six  different  industrial  occupations 
and  the  members  of  six  groups  of  professional  workers. 

DIAGRAM 
Showing  Relative  Mortality  From  Tuberculosis. 

Marble  and  stone  cutters. 

Cigar  makers  and  tobacco 
workers. 
Cdmpositors,  printers,  pressmen. 

Barbers  and  hairdressers. 

Masons  (brick  and  stone). 

Iron  and  steel  workers. 

Physicians  and  Surgeons. 

Engitieers  and  Surveyors. 

School  teachers. 

Lawyers, 

Clergymen. 

Bankers,  brokers,  officials  of  companies,  etc. 

I  want  you  to  study  this  diagram  and  the  figures  by 
which  it  is  accompanied,. Jonathan.  You  will  observe 
that  the  death  rate  from  Consumption  among  marble 
and  stone  cutters  is  six  times  greater  than  among  bank- 
ers and  brokers  and  directors  of  companies.  Among 
cigar  makers  and  tobacco  workers  it  is  more  than  five 


50  f     COMMON    SENSE   OF    SOCIALISM  ,3 

times  as  great.  Iron  and  steel  workers  do  not  suffer  so 
much  from  the  plague  as  some  other  workers,  according 
to  the  death-rates.  One  reason  is  that  only  fairly  robust 
men  enter  the  trade  to  begin  with.  Another  reason  is 
that  a  great  many,  finding  they  cannot  stand  the  strain, 
after  they  have  become  infected,  leave  the  trade  for 
lighter  occupations.  -I  think  there  can  be  no  doubt  that 
the  true  mortality  from  Consumption  among  iron  and 
steel  workers  is  much  higher  ^han  the  figures  show. 
But,  taking  the  figures  as  they  are,  confident  that  they 
understate  the  extent  of  the  ravages  of  the  disease  in 
these  occupations,  we  find  that  the  mortality,  is  more 
than  two  and  a  half  times  greater  than  among  capitalists. 

Now,  these  are  very  serious  figures,  Jonathan.  Why 
is  the  mortality  so  much  less  among  the  capitalists  ?  It  is 
because  they  have  better  homes,  are  not  so  overworked 
to  physical  exhausti6n,  are  better  fed  and  clothed,  and- 
ean have  better  care  and  attention,  far  better  chances  of 
being  cured,  if  they  are  attacked.  They  can  get  these 
things  only  from  the  labor  of  the  workers,  Jonathan. 

1%    other    words,    they    buy    their __ lives- with    ours.. 
Workers  are  killed  to  keep  capitalists  alive. 

It  used  to  be  frequently  charged'  that  drink  was  the 
chief  cause  of  the  poverty  of  the  workers;  that  they 
were  poor  because  they  were  drunken  and  thriftless. 
But  we  hear  less  of  that  silly  nonsense  than  we  used  to, 
though  now  and  then  a  Prohibitionist  advocate  still  re- 
peats the  old  and  long  exploded  myth.  It  never  was 
true,  Jonathan,  and  it  is  Jess  -true  to-day  than  ever  before. 
Drunkdiness  is  an  evil  and  the  working  class  suffers 
from  it  to  a  lamentable  degree,  but  it  is  not  the  sol©  cause 
of  poverty,  it  is  jiot  the  chief  cause  of  poverty,  it  is  not 
even,  a  very  important  cause  of  poverty  at  all. 

It  is  true  that  intemperance  causes  poverty  in  some 


THE   DRONES   AND   THE    BEES  5I 

cases,  it  is  also  true  that  drunkenness  is  very  frequently 
caused  by  poverty.  They  act  and  react  upon  each  other, 
but  it  is  not  doubted'  by  any  student  of  our  social  condi-./ 
tions  whose  opinion  carries  any  weight  that  intemper- 
ance is  far  more  often  the  result  of  poverty  and  bad  con-,, 
ditions  of  life  and  labor  than  the  cause  of  them. 
^The  International  Socialist  Congress  which  met  at 
Stuttgart  last  summer  very  rightly  decided  that  Social- 
ists everywhere  should  do  all  in  their  power  to  combat 
alcoholism,  "to  end  the  ravages  of  intemperance  among 
the  working  classes  of  all  nations.  For  drunken  voters 
are  not  very  likely  to  be  either  wise  or  free  voters:  we 
need  sober,  earnest,  clear-thinking  men  to  bring  about 
better  conditions,  Jonathan.  But  the  Socialists,  while 
they  adopt  this  position,  do  not  mistake  results  for 
causes.  They  know  from  actual  experience  that  Solo- 
mon was  right  when  he  attributed  intemperance  to  ill 
conditions.  Hunt  out  your  Bible  and  turn  to  the  Book 
of  Proverbs,  chapter  31,,  verse  7.  There  you  will  read: 
"Let  him  drink  and  forget  his  poverty,  and  remember 
his  misery  no  more." 

That  is  not  very  good  advice  to  give  a  workingman, 
but  it  is  exactly  what  many  workingmen  do.  There  was 
a  wise  English  bishop  who  said  a  few  years  ago  that  if 
he  lived  in  the  slums  of  any  of  the  great  cities,  under 
conditions  similar  to  those  in  which  most  of  the  workers 
live,  he  would  probably  be  a  drunkard,  and  when  I  see 
the  conditions  under  which  millions  of  men  are  working 
and  living  I  wonder  that  we  have  not  more  drunkenness 
than  we  have. 

A  good  many  years  ago,  "  General "  Booth,  head  of 
the  Salvation  Army,  declared  that  "nine-tenths  "  of  the 
poverty  of  the  people  was  due  to  intemperance.  Later 
on,  "  Commissioner  "  Cadman,  one  of  the  "  General's  " 


52  COMMON    SENSE   OF   SOCIALISM 

most  trusted  aides,  made  an  investigation  of  the  causes 
of  poverty  among  all  those  who  passed  through  the 
Army  shelters  for  destitute  men  anti  women.  He  found 
that  among  the  very  lowest  class,  the  "  submerged  tenth," 
where  the  ravages  of  drink  are  most  sadly  evident,  de- 
pression in  trade  counted  for  much  more  than  drink  as  a 
cause  of  poverty.     The  figures  were: 

Depression   in   trade 55-8  per  cent. . 

Drink   and   Gambling 26-.  6  per  cent. 

Ill-health    11. 6  per  cent. 

Old  Age   . 5.8  per  cent. 

Even  among  the  very  lowest  class  of  the  social  wrecks 
of  our  great  cities,  who  have  long  since  abandoned  hope, 
depression  in  trade  was  found  to  count  for  more  than 
twice  as  much  as  drink  and  gambling  combined  as  a 
.producer  of  poverty.  * 

That  is  in  keeping  with  all  the  investigations  that  have 
ever  been  made  in  a  scientific  spirit.  Professor  Amos 
Warner,  in  his  valuable  study  of  the  subject,  published  in 
his  book,  American  Charities,  shows  how  false  the  no- 
tion that  nearly  all  the  poverty  of  the  people  is  due  to 
their  intemperance  proves  to  be  when  an  intelligent  in- 
vestigation of  the  facts  is  made. 

Dr.  Edward  T.  Devine,  of  Columbia  University,  editor 
of  Charities  and  the  Commons,  is  probably  as  competent 
an  authority  upon  this  question  as  any  man  living.'  He 
is  not  likely  to  be  called  a  Socialist  by  anybody.  Yet  I 
find  him  writing  in  his  magazine,  at  the  end  of  November, 
1907 :  "  The  tradition  which  many  hold  that  the  condition 
of  poverty  is  ordinarily  and  as  a  matter  of  course'  tb  be 
explained  by  personal  faults  of  the  poor  themselves  is  no 
longer  tenable.  Strong  drink  and  vice  are  abnormal, 
unnatural  and  essentially  unattractive  ways  of  spending 


THE   DRONES   AND   THE   BEES  S3 

surplus  income."  Dr.  Devine  very  frankly  and  bravely 
admits  that  poverty  is  an  unnecessary  evil,  "  a  shocking, 
loathsome  excrescence  on  the  body  politic,  an  intolerable 
evil  which  should  come  to  an  end."  What  else,  indeed, 
could  a  sane  man  think  of  it? 

As  a  conservative  man,  I  say  without  reservation  that 
accidents  incurred  in  the  course  of  employment,  and  sick- 
ness brought  on  by  industrial  conditions,  such  as  over- 
work accompanied  by  under  nourishment,  exposure  to 
extremes  of  temperature,  unsanitary  workshops  and  fac- 
tories and  the  inhalation  of  contaminated  atmosphere, 
are  far  more  important  causes  of  poverty  among  the 
workers  than  intemperance.  Every  investigation  ever 
made  goes  to  prove  this  true.  I  wish  that  every  one 
who  seeks  to  blame  the  poverty  of  the  poor  upon  the  vic- 
tims themselves  would  study  a  few  facts,  which  I  am  go- 
ing_  to  ask  you  to  study,  without  prejudice  or  passion. 
They  would  readily  see  then  how  false  the  belief  is. 

Last  :year  there  was  a  Committee  of  very  expert  in- 
vestigators in  New  York  which  made  a  careful  inquiry 
into  the  relation  of  wages  to  the  standard  of  living. 
They  were  not  Socialists,  these  gentlemen,  or  I  should 
not  submit  their  testimony.  I  am  anxious  to  base  my 
case  against  our  present  social  system  upon  evidence  that 
is  not  in  any  way  biased  in  favor  of  Socialism.  Dr.  Lee 
K.  Frankel  was  -Chairman  of  the  Committee.  He  is 
Director  of  the  United  Hebrew  Charities  of  New  York 
City,  an  able  and  sincere  man,  but  not  a  Socialist.  Dr. 
Devine,  another  able  and  sincere  man  who  is  by  no  means 
a  Socialist,  was  a  member  of  the  Committee.  Among 
the  other  members  were  also  such  persons  as  Bishop 
Greer,  of  New  York,  Reverend  Adolph  Guttman,  presi- 
dent of  the  Hebrew  Relict  Society,  Syracuse,  New  York, 
Mrs.  William  Einstein,  president  of  Emanu-El  Sisterhood, 


54  COMMON   SENSE  OE  SOCIALISM 

New'  York;  Mr.  Homer  Folks,  Secretary  State  Chari- 
ties Aid  Association  and  Reverend  William  J.  White,  of 
Brooklyn,  Supervisor  of  Catholic  Charities.  The  Com- 
mittee was  deputed  to  make  the  investigation  by  the  New 
York  State  Conference  of  Charities  and  Corrections, 
and  made  its  report  in  November,  1907,  at  Albany,  N.  Y. 

I  think  you  will  agree,  Jonathan,  that  it  would  be  very 
hard  to  imagine  a  more  conservative  body,  less  inoculated 
with  the  virus  of  Socialism  than  that.  From  their  re- 
port to  the  Conference  I  note  that  the  Committee  re- 
ported that  as  a  result  of  their  work,  after  going  care- 
fully into  the  expenditure  of  some  322  families,  they 
had  come  to  the  conclusion  that  the  lowest  amount  upon 
which  a  family  of  five  could  be  supported  \n  decency 
and  health  in  New  York  City  was  about  eight  hundred 
dollars  a  year.  I  am  quite  surej  Jonathan,  that  there  is 
not  one  of  the  members  of  that  Committee  who  would 
think  that  even  that  sum  would  be  enough  to  keep  their 
families  in  health  and  decency ;  not  one  who  would  want 
to  see  their  children  living  under  the  best  conditions 
which  that  sum  made  possible.  They  were  philanthrop- 
ists you  see,  Jonathan,  "figuring  out"  how  much  the 
"  Poor  "  ought  to  be  able  to  live  on.  And  to  help  them 
out  they  got  Professor  Chapin,  of  Beloit  College  and 
Professor  Underbill,  of  Yale.  Professor  Underbill  be- 
ing an  expert  physiological  chemist,  could  advise  them 
as  to  the  sufficiency  of  the  expenditures  upon  food 
among  the  families  reported. 

But  the  total  income  of  thousands  of  families  falls  very 
short  of  eight  hundred  dollars  a  year.  There  are  many 
thousands  of  families  in  which  the  breadwinner  does  not 
earn  more  than  ten  dollars  a  week  at  best.-  Making  al- 
lowance for  time  lost  through  sickness,  holidays,  and  so 
on,  it  is  evident  that  the  total  income  of  such  families 


'^  THE   DRONES   AND   THE   BEES  55 

would  not  exceed  four  hundred  and  fifty  dollars  a  year 
at  best.  Even  the  worker  with  twenty  dollars  a  week,  if 
there  is  a  brief  period  of  sickness  or  unemployment,  will 
find  himself,  despite  his  best  efforts,  on  the  wrong; side  of 
the  line,  compelled  either  to  see  his  family  suffer  want  or 
to  become  dependent  on  "  that  cold  thing  called  Charity." 
And  Dr.  Devine,  writing  in  Chanties  and  the  Commons, 
admits  thart  the  charitable  societies  cannot  hope  to  make 
up  the  deficit,  to  add  to  the  wages  of  the  workers  enough 
to  raise  their  standards  of  living  to  the  point  of  efficiency. 
He  admits  that  "-such  a  policy  would  tend  to  financial 
bankruptcy." ' 

"Taking  the  unskille'd  workers  in  New  York  City,  the 
vast  army  of  laborers,  it  is  certain  that  they  do  not 
average  $400  a  year,  so  that  they  are,  as  a  class,  hope- 
lessly, miserably  poor.  It  is  true  that  many  of  them 
spend  part  of  their  miserable  wages  on  drink,  but  if 
they  did  not,  they  wOuld  still  be  poor ;  if  every  cent  went 
to  buy  the  necessities  of  existence,  they  would  still  be 
hopelessly,  miserably  poor.  .  > 

The  Massachusetts  Bureau  of  Statistics  showed  a  few 
yiears  ago,  when  the  cost  of  living  was  less  than  now, 
that  a-family  of  five  could  not  live  decently  and  in  health 
upon  legs  than  $754  a  year,  but  more  than  half  of  the 
unskilled  workers  in  the  shoe-making  industry  of  that 
State  got  less  than  $300  a  year.  Of  course,  some  were 
single  and  not  a  few  were  women,  but  the  figures  go  far 
to  show  that  the  New  York  conditions  are  prevalent  in 
New  England  also.  Mr.  John  Mitchell  said  that  in  the 
anthracite  district  of  Pennsylvania  it  was  impossible  to 
maintain  a  family  of  five  in  decency  on  less  than  $600 
a  year,  but  according  to  Dr.  Peter  Roberts,  who  is  one 
of  the  most  conservative  of  living  authorities  upoh  the 
.conditions  of  industry  in  the  coal  mines  of  Pennsylvania,- 


56  COMMON   SENSE   OF   SOCIALISM  f 

the  average  wage  in  the  atithracite  district  is  less  than 
$500  and  that  about  60  per  cent,  receive  less  than  $450 
a  year. 

I  am  not  going  to  bother  you  with  more  statistics, 
Jonathan,  for  I  know  you  do  not  like  them,  and  they  are 
hard  to  remember.  What  I  want  you  to  see  is  that,- for 
many  thousands  of  workers,  poverty  is  an  inevitable  con- 
dition. If  they  do  not  spend  a  cent  on  drink ;  never  give 
a  cent  to  the  Church  or  for  charity;  never  buy  a  news- 
paper; never  see  a  play  or  hear  a  concert;. never  lose 
a  day's  wages  through  sickness  or  accident;  never  make 
a  present  of  a  ribbon  to  their  wives  or  a  toy  to  their 
children  —  in  a  word,  if  they  live  is  galley  slaves,  work- 
ing without  a  single  break  in  the  monotony  and  drudgery  • 
of  their  lives,  they  must  still  be  poor  and  endure  hunger, 
unless  they  "can  get  other  sources  of  income.  The 
mother  must  go  out  to  work  ahd  neglect  her  baby  to 
Jielp  out ;  the  little  boys  and  girls  must  go  to  work  in  the 
days  when  they  ought  to  be  in  school  or  in  the  fields  at 
play,  to  help  out  the  beggars'  pittance  which  is  their  jior- 
tion.     The  greatest  cause  of  poverty  is  low  wages. 

Then  think  of  the  accidents  which  occur  to  the  wage- 
earners,  making  them  incapable  of  earning  anything  for 
long  periods,  or  even  permanently.  At  the  san^e  meet- 
ing of  the  New  York  State  Conference  of  Charities  and 
Corrections  as  that  already  referred  to,  there  were  re- 
ports presented  by  many  of  the  charitable  organizations 
of  the  state  which  showed  that  this  cause  of  poverty  is 
a  very  serious  one,  and  one  that  is  constantly  increasing. 
In  only  about  twenty  per  cent,  of  the  accidents  of  a  seri- 
ous nature  investigated  was  there  any  settlement  made 
by  the  employers,  and  from  a'list  that  is  of  immense  in- 
terest I  take  just  a  few  cases  as  showing  how  little  the 
.life  of  the  average  workingman  is  valued. at: 


THE  DRONES  AND  THE  BEES  57 

Nature  of  Injury:  Settlement 

Spine    injured    ,  $  20  and  doctor 

Legs   broken    300 

Death 100 

Death 65 

Two  ribs  broken  20 

Paralysis * : 12 

Brain  affected 60 

Fingers  amputated 50 

The  reports  showed  that  about  half  of  the  accidents 
occurred  to  men  under  forty  years  of  age,  in  the  very 
prime  of  life.  The  wages  were  determined  in  241  cases 
and  it  was  shown  that  about  25  per  cent,  were  earning 
less  than  $10  a  week  and  66  per  cent,  were  earning  less 
than  $15  a  week.  Even  without  the  accidents  occurring 
to  them  these  workers  and  their  families  must  be  miser- 
ably poor,  the  accidents  only  plunging  them  deeped  into 
the  frightful  abyss  of  despair,  of  wasting  life  and  tortur- 
ous struggle. 

No,  my  friend,  it  is  not  true  that  the  poverty  of  the 
poor  is  due  to  their  sins,  thriftlessness  and  intemperance. 
I  want  you  to  remember  that  it  is  not  the  wicked  So- 
cialist agitators  only  who  say  this.  I  could  fill  a  book 
for  you  with  the  conclusions  of  very  conservative  men, 
all  of  them  opposed  to  Socialism,  whose  studies  have 
forced  them  to  this  conclusion. 

There  was  a  Royal  Commission  appointed  in  England 
some  years  ago  to  consider  the  problem  of  the  Aged 
Poor  and  how  to  deal  with  it.  Of  that  Royal  Commis^ 
sion  Lord  Aberdare  was  chairman  —  and  he  was  a.  most 
implacable  enemy  of  Socialisrn.  The  Commission  re- 
ported in  1895:  "We  are  confirmed  in  our  view  by  the 
evidence  we  have  received  that    ...    as  regards  the 


S8  COMMON   SENSE   OF   SOCIALISM 

great  bulk  of  the  working  classes,. during  their  lives,  they 
are  fairly  provident,  fairly  thrifty,  fairly  industrious  and 
fairly  temperate."  But  they  could  not  add  that,  as  a  re- 
sult of  these  virtues,  they  were  also  fairly  well-to- 
do!  The  Right  Honorable  Joseph  Chamberlain,  an- 
other enemy  of  Socialism,  signed  with  several  others  a 
Minority  Report,  but  they  agreed  "  that  the  imputation 
that  old  age  pauperism  is  mainly  due  to  drink,  idleness, 
improvidence,  and  the  like  abuses  applies  to  but  a  very 
small  proportion  of  the  working  population." 

Very  similar  was  the  report  of  a  Select  Committee  of 
the  House  of  Commons,  appointed  to  consider  the  best 
means  of  improving  the  condition  of  the  "  aged  and 
deserving  poor."  The  report  read :  "  Cases  are  too 
often  found  in  which  poor  and  aged  people,  whose  con- 
duct and  whose  whole  career  has  been  blameless,  in- 
dustrious and  deserving,  find  themselves  from  no  fault 
of  their  own,  at  the  end  of  a  long  and  meritorious  life, 
with  nothing  but  the  workhouse  or  inadequate  outdoor 
relief  as  the  refuge  for  their  declining  years."  "^ 

And  :^hat  is  true  of  England  in  this  respect  is  equally 
true  of  America. 

Let  me  repeat  here  that  I  am  not  defending  nntemper* 
ance.  I  believe  with  all  my  heart  that  we  must  fight 
intemperance  as  a  deadly  enemy  of  the  working  class. 
I  want  to  see  the  workers  sober;  sober  enough  to  think 
clearly,  sober  enough  to  act  wisely.  Before  we  can  get 
rid  of  the  evils  from  which  we  suffer  we  must  get  sober 
minds,  friend  Jonathan.  That  is  why  the  Socialists  of. 
Europe  are  fighting,  the  drink  evil ;  that  is  why,  too,  the 
Prussian  Government  put  a  stop  to  the  "  Anti-Alcohol " 
campaign  of  the  workers,  led  by  Dr.  Frolich,  of  Vienna. 
Dr.  Frolich  was  not  advocating  Socialism.  He  was 
simply  appealing  to  the  workers  to  stop  making  beasts 


THE   DRONES   AND   THE   BEES  59 

of  themselves,  to  become  sober  so  that  they  could  think 
clearly  with  brains  unmuddled  by  alcohol.  And  the. 
Prussian  Government  did  not  want  that:  they  knew  very 
well  that  dear  thinking  and  sober  judgment  would  lead 
the  workers  to  the  ballot  boxes  under  Socialist  banners. 

I  care  most  of  all  for  the  suffering  of  the  innocent 
little  ones.  When  I  see  that  under  our  present  system 
it.  is  necessary  for  the  mother  to  leave  her  baby's  cradle 
to  go  into  a  factory,  regardless-,of  whether  the  baby  lives 
or  -dies  when  it  is  fed  on  nasty  and  dangerous  artificial 
foods  or  poor,  polluted  milk,  I  am  stirred  to.  my  soul's 
depths.  When  I  think  of  the  tens  of  thousailds  of  little 
"babies  that  die  every  year  as  a  result 'of  these  conditions 
I  have  described ;  of  .the  millions  of  children  who  go  to 
school  every  day  underfed  and  neglected,  and  of  the  little 
child  toilers  in  shops,  factories  and  mines,  as  well  as 
upon  the  farms,  though  their  lot  is  less  tragic  than  that 
of  the  little  prisoners  of  the  factories  and  mines  —  I  can- 
not find  words  to  express  my  hatred  of  the  ghoulish  sys- 
tem. 

I  should  like  you  to  read,  Jonathan,  a  little  pamphlet 
on  Underfed  School  Children,  which  costs  ten  cents,  and 
a  biggef  book.  The  Bitter  Cry  of  the  Children,  which 
you  can  get  at  the  public  library.  I  wrote  these  to  lay 
before  thinking  men  and  women  some  of  the  terrible 
evils  from  which  our  children  suffer.  ■/  know  that  the 
things  written  are  true.  Every  line  of  them  was  writ- 
ten with  the  single  purpose  of  telling  the  truth  as  I  had 
seen  it^ 

I  made  the  terrible  assertions  that  more  than  eighty  , 
thousand  babies  are  slain  by  poverty  in  America  each 
year ;  that  some  "  2,000,000.  children  of  school  age  in  the 
United  States  are  the  victims  of  poverty  which  denies 
them  common  necessities,  particularly  adequate  nourish- 


6o  COMMON   SENSE   OF   SOCIALISM 

ment";  that  there  were  at  least  1,750,000  children  at 
work  in  this  country.  These  statements,  and  the  evi- 
dence given  in  support  of  them,  attracted  widespread  at- 
tention, both  in  this  country  and  in  Europe.  They  were 
cited  in  the  U.  S.  Senate  and  in  Europe  parliaments. 
They  were  preached  about  from  thousands,  of  pulpits 
and  discussed  from  a  thousand  platforms  by  politicians, 
social  reformers  and  others. 

A  committee  was  formed  in  New  York  City  to  pro- 
mote the  physical  welfare  of  school  children.  Al- 
though one  of  the  first  to  take  the  matter  up,  I  was  not 
asked  to  serve  on  that  committee,  on  account  of  the  fact, 
as  I  was  afterwards  told,  of  my  being  a  Socialist.  Well," 
that  Committee;,  composed. entirely  of  non-Socialists,  and 
including  some  very  bitter  opponents  of  Socialism,  made- 
an  investigation  of  the  health  of  school  children  in  New 
York  City.  They  examined,  medically,  some  1,400  chil- 
dren of  various  ages,  living  in  different  parts  of  the  city 
and  belonging  to  various  social  classes.  If  the  results 
they  discovered  are  common  to  the  whole  of  the"  United 
States,  the  conditions  are  in  every  way  worse  than  I 
had  declared  them  to  be. 

//  the  conditions  found  by  the  medical  investigators 
for  this  committee  are  re'presentative  of  the  whole  of  the 
United  States,  then  we  have  not  less  than  twelve  million 
school  children  in  the  United  States  suffering  from  phy- 
sical defects  more  or  less  serious,  and  not  less  than 
1,248,000  suffering  from  malnutrition  —  from  insufficient 
nourishment,  generally  due  to  poverty,  though  not  always 
—  to  such  an  extent  that  they  need  medical  attention* 

Do  you  think  a  nation  with  such  -conditions  existing 
at  its  very  heart  ought  to  be  called  a  civilized  nation? 
I  don't.     I  say  that  it  is  a  brutalized  nation,  Jonathanl 

*Quar.  Pub.  American  Statistical  Association,  June  1907. 


THE  DRONES  AND  THE   BEES  6l 

And  now  I  want  you  to  look  over  a  list  of  another  kind 
of  shameful  social  conditions  — ■  a  list  of  some  of  the  vast 
fortunes  possessed  by  men  who  are  not  victims  of  pov- 
erty, but  of  shameful  wealth.  I  take  the  list"^from  the 
dryasdust  pages  of  The  Congressional  Record,  Decem- 
ber 12,  1907,  from  a  speech  by  the  Hon.  Jeff  Davis,  Uni- 
ted States  Senator  from'Arkansas.  I  cannot  find  in  the 
pages  of  The  Congressional  Record  that  it  made  any 
impression  upon  the  minds  of  the  honorable  senator's, 
but  I  hope  it  will  make  some  impression  upon  your  mind, 
my  friend.  It  is  a  good  deal  easier  to  get  a  human  idea 
into  the  head  of  an  honest  workingman  than  into  the 
head  of  an  honorable  senator! 

Don't  be  frightened  by  a  few  figures.  Read  them. 
They  are  full  of  human  interest.  I  have  put  before  you 
some  facts  relating  to  the  shameful  poverty  of  the  work- 
ers and  their  pitiable  condition,  and  now  I  want  to  put 
before  you  some  facts  relating  to  the  pitiable  condition 
of  the  non-workers.  I  want  you  ta  feel  some  pity  for 
the  millionaires ! 

THE   RICHEST   FIFTY-ONE   IN   THE   UNITED,  STATES. 

"  When  the  average  present-day  millionaire  is  bluntly 
asked  to  name  the  value  of  his  earthly  possessions,  he 
finds  it  difficult  to  answer  the  question  correctly.  It 
may  be  that  he  is  not  willing  to  take  the  questioner  into 
his  confidence.    It  is  doubtful  whether  he  really  knows. 

"If  this  is  true  of  the  millionaire  himself,  it  follows 
that  when  others  atte:mpt  the  task  of  estimating  the 
amount  of  his  wealth  the  results  must'  be  conflicting. 
Still,  excellent  authorities  are  not  lacking  on  this  subject, 
and  the  list  of  the  richest  fifty-one  persons  in  the  United 
States  has  been  satisfactorily  compiled. 

"The  following  list  is  taken  from  Munsey's  Scrap 


62 


COMMONSENSE   OF   SOCIALISM 


Book  of  June,  1906,  and  is  a  fair  presentation  of  the 
property  owned  by  fifty-one  of  the  very  ^  richest  men  of 
the  United  States 


Name. 


HoW  Made. 


Total  Fortune. 


John  D.  Rockefeller. . 

Andrew  Carnegie 

W.  W.  Astor, 

J.  Pierpont  Morgan  . . 
William  Rockefeller . 

H.  H.Rogers 

W.  K.  Vanderbilt. . . . 

Senator  Clark : . . 

John  Jacob  Astor 

Russell  Sage 

H.  C.  Frick 

D.  0.  Mills 

Marshall  Field,  Jr.... 
Henry  M.  Flagler 


J.T.Hill../., 
John  D.  Archbold. 


Oliver  Payne. 

J.  B.  Haggin. 

Harry  Field. ......  T. . 

James  Henry  Smith. . 

Henry  Phipps 

Alfred  G.  Vanderbilt. 
H.  O.  Havemeyer  — 

Mrs.  Hetty  Green 

Thomas  F.  RVan 

Mrs.  W.  Walker 

George  Gould. 


L  Ogden  Armour. , 


T.  Gerry. 
Robert  W.  Goelet. . 

J.  H.  Flager 

Claus  Spreckels.. . . 
W.  F.  Havjemeyer. 

Jacob  H.Schiff 

P.  A.  B.  Widener.. 
George  F.  Baker. . . 

August  Belmont 

James  Stillman 

John  W.  Gates 

Norman  B.  Ream . . 
Joseph  Pulitzer..". . . 


Oil 

Steel 

Real  Estate. 

Finance 

Oil 

...do 

Railroads  . . . 


Copper.     

Real  Estate. . . 
Finance ....... 

Steel  and  Coke. 

Banker 

Inherited..... . 

Oii.*.. 

Railroads 

Oil...... 

....do 

Gold.. 

Inherited 

....do 

Steel 

Railroads 

Sugar 

Finance 

..;do 

Inherited 

Railroads 

Meat , 

Inherited 

Jieal  Estate 

Finance 

Sugar 

...  do 

Banker 

Street  Cars 

Banker 

Finance 

Banker. ........ 

F"inance 

;..do 

Journalist 


$600,000,000 

300,000.000 

300,000,000 

150,000,000 

100,000,000 

100,000,000 

100,000,000 

100,000,000 

100,000,000 

80,000,000 

80,000,000 

75,000,000 

75,000,000 

6o,000,tXX3 

60,000,000 

50,000,000^ 

50,000,000 

50,000,000 

50,000,000 

40,000,000 

40,000,000 

40,000,000 

40,000,000 

40,000,000 

40,000,000 

35,000000 

35,000,000^ 

30,000,000 

30,000,000 

30,000,000 

30,000,000 

30,000,000 

30,000,000 

25,000,000 

25,000,000  ' 

25,000,000  " 

20,000,000 

20,000,000 

20,000,000 

20,000,000 

20,000,000 


THE   Dr6nES   and   THE   BEES 


63 


a 
a 

Name. 

How  Made. 

Tcytal  Fortune. 

i\? 

James  G.  Bennett 

Journalist 

Finance 

Steel...: 

$20,000,000 
20,000,000 

'13 

John  G.  Moore ^ 

'I'l 

D.  G.  Reid 

Frederick  Pabst 

45 
46 

20,000,000 
20,000,000 
20,000,000 
20.000  000 

William  D.  Sloane 

Inherited 

Railroads 

Tobacco 

Finance 

Railroads 

....do 

i\7 

William  B.  Leeds 

1I8 

-James  P.  Duke.. . .        .... 

49 
SO 
SI 

Anthony  N.  Brady 

20,000,000 
20,000,000 
20,000,000 

George  W.  Vanderbilt 

Fred  W.  Vanderbilti 

Total 

$3,295,000,000 

"  It  will  thus  be  seen  that  fifty-one  persons  in  the  United 
States,  with  a  population  of  nearly  90,000,000  people,  own 
approximately  one  thirty-fifth  of  the  entire  wealth  of 
the  United  States.  The  Statistical  Abstract  of  the  Uni- 
ted States,  29th  number,  1906,  prepared  under  the  di- 
rection of  the  Secretary  of  Commerce  and  Labor  of  the 
United  States,  gives  the  estimated  true  value  of  all  prop- 
erty in  the  Ignited  States  for  that  year  at  $107,104,211,- 

917-  '         '         .. 

"  Each  of  the  favored  fifty-one  owns  a  wealth  of  some- 
what more  than  $64,600,000,  while  each  of  the  remain- 
ing 89,999,950  people.get  $1,100.     No  one  of  these  fifty- 

■  one  owns  less 'than  «$20,ooo,ooo,  and  no  one  on  the  aver- 
age owns  less  than  $64*600,000.  Men  owning  from 
$1,000,000  to  $20,000,000  are  no  longer  called  rich  men. 
There  are  approximately  4,000  millionaires  in  the  United 
States,  but  the  aggregate  of  their  holdings  is  difficult  to 
obtain.  If  all  their  holdings  be  deducted  from  the  total 
true  value  of  all  the  property  in  the  United  States,  the 
average  share  of  each  of  _  the  other  '89,995,000  people 

,  would  be  less  than  $500.  „  . 


64  COMMON   SENSE   OF  SOCIALISM 

"  John  Jacob  Astor  is  reputed  to  have  been  the  first 
American  millionaire,  although  this  is  a  matter  impos-i^- 
sible  to  decide.  It  is  also  claimed  that  Nicholas  Long- 
worth,  of  Cincinnati,  the  great  grandfather  of  Congress- 
man Longworth,  was  the  first  man  -west  of  the  Allegheny 
Mountains  to  amass  a  million.  .  It  is  difiicult  to  prove 
either  one  of  these  propositions,  but  they  prove  that  the 
age  of  the  millionaire  in  the  United  States  is  a  compara- 
tively recent  thing.  In  1870  to  own  a  single  million  was 
to  be  a  very  rich  man ;  in  1890  it  required  at  least  $10,- 
000,000,  while  to-day  a  man  with  a  single  million  ot  even 
ten  millions  is  not  in  the  swim.  To  be  enumerated  as 
one  of  the  world's  richest  men  you  must  own  not  less 
than  $20,000,000." 

I  am  perfectly  serious  when  I  suggest  that  the  slaves 
of  riches  are  just  as  much  to  be  pitied  as  the  slaves  of^ 
poverty.  -.  No  man  need  envy  Mr.  Rockefeller,  for  ex- 
ample, because  he  has  something  like  six  hundred  mil- 
lions of  dollars,  an  annual  income  of  about  seventy-two 
millions.  He  does  not  own  those  millions,  Jonathan, 
but  they  own  him.  He  is  a  slave  to  bis  possessions.  If 
he  owns  a  score  of  automobiles  he  can  only  use  one  at 
a  time;  if  he  spends  millions  in  building  palatial  resi- 
dences for  himself  he  cannot  get  greater  comfort  than' 
the  man  of  modest  fortune.  He  cartnot  buy  health  nor 
a  single  touch  of  love  for  money. 

Many  of  our  great  modern  princes  of  industry  and 
commerce  are  good  men.  It  is  a  wild  mistake  to  im- 
agine that  they  are  all  terrible  orgres  and  monsters  of 
iniquity.  But  they  are  victims  of  an  unjust  system. 
Millions  roll  into  their  cofifers  while  they  sleep,  and  they 
are  oppressed  by  tlie  burden  of  responsibilities.  If  they 
give  money  away  at  a  rate  calculated  to  ease  them  of  the 
burdens  beneath  which  they  stagger  they  can  only  4o 


THE   DRONES   AND   THE   BEES  65 

more  harm  than  good.  Mr.  Carnegie  gives  public  libr- 
ries  with  the  lavishness  with  which  travellers  in  Italy 
sometimes  throw  small  copper  coins  to  the  beggars  on 
the  streets,  but  he'  is  only  pauperising  cities  wholesale 
and  hindering  the  progress'  of  real  culture  by  taking 
away  from  civic  life  the  spirit  of  self-reliance.  If  the 
people  of  a  small  town  came  together  and  said :  "  We 
ought  to  have  a  library  in  our  town  for  our  common  ad- 
vantage :  let  us  unite  and  subscribe  funds  for  a  hundred 
books  to  begin  with,"  that  would  be  an  expression  of 
true  culture. 

But  when  a  city  accepts  a  library  at  Mr.  Carnegie's 
hands,  there  ig  an  inevitable  loss  of  self-respect  and  in- 
dependence. Mr.  Carnegie's  motives  may  be  good  and 
pure,  but  the  harm  done  to  the  community  is  none  the 
less  great. 

Mr.  Rockefeller  may  give  money  to  endow  colleges 
and  universities  from  4he  very  highest  motives,  but  he 
cannot  prevent  the  endowments  from  influencing  the 
teaching^  given  in  them,  even  if  he  should  try  to  do  so. 
Thus  the  gifts  of  our  millionaires  are  an  insidious 
poison  flowing  into  the  fountains  of  learning. 

Mind  you,  this  is  not  the  claim  of  a  prejudiced  Social- 
ist agitator.  President  Hadley,  of  Yalf  Univers'ity,  is  not 
a  Socialist  agitator,  but  he  admits  the  truth  of  this  claim. 
He  says':  Modern  University  teaching  costs  more  money 
per  -capita  than  it  ever  did  before,  because  the  public 
wishes  a-  university  to  maintain  places  of  scientific  re- 
search, and  scientific  research  is  extremely  expensive. 
A  university  is  more  likely,  to '  obtain .  this  money  if  it 
gives  the  property  ozvners  reason  to  believe  that  vested 
rights  unll  not  be  interfered  with.  If  we  recognize 
vested  rights  in  order  to  secure  the  means  of  progress  in 
physical  science,  is  there  not  danger  that  we  shall  stifle 


66  COMMON    SENSE   OF    SOCIALISM 

the  spirit  of  independence  which  is  equally  important  as 
a  means  of  progress  in  moral  science  ?  " 

Professor  Bascom  is  not  a  Socialist  agitator,  either, 
but  he  also  recognizes  the  danger  of  corrupting  our  uni- 
versity teaching  in  this  manner.  After  calling  atten- 
tion to  the  "  wrongful  and  unflinching  way  "  in  which 
the  wealth  of  the  Standard  Oil  magnate  has  been 
amassed,  he  asks :  "  Is  a  college  at  liberty  to  accept  money 
gained  in  a  manner  so  hostile  to  the  public  welfare?  Is 
it  at  liberty,  when  the  Government  is  being  put  to  its 
wits'  end  to  check  thi^  aggression,  to  rank  itself  with 
those  who  fight  it  ?  " 

And  the  efJect  of  riches  upon  the  rich  themselves  is 
as  bad  as  anything  in  modern  life.  While  it  is  true  that  . 
there  are  among  the  rich  many  very  good  citizetis,  it  is 
also  perfectly  plain  to  any  honest  observer  of  conditions 
that  great  riches  are  producing  moral  havoc  and  dis- 
aster among  the  princes  of  wealth  in  this  country.  Mj;- 
Carnegie  has  said  that  a  man  who  dies  rich  dies  dis- 
graced, but  there  is  even  greater  reason  to  believe  that  , 
to  be  born  rich  is  to  be  born  damned.  The  inheritance 
of  vast  fortunes  is  always  demoralizing.  ' 

What  must  the  minjl  and  soul  of  a  woman  be  like  who 
takes  her  toy  spaniel  in  state  to  the  opera  to  hear  Caruso 
sing,  while,  in  the  same  city,  there  are  babies  dying  for 
lack  of  food?  What  are  we  to  think-  of  the  dog-diii-, 
ners,  the  monkey-dinners  and  the  other  unspeakably 
foolish  and  unspeakably  vile  orgies  constantly  reported 
from  Newport  and  ;  other  places  where  the  drones  of 
our  social,  system  disport  themselves  ?  What  shall  we 
say  of  the  shocking  state  of  affairs  disclosed  by  the  dis- 
gusting reports  of  our  "  Society  Scandals,"  except  that 
unearned  riches  corrode  and  destroy  all  human  virtues? 

The  wise  King,  Solomon,  knew  what  he  was  talki*ig'~ 


THE  DRONES   AND   THE   BEES  (fj 

about  when  he  cried  out :  "  Give  me  neither  poverty  nor 
riches."  Unnatural  poverty  is  bad,  blighting  the  soul  of 
man;  and  unnatural  riches  are  like  wise  bad,  equally 
blighting  the  soul  of  man.  Our  socia}  system  is  bad 
for  both  classes,  Jonathan,  and  a  change  to  better  and 
juster  conditions,  while  it  will  be  resisted  by  the  rich,  the 
drones,  with  all  their  might,  will  be  for  the  common  good 
of  all.  For  it  is  well  to  remember  that  in  trying  to  get 
rid  of  the  rule  of  the  drones,  the  working  class  is  not 
trying  to  become  the  ruling  class,  to  rule  others  as  they 
have  been  ruled.  We  are  aiming  to  do  away  with  classes 
altogether ;  to  make  a  united  and  free  social  state. 


VI 

THE   ROOT   OF  THE  EVIL 


All  for  ourselves  and  nothing  for  other  people  seems  in  all 
ages  to  have  been  the  vile  maxim  of  the  masters  of  mankind. 
—  Adam  Smith, 

Hither,  ye  blind,   from  your   futile  banding! 

Know  the  rights  and  the  rights  are  won. 
Wrong  shall  die  with  the  understanding, 

One  truth  clear,  and  the  work  is  done. —  John  Boyle 
O'Reilly. 

The  great  ones  of  the  world  have  taken  this  earth  of  ours 
to  themselves;  they  live  in  the  midst  of  splendour  and  super- 
fluity. The  smallest  nook  of  the  land  is  already  a  possession; 
none  may  touch  it  or  meddle  with  it. —  Goethe. 

I  have  by  no  means  exhausted  the  evils  of  the  systeni^ 
under  which  we  live  in  the  brief  catalogue  I  have  made 
for  you,  my  friend.  If  it  were  necessary,  I  could  com- 
pile an  immense  volume  of  authentic  evidence  to  over- 
whelm you  with  a  sense  of  the-awful  failure  of  our  civil- 
ization to  produce  a  free,  united,  healthy,  happy  and  vir- 
tuous people,  which  I  conceive  to  be  the  goal  toward 
which  all  good  and  wise  men  should  aspire.  But  it  is 
dreary  and  unpleasant  work  recounting  evil  conditions; 
constantly  looking  at  the  sores  of  society  is  a  morbid  and 
soul-destroying  task. 

I  want  you  now  to  consider  the  cause  of  industrial 
misery  and  social  inequality,  to  ask  yourself  why  these 

68 


THE   ROOT   OF   THE  EVIL  6g 

conditions  exist.  For  we  can  never  hope  to  remove  the 
evils,  Jonathan,  until  we  have  discovered  the  underlying 
causes.  How  does  it  happen  that  some  people  are  thrifty 
and  virtuous  and  yet  miserably  poor  and  that  others  are 
thriftless  and  sinful  and  yet  so"  rich  that  their  riches 
weigh  them  down  and  make  them  as  miserable  as  the 
very  poorest?  Why,  in  the  name  of  all  that  is  fair  and 
good,  have  we  got  such  a  stupid,  wasteful,  unjust  and 
unlovely  social  system  after  all  the  long  centuries  of  hu- 
man experience  and  toil?  When  you  can  answer  these 
questions,  my  friend,  you  will  know  whither  to  look  for 
deliverance. 

You  said  in  your  letter  to  me  the  other  day,  Jonathan, 
that  you  thought  things  were  bad  because  of  the  wicked- 
ness of  man's  nature.  Lots  of  people  believe  that.  The 
churches  have  taught  that  doctrine  for  ages,  but  I  do 
not  believe  that  it  is  true.  It  is  a  doctrine  which  earnest 
men  who  have  been  baffled  in  trying  to  find  a  satisfac- 
tory explanation  for  the  evils  have  accepted  in  despera- 
tion. It  is  the  doctrine;  of  pessimism,  despair  and  wild 
unfaith  in, man.  If  it  were  true  that  things  were  so  bad 
as  they  are  just  because  men  were  wicked  and  because 
there  never  were  good  men  enough  to  make  them  better, 
we  should  not  have  any  ground  for  hope  for  the  future. 

I  propose  to  try  ahd  show  you  that  the  wickedness  of 
our  poor  human  nature  is  not  responsible  for  the  terrible 
social  conditions,  so  that  you  will  not  have  to  depend 
for  your  hope  of  a  better  society  upon  the  very  slender 
thread  of  the  chance  of  getting  enough  good  men  to 
make  conditions  better.  Bad  conditions,  make  bad  lives, 
Jonathan,  and  will  continue  to  do  so.  Instead  of  de- 
pending upon  getting  good  men  first  to  make  conditions 
good,  we  must  make  conditions  good  so  that  good  lives 
may  flourish  and  grow  in  them  naturally. 


"JO  COMMON    SENSE   OF   SOCIALISM 

You  have  read  a  little  history,  I  daresay,  and  you  know- 
that  there  is  no  truth  in  the  old  cry  that  "  As  things  are 
now  things  always  have  been  and  always  will  be."  You 
know  that  things  are  always  changing.  If  George 
Washington  could  come  back  to  earth  again  he  would  be 
amazed  at  the  changes  which  have  taken  place  in  the 
United  States.  Going  further  back,  Christopher  Co- 
lumbus would  not  recognize  the  country  he  discovered. 
And  if  we  could  go  back  millions  of  years  and  bring  to 
life  one  of  our  earliest  ancestors,  one  of  the  primitive 
cave-dwellers,  and  set  him  down  in  one  of  our  great 
cities,  the  mighty  houses,  streets  railways,  telephones, 
telegraphs,  wireless  telegraphy,  electric  vehicles  on  the 
streets  and  the  ships  out  on  the  river  would  terrify  him 
far  more  than  an  angry  tiger  would.  Can  you  think 
how  astonished  and  alarmed  such  a  primitive  cave-man 
would  be  to  be  taken  into  one  of  your  great  Pittsburg 
mills  or  down  into  a  cOal  mine? 

No.  The  world  has  grown,  Jonathan.  Man  has  en- 
larged his  kingdom,  his  power  in  the  universe.  Step  by 
step  in  the  evolution  of  the  race,  man  has  wrested  from 
Nature  her  secrets.  He  has  gone  down  into  the  deep 
caverns  and  found  mineral  treasuries  there ;  he  has  made 
the  angry, waves  of  the  ocean  bear  great,  heavy  burdens 
from  shore  to  shore  for  his  benefit ;  he  has  harnessed 
the  tides  and  the  winds  that  blow  and  caught  the  light- 
ning currents,  making  them  all  his  servants.  Between 
the  lowest  man  in  the  modern  tenement  and  the  cave- 
man there  is  a  greater  gulf  than  ever  existed  between  the 
beast  in  the  forest  and  the  highest  man  dwelling  in  a 
cave  in  that  far-off  period. 

Things  are  not  as  they  are  to-day  because  a  group  of 
clever  but  desperately  wicked  men  came  together  and  - 
invented  a  scheriie  of  society  in  which  the  many  must 


THE   ROOT   OF   THE   EVIL  7I 

work  for  the  few;  in  which  some  must  have  more  than 
they  can  use,  so  that  they  rot  of  excess  whije  others  have 
too  Httle  and  rot  of  hunger ;  in  which  little  children  must 
toil  in  factories  so  that  big  strong  men  may  loaf  in  clubs 
and  dens  of  vice;  in  which  some  women  sell  themselves 
body  and  soul  for  bread  while  other  women  spend  the^ 
sustenance  of  thousands  upon  jewels  for  pet  dogs.  No. 
It  was  no,  such  fiendish  ingenuity  which  devised  the 
capitalistic  system  and  imposed  it  upon  mankind.  It  has 
grozvn  up  through  the  ages,  Jonathan,  and  is  still  grow- 
ing. We  have  grown  from  savagery  and  barbarism 
through  various  stages  to  our  present  commercia,l  sys- 
tem, and  the  process  of  growth,  is  still  going  on.  '  I  be- 
lieve we  are  growing  into  Socialism. 

There  have  been  many  forces  urging  mankind  onward 
in  this  long  evolution.  Religion-  has  played  a  part. 
Love  of  country  has  played  a  part.  Climate  and  the  na- 
ture pi  the  soil  have'  been  factors.  Man's  ever  growing 
curiosity,  his  desire  to  know  more  of  the  life  around  him, 
has  had  much  to  do  with  it.  I  have  put  the  ideals  of  re- 
ligion and  patriotism  first,  Jonathan,  because  I  wanted 
you  to  see  that  they  were  by  no  means  overlooked  or  for- 
gotten, but  in  truth  they  ought  not  to  be, placed  first.  It 
is  the  verdict  of  all  who  have  made  a  study  of  social  evo- 
lution that,  while  these  factors  have  exerted  an  important 
influence,  back  of  them  have  been  the  material  economic 
conditions. 

In  philosophy  this  is  the  basis  of  a  very  profound 
theory  upon  which  many  learned  volumes  have  been 
written^  It  is  generally  called  "The  Materialistic  Con- 
ception of  History,"  but  sometimes  it  is  called  "  Eco- 
nomic Deterniinism  "  or  "  The  Economic  Interpretation 
of  History."  The  first  man  to  set  forth  the  theory  in  a 
very  clear  and  connected  manner  was'  Karl  Marx,  upqn 


72  COMMON   SENSE  OF  SOCIALISM 

whose  teachings  the  Socialists  of  the  world  have  placed 
a  great  deal  of  reliance.  I  don't  expect  you  to  read  all 
the  heavy  and  learned  books  written  upon  this  subject, 
for  many  of  them  requite  that  a  man  must  Be  specially 
trained  in  philosophy  in  order  to  understand  them.  For 
.the  present  I  shall  be  quite  satisfied  if  you  will  read 
a  ten-cent  pamphlet  called  The  Communist  Manifesto, 
by  Karl  Marx  and  Frederick  Engels  and,  along  with 
that,  the  fourth,  fifth  and  sixth  chapters  of  my  book, 
Socialism,  about  a  hundred  pages  altogether.  These 
will  give  you  a  fairly  clear  notion  of  the  matter.  I  shall 
not. mention  the  hard,  scientific  name  of  this  philosophy 
again.     I  don't  hke  big  words  if  little  ones  will  serve. 

If  you  enjoy  reading  a  good  story,  a  novel  that  is  full 
of  romance  and  adventure,  I  would  advise  you  to  read 
Before  Adam,  by,  Jack  London,  a  Socialist  writer.  It 
is  a  novel,  but  it  is  also  a  work  of  science.  He  gives  an 
account  of  the  life  of  the  first  men  and  shows  how  their 
whole  existence  depended  upon  the  crude  weapons  and 
tools,  sticks  picked  up  in  the  forests,  which  they  used. 
They  couldn't  live  differently  than  they  did,  because  they 
had  no  other  means  of  getting  a  living.  How  a  people 
make  thjeir  living  determines  how  they  live. 

For/many  thousands  of  years,  the  scientists  tell  us, 
men  lived  in  the'  world  without  owning  any  private  prop- 
erty. That  came  into  existence  when  men  saw  that  one 
man  could  produce  more  out  of  the  soil  than  he  needed  to 
eat  himself.  Then,  when  they  went  out  to  war  with 
other  tribes,  the  members  of  a  tribe  instead  of  trying  to 
kill  their  enemies,  made  them  captives  and  used  them  as 
slaves.  They,  did  not  cease  killing  their  foes  from  hu- 
mane motives,  because  they  had  grown  better  men,  but 
because  it  was  more  profitable. 

From  our  point  of  view,  slavery  is  a  bad  thing,  but 


THE   ROOT   OF  .THE   EVIL  73 

when  it  first  came  into  existence  it  was  a  step  upward 
and  onward.  If  we  take  the  history  of  slave  societies 
and  nations  <we  shall  soon  find  that  their  laws,  their  cus- 
toms and  their  institutions  were  based  upon  the  mode 
of  producing  wealth  through  the  laborlDf  slaves.  There 
were  two  classes  into  which  society  was  divided,  a  class 
of  masters  and  a  class  of  slaves. 

When  slavery  broke  down  and  gave  way  to  feudalism 
there  were  new  ways  of  producing  wealth.  The  laws 
of  feudal  societies,  their  customs  and  institutions, 
changed  to  meet  the  needs  brought  about  through  the 
new  methods  of  making  things.  Under  slavery,  the 
slaves  made  wealth  for  their  masters  and  were  doled  out 
food  enough  to  keep  them  alive.  The  slave  had  no 
rights.  Under  feudalism,  the  serfs  produced  wealth  for 
the  lords  parts' %f-  the  time,  working  for  themselves  the 
rest  of  the  time.  They  had  some  rights.  The  bounds 
of  freedom  were  widened.  Under  neither  of  these  sys- 
tems was  there  a  regular  system  "of  paying  wages  in 
money,  such  as  we  have  to-day.  The  slave  gave  up  all 
his  product  and  took  what  the  master  was  pleased  to 
give  him  in  the  way  of  food,  clothing  and  shelter.  The 
serf  divided  his  time  between  producmg  for  the  owner 
of  the  soil  and  producing  for  his  famiry.  The  slave 
produced  what  his  owner  wanted;  the  serf  produced 
what  either  he  himself  or  his  lord  wanted. 

There  came  a  time,  about  three  hundred  years  ago, 
when  the  feudal  system  broke  down  before  the  begin- 
nings of  capitalism,  the  system  which  we  are  living  un- 
der to-day,  and  which  we  SociaHsts  think  is  breaking 
down  as  all  other  social  systems  have  broken  down  be- 
fore it.  Under  this  system  men  have  worked  for  wages 
and  not  because  they  wanted  the  things  they  were  pro- 
ducing, nor  because  the  m^en  who  employed  them  wanted 


74  COMMON   SENSE  OF   SOCIALISM 

the  things,  but  simply  because  the  things  cotild  Be  sold 
and  a  profit  made  in  the  s(de. 

You  will  remember,  Jonathan,  that  in  a  former  letter 
I  dealt  with  the  nature  of  wealth.  We  saw  then  that 
wealth  in  our  modern  society  consists  of  an  abundance 
of  things  which  can  be  sold.  At  bottom,  we  do  not 
make  things  because  it  is  well  that  they  should  ht  made, 
because  the  makers  need  them,  but  simply  because  the 
captalists  see  possibilities  of  selling  thtf  things  at  a  pro- 
fit. 

I  want  you  to  consider  just  a  moment  how  this  works 
out:  Here  is  a  workingman  in  Springfield,  Massachu- 
setts, making  deadly  weapons  with  which  other  work- 
ingmen  in  other  lands  are  to  be  killed.  We  go  up  to  him 
as  he  works  and  inquire  where  the  rifles  are  to  be  sent, 
and  he  very  politely  tells  us  that  they  are  for  some  for- 
eign government,  say  the  Japanese,  to  be  used  in^all 
probability  against  Russian  soldiers.  Suppose  we  ask 
him  next  what  interest  he  has  in  helping  the  Japanese 
government  to  kill  the  Russian  troops,  how  he  comes  to 
have  an  active  hatred  of  the  Russian  soldiers.  He  will 
reply  at  once  tha^  he  has  no  such  feelings  against  the 
Russians ;  that  he  is  not  interested  in  having  the  Japanese, 
slaughter  them.  Why,  then,  is  he  making  the  guns  ? 
He  answers  at  once  that  he  is  only  interested  in  getting 
his  wages ;  that  it  is  all  the  same  to  him  wTiether  he  makes 
guns  for  Christians  or  Infidels,  for  Russians  or  Japs  or 
Turks.  His  only  interest  is  to  get  his  wages.  He  would 
as  soon  be  making  coffins  as  guns,  or  shoes  as  coffins,  so 
long  as  he  got  his  wages. 

Perhaps,  theri,  the  company  for  which  he  is  employed 
has  an  interest  in  helping  Japan  defeat  the  troops  of 
Russia.  Possibly  the  shareholders  in  the  company  are 
Japanese  or  sympathizers  with  Japan.    Otherwise,  why 


THE   ROOT   OF   THE  EVIL-  75 

should  they  be  bothering  themselves  getting  workpeople 
to  make  guns  for  Japanese  soldiers  to  kill  Russian  sol' 
diers  with?  So  we  go  to  the  manager  and  ask  him  to  ex- 
plain the  matter.  He  very  politely  tells  us  that-,  like  the 
man  at  'the  bench,  he  has,  no  interest  in  the  matter  at  all,  , 
and  that  the  shareholders  are  in  the  same  position  of 
being, quite  indifferent  to  the  quarrel  of  the  two  nations. 
"Why,  we  are  also  making  guns  for  Russia  in  our  fac- 
tory," he  says,  and  when  we  ask  him  to  explain  why  he 
tells  us  that  "  There  is  profit  to  be  made  and  the  firm 
cares  for  nothing  else." 

All  our  system  revolves  around  that  central  sun  of 
profit-making,  Jonathan.  Here  is  a  factory  in  which  a 
great  many  people  are  making  'shoddy  clothing.  You 
can  tell  at  a  glance  that  it  is  shoddy  and  quite  unfit  for 
wearing.  But  why  are  the  people  making  shoddy  goods 
—  why  don't  they  make'  decent  clothing,  since  they  can 
do  it  quite  as  well?  Why,  because  there  is  a  profit  for 
somebody  in  making  shoddy.  Here  a  group  of  men  are 
building  a  house.  They  are  making  it  of  the  poorest 
materials,  making  dingy  little  rooms ;  the  building  is  badly 
constructed  and  it  can  never  be  other  than  a  barracks. 
Why  this  "jerry-building?"  There  is  no  reason  under 
the  sun  why  poor  houses  should  be  built  except  that 
somebody  hopes  to  make  profit  out  of  them. 

Goods  are  adulterated  and  debased,  even  the  food  of 
the  nation  is  poisoned,  for  profit.  Legislatures  are  cor- 
rupted and  courts  of  justice  are  polluted  by  the  presence 
of  the  bribe-giver  and  the  bribe-taker  for  profit.  Nations 
are, embroiled  in  quarrels  and  armies  slaughter  armiea^^ 
over  questions  which  are,  always,  ultimately  questions  of 
profit.  Here  are  children  toiling  in  sweatshops,  fac- 
tories and  mines  while  men  are  idle  and  seeking  work. 
Why?  Do  we  need  the  labor  of  the  little  ones  in  order  to 


76  COMMON  SENSE  OF  SOCIALISM 

produce  enough  to  maintain  the  life  of  the  nation?  -No. 
But  there  are  some  people  who  are  going  to  make  a  profit 
out  of  the  labors  which  sap  the  strength  of  those  little 
ones.  Here  are  thousands  of  people  hungry,  clamoring 
for  food  and  perishing  for  lack  of  it.  They  are  willing, 
to  work,  there  are  resources  for  them  to  work  upon ;  they 
could  easily  maintain  themselves  in  comfort  and  glad- 
ness if  they  set  to  work.  Then  why  don't  they  set  to 
work?  Oh,  Jonathan,  the  torment  of  this  monotonous 
answer  is  unbearable  —  because  no  one  can  make  a  profit 
out  of  their  labor  they  must  be  idle  and  starve,  or  drag 
out  a  miserable  existence  aided  by  .the  crumbs  of  cold 
charity ! 

If  our  social  econohiy  were  such  that  we  "produced 
things  for  use,  because  they  were  useful  and  beatiful, 
we  should  go  on  producing  with, a  good  will  until  every- 
body had  a  plentiful  supply.  If  we  found  ourselves  pro- 
ducing too  rapidly,  faster  than  we  could  consume  the 
things,  we  could  easily  slacken  our  pace.  We  could 
spend  more  time  beautifying  our  cities  and  our  homes, 
more  time  cultivating  our  minds  and  hearts  by  social  in- 
tercourse and  in  the  companionship  of  the  great  spirits 
of  all  ages,  through  the  masterpieces  of  literature,  music, 
painting  and  sculpture.  But  instead,  we  produce  for 
sale  and  profit.  When  the'  workers  have  produced  more 
than  the  master  class  can  use  and  they  themselves  buy 
back  out  of  their  meagre  wages,  there  is  a  glut  in  the 
markets  of  the  world,  unless  a  new  market  can  be  opened 
up  by  making  war  upon  some  defenseless,  undeveloped 
nation. 

When  there  is  a  glut  in  the  market,  Jonathan,  you 
know  what  happens.  Shops  and  factories  are  shut 
down,  the  number  of  workers  employed  is  reduced,  the 
army  of  the  unemployed  grows  and  there  is  a  rise  in 


THE    ROOT   OF   THE   EVIL  77 

the  tide  of  poverty  and  misery.  Yet  why  should  it 
be  so?  Why,  simply  because  there  is  a  superabundance 
of  wealth,  should  people  be  made  poorer  ?  Why  should 
little  children  go  without  shoes  just  becajuse  there  are 
loads  of  shoes  stacked  away  in  stores  and  warehouses? 
Why  should  people  go  _  without  clothing  simply  because 
the  warehoffses  are  bursting  with  clothes?  The  answer 
is  that  these  things  must  be  so  because  we  produce  for 
profit  instead  of  for  use.  All  these  stores  of  wealth 
belong  to  the  class  of  profit-takers,  the  capitalist  class, 
and  they  .must  sell  and  make  profit. 

So  you  see,  friend  Jonathan,  so  long  as  this  system 
lasts,  people  must  have  too  little  because  they  have  pro- 
duced too  much.  So  long  as  this  system  lasts,  there 
must  be  periods  when  we  say  that  society  cawwo^  afford 
to  have  men  and  zvomen  work  to  maintain  themselves 
decently!  But  under  any  sane  system  it  will  surely  be 
considered  the  maddest  kind  of  folly  to  keep  men  in 
idleness  while  saying  that  it  does  not  pay  to  keep  them 
working.-  Is  there  any  more  expensive  way  of  keeping 
either  an  ass  or  a  man  than  in  idleness? 

The  root  of  evil,  the  taproot  from  which  the  evils  of 
modern  society  develop,  is  the  profit  idea.  Life  is 
subordinated  to  the  making  of  profit.  If  it  were  only 
possible  to  embody  that  idea  in  human  shape,  what  a 
monster  ogre  it  would  be !  And  how  we  should  arraign 
it  at  the  bar  of  human  reason!  Should  we  not  call 
up  images  of  the  million  of  babes  who  have  been  need- 
lessly and  wantonly  slaughtered  by  the  Monster  Idea; 
the  images  of  all  the  maimed  and  wounded  and  killed 
in  the  wars  for  markets ;  th€  millions  of  others  who  have 
been  bruised  and  broken  in  the  industrial  arena  to  se- 
cure somebody's  profit,  because  it  was  too  expensive  to 
guard  life  and  limb;  the  numberless  victims  of  adul- 


78  COMMON    SENSE   OF    SOCIALISM 

terated  food  and  drink,  of  cheap  tenements  and  shoddy 
clothes?  Should  we  not  call  up  the  wretched  women  of 
our  streets ;  the  bribers  and  the  vendors  of  privilege  ? 
We  should  gurely  parade  in  pitiable  procession  the 
dwarfed  and  stunted  bodies  of  the  millions  born  to  hard- 
ship and  suffering,  but  we  could  not,  alas!  parade  the 
dwarfed  and  stunted  souls, -the  sordid  spirits  for  which 
the  Monster  Idea  is  responsible. 

I  ask  you,  Jonathan  Edwards,  what  you  really  think 
of  this  "  buy  cheap  and  sell  dear "  idea,  which  is  the 
heart  and  soul  of  our  capitalistic  system.  Are  you  sat- 
isfied that  it  should  continue? 

Yet,  my  friend,  bad  as  it  is  in  its  full  development, 
and  terrible  as  are  its  fruits,  this  idea  once  stood  for 
progress.  The  system  was  a  step  in  the  liberation  of 
man.  It  was  an  advance  upon  feudalism  which  bound 
the  laborer  to  the  soil.  Capitalisifi  has  not  been  all  bad ; 
it  has  another,  brighter  side.  Capitalism  had  to  have 
laborers  who  were  free  to  move  from  one  place  to 
another,  even  to  other  lands,  and  that  need  broke  down 
the  last  vestiges  of  the  old  physical  slavery.  That  was 
a  step  gained.  Capitalism  had  to  have  intelligent  work- . 
ers  and  many  educated  ones.  That  put  into  the  hands 
of  the  common  people  'the  key  to  the  sealed  treasuries 
of  knowledge.  It  had  to  have  a  legal  system  to  meet 
its  requirements  and  that  has  resulted  in  the  develop- 
ment of  representative  government,  of  something  ap- 
proaching political  democracy;  even  where  kings  nom- 
inally rule  to-day,  their  power  is  but  a  shadow  of  what 
it  once  was.  Every  step  taken  by  the  capitalist  class  for 
the  advancement  of  its  own  interests  has  become  in  its 
turn  a  stepping-stone  upon  which  the  working-class  has 
raised  itself. 

Karl  Marx  once  said  that  the  capitalist  system  pro-* 


THE    ROOT   OF   THE   EVIL  79 

vides  its  own  gravediggers.  I  have  cited  two  or  three 
things  .which  will  illustrate  his  meaning.  Later  on,  I 
must  try  and .  explain  to  you  how  the  great  "  trusts " 
about  which  you  complain  so  loudly,  and  which  seem  to 
be  the  very  perfection  of  the  capitalist  ideal,  lead  toward 
Socialism  at  a  pace  which  nothing  can  very  seriously 
hinder,  though  it  may  be  quickened  by  wise  action  on 
the  part  of  the  workers. 

For  the  present  I  shall  be  satisfied,  friend  Jonathan, 
if  you  get  it  thoroughly  into  your  mind  that  the  source  of 
terrible  social  evils,  of  the  poverty  and  squalor,  of  the 
helples^  misery  of  the  great  mass  of  the  people,  of  most  of 
the  crime  and  vice  and  much  of  the  disease,  is  the  "  buy 
cheap  and  sell  dear  "  idea.  The  fact  that  we  produce 
things  for  sale  for  the  profit  of  a  few,  instead  of  for 
use  and  the  enjoyment  of  all. 

Get  that  into  your  mind  above  everything  else,  my 
friend.  And  try  to  gtasp  the  fact,  also,  that  the  system 
we  are  now  trying  to  change  was  a  natural  outgrowth 
of  other  conditions.  It  was  not  a  wicked  invention,  nor 
was  it  a  foolish 'blunder.  It  was  a  necessary  and  a  right 
step  in  human  evolution.  But  now  it  has  in  turn  become 
unsuitable  to  the  needs  of  the  people  and  it  must  give 
place  to  something  elBe.  When  a  man  sufifer«  from  such 
a  disease  as  appendicitis,  he  does  not  talk  about  the 
"  wickedness"  of  the  vermiform  appendix.  He  realizes, 
if  he  is  a  sensible  man,  that  long  ago,  that  was  an  organ 
which  served  a  useful  purpose  in  the  human  system. 
Gradually,  perhaps  in  the  course  of  many  centuries,  it 
has  ceased  to  become  useful.  It  has  lost  its  original 
functions  and  become  a  menace  to  the  body. 

Capitalism,  Jonathan,  is  the  vermiform  appendix  of 
the  social  organism.  It  has  served  its  purpose.  The 
profit  idea  has  served  an  important  function  in  society, 


8o  COMMON    SENSE   OF    SOCIALISM 

but  it  is  now  useless  an3  a  menace  to  the  bo4y  social. 
Our  troubles  are  due  to  a  kind  of  social  appendicitis. 
And  the  remedy,  is  to  remove  the  useless  and  offending 
member. 


VII 

FROM    COMPETITION   TO   MONOPOLY 

_*■  *  *  *  *.  *  *  *  ^ 

It  may  be  fairly  said,  I  think,  that  not  merely  competition, 
but  competition  that  was  proving  ruinous  to  many  establish- 
ments, was  the  cause  of  the  combinations. —  Prof.  I.  W.  Jenks. 

The  day  of  the  capitalist  has  come,  and  he  has  made  full  use 
of  it.  To-morrow  will  be  the  day  of  the  laborer,  provided  he 
has  the  strength  and  the  wisdom  to  use  his  opportunities. — 
H.  De.  R.  Gibbins. 

Monopoly  expands,  ever  expands,  till  it  ends  by  bursting.— 
P.  J.  Proudhon. 

For  this  is  the  close  of  an  era;  we  have  political  freedom; 
next  and  right  away  is  to  come  social  enfranchisement. — 
Benjamin  Kidd. 

I  think  you  realize,  friend  Jonathan,  that  the  bottom 
principle  'of  the  present  capitalist  system  is  that  there 
must  be  one  class  owning  the  land,  mines,  factories,  rail- 
ways, and  other  agencies  of  production,  but  not  using 
them;  and  another  class^  using  the  land  and  other  means 
of  production,  but  not  owning  them. 

Only  those  things  are  produced  which  there  is  a:  rea- 
sonable hope  of  selling  at  a  profit.  Upon  no  other  con- 
ditions will  the  owners  of  the  means  of  production  con- 
sent to  their  being  used.  The  worker  who  does  not 
own  the  things  necessary  to  produce  wealth  must  work 
upon  the  terms  imposed  by  the  other  fellow  in  most 
cases.     The  coal  miner,  not  owning  the  coal  mine,  must 

8i 


82  COMMON    SENSE    OF    SOCIALISM 

agree  to  work  for  wages.  So  must  the  mechanic  in  the 
workshop,  and  the  mill-worker. 

As  a  practical,  sensible  workingman,  Jonathan,  you 
know  very  well  that  if  anybody  says  the  interests  of 
these  two  classes  are  the  same  it  is  a  foolish  and  lying 
statement.  You  are  a  workingman,  a  wage-earner,  and 
you  know  that  it  is  to  your  interest  to  get  as  much 
wages  as  possible  for  the  smallest  amount  of  work.  If 
you  work  by  the  day  and  get,  let  us  say,  two. dollars  for 
ten  hours'  work,  it  would  be  a  great  advantage  to  you 
if  you  could  get  your  wages  increased  to  three  dollars 
and  your  hours  of  labor  to  eight  per  day,  wouldn't  it? 
And  if  you  thought  that  you  could  get  these  benefits 
for  the  asking  you  would  ask  for  them,  wouldn't  you? 
Of  course  you  would,  being  a  sensible,  hard-headed 
American  workingman. 

Now,  if  giving  these  things'  would  be  quite  as  much 
to  the  advantage  of  the  company  as  to  you,  the  company 
would  be  just  as  glad  to  give  them  as  you  would  be  to 
.receive  them,  wouldn't  it?  I  am  assuming,  of  course, 
that  the  company  knows  its  own  interests  just  as  well  as 
you  and  your  fellow  workmen  know  yours.  But  if  you 
went  to  the  officials  of  the  company  and  asked  them  to 
give  you  a  dollar  more  for  the  two  hours'  less  work, 
they  would  nof  give  it  —  unless,  of  course,  you  were 
strong  enough  to  fight  and  compel  them  to  accept  your 
terms.  But  they  would  resist  and  you  would  have  to 
fight,  because  your  interests  clashed. 

That  is  why  trade  unions  are  formed  on  the  one  side 
and  employers'  associations  upon  the  other.  Society  is 
divided  by  antagonistic  interests ;  into  exploiters  and  ex- 
ploited. 

Politicians  and  preachers  may  cry  out  that  there  are 
no  classes  in  America,  and .  they  may  even  be  fpolish 


FROM    C0MPETITi6n    TO    MONOPOLY  83 

enough  to  believe  it  —  for  there  are  lots  of  very  foolish 
politicians  and  preachers  in  the  world!  You  may  even 
hear  a  short-sighted  labor  leader  say  the  same,  thing,  but 
you  know  very  well,  my  friend,  that'  they  are  wrong. 
You  may  not  be  able  to  confute  them  in  debate,  not  hav- 
ing their  skill  in  wordy  warfare ;  but  your  experience, 
your  common  sense,  convince  you  that  they  are  wrong. 
And  all  the  greatest  political  economists  are  on  your 
side.  I  could  fill  a  volume  with  quotations  from  the 
writings  of  the  most  learned  political  economists  of  all 
times  in  support  of  your  position,  but  I  shall  only  give 
one  quotation.  It  is  from  Adam  Smith's  great  work. 
The  Wealth  of  Nations,  and  I  quote  it  partly  because  no 
better  statement  of  the  principle  has  ever  been  made' by 
any  writer,  and  partly  also  because  no  one  can  accuse 
Adam  Smith  of  being  a  "  wicked  Socialist  trying  to  set 
class  against  class."    He  says: 

"The  workmen  desire  to  get  as  much,  the  masters  to  give  as 
little  as  possible.  The  former  are  disposed  to  combine  in  order 
to  raise,  the  latter  in  order  to  lower  the  wages  of  labon 
.  .  .  Masters  are  always  and  everywhere  in  a  sort  of  tacit, 
but  constant  and  uniform,  combination,  not  to  raise  the  wages 
of  labor  above  their  actual  rate.  To  violate  this  combination  is 
everywhere  a  most  unpopular  action,  and  a  sort  of  a  reproach 
to  a  master  among  his  neighbors  and  equals.  .  .  .  Masters 
too  sometimes  enter  into  particular  combinations  to  sink  the 
wages  of  labor.  .  .  .  These  are  always  conducted  with  the 
utmost  silence  and  secrecy,  till  the  moment  of  execution." 

,  That  is  very  plainly  put,  Jonathan.  Adam  Smith  was 
a  great  thinker  and  an  honest  one.  He  was  not  afraid 
to  tell  the  truth.  I  am  going  to  quote  a  little  further 
what  he  says  about  the  combinations  of  workingmen  to 
increase  their  wages: 


84  COMMON    SENSE   OF    SOCIALISM 

"  Such  combinations,  [i.  e.,  to  lower  wages]  however,  are 
frequently  resisted  by  a  contrary  defensive  combination  of'the 
workmen;  who  sometimes  too,  without  any  provocation  of  this 
kind,  combine  of  their  own  accord  to  raise  the  price  of^  labor. 
Their  usual  pretenses  are,  sometirpes  the  high  price  of  pro- 
visions; sometimes  the  great  profit  which  their  masters  make 
by  their  work.  But  whether  these  combinations  be  offensive  or 
defensive,  they  are  always  abundantly  heard  of.  In  order  to 
bring  the  point  to  a  speedy  decision,  they  have  always  recourse 
to  the  loudest  clamour,  and  sometimes  to  the  rriost  shocking 
violence  ■  and  outrage.  They  are  desperate,  and  act  with  the 
extravagance  and  folly  of  desperate  men,  who  must  either 
starve,  or  frighten  their  masters  into  an  immediate  compliance 
with  their  demands.  The  masters  upon  these  occasions  are  just 
as  clamorous  upon  the  other  side,  and  never  cease  to  call  aloud 
for  the  assistance  of  the  civil  magistrate,  and  the  rigorous  ex- 
ecution of  those  laws  which  have  been  enacted  with  so  much 
severity  against  the  combinations  of  servants,  laborers,  and 
journeymen. 

"  But  though  in  disputes  with  their  workmen,  masters  must 
generally  have  the  advantage,  there  is  however  a  certain  rate, 
below  which  it  seems  impossible  to  reduce,  for  any  considerable 
time,  the  ordinary  wages  even  of  the  lowest  species  of  labor. 

"  A  man  must  always  live  by  his  work,  and  his  wages  must 
at  least  be  sufficient  to  maintain  him.  They  must  even  upon 
most  occasions  be  somewhat  more;  otherwise  it  would  be  im- 
possible for  him  to  bring  up  a  family,  and  the  race  of  such 
workmen  could  not  last  beyond  the  first  generation." 

Now,  my  friend,  I  know  that  some  of  your  pretended 
friends,  especially  politicians,  will  tell  you  that  Adam 
Smith  wrote  at  the  time  of  the  American  Revolution; 
that  his  words  applied  to  England  in  that  day,  but  not 
to  the  .United  States  to-day.  I  want  you  to  be  honest 
with  yourself,  to  consider  candidly  whether  in  your  ex- 
perience as  a  workman  you  have  found  conditions  to  be, 
on  the  whole,  just  as  Adam  Smith's  words  describe  them. 
I  trust  your  own  good  sense  in  this  and  everything. 


FROM   COMPETITION  TO  MONOPOLY  85 

Don't  let  the  politicians  frighten  you  with  a  show  of  book 
learning:  do  your  own  thinking. 

Capitalism  began  vyhen  a  class  of  property  owners 
employed  other  men  to  work  for  wages.  The  tendency 
was  for  wages  to  keep  at  a  level  just  sufficient  to  enable 
the  workers  to  maintain  themselves  and  families.  They 
had  to  get  enough  for  families,  you  see,  in  order  to  re- 
produce their  kind  —  to  keep  up  the  supply  of  laborers. 

Competition  was  the  law  of  life  in  the  first  period  of 
capitalism.  Capitalists  competed  with  each. other  for 
markets.  They  were  engaged  in  a  mad  scramble  for 
profits.  Foreign  countries  were  attacked  and  new  mar- 
kets opened  up;  new  inventions  were  rapidly  introduced. 
And  while  the  workers  found  that  in  normal  conditions 
the  employers  were  in  what'  Adam  Smith  calls  "  a  tacit 
combination"  to  keep  wages  down  to' the  lowest  level, 
and  were  obliged  to  combine  into  unions,  there  were 
times  when,  owing  to  the  fierce  competition  among  the 
employers,  and  the  demand  for  labor  being  greatly  in 
excess  of  the  supply,  wages  went  up  without  a  struggle ' 
owing  to  the  fact  that  one  employer  would  try  to  outbid 
another.  In  othei^  words,  temfiorarily,  the  natural, 
"  tacit  combination "  of  the  employers,  to  keep  down 
wages,  sometimes  broke  down. 

Competition  was  called  "  the  life  of  trade  "  in  those 
days,  and  in  a  sense  it  was  so.  Under  its  mighty'  urge, 
new  continents  were  explored  and  developed  and  brought 
within'  the  circle  of  civilization.  Sometimes  this  was 
done  by  mea.ns  of  brutal  and  bloody  wars,  for  capitalism 
is  never  particular  about  the  methods  it  adopts.  To  get 
profits  is  its  only  concern,  and  though  its  shekels  "  sweat 
blood  and  dirt,"  to  adapt  a  celebrated  phrase  of  Karl 
Marx,  nobody  cares.     Under  stress  of  competition,  also, 


86  COMMON   SENSE  OF   SOCIALISM 

the  development  of  mechanical  production  went  on  at  a 
terrific  pace ;  navigation  was  developed,  so  that  the  ocean 
became  as  a  common  highway. 

In  short,  Jonathan,  it  is  no  wonder  that  men  sang  the 
praises  of  competition,  that  some  of  the  greatest  thinkers 
of  the  time  looked  upon  competition  as  something  sacred. 
Even  the  workers,  seeing  that  they  got  higher  wages 
when  the  keen  and  fierce  competition  created  an  ex- 
cessive demand  for  labor,  joined  in  the  adoration  of 
competition  as  a  principle  —  but  among  themselves,  in 
their  struggles  for  better  conditions,  they  avoided  com- 
petition as  much  as  possible  and  combined.  Their  in- 
stincts as  wage-earners  made  them  keen  to  see  the  folly 
of  division  and  competition  among  themselves. 

So  competition,  considerecf  in  connection  with  the  evo- 
lution of  society,  had  many  good  features.  The  com- 
petitive period  was  just  as  "  good  "  as  any  other  period 
in  history  and  no  more  "  wicked  "  than  any  other  period. 

But  there  was  another  side  to  the  shield.  As  the  com- 
petitive struggle  among  individual  capitalists  went  on 
the  weakest  were  crushed  to  the  wall  and  fell  down  into 
the  ranks  of  the.  wage  workers.  There  was  no  system  in 
production.  Word  came  to  the  commercial  world  that 
there  was  a-great  market  for  certain  manufactures  in  a 
foreign  land  and  at  once  hundreds  and  even  thousands 
of  factories  were  worked  to  their  utmost  limit  to  meet 
that  demand.  The  result  was  that  in  a  little  while  the 
thing  was  overdone:  there  was  a  glut  in  the  market, 
often  attended  by  panic,  stagnation  and  disaster.  Rath- 
bone  Greg  summed  up  the  evils  of  competition  in  the 
following  words: 

"  Competition  gluts  our  markets,  enables  the  rich  to 
take  advantage  of  the  necessity  of  the  poor,  makes  each 
man  snatch  the  bread  out  of  his  neighbor's  mouth,  con- 


FROM    COMPETITION   TO   MONOPOLY  87 

verts  a  nation  of  brethren  into  a  mass  of  hostile  units, 
and  finally  involves  capitalists  and  laborers  in  one  com- 
mon ruin." 

The  crises  due  to  this  unregulated  production,  and 
the  costliness  of  the  struggles,  led  to  the  formation  of 
joint-stock  companies.  Competition  was  giving  way  be- 
fore a  stronger  force,  the  force  of  co-operation.  There 
was  still  competition,  but  it  was  more  and  more  between 
giants.  To  adopt  a  very  homely  simile,  the  bigger  fish 
ate  up  the  little  ones  so  long  as,  there  were  any,  and  then 
turned  to  a  struggle  among  themselves. 

Another  thing  that  forced  the  development  of  industry 
and  commerce  away  from  competitive  methods  was  the 
increasing  costliness  of  the  machinery  of  production.  The 
new  inventions,  first  of .  steam-pOwer  and  later  of  elec- 
tricity, involved  an  immense  outlay,  so  that  many  per- 
sons had  to  combine  their  capitals  in  one  common  fund. 

This  process  of  eliminating  competition  has  gone  on 
with  remarkable  swiftness,  so  that  we  have  now  the 
great  Trust  Problem.  Everyone  recognizes  to-day  that 
the  trusts  practically  control  the  life  of  the  nation.  It 
is  the  supreme  issue  in  our  politics  and  a  challenge  to 
the  heart  and  brain  of  the  nation. 

Fifty  years  ago  Kaj;l  Marx,  the  great  Socialist  eco- 
nomist, made  the  remarkable  prophecy  that  this .  condi- 
tion would  arise.  He  lived  in  the  heyday  of  competi- 
tion, when  it  seemed  utter  folly  to  talk  about  the  end  of 
competition.  He  analyzed  the  situation,  pointed  to  the 
process  of  big  capitalists  crushing  out  the  little  capital- 
ists, the  union  of  big,  capitalists,  and  the  inevitable  drift 
toward  monopoly.  He  predicted  that  the  process  would 
continue  until  the  whole  industry,  the  main  agencies  of 
production  and  distribution  at  any  rate,  would  be  cen- 
tralized in  a  few  great  monopolies,  controlled  by  a  very 


88  COMMON   SENSE   OF   SOCIALISM 

small  handful  of  men.  He  showed  with  wonderful  clear- 
ness that  capitalism,  the  Great  Idea  of  buy  cheap  and  sell 
dear,  carried  within  itself  the  germs  of  its  own  destruc- 
tion. 

And,  of  course,  the  wiseacres  laughed.  The  learned 
ignorance  of  the  wiseacre  always  compels  him  to  laugh 
at  the  man  with  an  idea  that  is  new.  Didn't  the  wise- 
acres imprison  Galileo?  Haven't  they  persecuted  the 
pioneers  in  all  ages?  But  Time  has  a  habit  of  vindicat- 
ing the  pioneers  while  consigning  the  scoffing  wiseacres 
to  oblivion.  Fifty  years  is  a  short  time  in  humaji  evo- 
lution but  it  has  sufficed  to  establish  the  right  of  Marx 
to  an  honored  place  among  the  pioneers. 

More  than  twenty-five  years  after  Marx  made  his 
great  prediction,  there  came  to  this  country  on  a  visit 
Mr.  H.  M.  Hyndman,  an  English  economist  who  is  also 
khown  as  one  of  the  foremost  living  exponents  of  Social- 
ism. The  intensity  of  the  competitive  struggle  was  most 
marked,  but  he  looked  below  the  surface  and  saw  a  subtle, 
current,  a  drift  toward  monopoly,  which  had  gone  un- 
noticed. He  predicted  the  coming  of  the  era  of  great 
trusts  and  combines.  Again  the  wiseacres  in  their 
learned  ignorance  laughed  and  derided.  The  amiable 
gentleman  who  plays  the  part  of  flunkey  at  the  Court  of 
St.  James,  in  London,  wearing  plush  knee  breeches,  sil- 
ver-buckled shoes  and  powdered  wig,  a  marionette  in 
the  tinseled  show  of  King  Edward's  court,  was  one  of 
the  wiseacr'es.  He  was  then  editor  of  the  New  York 
Tribune,  and  he  declared  that  Mr.  Hyndman  was  a  "  fool 
traveler  "  iot  making  such  a  prediction.  But  in  the  very 
next  year  the  Standard  Oil  Company  was  formed! 

So  we  have  the  trust  problem  with  us.  Out  of  the 
bitter  competitive  struggle  there  has  come  a  new  condi- 
tion, a  new  form  of  industrial  ownership  and  enterprise. 


FROM   COMPETITION  TO   MONOPOLY  89 

From  the  cradle  to  the  grave  we  are  encompassed  by 
the  trust. 

Now,  friend  Jonat'han,  I  need  not  tell  you  that  the 
trusts  have  got  the  nation  by  the  throat.  You  know  it. 
But  there  is  a  passage,  a  question,  in  the  letter  you  wrote 
me  the  other  day  from  which  I  gather  that  you  have  not 
■given  the  matter  very  close  attention..  You  ask  "  How 
will  the  Socialists  destroy  the  trusts  which  are  hurting 
the  people  ?  " 

I  suppose  that  comes  from  your  old  associations  with 
the  Democratic  Party.  You  think  that  it  is  possible  to 
destroy  the  trusts,  to  undo  the  chain  of  social  evolution, 
to  go  back  twenty  or  fifty  years  to  competitive  conditions. 
You  would  restore  competition.  I  have  purposely  gone 
into  the  historical  development  of  the  trust  in  order  to 
show  you  how  useless  it  would  be  to  destroy  the  trusts 
and  introduce  competition  again,  even  if  that  were  pos- 
sible. Now  that  you  have  mentally  traced  the  origin  of 
monopoly  to  its  causes  in  competition,  don't  you  see  that 
if  we  could  destroy  the  monopoly  to-morrow  and  start 
fresh  upon  a  basis  of  competition,  the  process  of  "  big 
fish  eat  little  fish  ".  would  begin  again  at  once  — for  that 
is  competition?  And  if  the  big  ones  eat  the  little  ones  up, 
then  fight  among  themselves,  won't  the  result  be  as  be- 
fore—  that  either  one  will  crush  the  other,  leaving  a 
monopoly,  or  the  competitors  will,  join  hands  and  agree 
not  to  fight,  leaving  monopoly  again  ? 

And,  Jonathan,  if  there  should  be  a  return  to  the  old- 
fashioned,  free-for-all  scramble  for  markets,  would  it  be 
any  better  for  the  workers  ?  Would  there  not  be  the 
same  old  struggle  between  the  capitaKsts  and  the  work- 
ers? Would  not  the  workers  still  have  to  give  much 
for  little;  to  wear  their  lives  away  grinding  out 'profits 
for   the   masters   of  their   bread,   of   thqij-   very   lives? 


90  COMMON    SENSE   OF    SOCIALISM 

Would  there  not  be  gluts  as  before,  with  panics,  misery, 
unemployed  armies  sullenly  parading  the  streets;  idlers  in 
mansions  and  toilers  in  hovels?  You  know  very  well 
that  there  would  be  all  these,  my  friend,  and  I  know  that 
you  are  too  sensible  a  fellow  to  think  any  longer  about 
destroying  the  trusts.  It  cannot  be  done,  Jonathan,  and 
it  would  not  be  a  good  thing  if.  it  could  be  done. 

I  think,  my  friend,  that  you  will  see  upon  reflection 
that  there  are  many  excellent  features  about  the  trust 
which  it  would  be  criminal  and  foolish  to  detroy  had  we 
the  power.  Competition  means  waste,  foolish  and  un- 
necessary waste.  Trusts  have  been  organized,  expressly 
to  do  away  with  the  waste  of  men  and  natural  re- 
sources. They  represent  economical  production.  When 
Mr.  Perkins,  of  the  New  York  Life  Insurance  Company, 
was  testifying  before  the  insurance  investigating  com- 
mittee he  gave  expression  to  the  philosophy  of  the  trust 
movement  by  saying  that,  in  the  modern  view,  competi- 
tion is  the  law  of ~  death  and  that  co-operation  and  or- 
ganization represent  life  and  progress.^ 

While  the  wage-workers  are  probably  in  many  respects 
better  off  as  a  result  of  the  trustification  of  industry,  it 
would  be  idle  to  deny  that  there  are  many  evils  con- 
nected with  it.  No  one  who  views  the  situation  calmly 
can  deny  that  the  trusts  exert  an  enormous  power  over 
the  government  of  the  country,  that  they  are,  in  fact,  the 
real  government  of  the  country,  exercising  far  more 
control  over  the  lives  of  the  common  people  than  the 
regularly  constituted,  constitutional  government  of  the 
country  does.  It  is  also  true  that  they  can  arbitrarily 
fix  prices  in  many  instances,  so  that  the  natural  law  of 
value  is  set  aside  and  the  workers  are  exploited  as  con- 
sumer's, as  purchasers  of  the  things  necessary  to  life, 
just  as  they,  a^e  exploited  as  producers. 


FROM    COMPETITION    TO    MONOPOLY  9I 

Of  -course,  friend  Jonathan,  wages  must  meet  the  cost 
of  living.  If  prices  rise  considerably,  wages  must  sooner 
or  later  follow,,and  if  prices  fall  wages  likewise  will  fall 
sooner  or  later,  ^ut  it  is  important  to  remember  that 
when  prices  fall  wages  are  quick  to  follow,  while  when 
prices  soar  higher  and  higher  wages  are  very  slow  to 
follow.  That  is  why  it  wouldn't  do  us  any  good  to  have 
a  law  regulating  prices,  supposing  that  a  law  forcing 
down  prices  could  be  enacted  and  enforced.  Wages 
would  follow  prices  downward  with  wonderful  swift- 
ness. And  that  is  why,  also,  we  do  need  to  become  the 
masters  of  the  wealth  we  produce.  For  wages  climb 
upward  with  leaden  feet,  my  friend,  when  prices  soar 
with  eagle  wings.  It  is  always  the  workers  who  are  at 
a  disadvantage  in. a  system  where  one  class  controls  the 
means  of  producing  and  distributing  wealth. 

But,  friend  ■  Jonathan,  that  is  due  to  the  fact  that  the 
advantages  of  the  trust  form  of  industry  are  not  used  as 
well  as  they  might  be.  They  are  all  grasped  by  the. 
master  class.  The  trouble  with  the  trust  is  simply  this : 
the  people  as  a  whole  do-  not  share  the  benefits.  We 
continue  the  same  old  wage  system  under  the  new  forms 
of  industry:  we  have  not  changed  our  mode  of  dis- 
tributing the  wealth  produced  so  as  to  conform  to  the 
new  modes  of  producing  it.  The  heart  of  the  economic 
conflict  is  right  there.  '^^ 

We  must  find  a  remedy  for  this,  Jonathan.  Labor 
unionism  is  a  good  thing,  but  it  is  no  remedy  for  this 
condition.  It  is  a  valuable  weapon  with  which  to  fight 
for  better  wages  and  shorter  hours,  and  every  working- 
man  ought  to  belong  to  the  union  of  his  trade  or  call- 
ing. But  unionism  does  not  and  canno^  do  awaj  with 
the  profit  system ;  it  cannot  break  the  power  of  the  trusts 
to  extort  monopoly  prices  from  the  people.    To  do  these 


92  COMMON    SENSE   OF    SOCIALISM 

things  we  must  bring  into  play  the  forces  of  government : 
we  must  vote  a  new  status  for  the  trust.  The  union  is 
for  the  economic  struggle  of  groups  of  jvorkers  day  by 
day  against  the  master  class  so  long  a£  the  present  class 
division  exists.  But  that  is  not  a  solution  of  the  prob- 
lem. What  we  need  to  do  is  to  vote  the  class  divisions 
out  of  existence.     We  need  to  own  the  trusts,  Jonathan! 

This  is  the  Socialist  position.  What  is  needed  now 
is  the  harmonizing  of  our  social  relations  with  the  new 
forms  of  production.  When  private  property  came  into 
the  primitive  world  in  the  form  of  slavery,  social  rela- 
tions were  changed  and  from  a  rude  communism  society 
passed  into  a  system  of  individualism  and  class  rule. 
When,  later  on,  slave  labor  gave  way  before  serf  labor, 
the  social  relations  were  again  modified  to  correspond. 
When  capitalism  came,  with  wage-pgid  labor  as  its  basis, 
all  the  laws  and  institutions  which  stood  in  the  way  of 
the  free  development  of  the  new  principle  were  swept 
away;  new  social  relations  were  established,  new  laws 
and  institutions  introduced  to  meet  its  needs. 

To-day,  in  America,  we  are'suifering  because  our  social 
relations  are  not  in  harmony  with  the  changed  methods 
of  producing  wealth.  We  have  got  the  laws  and  insti- 
tutions which  were  designed  to  meet  the  needs  of  com- 
petitive industry.  They  suited  those  old  conditions  fairly 
well,  but  they  do  not  suit  the  new. 

In  a  former  letter,  you  will  remember,  I  likened  our 
present  suffering  to  a  case  of  appendicitis,  that  society 
suffers  from  the  trouble  set  up  within  by  an  organ  which 
has  lost  its  function  and  needs  to  be  cut  out.  Perhaps 
I  might  better  liken  society  to  a  woman  in  the  travail  of 
childbirth,  suffering  the  pangs  of,  labor  incidental  to  the 
deliverance  of  the  new  life  within  her  womb.    The  trust 


FROM    COMPETITION    TO    MONOPOLY  93 

marks  the  highest  development  of  capitalist  society:  it 
can  go  no  further. 

The  Old  Order  changeth,  yielding  place  to  new. 

And  the  new  order,  waiting  now  for  deliverance  from 
tljfe  womb  of  the  old,  is  Socialism,  the  fraternal  state. 
Whether  the  birth  of  the  new  order  is  tp  be  peaceful  or 
violent  and  painful,  wl^th^r  it  will  be  ushered,  in  with 
glad  shouts  of  triumphant  men  and  women,  or  with  the 
noise  of  civil  strife,  depends,  my  good  friend,  upon  the 
manner  in.  which  you  and  all  other  workers  discharge 
your  responsibilities  as  citizens.  That  is  why  I  am  so 
anxious  to  set  the  claims  of  Socialism  clearly  before 
you:  I  want  you  to  work  for  the  peaceful  revolution 
of  society,  Jonathan. 

For  the  present,  I  am  only  going  to  ask  you  to  read  a 
little  five  cent  pamphlet,  by  Gaylord  Wilshire,  called 
The  Significance  of  the  Trust,  and  a  little  book  by 
Frederick  Engels,  called  Socialism,  Vtopian  and  Scien^ 
title.  Later  on,  when  I  have  had  a  chance  to  explain 
Socialism,  in  a  general  way,  and  must  then  leave  you  to 
your  own  resources,  I  intend  to  make  for  you  a  list  of 
books,  which  I  hope  you  will  be  able  to  read. 

You  see,  Jonathan,  I  remember  always  that  you  wrote 
me :  "  Whether  Socialism  is  good  or  bad,  wise  or  fool- 
ish, /  want  to  know."  The  best  way  to  know  is  to  study 
the  question  for  yourself.  : , 


yiii 

WHAT  SOCIALISM    IS  AND   WHAT   IT   IS   NOT 


Socialis'm  is  industrial  democracy.*  It  would  put  an  end  to 
the  irresponsible  control  of  economic  interests,  and  substitute 
popular  self-government  in  the  industrial  as  in  the  political 
world.^ —  Charles  H.  Vail. 

Socialism  says  that  man,  machinery  and  land  must  be  brought 
together;  that  the  toll  gates  of  capitalism  must  be  torn  down, 
and  that  every  human  being's  opportunity  to  produce  the  means 
with  which  to  sustain  life  shall  be  considered  as  sacred  as  his 
right  to  live. —  Allan  L.  Benson. 

Socialism  means  that  all  those  things  upon  which  the  people 
in  common. depend  shall  by  the  people  in  common  be  owned  and 
administered.  It  means  that  the  tools  of  employment  shall  belong 
to  their  creators  and  users;  that  all  production  shall  be  for 
the  direct  use  of  the  producers;  that  the  making  of  goods  for 
profit  shall  come  to  an  end;  that  we  shall  all  be  workers  to- 
gether; and  that  all  opportunities  shall  be  open  and  equal  to  all 
men. —  National  Platform  of  the  Socialist  Party,  1904. 

Socialism  does  not  consist  in  violently  seizing  upon  the  prop- 
erty of  the  rich  and  sharing  it  out  amongst  the  poor. 

Socialism  is  not  a  wild  dream  of  a  happy  land  where  the 
apples  will  drop  off  the  trees  into  our  open  mouths,  the  fish  come 
out  of  the  rivers  and  fry  themselves  for  dinner,  and  the  looms 
turn  out  ready-made  suits  of  velvet  with  golden  buttons  without 
the  trouble  of  coaling  the  engine.  Neither  is  it  a  dream  of  a 
nation  of  stained-glass  angels,  who  never  say  damn,  who  always 
love  their  neighbors  better  than  themselves,  and  who  never  need 
to  work  unless  they  wish  to. —  Robert  Blatchford. 

By  this  time,  friend  Jonathan,  you  have,  I  hope,  got 
rid  of  the  notion  that  Socialism  is  a  ready-made  scheme 

94 


WHAT   SOCIALISM   IS  AND  WHAT   IT   IS   NOT  95 

of  society  which  a  few  wise  men  have  planned,  and  which 
their  followers  are  trying-  to  get  adopted.  I  have  spent 
some  time  and  effort  trying  to  make  it  perfectly  plain  to 
you  that  great, social  changes  are  not' brought  about  in 
that  fashion. 

Socialism  then,  is  a  philosophy  of  human  progress,  a 
theory  of  social  evolution,  the  main  outlines  of  which  I_ 
-have  already  sketched  for  you.  Because  the  subject  is 
treated  at  much  greater  length  in  some  of  the  books  I 
have  asked  you  to  read,  it  is  not  necessary  for  me  to 
elaborate  the  theory.  It  will  be  sufficient,  probably,  for 
me  to  restate,  in  a  very  few  words,  the  main  principles  of 
that  theory : 

The  present  social  system  throughout  the  civilized  v 
world  is  not  the  result  of  deliberately  copying  some  plan 
devised  by  wise  men.  It  is  the  resiilt  of  long  centuries  of 
growth  and  development.  From  our  present  position  we 
look  back  over  the  blood-blotted  pages  of  history,  back  to 
the  ages  before  men  began  to  write  their  history  and  their 
thoughts,  through  the  centuries  of  which  there  is  only 
faint  tradition ;  we  go'  even  f urlJier  back,  to  the  very 
beginning  of  human  existence,  to  th^  men-apes  and  the 
ape-men  whose  existence  science  has  made  clear  to  us, 
and  we  see  the  race  engaged  in  a  long  struggle  to 

Move  upward,  working  out  the  beast 
■And  let  the  ape  and  tiger  die. 

We  look  for  the  means '  whereby  the  progress  of  man 
has  been  made,  and  find  that  his  tools  have  been,  so  to 
say,  the  ladder  upon  which  he  has  risen  in  the  age-long 
cHmb  from  bondage  toward  brotherhood,  from  being  a 
brute  armed  with  a  club  to  the  sovereign  of  the  universe, 
controlling  tides,  harnessing  winds,  gathering  the  light- 
ning in  his  hands  and  reaching  to  the  farthest  star. 


96  COMMON    SENSE   OF    SOCIALISM  ^ 

We  find  in  every  epoch  of  that  long  evolution  the 
means  of  producing  wealth  as  the  center  of  all,  trans- 
forming government,  laws,  institu^tions  and  moral  codes 
to  meet  their  limitations  and  their  needs.  Nothing  has 
ever  been  strong  enough  to  restrain  the  economic  forces 
in  social  evolution.  When  laws  and  customs  have  stood 
.in  the  way  of  the  economic  forces  they  have  been  burst 
asunder  as  by  some  mighty  leaven,  or  hurled  aside  in 
the  cyclonic  sweep  of  revolutions. 

Have  you  ever  gone  into  the  country,  Jonathan,  and 
noticed  an  immense  rock  split  and  shattered  by  the  roots 
of  a  tree,  or  perhaps  by  the  might  of  an  insignificant 
looking  fufigus?  I  have,  many  times,  and  I  never  see 
such  a  rock  without  thinking  of  its  aptness  as  an  illus- 
tration of  this  Socialist  philosophy.  A  tiny  acorn  tossed 
by  the  wind  finds  lodgment  in  some^  small  crevice  of  a 
rock  which  has  stood  for  thousands  of  years,  a  rock  so 
big  and  strong  that  men  choose  it  as  an  emblem  of  the 
Everlasting.  Soon  the  warm  caresses  of  the  sun  and  the 
rain  wake  the  latent  life  in  the  acorn;  the  shell  breaks 
and  a  frail  little  shoot  t)f  vegetable  life  appears,  so  small 
that  an  infant  could  crush  it.  Yet  that  weak  and  puny 
thing  grows  on  unobserved,  striking  its  rootlets  farther 
into  the  crevice  of  the  rock.  And  when  there  is  no 
more  room  for  it  to  grow,  if  does  not  die,  but  makes 
room  for  itself  by  shattering  the  rock. 

Economic  forces  are  like  that,  my  friend,  they  must- 
expand  and  grow.  Nothing  can  long  restrain  them.  A 
new  method  of  producing  vjealth  broke  up  the  primi- 
tive communism  of  prehistoric  man;  another  change  in 
the  methods  of  production  hurled  the  feudal  barons  from 
power  and  forced  the  establishment  of  a  new  social  sys- 
tem. And  now,  we  are  on  the  eve  of  another  great 
change  —  nay,  we  are  in  the  very  midst  of  the  change. 


WHAT  SOCIALISM    IS  AND  WHAT   IT   IS   NOT  97 

Capitalism  is  doomed!  Not -because  men  think  it  is 
wicked,  but  because  the  development  of  the  great  in- 
dustrial trusts  compels  a  new  political  and  social  systein 
to  meet  the  needs  of  the  new  mode  of  production. 

Something  has  got  to  give  way  to  the  irresistible 
•  growing  force!,  A  change  is  inevitable.  And  the 
change  must  be  to  Socialism.  That  is  the  belief  of  the 
Socialists,  Jonathan,  which  I  am  trying  to  make  you 
understand.  Mind,  I  do  not  say  that  the  coming  change 
will  be  the  last  change  in  human  evolution,  that  there  will 
be  no  further  development  after  Socialism.  I  do  not 
know  what  lies  beyond,  nor  to  what  heights  humanity 
may  attain  in  future  years.  It  may  be  that  ttiousands 
or  millions  of  years  from  now  the  race  will  have  attained 
to  such  a  state  of  growth  and  power  that  the  poorest  and 
weakest  man  then  alive  will  be  so  much  superior  to  the 
greatest  men  alive  to-day,  our  best  scholars,  poets,  art- 
ists, inventors  and  statesmen,  as  these  are  superior  to 
the  cave-man.  It  may  be.  I  do  not  know.  Only  a 
fool  would  seek  to  set  mete  and  bound  to  man's  possi- 
bilities. 

We  are  concerned  only  with  the  change  that  is  immi- ' 
nent,  the  change  that  is  now  going  on  before  our  eyes. 
We  say  that  the  outcome  of  society's  struggle  with  the 
trust  problem  must  be  the  control  of  the  trust  by  society. 
That  the  outcome  of  the  struggle  between  the  master 
class  qnd  the  slave  cla^  between  the  wealth  makers  and 
the  wealth  takers,  must  be  the  victory  of  the  makers. 

Throughout  all  history,  ever  since  the  first  appearance 
of  private  property  —  of  slavery  and  land  ownership  — 
there  have  been  class  struggles.  Slave  and  slave-owner, 
serf  and  baron,  wage-slave  and  capitalist  —  so  the  classes 
have  struggled. .  And  what  has  been  the  issue, ,  thus  far*? 
Chattel  slavery  gave  way  to  serfdom,  in  which  the  op- 


98  COMMON   SENSE   OF   SOCIALISM 

pression  was  lighter  and  the  oppressed  gained  some 
measure  of  human  recognition.  Serfdom,  in  its  turn, 
gave  way  to  the  wages  system,  in  which,  despite  many 
evils,  the  oppressed  class  lives  upon  a  far  higher  plane 
than  the  slave  and  serf  classes  from  whence  it  sprang. 
Now,  with  the  capitalists  unable  to  hold  and  manage  the 
great  machinery  of  •  production  which  has  been  devel- 
oped, with  the  workers  awakened  to  their  power,  armed 
with  knowledge,  with  education,  and,  above  all,  with  the 
power  to  make-  the  laws,  the  government,  what  they  will, 
can  anybody  doubt  what  the  outcome  will  be? 

It  is  impossible  to  believe  that  we  shall  continue  to 
leave  the  things  upon  which  all  depend  in  the  hands  of 
a  few  members  of  societif.  Now  that  production  has 
been  so  organized  that  it;  can  be  readily  controlled  and 
directed  from  a  few  centers,  it  is  possible  for  the  first 
time  in  the  history  of  civilization  for  men  to  live  together 
in  peace  and  plenty,  owning  in  common  the  things  which 
must  be  used  in  common,  which  are  needed  in  common ; 
leaving  to  private  ownership  the  things  which  can  be 
privately  owned  without  injury  to  society.  .And  that  is 
Socialism. 

I  have  explained  the  philosophy  of  social  evolution 
upon  which  modern  Socialism  is  based  as  clearly  as  I 
could  do  in  the  space  at  my  disposal.  I  want  you  to 
think  it  out  for  yourself,  Jonathan.  I  want  you  to  get 
the  enthusiasm  and  the  inspiration  which  come  from  a 
realization  of  the  fact  that  progress  is  the  law  of  Na- 
ture; that  mankind  is  ever  marching  upward  and  on- 
ward; that  Socialism  is  the  certain  inheritor  of  all  the 
ages  of  struggle,  suffering  and  accumulation. 

And  above  all,  I  want  you  to  realize  the  position  of 
your  class,  my  frierixi,  and  ybur  duty  to  stand  with  your 


WHAT  SOCIALISM   IS  AND  WHAT  IT  IS  NOT  99 

class,  not  only  as  a  union  man,  but  as  a  voter  and  a 
citizen. 

As  a  system  of  political  economy!  need  say  little  of 
Socialism,  beyond  recounting  some  of  the  things  we 
have  already  considered.  A  great  many  learned  ignorant 
men,  like  Mr.  Mallock,  for  instance,  are  fond  of  telling 
the  workers  that  the  economic  teachings  of  Socialism 
are  unsound;  that  Karl  Marx  was  really  a  very  super- 
ficial thinker  whose  ideas  haver  been  entirely  discredited. 

Now,  Karl  Marx  has  been  dead  twenty-five  years, 
Jonathan.  His  great  work  was  done  a  generation  ago. 
Being  just  a  human  being,  like  the  rest  of  us,  it  is  not 
to  be  supposed  that  he  was  infallible.  There  are  some 
things  in  his  writings  which  cannot  be  accepted  without 
modification.  But  what  does  that  matter,  so  long  as 
the  essential  princples  are  sound  and  true?  When  we 
think  of  a  great  man  like  Lincoln  we  do  not  trouble  about 
the  little  things  —  the  trivial  mistakes  he  made;  we  con- 
sider only  the  big  things,  the  noble  things,  the  true  things, 
he  said  and  did. 

But  there  are  lots  of  little-minded,  little-souled  people 
in  the  world  who  have  eyes  only  for  the  little  flaws  and 
none  at  all  for  the  big,  strong  and  enduring  things  in  a 
man's  work.  I  never  think  of  these  critics  of  Marx 
without  caJlirig  to  mind  an  incident  I  witnessed  two  or 
three  years'  ago  at  an  art  ex;hibition  in  New  York, 
There  was  placed  on  exhibition  a  famous  Greek  marble, 
a  statue  of  Aphrodite.  Many  people  went  to  see  it  and 
on  several  occasions  when  I  saw  it  I  observied  that  some 
people  had  been  enough  stirred  to  place  little  bunches  of 
flowers  at  the  feet  of  the  statue  as  a  tender  tribute  to  its 
beauty.  But  one  day  I  was  greatly  annoyed  by  the  pres- 
ence of  a  critical  woman  who  had  discovered  a  little  flaw 


lOO  COMMON    SENSE   OF   SOCIALISM 

in  the  statue,  where  a  bit  had  been  broken  off.  She  rh  ot- 
tered about  it  like  an  excited  magpie.  Poor  soul,  she 
had  no  eyes  for  the  beauty  of  the  thing,  the  mysfery 
which  shrouded  its  past  stirred  no  emotions  in  her  breast. 
She  was  only  just  big  enough  in  mind  and  soul  to  see 
the  Haw.  I  pitied  her,  _ Jonathan,  ag  I  pity  many  of  the 
critics  who ,  write  learned  books  to  prove  that  the  eco- 
nomic principles  of  Socialism  are  wron^.  I  cannot  read 
such  a  book  but  a  vision  rises  before  my  mind's  eye  of 
that  woman  and  the  statue.  .; 

I  believe  that  the  great  fundamental  principles  laid 
down  by  Karl  Marx  cannot  be  refuted,  because  they  are 
true.  But  it  is  just  as  well  to  bear  in  mind  that  Social- 
ism does  not  depend  upon  Karl  Marx.  If  all  his  works 
could  be  destroyed  and  his  name"  forgotten  there  would 
still  be  a  Socialist  movement  to  contend  with.  The 
question  is:  Are  the  economic  principles  of  Socialism 
as  it  is  taught  to-day  true  or  false  ? 

The  first  principle  is  that  wealth  in  modern  society 
consists  in  an  abundance  of  things  which  ^  can  be  sold 
for  profit. 

So  far  as  I  know,  there  is  no  economist  oT  note  who 
makes  any  objection  to  that  statement.  I  know  that 
sometimes  political  economists  confuse  their  readers  and 
themselves  by  a  loose -use  of  the  term  wealth,  including 
in  it  many  things  which  have  nothing  at  air  to  do  with 
economics.  Good  health  and  cheerful  spirits,  for  ex- 
ample, are  often  spoken  of  as  wealth  and  there  is  a  cer- 
tain primal  sense  in  which  that  word  is  rightly  applied 
to  them.     You  remember  the  poem  by  Charles  Mackay  — 

Cleon  hath  a  million  acres,  ne'er  a  one  have  I ; 
Cleon  dwelleth  in  a  palace,  in  a  cottage  I; 
Cleon  hath  a  dozen  fortunes,  not  a  penny  I ; 
Yet  th^poorer  of  the  twain  is  Cleon,  and  not  I. 


WHAT  SOCIALISM   IS  AND  WHAT  IT   IS   NOT         lOI 

f 

In  a  great  moral  sense  that  is  all  true,  Jonathan,  but  from 
the  point  of  view  of  political  economy,  Cleo'n  of  the 
million  acres,  the  palace  and  the  dozen  fortunes  must  be 
regarded  as  the  richer  of  the  two. 

The  second  principle  is  that  wealth  is  produced  by 
labor  applied  to  natural  resources. 

The  only  objections  to'this,  the  only  attempts  ever 
made  to  deny  its  truth,  have  been  based  uprm  a  misunder- 
standing of  the  meaning  of  the  word  "  labor."  If  a 
man  came  to  you  in  the  mill  one  day,  and- said:  "See 
that  great  machine  with  all  its  lever§.  and  springs  and 
wheels  working  in  such  beautiful  harmony.  It  was ' 
made  entirely  by  manual  workers,  such  as  moulders, 
blacksmiths  and  machinsts;  no  brain  workers  had  aay- 
thing  to  do  with  it,"  you  would  suspect  that  man  of 
bei|ig  a  fool,  Jonathan.  You  know,  even  though  you 
are  no  economist,  that  the  labor  of  the  inventor  and  of 
the  men  who  drew  the  plans  of  the  various  parts  was 
just  as  necessary  as  the  labor  of  the  manual  workers.  I 
have 'already  shown  you,  when  discussing  the  case  of  > 
Mr.  Mallock,  that  Socialists  have  never  claimed  that 
wealth  was  produced ,  by  manual  labor  alone,  and  that 
brain  labor'  is  always  unproductive.  All  the  great  po- 
litical economists  have  included  both  mental  and  manual 
labor  in  their  use  of  the  term,  that  being,  indeed,  the 
only  sensible  use  of  the  word  known  to  our  language: 

It  IS  very 'easy  work,  my  friend,  for  a  clever  juggler 
of  words  to  erect  a  straw  man,  label  the  dummy  "  Social- 
ism "  and  then  pull  it  to  pieces.  But  it  is  not  very  use- 
ful work,  nor  is  it  an  honest,  intellectual  occupation:  I 
say  to  you,  friend  Jonathan,  that  when  writers  like  Mr. 
Mallock  contend  that  "ability,"  as  distinguished  from 
labor,  must  be  considered  as  a  principal  factor  in' pro- 
duction, they, must  be  regarded  as  being  either  mentally 


102  COMMON   SEISrSE  OF  .SOCIALISM 

weak  or  deliberate  perverters  of  the  truth.  You  know, 
and  every  man  of  fair  sense  knows,  that  ability  in  the 
abstract  never  could  produce  anything  at  all. 

Take  Mr.  Edison,  for  example.  He  is  a  man  of  won- 
derful ability  —  one  of  the  greatest  men  of  this  or  any 
other  age.  Suppose  Mr.  Edison  were  to  say :  "  I  know 
I  have  a  great  deal  of  ability f  I  think  that  I  will  just  sit 
down  with  folded  hands  and  depend  upon  the  mere  pos- 
session of  my  ability  to  make  a  living  for  me  " —  what  do 
you  think  would  happen  ?  If  Mr.  Edison  were  to  go  to 
some  lonely  spot,  without  tools  or  food,  making  up  his 
mind  that  he  need  not  work ;  that  he  could  safely  depend 
upon  his  ability  to  produce  food  for  him  while  he  sat  idle 
or  slept,  he  would  starve.  Ability  is  like  a  machine,  Jona- 
than. If  you  have  the  finest  machine  in  the  world  and- 
keep  it  in  a  garret  it  will  produce  nothing  at  all.  You 
might  as  well  have  a  pile  of  stones  there  as  the  machine. 

But  connect  the  machine  with  the  motor  and  place  a 
competent  man  in  charge  of  it,  and  the  machine  at  once 
becomes  a  means  of  production.  Ability  is  likewise  use- 
less and  impotent  urlless  it  is  expressed  in  the  form  of 
either  manual  or  mental  labor.  And  when  it  is  so  em- 
bodied in  labor,  it  is  quite  useless  and  foolish  to  talk  of 
ability  as  separate  from  the  labor  in  which  it  is  em- 
bodied. 

The  third  principle  of  Socialist  economics  is  that  the 
value  of  things  produced  for  sale  is,  under  normal  con- 
ditions, determined  by  the  amount  of  labor  socially  neces- 
sary, on  an  average,  for  their  production.  .  This  is  called 
the  labor  theory  of  value. 

Many  people  have  attacked  this  theory,  Jonathan,  and 
it  has  been  "  refuted,"  "  upset,"  "  smashed  "  and  "  de- 
stroyed "  by  nearly  every  hack  writer  on  economics  liv- 
ing.   But,  for  some  reason,  the  number  of  people  wh% 


VVHAT  SOCIALISM    IS  AND  WHAT  IT   IS  NOT         IO3 

accept  it  is-  constantly  increasing  in  spite  of  the  number 
of  times^  it  has  been  "  exposed  "  and  "  refuted."  It  is 
worth  our  while  to  consider  it  briefly. 

You  will  observe  that  I  have  made  two  important 
qualifications  in  the  above  statement  of  the  theory :  first, 
that  the  law  applies  only  to  things  produced  for  sale,  and 
second, JE^MJ it  is  only  under  normal  .conditions  that  it 
holds  true."^  Many  very  clever  men  try  to  prove  this 
law  of  value  wrong  by  citing  the  fact  that  articles  are 
sometimes  sold  for  enormous  prices,  out  of  all  propor- 
tion to  the  amount  of  labor  it  took  to  produce  them  in 
the  first  instance.  For  example,  it  took  Shakespeare 
only  a  few  minutes  to  write  a  letter,  we  may  suppose, 
but  if  a  genuipe  letter  in  the  poet's  handwriting  were 
offered  for  sale  in  one  of  the  auction  rooms  where  sucb 
things  are  sold  it  would  fetch  an  enormous  price,  per- 
haps more  than  the  yearly  salary  of  the  President  of  the 
United  States.  -        .  . .,        ,         j^     "        .....    — 

The  value  of  the  letter  wduld  not  be  'due  ta'fe  amount 
of  labor  Shakespeare  devoted  to  the  writing  of  it,  but  to 
its  rarity.  It  would  have  what  the  economists  call  a 
"  scarcity  value."  The  same  is  true  of  a  great  many 
other  things,  such  as  historical  relics,  great  works  of  art, 
and  so  on.  These  things  are  in  a  class  by  themselves. 
But  they  constitute  no  important  part  of  the  business  of 
modern  society.  We.  are  not  conc-erned  with  them,  but 
with  the  ordinary,  every  day  production  of  goods  for 
sale.  The  truth  of  this  law  of  value  is  not  to  be  de- 
termined by  considering  these  special  objects  of  rarity, 
but  the  great  mass  of  things  produced  in  our  workshops 
and  factories. 

Now,  note^  the  second  qualification.  I  say  that  the 
value  of  things  produced  for  sale  under  normal  condi- 
tions is  determined ^S  the  amount  of  labor  socially  neces- 


104  COMMON   SENSE  OF  SOCIALISM 

sary,  on  an  average,  for  their  production.  Some  of  the 
clever,  learnedly-ignorant  writers  on  Socialism  think  that 
they  have  completely  destroyed  this  theory  of  value  when 
they  have  only  misrepresented  it  and  crushed  the  image 
of  their  own  creating. 

It  does  not  mean  that  if  a  quick,  efficient  workman, 
with  good  tools,  takes  a  day  to  make  a  coat,  while  an- 
other workman,  who  is  slow,  clumsy  and  inefficient,  and 
has  only  poor  tools,  takes  six  days  to  make  a  table  that 
the  table  will  be  worth  si:*:  coats  upon  the  market.  That 
would  be  a  foolish  proposition,  Jonathan.  It  would 
mean  that  if  one  workman  made  a  coat  in  one  day,  while 
another  workman  took  two  days  to  make  exactly  the 
same  kind  of  coat,  that  the  one  made  by  the  slow,  ineffi- 
cient workman  would  bring  twice  as  much  as  the  other, 
even  though  they  were  so  much  alike  that  they  could 
not  be  distinguished  one  from  the  other. 

Only  an  ignoramus  could  believe  that.  No  Socialist 
writer  ever  made  such  a  foolish  claim,  yet  all  th^  attacks 
upon  the  economic  principles  of  Socialism  are  based  upon 
that  idea! 

Now  that  I  have  told  you  what  it  does  not  mean,  let 
me  try  to  make  plain  just  what  it  does  mean.  I  shall 
use  a  very  simple  illustration  which  you  can  readily  ap- 
ply to  the  whole  of  industry  for  yourself.  If  it  ordi- 
narily takes  a  day  to  make  a  coat,  if  that  is  the  average 
time  taken,  and  it  also  tal;ces  on  an  average  a  day  to 
make  a  table,  then,  also  on  an  average,  one  coat  will  be 
'  worth  just  as  much  as  one  table.  But  I  must  explain 
'  that  it  is  not  possible  to  bring  the  production  of  coats 
and  tables  down  to  the  simple  measurement.  When  the 
tailor  takes  the  piece  of  cloth  to  cut  out  the  coat,  he  has- 
in  that  material  something  that  already  embodies  human 
labor.     Somebody  had  to  weave  that  cloth  upon  a  loom. 


WHAT  SOCIALISM    IS  AND   WHAT   IT    IS.  NOT         105 

Before  that  somebody  had  to  make  the  loom.  And  be- 
fore that  loom  could  make  cloth  somebody  had  to  raise 
sheep  and  shear  them  to  get  the  wool.  And  before  the 
carpenter  could  make  the  table,  somebody  had  to  go  into 
the  forest  and  fell  a  tree,  after  which  somebody  had  to 
bring  that  tree,  cut  up  into  planks- or  logs,  to  the  car- 
penter. And  before  he  could  use  the  lumber  somebody 
had  to  make'  the  -tools  with  which  he  worked. 

I  think  you  will  understand  now  why  I  pteced  empha- 
sis on  the  words  "  socially  necessary."  It  is  not-possible 
for  the  individual  buyer  to  ascertain  just  how  much  social 
labor  is  contained  in  a  coat  or  a  table,  but  their  values  are 
fixed  by  the  competition  and  higgling  which  is  the  law 
of  capitalism.  "  It  jest  works  out  so,"  as  an  old  negro 
preacher  said  to;  me  once. 

I  have  said  that  competition  is  the  law  of  capitalism. 
All  political  economists  recognize  that  as  true.  But  we 
have,  as  I  have  explained  in  a  former  letter,  come  to  a 
point  where  capitalism  has  broken  away  from  competi- 
tion in  many  industries:-  We  have  a  state  of  affairs 
under  which  the  ecoffomic  -laws  of  competitive  society  do 
not  apply.  Monopoly  prices  have  always  been  regarded 
as  exceptions  to  economic  law. 

If  this  technical  economic,  discussion  seems  a  little  bit 
difficult,  I  beg  you  nevertheless  to  try  ai^jfi  master  it, 
Jonathan.;  It  will  do  you  good  to  think  out  these  ques- 
t^ns.  Perhaps  I  can  explaift  ^ore  clearly  what  is  meant 
by  monopoly  conditions  being  exceptional.  All  through;, 
the  Middle  Ages  it  was  the  custom  for  governments  to 
grant  monopolies  to  favored  subjects,  or  to  sell  them  in 
order  to  raise  ready  money.  Queen  Elizabeth,  for  in- 
stance, granted  and  sold  many  such  monopolies.         ^ 

A  man  who  had  a  monopoly  of  something  which  nearly 
everybody  had  to  use  could  fix  his  own  price,  the  only 


I06  COMMON    SENSE   OF   SOCIALISM 

■  limit  being  the  people's  patiencg  or  their  ability  to  pay. 
The  same  thing  is  true  of  patented  articles  and  of  monop- 
olies granted  to  public  service  corporations.  Generally, 
it  is  true,  in  the  franchises  of  these  corporations,  nowa- 
days, there  is  a  price  limit  fixed  beyond  which  they  must 
not  go,  but  it  is  still  true  that  the  normal  competilive 
economic  law  has  been  set  aside  by  the  creation  of 
monopoly. 

When  a  frust  is  formed,  or  when  there  is  a  price 
agreement,  or  what  is  politely  called  "  an  undei  standing 
among  gentlemen  "  to  that  effect,  a  similar  thing  hap-" 
pens.  We  have  monopoly  prices. 
_  This  is  an  important  thing  for  -the  working  class, 
though  it  is  sometimes  forgotten.  -How  much  your 
wages  will  secure  in  the  way  ofliecessities  is  just  as  im- 
portant to  you  as  the  amount  of  wages  you  get.  In 
other,  words,  the  amount  you  can'  get  in  comforts  and 
commodities  for  use  is  jiist  as  important  as  the  amount 
you  can  get  in  dollars  and  cents.  Sometimes  money 
wages  increase  while  real  wages  decrease.  I  could  fill  a 
book  with  statistics  to  show  this,  but  I  will  only  quote  one 
example.  Professor  Rauschenbusch  cites  it  in  his  excel- 
lent book,  Christianity-  and  the  Social  Crisis,  a  book  I 
should  like  you  to  read,  Jonathan.  He  quotes  Dun's  Re- 
view, a  standard  financial  authority,  to  the  effect  that  what 
$724  wouH  buy  in  1897  it  took  $1013  to  buy  in  1901. 

I  know  that  I  could  mal^e'your  wife  see  the  importance 
of  this,  my  friend.  She  would  tell  you  that  when  from 
time  to  time  you  have  announced  that  your  wages  were 
to  be  increased  five  or  ten  per  cent,  she  has  made  plans 
for  spending  the  money  iipon  little  home  improvements, 
or  perhaps  for  laying  it  aside  for  the  dreaded  "  rainy  - 
day."  Perhaps  she  thought  of  getting  a  new  rug,  or  a 
new  sideboard  for  the  dining-room;  or  perhaps  it  was  a 


WHAT  SOCIALISM   IS  AND  WHAT   IT   IS  NOT         I07 

piano  for  your  daughter,  who  is  musical,  she  had  set  her 
heart  on  getting.  The  ten  per  cent,  increase  seerned  to 
make  it  all  so  easy  and  certain!  But  after  a  little  while 
she  found  that  somehow  the  ten  per  cent,  did  not  bring 
the  coveted  things ;  that,  although  she  was  just  as  careful 
as  could  be,  she'  couldn't  save,  nor  get  the  things  she 
hoped  to  get. 

Often  you  and  I  have  heard  the  cry  of  trouble :  "  I 
don't  know  how  or  why  it  is,  but  though  I  get  ten  per 
cent,  -more  wages  I  am  no.  better  off  than  before." 

The  Socialist  theory  of  value  is  all  right,  my  friend, 
and  has  not  been  disturbed  by  the  assaults  made  upon  it 
by  a  host  of  little  critics.  But  Socialists  have  always 
known  that  the  laws  of  competitive  society  do  not  apply 
to  monopoly,  and  that  the  'mohbpolist'  has  an  increased 
power  to  exploit, and  oppress  the  worker.  That  is  one 
of  the  chief  "reasons  why  we  demand  that  the  great  mo- 
nopolies be  transformed  into  common,  or  social,  prop- 
erty. .:  • 

The  fourth  principle  of  Socialist .  economics  is  that 
the  wages  of  the  workers  represent  only  a  part. of  the 
value  of  their-  labor  product.  The  remainder  is.  divided 
among  the  non-producers  in  rent,  interest'  and  profit. 
The  fortunes  of  the  rich  idlers  come  from  the  unpaM-for 
labor  of  the  working  class.  This  is  the  great  theory  of 
"  surplus  value!'  'which  economists  are  so  forid'  of  at- 
tacking. . 

I  am  not  going  to  say  much  about  the  controversy^ 
concerning  this  theory,  Jonathan.  In  the  fii'st  place,  yoii , 
are  not  an  economist,  and  there  is  a  great  deal  in  the  dis- 
cussion which  is  wholly  irrelevant. and  unprofitable;  and, 
in  the  second  place,  you  can  study  the  question  for  your- 
self. There  are  excellent  chapters  upon  the  subject  in 
VaiFs  Principles  of  Scientific.  Socialism,  Boudin's  The 


I08  COMMON   SENSE   OF   SOCIALISM 

Theoretical  System  of  Karl  Marx,  and  Hyndman's  Eeo- 
nomics  of  Socialism.  You  will  also  find  a  simple  expo- 
sition of  the  subject  in  my  Socialism,  A  Summary  and 
Interpretation  of  Socialist  Principles.  It  will  also  be 
well  to  read  Wage-Labor  and  Capital,  a  five  cent  booklet 
by  Karl  Marx. 

But  you  do  not  need  to  be  an  economist  to  understand 
the  essential  principles  of  this  theory  of  surplus  value 
and  to  judge  of  its  truth.  I  have  never  flattered  you, 
JoWhan,  as  you  know ;  I  am.  in  earnest  when  I  say  that 
I  am  content  to  leave  the  matter  to  your  own  judgment. 
I  attach  more  importance  to  your  decision,  based  upon  a 
plain,  matter-of-fact  observation  of  actual  life,  than  to" 
the  opinion  of  many  a  very  learned  economist  cloistered 
away  from  the  real  world -in  a  musty  atmosphere  of 
books  and  mental  abstractions.  So  think  it  out  for  your- 
self, my  friend. 

You  know  that  when  a  man  takes  a  job  as  a  wage- 
worker,  he  enters  into  a  contract  to  give  something  in 
return  for  a  certain  amount  of  money.  What  is  it  that 
he  thus  sells?  Not  his  actual  labor,  but  his  power  and 
will  to  •  labor.  In  other-  words,  he  undertakes  to  exert 
himself  in  a  manner  desired  by  the  capitalist  who  em- 
ploys him  for  so  much  an  hour,  so  much  a  day,  or  so 
much  a  week  as  the  case  may  be. 

Now,  how  are  the  wages  fixed  ?    What  determines  the 
amount  a  man  gets  for  his  labor?    There  are  several 
..factors.     Let  us  c-onsider  them  one  by  one:  ■ 

First,  the  man  must  have  enough  to  keep  himself  alive 
and  able  to  work.  If  he  does  not  get  that  much  he  will 
die,  or  be  uflfit  to  work.  Second,  in  order  that  the  race 
may  be  maintained,  and  that  there  may  be  a  constant 
supply  of  labor,  it  is  necessary  that  men  as  a  rule  should 
have  families.     So,  as  we  saw  in  a  quotation  from  Adam 


WHAT   SOCIALISM    IS  AND   WHAT   IT    IS   NOT         IO9 

Smith  in  an  earlier  letter,'  the  wages  must,  on  an  av- 
erage, be  enough  to  keep,  not,  only  ,the  man  himself  but 
those  dependent  upon  him.  These  are  the  bottom  re- 
quirements of  wages. 

Now,  the  tendency  is- for  wages  to  keep,  somewhere 
near  this  bottom  level.  If  nothing  else  interfered  they 
would  always  tend  to  that  level.  First  of  all,  there  is  no 
scientific  organization  of  the  labor  force  of  the  world. 
Sometimes  the  demand  for  labor  in  a  particular,  trade 
exceeds  the  supply,  and  then  wages  rise.  Sometimes  the 
supply  is  greater  than  the  demand,  and  then  \yages  drop 
toward  the  bottom  level.  If  the  man  looking  for  a  job 
is  so  fortunate  as  to  know  that  there  are  many  places 
open  to  him,  he  will  not  accept  low  wages;  on  the  other 
hand,  if  the  employer  knows  that  there  are  ten  men  for 
every  job,  he  will  not  pay  high  wages.  So,  as  with  the 
prices  of  things  in  general,  supply  and  demand  enter 
into  the  question  of  the  price  of  labor  in  any  given  time 
or  place. 

Then,  also,  by  combination  workingmen  can  sometimes 
raise  their  wages.  They  can  bring  about  a  sort  of 
monopoly-price  for  their  labor-power.  It  is  not  an  abso- 
lute monopoly-price,  however,  for  the  reason  that,  al- 
most invariably,  there  are  men  outside  of  the  unions, 
whose  competition  has  to  be  withstood.  Also,  the  means 
of  production  and  the  accumulated  surplus  belong .  to 
Ihe  capitalists  so  that  they  can  generally  starve  the 
workers  into  submission,  or  at  least  compromise,  in  any 
struggle  aiming  at  the  establishment  of  monopoly-prices 
for  labor-power. 

But  there  is  one  thing  the  workers  can  never  do,  ex- 
cept by  destroying  capitalism:  they  cannot  get  wages 
equal  to  the  full  value  of  their  product.  That  would 
destroy  the  capitalist  system,  which  is  based  upon  profit- 


no  COMMON  -SENSE   OF    SOCIALISM 

making.  All  the  luxury  and  wealth  of  the  non-pro- 
ducers is  wrung  from  the  labor  of  the  producers.  You 
can  see  that  for  yourself,  Jonathan,  and  I  need  not  argue 
it  further. 

I  do  not  care  very  much  whether  you  call  the  part  of 
the  wealth  which  goes  to  the  non-producers  "surplus 
value,"  or  whether  you  call  it  something  else.  The  name 
is  not  of  great  importance  to  us.  We  care  only^for  the 
reality.  But  I  do  want  you  to  get  firm  hold  of  the  sim- 
ple fact  that  when  an  idler  gets  a  dollar  he  has  not 
earned,  some  worker  must  get  a  dollar  less  than  he  has 
earned. 

Don't  be  buncoed  by  the  word-jugglers  who  tell  you 
that  the  profits  of  the  capitalists  are  the  "  fruits  of 
abstinence,"  or  the  "  reward  of  managing  ability,"  some- 
times also  called  the  "  wages  of^  superintendence." 

These  and  other  attempted  explanations  of  capitalist^' 
profits  are  simply  old  wives'  fables,  Jonathan.  Let  us 
look  for  a  minute  at  the  first  of  these  absurd  attempts  to 
explain  away  the  fact  that  profit  is  only  another  name 
for  unpaid-for  labor.  You  know  very  well  that  ab- 
stinence never  yet  produced  anything.  If  I  have  a  dollar 
■  in  my  pocket  and  I  say  to  myself,  "  I  will  not  spend  this 
dollar:  I  will  abstain  from  using  it,"  the  dollar  does  not 
increase  in  any  way.  It  remains  just  a  dollar  and  no 
more.  If  I  have  a  loaf  of  bread  or  a  bottle  of  wine  and 
say  to  myself,  "  I  wjll  not  use  this  bread,  or  this  wine, 
but  will  keep  it  in  the  cup-board,"  you  know  very  well 
that  I  shall  not  get  any  increase  as  a  result  of  my  ab- 
stinence. I  do  not  get  ^ything  more  than  I  actually 
save. 

Now,  I  am  perfectly  willing  that  any  man  shall  have 
all  that  he  can  save  out  of  his  own  earnings.  If  no  man 
had  more  there  would  be  no  need  of  talking  about  "  legis- 


WHAT   SOCIALISM    IS  AND  WHAT   IT,  IS   NOT         III 

lation   to   limit   fortunes,"   no   need   of   protest  against 
"  swollen  fortunes." 

.^ut  now  suppose,  friend  Jonathan,  that  while  I,  have 
the  dollar,  irepreSenting  my  "  abstinence,"  in  my  pocket, 
a  man  who  has  not  a  dollar  comes  to  me  and  says,  "  I 
really  must  have  a  dollar  to  get  food  for  my  wife  and 
baby,  or  they  will  die. .  Lend  me  a  dollar  until  next " 
week  and  I  will  pay  you  back  two  dollars."  If  I 
lend  him  the  .dollar  and  next  week  take  his  two  dollars, 
that  is  what  is  called  the  reward  of  my  abstinence.  But 
in  truth  it  is  something  quite  different.  It  is  usury. 
Just  because  I  happen  to  have  something  the  other  fel- 
low has  not  got,  and  which  he  must  have,  he  is  com- 
pelled to  pay  me  interest.  If  he  also  had  a  dollar  in  his 
.  pocket,  I  could  get  no  interest  from  him. 

It  would  be  just  the  same  i:^  I  had  not  abstained  from' 
anything.  If,  for  example,  I  had  found  the  dollar  which 
some  other  careful  fellow  had  lost,  I  could  still  get  inter- 
est upon  it.  Or  if  I  had  inherited  money-  from  my 
father,  it  might  happen  that,  so  far  from  being  abstemi- 
ous and  thrifty,  I  had  been  most  extravagant,  while  the 
fellow  who  came  to  borrow  had  been  very  thrifty  .and 
abstemious,  but  still  unable  to  provide  for  his  family. 
Yet  I  should  make  him  pay  me  interest. 

As  a  matter  of  fact,  my  friend,  the  rich  have  not 
abstained  from  anything.  They  have  not  accumulated 
riches  out  of  their  savings,  through  abstaining  from 
buying  things.  On  the  contrary,  they  have  bought  and 
enjoyed  the  costliest  things. .  They  have  lived  in  fine 
houses,  worn  costly  plothing,-  eaten  the  choicest  food, 
sent  their  sons  and  daughters  to  the  most  expensive 
schools  and  colleges. 

From  all  of  these  things  the  workers  have  abstained, 
Jonathan.    They  have  abstained  from  living  in  fine  houses 


112  COMMON    SENSE   OF    SOCIALISM 

and  lived  in  poor  houses ;  they  have  abstained  from 
wearing  costly  clothes  and  worn  the  cheapest  and  poor- 
est clothes ;  they  have  abstained  from  choice  food  and 
eaten  only  food  that  is  coarse  and  chea^ ;  they  have  ab- 
stained from  sending  their  sons  and  daughters  to  ex- 
pensive schools  and  colleges  and  sent  them  only  to  the 
lower  grades  of  the  public  schools.  If  abstinence  were 
a  source  of  wealth,  the  working,  people  of  every  country 
would  be  rich,  for  they  have  abstained  from  nearly 
everytl;iing  that  is  worth  while. 

There  is  one  thing  the  rich  have  abstained  from,  how- 
ever, which  the  poor  have  indulged  in  freely  —  and  that 
is  work.  I  never  heard  of  a  man  getting  rich  through 
his  own  labor. 

Even  the  inventor  does  not  get  rich  by  means  of  his 
own  labor.  To  begin  with,  there  is  no  invention  which 
is  purely  an  individual  undertaking.  I  was  talking  the 
other  day  with  one  of  the  world's  great  inventors  upon 
this  subject.  He  was  explaining  to  me  how  he  came 
to  invent  a  certain  machine  which  has  made  his  name 
famous.  He  explained  that  for  many  years  men  had 
been  facing  a  great  diificulty  and  other  inventors  had 
been  trying  to  devise  some  means  of  meeting  it.  He 
had,  therefore,  to  begin  with,  the  experience  of  thou- 
sands of  men  during  many  years  to  give  him  a  clear 
idea  of  what  was  required.  And  that  was  a  great  thing 
to  start  with,  Jonathan. 

Secondly,  he  had  the  experiments  of  all  the  numerous 
other  inventors  to  guide  him :  he  could  profit  by  their 
failures.  Not  only  did  he  know  what  to  avoid,  because 
that  great  fund  of  others'  experience,  but  he  also  got 
many  useful  ideas  from  the  work  of  some  of  the  men 
who  were  on  the  right  line  without  knowing  it.     "  I  could 


WHAT   SOCIALISM    IS  AND   WHAT   IT   IS   NOT  II3 

not  have  invented  it  if  it  were  not  for  the  men  who  went 
before  me,"  he  said. 

Another  point,  Jonathan:  In  the  wonderful  machine 
the  inventor  was  disclosing  there  are  wheels  and  levers 
and  springs.  "Somebody  had  to  invent  the  wheel,  the 
lever  and  the  spring  before  there  could  be  a  machine  at 
all.  Who  was  it,  I  wonder!  Do  you  know  who  made 
the  first  wheel,  or  the  first  lever?  Of  course  you  don't! 
Nobody  does.  These  things  were  invented  thousands 
of  years  ago,  when'^the  race  still  lived  in  barbarism. 
Each  age  has  simply  extended  their  usefulness  and  effi- 
ciency. So  it  is  wrong  to  speak  of  any  -invention  as  the 
work  of  one  man.  Into  every  great  invention  go  the 
experience  and  experiments  of  countless  others. 

So  much  for  that  side  of  the  question.  Now,  let  us 
look  at  another  side  of  the  question  which  is  sometimes 
lost  sight  of.  A  nian  invents  a  machine:  as  I  have 
shown  you,  it  is  as  much  the  product  of  other  men's  brains 
as  of  his  own.  It  is  really  a  social  product.  He  gets  a 
patent  upon  the  machine  for  a  certain  number  of  years, 
and  that  patent  gives  him  the  right  to  say  to  the  world 
"  No  one  can  use  this  machine  unless  he  pays  me  a  roy- 
alty. ~  He  does  not  use  the  machine  himself  and  keep 
what  he  can  make  in  competition  with  others'  means  of 
production.  If  no  one  chooses  to  .use  his  machine,  then, 
no  matter  how  good  a  thing  it  may  be,  he  gets  nothing 
from  his  invention.  ,So  that  even  the  inventor  is  no  ex- 
ception to  my  statement  that  no  man  ever  gets  rich  by 
his  own  labor. 

The  inventor  is  not  the  real  inventor  of  the  machine: 
he  only  carries  on  the  work  which  others  began  thou- 
sands of  years  ago.  He.  takes  the  results  of  other  peo- 
ple's  inventive   genius    and   adds   his   quota.    But   he 


114  COMMON    SENSE   OF    SOCIALISM 

claims  tne  whole.  And  when  he  has  done  his  work  and 
added  his  contribution  to  the  age-long  development  of 
mechanical  modes  of  production,  he  must  depend  again 
upon  saciety,  upon  the  labor  of  dBhers. 

To  return  to  the  question  of  abstinence :  I  would  not 
attempt  to  deny  that  some  men  have  saved  part  of  their 
income  and  by  investing  it  secured  the  beginnings  gf 
great  fortunes.  I  know  that  is  so..  But  the  fortunes 
came  out  of  the  labor  of  other  people.  Solnebody  had 
to  produce  the  wealth,  that  is  quite  evident.  And  if  the 
person  who  got  it  was  not  that  somebody,  the  producer, 
it  is  as  clear  as  noonday  that  the  producer  must  have 
produced  something  he  did  not  get.  ^ 

No,  my  friend,  the  notion  that  "profits  are  the  reward 
of  abstinence  and  thrift  is  stupid  in  the  extremg.  The 
people  who  enjoy  the  profit-incomes  of  the  world,  are, 
with  few  exceptions,  people  who  iiave  not  been  either 
abstemious  or  thrifty. 

But  perhaps  you  will  say  that,  whiWthis  may  be  true 
of  the  people  who  to-day  are  getting  enormous  incomes' 
fi'om  rent,  interest  or  profit,  we  must  go  further  back; 
that  we  miist  go  back  to  the  beginning  of  things  when 
their  fathers  or  their  grandfathers  began  by  investing 
their  savings. 

To  that  I  have  no  objection  whatever,  provided  only 
that  you  are  willing  to  go  back,  not  merely  to  the  begin- 
ning of  the  individual  fortune,  but  to  the  beginning  of 
the  system.  If  your  grandfather,  or  great-grandfather, 
had  been  what  is  termed  a  thrifty  and  industrious- man, 
working  hard,  living  poor,  working  his  wife  and  little 
ones  in  one  long  grind,  all  in  order  to  save  money  to 
invest  in  business,  you  might  now'  be  a  rich  man ;  that 
is,  supposing  you  were  heir  to. their  possessions. 

That  is  not  at  all  certain,  for  it  is  a  fact  that  most  of 


WHAT   SOCIALISM    IS  AND  WHAT   IT   IS   NOT  II 5 

the  men  who  have  hoarded  their  individual  savings  and 
then  invested  them  have  been  ruined  and  fooled.  In 
the  case  of  our  railroads,  for  example,  the  great  ma- 
jority of  the  early  investors  of  savings  went  bankrupt; 
They  were  swallowed  up  by  the  bigger  fish>  Jonathan,, 
But  assume  it  otherwise,  assume  that  the  grandfather 
;(?f  some  rich  man  of  the  present  day  laid  the  foundation 
of  the  family  fortune  in  the  manner  described,  don't  you 
see  that  the  system  of  robbing  tlie  worker  of  his  product 
was  already  established;  that  you  must  go  back  to  the 
beginning  of  the  system  F 

And  when  you  trace  capital  back  to  its  origin,  my 
friend,  you  will  always  come  to  war  or  robbery.  You 
can  trace  it  back  to  the  forcible  taking  of  the  land  away 
from  th^  people.  When  the  machine  came,-  bringing 
with  it  an  industrial  revolution,  it  was  by  the  wealthy 
and  the  ruthless  that  the  machine  was  owned,  not  by  the 
poor  toilers.  In  other  words,  my  friends,  there  was 
simply  a  continuance  of  the  old  rule  of  a  class  of  over- 
lords, under,  another  name. 

If  the  abstinence  theory  is  foolish,  even  more  foolish 
is  the  notion  that  profits  are  the. reward  of  managing 
ability,  the  wages  of  superintendence.  Under  primitive 
capitalism  there  was   some  justification   for  this  view. 

It  was  impossible  to  deny  that  the  owner  of  a  factory 
did  manage  it,  that  he  was  the  superintendent,  entitled 
as  such  to  some  reward.  It  was  easy  enough  to  say  that 
he  got  a  disproportionate  share,  but  who  was  to  decide 
just  what -his  fair  share  would  be? 

But  when  capitalism  developed  and  became  impersonal 
that  idea  of  the  nature, .of  profits  was  killed.  When 
companies  were  organized  they  employed  salaried  man- 
agers, whose  salaries  were  paid  before  profits  were  reck- 
oned-.at  o-ll-     To-day  I  can  own  shares  in' China  and 


Il6  COMMON    SENSE   OF    SOCIALISM 

Australia  while  living  all  the  time  in  the  United  States. 
Even  though  I  have  never  been  to  those  countries,  nor 
seen  the  property  I  am  a  shareholder  in,  I  shall  get  my 
pr'ofits  just  the  same.  A  lunatic  may  own  shares  in  a 
thousand  companies  and,  though  he  is  confined  in  a  mad"'.' 
house,  his  shares  of  stock  will  still  bring  a  profit  to  his 
guardians  in  his  name. 

When  Mr.  Rockefeller  was  summoned  to  court  in 
Chicago  last  year,  he.  stated  on  oath  that  he  could  not 
tell  anything  about  the  business  of  the  Satndard  Oil 
Company,  not  having  had  anything  to  do  with  the  busi- 
ness for  several  years  past.  But  he  gets  his  profits  just 
the  same,  showing  how  foolish  it  is  to  talk  of  profits  as 
being  the  reward  of  managing  ability  and  the  wages  of 
superintendence.  » 

Now,  Jonathan,  I  have  explained  to  you  pretty  fully 
what .  Socialism  is  when  considered  as  a  philosophy  of 
social  evolution.  I  have  also  explained  to  you  what  So- 
cialism is  when  considered  as  a  system  of  economy.  I 
could  sum  up  both  very  briefly  by  saying  that  Socialism 
is  a  philosophy  of  social  evolution  which  teaches  that  the 
great  force  which  has  impelled  the  race  onward,  de- 
termining the  rate  and  direction  of  social  progress,  has 
'come  from  man's  tools  and  the  mode  of  production  in 
general :  that  we  are  now  living  in  a  period  of  transition, 
from  capitalism  to  Socialism,  motived  by  the  economic 
forces  of  our  time.  Socialism  is  a  system  of  economics, 
also.-  Its  substance  may  be  summed  up  in  a  sentence 
as  follows:  Labor,  applied  to  natural  resources  is  the 
source  of  the  wealth  of  capitalistic  society,  but  the  great- 
est part  of  the  wealth  produced  goes  to  non-producers, 
the  producers  getting  only  a  part,  in  the  form  of  wages 
—  hence  the  paradox  of  wealthy  non-producers  and  pe- 
nurious producers. 


WHAT  SOCIALISM   I^  AND  WHAT  IT   IS  NOT         Xl'J 

I  have  explained  to  you  also  that  Socialism  is  not  a 
scheme.  There  remains  still  tq  be  explained,  however, 
another  aspect  of  Socialism,  of  more  immediate  interest 
and  importance  and  interest.  I  must  try  to  explain  So- 
cialism as  an  ideal,  as  a  forecast  of  the  future.  You 
want  to  know,  having  traced  the  evolution  of  society  to 
a-point  where  everything  seems  to  be  in  transition,  where 
a  change  seems  imminent,  just  what  the  nature  of  that 
change  will  be.' 

I  must  leave  that  for  another  letter,  friend  Jonathan, 
for  this  is  over-long  already.  I  shall  not  try  to  paint  a 
picture  of  the  future  for  you,  to  tell  you  in  detail  what 
that  future  will  be  like.  "I  do  not  know:  no  man  can 
know.  He  who  pretends  to  know  "is  either  ^  fool  or  a 
knave,  my  friend.  But  there  are -some  things  which,  I 
believe,  we  may  premise  with  reasonable  certainty 
These  things  I  w^nt  to  discuss  iii  my  next  letter.  Mean- 
time, there  are  lots  of  things  in  this  letter  to  think 
'about. 

Afid  I  want  you  to  thiitk,  Jonathan  Edwards! 


IX 

WHAT   SOCIALISM    IS   AND   WI^AT   IT   IS  NOT 

(Continued) 


And  tjie  wolf  shall  dwell  with  the  lamb,  and  the  leopard 
shall  lie  down  with  the  kid;  and  the  calf  and  the  young  lion  and 
the  fattling  together;  and  a  little  child  shall  lead  them.  And 
the  cow  and  the  bear'sl^all  feed;  their  young  ones  shall  lie  down 
together ;  and'  the  lion  shall  eat  straw  like  the  ox.  And  the  suck- 
ling child  shall  play,  on '"the  hole  of  the  asp,  and  the  weaned 
child  shall  put  his  hand  on  the  basilisk's  den.  They  shall  not 
hurt  nor  destroy  in  all  my  holy  mountain":  for  the  earth  shall 
be  full  of  the  knowledge  of  the  Lord,  as  the  waters  cover  the 
sea. —  Isaiah. 

But  we  are  not  going  to  attain  Socialism  at  one  bound.  The 
transition  is  going  on  all  the  time,  and  the  important  thing  for 
us,  in  this  explanation,  is  not  Vo  paint  a  picture  of  the  future 
—  wfeich  in  any  case  would  be  useless  labor  —  but  to  forecast 
a  practical  programme  for  the  intermediate  period,  to  formulate 
and  justify  measures  that  shall  be  applicable  at  once,  and  that 
will  serve  as  aids  to  the  new  Socialist  birth. —  W.  Liehknecht. 

At  the  head  of  this  letter  I  have  copied  two  passages 
.  to_  which  I  want  you  to  give  particular  attention,  Jona- 
than. The  first  consists  of  a  part  of  a  very  beautiful  word- 
picture,  in  which  the  splendid  old  Hebrew  prophet  de- 
scribed his  vision  of  a  perfect  spcial  state;  In  his  Utopia 
it  would  no  longer  be  true  to  speak  of  Nature  as  being 
red  of  tooth  and  daw.  Even  the  lion  would  eat  stray/ 
like  the  ox,  so  that  there  might  not  be  suffering  caused 
"  ii8 


WHAT  SOCIALISM   IS  AND  WHAT   IT   IS   NOT  II9 

by  one  animal  preying  upon  another.  Whenever  I  read 
that  chapter,  Jonathan,  I  sit  watching' the  smoke-wreaths 
curl  out  of  my  pipe  and  float  away,  and  they,  seem  to 
bear  me  with  them  to  a  land  of  seductive  beauty.  I 
should  like  to  live  in  a  land  where  there  was"  never  a  cry 
of  pain,  where  never  drop  of  blood  stained  the  ground. 

There  have  been  lots  of  Utopias  besides  that  of  the 
old  Hebrew  prophet. .  Plato,  the  great  philosopher, 
wrote  The  Republid  to  give  form  to  his  dream  of  an  ideal' 
society.  Sir  _  Thomas  More,  the  great  English  states- 
man and  martyr,  outlined  his  ideal  of  social  relations  in 
a  book  called  Utopia.  Mr.  Bellamy,  in  our  own  day, 
has  given  us  his  picture  of  social  perfection  in  Looking 
Backward.  There  have  been  many  others  who,  not  con- 
tent with  writing  down  their  ideas  of'  what  society 
ought  to  be  like,  have  tried  to  establish  ideal  conditions. 
They  have  established  colonies,  communities,  sects  and 
brotherhoods,  all  in  the  earnest  hope  of  being  able  to  at- 
tain the  perfect  social  state. 

The  ^greatest  of  these  experimental  Utopians,  Robert 
Owen,  tried  to  carry  out  his  ideas  in  this  country.,  It 
would  be  well  worth  your  while  to  read  the  account  of 
his  life  and  work  in  George  Browning  Lockwood's  book, 
The  New  Harmony  Communities.  .  Owen  tried  to  get 
Congress  to  adopt  his  plans  for  social  regeneration.  He 
addressed  the  members  of  both  houses,  taking  witTi  him 
models,  plans,  diagrams  and '  statistics,  showing  exactly 
how  things  would  be,  according  to  his  idea,  in  the  ideal 
world.  In  Europe  he  went  round  to  all  the  reigning 
sovereigns  begging  them  to  adopt  his  plans. 

He  wanted  common  pwnership  of  everything  with 
equal  distribution ;  money  would  be  aboHshed ;  the  mar- 
riage system-  would  be  done  away  with  and  "  free  love  ". 
established ;  children  would  belong  to  and  be  reared  by 


120  COMMON   SENSE   OF   SOCIALISM 

the  community.  Our  concern  with  him  at  this  point  is 
that  he  called  himself  a  Socialist  and  was,  I  believe,  the 
first  to  use  that  word. 

But  the  Socialists  of  to-day  have  nothing  in  common 
with  such  Utopian  ideas  as  those  I  have  described.  We 
all, recognize  that  Robert  Owen  was  a  beautiful  spirit, 
one  of  the  world's  greatest  humanitarians.  He  was,  like 
the  prophet  Isaiah,  a  dreamer,  a  visionary.  He  had  no 
idea  of  the  philosophy  of  social  evolution  upon  which 
modern  Socialism  rests;  no  idea  of  its  system  of  eco- 
nomics. He  saw  the  evils  of  private  ownership  and 
competition  in  the  fiercest  period  of  competitive  indus- 
try, and  wanted  to  replace  them  with  co-operation  and 
public  ownership.  But  his  point  of  view  was  that  he 
had  been  inspired  with  a  great  idea,  thanks  to  which  he 
could  save  the  world  from  all  its  misery.  He  did  not 
realize  that  social  changes,  are  produced  by  slow  evolu- 
tion. 

One  of  the  principal  reasons  why  I  have  dwelt  at 
this  length  upon  Owen  is  that  he  is  a  splendid  represen- 
tative of  the  great  Utopia  builders.  The  fact  that  he 
was  probably  the  first  man  to  use  the  \fotd  Socialism 
adds  an  element  of  interest  tovhis  personality  also.  I 
■wanted  to  put  Utopian  Socialism  before  you  so  clearly 
that  you  would  be  able  to  contrast  it  at  once  with  mod- 
ern, scientific  Socialism  —  the  Socialism-  of  Marx  and 
Engels,  upon  which  the  great  Socialist  parties  of  the 
world  are  based  ;^  the  Socialism  that  is  alive  in  the  world 
to-day.  They  are  as  opposite  as  the  poles.  It  is  ini- 
portant  that  you  should  grasp  this  fact  very  clearly,  for 
many  of  the  criticisms  of  Socialism  made  to-day  apply 
only  to  the  old  Utopian  ideals  and  do  not  touch  modem 
Socialism  at  all.  In  the  letter  you  wrote  me  at  the  be- 
ginning  of   this    discussion   there   are   many   questions 


WHAT  SOCIALISM  IS  AND  WHAT  IT   IS  NOt         121 

which  you  could  not  have  asked  had  you  not  conceived 
of  Socialism  as  a  scheme  to  be  adopted. 

People  are  constantly  attacking  Socialism  upon  these- 
false  grounds.  They  remind  me  of  a  story  I  heard  in 
Wales  many  years  ago.  In  one  of  the  mountain  dis- 
tricts a  miner  returned  from  his  work  one  afternoon  and 
found  that  his  wife  had  bought  a  picture  of  the  cruci- 
fixion of  Jesus  and  hung  it  against  the  wall.  He  had 
never  heard  of  Jesus,  so  the  story  goes,  and  his  wife 
had  to  explain  the  meaning  of  the  picture.  She  told  the 
story  in  her  simple  way,  laying  much  stress  upon  the 
fact  that  "  the  wicked  Jews  "  had  killed  Jesus.  But  she 
forgot  to  say  that  it  all  happened  about  two  thousand 
years  ago. 

Now,  it  happened  not  long  after  that  the  miner  saw 
a  Jew  peddler  come  to  the  door  of  his  cottage.  The 
thought  of  the  awful  suffering  of  Jesus  and  his  own 
Welsh  hatred  of  oppression  sufficed  to  fill  him  with  re- 
sentment toward  the  poor  peddler.  -  He  at  once  began  to 
beat  the  unfortunate  fellow  in  a  terribly  Savage  manner. 
When  the  peddler,  between  gasps,  demanded  to  know 
why  he  had  been  so  ill-treated,  the  miner  dragged  him 
into  his  kitchen  and  pointed  to  the  picture  of  the  cruci- 
fixion. "  See  what  you  did  to  that  poor  man,  our 
Lord !  "  he  thundered.  To  which  the  Jew  very  naturally 
responded :  "  But,  my  friend,  that  was  not  me.  That 
was  two  thousand  year's  ago ! "  The  reply  seemed  to 
daze  the  miner  for  a  moment.  Then  he  said:  "Two 
thousand  years !  Two  thousand  years !  Why,  I  only  heard 
of  it  last  week ! "        .  »  . 

It  is  just  as  silly  to  attack  the  Socialism  of  to-day  for 
the  ideas  held  by  the  earlier  Utopian  Socialists  as  beating 
that  poor  Jew  peddler  was. 

Now  then,  friend  Jonathan,  turn  back  and  read  the 


122  COMMON   SENSE   OF   SOCIALISM 

second  of  the  passages  I  have  placed  at  the  head  of  this 
letter.  It  is  from  the  writings  of  one  of  the  greatest  of 
modern  Socialists,  the  man  who  was  the  great  political 
leader  of  the  Socialist  movement  in  Germany,  Wilhelm 
Liebknecht. 

You  will  notice  that  he  says  the  transition  to  Socialism 
is  going  on  all  the  time ;  that  we  are  not  to  attain  Social- 
ism at  one  bound;  that  it  is  useless  to  attempt  to  paint 
pictures  of  the  future ;  that  we  can  forepast  an  immediate  - 
programme  and  aid  the  Socialist  birth.  These  state- 
ments are  quite  *in  harmony  with  the  outline  of  the  So- 
cialist philosophy  of  the  evolution  of  society  contained  in 
my  last  letter. 

So,  if  you  a^k  me  to  tell  you  just  what  the  world  will 
be  like  when  all  people  call  themselves  Socialists  except 
a  few  reformers  and  "  fanatics,"  earnest  pioneers  of  fur- 
ther changes,  I  must  answer  y5u  that  I  do  not  know. 
How  they  will  dress,  what  sort  of  pictures  artists  will 
paint,  what  sort  of  poems  poets  will  write,  or  what  sort 
of  novels  men  and  women  will  read,  I  do  not  know. 
What  the  income  of  each  family  will  be  I  cannot  tell 
you,  any  more  than  I  can  tell  you  whether  there  will  be 
any  intercommunication  between ,  the  inhabitants  of  this 
planet  and  of  Mars;  whether  there  will  be  an  ambassa- 
dor from  Mars  at  the  national  capital. 

I  do  not  expect  that  the  lion  will  eat^  straw  like  the  ox ; 
I  do  not  expect  that  people  will,  be  perfect.  I  do  not 
suppose  that- men  and  women  will  have  become  so  an- 
gelic that  there  will  never  be  any  crime,  suffering,  anger, 
pain'  or  sorrow ;  I  do  not  expeet  disease  to  be  forever 
banished  from  life  in  the  Socialist  regime.  Still  less  do 
I  expect  that  mechanical  genius  will  have  been  So  per- 
fected that  human  labor  will  be  no  longer  necessary ; 
that  perpetual  motion  will  have  been  harnessed  to  great 


WHAT  SOCIALISM    IS  AND  WHAT   IT   IS   NOT  I23 

indestructible  macliines  and  work  become  a  thing  of  the 
past.  That  dream  of  the  German  dreamer,  Etzler,  will 
never  be  realized,  I  hope.    ■ 

I  suppose  that,,  under  Socialism,  there  will  be  some 
men  arid  women  far  wiser  than  others.  There  may  be 
a  few  fools  left!  I  suppose  that  some  will  be  far  juster 
and  kinder  than  others.  There  may  be  some  selfish 
brutes  left  with  a  good  deal  of  hoggishness  in  their  na- 
ture! I  suppose  that  some  will  have  to  make  great  mis^ 
takes  and  endure  the  tragedies  which  men  and  women 
have-  endured  through  all  the  ages.  The  love  of  some 
men  will  die  out,  breaking  the  hearts  of  some  women,  I 
suppose,  and  there  will  be  women  whose  love  will  bring 
them  to  ruin  and  death.  I  should  not  like  to  thinly  of 
jails  and  brothels  existing  Under  Socialism,  Jonathan, 
but  for_  all  I  know  they  may  exist.  Whether  there  will 
be  churches  and  paid  ministers  under  Socialism,  I  do  not 
know.     I  do  not  pretend  to  know. 

I  suppose  that,  under  Socialism,  there  will  be  some 
people  who  will  be  dissatisfied.  I  hope  so ! '  Men  and 
women  will  want  to  move  to  a  higher  plane  of  life,  I 
hope.  What  they  will  call  that  plane  I  do  not  know ; 
what  it  will  be  like  I  do  not  know.  I  suppose  they  will 
be  opposed  and  persecuted ;  that  they  will.be  mocked  and 
derided,  called  "  fanatics  "  and  "  dreamers  "  and  lots  of 
other  ugly  and.  unpleasatit  names.  Lots  of  people  will 
want  to  stay  just  as  they  are,  and  violently  oppose  the 
men  who  say,  "Let  us  move  on."  But  I  don't  believe 
that  any  sane  person  will  want  to  go  back  to  the  old  con- 
ditions—  back  to  our  conditions  of  to-day. 

You  see,  I  have  killed  lots  of  your  objections  already, 
my  friend! 

Now  let  me  tell  you  briefly  what  Socialists  want,  and 
what  they  believe  will  take  place  —  must  take  place.     In 


124  COMMON    SENSE   OF    SOCIALISM 

the  first  place,  there  must  be  political  changes  to  make 
complete  our  political  democracy.  You  may  be  sur- 
prised at  this,  Jonathan.  Perhaps  you  are  accustomed 
to  think  of  our  political  system  as  being  the  perfect  ex- 
pression of  political  democracy.    Let  us  see. 

Compared  with  some  other  countries,  like  Russia, 
Germany  and  Spain,  ior  example,  this  is  a  free  country, 
politically;  a  model  of  democracy.  We  have  adult  suf- 
frage—  for  the  men!  In  only  a  few  states  are  our 
mothers,  wives,  sisters  and  daughters  allowed  to  vote. 
In  most  of  the  states  the  best  women,  and  the  most  in- 
telligent, are  placed  on  the  political  level  of  the  criminal 
and  the  maniac.  They  must  obey  the  laws,  their  inter- 
ests in  the  well-being  and  good  government  of  the  nation 
are  as  vital  as  those  of  our  sex.  But  they  are  denied 
representation  in  the  councils^  of  the  nation,  denied  a 
voice  in  the  affairs  of  the  nation.  They  are  not  citizens. 
We  have  a  class  below  that  of  the  citizens  in  this  country, 
a  class' based  upon  sex  distinctions. 

To  make  our  political  system  thoroughly  representa- 
tive and  democratic,  we  must  extend  political  power  to 
the  women  of  the  nation.  Further  than  that,  we  must 
bring  all  the  means  of  government  more  directly  under 
the  people's  will. 

In  our  industrial  system  we  must  bring  the  great  trusts 
under  the  rule  of  the  people.  They  must  be  owned  and 
controlled  by  all  for  all.  I  say  that  we  "  must "  do  this, 
because  there  is  no  other  way  by  which  the  present  evils 
may  be  remedied.  Everybody  who  is  not  blinded  to  the 
real  situation  by  vested  interest  must  recognize  that  the 
present  conditions  are  intolerable  —  and  becoming  worse 
and  more  intolerable  every  day.  A  handful  of  men  have 
the  nation's  destiny  in  their  greedy  fingers  and  they  gam- 


"^HAT  SOCIALISM   IS  AND  WHAT  IT  IS  NOT         I25 

ble  with  it  for  their  own  profit.     Something  must  be 
done. 

But  what?  We  cannot  go  back  if  we  would.  I  have 
shown  you  pretty  clearly,  I  think,  that  if  it  were  possi- 
ble to  undo  the  chain  of  evolution  and  to  go  back  to 
primitive  capitalism,  with  its  competitive  spirit,  the  de- 
velopment to  monopoly  would  begin  all  over  again.  It 
is  an  inexorable  law  that  competition  breeds  monopoly. 
So  we  cannot  go  back. 

What,  then,  is  the  outlook,  the  forward  view  ?  So  far 
as  I  know,  Jonathan,  there  are  only  two  propositions  for 
meeting  the  evil  conditions  of  monopoly,  other  than  the 
perfectly  silly  one  of  "  going  back  to  competition." 
They  are  (i)  Regulation  of  the  trusts;  (2)  Socialization 
of  the  trusts. 

Now,  the  first  means  that  we  should  leave  these  great 
monopolies  in  the  hands  of  their  present  owners  and 
directors,  but  enact  various  laws  curtailing  their  powers 
to  exploit  the  people.  Laws  are  to  be  passed  limiting  the 
capital  they  may  employ,  the  amount  of  profits  they  may 
make,  and  so  on.  But  nobody  explains  how  they  ex- 
pect to  get  the  laAjfS  obeyed.  There  are  plenty  of  laws  ^ 
.now  aiming  at  regulafion  of  the  trusts,  but  they  are 
quite  futile  and  inoperative.  First  we  spend  an  enor- 
mous amount  of  money  and  energy  getting  laws  passed; 
then  we  spend  much  more  liioney  and  energy  trying  to 
get  them  enforced  —  ^nd  fail  after  all! 

I  submit  Jo  your  good  judgment,  Jonathan,  that  so 
long  as  we  have  a  relatively  small  class  in  the  nation 
owning  these  great  monopolies  through  corporations 
there  can  be  no  peace.  It  will  be  to  the  interest  of  the 
corporations  to  look  after  their  profits,  to  prevent  the  en- 
actment of  legislation  aimed  to  restrict  them  and  to 


126  COMMON    SENSE    OF    SOCIALISM 

evade  the  law  as  much  as  possible.  They  will  naturally 
use  their  influence  to  secure  laws  favorable  to  them- 
selves, with  the  inevitable  result  of  corruption  in  the  leg- 
islative branches  of  the  government.  Legislators  will 
be  bought  like  mackerel,  in  the  market,  as  Mr.  Lawson 
so  bluntly  expresses  it.  Efforts  will  be  made  to  corrupt 
the  judiciary  also  and  the  power  of  the  entire  capitalist 
-class  will  be  directed  to  the  capture  of  our  whole  system 
of  government.  Even  more  than  to-day,  we  will  have 
the  government  of  the  people  by  a  privileged  part  of  the 
people  in  the  interests  of  the  privileged  part. 

You  must  not  forget,  my  friend,  that  the  corruption 
of  the  government  about  which  we  hear  so  much  from 
time  to  time  is  always  in  the  interests  of  private  capital- 
ism. If  there  is  graft  in  some  public  department,  there 
is  an  outcry  that  graft  and  public  business  go  together. 
As  a  matter  of  fact  the  graft  is  in  the  interests  of  private 
'capitalism. 

When  legislators  sell  their  vfetes  it  is  never  for  public 
enterprises.  I  have  never  heard  of  a  city  which  was 
seeking  the  power  to  establish  any  public  service  raising 
a  "yellow  dog  fund "  with  which  to.  bribe  legislators"',' 
On  the  other  hand,  I  never  yet  heard  of  a  private  com- 
pany seeking  a  franchise  without  doing  so  more  or  less 
openly.  Regulation  of  the  trusts  will  still  leave  the  few 
masters  of  the  many,  and  corruption  still  gnawing  at 
the  vitals  of  the  nation.  , 

We  must  own  the  trusts,  Jonathan,  and  transform " 
the  monopolies  by  which  the  few  exploit  and  oppress 
the  many  into  social  monopolies  for  the  gQpd  of  all. 
Sooner  or  later,  either  by  violent  or  peaceful'  means,  this 
will  be  done.  It  is  for  the  working-class  to  say  whether 
it  shall  be  sooner  or  later,  whether  it  shall  be  accom- 


WHAT  SOCIALISM   IS  AND  WHAT  IT   IS   NOT         127 

plished  through  the  strife  and  bitterness  of  war  or  by 
the  peaceful  methods  of  political  conquest. 

We  have  seen  that  the  root  of  the  evil  in  modern  so- 
ciety is  the  profit  motive. .  Socialism  means  the  produc- 
tion of  things  for  use  instead  of  for  profit.  Not  at  one 
stroke,  perhaps,  but  patiently,  wisely  and  surely,  all  the 
things  upon  which  people  in  common  depend  will  be 
rnade  common  property.  > 

Take  notice  of  that  last  paragraph,  Jonathan.  I  don't 
say  that  all  property  must  be  owned  in  common,  but 
only  the  things  upon  which  people  in  common  depend;, 
the  things  which  all  must  use  if  they  are  to  live  as  they  , 
ought,  and  as  they  have  a  right  to  live.  We  have  a 
splendid  illustration  of  social  property  in  our  public 
streets.  These  are  necessary  to  all.  It  would  be  intol- 
erable if  one  man  should  own  the  streets  of  a  city  and- 
charge  a^l  other  citizens  for  the  use  of  them.-  So  streets 
are  built  out  of  the  common  funds,  maintainecl  out  of  the 
common  funds,  freely  used  by  all  in  common,  and  the 
poorest  man  has  as  much  right  to  use  them  as  the  rich- 
est man.  In  the  nutshell  this  states  the  argument  of. 
Socialism. 

People  sometimes  ask  how  it  would  be  possible  for  the 
government  under  Socialism  to  decide  which  children 
should  be  educated  to  be  writers,  musicians  and  artists 
and  which  to  be  street  cleaners  and  laborers;  how  it 
would  be  possible  to  have  a  government  own  everything, 
deciding  what  people  should  wear,  what  food  should  be 
produced,  and  so  on. 

The  answer  to  all  such  questions  is  that  Socialism 
would  not  need  to  do  anything  of  the  kind.  There 
would  be  no  need  for  the  government  to  attempt  such  an 
impossible  task.  When  people  raibe  such  questions  they 
are  thinking  of   the  old  and  dead  utopianism,  of  the 


128  COMMON    SENSE   OF    SOCIALISM 

schemes  which  once  went  under  the  name  of  Socialism. 
But  modern  Socialism  is  a  principle,  not  a  scheme.  The 
Socialist  movement  of  to-day  is  not  interested  in  carry- 
ing out  a  great  design,  but  in  seeing  society  get  rid  of 
its  drones  and  making  it  impossible  for  one  class  to  ex- 
ploit another  class. 

Under  Socialism,  then,  it  would  not  be  at  all  neces- 
sary  for  the  government  to  own  everything ;  ^'r  private 
property  to  be  destroyed.  'For  instance,  the  State  could 
have  no  possible  interest  in  denying  the  right  of  a  man 
to  own  his  home  and  to  make  that  horrie  as  beauti- 
ful as  he  pleased.  It  is  perfectly  absurd  to  suppose  that 
it  would  be  necessary  to  "  take  away  the  poor  man's  cot- 
tage," about  which  some  opponents  of  Socialism  sj^riek. 
It  would  not  be  necessary  to' take  away  anybody's  home. 

On  the  contrary.  Socialism  would  most  likely  enable 
all  who  so  desired  to  own  their  own  homes.  At  present 
only  thirty-one  per  cent,  of  the  families  of  America  live 
in  homes  which  they  own  outright.  More  than  half  of 
the  people  live  in  rented  homes.  They  are  obliged  to 
give  up  practically  a  fourth  part  of  their  total  income  for 
mere  shelter. 

Socialism  would  not  prevent  a  man  from  owning  a 
horse  and  wagon,  since  it  would  be  possible  for  him  to 
use  that  horse  and  wagon  without  compelling^  the  citi- 
zens to  pay  tribute  to  him.  On  the  other  hand,  private 
ownership  of  a  railway  would  be  impossible,  because 
railways  could  not  be  indefinitely  and  easily  multiplied, 
and  the  owners  of  such  a  railway  would  necessarily  have 
to  run  it  for  profit. 

'  Under  Socialism  such  public  services  as  the  transporta- 
tion and  "delivery  of  parcels  would  be  in  the  hands  of 
the  people,  and  not  in  the  hands  of  monopolists  as  at 
present.     The  aim  would  be  to  serve  the  people  to  the 


WHAT  SOCIALISM   IS  A5fD  WHAT   IT   IS  NOT         I29 

best  possible  advantage,  dhd  not  to  make  profit  for  the 
few..  But  if  any  citizen  objected  and  wanted  "to  carry 
his  own  parcel  frcAn  New  York  to  Boston,  for  example, 
it  is  not' to  be- supposed  for  an  instant  that  the  State 
would  try  to  prevent  him. 

Under  Socialism  the  great  factories  would  belong  to 
the  people;  the  trusts  would  be  socialized.  But  this 
would  not  stop  a  man  from  working  for  himself  in  a 
small  workshop  if  he  wanted  to ;  it  would  not  prevent  a 
number  of  workers  from  forming  a  co-operative  work- 
shop and  sharing  the  products  of  their  labor. '  By  reason 
of,  the  fact  that  the  great  productive  and  distributive 
agencies  which  are  entirely  social  were  socially  owned  and 
controlled  —  railways,  mines,  telephones,  telegraphs,  ex- 
press service,  and  the  great  factories  of  various  kinds  — 
the  Socialist  State  would  be  able  to  set  the  standards  of 
wages  and  industrial  conditions  ior  all  the  rest  remain- 
ing in  private  hands. 

Let^me  explain  what  I  mean," Jonathan:  Under  So- 
cialism, let  us  suppose,  the  State  undertakes  the  produc- 
tion, of  shoes  by  socializing  the  shoe  trust.  It  takes  over 
•tjje  great  factories  and  runs  them.  Its  object  is  Jiot  to 
make^  shoes'  fof  profit,  however,  but  for  use.  To  make 
shoes  as  good  as  possible,  as  cheaply  as  good  shoes  can 
be  made,  and  to  see  that  the  people  making  the  shoes 
get  the  best  possible  conditions  of  labor  and  the  high- 
est possible  Wages  —  as  near  as  possible  to  the  net  value 
of  their  product,  that  is. 

Some  people,  however,  object  to  wearing  factory-made 
shoes ;  they  want  shoes  of  a  special  kind,  to  suit  their  in- 
dividual fancy.  There  are  also,  we  will  suppose,  some 
shoemakers  wh®  do  not  like  to  work  in  the  State  fac- 
tories, preferring  to  make  shoes  by  hand  to  suit  indi- 
vidual tastes.     Now,  if  the  people  who  want  the  hand- 


130  COMMON    SENSE   of    SOCIALISM 

made  shoes  are  willing  to  pay  the  shoemakers  as  much  as 
they  coul'd  earn  in  the  socialized  factories  no  reasonable 
objection  could  be  urged  against  it.  If  they  would  not 
pay  that  amount,  or  near  it,  the  shoemakers,  it  is  rea- 
sonable to  suppose,  would  not  want  to  work  for  them.. 
It  would  adjust  itself. 

Under  Socialism  the  land  would  belong  to  the  people. 
By  this  I  do  not  mean  that  the  private  use  of  land  would 
be  forbidden,  because  that  wptild  be  impossible.  There 
would  be  no  object  in  taking  away  the  small  farms  from 
their  owners.  On  the  contrary,  the  number  of  such 
farms  might  be  greatly  increased.  There  are  many  peo- 
ple to-day  who  would  like  to  have  small  farms  if  they 
could  only  get  a  fair  chance,  if  the  railroads  and  trusts 
of  one  kind  and  another  were  not  always  sucking  all 
the  juice  f rorn^  the  orange.  Softialism  would  make  it 
possible  for  the  farmer  to  get  what  he  could  produce, 
without  having  to  divide  up  with  the  railroad  companies, 
the  owners  of  grain  elevators,-  money-lenders,  and  a  host 
of  other  parasites. 

I  have  no  doubt,  Jonathan,  that  under  Socialism  there 
would  be  many  privately-worked  farms.  Nor  have  I  any 
doubt  whatever  that  the  farmers  would  be  much  better 
off  than  under  existing  conditions.  For  to-day  the  far- 
"mer  is  not  the  .happy,  independent  man  he  is  sometimes 
supposed  to  be.  Very  often  his  lot  is  worse  than  that  of 
the  city  wage-earner.  At  any  rate,  the  money  return  for 
his  labor  is  often  less.  You  know  that  a  great  many 
farmers  do  not  own  their  farms :  they  are  mortgaged  and 
the  farmer  has  to  pay  an  average  interest  of  six  per  cent, 
upon  the  mortgage. 

Now,  let  us  look  for  a  moment  at  such.a  farmer's  ton- 
ditiohs,  as  shown  by  the  census  statistics.  According  to 
the  census  of   1900,   there  were  in  the. United  States 


WHAT  SOCIALISM    IS  AND   WHAT   IT  IS    NOT    .     I3I 

5,737,372  farms,  each  averaging  about  146  acres.  The 
total  value  of  farm  products  in  1899  was  $4,717,069,973. 
Now  then,  if  we  divide  the  value  of  the  products  by  the 
number  of  farms,  we  can  get  tlje  average  annual  product 
of  each  farm  —  about  $770.       ,      > 

Out  of  that  $770  the  farmer  has  to  pay  a  hired  laborer 
for  at  least  six  months  in  the  year,  let  us  say.  At  twen- 
ty-five dollars  a  month,  with  an  added  eight  dollars  a 
month  for  his  board,  this  costs  the  farmer  $198,  so  that 
his  income  now  stands  at  $572.  Next,  he  must  pay  in- 
terest upon  hi.'s  mortgage  at  six  per  cent,  per  annum. 
Now,  the  average  value  of  the  farms  in  1899  was  $3,562 
and  six  per  cent,  on  that  amount  would  be  about  $213. 
Substract  that  sum  from  the  $572  which  the  farmer  has 
after  paying  his  hired  man  and  you  have  left  about  $356. 
But  as  the  farms  are  not  mortgaged  to  their  full  value, 
suppose  we  reduce  the  interest  one  half  —  the  farmer's 
income  remains  now  $464. 

Now,  as  a  general  thing,  the  farmer  and  his  wife 
have  to  work  equally  hard,  and  they  "must  work  every 
day  in  the  year.  Jhe  hired  laborer  gets  $150  and  his 
board  for  six  months,  at  the  rate  of.  $300  and  board  per 
year.  The  farmer  and  his  wife  get  only  $232  a  year 
each  and  part  of  their  board,  for  what  is  not  produced 
on  the  farm  they  must  buy. 

Under  Socialism  the  farmer  could  own  his  own  farm 
to  all  intents  and  purposes.  While  the  final  title  might 
be  vested  in  the  government,  the  farmer  would  have  a 
title  to  the  use  of  the  farm  which  no  one  could  dispute 
or  take  from  him.  If  he  had  to  borrow  rrioney  he  would 
do  it  from  the  government  and  would  not  be  charged 
extortionate  rates  of  interest  as  he  is  now.  He  would 
not  have  to  pay  railroad  companies'  profits,  since  the 
railways  being  owned  by  all   for  all  and  not  run  fot 


132  COMMON   SENSE   OF  SOCIALISM 

profit,  would  be  operated  upon  a  bask  of  the  cost  of 
service.  The  farmer  would  not  be  exploited  by  the 
packers  and  middlemen,  these  functions  being  assumed 
by  the  people  through  their  government,  upon  the  same 
basis  of  service  to  all,  things  being  done  for  the  use  and 
welfare  of  all  instead  of  for  the  profit  of  the  few.  Un- 
der Socialism,  moreover,  the  farmer  could  get  his  ma- 
chinery from  the  government  factories  at  a  price  which 
included  no  profits  for  idle  shareholders. 

I  am  told,  Jonathan,  that  at  the  present  time  it  costs 
about  $24  to  make  a  reaper  which  the  farmer  must  pay 
$120  for.  .  It  costs  $40  to  sell  the  machine  which  was 
made  for  $24,  the  expense  being 'incurred  by  wasteful 
and  useless  advertising,  salesmen's  commissions,  travelling 
expenses,  and  so  on.  The  other  $54  which  the  farmer 
must  pay  goes  to  the  idlers  in  the;  form  of  rent,  interest 
and  profit. 

Socialism,  then,  could  very  well  leave  the  farmer  in 
full  possession  of  his  farm  and  improve  his  position  by 
making  it  possible  for  him  to  get  the  full  value  of  his 
labor-products  without  having  to  divide  up  with  a  host 
of  idlers  and  non-producers.  Socialism  would  not  deny 
any  man  the  use  of  the  land,  but  it  would  take  away  the 
right  of  non-users  to  reap  the  fruits  of  the  toil  of  users. 
It  would  deny  the  right  of  the  Astor  family  to  levy  a  tax 
upon  the  people  of  New  York,  amounting  to  millions  of 
dollars  annually,  for  the  privilege. of  living  there.  Tlie 
Astors  have  such  a  vast  business  collecting  this  tax  that 
they  have  to  ernploy  an  agent  whose  salary  is  equal  to 
that  of  the  President  of  the  United  States  and  a  large 
army  of  employees. 

Socialism  would  deny  the  right  of  the  English  Duke 
of  Rutland  and  Lord  Beresford  to  hold  millions  of  acres 
of  land  in  Texas,  and  to  levy  a  tax  upon  Americans  for 


WHAT  SOCIALISM   IS  AND   WHAT  IT  IS  NOT  1 33 

its  use.  It  would  deny  the  right  of  the  British  Land 
Company  to  tax  Kansans  for  the  use  of  the  300,000 
acres  owned  by  the  company;  the  right  of  the  Duke  of 
Sutherland  and  Sir  Edward  Reid  to  tax  Americans  for 
the  use  of  the  millions  of  acres  they  own  in  Florida;  of 
Lady  Gordon  and  the  Marquis  ot  Dalhousie  to  any  right 
to  tax  people  in  Mississippi.  The  idea' that  a  few  people 
can  own  the  land  upon  which  all  people  must  live  in  any 
country  is  a  relic  of  slavery,  friend  Jonathan. 

So  you  see,  my  friend.  Socialism  does  not  ipiean  that 
everything  is  to  be  divided  up  equally  among  the  people 
every  little  while.  That  is  either  a  fool's  notion  or  the 
wilful  misrepresentation  of  a  liar.  Socialism  does  not 
mean  that  there  is  to  be  a  great  bureaucratic  govern- 
ment owning  everything  and  controlling  everybody.  It 
vdoes  not  mean  doing  away  with  private  initiative,  and 
making  of  humanity  a  great  herd,  everybody  wearing 
the  same  kind  of  clothes,  eating  the  same  kind  and  quan- 
tities of  food,  and  having  no  personal  liberties.  It  sim- 
ply means  that  all  men  and  women  should  have  equal 
opportunities;  to  make  it  impossible  for  one  man  to  ex- 
ploit another,  except  at  that  other's  free  will.  It  does 
not  mean  doing  away  with  individual  liberty  and  reduc- 
ing all  to  a  dead  level.  That  is  what  is  at  present  hap- 
pening to  the  great  majority  of  people,  and  Socialism 
comes  to  unbind  the  soul  of  man  —  to  make  mankind 
free. 

I  think, '"Jonathan,  that  you  ought  to  have  a  fairly  cl^ar 
notion  now  of  what  Socialism  is  and  what  it  is  not.  You 
ought  to  be  able  now  to  distinguish  between  the  social 
'properties  which  Socialism  would  establish  and  the  pri- 
vate properties  it  could  have  no  object  in  taking  away, 
which  it  would  rather  foster  and  protect.  I  have  tried 
simply  to  illustrate .  the  principle  for  you,  so  that  you 


134  COMMON    SENSE   OF   SOCIALISM 

can  think  the  matter  out  for  yourself.  It  will  be  a  very 
good  thing  for  you  to  commit  this  rule  to  memory. — 

Under  Socialism,  the  State  would  ozvn  and  control 
only  thosf  things  which  could  not  be  owned  and  con- 
trolled by  individuals  without  giving  them  an  undue  ad- 
vantage over  the  community,  by  enabling  them  to  extract 
pro-fits  from  the  labor  of  others. 

But  be  sure  that  you  do  not  make  the  common  mistake 
of  confusing  government  ownership  with  Socialism, 
friend  Jonathan,  as  so  many  people  are  in  the  habit  of 
doing.  In  Prussia  the  government  owns  the  railways. 
But  the  government  does  not  represent  the  interests  of 
all  the  people.  It  is  the  government  of  a  nation  by  a 
class.  That  is  not  the  same  thing  as  the  socialization 
of  the  railways,  as  you  will  see.  In  Russia  the  govern- 
ment owns  some  of' the  railways  and  has  a  monopoly  oi 
the  liquor  traffic.  But  these  things  are  not  democratic- 
ally owned  and  managed  in  the  common  interest.  Rus- 
sia is  an  autocracy.  Everything  is  run  for  the  benefit 
of  the  governing  class,  the  Czar  and  a  host  of  bureau- 
crats. That  is  not  Socialism.  In  this  country  we  have 
a  nearer  approach  to  democracy  in  our  government,  and 
our  post-office  system,  for  example,  is  a  much  nearer 
approach  to  the  realization  of  the  Socialist  principle. 

^nt  even  in  this  country,  government  ownership  .and 
Socialism  are  not  the  same  thing.  For  our  government 
is  a  class  government  too.  There  is  the  same  inequality 
-of  wages  and  conditions  as  under  capitalist  ownership: 
many  of  the  letter  carriers  and  other  employees  are 
miserably  underpaid,  and  the  service^is  notoriously' han- 
dicapped by  private  interests.  Whether  it  is  in  Russia 
under  the  Czar  and  his  bureaucrats,  Germany  with  its 
monarchial  system  cumbered  with  the  remnants  of  feud- 
alism, or  the  United  States  with  its  manhood  suffrage 


WHAT  SOCIALISM    IS  AND   WHAT   IT   IS  NOT  I35 

foolishly  used  to  elect  the  interests  of  the  capitalist  class, 
government  ownership  can  only  be  at  best  a  framework 
for  Socialism.  It  must  wait  for  the  Socialist  spirit  to  be 
infused  into  it. 

Socialists  want  government  ownership,  Jonathan,  but 
they  don't  want  it  unless  the  people  are  to  own  the  gov- 
ernment. When  the  government  represents  the  interr 
ests  of  all  the  people  it  will  use  the  things  it  owns  and 
controls  for  the  common  good.  And  thaf  will  be  So- 
cialism in  practice,  my  friend. 


X 

OBJECTIONS    TO    SOCIALISM    CONSIDERED 


I  feel  sure  that  the  time  will  come  when  people  will  find 
it  difficult  to  'believe  that  a  rich  community  such  as  otir's,  hav- 
ing such  command  over  external  nature,  could  have  submitted 
to  live  such  a  mean,  shabby,  dirty  life  as  we  Aq.-^  William  Mor- 
ris. 

Morality  and  political  economy  unite  in  repelling  the  individual 
who  consumes  without  producing. —  Balsac. 

The  restraints  of  Communism  would  be  freedom  in  comparison 
with  the  presefit  condition  of  the  majority  of  the  human  race. 

• — John  Stuart  Mill. 

I  promised  at  the  beginning  of  this  discussion,  friend 
Jonathan,  thkt  I  would  try  to  answer  the  numerous  ob- 
jections to  SociaHsm  which  you  set  forth  in  your  letter, 
and  I  cannot  close  the  discussion  without  fulfilling  that 
promise. 

Many  of  the  objections  I  have  already  disposed  of 
and  need  not,  therefore,  take  further  notice  of  them 
here.  The  remaining  ones  I  propose  to  answer  —  ex- 
cept where  I  can  show  you  that  an  answer  is  unneces- 
sary. For  you  have  answered  some  of  the  objections 
yourself,  my  friend,  though  you  were  not  aware  of  the 
fact.  I  find  in  looking  over  the  long  list  of  your  ob- 
jections that  one  excludes  another  very  qften.  You 
seem,  like  a  great  many  other  people,  to  have  set  down 
all  the  objections  you  had  ever  heard,  or  could  think  of 
at  the  time,  regardless  of  the  fact  that  they  could  not  by 

136 


OBJECTIONS    TO    SOCIALISM    CONSIDERED  I37 

any  possibility  be  all  well  founded;  that  if  some  were 
wise  and  weighty  others  must  be  foolish  and  empty. 
Without  altering  the  form  of  your  objections,  simply  re- 
arranging their  ofder,  I  propose  to  set  forth. a  few  of 
the  contradictions  in  your  objections.  That  is  fair  logic, 
Jonathan. 

First  you  say  that  you  object  to  Socialism  because  it 
is  "  the  clamor  of  envious  men  to  take  by  force  what 
does  not  belong  to  them."  That  is  a  very  serious  objec- 
tion, if_  true.  But  you  say  a  little  further  on  in  your  let- 
ter that  "  Socialism  is  a  noble  and'  beautiful  dream  which . 
human  beings  are  not  perfect  enough  to  realize  in  actual 
life."  Either  one  of  the  objections  may  he  valid,' Jon- 
athan, but  both  of  them  cannot  be.  Socialism  cannot 
be  both  a  noble  and  a  beautiful  dream,  too  sublime  for 
human  realization,  and  at  the  same  time  a  sordid  envy — 
can  it? 

You  say.  that  "Socialists  are  "opposed  to  law  and  order 
and  want  to  do  away  with  all  government,"  and  then 
you  say  in  another  objection  that  "  Socialists  want  to 
make  us  all  slaves  to  the  government  by  putting  every- 
thing and  everybody  under  government  control."  It 
happens  that  you  are  wrong  in  both  assertions,  but  you 
can  see  for  yourself  that  you  couldn't  possibly  be  right 
in  both  of  them  —  can't  you  ? 

You  object  that  under  Socialism  "  all  would  be  re- 
duced to  the  same  dead  level."  That  is  a  very  serious 
objection,  too,  but  it  cannot  be  well  founded  unless  your 
other,  objection,  that  "  under  Socialism  a  few  politicians 
would  get  all  the  power  and  most  of  the  wealth,  making 
all  the  people  their  slaves  "  is  without  foundation.  Both 
objections  cannot  hold  —  can  they? 

You  say  that  "  Socialists  are  visionaries  with  cut  and 
dried  schemes  that  look  well  on  paper,  but  the  world  has 


138  COMMON    SENSE   OF    SOCIALISM 

never  paid  any  attention  to  schemes  for  reorganizing  sb- 
ciety,"  and  then  you  object  that  "  the  Socialists  have  no 
definite  plans  for  what  they  propose  to  do,  and  how  they 
mean  to  do  it;  that  they  indulge  in  vague  principles 
only."  And_  I  ask  you  again,  friend  Jonathan,  do  you 
think  that  both  these  objections  can  be  sound? 

You  object  that  "Socialism  is  as  old  as  the  world; 
has  been  tried  many  times  and  always  failed."  If  that 
were  true  it  would  be  a  very  serious  objection  to  Social- 
ism, of  course.  But  is  it  true?  In  another  place  you 
object  that  "  Socialism  has  never  been  tried  and  we  don't 
know  how  it  would  work."  You  see,  my  friend,  you 
can  make  either  objection  you  choose,  but  not  both. 
Either  one  may  be  right,  but  both  cannot  be. 

Now,  these  are  only  a  few  of  the  long  list  of  your  ob- 
jections which  are  directly  contradictory  and  mutually 
exclusive,  my  friend.  Some  of  them  I  have  already 
answered  directly,  the  others  I  have  answered  indirectly. 
Therefore,  I  shall  do  no  more  here  and  now  than  briefly 
summarize  the  Socialist  answer  to  them. 

Socialists  do  propose  that  society  as. a  whole  should 
take  and  use  for  the  common  good  some  things  which 
a  few  now  own,  things  which  "  belong  "  to  them  by  vir- 
tue of  laws  which  set  the  interests  of  the  few  above  the 
common  good.  But  that  is  a  very  different  thing  from 
"  the  clamor  of  envious  men  to  take  what  does  not  be- 
long to  them."  It  is  no  more  to  be  so  described  than 
taxation,  for  example  is.  Socialism  is  a  beautiful  dream 
in  one  sense.  Men  who  see  the  misery  and  despais  pro- 
duced by  capitalism  think  with  joy  of  the  days  to  come 
when  the  misery  and  despair  are  replaced  by  gladsome- 
ness  and  hope.  That  is  a  dream,  but  no  Socialist  rests 
upon  the  dream  merely:  the  hope  of  the  Socialist  is  in 


OBJECTIONS   TO   SOCIALISM    CONSIDERED  139 

the  very  material  fact  of  the  economic  development  from 
competition  to  monopoly;  in  the  breakdown  of  capital- 
ism itself. 

You  have  probably  learned  by  this  time  that  Socialism 
does  not  mean  either  doing  away  with  all  government 
or  making  the  government  master  of  everything.  Later, 
I,  want  to  return  to  the  subject,  and  to  the  charge  that 
it  would  reduce  all  to  a  dull  level.  I  shall  not  waste 
time  answering  the  objections  that  it  is  a  scheme  and 
that  it  is  not  a  scheme,  further  tJian  I  have  already  an- 
swered them.  And  I  am  not  going  to  waste  .your  time 
arguing  at  length  the  folly  of  saying  that  Socialism  has 
bepn  tried  and  proved  a  failure.  The  Socialisrn  of  to- 
day has  nothing  to  do  with  the  thousands  of  Utopian 
schemes  which  men  have  tried.  Before  the  modern  So- 
cialist movement  came  into  existence,  dliring  hundreds 
of  years,  men  and  women  tried  to  realize  social  equality 
by  forming  communities  and  withdrawing  from  the  ordi- 
nary life  of  the  world.  Some  of  these  communities, 
mostly  of  a  religious  nature,  such  as  the  Shakers  and  the 
Perfectionists,  attained  sorne  measure  of  success  and 
lasted  a  number  of  years,  but  most  of  them  lasted  only 
a  short  time.  It  is  folly  to  say  that  Socialism  has  eyer 
been  tried  anywhere  at  any  time. 

And  now,  friend  Jonathan,  I  want  to  consider  some  of 
the  more  vital  and  important  objections  to  Socialism 
made  in  yoyr  letter.     You  object  to  Socialism 

Because  its  advocates  use  violent  speech 

Because  it  is  "  the  same  as  Anarchism  " 

Because  it  aims  to  destroy  the  family  and  the  home 

Because  it  is  opposed  to  religion 

Because. it' would  do  away  with  personal  liberty. 

Because  it  would  reduce  all  to  one  dull  level 


140  COMMON    SENSE   OF    SOCIALISM 

Because  it  would  destroy  the  incentive  to  progress 

Because  it  is  impossible  unless  we  can  change  human 
nature. 

These  are  all  your  objections,  Jonathan,  and  I  am  go- 
ing to  try  to  suggest  answers  to  them. 

(i)  It  is  true  that  Socialists  sometimes  use  very  vio- 
lent language.  Like  all  earnest  and  enthusiastic  men 
who  are  possessed  by  a  great  and  overwhelming  sense  of 
wrongs  and  needless  suffering,  they  sometimes  use  lan- 
guage that  is  terrible, in  its  vehemence;  their  speech  is 
sometimes  full  of  bitter  scorn  and  burning  indignation. 
It  is  also  true  that  their  speech  is  sometimes  rough  and 
uncultured,  shocking  the  sensitive  ear,  but  I .  am  sure 
you  will  agree  with  me  that  the  working  man  or  woman 
who,  never  having  had  the  advantage  of  education  and 
refined  environment,  feels  the  burden  of  the  days  that 
are  or  the  inspiration  of  better  days  to  come,  is  entitled 
to  be  heard.  So  I  am  not  going  to  apologize  for  the 
rough  and  uncultured  speech. 

And  I  am  not  going  to  apologize  for  the  violent 
speech.  It  would  be  better,  of  course,  if  all  the  advo- 
cates of  Socialism  could  master  the  difficult  art  of  stat- 
ing their  case  strongly  and  without  compromise,  but 
without  bitterness  and  without  unnecessary  offense  to 
others.  But  it  is  not  easy  to  measure  speech  m  the 
denunciation  of  unmeasurable  wrong,  and  some  of  the 
greatest  utterances  in  history  have  been, hard,  bitter, 
vehement  words  torn  from  agonized  hearts.  It  is  true 
that  Socialists  now  and  then  use  violent  languagig,  but 
no  Socialist  —  unless  he  is  so  overwrought  as  to  be  mo- 
mentarily irresponsible  —  advocates  violence.  The  great 
urge  and  passion  of  Socialism  is  for  the  peaceful  trans- 
formatioh  of  society. 

I  have  heard  a  few  overwrought  Socialists,  all  of  them 


OBJECTIONS   TO    SOCIALISM    CONSIDERED  I4I  - 

gentle  and  generous  comrades,  incapable  of  doing  harm 
to  any  living  creature,  in  bursts  of  tempestuous  indigna- 
tion use  language  which  seemed  to  incite  their  hearers 
to  violence,  but  those  who  heard  them  understood  that 
they  were  borne  away  by  their  feelings.  I  have  never 
heard  Socialists  advocate  violence  toward  any  human 
beings  in  cold-blooded  deliberation.  But  I  have  heard 
capitalists  and  the  defenders  of  capitalism  advocate  vio- 
lence toward  Socialists  in  cold-blooded  deliberation.  I 
have  seen  in  Socialist  papers  upon  a  few  occasions  vio- 
lent utterances  which  I  deplored,  but  never  such  ad- 
vocacy of  violence  as  I  have  read  in  newspapers  opposed 
to  Socialism.  Here,  for  example,  are  some  extracts 
from  an  editorial  which  appeared  January,  1908,  in  the 
columns  of  the  Gossip,  of  Goldfield,  Nevada :~ 

"  A  cheaper  and  more  satisfactory  method  of  dealing  with  this 
labor  trouble  in  Goldfield  last  spring  would  have  been  to  have 
taken  half  a  dozen  of  the  Socialist  leaders  in  the  Miners'  Union 
and  hanged  them  all  to  telegraph  poles. 

"SPEAKING  DISPASSIONATELY,  AND  WITHOUT 
ANIMUS,  it  seems  clear  to  us  after  many  months  of  reflection, 
that  YOU  COULDN'T  MAKE  A  MISTAKE  IN  HANGING 
A  SOCIALIST. 

"  HE  IS  ALWAYS  BETTER  DEAD. 

"He,  breathing  peace,  breathing  order,  breathing  goodwill, 
fairness  to  all  and  moderation,  is  always  the  man  with  the  dyna- 
mite.   He  is  the  trouble-maker,  and  the  trouble-breeder. 

"  To  fully  appreciate  him  you  must  live  -where  he  abounds. 

"  In  the  Western  Federation  of  Miners  he  is  that  plentiful 
legacy  left  us  from  tlje  teachings  of  Eugene  V.  Debs,  hero  of 
the  Chicago  Haymarket  Riots. 

"ALWAYS  HANG  A  SOCIALIST.  NOT  BECAUSE 
HE'S  A  DEEP  THINKER,  BUT  BECAUSE  HE'S  A  BAD 
ACTOR." 

I  could  fill  many  pages  with  extracts  almost  as  bad  as 
the  above,   all  taken   from  capitalist  papers,  Jonathan. 


142  •        COMMON    SENSE   OF   SOCIALISM 

But  for  our  purpose  one  is  as  good  as  a  thousand. .  I 
want  you  to  read  the  papers  carefully  with  an  eye  to 
their  class  character.  When  the  Goldfield  paper  printed 
the  foregoing  open  incitement  to  murder,  the  community 
was  already  disturbed  by  a  great  strike  and  the  President 
of  the  United  States  had  sent  federal  troops  to  Goldfield 
in  the  interest  of  the  master  class.  Suppose  that  under 
similar  circumstances  a  Socialist  paper  had  come  out  and 
said  in  big  type  that  people  "  couldn't  make  a  mistake  in 
hanging  a  capitalist,"  that  capitalists  are  "always  better 
dead."  Suppose  that  any  Socialist  paper  urged  the  mur- 
der of  Republicans' and  Democrats  in  the  same  way,  do 
you  think  the  paper  would  have  been  tolerated?  That 
the  editor  would  have  escaped  jail?  Don't  you  know 
that  if  such  a  statement  had  been  published  by  any  So- 
cialist paper  the  whole  country  would  have  been  roused, 
that  press  and  pulpit  would  have  denounced  it? 

Socialists  are  opposed  to  violence.  They  appeal  to 
brains  and  not  to  bludgeons ;  they  trust  in  ballots  and 
not  in  bullets.  The  violence  of  speech  with  which  they 
are  charged  is  not  the  advocacy  of  violence,  but  un- 
measured and  impassioned '  denunciation  of  a  cruel  and 
brutal  system.  Not  long  ago  I  heard  a  clergyman .  de- 
nouncing Socialists  for  their  "  violent  language."  Poor 
fellow !  He  was  quite  unconscious  that  he  was  more 
bitter  in  his  invective  than  the  men  he  attacked.  Of 
course  Socialists  use  bitter  and  burning  language — ^but 
not  more  bitter  than  was  used  by  the  great  Hebrew 
prophets  in  their  stern  denunciations ;  not  more  bitter 
than  was  used  by  Jesus  and  his  disciples ;  not  more  bit- 
ter than  was  used  by  Martin  Luther  and  other  great 
leaders  of  the  Reformation;  not  more  bitter  than  was 
used  by  Garrison  and  the  other  Abolitionists.  Men  with 
vital  messages  cannot  always  use  soft  words,  Jonathan. 


■     OBJECTIONS   TO    SOCIALISM    CONSIDERED  I43 

(2)  Socialism  is  not  "  the  same  as  Anarchism,"  my 
friend,  but  its  very  opposite.  The  only  connection  be- 
tween them  is  that  they  are  agreed  upon  certain  criti- 
cisms of  present  society.  In- all  else  they  are  as  opposite 
as  the  poles.  The  difference  lies  not  merely  in  the  fact 
that  most  Anarchists  have  a,dvocated  physical  violence, 
for  there  are  some  Anarchists  who  are  as  much  opposed 
to  physical  violence  as  you  or  I,  Jonathan,  and  it  is  only 
fair  and  just  that  we  should  recognize  the  fact.  It  has 
always  seemed  to  me  that  Anarchism  logically  leads  to 
physical  force  by  individuals  against  individuals,  but, 
logical  or  no,  there  are  many  Anarchists,  who  are  gentle 
spirits^  holding  all  life  sacred  and  abhorring  violence  and 
assassination.  When  there  are  so  many  ready  to  be  un- 
just to  them,  we  can  afford  to  be  just  to  the  Anarchists, 
even  if  we  do  not  agree  with  them,  Jonathan, 

Sometimes  an  attempt  is  made  by  Socialists  to  ex- 
plain the  difference  between  themselves  and  Anarchists 
by  saying  that  Anarchists  want  to  destroy  all  govern- 
ment, while  Socialists  want  to  extend  government  and 
bring  everything  under  its  control ;  that  Anarchists  want 
no  laws,  while  Socialists  want  more  laws.  But  that  is 
not  an  intelligent  statement  of  the  difference.  We  So- 
cialists don't  particularly  desire  to  extend  the  functions 
of  government;  we  are  not  so  enamoured  of  laws  that 
we  want  moi^e  of  them.  Quite  the  contrary  is  true,  in 
fact  If  we  had  a  Socialist  government  to-morrow  in 
this  country,  one  of  the  first  and- most  important  of  its 
tasks  would  be  to  repeal  a  great  many  of  the  existing 
laws. 

Then  there  are  some  Socialists  who  try  to  explain  the 
difference  between  Socialism  and  Anarchism  by  saying 
that  the  Anarchists  are  simply  Socialists  of  a  very  ad- 
vanced type;  that  society  must  first  pass  through  a  period 


144  COMMON    SENSE  OF   SOCIALISM 

of  Socialism,  in  which  laws  will  be  ilecessary,  before  it 
can -enter  upon  Anarchism,  a  state  in  which  every  man 
will  be  SO  pure  and  so  good  that  he  can  be  a  law  unto 
himself,  no  other  form  of  law  being  necessary.  But 
that  does  not  settle  'the  difficulty.  I  think  you  will  see, 
friend  Jonathan,  that  in  order  to  have  such  a  society  in 
which  without  laws  or  penal  codes,  or  government"  of 
any  kind,  men  and  women  lived  happily  together,  it 
would  be  necessary  for  every  member  to  cultivate  a  so^ 
cial  sense,  a  sense  of-  responsibility  to  society  as  a  whole. 
Each  member  of  society  would  have  to  become  so 
thoroughly  socialized  as  to  make  the  interests  of  so- 
ciety as  a  whole  his  chief  concern  in  life.  And  such  a 
society  would  be  simply  a  Socialist  society  perfectly  de- 
veloped, not  an  Anarchist  society.  It  would  be  a  So- 
cialist society  simply  because  it  would  be  dominated  by 
the  essential  principle  of  Socialism  —  the  idea  of  soli- 
darity, of  common  interest. 

The  basis  of  Anarchism  is  Utopian  individualism. 
Just  as  the  old  Utopian  dreamers  who  tried  to  "  estab- 
lish "  Socialism  through  the  medium  of  numerous' 
"  Colonies,"  took  the  abstract  idea  of  equality  and  made 
it  their  ideal,  so  the  Anarchist  sets  up  the  abst^-^ct  idea 
of  irtdividual  liberty.  The  true  diffei^nce  between  So- 
cialism and  Anarchism  is  that  the  Socialist  sets  the  so- 
cial interest,  the  good  of  society,  above  all  other  inter- 
ests, while  the  Anarchist  sets  the  interest  of  the  indi- 
vidual above  everything  else.  You  could  express  the 
difference  thus: 

Socialism  means  We  -ism 

Anarchism  means  Me  -ism 

The  Anarchist  says :  "  The  world  is  made  up  of  indi- 
viduals. What  is  called  "society"  is  only  a  lot  of  in- 
dividuals.    Therefore  the  individual  is  the  only  real  be- 


OBJECTIONS   TO   SOCIALISM    CONSIDERED  I45 

ing  and  society  a  mere  abstraction,  a  name.  As  an  in- 
dividual I  know  myself,  but  I  know  nothing  of  society; 
I  know  my  own  interests,  but  I  know  nothing  of  what 
you  call  the  interests  of  society."  On  the  other  hand, 
the  Socialist  says  that  "  no  man  liveth  unto  himself,"  to 
use  «.  biblical  phrase.  He  points  out  that  in  modern  so- 
ciety no  individual  life,  apart  from  the  social  life,  is  pos- 
sible. 

If  this  seems  a  somewhat  abstract  way  of  putting  it, 
Jonathan,  just  try  to  put  it  in  a  concrete  form  yourself 
by  means  of  a  simple  experiment.  When  you  sit  down 
to  your  breakfast  to-morrow  morning  take  time  to  thinfc 
where  your  breakfast  came  from  and  how.  it  was  pro- 
duced. Think  of  the  coffee  plantations  in  far-off  coun- 
tries drawn  on  for  your  breakfast;  of  the  farms,  per- 
haps thousands  of  miles  away,  from  which  came  your 
bacon  and  your  bread ;  of  the  coal  miners  toiling  that 
your  breakfast  migfit  be  cooked;  of  the  men  in  the  en- 
gine-rooms of  great  ships  and  on  the  tenders  of  mighty 
locomotives,  bringing  your  breakfast  supplies  across  sea 
and  land.  Then  think  of  your  clothing  in  the  same  way, 
article  by  article,  trying  to  realize  how  much  you  are 
dependent-  upon  others  than  yourself.  Throughout  the 
day  apply  the  same,  principle  as  you  move  about.  Apply 
it  to  the  streets  as  you  go  to  work ;  to  the  street  cars  as 
you  ride;  apply  it  to  the  provisions  which  are  made  to 
safeguard  your  health  against  devastating  plague,  the 
elaborate  system  of  drainage,  the  carefully  guarded 
wafer-supply,  and  so  on.  Then,  when  you  have  done 
that  for  a  day  as  far  as  possible,  ask  yourself  whether 
the  Anarchist  idea  that  every  individual  is  a  distinct  and 
separate  whole,  an  independent  being,  unrelated  to  the 
other  individuals  who  make  up  society,  is  a  true  one;  or 
whether  the  Socialist  idea  that  all  individuals  are  inter- 


146  COMMON    SENSE    OF    SOCIALISM 

dependent  upon  each  other,  bound  to  each  qther  by  so 
many  ties  that  they  cannot  be  considered  apart,  is  the 
true  idea.     Judge  by  your  experience,  Jonathan ! 

So  the  Sociahst  says  that  "  we  are  all  members  one  of 
another,"  to  use  another  familiar  biblical  phrase.  He  is 
not  less  interested  in  personal  freedom  than  the  Anar- 
chist, not  less  desirous  of  giving  to- each  individual  unit 
in  society  the  largest  possible  freedom  compatible  with 
the  like  freedohi  of  all  the  other  uriits.  But,  while  the 
Anarchist  says  that  the  best  judge  of  that  is  the  indi- 
vidual, the  Socialist  says  that  society  is  the  best  judge. 
The  Anarchist  position  is  that,  in  the  event  of  a  con- 
flict of  interests,  the  will  of  the  individual  must  rule  at 
all  costs;  the  Sociahst  says  that,  in  the  event  of  such  a 
conflict  of  interests,  the  will  of  the  individual  must  give 
way.  That  is  the.  real  philosophical  difference  between 
the  two. 

Anarchism  is  not  important  enough  in  America,  friend 
Jonathan,  to '  justify  our  devoting  so  much  time  and 
space  to  the  discussion  of  its  philosophy  as  opposed  to 
the  philosophy  of  Socialism,  except'  for  the  bearing  it 
has  upon  the  political  movement  of  the  working  class.* 
I  want  you  to  see  just  how  Anarchism  works  out  when 
the  test  of  practical  application  is   resorted  to. 

Just  as  the  Anarchist  sets  up  an  abstract  idea  of  in- 
dividual liberty  as  his  ideal,  so  he  sets  up  an  abstract 
idea  of  tyranny.  To  him  Law,  the  will  of  society,  is  the 
essence  of  tyranny.  Laws  are  limitations  of  individual 
liberty  set  by  society  and  therefore  they  are  tyrannical. 
No  matter  what  the  law  may  be,  all  laws  are  wrong. 
There  cannot  be  such  a  thing  as  a  good  law,  according  to 
this  view.  To  illustrate  just- where  this  leads' us,  Met  me 
tell  of  a  recent  experience :  I  was  lecturing  in  a  New 
England  town,  and  after  the  lecture  an  Anarchist  rose  to 


OBJECTIONS   TO    SOCIALISM    CONSIDERED  I47 

ask  some  questions.  He  wanted  to  knpw  if  it  was  not 
a  fact  that  all  laws^were  oppressive  and  bad,  to  which,  of 
course,  I  replied  that  I  thought  not. 
■  I  asked  him  whether  the  law  forbidding  murder  and 
providing  for  its  punishment,  oppressed  him;  whether  he 
felt  it  a .  hardship  not  to  be  allowed  to  murder  at  will, 
and  he  replied  that  he  did  not.  I  cited  many  other  laws, 
such  as  the  laws  relating  to  arson,  burglary,  criminal 
assault,  and  so  on,  with  the  same  result.  His  outcry 
about  the  oppression  of  law,  as  -such,  proved  to  be  just 
an  empty  cry  about  an  abstraction ;  a  bogey  of  his  imagi- 
nation. Of  course,  he  could  cite  bad  laws,  unjust  laws, 
as  I  could  have  done ;  Ijut  that  would  simply  show  that 
some  laws  are  not  right  —  a  proposition  upon  which 
most  people  will  agree.  My  Anarchist  friend  quoted 
Herbert  Spencer  in  support  of  his  contention.  He  re- 
ferred to  Spencer's  well-known  summary  of  the  social 
legislation  of.  England.  So  I  asked  my  friend  if  he 
thought  the  Factory  Acts-were  oppressive  and  tyrannical, 
and  he  replied  that,  from  an  Anarchist  viewpoint,  they 
were.  , 

Think  of  that,  Jonathan !  Little  boys  and  girls,  five 
and  six  years  old,  were  taken  out  of  their  beds  crying 
and  begging  to  be  allowed  to  sleep,  and  carried  to  the 
factory  gates.  Then  they  were  driven  to  woi-k  by  brutal 
overseers  armed  with  leather  whips.  Sometimes  they 
fell  asleep  at  their  tasks  and  then  they  were  beaten  and 
kicked  and  cursecl  at  like  dogs.  Little  boys  a,nd  girls 
from  orphan  asylums  were  sent  to  wofk  thusy  and  died 
like  flies  in  summer  —  their  bodies  being  secretly  buried 
at  night  for  fear  of  an  outcry.  You  can  find  the  terrible 
story  told  in  The  Industrial  History  of  England,  by  H. 
de  B.  Gibbins,  which  ought  to  be  in  your  public  library. 

Humane  men  set  up  a  protest  at  last  and  there  was  a 


148  COMMON    SENSE   OF    SOCIALISM 

movement  through  the  country  demanding  protection 
for  the  children.  Once  a  member  of  parHament  held 
up  in  the  House  of  Commons  a  whip  of  leather  throngs 
attached  to  an  oak  handle,  telling  his  colleagues  that  a' 
few  days  before  it  had  been  used  to  flog  little  children 
who  were  mere  babies.  The  demand  was  made  for 
legislation  to  stop  this  barbarous  treatment  of  children, 
to  protect  their  childhood.  The  factory  owners  opposed 
the  passing  of  such  laws  on  the  ground  that  it  would  be 
an  interference  with  their  individual  liberties,  their  right 
to  do  as  they  pleased.  And  the  Anarchist  comes  always 
and  inevitably  to  the  same  conclusion.  Factory  laws, 
public  health  laws,  education  laws  —  all  denounced  as 
"  interferences  with  individual  liberty."  Extremes 
meet:  the  Anarchist  in  the  name  of  individual  liberty, 
like  the  capitalist,  would  prevent  society  from  glutting  a 
stop  to  the  exploitation  of  its.  little  ones. 

The  real  danger  in  Anarchism  is  not  that  some  An- 
archists believe  in  violence,  and  that  from  time  to  time 
there  are  cowardly  assassinations  which  are  as  futile  as 
they  are  cowardly.  The  real  danger  lies  first  in  the  re- 
actionary principle  that  the  interests  of  society  must  be 
subordinated  to  the  interests  of  the  individual,  and,. sec- 
ond, in  holding  out  a  hope  to  the  working  class  that  its 
freedom  from  oppression  and  exploitation  may  be 
brought  about  by  other  than  political,  legislative  means. 
And  it  is  this  second  objection  which  is  of  extreme  im- 
portance to  the  working  class  of  America  at  this  time. 

From  time  to  time,  in  all  working  class  movements, 
there  is  an  outcry  against  political  action,  an  outcry 
raised  by  impetuous  men-in-a-hurry  who  want  twelve 
o'clock  at  eleven.  They  cry  out  that  the  ballot  is  too 
slow ;  they  want  some  more  "  direct "  action  than  the 
ballot-box  allows.     But  you  will  find,  Jonathan,  that  the 


OBJECTIONS   TO   SOCIALISM    CONSIDERED  I49 

men  who  raise  this  cry  have  nothing  to  propose  except 
riot  to  take  the  place  of  political  action.  Either  they 
would  have  the  workers  give  up  all  struggle  and  depend 
upon  moral  suasion,  or  they  would  have  them  riot. .  And 
we  Socialists  say  that  ballots  are  better  weapons  than 
bullets  for  the  workers.  You  may  depend  upon  it  that 
any  agitation  among  the  workers  against  the  use  of  po- 
litical weapons  leads  to  Anarchism  —  and  to  riot.  I 
hope  you  will  find  time  to  read  Plechanofl's  Anarchism 
and  Sacialism,  Jonathan.  It  will  well  repay  your  care- 
ful study. 

No,  Socialism  is  not  related  to  Anarchism,  but  it  is,-, 
on  the  contrary,  the^  one  great  active  force  in  the  world 
to-day  that  is  combating  Anarchism.  There  is  a  close 
afifinity  between  Anarchism  and  the  idea'  of  capitalism, 
for  both  place  the  individual  above  society.  The  Social- 
ist believes  that  the  highest  good  of  the  individual  will 
be  realized  through  the  highest  good  of  society. 

(3)  Socialism  involves  no  attack  upon  the  family  and 
the  home.  Those  who  raise  this  objection  against  So- 
cialism charge  that  it  is  one  of  the  aims  of  the  Socialist 
movement  to  do  away  with  the  monogamic  marriage 
and  to  replace  it  with  what  is  called  "  Free  Love."  By 
this  term  they  do  not  really  mean  free  love  at  all.  For 
love  is  always  free,  Jonathan.  Not  all  the  wealth  of 
a  Rockefeller  could  buy  one  sii^gle  touch  of  love.  Love 
is  always  free;  it  cannot  be  bought  and  it  cannot  be 
bound.  No  one  can  love  for  a  price,  or  in  obedience  to 
law's  or  threats.  The  term  "  Free  Love  "  is  therefore  a 
misnomer. 

What  the  opponents  of  Socialism  have  in  mind  when 
they  use  the  term  is  rather  lust  than  love.  They  charge 
us  Socialists  with  trying  to  do  away  with  the  mono* 
gamic  marriage  relation  —  the  marriage  of  one  man  to 


150  COMMON    SENSE   OF   SOCIALISM 

one  woman  —  and  the  family  life  resulting  therefrom. 
They  say  that  we  want  promiscuous  sex  relations,  com- 
munal life  instead  of  family  life  and  the  turning  over  of 
all  parental  functions  to  the  community,  the  State.  And 
to  charge  that  these  things  are  involved  in  Socialism  is 
at  once  absurd  and  untrue.  I  venture  to  say,  Jonathan, 
that  the  percentage  of  Socialists  who  believe  in  such 
things  is  not  greater  than  the  -percentage  of  Christians 
believing  in  them,  or  the  percentage  of  Republicans  or 
Democrats.     They  have  nothing  to  do  with  Socialism. 

Let  us  see  upon  what  sort  of  evidence  the  charge  is 
based:  On  the  one  hand,  finding,  nothing  in  the  pro- 
grammes of  the  Socialist  parties  of  the  world  to  support 
the  charge,  we  find  them  going  back  to  the  Utopian 
schemes  with  communistic  features.  They  go  back  to 
Plato,  even!  Because  Plato  in  his  Republic,  which  was 
a  wholly  imaginary  description  of  the  ideal  society  he 
conceived  in  his  mind,  advocated  community  of  sex 
relations  as  well  as  community  of  goods,  therefore  the 
Socialists,  who  do  not  advocate  community  of  goods  or 
community  of  wives,  must  be  charged  with  Plato's  prin- 
ciples! In  like  manner,  the  fact  that  niany  other  com- 
munistic experiments  included  either  communism  of  sex 
relations,  as,  for  example,  the  Adamites,  during  the  Hus- 
site wars,  in  Germany,  and  the  Perfectionists,  of  Oneida:, 
with  their  "  community  i^arriage,"  all  the  male  members 
of  a  community  being  married  to  all.  the  female  mem- 
bers ;  or  enforced  celibacy,  as  did  the  Shakers  and  the 
Harmonists,  among  many  other  similar  groups,  is  ur^ed 
against  Socialism. 

I  need  not  argue  the  injustice  and  the  stupidity  of  this, 
sort  of  criticism,  Jonathan.  What  have  the  Socialists  of 
twentieth  century  America  to  do  with  Plato?  His  Uto- 
pian ideal  is  not  their  ideal;  they  are  neither  aiming  at 


OBJECTIONS    TO    SOCIALISM    CONSIDERED  I5I 

community  of-igoods  nor  at  community  of  wives.  And 
whefi  we  put  aside  Plato  and  the  Platonic  communities, 
the  first  fact  to  challenge  attention  is  that  the  communi- 
ties which  established  laws  relating  to  sex  relations 
which  were  opposed  to  the  monogamic  family,  whether 
promiscuity,  so-called  free  love ;  plural  marriage,  as  in 
Mormonism,  or  cfelibacy,  as  in  Harmonism  and  Shaker- 
ism,  were  all  religious  communities.  In  a  word,  all  these 
experiments  which  antagonized  the  monogamic  family  ■ 
relation  jvere  the  result  of  various  interpretations  of  the 
Bible  and  the  efforts  of  those  who  accepted  those  inter- 
pretations to  rule  their  lives  in  accordance  therewith. 
In  every  -ease  communism  was  only  a  means  to  an  end,  a 
way  of  realizing  what  they  considered  to  be  the  true  re- 
ligious life.  In  other  words,  my  friend,  most  of  the  so- 
called  free  love  experiments  made  in  these  communities 
have  been  offshoots  of  Christianity  rather  than  of  So- 
cialism. 

And  I  ask  you,  Jonathan  Edwards,  as  a  fair-minded 
American,  what  you  would  think  of  it  if  the  Socialists 
charged  Christianity  with  being  opposed  to  the  family 
and  the  homef  It  would  not  be  true  of  Christianity  and 
it  is  not  true  of  Socialism. 

But  there  is  another  form  of  argument  which  is  some- 
times resorted  to.  The  history  of  the  movement  is 
searched  for  examples  of  what  is  called  free  love.  That 
is  to  say  that  because  ffom  time  to  time  there  have  been 
individual  Socialists  who  have  refused  to  recognize  the 
ceremonial  and  legal  aspects  of  ijiarriage,  believing  love 
to"  be  the  only  real  marriage  bond,  notwithstanding  that 
the  vast  majority  of  Socialists  have  recognized  the  legal 
and  ceremonial  aspects  of  marriage,  they  have  been  ac- 
cused of  trying  to  do  away  with  mai'riage.  Our  op- 
poneiits  have  even  stooped  so  low  as  to  seize  upon  every 


152  COMMON    SENSE   OF   SOCIALISM 

case  where  Socialists  have  sought  divorce  as  a  means  of 
undoing  terrible  wron^,  and  then  married  other  hus- 
bands and  wives,  and  proclaimed  it  as  a  fresh  proof  that 
Socialism  is  opposed  to  marriage  and  the  family.  When 
I  have  read  some  of  these  cruel  and  dishonest  attacks, 
often  written  by  men  who  know  better,  my  soul  has  been 
sickened  at  the  thought  of  the  cowardice  and  dishonesty 
•to  which  the  opponents  of  Socialism  resort. 

Suppose  that  every  time  a  prominent  Christian  be- 
comes divorced,  and  then  remarries,  the  Socialists  of  the 
country  were  to  attack  the  Christian  religion  and  the 
Christian  churches,  upon  the  ground  that  they  are  op- 
posed to  marriage  and, the  family,  does  anybody  think 
that  that  would  be  fair  and  just?  But  it  is  the  very 
thing  which  happens  whenever  Socialists  are  divorced. 
It  happened,  not  so  very  long  ago,  that  a  case  of  the 
kind  was  made  the  occasion  ofhundreds  of  editorials 
against  Socialism  and  hundreds  of  sermon?.  The  facts 
were  these:  A  man  and  his  wife,  both  Socialists,  had  for 
a  long  time  realized  that  their  marriage  was  an  unhappy 
one.  Failing  to  realize  the  happiness  they  sought,  it  was 
mutually  agreed  that  the  wife  should  apply  for  a  di- 
vorce. They  had  been  legally  married  and  desired  to  be 
legally  separated.  Meantime  the  man  had  come  to  be- 
lieve that  his  happiness  depended  upon  his  wedding  an- 
other woman.  The  divorce  was  to  be  procured  as  speed- 
ily as  possible  to  enable  the  legal  marriage  of  the  man 
and  the  woman  he  had  grown  to  love. 

Those  were  the  fact^  as  they  appeared  in  the  press, 
the  facts  upon  which  so  many  hundreds  of  attacks  were 
made  upon  Socialism  and  the  Socialist  movement.  Two 
or  three  weeks  later,  an  Episcopal  clergyman,  not  a 
Socialist,  left  the  wife  he  had  ceased  to  love  and  with 
whom-he  had  presumably  not  been  happy.    He  had  leg- 


objections'  to  socialism  considered         153 

ally  married' his  wife,  but  he  did  hot  bother  about  get- 
ting a  legal  separation.  He  just  left  his  wife;  just  ran 
away.  He  not  only  did  not  bother  about  getting  a  legal 
separation,  but  he  ran  away  with  a  young  girl,  whom  he 
had  grown  to  love.  They  lived  together  as  man  and 
wife,  without  legal  marriage,  for  if  they  went  through 
any  marriage  form  at  all  it  was  not  a  legal  marriage 
and  the  man  was  guilty  of  bigamy.  Was  there  any  at- 
tack upon  the  Episcopal  Church  in  consequence?  AA^ere 
hundreds  of  sermons  preached  and  editorials  written  to 
denounce  the  church  to  which  he  belonged,  accusing  it 
of  aiming  to  do  away  with  the  monogamic  marriage  re- 
lation, to  break  up  the  family  and  the  Jiome? 
-  Not  a  bjt  of  it,  Jonathan.  There  were  some  criti- 
cisms of  the  man,  but  there  were  more  attempts  to  find 
excuses  for  him.  There  were  thousands  of  expressions 
of  sympathy  with  his  church.  But  there  were  no  at- . 
tacks  such  as  were  aimed  at  Socialism  in  the  other  case, 
notwithstanding  that  the  Socialist  strictly,  obeyed  the  law 
whereas  the  clergyman  broke  the  law  and  defied  it.  I 
think  that  was  a  fair  way  to  treat  the  case,  but  I  ask  the 
same  fair  treatment  of  Socialism. 

So  far,  Jonathan,  I  have  been  taking  a  defensive  at- 
titude, just  replying  to  the  charge?  that  Socialism  is  an 
attack  upon  the  family  and  the  home.  Now,  I  want  to 
go  a  step  further:  I  want  to  take  an  affirmative  position 
an3  to  say  that  Socialism  comes  as  the  defender  of  the 
home  and  the  family ;  that  capitalism  from  the  very  first 
has  been  attacking  the  home.  I  am  going  to  turn  the 
tables,  Jonathan. 

When  capitalism  began,  when  it  came  with  its  steam 
engine  and  its  power-loora>  what '■was  the  first  thing  it 
did?  Why,  it  entered  the  home  and  took  the  child  from 
the  mother  and  made  it  a  part  of  a  great  system  of 


154  COMMON    SENSE   OF    SOCIALISM 

wheels  and  levers  and  springs,  all  driven  for  one  end  — 
the  grinding  of  profit.  It  began  its  career  by  breaking 
down  the  bonds  between  mother  and  child.  Then  it 
took  another  step.  It  took  the  mother  away,  from  the 
baby  in  the  cradle  in  order  that  she  too  might  become 
part  of  the  great  profit-grinding  system.  Her  breaats 
might  be  full  to  overflowing  with  the  food  wonderfully 
provided  for  the  child  by  Nature ;  the  baby  in  the  cradle 
might  cry  for  the  very  food  that  was  bursting  from  its 
mother's  breasts,  but  Capital,  did  not  care.  The  mother 
was  taken  away  from  the  child  and  the  child  was  left 
to  get  on  as  best  it  might  upon  a  miserable  substitute  for 
its  mother's  milk.  Hundreds  of  thousands  of  babies  die 
each  year  for  no  other  reason  than  this.        ^ 

There  will  never  be  safety  for  the  home  and  the  fam- 
ily so  long  as  babies  are  robbed  of  their  mothers'  care; 
so  long  as  little  children  are  made  to  do  the"  work  of 
men;  so  long  as  the  girls  who  are  to  be  the  wives  and 
mothers  are  sent  into  wifehood  and  motherhood  unpre- 
pared, simjily  because  -the  years  of  maidenhood  are  spent 
in  factories  that  ought  to  be  spent  in  preparation  for 
wifehood  and  motherhood.  Here  is  capitalism  cutting 
at  the  very  heart  of  the  home,  with  Socialism  as  the  only 
defender  of  the  home  it  is  charged  with  attacking.  For 
Socialism  would  give  the  child  its  right  to  childhood;  it 
would  give  the  mother  her  freedom  to  nourish  her  babe ; 
it  would  give  to  the  fathers  and  mothers  of  the  future 
the  opportunities  for  preparation  they  cannot  now  enjoy. 
-  I  ask  you,  friend  Jonathan,  to  think  of  the  tens  and 
thousands  of  women  who  marry  to-day,  not  because  they 
love  and  are  loved  in  return,  but  for  the  sake  of  getting 
a  home.  Socialism  Aifrould  put  an  end  to  that  condition 
by  making  woman  economically  and  politically  free. 
Think  of  the  tens  of  thousands  of  young  men  in  our 


OBJECTIONS   TO   SOCIALISM    CONSIDERED  1 55 

land  who  do  not,  dare  not,  marry  because  they  have  no 
certainty  of  earning  a  living  adequate,  to  "the  maintenance 
of  wives  and  families;  of  the  hundreds  of  thousands  of 
prostitutes  in  our  country,  the  vast  majority  of  whom 
have  been  driven  to  that  terrible  fate  by  econoniic  causes 
outside  of  their  control.  Socialism  would  at  least  re- 
move the .  economic  pressure  which  forces  so  many  of 
these  women  down  into  the  terrible  hell  of  prostitution. 
I  ask  you,  Jonathan,  to  think  also  of  the  thousands  of 
wives  who  are  deserted  every  year.  So  far  as  the  in- 
vestigations of  the  charity  organizations  into  this  serious 
matter  have  gone,  it  has  been  shown  that  poverty  is 
responsible  for  by  far  the  greatest  number  o£  these  de- ' 
'  sertions.  Socialism  would  not  only  destroy  the  poverty, 
but  it  would  set.  woman  economicaliy  free,  thus  remov- 
ing the  main  causes  of  the  eviL 

Oh,  Jonathan  Edwards,  hard-headed,  practical  Jona- 
than, do  you  think  that  the  existence  of  the  family  de- 
pends upon  keeping  women  in  the  position  o|  an  inferior 
class,  politically  and  economically?  Do  you  think  that 
when  women  are  politically  and  economically  the  equals 
of  men,  so  that  they  no  longer  have  to  marry  for  homes, 
or  to  stand  brutal  treatment  because  they  have  no  other 
homes  than  the  men  afford;  so  that  no  woman  is  forced 
to  sell  her  body — I  ask  you,  when  women  are  thus  free 
do  you  believe  that  the  marriage  system  will  be  endan- 
gered thereby,?  For  that  is  what  the  contention  of  the 
opponents  of  Socialism  comes  to  in  the  "last  analysis,  my 
friend.  Socialism  will  only  affect  the  marriage  system 
in  so  far  as  it  raises  the  standards  of  society  as  a  whole 
and  makes  woman  man's  political  and  economic  equal. 
Are  you  afraid  of  that,  Jonathan?  - 

(4)  Socialism  is  not  opposed  to  religion.  It  is  per- 
fectly true  that  some  Socialists  oppose  religion,  but  So- 


156  COMMON    SENSE   OF    SOCIALISM 

cialism  itself  has  nothing  to  do  with  matters  of  religion. 
In  the  Socialist  movement  to-day  there  are  men  and 
women  of  all  creeds  and  all  shades  of  religious  belief. 
By  all  the  Socialist  parties  of  the  world  religion. is  de- 
clared to  be  a  private  matter  —  and  the  declaration  is  hon- 
estly meant ;  it  is  not  a  tactical  utterance,  used  as  bait  to 
the  unwary,  which  the  Socialists  secretly  repudiate.  In 
the  Socialist  movement  of  America  to-day  there  are  Jews 
and  Christians,  Catholics  and  Protestants,  Spiritualists 
and  Christian  Scientists,  Unitarians  and  Trinitarians, 
Methodists  and  Baptists,  Atheists  and  Agnostics,  all 
united  in  one  great  comradeship. 

This  w^s  not  always  the  case.  When  the  scientific 
Socialist  movement  began  in  the  second  half  of  the  last 
century,  Science  was  engaged  in  a  great  intellectual  en- 
counter with  Dogma.  All  the  younger  men  were  drawn 
into  the  scientific  current  of  the  time.  It  was  natural, 
then,  that  the  most  radical  movement  of  the  time  should 
partake  of  the  universal  scientific  spirit  and  temper.  The 
Christfans  of  that  day  thought  that  the  work  of  Darwin 
and  his  school  would  destroy  religion.  They  made  the 
very  natural  mistake  of  supposing  that  dogma  and  re- 
ligion were  the  same  thing,  a  mistake  which  their  critics 
fully  shared. 

You  know  what  happened,  Jonathan.  The  Christians 
gradually  came  to  realize  that  no  religion  could  oppose 
the  truth  and  continue'  to  be  a  power.  Gradually  they 
accepted  the  position  of  the  Darwinian  critics,  until  to- 
day there  is  no  longer  the  great  vital  controversy  upon 
matters  of  theology  which  our  fathers  knew.  In  a  very 
similar  manner,  the  present  generation  of  Socialists  have 
nothing  to  do  with  the  attacks  upon  religion  which  the 
Socialists  of  fifty  years  ago  indulged  in.  The  position 
of  all  the  Socialist  parties  of  the  world  to-day  is  that 


OBJECTIONS   TO   SOCIALISM    CONSIDERED  1 57 

they  have  nothing  to  do  with  matters  of  religious  beUef ;. 
that  these  belong  to  the  individual  alone. 

There  is  a  sense  in  which  Socialism  becomes  the  hand- 
maiden of  religion :  not  of  creeds  and  theological  beliefs, 
but -of  religion  in  its  broadest  sense.  When  ,you  exam- 
ine the  great  religions  of  the  world,  Jonathan,  you  will 
find  that  in  addition  to  certain  supernatural  beliefs  there 
are  always  great  ethical  principles  which  constitute  the 
most  vital  elements  in  religion.  Putting  aside  the  theo- 
logical beliefs  about  God  and  the  immortality  of  the  soul, 
what  was  it  that  gave  Judaism  its  power  ?  Was  it  not 
the  ethical  teaching  of  its  great  prophets,  such  as  Isaiah,. 
Joel,  Amos  and  Ezekiel — the  stern  rebuke  of  the  op- 
pressors of  the  poor  and  downtrodden,  the  scathing  de- 
nunciation of  the  despoilers  of  the  people,  the  great 
vision  of  a  unified  world  in  which  thete  should  be  peace, 
when  war  should  no  more  blight  the  world  and  when  the 
weapons  of  war  should  be  forged  into  plowshares  and 
pruning  hooks  ?  Leaving  matters  of  theology  aside,  are 
not  these  the  principles  which  make  Judaism  a  living 
religion  to-day  for  so  many  ?  And  I  say  to  you,  Jona- 
than, that  Socialism  is  not  only  not  opposed  to  these 
things,  but  they  can  only  be  realized  under  Socialism. 

So  "with  Christianity.  In  its  broadest  sense,  leaving 
aside  all  matters  of  a  supernatural  character,  concern- 
ing ourselves  only  with  the  relation  of  the  religion  to 
life,  to  its  material  problems,  we  find  in  Christianity  the 
same  great  faith  in  "the  coming  of  universal  peace  and 
brotherhood,  the  same  defense  of  the  poor  and  the  op- 
pressed, the  same  scathing  rebuke  of  the  oppressor,  that 
we  find  in  Judaism.  There  is  the  same  relentless 
scourge  of  the  despoilers,  of  those  who  devour  widows' 
houses.  And  again  I  say  that  Socialism  is  not  only  not 
opposed  to  the  great  social  ideals  of  Christianity,  but  it 


158  COMMON   SENSE   OF   SOCIALISM 

is  the  only  means  whereby  tfiey  may  be  realized.  And 
the  same  thing  is  true  of  the  teachings .  of  Confucius, 
Buddha  and  Mahomet.  The  great  social  ideals  common 
to  all  the  world's  religions  can  never  be  attained  under 
capitalism.  Not  till  the  Socialist  state  is  reached  will 
the  Golden  Rule,  common  to  all  the  great  religioiis,  be 
possible  as  a  rule  of  life.  No  ethical  life  is  possible  ex- 
cept as  the  outgrowing  of  just  and  harmonic  economic 
relations ;  until  it  is  rooted  in  proper  economic  soil. 

No,  Jonathan,  it  is  not  true  that  Socialism  is  antag- 
onistic to  religion.  With  beliefs  and  speculations  con- 
cerning the  origi:p  of  the  universe  it  has  nothing  to  do.  It 
has  nothing  tp  do  with  speculations  concerning  the  exist- 
ence of  man  after  physical  death,  with  belief  in  .the  im- 
mortality of  the  soul.  These  are  for  the  individual. 
Socialism  concerns  itself  with  man's  material  life  and 
his  relation  to  his  fellow  man.  And  there  is  nothing  in 
the  philosophy  of  Socialism,  or  the  platform  of  the  po- 
litical Socialist  movement,  antagonistic  to  the  social  as-  - 
pects  of  any  religion. 

(5)  I  have  already  had  a  good  deal  to  say  in  the 
course  of  this  discussion  concerning  the  subject  of  per- 
sonal freedom.  The  common  idea  of  Socialism,  as  a 
great  bureaucratic  government  owning  and  controlling 
everything,  deciding  what  every  man  and /woman  must 
do,  is  wholly  wrong.  The  aim  and  purpose  of  the  So- 
cialist movement  is  to  make  life  more  free  for  the  indi- 
vidual, and  not  to  make  it  less  free.  Socialism  means 
equality  of  opportunity  for  every  child  born  into  the 
world;  it  means  doing  away  with  class  privilege;  it 
means  doing  away  with  the  ownership  by  the  few  of  the 
things  upon  which  the  lives  of  the  many  depend,  through 
which  the  many  are  exploited  by  the  few.  Do  you  see 
how  individuals  are  to  be  enslaved  through  the  destruc- 


OBJECTIONS   TO   SOCIALISM    CONSIDERED  1 59 

tion  of  the  power  of  a  few  over  many,  Jonathan?    Think 
it  out !  . 

It  is  in  the  private  ownership  of  social  resources,  and 
the  private  control  of  social  opportunities,  that  the  es- 
sence of  tyranny  lies.  Let  me  ask  you,  mj^,  friend, 
whether  you  feel  yourself  robbed  of  any  part  of  your 
personal  liberty  when  you  go.  to  a  public  library  and 
take  out  a  book  to  read,  or  into  one  of  our  public  art 
galleries  to  look  upon  great  pictures  which  you; could 
never  otherwise  see?  Is  it  not  rather  a  fact  that  your 
life  is  thereby  enriched  and  broadened;  that  instead  of 
taking  anything  from  you  these  things  add  to  your  en-  " 
joyment  and  to  your  power?  Do  you  feel  that  you  ar,e 
robbed  of  any  element  of  your  personal  freedom  through 
the  action  of  the  city  government  in  making  parks  for 
your  recreation,  providing  -  hospitals  to  care  for  you  in 
case  of  accident  or  illness,  maintaining  a  fire  department 
to  protect  you  against  the  ravages  of  fire  ?  Do  you  feel 
that  in  maintaining  schools,  baths,  hospitals,  parks,  mu- 
seums, public;,  lighting  service,  water,  streets  and  street 
cleaning  service,  the  city  government  is  taking  away 
your  personal  liberties?  I  ask  these  questions,  Jona- 
than, for  the  reason  that  all.  these  things  contain  the  ele- 
ments of  Socialism^ 

When  you  go  into  a  government  post-office,  and  pay 
two  cents  for  the  service  of  having  a  letter  carried  right  ' 
across  the  country,  knowing  that  every  person  must  pay 
the  same  as  you'and  can  enjoy  the  same  right  as  you,  do 
you  feel  that  you  ai;e  less  free  than  when  you  go  into  an 
express  company's  office  and  pay  the-price  they  demand  • 
for  taking  your  package?  Does  it  really  help  you  to 
enjoy  yourself,  to  feel  yourself  more  free,  to  know  that 
in  the  case  of  the  express  company's  service  only  part  of 
your  money  will  be  used  to  ^ay  the  cost  of  carrying  the 


l60  COMMON    SENSE   OF    SOCIALISM 

package ;  that  the  larger  part  will  go  to  bribe  legislators, 
to  corrupt  public  officials  and  to  build  up  huge  fortunes  for 
a  few  investors?  The  post-office^  is  not  a  perfect  ex- 
ample of  Socialism :  there  are  too  many  private  grafters 
battening  upon  the  postal  system,  the  railway  companies 
plunder  it  and  the  great  mass  of  the  clerks  and  carriers 
are  underpaid.  But  lo  faf  as  the  principles  of  social 
organization  and  equal  charges  for_  everybody  go  they 
are  socialistic.  The  government  does  not  try  to  compel 
you  to  write  letters  any  more  than  the  private  company 
tries  to  compel  you  to  send  packages.  If  you  said  that, 
'  rather  than  use  the  postal  system,  you  would  carry  your 
own  letter  across  the  continent,  even  if  you  decided  to 
walk  all  the  way,  the  government  would  not  try  to  stop 
you,  any  more  than  the  express  company  would  try  to 
stop  you  from  carrying  your  trunk  on  your  shoulder 
across  the  country.  But  in  the  case  of  the  express  com- 
pany you  must  pay  tribute  to  men  who  have  been  shrewd 
enough  to  exploit  a  social  necessity  for  their  private 
gain. 

Do  you  really  imagine,  Jonathan,  that  in  those  cities 
where  th6  street  railways,  for  example,  are  in  the  hands 
of  the  people  there  is  a  loss  of  personal  liberty  as  a  re- 
sult ;  that  because  the  people  who  use  the  street  railways 
do  not  have  to  pay  tribute  to  a  corporation  they  are  less 
free  than  they  would  otherwise  be?  So  far  as  these 
things  are  owned  by  the  people  and  democratically  man- 
aged in  the  interests  of  all,  they  are  socialistic  and  an 
appeal  to  such  concrete  facts  as  these  is  far  better  than 
any  amount  of  abstract  reasoning.  You  are  not  a  closet 
philosopher,  interested  in  fine-spun  theories,  but  a  prac- 
tical man,  graduated  from  the  great  school  of  hard  ex- 
perience.   For  you,   if   I   am   not  mistaken,   Garfield's 


OBJECTIONS   TO   SOCIALISM    CONSIDERED  l6l 

aphorism,  that  "  An  ounce  of  fact  is  worth  many  tons  of 
theory,"  is  true. 

So  I  want  to  ask  you  finally  concerning  this  question 
of  personal  liberty  whether  you  think  you  would  be  less 
free  than  you  are  to-day  if  your  Pittsburg  foundries  and 
mills,  instead  of  belonging  to  corporations  organized  for 
the  purpose  of  making  profit,  belonged  to  the  Cotnnlbn- 
wealth  of  Pennsylvania,  and  if  they  were  operated  for 
the  common  good  instead  of  as  now  to  serve  the  inter- 
ests of  a  few.  Would  you  be  less  free  if,  instead  of 
a  corporation  trying  to  make  the  workers  toil  as  many 
hours  as  possible  for  as  little  pay  as  possible,  naturally 
and  consistently  avoiding  as  far  as  possible  the  expend- 
iture of  time  and  money  upon  saifety  appliances  and  other 
means  of  protecting  the  health  and  lives  of  the  workers, 
the  mills  were  operated  upon  the  principle  of  guarding 
the  health  and  lives  of  the  workers  as  much  as  possible, 
reducing  the  hours  of  labor  to  a  minimum  and  paying 
them  for  their  work  as  much  as  possible?  Is  it  a  sensi- 
ble fear,  my  friend,  that  the  people  of  any  country  will 
be  less  free  as  they  acquire  more  power  over  their  own 
lives  ?  You  see,  Jonathan,  I  want  you  to  take  a  practical 
view  of  the  matter. 

(6)  The  cry  that  Socialism  would  reduce  all  men  and 
women  to  one  dull  level  is  another  bogey  which  fright- 
ens a  great  many  good  and  wise  peqple.  It  has  been 
answered  thousands  of  times  by  Socialist  writers  and  you 
will  find  it  discussed  in  most  of  the  popular  books  and 
pamphlets  published  in  the  interest  of  the  Socialist  prop- 
aganda. I  shall  therefore  disrniss  it  very  briefly. 
,  Like  many  other  objections,  this  rests  upon  an  entire 
misapprehension  of  what  Socialism  really  means.  The 
people  who  make  it  have  got  firmly  into  their  minds  the 


l62  COMMON    SENSE    OF    SOCIALISM 

idea  that  Socialism  aims  to  make  all  men  equal ;  to  devise 
some  plan  for' removing  the  inequalities  with  which  they 
are  endowed  by  nature.  They  tfear  that,  in  order  to 
realize  this  ideal  of  equality,  the  strong  will  be  held  down 
to  the  level  of  the  weak,  the  daring  to  the  level  of  the 
timid,  the  wisest  to  the  level  of  the  least  wise.  That  is 
thei*^  conception  of  the  equality  of  which  Socialists  talk.' 
And  I  am  free  to  say,  Jonathan,  that  I  do  not  wonder 
that  sensible  men  should  oppose  such  equality  as  that. 

Even  if  it  were  possible,  through  the  adoption  of  some 
system  of  stirpiculture,  to  breed  all  human  beings  to  a 
common  type,  so  that  they  would  all  be  tall  or  short, 
fat  or' thin,  light  or  dark,  according  to  choice,  it  would 
.not  be  a  very  desirable  ideal,  would  it  ?  And  if  we  could 
get  everybody  to  think  exactly  the  same  thoughts,  to 
admire  exactly  the  same  things,  to  have  exactly  the  same 
mental  powers  and  exactly  the  same  measure  of  moral 
strength  and  weakness,  I  do  not  think  that  would  be  a 
very  desirable  ideal.  The  world  of  human  beings  would 
then  be  just  as  dull  and  uninspiring  as  a  waxwork  show. 
Imagine  yourself  in  a  city  where  every  house  was  exactly 
like  every  other  house  in  all  particulars,  even  to  its  fur- 
nishings; imagine  all  the  people  being  exactly  the  same 
height  ^nd  weight,  looking  exactly  alike,  dressed  exactly 
alike,  eating  exactly  alike,  going  to  bed  and  rising  at  the 
same  time,  thinking  exactly  alike  and  feeHng  exactly 
alike  —  how  would  you  like  to  live  in  such  a  city,  Jona- 
than? The  city  or  state  of  Absolute  Equality  is  only  a 
fool's  dream. 

No  sane  man  or  woman  wants  absolute  equality,  friend 
Jonathan,  for  it  is  as  undesirable  as  it.  is  unirfiaginable. 
What  Socialism  wants  is  equality  of  opportunity  merely. 
No  Socialist  wants  to  pull  down  the  strong  to  the  level 
of  the  weak,  the  wise  to  the  level  of  the  less  wise.     So- 


OBJECTIONS   TO   SOCIALISM    CONSIDERED  I63 

cialism  does  not  imply  pulling  anybody  down.  It  does 
not  imply  a  great  plain  of  humanity  with  no  mountain 
peaks  of  genius  or  character.  It  is  not  opposed  to  nat- 
ural inequalities,  but  only  to'  man-made  inequalities.  Its 
only  protest  is  against  these  artificial  inequalities,  prod- 
ucts of  man's  ignorance  and  greed.  It  does  not  aim  to 
.  pull  down  the  highest,  but  to  lift  up  the  lowpst ;  it  does 
not  want  to  put  a  load  oi  disadvantage  upon.tlie  strong 
and  gifted,  but  it  wants  to  ta;ke  ofif  the  heavy  burdens  of 
disadvantage  which  keep  others  from  rising.  In  a  word. 
Socialism  implies  nothing  more  than  giving  every  child 
born  into  the  world  equal  opportunities,  so  that  only  the 
inequalities  of  Nature"  remain.  Don't  you  believe  in  that, 
my  friend? 

Here  are  two  babies,  just  born  into  the  world.  Wee,' 
helpless  seedlings  of  humanity,  they  are  wonderfully 
alike  in  their  helplessness.  One  lies  in  a  tenement  upon 
a  mean  bed,  the  other  in  a  mansion  upon  a  bed  of  won- 
derful richness.  But  if  they  were  both  removed  to  the 
same  surroundings  it  would  be  impossible  to  tell  one 
from  the  other.  It  has  happened,  you  know,  that  babies 
have  been  mixed  up  in  this  way,  the  child  of  a  poor 
servant  girl  taking  the  place  of  the  child  of  a  countpss. 
Scientists  tell  us  that  Nature  is  wonderfully  democratic, 
and  that,  at  the  inoment  of  birth,  there  is  no  physical  . 
difference  between  the  babies  of  the  richest  and  the, 
babies  of  the  poorest.  It  is  only  afterward  that  man- 
made  inequalities  of  conditions  and  opportunities  make 
such  a  wide  difference  between  them. 

Lodk  at  our  two  babies  a,  moment :  no  man  can  tell 
what  infinite  possibilities  lie  behiijd  those  mystery-laden 
eyes.  It  may  be  tha,t  we  are  looking  upon  a  future  New- 
ton and  another  Savonarola,  or  upon  a  greater  than  Edi- 
son and  a  greater  than  Lincoln.  ^  No  man  knows  what 


,  164  COMMON    SENSE   OF    SOCIALISM 

infinitude  of  good  or  ill  is  germinating  back  of  those  little 
puckered  brows,  nor  which  of  the  cries  may  develop  into 
a  voice  that  will  set  the  hearts  of  men  aflame  and  stir 
them  to  glorious  deeds.  Or  it  may  be  that  both  are  of 
the  common  clay,  that  neither  will  be  more  than  an  aver^ 
age  man,  representing"  the  common  level  in  physical  and 
mental  equipment. 

But  I  ask  you,  friend  Jonathan,  is  it  less  than  justice 
to  demand  equal  opportunities  for  both?  Is  it  fair  that 
one  child  shall  be  carefully  nurtured  amid  healthful  sur- 
roundings, and  given  a  chance  to  develop  all  that  is  in 
him,  and  that  the  other  shall  be  cradled  in  poverty,  neg- 
lected, poorly  nurtured  in  a  poor  hovel  where  pestilente 
lingers,  and  denied  an  opportunity  to  develop  physically, 
mentally  and  morally?  Is  it  right  to  watch  and  tend 
one  of  the  human  seedlings  and  to  neglect  the  other? 
If,  by  chance  of  Nature's  inscrutable  working,  the  babe 
of  the  tenement,  came  into  the  world  endowed  with  the 
greater  possibilities  of  the  two,  if  the  tenement  mother 
upon  her  mean  bed  bore  into  the  world  in  her  agony  a 
spark  of  divine  fire  of  genius,  the  soul  of  an  artist  like 
Leonardo  da  Vinci,  or  of  a  poet  like  Keats,  is  it  less  than 
a  calamity  that  it  should  die  —  choked  by  conditions 
which  only  ignorance  and  greed  have  produced  ? 

Give  all  the  children  of  men  equal  opportunities,  leav- 
ing only  the  inequalities  of  Nature  to  manifest  them- 
selves, and  there  will  be  no  need  to  fear  a  dull-  level  of 
humanity.  There  will  be  hewers  of  wood  and  drawers 
of  water  content  to  do  the  work  they  can;  there  will  be 
scientists  and  inventors,  forever  enlarging  man's  kingdom 
in  the  universe;  there  will  be  makers  of  songs  and 
dreamers  of  dreams  to  inspire  the  world.  Socialism 
wants  to  unbind  the  souls  of  men,  setting  them  free  for 
the  highest  and  best  that  is  in  them. 


OBJECTIONS  TO   SOCIALISM    CONSIDERED  165 

Do  you  know  the  story  of  Prometheus,  friend  Jona- 
than? It  is,  of  course,  a  myth,  but  it  serves  as  an  illus- 
tration of  my  present  point.  Prometheus,  for  ridiculing 
the  gods,  was  bound  to  a  rock  upon  Mount  Caucasus,  by 
order  of  Jupiter,  where  daily  for  thirty  years  a  vulture 
came  and  tore  at  his  liver,  feeding  upon  it.  Then  there 
came  to  his  aid  Herctrles,  who  unbound  the  tortured  vic- 
'  tim  and  set  him  free.  Like  another  Prometheus,  the  sOul 
of  man  to-day  is  bound  to  a  rock  —  the  rock  of  capital- 
ism. The  vulture  of  Greed  tears  the  victim,  remorse- 
lessly and  unceasingly.  And  now,  to  break  the  chains, 
to  set  the  soul  of  man  free,  Hercules  comes  in  the  form 
of  the  "Socialist  movement.  It  is  nothing  less  than  this, 
my  friend.  In  the' last  analysis,  it  is  the  bondage  of  the 
soul  which  counts  for  most  in  our  indictment  of  capital- 
ism and  the  liberation  of  the  soul  is  the  goal  toward 
which  we  are  striving. 

It  is  to-day,  under  capitalism,  that  men  are  reduced 
to  a  dull  level.  The  great  mass  of  the  people  liv.e  dull, 
sordid  lives,  their  individuality  relentlessly  crushed  out. 
The  modern  workman  has  no  chance  to  express  any 
individuality  in  his  work,  for  he  is  part  of  a  great  ma- 
chine, as  much  so  as  any  one  of  the  many  levers  and 
-cogs.  Capitalism  makes  humanity  appear  as  a  great 
plain  with  a  few  peaks  immense  distances  apart  —  a  dull 
level  of  mental  and  moral  attainment  with  a  few  giants. 
I  say  to  you  in  all  seriousness,' Jonathan,  that  if  nothing 
better  were  possible  I  should  want  to  pray  with  the  -poet 
Browning, — 

Make  no  more  giants,  God  — 
But  elevate  the  race  at, once! 

But  I  don't  believe  that.     I  am.  satisfied  that  when  we 
destroy  man-made  inequalities,  leaving  only  the  inequal- 


l66  COMMON    SENSE  OF   SOCIALISM 

ities  of  Nature's  making,  there  will  be  no  need  to  fear 
the  dull  level  of  Jife.  When  all  the  chains  of  ignorance 
and  greed  have  been  struck  from  the  Prometheus-like 
human  soul,  then,  and  not  till  then,  will  the  soul  of  man 
be  free. to  soar  upward.         -  i 

(7)  For  the  reasons  already  indicated,  Socialism  would 
not  destroy  the  incentive  to  progress.  It  is  possible"  that 
a  stagnation  would- result  from  any  attempt  to  establish 
absolute  equality  such  as  I  have  already  described.  If 
it  were  the  aim  of  Socialism  to  stamp  out  all  individu- 
ality, this  objection  would  be  well  founded,  it  seems  to 
me.     But  that  is  not  the  aim  of  Socialism. 

The  people  who  make  this  objection  seem  to  think 
that  the  only  incentive  to  progress  comes  from  a  few  men 
and' their  hope  and  desire  to  be  masters  of  the  lives,  of 
others,  but  that  is  not  true.  Greed  is  certainly  a  power- , 
ful  incentive  to  some  kinds  of  progress,  but  the  history 
of  the  world  -shows  that  there  are  other  and  nobler  in- 
centives. The  hope  of  getting  somebody  else's  property 
is  a  powerful  incentive  to  the  burglar  and  has  led  to  the 
invention  of  all  kinjds  of  tools  and  ingenious  methods^ 
but  we  do  not  hesitate  to  take  away  that  incentive  to 
that  kind  of  "progress."  The  hope  of  getting  power 
to  exploit  the  people  acts  as  a  powerful  incentive  to  great 
corporijtions  to  devise  schemes  to  defeat  the  laws  of  the 
nation,  to  corrupt  legislators,  and  judges,  and  otherwise 
assail  the  liberties  of  the  people.  That,  also,  is  "prog- 
ress "  of  a  kind,  but  we  do  not  hesitate  to  try  to  take 
away  that  incentive.- 

Even  to-day,  Jonathan,  Greed  is  not  the  most  powerful 
incentive  in  the  world.  The  greatest  statesmanship '  in 
the  world  is  not  inspired  by  greed,  but  by  love  of  country, 
the  desire  for  the  approbation  and  confidence  of  others, 
and  numerous  other  motives.     Greed  ne\er  inspired  a 


OBJECTIONS   TO    SOCIALISM    CONSIDERED  I67 

great  teacher,  a  great  artist,  a  great  scientist,  a  great 
inventor,  a  great  soldier,  a  great  writer,  a  great  poet,  a 
great  physician,  a  great  scholar  or  a  great  statesman. 
Love  of  country,  love  of  fame,  love  of  beauty,  love  of 
doing,  love  of  humanity  —  all  these  liave  meant  infin- 
itely more  than  greed  in  the  progress  of  the  world. 

(8)  Finally,  -Jonathan,  I  want  !o  consider  your  objec- 
tion that  Socialism  is  impossible  until  human  nature  is 
changed.  It  is  an  old  objection  which  crops  up  in  every 
discussion  of  Socialism.  People  talk  about  "  human 
nature"  as. though  it  were  something  fixed  and  definitdT 
as  if  there  were  certain  quantities  of  various  qualities 
and  instincts  in  every  human  being,  and  that  these  never 
changed  from  age  to  age.  *  The  primitive  savage  in 
many  lands  went  cftit  to  seek  a  wife  armed  with  a  club. 
He  hunted  the  woman  of  his  choice  as  he  would  hunt  a 
,beast,  capturing  and  clubbing  her  into  submission.  That 
was  human  natiire,  Jonathan.  The  modern  man  in  civ- 
ilized countries,  when  he  goes  seeking  a  wife,  hunts  the 
woman  of  his  choice  with  flattery^  bon-bons,  flowers, 
opera  tickets  and  honeyed  words.  Instead  of  a  brute 
clubbing  a  woman  almost  to  death,  we  see  the  pleading 
lover,  cautiously^  and  earnestly  wooing  his  bride.  And 
that,  too,  is  human  nature.  The  African  savages  suf- 
fering from  the  dread  "  Sleeping  Sickness  "  and  the  poor 
Indian  ryots  suffering  from  Bubonic  Plague  see  their 
Jellows  dying  by  thousands  and  think  angry  gods  are 
punishing  them.  All  they  can  hope  to  do  is  to  appease 
the  gods  by  gifts  or  by  mutilating  their  own  poor  bodies. 
That  is  human  nature,  my  friend.  But  a  great  scientist 
like  Dr.  Koch,  of  Berlin,  goes,  into  the  African  centres 
of  pestilence  and  death,  seeks  the  germ  of  the  disease, 
drains  swamps,  purifies  water,  isolates  the  infected  cases 
and  proves  himself  more  powerful  than  the  poor  natives' 


l68  COMMON   SENSE   OF   SOCIALISM 

l^ods.  And  that  is  human  nature.  Outside  the  gates  of 
the  Chicago  stockyards,  I  have  seen  crowds  of  men 
fighting  for  work  as  hungry  dogs  fight  over  a  bone.  That 
was  human  nature.  I  have  seen  a  man  run  down  in  the 
streets  and  at  once  there  was  a  crowd  ready  to,  lift  him 
up  and  to  do  anything  for  him  that  they  could.  It  was 
the  very  opposite  spirit  to  that  shown  by  the  brutish, 
snarling,  cursing,  fighting  men  at  the  stockyards,  but  it~ 
was  just  as  much  human  nature.. 

The  great  law  of  human  development,  that  which  ex- 
{jresses  itself  in  what  is  so  vaguely  termed  human  na- 
ture, is  that  man  is  a  creature  of  his  environment,  that 
self-preservation  is  a  fundamental  instinct  in  human  be- 
ings. Socialism  is  not  an  idealistic  attempt  to  substitute 
some  other  law  of  life  for  that  of  seM-preservatioii.  On 
the  contrary,  it  rests  entirely  upon  that  instinct  of  self- 
preservation.  Here  are  two  classes  opposed  to  each 
other  in  modern  society.  One  class  is  small  but  exceed- 
ingly powerful,  so  that,  despite  its  disadvantage  in  size, 
it  is  -the  ruling  class, .  controlling  the  larger  class  and 
exploiting  it.  When  we  ask  ourselves  how  that  is  possi- 
ble, how  it  happens  that  the  smaller  class  rules  the  larger, 
we  soon  find  that  the  members  of  the  smaller  class  have 
become  conscious  of  their  interests  and  the  fact  that 
these  can  be  best  promoted  through '  organization ,  and 
association.  Thus  conscious  of  their  class  interests,  _and 
acting  together  by  a  class  instinct,  they  have  been  able 
to  rule  the'  world.  But  the  workers,  the  class  that  is 
much  stronger  nurnerically,  have  been  slower  to  recog- 
nize theit-  class  interests.  Inevitably,  however,  they  are 
developing  a  similar  class  sense,  or  instinct.  Uniting  in 
the  economic  struggle  at  first,  and  then,  in  the  political 
struggle  in  order  that  they  may  further  their  economic 
interests  through  the  channels  of  government,  it  is  easy 


OBJECTIONS  TO   SOCIALISM    CONSIDERED  169 

to  see  that  only  one  outcome  of  the  struggle  is  possible. 
By  sheer  force  of  numbers,  the  workers  must  win,  Jona- 
than. 

The  Socialist  movement,  then,  is  not  something  for- 
eign to  human  nature,  but  it  is  an  inevitable  part  of  the 
development  of  human  society.  The  fundamental  instinct 
of  the  human  species  makes  the  Socialist  movement 
inevitable  and  irresistiWe.  Socialism  does  not  require  a 
change  in  human  nature,  but  human  nature  does  require 
a  change  in  society.  And  that  change  is  Socialism.  It 
is  perhaps  the  deepest  and  profoundest  instinct  in  human 
beings  that  they  are  forever  striving  to  secure- the  larg- 
est possible  material  comfort,  forever  striving  to  secure 
more  of  good  in  return  for  less  of  ill.  And  in  that  lies 
the  great  hope  of  the  future,  Jonathan.  The  great 
Demos  is  learning  that  poverty  is  unnecessafy,  that  there 
is  plenty  for  all ;  that  none  need  suffer  want ;  that  it  is 
possible  to  suffer  less  and  to  live  more ;  to  have  more 
of  good  while  suffering  less  of  ill.  The  face  of  Demos 
is  turned  toward  the  future,  toward  the  dawning  of  So- 
cialism. 


XI 

WHAT  TO  DO 


Are  you  in  earnest?    Seize  this  very  minute. 

What  you  can  do,  or  dream  you  can,  begin  it!v 

Boldness  has  genius,  power  and  magic  in  it. 

OnJy  engage  and  then  the  mind  grows  heated; 

Begin,  and  then  the  work  will  be  completed.-^  Goethe. 

Apart  from  those  convulsive  upheavals  that  escape  all  fore- 
cast and  are  sometimes  the  final  supreme  resource  of  history 
brought  to  bay,  there  is  only  one  sovereign  method  for  Social- 
ism—  the  conquest  of  a  legal  majority. —  Jean  Jaures. 

When  one  is  convinced  of  the  justice  and  wisdom  of  the 
Socialist  idea,  when  its  inspiration  has  begun  to  quicken 
the  pulse  and  to  stir  the  soul,  it  is  natural  that  one  should 
desire  to  do  something  to  express  one's  convictions  and 
to  add  something,  however  little,  to  the  movement.  Not 
only  that,  but  the  first  impulse  is  to  seek  the  comradeship 
of  other  Socialists  and  to  work  with  them  for  the  realiza- 
tion of  the  Socialist  ideal. 

Of  course,  the  first  duty  of  every  sincere  believer  in 
Socialism  is  to  vote  fqr  it.  No  matter  how  hopeless  the 
contest  may  seem,  nor  how  far  distant  the  electoral  tri- 
umph, the  first  duty  is  to  vote  for  Socialism.  If  you 
believe  in  Socialism,  my  friend,  even  though  your  vote 
should  be  the  only  Socialist  vote  in  your  city,  you  could 
not  be  true  to  yourself  and  to  your  fait-h  and  vote,  any 
other  ticket.     I  know  that  it  requires  courage  to  do  this 

170 


WHAT  TO  DO  171 

sometimes.  I  know  that  there  are  many  who  will  deride 
the  action  and  say  that  you  are  "wasting  your  vote," 
but  no  vote  is  ever  wasted  when  it  is  cast  for  a  principle, 
Jonathan.  For,  after  all,  what  is  a  vote?  Is  it  not  an 
expression  of  the  citizen's  conviction  concerning  the  sort 
of  government  he  desires  ?  How,  then  can  his  vote  be 
thrown  away  if  it  really  expresses  his  conviction?  He 
is  entitled  to  a  single  voice,  and  provided  that  he  avails 
himself  of  his  right  to  declare  through  the  baUot  box  his 
conviction,  no  matter  whether  he  stands  alone  or  with . 
ten  thousand,  his  vote  is  not  thrown  away. 

The  only  vote  that  is  wasted  is  the  vote  that  is  cast 
for  something  other  than  the  voter's  earnest  conviction, 
the  vote  of  cowardice  and  compromise.  The 'man  who 
■  votes  fot  what  he  fully  believes  in,  even  if  he  is  the  only 
one  so  voting,  does  not  lose  his  vote,  waste  it  or  use  it 
unwisely.  The  only  use  of  a  vote  is  to  declare  the  kind 
of  government  the  voter  believes  in.  But  the  man  who 
votes  for  something  he  does  not  want,  for  something  less 
than  his  convictions,  that  man  loses  his  vote  or  throws 
it  away,  even  though  he  votes  on  the  winning  side.  Get 
thi§  well  into  your  mind,  friend  Jonathan,  for  there  are 
cities  in  which  the  Socialists  would  sweep  everything 
before  them  and  be  elected  to  power  if  all  the  people 
who  believe  in  Socialism,  but  refuse  to  vote  for  it  on  the 
ground  that  they  would  be  throwing  away  their  votes, 
would  be  true  to  themselves  and  vote  according  to  their 
inmost  convictions. 

I  say  that  we  must  vote  for  Socialism,  Jonathan,  be-, 
cause  I  believe  that,  in  this  country  at  least,  the  change 
from  capitalism  must  be  brought  about 'through  patient 
and  wise  political  ^ction.  I  have  no  doubt  that  the  eco- 
nomic organizations,  the  trade  unions,  will  help,  and  I 
can  even  conceive  the  possibility  of  tlieir  being  the  chief 


r72  COMMON   SENSE   OF   SOCIALISM 

agencies  in  the  transformation  in  society.  That  possi' 
bility,  however,  seems  exceedingly  remote,  while  the  pos- 
sibility of  effecting  the  change  through  the  ballot  box  is 
undeniable.  Once,  let  the  working-class  of  America 
make  up  its  mind  to  vote  for  Socialism,  nothing  can  pre- 
vent its  coming.  And  unless  the  workers  are  wise 
enough  and  united  enough  to  vote  together  for  "Social- 
ism, Jonathan,  it  is  scarcely  likely  that  they  will  be  able 
to  adopt  other  methods  with  success. 

But  as  voting  for  Socialism  is  the  most  obvious  duty 
of  aU  who  are  convinced  of  its  justness  and  wisdom,  so 
it  is  the  least  diity-  To  cast  your  vote  for  Socialism  is 
the  very  least  contribution  to  the  movement  which  you 
can  make.  The  next  step  is  to  spread  the  light,  to  pro- 
claim the  principles  of  Socialism  to  'others.  To  be  a 
Socialist  is  the  iirst  step;  to  make^  Socialists  is  the, second, 
step.  Every  Socialist  ought  to  be  a  missionary  for  the 
great  cause.  By  talking  with  your  friends  and  by  cir- 
culating suitable  Socialist  literature,  you  can  do  effective 
work  for  the  cause,  work  not  less  effective  than  that  of 
the  orator  addressing  big  audiences.  Don't  forget,  my 
friend,  that  in  the  Socialist  movement  there  is  work  for 
you  to  do. 

Naturally,  you  will  want  to  be  an  efficient  worker  for 
Socialism,  to  be  able  to  work  successfully.  Therefore 
you  will  need  to  join  the  organized  movement,  to  become 
a  member  of  the  Socialist  Party.  In  this  way,  working 
with  many  other  comrades,  you  will  be  able  to  accom- 
plish much  more  than  as  an  individual  working  alone. 
So  I  ask  you  to  join  the  party,  friend  Jbnathan,  and  to 
assume  a  fair  and  just  share  of  the  responsibilities  of  the 
movement. 

In  the  Socialist  party  organization  there  are  no 
"  Leaders  "  in  the  sense  in  which  that  term  is  used  in 


WHAT   TO  DO  173 

connection  with  the  political  parties  of  capitalism.  There 
are  men  who  by  virtue  of  long  service  and  exceptional 
talents  of  various  kinds'  are  looked  up  to  by  their  com- 
rades, and  whose  words  carry-  great  weight.  But  the 
government  of  the  organization  is  in  the  hands  of  the 
rank  and  file  and  everything  is  directed  from  the  bottom 
upwards,  not  from  the  top  downwards.  The  party  is  not 
owned  by  a  few  people  who  provide  its  funds,  for  these 
are  provided  by  the  entire  membership.  Each  member 
of  the  party  pays  a  small  monthly  fee,  and  the  amounts 
thus  contributed  are  divided  between  the  local,  state  and 
national  divisions  of  the  organization.  It  is  thus  a  party 
of  the  people,  by  the  people  and  for  the  people,  which 
bosses  cannot  corrupt  or  betray. 

So  I  would  urge  you,  Jonathan,  and  all  who ,  believe 
in  Socialism,  to  join  the  party  organization.  Get  intO' 
the  movement  in  earnest  and  try  to- keep  posted'  upon  all 
that  relates  to  it.  Read  some  of  the  papers  published  by 
the  party  —  at  least  two  papers  representing  different 
phases  of  the  mo'^ement.  There  are,  always  and  every- 
where, at  least  two  distinct  tendencies  in  the  Socialist 
movement,  a  radical  wing  and  a  more  moderate  wing. 
Whichever  of  these  appeals  to  you  as  the  dght  tendency, 
you  will  need  to  keep  informed  as  to  both.  1 

Above  all,  my  friend,  I  would  like  to  have  you  study 
Socialism.  I  don't  mean  merely  that  you  should  read  a 
Socialist  propaganda  paper  or  two,  or  a  few  pamphlets : 
I  do  not  call  that  studying  Socialism..  Such  papers  and 
pamphlets  are  very  good  in  their  way;  they  are  writteil 
for  people  who  are  not  Socialists  for  the  purpose  of 
awakening  their  interest.  So  far  as  they  go  they  are 
valuable,  but  I  would  not  have  you  stop  there,  Jonathan. 
I  would  like  to  have  you  push  your  studies  beyond  them, 
beyond  even  the  more  elaborate  discussions  of  the  sub- 


174  COMMON   SENSE  OF   SOCIALISM 

ject  contained  in  such  books  as  this.  Read  the  great 
classics  of  Socialist  literature  —  and  don't  be  afraid  of 
reading  the  attacks  made  upon  Socialism  by  its  oppo- 
nents. Study  the  philosophy  of  Socialism  and  its  eco- 
nomic theories ;  try  to  apply  them  to  your  personal  expe- 
rience and  to  the  events  of  every  day  as  they  are  re- 
ported in  the  great  newspapers.  Yoii  ■  see,  Jonathan,  I 
not  only  vvant  you  to  know  what  Socialism  is  in  a  very 
thorough  manner,  but  I  also  want  you  to  be  able  to  teach 
others  in  a  very  thorough  manner. 

And  now,  my  patient  friend.  Good  Bye !  If  The  Com- 
mon Sense  of  Socialism  has  helped  you  to  a  clear  under- 
standing of  Socialism,  I  shall  be  amply  repaid  for  writ- 
ing it.  I  ask  you  to  accept  it  for  whatever  measure  of 
good  it  may  do  and  to  forgive  its  shoirtcomings.  Others 
might  have  written  a  better  book  for  you,  and  some  day 
I  may  do  better  "mysglf  —  I  do  not  know,  I  have  hon- 
estly tried  my  best  to  set  the  claims  of  Socialism  before 
you  in  plain  language  and  with  comradely  spirit.  And 
if  it  succeeds  in  convincing  you  and  making  you  a  So- 
cialist, Jonathan,  I  shall  be  satisfied. 


APPENDIX  I 

A   SUGGESTED  fifOURSE  OF  READING   ON   SOCIALISM 

The  following  list  of  books  on  various  phases  of  So- 
cialism .is  published  in  connection  with  the  advice  con- 
tained on  pages  173-174  relating  to  the  necessity  of 
studying  Socialism.  The  names  of  the  publishers  are 
given  in  each  case  for  the  reader's  convenience.  Charles 
H.  Kerr  &  Company  do  not  sell,  or  receive  orders  for, 
books  issued  by  other  publishers. 

(A)  History  of  Socialism  ' 

The  History  of  Socialism,  by  Thomas  Kirkup.  The 
Macmillan  Company,  New  York.     Price  $1.50,, net. 

French  and  German  Socialism  in  Modern  Times,  by 
R.  T.  Ely.  Harper  Brothers,  New  York.  Price  75 
cents. 

The  History  of  Socialism  in  the  United  States,  by  Mor- 
ris Hillquit.  The  Funk  &  Wagnalls  Xompany,  New 
York.    Price  $1.75. 

(B)  Biographies  of  Socialists 

Memoirs  of  Karl  Marx,  by  Wilhelm  Liebknecht. 
Charles  H.  Kerr  &  Company,  Chicago.     Price  50  cents. 

Ferdinand  Lassalle  as  a  Social  Reformer,-  by  Eduard 
Bernstein.  Charles  H.  Kerr  &  Company,  Chicago. 
Price  $1.00. 

Frederick  Engels:  His  Life  and  Work,  by  Kalrl  Kaut- 

175. 


176  COMMON    SENSE   OF    SOCIALISM 

sky,     Charles  H.  Kerr  &  Company,  Chicago.     Price  10 
cents. 

(C)  General  Expositions  of  Socialism 

Principles  of  Scientific  Socialism,  by  Charles  H.  Vail. 
Chai-les  H.  Kerr  &  Company,  Chicago.     Price  $i.oo. 

Collectivism,  by  Emile  Vandervelde.  ^  Charles  H.  Kerr 
&  Company,  Chicago.     Price  50  cents. 

Soealism:  A  Summary  and  Interpretation  of  Socialist 
Principles,  by  John  Spargo.  The  Macmillan  Company, 
New  York.     Price  $1.25,  net. 

The  Socialists — rWho  They  Are  and  What  They 
Stand  For,  by  John  Spargo.  •  Charles  H.  Kerr  &  Com- 
.pany,  Chicago.     Price  50  cents. 

The  Quintessence  of  Socialism,  by  Prof.  A.  E.  Schaf- 
fle.  Charles  H.  Kerr  &  Companj^  Chicago.  Price  $1.00. 
This  is  by  an  opponent  of  Socialism,  but  is  much  circu- 
lated -by  Socialists  as  a  fair  and  lucid  statement  of  their 
principles. 

(£>)   The  Philosophy  of  Sociaiism 

The  Communist  Manifesto,  by  Karl  Marx  and  Fred- 
erick Engels.  Charles  H.  Kerr  &  Company,  Chicago. 
In  paper  at  10  cents.  Also  superior  edition  in  cloth  at 
50  cents. 

Evolution,  Social  and  Organic,  by  A.  M.  Lewis. 
Charles  H.  Kerr  &  Company,  Chicago.     Price  50  cents. 

The  The'oretrcal  System  of  Karl  Marx,  by  L.  B. 
Boiidin.  ChaTJes  H.  Kerr  &  Company,  Chicago.  Price 
$1.00, 

Socialism,  Utopian  and  Scientific,  by  F.  Engels. 
Charles  H.  Kerr  &  Company,  Chicago.  Price  10  cents 
in  paper,  superior  edition  in  cloth  50  cents. 

Mass  and  Class,  by  W.  J.   Ghent.    The  Macmillan 


APPENDIX  177 

Company,  New  York.    Price  paper  25  cents;  cloth  $1.25, 
net. 

(E)  Economics  of  Socialism 

Marxian  Economics,  by  Ernest  Untermann.  Charles 
H.  Kerr  &  Company,  Chicago.     Price  $1.00. 

Wage  Labor  and  Capital,  by  Karl  Marx.  Charles  H. 
JKerr  &  Company ,-Chicago.     Price  5  cents. 

Value,  Price  and  Profit,  by  Karl  Marx.  Charles  H. 
Kerr  &  Company,  Chicago.     Price  50  cents. 

Capital,  by  Karl  Marx.  Charles  H.  Kerr  &  Company, 
Chicago,    Two  volumes,  price  $2.00  each. 

(F)  Socialism  as  Related  to  Special  Questions 

The  American  Farmer,  by  A.  M.  Simons.  Charles  H. 
Kerr  &  Company,  Chicago.  Price  50  cents.  An  ad- 
mirable study  of  agricultural  conditions. 

Socialism  _  and  Anarchism,  by  George  ~  Plechanoff. 
Charles  H.  Kerr  &  Company,  Chicago.     Price  50  cents. 

Poverty,  by  Robert  Hunter.  The  Macmillan  Com- 
pany, New  York.     Price  25  cents  and  $1,501 

American  Pauperism,  by  Jsador  Ladoff.  Charles  H. 
Kerr  &  Company,  Chicago.     Price  50  cents. 

The  Bitter  Cry  of  .the,Children,by  John  Spargo.  The 
Macmillan  Company,  NeW'  York.  Price  $1.50,  illus- 
trkted. 

Class  Struggles  in  America,,  by  A.  M.  Simons. 
Charles  H.  Kerr  &  Company,  Chicago.  Price  50  cents. 
A  notable  application  of  Socialist  theory  to  American 
history. 

Underfed  School  Children,  the  Problem  and  the  Rem- 
edy. By  John  Spargo.  Charles  H.  Kerr  &  Company, 
Chicago.     Price  10  cents. 

Socialists  in  French  Municipalities,  a  compilation  from 


178  COMMON  sense;  of  socialism 

official  reports.     Charles  H.  Kerr  &  Company,  Chicago.  . 
Price  5  cents. 

Socialists  at  Work,  by  Robert  Hunter.     The  Macmil- 
lan  Company,  New  York.    Price  $1.50,  net. 


APPENDIX  II 

HOW    SOCIALIST    BOOKS    ARE    PUBLISHED 

Nothing  bears  more  remarkable  evidence  to  the  growth 
of  the  American  SociaHst  movement  than  the  phenomenal 
development  of  its  literature.  Even  more  eloquently 
than  the  Socialist  vote,  this  literature  tells  of  the  onward 
sweep  of  Socialism  in  this  country.         i 

Only  a  few  years  ago,  the  entire  literature  of  Social- 
ism j)ublrshed  in  this  eountry  was  less  than  the  present 
monthly  output.  There  was  Bellamy's  "  Looking  Back- 
ward," a  bflateH  expression  of  the  Utopian  school,  not 
related  to  modem  scientific  Socialism,  though  it  accom- 
plished considerable  good  in  its  day ;  there  wete  a  couple 
of  vol6mes  by  Professor  R.  T.  Ely,  obviously  inspired 
by  a  desire  to  be  fair;  but  missing  the  essential  principles 
of  Socialism;  there  were  a  couple  of  volumes  by  Lau- 
rence Gronlund  and  there  was  Sprague's  "  Socialism 
From  Genesis  to  Revelation."  The^e  and  a  handful  of 
pamphlets  constituted  America's  contribution  to  Socialist 
literature. 

Added  to  these,  were  a  few  books  and  pamphlets  trans- 
lated from  th.e  German,  most  of  them  written  in  a  heavy,, 
ponderous  style,  vvhich  the  average  American  worker 
found  exceedingly  difficult.  The  great  classics  of  Social- 
ism were  not  available  to  any  but  those  able  to  read 
some  other  language  than  English.  "  Socialism  is  a 
foreign  movement,"  said  the  American  complacently. 

Even  six  or  seven  years  ago,  the  publication  of  a 
179 


l8o  COMMON   SENSE  OF   SOCIALISM 

Socialist  pamphlet  by  an  American  writer  was  regarded 
as  a  very  notable  event  in  the  movement  and  the  writer 
was  assured  of  a  certain  fame  in  consequence. 

Now,  in  this  year,  1908,  it  is  very  different.  There 
are  hundreds  of  excellent  books  and  pamphlets  available 
to  the  American  worker  and  student  of  Socialism,  deal- 
ing with  every  conceivable  phase  of  the  subject. 
Whereas  ten  years  ago  none  of  the  great  industrial 
countries  of  the  world  had  a  more  meagre  Socialist 
literature  than  America,  to-day  America  leads  the  world 
in  its  output.  ' 

Only  a  few  of  the  many  Socialist  books  have  been 
issued  by  ordinary- capitalist  publishing  bouses.  Half  a 
dozen  volumes  by  such  writers- as  Ghent,  Hillquit,  Hun- 
ter, Spargo  and  Sinclair  exhaust  thd  lisj.  It  could  not 
be  expected  that  ordinary  publishers  would  issue  books 
and  pajnphlets  purposely  written  for  propaganda  on  the 
one  hand,  nor  the  more  serious  works  which  are  expen- 
sive to  produce  and  slow  to  sell  upon  the  other  hand. 

The  Socialists  themselves  have  published  all  tht  rest 
—  the  propaganda  books  and  pamphlets,  the  translations 
of  great  Socialist  classics  and  the  important  contributions 
to  the  literature  of  Socialist  philosophy  and  economics 
made  by  American  students,  many  of  whom  are  th6 
products  of  the  Socialist  movement  itself. 

They  have  done  these  great  things  through  a  co-opera-, 
tive  publishing  house,  known  as  Charles  •  H.  Kerr  & 
Company  (Co-operative).  Nearly  2000  Socialists  and 
sympathizers  with  Socialism,  scattered  throughout  the 
country,  have  joined  in  the  work.  As  shareholders,  they 
have  paid  ten  dollars  for  each  share  of  stock  in  the  en- 
terprise, with  no  thought  of  ever  getting  any  profits, 
their  only  advantage  being  the  ability  to  buy  the  books 
issued  by  the  concern  at  a  great  reduction. 


APPENDIX  l8l 

Here  is  the  method :  A  person  buys  a  share  of  stock 
at  ten  dollars  (arrangements  can  be  made  to  pay  this 
by  instalments,  if  desired)  and  he  or  she  can  then  buy 
t)Ooks  and  pamphlets  at  a  reduction  of  fifty  per  cent. — 
or  forty  per  cent,  if  sent  post  or  express  paid. 

Looking  over  the.  list  of  the  company's  publications, 
one  -notes  names  that  are  famous  in  this  and  other  coun- 
tries. Marx,  Engels,  Kautsky,  Lassalle,  and  Liebknecht 
among  the  great  Germans ;  Lafargue,  Deville  and  Guesde, 
of  France ;  Ferri  and  Labriola,  of  Italy ;  Hyndman  and 
Blatchford,  of  iEngland;  Plechanoff,  of  Russia.;  Uptoij 
Sinclair,  Jack  London,  John  Spargo,  A.  M.  Simons, 
Ernest  Untermann  and  Morris  Hillquit,  of  the  United 
States.  These,  and  scores  of  other  names  less  known 
to  the  general  public. 

It  is  not  necessary  to  give  here  a  complete  list  of  the 
company's  publications.  Such  a  list  would  take  up  too 
much  room  —  and  before  it  was  published  it  would  be- 
come incomplete.  Th«  reader  who  is  interested  had 
better  send  a  request  for  a'  complete  list,  which  will  at 
once  be  forwarded,  without  cost.  We  can  only  take  a 
few  books,  almost  at  random,  to  illustrate  the  great  va- 
riety of  the  publications  of  the  firm. 

You  have  heard  about  Karl  Marx,  the  greatest  of 
modern  Socialists,  and  naturally  yoti  would  like  to  know 
something  about  him.  Well,  at  fifty  cents  there  is  a 
charming  little  book  of  biographical  mernoirs  by  his 
friend  Liebnecht,  well  worth  reading  again  and  again  for 
its  literary  charm  not  less  than  for  the  loveable  char- 
acter it  portrays  so  tenderly.  Here,  also,  is  the  com- 
plete list.  of.  the  works  of  Marx  yet  translated  into  the 
English  language.  There  is  the  famous  Communist 
Manifesto  by  Marx  and  Engels,  at  ten  cents,  and  the 
other  works  of   Marx  up  to   and,  including  his  great 


l82  COMMON    SENSE   OF   SOCIALISM 

master-work,  Capital,  in  three  big  volumes  at  two  dollars 
each  —  two  of  which  are  ah-eady  published,  the  other 
being  in  course  of  preparation. 

For  propaganda  purposes,  in  addition- to  a  big  list  of 
cheap  pamphlets,  many  of  them  small  enough  to  enclose 
in  a  letter  to  a  friend,  there  are  a  number  of  cheap  books. 
These  have  been  specially  written  for  beginners,  most 
of  them  for  workingmen.  Here,  for  example,  one  picks 
out  at  a  random  shot  Work's  "  What's  So  and  What 
Isn't,"  a  breezy  little  book  in  which  all  the  common 
questions  about  Socialism  are  answered  in  simple  lan- 
guage. Or  here  again  we  pick  up  Spargo's  "The  So- 
cialists, Who  They  Are  and  What  They  Stand  For-,"  a 
little  book  which  has  attained  considerable  popularity  as 
an  easy  statement  of  the  essence  of  modern  Socialism. 
For  readers  of  a  little  more  advanced  type  thfere  is  "  Col- 
lectivtsm,"  by  Emil  Vandervelde,  the  eminent  Belgian 
Socialist  leader,  a  wonderful  book.  This  and  Engels' 
"  Socialism  Utopian  and  Scientific "  will  lead  to  books 
of  a  more  advanced  character,  some  of  which  we  must 
mention.  The  four  books  mentioned  in  this  paragraph 
cost  fifty  cents  each,  postpaid.  They  are  well  printed 
and  neatly  and  durably  bound  in  cloth. 

Going  a  little  further,  there  are  two  admirable  vol- 
umes by  Antonio  Labriola,  expositions  of  the  funda- 
mental doctrine  of  Social  philosophy,  called  the  "  Mate- 
rialist Conception  of  History,"  and  a  volume  by  Austin 
Lewis,  "  The  Rise  of  the  American  Proletarian,"  in 
which  the  theory  is  applied  to  a  phase  of  American  his- 
tory. These  books  sell  at  a  dollar  each,  and  it  would  be 
very  hard  to  find  anything  like  the  same  value  in  book- 
making  in  any  other  publisher's  catalogue.  Only  the 
co-operation  of  nearly  2000  Socialist  men  and  women 
makes  it  possible. 


APPENDIX  183 

For  the  reader  who  has  got  so  far,  yet  finds  it  im- 
possible to  undertake  a  study  of  the  voluminous  work 
of  Marx,  either  for  lack  of  leisure  or, "as  often, happens, 
lack  of  the  necessary  mental  training  and  equipment, 
there  are  two  splendid  books,  notable  examples  of  the 
work  which  American  Socialist  writers  are  now  putting 
out.  While  they  will  never  entirely  take  the  place  of  the 
great  work  of  Marx,  nevertheless,  whoever  has  read 
them  with  care  will  have  a  comprehensive  grasp  of  Marx- 
ism. They  are :  L.  B.  Boudin's  "  The  Theoretical  Sys- 
tem of  Karl  Marx  "  and  Ernest  Untermann's  "  Marxian 
Economics."  These  also  are  published  .at  a  dollar  a 
volume.  „_ 

Perhaps  you  know  some  man  'Who  declares  that 
"  There  are  no  classes  in  America,"  who  loudly  boasts 
that  we  have  no  class  struggles :  just  get  a  copy  of  A^.  M. 
Simon's  "  Class  Struggles  in  America,"  with