Thursday, December 21, 2006
Monday, December 18, 2006
There will, however, be more Libertatia Lab Reports. I'm launching a new print zine, starting sometime in January.
LIBERTATIA LABORATORIES: REPORT 1 will set the pattern for the series, which I hope to keep on a monthly basis. The new Report will be part personal zine, part Mutualist Book of the Month Club, and part resource for other researchers and students of the anarchist and libertarian traditions. How will that all work? No. 1 will focus on Joshua King Ingalls, and will include a complete reprint of his Reminiscences of an Octogenarian in the Fields of Industrial and Social Reform, plus "The Exodus of Labor," some additional writings by and about him, information on his patents, and a working chronology/bibliography. I hope, essentially, to publish the sum of my research to date in one big DIY package. Then to that, I'll add some theoretical musings, updates and documents from the William B. Greene research, a resumption of my series "The FAQs" (from these pages), and, in most instances, some sound recordings related to the tradition.
Projected main topics for 2007 are:
J. K. Ingalls
King Camp Gillette
Stephen Pearl Andrews
Samuel Milton “Golden Rule” Jones
George Phelps (aka Patrick Quinn Tangent)
Nathaniel Greene / Mary Gardiner Greene
John William Lloyd
William B. Greene
In a few cases, the material will be largely unknown, like the Stephen Pearl Andrews book I found tucked away in serial form in The Index. I'll be doing a bit more in the way of contextualizing material than I do for the blog. In some cases, I'll be doing a lot more. And I'll be publishing a lots of outlines and "miscellanies," with the hope that others can pick up some of the threads that I know I won't be able to follow completely on my own.
I'll have more news on prices, ordering, eventual pdf publishing, etc. soon.
Saturday, December 16, 2006
BY VOLTAIRINE DE CLEYRE.
THE perusal of Dr. Carus's article, "Freethought: Its Truth and its Error" in The Open Court of Aug. 6th, has impelled me to a parallel line of thought concerning a doctrine, a principle, less understood, more misinterpreted, both by enemies and followers, than even that much abused, much misunderstood, much misinterpreted principle of freethought; and, as is the case with the latter, the greatest damage proceeds not so much from the opposition of prejudice as from the profession of ignorance.
"Freethought,'' says Dr. Carus, "has arisen in revolution to blind obedience." It was indeed the great revolt against human authority over the action of the mind. It was not merely a negation; no revolt ever is: it was the assertion that the individual mind must think according to necessity, according to its own law. And this assertion rooted the negation of that authority which sought to interfere with the law, in the confusion-working effort to build all minds after one fixed pattern. Mark, it was the very fact that thought is not, cannot be free, in the absolute sense, is not a thing of caprice "willing" to think this or that, but a thing of order constantly adapting itself to the relations of all other things, constantly progressing in the knowledge of truth as it fulfils the law of its growth—it was this which justified, nay made at all conceivable, the revolt against "dressed authority,"—that is God, that is—Priests! Here was a contradiction, or, as he would prefer to call it, an antinomy, to delight the heart of Proudhon; thought struggled for liberty because of its fatalism; conceiving the implacable authority of Truth, it denied authority; it would be free from men because it could not be free from self; with the light of a widening infinite in its eyes, it denied the supremacy of the Sun; "Come," it said, "you are great, but you are not all; do not think by your near shining, to shut out the stars."
Now this, precisely this, lies at the root of that doubly abused, misunderstood, misinterpreted word Anarchism. "Anarchism is negation," you say. True. Of what? The authority of rulers, precisely as freethought negatives the authority of priests. But why this negation. Because of the affirmation that every individual is himself, ruled by the fatalism of existence; within himself contains the law of right being, from which he can no more escape than sunlight can exist independent of the sun, and a "strict obedience" to which is necessary to that morality which Dr. Carus has called "living the truth": disobedience, in its stead, creating ever increasing confusion only to be wrought out and purified after many lives, the weary Karma of the race, and never wholly purged till the wronged law receives its recompense,—Understanding and Fulfilling. Hence this negation of "Archism," which would maintain a puny, false authority, denying the real one, hindering true order and progress. And the real anarchist can truthfully say to the Republican, "it is you, not I, who deny self-government." I say a real one, because as there are freethinkers and freethinkers, so there are anarchists and anarchists; and as I have intimated the greatest damage to either cause proceeds from the ignorant profession of them by people of whose lives they form no part. No real freethinker, comprehending the laws of racial growth, will for a moment deny the value of the creeds so long as they were the highest possible
conception of life; that is while humanity yet remained below the creed; nor will he deny that until a thinker has risen above the creed, comprehending himself, realising that the laws of his mind's guidance exist with it, cannot be conceived apart, the one from the other; until this conception of right guidance from within has taken the place of the old idea of a law descended from Heaven, the freethinker will admit that such a mind is better left among the orthodox, than to become so poor an apology for a reformer, as he must become by throwing away his old beliefs, not replacing them with the faith of truth.
So the real anarchist, instead of maintaining as Prejudice would have it appear, the utter abolition of social restraint, the bursting of every bond which man by slow experience has found necessary to order, the inauguration of chaos, maintains, on the contrary, the higher principle that "every man must be a law unto himself," embodying in himself all the truth of the Codes, and denying their authority beyond this, because he realises this; knowing the glory of the truth he holds he would maintain his freedom to reach out after that which is higher still, unknown but not unknowable. Anarchism is, in fact, the assertion of the highest morality; a conception of society without officials, police, military, bayonets, prisons, and the thousand and one other symbols of force which mark our present development; a dream of the day when "each having mended one, all will be mended." To him who has arrived at such a conclusion there is no morality in obedience to outward authority, neither in the observance of formulas; neither in doing what is writ in statute books; one is moral only so far as he (by long struggle it may, probably will, be) makes right his nature,—him. What then? Does he therefore deny the value, and the present necessity of Codes? Not at all. He would not, if he could, sweep them at once from existence, well knowing that as long as men are incapable of receiving the authority of "the inward must," they are incapable of living without statutes. Yet Prejudice and Ignorance cry: "Anarchy is the destruction of the law." It is not the destruction of the law; it is the fulfilling of the law. It is the only logical outcome of freethought—the ripened fruit of which freethinking is the potent seed. A small seed, as Dr. Carus says. But it is a seed which was planted in hard soil, watered by red rains, and nurtured among jealous thorns. And yet the tree is scarcely blossoming, and still we dare to dream of that russet warm day of Autumn future when the promise of the seed shall be fulfilled: when every mind shall think according to its own law, and every life express itself freely, bounded only by the equal freedom of others, so finding the more quickly, the more surely, the truth which alone shall live.
Thursday, December 14, 2006
With nerves unstrung by that horrent nightmare, which had replunged me into the cruel vortex of nineteenth century antagonism and brutality, I cast around for some method of restoring my usual equanimity. An excursion into the country would, it appeared to me, serve the double purpose of acting as a nervous sedative, and of enabling me to realize something of the conditions of rural life in this year 2000 A. D.
Repairing to Dr. Leete's study, I found him busily conning those pages of Storiot's History of the Nineteenth Century in which agriculture was discussed. Having expressed to him my desire, I added, "Your methods of distribution and finance have proved so interesting to me that I long intensely to learn something of your performance of that more vital function, production."
"Ah, Mr. West," replied the Doctor, "that reminds me that I have very much wished to consult you upon what has always seemed to me a great mystery. This history of Storiot's gives one to understand that the distaste for a farmer's vocation was so great in your nineteenth century as to result in an exodus that left the rural districts almost depopulated. Can this be true? If so, it becomes yet more incomprehensible when one reconstructs mentally one of our overgrown yet crowded cities. The dense canopies of soot and impure gases, overhanging them like a funeral pall, were themselves danger-signals, warning the unwary that life's most precious possession, health, was imperiled. Then the mud and dust, the squalor and malodorousness, the grime and filth of your back alleys and byways,—aye, often even of your main thoroughfares,—must have acted as repellents and nauseants to one accustomed to sweet country air. To complete this uninviting catalogue, one must add the deplorably insanitary condition of your dwellings. Why, Storiot actually affirms that the consort of Queen Victoria was literally poisoned in, Windsor Castle by sewage miasma; while, about the same time, over one hundred students of Princeton College were attacked by typhus fever from a similar cause. So late as 1889 a Hygienic Congress, sitting in the City of Paris, condemned 77,000 out of its 79,000 houses as defective in sanitation. And this in a city vaunting itself the center of civilization, whose system of sewers was world renowned, the pride of the poet Hugo. Presuming all this true, there must have been some remarkable fatuity to induce men to migrate from the sweet purity of God's 'un-man-stifled places,' to coop themselves in such vile wildernesses of brick."
"Though I can refute nothing of your historian's indictment against the abominations of our cities," I replied dejectedly, "I can perhaps solve your problem by a reference to that root of all our nineteenth century evils, the greedy grab for money. Money, if we ruin our bodies! Money, if we sell our souls! Incredible and monstrous as it may seem to you, there were among our farming community the same mutual jealousy, suspicion, and antagonism that embittered and impeded all other walks of life; the same blind, misdirected, feverish energy, unintelligently over-producing certain staples, which had to be sold at unremunerative prices. Hence heavy labor, long protracted, often repulsive and even brutal, was compulsory to obtain a bare sustenance. Some few evaded this curse by the successful substitution of the sweat of some one else's brow; but, as a rule, the farmer and his family were debarred from almost all social recreation, and precluded by excessive fatigue from mental culture at home. Add to this that his business was the sport of the weather, to the inclemencies of which he was often exposed; that he was harassed by plagues innumerable, beetle and bug, mildew and mould, canker-worm and caterpillar; and bled impartially by rodent, rent-collector, and tax-gatherer. One theorist even proposed to make land bear the whole tax of the nation, promising a consequent millennium."
"Stop," said Doctor Leete, "that's explanation enough. You will find our farming as diametrically different to that of your nineteenth century as is our storekeeping. Nothing you have said previous to this portrayal of the farmers woes has so made me realize how dim were your dawnings of science. I had failed to remember that your scientists could barely foretell the weather a few hours ahead, and that your farmers looked to birds, insects, and even trees for intimations of hard winters or early springs. Now, our meteorologists furnish accurate forecasts for the entire year, and our tillers of the soil shape their course accordingly. But let us continue our talk on the road, where both eye and ear can be busy."
Seating ourselves in a light, beautifully appointed electric curricle, the doctor touched the ubiquitous contact button, and sped us rapidly westward along the smooth, broad, tree-shaded avenue. Crossing the sinuous Charles, with its sculpin-haunted bridges, our road was bordered on either hand with an endless succession of snuggest villas, lawn-begirt and flower-adorned. glorious in their greenery, the ideal of everything homelike and hospitable. More miles and more, and the same pleasing vista still charmed the eye, until I began to think that Boston must have taken the American continent. I noticed, however, that the gardens were becoming more extensive, and occasionally fairy palaces of iron and glass, covering acres of ground, diversified the scene; while every few miles magnificent assembly halls reared their inviting porticos at the roadside. In vain I looked around for some of the old familiar waste places and solitudes, for which my eyes seemed to long.
"How soon, Doctor Leete," I asked, "shall we reach your farming district?"
"You are now in the heart of it," he replied.
Rubbing my eyes to make sure I was awake, I stared at my companion in amazement. Where were all the shabby barns, the dilapidated outbuildings, pigsties, hen-houses, calf-sheds, stables, the malodorous middens and muckheaps, inseparable from nineteenth century farmsteads? Then it flashed across me that I had seen neither sheep nor cow,—no, not even a solitary hog, since I awoke from my century's trance.
"You appear dazed!" said the Doctor. "What is it that strikes you as specially wonderful?"
"Why, the absence of all live stock, to be sure! Where do you keep your cows and pigs, your horses and sheep? Our farmers' chief business was to provide provender for his livestock. Here I see no livestock. Nothing but garden, garden, garden!"
"You don't see them because we have none!"
"Have none? Then whence came that juicy cutlet which I had for breakfast? Savory as the fattest of fat venison fed on the Delectable Mountains! "
A smile wreathed the Doctor's face as he replied:
"It is satisfactory to hear so pronounced an opinion from one so qualified to judge. As we never taste flesh, it has been necessarily a doubtful point as to whether our edible fungi were really superior to animal food. Your morning meal was blood-guiltless; your juicy cutlet was but a slice from an agaric. In your age one class of savages was held in especial abhorrence. Your flesh crept and your blood curdled as you whispered the word "cannibal," even when applied to a sailor, starvation-crazed on mid-ocean. Our generation similarly abhors all flesh-eaters. But do not suppose that we affect any contempt for the science of cookery, because we eschew meat. Man is what he is by virtue of his education and environment, and food is no inconsiderable part of that environment. Our cooks prepare purely vegetable dishes, compared to which, we opine, the rarest fleshpots of your Egypt were but as carrion. If Storiot is right, your much esteemed fillet of beef had to be flavored with mushrooms, and that highly valued dainty of the gourmand, the paté de foie gras, depended for its piquancy on the added aroma of a fungous tuber. No! the farmer of today,—and his name is Legion, agriculture being by far the most popular of all vocations, —performs none of that repulsive and brutalizing labor in connection with live stock which constituted farming in your day. Growing and stacking huge ricks of hay, and threshing endless bushels of grain, for the maintenance of his horses and bullocks, his hogs and sheep, during winter; collecting and distributing all kinds of unsavory fertilizers; daily tending and caring for his flocks and herds,—made up a farmer's life. How needless was all this labor, let the stalwart frames and ruddy countenances of this generation witness. Even you had the example of Daniel and his friends, who, preferring a pulse diet, refused the king's meat; but whose countenances were fairer and fatter in flesh than all the children which did eat the portion of the king's meat. I believe also that the nourishing and nitrogenous bean was a staple food of your poorer Bostonians. Under our improved dietetic regime, we not only have succeeded in maintaining a population of thirty from the same acreage that on a meat diet fed one, but we have effectually banished that demon of the nineteenth century, dyspepsia: the demon that tortured the body, embittered the soul, and envenomed the pen of your great master of satire, Carlyle."
"But," queried I, "if you thus eliminate all live stock from your farming system, how are your fields and gardens fertilized?"
The smile of conscious power and adequate knowledge again illumined the Doctor's visage, as he replied:
"In the first place, by that endless natural supply, the refuse of cities. This, suitably deodorized by dry earth, is delivered by our pneumatic transmitters to such lands as need renewing, and there distributed by electric carry-alls. If I am rightly informed, this supply was in your day not only allowed to waste, but actually discharged into your rivers, poisoning alike air and water; while at the same time your lack of nitrogenous fertilizers put you to immense expense in the mining and transportation of nitrates. These, by the aid of our slave of the lamp, electricity, we obtain in any quantity from that omnipresent and inexhaustible nitrogen mine, the atmosphere; of course, combining the nitric acid thence obtained with the necessary bases.
"This reminds me of another laborious, ever-recurring piece of work, from which that same slave of the lamp has freed our agriculturists; the cutting and cleaving of cord-wood for heating the wintry air of your abodes. Not only our artificial light and heat, but all the motive power of our machinery is supplied by electricity. Fields are plowed, seeds sown, crops harvested, all by that same swift servitor, whom your contemporaries had but just learned to harness. Fluvial and tidal forces furnish ample energy for all purposes: so that cold water literally boils our kettles, warms our hands, and even smelts the most refractory ores. You may judge then how easy the farmer's yoke, how light his burden today; especially when you remember that all anxiety and care as to marketing his crops, or providing for his family’s present and future, have under our social system become utterly needless."
"You are, my dear Doctor, indeed favored above mortals!" I gladly assented. "But you have not yet by any means exhausted Farmer Hayseed's catalogue of woes. Tares sprung up and choked his wheat; codlin moth or curculio rendered hateful his pleasant fruits; cut worm, wire worm, gopher, squirrel, scale bug, locust, and fly ravaged his fields and stripped his trees, robbing him of half his due reward. If your system and science have extirpated these I shall hail you as victors indeed."
"What appeared impossible, and was impossible in your chaos of antagonism," replied the Doctor, "has become not only possible, but easy, with our system of harmonious co-operation. In your day the farmer who, by trap and poison, would rid his fields of vermin, was checkmated by the neighbor who was too lazy or apathetic to do the like. The lazy man's fields bred vermin enough to more than restock the runs and burrows that the diligent man had emptied. One orchardist by endless vigilance strove to keep his trees healthy; his neighbor, perhaps out of sheer spite, neglected his; and scale bug, curculio, or codlin moth migrated in myriads to the vigilant man's orchard. With weeds the same:—what industry kept free, idleness reseeded. Now, by united effort, not a weed goes to seed, not a noxious insect lives within our borders. Entomology became so thoroughly understood that, by giving favorable environment to certain predatory varieties, the noxious species were long ago exterminated. We thus reap the full reward of our toil. Moreover, there is no attempt made to produce crops that are unfitted for the locality. Distribution is so rapid and easy that we can utilize natural adaptations to the utmost, and thus results a perfection not known in your age. This is accomplished the more readily in that our command of chemistry ensures us that needful supply of the requisite fertilizing ingredients which renders us independent of soil constituents. Add to all these advantages an abundance of competent labor, plus the absolute possession of the unbounded and untiring energy of our slave of the lamp, and the horticulture of today has been made possible."
Here the Doctor slackened the speed of our curricle, as we neared one of those immense palaces of crystal I had previously noticed. Alighting, we entered a portico, tastefully lit by transparent mosaics; thence passed into a glorious sylvan cloister, extending all around the building, rich with the verdure of the tropics, through which flashed the starry wings of strange, bright birds, and among whose arches echoed their warbled melodies.
"This," said Dr. Leete, with a glow of pride, "is one of our winter promenades. This is the ornate fringe of the useful center, devoted as you see to such vegetables as need artificial heat. Below is a crypt allotted to the culture of agarics and fungous tubers, such as delighted your palate this morning. Our slave of the lamp automatically maintains the required temperature, and in winter prolongs the day to the extent required for continuous growth. So that here we fear not even the Shaksperian enemies, 'Winter and rough weather."'
Words fail to picture the marvel of horticultural perfection on which I gazed. Tender care and exquisite taste were displayed everywhere, as though each plant had been ranged by an artist.
The Doctor read my admiring look, and gave utterance to my thought.
"Yes, our gardeners are all artists. I believe in the nineteenth century they were not included in that denomination. But surely if to reproduce nature on canvas be art, to embellish nature, which is the true gardener's office, is yet higher art. And I think, Mr. West, you will be hardly disposed to deny, after what you have seen today of rural Massachusetts, that we have been fairly successful in embellishing nature."
"Success! Yes, your success to me is miraculous! The incomprehensible part of it to me is where the money—"
"Ah," broke in the Doctor, "there comes in your old-world bogey again! It was an eternal question as to money?—money?—money? You want to ask where the means to promote and carry out such schemes are found. You forget how much more rapid psychical evolution is than physical. In your century a Harvard professor could say with reason, 'Only a small fraction of the human race have as yet, by thousands of years of struggle, been partially emancipated from poverty, ignorance, and brutishness.' Our change of social polity has multiplied that fraction many fold. Now our people are all emancipated from that vilest of slavery. The office of brains nowadays is not to aggrandize and exalt their fortunate possessorat the expense of the debasement of his fellows. We find our highest gratification in self-devotion to the uplifting of t hose who are less richly endowed; and reap a harvest of admiration and love consequent on that only pious course. Thus we have a population capable of the grandest achievements in art or science; a population free from all internal and external cares and anxieties, eager to concentrate thought, time, and energy on such productive work as you have glanced at today. Usefulness is with us the sole title to nobility. With you the typical 'good fellow' was one who had money, no matter how acquired, that he was ready to squander in ostentatious idleness or profligacy. For such characters our age finds neither name nor place. Whether our methods be happier, whether they result in success, you have now seen enough to judge."
The look of admiration with which I could but behold the magnificent triumph of art-aided nature before me was a sufficiently eloquent reply.
As we rode homewards I gathered many further details from Doctor Leete as to the crops grown in different districts. These, of course, remained a great deal as in the nineteenth century. The Doctor was specially enthusiastic over a visit he had lately paid to California, in his capacity of National Sanitary Inspector. Fruit forming so large a part of the nation's sustenance, it was one of his duties to learn and teach the newest and best methods of its growth and preservation.
"After your nineteenth century experience," said he! "you can have no conception of the glories of that American paradise. All your visions of vine and fig tree, of myrtle, and palm, and orange, your grapes of Eshcol and clusters of Mamre, are belittled by the Edenic reality! Blossom-clad rose fields for perfume, hills purpled with wealth of the vine, terraces silvered with olives, or gold with the orange's glow, plains where the peach and the pear shared the bounteous soil with the prune, mountain sides where the racy apple stored up the sun's kisses for winter. No more dread of drought, as in your day, no more crying of a parched earth to a pitiless sky, but intelligent man working in happy harmony with bounteous nature; the State overspread with a network of waterways, wealth-bearing, life-giving, making even the deserts kind and hospitable, and the barren hillside a fruitful grove. All this and more, because man has, after centuries of strife and antagonism, learned at last the wisdom and policy of mutual help; a lesson long taught him by the practical socialism of the ant, the bee, and even of that type of envenomed malice, the wasp."
Tuesday, December 12, 2006
[COMMUNICATED THROUGH DYER D LUM.]
You will be surprised, my dear Dr. Leete, to learn that I have severed my connection with the "Trumpet of Liberty," but such is the fact. Your kindness in the past, your earnest zeal in laboring to secure sufficient subscribers to reimburse the executive power for expense incurred, as well as your unfailing optimism even when circumstances looked dark, all alike convince me that I would be derelict to favors received were I not to lay before you the reasons which have actuated me in this final step. Nor are the reasons purely sentimental, though I know that if I should place them upon that ground I could at once command the tender sympathies of your generous and trusting heart And if my private criticisms herein as to the wisdom of our mode of conducting newspapers should seem to lean toward treason, I can but simply throw myself upon your good nature.
The imperative necessity of first securing enough subscribers to guarantee cost before permission to publish could be obtained, necessarily made the venture in a large degree local. To the circulars sent out the replies from a distance were, as we expected, not very encouraging; the utter lack of advertising, if I may he permitted that antique word, prevented the fact from being widely known, as well as the character and scope of our work, and at the same time deprived us of means to collect names. In fact, my dear doctor, while in no wise depreciating the calm security we now possess of knowing that our material wants will he easily gratified, it still seems to me, but without indorsing Carlyle's allusion to ''pig's wash," that this security of the stomach tends to confine our efforts within narrower circles and restrict our intellectual horizon within the boundaries of personal intercourse. Without means to reach unknown inquirers, our work and progress has been largely retarded.
But the "Trumpet," fortunately, having a goodly subscription list, and I being elected editor, these difficulties were surmounted, even if it prevented a material reduction in terms or increase of attractions. But here a greater difficulty arose. You remember the biting sarcasms in works of a former age in which the clergy were assailed for being necessarily subservient to the pews whence arose their support. I fancy I can put myself in the place of a clergyman under those semi-barbarous conditions prevailing before government kindly relieved us of the care of overlooking our own morals. For even under our resplendent liberty, which I have done so much to trumpet, I have found myself continually treading on tender corns and drawing forth indignant protests from my constituency. Our beloved institutions have not fostered criticism; on the contrary, the tendency is plainly toward its repression. Though our presses continually issue books, they, like papers, find great difficulty in reaching beyond a merely local market, which while heightening cost necessarily limits circulation. To write for the "pews" only, so to speak, restricts independence; while independence either curtails my list of readers or changes its personnel, in either case depriving the paper of an assured and solid basis.
To antagonize those within immediate reach, whom everything tends to render extremely conservative toward speculations relative to wider personal liberty, and without means to reach others at a distance to whom such thoughts might he welcome, is but one of the many difficulties I have encountered. Individual initiative having long since gone out of fashion, in the collapse of the ancient system of political economy, it becomes more and more difficult to assert it in the economy of intellect. I am aware that the field of journalism is regarded as exempted from the general rule of authoritative direction and, like the clergy, left to personal merit to win success; still the universal tendency of all our institutions to militant measures and direction largely invalidates the theory. This tendency to centralization, which has become the crowning glory of our civilization, is strikingly manifest even in journalism, despite its theoretical exemption.
The subscribers being, so to speak, stockholders, and persons whose everyday occupations and mode of living tend to disparage individual initiative, the first effect of anything blasphemous to the sacred shrine of the commonplace is the appointment of a committee, or board of directors, by the subscribers whose chief functions consist in promoting solidarity among the enrolled subscribers. Theoretically, I had become convinced that this was the flower of our civilization and frequently elucidated its philosophy at Shawmut College, but my later experience has not led me to be enraptured with its fragrance. Each one, in so far as individuality has survived, to however slight a degree, feels not only competent but authorized to express himself editorially; for those most fervent in presenting the superiority of collective wisdom are equally convinced that they are its organs.
When I accepted the position as editor, I believed that this reservation of journalism from collective control was wise, but what was excluded in theory reappears in practice. If you could but look over the articles I have received from the stockholders whom I represent, the "pews" to whom I preach, you might be tempted to change the name of the paper to the "Scrap Book," or face the problem of reducing material cost without increasing intellectual costiveness. You see my dilemma: if I insert them I am publishing contradictory principles, if I exclude them I am flying in the face of our great and glorious institutions by looking backward to outgrown conditions, wherein some of your semi-barbarous forefathers were wont to prate of the inseparableness of personal initiative and responsibility.
That our social system can be criticised by writers for its compulsory enlistment for three years to secure ample supply for social demand for sewer-ditchers, night scavengers, domestic service, etc., you would undoubtedly agree with me in regarding as only coming from those in whom our beneficent institutions had not eradicated as yet the hereditary taint of being "born tired," a complaint of which we read in some ancient authors. Yet, whatever its source, such criticisms are received, though generally concealed in allegory. Thus, recently, I bad to reject a story of considerable literary excellence, wherein was described a fancied society where parity of conditions rendered free competition equitable, and remuneration for work was determined in open market by intensity and degree of repugnance overcome, thus unsocially offered the highest inducements to disagreeable labor. I saw at once the anarchistic character of the work, and promptly suppressed it as treasonous.
I have also come to the conclusion, my dear Dr. Leete, that the newspaper is obsolete. For current gossip and small talk we already have abundant vehicles; for criticism on public polity there is no room, even if there were need, nor would it be wise to tolerate it in a community where individuality is subordinated to general welfare and protection constitutes the genius of ail institutions. Our general news we receive officially, all alike, as it is given to us, and the official bulletins meet all demands that may arise which public safety and morality deem wisdom to publish. Titles of heavier treatises than the ephemeral requirements of newspapers may always be found in the official record of publications distributed among our purchasing agencies, to those who have time to search through their voluminous bulk, and even if a title should prove misleading, a common misfortune for which I can suggest no adequate remedy, our material prosperity is so well assured that credit so wasted will not injure anyone.
Finding, therefore, that our present legally instituted scheme of journalism is incompatible with our social constitution, to preserve which all else must be sacrificed, in that it cannot be successfully conducted without individual initiative, control, and responsibility, I gladly cease the struggle to return to my chair of philosophy of history at Shawmut College. My own opinion is that the collective direction now so simplified over production and exchange in material fabrics, should be logically extended to the production and exchange of the more subtle fabrics of the brain if our glorious institutions are to permanently remain on a solid and immovable basis, To admit anarchy in thought, and insist on artificial regulation of relations which are horn of thought, is plainly illogical and dangerous to collective liberty. A social system once instituted must be preserved at all hazards; to preserve is as essential as to create; and this is the more evident when we are the creators and know the result to be to our social well being.
Happily, the compulsory solidarity to which civilization has now attained in material wealth, and the moralization of militancy a century ago, effected by political high-priests, already gives every indication of being dominant in the intellectual sphere before the close of this newly-opened century. Having organized liberty, having brought the spirit of freedom down from abstract heights to add a local habitation to its name, by excluding individual initiative and personal responsibility in economics, having substituted the kind fraternalism of direction for the wild freedom of competition, let us hasten the rapidly nearing day when intellect will also reject these survivals of a ruder age—a day wherein we will reach the culminating point of our civilization, where looking forward will be synonymous with looking backward!
Yours for organized and instituted liberty.
P. S.—Edith sends love; the baby is well, J. W.
DR. LEETE'S ANSWER TO JULIAN WEST.
(COMMUNICATED THROUGH S. SCHINDLER.)
My Dear Julian:—Your last letter, although I noticed therein your ill-hidden feeling of disappointment and the pain which the failure in your journalistic enterprise bas caused you, made me rather smile than grieve for you. I hope, dear Julian, that you will pardon my apparent lack of sympathy, and if you will accept from me a fatherly word, there may he a chance that the wound which your pride has received may soon heal. The short and long of your letter is that, although at your time you had never received a journalistic training, you have ventured to enter upon a journalistic enterprise even before you had made yourself thoroughly familiar with our present conditions, and that you have failed. Owing to your marvelous appearance among us, we gave you something to do which we thought would meet with your taste. We thought that as a teacher of ancient history and especially of the history of the nineteenth century, you might do some good to the community and thus give an equivalent for the support the community grants to yon. Yet, before hardly a year has passed by, before you could have hardly familiarized yourself with the needs and wants of our present time you have had the presumption—pardon the harshness of my expression—to criticize us and to teach us what we ought to do. Again, owing to the sensation which your sudden appearance among us had created, quite a number of good-natured people were found ready to subscribe for the Trumpet, as you pleased to call your paper. Good naturedly they were satisfied to give you a chance and to hear what you had to say to them. If you had ever considered it worth your while to ask me about it, I would have told you to leave well enough alone; I would have told you that as little as an Indian, at your time, could have been made a member of your civilized society by merely taking him from the prairies and dropping him into the streets of Boston, so little can a person that has been reared in different conditions and under the former system of individualism at once comprehend our social conditions, sympathize with them, and appreciate them; I would have told you that first of all you ought to learn the A B C of journalism; I would have told you that, although every one of us has indeed the right of expressing his opinion, nobody must think that his opinion is the ne plus ultra of human wisdom or that after he has expressed it the whole world must at once become convinced of it. If you then had heeded my advice, you would have escaped the ridicule that always attaches to failure and the consequent pain caused by the disappointment. You did not ask me, but you went to work, got up a subscription-list and began to issue the paper. What kind of a paper? A journal after the fashion of the last century and not after the fashion of ours. Would you have expected in the year 1890 a paper to flourish that was issued in the style of the year 1790? This misplacement of time which we all find quite natural in you has been the sole cause of your failure. I do not wonder that the journals as we have them do not suit you, and that therefore you desired to establish one that would suit your taste better but you forgot that the style which would suit you because you bad become accustomed to it must not necessarily suit everybody else.
At your time, a paper contained four distinct departments.
1. The department most interesting to the public was the news department. People wanted and needed to know what has happened all over the world and many more things did happen then than do to-day. At your time, columns of a newspaper were filled with the description of crimes that bad been committed, of wars that were waged to-day nothing of the kind occurs. At your time, people wished to be informed what the members of the aristocracy or the plutocracy were doing, how they amused themselves, what dresses the rich ladies wore, what summer resorts they were seeking, etc. Who would care for such trash to-day? At your time, the quotations of the market, the rising and the falling of stocks had an all absorbing interest. It was necessary for every business man, for every manufacturer, for every capitalist to know whether gold has gone down one point or silver has risen to-day we have no exchange, money has ceased to be the pendulum on the clock work of human society and such events do not occur. Whatever remains as "News" and what is of interest to the public is supplied by the "National Bulletin."
2. The second department of your newspapers and the one which interested the editors and the stockholders most was the advertising department. Your pronounced individualism and the spirit of competition which arose in consequence of it made it a necessity to push oneself before the eye of the public. "Don't care for anybody else but buy from John Jones," was the tenor of all your advertisements. If people had something to sell or if they wanted to buy an article if they were seeking help or were wanting employment they had to make use of the advertising columns of your newspapers. This, of course, does not apply to us. Whatever articles a person wishes to purchase, be can find in our distributing department and whatever help is to be employed, can be obtained at the National Employment Bureau. There being no demand for advertising columns the supply of course has ceased.
3. The third department of your newspapers was the belletristic department. It reached its highest development at the close of the last century. There was not a newspaper in the land that would not supply its readers with stories of all kinds, mostly of a sensational nature. The novelists who wrote for a journal were told that they must not write stories that contain more than about 40,000 to 50,000 words, that after every 1000 words the reader must be kept in suspense in order that he may be induced to buy the next paper, which was to contain the continuation. This kind of newspaper literature flourished because people had absolutely no time to sit down and read a book. If they intended to feed their imagination they had to snatch away a moment here and a moment there; this want the newspaper supplied. People could read such a story while they were riding in the street cars, or while they were eating their luncheon, As every person was obliged to buy a newspaper anyway, if he wished to be informed of the occurrences of the day, the novel which be bought with the paper did not cost him anything extra. All this is changed to-day. We have our comfortable libraries, we have sufficient means to buy a book that we wish to own, and what is more, we have the time to read it carefully. Your newspapers struggling for existence were obliged to cater to the public taste and to embody in their columns all that might induce people to patronize them. In our days, it would be considered absurd to cut up a story into a number of daily or weekly installments. You complain that yon were obliged to reject a story that was sent to you for publication on account of the tendencies which it contained and which ran counter to the supposed sentiments of your patrons. I am astonished that a person was found indeed who would endeavor to publish a literary production in this way and I am rather inclined to think that the writer, knowing your antiquated ideas of newspapers, merely wished to pass a good joke on you.
4. The fourth department of your newspapers was finally the editorial department. The editor made use of his opportunities and offered to his readers his comments and opinions on all matters of public interest. You were accustomed to be awed by authority and the editorial of a newspaper of large circulation was not taken as the opinion of the one man who wrote it, hut as the expression of the public itself. Again, because you had no time to consider carefully a topic, the editorials, at your time, had to he short and brisk. The government, furthermore, was always supposed to stand in opposition to the public will, even when chosen by an overwhelming majority of the people the administration was always looked upon with suspicion, and fault was found with almost every step which a president or a governor took. If officials pleased a certain party, they could be sure to displease the other, and thus as each party had its organ, the editorial columns were devoted to a constant warfare for or against the government. At your time, this was not more than natural, because every act of the government needed careful watching, inasmuch as individual interests were at stake. The suspicion was always near that the motives of an administration were sordid, and that having come in possession of power he would use it to enrich himself at the expense of others. All this has been changed. our officials are not suspected, they are rather honored, admired, and their work appreciated by the public. They need not to be watched, because although the wealth of the whole country is in their hands, they cannot make more use of it for themselves than you can or I. The trouble with you, my dear Julian, is that your ingrained individualistic tendencies are still blinding you and that on account of your early education you cannot understand how a government should not need the watching or the criticism of the press. What was a necessity and a very good thing at your age has ceased to he so in ours. If some of us think that he has a suggestion to make he can do so by bringing it to the notice of the superior officer, through whom it will reach headquarters, or if he thinks that his propositions have not received the proper attention he can publish what he has to say in pamphlet form. If it is good it will spread without much advertising; one will tell the other, and in a short time the people will see to it that his proposed reforms are brought about. If, on the other band, his propositions seem good only to him and to a few others and will not strike the people as founded upon common sense, they will fall flat and be ignored.
Now, in fact, we have not got newspapers or a press as you had them, nor do we need them. We are satisfied to let you have your way, but if you have failed in your enterprise, please do not lay the blame before our doors, but see to it first whether it does not lie with you.
One more point of your letter I cannot help touching. You say, somewhat sneeringly, that a social system once instituted must be preserved at all hazards, merely because some time ago it has been created. As soon as we shall find that the social order which surrounds us ceases to be beneficial to us: as soon as we shall find that any individual or any class of individuals is unduly benefitted by it while another individual or another class of individuals is unduly debarred by it from happiness, we shall surely change it and not hesitate a moment. No, no, my dear Julian, do not borrow troubles. Behold what a glorious institution ours is! Learn by your own experience! Supposing a person would have come to you in the 19th century as you came to us, could he have found at once a place in which to make himself useful? Or, supposing that you, at your time, should have been infected with the ambit on of becoming an editor, how would you have succeeded at your time without a thorough knowledge of the work? You might have undertaken the task, as did many of your contemporaries. As you were rich you could have pushed the enterprise with money, but supposing you had failed to strike the right chord, supposing that your editorials would not have met with public approbation, you would have become beggared. With the loss of your fortune you would have lost your self on the top of the coach, you would have been compelled to take your turn on the rope and your former friends would have had no sympathy with you; at best they might have thrown to you a gift of charity. Now, although unsuccessful, you can return to the work for which you have some fitness, and after a time, you may try again to climb upon an editorial chair. Yours truly,
P. S. Mother and myself send love to Edith and the baby
DEACON VAN WINKLE'S DREAM
BY THE REV. GEO. H. HUBBARD
Deacon Van Winkle was proud of his pedigree. He delighted to talk of the old Van Winkle family in Holland, and pointed with satisfaction to various characteristics in the children which, he said, indicated their Dutch ancestry. Again and again in the long winter evenings he would take down a well-worn copy of Irving's "Sketch Book," and read the story of Rip Van Winkle, and none of the family ever seemed to tire of hearing it.
Not long since, however, the deacon was seriously startled, not to say grieved, by a rumor that his famous ancestor had found a formidable rival in the person of one Julian West, whose story had just been placed before the public. Filled with jealousy, not a wicked, worldly jealousy, but a mild and righteous jealousy becoming to an orthodox deacon, he determined at the first opportunity to purchase a copy of "Looking Backward" to see if it was anything more than a weak imitation of the old story of Rip Van Winkle's sleep,
He happened to find it on the day before Thanksgiving Day, and brought it home to read in the evening.
At the supper-table the conversation turned on the plans for the next day. Heretofore it had been the custom for the Van Winkle family to attend church on Thanksgiving Day; for they were somewhat conservative in their ideas, a became a family with so long a pedigree. This year, however, a revolution seemed imminent. The younger members of the family pleaded for a change. They couldn't see the use of going to church to hear a political or historical sermon. There would be only a few there, and the service would be dull. Besides they really ought to stay at home to prepare for the grand family gathering of Van Winkles that would be with them to take dinner. Finally it was decided that the church service should be given up, and the whole force of the family should be concentrated on the dinner.
Immediately after supper the deacon sat down to read his new book, and so absorbed did he become that, notwithstanding sundry admonitions from Mrs. Van Winkle, he refused to retire till he had finished the very last page. Then, hastily closing the book, he went to bed and quickly fell asleep. As a result of his unusual mental exertion of the evening he began to dream.
It was Thanksgiving Day, but he was not in the old house. His surroundings were strange. He was in a well-furnished parlor, and opposite to him sat a pleasant looking old gentleman, whom he at once recognized as Dr. Leete. With as little surprise as dreamers usually feel, he realized that he, too, had dropped into the twentieth century, and he determined to make some investigations on his own account.
With what seemed quite a natural transition from preceding conversation, he said: "By the way, Doctor, as this is Thanksgiving Day, shall we go to church, as has always been the custom in my family?"
The doctor looked at him thoughtfully, and replied: "You speak of something that few would understand at the present day. I remember, however, having read about it in history. This is one of our public holidays; but we do not call it Thanksgiving Day, altho it takes the place of that ancient festival. We call it Social Day. We attribute all the blessings that we enjoy not to a mythical being called God, but to our refined and perfected social system. Hence we devote the day to feasting and pleasure in honor of our social system."
"This is indeed a great change from the old idea," said the deacon. "How did it come about? Were there not very many who protested when the change was made?"
"Oh no," replied Dr. Leete. ''The change was so gradual that it would be hard to say just when it took place. In fact, it was but the expression of a gradual development in public thought and feeling. If I mistake not, you yourself saw some of the beginnings of the movement. Do you not remember how few people cared to attend church on Thanksgiving Day? Half a dozen churches by uniting, could not secure as large an audience as would be found in any one of the churches on the Sabbath, These gatherings grew smaller each succeeding year until at length they were wholly abandoned.
The next step was the inevitable decay of the sense of gratitude in the heart. Such emotions unexpressed soon cease to exist. All the while the popular mind was developing and men began to see the folly of looking for help and blessing to an external and mysterious power utterly beyond their ken. It gradually dawned upon them that the secret of all good or evil lies in the make up of society. Given a correct social system and all evil will disappear as if by magic. Viewed in its true light, sin is atavism, suffering is error, and gratitude is superstition. Social reforms have saved the world; they have regenerated humanity. How foolish then, to talk of gratitude to God for these things! I see you are somewhat shocked; but when you have time to think it over carefully I am sure you will acknowledge the present state of things to be the natural outcome of the tendencies of your own time."
"It seems to me," said the deacon, "That religion itself has become a thing of the past. I see no place for it in the present order of things."
"That is a mistake naturally arising from the narrow and distorted views in which you were educated, if you will pardon the adjectives," replied Dr. Leete. "Religion has not ceased to exist. On the contrary, it has grown broader, more practical, more consistent with itself, and as a natural consequence it is universally accepted. We have no infidels or skeptics now except among those who are recognized as unworthy members of society. In your day skeptics were the result of the inconsistencies of your religion. You preached one system of truth and practiced another. You said a great deal about God and his Word In your pulpits: but expediency was usually the controlling motive of your life. You seldom brought the Bible into direct contact with practical affairs. When you urged men to keep the Sabbath, it was seldom on the ground of sanctity, or because it was God's day. The all-powerful arguments were personal profit, physical health, and other economic advantages. And even the most devout Christians looked for greater practical blessings from proposed social reforms than from the preaching of the Gospel. How many of your ministers, for example, gave over the preaching of Christianity to become advocates of political prohibition, the single tax doctrine, and various other schemes of reform.
"We have merely carried out their ideas in a more logical fashion. Dropping the purely sentimental ideas of God and spirituality, we recognize the essence of religion in love for mankind and a true devotion to the interests of society."
"Can this be the end of that which seemed so slight at the beginning?" said the deacon. "The edge of the wedge was very thin. Only a slight indifference to duty, only a little yielding to worldly principles, only a trifling lack of faith in the power of God: and the result has been the dethronement of God from his place in the universe."
Just at that moment the doctor accidentally touched an electric button connected with the machinery of the National Orchestra, and the sudden ringing of a peel of musical bells gave the deacon such a start that he awoke to hear the last tones of the breakfast-bell reminding him that he had overslept in consequence of sitting up so late the previous evening,
At the breakfast-table he related his dream to the family and concluded by saying: "I've made up my mind to stick to the old custom and go to church today whatever the rest of you do. You know," he added, addressing his wife, "We've really more than usual to be thankful for this year. Tom and Mary were brought out of the fever almost by a miracle. And I shall not easily forget how providential it was that I missed that train that was wrecked. Besides my business has been more prosperous this year than ever before."
As be spoke of these things the other members of the family were reminded of numerous unusual blessings enjoyed during the year, and soon the old superstition of gratitude got the better of their progressive ideas, and they unanimously voted that the dinner would taste better and the family gathering be all the more jolly if they went to church first.
George H. Hubbard in the New Englander and Yale review:
Friday, December 08, 2006
Co-Operative Apartment Houses in New York
BY FLORENCE FINCH KELLY
THE poverty-stricken East Siders are not the only residents of New York who grow restive under the burden of rent. It weighs heavily upon the shoulders of apartment house dwellers of every sort, and it grows heavier with every year. For rents, always high in New York in comparison with other cities, have steadily mounted higher. Under present economic and social conditions this rising movement is inevitable. With the enormous growth in urban population real estate values are bound to rise, and, in consequence, rents must increase. There is an old economic rule which sets down one-fifth of the sum set aside for living expenses as the highest amount which can, with prudence, be paid for house rent. And it is a sound, good rule, if people are to live thriftily and save a reasonable percentage of their incomes. But it is no longer possible in New York for the average salaried man if he wishes his family to enjoy the ordinary comforts of life and to live in a quiet, reputable quarter.
An apartment of average quality, without an elevator, but having steam heat and hot water supply, costs anywhere from $300 a year for a tiny, three or four room box to $800 for one having seven or eight so-called rooms." The prices of elevator apartments, varying from five or six to a dozen or fifteen rooms, rise from about $800 to $3,000 or $4,000 per year, according to locality, size and the degree of luxury in appointments and ostentation in appearance. In all except the highest priced of these two classes of apartments the space is so restricted that there is almost no privacy, and, in the sense of room to move about in, little comfort. The furniture maker and the housewife are constantly busy contriving new space-saving stunts. But with their best efforts they cannot disguise the fact, and the resulting discomfort, that even a goodly sized apartment of from six to eight rooms encloses no more floor space than did two rooms in the old-time city dwelling. And if it is in one of the recently built houses not of the best grade—the houses put up by slap-dash methods for quick returns—its occupant must watch the floors sag until tile furniture threatens to topple over, and the baseboard is irrevocably divorced, while the walls break into yawning chasms, and must learn to be calmly philosophical when the ceiling falls. And whatever the amount he pays for the right to occupy this section of floor space, it is estimated that in five years' time he discharges in rent its entire cost, and thereafter goes on paying its cost, over and over again, as long as he pays rent.
It was inevitable that somebody should revolt against this burden and endeavor at least, to make it lighter. And, in fact a little group of somebodies did revolt, a half dozen years ago, and evolved the idea of the co-operative studio apartment house. The first of these, three in number, in West Sixty-seventh street, in the first block west of Central Park, have now been in operation over five years and have proved so successful that their fame has spread to other cities, while in New York they have started a significant movement in urban architecture. There arc now completed and occupied a round-dozen of these co-operative apartment houses as many more are under way, and plans have been filed for a number of others upon which work will begin in the spring, while three large companies have been formed solely for the purpose of financing and building these structures.
The plan of co-operative building was tried in New York some twenty-five years ago when two such houses were erected. But there was inefficient business management and consequent failure. And after that every one was afraid to touch the co-operative idea until a few artists, with the courage born of desperation over the twin problems of rent and congenial housing, dared—and succeeded. The artists, by the way, are pluming themselves with much satisfaction over the fact that they, usually supposed to he the least practical of men, have been the ones to perceive that present conditions are ripe for the co-operative idea to give it sound financial basis, and to work it out so successfully that the co-operative apartment house has become the most important development of recent years in the city's domestic architecture.
Briefly, this co-operative plan, as it is now being applied to the housing problem, provides for the building of an apartment house by a small group of men—ten, or a dozen or fifteen—who organize a company and hold all of the stock themselves. If each one takes one block of stock he is entitled to the ownership in perpetuity of one apartment and to a pro rata share in the rental of all the apartments that are not occupied by the co-operators in the scheme. Ordinarily the members of the company reserve for their own use half the apartments and rent the other half to outsiders under the usual conditions. If any member wishes he can buy the ownership of two or more apartments, according as he wishes to invest in two or more blocks of stock. These apartments then belong to him as absolutely as if they were so many private dwellings, except that if he wishes to sell them his buyers must be acceptable to the other members of the company, and if he wishes to rent them to outsiders his would-be tenants must meet the requirements imposed upon the other renters in the building. Each owner of an apartment has what amounts almost to a private dwelling, with no annoyance of tax bills, water bills or insurance. From being a tenant he has become a landlord and instead of paying rent himself collects it from others. The income from the rented apartments is applied first to the payment of interest, taxes and operating expenses. The remainder is either divided pro rata among the owners of the stock, or put into a sinking fund for the extinguishing of the mortgage, if the house was built upon borrowed capital. As the rental value of an apartment covers its cost in five years, after the end of that time the owner has his habitation free of all cost save that of interest upon his investment. And if the house is well managed, so that the rentable apartments are kept full, his share in them of the income from them will cover that interest as well as the fixed charges against the building and the cost of maintenance, and will yield him some surplus besides.
In some of the buildings now being erected a bond and realty company has guaranteed, for a payment of per cent. upon the par value of the stock, that the rentable portion of the houses shall be fully occupied. In non-guaranteed enterprises the stock is made assessable at 40 per cent. of its value, in case the income from rentable apartments should fall below the schedule. In only one instance, and that early in the history of the scheme, has an assessment been necessary in any of the houses. The management of the completed building is usually delegated by the owning company of co-operators to a committee of their number.
In those buildings in which the plan has been tested by operation of from two to five years it has proved economically sound and socially desirable. Their rentable space has been fully occupied almost all the time, while the value of their stock has increased so much that it has proved a remarkably good investment. Nearly all of the original investors in the West Sixty-seventh street buildings—the only ones that have been in operation long enough to give the plan thoro trial —still hold their stock. Every sale that has been made has been at a decided and steady advance. In one instance a block of stock which had cost its owner $15,000 was sold for $21,500, an advance of more than 40 per cent.
The original house plans of these cooperative apartments were evolved by artists for the use of artists, and, therefore, in every apartment was provided a large and lofty studio. This feature proved so popular as a drawing room among renters who were not artists that it has been retained in many of the houses, and they are all popularly known as "co-operative studio apartment houses," whether or not they are built with studios. In most of them the apartments are duplexed—that is, arranged with the rooms on two floors, with private stairway connection, instead of all on one floor. Occasionally, when the apartment contains a good many rooms, they are triplexed—divided upon three floors. But each co-operator has the liberty of designing his own apartment exactly as he wants it. And that is one of the reasons that have won such quick popularity for the co-operative plan.
Those who developed this co-operative scheme and built the first houses—all of them artists—were moved solely by the desire of evolving some plan of living which would afford comfortable and congenial homes and would not entail upon their purses a constant and heavy drain for rent. But the houses have paid so well from the start that many have taken stock in more than one building as an investment. Robert Vonnoh, well known as a successful painter of portraits, who was one of the original group, has been so successful in organizing owning companies and carrying the buildings thru to completion that he is now a prominent member of one of the large co-operative building companies and gives up to that work a great deal of his time. From Boston Philadelphia, Chicago, Washington, and even from Paris, he has had urgent calls to come and help get the co-operative movement started. Walter Russell, also well known for his portraits, especially of children, is at the head of another large co-operative building company, and is so much absorbed by its business that he has practically given up painting, at least for the present. Henry W. Ranger, Childe Hassam, Frank Dumond, Kari Bitter, Francis and Bolton Tones, Charles C. Curran, Kenyon Cox Albert L. Groll, Irving Wiles, are a few of the prominent artists who own apartments in co-operative houses. William Dean Howells has taken stock in one house for an apartment for himself and i`1 another for his son. Mr. Buel, of the Century Company; Pitts Duffield, of the publishing house of Duffield & Co.; Homer St. Gaudens and A. Blair Thaw are stockholders in a co-operative building at Lexington avenue and East Sixty-seventh street.
All of the co-operative apartments that have been erected so far are expensive buildings. They are well and carefully built, have elevators and rooms of goodly size, and are equipped with all the laborsaving and comfort-providing devices known to apartment house builders. In addition, some are luxurious and artistic in the decoration of their entrance halls. Therefore, only the man with a few thousand dollars to invest has been able to make use of this particular solution of the urban housing problem.
The scheme has met with such instant success and seems to be so well adapted to present needs and desires that it may well be the beginning of a revolution in urban economics. For it offers a steady and growing opposition to the tendency toward the concentration of property, and should the movement continue, as now seems not the least doubtful, it is bound to result in a much wider division of the ownership of land and buildings in large cities. The idea does not do away of course, with the evil of rent exploitation, but it is a step in that direction.
If there must be landlord exploitation, is it not better that twelve men should share in the results than that they should be concentrated in the hands of one man? Indeed, the success of these apartment houses is as striking an object lesson in the economic value of the co-operative idea as one could find in the whole country.
Thursday, December 07, 2006
Bits and pieces, in preparation for a web-page update:
Biographical sketch of Calvin Blanchard's brother, Rufus Blanchard (1821-1904)
[An entertaining snippet]
Should Blanchard† publish First Principles—and it is far from impossible (I prevented him from publishing Social Statics)—it would not only ruin the whole subscription project, but, by mingling your name with the gang of obscene, prurient, and scoffing authors whom he patronizes and advertises, would make it embarrassing for others.
† Calvin Blanchard, a disreputable publisher who kept a shop on Nassau Street, where you could buy any kind of book that your minister would frown upon—whether for free thought or for obscenity made little difference to this unsavoury Calvin. It is odd to find him wanting to publish Social Statics. Probably somebody had told him that the author was an “infidel” or a “positivist.” That would have been enough.
[from John Fiske, Edward Livingston Youmans: Interpreter of Science for the People, (New York: Appleton, 1895), 156-7]
Works Written by Calvin Blanchard:
- The Art of Real Pleasure: That New Pleasure for which an
Imperial Reward Was Offered. New York, Calvin Blanchard, 1864.
- A Crisis Chapter on Government (NY: Blanchard, 1865).
- The Essence of Science; or, The catechism of positive sociology, and physical mentality.
By a student of Auguste Comte. New York, C. Blanchard, 1859
- Astounding disclosures! : Hell on earth! Murder, rape, robbery, swindling, and forgery covertly organized! Cannibalism made dainty! : An exposition of the infernal machinations and horrible atrocities of whited sepulcherism : together with a sure plan for its speedy overthrow. 1860.
- An Eye-Opener! A Real Liberty Song... 1862.
- Life Among the Nymphs: a New Excursion through the Empire of Venus. 1867.
- The Life of Thomas Paine; mover of the "Declaration of independence;" secretary of foreign affairs under the first American Congress; members of the National convention of
France; author of "Common sense," "The crisis," "Rights of man," "Age of reason," &c.,
&c.: the man, whose motto was, "The world is my country; to do good, my religion." Embracing practical considerations on human rights; demonstrating that man tends irrepressibly to actual freedom; and showing a liberty-aim connection in the action of the world's three great author-heroes,--Rousseau, Paine, and Comte. By the author of "The religion of science." New York, 1860 [at Google Books]
- The life of Thomas Paine. New York : D.M. Bennett, 1877.
- A Message to "The Sovereign People" of the United States: exhibiting to their majesties the infernal treachery or worse inability of their religious counsellors, and of their
political "servants," proving the identity of the theological and ethical delusions, exposing the elective franchise hoax, and revealing a new, and self-evidently efficient remedy for
superstition, despotism, and evil. 1860.
- My Undertaking and its Auspices
- The new crisis, or, Our deliverance from priestly fraud, political charlatanry, and popular despotism, 1857.
- Religio-political physics: or, The science and art of man's deliverance from ignorance-engendered mysticism, and its resulting theo-moral quackery and governmental brigandage. By Calvin Blanchard. New York, C. Blanchard, 1861
- The religion of science: or, The art of actualizing liberty, and of perfecting and satisfactorily prolonging happiness : being a practical answer to the great question--"If you take away
my religion, what will you give me in its stead?" New York: C. Blanchard, 1860
Works Published by Calvin Blanchard:
- Basia; The Kisses of Joannes Secundus and Jean Bonnefons, 1860. [at Google Books]
- Boccaccio, Giovanni. The Decameron, or, Ten day's entertainment, 1855.
- Brown, J. Newton, and Taylor, William B. The obligation of the Sabbath, a discussion between Rev. J. Newton Brown, D.D., and William B. Taylor, 1856.
- Comte, Auguste. The Positive Philosophy of Auguste Comte.
Freely Translated and Condensed by Harriet Martineau, 1855
- ---. Social Physics: From the Philosophy of Auguste Comte, 1856. [at Google Books]
- Edger, Henry, Modern times, the labor question, and the family.
A brief statement of facts and principles, 1855.
- Fourier, Charles. Brisbane, Albert. The social destiny of man,
or, Theory of the four movements, 1857.
- Hittell, John Shertzer. The Evidences Against Christianity, 1857. [at Google Books]
- ---. A New System of Phrenology, 1857.
- MacNaught, John. The doctrine of inspiration: being an inquiry concerning the infallibility, inspiration, and authority of Holy Writ, 1857.
- Paine, Thomas. The age of reason :
being an investigation of true and fabulous theology, 1864.
- ---. Common sense, 1862.
- Reichenbach, Karl. Somnambulism and Cramp, 1860. [at Google Books]
- Rousseau, Jean-Jacques. The Confessions of J.J. Rousseau, 1856. [Vol. 1 and 2 at Google Books]
- The secret history of the court of Charles the Second, 1850.
- Strauss, David Friedrich. The Life of Jesus, 1860. [Vol. 2 at Google Books]
- Taylor, Robert. Who is the devil?, 1859.
- Volney, C.F. New Researches on Ancient History, 1856, 1860.
- Volney, C. F. The Ruins; or Meditation on the Revolutions of Empires. To Which Is Added The Law of Nature, A Short Biographical Notice, By Count Daru, and The Controversy between Dr. Priestly and Volney.
Tuesday, December 05, 2006
- Benjamin Tucker enters the fray
- Stephen Pearl Andrews vs. Benjamin Tucker (and Proudhon, and William B. Greene)
- Ezra Heywood vs. Elizur Wright: The "Family Bank" Debate
- Notes on "The Index," etc.
One very interesting item which I failed to mention in any of those earlier posts was an "Address," which follows, by Stephen Pearl Andrews, from 1877, on the subject of strikes. E. L. Crane, of Tippecanoe City (now Tipp City), Ohio, responded in a later issue, and Andrews made one further response, relating the "Address" to The Labor Dollar and his review of Larned's Talks about Labor in The Radical Review. I'll collect all that material soon. For now, here's a relatively unknown piece by Andrews.
TO HIS FELLOW-CITIZENS ON THE SITUATION.
The simple fact is, that our form of civilization based on an unequal struggle of competition between the strong and powerful few and the weak and helpless many (for so it has been), is, in the expressive language of the common people, "played out." Something else and something better has to come, or something worse from the desperate struggle to get the better. The simple fact is, that the laboring man—and he is the immense majority—GETS NO JUSTICE on the present plan of conducting business, and that he has discovered that fact and means to right things at all hazards. He has the power in his hands the moment he is thoroughly aroused,—in this country of all the countries in the world, with our political creed which concedes it to him, with his numerical majority, and with his wide-spread intelligence and daring enterprise. The ballot is his, but he can't wait to use it, and he might be cheated in the use of it, as he has been. The soldier is recruited from him! is him! and will fraternize with him! and then, instantly the bottom of our old civilization is fallen out. This, then, is the shorter cut. From the instant this happens—it has already happened in the small way, and it will happen in the large way—the poverty of the current talk about "enforcing the law, first and foremost," becomes evident. It is then mere babble. The case has gone into the higher court, where the question is of "establishing justice" first and foremost, and of enforcing the laws afterwards; and upon that basis only.
All this means, it is true, revolution, not political revolution merely or mainly but social and industrial revolution, revolution in the world's way of doing business, of exchanging values and of compensating labor. There are a few dozens of men, and some women, in the United States, and a handful over the whole world, who have made the science of society a study for many years past, and who have tried to tell their busy contemporaries that just this time and these events were coming, but generally their contemporaries were too busy to heed them. I have been one of those students and John the Baptists, which fact is a reason why I feel now authorized to speak. Everything depends, from now on, upon the readiness of the wealthy classes to sense the situation in season to make terms with the new order of things; to sense the fact, first, indeed, that there is a NEW ORDER OF THINGS here now, or inevitably about to come. The trouble with the strikers is that there are too many of them, that they are, in effect, the whole laboring population, the immense majority of the people, so that the theory of shooting them down is futile. A ready acceptance of the situation on the part of the rich and great will tide us in safety over the crisis. Nothing else is safe for the country, and especially for the rich and great themselves, as the class of the population really most in danger. They should entertain at once, and discuss freely with the strikers and among themselves, such extreme and gigantic measures as the forced transfer of all railroads, magnetic telegraphs, and great public works to the government, with the laborers paid fixed and equitable prices, as government employés; the organization of great government workshops; or organized government colonization, and other similar enterprises, and the honest effort that government shall become the social providence for the whole people. They and the people should organize at once volunteer bodies of consultation, from among the wisest and best, and call into their counsels those who may know something of social justice and social tendencies and laws. It matters not if the immediate disturbances subside. Be not deceived by the lull. The storm only gathers force by the delay; and if the rich and great are obstinate or stupid or slow, God help them, when the real crisis comes. The labor question is now on for final adjudication, and it is just as sure to get itself settled, peaceably if it may, forcibly if it must, as the slavery question was to reach its finality, as it did, in blood. I know elements enough, in the single city of New York, the very best elements too, for good uses, if they were rightly met by the rich and great, to renew, in a week's time, all the horrors of the first French Revolution. It is dangerous sitting in a powder magazine, smoking the best Havana cigars at your ease, and carelessly throwing the burning stumps around you.
I might readily have procured the names of a considerable list of other socialistic students to sign this warning along with me, but that would have consumed time; and the value of the document, if it has any, lies chiefly in the ideas, and much less in the name or names attached to them.
Monday, December 04, 2006
The interesting story is probably all those things that did get scanned that I didn't even know about back at the beginning of the year: Thomas Mendenhall's pre-Kellogg bank writings, Paul Brown's work, Jenny d'Hericourt's critique of Proudhon, various bits of biographical material on William B. Greene, William Van Ornum's currency reform pamphlet, the "Mutualist" letters, material from The Index and The Word, Lewis H. Blair, How to Escape the Coin Monopoly, etc. There's a lot of sorting and indexing work to do to make all these bits and pieces accessible, and writing to do to make the fragments into history, but, if nothing else, this year's harvest will have dramatically enriched the context in which we see the "canonical" texts of the individualist anarchist tradition. And that feels just fine.
I'm going to set myself one more little challenge: to finish up as many of those specific texts I singled out in April as time will allow. Check back with me in a month.
One of the most important factors in determining the condition of the laborer is the supply of labor in relation to the demand. Realizing the overwhelming force of such economic conditions and the futility of changing masters, the worker gradually awakes to the idea of stopping work altogether until his demands are granted. To do this singly and in an unorganized manner is suicidal. Concerted action then becomes imperative. A large number of men stopping work simultaneously can often demand successfully, while isolated individuals might beg in vain. But as soon as they do this, a cry of "conspiracy" is raised against them. The men who are told that, if the conditions of their service do not suit them, they may leave their employers. are told that they have no right to leave in a body.
Laws against conspiracy have for centuries been enacted in widely scattered countries, in order to prevent strikes and other labor troubles. Originally the word conspiracy meant merely "working together"—cooperation. It is only in comparatively recent times that it has come to mean working together for some bad end. The nature of a conspiracy depends upon the object conspired for, not upon the fact of conspiring. The philanthropic people of a city form themselves into a Charity Organization Society. They conspire systematically to relieve distress and to protect themselves from imposition. Are they to be judged criminal because they work together for a common end? Criminality must depend upon the nature of the act committed, not upon the number of people committing that act, nor upon whether they work together or singly. If an act is wrong in itself, it is wrong for men to associate themselves to commit that act; but if it is not wrong when committed by one individual, it cannot be wrong for several to cooperate to commit it.
The problem, then, is, Have men the right to form themselves into labor unions? The question of legality may be passed over altogether. In the present day nearly every one is a reformer to the extent of declaring the law wrong in one or two particulars. To do this is to deny the infallibility of the law. The freethinker does not necessarily declare all biblical precepts to be wrong, but the moment he admits the possibility of error in any one of them he denies the infallibility of the Scriptures. So with the reformer—the moment he admits that certain laws are wrong, or even may be wrong, he can no longer say, "This is the law—therefore it is right ;" and such a statement has no weight when addressed to him! It is like a biblical argument when addressed to a freethinker. The argument of legality, when directed against the reformer, is begging the question. When used by the reformer, it is nonsense and hypocrisy; for it is an argument in which he does not believe and which he has repudiated in advance. This question, then, is one of ethics, not of law.
The great social principle, to which verbal assent is given by nearly every one, is Spencer's Principle of Equal Freedom, which declares that "Every man has freedom to do all that he wills, provided he infringe not the equal freedom of any other man." This is the principle that underlies all such catch phrases as "Equal rights for all; special privileges for none."
Yet many persons, while thus indorsing this principle with their lips, have so poor an idea of its meaning that they perpetually advocate legislation directly opposed to it. It is impossible to infringe the liberty of any one by remaining passive. Such infringement can only come from doing something; hence, all forms of compulsory action are at variance with the principle of equal freedom. The law may say "Thou shalt not," but it must never say "Thou shalt." Unfortunately, our language is such that any proposition may be stated either negatively or positively. It is as easy to say "Thou shalt not eat anything but meat," as to say "Thou shalt eat only meat." While this adds to the confusion of those unaccustomed to careful methods of thought, it can in no wise affect the difference between doing something and remaining passive. But while the law must confine itself to prohibition of action, it must only prohibit those acts that infringe the liberty of others.
Now, a labor union is an association of men, engaged in the same occupation, to enable them to treat with their employers collectively instead of individually. This, in itself, is not invasive of the rights of others. So long as labor unions confine themselves to non-invasive action, they have a perfect right to existence. Invasion necessarily implies action. A refusal to work for another man cannot by any means be considered an invasion of his liberty. Neither can the agreement of the members of a union not to work for any particular man be considered wrong; yet this is practically all that constitutes a strike. Violence and aggression may grow out of a strike, and these are wrong. But the strike itself is purely a question of passive resistance and is usually much more effective when unaccompanied with violence. The right of men to strike is but a deduction from the right of men to leave their employers; and this right is the only thing that separates the wage-system from slavery.
The laws of nearly all countries contain numerous examples of direct and indirect prohibitions of strikes, or any form of organized effort on the part of workingmen to better their condition by concerted action. As the government is necessarily dependent for its existence upon compulsory service, it is not surprising to find that this right is least recognized in the industries under its immediate control. Even to-day the attempt of a soldier or sailor to leave his work is a punishable offense. Recently Edward Atkinson was accused of treason and his mail seized by a governmental post-office, merely because he dared to tell our soldiers in the Philippines that their legal term of service had expired. Compulsory military service is in vogue in all the Continental countries of Europe—not excepting referendum Switzerland—and is even known in this country, in the form of the "draft." In 1890 the postmen and police of London were denied the right even to form a labor union.
By slow degrees, however, the right to strike is becoming recognized as the laboring classes increase in strength and intelligence. This is one of the most important and most dearly won victories that the labor movement has achieved. In fact the history of the labor movement might almost be called the history of the struggle for the right to strike. It is an important victory because it is a victory for freedom, and one that makes future victories more easy of achievement. To say that a certain body of men may not refuse to work for certain employers is to compel them to work for those employers. Can any greater violation of freedom than this be conceived?
The question of the boycott is exactly similar. If a man has the right not to work, he also has the right not to have anything to do with any man whom he dislikes. Further than this, he has the right to persuade others to do as he does. This is a fundamental principle of labor unions. If a man does not belong to the union, the members of that union will not work with him. If an employer does not hire union labor, union men will not buy his goods. Here again is the right of a man to do what he wills with his own. To prohibit a man from refusing to buy the goods offered for sale by another is to compel him to buy those goods. To restrain a union man from refusing to work with non-union men is to coerce him into working against his will; it makes a slave of him outright. The boycott is the corner-stone of the labor union. To suppress the latter is to kill the former, for the strike is a form of boycott.
In times of war the opposing armies fight in accordance with the same general principles. Each fires its guns according to similar mathematical calculations. They have the same theories of fortification; they employ the same principles of strategy and tactics. So, in the great industrial conflict between capital and labor, each side employs very much the same methods. While the laborer relies upon the union and the boycott, the capitalist uses the trust and the black-list. The boycott, in labor troubles, usually takes the form of an organized determination on the part of the workers to refuse to purchase the goods offered for sale by certain employers of labor. The black-list is an organized determination on the part of capitalists to refuse to purchase the labor of certain workmen. Both are different forms of boycott and are identical in their nature. When either party finds the other is more than ordinarily successful, it immediately attempts to overcome its adversary by invoking the strong arm of the law.
The capitalist claims that he has an inalienable right to sell his goods. The boycott prevents him from doing this; therefore, it is inimical to his inalienable rights. The laborer maintains, with equal force, that he has a right to sell his labor. The black-list prevents this; therefore, the black-list is opposed to the rights of the workers. Both of these arguments are specious. They each neglect the important fact that it takes at least two to make a bargain. Every one has a right to sell anything that is his—provided he can find a purchaser. If he cannot find a purchaser, it is the height of tyranny to try to create one by law. To say that men may not refuse to purchase whatever they do not wish to buy is to compel them to purchase that which they do not want. Such action denies freedom of the market and freedom of contract. To say that certain men may not refuse to employ certain workmen is to compel them to hire those whom they do not want, and is in direct violation of every principle of freedom.
The self-same arguments apply to trusts. If each man may try to sell his goods at the highest price he can get for them a number of men may cooperate to do the same thing: To be sure, trusts often resort to special legislation and many invasive acts, just as labor unions sometimes do. These things are no worse in the one case than in the other. The sin is in the special legislation and the invasive action, not in the trust or the labor union. ~ party has plenty of these sins of its own, without throwing mud at the other for pursuing a similar line of action. No sooner, however, do the working classes obtain sufficient strength to demand their own rights than they try to exercise that power to deny similar rights to their employers. Instead of directing their energies further to extend their own liberties, they waste themselves trying to play tyrant in turn over their employers. This denial of freedom is bound to react upon their own heads. The labor union and the trust, the boycott and the black-list, are so similar that it is impossible to legislate against one without also prohibiting the other. While the laws are made by the legislative department of the government, they are interpreted and enforced by the judiciary. The working classes have often gained a good deal of control over the former, but when have they had control of the latter? At the time the Supreme Court declared a combination of the leading railroads an illegal association, the labor leaders claimed a great victory. At the same time, however, the question of the legality of labor unions was freely discussed in the light of that decision. Judging from its past history, who can doubt what the Supreme Court will decide if this question be ever brought before it ?
Two years ago the labor unions in Colorado introduced a bill in the State legislature to prohibit black-listing. It was finally passed with an amendment prohibiting boycotts. At the session just passed, the clause concerning boycotts was repealed, but the repeal bill was vetoed by the Governor. In his veto message, Governor Thomas says: "The boycott and black-list are slightly different means of accomplishing the same result. Each is a method of coercion and punishment. Both are based on previous agreement, and depend for their success upon concert of action by those interested." And again: "Those of our citizens who demand the suppression of the black-list and the freedom of the boycott should reflect that every argument they urge against the one applies to the other."
These two examples suffice to show that the tendency of all legislation against such action on the part of employers is to react upon the workingmen and to deprive them of their most dearly bought liberties. Nor is this all. Trusts and black-lists require concerted action on the part of a comparatively small number of individuals, while labor unions and boycotts require the cooperation of a very large number. The smaller the number of people required in such cases the more cohesive does the organization become; its actions are more secret, and the harder grows the task of conviction under the law. To quote once more from Governor Tbomas's veto of the boycott-repeal bill:
"The most serious fact urged in behalf of this bill is that some of the great companies in the State disregard and violate the black-list section with impunity, while labor organizations are held to a strict accountability under the other. This is said to result from the difficulty of detecting the one and concealing the operation of the other. There is, unfortunately, too much truth in this statement. Those who cry loudest against lawlessness and anarchy are frequently unmindful of their civic duties and the mandates of legislation. The strong syndicate, intrenched in power and authority, overrides prohibitions and penalties, snaps its fingers in the faces of the people, and sets at naught the limitations of statutes and Constitutions. Labor is initiative. It cannot understand why obligations should be unequal or retaliation should not be fair. Its mistakes and its offenses have been copied from the conduct of those above it, and it is not surprising that it sometimes seeks to better the instruction."
So not only does anti-trust and anti-black-list legislation react against the laborer, but it is far more easily enforced against him than against the capitalist.
Yet another fact remains to be considered, and that is the cost of litigation. It is a notorious fact that the rich man is able to carry his case from court to court, until he can secure a verdict in his favor, while the poor man must succumb under the first adverse ruling.
But what of the poor workman who is driven to starvation by the black-list? What of the Irish landlord who is driven from his home by the boycott? These and thousands of others are the soldiers who fall in the battle. They are entitled to the sympathy and, if need be, to the charity of all benevolent people. But this sympathy and charity must not be permitted to interfere with right thinking upon the subject. Justice should be the aim of legislation, while charity should be left to the spontaneous generosity of the individual. If perfect justice can be obtained, there will be small need for charity, and those who wish to bestow it will be the better able to do so. What would be thought of a general who refused to perform some necessary military operation because some of his men and some of his enemies would suffer thereby? The question for him to solve is what operation he shall undertake, so as to achieve the victory with the smallest loss. The question for the sociologist is how to bring about a better social condition with the least attendant suffering. But neither the soldier nor the sociologist must hesitate to take a step that he sees to be necessary because some of his men will suffer. If he does, he will find his purpose defeated and the suffering will be a thousand times greater.
Is there no help, then, for these poor unfortunates ? There $s help, but it must be sought in other directions than through legislation. Legislative help is so slow and so costly that it defeats its own object and often brings greater disaster in its train. While in a few isolated cases judgments' have been secured against black-listing corporations, yet these judgments could only have been obtained by protracted litigation. This costs great sums of money, and those who were able to bear this expense could in no wise be considered destitute and in sore need of the saving help of the law. It is the poor man, who has not the money to meet these expenses, who is most in need of that help, and he is consequently deprived of it. As a matter of fact, most men are capable of performing several different kinds of labor. If they find themselves shut out from one occupation by a black-list or a boycott, they are in no worse condition than thousands of non-union men. Either they must adjust themselves to these conditions or they must seek "green fields and pastures new." That this is but poor consolation may be freely admitted, but, owing to the lack of harmony in social relations, it is the least injurious solution of the problem. If this fails, nothing remains but charity, unless a cure is sought in those remedies that are worse than the disease. This is true, whether there be laws to aid them or not, for, as stated above, their very necessity deprives them of the opportunity to seek relief through those laws.
The economic question is the great problem of modern life. So long as that question remains unsolved, misery and strife are bound to result. The economic structure of society is sadly out of joint. To attempt to remedy some of the manifestations of this ill-adjustment, leaving the cause intact, is worse than futile. It often does more harm than good to those for whose benefit it is tried, and further diverts men's attention from the main issue. Nearly a11 of this so-called remedial legislation is guess-work. It is directed against effects but ignores the cause. It is nearly always at variance with those principles of social science that are beginning to be generally accepted as true. So far as this is the case, the result must necessarily be disappointing; fresh complications will inevitably arise, and, before society can be reorganized in accordance with the principles of freedom and justice, the evil effects of this quack treatment must be eradicated. Such remedies cannot ameliorate in the present, and they render the disease more difficult to cure in the future.
Social progress can only be made one step at a time. It would be the height of folly to refuse to take those single steps because they carry the world along only a short way. But care must ever be taken that such steps are in the right direction and lead toward, not away from, the desired goal. For, as John Morley says—
"a small and temporary improvement may really be the worst enemy of a great and permanent improvement—unless the first is made on the lines and in the direction of the second. In such a case as this and our legislation presents instances of the kind—the small reform, if it be not made with reference to some large, progressive principle, and with a view to further extension of its scope, makes it all the more difficult to return to the right line and direction when improvement is again demanded."
Every one, or nearly every one, claims to desire a state of society founded in accordance with the principle of Equal Freedom. When this is achieved strikes, boycotts, trusts, and blacklists will seldom if ever be resorted to. With the declaration of peace, the horrors of war become things of the past. If such social conditions are ever to be instituted, every proposed reform must be judged in the light of Equal Freedom. Any that are found to be at variance with this principle must be defeated, no matter how promising they may be at first glance. Justice can never grow out of unjust legislation, nor can the world become free while demanding tyranny.
Francis D. TANDY.