Volume 2 August 13, 1887
The United Labor Party And Socialism
The decision of the general committee of the united labor party of New York county excluding members of the socialistic labor party from membership in the united labor party has provoked from the socialists much expression of indignation. But beneath the question whether any political party can permit a party within itself which, by organized action, any, in many cases, under the forms of parliamentary procedure, impose the will of a minority upon the majority, lies a far more important question.
That question is whether the united labor party is or is not animated by the ideas, and working toward the aims, of state or German socialism.
It is the socialists themselves who have forced this question upon the party. They worked well and efficiently with the united labor party in the municipal election of last year upon a platform which expressed definitely and clearly the principles and the methods of that party—the recognition of equal rights to natural opportunities by the appropriation of land values on taxation and the assumption by the community of such functions as involve monopoly or can be better performed by organized society than by individuals. There was no reason whatever why they might not have continued to work along in the same way, but they have for some time past shown a purpose to commit the labor party to their own peculiar views and plans. The Volkszeitwig, the organ of the German socialists in this city, has for some months urged upon the members of the socialistic labor party the policy of impressing their views upon the united labor party at the various district meetings, and has urged them, should this be prevented, to organize meetings themselves and draw members away from the united labor party. This has been accompanied by constant attacks upon the principles of the united labor party, with a view of showing the necessity of nationalizing not only land but capital.
In short the socialists have not only not observed the toleration with which the majority have treated their peculiar views—a toleration of the sort by which alone conflicting views can be harmonized within party lines—but have been persistent in the attempt to undermine the platform of the party in which they so indignantly claim the right of membership.
An appeal which has been issued by the national executive committee of the socialistic labor party as a protest against the exclusion of their members from the united labor party clearly states the socialistic demand. “We insist,” they say, “that the burning social question is not a land tax, but the abolition of all private property in instruments of production.”
Very well, then. If the members of the socialistic labor party insist that the burning question is the abolition of private property in all “instruments of production”—by which they mean capital in all its forms—there is no place for them in the new party; either they must go out or the majority must go out, for it is certain that the majority of the men who constitute the united labor party do not propose to nationalize capital and are not in favor of the abolition of all private property in the “instruments of production.”
This socialistic protest thus goes on:
To exclude the socialist element from the ranks of the united labor party is, in fact, to deprive it of its rudder; without it the ship of the new party, laden with such splendid promises, will surely suffer shipwreck on the shoals of trilling half measures.
In other words, the state socialists kindly propose to stay in the united labor party in order that they may act as its rudder, and steer it away from where the majority want it to go to where the minority imagine it ought to go. But, the appeal goes on—
Should this protest, supported by you, the advanced workers, not be listened to, then the time will have come for the formation of a workingmen’s party, with a broad program, demanding the economic emancipation of the suffering industrial proletariat from the fetters of wage slavery, and determined on carrying out this program.
There can. Be only one answer to this. If the socialists insist upon steering, they must take to the socialistic ship. Then they can have a program as broad as they please. But to consent to their loading the united labor party ship, by direction or implication, with their program, would certainly be to cause her abandonment by all except themselves.
As the question has now been raised, it is impossible to either compromise or ignore it. It cannot be settled even by ruling out members of the socialistic labor party from the ranks of the united labor party on the ground that they belong to another political party, but must be met by such a declaration of the state convention at Syracuse next week as shall show beyond possibility of equivocation that the united labor party is opposed to state socialism.
If the socialists thereupon choose to run candidates of their own, this will not only have the advantage of showing their real strength, but will enable them in any particular matter to act with or against the united labor party without any sacrifice of principle on their own part, and without asking for it on the part of others.
It may well be doubted, however, if the socialists would attempt to run candidates of their own. The whole membership of the socialistic labor party in New York, after an existence of many years, is not one-third as large as that of the Anti-poverty society, which has only had an existence of a few months, and the vote they have polled when they have run candidates has been ridiculously small, even when swelled by men who had not then, as fortunately they have now, any other way of expressing dissatisfaction with existing parties.
The truth is that state socialism, with its childish notion of making all capital the property of the state, controlling all production and fixing all prices by means of “general statisticians,” “abolishing the wage system” by converting every citizen into a receiver of state wages, and supplanting merchant and storekeeper by government warehouses, is an exotic born of European conditions that cannot take root and flourish in American soil.
For my own part I have always refrained from accentuating any differences with socialists until forced to, regarding them as workers in the great cause of the emancipation of labor who, however superficial their views, illogical their theories or impracticable their plans, aimed at noble ends, and had laid hold of, even if they exaggerated, an important truth. But as I have been accused of shifting my attitude in regard to socialism since the last election, it may be well to reprint the following from my book, “Protection or Free Trade?”
In socialism as distinguished from individualism there is an unquestionable truth—and that a truth to which (especially by those most identified with free trade principles) too little attention has been paid. Man is primarily an individual—a separate entity, differing from his fellows in desires and powers, and requiring for the exercise of those powers and the gratification of those desires individual play and freedom. But he is also a social being, having desires that harmonize with those of his fellows, and powers that can only be brought out in concerted action. There is thus a domain of individual action and a domain of social action—some things which can best be done when each acts for himself, and some things which can best be done when society acts for all its members. And the natural tendency of advancing civilizations to make social conditions relatively mere important, and more and more to enlarge the domain of social action. This has not been sufficiently regarded, and at the present time, evil unquestionably results from leaving to individual action functions that by reason of the growth of society and the development of the arts have passed into the domain of social action; just as, on the other hand, evil unquestionably results from social interference with what properly belongs to the individual. Society ought not to leave the telegraph and the railway to the management and Control of individuals; nor yet ought society to step in and collect individual debts or attempt to direct individual industry.
But while there is a truth in socialism which individualists forget, there is a school of socialists who in like manner ignore the truth there is in individualism, and whose propositions for the improvement of social conditions belong to the class I have called “super-adequate.” Socialism in its narrow sense—the socialism that would have the state absorb capital and abolish competition—is the scheme of men who, looking upon society in its most complex organization, have failed to see that principles obvious in a simpler stage still hold true in the more intimate relations that result from the division of labor and the use of complex tools and methods, and have thus fallen into fallacies elaborated by the economists of a totally different school, who have taught that capital is the employer and sustainer of labor, and have striven to confuse the distinction between property in land and property in labor products. Their scheme is that of men who, while revolting from the heartlessness and hopelessness of the “orthodox political economy,” are yet entangled in its fallacies and blinded by its confusions. Confounding “capital” with “means of production,” and accepting the dictum that “natural wages” are the least on which competition can force the laborer to live, they essay to cut a knot they do not see bow to unravel. By making the state the sole capitalist and employer, and abolishing competition.
The carrying on by government of all production and exchange, as a remedy for the difficulty of finding employment on the one side, and for overgrown fortunes on the other, belongs to the same category as the prescription that all men should be good. That if all men were assigned proper employment and all wealth fairly distributed, then none would need employment and there would be no injustice in distribution, is as indisputable a proposition as that if all were good none would be bad. But it will not help a man perplexed as to his path to tell him that the way to get to his journey’s end is to get there.
That all men should be good is the greatest desideratum, but it can only be secured by the abolition of conditions which tempt some and drive others into evil doing. That each should render according to his abilities and receive according to his needs, is indeed the very highest social state of which we can conceive, but bow shall we hope to attain such perfection until we can first find some way of securing to every man the opportunity to labor and the fair earnings of his labor? Shall we try to be generous before we have learned how to be just?
All schemes for securing equality in the conditions of men by placing the distribution of wealth in the hands of government have the fatal defect of beginning at the wrong end. They pre-suppose pure government; but it is not government that makes society; it is society that makes government; and until there is something like substantial equality in the distribution of wealth, we cannot expect pure government.
But to put all men on a footing of substantial equality, so that there could be no dearth of employment, no “over-production,” no tendency of wages to the minimum of subsistence, no monstrous fortunes on the one side and no army of proletarians on the other, it is not. Necessary that the state should assume the ownership of all the means of production and become the general employer and universal exchanger; it is necessary only that the equal rights of all to that primary means of production which is the source all other means of production are derived from, should be asserted. And this, so far from involving an extension of governmental functions and machinery, involves, as we have seen, their great reduction. It would thus tend to purify government in two ways—first, by the betterment of the social conditions on which purity in government depends, and second, by the simplification of administration. This step taken, and we could safely begin to add to the functions of the state in its proper or co-operative sphere.
There is in reality no conflict between labor and capital; the true conflict is between labor and monopoly. That a rich employer “squeezes” needy workmen may be true. But does this squeezing power result from his riches or their needs? No matter how rich an employer might be, how would it be possible for him to squeeze workmen who could make a good living for themselves without going into his employment? The competition of workmen with, workmen for employment, which is the real cause that enables, and even in most cases forces, the employer to squeeze his workmen, arises from the fact that men, debarred of the natural opportunities to employ themselves, are compelled to bid against one another for the wages of an employer. Abolish the monopoly that forbids men to employ themselves, and capital could not possibly oppress labor. In no case could the capitalist obtain labor for less than the laborer could get by employing himself. Once remove the cause of that injustice which deprives the laborer of the capital his toil creates, and the sharp distinction between capitalist and laborer would, in fact, cease to exist.
They who, seeing how men are forced by competition to the extreme of human wretchedness, jump to the conclusion that competition should be abolished, are like those who, seeing a house burn down, would prohibit the use of fire.
The air we breathe exerts upon every square inch of our bodies a pressure of fifteen pounds. Were this pressure exerted only on one side, it would pin us to the ground and crush us to jelly. But being exerted on all sides, we move under it with perfect freedom. It not only does not inconvenience us, but it serves such indispensable purposes that, relieved of its pressure, we should die.
So it is with competition. Where there exists a class denied all right to the element necessary to life and labor, competition is one-sided, and as population increases must press the lowest class into virtual slavers’, and even starvation. But where the natural rights of all are secured, then competition, acting on every hand—between employers as between employed; between buyers as between sellers — can injure no one. On the contrary it becomes the most simple, most extensive, most elastic and most refined system of co-operation that, in the present stage of social development, and in the domain where it will freely act, we can rely on for the co-ordination of industry and the economizing of social forces.
In short, competition plays just such a part in the social organism as those vital impulses which are beneath consciousness do in the bodily organism. With it, as with them, it is only necessary that it should be free. The line at which the state should come in is that where free competition becomes impossible—a line analogous to that which in the individual organism separates the conscious from the unconscious functions. There is such a line, though extreme socialists and extreme individualists both ignore it. The extreme individualist is like the man who would have his hunger provide him food; the extreme socialist is like the man who would have his conscious will direct his stomach how to digest it.
Not a few of the Catholic newspapers are speaking in kindly tones of Dr. McGlynn since his “exit.” The American Celt of St. Louis commends the Boston Pilot for steadfastly maintaining a conviction of the doctor’s high character. The New York Freeman’s Journal says: “Dr. McGlynn must be allowed the credit of having led a life which in its moral aspect is blameless.” The Detroit Michigan Celt says that no man has ever dared to charge the doctor with impurity, and thinks he will maintain his good reputation. The New York Tablet considers the excommunication of Dr. McGlynn the most grievous incident which has shadowed the history of the Catholic church in America, and adds that the doctor’s moral character is stainless.
There is something in this agreement of these editors to speak well of the excommunicated priest, and something in the language they employ, that challenges attention. It resembles the omission to proclaim the excommunication from the altars, and the explanations that have been made of the way by which the doctor may regain admittance to the church. The question may reasonably be raised whether there is not an opposition to the excommunication within the church in America that compels the “managers” to move cautiously.
Though the Catholic newspapers are but the “breath of the nostrils” of the bishops, their editors, living in a free country, must feel the influence of a free press. The cause of the doctor’s difference with Rome—the assertion of his rights as a citizen—is one in which these editors must feel at least a selfish interest. They dare not openly defend his course, but they find much reason to admire him otherwise. They will not put themselves in jeopardy, but they can intimate their displeasure at the turn things have taken. Their attitude discloses the fact that the blow struck by McGlynn at tyrannical methods has been sorely felt. Among the editors, as among the lower priesthood, there is an ingenious evasion of loyal support to the hierarchy that only falls short of a show of insubordination. Another such blow and what is now cracked will be shattered.
In the meantime it may be remarked that the “sentinel on the ramparts” has taken no notice of the presence of Dr. Curran with Dr. McGlynn at a united labor picnic and of his speech on the same occasion.
The union labor party in the west contains many earnest men, and is so rapidly becoming imbued with the principles of the: united labor party that an ultimate fusion between the two bodies is certain. The same thing is largely true of such strength as the union labor party has in some of the rural districts of this state, but as a whole the “union labor convention” held at Rochester represents nothing more than a democratic side show, of no more consequence than the bogus “labor parties” composed of two or three “Professionals” got up in this city in election times.
Could anything better illustrate the wanton extravagance and monstrous waste of our system of national taxation than that the secretary of the treasury, in order to somewhat reduce the surplus, is offering to advance to bondholders, at two per cent interest, money which has been wrung from men who can only borrow at from six to twenty per cent, when they can borrow at all?
The Voice has accepted the challenge of The Standard, and the arguments in favor of prohibition as the bottom remedy for existing social evils will shortly be presented to our readers, while those in favor of the single tax will be laid before the readers of the Voice.
An Illustration Rejoices
Peoria, Ill., Aug. 6.—By the little paper inclosed (the Peoria Industrial Truth) you will see that workers in this section understand themselves. The editor, Mr. Davy, is president of our land and labor club, and the Mr. Hoff referred to as publisher of Die Sonne, is doing splendid service among the Germans in behalf of the “new crusade.” The outlook here is encouraging. The current is running in our direction. The Standard is pushing its way into fresh places every week, and wherever it goes it makes friends. “Sound the loud timbrel.”
J. W. Burton.
The New Party And Socialism
The County General Committee Decides That a Man Cannot Belong to Two Parties—Protests of the Socialists—Action of the Various Assembly Districts
At the meeting of the county general committee of the united labor party on Aug. 4, the secretary of the executive committee, in the course of making his report of the committee meetings during the previous month, stated that the following resolution had been adopted:
Resolved, That it is the sense of the county executive committee that membership in the socialistic labor party does not disqualify a citizen for membership in the united labor party.
When the secretary had finished reading his report, August May er of the Tenth assembly district moved that the report be received and approved with the exception of the resolution quoted. Mr. Mayer’s motion created some confusion, and brought several speakers to the floor. During the lively discussion that followed, a delegate asked the chair for a ruling on the question whether, according to the constitution of the party, a member of the socialistic party was eligible to membership in the united labor party.
Chairman McMackin replied: “If I am compelled to, I shall have to rule that, according to the constitution, all parties which have nominated and run candidates are political parties, and are comprehended by the letter of the section,”
Thomas O’Neill, of the Twentieth district, appealed from the decision of the chair. He said it was late in the day to exclude an element that had in the beginning been very welcome. The socialistic labor party had been recognized all along as quite distinct from any other political organization, its members had done noble service in the fight last fall, and they ought to be retained now.
Mr. McMackin said he had felt compelled to make the ruling by the clearly expressed terms of the constitution. No truthful, candid man could rule otherwise. The socialistic labor party was certainly a political party. It had regularly nominated candidates and polled votes for them. It was still in existence as a party. It was objected that greenbackers had been admitted to the party. They had, but they had first severed their party affiliations and came in as individuals. The socialists must do likewise.
After further remarks by Mr. McMackin, Vice-Chairman Ferrall put the question to a vote. The chair was sustained by a large majority.
August Meyer then rose, in order, he said, to have the question settled finally, and proposed a resolution insisting that whereas members of the united labor party were directed by the constitution to sever their connection with all other political organizations, those who had violated this law should be excluded from membership.
The point of order was raised that the constitution covered the ground and made the resolution unnecessary. The chair sustained the point.
At the meeting of the Central labor union on Sunday Delegate Finkelstone, of the barbers, being granted the privilege of the floor, began his remarks by referring to the fact that last fall the Central labor union decided to go into independent political action, but he was interrupted b y a motion that the privilege of the floor be withdrawn. This began a contest -that, attended by great confusion, continued until the adjournment of the body. What Mr. Finkelstone’s proposition was is not known. As he is a socialist, it was assumed that he was endeavoring to protest through the Central labor union, against the action of the county committee in excluding members of the socialistic labor party from the united labor party.
On Friday evening, at a meeting of the Eighth assembly district organization, a member moved that the chair be declared vacant, as the chairman was a member of the socialistic labor party. The motion did not prevail. Resolutions were then adopted demanding of the county general committee a reconsideration of the decision adverse to the members of the socialistic labor party, and calling on the other assembly district organizations to instruct their delegates to the same effect. The resolutions characterized the decision as “unjust and calculated to destroy the party.”
On Saturday evening the New York section of the socialistic labor party held a meeting for the purpose of taking action with regard to the decision of the county general committee. Opinions were expressed by speakers to the effect that their party was not a political organization in the sense of the clause of the constitution of the united labor party, under which they had been ruled out; that the leaders of the united labor party had feared that the socialists might stir up discontent by their criticisms of Mr. George’s land theory; that Mr. George desired to make the middle or shop-keeping class the mainstay of his party, and that the decision had opened the eyes of thousands of socialists. Who would henceforth refuse to accept the leadership of Henry George. A committee was named to draft a proclamation explaining. The principles of the socialistic labor party. It was then given out that the proclamation had been prepared beforehand. It was read and adopted. A debate was then entered into on the question whether the socialists would stay in the united labor party. The vote taken resulted in favor of the socialists remaining.
At the opening of the meeting of the Tenth assembly district on Saturday evening, Chairman August Mayer asked all members of the socialistic labor party to leave the hall. Nobody stirred, but a motion was made to elect another chairman. Members of the socialistic labor party who tried to obtain the floor were declared out of order. A motion was made that the vice chairman should take the chair. Chairman Mayer announced that if the socialists did not leave the hall within live minutes he and his friends would leave instead. At the end of five minutes, accordingly, those who were only members of the united labor party left the hall. Vice Chairman Goldschmidt took the chair and declared the places of the officers who had left the hall vacant. Among them were three delegates to the county committee. Now officers were elected pro tem. The resolution of the Eighth district protesting against the decision of the county general committee was approved. A committee was appointed to demand books and funds from the old officers. Meanwhile at the meeting under the regular officers, Mr. Mayer, chairman, the seats of the socialistic officers were declared vacant, and four new committeemen and three new delegates to Syracuse, with alternates, were elected.
The national executive committee of the socialistic labor party of the United States of America called a public meeting for Monday evening to discuss “the best policy to be pursued by the united labor party in the Syracuse convention.” Henry George, Edward McGlynn and John McMackin had been invited to the meeting, but did not attend. John S. Kirchner, president of the united labor party of Philadelphia, acted as chairman. Speeches were made by Sergius E. Shevitch, Walter Vrooman, Alexander Jonas and Richard J. Hinton. Mr. Shevitch’s speech was in explanation of the aims of the socialistic labor party, and conciliatory in its sentiments. He thought, however, that the “excommunication” of the socialists had been engineered by “a power behind the throne.” Resolutions were adopted setting forth the belief that the decision of the county general committee was the result of the malicious clamorings of a venal and ignorant press, and the intrigues of old party politicians, and declaring that the socialists viewed with alarm “a tendency to dwarf the whole movement by running it in the channel of a narrow and exclusive taxation reform, the adoption of which would hardly mean more than free trade, and would rob the movement of the very name of labor, thus opening the way for corrupt and entangling alliances with capitalistic organizations of every description.”
The other speeches were more bitter in character.
At a meeting of the Twentieth district on Monday evening, the protesting resolutions of the Eighth were introduced. The chairman declared the motion out of order. On appeal, the vice-chairman decided that the chair had been sustained. The meeting was adjourned amid much excitement. A number of the members then reassembled in another hall, passed the resolutions, formulated charges against the chairman and vice-chairman, and instructed the seventeen delegates to the county general committee to vote for a reconsideration of its decision relative to the socialists.
At the meeting of the Twenty-third district the same evening, the chairman asked all members of the socialistic labor party to retire, whereupon a number withdrew from the room.
On the same evening, at the meeting of the Fourteenth district, the resolutions of the Eighth were introduced. The chairman decided that the motion was out of order. His decision was sustained on appeal. The socialists thereupon left the room. A resolution was adopted condemning the editor of the Leader for printing editorials against the united labor party and the county general committee and declaring it the sense of the organization that he should be removed from the editorship of that paper. The delegates elected to Syracuse having been socialists a new election for delegates in their place was made the special order for Thursday. The socialistic faction met in another hall, decided that an election of another set of delegates to Syracuse by the regular organization would be illegal, and called a meeting for Friday evening of voters of the district opposed to the action of the regular organization.
In the second district a resolution was adopted upholding the decision of the chairman of the county general committee.
At the meeting of the Sixteenth district on Tuesday evening, the resolutions of the Eighth were rejected by an overwhelming majority.
The Third district, at its meeting on Tuesday evening, approved the action of the county general committee. The Twenty-second instructed its delegates to vote for a reconsideration of the anti-socialist decision, and asked for a special meeting of the county general committee on Aug. 17. The Sixth on Wednesday instructed its delegates to vote for a reconsideration.
The national executive committee of the socialistic labor party, in its long appeal to trades unionists, socialists and members of the socialistic labor party, from the decision of the county general committee, asserts that the socialists were the creators of the united labor party: that the majority of the county general committee have prov en themselves imbeciles by overriding the conclusion of the executive committee; that Henry George, on the threshold of the convention which is to make the nominations for the next campaign, is pushing into the foreground his one-sided land and tax scheme, his special hobby, and “contemptuously throws aside the wage question, the burning social question that brought him to the front.” The document insists that the burning social question is not a land tax, but the abolition of all private property in instruments of production, in land, certainly, but above all machinery and raw materials; it warns the members of the miked labor party not to be dazzled and misled by the one-sided theories of a Henry George; it avers that should the protest not be listened to, then the time has come for the formation of a workingman’s party, with a broad program, demanding economic emancipation of the suffering industrial proletariat from the fetters of wage slavery; it calls upon all advanced workingmen who sympathize with the socialists to answer the excommunication launched against them by “indignant resolutions” in which their respective organizations sever their connections with the united labor party, and if these, also, should be of no effect on the “narrow-minded Henry George worshipers,” to “take such other measures, as will teach them that, without the oil of the socialists, the lamp of the united labor party will be but a smoldering wick.”
John McMackin has sent the following letter to the shareholders of the Leader:
Gentlemen.—I hereby resign the presidency of the Leader Publishing association. This action has for some months been contemplated by me and I can no longer defer it. Several reasons compel my resignation, but it must suffice to name the principal one: The Leader is almost daily used to promulgate and urge political doctrines which form no part of either of the platforms of the united labor party of this city, whose organ it nominally is, and of whose general committee I have the honor to be chairman.
Yours very truly,
Land and Labor in Michigan
Battle Creek, Mich.—We are having a lively discussion here now, and, of course, are meeting with all kinds of opposition from the would-be saviors of society. Our land and labor club is doing nicely, gaining converts all the time, and, what is better still, we keep them. The members of our club have a very good way of meeting the enemy. They push. That wonderful little book, “Progress and Poverty,” and The Standard out, and the best shots of the enemy have about as much effect as a watermelon against the armored sides of a man-of-war. My heartiest wishes for the success of the Anti- Poverty society, and God’s blessing on Dr. McGlynn.
William P. Marsh,
Chairman Land and Labor Club.
The Dr. McGlynn Fund
The publisher of The Standard acknowledges receipt of the following contributions, which have been handed to Dr. McGlynn: Geo. Wilson and wife, $2; Chas. B. Wilson, $1; ‘Ammer ‘Ammer ‘Ammer, $2.50.
A Well Attended And Enthusiastic Meeting
Words of Advice and Cheer From the Veteran Abolitionist, James Redpath—Significant Speeches From Dr. McGlynn and Henry George—The Anti-Poverty Doctrine is a Doctrine of Individualism, Not Socialism—A Clear Definition of Aims and Methods
The fifteenth public meeting of the Anti-poverty society was presided over by the veteran of abolition day, James Redpath, those appearance on the stage was greeted With hearty applause- After the singing of the opening hymn, “Let Our Choir New Anthems Raise,” by the Concordia chorus, Mr. Redpath said:
Ladies and Gentlemen—When I accepted the invitation of your executive committee to preside this evening I entirely forgot the fact that one feature of the usual program is “remarks by the chairman.” If I had recalled that fact I should have felt compelled to decline the honor, because my good physician has forbidden me to make any public speeches until October or November. Now, while I desire and have every reason to desire to obey him, yet I should like to fulfill any duties a s chairman and therefore propose to make a compromise. If you will kindly permit me to read a few thoughts that I have written down I shall do so and will thus be enabled to keep my pledge, for my doctor did not forbid me to read in public (Laughter and applause.) And at the same time I can assure those of you who regard a man who reads manuscript before an audience as a bore—and he usually is—that my paper has one merit. It is very brief; and I can say of it as Goldsmith did of one of his Stories:
If you find it wond’rous short It will not hold you long
There are three words in the English language that mark the limitations and in fact proclaim the failure thus far of three sciences to reach the goal that they desire to reach, and which I have no doubt they will yet attain. In medicine that word is pain. In theology that word is fear. In politics that word is poverty, Until these three words are eliminated from living language and used only historically to describe a past and unhappy condition of society—until the physician can banish pain as so on as he confronts it, until the clergyman disdains to try to make men virtuous by appealing to the unmanly sentiment of fear, and until statesmen shall be ms much ashamed to tolerate poverty as they would be no w ashamed to tolerate piracy or cannibalism—until then these three great sciences can not be regarded as having passed out of the protoplasmic stage of their evolution.
We of the Anti-poverty society have enlisted ourselves as soldiers of the new crusade until poverty shall cease to exist. (Applause.) In fighting this good fight we must necessarily banish fear from the temples of the living God, for we ground our claim of equality of right to His earth and bounties on our belief in the fatherhood of God and the equal soul-ship of all men. It is because we believe God to be just that we regard it as criminal—not merely inexpedient or unwise, but actually criminal—for one class of men to enjoy, under the sanction of law, advantages which enable them to rob their brothers of their birthrights—birthrights which should be inalienable and which can never justly be so irrevocably transferred that they cannot be reclaimed at any time. Thus believing, we shall follow the white banner of the new crusade until it shall be folded after victory. (Applause.) And we shall support our leaders against all assailants, however cunningly they may be disguised, whether as politicians, or as prelates or as popes—we shall regard them only as enemies of God’s cause and shall smite them down (applause), even if every one of us shall be ad nominatim for our fidelity to the cause of God’s poor. Ad nominatim., you know, is boycotting translated into Italian. (Laughter.) It used to be regarded as a dreadful punishment on the other side of the water. There was in England only one punishment equally dreaded—the threat of the speaker of the house of commons to “name” a member of parliament if he persisted in disobeying the rules of the house. Once upon a lime this threat of “naming” a member was regarded as something so dreadful that the English imagination refused to conceive of the result if it should be exercised. Well, one day an Irish member of parliament was named by the speaker—ad nominatum, so to speak—and what happened? Why, he quietly walked out of the house with his hat on his head, and, as they say in Connemara, “divil a penny was he the worse of it.” (Laughter.) You may have heard of that Irish member. When he is addressed ad nominatim in private life, he is called Charles Stewart Parnell.
No non-Catholic speaker or writer in our time has ever spoken or written more earnest, more cordial or sincere words of praise of the Catholic clergy than I my self have uttered and printed. I regard the Irish priests, for example—the Catholic priests with whom I am best acquainted—as unsurpassed by any body of men in Christendom for purity of life, devotion to duty, and sincere love of the poor. (Applause.) And I believe also that America owes a deep debt of gratitude to the Catholic church for her great services, past and present, as a conservator and promoter of virtue and order. But if the price of this service is to be the implicit obedience of American Citizens to the mandates of a foreign ruler or a foreign conclave, then I say: While we value the services of that church we value our self-respect still more. (Applause.) We can try to get along without her services, but we know that we cannot get along without independent American manhood. And I repeat the language of Daniel O’Connell, who was a devout Catholic, “All the religion you please from Rome, but no politics.” (Applause.)
We American citizens will never submit to foreign dictation, as the propaganda of Rome will learn in due time, just as the socialists of New York have learned this week. (Applause.) Foreigners who mistake our toleration for fear are making a vital error.
We are often sneeringly asked how it is proposed to abolish poverty. We propose to abolish poverty by extending the doctrine of equality of rights from our political institutions, where it is for the most part recognized, into the regions of commerce and trade, where cut-throatism is organized into monopolies and enacted into franchises. (Applause) We propose to destroy all monopolies! (Hear! Hear!) We do not intend to interfere with any just right of property, but we do propose to interfere with all unjust prerogatives that have their origin in laws.
First of the great monopolies is the monopoly of the earth. We propose to destroy that monopoly by laying the taxes for the support of the government on land without respect to improvements. (Applause.) Henry George (great applause and cheers) did not invest this theory. By the bye, I want to say that I see three or four gentlemen applauding here who do not subscribe for his paper. Their praise is cheap. The paper is only $2.50 a year, and all ought to subscribe. Henry George renders us a far greater service by showing how a practice as old as authentic history could be applied to our complex civilization without disturbing the political forms and political machinery of our times—forms and machinery which are the legitimate growth of ages, and therefore cannot be thrown aside as easily as if they were only old garments. That is one great difference between Henry George and the socialists. He adjusts himself to facts instead of making the facts adjust themselves to his theory. The institution of private property in land—that is, the classification of land as if it were property, precisely as furniture is property—is only a few hundred years old. It was invented and it has been maintained in order to put the burden of taxation on the shoulders of labor. In the feudal ages the chief tax was paid by the land holder. A duke or earl or nobleman of lower rank was awarded his lands on condition of supporting, and, when called on by the king, of furnishing, equipped at his own expense and led by himself, a certain number of soldiers; that is, he held his land subject to his obligation to feed, clothe, equip and lead the army. Now, this was the chief expense of government in those days. The other revenues were drawn from crown lands. That is to say, the entire expense of supporting the government of the country was drawn from direct taxes and other burdens laid en the land of the country.
What we propose is to make the land of the country again support the government by direct taxation instead of drawing an enormous revenue from the poor by the indirect taxation of everything we eat and drink and wear.
Whatever is a monopoly in its very nature we propose also to have held in trust for the benefit of all the people instead of being farmed out, as it is now, so as to build up merciless corporations or to enrich selfish individuals. The history of our post-office is a proof that the people at large can carry on the most complex business far better and cheaper than any private corporation. We can carry letters to California for two cents each. Give this monopoly to a private corporation, and it will charge us two dollars each. We propose, as soon as possible, to extend this system so that all the agencies of transportation shall be absolutely controlled by all the people and for all the people; that railroads and canals, telegraphs and telephones shall be operated, not to create individual millionaires, but in the interest of and to lighten the burdens of the whole people of the United States. (Great applause.)
Why, there is wealth enough in the United States to-day if it were equitable—not equally—distributed to abolish honest poverty, and it is only honest poverty that we desire to abolish. Poverty that results from idleness or crime should find its fitting reward on the treadmill or in the aldermanic cell of Sing Sing. A loafer is only good for one thing in life, and that is manure. (Laughter) Now, there are classes of men and women who remain poor for truth’s sake, so that they may have nothing to interfere with a life of self-abnegation. We certainly do not desire to abolish that kind of poverty. But the poverty which overshadows the lives of vast multitudes of sober, industrious and virtuous men and women—that poverty is a crime, and it must be abolished. (Applause.) It can be abolished, first, because it is a crime, and next because it results almost wholly from the class legislation which we propose to repeal. (Applause.)
There is no justice when the wealth producers of society as a class are poor and the idle classes are the wealthier classes. We propose to take from no man anything that is rightfully his. The present wealth of the world is such a trifle as compared to the wealth that will accrue when all the obstacles to nature’s bounties are removed, that we can well afford to disturb no existing accumulation. But what we do propose to do is to render it impossible hereafter for any man or any class of men to appropriate wealth without giving to society an adequate exchange or compensation for it. (Applause.) When we shall have accomplished this, our task, poverty will have disappeared from our land forever, and we shall build a monument of gold to Henry George. (Great applause and cheering.)
After Mr. Redpath took his seat some one called for three cheers for him, which were given with vigor. Then followed the singing of the “New Crusade’s Battle Hymn” by the choir. Mr. Redpath then announced that the next exercise would be the taking collection. He said “I want to remind you that ‘the Lord loveth a cheerful giver,’ and so do we.” (Laughter.)
At this moment Dr. McGlynn came in and was greeted with loud cheers and waving of handkerchiefs, the entire audience rising to their feet. This lasted several minutes in spite of the doctor’s repeated deprecatory motion with his hand for the people to sit down afterspeaking a few words to Mr. Repath Dr. McGlynn arose, and when the renewed cheers had subsided, said a few words of appeal to the audience to make their contributions as liberal as possible in view of the urgent needs of the society for money to carry on the work for which it had been formed.
During the collection Miss Munier’s choir sang the “Marching Song for Voters” to the air of “Boulanger’s March,” which was greeted with hearty applause. An encore was given and the song was repeated. Mr. Redpath then briefly reannounced Dr. McGlynn. A storm of applause broke forth as the doctor arose, and cheers and waving of handkerchiefs continued for some minutes. Finally he was able to proceed and spoke as follows:
Mr. Chairman, Ladies and Gentlemen: The movement with which this Anti-poverty society is most closely identified is charged with violating the principles of natural justice by seeking to give to the community what belongs to the individual, by depriving the individual of such liberty of action and such possession of good things as he may have acquired by his action, as is guaranteed to him by the law of eternal justice, by sound morals, by natural and revealed religion. Now, it is extremely important that we should make it exceedingly clear that this accusation is entirely false and unwarranted. (Applause.) There are no doubt a great many honest but ill-informed people who will believe the charge, and therefore it is a duty that we owe to them, as well as to ourselves, to deny the charge and prove it to be false. I know that the burden of proving a charge like this rests with the asserters of it, but yet we should not stand too strictly upon our rights in this matter. We should superabound in our love of the cause so as to be willing to go out of our way, not merely to assert the truths that underlie our cause, but also to prove the falsity of the charges that are made against it. Again, no doubt there are many who are prompted by malevolence in charging all manner of evil things in both reality and intent, upon the objects and the actions of this society of ours. We owe it to ourselves, to our cause and to those who may be misled by these malevolent people to deny these charges, to repel them with all possible energy; and at times, in order to show that we are in earnest, it is necessary to repel such charges with a great deal of righteous indignation. (Applause.)
I have noticed that some of our critics have been willing to hear with extraordinary patience, resignation and equanimity all manner of charges made against this movement and against some who are supposed to be prominent in it. But when one or another of us thought it high time, in the interest of the cause and of truth itself, to hit back, to call things by their proper names, immediately these moral censors were alarmed. They were shocked at the indecorum, at the want of Christian forbearance and charity on the part of these anti-poverty people who had been preaching so much about the religion that was in their movement. These moral censors appeared to forget that He whom we call our Lord and Master, if He did say at times to turn the other cheek to the smiter and to call back the thief that may be running away with one garment and to practically tell him that he forgot to take the other (laughter), yet on other occasions, while He was all gentleness and sweetness, tenderness and mercy for the poor and erring, for the outcast and the sinner, He talked to those who ground the faces of God’s children with words that were like fiery scorpions to burn into the very souls of the proud, of the self-righteous, of the Scribes and Pharisees and oppressors of the poor. We cannot forget that this same gentle Savior made a scourge of whip cords and lashed out of the temple the unworthy money changers who had made the house of God a house of barter and sale. (Applause.) Some of us have been a little comforted by seeing that some of the strong words uttered in this and other places have had the desired effect of putting some of these moral censors, these omniscient critics, a little on the defensive and making them a little more careful of advancing charges and innuendos.
One very positive charge against us has been that we are socialists, that we are communists, that we propose to make common what the law of nature and nature’s God intended should be left to individuals. And therefore we must assert and reassert what otherwise we might have almost tired of asserting, that, while we do insist that what God made for all shall remain forever the property of all, we insist no less strongly that the things that God has given man the power and right to make for himself by the use of these general bounties of nature shall be his to hold, to own, to use, to give away, to sell or to destroy, and that this right shall be his as against the whole world. (Applause.) We assert that the cardinal truths that underlie this movement for the abolition of poverty, and we can safely add the essential truths that constitute the declaration of principles of the united labor party (applause), that we confidently expect to see going on with gigantic strides, conquering and to conquer, till it shall have brought the whole land to this blessed gospel of perfect liberty and perfect equality—the essential truths, I say, that underlie the declaration of principles of that party are such as will secure to men, better than ever before, that magnificent individualism which was a generation ago and more the chief glory of America and of American character, and which it will be not the least of the glories of the united labor party to have more than restored. (Applause.)
We may go farther, and say that one of the chief reasons why we wish to assert the common property in those things that God made common, is because that is the necessary and only sufficient means toward this magnificent individualism. (Applause.) It is because thus, and thus only, can individual liberty have its perfect fruition; thus, and thus only, can individual character be able to develop itself, unfettered, unhampered, and untrammeled. (Applause.) It is because in such a condition of society as shall be made possible and actual by the achievement in practice of the principles of our declaration, it will be possible to give to every sou and daughter of man plenty of elbow room. (Applause.) We want more room. We want more individual liberty. We want more individualism. We don’t want more socialism. (Great applause and cheers.)
We want to throw open all the broad acres of God’s wide world to individual effort. (Applause.) We want to widen and lengthen the Father’s table so that there shall be more than abundant room for all His children to come and go, to stay at their will and pleasure, and to feast and make merry. (Applause.) We want no paternal government that shall measure the clothes and dole out the food and build the houses for the people. (Applause.) We want no board or committee to decide precisely how much, and how many, and what quality of such and such things shall be necessary for the country at such and such a time, and to give orders that precisely so much, and so many, and of such a quality shall be made to order. (Laughter.) We believe that when the magnificent bounty of God to all his children shall have been vindicated and made good, when it shall have been made clear to the minds of men and reduced to practice that God has given in immense abundance more than enough of raw materials, out of which men can make whatsoever is good, useful, necessary and ornamental for the development of their material, their mental, their moral and their aesthetic nature—when all this shall have been accomplished, then will men be more free than ever before to dispose of themselves according to their own will—to come and go from one country to another, to engage in whatever pursuit they will, at whatever wages they will, as long as they will or as briefly as they will. (Applause.)
We do not want more legislation. We want to sweep away a large part of the present legislation. (Applause repeated.) It is true that we need a few more laws, but the chief merit and value of these laws will be that they will abrogate and make entirely useless nine hundred and ninety-nine thousand nine hundred and ninety-nine of the existing laws. (Applause.) We do not want any more paternal government than we have. We want a great deal less of it. (Applause.) But, if I may be permitted to amend the utterance, I would say: Yes, we do want a great deal more of paternal government, but of one kind only—that is, of the paternal government of God our Father, which shall be so magnificent and so perfect a paternity to all the brethren that the one supreme law of society shall be the love of God for his own sake and the love of all our brethren for God’s sake. (Applause.) We can never have too much of that kind of paternal government, but of any other kind of paternal government the less the better for full grown men and women. (Applause.) Some of us have no particular relish for the infliction upon a man forty or fifty years of age of a discipline precisely similar to that which might be inflicted upon a little boy not yet out of school. (Laughter.)
We believe that we want more elbow room, more liberty, more individualism. We believe in the healthy action of individual liberty, of individual advantages, individual character, individual taste, preference, judgment, if we can only have the essential political and social equality that we have demonstrated, time and again, has been given to man by nature and by nature’s God, and the possession of which by man is an inalienable, God-given right, as declared in our immortal Declaration of Independence. (Applause.) So let us be more emphatic in saying it, and we shall not tire of repeating it, till all occasion and necessity shall have passed away, we want no foreign socialism. (Immense applause and cheers, lasting about a minute.) We want more of American individualism! (Great cheering.) And if we demand that certain things shall be common it is because they either have been made common by nature, or because, in the complication of civil society, they necessarily become monopolies, existing only by the concession, the privilege, the franchise of the community, and therefore, it stands to reason, it is a matter of plain justice, they should exist only for the benefit of the community by whose fiat alone they can possibly come into being. (Cries of “hear! Hear!” and applause.)
So it is a part of our program that beside the general bounties of nature, which originally were made for all God’s children, and that enormous unearned increment that comes to some of the things produced by the community—unearned by the individual, and therefore not in justice belonging to him, but really belonging to the community—these privileges that can only be granted by the community, the railroads, the telegraphs and the like, should be controlled in the interest of the community. (”Hear! Hear!” and applause.) It is a matter of notoriety that these franchises have an enormous money value, and yet they have been absolutely given away by the un worthy servants of the people. (Applause.) And so it is a most important part of the plan of the united labor party (applause), with which this Anti-Poverty society is in full accord and sympathy, to demand not merely that the god-given inheritance of the people shall be restored to the disinherited, out that those franchises that come from the people shall be given back to the people. (Applause).
And for precisely a similar reason it is next in importance in the demands or declarations of this party, of this society we may say, that the currency which is the measure of the value of all things produced or existing in the community shall be itself issued by the community and only by the community, and not by a privileged class of banks and bankers. (Applause.)
But we must insist upon this, that our demand for all these things is precisely with a view to emancipate the individual and to give to every man a fair field and no favor. (Applause.) We do not believe in doing anything contrary to the clearly expressed will of the Creator. We believe with that sage of Grecian antiquity that the wisest thing that any man can do is to reverently follow God. (Applause.) And we can, by natural religion as well as by revealed religion, discover the will of God. It is plainly written as His law upon all His works; and so he that reverently studies the works of God is ascribing praise to the Creator. He is fulfilling the will of God, who has endowed us with these wondrous capacities that we may learn His holy will, may discover the truths that He has somewhat hidden from us; and by the merit of discovery and the discipline and formation of mind and character, be in His good time more worthy to be called home from school to the Father’s house in heaven. (Applause.) We can, therefore, discover what is God’s will in these respects. We discover clearly that it is His will that there shall be a diversity of talents and of gifts in the essential human nature. We assert equality only where God Himself has given the stamp of equality: we say only that all men are born equal—(applause)—and that all men are born with inalienable rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.
And now pops up some wiseacre, some learned divine, between ourselves I may whisper it, even a bishop (laughter) or, I may tell you in still more confidence, a provincial council of bishops (laughter), and they deliberately start out to refute Thomas Jefferson. They appear to think that they have said something wonderfully smart and clever by proving to us that some men are born long and some men are born short (laughter); that some men are born to be fat and some men are born to be. Lean (laughter); that some men are born to have red heads and some born to have black heads (laughter), and some men are born with wonderful physical vigor, perfect Apollos of physical shape and beauty, while others are born blind of an eye, squinting, hump-backed, lame. And some of these wiseacres think it is a smart think to say that we are trying to contravene the order of nature and of nature’s God by insisting that a man that was born short legged shall be able to run equally in the race with the long-legged one. (Laughter.) Now, for the information of his grace and their lordships (hisses) and of all the wiseacres who agree with them, we are prepared to show that we most cordially agree with what they say, though we certainly cannot agree that the magnificent gospel of American liberty is to be refuted by so childish and foolish an argument. (Applause.) In our reformed society, the long- legged man will continue to win the race and the fat man will win the prize at the fat men’s show (great laughter), and the man who is born with a magnificent voice, or the woman who is born with a magnificent contralto, like our good friend Miss Munier (great applause), will, of course, justly win plaudits that will be denied to some unfortunate wretch of a man or woman that is born with the voice of a crow. (Laughter.)
What we so demand that we shall never be satisfied with less is, that what God has given equally to all shall belong equally to all. (”Hear! Hear!” and applause.) The short-legged man and the fat man and the humpbacked man and the man who,is born blind of an eye have the same right to life in this world as those who are born with all physical perfections1—-they have the same right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness—they should have the same right of equal access to the general bounties of nature, the same liberty to employ their labor, and to the product of their labor should be given the solemn sanctity of property, such as is never given to it to-day. (Applause.) We do not, therefore, wish to make all things common. We do not wish to give to the organized community, to the political community, the control and the ownership of the instruments of production. We want to do nothing of the kind. We want to do the very reverse. (Cheers and applause.)
I think I have said nearly enough—(cries of “No! No!”)—to prove that the platform or declaration of principles of this Anti-poverty society and of its first cousin, or twin brother, or whatever you may choose to call it, the united labor party—(applause)—are not socialistic, but magnificently individualistic. (Great applause.) I do not think I am guilty of any indiscretion in saying that any man’s dollar, provided it be not a counterfeit one, is a good enough dollar for us, So that any man, woman or child who chooses to contribute a dollar to this society of ours may do so, and we shall not forbid them. And so, when the united labor party, at its state convention, shall have adopted its platform, any voter who may please to vote for that platform or for the candidates who will stand upon it, will be, of course, perfectly free to do so, and I suppose the candidates will be very thankful for his vote, because votes count. (Applause.) But if any body thinks that this society, for the sake of getting a few more dollars into its treasury, or that that party, for the sake of getting a few more votes, is going to compromise one tittle of these essential principles of the common ownership of what God made to be common, and what is the product or the gift of human society, and the individual ownership of those things that God left to individual industry, then I say they make a great mistake, for that party and this society never came into existence in order to make dollars or get votes. (Cries of “No! No!” and immense cheering). They want a few dollars and they want a good many votes in order to incorporate and make more certain great principles. (Applause.) And they would therefore be both false and traitorous if they should sacrifice one tittle of these essential principles for all the dollars or all the votes in the world.
Tremendous cheering greeted this declaration, and continued long after Dr. McGlynn took his seat.
Mr. Redpath then introduced Henry George, whose appearance was the signal for repeated rounds of applause and cheers. Mr. George said:
I most cordially reiterate what Dr. McGlynn has said. (Applause.) What we have banded ourselves together for is to carry out to its full extent the great principles of liberty enunciated in the Declaration of Independence. (Applause.) What we aim at is to give to everyone perfect liberty to do what he pleases so long as he does not interfere with the equal liberty of any other. (Great applause and cries of “Good! Good!”) For my part I hold that we are in this neither altogether socialistic nor altogether individualistic; that there is a true and proper line at which both principles unite and fall into their proper place (applause), and, as Dr. McGlynn has said, the line is that at which any business or function becomes a monopoly. When it does it is properly the function of the whole community, for the reason that in no other way can the liberty of the individual be secured. (”Hear! Hear!”) But beyond this line of monopoly, we can safely trust to the free play of individual impulse and individual competition to harmonize and correlate all the varied interests of society. What we aim at, as our president has said, is to take for the community that which belongs to the community and to leave to the individual that which properly belongs to the individual. (Applause.) What we aim at is to assure to every child that is born among us his equal share of the bounty of the Creator; his equal share in that great fund which is produced by the growth of the community; his equal share in all the advantages that come from the march of science and the progress of improvement, and thus to give to everyone full liberty and opportunity to develop his individuality, to exercise every power, to expand every talent and to carry, each for himself, life to its fullest and highest expression. These are the great principles, for which we stand. (Applause.)
Our association, having for its object the abolition of poverty, has for its object the attainment of freedom. (Applause.) For poverty to-day is the great enslaver of men. So long as men want for the material needs of life, so long as they find it impossible to stand up as men and make an easy and independent living; so long, no matter by what name of freedom you call them, they are essentially slaves. (”Hear! Hear!” and applause.) Until each man among us has opportunity to freely exert his labor, until he can get the full, fair earnings, and is not forced to give up any part of it to some other human creature for the privilege of living and working, so long slavery has not been fully abolished. (Applause.) One form of it has gone, and now the cross has been raised and the crusade is being preached for the abolition of a wider and more insidious form. Chattel slavery has been abolished. Now the duty devolves upon us, men of today, to abolish industrial slavery. (Applause.) And in struggling for this we are but reviving the old traditions, asserting old principles and endeavoring to carry forward another step the old contest between right and wrong, between light and darkness; between liberty and despotism; between the spirit of love and the spirit of selfishness. (Applause.) In this society, as in what Dr. McGlynn styles its twin sister, the united labor party—(applause)—there breathe again the principles and the aspirations of Thomas Jefferson. (Applause.) And in it is coming forward that great party of the people that he loved and trusted, and that he believed would come forward in times of danger to save the American republic and to make it what it should be—(great applause)—not a republic of landlords and tenants, of employers and employed, of millionaires and tramps, of an enjoying class and a laboring class, but a republic of free, equal, independent citizens—(applause)—men “who know their rights, and knowing, dare maintain”—(applause)—men who, standing for their own rights, stand also for the rights of others. (Applause, and cries of “That’s good!”)
And our idea of the mission of the republic of Thomas Jefferson, goes far beyond its territorial limits. This struggle is a struggle for the whole world. (”Heart hear!”) To us is given the van of the great battle. Here on this wide continent, with all the experience of Europe to draw upon, exempt from all her peculiar difficulties, it should be ours to lead mankind to a higher and nobler stage (applause); to show to the world the spectacle of a great nation that dares to go without a standing army or a standing navy (applause); of a great nation that dares to throw her ports open to all the world; of a great nation that in truth recognizes the essential brotherhood of man; of a great nation that contains no paupers, no tramps, no criminal class rendered vicious by poverty, and no idle class demoralized by unearned wealth; a nation that shall contain no man willing to work who cannot by his labor make a good and an easy living, not merely for himself, but for all whom nature makes dependent upon him. (Applause.) That is the republic we aim to build up, (Great applause.)
And, as our fathers did, we base our belief in the possibility of such a republic upon a firm faith in the goodness and greatness of the Almighty Father. (Applause.) We hold that, so far from poverty and pauperism, and the vice and the crime that flow from them, being in accordance with the laws of God, they result from the violation of God’s laws. (Applause.) We hold that they are due to the violation of that principle on which the universe rests, the principle of justice, the principle enunciated in the golden rule of doing to others as you would have others do to you. (Great applause.) And we propose not merely to recognize that principle with our lips and on Sundays and in churches and Sunday schools (laughter), but to implant it in our laws with our votes. (Great cheering and applause, and a voice: “That’s the way to do it!”)
We care nothing for “putting God in the constitution,” nor for putting “In God we trust” on the silver dollar (laughter); but we want to put His principles of justice into our institutions (applause); that principle of righteousness, of right doing, which will accord to every man his full, fair share in the bounty of his Creator, that will make every American man, woman or child, even to the humblest, an equal citizen of a common country (applause); which will enable every citizen to say, in a sense that only a portion of them can now say, “This is our country” (applause), “This is my land.” (Great applause.) And on these simple principles we are prepared to go forward, knowing that when it once comes into discussion the truth never can be put down. (Great applause.) We know now that, just as surely as the sun rises tomorrow, sometime, and that not very far distant, the principles for which we stand here, the principles for the dissemination of which this Anti-poverty society has been formed, will be the principles acknowledged by the American people (great cheering and applause), incorporated in their laws, fixed in their constitutions, and then, then the American republic will be indeed what its founders intended it to be, a beacon light to the world. (Applause.)
When Mr. George took his seat there were calls for others on the platform, Mr. Post’s name being most frequently mentioned. Finally Mr. Redpath took Mr. Post by the arm and led him forward, saying: “Ladies and gentlemen, Ben Jonson once wrote as an epitaph on a dead man—
God works a wonder now and then;
Here lies a lawyer, an honest man.
—(Laughter.) But we have a still greater curiosity before you now. Because here stands a lawyer that’s a modest man.” (Great laughter.)
Mr. Post said:
Mr. Chairman, Ladies and Gentlemen: I wanted to be excused from saying anything tonight. I told Mr. George I hadn’t anything to say. But he told me to tell you about the picnic, and as I don’t think of anything I can add to what has been said by Dr. McGlynn and Mr. George, I might as well confine my self to that. This is the first time that the Anti-poverty society goes into the country for the summer. (Laughter and applause.) We are going out for one consecutive day. (Laughter.) For those who have not read the advertisements, let me say that the expense will be fifty cent, and if you want your dinner there, and do not take it along, it will be fifty cents more, and you can spend as much more as you feel that you can afford. There will be opportunity, I have no doubt. I never went to a picnic yet where there was not an opportunity for that. We are going to have a good time. I understand that there will be about four thousand people there. (A voice: “Ten thousand.”) Ten? Now, I will say just one word here, my friends, before I sit down—I guess I have said enough about the picnic. This golden rule that Mr. George spoke about—who is there in the whole range of our business life that can obey the golden rule today? No one, unless he chooses to sink himself. A great car of Juggernaut is going through the community, dragged by elephants, as it were. A man has either got to get up on the wagon and ride, or he has got to be trampled under the wheels. Now I do not blame a man who prefers to get on top of the wagon and let somebody else go under the wheels. We cannot obey the golden rule under such circumstances. To make it possible for men to obey the golden rule, we must get rid of the Juggernaut, and that is what this society proposes to do. (Applause.)
As Mr. Post took his seat there were loud calls for the Rev. Charles P. McCarthy, who finally advanced to the front of the stage, and said with a smile:
The law arrests the man or woman Who steals a goose from off the common,. But lets the greater criminal loose Who steals the common from the goose.
Then he sat down amid laughter and applause.
The singing of a chorus and a hymn by Miss Munier’s choir closed the proceedings of the meeting. The collection amounted to $152.54.
Land and Labor in Rutland
Rutland, Vt., August 1.—George Dutton, M. D., addressed the workingmen of this place yesterday on the remedy for the injustice under which their class labors. He said he had lately heard a reverend gentleman in Boston teach that men were poor because “nature was niggardly.” This was not true, for “nature is but a name for an effect whose cause is God.”
“All are but parts of one stupendous whole, Whose body nature is, and God the soul.” Nature is bountiful to us. Look at the fruit-laden trees, the vineyards, the tropical fruits, the cattle on a thousand hills, the fish in the. sea. The cause of our misery lies not with our Creator, but with ourselves. The earth waits for man as the bride for the bridegroom. The burden of Malthus was to keep population down to a level with the scanty supply of food. This would be like keeping bees down to the level with the honey which they gather. Without bees there would be no honey, and the more bees the more honey. If man expected to live on wild honey alone there might sometimes be a scarcity of honey, but man can produce all he needs, and nature furnishes abundant opportunities. “Pray ye, therefore, the Lord of the harvest, that he may send forth hi borers into His harvest.” Truth, reason and justice furnish the solution of the question of the distribution of what is produced. Happiness is found only in the universal good. “Can wealth give happiness?” says Young. “Look round and see what gay distress! What splendid misery!” And Josiah Quincy said: “When wealth comes into power, the spirit of liberty never fails to go out.” Political economists speak of the distribution of wealth. Did it ever occur to them that they had really nothing to do with the distribution of wealth any more than they have with the distribution of brains? What a man produces belongs to him and to no other. What is natural is the gift of the Creator; what is acquired by our own effort we may claim as our own.
A Clergyman’s Criticism on the “World”
New York, Aug. 8—I read with surprise the following in today’s World:
Dr. McGlynn. Together with Henry George and ail who hold to the latter’s land theory, have been given “a fair and deliberate hearing.” The daily press in general, and the World in particular, have given full reports of all they have said in behalf of their doctrine.
I have been for a long time a careful reader of the World, and have given particular attention to its Monday reports. In no instance has it given a full report, and in many cases the words of the speaker have been garbled so as to mean something different from what he intended to say.
And yet it is just to the World to say that its reports are much better and faster than those given by most of the daily press, with the exception, perhaps, of the Journal. Persons who do not hear the speakers are obliged to wait for the appearance of The Standard to know what they really said.
(Rev.) J. Anketell.
Spreading the Light in Minneapolis
Minneapolis, Minn., Aug. 1.—The city is not only organizing ward land and labor clubs, but it has a live anti-poverty society also. The first public meeting of the latter organization was held last Friday night at Windsor hail. President Moeler defined the principles of the society. John Buell, Thomas H. Lucas and M. Baker addressed the meeting, and were enthusiastically applauded. Meetings will be held fortnightly. The land and labor clubs hold weekly meetings. Many citizens are joining them, and the movement is progressing most favorably.
How it is Everywhere
Ashtabula, O., Jury 20.—One year ago I stood alone here, and had for four years, and now I can count a score or more who are with you, thanks to The Standard.
A. D. Strong.
Queries And Answers
Basis of Taxation
Paterson, N. J.—Suppose two men possess each a ten-acre lot worth $5,000. One has not seen fit to improve his for reasons best known to himself. The other has fenced his, set it out with valuable fruit trees and built on it a house worth $10,000. For the protection of bis property (being in the city limits) he needs a paid fire department and a police force, either of which costly institutions is needed for the protection of the property of the former. Now would it be just to tax the former to pay for benefits he does not receive as much as the other? In case of war an invading army would damage the former little. The property of the latter might be reduced to a level with that of his unenterprising neighbor. Would it be right to tax them both alike to keep off an invading army? Should not the cost of the public defense be in proportion to the respective values of the property?
A man should pay taxes to the community according to the benefits he derives from the community. In the two cases you suppose, each man derives the same benefit from the community, namely, a ten acre lot worth $5,000, with all its natural and social opportunities. If the man who keeps his lot vacant would take advantage of his opportunity, he also would have property to be protected by the fire and police departments, and it would be better for the community. If he chooses to keep the lot vacant and deprive the community of the benefits that would accrue from his enterprise, well and good, provided he pays to the community the value of the opportunity he appropriates.
Over Supply of Houses
New York.—If your principles were put into practice here in New York, the result would be, of course, to force all unused land into the market—new houses would rise on every vacant lot. In consequence the rental value of houses in general would decrease. This, of course, would be a boon to those who pay rent for their dwellings. But would not the returns for building and letting houses shrink to such small proportions that capital could not be made to take that channel? Would not so many houses be built that the market would be overstocked, and those who were forced by the new scheme of taxation to build, be really casting: their money into the sea?
The value of houses relatively to other filings would not permanently decrease below the average returns to capital. If it decreased at all, it would be only temporary, for labor would use capital in other channels until an equilibrium was reached. Houses would not be the only kind of labor product that would be increased if land were free, and every advance as to quantity or quality in one kind of product would give rise to renewed demands for other products, as to either quantity or quality, or both.
An Eye to Speculation
New York, July 27.—I have been reading your paper to-day (not that I of ten do, for to through the truth, my old-fashioned ideas, altered through an American descent of over 200 years, do not at all coincide with the new lights), and I note what a correspondent, Mr. Joseph C. Rosheit of Albany says of the difficulty he is in through having saved the money To build him a house without having arranged for a place to put. Mr. Rosheit is so modest in his desires, wanting, as he expresses it, only “some mud”’ to put his little house on, that my heart goes out toward him and I feel that he ought to have it or something better. I have some land, bought with the savings of many years of labor, partly at a trade much more laborious and a thousand times dirtier than that of Mr. Kosheitfs. On. This land I fondly hope to put a little house myself one of these days, but if Mr. Rosheit will put his hand on his heart and say that he honestly thinks he is as much entitled to that land as I am, he shall have some of it.
I will not say all of it, for I presume Mr. Rosheit will not go so far us to deny that I’m as much entitled to it as he is. Nor will I divide even with him, for he admits that he only wants enough to put a little house on, and I have a number of acres. But I will give Mr. Rosheit a piece of land 25×100 feet in size, which is as large as the plot usually occupied by millionaires like Jay Gould here in New York, and it is not much, but as good land as lies in this state, and covered with trees, so that he can cut off just such a s he chooses for timbers for his house, and leave standing what he needs for shade. The only conditions I will attach to the gift will be that he shall build a house and continue to live in it with his family, and that, in event of his selling or renting his house he shall not sell or rent the land, but it shall revert to me in trust for the next man who wants a piece gratis to put his little house on. This land is in Westchester county, and not over twenty miles from the New York city hall.
But I have no idea that Mr. Rosheit will accept my offer. Mr. Rosheit would probably prefer a piece about a quarter of a mile from the city hall in Albany—say on State street. And probably Mr. Rosheit finds that every available spot of the kind is pre-empted by fellows who cannot understand that us soon as a man has the potentiality of a little house in his inside pocket he wants a place to put it, and he wants it right where he wants it, too!
However, my offer is in good faith, and when Mr. Rosheit is honestly ready to accept it (within twelve months, say) you can give him my name and address.
As Mr. Rosheit’s business is in Albany he probably wants his “mud” near there. The distance from his house in Westchester county to his business in Albany would be too far. He does not want a piece of “mud” that some one else has already put a house on, however, but a piece that nobody else is using, and if some one near Albany will repeat your offer there is little doubt that he will accept the terms.
But you do not meet the demand that is made nor is your offer wholly unselfish. If you were to make the offer to anyone who would accept the terms, whoever accepted would be under a load of taxes. The better his house the higher his tax. To make the offer analogous to what is sought through placing all taxes on land values you must agree that whoever accepts shall have all his taxes paid—internal revenue, customs, state, town, county and all—on condition that he pays in lieu of all these taxes the annual value of the lot. Make such an offer generally and it will not go begging.
We repeat that your offer as made is not wholly unselfish. Very far from it If Mr. Rosheit accepted your offer you would find it easier to get some one to accept a similar offer for another small piece, and easier still to get a third person to take up another small piece, and so on until a little village was built u p on your land. The land that remained would then be worth much more than it is now, and with the value of another small part of it you could put up that little house of your own which you do not appear to have been able to do with the wages of your labor. It would be a good speculation.
Best Use of Land—Natural Right of a Queen
New York.—(1) In answering Joseph P. Boyle (page 3, issue of July 30), it is said: “One of the objects of the land value tax is to compel the best use of valuable land.” Now, will not that tax tend to compel the most remunerative use rather than the best? If it will, can it fail to increase mere money making uses of sites, and, by such increase, proportionately decrease uses which now are less productive or remunerative, but still such uses as it is for the interest of the community to encourage (e. g., athletic grounds, summer hotels, library buildings, mission buildings, exhibitions, gardens, etc.)? That is, where a site is now used for a drug store, will not the tax make it more likely, and, in some cases, certain, that a liquor saloon, dance hall or some other better paying business, be substituted? Or, to put the matter theoretically, does not your tax compel the land to its most productive use, instead of that use which is most politic, all things considered? Of course the tendency is so now, but will it not be an additional push in that direction, and an effectual one?
(2) Also, theoretically, this question suggests itself to me: In talking of the right of the people to the soil, how can you limit the right so as to shut any human being out from any purl of the earth’s surface? To put it in concrete form: “Is not Queen Victoria a part owner, by natural right, in the soil of New York state, and hence entitled to share in the proceeds of your land value tax?” If she is, what right has any government to say what shall be done with her share of the revenues? Arguments are sometimes far-reaching, and the latter question, in various forms, has often been asked me. If your answer is based on custom and expediency, where do you find the moral right argument?
(1) The most remunerative use of land for private purposes will be found invariably to be the best use. It is a good thing to have athletic grounds, but it is better that they should be in the suburbs than on Wall street or lower Broadway. Summer hotels are good things, but the best as well as the most remunerative locations are at the seaside, on mountains or in the open country, and not on the valuable lands of New York, San Francisco or Chicago. Mission buildings will not be desirable when the land value tax is in full force, for there will be no people so poor that they cannot maintain their own churches in their own communities. Libraries, exhibitions, gardens and even athletic grounds should be public institutions; but even as private institutions the best place for them would be the place where they would be most remunerative. The liquor business will not be so profitable when the land value tax is fully enforced.
(2) No one is owner or part owner of any soil in the sense of being a landlord as that term is commonly understood. But every one has an equal right to the natural and social opportunities of the community in which he lives. The members of a community are entitled to occupy at pleasure any unused land and to enjoy equally with the others the value of any land to which. The community gives value, but manifestly no one is entitled to those rights in two countries at once. If Queen Victoria became an inhabitant of New York she would be entitled to her share of all those values that the presence of people here gives to the value of its land, and which but for their presence would have no value. She is not entitled to remain in London and draw an unearned income from the people of New York.
Brooklyn, N. Y.—(1) Could a farmer working on free land raise as many potatoes to the acre as he could if he paid $100 for the land?
(2) Would the potatoes be cheaper or dearer in consequence of having been grown on free land?
(1) It would depend upon the fertility of the land. There is land worth $1,000,000 an acre on which not so many potatoes could be raised as on other land worth little or nothing. Assuming the land to be equally fertile, and to differ in value only on account of its situation, the answer is yes.
(2) In the same market there would be no difference in value between potatoes grown on free land and those grown on valuable land.
An Ingeniously Frivolous Question
A young friend of mine raises an objection to the single tax on land values. He thinks that it might become an engine of oppression in the hands of a rich man. Ho cites the following illustration as an example of what might be done:
A possesses a lot valued at $1,000. B possesses one also of same value adjoining A’s. A erects a house on his costing $10,000—occupied as a store, etc., and paying a good rent. B has a house on his costing §2,000, and paying as good a rate of interest, on the investment as A’s. He claims that A will increase the rent of his property enough to pay the single tax, and as fast as the state increases the assessment he will increase his rents. And, if he be in collusion with his tenant. Will keep on increasing the value of his let, so that all the lots adjoining will have to pay the same tax, forcing business men into bankruptcy and eventually reducing the value of the lots to a minimum, and enabling A, whom, I forgot to mention, was a very rich man, to gobble up all those lots for his own benefit. The young man does not think that a tax or rent is transferable. If you will elucidate this example I will be much obliged.
If your friend means that A will increase his rents, and that the tenants will pay the increase in good faith, the simple answer is that it cannot he done unless the land has increased in value, in which case A will have to pay a higher tax. Neighboring owners would also have to pay a higher tax, but they would not object because they would be occupying land that was more profitable to them than before.
But if A was in collusion with his tenants—that is, if they pretended to pay higher rents, when, in fact, they did not—values in the neighborhood would not be affected, and consequently taxes would not increase. If other owners, deceived by A’s apparent high rents, tried to raise their rents, they would soon learn, in the refusal of tenants to pay the increase, that their land was no more valuable than before. Business men cannot be forced into bankruptcy by the land value tax, because the tax can never take more from them for public benefit than they receive from the public in land value. It will always leave them the full earnings of their labor and capital. Under such a system no one will suffer unless he does not earn. Under the present system a man, though he earn plentifully, may be reduced to bankruptcy by the public and private taxes which he is forced to pay out of his earnings. Your friend, who thinks that a tax on rent is transferable, may think that twice four are ten. This thinker needs polishing.
Shifting the Tax—The Shanty and the Palace
Washington, D. C.—I desire to ask a few questions of The Standard on matters not quite clear to me, and which, from the questions asked, seem not clear to many of your readers.
(1) As to the shifting of a land value tax. Is not the difficulty in the understanding of this due to an indistinct conception of what is meant? Assuming all taxation is placed upon land values, a capitalist builds a house and rents it. The tenant, of course, pays a rental which gives the capitalist the current rate of interest, and also reimburses him for the land tax. The capitalist, as a land owner, thus obtains nothing, since that which he obtains from the tenant over and above the current return for his capital he pays over to the state as a tax. If he attempts to charge more than this, one of two things must happen. If the increased charge is due to his endeavor to obtain a greater return for his invested capital, and if he can get it from the tenant, other capital will be attracted to that locality, and so reduce the rental to the current rate of interest. If, however, every house owner in the vicinity is enabled to charge an increased rental, it shows that land values have increased in that locality, and an increased ground tax will take all the rental over and above the proper return for capital invested. House owners would soon grew tired of arbitrarily increasing rent merely for the privilege of handing over the increase to the state in the shape of a tax. The tax, however, will be paid in every case by the tenant, and in that sense the tax will be shifted on to the tenant, but without any accruing profit to the capitalist. But this I do not understand is what is meant by shifting a tax. To shift the tax, as I understand, would be for the tenant, who is the real monopolizer of that particular lot of ground, to charge an increased price for what he has to dispose of owing to the advantage of his location. If this is a correct understanding of what is meant, then it is evident that he cannot shift the tax. The value of the commodities he has to dispose of are governed by the laws of supply and demand. Wheat, for example, brings the same in New York city, whether raised on land worth $100 an acre in New York state or on land worth $1.25 an acre in Dakota. And the merchant on Broadway charges no more for a yard of cloth than the country storekeeper at Ballston’s cross roads. The advantage of his location, which gives it a high rental value, gives him large sales and quick profits, which reimburse him for his higher rental. Is my view of shifting taxes correct?
(2) Apropos of the $100 shanty adjoining the $100,000 palace, which has been frequently mentioned, and which The Standard offers to explain on being referred to an actual case, I have the case. A number of years ago in this city owing to many public improvements in a certain section of the city which had previous to that time been quite disreputable, it became very fashionable, and is today the aristocratic part of the city. For several years there might have been seen, located between two elegant houses, the residences of United States senators, a small one-story, whitewashed shanty, occupied by a person named A. Coffin, whose occupation was very appropriately that of an undertaker. He received many good offers for his place, but having exorbitant views as to its value, he would not sell. But as the value increased taxes increased, until at length he could no longer pay his assessments, his place was sold at a tax sale, and he obtainedonly a small part of what he might have obtained at a private sale. An elegant residence, owned by Senator Palmer of Michigan now occupies the site. Now, Coffin was clearly a dog in the manger, and was at h-st driven out. By the operation of existing laws. In a similar case under the proposed system of taxation, would the eventual result have been any harder on A. Coffin, undertaker? Would he not rather be benefited by having free land to which he could go?
(3) Some of your correspondents seem to be afraid that in the new order of things an inimical rich man could harass, annoy and ruin a poor man by offering the state a higher tax for the poor man’s home, and so compel the poor man, either to pay a ruinous tax or else abandon it. Why don’t these correspondents, or the supposed rich man, do the same thing now? I have never heard of such a case, although I have known a good many covetous persons who would like to acquire possession of property in such a simple way. In return for the information I am seeking, I will say that in the District of Columbia land and the improvements on it are assessed independently and separately, and the assessors don’t seem to experience much difficulty estimating the ground value of a lot which is built upon.
Arthur S. Browne.
(2) Mr. Collin was, as you say, a dog-in-the-manger. He was a land speculator to be got rid of, not a poor man to be pitied. The proposed system of taxation would not have operated any more harshly on Mr. Coffin than the existing law, which finally drove him out; but it would have operated more quickly. And under the proposed system Mr. Coffin would have been in better condition, for he could have gone to free land; whereas, under the present system, he had to buy or rent another place. Please observe that Mr. Coffin’s is not an actual case. Of a poor man occupying a shanty alongside of a millionaire’s palace, such a s we promised to explain. Mr. Coffin was a land miser, not a poor homestead owner.
(3) One all-sufficient reason why the covetous rich man does not now harass house owners by offering to pay higher taxes is because taxes are assessed by the community, and there is no one to whom the covetous rich man can make his offer. The same reason would hold good under the proposed system.
The Land Tax and the Tariff
Lowell, Mass.—A friend of mine admits the advantage of a single land tax, but being a high tariff protectionist, he fails to connect on that point. He says England can manufacture cheaper than we can, the price of labor being lower. That her proportion of artisans to farmers are as three of tree former to one of the latter. That to introduce free trade and oblige us to become the farmers and feeders of the old world would more than offset the good effects of land nationalization unless the same was universal. He claims that such a proceeding would benefit England more than America, and the landlords of England in particular. As looked at from his standpoint, he would suggest a high tariff in conjunction with a land tax, until the latter became universal. Please help me out with this case, and oblige.
Get your friend to read “Protection or Free Trade?” and call his attention particularly to the nineteenth chapter.
Bishop Nulty and the Land Doctrine
Memphis, Tenn.—I inclose a clipping from the Indianapolis, Ind., Journal of July 31. Containing an interview with the Catholic bishop of Vincennes, who stated that he understood that the statement that Bishop Nulty preached the doctrines espoused by Dr. McGlynn has been contradicted by Bishop Nulty.
Is Bishop Chatand correctly informed? Has Bishop Nulty changed his opinions?
He is not correctly informed. Bishop Nulty has not changed his opinions. They are to be found in his letter to the clergy and laity of the diocese of Meath, published as a tract, No. 27, in our Land and Labor library.
William Lochead, New York.—Labor on land does not increase its value, except indirectly, by making it more desirable for others to live in the neighborhood of such land. Therefore we do not propose to increase a man’s taxes because he has improved his land; on the contrary, the tax will fall only on the value which is due to enhanced demand. Under the present system of taxation a man is taxed for his improvements, whether his land values increase or not. This we propose to abolish.
J. P., New York.—Read “Progress and Poverty.”
M. Lemmer, Marathon City, Wis.—You do not comprehend either the question of Mr. Phillips or the answer. There would be no bidding for opportunities. The value of opportunities would be determined, as now, by the demand for them and transactions between occupiers and those seeking to occupy, and when determined the tax would be imposed. If you read again the question and answer to which you refer, bearing in mind that there would be no bidding of government, we think you will be satisfied.
A. B. L., West Farms, N. Y.—If two parties should want a piece of land, one being in possession and the other out, they would dicker between themselves as they do now. If an exchange was made, the transaction would tend to indicate the market value, as such transactions do now. If an exchange were not made, a single offer for the land would not determine its value, but several offers for that or similar land would be apt to. When the tax was raised to a point where it absorbed all rental value, land would have no selling value and the tax would be based on the rent that those who desired particular land would pay for it; not on what one man might be willing to pay, but on the rental that general demand would fix.
M., Albany, N. Y.—The land is not covered with buildings in our great cities. New York is our greatest city, and it is not half built upon. There is plenty of vacant land in every city. To say that if a man did not like the terms on which shelter was offered him he could, land being free, build a shelter for himself, is to illustrate the principle that land being free men are free. But it is not to say that men would individually do this. It would not be necessary. When land is freed, industry is freed—not only the industry of one man who wants a house, but industry generally. And when industry generally is free, a monopoly price cannot be charged for anything, for men generally turn their labor to the production of those things which command monopoly prices. Thus, if a man were dissatisfied with the house rent demanded of him. He could build a shelter for himself. It might be a poor shelter, but it would be a shelter, and one which he cannot build now without a land owner’s permission. He would not do that, however, for there would be an ample number of houses from which he could choose one, and his opportunities for remunerative labor would be so ample also that he would have no difficulty in paying for such a house as the worth of his-labor entitled him to occupy.
P. J. Sutton, Akron, O.— Your letter was received too late for answer by mail. The reason that all farm land has a value today is that. All land within the radius of commercial industry is in use or coracred, and a man must either pay for land or go without. But a full tax on land values would throw open all unused land, and thus increase the market, supply. Then until demand for use equaled supply, there would be unappropriated land: and all land. Though appropriated, which was no more desirable than that which was unappropriated, would have no value, and consequently pay no tax. It is not true that land has a value as soon as occupied. It is only when there is no unoccupied land equally desirable. If a man were holding vacant land and abandoned it on account of the tax, that land would be a common until some one was willing to appropriate it and pay the tax. If it remained a common for any considerable time, the tuxes cm occupied land equally productive in the same neighborhood would fail until “they reached a point of taxation at which there would be an inducement to occupy the common land. That point might be some what below the present tax or might be at zero, and when it was reached the basis of taxation, not only on the unoccupied land, but also on all neighboring occupied land, would be determined. Read again and studiously chapter 2 of book 3 of “Progress and Poverty.”
M. P. Ford, Kansas City.—Give to us all the land and to you all the money, and if we chose to we would soon show you who held the lever of oppression. You of the west do not have the land, as you claim. In point of value, which is the main thing, there is more land in the city of New York than in the agricultural districts of many western states,—the government, not bankers, should issue money—it is the law, not the material of which money is composed, that makes money.
Matthew P. Cants, Brooklyn, N. Y.—Yours is a question that you should lay before some lawyer in when you have confidence.
Yet Pittsburgh Orators Talked About “Our Country” on the Fourth of July
Pittsburgh Trades Journal.
Judging by surface indications it would seem that the teachings of Henry George have made but little stir in Pittsburgh, yet this city strikingly illustrates the legal robberies perpetrated under our present system of land tenure. One who cares to investigate has to go but a short distance out Penn avenue to sec the beauties of the law by which one family can tax an entire city. In the twelfth ward, where great industrial establishments display Pittsburgh’s achievements, there stands a large mill, erected within the last few years. It is one of Pittsburgh’s representative workshops, the product of which is shipped to all parts of the continent. The company operating this mill owns the buildings, but for the privilege of occupying the ground, for the opportunity to increase Pittsburgh wealth, for the chance to give employment to several hundred of Pittsburgh workmen, this company has to pay $8,000 per year to an English family. The ground occupied by this company belongs to the great Schenley estate. Generations ago, a revolutionary soldier secured a grant of this land when it was of little value and now his descendants, born citizens of a foreign country, are by law enabled to rob Pittsburgh labor of a certain amount each year, for we all know that labor alone must pay the rent.
Yet this is only one of the many Pittsburgh industrial establishments taxed to keep up a family of English snobocracy. The Atlas works, Hussey, Binns & Co.’s factory, the Westinghouse machine company’s shops and one of the French spring works are merely a few of the leading Pittsburgh industries from which this unholy tax is exacted. The Schenley heirs, who have no moral right in the world to this land, take the following plan of bleeding Pittsburgh enterprise: When a manufacturer wants a piece of ground he gets a lease by paying annually six per cent of the highest valuation placed upon that ground by the city authorities. In addition he must pay all taxes, and stand all improvements, such us guiding, paving and sewer construction. A manufacturer who leases on those terms from the Pittsburgh representative of the Schenley family, said to the writer a few days since: “It is robbery, just as clear as any ever committed by a burglar, but what can we do? It is law.”
It is estimated that Pittsburgh pours $890,000 annually into the coffers of the Schenley family. Eight hundred thousand each year wrung from the sweat of Pittsburgh mill workers and spent abroad by an English family, not a living member of which ever did one thing, or donated one dollar, to increase the material wealth of Pittsburgh. They will not even deign to live here, and know Pittsburgh only by the plunderings they get from its people. Two hundred and fifty thousand dollars of hard- arned Pittsburgh money was once used by the founder of this noble “house to buy a sent in the British parliament, but his briberies were so flagrant that he was never allowed to take that seat. Thus we see the land question in Pittsburgh. This phase of the matter will never be touched upon by the clerical gentlemen who never, look beyond their study windows to see whether there is any foundation for the statements made by Henry George. But when these facts are fully appreciated by Pittsburgh workingmen, when these truths settle in their honest hearts, there will sweep over this city a wave of land reform which will exceed the George movement in New York.
A Logical Deduction
Toronto, Can., Grip, a humorous illustrated paper, publishes a full page cartoon, in which the earth is represented floating in space. On it stands a man who has kicked off everybody else into the surrounding other, and by the side of the man is the sign: “This earth belongs absolutely to landlords.” Grip makes the following comments on this cartoon: The proposition that all the members of the human family are equally entitled to the benefits of the land of this earth as clearly as to those of the air, water, or other natural elements, is self-evident. Nothing in the way of reason can be adduced in support of the opposite contention. That land is as essential as air to human sustenance proves that it was intended for all, and it is easily capable of demonstration that the poverty and suffering which keeps pace with the advance of civilization, is the outcome of this unnatural condition of things under which the majority are excluded from participation in the bounties of nature. The wrong would be righted if those who possess the land were obliged—as they ought to be—to yield a fair share of its benefits to their fellow mortals through the medium of taxation. In other words. All taxes should be levied on land values, instead of being divided as at present and levied chiefly on improvements. Our cartoon is one of Herbert Spencer’s ideas put in pictorial shape. Ownership carries with it the power of prohibiting trespass, and if the whole earth belongs to a few millions of landlords, each one of those landlords has the right to prohibit trespass it’ ho sees lit. It follows then that if the landlords acted in unison they could, under existing laws, evict the majority of the human race into the sea (which, for a wonder, nobody claims to own), or, what would amount to the same thing, off this planet altogether. Now, it is clear that there us something wrong about a basis of society from which this result could be logically reduced.
Yes, Indeed! All We Need is Wisdom to Utilize Our Inheritance
Trenton, N. J., Times.
The bureau of associated charities of Newark recently adopted an interesting report with reference to the restriction of immigration. Its views on this subject were expressed at the request of the Charity organization society of the city of New York.
The report starts out with the statement that viewed solely with reference to the relation between our population and resources for subsistence, there appears no reason for restricting immigration. Nevertheless we have to face the fact that in this land of infinite resource there is ever an army of the unemployed: that multitudes, willing to labor, are of ten idle, and abundant, capital is seeking investment in United States bonds’ at 2¼ per cent interest.
An authority says that out of the total number of establishments, such as mines, factories, etc. existing in the country, about five per cent were absolutely idle during 1885, and about a until men were idle who were seeking employment.
From this point of view it is pointed out that the problem would seem to be not one of multitude, but of distribution and competence, concerning which the policy at car national legislation must involve in their widest scope the subjects of taxation, transportation, internal improvement, education, land superintendence and others. If we have wisdom given to utilize our inheritance from the Creator any fulfillment of Malthusian prophesies in our country must be far off.
How Would Archbishop Corrigan Like to Live Under a Protestant Landlord of This Kind
The claims of the Oka Indians, whatever they are, personal or tribal, upon the lands which they occupy, if not upon tile whole reserve, seem to be at last in the way of reaching an unbiased tribunal. This is very desirable, as these claims have done the Indians . . . . nothing but harm so far, binding them to their tribal reserve and their tribal relation, under conditions in which they have to contest the right even to build a woodshed, and hindering them from striking out for themselves as free men and citizens dependent only on their own industry for their fortunes. The case that has arisen is doubtless the very best which could be carried to the courts. One of the properties on which a prescription of ninety years’ possession is said to exist is being prepared for the erection of a place of worship. Though the erection of a dwelling house on this lot would nor probably have been interfered with, the erection of a church is forbidden by the Roman Catholic seminary, who thus claim ownership or some kind of paramount lordship over the ground. Convinced of the validity of their claims to proprietary and other rights, the Indians have come to u settled determination to remain on the soil. The seminary. Though anxious to get rid of the Protestant Indians—not the Roman Catholics—has made no effort to evict them, although they pay no rent, but further than tolerating their existence, it has steadily resisted all their other claims, and went even the length of tearing down the former church. It offers and always has offered to pay the Indians for their houses and improvements and provide them farms elsewhere on the condition that all the Protestants remove, but this the Indians refuse.
Not a Foul—Only a Protectionist
Correspondent Cincinnati Enquirer.
I witnessed an amusing episode on the station platform at Niles the other evening while waiting for a train. A dozen citizens, the most of thorn apparently workingmen from the mills, were standing around, when a Yankee drummer put in an appearance and said:
“I should like to know if there are any Jim Blaine men around here?”
“Certainly: we’re all for Jim Blaine!” came back in a chorus.
“Glad to hear it. You are the kind of boys I like to meet,” said the drummer, and he back hands with them.
“We are for Blaine of Maine and protection,” said one, and then turning to a stranger, who seemed absorbed in his cigar, he inquired:
“Aren’t you for Blaine and protection?”
“I suppose so. Protection insures everybody high wages and plenty money, doesn’t it?”
“Then I’m for protection, and d—n a man who says it doesn’t make us all rich, happy and contented.”
“Now you’re talking,” said half a dozen. “You never have any strikes here, do you?”
“Oh, yes; very frequently. One of you?” biggest milts is closed now on account of the coke strike.”
“Strikes are all wrong.”
“Not much; they are all right.”
“But what makes you strike?”
“Because they try to put us on starvation wages.”
“The mill owners.”
“But they can’t do that.”
“Why can’t they?”
“Because protection won’t let them.”
“The mischief it won’t. You work in the mills awhile and you’ll find out differently. If all the manufacturing establishments in this country were run to their full capacity for one year it would take three years to consume the product. As soon as a big stock is made up they begin to grind down our wages, and we have to strike to prevent being put at the starvation point.”
“You must be mistaken,” said the cynic.
“How mistaken? Don’t I know what my own experience is? Toll me how I am mistaken?”
“Why, wages are high—high all the time.”
“You must be crazy.”
“Perhaps I am, but then I am a thorough protectionist and believe in it. Now, doesn’t the protective tariff secure the best wages for the workingman?”
“And don’t we have protection right along:”
“Well, then, I must be right when I tell you that wages are good—good all the time, and. There can’t be anything else while the protection lasts?”
“Do you know what I think you are?”
“I do not,” responded the cynical stranger. “You are a d—d fool.”
“Oh, no! I’m a protectionist!”
Sound Argument from a Texas Paper
Exception is taken by the New York World to the course pursued by Henry George in arguing much from conditions of living on Manhattan island. The World charges that George persists in looking at every matter of fact and theory from the point of view of the tenement house, district of New York city. Referring to the last census it perceives that the number of farms occupied by their owners is nearly 3,000,000. This does not tell what the speculators made between the government and the present owners, neither does it tell how many farmers are paying rent under the forms of mortgage. The World adds:
The number persons who own their homes in cities, villages larger than the number of farmers. In wide extents of country in the west and south, and even in the rural parts of the older states, the business of building houses for rent is practically unknown. The great majority of the village, hamlet and town dwellers own their own houses. In Philadelphia, Chicago and many other large cities the well-to-do artisan and mechanic class and the small tradesmen do the same. It is a radical defect in Mr. George’s philosophy that he makes New York the standard for the whole country, and when the facts do not fit his theories “so much the worse for the facts.”
If Mr. George’s argument is philosophically sound it is not to be upset by his choosing extreme instances of overcrowding to illustrate the growth of land values, nor yet by any overestimate on his part of the degree to which other sections of the country approach Manhattan island in conditions and results. If it is sound now it was sound when Manhattan island was the site of a village, and results everywhere will progressively illustrate it. If it should appear that there is a settled tendency by which fewer farmers will own mortgaged farms—for a mortgage is equal to renting—and that a smaller percentage of workers in the city will be able to own their own homes, Mr. George’s argument will stand, good against the line of attack chosen by the World. The thing practically unknown in some remote places would become too well known everywhere in the future. There is, however, no part of the country where the business of holding land for a rise is unknown, or where the building and renting of houses is not affected by withholding from use land, including rock and ore and timber.
Admits the Truth, but Thinks Truth Has No Chance Nowadays
Shoe and Leather Reporter.
The policy of levying taxation exclusively upon land is by no means an original idea of Henry George’s. It exercised the minds of many students of political economy before he was heard of. There is much to be said in its favor—so much, indeed, that, if it were practicable to adopt it, we should be quite willing to witness a trial of the experiment. Monopoly in land is unquestionably an evil. It is felt less in this than in other countries but it would be a very desirable thing if we were wholly exempt from it. English statesmen have eloquently declaimed against it in the United Kingdom, where a few individuals not firmly own the soil, but use it to minister to their pleasure, and greatly restrict its productiveness. We have not the slightest disposition to antagonize Mr. George’s theory as an abstract proposition. But we must take things as they are, and we cannot understand how Mr. George proposes To overcome the existing fact that all the desirable land in the world is property, and that to impose upon it the entire burden of taxation would be virtually confiscation.
What a Splendid Thing—for the Findlay Landlords
If the oldest inhabitant happens to live in Findlay, O., he finds things quite different now. The city has leased ground, sunk two gas wells and supplies gas to the citizens at five cents and heated for each burner and fifteen cents a month for each stove. About $10 a year will keep a house lighted from cellar to garret and heated throughout. All the citizen has to do in the morning is to light a match and turn a faucet and in five minutes he can have his stove rod hot. There is said not to be a pound of coal nor a cord of firewood in the town.
The State Convention
The first state convention of the united labor party will meet at Syracuse on Wednesday next. It will unquestionably be a large and representative gathering of the authorized representatives of that great and growing body of voters in this state who are weary of the senseless contest for mere spoils between two parties that represent only dead issues and the prejudices and passions arising out of a contest long since ended. The desire for a new party to deal with the living issues of the present was demonstrated last fall by the movement in this city that resulted in the casting of nearly seventy thousand votes for the labor candidate, and caused the formation of the united labor party as a permanent political organization.
It requires no gift of prophecy to foretell with substantial accuracy the principles that will be enunciated in the platform of the new party at the coming convention. Young as it is, it already has a history that clearly indicates its plans and purposes. The movement of last fall originated with the Central labor union, a body that represents the various associations of organized workingmen in this city. Though this union is chiefly occupied with what might be called the business side of the movement of organized labor, it had a political origin, and has, throughout its existence, insisted that through political action only can a permanent solution of the labor problem be achieved. The Central labor union grew out of a meeting held early in 1882 to express the sympathy of New York workingmen with the people of Ireland in their revolt against landlordism The first plank in its platform reads as follows:
The land of every country is the common inheritance of the people of that country, and hence all should have free and equal access to its settlement.
The remainder of the platform is in accord with this. Its leading idea, and it urges a combination of all producers in a political party to promote and maintain their interests. Nothing could be more natural, then, than that a new political party called into being by this body should adopt a platform aiming “at the abolition of the system which compels men to pay their fellow creatures for the use of God’s gifts to all, and permits monopolies to deprive labor of natural opportunities of employment,” and declaring that whereas the advantages arising from social growth and improvement belong to society at large, we aim at the abolition of the system which makes such beneficent inventions as the railroad and telegraph a means for the oppression of the people, and the aggrandizement of an aristocracy of wealth and power.” Having thus declared its principles, it was equally natural that the new party should choose a candidate known to represent them. The principles set forth in the Clarendon hall platform have been reaffirmed, and it is therefore practically certain that they will be embodied in the platform adopted at Syracuse, and that included with,them will be a strong declaration demanding that the federal government shall assume over all forms of the currency the powers conferred on it by the constitution over the currency of coin contemplated by that instrument. To these ought to be added a demand for the adoption of the Australian system of voting, for the purpose of taking out of an election the influence of money and coercion. These radical reforms are those to which the new party looks as remedies for existing economic, social and political evils.
So far as candidates are concerned, nothing can be predicted, no “slate” has been made up, and, for the first time in the history of recent politics in this state, the naming of the whole ticket will, to quote the famous Dean Richmond story, “be left to the convention.” The disposition of the New York city delegation appears to be to press no candidate for office, but to take whatever course may be deemed most expedient by delegates from other parts of the state, only insisting that a full state ticket composed of men thoroughly representing the party’s principles shall be put in the held.
Though politicians and partisan newspapers affect some doubt and confusion of thought concerning “the various labor parties,” there is no question as to which is the labor party that they fear, and which is the party that they cannot hope to control in their own interests. There is but one new political party in New York worth considering as a serious factor in the coming canvass, and that is the united labor party. Whatever the union labor party may be elsewhere, it is in this state ridiculous, or worse. Those managing it were not prominent in the movement of last fall, and they represent no body of voters worthy of consideration. The candidates to be nominated at Syracuse next week are those who will receive the votes of those people in this city and state who intend to cut loose from the old parties and force a fight on the new issue of industrial slavery, which has come to the front since the overthrow of chattel slavery.
The political situation in this state on the entrance of this new force into politics is interesting. The voting population of the state was never more evenly divided between the two old parties than it was last fall, when the new party sprang into existence. Cleveland received, in 1884, 563,048 votes and Blaine 562,001. Cleveland’s plurality was but 1,047 in a total vote of 1,167,052, or less than one in a thousand. Of the remaining votes Butler received 17,002 and St. John 25,001. At the state election, in 1885, Hill received 501,465 votes to 490,331 for Davenport, thus giving a democratic plurality of 11.134 on a total vote of 1,026,239. The prohibition vote at that election was 80,867 and the greenback vote 2,130. This was not for Hill so close a shave as Cleveland had, but it was a minority of the whole vote, and the plurality was but a little over one in a hundred. It is not what politicians consider a “safe” plurality. At the election last year the vote was light outside of New York city, where the entrance of the united labor party into the contest brought out a vote but little short of that in the presidential contest. Peckham, democratic candidate for court of appeals, received 468,815 votes; Daniels, republican, 461,018; Groo, prohibitionist, 80,437, and McParlin. Greenbacker, who received but 7 votes in New York city, 2,766 votes. Peckham’s plurality was but 7,787 in a total vote of 970,807, or much less than one in a hundred.
Had McParlin been nominated by a labor party representing both city,and state, and the city labor votes been given to him, he would, supposing that he received no more in the country, have had 70,859 votes, while Peckham’s vote would have been 429,934 to 442,467 for Daniels, giving the latter a plurality of 15,533. Seeing that such results were attainable last year, there is excellent reason for trepidation among politicians of the old parties this year, when, not only in New York city, but in Brooklyn, the united labor party is organized in every district, while a possibly less perfect organization has been accomplished throughout the state. The republicans can, of course, contemplate the results in New York city with complacency, but they nevertheless view with undisguised apprehension the possible inroads that the new movement may make on their,vote in the state, and for this reason, and because of the dependence of their party machine on rich monopolists, they are among the most bitter assailants of the new party.
The common hatred of the old parties for the united labor party has caused some pestilent politicians of the O’Donoghue stripe to suggest a combination of the old parties, at least in this city. Nothing could better serve the new party than this, since the open acknowledgment that democrats and republicans are no longer divided on any question of principle, and that the managers of both are united in denying the rights of labor, would open the eyes of all workingmen remaining in either organization, and send them trooping by tens of thousands into the party of united labor. But no such good fortune is likely to fall to it, since, however ready mere monopolists may be to sacrifice all sentimental considerations, the active politicians of the old parties will not risk the demoralization of their regular forces the year before a presidential election.
Nor is this the only consideration that would restrain political leaders from relaxing party lines just now. There is no sincere harmony in either of the old’’parties, and it will require all the arts of their leaders to hold them together this fall. The Platt ring is supreme in the republican organization; ex-Senator Millens friends are angry and sulking, and Hiscock, the new senator, is watching keenly his chances to snatch the prize of supremacy from both those now snarling and quarreling over it. In the democratic party matters are no more satisfactory. Though Governor Hill has probably abandoned his hope of succeeding Cleveland, there is no cordial union between the partisans of the two throughout the state, while in this city Tammany and the county democracy hate each other none the less since the rise of the united labor party compelled them to sleep in the same political bed. The county democracy assumes that Tammany has been the chief sufferer by the new movement, and proposes that its hated partner shall hereafter put up with a percentage of the joint profits proportioned to its reduced strength. Though Tammany invented the Hewitt life raft, it has not profited by the desperate expedient, and in the division of spoils the counties have received the oysters and Tammany the shells. To calmly propose to the latter now to settle down to shells as a steady diet raises their gorge, and they are none the happier because their boss, Croker, finds his natural preference for oysters gratified. They are beginning to ask who Croker is, any way, and what he ever did for Tammany, unless it was to drive thousands of working men to hate it, and to deliver the braves over as bond servants to the hated “counties.” This is plainly no time for the democratic bosses to slacken party lines.
Of course it is easy to say that the united labor party is also divided. The present clamor of the socialists is manifestly music to the ears of the old party press, but our foes are likely to draw false conclusions from the affair. The action taken by the county general committee was a step toward real unity, and was in response to a spontaneous demand that the socialists should disband their separate party or quit the united labor party. The executive committee of the party for a time opposed itself to the demand, but the county committee—the really representative body—by an overwhelming majority, decided to enforce the provision of the constitution, declaring that no one shall be a member of the united labor party who has not severed his connection with all other parties. The desperation with which the socialists have since tried to retain their position in the new party without surrendering their connection with their own organization offers conclusive evidence of their consciousness of weakness, while their now open attacks on the principles that they have secretly sought to undermine has justified their exclusion, This decided action removes a cause of dissension and opens the party’s doors to thousands of men in the labor movement who have held aloof simply because of their dislike for ideas charged upon the party because of the prominence of the very men who are now denouncing it because they cannot rule it. Incidentally this has had another fortunate result. The newspapers have taken up the cause of the socialists in a fashion that shows the utter insincerity of their former mad dog cry, and will weaken the effect of their attribution to the united labor party of ideas which do not belong to it.
On the eve of its first state convention, then, the outlook for the united labor party is eminently satisfactory to its friends. There is every reason to suppose that in New York city, entering the canvass this year thoroughly organized, it will east a much greater vote than it east last year, when it had but a hasty and incomplete organization, and that it will therefore easily carry the. city. No considerable loss of voters has been heard of in any district, while thousands of men who voted for one of the old party candidates a year ago because they thought a labor movement would, as usual, amount to nothing, have notified the district leaders that hereafter they shall vote with the united labor party. In Brooklyn, where the party has been fully organized, despite much opposition from that wretched class of professional politicians who are “labor men for revenue only,” it is hardly too much to expect that it will do proportionately as well as was done in New York last year with a less efficient organization. Should it draw from each of the old parties there the same percentage that it drew from them in New York, it will receive 16,678 democratic votes, and 10,111 republican votes, a total of 26,789, leaving to the republicans 33,861 votes and to the democrats 37,140. It is, of course, impossible to offer any close predictives concerning the vote in the state. For several years past the vote of the greenback- labor party has been about 13,000, though no special effort was made in its behalf. In 1878, when Gideon J. Tucker, now one of the leaders of the united labor party, ran as a greenback candidate for judge of the court of appeals, he received 75,133 votes, 73,145 of which were east outside of this city. The work of organization and propaganda carried on by the land and labor committee in the last six months has secured an organization of the united labor party throughout the state, and the probability is that the vote for its candidates will largely exceed that east nine 3Tears ago for Judge Tucker. Of course, it is idle to speculate as to totals for city and state, but a vote of more than 250,000 would be no surprise to those most familiar with the work done and the temper and enthusiasm of those who have entered the movement.
Such a result achieved this year in New York will encourage the friends of labor throughout the land to enter the presidential contest of 1888 with hopeful enthusiasm, and will greatly hasten the drawing of political lines on live issues and real principles.
The Things That Are Caesar’s
Professor W. G. Sumner has an article in the last number of the North American Review entitled “State Interference,” that curiously illustrates the inability of many learned men to draw natural, and, even obvious, conclusions, from the facts that they have laboriously gathered, In this instance Professor Sumner opens with a brief sketch of the growth of the tyranny of an all-powerful and intermeddling state in the Roman empire, which gives a really graphic picture of the worse than ordinary slavery inflicted on a people through the operation of any form of state socialism. This is followed by a sketch of the attempt in the middle ages to solve the labor problem for the skilled trades by guilds sometimes possessed of civil power and sometimes protected and sanctioned by the sovereign. The result in Rome was first to crush out all individualism, then all liberty, and finally the political life of the people. The guild system finally became a restraint on t h e necessary growth of the artisan class and a fetter on individual enterprise and industry.
Thus, looking back over history, Professor Sumner says—
that the interest of the individual and the social interest have been at war with each other, while, again, the interests of the individual in and through the society of which he is a member are inseparable from those of the society. Such are the two aspects of the relation of the unit and the whole which go to make the life of the race. The individual has an interest to develop all the personal elements there are in him. He wants to live himself out. He does not want to be planed down to a type or pattern. It is the interest of society that all the original powers it contains shall be brought out to their full value. But the social movement is coercive and uniformitarian. Organization and discipline are essential to effective common action, and they crush out individual enterprise and personal vanity. There is only one kind of co-operation which escapes this evil, and that is co-operation which is voluntary and automatic, under common impulses and natural laws.
Pessimistic, indeed, must be the political philosophy of a man who can thus clearly describe this apparently hopeless conflict between two beneficent powers and not seek the cause of the inevitable misunderstanding that lies at the root of every such quarrel. Such a conflict is as unnecessary as it is unnatural. Give back to society that which naturally belongs to it—that is, the land that it inherits and the values created by social growth and improvement—and the conflict is at an end. Then men will cease to monopolize that which they cannot use, and pay into the common treasury the value of any advantage that the land they do possess and use shall have over that which is practically free to all. Then the interests of society as a whole will be amply guarded, and the interest that the individual has through such society will be assured to him without any attempt at an impossible division.
The individual, on the other hand, will be free to apply himself to natural resources for the satisfaction of his own needs and the needs of those who serve his other wants, and the ever-increasing desires of civilized man will be the sufficient stimulus to a more effective and cheerful industry than could be expected from the subjects of Roman imperialism, or its modern successor, state socialism, on the other hand, the regulation attempted by the old time guild and the modern trade union would cease to be desired where all men were free to employ themselves and unrestricted freedom of exchange made general over-production impossible. The individual could then live out his life, free from the maddening fear of want, but sure that whatever be produced that was useful or pleasing to his fellows would find a ready market. On the other hand, this freedom from the slavery of poverty would pave the way for that “co-operation which is voluntary and automatic, under common impulses and natural laws,” which Professor Sumner truly says is the only desirable co-operation. The senseless war between society and the individuals composing it is a war concerning property, and its continuance is due to the failure to recognize, mark and permanently establish the boundary line between the property of all and the property of each. Yet the “image and superscription” that marks the distinction between the two species of property is as clear as that by which Christ marked the difference between things that were Caesar’s and things that were God’s.
In other matters Professor Sumner sees clearly enough that we have imported European blunders. “When the United States,” he says, “put upon their necks the yoke of a navigation and colonial system which they had just revolted against, they showed how little possible it is, after all, for men to see above the current notions of their time, even when geographical and economic circumstances favor their emancipation.” “We have,” he continues, “been borrowing old world fashions and traditions all through ‘our history, instead of standing firmly by the political and social. Philosophy of which we are the standard bearers.” We have indeed; and the most absurd and inconsistent of all our imitative acts was to blindly copy and apply to a vast continent the system of land tenure imposed by a robber baron on a small island, a system which had been made even worse by a parliament of landlords who selfishly exempted ownership in the soil from all obligation of service to the state. If Professor Sumner were, under favoring geographical and economic circumstances, to rise above the current notions of his time, he would see this truth, and instead of recommending a stupid and irrational resistance to the manifest tendency toward unwise and galling state interference, he would lend his assistance in so guiding this blind tendency that it would spend its force in giving to society that which naturally belongs to it, in restoring to the state those powers that properly belong to it as society’s instrument and agent, and in strictly limiting the state to the exercise of those necessary powers without curtailing individual liberty and growth.
The humane efforts of the United States and Canadian governments to protect the lives of codfish and mackerel are worthy of recognition by Mr. Bergh’s society. Canada punishes the American who catches fish, and the United States imposes a fine upon the Canadian who tries to sell fish. The real secret of the trouble is that”Americans have a depraved and unnatural appetite for fish, and contumaciously persist in eating them in defiance of the well-meant efforts of the two governments to extirpate the evil of fish killing. This evil should be attacked at the root, and fish eating be made a crime punishable by imprisonment without the alternative of a fine. If the possession of fish bones, scales, sounds or tails, or of fishing rods, lines, bait or little brown jug were made prima facie evidence of guilt, the fish habit would be as completely destroyed as is the whiskey habit in a prohibition town— Bangor, Me., for example. The present half way method of reform only makes fish come more expensive to the American people without in the least lessening their reprehensible liking for the article.
The Anti-Poverty Excursion
The arrangements for the grove meeting and excursion of the Anti-poverty society at Oriental grove on Saturday, Aug. 13, are completed.
Dr. McGlynn, Rev. Hugh O. Pentecost and Henry George will deliver addresses.
Edward J. McConnell will be the captain of the guards for the day, and will be assisted by four officers and one hundred members of the society, whose duty it will be to maintain order and otherwise look out for the comfort of those who attend the meeting.
Joseph P. McCloskey will have charge of the dancing on the boats and at the grove, and will have four assistants and a floor committee.
The boats will start as follows: Foot of West Eleventh street, 5:30 a. m.; foot of Broome, E. R., 9 a. m.; foot of Eighth, E. R., 9.30 a. m.; foot of East Thirty-second, 10 a. m. The boats must start on schedule time in order to avail themselves of the advantage of the tides. The boats will leave the grove at 5 o’clock, arriving in this city at the latest by half-past 7, landing at the various points of departure.
The music for the occasion will be furnished by the Sixty-ninth regiment band—twenty-two pieces.
Miss Munier’s chorus will render some of their anti-poverty songs at the grove, among them being a land and labor song set to the “Boulanger March,” which is now so popular in Paris, and which is beginning to be heard on our streets, and “Corrigan’s Curse.”
At 2 o’clock a match game of baseball will take place between two clubs of the St. Stephen’s boys.
The committee has made especial arrangements for refreshments, the quality to be first-class and at the following prices: Clam chowder, 15; cold roast beef, with hot potatoes, 20; cold boiled ham, with hot potatoes, 20; corned beef, with hot potatoes, 20; green corn, hot, 5; sliced tomatoes, 5; ice cream, 10; cake, 5; pie, 5; sandwiches, 5; coffee, 5; tea, 5; milk, ice cold, 5; lemon soda, 5; ginger soda, 5; sarsaparilla, 5; lemonade, 5.
A hot dinner will be furnished at the grove hotel for fifty cents, consisting of soups, meats, pudding or pie and tea or coffee, in sufficient quantities.
Those friends who are not able to take the regular excursion boats can reach the grounds by leaving James slip at 12:30, or East Thirty-fourth street ferry at 12:50, buying tickets for Great Neck— fare forty cents. Conveyances are run from Great Neck to the grove, four miles distant, the usual fare being twenty-five cents.
Those members who have not yet made returns for tickets will please do so at the earliest moment, so that the committee may close up their accounts…
Tickets will be sold at all the docks.
An Open Air Meeting Near Summit, N. J.
The Perine Mountain Home, near Summit, N. J., presented a scene last Sunday afternoon never before witnessed at that magnificent eminence. Farmers and villagers from the adjacent country assembled about the home to hear Dr. McGlynn speak on the new crusade. Tents were pitched and tables arranged for the accommodation of the people, many of whom came to the grounds early in the day, bringing their lunch with them. In the forenoon Dr. McGlynn and Dr. Charles P. McCarthy visited the tents, where not a few of the parishioners of St. Stephen’s and of those who had derived the benefits of the home established by Dr. McGlynn in connection with his church were found anxious to take him by the hand. When Dr. McGlynn began his address there were at least 1,000 persons standing before him, while many sat in the background in carriages. The audience, at first apparently somewhat critical and unmoved, gradually thawed under the doctors genial presence and attractive arguments, and soon all were listening attentively. Further on he was frequently interrupted by applause. When his speech was concluded the cheering was expressive of acceptance of his teachings and gratitude for the light that had been thrown on this subject. As the people passed down the mountain the cry was heard, “God bless Dr. McGlynn. New Jersey will be with him when the time comes.”
Ex-Mayor Wickham’s Views
In conversation with a writer for the Real Estate Record and Guide last week, ex-Mayor Wickham, speaking of politics said: “I think that the outlook favors the republicans. There is no principle at stake between the two parties, and neither side can rally all its forces at the next general election. This labor movement is a serious matter: much more so than politicians generally realize. An analysis of the last mayoralty. Vote is anything but reassuring to the democratic party. At least 15,000 republicans voted for Mr. Hewitt. Had they east their ballots for Mr. Roosevelt, the latter would have been elected and Mr. Hewitt would have been either second or third in the race. Then, of the 68,000 votes for George, eighty per cent were democratic. It is true that in the country districts there will be no labor vote, but in the cities and larger towns wherever the trades are organized there will be a good many votes east for the labor candidates. The labor vote in the state may reach any where from 125,000 to 175,000, of which the bulk will be ex-democratic votes.” He said, further. He was afraid that even the excitement of a presidential election would fail to draw back into the old parties the adherents of the new party. He regarded Dr. McGlynn as likely to be a power in the future, both in political and religions circles. He had no doubt that many priests sympathized with him. He spoke as neighbor a sympathizer with the labor people or Dr McGlynn, but was “merely estimating them impartially as forces in politics and currents of public feeling.”
Land and Labor is Massachusetts
North Adams, Mass.—We have a land and labor club here of fifty members; president, Willard M. Brown; vice-president, B. S. Myers; secretary, Andrew Paul. We have only been organized two weeks to-day, but we expect to have at least 500 voters ready for the battle of ‘88. We are resolved never to vote for another man unless he is a land reformer; we don’t propose to throw our votes away.
For inclosed remittance send twenty-five copies tract No. 7, “New York Docks,” and twenty-five No. 10, “A Mysterious Disappearance.
Andrew R. Paul.
We Don’t Know—It’s Pretty Hard to Tell What His Ideas Are
Newport, R. I.—After puzzling for some time as to the drift of Professor Edward Atkinson’s chain of reasoning, I have concluded that a state of affairs which would be entirely satisfactory to him would be to have land owners take the entire produce of the country, wages and interest being nothing; laborers and capitalists subsisting on a soup made of the crumbs which fell from the land owners’ tables, and wearing their east off clothing. If this is not his idea, I apologize to him; but does it not look that way?
John S. Walters.
A very swell dinner recently in New York began with raw oysters, tiny ones, opened on the shells, the outsides of which had been burnished until they were tit, for jewelry. They were served in frames of twisted and silvered wire, each holding ten bivalves—[Paterson, N. J., Guardian.]
Coroner Eidman of this city was lately called to investigate the cause of death of Frederick Splecker, a new horn baby. The child died from want of nourishment and the intense heat. The baby’s birth was taken to the morgue, as the mother had no money to bury it with.
Alfonzo XIII, king of Spain, was just one year old on the 17th of last May. He is paid 7,000,000 pesetas a year, which nearly equals $l,500,000. — [Chicago Herald.]
During a legislative committee’s investigation as to child labor in Massachusetts at Boston, witnesses testified that the factories are crowded with children under fourteen, who toil all the year round, and that boys of twelve or thirteen work for 23 cents a day.—[St. Paul Pioneer-Press.]
Huckleberry picking excursions are very popular among the cottagers at Ocean Beach, N. J. The huckleberry bushes in the adjacent woods are loaded with fruit. And the cottagers find the picking a welcome relief from country hotel ennui.
In a wretched hovel at Elizabeth, N. J., an aged woman. Ann Masters, was found dead one day recently, and another woman. Mary Sullivan, aged eighty-two, was starving to death, having had no food in six days.
The “Western New York association” has announced an advance of twenty-five cents a ton on the price of coal.
Mr. Benjamin Coleman of Deerfield, N. J., remonstrated wish a lightning rod agent who had fleeced him of $84. The agent laughed and said: “You are a lucky duffer. I paid $4,000 for the wit and knowledge I got, and you are getting yours for $84.”
The saloon keepers of Newark are considering a proposal to advance the price of beer from six to eight cents a pint.
Henry Lovy, son of a Grand street dry goods merchant, visited the pool barges off Weehawken and lost several hundred dollars at the “sweat game.” The money belonged to his fat her. Levy then attempt ed suicide, first by drowning and then with a revolver, but was prevented.
George Work, son of Frank Work, who has been stopping at the Elberon hotel, Long Branch, this season, undertook to break the monotony lately by riding his horse up six steps into the West End hotel bar room, where he and his horse had several drinks together. He then went to the Howland hotel, where the same antics were performed.
The New York Times says that over 15,000 people nightly patronize the cheap lodging houses on Park row and the Bowery. The usual price is twenty-five cents a night, or $1.50 a week.
Peter Nepler. A young German, was attacked in Pittsburgh lately by several members of what is known as the “Owl gang” and beaten so badly that ho died from the effects. The murder is the culmination of a long series of lawless acts perpetrated by the worst gang in the city.
A recent issue of the New York Herald says the five-story tenement house, No. 437 West Fifty- second street, containing one hundred residents, was left, for three days without a drop of water. A Herald reporter who visited the house said: “A noxious smell came from the every closet and filled the narrow, dark halfs. The house seemed a veritable sweat box. Here and there a pallid-laced woman was to be seen, with moistened brow and the minimum amount of clothing necessary for decency, moving wearily about her household duties. Dirty, crying children were on the cheerless stairs. It was a striking tenement house scene. One of the women explained that during the water famine the tenants on the fifth floor had to go down four flights of “stairs and go into the next house or a cross the street to get water enough to drink and wash with. All had to get water in this way. Had the scarcity continued longer, she said, she had no doubt disease would have resulted, especially as the house stood next to a large stable.”
Charley Kiernan, a ten-year-old newsboy, humpbacked and lame, had secured a ticket for a ten days’ stay at one of the seaside sanitariums. The day before the party left Charley was arrest ed by the Children’s Aid society on the ground that his father ought not to send him out to sell papers. The boy was committed to the Catholic protector and is heartbroken at missing his excursion.
William K. Vanderbilt, who is still in London, has leased Beaufort castle, Lord Lovat’s new and picturesque seat in Inverness, for two months, at a rental of $10,000. It is said to be the very ideal of a sporting estate.
Mrs. Eva Jackson entered Jefferson market court Thursday with rive little children clinging to her skirts. She said that she was destitute and could not care for them property. Her baby of seven mouths she had left at home, but she asked Justice Gorman to provide for the others in some charitable institution. He turned them over to the care of Mr. Gerry’s society, and four of the children, two girls and two boys, the eldest but eight years old, will he sent together to the house of industry. Mrs. Jackson couldn’t bring herself to part with two-year-old Eva nor the baby. Mrs. Jackson’s present home is at 708 Courtlandt avenue, Harlem. She says that she came to this country with her husband four years ago from Manchester, England, and they had had hard work to get along at all. Her husband had been ill and out of work a great part of the time, and now, sick and disheartened, he had disappeared. He had gone to New Haven for work. But could not give the required bond. And three weeks ago, after looking long and in vain for other work, he wandered off. Mrs. Jackson fears that he has committed suicide, and meantime she is left destitute.—[New York Sun.]
The Chicago Evangelization society has determined to open a three weeks’ mission in the district known in police circles by the malodorous name of “Little Hell.” The gospel tent will be pitched at the corner of Crosby and Division streets, and a thorough “house to house” work made in the neighboring district.
A Real Estate Paper Sees the Point
New York Real Estate Bulletin.
It is the land which is to be taxed instead of the improvements, the object being to secure the improvement of vacant land by making it unprofitable to hold it without improvements.
There is some sense in this theory. There is a growing conviction in the minds of thinking men that too little encouragement is offered to the development of unimproved property. Under existing conditions it is often more profitable to hold vacant property which is lightly taxed than to cover it with improvements which will be immediately pounced upon by the assessor without respect to their income producing qualities, so that if a man proposes to build a house for investment he has to consider whether it will be more profitable to improve his property that to let it alone. He reasons that immediately upon the completion of a building his taxes are sure to be increased in much greater ratio.
How Rapid Transit Provides Homes for Poor People
Hayes Valley, San Francisco, Advertiser.
Outside lands north of Point Lobos will now have another boom. On August 1a large force of men are to begin the grading for the steam road extension of the Jackson street cable road, running out to the Cliff house. This road will open up a tine building district, which, with ears to the ferry, North Beach and Market street, will be a desirable and healthy locality to live in.
The supreme court of Vermont has declared the boycott illegal. The next thing will be to compel us to buy where we do not want to. In fact, that is done now with the tariff.
The Name For the New Party
Much Interest Exhibited in the Subject—Many Names Submitted by “Standard” Readers
New York City.—What is the object of a party name? Manifestly to describe, as accurately as can be done in a single word, the party’s leading principle or object. What is the principle to whose advocacy our party is devoted? Justice. What do we expect to accomplish by the doing of absolute justice? We expect to bring about a state of society in which the golden rule shall be fulfilled, and all shall do to others as they would others should do to them. Who was the author of the golden rule? Christ. Then let us call ourselves the Christian party. Up With the cross of the new crusade, and Christians, strike home!
In adopting this name we should not be binding ourselves to the advocacy of any special form of theology. We are advocating the natural side of Christ’s gospel, not the supernatural. Whether Christ was the Son of God, who came to give His life as an atonement for men’s sins, or simply a mortal man, is a question that has no concern for us as a party. God or man, we know that Christ preached the doctrine of the fatherhood of God and the brotherhood of man which we are trying to bring into practice; and His name conveys the idea of that doctrine better than any other word that can be uttered. Let us call ourselves the Christian party, teaching and voting for the social laws of Christ.
East Orange, N. Y.—It would be a satisfaction to suggest a name that would be acceptable for our party. Yes, it would be an honor; for this now despised party is to become great and ignored and control the policy of the nation. The mimes of its chief founders will be placed with the highest upon the pages of history. And why? Because it seeks justice pure. And simple. The liberators! How does this name suit the readers of The Standard? It would be expressive because it is the object of our movement to liberate our fellows from the degradation, vice and crime that grow out of extreme poverty; to liberate men from the fear of want and the greed and dishonesty begotten of that fear; to liberate womenand children from the slavery of factory and shop, and their frequent soul-killing results; to liberate man from the subserviency of dependence, a dependence that destroys self-respect and prevents the growth of a healthy or full manhood: to liberate from the selfish groups of monopolies the bounties of nature, and thus open up opportunities to all to live and pursue happiness. That want may be the experience of none but those who refuse to labor, and our nation become, as it should be—the first and happiest among the peoples of the earth.
Waterford, N. Y.—Allow me to give my opinion, through your righteous paper, on the subject of naming the new party. We stand for justice, pure and simple; then what better same for our party than the “just party?”
J. F. K.
New York.—Having considered the popular idea of renaming our labor party, I would respectfully submit the following suggestive name: the “national redressive party”—a name that is not only aggressive but at the same time defensive.
O. L. Smith.
Providence, R. I.—“Progress and Poverty” teaches what the name of the new party should be “progressive.” Three converts I have made agree with me.
A. E. T.
Port Gibson, Miss.—Let an old Mississippi ku-klux and bulldozer suggest a name, and in the name of the All Omnipotent, let us call the new party the “non-boodle” party.
Iron Mountain, Mich.—Why not name the new party “equal rights,” thus fully signifying what it anus to accomplish.
R. G. Dixon.
Mauch Chunk, Pa.—As a suitable name for the new party, I suggest the following: “The people’s land party.” The land question lies at the bottom of the movement, and is the principal reason why the new party claims to exist. Therefore the word “land” should by all means be a leading feature of the name. The name itself should be expressive and significant, notwithstanding Shakespeare’s rose and smell by any other name to the contrary.
R. W. M.
Reading, Pa.—In looking around for a name for the new party, it seems to me that it is not a t all necessary to seek for any that would express the object and purposes of the party, since these will have to be clearly formulated in the platform. Compound names are objectionable. Any simple term familiar to the people, brief, euphonious, crisp and exhilarating will answer the purpose. Why not give it the name of the union party? The name would be especially suitable, because of what it is proposed to unite in the new political organization. We propose to unite the people of all legitimate occupations and professions—mechanics, manufacturers, farmers, clergymen, lawyers, doctors, etc., against monopolies of all forms, so that natural opportunities shall be opened up to all men and a higher state of civilization inaugurated in this country than the world has yet beheld. Why not then union party!
Alma, Wis.—The 17th day of August, the day set for the convention of the united labor party, is approaching rapidly, and the importance of deciding upon a name for the “coming party” becomes more and more apparent. The ideas we contend for must triumph in the end no matter by what name its advocates are known, but that a good cause often suffers and may be seriously retarded by bad management is beyond question. We who see clearly the vast benefit that will result from taking ground rents for purposes of government can have no more ardent desire than to put our theory into practice, and in laboring for this end we must be judicious, for we have opposed to UK a powerful, unscrupulous enemy. Not that we should lack the courage of our convictions, or be afraid of arousing opposition, for our strength is measured by our ability of awakening opposition and “shaking up the animals;” but it is not therefore necessary that we should drive men from us injudiciously who might as well be with us, and, now that we have entered into practical politics, into an armed conflict of words and ideas, let our armor be made up of the best kind of material in the market, for the better we are equipped for the conflict the sooner shall we win. The proper name for our party would be the “free trade” party, for it is the doctrine of free trade carried to its ultimate conclusions that we stand for. The public has, however, been poisoned with the idea that this is the doctrine advocated by the Cobden club and “British” gold and this very name might keep a good many laborers from us whom another might invite. Next appropriate in its order would be the name anti-monopoly, for the reason that this is a war against a monopoly of all kinds, and in particular against the giant monopoly—land. We also draw the line sharply upon the limits of state interference with the business of the individual, and propose to give full play to individual energy engaging itself in any enterprise not monopolistic in its nature. The terms “free land,” “free soil,” “progressive,” “united labor,” “labor,” “land and labor” are not sufficiently broad and inclusive for a national party advocating reforms so radical as those we propose. Why not call it the “people’s party?” Such a name would let them all in; it would not even exclude a woman. It is as near English for democracy as we can get. What we propose is for the benefit of all. The poor and degraded we propose to make free and really independent by opening opportunities, and giving them not only work, but pay. And from the rich we will take the nightmare that haunts them, the fear of poverty and want, worse than actual poverty. Even the rich would feel better if they could sleep with open doors at night. None in the land who would not be better off for the change we propose. Such a name would arouse curiosity. We would be asked continually, “What is the people’s party going to do for the people?” How quickly we would snap up such questions, and how readily, vigorously and cheerfully we would answer only those know who have clearly seen in their mind’s eve the effect of the application of a great economic principle, and have not “poked their eyes out” while they were looking.
Elizabeth, N. J.—The christening day is drawing nigh, and the subject of naming the baby is becoming daily more interesting and important. The great social and political reform party ought not to start out upon its mission handicapped by a name that does not fairly express its dominant principles, nor should it be christened too much. Its title ought not to be so long that the time of our eloquent orators will be greatly abridged by its oft repetition. “Liberals,” “progressives,” “radicals,” “commoners,” all these names are good and fairly expressive, but they have done duty on other and greatly different occasions, whereat something distinctive of this special movement should be chosen. This fact, together with the belief that it will be no mean distinction to first suggest the name that will ultimately be adopted by the new party prompts me to suggest the title “terra salvators” (land saviors), in contradistinction to its friends the society saviors. This word is expressive, comprehensive, not commonplace, and a name that I believe would “catch” at first and steadily grow in favor as its adaptability to the situation grows more and more apparent with its repetition and consideration. The phrase terra salvator is capable of a wider and fuller interpretation than that of land redeemer. In its fullest sense it means world’s savior. And is not the salvation of the world the ultimate aim of the new crusade? The fullest consummation of the hopes and desires of the most enthusiastic of the crusaders cannot eclipse the name.
Mahew H. Davison.
Cannon Falls, Minn.—I, for one, am in favor of free trade for the name, because I have arrived at the basis of land taxation only (or rent it should be called) by eliminating all government interference with the freedom of exchange between man and man. I believe that a great majority of the thinking people would call themselves free traders. Many are very much agitated over some of our absurd laws for the regulation of commerce. Take such papers as the St. Paul Pioneer Press, who have taken advanced steps toward free trade, and it would show them the inconsistency of stopping where they are or returning back to old fogyism.
Rochester, N. Y.—It is beyond denial that ours is a movement “of the people, by the people and for the people,” and then why not designate it accordingly and call it “the people’s own party.” The movement has sprung from the masses of the people; they are seeking their rights; they are looking for their own. It is, in fact, in every sense of the word the people’s own party.
John J. Hayes.
Murrayville, Ill.—Call it the “antislavery” party. Both or either of the factors of production being private property, slavery is the necessary result. Anti-slavery is not only a fitting name, but a strong one.
New Haven, Conn.—The liberal union is the name I would suggest for the new party. It is expressive and euphonious, embodying the sentiment, “liberty and union,” so dear to every American. And it would be a reminder that the task of the abolitionist is yet incomplete; that the foundations of our government are not yet securely laid; while it would also emphasize to the thoughtful that elementary principle of the variety and unity of the universe and of life, which are to be reflected in the universal republic, with freedom and brotherhood as its corner stones.
And this title is also appropriate because the means of the new party are to be no less liberal than the end. It is to be a union of all the forces that make up the better life of the nation. The people, in the broadest, truest sense, are its supporters.
J. W. Curtis.
Lowell, Mass.—I would suggest the name national land and labor for the new party for the following reasons: National means the United States and the United States means the new party. Land and labor are the main issues, particularly land. Labor without land has been tried and found wanting. Land without the labor votes will remain as it is, and labor without land freedom as it is. They are both essentials in the great reform.
Ashtabula, O.—After carefully reading all the suggestions by correspondents of The Standard of a name for the new party, I give my voice and vote for the “commoners,” suggested by J. M. Kelly of Pittsburgh. It expresses our idea; it can offend no one; is short, democratic, and, to my mind, fills the bill in every respect.
J. V. Gallup.
Columbus, O.—The most serious obstacle in the way of the advance of the new party is the want of a typical name. We are interchanging meetings and discussions every Sunday with the union labor party and secular union, and the absence of an appropriate and telling name for our new party seems to confuse the thought of many hearers. We are waiting to hear from your state convention, and expect it to give us a name that shall tend to unify the best movement of the nineteenth century. The inevitable law of integration is upon us, and we cannot obey without first fixing a movable center that shall be common to us all everywhere. We have the most splendid material of which to construct, but no locality—for name to a party is locality—upon which we can found and formulate our principles, and the ideas and name attract—do the real work of forming a party—for at best we can only help nature; she must do the major part of our work, or we fail.
L. H. Webster.
Portland, Me.—I would suggest that perhaps it would be better to leave the naming of the party to the national convention, which, I hope, will convene this year.
P. H. Goddard.
Rents Increasing Faster Than Population
Correspondent Toronto Globe.
A little over forty years ago there were some lots in this city rented at the rate of about $l,700 per acre, the lease was renewed at about $6,800 per acre, and subsequently renewed at upward of $400,000 per acre per annum. Faster than population grew this rental grew. The crowd grows bigger, and from this cause alone one part becomes richer, another part poorer; one part goes up, another goes down.
The Champion Of Catholic Liberty
Polish Catholics Express Their Admiration for Dr. McGlynn and Tell of Papal Policy in Poland
Dr. Edward McGlynn—Reverend Sir: The whole civilized world to-day watches with concern the struggle in which you are engaged, and which no doubt will make an epoch in the history of the present century.
Today, when Rome has hurled its anathema at you. it is the duty of all who love humanity, who believe in freedom of conscience and in civil liberty, to rally around you.
Actuated by these motives, the Polish progressive society “Ognisko,” selected us to give expression to the feelings of admiration and love which it feels for you, the priest patriot!
Above all others it becomes the Poles to rally around you, for the Poles have been true sons of the church, together with the Irish, perhaps the truest. They made the cause of the church their own and fought her battles, and now when they are downtrodden and oppressed as no other nation on the face of the earth, his holiness Pope Leo XIII, the “successor of Christ,” delivers them to the hangman, Bismarck! He appoints a stranger, a German, to the archbishopric of Posen, formerly the primacy of Poland; he permits the oppressive May laws, abolished through all the rest of the German empire, to remain in operation in its Polish provinces.
When last year Bismarck, the modem Nero, expelled 60,000 of our country men from their native soil, without regard to age, sex or condition, the Polish people looked to Rome, to the vicar general of Christ, for help and consolation in their affliction. But alas! Instead of help and consolation to the Poles his holiness Leo XIII sends a cross of diamonds to the son of Belial, the persecutor of Christians, to Bismarck.
Truly, if his holiness, instead of a spiritual, were a lay statesman, we would have to call his policy Machiavellian and anti-Christian.
It is a well known fact that the people of Germany can hardly bear the great burden of taxes imposed on them in order to keep up their great army. When, therefore, his holiness Leo XIII made known his command that the Catholics of Germany should vote for candidates favoring the septenate bill, a bill having for its object an increase of the army, this command of his holiness produced a feeling very much akin to indignation. And the great champion and defender of the Catholic church in Germany, Windhorst, made known, respectfully but firmly, to his holiness that the duty he owed to his country would not permit him to obey the command of his holiness.
But while his holiness, undoubtedly induced by bad advisers, so far forgets the dignity of his high office as to misuse his influence by participating in the electoral intrigues of Germany, his holiness at the same time, through his lieutenant, the Very Rev. Dinder, archbishop of Fosen, forbids the clergy of that diocese to accept mandates to the German parliament, or to become members of Polish societies having for their object the moral and intellectual elevation of the Polish people.
It seems that the avalanche of misfortunes which for the last one hundred years has overwhelmed our unfortunate nation has, to some extent, broken its energy, for it has tamely submitted to this crying injustice.
Happily there now arises in this far off land, in you, reverend sir, a man whose nostrils are accustomed to breathe the air of freedom, who has the courage to assert his manhood, who knows that every man has his duties to perform, and that from the performance of those duties no station, no office, can exempt him.
Accept, therefore, reverend sir, the sentiments of love and veneration which you, the citizen priest, have engendered in our hearts, and be assured that among people of every tongue and in every land you will find men ready for your hearty support, for you are not only the champion of the political liberties of American Catholics. But of the Polish Catholics also—yes, of the Catholics of all lands.
Your victory is the victory of Christianity, for it will elevate and purify its human part. Committee:
Leon M. Wild,
Bless Your Heart! We Don’t Mind This Sort of Thing from the “Times”
New York City.—In its issue of August 2 the New York Times, giving the list of delegates to the Syracuse convention soon to be held, prints the following: Eighth Assembly District—J. G. Stein, a radical socialist, verging on anarchy. For the ability to find its way through intricate places, to solve and reduce to their lowest terms the most technical problems, to dispel darkness and radiate light, commend me to the analytical Times. So Mr. J. G. Stein of the Eighth assembly district is “a radical socialist, verging on anarchy?” to! This is wonderful, but no less wonderful than important. A radical socialist verging on anarchy! Just think of it! The new party can well afford to welcome into its ranks voters from all parties and classes, but can it afford to welcome as a voter, much less send as a delegate to its convention, a man who is a “radical socialist” and at the same time an embryo anarchist? Reflect upon what will be the necessary work of that man. As a socialist he will advocate the turning over to governmental control and management all the forces of production and distribution; he will advocate the curtailment of individual action and responsibility and eloquently plead for the limitless enlargement of the functions of the state. Then he will face about as an anarchist, and, waving the red flag, in unmeasured terms denounce as destructive to individual liberty the least assumption by the state of any right to exist; he will instruct the convention that the economic sickness of this nation is due to the fact that we have a government and as a remedy will advise its abolition. Evidently this man is to be feared, for according to the reliable New York Times he possesses the mental agility and flexibility necessary to unite two radically different and antagonistic political theories, the success of either one of which would be the death of the other. For all the new party may know this man is also an uncompromising theist verging on atheism, or, perhaps, he is a radical protectionist verging on free trade, or a monotheist verging on pantheism, or, worse than all, he may be a radical mugwump verging on Blaineism.
Another Farmers’ Alliance Officer Doing His Share of Work
Weimar, Tex.—I inclose twelve cents, for which please send a copy of “Protection or Free Trade?” in accordance with your offer to officers of labor organizations. The book will be invaluable to me.
I have been’ stumping this part of Texas for some time past lecturing the farmers upon co- operation, the land question and the protective tariff. I am a poor farmer and feel my poverty, and by God’s help I will do all I can to put my children and my neighbors in a better path by enlightening them upon the evils they labor under. The Standard is a welcome visitor to my house. What a flood of light it does throw upon the question of the day. The specimen copies you sent have been all distributed and I trust when the cotton crop comes on and the farmers have got some money they will become subscribers. I subscribed for six months; would have done so for twelve, but there was a good reason for it—I had not the money. God speed The Standard.
Wm. W. Wilson,
President of the Osage Farmers’ Alliance, Texas.
Almost Thou Persuadest Me to Be a Christian
I am not a manual laborer, and not poverty-stricken in the ordinary sense of the term, but belong to the “educated classes,” and live in a family and social world of conservatism. I am a graduate of Yale, and there listened for a year or more to Professor Sumner’s teachings in political economy, and am now a member of that proverbially conservative class, “the bar.” I am even a land owner on a small scale.
I have not had time to subject your land theory to rigid study, and its reduction to practice (even when it shall count a majority of Americans as its adherents) without disastrous friction and without injustice will be a task calling for the highest powers of statesmanship and the highest exercise of wisdom and self-control. But I am convinced that you are moving in the right direction, and I feel sure you are earnest and sincere and unselfish, and are animated by the same pity for God’s poor as moved in the heart of our elder brother. I believe in the ultimate success of unselfishness.
My indignation and contempt is aroused almost daily in observing the Pecksnifflan horror of the land movement, and subserviency to landed interests and ill-concealed asperity toward poverty, whose cry for bread is troublesome, expressed by some men who assume to teach the gospel of the carpenter’s son and by papers devoted to the interests of religion; though let me not be misunderstood, I am a member of a Presbyterian church.
I congratulate you on your wonderful successes already achieved, and trust and believe, in spite of the fluctuations and reverses all such movements are bound to meet, that it will grow and grow until its work is done and the wolf theory of political economy is replaced by the justice and humanity of the teachings of Christ.
Are We a Nation of Land Owners?
New York City.—General Daniel E. Sickles said to a newspaper reporter the other day that we had more land owners proportionately than any other country, and that as no one who was prudent and industrious enough need be without a home, therefore, the “George theory” is a farce.
True, there is a greater proportion of owners of land in this country than any where else in the world, but I wonder if General Sickles is aware of that other fact, viz., That the proportion of land owners is constantly growing smaller. To illustrate: Fourteen years ago I lived in a farming community; one year ago I visited that place. Where there were formerly fourteen farmers who owned and worked their land there were but three such left. The balance of the land was owned by merchants, lawyers and money lenders in the neighboring cities and villages and the men who worked the land paid from one- third to one-half what they made for the privilege of so doing. This is not a rare case at all. Then the general asks “how many farmers Henry George has converted?” Well, I do not know the exact;number, but I have every reason to believe it is a great. Deal larger than our opponents have any idea of. But this I know, that just as fast as the farmers can be got to sit down and study this question honestly and candidly they will be converted to these theories, for there is no class of our people who would receive greater benefit from the adoption of this system than the working farmers.
Warren J. McCarter.
The Two Wings of the Catholic Church
Deering, Me.—We live in the most glorious age of the world, and when the storm shall have passed we shall have the most peaceful and happy calm the world has ever known. Hitherto I have looked upon the Catholic church as a mere worldly institution. But now I see that it has two wings—the Christian and the anti-Christian. I see that true Catholics and true Protestants are one; and I thank God for Dr. McGlynn. I send you $2 for tracts, and shall send for more as fast as I am able to distribute them, if I have the money. Please send a good proportion of “Snug Harbor,” “Christianity and Poverty” and “Farmers of America.”
A Dean of the Church of England Can Hold in No Longer
Rev. A. C. Auchmuty, a dean of the English church and vicar of Lucton, in the diocese and county of Hereford, Eng., writes:
Herefordshire, Eng., July 29.—I have been thinking about it some time, and didn’t know whether you would be in a hurry for English members, but after reading Dr. McGlynn’s sublime address of July 10, in reply to the big boycott, I can no longer hold in. Inclosed please find my declaration and a post-office order for $1, and accept me as a member of the Anti-poverty society.
A. C. Auchmuty.
Let Him Look Around His Own Parish and Learn
Brooklyn, N. Y.—A certain priest in Brooklyn makes the assertion that if Dr. McGlynn was in the army he would be shot. I suppose he means the good doctor ought to be shot for preaching the truth. If that priest would look around his parish and see the misery in it and look for the cause of all this misery he would think differently, that is, if he has and sympathy for that class of God’s creature. Long live Dr. McGlynn.
Why Not? Is There No Poverty in Tulare?
Tulare, Cal., Register.
The Anti-poverty society is actually securing some members from Tulare county. One dollar secures a seat near the railing of the inner temple.
Tramp, Tramp, Tramp, the Boys Are Marching
We’ve a standard in the east, with a prophet and a priest,
Who are marshaling our comrades for the fray,
And we sound the bugle call,as we rally one and all,
To the battle in the dawning of the day.
Tramp! Tramp! Tramp! the men are marching,
Cheer up comrades and be strong;
We have taken it in hand to redeem our native
For the land to the people must belong.
Parson Malthus wrote a screed, that the
people should not breed,
Since the world to the wealthy must belong,
And this crowding over much, like the rabbits
in a hutch.
He denounced in the people as a wrong.
Now we have a word to say, in the dawning of the day,
Which the-parson and his people well might heed,
That on this terrestrial ball there is room enough for all.
If we overthrow iniquity and greed.
From the mountain to the main, for the volley and the plain,
With the groves and the streams of the earth,
We are making our demand for possession of the land,
For the land of our heritage and birth.
From an English Clergyman
Jena, Germany.—The earnestness of the socialists is to be commended, but they are wrong both in spirit and philosophy. Our whole movement surely is based upon an accurate economic and sociological definition of the term wealth. We stand for the distinction between natural opportunity and the product of human industry; in short, for the all-important distinction between land and wealth. Upon the recognition of this clear distinction by society the welfare of society itself is founded and the development of human faculty. That is the profound truth I came across in Spencer’s “Social Statics” and saw beautifully developed in “Progress and Poverty.” But this distinction is precisely the one that the socialists deny, and which Mr. Champion recently, in his lectures in St. James’s hall, ref used to regard as of any importance. And in this confusion they are at one with the laissez-faire individualists of the Goschen and Bright school. Hence I find personally that the great difficulty, both in Germany and in England, to an acceptance of the land nationalization doctrine is precisely this same confusion as to first principles by the socialists. So long as this fundamental sociological distinction is disregarded the appeal for “natural rights” is robbed of more than half its force. It is not true that a man has a natural right to LIVE, for he may be lazy; but it is time that he has a natural right to the exercise of his faculties, i. e., to work, a doctrine which at once implies common ownership of the earth, because no faculty can be exercised without earth. It is on this latter doctrine that we shall escape the Scylla of unphilosophic individualism and the Charybdis of socialism. Moreover, apart from a failure to recognize a distinction which is as fundamental every whit as the distinction between labor itself and wealth, English socialists show an utterly wrong spirit when they talk of seizing the means of government. This is quite opposed to the democratic doctrine of representative government. Quite true that many of the poor are disfranchised through constant removal, but they are a small minority and their wrong can be remedied in the same way that the agricultural laborers obtained an extended franchise. The means of government are not to be seized; they are to be won. And, sir, if you win in New York, as God grant you may, our victory will not be far behind.
(Rev.) Edgar I. Tripp.
An Irish Roman Catholic Who Is Going to Kick, Too
Port Ludlow, W. T.—God’s kindest blessings on you, Dr. McGlynn, for the service you have rendered the world at large and this republic in particular in standing firmly for your own rights and ours as men and citizens. It is appalling to me (and it must be so to others when they see it in its bare nakedness) to think that the man I lay my very soul open to, ask for and confide in his advice may be the slave and tool of a huckstering politician bishop, or pope, or propaganda, or all three combined. It is dawning on me that with very few exceptions men are not advanced in the church for their wisdom, piety and humanity. Men of the Christ type, lovers of their race, have to take back seats. I doubt if there is a man who holds the memory and teachings of Christ in greater veneration than 1 do. I believe fully if the churches were to get down to honest, earnest work and do as He did while here on earth and teach His doctrines that this world would be a heavenly place to live in instead of the hell it now is. But when I see bishop, propaganda or pope dictating how I shall vote, or what form of government I am to live under, and kicking out a priest for raising his voice in behalf of the poor, oppressed and downtrodden I am going to kick, too. We all know how hard Ireland worked for the appointment of Bishop Walsh instead of some tool of England, and we are told how the holy father loves Ireland. Well, if he does, “the devil thank him,” and if he does not, “the devil take him.” If a man were on the roadside, robbed and wounded, and a professed friend came along and threw the wounded man a piece of sticking plaster along with some lip commiseration, and then went off and invited the robber to dinner as an honored guest, on whom he showered all the hospitalities, would we not be apt to think this man was acting a part with his plaster, but following the dictates of his heart in making the robber his boon companion? That is about the way Rome’s friendship for Ireland strikes me. The pope may express friendship for Ireland, but at the same time chucks the queen under the chin. Let Irishmen say what they please, it must be humiliating to them to have Rome, at this late day, sending to Ireland for information. To all others than the Irish—who are so deeply interested—the whole thing must look like a huge joke. Who so ignorant to-day as not to know the deplorable condition of the Irish people. If the report of the pope’s commissioners is favorable to the cause of Ireland, well and good. But if it is not in their favor they are no more bound by it than they would be bound by a report of the London Times.
A Crop That Can be Raised on Any Land
“They can’t raise any thing on much of that land in southern California,” said Jones to Smith.
“The deuce they can’t,” was the answer. “They’re raising,prices on itall the time.”
Straws Which Show The Wind
While it is impossible to defend the private “ownership” of the soil—mankind’s common heritage—upon grounds compatible with natural reason, the vague authority of “revealed religion” and of “vested rights” have been heretofore, with some force, invoked against our “Godless” and “lawless” demand that the rental value of land should accrue by way of equitable and equable taxation to the state. But what McGlynn, with his noble following of the priests of humanity from every orthodox “Protestant” denomination, has accomplished in the religious field. Judge Maguire has no less incontrovertibly achieved in the legal domain, as his contribution to The Standard, reprinted in the Review, amply demonstrates.—Milwaukee Daily Re vie w. The rapid mobilization of forces throughout the country, the crystallization of opinion in favor of the new crusade, the hearty disgust of the great body of the people with both the old parties, all point to an upheaval in politics next year the like of which has not been. Seen since the war.—[Vincennes News.]
If the land owners whose property is taken for the Pelham bay park are paid at their own figures, New York might as well have bought out Fifth avenue and converted it into a pleasure ground for the militia and the rest of the people.—[Mail and Express.]
There is no question but that the McGlynn-George anti-poverty element is terribly in earnest. It is doubtful if there is any such earnest element as this in the national life today. Its own zeal may burn it up, but it is worth watching.—[Indianapolis News.]
The good doctor has fallen from the top of a church parish to the bottom of the hearts of all men who appreciate true manliness and realize the peril of foreign and ecclesiastical arbitrary interference with the rights of American citizens in politics.—[Exchange.]
That the present system of raising revenues for the maintenance of our government, local and national, is wrong in principle, must be admitted. Then let us seek to remedy the evil by wise and judicious legislation. The evil can be abated by exempting from taxation all personal property and the improvements upon real estate, and derive our revenues entirely from an assessment upon land values.—[Whateom, W. T., Reville.]
There never was a time when anti-monopolistic principles were so wide spread as at present nor when the “plain people” were doing so much thinking as now.—[Manchester, NT H., Weekly Budget,]
If the questions now agitating the millions of manual toilers are neglected by the churches, it will not affect the cause of true Christianity, but it will annihilate in their much of that twaddle which is not Christianity. The doors against which the anti-slavery reformers so long knocked in vain will be battered into splinters if they are not soon thrown wide open to admit to a full hearing the just claims of the oppressed producers of the material wealth of the world.—[San Francisco Weekly Star.]
We are aware that the “anti-poverty” movement, which seeks to rectify this wrong, is highly unpopular with many—chiefly with those who have given it no study, and are sublimely innocent of its real meaning and object—but it will hardly be denied that nowadays, in many classes of society, labor cannot hope to do more than secure the absolute necessaries of life—food, clothing and shelter—and this takes no account at ail of the unemployed. Now, these things are what slavery guaranteed to the slave in exchange for his toil, and it follows, therefore, that so> far as the comforts and pleasures of this life are concerned, the laborer is literally in a state of bondage. It surely behooves every friend of humanity, if these facts be admitted, to listen with respect, if not enthusiasm, to the statement of any feasible plan by which, without doing real injustice to any other class,. The circumstances of the poor and suffering may be greatly bettered.—[Toronto, Can., Grip.]
The supervisors will be asked to deal with the question of land monopoly right away. We will see whether they will refuse to use all their powers to compel the grants to stand their share of taxation. It is unfortunate that there is but one way to reach the land monopolist, but that way can be made tolerably efficient if properly used. In any event, it is well enough to compel the large land owners to pay taxes proportionately with. Other people.—[Sacramento Bee.]
The liberty loving Roman Catholic of this country is too much imbued with the spirit of American freedom and independence not to realize the tyrannical spirit of the papal machine when it is set to work to crush such a man as Dr. McGlynn. We shall be surprised if his excommunication does not mark the beginning of a revolt among the laity against the pretensions of the Roman machine.—[Central New Jersey Times (Plainfield).]
The organs of capitalism will of course admonish the archbishop that his course toward McGlynn is entirely indefensible, being of the nature of an attempt to injure him in his business, and interfering with his freedom to work at his trade as a theologist, the grand master at Rome having put him on the list as a scab. The theme admits of extension, but we pause from lack of space to develop it.—[Winsted, Ct., Press.]
The people ought to take this matter up and demand a reform. Public sentiment forced the abolishment of the black slavery of the south. Public sentiment ought to drive out the white slavery of the north.—[New York World.]
The Day Dawns
Pawtucket, R. I.—Oh! The joy of working in a just and righteous cause; how it nerves the mind to acts of duty, the tongue to words of truth.
Many good men and true have left our churches in disgust because they have been trying to cure great and crying social evils by teaching that God in His providence sends poverty to make us long for the exceeding riches of heavenly contrast. These churches will have a rude awakening.
The day dawns, the star of promise is above the horizon, and justice shall triumph.
They’ll Fight It Out on This Line
Pawtucket, R. I.—We had a rousing and very enthusiastic meeting here Sunday, when we organized a land and labor club. We have imposed on ourselves the task of teaching the people the far reaching benefits of a single tax on land values. We have an amazing amount of ignorance and prejudice to overcome, but truth and justice shall prevail. We are here to stay, and shall light it out on this line if it takes not only this but all our summers, yes, and winters. Too.
Something Like It Here
The discussion of the George theory with. Regard to land in connection with the English land system leads the Philadelphia Telegraph to a rather indiscreet admission. Concerning the fact that Mr. George’s doctrine was received with distinguished favor in England, the Telegraph says:
It could not be otherwise; but being received with favor there does not imply that it would be tolerated here. There are land owners there and here with a difference. We know how great estates, whole counties, were flung as largess by the crown to some courtier who bowed lower than his fellows at court, or who in battle struck stronger blows for king or queen than others, and that by the law of primogeniture their great holdings of the earth have descended through many generations from father to son.
To conclude, as the Telegraph does, that in a nation where such things are done it “was well enough” to preach “the freedom of the land as a common inheritance and property” provokes an inevitable response. How long is it in. this country since great estates equaling in area, not only whole counties, but whole states, have been flung to the privileged class which in this country occupies relatively the same place as the aristocracy of England? If the George theory is the proper cure for the evils of the English system, why is it not a proper cure for the re production of that system which our carelessness has permitted to grow up in the western territories?
The Coming of the Dawn
The new light is breaking—God hasten it on,
Fur many the weary heart watching for dawn.
And ‘neath the long shadows that blacken the west,
There many a voice crying, there’s many a hope dying
In many opprest.
God’s children are princes, their spirits divine;
Christ suffers their sorrows, and says, “They
Men bind them and slay them and sneer in in their pride;
And the right of their birth to a place on the earth
The spoilers divide.
And still do the vultures’ wings shadow the skies,
And still are they hovering to pluck the sheep’s eyes.
Then blest be the shepherds who are not afraid
(With God in their creed, and His children in need.)
To come to their aid.
The campaign is opening—what warrior can pause,
Who girds on his armor to join in the cause?
For the voices of suffering must hasten him on
Till poverty’s slaves are drawn back from their graves,
And triumph is won.
The fingers that beckon are wasted and thin;
They drop in starvation and anguish and sin;
They burden in crime and they perish in grief—
Thea quicken your pace in this new year of grace
And bring them relief.
The new light is breaking—God hasten it on,
For many, the weary heart watching for dawn,
And ‘neath the long shadows that blacken the west,
There many a voice crying; there’s many a hope dying
In many opprest.
Cincinnati, O. Charles H. Fitch.
What A Nihilist Is
The following interesting statement of the motives and purposes of Russian nihilists is from the pen of a young Russian in Baltimore, who, speaking of himself, says:
I am a Russian, and for doing nothing (would it bad been for something) was sent as an exile to Siberia. I was young, earnest and strong in every good impulse. My father, at a loss of large property, confiscated in consequence of my arrest only, has had great suffering since—not to speak of my mother and sisters. My case had a few moments’ hearing, when, with many other fellow students, I was sent from them all at home; but before reaching the den in Siberia, to which I was doomed, I escaped and came to America.
Here I am trying to live as a clerk. Alas! you know what “trying” means. I wanted to write Dr. McGlynn. My heart went out to him for what he said of the czar at Cooper union.
I don’t wish my name published for personal reasons, as Bayard’s treaty with Russia makes us feel unsafe.
The interest shown of late, writes this victim of the czar, by the American people in the lives of Russians and the Russian government, as indicated by the plays “Siberia.” “Called Back,” “Fedora,” etc., in which latter a leading actress assumes the role of a Russian princess in pursuit of nihilists, includes me to attempt an explanation of what a nihilist is.
That the term is wholly misunderstood is evident not only from these sensational dramas, but form comments and uncharitable remarks by both American politicians and litterateurs. Having at one time been a member of the nihilist party I deem it a duty as a Russian seeking a home in this great republic to disabuse the public mind of its misapprehension of the word nihilist.
Taking the word nihil literally the Americans are led to believe that the party is a hand desiring everything—that is, to be nihil, and as such recognizing no authority or principles of any description. This is not the aim of the Russian nihilists. They mean that they themselves are nihil and belong absolutely to the people. Their influence, their lives, their possessions are no longer their own any more than that of the priest or nun who gives up the world forever in espousing the church.
And you will find among them men and women, from peasants to courts, and even those of royal blood. They are in the czar’s very household. That we may the more quickly and surely reach the liberty and justice we are determined to have as a god-given right, and which we claim in the name of humanity, we must send our agents among the masses, the lowly peasants, whose only idea of life so fur is toiling and suffering, poverty and death. Theirs is a future utterly destitute of hope. If once a fire is kindled with. proper fuel it is easy to keep it burning, and in these masses of miserable creatures we know in the end is our strength and victory, and though slow and weary the effort yet it must be forever renewed, and by patience our ends will be achieved as surely as that “little drops of water make the mighty ocean.” We cannot go to our peasants and explain the benefit of liberal government because of their great ignorance and blindness. The government, in the person of the czar, keeps from them all idea of enlightenment and civilization. Free schools are denied them and education of any kind. Their only instruction is that without a father czar they can neither breathe nor live.
Nihilists are nut dynamiters or murderers, as people in America seem to believe, although they killed Alexander II and also ministers stud governors from time to time. They knew removing the czar could bring no immediate benefit, as great an obstacle as he always is along with his satellites, to the achievement of our purposes for the good of the people. But the nihilists knew this also, that his death would awaken the ignorant peasants to their degeneracy as compared with other civilized nations and in time cause them to rise and demand equal rights for themselves, rights due them in the name of humanity alone and which God intended for all of His creatures. At present, in a state of abject servility and darkness, they kiss the ground over which the father czar’s horses bear him as though it were a blessing and a sacred privilege. Education can only reach those who have the means to obtain for themselves and children a position in society. Then they may enter the gymnasium, an institution under the patronage of the czar. This is simply a school in which the mind is thoroughly trained, while no athletic exercise is neglected that can benefit the body. It is only by obtaining a diploma from the gymnasium that a student can enter the universities.
The poor, however worthy and aspiring, are compelled to live in an ignorance that is not always a “bliss,” but always cruel and bitter wrong, and, a s we have said, their generalization of this can only come through active methods.
Alexander was killed along with the nihilists who knew at the time their lives must be extinguished by the same bomb. They were thrown in the air together. The nihilists was nihil to himself only and for the sake of the people for whose cause he died. Then was awakened in the breasts of millions of peasants the question, “Who killed the father czar and why?” “A nihilist” was the answer; and “What is a nihilist?” they ask.
“A nihilist is one who is ready and glad to give his life that you may have liberty and light.” The nihilist is not a dynamiter, destroying public and private property, but would simply annihilate the power that keeps its people in an ignorance and degradation which places them in no degree above the brutes.
And yet through their toiling they build up the very power that enslaves them yet more firmly. Even the unborn child of royalty is through their labor provided with a fortune that will enable him to live a life of pampered ease and luxury the most magnificent from the cradle to the grave. If we seem desperate, our measures severe, remember our purpose is as firm as a Gibraltar, for we believe ourselves right, our cause holy, and it is our religion to help our brothers attain that which they inherited as their birthright as much as you sons of fair America, and from the same holy source. This is our explanation of what we are and why, with no attempt at an account of the true state of our wretched lives, under the galling yoke of a tyranny and oppression that robs death in any form of its usual terrors. And of you Americans, who have the gifts of the gods in all that a liberal and wise government can confer, we only ask a calm consideration of our purposes, to feel assured you will not pronounce against us as nihilists.
B. D. Z.
An Open Letter
To the Editor of the “Christian Advocate”
July 29, 1887.— Dear Doctor: In your issue of yesterday under the head “Henry George” you say that he publicly speaks to “multitudes who are incapable of reasoning upon the principles involved.” Is net that rather a broad assertion to be made by a profound servant of God? Earlier in the same article you say “his (Mr. George’s) conception that the land belongs to the people as freely as the earth and air. and should not be monopolized by an individual, is not original.”
Now, do you not think every child of God who listens to Mr. George’s addresses is as capable of reasoning as you when you assert or imply a distinctive difference between the “land” and the “earth?” Were the multitudes mentioned in Matthew, twenty-first chapter and ninth verse, capable of reasoning? Read Job 31 and 15.
Again you say: “There are considerations drawn from the present condition of things which appear in favor of his views.”
On page 5. in a book notice, you say:
“While such methods are used by manufacturers as are here described, and rent exacted for such homes as are here painted, unrest among the wage workers is inevitable. There is no nobler field for Christian philanthropy than just here.”
May it not be possible, think you, that because you and I neglect this field the Master has called others to cultivate it? Read the seventh and eighth verses of the third chapter of Exodus; come put yourself under the influence of “Dr. McGlynn’s magnetism” in one of the anti-poverty meetings and give us a new article, the principles involved in which the multitudes will be capable of reasoning upon, and join the crusade which is winning this world to God. Read Mark 9. 39 to 42; or if not, at least read Acts, 5th chapter, 35th to 39th verses, and act accordingly.
Doctor, the crusade is religious, and deserves your assistance; it is political, and demands, in the name of God’s little ones, your brethren, your vote and your influence.
An Old Subscriber.
Akron, O., is Buckling on Her Armor
Akron, O.—God-speed to the cause of the new crusade! We have just received a chatter from Cincinnati for a Henry George land and labor club, and in a few days we will have over sixty stanch and true and working members. The seed sown by “Progress and Poverty” and the inimitable STANDARD is bearing abundant fruit even here in this old puritanical and conservative western reserve of Ohio. The menace, out rage and insult to every liberty loving American perpetrated by that smallest of bishops is doing much to spread the light.
Isn’t it somewhat singular, to say the least, that the monopolistic press, especially the republican party organs, who but a few years ago predicted dire calamity in case of a democratic victory, because said party, the republican papers affirmed, was owned and controlled by the Roman Catholic machine, should now quietly submit, or even by their silence indorse the first and only open attempt of Roman Catholic interference in American politics? Unless organs like the Cleveland Leader and Akron Beacon have given up all claims to principle and consistency, they will have a hard time to reconcile some of their utterances made during the Ewing gubernatorial campaign with their present statements in regard to Corrigan’s usurpation and outrage. Or is their fear of the united labor party so intense that help for the rotten g.o.p., even from Catholic usurpation, and an alliance with their arch enemy, seems welcome to them? You may look to Akron for telling work next fall.
P. William Tully,
Secretary Akron Trades and Labor Assembly.
Another McGlynn Catholic
Post Falls, Idaho.—I want to enlist under the cross of the new crusade and help fight the battle of justice and common humanity. I have a home on the banks of the beautiful Spokane river, and feel happy that I can live and die a Dr. McGlynn Catholic and go be fore my God with a clear conscience. They can excommunicate me as soon as they can find it convenient. I was born and raised by religious Catholic parents near Dunmore, county Galway, Ireland, and now I am a Knight of Labor, a member of the Spokane Falls lodge 7252, and expect to stick to Dr. McGlynn through thick and thin. Inclosed find $1 in stamps as my humble contribution to the Dr. McGlynn fund.
Boise City, I. T.—Some time since I sent for “new crusade” literature, including two copies of the cheap edition of “Progress and Poverty” for my self and a friend. I have carefully and thoughtfully read and reread “Progress and Poverty.” I have caught the enthusiasm of the new crusade. I have talked it to a number of my friends. We have read all the literature we have been able to procure, THE STANDARD included, and will soon organize a land and labor club. All honor to the priest of the people, Father McGlynn, and may his influence and efficiency in the cause of humanity, if possible, increase forever. I am in hopes to be able soon to send you at least a small list of subscribers. Our means are limited, but our desire is great.
A New Crusader.
A Pen Picture Of The Pennsylvania Coke Regions
A Corporation Whose Entire Wealth Is Due to the Monopoly of Natural Opportunities—How They Treat the Men Whose Labor Makes Them Rich—Private Troops Enforcing Coal Barons’ Laws
The New York Times is probably the last paper to which anyone would go to find any exposition of the wrongs suffered by labor at the bands of monopolists, yet somehow, possibly through inadvertence, it admitted to its columns recently a letter from Connellsville, Pa., drawing a really graphic picture of the misery in the coke region caused by the grasping greed of the syndicate that controls the wonderful natural wealth of that portion of Pennsylvania.
The writer opens his letter by chronicling the utter failure o[ the great strike, and he bluntly declares that the men were in the wrong. “It has been a fight,” he says, “between $10,000,000 on the one side and 10,000 men on the other, and the dollars have won. On the issue as made up in this contest they deserved to win.” It is clear that a writer who begins his letter in this fashion is not chargeable with any undue sympathy with mere human beings as such, and hence his subsequent admissions are all the more significant. “On the question of their general treatment by the operators,” he says, “the strikers have a strong case, though their grievances are not so great or so pressing as they are usually represented.” His letter is designed to prove this statement, and we make from it the following extracts:
THE COKE REGION.
The Connellsville coke region, the great coke producing belt for blast furnaces in the country, is fifty miles long and three miles wide, with Greensburg at one end, Union-town at the other, and. Counellsville in the middle, and crossing the Youghiogheny river at the latter point. The Youghiogheny is a shallow, pellucid stream, whose waters glisten in the sun like a mountain brook, and it flows through a rolling f arming country that suggests New England, except that back of the near hills no background of blue mountain rises. The one blot upon a landscape of great pastoral beauty is the source of all the wealth of the region, and of a good part of that of wealthy Pittsburgh as well, the columns of sooty smoke that rise and hang like clouds over every lot of ovens and the unsightly coal hamlets that straggle about them.
A MINT OF MONEY MADE.
A mint of money has been made from coke here, but just bow much the men who have made it take every pains to conceal. The capital of the f our companies in the Pittsburgh syndicate is $10,000,000, and these men have not put in any money that did not first come out of the ovens. The largest is the H. C. Frick company, of which Andrew Carnegie owns the majority of the stock. Its capital is $3,000,000, increased from the $2,000,000 at which it was incorporated live years ago. This stock represents 2,500 coke ovens, with the tenement houses and stores for the company, 3,000 men, and some 10,000 acres of coal lands. The coke ovens cost $200 each to build, and the coal lands were bought undeveloped, so that the proportion of profits and water in that capital must be enormous.
The writer here affords amusing evidence of that obliquity of vision that prevents adherents of the old school of “wage-fund” political economists from understanding facts to which they can no longer shut their eyes. He manifestly believes that these land grabbers whose uneasy consciences cause them to conceal the extent of their robberies are the men who “made” that mint of money, yet he admits a moment later that these monopolists “have not put in any money that did not first come out of the ovens.” Here is an unconscious admission that the laboring men who produced this wealth have had their wages paid to them directly out of the proceeds of their own labor, and that the men who monopolize these natural opportunities have seized and retained a proportion of the proceeds of that labor so large that they dare not let their victims know the amount of which they have thus been robbed. But let the writer proceed with his story:
ARBITRARY RESTRICTION OF INDUSTRY AND PRODUCTION
Besides these big establishments the Pittsburgh syndicate controls some twenty small operators, selling their product at a five per cent commission. The independent producers in the region are not big enough to make much of a figure. The syndicate was formed three years ago to restrict production and keep up prices, and it has continued in peace until a mouth since, when Carnegie gave it a black eye by ordering the Frick company to pay the twelve and one-half per cent advance demanded by the men. Frick had pledged his word not to pay the advance, and has resigned and gone to Europe. The company is still nominally in the pool, and if work is resumed at the old prices the trouble will blow over. Carnegie’s reason for granting the advance was that it was better to pay that price and get the coke for his steel furnace than to shut that down.
LABOR “THE OTHER FACTOR,” AND EVIDENTLY THE LESS IMPORTANT ONE
The other factor in the prosperity of the coke region is the men that do the work. They might be better oil, and probably will be. Certainly they have been a great deal, worse off, and they have worked out their own improvement, as I am satisfied, through their own labor organizations, notwithstanding that the latter have made mistakes here as elsewhere. Perhaps it is well to say emphatically here that a good deal that has been written about the “oppression” and “degradation” of the coke workers is pure bosh, at least as applied to the conditions today. There are 13,000 of them in the valley, and they contain, like large bodies of men everywhere, the good, the bad, and the indifferent, the very poor, the poor, and the prosperous, the upright, the shiftless. and the criminal. Their pay averages with that of workmen of the same grade of capability elsewhere. If it is not very high, it is certainly not unusually low by the standard of cities. H. T. Frick has testified that his men averaged $2.75 a day each, but a leading Knight of Labor makes the average $l.60. The knight is nearer right than Frick, and we may call the average about $2. Incompetent and lazy men make 90 cents and $1, and the best men $3.50. The mines are not overstocked with help, like those in the Hocking valley and the anthracite region, so that men here average nearly 300 days’ work in the year to 195 days a year that the anthracite miner can labor. And there is no working of women in the mines as there is in the mills of New England.
YET SOMEHOW THOSE CURSED WITH THE DESIRES OF CIVILIZATION DO NOT “GET AHEAD” —LAND MONOPOLY ONE CAUSE.
Yet the fact remains that the miners, except the Hungarians, do not “get ahead.” Once a miner always a miner is the rule. And the miner dies poor in a rented house, and leaves his family “to hustle.” Here we touch the two real grievances, oppressions if you will, that the operator still inflicts upon the Pennsylvania miner. One is the monopoly of land and the other is the “company store.” The “company” owns in most cases all the land accessible to the mine, and the miner cannot, if he will, buy him a home. Thus the great incentive to thrift, cleanliness and even morality is cut off. When a man migrates yearly from one company house to another neither he nor his wife have any sufficient inducement to make the place attractive. When the home is not pleasant the husband stays in the ever present saloon, and then farewell to family development.
HOW THE MEN WHO REALLY MADE THIS MINT OF MONEY HAVE TO LIVE.
These houses are as like one another as peas in a pod. The common pattern is a barn ’60 or 35 feet long by 20 or 25 feet deep, two stories high, and divided into two tenements. Each tenement has a front room with a bed, commonly a black walnut, “real” or imitation, and the most ambitious piece of furniture in the room. The back room serves for a kitchen and dining room. There are two rooms upstairs, half an attic and half a cellar. The rent is $7 for each tenement, and the building cost perhaps $800. There are worse places for $4 and $4.50—old barns cut up into sections, whose interiors I have not had the courage to explore. But I am satisfied that they are not so bad as the blocks of ten or a dozen tenements where marble companies in Vermont herd their human cattle. Hygiene is unknown in the whole region. It is an accident if the well and the surface privy are not close neighbors, and typhoid fever and dysentery are the recognized dispensations of Providence for reducing the surplus population.
THE COMPANY STORE STWINDLE.
The evils of “company stores” have been exploited over and over again. They are forbidden by the laws of Pennsylvania, and they are losing somewhat their despotic grip in the coke region, though all the companies still maintain them here. They do not charge as exorbitantly for their goods as they did before Carnegie’s stores cut down prices, though the men still complain that they are charged ten to twenty per cent more than elsewhere. The pressure by which men are forced to trade in the stores is growing more guarded since the knights and the newspapers have exposed so of ten the old oppressive measures. A timid miner will now trade altogether at the company store for fear of a discharge, while a bold one will buy a good deal elsewhere. The idea of a company store was to supply all the miner’s wants and get back all his wages at an exorbitant profit. The average coke worker today hardly escapes the company with $10 a month in his pocket for clothes and doctor’s bills.
BEASTLY LIVING AND RUFFIANLY CONDUCT AT A PREMIUM.
The men with whom this dodge does not work are the Hungarians. They deserve a separate paragraph. There are about 3,000 of them in the valley. Some of them were brought here to increase the force during the “boom” late in the seventies. Others were brought in as a club to beat down English speaking strikers. They have since turned the lesson upon their employers, and the operators would be glad to get rid of them at any cost. The Hungarians borrow to the last cent what their work is worth, and when they strike they stay struck. When they are out they are boisterous and riotous. It is Hungarians that have been evicted at West Leisenring, and Hungarians that have rioted at Jimtown. Where the ordinary miner spends $40 a month in ine company store the Hungarian spends $12.
The writer gives a description of West Leisenring, the coke region selected by the monopolists for resuming operations under the protection of the Pinkerton detectives. It is remote from the other districts, and accessible only by a private railroad owned by the operators. The Pinkertons are there, fully armed and quartered in barracks, and they are the same company that shot young Bagley at the Chicago stock yards. The writer thus describes a visit to this camp of mercenaries:
A SENSATION THAT OUGHT TO BE ODDER STILL IN AMERICA.
It gives an odd sensation to be stopped by a guard in uniform, armed with a musket, when entering a manufacturing establishment, and to present your pass at the various stages to similar officers. The strikers don’t. like it, neither do the people of Pennsylvania, and Governor Beaver gets severely criticized for hiring outside mercenaries instead of calling out, the state militia. It is hard to say whether the force was necessary. There has been no disturbance yet, and it is uncertain what might have taken place without them. The guards say they have had to charge on a crowd of strikers who would have attacked the new men at work on the ovens, but the strikers deny it, and there is so much lying—exaggeration, perhaps—on both sides that it is hard to believe anything you hear about West Leisenring.
THE IRISH CONSTABULARY OUTDONE.
The Pinkertons also guarded the evictions, of which there have been twelve—eight of Huns and four of English speaking miners. It is certainly to the credit of the miners that these passed off without an out break. It is difficult to imagine a more exciting scene for a crowd of strikers than to see the house hold goods of one of their fellows pitched and hustled into the street. The sight of the confused piles of bedding and clothing lying along the fences now is certainly moving. Some of the evictions took place a week ago, and it has rained since, but the feather beds and pillows he exposed, while the wash tubs and tin boilers, filled with the meager supplies of crockery and tinware, represent all the earthly possessions of some poor fellow, his wife and children. The men who still hold their houses have, indeed, pulled these goods into their yard out of the street, but they have not dared to afford them a bit of thatch or shelter from the storm.
DESTROYING THE MINERS’ LITTLE ALL.
President Harris, of the Amalgamated association, has tried to hire tents to enable his dispossessed to camp, but all the tents in Pittsburgh were engaged and nothing has been done. As I write a violent thundershower has come up that will destroy the greater part of what value there was in the poor rules. One I remember with especial pity because it showed that the family was of the better class, ambitious to have a pretty home. There was an upholstered lounge m particular which must have represented months of self-denial to that man and his wife. It stood at the outside of the pile, where the sun had already done its worst on the none too fast colors, and tonight’s drenching will complete the ruin. There was also an ash extension table and a baby’s cradle and high chair, more or less under the imperfect protection of oil cloth that had perhaps served as carpet for the “best room.” If the strike is declared off in the morning, as it is rumored it will be, and that family returns to its own quarters, there will be many a heartache and very likely a resolve for vengeance.
The writer winds up with the declaration that “it is difficult to understand a union sentiment strong enough to take a man through such sacrifices,” but he says such a sentiment nevertheless exists strongly in West Leisenring. Probably it is difficult for such a writer to understand anything short of absolute and abject submission on the part of wage slaves to the will of their masters, but to people who comprehend the fullness of the iniquity wrought on these poor men by those licensed to control their labor and rob them of its fruits their patience is the chief cause for wonder. Their labor applied to the natural bounties of that rich region has produced every dollar of the vast wealth of the syndicate that oppresses them, and has even paid for the tools with which they work, the ovens in which the coke is prepared, and the miserable hovels in which they live. Out of all this they get a mere pittance, and men wonder that they even stand together to secure a petty increase in that pittance. What an awful pity it is that the men to whom these poor wretches look for advice and guidance do not go further than advise them to stand together, and teach them the great truth that the bounties of God to the Connellsville region belong to them quite as much as to the monopolists who have seized them, and then lead them to so vote that the laws of Pennsylvania shall be put in accord with the laws of God, so that syndicates shall no longer rob labor of its just reward, and mercenary troops no longer oppress American freemen at the dictation of coal barons* oil princes and railway kings.
Open Air Meetings At Cambridge And On Boston Common
A Good List of Effective Speakers at Work—Attracting a Great Deal of Public Attention—The Land and Labor Club Already a Powerful Body
Boston, Aug. 10.—Workingmen of Cambridge, Mass., to the number of 2,000, assembled in Central square on Wednesday evening, the 27th ult., to listen to a discussion of the various means proposed for the improvement of the condition of the poorer classes. The meeting was held under the direction of the Henry George club of Boston. J. R. Roche presided. Speeches were made by E. M. White, T. B. Spillane, D. H. Biggs and the chairman. “The New Crusade” was sung by A. S. Ferroll, the large audience joining heartily in the chorus. D. H. Biggs, president of the Boston Central labor union, earnestly advocated the doctrine of the land for the people. He said: “We believe in levying a tax only on the rental value of land, for private ownership in land does not exist, excepting de facto. It is easy to trace the methods by which men came to claim ownership in land in this country, where early settlers secured immense facts for a glass of firewater or a plug of tobacco; and yet if a fair equivalent had been given the Indians the white man would have had no better title to the land than he has now, for the Indian himself did not own the land. The land and labor club does not believe land to be property at all. Some people think we propose to turn the possessors of homes out of doors. We don’t intend to do anything of the kind. We intend to sustain every man in the possession of his own home, but we do intend to inaugurate a new system of taxation, by which only the rental value of land shall be taxed, and this to go into the public treasury.”
Mr. Biggs spoke in glowing eulogy of Father McGlynn, who, he said, had the courage to brave excommunication rather than forego the privilege of uttering his honest convictions. This remark met with a hearty response from the audience.
The Boston Anti-poverty society met on Boston common about the band stand immediately after the usual Sunday afternoon concert, 30th ult. A very large and well dressed crowd waited to hear the speeches. J. R. Rocke called the meeting to order. Rev. John A. Hayes, the first speaker, stated that the “object of the land movement was to remove from the laboring classes the burdens which had been imposed upon them by monopolists.” He declared that the cause of the poverty of the masses of the American people were due, not to immorality, to shiftlessness and to improvidence, but to the fact that the annually newly created wealth of the country was wrongfully deviated from those who by their labor and skill produced arid were entitled to it. In the eighteenth century this question was temporarily adjusted by the sword, and in this, the nineteenth century, it could be equally adjusted by the ballot. For centuries the masses have been crying to God to relieve them from poverty and its attendant miseries, regardless of the fact that the Creator before he made man had stored in the bosom of mother earth inexhaustible natural resources for the support of mankind. There was enough for all and to spare, and the many were destitute because of the legalized rapacity of the few.”
Mr. Hayes was followed by E. M. White, who described what would be the effect in Boston of a single tax on land values. D. H. Biggs closed the meeting with an address that was received with hearty applause. On Sunday. the 7th inst., another meeting took place on Boston common after the concert. A somewhat amusing struggle occurred between the conductors of a religious meeting and those of the land and labor club for the attention of the people, the two bodies being stationed a short distance apart. In a little while, however, nearly all the crowd were with the anti-povertyites. The audience was one of which no orator or cause need be ashamed. In the crowd were quite a large number of solid, well- ressed men, who looked like merchants, who listened to the speakers with an earnestness not found at meetings ordinarily.
Chairman Thomas H. Hall introduced Rev. John A. Hayes. He said: “Prisoners taken in battle once pleaded, ‘Do not kill me, but spare my life and I will be your slave and work for you. Not only will I be your slave, but my children and my children’s children.’ Industrial slavery today was caused by the defeat of men. They were conquered and the land taken away from them, and they were forced to give the conquerors a title to the land, and pay tribute to the conquerors for the privilege of living on the land. What right had they to the land, or what right had any Indian chief to give away this land to any one, depriving thousands yet unborn of their birthright? Was the taking away of the land by force any more justified than the giving away of prisoners taken in battle?
“Some of the papers call land property. A house is property because it was produced by man. Land was never produced by man, and no man has a right to own land, of which he never produced an inch.
“What need has a man of titles in America when the Duke of Argyil can come over here and own 100,000 acres in Dakota and make the people pay him half of their crops in the shape of rent? He gets the solid benefits without the title, although he might just as well be known as the Duke of Dakota.
“We propose, as a remedy, to use the full rental value of the land for the whole community, instead of its going into the pockets of a few. This would benefit the farmer, as it would throw open the lands now artificially raised in value by the speculators holding them for an advance in price.”
After Mr. Haves had concluded his speech Andrew Garbett, the president of the club, next addressed the crowd, which had now increased to nearly 1,000. He spoke for nearly an hour and twenty minutes, and held his audience so completely under control that not one left during that time.
“Bradstreet’s,” he said, “stated last week that the land on Boylston street was worth $12 a foot or $500,000 an acre. Think of that. If you are a dry goods merchant and want to go into business on that street employing a large number of persons you must pay $12 a foot to some drone or you will have to keep your capital and labor. We do not attack these idlers, but we do protest against the system which permits them.
“If you allow these people to sit down and blackmail you at the rate of $12 per foot it is your fault. We do the same, we men who preach this doctrine, and we do not give away our land. We wait until society at large awakens to the evil and applies the remedy.
“The remedy is to take that land in the shape of a tax, and the full rental value of that land shall be the tax.”
Mr. Garbett read a short squib, which said that the speakers on the common last Sunday had forgotten the only real way to abolish poverty, which was by hard continuous work, and said in answer:
“A king came to this city last week. The city authorities did not tender him a reception, neither did they spend $1,000 in flowers in his honor. He was only the king of the forest and came in a cage. He is a gorilla. Although only live feet tall and weighing but 130 pounds, John L. Sullivan, your demigod, would be as a child in his grasp. As he sat eating peanuts and orange skins he is engaged in abolishing the poverty of that man in the world’s museum.”
The speaker pictured the gorilla in bondage as becoming civilized, and the politician coming to him and offering him the ballot so that he might be free, when Edward Atkinson. comes along and says: “No, Mr. Gorilla, stay right where you are. You are better off than millions of American Citizens. You don’t have to pay for land, for rent, nor for food.” That is what Atkinson said, and I have heard him tell the workingmen of Boston that it is better for them to be slaves than it is to be dead; that it was better to get sixty-two cents a day than nothing at all. The gorilla will vote for freedom every time, but the workingmen vote for industrial slavery year after year.
The metaphor of the gorilla was continued for some time by the speaker, and a prayer by the gorilla was introduced with great effect after the manner of John B. Gough.
J. R. Roche spoke next, and captured the audience by reciting the first three questions and answers in Butler’s catechism for the Catholic church, the third of which says that the earth was made for the use of man. He mentioned the name of Dr. McGlynn, and immediately the audience burst into applause, which was continued for some time.
The last speaker was E. M. White, who, after his remarks, answered a rattling fusillade of questions. When the chairman stepped up to adjourn the meeting, cries of “No! No!” and “Go on” were heard, and the crowd plainly showed that it did not want to go away.
Boston, Mass., Aug. 8.—I can now say that we are on the high road to success in attracting attention. We have the names of men in different parts of the city and suburbs enough to form five or six new clubs, and we will organize them this week or next. Meantime we are to keep up our open air meetings. We have also formed the nucleus of an anti-poverty society, and expect to be able to invite one of the great speakers from New York soon to give it a send off. My main purpose in writing you is to say that you must not believe that the newspaper reports of our meeting, which you probably see, are always truthful ones, and to tell you that all our speeches are sound on the land doctrine. For instance, Mr. Hayes was reported in the Globe as explaining the aims of the socialistic labor party at the meeting a week ago yesterday. Mr. Hayes did not mention the socialistic labor party, nor did any of the other speakers.
The Two Sides of the Catholic Church—One Human, One Divine
Milwaukee Catholic Citizen.
There is no fiction at all in the practice which distinguishes between the merely human and the divine element in the church. Every body can at once perceive that the body of truth received by revelation is a separate thing from the personality of the men called at different times to guard, teach and foster this truth.
These men are usually holy, but they have their faults. Too often, in fits of impatience and passion, men have considered the merely human element as part and parcel of the divine, and rejected the teachings because of the shortcomings of some of the teachers.
Even the popes may make mistakes as politicians. Because the Venetians fought against Pope Julius they were not excommunicated. They might believe that his idea of tacking: Venice or; to the Roman kingdom was a political mistake, and yet be good Catholics.
Leo XIII is in many circles the admiration of the day because of the apparently shrewd manner in which he has reconciled the courts of Europe. He has placated Bismarck, conciliated Grevy and pleased Victoria. So nicely has it all been done that political wiseacres are conjecturing that its drift is ultimately to recover the temporal power of the papacy. Intriguers, Machiavellians, blasé courtiers, all admit that the successor of the fisherman has played his cards well.
But suppose Leo XIII, having this object in view, is mistaken? Suppose he is playing with deeper adepts than his training and Christian benevolence have led him to suspect? Suppose Bismarck is playing with him much as the Man of Iron and Blood played poor Napoleon III and his emotional Empress Eugenie? Suppose the cynical tories of England have got an inkling of the game, and have accepted an invitation to enter it. This may all be, and yet for intelligent Catholics it will merely suggest anew the distinction between the human and divine elements of the church. The one is subject to the vicissitudes of all earthly things; the other is imperishable. The one rises, declines and passes away. The other lives to await Macaulay’s New Zealander, and will live forever.
A Prominent Brooklyn Official Thinks That the Tax on Personal Property Should Be Abolished or Revised
Speaking of the valuation of Brooklyn personal property President Wilson of the board of assessors says:
A very large proportion of our citizens do business and are taxable upon their personalty in the «city of New York and no adequate system exists for obtaining full official knowledge of the personality of citizens. There are ten assessors. To expect that they, together with the performance of their onerous duties connected with the taxation of real estate amounting to $362,000,000, to say nothing of the performance of many miscellaneous duties, will be able to ascertain the amount of personality owned by and taxable against every taxable resident of Brooklyn is, of course, absurd. This conceded fact, and the ease and frequency of evasion of the law, have brought the law itself into disrepute and made its nominal administration and unequal and indiscriminate enforcement a burlesque. It is a matter of very common knowledge that many of our citizens, owning large and valuable real properties in our city, and believed to possess proportionately valuable personalities, are willing to, and do, make annual oath that they have no personal property liable to taxation, while other citizens, wealthy or comparatively poor, as the case may be, prefer to pay their personal taxes rather than to make the required affidavit The spectacle of an undoubted millionnaire boldly making statement under oath that he has no personal property liable to taxation, and that of a green grocer tremblingly and reluctantly paying taxes on a few hundred dollars, are of frequent occurrence. This state of things is, of course, must unjust, scandalous and pernicious, and leads to the irresistible conclusion that the law should either be abolished or so revised that its equal enforcement will be possible.
Intelligent Criticism is All We Ask
Los Angeles, Cal., Herald.
Mr. George is a close reasoner and a deep thinker, and he has done a great public good by his publications in drawing the attention of the brightest minds in the world to the great economic and social problems he himself so ably discusses. He has successfully refuted some of the leading theories and methods of Ricardo and John Stuart Mill, who, in their turn, had refuted some of the leading theories of Adam Smith. Mr. George thinks he has evolved a theory which will stand the test of time, and if it, would, and would bring all the benefits in its tram which he claims for it, we should be the first to hail him “Salvator!” But he is now in the same position as his predecessors. He is not now a critic of theories, but inaugurates a new school himself that is taking practical shape in the politics of this country. As we said in the start, if his theories are sound they will stands the strictest investigation. If they are not they will fall before the Ithuriel spear of intelligent criticism.
The Patriarch’s Blessing
Omar, the Good, his sons called to his side,
His blessing to bestow before he died.
Life’s sunset hour had come. “Tell me,” he said,
“’Ere I go hence to rest among the dead,
What you have done the love of God to win,
And honor bring to your own race and kin?”
First Naaman spake: “I conquering hosts have led,
And kings before their fearless ranks have lied.
A mighty empire by my power overthrown,
I proudly claim and proudly rule alone.
The fairest lands that stretch from sea to sea
Attest my power, and tribute bring to me;
And millions bow and tremble at my nod,
And me obey, as if I were a God.”
Thea Heber said: “Possessions great are mine,
Vast fields of grain and houses stored with wine;
Rich marble quarries—richer ne’er were known—
And mines of gold and silver—all my own.
My freighted ships are found upon the sea,
Where’er the white-winged birds of commerce be;
And many slaves in woodland, mine and field,
To me their labor and its products yield.
Not one in any realm beneath the sky
Can claim such stores of hoarded wealth as I.”
The Jabez spake: “No spot of land I own,
No ship is mine, nor conquering host, nor throne;
Among the lowly of my fellow men
My life obscure and humble work have been.
I’ve sought misleading error to displace,
That truth with wisdom might endow the race.
That wrong might die, that poverty might cease,
And right and love begin their reign of peace,
.And it prolong, until beneath the sun
In slavery’s bonds there shall be found not one.”
The dying patriarch upraised his head,
And, with a look of pitying sadness, said:
“Naaman and Heber, you have wealth and power,
The weak and strong before you cringe and power;
By iron will and rule, by unjust ban,
You force obedience from your fellow man,
But not a single blessing for the race
In all your proud achievements can I trace.
Do ye, my sons, like Jabez, whom I bless,
Work for man’s freedom, peace and happiness,
And teach and practice for the people’s good
The rule of universal brotherhood.
Raise ye the fallen from the slough and clod
And strive to gain the love of man and God;
So ye shall win my blessing from the skies
In the approval of the Great Allwise.”
Dakota, July, 1887.—Our city has had it Fourth of July. It was an old fashioned Fourth. The military, the firemen, and the civic societies marched in procession; there was a mass meeting: in the meadow along Wolf creek, at which our prominent men sat on a platform while orators paid wordy tribute to the eagle and a young lady elocutionist read the revered declaration, and in the evening the wonders that had been pictured in the expectant imagination of our youth were surpassed by fireworks from Chicago. I am inclined to think, however, that the most brilliant feature connected with our observance of the Fourth was the description of it that appeared in my paper on the 5th. I Barnumized the program throughout. The soldiers were depicted as marching like veterans, and as arrayed every one of them like a Murat; the firemen were gallant, athletic. Alert, determined, and the favored of the fair; the orators had developed unexpected powers;—long” would memory recall their inspired thoughts, and who could ever forget the thrill felt by the attentive assemblage when the story was told of liberty bell pealing forth the announcement that America was free? And wise and potent looked our city fathers, and sweet was the soprano of the young lady elocutionist.
Yes; my new daily fulfilled its duty as colorist and inflater. I have a confidential friend who is a minister of the gospel. We had seen the Fourth together. He had made the prayer, and I had apotheosized the pioneer from the speaker’s stand. On the afternoon of the 5th he called at my sanctum. Took a chair directly in front of me, looked at me with mocking, cynic eyes, and read to me, from beginning to end, my poetic account of the doings on the Fourth. Then he laughed, not loud and long— hat is the laugh of the simpleminded— but a silent, deep, sly, good humored, contemptuous laugh. He said nothing. There was no need to say anything. While he unctuously read my sounding panegyric, did I notice the celebration as it actually was, in its extravagant conception and in its poverty of execution, and did I not recollect sundry diverting remarks we had exchanged anent the parade as we were driving out to the meadows? No need now for him to remind me that the major in full regimentals reminded us of a dunghill cock, with its struts, feathers, lordly air, loud crow and chicken heart, or that the awkward squad of six in the rear rank, who had but three full uniforms among them, had evoked mention of the proneness of men to mistake aspiration for performance. As he read the list of names of distinguished citizens, the inflections of his voice expressive of scorn for some of them and irony for me, what need was there to add any opinions of his was to my choice of flattering adjectives for them? He knows those honest city fathers as well as I. Together we have watched them get along in the world. As to the orators, who is not an orator? Every man’s an orator. But it is a difficult thing to describe oratory, and if my praise was fulsome and reckless, my friend’s reading of it was punishment for me. There are things that men do not laugh at—and so my clerical friend read with sober face those parts of my narrative in which I referred to the pleasure given our youth by the fireworks. To the young couples who rambled off in the meadows when the ringing of liberty hell was being vividly described, and to the sweet, high soprano of the young lady elocutionist.
You have doubtless seen “Julius Caesar” performed in a metropolitan theater, and perhaps you have seen it mouthed by a skeleton company of barnstormers; you have drank in the musical delights of “Faust,” as given where wealth and taste and culture afforded it a just presentation, and you have seen Marguerite attempted by a deluded young woman with little musical training and a shrill voice. The actual performance of our Fourth of July program fell as far short of my published account of it as did ever a shabby performance of a noble composition fall short of an adequate representation.
Yet my subscribers have found no fault with me for my adulatory and unhistoric writing. Men love the ideal. They live in the ideal, not in the actual, when looking toward themselves.
There was my speech on “The Pioneer.” The principle that guided me when I wrote it was that my hearers would want poetry, not prose. They would have found the plain facts worse to take than horse medicine. On that July day that much mixed company was to be pleased with a glitteringly general paean, with smooth words and rounded periods concerning the pious pioneers at Plymouth rock, the hardy argonauts of ‘49, the dash of Daniel Boone and the ‘cuteness of Davy Crockett, the statesmanship and gallantry of Sam Houston, the intrepidity and indomitable courage of Kit Carson, the romantic career of Custer, the gentleness and lovableness of Father de Smet, “Black Gown,” the persistency and audacity of Fremont, the luck of Buffalo Bill. Why? Because heaven hath bestowed its favors even so that the men of that crowd that listened to my song saw themselves in the beings I deified. They felt that they shared the godlike qualities of the heroes, only that circumstances had brought them to a commonplace life. They were each attuned to take part in beautiful harmonies, only that the fates had sent them astray from their fellow instruments.
So it is that my speech on The Pioneer was idealistic and expansively laudatory. So it is that my paper is packed with encomiums. So it is that my report on the Fourth was an apostrophe to the goddess. Of liberty and a tub to the gullible whale.
Small thanks would have come to me had I dissected the pioneer in the light of my experience with him. W hat an outrage would I have perpetrated had I pointed out the specimens of him that surrounded me as I spoke. The pioneer? There are many kinds of him, but chiefly three, and these three are so far different that they form three separate republics. First is the man who comes west to work, make a living by work and secure a competency by work. Second is the adventurer, to whom life is not serious, who comes west to live by his wits. Third is the manipulator of other men’s work.
Dakota is chiefly in the hands of the third man. He is a bull in the market and would have the skies bright and the horoscope predict a hopeful future. He is the banker, the railroad manager, the mine opener, the real estate speculator, the politician, the editor, the lawyer. It befits him to chant the praises of the pioneer who does the work. His blandishments serve to keep the worker contented.
The second man is simply the chrysalis of the third. Let him get on and he forgets his former self and becomes respectable. He is not proud of his house and will let its memory fade.
The third—ah, the genuine pioneer. Far away from these bleak plains he planned for a home of his own. Painfully, and with almost superhuman self-denial, he accumulated sufficient to bring hint to a land that seemed so distant, having names that were so strange and possessing a climate that was so disheartening. He came, passing vast areas of untilled land, forestalled by pioneers of the third kind, and at last found a quarter section for himself. He built on it a sod cabin of two rooms. A packing box served as a table. For chairs he knocked together rough bits of wood. His tableware was of tin and iron. For a year he and his family subsisted on pork and cornmeal. To raise a crop, fence in his quarter section, erect a stable—that seemed endless work. How dreary the woodless landscape to his lonely wife. How she feared sickness for the little ones—it was so far to a doctor. There were no neighbors; a tramp was almost a boon. There might have been more people about, only there was so much land taken up and not farmed. The clothing was rough that the pioneer and his family wore. He went about his daily work in an old broad rim hat, a blue flannel shirt, a pair of rusty brown jean trousers, and brogans. His wife was in coarse prints, and the children were barefoot and in his or her old clothes cut down. His work was a dull round that seemed ineffective as compared with what he saw ought to be done. Hers was monotonous rough housework, rarely relieved by a visit from a friendly neighbor. In the cabin was not a single feature of beauty.
The pioneer encountered sickness, hunger, wild beasts, and sometimes Indians. His heart often died away within him as he looked around on his “land of promise,” which, before he came to live in it, was in magination a haven of peace and plenty, but which was actually sterile and disappointing. He found no market, no fuel, no water, no fruit, no demand for his labor when he would sell it. How short his first crops were; and how low the prices at which he sold! Milk had no sale; butter was three cents a pound; live stock but little more than paid for its freight to far off Chicago. Coal at a railroad stat ion cost twice its price in the east, and dried fruits treble. “Three cents for a single needle!” said a pioneers wife to a storekeeper once, “why, back home a dozen needles cost only five cents.” “But consider the freight!” said the storekeeper. A third of a pioneer’s time not infrequently went in hauling water. The farmer fell into a trap if he mortgaged his land, be the sum ever so small. The banks charged three and four per cent a month. Many of his neighbors obtained loans as large as possible and left the country. Their deserted land then lay unused, the bankers waiting for the increase in value sure to come with time—and people.
The pioneer’s relations to society and government were hardly worth mentioning. He voted, he paid taxes, he took a weekly newspaper, and once in a long while he went to church. He voted a party ticket, excepting when he could discern that a candidate on the opposing side was likely to favor legislation for the farmer. It was pretty hard to keep the run of parties and candidate out there on the broad prairie, and he had to ride horseback eleven miles to vote. His country newspaper was little more than an advertising medium for some town merchants. He went to church for his family’s sake. As to taxes, he did not like a poll tax; he thought if American industries were protected that mechanics could pay good prices for farm produce; he liked a tax on mortgages—it was only fair for the government to take a part from the Shylock’s pound of flesh; he was willing that the town should tax commercial travelers—they injured the home merchants, who traded with him; it was quite natural that his taxes should be greater than those on the vacant, but privately owned, quarter sections about him—they were not producing any thing for the owners. When he would get along a bit he would himself take up somewhere another quarter section and hold it vacant. He rather admired the heroes—mercantile, financial and political—that were weekly puffed in the newspaper he subscribed for. The pioneer was right in one particular, he was willing to work for a living. I wonder if he had correct views in any other respect
If you should to-day go to our pioneers cabin—or by this time it may be a modest frame house and unfold to him a system of taxation by which all men would be given free access to land, and by which agricultural co-operation might be rendered possible, he would spit and stare. If you should tell him that the American civilization which extends its limits over new countries by the pioneer system is little less than barbarous, he would be amazed. If you should tell him that other systems are known to the world, unbelief would be written in his face. If you should say a South American government hundreds of years ago achieved the task of removing people to new countries by tens of thousands, providing them with every comfort in doing so, and that deprivation was unknown to them, and that they went to their daily toil singing and merrymaking in companies, he would doubt your sanity. If you should say that a distinguished French sociologist had pronounced the mir or village system of settling new countries as the best ever known to the world, he would be quick to reply that that was about what might be expected from a Frenchman.
Oh, no; none of these new-fangled ideas for the ave rage pioneer. He would like to see curbed the monopolies of the men of the third republic; he leaves the disreputable men and women of the second republic to the mercies of the la w and the prayers of the preachers; he and the other farmers work hard for a living, and each of them has a few extra unused acres that by and by they will want to sell for ten times their cost.
B. F. C.
The Gospel of the Free
The sage and priest together stand—
Theirs is one holy creed;
The earth is man’s—for all mankind—
Not for the few whose greed
Would hapless fellow mortals bind,
Prelates of earth may use their power
Man’s reason to unnerve—
To strengthen with a human hand
The church they poorly serve;
But men who love their faith and land
From conscience cannot swerve.
Oppression must be swept away,
The battle must be fought—
The gospel of true progress preached,
And honest changes wrought;
The heights of justice must be reached
By meeting might with thought.
Hail, then, the gospel of the free!
The standard of the right—
God made the earth for man, not men,
And progress is our light;
Oppression’s darkness ne’er again
Shall cloud man’s soul in night.
Auburn Going Into the Fight
Auburn, N. Y., July 24.—At a district convention of the united labor party in Auburn, N. Y., the Clarendon hall platform was adopted, and the following delegates to the state con vent ion were elected: First district, James Bowen, Andrew McDonough and Herbert Fouteine. Alternates—First district, Jonn Emlaw, John Maha and C. English; alternates second district, E. W. Searing, Frank Zill and P. Dougherty. It was unanimously resolved that Dr. McGlynn’s excommunication for asserting his rights as an American citizen must be recognized as the initial step of a tyrannical papal machine toward the domination in political matters of all of its American “subjects,” and therefore that the united labor party of Cayuga county avows its fixed determination to stand by Dr. McGlynn, not only in this his hour of persecution, but as his faithful allies, to share his fortunes through all the vicissitudes of the pending great crusade in behalf of liberty and God-given natural rights.
R. G. Parker, Secretary.
Pittsburgh Presbyterian Ministers Still at the “Land Theories”
At last Monday’s meeting of the Presbyterian ministers of Pittsburgh there was a return to the discussion of Henry George’s teachings. Rev. Mr. Jackson had a paper prepared in which he took the affirmative side of the question, but the reading of it was deferred. Rev. Mr. Chalfant spoke at considerable length. He believed, with Mr. George, that there is no inherent right in the individual Ownership of the soil. He could not see, however, that Mr. George had offered a practicable remedy. He feared that, if the George plan of taxation were put in force, land values would decrease to a point that would not yield sufficient means to support the government. “I would advise you all,” said he, “to read Mr. George. I admire the spirit of his ‘Progress and Poverty,’ and recognize the author as a man wonderful in his knowledge of political economy, a clear, logical reasoner, of unquestionable earnestness and honesty.” Dr. Swift expressed the opinion that individual ownership in land tends to prevent the spread of communism and anarchy.
Why He Remains a Heathen
Wong Chin Foo in North American Review.
“Do unto others as you wish they would do unto you,” or “Love your neighbor as yourself,” is the great divine law which Christians and heathens alike hold, but which the Christians ignore. This is what keeps me the heathen I am.
Facts From Judge Maguire
Extracts From a Speech Delivered at San Jose, Cal.
That stanch champion of the new crusade, Judge James G. Maguire, is doing manful work on the Pacific coast. On July 20 he addressed a large audience in Grand Army hall, San Jose, and gave a telling description of the aims of the united labor party. Some of the points of the Judge’s speech are as follows:
He stated that his purpose was not to appeal to classes or denounce classes, but to state principles for the good of all, principles based on justice. “Landlords, like all other men, are our brothers, and there are as many good men among them as in any other class. Nine-tenths of the workingmen would do as the landlords do if they had the opportunity. Nothing is further from our principles than to vilify men or create a war among classes. It is the desire to remedy an evil in accordance with law. In this there is nothing violent, nothing destructive, nothing antagonistic to law. We ask you to enforce your rights in and through the ballot. In that there is nothing wild, nothing rabid, nothing dangerous to society.”
After stating the relation of land to labor, the judge described the position of landlords. “These men,” he said, “are like suckers on a cornstalk. They produce nothing, but take the life of the plant. There are men who pay $100 an acre for rent of land in Santa Clara valley for the privilege of raising strawberries. He toils and sweats, and when his labor is done the landlord, who has done no labor, receives the larger share of the product. This system is permitted by the folly of the people. The land was given to the whole people by God, and those who labor on it are entitled to the fruits of their toil.
“In San Francisco only four merchants between Second and Seventh streets on Market are doing business on their own land. All the rest are yielding up the great bulk of all their profits to the landlords. The landlords run no risk. If all the buildings would be burned down the land would remain, but the personal property of the merchants would be lost. When times are good the business men are enabled to pay the enormous rents exacted, but when the hard times come the landlord will not reduce their rents.”
He cited the case of Palmer Bros., who paid in eight years and four months $1,000 a month for the use of a store, starting in with a capital of $18,000, and at the end of that time were compelled to go into solvency.
“The owners of the land claim that they bought the title to the land from the people. You may say that you were not here then and took no part in the transaction. True, but you belong to the society of the people. There can be ho perpetual title to land. The right is reserved to the state to take the title out of the hands of the landlord or his assigns, and this right has been sustained by the supreme court of the United States from its organization to the present day. This right is not vested in the federal government, but in states wherein the land is located. The landlord is bound by this law as much as the meanest criminal is bound by laws applicable to his case. Because it has not been enforced heretofore that is no reason why it should not be insisted on now.
“In San Francisco but 9,000, including men, women and children, have land interests, while the other 270,000 and over are landless. In 1849 Mr. Prior got title to a sand dune in San Francisco, which was worth about forty cents. He did nothing with it but keep others off till 1884, when he rented it to a panorama company. They had a lease for five years on these terms: For the first year they were to pay $450 a month and erect a building worth $30,000. After the first year the rent was to be $500 a month. They were to pay the taxes on the building and property, keep the sidewalk in repair and insure the buildings as security for Mr. Prior. The landlord had done nothing to increase the rental value of the land; it was done by the whole people.
“The union labor party of the east propose to accomplish this result by a graduated tax, but this is a violation of the constitution which requires that taxation shall be equal. The proposed system of taxation on land according to its rental value and doing away with taxation on improvements and personal property will accomplish the desired result. This is not confiscating the land. It is taking the hands of the landlords out of the pockets of the people. It is simply enforcing a condition by which the land is held. Justice Marshall, of the United States supreme court, in a decision, says if the right to tax exists, it is a right that acknowledges no limit.”
A Tract by Judge Maguire
The central land and labor club of San Francisco have issued a remarkably strong tract by Judge James G. Maguire, entitled “Taxation: the present system a tax, on conscience and a premium on fraud,” from which we extract a few interesting paragraphs.
Speaking of poll taxes, Judge Maguire says: In reality, poll taxes are a burden laid upon the laboring men who are employed in shops and factories. For it is a notorious face that the percentage allowed for collection (over one-seventh of the entire tax) will not induce the collector to make more than one demand for it, unless he can at the same time enforce payment of the amounts due from several persons. The facts in regard to this head tax are most startling; less than two-fifths of the amount levied is ever collected. Take the case of San Francisco, for example. The adult male population (including Chinese) is over 100,000; the tax, at $2 per head, would be over $200,000; but the amount collected is only from $70,000 to $90,000, or an average of less than two-fifths of the amount due.
The injustice of the tax on personal property, as well as of the municipal license tax, is exhibited in a strong light.
It is notoriously unequal; it is expensive and wasteful; it puts a premium upon dishonesty; it is a prolific source of perjury. Need I dwell upon its inequality? Need I tell you, much less prove to you, that the threadbare furniture of the laborers tenement is taxed at twice its market value, while the gorgeous appointments of princely palaces, with the finest cf home and oriental furniture, ornamented and enriched with the choicest gems of European art, are taxed at nominal sums, little exceeding the values put upon the homely outfit of the humble artisan? If any reader doubts this general statement let him look at his own tax bill, and then at the personal property assessment lists in the municipal reports, and he will either be convinced, as I have been, or he will turn away commiserating the dire distress of our reputed millionaires, and wondering how they get through the winter with such meager accommodations. The discrepancy between the assessment and insurance on the stock and fixtures of one of our leading mercantile houses, which recently created a sensation among the uninformed, was by no means an exception to the general rule. In that case the stock and fixtures were assessed for $26,200, and insured for $300,000. The property was burned and the insurance promptly paid, as there was no doubt about the correctness of the insurance valuation.
So far, therefore, as it affects capital invested in mercantile pursuits, it may be justly denominated a tax on conscience and a premium on fraud; for of course the merchant who escapes taxation on ten-elevenths of his goods has an immense advantage in the market over his more conscientious competitor, who is fully taxed.
While this outrageous inequality is a great detriment to the business of the conscientious merchant, the taxes are only advanced by him and are really paid by the consumers. Take a pair of shoes for example; taxes on the raw hides and on the store and fixtures of the hide dealer; taxes on the tannery and tanner’s capital; taxes on the store, stock and fixtures of the leather dealer; taxes on the buildings, machinery, stock and fixtures of the shoe manufacturer; taxes on the buildings, stock and fixtures of the wholesale shoe dealer; taxes on the store, stock and fixtures of the retail shoe dealer; taxes on the horses and vehicles used in transporting the materials from place to place; together with interest and incidental expenses upon the advances so made, are all impressed upon the shoes. Go to make up their selling price, and must be all paid in a lump by the person who finally buys them for use.
The vicious system of municipal licenses I have not space to elucidate, hence this illustration must suffice: If you want a beefsteak you must pay, in addition to the accumulated taxes above mentioned, a wholesale butcher’s license; a wholesale butcher’s delivery wagon license; a retail butcher’s license, and a license on the retail butcher’s delivery wagon which brings the meat to your door. All of these are, like taxes, impressed on the meat, and must be paid by the consumer.
Judge Maguire might have added that the consumer is compelled to pay not only every penny of these taxes, with all the expense of collecting them, but also a profit on their payment.
The author next considers the true system of taxation, and recites its advantages thus:
A single tax upon land values will be found to have these five advantages over all other systems of taxation:
1. It has the least tendency to discourage production. Indeed it seems that it does necessarily encourage production.
2. It is most easily and cheaply collected.
3. It falls directly upon the ultimate payers and cannot be shifted.
4. It is certain, and thus gives no opportunity for tyranny or corruption on the part of officials and no temptation to perjury or evasion on the part of taxpayers.
5. It bears equally, and thus gives no citizen an advantage, nor puts any at a disadvantage as compared with others.
These advantages over the present system would be of incalculable benefit to industry and enterprise. They would directly and immediately promote the interests of all our Citizens, even of our land owners, except such as are mere land speculators, or mere sinecurists quartered on land, and these drones in the hive of industry, or “dogs in the manger” as they have been aptly styled, are of no benefit, but are a positive injury to every interest of the country; and they should not be encouraged. The remainder of the essay is devoted to enforcing these assertions by argument and illustration.
We strongly advise every friend of the cause on the Pacific coast to secure copies of this tract for distribution.
That earnest worker, Judge James G. Maguire, sends to us, across the continent, a copy of Charles Mackay’s stirring appeal to every man who knows the truth to utter it fearlessly:
SPEAK THY THOUGHT
Shame upon thee, craven spirit!
Is it manly, just or bravo,
If a truth have shone within thee,
To conceal the light it gave?
Captive of the world’s opinion—
Free to speak, but yet a slave?
All conviction should be valiant;
Tell thy truth, if truth it be;
Never seek to stem its current—
Thoughts, like rivers, find the sea;
It will fit the widening circle
Speak thy thought, if thou believ’st it,
Let it jostle whom it may,
E’en although the foolish scorn it.
Or the obstinate gainsay—
Every seed that; grows tomorrow in
Lies beneath the clod today.
If our sires, the noble hearted
Pioneers of things to come,
Had, like thee. Been weak and timid,
Traitors to themselves, and dumb,
Where would be our present knowledge?
Where the hoped millennium?
Where would be triumphant science,
Searching with her fearless eyes,
Through the infinite creation
For the soul that underlies—
Soul of beauty, soul of goodness,
Wisdom of the earth and skies?
Where would be all great inventions,
Each from bygone fancies born,
Issued first in doubt and darkness,
Launched amid apathy and scorn?
How could noontime ever light us,
But for dawning of the morn?
Where would be our free opinion,
Where the right to sneak at all,
If our sires, like thee, mistrustful,
Had been deaf to duty’s call,
And concealed the thoughts within them,
Lying down for fear to fall?
Though an honest thought outspoken,
Lead thee into chains or death,
What is lite compared with virtue?
Shalt thou not survive the breath?
Hark! The future age invites thee!
Listen ! Trembler, what it saith!
It demands thy thought in justice,
Debt, not tribute, of the free;
Have not ages, long departed,
Groaned, and toiled and bled for thee!
If the past have lent thee wisdom,
Pay it to futurity.
Such versesare a trumpet call to action, a loud reproach to every one who is content to sit at ease while others are bearing the heat and burden and privations of the day. And let there be no mistake about it; on every one who knows the truth and fails to spread it so far as in him lies, there rests a share of responsibility for the sin and misery which can only be driven from earth by the triumph of our cause, This is a private soldiers’ battle we are fighting; it must be won by individual court, and in no other way. Your neighbors—the men and women whom you know—are the people you must work on, and every hour that you postpone your work delays our final victory.
Here is a letter from a worker who has been fighting the good light with tongue and pen for years past. It tolls the story of a man who speaks and writes and works for the cause generally because he cannot help it. Warren W. Baileys paper, the Vincennes News, is striking noble blows for the cause, as Standard readers who have seen some of its utterances reprinted in these columns well know. With fifty thousand such workers our triumph would be merely a question of months:
Vincennes, Ind.—We are so prone to lament that good things got on so slowly here below, so apt to despair of reaching Carcasonne, that I have thought my experience in this movement, briefly told, might interest and perhaps cheer some brother to march on and keep in the middle of the road.
It was nearly six years ago, in an idle hour on a rainy day, that I chanced upon “Progress and Poverty.” Before that I had advocated free trade in all out of season, but always with the conviction that it fell short of a solution of the social problem, ever with a haunting sense of its inadequacy as a remedy for the ills for which I prescribed it, with some dim, wavering perception of the truth, for I had read not a little collaterally on the general subject.
Well, the book was a revelation. It took away the veil from my eyes and I saw the light in all its glorious effulgence, not immediately, not with one sweep of vision, but slowly, almost painfully, as one emerging from a cover into broad day. But I saw the light and it filled me with a rapture that I shall not attempt to describe. It gave new life to my work, new hope, new inspiration, and my first impulse was to tell my friends. The first one I told laughed at me, but I got him to read the book. He was my first convert I talked this new truth to my father and another and the rest of the family. They tell visitors we have had land reform for breakfast, dinner. Supper and night cap for six years, and they are converts. An editorial friend came to spend a week at Christmas time. We made it merry with “Progress and Poverty” and he went home to convert his wife and teach the new gospel through his paper, as I was and am preaching it in mine. And how the people scoffed at my first editorials! They took them as jokes, but eventuality they took a more serious view, and “crank,” “communist,” “anarchist,” began to be heard in connection with my name. So it went. My friends pitied me; my enemies rejoiced that they could use my heresy to bring me to the stake of public opinion. But, as Methodists never preach a sermon that hasn’t something in it to save a soul, so I never let a copy of my paper go out that had not at least something to put my reader in the way of salvation. Contrary to my expectation, circulation did not drop. Only one here and there quit on account of that “blanked land reform business,” but for every one such two came to more than fill the place. The second person I put in the way of light was a lawyer, as was the first; and be is today making glorious speeches for the cause. Another friend, a lawyer and legislator made fun of me for three years, but at Cincinnati on July 4 I heard him speaking the glad news to thousands of enthusiastic people from a platform a minute before occupied by Henry George. Another friend, an editor, derided my paper for its course. I told him to study the question before passing judgment. That was two years ago. Only two weeks since The Standard printed a note from his pen that was in some souse a tribute to me, for I first set him to thinking. I might run on thus for pages; but enough has been said to show how a little leaven willwork great effects. My sphere has been very, very united, yet I do not doubt that, directly or indirectly, through me have been added a thousand recruits to the army of the new crusade. And I look over the field with a feeling of pride and good hope, or I see that every one of these will carry the tidings to another; that the family board, in the case of each, has or will become a recruiting stat ion: and that triumph is even now in sight over the hills of ignorance and across the rolling seas of prejudice.
Therefore, good brother, do not sit down and lament. Go to your neighbor, to your boy—to any sentient soul that will give ear to the message—and preach it. Preach it every day. Preach it in Sunday school, as you will find good opportunity if you watch! Preach it to your sweetheart or your wife. Some of the seed will fall in good ground, and will yield you a harvest of rejoicing. Don’t mind the ribald jests of the mob. Bear with the sneers and slights of the saviors of society, and go right on spreading the glorious news that Christ is come back into the world with sweet religion teaching that God is the Father and all men are His children, equal inheritors of His bounties.
Surely the prize is worth the struggle!
Warren W. Bailet.
This letter of Mr. Bailey’s reminds us to remind you how much can be done through the local press of any neighborhood. It isn’t at all hard work to get your local editor to help you in your work of making converts. He may not be willing to help you—be may even do all in his power to show his readers that the anti-poverty gospel is a wild dream of a few impracticable fanatics; but if he can only be got to discuss the question, no matter which side of it he may espouse, he must help you in spite of himself. Discussion means victory for us; that’s the beauty of a cause which has truth, and not expediency, behind it. Write to your local paper. Ask the editor to explain things to you. Point out to him the discrepancy in tax assessment between improved and idle land, and beg him to tell you why industry and improvements should be punished with a tax line, and idle speculators in God’s bounties encouraged. Fut the case to him of a young man who is anxious if possible to remain in the town or village of his birth, who is able and ready to build a house, get married, and settle down to help advance the prosperity of his native place, but who is driven away because some man with a piece of paper demands a blackmail for the use of a piece of God’s earth; and ask him to explain the matter to you. Collect what statistics you can about the increase of farm mortgages, the absorption of small farms into large ones, the taking of farm lands out of cultivation and transforming them into idle and vacant town lots, the degradation of farmers’ sons into day wage laborers, and ask why these things are so— why they could not be prevented by making the people who monopolize God’s bounties pay taxes for the exclusive privilege of using them. If there are quarries, or mines, or marl deposits, or valuable wells near at hand, show how small a portion of their product goes to the men who work in them, how large a portion goes to those who do nothing but prevent others from working in them, and to what an extent their productiveness might be increased if the men who “own” them were compelled by rigid taxation either to work them themselves or permit others to do so. Ask questions; insist on having answers; point out how the answers confute themselves, and you can start a discussion among your neighbors that will enable you to bring recruit after recruit to the new crusade and subscriber after subscriber to The Standard.
Here is a letter worth reading:
—I inclose herewith for the McGlynn fund $2.50, for the recruit subscription fund $2.50; total, $5. It is my intention to send weekly at least $2, to be equally divided, as above, and I invite all other subscribers to The Standard (I have been one from the beginning), who are able, to join with me. If eight hundred of them will do so, then the noble martyr (the head perhaps of a noble army of martyrs) will receive a little over $40,000 a year. I have no doubt that he will emulate the good bishop in “Les Miserables.” If he should move into a marble palace, I shall stop my contribution.
My contribution to the recruit subscription find continued for one year will have enabled you to send The Standard for six weeks to 327 people; and I invite those of your subscribers who are not able to contribute money, but can furnish names, to send in the names. If eight hundred shall accept my first invitation (beginning with $5 and continuing for one year thereafter at $2 per week). the number of names required from the others will be 201,927. Tracts may do a great deal, but six weeks of The Standard to that number will do a great deal more. As the English hostler said, “Hits not the ‘ard and easy ‘unting that ‘urts the ‘orse’s ‘oofs, but the ‘ammer, ‘ammer, ‘ammer on the ‘ard ‘igh road.” I would like that the remarkable speech by Mr. Ring, published in your last issue, could so with the first number. Could it not be done in the form of a supplement*
The foregoing was written before I had reached “Publishers’ Notes” in your last. Since reading them I have felt impelled to reopen my communication and double my first contribution (but to be divided as before, so that thirty more STANDARDS may go out a I once. Now, fellow subscribers to The Standard, who are able, who will be the first of the eight hundred? Do all speak a t once?
‘Ammer ‘Ammer ‘Ammer.
‘Ammer ‘Ammer ‘Ammer strikes the nail square on the head at enemy blow. If eight hundred Standard readers would pledge themselves to send a dollar a week for recruit subscriptions we could count on nearly 300,000 converts from that source alone within a year. If eight thousand would do it instead of eight hundred a year or two would sec the dawn of the millennium. Mind, this isn’t any figure of speech, but a cold, sober fact. Our victory is only a question of numbers. Do your duty, Standard readers, uplift the cross of the new crusade and urge it forward and the triumph will be speedy. Sir, idle while others work and the triumph will be delayed, perhaps until you shall have passed away.
Mr. Ring’s remarkable speech, to which ‘Ammer ‘Ammer ‘Ammer alludes, has been published in tract form, and is already doing good word.
Toledo, O.—For inclosed $2 send The Standard for six weeks to the following twelve names. I have just returned from a trip through Michigan, and find the signs hopeful for a full realization of the rights of man to the use of the earth. In Manchester I noticed a young man reading “Progress and Poverty;” in Saline came in contact with some prohibitionists, one of whom said he was in full sympathy with Dr. McGlynn, but could not go his land doctrine. I asked what he thought the doctor’s idea was in regard to land. He said he wanted to take the land away from the people. I explained to him that he was mistaken, that the contrary was true: he merely wanted to place all taxes on land values, and exempt what labor produced from tuxes. He said I am in for that; do that and you destroy land monopoly; no man would hold more land than he could use, and in bringing land into use labor must be employed. Get the truth to the people, and we can win sooner than we expect, or could have hoped a few years ago.
A. R. Wynn.
Enterprise, Kan.—I inclose seventeen recruit subscriptions, nearly all of whom think George and McGlynn should be hung.
The Standard is a wonderful paper, and is doing a great work. It preaches true religion, of which we surely need a great revival. Theology has been substituted for religion, until the world is losing sight of its moral moorinffs: and ability to keep out of the penitentiary has become the only test of honesty and respectability. Keep on answering objections and stating primitive principles plainly. Let the light in on the very foundation, and when a man is once started right he will go on. It is the many who know nothing of land reform that must be looked after first.
W. H. T. Wakefield.
Baltimore, Md.—Find inclosed $2 for another club of twelve six-weeks’ subscribers. I have heard from some of my last list who received their first copies last week. One man said he had never before seen or heard of such a paper as The Standard, and after reading one number of it he did not see how any working man could fail to see the benefit of the single tax. Another, who used to call Henry George a socialist and anarchist, said there was a good deal of common sense in the paper; he is a tugboat engineer.
Portland, Me.—For inclosed $1 send The Standard for six weeks to the following addresses addresses.
As fast as I read my Standard I give it to some one else to read, and I am making converts all the time.
H. R. Selleck.
Remember our system of recruit subscriptions is intended to enable readers to have The Standard sent to their friends for six weeks only at a reduced price. We send the paper for six weeks
To any two addresses for 50 cents.
To any five addresses for $1.
To any twelve addresses for $2.
But we cannot renew subscriptions at the same rates.
New Haven, Conn.—Please find inclosed $1, my membership fee in the Anti-poverty society. I feel it an honor to belong to such a movement, and can’t but feel I should be less a man were I not to work for its success. I am but a working man with little time and money, but am doing what I can toward helping the movement.
There are a good many men in this city who, through reading newspapers owned by capitalists and edited by college graduates, get a very wrong impression of what the and and labor party is striving for; and the newsdealers in this vicinity seem to want to hide the light by having a very limited supply of STANDARDS for sale each week. So if one is not able to get to the stores by Friday evening they miss getting the paper. But no matter how capitalistic newspapers misrepresent this movement and sneer at Henry George and his “absurd theories,” the seed has been sown, and every day it is growing, being nourished by intelligence, reason and justice, and we feel in our hearts that this movement is going to be successful—is going to be a grand success—and people in the generations that are to come will look back with love and reverence to the founder of this glorious movement, and will build monuments to him in their hearts which will last forever.
W. H. Daily.
Friend Daily, you write an interesting letter. You apparently understand the secret of the letter writing art—to have something to say, to make up your mind just what it is, and to say it tersely and clearly. Now, why do you let this talent of yours be idle when you have such a splendid chance to use it for the benefit of the cause you have at heart? If your local press with its college graduate editors conveys a false idea of the anti-poverty movement why don’t you try and make use of the same press to correct this false idea? Write letters, ask questions, make comments. Start a discussion somehow. You can do it if you try, and the result cannot fail to be beneficial. Never mind the editorial comments that may be made on your letters. Falsehood can’t hurt us, and truth is bound to help us. A cause like ours, founded on a great bottom principle of justice, needs only discussion to help it on. The men who oppose and abuse it with tongue and pen are doing good missionary work in spite of themselves. It is only those who keep quiet and avoid discussion who can seriously delay our triumph. As for the newsdealers keeping scant supplies of The Standard, time will cure that evil, and you can hasten the cure by inducing your friends to inquire for and buy the paper. Newsdealers don’t lack shrewdness, and when they see that their customers really want a paper they’re pretty sure to supply it if possible. Many among them are doing all they can for The Standard already, and others are coming into the movement daily.
“Stella of the East” sends us $5 for two subscriptions to TRE Standard, “wishing it were twenty times as much,” and these verses, which she entitles the new version of “The Sweet Bye and Bye:”
There’s a land that’s the fairest of lands,
Where the flag of the free is unfurled;
Where the statue of liberty stands
With her torchlight enlightening the world.
In the sweet bye and bye
Liberty shall establish her fame;
In the sweet bye and bye
She her mission shall louder proclaim!
We shall see in this beautiful land,
When we justice no longer oppose,
Homes of beauty on every hand
And the wilderness bloom as the rose.
In the sweet bye and bye,
Which the prophet and priest have foretold;
In the sweet bye and bye,
Crowned with blessings and joy manifold.
And now for our letter box:
A gentleman in Louisville, Ky., writing to one of the regular contributors to the columns of The Standard remitting money for books and subscriptions, says:
This is the only cause I have ever known that seems to me worthy of all men’s utmost enthusiasm and unsparing energy. It is Christ’s own religion renewed and revivified—made all alive with the very spirit of Christ himself. My interest and sympathies are utterly absorbed in it, and I deeply deplore that I can do so little to further the cause. But what I can do to bring the truth to the minds of those of my friends (and others) who are capable of thinking—who can understand a simple proposition when demonstrated as clearly as this land doctrine is—I mean to do by supplying them with “Progress and Poverty” and The Standard until they know that there is such a question now at issue and what that question is. . . . I am saturated with Henry George’s “heresies,” if such they be, without a scintilla of reservation in mind, heart or soul. I have known what it is to carry the specter of poverty in the back of one’s head for some twenty-five years, and if it has been so ever present with me, who have prospered reasonably well in the way of making money, how must it have eaten into the souls of the millions who earn in a year only what I have been paid twelve times a year. The wonder to me is that any one who recognizes his fellow men as men can withstand the truth as expounded in “Progress and Poverty,” or withhold from it his heartiest sympathy and support.
Baltimore, Md.—Inclosed find $1 for five copies of “Progress and Poverty” in paper. The fruit has commenced to ripen, and I am going to gather it in.
Frank M. Duval.
St. Paul, Minn.—Inclosed find $1.25, for which send The Standard for six months. I have been a reader of your paper since it was first issued, receiving the papers from the local newsdealer; but being absent from the city a few days the fore part of the week, I was unable to obtain a copy. The demand for The Standard has wonderfully increased here. One of the newsdealers informs me he could have sold 300 additional copies last week if he had them.
Essen, Pa.—Send me The Standard for another six months. I would as soon want a meal a day as want The Standard. It is always Monday before it arrives here. If you can send it sooner, please do so. I am always wearying for it.
Waukesha, Wis.—-Send me $1 worth of tracts, such as in your judgment would be best for circulation among country people. God bless The Standard. Its heavenly eloquence drives the blues away. I have made four converts, with three men to hear from. “Great-God,” said one, “we endure a system that allows men to buy up and fence in God’s creation as a means of making other men support them in idleness.” Our strongest weapon is to get men to thinking.
Los Angeles, Cal.—I have just placed some copies of The Standard and some land and labor tracts in the hall of the Seventh Day Adventists in San Francisco, and also in the Salvation army hall of Los Angeles. At the same time I left them a little note advising them to carefully read The Standard, and to preach hereafter in their sermons that to believe in a just and kind God is to believe that God made us all equals, and gave the land to us all for use, and not for to hold for speculative purposes. I hope that they will see the truth and help along the cause.
Inclosed are stamps. Send me some back numbers of The Standard, I shall send for them every week, as I think they are better than the tracts.
J. E. Miller.
Red Bud, Ill.—For the inclosed $25 send me the inclosed list of books; also five copies of The Standard for one year to my address. I want to put them where I think they will do most good.
For the balance of the money send such an assortment of tracts as you think will do most good in an agricultural country. Sample copies of The Standard are always welcome. It is a real pleasure to send money to The Standard, as I feel I am doing good with it, both for myself and for others.
Waco, Tex.—I have just finished reading the meeting of the Anti-poverty society, and am happy to hear of the good work progressing so fast. I never understood what true Christianity was until I read Dr. McGlynn’s lectures. I had about come to the conclusion that religion was a humbug, but in the few months I have been reading The Standard I have been convinced that there is one place where true Christianity is taught. I read and talk the doctrine of The Standard to every person who wants to know what you people are doing, and to some that don’t. I am doing everything possible to get people to study this question you so justly advocate.
E. W. Williams.
Thus the earnest workers are laboring all over the land, and their number is increasing week by week. Standard readers, for the speedy triumph of our cause nothing is necessary but that you should—each and every one of you—join this band of workers.
The bulletin board idea seems to be spreading. One reader writes from East Saginaw, Mich.:
It has been proposed to make use of the bill board system of “spreading the light.” Now, suppose that such short articles as that of W. Parkin of Paterson, N. J., in The Standard of July 30, or the clippings from the Rock Islander, Boston Globe. And Fort Worth Gazette, in The Standard of same date, under the head of “Straws Which Show the Wind,” were put where the toiling millions would have to read them or turn their heads the other way, how could they fail to produce good results? True, these articles are short, but as the peanut boy found that giving each passenger on the train just one peanut as a sample caused an immediate demand for more peanuts, so it is very plain that on the same principle the tracts and papers would be increased, even among people who have never thought of finding the cause of their hardships. Another correspondent writes:
Cannon Falls, Minn.—There is a public notice board at my house. While looking at it the other day the idea occurred to me that it would be a good plan to have an attractive poster on it telling in a few words our principles and plans and how to find out about them. It would set the passer-by to thinking, and if there were more than one it would set them arguing. They would be the banners on the outer wails, to show the spirit within. The people are so busy nowadays that we must take them on the wing.
And from St. Louis comes this message:
My friend, Mr. L., an ardent supporter of our common cause, carrying on a cigar, fruit and toy establishment on a principal corner of a thoroughfare much frequented on Sunday by working people, is desirous to act on your suggestion to establish a regular “land and labor” “bulletin board,” on which we can post the pamphlets, reviews, STANDARDS and other literature relating to the movement. We are preparing our bulletin board. And wish to know if you will forward us at the earnest possible time a judicious selection of “land and labor library” tracts to start us. After the first have been exhibited, we are confident of an increasing demand for STANDARDS and tracts and all publications. We are forming contiguous to the bulletin news stand a Henry George club, and would like to enable our members to be thoroughly educated up to the principles we advocate so earnestly. I find on observation the astonishing and gratifying fact that workingmen, almost to a unit, have heard of this “land restoration,” and it has acted on them like the bugle on a war horse. And they are piteously asking for more light. Show them the way, they are ready to move, and are watching New York as their guiding star. We must educate our constituency. Send us lots of tracts. Our people will gladly may for this kind of food, and are languishing for it.
Charles Edw. Turner.
This bulletin board idea has immense possibilities in it, and is very easy to put in practice, especially in small town and village neighborhoods. A board is easily put together and any tree will do to hang it on. Complete copies of The Standard, or of suitable tracts, can be kept displayed on it; and it would be well that the board should have displayed on it the address of the nearest land and labor club, or anti-poverty society, or of some individual to whom application can be made for further documents and information. An announcement of The Standard, with a local address to which subscriptions can be forwarded, should also appear on the board.
New York.—A large number of the flock would be glad to have you state in Publishers Notes which in your estimation is the best single trust setting forth briefly the essentials of our religion—a sort of “Progress and Poverty” in a nutshell. We have some opinions of our own, but you and your colleagues are in a better position to judge the question fairly. What the laity want for missionary work is a condensation of the whole in attractive, readable shape, to carry around and hand to friends who are just hearing of us and who are willing to examine the question in this form, but who shrink like a recruit at camp meeting from being drawn out.
W. J. Terwilliger.
We think tract No. 30, “The Case Plainly Stated,” will perhaps fill our correspondent’s requirements better than any other. But so much depends on circumstances—the character of the person addressed, his mental capacity and mode of thought, that it would be impossible to name any single tract that should be applicable to all cases.
We have had several questions of this kind lately, and in order that our readers may secure the opportunity to examine and decide for themselves just which, tracts are best suited for use among their friends, we shall, for the present, send a complete set of the “Land and Labor Library”—one copy of each tract—to any address for twenty cents.
The recruiting fund now stands;
P. J. R.
Mrs. A. C. T.
D. A. Learned
E. D. Northrup
A. Gardiner, Sherman, Tex.
Total to date
The object of this fund is to forward Standards to persons in various parts of the country whose names are furnished by friends of the cause who are themselves unable to supply the necessary money.
The fund needs support. We have thousands of good names upon your list, and lack only the means to utilize them.
The Standard needs the addresses of Methodist clergymen in all parts of the country. Will such of our readers as are able send them in? It should be stated, in every case, whether the address is a permanent one or not. If the clergyman is about to be transferred, please give the new as well as the present address, with the date at which the transfer will be made.