VOLUME II. —NO. 12. NEW YORK,
SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 24, 1887.
Price Five Cents
Note: this Anthem appears at the top of the two middle columns of the first page.
An Anthem For the Right
Here’s a battle song for Labor, here’s an anthem for the Right,
For the toilers and the moilers, for the men whose brawn and bone
Make the desert bloom and blossom like “The Valley of Delight,”
And bring Plenty where without them Famine gaunt would rear his throne.
Here’s a verse to cheer them onward,
On their way from darkness sunward.
Place there! Forward, foremost, vanward!
Be the Flag of Labor shown.
Lo! the day dawn! The horizon now grows glad with freedom’s rays;
Lo! the portents of the morrow, clouding, crowding all the skies;
Hark! the breezes e’en are voiceful with the songs of pray’r and praise
That obedient to the potent spell of Thought and Justice rise.
Hear the notes of joyance swelling,
Doom of Wrong and Error knelling,
Light has come, the night dispelling.
“Truth is born and Falsehood dies.”
From the valleys where the farmer plows and delves and sows the soil;
From the factories and forges, where the million workers throns
From the disembowell’d mountains, where thegrimy miners toil,
Hear the pæan rising, jubilant and resonant and strong:
“Glory! for a new evangel
Cometh with a power to change ill!
Hail the message of the angel—
Justice triumphs over Wrong!” David Rorty.
“GO FORWARD, DOING EACH ALL THAT IS POSSIBLE.”
Not a Battle of Men, but of Great Principles — The Opening Gun Fired in Union Square, and Its Echo Resounding Throughout the State—A General Feeling of Confidence and a Determination to Work to the Uttermost — Religion and Politics in Invincible Union
The great mass meeting in Union square on Saturday night last, marked the opening of the campaign of ‘87 — the formal entrance of the united labor party into the arena of state politics.
The demonstration was in every way a success. The vast throng that filled the square was evidently not attracted by any mere motive of curiosity, but was composed of earnest, determined citizens, united by a common devotion to a great principle. A noticeable feature was the presence of a large number of ladies, who listened eagerly to the speeches and resolutions, and emphasized their approval with their waving hankerchiefs.
The opening speech, by John McMackin, was a terse and vigorous presentation of the principles and purposes of the party, explaining the reason of its being and the results to be expected from its triumph.
“We meet here tonight,” said Mr. McMackin, “to ratify the nominations of the convention at Syracuse and indorse a platform that promises equal privileges, equal opportunities and an equal right for all to a footing on God’s footstool. This party, that has been in existence but a single year, has gathered to its standard today a vast body of men who are determined that this government of ours shall be conducted as its founders intended it should be, for the benefit, not of a class or of a party, but of the whole people. We are here to reassert the fundamental principles of the declaration of American independence. We say with Thomas Jefferson that the land of our country belongs in usufruct to the living. We maintain the right of every citizen of this country to that equal right to the opportunity to live which was asserted in the Declaration of Independence more than one hundred years ago.
“There can be no pure government, no true equality before the law while a fraction of our population possesses the power to crush labor, to deny it employment and to extort from the producers all that they earn. We have looked on for years at the spectacle of two parties struggling together in an ignoble scramble for the spoils of office, without principle, without ideas, without aim beyond the plunder of the people. With the change in the administration has come no change in the methods of government. In truth, we are not governed by the government, but by the vast corporations it has fostered.
“These great corporations fear the united labor party. They see with terror a party opposed to them that knows what it wants, and knows how to get it. We are the only party that holds that the iron roads of commerce should belong to the people. We are the only party that denounces the national banking system. We are the only party which declares that all public business that can be better conducted by an organization than by an individual should be controlled by the federal, state or municipal government. It will be our own fault now if we fail to throw off the shackles that bind us.”
Of the triumph of the principles represented by the united labor party, and of the glorious results which will follow their establishment, Henry George spoke in confident and glowing terms.
“As to our victory, that is certain. We will, I believe, this year carry the city of New York and place our nominees in office. It is certainly possible, in my opinion, that we may carry the state. At the worst, at the lowest, we shall count up such a vote in this great state of New York as shall show beyond all peradventure that a new political era has begun and that a party has been born that is destined to write upon our institutions and laws the eternal principles enunciated in the Declaration of American Independence. There is in this movement something deeper, something wider, something nobler and higher than we are accustomed to associate with political movements. We are not striving to put men in office; we are striving to abolish poverty; we are striving to make the American republic a republic in truth as well as in name, a republic not of governed and governors, not of millionaires and tramps, not of the idle class and the working class, but a republic of free and independent citizens, equal in opportunities, equal in political rights, having in their own hands their own destiny; a republic where there shall be work for all, leisure for all, comfort for all, abundance for all; a republic in which no child shall ever go hungry, no woman ever want for bread or ever have to bend herself to unseemly toil; a republic wherein the poorest may have every opportunity for the development of every faculty, for attaining that destiny which the Creator of us all has given us opportunity of securing in the natural laws which he has made for the government of this bounteous world, and of those human children whom he brings into it. I shrink sometimes from the work; but no matter how hard it be, no matter how hopeless it may at times have seemed, it is yet the highest privilege for any man to have the opportunity of engaging in this work. We battle not for ourselves, but for the children that shall come after us.
“Eyes will be turned to New York for the next few weeks, not merely from every part of the American Union, but every part of the civilized world where men are struggling for the rights of man — are striving for a higher, a better and a purer social condition. Their hearts will be with us; our victory will be their triumph. Now, from this night on, let us go forward doing each all that is possible for him to do. As has already been said, this is not a battle of men, but of great principles. Let us all do what we can to show the determination and the strength of the men of New York that the result on the 8th of November will be the signal ringing throughout the entire Union for the concentration of all citizens who love their country, all citizens who would strive to carry out the principles of the Declaration of Independence under the standard that we have raised in the state of New York.
In all the other speeches there was apparent the same tone of steady determination, the same clear understanding of the principles involved, the same triumphant certainty of victory soon to be achieved. Workingmen were there to tell the glad confidence they felt in coming industrial emancipation. Everett Glackin of the famous Typographical Union No. 6, James E. Quinn of District 49 and others among the wage workers voiced the allegiance of their fellows. Clergymen, lawyers, merchants, storekeepers, school teachers, physicians — scarce a walk in life but might have counted its representatives by scores upon the platforms and amid the listening throng.
It was a meeting of men conscious of a wrong, determined to right it, understanding perfectly the task before them, with definite plans of action, and calm confidence of victory — a meeting that will be historical, and which in after years men will be proud to have attended.
Fully as significant as the Union square meeting of Saturday night were the gatherings on Sunday at which religion walked hand in hand with politics, and taught that the true mission of the statesman is to so shape human ordinances as to render possible the literal fulfilling of the law of Christ in the coming of God’s kingdom upon earth. Although three great meetings were in progress at the same time — at the Academy of Music, at Miner’s theater on Eighth avenue and at the Brooklyn academy — yet each was crowded to the utmost, and from each men and women went away disappointed of admission. It may be safely said that a fourth meeting — perhaps even a fifth — equally large, might have been held, without diminishing by a single individual the audiences that listened to Hugh O. Pentecost, to Edward McGlynn and to Henry George.
In this close harmony between political principle and religious truth lies the unconquerable strength of the new movement. Men may be induced to vote for an individual or a platform; they cannot be withheld from voting for a religious truth that has become part of the very fiber of their being. Side by side, standing together on the firm platform of the fatherhood of God and the brotherhood of man, the Anti-poverty society and the united labor party are invincible. They may be repulsed. They cannot be put to flight. They are sure to triumph in the end.
And while the leaders of the two old parties are rallying their forces, and drawing tight the party lines, and fondly fancying the rumble of their hollow drums to be the mutterings of genuine thunder, the sworn preachers of the gospel are beginning to ask concerning these strange teachings — these gatherings at which cheers of gladness welcome the reading of the Lord’s prayer — whether, after all, it may not be a duty to examine into them and see if indeed they be not of God.
On Monday last the Methodist ministers of the New York and Newark conferences assembled at the rooms of the Methodist book concern, in this city, where by special invitation Dr. McGlynn told them of the new crusade, its mission and the crying need of it. The doctor spoke with even more than wonted eloquence, and with a fervor and directness whose effect was testified to by frequent bursts of applause. He showed that the “labor question” was a religious question; that it
involved the very essence of the doctrine of the fatherhood of God. “The equality of men,” said he, “and the inalienable rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, declared by our immortal Jefferson and by the other signers of that declaration, may be said to be but a transcript of the gospel of Christ.” Although the ministers, in their vote of thanks to Dr. McGlynn, wisely declined to commit themselves as a body to any hasty acceptance of the anti-poverty doctrine, it was evident, nevertheless, that the majority of them were deeply impressed, and probably not a few actually converted.
Think of a congregation of Methodist ministers, sworn foes to the dogmas of the church of Rome, listening eagerly and half persuaded to the teachings of a Catholic priest! Since to the philosophers of Athens Paul said: “Whom therefore ye ignorantly worship, him declare I unto you,” has the world seen aught more significant of changing thought?
With a political organization and a religious society already in the field against a common enemy, there is still a third division of the Anti-poverty host falling into line. The members of various labor unions are organizing for separate, but harmonious, action. The Printers’ legion is already in the field, and has sent Everett Glackin, the president of Typographical union No. 6 to represent it at various meetings through the state. The telegraphers are also wheeling into line. Their clear and forcible showing of the direct interest which telegraphers, like all other wage workers, have in the success of the united labor party, is printed in this issue of the Standard, and will be sent broadcast through the state, while one or more able speakers will probably be selected to attend meetings. Other trades are preparing to take similar action.
The party organization in New York city is in wholesome condition, armed and eager for the fray. A spirit of emulation is spreading among the various assembly districts, each striving with determined energy to outdo the rest in effective work. The Thirteenth secured a rousing meeting at Miner’s Eighth avenue theater on Sunday evening last to listen to Dr. McGlynn and realized some $400 toward the expenses of the campaign, besides bringing the teachings of the united labor party to the attention of a large body of men who hitherto have taken but little real interest in politics. The audience was largely composed of employees of the great uptown bazars, a class hitherto difficult to reach. The meetings will be repeated on future Sunday evenings, the next being announced for Sunday, October 2, when Henry George will speak. The Seventh assembly district is arranging for a similar meeting at an early date. Other districts are displaying similar activity in various directions. There will be no want of liveliness and zeal in the city campaign.
In Brooklyn the enthusiastic meeting at the Academy of Music on Sunday evening followed close on the nomination of the city and county tickets, and promised well for the future of the party. Besides Henry George, J. P. Kohler and John R. O’Donnell, ex-president of Typographical union No. 6, addressed the meeting. The work of organization in Kings county is progressing rapidly and satisfactorily.
Although it is as yet too soon to speak with any definiteness of the prospects of the partyin the state at large, yet it can be said with truth that the signs are encouraging. Assembly district organizations and land and labor clubs are daily forming at new and often unexpected points, and the correspondence of the Standard gives gratifying evidence that the rural members of the united labor party are determined to do the full measure of their duty. One thing noticeable is that the establishment of an organization almost always draws out a considerable number of men who up to that time had made no sign of interest in the movement, and very possibly were not themselves completely aware of their own conversion until the occasion for declaring themselves arrived. Politics in New York state this year is in a decidedly electric condition.
How will the farmers vote? is the question often and anxiously asked. It would be easier to meet the half-frightened assertions of the pro-poverty press that the farmer vote is safe to be cast against the united labor party with a confident counter assertion. The actual truth is that if the land owning farmers were polled today, their vote would probably be largely against us. But the farmers are not to be polled today, but on the second Tuesday in November, and during the intervening weeks there is ample time for the farmers to hear a good deal of solid truth and sound argument, and do a mighty sight of thinking. Our opponents are making the serious mistake of treating the farmer as though he were a fool, and a credulous fool at that. In place of argument they give him misrepresentation and abuse — trot out a straw-stuffed figure before him, christen it united labor, and triumphantly knock it to pieces. Already the signs are not wanting that farmers who have had a chance to hear what the principles of the united labor party really are, resent this sort of treatment.
Thus much may be said with the confidence of experience: That at every public meeting yet held in the rural districts the farmers have shown a decided disposition to listen and think for themselves. At Lowville, at Fort Edward, at Newburg — wherever yet a great meeting has been held — the farmers have been singularly attentive auditors and have shown by their applause that forcible argument and apt illustration are by no means thrown away on them. And it should not be forgotten that not all the farming class are farmers. There is no rural neighborhood in this state in which there may not be found a large number of wage working agriculturists who are eager to become farmers on their own account, and who are quick to realize that the release of nature’s bounty from the grip of the land monopolist would enable them to apply their labor, for their own exclusive profit, directly to the soil.
From a village in the interior of the state, where recently a speaker of the united labor party addressed a crowded audience, comes the news that at morning service in one of the churches this prayer was uttered:
“We thank Thee for good men; for men from whom we get nobler ideals and grander enthusiasms; men whose touch is a baptism, whose influence is an inspiration and a benediction, and whose words are like heart throbs of the infinite love. May such men be multiplied more and more, and ever be, by ban of sect and of party, if not by better process, set free from whatever circumscribes and fetters them, and brought into the larger fellowship and communion of our redeemed and struggling and hoping humanity.”
A political party, the teaching of whose principles can inspire such a supplication, has on its side a force that will surely win for it the victory.
The Story of an Anti-Poverty Raid in Scotland.
Glasgow, Scotland.—Some time ago I wrote to you for 3,000 assorted copies of your “Land and Labor library” for a holiday crusade. Unfortunately they did not arrive in time. Through the kindness of a friend, however, Mr. Muir and I were supplied with a considerable quantity of literature, consisting of “Land and People,” “The Crime of Poverty,” etc. Armed with these we set out on our crusade against poverty. Our first engagement was on board the steamer which carried us along with other 2,000 excursionists toward the stronghold of the duke of Argyle. On Saturday and Sunday the standard of the cross was unfurled at Campbelltown, on Tuesday at Leith, Wednesday at Kircaldy, Thursday again at Leith (by special invitation), and on Friday Burntisland.
Many glaring instances of the injustice and evil effects of landlordism came under our observation during that crusade, but you seem to have such a surfeit of these in America that it is quite unnecessary to press any Scottish samples upon you.
The tracts arrived on the Tuesday following and since then we have done our best by holding two and sometimes three meetings per week in and around Glasgow to dispose of them, and I am glad to say that in this way we have already distributed the greater part of them.
So much for our trip and now one word about your admirable paper and the glorious movement in America.
To one who for some time has devoted the greater part of his spare time to preaching the doctrine of the fatherhood of God and the brotherhood of man, and who often feels discouraged by the apparent indifference with which men listen to the truth, The Standard is a “weekly welcome.”
Moses is said to have been permitted to obtain a distant view of the land of promise from the summit of Mount Pisgah, and when I read of the success attending the anti-poverty movement in America, when I peruse the glowing remarks of Dr. McGlynn, the Rev. Hugh O. Pentecost, Father Huntington, Henry George and others, I fancy that I see in the no distant future a realization of that prayer which, as a boy, I was taught to lisp at a mother’s knee in years gone by, “Thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is done in heaven.” I have long been convinced that if our efforts are to be crowned with success, if “the land for the people” is to become a reality, these efforts must be influenced by and the leaders imbued with sound Christian principles. I am glad to see that this is preeminently the case in America and that so many clergymen are taking up the cross of the new crusade. Would to God that all our spiritual advisers saw that the best preparation we could make for heaven is to make this world of ours as like it as possible, and that this can only be done by recognizing every human being as a child of God, having an equal right to the use of all those natural agents and opportunities which in His goodness He has provided for the satisfaction of the wants and desires of mankind. Yours in freedom’s Cause, John Miller.
From a Member of the Missouri Legislature.
St. Louis, Mo.—I have the honor to be a member of the thirty-fourth general assembly of Missouri, having been elected on the labor ticket in St. Louis last November. I hope to make a canvass at the next general election on the land tax platform, and I believe I will be elected. Some of the men I sent The Standard to have subscribed for it, and, after reading, sent them to others. I think it is only a question of a very short time until our ideas will prevail. I am in a position to know that small business men in Missouri, Illinois and Iowa are anxious to try anything that offers relief. In towns where the good surrounding lands are held by speculators the traders feel the need of a change, and I hope they will soon get it. In the special session of the Missouri legislature, called for the purpose of enacting a good law governing railroads, the members were approached by all classes of men; a number of business men, in discussing the railroad question with me, confessed that the holding of large bodies of land by speculators worked greater injury to the people than anything else, and that the real estate boom in Kansas City and other cities of the west is working great injury to the working classes, as the money does not go into the avenues of trade that employ labor, but is kept among those who only speculate. I hope this business will soon be unprofitable. I believe the solution of the labor troubles is in the single tax on land values. Thomas Holland.
Call for a Missouri State Convention.
The following is an extract from a call issued by the executive committee of the united labor party of Missouri:
We call upon all men who believe —
First — That the land of this country belongs in usufruct to the living, and that the right of every man to such a portion of it as his necessities require is indisputable and inalienable, and that such changes should be made in our laws as will secure to all men this right;
Second — That all monopolies, such as the telephone, telegraph, and all the means of transportation, now in the hands of individuals or corporations, should be taken, and, like our postal system, run by the government, for and in the interests of the people;
We believe the above platform, so briefly stated, broad enough to furnish a foundation for a party which shall sweep this state and nation and restore to our common people those real and essential rights which have been so quietly and insidiously taken from them that they only realize their loss by the condition in which such loss has placed them;
We appeal to all who believe in the above to unite in sending delegates to a convention called to be held in Kansas City, beginning on Wednesday, November 10, 1887.
F. G. Johnson, Chairman.
P. P. Michael, Secretary.
Kansas City, Mo.
Anti-Poverty Coming to the Front in Maryland.
Baltimore. Md.—The Anti-poverty society of Maryland met on Saturday, and completed arrangements for the first meeting of the society to be held at the Academy of Music.
I trust that we shall soon be in a way to send some contributions on to New York to advance the cause there.
John W. Jones.
All Eyes on New York.
Lewiston, Me.—Our local press has not grasped the importance of the “new crusade” yet, but I hope to report progress in their direction later. The feeling in the community at large is strengthening, and we are all anxiously watching New York. C. N. Shaw.
PRESS AND PARTY.
HOW THE NEWSPAPERS ARE TREATING THE NEW MOVEMENT.
A Tone of Increasing Respect, But a Good Deal of Falsehood and Nonsense Still Being Printed — A Real Estate Organ Shivers on the Brink — A Specimen of the Average Pro-Poverty “Argument” — Thoughtful Words from the “Christian Union.”
Of the newspaper press of New York it may be broadly said that with reference to the united labor party it is divided into three distinct classes, of which one sets before its readers the fullest attainable intelligence of the movement, avoiding any editorial comment; the second speaks editorially of the movement with respect, but without approval, and the third maintains a steady fire of misrepresentation, abuse, and argument from false premises. This classification does not include the Evening Post, which is sui generis, and, like Dundreary’s bird, flocks all alone by itself. The Post is not altogether certain that there is a united labor party. It is sensible of a certain turmoil and buzzing, of which it is drowsily weary, but whether the noise is made by the united labor party, or District assembly 49, or the Anti-poverty society, or some other body of the discontented, the Post does not pretend to know, and in all probability doesn’t care.
The treatment of the Union square meeting of Saturday last by the leading city dailies was an index to their respective characters. The Herald and the World gave full, well-written and impartial accounts without comment. The Tribune’s report occupied a little over half a column. The Times ignored the meeting altogether in its Sunday issue and printed a brief account on Monday.
The Sun contented itself with a brief report of the meeting, and by way of compensation for thus neglecting an important matter of news, presented its readers with a two column account of John Swinton’s views on the political situation. Mr. Swinton considers the united labor party “a personal party, run by a ring of paid bosses;” and can see no “labor vote” in the state, exclusive of New York city, except “the socialist, the greenback and the union labor vote.” The meetings of the Anti-poverty society he describes as “those scenes of feminine delirium, those stridulous gyrations and sanctimonious ululations which make the old Academy of Music a Sunday bedlam.” He speaks of the persecution of Dr. McGlynn as “the McGlynn thingumy,” which has “blistered and blotched and festered;” and apparently laments that Henry George, for whom he confesses there is a “rather soft” spot in his heart, should be fatuous enough to think that industrial emancipation can be effected by so simple a process as the taxing of land values. Of the 68,000 votes counted for the united labor party in this city last fall, Mr. Swinton considers that 45,000 were controlled by the socialists. He thinks — “should not wonder,” is his expression — that the united labor vote in the city may reach 34,000 this year. On the whole, it seems clear that united labor will not have the support of either John Swinton or the New York Sun in the coming campaign.
The Real Estate Record and Guide of this city, which has heretofore given evidence that it perfectly understands the aims of the united labor party, and can view them without alarm, now shows a little of the hesitation characteristic of a boy about to go in swimming. In its “Prophetic Department” this passage occurs:
Looker-On — Have you anything to say respecting George’s panacea for poverty?
Sir O — I have no faith in panaceas, either for the body natural or for the body politic. The numberless evils that afflict humanity require for their cure the application of scientific methods to all departments of life and human activity. It may take thousands of years to bring about the necessary changes that will bring man into harmony with his environment. The world is making progress, I think, in that direction.
Looker-On — Please be a little more definite. What is your objection to George’s scheme of taxing land values alone, taking the burdens from off all the industries of the country.
Sir O.—Frankly, I would not object to seeing that plan tried in one small state. If it should succeed in alleviating the condition of the poor, no one would be more rejoiced than myself; but, so far, this land taxing scheme is a mere dream. It is theory pure and simple. It has never been tested by any government on earth. There is no way of telling how it will work until put into actual practice. I am simply astounded that a party can be organized to carry out an abstract theory that has never been tested. Heretofore the workingmen have been very practical. They have demanded two things — first an increase of wages, and second a reduction in the hours of labor. They held that the latter would help the former, because less work meant a larger demand for labor.
The Record and Guide will find that the “workingmen” of New York have become very practical indeed; so practical that they can be no longer bamboozled by theories that have been very thoroughly tested and found very thoroughly unsound. The Record and Guide speaks of thousands of years as of yesterday, but the voters of New York have scarcely that amount of time to spare.
Here is a specimen of the average pro-poverty argument, from the editorial columns of the Mail and Express:
Mr. George publishes an article entitled the “Common Sense of Taxation” over his own signature. In it he lays down the theory that all taxes should be levied upon land because such a tax would not take away any inducement to the production of wealth, and because if the state should tax the land to its full value “the effect would be to throw the land open to users free of price.” In other words, Mr. George argues in favor of taking away all land by a tax equal to the value of the land. Then the state would be the owner, and the land would be distributed among the people. But if the tax were maintained no one would take the gift of a farm or a city lot, because his ruin would only be a question of time. After Mr. George’s model government had stolen all the land, the taxes would have to be abolished and the needed revenues of the government would have to be raised in some other manner. Mr. George seems to think that the present land owners would continue to pay to the state, every year, a tax equal to the value of the land; but he knows better than that, as is shown by his conclusion that his tax would lead to a confiscation of estates and a distribution of the land. His theory that wealth is not produced by the use of the land, and that, therefore, a burdensome tax on land is not a hindrance to industry and enterprise, is characteristic of this flighty philosopher. Every farmer in the country knows better. The truth is that Mr. George’s theory is based on the idea that all the land in the country is a vacant city lot. This assumption is worthy of a man who thinks that land may be made free by an annual tax of its full value. It may indeed be stolen in that way, but theft is the only word that will characterize the act which he recommends.
For the benefit of any readers of the Mail and Express who may have the good fortune to see this issue of The Standard it may not be amiss to point out two trifling inaccuracies in the statement quoted above. Mr. George has never “laid down the theory that all taxes should be levied upon land,” but, on the contrary, has been careful to insist that they should be levied not upon land, but upon land values — a very different thing. Mr. George’s theory is not “that wealth is not produced by the use of the land,” but, on the contrary, that it is so produced.
As for the logic of the Mail and Express’s utterances, that needs no refutation.
This is from the Christian Union:
Two new labor parties have made an appearance in this state, one socialistic, the other a tender to Gov. Hill. Neither of them is of any real account. The only labor party which has at present any real existence in the United States is that which has Henry George for its prophet. This party has a definite principle — namely, the levying of all taxes on land; a considerable constituency, especially in the great towns; and some leaders who are men both of brains and of strong convictions. These elements make any party which possesses them worthy of serious consideration. Moreover, it is well organized and aggressive. Its campaign this fall includes two mass meetings in every town of over 5,000 inhabitants, with an aggregate of nearly 500 speeches. This “means business;” such a party cannot be sneered or laughed or cartooned out of existence. But these elements coexist in no other labor party.
The Christian Union’s utterance is an excellent specimen of that sort of editorial which contents itself with a bold statement of fact. But the Christian Union should bethink itself that it owes a duty to its readers in the premises. A party which “means business,” and which cannot be sneered or laughed or cartooned out of existence, and which persistently asserts that the principles it advocates are the very essence and core of religion, deserves and demands rather more notice from a great religious paper than the Christian Union has hitherto given to the united labor party. The Christian Union cannot afford to remain neutral in this fight.
“As for Me, I Never Was So Happy in My Life.”
Dr. McGlynn permits us to publish the following letter from one of his former parishioners. It is one of the many touching evidences that come to him of the love and sympathy of those to whose special welfare his life was for so many years devoted, and whom he still holds in warmest affection, though the sphere of his labors has been widened from a city parish to a continent:
“Rev. Dear Dr. McGlynn — I send you in this letter $2 for the Anti-poverty society. I went on the excursion. I never had a better time in my life. As I have always been deaf, but not quite, I could hear you a little, not much, also Henry George. I buy his paper every week, and enjoy it very much. How I wish we had you back at St. Stephen’s. It is not the same church since you were taken from us. I belong to the society, but can’t go every Sunday. I think we have a splendid time; everybody seems so happy. As for me, I never was so happy in my life. I pray for you every day that God may bless you in your good work, and will pray for Henry George. I felt very bitter to him at first, as I felt it was he who took you from us; but now things appear to me in a different light. I have learned one lesson, and that is not to believe newspapers. They have no truth in them. I never had much education. As my parents died when I was a child, I had no one to teach me, and never could hear much in church or school. But since I have read The Standard I have learned much. When I read the life of Christ things seem clear to me that I could not see before. I have every reason to think God for all blessings, and I shall ask Him every day to bless you, my dear pastor. Affectionately yours.
There Are Over Ninety Acres of Farm Land for Every Family in All Texas, Yet the Farmers Can’t Protect Themselves from the Landlords.
Kolbs, P. O., Tex.— I don’t believe I ever saw so gloomy a prospect as we have today. The farmers in this state allied themselves together to try to protect each other, but they have brought down on their defenceless heads the wrath and vengeance of their landlords, so that all who do the talking and try to educate the alliance brethren are spotted and have to hunt up new homes. I am one of those unfortunate or fortunate ones. I learn through a friend that there are land and labor clubs raising up in portions of Texas, and I assure you that I believe that seven tenths of the voters of this state will cry out amen and amen. Thomas N. Swazy.
Spoken Like a True American.
Denver, Col.—Inclosed find stamps, for which please send set of the “Land and Labor library,” and “Protection or Free Trade?” as per advertisement. Personally I have always been a republican and a protectionist, but, above all, I am an American and a believer in equal rights. I am anxious to know the truth, and am open to conviction. C. W. Rhodes,
Fin. Sec. Typographical Union No. 49.
To Our Friends Throughout the State.
The Standard invites correspondence from its friends throughout the state relating to the progress of the campaign, and giving facts which may illustrate or bear upon the principles advocated by the united labor party. Such correspondence should be brief, and confined to the recital of facts, to avoid undue pressure upon our columns.
THRONGED MEETINGS ELSEWHERE, YET
THE ACADEMY PACKED AS USUAL
Dr. Jeremiah Coughlin Presides Over a Crowded and Enthusiastic Meeting – Rev. Hugh O. Pentecost Points Out the True Meaning of the Sermon on the Mount — Only by the Triumph of the New Crusade Can the Gospel of Christ Be Made a Living Reality.
Last Sunday night the “soggarth aroon”1 was preaching to an immense audience at Miner’s theatre, on Eighth avenue, and Henry George was addressing three thousand people, under the auspices of the Anti-poverty society of Brooklyn, yet the Rev. Hugh O. Pentecost had an audience as large, intelligent and enthusiastic at the twenty-first meeting of the Anti-poverty society of New York as ever packed the Academy of Music. Dr. Jeremiah Coughlin, after Miss Munier’s chorus had sung and departed for Miner’s theatre, said that Mr. Paul Mayer of District assembly No. 49 had been appointed to preside, but at the last moment he found he could not attend. On some future Sunday evening he would be present. Dr. Coughlin then announced a meeting of the Printing trades legion on Friday evening. He said the legion last fall did yeoman-like work, and he was confident that they would do tenfold as much this fall. The doctor proceeded to show by quotations from the federal constitutional convention of one hundred years ago, that Jefferson’s principles then were those of the united labor party now.
A hymn was sung by a quartet, after which W. T. Croasdale, chairman of the executive committee, spoke of the coming fair of the society. He said hard work was needed to make the fair a success. “We have,” he said, two or three hundred active, energetic ladies already doing all that they can to secure it a success. I think we have only six or seven men. I want two hundred; and the men ought to be ashamed if they cannot furnish as many as we have women because, as the suffrage now is, it is more a man’s than a woman’s affair. (Applause.) I suppose by Tuesday we will be able to open the garden for the active work of preparation. Every man who can present an idea will be useful; but if a man hasn’t an idea, if he can lift a board he will have his place and be useful. (Applause.) I am also requested on behalf of one of the ladies in charge of what I hope will be a most important department to say that all contributions intended for the Knights of Labor department may be sent directly to our office, room 30, Cooper union; and all lady members of that order who have not yet signified their intention to help can send a note there and it will be delivered to the proper committee. I likewise want to say that to that room can be sent all the names of all people who are willing to assist in the ways I ask you, whether to nail a board, contribute an idea, or put a hundred dollars into our treasury.”
Dr. Coughlin, amid great enthusiasm, introduced Rev. Hugh O. Pentecost as the orator of the evening. Mr. Pentecost said:
Mr. Chairman, Ladies and Gentlemen: I hold in my hands a copy of a book that is to be found upon the pulpit cushion of every church in the land tonight. It may also usually be found upon the marble-top center table in most households. It was a wedding present probably to the young couple when they went to housekeeping. (Laughter.) It is heavily bound, locked together with a clasp and very rarely unlocked. (Laughter.) It is quite possible at times to inscribe the initials of the giver’s name in the dust on the back of it. (Laughter.)
There are a few, however, who read this book, and a few of you will recognize the words which I am now about to read from it. This is Sunday night, and it has been hinted to me that when I am honored with an invitation to address the Anti-poverty society it would not be out of place to preach a sermon (applause), and a sermon must have a text at one end or the other. (Laughter.) So I will read some words from this little book by way of a text.
“Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal; but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through and steal. For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also. No man can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will hold to the one and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon. Therefore I say unto you” — I wish you to listen to these words, for it is very possible that some of you have not read this book for some time. The words I am about to read are among the sweetest and most charming to be found in any literature — “therefore I say unto you, take no thought for your life what ye shall eat or what ye shall drink, nor yet for your body what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat and the body than raiment? Behold the fowls of the air, for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns, yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they? Which of you by taking (anxious) thought can add one cubit unto his stature?”
Some people think there is no humor in the scriptures. I fancy the image that was in the mind of him who spoke these words — some little fellow five feet high trying to stretch himself, by anxious effort, to six feet.
“And why take ye thought of raiment? Consider the lilies of the field how they grow. They toil not; neither do they spin.2 And yet I say unto you that even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which today is and tomorrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith? Therefore take no thought, saying, what shall we eat, or what shall we drink, or wherewithal shall we be clothed; for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye need all of these things. But seek ye first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added unto you. Take, therefore, no thought for the morrow, for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.” (Applause.)
If you knew the import of these words, dear friends, your applause would be greater than that. These are the words of one who is worshiped by millions of men and women, and obeyed by mighty few. (Laughter and applause.) I wish, in simple fashion, to get before you, if possible, the conception of human life which lay in the brain of Jesus Christ, the carpenter of Nazareth. I care not, for our present purpose, what your religious opinion of Him is. I wish to take these words because they are the words of the one after whom the Christian church is named and upon whose teaching Christian civilization is professedly built. (Applause.)
His conception of human life was this: It should be the chief aim of man to lay up for himself treasures in heaven. That can mean but one thing. There is only one sort of treasure that I know of that a man can lay up in heaven; treasure that consists of noble thoughts, pure motives, sweet, clean, wholesome living. This is the only treasure that I know of or can fancy as being of the slightest account in any heavenly kingdom that we can possibly conceive of in this world or in the world to come. (Applause.) Here then is this man’s exhortation to those who were listening to Him. Cultivate always the highest, the best part of your nature. This is what the language means, simply interpreted. Take all that is best, noblest and purest in your nature and cultivate that to its highest point. That is laying up treasure in heaven. (Applause.) Certainly He never thought that men should spend their time in low living, in the encouragement of mean motives, in that horrid, despicable, shameful greed of gain which characterizes the civilization which goes under His name. (Great applause.) He meant that men, instead of living in the cellar of their lives, should live in the parlor.
And naturally the very next thought that falls from His lips is this: Therefore, if you are to live this way take no thought of what you are to eat, drink and wear. Let not your mind be too much occupied with those things which minister merely to the body; not that He despised the body; not that He overlooked the necessity of eating and drinking and wearing clothing; not that He meant we should live from day to day with no forethought concerning the morrow, for the word that is translated “thought” here means, in the language from which it is translated, anxiety. What He meant is do not fret about such things as eating and drinking and the wearing of clothing. And then He pointed them to the birds of the air and lilies of the field and said live as they do; live with free minds and a sweet, simple trust in God.
Now, that was the conception that this man had of human life, the development of the highest part of our nature. And He knew that it could not be done if the mind was trammeled by anxiety with reference to food and drink and wearing apparel. Sometimes men say to us, “Why are you forever keeping the minds of men occupied with money? Why have you started a crusade against poverty? Why do you strive to make men feel that the object of their lives is to get something to eat and drink and wear? Did not this man say, ‘take no thought of such things?’ We shall see what that man meant in a few moments. He said that because he knew, what we know, that there is little use to talk to a man about his higher nature, his spiritual welfare, the salvation of his soul, when he and his wife and children are torn and racked with fretful care day after day because they do not know where they are to get their next meal. (Deafening applause ) Go into some one of the holes or dens into which this nineteenth century civilization crams hundreds and thousands of men and women, and talk to them of the development of their higher natures, and as like as not they will say, “Give me something to eat and then talk to me about that.” (Great applause.)
It is most philosophical, most reasonable, that if men are to cultivate the mind, are to permit the soul to blossom, they must be free from carking care about what they are to eat and drink and wear. How can we expect a horse car driver, who has to stand upon his platform from twelve to fourteen hours a day in all sorts of weather, under every kind of aggravation, from the officials above him and the disagreeable passenger who rides in his car, to develop his mind, his soul? What chance has he for that? How can you expect a person who goes into a mill at the age of thirteen or fourteen and becomes the slave of a tireless machine that is driven faster in order that more work may be ground out at the hands of that slave; how can you expect such a person, under the bondage of a machine until he is ready to drop into the grave, to think of laying up treasures in the upper part of his nature? (Great applause.)
Men sometimes say to me, “Look at these people over whom you fanatics are going mad. (Laughter.) Who are they? A miserable, beer drinking, ignorant, vile smelling, ungrateful set of people, who are just as liable as not to become mobs and break into riots at any time, and have their hand on the throat of society.” I say the wonder is not that they are what they are, but that they are not a hundred times worse than they are. (Great applause.) If it were not that there is a divine spark that burns in every man’s bosom, that keeps him from going down utterly into the worse part of his nature, the Lord only knows whether the grip that some people say these people have on the throat of society would not have been fatally tightened long ago. (Applause.)
He who uttered the words I read spoke what was entirely reasonable and philosophical. Cultivate the higher part of your nature, and therefore do not fret yourselves about the many lower things of life. Not that these things are to be despised, but that He knew that higher treasures never can be laid up while men have carking cares. Said He: “Trust your heavenly Father for those lower things.” Find me, no matter what your creed is, a better or holier conception of life on this earth. Seek first the kingdom of God — that is, all that is best and highest — and in doing that be perfectly sure that the same kind hand which provides for the bird and flower will care for you. (Applause.)
It is quite possible that some before me have no religious faith. But I believe even those persons would acknowledge that no faith could be more perfect than this, that we should be permitted to cultivate all that is good in us and be sure that God will provide the needful things for our daily life, even as we pray “Give us this day our daily bread.” (Applause.)
This was the teaching of this wonderful man, whatever else you may call him. This was the conception of human life that he had. I am prepared, I think, if this were the place and time would permit, to prove that conception of human life has wholly passed from this Christian world. (Applause.) He said, “Lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven.” His church today is not doing only that. (Deafening applause.) Unless I read the signs of the times wrong, unless I am perfectly blind, it seems to me that His church is laying up for herself treasure in magnificent temples and landed estates and every sort of splendid furnishment it is possible to heap together. (Applause.) I do not deny that this doctrine is preached today; but when, for instance, a high functionary in the church is in receipt of somewhere near forty thousand dollars salary (hisses and groans) says to other men, “Lay up your treasures in heaven and trust God — (interrupted by deafening applause) — and trust in God for your daily bread,” he is saying that which is very easy for him to say, but is very difficult for a great many people to whom he is speaking actually to do. It would almost look as if that laying up of treasure in heaven meant laying it up in the hands of those who are the ministers of heaven. (Laughter.)
When a minister who is in receipt of twenty or fifteen or ten thousand a year — fix the limit to suit yourselves — when a minister who is in comfortable circumstances says, “Trust God for your daily bread,” he says what he can easily do, but which other people in other circumstances can not so easily do; and he says what the whole course of things today belies, for that is not the practical doctrine of the civilization under which we live. (Applause.)
I do not find as a rule that men are given over with fanatical intent to laying up the treasure about which I have been speaking in the place to which I have referred. They seem to be vastly more bent upon laying up every possible treasure they can lay their hands on honestly — and sometimes dishonestly — in this world. It does not seem to be the motto either of institutions or individuals. I may be wrong, I may be blind, but as I see it it seems to me that this is no longer the motto of the civilization or of the Christianity under which we live. (A voice: “You are right.” Applause.)
I think if we should speak out the truth with reference to it, it would be like this: Lay up for yourselves treasures in cedar boxes, so that the moth will at least have a hard time to get at them. (Great laughter.) Lay up for yourselves treasures in safe deposit vaults, so that the thief will have difficulty in getting it. (Laughter.) You may not protect it absolutely, but you can make it as difficult for the moth and thief as possible. I am not sure but that for those who lay up their splendid treasures in cedar boxes and great riches in safe deposit vaults, it is laying up treasures in heaven, for the cedar and vault constitute their heaven. (Applause.)
This carpenter of Nazareth told us with reference to our daily life to have trust in God. It is not long since one of the most prominent ministers in this city laid down an entirely different rule for the workingmen. Said he, “If you get two dollars a day there is no need that you should have any worry of mind henceforth if you will only be economical enough to save a little of it every day.” (Laughter.) Was that the same doctrine? It does not seem to me the same. (A voice, “Crosby doctrine.”) His name is out I see. I read the other day that there was no occasion for discontent among poor people, for the reason that if men were only willing to live on rice that they could live for ten cents a day, and this man worked himself up in a fine frenzy over the discontent of poor people. “There is no occasion for it,” said he. “All that is necessary is not to trust in God, but in parsimony, in rigid economy, in pinching poverty, and be content in the midst of it.”
On the one hand there is the gospel that one of the editors of The Standard (applause) has most happily called the gospel of improvidence. That gospel I have read to you from this book. On the other hand there is the gospel of economy, and a very different thing it is. The two cannot abide side by side. One of them is wrong. How many of you have ever taken your little child, five or six years of age, when he has begun to understand matters a little, and said to him, “Now, my son, I want to give you some good lessons for this life, upon which you are about to enter. I want you always to be strictly truthful, strictly honest, and to cultivate all in you that is right and kind and noble in every respect, and when you get to be a man and go out into this world do not go into the race for money. The Lord above will take care of you every day. Go out desiring to be a good man and that alone, and do not fret yourself at all about what you are going to eat and wear and what house you are going to live in.” How many of you have taken your sons and talked to them in that fashion? I will tell you what you have done. You have gone and bought a little iron savings bank (great laughter), and then you have forgotten all about the gospel that has come down to us through 1800 years from Judea, and you have taken the miserable penny-wise, worldly maxims of Benjamin Franklin and you have said to your little boy, “A penny saved is two pence earned, and every penny you get you stick it in that little bank, my dear.” (Laughter.) I am not misrepresenting things, but telling them just as they are.
Instead of “Lay up your treasure in heaven and trust in God for your daily bread,” the maxim now is, “Get all that you can and be sure and get there every time.” (Great laughter.) “For if you do not get there first you will be sure to get left.” (Laughter.) I do not object to your laughing, but I want you to understand that I am awfully in earnest about this matter. Even though this is a laughable matter, it is an awfully sad one at the same time. (Applause.) And to me — I may not seem to be always as reverent as some others — but to me the burning outrage today is that the people who worship this Man whose words I have read to you, and the church that declares that He is the head of her as an institution, and the civilization that goes by His name, have utterly abandoned His whole conception of human life. (Tremendous applause.)
But such a change as that could never have come about without a cause. And I am not prepared to say that the gospel which Dr. Crosby has recently taught to workingmen, the gospel of Benjamin Franklin, the most worldly wise man that ever taught the American people, is not the safest gospel for this day. I am not sure that I would dare to say any other than these men have said; that I dare say to you, lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven and trust in God for your daily bread — under the present circumstances.
I said some time ago upon this platform that it had been a long time since I had told a poor man to trust in God. That sentence drew such a drove of hornets about me as I have never had to endure before. Friend and foe, forgetting everything else that I said, took out that one remark, and could not understand how I could say such a thing. It caused me to reflect. Had I said anything that was untrue? Had I said anything that was impious? I believe every man that heard me understood what I meant. (Great applause.) What I meant was this: that as things are now the man who simply trusts in God for his daily bread is an unwise man. (Applause.) What I meant was that we are living under a state of things at this time which makes it impossible to preach over again the gospel of Jesus Christ. (Applause.)
One of the old writers of the Old Testament said: “Once I was young, now I am old; yet have I never seen the righteous forsaken nor his seed begging bread.” Well, I can tell you or him that I have gone through districts in the city of New York, when I was working in this town, where I have seen the righteous forsaken and his seed begging bread. (Applause.) If it were true in the days of that old writer, it is not true today, for there are a great many good people upon this earth now with willing hands and eager spirits, who are suffering the distresses of poverty, despite their faith and prayers. (Applause.)
A wordly-wise gospel has taken the place of the gospel of improvidence which I read to you, and from natural causes, has taken the place of it so that the other gospel cannot be consistently preached, has taken the place of it so evidently that a minister, a friend of mine — and a most lovable man — declared to me that the sermon on the mount is not the gospel of Christ. He never would have said that if Christ’s words are today practically true. I do not say that Jesus spoke untruth; but I do say, without the slightest hesitation, that, as society is organized today, His words are not capable of application to daily life. (Applause.)
Men say that portion of the scriptures which is called the sermon on the mount is impracticable. They are the words of a dreamer, of a man who lived in the clouds, of an idealist. Under the present state of things they are just that. (Applause.) And one reason why that sermon on the mount — which is the most beautiful part of the New Testament — has been almost entirely neglected by the pulpit is because men have discovered that under the present state of things it is an ideal picture of human life. But why is it so? Why is that scripture looked upon now as merely a poem? There are many answers to that question; many explanations why the words of Christ and the facts of daily life are impracticable.
For instance, the very people who profess to be the followers of that man or the worshipers of that God, as you decide to call Him, say that present social conditions are the result of the will of God. We say, what ever else is charged against us, we will never be guilty of the blasphemy of putting upon God the blame of the misery and wretchedness of this world. (Great applause.)
Then there is that doctrine which amounts to the same thing, the Malthusian doctrine, that creates so much malthusiasm in the bosoms of some people (laughter), the doctrine that there are too many people in this world. Whatever else may be charged against us, we will never be guilty of the foolishness of saying that when the good God made this world and peopled it he botched the job. (Great applause.)
Then there is that other reason which is given why these words cannot be put into practice today, that the poor people themselves are so improvident, so reckless, so extravagant, so intemperate, that they have brought about the conditions under which society suffers today. It is a lie! (Deafening applause.) I was going to put that into more delicate and euphemistic phraseology (laughter), but I guess I will let it stand as it is.
And then, in the course of explaining the situation, last of all comes Edward Atkinson also. (Hisses, groans, laughter and applause.) He tells us that the reason, the whole reason, why these words are the words of a dreamer today is because it takes a thousand pounds of corn to produce two hundred pounds of pork. (Laughter.) There is a great loss of starch and protein in that process, and when people eat pork instead of eating the corn direct there is a waste of wealth which if it could be saved would relieve the distress of the masses. That is to say, the whole trouble comes from the hog. And we are perfectly willing to admit the truth of that, only in this case the hog is a two-legged one. (Great laughter.)
These are some of the explanations that are given to reconcile us to the patent fact that the words which I have read from the scriptures cannot be applied to human society now. But what is the real reason that this gospel cannot now be preached by a conscientious, God-fearing man? (Applause.) This is the reason: “Consider the birds of the air; they sow not, neither do they reap, and yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Consider the lilies of the field; they toil not, neither do they spin, and yet even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.” So might you say of men, “Consider men, the children of God, they have not to over-toil, they have not to over-reap, they have not to over-spin, and yet their heavenly Father careth for them — if it were not for one thing, that some of the children of God have locked up the storehouse of God against the others.” (Tremendous applause.)
A man who looks at this earth today, this beaming, blossoming, smiling earth, and believes that poverty is the result of some misarrangement in the plans of the Creator is far on the way to blank lunacy. (Applause.) Has the Creator been niggardly in His gifts? Has He withheld anything from the children of men that they need? Is there not everything here and was it not all here before one man ever set his foot upon this globe as a resident? (Applause.) Did He bring human beings into this life before He had a house that was fit for them to live in? Has He been more improvident and unwise than the ordinary provident man who takes unto himself a wife with the prospect of rearing for himself a family? We don’t believe that.
Look at this earth. You have but to tickle it and it laughs into harvests in every field. (Applause.) You have but to stab it and it bleeds with fountains of oil that are fountains of gladness for the uses of men. (Applause.) You have but to rip open its sides, and everywhere myriads of tons of ore and coal, more than enough for all the wants of man, appear. You have but to search upon its surface and into its depths and you cannot name a human want that might not be fully supplied by the great treasure that the Creator has stored up against the wants of His people just as much as against the wants of the birds of the air and the lilies of the field. (Great applause.)
Supposing some goodly ship should start from the other side of the ocean freighted with every needed thing for the voyage, and when she was half way over part of the company should nail down the hatches with the exception of one into which they might go, and then say to the other half, “There is not sufficient for us all.” What would be the fate of the company in that ship? One portion of it would be safe in laying up their treasures in heaven and trusting in God for all they wanted. The other company would be wholly at their mercy, and would find it useless to trust in God, otherwise than for ability to compel the selfish ones to open the hatches.
This is what we have done in this goodly ship of ours. We have foolishly permitted some men to nail down the hatches that hold the bounteous treasures of nature, and then those who have nailed down the hatches, together with those who speak what these thieves and robbers dictate, and are thus found preaching this miserable gospel of penuriousness and pinching economy, say that the rest of us who have been cheated and robbed of our inheritance should be content and happy. (Great applause.)
I do not believe in any gospel of imprudence, any gospel of real improvidence. I would not encourage any man to live beyond his means. The man who spends more than he has, or spends it before he gets it, is very foolish. Every one knows that. I do not believe that the good man who spoke those words I read to you meant that men should spend their substance foolishly and recklessly, but He meant that we should have plenty of time to cultivate what is noblest and best in us, and that things should be so arranged that we may be sure that tomorrow will yield sufficient for tomorrow’s wants. (Applause.)
I do not say that we should not always save a little against a rainy day in any state of society. I do not say that we should not look forward to the time when we may be sick or some calamity may happen to us; when wife and child may be left alone. That would be safe and right. But there is a difference between that and living from year’s end to year’s end with always the fear of the wolf at the door. I do not believe that any of us ought to live as most of us live today. Not that we should be spendthrifts, but no man should be forced into the hazardous position that many are in.
Once in a while some one of us gets a letter such as was published in the Standard this week from a man who signs his name “Nicodemus,” and in which he says: “Here is my contribution, but you must withhold my name.” What did he want his name withheld for, in God’s name, but that he feared he would lose his situation and possibly become a pauper in the streets? I am perfectly willing to admit that no minister of the gospel ought to hold the views which we hold who constitute this society and keep his mouth shut on the subject. (Applause.) I am perfectly willing to admit that you should say that every man who professes to be a minister of the gospel should not hesitate to speak out his mind; but I do not believe that God or He who spoke the words I read to you meant that any man who did speak out the truth should on that account be compelled to seek a living for himself and wife and children in some new and unaccustomed way. There are some men in the position in which I am today who would speak out their minds if it were not for this horrible fear of poverty. (Tremendous and deafening applause continued about two minutes. A voice, “The more credit to you.”)
I believe that this Carpenter of Nazareth meant a great deal more than we have ever seen, until this land doctrine was brought to the front. I believe that we are now beginning to see that that impracticable portion of the New Testament, which men have hitherto said was only an ideal dream, may become a reality. (Applause.) We are beginning to see that it is possible for men to have time and opportunity to cultivate that which is best in them, knowing that there is no danger but that they will get what they want to eat and drink and wear tomorrow. (Applause.) And that is a prospect which when it is once formed in the mind of any man is sufficient to start in him a deeper religious life than he ever knew before and such an enthusiasm as he was never conscious of before. (Applause.)
It was for this that this society was formed. It is for this that this great political movement has been started. It is this that has brought about this strange thing, an organization meeting here on Sunday night that is half a church and half a political organization. (Applause.) It is this strange thing that has taken a noble priest from his office (great applause) and turned him into what promises to be one of the most effective politicians that the state of New York has ever had. (Applause.) It is this strange thing that is going to mix the church and politics more than they have been mixed since the old days when men said, “the blacks must be free.” Here starts a man with what people call a system of political economy. He shows that those old words that have been lying dead so long have a wonderful meaning in them. He shows that perhaps for the first time it is going to be possible for men really to trust in God and to have a God who comes up to our highest conception of goodness and righteousness. There are many men who have ceased to believe in God because they have been told that the conditions under which we suffer today are by the decrees of a monster whom we call God. (Applause.)
It is this new light and hope that makes men pray for eloquence; that makes those of us who have the fire burning in our bones cry out to God to give us some sort of power by which we may go into this great movement that is awakening the land as we have never gone into anything before; that has made some of us say, “Thank God I live and I am not too old to have a hand in the splendid fray that is now opened.” (Great applause.) It is this that so takes hold of the minds of some of us (at least I fancy so, for I am not ashamed to say that it so takes hold of my mind) that we often walk the floor in waking hours and dream of it, and lie awake in midnight hours wondering what a glorious place this old wreck of a world will be when this reform comes to pass. It is this that makes life once more worth the living. (Great applause.)
Is this that I, a minister of the gospel, that Dr. McGlynn, a priest — (applause) — should come before an audience like this and talk politics on Sunday night — anything that should shock a rightly educated conscience? It seems to me not. (Many voices, “No, no.”) If men who rightly understand what this movement is, an economic theory, a political movement and a religious movement all packed together in one, if men understood that, then this becomes just the right place for Dr. McGlynn and me to come to. (Applause.) And my only regret is that I have not the voice of an angel, or at least a Wendell Phillips — (applause) — or a Webster, by which I might fill you so with conviction and enthusiasm that you would go up to the polls when election day comes and put a ballot into the box accompanied by a prayer — (applause) — a ballot for the redemption of Christianity — (applause) — a ballot for the coming of the kingdom of God. (Applause.)
Men say to me, “Why, there isn’t a possible chance, you know, that this thing will ever come to pass. You men are carried away with wild enthusiasm;” and all the time our minds are filled with perfect peace, because we do not know anything else so well as that this thing will come to pass. (Applause.) Men say, “Do you expect to win the election this year in New York?” Yes! (Tremendous applause.) Why not, pray? We will never win it if we don’t expect to. (Laughter.) While it may not be understood by other people, there are some of us who actually do expect to win. But your careful, prudent, wise man says, “Don’t you think that these great movements always take a generation or a hundred years or five hundred years to come to pass?” I say, “Yes. in the past that was so. The world moved slowly then. When it took six months to go to San Francisco with relays of horses, it might have taken fifty years for it to have come to pass. But this is the age of steam, of the telegraph, of the telephone, and not only do we do things much faster than we once did, but we think faster than we ever did before. (Great applause.) The man who has watched the growth of the Anti-poverty society (applause) and of the united labor party (cheers) for the last year; the man who has watched the growth of this great movement during the last year and then talks about it taking a generation or fifty years or a hundred years to bring this thing to pass is a coward. (Applause.) He is a poor, weak-spirited man, with no faith in man and no right faith in God. (Applause.)
I want you, my friends, to go out of this house tonight — for I may not have, and probably shall not have the opportunity to speak to just you again — I want you to go out of this house tonight with only one thought in your minds — that this great movement for the opening of the hatches of the old ship on which we are sailing through space is right, that it is the will of God that it should be done. And, then, with that thought in your breast, go forward saying, “I will do all I can to bring it to pass; above all I will vote as I believe.” (Tremendous applause, and cheers for Pentecost.)
When the applause had subsided Chairman Coughlin said: I now feel that I told the truth last January when I said that Dr. McGlynn would be to this movement, to this crusade, what Saint Benedict was to the crusade of the holy ages. Every moment of time from that meeting of last January to the present has proven that fact. Not only will Dr. McGlynn be the same to this movement that Saint Benedict was to the crusade in the holy ages, but other noble and eloquent men will be the same to Dr. McGlynn in this movement that the saints of the holy ages were to Saint Benedict in the crusades which saved civilization and Christianity. And one of these great men you have heard tonight. (Great applause.)
A man in the gallery moved that a vote of thanks be given to the Rev. Mr. Pentecost for his able and eloquent address. The question was put to the house and a standing vote taken, amid cheers for Mr. Pentecost and shouts of “It is unanimous.”
It was announced that the speaker next Sunday would be the president of the society, the Rev. Dr. McGlynn, and that the chairman would be Mr. Joseph Wilkinson of the Tailors’ association. The doors of the Academy of Music would be opened at 7:20. The side doors would be opened at 6:30, so as to enable anyone desirous of securing a favorable seat to get in in that way. There will be a charge of twenty-five cents for those who wish to profit by this. The tickets of admission will be for sale at Cooper union.
After listening to two soprano solos by Miss Mears, “Hear Ye Israel” and “Angels Ever Bright and Fair,” from Elijah, the audience joined with the quartette in singing “The Cross of Our Crusade.”
The collection amounted to $139.39, including initiation fees.
A Bit of Advice and Its Meaning.
New York City.—The New York Tribune, in its issue of Sept. 18, recommends “General Benjamin F. Butler’s way” of making shrewd investments as embodying more common sense than the editor has seen in a long time. He verifies his judgment by the testimony and experience of the Astors and by the example of the shrewd General Ben himself.
The editor advises all young men, as soon as they have a very little money saved up, to “buy at auction under a judicial sale a piece of improved real estate, no matter how small, but paying rent if possible. Let the young man pay in cash what he can and give his note for the rest. He will be forced to save to meet his payments, and as soon as that purchase is paid for repeat the same thing again and again, until, as General Butler did, he has acquired twenty pieces of property which will quadruple in value as the city grows. Buy in the outskirts of New York or Brooklyn or other cities with all the certainty of safe and sure profit.”
Now, that is common sense. That sort of investment is so exceedingly common that all young men must have seen the advantage of it, or if not, they will, now that the Tribune calls their attention to it.
Young men, each and all of you, begin the practice of economy; buy a house with a lot under it, and as soon thereafter as possible buy nineteen more houses, each with its lot to stand on. Be sure that each house will rent for enough to pay interest, taxes, insurance and repairs, so that the increasing value of your property shall be a clean profit to you.
“Every successful man will pronounce this advice of the soundest kind.” Don’t you see? You will have had from your rents the full value of the use of the money you have invested, the cost of taxes, security against loss by fire and a fund for all needed repairs to your houses. And then when the city has grown so that you are no longer on the outskirts, those who have not been so shrewd as you and who must have your property to live on or to do business upon will be obliged to pay you, in rents or in purchase money quadruple the amount of the money which you invested in the best security, with absolutely no risk, and which has already returned you the full value of its use; but it is shrewd to take more. This is the hour to prove your “common sense.”
That quadruple advanced value, that three hundred percent profit you can now exact from the man or men who must use that property. Don’t you see? You won’t have to work for that three hundred percent. He — the man who must have it to live or do business upon — will have to work and earn it, and you will have — only to take it. You will own just so much of his labor — so much of him. And if his life’s labor won’t pay you that three hundred percent, your mortgage will secure the deficit or give you back the whole.
But stop — think a bit — that advice won’t serve its purpose if all young men accept it. Each and all of you cannot buy twenty pieces of property; or if you do, who will be your nineteen tenants? Your nineteen purchasers? You can use but one yourself! Now of twenty there must only one of you buy twenty needed properties, and nineteen of you must need, or pay the one shrewd, successful young man his three hundred percent advance or what he shall choose to demand,
limited only by his desire and your ability to pay.
Now, successful young man, in this day of your rejoicing don’t you see the soundness of the advice the Tribune gave you?
But what is this “advance in value?” Upon what is it? Not upon your houses; they have tended to decrease in value at the rate of ten percent per annum, which you have as near as possible tried to make good by repairs. So then, it is the lot, the land that has quadrupled in value as population spread out to and beyond you. Did this value come to you because of your productive industry on those twenty lots? No! but by the labor of every farmer whose products come through this port of commerce, every manufacturer whose wares find market here, every merchant employed in the handling and interchange of those products, by all that makes necessary here a great population to do this labor with hand or head, and by all the workers themselves who do it, and whose presence makes desirable and necessary the use of your houses and lots — in a word, “the people,” community created that quadruple “advance in value” which the Tribune and Ben Butler advises you to confiscate. You see, as they must see, you have had your full pay for all your labor done for or on that land. As this advanced value has been made by the whole community, is it not morally theft to take it all to yourself? Is it not trampling justice under foot?
A Good Letter for Young Men to Read.
Deering, Me.—Please send me as many of the last issue of your paper as you can for $1 to distribute at Lake Sebago, where I expect to lecture next Sabbath. I have been there the past week distributing papers and tracts. I am seventy five years old and out of health, yet I traveled six miles on foot and delivered papers and your most convincing tracts to every house and gave them to all the countrymen I saw, especially “The American Farmer” and “It is the Law of Christ” — one of each kind — and in returning home I distributed through all the cars and to all the people I met. It gave me great pleasure, for I knew that I was doing the work of the Master.
The West Side Branch of the Anti-Poverty Society.
The west side branch of the Anti-poverty society was organized Sept. 10, the following officers being chosen: Chairman, Jos. J. B. Frey; secretary and treasurer, Geo. E. Swain. The branch already numbers nearly thirty members and gives promise of rapid increase. The objects of the branch will be to diffuse the doctrines of industrial emancipation on the west side, and to aid the work of the parent society in other ways.
He Thinks that Politics and Religion Should Go Hand in Hand.
Willis Point, Texas.—I am glad to see so many Texans supporting The Standard. Any politics that I cannot claim as part of any religion I will reject entirely. I am doing all I can to spread the light. W. P. Gibbard.
QUERIES AND ANSWERS.
One of the leading difficulties in the way of general acceptance of the land value tax is a disposition to measure its efficiency and justice by narrow local or personal conditions. A man with a two penny plot of ground says to himself, “Oh, my! if this land tax is adopted I shall lose my two pence!” entirely forgetting that in surrendering that particular two pence he has restored to him his natural right in all the land of his community. This narrow way of considering the question is after the manner of the man who, on looking at his bull’s eye watch, announced that the sun would be late if it didn’t rise in exactly two minutes.
There now lie before me three letters making inquiries that are suggested by such contracted views of the subject of land value taxation.
George St. J. Leavens of Sharon, Litchfield county, Conn., is a farmer who evidently understands the land value tax, but is bothered about its apparently unjust effect upon one of his neighbors relatively to another value. He states the case of his poorer neighbor, a working farmer, as follows:
“A owns a farm of 166 acres; he is now taxed for his dwelling, including two acres of land, and for his live stock and farming implements on an assessment of $1,985, and for the remaining 164 acres of his farm on an assessment of $4,252, making a total valuation for taxation of $6,237. The rate is twelve mills, which fixes A’s present tax at $70.82. If a fire and tornado were to sweep over this farm, stripping it of buildings and fences, and filling up the wells, the bare land would be worth $20 an acre, which for the whole 160 acres would be $3,320. Money is loaned here in bond and mortgage at five percent, and, therefore, for a perpetual investment with absolute security, three percent would be a fair rate, which would make the annual value of A’s bare land $106.20; so, if he were taxed the full rental value, he would pay $31.36 more than he pays now.”
In contrast with A’s position, Mr. Leavens states the case of a rich neighbor as follows:
“B, a fellow townsman and comparatively wealthy man, farms nearly the same amount of land as A; he is now taxed for his dwelling, including two acres of land, and for live stock, farming implements and money invested in stocks and bonds, on an assessment of $23,100, and for the remaining 177 acres of his farm on an assessment of $7,000, making a total valuation for taxation of $30,100. His tax, therefore, at 12 mills is $361.20. If a fire and tornado were to sweep over his farm, stripping it of buildings and fences and filling up the wells, the bare land would be worth $20 an acre, the same as A’s, and the tax, if fixed at the full rental value, would be $125.30, or $255.90 less than B pays now.”
“In view of the fact,” Mr. Leavens asks, “that, work as hard as he can, A can now only make a poor living from his farm, will he be able to pay this increased tax, and will not his lot be a hard one as compared with B’s?”
If taxes were suddenly shifted, and the entire rental value immediately taken, and if B were not taxed on his stocks and bonds by a tax on the land values that they in part represent; and if this reform in taxation did not enable A to improve his farm and accumulate personal property to an extent that is impossible now; and if the tax did not also fall on land in other parts of the state of greater value than A’s and B’s; and if the indirect taxes that A now pays on nearly everything he consumes were not abolished; and if, and if, and if, and if — then A might find it difficult to pay the increased tax, and his lot would be harder than B’s.
But what is proposed is a general system of taxation, not a local experiment in a farming town of Litchfield county; and in considering the effect on farmers in Litchfield county, this fact must be kept in view.
All the tariff taxes that the farmer now pays in the price of such foreign products as he consumes would disappear; all the private taxes that he now pays on protected domestic products would also disappear; and all the profits that he now pays to middle men based on these tariff and private taxes would disappear too. In these items alone the working farmer, A, would be able to save more than enough to pay his increased land tax. He must live very poorly indeed who does not pay every year at least $31.36 in indirect taxation on what he consumes.
It will be observed that Mr. Leavens supposes a land value tax that absorbs the entire value of the land he has in mind. If the land value tax were general this figure of taxation would not be reached in any part of Litchfield county until it had been reached throughout the county and throughout the state. The land in question is not very valuable land. It is hardly supposable that there is not a great deal of land in Litchfield county worth more than $20 an acre, and taking in the whole state there is much land worth thousands of dollars an acre. As a resident of the county and state A would share in all these values. But the greatest of all benefits to A would be the higher wages that he as a workingman would enjoy. Opportunities for labor all through the state would be vastly increased, so that every one wanting to work would find profitable work to do; this would increase the purchasing power of the entire working class, and A’s home market would be thereby greatly enlarged. He would find it easier than now to sell his products — indeed, his principal embarrassment would be, not in marketing what he produced. but in producing enough for the market. He needs but to realize this to understand what an excellent investment that $31.36 of extra taxation would be.
And then, prospering, as he would be, he would build a better house, better outbuildings, better fences, and in other ways improve his farm. In doing so he would add to the opportunities for work of a variety of mechanical laborers, whose purchasing power would be thereby enhanced, and who in consequence would increase the demand for his products. And with all these benefits his taxes would not grow. He would still pay the annual value of his land, and nothing more.
But B would also enjoy these benefits, and his taxes would be less than now, while A’s would be more. That might or might not be, for Mr. Leavens’s figures do not show how much of B’s personal property is not in fact land. His railroad stock represents land value in part, so does any mining stock he may own. Property of this kind would pay taxes on the tax or the land values it represented. It is impossible, therefore, without more definite figures to say whether B’s taxes would be less than now. They might be more. But suppose they would be less, which could be only on the supposition that B is now heavily taxed on actual products of labor; then A’s condition would be improved with his higher tax, though B paid a lower one.
The reason that A’s products of labor are of less value than B’s is because taxation on labor products tends to keep down the supply and to prevent a workingman like A acquiring more. With that tax removed A could increase his products until, though he would pay a higher tax than now, he would not pay anything like as high a tax in comparison to his wealth. In other words, the removal of taxation from labor and its products would enable A to raise himself to the condition of wealth that B now occupies, and which under our present system of taxation can hardly be reached without the aid of special privileges.
But Mr. Leavens insists upon looking at the matter as a purely local affair. “I see plainly,” he says, “that if the George system of taxation were applied to the whole country and A thereby relieved of all indirect taxes, he could pay the increased direct tax and be infinitely better off than at present; but in my calculation I am supposing the law to apply only to one state, which leaves the indirect taxes as they are now.”
Very well; let us suppose the law to be adopted in the state of Connecticut alone. Then A would still have to pay the same high prices as now for protected commodities as he consumed, but his income would increase. There would be no penalty on production in the state of Connecticut as there is now; there would be greater opportunities for employment and consequently higher wages, which would increase the demand for farmer A’s products, and make for him a livelier market; his own wages would rise with the rise of wages generally; the whole revenue of the state would be derived from land values, and cities and mines would therefore contribute the greater proportion; the revenues of the state in the excess of the necessities of government would be devoted to general public improvements, in the enjoyment of which A would share; capital, which is always sensitive to the slightest influence, would soon discover a state where it could find ready and profitable opportunities and be free of taxes, and would flow into Connecticut from all quarters; men would speedily hear of a state in which opportunities to work went begging, and where wages were high, and would go to Connecticut as to a promised land. Nor would this influx of capital and immigration of labor diminish the profits of the one or the other. The only effect would be to increase land values which, being taken in taxation, would return to the people at large in such public improvements as would make the poorest of them more prosperous than ever before.
Would not A be glad to pay $31.36 a year more than he pays now to produce such a result, even if B paid $255.90 less than he pays now, especially if each enjoyed the same natural advantages for the same tax and their relative prosperity was made to depend on their industry?
We might confine this system of taxation to Mr. Leavens’s town and still show a great benefit to farmer A, although, of course, not so great as would result from a more general introduction of the system. According to Mr. Leavens the amount of tax now collected in the town for local purposes is $15,000. He does not give the state tax for the town, but it is not likely that it exceeds $2,000. Let us suppose then that the entire levy is $17,000. There are 34,389 acres of land in the town, half of which is mountain land worth $10 an acre and the other half farming land worth $20. A tax of three percent on this land would yield $15,475.05. Deducting the state tax we have $13,475.05 for local purposes, or $1,524.95 less than is now required. It is pretty safe to say that this deficiency would be made up in reduced cost of collection and reduced expenses of pauperism and crime; but even if it were not, it is a deficiency that could continue for but a very short time and might be made up by a probate tax, or a tax on state or municipal bonds, or some similar tax that would not interfere with production.
Now, Mr. Leavens’s town would be the only town in the United States where men could work and capital be employed without taxation. How long does he suppose it would be before the land of such a town would be sought out for manufacturing and residence purposes? Every man who wanted a home, and whose business was not too far away, would build in that town, because he would have to pay no tax for house furniture, for outbuildings or improvements of any kind, and could improve to any extent without an increase of his tax. Every manufacturer who could consistently with the requirements of his business put his factory in that town would do so, because he would practically escape taxation on his plant and product. This would bring a great variety of workmen into the town who would want homes and for whom homes would be built there, because there would be no taxes on them. The population and business of the town would thus steadily increase without increasing taxes in any other way than by making some of its land more valuable, and everybody would be benefited by it. The land that acquired exceptional value would bear the burden of taxation, while farming land would increase in value but slightly, if at all, and the farmer’s tax would remain nearly stationary, while the profits of his business would multiply in consequence of the growing market he would have; and his share in the common wealth would increase with the prosperity of the town.
True, B would also share in these benefits, but in most of them he would share only as he worked, for it would be the worker, not the idler, who would benefit most by such a condition, and B could not appropriate to himself better natural advantages than A, without paying more into the common fund.
Such a local application of the land value tax does not permit it to operate in its fullness, because it leaves indirect taxes in force, enables the state to place burdens on production, and does not comprehend land that varies greatly in value; but it is a far better system for the man who works for a living, even when applied only in a small district, than the present system, which makes taxation fall with greatest weight on production, and allows individuals to appropriate to themselves the value of natural advantages and of advantages due to the location of land.
The second of the three letters before me comes from F. J. C. of Texas. He tells of an immigrant with a large family who “purchased from the state of Texas an alternate section3 of land for a home at $2 per acre, payable in twenty years, with interest at eight percent, payable annually. It was assessed for taxes at cost. The land on each side of him had been donated by the state to a railroad.” F. J. C. now compares the accounts as follows:
To the state. Dr.
640 acres of land at $2 $1,280
Annual tax, say, at 1 percent on cost 2,560
Interest 21 years at 8 percent 2,010
Cost of land. $5,880
To the state, Dr.
640 acres of land Donated
Annual tax at 50 cents per acre $64 $64
Difference in favor of railroad $5,816
“And now,” remarks our Texas correspondent, “Mr. George proposes to relieve the railroad from all taxes except on its land, and pile taxation on the actual settler, besides taking the land from him!”
That is pretty hard, isn’t it? to say nothing of its stupidity. To take a man’s land from him and tax him for it, too, is crowding the mourners! But, Mr. F. J. C., that is not what Mr. George proposes. He simply proposes to tax the railroad as much for its land as the settler is taxed for his. Do you think the settler would object to that? If Mr. George’s plan had been in operation twenty years ago the accounts of the settler and the railroad would be like this:
To the state. Dr.
640 acres of land taken up by settler Nothing
Interest on purchase price at 8 per cent Nothing
Annual tax on actual value of land,
at say 1 percent $2,560
Cost to settler for twenty years’ occupation. $2,560
To the state. Dr.
640 acres of land Nothing
Annual tax on actual value of land,
at say 1 percent $2,560 $2,560
Difference in favor of railroad. Nothing
But while there would have been no difference in favor of the railroad, there would have been a difference in favor of the settler. He wanted the land to use, while the railroad company only wanted to keep it out of use until they could get a high price for it. He therefore would have made an income from his land, and the company would have made none from its land. And when the company understood that the more the land increased in value the higher its tax would be, it would have abandoned that land to some settler who would have become a neighbor of the first settler. Meantime the first settler would have had a better market for his produce than he has had, he would have paid no indirect tax on what he purchased, and he would have been untaxed on his improvements.
My third letter is from J. M. of Fall River, Mass., and incloses a New Haven letter that recently appeared in the Boston Pilot, signed “Phineas.”
“Phineas” is one of those men, who, to get a perspective view of the state house, would put his nose against one of its massive stones. He has discovered a widow in New Haven who owns a vacant lot on which her husband intended to build a cottage, but which, being vacant, yields her no income. Adjoining her land is a tenement house, occupied by six families, and owned by a rich lawyer, to whom it yields an annual rental of $720. “The land and labor club,” says “Phineas,” with a wail, “proposes to tax both equally. In such a case widow Martin would be forced to dispose of her lot and abandon all hope of ever owning a home of her own.”
Yes, if widow Martin would not or could not build on her lot she would have to abandon it. And, pray, what sacrifice would that be to her? She does not now live on the lot, or eat it, or wear it. As “Phineas” says, it yields her no income. The lot means nothing to her but the possibility at some time of trading off a piece of God’s footstool that she will not or cannot use, for something that she must use; or the far more remote possibility of building that long hoped for cottage.
But while the widow Martin would lose nothing that she now enjoys, she would gain much if land values alone were taxed. As she has no cottage of her own she could with less labor than now get a place in which to live, for both houses and land would be cheaper, as “Phineas” must admit if he knows anything of the effects of taxation. And if she got enough together to build a cottage, as she might under a system that made labor scarce and high and cottages plenty and cheap, she would find a lot on which to build it which would cost her nothing, and she would have no taxes to pay on her cottage or on anything else for that matter. And when her children grew up they would not only find their labor in constant demand, but if they wanted cottages of their own they would not have to buy a vacant lot, for there would be plenty of lots for the taking, nor would they have to pay a tax on their cottages, for cottages would be exempt from taxation.
Does “Phineas” really think that the widow Martin would object to such a change?
But the rich lawyer who draws an income of $720 from his adjoining tenement house, is he to be favored by a heavy reduction of taxes? Favored, no; benefited, yes. He would no longer pay taxes on the clothes he wears, the house he lives in, the office he occupies, or the food he eats. In these ways the land value tax would benefit him, but it would not favor him, for every one would enjoy the same benefits. But does not exemption from taxes on his tenement, which yields him an income of $720, favor him as against the widow Martin, who enjoys no income from her adjoining lot? No. It benefits him by enabling him to rent his tenement at a cheaper rate with the same profit, and thus to keep it occupied more regularly; but not otherwise. The greater benefit of that exemption will be enjoyed by his six tenants, who are, perhaps, to be as much commiserated as the widow Martin with her vacant lot.
Of the lawyer’s income of $720 from this tenement, part is ground rent and part house rent. So much of the tax as falls upon the ground rent the rich lawyer must pay himself; but so much as falls on the house rent is paid by his tenants. If “Phineas” doesn’t understand this well settled proposition he will have to read up on it. I cannot give the space that might be necessary to enlighten him. Now, if houses be exempt, the house rent will fall to the extent of the tax remitted; but if that tax be shifted to the ground rent, the ground rent cannot rise. Therefore, if the land value did not fall, the rich lawyer would pay a higher tax that he could not shift to his tenants, and be freed from a tax he would impose on his tenants in higher house rent if he were not freed from it. So it is that the true comparison is not between the poor widow Martin and the rich lawyer; but between the poor widow Martin and the poor tenants of the rich lawyer. Will “Phineas” kindly ruralize a little with that comparison for a text?
The land value tax would reduce the farmer’s burdens, enable the settler to get land without purchase money or mortgage, provide for the widow and fatherless, reduce rents, raise wages, improve business, cheapen commodities, secure the ownership of property to its producer, and take for the public whatever value the common inheritance might acquire. It is just, practical and politic, and has yet to be condemned, except in ignorance or with malice.
H. C. Baldwin, Naugatuck, Ct.—(1) The land value tax would be payable, as taxes now are, in the money of the time. That the money of the time ought to be legal tender money, issued direct by the government by virtue of its constitutional power to coin money, is hardly open to debate. (2) We do not class legal tender money with capital such as is entitled to interest. Money is not capital at all, but a representative. If, however, capital bore interest, as we believe it would under any economic conditions in which exchange was a factor, the money that represents and exchanges for capital would also bear interest. That is not to say that money in a stocking would bear interest. Capital locked up would not bear interest; it would deteriorate; it would in that condition cease to be capital. But wealth in exchange is capital, and produces interest, and money representing wealth in exchange would of necessity bear interest if capital did. But money would not command that premium, sometimes ignorantly confounded with interest, which is due to an insufficient volume of money. It would bear interest as, and only as, the capital it represented, bore interest. (3) It is true that public debts would exist even though land values were taken by taxation. But, if land values were taken by taxation, existing debts could be paid off without much difficulty, and a higher degree of public intelligence resulting from greater individual independence would oppose any new obligations of that kind. On this subject read “Progress and Poverty,” chapter 4 of book 34 and chapter 8 of “Social Problems.”5 (4) If the reform in finance you propose were accomplished, without first equalizing natural opportunities, all of its advantages would inure to the owners of land. It is a secondary, not the primary, reform.
Geo. St. J.. Leavens, Sharon, Conn.—Communicate directly with Dr. W. C. Wood at Gloversville, N. Y.
J. B. Hersey. Dryden, Mich.—Read “Progress and Poverty.”
Ernest Norris, Albany, N. Y.—If you will read the last paragraph of chapter 5 of book 3 of “Progress and Poverty”6 you will find that Mr. George discusses the law of interest more in deference to the existing terminology and modes of thought than from the real necessities of this inquiry were it unembarrassed by befogging discussions. “In truth,” he says, “the primary division of wealth in distribution is dual not tripartite. Capital is but a form of labor, and its distinction from labor is in reality but a subdivision, just as the division of labor into skilled and unskilled would be.”
Enjolras, Trenton, N. J.—(1) In calculating the price of any article the term dollar or fraction of a dollar does not refer to certain quantities of gold which have been agreed upon as a measure of value. About eighty cents’ worth of silver with the dollar mark on it will buy as much as will a dollar’s worth of gold. (2) It would not be necessary in order to secure a staple currency that in addition to being made a legal tender for all debts such currency should be redeemable in gold or any other commodity. It is only necessary, first, that it should be legal tender for public as well as private debts, and second, that its volume should not be greatly below or in excess of demand for circulating medium.
Joseph Turner, Brooklyn, N. Y.—The all-sufficient answer to the extract from the Chicago Tribune, which you send in, is the answer that was given to the little boy’s conundrum, namely, that “the little boy lied.”
Independent Voter.—Your question will be considered fully in connection with other questions relating to the same subjects. Meantime, are you prepared to permit an objection that is temporary in its nature and affects only a class, if, indeed, it be a well formulated objection at all, to determine your course in respect to a question of vital and permanent interest, and involving an issue of right or wrong?
A correspondent asks the meaning of the expression, “The stars in their courses fight against Sisera,” which form the closing sentence of “The Land Question,” by Henry George. He is invited to refer to the fifth chapter of the book of Judges,7 in the Bible.
Louis F. Post.
Once we thought that power eternal
Had decreed the woes of man;
That the human heart was wicked,
Since its pulses first began;
That the earth was but a prison,
Dark and joyless at the best,
And that men were born for evil,
And imbibed it from the breast;
That ’twas vain to think of urging
Any earthly progress on,
Old opinions! rags and tatters!
Get you gone! get you gone!
Once we thought all human sorrows
Were predestined to endure;
That, as man had never made them,
Men were impotent to cure;
That the few were born superior,
Though the many might rebel;
Those to sit at nature’s table,
These to pick the crumbs that fell;
Those to live upon the fatness,
These the starvelings, lank and wan;
Old opinions! rags and tatters!
Get you gone! get you gone!
Once we thought that holy freedom
Was a cursed and tainted thing —
Foe of peace, and law, and virtue;
Foe of magistrate and king;
That all vile, degraded passions
Ever followed in her path;
Lust and plunder, war and rapine,
Tears, and anarchy, and wrath;
That the angel was a cruel,
Haughty, blood-stained Amazon.
Old opinions! rags and tatters!
Get you gone! get you gone!
Once we thought it right to foster
Local jealousies and pride;
Right to hate another nation,
Parted from us by a tide;
Right to go to war for glory
Or extension of domain,
Right, through fear of foreign rivals,
To refuse the needful grain;
Right to bar it out till famine
Drew the bolt with fingers wan.
Old opinions! rags and tatters!
Get you gone! get you gone!
Once we thought that education
Was a luxury for the few;
That to give it to the many
Was to give it scope undue;
That ’twas foolish to imagine
It could be as free as air,
Common as the glorious sunshine
To the child of want and care;
That the poor man, educated,
Quarreled with his toil anon.
Old opinions! rags and tatters!
Get you gone! get you gone!
Old opinions! rags and tatters!
You are worn — ah! quite threadbare!
We must cast you off forever;
We are wiser than we were;
Never fitting, always cramping,
Letting in the wind and sleet,
Chilling us with rheums and agues,
Or inflaming us with heat.
We have found a mental raiment,
Purer, whiter, to put on.
Old opinions! rags and tatters!
Get you gone! get you gone!
A London Landlord’s Soliloquy.
“Hah! A letter from Jones the grocer asking me to renew his lease, on the ground that he has built up a business after great expenditure and years of work, and will be ruined if I don’t allow him to remain where he is. Jones is an imperfectly informed person. He imagines I exist for him, whereas Jones, like all his neighbors — those living in the streets which belong to me, and those living in other streets as well, throughout this vast metropolis — all exist and toil and think for me. Ha! ha! ha! Just think of it; I own squares, and streets, and terraces, and draw a splendid and princely income from them. And I not only get my rents regularly paid, and see houses which were built on ground that I fortunately refused to sell and would only let — like my ancestors, wise men — on short leases, gradually falling into my hands, becoming my own, to be let at high and increasing rents, but I see all London toiling to make me richer, and consequently more powerful and — happier. What a delightful thought it is!
Not a merchant, who increases the wealth and trade of this great metropolis; not a workman, who adds to its industrial product; not an author, or writer, or scientific man that adds to its reputation; not a builder, not a father of an increasing family, but puts gold into my pocket by augmenting the value of my land and houses. I toil not, neither do I spin. Why should I when all the world around is toiling and spinning for me? My gifts even — they are not great, for I invest all I can in real property, so that those who follow me may have even greater wealth and power than myself — can all be made to enhance my own position. If I beautify a street, or give a site upon which a handsome church or chapel can be built, or subscribe to imperial institutes or South Kensington improvements, do I not still benefit myself? Everything works for the best for me in this best of all possible worlds. The brains, sinews, energies, inventions of all mankind are mine in a peculiar sense. I not only profit by them as other people do, but they all tend to one end — the increasing value of my property. So that while the toilers and moilers — even the most socialistic and democratic — think they are benefiting themselves, I am taking toll of every blow they strike and every work they do. Gradually this enables me to make stronger the golden chain — the strongest and perhaps — well, the cruelest — with which I and my fellow landlords and plutocrats bind society, even down to its lowest stratum; reinforcing its links, lengthening its extent, increasing its repressive influence. For, after all, who can estimate the power of gold, in politics, in society, in religion, in administration — of gold when it consists of millions, and can be used, if need be, to hold down and fetter? Yes, Jones is an ill-instructed person if he imagines I have any part or lot with him. He may be ruined, but even then he will benefit me. I cannot attend to his petition, for weakness must never be the characteristic of one for whom the world turns round.
And Yet the “Times” Can See No Reason Why the Farmers Should Join the United Labor Party.
J. S. Moore in New York Times.
We are now nearing winter. There is hardly a state in the Union where the people do not use largely the well-known article of woolen dress goods. This goods is a mixture of woolen or worsted and cotton, and costs in Europe from 15 cents to $1.24 per square yard. To give an idea of the proportion of the cheaper to the dearer goods we import, I will here state from official returns of l886. During that year we imported:
Per Square Yard.
25,634,569 square yards dress goods, costing 15 1-5 cents
25,200,570 square yards dress goods, costing. 21 1-3 cents
7,851,111 square yards dress goods, costing 34 cents
And only 2,230,019 square yards dress goods,
Essentially, it will be seen that more than 58,000,000 square yards of this dress goods, costing abroad from 15 to 34 cents, were destined for the hard-working classes, and chiefly for the farmers’ families. During the fiscal year ending June 30, 1887, we imported over 76,000,000 square yards of this woolen mixed dress goods, costing abroad $17,211,000, or a little over 22 cents a square yard in average. ln 1880 the treasury collected a duty amounting to $10,744,113 on woolen dress goods, and the average duty was 71.76 percent. During the fiscal year of 1886-87 the duty will amount to over $12,000,000, and there is not the slightest reason to doubt that some $15,000,000 more is paid in a home tax to the home manufacturers. And, altogether, the bulk of the hardworking people in the cities and all the farmers have to pay annually a tax of at least $27,000,000, perhaps $30,000,000, for using mixed woolen dress goods that cost in average 22 cents a square yard abroad.
Now, let me show to the farmers the peculiar hardship of this tax on a necessary, I may say almost indispensable, article of women’s dress. Wheat today in New York is lower than it has been for thirty years. In Chicago the price is 69 cents a bushel. What the farmer gets in Iowa or Minnesota for it I don’t know. But the reason wheat is so low is simply that the pauper labor wheat of India, Russia and Turkey competes with our wheat in London. And the price of wheat we consume at home is made in London, where our surplus grain has to find a market. The farmer, therefore, is not and cannot be benefited by the existing tariff. Suppose, now, a farmer in Iowa or Minnesota needs for his family, say, four dresses of this worsted mixed goods that costs abroad 22 cents a square yard. He would be taxed 71 percent, or over 15½ cents a yard. In other words, the original cost abroad of the goods is for forty yards $8.80, and the tax is $6.16. Besides
this the importer must make a profit, or say interest, on the $6.16 duty, and so must the retailer who sells it to the farmer. In short there is no doubt that for forty square yards of this class of goods, costing in England $8.80, the Minnesota farmer has to pay 50 cents a yard, or $20.
The Monopoly of Land.
Press and Knickerbocker.
Mr. J. S. Moore of New York city, who has just returned from a visit to California, writes to the New York Times some account of his observations. It was his third visit, the first being made in 1848, his second twelve years ago, and his third in August last. In the first place he warns everybody against going over the Central Pacific and Union Pacific, which he says not only passes through the most God-forsaken country, but the road is the worst managed he ever met with. Owing to the present public agitation concerning the greed of monopolists, we extract the following from his letter:
California is a great state, and is bound in time to become, perhaps, the richest and most powerful in the Union. Of course there is a temporary nightmare oppressing this state, as the railroads, the best part of the land, and other rich franchises are the monopoly of some few scores of individuals and corporations. Some of these are now happily becoming “absentees,” which is the surest sign that this hitherto shameful oligarchy in a republic will be broken up. What possible benefactor can a man be in such a glorious state as California who holds 30,000 or 50,000 acres of the best land to himself? You go through miles and miles of wheat fields; you see the fertility of the land, beauty of the scenery, but where are the hundreds of farm houses, with the small gardens, cows, etc., that you see in Ohio or Iowa? In short, for the present California is a feudal state, and those who keep up this feudal system are enemies of the human race. When you point out this evil to the people, they tell you that the land is going to be cut up. But at what price? The settlers who are to make California the garden of the world cannot afford to pay fancy prices for land. The people who made Ohio the garden of the east of the Rocky mountains did not pay $30 an acre for the land. However, let us hope that this now momentous question will be solved peacefully.
Unfortunately California is not the only state and territory in this country afflicted in this way. Within the last quarter of a century millions of acres of land have been bought up by individuals and syndicates, many of whom are foreigners, seeking safe and profitable investments for the surplus they have gained in the course of the business they have pursued.
Evidently the “Post” Doesn’t Read the Newspapers — Somebody Ought to Tell It About the United Labor Party and the Syracuse Convention.
New York Evening Post.
We repeat that it is the bounden duty of every man of influence or position, who holds that the present distribution of property is unjust and can be, and ought to be, changed by legislation, and feels it necessary to announce his views publicly, to tell people exactly what he thinks the legislation ought to be. When he finds fault with “the present order of things,” he ought to tell us in definite terms what the “present order of things” is, and exactly how he would go to work to
The feature of the “present order of things” which seems to call forth most animadversion is the fact that a few men are very rich, and most men comparatively poor. This has existed ever since human society was founded. It is and always has been objectionable, and, if it can be remedied, ought to be remedied. But anybody who has a remedy for it ought at once to produce it on paper. Any one who thinks it can be changed by act of Congress ought to draft a bill for the purpose and publish it. If Jay Gould, for instance, has too much money, the precise means by which his fortune ought to be reduced should be described, and the persons among whom it is to be distributed ought to be pointed out. If “colossal fortunes” are dangerous to the state, there is no use in repeating that colossal fortunes are bad things. We ought to be told, how their growth is to be prevented. In like manner, if there are too many poor in New York or any other large city, in proportion to the number of rich people, we ought to hear how many poor a city like New York ought to have, and how their number is to be kept fixed, and how a man who is rescued from poverty by the state is to be kept from falling back into it again.
The Land Question in a Nutshell.
Rev. H. O. Pentecost in New Jersey Unionist.
Who made the land? The Creator. Then it belongs to Him, and since we find it here and it is necessary to human life, it must be here for the use of all, and not a few.
Who made the house, the wagon, the watch, the shovel, and other products of industry? An individual man either made them or exchanged other products of industry for them. Then they are his. They constitute property. They should not be taxed. The state did not produce them, does not own them, and should not have them or any part of them.
Who made the value of land? No one individual, but everybody in general. The presence of population — the community — produces land values. Then land values belong to no one in particular, but to everybody in general — the community — and should go into the public treasury to defray public expenses.
The land belongs to God. It may be used by him who needs it.
Products of industry belong to him who produces them or exchanges other products for them.
Land values belong to the community.
Were the land left free to the use of all, were the products of industry untaxed, were land values turned into the public treasury, we should have a just social system, government without taxation, poverty abolished, because with the opportunity open to him to go upon the land it he chose no man would work for less than he could make for himself by working land.
Land would be free, capital would be free, labor would be free.
There would be no millionaires and no tramps.
There would be a full general treasury in town, county, state, nation, out of which money could be freely spent in all manner of public improvements, which, of itself, would employ the millions who are now idle.
This can all be brought about by making laws to relieve all products of industry from taxation, place taxes on land values alone and then raise them until the full rental value of the land is taken.
Landowners pay nearly all the taxes and take their chances of securing an increment whether “earned” or not. They carry the “heft” of the public burdens, promote the growth of the community, supply benefits and advantages which are enjoyed in common by the non-taxpayers, and in this view it would seem that the unearned increments should not accrue solely to the latter class, but should belong to the great class who created them.
HENRY GEORGE, Editor and Proprietor.
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SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 24, 1887
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PLATFORM OF THE UNITED LABOR PARTY
Adopted at Syracuse August 19, 1887.
We, the delegates of the united labor party of New York, in state convention assembled, hereby reassert, as the fundamental platform of the party, and the basis on which we ask the co-operation of citizens of other states, the following declaration of principles adopted on September 23, 1886, by the convention of trade and labor associations of the city of New York, that resulted in the formation of the united labor party.
“Holding that the corruptions of government and the impoverishment of labor result from neglect of the self-evident truths proclaimed by the founders of this republic that all men are created equal and are endowed by their Creator with unalienable rights, we aim at the abolition of a system which compels men to pay their fellow creatures for the use of God’s gifts to all, and permits monopolizers to deprive labor of natural opportunities for employment, thus filling the land with tramps and paupers and bringing about an unnatural competition which tends to reduce wages to starvation rates and to make the wealth producer the industrial slave of those who grow rich by his toil.
“Holding, moreover, that 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. We declare the true purpose of government to be the maintenance of that sacred right of property which gives to everyone opportunity to employ his labor, and security that he shall enjoy its fruits; to prevent the strong from oppressing the weak, and the unscrupulous from robbing the honest; and to do for the equal benefit of all such things as can be better done by organized society than by individuals; and we aim at the abolition of all laws which give to any class of citizens advantages, either judicial, financial, industrial, or political, that are not equally shared by all others.”
We call upon all who seek the emancipation of labor, and who would make the American union and its component states democratic commonwealths of really free and independent citizens, to ignore all minor differences and join with us in organizing a great national party on this broad platform of natural rights and equal justice. We do not aim at securing any forced equality in the distribution of wealth. We do not propose that the state shall attempt to control production, conduct distribution, or in any wise interfere with the freedom of the individual to use his labor or capital in any way that may seem proper to him and that will not interfere with the equal rights of others. Nor do we propose that the state shall take possession of land and either work it or rent it out. What we propose is not the disturbing of any man in his holding or title, but by abolishing all taxes on industry or its products, to leave to the producer the full fruits of his exertion and by the taxation of land values, exclusive of improvements, to devote to the common use and benefit those values, which, arising not from the exertion of the individual, but from the growth of society, belong justly to the community as a whole. This increased taxation of land, not according to its area, but according to its value, must, while relieving the working farmer and small homestead owner of the undue burden now imposed upon them, make it unprofitable to hold land for speculation, and thus throw open abundant opportunities for the employment of labor and the building up of homes.
While thus simplifying government by doing away with the horde of officials required by the present system of taxation and with its incentives to fraud and corruption, we would further promote the common weal and further secure the equal rights of all, by placing under public control such agencies as are in their nature monopolies. We would have our municipalities supply their inhabitants with water, light and heat; we would have the general government issue all money, without the intervention of banks; we would add a postal telegraph system and postal savings banks to the postal service, and would assume public control and ownership of those iron roads which have become the highways of modern commerce.
While declaring the foregoing to be the fundamental principles and aims of the united labor party, and while conscious that no reform can give effectual and permanent relief to labor that does not involve the legal recognition of equal rights to natural opportunities, we nevertheless, as measures of relief from some of the evil effects of ignoring those rights, favor such legislation as may tend to reduce the hours of labor, to prevent the employment of children of tender years, to avoid the competition of convict labor with honest industry, to secure the sanitary inspection of tenements, factories and mines, and to put an end to the abuse of conspiracy laws.
We desire also to so simplify the procedure of our courts and diminish the expense of legal proceedings, that the poor may be placed on an equality with the rich and the long delays which now result in scandalous miscarriages of justice may be prevented.
And since the ballot is the only means by which in our republic the redress of political and social grievances is to be sought, we especially and emphatically declare for the adoption of what is known as the “Australian system of voting,” in order that the effectual secrecy of the ballot and the relief of candidates for public office from the heavy expenses now imposed upon them, may prevent bribery and intimidation, do away with practical discriminations in favor of the rich and unscrupulous, and lessen the pernicious influence of money in politics.
In support of these aims we solicit the co-operation of all patriotic citizens who, sick of the degradation of politics, desire by constitutional methods to establish justice, to preserve liberty, to extend the spirit of fraternity, and to elevate humanity.
United Labor Party of the State of New York.
Headquarters State Executive Committee,
28 Cooper Union,
New York City, Sept. 1,1887.
To all Members and Friends of the United Labor Party throughout the United States: By its platform, adopted at Syracuse on the 19th of August last, the united labor party of the state of New York has brought into state politics the principles on which the memorable municipal campaign of a year ago was fought, and thus taken a great stride in the forward movement which must not know retreat. Within the next twelvemonth the advance must be made upon the national field. To this end a national conference will at an early day be called in conformity with a resolution adopted by the New York state convention. To all throughout the state and the union who desire the emancipation of labor, the destruction of monopoly, the doing of even justice, the simplification and purification of government, with the abolition of privilege on one hand and of poverty on the other, the united labor party of New York sends greeting and it solicits their help. Every such contest as the one we are now entering upon must be a costly one. We need money to send speakers through the state, to distribute literature in every city, town and village, and to print and distribute our ballots. The last item alone, owing to unjust electoral laws which we are striving to reform, and which throw upon private generosity what should be a public burden, will cost us several thousands of dollars. Contributions, small or great, to aid in this work will be gratefully received and promptly acknowledged by this committee.
Chairman and Treasurer.
Gaybert Barnes, Secretary.
The current rates of interest which the farmers of the United States are paying on mortgages on their farms vary from five percent in some parts of the country to ten in others, and will probably average six and a half to seven percent. Mechanics, clerks, professional men, in borrowing small sums, or buying on the installment plan pay from six to one hundred percent, and in some cases even more. All the money which the United States government gets comes from taxes — from taxes which fall with peculiar severity on these classes of the people, and which in one way or another take from them at least two dollars for every dollar which they place in the treasury. Yet, through the apathy of the people, who, because these taxes are levied through third parties, and collected from them in increased prices, do not realize how they are taxed, this taxation has been suffered to go on until such an enormous surplus is hoarded in the vaults of the treasury that the cry goes up that unless the pressure on the money market is relieved there will be a financial panic; and today we have the spectacle of money taken from people to whom it is worth on an average certainly not less than ten percent, virtually loaned by the government to bankers and bondholders for nothing.
We talk about “paternal government” as something to be avoided — something which we will have nothing of. But here is paternal government in reality and with a vengeance. In the power to hoard money or to give it out; in the power to deposit government money with banks and to buy bonds at market rates, the administration has its hands upon the throttle valve of business and speculation, and the power to enable its favorites to make millions. Truly ours is a paternal government — to the rich. Money which we borrowed at the rate of forty and fifty cents on the nominal dollar we are today paying off at the rate of one hundred and twenty-four cents on the nominal dollar, and to get every dollar which is thus used the hard working people of the country are put to a loss of certainly not less than two dollars.
A striking instance of how in the city of New York official power is prostituted to political ends is shown by the resistance of the democratic police commissioners to the appointment of the inspectors of election on behalf of the united labor party. No reasonable man can have the slightest doubt that the united labor party represents both the organization and the great body of the men who supported me for mayor in the last election, and that the intent of the law is to secure to this political body a representation in the receiving and the counting of the votes. Yet the democratic commissioners are to the full extent of their power exerting themselves to defeat this end.
It is especially disgusting to see a man like General Fitz John Porter lending himself to such business as this. His fellow citizens have the right to expect that a man who has worn the uniform of the United States should have a code of morals above that of a ward heeler, but General Porter shows himself, in this matter at least, to be as willing a tool of a political ring as any ward striker could be. The political inwardness of the opposition to the appointment of the united labor party inspectors is unquestionably the desire to count out united labor party votes. At the beginning of the last campaign one of our local democratic statesmen, Mr. “Fatty” Walsh,8 who has since been rewarded for his political services with the responsible position of warden of the Tombs prison, publicly scoffed at the idea that the united labor party could elect their candidate, for the reason, evidently conclusive in his mind, that they had no inspectors or judges of election. And the belief, not only of members of the united labor party, but of well informed politicians of other parties, is that I really received many more than sixty-eight thusand votes, and that Mr. Hewitt was returned through fraudulent counting, which gave him credit in the returns for ballots really cast for me. The resistance which the democratic ring is making to the appointment of the united labor party inspectors for the forthcoming election is indicative of a desire to repeat, if possible, the same game this year. General Porter, a man educated at national expense and belonging to a class whose boast it is that to be an officer is to be a gentleman — a man who has commanded an army of the republic, and whom the congress of the United States has recently, in the most handsome manner, relieved from what he and his friends claimed to be an injustice, is now lending himself to the effort to do not only a gross injustice to a great body of his fellow citizens, but a great public wrong.
The pro-poverty press are taking a great deal of comfort to themselves from the fact that a resolution repudiating the Progressive labor party, which the socialists in this city are endeavoring to set up in opposition to the united labor party, was only carried in the Central labor union by a vote of fifty-two to forty-four. The inference which they endeavor to convey to their readers is that this vote indicates the sentiment of the members of the labor associations of New York; that is to say that forty-four out of every hundred of the organized working men of this city are socialists, and will this year join the socialistic faction in endeavoring to defeat the united labor party ticket. If the editors of these papers do not know any better than this their reporters certainly do. The socialists can, in the Central labor union, muster a vote much greater than their real numerical strength among workingmen would warrant; partly because socialistic efforts have for some time past been quietly directed to getting socialists elected as officers of the trades unions, and especially as delegates to the Central labor union, and partly because each body represented in the Central labor union casts but one vote, regardless of whether its numbers be many or few. The socialists have taken advantage of this to organize a number of small unions consisting often of but a dozen or a score of members, whose representatives count for as much in a vote such as that of last Sunday as do the representatives of such giant organizations as the building trades or the typographical union. The truth of the matter is that state socialism has hardly taken any hold at all upon the workingmen of New York city of other nationalities than the German, and that the socialistic opposition to the united labor party is very far from embracing a majority of the German workingmen, or even of such of them as have heretofore been disposed to follow socialistic leading. It may on election day count for something, but it will be for very little, and the people who are relying upon it to check the steady onward march of the great movement for the establishment of natural rights are trusting to a broken reed.
The supposed opposition among the Catholics to Dr. McGlynn on which these papers are likewise counting is another treacherous reliance, springing from their bigoted and contemptuous notion that to be a Catholic is to be a political slave of ecclesiastical authority. The truth is that Catholics — and especially Irish Catholics, upon whom these papers particularly count — are disposed to resent instead of to accept political dictation from ecclesiastical authority; and the truth moreover is, that a large number, if not a considerable majority, of the Catholic clergy of this city are, although they do not dare to openly show it, really in sympathy with Dr. McGlynn’s stand for the independence of the priesthood.
Whatever political influence Archbishop Corrigan may have was exerted in the last election to the full against the united labor party, and though it may in this election prevent the party from getting some new votes it will not take from it any it has had. The concurrent testimony of the active men in the united labor party from all the districts of the city is that the excommunication of Dr. McGlynn has not in the slightest degree weakened the party among the Catholic masses of New York, but has, on the contrary, strengthened it.
[Will my good Irish Catholic friend and the good friend of the cause of the land for the people who writes to me from Glasgow asking me for a private and confidential expression of my opinion as to the political effect of Dr. McGlynn’s excommunication take this for an answer?]
Who would have thought that Archbishop Corrigan in striking at Dr. McGlynn would really hit Mark Twain? Yet so it has proved. Following his great success with General Grant’s Memoirs, Mark Twain (Webster & Co.) undertook the publication of a life of Leo XIII by Dr. Bernard O’Reilly, with a letter of commendation by Cardinal Simeoni. Had it been brought out a little earlier it would undoubtedly have had a great sale and yielded much profit. As it is, book men say that it has fallen utterly flat, and the canvassers can do nothing with it. The great class of American Catholics who were relied upon to purchase some hundreds of thousands of copies, have now no use for a life of Leo XIII, even when commended by Cardinal Simeoni. Mark Twain had better try a life of Dr. McGlynn.
The Sun, Times, Evening Post and Commercial-Advertiser likewise find a morsel of comfort in what they are pleased to describe as the falling off in numbers and enthusiasm shown at the ratification meeting of the united labor party at Union square last Saturday night. The truth is that this meeting was not only enthusiastic to the last degree, but was as large in numbers as under the circumstances was possible. The arrangements for speaking had not been well made, and the trucks which were intended for smaller stands, were placed so close to the main stand and to each other that the voices of the speakers interfered. Men will not long stand in the open air to listen where they cannot hear, and thousands who came went away again after standing awhile. But the constant audience was much greater than any ordinary human voice could reach, and men and women stood packed together for hours, even to a distance which made it impossible that they could distinguish more than a word now and again. Whether in reality the movement which the pro-poverty press so dread is falling off in enthusiasm, may be judged from the fact that on the night succeeding the open-air ratification meeting, the New York Academy of Music, Miners Theater and the Brooklyn Academy of Music were all filled at the same time. At both the academies large collections were taken up, and at Miner’s Theater an admission fee of fifty cents and twenty-five cents was charged. When either the republican or the democratic party can hold an open-air meeting as big or as enthusiastic as the Union square meeting of Saturday night, or when they can fill three large theaters on one night with audiences who are willing to pay to hear their principles set forth, then they may talk of the anti-poverty movement as losing enthusiasm and power.
The real truth is that all this press talk of the weakening of the new party is like the whistling of boys passing through a graveyard by night. However much they may be willing to delude others, the cooler heads of the old party politicians in New York know that the effect of socialistic opposition has been to strengthen, not to weaken the united labor party; that Dr. McGlynn’s suspension and excommunication has hastened, not checked, the spread of the principles for which he stands; and that what they a year ago fondly imagined to be only a transient ebullition of political discontent has now assumed all the characteristics of a great permanent party based on living issues and consolidated by a profound conviction. They may expect that the difficulty and expense of effecting organization and distributing ballots may prevent the new party from actually carrying the state this year; and they may even hope that trickery, corruption and the concentration of the “saviors of society” upon a single ticket this year may prevent us from carrying the city, but they cannot fail to see upon the wall that hides the future the handwriting that proclaims a new political order.
At the meeting of the young men’s democratic club in the Hoffman house on Monday evening the following suggestive resolution was offered by J. Bleecker Miller:
Resolved, That a committee of seven be appointed, of which the president of the club shall be chairman, to devise plans for opposing the Henry George movement during the coming campaign, with power to consult with the republican club and other organizations to secure their co-operation in this movement.
This resolution was laid over till the next meeting, but the opposition to it was not based upon any denial of the fact that such a union of the democratic and republican organizations is the only thing that can prevent the united labor party from carrying this city, but sprang from the indisposition of certain of the young democrats to place themselves in opposition to a party which they begin to feel is in reality the party of Jeffersonian principles.
Mr. J. Bleecker Miller is wise in his generation. There is really no essential difference between the republicans and democrats of the present time. The logic of the situation must inevitably drive their managers together, just as in the last election the two factions of the democratic party, between whom there was just as much difference as between the republicans and democrats, were driven together and a considerable number of republicans added to them.
The live issue in our politics is that which is drawn in the Syracuse platform, and it is upon this that political lines must ere long be re-formed.
The party of equal rights has appeared; it has the vigor and strength of definite conviction, and its principles are extending with unprecedented rapidity. It is running a plowshare through old political divisions, and it is only a question of time when all opposition to it must be concentrated in one party.
The only real question in this state today between the republican and democratic parties is as to who shall hold the offices. The political issues that men are thinking about and talking about — the political issues which must be discussed during the present campaign, in the press and on the platform — are the political issues which draw the line between the united labor party on the one side, and both the old parties on the other.
The miners’ unions of the north of England have voted to discontinue the allowance from union funds which they have for some years paid for the support of the two members, Mr. Burt and Mr. Fenwick, whom their votes have sent to and kept in the house of commons as their representatives. The London cable correspondent of the Evening Post sees in this an evidence of the advance of “socialism.” He says:
LONDON, September 20.—The socialists have achieved another victory in English politics. For some time they have been diligently working among the Northumberland miners. Now, the vote on the question of payments from the union funds to Mr. Burt and Mr. Fenwick, the miners’ members of parliament, has resulted in a decision to discontinue them. The real reason is that both Mr. Burt and Mr. Fenwick are moderate men, Mr. Burt being one of the most respected members of the house of commons, and they have not worked on socialist lines. Mr. Burt got £500 a year for his services, and Mr. Fenwick £200. Unless, therefore, their constituents make some provision they will have to retire in November. Probably the miners will choose socialist candidates in their places; but there is some chance that Mr. Burt, who is personally popular, may continue to sit.
The miners’ vote is no doubt a serious thing for the liberal party, who have always been able to count on the labor members. The miners just now are suffering from extreme depression, their wages having fallen far below the former level. So they have lent ready ears to the socialist agitators.
American readers should understand that to this correspondent all men who question the justice of “things as they are” are socialists, and that in his terminology there is no distinction between those who advocate the concentration of taxes upon land values and those who advocate the assumption by the state of all the “means of production.” As a matter of fact, what is really gaining ground among the miners of the north of England as among the working classes all over Great Britain is not the German “state socialism” which the united labor party of New York distinctly disavowed at Syracuse, but the principles and methods set forth in the platform of the united labor party.
The English miners take no more kindly to the notion of making the state the sole capitalist and the sole employer than do American workingmen; but for five or six years past the idea has been steadily growing among them that the land of England belongs of natural right to the whole people of England, and that no king or parliament ever lived who could justly disinherit the masses of the people and make the soil, and the mineral which lies beneath it, the private property of individuals. Mr. Burt and Mr. Fenwick represent the old narrow trade union idea, which aimed simply at getting some petty advantages for union members, and carefully refrained from meddling with larger questions. They have been, as the Post correspondent truly says, “respected” members of parliament. That is to say, the ruling class which dominates in that body has treated them with a sort of kindly and condescending tolerance, as men through whom their special privileges stood in no danger, and who were exceedingly useful in preventing the spread of radical opinions among their constituents. Messrs. Burt and Fenwick have busied themselves with little twopenny measures, and have faithfully followed the liberal whip, while sedulously avoiding giving any countenance to radical measures or aspirations. But among the miners whom they represent the conviction has been rapidly gaining ground that for any real or permanent improvement in the condition of the working classes it is necessary to reassert the equality of right to natural opportunities, and that this can only be secured by political action. Non-political trades unionism is losing its hold in England as it is in the United States, and the virtual repudiation of Messrs. Burt and Fenwick by the Northumberland miners is but one of the many evidences that the world-wide contest of the immediate future is to be over the question of the rights of men to the use of this planet.
The pressure of the political side of the Irish question has operated to hide the rapid progress which the doctrine of “the land for the people” has been making in Great Britain and Ireland; but the moment this question is settled, if it is settled speedily, and, in any event ere long, the land question must flame up in the three kingdoms as the burning question of the time.
The united labor party of New York this fall heads the van in a struggle which will soon involve the civilized world. Henry George.
The letter of “Nicodemus” in last week’s Standard gave substantial evidence of his interest in the new crusade, and no one will be ungracious enough to impugn his motives or question his wisdom in concealing his name. We may dismiss him from our minds, as a person, after expressing gratitude for his contribution to the campaign fund and the hope that ere long he will be free to openly espouse the cause.
If we put away thought of persons, after calling attention to this one generous man by way of text, and treat of principle, there can be little doubt that in every time of moral crisis the open stand is best to take — best for the peace of mind of him concerned; best in its effect upon others; best for strengthening the movement which forces the crisis. The Christian church was made stronger by her martyrs than by all her worldly wisdom. Open declaration of faith is good for any man, for men are men to whatever class they belong; and rightness should be looked for in the sayings and doings of any man whatsoever.
But especially in the case of priests and ministers there can be no doubt that the open stand is not only best, but the only one permissible. It will not, in any case, be tolerable for the priest or minister to doff the robes of Jesus and wear those of Nicodemus. Admit that your butcher, and baker and candlestick maker; your doctor, lawyer, merchant, chief, may sign himself “Nicodemus,” without forfeiting his own or others’ respect, not so may your priest or minister. Not that there is any difference between man and man, but there is some distinction in what men are supposed to be doing in His world. Yonder man is making soap. If he make good soap, that is his distinctive work. But this priest or minister is distinctively a truth speaker, a right doer. The very core of his mission is that he stick to the truth and right. Consequences must never influence his speech or conduct. He must say that which is true and do what is right at any hazard. He must say only what he thinks is true and all that he thinks is true, saving that it is advisable not to cast pearls before swine. But this caution must not be stretched too far. The danger is not that he will speak truth too freely, but that he will dole it niggardly.
Apropos, now, of the new crusade: No intelligent minister will like to say: “I know not what the movement is,” for that were to be inexcusably ignorant. It is a public matter persistently bruited abroad for a year in the chief city and state of the land. Not to have read “Progress and Poverty” is blameworthy, considering the present noise it has directly produced. To say it is “out of my line” when it treats of the physical, mental, moral and spiritual conditions of men and boldly claims to be a new development in the growth of religion, is unpardonable.
Having looked into the matter the priest or minister must satisfy himself that the basic principles of the new crusade are wrong and fairly expose the wicked fallacy which is growing apace, or, believing those principles true, he must espouse the movement. There can be no middle ground. The priest or minister who believes the doctrine of the new crusade and speaks not because of some “if I do, thus and so will befall me,” cannot be at peace with himself without moral deterioration.
How can a man affect to be the follower of such a one as Jesus, the crucified, and mold his speech to suit the times, without becoming a sad man in his heart? To know that one speaks what he does not believe, or withholds what he does when it should be spoken, is to open the soul to moral dry rot.
In the incipiency of every great moral movement there is always the sneaking policy as well as the bold fronting of the devil, but it must be plain that the world steps forward its one great pace at such times because of those who are imprudently honest. There is always that satanic Peter at the elbow of every Jesus, suggesting the folly of going to Jerusalem. But if the Jerusalem road be the only one which may be honestly trod, then Satan must be thrust behind us, though he come now in the form of pope, cardinal, parish, personal interest or apparent welfare of our best loves, wife and children, and though the shadow of the cross fall aslant our track.
Hugh O. Pentecost.
Certain working men in St. Louis, zealous for the anti-poverty cause, have instructed us to send The Standard for six weeks to any Protestant clergyman in St. Louis who may signify a wish to receive it.
Nineteen centuries ago the first great teacher of Christianity expounded the gospel of the fatherhood of God and the brotherhood of man to eager crowds of working men. Today the working men are urging the vowed preachers of Christianity to accept the self-same doctrine.
If railroads were managed by the public, the public would not allow its mangled servants — engineers, conductors and brakemen who were victims of railroad accidents — to become paupers in their helplessness. As it pensions its soldiers who suffer while serving it in war, so would it pension its workmen who might suffer while serving it in peace.
The tract committee of the Anti-poverty society is prepared to furnish tracts for circulation in any part of New York state to persons who may be willing to undertake the work of distribution, but are unable to purchase tracts. Application may be made by letter to Benjamin Urner, 6 Harrison street, New York, or in person at room 30, Cooper union.
The fair of the Anti-poverty society will open on Monday next, Sept. 26, at Madison square garden, and will remain open for two weeks. There is every indication that the fair will be a complete success, but it may not be amiss to remind readers of The Standard, especially those living at a distance from the city, that there is still time for them to forward any contributions they may be able to make.
A Voice F rom Cayuga.
Scipio, Cayuga County, N. Y.—“We have a community here that is ripe for the crusade to an extent which is surprising. Although not an orthodox Christian, I am an enthusiast over one passage of the Bible, which seems to me to include the whole moral law — St. Paul’s assertion that “Love is the fulfilling of the law, because love worketh no injury to his neighbor.” Practical Christianity I am a strong advocate of, but when we read in the Bible that the greed for gold is the root of all evil, that no rich man shall inherit the kingdom of heaven, and that it is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God; and then see the majority of the Christian church engaged in one wild, mad, unscrupulous, pell mell rush for this same Bible-condemned gold, it seems as though there must be heathen ignorance of the Bible or a willful disregard for the future state. It is not at all surprising to my mind that the poor and laboring classes are so prone to look upon professional Christianity with disgust.
If this is a god-given world, what authority has man to block out portions of it and say, “This is mine; I don’t intend to earn my bread by the divinely ordained method. I am going to live by the sweat of other brows. When the increase of population and the effects of other people’s industry surrounding it shall have placed a value upon my property, I can evade that divine edict of labor by drawing tribute from those who must of necessity obey it, and can do so only by my permission; and as population becomes dense I can clap the screws down tight and draw more sweat money; even as they are doing today in the coal mines, larger cities and in older countries. Guess I’m fixed.”
All that is required to make this world a paradise, is that labor shall have an opportunity, and be rewarded by the full fruits of its own industry, thus making it a pleasure and blessing, instead of the distasteful drudgery which it is today; and if such a condition of affairs is impracticable, “Anti-Christian” or impossible, then Christ’s glorious peace and kingdom and the promise of a future millennium must forever stain the pages of an erring, false Bible as a glaring, mocking lie. And, if it is really true, which few will deny and none successfully contradict, that every child born into this world increases the demand for natural opportunities, or, in other words, places a value upon nature’s unearned, undeveloped wealth, then, in the name of that Christ who loved little children, let us not defraud these little one of the birthright which their very presence creates. Uncle Sam is no true father and guardian unless he protects the rights of his helpless little ones. H. W. Taber.
He Believes in Attacking the Evil at the Root.
Wauzeka, Wisc.—I was a prohibitionist before reading “Progress and Poverty,” but I have changed my views since looking into things. Bruce Meyer.
TELEGRAPHERS TO TELEGRAPHERS.
Straightforward Talk from Men Who Have Been Thinking — Why Wages are Falling, and the Only Way in Which They Can Be Raised
We inclose herewith a copy of the platform of the united labor party, and ask for it your earnest support.
For many years now the wages of telegraph operators, linemen, and, in fact, of all engaged in the telegraph business have been steadily tending downward, and this in the face of prosperous times for the country at large.
Thoughtful men of the fraternity have studiously sought the cause and remedy. They have seen salaries drop in the last four years over twenty-five percent, and the ranks of the craft suffer no diminution. They have been told that the causes for this are many.
First—That the average operator is a thriftless, improvident creature, living from hand to mouth, unable, when reverses come, to provide himself with the necessaries of life, and therefore, compelled to give his labor to his employers for whatever he can get; that by being thus improvident and careless of the future, he puts it in the power of the different companies to use him as a hammer to flatten out the salaries of the steady and industrious; that these latter, be they as steady as they may, be they as careful and thrifty as they may, are, so long as they remain operators, completely in the power of heartless superintendents, who, to curry favor with their superiors, stop at no means, however ignoble, to reduce the expenses of their districts by cutting down salaries.
Another cause for the continuous reduction of wages is given. This is, that the women are crowding out the men; that the women will work longer hours for less pay than the men, and that the companies, being well aware of this, have established schools for teaching telegraphy to women, and as soon as a student is proficient enough she is put at work in one of the offices of the company, thus displacing a man, who, having spent long years in acquiring a full knowledge of his craft, and having nothing to sell but this knowledge, is compelled to accept whatever terms the telegraph company will give him if he would keep from beggary.
Other reasons are given, but these two are the most generally urged by those who are supposed to have the interests of the fraternity at heart, and who suggest a remedy to suit each one. For the first, they say that the only way to prevent the company from reducing salaries is for every operator to take a vow to taste no intoxicating liquor nor to waste one cent upon the luxuries of life, such as theaters, operas, lectures, etc., but to be as parsimonious as the most miserable miser. They claim that if every operator should do this he would be in a position to meet reverses when they come, and from his stored up savings to support himself until such time as the company should require his service and be obliged to pay him what he demanded.
Those who urge that it is the women who are crowding out the men suggest as a remedy that no one who has already mastered the mysteries and intricacies of telegraphy shall teach the business to any other person; and they are especially bitter against women being given an opportunity to employ their natural abilities.
If you will think for a moment, you will see that while these reasons for a constant decrease in salaries have some grain of truth, they are but visible effects of some cause, and not the cause itself.
If you will examine the second proposition, you will see that it entirely refutes the first. If women can and will work for less wages than men it is because they appreciate the value of money more — or, in other words, they are more provident, more careful of their earnings and deny themselves in so many particulars that denial becomes a habit.
We have, then, on the one hand, as a remedy for constantly decreasing salaries, the improvidence of the men, and on the other the providence of the women. Taken tegether, these two propositions become farcical, yet the facts remain, that careless and indifferent men are every where being used as hammers, and that everywhere women are crowding out the men.
Just look around you and see if this state of affairs is confined to the telegraph business. In every trade, in every human occupation, you will see that there is seemingly a surplus of skilled laborers anxious for employment, but unable to find it. The New York World has a placard upon the elevated railroad in New York city saying that there had been 731 answers received to one advertisement inserted in that paper under the head of “Help Wanted.” A little observation will
show you that everywhere men are pressed for opportunity to employ their powers to satisfy their necessities and that everywhere wages are going down. There may be some exceptions, as in the case of the Brotherhood of locomotive engineers, which by a compact union — andby denying to other men the privilege of exercising their talents as locomotive engineers — has been enabled hitherto to fix a rate of wages satisfactory to its members. But even the power of this great and unified body is waning, as witness the futile strike of the engineers upon the Brooklyn elevated road recently.
What then is the underlying cause for this seeming excess of labor seeking employment? Is it not because somewhere and somehow natural opportunities are denied? Man is born into the world with but one mouth to feed. To provide food for that mouth he has been given two hands. And he has been endowed by his Creator with a fertile brain full of expedients whereby to reduce the labor of his hands necessary to the feeding of his mouth. If two strong and able hands, regulated by a brain full of resources, cannot provide food for one mouth, is it not for the reason that the two hands are denied the right to produce?
There is one element to which it is absolutely necessary that labor should have access before anything can be produced. That element is land. If access to land is entirely denied to labor the latter is paralyzed; and if labor is allowed to exercise itself upon land only by giving a portion of its products for the privilege it becomes self-evident that here is a primary cause for small return to labor. If land ownership carries with it the right to either exclude labor from land or to allow labor to produce only upon terms satisfactory to the land owner, you must see at once that land owners can demand a great portion of the product for giving labor opportunity to produce. This is the true reason why salaries everywhere and in every craft or trade are constantly seeking a lower level. It is because everywhere land owners are demanding more and more of the product for giving labor a chance to produce and are building higher and higher the fences which absolutely prohibit labor from producing on any terms whatever and compel it to stand idle in the market place.
If land were free and labor had unlimited access to it the exercise of the two hands would not only feed the one mouth, but would also feed the mouths and clothe the bodies of others properly dependent on the owner of the hands.
If land were free to labor, the salaries of telegraph operators would steadily increase.
First—Because the main reason for the ever increasing supply of women operators would be removed. Women now are forced into the ranks of men’s employments because men, being denied the full return to their labor, are compelled to ask their wives and children to assist in providing the necessaries of life for the family. When a man by his labor can provide a comfortable home for his family you do not see the daughters seeking employment as telegraphers, saleswomen, etc., but you see them fitting themselves to be the wives and helpmates of men like their fathers. If all fathers could provide homes of this sort for their families, no daughters would be compelled to learn telegraphy, and this prolific source from which the telegraph companies draw their supply of laborers would be removed.
Second — Because the pressure which now forces men into occupations for which they have no special love or aptitude, and which they know to be already overcrowded, would be relaxed. Men become telegraphers, as they become bookkeepers and salesmen and laborers, not because they want to, but because they can see nothing else to do; and the reason why they can see nothing else is simply that the vast majority of men, being forbidden to engage in wealth production by applying their labor to natural opportunities in the shape of fields, mines, building lots, wells, etc., without first paying an utterly impossible price to some privileged monopolist, are compelled to beg those for employment who either have monopolized these privileges or can afford to pay the monopolizers for their use. Men who would gladly be, and who are by nature fitted to be farmers, miners, builders, etc., are compelled to hunt for masters who will employ them. They throng the cities begging for work of any kind. And while their enforced idleness necessarily diminishes the amount of wealth produced, their eager competition for the privilege of work drives wages down with a force that no combination of wage earners can resist.
Thus in these two ways would the supply of operators be reduced and salaries would advance and ever advance, and with advancing salaries would come increased self-respect and a greater control over the animal in the human frame, and the improvident and reckless telegrapher would vanish.
The united labor party is pledged to establish such a system of society as will give to every man free access to natural opportunities, as will give to every man full power to develop the talents given him by his Creator, and as will give to every man the power to produce a comfortable home for himself and family, a home from which want and the fear of want has been banished, a home where love and duty and honor shall reign supreme.
(Signed) Tom O’Reilly. D. M. W. Telegraphers’ brotherhood; John B. Taltavall, editor of the Electric Age; Henry A. DuSouchet, operator, 195 Broadway, N. Y.; George H. Goodfellow, operator, 195 Broadway, N. Y.; Edwin A. Quick, operator, 18 Broadway, N. Y.; James M. Foster, S. A. Coleman, Edward W. Buckley, John J. Flanagan, P. J. Morrison, John Costello, Wilbur O. Eastlake, Thomas W. Greene, Maxwell Green, J. B. Sabine, W. A. Wasson, W. J. Poppert, Maurice Grey, John Kelliher.
The “Tribune” Doesn’t Mean Business, But There’ll Be Fun All the Same.
Chicago, Ill.—The promises of the Chicago Tribune to meet candidly and squarely the doctrines of Henry George must be taken cum grano salis. Its pledges are all very nice, but its performance falls lamentably short, as you shall see. For the past two weeks it has regularly set up its straw man, and as regularly knocked it down, which is all very amusing and harmless. But occasionally it ventures upon dangerous ground. On the 3d inst. it set out to prove that the application of the single tax to land values would exempt so large a proportion of property from taxation that the levy would be inadequate, and gave a list of sixteen large blocks in Chicago on which the assessment was made at twenty percent of their real value, the first on the list was the board of trade, with the land assessed at $110,000 and the building at $300,000, making the total assessment $410,000. In a review of this editorial sent in on the 5th inst., I pointed out the fact that, accepting its own figures as correct, the application of the tax reform would place the assessment of the land at $550,000 and nothing for the building, being an increase over present assessment of the whole of $140,000; also, that in fourteen out of the sixteen cases cited there would be a corresponding increase; in one the assessment would remain the same, and in only one would there be any reduction.
In the same article it cited six cases of “palatial residence property” as instances wherein the great bulk of the value would be exempted from taxation. I showed that an application of the simplest rules of arithmetic to these six cases would place the aggregate assessment at $200,500 instead of at $145,100, as at present. The Tribune has a way of slipping articles in the waste basket when it is pressed too closely, so I took the precaution to ask its return in case it was rejected, and inclosed stamps for return postage, not that I cared particularly for the article, but because I wanted some reason assigned for its rejection, if it could find such a reason after its promises of fair treatment. But it neither published the article nor returned it, and in that way avoided a hearing or the necessity of giving a reason for its refusal. This is not the first or second time the Tribune has taken refuge in the same hole when I have had it in a corner. Macduff doesn’t stand up to the fight worth a cent.
But the Tribune will soon have all the fun it wants, for we have organized an anti-poverty society and propose to carry on a series of weekly lectures and meetings in one of the largest halls in the city from October to May, as well as inaugurate several other just as effective means of propaganda during the same time. Chicago isn’t asleep, but wide awake and intensely active.
W. H. Van Ornum.
An Unexpected Indorsement.
New York City.—On page 23 of a pamphlet by Alexander Jonas, the editor of the Volkszeitung, and an authority on German socialism, entitled “Reporter and Socialist,” I find the following paragraph:
“Suppose that all owners of factories, machines, mines, all landlords and capitalists in general, should take it into their heads to emigrate to Europe, or, say — to the moon. Let them carry with them all money, all stocks, mortgages, etc.; let them destroy all factories and houses; let them fill up the mines, let them take everything they may claim as their property. There is one thing they cannot take away — the land. They will have to leave that behind, and the laboring people would remain where the land is, but they would be without any money; they would have no factories, houses, machines, mines, etc. How long, do you think, it would take them to replace what was taken away or destroyed by the capitalists? Well, it would be ridiculous to state the exact time; but you will admit that here the phrase in less than no time would be the most appropriate answer.”
Is not this an illustration of the truth that when a man once begins to think upon economic questions he is bound, though often unconsciously, as in the case of Mr. Jonas, to run plump against the land question? The socialists claim that private ownership of machines, factories, etc, does as much as land monopoly to enslave labor. Perhaps some of them will ask Mr. Jonas to explain the passage I have quoted. Fred C. Leubuscher.9
The Music Has Been Sent, and We Wish the Movement in Glasgow All Success
Glasgow, Scotland.—I trust you will pardon the liberty I now take in writing you respecting a movement in which I believed you would take an interest. A movement arising out of the resuscitation of the Bridgeton branch of the Scottish land restoration league was set on foot yesterday, caused mainly by the weekly discussion of the success of your Anti-poverty league, of which the writer had the honor of giving a sketch to the branch as a noble example of what might be accomplished by laying a popular cause on popular lines. A committee of the branch have determined to try the Sabbath propaganda, to practice the songs of your movement and adapt them, and I have been asked to crave your assistance with the music pieces to which you sing the stirring words we have read in The Standard. Send us the music; we will begin the crusade in Glasgow at once, and hope to succeed. If you can find time to send us a word of advice or a message of hope for our success, I shall, as secretary of the league, have the utmost pleasure in conveying it to the members of the league, who are mostly young men, full of love of your principles and zeal for the triumph of your cause. George Paton,
Secretary Bridgeton Branch Scottish Land
Quite a Lot of the Soil of this Country Was Granted by English Sovereigns in Just that Way.
Rockland, Maine—The Boston Herald recently remarked upon the proposed abolition of hereditary pensions by the British parliament as showing “the growing disposition of English public men to bring the structure of government in that country into closer conformity with the spirit of the age.”
I heartily agree with the Herald, but is it not treading upon thin ice? If Charles II had pursued the usual course and rewarded the Viscount St. Vincent with land grants, worth at that time $2,500 per annum, instead of a pension, would not his grants be worth more today than is his pension? Would not the people of England be paying the heirs a gratuity in either case? Does the Herald think that the people of England would be bound to recognize the rights of the viscount’s heirs had the reward been a land grant instead of a pension? Is there any justice in continuing land grants that carry with them the power to tax future generations to perpetuity?
John A. Billings.
He Reads the Signs of the Times Correctly.
Toronto, Canada.—I am informed that a piece of land in this city was sold about ten years ago for $17,000, and that the owner refused $450,000 for it a few days ago. Wealth without work! Thus as the crowd increases, one part of the crowd must inevitably surrender their purses to another part; one part must go down and raise another part up. Here is the social leverage that begets our extraordinary development. Every city exhibits the same phenomenon — palaces at one end, huts at the other; idleness flaunting its ostentatious luxuriance, while toil gnaws close to the bone of want. Too long, far too long, have the taxes been piled upon the shoulders of the men who sweat. Now the toilers have their innings; they have the ballot; this is their chance. If they don’t soon learn to put the taxes on the men who for enormous incomes don’t give a single ounce of sweat where wealth grows just because the crowd grows bigger — then I sadly misread the signs of the times W. A. Douglass.
What Is to Be Done About It?
Correspondence St. Paul, Neb., Free Press.
What is to be done with Henry George?
Here he is saying that the Creator of earth and man gives the earth for the use of all men while they live on it — gives to each man, woman and child born into the world the right to live in it — gives to each and all the right to what they can produce from it — gives no one a right to take it from them without consent and equivalent — that poverty is not an institution of the Creator — that all of us are brothers and not strangers — children of the same Creator — and he tells these secrets right out boldly to everybody, and now, only the other day, he said right out boldly to a crowd (not a crowd of millionaires, but just a crowd of common folks) that he believed in an eternal life.
That’s how he talks, and he appears to mean just what he says. Did you ever hear anything like it? Don’t you think this a bold, bad man — a transgressor against other ideas practiced and carried out in this country, as well as many other countries — a worse man than those Frenchmen, Robespierre, Voltaire, and all the others, for they never said such things as these. If we were in Russia we could send him to Siberia, but we haven’t got along here far enough for that yet. We are so far behind that there is the possibility that the country will embrace these same ideas if Henry George can’t be shut off somehow, and stopped from waving that old worn-out, ragged document, the Declaration of Independence, in which is an intimation that “we are born with certain rights” (naming some of them) and other bosh, just such as suits Henry George. It is a good thing for Thomas Jefferson that he didn’t choose this age of the world to live, for he would have been found in just such company as Henry George.
Some one says that he has no particular objection to Thomas Jefferson, and thinks that if his ideas had been fully established in the country we would now have been a happy people, rich in contentment, rich in comforts, rich in homes, rich in love and fellowship, and nearer the kingdom of heaven, and would not now have, as we do, so many tramps and millionaires and insane and poorhouses and penitentiaries and suicides and divorces, and so many covetous, faithless, loveless, homeless people without God and no friends but their money, and some of them none of that; but the one who talks this way would make out that Thomas Jefferson was as bad a man as Henry George.
The American Landlord Doesn’t Oppress His Own Countrymen Only; He Collects Tribute from Foreigners, Too.
Hamilton, Ont., Evening Times.
There is a coal monopoly in the United States. The anthracite fields and the railways leading from them are controlled by a ring which restricts production and increases prices at will. The ring owns many coal properties which are not worked. We believe the only practicable plan to break up the ring is to apply Henry George’s system of taxation. When the owners of coal lands have to pay to the state the annual rental value of the properties, they cannot afford to keep the mines idle; more coal will be mined and the price will come down. But Canadians cannot settle that question. So long as they choose to burn anthracite, they must pay whatever the Pennsylvania mine owners choose to demand from them.
Truth is Mighty at the Antipodes as on This Side of the World.
Sydney, Australia, Evening News.
The political gospel according to Henry George is largely increasing his disciples in this and the surrounding districts, and the result will be evident at the next election.
PRAYING AND WORKING.
Attention was called some weeks ago to a valuable book, “Our Country,” in the columns of the Standard. Its author is the Rev. Josiah Strong, D. D., one of the most eminent Congregational ministers in the country; and it has been recommended as a tract by some of the bishops of our own communion. With a masterly hand the learned and eloquent author sketches the dangers which threaten our country in the near future as the result of land famine, increasing poverty, and the vices which spring from poverty. His language is quite as “incendiary” and “revolutionary” as any which the secular press has attributed to Henry George or Dr. McGlynn. He does not hesitate to prophesy that, unless our present evils can be remedied, a bloody outburst of anarchy will destroy existing social conditions.
It is, however, in the remedy suggested that the book is weak and inadequate. Prayer, preaching and the reading of the Bible are always useful exercises; but, without good works accompanying them, they will not check a famine or a pestilence. They inspire with courage the heroic soul; but they must lead to action in the material world. No great moral or social reform (e. g., the abolition of chattel slavery) was ever brought about simply and solely by prayer and preaching. Herein lies the strength of “Progress and Poverty.” Mr. George points out the disease as clearly as Dr. Strong does; but he also points out the practical remedy, which every Christian can supplement with an unlimited amount of prayer and preaching.
Once upon a time a man and his wife lived on the edge of a mountain. One morning they saw through the window a land slide coming, which in a minute or two would overwhelm them. The woman in an agony of terror dropped on her knees, crying: “Let us pray!” The man snatched her up with the cry: “Let us run!” and they were both saved. Let us hope that they prayed as they ran — there was nothing to prevent. But had they remained on their knees, nothing but a miracle could have saved their bodies.
Let us pray, brethren, earnestly and fervently; for the cause of justice is the noblest aim and end of prayer. But let us run at the same time in the path of truth and right, or our prayers will prove to be but empty words. And let us never forget that He, who taught us pray “Our Father,” said in the same discourse:
“Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye ever so to them; for this is the law and the prophets.”
(Rev.) J. Anketell.
The United Labor Party Will Give the People of California, a Little Light this Subject.
San Francisco, Cal.—Under our present system of taxation in this state a very large percentage of personal property escapes taxation and there is no remedy for it.
The same is the case with unproductive land held for speculative purposes, which, in direct disregard of the law and right, the assessors make return at about one-tenth of its market value, on the ground that it produces no rental or crop revenue. The result is that the industry mostly of the poorer classes of producers has to bear the burdens of full taxation, which the capitalist and land speculator avoid. Let me illustrate:
Some years since a well-known millionaire of this city named Michael Reese was assessed a large sum for personal property. Mr. Reese appealed and made oath that all the personal property he had in the city was some desks and stools which he valued at $75, and further, that he was a resident of another county (San Mateo), where he paid taxes. Mr. Reese subsequently died, and upon the filing by his executors of a schedule of personal property it was found the estate consisted in part of $1,500,000 in money as a balance remaining after paying a considerable amount of indebtedness. The total personal property sworn to by Mr. Reese in San Mateo county at no time was over $100,000. This case is only one of a number similar where the amount of personal property was concealed from the assessor until made known in the schedule of executors afterward.
Now, a word about land taxation and improvements. There is in this city a Mr. L —— whose property, mostly land and houses, is approximately estimated by those having some knowledge of them at from $8,000,000 to $10,000,000. This gentleman occupies one house only, and rents hundreds of others to tenants. Some years since, when the estimates of the wants of the public schools were before the board of supervisors, this Mr. L—— was opposed to them as extravagant, and claimed that his views should have weight, as he paid a very large amount of taxes. The fact was that the tenants paid the taxes on his houses, and that Mr. L acted as a collector or agent only in paying the taxes so collected over to the city, while on the actual value of the houses he paid nothing.
That such a plea should be made in good faith by a business man without exciting the ridicule of the whole community, shows an almost incomprehensible ignorance of the true principles of taxation. H. D. D.
Will Archbishop Corrigan Send a Marked Copy of This Catholic Paper to Rome?
Montreal Catholic Chronicle.
Look where we will among the nations of christendom, we find the air surcharged with the elements of social disturbance. A century ago similar turbulence was manifested, but the object then was the attainment of political freedom. Liberty was the cry of the peoples. Gigantic wars, appalling disasters, widespread suffering and the failure of politically free institutions to secure happiness for the masses of men, have led to the development of a new phase of the revolution. Those whose professed object is to reform the world no longer direct their energies to the purification of governments. Their efforts are directed against the social system, of which governments are only a part. In some countries this movement has taken the form of socialism, but as men have come to understand that socialism really tends to a far worse and more oppressive system than that which it seeks to displace, it loses its hold upon them. On one side it descends to the wild extreme of anarchism, on the other it has developed into that form of agitation which is well expressed in the platform of the united labor party. As this confines itself to living, practical issues, and has been widely adopted by the working classes of the United States, it may be fairly discussed on its merits.
If we examine the platform laid down recently by the two great political parties in the states we will find that each is constructed on the old plan of arranging the planks so as to catch the votes of certain powerful sections of the people. Broad, unmistakable declarations of fixed principles do not appear. Expediency is evident in every line. This cannot be said of the united labor party, which in the first place repudiated socialism in all its bearings, and forthwith addressed itself to the great question of taxation. What neither of the political parties had the courage or capacity to grapple, is directly, squarely and boldly met. Taxation is the vital problem which, if solved correctly, solves the whole question of government. A radical solution is offered by the united labor party in the proposition to abolish all taxes except taxes on land. The result that would ensue from the adoption of this system has been clearly stated by its advocates. They claim that this will at once relieve labor from the burden of government and throw that burden on capital, where it belongs.10 They claim that it will prevent the accumulation of all the land of the country in the hands of the few, as men will no longer be able to own land without using it. They claim that it will greatly promote economy of government expenses, as tax payers would never consent to paying more money into the treasury than government could spend, nor would they consent to extravagant expenditure if they paid the taxes directly. They claim that it would put an end to the whole system of privileged classes who now have their businesses supported by extra prices forced by taxation. In a word, they claim that it would solve the whole problem of taxation, of surplus, of extravagance, of privilege, and give the common man a chance to use what he earns to support himself, instead of giving up half of it to support office holders and privileged classes.
A terrible outcry was raised against this proposition when it was first mooted in these latter days. But it is really a very old principle, and could be proved to have had the support of some very high authorities in church and states in other days. It is not socialism, nor confiscation, nor abolition of property rights; it is simply a scheme of taxation suggested as a substitute for the present system. It has been pointed out that the United States taxes nearly three thousand articles of prime necessity; that Great Britain taxes about a dozen, whereas the united labor party proposes to tax only one article. The first cry against this proposition has been raised on the behalf of the farmers, but it is evident that if all taxes were abolished except this one, the farmers would very quickly perceive how fearfully they had been handicapped by the indirect system, which robbed them in three thousand ways and kept them constantly engaged in a struggle with poverty while they were producing abundance.
“IT IS A JUST THEORY.”
Extracts from a Sermon by Rev. E. M. Bland of St. Catharines, Ont.
Rev. E. M. Bland preached on Sept 11 a sermon on land and labor, his purpose being a full exposition of the teachings of the Anti-poverty society. The text was taken from Psalms, cxv, 16: “The heavens, even the heavens, are the Lord’s; but the earth hath He given to the children of men.”
Mr. Bland said:
The text I have chosen is one often quoted by themselves in support of their battle cry of “The land for the people,” and I will supplement it by the authorized declaration of the Anti-poverty society:
“Believing that the time has come for an active warfare against the conditions that, in spite of the advance in the powers of production, condemn so many to degrading poverty and foster vice, crime and greed, the undersigned desires to become a member of the Anti-poverty society.”
He then went on to quote extensively from Rev. S. H. Spencer, Rev. Hugh O. Pentecost, Dr. McGlynn and Henry George, taking such parts as seemed to give the land tax theory in condensed form, and said:
Is the family life as implied by the Anti-poverty society’s favorite doctrine, “The fatherhood of God and the brotherhood of man,” capable of being thus expanded into a national condition? Certainly, if it is the will of God! Is it the will of God?
Is it His will not that class distinctions should cease, but by mutual endeavor poverty shall be, if not abolished, at least diminished and made less? Can it be otherwise? Did He not bid man be fruitful and multiply and replenish the earth? Could he have intended that the faster the race multiplied the poorer it should be? Nay, is not all this the result of sin, the work of the devil which Christ came to undo and crush out, and to which He directed the earnest attention of His followers when he said, “Ye have the poor always with you, and whensoever ye will ye may do them good.” But, alas, how unwilling are many Christians to do them good, by any permanent amelioration of their circumstances, and do not rather dismiss the harrowing tales with, “Oh, it must be through their own fault or sin that they have come to this condition,” and they must abide by it; never allowing the fault of any system of our present civilization, but simply perpetuating pauperism by charity instead of providing work and giving each individual an opportunity to avail himself of it.
I trust I have said enough fairly to represent their land theories, though I cannot pretend to treat them exhaustively tonight, nor do I find that they have yet in so many words expanded their theory as to adapt it to an individual case. I think one may safely conclude that it is a just theory as far as it is at present promulgated.
But now, brethren, having declared honestly, and, I trust, clearly, their doctrines, you have a right to ask of me, as a priest of the house of God, what intimation have we of the mind of God on this matter, or have we any? Can we reasonably expect that holy writ will throw any light on the subject? Undoubtedly yes; and its promoters aim at making it a religious movement from the beginning under charter of the royal law, “Do unto others as ye would men should do unto you.”
I will not multiply texts unnecessarily, but will briefly show how the Iraelitish commonwealth was based upon the principle tritely expressed by King Solomon (see v.9): “The profit of the earth is for all; the king himself is served by the field.” How unjust, then, does it seem that large tracts of land should be held for speculation. How suicidal to withhold it from occupation, seeing that, without its products of forest and field, prairie and stream, lake and mountain, the very monopolists themselves must starve.
Now, in the inspired organization of the holy nations, where Moses is providing for the trains of caravans by the various tribes and families, we find this emphatic declaration limiting every conveyance of property in land, Lev. xxx, 23: “The land is mine.”
If then, God’s chosen people might not claim as their own the land from which they had by special command ejected God’s enemies on account of sin, how much less right have any other so called possessors to hold any permanent title to property in land.
An exception is made in regard to houses in walled cities which might be conveyed except in the cities of the Levites, whose property was inalienable as always belonging to God because occupied by his servants.
To emphasize and give practical effect to this principle that the land belongs to God and only the products of it to man, the law of the jubilee was enacted, when every man returned to his own possessions. Lev. xxv, 10-17.
This was an ideal commonwealth, and, alas, its abuse ended in its destruction, but surely what has been can be, and the law for a part can become a law of the whole.
A Large Land Owner, but a Sensible Man, All the Same.
Speaking of the united labor party, Blanton Duncan of Kentucky says, in a recently published letter:
This year the result will be only to demonstrate that the democratic machine is utterly smashed. To be candid, we may say to the republicans, “Look out next year, for we will be in the hunt then to smash your machine.” It is fair and right to relieve the minds of all relative to the movement, for many are apprehensive of wild and visionary schemes. As an old democrat, and a property holder to a large amount, a practical cotton planter — (I hold one of the finest improved plantations of near 1,000 acres in Mississippi, and, together with my wife, hold other property of over $100,000 in value, principally in city property and no personality) — an assurance from me that a thorough knowledge of the views and aims of this party satisfies me that no damage will result to my interests ought to satisfy and relieve every farmer from vague fears.
STRAWS WHICH SHOW THE WIND
By giving to the united labor party of New York a unanimous support, the working men of that state can settle the next presidential campaign in advance. A victory in New York this fall will demonstrate the possibility of labor electing the next president.—[Omaha Truth.
The agitation by George and his followers will be productive of much good, for it will rivet attention upon our present unjust and inequitable methods of taxation.—[Saratoga Star.
The most striking thing to be seen this far in the present campaign is the remarkable growth of the united labor party; in fact, it now looks as if the party would be the second rather than the third party in the race in this state. Its growth is one of the wonders in politics.—[Fairport, N. Y., Herald.
The secret of successful taxation is to levy it upon a few objects that cannot be carried away or hidden.—[Philadelphia Record.
The time has come when workingmen will take a more active part in politics and will insist upon reforms in the interest of workingmen, and, therefore, in the interest of the whole country.—[Cincinnati Post.
Unequal opportunities and unequal burdens have made the millionaire and the pauper. An equality in opportunities, privileges and burdens must be established before labor can come by its own.—[Detroit Evening News.
No class of people on earth are better educated politically than the American working classes. They can and do read the daily papers and keep posted on current events. They attend political meetings in season and hear the principles and objects of parties expounded. And during the day they ponder well all they have read and heard, and among themselves discuss it until they are far wiser and better posted than many of those indifferent or preoccupied persons belonging to the professional or leisure classes.—[Baltimore News.
Henry George’s theories have been attacked by many able writers, Catholic and Protestant, but as yet no authoritative voice from Rome has proclaimed them heretical, or, indeed, pronounced upon them one way or the other.—[Montreal Catholic Chronicle.
Both European and Chinese workmen are here only on suffrance. They are aliens competing with each other for “a mess of pottage.” More than a mere living neither of them are allowed to earn. If more is produced up goes the value of land.—[Our Commonwealth, Adelaide, Australia.
It is remarkable that all the new parties, including the prohibitionists, call upon the government to take on new powers.—[Real Estate Record and Guide.
“Mr. George is fortunate in having discovered the Creator’s intentions,” says the Sun, and adds: “Weak, credulous people who still put faith in the Bible, suppose that the Creator intended that man should eat bread in the sweat of his brow.” But the amount of sweat that some people, the Astors, for example, have to shed in order to eat bread will never seriously weaken their constitutions.—[Boston Globe.
The farmer who is told that the single tax on land values is designed to increase his burdens while lightening those of the bloated monopolists and aristocrats, ought to stop and ask why in thunder the bloated monopolists and aristocrats are not now howling for it. It is not the fashion for them to fight things that increase their power or lighten their burdens.—[Vincennes, Ind., News.
While Ninety Merchants Out of Every Hundred Have Failed, Real Estate Has Quadrupled in Value — Perhaps There Is Some Connection Between the Two Facts.
Gen. B. F. Butler’s Letter to Boston Herald.
When a young man has a very little money let him buy some property, preferably a piece, however small, according to his means, of improved real estate that is paying rent. He had better buy it when sold at auction, under a judicial sale, paying in cash what he can, giving his notes for the balance in small sums coming due at frequently recurring intervals, secured by a mortgage on the property, and then use all his extra income in paying up those notes. It is always safe to discount your own note, and if the notes come a little too fast, as soon as he gets any thing paid his friends will aid him when he is putting the money where it cannot be lost, and where the property is taking care of the interest, and in a very short time he will find that he has got a very considerable investment. He will become interested in it, save his money to meet his notes, and he will directly come into a considerable possession of property and hardly know how it came to him. That is, he will have had a motive for saving, and will get the result of that saving, and will not be tempted to enter into speculations. Nothing is so safe for an investment as improved real estate. Nothing is likely to grow in value faster. In the last fifty years ninety percent of all the merchants and traders in Boston have failed. In the last fifty years ninety percent of all the business corporations have failed or gone out of business, so that their stock has been wiped out. In the last fifty years all the improved real estate on the average has paid its interest and taxes and quadrupled in value. If a young man’s father can give him anything to start him in the world he had better invest it in that way and let it accumulate and earn his living, and he will be richer than if he had gone into business.
A Spectacle to Shame the Civilization of Paganism
St. Paul Dispatch.
Since the application of steam to the sewing machine came to be generally adopted female labor has prevailed almost exclusively in the manufacture of all wearing apparel. Thousands of women in every large city earn their bread as operators. From childhood to old age women appear, for better or worse, to have entered into those particular callings, and the sex now constitutes an important element in the great army of labor.
Hood’s “Song of the Shirt” has not wholly lost its meaning in our day. The refrain of “stitch, stitch, stitch” is now produced by steam, and the woman who sews and finishes a dozen of heavy flannel shirts at fifty or sixty cents gives to her task a degree of hard physical labor of which her sister of fifty years ago had not the slightest realization. Ruined health and abandoned hopes are too often the outcome of a frail woman’s few years’ labor stooped over the swiftly flying shuttle. “Merchants” and “manufacturers” grow rich, and their wives and daughters on their shopping tour get admirable “bargains,” while upon the shoulders, upon the poor and toil-worn women of the factory is severely fastened the yoke of hard necessity. It has always been so, and doubtless, despite the labors of all the proletariats, from Tiberius Gracchus to Henry George, it will always be so.
When Helen Campbell, in the series of admirable letters which appeared in the New York Tribune a few months ago placed before the reading public the result of her examination of the lives of the sewing women of the metropolitan city, it was truly demonstrated how utterly ignorant one half of the world is as to how the other half lives. The spectacle which was then presented would shame the civilization of paganism; and, hardest of all other considerations, there appears no remedy for it all short of a social revolution.
Good Enough for the “Owners” of Kansas City, But Rough on People Who Want to Live There.
Kansas City Star.
But for its nearness to Kansas City the thousands of acres of land lying between the city’s present limits and its proposed new boundaries would have no value except for farming purposes. As it is most of the territory is platted in lots and all of it has a high, actual and permanent value as residence property. One tract of 160 acres, bought five or six years ago for $1,920 an acre, is now worth not less than $6,000 an acre. Kansas City has made nearly a million of dollars for this one land owner. For another tract, bought a year ago for $1,200 an acre, the owner has refused three times that price. Property at the terminus of the Grand avenue cable, worth $800 an acre three years ago, is selling at $19,000 an acre now.
To the Miners.
Union is strength! But can that strength avail?
Nay! Giant forces, misdirected, fail.
They own the fish who own the waters, and
They own the laborers who own the land.
The sea tribes thrown upon the sandy beach
Struggle in vain; their dying efforts teach
That doomed are we, now struggling, shut from land,
As flouncing fishes on the sealess sand.
Strike for the land! or ye shall strike in vain,
For charity is but a show’r of rain
Upon the dying fishes.
Hold in scorn,
Aught that confesses you dependent born;
Beggarly pleas for an advance of pay,
Or fewer hours to be a working day.
Leave willing slaves to beg a lighter task,
And beggars blind a penny more to ask.
Leisure and treasure wait you in the soil.
Go trim your lamps and claim your right to toil!
In His own image God made Man, and He
Designed man upright, independent, free.
But land by men, and not by man, possessed
Explains the mis’ry of the world oppressed;
And in the powers of taxation lie
At once the evil and the remedy.
Tax rent, and nothing else beneath the sun,
And swift the dog will from the manger run;
Then industries will rise and wealth abound
On land and sea, above, beneath the ground;
Trade everywhere be free to play her part,
With full employment and with ready mart;
Abundance shall reward each willing hand;
And no men want, save those who idle stand.
IS GOD, OR MAN, TO BLAME?
The following extracts are from a sermon preached in Palace garden terrace church, London, by Rev. Thomas Child, a minister of the New church.
Mr. Child took for his text Isaiah v, 8: Woe unto them, that join house to house, that lay field to field, till there be no place, that they may be placed alone in the midst of the land.
After pointing out that natural law is but another name for God, and that to assume injustice in the ordinances of natural law is in effect to accuse the Almighty of injustice, the reverend speaker passed to the consideration of the injustices due to human agency.
Human agency brings difficulties into life chiefly by depriving us of those privileges proper to our place in life. Natural law, or the divine order of events, determines our powers and place; human agency determines our facilities there. Do we each get all that belongs to our place and powers, and which, therefore, we ought to have? It is here — in our manhood and degree — that the pledge is made us; when natural law brings us unto life where and as what we are. There is in that a fact, a declaration that we ought to have the things proper to our manhood and degree. Is the tacit promise kept? It is not. Is it broken by natural law? No, but by human agency. As I have explained, the laying hold of such things as are brought within its grasp, the keeping them in sequence and order, and the bringing out of them the consequences proper to them, is the function of law, and, looked at in the light of God as the creator of law, is justice, and the root of all justice in life. But law creates nothing, and therefore cannot create injustice; and, once having created us, God is not unjust, nor can He create injustice, for law is now His only hold upon us. But injustice exists in the form of deprivation of necessities; in one word, poverty is its proof, and there needs no other. Human poverty is the result of human evil, and it is a libel on God and life to say that it is a natural ordinance. Keep clear the things that are distinct; God’s justice through law — man’s injustice through evil. Before God all men are equal, and are equally regarded by Him; but man would destroy this equality, and so far as the means of subsistence for his fellows is concerned, he, being the only free power in nature, has temporarily succeeded. It is man, we repeat, that upsets this equality, pushing his own supposed claims at the expense of others, overriding his neighbor, storing up wealth for himself in spite of the despair which sees in that its own doom, creating thus poverty and its concomitant misery, and with that the extremes of sectional difference, upsetting the natural condition of enough for each and introducing practical difficulty, disorder and injustice.
What is the root of all this? Can we trace the cause and course of all this human injustice? I think we can. It is a strange and startling fact that there never was more wealth, and that there never was more poverty, than at the present day. Here is a singular conjunction of things: increase of wealth with increase of poverty. And this means that the earth’s products for the subsistence of man — that the means of subsistence, in a word, have been collected and held by some to the exclusion of others from their legitimate share in the distribution. You think, perhaps, that this is as right as it is natural — right because natural? I deny both the rightness and the naturalness; and those professed Christian men who uphold this position little know the unanswerable strength of the argument they thus place in the hands of the denier. All human, and all creatures alike needing subsistence, and yet, the whole to come and the rest without, not unjust? The choice of sources of this inequality is plain: it is either natural law (that is, God) or it is man which produces this flagrant, unnatural inequality. Of course we do not say that it is God, and we deny that it is those who possess the wealth, so it must be those who are without it, that are to blame! and equally, of course, it must be the improvidence of the poor which creates poverty! This sounds like effect creating cause; but the one thing we want explained is quietly dropped — we want to know the meaning and the justice of the terrible disparity to begin with. Why are there poor, and who is to blame for their existence as poor? God or man — which? It is either one or the other; there is no third. If you say that man is not, and that poverty is natural, the real meaning of your statement, though you may not see it, is that it is God who is to blame. You shrink from that? Very well, then, the only alternative is that, there are human agencies at work producing this injustice. What are those agencies? Can we discover them? We can; and here begins our catechism.
What, then, is specially the cause of this inequality at the present day? While the amassing of the earth’s produce by some in excessive proportion is the common cause, the inequality is more marked at the present day because of the general tendency to excess in this amassing principle — that more men are rich, and richer than the few who were rich before, only emphasizes the distinction between these and the poor. Where is this excess of poverty seen? Chiefly in certain parts of the country — in our large towns and in the small villages; the manufacturing and smaller towns come under their own form of the law — specially the former. If the poverty be greater in our large towns and strictly country districts, how does it express itself? In many ways, but markedly by continuous efflux from our villages, hamlets and country districts of men, women and children and their continuous influx into large towns.(1) What brings them there? Work, or the want of it! A curious thing — to stop our catechism for a moment — I will note here. It has been found as the result of special investigation, that in regard to the lower aspects of London life, three generations of dwellers in the slums is a rarity; they die out so quickly under the stress of poverty, and are supplemented by this influx from the country. Well, why cannot they get in the country the work they seek in the towns? Because they have been dismissed from, or have left, the places they held. What places? They were agricultural laborers, for the most part, and they were dismissed, or they left, because their landlords had other uses for the country than agriculture. What other uses? They preferred to turn the land into pasture, or let it out for coursing, or embody it in deer forests. Why? Because it brought them more money with less labor.11 That some might be enriched or hold what they esteem their own others came to the slums to — starve! And these men who have dismissed them, what about them? Seventy-five of them hold among them, for example, half of Scotland; five hundred of them hold a third of the land of the United Kingdom, while some few thousands practically hold the whole. And the millions of the rest, what do they get and do? What the others please to permit. And thus ends our catechism.
(l) After a calculation from actual figures, Alfred Russell Wallace concludes that we have “a total of nearly two millions of people who in ten years only (from 1871-81) have been forced by the struggle for existence to leave the country for the towns.”
I am giving you no theories now; this is not the place for theories. These things plainly mean that the soil of our country, given us to live by, may be taken from us; we may be largely deprived of its use and good through denial of permission to cultivate; that it may be treated as private property, and used as a monopoly by a certain few who have either inherited these supposed rights or been permitted to purchase them. There is the key to the whole question of poverty — wealth accumulation and land ownership.
Do you object that the wealth of the country is not confined to the landlords? I have not said that, and have only told half my story; but we have, at least, traced out one source of wealth accumulation, and hence of distress — the claim (rightly or wrongly) to private property in land. Nor is it that the system of administration is bad; it is in the claim of right itself that the mischief rests. The wealth accumulation lies also with another class — the plutocracy so called — the merchant class, which produces our merchant princes. I spoke of these the other Sunday, and I suppose I must not say any more; but here is a fact. The papers tell us that the late Samuel Morley was worth two and a half millions of money, though after his death his will was proved under half a million because he had previously disposed of the two millions. I have here to put this simple but searching question: Why should it be possible for any man to be worth two and a half millions while others are dying from starvation? Plainly there is something radically wrong in the system which produces such consequences. I have nothing to say against any man in particular, or against any special trade; but it is no wonder if some should protest against that system of trade which allows of such vast resources for the benefit of one man only. Is a just distribution of wealth, or other than an excess of poverty, possible where trade on such lines is held as the rule of right? Why is it that the men under Samuel Morley (2), and those like him, have no larger and more equitable interest in the business? Do they not do the work? Is this his just share, and their two guineas a week theirs? You may say that he planned the concern, built it up and held it together; but look at the disparity! They are both God’s creatures, and both have to stand before God’s bar of justice — both human beings after all. Whence, then, this disparity, and the justice before God of the system under which he could amass such wealth, and his servants remain practically just as they were? But we may leave them to settle that, while we put again the true issue here: How is it consistent with justice that so great fortunes should be amassed, or such enormous incomes obtained, out of the soil or out of trade — that there should be such an accumulation of the earth’s products in the hands of these men, while others are starving and even dying in the streets?
(2)I breathe not a word against Mr. Morley personally.
But curious movements are noticeable, and one is that these two classes, the aristocratic and the plutocratic, are drawing nearer together. You find merchant princes giving their daughters to the nobility, and the nobility more and more entering trade. You have nobility as tea merchants, cab proprietors, and the rest of it! These two classes are coalescing, and that is not auspicious. It means (for they are the moneyed classes) their keeping the reins in their own hands through possession of the land between them; it means uphill work, further poverty, and hard fighting before justice can reach the daylight; it means that there come straight to the facts of the case today the strong and searching words of Isaiah: “Woe unto them that join house to house, that lay field to field, till there be no place, that they may be placed alone in the midst of the land!” Here is a simple description of what is taking place around us; and we Englishmen can bow to the claim of exclusive possession of the earth as if somehow it were a right and our acceptance of the claim a duty. We are so constitutional, so slowly moved, that we hardly dare let ourselves recognize the facts as challengeable, much more breathe a word against them; but hereby from the word of the Lord, I denounce this thing as a gross usurpation and the most thorough paced injustice the world has seen. Has the word of the Lord nothing here to say against this fact and its cause that some men die in starvation and others live in luxuriance? Yet so hampered by prejudice and prepossession are we that we are fain to see that somehow the words cannot apply to us. And what of the interpreter of God’s truth as applied to life — the pulpit? Silent: the Lord points out the injustice, but His messenger proclaims it not. Yet if the pulpit is to be a power at all today, it can only be so by coming down to the central facts of justice, and taking its stand there — sneaking the truth in love between man and man, and man and God.
Nor does the history of the acquisition of the land mend matters, for it was acquired for the most part by dishonesty, by having a stronger arm than their fellows, by marrying a king’s mistress, by doing this or the other service for those in power; and so they themselves came into power. The historical truth seems to be that the title of the English nobility (to speak of these alone now) to the estates they possess is as rotten as are equivocal actions generally. Yet if it were not so, a principle condemned by the Word of the Lord cannot ultimately prevail, and wants only its thorough investigation in order to its final subversion. Judged in this light, the principle of the private possession of the earth by those who “lay field to field” — in other and plain words, the principle of private property in land — is condemned already, and to its final sweeping away needs but the opening of men’s eyes to the nature of the fact.
But would not the subversion of this time-honored principle lead to socialism? I am not here putting forward any theories; I am adhering to the facts of life seen in the light of God’s Word. Moreover, it is no matter what consequences the establishment of divine justice brings; but, so far as I am concerned, I say unhesitatingly, let us have no socialism. We have had tyrannies enough and to spare without adding to them the tyranny of the majority — which socialism inevitably means. Socialism is the refuge at this day of men with good hearts but poor heads, who don’t see the outcome of the things they propose. Of all refuges from our present distress, true socialism — and I do not mean the socialism of the streets — would be the poorest and the worst. But while I am as strong an anti-socialist as any going, I maintain a truth in its demand; and the only way to take out its sting and have done with it in the end, is to satisfy the element of justice in it; for the element of justice in socialism is not confined to socialism. The root of all its, to me impossible, scheme is the class of facts already adduced, viz.: the concurrent increase of poverty and wealth, the cultivation or non-cultivation of the land at the pleasure of the supposed owner, and the fact of such ownership to the exclusion of others, “till there be no
place” left. Remove these evils, and the genuine complaints of socialism have virtually ceased.
If, then, this condemnation by scripture of the personal monopoly of land is to be carried into effect, what is the basis of the justice of such condemnation? The ground of the essential justice of the case lies in this, that every man has by nature the same right as every other man to those original sources of life and support which are alike independent of any man’s creation, and are produced for the sustenance of all — these sources being air, earth and water. But if each man has the same right as every other man, none can have greater and none can have less. We readily see how this works in regard to air and water; if we are deprived of our equal rights in these, we can appeal to law, and law will establish our claim. If a man shuts out my daylight, or so vitiates the atmosphere as to compel me to breathe impurity, or for his own purposes contaminates the water I drink, a court of justice will recognize the usurpation and restore to me my rights. Now, we say that the law of equity here is the equal right of every man to do what he wills with these and all things, subject, as this implies, to the equal rights of all others. Plainly, therefore, equity gives to every man the same right to the earth as it gives to every other man; and equally plainly, such equity abolishes private possession. For a man, then, to make private property of that upon which all alike depend for sustenance, and to which all have an equal right, is a manifest and conspicuous injustice. Here is the real social iniquity, and which we allow to go unchallenged, even when the Lord Himself has challenged it ages since. The ground of equity is the essential ground of its condemnation, and this is also the broad and simple ground on which the scriptural “woe” is given against it. The injustice here, then, springs not from natural law, but from the setting aside of the primary natural law between man and man. It is human injustice. The only possible remedy, therefore, must begin with the recognition of the injustice against which the Lord here denounces a “woe.”
And this leads me to observe that no secondary legislation can be other than useless. We leave the younger sons of our great estate holders, who are cut off with a mere pittance, to question the justice of entail and primogeniture; but something more radical than all this is required; that alone can meet the case which shall be asserted by justice and the Word of the Lord. What that embodiment shall be it is not for me here to say; if I did you might well challenge me for the leaving of principles and facts, and the teaching of theories and opinions; and the things that I have said are neither opinions nor theories, nor will their denial make them other than facts and principles. But it is not easy to break away from the power of habitual monopolies; it is easier unconsciously to think from them, even while professedly examining them, than it is clearly to see through them by the light of equity and reason; those who may think that I am meddling with politics, or with things forbidden to the pulpit, may profitably consider this.
The attitude of religion, as exemplified by the church, to the great question of human life here laid open cannot, however, be well passed by. What has she had to say to the relation of rich and poor, and its causes? Generation after generation, as the wretched poor have passed before her, she has exhorted them to believe that they are in the Father’s house, to “arise and go to their Father,” not to look to the evils, or supposed evils, of other men, but to their own, to cry to the Lord for mercy and forgiveness, and to look to Heaven as their place of reward. All right and good; not a word would I say against what of religion there is in such exhorting. The wretch so appealed to has no chance of escaping the curse, and the best thing he can do is to return to his Father and say, “’Father, I have sinned.” Oh, if every one of us could do that sincerely! Yes, and even he may do that; but his descendants? You pass on to them, and again to their descendants, to all of whom you hear in imagination the same word said; and that is all the balm the church has to offer for generations of oppression! but against the iniquity — never a word. Surely, friends, it is time the church was aroused to some sense of her neglected duty in this thing. Both pulpit and church may well be losing powers in the world!
But let us be ever so willing, what can we, as individual members of the church, do in the face of the world’s crying evils of poverty, distress and injustice? Toward immediate help you may do much; toward eventual remedy, comparatively little, and yet that little is something, and imperative upon you. Your first duty is to seek willingness to look the problem in the face; your second is to inquire for such information as will assist you in understanding it; and your third is to endeavor to impart some interest in it to others, to spread a public opinion on the subject — to assist, in a word, in educating men and women on the most momentous social problem of the day, and the one which lies at the root of all genuine future reform. This is what we all can do, and what we ought to do as much as in us lies.
Again, I say, if we have hearts of justice in us, let us try to understand it; but to do this effectually we must cleanse our own hearts of injustice — of the injustices which we put daily upon others in thought and act; then may we hope to see more clearly what justice in life requires at the hands of humanity.
Toledo, O.—Will you be kind enough to cease insulting me with your infamous paper? If you would dare address me verbally, as you do through your “machine,” The Standard, I would order you out of my house.
As a priest of the Catholic church, I would be lost to all self-respect and worthy only of contempt to receive into my house a sheet that continually insults my order and my church. I would have written you before to cease sending me your paper, but I did not wish to notice your insults; but as the paper still continues to come, I am compelled to send you this written notice.
Respectfully, Patrick O’Brien.
AT MINERS THEATER.
THE THIRTEENTH ASSEMBLY DISTRICT WAKES UP THE WEST SIDE.
A Rousing Meeting Listens to the Story of the New Crusade — Dr. McGlynn Explains How the Teachings of Religion Are to Be Given Practical Effect Through Politics — Short Addresses From Louis F. Post, Frank Ferrell and John Mitchell of Richmond, Va.
The meeting held by the Thirteenth assembly district organization of the united labor party at Miner’s theater, Eighth avenue and Twenty-sixth street, on Sunday evening, was attended by complete success. Soon after the doors were opened there was standing room only in the lower part of the house, and before 8 o’clock even the top gallery was crowded. Hundreds of persons were turned away, unable to obtain admission.
A burst of applause greeted the entrance upon the stage of a party of well-known anti-povertyites and friends of the movement, among them being Rev. John Anketell, Louis F. Post, John McMackin, Frank Ferrell, E. G. Webb, John Mitchell of Richmond, Va., and the committee of the Thirteenth district. The first wave of applause had not died away when a voice in the audience called for three cheers for one of the gentlemen seated on the stage, and after these had been given a like compliment was expended to several others. The good feeling thus evinced continued throughout the evening, and the enthusiasm shown at times equaled that so often exhibited at the larger anti-poverty meetings at the Academy of Music.
Louis F. Post was introduced as chairman. He spoke briefly. In speaking of the time and occasion of the meeting, he said:
“I heard once, somewhere, that man was not made for the Sabbath, but that the Sabbath was made for man. We are using this Sabbath for man. We are using it for the purpose of bringing people to consider these really religious questions — for a question of justice is a religious question. And as we come to talk it over, we find that we cannot bring the kingdom of God on earth unless we go into politics, because the devil has got hold of the kingdom now, and we have got to get him out by the ballot. (Applause.)
“And so it is that the Anti-poverty society and the united labor party have taken upon their shoulders the duty of hoisting this devil out. The kingdom of God upon earth can never exist so long as any one can be born on this planet without having an absolute right to a place of the planet. A member of the Anti-poverty society resigned, and a few weeks after joined a fashionable church up on Fourth avenue somewhere. I asked him why he did it. ‘Oh, well,’ he said, ‘I got tired of hearing so much about the fatherhood of God and the brotherhood of man.’ I said: ‘You joined a church up town?’ ‘Yes,’ he said. ‘Don’t they teach the fatherhood of God and the brotherhood of man up there?’ ‘Oh, yes,’ he answered, ‘they teach it but the deuce of it is you fellows believe in it.’” (Great laughter and applause.)
Mr. Post explained that as he was obliged to take a train for Buffalo, Frank Ferrell would act as chairman. Mr. Ferrell, after making a few remarks, introduced John Mitchell, also a colored man. He said:
“I come from the state of George Washington; I came from the state of Thomas Jefferson (applause), the writers of that peerless Declaration of Independence which forms the foundation stone of the platform of the united labor party. I have read of your Henry George (applause); I have gloried in your Dr. McGlynn (applause), and when I say these words I speak not for one class in the state, but for all. (Applause.) On the part of those present I take pleasure in introducing to you our peerless champion, the laboring man’s friend, America’s greatest defender, Dr. Edward McGlynn.”
Dr. McGlynn’s speech was a remarkable presentation of the truth that political action, if it would rise to the dignity of statesmanship and avoid degenerating into a mere scramble for offices and plunder, must go hand in hand with religion; since it is only by the triumph of ethical principles — in other words, by obedience to the laws of God — that social conditions can be modified for the better.
“It is,” said the speaker, “the consciousness of moral relations with God that teaches man his heavenly origin and his eternal destiny. It is this that leads him to recognize in every other man an equal child of God, and therefore a brother to himself. This consciousness of a spiritual existence teaches man that he was placed here but for a time, as if at school, and that the earth is not his home. The singular fascination of the doctrine of the Anti-poverty society and the united labor party consists in this, that they aim at something more than the study or reducing to practice of a great teaching of political economy. The society and the party are striving for something that is above and beyond all mere policies — they are striving to reduce to practice the great teaching of natural religion, that even, equal, impartial justice to all men must be the law of God, since God is the father of all his children and not the stepfather of any. (Applause.)
“It is this consonance with the teachings of natural and revealed religion that gives such fascination to the doctrine of the Anti-poverty society, and that attracts men to the united labor party; that makes men listen to the Lord’s prayer as if they had never heard it before in all its true significance. They pray no longer that they may be fed with bread for which they shall not labor. In the school of Christian political economy they learn that it were a base and an unworthy thing to ask God to give them bread for which they should not labor (applause); and so when they pray ‘give us this day our daily bread,’ they are simply asking that they and all their brethren may have a better understanding of the Father’s plan for the regulation of this His goodly school, so that all men may have abundant opportunity to employ their labor, and no one dare to deprive any one of the slightest tittle of what he has produced by his labor. (Applause.)
“That is the labor question, the question of questions which today is clamoring for an answer, and which must have an answer. (Applause.)
“Is it the law of civilization — the law of God — that with wealth must come want? that poverty must dog the footsteps of progress? that the chariot of civilization must, like the car of Juggernaut, crush, as it rolls along, the hearts, and bones, and sinews, and the very immortal souls of millions of men and women and little children? (Great applause.) If so, I say it is an accursed thing, not worth the price it costs. Then your civilization is a mockery and a crime against human nature. And if this be the result of a necessary law of nature, then nature itself is not ordered by a wise and loving and beneficent God, but is the mockery of some jesting fiend who has created man only to make sport of him.
“To men perplexed and tormented by such doubts as these, comes, like balm from heaven, the teaching of the truth that justice really is the law of God; and that such civilizations as the world has hitherto seen have successively been brought to ruin and extinction simply because they have not been based upon the eternal principles of justice.
The doctor here spoke in glowing terms of Henry George, as a man raised up by providence to discover and point out the truth that the evils which afflicted society are to be remedied simply and altogether by observing the clear teachings of the law of God. Then turning to the consideration of the practical steps to be taken to conform our social polity to the divine law, he went on:
“The labor question may be put in very few words. It is this: How shall men obtain their natural right to employ their labor and to enjoy the fruits? Man must labor in order to satisfy his wants. How can he be always sure of obtaining his proper wages?
“Now what are proper wages? Natural wages are precisely what a man makes. What a man makes is his. The whole idea of property rests upon this truth. Those things belong to us — are private property — which we have produced by the exercise of our labor and our patience upon the natural materials to which we have legitimate access.
“But what man ever made the earth? What man created the general bounties of nature? God alone confessedly has made these things, and therefore to Him alone do they belong in absolute ownership. In His goodness and mercy He has given the use of these things as a free gift to all His children, but never did He intend them to be the absolute property of a chosen few!
“The teaching of this doctrine of the new crusade is the teaching of Thomas Jefferson, who said: ‘I hold that land belongs in usufruct to the living, and that the dead have no control over it.’ (Applause.) Usufruct is a legal Latin word which means the use of the fruits. And so he held that each generation has a right to the use of the fruits of the earth, but a right to such use only, and no title to the absolute ownership of the earth.
“The solution of this labor problem will come when we shall have given to all who are willing to work an opportunity to employ their labor on the natural god-given elements of production, and security that they shall enjoy all they may make by their labor. That is the perfect justice we demand for labor, and we will never give the world any rest till we have attained it. (‘Hi! hi!’ and great cheering.) Don’t you see that if one man demands for his labor something more than he has produced, he is asking for some portion of what some other fellow has produced? That is not fair. It would be robbing some other man of the fruit of his labor.”
The speaker then pointed out the close connection between the monopoly of land and the injustice inflicted upon labor, and proceeded to demonstrate how the remedy could be adopted without any shock to existing social institutions, without any infringement of the just rights of any one.
“A great many,” said he, “are troubled by the false notion that this doctrine of restoring to men their equal right to the use of the bounties of nature is to be carried out by cutting up the land into little bits and giving everybody a bit. We have no intention of doing anything of the kind. We know perfectly well that it is necessary for the best interests of labor, for the higher interests of civilization, that men shall have perpetual, undisturbed possession of the choicer portions of these general bounties, and we would be the last ones in the world to wish to disturb that possession. All that we insist on is that those who occupy, undisturbed, and forever, if you choose, the choicer portions of those general bounties, shall pay to the community a perfect equivalent for the privileges that they enjoy. We do not want to disturb any title or possession. We do not want the state to be the landlord. We would allow things to remain just as they are today, but we propose practically to assert the common ownership of all these natural bounties by levying the full rental value of them into the common treasury. That simple remedy will give to the people all the benefit of the joint ownership of the right to the use of the land, and it will enable them to remove all other taxes.
“And what an enormous benefit will it be to you, the people, to have thus poured into your common treasury the enormous sums now wrongfully paid to private individuals and retained by them. Out of this magnificent fund will come, not only all the good things you get now, but immensely more; all paid for out of the magnificent estate that you own and you have been cheated out of.
“And in close connection with this ownership of the general bounties of nature is also the ownership and control of those things that are necessarily monopolies and can only exist by the consent of the sovereign people — the railroads, telegraphs and telephones. These things ought to be owned by the people and used only for their benefit precisely after the manner of the postoffice. (Applause.)
“And it has been suggested, and I cordially approve of the suggestion, that we may then terminate the charters, as the sovereign people have the right to do at any moment, of the surface and elevated city railroad companies, paying them the actual values of their properties without reckoning the charters that they get from us for nothing. (Applause.) We might run these roads free for the people, just as we have already free parks and free seats in the parks and free schools. This would not be communism, but a magnificent business investment for us, the people of New York. It would be improving the value of land wonderfully. (Applause and laughter.) Haven’t you noticed how real estate speculators get up free excursions with bands of music and free lunches and all that sort of thing, inviting the dear people to come and enjoy themselves, twenty-five or thirty miles out in New Jersey or Long island, and be entertained by a lecture from an expert auctioneer (laughter) who will sell them lots upon which they can make homes for themselves. Now, you see, it pays these real estate speculators to give people free excursions, with the music and the lunch thrown in. And might it not pay us, the common people of New York, to run these railroads free, so that the people who are now stifling in tenement houses might be induced to go and build themselves homes out in the country? It would be money in our pockets to build these railroads ten or fifteen miles further out, make the road beds more solid and have powerful locomotives that could give real rapid transit, so people could go out twenty five or thirty miles to or from their homes free, because then land would be actually increased in value, and people thus interchanging benefits with one another would be improving immensely their common state. (Applause.)
“Don’t you see how that would benefit labor?
“And this is not all. The chief benefit of our reform will be the constant demand it will create for labor. So that I am almost prepared to say that even if we had to throw every cent of that rental value into the sea, it would still be a good thing for us to take it from the present landlords. We should not be such fools, of course, as to waste money. But the chief benefit of our reform will be not in appropriating the rent for the public treasury, but destroying the speculative value of the possession of these natural bounties. When we tax land up to its full rental value it will no longer pay men to hold any natural bounties without using them. They will have to put them to their highest ability. Not merely will no man be able to afford to keep a valuable site laying idle, but he will not be able to afford to build an inferior house upon it. If it is very valuable he will have to build a very valuable house. And so on the hundred thousand dollar lot he will put up a half a million dollar house. Don’t you see where labor comes in there? (Laughter.) The highest utilization of these natural bounties will require the constant use of labor. And this labor will be constantly in demand. Lands now held idle will have to be abandoned by the men who cannot use them. A large portion of the agricultural land will be thrown open to any who may choose to occupy it; and for years many agriculturists will probably pay no rent at all. For it is only when the scramble begins, when there is competition, that land begins to rise in value. Men are now speculating on the necessities of generations yet unborn. But put a tax of the artificial scarcity of natural bounties, and they will all be thrown open to the world.
“But even if land should continue to be all occupied by private owners there need be no fear that labor will be at the mercy of capital. Instead of the sad spectacle of workmen begging for work on almost any terms in order to escape starvation, you will have the amusing spectacle of the poor employers running after workingmen and begging them to be kind enough to work on their own terms. (Smiles and applause.)
“Now, that is the solution of the labor problem and the necessary result will be equality. Labor will be honored and respected. Men will enjoy the full equivalent of all that they produce. The magnificent economy of labor-saving machinery which now benefits the landlord alone will then benefit the laborer as well. Much more will be produced with fewer hours’ work. Labor will no longer be the degrading, debasing thing that it too often is now. A few daily hours of comparatively light labor will produce enough to support a family, and no woman will have to engage in unwomanly toil.
“When justice shall thus be done men will begin to understand and to realize in practice as they have never before done the brotherhood of man and the fatherhood of God, and to realize the meaning of our Lord’s prayer in its fullness: ‘Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.’
“With the abolition of poverty the vice and crime and degradation that now attend it will vanish from the earth. And when we pray, ‘Give us this day our daily bread,’ we shall be praying not merely that we ourselves may have the opportunity of living, but that all mankind may enjoy that justice which will give to all the equal right of access to natural opportunities and the full fruits of their labor.
“The word of God teaches us that there is a crime that cries to heaven for vengeance — the crime of depriving the laborer of his hire. (Applause.) The laborer is deprived of his hire not merely when he is robbed of what he may have been compelled to bargain for beforehand because of his necessity, but also when he is deprived of the full fruit of his labor or its perfect equivalent. The Irish tenants, the tenants in New York, in Pennsylvania, in Illinois, are deprived of their hire when they are compelled to give a portion of what they make to some man to whom it never can belong — namely, the landlord. (Applause.)
“Let us see to it that the prosperity of our country be based upon the eternal rock of justice. If we see to it that the laborer be not deprived of his hire, that the new value that comes to land, not from individual exertion, but from the presence of the whole community, is returned to the community, then by this perfect justice shall our institutions be made perpetual, for it is in the nature of any institution that is based upon justice to share the eternity of justice, as is the nature of any institution based upon iniquity to share the nature of iniquity, which necessarily tends to destruction.”
The doctor then spoke in glowing terms of the privilege that every man and woman living in these times enjoyed of aiding in the abolition of industrial slavery, and pictured the pride and pleasure which those now young might hereafter take in telling of the doughty blows they struck for truth. Then, resuming a practical vein once more, he adverted to the coming fair of the Anti-poverty society, and urged his hearers to do what work they could for that worthy object.
The doctor concluded his speech by announcing that the present meeting was but the first of a series to be held on the west side, of which due notice would be given hereafter.
The long continued applause and cheering testified to the interest with which the audience had listened to Dr. McGlynn’s speech.
The singing of “Our Bright Cross Banner” by Miss Munier’s chorus was followed by a short speech from the Rev. John Anketell, and after a few words from John McMackin the meeting came to a close.
The Testimony of the Savings Banks.
A correspondent forwards the following clipping from the Trenton, N. J., Times:
Henry George, Edward McGlynn and other pessimists who think that poverty and progress go hand in hand, are respectfully invited by the Norwich Bulletin to explain the fact that the savings in the savings banks of New York state have increased $26,500,000 during the past fiscal year. The total amount of money on deposit is $496,038,000, or nearly $100 apiece for every man, women and child in the state. There are l,298,045 open accounts, which is more than one apiece for every family in the state. The deposits in the savings banks reflect the financial condition of the common people — the people in comparatively humble circumstances, the people with small savings, the people who are not included in the term “rich.” Henry George declares that the rich are growing richer and the poor poorer. These statistics give the lie to that statement. The poor are growing richer.
By a curious coincidence, the same mail that brought the above clipping, brings the following letter:
The answer to the proposition that “The poor are growing poorer while the rich are growing richer,” is that the depositors, according to statistics, are increasing each year, and the amount deposited in savings banks has steadily grown, notwithstanding the howl of the agitators and reformers. If this be so, how can they be growing poorer? As I have seen no direct answer to this “knock down argument,” I thought the readers of The Standard might be interested in how it was done. Not long since I was conversing with a gentleman — and he was by no means a member of the laboring fraternity — and he told me how he managed to get an amount into the savings bank beyond the $500 which the rules of the bank accepted from a single depositor. He put in his $500 in his own name, and $500 each to the credit of his wife and children. It is considered one of the safest institutions in the country, and pays, I think, four percent.
Now if this gentleman made the discovery that he could deposit $500 each to the credit of his children, wife and his “sisters and his cousins and his aunts,” how many more are doing the same thing? It would make a grand total to the credit of “labor,” but it would not help the poor much in the cold winter months when they are in need of coal. It would make, however, a fine showing in the statistics, and, it occurred to me, it accounted for the milk in the cocoanut.
DANIEL BROWN, M. D.,
85 East Tenth st, New York.
September 5, 1887
Onward to Liberty.
Men! the time has come at last
When your birthright you should claim!
Nail your banner to the mast,
And be men in more than name!
Stand together side by side.
Be a brave, united band;
Shout your war cry far and wide —
God has made for all the land!
Be your slogan in the fight,
Death to wrong, and life to right!
Down with fell poverty!
The land for all shall be!
O awake; be not supine!
Don your armor for the fray;
Put your trust in God divine,
He will guide you on the way!
For He wills that you be free
To possess the gifts He gave;
Up! and make the land slaves flee—
God detests a willing slave!
Boldly march, then, to the fight!
Battle for your ravished right;
Yourselves must make you free;
Then strike for liberty!
By the cross of our crusade,
By our hate of crime and wrong,
By our warm love, undismayed,
For our leaders wise and strong,
Let us swear we’ll never cease
To do battle for the right,
Till arrives the dawn of peace,
And the wrong is conquered quite!
God’s decree must be obeyed!
This fair earth for all was made.
Up, then, from slavery!
Onward to liberty! J. Ryan.
There are thousands of happy homes in Brooklyn. There are many people in that city living beneath their own roofs who could never hope to do so in New York. The cost of a Brooklyn house and lot is, on an average, less than two-thirds of the cost of a similar house and a lot of the same size in New York. In Brooklyn are long streets lined with houses smaller than it would pay landlords to erect on any street in New York, and they generally shelter but one or two families. So Brooklyn people speak of their city as a “city of homes;” at least those people do who write for the press and talk in public for Brooklyn. They believe the statement, and they have a notion that in uttering it they are loyally standing up for Brooklyn. This makes them feel good. It rather flatters them, too, to speak as Brooklynites of Brooklyn, and say what cannot be said of its big neighbor across the East river. This is apt to make them feel even better. Vanity is often the strongest of men’s passions.
Brooklyn’s acres are broad. Whoever would gain an adequate notion of the city’s area may do so by walking from Gowanus to East New York and thence to Greenpoint ferry. In doing so he will have covered as much ground as if he were to walk around Paris on its fortifications. But he might not carry away an impression that Brooklyn is entirely a city of homes. Nor might he be willing to assert unhesitatingly that those homes he has seen, even if many of them are costly, are such as he would prefer to all others he could imagine.
There is, in fact, something the matter with Brooklyn — something that makes its homes less spacious, less comfortable and less beautiful than they ought to be. Moreover, there is plenty of vacant building room for homes where there are none.
Brooklyn’s empty spaces are by no means all in the suburbs. Excepting in the heart of the city, one cannot walk many blocks without passing broad open lots. Occasionally he will see whole squares vacant. But if he walks further on he will come upon long rows of brown stone or brick houses, cramped side by side on narrow lots, just as if all the open spaces he had passed were in use. Anywhere out near the edge of the city the picture presented is not, as a rule, a pretty one. It is that of a dismembered farm or old country seat and inchoate streets. Here and there is a block of small houses on yards pinched as badly as those far in town. High tenements are also seen, as if there were no room for people in cottages down on the ground. Scattered about on the street lines, lacking order or coherent esthetic purpose, are new houses, which seem to be feelers thrown out to ascertain the future character of the neighborhood.
The tenement house is invading every part of Brooklyn except the sacred precincts of fashion. The Citizen printed the statistics of new tenements a few weeks ago. They were enough to supply an argument against Brooklyn being justly called a city of homes. Usually nowadays when an old house is torn down in Brooklyn a tenement takes its place.
If the seeker for truth should look with his own eyes at that part of South Brooklyn lying contiguous to Gowanus canal, he would see a most uninviting neighborhood. Indeed, it is difficult to point out in New York one dirtier or more shabby and repellent. It is not made up of homes; it is the abode of poor tenants. A ride in one of the street cars of the line that skirts the river from Hamilton ferry north and winds along the navy yard and up to Greenpoint reveals many sights that detract from Brooklyn’s claims to beauty. Of course, storehouses and manufactories are hardly to be expected to illustrate the splendors of architecture, but wedged in among them are hundreds of old rookeries occupied by American citizens. The votes of these people may soon show that they do not like their quarters.
A ride on the elevated road gives a bird’s eye view of a large part of Brooklyn. If the passenger watches for disparities in modes of life he can see many of a striking kind as he rides on high. What no one can fail to notice is that in fifteen minutes after the time he is looking down into streets crowded with the poor he is out in the country. Why do not the poor go out to the open country? Alas, the country is not open. It is shut and the landlord holds the key. It is as nearly as can be an even thing in expenses as between the poor workingman in East New York and the one living near the big bridge.
Atlantic avenue near Schenectady avenue is rather a long way back in Brooklyn. It is almost in sight of the trees of Cypress hills cemetery. There is a long, high building there called Chicago row. It is a rendezvous for hard characters, a swarming place for the miserably poor, and is becoming a pest hole. There have been an alarming number of deaths in it during the summer. The plumbing is poor, the sewer connections are imperfect, and white and black people live together in the row in filth and squalor. The tenants throw garbage and other refuse in the street, and the view is not charming. Chicago row is divided into twenty-four houses, some containing three families, some four, some five. Its population is fully two hundred and fifty.
The Finn flats on Fulton street, near Schenectady avenue, are noted for the number of deaths that occurred there in the late heated term. The undertaker’s wagon was seen in front of one of the doors nearly every day. The helpless tenants, when they complained of the condition of the place, received the reply, “If you don’t like it, why, move.” Water stands four or five inches deep in the cellars. A vile odor comes from the outhouses in the yards. Fifty to sixty people live in each of the houses in this row.
Brooklyn is not yet the ideal city of homes. There is something the matter with it — something that makes its jammed together brown stone rows monotonous; that maintains ugly open spaces in the city as if parts of it were blighted, and that gives to its poor malignant diseases and kills their children.
A Few Plain Truths from Manistee.
Manistee, Mich., Broadaxe.
In the consideration of the labor question we are often told that labor is so much better off now than when our fathers were young. The old hoary headed monopolist and land grabber will tell you how he came and located at a certain place and did his first day’s work for twenty-five cents or a good square meal of victuals. He will rub his hands with glee, and recount how he worked for ‘Squire Flapdoodle at six dollars a month, and fed, clothed and educated a family of forty children on that amount.
And now suppose all these pleasant little fables were true, and that twenty-five cents per day was the tip top wages of that period. And suppose wages now are four times as much, still the monopolist has succeeded in far outstripping the laborer in the advance of the price of what the laborer has to buy. And the very article no laboring man can exist without — the very necessity that everybody must have in order to live, has advanced hundreds and thousands of times more rapidly in price than wages. This article of prime importance that is so necessary to every person’s existence, is land, made not by man, but fashioned out of the dim and mysterious mist of the past by the skilled fingers of the great divine mechanic, and never yet by Him deeded to any human being that has lived in the past, lives now, or will live in the future. No man has, nor can he have, any more right to own, except for the purpose of using, any particular inch, foot or acre of this land than any other man, and yet we see right here before our eyes how in the past twenty-five years the land upon which laborers must live, if they live at all, has advanced in price from five or ten dollars an acre to over one thousand dollars an acre. In the same time wild lands in almost any part of the state have increased as much as ten times since our fathers worked for twenty-five cents per day.
The question then comes, if land, the most necessary thing which man needs for his existence has jumped from $1 an acre here in Manistee to $1,000 per acre, how is the laboring man to live as comfortably now on $1 per day as he could then on twenty-five cents per day? People who talk so glibly about how much better off materially the laborer is today than he was fifty years ago are simply short sighted and narrow in their facts and figures. They open their mouths and swallow everything they hear which tends to pander to their prejudices and preconceived notions. They are deceived by the fact that those things which labor produces are all much lower in price now than they were then, and those things which labor has to buy, such as land, religious worship, legal advice, medical attendance, insurance, rent, fuel, etc, etc., are all higher now than then, with land, the most important necessity of all, taking the lead in the enormous advance under the manipulation of the monopolist.
It Only Needs to be Explained.
Mr. Richard Merrill, a leading farmer of Steen township, called in to renew his subscription Monday afternoon.
In the course of a long conversation Mr. Merrill expressed the belief that the new movement is in the right direction; that it will break up land monopoly, relieve the farmers of the frightful burden of taxation which is pressing them down, and inure generally to the benefit of labor; and that, being based on and inspired by a great truth, it is bound to succeed, and that before long.
Like other intelligent farmers, Mr. Merrill sees that farmers, as farmers, are making no money; that, in fact, they are getting deeper and deeper into debt as a rule, mortgages eating their way steadily into the savings of years, while there is little or nothing ahead to inspire hope. “The only men who are making any money,” said Mr. Merrill, “are those who go into trading or speculating. The working farmer is scarcely making more than a living; and many of them, in spite of hard work and close economy, are running steadily behind, as proven by the mortgage record.”
Trustee Weaver was with him and agreed to Mr. Merrill’s general statement. He said that the single tax was misunderstood; but since it was explained to him it seemed just and proper and he thought its application would greatly benefit working farmers.
These gentlemen are but types of the mass of farmers who are coming to understand that something must be done, and that soon, to check monopoly and remove the terrible burdens which oppress the agricultural classes. We hope they will not rest until they induce every farmer in their locality to give this great question close and careful study.
A Suburban Resident’s Opinion.
Correspondence Roselle, N. J., Record.
It seems to me unjust that the man who benefits the neighborhood in which he lives by building a handsome public building, or a pretty little home, keeping his place cozy and comfortable for his family and a pride to his neighbors, should have a fine placed upon his efforts by an added tax on each improvement, while the man holding an equally valuable piece of land opposite, unimproved, running to weeds, an eyesore to the village, which he does no good with himself, nor yet will allow any one else to do good with, is encouraged in his dog-in-the-manger spirit by his taxes being merely nominal. In fact, the good citizens around him, by building upon and improving their land, are benefitting him by increasing the value of his vacant lot, and are taxed for their pains in the bargain. In my opinion everybody who is not merely a land speculator, everybody who is using land to live on, or for business purposes, will be far better off under the new system of land taxation than at present.
What About the Men Who Want Land That They Can Use With Profit. Won’t the “Call” Consider Their Case?
San Francisco Call.
It has been the misfortune of this state that whenever a demand has arisen for land the owners have checked the inquiry by asking excessive prices. They have been consumed with agony lest some one else should make money out of the land besides themselves. It kills them to think that the party to whom they sell might make a profit on a resale. They want all there is in it — all. These people defeat their own object. People are not all fools. Men who have money to buy land with want to increase their pile, not to diminish it. They want to buy land they can reasonably hope to sell at a profit. If the owner asks all the land can reasonably be worth for a long time to come, they will let him alone and try elsewhere. If in any community the land owners combine to put up prices beyond reason, it is safe to look for stagnation in that community and low prices for real estate.
Why England Imports Food and Exports Men.
Correspondence London Echo.
Our system of land tenure prevents the most profitable use of land. We get the greater part of our foreign agricultural and dairy supplies not from great capitalist farms, but from those countries where the farms are small and cultivated by the families with little or no hired labor. Ireland under a small farmer system exported a deal of food stuff, and Holland, with a population thicker than our own, yet sends what we cannot (1) raise here. I have this year conversed with a great many farm laborers in Essex and Suffolk, and they tell me they would be glad enough to get a cottage with three or four acres at farmers’ rent. This they are unable to obtain. As the landlords, for personal reasons and fear of increased poor rates, do all they can to keep a working population off their estates, and the farmers are afraid that laborers with other means of subsistence would be too independent, so they are kept virtually dependent serfs, or must crowd into the already overstocked labor market of the towns, instead of remaining on the soil, customers for town goods. Under our system of private property in land a remedy is impossible. “The land of and country,” says John Stuart Mill, “belongs to the people of that country.” The state, therefore, should hold the land for the use of all on equal terms. The ground rents would be paid to the state instead of to individuals, and need less “state management” than our taxes at present. This land question is the problem of the immediate future, and I would appeal to your readers to impartially study this aspect of it. If the principle is true its practical application must remove our difficulties.
The Tenement House as a Cause of Intemperance.
Dr. Anna S. Daniels in the Christian Union.
The increase of intemperance among tenement house women can scarcely be questioned; and here again the construction of the tenement house plays an important part. A tenement house is usually occupied by people of one nation. A house is thus distinctly German, Irish. etc. The people are clannish, mixing but little with the women of other nations; especially is this the case, for obvious reasons, of those women not speaking the English language.
Companionship plays an important part. A woman wishing a glass of beer, sends out for a pint and divides it with her neighbor. The people are very generous in all things. The neighbor returns the compliment, and the amount of beer consumed varies with the financial condition of the people. One drinking woman moving into a house of moderate drinkers exercises a wonderful influence over the others, in time making every woman as bad as herself. I have repeatedly observed this. Of 198 women questioned as to the cause of their intemperance, 174 acknowledged that they knew of no other cause but “friends” in the tenement house. These people live in the close, hot rooms, with no means of obtaining fresh milk or cold water (ice being expensive, and there being frequently no place to put it); but it requires but a moment to obtain fresh, cool beer. If a woman cannot obtain this, she can always procure that vilest of beverages, stale beer. The saloon is near at hand. It is not necessary for the woman to leave her work; her own child or a neighbor’s child obtains it with no difficulty; at any and all saloons any child able to carry a pitcher or a tin can is given the beer, in direct violation of the law prohibiting the sale of liquor to minors. The child is sent at all times of the day and late at night. Sundays and holidays children can be seen at the side door of the ever open store. Little girls are often sent into the vilest saloons, thus early becoming accustomed to the evil resorts. In those families in which boarders are taken the drinking is sometimes almost incredible. At first the woman drinks moderately, then resorts to it if misfortune or sickness overtakes the family. She forgets her trouble while drinking, thus resorting to it more and more frequently, until home and money are gone, her children in one of the many charitable institutions; utterly homeless and friendless, with no means for a night’s lodging, the miserable stale beer dive is always open to receive the wretched woman, unless fortunately she is arrested and sent to the island. The stale beer dives so numerous below Grand street are most fully developed in the notorious Mulberry street bend.12 These beer dives are situated in tenement houses, usually in the back room of the basement. The frequenters of these places, men and women, with not infrequently a baby belonging to one of the women, are so depraved one can scarcely believe them human.
The place is dark, the atmosphere sickening; they have gone as low as is possible. I have talked with some of these women; there is nothing to appeal to — the last spark of humanity is gone. Unless some institution rescues the children they will follow in the footsteps of their mother. I do not pretend to say that all tenement house women are drunkards, but I do believe that, with few exceptions, all drink more or less, and intemperance will increase as long as the women are in their present surroundings.
The question arises as to what can be done for these people. There is but one satisfactory answer, and that is to remove forever the cause of the abuse described; and this can only be done by removing the tenement house system. How to do this is a problem which should demand instant and untiring attention. That the board of health can modify these conditions cannot be denied, but it is absolutely impossible for laws now existing, even if they were rigidly enforced, to remove the cause of the “social wrong,” the modern tenement house.
A Methodist Paper that Wants Its Readers to Know the Truth.
“A Woman” ln Minneapolis Methodist Herald.
One of the most absurd errors afloat is the idea that Mr. George wishes to have the land divided up or parceled out among the present inhabitants; another, that he would have government take possession of the whole and rent it out to the highest bidders. The Youth’s Companion is not often caught nodding, but in a recent editorial it erroneously stated that Mr. George’s theory is “that the exclusive occupation of any piece of land by one person is a social wrong.” On the other hand a socialistic paper objects to the doctrine of Henry George because he would let us all remain in private possession of our homes, disturbing no one in his private use of land. This last is not an error, only it is a pity that the objector should object.
It is indeed so. Mr. George would disturb no one in his present occupation of the land, would not change land titles (though their meaning would, of course, change), or call upon present land owners for any restitution of the revenues long stolen from the people in their blindness and ignorance of true justice. The revolution he proposes, though immense and far-reaching in its beneficent consequences, is a very peaceful revolution, according to his own programme. By his proposed system of taxation he would simply turn that great and increasing stream of money which flows steadily into the pockets of the land owner, whether he lifts a finger or not for the public benefit, even though he spend all his time loafing in a bar room — that great fund which grows greater because of public improvements and increase of population, and not because of anything the owner himself does to his land — he would turn it into the public treasury, to be expended somehow for the general welfare, thus relieving (as it would) all other property from any need of taxation.
In the natural increase of land values as population increases, Mr. George sees how wisely the Creator provided for the increasing necessities of mankind; and when one comes to see how sure a fund this ground rent is, and how simply the great problem of humanity can be worked out, it is not strange that a deeper sense of the loving fatherhood of God takes possession of the soul, and that even confessed atheists as they listen, begin to acknowledge God.
And When the Inevitable Panic Comes the California Papers Will Say It’s Due to “Over Production.”
San Francisco Bulletin.
The tract of land where $150,000 worth of town lots were sold last Saturday — San Miguel, San Diego county — had simply been laid out on paper. No work had been done on the property. It is in still greater demand, however, than last week. Yesterday another town sold on paper at San Diego. It is called Bay View, and the street was blocked by a frantic rush of women and men speculators, who gobbled up the tract in an hour.
And Yet the Irish Tenant is Only Worse Off Than the American Tenant by the Price of a Steerage Passage.
San Francisco Examiner.
It is lreland’s duty in her struggle for justice to make land monopoly as nearly profitless as she can. Her landlords are a class who cannot work, though to beg they are not ashamed. Many of them are already crippled in their habitual expenditure by the fall in rents. It would be justifiable and proper, if it were possible, to reduce them as a class to rags and beggary, provided the last coercion act might thereby be sponged from the statute book and a civilized and humane form of government established in Ireland. Under the land system existing there the landlord class has no rights that any human being is morally bound to respect. The legal rights of that class, as exercised by it, are essentially immoral, and their destruction in their abused form is the highest duty of patriotism.
Taxation in Wyoming.
The Rock Springs, Wyoming, Independent, quotes with approval an article recently printed in The Standard on taxation in Cheyenne, and adds:
What the correspondent says of Cheyenne is true of other towns, including Rock Springs. Who does not know that the real estate speculation of private individuals and the exorbitant price of lots held by the Union Pacific is seriously checking the development of Hot Springs? If lots were held at reasonable figures numerous dwellings would be erected in a short time, labor would be in greater demand, and men would not be forced to live in the unhealthy and unsightly dugouts on Bitter creek. The only way to remedy such a condition is to place taxes upon land so as to make it unprofitable to hold these lots for speculation, while relieving from taxation the man who helps to build up the town and gives employment to labor by the erection of buildings.
Old-Time Greenbackers Finding Something Worth Voting for Again.
Hartford, Conn.— Find inclosed a postoffice order for the sum of $10, subscribed to the campaign fund by a few of Hartford’s old pioneers or greenbackers, with their sincerest good will and hopes that the great cause will be a grand success. Greenbacker.
UNITED LABOR PARTY.
Appointments for Speakers ln New York State.
Rev. Dr. Edward McGlynn and Everett Glackin, president of Typographical union No. 6, will speak as follows:
|Sept. 23, Poughkeepsie.|
Sept. 24, Kingston (Mr. Glackin alone)
Sept. 26, Hudson
Sept. 27, Albany
Sept. 28, Troy
Sept. 29, Little Falls
Sept. 30, Utica
Oct. 3, Saratoga
Oct. 4, Schenectady
Oct. 5, Amsterdam
Oct. 6, Gloversville
Oct. 7, Herkimer
Oct. 10, Rome
Oct. 11, Watertown
Oct. 12, Ogdensburg
Oct. 13, Oswego
Oct. 14, SyracuseOet. 15, Auburn (Mr Glackin alone)
Oet. 17, Ithaca
Oet. 18, Geneva
Oet 19, Canandaigua
Oet 20, Rochester
Oet 21, Lockport
Oet. 24, Dunkirk
Oet 25, Jamestown
Oet 20, Hornellsville
Oet 27, Elmira
Oet 28, Owego
Oet 31, Port Jervis
Nov. 1, Middletown
Nov. 2, Newburg
Nov. 3, Glens Palls
Nov. 4, WhitehallHenry George will speak:
Sept. 23, Binghamton
Sept. 26, Elmira
Sept. 27, Hornellsville
Sept. 28, Jamestown
Sept. 29, Dunkirk
Sept 30, Buffalo
Oct 3, Rochester
Oet 4, Canandaigua
Oet 5, Geneva
Oet 6, Ithaca
Oet 7, Auburn
Oet 8, Stapleton
Oet 10, Cohoes
Oet, 11, Whitehall
Oet 12, Plattsburg
Oet 13, MaloneOet 17, Kingston
Oct. 18, Poughkeepsie
Oct 19, Albany
Oet 20, Sing Sing
Oet 21, Yonkers
Oet 24, Utica
Oet 25, Ogdensburg
Oct. 26, Watertown
Oct 27, Oswego
Oct 28, Rome
Oct 31, Gloversville
Nov. 1, Amsterdam
Nov. 2, Schenectady
Nov. 3, Saratoga
Nov. 4, Hoosick FallsH. H. Freeman of Binghamton and Mr. Louis F. Post of New York city will speak:Sept. 24, Ithaca
Sept. 26, Auburn
Sept. 27, Amsterdam
Sept 28, GloversvilleSept. 29, Lansingburg
Sept. 30, Green Island
Oet 1, Yonkers.Rev. W. E. Lincoln of Painesville, O., will speak:Oet. 22, Buffalo
Oet. 25, Medina
Oet. 26, Batavia
Oet. 27, Penn Yan
Oet 28, Canandaigua
Oet. 29, GenevaOet 31, Ithaca
Nov. 1. Auburn
Nov. 2, Oswego
Nov. 3, Ogdensburg
Nov. 4, Watertown
Nov. 5, RomeRobert Crowe of New York city and Clarence Moeller of Chicago will speak:Sept 23, Glens FallsSept 24, WhitehallVictor A. Wilder of Brooklyn will speak: Sept. 23, Cohoes
Oet. 1, Rome
Oet. 14, BuffaloOct 15, Auburn
Oet 22, StapletonJudge James G. Maguire of San Francisco will speak:Oet. 8, Hoosick Falls
Oet 10. Glens Falls
Oet. 11, Green Island
Oet 12, Lansingburg
Oet 13, Troy
Oet 15, Dunkirk
Oet 17, Jamestown
Oet 18, Hornellsville
Oet 19, Elmira
Oet. 20, Owego
Oet OneontaOct. 24, Port Jervis
Oct. 25, Middletown
Oct. 26, Newburg
Oct. 27, Nyack
Oct. 29, Binghamton
Oct. 31, Olean
Nov. 1, Corning
Nov. 2, Penn Yan
Nov. 3, Seneca Falls
Nov. 4, Batavia
Nov. 5, MedinaRev. Hugh O. Pentecost of Newark, N. J., will speak:Sept. 26, Schenectady
Oet. 3, Sing Sinj
Oet. 5, Poughkeepsie
Oet. 7, Nyack
Oet. 10, Port Jervis
Oet. 12, Newburg
Oet 17, GloversvilleOet 19, Cohoes
Oet. 21, Binghamton
Oet. 26, Hudson
Oet. 28, Peekskill
Oet 31, Yonkers
Nov. 2, Stapleton,Dr. Alfred S. Houghton of Cincinnati will speak:Oet 3, Binghamton
Oet 4, Owego
Oet 5, Elmira
Oet. 6, Hornellsville
Oet. 7, Jamestown
Oet. 8, Dunkirk
Oet. 11, Medina
Oet 12, Batavia
Oet 13, Penn Yan
Oet 14, Corning
Oet. 15, Olean
Oet 17, Oneonta
Oet 18, Nyack
Oet 19, Hoosick FallsOet 20, Crown Point
Oet 21, Whitehall
Oet. 22, Plattsburg
Oet. 24, Malone
Oet. 26. Kingston
Oet. 27, Poughkeepsie
Oet. 28, Peekskill
Oet 29, Sing Sing
Oet 31, Yonkers
Nov. 1, Utica
Nov. 2, Syracuse
Nov. 3, Rochester
Nov. 4, Lockport
Nov. 5, Buffalo
Secretary State Central Committee United
Labor Party, Room 28, Cooper Union, New York.
LAND AND LABOR LIBRARY.—
We are now publishing under the title of “The Land and Labor Library” a series of short tracts on various phases of the social problem. These pamphlets contain facts, figures and arguments expressed in concise, vigorous language easily understood. As a means of propaganda we recommend them to all who desire to help on the movement for social reform. Those who wish to have these tracts placed where they will do good but who are unable personally to attend to their distribution, can remit the price to us, as we have every facility for sending them where they are needed and will be read.
The following have already appeared:
No. 1. “First Principles.” By Henry George. 4 pages,
No. 2. “Land and Taxation.” A conversation between David Dudley Field and Henry George. 4 pages.
No. 3. “The Right to the Use of the Earth.” By Herbert Spencer. 4 pages.
No. 4. “A Christian Minister on the Remedy for Poverty.” A sermon by the Rev. Hugh O. Pentecost of Newark, N. J. 2 pages.
No. 5. “A Sum in Proportion.” By T. L. McCready. 2 pages.
No. 6. “The Settler’s Nightmare.” By Louis F. Post. 4 pages.
No. 7. “New York’s Docks. The True Mode of Raising Revenue.” By. J. W. Sullivan. 4 pages.
No. 8. “Unemployed Labor.” By Henry George. 4 pages.
No. 9. “Voices for Reform.” 2 pages.
No. 10. “A Mysterious Disappearance.” By Lewis Freeland. 6 pages.
No. 11. “How to Increase Profits.” By A. J. Steers. 2 pages.
No. 12. “The American Farmer.” By Henry George. 4 pages.
No. 13. “Sailors’ Snug Harbor and the Randall Farm.” By W. T. Croasdale. 12 pages.
No. 14. “The Collegiate Church and the Shoemaker’s Field.” By W. T. Croasdale. 12 pages.
No. 15. “Only a Dream.” By Abner C. Thomas. 4 pages.
No. 16. “The Anti-Poverty Society.” Dr. McGlynn’s address at the first meeting. 8 pages.
No. 17. “The Cross of the New Crusade.” A poem. By David Rorty. 2 pages.
No. 18. “It is the Law of Christ.” By Rev. S. N. Spencer of Henry, Ill. 4 pages.
No. 19. “My Landlord.” By John Jones. 4 pages.
No. 20. “Thou Shalt Not Steal.” An address of Henry George before the Anti-Poverty Society. 8 pages.
No. 21. “Christianity and Poverty.” An address by Father Huntington before the Anti-poverty society. 4 pages.
No. 22. “Poverty and Christianity.” An address by Rev. Hugh O. Pentecost before the Anti-poverty society. 8 pages.
No. 23. “The Single Tax.” By Thomas G. Shearman. 8 pages.
No. 24. “Hymns of the New Crusade”—No. 1 4 pages
No. 25. “Hymns of the New Crusade”—No. 2 4 pages.
No. 26. “Religion vs. Robbery.” Address by Rev. Dr. McGlynn before the New York Anti-poverty society, June 12, 1887. 8 pages.
No. 27. “Back to the Land.” Bishop Nulty’s letter to the clergy and laity of his diocese. 16 pages. Price, 5 cents.
No. 28. “Anti-Slavery and Anti-Poverty.” An address by the Rev. Hugh O. Pentecost before the New York Anti-Poverty Society, June 19. 8 pages.
No. 29. “Tenement House Morality.” Rev. J. O. Huntington in the Forum. 4 pages.
No. 30. “The Case Plainly Stated.” A speech by H. F. Ring before the Knights of Labor at Houston, Texas. 8 pages.
No. 31. “Questions and Answers.” Questions by Rev. Howard Henderson of the Sixty-first street M. E. church of New York; with answers by Henry George, 2 pages.
No. 32. “Objections to the Land Tax.” By Thomas G. Shearman. 4 pages.
No. 33. “Socialism — Its Truth and Its Error.” Henry George. 4 pages.
No. 34. “Horse Sense.” W. C. Woods. 2 pages.
No. 35. The Syracuse Platform. 2 pages.
No. 36. “Citycus and Rusticus.” Tudor B. Jenks. 4 pages.
No. 37. “Taxing Land Values.” Henry George. 8 pp.
No. 38. “God Wills It” Henry George. 4 pages.
No. 39. “What We Want.” Everett Glackin, president, Typographical Union No. 6. 2 pages.
No. 40. “Protection or Free Trade.” Henry George.
No. 41. The Syracuse Platform. (German.) 2 pages.
No. 42.13 “First Principles.” (German.) Henry George, 4 pages
No. 43. “Socialism — Its Truth and Its Error.” (German.) Henry George. 4 pages.
The campaign is fairly opened.
This is a “soldier’s battle” we are fighting, it is not to be won by strategy and skillful maneuvring — by mock retreats and ambuscades and treachery. There are no “deals,” or bargains, or promises of patronage to be depended on. The battle will be won or lost, according as each man does or neglects to do his whole and perfect duty.
It is no holiday tournament that we are entering upon — no idle struggle for a badge of honor or the enjoyment of a brief period of public plunder. This is a battle of life and death, not by any mere figure of speech, but in sober, solemn reality. If we are defeated human beings must die — not one, or two, or twenty, or a hundred, but thousands and tens of thousands of them. It is a battle for human souls that shall be saved alive if we conquer, but must sink into the pit of sin and degradation if we allow ourselves to be defeated.
Year by year, the poverty demon whom society supports demands his share of victims. So many families for the tenement houses; so many drunkards; so many paupers; so many women for the brothels; so many bodies for the grave. He gets them every year; and every year his appetite grows fiercer. He has had his fill for 1887; shall he have it, too, for 1888? It is for us to say. We may not utterly starve him out of existence in a single year: but we can, if we only will, so muzzle and control him that he shall see his coming doom, and losing heart and strength, be easily slain outright when next we take up arms against him.
Good readers of The Standard, think a moment. If you saw an innocent little baby in imminent danger of a painful death, and knew that by a week’s hard work you could save its life, wouldn’t you work that week as you never worked before? If you saw a helpless woman struggling in a ruffian’s grasp, wouldn’t you hasten to her rescue? If you saw a fellow man struggling for life in deep waters wouldn’t you be quick to save his life? Good friend, the doomed baby and the helpless woman and the drowning man are calling loudly for your aid, and without it they must surely perish. You know this. You know you know it. And do you dare rest idle?
Standard readers, if ever in your lives you worked, work now! The task before you is to conquer New York at the election in November. You can do it if you will.
And wherever you may live — in New York, in California, in Florida, it matters not where — you can do work in this campaign. Deny yourselves, that you may give money to the cause. Talk, write, distribute tracts, collect subscriptions for The Standard, stand out before your fellows an avowed champion of the truth! You cannot strike a sturdy blow in Dakota but the echo of it shall be heard here in the empire state, encouraging your friends and disheartening their enemies. A convert made in Texas may mean a hundred votes in New York. Wherever you may be, strike sturdily and fearlessly, in God’s name, and trust to God for the result.
Here, by way of an example well worth following, comes a letter from Chicago:
Chicago, Ill.—Inclosed please find $58, being amount of contribution of land and labor clubs Nos. 1 and 3, Chicago, to send The Standard to list, sent this mail, of names for six weeks, according to publisher’s terms. Most of these are professional men and merchants, but many are names of influential workers, and all are men who are worth getting. The list is twenty-one short, but we will forward the others in a few days. This is our first gun of the fail and winter campaign. W. H. Van Ornum,
President Land and Labor Club So. 1.
These recruit subscriptions are doing steady, efficient work. Not all the seed falls upon good ground; that were too much to expect: but there is a steadily increasing number of converts, brought into the ranks of the new crusade by this means. And even though a man may for a time harden his heart, and refuse to acknowledge the truth, yet even to have forced the truth upon his notice is a great gain. The seed may lie idle for a time, but it is there; and sooner or later some kindly rain of speech or circumstance will quicken it into life.
New York City.—Find inclosed $3, to be disposed of as follows: $1 to enroll me as a member of the Anti-poverty society; $1 for five recruit subscriptions; 20 cents for the “Land and labor library,” and the remainder for the recruiting fund. I would have assisted your cause financially some time ago, but being out of work and in straitened circumstances was unable to do so. C. M.
Brooklyn, N. Y.—Inclosed is a check for $4, for which please send The Standard to the twenty-four persons whose names are on the list herewith. These are the names of parties on whom I have been working for some time, but who are not yet fully converted, and, as I have now to devote all my spare tame to the cause of the united labor party in my ward and county, I want The Standard to finish what I have begun, and I know it can do it. Edward Ferguson.
Lawson, Col.—Inclosed please find a list of recruit subscriptions. In the mining regions here the theory is not yet fully understood, although most of the work is done by lessees who have to pay the mine owners heavy royalties, anywhere from twenty-five to seventy-five percent of what they take out of the mines. I have known cases where men worked a whole year without clearing one dollar. I want to see your theory in practice here and men working for themselves, instead of for millionaires and corporations.
I expect that The Standard and books will arouse interest among the thinking men here, and I will do what I can to keep it up. Fred Laesch.
Ballston Spa, N. Y.—I have been riding around the country lately, and have been struck by the quantity of land absolutely unused. Why, I know many a poor man who would take a few acres of land and go to work improving it if he didn’t have to pay a big fine in advance or divide his earnings from it with some one, and in the village there is many a man who would like to own his dwellings and who has money enough to build a nice home, but when he goes to get a place to put it that is convenient to his work, he finds some one is anticipating the increase of value, and he either gets discouraged or puts up a smaller house, thus using so much less lumber, plaster, paint, etc., and therefore not requiring so much labor.
I have already got a number to read “Progress and Poverty,” and will get more to do so. Aitour.
Washington, D. C. —Inclosed please find $5, for which please send The Standard to the following two addresses for the ensuing six weeks, the balance of it to be used as you think best in the state of New York during the campaign.
It certainly seems to me that with a cause so holy and a principle so grand as ours that we ought to have at least 5,000 or 10,000 people who would contribute not less than $2 per month, at least until after the election in New York this fall. I firmly believe that with the amount that could be raised in this way the battle could be easily won, and that, too, without having to resort to the expedient distributing new, crisp two dollar bills among voters, after the fashion of the society saviors. Wm. Geddes.
Syracuse, N. Y.—I earn my living by canvassing, and I am now traveling over this part of the state. I am enthusiastic over the united labor party, and the name of Henry George is on my lips many times every day of my life since reading your works. I know that I have made many converts and set many more to reading your printed words. I only wish that I could do more for the cause than I have been able to do. As I come in contact with business men, clerks and a few mechanics every day, I am going to try and keep myself supplied with tracts and distribute them. So far I have circulated your paper — inquiring for it at all newsdealer’s — speaking a good word for you and the united labor party — asking people to read your paper and books. I find it very difficult to support myself and family canvassing — paying railroad fares, expenses, etc. There is no one knows better than I that the profit goes into the pockets of the “lords of the land.” How many times a day am I told by intelligent, industrious business men that the article I have for sale is good and that they would like to have it, but they really can’t afford it, business is dull, etc. And I know they speak the truth oftener than otherwise. I inclose a few stamps for which you will please send me a few two or four page tracts suitable for business men and clerks. As business improves I hope to be able to help the campaign expenses — indeed I must help the campaign or perhaps end my days in the poor house. R. H. Walker.
East Saginaw, Mich.—I inclose eighteen names for The Standard for six weeks, with remittance. I sent twenty-four yesterday.
We celebrated labor day in this town, and I was on the committee to carry out the programme. I found time to speak a word for the new crusade. I was anxious to do something for the cause, but have been so situated lately that I could not spare any money.
It is pleasant work to canvass for The Standard. No one need wait, for something to do, for the work lies on every side. If they can’t spare money, they can at least do some work for the cause. The harvest is ripe, and the workers are few. God speed the right. Henry Wick.
St. Louis, Mo.—Inclosed find $4 and the names of 24 clergy in St. Louis. Please enter these names as recruit subscriptions and begin with the issue of Friday, Sept. 9.
We have arranged to send the paper to all the Protestant clergy of this city for six weeks free of charge. Any Protestant clergyman of St. Louis who don’t get the paper can have it sent to him free for six weeks by forwarding his name and address to you. Please note this in your editorial column, and send me a bill for any calls you have in response to it. We at first thought of sending a circular to the clergy announcing our intention, but that has its objections, and we will therefore ask you for a brief editorial notice. I think that every man in St. Louis who knows me is aware of my belief in the doctrines of “Progress and Poverty,” but for the present I prefer to remain unannounced, publicly; it won’t be for long, it can’t be, for I can’t stand it much longer. H —— ——
Milwaukee, Wis,—I have read The Standard from the very first issue. I feel as though I were committing a great wrong if I did not do something toward the emancipation of labor, which I believe can only be accomplished by the carrying into effect of your doctrines. Although I am thoroughly pessimistic with regard to my views of life (though I attach little value to the Malthusian doctrine), I must admit that the cause of which you are the champion is noble and worthy of the best and purest minds to fight for. Inclosed please find my mite of $1. May it “prove no deadhead in this enterprise.” “Sisera.”
St. John’s Church, Mount Pleasant, Mich. —Find inclosed remittance for six months’ subscription to The Standard, and set of land and labor tracts.
So far as I understand your aim and object, I wish you God speed. May He, who while on earth was the friend and champion of the down-trodden and oppressed, He who rebuked moral evil in the rich as well as in the poor, be with you in your work. (Rev.)Frederic C. Lee.
Newark. N. J.—The inclosed postal order is from the Rev. John Scarlett, Orange, N. J., who, having read six numbers of The Standard sent him, wishes to have it continued to the same address six months longer, as he cannot afford to go without such a weekly feast.
Malden, Mass.—Enclosed please find my check for $5, to pay for two years’ subscription to The Standard. I am by no means a convert to your views, but I am in search of light and truth, and shall be very glad to read what you may have to say in their support. Rev. W. H. Willcox.
Algona, Ia.—We have received several copies of your paper, and the members of our family have become quite interested in many of the articles. We thank the friend who has kindly remembered us in this way, and now inclose subscription for six months. Mrs. C. A. I.
Push these recruit subscriptions, friends. Push them wherever you are living, or wherever you may have friends: but, above all, push them in the state of New York until this fall’s campaign is decided.
We send The Standard, on this recruit subscription plan, for six weeks:
To any two addresses for 50 cents.
To any five addresses for $1.
To any twelve addresses for $2.
Here is a letter from an employee in one of the great publishing houses of New York, which shows an earnest determination to labor for the cause, and a willingness to do the work that lies nearest to hand, worthy of all imitation:
New York City.—The crusade is widening, the battle deepening. On, ye brave! We are meeting with recruits, half-way men and citizens, whose minds are just opening to the depth of meaning in this movement. Our experience as crusaders is ever becoming more interesting and absorbing. Although residing in New Jersey, we are devoting all our time and energy to make certain of success in the state of New York, wherein is to be fought our first great battle.
Nothing is so slight but some effect may result: in illustration of which take one act of the other week, when we sent a few copies of tracts into other departments, including “My Landlord,” the result being there is now an urgent call for more, and some one conversant with the subjects of the campaign to explain matters. This day we sent a batch of specially selected tracts into a branch of this department, and in a few days expect a running fusillade of questions, for which we are more than anxious. Here in Harper & Brother’s great publishing house there is a large field, but we are hindered in doing all that may be attempted through lack of “ammunition.” Already we are spending all our purse will stand in the matter of purchasing tracts, ctc. Our plan is to purchase $1 worth of Standards weekly for distribution until election day, when other plans will be devised, but we need tracts.
We would suggest to crusaders two methods by which we may get our principles before the public (of course distributing to congregations as they leave the churches is one of the very best, and we shall act on the suggestion); those who travel on the cars, whether in the city or in the country, may excite interest by placing in vacant seats and on the laps of passengers such tracts as are most suitable for the class thereon traveling, and also laying copies on the tables in front of guests at restaurants. In fact, anywhere and everywhere, following every effort up by sending Standards to persons becoming interested. Would that we had a few hundred dollars to place in the field, but our humblest efforts must suffice; for we can talk, talk, talk, and write, write, write.
Thanks for the many copies of The Standard and tracts sent me, which have all been distributed with good results.
God bless the movement, onward marching, upward looking.T —— —— .
It will interest friend T—— —— to know that the Anti-poverty society will furnish whatever tracts he and his friends may need for distribution, free of charge. Application should be made at the office of the society, room 30, Cooper union, New York.
Here is another letter from a man who believes in working for his causes.
Long Island City. — I will not be able to give much money this campaign to help along the canvass of our party, but I am willing to work for the cause. I suppose you will have circulars to send out, and I am willing to devote two or three evenings each week to addressing envelopes and doing what other writing you would wish. I do not doubt that a call in your paper would receive sufficient volunteers from New York city men to make the expense for clerical hire very small. W. A. C
We have sent W. T. C.’s letter to the state committee, who will call on him for assistance very shortly. We suggest that all who may be willing to follow W. T. C.’s example should send timely notice to the committee at room 29, Cooper union. There will be work enough and to spare for all before the campaign is over.
Our good friend J. E. Miller, who some weeks since sent a dollar with a letter which called forth an article on “Charity and Justice,” now writes as follows:
Los Angeles, Cal.—Your article on “Charity and Justice,” published in the Standard of Sept. 3, is a just one. And it is true that my suggestion in regard to mere almsgiving is totally inconsistent with the aim and spirit of the Anti-poverty society. Still those that are with and of the society would lose nothing by uniting to spare a little money each month for charity, while working and striving for justice. In the meantime we can do nothing better than to turn our attention to New York, and send what money we can to help gain votes this fall. A dollar each sent to the recruit fund by fifty thousand of us just now means at least a hundred thousand votes gained in November. So let us all send what we can. Inclosed is $1 for recruiting fund.
J. E. Miller.
You are quite right, friend Miller. A single dollar from each of fifty thousand Standard readers might, properly expended, bring thousands of extra votes to the united labor party this fall. It might be the means of the triumph of our principles at the polls — the election of our ticket. And that would mean the saving of thousands of human lives, the lifting of the burden of want from thousands of helpless women, the redemption of tens of thousands of unhappy children from the miserable fate that otherwise awaits them. It is an awful responsibility that rests upon every believer in the justice of this cause that has a dollar to spare and doesn’t spare it — a responsibility for which, sometime, somewhere, somehow, he will surely be called to account.
Here are two letters that come to us with subscriptions to the recruiting fund:
New York, Sept. 16.—I am situated very much as is the gentleman who wrote you last week under the signature of “Nicodemus.” Although I am a land owner, and one of those who would lose if any one would by the adoption of the great reform which you are advocating, I am heart and soul with the cause. In private I lose no opportunity of avowing my faith, but my business is such that in the present state of sentiment among the class with whom I am connected I could not without injury make a public avowal. I would not shrink from this, no matter what the cost, if my talents were such as to make my public advocacy of importance. As it is, I feel that I can more efficiently aid the cause, which I hold to be that of true Christianity in a quieter way. With this I send you $500, of which you will please put $350 in the campaign fund and $150 in the recruiting fund, and sign myself Another Nicodemus.
Plainfield N. J.—I inclose $5 to be applied by you in any way you may think most helpful in the new crusade.
I am the owner of land — not much, to be sure — only that small portion of the earth’s surface on which my house is built. I believe, however, that it is just this innocent, insignificant portion — the home plot — that causes many a man to prove unfaithful to the cause of justice. Being, as it usually is, the result of the practice of the virtues that mark the substantial citizen — economy, respect for law, active interest in good government — the majority of men have come to think it a legitimate and even praiseworthy result; have almost come, in fact, to regard the two words home-owner and good citizen as convertible terms, and so, by a curious perversion of function, the very spot around which cluster all humane and kindly feelings, and which should be, in its influence, most conducive to general right doing, becomes an instrument of injustice and oppression. To one who thinks, no clearer illustration could be given of the shortsightedness of that success which is achieved by setting up the interests of the individual in opposition to those of his class, since to just the extent that he takes directly or unjustly from the community will the community take back again in the shape of police and military organizations, courts of justice, lawyers’ fees, prisons, poor-houses and brothels. May the agitation and discussion which the entrance of the united labor party into a broader political field will produce, bring men to see that land holdership, carrying with it, as it does, liability to taxation, would accomplish the same results as land ownership, and with far more justice. When will men learn — what is actually thrust upon their attention by every page of history — that selfishness is not wisdom, that the welfare of the one is most surely, permanently reached through that of the many; in a word, that the safest political and economic rule is always and everywhere the law of Christ?
The new crusade is most opportune. Coming at this politically barren time, when both the old parties are fumbling about among the dry husks of dead issues to find some little nubbin of principle, its cardinal idea — land for the people — forms a rallying ground on which all progressive, earnest men may stand. Fundamentally sound because essentially just; charitable according to the real meaning of that much abused word; statesmanlike in its comprehensiveness, far-reaching in its results, it is at once a wholesome political creed and an inspiring, practical religion. I shall, from time to time, as the work goes on, repeat my contribution, helping thus by apparent inconsistency to disinherit my children, but really disinheriting them only of what would be wrongfully theirs, while helping to create for them a condition of far more stable equilibrium, because a juster condition financially, politically, socially and morally. Yours for the right, S. H. R.
The recruiting fund is growing. Here is the way it stands at present:
Previously acknowledged… 826.45
F.. A. Tomkins 3.00
W. C. Kennedy 2.95
G. C. 1.65
M. Ford 2.00
R. C. G 2.00
Another Nicodemus 150.00
J. E. Miller 1.00
M. Bascom 1.00
‘Ammer, ‘ammer, ‘ammer 1.00
C. R. Jewett 1.08
Geo. D., Pittsburg 1.00
M. R. 1.00
And so the thousand dollar corner is turned. Standard readers, this fund is to enable us to send Standards and tracts to persons whose names are furnished us by those who are themselves unable to defray the expense of recruit subscriptions. Just now we are utilizing every penny of this fund in New York. It needs strengthening. It is doing your work. It is your duty to strengthen it.
In last week’s Standard we gave an account of a form of circular devised by Mr. O. G. Howe of Detroit, Mich. The circular contains on one side the platform of the united labor party, and on the other an invitation to attend a meeting, with several excellent reasons for attending. Proper blanks are left for writing in name of organization, date and place of meeting. etc.
We have arranged to furnish these circulars to organizations in any part of the country at 10 cents a hundred, $1 per thousand, $4.25 for 15,000, or $7.50 for 10,000; and we urge our friends, particularly here in New York, to make immediate and plentiful use of them. They can be distributed on the streets, sent by mail or handed from house to house; and they will enable many and many an earnest friend of the cause to satisfy his longing for active work.
We have received the following additional subscriptions to the fund for printing German tracts:
Previously acknowledged $48.00
A. M. Kelly & Son. 3 25
Rev. John F. Scott 2 50
Total to date … $53 75
The “Standard” for the Campaign.
The Standard, beginning with the issue of Sept. 24, will be sent to any five addresses, within the state of New York, up to the end of the campaign, for $1.
These campaign subscriptions will afford land and labor clubs, local assemblies, trades unions and other organizations means of doing efficient campaign work, and placing the issues squarely before their neighbors, at a very trifling cost.
THE CAMPAIGN FUND.
It is mounting upward! Not as fast as it is needed; not as fast as we hope to see it when the campaign shall be fairly opened and men’s hearts begin to burn within them, but fast enough to show that the readers of The Standard taking a lively interest in the cause and are ready to give substantial testimony to the faith that is in them.
Speedville, N. Y.—Inclosed please find a dollar for the campaign fund.
No good cause, of all the good causes in which we have formerly felt an interest, ever pulled and tugged at our purse strings and our heart strings like this crusade. No more can we say, as we used to say of home missions and fresh air funds, “O, we can’t do anything.” Conscience now comes promptly up to answer, “Yes, you can, you coward. You can do something. The way is open, the path is plain. No more settling back in despair. You know what to do, and you know you can do it. Walk up, John Smith, and do your duty, so that you won’t feel ashamed of yourself when the battle is over and the victory won!”
Seed that we scattered here some time ago is now springing up. George B. Rounsevell.
Boston, Sept. 20.—This week I have the pleasure of forwarding $9 as the fourth contribution of the Herald chapel to the campaign fund. We are glad to learn that the New York printers’ legion is about to appeal to the craft throughout the country, and we hope to see a good number of chapels respond. Wm. F. Sherlock.
Bradford, Pa., Sept. 19.—Find inclosed a draft for $15, which is a private contribution from members of Nos. 8,867 and 5,405 K. of L. assemblies and one person outside of the order, all being desirous of helping on the good work. We believe that your work is not for your state alone, but for all mankind. We no longer look to the old parties for any relief, but all eyes are turned to the great labor party of New York state. GEO. W. ASHDOWN, M. W. No. 5,405.
Wakefield, Mass.—Inclosed please find check for $13 to help carry the state of New York for our cause; $5 is the gift of the Wakefield land and labor club, and the remainder is the gift of other friends of our cause in this town. All eyes are turned toward New York. Geo. B. Sinclair.
The fund now stands:
Previously acknowledged $768.60
H. W. H. D., St. Augustine, Fla. 1.00
J. C. D., St. Louis, Mo. 5.00
Paul Gariepy, Cincinnati, O 1.00
L. H. Weeks 1.00
L. I. Summit 1.00
A. V. D., New York 1.00
No. 90 A. P. S .50
James Long, Idaho Springs. Col 5.00
C. A. Jackson, Pendleton, Ore 2.50
Boston Herald chapel 9.00
Willie Fogerty 1.00
J. P. Scotland 2.00
Richard Powers 2.00
E. Fries, Cincinnati, O 1.00
Charles Rickner, Cincinnati .25
C. S. Walker, Cincinnati 1.00
C. A. Fries, Cincinnati 1.00
R. D. Townsend 5.00
J. F. R., Watertown, Mass 1.00
George Mills, St. Cloud, Minn 2.20
William L. Nuggett, Chester, Pa 2.00
George B. Sinclair, Wakefield, Mass 13.00
Calvin A. Beltz, East Mauch Chunk, Pa. 1.00
Boston Post Chapel 5.00
William Radcliffe, Youngstown, O 2.50
Henry Erne, Bowie, Tex 1.00
Richard Cottor, New York city 5.00
Henry Walker, Springfield, Ill. 1.00
G. É. Gossin, Springfield, Ill. 1.00
Henry P. Garrity, Boston, Mass 1.00
August J. Hoeffner, Boston, Mass 1.00
John H. O’Brien, Boston, Mass 1.00
M. R. Philadelphia. Pa 20.00
E. McAulay, Wichita, Kas 1.00
John O’Halloran, Washington, Ind. 5.00
J. F., New York 1.00
E. B., New York 1.00
Author of “Rational Communism”14 50.00
S. M. R. 1.00
J. F. Van Horne, Stamford, Conn 3.00
Geo. W. Ashdown, Bradford 15.00
Another Nicodemus 500.00
Two Danbury Hatters 2.00
Total to date $1,295.30
Henry George at Newburg.
Newburg, N. Y., Sept. 20.—The Newburg opera house was crowded on Tuesday night to listen to Henry George. John J. Muller, who presided, opened the proceedings with a neat address, and was followed by Mr. J. H. Rhome in a short speech in which he specially alluded to the condition of the coal miners in Pennsylvania. Mr. George made a vigorous address, which the New York Herald with its customary enterprise reported on Wednesday morning, and evidently produced a strong effect. The large audience was an exceedingly intelligent one, embracing a considerable number of clergymen, among whom were presiding elder Beecher of the Methodist church and Rev. H. Tarrant of the Episcopal church.
A satisfactory collection was taken up toward defraying the expenses of the meeting, and land and labor tracts were liberally distributed. The Newburg men speak with confidence of the large vote that they expect to poll on the 8th of November. Organized labor is strong in the town, and through all the districts there is a rapid and steady drift of opinion in favor of the principles of the united labor party.
The Mass Meeting of the Printers’ Legion.
The mass meeting of the Printing trades legion, to be held at Cooper union this (Friday) evening, promises to be as it should be, a thoroughly successful gathering. The meeting will be addressed by Rev. Hugh O. Pentecost, John E. Mitchell, Jr., of Richmond, Va., and James J. Gahan. John R. O’Donnell, ex-president of Typographical union No. 6, will preside.
The object of the meeting is to enlist in the ranks of the legion all printers in sympathy with the united labor party.
Work in Buffalo.
Buffalo, N. Y.—The united labor party has just begun to form here. The opening meeting of the campaign was held on the 19th. J. A. Ronayne, esq., presided, and H. H. Freeman of Binghamton and Louis P. Post of New York spoke. The Syracuse platform was adopted. There were two hundred and fifty present and thirty-four new names were handed in for membership in the central club. The socialistic national convention is in session here. On the 19th they also had a mass meeting, at which one hundred and twenty-five people were present.
The Millennium Will be Near at Hand if the United Labor Party Carries New York this Fall.
Hutchinson, Kansas.—Inclosed find $1 for as many copies of the Standard of Aug. 27 as you can send for the money. I want to circulate that paper because it is an extra good number of the best paper ever printed. You have a good many friends here who will feel that the millennium has pretty near come if you succeed in carrying the state of New York this fall. The tyrannous reign of landlord kings will then be at an end and humanity will breathe free and easy. It will be an epoch of infinitely greater importance than that of freeing the slaves a quarter of a century ago. J. G. Malcolm.