VOLUME 2 – NO. 9 NEW YORK, SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 3, 1887.
PRICE FIVE CENTS
A SONG FOR THIS FALL
(Tune- "Johnny, Fill Up the Bowl.")
The people they are bound to win, this fall, this fall!
To finish what they did begin "Last fall," says I.
For we’ve cleaned the slates and started new,
And we’re going to carry our ticket through;
And we’ll all keep sober till the counting is safely done,
From the early morning till the battle is fought and won.
The farmers they will cast their votes this fall, this fall,
To take the tax off wheat and oats. "Vote all," says I,
To free the crop each acre yields,
And drive the land sharks from their fields;
And the farmers’ vote will show that they understand,
For they’re bound to see that the people get back their land.
Reporter, they will all have fun, this fall, this fall;
The time for lying’s just begun. "Who cares?" says I.
The little dogs are barking all,
The cats are fighting in Tammany hall,
And the beer flows free, with politics getting hot;
And who cares for truth, while editors pay the shot?
The wicked World and fallen Star, come down! come down!
They wonder where the voters are; "Come down!" says I.
The by-gone Times and spotted Sun.
Are weeping for subscribers gone,
And they’ll all feel worse when the ballots begin to come,
And the people tell both parties to stay at home.
The ladies of the Evening Post, oh, dear! oh, my!
Are hunting for a mugwump’s ghost, "Oh, fie!" says I,
To tell how far the ball will run,
A-rolling away to Washington;
And they’ll all find out, when we knock at the White house door,
With the votes we poll this fall, and some millions more.
Then let the papers howl, my boys, this fall, this fall;
We’ll let them take it out in noise, "Who cares?" says I.
For we’ve cleaned the slates and started new,
And we’re going to carry our ticket through;
And we’ll all step out, with the ballot in every hand,
And we’re bound to stay till the people get back their land. EGYPT.
CHARITY AND JUSTICE
J.E. Miller of San Francisco writes to THE STANDARD from Los Angeles, sending a list of recruit subscriptions, and adding:
At the same time that we send our subscriptions to THE STANDARD, I think it would be a grand idea if we all would spend a little money for the poor of New York this winter. If ten thousand of us would spare twenty-five cents a month for four months we would have ten thousand dollars on hand. Now, what an amount of good could be done for that sum, if it were only to supply some of the poorest families with a bag of coal or so forth, or to open free soup and coffee houses. What a chance we have to show the world that we intend to do all that we can to help the poor. Of course, we must not shut our eyes to the poor of our own cities. But the anti-poverty movement has started in New York, and it is there that we must strive to gain first. The rest will follow fast enough. Now, if you think that this will help the cause, send to me for the first dollar. You can depend upon me to send you a subscription each month.
Mr. Miller’s suggestion is a kindly one, but it is totally inconsistent with the aim and spirit of the Anti-poverty society. There are enough institutions and associations for the relief of the poor by doling out alms. The Ant-poverty society was not formed to add to their number. Its purpose is something entirely different – not the relief of the poor, but the abolition of poverty. If the giving of soup and coffee and coal and clothing; if the establishment of orphanages and asylums and charitable institutions, could lessen poverty, we should long ago have ceased to have the poor with us. But experience proves that they do nothing of the kind. No one can long accept public charity without losing personal independence and self-respect, and the effect of the well-intentioned alms in which in cities like New York millions and millions are annually spent is not to lessen poverty, but to foster and perpetrate a race of paupers. The amount of money that is already disbursed in this city annually by public and private charities and by the spasmodic doles of individuals, is something absolutely appalling. It means that we already have and are rapidly increasing, a great class of paupers and semi-paupers, and this in a country of manhood suffrage, where the vote of the most degraded and vicious may neutralize the vote of the most virtuous and thoughtful.
The spirit of the Anti-poverty society is not that which would close its hand in the face of suffering, but personally and through existing charitable organizations its members have ample opportunities to give alms. The Anti-poverty society differs radically from such organizations, in that it puts justice before generosity. In its creed the existence of any class that can be called "deserving poor" is the result of a social crime – the need of any appeal to man’s bounty comes from the interception and misappropriation of the bounty of God. We who, under the banner of the Anti-poverty society have taken the cross of a crusade against the wrong that causes poverty, do not believe that the Creator ever intended one class of men to be pensioners on the alms of another class. We believe that in this wide and richly-freighted world there is room for all, work for all, food for all, shelter for all; and that there is no reason, save the injustice which denies to labor access to natural opportunities, why in such a country as this and in such a stage of civilization as this every man of ordinary powers should not be able to provide himself and those whom nature has made dependent upon him, not only with all the necessaries of life, but with all the comforts and reasonable luxuries as well. We are sick of the cant of charity and the hypocrisy of benevolence with which those who will not hear of justice endeavor to solace conscience and drug a righteous discontent. If there are men willing to work, but forced to beggary, we hold that it is because they are robbed. If there are little children who would die if not taken for a little while out of their squalid surroundings by fresh air funds, we hold that it is because they are disinherited of their birthright.
We can leave it to the other societies to dole out bags of coal. Our struggle is to kill the monopoly that lays an embargo on the coal mines. We can leave it to the others to ladle out soup, and make the squalid tenement houses a little less intolerable. Our battle is to end the wrong that prevents men from securing food from bounteous nature and from erecting homes on vacant lots. Our larger, wider, higher aims call on us for all our effort. We have a hard fight to make to spread the gospel of justice: to open to its great truths minds that are befogged by prejudice and dulled by habit, to arouse consciences that have been lulled to sleep by the blasphemous notion that the poverty which festers in the midst of increasing wealth is due to the laws of the Creator. For this we need money. And in using all the money we can raise to [End Col. 1, p. 1] urge on the crusade we have begun we shall be using it for a far higher and more beneficent purpose than if we applied it to alms-giving.
On another page will be found an acknowledgment of contributions which have been made through THE STANDARD, some for the dissemination of literature and some for the necessary expenses of the campaign; and elsewhere on this page is printed an appeal of the executive committee of the united labor party for funds. New York this year is a battleground, and those all over the country who hold with the principles of the Anti-poverty society, can make no better use of the money they have to spare than by strengthening with it the hands of their brethren in New York.
P.H. Burns, declaring himself a "socialist," writes from Iron Mountain, Mich., to deplore "the unfriendly feeling that has arisen between the united labor party and the socialists," and to protest against "the unfriendly criticism of the socialists by some of the members of the united labor party."
Mr. Burns is a man who has done good work, and deserves attention. He organized the first labor association in the upper peninsula of Michigan; is president of the Iron Mountain land and labor club, and has been active in spreading anti-poverty literature in that part of the state. What he has to say is sensible. He deprecates such cries as, "We want no foreign ideas!" "We want a purely American party!" which, he very truly observes, is suggestive of that class "who do not want alien landlords, but are willing to be blackmailed by American landlords for all eternity." And he says that if the socialists proposed something impracticable, thinking it would better the condition of the people, that is no reason why they should be shunned, sneered at and abused. All this is true.
But while, as is only natural in such cases, there has been some hot and sweeping language used, Mr. Burns is wrong in supposing that it has been directed against such men as himself, or that there has been any split between the united labor party and such men. The misapprehension comes from the looseness with which the term socialist is used. The truth is that Mr. Burns seems to be no more of a socialist than I am, and that so far from there being any departure on the side of the united labor party from the principles and programme which are advocated by such men as himself, the rupture between the united labor party and those who are here called socialists is due entirely to the determination of the great body of the united labor party to adhere to those principles and that programme.
Mr. Burns, in defining his own position, says:
I, as a socialist, am willing to confine the work for the present to securing those reforms sought for by the united labor party, a single land tax, government control of railroads, telegraphs, etc. After we have accomplished this, it will be time to lay hold of something else, and then we shall be better able to judge as to how far it is practicable to have government control of production and distribution, and I believe this idea is shared by the majority of the socialists throughout the country.
With the substitution "needful" for the word "practicable" in the above declaration, a change to which Mr. Burns would doubtless assent, this represents the position of the united labor party.
The difference between this position, which was the position of the socialists of this city who last year supported the Clarendon hall platform, and is, I am inclined to think with Mr. Burns, yet the position of the majority of the men throughout the country who have been accustomed to call themselves socialists, and the position of the ultra socialistic faction which has recently been endeavoring to force its views on the united labor party, may be seen from the following extract from a pamphlet by Laurence Gronlund, which was distributed by the socialists at the Syracuse convention:
It is curious that George has not long ago seen, and that he apparently does not yet see, the wide divergence which this position on the wage system which we hold and which George emphatically denies must cause between us. But no, he seems yet to think that our aims are at this stage practically the same and would remain so for some time. He has a favorite illustration which he now puts in this form: "I and my friend both want to reach the Pacific ocean. I think we shall reach it at San Francisco; he is firmly of opinion that it will be necessary to keep on until we get to China. So long as we are willing to travel westward in one car we can well postpone disputes."
No, no, no, George, we are not wiling both to travel westward. We dispute from the very start about the direction we should take. And we socialists do not think that there can be too much clearness on this subject which you have shown yourself disposed to slur over. We say, since we fundamentally disagree, let us know it, let us know all about it; let us have our position clearly defined, whether we come to an agreement or not.
It is this insistence by the ultra socialists upon this fundamental divergence which has caused the split between them and the united labor party. I agree fully with Mr. Burns in all he says about the duties of harmony, but it is utterly impossible that there should be harmony between people who are not going in the same but in different directions.
Among the facts which Mr. Burns cites as showing that there is no necessity [End Col. 2, p. 1] for any division between the united labor party and the socialists, and how well the socialists have worked for the dissemination of united labor principles is this:
The first socialist I ever has the pleasure of meeting was young Vrooman. The first copy of "Progress and Poverty" I ever saw was with Vrooman, and to my knowledge he distributed hundreds of them where there had been none before, nor is Mr. Vrooman the only socialist who has done this.
If Mr. Burns will consider the difference between Mr. Vrooman’s position then and the position which he avowedly occupies now, he will see that it is the socialistic labor party and not the united labor party which has abandoned the broad platform on which members of both were formerly enable to work together, and on which Mr. Burns himself still stands.
The term socialist has been applied in a general way to all who desire change in existing social conditions, and especially to all who would in any way extend the co-operative functions of government. I, for instance, ever since the publication of "Progress and Poverty," have been by many termed a socialist, and in many of the catalogues of economic works my writings have been classed as socialistic. For myself, I have neither accepted nor repudiated the name, for either course would lead to misapprehension. There are many men, however, throughout the country, of whom I take Mr. Burns to be a representative, who, holding substantially the same views that I do, and believing that the changes to be made in our institutions and laws should be in one direction individualistic and in another socialistic, yet being constantly called socialists, have accepted the name, and called themselves socialists. But the men who, by attempting to force their own narrow views and impracticable programme upon the united labor party in New York, have compelled that party to repudiate them, are socialists in a quite different sense. They are the doctrinaires of one peculiar school of socialism. They are the followers of Lassalle and Marx, and from the fact that they would ignore individualism and place everything under the control of the state, are sometimes distinguished as state socialists, and sometimes, from the country in which their theories originated and have taken the deepest root, as German socialists. But since they constantly proclaim themselves simply as "socialists," and since, in popular usage, there is a constant disposition to drop any qualifying work in a title, they have come to be spoken of by others simply as socialists. It is in this sense, and in this sense alone, that there has been any repudiation of socialism by the united labor party, and any denunciation of socialism by its members. And since names are not worth disputing about so long as they convey a fixed meaning, and since the term socialist has become in the popular mind firmly identified with the doctrines of the extreme school, it would be well for such men as Mr. Burns to consider whether it is worth while for them to longer continue to call themselves socialists.
And since it has been widely stated that I have desired to bring about a split between the united labor party and the socialists as a matter of policy, hoping thereby the easier to gain the farmers, it may be worth while for me to explicitly deny ever having expressed, either in public or in private, any sentiment of this kind. I have been not only willing, but desirous, of uniting all who are in favor of any social improvement upon the broad principles laid down in the first platform of the united labor party and reasserted, at Syracuse – the [End. Col. 3, p. 1] same principles declared by Mr. Burns as those upon which he is willing to work with all others. And I think it is true, as Mr. Burns states, that this is the disposition of the majority of the men throughout the United States who have called themselves socialists. Whatever split has occurred has been caused by the rule or ruin faction of doctrinaires, who made up their minds to impose their throughgoing state socialism upon the party. That their principles and programme are essentially opposed to those of such men as Mr. Burns may be seen from a comparison of the declarations they are now making in opposition to the concentration of taxes upon land values, with his declaration in favor of it.
The split, however, is not to be regretted. It will lead to the clearing away of many misconceptions, and to the fuller and more thorough discussion of vital principles. And the great means by which the emancipation of labor is to be attained is not the carrying of elections, but the stimulation of thought.
Sylvanus H. Sweet, the nominee of the Syracuse convention for the state engineer, has not yet signified his acceptance. Since his public utterances and private conversation indicate that this delay is caused by a desire on his part to secure the democratic nomination, it seems to me that it is the duty of the state central committee to consider his neglect to accept the nomination as a declination, and to place some other man upon the ticket as candidate for state engineer.
The cave of Machpelah and the field of Ephron are made to do stout theological duty on behalf of the land owner of 1887, even as did the unfortunate Onesimus on behalf of the man owner a generation ago. And now comes the story of a Paterson, N.J., lady who in 1879 bought a little Machpelah of her own in the New Methodist cemetery, and there buried her husband. And having taken to herself a new spouse she went lately to the cemetery, doubtless to reflect on the many virtues of the departed as compared with his successor. But lo! her Machpelah was somebody else’s Machpelah now, and was freshly decorated with floral offerings to the name of a lately deceased one whom she knew not. And when she inquired concerning the matter she found that her Machpelah had been sold twice since she bought it, and that things were very much mixed.
As a theological argument, Machpelah hardly comes up to Onesimus.
"The true theory of taxation," says Mayor Hewitt, as reported in the World, "is to tax value wherever you find it." There was once a certain man traveling from Jerusalem to Samaria, who fell in with a set of tax gatherers who conducted business on just that principle.
Labor day will be celebrated in New York this year as a legal holiday. It was in 1882 that the Central labor union, then recently formed, issued a call to the labor organizations of New York to parade through the heart of the city on the first Monday of September. It was only with the greatest exertion on the part of a few men that the parade was made a success; but a success it was, and immediately after it was suggested that labor organizations set aside the first Monday of September in each year as labor’s holiday.
In 1883 the celebration here was much more significant than in 1882, and in several other cities it was also observed. During the following three years the [End Col. 4, p. 1] voluntary observance of the day by organized labor grew into an institution in all the leading cities of the Union, and at the late session of our legislature it was legally made a public holiday in this state.
It is evident that the day will be very extensively recognized. Parades and meetings are to be held not only in the large cities, but in towns and villages. The farming population is not yet aroused to the significance of the day to them. Such persistent efforts to narrow the labor movement to artisans have been made by the pro-poverty press, to which a few members of labor organizations have unfortunately lent their influence, that farmers are disposed to count themselves out of the labor movement. But as this narrowness is giving way to broader views of labor, labor day will become a welcome and honored anniversary with all who work, whether in factory or office, in the shop or on the farm.
The Chicago Tribune discourses in a breezy way on the "impotence or cowardice of the eastern press" in dealing with what it calls "Georgeism." It says that, "with scarcely an exception, the New York and Boston papers fail to meet Henry George on fair ground or make any respectable answer to his arguments." Such a policy, it declares, will not do. "The press of New York and Boston," it continues, "cannot dispose of Henry George with an affected sneer. He is gaining converts every day and will continue to do so as long as the eastern papers show themselves indisposed to give him fair treatment or powerless to meet his arguments. If Georgeism is to be exploded, it must be by showing that it is inexpedient and incompatible with justice and right." If the press of New York has no writers capable of doing this, the Chicago Tribune offers to lend them a few.
This strikes us as a fair and reasonable offer. Certainly the editorial writers of New York are unwilling or unable to even state the theory under discussion, much less refute it. Let the young Lochinvars come out of the west, then, and set about demolishing the platform of the united labor party. They will receive no warmer welcome than from the advocates of the doctrine that the land belongs to the whole people, and that individual possession of a portion of the common stock is a privilege for which the possessor should of right pay a fair price into the common treasury. We welcome discussion, and the equity of our claim is so obvious that we do not believe that any fair man can fail to accept the doctrine if he once hears it intelligently stated.
Our western contemporary is right about one thing, and that is that the policy of our eastern papers does not check the growth of the opinions it views with such alarm; but its own plan will be equally ineffective. Our cause is the cause of truth and righteousness, and nothing can prevail against it. It is just as sure to win as the sun is to rise to-morrow, and the more it is discussed the surer it will triumph. Let Chicago, then, send on its editorial athletes. We are ready for them.
DR M’GLYNN AND THE HIBERNIANS.
An Enormous audience and a Telling Speech-The Interest of Widows and Orphans in the Labor Question – Teachings of the New Crusade.
Nearly 4,000 persons packed themselves into the Grand Army hall, on Bedford avenue, Brooklyn, E.D., last Friday evening to hear Dr. McGlynn lecture before the Ancient order of Hibernians. An attempt had been made by a few members of the society to have the society withdraw its request on the ground that the reverend father was preaching doctrines opposed to the teachings of the Catholic church. This was indignantly resented by an overwhelming majority of the members of the society, who not only turned out in such numbers that they filled every seat in the big hall, but gathered in a large crowd outside. Dr. McGlynn was hailed with a remarkable outburst of enthusiasm, and made an eloquent address, which lasted two hours and a half. In introducing him Dr. Sylvester Malone said that it was a great honor to stand on the same platform with a Catholic priest who, distinguished for great learning, piety, humility and a profound respect for lawful authority rightfully exercised, had the moral courage to assert his citizenship against a corrupt and powerful combination in New York, to face a callous tyranny, and to challenge a system which enacts laws and holds itself superior to them—a combination which had the unblushing effrontery to assert that the Catholic church teaches blind, unquestioned obedience.
On Dr. McGlynn’s coming forward there was loud applause which lasted several minutes. When quiet was restored he said that it was particularly pleasant for him to speak on the cause of gentle charity, which was the object of sweet religion. Nothing should be dearer to the heart of the priest of Christ, next to the reverence that he owes to the Christian altars, to the Christian sacraments and to the holy words that fell from the lips of the Master, than the love and the care of those poor who are exceedingly blessed.
"And so to-night," said the speaker, "forbidden to preach from the pulpit of that church which is dearer to me than my life, it is an unspeakable pleasure and consolations to me, that I sincerely hope and believe shall never be denied me, to speak the self-same truths, to preach the very essence of religion from the stages of the theaters, in the byways, from the tail of a cart, in the grand army halls, or wherever else I may be permitted to raise my voice; and I give you all permission, and to all men, once for all, to denounce me as a traitor to all that I hold sacred should I at any time deny one tittle of the truths I have taught (applause, and voice, ‘We’ll stand by you, Father,’) or if I by word or example should endeavor to lead men in any other path than that in which I have endeavored to lead than in the past." (Applause.)
Dr. McGlynn said he remembered that there [End Col. 5, p. 1] was a time when the Ancient order of Hibernians did not seem to enjoy as much ecclesiastical favor as it seems to enjoy to-day. "I believe, in fact I know," he said, "that they are tolerated at least to-day by ecclesiastical authorities. (Applause and laughter.) But I do know that there are not a few bishops and priests, if they could do their own free will, who would be at the throats of the Ancient order of Hibernians. (Applause.) And I know that they have only been restrained by the pressure that has been brought to bear upon them by wiser heads among them that have made it a rule that they shall not dare to attempt to deprive of the sacrament members of an order that happens to be spread in another diocese than their own, without some general authority representing the whole church in the United States. (Applause.) But I can remember—for it is not so very long ago—when this Ancient order of Hibernians was most frequently condemned by bishops and priests, and they were refusing them the sacraments of Christ because of some absurd, bigoted prejudice against them (applause); because too many of these good pastors, in their narrowness, would actually seem to be jealous of any body of men or society that should be anything more than a goody, goody Sunday school society—(applause)—under the immediate, direct and autocratic control of the pastor, not without a view to the pecuniary profit of the parochial treasury (applause); and to illustrate this view, I have only to quote from what we have all read within a few months in the newspapers, how some small, narrow, bigoted, antiquated ecclesiastics in the city of Rome gravely urged in argument with Cardinal Gibbons against the Knights of Labor (applause and three cheers for McGlynn) that it was altogether improper that Catholic workmen should be associating with Protestant workmen in societies (applause), and that the proper thing would be to have societies (applause)—they properly should be confraternities or sodalities of workmen under the immediate control and indeed the entire direction of the bishops and priests. (Applause.) That would be a funny kind of substitute for the Knights of Labor. (Applause.) We should then have to have the holy guild of shoemakers, the sanctified confraternity of stone cutters and the canonized, amalgamated society of building trades and the like. (Applause, and a voice: ‘What about the molders, doctor?’) Including the molders. (Applause and laughter.) Now, does not this show plainly the supreme wisdom of compelling those to whom are committed the spiritual things to mind their own business, to leave me untrammeled, unfettered, unhampered in their scientific and national aspirations and in the fullest enjoyment of their rational liberty?" (Applause and cheers.)
The speaker then picked up a new thread in his discourse. He said that the subject of his evening’s lecture, the labor question, has a close connection with the object of his evening’s lecture—the benefit of widows and orphans. If the labor problem were properly settled there would be no need of appealing for the support of these widows and orphans. The question was simply: Could poverty be abolished, and what were the necessary means by which it could be abolished? He would answer in the affirmative and in this way: Men, in order to live, still more to develop their natures, in order to enjoy anything like a reasonable share of the comforts and the luxuries of life, must labor. The teachings of the new crusade was the essential teachings of Thomas Jefferson, the very essence of all religion, that all men before God are equal.
As the general bounties of nature were the necessary materials out of which alone labor could produce things for human comfort, advancement, education, cultivation, it was clear that the human family must at all times and everywhere have an equal, joint, undivided right of access to these bounties, that could not be sold or bartered away. The child that was born to the poor beggar mother at the back of the stable at night came into the world with the same rights to the bounties of nature as did the child that was born to an imperial sovereign in an imperial palace.
This equal, undivided, indivisible right of access, joint ownership of the bounties of nature was, the speaker declared, at the very bottom of the solution of the labor question. Ownership came from the idea of making something. Now, who made the bounties of nature? There was no one save the Almighty, outside of an insane asylum, or unless he was fit to be there, who would dare to say, "I made these natural bounties."
This simple method by which justice could be done to all would be to appropriate for public expenses values attaching to natural bounties, arising from the growth of population, and to abolish all taxes that now burden industry—thereby taking a fine off labor and capital for engaging in production on the one hand, and on the other hand throwing open to producers natural opportunities, which are now withheld from them.
Printers Propose to Take a Hand in the New York Campaign.
Earliest in the field among the printers of the country who intend assisting the united labor party in the coming campaign are the compositors of the Boston Herald. A club has already been formed by them which will make a weekly remittance of funds to New York, and some of the more energetic of its members talk of suggesting the formation of similar clubs in other "chapels." The generosity of the boys of the Boston Herald is already well known to the printers of New York, and the doctrine of the land for the people has among its most intelligent adherents a large proportion of the printers of Boston.
United Labor Party of the State of New York. Headquarters State Executive Committee. 23 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 takes 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 the 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 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.
EDWARD M’GLYNN, Chairman and Treasurer.
GAYBERT BARNES, Secretary. [End Col. 6, p. 1]
RELIGION IN POLITICS AND POLITICS IN RELIGION.
A Crowded and Enthusiastic Meeting—Speeches by Dr. McGlynn, Victor A. Wilder, P.H. Cummins and Others—The Justice, the Injustice and the Remedy.
The eighteenth public meeting of the Anti-poverty society illustrated the manner in which the religious and political wings of the great anti-poverty army may be expected to work together in harmony during the coming campaign. While the political aims of the united labor party were clearly defined and ably defended by the speakers, the great truth was enforced that these aims rest on a broad foundation of ethical and religious principle, and that the triumph of the party would be, essentially, a triumph of religious truths.
The meeting was opened with the singing of "The National Hymn" by the Concordia chorus, under Miss Munier’s leadership after which James Redpath introduced Victor A. Wilder of Brooklyn, the nominee of the united labor party for state comptroller. Mr. Wilder said:
"This is the Sabbath evening, and I have been brought up to believe that the only thing that should be thought of and discussed on the Sabbath day was religion. And I confess I do feel somewhat out of place in attempting to make a political speech on the Sabbath day. But I recognize this, that the nation that does not make its politics its religion; the people that does not make its administration the administration of the everlasting God; the nation that does not build at its very foundation a true faith in God and truth and justice, must be swept down into ruin. (Applause.) Therefore, it is that my heart rejoices that at last we have found a politics that is a religion. (Applause.) I want to say a word that comes into my mind just now about a certain matter that occurred at our recent Syracuse convention. It has been said to me on repeated occasions that the socialistic labor party stood in its relative position to the united labor party the same as the abolitionists prior to 1860 or about that time stood to the republican party. Now, I was nursed on my mother’s knee and from my mother’s breast an abolitionist. I was taught to believe that the constitution of the United States that sanctioned human slavery was in league with the devil and in covenant with hell. (Applause.) I was taught to venerate John Brown as a saint (applause), and I have always been taught to recall my memories of him because I did sit upon his knee in the city of Boston and can recall his features to-day. I was taught by every lesson of my life to venerate him as on of the loftiest characters the world ever saw. And when socialists claim that they stand in their relations to the united labor party precisely the same as those old abolitionists stood to the republican party I stand here to deny it. (Applause.) I say that those old abolitionists were worshiping at the altars of an everlasting truth, and whether it was practical politics to follow them or not, that was a question for every man to determine. But I declare that the socialist worships at the altar of an everlasting lie (applause), and that they can no more be spoken of together than the darkness of the cellar may be compared to a broad noonday. For socialism kills individualism, kills liberty, kills right. (Applause.) And as I said at that convention, and as I would plainly say, for I have studied socialism from a boy up (I know what it means, and they cannot tell me what it does or does not mean), as I said in that convention, before I would consent to stand upon a platform acknowledging the basic principle of socialism or any of its processes, I would walk out of that convention and go it alone. (A voice: ‘Good boy!’ and applause.) The united labor party has placed itself straight there; and I say it has placed itself straight with what is true, and it has rejected, in rejecting socialism, what is false. I do not fear criticism. I am not afraid of what has been said that socialism is un-American, because I do not believe anything that is un-American. I would not, therefore, be deterred from sanctioning socialism for that reason. But I do refuse because my will and conscience protest against it. We have not only sought the negative side in that convention, but we have found the positive basis. We have looked about us and we have seen a republic with broad republican liberties, and we have seen in that republic, germinating there, growing there, becoming all-powerful there, an industrial serfdom. We seek its cure along the same lines that men sought in establishing the political republic. We are not stepping ahead; we are going back. The united labor party puts one foot back, and it puts it on the eternal foundations of liberty planted in the Declaration of Independence (applause); back to where Thomas Jefferson stood (applause); back to where Abraham Lincoln stood (applause); back to where every lover of liberty has stood all down the ages. It has gone to the root of the thing, and it stands there, and, as opposed to socialism, it declares what God Almighty declares. It declares for industrial liberty. It seeks to establish those practical relations so declared in our platform through certain things—through the land—(applause)—through our money system, through our transportation system. The whole question comes right down here: It is the distribution of wealth and the factors that distribute it. To those factors we go, and, planting ourselves on economic truth, we declare that the land should belong to the people. (Applause.) I thought that that had been so much talked about here that it would seem worn; but it seems to be a good battle cry yet. (Applause.)
"When God made man he didn’t make him with a silver dollar or a greenback in his pocket. He said, I will not put so many on my fair earth but that they will all have an abundance. I will not go into this question anymore, because you want to hear Dr. McGlynn. (Applause.) I only want to say this: I will talk during the campaign, and you will all hear enough of me undoubtedly. As I was crossing the ferry from Brooklyn (voices, ‘Louder!’)—I can talk louder; I only talk low because it is the Sabbath—as I was crossing the ferry I saw on a news stand a cartoon in Judge. It represents a raft with a lot of seamen upon it, and on that raft was written ‘United labor party.’ They were a forlorn set, a hopeless crew, wrecked. And in the distance there was a full rigged ship, and on its starboard bow there was written the name, ‘Henry George.’ (Great applause.) And on its foretopsail was written ‘Land.’ And all the mottoes were there, indicating the principles of the united labor party. And it was called ‘The Phantom Ship.’ (Groans.) I said to myself, That is well done, but no, it is not the phantom ship; no, it is not a phantom. I see it is not a phantom. I see a ship as full rigged as she, sailing before the wind as lightly as a gull, breasting the white caps, and I see that it is the Henry George. (Applause.) And I see along its decks the men of the united labor party. (Applause.) And [End Col. 1, p. 2] they are sailing by a sign in the heavens, not a cross, not a fiery star in men’s fears and imaginations, but a star of hope such as swung into the vision of the ancient seers 1,800 years ago (applause), the star of hope that shall surely lead this God-fearing free nation out of its troubles into the fair, beautiful, peaceful waters of the industrial republic." (Great applause.)
Gahan’s "The Land for the People" was then sung, and Chairman Redpath introduced P.H. Cummins of Amsterdam, candidate for state treasurer, who said:
"While I make no pretensions to oratory, having worked the largest portion of my life at the anvil and forge (great applause), and not having had the advantages of education, yet I feel that I have been called upon tonight to say a few words to you.
"Some have seen fit to say that the united labor party is made up of one-ideal men, and that those men have borrowed that one idea from Mr. George. (Applause.) I wish to speak for myself in saying that I would rather have one idea and have that idea sound than to have a multitude of ideas that are unsound (applause) and borrowed from the monopolists of this country, whose duty it seems to be to lead the laboring people to the slaughter.
"While in attendance at the state convention of this great party at Syracuse, I there met men from all parts of the state, representative men, some of whom I have met in the past in other labor movements, and in my judgment some of them at least are well posted upon social and economic questions besides the land question. There may be and there was some difference of opinion in that convention, yet there were some things upon which we were unanimous: first, that the laboring, toiling masses of the world have been robbed of their rights and privileges, of their natural inheritance (applause); and second, that the great land question as taught by Henry George (applause) and advocated by the great Dr. McGlynn (applause) is undoubtedly the most practical way to remove some of those great wrongs. (Applause.)
The democratic and republican parties are advocating a system of chicanery, thimble-rigging. Now, what is politics? What do we mean by that term as separated from the partisan politics of the democratic and republican parties? (Hisses.) Politics means the science of government, while the partisan politics as set forth by the democratic and republican parties means simply ‘Get there, Eli, and get the spoils.’ (Laughter.) That is all there is of it. And I am not satisfied to train with men in that direction. Partisan politics means minority rule and at the same time attempting to make people believe that the majority rules. This is supposed to be a government of the people, by the people and for the people; but is it not rather a government of monopolists, by monopolists and for monopolists? (Applause.) And how did they bring this about that the minority rules the majority? Let me attempt to illustrate. In the first place, remember that the politicians of both the old parties must necessarily crowd down and out of existence any movement toward a third party. Why? Simply because they cannot control the new element, and because that element is an unknown quantity. Let me endeavor to show you how they bring about this minority rule. We will assume that there are 1,100 voters in this house, five hundred democrats and five hundred republicans and one hundred monopolists—land grabbers, if you will. Let me classify them in this way. Assume that all the republicans are on this side of the house (pointing to the left of the auditorium, which was received with vigorous protests), and all the democrats on this side of the house (pointing to the right, who also objected), and all the monopolists up here (indicating the platform and pointing to Dr. McGlynn and others, causing great laughter). We are now ready to start out. One of the politicians of the democratic party comes up here and says: ‘Boys, I am proud to meet you once again. I know that you are going to stand by the old democratic flag. I know from the past that you will stand by that. Why? Your fathers were democrats before you. Your mothers were democrats before you. Your grandfathers and grandmothers were democrats, and you were rocked in a democratic cradle. Remember Jackson, and stand by the old democratic party, and all is well.’ (Laughter.) The republican politician comes over on this side, and he says: ‘Fellow citizens, fellow republicans, I am proud to meet you once again upon the shores of time. I can see by your honest republican countenances that you are going to stand by that grand old republican party that whipped the south, that fought all the battles, that did everything grand, and thereby saved the country from its democratic enemies. (Laughter and applause.) Now, fellow republicans, do you want to pay the southern war claims, do you want to put those rebels upon an equal footing with yourselves? If not, then see to it that the democratic party is whipped this fall at the polls, and our country is once more saved.’ (Laughter.) Now, we are ready to start the democratic-republican-monopolistic machine. Five hundred republicans on this side of the house, five hundred democrats on that side of the house. The rank and file are all apparently honest men; and now we want the hundred monopolists to outnumber you all and score a vote for monopoly. Very well then. Place the ballot box in the center. We are ready. Up comes a republican to cast his ballot, fully determined to save the country, when up comes a democrat and casts a ballot that kills it dead as a door nail; and next a republican and then a democrat; and when you have all voted you are right where you started and have not advanced an inch. If the monopolists have made a bargain, a deal, previously with, say the democratic party, then the hundred voters step forward and cast one hundred votes for the democratic party, not that they have any love for anything other than this monster monopoly back here. Now, we count the votes: Five hundred republican votes, and the republicans’ faces grow long as they walk off and they know they are defeated. We count the other votes; six hundred democratic votes. ‘Hip, hip, hurrah for the democracy! a victory for the democracy."
"But who is looking after the interests of the people all this time? What have those democratic or republican speakers said to them about the present or the future? Everything about the past, the dead, by-gone past, nothing of the present and nothing of the future. Are you satisfied, fellow citizens, to be led to the slaughter that way? (‘No, no!’) If you are, I am not. If you are not satisfied with that, then why not come out from those old parties, filled, as you and I both know, with nothing but corruption? Then come out from them and vote for yourselves. Vote for the people; and you can only do that by banding yourselves with this great and noble party, the united labor party, based upon the grand and glorious principles of equal and exact justice to all." (Great applause.)
The chorus sang while the collection was being taken up, and then Mr. Redpath said:
"Ladies and Gentlemen: My next duty is a very pleasant one, although it is entirely superfluous, for it is to introduce to you a man whom you all know and whom you all love, whom you love for his own sake and also because of the enemies he has made, our [End Col. 2, p. 2] eloquent and illustrious champion, Dr. Edward McGlynn." (Deafening applause.)
Dr. McGlynn said:
"Mr. Chairman, Ladies and Gentlemen: The great movement in which we are engaged has well been called a religious one. If it were not in some sense religious, it would be unworthy of our enthusiasm, unworthy to engross, as it clearly does, your minds and hearts. For nothing but things essentially divine are worthy of the supreme and perfect allegiance of the minds and hearts of men and women. If my teaching, or my preaching, from this platform has not been entirely in vain, you are already pretty familiar with my thought on that subject. And it is not merely my thought. I am unspeakably happy knowing that the same conviction animates the hearts and controls the minds of those whom you love to honor most as your guides, your leaders and your prophets in this work that we have well called a crusade. (Applause.)
"It is the religious spirit that is in this movement that clearly marks it out for victory. It is that which gives to us the same clam, unquestioning, undoubting confidence with which thousands of martyrs, men, women and children, of every age and condition, have gone smiling to their deaths. The unselfish love, the clear conviction of religious truth that we feel, make our efforts, our words, our troubles, our sufferings, inestimably precious, because they are helping in the enacting of a wondrous drama, the plan and the plot of which are not of our making, but came from God, and must have their solution and their end in God. (Applause.)
"It might seem strange at first that beings gifted, as we are, with capacity to know the truth, to love the good, to enjoy the beautiful, should have been imprisoned in these charnel houses of the flesh, that an angel should have been chained to a brute, that the soul that is capable of knowing and constantly yearning for the infinite, should be made the companion of so gross and mean a thing as man can be in his baser and his meaner part. It is a mystery. It is to many a scandal and a stumbling block. It has made too many doubt the spirituality of the soul and its divine and immortal destiny.
"And so it is the purpose of wise philosophers of true religion, as it was the purpose of Him whom nearly all of us, I am sure, call Lord and Master, to teach to men the solution of this mystery, and to show them how by proper understanding and use of the things of time and sense we can win a wondrous victory; we can deserve a most precious crown; we can fight a battle; we can bear a burden; we can pursue our journey in a path the end of which is perfect peace in the satisfaction of all the highest cravings of our being—an end all the more perfect, more noble and more worthy of us because it comes not as a mere inheritance, not as a gratuitous gift, but as the well deserved reward of the journey pursued, of the battle manfully fought, of the doubt, the anxiety, the toil, the care and the sorrow borne patiently for the love of the higher truth after the dear example of Him who came to be our model, to teach us the significance of simple and humble duties, to teach us how every tear has a power and an alchemy within it by which it may be changed into a priceless gem, how every groan and sob and sigh may be converted into a shout of victory, how the infamous gibbet may become a glorious throne and a wondrous pulpit from which He and those believing in His word can teach and conquer the minds of men and triumph over the world, over Satan and over themselves. (Great applause.)
"I confess that I am frequently overwhelmed by the mystery that I am to myself. I wake up sometimes with this inquiry on my mind, and almost upon my lips, ‘Who am I? Whence came I? What am I here for? Whither am I tending?’ I seem, then, to be as it were a stranger to myself. And every man and woman at times must have this same sense of the mystery of being, the incomprehensibleness of a man even to himself. We know not even ourselves. We know not the processes of thought. We know but little of the processes of our life. We are compelled to feel that we are like the bubbles that exist for a little while upon the ocean, like the leaves that year after year sprout forth and fall as the seasons wax and wane. And we ask ourselves, ‘What is this mystery, and why is it?’ And no effort of friends, no love of parents, no admiring multitudes can make a man feel satisfied until he has gained the solution of the mystery, has learned the perfect answer to the questions, Who am I? What am I? Whither am I tending? By what road shall I best reach the goal of my destiny?
"All questions of politics, all questions of commerce and trade, all the eager pursuit of science and art, all these things that have not a fuller, a deeper and higher significance than merely to satisfy a temporary greed, to amuse for a moment an idle hour, are but unworthy playthings; they are but children’s rattles; they are but the sugar plums of life, and higher beings must look down in contempt or with infinite pity upon the multitudinous, multifarious comings, and goings, and wars, and calumnies that men call business and politics, and upon the base, ignoble, and worse than childish things that men call pleasure. (Applause.)
"And so it seems to me that to the philosophic mind this life were worse than a mere joke, it were a cruel hoax of some mocking fiend, were it not possible for us to find a solution of its mystery that may teach us to give to these trifles that we call business and politics, to these things that we call science and art, a significance that is above and beyond the things of time and sense, by referring them to an infinite and all perfect, an absolute and eternal ideal. And that possibility is religion. (Applause.)
"If it were not that we are permitted to believe, that we are compelled to believe, not merely by the teachings of revealed religion, but by the teachings of that natural religion that speaks in the mind and heart of every being that is; if it were not, I say, that we believe these things, then life would not be worth the living, the battle would not be worth the fighting; then the burden would not be worth the bearing, and they would be wise of foolish—it matters very little which, indifferently wise, or foolish or neither—who should say with the epicureans of old, ‘Let us eat, drink and make merry, for to-morrow we die.’ There would then be no wisdom in the reproach of the philosopher to the self-indulgent man, there would be no ideal of truth or virtue or justice, and human society could not be the thing that we believe it was intended to be—a well-regulated family of brothers and sisters, living under the laws of a wise, beneficent and loving Father—but simply a menagerie of wild beasts, a brutal scramble, a horrid competition in which the only law would be ‘every one for himself.’ The mere talk of fraternity, of brotherhood, of equality, of liberty, of justice, of virtue would be worse than a mockery, for there would be no such thing as sin or vice or crime in the sense in which we understand these things, and whatsoever horrid crime we could think of would simply be a mistake, simply a sin against good taste, and would hardly rise to the dignity of a grammatical blunder. (Great applause.)
"And as a matter of fact I am quite satisfied that there are people in the world who have yielded to the despair of ever solving the mystery, who have found the struggle between the brute and the angel too arduous, and have allowed the brute to rise up and [End Col. 3, p. 2] strangle and put down the angel. There are too many who to-day feel that it were worse to make a serious grammatical mistake than to permit what to an enlightened Christian conscience is the most horrid of crimes. (Applause.)
"All this I think is entirely pertinent to what we are striving for. It goes to show that if this movement that we call a political one has not for its aim the doing of that justice which is the essence of the moral law—if it have not for its object the emancipating of the angel from the brute and the putting the brute into his proper place—in a word, the bringing out in men of that image of the eternal ideal of truth and goodness and duty, which is God, then it is all a mistake and a blunder, and I for one, the very first, would cheerfully acknowledge that we might as well spare ourselves the pain and trouble; we might as well spare our breath; we might as well leave the world to the horrid fate to which many of our brethren believe it condemned by a law as necessary as the law of gravitation itself. (Applause.)
"We who invite you to join us in this crusade for justice, for the brotherhood of men, and for the proclaiming to all the world of the fatherhood of God, are bearing a word of infinite comfort to the doubting, to the fearing and the despairing. We are teaching men no new thing; but we are endeavoring to teach then with new force and energy, with new confidence of victory, the old truths that were written by the very finger of the Father upon the hearts of all his children. (Applause) And therefore we must necessarily be far from saying the slightest word that might impair the reverent sense of religion in the minds and hearts of men. We should be stultifying ourselves if we were so unfortunate as to do so."
Dr. McGlynn then pointed out, in clear and emphatic language, the relation between the religious ideas just enunciated and the practical schemes of reform advocated by the Anti-poverty society and formulated in the platform of the united labor party.
"The one essential doctrine of this crusade of ours, taught, as I have often said, by right reason and natural, as well as supernatural religion, is this: That each man is made free, that each man is born with an inalienable right to liberty as well as to life, and the pursuit of happiness; and any condemnation that shall deprive man of that right to enjoy his life and his liberty, and is his own way to make the pursuit of happiness, is an infraction of a natural law, and is a crime against natural justice. (Applause.) The things that were made common by nature must be carefully guarded as common by society. The things that can only exist by the consent, the permission, the creation of society itself, must, by the plain law of justice, be used only for the benefit and the welfare of society. And therefore not only the land, but all those things that are necessarily the gift of the people, must be controlled for and in the interests of the people.
"The beauty of this crusade of ours is this, that the remedy is so simple that it actually strikes the average hearer as too simple. They cannot believe that the remedy for such multitudinous and all-pervading evils can be so wondrously simple. It is actually amusing to hear the wiseacres of the press saying from day to day, ‘Will Mr. Henry George be good enough to get down to something practical, and not confine himself to theory, and tell us exactly what he really wants to do.’ (Laughter.) As if that philosopher had not told them again and again in words that burn-as if he had not written so many luminous pages, as if he has not told them in so many eloquent speeches, of the magnificent simplicity of the law of justice and the admirable simplicity of the remedy, which is simply that injustice shall cease and justice shall begin to reign. (Applause.)
"There may be some here to-night who are not as blameworthy as these editorial wiseacres, and it may be not amiss to repeat for them the simple statement of the justice on the one hand, the injustice on the other, and the beautiful remedy. The statement is this: That all men being equally the children of God, were endowed by their Creator with the same equal, inalienable, indefeasible right to the use of the bounties of nature, the sunlight, the air, the waters, the forests, the land. (Applause.) That while it is necessary for the best use of these common bounties that individuals should have undisturbed possession of the choicer portions of them, especially when, by the density of population, a new and peculiar value comes to them that is called the unearned increment, justice can always be maintained and the charter of the common rights vindicated, by taxing the natural bounties to their full rental value, and thus securing for the community a perfect equivalent for what belongs to the community. (Applause.)
"The injustice consists in diverting into private pockets or coffers this unearned increment which clearly belongs not to private individuals, but to the community. The lands, the waters—all these natural bounties to which this unearned increment accrues—are the gifts of God to the community, and whatsoever value accrues to them surely belongs to society. And this increment which we rightfully called unearned, with reference to the individual possessor, is actually produced or created by the community, and therefore, by the essential law of property, should belong to its maker or creator. (Applause.)
"The simple remedy that has been pointed out would immediately abolish the doing of this injustice and fully emancipate labor. It would give to the individual the perfect enjoyment of all that inalienable right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness which is the teaching of our Declaration of Independence. For then speculation would no longer be possible in the bounties of nature.
"When that simple remedy shall be applied human labor will be in greater demand than ever before. The constantly increasing capacities and desires of human nature will create a constant demand for labor. And this enormous unearned increment, this enormous value that comes to the lands, the mines, and water powers because of civilization and density of population will redound to the advantage of all. The enormous value that is represented by this unearned increment is the increased value of human labor. It means that employed by this labor-saving machinery employed in these great exchanges is enormously more productive than the isolated labor of the poor child on the farm miles and miles away from the nearest neighbor. All these magnificent advantages would come to society and not to individual landlords, and through society would accrue to the benefit of each individual. (Applause.)
"All the economic questions that now disturb society would be immediately solved by the application of that simple remedy. Then labor could have free access to the natural bounties which had not yet acquired that unearned value which comes from society, and would thus enjoy a magnificent choice of lands without rent where labor could employ itself if it could not find employment to its satisfaction elsewhere. Then landlordism and all its hateful, baleful and criminal train would vanish from the world and become but a thing of ancient history. (Applause.)
"If this movement in which we are engaged is a religious one; if the truths that it teaches are but in another form the teachings of that moral law which God has graven upon the heart of every one of his children; if they are [End Col. 4, p. 2] the teachings of Him who taught us the blessed doctrine of the equal brotherhood of men under the equal fatherhood of God, let us, in God’s name, enroll under the holy ensign of this crusade. And let us not do so from the selfish hope that our individual condition may be somewhat better; but let us join the holy war filled with the magnificent enthusiasm of humanity. Let us enroll ourselves in the army with no thought of individual gain or profit, but rather with the heroic thought that it were well to suffer privation, toil, hardship, loss, and even death itself to gain the higher reward that is promised to those who shall have hungered and thirsted for justice here.
"And if any man should dare to say that we are desecrating the sanctity of the Christian holy day, that our plaudits and our songs are an unworthy breaking of the stillness of the Sabbath evening, let us hurl back the reproach and say that we would not be here upon this platform, that these doors would not have been thrown wide open, or these multitudes have come here week after week throughout the sultry evenings of the summer months if it were not for the sake, not of politics, but of religion. (Tremendous applause.)
"No man more than I is sensible of the poetic beauty of the holy altars of the church of God. No man’s nature, I think, can thrill more than mine at the poetic touch of the harmonies of the church of God. No man’s nature, I think, is more than mine attuned to the mystic thrill that pervades the atmosphere of the temple of the Most High. And yet I had been a false teacher and preacher if I had not taught, as I have taught, that the walls of the temple, the painted windows and the marble altar, and the magnificent organ pouring contrition from its notes of gold, were at the most but mere signs and symbols and remembrances, and helps, of and to spiritual things; if I had not taught, as I have taught, that even the forests are good temples, and that all the voices and songs and sights of nature are full of religion, and that the essence of religion can never be confined to temples, or to ceremonies, or to creeds, or to sacraments, and that creeds and sacraments and temples and ceremonies have no value except as signs and symbols and evidences of spiritual things. (Applause.)
"And therefore I feel it no sacrilege, I can see nothing unworthy in preaching with all our best energies, with whatever eloquence and pathos and learning we may command, even from the stage of the theater on the blessed Sabbath evening, the fatherhood of God and the brotherhood in Christ. (Applause.) And even if, in the midst of the touching, solemn and eternal truths, even while seeking to fasten the attention of men upon the eternal verities, even the merry song and the innocent jest should be interpolated, I think that still it is a good thing. I believe that it is well for us to bring all the resources of eloquence, of oratory and music and wit and humor into the service of religion. (Applause.) And while I am willing enough to confess that in the sacred stillness and the soft solemnity of God’s temple, in the presence of the holy altar of sacrifice, our humor were perhaps out of place, I cannot but think that it is a good thing to find occasionally some other platform from which we may discourse the sublimest truths of religion, and not find it amiss even to interpolate an innocent jest as an illustration of spiritual things. (Applause.)
"But at the same time it were unworthy of our holy cause, it were doing violence to its sacred ensign, if our purpose were not a most serious and most determined one. If we may with the ancients say ‘What shall forbid me to tell the truth laughing?’ we should remember that the jest or innocent recreation should be but a means toward an end; that we may the better enforce a truth, or by innocent relaxation but stiffen our nerves and intensify our energies to take up again the ensign, to renew the battle on the morrow, to continue the march until we shall have achieved a perfect victory." (Great and long continued applause.)
W.T. Croasdale being introduced, said he had not come to make a speech, but to read a few letters that had been handed to him concerning a matter that particularly concerned his hearers. A paper that had been started during the political canvass of last fall, largely through the contributions of working men and trades unions had lately fallen into the hands of the socialistic labor party. A number of young men dependent upon their own exertions for a livelihood, had consequently taken a noble resolution, which a number of their friends thought should be made known in some way to the members of the Anti-poverty society. He therefore read the following:
THE LEADER OFFICE
NEW YORK, Aug. 27, 1887.
To the Board of Trustees of the Leader Cooperative Association: Gentlemen—You intrusted me, last December, with the city editorship of the Leader, instructing me to be honest and impartial between all the divisions of organized labor, and to be, at the same time, true to the principles of the united labor party.
Circumstances have arisen which make it impossible for me to carry on the work, as a journalist, you then imposed upon me.
The Leader has ceased to be the organ of the united labor party. It has become the representative and the advocate of another party and of other principles, with which I have no sympathy.
I therefore hand you back the trust you gave me.
John P. Foley, City Editor.
Letters of similar tenor were also read from the rest of the city staff, Messrs. Joseph W. Parker, James Kirker Bagley, Frank Cahill, W.E. Dougherty, A.H. Ballard, J. Edgar Burner and Thomas F. Donohue.
Mr. James Barclay next addressed the meeting. He discoursed for some minutes on proposed palliatives for the ills of society, and then said: "I realize that first of all we must have access to the forces of nature. I do not believe that the great Creator formed and fashioned a planet and sent it twirling around the sun and then deeded it to one man or any body of men." (Applause.)
The collection of the evening amounted to $184.72.
It was announced that Dr. McGlynn and Henry George would address the next Sunday meeting of this society.
Where It Goes.
On page 279 of Cairnes’ "Political Economy" (Harper Brothers, publishers, 1874), occurs the following, which, coming from one of the most distinguished of the later English orthodox economists, would furnish a good and convenient motto for banner, transparencies, etc.:
"The large addition to the wealth of the country has gone neither to profits, nor to wages, nor yet to the public at large, but to swell a fund ever-growing even while its proprietors sleep—the rent roll of the owners of the soil."
A Compliment from the Farmers.
KANSAS CITY, Mo.—At a recent meeting of the Farmers’ Highway society of this city, Henry George was unanimously elected an honorary member, the resolution reciting that the honor was conferred "on account of his patient, wise, thorough and energetic services in behalf of the masses of farmers and people of this country." The object of the society is to advocate the government administration of railways. [End Col. 5, p. 2]
A California Paper Tells a Story, but Fails to See the Moral of It—What Young Americans May Expect who Go West with Pluck and Industry, and Nothing Else.
San Francisco Examiner.
James Gleason, aged twenty-two years, resided with his parents on a farm near Ellingworth, Chautauqua county, New York, but becoming tired of the monotony of his life, decided to come west. For this purpose he was given money by his father, and after a tedious trip he landed in Tucson, Arizona, having $25 of his money remaining. He had never learned a trade, and found it very difficult to get employment in the territory. His struggles lasted for some three months in that city, the young man earning an occasional dollar at odd work, but meanwhile his scanty funds had been sinking, and he could see nothing but eventual starvation by remaining, while there was hope for him, he thought, on this side of the Colorado desert.
He had $9 of his money remaining, but between Tucson and Los Angeles was a wide stretch of 500 miles, mostly desert, and, with the exception of section hands along the railroad, perfectly innocent of population. By paying $3 to the brakeman he managed to ride on freight trains as far as Texas hill, sixty-two miles east of Yuma, where he was discovered by the conductor and forced from the train. There his luck deserted him. Abandoned in the desert, almost without money, wholly inexperienced in the knowledge of beating trains, and without the disposition to do so, there was nothing to do but walk the remaining 320 miles through to the City of Angels.
Taking a couple of wine bottles from the side of the railroad, he filled them with water, tied them together, hung then over his shoulder, and started on his long tramp for civilization. At the end of his second day he landed in Yuma, already footsore and weary. Here another effort was made to find work, but without success.
At last there came a day when life and death hung evenly in the balance. Young Gleason had started for a walk from one section house to another rather late for such a trip in such a climate. This distance was eight miles. It was almost 10 o’clock when he neared the station, and, seeing the building so close, he raised the bottle to his lips and moistened them with his last drop of water. There was plenty more to be had in only a few moments’ walk! But horror! As he drew near he saw too plainly evidences of desertion. He gazed into the cistern, but no water was there. It was a life and death struggle. Eight miles more to walk with the very heat of a burning furnace pouring down upon his head. He started on, but every step forward cost a struggle. His lips broke open and the blood oozed out. His tongue was so swollen he could barely breathe.
For a moment he sat down on the ties, but he realized that a stupor was coming on him.
Life! It was a precious word, and he rose to his feet and pressed on. About noon, reeling about almost crazy, he came to the section house and drank deeply of the abundant water.
Until now he had had little trouble in buying food at the section houses. But here they at first refused to sell. He had $2 left. Finally he gave one of these for what he could eat, and it was considerable.
The next two days he lived in comparative luxury on his remaining dollar, having a meal each day.
The third day, however, being too independent to beg, and having no money with which to buy, he ate nothing. After his day’s fast his scruples were somewhat deadened, and on asking for aid he was given the only thing at hand—a can of tomatoes.
The next day, which was the eleventh since being forced from the cars at Texas hill, was Sunday, and coming to a dairy ranch he applied to the only person on the place—a workingman—for something to eat. The house was locked and the only thing he had was a pan of milk, which was greedily drank. On the night of the thirteenth day, after untold misery, the young man landed in Los Angeles. His health was nearly wasted, and, too proud to send home for money, his struggles were by no means ended. On his long trip his clothes had become dirty and ragged, and his appearance was such that no one would have employed him even had his condition permitted of hard work. At last he was forced to leave the city to find food, and started up the coast. After long wanderings and many hardships he landed in San Francisco.
Ruined in health, but with spirit yet unconquered, Gleason declared to the reporter that he would yet find a foothold in the state; and with such dauntless spirit it cannot be doubted that, despite his bad appearance and debilitation, he is yet on the royal road to a decent living.
Stumbled on the Truth.
NEW YORK, Aug. 29.—It is funny to see how men sometimes stumble on the truth. Robert P. Porter in his book, "Free Trade Folly," after proving the miserable condition of the English workingmen, says: "It has been shown in the east end that about one-fifth of the children went to school without having any breakfast, while the ‘penny dinners’ had failed because the poorer children could not procure the necessary money. The average wages of these classes are from $3.40 to $3.90 a week, and much of this sum is spent in rent." And he ascribes this misery to free trade! Mr. Porter makes the mistake in his book of putting on the back of free trade the misery and wretchedness produced by high rents and the exclusion of English men from their natural inheritance.
I sincerely hope that such an able and honest man as Mr. Porter will see his mistake and lend his energies to the advancement of a plan from which infinitely more is to be hoped than from any "protection" panacea.
That Platform Makes Converts.
JAMESTOWN, N.Y.—Almost the sole topic of conversation among the labor organizations here is the proceedings of the Syracuse convention. The plank declaring for the abolition of all taxes on industry and the imposition of a tax on land values finds ready acceptance. Rev. Henry Frank, Congregationalist, has written a very strong letter in support of our doctrine to the editor of the Journal, and the Weekly Democrat publishes a favorable editorial. THE STANDARD is doing a good work. I am much gratified and encouraged to see what progress has been made here within the past few months. I am happy to say that I was the first reader which THE STANDARD had in this town.
NEW YORK.—I write to offer a suggestion. It is that one of the poets of the movement compose some spirited verses to be sung to the air of the chorus runs:
One wide river, one wide river to Jordan,
One wide river, one wide river to cross.
It is a grand air and especially adapted to be intoned by a multitude of voices.
J.F. [End Col. 6, p. 2]
QUERIES AND ANSWERS.
When Fred Rippel, through last week’s STANDARD, expressed dissatisfaction with the land value tax because "there are some very rich people who without working could live upon interest, which, like wages, would be higher than now if land values were taxed away," he had in mind the economic truth that wages and interest rise as rent falls and fall as rent rises, from which he inferred that people who have unjustly grown rich through special privileges would be able to perpetrate their wealth by means of interest and thus live by the labor of others without working themselves. This is an important question. No able man ought to live by labor of others, and whoever does must be classified either as a dependent or a parasite—a beggar or a thief. It makes no difference, however, whether the fortune that enables him to levy tribute upon labor was honestly or dishonestly acquired—whether it was earned by its possessor or accumulated by means of special privileges. The real question is whether, land being free, anyone’s fortune can be increased and perpetuated at the expense of other people. It is not even a question of whether a man can live without working, as Mr. Rippel puts it, for if Hodge should discover a method of living without working no one could complain of Hodge’s idleness, provided his method did not take away any of the earnings of other men.
The theory of interest as propounded by Mr. George has been more severely and plausibly criticized than any other phase of the economic problem as he presents it; but I have yet to see a criticism that does not proceed upon a misconception of what interest is. Mr. Rippel, for example, clearly has borrowing and lending exclusively in mind, and supposes an unearned bonus for a loan, whereas interest on borrowed capital is merely incidental to real interest, and instead of being a bonus is a product of the loan. Borrowing and lending might cease (and if land were free, I believe it would in great degree), but interest would remain.
The element of time is important and valuable in production. The laborer who has capital ready when it is wanted, and thus, by saving time in making it, increases production, will get and ought to get some consideration—higher wages if you choose, or interest, as we call it—just as the skillful printer who sets 1,500 ems an hour will get more for an hour’s work than the less skillful printer who sets only 1,000 ems. In the one case greater power due to skill, and in the other greater power due to capital, produce greater results in a given time; and in neither cased is the increased compensation a deduction from the earnings of other men.
Suppose a natural spring free to all, and that Hodge carries a pail of water from it to a place where he can build a fire and boil the water. Having hung a kettle and poured the water into it, and arranged the fuel and started the fire, he has by his labor set natural forces at work in a certain direction; and they are at work for him alone, because without his previous labor they would not be at work in that direction at all. Now he may go to sleep, or run off and play, or amuse himself in any way that he pleases; and when an hour—a period of time—shall have elapsed, he will have, instead of a pail of cold water, a pot of boiling water. Is there no difference in value between that boiling water and the cold water of an hour before? Would he exchange the pot of boiling water for a pail of cold water, even though the cold water were in the pot and the fire started? Of course not, and no one would expect him to. And yet between the time when the fire is started and the time when the water boils he does not work. To what then, is that difference in value due? Is it not clearly due to the element of time? Why does Hodge demand more than a pail of cold water for the pot of boiling water if it is not that the ultimate object of his original labor—the making of tea, for example—is nearer complete than it was an hour before, and that an even exchange of boiling water for cold water would delay him an hour, to which he will not submit unless he is paid for it? And why is Podge willing to give more than a pail of cold water for the pot of boiling water, if it is not that it gives him the benefit of an hour’s time in production, and thus increases his productive power very much as a greater skill would. And if Podge gives to Hodge more than a pail of cold water for the pot of boiling water, does Podge lose anything that he had, or Hodge gain anything that he had not? No. The effect of the transaction is a transfer for a consideration of the advantage in point of time that Hodge had, to Podge who had it not, as if a skillful compositor should, if he could, sell his skill to a less skillful member of the craft.
There are certain products of labor upon which natural forces operate to increase their utility, and consequently their value. Such are live stock, fruit trees, corn, and so on. Labor may be devoted to these products from time to time as they grow, but they also improve between times just as the water boiled while Hodge slept. This increase is interest. There are other products which do not improve except as labor is applied to them. Such are furniture, cloth, iron, and so on. Upon the utility and value of these time has no effect. Labor may improve them, but the instant labor stops improvement stops. Such forms of capital, therefore, do not produce interest, and if it were not for exchange would not command interest. But since exchange causes a constant tendency toward equalization of values, forms of capital that are naturally non-productive come to bear interest in exchange at the expense not of labor, but of productive forms of capital.
If Hodge worked six days at inclosing and plowing a piece of ground and sowing it with wheat, and Podge worked the same six days at making shovels, the sowed field and the shovels would at the end of the six days, other things being the same, [End Col. 1, p. 3] exchange equally; they would be of the same value. But if Podge kept his shovels out of the circle of exchanges, storing them away, and neither he nor Hodge did any more work, Hodge’s sowed field would be worth more at the end of a month than Podge’s shovels. The grain would have sprouted and grown, while the shovels would be just what they were before. If, however, Podge had made his shovels for a market which it required a month’s time to reach, and had shipped them, the goods he received in return at the end of a month would, after paying expenses, exchange equally for Hodge’s field of growing grain; they would have increased in value according to the time required to complete the exchange. This illustrates the principle, which is that the element of time adds to the value of labor products when they are in process of growth or exchange; and this added value justly belongs to him who has so given direction to natural forces as to enable the lapse of time to increase the utility of what he produces.
"A light seeker" who writes from Cincinnati, puts the proposition in the form of the following question: "If A allows B to use his reserved power—or capital—which, in connection with B’s labor, earns twenty per cent, is not A’s capital or reserved power an active agent in securing that result, and should not due credit, in the shape of interest, be given to its owner, A?" How could it be otherwise? If A uses the capital himself, it is clear that he is entitled to the whole twenty per cent; and it is also clear that the twenty per cent is in part his wages for current labor, and in part the benefit he derives from lapse of time in the use of his capital. Now, if B uses the capital, by what process of reasoning can he be held to earn more than the wages for the current labor? How does he acquire title to that increase of the capital that is due to lapse of time, and which would not have resulted at all but for the previous labor of A in giving a direction to the natural forces? Obviously, if capital does yield an increase apart from the increase that current labor directly produces, and it certainly does as in the case of growing grain or cattle, the producer of the capital as against its user is entitled to that increase.
Interest pure and simple is the increase that capital yields irrespective of borrowing and lending. But inasmuch as the owner of capital can by using it acquire something more than wages, namely, the natural increase of the capital, he will not lend capital unless he may approximately acquire that increase. And inasmuch as what he acquires is the real increase of his capital and not a deduction from anyone’s wages, it is perfectly just that he should have it.
Let us recur to the boiling water illustration. Hodge has the cold water in the pot, and, having started the fire, is about to go to sleep to wait for the water to boil, when Podge wants to borrow Hodge’s capital for an hour just as it stands. What would Hodge require and what ought Podge to give at the end of the hour? If he merely returns the capital as he got it, namely, a pot of water arranged for the process of boiling, he will lose and Podge will gain the benefit of an hour’s time. As the question of interest is sometimes discussed this would make no difference, for it is assumed that Hodge does not need the capital at present while Podge does, and, therefore, that it is a benefit to Hodge to have Podge use the capital for him, and by returning the same thing in point of value to in effect preserve Hodge’s capital from decay. But such cases are exceptional. Hodge might be glad to do that with wealth that he has in hand for consumption, but not with capital that he is using in production. For example, a householder having more furniture that he can at present use, will be glad to lend it on condition that furniture in just as good condition be returned to him; but if a furniture dealer lends furniture he must have as much profit as he could realize if he retained his stock. In production time is an important consideration. Hodge wants his boiling water just as soon as he can get it. To him, as a producer, an hour lost is wealth lost. Therefore he will not make a free gift to Podge of the benefit of the hour which his capital gives him. If Podge wants to borrow Hodge’s pot of water which will boil in an hour, he must agree to pay back at the end of an hour (no labor being required meantime) not a pot of water in condition for boiling, but a pot of boiling water. If Podge gives less he gets for nothing an advantage that justly belongs to Hodge.
So I should say to Walter Manning of Troy, N.Y., who asks whether bank discount can be called economic interest, and whether in fact it is not a tax on production, that it is economic interest.
Podge has worked six days in the making of shovels for shipment to a distant market. His shovels will now exchange for Hodge’s newly sowed field of grain, and if he waits a month when the returns for his shipment of shovels to arrive in the form of foreign products, these products will exchange for Hodge’s more valuable field of growing grain. But if he wants some one else to wait the month instead of waiting himself, he must give up the benefit of that time, and be satisfied to take the present value of his product. Here the bank steps in as an intermediary between producers, and by giving to Podge the present value of his shovels, acquires his right to the greater value of what, in a month’s time, they will have when exchanged for. In this transaction Podge loses nothing, and the bank gains nothing more than the natural increase of what it has, in effect, bought from Podge.
Of course there is a discount and discount. I am speaking of a legitimate economic banking transaction. But frequently bank discounts are nothing more than taxation, due to the choking up of free exchange, in consequence of which an institution that controls the common medium of exchange can impose arbitrary conditions upon producers who must immediately use that common medium.
And now, will interest tend to perpetuate fortunes so as to enable their owners [End Col. 2, p. 3] to live by the labor of others, or even to live without labor, as Mr. Rippel fears?
If a man possessed of great capital could lend it, and receive its earnings as distinguished from the earnings of the labor that used it, his wealth might be perpetuated, not at the expense of labor, but without labor on his part. But when wealth is perpetuated and increased by lending, it is chiefly through public debts. Whoever buys an interest in a public debt, or what is the same in essence, in a monopoly created by the public, may enjoy a perpetual income without working and without increasing the general wealth. But not so of commercial loans. These require labor on the part of the lender, and may be efficient agencies in exchange, which is a form of production. If land were free and public debts abolished, such loans would be about the only ones, and as they would increase wealth by facilitating exchange the interest they bore would be no burden upon labor.
Or, a man with a large capital might invest it in production, and, employing laborers to manage the enterprise, enjoy an income from his labor without working. But, while this might enhance his fortune, it would give him no advantage over men whose wages were limited only by what they produced, and whose capital was as productive as his own.
And whether he lent his capital or put it into a business that he did not manage, it would tend to dissipation on account of its magnitude. Countless influences would operate against its perpetuation. The disposition of those to whom he made loans to procure their own capital, or of those whom he employed to work for themselves, would constantly menace his great fortune. Fortunes then would be like houses of cards, which are secure enough while small, but become more and more shaky as their size increased. Now the reverse is true; fortunes become more secure as they grow.
For an illustration take the Astor family. If the single tax were in full operation that family would be very wealthy in houses, although they would own land values no more. They could get an income from these houses only by renting them. But the disposition of men to have a home would constantly tend to diminish demand for leases of Astor dwellings and to force the Astors to sell. In time they would not find it profitable to own more houses than they required for use, and what they sold their houses for would have to be invested in building more houses to sell or promoting some other productive enterprise, unless they suffered it to lie idle and from idleness to diminish. And if they decided to devote it to productive uses they would be obliged to work to keep it active; and despite all they could do, and notwithstanding that capital generally was more productive than before, their unwieldy fortune would be disintegrated by the influence of an ever increasing multitude of small fortunes. Now the Astors control something that no one can produce, land; and through that they may perpetuate and increase their wealth. But if land were free they could control nothing that could not be produced as it was required.
But even if great fortunes might be perpetuated, that would not be a matter of vital importance. It is not great fortunes that are oppressive, but the power that great fortunes give under an unjust system of land tenure of depriving men of their natural inheritance. And if when the vital wrong is abolished it should appear that the great fortunes could perpetuate themselves, and that they menaced individual liberty, it would be a mere detail to terminate them by a probate tax, which, like the land value tax, is an impost that does not tend to interfere with industry or check production. A probate tax to follow the land value tax might be a good thing, but without the land value tax it would be useless.
And withal, it must not be forgotten that in point of real wealth, after deducting the value of monopoly privileges, there are very few great fortunes.
TITUS K. SMITH, New York.—Read chapter 3, book 3 of "Progress and Poverty."
F.W.G., Brooklyn.—If you are really anxious for light upon the subject, read "Protection or Free Trade?" by Mr. George. It is impossible to enter into the subject here as fully as your question demands.
M., Hamilton, O.—There is no data from which you can ascertain how much tax is now derived from land, and how much from accumulated wealth including improvements.
JOHN H. FINN.—Cannot give you the information you ask for.
E.W.J., Harrisburg, Pa.—We propose to abolish all taxes except the tax on land values, and to increase that until it takes from the land owner whatever advantage he may derive from ownership of better land than other people own or use, and in some form to give to him his honest share of whatever advantage other people derive from ownership of better land than he owns. Mr. Wallace proposes to make the whole community the landlord by abolishing titles and compensating present owners.
HUGO BILGRAM, Philadelphia , Pa.—If the economic rent of a piece of land is $600, its probable exchange value (the current rate of interest being four per cent and the effect of speculation being eliminated) would be $15,000. If taxes at the rate of two per cent were assessed upon the full exchange value of the land, exclusive of improvements, the tax would be $300, which, deducted from the rent of $600, makes the net rent $300. This would reduce the exchange value of the land to $7,500. A two per cent tax on that would be $150, which, deducted from the gross rent of $600, makes the net rent $450, and raises the exchange value of the land to $11,250. A two per cent tax on that would be $225, which makes the net rent $375, and lowers the exchange value of the land to $9,375, and so on until the exchange value reaches an equilibrium at $10, 000, when a two per cent tax would be $200, and the net rent $400. Therefore $10,000 is the exchange value of land renting for $600 when interest is four per cent and the land value tax two, provided all disturbing factors, such as speculation, changing rates of taxation, etc., are eliminated. I suggest the calculation, not because it has any value practically, but to satisfy your curiosity, since you appear to be under the influence of the figure habit. It is necessary to remind you, perhaps, that this would be only an analysis of the mode by which the equilibrium of exchange value is reached. In practice there is no perceptible process, but a jump. When [End Col. 3, p. 3] taxes are imposed on land values the level of values is found at once. It is the actual or potential rent minus the tax capitalized at current rates of interest, subject, however, to disturbance by the influence of speculation. In the case you assume $200 would go to the people and $400 to the land owner.
TREMONT KIPP, Columbus, O.—(1) We cannot tell what percentage of New York’s population owns land. (2) Nor what percentage owns vacant land. (3) The single tax would reduce rents.
J.N. WHITMAN, Fulton, N.Y.—As to equality of taxation read "Progress and Poverty," book 8, chapter 3, subdivision 4.
N.J. JENKS, Jenksville, Tioga County, N.Y.—Read "Progress and Poverty," and give particular attention to subdivision 4 of chapter 3 of book 8. The land value tax will not only lift the burden of taxation somewhat from small farmers; it will lift it almost entirely. The bulk of the small farmer’s taxes are taxes on labor products—his improvements, stock, products and articles of consumption, not on the value of his land. Read "Land and Labor library," Nos. 6 and 12.
D.W. HOAN, Waukesha, Wis.—(1) By the rental value of land is meant what it would rent for if unimproved. (2) If your farm will rent for $300, it would not follow that your tax should be $300; but if unimproved land in or near to your farm, which was just as fertile and just as well located as the land of your farm, would rent for a certain sum per acre you should be taxed that sum per acre for your farm. If your farm rents for $300, you must deduct the rental value of the improvements, and the remainder is what your tax ought to be.
A READER, New Britain, Conn.—(1) If a number of persons locate in a place and erect houses, it will tend to enhance the value of the land by making it desirable for other people to come there, and consequently the land tax will increase. (2) If there is unimproved land in a community, the basis of taxation for all land will be the value of that which is unimproved, provided it is as desirable as the other.
J.C. ROSHEIT of Albany, who wanted some "mud" to build on, and to whom "Knickerbocker" offered some "mud" more than 100 miles from where Mr. Rosheit works, comes back at "Knickerbocker" in this style: "There is plenty of mud here, and also plenty of taxes. It is the taxes that prevent me from building, not the want of mud. The mud owner wants $1,000 for a lot of mud that cost him $300. I was willing to give it, but before doing so I sat down and figured, and found that the house would cost $2,000, making $3,000 for a house and lot, on which I would have to pay taxes. When the taxes were paid I would not have three per cent on my investment. If Mr. George’s system of taxation were in force, Mr. K., I would have to pay taxes only on $1,000, and then it would pay me to build. You must have lots of mud, Mr. K., if you can give it away as you propose, and I hope you are good enough Christian to thank the Lord in your prayers every night for making so much mud for you. Perhaps it is the tax on houses that has kept you from building. If so, my heart goes out to you, and I pray the Lord to hasten the day when there shall be no taxes on houses. My dear Mr. K., I am sorry that you do not read THE STANDARD oftener. You say that your labor is dirtier than mine. Do you mean to imply that mine is dirty? How can it be, when my business is mostly with soap—soap all the time? My brain is bubbling with soap. If you have lots of timber on your land, as you say, I will spend my vacation on your place and help you build a house. My address is at THE STANDARD office, that glorious paper that is trying for you and me to clear the way so we can build our two houses. That is the reason why I belong to the Anti-poverty society—to abolish my poverty and help abolish yours. You know you are house poor and I am land poor, but the Lord has been good to you in respect to land, and perhaps you will help yourself in respect to a house."
LOUIS F. POST
TO A WAYNE COUNTY FARMER
Dr. Wood Writes a Plain, Practical Letter to His Cousin—Figures That Tell Their Own Story—Less Taxation, Increased Demand and Higher Prices Are What the United Labor Party Offer to the Farmer.
MY DEAR COUSIN—Some time ago I wrote you, asking certain questions about your farm. Below are the questions and your replies:
1. Q.—What is the size of your farm? A.—Eighty-five acres.
2. Q.—What is its actual selling value? A.—$75 per acre; total $6,375.
3. Q.—For how much is it assessed? A.—$51 per acre, or $4,335 in all.
4. Q.—Amount of taxes of all kinds? A.—$46.
5. Q.—How much of the total value of your farm is due to natural values and public improvements, like the railroad, canal, growth of population, etc.? A.—$875.
6. Q.—And how much of the total value is due to your labor in making improvements of all kinds. A—$5,500.
You are a working farmer and have struggled long and hard to be able to call the farm on which you live your own. It has been only by the most persistent industry and the strictest economy that you have shaken off the mortgage burden and are now enabled during the short intervals of toil to sit under your own vine and fig tree and enjoy the fruits of your labor.
You have doubtless heard of the convention of the united labor party, and have read their platform and the comments of the old party press upon it. No doubt you are troubled by the declaration in that platform that we propose to place all taxation upon land values, especially as the old party paper you have been accustomed to read says that it will raise the taxes of the farmer and in other ways oppress him. You are led to believe by that paper that the united labor party is composed of a small class of discontented men whose only following is in the cities, and that it will soon die from lack of anything to keep it alive. All that is a campaign lie.
This party has come to stay.
There are no people more interested in the welfare of our party than the farmers. They will profit by its success and be injured by its downfall.
Asking justice, we mean to do no injustice.
There are several reasons why the farmers of New York should earnestly support the principles of the united labor party.
First, we believe the farmer is taxed too highly. Therefore we propose to reduce his taxes.
By taxing the land value of his farm and not taxing the improvements on it. Figure it out for yourself. Your house, barns, fences, orchards, wells, stock, tools, and drains are all improvement value. What would it take to replace them? Your farm to-day of eighty-five acres you wrote me you would consider worth $6,375. Take from that all the improvement values, and how much is left? You have stated yourself that the value of the improvements on your farm is $5,500. Then you would be taxed only on a land value tax of $875.
You pay to-day $46 taxes. How much would you pay under our plan? Suppose we should tax you up to the full rental value of [End Col. 4, p. 3] the bare land, and, as money can be had to-day for four per cent on absolute security, the rental value of your land could not be more than the interest on the sum it was worth; four per cent would be the highest rate at which we could tax you. Four per cent on $875 is $35.
Thus, the united labor party taxing you on the full rental value of the land of your farm would lower your taxes $11 per year. We would make you pay twenty-five per cent less taxes than you do now. Is that going to hurt you?
The next reason why you should support the platform of our party is that we will increase the market for the products of your farm.
There are hundreds and thousands, yes, hundreds of thousands, of valuable lots in our cities which are not used, but held for speculation, increasing by their withholding the rent of the lots that are used, and diminishing the opportunities for the laboring men to get work.
There are thousands of unemployed men in the cities who, because of their lack of work, cannot buy bread, flour, meat, fruits, clothing, etc., and because they cannot buy so much as they wish the products of your farm are in excess and you must sell at a price that makes the wages of your own labor low.
Set these unemployed men at work, give them good wages, and they will buy your corn and wheat, your eggs and bacon, your pork and your beef, the wool from the backs of your sheep, and the flesh of your lambs faster than you can furnish them. They will do this because these valuable vacant lots are by their value proved to be wanted for use, and the tax upon land values will force these owners to bring them into use by improving them. The builder, the carpenter, the mason, the painter, the plasterer and the day laborer will go to work. In the same way this increase in the use of the valuable vacant lots in the cities will call on the lumber merchant, the hardware dealer, the glazier, the furnisher, in fact, upon almost every trade and profession, and all these can use more of your products, can cut thicker slices of bread and put more butter on them, and you will be called upon to furnish that bread and butter. You will be in better shape to ask a higher price and they will be able and willing to pay it.
Will all this injure you farmers?
We propose in our platform the control of the highways of commerce, the means of transportation—the railroads and canals. We will carry your products to market for you as cheaply as it can possibly be done. There will be no watered stock which must receive dividends. There will not be added to the freight of your products a little on every pound of grain you sell and on every pound of merchandise you buy to pay the dividends on that stock, as now. We will do away with the taxation of the farmer by monopoly. Will that hurt the farmers?
Everything we propose to do will help the working farmer because he is a working man. Because all he gets he earns by the sweat of his brow. We cannot help the working man anywhere without helping the farmer.
As the son and grandson of a working farmer; as one whose first earnings were got while working by the month on your farm; as one who appreciates the kind treatment, prompt pay and pleasant home which he received from you, I endeavor to point out to your what is for your interest, and urge you to support the platform of the united labor party.
WM. C. WOOD, M.D.
An Honest Political Movement.
In an editorial under the above heading the Brooklyn Standard-Union reviews the proceedings of the Syracuse convention, and says:
The movement is a thoroughly honest one, and its promoters are not afraid to express themselves boldly on any subject. They believe in the old republican idea of free speech, free action and a fair count. No attempt is made to suppress the discussion of any subject because debate on it may have a tendency to drive away some votes from the party. The united labor men drove out the socialists because the great majority of them do not believe in socialism. It is conceded that the socialists are splendidly organized, and that they control thousands of votes in New York and Brooklyn, but the united labor men did not hesitate about doing what they believe to be right. A compromise might easily have been patched up. The socialists were more than willing. They offered to disband "the socialistic labor party," and promised to subscribe to every plank in the platform of the united labor party. In the same relation, with a considerable number of votes depending on the result, what would either of the older parties have done? There is only too much reason to believe that they would have dickered; the democratic politicians certainly would. But the united labor men wavered not for a moment. They did not charge the socialists with dishonestly; they simply told them that their doctrines put into practice were inimical to the spirit of American institutions, and that settled it. And so it was with every other matter dealt with by the convention. Free discussion and open voting was the rule. Resolutions which seemed to be in the general interest of the community, as the delegates understood it, were adopted without any reference to their present power of attracting votes. The party of united labor means to be a party of moral ideas. Its land taxation theories may not hold water, and its financial fancies may be tainted with unsoundness, but its honesty of purpose is undoubted, and its platform is not without features calculated to attract men whose interest in politics is confined to an earnest and patriotic desire to promote the progress and prosperity of the people.
A Pro-Poverty Dilemma.
Rev. George C. Lorimer, formerly of Tremont temple and now of Chicago, does not agree with most social reformers that poverty is a social disease which should be cured. Mr. Lorimer preached lately at the Commonwealth avenue Baptist church, and said that poverty was the source of almost all the progress that has taken place in the world. A little further on Mr. Lorimer said that " the excessive use of intoxicating liquors is one of the great causes of poverty." Are we to conclude from this that Mr. Lorimer regards intemperance as the motive power of progress? He would hardly admit this, and yet if intemperance is the chief cause of poverty, and poverty the chief cause of progress, it is difficult to see what other conclusion could be drawn … We cannot agree with the eloquent preacher that extreme poverty of the masses is a good thing. And evidently he does not agree with himself, or he would not find fault with employers for not paying higher wages.
Wheeling Into Line.
The Henry George club of Baltimore has adopted resolutions declaring that city councils should not grant a franchise for either elevated or underground railroads, but that if either or both are necessary for public accommodations, they should be built and controlled by the city.
Does This Man Realize What He is Saying?
There is a class of the very poor, those who cannot take care of themselves, who belong to every generation, and are not specially to be reckoned with in the discussion of present problems. They are not more numerous among us to-day than they ever were, and are not made better or worse from generation to generation.
Because He Believes in Poverty—for Other People.
Why did not Mr. Ives openly declare that he believed in anti-poverty? [End Col. 5, p. 3]
THE FARMERS’ HIGHWAY SOCIETY.
A copy of the following letter, which is being sent to individual farmers throughout the country, has been sent us by the Farmers’ highway society of Kansas City, Mo., with a request for publication. We make room for it with pleasure:
HEADQUARTERS FARMERS’ HIGHWAY SOCIETY,
ROOM 503, NELSON BUILDING,
KANSAS CITY, Mo., Aug. 20, 1887.
Dear Sir—As temporary chairman of the Farmers’ highway society I am instructed to urge you to send your name to use and cooperate with the organization. First, let me outline its origin, principles and aims.
1. The census of the United States shows that out of a total business population of seventeen millions nine millions are farmers, and out of a total population of sixty millions forty-two millions are perhaps farmers, and their families, together with villagers in agricultural regions, all of whom are dependent almost wholly upon agriculturalists.
2. We pay to the railroads a tribute of from one to three bushels of corn for transporting every bushel that is shipped to the seaboard markets—our sole outlet from restricted home markets. Under the infamous motto which says, "Charge the traffic all that it will bear," the railway barons exact the pound of flesh at every turn, and their tariff rates on food products allow us barely enough surplus to live on during the interim between the seasons that are to again give us the opportunity to harvest for the barons of modern feudalism.
3. The inability to reach the seaboard markets and to return home with a surplus drives us to under-consumption of home product forcing us to be parsimonious. As a result of our condition—that of the robbed—we annually purchase less by hundreds of millions of all articles of home consumption than we ought to be able to do under a fair distribution of the country’s crops. As a further result, we have twenty thousand idle American factories, overstocked warehouses, idle employees in the east, faded carpets, dingy furniture, restricted necessities and mortgages at the west and south.
4. The actual cost of moving freight, if the reports of the American society of railway engineers may be believed, is many hundreds per cent less than present tariff rates. The surplus gained from us goes to pay enormous interest on watered stock investments, princely salaries to railway magnates, and to maintain their iron highways during many hours of idleness, whereas, under proper control, each track would present the appearance of a procession of trains, operated at first cost, for the people.
5. The iron highway—the actual track—must be emancipated from the thralldom of corporate greed. The vast iron thoroughfares that have been sold at the auction block of public legislation are inherently incapable of private ownership, as commercial property, without manifest injustice to all men other than the owners. The highways should be freed from the miserly clutch of the railway kings, and transportation should be maintained at the minimum cost. No princely salaries, no perversion of the highway. No further aggregation of fabulous fortunes and material power by a few corporations, which are corruptly enabled to control commerce, and especially the farmers’ markets; imposing unequal burdens upon the mass of Americans, robbing the people of this country of the benefits of the scientific application of steam, and taking the fruits of our labors to the foreigners—ignorant of our wants and customs—who own seventy per cent of the six thousand millions invested in American railways.
6. These facts, among other things, led, more than a year ago, to the formation of this society. Freed from politics, supreme in its own sphere, in search of the simple truth, and knowing the strength of union, it now makes known its mission to the world. The time is ripe when, for the better development of its wealth, the wiser direction of its industries, the welfare of its people and the suppression of mobs, anarchy and lawlessness, the government—state and national—must take from the railway barons the reins of power. Let the remedy be applied before "the barefooted militia from the hills pounce down and tear up the tracks."
7. This is an economic educational society and not a political party. We desire to disseminate important information on these vital questions that we may learn who our masters are and how to abolish the evils that underlie the trying industrial depressions that have afflicted us with singular regularity ever since the first private railway was built in this country.
8. The representative farmers who receive this letter are invited to correspond with the president at Kansas City relative to further particulars. The organization of a vast farmers’ convention, to meet in Kansas City some time this fall, is one of the questions for immediate solution. Many farmers in Missouri, Kansas and Nebraska are already in the field. It is hoped that no one will fail to acknowledge the receipt of this letter and that a majority will inquire further with a view of becoming active members. We are already quite well organized, but we need corresponding and active members yet.
By order of the Executive Committee,
LEIGH H. IRVINE, Temporary Chairman.
Who Owns Detroit?
Detroit Evening News.
Certainly not small property owners. Tax Receiver Karrer’s figures prove this, if nothing else. Out of 180,000 inhabitants in this city, 19,128 have, by reason of being taxpayers direct, been compelled to go to the tax receiver’s office. When they got there 3,128 paid nearly three times as much as 16,000 others, and thirty persons paid one-eighth of the entire tax. The exact figures are: Thirty persons paid $268,929: some 2,128 paid $1,035,038, and 16,000 paid $395,163. If those holding property in different parts of the city, and who have received a separate receipt for each description, were only counted once instead of as many times as they hold separate receipts, the actual number of property owners as indicated by the tax receipts would be very perceptibly lessened. Doubtless the exact figures would not vary much from 18,000. But if, in addition to this, were those pieces of property now mortgaged put on the tax rolls in the name of the mortgagees who really have the titles, the number of real property owners would be still further reduced. And yet another factor must be recognized before the actual number of property owners can be determined. Many are buying real estate on contracts which require that they pay the taxes. So their names are on the tax rolls, though they have no deeds at all, and, in the majority of cases, have only a very small and very insecure interest in the property. Deduct these from the total and it is doubtful if there could be mustered 10,000 real property owners in the city of Detroit.
Notwithstanding the large sale of lots to those buying to build, the fact is apparent that the proportion of property owners to those owning nothing is decreasing. The steadily increasing price of land here, as in all other growing cities, is putting land out of the reach of our citizens, and Detroit is no longer a place where any considerable percentage of the workingmen own their own cottages. The employing and mercantile classes must in the future be the principal real estate purchasers.
Such a condition of affairs is not for the best. A tenant population means a discontented community. The possession of property, and particularly the possession of real estate, by the wage receiving class, is a sure preventive of such scenes as lighted Pittsburg in 1877, and shocked Chicago in 1886. The prosperity of a city should be measured not so much by the price per foot front of its lots as by the contentment of its inhabitants. And content is not to be found in tenements.
It Doesn’t Take Much to Satisfy the Democracy.
Wichita, Kan., Beacon
The George party claims the land, the prohibitionists have a first lien on the water and the republicans are building Blaine castles in the air. Meanwhile the democracy is content with its place in the confidence and affection of the people. [End Col. 6, p. 3]
HENRY GEORGE, Editor and Proprietor.
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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 wealth 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.
CHRISTIANITY VS. POVERTY.
The article by Dr. Pullman, which we reproduce from the Methodist Review, has evidently been written with a desire to place before the members of a great religious body a terse and unprejudiced statement of the arguments for and against the great reform whose accomplishment seems destined to be the crowning glory of the nineteenth century. Dr. Pullman brushes contemptuously aside the false statements and shallow sophistries which constitute the ordinary weapons of the partisans of poverty, and approaches the subject from the standpoint of a man who recognizes the hideous inconsistency of poverty with the gospel of Christ, and is sincerely anxious that it should be abolished.
Dr. Pullman’s attitude seems to be that of a man who has not yet come to a conclusion in his own mind, but who is arranging the arguments on both sides for examination. When he comes to consider the subject judicially, he will see, without difficulty, that the plea for compensation to the so-called owners of land, which evidently [End Col. 1, p. 4] strikes him as the strongest argument against the single tax, is absolutely without foundation.
"There is no advantage," says Dr. Pullman, "in owning a piece of land if the government seizes its entire revenue." This is true; and it conveys the essence of the reform we aim at. There should be no advantage in owning a piece of land beyond that of absolute security for all that labor may produce upon it. Land ownership, under our present system, gives to the land owner an altogether unjustifiable advantage over his fellow men, in that it enables him not only to exact from the latter a tribute or tax for those advantages of position or superior natural opportunities which he himself did nothing to produce, but which are altogether due to the bounty of providence, or the growth of society, but also to exercise an absolute veto power, and allow and forbid at his pleasure his fellow man to work on any terms whatever.
Land by itself produces no revenue. The owner of an acre in Wall street, or of a square league of the most fertile soil in the country, might starve to death for all the revenue his land by itself would produce him. It is not land, but labor applied to land, that produces the revenue which Dr. Pullman hastily imagines comes from land alone. What the land owner really possesses is the power to compel his fellow man to support him in return for the privilege of applying labor to land; or he can, by refusing to allow labor to be applied to land on any terms, compel his fellow man to join the vast throng of unemployed, and aid, by his frantic struggle for the means of existence, to reduce the scale of wages.
If Dr. Pullman will consider the subject with the candor toward which he is evidently inclined, he will see that in permitting land owners to retain the rental value of their lands untaxed, the state is conferring upon a few favored citizens a taxing franchise as against the rest. And when once he reaches a clear comprehension of this truth he will acknowledge that there could be no worse "example in moral or the sovereign state to put before the citizens," and that it conspicuously has not failed "to corrupt the public conscience."
The Christian Union has been publishing a series of articles on "The Modern Tenement House," one of which was reprinted in the last issue of THE STANDARD. A correspondent of the Christian Union objects to the publication of such horrible details, and implies that pleasanter reading would be more acceptable. This is a portion of the Christian Union’s answer:
… We could undoubtedly furnish pleasanter reading for the summer than these realistic descriptions of tenement house life. But pleasant and profitable are not synonymous terms. It was not pleasant to look on the bruised and bleeding traveler; but the Master did not commend the priest and the Levite for passing by on the other side. We would, if we could, hold the picture of the horrible tenement house life underneath the eye of every voter in the Empire state, sleeping or waking, until, haunted by the horrible vision, the community demanded with a voice of thunder from the next legislature such legislative action as might at least ameliorate, if not utterly abolish, this abomination.
Experience has demonstrated beyond all peradventure that the relation of landlord and tenant cannot be left to be determined merely by private contract. The experience of Ireland has proved it; and all England, tory and liberal, has accepted the demonstration. The experience of New York city has demonstrated it; and it is high time that the people of New York state accepted the demonstration. The tenement, as uncleanly in moral as in physical conditions, breeds poverty, vice, crime and contagious diseases. The whole city, the whole state, suffers. Can the foot be gangrened and the head remain clear and well? Am I my brother’s keeper? You are. And so long as your brother and sister live as the denizens of these tenement houses live, and you have a voice which can be raised in protest, and you are silent, you are responsible. The tenant who has grown indifferent to moral and physical foulness, and is content with it, as the sow in the sty, is not the only one who is responsible. The landlord whose criminal greed or whose scarcely less criminal carelessness suffers such tenements to exist is not the only one who is responsible. The community, which has the power to determine the conditions which landlords must observe, is also responsible …
To every reader of the Christian Union whose influence could do something to ameliorate or abolish the dreadful condition of things which Dr. Daniels has described, and to which sensitive souls wish to close their eyes, the Christian Union gives with emphasis Nathan’s message to David: Thou art the man!
In the same issue of his paper, Dr. Lyman Abbott gives, under his own name, a disquisition on that portion of the sermon on the mount in which Christ enjoins His disciples to throw aside all care for their daily wants, to seek the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and to trust their heavenly Father for the rest. And here, curiously enough, Dr. Abbott seems to take somewhat different ground. He says:
In the large field as in the small, he who lives as Christ, only to do good to others—whether by feeding then, as farmer and miller and baker; or clothing them, as cotton planter or wool grower or manufacturer; or healing them, as author or editor or instructor; or administering to their higher moral and spiritual nature, as mother or pastor—and who, taking his parish, large or small, serves it faithfully and well and leaves God to manage the wages question, may not " get on" as well as his more secular neighbor, but at all events he will not be troubled with worry or cares.
This is very much like telling a drowning man not to bother about keeping afloat, but just to swim ashore. For the "wages question," which Dr. Abbott thinks we should "leave God to manage," is the essence, not only of the tenement house problem, but of the wider, deeper problem of fulfilling the teachings of Christ. Men herd in tenement houses because of the insufficiency of wages; men lie and cheat and drag each other backward in the scrambling race for subsistence [End Col. 2, p. 4] because of the greed born of the insufficient wages; and until the "wages question" is settled it will be, as for many a generation it has been, useless to urge men to follow the precepts of Him whose whole gospel rests upon the basis of that equal justice which society by its present attitude toward the "wages question" sets utterly at defiance.
"The destruction of the poor is their poverty." As Dr. Pullman says, "Christianity has never yet succeeded in reaching the abject poor." The problem of the abolition of poverty is the one to which Christian ministers must address themselves if they would hope for any fruition of their teachings. And if Christian ministers will but open their eyes to the observation of facts, they will see how impossible it is, under our present system of monopoly in the gifts of God, for the majority of men to be otherwise than poverty stricken.
Here, for example, is a bit of news from Philadelphia, to which the daily papers devote somewhat less than the amount of space usually given to the chronicling of incident on a base ball ground.
PHILADELPHIA, Aug. 25.—The committee appointed by the anthracite producing companies to arrange the tonnage output for each month met in this city yesterday and made the amount of production for September 3,250,000 tons. It is not believed that there will be any further advance in price on the first of next month. Broken and egg sizes are reported scarce, and pea coal is a drug because of the sharp competition it is meeting in bituminous. The coke trade is active since the resumption of work in the Connellsville region.
Suppose that in the center of Africa the church missionary society should discover a tribe whose magicians, by virtue of some providentially permitted compact with the powers of evil, had acquired the ability to regulate the light and heat of the sun—to make the weather warm or cold, the days long or short, and to bring rain or withhold it at their pleasure. It needs no effort of the imagination to see plainly how society would be constituted in such a tribe. The magicians would be on top, and all the rest of the people would be paying them tribute and homage. And this would be by no means the greatest evil; the supply of heat and sunshine doled out by the magicians would inevitably be very scanty. For the greed of the governing class would induce them to make sunbeams as high priced as possible, while the poverty of the people would force them to use as little as might be of the precious light and heat. The magicians, few in number and highly organized, might very possibly meet together once a month and settle what amount of sunshine should be produced during the next thirty days and at what price it should be doled out to the people; and if a theorizing missionary should urge them to let the sun alone and allow night and day, heat and cold, rain and drought, to follow in their natural order, they would draw terrible pictures of the economic confusion that would result, and probably kill the missionary. "If we overproduce sunshine," they might say, "we shall inevitably break down its price so that our incomes will be diminished; the wages fund will thus be reduced; and after that the whole country will surely go to pot. There are hardly wages enough to keep the people alive now, and if we have to cut them down still more there’ll be an end of industry altogether."
The idea of controlling the supply of sunshine is almost too wildly fantastic for the human imagination. And yet the men who come together once a month to settle how much coal shall be allowed the people of the United State are doing that very thing. Our coal beds are only the sunbeams of a bygone age, stored away in the bowels of the earth by a beneficent Creator while yet man existed only in the divine intention. And the men whom we allow to control these concentrated sunbeams, act with regard to them just as the supposititious African magicians might act with regard to the sun itself. The idea of allowing the American people the amount of coal they need never enters their heads; what they try to do is to supply just that amount of coal—and no more—that the American people can use without breaking down the price. Against the imperative needs of American for American coal, they set their power to furnish Americans with American coal or not, as they please; and the problem they try to solve twelve times a year is how to exact from Americans the largest possible tribute in return for the least possible supply of coal.
The God who made the heavens also made the earth; and He made them both for men to live in. Will the men who claim to be commissioned ministers of God, expounders of His will, pretend that it is no business of theirs to inquire whether the gifts of God to men living on this planet are distributed in accordance with His will or not? Will they tell mankind that the God they represent is careless what injustice may be done in this world, but will make up for it by doing justice in the world to come? Are they not, on the contrary, constant in preaching, to the rich, that the gifts of God are given to them in trust, and that a strict account will be exacted? Is it not their boast that the Christian church is prominent in charity and in urging the wealthy, out of their superfluity, to provide for the necessities of the poor? Seeing that they already preach the beatitude of almsgiving, is it too much to ask them also to study and declare the law of justice?
Few among the gifts of God are more easily utilized than coal. Like other things [End Col. 4, p. 4] which lie at the base of human life and comfort—like food and water and clothing—the simplest form of labor suffices to secure it. Man has but to go and take it. Suppose he were allowed to do so? Suppose a citizen of Pennsylvania, instead of being, as now, compelled to dig nine tons of coal for somebody else before he can take one ton for himself, were allowed to take a ton of coal when he wanted it, and to do what he pleased with it, returning only thanks to God? Would not even that slight relaxing of the landlord’s clutch on nature’s throat impart a wondrous impetus to wealth production? Think it out. Imagine the farmer, who now gives ten bushels only. He has many wants now unsatisfied, the filling of which the five bushels of grain thus saved could be applied to. He wants better clothes, or a new house, or improved machinery, or a supply of books, or a piano—a hundred different things. And men, now idle, are ready to supply his wants and hungering for the grain which would be thus set free. Beginning at the coal pit, a thrill of increased production would run through the whole social machine, every producer enlarging his desires as the demand for his special product increased.
And suppose that not coal alone, but all the gifts of God to man, were torn from monopoly’s grasp—that the mining and production of metals were limited only by the desire of men to have them, and not by the arbitrary dictum of a few millionaire earth owners; that the increase of houses were restrained only by the willingness of men to go to work and build houses, and not by the selfish greed of the few who own the land on which houses must stand; that the only limit to agriculture were the desire of men to produce food, and not, as now, the willingness of a few men to let the soil be utilized—suppose, in short, that wherever a natural opportunity remained unused whoso would might utilize it without let or stay, or tribute paid to any man; and try, if you can, to imagine poverty existing under such conditions. Try to fancy a full-limbed man with health and strength and reason suffering for want of food, or clothing, or shelter. Imagine such a one arriving destitute and naked upon our shores. A million eager hands would be outstretched to welcome him; a million eager voices would be raised in competition for the mere service of his muscles. What can you do? and What do you want? would be the only questions asked him. And for men who wanted and could do free America would find ample room, and find it joyfully, aye, though all the peoples of the world should fling themselves upon her shores. For land and labor need but to come together to produce wealth; and with the boundless natural opportunities set free to labor, the wider and deeper the stream of humanity setting hitherward the greater would be the prosperity of every individual American.
What the united labor party and the Anti-poverty society, the one as a political and the other as an ethical and religious organization, seek to bring about, is simply the practical recognition of the great truth that God made this earth for the use of the men whom He made to live in it; each generation utilizing the rich inheritance in turn, and leaving it unimpaired to its successors. This end they propose to accomplish by the taxation of land values; a system under which, so long as only one man wants to use any natural opportunity he shall be able to do so without tribute paid to any man; but when by reason of social growth the privilege of a natural opportunity is wanted by a number of men, the man who uses it shall pay to the community such a tax as may fairly represent the advantage which the enjoyment of that opportunity gives him over his fellow men who consent to forego its use. It needs but a little thought to realize that under such a system not only would that degrading destitution in the midst of plenty be impossible, but no man or woman of sound mind and body, and willing to work, need want for any reasonable luxuries. The great mechanical inventions which have in many cases centupled the efficiency of labor, and are destined still further and immeasurably to increase it, would then, as now, tend to the enhancement of land values; but as land values would be returned to the community through the medium of the single tax, their benefits would be distributed among the entire people, instead of being, as now, appropriated by a few favored individuals. Labor saving machines would then indeed save labor without in any way diminishing labor’s reward; the giant forces of nature, which are now too often labor’s direst foes, would then become its most efficient allies; and every advance in art or science would mark a forward step of a united and concordant people in culture wealth and happiness.
Truly does Dr. Pullman say: "To reach the poor with the gospel they must first be made accessible by social well being." Christianity’s most potent foe is poverty. The pressure of poverty, the panic struggle for wealth born of the awful dread of poverty, are the bottom causes of most of the crime and falsehood and selfishness that deform society. They are the efficient aids on earth of those powers of evil against which the Christian ministry is sworn to do battle. And the Christian minister who, willfully shutting his eyes and hardening his heart, refuses to join in the effort to abolish poverty, though with his lips he may utter the pure precepts of Christ, is in reality preaching [End Col. 3, p. 4] the doctrine and advancing the power of the prince of darkness.
Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Thy name? and in Thy name have cast out devils? and in Thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you. Depart from me, ye that work iniquity.
Christ said that. And He meant it.
The fact that 172,000 votes were cast for prohibition at the recent election in Texas is a significant fact that politicians of the old parties must take into consideration. It may not indicate the speedy triumph of the effort to make men temperate by legislative enactment, but it does clearly indicate that the people are turning their backs on old and dead issues and dividing into parties on the living questions of the time.
This is as it should be.
The New York Tribune of a recent date contains a laudatory notice of Mr. Andrew H. Green, briefly reciting the services that he has rendered to "the Ogden estate." Mr. Green has so managed the estate, says the Tribune—
as to multiply the wealth of the heirs to a remarkable extent. It was chiefly through his efforts that the great Manhattan bridge, now building over the Harlem, became a possibility, and this is only one of the many plans he has matured to appreciate the value of the estate lying along that river.
There is a certain brutality of frankness about this careless admission that a great public work, done at the public expense, will have for its most immediate result the increase of a private taxing franchise. Mr. Green’s "efforts" toward the building of the Manhattan bridge by the citizens of New York probably did not include a statement of the fact that he wanted the bridge built in order that the "Ogden estate" might exact a tribute from the citizens who built it for the privilege of using it; yet according to the Tribune that was precisely the moving cause of his "efforts" and very praiseworthy the Tribune thinks it was in him, too. The Tribune’s further remark that Mr. Green’s action in this bridge matter furnishes an apt illustration of his disposition "to aid a cause or estate where he is acting for the benefit of others by the use of means and strenuous endeavors that he would not dream of adopting for his own personal benefit" has a ring of sarcasm about it—under the circumstances.
It is, perhaps, as well to say once and for all that H. Alden Spencer, chairman of the committee on resolutions at the Syracuse convention, is not a republican and never voted a republican ticket in his life. Hence the fact that he happened to be the man who reported the resolution denouncing Governor Hill’s partisan use of the factory inspector law could not have been due to his republican prejudices, as some of our state exchanges have asserted.
People who have done a great deal of acrid talking and writing about secret caucuses at Syracuse that were never held, will be edified to learn something about a secret caucus that was held there. At the meeting of the Twenty-fourth assembly district association of the united labor party last Tuesday, delegate Hilley, in making his report, took occasion to say that when the convention decided against the socialistic contestants, he and his associate, Mr. Berlyne, declined to participate in the further deliberations of the convention. At this point Chairman Ahrens asked Mr. Hilley by what authority he withdrew, and Mr. Hilley replied that he did it as a matter of honor, because at "the caucus of the socialistic labor party delegates it was decided to withdraw if the socialistic contestants were not admitted to the convention."
A Petty Interference.
There are many incidental reforms to be accomplished while the way is being paved for the great land reform. Our friends in Boston seem in need of a little reform in that city which shall permit them to use the streets on proper occasions for mass meetings. A very large assemblage held at Central square in East Boston was lately broken up by the police because those holding it had been frustrated in their endeavors to procure a written police permit to do so. The president of the Anti-poverty society, in endeavoring to comply with what is commonly regarded as a mere formality, the procuring of such a permit, was referred by the mayor to superintendent of parks, and the latter worthy withheld his permission, alleging that a crowd might trample down the flowers in the square. The superintendent of police was then appealed to. He could see no reason why the meeting should not be held on a part of the square where there were no flowers, and said that the police never interfered with orderly meetings, such as it was intended to hold. Notwithstanding this assurance, on the evening of the meeting, while a speaker was addressing a crowd of 2,500 persons on the square, a police officer appeared and demanded that he be shown a written permit, threatening, unless it was produced, to pull the speaker down from the wagon on which he was standing. The managers of the affair, rather than incur the odium of an altercation with the police, adjourned the meeting, Before calling another they will ascertain their rights as citizens, and observe all the formalities of the police regulations, and thus tie the hand of the superintendent of parks. This functionary’s action might be called tyrannical were the scene laid in Moscow, but in Boston it descends to the level of the ridiculous.
Dr. McGlynn at Perine Mountain Home.
Dr. McGlynn will deliver a second address on "The Cross of the New Crusade" to-morrow afternoon (Sunday, Sept. 4) at 2 o’clock at Perine mountain home (Baltus Roll hill), Summit, N.J. The Rev. Charles P. McCarthy will preside. Conveyances will be in waiting at the Westfield railway station on the arrival of the 9 and 12 o’clock trains from Liberty street. Tents and grounds will be free.
Kings County Moving.
A large and enthusiastic meeting of the Tenth ward association of the united labor party was held last Tuesday night at 145 Douglas street, Brooklyn. Many new names [End Col. 5, p. 4] were proposed for membership, and reports of an encouraging nature were made, which showed a probability of a large organization in the ward before election day. A thorough canvass of the ward will be made, and every voter will be reached. Arrangements are also being made for a large public meeting to be held early in September, at which some good and prominent speakers will make addresses. Meetings will be held every Tuesday night at 145 Douglass street until permanent quarters are secured.
A Suggestion Worth Considering.
PHILADELPHIA, Pa.—I have been thinking very seriously lately on the political situation and I have arrived at the conclusion that if the united labor party in this state would use its energies in collecting the sinews of war for the campaign in New York, and thus mass our forces at the enemy’s weakest point, it would be much wiser that to conduct the usual fruitless campaign among the heathen in this peculiarly conservative region.
Glad to Work on that Platform.
ELMIRA, N.Y.—I am well pleased with the result of the Syracuse convention and heartily indorse the platform. I shall do all in my power for the cause in the coming campaign.
Cor. Sec. Land and Labor Club.
Picnic of the Twentieth District.
The publisher of THE STANDARD acknowledges, as contributions to the fund for Dr. McGlynn, $1 from E. Herrick of Tipton, Cal.; $1 from ‘ammer, ‘ammer, ‘ammer; and $2 cash.
The subscription ball at the Newport casino was extremely brilliant. Flowers were worn and carried in profusion, and diamonds sparkled everywhere. The pretty theater looked its best in its holiday attire. The decorations were exceedingly fine, flowers, potted plants, Chinese and Japanese lanterns and elegant furniture making a combination rich and beautiful. The casino orchestra occupied the side gallery. The german was led by Mr. Howard and Mrs. Burke Roche. The principal favors were bouquets. The guests did not arrive until nearly 11 o’clock. Dancing was continued until early in the morning. Supper was served soon after midnight.
A sparrow, flying incautiously into a hat store in Chicago, managed to imprison itself within a narrow space behind some shelving, where it could not be reached and had not room to spread its wings. A sympathetic crowd assembled, and various efforts were made to release the prisoner. Finally the good-hearted proprietor, declaring that "he would rescue that bird if he had to tear down the store to do it," cut away the shelving and brought the sparrow out.
The death rate of New York last year, according to Dr. Nagle of the bureau of vital statistics was 25.96 to the 1,000. In London the rate was 19.09. Mr. Nagle says that this is chiefly because New York is more densely populated in many quarters than London. The figures show, he says, that there are more people to the acre in New York than in London, and also a greater average number of people to each dwelling.
Dr. C. N. Miller of Poughkeepsie has given orders for the construction of a steam yacht, which, he hopes, will outspeed Mr. Norman L. Munro’s Now Then or any other vessel. She will be 83 feet long over all, and 9 feet 10 inches in breadth. She will be schooner rigged, and when completed will draw about five and a half feet of water. She will have a Herreshoff engine of 150 horse-power.
Frank Kemmerick, a brickyard laborer at Lake View, while at work cleaning a brick making machine yesterday, slipped and fell, and before the machine could be stopped his legs were horribly crushed and mangled. He was extracted from the machine and conveyed to the county hospital, but died before reaching that place. His sufferings were terrible. – Chicago Mail.
Mr. Frank A. Collier of Chicago went to England with an address to the queen of that country from a number of people in Chicago, expressing their gratitude to her for having lived so long, and their thankfulness to God for having let her do it. The queen has consented to let Mr. Collier see her, and the London press is astonished at her condescension.
"Mickey" Donlan is never so happy as when serving a term of imprisonment in a certain suburban jail. When "Mickey" is out of jail and sober he earns $1.75 a day as a laborer, and pays out a large fraction of this sum for board and lodging. When "Mickey" is in jail, bed and board cost him nothing, and he earns nearly as much as when he is at work. "Mickey" being a trustworthy prisoner, is usually put on duty in the jail corridor, where he picks up a tidy little sum running errands for his fellow prisoners and selling them second hand articles of various kinds. He usually leaves the jail with $40 to $90 in his pocket, always returning after a few weeks of uncongenial toil outside. Mickey’s plan is to get very drunk, become mildly disorderly, and subject himself to a penalty of thirty days in jail. From the moment of his imprisonment his spirits and fortunes look up. The judge who so often sends Mickey to the desired haven threatens next time to see that the willing prisoner finds employment at stone-breaking.—Mail and Express.
Chief Justice Waite of the United States supreme court, acted as judge at a coaching parade at Bethlehem, N.H., Aug. 20, and awarded the prizes.
John Johnson was arrested one night last week while robbing a grocery store on Third avenue, in this city. When arraigned at the police station he broke away from the officer in charge of him and made a dash for liberty. The officer pursued him, but finding Johnson likely to escape, stopped short, drew his revolver, took deliberate aim and brought the fugitive to the ground with a serious wound in the hip. At the hospital Johnson said that he had resorted to burglary to get food for himself and wife. He was out of work, could get nothing to do, and was penniless. A World reporter who investigated the matter found Johnson’s story substantially true.
Miss Burns of Newark was treasurer of the picnic of St. Bridget’s church at Caledonian park, and had charge of the money realized on the grounds. Returning home, with the money in a satchel, she was robbed on the steps of her own residence. The thief escaped.
One morning last week a sand bank caved in on Western avenue, Morristown, where a number of men were at work, and Morris Scanton, a laborer, sixty-five years of age, was buried beneath a mass of earth. His fellow workmen tried their best to get him out, but it was five minutes before they could reach him. His back was broken by the great weight, and the man breathed only about three minutes after he was uncovered. His wife also died two weeks ago. He leaves a daughter, who is married.
D.L. Miller lives upon a farm at Maple Grove, Minn., with his mother and brother. One morning while the brothers were absent at work two tramps called at the house and asked for food. When they had finished eating they dragged Mrs. Miller to the cistern and threw her in. The cistern was half full of water, but Mrs. Miller clung to the lead pipe of the pump and managed to keep afloat until noon, when her sons returned, and she was taken out in an exhausted condition. The tramps had ransacked the house and taken $170 in cash. Mrs. Miller is sixty-five years old. [End Col. 6, p. 4]
FARMERS TO READ.
"If They Have Farms They Get Too Independent, So I’ll Sell Them No Land."
BROCKWAYVILLE, Pa.—It is one of the favorite complaints of the New York World that the land doctrines of Henry George will apply only to Manhattan island, and that outside of that enough land is obtainable to render the single tax idea inapplicable and powerless.
The World is certainly ignorant of the condition of the real estate market of the United States. Here in Jefferson county, on the summit of the Allegheny mountains, midway between Rochester and Pittsburg, where unoccupied land is so plentiful that the hunter may travel from this village a distance of from thirty to fifty miles (without swerving from a straight line) in almost any direction except that included in the angle between a south line and a west line, and never see a farm of ten acres, our best young men are leaving for the west to hunt land.
And they are not leaving to hunt cheap land, but simply land that they may be permitted to use.
East of us the Northwestern mining and exchange company holds thousands of acres of lands and coal privileges.
Northeast Joseph Hyde has a holding so large that he is alluded to frequently as owning "all of Elk county."
South lies John Du Bois’s four or five million dollar estate, composed almost entirely of lands and saw mill property. North to the Allegheny river all of Jefferson, Elk, Forest and Warren counties is as sparsely settled as Flagstaff mountains of Arizona. Lumber camps are the only habitation except an isolated farm settlement of a few acres cleared, that marks the home of some lumberman farmer. These are miles apart. All of this land belongs to men who hold immense contiguous bodies, and I feel sure that the greater part is arable, while I am certain that thousands of acres are unsurpassed in fertility by any of the hill lands of the Appalachian system. Years of familiarity with this land, and with the land from Georgia to Vermont, is the foundation for my belief.
Now it might be supposed that men who own this land would be anxious to sell it; but most of them are lumbermen or coal producers. The coal companies hold much of their land only as far as the coal right goes, but the lumbermen hold theirs largely in fee complete. The reason given by a Forest county lumber manufacturer for refusing to sell was the independence of mill hands when they have lands to employ themselves on. He unwittingly proved the George doctrine when he said: "If they have farms they get too independent to work for the wages I give, so I’ll sell them no land." Of course all the operators here are not of that disposition, and, taking them as a class, the men who hold these lands are men of whom no complaint can be made. They are the results of the system, and the system is the thing that is bad.
The complication caused by coal right and surface right falling into different hands adds to the difficulty of securing and holding farms. For instance, a large body of land is held by a lumberman here and a Philadelphian owns the coal and other mineral. Several times the lumberman has attempted to sell land, but his deed can only give surface, reserving all mineral, with the right at any time to buy back lands desired for use in building mining works, etc., at the rate of $15 per acre, as this is the reserve the Philadelphian has made.
At one time a young man here attempted to buy from the Philadelphian some land which he held in fee complete, and a reservation was made of "all the undergrowth and all upper growth." This referred, no doubt, to the timber and smaller trees, but the expectant purchaser said it looked too much like as though it would take all the corn and potatoes, so the deed was never executed.
Our men work for $1.50 a day, and wages have been for railroad hands ninety-six cents per diem, yet the men who own the lands are growing wealthy.
The tax assessments on all of these lands are nominal, often not over one to two dollars on each acre, and rarely above three. Joining a small piece upon which my neighbor pays on an assessed value of $125 an acre a large lot is assessed at about $3 an acre. In spite of this the coal privileges must be worth $500 an acre in a large quantity of this untilled land, and the magnificent forests of pine and hemlock that are going daily are worth more than any farm crop ever raised in western Pennsylvania.
Meanwhile, if a word is said of shifting taxes to land the stereotyped howl goes up that the farmers can’t stand it. Now, I tell you frankly that if an equalized land tax were to be assessed here the wants of our local and state governments would be met long before the farmer would need to pay a cent more than he does now. Indeed, when the wild lands paid according to their value at the same proportion the farms do, the valuation of farms could be cut down and still a greater revenue collected. The wild lands here pay a nominal tax and the farmers pay the burden, while the wild lands reaps the benefit of the natural bounty.
The World should come out here and look around.
BION H. BUTLER
A Correspondent on Victoria’s Rights.
PROVIDENCE, R.I.—In your issue of Aug. 13, Tudor Jenks puts a question (his second), which, if you grasped its spirit fully, seems to me not to have been well answered.
I believefirmly and I think consistently in the doctrine that the land of our globe, its air, sunshine, and all its natural opportunities are the common inheritance of all mankind. This means much more than some of its believers seem to think. The doctrine of "the brotherhood of man" implies that all men are by right of a common fatherhood equal sharers in not a part merely, but the whole, of the Father’s bounty, and when this doctrine is carried to its logical conclusion, arbitrary state, national, or geographical lines can have no recognition.
The single tax on land values will effect equity in the enjoyment of natural opportunities in any community where it is applied, and the community in which it would have ideally perfect scope would be one in which Queen Victoria and a New York horse car driver would both be members, and thus, you see, Victoria would, as Tudor Jenks suggests by his question, have some interest in the soil of New York state, and at the same time the New York horse car driver would have an interest in the soil or other natural opportunities of England. Practically, however, our communities must be limited in extent. Shall we, therefore, because our theory cannot find ideal scope for its operations, refuse to put it in operation at all? Not so. Each man must "build over against his own door." We must make a beginning, must demonstrate in our own country, state or city the beneficent results following the adoption of our theory, and the rest will be more easy of accomplishment.
"For right is right, since God is God,
And right the day must win.
To doubt would be disloyalty,
To falter would be sin."
Along the line of Henry George’s theories [End Col. 1, p. 5] somehow and somewhere will be worked out a revolutionary reform. It may not come in the way we now expect it, but the central doctrine, which would secure to every brother the right to enjoy his heritage must prevail without giving up any portion of it to anyone.
A PHASE OF NEW YORK SOCIETY.
It was on Mulberry street within a stone throw of the police headquarters. In a low and dingy room, perhaps 20×40 feet in size, there were a few tables, benches and chairs. In one corner was a small bar presided over by a coarse featured but keen eyed Italian. Only stale beer was sold and rendered lively when drawn by soda, of which a liberal quantity was placed in a keg. The beer came from the spigot frothy and ropy and was villainous stuff for a decent man to drink. The price was six cents a quart, three cents a pint and one cent a glass. The glasses were small and the quarts and pints were served in old oyster cans. The purchase of any quantity of beer entitled the buyer to a place on a bench or on the floor for the night. That is, they could lie around until morning. Many, of course, bought more than one can of beer and some several cans.
By midnight a miserable crew had congregated in the dive, and later on the place was well filled. There were more than forty poor wretches in the room, the greater number of whom were woman. These unfortunate women looked old and haggard, yet most of them had not passed forty, and some were not over thirty. What pitiable wrecks they were! Sodden-faced and blear-eyed, ragged and unclean. Few, if any, were criminals or fallen women, in the full sense of the term. They were the outcast poor, the once careless "chippers" and the comely young Slav, grown old and degraded by poverty and the fierce lust of drink born of hunger and hopelessness.
One by one they took their cans of beer and shuffled to a place on a bench or on the floor. There was little of merriment and little comradeship shown. Now and then a woman with a newly-filled can would push it toward another, who, less fortunate, was shivering with weakness or from incipient delirium. The "God bless you" of the grateful receiver of the bounty seemed strangely out of place and grated harshly on the ear. Yet the passing show went on. The can went and came. From the bosom of their rags they, who, when young and gay had been critical of cigarettes, now and then drew forth the penny’s worth of cheap snuff so dear to them. How charily it was passed to a neighbor; how eagerly clutched when returned. Toward morning the herd of women were nearly all asleep, and the silence was unbroken save by the entrance of some newcomer or the croonings of the few who, unable to rest, rocked to and fro like reeds in the wind.
These miserable women work a day now and then at washing in a laundry or at scrubbing, beg and pilfer. Enough is obtained for the requirements of the stale beer dives, which, for them, are shelter and food, with now and then a crust of bread. The dives are frequently raided by the police, and so, fortunately for them, the women who frequent them, pass half of their time on Blackwell’s island. Some day, one by one, they are taken from the prison to the hospital, and from thence their dead bodies are thrown into the common burial plot. There these profanations of God’s temples rest and rot, unwept and unknown.
MARINER J. KENT.
The Anti-Poverty Society of Paterson, N.J.
PATERSON, N.J.—D.A. 100, K. of L., will celebrate labor day (Sept. 5) by a meeting at Washington hall, in the morning at 10 o’clock, a parade at noon and picnic afternoon and evening. At out regular meeting last night, we received an invitation to attend the meeting, which is to be addressed by Rev. Hugh O. Pentecost, which was accepted, and we thought it would be a good opportunity to sow some seed. Hence the inclosed order for tracts, which we will distribute on the morning of the meeting.
Our meetings will be held hereafter on Sunday evenings, and we hope soon to have some eminent speakers from headquarters to assist us. Correspondence is now going on to that end. Our work, as yet, is slow, but we are making converts all the time; not as many as we could wish, but they all "stick" so far, which is better than a multitude who don’t stick.
All our meetings have been interesting and fairly attended, so that we have confidence that we will "get there" some day.
President Anti-poverty Society.
89 N. Main street.
Facts Which Are Arguments.
NEW YORK, Aug. 12.—In 1852 a practitioner bought a house and lot in sparsely-built quarter of this city for $500. A day or two ago he sold it for $5,000. The increase in the community has increased the value of that land ten-fold, without any exertion on the part of the owner.
An uncle of this physician, in 1866, bought 125 acres of ground in Rahway, N.J., for $40,000. Rahway was then a prosperous, promising town. It has since become dull and unprosperous, and about a year ago the owner was offered $5,000 for the same ground, which probably represented something near its value. Here is an instance of the land depreciating eight-fold in value by decrease in population.
In the teeth of such facts as these fly the pro-poverty press and body ecclesiastic with lame and impotent arguments to prove the justice of private ownership in land.
Wants to Join the Party.
BROOKLYN, Aug. 20.—I have long been a democrat, but since reading your paper I am convinced that the time has come for every American to enter a vigorous protest against the abuses of our government and against that system of wholesale legalized robbery of the masses of their birthright in natural opportunities. In common with many others of both parties I have sickened of holding wakes over corpses of issues that should have long since been buried. There is not in the platform of either of the old parties one vital issue. They adopt only such planks as will please all voters or will raise no opposition. I approve of the platform of the Syracuse convention, and wish to know where the headquarters of the united labor party is in this city, that I may join the ranks.
And an Edward Atkinson Besides—and Still They Are Not Happy!
Rev. J. L. Russell. Altoona. Pa.
There are in the United States 64,000 ministers of Jesus Christ to teach workingmen of eternal life; 85,000 physicians and surgeons to heal their diseases and bind up their wounds; 12,000 journalists to edit their papers and magazines; 72,000 printers to print books for them; 41,000 bakers to prepare bread for them; 76,000 butchers to provide meat for them, and 101,000 grocers to furnish the various articles that sustain life. [End Col. 2, p. 5]
THE ARCHBISHOP’S ALLIES.
Catholic Journals Reinforcing Their Opposition with Arguments from the Socialists.
"Henry George’s teachings are not opposed to the doctrines of the Catholic church," said Cardinal Manning to a World correspondent in London some months ago, "unless they fall into socialism."
The significant repudiation of Mr. George and his teachings by the socialists within the past month ought to convince even the stupidest of Archbishop Corrigan’s followers that these teachings have not "fallen into socialism."
But there is something worse than stupidity, it is malice. And with a malice which can only be likened to the ingenuity of the father of lies, Catholic journals are to-day filling their columns with socialistic arguments against the land taxation theory. They do not scruple to publish long expositions of principles which they know to be false and condemned by the church, so long as they can throw dust in the eyes of their subscribers and make them think that the land theory is wrong. At the same time they carefully avoid editorial responsibility for the errors to which they give publicity.
The Freeman’s Journal last week published two columns of pamphlet by Mr. Edward Gordon Clark, with the caption "George’s Land Theories—He meets a Practical Opponent," and says: "Mr. George has taken no notice of it—because he finds it unanswerable." The sapient editor does not state how he comes to be so well acquainted with Mr. George’s thoughts. Possibly Mr. George never heard of this redoubtable pamphlet, or he may consider it well enough refuted in "Progress and Poverty," as all who have read that book will see.
Well, Mr. Clark tries to prove that there is an unearned increment in everything of human production, as well as in land. "The land," he says, "got its value by the general coming of society around it." Then he goes on: "The house also got its value in precisely the same way. While a house stands alone, and there is no demand for it, except in the uses of its occupant, it has no more value than the land under it." … "We have seen that, according to Mr. George’s definition of land as ‘nature’s bounty,’ a house, or any other structure of human handiwork, is land itself, as far as original materials are concerned. These have all been taken off the earth or out of it. They are component parts of land, improved by labor."
Of course they have all been taken from the earth, and once formed "component parts of land." In that condition they constituted natural opportunities to which all should have an equal right of access, which may be secured by a taxation on the possessors equal to the full amount of the rental value of such opportunities. But when they become "improved by labor" they are no longer land, but products of labor, and any tax on such products would be a discouragement to labor and a denial to the laborer of the full fruits of his toil. Mr. Clark proposes a tax on the full rental value of the whole—land as well as products. Such a tax would destroy ownership in everything, allowing to the possessors only the use. A man’s household furniture would be owned and controlled by the state. Such a species of government is more absolute, more interfering with individual liberty, than the rankest socialist has yet dared to advocate openly. Its refutation may be summed up in one sentence: Cost of production is the basis of value for all products of labor; the necessity of the community is the basis of value for natural opportunities.
The editor of the Freeman’s Journal may be pardoned for his ignorance of the difference. But he does not fail to see that Mr. Clark’s pamphlet is somewhat socialistic; and to clear himself from a charge of unorthodoxy he says: "We are not prepared to accept all Mr. Edward Gordon Clark’s statements without some grains of salt." This is a sample of the style of argument of an influential Catholic journal. Although called the "Freeman’s" journal, this sheet has been consistently opposed to the cause of freedom in every land. For its traitorous abuse of the government during the darkest period of our civil war its rabid pro-slavery editor had to be disciplined by a course of imprisonment in Fort Lafayette, and it may be said that the present editor is faithfully following in the bigoted path of his predecessor.
Cheering News from the South.
MEMPHIS, Tenn.—Land and Labor club, No. 2, of Tennessee, has been far from idle since receiving its charter. It has rented a hall and reading room at No. 221 Second street, which has been christened Land and Labor hall. Its library and reading room are well supplied with books and papers. Organized labor of all branches is with us and we are meeting with good success in our efforts to extend the cause in the rural districts. Although not all well up in political economy, there are none of our colored friends but readily realize that God made the land for all, and our cause needs but to be preached to command their adherence. The editor of the Republican, a weekly paper of this city, has given the club a column to fill with what matter it pleases each week. This is acceptable until we convert the stockholders (some editors are already practically converted) of some of our daily papers, or until we start a paper of our own, which will no doubt be done before the presidential election in 1888. Many of our members are poor; we are most in need of funds, and invite any who may desire to assist us in our effort to extend this gospel of good news to the surrounding country and states to send what contributions they can to our treasurer, Benjamin W. Hirsh, room 8, Cotton exchange, Memphis, Tenn. But whether we receive funds from without or not, the cross of the new crusade will go on. A heavy vote in New York this fall will do us immense good in convincing lukewarm people that their cause is going to succeed. As rises the tide in New York, so will it rise throughout the union. God bless the united labor party.
LAND AND LABOR.
How the Pro-Poverty Press Makes Us Friends.
NEW YORK, Aug. 22.—A democrat always, and still identified in a formal way with the party which calls itself democratic, I am, nevertheless, one of those who are disposed to give all new ideas, however startling, a fair consideration, I am almost, if not quite, with you on the land question, which, I presume, is the main one. Perhaps I may "get there" entirely before long.
The Anti-poverty meeting of Aug. 21 was the first I attended, and I was curious to see how that marvelous demonstration would be treated by the leading papers of this city. I sum up my conclusions as briefly and fairly as possible: The World’s report was full, fair and good; the Herald’s, like most of the stuff that appears in that paper, was good natured, but flighty and sloppy; the Times was paltry and silly—the young man assigned to the job probably having carte blanche to sling himself in some "fine" writing, but only succeeded in making an ass of himself; the Sun’s report was mean and meager, and it simply lied when it stated, [End Col. 3, p. 5] with a view probably depreciating the voting strength of the party, that most of the audience were women, when the contrary was the fact overwhelmingly; the Tribune was decent, but not adequate to the occasion.
If the majority of these examples are fair ones of the manner in which the press of New York has been reporting the doings of the Anti-poverty party, I have only to say that they are mendacious and misleading. I am one of those who care very little about the opinions of the average newspaper, for I am not wholly ignorant of their process of manufacture. But of this I am well assured, that such papers can no more stop—they can scarcely retard—the march of a great idea, than Canute could roll back the tide.
ST. STEPHEN’S PICNIC.
Dr. McGlynn’s faithful parishioners held a picnic on last Friday afternoon and evening at Jones’s wood, Sixty-ninth street and East river. The crowd in attendance was enormous, the grounds and the large pavilions being packed with people.
The affair was in every way thoroughly enjoyable. As one of the parishioners remarked, "it was real anti-poverty weather," bright and clear, with just sufficient coolness in the air to make action and motion pleasant. Everybody was happy, and from the first to last nothing occurred to mar the pleasure of the occasion. Dr. McGlynn’s name was on every tongue, and cheer upon cheer greeted him as he entered the grounds arm-in-arm with Henry George. Never were stronger evidences of affection given to a pastor. Women waved their handkerchiefs and wept with emotion; and the cries of "God bless him!" "Heaven smile on him." "Long life to you, Father!" that went up from every side were the evident outpourings of hearts surcharged with emotion and faithful to the last. It was a fitting recognition of years of devoted love and faithful work, and the good father’s eyes were moist with tender feeling as he felt the grasp of eager hands and listened to the shouts of loving voices. Such a day was worth living for and suffering for, and pastor and people alike will carry the memory of it to their graves.
Father McGlynn rose to the occasion. He spoke as he never spoke before. At times his voice faltered, and it almost seemed as though the sight of the five thousand eager, loving faces around him would overpower him. But he bravely rallied, and for a full hour and a half he held his hearers spellbound.
"I should be less than a man," said the doctor, "if I, who for years was your shepherd and guide and whom you called father, should be ungrateful for this magnificent welcome. Dearly beloved children (scores of women and men put their handkerchiefs to their eyes to dry the tears which began to roll down their cheeks and Dr. McGlynn was visibly affected): "dearly beloved children," he continued, "it was my constant duty and pleasure to inspire you with those divine truths which I was commissioned to preach on the day the dignity of the priesthood was conferred upon me. As God is my judge I shall never swerve from the doctrines of the Catholic church—the spouse of Christ—to which I consecrate my life." (Applause.)
The doctor went on to refer to his excommunication. He was frequently interrupted by cries of, "You are not excommunicated."
"Fully conscious of what I say, I declare, dearly beloved children, that if Christ appeared on the earth again and should approach the marble palace or the back stairs of the Vatican He would be ejected or arrested as a tramp.
"It was charged against me that I gave holy communion too often, and ‘Mon-see-ni-yor’ Preston (hisses and groans) said he was inclined to doubt my faith in the sacrament. In the archbishop’s council he said that an old woman approached the communion rail in St. Stephen’s with a bundle. I never saw her; but suppose she did? I can imagine that devoted child of the church of God walking along on the street on a wintry morning on her way to work. I can imagine her entering your church with her humble lunch wrapped in a bundle. I can imagine her, faint and hungry, kneeling before God’s altar to partake of the holy communion—the bread of angels. The sight of this woman was pleasing to the angels and drew down the benediction of God. (Cheers.)
"When I was pastor of St. Stephen’s it was my constant aim to induce my flock (cries of ‘We are still your flock!’) to approach communion frequently. The sacrament was ever free to all—not so in St. Ann’s (Monsignor Preston’s), where the blessed sacrament was kept locked up from the people behind bolted doors and gates all day and all week." (Cries of ‘That’s so.’)
Dr. McGlynn said he was denied the privilege of ever appearing before the archbishop’s council to say a word in his defense or answer Monsignor Preston’s accusations. He spoke with feeling of the archbishop and the members of his council, who had voted down the proposal that he should have even a single hearing before them. At this point there was hardly a dry eye in the audience, and the doctor was almost choked with emotion. Recovering himself, he said with pathos:
"I would die on the scaffold rather than cause the least among you to suffer spiritual loss; but it is time that we should learn to distinguish between the truths of religion, the sacraments of Christ’s church and the rottenness, corruption, abuses and ruinous policy of the ecclesiastical machines. (Applause.) Listen, dearly beloved children. Love God; cling to Him. Look up to Him every hour in the day, and never for a moment separate from His church or His truths."
With all the eloquence and force of which he is master Dr. McGlynn proceeded to lash some of the men whom he held responsible for the blunders and abuses of the ecclesiastical machine. He referred to Mgr. Preston’s absurd aristocratic title of monsignor (milord), and to Bishop Gilmour as "a bigoted Scotch Presbyterian minister who masquerades as the Catholic bishop of Cleveland."
"As much as you and I desire that we should be reunited at St. Stephen’s," he continued, "you would not ask me to return if I should be compelled to stultify myself and do violence to my conscience. If the machine will not let me preach, the seashore, the halls and the streets are open to me—yes, even on the dancing platform I can teach the word of God.
"It is with regret I say religion is losing its hold on men, and it cannot conquer the world until purified by suffering, nor until bishops seek only souls. A wiser generation of bishops will spring up, and they will spurn wealth and temporal power."
It Touches All the Great Interests of Man.
NEW YORK CITY.—I am rejoiced to see that your convention, nominations and platform were all a success at Syracuse. I am not a member of any union, nor do I expect to be, but I will work for the right, to elevate the people and to hold in check the great monopolies which ride over and enslave them. The great party just called into existence touches all the great interests of man, for his highest development and for his social and financial, as well as religious, happiness.
T.S.S. [End Col. 4, p. 5]
A SOUTHERN CLERGYMAN’S VIEWS.
He Sees in the "New South" Only the Growth of a System of Industrial Slavery—Earnestly Seeking for Light.
Being a priest of the Protestant Episcopal church, a branch of the "One Catholic and Apostolic church," which is as old as Christianity itself, I am, by all the traditions of my order, naturally inclined to conservatism. When Mr. George’s "Progress and Poverty" appeared, judging from reviews of the work and from the reports of friends, I confess that, without reading it, I conceived a strong bias against it. I supposed Mr. George to be either a designing demagogue or a socialistic "crank." But I had, nevertheless, begun to be deeply interested in the great social questions which formed the theme of Mr. George’s writings. I accidentally got hold of "Social Problems" two or three years ago. "Progress and Poverty," I am ashamed to confess, I have not yet read.
I began to read "Social Problems" with every inclination to dissent from its teachings, if I should find it in any way vulnerable. I am naturally a severe critic, seldom failing to detect fallacies in anything I see or hear, provided they exist. Judge of my surprise when I found Mr. George stating, with a luminous force and exactness far beyond that which the matter had attained in my own mind, almost the precise views which had for some years been maturing in my own thoughts. I do not mean that the remedy proposed in "Social Problems" accorded with my previous views—quite otherwise—but what I may call Mr. George’s diagnosis of our social diseases was but a clearer, more strongly supported and altogether more vigorous statement of the views which I had begun already to entertain.
You must not suppose, conservative as I was inclined to be, that I was, or could be, blind to the evils and dangers that hang in an ominous, arid, ever thickening cloud upon the horizon of our social sky. No unbiased Christian thinker could fail to see the evils of mammon worship with its natural sequence of lawless anarchy with which our own and all Christian lands are threatened. In my efforts to inculcate the Christ-like use of wealth and all God’s gifts, in my earnest desire to help the poor up to that state which St. Paul desired for himself, a moderate competence yielding contented freedom from dangerous temptations, I was brought to see many of those evils and dangers which Mr. George points out with such incomparable perspicuity and eloquence.
I am a Virginian by birth and a southerner, in full sympathy with those traditions which southerners generally hold dear. I look with suspicion and doubt even upon what some of our later speakers and writers call the "new south." I will tell you why. I gave up the old slavery with cheerful resignation, as its fate seemed to me a testimony of God’s providence against the evils of property in man. My ancestors had been slave holders from colonial times. By the fall of negro slavery I sank from comparative opulence to be, so far as the secular aspect of my life is concerned, a laborer for wages. With this I was and am content. I desire no more than a fair chance to earn my own living; I ask no more for my children.
But in giving up negro slavery, I had little thought then that a still more oppressive slavery threatened myself—or, if not myself, my children and their children. To my mind, what many people among us mean by the "new south" is, in its ultimate issue, only a "new slavery." By the "new south," its admirers mean a south full of great cities, railways, productive mines, great manufactories, vast corporations or princely proprietors, in all the branches of human industry. Mr. George has demonstrated that, with our present social policy, these things mean slavery for the great body of the people. To me they mean slavery for my children. To me they mean, within a few score of years, one million of mammon worshiping plutocracy, forty or fifty or a hundred millions of hopeless toilers for a poorer living (comparatively) than our slaves had thirty years ago, with perhaps a million or so of disciples of Herr Most and the Chicago dynamiters. These last, foes as they are to all good order and social peace, will always thrive where social slavery exists. Men goaded by a sense of wrong and oppression, cannot always be kept within bounds of reason. We used to deal severely in the old slavery days with preachers of abolition who sought to excite our slaves to insurrection. John Brown was no less a criminal than August Spies.
But while slavery lasted, we could not prevent the abolition anarchists from plotting against our "institutions." Those who sought to induce the slaves to murder and rapine were evil men. So are the communistic dynamiters. But both are upon the social system what boils are upon the human body—signs of the corruption within. This wise physician will seek to cure the cause.
I am not yet convinced that Mr. George’s proposed remedy is the true one. Indeed, I feel very sure that it cannot do all that some of its sanguine supporters claim for it. To be candid, I have seen nothing from Mr. George himself which warrants me in supposing that he expects as much from it as his followers appear to do. But I am fully convinced of several things: 1. That Mr. George is an honest man and true philanthropist. 2. That he is one of the very ablest thinkers and clearest writers among the social philosophers of our time. 3. That his system is sought to be founded upon the principles of natural law, and differs radically in this respect from the visionary and artificial schemes of socialists and communists. 4. That it were better to adopt his plans for amelioration of society, provided no better way be discovered, rather than suffer those ills which seem to threaten us in the road we are now going.
Henry Ward Beecher on Land Grabbing.
From a Sermon Preached in 1883.
"The prosperity of men to get everything, and to hold selfishly everything they get, needs no remark … Men have learned to appropriate land … One would think there were some things beyond their reach, but the earth is parceled out, covered with titles and deeds and mortgages; rivers have been appropriated to mill owners and to riparian inhabitants; and, so far from every shore, the ocean does not belong to the world at large, but to the men about it. Men would appropriate the air if they could get at it and parcel it out with lines of ownership."
$5,000 for a Bit of Crust.
SHENADOAH, Pa.—We have seven assemblies with an aggregate of almost two thousand members of the K. of L. in this borough. We have purchased a hall site for $5,000. The lot is 60×75 feet, so you see that land values here are outrageously high, especially as only the crust remains, the Girard estate having mined out nearly all the wealth of coal that once underlaid Shenandoah.
For nearly two years I have advocated the principles and doctrines of THE STANDARD, and to-day I can see my way clear to organize a land and labor club in every portion of the anthracite region where I travel.
GEORGE S. BOYLE [End Col. 5, p. 5]
STRAWS WHICH SHOW THE WIND.
Mr. George is not backing and filling. He is clinging to his idea like grim death and developing a high style of political sagacity in so doing.—[New York Sun.
Whatever may be thought of Henry George’s single tax, it is the quintessence of justice when compared with the New York World’s communistic graduated income tax.—[Memphis Scimitar.
The coal barons have issued another edict fixing the output of coal. They also fix the price and miners’ wages. Some fine day the people will attend to the outputting of the barons.—[New York World.
They say all that Kalakaua does nowadays is to loaf about the palace and draw his salary. It’s queer that anybody should have to go to the Sandwich islands to get material for a paragraph of that kind.—[Philadelphia Inquirer.
The New York Times starts a long editorial against the labor movement in that city by saying that "whom the gods would destroy they first make mad." And then the Times proceeds to get very mad itself.—[Boston Globe.
Our present system of taxation constitutes a fine upon energy and thrift. It should be replaced by a single tax on land values, which will compel the utilization of natural opportunities, thereby guaranteeing high wages to labor.—[Memphis Republican.
The Henry George doctrine of taxation is already an important factor in United States politics, and sooner or later it will have to be threshed out in Canada. Men who have so far paid no attention to it will have to take one side or the other.—[Hamilton, Ont., Times.
The only way to "abolish poverty," according to a protectionist organ, is for "everyone to spend less than he makes." Does the editor think that he could accomplish it on the eighty cents a day which "protection" secures to the Pennsylvania miners?—[New York World.
Whether the failure of the London parliament in dealing with the Irish question be due to lack of will or lack of ability does not matter. That it has failed is certain. The true remedy is to stop, not "plunder of the landlords," but plunder by the landlords.—[New York Star.
The very funniest thing ever seen in politics is the way republican press are beginning to pat the united labor party on the back, and the democratic press to pat the prohibitionists. It makes us almost laugh our insides out, as the Dutchman said. Puck and Judge ought to get something good out of it.—[Voice (prohibitionist).
There are three things that Father McGlynn advocates that will find an echo in the heart of every true American citizen, namely: 1. That "only common schools and common charities should be supported by the common treasury." 2. That "only the common language of the country should be taught in common schools." 3. That the doctrine of equal taxation should be applied to all corporations, civil and religious, "without exemption."—[Peabody, Mass., Reporter.
The Rev. De Costa thinks that the economy is the one thing needful in this country to abolish poverty. But economy defeats itself when it becomes common to all consumers. A nation that lives on cheese parings will soon produce nothing better to live on. No, the need is not economy. The need is opportunity for each to make something, and facility for cheap and constant exchange of the thing he has made for other things that he needs.—[Winsted, Ct., Press.
There is nothing in this proposition to terrify conservative owners of improved property. Indeed, it is a bid for their support, as it would be an offer to reduce taxation very largely. The speculative farmer, who had more wild land than he could care for, would object to George’s taxation scheme; but not so the well-to-do agriculturist, whose domain included good farm houses, barns, fences and other improvements, for he could be relieved of many of his present burdens.—[Uptown Visitor, New York.
Upon several of the planks of the Syracuse platform hundreds of thousands of voters are in sincere accord. Upon all of the planks great numbers of citizens will agree. To the leaders of both the old parties the convention’s work is a loud call to hearken and heed. This movement is intended for business and not for spectacular effects; it is a sincere effort at reform and not potentially stored for the purpose of being auctioned off to whichever of the old parties will bid the most for it.—[Cleveland Press.
An independent politico-social movement that cannot be traded with is always an unknown force in politics, and it is of the unknown forces that politicians are afraid. It cannot be denied that in such men as George and McGlynn each party must find powerful opponents. They are none the less dangerous because neither is a politician. They are men of brain and nerve, and they do not expect to win this year or next. It is the men who wait and never tire of waiting who are to be feared in such movements.—[Philadelphia North American.
There is no doubt but what the men working at the Chapin mine will be successful in resisting the demands of the company to work on Sunday nights; but let them remember that even though they succeed this time without a struggle there is a time coming when victory will not be so easily gained. Let them organize now and prepare for the struggle that will come sooner or later. Study the causes that lead to all this. Let them ask themselves why it is that a corporation can monopolize and hold what the Creator intended for the common use of all and if they see fit deny people the right to earn a living unless they worship at the same altar or vote in politics as their masters dictate and work as many hours and for as little pay as the master may fix.—[Iron Mountain, Mich., Signal.
The differentiation of society into the extremes of wealth and poverty bodes no good for progress. These extremes have been, in this country, the growth of recent years. There was a time when with rare exceptions Americans were all on a level of substantial equality; and equality of moderate comfort. It was during that period that the most rapid strides of progress were taken. It was then that the greatest inventions were made and the application of steam to the mechanic arts began. It was then that the democratic idea of natural equality took such firm hold upon the popular mind, and eventually extinguished the strongly intrenched institution of negro slavery. And in every age and country the times of general comfort have been the times of most rapid advance. Famine is not the mother of progress.—[Exchange.
The United Labor Party Will Show Him How a Remedy Can Be Provided.
New York Sun.
"Now, what answer can I make to such a letter as that?" asked Mayor Hewitt, showing a letter which he had just been reading. It was from a boy asking if there was any place in New York where he and his companions could play base ball.
"What can I tell this boy?" went on the mayor. "I know of no such place. We have made no provision for our boys. Yet if a boy cannot amuse himself properly he is bound to do it improperly, and what is the result? Here we have on the east side of the city boys of seventeen or eighteen years of age shooting policemen. I must say that my sympathies are often with the boys. The policemen drive them off the streets and there is no place for them to go. It is a bad state of things, but I am sure I don’t see how any remedy can be provided, unless some provision is made for out-door recreation when the new small parks are laid out. That is a subject that should be seriously considered."
More Than Delighted
LOWELL, Mass., Aug. 20.—I am more than delighted with the work of the Syracuse convention and the platform and ticket it has put forth. I have just been reading the proceedings of the convention in the Herald, and I have cheered and cheered again for the good cause in my heart.
SAMUEL QUINN [End Col. 6, p. 5]
A METHODIST MINISTER ON THE GREAT REFORM
The following article by the Rev. Joseph Pullman appears in the Methodist Review for September, under the title, "What Does Henry George Mean? What is Said on Both Sides."
Any movement which involves a change in existing institutions, or which touches vested interests, is sure to meet with opposition. There is much misunderstanding of Henry George’s notions, resulting partly from ignorance, but more largely from deliberate misrepresentation. Macaulay said that the doctrine of gravitation would not yet be received if it interfered with vested rights. Mr. George proposes to interfere, through the ballot, with a certain class of vested rights, and for this reason it is difficult to get a fair statement of what he means. We are of the opinion that many of his notions are visionary, and that his expectations of a millennium through land reform are in a degree utopian, and yet we would understand him. The George party, as the new labor party is sometimes called, is an acknowledged power in politics. And that there are grounds for the unrest of the middle and lower classes in all Christian lands there can be no doubt. Mr. George at least proposes a remedy. Others say, "Let us go on as we are, only drink less whisky," which is excellent advice, but old and impotent. Let us find out what this John the Baptist means.
It is common to hear Mr. George denounced as a socialist or a communist—one of those firebrands who would divide up the wealth of the world and destroy the property of the rich by giving it to the poor. The opinion of many even well educated persons is that he would destroy private ownership and control of land by a general act of confiscation, whereby all titles would be transferred to the government and land would be held under the old system of tribal ownership. All these opinions are wrong. Mr. George is not a socialist, and he declines to be classed with them or to co-operate with them. So far from dividing up and distributing property to the poor he boasts that his system alone recognizes the sacred rights of property. From the doctrine that "property is a crime" he is separated toto coelo. He would not even tax legitimate private property, much less confiscate it. Rightful ownership, he says, originates in personal toil. "The right of property springs from the manifest natural right of every individual to himself and to the benefit of his own exertions. This is the moral basis of property."—(Property in Land p. 49). A man has a right to himself and to the products of his activity; and whatever property he accumulates by his toil is his by the best and only inalienable title. With such property a man may do what he pleases; and governments have a right to tax it only after having taxed to full rental value that form of property which was the gift of the Creator and not the result of human toil—namely, the land. Mr. George believes that tax on land should equal, or nearly equal, its rental value, always, however, excepting improvements (the improvements, being the product of labor, should never be taxed), and that all such tax income belongs of right to the public, inasmuch as it is a value which was not produced by the owner, but by the progress of society.
A piece of unimproved land has a rental value only when two or more persons want it; and its value is the highest sum that the demand will enable its owner to get. It is a value, therefore, that has its origin in social needs and progress, and is what John Stuart Mill calls "the unearned increment." But all improvements, of what sort soever, as houses, fences, drainage, etc., being the product of labor, are sacred to him who produced them. The unimproved land, or, as we say, the naked earth, is the gift of God to mankind and belongs to all. In the house of commons Mr. W. Saunders, when moving a resolution in favor of the direct taxation of ground rents, said that Herne hill, an estate of 100 acres in London, has risen in value in twenty-five years by $375,000. This increment was the result of the growth of London, and not of the labor of the owner. The land reformers ask us why a large part of that increment should not go, as a matter of pure equity, to the public? On the north end of Manhattan island there is a point of land projecting into the Hudson. Although still as barren as when the Indians sold it for beads, it is of immense value, and its owners refuse to part with it. Being unimproved property, the taxes are relatively light. Mr. George asks his critics who gave the value to that rocky peninsula? Not the owners, for they have done nothing for it. It is not the product of labor, but the gift of God. The adjoining property has been improved and put to use, and, as a consequence, has been heavily taxed; but this unimproved peninsula, like the fabled dog in the manger, has done nothing for society, and had shifted its fair burden of taxation on to its neighbors. Where are we to look for the origin of the immense value which attaches to the peninsula? Evidently not to its owners, who have done nothing for it, but to the progress of society. It belongs to those who created it—namely, to society. Such is the theory and reasoning of Mr. George.
It is equally a misapprehension of Mr. George’s scheme to suppose that he favors the old system of tribal ownership of land, or that all titles are to be vested in the state. He would not disturb titles. These are to remain as they are, and land would be bought and sold and leased under his system as at present. "We do not hold," he says, "that nations, any more than individuals can get absolute ownership in land." Alfred Russell Wallace, the eminent scientist, is the president of the land nationalization society of Great Britain, and the objects of that society are "to affirm that the state holds the land in trust for each generation; to restore to all their natural right to use and enjoy their native land, and to obtain for the nation the revenue derived from its land."
In his reply to the Duke of Argyle Mr. George said ("Property in Land," p. 51): "I hold with Thomas Jefferson that ‘the earth belongs in usufruct to the living, and that the dead have no power or right over it.’ I hold that the land was not created for one generation to dispose of, but as a dwelling place for all generations: that the men of the present are not bound by any grants of land the men of the past may have made, and cannot grant away the rights of the men of the future."
The highest title to land in the United States in tenancy in fee simple. That title is subject to such taxation as the government shall deem right and necessary. The taxation may be increased to a point which would produce a revenue that would exempt all other property from tax. It may be made equal to the full rental value of the ground, and if the owner cries out against the injustice of so great a tax upon the land, the government may answer: "Your deed does not and cannot fix the amount of your tax—that is a matter in the discretion of the state; besides, the values which we collect in taxes on the land, irrespective of its improvements (which are not taxed), were not produced by your toil, but by the general industry and enterprise of the whole community. As matter of [End col. 1, p. 6] natural justice, and also of law, it belongs to the public."
In THE STANDARD of July 2, 1887, Mr. George writes,
We propose to exempt from all taxation that species of property which is the result of human toil, and to put our taxes on land values, irrespective of improvements. Were that done, the people who are now holding vacant land without using it would either have to use it or part with it to somebody who would.
All this is new to most people, but it is by no means new to those who have made a study of the social problems of mankind. In substance, it has been urged in various forms in all the great civilizations. The basis on which it is now urged in a Christian one; namely, that of natural justice and the brotherhood of man. The argument is simple. If man has a right to life, he has a right to the soil. As fish must have water, so men must have land. Separate men from land and they die. Give all the land to a class, and the rest must become their dependents. The evils that lie in monopoly increase to the proportion of a crime when monopoly seizes land. Rack-rent and serfdom, are, sooner or later, the consequences of monopoly in land. In a new country the evils are hid, but look at Ireland. Private ownership of land is monopoly of land, and is, therefore, contrary to natural justice and the brotherhood of man. Thirteen men are said to own half of Scotland. Suppose one of the thirteen should buy out the other twelve, then one man would, under the present system, have absolute control of half the kingdom, and could appropriate its lands to shooting preserves for himself and friends, while the poor were starving for bread. In former centuries the people of Scotland had access to the soil, but now the glens that once sent forth their thousand fighting men are tenanted by a couple of gamekeepers. It is claimed by Mr. Arthur Arnold that nearly four-fifths of the lands of Great Britain and Ireland, or 60,000,000 acres, are in the hands of about 7,000 persons. In the United States there are single farms of 100,000 acres.
But in point of fact, no civilization ever recognized absolute private ownership in land, and Mr. George does not propose a revolution, but rather a reform along recognized and established lines of progress. The rights of eminent domain, whereby the state appropriates with compensation lands for public use, such as forts, parks and roads, is the denial of absolute ownership. The law of the jubilee in the Mosaic legislation only permitted leases of land. All lands alienated from the family were returned at the end of fifty years. "And the land shall not be sold in perpetuity, for the land is mine." Lev. xxv, 23. The land acts recently passed by the English parliament regulating the rents of the tenant farmers of certain parts of the empire are incompatible with the doctrine of private land ownership. The lands of Irish landlords have been practically seized by the British government in the interests of the tenants, and the entire American press, including the opponents of Mr. George, has applauded the seizure.
In 1870 a bill was passed by parliament securing to Irish tenants all improvements they make on their farms. In 1881 a system of land courts was instituted to fix fair rents and secure fixity of tenure, and the owners are bound to put up with what the courts allot them or get nothing. A few days ago the present tory government passed a bill still further reducing the rents and increasing the authority of the tenants. A Parnellite member of parliament has said that this last land bill will bankrupt more than half the landlords of Ireland. It is hardly possibly to-day for land owner to raise money on their landed property in Ireland. This may be all wrong, but there are an increasing number of people who sympathize with the saying of the Indian chief Black Hawk, "The Great Spirit has told me that land is not to be made property like other property. The earth is our mother."
Mr. George is by no means a pioneer on this question. John Stuart Mill (in his "Principles of Political Economy" vol. 1, page 205), writes: "When the sacredness of property is talked of, it should always be remembered that any such sacredness does not belong in the same degree to landed property. No man made the land. It is original inheritance of the whole species. Its appropriation is wholly a question of general expediency. When private property in land is not expedient it is unjust … It is a hardship to be born into the world and to find all nature’s gifts previously engrossed and no place left for the newcomer."
Herbert Spencer holds similar view. "Equity does not permit," he says "private property in land. For if one portion of the earth may justly become the property of an individual, then all the earth’s surface may be so held. The world is God’s bequest to mankind. All men are joint heirs to it."
Before offering some criticisms of certain weak places in Mr. George’s scheme, let us ascertain what benefits he expects to flow from it for the average man. One of the smaller of these benefits would be that the large class of persons known as landlords, who now live from the toil of others, and are themselves non-producers, would be liberated to join the ranks of the world’s workers. By this change the parasites would become producers. A more signal advantage would be the cheapening of land and of mining privileges. If unused lands and mines which are now held for speculative purposes were taxed to their rental value they would be forced into the market. Speculation and "corners" in land would cease. Speculators could no longer hold them at so high a rate of taxation, and it would be no longer difficult for a poor man to secure a lot for a house, or a piece of ground for a farm. No person could hold more land than he would put to profitable use. The vast areas of land in the west now held by corporations and syndicates for speculative purposes would be released. It is affirmed that more than 20,000,000 acres of western and southern lands are held by foreign capitalists. All such land grabbers, whether citizens or foreigners, would have to relax their grip upon mother earth. Coal and useful ores, which the Creator has stored away in the bowels of the earth in so great abundance for the service of man, would be released from the syndicates who now control them, and the price would be regulated by their quantity, and not by greed and selfishness. The coal combinations in Pennsylvania could no longer fix the amount of coal that should be put upon the market.
Another gain would be found in releasing toil from taxation. It is claimed by Mr. George that the land tax would be sufficient for all the needs of government, and as a consequence every toiler would be secured all the product of his labor. Industry would be liberated and production increased. The present system depresses industry by heavy taxes, as ship building has been taxed out of existence in the United States; but a tax on land would not decrease the amount of land cultivated, so long as the tax did not exceed the rental value. When Mohammed Ali taxed date trees in Egypt the fellahs cut down the trees, but a heavier tax on land produced no such result. Unused land has at present an insignificant tax upon it, while an adjoining farm, on account of its improvements, is taxed heavily. This is putting a premium on non-production and taxing industry.
Another advantage would be that the institution of land "booming" would come to an end, and all fictitious and inflated valuations would cease. When land values are crowded [End col. 2, p.6] up to a point which will leave for capital and labor less than their accustomed returns, a disturbed and congested industrial condition will result; and just here Mr. George finds the primary cause of the recurring paroxysms of business depression.
On the moral aspects of this question we must not enlarge. Christianity has never yet succeeded in reaching the abject poor. Her stronghold has always been the independent middle classes. To reach the poor with the gospel they must first be made accessible by social well being. Free industry from its burdens, restore the earth to the people, and poverty would become as rare as excessive wealth is to-day. There is land enough to feed ten worlds like ours. The Mississippi valley could clothe and feed all the nations of the earth.
Malthusianism, that pessimistic bugbear which arraigns providence and destroys faith, finds a stalwart opponent in the author of "Progress and Poverty." Mr. George condemns the doctrines of Malthus, not only on religious grounds, but from considerations drawn from history and a sound political economy, and one of his best services to sociology is his masterly discussion of this subject. He proves conclusively that there is no cause to dread either an overcrowded world or a starving world.
There is one other point of importance urged by our land reformer, namely, that a land tax can be collected with less machinery and fraud than any other style of revenue. The present system engenders fraud, perjury and theft. It corrupts the officers of the revenue and the public conscience. The customs revenue leads to fraudulent invoices and smuggling, and the tax on personal property creates perjury and falsehood. But land lies out of doors. It cannot be hid, and its rental value is easily ascertained. The machinery of collection would be simplified, and the temptations to fraud would be reduced to a minimum.
So far on the credit side of this question. Let us now inquire for the debit account. Civilized society rests on the security of life and property. Absolute security for property earned may be said to be the foundation of modern civilization. No community can be industrious if its earnings are not safe. Mr. George proposes to confiscate all landed property (barring improvements) to the state. He has told us that he does not like the word confiscate; but that is precisely the word which defines his plan (con and fiscus, the common treasury) and it is no defense to say that titles of land are to remain with present holders so long as he would tax the land up to its full rental value. There is no advantage in owning a piece of land if the government seizes its entire revenue. This seizure of ground rent does not disturb the security or revenue of other property, but it is the malappropriation of a vast amount of property for which, in most cases the owners paid honest money. It is a bad example in morals for the sovereign state to put before citizens, and it would not fail to corrupt the public conscience.
For these reason many eminent publicists, including Herbert Spencer and Mr. Mill, insist that the government shall make compensation for rents thus appropriated. In his "Political Economy," vol. 1, p. 296, Mr. Mill writes: "It is due to land owners and to owners of any property whatever, recognized as such by the state, that they shall not be dispossessed of it without receiving its pecuniary value. This is due on the general principles on which property rests."
So long as Mr. George refuses to recognize this right of compensation his reform will have uphill work, for he challenges the resistance of the land owning classes on the ground of self-interest, and of all classes on the ground of fair play. It is to be conceded, however, that the [model?]of land resumption by the state is an incidental issue and does not involve the question of the justice and expediency of private ownership in land.
In the Forum for July, 1887, Professor W. T. Harris has an article with the caption, "Henry George’s Mistake About Land." The first mistake which this critic points out is Mr. George’s overestimate of the income from the ground rents. By using United States census returns he figures "the actual value of all land in the United States owned as private property at somewhat less than$10,000,000,000 for 1880. Counting the rent on this land at four per cent we have less than $400,000,000 per annum, making an average of nearly $8 for each inhabitant, or a little more than two cents per day." This small sum, the professor tells us, would not bring ease and luxury to those who are struggling with poverty. The annual expenses of the government are about $800,000,000. But Professor Harris seems to overlook the vast increase of production which would result from releasing the lands and mines that are now tied up by private ownership. By the present system land industries are administered only so as to enrich the owners. Under the proposed system they would be administered by the entire population, in the interest of the entire population: or, to use Mr. Lincoln’s phrase at Gettysburg, they would be administered "by the people, of the people, for the people."
Mr. George follows Karl Marx in the pessimistic notion that the rich are growing richer and the poor are growing poorer. Professor Harris shows that this is not true. The middle classes, whose incomes are from $750 to $5,000, have increased since 1850 threefold; the wealthy classes, whose incomes are from $5,000 to $15,000, have increased twofold, while the number of persons whose incomes have been below $750 per annum have relatively decreased and the average income risen from $265 to $415 since 1850.
There is Unoccupied Land on Manhattan Island—Does the "World" Believe it Can be Had as a Gift?
This motto, from one of Dr. McGlynn’s speeches, was made prominent at the labor convention: "They suffer, they die, because we permit them to be robbed of their birth-right." "They" is the poor people; the "birthright" is land. This might be true in Ireland. It is not true in the United States. The offer of a farm, not as a birthright, but as a gift from the government, is still open to anybody who chooses to go where the unoccupied land is.
Doesn’t the Tax Gatherer Wrest Any of His Goods and Chattels from Him?
Shoe and Leather Reporter.
Every foot of land which any man has bought and paid for, the title being legal, is as much a part of his estate as his goods and chattels are, and to wrest it from him would be simply robbery. To imagine that the American people will ever be parties to such a gross violation of the eighth commandment is to assume that they are destitute, not merely of a high sense of honor, but even of common honesty.
A Little Mixed, but Equal to the Average Pro-poverty Argument.
New York Times.
This whole structure of untenable theories is demolished at once by the recognition of the unquestionable fact that it is through "the exertions of the individual" that "the growth of society" comes about. "The unearned increment" of which Mr. George talks unceasingly is in the majority of cases as lawfully earned as the mechanic’s daily wage, and its conversion to the use of the loafer and the idle theorist would be a form of robbery not less criminal than the picking of the mechanic’s pockets. [End col. 3, p. 6]
THE PRESS AND THE PARTY
The comments of the press on the action of the first state convention of the united labor party are almost as interesting to the student of journalism as to the citizen interested in politics. It has for a long time been suspected that newspaper editors do not read anything but newspapers. The comments of the press go far toward confirming this suspicion, since they demonstrate that the ordinary editor really knows less about the "single tax on land," "socialism" and other topics of constant newspaper discussion than does the average car driver in this city.
Our quotations also indicate the utter inability of the ordinary political editor to grasp a new idea Such men not only have no conception of the principle advocated by the new party, but they do not understand that there is any principle, or that principles can have anything to do with politics. All that concerns them is the possible effect that the new party may have on the fortunes of the old parties, and their feeling toward it varies with their calculation of its effect on the fortunes of the parties with which they happen to be personally associated.
Some weak witted papers attempt to sneer at the Syracuse convention as a body of no political importance, but the ablest and most far-seeing journals recognize the fact that the new party is an organization destined to play an important part in politics, and the confession is very general that the convention was a gathering of unusually intelligent men. The Syracuse Standard, whose editors watched the proceedings with much interest, declares that the convention was one that "may be regarded as one of the most remarkable in politics of our times."
COMMENTS ON THE PLATFORM
Very naturally the newspapers dwell chiefly on the platform of the party, and for obvious reasons seek to represent that it was simply accepted by the convention at the hands of Henry George. Those who were present at the reading of the declaration of principles could not be deceived in this fashion. The land plank was received with hearty applause and the convention was eager to brush aside the minority report and to adopt the platform as it stands. The editors cannot, however, bring themselves to believe that anything that is not clear to their own minds can be understood by a convention. As the papers do not understand the principles enunciated it is natural that they should be very contradictory in their comments. Here are a few going to show that the united labor party proposes to establish a system of taxation for the special benefit of luxurious millionaires:
FARMERS VS. MILLIONAIRES
First of all the small farmer will be ruined and the owner of the modest home will be evicted. To-day the costly mansion, the splendid bank building, the spreading factory, appear on the tax list as a part of the real estate; but they are not land, but improvements, which Mr. George proposes to exclude from taxation. No one of the old parties has proposed such reckless favoritism to capital as this theory involves. It is a socialism which threatens to impoverish those of moderate means and to give relief to the rich and the luxurious.—[Utica Herald.
To tax land values and exempt improvements is to place the burden on farms, homesteads and business lots and free Vanderbilt mansions and Fifth avenue hotels from assessment. In other words, it offers a premium for rich men to invest their money where it will be exempt from taxation—in "industry or its products," buildings, adornments and luxuries.—[Warsaw, N.Y., Times.
The rich man’s palace and the poor man’s cottage are to enjoy equal immunity from taxation, the immense factory and the cobbler’s stand are to be placed on the same footing, and no discrimination is to be made between the luxuries and the necessities of life! Certainly the rich will have no reason to complain if this programme is carried out; but precisely how it is to abolish poverty is not apparent.—[New Orleans Picayune.
This in effect makes the farmer pay nearly all the expenses of the government and lets the owners of magnificent buildings in cities go free. It makes the over-worked tiller of the soil the slave of the millionaire.—[Ogdensburg, N.Y., Signal.
This is ingenious and interesting. The strange thing about it is that the usually keen millionaires of this city have so far failed to see it, and foolishly spent their money a year ago to prevent the triumph of this scheme for their benefit.
THE RUN OF THE FARMER.
Though the advocates of the millionaire theory are not numerous the solicitude concerning the poor farmer is very general. Here are a few specimen wails on this subject:
Perhaps the Georgeites have not well considered what the extent of the job would be to confiscate "the sacred rights of property" in all these farms and lots, to reduce their owners to the condition of state serfs or Irish rent-racked peasants, and to seize six thousand millions of railroad property against the legal and physical opposition of the two millions of owners!—[Chicago Tribune.
To largely increase the land tax would be to put a heavy burden on the farmers of the country. Thus the very thing would be grievously taxed that ought to be as lightly taxed as possible. Such a policy might make land cheap, because few people would want it, but it would make all the necessaries of life dearer.—[Chicago Journal.
No party press can argue the republican farmers of this state into even quiescent acceptance of the land tax theory on which the whole of the George party now bases itself. Nor will they countenance their party press in playing with the fiery danger which the George platform thrusts in the face of the established legal status of the whole land. They will not recognize that party exigencies of even the most terrible character can justify such a course on the part of their oracles and wise men. … On the other hand, what rot it is for alleged oracular democratic organs to burst forth into wild and defamatory attacks on George, as if he were a power in the field against whom calm and dispassionate argument could have no force. The ability and the honesty of Mr. George are not to be questioned. They are beyond the reach of any denunciation.—[Albany Times.
Do these newspaper editors think that the farmers can be permanently blinded to the fact that a system which proposes to lay the whole burden of maintaining government on their bare ground and on city lots and mining lands, according to the respective values of each, will not lighten instead of increasing the farmer’s burden. Every farmer can be made to see at a glance that the question is not whether he shall pay tax on the land he tills, but whether he shall pay that tax into an individual pocket or into a common fund. Before this campaign is over the confidence of these papers in the solidity of the farmer vote against land reform may be somewhat shaken.
THE NOTHING WRONG THEORY.
A number of papers, in discussing the platform, adopt the "poor ye have always with you" theory of the society saviors. They insist that there is no real cause for complaint by workingmen, and that hence no remedy is called for. Here are a few samples of this familiar twaddle:
It assumes that the wage worker is a wage slave and that labor is being degraded and ground down, when the plain truth is that labor never earned better wages than at the present moment nor ever was there a greater distribution of comfort. There are tramps and paupers in the land, no doubt, but the American system is no more responsible for [End col. 4, p. 6] the existence of vagrancy and poverty than it is for the dictum that "the poor ye have always with ye," or the truth that certain sections of the human race are both idle and improvident.—[Buffalo Courier.
The platform also assumes that the laborer is the "industrial slave" of those who grow rich by his toil. We do not believe that the workingmen of this country consider themselves slaves to anybody. They are quite independent, make their own bargains, and work for one person or another as they please.—[Hartford Times.
Though all of the papers profess to understand the platform, those that attempt to condemn it do so on grounds so widely differing that their arguments neutralize each other. Here are a few samples:
Georgeism, as now formulated, advocates the taxation of land at its full value, apart from improvements, but leaves the title to land undisturbed. The application of this principle, if not supplemented by the further provision for the abolition of all other taxes, would reduce the burdens upon land owners in a city and country; but all other taxes being abolished being abolished, it would simply put the cost of government upon the land. We doubt if the consequences of such a system would be as revolutionary as both its advocates and its opponents contend; and it is our impression that Georgeism in philosophy is slightly modified in becoming Georgeism in politics.—[Rochester Post-Express.
A pretty programme to place before the intelligent people of America! In what socialism differs from this outcome of Georgeism it is difficult to tell.—[Malone, N.Y., Gazette.
If the platform had only kept clean from George’s land confiscation theories entirely it would win, we believe, tens of thousands more votes than it will obtain, tainted as it is with Georgeism.—[Springfield, Mass., News.
The remedy is too radical; the patient is not at all likely to adopt it, and has not the constitution to survive it if it were adopted.—[Lockport, N.Y., Union.
The platform exhibits that benighted repugnance to banks which is due too often either to misguided ignorance or to unreasoning prejudice.—[Richmond, Va., State.
The platform adopted by the convention contains little that has not been formulated in previous declarations of the George wing of land and labor reformers. It has the advantage over the platforms of the parties that have hitherto had practical control of affairs in being to a large extent composed of untried propositions. Because of this it will catch many votes. The labor leaders are as wise in their generation as anybody, and they are fully aware of the success that attends the simple advertising of panaceas for ills, whether political or bodily.—[Patterson, N.J., Press.
That is to say, the Paterson Press thinks that the new party is trying to set up in the patent medicine business, and offers a cure-all for the ills of society that have not been alleviated by the regular practitioners of the democratic and republican and water cure schools.
WORTHY OF CONSIDERATION.
A number of papers, however, see that the platform is the work of honest and sincere believers in a great principle, and they demand for it careful consideration:
The manner and spirit in which the principles of the new party are presented are to be commended. There was nothing in that convention to poke fun at. It was serious business by men whose sincerity and honesty we have no reason to question.—[Minneapolis, Minn., Journal.
The new ideas will bear examination, and every thoughtful man will investigate them, and it may be the indefinite future will see them adopted.—[Ogdensburg Advance.
While the main principle of the new party, a single tax on land, may be utterly inadequate to bring about the results claimed by its advocates, still the new party is committed to reform. A large and increasing number of voters are willing to try the panacea.—[Omaha Republican.
The platform is a better one than any democratic convention has adopted in years, the candidates are far above the average of democratic candidates, and the party itself promises to prove a refuge to thousands who have heretofore trained in the democratic ranks.—[Cortlandt, N.Y., Standard.
The time has gone past for ridiculing and misrepresenting Henry George’s scheme. The effect of the reform would certainly be greatly beneficial to both labor and capital. It would not, as is often pretended, lay new burdens on farmers. Their taxes would be lessened by freeing buildings, cultivated areas, fences and all kinds of improvements from taxation.—[Toronto, Ont., Globe.
The general failure of the editorial writers to understand either the principles of the united labor party or the ideas of the socialists, produces much confusion of comment on the action of the convention in excluding the socialists. The united labor party proposes that those natural advantages which are bestowed on all men by their Creator, those values that are produced by social growth and those public enterprises that can only exist by reason of the exercise of the legislative power of the people, such as railways, telegraphs, water works, etc., shall virtually belong to the people in common, while it insists that the results of individual labor and endeavor shall belong to the individual producing them. The line of demarcation is obvious, and it is traced by natural equity. The socialists refuse to recognize any such line, and insist on the common ownership of the results of individual effort. The failure of those criticizing the platform to recognize this clear distinction between what naturally belongs to the community and what naturally belongs to the individual produces the conflict of statement noticeable in the following extracts:
The action of the Syracuse convention in throwing out the socialistic delegates will commend the new party to honest workingmen throughout the state, who are discouraged with the treatment they have received at the hands of the democratic party.—[Troy Telegram.
There is, no doubt, a wide difference between the George theory and socialism, but the rural mind is not practiced at drawing distinctions, and will be apt to confound both.—[New Haven Union.
As between the two, we have more respect for the out-and-out socialists than for Henry George and his following, as the more honest; the only difference between the George theory and theirs being that one is sugar-coated with misleading sophistries, while the other is presented in all its naked repulsiveness.—[Pittsburg Telegraph.
The doctrines of Henry George and of socialism are as far apart as the poles. The affirmation of one is a denial of the other. State socialism gives to the government the agency which under a democratic form of government belongs to the individual.—[Newark, N.J., Press-Register.
Now if there is any bit of socialism that the farmers most of all dislike, it is Henry George’s own socialism, which proposes to rob them of their land.—[Columbus, O., Journal.
The Henry George united labor party has excluded socialists from participation in the state convention of the organization. And yet it is difficult to see in what Mr. George’s theories of political economy differ from those of the socialists, pure and simple.—[Boston Gazette.
Mr. George and his associate leaders have shown both courage and discretion in refusing to recognize the extravagant claims of the socialists, who knocked vigorously at the door f the platform committee.—[Richmond, Va., State.
One thing that laboring men ought to fully understand is that when they elect Henry George to any office whatever it will be the entering wedge for a reign of socialism, communism and possibly anarchism.—[Buffalo Times. [End col. 5, p. 6]
It is plain that the socialists who will not leave their party have no place in the united labor ranks.—[Syracuse Herald.
It is unquestionably true that Henry George has, by turning his back of the socialists, placed himself in a much more favorable attitude before the people at large.—[Detroit Tribune.
Most of the papers in commenting on the candidates nominated confine their remarks to the head of the ticket. They assume that because the other names on the ticket are unfamiliar to them that they are those of unknown men. Had the newspapers paid as close attention for the past ten years to a great political social movement as they have to base ball, they would have kept their readers informed of the growth and work of the organizations that trained the large number of able parliamentarians and ready debaters who appeared in the Syracuse convention. Had they done this they would also know that the other names on the united labor ticket are well and favorably known to thousands of workers in the ranks of organized labor, to whom they look for active support in this canvass. However, as the comments on the head of the ticket apply to it as a whole in the matter of success, we give them such space as we can spare:
When Henry George accepted that nomination from the platform of Syracuse he set every politician in the nation to thinking.—[Albany Express.
Henry George, in particular, has come to be known the world over as a strong, virile man, who advocates some very wild ideas mixed with sound thought, but who has the sincerity of a martyr in his belief, and is therefore a power with the men whom he leads. His nomination means a campaign by the united labor organization that cannot be bought or sold, a vigorous, determined canvass, a thoroughly united, persistent effort.—[Ogdensburg Journal.
The nomination of George assures the polling of the full vote of the united labor party.—[Omaha Republican.
As was eminently fitting, the convention put the name of Henry George at the head of its ticket.—[Warsaw, N.Y., Times.
The nomination of Henry George for the secretary of state by the united labor party of New York insures for that party a large vote next fall.—[Paterson, N.J. Press.
The nomination of Henry George for secretary of state by the representatives of the united labor party, and his acceptance of that nomination, coupled as it is with a pledge on his part to use his best endeavors to secure a large vote, means "business."—[Troy Times.
If the nominees for state offices are a fair sample of the rank and file of the George party, the democracy has not much to fear from the movement inaugurated at Syracuse.—[Utica Observer.
The candidates of the convention will get, we are disposed to think, a heavy vote—not heavy enough to elect any of them, but heavy enough to disturb the balance of existing political parties.—[Rochester Post-Express.
The nomination of Henry George for the office of secretary of state by the united labor party at Syracuse is the best thing for all concerned that could possibly have been done.—[Buffalo Times.
The Syracuse convention put at work in the politics of the state a powerful factor when it presented Henry George to the suffrages of the voters of New York.—[Albany Journal.
The ticket is appropriately headed by Henry George for secretary of state.—[Utica Herald.
More Thought of Corner Lots than Human Souls.
GALVESTON, Tex., Aug. 21.—It is then a fact that, as stated in THE STANDARD, "not a few of the Catholic newspapers are speaking in kindly tones of Dr. McGlynn since his ‘exit.’" Well, thanks be to God for that same, but none at all to those good shepheras who have abandoned the shepherd’s staff for the land shark’s title deeds and the politician’s caucus.
That some of these Catholic papers should have a large circle of readers is not more unnatural than that the machinery of the Catholic church should be used to dash the cup of hope from the lips of the despairing poor, and to bury them, body and soul, in the slough of despond. Thousands, aye, millions of immortal souls are abandoned to the dogs or to the devil, while the shepherds angle around after revenues and real estate. The wolves fatten on the flock that bears no fleece, but safe and fat pastures are the reward of much wool. This is Christianity nowadays. It is consoling and gilt-edged to the rich; it is sapless wood to the sons of toil; it is cold, cold stone to the heart broken poor. And we wonder why the philosophic Wong Chin Foo is a heathen! For my part, give me the practices, if not the principles, of his heathenism rather than many of the practices and principles that receive the sanction and indorsement of the Catholic machine to-day. The Catholic church refurbishing its weapons to defend and uphold the most gigantic wrong that ever cursed mankind since Adam’s fall is, I think, the most sickening spectacle in all creation, or in all history. If there be any record of a mother setting her foot on her child’s neck and holding it under water till it drowns, that will equal it. And we have to thank "church property" for it all. May every best gift of God be abundantly bestowed on him who will lend a helping hand in bringing about that blessed day when the Catholic church—the church of my fathers, my church; and, I hope, the church of my children unto all generations—shall not "own" one square foot of land on this planet. Then, indeed, may the shepherd’s heart not be divided by the rival claims of God and Mammon; and then, too, may human souls, and not corner lots, be the sole objects of his solicitude.
Dr. McGlynn is excommunicated. All outlawed and anathematized as he is, I would, if the choice were offered me on my deathbed, take his chance of salvation before that of those who condemned him. God bless him!
The Connecticut Land and Labor Club Convention.
Nine out of the twelve land and labor clubs of Connecticut were represented at the Hartford convention. A constitution was adopted, features of which were a pledge to consider a club in active existence whether meetings are regularly held or not, and sections providing for the appointment of club librarians, for subscription to a state land and labor paper for every member of a club, and for the establishment of an industrial bureau with a central office for the purpose of securing employment for members out of work and aiding employers in the organization in procuring help. The officers elected for the state organization were Herbert C. Baker, president; J.L. Dunham, vice-president; Robert Pyne, secretary and treasurer, and Charles Corning, industrial secretary. The state committee chosen were Patrick McMahon of New Britain, David Evans of Meriden, and Andrew Leary of Thomaston. The convention adopted the Syracuse platform.
London telegram to Melbourne Age.
Dr. McGlynn, the priest who was suspended by Cardinal McCloskey in consequence of the censure of Bishop Gilmour of Cleveland, U.S., on Dr. McGlynn’s public utterances of sympathy with Henry George’s socialistic views, has now been excommunicated by the pope. [End col. 6, p. 6]
Permit me to relate my experience as a reformer. It may do a little good. Some discouraged reformers may read it and be inspired with renewed hope. Some impulsive natures who are just taking up the cross may gather philosophy from it.
The field of my labors is a New England town. My work has been the promulgation of the doctrine of the land for the people.
I am a product of the land of steady habits. I have lived to middle life in one town. My travels have not been extensive. I am aware that environment has had an influence in the formation of my character. My speech, in idiom, pronunciation and intonation, is the provincial dialect of the Berkshire hills country. My theology was early in life squared and narrowed by the precepts taught in a puritanical Sunday school, my family morals were nurtured by a mother who made our house a home, my business morals were fashioned by a father who bought and sold dry goods at small profits. This father of mine saved the pennies, did not point out the flaws in sleazy silk, and thought quarter cotton as good as all wool—when he was selling it. He was a careful man, and he earned the reputation of a good citizen by a lifetime of negativeness. His one weakness was admiration of me—I was so much like him. He often smiled on me when I was a lad of ten or twelve years, and said I was a chip of [off?] the old block; and then he would drop one penny into my little tin savings bank.
I was an old man of a boy. I went to school eight years and never played truant a single day. I had an aversion for some studies, but I worked at them with the patience of stupidity. But there were other studies that came to me so easily and naturally that it seemed to me the school board had intended to let the boys have a pleasant time in school occasionally. I noticed, however, that some other boys did not take readily to the books I liked.
My father did not sent me to college. I was clay in his hands and had no will in the matter. I respected his virtues and venerated his wisdom. He, I believed, knew better than I what was good for me, and it was my duty to follow the road he mapped out for me. I felt this without thinking a great deal about it. So, father telling me it was best, I went to work "clerking" in his store.
My father never told me to misrepresent the quality of goods when selling them. He taught me no tricks of the trade. He once told me to keep my eyes and ears open and my mouth shut. In that way I caught hints. At first I blundered, for I told the plain truth about goods and spoiled their sale. Then when I would reflect upon what I had done I would have a bad time all by myself. Then it was the windows were opened to me through which I could see the business world. The picture I saw was that of a market place in which adroitness, timely reticence, skillful display, slick advertising, humbugging human vanity and persistent drumming got the better of good goods and no trumpet. When I saw this picture my head grew hot, my eyes were moist and my face and ears tingled. I thought the world wicked.
I never spoke to my father about these things. I saw that his imagination had never brought up such pictures, and that his feelings had never been harrowed by any thoughts concerning business morality like those which sometimes flashed through my mind. I worked along. There was nothing else to do. I kept the books in good shape, was an obliging salesman, grew accustomed to business, and earned additional admiration from a father who believed he saw in me himself reproduced.
Our store was a modest one, and so was our house. Father owned both outright. He never took business risks, but plodded on safely. He had planned and saved for years to get his little possessions, and he was bent on keeping them and adding to them. Early in life I heard my mother say one day to my father that he was absorbed in watching the growth of his money pile. I remember thinking, when she said it, that father had no pile of money. He had only a cash drawer with a few score dollars in it. No, it was not pieces of money that father was engrossed I putting together. It was something else. I regarded the something like a growth—like a great apple tree that stood in our garden. Father, who was something of a gardener, used to tell how he had planted that tree, straightened it, grafted it, trimmed it and picked the fruit from it, and somehow, to my mind, his passion for accumulation seemed like his affection for his tree. Just as every year the apple tree had been a degree bigger than the year before, so was the growth of father’s power and importance in our town because his mythical money pile was larger.
But, poor, good, careful soul, of what little significance did the object of his worship seem to me one day, while I was still in my teens, when he was called away from earth.
The so-called money pile was divided up among four of us—my mother, a brother, a sister and myself. The store fell to me as my share. And I fell to nurturing my fortune and watching it grow.
In time I married. My era of reform began the day I was married. When I courted my wife I thought her a bright, healthy girl who would prove a pleasant companion and a good housewife. But I soon became sensible of qualities in her which had the effect of bringing back to me some of the feeling that I had entertained when I was learning what business was. My wife had no "views." She had no thought of teaching me anything. But she had and has a great human heart in the right place. That heart takes in the whole world in sympathy. It stands for sense and conscience. It makes her beam with hope, admiration, enjoyment, kindness. It breaks down the lines of caste, elevates whoever share her society, and draws people away from their own selfishness. It does not send he into utopian schemes of charity, or bring her to pose as an almsgiver. But it makes of her a democrat, a lover of justice, a believer in the essential equality of all—a Christian. It [End col. 1, p. 7] was the woman’s sympathy with the poor around us, her acquaintance with them, her comments on their condition, he observations regarding their unrequited toil, her faith in God’s laws being better than man’s, her confident hope of better days to come for the overworked and underpaid, that brought my mind to a state of inquiry. I was, in fact, degenerate. Reform came to me through a change of heart. Principles were corrected in the light of wider sympathies. A clear perception of the truth that God had provided for all the people of the earth came when mind and conscience had been stimulated.
My earlier experience as a reformer was gruesome. When I had settled myself in my new principles, I started out to make converts. I wrestled with Jew and Gentile, the learned and the ignorant. I have a suspicion that when it was bruited about in our quiet town that I had set up to teach that "land was common property" folks agreed I had gone daft. My business suffered for a time. The ladies of my wife’s acquaintance whose houses have windows decorated with lace curtains forgot to return her calls. One day when we were dining with an old friend, I explained to my own satisfaction the land "theory." My friend at the moment when I finished missed his teaspoon, and he said: "Look here, does this communism of yours reach spoons?" Of course it was mere pleasantry. He meant nothing. But he has never invited me to dine with him since.
I found many people, the victims of their own hobbies, who, when I desired to convert then, only waited stone deaf to my arguments until I had finished them, and then proposed to convert me to their beliefs. Once, after I had spent two hours in elaborating the "theory" to an intelligent cosmopolitan, he said, "Yes, I shall join you in any endeavor to rid men of the irksome trammels of society. Now, I think that the law prohibiting a man having more than one wife should be abolished!" I gave this man up in disgust.
I found the lawyers ready to argue, and when I had exhausted arguments with them I looked upon them generally as men without belief in anything save their own powers. One thought he could judicially look on both sides of the argument and declared that my side had nothing in it. Another argued that if it was true that the land of a country belonged to the people of a country, these United States belonged to the Indians, for they were the only people really of the country. Another, wise as a judge, knew all about land communism in Russia, for as soon as he heard I was talking of free land he looked up the subject in the encyclopedia. And then, ignoring the despotism under which the Russians live, he attributed all the evils of that unhappy country to the land communism of a small part of it.
A neighboring storekeeper who asked what this new-fangled belief of mine was, said when I had explicitly stated "theory" and remedy, "Oh, I see, you believe that wherever you see a vacant lot you ought to ‘collar it.’"
A large land owner calmly pointed out to me that the class of people uniformly the nearest the brutes in civilized lands were to be found in farming countries. "There," he said, "the people are nearest the beast of burden with whom they mingle in their daily work. You would reduce the world to that."
A man who had worked thirty years for a home, listened to me one day aghast while I unfolded my principles. He then said, sullenly, "If anybody comes to take my house, I’ve a shotgun and will shoot!"
A literary woman smiled on me patronizingly and kindly tried to get me to see my mistake. She had seen the commons of her native town. It was as bare as a heath, and did I want the entire country like that?
Often did I meet the man who insisted I wanted the land cut up in little bits, and the one who knew everything that was to be known of land tenures and that a holding by fee simple was the one on which civilization rested, and the one who refused to see any difference between land and property the result of men’s work.
If I could have been downed by opposing arguments, I would soon have ended my career as a reformer. But I soon saw that though men loved to argue they also love the truth. They would argue in spite of the whisperings of their conscience and dictates of their intelligence. In time, however, inquiries came to me. They were from all classes. One day I was taken by surprise when our county’s pride, its boasted millionaire, said to me: "The arguments of ‘Progress and Poverty’ are unanswerable. I have a bank in a western city. In ten years I will be paying lower salaries and wages out there than I am now. My bank’s capital will be drawing a lower percentage than it is now. But the corner lot where the bank stands will be worth five times what it is now."
Well, things have so come around in my town I no longer stand alone. I made the first plunge, that was all. The doctrines are becoming respectable. Several young lawyers, converts to our "theory," are delighted by puzzling the older ones with the facts that support it. Shopkeepers who have been rack-rented are living in hopes of obtaining a chance to vote against rack-renting. The factory people have an implicit faith in the new doctrine and spend hours in the evening at the land and labor club headquarters discussing it.
Now, why did I tell you anything about my father and his property, my wife and her goodness? What have such things to do with land reform? It is because if I see in the one character some of the more remote consequences of an unjust social organization, I see in the other an unspoiled child of nature, a promise of what men and women may become if time brings with it an abolition of what so often dwarfs the mind and blunts the finer feelings—poverty. Abolish poverty and whatever is beautiful and admirable in character may be confidently expected to develop.
Paterson, N.J., Anti-Poverty Society.
The first public meeting of the Anti-poverty society of Paterson, N.J., was held last Sunday night. The hall was full. E.W. Nellis presided, and Louis F. Post of New York made the address. Before the meeting closed Miss Lily Runnals, the elocutionist, recited Trowbridge’s "Wolves," and, being recalled, sang "Cows are in the Corn." [End col. 2, p. 7]
SALVATION BY MEANNESS.
"The common type of workingman so written at and lectured" must be very much obliged to the Rev. Dr. Howard Crosby for showing him how he can, by due and proper prudence, save himself from the curse of poverty.
The perfect simplicity of the reverend gentleman is refreshing, and the workingman can never be too thankful that he has turned from the suppression of vice to the encouragement of virtue. The doctor must have been one of the good little boys that we read of in the Sunday school books. He does his sums so nicely. Figures in his hands lie with a blandness that would do credit to the heathen Chinee. It is in the August number of the Forum that the doctor comes to the help of a perishing world. There he figures out to his own satisfaction how easy it is for the poor to be rich—only ten years or so of superhuman self-denial. Ten years spent in the exalting work of saving pennies shall bring your workingman among the Astors and Goelets. He, too, shall be a proud landlord; an owner of the soil. To prove his thesis, the doctor creates an ideal workingman, and pays him for his work the sum of $2 per day for 300 days in the year, which he spends for him as follows:
The workingman is to be limited to three absolute necessities of life—food, clothing and shelter. For shelter he is to pay yearly $120; for food, $300; for clothing, $100, and for incidentals, $30. This leaves him $50 per year, the saving of which is to be the first duty in life, to fulfill which the man is to sacrifice the comfort and happiness, and, if need be, the lives of wife and children.
An ideal workingman, to succeed in this praiseworthy enterprise, must be very ideal indeed. He must never, during the first ten years of his working life, be sick for a single day. For should he happen to be sick, not only would he fail to make his two dollars a day, but his expenses would greatly increase. A week’s sickness would easily wipe out a year’s savings. Then our ideal workingman must have no children, or at the most but a single one, for your children are sad wasters of savings. It really costs more than a poor man can afford to have them—not less than thirty dollars for doctor, nurse, etc. Nearly another year’s savings gone. How distressing for a man whose first duty is to save money! And when a poor woman marries she should remember that her duty is not to fulfill the law of marriage in the blessedness of motherhood, but to be a household drudge, to help her man gather together the pelf for the banker.
However, let us suppose that our ideal workingman, who is never sick and never out of work, whose wife and child are never sick and never die—let us suppose that this ideal workingman has an actual existence; how, after all, can he live in this unideal world? He is to pay only $120 per year for his shelter. This, in or near any place where he can earn his two dollars per day, will secure for him only the meanest kind of lodging—an apartment in the lower order of tenements, three rooms, one light and two dark—or the smallest of houses on the outskirts of our smaller cities, without a single convenience—no bath room, no closet room; and if the poor man should forget and have two or three children, no room for them to sleep decently. The workingman is to be content with his narrow quarters and bare walls, sustained through the terrible monotony of his life by the proud consciousness that he is saving fifty dollars a year.
Then he is allowed to spend $300 a year for food. This is very liberal. It is 27 cents and a little more a day for each person in a family of three. Such a sum of money will buy, at current prices, enough to keep a man from starving, but it will do nothing else. He can eat—as I have seen workingmen eating time and again—bread and lard. This, of course, is good enough for your mere laborer. Many a poor wife and mother is compelled to keep within this limit; but, alas! the food she prepares is neither wholesome nor appetizing. It is round steak cut thin and fried hard, black bread and potatoes for dinner; coffee and bread for breakfast; tea and bread for supper, but this is good enough for the people. So we will grant that our worker and his family can make out to live on $300 worth of food a year. Next comes his clothing, $100—$40 for himself, $40 for his wife, and $20 for the child. Well, it can be done; but, mind you, only one child! Dr. Crosby can never have known how little feet, with their ceaseless patter, wear away the shoes, and with the shoes the money. See to it, you working men, that you have not many pairs of feet running to meet you as you come from work, else as your children run to you your money will run from you, and to save money is the end and aim of your life. You like to see your wife tidy and dressed as well as another, but you and she are to be content with life, and never think of life’s adornment. It must make devils laugh and angels weep to hear the rich finding fault with the extravagance of the poor. A woman whose single dress costs a poor man’s wages for a year, lifting up her hands in holy horror because a poor woman buys a bit of Hamburg edging for her baby’s dress. But let this go, also, and grant that our ideal workingman can dress himself and wife and child on $100 a year.
Then he has $30 for incidentals, which is to pay for books, papers, traveling expenses and amusements. Thirty dollars a year is eight and three-quarter cents a day. Our ideal workingman will not drink a glass of beer if he is thirsty, nor yet a glass of soda; for if he did, 150,000 workingmen would do the like, which would make $7,500 a day, $52,500 a week, $2,730,000 a year all gone in froth, and as for tobacco, he will of course eschew that, lest having spent three cents for tobacco 150,000 workmen should do likewise, and so $4,500 per day, $31,500 per week, and $1,638,000 per year go up in smoke. No! our working man shall be perfectly abstinent and so save his $50, for through his saving is to come his crowning glory.
In ten years his savings, with interest, will amount to $637.50. We now see him as he proudly draws it from the bank. See him as he goes into the market—to do what? Why, of course, to follow the doctor’s advice and buy a house. A house for $637.50. Where! Well, not exactly on Murray hill or Riverside park, but out in Harlem flats and up in Westchester and over on Jersey heights men are just dying to sell houses and lots for $637.50 each. Now, rent-ridden people, lift up your voices and be not afraid. You have the word of a doctor of divinity that in and near your great cities you can buy houses and lots for $637.50 each. "Lord! Lord! what fools these mortals be," paying $1,000 or $2,000 a year rent for a decent house to live in, and inside repairs at that, while houses are to be bought for $637.50 each.
But the most marvelous thing is yet to come. When the ideal workingman had bought his house he will, of course, have no rent to pay. He will remove from his narrow tenement to his suburban villa, and now mark you, his only expense will be his car fare. This will cost him $30 a year, and, says the wise doctor, $90 will be released. This is a simple sum in subtraction. One hundred and twenty dollars paid for rent, less $30, leaves $90. Of course that is plain. Now can the workingman enjoy life! He has no only a [End col. 3, p. 7] house, but a house which will never burn, and so needs no insurance; which will never wear out, and so needs no repairs, and for which no taxes are to be paid; for as soon as this house is bought $90 is released, and your $637.50 earns fifteen per cent interest. O, Henry George and Edward McGlynn, go sit at the feet of this Gamaliel and learn how to abolish poverty. A house for $637.50 that pays its own expenses is a swift and sure way to opulence, and blessed be he that has found it.
Does not Dr. Crosby know that such lying words as these make the poor hate the rich, to whom they justly cry, "If this thing can be done so easily, why do you not do it? Why do you not live as you say we ought to live? Why do you spend dollars when we dare not spend pennies?" And as for you preachers of justice, who, in your marble churches, rent a single sitting for more than a poor man can afford to pay for his house, how dare you, from the midst of luxurious comfort, preach to us to be patient in our misery? Contentment is good for us, but what is it for you? It was a good doctrine for Lazarus, but a terribly bad doctrine for Dives. Let us alone, then, as we go by you bearing our cross, and do not stand and revile us, as the rich men reviled of old, shaking their heads and saying: "He trusted in God; let Him deliver him, if He will have him." It is not enough that we live for you and die for you; must we also, like our Master, suffer your reproaches? We cry to you to let us alone, that we may die in peace.
ONE OF THE POOR
The Ninety and Nine.
Iron Mountain, Mich., Signal.
There are ninety and nine that live and die,
In want and hunger and cold,
That one may revel in luxury,
And be lapped in its silken fold;
The ninety and nine in hovels bare—
The one in a palace with riches rare.
They toil in the fields, those ninety and nine,
For the fruitage of mother earth;
They dig and delve in the dusky mine,
Bringing rich treasures forth.
And the wealth released by their sturdy blows,
To the coffers of one forever flows.
The sweat of their brow makes the wilderness
The forest before them falls,
Their industry fashioned our thousand homes,
And cities with lordly halls,
But the ninety and nine have empty hands—
The one owns cities and homes and lands!
But the night so dreary and dark and long,
The glorious day shall bring;
When over the land the victor’s song—
Of the ninety and nine shall ring;
And the chorus shall echo from zone to zone,
"Rejoice! for labor shall have its own!"
Silvius in Amsterdam Labor Stage.
A man alone, like Robinson Crusoe, dwelling upon an island, making his own clothing, house, boat; growing his own vegetables, and, in fact, supplying himself, is a perfect representation of production and consumption. If by making a spade he could till more ground, or by building a canoe he could catch more fish, the increase in his possessions was the reward of his capital as well as his labor.
In his case we see that capital and labor got all they produced. But suppose that far away on the mainland was a man who, by some means, had a claim or title to Crusoe’s island, and every year should demand of Crusoe a certain quantity of fish, skins, produce or anything that Crusoe obtained by his labor, would Crusoe’s labor and capital get all that it produced? As Crusoe’s boat was not big enough to carry him to the mainland, could not the owner of the island keep charging Crusoe a larger and larger amount for permission to stay there, until at last poor Crusoe would be reduced to the same condition as day laborers everywhere—have just enough left of his production to keep him in a condition to work? Let us imagine, instead of one, a hundred Crusoes there, and, in order to produce more, they divide up the work; some catch fish, another builds canoes, a third tills the soil, a fourth hunts, a fifth makes tools, a sixth something else, a seventh buys the products and exchanges them—keeps a store, in fact, until at last the division of labor is complete. Should not all profit by the increased production? Making more, should they not have more? Certainly, but alas, the so-called owner of the island will, seeing their prosperity, raise the rent of the island until, like the single Crusoe, they get only a living out of it. The owner of the island occasionally sells some of this land to the inhabitants, until at last we have land owners on our island, who collect the rent just as the single owner did.
Every improvement—every increase in wealth—is compelled to pay more and more for rent, and then, because they are getting to be quite a people and have established a government, all who produce wealth or employ capital must pay taxes to support the government. These taxes take a little more from those who labor and those who employ labor, until most of the men who go into business fail because of these heavy burdens. The men who labor begin to grow discontented, and with good reason, until we have in our island strikes and boycotts, trouble everywhere and a great labor question. Then one arises and says: Capital is not taxed enough; tax it more. They do this, and capital, not being able to pay any more taxes, shifts it over on to labor by paying less wages, or on the consumer by charging him more, and the consumer, being in most cases the laborers, have to pay more, which helps nobody.
Then another says give us co-operation; let labor and capital divide up the profits and the losses; but whenever that makes prosperity the land owners increase rents, while labor and capital get no more than they did before, and co-operation, which is a good thing and the true system of production, is gouged out of its increase by rent, just as labor and capital formerly were.
At last comes a prophet and he speaks: I, too, have been poor, oh brethren, and all that I get or have I must labor for, even now. I have felt the same troubles which afflict you, and have sought the reason, and lo, I have found it. Listen: When labor began to work, and capital to assist labor in production, the land had no value, neither did you pay any rent. But just so soon as you began to prosper and to create wealth then some said we own the land and you shall pay us rent. When you paid the rent and worked harder and increased in number then again did the land owner say: Pay rent, pay more rent, and the rent swallowed up your production, so that, work as hard as you might, you got no more wages.
Now I ask: How came these men to own land and charge rent? Did they make it? Did they create the world?
When you have aught it is the produce of your labor or of the labor of the man who did make it, while the land was here before man was.
Then because land is the product of no man’s labor; because without land men cannot live; because the owning of it by some enables them to take away from others what their labor makes, it would seem that all ought to have equal right to its use. Each should have equal freedom to do all that he wills on the land, provided he infringes not the equal freedom of any other, but he who monopolizes land assumes greater freedom than the rest, and thus violates the law of equal right.
Behold, you have made a declaration and said that "all men are created free and equal." How can that be so when some are compelled to pay and others are enabled to collect toll for permission to dwell upon this island?
Behold! this advice I give you: Tax no more capital and labor. Let each have what he makes, and for whatever capital does to assist, let capital receive its wages.
But because the value of land is the result of the labor and capital of the inhabitants of the island, it should belong equally to all. [End col. 4, p. 7]
Tax the land value then and let the labor go free. It is because labor and capital wherever exerted increase the value of land, without correspondingly increasing wages and profits, that I say unto you let that which confers the benefit be rewarded by freeing it from taxation, and let the land which receives the benefit pay the taxes.
Then there arose a great commotion, and many believed, many doubted, some, a great multitude, refused to listen, while those who profited by the renting of land sought for arguments with which to combat him. Finding none, they resorted to falsehood and abuse, calling him "communist," "socialist" and "anarchist," saying that his system would only benefit the rich. Then he answered: Why do the rich oppose me if my system would benefit them? And it was answered because the rich love the poor, and would not be benefited at their expense. But at this reply even the small boys snickered and put their thumbs to their noses and said—go to!
Then others, more cunning, distorted his position, and then made arguments and said: Lo, now is the prophet vanquished. But their arguments were like boomerangs in the hands of the unskillful, which bruise the hands of the thrower, and a great cry goes up from the people for their right to the land, and they make preparation to get back their own. But, because they are a law abiding and peaceful nation, they will seek it by lawful measures.
One Gospel For All.
CINCINNATI, O.—A church society based on the principles of toil, thrift and temperance is kindly suggested for workingmen by the Rev. Dr. Huntington. These three Ts are already the creed and practice of land reform men. They are our principles, not halfway, but altogether. We insist that the apologists of landlordism who put them forward shall observe one rule for all, not thrift, idleness and wine cellars for the few, and poverty, toil and prohibition for the miserable many, but the three Ts for all.
The church society proposed would then settle inevitably on land reform principles.
Dr. Huntington is yet a young man. I unite with many in admiring the talents which have given his a noble position in the Episcopal church. He is charged with great responsibilities. He needs no telling of that other young man, who, having kept the law from his youth up, at last turned away from the true Christ sorrowing because he had great possessions. Will the church so turn away, and will Dr. Huntington be a rudder to it? Which way, Brother Huntington? "Multitudes, multitudes in the valley of decision. And the day of the Lord draweth nigh in the valley of decision."
CHARLES H. FITCH.
It Did Right.
The Davenport, Ia., Daily Times, which supports the united labor party in that state, thus refers to the refusal of the united labor party’s convention to treat with the men who call themselves the union labor party in New York:
Late dispatches, if correct, disclose the hitch in the proposed attempt to unite the two labor parties in New York. The union labor party made a proposition to the united labor party to unite upon the basis of adherence to the first eight planks of the union labor platform. This was decidedly unfair, if not insulting, and is additional proof that the union labor party of New York is manipulated by the enemies of labor. Our first plank—in relation to land—is the one on which the trouble hinges; and to demand in advance that it should be adhered to was to preclude all hope of an adjustment of difficulties in the way of unity of action. The Henry George party did right in resisting overtures which practically demanded the capitulation of their forces.
Forty tramps boarded the passenger train at Blair recently at one time and rode free to Herman. The conductor was powerless to enforce the no pay no ride rule. It wasn’t much of a day for tramps either. The report states that as the tramps either. The report states that as the tramps left the car and made for a corn field the passengers fired several shots at them from revolvers, for which unlawful and brutal acts none of the passengers were arrested, although a sheriff was at hand. How low is becoming the estimate of human life!
Perhaps It is the "Post" That is Exciting Itself About a Thing Without Understanding It.
The land theory, which was successfully used to create a local excitement among men who were ready to excite themselves about anything, without understanding it, provided it looked toward a change of existing conditions, has no interest for the farmers and the real workingmen of a great state like New York.
Members of labor organizations and others wishing to canvass for subscribers to this paper on a liberal commission are invited to send their names and addresses to the publishers of the standard, 25 Ann St., New York.
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QUESTIONS OF THE DAY.
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The first paper published in America devoted to the advocacy of the principles of "Progress and Poverty."
Subscription, one year, with a copy of "Progress and Poverty," given free, 50 cents; with "Progress and Poverty" and "Social Problems," 75 cents.
M. BATTLE, 9 Spruce street, New York. [End col. 5, p. 7]
PROTECTION OR FREE TRADE?
AN EXAMINATION OF THE TARIFF QUESTION WITH ESPECIAL REGARD TO THE INTERESTS OF LABOR.
By Henry George
One Volume, Paper Covers.
PRICE, THIRTY-FIVE CENTS.
Now in press and ready for delivery, September 12.
When this book was originally published, in May, 1886, it seemed to me that the tariff would be the first of the economic questions to come into political issue in the United States, and I looked to it as a means by which the underlying land question would be brought into general discussion.
But the events then unforeseen are bringing the land question into the discussions of "practical politics" with greater rapidity than I expected, and it now seems likely that it will be an awakening as to the larger question that will lead the masses of our people to consider the smaller.
The gratifying change, however, instead of lessening the interest and usefulness of this book, gives to the matters of which it treats so much more immediate and practical importance as to call for the publication of a popular edition. It has already done much, and is I trust destined to do more, not only to place the tariff question in its true light, but to clear away confusions of thought that obscure the full scope and beauty of the simple measure, which securing equality with regard to natural opportunities, will emancipate labor and give free play to productive forces.
Henry George’s Works.
Progress and Poverty, paper .20
half calf or half morocco 2.50
Social Problems, paper .20
half calf or half morocco 2.50
Protection of Free Trade paper .20
half calf or half morocco 3.00
Property in Land, paper .15
The Land Question, paper .10
For sale by all booksellers, or sent post-paid on receipt of price.
HENRY GEORGE & CO., 25 ANN street, New York.
THE 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, 2 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. H.M. Spencer of Henry, Ill. 4 pages.
No. 19. "My Landlord." By John Jones. 4 pages.
No. 20. "Thou Shalt Not Steal." An address by 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.S. 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.
To enable readers to select the tracts best suited for use in their neighborhoods a single full set of the Land and Labor library—one copy of each tract—will be sent to any address for 20 cents.
Prices, free by mail: 2-page tracts—50 copies, 10 cents, 100 copies, 15 cents; 1,000 copies, $1; 5,000 copies, $4.25.
Four–page tracts—25 copies, 10 cents; 100 copies, 25 cents; 1,000 copies, $2; 5,000 copies, $8.50.
Six–page tracts—25 copies, 15 cents; 100 copies, 37 cents; 1,000 copies, $3; 5,000 copies, $12.75.
Eight–page tracts—25 copies, 20 cents; 100 copies, 56 cents; 1,000 copies, $4; 5,000 copies, $17.
Ten–page tracts—25 copies, 30 cents; 100 copies, 73 cents; 1,000 copies, $6; 5,000 copies, $25.50.
Other numbers in preparation.
Address: HENRY GEORGE, 25 Ann st., New York City.
[End col. 6, of p. 7 library listings, followed by ads]
Here is a letter that it does one’s heart good to read. It has the ring of true Americanism:
CONCORD, Mass., Aug. 28.—A friend here has called my attention to your paper. In your yesterday’s issue I find comment in second column on the eighth page on the request of an attorney who sends subscription with request that his name be suppressed. He is attorney for several corporations, he explains, and it won’t do that he should be known as in sympathy with a movement for the relief of the poor. Were it so known it might deprive him of his occupation. Where every such fact comes to light it ought to gain you a hundred supporters. Consider me as one. I have just sent remittance to your publisher, asking that THE STANDARD be sent to me.
The reproach is doubtless made against your movement that it is only supported by ignorance or poverty. I see that even so shrewd an observer as Mr. Curtis falls into this mistake. If it will be of any use to you I should like your opponents to know that even in this little town of Concord, which in its "Summer school" spins its web of philosophy so fine that the spinners finally lose it—in a circle which although extremely small is eminently intelligent—I say even here, where everything is weighed and sifted, you have a following among the most critical.
I was educated to believe that some day the principle for which Christ gave his life would be realized in human affairs and that by and by the world would become nauseated at the mere repetition of "Lord, Lord," and would address itself to doing "His will."
If what is called the "George movement" means this (and I believe it does), viz., that the people will no longer tolerate the mockery of civilization seen in the present adjustment of our material relations, and mean to be guided in their movement by the Christian idea, both in practice and theory, then I am with you heart and hand.
I inherited money which I did not earn. I would like to turn it to a good use in this direction.
It is of use that our opponent should know that in the town of Concord, or in any other town of the United States, there are men who love truth too dearly to be content to acknowledge it in secret and refuse to champion it openly. Truth demands the service of every one of her soldiers in this great contest she is waging with the powers of evil. Error needs but to be boldly faced to vanish away like a mist before the sun. But it must be confronted or it will not vanish; and it is difficult to avoid a feeling of contempt for the man who, knowing the truth and appreciating the awful need there is that is should triumph, sets his worldly welfare above his duty to God and his fellow men, and cowers when, if ever, he should be brave.
Who would sit down and whine for a lost age
With the Lord of all ages at hand?
True hearts will leap up at the trumpet of
And they who can suffer can dare!
Each past age of gold was an iron age, too;
And the meekest of saints may find stern
work to do,
In the day of the Lord at hand!
And this movement is, as Mr. James’ says, a movement to realize, in human affairs, the principle for which Christ gave His life. It is the keystone of the noble arch of Christ’s teaching. Without it the gospel is a formless mockery; with it a coherent system of religion. For me have either laughed to scorn, or heard with idle, inattentive ears the preachers who have told them that a so-called loving Father deliberately inflicted on mankind the woes and degradations of poverty as a fitting preparation for the pure bliss and perfect equality of heaven; that the clear, explicit teachings of the sermon on the mount were a mere series of pleasing generalities, to accept which literally would be not merely absurd, but sinful, and destructive to society. But when, as at the thronged Anti-poverty meetings in New York, it is pointed out that poverty exists in defiance of God’s law, that the Father has spread a bounteous and equal table for all His children, that Christ’s gospel is on of joy and gladness in this world as well as in the next, then, indeed, men grasp the true blessedness of Christianity and welcome it with shouts of joy that are surely heard in heaven.
The strength of this movement is that, having in it the very essence and core of religion, it has in it also the perfect essence of truth. It needs no labored explanations—it needs only to be shown. The man who really looks at it with eyes unblinded by prejudice or willful misconception understands it at a glance.
Here is a letter which shown what an earnest worker can accomplish by a little persistent effort:
BAYONNE, N.J.—I ordered through a newsdealer several copies of the first issue of THE STANDARD, and I have been distributing several copies each week since, and at present this dealer is selling from sixteen to twenty copies. I also sent several copies to parties in Elizabeth, N.J., and requested then to get the paper on sale at the news stand there, and I have been informed that one of the newsdealers there is selling twenty-five copies each week.
I wish you to send a number of sample copies of this week’s issue to the two dealers whose names I inclose.
I am contributing what money I can spare by taking seven copies each week and sending them round.
In 1876 I was a Peter Cooper greenbacker, and I have steered clear of both old parties ever since, and I now hope that all the Cooper, Weaver and Butler men will unite on the Syracuse platform, and compel the corrupt and dishonest leaders of both old parties to unite and run a small party of their own.
There is no agency by which the circulation of THE STANDARD can be more efficiently extended than the newsdealers. Many of them are already doing noble work, and those who are not yet in full sympathy with our cause can easily be induced to aid us if only their local patrons will make it an object for them to do so. If you get your local papers from a dealer see to it that he keeps and displays THE STANDARD; get him to take one or more extra copies on your guarantee that if nobody else buys them you will see that he suffers no loss. It will not be long before he himself will find a profitable demand, and once that is accomplished his own business instincts will do the rest.
LANSINGBURGH, N.Y.—Inclosed you will find my mite for land and labor tracts. I am employed in a shop where there are 225 men, pattern makers, machinists, blacksmiths, molders and helpers. Since you mayoralty campaign I have been a worker for the principles set forth in the Clarendon hall platform and have worked the best I knew how to enlighten my associates and others whom I come in contact with, and I have been successful to a great extent. I bought your "Progress and Poverty" and read it through twice. It has been lent ever since I read it. I have taken every number of THE STANDARD from a newsdealer, and have made good use of them. I am perfectly delighted with the paper.
I am not a professed Christian, though I was brought up by Christian parents. A great many of my associates are Christians and they have tried hard to convert me, but have failed because I did not want to be a member of any class of people who showed such disregard for poor people. But since I read your works and Dr. McGlynn’s and Dr. Pentecost’s speeches I think I am quite converted. As I read those speeches I believe I saw true Christianity, and I will not quench the spirit. I am going to do my best for you and the united labor party in the fall campaign. I was a republican, but I have discarded then as enemies to working men [End col. 1, p. 8] and justice. I am going to try hard to form a Henry George club in my ward. I have got twelve of fifteen with me so far, and I know I can get more with some tracts, as I can’t reach a great many without some such means.
KANSAS CITY, Mo.—Find inclosed $4, to be disposed of as follows: Send me one copy each of "Progress and Poverty," "Social Problems," "Property in Land" and "The Land Question," also a full set of land and labor tracts; apply $1 to the McGlynn fund and put the balance in the recruiting fund.
I have been a reader of THE STANDARD for two months past, and think there was never a cause so ably advocated as yours. Judging by the ridiculous attempts of your pro-poverty opponents to refute your reasoning, they must be bordering on desperation.
WM. J. MAHONY.
POUGHKEEPSIE, N.Y.—We have formed in this place an anti-poverty society, the object of which is to explain the principles of land taxation as set forth in your book entitled "Progress and Poverty." At present we number about twenty-five. We would like to affiliate with the Anti-poverty society of New York city, and request you to hand this letter to Dr. McGlynn that he may inform us as to what is required to accomplish that purpose.
Inclosed you will find my check for $6, for which send tracts as marked on inclosed list.
KIRWIN, Kan.—Inclosed find twenty cents for a set of the Land and Labor library, from which we want to make selections.
We have organized a "Society for the dissemination of useful knowledge," and have some funds which we wish to invest to best advantage.
FREELAND, Pa.—Inclosed find four new subscriptions, the fruits of the sample copies sent me. The light is spreading slowly but surely. We have great hopes that in the near future we shall be able to organize a good club.
I congratulate you and united labor party on the success of the convention, and the acknowledged excellence of its nominations. May you sweep the state.
SAN FRANCISCO.—Inclosed find postal notes for $6, for which send THE STANDARD for one year to the following named persons, all of San Francisco, Cal. The light is spreading and a general interest in "the new crusade" is gradually awakening. A few of the faithful have been carrying on a system of recruiting by purchasing at the end of each week all surplus copies of THE STANDARD from all of our newsdealers and sending them to those whom we think need the light of the "new gospel of justice."
This is a little more expensive than the recruiting plan which you offer, but it has the advantage of encouraging the newsdealers to keep up their supplies of STANDARDS. Of late we find the demand for THE STANDARD steadily increasing and the surplus growing smaller every week.
JAMES G. MAGUIRE.
CHICAGO.—Inclosed find postal note for six months’ subscription for THE STANDARD. At our last meeting of land and labor club No. 3 we made an appropriation for the recruiting fund, which will be sent on pretty soon. I also inclose $1 for my initiation fee in the Anti-poverty society.
GODALRING, England.—Please forward me a copy of THE STANDARD. It was my privilege to hear Mr. George lecture when on his tour in Europe, and I cannot express the delight I then felt at his thrilling words—words which should stir the hearts of all lovers of their humanity. The day of a higher era is suddenly drawing for our neglected fellow men throughout the world—a day when men of all countries shall proclaim the common ties which unite and the love of God, and man become the doctrines of the new gospel.
(Rev.) SAMUEL PINKERTON.
ST. PAUL, Minn.—I was delighted with "’ammer, ’ammer, ’ammer’s" contribution, not only because it will help the general cause, but because it may allow of my sending in the list of names I could not send before because I could not spare the money. I send twenty cents, however, to pay for a specimen outfit of the land and labor tracts, which I have long wished to see. My husband says every week that we must spare a dollar or two for your cause in some way, but every time he says so I see (because all the grocery and other bills go through my hands, as do the family wages,) that it cannot be done yet.
When I see the enthusiasm of our whole family as THE STANDARD is read aloud, I am reminded of the regret expressed by William Lloyd Garrison, Jr., because the children of to-day could not know the generous enthusiasm stirred in the hearts of the children of the old abolitionists in the early days of that conflict; and I wonder if he reads THE STANDARD. Do send him a copy if you know his address. I am reading his father’s biography as written by the children, and I see history repeating itself in many ways. None of us can "envy" the heart of that D.D. who says that the anti-poverty crusade is all inspired by "sheer envy," and who cannot see that it is a great revival of religion.
Cannot Mr. Ring’s speech be widely circulated among the Knights of Labor?
BURLINGTON, IOWA.—I inclose $1, which please send me fifty copies "First Principles" and fifty copies of "A Christian Minister’s Remedy," etc.
The good work is going on here in Iowa, and the light is spreading rapidly.
I wish you God speed, and am doing what I can to restore the land to the people.
FRANK J. CHURCHILL.
KINGSTON, Ont.—You ought to get from the booksellers here some orders next week. They will increase steadily from now on. Some of us will contribute our mite to the campaign expenses this fall, you may be sure. Our work is being done in large part by you. Success then—may the power for good pour down great measure of success.
SAN LUIS OBISPO, Cal.—Inclosed find post office money order, for which please send THE STANDARD for six months to the address inclosed.
Your suggestion of an anti-poverty savings bank is a capital one and we have gladly adopted it. We only wish the deposits could be more frequent and liberal. My time has been so occupied that I could not sooner acknowledge your kindness in sending that generous package of tracts. We had been waiting with impatient longing till we could afford to order a new supply, and you can imagine the delight with which we welcomed this splendid reinforcement. We try, as far as possible, to distribute them in accordance with the hints given in THE STANDARD. It is not in my power, on account of household duties, to take set times for the work, but whenever we go out we take some with us and so by degrees hope to carry the good tidings from house to house in this little town.
If one but had a vote! I look with envy sometimes at men, who, even if careless of rendering aid of time or means, can yet through the ballot assure success. Little did I think, when as a girl, I read with delight the pages of Margaret Fuller and Mill’s "Subjection of Women," that the day was coming when, not merely theoretically, but with passionate regret, one would deplore the disfranchisement of their own sex. For surely the cause of anti-poverty, once clearly understood, appeals with peculiar force to womanhood. Well, the good time is coming; and though disabled from taking part in the actual charge of hand to hand combat at the polls, she can manage, I hope, to harass the enemies’ lines, and help toward the victory by skirmishing assaults.
Among all the texts chosen by our anti-poverty preachers I have not yet seen the straightway passage from Nehemiah, chapter v., verses 1 to 12. I am afraid if Nehemiah lived in our day he would be regarded as a first-class communist. What would the pro-poverty press and the pulpit say to such "confiscation" as his?
There surely never was a cause which calls up so irresistibly to the mind passage after passage of Holy Writ. How perfectly the fearless scrutiny which it invites illustrates the Master’s words: "He that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest."
And now, as of old, do the apostles of truth speak freely before whatever frowning power [End col. 2, p. 8]—"persuaded that none of these things are hidden, for this thing was not done in a corner."
MRS. FRANCES M. MILNE.
MORRISTOWN, N.J.—Of some unknown friend to me I received your paper, THE STANDARD, with several inclosed tracts. Feeling much pleased with it, I desire to say, what little I can do to further the good cause I will do from the bottom of my heart, and if you think well of sending me tracts to bring in circulation, I will gladly do so, and when you return to New York I will call at your office to enroll my name and be willing to undertake my duty.
SHARON, Conn.—I inclose a list of six three-months subscriptions to THE STANDARD. I found on my return from Syracuse this morning that my family had gotten up this list, some of them people to whom I had spoken, during my absence.
The more I think of the convention at Syracuse, which it was my privilege to witness, the grander it seems to me.
ZANESFIELD, O.—For inclosed remittance please send to each of the following addresses a copy of H.F. Rings’s Fourth of July speech at Houston, Tex. Mr. Ring’s speech is something that every Knight of Labor should read.
SPRINGFIELD, O.—A friend recently handed me a copy of THE STANDARD to read. I confess that from the newspaper squibs and sundry perversions of the so-called "George heresies" they have given the public, I was unfavorably inclined to be critical before examination.
While naturally a conservative in temperament, yet withal a lover of equity and fairness, the reading of the one number of your paper makes me so want to acquaint myself further with the views and objects of the new party that I inclose you twenty cents for the Land and Labor library. Inclose five cents also for THE STANDARD giving the account of the Syracuse convention. If, after careful reading, I am convinced of the justice and equity of the new political movement, you are likely to hear from me again.
HOLYOKE, Mass.—Inclosed is postal order, for which please send tracts as follows: … I think that Mr. Ring’s speech will do more toward converting workingmen than any other tract in your library.
NEW YORK CITY.—Inclosed find $2, for which please send me 200 copies of Mr. Ring’s ringing words to ring out the old and ring in the new with; also fifty copies of "The Single Tax," and fifty of "Thou Shalt Not Steal."
I shot a Catholic clergyman in a railroad car the other day with Bishop Nulty’s "Back to the Land."
ST. PAUL, Neb.—A few days since I got a package of your tracts that I had sent for, I separated them and put each of the variety by itself. I then take one of each kind and lay them together, roll them up and tie a string around them. They are ready to be handed over to those I would like to talk with, if I had the faculty of talk and the time to talk and the time to hear. Luckily these tracts are the talk that I want them to hear, and much better than my own talk would be, for they can have it at home and at their leisure. So I put a half dozen or so rolls in my pocket, and when I come across any of my friends, give them a roll. Thus I lose not time, they are not interrupted by "my talk," and they get something much better.
CEDAR RAPIDS, Ia.,–Inclosed find $1 as my initiation fee to the Anti-poverty society, and $1 for the following recruit subscriptions.
There never has been a subject which has taken such complete possession of me as the abolition of poverty. I have been doing what little I could to spread the light by circulating a number of copies of "Progress and Poverty" among my friends for the last two years. Results are now becoming apparent. The recent organization of the Anti-poverty society, which has called together such a noble body of workers, inspires me with enthusiasm such I never supposed I possessed, and is ridding me of that diffidence and false modesty which has been a stumbling block to me ever since I comprehended the full force of the remedy proposed for the evils which the majority of people see but do not fully understand.
I am a working farmer; own two quarter sections of land in one of the most fertile valleys in the state of Iowa, near the city of Cedar Rapids, but am somewhat trammeled with debt for the privilege of using it; still I am much better situated than the majority of farmers. In brief, it is not from any selfish motive that I am interested in this work, but from a soul-felt purpose of seeing justice done and a higher civilization wrought out. I feel that this present generation would be recreant to the most noble duty ever devolved upon any people if it did not recognize and work out the problem so full of import to future generations.
These are letters from workers. They show how easy it is for any one who will to aid the cause by quietly stepping forward and doing the first thing that offers itself to be done. For every man or woman who is willing to bear the cross of the new crusade openly before men, opportunities for work will never be lacking.
Push the recruit subscriptions; push them vigorously; and, above all, push them here in New York state, where at present is the fire front of the battle. If you have a friend living within the limits of the state, be it man or woman, citizen or alien, see to it that he or she has a fair chance between now and election day to understand just what are the issues to be decided. The recruit subscriptions are doing glorious work; they are making converts to the truth by hundreds; and they put it within the power of every lover of justice and true reform to make his influence felt in this great political struggle now pending in the Empire state.
We send THE STANDARD, on this recruit subscription plan, for six consecutive weeks:
To any two addresses for 50 cents.
To any five addresses for $1.
To any twelve addresses for $2.
But we cannot renew subscriptions at these rates.
The recruiting fund is growing. Here is the way it stands at present:
Previously acknowledged $525.41
‘ammer, ‘ammer, ‘ammer 1 00
Ed Philpin, Albany 5 00
John T. Russell, Rome, Ga. 5 00
Ed and Charley 10 00
Miss J.B.O., Albany 3 50
T.C. Dayton, O 1 00
Albert Denser, Pittsburg, Pa. 1 00
A.V., New York 1 00
Mr. Woodhouse 8 28
A.B.Q. 1 00
Radical Reform 1 00
P.J.R. 5 00
O.V., New York 1 00
W.J. Mahony, Kansas City 2 35
G. Seibert 3 00
O.C. Stewart 1 12
Total to date $570.66
NEW YORK CITY.—Inclosed I hand you $1 for the fall work, and will send you more. I pledge myself for $1 a week for three months.
All my friends know where I stand. I was, and am, a radical free trader, but until the past year was hard aground on the income tax. It did not take me long to get off that idea after reading some of your books. I knew all the time the nearer the land was to the people the better off they were, but I saw the land going the other way, and did not know how to stop it. So you may imagine how satisfactory the light was to me.
DAYTON, O.—Inclosed find $1, to be followed by $1 weekly until election, for recruiting fund, to be used in New York State only.
Eight years ago James A. Garfield, in speaking to the young republican voters of Ohio, said: "In looking over the political field to select a camping place, let me give you this advice: ‘Pitch your tents among the living and not among the dead.’"
Let the young republican voters of New York consider Garfield’s words, and choose between the party of live issues and the party of the past; between the party of justice and [End col. 3, p. 8] the party of post offices; between the party in favor of protection to everyman in opportunity to labor and the fruit thereof, and the party in favor of "protection to home industry," whereby one man out of ten thousand gets all the "protection" and all the "home" while the other 9,999 men supply the "industry," if the one man graciously lets them. The one man can "save" $20,000,000 or $30,000,000 in a few years, and the 9,999 men can die as well off as when they were born.
PITTSBURG, Pa.—The friends of THE STANDARD are doing good work, and I hope they will stick to it. I inclose a contribution of $1 toward the recruiting fund.
Friends, this recruiting fund needs money badly and it needs it right now, while the fight is on in New York. It is used to send THE STANDARD to people whose names are furnished us by friends anxious for their conversion, but without the means to send them the paper themselves. Just now we are using the fund altogether for the distribution of STANDARDS to voters in New York. We have thousands of names on our list—names of voters in this state-and only lack the necessary money to send them the paper. A dollar sent to the recruit fund just now may mean a dozen votes on Nov. 8, and votes are the force by which our cause is to be won.
An efficient weapon for the campaign is Henry George’s book, "Protection or Free Trade?" of which a cheap edition is now in press, and will be ready Sept. 12. It is bound in paper covers, and will be sent free by mail for 35 cents.
The "Standard" for the Campaign
THE STANDARD, beginning with the issue of Sept. 10, will be sent to any five addresses within the state of New York, up to the end of the campaign for $1.25.
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.
For Campaign Expenses.
The publisher of THE STANDARD acknowledges the receipt of the following contributions toward the expenses of the campaign, which have been turned over to the state general committee:
Atkinson Bros., Philadelphia $100
August Lewis $250
Walter Mendelson $25
Simon Mendelson $50
Blanton Duncan, Louisville, Ky. $25
Employes Giles Lithographic and Printing CO. $11
Charles Wickam, Boston $1
J.M. Goldsmith, Vt. $2
Sergeant Alphonse, Crusader, East Orange, N.J. $2
Rev. John F. Scott, Slatington, Pa. $5
Members of Boston Herald Chapel $7
209 West 46th st., New York, Aug. 21.
Henry George—My Dear Sir: To the many congratulations you will now be receiving, I wish to add the most heartfelt ones of myself and wife.
The Syracuse convention has nobly continued the glorious work of last fall, and we feel that the greatest emancipation movement that this country—indeed, the whole world—has seen is now fairly begun.
To you, as the chosen representative of that great party, which you have done so much to call into existence and to shape, we send these sincere wishes for success. We can do but little publicly to further the movement, but shall work all the harder in private. We inclose check for $25, wishing we could make it a hundred times as much.
That God may bless all your undertakings in this great work is the hope of your friends.
WALTER AND MARY WHARTON MENDELSON.
209 West 46th st., New York, Aug. 22.
Henry George—Dear Sir: Please accept my cordial congratulations. I wish to contribute $50 toward expenses of the campaign, for which I inclose check.
Yours truly, SIMON MENDELSON.
Giles Lithographic and Liberty
Printing Company, 62 College place,
New York, August 27.
We have circulated the following paper among the employes of this club with the result noted: All the employes of this company who are desirous of abolishing the industrial slavery that exists, not only in America, but throughout the civilized globe, and which is caused by the monopolization by a few of that which the Creator made for all; in other words, those that believe that land monopoly is the cause of all misery and poverty in the world, will please subscribe any amount they can afford, from 10 cents up, to help toward the election of Henry George as secretary of state. Jeremiah Sullivan, $2; August Tremmel, $2; Andrew McArdell, $1; Joseph Brown, 50 cents; John R. Sullivan, 50 cents; Edward Haggeemuller, 25 cents; Thomas Clonen, 50 cents; John Steinman, 25 cents; Otto Semar, 50 cents; William Davy, 50 cents; Denis Sullivan, 25 cents; Michael Enright, 25 cents; Frank Stenbeck, 25 cents; Peter Gavan, 50 cents; Joseph Gould, 50 cents; H.R. Murray, 25 cents; T.O. Colt, 25 cents; E. Garret, 50 cents; Louis Cohen, 25 cents. Total, $11.
We are glad to realize the fact that the above list comprises four-fifths of the voters in the shop. This is a fight for humanity, and we think that every man possessed of a heart should try to be in the midst of the battle.
"We are coming side by side, Henry, half a million strong,
Coming, the sons of old Columbia;
And we will swell the mighty cry, as the chorus rolls
Over the hills of old Columbia.
The land for the people, from mountain to sea,
The land for the people, for you and for me;
For the land, the land is ours, and we are going to make
Free as the flag of old Columbia.
-Rev. Miller Hageman.
We want every man to throw his shoulders back, no matter how poor and humble he may be, and consider himself a citizen of the United States, who has a direct interest in their welfare. We ought to raise one million dollars for the state ticket alone. Every united labor party assembly district organization ought to hold weekly meetings, and so ought trades unions and K. of L. assemblies. Our idea in a shop subscription was that others should take pattern. We can carry the state if we put our shoulders to the wheel. Although we call upon labor organizations to hold weekly meetings, you must not infer that we do not understand the full scope of this movement of humanity, and we will win although hell stands in the way.
Yours in the cause,
JERE D. SULLIVAN,
For the Employes.
478 Shawmut avenue, Boston, Aug. 28.
Please find inclosed $1 for the New York campaign. I sent $1 three or four weeks ago (with an article to be published if thought fit) for books to be sent to four reverends. With best wishes for cause and yourself,
Slatington, Pa. Aug. 27.
Inclosed find $5 for the New York campaign.
We are hardly used to the idea in the quarries, but New York carried will give us a big shake. This is to help.
(Rev.) JOHN F. SCOTT
Gouldsville, Vt., Aug. 29.
I think the idea of raising all taxes from land values is the first grand step toward the removal of the abuses of all human governments. I have very little use for human governments and statute laws so far in life (and I am over sixty,) excepting the collecting of my taxes.
I believe the collecting of taxes from land values would be more just and a great deal less expensive in the collecting of them than the present mode. Inclosed is $2 for the campaign fund. Success to you is the success of the laborers the world over in time; may it come speedily. Yours truly,
East Orange, Aug. 29.
Two dollars for ammunition for the great New York battle—’tis a battle for Jersey—for the entire Union.
SERGT. ALPHONSE. Crusader.
Herald Office, Boston, Mass.
A few believers in the principles of your party have agreed to contribute something each week until the campaign is over. I inclose money order for $7.
Please acknowledge in THE STANDARD as the contribution of a few members of Boston Herald chapel.
The Twenty-third Begins the Fight.
The Twenty-third assembly district association of the united labor party held an open air mass meeting on Tuesday evening, at the corner of 105th street and Third avenue. It was the first district mass meeting of the campaign in this city, and was marked by the same characteristics that distinguished the labor party gatherings during the remarkable campaign of last fall. There was the same crowding of people, the same enthusiasm and the same sort of short, pointed speeches. Women, as eagerly as men, pressed forward and stood for two hours listening with rapt interest to the fascinating gospel of the new crusade that told how to abolish poverty, and the light of the lanterns fell on two men in [End col. 4, p. 8] priestly garb, whose bright eyes and smiling faces seemed to give countenance to the doctrines enunciated.
The chairman of the association, Cornelius F.J. Doody, presided over the assemblage, and introduced as speakers Frank Ferrell, Rev. Charles P. McCarthy, George K. Lloyd, A.J. Steers, W.O. Eastlake, Antonio Molina and Henry George. The chairman announced that the association was determined to make a strong fight, and would hold a similar mass meeting at least once every week in some part of the district.
That’s Just Where they Are—It was Jefferson who Said, "The Land Belongs in Usufruct to the Living."
Richmond, Va., State.
With a platform which, in spite of some of its vagaries, however honest, contains so much of real democratic sentiment, what a pity that the men who are honestly and zealously upholding it are not where they ought to be—in the democratic party, the party of Jefferson, whose memory was so eloquently honored in the convention.
[Ad not reproduced col. 5, p. 8: Peck’s cure for the deaf]
REV. EDWARD McGLYNN, D.D., PRESIDENT.
The nineteenth public meeting of the society will be held at the
ACADEMY OF MUSIC
SUNDAY EVENING, SEPTEMBER. 4.
Addresses by HENRY GEORGE and REV. DR. EDWARD M’GLYNN
Singing by CONCORDIA CHORUS, under the direction of MISS AGATHA MUNIER.
Admission free to all parts of the house, except the boxes.
Seats in circle boxes, 25 cents each; in proscenium boxes, 50 cents.
Box office open Saturday and Sunday.
[Ad not reproduced col. 5, p. 8: Braham’s tailoring]
The Union Printing Co. of 15 Vandewater street, New York city, will place type and presses at the disposal of parties interested in spreading the single tax idea by means of local newspapers during the New York campaign or permanently in any state. One thousand complete papers, four pages, 24×36, $7; also larger and smaller sizes. Correspondence solicited.
[Ads not reproduced col. 5, p. 8: Charles B. Schaidner, photographer; Holland’s Coffee and Dining Rooms; James Bogan, Principal Agent; Coogan Brothers, Carpet and Furniture Dealers; Co-operative Colony, Investment Seekers; Concord Co-operative Printing Co.]
[End col. 5, p. 8]
UNITED LABOR PARTY.
GRAND MASS MEETING OF GERMAN WORKINGMEN
AT COOPER UNION, SATURDAY EVENING,
September 3, 1887, at 8 o’clock,
To indorse the platform and nominees of the
SYRACUSE CONVENTION of the UNITED LABOR PARTY.
Eminent speakers in German and DR. EDWARD M’GLYNN in English.
MUSIC BY THE CARL SAHM CLUB.
LAND AND LABOR—The Central Committee has been organized for the purpose of carrying into national politics, by means of circulars, correspondence, lectures, etc., the principles of the United Labor Party of New York, as set forth in the platform adopted at Syracuse, Aug. 19, 1887.
Members of trade and labor organizations, and all citizens in favor of independent political action who are desirous of taking part in the formation of land and labor clubs are requested to address
Chairman Central Committee
28 Cooper Union, N.Y. City
Citizens of the following named states who indorse the principles of the United Labor Party and desire to lend active aid in the great movement now beginning for the emancipation of labor, are requested to communicate with the State Organizers of their respective states, as follows:
California—Judge James G. Maguire, San Francisco.
Connecticut—Robert Pyne, 284 Asylum st., Hartford.
Indiana—Warren Worth Bailey, Vincennes.
Kentucky—Henry George Club, 258 Vine st., Cincinnati.
Massachusetts (Berkshire county)—F. Harvey Lincoln, box 115, Zylonite.
Minnesota—Central Committee, United Labor Party, 42 Third st. south, Minneapolis.
New York—John McMackin, 28 Cooper Union, New York city.
Ohio—Henry George Club, 258 Vine st., Cincinnati.
South Carolina—Benjamin Adams, Charleston.
West Tennessee, Eastern Arkansas and Northern Mississippi—Land and Labor Club No. 2, Rooms, 9 and 10, Cotton Exchange, Memphis, Tenn.
23RD ASSEMBLY DISTRICT MEETS every Monday evening. German speaking members every Tuesday evening at Vincent hall, 1897 Third avenue, corner 105th street. Open every evening for enrollment of members. Thursday and Saturday evenings free debates of the Progress and Poverty club.
ALBANY, N.Y.—RESIDENTS OF THE First ward, Albany, who agree with the principles of the Anti-poverty and the platform of the united labor party will please send their names to undersigned for purpose of organizing a club. Respectfully, JOS. C. ROSHEIT, 22 Third street, Albany, N.Y.
VOTERS OF MARYLAND WHO ARE desirous to aid in propagating the principles of the united labor party, as set forth in the New York platform, adopted at Syracuse, Aug. 19 are requested to send their names and addresses to
415 N. Eutaw st., Baltimore, Md.
RESIDENTS OF THE 28TH WARD, Philadelphia, who agree with the principles of the Anti-poverty society and the platform of the united labor party of New York, send their names and addresses to
JOHN DOLMAN, Jr., 2110 Warnock st.,
J.H. McINTYRE, 1901 N. 19th st.,
F.T. HALVEY, 3209 Dauphin st.,
JOSEPH WILT, 1526 Tioga st.
ILLINOIS.—Readers of the "Standard" in the state of Illinois, and all others interested in the great principles it advocates, are requested to send names and addresses to W.H. Van Ornum, president of land and labor club No. 1, Room 63, 170 Madison street, Chicago, with a view to effecting some plan of organization for the state. Persons in Chicago not already members of land and labor clubs, as well as secretaries of such organizations, are especially requested to write.
[Ads not reproduced end col. 6, p. 8: New York Artists’ Union; Dr. Baird’s Granules; Keystone Dust Proof Watches; Catarrh; The Great American Tea Co.]
[End col. 6, p. 8]