Popular Science Monthly/Volume 56/November 1899/The Real Problems of Democracy
|THE REAL PROBLEMS OF DEMOCRACY.|
MUCH has been written of late about "the real problems of democracy." According to some "thinkers," they consist of the invention of ingenious devices to prevent caucus frauds and the purchase of votes, to check the passage of special laws as well as too many laws, and to infuse into decent people an ardent desire to participate in the wrangles of politics. According to others, they consist of the invention of equally ingenious devices to compel corporations to manage their business in accordance with Christian principles, to transform the so-called natural monopolies into either State or municipal monopolies, and to effect, by means of the power of taxation, a more equitable distribution of wealth. According to still others, they consist of the invention of no less ingenious devices to force people to be temperate, to observe humanity toward children and animals, and to read and study what will make them model citizens. It is innocently and touchingly believed that with the solution of these problems, by the application of the authority that society has over the individual, "the social conscience" will be awakened. But such a belief can not be realized. It has its origin in a conception of democracy that has no foundation either in history or science. What are supposed to be the real problems of democracy are only the problems of despotism—the problems to which every tyrant from time immemorial has addressed himself, to the moral and industrial ruin of his subjects. If democracy be conceived not as a form of political government under the regime of universal suffrage, but as a condition of freedom under moral control, permitting every man to do as he likes, so long as he does not trench upon the equal right of every other man, deliverance from the sophistries and absurdities of current social and political discussion becomes easy and inevitable. Its real problems cease to be an endless succession of political devices that stimulate cunning and evasion, and countless encroachments upon individual freedom that stir up contention and ill feeling. Instead of being innumerable and complex, defying the solvent power of the greatest intellects and the efforts of the most enthusiastic philanthropists, they become few and simple. While their proper solution is beset with difficulties, these difficulties are not as hopeless as the framing of a statute to produce a growth of virtue in a depraved heart. Indeed, no such task has ever been accomplished, and every effort in that direction has been worse than futile. It has encouraged the growth of all the savage traits that ages of conflict have stamped so profoundly in the nervous system of the race. But let it be understood that the real problems of democracy are the problems of self-support and self-control, the problems that appeared with the appearance of human life, and that their sole solution is to be found in the application of precisely the same methods with which Nature disciplines the meanest of her creatures, then we may expect a measure of success from the efforts of social and political reformers; for freedom of thought and action, coupled with the punishment that comes from a failure to comply with the laws of life and the conditions of existence, creates an internal control far more potent than any law. It impels men to depend upon their own efforts to gain a livelihood; it inspires them with a respect for the right of others to do the same.
Simple and commonplace as the traits of self-support and self-control may seem, they are of transcendent importance. Every other trait sinks into insignificance. The society whose members have learned to care for themselves and to control themselves has no further moral or economic conquests to make. It will be in the happy condition dreamed of by all poets, philosophers, and philanthropists. There will be no destitution, for each person, being able to maintain himself and his family, will have no occasion, except in a case of a sudden and an unforeseen misfortune, to look to his friends and neighbors for aid. But in thus maintaining himself—that is, in pursuing the occupation best adapted to his ability and most congenial to his taste—he will contribute in the largest degree to the happiness of the other members of the community. While they are pursuing the occupations best adapted to their ability and most congenial to their tastes, they will be able to obtain from him, as he will be able to obtain from them, those things that both need to supplement the products of their own industry. Since each will be left in full possession of all the fruits of his own toil, he will be at liberty to make just such use of them as will contribute most to His happiness, thus permitting the realization, in the only practicable way, of Bentham's principle of "the greatest happiness of the greatest number." Since all of them will be free to make such contracts as they believe will be most advantageous to them, exchanging what they are willing to part with for what some one else is willing to give in return, there will prevail the only equitable distribution of the returns from labor and capital, No one will receive more and no one less than he is entitled to. Thus will benefit be in proportion to merit, and the most scrupulous justice be satisfied.
But this regime of equity in the distribution of property implies, as I have already said, the possession of a high degree of self-control, not only must all persons have such a keen sense of their own rights as will never permit them to submit to infringement, but they must have such a keen sense of the rights of others that they will not be guilty themselves of infringement. Not only will they refrain from the commission of those acts of aggression whose ill effects are immediate and obvious; they will refrain from those acts whose ill effects are remote and obscure. Although they will not, for example, deceive or steal or commit personal assaults, they will not urge the adoption of a policy that will injure the unknown members of other communities, like the Welsh tin-plate makers and the Vienna pearl-button makers that the McKinley Bill deprived of employment. Realizing the vice of the plea of the opponents of international copyright that cheap literature for a people is better than scrupulous honesty, they will not refuse to foreign authors the same protection to property that they demand. They will not, finally, allow themselves to take by compulsion or by persuasion the property of neighbors to be used to alleviate suffering or to disseminate knowledge in a way to weaken the moral and physical strength of their fellows. But the possession of a sense of justice so scrupulous assumes the possession of a fellow-feeling so vivid that it will allow no man to refuse all needful aid to the victims of misfortune. As suffering to others will mean suffering to himself, he will be as powerfully moved to go to their rescue as he would to protect himself against the same misfortune. Indeed, he will be moved, as all others will be moved, to undertake without compulsion all the benevolent work, be it charitable or educational, that may be necessary to aid those persons less fortunate than himself to obtain the greatest possible satisfaction out of life.
But the methods of social reform now in greatest vogue do not contribute to the realization of any such millennium. They are a flagrant violation of the laws of life and the conditions of existence. They make difficult, if not impossible, the establishment of the moral government of a democracy that insures every man and woman not only freedom but also sustentation and protection. In disregard of the principles of biology, which demand that benefit shall be in proportion to merit, the feeble members of society are fostered at the expense of the strong. Setting at defiance the principles of psychology, which insist upon the cultivation of the clearest perception of the inseparable relation of cause and effect and the equally inseparable relation of aggression and punishment, honest people are turned into thieves and murderers, and thieves and murderers are taught to believe that no retribution awaits the commission of the foulest crime. Scornful of the principles of sociology, which teach in the plainest way that the institutions of feudalism are the products of war and can serve no other purpose than the promotion of aggression, a deliberate effort, born of the astonishing belief that they can be transformed into the agencies of progress, is made in time of peace to restore them to life.
To the American Philistine nothing is more indicative of the marvelous moral superiority of this age and country than the rapid increase in the public expenditures for enterprises "to benefit the people." Particularly enamored is he of the showy statistics of hospitals, asylums, reformatories, and other so-called charitable institutions supported by public taxation. "How unselfish we are!" he exclaims, swelling with pride as he points to them. "In what other age or in what other country has so much been done for the poor and unfortunate?" Naught shall ever be said by me against the desire to help others. The fellow-feeling that thrives upon the aid rendered to the sick and destitute I believe to be the most precious gift of civilization. Upon its growth depends the further moral advancement of the race. As I have already intimated, only as human beings are able to represent to themselves vividly the sufferings of others will they be moved to desist from the conduct that contributes to those sufferings. But the system of public charity that prevails in this country is not charity at all; it is a system of forcible public largesses, as odious and demoralizing as the one that contributed so powerfully to the downfall of Athens and Rome. By it money is extorted from the taxpayer with as little justification as the crime of the highwayman, and expended by politicians with as little love as he of their fellows. What is the result? Precisely what might be expected. He is infuriated because of the growing burden of his taxes. Instead of being made more humane and sympathetic with every dollar he gives under compulsion to the poor and suffering, he be- comes more hard-hearted and bitter toward his fellows. The no- tion that society, as organized at present, is reducing him to pov- erty and degradation takes possession of him. He becomes an agitator for violent reforms that will only render his condition Avorse. At the same time the people he aids come to regard him simply as a person under obligations to care for them. They feel no more gratitude toward him than the wolf toward the victim of its hunger and ferocity.
Akin to public charity are all those public enterprises under- taken to ameliorate the condition of the poor—parks, model tene- ment houses, art galleries, free concerts, free baths, and relief works of all kinds. To these I must add all those Federal, State, and municipal enterprises, such as the post office with the pro- posed savings attachment, a State system of highways and water- ways, municipal water, gas and electric works, etc., that are sup- posed to be of inestimable advantage to the same worthy class. These likewise fill the heart of the American Philistine with im- mense satisfaction. Although he finds, by his study of pleasing romances on municipal government in Europe, that we have yet to take some further steps before we fall as completely as the in- habitants of Paris and Berlin into the hands of municipal despo- tism, he is convinced that we have made gratifying headway, and that the outlook for complete subjection to that despotism is en- couraging. But it should be remembered that splendid public libraries and public baths, and extensive and expensive systems of highways and municipal improvements, built under a modified form of the old corvee, are no measure of the fellow-feeling and enlight- enment of a community. On the contrary, they indicate a pitiful incapacity to appreciate the rights of others, and are, therefore, a measure rather of the low degree of civilization. It should be remembered also, especially by the impoverished victims of the de- lusions of the legislative philanthropist, that there is no expendi- ture that yields a smaller return in the long run than public ex- penditure; that however honest the belief that public ofiicials will do their duty as conscientiously and efiSciently as private indi- viduals, history has yet to record the fact of any bureaucracy; that however profound the conviction that the cost of these "pub- lic blessings " comes out of the pockets of the rich and is on that account particularly justifiable, it comes largely out of the pockets of the poor; and that by the amount abstracted from the income of labor and capital by that amount is the sum divided between labor and capital reduced. "But," interposes the optimist, "have the Americans not their great public-school system, unrivaled in the world, to check and finally to end the evils that appear thus far to be inseparably con- nected with popular government? Is there any truth more firmly established than that it is the bulwark of American institutions, and that if we maintain it as it should be maintained they will be able to weather any storm that may threaten?" Precisely the same argument has been urged time out of mind in behalf of an ecclesiastical system supported at the expense of the taxpayer. Good men without number have believed, and have fought to main- tain their belief, that only by the continuance of this form of ag- gression could society be saved from corruption and barbarism. Even in England to-day, where freedom and civilization have made their most brilliant conquests, this absurd contention is made to bolster up the rotten and tottering union of Church and state, and to justify the seizure of the property of taxpayers to support a particular form of ecclesiastical instruction. But no fact of his- tory has received demonstrations more numerous and conclusive than that such instruction, whether Protestant or Catholic, Bud- dhist or Mohammedan, in the presence of the demoralizing forces of militant activities, is as impotent as the revolutions of the prayer wheel of a pious Hindu. To whatever country or people or age we may turn, we find that the spirit of the warrior tramples the spirit of the saint in the dust. Despite the lofty teachings of Socrates and Plato, the Athenians degenerated until the name of the Greek became synonymous with that of the blackest knave. With the no- ble examples and precepts of the Stoics in constant view, the Romans became beastlier than any beast. All through the middle ages and down to the present century the armies of ecclesiastics, the vast libraries of theology, and the myriads of homilies and prayers were impotent to prevent the social degradation that inundated the world with the outbreak of every great conflict. Take, for ex- ample, a page from the history of Spain. At the time of Philip II, who tried to make his people as rigid as monks, that country had no rival in its fanatical devotion to the Church, or its slavish ob- servance of the forms of religion. Yet its moral as well as its in- tellectual and industrial life was sinking to the lowest level. Ofii- cial corruption was rampant. The most shameless sexual laxity pervaded all ranks. The name of Spanish women, who had "in previous times been modest, almost austere and Oriental in their deportment," became a byword and a reproach throughout the world. "The ladies are naturally shameless," says Camille Borghese, the Pope's delegate to Madrid in 1593, " and even in the streets go up and address men unknown to them, looking upon it as a kind of heresy to be properly introduced. They admit all sorts of men to their conversation, and are not in the least scan- dalized at the most improper proposals being made to them." To see how ecclesiastics themselves fall a prey to the ethics of mili- tant activities, becoming as heartless and debauched as any other class, take a page from Italian history at the time of Pope Alex- ander VI. "Crimes grosser than Scythian," says a pious Catholic who visited Rome, "acts of treachery worse than Carthaginian, are committed without disguise in the Vatican itself under the eyes of the Pope. There are rapines, murders, incests, debauch- eries, cruelties exceeding those of the Neros and Caligulas." Sim- ilar pages from the history of every other country in Europe given uj) to war, including Protestant England, might be quoted.
But what is true of ecclesiastical effort in the presence of mili- tant activities is true of pedagogic effort in the presence of politi- cal activities. For more than half a century the public-school system in its existing form has been in full and energetic operation. The money devoted to it every year now reaches the enormous total of one hundred and eighty million dollars. Simultaneously an unprecedented extension of secondary education has occurred. Since the war, colleges and universities, supported in whole or in part at the public expense, have been established in more than half of the States and Territories of the Union. To these must be added the phenomenal growth of normal schools, high schools, and acad- emies, and of the equipment of the educational institutions already in existence. Yet, as a result, are the American people more moral than they were half a century ago? Have American insti- tutions—that is, the institutions based upon the freedom of the individual—been made more secure? I venture to answer both questions with an emphatic negative. The construction and oper- ation of the greatest machine of pedagogy recorded in history has been absolutely impotent to stem the rising tide of political cor- ruption and social degeneration. If there are skeptics that doubt the truth of this indictment let them study the criminal history of the day that records the annual commission of more than six thou- sand suicides and more than ten thousand homicides, and the embez- zlement of more than eleven million dollars. Let them study the lying pleas of the commercial interests of the country that demand protection against "the pauper labor of Europe," and thus commit a shameless aggression upon the pauper labor of America. Let them study the records of the deeds of intolerance and violence committed upon workingmen that refuse to exchange their personal liberty for membership of a despotic labor organization. Let them study the columns of the newspapers, crowded with records of crime, salacious stories, and ignorant comment on current questions and events that appeal to a population as unlettered and base as them- selves. Let them study, finally, the appalling indictment of Ameri- can political life, in a State where the native blood still runs pure in the veins of the majority of the inhabitants, that Mr. John Wanamaker framed in a great speech at the opening of his memo- rable campaign in Lancaster against the most powerful and most corrupt despotism that can be found outside of Russia or Turkey. "In the fourth century of Rome, in the time of Emperor Theo- dosius, Hellebichus was master of the forces," he said, endeavoring to describe a condition of affairs that exists in a similar degree in every State in the Union, "and Csesarius was count of the offices. In the nineteenth century, M. S. Quay is count of the offices, and AV. A. Andrews, Prince of Lexow, is master of forces in Pennsyl- vania, and we have to come through the iron age and the silver age to the worst of all ages—the degraded, evil age of conscienceless, debauched politics. . . . Profligacy and extravagance and boss rule everywhere oppress the people. By the multiplication of indict- ments your district attorney has multiplied his fees far beyond the joint salaries of both your judges. The administration of justice before the magistrates has degenerated into organized raids on the county treasury. . . '. Voters are corruptly influenced or forcibly coerced to do the bidding of the bosses, and thus force the fetters of political vassalage on the freemen of the old guard. School directors, supervisors, and magistrates, and the whole machinery of local government, are involved and dominated by this accursed system."
But Mr. Wanamaker might have added that the whole social and industrial life of the country is involved and dominated by the same system. It is a well-established law of social science that the evil effects of a dominant activity are not confined to the per- sons engaged in it. Like a contagion, they spread to every part of the social organization, and poison the life farthest removed from their origin. Yet the public-school system, so impotent to save us from social and political degradation and still such an object of unbounded pride and adulation, is, as Mr. Wanamaker, all unconscious of the implication of his scathing criticism, points out in so many words, an integral part of the vast and complex machinery that political despotism has seized upon to plunder and enslave the American people. As in the case of every other exten- sion of the duties of government beyond the limits of the preserva- tion of order and the enforcement of justice, it is an aggression upon the rights of the individual, and, as in the case of every other ag- gression, contributes powerfully to the decay of national character and free institutions. It adds thousands upon thousands to the constantly growing army of tax eaters that are impoverishing the people still striving against heavy odds to gain an honest liveli- hood. It places in the hands of the political despots now ruling the country, without the responsibility that the most odious mon- arclis have to bear, a revenue and an army of mercenaries that make more and more difficult emancipation from their shackles. It is doing more than anything else except the post-office depart- ment to teach people that there is no connection between merit and benefit; that they have the right to look to the State rather than to themselves for maintenance; that they are under no obligations to see that they do not take from others, in the form of salaries not earned nor intended to be earned, what does not belong to them. In the face of this wholesale destruction of fellow-feeling such as occurred in France under the old regime and is occurring to-day in Italy and Spain, and the inculcation of the ethics of mili- tant activities, such as may be observed in these countries as well as elsewhere in Europe, is it any wonder that the mind-stuffing that goes on in the public schools has no more effect upon the morals of the American people than the creeds and prayers of the medi- aeval ecclesiastics that joined in wars and the spoliation of oppressed populations throughout Europe?
Since the path that all people under popular government as well as under forms more despotic are pursuing so energetically and hopefully leads to the certain destruction of the foundations of civilization, what is the path that social science points out? What must they do to prevent the extinction of the priceless ac- quisition of fellow-feeling, now vanishing so rapidly before the most unselfish efforts to promote it? The supposition is that the social teachings of the philosophy of evolution have no answer to these questions. Believing that they inculcate the hideous laissez- faire doctrine of "each for himself and the devil take the hind- most," so characteristic of human relations among all classes of peo- ple in this country, the victims of this supposition have repudiated them. But I propose to show that tliey are the only teachings that give the slightest promise of social amelioration. Although they are ignorantly stigmatized as indi^'idualistic, and therefore neces- sarily selfish and inconsiderate of the welfare of others, they are in reality socialistic in the best sense of the word—that is, they enjoin voluntary, not coercive, co-operation, and insure the noblest hu- manity and the most perfect civilization, moral as well as material, that can be attained.
Why a society organized upon the individualistic instead of the socialistic basis will realize ev^ry achievement admits of easv cxplaiuitiou. A inau dependent upon liimself i;? forced by the- struggle for existence to exercise every faculty lie possesses or can possibly develop to save himself and his progeny from extinction. Under such pitiless and irresistible pressure he acquires the highest physical and intellectual strength. Thus equipped with weapons- absolutely indispensable in any state of society, whether civilized or uncivilized, he is prepared for the conquest of the world. He gains also the physical and moral courage needful to cope with the difficulties that terrify and paralyze the people that have not been subjected to the same rigid discipline. Energetic and self-reliant,, he assails them with no thought of failure. If, however, he meets with reverses, he renews the attack, and repeats it until success finally comes to reward his efforts. Such prolonged struggles give steadiness and solidity to his character that do not permit him to abandon himself to trifles or to yield easily, if at all, to excitement and panic. He never falls a victim to Keigns of Terror. The more trying the times, the more self-possessed, clear-headed, and capable- of grai)pling with the situation he becomes, and soon rises superior to it. With every triumph over difficulties there never fails to come the joy that more tlian balances the pain and suffering en- dured. But the pain and suffering are as precious as the joy of triumph. Indelibly registered in the nervous system, they enable their victim to feel as others feel passing through the same ex- perience, and this fellow-feeling prompts him to render them the assistance they may need. .In this way be becomes a philanthro- pist. Possessed, of the abundant means that the success of his enterprises has placed in his hands, he is in a position to help them to a degree not within the reach nor the desires of the member of the society organized upon the socialistic basis.
In the briefest appeal to history may be found the amplest sup- port for these deductions from the principles of social science. Wherever the individual has been given the largest freedom to do- whatever he pleases, as long as he does not trench upon the equal freedom of others, there we witness all those achievements and dis- cover all those traits that indicate an advanced state of social prog- ress. The people are the most energetic, the most resourceful, the most prosperous, the most considerate and humane, the most anx- ious, and the most competent to care for their less fortunate fel- lows. On the other hand, wherever the individual has been most repressed, deterred by custom or legislation from making the most of himself in every way, there are to be observed social immobility or retrogression and all the hateful traits that belong to barbarians. The people are inert, slavish, cruel, and superstitious. In the ancient world one type of society is represented by the Egyptians and Assyrians, and the other by the Greeks and Romans. In the modern world all the Oriental peoples, particularly the Hindus and Chinese, represent the former, and the Occidental peoples, particularly the Anglo-Saxons, represent the latter. So superior, in fact, are the Anglo-Saxons because of their observance of the sacred and fruitful principle of individual freedom that they con- trol the most desirable parts of the earth's surface. If not checked by the practice of a philosoiDhy that has destroyed all the great peoples of antiquity and paralyzed their competitors in the estab- lishment of colonies in the l^e^\ as well as the Old World, there is no reason to doubt that the time will eventually come when, like the Romans, there will be no other rule than theirs in all the choicest parts of the globe.
It is the immense material superiority of the Anglo-Saxon peoples over all other nations that first arrests attention. Xo people in Europe j^ossess the capital or conduct the enterprises that the English and Americans do. They have more railroads, more steamships, more factories, more foundries, more warehouses, more of everything that requires wealth and energy than their rivals. Though the fact evokes the sneers of the Ruskins and Car- lyles, these enterprises are the indispensable agents of civilization. They have done more for civilization, for the union of distant peo- ples, and the development of fellow-feeling—for all that makes life worth living—than all the art, literature, and theology ever pro- duced. Without industry and commerce, which these devotees of ^' the higher life " never weary of deprecating, how would the in- habitants of the Italian republics have achieved the intellectual and artistic conquests that make them the admiration of every histo- rian? The Stones of Venice could not have been written. The artists could not have lived that enabled Vassari to hand his name down to posterity. The new learning would have been a flower planted in a barren soil, and even before it had come to bud it would have fallen withered. May we not, therefore, expect that in like manner the wealth and freedom of the Anglo-Saxon race will bring forth fruits that shall- not evoke scorn and contempt? Already their achievements in eA^ery field except painting, sculp- ture, and architecture eclipse those of their rivals. Not except- ing the literature of the Greeks, is any so rich, varied, powerful, and voluminous as theirs? If they have no Caesar or ISTapoleon, they have a long list of men that have been of infinitely greater use to civilization than those two products of militant barbarism. If judged by practical results, they are without rivals in the work of education. By their inventions and their applications of the discoveries of science they have distanced all competitors in the race for iudustrial and commercial supremacy. In the work of lihilanthropj no people has done as much as they. The volume of their personal effort and pecuniary contributions to ameliorate the condition of the poor and unfortunate are without parallel in the annals of charity. Yet Professor Ely, echoing the opinion of Charles Booth and other misguided philanthropists, has the assur- ance to tell us that "individualism has broken down." It is the social philosophy that they are trying to thrust upon the world again that stands hopelessly condemned before the remorseless tri- bunal of universal experience.
In the light thus x)btained from science and history, the duty of the American people toward the current social and political philosophy and all the quack measures it proposes for the amelio- ration of the condition of the unfortunate becomes clear and ur- gent. It is to pursue without equivocation or deviation the policy of larger and larger freedom for the individual that has given the Anglo-Saxon his superiority and present dominance in the world. To this end they should oppose w^ith all possible vigor every pro- posed extension of the duty of the state that does not look to the preservation of order and the enforcement of justice. Regard- ing it as an onslaught of the forces of barbarism, they should make no compromise wdth it; they should fight it until freedom has triumphed. The next duty is to conquer the freedom they still lack. Here the battle must be for the suppression of the sys- tem of protective tariffs, for the transfer to private enterprise and beneficence, the duties of the post office, the public schools, and all public charities, for the repeal of all laws in regulation of trade and industry as well as those in regulation of habits and morals. As an inspiration it should be remembered that the struggle is not only for freedom but for honesty. For the truth can not be too loudly or too often proclaimed that every law taking a dollar from a man without his consent, or regulating his conduct not in accord- ance with his own notions, but in accordance with those of his neighbors, contributes to the education of a people in idleness and crime. The next duty is to encourage on every hand an appeal to voluntary effort to accomplish all tasks too great for the strength of the individual. Whether those tasks be moral, industrial, or educational, voluntary co-operation alone should assume them and carry them to a successful issue. The government sliould have no more to do with them than it has to do with the cultivation of wheat or the management of Sunday schools or the suppression of backbiting. The last and final duty should be to cheapen and, as fast as possible, to establish gratuitous justice. With the great diminution of crime that would result from the observance of the duties already mentioned there would be much less occasion than now to appeal to the courts. But, whenever the occasion arises, it should involve no cost to the person that feels that his rights have been invaded.
Thus will be solved indirectly all the probleius of democracy that social and political reformers seek in vain to solve directly. With the diminution of the duties of the state to the preservation of order and the enforcement of justice w'ill be effected a reform as important and far reaching as the suppression of chronic war- fare. When politicians are deprived of the immense plunder now involved in political warfare, it will not be necessary to devise futile plans for caucus reform, or ballot reform, or convention re- form, or charter reform, or legislative reform. Having no more incentive to engage in their nefarious business than the smugglers that the abolition of the infamous tariff laws banished from Eu- rope, they will disappear among the crowd of honest toilers. The suppression of the robberies of the tax collectors and tax eaters, who have become so vast an army in the United States, will effect also a solution of all labor problems. A society that permits every toiler to work for whomsoever he pleases and for whatever he pleases, protecting him in the full enjoyment of all the fruits of his labor, has done for him everything that can be done. It has taught him self-support and self-control. In thus guaranteeing him freedom of contract and putting an end to the plunder of a bureaucracy and privileged classes of private indi- viduals, the beneficiaries of special legislation, it has effected the only equitable distribution of property possible. At the same time it has accomplished a vastly greater work. As I have shown, the indispensable condition of success of all movements for moral re- form is the suppression not only of militant strife, but of political strife. While they prevail, all ecclesiastical and pedagogic efforts to better the condition of society must fail. Despite lectures, de- spite sermons and prayers, despite also literature and art, the ethics controlling the conduct of men and women will be those of war. But with the abolition of both forms of militant strife it be- comes an easy task to teach the ethics of peace, and to establish a state of society that requires no other government than that of conscience. All the forces of industrialism contribute to the work and insure its success.
"This thirst for shooting every rare or unwonted kind of bird," says the author of an article in the London Saturday Eeview, "is accountable for the disappearance of many interesting forms of life in the British Islands."