Saturday, October 3, 2015

James Madison's argument against wealth redistribution

Its not uncommon for a progressive to rattle off the phrase "The Founders could not have foreseen" - and fill in the blank. The Founders couldn't have forseen x, they couldn't have foreseen y, and so it goes. Well, Mr. Progressive they did foresee you and your tyrannical schemes. This is illustrated by James Madison himself, at the Convention on June 26th, 1787:
We cannot however be regarded even at this time, as one homogeneous mass, in which every thing that affects a part will affect in the same manner the whole. In framing a system which we wish to last for ages, we shd. not lose sight of the changes which ages will produce. An increase of population will of necessity increase the proportion of those who will labour under all the hardships of life, & secretly sigh for a more equal distribution of its blessings. These may in time outnumber those who are placed above the feelings of indigence. According to the equal laws of suffrage, the power will slide into the hands of the former. No agrarian attempts have yet been made in in this Country, but symtoms, of a leveling spirit, as we have understood, have sufficiently appeared in a certain quarters to give notice of the future danger. How is this danger to be guarded agst. on republican principles? How is the danger in all cases of interested coalitions to oppress the minority to be guarded agst.? Among other means by the establishment of a body in the Govt. sufficiently respectable for its wisdom & virtue, to aid on such emergences, the preponderance of justice by throwing its weight into that scale. Such being the objects of the second branch in the proposed Govt.

When Madison talks about the "leveling spirit", he's talking about socialism. Back in the days of the Founding Fathers, those who would use government to reach into your back pocket had not yet decided to call themselves 'socialists'. They called themselves "levellers". As in, levelling the playing field, levelling people's incomes, levelling the amount of materialistic wants in everybody's house. Socialism.

Madison also specifically asks how to protect against this danger since it is so much a threat to any system that they wanted to "last for the ages". That's very forward thinking. Our Founders did not want government reaching into Peter's pocket for the lone/express purpose of giving to Paul. Paul did not earn that, so he should not get it. As Benjamin Franklin pointed out, that sort of activity is tyrannical. Taking that which is not yours is tyrannical.

He was right to worry about this sort of tyranny. Where we are at now, people no longer "secretly sigh" for government to equally distribute people's earnings. They openly proclaim that government should take, and take plenty.

Progressives should not be allowed to get away with casting this as something new. Wealth redistribution - tyranny - is older than liberty. These are not the "new ideas" that they proclaim to be the heralds of.

Saturday, September 12, 2015

The Trend Toward Collectivism, by Walter Rauschenbusch

The Trend Toward Collectivism

Prof. Walter Rauschenbusch of Rochester, New York, author of "Christianity and the Social Crisis," spoke before the City Club at luncheon, Saturday, April 13, on "The Trend Toward Collectivism in the Modern World," Mr. Harry F. Ward presided.

HARRY F. WARD: "We are to listen today to a discussion of one of the most significant movements in modern society, the movement toward the collective control of life. We have been driven into a social consciousness. We are developing a social conscience, and in the realm of government, of industry and of religion the very vital question is, how we are going to express this in social action. The man who is going to address us is qualified to speak on this topic, not simply as a student, but as one who has long and patiently observed the social movement at first hand. He has for years been intimate with the needs of the industrial group. He is the author of a book which is recognized in Europe as one of the few vital books which have been produced in this country and in our generation. Among his fellow ministers of all denominations he is not without that honor which is sometimes accorded to prophets. I have great pleasure in introducing to you Professor Walter Rauschenbusch, of Rochester, New York." (Applause.)

Prof. Walter Rauschenbusch

"My subject is to be the trend toward collectivism. I suppose most of you will regard 'collectivism' simply as a disguise for socialism. Socialism is traveling around the country in very many disguises. Many of the men who believe in it most heartily are afraid of using the word. One of the most prominent magazine writers and lecturers on the subject recently told me that he avoided using the word altogether, because as soon as he said 'socialism,' people regarded him as an atheist, a believer in free love, an enemy of the family, and a destroyer of the state. He used 'collectivism' or 'industrial democracy' or 'the new nationalism,' or any old thing, because it was bound to work out toward socialism anyhow.

"A friend of mine told me of a conversation with a man who visited him and was constantly using a certain objectionable and very emphatic monosyllable that some of you may be acquainted with by reputation. My friend, who is a Presbyterian elder, remonstrated with him for using that word so constantly. He replied that he was trying to rehabilitate it in polite society. I am afraid it is just about as hopeful to rehabilitate that word as it is to rehabilitate the word ‘socialism.’

"But I am really not trying to dodge the use of that word. I mean by 'collectivism' something larger than 'socialism' usually means. Socialism, in its organized form, seems to me to be only one section of a far larger movement, and that larger movement I want to designate today by the word 'collectivism,' not because that is the ordinary use of the word, but simply in order to have an algebraic symbol for something we want to express.

"I believe in the utility of organized socialism and of the socialist party. I am not a member of it, but I am glad that it is in existence, and if I were a devout Republican or Democrat - which I am not - I would wish, for the sake of my own party, that there might be a strong socialist minority party in every legislature, in congress and in all local boards of aldermen, etc. That would be a very powerful stimulus to the old parties to make for righteousness. They would suddenly sit up and take notice, I think, if they found even half a dozen good, vigorous, intelligent socialists to stand by and look on over their shoulders while they were doing business; and so far from desiring the failure of socialism, I think it is a good, thing that it is coming on. It will have a purifying influence in our national life. And yet I regard socialism much as the powerful midstream current of a large river. The river carries a far larger bulk of water and yet is swiftest in midstream. Socialism is the dogmatic, definite, clear, intelligent comprehension of this general trend, frequently in an exaggerated and dogmatic form, but the trend itself is far larger.

What Collectivism Is

"My proposition this afternoon is that we are all moving in the direction of what I would call 'collectivism.' By collectivism I mean emphasis on public welfare and public rights, rather than private welfare and private rights, and a desire to increase the amount of public property as against private property. All constructive proposals today are tending to increase the movement of public ownership and of public functions. All public-spirited movements are working in the same direction. There is a curious unanimity of instinct running through the entire civilized world making in that direction. It raises a kind of presumption of historical destiny.

"The oldest achievements of civilization have gradually passed into public ownership. For instance, public roads and streets and bridges were, to a large extent, at one time under private ownership. Many of us recollect the toll roads of early days in our own country. Toll bridges owned by private corporations were also common. They have now become generally publicly owned. The fire-fighting apparatus which is now everywhere part of the public equipment used to be a private affair. In ancient Rome private corporations used to extinguish fires. When a fire broke out in ancient Rome, the fire-fighters would offer to extinguish it at so much, and the owner of the place had a chance to make a dicker with them while the fire was making rapid progress. The bigger the fire got the higher their rates. I commend that to all who believe in capitalism as a lost chance for making profit. Something of the kind existed in England not long ago. The public organization for fighting fire is of comparatively recent origin. The courts likewise used to be under private control, to a large extent. The nobles of England and of France used to have the right of justification and it was a lucrative source of profit to them. Justice was a profit-making enterprise. Warfare, likewise, used to be a very lucrative source of income and a private appurtenance. Nobles of even comparatively low rank had the right to make war and plunder and keep all that they could get. You can see how desirable that would be. Warfare now has become a collective undertaking. It is reserved to the people at large. Government itself used to be a private concern. Private individuals did the governing and made what they could out of it. Today, through democracy, governing has come a public and collective undertaking.

Collective Basis of Education

"In recent times some other large enterprises have become of a collective nature; for instance, our public schools. Private educational undertakings have narrowed down and public education has become one of the great collective undertakings of modern society. Our public schools are constantly increasing their functions and the insistency with which they enter into public life. Our post-office system is fortunately a collective undertaking, thanks to the wisdom of Benjamin Franklin. We have to thank him for placing in the midst of our privately-owned institutions one great institution of collective ownership, the post-office. It is also partly a banking concern.

"Our museums and public libraries are also public and collective undertakings; parks and playgrounds likewise; hospitals and baths in many cases. Our water supply in most American cities, I think, is now publicly owned, and while there may be some dissatisfaction where there is public ownership of the water supply, usually the public has a ready means of redress. On the other hand where the water supply is in the hands of private corporations, there is usually a good deal of disregard for public health. Wherever any little nucleus of public ownership of that kind exists there is a desire to expand it; just as in the crystallizing of ice a small particle of ice will become the nucleus for further crystallizing.

"I would like to raise this question: Wherever public ownership has become well established, has secured a backing in the community and has habituated itself in the social life, is there any desire to go back of it ? There is today, for instance, some criticism of the post-office; but if there were a referendum of the whole people of the United States would they vote that the post-office should be turned over to any one of the express companies ? Wherever public functions are exercised by private corporations there is always chronic dissatisfaction running through the community. On the other hand, where public ownership has become well established the public always has a direct means of redress in case there is cause for complaint. That fact is, I think, a great historical verdict in favor of collectivism.

The European Movement

"Other countries have gone much further than we in the direction of expandng the area of collective ownership. In Europe, as many of you know, in many cities and countries, gas, electric light, electric power, the telegraph system, the telephone system, the parcels post, railways, theaters, opera houses, are all comprised within the area of collective ownership, and the people there would not think of going back of it. In those points where European civic life is superior to ours, as for instance in the well-ordered and beautiful German cities, it is usually due to the fact that there is a far larger area of collective undertaking and collective enterprise than there is with us.

"In our country additional undertakings have been forced upon us within recent years, through the very largeness that was necessary in them. For instance, irrigating the waste lands of the west necessarily had to be a public undertaking. The Panama Canal, likewise, had to be undertaken by public enterprise, and you all know what a nest of public functions has sprng up around that canal. The boarding houses and hotels and public pleasure resorts there are run by our government, and on the whole it is well done. The subways in some of our large cities are likewise constructed with public capital. When a thing is done collectively it can be planned long ahead and there will be no duplication of the undertaking. The canal system in Germany is a remarkable illustration of the efficiency of public planning. One canal will hitch in with the other. The canal system in Germany co-operates with the railway systems; both are publicly owned, both linked together. The heavier freights are carried on the canals by water and the lighter freights are carried by the railroads. In our own country the publicly owned canals are in competition with the privately owned railroads, and each tries to hold the other down. For instance, the Erie Canal in the State of New York exists largely as a safety valve for the people, as a means of keeping down freight rates, and we have to keep up that expensive canal in part for that purpose. The railroads, on the other hand, have succeeded in holding down the improvement of the Erie Canal, because if it were too efficient it would be too dangerous to them. So, instead of having co-operation between these two great systems of transportation, we have some degree of competition, which is hostile to the efficiency of either of them.

The Control of Public Health

The necessities of public health have also tended to increase the scope of public ownership. When we own our water supply we also have to look after the sanitary character of the watersheds connected with the water supply, and are compelled to lay some restriction upon the wide areas from which our large cities draw their water.

"In England they have come to the point, of laying a very vigorous hand on the tenement houses of the large cities in the interest of public health. A number of large English cities have torn out entire sections of the city, tearing down the unsanitary tenements and constructing new streets of a fine and sanitary character in the interest of the public health.

"The time is coming when our American municipalities, too, will have to go further in the direction of collective ownership in order to protect the health of our citizens, for instance, in caring for the sanitary character of milk and ice supply. Ice has become so necessary a part of life in our modern cities, under present conditions, that it ought not to be tolerated that the price of ice be fixed by a monopoly. Coal also. There is no competition in the coal prices in our cities, is there? Do you have competition between individual dealers so far as ice and coal are concerned? In Rochester the price of coal is fixed for the dealer. The individual dealer would go below it at his peril. His supply of coal would be withheld from him by the large concerns from which he has to buy. A situation of that kind is contrary to the public welfare. A cheap supply of coal, a cheap supply of ice, are necessary for the public health and public welfare under modern conditions.

"In Germany it is one of the demands of the Socialist party that drug stores shall be run on behalf of the public and drugs sold at cost price. There is a great deal to recommend that to the mind of any one who knows about the adulteration of drugs in America. Some of the most necessary drugs, like anti-toxin and vaccine, at present are furnished by municipalities.

"There are other directions in which collectivism is extending its scope which might, perhaps, conceal themselves from our eyes. For instance, as you all know, there is a strong movement, not only in our country but in England and in Germany, to put an increased taxation on land values. We are familiar with the program of the Single Taxers. That, too, is a collectivist movement. It is supposed to be the extreme of individualism, but really it is collectivism, because it tends to put the hand of the people on a great source of wealth which is produced by public improvements and which, at present goes to private persons. This movement proposes to take some share of that wealth, if not the whole of it, for public purposes, and so far it is a movement of collectivism. In fact, wherever there is an appropriation of unearned incomes or a larger taxation on large incomes, we have a tendency toward collectivism. Wherever there is a monopoly in Europe of liquor, of tobacco, of salt, of matches, for the purpose of raising public revenue, they have collectivism for public income.

Private and Public Insurance

"Our insurance system is a form of collectivism. Life insurance, fire insurance, is an arrangement for binding together a great number of people in a common interest in such a way that when one of them is smitten by disaster, by fire, by accident, by death, the rest of them will come to his relief. No matter if they are organized fraternally and privately, it is nevertheless a form of collectivism. But in recent years we have become aware of the fact that private insurance extends its advantages to but a limited number of people. It is practically unavailable to the large number of working people who need it most. Industrial insurance, so-called, seems to me a flat failure in our country. It is so fearfully expensive that it returns to the working man very little for what he puts into it. Our private insurance companies do not seem to have been capable of devising a satisfactory system for the poor man who needs insurance most. On that account, Germany, England and France are working in the direction of compulsory insurance, which is under- taken by the state and extends the system of insurance to a far larger number. Insurance can be made cheap when it is made universal for the entire working class. Compulsory nation-wide insurance represents a collective system of savings.

"The same thing, is true in regard to pensions. Wherever you have pensions you have collectivism. The pensions of our soldiers and public officers, like the police, are a collective system of having society care for individuals in the time of their need. As you know, the pension system is making rapid headway. In England, everybody over seventy, without adequate income, can draw $1.25 per week. In our own country it is coming not by government agency, but by the undertaking of large corporations, who are beginning to care for their employees in their old age; but that is Collectivism also.

Cooperative Enterprise in Europe

"The large extension of voluntary co-operative enterprises in modern life is well known to you. The extent of co-operation in European countries is astonishing to Americans. Co-operative stores are a great economic fact in England, Belgium, Denmark, Switzerland and Germany. In our own country we have made little progress in voluntary co-operation. Perhaps one of the chief causes is that we have not yet learned to economize. We do not yet bother about small savings. We are prodigal. But I wonder whether the present era of high prices will not lead to an extension of co-operative buying in our own country. If I were a rich man and had leisure and capital and public spirit I think that is one of the lines of effort that I should go into. I should put my capacity for organization into the service of the people in order to organize and make effective and productive co-operative enterprises. That would immediately react on the entire community. Collective buying and selling would be one of the best means of keeping down artificially high prices.

"One line of collective influence which, perhaps, has escaped us is the influence of collective intelligence on the improvement of farming in our country. Within recent years there has been a very remarkable advance in the application of science to farming. That is not due to the enterprise of the individual farmer who has personally made chemical examination of soils or experimented on the production of better seeds. This stimulating influence in agriculture has been due to collective agencies. The granges have been organs of collective life. The government experimental stations, government distribution of literature, government supervision and distribution of seed, have been collective undertakings in which private profit was no element and this has been able to stimulate a great many individuals in the direction of greater intelligence and economy in their farming operations. Here, then, we have an interesting case where collectivism has, to some degree, invaded what is still the bulwark of private enterprise, firming. Farming has not yet advanced far in the direction of collective undertaking, as modem industry has. It is still left in the main to the individual farmer that has 160 acres. Yet collective intelligence has stimulated these many individuals.

Collectivism in Private Business

"In profit-making industries, too, there is an underground tendency toward collectivism in the aggregation of economic forces, in the increase of large undertakings in industry. Isn't that a form of collectivism, too ? Men no longer produce alone, by themselves, each in his own little shop. A tremendous number of people combine to produce and to finance enterprises. Our great corporations are collectively financed; they are collectively operated. About the only thing that seems to be private still is the dividends, and in them, too, there is now a tendency to make them more collective through methods of industrial co-operation, co-partnership, profit-sharing, and other enterprises of that kind, so that a larger number of men share in the income of the undertaking as well as in the work of it.

"We are learning how to run these larger enterprises. Collective labor has gradually become a social acquisition. What formerly was accomplished by the enterprise of a few great pioneers has now become the common possession of the great mass. You will remember the infancy of the department stores some thirty or forty years ago, how small and narrow they were; yet it took an able business man to run such a store. Now the running of a concern of that kind has become a social acquisition. Men of lower ability can do it. Just as in flying. A few years ago but a few people could fly ; now we see it becoming a social acquisition, like automobiling or bicycling. In time babies will be born with a knowledge of how to steer. So the running of great enterprises is becoming instinctive with Americans.

"Our great corporations and business houses are doing all that they can to cultivate the collective spirit among their employees. They are brought together at suppers and in other ways, and they learn to develop a spirit of fraternity and good will which makes them a part of the great industrial organization. The demand for the recognition of the trades unions is working in the same way. If the coal miners should now put the demand through of having their unions recognized, that would be a long extension of the conception of collective ownership. They would then enter into a kind of recognized partnership with the corporations that own the coal mines. It would, of course, be putting only one foot inside of the door, but the other foot would follow some time.

"In the degree in which our industry is being organized on a large scale competition is necessarily being shelved. Our great captains of industry are, all of them, heretics against the old principle of laissez-faire. They do not believe in it any more. They have all, with one accord, given their hearts to the idea of co-operation, though they do not all know it. Of course, when competition ceases, there is immediately a danger of monopoly, and the government, therefore, has to step in on behalf of the people in order to regulate it. The present inquisitiveness on the part of the government is simply one tendency in collectivism. It is an emphasis on the right of the common people in these great undertakings which have outgrown private ownership.

Where Will It Stop?

"Now, the question is will the government stop at that point ? Will it stop in simply investigating, inquiring, superintending, controlling, or will the tendency go further? Will it gradually come to the point of actually dominating and owning? I do not know, but it looks that way. Do you think that one hundred years from now we shall stand exactly where we now stand, with great corporations supervised and trimmed down a little by the government? Is not the present reaching out of the people toward direct legislation, toward a firmer clutch on the machinery of legislation, a kind of blind groping for collective power? Do the people intend merely to get hold of politics, or are they reaching out for something more than that? I think there is more behind. The people have an instinctive feeling that they must first get control of politics and then they will be able to control the business of the nation.

"About three years ago, when Mr. Roosevelt became contributing editor of the Outlook, Lyman Abbott published, in a very prominent position in the Outlook, the following sentences:

He is the most widely known representative of the present world-movement toward industrial democracy. Our object is to the industrial institutions of democracy into harmony with its political and educational institutions. Our resolve is that the money power in America, as its political and eduational power, shall come from the people, be exercised for the people and be controlled by the people.

"In other words, we ought to have as much democracy in our financial life as we now have in our educational and political life. Now I submit that that means collectivism.

The Trend of Thought

""In sizing up this whole movement we must also consider the trend of thought. You have, first of all, the great body of socialist conviction throughout the civilized nations, and any man would be a fool not to reckon with that. It is one of the great solid bodies of thought, unshakable. It is perfectly ridiculous, from the point of view of any student of history to suppose that that great movment will melt away again without accomplishing very large things in human society. How far it will go, how completely it will carry out its purposes, no man knows. I do not believe for a moment that it will accomplish all that it proposes to do. No great movement ever has done so, but this great body of opinion, of conviction, of almost religious enthusiasm, surely will do something for us before it gets through with us.

"Scientific economic thought is likewise away from private ownership and toward public control and public ownership. The idea of interference by the government seems to have lost some of its terrors since democracy has come in.

"The idealistic thinkers are almost with unanimity on the side of this movement toward collectivism. The artists, the great literary leaders of our time all have tended that way. Yesterday I was in one of your great public institutions, and in one room there were four remarkable pictures of great men. They were Carlyle, Ruskin, William Morris, Tolstoi. Now, these men represent very different tendencies in thought. Tolstoi was an anarchist, not a socialist, and yet all four of them stood for the tendency of collectivism.

"Of our magazine writers who deal with public questions very many are verging in this direction, though few of them have thrown in their lot definitely with socialism. It is only a question how far they go and where they stop. The same thing is true of newspaper writers. Mr. Marion Reedy of St. Louis said some time ago in talking about the suppression of freedom in the press that if all the newspaper writers of our country, for two weeks, said exactly what they think and how they view public conditions in this country, there would be such a revolution as the world has never seen, because most of them hold very radical opinions. He says that most of them are socialists, unless they are anarchists. I do not know. My acquaintance with them is not sufficient to substantiate that.

"Among college professors the question usually is how far they will go toward collectivism.

Where the Church Stands

"In the church likewise. The religious spirit has a strong affinity for the ideal of co-operation, more than for the idea of mere freedom, although that, too, is a religious ideal. The New York Evening Post, which, as you know, is a great organ of the old school of political thought, began to lament, away back in the nineties, that the church had gone over to socialism. That was exaggerated, and yet I think anyone who knows the run of thought among the leaders of the churches knows that in all the churches the trend is toward collectivism, thought not at all toward party socialism.

"Constructive statesmanship tends in the same direction. In England, in Germany, the really constructive statesmen have increased collective rights and property. Those public officers in our country who have taken their work seriously have usually been enthusiasts for some kind of public ownership. Haven’t you found in Chicago that some of your ablest and finest public officers have had at least some single hobby of public ownership and have tried to extend the scope of it?

"Look back over the men who have really made history in our own country, the men who have stood out as the bold champions of the people, the representatives of the higher and newer school of public service. They have usually been men who have fought for an increase of public activity, of public functions, of public property, as against the representatives of the interests that stand for the opposite principle.

"Beating Them to It

"When a movement is of such a nature that even its enemies have to aid it you can be sure it is a victorious movement. A clever man in Madison, Wis., said: The only way to beat socialism is to beat them to it.’ Those who are trying to beat socialism try to take the wind out of its sails by advancing its cause. Mr. Ray Stannard Baker told me an anecdote some time ago. The celebrated Russian writer, Ostrogorski, was in this country to study our American institutions. When he was about to finish his visit Mr. Baker interviewed him and asked him what he thought of the future of the socialists in this country. He thought they would not likely have much of a future. He thought our politicians were so acute, so clever, that they would not allow the socialist party to gain much headway; that, as fast as some issue had been advanced to victory by the socialists, the democrats or the republicans would appropriate that issue and carry it into effect themselves in order to take the wind out of the sails of the socialist party. That was Ostrogorski’s forecast. Mr. Baker told me that a few days later he had an interview with President Roosevelt, and told him this story about Ostrogorski, and Roosevelt slapped his knee and said. That’s exactly what I have been doing.’

"My proposition, then, is that we are in the midst of a great historical trend, which is carrying us forward, not merely the men of one party, but men of all parties. All public-spirited men, all idealistic men, all religious men feel the pull and push of this great tendency, and that creates the presumption that we are in the presence of a great historical necessity.

The Family Spirit in Society

"I do not know where that is going to carry us. I do not know how much of socialism the future will have to embody. It is foolish to attempt to forecast that. Let God and our grandchildren look out for that. We can't do it. But we are moving, and my proposition is that for the present we ought to move in that direction. We ought not to move backward in the direction of private ownership of the means of production, but we ought to move forward to an extension of public functions and public property. The family spirit always grows up around family property, doesn't it? When a family has no property and cannot do anything for its members, its members will not love it. On the other hand, where a family has well-established property and the family develops inside of that property, family traditions and pride trail up like a creeper on this trellis of family property.

"The same thing is true about the community spirit. When a city has no public property it will have little public spirit. Public property is essential for the growth of patriotism. In all those communities in past history which have been rich in public spirit and local patriotism there has also been a great deal of public property and many public functions. This is the direction in which destiny is pushing us onward, and the question is whether we will be willing pioneers and friends of that movement, or whether we shall be pushed on against our will and be mere slaves of destiny." (Applause.)

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Views on Socialism, by Thomas Wentworth Higginson


Colonel T. W. Higginson Speaks with His Well Known Conciseness.

Colonel Thomas Wentworth Higginson, the venerable and eminent author, surprised many people, recently, by Signing the manifesto of the Intercollegiate Socialist Society, says the New York World. That the wealthy biographer of Longfellow and Whittier, historian, essayist, member of many learned societies and life-long associate of the men of letters should openly advocate socialism astonished all but those who know him intimately. Colonel Higginson received the World's staff correspondent in Boston and expressed himself on socialism as follows, weighing his words with great care:

"The very word 'socialist' has become difficult to deal with, from the fact that it has been vaguely used to express the party of progress, and the progressive body in a community is, by its nature, subdivided, and is never so closely organized and united as the conservative body. This is more visible in America than even in England.

"I never call myself a socialist, because no two persons interpret the word in the same way. But I grew up in the Brook Farm and Fourierite period and have always been interested in all tendencies in that direction. More than this, I have studied more than half a century and observed a steady tendency through our whole society in that direction - that is, the substitution of vigorous social organization for the individualism which once prevailed.

"In my boyhood, for instance, public schools were in their infancy, and, in the vast majority of cases, offered only momentary instruction, public high schools only existing here and there, and, for many years following, there was a vigorous protest against, the introduction of higher branches into these schools. Against the plan of public provision of school books the same hostility was found, and, in more than one town, even after the books had been provided, the action was revoked and the free textbooks temporarily withdrawn; in the same way, free public libraries, now so universal, had an ordeal to go through. "When the great Boston Public Library was first established the prediction was made that it would amount to nothing beyond public documents and a few books bestowed on the institution by their authors.

"Water supplies were at first the property of private companies, not open to the public at large. Bridges were toll bridges, and the only good roads were turnpike roads. In all these cases it was only very gradually that the tolls were abolished and the public at large assumed ownership. In every instance, the movement for public ownership was fought against and regarded as a step toward socialism. The assertion was perfectly correct - the unconscious march of the community was in that direction, and the peculiarity of the case was that neither of these steps was ever taken back again. There was a time when even the post-office was so imperfectly established that an energetic private company in San Francisco competed with it, and, for a time, kept all the local business mainly in its own hands.

"The peculiarity is not so much that these successive changes have been made, but that they have all grown up in one direction and that no step backward has ever been taken. On the contrary, example tells. The individual freedom of municipal governments gives the opportunity to test side by side the profitableness and safety of the two methods. A near-by town in Massachusetts, for instance, has a public water system, while its neighbor, with about the same population, has a private company to supply it, and each family there pays twice as much for water as in the other town. These things tell rapidly, and thus the method of municipal ownership grows.

"Now, municipal ownership is a step toward socialism, as far as it goes, and the fact that all these steps tend one way shows that socialism advances, even if unconsciously, all the time. In 1800, there were sixteen public waterworks in the United States, all privately built and owned, except one in Winchester, Va. Fourteen of these private plants have since become public. Of the fifty largest cities in this country, twenty-one originally built and now own their waterworks, twenty have changed from a private to a public ownership and only nine depend on private capitalists.

"The peculiarity is not so much in these changes as in the fact that they are practically all one way. Those who have once tried the public system would no more consent to changing it than they would think of handing over the post-office to a private corporation. "So far as tendency goes, we are all Socialists in dally life, without knowing that fact. it is useless to deny that obstacles occur at every step, and it is very well to do everything with due deliberation. But that the movement of human history is toward the public ownership of monopolies is unquestionable and, if that be socialism, make the most of it.

"As for the Intercollegiate Socialist Society, it is simply an expression of opinion that a college should not ignore the study of this great movement of the age."

COLONEL T. W. HIGGINSON, Who Gives His Views on Socialism.

Monday, August 10, 2015

Why do some socialists gravitate to evolutionary tactics over revolutionary tactics? And why do some statists gravitate to progressivism instead?

Evolutionary socialism or revolutionary socialism? That is the question.

William James Ghent wrote a pamphlet titled "Reds Bring Reaction", which is a seemingly thin-veiled attack from one leftist on the rest of his fellow leftists. But within these pages lies the answer. Substantively the pamphlet is not what it seems to be. On page vii:

"The revolutionary Communist, for all his stage-play, is a fanatic and a firebrand. So long as society insists upon keeping on hand such stores of inflammable material in the form of large sections of the working class steeped in privation and misery, it must expect, from time to time, what follows from the touch of flame to tinder. But the chief danger lies in the fact that the tumult and shouting of the Left inevitably strengthens the Reaction of the Right."

One of the strengths of so many of today's modern radicals is that they have convinced people that they aren't really as radical as they seem.

In other words, the evolutionaries believe that they are superior to the revolutionaries because they will not see a reaction from the reactionaries. Sadly, we have the last 100 years of American history to prove that the evolutionaries were correct in their supposition.

In a 1920's pamphlet "Making socialists out of college students", the author makes one final point then asks the following question:

The bomb-throwing anarchist and bullet-shooting radical will never retard America. The big job is with the pink variety, - whose poison is injected quietly and where we least suspect it.

What are you going to do about it? Or are you too busy?

So from the viewpoint of a statist, the reason why evolutionary socialism is superior to revolutionary socialism is blindingly clear. But what of progressivism? Why would a statist prefer progressivism over socialism? The evolutionary doesn't engender nearly as much opposition, but what of progressivism? Progressive ideology seemingly abandons government ownership altogether, progressive ideology can then actually bring in supporters that otherwise would not be supporters. We see it all the time, every one of us can cite an example that made us scratch our heads. See Stuart Chase's "Political System X" for more details about how this works. Specifically number 17.

17. Not much "taking over" of property or industries in the old socialistic sense. The formula appears to be control without ownership. it is interesting to recall that the same formula is used by the management of great corporations in depriving stockholders of power.

See? It's not socialism! It's just regulation. It's centralized planning, it's not wholesale theft of a citizen's private property. Who couldn't support that? It's just the middle road. Are you one of these crazy radicals on either side? Regulation is pure, regulation is clean, regulation is saintly. (content continues below the screenshot)

This was the very first blog post I made, besides announcing "hey, I'm here". The answer is right here in this book, Hise was an adviser to TR.(Chase mentioned above was an adviser to FDR) Look at the language that Hise uses.(contained in the screenshot) It's not socialism, it's just common sense. It's reasonable. It's cooperation, it's the public utilities. We just need fair prices. Blah blah blah blah, we have been hearing this same scripted nonsense for the last 100 years. But most importantly, Hise says this:

"the industrial concentrations remain private property in charge of those who own them just as at present"

Now how many corporations can you think of who mistakenly support progressive causes? How many individuals? Ideologically, both progressivism and evolutionary socialism are virtual unknowns to most Americans, while these two ideologies remain arguably the most dangerous.

"I'm willing to forgo the cheap satisfaction of the radical pose for the deep satisfaction of radical ends." - Van Jones

Saturday, August 1, 2015

Upton Sinclair noted how the Social Gospellers moved on from hebrew texts

In his book The Profits of Religion: An Essay in Economic Interpretation, Upton Sinclair makes an interesting observation: (page 299/300)
And now the War has broken upon the world, and caught the churches, like everything else, in its mighty current; the clergy and the congregations are confronted by pressing national needs, they are forced to take notice of a thousand new problems, to engage in a thousand practical activities. No one can see the end of this - any more than he can see the end of the vast upheaval in politics and industry. But we who are trained in revolutionary thought can see the main outlines of the future. We see that in these new church activities the clergy are inspired by things read, not in ancient Hebrew texts, but in the daily newspapers. They are responding to the actual, instant needs of their boys in the trenches and the camps; and this is bound to have an effect upon their psychology. Just as we can say that an English girl who leaves the narrow circle of her old life, and goes into a munition factory and joins a union and takes part in its debates, will never after be a docile home-slave; so we can say that the clergyman who helps in Y. M. C. A. work in France, or in Red Cross organization in America, will be less the bigot and formalist forever after. He will have learned, in spite of himself, to adjust means to ends; he will have learned co-operation and social solidarity by the method which modern educators most favor - by doing. Also he will have absorbed a mass of ideas in news despatches from over the world. He is forced to read these despatches carefully, because the fate of his own boys is involved; and we Socialists will see to it that the despatches are well filled with propaganda!

The Desire of Nations

So the churches, like all the rest of the world, are caught in the great revolutionary current, and swept on towards a goal which they do not forsee, and from which they would shrink in dismay: the Church of the future, the Church redeemed by the spirit of Brotherhood, the Church which we Socialists will join.

Within two short paragraphs, there's three really important observations.

First, this viewpoint of Sinclair's that churches don't do anything practical. What he means, of course, is those of us who believe in the Lord and engage in worship on a regular basis. That's a waste of time. Alternatively, he also means (somewhat) charitable work, since as a rule progressives look at charity as insufficient. Real charity obviously comes from and is enforced by a heavy handed redistributive government regime.

Second, this notion that the Social Gospellers spend more time reading newspapers than they do(did) 'ancient Hebrew texts'. I have little doubt that he is including 'translated ancient Hebrew texts' within that. This explains a lot about how corrupt the Social Gospel was, since it was more about being socialist Christianity than it was about being Christian. Which makes sense that if the Social Gospellers had abandoned their bibles and instead were reading only newspapers, they would not be very well versed in the Word as they should be. Particularly since those news dispatches were, by Sinclair's own admission, filled with socialist propaganda.

And finally, Sinclair points out how the Church of the future will be redeemed by the spirit of Brotherhood. This ties together the first, second, and third. The "spirit of brotherhood" means collectivism. Once the churches have embraced collectivism, then socialists can join.

But how are the first second and third tied together? This is a process that Sinclair is explaining. This is the process of how one or more churches can become infected and corrupted by socialism or "social justice". Create a crisis in an attempt to get people's eye off of the ball, get them reading more newspapers filled with propaganda, and the abandonment of the Truth is all but certain.

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Government by Journalism, Planned Parenthood style

If a tree falls in a forest and nobody was there to hear it, did it really happen? If baby parts are being sold and nobody is there to report it, were those parts really sold?
"They(journalists) decide what their readers shall know, or what they shall not know" - William Thomas Stead, Government by Journalism

The latest chapter of this grotesque storyline is that Margaret Sanger's Planned Parenthood is warning the media not to play any of these videos, or even report on them. But it is pretty clear that there was a coverup before that letter was even sent.

To what end would the media cover this up? To influence public policy, clearly. Follow the bouncing ball:

1: The less people who know all of the things that have been said on these videos -

2: The less people will call their representatives to look for something to be done -

3: The less chances there are congress will actually stop giving tax payer funds for this -

Its not a coincidence that conservative activists have to go out themselves and do what 60 minutes and others used to do with groups such as Planned Parenthood. The lack of undercover videos over the years is the real test of: "They decide what their readers shall know, or what they shall not know"

There is a long history of journalists and media personalities using(abusing) their positions of authority for the express purpose of achieving an aimed at goal, with some of this history even being openly discussed or written about by the people on the inside. Due to its directness and perhaps even brevity, the article Government by Journalism is probably the top example.

Here is the article, it explains a lot for those who have been wondering 'how did we get here'.

If we can't even get the truth into the hands of the American people, there is not a reasonable expectation that the people will do the right thing. And by extension, our elected leaders.

Sunday, July 19, 2015





THE "Intercollegiate Socialist Society" will not capture American universities for revolution and anarchy. Its scheme would have been impossible in any event, and it did not threaten any real danger to our social and political structure.

But that men whose names are generally accepted as standing for culture and good citizenship should be permitted deliberately to announce such a project without rebuke would have been to ignore their public challenge to patriotism. It was necessary to consider that there are people in this country who esteem at least some of the signers of the call for the formation of a society to teach Socialism as serious, disinterested, high-minded philanthropists. It may be conceded that the signers are endowed with a large share of these qualities, but with them is now revealed the added fact that in so far as they are Socialists they are opposed to the institutions of this Republic.

A multitude of letters, received from university and college presidents and professors, from ministers of the gospel and from representative men in the professions, have thanked The Review not so much for its disclosure of the real aim of the projected society, which is generally ridiculed, but for its information as to the vigorous and successful opposition of organized labor to Socialism.

That exposure has called forth another kind of response - a response of mingled consternation, evasion, and abuse. The revelation in cold type of the unequivocal and undeniable purposes of Socialism has caused a fluttering among the flock of dilettante sympathizers with the effort to "undermine all society"; to "enact a terrible retribution upon the capitalist class, comparable to the French Revolution and the Paris Commune"; to "fire the heart and nerve the arm of rebellion"; to "confiscate all the possessions of the capitalist class"; etc., etc.

It was to be expected that the signers fully committed to the creed of Socialism would respond with vicious attacks upon the article. It was a plain, straightforward exposition of the doctrines which such a society would undertake to instill into the receptive minds' of American youth, in the course of training for positions of leadership in the rising generation. It placed the signers of the call in the position of subscribing to those doctrines, since its language explicitly stated that the "undersigned" regarded the "aims and fundamental principles" of Socialism "with sympathy" and believed that "in them will ultimately be found the remedy for many far reaching economic evils."

But it is not what most of the signers may say that concerns the general public. The one man in the list whose signature was a surprise to those familiar with his standing in the literary and ethical circles of New England was Thomas Wentworth Higginson.

It is alone with his reply to a criticism in Harper's Weekly that we shall deal in this article. We reprint in full his response:

Dublin, N.H., July 14, 1905.

To the Editor of Harper's Weekly

Sir, - I observe in a recent number of your valuable journal an expression of surprise that my name should be united with others in the formation of an "Intercollegiate Socialist School" which "aims to imbue the minds of the rising generation with socialistic doctrines." This last phrase is your own, for I at least am connected with no organization for the purpose you here state. As to the names with which mine is united I am not concerned; as Theodore Parker used to say "I am not particular with whom I unite in a good action." As to the object in view it is clearly enough stated in the call itself: the movement does not aim to produce socialists, but to create students of socialism.

It is based on the obvious fact that we are more and more surrounded by institutions, such as free schools, free text books, free libraries, free bridges, free water-supplies, free lecture courses, even free universities, which were all called socialistic when first proposed, and which so able a man as Herbert Spencer denounced as socialism to his dying day. Every day makes it more important that this tendency should be studied seriously and thoughtfully, not left to demagogues alone. For this purpose our foremost universities should take the matter up scientifically, as has been done for several years at Harvard University, where there is a full course on "Methods of Social Reform - Socialism, Communism, the Single Tax." etc., given by Professor T.N. Carver. This is precisely what the "Intercollegiate Socialist School" aims at; and those who seriously criticise this object must be classed, I fear, with those medieval grammarians who wrote of an adversary "May God confound thee for thy theory of irregular verbs!"

I am, sir,

Thomas Wentworth Higginson

We regret, Mr. Higginson, to be compelled to prove that most of the statements in your letter are wholly incorrect. We shall give you credit for not knowing the facts when you wrote it. The whole scheme of the Intercollegiate Socialist School - as you should have known before you signed that call - is promoted in this country by the Collectivist Society, whose purpose is not the scientific study of Socialism, but "the spread of its propaganda among the professional classes." The scheme has its root among Socialist groups that day and night are plotting revolution in European cities, as we shall proceed to show you.

First, as to the origin and purpose in this country of the Intercollegiate Socialist Society:

Upton Sinclair, a Socialist writer, whose name appeared with that of Mr. Higginson as one of the signers of the call, recently wrote a letter to the editor of the New York Worker, an official organ of the Socialist party, with the request that it be reprinted promptly by "the rest of the party press." His letter strips all disguise from the purpose of the proposed Society:

To the Editor of The Worker:

I beg to say a few words to the comrades concerning the Intercollegiate Socialist Society, a call to which was sent out recently. The work of this Society will be the organizing of those college men and women who believe In Socialism, to aid in propaganda clubs at our colleges, to select and distribute literature, to furnish speakers, and to aid in every way the work of inducing college students to take an interest in Socialism. That this is a most important movement, capable of wide growth and usefulness, all comrades must admit.

In commenting - upon this letter, the Worker remarked:

While the majority of the students in the colleges and universities are probably children of capitalists, large and small, and while the majority of the children of capitalists are either fanatical believers in the Gospel of Getting-on or else hopeless devotees of the Senior Prom, and the Sophomore Cotillion, yet there remains a number of real men and women - young and full of energy and capable of great things - who belong of right to the Socialist movement.

Again the Worker published on August 5 a call "addressed to all those interested in the formation of an Intercollegiate Socialist Society" - addressed, therefore, to Mr. Higginson. This highly interesting document reveals that it is intended to send the original call for the formation of the Society to "the secretary of every institution of learning, with request to put on bulletin." The announcement continues:

Here is submitted an outline of the ideas of those who have been instrumental in sending out the call:

"The Society should be open to all who are or ever have been students in any American college or are engaged in educational work.

"Its purpose should be the interesting of college students and teachers in the subject of modern Socialism.

"Its methods should be the bringing together in one body of all persons interested in this work, the discussion of plans, the establishing of an agency for their prosecution.

"The forming of clubs for propaganda work In all college and high schools.

"The selection and distribution of literature suitable for college men."

In reply to this communication kindly state name and address, college and high school and year; Socialist organization of which you may be a member, dues you would feel able to pay, any work at which you could help; speaking, organization, correspondence; a list of all persons who would be interested in this plan."

(Signed) M. R. Holbrook, Secretary,

P. O. Box 1663, New York.

An application was addressed to the Secretary for information and literature. Promptly in response came several Socialist pamphlets, all issued by the Collectivist Society, and revealing that its Secretary and headquarters are the same "M. R. Holbrook, P. O. Box 1663, New York." Among the enclosures was a printed request for a contribution, with this added assurance of a secrecy quite appropriate to a conspiracy to "undermine society": "No mention, except by permission, will be made of the name of any one who writes to us." This was signed, as above stated, "The Collectivist Society," with the same address as was affixed to the "Intercollegiate" call. The identity of interests and purposes of the two organizations is thus clearly established.

As to the Socialism of the Collectivist Society, let us again quote the Worker. The recognized mouthpiece of the Debs Socialists stated the purpose of the Collectivist Society to be that of "disseminating Socialist literature among the professional classes, persons not ordinarily reached by the party propaganda, particularly. Originally a kind of Fabian society, this organization has since proclaimed Itself as frankly accepting the fundamental tenets of scientific Socialism" - a term of the cult which signifies outright revolution.

So much for the relation between the Collectivist Society and the Intercollegiate Socialist Society; so much, also, for Mr. Higginson's denial that he is connected with an organization that "aims to imbue the minds of the rising generation with Socialistic doctrines." His denial is thus brought face to face with the official announcement of the purpose of this Society: "The forming of clubs for propaganda work in all colleges and high schools;" "the organizing of those college men and women who believe in Socialism, to aid in forming propaganda clubs at our colleges."

But this proposition to hold what Mr. Higginson would have considered as a harmless academic discussion, in peaceful college class-rooms, of Free Bridges, Free Water, Single Tax, and Irregular Verbs assumes another aspect when its real origin is disclosed. This scheme was not conceived amid the tranquil shades of Cambridge nor yet at a tea-party of the Collectivist Society. It is in reality a cis-Atlantic outcropping of an ambitious international enterprise, whose purpose is to sow the seeds of Socialism in all the universities, colleges, normal schools and lecture-rooms of the world. This movement has manifested itself in the form of three international Congresses of "Socialist Students and Graduates" at Brussels, Genoa, and Paris. At the last Congress, students were present from universities in Russia, Poland, Bulgaria, Armenia, the West Indies, Belgium, Holland, Italy, Denmark, Hungary, Germany, Austria, and France. A report of this Congress in the International Socialist Review says:

"The Socialist students of the great American universities, Harvard, Columbia, Brown, and Chicago, had joined the Congress. These comrades showed great activity during several months, and even established an intercollegiate Socialist bureau. For reasons unknown to us, they could not, as expected, be directly represented."

Prof. Enrico Ferri, now of the University of Palermo. Italy, addressed the Congress upon the question of "how to bring into Socialism the greatest number of students." A recent Socialist publication describes this professor as "undoubtedly the greatest living figure in the Socialist movement," and adds the uncomfortable statement that he received, not long ago, "a sentence to sixteen months' imprisonment for a political offense, in the name of the King of Italy." His advice to the Congress may, therefore, be accepted as that of an expert in teaching Socialism both in the lecture-room and the cell. Prof. Ferri said:

"We should introduce Socialism into the students' minds as a part of science, as the logical and necessary culmination of the biological and sociological sciences. No need of making a direct propaganda which would frighten many of the listeners. Without pronouncing the word Socialism once a year I make two thirds of our students conscious Socialists. Among workingmen it Is necessary to add the Socialist conclusions to the scientific premises, because the workingman's psychology permits it, and indeed requires it; before an audience of bourgeois intellectuals, It is necessary to give the scientific premises alone, and let each mind draw its own conclusions."

This Congress made a formal call, says the International Socialist Review, "on the groups of Socialist students to make an active propaganda among normal school professors, who will, in turn, transmit their Socialist convictions to the teachers they will have to train, and who thereby may do a work of capital importance throughout the country."

A further evidence of wily strategy appears in the following resolution adopted by the Congress:

"That the best means of propagating Socialism in the universities is to organize, along with clearly Socialist circles where they are possible, neutral circles for the study of social sciences."

M. Boucher, in a report presented to the Congress in the name of the Group of Collectivist Students in Paris, invited:

"The Socialist students to enter the People's Universities, either as professors or as voluntary critics; there is, apparently, the real battle-field for the Socialist students, there is the role which is most suitable to them In the whole range of the movement; that which will excite the least antagonism, and where they will be the most useful."

The announcement was made at this Congress of the forthcoming of the Socialist Student, edited "by our Brussels comrades," and "designed as the international organ of Socialist students." Doubtless this valuable periodical would be included in the "literature" which Mr. Higginson's proposed Society would consider "suitable for college men."

Here we have, stated in detail, the program of the international organization of "Socialist Students and Graduates." This program includes precisely the insidious device of forming "neutral groups" for the study of social sciences, which Mr. Higginson would persuade himself and his perturbed friends is a wholly innocuous form of mental culture. In its systematic treachery, the plan is in thorough accordance with the Socialist plot to scuttle the ship of organized labor by "boring from within." Socialist students are to be stimulated to "enter the people's universities" for spreading their propaganda in dark and devious ways that will "excite the least antagonism," just as Socialist workingmen are urged to join the unions of their crafts, there to promote, in the phrase of one of Mr. Higginson's fellow-signers, their "insidious propaganda." Teachers are to imitate the example of Prof. Ferri, who does not "frighten" his listeners with frank, plain language; who does not whisper before timid youth the startling word "Socialism," but subtly instills into their ears all the poison of its creed of revolution.

We think that Mr. Higginson can no longer complain that the editor of Harper's Weekly overstated the case in saying that the Intercollegiate Socialist Society "aims to imbue the minds of the rising generation with Socialist doctrines."

Assuredly, Mr. Higginson can no longer plead ignorance of the facts as an excuse for his surprising association with an organization whose purposes and whose origin are utterly at variance with his distinguished record as an American soldier and patriot.