Friday, February 5, 2016

Henry George and the Beginnings of Revolutionary Socialism in the United States

Henry George And The Beginnings Of Revolutionary Socialism In The United States.

Part two of "Recent American Socialism", by Richard Theodore Ely

Henry George's work, "Progress and Poverty," was published in 1879. In 1885, not six years later, it is possible to affirm without hesitation that the appearance of that one book formed a noteworthy epoch in the history of economic thought both in England and America. It is not simply that the treatise itself was an eloquent, impassioned plea for the confiscation of rent for the public good as a means of abolishing economic social evils, but rather that the march of industrial forces had opened a way for the operation of ideas new and strange to the great masses. A wonderful epoch of discovery and invention had brought to the service of man the mighty powers of nature in such manner as to accomplish results surpassing the dreams of enthusiasts and the operations of the magician's wand in the fairy tale. This ushered in a period of unparalleled increase of wealth which was sufficient to transform the face of the earth in a single generation, and its beneficent fruits made optimists of men.

But all the products of the age were not beneficent. The new ways required a displacement and readjustment of labor and capital, under which many suffered grievously. Doubtless progress led to the common good "in the end," as people say, but many perished in the way before the end was reached. Much capital which could not be withdrawn from its old use was lost, to the impoverishment of its owners, and acquired skill was in not a few cases rendered superfluous. To take a single concrete example, let one think of the inns which fifty years ago flourished along the great mail and stage routes. How many were ruined in the improvements which George Stephenson and his locomotive have finally made a daily necessity? Again, advanced processes and labor-saving machinery frequently throw men entirely out of employment, though after a time the demand for laborers may increase immensely, as has occurred in the case of spinning and weaving.

But for the time being men suffer, and the time being is an important factor to men who live from hand to mouth, as is the case with a great part of mankind. Those who suffered, often complained bitterly, and at times uttered dire threats which were occasionally executed in part at least. All this has long been a familiar fact in Europe. From the termination of the Napoleonic wars till the discovery of gold in California and Australia was a period of distress in England, and what Sismondi saw in the crisis of 1819 when on a visit to that country, produced such an effect upon him that he felt compelled to throw overboard the political economy of Adam Smith, to which he had previously adhered, and to write his "Nouveaux Principes d'Economie Politique." The example of England is not an isolated one.

In the United States, however, there was abundance of fertile, unoccupied land on every side, and the undeveloped resources of the country were boundless, both in extent and in their potentialities for production of wealth. While some suffered doubtless, they were comparatively few, and the tremendous strides with which America was advancing in power and prosperity caused them generally to be overlooked. The bloom and fruitage of the age regarded from a materialistic, economic standpoint seemed almost wholly beneficent, and Americans as a rule were optimists. But a change was impending. A severe crisis in 1873, with all its train of varied disasters, checked economic progress and brought the crushing weight of poverty upon tens of thousands. This was not the first industrial crash in America, to be sure, but it is doubtful whether any other followed on an era of such prosperity.

Then the wealth of a few had increased enormously during the civil war, while luxury such as had scarce entered the day-dreams of our fathers, extended itself over the land. Never before had there been seen in America such contrasts between fabulous wealth and absolute penury. Population was denser and there was not exactly the same freedom, the same ease of movement. In short, from one cause and another, in many quarters bright visions gave place to gloomy forebodings, and six years later the ground was ripe for the seed sown by Henry George, till then an obscure journalist in the "Far West," and the harvest has already been abundant while the promises for the future are overwhelming.

Ten years ago English-speaking laborers were considered too practical to listen to dreamers of dreams and heralds of coining Utopias. The sturdy common sense of English and American workingmen was thought an all-sufficient shield against the speculations of continental philosophers, and the allurements of French and German agitators. Now all that is changed. The models of order threaten to form the vanguard of a rebellious army.

Henry George has rendered two distinct services to the cause of socialism. First, in the no-rent theory, or in other words, the confiscation of rent pro bono publico, he has furnished a rallying point for all discontented laborers; second, his book has served as an entering wedge for other still more radical and far-reaching measures. It is written in an easily understood, and even brilliant style, is published in cheap form, both in England and America, and in each country has attained a circulation, which for an economic work is without parallel. Tens of thousands of laborers have read "Progress and Poverty," who never before looked between the two covers of an economic book, and its conclusions are widely accepted articles in the workingman's creed.

Labor papers, otherwise not decidedly socialistic and not long since holding aloof from all radical social reforms, now accept the no-rent theory; and of this sufficient evidence may be found in the representative journals of organizations like the Knights of Labor. Two newspapers devoted to the interests of laborers, lie on the table before the writer. One of them, published in Baltimore, in commenting on the last Congress of the Socialistic Labor Party in that city, declares, "we do not agree with these socialists," and yet it makes propaganda for "Progress and Poverty," which it offers as a premium to all subscribers; while the editor of the other, a Buffalo sheet,(1) makes room in the same number for a long and favorable account of a speech by Henry George and a letter from a New York correspondent, bewailing the discredit brought upon "our movement" by " the ravings" of " advanced socialism." More marked still is the spread of the no-rent theory in England, where indeed Henry George first became famous. It was adopted by a large majority by the Trades Union Congress in that country in 1882, and has been accepted by the miners in the North of England. Even the English monthly "Christian Socialism" leads a crusade in behalf of "Progress and Poverty." Socialists very generally accept the "no-rent" theory as a chief article in their creed, and one of the first to he realized. If they often reject Henry George's statement of his propositions, it is to their form rather than to their substantial purport they object.

A New York organ of the Socialistic Labor Party published about two years ago a " Declaration of Principles," of which the first sentence read as follows: "The land of every country is the common inheritance of the people in that country, and hence all should have free and equal access to its settlement."

And a little later the San Francisco Truth, a rabid socialistic paper, published this "economic" law: "Warning! Landowners look out! There are breakers ahead! This is the new law governing the price of land in both city and country. The price of land is determined by the sale of Henry George's 'Progress and Poverty,' falling as it rise*, and rising as it falls. It is now past its hundredth edition, and it is going faster than ever. In ten years from now, town lots will not be worth more than the taxes! Private property and land is doomed!"

The fruit this book is bearing was seen in the parade of workingmen in New York on September 5, 1883, in which according to one account 10,000, according to another 15,000 laborers participated under the auspices of the Central Labor Union. Banners were carried on which such sentiments as these were inscribed: "Workers in tenement-houses—idlers in brown stone fronts;" "Jay Gould must go;" "Which shall it be, the ballot or Judge Lynch." A cartoon was also displayed, called "The Situation," which pictured "Capital" as flying a kite, entitled "Kent," while its tail bore aloft "meat, coal, flour, prices." Another motto was the characteristic one which implicitly represented the labor-crusade as a religion, and the coming government as a church: "Labor is the Rock on which the government of the future must be built."

This parade may be regarded as an epoch in the history of labor movements in this country. So far as the writer is aware it is the first time large bodies of American laborers have acted publicly with out-spoken socialists, and have marched under revolutionary banners. In this occurrence may be seen the two-fold character of Henry George's work. "No-rent" united all and opened the way in the minds of laborers for other features of advanced socialism.

It is then of interest to know the precise nature of this socialism which is being preached to our laborers.

Several questions naturally suggest themselves. What are the ultimate aims of American socialists? How do they expect or desire to attain their purposes? What is the precise character of their agitation? Is any danger to be apprehended from this agitation? If so, what is its extent, and what measures should he adopted to ward off these dangers? An attempt will be made to answer these questions in the course of the present monograph.

There are in the United States two distinct parties of socialists, which may be called revolutionary since they both aim at an overthrow of existing economic and social institutions, and the substitution therefor of radically different forms.

These two parties are known as the "Socialistic Labor Party" and the "International Workingmen's Association," or " International Working People's Association," designated usually by their respective initials S. L. P. and I. W. A., or I. W. P. A. The Internationalists are also called Anarchists and sometimes the "reds," while the members of the other party are occasionally dubbed the "blues." One sees these initials continually in their publications, and upon them incessant repetition seems to have conferred in the minds of socialists a peculiar cabalistic quality.

It may be well to devote a few words to their general characteristics and to a short account of their origin, before passing 6ver to a more detailed description of each.

These parties differ in most important particulars, although they agree upon certain fundamental propositions. Their divergence is first and foremost one of method. The Internationalists are a party of violence, believing in the use of dynamite and like weapons of warfare as a means of attaining their purpose, while the adherents of the Socialistic Labor Party condemn these tactics, and some of them have not renounced all hope of a peaceable revolution of society. The next difference which attracts the attention is the superior character of the men of the latter party as compared with those of the former. The Socialistic Labor Party is composed of more highly educated and more refined men. It is largely due to this diversity of method and of personal qualities that the members of the two parties have found it impossible to act harmoniously together, and are, indeed, at present at swords' points. There are also important differences of doctrine, but these, as more complicated, will be described in the detailed treatment of the parties.

The points of agreement are, as has been said, fundamental, and it is well at the start to clear away a misapprehension which exists in the minds of many by mentioning a negative particular, in which all socialists agree. It seems, indeed, to be necessary to begin every article, monograph or book on the theory of socialism by the statement that no one advocates, or even desires an equal division of productive property. What they wish is a concentration of all the means of production in the property of the people as a whole, and the distribution of the income, that is, of the products only, either equally or unequally, according to the views entertained of what is just and expedient.

The program of American socialism then includes primarily the substitution of some form of exclusive cooperation in production and exchange, for the present leadership of "captains of industry" in production and exchange, or capitalistic system, as it is termed, and the abolition of private property in land and capital to make room for common property. In other words both parties regarding the wage-receiver as practically a slave, desire the advent of a time when cooperators shall take the place, both of industrial master and industrial subordinate. Both wish to abolish the possibility of idleness, and to make of universal application the maxim: "He that will not work, neither shall he eat."

Both parties are materialists, though the materialism of the Socialistic Labor Party, is less gross than that of the Internationalists. Having abandoned hope of a happy hereafter in which the poor but honest and God-fearing laborer shall find rich reward for all toil and suffering patiently borne, they have determined to enjoy this life, and, as it is not light to believe that there is no blessedness in the universe, they imagine this earth designed to be a Paradise. They talk of its beauties and of the soul-satisfying delights of life, from all of which they are debarred by a conspiracy of the rich or at least by existing economic conditions. They accept the designation "Godless" and claim that the visible universe is the only God which they know, falling thus into a kind of materialistic pantheism.(2)

It is interesting to notice the general view all modern socialists take of society as a growth. Each social form is regarded as an era in the development of society; useful in its time but after awhile becoming antiquated, it must give way to an advanced organism. Slavery, serfdom and wages were not unjustifiable, they hold, but the Internationalists and moderates think that these institutions have all had their day, have fulfilled their purpose and are no longer needed among the nations of civilization, though there may still be regions where they are not yet antiquated. "We do not deny," says one of these socialists, "that there are countries that have not yet outlived the wage-system, but we have certainly outlived it in the United States, and cannot safely continue it."(3) Socialism is then coming just as the leaves are coming in spring, and just as these will be followed by bloom and fruitage. It is not of human willing, but as inevitable and necessary as the law of gravitation. All that the more sensible among them profess to be able to do is to guide and direct the mighty forces of nature, which manifest themselves in social revolutions and convulsions. Thus it was natural for the resolutions presented to the meeting of Anarchists held in Chicago on Thanksgiving day of last year to begin, "Whereas, we have outlived the usefulness of the wage and property system, that it now and must hereafter cramp, limit and punish(4) all increase of production, and can no longer gratify the necessities, rights and ambitions of man," etc.

It may be stated that in general the teachings of Carl Marx are accepted by both parties, and his work on capital (" Das Kapital") is still the Bible of the Socialists.(5) This work has not as yet been translated into English, although a translation is announced for the near future; but extracts from it have been turned into our tongue and published; and brochures, pamphlets, newspapers and verbal expositions have extended his doctrines, while H. M. Hyndman has expounded the views of the great teacher in his "Historical Basis of Socialism " in England.

In this country, a young enthusiast, Laurence Gronlund, a lawyer of Philadelphia, has written a recently published work, entitled "The Cooperative Commonwealth," designed to present the socialism of Marx, as it appears after it has been digested, to use the author's words, "by a mind Anglo-Saxon in its dislike of all extravagancies, and in its freedom from any vindictive feeling against persons who are from circumstances what they are."

It is difficult and perhaps impossible to trace out the first germs of revolutionary socialism in America, although it is certain that it is not descended from early American communism, to which it has little resemblance. The influence of the later movement on the earlier has, however, been more perceptible, but even that has been comparatively slight. It is not unlikely that something of the spirit of revolutionary socialism may have been brought to this country by the German emigrants of 1848, though it did not spread greatly under the unfavorable conditions which it encountered. In 1865 a ripple on the surface of the waters which Lassalle had troubled reached our shores, and a small band of his followers organized in New York. Their union was of short duration, and three years later another attempt at the formation of a socialistic association was made which likewise proved uneffectual.(6) In 1866 there had been formed a "National Labor Union," which was a consolidation of the members of a great part of the trades' unions and labor organizations in the United States. Its membership is said to have numbered six hundred and forty thousand in 1868, and in the following year it sent a delegate, by name Cameron, to the Congress of the International Workingmen's Association,(7) held in Basle, Switzerland. This led to a connection between American labor and European socialism, which has never since altogether ceased. In 1871 a new impulse was received from the French refugees who came to America after the suppression of the uprising of the commune of Paris, and brought with them a spirit of violence,(8) but the most important event of this early period was the order of the Congress of the International held in the Hague in 1872, which transferred to New York the "General Council" of the Association. Modern socialism had then undoubtedly begun to exist in America. The first proclamation of the council from their new headquarters was an appeal to workingmen "to emancipate labor and eradicate all international and national strife."(9) The following year witnessed the disasters in the industrial and commercial world to which reference has already ben made, and the distress consequent thereupon was an important aid to the socialists in their propaganda.

There have been several changes in party organization and name since then, and National Conventions or Congresses have met from time to time. Their dates and places of meeting have been Philadelphia, 1871, Pittsburg, 1876, Newark, 1877, Allegheny City, 1880, Baltimore, 1883, and Pittsburgh, 1883. The name Socialistic Labor Party was adopted in 1877 at the Newark Convention. In 1883 the split between the moderates and extremists had become definite, and the former held their Congress in Pittsburgh, and the latter in Baltimore.(10)

The separation between the two bodies of socialists is a matter of interest. A similar separation took place in the Congress of the International at the Hague in 1872, between the followers of Marx, who represented in many respects the spirit and methods of the present Socialistic Labor Party, and those of Bakounine, who Avere anarchists like the members of the existing International in the United States. It is altogether probable that the feeling of animosity between the adherents of the two directions was present in New York from the beginning of the operations of the " Council" transferred in the same year to that city. But for some time they succeeded in working together, and hopes of a permanent Union were certainly not abandoned until after the advent of John Most on our shores in December, 1882. Most has proved a firebrand among American socialists, and was early denounced by those who felt repelled by his mad expressions of violence, and saw that he was doing their cause much harm; but it was still impossible to pass a formal vote repudiating him in the Congress of the Socialistic Labor Party in Baltimore in 1883. During the following year the San Francisco Truth and others still thought it worth while to advocate a union of all discontented proletarians, but acrimony and bitterness between representatives of opposing views continued to increase, and when the terrible outrages in London, in January of the present year, were condemned in terms of severity by the Socialistic Labor Party and applauded by the Internationalists, all hopes of united action vanished, and the animosity between the two became so intense that they came to blows in a meeting called in New York by the moderates to protest against the recent use of dynamite. Shortly after that there was a disturbance between the Internationalists and the members of the Socialistic Labor Party in a public meeting in Baltimore, and the warfare between the two factions is as bitter as between them and the Capitalistic Society which they seek to overthrow. (1) Buffalo Truth, April 15, 1883. (2) V. Two articles entitled "die Gottlosen" in der Sozialist, d. 31 Januar, and d. 7 Februar, 1885. (3) V. The Alarm, Dec. 6, 1884. Article, Cooperation. (4) The writer gives his quotations verbatim et literatim, making no attempt to improve style or grammar. (5) Recently one of their papers, the New Yorker Volkszeitung, protested against this epithet as applied to the work of Marx, as it was not desired that any hook should he regarded in the light of an infallible guide. It was feared that this would hinder progress. Yet the term describes better than anything else the actual feeling towards "Das Kapital," and among the more ignorant of the socialists reverence for a great leader has ere this approached idolatry. (6) Henry A. James: Communism in America, New York, 1878, p. 24. (7) It is necessary for brevity's sake to assume that the reader is already familiar with the history of the old International. A description of it is given in Ely's" French and German Socialism," chapter X. (8) James, Ibid. (9) The authority for this statement is found in an interview which a New York Herald reporter held with Mr. Leopold Jonas, a leading New York member of the Socialistic Labor Party. V. "Our American Socialists," New York Herald, May 19, 1884. 1 New York Herald, Ibid. (10) New York Herald, Ibid.

Friday, January 29, 2016

To successfully indoctrinate a college student into socialism, be sure to "excite the least antagonism"

Understanding the success rate of indoctrination in colleges requires understanding just how long professors have had to perfect their craft.

Enrico Ferri, who was a socialist from Italy, was one of the first to figure out how to seamlessly make this happen. Here's what was said at a Socialist International in 1901:


Jean Longuet outlined in a few words the significant history of the Group of Collectivist Students of Paris. The delegate of the socialist students of Budapest presented a thoughtful report analyzing the reasons why, contrary to what might have been expected from their past, and in spite of their liberal phraseology, most of the Hungarian students have allowed themselves to be carried away by their low nationalist passions.

The congress then opened for discussion the question of how and by what methods we might bring into socialism the greatest possible number of students. Three currents of opinion on this subject took shape.

1. Some delegates, especially Belgians and Hollanders, supported to some extent by Tarbouniech, maintained that it was useless to try to gain over to socialism the purely bourgeois students. Supporting their arguments by the example of their own countries, they showed that there can be no socialist students except where there exists - and to the extent that there exists - an intellectual proletariat. It is then upon the economic interests of the intellectual proletariat that our propaganda must exclusively - or almost exclusively - rest.

This is actually a quite interesting piece of commentary. So at this time at the late 1800s, early 1900s, the socialists believed their best way forward was to preach to the choir and extend outward from there. The exchange continued:

2. Ferri, relying on his personal experience as a professor, maintained that the best method of propaganda was science. If so many young men who are socialists in the university become reactionaries later, it is perhaps because nothing has been awakened in them but the enthusiasm of youth, which disappears quickly. We should, on the contrary, introduce socialism into their 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, on the other hand, would frighten many of the listeners, - enough to explain the whole of science, without the mutilations inflicted on it by the bourgeois orthodoxy, of their own accord the listeners will draw socialist conclusions. "Without pronouncing the word socialism once a year," said Ferri, "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.

3. To this scientific or rational propaganda, Lagardelle adds a propaganda sentimental or moral in its character. In fact almost all the socialist students have come into socialism through moral motives - It is not till later that their readings and studies confirms their spontaneous feelings by scientific reasons.

I want to stop right here. Now isn't this interesting, that moral motives top the list of effectiveness for student indoctrination. We see that today, don't we? If you don't support the "correct" initiatives, the words "bigot", "hater", "sexist", and etc etc are thrown around. Just think..... they perfected this formula 120 years ago! Ferri is reporting this in 1901, which means he perfected it prior to the 1900s.

What Ferri says about letting his class "draw their own conclusions" is classic. Ask leading questions and let the students discover all on their own the incorrect answers. But that process of discovery allows the student to believe that they have in fact discovered the correct answer. Is it no wonder that university indoctrination is so effective?

Continuing with the exchange:

The following resolution, presented by Lagardelle, was adopted by a unanimous vote of the nationalities except that Holland and Bulgaria dissented.

"The Congress holds that while appealing to the class interests of the future intellectual proletarians, the socialist propaganda in university circles should be addressed more particularly to the scientific spirit, to the moral sentiments, and to the democratic aspirations of the students."

And that's where we are today. Why is America regarded, taught as a democracy in the colleges? Because of a resolution adopted nearly unanimously back in 1901. America is not a democracy, it is a republic. But this line is necessary so as to appeal to future student socialists, and thoroughly indoctrinate them.

Last section of the exchange. This is critical, since the invitation is for graduating students to become professors themselves, and repeat the bloody process all over again so that it never ends:

Boucher, in a report presented in the name of the Group of Collectivist Students of Paris, contrasted with the old socialist method, which required nothing but disciplined sharpshooters, the socialism of to-day, which calls for intelligent men. He attempted to trace a course of study for the socialists of the people's universities, insisting upon the necessity of a unified programme and of the co-ordination of the efforts of the professors. He concluded by inviting 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.

I encourage you to read more than what I quoted.

Do not overlook this. It is important to understand how this machine works, and also important to understand when the machine was built. Here it is.

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Would progressive ideologues freak out if an insurance company claimed that policies were living and breathing documents?

At the time I signed my policy. That's the deal. But what if the insurance company had a panel of nine experts wearing black robes that actually said that the policy was a little different than that, just because I signed my policy 5 years ago? Hey, things have changed. We need to evolve with the times. All that insurance providers ask or desire is permission - in an era when "development," "evolution," is the scientific word - to interpret this policy according to the Darwinian principle; all they ask is recognition of the fact that a policy is a living thing and not a machine. Now I hope you don't misunderstand - An insurance policy is no more living and breathing than the Constitution is. But I think this is an instructive exercise in understanding the beliefs of progressivism. And yes, that was a quote directly from Woodrow Wilson, with one or two words changed.

Saturday, January 2, 2016

Where did the "Initiative, Referendum, and Recall" movement begin?

One of the most visible and well known efforts of the early 20th century progressive movement was the movement bearing these three words: Initiative, Referendum, and Recall.

Where does that come from? Those five words are the death-knell of progressivism. "Where does that come from?", whatever "that" happens to be in the context of progressivism.

Most of our past history lessons that address the topic(as much as we remember them) tell us that the Initiative, Referendum, and Recall were born from the progressive movement. Wikipedia's page on the topic carries that same message, since only "reliable sources" can be used on Wikipedia. This doesn't really tell us much, and just restates in a different way what I've already said.

The system of Initiative, Referendum, and Recall, initially just Initiative and Referendum, or sometimes shortened to "I" and "R" or I&R, first came to America by way of watching how people in Switzerland did things at the time. American progressives looked to Swiss socialists and believed that with this single process, the Swiss had a great idea. Much has been written about this, so I'm moving on.

While South Dakota was the first state to move to I&R in 1898, and Utah became the second in 1900, I&R has another name. It is known as "The Oregon System", and it's been known by that name for 100 years.(Link 1, Link 2)

The father of The Oregon System is one William Simon U'Ren, a progressive republican, who is known to have been a proponent of I&R going back to 1892. U'Ren's Wikipedia page is surprisingly quite honest about the fact that U'Ren saw I&R as a path forward to seeing Georgist(Henry George) ideas get implemented in his state and elsewhere.(this early Encyclopedia entry states the same)

This is where the fun begins.

Arthur Nichols Young, a historian of the Single Tax movement, pointed out that "For nearly twenty five years single taxers have advocated the initiative and referendum as a means of getting their measures before the people for discussion." This was the sentence that got me looking. Can we test and prove this to be the case? Well, 25 years would put it at 1891, so the math works. So now we just need to know whom. U'Ren, of course. But what were his influences, and what did he say? We have already established his influence from Henry George, but there's also another important component. U'Ren read a book titled Direct Legislation Through the Initiative and Referendum, but I'll get to this at the end.

As for what U'Ren said on the topic, he stated the following at a Single Tax Conference held in New York, on November 19-20th, 1910:

I read Progress and Poverty in 1882, and I went just as crazy over the Single Tax idea as any one else ever did. I knew I wanted the Single Tax, and that was about all I did know. I thought I could get it by agitation, and was often disgusted with a world that refused to be agitated for what I wanted. In 1882 (sic) I learned what the Initiative and Referendum is, and then I saw the way to the Single Tax. SO I QUIT TALKING SINGLE TAX, not because I was any the less in favor of it but because I saw that the first job was to get the Initiative and Referendum, so that the people independently of the Legislature, may get what they want rather than take what the Legislature will let them have.

If there's one thing you can trust, it's that progressives will use deceit to their advantage whenever necessary.

Now, as to the book Direct Legislation Through the Initiative and Referendum. What's interesting about this book is the book's publisher: "True Nationalist Publishing". What's important about that is that "True Nationalist" was a publishing company formed to push out Edward Bellamy's Nationalist ideas; ideas based on his book Looking Backward, which was the genesis of the Nationalist Movement in the United States.

It should not be any wonder then, why I&R was so successful and became the Progressive Movement's first signature accomplishment. Both of the Progressive Movement's most important early efforts - The Single Tax/Georgists and the Nationalists were on board driving it forward.

This is a very important thing to understand about the beginnings of the progressive movement. Henry George and Edward Bellamy are to progressivism what Engels and Marx are to communism.

Friday, January 1, 2016

Theosophy and Nationalism

In "The Key to Theosophy: Being a Clear Exposition, in the Form of Question and Answer, of the Ethics, Science, and Philosophy for the Study of which the Theosophical Society Has Been Founded", Helena Petrovna Blavatsky wrote the following: (page 44)
The organization of Society, depicted by Edward Bellamy, in his magnificent work "Looking Backwards," admirably represents the Theosophical idea of what should be the first great step towards the full realization of universal brotherhood. The state of things he depicts falls short of perfection, because selfishness still exists and operates in the hearts of men. But in the main, selfishness and individualism have been overcome by the feeling of solidarity and mutual brotherhood; and the scheme of life there described reduces the causes tending to create and foster selfishness to a minimum.

Madame Blavatsky was a noted member of the British Fabian Society, and the founder of the Theosophical Society. Her glowing endorsement of Bellamy's book Looking Backward is quite interesting. Like Blavatsky, Annie Besant, another Fabian and top leader within the Theosophical Society, wrote this: (The Changing World and Lectures to Theosophical Students, page 40)

If you are going to make the men who should give better work to the country than the weeding of paths weed their own paths for themselves, then you are putting a check on the whole of the higher kinds of labour on which the nobler national life depends, for it is as true now as it ever was that man does not live by bread alone. If you are going to make every man do manual labour, you can get nothing more than the kind of paradise that you find in "Looking Backward," which is more a paradise for the respectable suburb than for a nation that needs art and beauty, music and literature. Those things want leisure to produce and time to perfect.

After Bellamy passed away, other Fabians cheered the fact that under the guise and title of "Nationalism",(which is the name that Bellamy gave his socialist ideas) Bellamy was the first to successfully(in a major way) foster socialist ideas in the United States.

When Bellamy talked about "Nationalism", what he meant was the other meaning of the word - the nationalization of all industry in the hands of government. That's a large part of what Blavatsky and Besant like so much about his work.

Thursday, December 31, 2015

Heidi Cruz vs José Ernesto Medellín

One of the things I find interesting is how powerful a media narrative is, and how it will stretch reality to the very limits of absurdity.

Did you know that Heidi Cruz is a bought and paid for shill for the Bilderberg group, the Illuminati, Goldman Sachs, the CFR, the Trilateral Commission, and every other shady conspiracy group you can think of? Yep, it's true. Except, not really. But we do owe journalists for this storyline. "But! The New York Times reported it! So it must be true!"

All of these conspiracy theories hinge on the fact that Heidi Cruz, as Ted Cruz's wife, is capable of convincing Ted (and has convinced him already, and has been convincing him for years) that the status quo is the preferred way, and all of these shadow groups have the correct vision for the future.

All of this ignores the fact that Ted Cruz has a record. That record begins with José Medellín. Why did Former President George W. Bush say that he doesn't like Ted Cruz? "I just don't like the guy"

If you listen to the conspiracy peddlers, George Bush is the same kind of shadowy Goldman Sachs puppet that Heidi and Ted Cruz are. So why the discrepancy? Why aren't Cruz and Bush big time buds? We would likely be told that it's all for show.

The reality is that the conspiracies are not true. For it to be true, Cruz would have had to have argued on behalf of Medellín, the Bush Administration, and on behalf of "the interests". But he didn't do that.

Its truly ironic that the only guy who has an actual verifiable record of fighting against international interests is supposedly a shill for those very interests who he not only went head to head with, but he defeated them. To use the phrasing of the conspiracists, Ted Cruz defeated the globalists. If you want to talk about a conspiracy, if there is any conspiracy, there it is. To prevent any substantive talk about Cruz's actual record and instead focus on nebulous terms in connection with his wife. Ignorance is strength, you know.

Conservative Review has a decent write up about the case of Medellín v. Texas.

Monday, December 28, 2015

In 1917 the novel Philip Dru was considered "utopian"

Depending on what you read, you will often times see the book Philip Dru cast as a dystopian novel.

To be fair, the first dystopian novel is widely considered to be "We", which wasn't published until 1921.(some 9 years after Dru) However, since the character of Philip Dru implements much of the progressive agenda to which they all generally favor, why on earth would it be considered dystopian today? (other than to mask the novel for what it really is)

Here is the view from 1917:

What goes on inside Col. House's head is a mystery to most people, but it should not be to those who have read the anonymous novel, "Philip Dru, Administrator," published by B. W. Huebsch, New York, in 1912. It is generally understood that this book was written by Col. House. The publisher gives publicity to the rumor, but does not deny it. Col. House has never said he didn't write the book. Mr. Huebsch sent me the volume the other day. It is a story of the future of the United States. It belongs to the class of prophetic romances of which the most famous in English is Sir Thomas More's "Utopia." Somewhat like Edward Bellamy's novel, "Looking Backward," it is even more like Frederick Upham Adams' novel, "President John Smith." But it is not a Socialist novel. "Philip Dru, Administrator," is just the kind of book in which a man must put his own ideas and ideals, for it is a projection of what he thinks his country should be and will be. From the story one may discover just what the author's political, economic and social purposes are. It is interesting to find out the purposes of a man who has such close relations with and, presumably, influence upon the President of the United States.

After pointing out how bad the book is, the author continues:

But what Philip and these others do and say gives us a good insight into the mind of their creator, who, to tell the truth, is more interested in ideas than in character. Those ideas must have great weight with the President of the United States or he would not so often consult in administrative crises the man who holds them.

Philip Dru was written as an utopian novel with an utopian outlook, it was considered utopian just a few short years after its publication, which means it is utopian today. But what is it about this novel that urges some to cast it as dystopian? There are four chapters in the book that span a brief civil war, to determine who will control the country. That's it. Four chapters out of fifty three. So all of those policy dreams and the accomplishments of progressivism in the other 49 chapters, you're supposed to ignore all of that.

We can even discuss those four chapters and also place those in the utopian category. Progressive ideologues have proven to be the biggest opportunists in modern history, why should anybody believe that if the progressives had a chance, and a civil war was all it would take for them to finally have what they wanted, that they wouldn't take it and be supportive of both the wartime and the after effects? The progressives will take what they can, whenever they can take it, however they can take it. The ends justify the means. THAT, we know for certain is a supreme guiding principle for anybody who believes in progressivism. Since the ends justify the means, that places even the civil war chapters of Dru in the utopian category.