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Title: Why I am opposed to socialism
Author: Various
Language: English
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  Why I Am

  Opposed to Socialism


  [Illustration]


  Original Papers by

  Leading Men and Women


  [Illustration]


  EDWARD SILVIN


  [Illustration]


  SACRAMENTO, CALIFORNIA
  U.S.A.



  Copyright, 1913
  By EDWARD SILVIN



INDEX TO AUTHORS


  Adams, Thomas Sewall                                      36-37

  Allen, Alfred                                                27

  Allen, John Robert                                           52

  Anderson, Rasmus Bjorn                                    44-45

  Andrews, Martin Register                                     26

  Arford, Fremont                                              31

  Barr, Granville Walter                                    32-33

  Barstow, George Eames                                        41

  Baxter, James Phinney                                     45-46

  Beard, Daniel Carter                                      20-21

  Bell, Mackenzie                                              22

  Benington, Arthur                                             8

  Bigelow, Edward Fuller                                       30

  Binney, Charles Chauncey                                  23-24

  Boyd-Carpenter, William B.                                11-12

  Brazier, Marion Howard                                       17

  Brown, Mrs. M. McClellan                                      7

  Brownscombe, Jennie                                          42

  Burke, John Butler                                        19-20

  Cavanaugh, John                                              32

  Cazalet, Edward Alexander                                 17-18

  Clark, John Bates                                           8-9

  Crowell, John Franklin                                       34

  Cutler, James Elbert                                         44

  Eggert, Charles Augustus                                    5-6

  Ellis, George Washington                                  46-52

  Ellis, Horace                                                10

  Emerson, Samuel Franklin                                     46

  Esenwein, Joseph Berg                                        13

  Ferguson, Charles                                            45

  Field, Walter Taylor                                         40

  Gaines, Clement Carrington                                   39

  Garvin, Lucius Fayette Clark                                 12

  Giering, Eugene T.                                           53

  Hastings, William Granger                                    20

  Heald, G.H.                                                  35

  Hovey, Lewis R.                                           14-16

  Jefferys, Upton S.                                           20

  Kelly, Robert Lincoln                                     35-36

  Kizer, Edwin Dicken                                          17

  Krout, Mary Hannah                                           14

  Ladd, George Trumbull                                        36

  Ladd, Horatio Oliver                                      21-22

  Leckie, A.S.                                                 40

  Lee, Elmer                                                41-42

  Levermore, Charles Herbert                                   22

  Leveroni, Frank                                              44

  Lightner, Ezra Wilberforce                                   43

  Linn, Walter R.                                              37

  Long, John Luther                                         12-13

  McConnell, Francis J.                                       7-8

  Mencken, Henry Louis                                        6-7

  Nevin, Theodore Williamson                                29-30

  Owen, Douglas                                             27-28

  Painter, Franklin Verzelius Newton                        28-29

  Penrose, Stephen Beasley Linnard                             16

  Post, Louis Freeland                                         30

  Purrington, William Archer                                   18

  Raymond, George Lansing                                    9-10

  Russell, Isaac Franklin                                   25-26

  Scheffauer, Herman                                           38

  Screws, William Wallace                                      19

  Super, Charles William                                    13-14

  Terhune, William Lewis                                    37-38

  Thayer, William Roscoe                                       29

  Tutt, John Calhoun                                           31

  Walker, Albert H.                                         30-31

  White, William Allen                                      33-34

  Wilcox, Lute                                                 34

  Wilson, Alonzo Edes                                       24-25



          _The gentle reader, who is inclined to say why he
          is opposed to Socialism, is cordially invited to
          contribute his thoughts to the future editions of
          this little book._



Why I Am Opposed to Socialism


=Eggert, Charles Augustus.= (Author and College Professor.)

I am opposed to Socialism, first, because it is not an inductively
obtained system, but an "ism" that postulates qualities in the
individuality of a nation which no nation, or community even, has yet
developed to a sufficiently high state to make this "ism" fit to be
seriously tried.

Second: Much of what Socialism teaches will be put to the test by
society anyhow, for society is based on interest, on financial
considerations, and it has been found very long ago, that co-operation
cheapens products, while steadying employment.

Third: As a working system Socialism is based on the limited
intellectual powers of a large number of people who will not receive
systematic instruction, or cannot. Any large school shows how large
the proportion of children is who must eventually be, as adults,
members of this number, and, by exercising their right to vote for
their officers and leaders, will make a scientific and economical
management exceedingly difficult, if not impossible. Tried on a
limited scale it amounts only to co-operation--different from
Socialism.

Fourth: The existing system is based on the rewards held out to
individual effort, thus furnishing leaders who, by accumulating
capital through self-denial, great moderation in the pursuit of
pleasure, and strenuous work, will be eventually enabled to establish
large combinations, factories, corporations of all sorts, which, as
history and daily experience prove, pay even the unintelligent
laborers higher wages and furnish them more security than they could
possibly have obtained if left to themselves as Socialistic
organizations. In order to obtain the best results, however, a
protective tariff must keep out undue foreign competition.

Fifth: Differences of opinion on these points can be settled
satisfactorily only by a close and careful study of the history of
business, and the leading Socialists, Marx, etc., have been shown to
be palpably and grievously incapable of such study.

Sixth: Socialism would lead to governmental art, science and
literature, that is to say to the counterfeit of real art, science,
and literature. It would be the rule of the unintelligent and largely
of the demagogues (for such would stand a better chance than the
honest and thoughtful, for election to offices).

Seventh: Socialism could not be established (as an "ism") except by
robbery. Good men would not lend themselves to such business.

       *       *       *       *       *


    =Mencken, Henry Louis.= (Author of "The Philosophy of
        Friedrich Nietzsche," editor of The Players' Ibsen,
        part-author with Robert Rives LaMonte of "Men vs. the
        Man." Member of the editorial staff of the Baltimore
        Evening Sun.)

I am opposed to Socialism because, in general, it means a vain and
costly attack upon the immutable natural law that the strong shall
have advantage over the weak. I do not defend that law as perfect, nor
do I even maintain that it is just. If I had the world to make over I
should probably try to find something to take its place, something
measurably less wasteful and cruel. But the world is as it is and the
law is as it is. Say what you will against it, you must at least admit
that it works, that it tends to destroy the botched and useless, that
it places a premium upon enterprise and courage, that it makes for
health and strength, that it is the most powerful of all agents of
human progress. Would brotherhood, supposing it to be achieved, do as
well? I doubt it. Brotherhood would help the soft man, the clinging
man, the stupid man. But would it help the alert and resourceful man?
Answer for yourself. Isn't it a fact that difficulties make daring,
that effort makes efficiency? Do not functions develop by use? Does
the cell act or react?

Meanwhile, I grant all schemes of brotherhood one indubitable merit.
Socialism shares it with Christianity. It is this: that they are
eternally impossible of carrying out, that men cannot actually live
them. The Beatitudes, after 2,000 years, are still mere poetry. No
human fiat will ever repeal the law of natural selection. No rebellion
of slaves will ever break down that great barrier which separates
slaves from masters.

       *       *       *       *       *


=Brown, Mrs. M. McClellan.= (Lecturer and Reformer.)

I am opposed to Socialism--

First: Because it is unnatural. Men are born free, but far from being
equal in competency mentally, morally, or spiritually to use with
advantage to self or others, the proceeds of earth, or the elements,
or labor; even under the same civil, social, and educational
opportunities (often in the same family) some are incompetent to make
ends meet.

Second: Because it is impracticable, unjust, and detrimental to
development and ennoblement of the human race, which is the manifest
object of human creation.

Third: Because it destroys the ultimate power of individuality, which
is the unit of State organization and social protection. The
individual is the axis of reality in all the objective changes for
human uplift.

Fourth: Because the Spirit of God is the humanizing power in the
world, given to individual spirits as a complete fact, large or small,
but personal in dynamic currents of bodily gifts as varied as the
offices of the human organs.

Fifth: Because civilization is the fruit of developed individual
consciousness in a concrete, unsharable experience of free personality
which makes the vital push for progress in the world; even a social
consciousness so-called, must turn on the axis of the individual.

Sixth: Because the only historic and scientific demonstration of
Socialism is original barbarism. Set the pot in the midst of the group
and let each use his paw.

       *       *       *       *       *


    =McConnell, Francis J.= (Bishop of Methodist Episcopal
        Church, Denver, Colorado.)

I am opposed to Socialism because it goes farther than is necessary.
The real reforms for which Socialism stands are very important, but I
think these can be secured without accepting the extreme puttings of
Socialistic doctrine. Within the past twenty-five years we have
reached many of the results of the Socialistic programme and yet
without adopting extreme Socialism.

       *       *       *       *       *


=Benington, Arthur.= (Journalist.)

I am opposed to Socialism because I believe that the State was made
for man, not man for the State.

Because every one of the infinite number of projects of Socialism
tends to discourage individual effort; hence, in a really Socialistic
State there would be no incentive to achievement in art, literature,
science, discovery, etc. The dull level of mediocrity would prevail;
stagnation would take the place of progress.

Because the leading Socialists and all the Socialist newspapers I have
ever seen attack religion.

Because Socialism would abolish the home and make the State
responsible for the bringing up of children. The result of this would
be to substitute a breeding farm for matrimony. Love--which cannot be
abolished--would have no place in the scheme of things; it would
struggle against institutions, either secretly in spite of them and
contrary to them, or openly in rebellion. This is true not only of sex
love, but of parental and filial love.

Because it is contrary to all the principles upon which the United
States of America have won success in the world. It is an exotic
importation from lands in which liberty is stifled, brought here by
persons who do not understand American institutions, taken up as a fad
by a few dreamers.

Because men always cease to be Socialists as soon as they have won
success in life; suggesting that Socialism is merely a vague
expression of the discontent of some, the disappointment of others.

       *       *       *       *       *


=Clark, John Bates.= (Professor of political economy and author.)

I am opposed to Socialism because it would soon impoverish workers.
The income to be divided would be smaller than is supposed by
advocates of Socialism, and it would grow smaller per capita as the
number of workers increased.

       *       *       *       *       *


=Raymond, George Lansing.= (Author and University Professor.)

I am opposed to Socialism because I think it founded on a
misconception of the requirements of human nature; and this, mainly,
for three reasons:

First: A great many people will not practice diligence and thrift,
unless stimulated to do so by a possibility of obtaining, possessing
and using something that they can call their own. This is something
that Socialism theoretically, and so far as it has been applied,
practically, would deny them.

Second: A great many will not work at all, when their only inducement
is that others wish them to work, or need their help. Socialism, if
established, would be obliged--merely to secure support for the
community--to force such people to work against their own wills. This
would inevitably involve the re-establishment of a system of human
slavery.

Third: All a man's mental and moral development in this world--to say
nothing of what may come after death--needs training. According to a
law apparently divine, but certainly human, this training, whether in
home, school, business or society, is imparted by means of discipline.
The discipline is mainly derived from the circumstances of life in
which one finds himself placed, and, in such cases, is always
accompanied by dissatisfaction with one's alloted place, and by actual
suffering. The Socialist aims to escape from this dissatisfaction and
suffering by making a change in his circumstances--such a change, for
instance, as would make a king a servant, or make all men kings or
servants. But history and experience show that kings, whose friends
die, courtiers flatter, and enemies trick, are no more free from the
sufferings attendant upon discipline than are servants. The truth
seems to be that to occupy a different position in life means merely
to be placed in a different part of the same apparently divine and
certainly social machine which--as some have faith to believe--is at
work grinding out of the coarse grain of humanity what shall, some
day, prove to be its fine flour. One who has the wisdom to apply this
theory to life, will, in no position that a man can fill, feel either
too haughty or too humiliated to sympathize with everybody, and to do
his best everywhere to alleviate suffering, lessen oppression,
equalize opportunity, enthrone justice, and prove himself, in every
sense of the term, a fellow-man. The result upon individual
consciousness and conscience of this attitude of mind is the most
important of any that can be exerted in order to secure human welfare.
It differs from Socialism in being derived--as Socialism is not--from
a recognition of the exact and entire truth--a truth that includes,
both that which is material and spiritual, philosophical and
religious.

       *       *       *       *       *


=Ellis, Horace.= (President Vincennes University.)

Socialism originally meant to become an effective protest against the
tyrannies of all forms of monarchy. If it had succeeded in its
ambition we all had been Socialists. But it failed utterly. Its
failure may be traced to certain fundamental errors as to the means it
should employ to realize its purpose. It presumed that most practices
it found in the economic world were inherently bad because they had
been employed by heartless men in furthering their individual
interests. Socialism denies the accepted maxim relating to
competition--in spite of the evidences of history which have fully
established the fact that, in every realm of human activity,
competition has been one of the mightiest factors for individual,
community, national and racial prestige. Socialism would deny to
virile, purposeful, masterful leaders of men the privilege of
leadership because, forsooth, some such leaders have misused authority
reposed in them. In lieu of this practice, it would constitute society
at large the rightful leader in all economic matters--because some
evidences appear which indicate that society possesses some attributes
of stability. Fatal--both of these deductions. There are many
thousands of good Socialists, but few substantial economic contentions
behind them.

       *       *       *       *       *


=Boyd-Carpenter, William B., B.A., F.R.G.S.= (Publicist, Address:
Wynstones, Ascot, England.)

The world has always sighed after novelty. Even St. Paul found that
the Athenians of old longed to hear some new thing. The craze for
novelty, or an increasing curiosity are the symptoms of the decline of
a philosophic outlook on life. It is the idea that a change means
reform. Now reform can never be a change in the substance, but rather
an application, a direct and precise application of a thought-out
remedy for a particular and authentic grievance. Nor is innovation a
real reform--we have to change our clothes because they are wet, but
this does not mean we reform ourselves or our clothes. Woman makes an
innovation in the shape of her clothes or her hats--she does not
reform her clothes or her hats. But Socialists and syndicalists demand
the immediate alteration of the capitalists' system of production--by
which they mean, if they mean anything, such a reform as will give to
them, as a political party within any State, the power of using the
forces, political and capitalistic within the State on behalf of their
own section of the community, unless they mean this, they cannot hope
to benefit wages and employment. If they do not mean this, they are
hoodwinking workingmen and merely are seeking a change, not a reform.
Change is impermanent--therefore transitory change is merely the
expression of want of tone in the political health of a people. But
Socialism and syndicalism by seeking the benefit of the many workers
at the expense of the few capitalists, is creating a form of
injustice, which in their main doctrines Socialists assert they are
hoping to avoid. Injustice to any section of a community is the
creation of inequality again in a community. If we cannot reform with
equity, let us not reform at all. As we put back the hands of the
clock's progress, so we recreate inequalities. Life at best is a
matter of compensation; it is the disturbance of this balance which
makes for injustice and inequality.

Then again, Socialism has been tried and has always resulted in the
re-erection of the capitalist system. The Revolutions of France--1789,
1832, 1848, 1871--all were to usher in the millennium. But France is
capitalistic today and amongst the wealthiest nations on the earth.
The German Revolution, 1848, or the Spanish Revolution--all began in
high hopes of republics to be ruled by Democrats. All these countries
have gone back to what the world has tried and found stands best the
test of time. Nations, like individuals, are impatient and do damage
in fits of temper for which many years of steady care are required to
effect the repairs. The world wants more religion in active life and
more ostracism of the irreligious. The fear of public disgust is the
beginning of ordered honesty. The strength of a public opinion is the
poor man's friend. "To complain of the age in which we live; to revile
the possessors of power; to lament the past; to conceive wild hopes
for the future, are the common dispositions of the vast majority of
men." They are also the attributes of laziness and the form of a
vulgar levity. A nation must have all classes--grumblers and saints,
happy and querulous, in order to make strong men.

       *       *       *       *       *


=Garvin, Lucius Fayette Clark.= (Ex-Governor of R.I.)

I am opposed to Socialism because its theory is not proved to my
satisfaction. The public ownership of all artificial instruments of
production, means that no interest upon capital should go to
individuals. This means that the person who builds a boat to let
should not own it, and that the payment made by a borrower for its use
should not go to the builder, but into the public treasury.

Socialism asserts that if one person catches fifteen fish, another
ten, and third but five, they are not each entitled to the proceeds of
the sale of his fish. This is in violation of the natural law that the
value produced is the just reward of labor.

Land values, being earned by the community, belong to the community;
and economic rent should be taken by the community (in lieu of
taxation) for public purposes.

The Socialist does not distinguish between the artificial and the
natural instruments of production--two things wholly different in
kind. He confuses the just return to capital with the unjust return to
monopoly.

       *       *       *       *       *


=Long, John Luther.= (Author and Playwright.)

I don't know what you mean by mere "Socialism." I wish I did. I wish
you did. But, the deuce of it is that no two persons seem to mean the
same thing--or else no one knows what any one means. If it means an
honest brotherhood, wherein it is recognized that all are not equal,
to the end that those who are more or have more shall help those who
are less and have less, I am for it with all my heart. If it means
that the vicious shall profit from the just--no. If it means that the
loafer shall live without work--no. For that means that some one
else--many--must be working in his stead. If Socialism means that
genius and idiocy must sleep in the same bed and be equals I am very
much against it. We are not all equal. We are not even born equal. No
pronunciamento can make us so. And if Socialism of the McNamara and
Ettor and Giovannitti sort means to make us so, it might as well quit
now as later. It is trying to amalgamate unamalgamables.

       *       *       *       *       *


=Esenwein, Joseph Berg.= (Author and Editor Lippincott's Magazine.)

I am opposed to Socialism because, with all its attendant weaknesses
in its present unperfected state, competition is the best known
stimulus to ambition. Human nature can never be essentially altered by
either legislation or a new social system, therefore we shall always
need competitive incentives to make us do what we can. Our present
system needs decided modification, but it does not need the reversal
that Socialism proposes.

       *       *       *       *       *


=Super, Charles William.= (Retired College President.)

Socialism is advocated in so many different forms that it is difficult
to deal with the term intelligently without prefixing a somewhat
lengthy definition. Every government is at present adopting some of
the features of the Socialistic creed.

I am opposed to Socialism in so far as it hinders individual
initiative and enterprise. No community ever made a great invention,
or an important discovery, or created a great work of art, or planned
a great enterprise. The first step forward must always be taken, or at
least proposed, by some one person. I believe the State should protect
those who cannot take care of themselves, especially children, and
those who have proved unable to stand the strain of modern economic
conditions. Those who are weak should not be left to lie helpless
along the path of progress. But I do not believe government has a
right to dictate how many hours an adult shall labor, or what wages
his employer shall pay him. The men who have done and are still doing
great things in the world have not worked a certain number of hours in
twenty-four, but all the time. Socialism, to a certain extent at
least, puts a premium on inefficiency. It is a serious objection to
Socialism that it has proved a failure wherever it has been tried. It
is a return to primitive conditions. The prospect of getting something
for nothing is a strong incentive to idleness. Most men are naturally
lazy. The power of the State to create value is very limited. If it
provides an army of officials whose constant and ubiquitous
interference with production limits the collective output, they must
be paid from the earnings of individuals. This must increase the cost
of living. Laws should be passed and enforced to help the weak and
restrain the wicked, but they should not put too heavy a clog on those
who are by nature qualified to succeed. You cannot promote the
prosperity of a community by taxing the strong for the benefit of the
weak, either directly or indirectly. The State should be particularly
vigilant against giving any encouragement to the lazy, the shiftless
and the willfully inefficient.

       *       *       *       *       *


=Krout, Mary Hannah.= (Author.)

I am opposed to Socialism because it is impossible and
un-philosophical. All the measures advocated by Socialists today--or
most of them--were advocated by the French in the Revolution of 1785,
with disastrous results.

       *       *       *       *       *


=Hovey, Lewis R.= (Editor, The Record, Haverhill, Mass.)

I am opposed to Socialism because it is unscientific, unwise, and
would destroy liberty and progress for the human race.

The bed-rock theory of Socialism is that under the present system,
wealth and industry concentrates into fewer and fewer hands, that the
big fish eat the little fish, and so on until society is confronted
with a great proletarian class on the one hand, with nothing but their
labor power, and on the other a few very rich plutocrats who own all
the means of production and exchange. That this theory is unsound and
unscientific is proved in a thousand ways by every blue book of every
industrial nation on earth.

The number of wealth-owners in Europe has increased twice as rapidly
as population during the past twenty years. In the United States we
find that ownership of land, railways, banks, bonds, industrial
stocks, etc., have actually increased three or four times as rapidly
as the population. For instance: In 1901, the year of the organization
of the "Steel Trust," so-called, there were just about fifty-five
thousand men and women who owned all the iron and steel plants in this
country, and at this time the Steel Company did seventy per cent. of
the iron and seventy-five per cent. of the steel production of the
nation. Today the U.S. Steel Company produces only forty-five per
cent. of the iron and steel, and in place of fifty-five thousand
owners of the iron and steel business, there are now over three
hundred and fifty thousand owners. Seventeen years ago the Great
Northern Railway was owned by one hundred and twenty-two stockholders;
today that same railroad has eighteen thousand owners.

An investigation by the New York Journal of Commerce, a short while
ago, proved that two hundred and thirty-one industrial and railway
corporations had ten years ago less than two hundred and thirty
thousand owners, but those same companies now have eight hundred and
thirty-five thousand owners (round numbers). Like illustrations could
be cited to fill pages of this book. This shows that the so-called
scientific theory of Marx Socialism is a myth, a dream, an imagination
from the brain of Karl Marx. Socialism would be unwise because it
would be an attempt to change human nature by economic and political
processes. This world has progressed in just that proportion as it has
got away from things Socialistic. The imperialistic Socialism of
ancient Rome destroyed that greatest of nations; the barbarian
Socialism of Peru, with thirty million followers, was destroyed by a
handful of Spanish adventurers.

The Socialization of railways, the municipal ownership of a street
railway, a gas plant or an electric lighting plant, has, as a rule,
proved a failure when all the facts are taken into consideration. This
wild yell of the Socialists, that labor receives but a small part of
the wealth it produces, has no foundation in fact and is but the
uncouth and unintelligent expression of minds who were never made for
statistical insight or investigation.

The promise of the "full value of your production" is a false promise
and known to be such by every intelligent Socialist. The workers today
do far less work, with less hours, and yet receive twice as high wages
compared fifty years ago. This is due to organization and invention of
the few. That is, a small minority of society have organized industry
and made economic production possible; "they have made two blades of
grass grow where one grew before." The Socialists would reverse this,
for it is absolutely certain that under the blighting influence of
economic Socialism, production would go down.

Politically, Socialism would destroy liberty. A pure democracy leads
straight to despotism. Nothing is more despotic than the bossism of
the Socialist parties of the world today, and if ever the nations of
the world go to Socialism, they will go to a regime of mob rule
directed by a Socialist oligarchy, and then the liberty of man will be
absolutely destroyed.

       *       *       *       *       *


=Penrose, Stephen Beasley Linnard.= (President, Whitman College.)

I am not in favor of that very attractive theory, Socialism, first, on
psychological grounds. It rests upon an unscientific analysis of human
interests and motives. It overlooks or undervalues strong tendencies
of human nature. It may be called a theory for angels, not for men.

Second, on practical grounds; it cannot work well because it can
supply neither sufficient motive nor sufficient machinery to secure
efficiency, either in production or distribution.

I applaud the moral impulse which is found in many Socialists, but I
do not approve their solution for great economic problems.

       *       *       *       *       *


=Kizer, Edwin Dicken.= (College President.)

I am in favor of that which means the correcting of the evils that
allow one man to prey upon another when that preying is personal or
enters into the effect of the preyer, in combination with conditions
to be remedied by economic changes. But the very radical differences
manifest among the Socialists themselves, i.e., those who accept Marx,
and those who deny him in his main statements; the revolutionist, who
insists upon a revolution, by blood, if necessary, and the
evolutionist, who looks for a more gradual development, would make me
hesitate to cast my lot with such a divided army.

Again I am not quite certain that I am willing to give first place to
the forces that the scientific Socialist places as fundamental in the
affairs of men. I must also confess to a lingering of the older theory
of individualism that constrains me to believe that at least a part
(those for example who by brain or circumstance are leaders) of
mankind, will be personally regenerated by a high spiritual motive
before the Socialist ideal is possible to think of even.

Also, radicalism never reaches in practice what it aims to perform. A
little less of the ultimate, with destructive acts that undermine
man's faith in his present creation, and a little more of the doing
the task before us is what is needed. If Socialism is inevitable, as
some think it is, we can neither help nor hinder: evolution of moral
and spiritual forces entirely rule the average man out of the contest.

       *       *       *       *       *


=Brazier, Marion Howard.= (Journalist and Lecturer.)

I am opposed to Socialism because I do not favor anything likely to
develop anarchy. Socialistic agitation tends to promote unrest and
discord. If granted my divine right to vote, I might look into it more
closely and get another point of view.

       *       *       *       *       *


=Cazalet, Edward Alexander.= (President of the Anglo-Russian Literary
Society, Imperial Institute, London.)

Socialism has been defined as the name given to schemes for
regenerating society by a more equal distribution of property and
especially by substituting the principle of association for that of
competition.

A great statesman and author, M. de Tocqueville, branded Socialism as
an energetic and pernicious appeal to the lower passions of mankind;
as a system of which the basis was a thorough mistrust of liberty, a
hearty contempt of man individually.

The shrewd and experienced L.A. Thiers in his treatise "De la
Propriete," also combats the maxim: "La propriete c'est le vol." He
depicted the universal poverty and barbarism that would follow from
such notions being adopted.

Robert Owen, the enthusiastic and practical Socialist, was not
successful in his colony of New Harmony in United States. The
improvement of his workmen's material interests in the New Lanark Mill
in Scotland, finally proved a disappointment. (See also "Why I am in
Favor of Socialism.")

       *       *       *       *       *


=Purrington, William Archer.= (Lawyer and Author.)

I do not know of any practicable scheme of Socialism, or of any
satisfactory definition of the term upon which Socialists agree; an
accurate definition is the necessary basis of intelligent expression
of opinion.

Apparently, Socialists in general believe, or at least preach that the
State should own the material and means of production, to the end that
all should share what is now enjoyed by the few. I doubt if the
proposed means would achieve the desired end. At present the United
States Government supplies us with postage stamps. The stamps will not
stick.

Socialism will be practicable, if ever, only when

    "The roughs, as we call them, grown loving and dutiful,
        Worship the true and the good and the beautiful.
    And preying no longer, as tiger and vulture do,
        Read the Atlantic, as persons of culture do."

That day is far distant, and even when it comes the man of brains will
assert his individualism.

       *       *       *       *       *


=Screws, William Wallace.= (Editor The Montgomery Advertiser.)

I am opposed to Socialism because I believe in conservatism. We are
drifting too far already away from precepts and principles which
guided us safely as long as they were adhered to. I am opposed to
Socialism because I believe in individualism. Each man in the
community should do something for it instead of each man in the
community expecting the community to do something for him. I could
give many other reasons, but these are enough to convince me that
Socialism engrafted in our laws would be dangerous to government and
society.

       *       *       *       *       *


=Burke, John Butler, M.A.= (Author and Scientist.)

My sympathies are very much on the side of Socialism, but intense as
those sympathies may be, they cannot counteract the convictions, still
more strong, that the hope of its realization is futile. A lease for
capital is all I can plead for equivalent to that for copyright.

There cannot be any doubt, in my mind at least, that Socialism, that
is, the distribution of wealth equally for the benefit of the
individuals composing the community, desirable as this might be in
accordance with the spirit of equality and fraternity, is yet at
variance with the principles of freedom and of justice. And unjust as
the existing system may be in giving an unequal start in life to
individuals, to insist that those who work effectively and those who
do not, should share equally the benefits of their combined labors is
surely more iniquitous still. Nay, more, that the individual should
not possess the power to accumulate and dispose of the fruits of his
own work, is perhaps still more at variance with the true principles
of liberty.

A Socialistic state, however perfect ideally, to commence with, would
be in an unsteady state of equilibrium, and the inequalities with
which Nature, as distinct from man, has endowed us, would, I fear,
sooner or later, disturb that unstable state and bring things back to
the condition where only the struggle for power and its consequent
supremacy would prevail, through the rule of the strong in character
and intellect. Hence, heredity as a gift or privation of Nature, like
wealth and penury in the existing state of things, prevents the ideal
of equality otherwise desirable. Such being inevitable, the
accumulated effects of industry and talent will ever seek and obtain
protection from the hands of the fortunate and the strong.

A lease of the rights of property and capital generally, equivalent to
a copyright, for works of genius is all I ever hope for in the
interests of humanity, so that with the lapse of time wealth might be
redistributed broadcast for the benefit of the State and mankind.

       *       *       *       *       *


=Hastings, William Granger.= (Lawyer.)

I am opposed to Socialism because like Comte, I am unable to accept
the teachings of "any of the senseless sects who attack those bases of
the State, property and the family." If we are to have States, we must
have families. At best, if we are to have anything like our present
existing States. If we are to have families, we must have property,
and private property if they are to be private families. It is as
certain as that we must have public property if we are to have any
State.

       *       *       *       *       *


=Jefferys, Upton S.= (Editor, Post-Telegram, Camden, N.J.)

I am opposed to Socialism because I think that in the final analysis
it palsies individual initiative, attempting to set aside nature's law
of competition and the survival of the fittest. I cannot agree with
the proposition that Socialism is a practical panacea for industrial
and economic conditions that have existed since man began to acquire
property. While human nature remains as it is, I question whether it
is possible to successfully apply Socialism to State and nation.

       *       *       *       *       *


=Beard, Daniel Carter.= (Author and Artist.)

I do not believe in Socialism because I am an individualist. I think
that the old American idea is broad enough to admit of all the
necessary reforms without reverting to the Socialism of Marx. Both
Socialism and Anarchy are off-springs of monarchial forms of
government evolved by people under the tyranny class and official
oppression.

As long as the opportunities in this country were free to all, neither
the seed of Socialism nor of Anarchy could take root, but when the
opportunities were absorbed by a few, it produced a condition similar
to that of a monarchial form of government, and the seed of these
exotic plants, Socialism and Anarchy, both found a soil suited to
their growth.

There is nothing the matter with our form of government. It has
produced the greatest success the world has ever witnessed, has
developed a manhood, a self-reliance and a self-respect to be found on
no place else on the face of the earth, and I see no reason why we
should change that form of government, because some people have
monopolized the opportunity for labor and produced an unsatisfactory
condition economically. There is but one opportunity to labor, and
that is the land. We can free the land without changing our form of
government, by simply taxing it to its full rental value, and doing
away with all other forms of taxation. This will immediately take the
burden off of labor, and while not reducing our present millionaires
to the ranks of plain, honest men, it will effectually prevent the
growth of any more millionaire monstrosities. (See also "Why I am in
Favor of Socialism.")

       *       *       *       *       *


=Ladd, Horatio Oliver.= (Clergyman. Author and Educator.)

I do not favor Socialism because it is an effort to reform society
against the nature of man.

No man is created equal to another, or every other man. He is an
individual who makes his place in the world by his special individual
traits and powers. By these he uses the powers of others, and material
and moral instruments and forces around him to accomplish his ends. He
concedes to others what he cannot or does not wish to hold or acquire
for himself in the influence and possessions of this life.

The inequality of man in this world is everywhere manifest. The
advantages won in this life are the result of effort and character,
not of any distribution based upon the principle of equality of man.

The differences in man's condition, make the interest and the
incitements of life. Collectivism is an absurd theory of distribution
of the good of life, because it cannot preserve equal conditions, even
in one generation. The weak, the lame and the lazy must fall behind
the strong, the able, the ambitious. The apples on a tree are of
different sizes, and soundness, because of the vigor of the buds,
leaves, branches and location which have contributed to their growth.
So it is in all Nature, and in man.

The prizes of life belong to those who win them by merit of their
powers, their diligence and their effort.

A common opportunity is the highest condition Nature and society can
offer to the individual.

Life is rich in and through its varieties. Religion and common sense
stand for these principles of individualism in the development and
conduct of human life and government.

       *       *       *       *       *


=Levermore, Charles Herbert.= (Educator and Author.)

I am opposed to Socialism because I believe that any plan thus far
proposed for the reorganization of society upon a Socialist basis
would result in a tyranny of a majority, or of a bureaucratic clique
or "ring," representing that majority, which would be meaner and more
unendurable than any corporation-ridden party-machine or any Tammany
Hall that we have ever known. (See also "Why I Am in Favor of
Socialism.")

       *       *       *       *       *


=Bell, Mackenzie.= (Poet, Critic and Lecturer.)

Though a collectivist I am not a Socialist in the Marxian sense,
because I think the private ownership of capital has never until now,
had a fair chance in the work of civilization. Throughout the world
the people are dimly awaking to insist that property has its duties as
well as its rights, and to insist likewise that property pays its due
toll to the commonwealth.

       *       *       *       *       *


=Binney, Charles Chauncey.= (Lawyer and Author.)

I cannot pretend to much familiarity with Socialist writings, but I
have read with some care the platform of the Socialist Party for the
recent election. Some few of the planks have nothing to do with
Socialism in itself, and some (that in regard to child labor, for
instance) express the views of men of all parties; but the
distinctively Socialist part of the platform impressed me as
co-operation run mad. People seemed to be regarded as masses only, not
as individuals, although the individualist feeling is one of the
strongest in human nature, and is of the utmost importance in the
progress of civilization.

If a Socialist administration of government be possible as a permanent
institution (which I doubt) it would be impossible under the
conditions demanded by this platform, because no man's life or
property (if any individual property be permitted) would be safe under
it. For instance, the legislative power is to be vested in a Congress
and legislatures composed of one chamber only, subject to no veto and
controlled by no constitution, for the courts are to be forbidden to
question the constitutionality of laws. This would make the
legislature all-powerful, but the fact that no one branch of the
government is all-powerful is an important guarantee of our present
liberties. Worse than this, although the experience of ages has shown
that the greatest safeguard of liberty is the administration of law by
an independent and fearless judiciary--that is, by judges who cannot
be dismissed except for official wrongdoing, and who therefore are not
merely free to do right in every case, but have the strongest
incentives to do so--yet the platform proposes to destroy judicial
tenure during good behavior wherever it exists, and to cause all
judges to be elected for short terms. If you ask any man of
intelligence, who wants only justice, whether he would feel more sure
of a just decision in a United States Court before a judge holding
office during good behavior, or in a State Court, before a judge
elected by the voters of a political party for a short term only, I am
confident that he would express much greater confidence in the former.

The Socialist platform asserts that the "capitalist class" controls
the judiciary. This broad assertion is ridiculously false. What is
true is that the judiciary is not composed of Socialists, that the
judges are as yet unwilling to disregard the law, and to decide in
accordance with the wishes of Socialists. If, however, the "capitalist
class" sought to control the judiciary, it could do so much more
easily in the case of judges elected for short terms than in that of
judges holding office during good behavior. Evidently the Socialists
want a chance to "control" the judiciary themselves, whereas what the
country needs is a judiciary uncontrolled by any class, capitalist or
Socialist.

The platform declares for collective ownership of all railroads,
telegraph and telephone lines, etc. The word "confiscation" is
avoided, but confiscation must be intended, for surely the Socialists
do not wish to enrich the "capitalist class" by buying out their
interests in public service corporations at a fair valuation.

I could criticise the Socialist platform in many other respects,
especially the tone of violence and hatred that pervades it. There is
not a suggestion of Christianity about it. I shall conclude, however,
by stating my own experience of local government under the Socialist
Party. Being in ill health last winter, I stayed at Bordighera in
Italy. The Socialists controlled the town government, and were anxious
to continue in office, and therefore not to offend the rank and file
of their party. The drunkenness and noise at night were often
intolerable, but all protests were useless, as the drinkers and
shouters had votes, and the foreign visitors had none. Gambling was
carried on as openly as at Monte Carlo, without any regard to the
well-being of the community. After this slight experience, I was able
to understand better what took place under the Socialist commune of
Paris in 1871, which I am old enough to remember well.

       *       *       *       *       *


=Wilson, Alonzo Edes.= (Editor and Lecturer.)

There are many good things about the theory of Socialism, but I do not
believe in the remedy as proposed through the Socialist Party. The
battle can never be won that way. I also believe that our hardest
fight and the first thing to be done is the killing of our greatest
common enemy, the liquor traffic and the business of drunkard making,
by the Government. The settlement of this problem will solve many of
our ills and then we can take up some of these other questions.

       *       *       *       *       *


=Russell, Isaac Franklin, LL., D.C.L.= (Chief Justice of the Court of
Special Sessions of the City of New York.)

I am opposed to Socialism because of its erroneous attitude to labor.
Labor is not a thing to be avoided, but rather to be welcomed and
encouraged. The only real happiness we ever experience in this world
is the intelligent exercise of our faculties. A perpetual motion
machine or some fanciful device for saving us from labor, so far from
being a blessing, would paralyze our noblest powers.

I charge Socialism with economic error and heresy for its attacks on
capital and capitalists. Capital is indispensable to enterprise. It is
the source and mainspring of wages. The laborer cannot pay himself his
wages out of the finished product of his toil, else he would have no
quarrel with his master. Even public credit, on which we are building
the Panama Canal and our city schools, rests on visible resources in
lands, franchises and personal property.

I charge Socialism with economic error in advocating a rate of wages
determined by arbitrary authority, irrespective of demand and supply.
No producer of merchandise for any appreciable length of time can
continue to pay more than the market rate of wages and keep out of
bankruptcy.

The manhood wage--a plan by which we accord to each laborer enough
money to support himself, his wife and as many children as God sends
to his home--is a delusion and a snare. It directly encourages
improvidence and stimulates the growth of population by diverting
nature's stern but benignant discipline from the unworthy to the
worthy. It paralyzes thrift and temperance, and puts a premium on
recklessness and vicious self-indulgence.

I charge Socialism with fundamental error in preaching the doctrine of
human equality. Nature abhors equality. Men vary infinitely, from the
meanest degenerates to the tallest of the sons of God. They can be
equal only before the law, or in the eye of the law, or as suppliants
for justice. Intellectually we need patricians and noblemen to
encourage us by precept and example and point out the path of progress
to better things. A dollar a day, or one thousand dollars a day, never
will remunerate men like Edison and Harriman for their services to a
world of workers.

Socialism trifles with the principles that underlie the institution of
property. Even animal and sub-human ethics regard the right of the
individual to his accumulated store and the home he has builded.

The attitude of Socialists toward the courts of law is undemocratic.
In America we must reverence the law. It is our only hope. To teach
the multitude that justice is bought and sold in this country and that
the judgments of our judicial tribunals are knocked down to the
highest bidder is to accuse a whole nation of crime.

Socialism represses individual development. It substitutes for
self-direction the authority of the many.

But it is in constructive Socialism that we find the greatest peril
and the most monumental folly. Utopias innumerable have been conceived
by the heated imagination of dreamers of all ages. The monotony of
Utopia would be maddening. No moral crisis can arise in a perfect
society. Charity and philanthropy, sympathy, courage and all the human
virtues can have no play in such a spot.

Competition is not to be decried as vicious. It is really a benignant
principle. It is the supreme divine law. To competition among
employers the workman looks for high wages; on competition among
sellers he relies to buy what he needs at the lowest figure.

       *       *       *       *       *


=Andrews, Martin Register.= (College Professor and Editor.)

The machinery of government which the Socialists propose seems to me
likely to aggravate the very evils of which they justly complain. The
proposal to confiscate the homes of the farmers and work the former
owners under some boss chosen by the State, as I heard advocated a few
days ago, may be a blessing to the brewers, but not to the great body
of workingmen. (See also "Why I Am in Favor of Socialism.")

       *       *       *       *       *


=Allen, Alfred.= (Playwright and Author.)

I am opposed to Socialism because of their inhumanity towards the poor
millionaire. In spite of it all, they are our brothers.

       *       *       *       *       *


=Owen, Douglas.= (Author, Barrister and Lecturer.)

Until Socialists themselves shall have come to some sort of an
agreement as to the aims and objects of the Socialism to be adopted as
their creed, how can one formulate one's objections to Socialism? The
more moderate and reasonable of its advocates profess, indeed,
indignation and abhorrence at the views of the extremists, and to
reply to the extremists is to call forth charges of gross
misrepresentation on the part of the more moderate. But broadly
stated, what Socialism even in its more moderate form appears to aim
at, is the negation and suppression of the greatest and most
beneficent law of nature--law of humanity--which we know as the law of
the survival of the fittest. On this supreme law depends, and always
has depended, and must depend, the uplifting, enlightenment and, in
the end, the highest welfare of mankind. And just as that which is
good for the hive cannot be bad for the bee, so must the welfare of
the hive depend on the independent effort of each individual bee.

The mainspring of the world's upward and forward progress is the
ambition and emulation of the individual worker: the slothful, the
ill-qualified and the weakling being left behind; one and the same
law, beneficent if hard, for all life upon this world, whether animate
or inanimate. The Socialists' aim is to deprive the individual of
stimulus to put forth his best efforts for his own advancement and
therefore for the benefit of the human hive.

When I received your invitation to state my views on this subject, I
chanced to be reading David Hannay's work. "The Sea Trader." At the
conclusion he deals with the subject of convoy, under which all ships,
fast and slow, good and bad, were compelled to voyage under armed
escort. His remarks on the consequences of the system are so apposite
that I quote them here:

"The necessity for keeping together imposed a restriction often of a
highly injurious kind, on the best appointed vessels. Since the whole
must be kept together, it followed that the convoy was condemned to
sail at the rate of speed of the slowest among them. A quick sailing
ship lost the whole advantage of her superiority. She could neither
obtain the advantage of being early in the market, nor make prompt
arrangements to unload or reload. She was brought down to the level of
the most lumbering tub. Of what use was it to build for speed, to be
alert, to seek for better ways, when the law stood over you, fine and
imprisonment in hand, to make you go slow, to force you to follow the
known road!"

Of course, it meant utter stagnation in shipbuilding; it was death to
advance an improvement. The Socialist, in his shortsighted and narrow
view, aims at the same thing over again, on a universal scale, with
all its dire and retrograde results. He would reduce the well-found,
well-equipped and speedy vessel to the level of the most lumbering tub
in the human fleet.

       *       *       *       *       *


=Painter, Franklin Verzelius Newton.= (Author and College Professor.)

If Socialism is what its friends say it is, it should be commended; if
it is what its enemies say it is, it should be condemned.

In developing a sense of social obligation, Socialism accomplishes a
fine work; but in expecting a thorough human reformation from altered
social conditions, it betrays the weakness of illiterate credulity.

In seeking greater justice and equality in economic conditions,
Socialism rests on a strong moral basis; but in seeking no more than
greater material ease and comfort, it betrays the presence of
mortality.

In demanding individual sacrifice for the common good, Socialism
emphasizes an important duty; but in totally submerging the individual
in society, it is guilty of an ancient wrong.

The truths of Socialism are rapidly finding expression in life and
government; its errors will prove its ultimate destruction.

The fundamental defect of Socialism is its materialism; for there is
that in man which transcends food and raiment.

       *       *       *       *       *


=Thayer, William Roscoe.= (Historian.)

I am opposed to Socialism because I have seen no explanation by any of
its various, and mutually antagonistic advocates, of the way in which
it can safeguard the individual. The purpose of life is to produce
individuals, each of whom shall be trained to the highest
efficiency--manual, intellectual and moral--of which he is capable.
Socialism, having only the welfare of all (an abstraction) in view,
must logically slight or suppress the individual. So, logically, it
must destroy the family--the unit of civilization--and reduce mankind
in their sexual relations below the level of the beasts. What I desire
is not crazy Nietzsche's superman--individualism run mad--nor
Socialism which denies the individual.

       *       *       *       *       *


=Nevin, Theodore Williamson.= (Editor.)

I am opposed to Socialism principally because of its impracticability.
Theoretically it is beautiful, but until human nature changes
radically from what it is at present, the plan will not work out in
practice. Go into any of the small Socialistic societies, see the
petty wrangling, the striving for domination--bossing by the stronger
leaders, the self-seeking efforts of all, weak and strong; and it will
at once be seen that the theory is not a success there. If not
successful in these smaller experiments, how can it be expected to be
in the larger field of a nation?

My fear would be that if the system could ever be fastened on the
national government (which I consider an impossibility) it would be
disastrous--it would take away ambition, it would have a blighting
effect on enterprise, and would result in the production of the most
intolerant "bosses," great and small that the world has ever seen.
The resultant slavery of the masses would be shocking, compared with
which the most asserted, so-called slavery under our modern industrial
system would be the perfection of freedom.

After all, isn't Socialism, present day Socialism, simply an effort of
those that have not, trying to get a share of the possessions of those
that have?

       *       *       *       *       *


=Bigelow, Edward Fuller.= (Lecturer and Writer.)

I am in favor of Socialism in so far as it contains many good ideals,
and am against it in so far as the methods of obtaining those ideals
are non-existent, indefinite or impracticable. Many harangues by
Socialist orators and many tracts, claiming to set forth Socialistic
doctrines are mostly vague with omission of all practical methods. It
may do for the poet to rave about sailing away to the moon, but if the
poet becomes politician he must show the ship and explain how it will
make the journey.

       *       *       *       *       *


=Post, Louis Freeland.= (Editor, The Public, Chicago, Ill.)

I am opposed to Socialism in its economic program because it proposes
to suppress competition, and in its tactics because it stands for
class warfare. As to competition, I do not believe that it can be
suppressed without substituting an intolerable despotism, and I do
believe it will operate fairly if divested of the law-created
monopolies with which it is now bedeviled. As to class warfare, I
regard the real contest as a contest over economic interests and moral
ideals, which neither are nor can be differentiated by any lines of
personal class. (See also "Why I Am in Favor of Socialism.")

       *       *       *       *       *


=Walker, Albert H.= (Lawyer and Author.)

I am opposed to Socialism because it is contrary to nature. In nature,
progress results from evolution; and evolution results from
fortuitous differentiation and survival of the fittest. Socialism
proposes to try to make the unfittest survive, at the expense of the
fittest. That also is the proposition of Christianity. But both those
systems are contrary to nature in that respect.

       *       *       *       *       *


=Tutt, John Calhoun.= (Writer.)

Socialism is not feasible. It is a myth of dreamy minds. It has an
idealistic atmosphere and is attractive to those who lag in the
struggle of life. Its worst feature is that it deceives the people who
conscientiously seek relief in it. Its leadership thrives because its
impracticability prevents the experimental tests that would expose its
sophistry. There is no way to prove by actual demonstration that the
persuasive gospel or philosophy of the men who lead its movements is a
mockery. You can't try out Socialism. It is evasive. No people ever
did or ever will grasp it. There is no equality in either civilization
or barbarism. The men most conspicuous in the Socialist movement do
not exemplify equality. You find Socialists among the most destitute.
If Socialism is a legitimate form of government, why have not the
forces of government evolved it? The age of experiment has long since
passed. We have had repetition over and over again, but no
materialization of Socialism. Government is purely human, and until
there is a new creation there will never be anything new in
government.

       *       *       *       *       *


=Arford, Fremont.= (Editor, Western Trade Journal, Chicago.)

I am opposed to Socialism because it does not lead to anything
practical or concrete. The theories and plans of the great body of
Socialists are largely chimerical and do not appeal to my idea of
bettering the conditions of which they, and myself as well, complain.
To accomplish what Socialism is attempting to bring about,
necessitates a revolution of all that now goes to make up human
nature, and nothing short of omnipotence can do this.

       *       *       *       *       *


=Cavanaugh, John, C.S.C.= (President University of Notre Dame.)

As a philosophy Socialism is hostile to organized government because
organized government stands for restraint. Restraint is necessary
wherever people live together. Socialism wants a so-called liberty
which, in my judgment, is license.

Socialism is opposed to religion for the same reason. Religion teaches
man to be patient and Socialism can thrive only where men are
discontented.

Socialism is opposed to the home because husband and father in the
nature of things are economically dependent upon employers, and it is
characteristic of Socialists that they wish to flaunt offence in the
face of employers.

Individual Socialists will deny that these charges against Socialism
are true. Such individual Socialists are sometimes honest, a fact
which only proves that they don't know the inner meaning of Socialism.
Socialistic papers like the New York Call make no pretense of
concealing the true meaning of the Socialist philosophy.

As a matter of fact the vast majority of so-called Socialists think it
is merely a political plan that concerns only the question of capital
and labor and government ownership.

Even as a matter of political policy Socialism is not convincing; it
could not cure the ills of society which are due to inequalities of
talent, strength, wisdom and industry rather than to political
policies.

I am not willing to close this brief statement without adding that
capitalists should take care so to deal with labor as to deprive
agitators of all excuse and valid argument for Socialism, while to the
working man I say: "Be wise, thrifty, virtuous and industrious so that
you may improve your condition." I say with equal earnestness to the
capitalist: "Stop making Socialists. Treat your laboring people like
equals rather than inferiors, and as brothers, not as aliens."

       *       *       *       *       *


=Barr, Granville Walter.= (Writer.)

The accomplishment of ethics by the enactment of laws always fails,
and always will fail, except in those cases where there is a strong
trend of public opinion to the same end. There are places where
murder is not punished, and other places where only certain forms of
murder are punished; as there are places where the sale of alcoholic
liquors and gambling are utterly prevented by the punishment of all
who commit these acts contrary to law. Socialism is a program of law
far ahead of the public opinion of today in this country. Therefore it
cannot effect itself here and now. There may be in the future a time
and place where it will be effective, and then its laws will be
beneficent.

But only under the conditions stated, will it be harmless. The
greatest evil in America today is the non-enforcement of laws. Any law
not enforced, because contrary to public opinion in the governmental
unit involved, becomes malevolent in its effects. In one city whose
people believe liquors should be sold, saloons flourish in spite of a
State statute prohibiting them, because conviction of saloon keepers
is impossible in that bailiwick; thirty years of this state of affairs
has produced a generation of young men who firmly believe that laws
are made to be enforced or disregarded at will--who are germinating
the seeds of anarchy. To enact a mass of law which cannot be enforced
until the millennium is nearer its dawn, is to weaken all law. Hence,
Socialism as a political factor is malevolent--as a propaganda, it is
of course beneficent and to be encouraged academically, exactly as one
should encourage the growth of Methodism or Presbyterianism while
keeping them both out of political matters. Socialism seems determined
to intrude into politics--is essentially political, indeed--and its
most active writers sneer at the American constitution and
institutions while they have nothing practicable to substitute except
the Golden Rule--which excellent rule of action never has been
enforced upon any nation, nor any large group of people, and which
cannot be enforced soon. When it can be enforced, Socialism will have
arrived. In the meantime, human nature must be made over--God speed
the day!

       *       *       *       *       *


=White, William Allen.= (Editor and Author.)

I am opposed to Socialism because I believe that it attempts to do by
legislative enactment, what must come through an evolutionary
process. I believe that we are now ready for a long evolutionary jump,
but not so far forward as some of our Socialist brethren would like to
jump.

I desire to go as far toward human justice and good will toward men,
as anyone, but I do not feel that we should start and stop, because we
are not ready to go the whole distance. I would start and go but one
day's journey at a time.

       *       *       *       *       *


=Crowell, John Franklin.= (Economist.)

I am opposed to Socialism--

First: Because it fails to provide for the requisites of progress, and
this threatens to cause a stationary civilization.

Second: Because it seems to me to misplace the emphasis by putting the
material before the spiritual in human happiness.

Third: Because it is anti-national in its attitude toward liberty and
self-government. By means of national citizenship modernity has gained
most of its rights and privileges. To show utter contempt for the
national flag, by referring to it as "an old rag," exhibits a personal
quality wholly incompatible with true human brotherhood.

       *       *       *       *       *


=Wilcox, Lute.= (Editor, Field and Farm, Denver, Colo.)

I am opposed to Socialism upon the broad ground that we already have
too many loafers in America for the future good of the nation. All
mankind is Socialistic to a certain degree. The most of us are
inclined to double shoot the turn and ride a free horse to death. We
make Socialism a sort of excuse to shift responsibilities that
certainly belong to each and every individual living under a
democratic form of government. We are always dodging the little duties
that go to make up the ground work of life. Socialism seems to
inculcate that spirit of inactivity which might be more properly
called loaferism and no country can become great with such a dominant
spirit prevailing among its people.

       *       *       *       *       *


=Heald, G.H.= (Editor, Life and Health)

I am both in favor of, and opposed to Socialism, because Socialism
means very many different things. As one man said: Christian Socialism
means "all mine is yours," and the other kind means, "all yours is
mine."

Our present government is partially Socialistic; our public schools,
our public roads, our postoffice department, and more and more of our
public work is becoming socialized.

Another form of Socialism, although not political, is the co-operative
bodies seen in the garden suburbs of the cities of England, and the
co-operative stores, etc.

It seems to me that the cry against capital is not well taken. Turn
ten thousand anti-capitalists into a new undeveloped country and let
them develop it! The first thing they will require is capital. And
after a while if a few of the more energetic ones begin to do things
it will be because they have accumulated a little capital. However, I
can understand that this capital might be held co-operatively by the
laborers as it is in some institutions, rather than by a few. But the
present conditions which get a monopoly of franchise on public
utilities or a monopoly of natural wealth of the country, whether of
mines or forests or water power, is all wrong. We need more of public
ownership, less of larger corporations fattening their stockholders by
squeezing the prices to the highest limit and wages to the lowest
limit.

       *       *       *       *       *


=Kelly, Robert Lincoln.= (President, Earlham College.)

I feel that the tendency in our country is toward a more Socialistic
form of government and with this movement I am in entire sympathy.
This means, however, that these tendencies will be incorporated in our
government by the process of evolution and not by that of revolution.
In other words, that we will hammer these questions out one at a time
and adopt them only as they are proven to be practicable in every-day
experience. Since Socialism presumably stands for an extensive program
which is to be adopted in toto and without due deliberation and
tentative experience I cannot become a member of that party. Let those
who wish to advocate the cause in this wholesale way, have every
possible opportunity of doing so, but recognize that as a matter of
fact, forms of government and even public opinion are changed very
slowly with the process of the sun.

       *       *       *       *       *


=Ladd, George Trumbull.= (University Professor.)

I believe in the spiritual unity of the race, and in the duty of
nations and individuals to treat each other like brothers, and sons of
a common father. I detest all class hatred and all arrangements,
political and social, for securing and promoting class interests at
the expense of the public welfare. I am the enemy of all systems of
"bossism," or monopoly, or control by other than natural laws and
moral principles, of the opportunities of the individual to labor, to
enjoy the fruits of labor, and to develop himself and help others.
Thus far I am a Socialist.

I do not believe, however, in any of the definite schemes for
equalizing the rewards of labor, irrespective of the merits of the
laborer and the excellence of his work. I do not believe in communism,
either in the sharing by compulsion, of goods; and certainly not, in
the sharing of the privileges of the family life. Nor do I think that
the control of government, whether of city, State or Nation, by any
Socialistic Party, would, in the large and the long run, improve
matters. I fear it would make bad matters even worse. The only way to
improve society is to make the men and women who compose society,
intellectually, morally, and religiously, better men and better women.
I want, first of all, to be improved in all these ways myself; and
next, to help the next fellow to improve himself.

       *       *       *       *       *


=Adams, Thomas Sewall.= (Professor Political Economy.)

If Socialism means primarily the ownership and operation by the State
of the principal industries, I am opposed to it because a long
experience in State and public work convinces me that public work is,
comparatively speaking, inefficient work. The cause of this
inefficiency lies deep in the nature of democratic government and will
never, I think, be removed. The individual public servant is neither
lazy nor inferior, but the conditions of his work make it impossible
to get the same results as he could in private employment. The spirit
of public work is more equitable. Greater consideration is given to
the humane factors. More of this spirit will have to be injected into
private industry. The result will be not public industry, but private
industry animated by a new ideal and conducted under the guardianship
of the State rather than by the State. Industrial life is not simple;
it is very complex, and no simple solution is to be looked for. The
quasi-public industry managed by private individuals, deeply impressed
with the feeling of their public trusteeship, is the ultimate ideal.
With the deeper and better spirit of Socialism I am altogether in
accord. Most Socialists think that the strength of the movement lies
in their tactics; their specific provisions for government ownership;
their philosophical doctrines; but the contrary is the truth and the
one enduring thing in Socialism is the religious zeal and high ideals
of its best exponents.

       *       *       *       *       *


=Linn, Walter R.= (Editor Harrisburg Telegraph, Harrisburg, Pa.)

I am opposed to Socialism because the progress of the world has been
made under individualism. Any system which has a tendency to
discourage or repress personal initiative is a system which can
produce no good to the country.

       *       *       *       *       *


=Terhune, William Lewis.= (Publisher.)

Socialism, to my mind, means the overthrow of all the advancements of
the past one hundred years or more. The man of brains and energy would
stand but little show or encouragement under a government controlled
by Socialism or Socialistic ideas. I believe that, the man who is
capable of making his way in this world, is smart and energetic enough
to build up a business and with it a fortune, is entitled to all he
can possess through honest efforts. I do not believe in government
ownership of public utilities, but I do believe in a controlling power
of the government to in some way supervise these corporations so they
will be obliged to keep in the path of honesty in all their
transactions with the public. Individual freedom is the watchword of
our great country. When we lose that, we lose ourselves.

       *       *       *       *       *


=Scheffauer, Herman.= (Author.)

I am opposed to theoretical Socialism wherever it threatens to
interfere with the full and unhampered development of the individual
or to lower his worth. Being a mass philosophy, Socialism must
logically strive to sacrifice the individual to that mass. I hold that
it is only through the channels of a free, noble, self-restrained
individualism that man may naturally attain to his supreme development
in happiness, culture and power.

Theoretical Socialism is a splendid fallacy that shines like a truth
when contemplated beneath the skies of the future already reddened by
the sanguine color of the creed. But it is a fallacy based upon
another fallacy, that of the virtue in the sovereign mass or
democracy, which in turn is based upon certain fallacies of
Christianity.

These systems of the multitude amount to mob rule, and will never
evolve the highest type of men--the intellectual and moral samurai of
whom H.C. Wells has written, the rulers by nature, training and
fitness, the men who, in Nietzsche's phrase, are to surpass men.

In practical matters Socialism may be said to be already operative,
and largely operative for good. It is correcting many ancient evils
and bringing a certain degree of order and balance into the world.
That is its chief value--an industrial and economic one. It is a means
and not an end. For in the last analysis of human things it will be
undone by that iron fiat which decrees that every man must be an end
in himself and unto himself.

       *       *       *       *       *


=Gaines, Clement Carrington.= (President Eastman College.)

I am opposed to Socialism because I believe that Socialism is an
impracticable form of governmental administration, and therefore must,
if it should ever come to power, fail as a system of government. In
support of this view I suggest the following considerations:

First: A free democratic government, a government by the people in any
form, must necessarily be controlled by parties.

Second: Parties are held together by the interests of the
organization. These interests in the end are opposed to the interests
of the people in that any party must support itself by what its
organizers and promoters can get out of the people, which is another
way of saying that every party is held together by the cohesion of
public plunder, the private interests of its organizers. That policy
is always most popular with the party in power which promises most
profit to its leaders. The leaders are controlled by the policy which
seems to serve their interests best, and not by the principles of
righteousness or altruism.

Third: Hence in the administration of Government by a party the
success and policy of the party must dominate its action rather than
the interests of the people whom the party would govern, because this
success is the thing most necessary to the continuance of the party in
power. The effort to succeed leads to corruption notwithstanding the
apparent purity of its principles or promises of its platform.

Conclusion: Since the three principles enunciated seem to be the
fundamental law of party government, and since the principles of
Socialism are in contravention of this fundamental law, it is believed
that Socialism cannot permanently succeed as a method of party
government. It is further believed that the principles of Socialism
are in contravention of the natural law that no creature may advance
in any direction except by the law of competition of all its vital
forces, principles, and powers. Mr. Darwin calls this "the law of
natural selection and survival of the fittest," and says conclusively
that this natural law governs and directs the development and progress
of the material world, and that it applies with equal force to man's
nature, and to his progress as a member of the moral, social,
industrial, and political world.

       *       *       *       *       *


=Leckie, A.S.= (Editor, The Joliet Herald, Joliet, Ill.)

We may oppose or improve human legislative enactments, but not natural
laws. Socialism, in its logical perfection, would attempt this.

The species improves and advances only through the struggle for
existence (or preferment). The law of the survival or supremacy of the
fittest is immutable in natural conditions. Remove from the petted
squirrels the necessity of providing their winter's food, and they
become unable to do so when the necessity again arises.

Ambition in competition, carried if you will, to the extreme of
cupidity and greed, are instincts as natural as that of
self-preservation.

Without the incentive of reward in preferment, power or wealth, we
should have no progress. Any enforced leveling of talent or ability
would curb and eventually stop human advancement.

Possibly we are advancing too fast; the advance of Socialism may be a
working of the natural law of compensation, destined to put a brake
upon the wheels of a too rapid progress.

       *       *       *       *       *


=Field, Walter Taylor.= (Author.)

I am opposed to such Socialism as emphasizes "class-consciousness" and
the entire abolition of private property. True Socialism should make
absolutely no distinction between classes, but should hold mankind as
a common brotherhood. I am opposed to the entire abolition of private
property as removing one of the strongest incentives to labor and
progress. We need social reform badly enough, and a check upon
inheritances and large accumulations of private property, but I
believe the remedy for most of our social evils lies in encouraging
the wage-earners to become small farmers and small artisans and in
protecting them by stringent legislation against the encroachments of
large business.

I am heartily in sympathy with the spirit of Socialism, but not with
its methods.

       *       *       *       *       *


=Barstow, George Eames.= (Business man.)

I am opposed to Socialism, first, because the All-Wise One in His
inscrutable wisdom in arranging for His people for occupying the
promised land, provided that every man should go and take up the land
alloted to him.

Second: The Creator knew what would best contribute to the social and
economic order of humanity in all time to come.

Third: Socialism means a community of property. I am opposed to such a
social and economic order, believing same to be against the public
welfare. Society has now too many drones, lazy and idle from choice.
Such class would be largely increased under Socialism. The subject's
agitation reveals such product.

Fourth: What is needed in these days is an increase of social justice,
not social injustice.

Fifth: A man should enjoy life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness,
and can only do this as he is at liberty, under wise laws, to exercise
his full capacity for himself; leaving to himself the right to
contribute to others as he may choose.

Sixth: There are some vital questions to be solved for the betterment
of the people at large, concerning social, economic and industrial
order; but, their best solution will not be found in Socialism. Many
noble and patriotic men and women are devoting money and life to these
ends, and will in due time accomplish, through wise laws, the purposes
for which they strive and which will be for the healing and uplifting
of the peoples of the earth.

       *       *       *       *       *


=Lee, Elmer.= (Physician, Author, Inventor, Lecturer and Editor.)

Life is experimental and whatever man wishes to try in the hope of
bettering his condition will neither hurt him in the long run, and
probably not better him.

Each new generation of men is largely unmindful of the experiments of
men in the past, and feels that it has a solution for human trial, and
disappointment, only to find when it is put to the test that, after
all, it will not accomplish what was expected from it.

Man banded together for a common interest, will not go far before he
meets reverse and disappointment; he will fall out with his associate
and quarrel with him; differences will arise which will lead to
dissatisfaction and dissolution of the plan.

Man is primarily selfish and imaginative, and seeks to operate
independently and erect for himself, his family and his affairs. Man
has so much power and invention that he will not long consent to
remain within any set limitation; he will break out and will prefer to
fight his own battle.

Anything like common interest and division of labor, under Socialism
or whatever name, will become unsatisfactory, if not to the generation
which starts it, certainly to its children.

Any system will suffice, were man always in health, intelligent in the
selection of food and in the care of his body. Were man willing and
able to practice self-control, to avoid self-debasing habits, to
abstain from tobacco, liquor, drugs and venery, it would not much
matter what form of government prevailed.

Social form is less important than individual conduct. It will always
be a struggle for man to survive the perils of life, such as
temptation, indulgence, weakness, accident and disease. The test is
personal and continuous, and cannot be shifted to the shoulder of
society.

       *       *       *       *       *


=Brownscombe, Jennie.= (Artist.)

I believe in a more rigid enforcement of our existing laws. They are a
precious heritage from our forefathers; a resumé of the wisdom of the
ages. Where time and altered conditions have made it desirable to
amend them, they should be amended by the wisest and purest statesmen
of our land, guided by the trend of public thought.

I believe that the great need of this time and of all times, is not
Socialism, better laws or absence of law, but capable, industrious and
honest men and women, who strive to abide by and enforce the Golden
Rule in all matters of character and conduct. "Our duties are of more
consequence to us than are our rights."

       *       *       *       *       *


=Lightner, Ezra Wilberforce.= (Journalist)

Some of the most profound of thinkers, some of the grandest of men and
women, have written in regard to Socialism; some on the one side and
some on the other. If in the mind of the majority of the most earnest
and thoughtful and reasoning men and women the majority shall one day
say that what is called Socialism is a stride in the process of slow
evolution which has brought us to the measure of civilization now
recognized, then whether or not we are yet living when that time
comes, we must accept that condition as one of the processes of
evolution and try the experiment.

I don't believe that at this time anybody can say clearly whether he
or she is a Socialist except in vague theory. There are too many bases
for doubt, as there are in regard to the finality of the political
systems in active operation today. One thing that can't be doubted is
that from the date of the Republic of Plato, the Utopia of Moore, the
writing of Jean Jacques Rousseau, the "Voyage of Icaria" of Etienne
Capet, the essays of Proudhon, St. Simon, Fourier, "Das Kapital" of
Karl Marx, the tremendous labor of Liebknecht, Bebel, Lassalle,
Singer, William Morris, the English artist, poet and philosopher, John
Ruskin, and a host of others, the increase in numbers of the
supporters of the Socialist ideal has been one of the most remarkable
of economical evangels.

Yet with all this I think that a long process of educational work
would be necessary to prepare mankind for the experiment, if it be
possible to make it a success. William Morris, before he had declared
outright for Socialism, wrote his "Earthly Paradise:"

    "Dreamer of dreams, born out of my due time.
    Why should I strive to set the crooked straight?"

Every thoughtful person recognizes the crooked, even though he may
himself be a crook: and even many of the crooks, and certainly all the
rest of us, desire with our might to make the crooked straight and to
have an "Earthly Paradise," and to hope that "At last, far off, some
good will come to all." We are groping, and to grope earnestly and
vigorously is to find. We shall find; we must find; or chaos will come
again. It must not be the invention of mere dreamers, however. In this
age it is the practical business man who builds for permanency.

       *       *       *       *       *


=Cutler, James Elbert.= (University Professor.)

I am opposed to Socialism as a method or system because of the
impracticability of any particular program thus far formulated by
Socialists. In the formulation of a Socialist program of action some
important principle of social progress is invariably either wholly
disregarded or treated superficially by general statements which lack
point and application. The inability of the Socialists to agree among
themselves as regards a program or plan of action plainly indicates
the limitations under which Socialism labors in this respect. (See
also "Why I am in Favor of Socialism.")

       *       *       *       *       *


=Leveroni, Frank.= (Counsellor at Law.)

I am opposed to Socialism because--

First: It is pure theory.

Second: It is impractical.

Third: It leads to nowhere.

Fourth: It tends to destroy and it does not supply anything in the
place of that which it destroys.

Fifth: It is opposed to Christianity and to Christian marriage and to
settled economic theory.

Sixth: Its theory of distribution of property is fallacious as it
overlooks human nature, it takes away the initiative in man, it
compels the community to provide for the laggard and drone.

Seventh: It aims to destroy the family which is the center of
civilization, it aims to place the education and training of children
directly in the care of the State, which would be detrimental to the
home life and love that ought to exist between parent and child.

       *       *       *       *       *


=Anderson, Rasmus Bjorn.= (Editor, College Professor and Translator.)

I am opposed to Socialism on account of its attitude to Christianity.
Its attitude to Christianity manifests itself in the fact that it is
not only a political party, but also a theory or philosophy of life.
Its principles and aims are wholly materialistic. It makes earthly
happiness the main purpose and highest ideal to be attained.

I have in mind Socialism as taught by its great promotor, Karl Marx.

Socialism refuses to consider anything beyond the grave It deals
exclusively with things pertaining to this life. It refuses to answer,
nay, it insists that it is not necessary to answer the great question
to every soul: If a man dies, shall he still live? It says we do not
know and it is not worth while investigating. Denying all connection
between morals and religion, it builds its moral life on a weaker
foundation than that built on Christianity. Socialism is selfish.

       *       *       *       *       *


=Ferguson, Charles.= (Author, Editorial Staff, New York American.)

I am not in favor of Socialism because Socialism is a state of mind in
which men are absorbed in the problem of the division of goods. The
true and wholesome preoccupation of mankind should be the creation of
goods. It is of course important to divide right, but the right
division cannot possibly be worked out until the problem is envisaged
from the engineering point of view. The tools must belong to those who
can use them. And the genius of our redemption requires that all
wealth shall be made fecund or reproductive--that there shall no
longer be any dead wealth--that there shall be nothing but capital and
tools.

       *       *       *       *       *


=Baxter, James Phinney.= (Author and Ex-Mayor of Portland, Me.)

There is an unchristian Socialism which embodies the spirit of an
utterance all too familiar: "Do to thy neighbor as he does unto you."
It is impatient and intolerant of restraint, and, ignoring individual
freedom, would resort to force to compel men to obey its arbitrary
commands; indeed, it would destroy the fabric of society in the vain
hope of rebuilding a perfect structure upon its ruins. What this
spirit would do for the world may be read in the pages of history. To
achieve its ends, it would employ cruel agencies, and the structure it
would rear would partake of its own imperfections, for the
unchangeable law is, men are known by their works.

May God deliver us from this kind of Socialism, and, in His good time,
establish that, the beauty of which He sent Christ to reveal to men.
(See also "Why I am in Favor of Socialism.")

       *       *       *       *       *


=Emerson, Samuel Franklin.= (College Professor.)

I am opposed to Socialism because it is a mechanical reconstruction of
society, instead of an organic development.

Because it is an economic readjustment of society instead of morals.

Because it is based upon the essential antagonism of social classes
instead of essential co-operation.

Because it is a passing reaction against the present transitional
system of industry.

Because it fails to recognize the importance of the individual in all
social movements.

Because it would result in a dead social uniformity, instead of a rich
social variety.

Because its ideal is in reality drawn from the mediaeval and
superseded social past, instead of evaluating the forces of the
present.

Because it is saturated with a false and vicious economic philosophy.

Because it misconceives the social function of war, national rivalry
and industrial conflict in the social economy.

Because it fails to evaluate the spiritual forces of society.

       *       *       *       *       *


=Ellis, George Washington.= (Lawyer and Writer.)

In so far as Socialistic theory is concerned, beginning in Plato's
"Republic," reasserted in Sir Thomas Moore's "Utopia," embraced in
the latter part of the eighteenth century in Europe by Fourier,
Baboeuf, Saint Simon and Cabet, and later in the United States by
Greeley, Dana and Hawthorne, I regard as important contributions to
literature, whose chief value is inspirational rather than practical.
These theories involve such complete reconstruction and reorganization
of society that their attainment are placed far into the indefinite
future, yet their value as social and intellectual ideals serve a very
useful purpose in human progress.

I accept in part what is called Christian Socialism in so far as it
desires to bring more and more the Christ-spirit to bear in the
commercial and business world, but I am opposed to the substitution of
co-operation for competition in the present state of human
development. Co-operation may be all right when society has slowly
developed by evolution up to the point where competition is not needed
to keep economic and social conditions on a natural and normal basis,
but under present conditions it leads to economic monopoly and social
poverty, as a few selfish and commanding industrial spirits get
control of the whole plan of co-operation to the detriment of the
great masses. To prevent this situation competition is the greatest
natural check on monopoly and one of the best protections of the
people. The advocates of this phase of Socialism I think are correct
in their contention that Socialistic schemes will not solve the labor
problems without that inner development through education and applied
Christianity, yet I submit that they are in error when they insist
that the powers of the government should not be invoked except to
remove hostile legislation.

I heartily concur in Professional Socialism, called by Professor Ely,
Socialism of the Chair. It repudiates the doctrine of laisser-faire,
and in the study of political economy adopts the historical method. It
not only repudiates the laisser-faire principle, but it demands the
aid of the State to bring about a better distribution of the products
of labor and capital. It especially desires that the laborer should
have a larger share in the products of his toil, and helps the
solution of the labor problems through the assistance of the
government in factory acts, sanitary measures, public parks,
savings-banks, shortening of the hours of labor, and other similar
measures designed to elevate the laboring people. Such a course I
think is more than justified by the present economic and social
conditions in the United States. The use of machinery has enormously
increased the productive capacity of the laborer for his employer, but
his wages have not increased in proportion as they should. Invention
and machinery have multiplied many times the power of labor, but
capital takes practically all of the product, while the lot of labor
is little better than in the hand-made era. By this I do not mean to
even imply that higher wages would solve the labor problem, and while
it would help some, I wish here little more than to call attention to
this abnormal phase of the economic situations in the more modern
States.

I am opposed to what is known as the Socialism of today which had its
beginning in Frederick Engels and Karl Marx during the last century
and which is now established in both Europe and America, and whose
propaganda has tended to meet with favor and increasing acceptance
during recent years. The central fact of this school is that the means
of production and distribution should be owned by the community and
administered by it. Speaking of Socialism, John Stuart Mill said:

"What is characteristic of Socialism is the joint ownership by all the
members of the community of the instruments and means of production;
which carries with it the consequence that the division of the produce
among the body of owners must be a public act performed according to
rules laid down by the community."

In an address by J.W. MacKail, Socialism is defined as having two
principal divisions, economic and moral; and he sums them up thus:

"On the economic side, its central idea is the communization, the
placing in the hands of the community, under the common control and
for the common good, of the wealth which the community has inherited
or created, and of the machinery for preserving and increasing that
wealth."

"On its moral side, its central idea is the brotherhood of mankind,
and the unimpeded exercise by all of the highest functions and
faculties of which their nature is capable."

The moral side of Socialism as expressed by MacKail is sound and
should be more generally adopted by all enlightened peoples, for it is
essentially Christian in its nature and influence. But, I cannot
bring myself to accept, under my present information and experience,
the economic side of Socialism as defined by either MacKail or Mill.
My reasons for its rejection are many, but I will only give one or two
of the most important.

In the first place, I think that this school of social propagandists
have located what they call the social disease in the wrong portion of
the social body, and thus are offering the wrong remedy. The idea of
the ownership of the means of production and distribution carries with
it too largely the implication that poverty is the chief, if not the
principal, cause of all our social and economic ills. I think this is
a mistake, and too much emphasis is thus placed on this phase of our
social troubles. As a matter of fact, society suffers quite as much,
if not more, from ignorance, crime, intemperance, vice, immorality,
etc. This is more than confirmed by the students of sociology. And
inasmuch as this is the case, the crux of our social problems is much
more than economic, and any social program which therefore, is purely
economic will hardly meet our social requirements. No doubt poverty is
a great source of social misery, but the greatest social wrongs are
not confined to the very poor. More money per capita will doubtless
register some beneficial effects in most of the other departments of
society, and this is likewise true of more per capita intelligence,
morality, practical Christianity, culture, etc. My opinion is that
these social evils can only be removed finally by the development of
the individual on the one hand and society at large on the other,
through the intellectual, moral, religious and economic forces of
society. All the social forces, in the largest sense, must change and
develop human nature, in culture and civilization, and I cannot
believe that the mechanical change of private ownership to community
ownership of the means of production and distribution, would be
sufficient to cure the ills of society or put them on the road to
quicker cure, than they are at present.

Moreover, there is danger in the adoption of Socialism in the present
state of individual and societary development. In the United States
the rise and development of American industry discloses the fact that
in most all the lines of business, capital has been organized and so
concentrated as not only to crush out competition, but to create such
a monopoly as to enable the stockholders and directors to fix such
prices to consumers as the big corporations and trusts deem advisable
from time to time, not in accord with the laws of supply and demand or
the cost of production, but in accord with their desire and ability to
command the tribute of the consuming public. The representatives of
these large interests, themselves, have combined and through liberal
contributions and the influence of their industrial and economic
importance have built up a system of political bosses, in complete
control of the two dominant old parties, and both the bosses and the
interests have united to pervert the local and national governments in
the United States from their true functions in the interests of the
people to advance and promote the welfare of special interests to the
neglect and detriment of the great majority. And thus a few leaders in
American industry have secured possession of the great natural
resources of the country, have obtained a monopoly of the business
opportunities of the great American market, and have utilized the
power of the governments to protect their unfair and unjust
advantages, in the freest and greatest democracy of the world. The
contest to overthrow this sinister and selfish government of the few
is exceedingly difficult, because of the minor and supposed divergent
and individual interests, social and political divisions of class and
party prejudice, and a general intellectual inability of the mass to
fully grasp the importance of the problems involved, so essential to
that united action on the part of the people, necessary to meet the
situation. The people now have the means at their command to have the
government administered in their interests and to control those
industrial concerns which have proved a menace to the general welfare,
but they must be educated as to how to use them. And to place the
means of production and distribution into the hands of the community,
in the present development of society, is simply to make it easier for
the few to exploit the many, and it is especially dangerous because
the leaders would have sufficient numbers in their employ and
administration to make it next to impossible to dislodge one set when
once in power, without a resort to arms and revolution.

The example of the Federal office-holders in the great majority in
voting and using their influence to protect their individual
positions, without regard to the larger interest of the public, is
such as to make all patriotic citizens acquainted with the facts wish
and desire that their numbers be not increased to any such extent as
would be the case in the community ownership of industry and business.
The history of American large cities, shows for the most part, that
these urban governments are controlled and administered by one set of
selfish political leaders after another, whose power is predicated
upon party machinery, held together mainly by party patronage,
favoritism and public graft. And thus to put industry and business
under the administration of the government is to more than multiply
the dangers to the public of those industrial and political leaders,
who have made representative government in the United States little
more than a mere form.

Economic Socialism would not only place too large a machine at the
disposal of political leaders to be used against the people, but it
would stifle initiation and tend too much to hold society in a static
condition. Under individual ownership of industry and business, under
the laws of legitimate competition, initiation is encouraged by
offering increasing rewards to those who adopt new methods and invent
new things to advance human welfare by lightening the burdens of life
and labor. The spirit of rivalry and competition maintains a constant
and steady demand for the best that can be produced for the people in
all lines of industry and business, which is among the strongest
incentives to new thought and invention. Man is naturally a
conservative being and without some stimulant will be content with
conditions as they came down to him from the past. It is true that in
spite of economic incentives there will appear now and then an
individual who is inspired by higher motives for the advancement of
the race, but the great masses of the people still require the power
and pleasure of possession, individual ownership, and the more
material rewards of industry and business. And so it appears to me
that Socialism would tend to bring society to a stagnant condition,
arrest human progress most seriously, and discourage in the future
those human benefactors, who, in the past have blazed the way for the
marvelous development and advancement of modern society.

Finally, after waiving many other objections to Socialism, it might be
well to observe that in the present state of society, if we were to
inaugurate the industrial Socialistic regime, we would have still
with us all the great social problems to be solved, perhaps in
different form, with some additional ones with entirely new features
and surrounded with new conditions. To my mind the different social
problems constitute the problem of civilization and through the coming
ages must be worked out together. All devices and schemes which do not
include the individual development and social progress at large are so
much wasted efforts that might be better spent. The final and ultimate
solution of all human problems is necessarily educational and will
have the best results if society is permitted to evolve in its natural
and normal way. All the uplifting forces of society must be utilized
to develop the social wants and economic demands of the masses,
through increased social and industrial opportunities. The people must
be brought into contact with an increasing variety of economic and
social phenomena, carrying with the process an ever growing demand for
the consumption of the best there is in life and mind. And until the
perfection of human nature, every age will have its problems and its
vices, in spite of what we think and do.

       *       *       *       *       *


=Allen, John Robert.= (University Professor, Minister and Author.)

I am opposed to Socialism because I believe it will have an injurious
effect upon the development of individual power and character; since
it will withdraw the stimulus to achievement by destroying its
rewards, and since it will weaken the attractiveness of virtue by
trying to destroy the pains that follow vice. I do not believe that
Socialism will develop great individuals like the present conditions
even, unjust as many things now are.

I am opposed to Socialism on the other hand because I believe it will
be deleterious to society as a whole, because it will eliminate the
entrepreneur at the top, and I can conceive of no way whereby at the
bottom of the social ladder it can have the disgusting and unpleasant
work done, which, however, must be done for the well-being of the
race.

I am for "applied Christianity," which in common with Socialism denies
the right to use property merely for personal aggrandizement and
pleasure.

       *       *       *       *       *


=Giering, Eugene T.= (Editor, The Wilkesbarre, Pa., Record.)

I am opposed to Socialism because I believe the discontent which it
represents can be very appreciably lessened, if not altogether
removed, by other means that have not yet been given sufficient trial.
Socialism appears to be striving after something unattainable under
such a form of government as we deem to be the safest and best. It
cannot be made to work out satisfactorily until human nature has
changed, and we are not yet near the millennium. Theoretically it is
appealing. Practically it is hampered by limitations that suggest
economic destruction, both of that which is good and of that which is
bad. We are now in the midst of an evolution. The higher moral
standards now in the process of establishment should suffice.

       *       *       *       *       *


        "_Why I Am in Favor of Socialism_" _is a publication
        similar to this, and the price is also the same:
        paper, fifty cents; cloth, seventy-five cents. It
        will be sent to any address on receipt of the above
        mentioned price. Address: Edward Silvin, Sacramento,
        California._


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    |          Jean Jacques Rousseau                            |
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