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Title: Newer ideals of peace
Author: Addams, Jane
Language: English
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*** Start of this LibraryBlog Digital Book "Newer ideals of peace" ***

                         THE CITIZEN’S LIBRARY


                       ECONOMICS, POLITICS, AND

                               EDITED BY

                     RICHARD T. ELY, PH.D., LL.D.

                        UNIVERSITY OF WISCONSIN

                            NEWER IDEALS OF


  _12mo._      _Half Leather_      _$1.25 net, each_
















 PH.D., LL.D.










                         THE MACMILLAN COMPANY
                          64-66 FIFTH AVENUE
                               NEW YORK

                        _THE CITIZEN’S LIBRARY_

                         Newer Ideals of Peace

                              JANE ADDAMS

                       AND SOCIAL ETHICS,” ETC.

                               New York
                         THE MACMILLAN COMPANY
                     LONDON: MACMILLAN & CO., LTD.
                         _All rights reserved_

                           Copyrighted 1906
                       By THE MACMILLAN COMPANY

             Set up, electrotyped. Printed December, 1906

                         THE MASON-HENRY PRESS
                          SYRACUSE, NEW YORK

                             its Neighbors

                            PREFATORY NOTE

These studies in the gradual development of the moral substitutes for
war have been made in the industrial quarter of a cosmopolitan city
where the morality exhibits marked social and international aspects.

Parts of two chapters have been published before in the form of
addresses, and two others as articles in the _North American Review_
and in the _American Journal of Sociology_. All of them however are
held together by a conviction that has been maturing through many years.





  Newer ideals of peace are dynamic; if made operative
  will do away with war as a natural process                           3

  Of the older ideals the appeal to pity is dogmatic                   4

  The appeal to the sense of prudence also dogmatic
  and at this moment seems impotent                                    5

  Outlook for universal peace by international arbitration             6

  Primitive and profound impulses operate against impulse
  to war                                                               8

  Appeal to pity and prudence unnecessary if the cosmopolitan
  interest in human affairs is utilized                                9

  Social morality originates in social affections                     11

  Emotion determines social relations in the poorer
  quarters of a cosmopolitan city                                     13

  New immigrants develop phenomenal powers of association             14

  Their ideal of government includes kindliness as
  well as protection                                                  15

  Crowded city quarters the focal point of governmental
  progress                                                            16

  Life at these points must shape itself with reference
  to the demands of social justice                                    17

  Simple foundations laid there for an international
  order                                                               18

  Ideals formed “in the depth of anonymous life” make
  for realization                                                     20

  Impulses toward compassionate conduct imperative                    21

  The internationalism of good will foreseen by the
  philosopher                                                         23

  A quickening concern for human welfare; international
  aspects illustrated by world-wide efforts
  to eradicate tuberculosis, first signs of the substitution
  of nurture for warfare                                              25

  This substitution will be a natural process                         26

  Our very hope for it, a surrender to the ideals of the
  humble                                                              27

  Accounting must be taken between survivals of militarism
  and manifestations of newer humanitarianism                         28

  Tendency to idealization marked eighteenth-century
  humanitarian                                                        29

  Newer ideals of this century sustained only by
  knowledge and companionship                                         30



  American Republic founded under the influence of
  doctrinaire eighteenth-century ideals. Failure in
  municipal administration largely due to their inadequacy            31

  Modern substitutes of the evolutionary conception of
  progress for eighteenth-century idealism                            32

  Failure of adjustment between the old form of government
  and present condition results in reversion
  to military and legal type                                          34

  National governmental machinery provides no vehicle
  for organized expression of popular will                            35

  Historic governments dependent upon force of arms                   36

  Founders placed too exclusive a value upon the
  principles defended by the War of the Revolution.
  Example of the overestimation of the
  spoils of war                                                       37

  Immigration problem an illustration of the failure
  to treat our growing Republic in a spirit of progressive
  and developing democracy                                            39

  Present immigration due partly to the philosophic
  dogmas of the eighteenth-century. Theory of
  naturalization still rests upon those dogmas                        40

  No adequate formulization of newer philosophy although
  immigration situation has become much
  more industrial than political                                      42

  Exploitation of immigrants carried on under guise of
  preparation for citizenship                                         46

  Failure to develop a government fitted to varied
  peoples                                                             48

  Attitude of contempt for immigrant survival of a
  spirit of conqueror toward inferior people                          49

  Contempt reflected by children toward immigrant
  parents                                                             50

  Universal franchise implies a recognition of social
  needs and ideals                                                    52

  Difficulties of administering repressive government in
  a democracy                                                         54

  The attempt inevitably develops the corrupt politician
  as a friend of the vicious                                          56

  He must be followed by successive reformers who
  represent the righteous and protect tax interests                   57

  Illustration from the point of view of humble people                58

  Dramatic see-saw must continue until we attain the
  ideals of an evolutionary democracy                                 59

  Community divided into repressive and repressed,
  representing conqueror and conquered                                60



  Democratic governments must reckon with the unsuccessful
  if only because they represent majority
  of citizens                                                         62

  To demand protection from unsuccessful is to fail
  in self-government                                                  63

  Study of immigrants might develop result in revived
  enthusiasm for human possibilities reacting upon
  ideals of government                                                64

  Social resources of immigrants wasted through want
  of recognition of old habits                                        65

  Illustrated by South Italians’ ability to combine community
  life with agricultural occupations, which
  is disregarded                                                      66

  Anglo-Saxon distrust of experiments with land tenure
  and taxation illustrated by Doukhobors                              67

  Immigrant’s contribution to city life                               69

  Military ideals blind statesmen to connection between
  social life and government                                          70

  Corrupt politician who sees the connection often first
  friend of immigrant                                                 71

  Real statesmen would work out scheme of naturalization
  founded upon social needs                                           72

  Intelligent co-operation of immigrants necessary for
  advancing social legislation                                        74

  Daily experience of immigrants not to be ignored as
  basis of patriotism                                                 75

  Lack of cosmopolitan standard widens gulf between
  immigrant parents and children                                      78

  Government is developing most rapidly in its relation
  to the young criminal and to the poor and dependent                 79

  Denver Juvenile Court is significant in its attitude
  toward repressive government                                        81

  Good education in reform schools indicates compunction
  on the part of the State                                            83

  Government functions extended to care of defectives
  and dependents                                                      84

  Ignores normal needs of every citizen                               85

  Socialists would meet the needs of workingmen by
  socialized legislation, but refuse to deal with the
  present state                                                       86

  At present radical changes must come from forces
  outside life of the people                                          87

  Imperial governments are now concerning themselves
  with primitive essential needs of workingmen                        88

  Republics restrict functions of the government                      90

  Is America, in clinging to eighteenth-century traditions,
  losing its belief in the average man?                               91



  American cities slow to consider immigration in relation
  to industry                                                         93

  Workingmen alone must regard them in relation
  to industrial situations                                            94

  Assimilation of immigrants by workingman due both
  to economic pressure and to idealism                                95

  Illustrated by Stock Yards Strike                                   96

  And by the strike in Anthracite Coal Fields                         97

  In the latter aroused public opinion forced Federal
  Government to deal with industrial conditions                       98

  In complicated modern society not always easy to
  see where social order lies                                        101

  Chicago Stock Yards Strike illustrates such a situation            104

  Government should have gained the enthusiasm immigrants
  gave to union                                                      107

  War element an essential part of strike                            109

  Appeal to loyalty the nearest approach to a moral
  appeal                                                             110

  Reluctance of United States Government to recognize
  matters of industry as germane to government                       112

  Resulting neglect of civic duty                                    113

  The workingman’s attitude toward war as expressed
  by his international organization                                  114

  Commerce the modern representative of conquest                     116

  Standard of life should be the test of a nation’s prosperity,
  so recognized by workingmen                                        117

  Social amelioration undertaken by those in closest
  contact with social maladjustments                                 118

  Present difficulties in social reform will continue
  until class interests are subordinated to a broader
  conception of social progress                                      119

  If self-government were inaugurated by advanced
  thinkers now, they would make research into
  early forms of industrial governments                              121

  Autocratic European governments have recognized
  workingman’s need of protection                                    122

  Has Democracy a right to refuse this protection?                   123



  Industrial changes which belong to the community
  as a whole have unfortunately divided it into
  two camps                                                          124

  These are typified by Employers’ Associations and
  Trades Unions each developing a group morality                     125

  Trade Unions at present illustrate the eternal compromise
  between the inner concept and the outer
  act                                                                127

  Present moment one of crisis in Trades Union development           128

  Newly organized unions in war state of development
  responsible for serious mistakes                                   130

  Tacit admission that a strike is war made during the
  Teamsters’ Strike in Chicago in 1905                               132

  Temporary loss of belief in industrial arbitration                 134

  Teamsters’ Strike not adjudicated in court threw the
  entire city into state of warfare                                  136

  New organizations of employers exhibit traits
  of militant youth                                                  138

  Public although powerless to intervene, sees grave
  social consequences                                                140

  Division of community into classes; increase of race
  animosity; spirit of materialism                                   141

  Class prejudice created among children still another
  social consequence                                                 142

  Disastrous effect of prolonged warfare upon the
  labor movement itself                                              144

  Real effort of trades unions at present is for recognition
  of the principle of collective bargaining                          145

  Trades unions are forced to correct industrial ills
  inherent in the factory system itself                              146

  Illustration from limitation of output                             147

  Illustration from attitude towards improved machinery              148

  Disregard of the machine as a social product makes
  for group morality on the part of the owner and
  employees                                                          149

  Contempt resulting from group morality justifies
  method of warfare                                                  150



  Deficiency in protective legislation                               151

  Contempt for immigrant because of his economic
  standing                                                           152

  National indifference to condition of working children             154

  Temptation to use child labor peculiar to this industrial
  epoch                                                              155

  Our sensibilities deadened by familiarity                          155

  Protection of the young the concern of government                  156

  Effect of premature labor on the child                             158

  Effect of child labor on the family                                161

  Effect on the industrial product                                   162

  Effect on civilization                                             163

  Intelligent labor the most valuable asset of our industrial
  prosperity                                                         164

  Results of England’s foreign commercial policy                     165

  Lack of consistency in the relation of the state to the
  child in the United States                                         166

  Failure of public school system to connect with
  present industrial development                                     167

  Correlation of new education with industrial situation             168

  Child labor legislation will secure to child its proper
  play period                                                        169

  Power of association developed through play                        171

  Co-operation, not coercion, the ideal factory discipline           173

  Actual factory system divorced from the instinct of
  workmanship                                                        174

  The activity of youth should be valuable assets for
  citizenship as well as industry                                    175

  Military survivals in city government destroys this
  asset                                                              176

  The gang a training school for group morality                      177

  Concern of modern government in the development
  of its citizens                                                    179



  The modern city founded upon military ideals                       180

  Early franchise justly given to grown men on basis
  of military duty                                                   181

  This early test no longer fitted to the modern city
  whose problems are internal                                        182

  Women’s experience in household details valuable to
  civic housekeeping. No method of making it
  available                                                          184

  Municipal suffrage to be regarded not as a right or a
  privilege, but as a piece of governmental machinery                187

  Franchise not only valuable as exercised by educated
  women, matters to be decided upon too basic
  to be influenced by modern education                               188

  Census of 1900 shows greater increase of workingwomen
  than of men and increasing youth of
  working women                                                      189

  Concerted action of women necessary to bring about
  industrial protection                                              191

  Women can control surroundings of their work only
  by means of franchise                                              192

  Unfair to put task of industrial protection upon
  women’s trades unions as it often confuses issues                  194

  Closer connection between industry and government
  would result if working women were enfranchised                    196

  Failure to educate women to industrial life disastrous
  to industry itself and to women as employers                       197

  Situation must be viewed in relation to recent immigration
  and in connection with present stage
  of factory system in America                                       199

                         NEWER IDEALS OF PEACE

                               CHAPTER I


The following pages present the claims of the newer, more aggressive
ideals of peace, as over against the older dovelike ideal. These newer
ideals are active and dynamic, and it is believed that if their forces
were made really operative upon society, they would, in the end, quite
as a natural process, do away with war. The older ideals have required
fostering and recruiting, and have been held and promulgated on the
basis of a creed. Their propaganda has been carried forward during the
last century in nearly all civilized countries by a small body of men
who have never ceased to cry out against war and its iniquities and who
have preached the doctrines of peace along two great lines. The first
has been the appeal to the higher imaginative pity, as it is found in
the modern, moralized man. This line has been most effectively followed
by two Russians, Count Tolstoy in his earlier writings and Verestchagin
in his paintings. With his relentless power of reducing all life to
personal experience Count Tolstoy drags us through the campaign of
the common soldier in its sordidness and meanness and constant sense
of perplexity. We see nothing of the glories we have associated with
warfare, but learn of it as it appears to the untutored peasant who
goes forth at the mandate of his superior to suffer hunger, cold, and
death for issues which he does not understand, which, indeed, can have
no moral significance to him. Verestchagin covers his canvas with
thousands of wretched wounded and neglected dead, with the waste,
cruelty, and squalor of war, until he forces us to question whether a
moral issue can ever be subserved by such brutal methods.

High and searching as is the preaching of these two great Russians who
hold their art of no account save as it serves moral ends, it is still
the appeal of dogma, and may be reduced to a command to cease from
evil. And when this same line of appeal is presented by less gifted
men, it often results in mere sentimentality, totally unenforced by a
call to righteousness.

The second line followed by the advocates of peace in all countries has
been the appeal to the sense of prudence, and this again has found its
ablest exponent in a Russian subject, the economist and banker, Jean de
Bloch. He sets forth the cost of warfare with pitiless accuracy, and
demonstrates that even the present armed peace is so costly that the
burdens of it threaten social revolution in almost every country in
Europe. Long before the reader comes to the end of de Bloch’s elaborate
computation he is ready to cry out on the inanity of the proposition
that the only way to secure eternal peace is to waste so much valuable
energy and treasure in preparing for war that war becomes impossible.
Certainly no theory could be devised which is more cumbersome, more
roundabout, more extravagant, than the _reductio ad absurdum_ of
the peace-secured-by-the-preparation-for-war theory. This appeal to
prudence was constantly emphasized at the first Hague Conference and
was shortly afterward demonstrated by Great Britain when she went to
war in South Africa, where she was fined one hundred million pounds
and lost ten thousand lives. The fact that Russia also, and the very
Czar who invited the Conference, disregarded the conclusions of the
Hague Tribunal makes this line of appeal at least for the moment seem
impotent to influence empires which command enormous resources and
which lodge the power of expenditure in officials who have nothing to
do with accumulating the treasure they vote to expend.

It would, however, be the height of folly for responsible statesmen
to ignore the sane methods of international discussion and concession
which have been evolved largely as a result of these appeals. The
Interparliamentary Union for International Arbitration and the
Institute of International Law represent the untiring efforts of the
advocates of peace through many years. Nevertheless universal peace,
viewed from the point of the World’s Sovereignty or of the Counsel of
Nations, is discouraging even when stated by the most ardent promoters
of the peace society. Here it is quite possible that the mistake is
being repeated which the old annalists of history made when they
never failed to chronicle the wars and calamities which harassed
their contemporaries, although, while the few indulged in fighting,
the mass of them peacefully prosecuted their daily toil and followed
their own conceptions of kindliness and equity. An English writer[1]
has recently bidden us to look at the actual state of affairs existing
at the present moment. He says, “Universal and permanent peace may be
a vision; but the gradual change whereby war, as a normal state of
international relations, has given place to peace as the normal state,
is no vision, but an actual process of history palpably forwarded in
our own day by the development of international law and of morals,
and voluntary arbitration based thereon.” He insists that it is the
function of international lawyers merely to give coherent expression
to the best principles which the common moral sense of civilized
Governments recognizes; in other words, that international law should
be like primitive law within the nation, a formal expression of custom
resting on the sense of a reciprocal restraint which has been found to
be necessary for the common good.

Assuming that the two lines of appeal--the one to sensibility and the
other to prudence--will persist, and that the international lawyers, in
spite of the fact that they have no court before which to plead and no
executive to enforce their findings, will continue to formulate into
codes the growing moral sense of the nations, the following pages hope
not only to make clear the contention that these forces within society
are so dynamic and vigorous that the impulses to war seem by comparison
cumbersome and mechanical, but also to point out the development of
those newer social forces which it is believed will at last prove a
“sovereign intervention” by extinguishing the possibility of battle at
its very source.

It is difficult to formulate the newer dynamic peace, embodying the
later humanism, as over against the old dogmatic peace. The word
“non-resistance” is misleading, because it is much too feeble and
inadequate. It suggests passivity, the goody-goody attitude of
ineffectiveness. The words “overcoming,” “substituting,” “re-creating,”
“readjusting moral values,” “forming new centres of spiritual energy”
carry much more of the meaning implied. For it is not merely the desire
for a conscience at rest, for a sense of justice no longer outraged,
that would pull us into new paths where there would be no more war nor
preparations for war. There are still more strenuous forces at work
reaching down to impulses and experiences as primitive and profound
as are those of struggle itself. That “ancient kindliness which sat
beside the cradle of the race,” and which is ever ready to assert
itself against ambition and greed and the desire for achievement, is
manifesting itself now with unusual force, and for the first time
presents international aspects.

Moralists agree that it is not so much by the teaching of moral
theorems that virtue is to be promoted as by the direct expression of
social sentiments and by the cultivation of practical habits; that in
the progress of society sentiments and opinions have come first, then
habits of action and lastly moral codes and institutions. Little is
gained by creating the latter prematurely, but much may be accomplished
to the utilization of human interests and affections. The Advocates
of Peace would find the appeal both to Pity and Prudence totally
unnecessary, could they utilize the cosmopolitan interest in human
affairs with the resultant social sympathy that at the present moment
is developing among all the nations of the earth.

By way of illustration, I may be permitted to cite the London showman
who used to exhibit two skulls of Shakespeare--one when he was a youth
and went poaching, another when he was a man and wrote plays. There
was such a striking difference between the roystering boy indulging in
illicit sport and the mature man who peopled the London stage with all
the world, that the showman grew confused and considered two separate
acts of creation less improbable than that such an amazing change
should have taken place. We can easily imagine the gifted youth in the
little group of rustics at Stratford-on-Avon finding no adequate outlet
for his powers save in a series of break-neck adventures. His only
alternative was to sit by the fire with the village cronies, drinking
ale so long as his shillings held out. But if we follow him up to
London, through all the charm and wonder of the stage which represented
his unfolding mind, if we can imagine his delight as he gradually
gained the freedom, not only of that big town, but of the human city
as well, we can easily see that illicit sport could no longer attract
him. To have told the great dramatist the night Hamlet first stepped
upon the boards that it was a wicked thing to poach, to have cautioned
him that he must consider the cost of preserving the forest and of
raising the deer, or to have made an appeal to his pity on behalf of
the wounded creatures, would have been the height of folly, because
totally unnecessary. All desire, almost all memory of those days, had
dropped from him, through his absorption in the great and exciting
drama of life. His effort to understand it, to portray it, had utilized
and drained his every power. It is equally true of our contemporaries,
as it was of the great play-wright, that the attainment of this
all-absorbing passion for multiform life, with the desire to understand
its mysteries and to free its capacities, is gradually displacing the
juvenile propensities to warfare.

From this standpoint the advocates of the newer Ideals of Peace would
have little to do but to insist that the social point of view be kept
paramount, realizing at the same time that the social sentiments are as
blind as the egoistic sentiments and must be enlightened, disciplined
and directed by the fullest knowledge. The modern students of human
morality have told us that primitive man, by the very necessities of
his hard struggle for life, came at last to identify his own existence
with that of his tribe. Tribal life then made room within itself for
the development of that compassion which is the first step towards
sensibility and higher moral sentiment. If we accept this statement
then we must assume that the new social morality, which we so sadly
need, will of necessity have its origin in the social affections--we
must search in the dim borderland between compassion and morality for
the beginnings of that cosmopolitan affection, as it is prematurely

The life of the tribal man inevitably divided into two sets of actions,
which appeared under two different ethical aspects: the relation within
the tribe and the relation with outsiders, the double conception of
morality maintaining itself until now. But the tribal law differed no
more widely from inter-tribal law than our common law does from our
international law. Until society manages to combine the two we shall
make no headway toward the Newer Ideals of Peace.

If we would institute an intelligent search for the social conditions
which make possible this combination we should naturally seek for
them in the poorer quarters of a cosmopolitan city where we have, as
nowhere else, the conditions for breaking into this double development;
for making a fresh start, as it were, toward a synthesis upon a higher
moral line which shall include both. There is every opportunity and
necessity for compassion and kindliness such as the tribe itself
afforded, and there is in addition, because of the many nationalities
which are gathered there from all parts of the world, the opportunity
and necessity for breaking through the tribal bond. Early associations
and affections were not based so much on ties of blood as upon that
necessity for defense against the hostile world outside which made the
life of every man in a tribe valuable to every other man. The fact
of blood was, so to speak, an accident. The moral code grew out of
solidarity of emotion and action essential to the life of all.

In the midst of the modern city which, at moments, seems to stand
only for the triumph of the strongest, the successful exploitation
of the weak, the ruthlessness and hidden crime which follow in the
wake of the struggle for existence on its lowest terms, there come
daily--at least to American cities--accretions of simple people, who
carry in their hearts a desire for mere goodness. They regularly
deplete their scanty livelihood in response to a primitive pity, and,
independent of the religions they have professed, of the wrongs they
have suffered, and of the fixed morality they have been taught, have
an unquenchable desire that charity and simple justice shall regulate
men’s relations. It seems sometimes, to one who knows them, as if they
continually sought for an outlet for more kindliness, and that they are
not only willing and eager to do a favor for a friend, but that their
kindheartedness lies in ambush, as it were, for a chance to incorporate
itself in our larger relations, that they persistently expect that
it shall be given some form of governmental expression. This is
doubtless due partly to the fact that emotional pity and kindness are
always found in greatest degree among the unsuccessful. We are told
that unsuccessful struggle breeds emotion, not strength; that the
hard-pressed races are the emotional races; and that wherever struggle
has long prevailed emotion becomes the dominant force in fixing social
relations. Is it surprising, therefore, that among this huge mass of
the unsuccessful, to be found in certain quarters of the modern city,
we should have the “medium,” in which the first growth of the new
compassion is taking place?

In addition to this compassion always found among the unsuccessful,
emotional sentiment runs high among the newly arrived immigrants
as a result of the emotional experiences of parting from home and
kindred, to which he has been so recently subjected. An unusual mental
alertness and power of perception also results from the upheaval. The
multitudes of immigrants flooding the American cities have many times
sundered social habits cherished through a hundred generations, and
have renounced customs that may be traced to the habits of primitive
man. These old habits and customs have a much more powerful hold than
have mere racial or national ties. In seeking companionship in the new
world, all the immigrants are reduced to the fundamental equalities and
universal necessities of human life itself, and they inevitably develop
the power of association which comes from daily contact with those who
are unlike each other in all save the universal characteristics of man.

When looked at too closely, this nascent morality disappears, and one
can count over only a thousand kindly acts and neighborly offices. But
when meditated upon in the whole, there at once emerge again those vast
and dominant suggestions of a new peace and holiness. It would seem as
if our final help and healing were about to issue forth from broken
human nature itself, out of the pathetic striving of ordinary men, who
make up the common substance of life: from those who have been driven
by economic pressure or governmental oppression out of a score of

These various peoples who are gathered together in the immigrant
quarters of a cosmopolitan city worship goodness for its own value,
and do not associate it with success any more than they associate
success with themselves; they literally “serve God for nought.”
If we would adduce evidence that we are emerging from a period of
industrialism into a period of humanitarianism, it is to such quarters
that we must betake ourselves. These are the places in which it is
easiest to study the newer manifestations of government, in which
personal welfare is considered a legitimate object; for a new history
of government begins with an attempt to make life possible and human
in large cities, in those crowded quarters which exhibit such an
undoubted tendency to barbarism and degeneracy when the better human
qualities are not nourished. Public baths and gymnasiums, parks and
libraries, are provided first for those who are without the security
for bare subsistence, and it does not seem strange to them that it
should be so. Such a community is made up of men who will continue to
dream of Utopian Governments until the democratic government about
them expresses kindliness with protection. Such men will continue to
rely upon neighborly friendliness until organized charity is able
to identify impulsive pity with well-considered relief. They will
naïvely long for an education for their children that will fit them to
earn money until public education shall come to consider industrial
efficiency. As their hopes and dreams are a prophecy of the future
development in city government, in charity, in education, so their
daily lives are a forecast of coming international relations. Our
attention has lately been drawn to the fact that it is logical that
the most vigorous efforts in governmental reform, as well as the most
generous experiments in ministering to social needs, have come from the
larger cities and that it is inevitable that they should be to-day “the
centers of radicalism,” as they have been traditionally the “cradles of

If we once admit the human dynamic character of progress, then it is
easy to understand why the crowded city quarters become focal points of
that progress.

A deeper and more thorough-going unity is required in a community
made up of highly differentiated peoples than in a more settled and
stratified one, and it may be logical that we should find in this
commingling of many peoples a certain balance and concord of opposing
and contending forces; a gravitation toward the universal. Because of
their difference in all external matters, in all of the non-essentials
of life, the people in a cosmopolitan city are forced to found their
community of interests upon the basic and essential likenesses of their
common human nature; for, after all, the things that make men alike
are stronger and more primitive than the things that separate them. It
is natural that this synthesis of the varying nations should be made
first at the points of the greatest congestion, quite as we find that
selfishness is first curbed and social feeling created at the points
where the conflict of individual interests is sharpest. One dares not
grow too certain as to the wells of moral healing which lie under the
surface of the sullen work-driven life which the industrial quarters
of the modern city present. They fascinate us by their mere size and
diversity, as does the city itself; but certain it is, that these
quarters continually confound us by their manifestations of altruism.
It may be that we are surprised simply because we fail to comprehend
that the individual, under such pressure, must shape his life with
some reference to the demands of social justice, not only to avoid
crushing the little folk about him, but in order to save himself from
death by crushing. It is an instance of the irresistible coalescing
of the altruistic and egoistic impulse which is the strength of social
morality. We are often told that men under this pressure of life become
calloused and cynical, whereas anyone who lives with them knows that
they are sentimental and compassionate.

It is possible that we shall be saved from warfare by the “fighting
rabble” itself, by the “quarrelsome mob” turned into kindly citizens
of the world through the pressure of a cosmopolitan neighborhood. It
is not that they are shouting for peace--on the contrary, if they
shout at all, they will continue to shout for war--but that they are
really attaining cosmopolitan relations through daily experience.
They will probably believe for a long time that war is noble and
necessary both to engender and cherish patriotism; and yet all of the
time, below their shouting, they are living in the kingdom of human
kindness. They are laying the simple and inevitable foundations for an
international order as the foundations of tribal and national morality
have already been laid. They are developing the only sort of patriotism
consistent with the intermingling of the nations; for the citizens of a
cosmopolitan quarter find an insuperable difficulty when they attempt
to hem in their conception of patriotism either to the “old country”
or to their adopted one. There arises the hope that when this newer
patriotism becomes large enough, it will overcome arbitrary boundaries
and soak up the notion of nationalism. We may then give up war, because
we shall find it as difficult to make war upon a nation at the other
side of the globe as upon our next-door neighbor.

These humble harbingers of the Newer Ideals of Peace, venturing
themselves upon a larger relationship, are most touching; and while
the success of their efforts can never be guaranteed or spoken of too
confidently, they stir us with a strange hope, as if new vistas of life
were opening before us--vistas not illuminated with the glare of war,
but with a mellowed glow of their own. These paths are seen distinctly
only as we ascend to a more enveloping point of view and obtain a
larger and bulkier sense of the growing sentiment which rejects the old
and negative bonds of discipline and coercion and insists upon vital
and fraternal relationship, subordinating the lower to the higher.
To make this hope valid and intelligible, is indeed the task before
these humble brethren of ours and of those who would help them. They
encourage us to hope for the discovery of a new vital relation--that
of the individual to the race--which may lay the foundation for a new
religious bond adequate to the modern situation; and we almost come
to believe that such a foundation is, in fact, being laid now--not in
speculation, but in action.

That which secured for the early Hebrew shepherd his health, his peace
of mind, and his sense of connection with the Unseen, became the
basis for the most wonderful and widespread religion the world has
ever known. Perhaps, at this moment, we need to find that which will
secure the health, the peace of mind, and the opportunity for normal
occupation and spiritual growth to the humblest industrial worker, as
the foundation for a rational conduct of life adapted to an industrial
and cosmopolitan era.

Even now we only dimly comprehend the strength and irresistible power
of those “universal and imperious ideals which are formed in the
depths of anonymous life,” and which the people insist shall come to
realization, not because they have been tested by logic or history,
but because the mass of men are eager that they should be tried as
a living experience. According to our different methods of viewing
society, we express this newer ideal which is after all so old as to
have been engendered in the tribe itself. He who makes the study of
society a mere corollary of biology, speaks of the “theory of the
unspecialized,” that the simple cell develops much more rapidly when
new tissue is needed than the more highly developed one; he who views
society from the economic standpoint and finds hope only in a changed
industrial order, talks of the “man at the bottom of society,” of the
proletarian who shall eventually come into his own; he who believes
that a wiser and a saner education will cure our social ill, speaks
ever and again of “the wisdom of the little child” and of the necessity
to reveal and explore his capacity; while he who keeps close to the
historic deductions upon which the study of society is chiefly founded,
uses the old religious phrase, “the counsel of imperfection,” and bids
us concern ourselves with “the least of these.”

The French have a phrase _l’imperieuse bonté_ by which they designate
those impulses towards compassionate conduct which will not be denied,
because they are as imperative in their demand for expression as is
the impulse to make music or to soften life by poesy and decoration.
According to this definition, St. Francis was a genius in exactly the
same sense as was Dante or Raphael, and he revealed quite as they did,
possibilities and reaches of the human soul hitherto unsuspected. This
genius for goodness has in the past largely expressed itself through
individuals and groups, but it may be that we are approaching a period
which shall give it collective expression, and shall unite into one
all those private and parochial efforts. It would be no more strange
than was that marvelous coming together of the artists and the people
in the thirteenth century which resulted in the building of the Gothic
cathedrals. We may be waiting for a religious enthusiasm, for a divine
fire to fuse together the partial and feeble efforts at “doing good”
into a transfigured whole which shall take on international proportions
as naturally as the cathedrals towered into unheard-of heights.
The Gothic cathedrals were glorious beyond the dreams of artists,
notwithstanding that they were built by unknown men, or rather by so
many men that it was a matter of indifference to record their names.
Could we compare the present humanitarian efforts to the building of
a spiritual cathedral, it would seem that the gargoyles had been made
first, that the ground is now strewn with efforts to “do good” which
have developed a diabolical capacity for doing harm. But even these
may fall into place. The old cathedral-builders fearlessly portrayed
all of life, its inveterate tendency to deride as well as to bless;
its trickery as well as its beauty. Their art was catholic enough to
portray all, and the cathedral was huge enough to mellow all they
portrayed into a flowing and inspired whole.

At the present moment it requires the philosopher to unify these
spiritual efforts of the common man into the internationalism of good
will, as in the past it was natural that the philosophers, the men
who looked at life as a whole, should have been the first to sigh for
negative peace which they declared would be “eternal.”

Speculative writers, such as Kant, Bentham, and Buckle, long ago
pointed out that the subsidence of war was inevitable as society
progressed. They contended that every stage of human progress is marked
by a further curtailment of brute force, a limitation of the area in
which it is permitted. At the bottom is the small savage community in
a perpetual state of warfare; at the top an orderly society stimulated
and controlled by recognized ideals of social justice. In proportion
as the savage society comes under the dominion of a common moral
consciousness, it moves up, and in proportion as the civilized society
reverts to the use of brute force, it goes down. Reversion to that
brute struggle may at any moment cost the destruction of the painfully
acquired bonds of equity, the ties of mutual principle, which are
wrought with such effort and loosed with such ease. But these earlier
philosophers could not possibly have foreseen the tremendous growth
of industry and commerce with their inevitable cosmopolitanism which
has so recently taken place, nor without knowledge of this could they
possibly have prognosticated the leap forward and the aggressive
character which the concern for human welfare has latterly evinced.
The speculative writers among our contemporaries are naturally the
only ones who formulate this new development, or rather bid us heed
its presence among us. An American philosopher[3] has lately reminded
us of the need to “discover in the social realm the moral equivalent
for war--something heroic that will speak to men as universally as war
has done, and yet will be as compatible with their spiritual natures
as war has proved itself to be incompatible.” It may be true that we
are even now discovering these moral substitutes, although we find
it so difficult to formulate them. Perhaps our very hope that these
substitutes may be discovered has become the custodian of a secret
change that is going on all about us. We care less each day for the
heroism connected with warfare and destruction, and constantly admire
more that which pertains to labor and the nourishing of human life.
The new heroism manifests itself at the present moment in a universal
determination to abolish poverty and disease, a manifestation so
widespread that it may justly be called international.

In illustration of this new determination one immediately thinks of
the international effort to rid the face of the earth of tuberculosis,
in which Germany, Italy, France, England and America are engaged with
such enthusiasm. This movement has its international congresses,
its discoverers and veterans, also its decorations and rewards for
bravery. Its discipline is severe; it requires self-control, endurance,
self-sacrifice and constant watchfulness. Its leaders devote hours to
careful teaching and demonstration, they reclaim acres of bad houses,
and make over the food supply of huge cities. One could instance
the determination to do away with neglected old age, which finds
expression in the Old Age Pension Acts of Germany and Australia, in the
State Savings Banks of Belgium and France, in the enormous number of
Mutual Benefit Societies in England and America. In such undertakings
as these, with their spontaneous and universal manifestations, are
we beginning to see the first timid forward reach of one of those
instinctive movements which carry onward the progressive goodness of
the race.

It is possible that this substitution of nurture for warfare is
analogous to that world-wide effort to put a limit to revenge which
one nation after another essayed as each reached a certain stage of
development. To compel the avenger to accept blood-money in lieu of
the blood of his enemy may have been but a short step in morals,
but at least it destroyed the stimulus to further shedding of blood
which each avenged death had afforded, and it laid the foundations
for court adjudications. The newer humanitarianism is more aggressive
and substitutes emotional stimuli as well as codes of conduct. We may
predict that each nation quite as a natural process will reach the
moment when virile good-will will be substituted for the spirit of
warfare. The process of extinguishing war, however, compared to the
limiting of revenge, will be amazingly accelerated. Owing to the modern
conditions of intercourse, each nation will respond, not to an isolated
impulse, but will be caught in the current of a world-wide process.

We are much too timid and apologetic in regard to this newer
humanitarianism, and do not yet realize what it may do for us in
the way of courage and endurance. We continue to defend war on the
ground that it stirs the nobler blood and the higher imagination of
the nation, and thus frees it from moral stagnation and the bonds
of commercialism. We do not see that this is to borrow our virtues
from a former age and to fail to utilize our own. We find ourselves
in this plight because our modern morality has lacked fibre, because
our humanitarianism has been much too soft and literary, and has given
itself over to unreal and high-sounding phrases. It appears that our
only hope for a genuine adjustment of our morality and courage to our
present social and industrial developments, lies in a patient effort
to work it out by daily experience. We must be willing to surrender
ourselves to those ideals of the humble, which all religious teachers
unite in declaring to be the foundations of a sincere moral life.

The following pages attempt to uncover these newer ideals as we may
daily experience them in the modern city. It may be found that certain
survivals of militarism in municipal government are responsible for
much of the failure in the working of democratic institutions. We may
discover that the survivals of warfare in the labor movement and all
the other dangers of class morality rest largely upon an appeal to
loyalties which are essentially a survival of the virtues of a warlike
period. The more aggressive aspects of the newer humanitarianism may be
traced in the movement for social amelioration and in the protective
legislation which regards the weakest citizen as a valuable asset.
The same spirit which protests against the social waste of child
labor also demands that the traditional activity of woman shall be
utilized in civic life. When the State protects its civic resources,
as it formerly defended its citizens in time of war, industrialism
versus militarism comes to be nurture versus conquest. In order to
trace the displacement of the military ideals of patriotism by those
of a rising concern for human welfare, we must take an accounting
between those forms of governmental machinery and social organization
which are the historic outgrowth of conquest and repression and the
newer forms arising in their midst which embody the social energy
instantly recognizable as contemporaneous with our sincerest moral
life. To follow this newer humanitarianism even through its obvious
manifestations requires at the very outset a definite abandonment of
the eighteenth-century philosophy upon which so much of our present
democratic theory and philanthropic activity depends. It is necessary
from the very beginning to substitute the scientific method of research
for the a priori method of the school men if we would deal with real
people and obtain a sense of participation with our fellows. The
eighteenth-century humanitarian hotly insisted upon “the rights of
man,” but he loved the people without really knowing them, which is
by no means an impossible achievement. “The love of those whom a man
does not know is quite as elemental a sentiment as the love of those
whom a man does know,” but with this difference, that he shuts himself
away from the opportunity of being caught and carried forward in the
stream of their hopes and aspirations, a bigger and warmer current
than he dreams of. The eighteenth-century humanitarian substituted his
enthusiastic concept of “the natural man” for the warmth which this
stream might have given him, and so long as he dealt with political
concepts it answered his purpose. Mazzini made a most significant
step between the eighteenth-century morality and our own by appealing
beyond “the rights of man” to the “duties to humanity;” but although an
impassioned democrat, he was still a moralist of the earlier type. He
realized with them that the appeal to humanity would evoke a finer and
deeper response than that to patriotism or to any sectional morality;
but he shared the eighteenth-century tendency to idealization. It
remained for the moralist of this generation to dissolve “humanity”
into its component parts of men, women, and children and to serve their
humblest needs with an enthusiasm which, so far from being dependent
upon glamour, can be sustained only by daily knowledge and constant

It is no easy task to detect and to follow the tiny paths of progress
which the unencumbered proletarian with nothing but his life and
capacity for labor, is pointing out for us. These paths lead to a type
of government founded upon peace and fellowship as contrasted with
restraint and defence. They can never be discovered with the eyes of
the doctrinaire. From the nature of the case, he who would walk these
paths must walk with the poor and oppressed, and can only approach them
through affection and understanding. The ideals of militarism would
forever shut him out from this new fellowship.


[1] L. T. Hobhouse, Democracy and Reaction, page 197.

[2] The Growth of Cities in the Nineteenth Century. A. T. Weber, page

[3] William James, Professor of Philosophy at Harvard University.

                              CHAPTER II


We are accustomed to say that the machinery of government incorporated
in the charters of the early American cities, as in the Federal and
State constitutions, was worked out by men who were strongly under the
influence of the historians and doctrinaires of the eighteenth century.
The most significant representative of these men is Thomas Jefferson,
and their most telling phrase, the familiar opening that “all men are
created free and equal.”

We are only now beginning to suspect that the present admitted failure
in municipal administration, the so-called “shame of American cities,”
may be largely due to the inadequacy of those eighteenth-century
ideals, with the breakdown of the machinery which they provided. We
recognize the weakness inherent in the historic and doctrinaire method
when it attempts to deal with growing and human institutions. While
these men were strongly under the influence of peace ideals which were
earnestly advocated, both in France and in America, even in the midst
of their revolutionary periods, and while they read the burning poets
and philosophers of their remarkable century, their idealism, after
all, was largely founded upon theories concerning “the natural man,” a
creature of their sympathetic imaginations.

Because their idealism was of the type that is afraid of experience,
these founders refused to look at the difficulties and blunders which
a self-governing people were sure to encounter, and insisted that,
if only the people had freedom, they would walk continuously in the
paths of justice and righteousness. It was inevitable, therefore, that
they should have remained quite untouched by that worldly wisdom which
counsels us to know life as it is, and by that very modern belief that
if the world is ever to go right at all, it must go right in its own

A man of this generation easily discerns the crudeness of “that
eighteenth-century conception of essentially unprogressive human
nature in all the empty dignity of its ‘inborn rights.’”[4] Because
he has grown familiar with a more passionate human creed, with the
modern evolutionary conception of the slowly advancing race whose
rights are not “inalienable,” but hard-won in the tragic processes of
experience, he realizes that these painfully acquired rights must be
carefully cherished or they may at any moment slip out of our hands.
We know better in America than anywhere else that civilization is
not a broad road, with mile-stones indicating how far each nation
has proceeded upon it, but a complex struggle forward, each race and
nation contributing its quota; that the variety and continuity of this
commingled life afford its charm and value. We would not, if we could,
conform them to one standard. But this modern attitude, which may
even now easily subside into negative tolerance, did not exist among
the founders of the Republic, who, with all their fine talk of the
“natural man” and what he would accomplish when he obtained freedom and
equality, did not really trust the people after all.

They timidly took the English law as their prototype, “whose very root
is in the relation between sovereign and subject, between lawmaker
and those whom the law restrains,” which has traditionally concerned
itself more with the guarding of prerogative and with the rights of
property than with the spontaneous life of the people. They serenely
incorporated laws and survivals which registered the successful
struggle of the barons against the aggressions of the sovereign,
although the new country lacked both nobles and kings. Misled by the
name of government, they founded their new government by an involuntary
reference to a lower social state than that which they actually saw
about them. They depended upon penalties, coercion, compulsion,
remnants of military codes, to hold the community together; and it
may be possible to trace much of the maladministration of our cities
to these survivals, to the fact that our early democracy was a moral
romanticism, rather than a well-grounded belief in social capacity and
in the efficiency of the popular will.

It has further happened that as the machinery, groaning under the
pressure of new social demands put upon it, has broken down that from
time to time, we have mended it by giving more power to administrative
officers, because we still distrusted the will of the people. We are
willing to cut off the dislocated part or to tighten the gearing, but
are afraid to substitute a machine of newer invention and greater
capacity. In the hour of danger we revert to the military and legal
type although they become less and less appropriate to city life in
proportion as the city grows more complex, more varied in resource and
more highly organized, and is, therefore, in greater need of a more
diffused local autonomy.

A little examination will easily show that in spite of the fine phrases
of the founders, the Government became an entity by itself away from
the daily life of the people. There was no intention to ignore them
nor to oppress them. But simply because its machinery was so largely
copied from the traditional European Governments which did distrust
the people, the founders failed to provide the vehicle for a vital
and genuinely organized expression of the popular will. The founders
carefully defined what was germane to government and what was quite
outside its realm, whereas the very crux of local self-government, as
has been well said, is involved in the “right to locally determine the
scope of the local government,” in response to the needs as they arise.

They were anxious to keep the reins of government in the hands of the
good and professedly public-spirited, because, having staked so much
upon the people whom they really knew so little, they became eager
that they should appear well, and should not be given enough power to
enable them really to betray their weaknesses. This was done in the
same spirit in which a kind lady permits herself to give a tramp five
cents, believing that, although he may spend it for drink, he cannot
get very drunk upon so small a sum. In spite of a vague desire to
trust the people, the founders meant to fall back in every crisis upon
the old restraints which government has traditionally enlisted in its
behalf, and were, perhaps, inevitably influenced by the experiences of
the Revolutionary War. Having looked to the sword for independence from
oppressive governmental control, they came to regard the sword as an
essential part of the government they had succeeded in establishing.

Regarded from the traditional standpoint, government has always needed
this force of arms. The king, attempting to control the growing
power of the barons as they wrested one privilege after another from
him, was obliged to use it constantly; the barons later successfully
established themselves in power only to be encroached upon by the
growing strength and capital of the merchant class. These are now, in
turn, calling upon the troops and militia for aid, as they are shorn of
a pittance here and there by the rising power of the proletariat. The
imperial, the feudal, the capitalistic forms of society each created
by revolt against oppression from above, preserved their own forms of
government only by carefully guarding their hardly won charters and
constitutions. But in the very countries where these successive social
forms have developed, full of survivals of the past, some beneficent
and some detrimental, governments are becoming modified more rapidly
than in this democracy where we ostensibly threw off traditional
governmental oppression only to encase ourselves in a theory of
virtuous revolt against oppressive government, which in many instances
has proved more binding than the actual oppression itself.

Did the founders cling too hard to that which they had won through
persecution, hardship, and finally through a war of revolution? Did
these doctrines seem so precious to them that they were determined to
tie men up to them as long as possible, and allow them no chance to go
on to new devices of government, lest they slight these that had been
so hardly won? Did they estimate, not too highly, but by too exclusive
a valuation, that which they had secured through the shedding of blood?

Man has ever overestimated the spoils of war, and tended to lose his
sense of proportion in regard to their value. He has ever surrounded
them with a glamour beyond their deserts. This is quite harmless
when the booty is an enemy’s sword hung over a household fire, or a
battered flag decorating a city hall, but when the spoil of war is
an idea which is bound on the forehead of the victor until it cramps
his growth, a theory which he cherishes in his bosom until it grows so
large and near that it afflicts its possessor with a sort of disease of
responsibility for its preservation, it may easily overshadow the very
people for whose cause the warrior issued forth.

Was this overestimation of the founders the cause of our subsequent
failures? or rather did not the fault lie with their successors, and
does it not now rest with us, that we have wrapped our inheritance
in a napkin and refused to add thereto? The founders fearlessly took
the noblest word of their century and incorporated it into a public
document. They ventured their fortunes and the future of their children
upon its truth. We, with the belief of a progressive, developing human
life, apparently accomplish less than they with their insistence upon
rights and liberties which they so vigorously opposed to mediaeval
restrictions and obligations. We are in that first period of conversion
when we hold a creed which forecasts newer and larger possibilities
for governmental development, without in the least understanding its
spiritual implications. Although we have scrupulously extended the
franchise to the varied immigrants among us, we have not yet admitted
them into real political fellowship.

It is easy to demonstrate that we consider our social and political
problems almost wholly in the light of one wise group whom we call
native Americans, legislating for the members of humbler groups whom
we call immigrants. The first embodies the attitude of contempt or, at
best, the patronage of the successful towards those who have as yet
failed to succeed. We may consider the so-called immigration situation
as an illustration of our failure to treat our growing Republic in the
spirit of a progressive and developing democracy.

The statement is made many times that we, as a nation, are rapidly
reaching the limit of our powers of assimilation, that we receive
further masses of immigrants at the risk of blurring those traits
and characteristics which we are pleased to call American, with
its corollary that the national standard of living is in danger
of permanent debasement. Were we not in the midst of a certain
intellectual dearth and apathy, of a skepticism in regard to the ideals
of self-government which have ceased to charm men, we would see that
we are testing our national life by a tradition too provincial and
limited to meet its present motley and cosmopolitan character; that we
lack mental energy, adequate knowledge, and a sense of the youth of
the earth. The constant cry that American institutions are in danger
betrays a spiritual waste, not due to our infidelity to national
ideals, but arising from the fact that we fail to enlarge those ideals
in accord with our faithful experience of life. Our political machinery
devised for quite other conditions, has not been readjusted and adapted
to the successive changes resulting from our development. The clamor
for the town meeting, for the colonial and early century ideals of
government is in itself significant, for we are apt to cling to the
past through a very paucity of ideas.

In a sense the enormous and unprecedented moving about over the face
of the earth on the part of all nations is in itself the result of
philosophic dogma of the eighteenth century--of the creed of individual
liberty. The modern system of industry and commerce presupposes freedom
of occupation, of travel, and residence; even more, it unhappily rests
in a large measure upon the assumption of a body of the unemployed and
the unskilled, ready to be absorbed or dropped according to the demands
of production: but back of that, or certainly preceding its later
developments, lies “the natural rights” doctrine of the eighteenth
century. Even so late as 1892 an official treaty of the United States
referred to the “inalienable rights of man to change his residence
and religion.” This dogma of the schoolmen, dramatized in France and
penetrating under a thousand forms into the most backward European
States, is still operating as an obscure force in sending emigrants
to America and in our receiving them here. But in the second century
of its existence it has become too barren and chilly to induce any
really zealous or beneficent activity on behalf of the immigrants after
they arrive. On the other hand those things which we do believe--the
convictions which might be formulated to the immeasurable benefit of
the immigrants, and to the everlasting good of our national life,
have not yet been satisfactorily stated, nor apparently apprehended
by us, in relation to this field. We have no method by which to
discover men, to spiritualize, to understand, to hold intercourse with
aliens and to receive of what they bring. A century-old abstraction
breaks down before this vigorous test of concrete cases and their
demand for sympathetic interpretation. When we are confronted by the
Italian lazzaroni, the peasants from the Carpathian foothills, and the
proscribed traders from Galatia, we have no national ideality founded
upon realism and tested by our growing experience with which to meet
them, but only the platitudes of our crudest youth. The philosophers
and statesmen of the eighteenth century believed that the universal
franchise would cure all ills; that liberty and equality rested only
upon constitutional rights and privileges; that to obtain these two
and to throw off all governmental oppression constituted the full
duty of the progressive patriot. We still keep to this formalization
because the philosophers of this generation give us nothing newer. We
ignore the fact that world-wide problems can no longer be solved by
a political constitution assuring us against opposition, but that we
must frankly face the proposition that the whole situation is more
industrial than political. Did we apprehend this, we might then realize
that the officers of the Government who are dealing with naturalization
papers and testing the knowledge of the immigrants concerning the
Constitution of the United States, are only playing with counters
representing the beliefs of a century ago, while the real issues are
being settled by the great industrial and commercial interests which
are at once the products and the masters of our contemporary life.
As children who are allowed to amuse themselves with poker chips
pay no attention to the real game which their elders play with the
genuine cards in their hands, so we shut our eyes to the exploitation
and industrial debasement of the immigrant, and say, with placid
contentment, that he has been given the rights of an American citizen,
and that, therefore, all our obligations have been fulfilled. It is as
if we should undertake to cure the contemporary political corruption
founded upon a disregard of the Inter-State Commerce Acts, by requiring
the recreant citizens to repeat the Constitution of the United States.

As yet no vigorous effort is made to discover how far our present
system of naturalization, largely resting upon laws enacted in 1802, is
inadequate, although it may have met the requirements of “the fathers.”
These processes were devised to test new citizens who had immigrated to
the United States from political rather than from economic pressure,
although these two have always been in a certain sense coextensive.
Yet the early Irish came to America to seek an opportunity for
self-government, denied them at home; the Germans and Italians started
to come in largest numbers after the absorption of their smaller
States into the larger nations; and the immigrants from Russia are the
conquered Poles, Lithuanians, Finns, and Jews. On some such obscure
notion the processes of naturalization were worked out, and, with a
certain degree of logic, the first immigrants were presented with the
Constitution of the United States as a type and epitome of that which
they had come to seek. So far as they now come in search of political
liberty, as many of them do every day, the test is still valid, but,
in the meantime, we cannot ignore those significant figures which show
emigration to rise with periods of depression in given countries, and
immigration to be checked by periods of depression in America, and we
refuse to see how largely the question has become an economic one.

At the present moment, as we know, the actual importing of immigrants
is left largely to the energy of steamship companies and to those
agents for contract labor who are keen enough to avoid the restrictive
laws. The business man is here again in the saddle, as he so largely
is in American affairs. From the time that the immigrants first make
the acquaintance of the steamship agent in their own villages, at
least until a grandchild is born on the new soil, they are subjected
to various processes of exploitation from purely commercial and
self-seeking interests. It begins with the representatives of the
transatlantic lines and their allies, who convert the peasant holdings
into money, and provide the prospective emigrants with needless
supplies, such as cartridge belts and bowie knives. The brokers, in
manufactured passports, send their clients by successive stages for
a thousand miles to a port suiting their purposes. On the way the
emigrants’ eyes are treated that they may pass the physical test; they
are taught to read sufficiently well to meet the literacy test; they
are lent enough money to escape the pauper test, and by the time they
have reached America, they are so hopelessly in debt that it requires
months of work to repay all they have received. During this time they
are completely under the control of the last broker in the line, who
has his dingy office in an American city. The exploitation continues
under the employment agency whose operations verge into those of the
politician, through the naturalization henchman, the petty lawyers who
foment their quarrels and grievances by the statement that in a free
country everybody “goes to law,” by the liquor dealers who stimulate a
lively trade among them, and, finally, by the lodging-house keepers and
the landlords who are not obliged to give them the housing which the
American tenant demands. It is a long dreary road, and the immigrant
is successfully exploited at each turn. At moments one looking on is
driven to quote the Titanic plaint of Walt Whitman:

“As I stand aloof and look, there is to me something profoundly
affecting in large masses of men following the lead of those who do
not believe in men.”

The sinister aspect of this exploitation lies in the fact that it is
carried on by agents whose stock in trade are the counters and terms
of citizenship. It is said that at the present moment there are more
of these agents in Palermo than perhaps in any other European port,
and that those politicians who have found it impossible to stay even
in that corrupt city are engaged in the brokerage of naturalization
papers in the United States. Certainly one effect of the stringent
contract labor laws has been to make the padrones more powerful
because “smuggled alien labor” has become more valuable to American
corporations, and also to make simpler the delivery of immigrant
votes according to the dictates of commercial interests. It becomes a
veritable system of poisoning the notions of decent government; but
because the entire process is carried on in political terms, because
the poker chips are colored red, white, and blue, we are childishly
indifferent to it. An elaborate avoidance of restrictions quickly
adapts itself to changes either in legislation here or at the points
of departure, because none of the legislation is founded upon a real
analysis of the situation. For instance, a new type of broker in Russia
during the Russian-Japanese War made use of the situation in the
interests of young Russian Jews. If one of these men leaves the country
ordinarily, his family is obliged to pay three hundred rubles to the
Government, but if he first joins the army, his family is free from
this obligation for he has passed into the keeping of his sergeant. Out
of four hundred Russian Jews who, during three months, were drafted
into the army at a given recruiting station, only ten reported,
the rest having escaped through immigration. Of course the entire
undertaking is much more hazardous, because the man is a deserter from
the army in addition to his other disabilities; but the brokers merely
put up the price of their services and continue their undertakings.

All these evasions of immigration laws and regulations are simply
possible because the governmental tests do not belong to the current
situation, and because our political ideas are inherited from
governmental conditions not our own. In our refusal to face the
situation, we have persistently ignored the political ideals of the
Celtic, Germanic, Latin, and Slavic immigrants who have successively
come to us; and in our overwhelming ambition to remain Anglo-Saxon, we
have fallen into the Anglo-Saxon temptation of governing all peoples
by one standard. We have failed to work out a democratic government
which should include the experiences and hopes of all the varied
peoples among us. We justify the situation by some such process as that
employed by each English elector who casts a vote for seventy-five
subjects besides himself. He indirectly determines--although he may be
a narrow-minded tradesman or a country squire interested only in his
hounds and horses--the colonial policy, which shall in turn control
the destinies of the Egyptian child toiling in the cotton factory in
Alexandria, and of the half-starved Parsee working the opium fields of
North India. Yet he cannot, in the nature of the case, be informed of
the needs of these far-away people and he would venture to attempt it
only in regard to people whom he considered “inferior.”

Pending a recent election, a Chicago reformer begged his hearers to
throw away all selfish thoughts of themselves when they went to the
polls and to vote in behalf of the poor and ignorant foreigners of the
city. It would be difficult to suggest anything which would result
in a more serious confusion than to have each man, without personal
knowledge and experiences, consider the interests of the newly arrived
immigrant. The voter would have to give himself over to a veritable
debauch of altruism in order to persuade himself that his vote would be
of the least value to those men of whom he knew so little, and whom
he considered so remote and alien to himself. In truth the attitude of
the advising reformer was in reality so contemptuous that he had never
considered the immigrants really partakers and molders of the political
life of his country.

This attitude of contempt, of provincialism, this survival of
the spirit of the conqueror toward an inferior people, has many
manifestations, but none so harmful as when it becomes absorbed and
imitated and is finally evinced by the children of the foreigners
toward their own parents.

We are constantly told of the increase of criminals in the second
generation of immigrants, and, day after day, one sees lads of twelve
and fourteen throwing off the restraint of family life and striking
out for themselves. The break has come thus early, partly from the
forced development of the child under city conditions, partly because
the parents have had no chance of following, even remotely, this
development, but largely because the Americanized child has copied the
contemptuous attitude towards the foreigner which he sees all about
him. The revolt has in it something of the city impatience of country
standards, but much more of America against Poland or Italy. It is all
wretchedly sordid with bitterness on the part of the parents, and
hardhearted indifference and recklessness on the part of the boy. Only
occasionally can the latter be appealed to by filial affection after
the first break has once been thoroughly made; and yet, sometimes,
even these lads see the pathos of the situation. A probation officer
from Hull-House one day surprised three truants who were sitting by
a bonfire which they had built near the river. Sheltered by an empty
freight car, the officer was able to listen to their conversation. The
Pole, the Italian, and the Bohemian boys who had broken the law by
staying away from school, by building a fire in dangerous proximity to
freight cars, and by “swiping” the potatoes which they were roasting,
seemed to have settled down into an almost halcyon moment of gentleness
and reminiscence. The Italian boy commiserated his parents because they
hated the cold and the snow and “couldn’t seem to get used to it;” the
Pole said that his father missed seeing folks that he knew and was
“sore on this country;” the Bohemian lad really grew quite tender about
his old grandmother and the “stacks of relations” who came to see her
every Sunday in the old country, where, in contrast to her loneliness
here, she evidently had been a person of consequence. All of them felt
the pathos of the situation, but the predominant note was the cheap
contempt of the new American for foreigners, even though they are of
his own blood. The weakening of the tie which connects one generation
with another may be called the domestic results of the contemptuous
attitude. But the social results of the contemptuous attitude are even
more serious and nowhere so grave as in the modern city.

Men are there brought together by multitudes in response to the
concentration of industry and commerce without bringing with them
the natural social and family ties or the guild relationships which
distinguished the mediaeval cities and held even so late as the
eighteenth century, when the country people came to town in response
to the normal and slowly formed ties of domestic service, family
affection, and apprenticeship. Men who come to a modern city by
immigration break all these older ties and the national bond in
addition. There is all the more necessity to develop that cosmopolitan
bond which forms their substitute. The immigrants will be ready to
adapt themselves to a new and vigorous civic life founded upon the
recognition of their needs if the Government which is at present
administered in our cities, will only admit that these needs are
germane to its functions. The framers of the carefully prepared
charters, upon which the cities are founded, did not foresee that
after the universal franchise had once been granted, social needs
and ideals were bound to enter in as legitimate objects of political
action. Neither did these framers realize, on the other hand, that the
only people in a democracy who can legitimately become the objects
of repressive government, are those people who are too undeveloped
to use their liberty or those who have forfeited their right to full
citizenship. We have, therefore, a municipal administration in America
which concerns itself only grudgingly with the social needs of the
people, and is largely reduced to the administration of restrictive
measures. The people who come most directly in contact with the
executive officials, who are the legitimate objects of their control,
are the vicious, who need to be repressed; and the semi-dependent
poor, who appeal to them in their dire need; or, for quite the reverse
reason, those who are trying to avoid an undue taxation, resenting the
fact that they should be made to support a government which, from the
nature of the case, is too barren to excite their real enthusiasm.

The instinctive protest against this mechanical method of civic
control, with the lack of adjustment between the natural democratic
impulse and the fixed external condition, inevitably produces the
indifferent citizen, and the so-called “professional politician.” The
first, because he is not vicious, feels that the real processes of
government do not concern him and wishes only to be let alone. The
latter easily adapts himself to an illegal avoidance of the external
fixed conditions by assuming that these conditions have been settled
by doctrinaires who did not in the least understand the people,
while he, the politician, makes his appeal beyond the conditions to
the real desires of the people themselves. He is thus not only “the
people’s friend,” but their interpreter. It is interesting to note
how often simple people refer to “them,” meaning the good and great
who govern but do not understand, and to “him,” meaning the alderman,
who represents them in these incomprehensible halls of State, as an
ambassador to a foreign country to whose borders they themselves could
not possibly penetrate, and whose language they do not speak.

In addition to this difficulty inherent in the difference between the
traditional and actual situation, there is another, which constantly
arises on the purely administrative side. The traditional governments
which the founders had copied, in proceeding by fixed standards to
separate the vicious from the good, and then to legislate against the
vicious, had enforced these restrictive measures by trained officials,
usually with a military background. In a democracy, however,
the officers entrusted with the enforcement of this restrictive
legislation, if not actually elected by the people themselves, are
still the appointments of those thus elected and are, therefore,
good-natured men who have made friends by their kindness and social
qualities. This is only decreasingly true even in those cities where
appointments are made by civil service examinations. The carrying out
of repressive legislation, the remnant of a military state of society,
in a democracy is at last put into the hands of men who have attained
office because of political pull. The repressive measures must be
enforced by those sympathizing with the people and belonging to those
against whom the measures operate. This anomalous situation produces
almost inevitably one result: that the police authorities themselves
are turned into allies of vice and crime. This may be illustrated
from almost any of the large American cities in the relation existing
between the police force and the gambling and other illicit life. The
officers are often flatly told that the enforcement of an ordinance
which the better element of the city has insisted upon passing, is
impossible; that they are expected to control only the robbery and
crime that so often associate themselves with vice. As Mr. Wilcox[5]
has recently pointed out, public sentiment itself assumes a certain
hypocrisy, and in the end we have “the abnormal conditions which are
created when vice is protected by the authorities,” and in the very
worst cases there develops a sort of municipal blackmail in which
the administration itself profits by the violation of law. The very
governmental agencies which were designed to protect the citizen
from vice, foster and protect him in its pursuance because everybody
involved is thoroughly confused by the human element in the situation.
Further than this, the officer’s very kindness and human understanding
is that which leads to his downfall, for he is forced to uphold the
remnant of a military discipline in a self-governing community. It is
not remarkable, perhaps, that the police department, the most vigorous
survival of militarism to be found in American cities, has always
been responsible for the most exaggerated types of civic corruption.
It is sad, however, that this corruption has largely been due to the
kindliness of the officers and to their lack of military training.
There is no doubt that the reasonableness of keeping the saloons in
lower New York open on Sunday was apparent to the policemen of the East
Side force long before it dawned upon the reform administration; and
yet, that the policemen allowed themselves to connive at law-breaking,
was the beginning of their disgraceful downfall. Because kindness to an
enemy may mean death or the annihilation of the army which he guards,
all kindness is illicit on the part of the military sentinel on duty;
but to bring that code over bodily into a peaceful social state is to
break down the morals of both sides, of the enforcer of the ill-adapted
law, as well as of those against whom it is so maladroitly directed.

In order to meet this situation, there is almost inevitably developed
a politician of the corrupt type so familiar in American cities, the
politician who has become successful because he has made friends
with the vicious. The semi-criminal, who are constantly brought in
contact with administrative government are naturally much interested
in its operations. Having much at stake, as a matter of course, they
attend the primaries and all the other election processes which so
quickly tire the good citizens whose interest in the government is a
self-imposed duty. To illustrate: it is a matter of much moment to a
gambler whether there is to be a “wide-open town” or not; it means the
success or failure of his business; it involves, not only the pleasure,
but the livelihood, of all his friends. He naturally attends to the
election of the alderman, to the appointment and retention of the
policeman. He is found at the caucus “every time,” and would be much
amused if he were praised for the performance of his civic duty; but,
because he and the others who are concerned in semi-illicit business do
attend the primaries, the corrupt politician is nominated over and over

As this type of politician is successful from his alliance with crime,
there also inevitably arises from time to time a so-called reformer
who is shocked to discover the state of affairs, the easy partnership
between vice and administrative government. He dramatically uncovers
the situation and arouses great indignation against it on the part of
good citizens. If this indignation is enough, he creates a political
fervor which is translated into a claim upon public gratitude. In
portraying the evil he is fighting, he does not recognize, or at least
does not make clear, all the human kindness upon which it has grown.
In his speeches he inevitably offends a popular audience, who know
that the evil of corruption exists in all degrees and forms of human
weakness, but who also know that these evils are by no means always
hideous, and sometimes even are lovable. They resent his over-drawn
pictures of vice and of the life of the vicious; their sense of
fair play, their deep-rooted desire for charity and justice, are all

To illustrate from a personal experience: Some years ago a famous New
York reformer came to Chicago to tell us of his phenomenal success,
his trenchant methods of dealing with the city “gambling-hells,” as
he chose to call them. He proceeded to describe the criminals of
lower New York in terms and phrases which struck at least one of his
auditors as sheer blasphemy against our common human nature. I thought
of the criminals whom I knew, of the gambler for whom each Saturday
I regularly collected his weekly wage of $24.00, keeping $18.00 for
his wife and children and giving him $6.00 on Monday morning. His
despairing statement, “the thing is growing on me, and I can never give
it up,” was certainly not the cry of a man living in hell, but of him
who, through much tribulation had at least kept the loyal intention.
I remembered the three girls who had come to me with a paltry sum of
money collected from the pawn and sale of their tawdry finery in order
that one of their number might be spared a death in the almshouse and
that she might have the wretched comfort during the closing weeks of
her life of knowing that, although she was an outcast, she was not a
pauper. I recalled the first murderer whom I had ever known, a young
man who was singing his baby to sleep and stopped to lay it in its
cradle before he rushed downstairs into his father’s saloon to scatter
the gang of boys who were teasing the old man by giving him English
orders. The old man could not understand English and the boys were
refusing to pay for the drinks they had consumed, but technically had
not ordered.

For one short moment I saw the situation from the point of view of
humbler people, who sin often through weakness and passion, but seldom
through hardness of heart, and I felt that in a democratic community
such sweeping condemnations and conclusions as the speaker was pouring
forth could never be accounted for righteousness.

As the policeman who makes terms with vice, and almost inevitably
slides into making gain from vice, merely represents the type of
politician who is living off the weakness of his fellows, so the
over-zealous reformer who exaggerates vice until the public is scared
and awestruck, represents the type of politician who is living off the
timidity of his fellows. With the lack of civic machinery for simple
democratic expression, for a direct dealing with human nature as it is,
we seem doomed to one type or the other--corruptionists or anti-crime

And one sort or the other we will continue to have so long as we
distrust the very energy of existence, the craving for enjoyment,
the pushing of vital forces, the very right of every citizen to be
what he is without pretense or assumption of virtue. Too often he
does not really admire these virtues, but he imagines them somewhere
as a standard adopted by the virtuous whom he does not know. That
old Frankenstein, the ideal man of the eighteenth century, is still
haunting us, although he never existed save in the brain of the

This dramatic and feverish triumph of the self-seeker, see-sawing
with that of the interested reformer, does more than anything else,
perhaps, to keep the American citizen away from the ideals of genuine
evolutionary democracy. Whereas repressive government, from the
nature of the case, has to do with the wicked who are happily always
in a minority in the community, a normal democratic government would
naturally have to do with the great majority of the population in their
normal relations to each other.

After all, the so-called “slum politician” ventures his success upon an
appeal to human sentiment and generosity. This venture often results in
an alliance between the popular politician and the humblest citizens,
quite as naturally as the reformer who stands for honest business
administration usually becomes allied with the type of business man
whose chief concern it is to guard his treasure and to prevent a rise
in taxation. The community is again insensibly divided into two camps,
the repressed, who is dimly conscious that he has no adequate outlet
for his normal life and the repressive, represented by the cautious,
careful citizen holding fast to his own,--once more the conqueror and
his humble people.


[4] “The Spirit of Modern Philosophy,” Josiah Royce, page 275.

[5] The American City, Dr. Delos F. Wilcox, page 200.

                              CHAPTER III


We do much loose talking in regard to American immigration; we use
the phrase, “the scum of Europe,” and other unwarranted words without
realizing that the unsuccessful man, the undeveloped peasant, may be
much more valuable to us here than the more highly developed, but
also more highly specialized, town dweller, who may much less readily
acquire the characteristics which the new environment demands.

If successful struggle ends in the survival of the few, in blatant and
tangible success for the few only, government will have to reckon most
largely with the men who have been beaten in the struggle, with the
effect upon them of the contest and the defeat; for, after all, the
unsuccessful will always represent the majority of the citizens, and it
is with the large majority that self-government must eventually deal
whatever course of action other governments may legitimately determine
for themselves.

To demand to be protected from the many unsuccessful among us, who are
supposed to issue forth from the shallows of our city life and seize
upon the treasure of the citizens as the barbarians of old came from
outside the city walls, is of course not to have read the first lesson
of self-government in the light of evolutionary science. It is to
forget that a revival in self-government, an awakening of its original
motive power and _raison d’être_, can come only from a genuine desire
to increase its scope, and to adapt it to new and strenuous conditions.
In this way science revived and leaped forward under the pressure of
the enlarged demand of manufacture and commerce put upon it during the
industrial decades just passed.

We would ask the moralists and statesmen of this dawning century,
equipped as they are, with the historic method, to save our
contemporaries from skepticism in regard to self-government by
revealing to them its adaptability to the needs of the humblest man
who is so sorely pressed in this industrial age. The statesman who
would fill his countrymen with enthusiasm for democratic government
must not only possess a genuine understanding of the needs of the
simplest citizens, but he must know how to reveal their capacities
and powers. He must needs go man-hunting into those curious groups
we call newly arrived immigrants, and do for them what the scholar
has done in pointing out to us the sweetness and charm which inhere
in primitive domestic customs and in showing us the curious pivot
these customs make for religious and tribal beliefs. The scholar who
has surrounded the simplest action of women grinding millet or corn
with a penetrating reminiscence, sweeter than the chant they sing,
may reveal something of the same reminiscence and charm among many
of the immigrants. In the midst of crowded city streets one stumbles
upon an old Italian peasant with her distaff against her withered face
and her pathetic hands patiently “holding the thread,” as has been
done by myriads of women since children needed to be clad; or one
sees an old German potter, misshapen by years, his sensitive hands
nevertheless fairly alive with skill and delicacy, and his life at
least illumined with the artist’s prerogative of direct creation.
Could we take these primitive habits as they are to be found every day
in American cities and give them their significance and place, they
would be a wonderful factor for poetry in cities frankly given over
to industrialism and absorbed in its activities. As a McAndrews’ hymn
expresses the frantic rush of the industrial river, so these primitive
customs could give us something of the mysticism and charm of the
industrial springs, a suggestion of source, a touch of the refinement
which adheres to simple things. This study of origins, of survivals,
of paths of least resistance--refining an industrial age through the
people and experiences which really belong to it and do not need to
be brought in from the outside--would surely result in a revived
enthusiasm for human life and its possibilities which would in turn
react upon the ideals of government. The present lack of understanding
of simple people and the dearth of the illumination which knowledge of
them would give, can be traced not only in the social and political
maladjustment of the immigrant in municipal centres, but is felt in
so-called “practical affairs” of national magnitude. Regret is many
times expressed that, notwithstanding the fact that nine out of every
ten immigrants are of rural birth and are fitted to undertake that
painstaking method of cultivating the soil which American farmers
despise, they nevertheless all tend to congregate in cities where
their inherited and elaborate knowledge of agricultural processes is
unutilized. But it is characteristic of American complacency when any
assisted removal to agricultural regions is contemplated, that we
utterly ignore the past experiences of the immigrant and always assume
that each family will be content to live in the middle of its own piece
of ground, although there are few peoples on the face of the earth who
have ever tried isolating a family on one hundred and sixty acres or on
eighty, or even on forty. But this is the American way--a survival of
our pioneer days--and we refuse to modify it, even in regard to South
Italians, although from the day of mediaeval incursions they have lived
in compact villages with an intense and elaborated social life, so
much of it out of doors and interdependent that it has affected almost
every domestic habit. Italian women knead their own bread, but depend
on the village oven for its baking, and the men would rather walk for
miles to their fields each day than to face an evening of companionship
limited to the family. Nothing could afford a better check to the
constant removal to the cities of the farming population all over the
United States than the possibility of combining community life with
agricultural occupation. This combination would afford that development
of civilization which, curiously enough, density alone brings and
for which even a free system of rural delivery is not an adequate
substitute. Much of the significance and charm of rural life in South
Italy lies in its village companionship, quite as the dreariness of the
American farm life inheres in its unnecessary solitude. But we totally
disregard the solution which the old agricultural community offers,
and our utter lack of adaptability has something to do with the fact
that the South Italian remains in the city where he soon forgets his
cunning in regard to silk worms and olive trees, but continues his old
social habits to the extent of filling an entire tenement house with
the people from one village.

We also exhibit all the Anglo-Saxon distrust of any experiment with
land tenure or method of taxation, although our single-tax advocates do
not fail to tell us daily of the stupidity of the present arrangement.
It might, indeed, be well to make a few experiments upon an historic
basis before their enthusiasm converts us all. For centuries in
Russia the Slavic village, the mir system of land occupation, has
been in successful operation, training men within its narrow limits
to community administration. Yet when a persecuted sect from Russia
wishes to find refuge in America, we insist that seven thousand
people shall give up all at once a system of land ownership in which
they are experts. Americans declare the system to be impracticable,
although it is singularly like that in vogue in Palestine during the
period of its highest prosperity. We cannot receive them in the United
States, because our laws have no way of dealing with such cases.
And in Canada, where they are finally settled, the unimaginative
Dominion officials are driven to the verge of distraction concerning
registration of deeds and the collection of taxes from men who do not
claim acres in their own names, but in the name of the village. The
official distraction is reflected and intensified among the people
themselves, to the point of driving them into the mediaeval “marching
mania,” in the hope of finding a land in the south where they may carry
out their inoffensive “mir” system. The entire situation might prove
that an unbending theory of individualism may become as fixed as status
itself, although there are certainly other factors in the Doukhobor
situation--religious bigotry, and the self-seeking of leadership.
In spite of the fact that the Canadian officials have in other
matters exhibited much of the adaptability which distinguishes the
British colonial policy, they are completely stranded on the rock of
Anglo-Saxon individualistic ownership, and assume that any other system
of land tenure is subversive of government, forgetting that Russia
manages to exert a fair amount of governmental control over thousands
of acres held under the system which they so detest.

In our eagerness to reproach the immigrants for not going upon the
land we almost overlook the contributions to city life which those
of them, who were adapted to it in Europe, are making to our cities
here. From dingy little eating-houses in lower New York, performing a
function somewhat between the eighteenth-century coffee-house and the
Parisian café, is issuing at the present moment perhaps the sturdiest
realistic drama that is being produced on American soil. Late into the
night speculation is carried forward--not on the nice questions of
the Talmud and on quibbles of logic; but minds long trained on these
seriously discuss the need of a readjustment of the industrial machine
in order that the primitive sense of justice and righteousness may
secure larger play in our social organization. And yet a Russian in
Chicago who used to believe that Americans cared first and foremost
for political liberty and that they would certainly admire those who
had suffered in its cause, finds no one interested in his story of six
years’ banishment beyond the Antarctic circle. He is really listened to
only when he tells the tale to a sportsman of the fish he had caught
during the six weeks of summer when the rivers were open. “Lively work
then, but plenty of time to eat them dried or frozen through the rest
of the year,” is the most sympathetic comment he has yet received upon
an experience which, at least to him, held the bittersweet of martyrdom.

Among the colonies of the most recently immigrated Jews, who still
carry out their orthodox customs and a ritual preserved through
centuries in the Ghetto, one constantly feels during a season of
religious observance, a refreshing insistence upon the reality of the
inner life, and upon the dignity of its expression in inherited form.
Perhaps the most striking reproach to the materialism of Chicago is the
sight on a solemn Jewish holiday of a Chicago River bridge lined with
men and women oblivious of the noisy traffic and sordid surroundings,
casting their sins upon the waters that they may be carried far away.
The scene is a clear statement that, after all, life does not consist
in wealth, in learning, in enterprise, in energy, in success, not even
in that modern fetich, culture, but in an inner equilibrium, in “the
agreement of soul.” It is a relief to see even this exaggerated and
grotesque presentation of spiritual values.

But the statesman shuts himself away from the possibility of using
these great reservoirs of human ability and motive power because he
considers it patriotic to hold to governmental lines and ideals laid
down a century and a quarter ago. Because of a military inheritance,
we as a nation stoutly contend that all this varied and suggestive
life has nothing to do with government nor patriotism, and that we
perform the full duty of American citizens when the provisions of the
statutes on naturalization are carried out. In the meantime, in the
interests of our theory that commercial and governmental powers should
have no connection with each other, we carefully ignore the one million
false naturalization papers in the United States issued and concealed
by commercialized politics. Although we have an uneasy knowledge that
these powers are curiously allied, we profess that the latter has no
connection with the former and no control over it. We steadily refuse
to recognize the fact that our age is swayed by industrial forces.

Fortunately, life is much bigger and finer than our theories about
it, and, among all the immigrants in the great cities, there is
slowly developing the beginnings of self-government on the lines of
their daily experiences. The man who really knows immigrants and
undertakes to naturalize them, makes no pretense of the lack of
connection between their desire to earn their daily bread and their
citizenship. The petty and often corrupt politician who is first kind
to immigrants, realizes perfectly well that the force pushing them to
this country has been industrial need and that recognition of this
need is legitimate. He follows the natural course of events when he
promises to get the immigrant “a job,” for that is undoubtedly what
the immigrant most needs in all the world. If the politician nearest
to him were really interested in the immigrant and were to work out
a scheme of naturalization fitted to the situation, the immigrant
would proceed from the street-cleaning and sewer-digging in which he
first engages, to an understanding of the relation of these simple
offices to city government. Through them he would understand the
obligation of his alderman to secure cleanliness for the streets
in which his children play and for the tenement in which he lives.
The notion of representative government could be made quite clear
and concrete to him. He could demand his rights and use his vote in
order to secure them. His very naïve demands might easily become a
restraint, a purifying check upon the alderman, instead of a source of
constant corruption and exploitation. But when the politician attempts
to naturalize the bewildered immigrant, he must perforce accept
the doctrinaire standard imposed by men who held a theory totally
unattached to experience, and he must, therefore, begin with the remote
Constitution of the United States. At the Cook County Court-House only
a short time ago a candidate for naturalization, who was asked the
usual question as to what the Constitution of the United States was,
replied: “The Illinois Central.” His mind naturally turned to his
work, to the one bit of contribution he had genuinely made to the new
country, and his reply might well offer a valuable suggestion to the
student of educational method. Some of our most advanced schools are
even now making industrial construction and evolution a natural basis
for all future acquisition of knowledge, and they claim that anything
less vital and creative is inadequate.

It is surprising how a simple experience, if it be but genuine, gives
an opening into citizenship altogether lacking to the more grandiose
attempts. A Greek-American, slaughtering sheep in a tenement-house
yard, reminiscent of the Homeric tradition, can be made to see the
effect of the improvised shambles on his neighbor’s health and the
right of the city to prohibit the slaughtering, only as he perceives
the development of city government upon its most modern basis.

The enforcement of adequate child labor laws offers unending
opportunity to better citizenship founded, not upon theory but on
action, as does the compulsory education law, which makes clear that
education is a matter of vital importance to the American city and to
the State which has enacted definite, well-considered legislation in
regard to it. Some of the most enthusiastic supporters of child-labor
legislation and of compulsory education laws are those parents who
sacrifice old-world tradition, as well as the much-needed earnings of
their young children, because of loyalty to the laws of their adopted
country. Certainly genuine sacrifice for the nation’s law is a good
foundation for patriotism, and as this again is not a doctrinaire
question, women are not debarred, and mothers who wash and scrub for
the meagre support of their children say, sturdily, sometimes: “It will
be a year before he can go to work without breaking the law, but we
came to this country to give the young ones a chance, and we are not
going to begin by having them do what’s not right.”

Upon some such basis as this the Hebrew Alliance and the Charity
Organization of New York, which are putting forth desperate energy in
the enormous task of ministering to the suffering which immigration
entails, are developing understanding and respect for the alien through
their mutual efforts to secure more adequate tenement-house regulation
and to control the spread of tuberculosis; both these undertakings
being perfectly hopeless without the intelligent co-operation of
the immigrants themselves. Through such humble doors, perchance,
the immigrant will at last enter into his heritage in a new nation.
Democratic government has ever been the result of spiritual travail
and moral effort. Apparently, even here, the immigrant must pay the
old cost, and he seems to represent the group and type which is making
the most genuine contribution to the present growth in governmental
functions, with its constant demand for increasing adaptations.

In the induction of the adult immigrant into practical citizenship,
we constantly ignore his daily experience. We also assume in our
formal attempts to teach patriotism to him and to his children, that
experience and traditions have no value, and that a new sentiment
must be put into aliens by some external process. Some years ago, a
public-spirited organization engaged a number of speakers to go to
the various city schools in order to instruct the children in the
significance of Decoration Day and to foster patriotism among the
foreign born, by descriptions of the Civil War. In one of the schools,
filled with Italian children, an old soldier, a veteran in years and
experience, gave a description of a battle in Tennessee, and of his
personal adventures in using a pile of brush as an ambuscade and a
fortification. Coming from the schoolhouse, an eager young Italian
broke out, with characteristic vividness, into a description of his
father’s campaigning under the leadership of Garibaldi, possibly
from some obscure notion that that, too, was a civil war fought from
principle, but more likely because the description of one battle
had roused in his mind the memory of another such description. The
lecturer, whose sympathies happened to be on the other side of the
Garibaldian conflict, somewhat sharply told him that he must forget
all that; that he was no longer an Italian, but an American. The
natural growth of patriotism based upon respect for the achievements
of one’s fathers, the bringing together of the past with the present,
the significance of the almost world-wide effort at a higher standard
of political freedom which swept over all Europe and America between
1848 and 1872 could, of course, have no place in the boy’s mind because
it had none in the mind of the instructor whose patriotism apparently
tried to purify itself by the American process of elimination.

How far a certain cosmopolitan humanitarianism ignoring national
differences, is either possible or desirable, it is difficult to
state; but certain it is that the old type of patriotism, founded
upon a common national history and land occupation, becomes to many
of the immigrants who bring it with them a veritable stumbling-block
and impediment. Many Greeks whom I know are fairly besotted with a
consciousness of their national importance, and the achievements
of their glorious past. Among them the usual effort to found a new
patriotism upon American history is often an absurd undertaking; for
instance, on the night of one Thanksgiving Day, I spent some time and
zeal in a description of the Pilgrim Fathers, and the motives which
had driven them across the sea, while the experiences of the Plymouth
colony were illustrated by stereopticon slides and little dramatic
scenes. The audience of Greeks listened respectfully, although I
was uneasily conscious of the somewhat feeble attempt to boast of
Anglo-Saxon achievement in hardihood and privation, to men whose powers
of admiration were absorbed in their Greek background of philosophy and
beauty. At any rate, after the lecture was over, one of the Greeks said
to me, quite simply, “I wish I could describe my ancestors to you; they
were very different from yours.” His further remarks were translated
by a little Irish boy of eleven, who speaks modern Greek with facility
and turns many an honest penny by translating, into the somewhat pert
statement: “He says if _that_ is what your ancestors are like, that his
could beat them out.” It is a good illustration of our faculty for
ignoring the past, and of our failure to understand the immigrant’s
estimation of ourselves. This lack of a more cosmopolitan standard, of
a consciousness of kind founded upon creative imagination and historic
knowledge is apparent in many directions, and cruelly widens the gulf
between immigrant fathers and their children who are “Americans in

A hideous story comes from New York of a young Russian Jewess who was
employed as a stenographer in a down-town office, where she became
engaged to be married to a young man of Jewish-American parentage.
She felt keenly the difference between him and her newly immigrated
parents, and on the night when he was to be presented to them she
went home early to make every possible preparation for his coming.
Her efforts to make the _ménage_ presentable were so discouraging,
the whole situation filled her with such chagrin, that an hour before
his expected arrival, she ended her life. Although the father was a
Talmud scholar of standing in his native Russian town, and the lover
was a clerk of very superficial attainments, she possessed no standard
by which to judge the two men. This lack of standard must be charged
to the entire community; for why should we expect an untrained girl
to be able to do for herself what the community so pitifully fails to

All the members of the community are equally stupid in throwing away
the immigrant revelation of social customs and inherited energy.
We continually allow this valuable human experience to go to waste
although we have reached the stage of humanitarianism when no infant
may be wantonly allowed to die, no man be permitted to freeze or
starve, if the State can prevent it. We may truthfully boast that the
primitive, wasteful struggle of physical existence is practically over,
but no such statement can be made in regard to spiritual life. Students
of social conditions recognize the fact that modern charity constantly
grows more democratic and constructive, and daily more concerned for
preventive measures, but to admit frankly similar aims as matters for
municipal government as yet seems impossible.

In this country it seems to be only the politician at the bottom,
the man nearest the people, who understands that there is a growing
disinterestedness taking hold of men’s hopes and imaginations in every
direction. He often plays upon it and betrays it; but he at least knows
it is there.

The two points at which government is developing most rapidly at the
present moment are naturally the two where it of necessity exercises
functions of nurture and protection: first, in relation to the young
criminal, second, in relation to the poor and dependent. One of the
latest developments is the Juvenile Courts which the large cities are
inaugurating. Only fifteen years ago when I first went to live in an
industrial district of Chicago, if a boy was arrested on some trifling
charge--and dozens of them were thus arrested each month--the only
possible way to secure another chance for him by restoring him to his
home with an opportunity to become a law-abiding citizen, was through
the alderman of the ward. Upon the request of a distracted relative
or the precinct captain, the alderman would “speak to the judge”
and secure the release of the boy. The kindness of the alderman was
genuine, as was the gratitude of all concerned; but the inevitable
impression remained that government was harsh, and naturally dealt out
policemen and prisons, and that the political friend alone stood for
kindness. That this kindness was in a measure illicit and mysterious in
its workings made it all the more impressive.

But so much advance has been made in so short a time as fifteen years,
toward incorporating kindly concern for the young and a desire to keep
them in the path of rectitude within the process of government itself,
that in Chicago alone twenty-four probation officers, as they are
called, are paid from the public funds. The wayward boy is committed
to one of these for another chance as a part of the procedure of the
court. He is not merely released by an act of clemency so magnificent
and irrelevant as to dazzle him with a sense of the aldermanic power,
but he is put under the actual care of a probation officer that he may
do better. He is assisted to keep permanently away from the police
courts and their allied penal institutions.

In one of the most successful of these courts, that of Denver, the
Judge who can point to a remarkable record with the bad boys of the
city, plays a veritable game with them against the police force, he
and the boys undertaking to be good without the help of repression,
and in spite of the machinations of the police. For instance, if the
boys who have been sentenced to the State Reform School at Golden,
deliver themselves without the aid of the Sheriff whose duty it is to
take them there, they not only vindicate their manliness and readiness
“to take their medicine,” but they beat the sheriff who belongs to the
penal machinery out of his five-dollar fee. Over this fact they openly
triumph--a simple example, perhaps, but significant of the attitude of
the well-intentioned toward repressive government.

The Juvenile Courts are beginning to take a really parental attitude
towards all dependent children, although for years only those orphans
who had inherited at least a meagre property were handed over to a
public guardian. Those whose parents had left them absolutely nothing
were allowed to care for themselves--as if the whole body of doctrine
contained in the phrase, “there is no wealth but life,” had never
entered into the mind of man. Because these courts are dealing with
the children in their social and everyday relations they have made the
astounding discovery that even a penniless child needs the care and
defense of the State.

The schools for Reform are those which are inaugurating the most
advanced education in agriculture and manual arts. A bewildered foreign
parent comes from time to time to Hull-House, asking that his boy be
sent to a school to learn farming, basing his request upon the fact
that his neighbor’s boy has been sent to “a nice green, country-place.”
It is carefully explained that the neighbor’s boy was bad, and was
arrested and sent away because of his badness. After much conversation,
the disappointed parent sometimes understands, but he often goes away
shaking his head, and some such words as these issue: “I have been
in this country for five years, and have never gotten anything yet.”
At other times it is successfully explained to the man that the city
assumes that he is looking out for himself and taking care of his own
boy, but it ought to be possible to make him to see that if he feels
that his son needs the education of a farm school, that it lies with
him to agitate the subject and to vote for the man who will secure such
schools. He might well look amazed, were this advice tendered him, for
these questions have never been presented to him to vote upon. Because
he does not eagerly discuss the tariff or other remote subjects which
the political parties present to him from time to time we assume that
he is not to be trusted to vote on the education of his child, although
there is no doubt that the one thing his ancestors decided upon, from
the days of bows and arrows, was the sort of training each one should
give his son.

The fine education that is given to a juvenile offender may indicate
a certain compunction on the part of the State. Quite as men formerly
gloried in warfare and now apologize for it, as they formerly went
out to spoil their enemies and now go to civilize them, so civil
governments, while continuing to maintain prisons, have become more
or less ashamed of them, and are already experimenting in better
ways to elevate and reform criminals than by the way of violence and
imprisonment. We have already said in America that neither a gallows
nor an unmitigated prison shall ever exist for a child.

In the matter of public charities, also, we are not timid as to
extending the function of the government. We build enormous city
hospitals and almhouses; we care with tenderness for the defective and
the dependent; but for that great mass of people just beyond the line,
from whom they are constantly recruited, we do practically nothing.
It has been said that if a workingman in New York falls a victim to
pneumonia, he is taken to a hospital and given skilled treatment; if it
leaves him tubercular the city will have a care over him, and valiantly
will stand by, putting him into a public sanatorium, providing him
with nutritious food and fresh air until his recovery. But if he is
turned away from the hospital without tuberculosis, merely too depleted
and wretched to go back to his regular employment, then the city can
do nothing for him unless he be ready to call himself an out-and-out
pauper. We are afraid of the notion of governmental function which
would minister to the primitive needs of the mass of the people,
although we are quite ready to care for him whom misfortune or disease
has made the exception. It is really the rank and file, the average
citizen, who is ignored by the government, while he works out his real
problems through other agencies, although he is scolded for staying at
home on election day, and for refusing to be interested in issues which
really do not concern him.

It is comparatively easy to understand the punitive point of view which
seeks to suppress, or the philanthropic which seeks to palliate; but
it is much more difficult to formulate that city government which is
adapted to our present normal living. As over against the survivals
of the first two, excellent and necessary as they are, we have but
the few public parks and baths, the few band concerts and recreation
piers--always excepting, of course, the public schools and the social
activities slowly centering around them; for public education has long
been a passion in America, and we seem to have been willing to make
that an exception to our general theory of government.

While governmental functions have shown this remarkable adaptation
and growth in relation to the youth, whether he be in the public
schools, in the Juvenile Court or in the reformatory, we hesitate
to assume toward the adult this temper of the educator who humbly
follows and at the same confidently leads the little child. While the
State spends millions of dollars and employs thousands of servants to
nurture and heal the sick and defective, it steadfastly refuses to
extend its kindliness to the normal working man. The Socialists alone
constantly appeal for this extension. They refuse, however, to deal
with the present State and constantly take refuge in the formulae of
a new scholasticism. Their orators are busily engaged in establishing
two substitutes for human nature which they call “proletarian” and
“capitalist.” They ignore the fact that varying, imperfect human nature
is incalculable, and that to eliminate its varied and constantly
changing elements is to face all the mistakes and miscalculations which
gathered around the “fallen man,” or the “economic man,” or any other
of the fixed norms which have from time to time been substituted for
expanding and developing human life. In time “the proletarian” and “the
capitalist” will become the impedimenta which it will be necessary to
clear away in order to make room for the mass of living and breathing
citizens with whom self-government must eventually deal.

There is no doubt that the existence of the mass, the mere size of the
modern city, increases the difficulty of the situation. Charles Booth’s
maps portraying the standard of living for the people of London afford
almost the only attempt at a general social survey of a modern city, at
least so far as it may be predetermined from the standard of income.
From his accompanying twelve volumes may be deduced the occupations of
the people with their real wages, their family budget and their culture
level, and, to a certain extent, their recreations and spiritual life.
If one gives one’s self over to a moment of musing on this mass of
information, so huge and so accurate, one is almost instinctively aware
that any radical changes, so much needed in the blackest districts,
must largely come from forces outside the life of the people. An
enlarged mental life must come from the educationalist, increased
wages from the business interests, alleviation of suffering from the
philanthropists. What vehicle of correction is provided for the people
themselves, what device has been invented for loosing that kindliness
and mutual aid which is the marvel of all charity visitors? What broad
basis has been laid down for a modification of their most genuine and
pressing needs through their own initiative? The traditional Government
expresses its activity in keeping the streets clean and the district
lighted and policed. It is only during the last quarter of a century
that the London County Council has erected decent houses, public
baths, and many other devices for the purer social life of the people.
American cities have gone no further, although they presumably started
at workingmen’s representation a hundred years ago, so completely were
the founders misled by the name of government, and the temptation to
substitute the form of political democracy for real self-government
dealing with advancing social ideals. Even now London has twenty-eight
Borough Councils, in addition to the London County Council itself,
fifteen hundred direct representatives of the people, as over against
seventy in Chicago although the latter city has a population one-half
as large. Paris has twenty Mayors, with corresponding machinery for
local government, as over against the New York concentration in one
huge City Hall, too often corrupt.

In Germany, perhaps more than anywhere else, the government has
come to concern itself with the primitive essential needs of its
working-people. In their behalf, the Government has forced industry,
in the person of the large manufacturers, to make an alliance with
it. The manufacturers are taxed for accident insurance of workingmen,
for old-age pensions and sick benefits; and a project is being formed
in which they shall bear the large share of insurance against
non-employment when it has been made clear that non-employment
is the result of an economic crisis brought about through the
maladministration of finance.

Germany proposes to regulate the maximum amount of rent which
landlords of certain types of houses may be permitted to require,
quite as the usury laws limit the maximum amount of interest which
may be demanded. And yet industry in Germany has flourished, and
this control on behalf of the normal workingman as he faces life in
his daily vocation has apparently not checked its systematic growth,
nor limited its place in the world’s market. As a result of this
constant supervision of industry, the German police although a part of
a military government, are constantly employed in the regulation of
social affairs; and in these branches of government it is remarked that
they are dropping their military tone and assuming toward the people
the attitude of helpers and protectors. The police force in Germany is
the lowest executive organ of the interior government and there are,
therefore, as many kinds of police departments as there are different
departments in this interior government. They follow the Government
inspectors of the forest, the railways, the fields and roads, to see
that their instructions are obeyed. In the Department of Public
Health it is the police officers who finally enforce instructions in
regard to vaccination, meat inspection, sale of food-stuffs, and the
transportation of animals; in the department of factory inspection
the police not only enforce the provisions of the factory laws, but
they are responsible for the books in which the wages paid to minors
are recorded; and it is from the police stations that the cards of
the Government insurance for working-people are issued. Any special
investigation ordered by the legislature is, as a matter of course,
undertaken by the police. These varied activities, of course, require
men of education and ability, and the very extension of function has
broken down the military ideal in the country where that ideal is most
firmly intrenched. But in a Republic founded upon a revulsion from
oppressive government we still keep the police close to their negative
rôle of preserving order and arresting the criminal. The varied
functions they perform in Germany would be impossible in America,
because it would be hotly resented by the American business man who
will not brook any governmental interference in industrial affairs.
The inherited instinct that government is naturally oppressive, and
that its inroads must be checked, has made it a matter of principle and
patriotism to keep the functions of government more restricted and
more military than has become true in military countries.

Almost every Sunday in the Italian quarter in which I live various
mutual benefit societies march with fife and drum and with a brave
showing of banners, celebrating their achievement in having surrounded
themselves by at least a thin wall of protection against disaster,
upon having set up their mutual good will against the day of
misfortune. These parades have all the emblems of patriotism; indeed,
the associations present the primitive core of patriotism, brothers
standing by each other against hostile forces from without. I assure
you that no Fourth of July celebration, no rejoicing over the birth
of an heir to the Italian throne, equals in heartiness and sincerity
these simple celebrations. Again one longs to pour into the government
of their adopted country all this affection and zeal, this real
patriotism. A system of State insurance would be a very simple device
and secure a large return.

Are we in America retaining eighteenth-century traditions, while
Germany is gradually evolving into a Government logically fitted to
cope with the industrial situation of the twentieth century? Do we
so fail to apprehend what democracy is, that we are really afraid to
extend the functions of municipal administration? Have we lost that
most conservative of all beliefs--the belief in the average man, and
thereby forfeited Aristotle’s ideal of a city “where men live a common
life for noble ends”?

                              CHAPTER IV


American cities have been slow to consider industrial questions as
germane to government, and the Federal authorities have persistently
treated the millions of immigrants who arrive every year upon a
political theory and method adopted a century ago, because both of
them ignore the fact that the organization of industry has completed
a revolution during that period. The gigantic task of standardizing
the successive nations of immigrants throughout the country has fallen
upon workmen because they alone cannot ignore the actual industrial
situation. To thousands of workmen the immigration problem is a
question of holding a job against a constantly lowering standard of
living, and to withstand this stream of “raw labor” means to them the
maintenance of industrial efficiency and of life itself. Workingmen
are engaged in a desperate struggle to maintain a standard of wages
against the constant arrival of unskilled immigrants at the rate of
three-quarters of a million a year, at the very period when the
elaboration of machinery permits the largest use of unskilled men.

It may be owing to the fact that the workingman is brought into direct
contact with the situation as a desperate problem of a living wage
against starvation; it may be that wisdom is at her old trick of
residing in the hearts of the simple, or that this new idealism, which
is that of a reasonable life and labor, must, from the very nature of
things, proceed from those who labor; or possibly it may be because
amelioration arises whence it is so sorely needed; but certainly it is
true, that, while the rest of the country talks of assimilation as if
it were a huge digestive apparatus, the man with whom the immigrant
has come most sharply into competition, has been forced into fraternal
relations with him.

Curiously enough, however, as soon as the immigrant situation is
frankly regarded as an industrial one, as these men must regard it,
the political aspects of the industrial situation is revealed in the
fact that trade organizations which openly concern themselves with
the immigration problem on its industrial side, quickly take on the
paraphernalia and machinery which have hitherto associated themselves
only with governmental life and control. The trades unions have worked
out all over again local autonomy, with central councils and national
representative bodies and the use of the referendum vote; and they also
exhibit many of the features of political corruption and manipulation.

The first real lesson in self-government to many immigrants has come
through the organization of labor unions, and it could come in no
other way, for the union alone has appealed to their necessities. One
sees the first indication of an idealism arising out of these primal
necessities, and at moments one dares to hope that it may be sturdy
enough and sufficiently founded upon experience to make some impression
upon the tremendous immigration situation.

The movements embodying a new idealism have traditionally sought refuge
with those who are near to starvation. Although the spiritual struggle
is associated with the solitary garret of the impassioned dreamer,
it may be that the idealism fitted to our industrial democracy will
be evolved in crowded sewer ditches and in noisy factories. It may
be contended that this remarkable coming together of the workingman
and the immigrant has been the result of an economic pressure, and is
without merit or idealism, and that the trades union record on Chinese
exclusion and negro discrimination has been damaging. Be that as it
may, this assimilation between the immigrant and the workingman has
exhibited amazing strength, which may be illustrated from two careful
studies made in two different parts of the country.

To quote first from a study made from the University of Wisconsin
of the stock yards strike which took place in Chicago in 1904[6]:
“Perhaps the fact of the greatest social significance is that this
was not merely a strike of skilled labor for the unskilled, but was
a strike of Americanized Irish, Germans, and Bohemians, in behalf of
Slovaks, Poles, and Lithuanians.... This substitution of races in the
stock yards has been a continuing process for twenty years. The older
nationalities have already disappeared from the unskilled occupations,
and the substitution of races has evidently run along the line of
lower standard of living. The latest arrivals, the Lithuanians and
Slovaks, are probably the most oppressed of the peasants of Europe.”
The visitors who attended the crowded meetings of the strikers during
the summer of 1904 and heard the same address successively translated
by interpreters into six or eight languages, who saw the respect
shown to the most uncouth of the speakers by the skilled American men
representing a distinctly superior standard of life and thought, could
never doubt the power of the labor organizations for amalgamation,
whatever opinion they might hold concerning their other values. This
may be said in spite of the fact that great industrial disturbances
have arisen from the under-cutting of wages by the lowering of racial
standard. Certainly the most notable of these have taken place in those
industries and at those places in which the importation of immigrants
has been deliberately fostered as a wage-lowering weapon; and even in
those disturbances and under the shock and strain of a long strike,
disintegration did not come along the line of race cleavage.

The other study was made in the anthracite coal fields, and was
undertaken from the University of Pennsylvania[7]: “The United
Mine Workers of America is taking men of a score of nationalities,
English-speaking and Slav, men of widely different creeds, languages,
and customs, and of varying powers of industrial competition, and is
welding them into an industrial brotherhood, each part of which can
at least understand of the others that they are working for one great
and common end. This bond of unionism is stronger than one can readily
imagine who has not seen its mysterious workings or who has not been
a victim of its members’ newly found enthusiasm. It is to-day the
strongest tie that can bind together 147,000 mine workers and the
thousands dependent upon them. It is more than religion, more than the
social ties which hold together members of the same community.”

It was during a remarkable struggle on the part of this amalgamation
of men from all countries, that the United States government, in spite
of itself, was driven to take a hand in an industrial situation,
owing to the long strain and the intolerable suffering entailed upon
the whole country. Even then, however, the Government endeavored to
confine its investigation to the mere commercial questions of tonnage
and freight rates with their political implications, and it was only
when an aroused and moralized public opinion insisted upon it that
the national commission was driven to consider the human aspects of
the case. Because of this public opinion, columns of newspapers and
days of investigation were given to the discussion of the deeds of
violence, discussions having nothing to do with the original demands
of the strikers and entering only into the value set upon human life
by each of the contesting parties. Did the union encourage violence
against non-union men, or did it really do everything to suppress
violence? Did it live up to its creed which was to maintain a standard
of living that families might be properly housed and protected from
debilitating toil and disease, and that children might be nurtured into
American citizenship? Did the operators protect their men as far as
possible from mine damp, from length of hours proven by experience to
be exhausting? Did they pay a wage to the mine laborer sufficient to
allow him to send his children to school? Questions such as these, a
study of the human problem, invaded the commission day after day during
the sitting. One felt for the moment the first wave of a rising tide
of humanitarianism, until the normal ideals of the laborer to secure
food and shelter for his family, a security for his own old age, and
a larger opportunity for his children became the ideals of democratic

Let us imagine the result if, during the long anthracite strike, the
humane instinct had so over-mastered the minds of the strikers, and so
exalted their passions that they had lifted a hand against no man, even
though he seemed to be endangering their cause before their eyes. Such
a result might have come about, partly because the destruction of life
had become abhorrent and impossible to them engaged as they were in
the endeavor to raise life in the coal regions to a higher level, and
partly because they would have scorned to destroy an enemy in order
to achieve a mere negative result when the power lay within themselves
to convert him into an ally, when they might have made him a source
of help and power, a comrade of the same undertaking. If the element
of battle, of mere self-seeking, could be eliminated from strikes,
if they could remain a sheer uprising of the oppressed and underpaid
to a self-conscious recognition of their condition, so unified, so
irresistible as to sweep all the needy within its flood, we should have
a tide rising, not to destruction, but to beneficence. Let us imagine
the state of public feeling if there had been absolutely no act of
violence traceable, directly or indirectly, to the union miners; if
during the long months of the strike the great body of miners could
have added the sanction of sustained conduct to their creed. Public
sympathy would have led to an understanding of the need these miners
were trying to meet, and the American nation itself might have been
ready to ask for legislation concerning the minimum wage, and for
protection to life and limb, equal to the legislation of New Zealand
or Germany. But because the element of warfare unhappily did exist,
government got back to its old business of repression.

To preserve law and order is obviously the function of government
everywhere; and yet in our complicated modern society, especially as
thousands of varied peoples are crowded into cities, it is not always
easy to see just where real social order lies. The officials themselves
are sometimes perplexed, and at other times deliberately use the
devices of government for their own ends. We may take once more in
illustration the great strike in the Chicago stock-yards. The immediate
object of the strike was the protection of the wages of the unskilled
men from a cut of one cent per hour, although, of course, the unions
of skilled men felt that this first invasion of the wages increased
through the efforts of the union, would be but the entering wedge of an
attempt to cut wages in all the trades represented in the stock-yards.
Owing to the refusal on the part of the unions to accept arbitration
offered by the packers at an embarrassing moment, and because of the
failure of the unions to carry out the terms of a contract, the strike
in its early stages completely lost the sympathy of that large part of
the public dominated by ideals of business honor and fair dealing. It
lost, too, the sympathy of that growing body of organized labor which
is steadily advancing in a regard for the validity of the contract, and
is faithfully cherishing the hope that in time the trades unions may
universally attain an accredited business standing.

The leaders after the first ten days were, therefore, forced to
make the most of the purely human appeal which lay in the situation
itself, that 30,000 men, including the allied trades, were losing
weeks of wages, with a possible chance of the destruction of their
unions on behalf of the unskilled who were the newly arrived Poles
and Lithuanians, unable as yet to look out for themselves. Owing
to the irregular and limited hours of work--a condition quite like
that prevailing on the London docks before the great strike of the
dockers--the weekly wage of these unskilled men was exceptionally low,
and the plea of the strikers was based upon the duty of the strong
to the weak. A chivalric call was issued that the standard of life
might be raised to that designated as American, and that this mass of
unskilled men might secure an education for their children. Of course
no appeal could have been so strong as this purely human one which
united for weeks thousands of men of a score of nationalities into that
solidarity which only comes through a self-sacrificing devotion to an
absorbing cause.

The strike involved much suffering and many unforeseen complications.
At the end of eight weeks the union leaders made the best terms
possible. Through these terms the skilled workers were guaranteed
against a reduction in wages, but no provision was made for the
unskilled in whose behalf the strike had at first been undertaken.
Although the hard-pressed leaders were willing to make this concession,
the politicians in the meanwhile had seen the great value of the human
sentiment which bases its appeal on the need of the under dog and which
had successfully united this mass of workingmen into a new comradeship
with the immigrants. The appeal was infinitely more valuable than any
merely political cry, and the fact that the final terms of settlement
were submitted to a referendum vote at once gave the local politicians
a chance to avail themselves of this big, loosely defined sympathy.
They did avail themselves of this in so dramatic a manner that they
almost succeeded, solely upon that appeal, in taking the strike out of
the hands of the legitimate officers and placing it in their own hands
for their own political ends.

The situation was a typical one, exemplifying the real aim of popular
government with its concern for primitive needs, forced to seek
expression outside of the organized channels of government. If the
militia could have been called in, government would have been placed
even more dramatically in the position of the oppressor of popular
self-government. The phenomenal good order, the comparative lack of
violence on the part of the striking workmen, gave no chance for the
bringing in of the militia. The city politician was of course very much
disappointed, for it would have afforded him an opening to put the
odium of this traditional opposition of government, an opposition which
has always been most dramatically embodied in the soldier, upon the
political party dominating the State but not the city. It would have
given the city politician an excellent opportunity to show the concern
of himself and his party for the real people, as over against the
attitude of the party dominating the State. But because the militia was
not called, his scheme failed, and the legitimate strike leaders who,
although they passed through much tribulation because of this political
interference, did not eventually lose control.

The situation in the Chicago stock-yards also afforded an excellent
epitome of the fact that government so often finds itself, not only in
opposition to the expressed will of the people making the demand at the
moment, but apparently against the best instincts of the mass of the
citizens as a whole.

For years the city administration had so protected the property
interests invested in the stock-yards, that none of the sanitary
ordinances had ever been properly enforced. The sickening stench and
the scum on the branch of the river known as Bubbly Creek at times
made that section of the city unendurable. The smoke ordinances were
openly ignored, nor did the meat inspector ever seriously interfere
with business, being quite willing to have meat sold in Chicago which
had not passed the inspection for foreign markets. The water steals,
too, for which the stock-yards were at one time notorious, must have
been more or less known to certain officials. But all this merely
corrupted a limited number of inspectors, and although their corruption
was complete and involved entire administrations, it did not actually
touch large numbers of persons. During the strike of 1904, however,
1,200 policemen, actual men possessed of human sensibilities, were
called upon to patrol the yards inside and out. There is no doubt
that the police inspector of the district thoroughly represented the
alliance of the City Hall with the business interests, that he did
not mean to discover anything which was derogatory to the packers nor
to embarrass them in any way during the conduct of the strike. Had
these 1,200 men, more than a regiment in numbers, been a regiment in
training and tradition, they, too, would have seen nothing, and would
have been content at heart, as they were obliged to be in conduct, to
have arrested the strikers on the slightest provocation, and to have
protected the strike-breakers.

But they were, in point of fact, called upon to face a very peculiar
situation, because of the type of men and women who formed the bulk
of the strike-breakers, and because, during the first weeks of the
strike, these men and women were kept constantly inside the yards,
day and night. In order to hold them at all, discipline outside of
working hours was thoroughly relaxed, and the policemen in charge
of the yards, while there ostensibly to enforce law and order, were
obliged every night to connive at prize-fighting, at open gambling, and
at prostitution. They were there, not to enforce law and order as it
defines itself in the minds of the bulk of healthy-minded citizens, but
only to keep the strikers from molesting the non-union workers. This
was certainly commendable, but, after all, only part of their real duty.

Because they were normal men living in the midst of normal life and
not in barracks, they were shocked by the law-breaking which they were
ordered to protect, and much drawn in sympathy to the strikers whom
they were supposed to regard as public enemies. An investigator who
interviewed one hundred policemen found only one who did not frankly
extol the virtues of the strikers as over against the shocking vices of
the imported men. This, of course, was an extreme case brought about by
the unusual and peculiar type of the imported strike-breakers. There
is, however, trustworthy evidence incorporated in affidavits which were
at the time submitted to the Mayor of Chicago, concerning the unlawful
conduct of the men who were under the protection of the city police.

It was hard for a patriot not to feel jealous of the union and of the
enthusiasm of those newly emigrated citizens. They poured out their
gratitude and affection upon this first big friendly force which had
offered them help in their desperate struggle in the New World. This
devotion, this comradeship, and this fine _esprit de corps_ should have
been won by the Government itself from these newly arrived, scared,
and untrained citizens. The union was that which had concerned itself
with the real struggle for life, shelter, a chance to work, and bread
for their children. It had come to them in a language they could
understand, through men with interests akin to their own, and it gave
them both their first chance to express themselves through a democratic
vote, and an opportunity to register by a ballot their real opinion
upon a very important matter.

They used the referendum votes, the latest and perhaps the most clever
device of democratic government, and yet they used it to decide a
question which the government supposed to be quite outside its realm.
When they left the old country, the government of America held their
deepest hopes, and represented that which they believed would obtain
for them the fullness of life denied them in the lands of oppressive
governments. It is a curious commentary on the fact that we have not
yet attained self-government when the real and legitimate objects of
men’s desires must still be incorporated in those voluntary groups for
which the government, when it does its best, can only afford protection
from interference. As the religious revivalist looks with longing upon
the fervor of a single-tax meeting, as the orthodox Jew sees his son
stay away from Yom Kippur service in order to pour all his religious
fervor, his precious zeal for righteousness which has been gathered
through the centuries, into the Socialist Labor Party--so a patriot
finds himself exclaiming to the immigrant, like another Andrea del
Sarto to his wife, “Oh, but what do they--what do they to please you

The stock-yards strike afforded an example of the national appeal
subordinated to an appeal made in the name of labor. During the early
stages of the strike it was discovered that newly arrived Macedonians
were taking many of the places vacated by the strikers. One of the
most touching scenes during the strike was the groups of Macedonians
who would sit together in the twilight playing on primitive pipes
singularly like the one which is associated with the great god Pan. The
slender song would carry amazingly in the smoke-bedimmed air, affecting
the spectator with a curious sense of incongruity.

When the organized labor of Chicago discovered that the strikers’
places were taken by Greeks, the unions threatened, unless the Greeks
were “called off,” to boycott the Greek fruit-dealers all over the
city, who with their street stands are singularly dependent upon
the patronage of workingmen. The fact that the strike-breakers were
Macedonians, as it happened, was an additional advantage at the
moment; for the Greeks have been much concerned to make it clear that
Macedonia belongs to Greece, and have hotly resented the efforts of
Bulgaria to establish a protectorate over the country. They therefore
responded at once to this acknowledgment of their claim, and, partly to
show that the Macedonians and Greeks were countrymen, partly because
they resented the implication that a Greek could act a cowardly part
in any situation, and also, doubtless, because they were merchants
threatened with loss of trade, they made superhuman efforts to clear
the yards of Macedonians. This they accomplished in a remarkably short
time. So reckless were they in the methods they used that it was
common gossip throughout the Greek colony that strike-breakers would
be refused the comforts of religion by the Greek priests in the city,
although doubtless this rumor was unfounded. This utter recklessness
of method, this determination to deter strike-breaking at any cost,
is, of course, a revelation of the war element which is an essential
part of any strike. The appeal to “loyalty” is the nearest approach to
a moral appeal which can be safely made in the midst of a war of any
sort. During a long strike one result of the non-moral appeal is to
confuse the situation so that it becomes utterly impossible to tell how
many men refuse to become strike-breakers because they are terrorized
and how many stay away from conviction. The non-moral appeal not only
sins against the principles advocated by trades unionists, but it
contradicts itself and brings great confusion into the situation, as
war ideals always do when thrust into a peaceful society. It was, for
instance, quite impossible to tell whether the lowering in the type
of man who was willing to take a striker’s place, so that at last
only very ignorant men from the southern plantations could be induced
to work, was due to a species of class consciousness, a response to
the demand felt so strongly by labor men--“Thou shalt not take thy
neighbor’s job”--or whether workingmen are becoming so afraid to take
striker’s places that these places must at last be given to men who
have come from such remote parts of the country that “they do not know
enough to be afraid.” The unions themselves could take no accounting of
their real strength because of the terrorism which had become thrust
into the situation. And yet all that the stock-yards workers were
demanding through this long and disastrous strike, was the minimum
wage which has been guaranteed by conservative governments elsewhere,
and is recognized even in the United States in much governmental work
under the contracts of civil or Federal authorities. So timid are
American cities, however, in dealing with this perfectly reasonable
subject of wages in its relation to municipal employees, that when they
do prescribe a minimum wage for city contract work, they allow it to
fall into the hands of the petty politician and to become part of a
political game, making no effort to give it a dignified treatment in
relation to the cost of living and to the margin of leisure. In this
the English cities have anticipated us, both as to time and legitimate
procedure. Have Americans formed a sort of “imperialism of virtue,”
holding on to preconceived ideals of government and insisting that
they must fit all the people who come to our shores, even though they
crush the most promising bits of self-expression in the process? Is the
American attitude toward self-government like that of the Anglo-Saxon
towards civilization, save that he goes forth to rule all the nations
of the earth by one pattern, while we remain at home and bid them to
rule themselves by one pattern? We firmly decline not only to consider
matters of industry and commerce as germane to government, but we also
decline to bring men together upon that most natural and inevitable of
all foundations, their industrial needs.

The government which refuses to consider matters of this sort, or at
least waits until their neglect becomes a scandal before it consents to
deal with them, as a result of this caution forces the most patriotic
citizens to ignore the Government and to embody their scruples and
hopes of progress in voluntary organizations. To be afraid to extend
the functions of government may be to lose what we have. A government
has always received feeble support from its constituents as soon as
its demands appeared childish or remote. Citizens inevitably neglect
or abandon civic duty, when their government no longer embodies their
genuine desires. It is useless to hypnotize ourselves by unreal talk of
colonial ideas, and of our patriotic duty towards immigrants as though
the situation was one demanding the passage of a set of resolutions
when we fail to realize that the nation can be saved only by patriots
who are possessed of a contemporaneous knowledge.

As industrial relations imply peaceful relations, under a certain
rough reorganization and reconstruction of governmental functions
which the association of labor presents, it is inevitable that in
its international aspects the association should formally advocate
universal peace. Workmen have always realized, however feebly and
vaguely they may have expressed it, that it is they who in all ages
have borne the heaviest burden of privation and suffering imposed on
the world by the military spirit.

The first international organization founded, not to promote a
colorless peace, but to advance and develop the common life of all
nations, was founded in London in 1864 by workingmen, and was called
simply “The International Association of Workingmen.” They recognized
that a supreme interest raised all workingmen above the prejudice of
race, and united them by wider and deeper principles than those by
which they were separated into nations. They hoped that as religion,
science, art, had become international, so now at last labor might take
its place as an international interest. A few years later, at its third
congress in Brussels they recommended that in case of war a universal
strike be declared.

There is a growing conviction among workingmen of all countries
that, whatever may be accomplished by a national war, however moral
the supposed aim of such a war, there is one inevitable result--an
increased standing army, the soldiers of which are non-producers, and
must be fed by the workers.

The surprising growth of Socialism, at the moment, is due largely to
the fact that it is the only political party upon an international
basis, and also that it frankly ventures its future upon a better
industrial organization. These two aspects have had much more to do
with its hold in industrial neighborhoods than have its philosophic
tenets or the impassioned appeal of its propagandists. The Socialists
are making almost the sole attempt to preach a morality sufficiently
all-embracing and international to keep pace with even that material
internationalism which has standarized the threads of screws and the
size of bolts, so that machines may become interchangeable from one
country to another. It is the same sort of internationalism which
Mazzini preached when distracted Italy was making her desperate
struggle for a unified and national life. He issued his remarkable
address to her workingmen and solemnly told them that the life of the
nation could not be made secure until her patriots were ready to die
for human issues. He saw, earlier than most men, that the desire to
be at unity with all human beings, to claim the sense of a universal
affection is a force not to be ignored. He believed that it might
even then be strong enough to devour the flimsy stuff called national
honor, glory, and prestige, which incite to war and induce workingmen
to trample over each other’s fields and to destroy the results of each
other’s labor.

Workingmen dream of an industrialism which shall be the handmaid of
a commerce ministering to an increased power of consumption among
the producers of the world, binding them together in a genuine
internationalism. Existing commerce has long ago reached its
international stage, but it has been the result of business aggression
and constantly appeals for military defense and for the forcing of new
markets. In so far as commerce has rested upon the successful capture
of the resources of the workers, it has been a relic of the mediaeval
baron issuing forth to seize the merchants’ boats as they passed his
castle on the Rhine. It has logically lent itself to warfare, and is,
indeed, the modern representative of conquest. As its prototype rested
upon slavery and vassalage, so this commerce is founded upon a contempt
for the worker and believes that he can live on low wages. It assumes
that his legitimate wants are the animal ones comprising merely food
and shelter and the cost of replacement. The industrialism of which
this commerce is a part, exhibits this same contemptuous attitude, but
it is more easily extended to immigrants than to any other sort of
workmen because they seem further away from a common standard of life.
This attitude toward the immigrant simply illustrates once more that it
is around the deeply significant idea of the standard of life that our
industrial problems of to-day centre. The desire for a higher standard
of living in reality forms the base of all the forward movements of
the working class. “The significance of the standard of life lies not
so much in the fact that for each of us it is different, as that for
all of us it is progressive,”[8] constantly invading new realms. To
imagine that for immigrants it is merely a question of tin cups and
plates stored in a bunk _versus_ a white cloth and a cottage table,
and that all goes well if sewing-machines and cottage-organs reach
the first generation of immigrants, and fashionable dressmakers and
pianos the second, is of course a most untutored interpretation. Until
the standard of life is apprehended in its real significance and made
the crux of the immigrant situation, as recent economists are making
the power of consumption the test of a nation’s prosperity, we shall
continue to ignore the most obvious and natural basis for understanding
and mutual citizenship.

Because workmen have been forced to consider this standard of living
in regard to immigrants as well as themselves, they have made genuine
efforts toward amalgamation. This is perhaps easily explained, for,
after all, the man in this country who realizes human equality is not
he who repeats the formula of the eighteenth century, but he who has
learned that the “idea of equality is an outgrowth of man’s primary
relations with nature. Birth, growth, nutrition, reproduction, death,
are the great levelers that remind us of the essential equality of
human life. It is with the guarantee of equal opportunities to play
our parts well in these primary processes that government is chiefly
concerned”[9] and not merely with the repression of the vicious, nor
with guarding the rights of property. All that devotion of the trades
union for the real issues and trials of life could, of course, easily
be turned into a passion for self-government and for the development
of the national life if we were really democratic from the modern
evolutionary standpoint, and held our town-meetings upon the topics of
vital concern.

So long, however, as the Government declines to concern itself with
these deeper issues involved in the standard of life and the industrial
status of thousands of its citizens, we must lose it.

If progress were inaugurated by those members of the community who
possess the widest knowledge and superior moral insight, then social
amelioration might be brought about without the bungling and mistakes
which so distress us all. But, over and over again, salutary changes
are projected and carried through by men of even less than the average
ethical development, because their positions in life have brought them
in contact with the ills of existing arrangements. To quote from John
Morley: “In matters of social improvement, the most common reason
why one hits upon a point of progress and not another, is that one
happens to be more directly touched than the other by the unimproved
practice.”[10] Perhaps this is a sufficient explanation of the fact
that untrained workmen are entrusted with the difficult task of
industrial amelioration and adjustment, while the rest of the community
often seems ignorant of the truth that institutions which do not march
with the extension of human needs and relationships are dead, and may
easily become a deterrent to social progress. Unless we subordinate
class interests and class feeling to a broader conception of social
progress, unless we take pains to come in contact with the surging and
diverse peoples who make up the nation, we cannot hope to attain a sane
social development. We need rigid enforcement of the existing laws,
while at the same time, we frankly admit the inadequacy of these laws,
and work without stint for progressive regulations better fitted to
the newer issues among which our lot is cast; for, unless the growing
conscience is successfully embodied in legal enactment, men lose the
habit of turning to the law for guidance and redress.

I recall, in illustration of this, an instance which took place fifteen
years ago. I had newly come to Chicago, fresh from the country, and had
little idea of the social and industrial conditions in which I found
myself on Halsted Street, when a dozen girls came from a neighboring
factory with a grievance in regard to their wages. The affair could
hardly have been called a labor difficulty. The girls had never heard
of a trades union, and were totally unaccustomed to acting together.
It was more in the nature of a “scrap” between themselves and their
foreman. In the effort toward adjustment, there remains vividly in my
memory a conversation I had with a leading judge who arbitrated the
difficulty. He expressed his belief in the capacity of the common law
to meet all legitimate labor difficulties as they arise. He trusted
its remarkable adaptability to changing conditions under the decisions
of wise and progressive judges. He contended, however, that, in order
to adjust it to our industrial affairs, it must be interpreted, not so
much in relation to precedents established under a judicial order which
belongs to the past, but in reference to that newer sense of justice
which this generation is seeking to embody in industrial relations. He
foresaw something of the stress and storm of the industrial conflicts
which have occurred in Chicago since then, and he expressed the hope
that the Bench of Cook County might seize the opportunity, in this
new and difficult situation, of dealing with labor difficulties in a
judicial spirit.

What a difference it would have made in the history of Chicago during
the last fifteen years if more men had been possessed of this temper
and wisdom, and had refused to countenance the use of force. If more
men had been able to see the situation through a fresher medium; to
apprehend that the old legal enactments were too individualistic and
narrow; that a difference in degree may make a difference in kind;
if they had realized that they were the first generation of American
jurists who had to deal with a situation made novel by the fact that
it was brought about by the coming together of two millions of people
largely on an industrial basis!

Our constitutions were constructed by the advanced men of the
eighteenth century, who had studied the works of the most radical
thinkers of that century. Radicalism then meant a more democratic
political organization, and in its defence, they fearlessly quoted the
Greek city and the Roman Forum. But we have come to admit that our
present difficulties are connected with our industrial organization
and with the lack of connection between that organization and our
inherited democratic form of government. If self-government were
to be inaugurated by the advanced men of the present moment, they
would make a most careful research into those early organizations of
village communities, folk-motes, and mirs, those primary cells of
both industrial and political organizations, where the people knew
no difference between the two, but, quite simply, met to consider in
common discussion all that concerned their common life. They would
investigate the crafts, guilds, and artels, which combine government
with daily occupations, as did the self-governing university and free
town. They would seek for the connection between the liberty-loving
mediaeval city and its free creative architecture, that art which
combines the greatest variety of artists and artisans. They would
not altogether ignore the “compulsion of origins” and the fact that
our present civilization is most emphatically an industrial one. In
Germany, when the Social Democratic party first vigorously asserted the
economic basis of society and laid the emphasis upon its industrial
aspect, the Government itself, in a series of legislative measures,
designated “the Socialism of Bismarck,” found itself dealing directly
with industry, through a sheer effort to give itself a touch of
reality. The Government of Russia, in the first year of the Japanese
War, made an effort to relieve the needs of the people. The bureaucracy
itself organized the workmen into a species of trades unions through
which the Russian Government promised to protect the proletarian from
the aggressions of capital. The entire incident was suggestive of the
protection afforded by the central State to the slowly emancipated
serfs of central Europe when the barons, reluctant to give up their
rights and privileges, so unjustly oppressed them.

Shall a democracy be slower than these old Powers to protect its
humblest citizen, and shall it see them slowly deteriorating because,
according to democratic theory, they do not need protection?


[6] Trade Unionism and Labor Problems, by John R. Commons, page 248.

[7] “The Slav Invasion,” by F. J. Warne, pages 118, 119.

[8] The Standard of Life, by Mrs. Bernard Bosanquet, page 4.

[9] The American City. Delos F. Wilcox, page 200.

[10] Compromise, John Morley, page 213.

                               CHAPTER V


This generation is constantly confronted by radical industrial changes,
from which the community as a whole profits, but which must inevitably
bring difficulty of adjustment and disaster to men of certain trades.
In all fairness, these difficulties should be distributed and should
not be allowed to fall completely upon the group of working-people
whose labor is displaced as a result of the changes and who are obliged
to learn anew their method of work and mode of life.

If the great industrial changes could be considered as belonging
to the community as a whole and could be reasonably dealt with,
the situation would then be difficult enough, but it is enormously
complicated by the fact that society has become divided into camps in
relation to the industrial system and that many times the factions
break out into active hostility. These two camps inevitably develop
group morality--the employers tending toward the legal and contractual
development of morality, the workingmen toward the sympathetic
and human. Among our contemporaries, these two are typified by the
employers associations and the trades unions.

It is always difficult to judge a contemporaneous movement with any
degree of fairness, and it is perennially perplexing to distinguish
what is merely adventitious and temporary from that which represents
essential and permanent tendencies. This discrimination is made much
more difficult when a movement exhibits various stages of development
contemporaneously, when a dozen historic phases are going on at the
same time. Yet every historic movement towards democracy, which
constantly gathers to itself large bodies of raw recruits while the
older groups are moving on, presents this peculiar difficulty. In the
case of trades unions, certain groups are marked by lawlessness and
disorder, others by most decorous business methods, and still others
are fairly decadent in their desire for monopolistic control. It is a
long cry from the Chartists of 1839, burning hayricks, to John Burns of
1902, pleading in the House of Commons with well-reasoned eloquence for
an extension of the workingmen’s franchise. Nevertheless they are both
manifestations of the same movement towards universal suffrage and show
no greater difference than that between the Chicago teamsters, who
were blocking commerce and almost barricading the streets in 1902 when
at the same moment John Mitchell made his well-considered statement
that he would rather lose the coal strike, with all that that loss
implied, than gain it at the cost of violence. Students of industrial
history will point out the sequence and development of the political
movement from the Chartist to the Independent Labor party. They will
tell us that the same desire burned in the hearts of the ignorant
farmers which fired the distinguished parliamentarian, but they give
no help to our bewildered minds when we would fain discover some order
and sequence between the widely separated events of the contemporaneous
labor movement.

We must first get down to the question, In what does “the inevitably
destined rise of the men of labor” consist? What are we trying to
solve in this “most hazardous problem of the age”? Is progress in the
labor movement to come, as we are told progress comes in the non-moral
world, by the blind, brute struggle of individual interests; or is it
to come, as its earlier leaders believed, through the operation of the
human will? Is it a question of morals which must depend upon educators
and apostles; or is it merely a conflict of opposing rights which may
legitimately use coercion? The question, from the very nature of the
case, is confusing; for, of necessity, the labor movement has perfectly
legitimate economic and business aspects, which loom large and easily
overshadow the ethical. We would all agree that only when men have
education, a margin of leisure, and a decent home can they find room to
develop the moral life. Before that, there are too many chances that
it will be crushed out by ignorance, by grinding weariness, and by
indecency. But the danger lies in the conviction that these advantages
are to be secured by any means, moral or non-moral, and in holding them
paramount to the inner life which they are supposed to nourish. The
labor movement is confronted by that inevitable problem which confronts
every movement and every individual. How far shall the compromise be
made between the inner concept and the outer act? How may we concede
what it is necessary to concede, without conceding all?

We constantly forget that, in the last analysis, the spiritual growth
of one social group is conditioned by the reaction of other social
groups upon it. We ignore the fact that the worship of success, so long
dominant in America, has taught the majority of our citizens to count
only accomplishment and to make little inquiry concerning methods.
Success has become the sole standard in regard to business enterprises
and political parties, but it is evident that the public intends to
call a halt before it is willing to apply the same standard to labor

It is clear that the present moment is one of unusual crisis--that many
of the trades unions of America have reached a transitional period,
when they can no longer be mere propagandists, but are called upon to
deal with concrete and difficult situations. When they were small and
persecuted, they held to the faith and its implication of idealism. As
they become larger and more powerful, they make terms with the life
about them, and compromise as best they may with actual conditions.

The older unions, which have reached the second stage that may be
described as that of business dealing, are constantly hampered and
harassed by the actions of the younger unions which are still in the
enthusiastic stage. This embarrassment is especially notable just
now, for, during this last period of prosperity, trades unions have
increased enormously in numbers; the State Federation of Minnesota,
for instance, reported an increase of six hundred per cent. in one
year. Nearly all the well-established unions have been flooded by new
members who are not yet assimilated and disciplined.

During this period of extraordinary growth, the labor movement has
naturally attracted to itself hundreds of organizations which are yet
in their infancy and exhibit all the weakness of “group morality.” This
doubtless tends to a conception of moral life which is as primitive as
that which controlled the beginnings of patriotism, when the members
of the newly conscious nation considered all those who were outside
as possible oppressors and enemies, and were loyal only towards those
whom their imagination included as belonging to the national life. They
gave much, and demanded much, in the name of blood brothers, but were
merciless to the rest of the world. In addition to its belligerent
youth and its primitive morality, the newer union is prone to declare
a strike, simply because the members have long suffered what they
consider to be grievances, and the accumulated sense of unredressed
wrong makes them eager for a chance to “fight for their rights.” At
the same time, the employer always attempts his most vigorous attack
upon a new union, both because he does not wish organized labor to
obtain a foothold in his factory, and because his chances for success
are greater before his employees are well disciplined in unionism.
Nevertheless in actual conflict a young union will often make a more
reckless fight than an older one, like the rough rider in contrast
with the disciplined soldier. The members of a newly organized group
naturally respond first to a sense of loyalty to each other as against
their employers, and then to the wider consciousness of organized
labor as against capital. This stage of trades unionism is full of
war phraseology, with its “pickets” and “battle-grounds,” and is
responsible for the most serious mistakes of the movement.

The sense of group loyalty holds trades unionists longer than is normal
to other groups, doubtless because of the constant accessions of those
who are newly conscious of its claims.

Those Chicago strikes, which, during the last few years, have
been most notably characterized by disorder and the necessity for
police interference, have almost universally been inaugurated by
the newly organized unions. They have called to their aid the older
organizations, and the latter have entered into the struggle many times
under protest and most obviously against their best interests.

The Chicago Federation of Labor has often given its official
indorsement to hot-headed strikes on the part of “baby unions” because
the delegates from the newly organized or freshly recruited unions had
the larger vote, and the appeal to loyalty and to fraternity carried
the meeting against the judgment of the delegates from the older unions.

The members of newly organized unions more readily respond to the
appeal to strike, in that it stirs memory of their “organization
night,” when they were admitted after solemn ceremonies into the
American Federation of Labor. At the same time, the organizers
themselves often hold out too large promises, on the sordid side, of
what organization will be able to accomplish. They tell the newly
initiated what other unions have done, without telling at the same time
how long they have been organized and how steadily they have paid dues.
Several years ago, when there seemed to be a veritable “strike fever”
in Chicago among the younger trades unions, it was suggested in the
Federation of Labor that no union be authorized to declare a strike
until it had been organized for at least two years. The regulation
was backed by some of the strongest and wisest trades unionists,
but it failed to pass because the organizers were convinced that it
would cripple them in forming new unions. They would be obliged to
point to many months of patient payment of dues and humdrum meetings
before any real gain could be secured. The organizers, in fact, are
in the position of a recruiting officer who is obliged to tell his
raw material of all the glories of war, but at the same time bid them
remember that warfare is always inexpedient. He must advise them to
take a long and tedious training in the arts of diplomacy and in the
most advanced methods of averting war before any action can possibly be

In point of fact the organizers do not do this, and many men join
unions expecting that a strike will be speedily declared which will
settle all the difficulties of modern industrialism. It is, therefore,
not so remarkable that strikes should occur often and should exhibit
warlike features. What is remarkable is the attitude of the public
which has certainly eliminated the tactics of war in other civil

A tacit admission that a strike is war and that all the methods of
warfare are permissible was made in Chicago during the teamsters’
strike of 1905, when there was little protest against the war method
of conducting a struggle between two private organizations, one of
employer and one of employed. Why should the principles of legal
adjustment have been thus complacently flung to the winds by the two
millions of citizens who had no direct interest in this struggle, but
whose pursuits in business were interfered with, whose safety on the
streets was imperiled, and whose moral sensibilities were outraged?

How did the public become hypnotized into a passive endurance of a
street warfare in which two associations were engaged, like feudal
chiefs with their recalcitrant retainers? In those similar cases, when
blood grew too hot on both sides, the mediaeval emperor intervened and
compelled peace. General public opinion is our hard-won substitute for
the emperor’s personal will. Public opinion, however, did not assert
itself and interfere--on the contrary, the entire town acquiesced in
the statement of the contestants that this method of warfare was the
only one possible, and thereupon yielded to a tendency to overvalue
physical force and to ignore the subtler and less obvious conditions on
which the public welfare rests. At that time all methods of arbitration
and legal redress were completely set aside.

There is no doubt but that ideas and words which at one time fill a
community with enthusiasm may, after a few years, cease to be a moving
force, apparently from no other reason than that they are spent and
no longer fit into the temper of the hour. Such a fate has evidently
befallen the word “arbitration,” at least in Chicago, as it is applied
to industrial struggles. Almost immediately following the labor
disturbances of 1894 in Chicago, the agitation was begun for a State
Board of Arbitration, resulting in legislation and the appointment of
the Illinois Board. At that time the public believed that arbitration
would go far towards securing industrial peace, or at least that it
would provide the device through which labor troubles could be speedily
adjusted, and during that period there was much talk concerning
compulsory arbitration with reference to the successful attempts in New

During the industrial struggles of later years, however, not only
are the services of the State Board rejected, but voluntary bodies
constantly find their efforts less satisfactory. Employers contend
that arbitration implies the yielding of points on both sides.
Since, however, most boards of arbitration provide that grievances
must be submitted to them before the strike occurs, and the men are
thus kept at work while the grievances are being considered, the men
therefore have virtually nothing to lose by declaring a strike. They
are subjected to a temptation to constantly formulate new demands,
because, without losing time or pay, they are almost certain to secure
some concession, however small, in their favor. The employers in the
teamsters’ strike thus explained their position when they declared
that there was nothing which could be submitted to arbitration. These
employers also contended that the ordinary court has no precedent
for dealing with questions of hours and wages, of shop rules, and
many other causes of trade-union disputes, because all these matters
are new as questions of law and can be satisfactorily adjusted only
through industrial courts in which tradition and precedent bearing
upon modern industrial conditions have been accumulated. The rise and
fall of wages affect not one firm only, but a national industry, and
even the currents of international trade, so that it is impossible to
treat of them as matters in equity. With this explanation, the Chicago
public rested content during the long weeks of the teamsters’ strike,
for no one pointed out that these arguments did not apply to this
particular situation, so accustomed have we grown in Chicago to warfare
as a method of settling labor disputes. The charges of the Employers’
Association against the teamsters did not involve any points demanding
adjustment through industrial courts. The charges the Employers’
Association made were those of broken contracts, of blackmail, and of
conspiracy, all of them points which are constantly adjudicated in Cook
County courts.

It was constantly asserted that officers of the Teamsters’ Union
demanded money from employers in the height of the busy season in order
to avert threatened strikes; that there was a disgraceful alliance
between certain members of the Team Owners’ Association and officers of
the Teamsters’ Union.

It would, of course, have been impossible to prove blackmail and
the charges of “graft,” unless the employers themselves or their
representatives had borne testimony, which would inevitably have
implicated themselves. During the first weeks of the strike, these
charges were freely made, definite sums were named, and dates were
given. There was also an offer on the part of various managers to make
affidavits, but later they shrank from the publicity, and refused to
give them, preferring apparently to throw the whole town into disorder
rather than to “stand up” to the consequences of their own acts and to
acknowledge the bribery to which they claim they were forced to resort.
They demonstrated once more that a show of manliness and an appeal to
arms may many times hide cowardice.

To throw affairs into a state of warfare is to put them where the moral
aspect will not be scrutinized and where the mere interest of the game
and a desire to watch it will be paramount.

The vicious combination represented by certain men in the Team Owners’
Association and in the Teamsters’ Union, “the labor and capital hunting
together” kind, is a public menace which can be abolished only by a
combined effort on the part of the best employers and the best labor
men. The “better element” certainly were in a majority, for the most
dangerous members of this sinister combination were at last reduced
to fifteen or twenty men. These very men, however, after a prolonged
strike, became either victors or martyrs, and in either case were
firmly established in power and influence for the succeeding two
years. Why should an entire city of two million people have been put
to such an amazing amount of inconvenience and financial loss, with
their characters brutalized as well, in order to accomplish this? The
traditional burning of the house in order to roast the pig is quite
outdone by this overturning of a city in order to catch a “score of
rascals,” for in the end the rascals are not caught, and it is as if
the house were burned and the pig had escaped. Was it not the result
of acting under military fervor? Over and over again it has been found
that organizations based upon a mutual sense of grievance or of outrage
have always been militant, for while men cannot be formed permanently
into associations whose chief bond is a sense of exasperation and
wrong dealing, during the time they are thus held together they are
committed to aggressive action.

Moral rights and duties formed upon the relations of man to man are
applicable to all situations, and to deny this applicability to a
difficult case, is to beg the entire question. The consequences do not
stop there, for we all know that to deny the validity of the moral
principle in one relation is to sap its strength in all relations.

Employers often resent being obliged to have business relations
with workingmen, although they no longer say that they will refuse
to deal with them, as a woman still permits herself to say that she
“will not argue with a servant.” They nevertheless contend that the
men are unreasonable, and that because it is impossible to establish
contractual relations with them, they must be coerced. This contention
goes far toward legitimatizing terrorism. It therefore seems to them
defensible to refuse to go into the courts and to insist upon war
because they do it from a consciousness of rectitude, although this
insensibly slips into a consciousness of power, as self-righteousness
is so prone to do. But these are all the traits of militant youth,
which in the teamsters’ strike was indeed borne out by the facts in the

The Employers’ Association of Chicago was largely composed of merchants
whose experience with trades unionism was almost limited to the
Teamsters’ Union which has been in existence for only five years and,
from the first, has been truculent and difficult. Had the employers
involved been manufacturers instead of merchants, they would have had
years of experience with unions of skilled men, and they would have
more nearly learned to adjust their personal and business relations
to trades unionism. When an entire class in a community confess that
without an appeal to arms they cannot deal with trades unions, who,
after all, represent a national and international movement a hundred
years old, they practically admit that they cannot manage their
business under the existing conditions of modern life. To a very
great extent it is a confession of weakness, to a very great extent a
confession of frailty of temper. To make the adjustment to the peculiar
problems of one’s own surroundings is the crux of life’s difficulties.
“New organizations” and “new experiments in living” would not arise if
there were not a certain inadequateness in existing organizations and
ways of living. The new organizations and experiments may not point
to the right mode of meeting the situation, but they do point to the
existence of inadequateness and the need of readjustment. Changes in
business methods have been multiform during the past fifteen years,
and Chicago business men who have made those other adjustments would
certainly be able to deal with labor in its present organized form if
they were not inhibited by certain concepts of their “group morality.”

In the meantime the public, which has been powerless to interfere, can
only point to the consequences of grave social import which are sure to
result from a prolonged period of disturbance.

First, there is the sharp division of the community into classes, with
its inevitable hostility and misunderstanding. Capital lines up on one
side, and labor on the other, until the “fair-minded public” disappears
and Chicago loses her democratic spirit which has always been her most
precious possession. In its place is substituted loyalty to the side to
which each man belongs, irrespective of the merits of the case--the “my
country right or wrong” sentiment which we call patriotism only in war
times, the blind adherence by which a man is attached against his will,
as it were, to the blunders of “his own kind.”

During the first week of the strike, I talked with labor men who were
willing to admit that there were grounds for indictment against at
least two of the officers in the teamsters’ locals. During the third
week of the strike all that was swept aside, and one heard only that
the situation must be taken quite by itself, with no references to
the first causes, that it was a strike of organized capital against
organized labor, and that we could have no peace in Chicago until it
was “fought to a finish.”

Second, there is an enormous increase in the feeling of race animosity,
beginning with the imported negro strike-breakers, and easily extending
to “Dagoes” and all other distinct nationalities. The principle of
racial and class equality is at the basis of American political life,
and to wantonly destroy it is one of the gravest outrages against the

Chicago is preëminently a city of mixed nationalities. It is our
problem to learn to live together in forbearance and understanding
and to fuse all the nations of men into the newest and, perhaps,
the highest type of citizenship. To accept this responsibility may
constitute our finest contribution to the problems of American life,
but we may also wantonly and easily throw away such an opportunity
by the stirring up of race and national animosity which is so easily
aroused and so reluctantly subsides.

Third, there is the spirit of materialism which controls the city and
confirms the belief that, after all, brute force, a trial of physical
strength, is all that counts and the only thing worthy of admiration.
Any check on the moral consciousness is paralyzed when the belief
is once established that success is its own justification. When the
stream of this belief joins the current of class interest, the spirit
of the prize fighters’ ring which cheers the best round and worships
the winner, becomes paramount. It is exactly that which appeals to
the so-called “hoodlum,” and his sudden appearance upon the street
at such times and in such surprising numbers demonstrates that he
realizes that he has come to his own. At the moment we all forget that
the determination to sacrifice all higher considerations to business
efficiency, to make the machine move smoothly at any cost, “to stick
at nothing,” may easily make a breach in the ethical constitution of
society which can be made good only by years of painful reparation.

Fourth, there is the effect upon the children and the youth of the
entire city, for the furrow of class prejudice, which is so easily run
through a plastic mind, often leaves a life-long mark. Each morning
during the long weeks of the strike, thousands of children at the more
comfortable breakfast tables learned to regard labor unions as the
inciters of riot and the instruments of evil, thousands of children
at the less comfortable breakfast tables shared the impotent rage
of their parents that “law is always on the side of capital,” and
both sets of children added to the horrors of Manchuria and Warsaw,
which were then taking place, the pleasurable excitement that war
had become domesticated upon their own streets. We may well believe
that these impressions and emotions will be kept by these children
as part of their equipment in life and that their moral conceptions
will permanently tend toward group moralities and will be cast into a
coarser mold.

In illustration of this point I may, perhaps, cite my experience during
the Spanish War.

For ten years I had lived in a neighborhood which is by no means
criminal, and yet during October and November of 1898 we were startled
by seven murders within a radius of ten blocks. A little investigation
of details and motives, the accident of a personal acquaintance with
two of the criminals, made it not in the least difficult to trace
the murders back to the influence of the war. Simple people who
read of carnage and bloodshed easily receive suggestions. Habits of
self-control which have been but slowly and imperfectly acquired
quickly break down when such a stress is put upon them.

Psychologists intimate that action is determined by the selection
of the subject upon which the attention is habitually fixed. The
newspapers, the theatrical posters, the street conversations for weeks,
had to do with war and bloodshed. Day after day, the little children on
the street played at war and at killing Spaniards. The humane instinct,
which keeps in abeyance the tendency to cruelty, as well as the growing
belief that the life of each human being, however hopeless or degraded,
is still sacred, gives way, and the more primitive instinct asserts

There is much the same social result during a strike, in addition
to the fact that the effect of the prolonged warfare upon the labor
movement itself is most disastrous. The unions at such times easily
raise into power the unscrupulous “leader,” so-called. In times of
tumult, the aggressive man, the one who is of bellicose temper, and
is reckless in his statements, is the one who becomes a leader. It is
a vicious circle--the more warlike the times, the more reckless the
leader who is demanded, and his reckless course prolongs the struggle.
Such men make their appeal to loyalty for the union, to hatred and to
contempt for the “non-union” man. Mutual hate towards a non-unionist
may have in it the mere beginnings of fellowship, the protoplasm of
tribal fealty, but no more. When it is carried over into civilized
life it becomes a social deterrent and an actual menace to social

In a sense it is fair to hold every institution responsible for the
type of man whom it tends to bring to the front, and the type of
organization which clings to war methods must, of course, consider
it nobler to yield to force than to justice. The earlier struggle of
democracy was for its recognition as a possible form of government
and the struggle is now on to prove democracy an efficient form of
government. So the earlier struggles of trades unions were for mere
existence, and the struggle has now passed into one for a recognition
of contractual relations and collective bargaining which will make
trades unions an effective industrial instrument. It is much less
justifiable of course in the later effort than it was in the earlier to
carry on the methods of primitive warfare.

This new effort, however, from the very nature of things, is bringing
another type of union man into office and is modifying the entire
situation. The old-time agitator is no longer useful and a cooler man
is needed for collective bargaining. At the same time the employers
must put forth a more democratic and a more reasonable type of man if
they would bear their side of this new bargaining, so that it has come
about quite recently that the first attempts have been made in Chicago
towards controlling in the interests of business itself this natural
tendency of group morality.

It may offer another example of business and commerce, affording us
a larger morality than that which the moralists themselves teach.
Certain it is that the industrial problems engendered by the industrial
revolutions of the last century, and flung upon this century for
solution, can never be solved by class warfare nor yet by ignoring
their existence in the optimism of ignorance.

America is only beginning to realize, and has not yet formulated, all
the implications of the factory system and of the conditions of living
which this well-established system imposes upon the workers. As we
feel it closing down upon us, moments of restlessness and resentment
seize us all. The protest against John Mitchell’s statement[11] that
the American workingman has recognized that he is destined to remain
a workingman, is a case in point. In their attempt to formulate and
correct various industrial ills, trades unions are often blamed for
what is inherent in the factory system itself and for those evils which
can be cured only through a modification of that system. For instance,
factory workers in general have for years exhibited a tendency to
regulate the output of each worker to a certain amount which they
consider a fair day’s work, although to many a worker such a restricted
output may prove to be less than a fair day’s work. The result is, of
course, disastrous to the workers themselves as well as to the factory
management, for it doubtless is quite as injurious to a man’s nervous
system to retard his natural pace as it is to unduly accelerate it.
The real trouble, which this “limitation” is an awkward attempt to
correct, is involved in the fact that the intricate subdivision of
factory work, and the lack of understanding on the part of employees
of the finished product, has made an unnatural situation, in which the
worker has no normal interest in his work and no direct relation to it.
In the various makeshifts on the part of the manufacturer to supply
motives which shall take the place of the natural ones so obviously
missing, many devices have been resorted to, such as “speeding up”
machinery, “setting the pace,” and substituting “piece work” for day
work. The manufacturers may justly say that they have been driven to
these various expedients, not only by the factory conditions, but by
the natural laziness of men. Nevertheless reaction from such a course
is inevitably an uncompromising attempt on the part of the workers
to protect themselves from overexertion and to regulate the output.
The worst cases I have ever known have occurred in unorganized shops
and have been unregulated and unaided by any trades union. The “pace
setter” in such a shop is often driven out and treated with the same
animosity which the “scab” receives in a union shop.

In the same spirit we blame trades unionists for that disgraceful
attitude which they have from time to time taken against the
introduction of improved machinery--a small group blindly attempting
to defend what they consider their only chance to work. The economists
have done surprisingly little to shed light upon this difficulty;
indeed, they are somewhat responsible for its exaggeration. Their old
theory of a “wage fund” which did not reach the rank and file of trades
unionists until at least in its first form it had been abandoned by the
leading economists, has been responsible both for much disorder along
this line, and for the other mistaken attempt “to make work for more

A society which made some effort to secure an equitable distribution of
the leisure and increased ease which new inventions imply would remove
the temptations as well as the odium of such action from the men who
are blinded by what they consider an infringement of their rights.

If the wonderful inventions of machinery, as they came along during
the last century, could have been regarded as in some sense social
possessions, the worst evils attending the factory system of
production--starvation wages, exhausting hours, unnecessary monotony,
child labor, and all the rest of the wretched list--might have been
avoided in the interest of society itself. All this would have come
about had human welfare been earlier regarded as a legitimate object of
social interest.

But no such ethics had been developed in the beginning of this century.
Society regarded machinery as the absolute possession of the man who
owned it at the moment it became a finished product, quite irrespective
of the long line of inventors and workmen who represented its gradual
growth and development. Society was, therefore, destined to all the
maladjustment which this century has encountered. Is it the militant
spirit once more as over against the newer humanitarianism? The
possessor of the machine, like the possessor of arms who preceded him,
regards it as a legitimate weapon for exploitation, as the former held
his sword.

One of the exhibits in the Paris Exposition of 1900 presented a
contrast between a mediaeval drawing of a castle towering above the
hamlets of its protected serfs, and a modern photograph of the same
hill covered with a huge factory which overlooked the villages of
its dependent workmen. The two pictures of the same hill and of the
same plain bore more than a geographic resemblance. This suggestion
of modern exploitation would be impossible had we learned the first
lessons which an enlarged industrialism might teach us. Class and
group divisions with their divergent moralities become most dangerous
when their members believe that the inferior group or class cannot
be appealed to by reason and fair dealing, but must be treated upon
a lower plane. Terrorism is considered necessary and legitimate that
they may be inhibited by fear from committing certain acts. So far
as employers exhibit this spirit toward workmen, or trades unionists
toward non-unionists, they inevitably revert to the use of brute
force--to the methods of warfare.


[11] Organized Labor, John Mitchell. Preface.

                              CHAPTER VI


In the previous chapters it was stated that the United States, compared
to the most advanced European nations, is deficient in protective
legislation. This, as has been said, is the result of the emphasis
placed upon personal liberty at the date of the first constitutional
conventions and of the inherited belief in America that government is
of necessity oppressive, and its functions not to be lightly extended.

It is also possible that this protection of the humblest citizen has
been pushed forward in those countries of a homogeneous population
more rapidly than in America, because of that unconscious attitude of
contempt which the nationality at the moment representing economic
success always takes toward the weaker and less capable. There is no
doubt that we all despise our immigrants a little because of their
economic standing. The newly arrived immigrant goes very largely into
unskilled work; he builds the railroads, digs the sewers, he does
the sort of labor the English-speaking American soon gets rid of;
and then, because he is in this lowest economic class, he falls into
need, and we complain that in America the immigrant makes the largest
claim upon charitable funds. Yet in England, where immigration has
counted for very little; in Germany, where it has counted almost not
at all, we find the same claim made upon the public funds by people
who do the same unskilled work, who are paid the same irregular and
low wages. In Germany, where this matter is approached, not from the
charitable, but from the patriotic side, there is a tremendous code
of legislation for the protection of the men who hold to life by the
most uncertain economic tenure. In England there exists an elaborated
code of labor laws, protecting the laborer at all times from accidents,
in ways unknown in America. Here we have only the beginning of all
that legislation, partly because we have not yet broken through the
belief that the man who does this casual work is not yet quite one
of ourselves. We do not consider him entitled to the protective
legislation which is secured for him in other countries where he is
quite simply a fellow-citizen, humble it may be, but still bound to the
governing class by ties of blood and homogeneity.

Our moral attitude toward one group in the community is a determining
factor of our moral attitude toward other groups, and this relation of
kindly contempt, of charitable rather than democratic obligation, may
lend some explanation to the fact that the United States, as a nation,
is sadly in arrears in the legislation designed for the protection of
children. In the Southern States, where a contemptuous attitude towards
a weaker people has had the most marked effect upon public feeling,
we have not only the largest number of unprotected working children,
but the largest number of illiterate children as well. There are, in
the United States, according to the latest census[12] 580,000 children
between the ages of ten and fourteen years, who cannot read nor write.
They are not the immigrant children. They are our own native-born
children. Of these 570,000 are in the Southern States and ten thousand
of them are scattered over the rest of the Republic.

The same thing is true of our children at work. We have two millions
of them, according to the census of 1900--children under the age of
sixteen years who are earning their own livings.

Legislation of the States south of Maryland for the children is like
the legislation of England in 1844. We are sixty-two years behind
England in caring for the children of the textile industries.

May we not also trace some of this national indifference to the
disposition of the past century to love children without really knowing
them? We refuse to recognize them as the great national asset and
are content to surround them with a glamour of innocence and charm.
We put them prematurely to work, ignorant of the havoc it brings,
because no really careful study has been made of their capacities
and possibilities--that is, no study really fitted to the industrial
conditions in which they live.

Each age has, of course, its own temptations and above all its own
peculiar industrial temptations and needs to see them not only in the
light of the increased sensibility and higher ethical standards of
its contemporaries, but also in relation to its peculiar industrial
development. When we ask why it is that child-labor has been given
to us to discuss and to rectify, rather than to the people who
lived before us, we need only to remember that, for the first
time in industrial history, the labor of the little child has in
many industries become as valuable as that of a man or woman. The
old-fashioned weaver was obliged to possess skill and strength to pull
his beam back and forth. It is only through the elaborated inventions
of our own age that skill as well as strength has been so largely
eliminated that, for example, a little child may “tend the thread” in
a textile mill almost as well as an adult. This is true of so many
industries that the temptation to exploit premature labor has become
peculiar to this industrial epoch and we are tempted as never before to
use the labor of little children.

What, then, are we going to do about it? How deeply are we concerned
that this labor shall not result to the detriment of the child, and
what excuses are we making to ourselves for thus prematurely using up
the strength which really belongs to the next generation? Of course,
it is always difficult to see the wrong in a familiar thing; it is
almost a test of moral insight to be able to see that an affair of
familiar intercourse and daily living may also be wrong. I have taken a
Chicago street-car on a night in December at ten o’clock, when dozens
of little girls who had worked in the department stores all day were
also boarding the cars. I know, as many others do, that these children
will not get into their beds before midnight, and that they will have
to be up again early in the morning to go to their daily work. And yet
because I have seen it many times I take my car almost placidly--I am
happy to say, not quite placidly. Almost every day at six o’clock I see
certain factories pouring out a stream of men and women and boys and
girls. The boys and girls have a peculiar hue--a color so distinctive
that one meeting them on the street, even on Sunday when they are in
their best clothes and mingled with other children who go to school and
play out of doors, can distinguish them in an instant, and there is on
their faces a premature anxiety and sense of responsibility, which we
should declare pathetic if we were not used to it.

How far are we responsible when we allow custom to blind our eyes
to the things that are wrong? In spite of the enormous growth in
charitable and correctional agencies designed for children, are we
really so lacking in moral insight and vigor that we fail even to
perceive the real temptation of our age and totally fail to grapple
with it? An enlightened State which regarded the industrial situation
seriously would wish to conserve the ability of its youth, to give them
valuable training in relation to industry, quite as the old-fashioned
State carefully calculated the years which were the most valuable for
military training. The latter, looking only toward the preservation of
the State, took infinite pains, while we are careless in regard to the
much greater task which has to do with its upbuilding and extension. We
conscientiously ignore industry in relation to government and because
we assume that its regulation is unnecessary, so we conclude that the
protection of the young from premature participation in its mighty
operations is not the concern of the Government.

The municipal lodging-house in Chicago in addition to housing vagrants,
makes an intelligent effort to put them into regular industry. A
physician in attendance makes a careful examination of each man who
comes to the lodging-house, and one winter we tried to see what
connection could be genuinely established between premature labor and
worn-out men. It is surprising to find how many of them are tired to
death of monotonous labor, and begin to tramp in order to get away
from it--as a business man goes to the woods because he is worn out
with the stress of business life. This inordinate desire to get away
from work seems to be connected with the fact that the men started to
work very early, before they had the physique to stand up to it, or
the mental vigor with which to overcome its difficulties, or the moral
stamina which makes a man stick to his work whether he likes it or
not. But we cannot demand any of these things from the growing boy.
They are all traits of the adult. A boy is naturally restless, his
determination easily breaks down, and he runs away. At least this seems
to be true of many of the men who come to the lodging-house. I recall
a man who had begun to work in a textile mill quite below the present
legal age in New England, and who had worked hard for sixteen years.
He told his tale with all simplicity; and, as he made a motion with
his hand, he said, “I done that for sixteen years.” I give the words
as he gave them. “At last I was sick in bed for two or three weeks
with a fever, and when I crawled out, I made up my mind that I would
rather go to hell than to go back to that mill.” Whether he considered
Chicago as equivalent to that, I do not know; but he certainly tramped
to Chicago, and has been tramping for four years. He does not steal.
He works in a lumber camp occasionally, and wanders about the rest of
the time getting odd jobs when he can; but the suggestion of a factory
throws him into a panic, and causes him quickly to disappear from the
lodging-house. The physician has made a diagnosis of general debility.
The man is not fit for steady work. He has been whipped in the battle
of life, and is spent prematurely because he began prematurely.

Yet the state makes no careful study as to the effect upon children
of the subdivided labor which many of them perform in factories.
A child who remains year after year in a spinning room gets no
instruction--merely a dull distaste for work. Often he cannot stand up
to the grind of factory life, and he breaks down under it.

What does this mean? That we have no right to increase the list
of paupers--of those who must be cared for by municipal and State
agencies because when they were still immature and undeveloped, they
were subjected to a tremendous pressure. I recall one family of five
children which, upon the death of the energetic mother who had provided
for it by means of a little dress-making establishment, was left to the
care of a feeble old grandmother. The father was a drunkard who had
never supported his family, and at this time he definitely disappeared.
The oldest boy was almost twelve years old--a fine, manly little
fellow, who felt keenly his obligation to care for the family.

We found him a place as cash-boy in a department store for two dollars
a week. He held it for three years, although his enthusiasm failed
somewhat as the months went by, and he gradually discovered how little
help his wages were to the family exchequer after his carfare, decent
clothes and unending pairs of shoes were paid for. Before the end of
the third year he had become listless and indifferent to his work, in
spite of the increase of fifty cents a week. In the hope that a change
would be good for him, a place as elevator-boy was secured. This
he was unable to keep, and then one situation after another slipped
through his grasp, until a typhoid fever which he developed at the age
of fifteen, seemed to explain his apathy.

After a long illness and a poor recovery, he worked less well.
Finally, at the age of sixteen, when he should have been able really
to help the little family and perhaps be its main support, he had
become a professional tramp, and eventually dropped completely from
our knowledge. It was through such bitter lessons as these we learned
that good intentions and the charitable impulse do not always work
for righteousness; that to force the moral nature of a child and to
put tasks upon him beyond his normal growth, is quite as cruel and
disastrous as to expect his undeveloped muscle to lift huge weights.

Adolescence is filled with strange pauses of listlessness and
dreaminess. At that period the human will is perhaps further away from
the desire of definite achievement than it ever is again. To work ten
hours a day for six days in a week in order to buy himself a pair of
stout boots, that he may be properly shod to go to work some more,
is the very last thing which really appeals to a boy of thirteen or
fourteen. If he is forced to such a course too often, his cheated
nature later re-asserts itself in all sorts of decadent and abnormal

An enlightened state would also concern itself with the effect of
child labor upon the parents. We have in Chicago a great many European
immigrants, people who have come from country life in Bohemia or the
south of Italy, hoping that their children will have a better chance
here than at home. In the old country these immigrants worked on farms
which provided a very normal activity for a young boy or girl. When
they come to Chicago, they see no reason why their children should not
go to work, because they see no difference between the normal activity
of their own youth and the grinding life, to which they subject their
children. It is difficult for a man who has grown up in outdoor life
to adapt himself to the factory. The same experience is found in the
South with the men who come to the textile towns from the little farms.
They resent monotonous petty work, and get away from it; they will
in preference take more poorly paid work, care of horses or janitor
service--work which has some similarity to that to which they have
been accustomed. So the parents drop out, and the children, making the
adaptation, remain, and the curious result ensues of the head of the
household becoming dependent upon the earnings of the child. You will
hear a child say, “My mother can’t say nothing to me. I pay the rent;”
or, “I can do what I please, because I bring home the biggest wages.”
All this tends to break down the normal relation between parents and
children. The Italian men who work on the railroads in the summer find
it a great temptation to settle down in the winter upon the wages
of their children. A young man from the south of Italy was mourning
the death of his little girl of twelve; in his grief he said, quite
simply, “She was my oldest kid. In two years she could have supported
me, and now I shall have to work five or six years longer until the
next one can do it.” He expected to retire permanently at thirty-four.
That breaking down of the normal relation of parent and child, and the
tendency to demoralize the parent, is something we have no right to
subject him to. We ought to hold the parent up to the obligation which
he would have fulfilled had he remained in his early environment.

A modern state might rightly concern itself with the effect of child
labor upon industry itself. There has been for many years an increasing
criticism of the modern factory system, not only from the point of view
of the worker, but from the point of view of the product itself. It
has been said many times that we can not secure good workmanship nor
turn out a satisfactory product unless men and women have some sort
of interest in their work, and some way of expressing that interest
in relation to it. The system which makes no demand upon originality,
upon invention, upon self-direction, works automatically, as it were,
towards an unintelligent producer and towards an uninteresting product.
This was said at first only by such artists and social reformers as
Morris and Ruskin; but it is being gradually admitted by men of affairs
and may at last incorporate itself into actual factory management, in
which case the factory itself will favor child labor legislation or
any other measure which increases the free and full development of the
individual, because he thereby becomes a more valuable producer. We may
gradually discover that in the interests of this industrial society
of ours it becomes a distinct loss to put large numbers of producers
prematurely at work, not only because the community inevitably loses
their mature working power, but also because their “free labor
quality,” which is so valuable, is permanently destroyed.

Exercise of the instinct of workmanship not only affords great
satisfaction to the producer, but also to the consumer, if he be
possessed of any critical faculty, or have developed genuine powers of
appreciation. Added to the conscience which protests against the social
waste of child labor, we have the taste that revolts against a product
totally without the charm which pleasure in work creates. We may at
last discover that we are imperiling our civilization at the moment of
its marked materialism, by wantonly sacrificing to that materialism the
eternal spirit of youth, the power of variation, which alone is able to
prevent it from degenerating into a mere mechanism.

It would be easy to produce many illustrations to demonstrate that in
the leading industrial countries a belief is slowly developing that the
workman himself is the chief asset, and that the intelligent interest
of skilled men, the power of self-direction and co-operation which is
only possible among the free-born and educated, is exactly the only
thing which will hold out in the markets of the world. As the foremen
of factories testify again and again, factory discipline is valuable
only up to a certain point, after which something else must be depended
on if the best results are to be achieved.

Monopoly of both the raw material and the newly-opened markets is
certainly a valuable factor in a nation’s industrial prosperity; but
while we spend blood and treasure to protect one and secure the other,
we wantonly destroy the most valuable factor of all, intelligent labor.
Nothing can help us here save the rising tide of humanitarianism, which
is not only emotional enough to regret the pitiless and stupid waste
of this power but also intelligent enough to perceive what might be
accomplished by its utilization.

We are told that the German products hold a foremost place in the
markets of the world because of Germany’s fine educational system,
which includes training in trade-schools for so many young men. We
know, too, that there is at the present moment a strong party in
Germany opposing militarism, not from the “peace society” point of
view, but because it withdraws all the young men from the industrial
life for the best part of three years during which their activity is
merely disciplinary, with no relation to the industrial life of the
nation. This anti-military party insists that the loss of the three
years is a serious matter, and that one nation cannot successfully hold
its advance position if it must compete with other nations which are
also establishing trade-schools but which do not thus withdraw their
youth from continuous training at the period of their greatest docility
and aptitude.

England is discovering that the cheap markets afforded by semi-savage
peoples, which she has thrown open to her manufacturers, are now
reacting in the debasement of her products and her factory workers.
The manufacturer produces the cheap and inferior articles which he
imagines the new commerce will demand. The result upon the workers in
the factories producing these unworthy goods, is that they are robbed
of the skill which would be demanded if they were ministering to an
increasing demand of taste and if they were supplying the market of a
civilized people. It would be a curious result of misapplied energy
if those very markets which the Briton has so eagerly sought, would
finally so debase the English producers that all the increased wealth
the markets have brought to the nation would be consumed in efforts to
redeem the debased working population.

We have made public education our great concern in America, and perhaps
the public-school system is our most distinctive achievement; but
there is a certain lack of consistency in the relation of the State
to the child after he leaves the public school. At great expense the
State has provided school buildings and equipment, and other buildings
in which to prepare professional teachers. It has spared no pains to
make the system complete, and yet as rapidly as the children leave the
schoolroom, the State seems to lose all interest and responsibility in
their welfare and has, until quite recently, turned them over to the
employer with no restrictions.

At no point does the community say to the employer, We are allowing
you to profit by the labor of these children whom we have educated at
great cost, and we demand that they do not work so many hours that they
shall be exhausted. Nor shall they be allowed to undertake the sort of
labor which is beyond their strength, nor shall they spend their time
at work that is absolutely devoid of educational value. The preliminary
education which they have received in school is but one step in the
process of making them valuable and normal citizens, and we cannot
afford to have that intention thwarted, even though the community as
well as yourself may profit by the business activity which your factory

Such a position seems perfectly reasonable, yet the same citizens who
willingly pay taxes to support an elaborate public-school system,
strenuously oppose the most moderate attempts to guard the children
from needless and useless exploitation after they have left school and
have entered industry.

We are forced to believe that child labor is a national problem, even
as public education is a national duty. The children of Alabama, Rhode
Island, and Pennsylvania belong to the nation quite as much as they
belong to each State, and the nation has an interest in the children
at least in relation to their industrial efficiency, quite as it has
an interest in enacting protective tariffs for the preservation of
American industries.

Uniform compulsory education laws in connection with uniform child
labor legislation are the important factors in securing educated
producers for the nation. Fortunately, a new education is arising which
endeavors to widen and organize the child’s experience with reference
to the world in which he lives.[13] The new pedagogy holds that it is
a child’s instinct and pleasure to exercise all his faculties and to
make discoveries in the world around him. It is the chief business of
the teacher merely to direct his activity and to feed his insatiable
curiosity. In order to accomplish this, he is forced to relate the
child to the surroundings in which he lives; and the most advanced
schools are, perforce, using modern industry for this purpose. The
educators have ceased to mourn industrial conditions of the past
generation, when children were taught agricultural and industrial
arts by the natural co-operation with their parents, and they are
endeavoring to supply this inadequacy by manual arts in the school,
by courses in industrial history, and by miniature reproductions of
industrial processes, thus constantly coming into better relations with
the present factory system. These educators recognize the significance
and power of contemporary industrialism, and hold it an obligation to
protect children from premature participation in our industrial life,
only that the children may secure the training and fibre which will
later make this participation effective, and that their minds may
finally take possession of the machines which they will guide and feed.

But there is another side to the benefits of child-labor legislation
represented by the time element, the leisure which is secured to
the child for the pursuit of his own affairs, quite aside from the
opportunity afforded him to attend school. Helplessness in childhood,
the scientists tell us, is the guarantee of adult intellect, but they
also assert that play in youth is the guarantee of adult culture. It
is the most valuable instrument the race possesses to keep life from
becoming mechanical.

The child who cannot live life is prone to dramatize it, and the very
process is a constant compromise between imitation and imagination, as
the over-mastering impulse itself which drives him to incessant play is
both reminiscent and anticipatory. In proportion as the child in later
life is to be subjected to a mechanical and one-sided activity, and as
a highly subdivided labor is to be demanded from him, it is therefore
most important that he should have his full period of childhood and
youth for this play expression in order that he may cultivate within
himself the root of a culture which alone can give his later activity a
meaning.[14] This is true whether or not we accept the theory that the
aesthetic feelings originate in the play impulse, with its corollary
that the constant experimentation found in the commonest forms of
play are to be looked upon as “the principal source of all kinds of
art.” At this moment, when industrial forces are concentrated and
unified as never before, unusual care must be taken to secure to the
children their normal play period, that the art instinct may have some
chance, and that the producer himself may have enough individuality of
character to avoid becoming a mere cog in the vast industrial machine.

Quite aside also from the problem of individual development and
from the fact that play, in which the power of choice is constantly
presented and constructive imagination required, is the best corrective
of the future disciplinary life of the factory, there is another reason
why the children who are to become producers under the present system
should be given their full child-life period.

The entire population of the factory town and of those enormous
districts in every large city in which the children live who most need
the protection of child-labor legislation, consists of people who have
come together in response to the demands of modern industry. They are
held together by the purely impersonal tie of working in one large
factory, in which they not only do not know each other, but in which
no one person nor even group of persons knows everybody. They are
utterly without the natural and minute acquaintance and inter-family
relationships that rural and village life afford, and are therefore
much more dependent upon the social sympathy and power of effective
association which is becoming its urban substitute.

This substitute can be most easily elaborated among groups of
children. Somewhere they must learn to carry on an orderly daily
life--that life of mutual trust, forbearance, and help which is the
only real life of civilized man. Play is the great social stimulus,
and it is the prime motive which unites children and draws them into
comradeship. A true democratic relation and ease of acquaintance is
found among the children in a typical factory community because they
more readily overcome differences of language, tradition, and religion
than do the adults. “It is in play that nature reveals her anxious
care to discover men to each other,” and this happy and important
task, children unconsciously carry forward day by day with all the
excitement and joy of co-ordinate activity. They accomplish that which
their elders could not possibly do, and they render a most important
service to the community. We have not as yet utilized this joy of
association in relation to the system of factory production which is
so preëminently one of large bodies of men working together for hours
at a time. But there is no doubt that it would bring a new power into
modern industry if the factory could avail itself of that _esprit de
corps_, that triumphant buoyancy which the child experiences when he
feels his complete identification with a social group; that sense of
security which comes upon him sitting in a theatre or “at a party,”
when he issues forth from himself and is lost in a fairyland which
has been evoked not only by his own imagination, but by that of his
companions as well. This power of association, of assimilation, which
children possess in such a high degree, is easily carried over into
the affairs of youth if it but be given opportunity and freedom for
action, as it is in the college life of more favored young people.
The _esprit de corps_ of an athletic team, that astonishing force
of co-operation, is, however, never consciously carried over into
industry, but is persistently disregarded. It is, indeed, lost before
it is discovered--if I may be permitted an Irish bull--in the case of
children who are put to work before they have had time to develop the
power beyond its most childish and haphazard manifestations.

Factory life depends upon groups of people working together, and yet
it is content with the morphology of the group, as it were, paying
no attention to its psychology, to the interaction of its members.
By regarding each producer as a solitary unit, a tremendous power is
totally unutilized. In the case of children who are prematurely put to
work under such conditions, an unwarranted nervous strain is added as
they make their effort to stand up to the individual duties of life
while still in the stage of group and family dependence.

We naturally associate a factory with orderly productive action; but
similarity of action, without identical thought and co-operative
intelligence, is coercion, and not order. The present factory
discipline needs to be redeemed as the old school discipline has been
redeemed. In the latter the system of prizes and punishments has been
largely given up, not only because they were difficult to administer,
but because they utterly failed to free the powers of the child.

“The fear of starvation,” of which the old economists made so much, is,
after all, but a poor incentive to work; and the appeal to cupidity
by which a man is induced to “speed up” in all the various devices of
piece-work is very little better. Yet the factory still depends upon
these as incentives to the ordinary workers. Certainly one would wish
to protect children from them as long as possible. In a soap factory
in Chicago little girls wrap bars of soap in two covers at the minimum
rate of 3,000 bars a week; their only ambition is to wrap as fast as
possible and well enough to pass the foreman’s inspection. The girl
whose earnings are the largest at the end of the week is filled with
pride--praiseworthy, certainly, but totally without educational value.

Let us realize before it is too late that in this age of iron, of
machine-tending, and of subdivided labor, we need as never before
the untrammeled and inspired activity of youth. To cut it off from
thousands of working children is a most perilous undertaking, and
endangers the very industry to which they have been sacrificed.

Only of late years has an effort been made by the city authorities,
by the municipality itself, to conserve the play instinct and to
utilize it, if not for the correction of industry, at least for the
nurture of citizenship. It has been discovered that the city which is
too careless to provide playgrounds, gymnasiums, and athletic fields
where the boys legitimately belong and which the policeman is bound to
respect, simply puts a premium on lawlessness. Without these places
of their own, groups of boys come to look upon the policeman as an
enemy, and he regards them as the most lawless of all the citizens.
This is partly due to the fact that because of our military survivals
the officer is not brought in contact with the educational forces of
the city, but only with its vices and crime. He might have quite as
great an opportunity for influencing the morals of youth as the school
teacher has. At least one American city spends twenty per cent. more in
provision for the conviction of youths than for their education, for
the city which fails to utilize this promising material of youthful
adventure does not truly get rid of it, and finds it more expensive to
care for as waste material than as educative material. At a certain
age a boy is possessed by a restless determination to do something
dangerous and exciting--a “difficult stunt,” as it were--by which he
may prove that he is master of his fate and thus express his growing
self-assertion. He prefers to demonstrate in feats requiring both
courage and adroitness, and it may be said that tradition is with him
in his choice. That this impulse is mixed with an absurd desire on the
part of the boy to “show off,” to impress his companions with the fact
that he is great and brave and generally to be admired, does not in
the least affect its genuineness. The city which fails to provide an
opportunity for this inevitable and normal desire on the part of the
young citizens makes a grave mistake and invites irregular expression
of it. The thwarted spirit of adventure finds an outlet in infinite
varieties of gambling; craps, cards, the tossing of discarded union
buttons, the betting on odd or even automobile numbers, on the number
of newspapers under a boy’s arm. Another end which can be accomplished,
if the city recognizes play as legitimate and provides playgrounds
and athletic fields, is the development of that self-government and
self-discipline among groups of boys, which forms the most natural
basis for democratic political life later.

The boy in a tenement-house region who does not belong to the gang is
not only an exception, but a very rare exception. This earliest form
of social life is almost tribal in its organization, and the leader
too often holds his place because he is a successful bully. The gang
meets first upon the street, but later it may possess a club room in
a stable, in a billiard room, in an empty house, under the viaduct,
in a candy store, in a saloon or even in an empty lot. The spirit of
association, the fellowship and loyalty which the group inspires,
carry them into many dangers; but there is no doubt that it is through
these experiences that the city boy learns his political lessons.
The training for political life is given in these gangs, and also an
opportunity to develop that wonderful power of adaptation which is the
city’s contribution, even to the poorest of her children. A clever
man once told me that he doubted whether an alderman could be elected
in a tenement-house district unless he had had gang experience, and
had become an adept in the interminable discussion which every detail
of the gang’s activity receives. This alone affords a training in
democratic government, for it is the prerogative of democracy to invest
political discussion with the dignity of deeds, and to provide adequate
motives for discussion. In these social folk-motes, so to speak, the
young citizen learns to act upon his own determination. The great pity
is that it so often results in a group morality untouched by a concern
for the larger morality of the community. Normal groups reacting upon
each other would tend to an equilibrium of a certain liberty to all,
but this cannot be accomplished in the life of the street where the
weaker boy or the weaker gang is continually getting the worst of
it. And it is only on the protected playground that the gangs can be
merged into baseball nines and similar organizations, governed by
well-recognized rules.

We have already democratized education in the interests of the entire
community; but recreation and constructive play, which afford the best
soil for establishing genuine and democratic social relations, we have
left untouched, although they are so valuable in emotional and dynamic
power. Further than that, the city that refrains from educating the
play motive is obliged to suppress it. In Chicago gangs of boys between
fourteen and sixteen years of age, who, possessing work-certificates
are outside of the jurisdiction of the truant officer, are continually
being arrested by the police, since they have no orderly opportunity
for recreation. An enlightened city government would regard these
groups of boys as the natural soil in which to sow the seeds of
self-government. As every European city has its parade-ground, where
the mimics of war are faithfully rehearsed, in order that the country
may be saved in times of danger, so, if modern government were as
really concerned in developing its citizens as it is in defending them,
we would look upon every playing-field as the training-place and
parade-ground of mature citizenship.

Frederick the Great discovered and applied the use of the rhythmic
step for the marching of soldiers. For generations men had gone
forth to war, using martial music as they had used the battle-cry,
merely to incite their courage and war spirit; but the music had had
nothing to do with their actual marching. The use of it as a practical
measure enormously increased the endurance of the soldiers and raised
the records of forced marches. Industry at the present moment, as
represented by masses of men in the large factories, is quite as
chaotic as the early armies were. We have failed to apply our education
to the real life of the average factory producer. He works without any
inner coherence or sense of comradeship. Our public education has done
little as yet to release his powers or to cheer him with the knowledge
of his significance to the State.


[12] For further analysis of the census figures relating to children,
consult “Some Ethical Gains Through Legislation.” Mrs. Florence Kelley.

[13] School and Society, by John Dewey.

[14] The Play of Man, Groos, page 394.

                              CHAPTER VII


We are told many times that the industrial city is a new thing upon the
face of the earth, and that everywhere its growth has been phenomenal,
whether we look at Moscow, Berlin, Paris, New York, or Chicago. With or
without the mediaeval foundation, modern cities are merely resultants
of the vast crowds of people who have collected at certain points which
have become manufacturing and distributing centres.

For all political purposes, however, the industrial origin of the city
is entirely ignored, and political life is organized exclusively in
relation to its earlier foundations.

As the city itself originated for the common protection of the people
and was built about a suitable centre of defense which formed a
citadel, such as the Acropolis at Athens or the Kremlin at Moscow,
so we can trace the beginning of the municipal franchise to the time
when the problems of municipal government were still largely those of
protecting the city against rebellion from within and against invasion
from without. A voice in city government, as it was extended from the
nobles, who alone bore arms, was naturally given solely to those who
were valuable to the military system. There was a certain logic in
giving the franchise only to grown men when the existence and stability
of the city depended upon their defence, and when the ultimate value
of the elector could be reduced to his ability to perform military
duty. It was fair that only those who were liable to a sudden call to
arms should be selected to decide as to the relations which the city
should bear to rival cities, and that the vote for war should be cast
by the same men who would bear the brunt of battle and the burden of
protection. We are told by historians that the citizens were first
called together in those assemblages which were the beginning of
popular government, only if a war was to be declared or an expedition
to be undertaken.

But rival cities have long since ceased to settle their claims by force
of arms, and we shall have to admit, I think, that this early test of
the elector is no longer fitted to the modern city, whatever may be
true, in the last analysis, of the basis for the Federal Government.

It has been well said that the modern city is a stronghold of
industrialism, quite as the feudal city was a stronghold of militarism,
but the modern city fears no enemies, and rivals from without and
its problems of government are solely internal. Affairs for the most
part are going badly in these great new centres in which the quickly
congregated population has not yet learned to arrange its affairs
satisfactorily. Insanitary housing, poisonous sewage, contaminated
water, infant mortality, the spread of contagion, adulterated food,
impure milk, smoke-laden air, ill-ventilated factories, dangerous
occupations, juvenile crime, unwholesome crowding, prostitution,
and drunkenness are the enemies which the modern city must face and
overcome would it survive. Logically, its electorate should be made up
of those who can bear a valiant part in this arduous contest, of those
who in the past have at least attempted to care for children, to clean
houses, to prepare foods, to isolate the family from moral dangers, of
those who have traditionally taken care of that side of life which, as
soon as the population is congested, inevitably becomes the subject of
municipal consideration and control.

To test the elector’s fitness to deal with this situation by his
ability to bear arms, is absurd. A city is in many respects a
great business corporation, but in other respects it is enlarged
housekeeping. If American cities have failed in the first, partly
because office holders have carried with them the predatory instinct
learned in competitive business, and cannot help “working a good thing”
when they have an opportunity, may we not say that city housekeeping
has failed partly because women, the traditional housekeepers, have
not been consulted as to its multiform activities? The men of the city
have been carelessly indifferent to much of this civic housekeeping, as
they have always been indifferent to the details of the household. They
have totally disregarded a candidate’s capacity to keep the streets
clean, preferring to consider him in relation to the national tariff or
to the necessity for increasing the national navy, in a pure spirit of
reversion to the traditional type of government which had to do only
with enemies and outsiders.

It is difficult to see what military prowess has to do with the
multiform duties, which, in a modern city, include the care of parks
and libraries, superintendence of markets, sewers, and bridges,
the inspection of provisions and boilers, and the proper disposal
of garbage. Military prowess has nothing to do with the building
department which the city maintains to see to it that the basements be
dry, that the bedrooms be large enough to afford the required cubic
feet of air, that the plumbing be sanitary, that the gas-pipes do not
leak, that the tenement-house court be large enough to afford light
and ventilation, and that the stairways be fireproof. The ability to
carry arms has nothing to do with the health department maintained by
the city, which provides that children be vaccinated, that contagious
diseases be isolated and placarded, that the spread of tuberculosis be
curbed, and that the water be free from typhoid infection. Certainly
the military conception of society is remote from the functions of the
school boards, whose concern it is that children be educated, that they
be supplied with kindergartens and be given a decent place in which to
play. The very multifariousness and complexity of a city government
demands the help of minds accustomed to detail and variety of work, to
a sense of obligation for the health and welfare of young children, and
to a responsibility for the cleanliness and comfort of others.

Because all these things have traditionally been in the hands of
women, if they take no part in them now, they are not only missing the
education which the natural participation in civic life would bring to
them, but they are losing what they have always had. From the beginning
of tribal life women have been held responsible for the health of
the community, a function which is now represented by the health
department; from the days of the cave dwellers, so far as the home
was clean and wholesome, it was due to their efforts, which are now
represented by the bureau of tenement-house inspection; from the period
of the primitive village, the only public sweeping performed was what
they undertook in their own dooryards, that which is now represented by
the bureau of street cleaning. Most of the departments in a modern city
can be traced to woman’s traditional activity, but in spite of this,
so soon as these old affairs were turned over to the care of the city,
they slipped from woman’s hands, apparently because they then became
matters for collective action and implied the use of the franchise.
Because the franchise had in the first instance been given to the man
who could fight, because in the beginning he alone could vote who could
carry a weapon, the franchise was considered an improper thing for a
woman to possess.

Is it quite public spirited for women to say, “We will take care of
these affairs so long as they stay in our own houses, but if they go
outside and concern so many people that they cannot be carried on
without the mechanism of the vote, we will drop them. It is true that
these activities which women have always had, are not at present being
carried on very well by the men in most of the great American cities,
but because we do not consider it ‘ladylike’ to vote shall we ignore
their failure”?

Because women consider the government men’s affair and something
which concerns itself with elections and alarms, they have become so
confused in regard to their traditional business in life, the rearing
of children, that they hear with complacency a statement made by the
Nestor of sanitary reformers, that one-half of the tiny lives which
make up the city’s death rate each year might be saved by a more
thorough application of sanitary science. Because it implies the use of
the suffrage, they do not consider it women’s business to save these
lives. Are we going to lose ourselves in the old circle of convention
and add to that sum of wrong-doing which is continually committed
in the world because we do not look at things as they really are?
Old-fashioned ways which no longer apply to changed conditions are a
snare in which the feet of women have always become readily entangled.
It is so easy to believe that things that used to exist still go
on long after they are passed; it is so easy to commit irreparable
blunders because we fail to correct our theories by our changing
experience. So many of the stumbling-blocks against which we fall are
the opportunities to which we have not adjusted ourselves. Because it
shocks an obsolete ideal, we keep hold of a convention which no longer
squares with our genuine insight, and we are slow to follow a clue
which might enable us to solace and improve the life about us.

Why is it that women do not vote upon the matters which concern them
so intimately? Why do they not follow these vital affairs and feel
responsible for their proper administration, even though they have
become municipalized? What would the result have been could women
have regarded the suffrage, not as a right or a privilege, but as a
mere piece of governmental machinery without which they could not
perform their traditional functions under the changed conditions of
city life? Could we view the whole situation as a matter of obligation
and of normal development, it would be much simplified. We are at the
beginning of a prolonged effort to incorporate a progressive developing
life founded upon a response to the needs of all the people, into the
requisite legal enactments and civic institutions. To be in any measure
successful, this effort will require all the intelligent powers of
observation, all the sympathy, all the common sense which may be gained
from the whole adult population.

The statement is sometimes made that the franchise for women would be
valuable only so far as the educated women exercised it. This statement
totally disregards the fact that those matters in which woman’s
judgment is most needed are far too primitive and basic to be largely
influenced by what we call education. The sanitary condition of all
the factories and workshops, for instance, in which the industrial
processes are at present carried on in great cities, intimately affect
the health and lives of thousands of workingwomen.

It is questionable whether women to-day, in spite of the fact that
there are myriads of them in factories and shops, are doing their
full share of the world’s work in the lines of production which have
always been theirs. Even two centuries ago they did practically all
the spinning, dyeing, weaving, and sewing. They carried on much of the
brewing and baking and thousands of operations which have been pushed
out of the domestic system into the factory system. But simply to keep
on doing the work which their grandmothers did, was to find themselves
surrounded by conditions over which they have no control.

Sometimes when I see dozens of young girls going into the factories of
a certain biscuit company on the West Side of Chicago, they appear for
the moment as a mere cross-section in the long procession of women who
have furnished the breadstuffs from time immemorial, from the savage
woman who ground the meal and baked a flat cake, through innumerable
cottage hearths, kitchens, and bake ovens, to this huge concern in
which they are still carrying on their traditional business. But always
before, during the ages of this unending procession, women themselves
were able to dictate concerning the hours and the immediate conditions
of their work; even grinding the meal and baking the cake in the ashes
was diversified by many other activities. But suddenly, since the
application of steam to the processes of kneading bread and of turning
the spindle, which really means only a different motor power and not
in the least an essential change in her work, she has been denied the
privilege of regulating the conditions which immediately surround her.

In the census of 1900, the section on “Occupations” shows very clearly
in what direction the employment of women has been tending during the
last twenty years. Two striking facts stand out vividly: first, the
increase in the percentage of workingwomen over the percentage of men,
and second, the large percentage of young women between sixteen and
twenty years old in the total number of workingwomen as compared with
the small percentage of young men of the same ages in the total number
of workingmen. Practically one-half of the workingwomen in the United
States are girls--young women under the age of twenty-five years. This
increase in the number of young girls in industry is the more striking
when taken in connection with the fact that industries of to-day differ
most markedly from those of the past in the relentless speed which
they require. This increase in speed is as marked in the depths of
sweat-shop labor as in the most advanced New England mills, where the
eight looms operated by each worker have increased to twelve, fourteen,
and even sixteen looms. This speed, of course, brings a new strain into
industry and tends inevitably to nervous exhaustion. Machines may be
revolved more and more swiftly, but the girl workers have no increase
in vitality responding to the heightened pressure. An ampler and more
far-reaching protection than now exists, is needed in order to care
for the health and safety of women in industry. Their youth, their
helplessness, their increasing numbers, the conditions under which
they are employed, all call for uniform and enforceable statutes. The
elaborate regulations of dangerous trades, enacted in England and on
the Continent for both adults and children, find no parallel in the
United States. The injurious effects of employments involving the use
of poisons, acids, gases, atmospheric extremes, or other dangerous
processes, still await adequate investigation and legislation in this
country. How shall this take place, save by the concerted efforts of
the women themselves, those who are employed, and those other women who
are intelligent as to the worker’s needs and who possess a conscience
in regard to industrial affairs?

It is legitimate and necessary that women should make a study of
certain trades and occupations. The production of sweated goods,
from the human point of view, is not production at all, but waste.
If the employer takes from the workers week by week more than his
wages restore to them, he gradually reduces them to the state of
industrial parasites. The wages of the sweated worker are either being
supplemented by the wages of relatives and the gifts of charitable
associations, or else her standard of living is so low that she is
continually losing her vitality and tending to become a charge upon the
community in a hospital or a poorhouse.[15]

Yet even the sweat-shops, in which woman carries on her old business
of making clothing, had to be redeemed, so far as they have been
redeemed, by the votes of men who passed an anti-sweat-shop law; by
the city fathers, who, after much pleading, were induced to order
an inspection of sweat-shops that they might be made to comply with
sanitary regulations. Women directly controlled the surroundings of
their work as long as their arrangements were domestic, but they
cannot do this now unless they have the franchise, as yet the only
mechanism devised by which a city selects its representative and by
which a number of persons are able to embody their collective will in
legislation. For a hundred years England has been legislating upon
the subject of insanitary workshops, long and exhausting hours of
work, night work for women, occupations in which pregnant women may
be employed, and hundreds of other restrictions which we are only
beginning to consider objects of legislation here.

So far as women have been able, in Chicago at least, to help the
poorest workers in the sweat-shops, it has been accomplished by women
organized into trades unions. The organization of Special Order Tailors
found that it was comparatively simple for an employer to give the
skilled operatives in a clothing factory more money by taking it away
from the wages of the seam-sewer and button-holer. The fact that it
resulted in one set of workers being helped at the expense of another
set did not appeal to him, so long as he was satisfying the demand of
the union without increasing the total cost of production. But the
Special Order Tailors, at the sacrifice of their own wages and growth,
made a determined effort to include even the sweat-shop workers in the
benefits they had slowly secured for themselves. By means of the use
of the label they were finally able to insist that no goods should be
given out for home-finishing save to women presenting union cards, and
they raised the wages from nine and eleven cents a dozen for finishing
garments, to the minimum wage of fifteen cents. They also made a
protest against the excessive subdivision of the labor upon garments, a
practice which enables the manufacturer to use children and the least
skilled adults. Thirty-two persons are commonly employed upon a single
coat, and it is the purpose of the Special Order Tailors to have all
the machine work performed by one worker, thus reducing the number
working on one coat to twelve or fourteen. As this change will at the
same time demand more skill on the part of the operator, and will
increase the variety and interest in his work, these garment-makers
are sacrificing both time and money for the defence of Ruskinian
principles--one of the few actual attempts to recover the “joy of
work.” Although the attempt was, of course, mixed with a desire to
preserve a trade from the invasion of the unskilled, and a consequent
lowering of wages, it also represented a genuine effort to preserve to
the poorest worker some interest and value in the work itself. It is
most unfair, however, to put this task upon the trades unionists and to
so confuse it with their other efforts that it, too, becomes a cause
of warfare. The poorest women are often but uncomprehending victims of
this labor movement of which they understand so little, and which has
become so much a matter of battle that helpless individuals are lost in
the conflict.

A complicated situation occurs to me in illustration. A woman from
the Hull-House Day Nursery came to me two years ago asking to borrow
twenty-five dollars, a sum her union had imposed as a fine. She gave
such an incoherent account of her plight that it was evident that
she did not in the least understand what it was all about. A little
investigation disclosed the following facts: The “Nursery Mother,”
as I here call her for purposes of identification, had worked for a
long time in an unorganized overall factory, where the proprietor,
dealing as he did in goods purchased exclusively by workingmen, found
it increasingly difficult to sell his overalls because they did not
bear the union label. He finally made a request to the union that the
employees in his factory be organized. This was done, he was given the
use of the label, and upon this basis he prospered for several months.

Whether the organizer was “fixed” or not, the investigation did
not make clear; for, although the “Nursery Mother,” with her
fellow-workers, had paid their union dues regularly, the employer was
not compelled to pay the union scale of wages, but continued to pay
the same wages as before. At the end of three months his employees
discovered that they were not being paid the union scale, and demanded
that their wages be raised to that amount. The employer, in the
meantime having extensively advertised his use of the label, concluded
that his purpose had been served, and that he no longer needed the
union. He refused, therefore, to pay the union scale, and a strike
ensued. The “Nursery Mother” went out with the rest, and within a few
days found work in another shop, a union shop doing a lower grade of
manufacturing. At that time there was no uniform scale in the garment
trades, and although a trade unionist working for union wages, she
received lower wages than she had under the non-union conditions in
the overall factory. She was naturally much confused and, following
her instinct to get the best wages possible, she went back to her
old place. Affairs ran smoothly for a few weeks, until the employer
discovered that he was again losing trade because his goods lacked
the label, whereupon he once more applied to have his shop unionized.
The organizer, coming back, promptly discovered the recreant “Nursery
Mother,” and, much to her bewilderment, she was fined twenty-five
dollars. She understood nothing clearly, nor could she, indeed, be made
to understand so long as she was in the midst of this petty warfare.
Her labor was a mere method of earning money quite detached from her
European experience, and failed to make for her the remotest connection
with the community whose genuine needs she was supplying. No effort
had been made to show her the cultural aspect of her work, to give her
even the feeblest understanding of the fact that she was supplying a
genuine need of the community, and that she was entitled to respect
and a legitimate industrial position. It would have been necessary to
make such an effort from the historic standpoint, and this could be
undertaken only by the community as a whole and not by any one class in
it. Protective legislation would be but the first step toward making
her a more valuable producer and a more intelligent citizen. The whole
effort would imply a closer connection between industry and government,
and could be accomplished intelligently only if women were permitted to
exercise the franchise.

A certain healing and correction would doubtless ensue could we but
secure for the protection and education of industrial workers that
nurture of health and morals which women have so long reserved for
their own families and which has never been utilized as a directing
force in industrial affairs.

When the family constituted the industrial organism of the day, the
daughters of the household were carefully taught in reference to the
place they would take in that organism, but as the household arts have
gone outside the home, almost nothing has been done to connect the
young women with the present great industrial system. This neglect has
been equally true in regard to the technical and cultural sides of that

The failure to fit the education of women to the actual industrial
life which is carried on about them has had disastrous results in two
directions. First, industry itself has lacked the modification which
women might have brought to it had they committed the entire movement
to that growing concern for a larger and more satisfying life for each
member of the community, a concern which we have come to regard as
legitimate. Second, the more prosperous women would have been able to
understand and adjust their own difficulties of household management in
relation to the producer of factory products, as they are now utterly
unable to do.

As the census of 1900 showed that more than half of the women
employed in “gainful occupations” in the United States are engaged
in households, certainly their conditions of labor lie largely in
the hands of women employers. At a conference held at Lake Placid by
employers of household labor, it was contended that future historical
review may show that the girls who are to-day in domestic service
are the really progressive women of the age; that they are those
who are fighting conditions which limit their freedom, and although
they are doing it blindly, at least they are demanding avenues of
self-expression outside their work; and that this struggle from
conditions detrimental to their highest life is the ever-recurring
story of the emancipation of first one class and then another. It was
further contended that in this effort to become sufficiently educated
to be able to understand the needs of an educated employer from an
independent standpoint, they are really doing the community a great
service, and did they but receive co-operation instead of opposition,
domestic service would lose its social ostracism and attract a more
intelligent class of women. And yet this effort, perfectly reasonable
from the standpoint of historic development and democratic tradition,
receives little help from the employing housekeepers, because they know
nothing of industrial development.

The situation could be understood only by viewing it, first, in the
relation to recent immigration and, second, in connection with the
factory system at the present stage of development in America. A review
of the history of domestic service in a fairly prosperous American
family begins with the colonial period, when the daughters of the
neighboring farmers came in to “help” during the busy season. This was
followed by the Irish immigrant, when almost every kitchen had its Nora
or Bridget, while the mistress of the household retained the sweeping
and dusting and the Saturday baking. Then came the halcyon days of
German “second girls” and cooks, followed by the Swedes. The successive
waves of immigration supply the demand for domestic service, gradually
obliterating the fact that as the women became more familiar with
American customs, they as well as their men folk, entered into more
skilled and lucrative positions.

In these last years immigration consists in ever-increasing numbers
of South Italians and of Russian, Polish, and Rumanian Jews, none of
whom have to any appreciable extent entered into domestic service. The
Italian girls are married between the ages of fifteen and eighteen, and
to live in any house in town other than that of her father seems to an
Italian girl quite incomprehensible. The strength of the family tie,
the need for “kosher” foods, the celebration of religious festivities,
the readiness with which she takes up the sewing trades in which her
father and brother are already largely engaged, makes domestic service
a rare occupation for the daughters of the recent Jewish immigrants.
Moreover, these two classes of immigrants have been quickly absorbed,
as, indeed, all working people are, by the increasing demand for the
labor of young girls and children in factory and workshops. The paucity
of the material for domestic service is therefore revealed at last, and
we are obliged to consider the material for domestic service which a
democracy supplies, and also to realize that the administration of the
household has suffered because it has become unnaturally isolated from
the rest of the community.

The problems of food and shelter for the family, at any given
moment, must be considered in relation to all the other mechanical
and industrial life of that moment, quite as the intellectual life
of the family finally depends for its vitality upon its relation to
the intellectual resources of the rest of the community. When the
administrator of the household deliberately refuses to avail herself
of the wonderful inventions going on all about her, she soon comes
to the point of priding herself upon the fact that her household is
administered according to traditional lines and of believing that the
moral life of the family is so enwrapped in these old customs as to
be endangered by any radical change. Because of this attitude on the
part of contemporary housekeepers, the household has firmly withstood
the beneficent changes and healing innovations which applied science
and economics would long ago have brought about could they have worked
naturally and unimpeded.

These moral and economic difficulties, whether connected with the
isolation of the home or with the partial and unsatisfactory efforts
of trades unions, could be avoided only if society would frankly
recognize the industrial situation as that which concerns us all,
and would seriously prepare all classes of the community for their
relation to the situation. A technical preparation would, of course,
not be feasible, but a cultural one would be possible, so that all
parts of the community might be intelligent in regard to the industrial
developments and transitions going on about them. If American women
could but obtain a liberating knowledge of that history of industry
and commerce which is so similar in every country of the globe, the
fact that so much factory labor is performed by immigrants would
help to bring them nearer to the immigrant woman. Equipped with “the
informing mind” on the one hand and with experience on the other, we
could then walk together through the marvelous streets of the human
city, no longer conscious whether we are natives or aliens, because
we have become absorbed in a fraternal relation arising from a common

And this attitude of understanding and respect for the worker is
necessary, not only to appreciate what he produces, but to preserve
his power of production, again showing the necessity for making that
substitute for war--human labor--more aggressive and democratic. We
are told that the conquered races everywhere, in their helplessness,
are giving up the genuine practise of their own arts. In India, for
instance, where their arts have been the blossom of many years of
labor, the conquered races are casting them aside as of no value in
order that they may conform to the inferior art, or rather, lack of
art, of their conquerors. Morris constantly lamented that in some parts
of India the native arts were quite destroyed, and in many others
nearly so; that in all parts they had more or less begun to sicken.
This lack of respect and understanding of the primitive arts found
among colonies of immigrants in a modern cosmopolitan city, produces
a like result in that the arts languish and disappear. We have made
an effort at Hull-House to recover something of the early industries
from an immigrant neighborhood, and in a little exhibit called a
labor museum, we have placed in historic sequence and order methods
of spinning and weaving from a dozen nationalities in Asia Minor and
Europe. The result has been a striking exhibition of the unity and
similarity of the earlier industrial processes. Within the narrow
confines of one room, the Syrian, the Greek, the Italian, the Russian,
the Norwegian, the Dutch, and the Irish find that the differences in
their spinning have been merely putting the distaff upon a frame or
placing the old hand-spindle in a horizontal position. A group of women
representing vast differences in religion, in language, in tradition,
and in nationality, exhibit practically no difference in the daily
arts by which, for a thousand generations, they have clothed their
families. When American women come to visit them, the quickest method,
in fact almost the only one, of establishing a genuine companionship
with them, is through this same industry, unless we except that
still older occupation, the care of little children. Perhaps this
experiment may claim to have made a genuine effort to find the basic
experiences upon which a cosmopolitan community may unite at least on
the industrial side. The recent date of the industrial revolution and
our nearness to a primitive industry are shown by the fact that Italian
mothers are more willing to have their daughters work in factories
producing textile and food stuffs than in those which produce wood and
metal. They interpret the entire situation so simply that it appears
to them just what it is--a mere continuation of woman’s traditional
work under changed conditions. Another example of our nearness to early
methods is shown by the fact that many women from South Italy and from
the remoter parts of Russia have never seen a spinning-wheel, and
look upon it as a new and marvelous invention. But these very people,
who are habitually at such a disadvantage because they lack certain
superficial qualities which are too highly prized, have an opportunity
in the labor museum, at least for the moment, to assert a position in
the community to which their previous life and training entitles them,
and they are judged with something of a historic background. Their very
apparent remoteness gives industrial processes a picturesque content
and charm.

Can we learn our first lesson in modern industry from these humble
peasant women who have never shirked the primitive labors upon which
all civilized life is founded, even as we must obtain our first
lessons in social morality from those who are bearing the brunt of
the overcrowded and cosmopolitan city which is the direct result of
modern industrial conditions? If we contend that the franchise should
be extended to women on the ground that less emphasis is continually
placed upon the military order and more upon the industrial order of
society, we should have to insist that, if she would secure her old
place in industry, the modern woman must needs fit her labors to the
present industrial organization as the simpler woman fitted hers to the
more simple industrial order. It has been pointed out that woman lost
her earlier place when man usurped the industrial pursuits and created
wealth on a scale unknown before. Since that time women have been
reduced more and more to a state of dependency, until we see only among
the European peasant women as they work in the fields, “the heavy,
strong, enduring, patient, economically functional representative of
what the women of our day used to be.”

Cultural education as it is at present carried on in the most advanced
schools, is to some extent correcting the present detached relation
of women to industry but a sense of responsibility in relation to the
development of industry would accomplish much more. As men earned
their citizenship through their readiness and ability to defend their
city, so perhaps woman, if she takes a citizen’s place in the modern
industrial city, will have to earn it by devotion and self-abnegation
in the service of its complex needs.

The old social problems were too often made a cause of war in the
belief that all difficulties could be settled by an appeal to arms. But
certainly these subtler problems which confront the modern cosmopolitan
city, the problems of race antagonisms and economic adjustments, must
be settled by a more searching and genuine method than mere prowess
can possibly afford. The first step toward their real solution must
be made upon a past experience common to the citizens as a whole and
connected with their daily living. As moral problems become more and
more associated with our civic and industrial organizations, the
demand for enlarged activity is more exigent. If one could connect the
old maternal anxieties, which are really the basis of family and tribal
life, with the candidates who are seeking offices, it would never be
necessary to look about for other motive powers, and if to this we
could add maternal concern for the safety and defence of the industrial
worker, we should have an increasing code of protective legislation.

We certainly may hope for two results if women enter formally into
municipal life. First, the opportunity to fulfill their old duties and
obligations with the safeguard and the consideration which the ballot
alone can secure for them under the changed conditions, and, second,
the education which participation in actual affairs always brings.
As we believe that woman has no right to allow what really belongs
to her to drop away from her, so we contend that ability to perform
an obligation comes very largely in proportion as that obligation is
conscientiously assumed.

Out of the mediaeval city founded upon militarism there arose in the
thirteenth century a new order, the middle class, whose importance
rested, not upon birth or arms, but upon wealth, intelligence, and
organization. This middle class achieved a sterling success in the
succeeding six centuries of industrialism because it was essential to
the existence and development of the industrial era. Perhaps we can
forecast the career of woman, the citizen, if she is permitted to bear
an elector’s part in the coming period of humanitarianism in which
government must concern itself with human welfare. She will bear her
share of civic responsibility because she is essential to the normal
development of the city of the future, and because the definition
of the loyal citizen as one who is ready to shed his blood for his
country, has become inadequate and obsolete.


[15] A Case for the Factory Acts. Mrs. Sidney Webb.

                             CHAPTER VIII

                      PASSING OF THE WAR VIRTUES

Of all the winged words which Tolstoy wrote during the war between
Russia and Japan, perhaps none are more significant than these:
“The great strife of our time is not that now taking place between
the Japanese and the Russians, nor that which may blaze up between
the white and the yellow races, nor that strife which is carried
on by mines, bombs, and bullets, but that spiritual strife which,
without ceasing, has gone on and is going on between the enlightened
consciousness of mankind now awaiting for manifestation and that
darkness and that burden which surrounds and oppresses mankind.” In
the curious period of accommodation in which we live, it is possible
for old habits and new compunctions to be equally powerful, and it is
almost a matter of pride with us that we neither break with the old nor
yield to the new. We call this attitude tolerance, whereas it is often
mere confusion of mind. Such mental confusion is strikingly illustrated
by our tendency to substitute a statement of the historic evolution of
an ideal of conduct in place of the ideal itself. This almost always
occurs when the ideal no longer accords with our faithful experience
of life and when its implications are not justified by our latest
information. In this way we spare ourselves the necessity of pressing
forward to newer ideals of conduct.

We quote the convictions and achievements of the past as an excuse for
ourselves when we lack the energy either to throw off old moral codes
which have become burdens or to attain a morality proportionate to our
present sphere of activity.

At the present moment the war spirit attempts to justify its noisy
demonstrations by quoting its great achievements in the past and by
drawing attention to the courageous life which it has evoked and
fostered. It is, however, perhaps significant that the adherents of war
are more and more justifying it by its past record and reminding us of
its ancient origin. They tell us that it is interwoven with every fibre
of human growth and is at the root of all that is noble and courageous
in human life, that struggle is the basis of all progress, that it is
now extended from individuals and tribes to nations and races.

We may admire much that is admirable in this past life of courageous
warfare, while at the same time we accord it no right to dominate
the present, which has traveled out of its reach into a land of new
desires. We may admit that the experiences of war have equipped the men
of the present with pluck and energy, but to insist upon the selfsame
expression for that pluck and energy would be as stupid a mistake as if
we would relegate the full-grown citizen, responding to many claims and
demands upon his powers, to the school-yard fights of his boyhood, or
to the college contests of his cruder youth. The little lad who stoutly
defends himself on the school-ground may be worthy of much admiration,
but if we find him, a dozen years later, the bullying leader of a
street-gang who bases his prestige on the fact that “no one can whip
him,” our admiration cools amazingly, and we say that the carrying over
of those puerile instincts into manhood shows arrested development
which is mainly responsible for filling our prisons.

This confusion between the contemporaneous stage of development and the
historic rôle of certain qualities, is intensified by our custom of
referring to social evolution as if it were a force and not a process.
We assume that social ends may be obtained without the application of
social energies, although we know in our hearts that the best results
of civilization have come about only through human will and effort.
To point to the achievement of the past as a guarantee for continuing
what has since become shocking to us is stupid business; it is to
forget that progress itself depends upon adaptation, upon a nice
balance between continuity and change. Let us by all means acknowledge
and preserve that which has been good in warfare and in the spirit of
warfare; let us gather it together and incorporate it in our national
fibre. Let us, however, not be guilty for a moment of shutting our
eyes to that which for many centuries must have been disquieting to
the moral sense, but which is gradually becoming impossible, not only
because of our increasing sensibilities, but because great constructive
plans and humanized interests have captured our hopes and we are
finding that war is an implement too clumsy and barbaric to subserve
our purpose. We have come to realize that the great task of pushing
forward social justice could be enormously accelerated if primitive
methods as well as primitive weapons were once for all abolished.

The past may have been involved in war and suffering in order to bring
forth a new and beneficent courage, an invincible ardor for conserving
and healing human life, for understanding and elaborating it. To obtain
this courage is to distinguish between a social order founded upon
law enforced by authority and that other social order which includes
liberty of individual action and complexity of group development. The
latter social order would not suppress the least germ of promise, of
growth and variety, but would nurture all into a full and varied life.
It is not an easy undertaking to obtain it and it cannot be carried
forward without conscious and well-defined effort. The task that is
really before us is first to see to it, that the old virtues bequeathed
by war are not retained after they have become a social deterrent and
that social progress is not checked by a certain contempt for human
nature which is but the inherited result of conquest. Second, we must
act upon the assumption that spontaneous and fraternal action as virile
and widespread as war itself is the only method by which substitutes
for the war virtues may be discovered.

It was contended in the first chapter of this book that social morality
is developed through sentiment and action. In this particular age we
can live the truth which has been apprehended by our contemporaries,
that truth which is especially our own, only by establishing nobler and
wiser social relations and by discovering social bonds better fitted
to our requirements. Warfare in the past has done much to bring men
together. A sense of common danger and the stirring appeal to action
for a common purpose, easily open the channels of sympathy through
which we partake of the life about us. But there are certainly other
methods of opening those channels. A social life to be healthy must be
consciously and fully adjusted to the march of social needs, and as we
may easily make a mistake by forgetting that enlarged opportunities are
ever demanding an enlarged morality, so we will fail in the task of
substitution if we do not demand social sympathy in a larger measure
and of a quality better adapted to the contemporaneous situation.

Perhaps the one point at which this undertaking is most needed is in
regard to our conception of patriotism, which, although as genuine
as ever before, is too much dressed in the trappings of the past and
continually carries us back to its beginnings in military prowess and
defence. To have been able to trace the origin and development of
patriotism and then to rest content with that, and to fail to insist
that it shall respond to the stimulus of a larger and more varied
environment with which we are now confronted, is a confession of
weakness; it exhibits lack of moral enterprise and of national vigor.

We have all seen the breakdown of village standards of morality when
the conditions of a great city are encountered. To do “the good lying
next at hand” may be a sufficient formula when the village idler
and his needy children live but a few doors down the street, but
the same dictum may be totally misleading when the villager becomes
a city resident and finds his next-door neighbors prosperous and
comfortable, while the poor and overburdened live many blocks away
where he would never see them at all, unless he were stirred by a
spirit of social enterprise to go forth and find them in the midst
of their meagre living and their larger needs. The spirit of village
gossip, penetrating and keen as it is, may be depended upon to bring to
the notice of the kind-hearted villager all cases of suffering--that
someone is needed “to sit up all night” with a sick neighbor, or that
the village loafer has been drunk again and beaten his wife; but in
a city divided so curiously into the regions of the well-to-do and
the congested quarters of the immigrant, the conscientious person
can no longer rely upon gossip. There is no intercourse, not even a
scattered one, between the two, save what the daily paper brings, with
its invincible propensity to report the gossip of poverty and crime,
perhaps a healthier tendency than we imagine. The man who has moved
from the village to the cosmopolitan city and who would continue even
his former share of beneficent activity must bestir himself to keep
informed as to social needs and to make new channels through which his
sympathy may flow. Without some such conscious effort, his sympathy
will finally become stratified along the line of his social intercourse
and he will be unable really to care for any people but his “own kind.”
American conceptions of patriotism have moved, so to speak, from the
New England village into huge cosmopolitan cities. They find themselves
bewildered by the change and have not only failed to make the
adjustment, but the very effort in that direction is looked upon with
deep suspicion by their old village neighbors. Unless our conception of
patriotism is progressive, it cannot hope to embody the real affection
and the real interest of the nation. We know full well that the
patriotism of common descent is the mere patriotism of the clan--the
early patriotism of the tribe--and that, while the possession of a
like territory is an advance upon that first conception, both of them
are unworthy to be the patriotism of a great cosmopolitan nation. We
shall not have made any genuine advance until we have grown impatient
of a patriotism founded upon military prowess and defence, because this
really gets in the way and prevents the growth of that beneficent and
progressive patriotism which we need for the understanding and healing
of our current national difficulties.

To seek our patriotism in some age other than our own is to accept a
code that is totally inadequate to help us through the problems which
current life develops. We continue to found our patriotism upon war
and to contrast conquest with nurture, militarism with industrialism,
calling the latter passive and inert and the former active and
aggressive, without really facing the situation as it exists. We
tremble before our own convictions, and are afraid to find newer
manifestations of courage and daring lest we thereby lose the virtues
bequeathed to us by war. It is a pitiful acknowledgment that we have
lost them already and that we shall have to give up the ways of war, if
for no other reason than to preserve the finer spirit of courage and
detachment which it has engendered and developed.

We come at last to the practical question as to how these substitutes
for the war virtues may be found. How may we, the children of an
industrial and commercial age, find the courage and sacrifice which
belong to our industrialism. We may begin with August Comte’s assertion
that man seeks to improve his position in two different ways, by
the destruction of obstacles and by the construction of means, or,
designated by their most obvious social results, if his contention is
correct, by military action and by industrial action, and that the two
must long continue side by side. Then we find ourselves asking what
may be done to make more picturesque those lives which are spent in a
monotonous and wearing toil, compared to which the camp is exciting and
the barracks comfortable. How shall it be made to seem as magnificent
patiently to correct the wrongs of industrialism as to do battle for
the rights of the nation? This transition ought not to be so difficult
in America, for to begin with, our national life in America has been
largely founded upon our success in invention and engineering, in
manufacturing and commerce. Our prosperity has rested upon constructive
labor and material progress, both of them in striking contrast to
warfare. There is an element of almost grim humor in the nation’s
reverting at last to the outworn methods of battle-ships and defended
harbors. We may admit that idle men need war to keep alive their
courage and endurance, but we have few idle men in a nation engaged
in industrialism. We constantly see subordination of sensation to
sentiment in hundreds of careers which are not military; the thousands
of miners in Pennsylvania doubtless endure every year more bodily pain
and peril than the same number of men in European barracks.

Industrial life affords ample opportunity for endurance, discipline,
and a sense of detachment, if the struggle is really put upon the
highest level of industrial efficiency. But because our industrial life
is not on this level, we constantly tend to drop the newer and less
developed ideals for the older ones of warfare, we ignore the fact that
war so readily throws back the ideals which the young are nourishing
into the mold of those which the old should be outgrowing. It lures
young men not to develop, but to exploit; it turns them from the
courage and toil of industry to the bravery and endurance of war, and
leads them to forget that civilization is the substitution of law for
war. It incites their ambitions, not to irrigate, to make fertile and
sanitary, the barren plain of the savage, but to fill it with military
posts and tax-gatherers, to cease from pushing forward industrial
action into new fields and to fall back upon military action.

We may illustrate this by the most beneficent acts of war, when
the military spirit claiming to carry forward civilization invades
a country for the purpose of bringing it into the zone of the
civilized world. Militarism enforces law and order and insists upon
obedience and discipline, assuming that it will ultimately establish
righteousness and foster progress. In order to carry out this good
intention, it first of all clears the decks of impedimenta, although
in the process it may extinguish the most precious beginnings of
self-government and the nucleus of self-help, which the wise of the
native community have long been anxiously hoarding.

It is the military idea, resting content as it does with the passive
results of order and discipline, which confesses a totally inadequate
conception of the value and power of human life. The charge of
obtaining negative results could with great candor be brought against
militarism, while the strenuous task, the vigorous and difficult
undertaking, involving the use of the most highly developed human
powers, can be claimed for industrialism.

It is really human constructive labor which must give the newly invaded
country a sense of its place in the life of the civilized world, some
idea of the effective occupations which it may perform. In order to
accomplish this its energy must be freed and its resources developed.
Militarism undertakes to set in order, to suppress and to govern, if
necessary to destroy, while industrialism undertakes to liberate latent
forces, to reconcile them to new conditions, to demonstrate that their
aroused activities can no longer follow caprice, but must fit into a
larger order of life. To call this latter undertaking, demanding ever
new powers of insight, patience, and fortitude, less difficult, less
manly, less strenuous, than the first, is on the face of it absurd.
It is the soldier who is inadequate to the difficult task, who strews
his ways with blunders and lost opportunities, who cannot justify his
vocation by the results, and who is obliged to plead guilty to a lack
of rational method.

Of British government in the Empire, an Englishman has recently
written, “We are obliged in practise to make a choice between good
order and justice administered autocratically in accordance with
British standards on the one hand, and delicate, costly, doubtful,
and disorderly experiments in self-government on British lines upon
the other, and we have practically everywhere decided upon the former
alternative. It is, of course, less difficult.”[16] Had our American
ideals of patriotism and morality in international relations kept
pace with our experience, had we followed up our wide commercial
relations with an adequate ethical code, we can imagine a body of
young Americans, “the flower of our youth,” as we like to say,
proudly declining commercial advantages founded upon forced military
occupation and informing their well-meaning government that they
declined to accept openings on any such terms as these, that their
ideals of patriotism and of genuine government demanded the play of
their moral prowess and their constructive intelligence. Certainly in
America we have a chance to employ something more active and virile,
more inventive, more in line with our temperament and tradition, than
the mere desire to increase commercial relations by armed occupation
as other governments have done. A different conduct is required
from a democracy than from the mere order-keeping, bridge-building,
tax-gathering Roman, or from the conscientious Briton carrying the
blessings of an established government and enlarged commerce to all
quarters of the globe.

It has been the time-honored custom to attribute unjust wars to the
selfish ambition of rulers who remorselessly sacrifice their subjects
to satisfy their greed. But, as Lecky has recently pointed out, it
remains to be seen whether or not democratic rule will diminish war.
Immoderate and uncontrolled desires are at the root of most national
as well as of most individual crimes, and a large number of persons
may be moved by unworthy ambitions quite as easily as a few. If the
electorate of a democracy accustom themselves to take the commercial
view of life, to consider the extension of trade as the test of a
national prosperity, it becomes comparatively easy for mere extension
of commercial opportunity to assume a moral aspect and to receive the
moral sanction. Unrestricted commercialism is an excellent preparation
for governmental aggression. The nation which is accustomed to condone
the questionable business methods of a rich man because of his success,
will find no difficulty in obscuring the moral issues involved in any
undertaking that is successful. It becomes easy to deny the moral basis
of self-government and to substitute militarism. The soldier formerly
looked down upon the merchant whom he now obeys, as he still looks down
upon the laborer as a man who is engaged in a business inferior to
his own, as someone who is dull and passive and ineffective. When our
public education succeeds in freeing the creative energy and developing
the skill which the advance of industry demands, this attitude must
disappear, and a spectacle such as that recently seen in London among
the idle men returned from service in South Africa, who refused to work
through a contemptuous attitude towards the “slow life” of the laborer,
will become impossible. We have as yet failed to uncover the relative
difficulty and requisite training for the two methods of life.

It is difficult to illustrate on a national scale the substitution of
the ideals of labor for those of warfare.

At the risk of being absurd, and with the certainty of pushing an
illustration beyond its legitimate limits, I am venturing to typify
this substitution by the one man whom the civilized world has most
closely associated with military ideals, the present Emperor of
Germany. We may certainly believe that the German Emperor is a
conscientious man, who means to do his duty to all his subjects; that
he regards himself, not only as general and chief of the army, but also
as the fostering father of the humble people. Let us imagine the quite
impossible thing that for ten years he does not review any troops, does
not attend any parades, does not wear a uniform, nor hear the clang of
the sword as he walks, but that during these ten years he lives with
the peasants “who drive the painful plow,” that he constantly converses
with them, and subjects himself to their alternating hopes and fears
as to the result of the harvest, at best so inadequate for supplying
their wants and for paying their taxes. Let us imagine that the German
Emperor during these halcyon years, in addition to the companionship
of the humble, reads only the folk-lore, the minor poetry and the
plaintive songs in which German literature is so rich, until he comes
to see each man of the field as he daily goes forth to his toil “with a
soldier tied to his back,” exhausted by the double strain of his burden
and his work.

Let us imagine this Emperor going through some such profound moral
change as befell Count Tolstoy when he quitted his military service
in the Caucasus and lived with the peasants on his estate, with this
difference that, instead of feeling directly responsible for a village
of humble folk, he should come to feel responsible for all the toilers
of the “Fatherland” and for the international results of the German
army. Let us imagine that in his self-surrender to the humblest of his
people, there would gradually grow up in his subconsciousness, forces
more ideal than any which had possessed him before; that his interests
and thoughts would gradually shift from war and the manœuvres and
extensions of the army, to the unceasing toil, the permanent patience,
which lie at the bottom of all national existence; that the life of
the common people, which is so infinite in its moral suggestiveness,
would open up to him new moral regions, would stir new energies within
him, until there would take place one of those strange alterations in
personality of which hundreds of examples are recorded. Under a glow
of generous indignation, magnanimity, loyalty to his people, a passion
of self-surrender to his new ideals, we can imagine that the imperial
temperament would waste no time in pinings and regret, but that, his
energies being enlisted in an overmastering desire to free the people
from the burden of the army, he would drive vigorously in the direction
of his new ideals. It is impossible to imagine him “passive” under this
conversion to the newer ideals of peace. He would no more be passive
than St. Paul was after his conversion. He would regard the four
million men in Europe shut up in barracks, fed in idleness by toiling
peasants, as an actual wrong and oppression. They would all have to
be freed and returned to normal life and occupation--not through the
comparatively easy method of storming garrisons, in which he has had
training, but through conviction on the part of rulers and people of
the wrong and folly of barrack idleness and military glitter. The
freeing of the Christians from the oppressions of the Turks, of the
Spaniards from the Moslems, could offer no more strenuous task--always,
however, with the added difficulty and complication that the change
in the people must be a moral change analogous to the one which had
already taken place within himself; that he must be debarred from
the use of weapons, to which his earlier life had made him familiar;
that his high task, while enormous in its proportion, was still most
delicate in its character, and must be undertaken without the guarantee
of precedent, and without any surety of success. “Smitten with the
great vision of social righteousness,” as so many of his contemporaries
have been, he could not permit himself to be blinded or to take refuge
in glittering generalities, but, even as St. Paul arose from his vision
and went on his way in a new determination never again changed, so he
would have to go forth to a mission, imperial indeed in its magnitude,
but “over-imperial” in the sweep of its consequences and in the
difficulty of its accomplishment.

Certainly counting all the hours of the Emperor’s life spent in camp
and court dominated by military pomp and ambition, he has given more
than ten years to military environment and much less than ten years
to the bulk of his people, and it would not be impossible to imagine
such a conversion due to the reaction of environment and interest.
Such a change having taken place, should we hold him royal in temper
or worthy of the traditions of knight-errantry, if he were held back
by commercial considerations, if he hesitated because the Krupp
Company could sell no more guns and would be thrown out of business?
We should say to this Emperor whom our imaginations have evoked,
Were your enthusiasms genuine enough, were your insights absolutely
true, you would see of how little consequence these things really
are, and how easily adjusted. Let the Krupp factories, with their
tremendous resources in machinery and men, proceed to manufacture
dredging machines for the reclaiming of the waste land in Posen; let
them make new inventions to relieve the drudgery of the peasant,
agricultural implements adequate to Germany’s agricultural resources
and possibilities. They will find need for all the power of invention
which they can command, all the manufacturing and commercial ability
which they now employ. It is part of your new vocation to adjust the
industries now tributary to the standing armies and organization
of warfare, to useful and beneficent occupations; to transform and
readjust all their dependent industries, from the manufacturing of
cannon and war-ships to that of gold braid and epaulets. It is your
mission to revive and increase agriculture, industry, and commerce,
by diverting all the energy which is now directed to the feeding,
clothing, and arming of the idle, into the legitimate and normal
channels of life.

It is certainly not more difficult to imagine such a change occurring
to an entire people than in the mind and purpose of one man--in fact,
such changes are going on all about us.

The advance of constructive labor and the subsidence and disappearance
of destructive warfare is a genuine line of progression. One sees much
of protection and something of construction in the office of war, as
the Roman bridges survived throughout Europe long after the legions
which built them and crossed them for new conquests had passed out of
mind. Also, in the rising tide of labor there is a large admixture of
warfare, of the purely militant spirit which is sometimes so dominant
that it throws the entire movement into confusion and leads the laborer
to renounce his birthright; but nevertheless the desire for battle is
becoming constantly more restricted in area. It still sways in regions
where men of untamed blood are dwelling, and among men who, because
they regard themselves as a superior race, imagine that they are free
from the ordinary moral restraints; but its territory constantly
grows smaller and its manifestations more guarded. Doubtless war will
exist for many generations among semi-savage tribes, and it will also
break out in those nations which may be roused and dominated by the
unrestricted commercial spirit; but the ordinary life of man will go
on without it, as it becomes transmitted into a desire for normal human

It is difficult to predict at what moment the conviction that war is
foolish or wasteful or unjustifiable may descend upon the earth, and
it is also impossible to estimate among how many groups of people this
conviction has already become established.

The Doukhobors are a religious sect in Russia whose creed emphasizes
the teaching of non-resistance. A story is told of one of their young
men who, because of his refusal to enter the Russian army, was brought
for trial before a judge, who reasoned with him concerning the folly
of his course and in return received a homily upon the teachings of
Jesus. “Quite right you are,” answered the judge, “from the point of
abstract virtue, but the time has not yet come to put into practise the
literal sayings of Christ.” “The time may not have come for you, your
Honor,” was the reply, “but the time has come for us.” Who can tell at
what hour vast numbers of Russian peasants upon those Russian steppes
will decide that the time has come for them to renounce warfare, even
as their prototype, the mujik, Count Tolstoy, has already decided that
it has come for him? Conscious as the peasants are of religious motive,
they will meet a cheerful martyrdom for their convictions, as so many
of the Doukhobors have done. It may, however, be easy to overestimate
this changed temper because of the simple yet dramatic formulation
given by Tolstoy to the non-resisting spirit. How far Tolstoy is really
the mouthpiece of a great moral change going on in the life of the
Russian peasant and how far he speaks merely for himself, it is, of
course, impossible to state. If only a few peasants are experiencing
this change, his genius has certainly done much to make their position
definite. The man who assumes that a new degree of virtue is possible,
thereby makes it real and tangible to those who long to possess it but
lack courage. Tolstoy at least is ready to predict that in the great
affairs of national disarmament, it may easily be true that the Russian
peasants will take the first steps.

Their armed rebellion may easily be overcome by armed troops, but what
can be done with their permanent patience, their insatiable hunger
for holiness? All idealism has its prudential aspects, and, as has
been pointed out by Mr. Perris,[17] no other form of revolution is so
fitted to an agricultural people as this continued outburst of passive
resistance among whole communities, not in theory, but in practise.
This peasant movement goes on in spite of persecution, perfectly
spontaneous, self-reliant, colossal in the silent confidence and power
of endurance. In this day of Maxim guns and high explosives, the old
method of revolt would be impossible to an agricultural people, but
the non-resistant strike against military service lies directly in
line with the temperament and capacity of the Russian people. That
“the government cannot put the whole population in prison, and, if it
could, it would still be without material for an army, and without
money for its support,” is an almost irrefutable argument. We see here,
at least, the beginnings of a sentiment that shall, if sufficiently
developed, make war impossible to an entire people, a conviction of sin
manifesting itself throughout a nation.

Whatever may have been true of the revolutionist of the past when
his spike was on a certain level of equality with the bayonet of
the regular soldier, and his enthusiasm and daring could, in large
measure, overcome the difference, it is certainly true now that
such simple arms as a revolutionist could command, would be utterly
futile against the equipment of the regular soldier. To continue the
use of armed force means, under these circumstances, that we must
refer the possibilities of all social and industrial advance to the
consent of the owners of the Maxim guns. We must deny to the humble
the possibility of the initiation of progressive movements employing
revolution or, at least, we must defer all advance until the humble
many can persuade the powerful few of the righteousness of their cause,
and we must throw out the working class from participation in the
beginnings of social revolutions. Tolstoy would make non-resistance
aggressive. He would carry over into the reservoirs of moral influence
all the strength which is now spent in coercion and resistance. It
is an experiment which in its fullness has never been tried in human
history, and it is worthy of a genius. As moral influence has ever a
larger place in individual relationship and as physical force becomes
daily more restricted in area, so Tolstoy would “speed up” the process
in collective relationships and reset the whole of international life
upon the basis of good will and intelligent understanding. It does not
matter that he has entered these new moral fields through the narrow
gateway of personal experience; that he sets forth his convictions with
the limitations of the Russian governmental environment; that he is
regarded at this moment by the Russian revolutionists as a quietist and
reactionary. He has nevertheless reached down into the moral life of
the humble people and formulated for them as for us the secret of their
long patience and unremitting labor. Therefore, in the teachings of
Tolstoy, as in the life of the peasants, coextensive with the doctrine
of non-resistance, stress is laid upon productive labor. The peasant
Bandereff, from whom Tolstoy claims to have learned much, has not only
proclaimed himself as against war, but has written a marvelous book
entitled “Bread Labor,” expressing once more the striking antithesis,
the eternal contrast between war and labor, and between those who abhor
the one and ever advocate the other.

War on the one hand--plain destruction, Von Moltke called
it--represents the life of the garrison and the tax-gatherer, the Roman
emperor and his degenerate people, living upon the fruits of their
conquest. Labor, on the other hand, represents productive effort,
holding carefully what has been garnered by the output of brain and
muscle, guarding the harvest jealously because it is the precious bread
men live by.

It is quite possible that we have committed the time-honored folly of
looking for a sudden change in men’s attitude toward war, even as the
poor alchemists wasted their lives in searching for a magic fluid and
did nothing to discover the great laws governing chemical changes and
reactions, the knowledge of which would have developed untold wealth
beyond their crude dreams of transmuted gold.

The final moral reaction may at last come, accompanied by deep remorse,
too tardy to reclaim all the human life which has been spent and the
treasure which has been wasted, or it may come with a great sense of
joy that all voluntary destruction of human life, all the deliberate
wasting of the fruits of labor, have become a thing of the past, and
that whatever the future contains for us, it will at least be free
from war. We may at last comprehend the truth of that which Ruskin has
stated so many times, that we worship the soldier, not because he goes
forth to slay, but to be slain.

That this world peace movement should be arising from the humblest
without the sanction and in some cases with the explicit indifference,
of the church founded by the Prince of Peace, is simply another example
of the strange paths of moral evolution.

To some of us it seems clear that marked manifestations of this
movement are found in the immigrant quarters of American cities. The
previous survey of the immigrant situation would indicate that all the
peoples of the world have become part of the American tribunal, and
that their sense of pity, their clamor for personal kindness, their
insistence upon the right to join in our progress, can no longer be
disregarded. The burdens and sorrows of men have unexpectedly become
intelligent and urgent to this nation, and it is only by accepting
them with some magnanimity that we can develop the larger sense of
justice which is becoming world-wide and is lying in ambush, as it
were, to manifest itself in governmental relations. Men of all nations
are determining upon the abolition of degrading poverty, disease, and
intellectual weakness, with their resulting industrial inefficiency,
and are making a determined effort to conserve even the feeblest
citizen to the State. To join in this determined effort is to break
through national bonds and to unlock the latent fellowship between man
and man. In a political campaign men will go through every possible
hardship in response to certain political loyalties; in a moment of
national danger men will sacrifice every personal advantage. It is but
necessary to make this fellowship wider, to extend its scope without
lowering its intensity. Those emotions which stir the spirit to deeds
of self-surrender and to high enthusiasm, are among the world’s most
precious assets. That this emotion has so often become associated with
war, by no means proves that it cannot be used for other ends. There
is something active and tangible in this new internationalism, although
it is difficult to make it clear, and in our striving for a new word
with which to express this new and important sentiment, we are driven
to the rather absurd phrase of “cosmic patriotism.” Whatever it may
be called, it may yet be strong enough to move masses of men out of
their narrow national considerations and cautions into new reaches of
human effort and affection. Religion has long ago taught that only
as the individual can establish a sense of union with a power for
righteousness not himself, can he experience peace; and it may be
possible that the nations will be called to a similar experience.

The International Peace Conference held in Boston in 1904 was opened
by a huge meeting in which men of influence and modern thought from
four continents, gave reasons for their belief in the passing of
war. But none was so modern, so fundamental and so trenchant, as the
address which was read from the prophet Isaiah. He founded the cause
of peace upon the cause of righteousness, not only as expressed in
political relations, but also in industrial relations. He contended
that peace could be secured only as men abstained from the gains of
oppression and responded to the cause of the poor; that swords would
finally be beaten into plowshares and pruning-hooks, not because men
resolved to be peaceful, but because all the metal of the earth would
be turned to its proper use when the poor and their children should be
abundantly fed. It was as if the ancient prophet foresaw that under
an enlightened industrialism peace would no longer be an absence of
war, but the unfolding of world-wide processes making for the nurture
of human life. He predicted the moment which has come to us now that
peace is no longer an abstract dogma but has become a rising tide of
moral enthusiasm slowly engulfing all pride of conquest and making war


[16] Imperialism, by John A. Hobson. Page 128.

[17] The Grand Mujik, G. H. Perris.


  Altruism, manifestations of, 17;
    in politics, 48.

  Anglo-Saxon, temptation to govern all peoples alike, 47;
    distrust of experiment, 67;
    individualistic, 68;
    attitude towards self-government, 112.

  Arbitration, change in attitude toward, 133;
    in New Zealand, 134.

  Aristotle’s ideal of a city, 92.

  Assimilation, limit to United States power of, 39;
    workingman’s attitude toward, 94, 117.

  Bandereff, 234.

  Bentham, 23.

  Bloch, Jean de, 4.

  Booth, Charles, maps of London, 86.

  Bosanquet, Mrs. Bernard, 116.

  Buckle, 23.

  Burns, John, 125.

  Charity, organization of in New York, 74;
    modern, democratic and constructive, 79;
    extension of, 84;
    and unskilled labor, 152.

  Chicago Municipal Lodging House, 157.

  Chicago Federation of Labor, 130, 131.

  Chicago Stock Yards Strike, power of unions for amalgamation shown in,
    object of, 101, 111;
    use of referendum vote in, 103, 108;
    good order of, 104;
    paradoxes shown by, 104;
    example of national appeal subordinated to union, 106;
    strike-breaker in, 106;
    Greek in, 109.

  Child Labor, social waste of, 28;
    a national problem, 107;
    industrial value of, 154;
    responsibility of State, 156;
    effect of sub-divided, 158;
    effect of premature, 159;
    effect on parents, 161;
    effect on product, 162.

  Child Labor Legislation, makes for better citizens, 73;
    immigrant parents and, 74;
    uniform, 168;
    leisure gained for play, 169.

  Commerce, international, 115;
    modern representative of conquest, 116.

  Comte, Augustus, 217.

  Constitution of the U. S., and the immigrant, 42, 43, 72, 73.

  Contempt, social results of, 51;
    in industrialism, 116;
    for immigrant, 151;
    for primitive arts, 202.

  Cosmopolitan city, beginnings of newer ideals of peace found in, 11,
   13, 18;
    centers of radicalism, 16;
    bond of union in, 17, 204;
    difficulties due to size of, 86, 216;
    subtle problems of, 206.

  Cosmopolitan standard, lack of, 78.

  Dante, 21.

  Democratic government, causes of failure of, 47;
    arousing enthusiasm for, 63;
    result of moral effort, 75;
    inherited form of, 121.

  Democracy, modified slowly, 37;
    repressive legislation in, 52;
    lack of civic expression for, 59;
    failure to apprehend, 91;
    effects of commercialism on, 222.

  Denver Juvenile Court, 81.

  Doctrinaire method, weakness of, 31;
    conditions settled by, 53;
    unattached to experience, 72;
    not fitted to modern patriotism, 74.

  Domestic service, 51;
    a review of the history of, 199.

  Doukhobors, situation in Canada, 67;
    emphasize non-resistance, 230;
    meet martyrdom, 231.

  Education, related to industrial efficiency, 16;
    belief in, as social remedy, 21;
    of vital importance to city, 73;
    compulsory, 74;
    advanced and reform schools, 82;
    passion in America, 85;
    distinctive achievement in America, 166;
    for factory children, 167;
    less expensive than repression, 175;
    already democratized, 178.

  Educators, recognizing industrialism, 169.

  Eighteenth-century philosophy, abandonment of, required, 28;
    inadequacy of, 31;
    responsible for immigration, 40;
    belief in universal franchise, 42;
    ideal man of, 60;
    ideals still influence statesman, 70;
    retained in America, 91;
    formula of equality, 117;
    radicalism of, 121.

  Employer, prone to attack new union, 129;
    charges against unions, 135;
    attitude toward business relations with unions, 138;
    traditions in household, 201.

  England, labor laws of, 152;
    debasement of products of, 166.

  Franchise, 38;
    universal panacea, 42;
    universal franchise, 52;
    beginnings of municipal, 180;
    military test absurd, 182;
    why women should have, 192.

  Factory system, 163;
    worst evils of, 149;
    uneducational, 173.

  Gang, almost tribal in organization, 176;
    political training in, 177.

  German Emperor, 224.

  Germany, government deals with needs of workingman, 88;
    police socialized in, 89;
    not afraid to extend municipal functions, 91;
    economic protection in, 122, 152;
    opposition to militarism in, 165.

  Golden, State Reform State School, 81.

  Government, newer manifestations of, 15;
    away from the life of the people, 35;
    oppressive, dependent on the sword, 36;
    opposition to, formerly patriotism, 42;
    dealing with naturalization, 42;
    test not current, 47;
    concern for the young incorporated in, 80;
    fear of extending functions, 84;
    traditional activities meagre, 87;
    non-interference in industry, 90;
    functions of, 101;
    patriotic citizens forced to ignore, 112.

  Hague tribunal, 5.

  Hebrew alliance, 74.

  Heroism, new, 25, 218.

  Historic method, 31, 63.

  Hobhouse, L. T., 6.

  Hobson, John A., 221.

  Household labor, conference at Lake Placid, 198;
    history of, in America, 199;
    causes of paucity of, 200.

  Hull-House, experiences, 50, 58, 77, 82, 91, 119, 143, 159, 194, 203,

  Humanitarianism, in immigrant quarters, 15;
    aggressive, 26;
    scientific method applied to, 28;
    cosmopolitan, 76;
    present stage of, 79, 99;
    its relation to labor power, 165.

  Idealism, provincial aspects of, 231.

  Immigrants, emotional sentiment among, 13;
    unusual power of association among, 14;
    franchise extended to, 38;
    philosophy in regard to, 41;
    exploitation of, 42, 45;
    evasion of immigration laws by, 47;
    contempt for, 49;
    charm and historical association among, 64, 70;
    ignoring past experience of, 65;
    beginnings of self-government among, 71;
    relations of politician to, 72;
    attempts to teach patriotism to, 75;
    revelation of social customs among, 79;
    standardizing by workmen, 93;
    difficulties largely industrial, 94;
    as wage lowering weapon, 97;
    standard of living for, 102, 116;
    claim on charitable funds, 152;
    present contrasted with youthful condition of, 161;
    early industries among, 203;
    historic backgrounds of, 205;
    manifestations of peace movement among, 235.

  Immigration, decreased by industrial depression, 44;
    of recent years, 200.

  Industrialism, 15;
    versus militarism, 28, 220;
    significance of primitive arts in relation to, 64;
    idealism in, 95;
    as basis for legislation, 121.

  Industrial interests, in contemporary life, 42;
    and the immigrant, 71;
    germane to government, 122;
    and international peace, 113.

  Industrial development, changes in, 124.

  Illiterate children in the U. S., 163.

  Internationalism, 23;
    socialism based on, 114;
    Mazzini’s address on, 115;
    active and tangible, 237.

  International Peace Conference in Boston, 237.

  Interparliamentary union for international arbitration, 6.

  Institute of International Law, 6.

  James, William, 24.

  Jefferson, Thomas, 31.

  Justice, the larger, 236.

  Juvenile Courts, 80;
    Denver, 81;
    parental attitude of, 82.

  Kant, 23.

  Kelley, Mrs. Florence, 153.

  Lecky, 222.

  London, Charles Booth, maps of, 87;
    government of, 88.

  Machinery and the industrial situation, 149.

  Mazzini, 29, 115.

  Militarism, versus industrialism, 28;
    police department a survival of, 55;
    mediaeval city founded on, 207;
    negative results of, 220.

  Mitchell, John, 126, 146.

  Morality, class, 27;
    group, 124, 145;
    antiquated codes of, 210;
    village standards of, 215.

  Morley, John, 118.

  Morris, William, 203.

  Municipal government, admitted failure of, 31;
    full of survivals, 34;
    two points of rapid development in, 79;
    ignores interests of average citizen, 85;
    failure to provide playgrounds, 176;
    indifference of citizens to, 183;
    woman’s traditional activities in, 184.

  Naturalization, 42;
    rests on laws of 1802, 43;
    brokerage in papers of, 46, 71;
    test not contemporaneous, 42.

  Non-resistance, a misleading word, 8;
    non-resistance strike, 232;
    aggressive, 233.

  Patriotism, belief that war engenders, 18;
    a newer, arising, 19;
    founded on sacrifice, 74;
    taught too formally, 75;
    primitive core of, 91;
    founded on war, 140, 217;
    bound in trappings of the past, 214.

  Peace, dynamic versus dogmatic, 7;
    predicted by Isaiah, 237.

  Perris, G. H., 231.

  Play, a social stimulus, 171;
    develops self-government and discipline, 173;
    attitude of enlightened city government to, 178.

  Politician, professional, produced by mechanical government, 52;
    friend of the vicious, 56;
    appeals to human sentiment, 59;
    first friend of immigrant, 72;
    understands people’s hopes, 79;
    attempts to control strike, 103.

  Protective legislation, aggressive aspect of the newer
   humanitarianism, 28;
    U. S. deficient in, 152.

  Reformer, contemptuous attitude of, 49;
    sweeping condemnations of, 57;
    alliance with business interests of, 61.

  Revolutionary War, 36, 37.

  Revolutionist, 232.

  Repressive legislation, 54;
    human element in, 55.

  Royce, Josiah, 32.

  Ruskin, 235.

  Russia, 68;
    the mir, 67;
    attitude toward workmen, 122;
    the army of, 230.

  Self-government, difficulties and blunders of, 32;
    crux of local, 35;
    skepticism for ideals of, 39;
    must deal with unsuccessful, 62;
    scope of, 63;
    forms of democracy for, 88;
    immigrants’ first lesson in, 95;
    clearly not yet attained, 108;
    popular government oppressor of, 104;
    might profit by industrial experience, 121.

  Shakespeare, 9.

  Social, evolution, 211;
    morality in, 213.

  Socialism, based on internationalism and industrialism, 114.

  Socialist’s attitude to present government, 86.

  St. Francis, 21.

  Teamsters’ strike, war element in, 132;
    employers’ position as to arbitration in, 134;
    alliance between employers’ and unionists’ offices in, 135;
    inexperience of merchant employers in, 136;
    social results of, 141.

  Tolstoy, 3, 4, 209, 225, 230, 231, 233, 234.

  Tribal law, 11.

  Tribal Morality, 18.

  Trades unions imitate city government, 94;
    teach immigrants self-government, 95;
    power for amalgamation of, 97;
    attitude toward violence, 98;
    causes for loss of sympathy for, in Stock Yards Strike, 101;
    human appeal in, 102;
    gratitude of immigrant toward, 107;
    devotion to, might be turned to national life, 118;
    organized by Russian government, 122;
    contemporaneous movement difficult to judge, 125;
    success not sole standard of, 128;
    present a time of crisis for, 129;
    attitude toward strike, 130;
    social result of strike on, 144;
    struggle for recognition, 145;
    attitude toward improved machinery, 148;
    uncomprehending victim of, 195.

  War, defence of, 26;
    prophecy of subsidence of, 23;
    moral equivalent for, 24;
    ideals in peace confusing, 110;
    phraseology of new union, 130;
    crime traceable to Spanish, 143;
    new social problems not to be settled, 206;
    attempts to justify by past records, 210;
    substitutes for virtues of, 217;
    contrast between labor and, 234.

  Warfare, cost of, 4;
    customary method of settling labor disputes, 135;
    recognition of good in, 212;
    civilization substitutes law for, 219;
    ideals of labor substituted for those of, 224;
    disappearance of, 229.

  Webb, Mrs. Sidney, 191.

  Whitman, Walt, 45.

  Wilcox, Dr. Charles F., 54.

  Wilcox, Delos F., 117.

  Women, duty toward municipal government, 28, 185, 208;
    conventions a snare to, 186;
    franchise only for educated, 188;
    effect of machinery on work of, 190;
    increasing employment of, 189;
    necessity for protection of working, 191, 196;
    necessity for franchise for, 191, 197;
    relation to clothing manufacture, 192;
    lack in education of, 197, 202, 206.

  Verestchagin, 3, 4.

  Von Moltke, 234.

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                          Transcriber’s Notes

Errors in punctuation have been fixed.

Page 12: “many nationalties” changed to “many nationalities”

Page 35: “the the hands” changed to “the hands”

Page 116: “Bernard Bosenquet” changed to “Bernard Bosanquet”

Page 123: “emanicipated serfs” changed to “emancipated serfs”

Page 173: “of the the group” changed to “of the group”

Page 174: “girls wr bars of soap” changed to “girls wrap bars of soap”

Page 192: “insanity workshops” changed to “insanitary workshops”

Page 194: “work inself” changed to “work itself”

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