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Full text of "The truth about socialism"

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UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA 
AT LOS ANGELES 




THE TRUTH 
ABOUT SOCIALISM 



BY 

ALLAN L. BENSON 

Author of "The Usurped Power o^f the Courts," 

"The Growing Grocery Bill," "Socialism 

Made Plain," etc. 




NEW YORK 

B. W. HUEBSCH 

1913 



Copyright, 1912 

By The Pearson Publishing Co. 

Copyright, 1913 

By Allan L. Benson 



First printing, February, lOIU 

Second printing, March, I!)i;t 

Tliird printing. May, 191.) 

Fourth printing, June, 1913 



. • ••,*•.••*..• • . - • • • • • 

• • •• ' •• •• > * .' • • •'• * ,* <• •*. • • 

• ••• •• '♦ ,•• . " .• • »•'••:•.•• •• • • 

.... . . . • - • . . 



• - • 






«■ .o.fc 



4 



h 
-3-ut 

CONTENTS 



PAGE 

I To THE Disinherited i 

II What Socialism Is and Why It Is . . . 4 

e^ III The Virtuous Grafters and Their Grave 

o Objections to Socialism 24 

. . IV Why Socialists Preach Discontent ... 43 

V How THE People May Acquire the Trusts 63 

VI The " Private Property " Bogey-Man . . 81 

^11 Socialism the Lone Foe of War .... 99 

VIII Why Socialists Oppose " Radical Politi- 
cians " 120 

^^ IX The Truth about the Coal Question . .139 

r X Deathbeds and Dividends 153 

>v\ XI If Not Socialism — What? ..... 166 

*^ Appendix 183 



20v'88.'J 



The Truth About Socialism 



CHAPTER I 

TO THE DISINHERITED 

I AM going to put a new heart into you. I am go- 
ing to put your shoulders back and your head up. 
Behind your tongue I shall put words, and behind your 
words I shall put power. Your dead hopes I shall drag 
back from the grave and make them live. Your live 
fears I shall put into the grave and make them die. I 
shall do all of these things and more by becoming your 
voice. I shall say what you have always thought, but 
did not say. And, when your own unspoken words 
come back to you, they will come back like rolling thun- 
der. 

This country belongs to the people who live in it. 

The power that made the Rocky Mountains did not 
so make them that, viewed from aloft, they spell 
" Rockefeller." 

The monogram of Morgan is nowhere worked out 
in the course of the Hudson River. 

Nothing above ground or below ground indicates that 
this country was made for anybody in particular. 

Everything above ground and below ground indicates 
that it was made for everybody. 

Yet, this country, as it stands to-day, is not for every- 
body. Everybody has not an equal opportunity in it. 
A few do nothing and have everything. The rest do 
everything and have nothing. 

A great many gentlemen arc engaged in the occupa- 

I 



2 THE TRUTH ABOUT SOCIALISM 

tion of trying to make these wrongs seem right. They 
write pohtical platforms to make them seem right. 
They make pohtical speeches to make them seem right. 
They go to Congress to make them seem right. Some 
go even to the White House to make them seem right. 
But no mere words, however fine, can make these wrongs 
right. 

The conditions that exist in this country to-day are 
indefensible and intolerable. This should be a happy 
country. It should be a happy country because it con- 
tains an abundance of every element that is required to 
make happiness. The pangs of hunger should never 
come to a single human being, because we already pro- 
duce as much food as we need, and with more intelli- 
gent effort could easily produce enough to supply a 
population ten times as great. 

Yet, instead of this happy land, we have a land in 
which the task of making a living is constantly becom- 
ing greater and more uncertain. Everything seems to 
be tied up in a knot that is becoming tighter. 

You do not know what is the matter. 

Your neighbor does not know what is the matter. 

Why should you know what is the matter? 

You never listen to anybody who wants you to find 
out. You listen only to men who want to squeeze you 
out. Their word is good with you every time. You 
may not think it is good, but it is good. You may not 
take advice from Mr. Morgan, but you take advice from 
Mr. Morgan's Presidents, Congressmen, writers, and 
speakers. You may not take advice from Mr. Ryan, 
but you take advice from the men whom Mr. Ryan con- 
trols. If you should go straight to Mr. Ryan you 
would get the same advice. What these men say to you, 
Mr. Morgan and Mr. Ryan say to them. You listen 



TO THE DISINHERITED 3 

as they speak. You vote as they vote. They get what 
they want. You don't get what you want. But you 
stick together. You seem never to grow tired. You 
were with them at the last election. Many of you will 
be with them at the next election. But you will not be 
with them for a while after the next election. They 
will go to their fine homes, while you go to your poor 
ones. They will take no fear with them, save the fear 
that some day you will wake up ; that some day you will 
listen to men who talk to you as I am talking to you. 
But you will take the fear of poverty with you, and it 
will hang like a pall over your happiness. 

If you have lost your hope of happiness, get it back. 
This can be a happy nation in your time. This country 
is for you. It is big. It is rich. It is all you need. 
But you will have to take it, and the easiest way to take 
it is with ballots. 



CHAPTER II 

WHAT SOCIALISM IS AND WHY IT IS 

THE occupation of the scarlet woman is said to' 
be " the oldest profession." If so, the robbery 
of man by man is the oldest trade. It is as old as the 
human race. It had its origin in the difficulty of pro- 
ducing enough of the material necessities of life. The 
earth was lean. Man was weak. Never was there 
enough food for all. Many must suffer. Some must 
starve. 

What wonder that man robbed man? Self-preserva- 
tion is the first law of nature. We have always fought 
and shall always fight for those things that are scarce 
and without which we should die. If water were 
scarce, we should all be fighting by the brookside. If 
air were scarce, we should all be straining our lungs to 
take in as much as we could. 

But what wonder, also, that the robbed should resist 
those who robbed them? The robbed, too, have the in- 
stinct of self-preservation. They, too, want to live. 
All through the ages, they have fought for the right to 
live By the sheer force of numbers, they have driven 
their exploiters from pillar to post. Again and again, 
they have compelled their exploiters to abandon one 
method of robbery, only to see them take up another. 
And, though some men no longer own other men's bod- 
ies, some men still live by the sweat of other men's 
brows. 

The question is: Must this go on forever? Must 

4 



WHAT SOCIALISM IS AND WHY IT IS 5 

a few always live so far from poverty that they cannot 
see it, while the rest live so close ta it that they cannot 
see anything else? Must millions of women work in 
factories at men's work, while millions of men walk the 
streets unable to get any work? Must the cry of child- 
labor forever sound to high heaven above the rumble of 
the mills that grind their bodies into dividends? Must 
the pinched faces of underfed children always make 
some places hideous? 

No man in his senses will say that this situation must 
always exist. Human nature revolts at it. The wrong 
of it rouses the feelings even before it touches the intel- 
lect. Something within us tells us to cry out and to 
keep crying out until we find relief. We have tried al- 
most every remedy that has been offered to us, but every 
remedy we have tried has failed. The hungry children 
are still with us. The hungry women are still with us. 
The hungry men are still with us. Never before was it 
so hard for most people to live. Yet, we live at a time 
when men, working with machinery, could make enough 
of everything for everybody. 

Your radical Republican recognizes these facts and 
says something is the matter. Your Democratic radical 
recognizes these facts and says something is the matter. 
Your Rooseveltian Progressive also recognizes these 
facts and says something is the matter. But if you 
will carefully listen to these gentlemen, you will ob- 
serve that none of them believes much is the mat- 
ter. None of tliem believes much need be done to 
make everything right. One wants to loosen the tariff 
screw a little. The otliers want to put a new little 
wheel in the anti-trust machine. 

Socialists differ from each of these gentlemen. So- 
cialists say much is the matter with this country. So- 



6 THE TRUTH ABOUT SOCIALISM 

cialists say much is the matter with any country, most 
of whose people are in want or in fear of want, and 
some of whose people are where want never comes or 
can come. Some such conditions might have been tol- 
erated a thousand years ago. Socialists will not toler- 
ate them to-day. They say the time for poverty has 
passed. They say the time for poverty passed when 
man substituted steam and electricity for his muscles 
and machinery for his fingers. 

But poverty did not go out when steam and electricity 
came in. On the contrary, the fear of want became 
intensified. Now, nobody who has not capital can live 
unless he can get a job. In the days that preceded the 
steam engine, nobody had to look for a job. Every- 
body owned his own job. The shoemaker could make 
shoes for his neighbors. The weaver could weave cloth. 
Each could work at his trade, without anybody's per- 
mission, because the tools of their trades were few and 
inexpensive. Now, neither of them can work at his 
trade, because the tools of his trade have become nu- 
merous and expensive. The tools of the shoemaker's 
trade are in the great factory that covers, perhaps, a 
dozen acres. The tools of the weaver's trade are in an- 
other enormous factory. Neither the shoemaker nor 
the weaver can ever hope to own the tools of his trade. 
Nor, with the little hand-tools of the past centuries, can 
either of them compete with the modern factories. The 
shoe trust, with steam, electricity and machinery, can 
make a pair of shoes at a price that no shoemaker, work- 
ing by hand, could touch. 

Thus the hand-workers have been driven to knock at 
the doors of the factories that rich men own and ask for 
work. If the rich men can see a profit in letting the 
poor men work, the poor men are permitted to work. 



WHAT SOCIALISM IS AND WHY IT IS 7 

If the rich men cannot see a profit in letting the poor 
men work, then the poor men may not work. Though 
there be the greatest need for shoes, if those in need 
have no money, the rich men lock up their factories and 
wave the workers a: .ay. The workers may starve, if 
they like. Their wi< -s and children may starve. The 
workers may become tramps, criminals or maniacs ; their 
wives and their little children may be driven into the 
street — but the rich men who closed their factories be- 
cause they could see no profit in keeping them open — 
these rich men take no part of the responsibility. They 
talk about the " laws of trade," go to their clubs and 
have a little smoke, and, perhaps, the next week give a 
few dollars to " worthy charity " and forget all about 
the workers. 

Now, the Socialists are extremely tired of all this. 
Their remedy may be all wrong, but they are tired of 
all this. Put the accent upon the tired all the time. 
They say it is all wrong. Not only do they say it is 
all wrong, but they say they know how to make it all 
right. They do not propose to do any small job of 
tinkering, because they say that if small jobs of tinker- 
ing were enough to cure the great evil of poverty, we 
should have cured it long ago. They say we have been 
tinkering with tariffs, income taxes and the money ques- 
tion for a hundred years without reducing either want 
or the fear of want. They say we have made no prog- 
ress, during the last hundred years, in reducing want 
and the fear of want, because we have never hit the 
grafters where they live. By this, they mean that we 
have never cut the tap root upon which robbery grows. 
The serfs cut off the tap root when they threw off chat- 
tel slavery, but another tap root has grown and wc have 
not yet discovered where to strike. 



8 THE TRUTH ABOUT SOCIALISM 

The Socialists say they know where to strike. 

" Strike at the macJiinery of the country," they say, 
" by having the people, through the government, own 
the machinery of the country." 

" Cut out the profits of the private owners" they say. 
" Let the people oivn the trusts and make things because 
they zvant the things, instead of because somebody else 
wants a profit, and there will never again be in this coun- 
try either zvant or the fear of want." 

This sounds like a nice, man-made program, cooked 
up late at night by some zealous gentleman intent upon 
saving his country. It may be a foolish program, but 
if it is, it is not that kind of a foolish program. It is 
not man-made, any more than Darwin's theory of evo- 
lution is man-made. Darwin observed present animal 
life and thereby explained the past. Socialists observe 
past and present industrial life and thereby forecast the 
future. Paradoxically, then, the Socialist remedy is not 
a Socialist remedy. If it is anything, it is the remedy 
that evolution is bringing to us. Socialists see what 
evolution is bringing and proclaim it, much as a train- 
man announces the coming of a train that he already 
sees rounding a curve. 

Let me tell a story to illustrate this point : 

Seventy years ago. Socialist writers predicted and 
accurately described the trusts as they exist to-day. 
Nobody paid much attention to the predictions or the 
descriptions. Nowhere in the world was there a single 
trust. Nowhere in the world was any one thinking of 
forming one. The first trust was not formed until al- 
most forty years later. 

The trusts were predicted because the steam engine 
had been invented and brought with it machinery. The 
invention did not mean much to most people. It meant 



WHAT SOCIALISM IS AND WHY IT IS 9 

everything to these early Socialists. They saw its sig- 
nificance. They saw that it meant a transformed world. 
Never again would the world be as it had always been. 
Never again would the amount of wealth that man could 
create be limited by his weak muscles. Steam and ma- 
chinery had come to do, not only what he had been 
doing, but what he had never dreamed of doing. i 

The only lesson that the rich men of the day learned 
from steam was that it meant more money for them. 
The rich men of the day, by the way, were in need of 
a new method of exploitation. Serfdom had just gone 
down in the Napoleonic wars, and some men were no 
longer able to exploit other men by claiming to own 
the other men's bodies. Exploitation, through the pri- 
vate ownership of land, still continued, it is true, but a 
man working by hand cannot be much exploited be- 
cause he cannot make much. What I mean by this is 
that he cannot be exploited of many dollars. Of course, 
he can be exploited of so great a percentage of his 
product that he is left starving, but the man who ex- 
ploits him will not be much richer. That is why there 
were no great fortunes, as we now know them, in the 
days before the machinery age. Wealth was too diffi- 
cult to make. 

But, to return to our story. The invention of the 
steam engine gave the rich men of the early eighteenth 
century the opportunity of which they stood much in 
need. Factories cost money. The workers did not 
have any. The rich men did. The rich men built fac- 
tories. That is to say, they thought they were only 
building factories. As a matter of fact, they wore 
taking over, from the hands of evolution, the poor man's 
tools. Never again were working men to own the tools 
of their trades. Their tools had gone down in the 



lo THE TRUTH ABOUT SOCIALISM 

striigp^le in which the survivors must be the fittest. For 
centuries, the world had starved because of their old 
hand-tools. They could not, for a moment, exist after 
steam and machinery came. It was right that the hand- 
tools should go. It was unfortunate for the workers 
only that the successors of hand-tools were too expen- 
sive for individual ownership, and that they were also 
unsuited to such ownership. No man can run a whole 
shoe factory, even if he owns one. Many men are re- 
quired to run many machines, and many machines are 
required to make the labor of men most productive. 

All of this, the early Socialists saw or reasoned out. 
They saw the rich men of the day building factories. 
They saw those who were not quite so rich joining to- 
gether to build factories. Little co-partnerships were 
springing up all over the world. Everybody competed 
with everybody else in his line. Manufactures multi- 
plied, and it became the common belief that " competi- 
tion was the life of trade." 

Stick a pin here. The roots of Socialism go down 
somewhere near this point. 

The early Socialist writers who predicted the trusts 
did not believe competition was the life of trade. They 
believed the inevitable tendency of competition was to 
kill itself. Their reasoning took this form: 

Manufacturers engage in business, not be- 
cause they want to supply goods to the public, 
but because they want to make profits for them- 
selves. 

Inasmuch as the question of who shall make 
the profits depends upon who shall sell the 
goods, manufacturers will compete with each 
other to sell goods. 



WHAT SOCIALISM IS AND WHY. IT IS ii 

Manufacturers will be able to compete and 
still make a profit so long as the demand for 
goods far exceeds the supply. 

But the demand for goods w-ill not always 
far exceed the supply. The opportunity to 
make profits will tempt other capitalists to 
create manufacturing enterprises. The market 
will become glutted with goods, because more 
will have been produced than the people can 
pay for. 

Competition among manufacturers will then 
become so fierce that profits will first shrink 
and eventually disappear. 

Manufacturers, to regain their profits, will 
then cease to compete. The strongest will buy 
out or crush the weakest. Monopolies will be 
formed, primarily to end competition and save 
the competitors from themselves, but, having 
been formed, they will also be used to rob the 
people. 

Mind you — this reasoning- is not new. It is seventy 
years old. It sounds new only because it has so recently 
come true. Nobody whose eyes are open now believes 
that competition is the life of trade. The phrase has 
died upon the lips of the very men who used to speak it. 
The late Senator Hanna was one of the many who used 
to believe that good trade could not be where compe- 
tition was not. But, when the great tru.st movement 
of 1898 was under way, Senator Hanna said: "It is 
not a question of whether business men do or do not 
believe in trusts. It is a question only of whether busi- 
ness men want to be killed by competition or saved by 
cooperation." 



12 THE TRUTH ABOUT SOCIALISM 

However, tlie existence of the trusts is ample verifica- 
tion of the Socialist prophecy that they would come. 
And the trusts came in the way that the early Socialists 
said they would come. 

We may now proceed to consider what those early 
Socialist writers thought of the trusts that they so ac- 
curately described before they came, what they believed 
would become of them and what they believed would 
supplant them. 

No Socialist was ever heard finding fault with a 
trust simply for existing. A Socialist would as soon 
find fault wnth a green apple because it had been pro- 
duced from a blossom. In fact, Socialists regard the 
trusts as the green apples upon the tree of industrial 
evolution. But they would no more destroy these in- 
dustrial green apples that are making the world sick 
than they would destroy the green apples that make 
small boys sick. They pause, first because they are evo- 
lutionists, not only in biology, but in everything; sec- 
ond, because they recall that the green apples that make 
the boy sick will, if left to ripen, make the man well. 
In short, Socialists regard trusts, or private monopolies, 
as a necessary stage in industrial evolution ; a stage that 
we could not have avoided ; a stage that in many respects, 
represents a great advance over any phase of civilization 
that preceded it, yet a stage at which we cannot stop' 
unless civilization stops. Therefore, Socialists take this 
position : 

It is flying in the face of evolution itself to 
talk about destroying, or even effectually regu- 
lating the trusts. 

Private monopolies cannot he destroyed ex- 
cept as green apples can he destroyed — hy 



WHAT SOCIALISM IS AND WHY IT IS 13 

crushing them and staying the evolutionary 
processes that, if left alone, will yield good 
fruit. 

Private monopolies cannot he effectually 
regulated because, so long as they are per- 
mitted to exist, they will regulate the govern- 
ment instead of permitting the government to 
regulate them. They will regulate the govern- 
ment because the great profits at stake will 
give them the incentive to do so and the enor- 
mous capital at their command will give them 
the power to do so. 

In other words, Socialists say that the processes of 
evolution should go on. What do they mean by this? 
They mean that the good elements of the trust princi- 
ple should be preserved and the bad elements destroyed. 
What are the good elements? The economies of large, 
well-ordered production, and the avoidance of the waste 
due to haphazard, competitive production. And the bad 
elements? The powers that private monopoly gives, 
through control of market and governmental policies, 
to rob the consumer. 

Socialists contend that the good can be saved and the 
bad destroyed by converting the private monopolies into 
public monopolies — in other words, by letting the 
government own the trusts and the people own the gov- 
ernment. This may seem like what the foes of So- 
cialism would call a " patent nostrum." It is nothing of 
the kind. It is no more a patent nostrum than the 
trusts are patent nostrums. Socialists invented neither 
private monopolies nor public monopolies. Socialists 
did not kill competition. Competition killed itself. So- 
cialists simply were able to foresee that too much com- 



14 THE TRUTH ABOUT SOCIALISM 

petition would end all competition and thus give birtli 
to private monopoly. 

And, having seen thus far, they looked a little further 
and saw that private monopoly would not be an un- 
mixed blessing. They saw that under it, robbery would 
be practised in new, strange and colossal forms. They 
knew the people would not like robbery in any form. 
They knev;^ they would cry out against it as they are 
crying out against the trusts to-day. And they believed 
that after having tried to destroy the trusts and failed 
at that ; after having tried to regulate the trusts and 
failed at that, that the people would cease trying to 
buck evolution, and get for themselves the benefits of 
the trusts by owning them. 

This may be an absurd idea, but in part, at least, it 
has already been verified. It has been demonstrated 
that private monopoly saves the enormous sums that 
were spent in the competitive era to determine whether 
this man or that man should get the profit upon the 
things you buy. The consumer has absolutely no in- 
terest in the identity of the capitalist who exploits him. 
But when capitalists were competing for trade, the con- 
sumer was made to bear the whole cost of fighting for 
his trade. 

Private monopoly has largely done away with the cost 
of selling trust goods, by doing away with the individual 
competitors who were once struggling to put their goods 
upon the market. Private monopoly has also reduced 
the cost of production by introducing the innumerable 
economies that accompany large production. 

What private monopoly has not done and will never 
do is to pass along these savings to the consumers. The 
monopolists have passed along some of the savings, but 
not many of them. What they have passed along bears 



WHAT SOCIALISM IS AND WHY IT IS 15 

but a small proportion to what they have kept. That 
is what most of the trouble is about now. The people 
find it increasingly difficult to live. For a dozen years, 
it has been increasingly difficult to live. Persistent and 
more persistent has been the demand that something be 
done about the trusts. 

The first demand was that the trusts be destroyed. 
Now, Mr. Bryan is about the only man in the country 
to whom the conviction has not been borne homfe that 
the trusts cannot be destroyed. The rest of the people 
want the trusts regulated, and the worst of the trust 
magnates sent to jail. Up to date, not a single trust 
has been regulated, nor a single trust magnate sent to 
jail. Officially, of course, the Standard Oil Company, 
the American Tobacco Company and the Coal Trust 
have been cleansed in the blue waters of the Supreme 
Court laundry and hung upon the line as white as snow. 
But gentlemen who are not stone blind know that this is 
not so. They know the Standard Oil Company, the 
American Tobacco Company and the Coal Trust have 
merely put on masks and gone on with the hold-up busi- 
ness. Therefore, the Socialist predictions of seventy 
years ago have all been verified up to and including the 
inability of any government either to destroy or regulate 
the trusts. 

So much for what Socialists believe Socialism, by 
reducing the prices of commodities to cost, would do 
for the people as consumers. Socialists believe So- 
cialism would do even more for the people as workers. 
Behold the present plight of the workingman. He has 
a right to live, but he has not a right to the means by 
which he can live. He cannot live without work, yet, 
ever he must seek work as a privilege — not as a right. 
The coming of the age of machinery has made it im- 



i6 THE TRUTH ABOUT SOCIALISM 

possible to work without machinery. Yet the worker 
owns no macliincry and can get access to no machinery 
except upon such terms as he may be able to make with 
its owners. 

Socialists urge the people to consider the results of 
this unprecedented situation. First, there is great in- 
security of employment. No one knows how long his 
job is destined to last. It may not last another day. 
A great variety of causes exist, any one of which may 
deprive the worker of his opportunity to work. Wall 
Street gentlemen may put such a crimp in the financial 
situation that industry cannot go on. Business may 
slow down because more is being produced than the 
markets can absorb. A greedy employer may precipi- 
tate a strike by trying to reduce the wages of his em- 
ployees. Any one of many causes may without notice 
step in between the worker and the machinery without 
which he cannot work. 

But worse than the uncertainty of employment is the 
absolute certainty that millions of men must always be 
out of work. Times are never so good that there is 
work for everybody. Most persons do not know it, but 
in the best of times there are always a million men 
out of work. In the worst of times, the number of men 
out of work sometimes exceeds 5,000,000. The coun- 
try cries for the things they might produce. There is 
great need for shoes, flour, cloth, houses, furniture, and 
fuel. These millions of men, if they could get in touch 
with machinery, could produce enough of such staples 
to satisfy the public demand. If they could but work, 
their earnings would vastly increase the amount of 
money in circulation and thus increase the buying power 
of everybody. But they cannot work, because they do 
not own the machinery without which they cannot work. 



WHAT SOCIALISM IS AND WHY IT IS 17 

and the men who own it will not let it be used, because 
they cannot see any profits for themselves in having it 
used. 

Socialists say this is an appalling situation. They 
are amazed that the nation tolerates it. They believe 
the nation would not tolerate it if it understood it. 
Some things are more easily understood than others. If 
5,000,000 men were on a sinking ship within swimming 
distance of the Atlantic shore and the employing class 
were to prevent them from swimming ashore for no 
other reason than that the employing class had no use 
for their services — the people would understand that. 
Socialists believe the people will soon understand the 
present situation. 

Here is another thing that Socialists hope the people 
will soon understand. The policy of permitting a few 
men to use the machinery with which all other men 
must work or starve compels all other men to become 
competitors for its use. If there were no more workers 
than the capitalists must have, there would not be such 
competition. But there must always be more workers 
than the capitalists can use. The fact that the capitalist 
demands a profit upon the worker's labor renders the 
worker incapable of buying back the very thing he has 
made. Under present conditions, trade must, therefore, 
always be smaller than the natural requirements of the 
people for goods. And since, with machinery, each 
worker can produce a vast volume of goods, it inevita- 
bly follows that only a part of the workers are required 
to make all of the goods that can be sold at a profit. 
That is why there is not always work for all. 

With more workers than there are jobs, it thus comes 
about that the workers are compelled to compete among 
themselves for jobs. Only part of the workers can be 



i8 THE TRUTH ABOUT SOCIALISM 

employed and the struggle of each is to become one of 
that part. The workers who are out of employment are 
always willing to work, if they can get no more, for a 
wage that represents only the cost of the poorest living 
upon which they will consent to exist. It therefore fol- 
lows that wages are always based upon the cost of 
living. If the cost of living is high, wages are high. If 
the cost of living is low, wages are low. In any event, 
the worker has nothing left after he has paid for his 
living. 

Socialists say this is not just. They can understand 
the capitalist who buys labor as he buys pig-iron, but 
they say labor is entitled to more consideration than pig- 
iron. The price of labor, they declare, should be gauged 
by the value of labor's product, instead of by the direness 
of labor's needs. They say the present situation gives 
to the men w^ho own machinery most of its benefits and 
to the many who operate it none of its hopes. Now, as 
of old, the average worker dare hope for no more than 
enough to keep him alive. Again and again and again 
the census reports have shown that the bulk of the 
people in this country are so poor that they do not own 
even the roofs over their heads. 

The purpose of Socialism is to give the workers all 
they produce. And, when Socialists say "workers " 
they do not mean only those who wear overalls and 
; carry dinner pails. They mean everybody who does 
I useful labor. Socialists regard the general superin- 
tendent of a railroad as quite as much of a worker as 
they do the man on the section. But tliey do not regard 
the owners of railway stocks and bonds as workers. 
They regard them as parasites who are living off the 
products of labor by owning the locomotives, cars and 
.other equipment with which the workers work. And, 



WHAT SOCIALISM IS AND WHY IT IS 19 

since the ownership of machinery is the club with which 
SociaHsts say capitaHsts commit their robberies, So- 
ciaHsts also declare that the only way to stop the rob- 
beries is to take away the club. It would do no good 
to take the club from the men who now hold it and give 
it even to the individual workers, because, with the 
principle of private ownership retained, ownership would 
soon gravitate into a few hands and robbery would go 
on as ruthlessly as ever. Socialists believe the only 
remedy is to destroy the club by vesting the ownership 
of the great machinery of production and distribution 
in the people, through the government. 

Such is the gist of Socialism — public ownership of 
the trusts, combined with public ownership of the gov- 
ernment. Gentlemen who are opposed to Socialism — 
for what reasons it is now unnecessary to consider — 
lose no opportunity to spread the belief that there are 
more kinds of Socialism than there are varieties of the 
celebrated products of Mr. Heinz. This is not so. 
There are more than 30,000,000 Socialists in the world. 
Not one of them would refuse to write across this chap- 
ter: "That is Socialism," and sign his name to it. 
Every Socialist has his individual conception of how man- 
kind would advance if poverty were eliminated, but all 
Socialists agree that the heart and soul of their philos- 
ophy lies in the public ownership, under democratic gov- 
ernment, of the means of life. And, as compared with 
this belief, all other beliefs of Socialism are minor and 
inconsequential. Public ownership is the rock upon which 
it is determined to stand or fall. 

Socialists differ only with regard to the means by 
which public ownership may be brought about. A' 
handful of Socialists, for instance, believe that in order 
to bring it about it is necessary to oppose the labor 



20 THE TRUTH ABOUT SOCIALISM 

unions. All other Socialists work hand in hand with 
the labor unions. 

Also, there is a difference of opinion among- So- 
cialists as to how the p^overnment should proceed to 
obtain ownership of the industrial trusts, the railroads, 
telegraph, telephone and express companies and so 
forth. Some Socialists are in favor of confiscating 
them, on the theory that the people have a right to resort 
to such drastic action. In a way, they have excellent 
authority for their position. Read what Benjamin 
Franklin said about property at the convention that was 
called in 1776 to adopt a new constitution for Pennsyl- 
vania : 

" Suppose one of our Indian nations should now agree to form 
a civil society. Each individual would bring into the stock of 
the society little more property than his gun and his blanket, for at 
present he has no other. We know that when one of them has at- 
tempted to keep a few swine he has not been able to maintain a 
property in them, his neighbors thinking they have a right to kill 
and eat them whenever they want provisions, it being one of their 
maxims that hunting is free for all. The accumulation of property 
in such a society, and its security to individuals in every society, 
must be an effect of the protection afforded to it by the joint strength 
of the society in the execution of its laws. 

" Private property is, therefore, a creature of society, and is sub- 
ject to the calls of that society whenever its necessities require it, 
even to the last farthing." 

But one need quote only the law of self-preservation to 
prove that if any people shall ever become convinced 
that their lives depend upon the confiscation of the trusts 
that such confiscation will be justified. When men 
reach a certain stage of hunger and wretchedness they 
pay scant attention to every law except the higher law 
that says they have a right to live. 

I believe that most vSocialists twenty years ago, were 
in favor of confiscation. The trend now is all toward 



WHAT SOCIALISM IS AND WHY IT IS 21 

compensation. Not that Socialists have changed their 
minds at all about the equities of the matter. They have 
not. But they are coming to see that compensation is 
the easier and quicker way. Victor Berger, the first So- 
cialist congressman, introduced in the House of Repre- 
sentatives an anti-trust bill in which he proposed that 
the government should buy all of the trusts that control 
more than forty per cent, of the business in their re- 
spective lines, and pay therefor their full cash values — 
minus, of course, wind, water and all forms of specula- 
tive inflation. In short the differences in the Socialist 
party upon the question of compensation are not unlike 
the differences which once existed with regard to the 
best means by which the negroes might be emancipated. 
Years before the Civil War, Henry Clay proposed that 
the government should buy the negroes at double their 
market price and set them free. He said this would be 
the cheapest and quickest way of settling the troubles 
between the North and the South. The slave owners 
would not consent, and, eventually Lincoln freed their 
slaves without paying for them. 

When Socialists speak of buying the trusts, they nat- 
urally invite the inquiry as to where they expect to get 
the money to pay for them. They expect to get the 
money out of the profits of the trusts. That is the way 
that Representative Berger provided in his bill. It is 
a poor trust that does not pay dividends upon stock and 
interest upon bonds that do not aggregate at least ten 
per cent, of the capital actually invested. Most of them 
pay more, and some of the express companies occasion- 
ally spring a fifty or a 100 per cent, dividend. 

Tlie Socialist proposal is that the government pay for 
the trusts with two-per cent, bonds, and that each year, 
enough money be put into a sinking fund to retire the 



t 



22 THE TRUTH ABOUT SOCIALISM 

bonds in not more than fifty years. The burden of pur- 
chasing the trusts would thus he spread over a httle more 
than two generations, but Sociahsts say the burden would 
be a burden only in name, since the prices of trust goods 
could be radically reduced, even while the trusts were 
being paid for, and upon the retirement of the bonds, all 
prices could be reduced to cost. ' 

Those who know little or nothing about Socialism be- 
lieve that Socialists also differ as to the advisability of 
using violence to bring about Socialism. Never was 
there a greater mistake. Above all others, the Socialist 
party is the party of peace. When Germany and Eng- 
land, in 191 1, were ready to fly at each other's throats, 
it was the Socialist party of Germany that assembled 
200,000 men in Berlin one Sunday afternoon and de- 
clared that if there were a war, the Socialists of Ger- 
many would not help fight it. It was generally ad- 
mitted, at the time, that the attitude of the German 
Socialists, more than anything else, was responsible for 
the avoidance of w^ar. 

Socialists are equally pacific when considering the best 
means by which Socialism may be brought about. So- 
cialists are, first, last and all the time in favor only of 
political action and trade-union action. Wherever there 
is a free ballot, they believe in using it, to the exclusion 
of bombs and bullets. Socialists realize that they can 
w'in only by converting a majority of the people to their 
belief. That is why they begin one campaign the next 
morning after the closing of another. They are busy 
with the printing press and their tongues all the while. 
For them, there is no closed season. 

Socialists realize that Socialism can be reared only 
upon understanding, and that the use of dynamite would 
turn the minds of the people against them for a hundred 



WHAT SOCIALISM IS AND WHY IT IS 23 

years. Any Socialist who believes otherwise is the same 
sort of a potential criminal that can be found in any 
other party — and equally as rare. The Republican 
party had its Guiteau and its Czolgosz, but it repudiated 
neither of them more quickly than the Socialist party 
would repudiate one of its own members who should 
commit a great crime. 

Socialists, as a party, stand for violence only in the 
same way that Abraham Lincoln stood for it. If the 
Socialists should carry a national election in this coun- 
try, and, the capitalists, refusing to yield, should turn 
the regular army at them, the Socialists would use all 
the violence they could muster. While they are in a 
minority, they are obeying the laws that the capitalists 
make, but when the Socialists become a majority, they 
will insist, even with bullets, that the capitalists obey the 
laws that the Socialists make. 



CHAPTER III 

THE VIRTUOUS GRAFTERS AND THEIR GRAVE OBJECTIONS 

TO SOCIALISM 

IT is an old saying that the tree that bears the best 
apples has the most clubs under it. Enough clubs 
arc under the tree of Socialism to stock a wood-yard. 
Some of the clubs bear the imprints of honest men. 
Some do not. The great grafters of the present day 
are the most persistent foes of Socialism. The great 
grafters say, not only that Socialism is anti-religious, 
but that it would destroy the family. The grafters also 
say that Socialism stands for free love. 

It may be amusing to hear a grafter oppose Socialism 
on the ground that it is against religion. It may be 
diverting to hear gentlemen with Reno reputations 
charge that Socialism would establish free love and thus 
destroy the family. But such charges cannot be dis- 
missed by laughing at those who make them. Honest 
men and women want to know the truth. 

The truth is that there is no truth in the charge that 
Socialism is against religion. Socialism is purely an 
economic matter. It has no more to do with religion 
than it has to do with astronomy. It is no more against 
religion than it is against astronomy. Men of all re- 
ligious denominations are Socialists, and men of no 
religious denomination are Socialists. Nor is there any 
reason why this should not be so. The very pith and 
marrow of Socialism is the contention that the people, 

through the government, should own and operate, for 

24 



THE VIRTUOUS GRAFTERS 2^ 

their exclusive benefit, the great machinery of produc- 
tion and distribution that is now owned and operated by 
the trusts. Either this contention is sound or it is not. 
Whether it is sound or not, a man's reh'gious behefs can- 
not possibly have anything to do with what he thinks of it. 

But while Socialism is in no sense anti-religious, it is 
in one sense pro-religious. So good an authority as the 
Encyclopedia Britannica declares that " the ethics of So- 
cialism and the ethics of Christianity are identical." One 
of the concerns of Christianity is to establish justice upon 
earth. The only concern of Socialism is to establish jus- 
tice upon earth. Socialism seeks to establish justice by 
giving each human being an equal opportunity to labor, 
while depriving each human being of the power to appro- 
priate any part of the product of another human being's 
labor. If the Socialist program contains a word of 
comfort for either grafters or loafers, neither the graft- 
ers nor the loafers have found it. 

Nor does the Socialist program contain a word of 
comfort for the Reno gentlemen. Socialists beg leave 
frankly to doubt the sincerity of certain wealthy men who 
profess to believe that Socialism would destroy the fam- 
ily by bringing about free love. Socialists say the best 
proof that these men believe nothing of the kind is that 
they do not make application to join the Socialist party. 
The wives of some of them certainly make enough appli- 
cations for divorce. 

Addressing themselves to the members of the capitalist 
class, Socialists therefore speak as follows: 

"If the preservation of the family depends upon you, 
God help the family. If the preservation of womanly 
women depends upon you, God help the women. You 
arc not all bad, but you are all doing bad. Some of you 
are doing bad without knowing it; some of you are doing 



26 THE TRUTH ABOUT SOCIALISM 

bad tliongli knowing^ it. But, wlictlier you know it or 
not, all of you are doing bad because your capitalist sys- 
tem is bad. Your system makes those of you who would 
do good do bad. It makes you fatten upon the labor of 
children, because your competitors are fattening upon the 
labor of children. It makes you fatten upon the labor of 
women, because your competitors are fattening upon the 
labor of women. It makes you fatten upon the labor of 
men because your competitors are fattening upon the 
labor of men. It makes you keep men, women and chil- 
dren poor, because in no other way could you become 
rich. 

" And you are the ones who are so fearful lest Social- 
ism shall destroy the home. Why do you not worry a 
little lest the poverty caused by capitalism shall destroy 
the home? Why are you so slightly stirred by the spec- 
tacle of little children torn from their firesides and their 
schools to work for starvation wages in factories and de- 
partment stores? Why are you so well able to control 
your grief when the census reports tell you that more than 
5,000,000 women and girls have been compelled to become 
wage-earners because their husbands and fathers receive 
so little wages that they cannot support their families? 
Why are you so well able to bear up when the white- 
slave dealer gets the little girl from the department store? 

" None of these facts, nor all of these facts seem to sug- 
gest to you wealthy gentlemen who are opposing Social- 
ism that the conditions under which you have become rich 
are doing anything to disrupt the family or to bring about 
free love. But you profess to be stunned to a stare when 
Socialists present a program that is devoted to the single 
purpose of preventing you, who do no useful labor, from 
robbing those who do it all. If you have other grounds 
for opposing Socialism, state them. But in the name of 



THE VIRTUOUS GRAFTERS ^y 

common decency, don't come forward as the protectors of 
women and children. Your hands are not clean." 

Socialists contend that Socialism would do more to 
purify, glorify and vivify the family than capitalism has 
ever done or can do. Their reasoning takes this form : 

Unless poverty is good for the family, capitalism is not 
good for the family, because capitalism means poverty 
or the fear of poverty for all hut a few and can never 
mean anything else. Capitalism can never mean any- 
thing else because capitalism is essentially parasitical in 
its nature. It lives and can live only by preying upon 
the working class. 

If plenty for everybody, zvithout too much or too little 
for anybody will purify, glorify and vivify the family, 
Socialism will purify, glorify and vivify it. Socialism 
will place all of the great machinery of modern production 
in the hands of the people, to be used fully and freely for 
nobody's advantage but their own. 

Of course, the family cannot be improved without 
changing it. Upon this obvious fact is based the whole 
capitalist attack upon Socialism as a destroyer of the 
home. Socialists believe that freedom from poverty 
would have a profound effect upon domestic relationships. 
And Socialist writers have tried to picture the world as it 
will be when all of the hot hoops of want have been re- 
moved from the compact little group that is called the 
family. 

They have pictured woman standing firmly upon her 
feet, with the ballot in one hand and the power under the 
law to live from her labor with comfort and self-respect, 
cither inside or outside of her home. But no Socialist 
has ever pictured a world in which woman would be com- 
pelled to work outside her home if she did not want to. 
Such a picture is reserved for capitalism in the present 



28 THE TRUTH ABOUT SOCIALISM 

day. Socialists merely contend that Socialism would 
make women economically independent, by guaranteeing' 
to them the full value of their labor. No woman would 
be compelled to marry to get a home. No woman who 
had a home would be compelled by poverty to stay in it 
if she were badly treated. For the sake of her children, 
she might do so if she wished, but she could not be com- 
pelled to do so. She would simply be free to act as her 
judgment might dictate — to profit from a wise choice 
or to suffer from an unwise one. 

Briefly, such is the Socialist picture of the Socialist 
world for women. No Socialist contends that it is a 
picture of a perfect world. A perfect world could con- 
tain neither fools, hotheads, nor vicious persons. The 
hard conditions of the present world, and the harder 
conditions of those long past have created too many 
fools, hotheads and vicious persons to justify the hope 
that all such persons can quickly be made wise, cool and 
good. Socialists, with all their optimism, are not so op- 
timistic as that. They have absolutely no program, pat- 
ented or otherwise, for making people good. 

Their only contention is that they have a program 
under which people can be good if they want to. They 
know, only too well, that with the coming of Socialism, 
everybody will not suddenly want to be good. They ex- 
pect to have to deal with the bad man and the bad woman. 
But they do not expect to have to deal with so many 
bad men and bad women as we now have to deal with. 
They do not expect to have to deal with any men or 
women who have been made bad by poverty or the fear 
of poverty. They do not expect to have to deal with 
women who have been forced into prostitution because 
there seemed to be no other way to keep soul and body 
together. Socialists say that if there are any prostitutes 



THE VIRTUOUS GRAFTERS 29 

under Socialism they will be women who deliberately 
choose prostitution as a vocation. Perhaps women, bet- 
ter than men, can judge how many such women there are 
likely to be. 

It is this picture of economically independent woman- 
hood that is hailed by the wealthy detractors of Socialism 
as the sign that the Socialists plan to destroy the home 
and supplant it with free love. Socialists say that such 
conclusions can be based only upon these assumptions : 

That nothing but poverty keeps women from being 
" free-lovers." 

That if women were given the power to support them- 
selves decently and comfortably outside of the home, 
they would at once desert their children, their husbands 
and " destroy the family." 

Socialists believe women can safely be trusted with 
enough money to live on. Yet the word " trust," as here 
used, is not quite the word. Socialists do not believe it 
is within their province either to trust or to distrust 
women. Socialists believe economic independence is a 
right that women should demand and get, rather than a 
privilege tliat man should grant or deny, as he may see 
fit. If women do well with economic independence, well 
and good. If they do ill with it, still well and good. If 
they have not yet learned to use economic independence, 
they cannot begin learning too quickly, nor can they learn 
except by trying to use it. 

In any event. Socialists do not claim the right of 
guardianship over women. They do not believe any 
human being, regardless of sex, has a right to coerce 
another when that other is not invading the rights of 
some other. They believe that women to-day are being 
coerced. Coerced by poverty. Coerced by fear of pov- 
erty. Coerced by men who presume upon their own 



30 THE TRUTH ABOUT SOCIALISM 

economic independence and the economic dependence of 
women. They cite, as proof of their behefs, the grow- 
ing number of divorces, together with the fact that 
women are the apphcants for most of the divorces. 

And, the astounding circumstance about all of this is 
that because Socialists hold these views, they are de- 
nounced by rich grafters and their retainers as " destroy- 
ers of the family," and " free-lovers." 

The Socialists have said no more than Herbert 
Spencer said about the folly of trying to promote happi- 
ness with coercion. They say that weakness pitted 
against strength and dependence against independence 
invite coercion — no more in a family of nations than in a 
family of individuals; that a woman whose economic de- 
pendence prevents her from doing what all of her in- 
stincts call upon her to do is coerced. Here is what 
Herbert Spencer says in Social Statics (p. 76) : 

" Command is a blight to the affections. Whatsoever of beauty — 
whatsoever of poetry there is in the passion that unites the sexes, 
withers up and dies in the cold atmosphere of authority. Native 
as they are to such widely-separated regions of our nature, Love 
and Coercion cannot possibly flourish together. Love is sympa- 
thetic ; Coercion is callous. Love is gentle ; Coercion is harsh. Love 
is self-sacrificing; Coercion is selfish. How then can they co-exist? 
It is the property of the first to attract, while it is that of the last 
to repel ; and, conflicting as they do, it is the constant tendency of 
each to destroy the other. Let whoever thinks the two compatible 
imagine himself acting the master over his betrothed. Docs he be- 
lieve that he could do this without any injury to the subsisting re- 
lationship? Does he not know rather that a bad effect would be 
produced upon the feelings of both by the assumption of such an 
attitude? And, confessing this as he must, is he superstitious enough 
to suppose that the going through of a form of word will render 
harmless that use of command which was previously hurtful ? " 

Nobody ever called Spencer a " destroyer of the 
home," or a "free-lover" for that. Yet, if Spencer 
meant anything, he meant that coercion is primarily 



THE VIRTUOUS GRAFTERS 31 

wrong because it deprives the incHvidnal of the riglit to 
be guided by his own judgment. Sociah'sts contend that 
women have a right to be guided by their own judgment, 
even if tliey make mistakes. Men do so. Women rebel 
against the denial of their equal riglit. They rebel 
against the coercion that is worked against them by their 
inability to earn decent, comfortable livings outside of 
their homes. Socialists say the family can never be 
what it might be or what it should be so long as this war- 
fare continues. Tiiey say that since the weak never 
coerce the strong, there should be no economically weak 
members of the community. Men and women should 
both be economically independent. Each is likely to 
treat the other better if they are so. 

Francis G. Peabody, Professor of Christian Morals at 
Harvard, has been as fortunate as Spencer in escaping 
the charge of being a " destroyer of the family " and 
a " free-lover." The professor is quoted in the press as 
follows : 

" One thing is certain, the family is rapidly becoming disorganized 
and disintegrated. . . Divorces are being granted at an ever- 
increasing rate. It may be computed that if the present ratio of 
increase in population and in separation is maintained, the number 
of separations of marriage by death would at the end of the twen-> 
tieth century be less than the number of separations by di- 
vorce. . . . 

" Owing to industrial life, the importance of the family is already 
enormously lessened. Once every form of industry went on within 
the family circle, but as the methods of the great industry arc sub- 
stituted for work done in the home, the economic usefulness of the 
family is practically outgrown." 

Then, painting a picture of the world to come, as he 
sees it, the professor said: 

" Thus with the coming of the social state, family unity will be 
for a higher end. The wife, being no longer doomed to household 



32 THE TRUTH ABOUT SOCIALISM 

driulgcry, will liavc tlic prcnter bicssinp of economic cr|iia1ity. Chil- 
dren will be cared for by the comnuniity nnder healllifnl and uni- 
form coiulitions, and we shall arrive at what has been called the 
happy time when continuity of society no longer depends upon the 
private nursery." 

But what Professor Pcabody has said, or what Social- 
ists have said with regard to the next step in the evohi- 
tion of the family is a httle beside the point, and is men- 
tioned so at length only because the detractors of Social- 
ism make so much of it. The point is: Ought the world 
if it can, to get rid of poverty, and will Socialism do it? 
If Socialism will rid the world of poverty, ought we to 
retain poverty to keep women good? Who knows that 
economic independence would make women bad? The 
grafters intimate that they know. But who believes the 
grafters? The grafters say the present status of the 
family is so good that we should be content to remain 
poor in order to preserve it. Professor Peabody says 
the present status of the family is so bad that it is falling 
to pieces. The professor has proof of his statement in 
every divorce court. The grafters have proof of their 
statement in no court, nor anywhere else. 

Besides, the testimony of the grafters is properly sub- 
ject to suspicion. If Socialism would remove poverty it 
would also remove the grafters. If Socialism would 
not remove poverty or the grafters, but would 
bring about free love, do you believe the grafters 
would oppose it? Is it not more likely that the 
grafters believe Socialism would remove both poverty 
and themselves and that they are trying to throw 
a scare into the people by howling about the 
threatened destruction of the family? If not, why do 
not the grafters themselves do something to stop their 
own destruction of the family? A $ioo bill will make 
more happiness in a home than a sermon against Social- 



THE VIRTUOUS GRAFTERS 33 

ism. Why don't they give up their dividends and let 
the workers have what they produce? Why don't they 
drum Professor Peabody out of Harvard? H the So- 
ciaHsts are free-lovers, Professor Peabody is a free- 
lover. Why don't they put him out? Is it because he 
does not also advocatQ Socialism? 

" Ah," say the grafters, " but the lives of Socialists do 
not bear out their protestations of devotion to the family. 
Look at the * affinities ' that some of them have had." 

" Quite true," say the Socialists, " but one affinity does 
not make a fire, nor do two make a forest. What if one 
or two Socialists of more or less prominence have been 
divorced? Are affinities and divorces unknown among 
Democrats and Republicans? Is the percentage of di- 
vorces greater in Socialist families than it is in Dem- 
ocratic or Republican families? Where is your proof? 
Wiiat have you got on Debs? What have you got on 
Berger ? What have you got on Seidel, the former So- 
cialist ]\Iayor of Milwaukee ? These men are in the lime- 
light. If they should make a mismove, you would 
blazon it. What do you know against them ? " 

The foregoing pretty well sums up the situation, so far 
as the free-love and destroying-the-family charges are 
concerned. There is nothing in them. Socialists are 
trying to eradicate poverty now. They have no other 
immediate concern. If the eradication of poverty should 
send the world to hell, the Socialists, if they can, will 
send the world to hell. They do not believe anything 
that can be kept only with poverty is worth keeping. 
Tiieir observation has taught them that poverty is always 
and everywhere a curse. They believe no other curse is 
nearly so great except the curse of excessive riches. 

Let us now pass to objections to Socialism that are both 
pertinent and honest. It is the common belief of those 



34 THE TRUTH ABOUT SOCIALISM 

\vlio do not understand Socialism that, under a Socialist 
form of government, the government would do every- 
thing and tlie people could therefore do nothing; that 
" everybody would be held down to a dead level," and 
that as a consequence of the individual's inability to rise, 
nobody would have an incentive to work. 

Here are several kindred objections rolled into one. 
Let us pick them to pieces and see what is in them. 

Let it be conceded that under Socialism the government 
would own and operate all of the great industries. What 
of it ? The people would do precisely what they are do- 
ing now, except that they would do it through the gov- 
ernment for themselves, instead of through capitalists 
for themselves and the capitalists. The people are now 
engaged in useful labor. A small body of parasites are 
appropriating much that the people produce. Under 
Socialism, the parasites will have to go to work. The 
people will simply continue to work, though under better 
conditions and for a greater return than they now re- 
ceive. 

Now, let us see just what is meant by " keeping every- 
body upon a dead level." As the world stands to-day, 
people differ chiefly as to wealth and to intellect. If one 
person is not on a " dead level " with another it is because 
he is more intelligent or more stupid than that other, or 
because he is richer or poorer. Nobody, of course, be- 
lieves that Socialism or anything else could put Edison 
on a dead level with the boss of Tammany Hall. If So- 
cialism is to establish a dead level, it must therefore be 
by establishing equality as to wealth. 

Capitalism has pretty nearly done that already. The 
great bulk of the world is poor, living from hand to 
mouth, worrying about the increased cost of living, and 
going to the grave as empty-handed as when it came into 



THE VIRTUOUS GRAFTERS 35 

tlie world. Only a few have any money, beyond their 
immediate needs, and as a rule that few is composed of 
men who perform no useful labor. Here and there is a 
man who combines a little useful labor with a great deal 
of cogitation as to how he can appropriate something 
that somebody else has produced. He may have enough 
to cause him to mortgage his house to buy an automobile, 
and to make a little pretence of affluence. But financially 
he is a faker and he knows it. On the other hand, the 
men who are not financial fakers are not workers. That 
is to say, either they do no work that is useful to society, 
or the work they do that is useful justifies but a small 
part of their incomes. 

To illustrate: The owner of a great industry devotes 
his time to the management of that industry. So far as 
his managerial activities pertain to the production and 
distribution of his product, they are socially useful. So 
far as they pertain to obtaining a profit for himself upon 
that product they are not socially useful. The value o£ 
the socially useful part of his activities may be approxi- 
mately measured by what he would pay another man for 
managing the manufacturing and distributing end of his 
business. The extent to which he is a parasite upon the 
community may be approximately measured by the dif- 
ference between his net income from the industry and the 
sum he would pay another man to manage the manufac- 
turing and distributing end of his business. A hired 
manager might receive $5,000 a year. The capitalist 
proprietor may receive $50,000 a year or he may receive 
nothing — he is in a gambler's game and must take a 
gambler's chances. If he receives $50,000 a year 
$45,000 of it is because he owns the machinery. If he 
did not own the machinery, he himself would be com- 
pelled to hire out as a manager at $5,000 a year. In 



36 THE TRUTH Ar.OUT SOCIALISM 

other words, $45,000 a year is the price that the workers 
pay the capitalist for the privilege of working with his 
machinery. Socialists therefore contend that we are 
already on a dead level of wealth, except as to the fact 
that we have permitted a few who do little or no useful 
labor to rise above those who do nothing else. 

Socialists, however, are not opposed in principle to the 
economic dead level, and they do not believe anybody else 
is. If it were desirable that each human being should 
have a billion dollars, and, by pressing a button, each 
human being could have a billion dollars, Socialists do 
not believe there would be an extended Alphonse and 
Gaston performance over the ceremony of pressing the 
button. Socialists are opposed only to a dead level that 
is so nearly level with the hunger line. They want to 
raise the level to the point where it will comfort, not 
alone the stomach, but the heart and the brain. 

Now, mind you. Socialists have no patented wage- 
scales that they intend to force upon the people. If 
Socialism stands for anything, it stands for the expres- 
sion of popular will, and therefore it will be for the 
people to say, when Socialism comes, whether the man- 
ager of a railway system shall receive greater compensa- 
tion than a train conductor on that system. I do not 
fear contradiction when I say almost every Socialist be- 
lieves extraordinary ability should be rewarded with 
extraordinary compensation — not $10,000 a month for 
the manager of a railway system that pays its conductors 
$100 a month, but enough more than the conductor to 
show that the manager's services are appreciated at 
their worth. Socialists would also give garbage men 
and sewer diggers extraordinary wages, on the theory 
that their work is vitally necessary to everybody else and 
extremely disagreeable to themselves. 



THE VIRTUOUS GRAFTERS 37 

But to satisfy those who want the dead level objection 
analyzed to the bone, suppose everybody were to receive 
equal compensation? Should we not have less injustice 
in the world than we have now? Should we have any 
suffering from hunger and cold? Should we have so 
many crimes due to poverty? Should we have any 
women forced into prostitution by poverty? Should we 
have a single human being upon the face of the earth 
haunted by the constant fear that he could not get work 
and could not get food? 

We have all of these evils now. Are they worth think- 
ing about? Are they seri jus enough to justify us in try- 
ing to be rid of them? Granted, for the sake of argu- 
ment, that we cannot get rid of them without doing an 
injustice to the railroad manager who would be paid no 
more than a conductor — is it not better to do injustice 
to an occasional person who would still be treated as well 
as any of the others, than to compel all the others to 
endure present conditions? If not, the "good of the 
greatest num.ber " is a fallacy, and majority rule is a 
crime. 

But would anyone question either the right or the ex- 
pediency of such action if the situation were reversed? 
Suppose that the present system under which a few men 
own almost everything had made almost everybody rich. 
Suppose the few who were not rich — corresponding in 
numbers to the present capitalist class — were to de- 
mand that the rules of the game be so changed that they 
could be made rich by making everyone else poor. Let 
us suppose, even, that the few were to say that the 
present system, while it worked satisfactorily for every- 
body else, worked an injustice to them. Let us go 
farther and say that the mere handful of objectors were 
right in such contention. Would the 95 per cent, of the 



38 THE TRUTH ABOUT SOCIALISM 

people wlio were prospering under tlie system neverthe- 
less voluntarily overturn it and impoverish themselves 
merely that 5 per cent, might become wealthy ? 

But tlierc is still another side to the " dead level " ob- 
jection. Is not enough enough? Who but a glutton 
wants more food than he should eat? Who but a fop 
■wants more clothing than he needs to wear? Who but 
a man who has been pampered with riches, or spoiled by 
the envy that riches so often produce, wants more than a 
comfortable, roomy, sanitary house in which to live? 
Does the possession of more things than these make the 
few who have them happier? 

Socialists doubt it. If they did not doubt it, they 
would still be against conditions that give such ad- 
vantages to a few who are not socially useful while deny- 
ing even ordinary comforts to everyone else. And, 
right here, Socialists again ask these questions : " Even 
if such luxuries be conceded as advantages, are we not 
paying too great a price to give them to a few? Is it 
well that so many should have no home in order that a 
few should have many homes? And, if there is to be 
any difference in homes, ought not the difference to be 
in favor of those who are most useful instead of those 
who are the most predatory ? " 

Socialists contend that under Socialism, everybody 
could not only have work all the time, but that everybody 
could live as well as now does the man whose income is 
$5,000 a year. They point to the fact that the man who 
now spends $5,000 a year on his living, does not consume 
the products of very much human labor. He has a com- 
fortable house, but comfortable, sanitary houses are not 
hard to build. Machinery makes almost all of the mate- 
rials that go into them, and makes them cheaply. And 
a house properly built lasts a lifetime. 



THE VIRTUOUS GRAFTERS 39 

The $5,ooo-a-year man and his family also eat some 
food. But the flour is made with machinery at low cost, 
as are also many other articles. The raw materials 
come from the earth at the cost of human labor, but the 
profits that are added to them by capitalists represent no 
sort of labor. 

So is it with clothing, furniture and everything else 
that the $5,ooo-a-year man and his family consume. 
Everything is made cheaply and rapidly with machinery. 
The workers who make these things get little. The con- 
sumer pays much. The difference between the cost of 
making and the selling price is what eats up a large part 
of the $5,000. Socialists believe that by cutting out all 
of this difference and cutting out enforced idleness, ev- 
erybody could live as well as the $5,ooo-man now lives. 
This is only an approximation, of course. 

Now we come to the question of rising. What chance 
would a man have to rise under Socialism ? 

Let us see, first, what is meant by rising. A man can 
rise with his fellows or he can rise without them. I am 
speaking now, of course, only of rising in the financial 
scale. Habits of thought have been inculcated in us 
which too often prevent us from thinking of rising in 
any other way. When we think of bettering our con- 
dition, we usually think in terms of money. We seldom 
think in terms of greater leisure and greater freedom to 
do the things that make life really worth while; knowing 
^that rich men are u.sually the slaves of their money, we 
nevertheless want to be slaves. 

Socialism is not intended to help the man who wants 
to rise financially above his fellows. It throws out no 
bait to him. A few men will undoubtedly rise a little 
above their fellows during the early stages of Socialism, 
but they will not rise very much and there will not be 



40 THE TRUTH ABOUT SOCIALISM 

very many of them. Socialism is for all, not for a few. 
It is devoted to the task of raising the financial standing 
of everybody who does useful labor and lowering the 
financial standing of everybody who does not. Socialists 
say that if Socialism were otherwise, it would be no bet- 
ter than the lottery which is provided by the capitalist 
system. Socialists do not believe in the lottery princi- 
ple. They have observed that the gentlemen who run 
lotteries, rather than the ones who play them, wear the 
diamonds. Nor does the fact that an occasional washer- 
woman draws $22,000 with which she knows not what to 
do, change their minds about the game. 

See what a game it is that we are now playing. We 
teach our small boys that this is a country of glorious 
opportunities. In picturing the possibilities before them, 
we know no bounds. We go even to the brink of the 
ultimate and look over. Away in the distance, we 
see the White House, and point to it. " There," we say 
to our boys, " there is where you may some day be. 
Each of you has a chance to be President. And, if you 
should not be President, each of you has a chance to be a 
Rockefeller or a Carnegie. Carnegie began as a bobbin 
boy. Rockefeller began as a clerk in an oil store. If 
you are honest and industrious, perhaps you can do as 
much." 

Now, what are the facts? Not one of those boys has 
much more chance of becoming the President than a 
ring-tailed monkey has of becoming Caruso. It is not 
that the boys are worthless — they may have in them 
better timber than any past President ever contained. 
But unless we shorten the Presidential term, and shorten 
it a good deal, we cannot accommodate very many of 
the lads with the use of the White House. During the 
next eighty years, even if no President shall serve more 



THE VIRTUOUS GRAFTERS 41 

than one term, there can be no more than twenty Presi- 
dents. During the same time — if we go on repeating 
such fooHshness — perhaps a bilHon boys will be 
solemnly assured that each of them has a chance to be 
President, thougli, as a matter of fact, only twenty boys 
can cash in on their chances. 

Do we never consider how ridiculous we make our- 
selves? Do we never fear the crushing question that 
some bright boy some day will ask : " Dad, just how 
much do you think twenty chances in a billion are 
worth ? " 

I mention this only to show at what an early age we 
begin to hold out to our boys false hopes of the future. 
I cannot attempt to explain the fact that no boy asks his 
father why, in such a country of glorious possibilities as 
this, he contents himself with driving a truck — but that 
does not matter. The point is that we go on fooling the 
boys until they are old enough to know better. They are 
not very old when this time comes. The world teaches 
them young. It is the exceptionally stupid young man 
who does not know, at the age of twenty-five, that the 
chances against him in playing for a Presidency, a Rock- 
efellership, or a Carnegieship are infinitely greater than 
would have been the chances against him, if he had lived 
two generations earlier and played the Louisiana Lot- 
tery. Beside such a prospect, the chance of winning a 
fortune at the race track looks like a certainty. Yet we 
drove the Louisiana Lottery from the country because it 
was such a delusion that it amounted to a swindle, and 
we are beginning to drive tlie race tracks out of the coun- 
try for the same reason. 

Socialists believe it would be belter not to promise so 
much and to perform more. They believe it would be 
better to promise each industrious man approximately 



42 THE TRUTH ABOUT SOCIALISM 

the present comfort-cciiiivalcnt of $5,000 a year and 
give it to him, than to hold out to him tlic hope of great 
riches and give him, instead, great poverty or great un- 
easiness because of the fear of poverty. 

The Sociahsts may be wrong in all of this, but they 
cheerfully place the burden of proof that the world is 
well upon those who make the claim that it is well. 
They ask the capitalists to find more than the exceptional, 
rare man who has realized more than a fraction of the 
promises that were held out to him in his youth. For 
every such man that the capitalists may produce, the 
Socialists will undertake to find twenty men who are liv- 
ing from hand to mouth, either in poverty or in the fear 
of poverty. 

Such is the Socialist position with regard to " rising " 
in the world. So far as Socialists are able to discover, 
all of the rising that most persons do is done in the early 
morning — about an hour before the 7 o'clock whistle 
blows. 

" Early to bed and early to rise " is not in violation of 
the Socialist constitution, but Socialists respectfully con- 
tend that the rising should be made worth while. And, 
they also contend that if the people must be promised 
something to make them rise, it is better, in the long run, 
to promise something and give it to them than to promise 
more and not give it to them. The best that can be said 
for the latter plan is that it has been a long time tried 
and until recently has worked satisfactorily for those 
who made the promises they failed to keep. 



CHAPTER IV 

WHY SOCIALISTS PREACH DISCONTENT 

RICH men tell poor men to beware of Socialism 
because Socialists preach discontent. Rich men 
also tell poor men to beware of Socialism because 
Socialists " preach the class struggle," and try to " array- 
class against class," politically. 

It is all true. Socialists do these things. They make 
no bones about doing them. They say they would feel 
ashamed of themselves if they did not do them. If they 
had a thousand times the power they have, they would do 
these things a thousand times harder than they do. Just 
so rapidly as they gain power, they are doing these things 
harder. 

What is it that they do ? Let us see. 

Socialists preach discontent. Discontent with what? 
Discontent with home? Discontent with children? Dis- 
content with friends? Discontent with honest labor? 
Discontent with ambition? Discontent with life as a 
whole? ^\'hy, nothing of the kind. 

Socialists preach discontent only zvith poverty that is 
made by robbery, and the ills that follow in its wake. 

The Hon. Charles Russell, of England, said in 1912 
that 12,000,000 of England's 45,000.000 population 
were on the verge of starvation — shall we be satisfied 
with that? 

A recent investigation into the causes of tiie shockingly 
high rate of infant mortality in Germany* shows that 
** the children of poverty hunger before they are born. 

♦"The Proletarian Child," by Alliert Laiigun, published in Berlin. 

43 



44 THE TRUTH ABOUT SOCIALISM 

They come into the world ill-developed, weaker than the 
children of plent3% and with such low resistant powers 
that infant mortality rages in their ranks like an epi- 
demic." Shall we be satisfied with that? 

Here in the United States millions of men cannot get 
work, while millions of men, women and children are 
compelled to work for starvation wages. Shall we be 
satisfied with that? 

The census reports show that most people do not own 
the roofs over their heads, having nothing but the 
clothes upon their backs and their meager furniture. 
Shall we be satisfied with that? 

We are creating wealth rapidly, but what we make is 
concentrating into so few hands that a few men hold us 
as in the hollow of their hands, telling us whether we 
may work, telling us what wages we shall receive if we 
work, telling us how much we shall pay for meat, sugar, 
lumber, clothing, salt and steel. Shall we be satisfied 
with that? 

The Stanley Steel Committee's investigations showed 
that, by a system of interlocking directorates, eighteen 
men control thirty-five billions of industrial property — 
a third of the entire national wealth. Shall we be sat- 
isfied with that? 

In times of industrial depression more than 5,000,000 
men who want to work are refused the right to do so, 
because the few men who control everything cannot see 
a profit for themselves in letting 5,000,000 men work to 
support themselves. Shall we be satisfied with that? 

The cost of living, mounting higher and higher, is 
crowding an increasing number of unorganized workers 
into the bottomless pit in which men, women and children 
sufifer the tortures of hell. Shall we be satisfied with 
that? 



WHY SOCIALISTS PREACH DISCONTENT 45 

Mr. ]\Iorgan, with the tremendous money-power that 
is behind him, is a greater power in this country than the 
President of the Lnited States, or the Congress of the 
United States. Shall we be satisfied with that? 

Some gentlemen are satisfied with these facts, but 
Socialists are not. They are preaching discontent. 
Should we not be worthy of your scorn and contempt if 
we did not preach discontent? If such discontent is 
wrong, contentment with the facts against which Social- 
ists cry out must be right. Who has both the candor 
and the effrontery to say that contentment with such 
facts is right ? Should we be contented with the woolen- 
mill owners of New England who, fattening upon high 
Republican tariffs, starve men, women and little children 
with low wages? Should we be contented with the cot- 
ton-mill owners of the South, who, under the protection 
of Democratic state administrations, fill both their mills 
and the graveyards with little children? Should we be 
contented with a world in which a few own everything 
and the rest do everything — a world in which the 
worker is but a fleeing fugitive from inevitable fate, own- 
ing neither his job, nor the roof over his head? 

The cry of this wronged worker has come down 
through the ages, but never was his hold upon the means 
of life so slight as it is to-day. 

"Every creature has a home — 
But thou, oh workingman, hast none." 

So Shelley sang before machinery came. And, oh, the 
truth of it — the truth of it still! And the pity of it I 
In these days the inexcusability of it! Yet when we So- 
cialists cry out against it — when wc try to awaken the 
workingman to a realization that a new world was born 
when the steam engine was born, and that this new world 



46 THE TRUTH ABOUT SOCIALISM 

may be and should be for him — we are rebuked by the 
capitahsts because we are " preaching discontent." 

Of course we are preaching discontent. We are going 
to preach it, if present conditions persist, so long as we 
have breath with which to preach. We respectfully de- 
cline to permit capitalists, as such, to tell us what we may 
or may not preach. We preach what we please without' 
their leave. They preach what they please without our 
leave. At intervals, they preach a good deal, tlirough 
some of the magazines, about religion. Big cap- 
ital is behind the " Men and Religion Forward " move- 
ment, and some other similar movements. These gentle- 
men who are living in luxury off what they take from us 
tell us to take religion from them in the magazines and 
be happy. " In the sweet by and by " we are to get our 
own, while they get their own now. Socialists are wil- 
ling to stand in on all of the sweet by and by they can get 
by and by, but they are also determined to made a pro- 
digious fight for the sweet here and now. 

Socialists regard poverty, in this day, as nothing less 
than a scandal. Before the age of machinery there was 
reason for some poverty. Now there is none. We can 
make all the wealth we need and more. We could cut 
our work-day in two and still make all we need. Yet 
poverty is scourging the world as wars never scourged it. 
In Germany, England, the United States — wherever 
capitalism has reached a high state of development — 
men, women and children are pursued to the grave by 
poverty or the fear of poverty. 

Some gentlemen believe this is all right. They believe 
this is as it should be. With such gentlemen Socialists 
do not hope to make headway. With such gentlemen 
Socialists do not seek to make headway. They belong 
to the rich class who are grafting off the working class. 



WHY SOCIALISTS PREACH DISCONTENT 47 

From them Socialists expect no quarter, nor will they 
give any. The conflict must go to a finish. There will 
be no surrender upon the part of the Socialists. The So- 
cialist party will never fuse with any of their parties. If 
the Socialist party were standing still, instead of going 
ahead, it would stand still alone for a thousand year« 
before it would go a foot with any capitalist party. 

IMake no mistake. This is all true. You saw the! 
Greenback party wither and blow away. You saw the 
Populist party swallowed by the Democratic party. But 
you will never see the Socialist party wither, nor will you 
ever see it swallowed. Its members are not composed 
of material that withers or fuses. Right or wrong, they 
are actuated by the highest ideal that can move a human 
being — the ideal of human justice. And they are going 
down the line on their ideal, regardless of the length of 
the line or of the obstructions that may be placed in their 
way. After a man has seen Socialism, he can never 
thereafter defend capitalism. That is to say, he cannot 
if he is honest. Two or three out of a million are not. 
Such persons, not infrequently, are hired by capitalists 
to " expose " Socialism. 

But while Socialists do not hope to make any progress 
among the rich, they do hope to make progress among 
the working class. Again, I must explain that Socialists 
do not consider the working class to be exclusively com- 
posed of those who wear overalls. Socialists include in 
the working class all of those who do useful labor. It 
matters not whether such labor be done by the digger in 
the ditch or by the general superintendent of a railroad. 
Socialists place all of those who do useful labor in the 
working class. Workers are creators of wealth. Cre- 
ators of wealth differ from capitalists in this: workers 
make; capitalists take. Cajiitalists arc profit-scckcrs. 



48 THE TRUTH ABOUT SOCIALISM 

The small merchant takes a profit, but it is not the kind 
of a profit that the big cai)italist takes. The small mer- 
chant's profit represents only his labor, and is, therefore, 
really wages. The big capitalist's profits represent no 
sort of labor. It is such profits that set capitalists and 
workers at war, because the profits come out of the work- 
ers. Socialists call this war the class struggle. 

Socialists are opposed to class war. Socialists believe 
there should be no classes. There would be no classes 
if everybody worked at useful labor and took no more 
than belonged to him. But if some men will not work 
at useful labor, choosing, instead, to make war upon 
those who are working, who is to blame? Certainly not 
the workers. They are trying to get nothing that be- 
longs to anyone else. They have never yet been able to 
keep what belonged to them. 

Socialists recognize these facts. They say a class 
struggle is in progress. Anybody who denies their state- 
ment must necessarily know nothing of the existence of 
trusts, labor unions, courts, lobbyists, crooked legisla- 
tors, millionaires, paupers, overworked workers, or men 
who are underworked because they can get no work. 
Anyone who recognizes the existence of these things can- 
not well deny either the existence of classes or the exist- 
ence of a struggle. The dead of this warfare are upon 
every industrial battlefield, where the fierce desire for 
profits sends workers to their doom for lack of the safe- 
guards that would have saved their lives. The wounded 
are in every poverty-stricken home. 

Either these statements are true or they are not. If 
they are true, is it wiser to recognize their truth, or, 
ostrich-like, to stick our heads in the sand and deny both 
the existence of classes and the class struggle? Socialists 



.WHY SOCIALISTS PREACH DISCONTENT 49 

believe it is wiser to recognize the existence of the facts. 
They deplore the existence of the class struggle, but they 
can see only harm in closing our eyes to it. If their con- 
tention is correct a small body of capitalists are robbing 
the great working class. If the working class has not 
found out who is robbing it it cannot find out too quickly. 
Nor can the working class find out too quickly the meth- 
ods by which it is being robbed. 

It is the advocacy of these ideas that has caused the 
Socialists to be censured by the rich for trying to " array 
class against class." If one class is being robbed by 
another ought not the class that is being robbed to be 
politically arrayed against the class that is robbing it? 
Do we not array those whose houses are broken into by 
burglars against the burglars? Is not the existence of 
police forces sufficient proof that we do? If capitalists, 
working through laws they have made, are robbing the 
workers of thousands, where burglars take cents, why 
should not the workers be politically arrayed against the 
capitalists even more solidly than they are arrayed 
against burglars? 

The workers, either singly or collectively, as in their 
unions, are already arrayed against the capitalists, so far 
as fighting for more wages is concerned. Without any 
help from Socialists, we thus have here class arrayed 
against class. Socialists seek only to extend this conflict 
to the ballot-box. They ask the worker to remember 
when he votes as well as when he strikes that he belongs 
to the working class. They point out to him that he is 
robbed under the forms of law and that the robbery can- 
not be stopped until the operations of capitalist laws are 
stopped. The operations of capitalist laws cannot be 
stopped until working men stop them. Working men 



[50 THE TRUTH ABOUT SOCIALISM 

can stop tliem only by uniting at the ballot-box and wrest- 
ing from the capitalist class the control of the govern- 
ment. 

In this Avay only do Socialists try to " array class 
against class." They do not try to array men against 
men. They do not try to engender hatred of Mr. Mor- 
gan, Mr, Rockefeller, or any other great capitalist. 
Socialists have nothing against any rich man individually. 
They regard all great capitalists as the natural and inev- 
itable products of the capitalist system. If the great 
capitalists are sometimes bad, it is because the capitalist 
system makes them bad. If the particular capitalists 
who are bad had never been born, the capitalist system 
would have made others do the same bad acts. There- 
fore Socialists are opposed to the system that makes man 
bad rather than to the men who have been made bad by 
the system. If every capitalist in the world had gone 
down with the Titanic, Socialists would have expected 
absolutely no improvement in conditions, because the 
capitalist system would still have remained. Other men 
would simply have taken their places, and the wrongs 
w^ould have gone on. Therefore, Socialists leave it to 
Democratic and Republican politicians to point out " bad 
men " and say if this man or that man were in jail we 
should have no more robbery. The slightest reflection 
should reveal the fallacious character of such comment. 
Where are all of the " bad men " of the last two genera- 
tions? Where are William H. Vanderbilt, Jay Gould, 
E. H. Harriman and the others? They are not simply 
in jail — they are dead. But who noticed the slightest 
abatement of robbery when they died? Who will note 
the slightest improvement of conditions when the " bad 
men" of the present day are dead? Then how ridicu- 
lous it is to say that if Mr. Morgan, Mr. Rockefeller 



WHY SOCIALISTS PREACH DISCONTENT 51 

and some others were in jail we should have no more 
robbery. So long as we have a system that makes men 
bad we shall have bad men. 

Let us now inquire what it is about the capitalist sys- 
tem that makes men bad. We shall not have far to 
look. It is the private ownership and control, for the 
sake of private profits, of the means of life. Think how 
gigantic is this power! All of our food, clothing and 
shelter is made with machinery. A few own the ma- 
chinery. The others cannot use it without permission. 
And, if permission be given, it can be used only upon such 
terms as the owners offer. Those terms are always the 
lowest wages for which anybody can be found to work. 

Is it any wonder that the few who control this ma- 
chinery go mad with the desire to accumulate wealth? 
Is it any wonder that they press their advantage to the 
limit? Are you sure you would have done less if you 
had been placed in the same circumstances? I am not 
sure I should have done less. In fact, I am quite sure I 
should have done as much, or more, if I could. I say 
this because I take into account the tremendous power of 
habit and environment. 

An environment of money makes those whom it sur- 
rounds forget men. The Titanic was not raced through 
icebergs to her doom because her owners were indifferent 
to the loss of human life. The Titanic was raced 
to her doom because her owners forgot human life. 
They thought only of the money that would come from 
the advertisement of a quick trip across the Atlantic. If 
they had not been made mad by this thought they would 
at least have remembered their ship, with its cost of 
$8,000,000. But in their money-madness they forgot 
not only their passengers, but their own ship. Yet, if 
the manager of the company had been sailing the ship for 



'52 THE TRUTH ABOUT SOCIALISM 

the government, witliout thought of profit, he would have 
thought of the passengers, the crew, the ship and the ice- 
bergs. And if the trusts were owned by the government, 
the men in charge of them would think of the workers 
when they fixed wages and of the consumers when they 
fixed the prices of finished products. 

So easy is it to dispose of the argument that Socialism 
is impracticable because it could not be made to work 
" without changing human nature." Some men believe 
we must forever go on grabbing, grabbing, grabbing, 
while others go on starving, starving, starving. Human 
nature will " change " just so rapidly as conditions are 
changed. If one sits on a red-hot stove, it is " human 
nature " to arise. But if the stove be permitted to cool, 
one who sits on it will not arise until other reasons than 
heat have made him wish to do so. Yet, the human 
nature of the man in each case is the same. It has in no 
wise changed. It is only the stove that has changed. 

Precisely so will the actions of men change when the 
production of the necessities of life by the government 
has demonstrated that no one need ever fear the lack of 
the means with which to live. The very knowledge that 
the stomach is taken for granted — that with free oppor- 
tunity to labor, the material necessities and comforts of 
life are as assured as the air itself — will destroy the in- 
centive to accumulate more wealth than is needed. Even 
the richest now consume and waste but a fraction of the 
w^ealth they possess. Yet they are spurred on to seek 
still further accumulations, because it is only so recently, 
comparatively, that the whole race was fighting for the 
means of life, that the madness for money is still in the 
air. 

The madness for money will not always be in the air. 
Human nature is wonderfully adaptive. As soon as thQ 



WHY SOCIALISTS PREACH DISCONTENT 53 

workers take control of the government for the benefit 
of their class, and demonstrate the perfect ease with 
which enough weahh can be produced to enable every- 
body to live as well as the $5,000 a year man now lives, 
the scramble for wealth will quickly subside. It will 
not subside instantly, but it will subside. A few may 
grumble, as their industries are bought and taken over 
by the government, but they will have to take it out 
in grumbling. They will not even have to work if they 
don't want to. They will have enough money obtained 
from the sale of their plants to enable them to live 
without working. But none of their successors will ever 
be able to live without working, because no opportunity 
will exist for anyone to obtain the products of another's 
labor. Goods will be made and sold by the government 
at cost. No capitalist will stand between producers and 
consumers. The people will be their own capitalists, 
owning their own industrial machinery and managing it 
through the government. 

Those who are opposed to Socialism ask what as- 
surance we have that, under Socialism, the people would 
be able to manage their government. Others ask why 
we should not be as likely to have grafters in office under 
Socialist government as we are now under Democratic 
or Republican government? Still others believe that a 
Socialist government would inevitably become tyrannical 
and despotic, destroying all individual liberty and eventu- 
ally bringing down civilization in a heap. 

Let us answer these objections one by one. And let 
us first inquire why the people are not now able to man- 
age and control their government. 

In the first place, our form of government does not 
permit the people to control it. The rich men who made 
our constitution — and they were rich for their day; not 



54 THE TRUTH ABOUT SOCIALISM 

a working man among them — purposely made a consti- 
tution under which nothing could be done to which the 
rich might object. That is why the United States sen- 
ate was created. It was frankly declared in the consti- 
tutional convention that the senate was intended to rep- 
resent wealth. The house of representatives was to 
represent the people, but the senate was to represent 
wealth, and the house of representatives could enact no 
legislation without the consent of the senate. Moreover, 
the United States supreme court, over which the people 
have absolutely no control, was created to construe the 
laws made by congress. 

That is the first reason why the people do not now con- 
trol their government — the framers of the constitution 
did not intend that they should control it, and the rich 
men of our day are taking advantage of their oppor- 
tunity to control it themselves. The second reason is 
that the capitalist system, based, as it is, upon private 
profits, makes it highly profitable for the capitalist class 
to control the government. The robberies of capitalism 
are committed through laws, and control of the govern- 
ment is necessary to obtain and maintain the laws. 

Socialists would abolish the senate, thus vesting the 
entire legislative power in the house of representatives. 
They would take from the President the power to ap- 
point justices of the supreme court, and give the people 
the right to elect all judges. They would take from the 
United States supreme court the usurped power to de- 
clare acts of congress unconstitutional, and give to the 
people the power to say what acts of congress should 
be set aside. They would make the constitution of the 
United States amendable by majority vote, and they 
would make every public official in the country, from 



WHY SOCIALISTS PREACH DISCONTENT 55 

President down, subject to immediate recall at any time, 
by the vote of the people. 

Socialists respectfully offer these reasons, among 
others, for believing that under Socialism, the people 
would be able to control their government. Another 
reason is that, under Socialism, there would be no trust 
senators or representatives, no representatives of great 
private banking interests or other aggregations pf pri- 
vate capital, because there would be no such private in- 
terests. 

The reasons are equally plain why, under Socialism, 
we should not be as certain to have Socialist grafters 
in office as we are now to have Democratic and Repub- 
lican grafters. But not one of these reasons is that 
Socialists believe themselves to be more nearly honest 
than anyone else. Socialists have no such delusion. 
Socialists simply point to the fact that all of the present 
grafting is to secure private profits. When the profit 
system is abolished, and goods are made for use instead 
of for profit, nothing will be left to graft for. Public 
officials could still steal, of course; they could falsify 
pay-rolls, and probably in many other ways rob the peo- 
ple. But, in the first place, public officials now do little 
of this sort of clumsy stealing, and, in the second place, 
whatever stealing of this sort that may be done under 
Socialism will be punished in precisely the same way 
that it now is, except more vigorously. Moreover, So- 
cialists do not believe there will be much such stealing, 
or that it will long continue. And so far as grafting is 
concerned, when the private profit system that makes 
grafting is abolished, grafting will be abolished along 
with it. 

Let us now examine the charge that a Socialist gov- 



56 THE TRUTH ABOUT SOCIALISM 

ernmcnt would become tyrannical, despotic, destroy in- 
dividual liberty, and thus destroy civilization itself. 

With all legislative power vested in the house of rep- 
resentatives which is elected by the people, all judges 
elected by the people and the United States supreme 
court shorn of its usurped power to declare laws uncon- 
stitutional, it is difficult to see how the government could 
become tyrannical. It is still more difficult when it is 
considered that, under the Socialist government, the peo- 
ple would have these additional powers : 

The power to recall, at any time, any official. 

The power to enact, by direct vote, any laws that their 
legislative bodies might refuse to enact. 

The power, by direct vote, to repeal any law that their 
legislative bodies had enacted. 

And the power, by direct vote, to amend their con- 
stitutions, both federal and state, any time they wished 
to do so. 

If there could be any tyranny or despotism under such 
a form of government, gentlemen who profess to be- 
lieve so are entitled to make the most of it. 

Many good persons believe, however, that if Socialism 
were to come, all individual liberty would be lost. Such 
persons lack, not only a knowledge of Socialist plans, 
but a sense of humor. They assume that we now have 
individual liberty. They do not seem to realize that the 
average boy, as soon as he is old enough to work, if notj 
before, is grabbed off by necessity and chucked into the 
nearest job at hand. The boy may have preferred to 
work at something else; perhaps even he is better fitted 
for something else. But the pinch of necessity both com- 
pels him to work and to take what he can find. He may 
rattle around in two or three occupations before he finds 
one in which he stays for life, but the other occupations, 



WHY SOCIALISTS PREACH DISCONTENT 57 

like the first one, are not of his choosing. He takes 
each of them simply because he must have work. 

If Sociahsm would enable the head of every family 
to earn as good a living as the $5,ooo-a-year man now 
gets, the head of no family would be compelled to send 
his children out to work until they had completed, at 
least, the high school course. If boys were not com- 
pelled to go to work so young, does it not seem likely 
that, with added years, they would be better able to 
choose an occupation that would be more nearly suited 
both to their tastes and their abilities? And if we should 
destroy the power of poverty to push boys into the oc- 
cupation nearest to them, should we be justly subject 
to the charge that we had destroyed, or even impaired, 
the boys' individual liberty? 

Persons who derive their knowledge of Socialism from 
capitalist sources have strange, and sometimes awful, 
ideas of what Socialism is setting out to do. They are 
told, and many of them believe, that under Socialism, 
the individual would be a mere puppet in the hands of 
the government, not arising in the morning until the 
ringing of the governmental alarm clock, doing during 
the day whatever odd jobs might be assigned to him by 
a governmental boss, and going to bed at night when 
the boss told him to. 

Suppose we shake up this trash and let the wind blow 
through it. 

Who would thus tyrannize over the people? "The 
Socialists," it is answered. But who, at that time, will 
the Socialists be? They will constitute at least a major- 
ity of the people, will they not? The Socialists will 
never gain control of the government until they become 
a majority — the Milwaukee coalitii-»n plan of the old 
capitalist parties can be depended upon to prevent that. 



(58 .THE TRUTH ABOUT SOCIALISM 

Then what you are asked to behevc is that a majority of 
the people will deliberately go about it to create and 
afterwards maintain a form of government and industry 
under which the majority as well as the minority will be 
slaves. 

Remember this : Socialism will never do anything that 
at least a majority of the people do not want done. 
This is not a promise, it is fact. A Socialist adminis- 
tration could do nothing to which a majority of the peo- 
ple objected. If such an act were attempted, the ma- 
jority would instantly recall the administration, wipe out 
its laws, and assert its own will. 

And, also, remember this: If the Socialists, after the 
next election, were to control every department of the 
government there would be no upheaval, no paralysis of 
industry. Everybody would go to work the next morn- 
ing at his accustomed task. The business of socializing 
industry would proceed in an orderly, deliberate man- 
ner. One industry at a time would be taken over. Per- 
haps the railroads would be taken over first. A year 
might be required to take them over. But not a wheel 
would stop turning while the laws were being changed. 

Gentlemen who talk about the blotting out of individ- 
ual liberty under a Socialist government make this fatal 
mistake. They assume that a minority would control 
a Socialist government, precisely as a minority now con- 
trols this government. And having made this error 
they naturally easily proceed to the next error — the as- 
sumption that if Socialists were to establish such a crazy 
government, they would not suffer from it as much as 
anyone else, and, therefore, would maintain it against 
the will of the others. 

There is absolutely no foundation for this " tyranny- 
lo§s-of-individual-libert^ " charge. A government con- 



WHY SOCIALISTS PREACH DISCONTENT 59 

trolled by the people cannot tyrannize over the people, 
nor can the abolition of poverty curtail, under democratic 
government, the individual liberties of the people. Who 
now has the most individual liberty — the man who is 
poverty-stricken or the man who isn't ? 

Yet Socialists make no pretense of a purpose lo create 
^a world in which the worker may blithely amble up to 
,the governmental employment office and demand a job 
picking a guitar. The worker may amble and demand^ 
but he will not get the job unless there is a guitar to 
pick. In other words, Socialists expect to exercise or- 
dinary common sense in the conduct of industry. 
Broadly speaking, the man who is best fitted to do cer- 
tain work will be given that work to do. It would be 
absurd to plan or promise anything else. At the same 
time, the destruction of poverty, and the multiplication 
of the mass of manufactured goods that will follow the 
satisfaction of all of the people's needs, will give the 
workers greater freedom in exercising their discretion ia 
the choice of an occupation. 

At this point in the proceedings som.ebody always in- 
quires, " Who will do the dirty work? " 

Socialists do not expect ever to make the cleaning of 
sewers as pleasant as the packing of geraniums. They 
do expect, however, to offer such extraordinarily 
good compensation for this extraordinarily unpleasant 
work that the sewers will be cleaned. Why should any- 
one expect that plan to fail, since the present plan does 
not fail? We now offer very poor wages for this very 
unpleasant work, yet the sewers do not go uncleaned. 
Is it to be supposed that the same men who are now doing 
this dirty work for low wages would refuse to do it for 
higli wages? Most certainly the government would be 
compelled to offer wages high enough to get the dirty, 



6o THE TRUTH ABOUT SOCIALISM 

but important, work done. It is lack of work that now 
makes men take dirty work at dirty wages. Under So- 
cialism there can be no lack of work, because the people 
.will own their own industrial machinery and will be free 
to use it. Furthermore, machinery is now doing much 
of the dirty work, and, as time goes on, will do more 
of it. 

Socialists are often asked what they will do with the 
man who will not work. If facetiously inclined, they 
usually reply that one thing they will certainly not do 
with him is to make him a millionaire. But, really, the 
question is absurd. What do the opponents of Social- 
ism believe a Socialist government would do with the 
man who would not work ? Do they believe such a man 
would be given a hero medal, or be pensioned for life? 
What is there to do with such a man, but to let him 
starve? I mean a man having the ability to work and 
having work offered to him, who would nevertheless re- 
fuse to work. 

But, outside the ranks of criminals, there is no such 
man, nor will there ever be. Socialists would punish 
thieves precisely as capitalists punish them, except for 
the fact that Socialists would not discriminate in favor 
of the biggest thieves. To answer the question in a 
single sentence. Socialists would depend upon the spurs 
afforded by the desires for food, clothing and shelter, 
to keep most of the people at work, and the odd man 
who might choose to steal would be treated in the or- 
dinary way — imprisoned. 

But the question, " What will you do with the man 
who will not work? " reveals a strange belief that is held 
by those who do not hold much of a clutch upon the 
facts of life. I have a very dear old aunt who believes 
from the bottom of her honest heart that tlie great mass 



WHY SOCIALISTS PREACH DISCONTENT 6li 

of unemployed are either drunkards or loafers. In dis- 
cussing the problem of the unemployed with gentlemen 
who are living upon the sunny side of the street, they 
almost invariably fire this question, " Why don't those 
fellows get out into the country where the farmers are 
crying for help and can't get any? " 

I was brought up on a farm, and I still remember that 
not much farming was done in winter. The great de- 
mand for extra help comes in mid-summer, when the 
crops are harvested. During six or eight weeks there 
is a demand from the farms for more help than they can 
get. But what man who has a family in the tenements 
of New York or Chicago can afford to pay his railroad 
fare to Iowa, Nebraska, or even Ohio, to get six weeks' 
work ? 

In the first place, they have not the money with which 
to pay their fare. These men live from hand to mouth 
in the city, running in debt during the week, and paying 
their debt with the wages they receive Saturday night. 
If their fares were advanced by the farmers who wanted 
to hire them they would have little or nothing left from 
what they might earn on the farms, and, in the mean- 
time, their families in the cities would be starving. 
Furthermore, farm-work is a trade of which these city 
workers know nothing. They could learn the trade of 
farming, of course, but they could not learn it in six 
weeks. At any rate, in panic times there are more than 
5,000,000 out of work in this country, and in no con- 
ceivable circumstances is it possible that any considerable 
part of this number could find work upon the farms even 
six weeks of the year. 

The fact is that the conditions of modern industrial 
life are so hard that an increasing number of unorgan- 
ized workers are barely able to live, even when they 



62 THE TRUTH ABOUT SOCIALISM 

work. The constantly increasing cost of living, brought 
about by the trusts through their control of markets and 
prices, robs these men to the limit, and they have no 
labor unions to increase their wages. Still, they do not 
refuse to work, even for a bare, miserable living. On 
the contrary, they are eager to work. So are the great 
bulk of the unemployed eager to work for a miserable 
living. 

If, under these horrible conditions, men are willing to 
work, what reason have we to suppose that any great 
number would refuse to work under a Socialist govern- 
ment for compensation that would enable each of them 
to live as well as tlie $5,ooo-a-year man now lives? Gen- 
tlemen who want to worry about this may worry about 
it. Socialists are not worrying. If, under Socialism, a 
few dyed-in-the-wool loafers should appear, Socialists 
are prepared to deal with them. They do not propose to 
cease their attempts to rid the world of poverty, merely 
because of the possibility of the appearance of an occa- 
sional loafer. 



CHAPTER V 

HOW THE PEOPLE MAY ACQUIRE THE TRUSTS 

MOST men are not interested in private profits, be- 
cause they don't get any. Profits are only for 
capitalists, and the number of capitalists bears but an 
insignificant proportion to the whole number of people. 
Most men are wage- workers, of one sort or another, or 
small farmers. 

Yet we are living under a system that makes private 
profits the basis of business. If profits are good, busi- 
ness is good. If profits are only fair, business is only 
fair. If profits are bad, business is bad. And, when 
business is bad, the whole country suffers, though the 
country has the men, the machinery and the land with 
which business might be made good. 

Socialists liken the present business edifice to an in- 
verted pyramid resting upon its point — the point of 
private profits. Socialists have observed that the steadi- 
est pyramids do not rest upon their points. They do 
not believe the pyramids of Egypt would have stood as 
long as they have if they had not been right side up. 
Socialists therefore propose that the pyramid of busi- 
ness shall be turned right side up. They believe it would 
stand more nearly steady if placed upon the broad basis 
of the people's needs than it now does upon the pivot- 
point of private profits. 

That is all that Socialists mean when they talk about 
the "revolutionary" character of their philosophy. 
l^liey want to make a revolutionary change in the basis 

63 



'64 THE TRUTH ABOUT SOCIALISM 

of business. They want goods produced solely to sat- 
isfy the public need for goods, rather than to satisfy any 
man's greed for profits. They do not see how business 
can be thus -revolutionized, so long as a few men own all 
of the great machinery with which goods are produced. 
Socialists, therefore, propose that the ownership of all 
the great machinery shall be acquired by the people, by 
purchase, and thus transferred from a few to all. 

Those who are not in favor of this program may be 
divided into two classes. One class, desiring to cling 
to tlie private profit system, is opposed, upon principle, 
to the Socialist program. The other class, while eager 
enough, perhaps, to be rid of present conditions, does 
not believe the Socialist plan is practicable. The reason 
why so many men believe the Socialist plan is imprac- 
tical is because so many men do not know what the So- 
cialist plan is. The newspapers, owned as they are by 
capitalists, do not take the pains to tell the people much 
about the plans of Socialism. Even so great a trust 
lawyer as Samuel Untermyer of New York, apparently 
did not know much about the plans of Socialism until 
he debated Socialism in Carnegie Hall with Morris Hill- 
quit. Mr. Untermyer, in his opening statement, made 
the colossal mistake of declaring that the Socialists had 
no definite plan for transferring the industries of the 
country from private to public ownership; that no one 
knew whether they meant to take over all industries, or 
whether they meant to take over only the trusts, while 
leaving the small concerns that are now fighting the 
trusts to compete with the government. In short, Mr. 
Untermyer left the impression that in the matter of put- 
ting their program into practice the Socialists were whirl- 
ing around in a fog. 

Let us see who was whirlins" around in a fog. 



PEOPLE MAY. ACQUIRE THE TRUSTS 65 

Victor L. Berger, the Socialist congressman from Mil- 
waukee, introduced in the House of Representatives a 
bill embodying the following features: 

The government shall immediately proceed to take 
over the ownership of all the trusts that control more 
than 40 per cent, of the business in their respective 
lines. 

The price to be paid for these industries shall be 
fixed by a commission of fifteen experts, whose duty 
it shall be to determine the actual cash value of the 
physical properties. 

Payment for the properties shall be proffered in the 
form of United States bonds, bearing 2 per cent, in- 
terest payable in 50 years, and a sinking fund shall 
be established to retire the bonds at maturity. 

In the event of the refusal of any trust owner or 
owners to sell to the government his or their proper- 
ties at the price fixed by the commission of experts, 
the President of the United States is authorized to 
use such measures as may be necessary to gain and 
hold possession of the properties. 

A Bureau of Industries is hereby created within 
the Department of Commerce and Labor to operate 
all industries owned by the government. 

Mind you, tills is but the barest skeleton of the Berger 
bill. The bill itself may have no sense in it. But that 
is not the point. Samuel Untermyer, great trust-lawyer 
and presumably well-read man, said that the Socialists 
had no definite plan for taking over the industries of the 
country. He made this statement in Carnegie Hall be- 
fore thousands of people. And there was not one word 
of truth in it. If he had taken the slightest pains to in- 
form himself, he might easily have learned that the So- 



66 THE TRUTH ABOUT SOCIALISM 

cialists have an exceedingly definite plan for taking over 
the ownership of the nation's industries. 

But Mr. Untermycr took no pains to inform himself. 
Ignorant as an Eskimo of the Socialist program, he just 
Avent to Carnegie Hall and talked. What he did not 
know, he guessed. What he could not guess right, he 
guessed wrong. He could guess almost nothing right. 
Mr. Hillquit made him look ridiculous. He was ridic- 
ulous. He was more than ridiculous. He was an object 
for pity. A great lawyer, having a great reputation to 
sustain, discussing a great subject of which he had only 
the most meager knowledge! 

Mr. Hillquit riddled him, of course, but he did not 
riddle much because, speaking Socialistically, Mr. Unter- 
myer is not much. But, unfortunately, only the 5,000 or 
6,000 who heard the debate knew that Mr. Untermyer 
had been riddled. Millions of New Yorkers who read 
the capitalist newspapers the next morning received the 
impression from the headlines that Untermyer had rid- 
dled not only Hillquit but Socialism. " Socialists have 
no definite plans for doing the things they want to do " 
was the parroted charge. The charge was not true, but 
the public did not know the charge was not true. The 
capitalist newspapers would not let the public know. 
The newspapers had good reasons for not letting the pub- 
lic know. The newspapers are owned or backed by mil- 
lionaires who are interested in maintaining present 
conditions. Socialism would interfere with these news- 
paper millionaires as much as it would interfere with any 
other millionaires. Yet it is from such sources that the 
public receives most of its information with regard to 
Socialism. It is because of this fact that the public 
knows so much about Socialism that is not so. 

It emphatically is not so that the Socialists have no 



PEOPLE MAY ACQUIRE THE TRUSTS 67 

definite plan for taking over the management and control 
of the industries of the country. They know precisely 
what they are trying to do and how they are trying to 
do it. They have not drafted all of the laws that would 
be required under a Socialist republic for the next 500 
years, but they have formulated certain general princi- 
ples that, once established, will endure for centuries. I 
shall endeavor to make these general principles plain. 

Socialists want to end class warfare. They want to 
prevent one class from robbing any other class. They 
do not see how class warfare can be ended so long as 
a small class controls the means of life of the great class. 
The means of life is the machinery and materials with 
which men work. Socialists, therefore, purpose that the 
means of life shall be owned by all of the people, through 
the government. 

If this program be put into effect, a start must be made 
somewhere. Socialists purpose that the start be made 
with the trusts. They propose that the start be made 
with the trusts because the trusts have advanced furthest 
along the road of evolution. The trusts have already 
sloughed off the multitude of primitive, competitive 
managers. They are concentrated. Only the slightest 
shift will be necessary to concentrate the managements 
a little more and vest them in the government. Besides, 
the trusts control the bulk of the production of the great 
necessaries of life. Get the trusts and we shall have 
life. We shall have food. We shall have clothing. 
We shall have shelter. We shall have all of these things, 
because we shall have the machinery with which we may 
make all of these things. 

Long before Congressman Bcrgcr's bill was drafted, 
the cry of the Socialists was " Let the nation own the 
trusts." Among Socialists, this cry was as insistent and 
as common as the cry of " Let us stand pat " was in- 



68 THE TRUTH ABOUT SOCIALISM 

sistent and common among the Hanna Republicans of 
1896 and 1900. That Sociahst cry showed where the 
Sociahsts planned to begin. Congressman Berger's bill 
only echoed the cry and made it more definite. The So- 
cialist cry was " Let the nation own the trusts." Con- 
gressman Berger's bill told what trusts were, within the 
meaning of Socialist demands, and how to get them. 
Berger's bill declared that a trust should be construed to 
mean any industry or combination of industries that con- 
trolled 40 per cent, or more of the national output of 
its product. And, Berger's bill also laid down the prin- 
ciple that the easiest way to acquire the trusts is to buy 
them. Moreover, his bill also sought to provide the gov- 
ernmental machinery and the money with which to 
do it. 

Never mind whether Berger's bill was wise or foolish. 
Never mind whether the Socialist program is wise or 
foolish. We are now considering the charge that the 
Socialists have no definite program. That is what Mr. 
Untermyer said. That is what a thousand others say. 
Is it not plain that they are all wrong? Who can doubt 
that if the Berger bill were enacted into law, the trusts 
could and would be taken over? The Berger bill is 
plainer than any tariff bill that was ever written. Any 
man of common sense can understand it. No man can 
understand a tariff law. Yet tariff laws are adminis- 
tered. They are definite enough to accomplish what the 
protected manufacturers really want accomplished. 
Even those who oppose high tariff laws do not contend 
that they should be repealed because they lack definite- 
ness. 

The simple fact is that the Socialists want to take the 
trusts first, because they are the most important and the 
best adapted to immediate ownership by the people. For 



PEOPLE MAY ACQUIRE THE TRUSTS 69 

the time being', small competitive manufacturers would 
be compelled to compete with the government. If the 
Socialist theory of production is a fallacy, the small 
competitive producers would demonstrate it by providing 
better working conditions for their employees and selling 
goods more cheaply than the government. In that event, 
Socialism would fall of its own weight and the nation 
would restore present conditions. 

If the Socialist theory of production is not a fallacy, 
the competitive producers would be driven out of busi- 
ness and sell their plants to the government for what 
they were worth. They would be driven out of business, 
because they could not afford to do business without a 
profit. They could get no profit without appropriating 
part of the product of their workers, and if they appro- 
priated part of the product of their workers, the work- 
ers would shift over to the national industries where no 
products were appropriated. 

In short, if the national ownership of trusts were a 
success, the day of the competitive manufacturer would 
be short. He could not afford to do business with a com- 
petitor who sought no profits. And this is precisely 
what Socialists believe would take place. They believe 
the national ownership of the trusts would be quickly 
followed by the national ownership of every industry 
that is now owned by some to skim a profit from the 
labor of others. 

This does not mean, however, that peanut stands would 
be owned by the government. It does not necessarily 
mean that farms would be owned by the government. 
The Socialists are not fanatics over the mere principle 
of government ownership. They appeal to the prin- 
ciple only to accomplish an end. The end is the de- 
struction of the power of some to rob others. If there 



70 THE TRUTH ABOUT SOCIALISM 

is no robbery, tbcre is no occasion for the application 
of the principle. The ownership of a peanut stand gives 
the owner no power to rob anybody. A man who tills 
his own farm is robbing nobody. Neither the owner- 
ship of the peanut stand nor the ownership of the farm 
gives the owner the power to rob anybody, because 
neither owner profits from the labor of an employee. 
But if tenant farming should ever become a serious evil 
in this country — and it is increasing all the while — the 
Socialists, if they were in power, would take over the 
ownership of all tenant farm lands. They would take 
over the tenant farms for the same reason that they now 
w^ant to take over the trusts — because the landlords 
were using the powder of ownership to appropriate part 
of the products of the tenants. 

Let this do for the critics who say that Socialists have 
no definite program for taking over the ownership of 
the nation's industries. There is another set of critics 
who say that, if Socialists should ever take over the 
industries, they could not run them. They say that the 
change from private to public ownership would bring 
chaos, that the government, as a manager of industry, 
would break down, that red revolution would sweep the 
world and that civilization would probably go down with 
a crash. 

I shall pause a moment to comment upon the lack of 
humor that these gentlemen betray. They take them- 
selves so seriously. If they were called upon to attend 
a dog beset with fleas, they would doubtless counsel the 
dog to prize the fleas as it prized its life. 

" Don't bite off one of those fleas, my dear dog," we 
can hear them say. " You don't know it, but they are 
doing you good. Each flea-bite increases the speed with 
which you pursue game. . If fleas were not biting you 



PEOPLE MAY ACQUIRE THE TRUSTS 71 

all the time, you might become so comfortable that you 
would lie down in the sun, go to sleep, forget to eat, 
and thus starve to death. Remember, the fleas are your 
friends!" 

Of course, the great capitalists who are opposing So- 
cialism are not to be likened to fleas, except as to the 
facts that they are exceedingly agile and are working at 
the same trade. But in a season of national mourning 
over the high cost of living, is it not unseemly for these 
gentlemen to provoke us to laughter by telling us that, if 
we were to lose them, we ourselves should be lost ? We 
who work can never save ourselves. We can be saved 
only by those who work us. 

Let us get down to brass tacks. If the Socialists were 
to gain control of this government to-morrow, probably 
the first thing they would do toward carrying out their 
program would be to call a national convention to draft 
a twentieth century constitution to replace our present 
eighteenth century one. The convention would abolish 
the senate, vest the entire legislative power in the house 
of representatives, destroy tlie United States Supreme 
Court's usurped power to declare acts of congress un- 
constitutional, make all judges elective by the people 
and establish the initiative, the referendum and recall. 
Socialists would not attempt to establish Socialism with- 
out first clearing the ground so that the people could con- 
trol their government absolutely. 

The work of the convention having been approved by 
the people, perhaps the first trust that would be taken 
over would be the railroad trust. It would be a big job. 
It would be so big a job that no other similar job would 
be undertaken until tiie completion of the railroad job 
was well under way, and the railroad job might require 
a year or two. I mention tin's fact to show that it 



72 THE TRUTH ABOUT SOCIALISM 

would not be the purpose of a Socialist administration 
to rip this country up from Maine to Southern Cali- 
fornia within twenty-four hours from the fourth of 
March. In fact, there would be no ripping or jarring, 
as I shall soon show. Everything would proceed in an 
orderly, lawful manner. 

I I say there would be no ripping or jarring, because 
there would be no cessation of industry. Let us sup- 
pose, for instance, that the ownership and control of the 
railroads had been transferred from the present owners 
to the government. What would happen? Absolutely 
nothing in the nature of a jar. What happens now when 
one group of capitalists sell a railroad to another group 
of capitalists? Nothing, of course. The new owners 
tell the general manager to keep on running trains, as 
usual, or if they install a new general manager, they tell 
him to keep on running trains. The trainmen, if they 
did not read the newspapers, would not know the road 
had changed hands. 

The transition from private to public ownership would 
be accomplished precisely as smoothly. The only 
change would be in the orders that a Socialist adminis- 
tration would give to the chief executive officer of the 
railroads. That order, in substance, would be : " Don't 
try to make any profits out of the railroads. Run them 
at cost. Give the men more wages and shorter hours, 
and give the public the best possible service at the low- 
est possible rate and with the least possible risk to hu- 
man life." 

If you can manufacture a riot out of such ingredients, 
go to it. If you can figure out how such a proceeding 
would disrupt civilization, proceed at your leisure. 

The cards are all down. You now know what the 
Socialists want to do. Where is the danger? 



PEOPLE MAY ACQUIRE THE TRUSTS 73 

" Oh," the capitah'st gentlemen say, " but you Social- 
ists are not business men, and business men are required 
to manage industries. A Socialist government would 
therefore fail." 

Mayor Gaynor expressed much the same thought in a 
statement about Socialism that he prepared for the New 
tYork Times. Mr, Gaynor's attitude toward Socialism is 
tolerant — almost sympathetic — yet he asked : 

"Who would run your Socialistic government? Where would 
you get honest and competent men? Would the human understand- 
ing and capacity be larger then than it is now?" 

Wherever Socialism is discussed, such questions are 
asked. They are evidently regarded as insuperable ob- 
stacles to Socialism. As a matter of fact, they serve 
only to show how little the questioners know of Social- 
ism. 

Socialists do not purpose to establish hatcheries for 
the breeding by special creation, of a class of super-men 
to administer government and manage industry. They 
will depend upon the regular run of the human race for 
material with which to work out their ideas. But they 
will approach the subjects of government and industry 
from a different point of view. The capitalist's concep- 
tion of honest and efficient government is that sort of 
government that will best protect b.im in the enjoyment 
of the unjust advantages that he has over the rest of the. 
people. The capitalist's conception of honest and effi- 
cient business management is that sort of business man- 
agement that will yield him the most profits upon the 
least capital. The Socialist's conception of the best gov- 
ernment is that which gives no man an advantage over 
another, while giving every man the greatest opportunity 
to exercise his faculties, together with the greatest de- 



74 THE TRUTH ABOUT SOCIALISM 

gfree of personal liberty that is consistent with the liberty 
of everybody else. And, the Socialist's conception of 
honest and cfiicient business management is that sort of 
management that produces the most product under the 
best working conditions at the least cost and distributes 
it among the people without profit. 

In answer to Mayor Gaynor and others, Socialists 
therefore make these replies: / 

Capitalists are now able to get honest men who are 
competent to administer the government in the interest 
of the capitalist class. Why, then, should you doubt 
that Socialists \vili be able to get honest men who will 
be able to administer the government in the interest of 
the working class? In either case, it is simply a matter 
of executing the orders of the employer. Capitalism's 
employees obey its orders. Socialism's employees will, 
for the same reason, obey its orders. You tell your 
employees to maintain the advantage that the few have 
over the many, and they obey you. We shall tell our 
employees to destroy the advantage that the few have 
over the many. We believe they will obey us. If they 
do not, we shall recall them. That is more than you 
can now do. 

Mayor Gaynor and others also ask if the " human un- 
derstanding and capacity " would be larger under Social- 
ism than they are now. Positively not. But we respect- 
fully beg leave to suggest that it is not a matter of un- 
derstanding or capacity. It is a matter of purpose and 
intention. Men " understand " what they are given to 
understand. If a man is told to understand the problem 
of grinding human beings down to push dividends up, 
he devotes his mind to this task and to no other. If the 
same man were told to grind dividends down to the 
vanishing point ^nd hoist human beings high and dry 



PEOPLE MAY ACQUIRE THE TRUSTS 75 

above tlie poverty point, he would probably understand 
that, too. And, so far as capacity is concerned, we al- 
ready have the capacity for great productive effort. We 
simply are not permitted to exercise enough of it to keep 
us in comfort Socialism would not increase the capacity 
of the human mind, but it would give the nation an op- 
portunity to exercise the capacity it has. 

To simmer the whole matter into a few words, Social- 
ism would endeavor to place government and industry 
in the hands of men who would consider every problem 
and every opportunity from the point of view of the 
working class. It is the reverse of this method against 
which Socialists complain. Capitalists are compelled to 
consider the working class last in order that they may 
consider themselves first. The interests of the capitalist 
class and the working class, instead of being " identical," 
are hostile. The capitalist class seeks a maximum of 
product for a minimum of wages. The working class 
seeks a maximum of wages for a minimum of product. 
The two classes are at war with each other for the pos- 
session of the values that the working class creates. 

And, since capitalists control both government and 
industry, it is but natural that the interests of capitalists 
should be considered first and the interests of working- 
men last. 

A little thought is enough to dissipate the fear that 
a Socialist government would fail, " because Socialists 
are not business men, and business men are required to 
manage industry." Let us first inquire, what is meant 
by a " business man " ? Is he not. first and foremost, a 
man who is expert in the squeezing out of profits? Of 
course, he is. If he can produce enough profits to sat- 
isfy his stockholders, he need know nothing about the 
mechanics of the business itself. And, so long as busi- 



76 THE TRUTH ABOUT SOCIALISM 

ness is conducted upon the basis of private profits, it is 
obvious that the men in charge of it must be " business " 
men — men who understand the business of extracting 
profits. 

But, with business estabHshed upon a basis of public 
usefuhiess, with no thought of private profits, of what 
use would be such a business man? His executive and 
organizing ability would be of the greatest value, but 
his ability as a mere profit-getter would be of no value. 

For purposes of illustration, let us consider Judge 
Gary, the chief executive official of the United States 
Steel Corporation. Judge Gary probably knows about 
as much about making steel as you do about making 
Stradivarius violins. He was educated as a lawyer, prac- 
tised law and was graduated to the bench. He knows a 
steel rail from a gas tank, but, to save his life, he could 
not make either. He is a lawyer — plus. A lawyer 
with a business man's instinct for profits. A lawyer 
with a business man's instinct for organization and ad- 
ministration. 

Back of Judge Gary sits a cabinet of Wall Street di- 
rectors who, in a general way, tell him what to do. But, 
like Judge Gary, these Wall street directors know noth- 
ing about the making of steel. They are expert only in 
the making of profits. 

Now, a simple old person who had just dropped down 
here from another planet might tell you that such men 
could not possibly manage a great business like that of 
the steel trust. Such a simple old person might tell you 
that, under the management of such men, the plants of 
the steel trusts would be as likely to turn out bologna 
sausages or baled hay as steel. But we know, as a mat- 
ter of fact, that, under the management of such men, the 
steel trust turns out nothing but steel. And why ? Sim- 



PEOPLE MAY ACQUIRE THE TRUSTS 'j'j 

ply because, below these managers are thousands of 
highly trained men and hundreds of thousands of wage- 
workers who, collectively, know all that is known about 
the making of steel. 

Here, then, comes this crushing question. If the So- 
cialists were to gain control of this government, and 
upon behalf of the government, buy out the steel trust, 
what would prevent the Socialist President from writing 
such a letter as this to the chief executive officer of the 
steel trust: 

"Dear Judge Gary: Until further notice stay where you are and 
do as you have been doing, except as to these particulars : Instead 
of consulting with J. Pierpont Morgan and your Wall Street cabinet, 
consult with me and my cabinet Instead of making steel for profit, 
make it solely for use. It will not be necessary for you to make 
steel rails that break in order to keep steel stock from breaking on 
the market. Make everything as good as you can, sell everything 
you make at cost, increase the wages of your workingmen and 
shorten their hours. Do everything you can, in fact, to make the 
lot of the steel-worker as comfortable as may be." 

Would such a letter create a riot? Would Judge 
Gary indignantly resign and the workers flee? 

Would the production of steel be interrupted for a 
single moment? 

Yet, in no more violent way than this would the So- 
cialists take over the ownership and control of any in- 
dustry. The men now in charge would be left in charge 
— at least until better men could be found to take their 
places. Probably, here and there, a man would have to 
be changed. Not every man who can squeeze out profits 
is good for anything else. But the men who could for- 
get profits and make good in usefulness — the men who 
could look at their problems solely from the point of 
view of the public — such men would be let alone. 
They would not only be let alone, but they would be 



78 TIIK TRUTH ABOUT SOCIALISM 

given a better opportunity than they now have to make 
good. Profits ever stand in the way of making good 
in the real sense. Steel rails that break and kill passen- 
gers are not made poor because the steel trust officials 
do not know how to make them better. They are made 
poor because it would decrease profits to make them bet- 
ter. Every intelligent manager of industry knows of 
many things that he might do to increase the worth of 
his product, but most of this knowledge goes to waste 
because it would interfere with profits. 

Let no man fear that Socialism, if tried, would crum- 
ple up because the government would be unable to find 
competent managers of industry. Every industry will 
continue to produce men who are competent to take 
charge of its technical work. The matter of executive 
heads is of secondary importance. The Postmaster. 
General of the United States, who, almost invariably, is 
a mere politician, is at the head of one of the greatest 
enterprises in the world, yet the mails go on. The men 
who sort letters must know their business. The Post- 
master General need not know his. It would be better 
if he did, of course, but even if he does not the mails 
go on. So much more important, collectively, are the 
real workers of the world than any man who figure- 
heads over them. 

When E. H. Harriman died the Harriman heirs found 
a man to head the Harriman system of railroads. The 
man they found — Judge Lovett — is not even a rail- 
road man, but the Harriman lines go on. The Vander- 
bilts, Goulds, Rockefellers and Morgans also find men 
to manage their railroads and other industries. What 
these capitalists have done, the President, his cabinet and 
congress, will probably have little difficulty in doing. 

Opponents of Socialism make ridiculous statements 



PEOPLE MAY ACQUIRE THE TRUSTS 79 

about the slavery that they declare would exist if the 
people, through the government, owned and operated 
their own industries. The workingman is told that, un- 
der Socialism, he would be ordered about from place to 
place as if he were a child. 

This charge is no more ridiculous than another charge 
that is sometimes made, by which it is represented that, 
under Socialism, the blacksmith would burst into an 
opera house, demand the job of leading the orchestra, 
and start a revolution if he were denied the job. The 
fact is that, under Socialism, industry would proceed, 
so far as these matters are concerned, in much the same 
manner that it now proceeds. The workers would be 
free to apply for the kinds of work for which they re- 
garded themselves as best fitted. So far as the neces- 
sities of industry would permit, the applications of the 
workers would be granted. But, in the long run, the 
workers would have to work where they were needed, 
precisely as they now have to work where they are 
needed, and, then as now, particular tasks would be 
given to those who were best fitted to perform them. 
Under Socialism, the worker would have to apply for 
work, at this place or that place, precisely as he does 
now. The only difference would be that he would al- 
ways get work somewhere, that he would work fewer 
hours, under better conditions, for more pay, and, that, 
as a voter, he would have a voice in the management of 
all industry. | 

Such are the replies made by Socialists to the chief 
objections that are launched against Socialism. There 
is another charge — not an objection — that should also 
be considered. It is the charge that Socialists arc dream- 
ers, striving to establish a Utopia. Nothing could be 
more absurd. Socialists are evolutionists. Tlicy do not 



8o THE TRUTH ABOUT SOCIALISM 

believe in Utopias, because they do not believe tliere is or 
can be such a thing as the last word in human progress. 
They believe the world will always continue to go onward 
and upward, precisely as it has always gone onward and 
upward. Much as they are devoted to Socialism, they 
have not the slightest belief that the world will stop with 
Socialism. They believe Socialism will some day become 
as outgrown and burdensome as capitalism now is, and 
that, when that day comes, Socialism should and will give 
way to something better. 

Tlie chief contention of Socialists is that Socialism is 
the next step in civilization, that it represents a great ad- 
vance over capitalism, that it will end poverty and indus- 
trial depressions, and that Socialism must come unless 
civilization is to go backward. 



CHAPTER VI 

THE " PRIVATE PROPERTY " BOGEY-MAN 

SOCIALISTS want the people, through the govern- 
ment, to own and operate the country's great 
industries. In making this proposal, however, they al- 
ways specify tliat they also want the people to own and 
operate the government. 

Upon this slight basis rests the charge that Socialists 
oppose the right of the individual to own private prop- 
erty. Gentlemen who own much private property — 
hundreds of millions of dollars' worth — energetically 
try to frighten gentlemen whose holdings of private prop- 
erty are chiefly confined to the clothes they stand in and 
the chairs they sit in. 

" Beware of those Socialists," say these gentlemen, 
" They are your worst enemies. They would deprive 
you of the right to own private property. They would 
have everybody own everything jointly, thus permitting 
nobody to own anything individually. Look out for 
them." 

. We Socialists say to you : " Look out for the gentle- 
men who are so fearful lest you shall lose the right to 
own private property. If you will observe carefully, 
you will note that they are the ones who own practically 
all of th'" private property. You have hopes, perhaps, 
but they nave the property. Your hopes do not increase. 
Their property does. Besides, we have no desire to deny 
you the right to own private property. On the contrary, 
we want to make your right worth something. It is 

8i 



82 THE TRUTH ABOUT SOCIALISM 

not worth anything now, because you don't own anything 
and can't own anything. You are kept too busy making 
a bare living." 

Tlie imagination can picture no more seductive subject 
than the right to own private property. The right to 
own private properly suggests the power to exercise the 
right. The power to exercise the right a Httle suggests 
the power to exercise it much. The power to exercise it 
much suggests the power to put the world at one's feet ; 
to reach out and get this, whatever it may be; to go there 
and get that, wherever it may be. Nothing that is of 
earth or on earth is beyond the dreams of one who owns 
enough private property. Therefore, the subject may be 
worth a little more than ordinary consideration. 

What, then, is property? Let us look around us. 
One man has property in land. So far as the eye can 
see, maybe, the laws of the state defend him in his power 
to say: "This is mine. I bought it. I paid for it. 
No one can take it from me without my leave. No one 
may even pick a flower from the hillside, or a berry from 
a bush without my consent." 

Property in land may be called property in natural re- 
sources — property in things that man did not make. 

Then there is property in things that man has made. 
Property in food, property in clothing, property in 
houses, and property in the mills and machinery with 
which food, clothing, houses and all other manufactured 
articles are made. 

Now, why should anyone wish a property right in any- 
thing? Why should anyone wish to say of anvthing on 
earth : " This is mine. No one may take it irom me 
without my leave. No one may even use it without my 
leave " ? 

Only that he may fully use and enjoy it. That is the 



THE " PRIVATE-PROPERTY " BOGEY-MAN 83 

only valid reason that lies behind the desire to own any- 
thing. Some things cannot be fully used and enjoyed 
unless they are exclusively within the control of those 
who use them. A home into which the world was at 
liberty to enter would be no home. It might be a lodging 
house or a hotel, but it would be no home. Therefore, 
there is a valid reason why each individual should ex- 
clusively control the house in which he lives. Such ex- 
clusive control may arise from private ownership, as we 
now understand the term, or it may arise from the right, 
guaranteed by the state, to exclusive control so long as 
its use is desired; but, from whatever it may arise, it 
should exist. 

It is the shame of the present civilization that it does 
not exist. The great majority of human beings have not 
the exclusive control of the houses in which they live. 
Their clutch upon their habitations is of the flimsiest sort. 
The sickness of the father may deprive them of the 
power to pay rent and thus put them out. The ability of 
some other man to pay a greater rental may put them out. 
Any one of many incidents may deprive them of their 
right to exclusive control of their domiciles. 

Exclusive control of the furnishings of a home is also 
necessary to their complete enjoyment. What is true of 
house furnishings is true of clothing. Anything, in fact, 
that is exclusively used by an individual cannot be com- 
pletely enjoyed unless it is exclusively controlled by that 
individual. 

Wherein lies the justice of permitting one individual 
to own that which he does not use and cannot use, but 
which some other individual must use? Why should 
Mr. Morgan and his associates be permitted to own the 
machinery with which the steel trust workers earn their 
living? Why should Mr. Rockefeller and his associates 



84 THE TRUTH ABOUT SOCIALISM 

be permitted to own so many of the railroads witli which 
railroad men earn their living? Why should one man 
be permitted to own block upon block of tenements, 
wiiile block upon block of tenement-dwellers own no 
homes ? 

These questions cannot be answered by saying that the 
world has always been run this way. In the first place, 
it is not true. Never, during all the years of the world, 
until less than a century ago, did a few men own the 
tools with which all other men work. In fact, it is only 
within the last 40 years that such ownership has divided 
the population into a small master class and a vast serv- 
ant class. But even if the world had always been run as 
it is running, that, in itself, would not make it right. 
And anything that is wrong cannot be made right with- 
out changing it. 

We Socialists are determined to change the laws re- 
lating to private property. We assert that the present 
laws are wrong. We are prepared to prove that they are 
wrong. We are eager to demonstrate that the poverty 
of the masses is the direct result of the ownership, by a 
few, of a certain kind of property that should not be pri- 
vately owned. We refer, of course, to the industrial ma- 
chinery of the country, which is owned by those who do 
not use it and used by those who do not own it. 

Our proposal, therefore, is this: We say that all prop- 
erty that is collectively used should be collectively owned, 
and that all property that is individually used should be 
individually owned. The last clause should help out the 
gentleman who is afraid that Socialism would rob him 
of the ownership of his undershirt. The first clause will 
help him to own an undershirt. 

Please take this suggestion : Distrust any man who 
advises you to distrust Socialism because of the fear that 



THE " PRIVATE-PROPERTY " BOGEY-MAN 85 

it would destroy the individual's right to own property. 
Such a man is always either ignorant upon the subject of 
Socialism or crooked upon the subject of capitalism. 
There are no exceptions, for Socialism does not mean 
what he says it means and would not do what he says 
it would do. 

Socialism would give such a meaning to the individual 
right to own property as it has never had in all the 
history of the world. Under Socialism, the individual 
would not only have the right to own property, but he 
would have the power to exercise the right. He would 
own property. If Socialism would not give every head 
of a family the power exclusively to control as good a 
house as the $5,ooo-a-year man now lives in, Socialists 
would have no use for Socialism. The actual owner- 
ship of the house might or might not rest with the indi- 
vidual. To prevent grafters from grabbing houses, it 
might be deemed advisable to let the state hold the title. 
But the state would protect the individual in the right 
exclusively to control the house as long as he wished to 
live in it, even if it were for a lifetime. If the people so 
desired, the state might even go further and give the 
children, after the death of their parents, the same right. 
But no Socialist government would permit a landlord 
class to fatten upon a homeless class. 

Why? Because Socialists believe that no validity un- 
derlies a private title to property except the validity that 
is completed by the use of property. This statement, 
like any other, can be made ridiculous by construing it 
ridiculously. Socialists do not mean by this, for in- 
stance, that if a man should take his family to the coun- 
try for the summer anybody would have a right to move 
into his house, merely because he had temporarily ceased 
to use it. But Socialists do mean that it is hostile to the 



86 THE TRUTH ABOUT SOCIALISM 

interests of the community for a small class to own so 
much that they can never use. 

Socialists believe that the needs of the community are 
so great that all of the resources of the community should 
be available to the community. Therefore, they v^-ould 
require occupancy, or use, as a pre-requisite to the perfec- 
tion of a title. Not that if a man, in spring, were to hang' 
up his winter underclothing for the summer, any neigh- 
bor gentleman would thereby be given the right to appro- 
priate the same — nothing of the kind. This statement 
with regard to use, like all other statements made by 
Socialists, must be construed reasonably. We simply lay 
down the principle that it is wrong to perpetuate condi- 
tions under which a few are enabled to grab so much 
more than they can use. Such grabbing hurts. What a 
man cannot use he should not have. He thereby prevents 
others from getting what they need. 

Besides, what is grabbing but a bad habit? Mr. 
Rockefeller's $900,000,000, if expended exclusively for 
bologna sausages, might buy enough to supply him for a 
million years. If expended for golf balls, he might be 
able to play golf, without buying a new ball, until he had 
eaten the last sausage. If expended for clothing, he 
might be able to wear a new suit, every fifteen minutes, 
for the next 28,000,000 years. But what good do all of 
these figures do Rockefeller? His capacity for consum- 
ing wealth is extremely limited. It is only his capacity 
for appropriating the wealth created by others that is 
great. Every time Mr. Rockefeller's watch ticks $2 
drop into his till — but he never sees them. He hardly 
knows they are there. He has to hire a bookkeeper to 
know they are there. So far as certainties are concerned, 
Mr. Rockefeller knows only that when he wants bacon 
and eggs, with a little hashed brown potatoes on the side, 



THE " PRIVATE-PROPERTY " BOGEY-MAN 87 

he has the money to pay for them. In other words, the 
few wants of his sHght physical body are never in danger 
of denial. 

Mr. Rockefeller's physical wants would be in no danger 
of denial if he were worth only $50,000. Why, then, 
does he want to own the rest of his $900,000,000 worth 
of property? Plainly, it is only because he is a victim 
of a bad habit. Some men want money because of the 
power it gives them, but Rockefeller has never seemed to 
care much about power. He simply has a mania for ac- 
cumulation. The more he gets, the more he can get — 
therefore, he always wants to get more. 

And, what does Rockefeller do with wealth, after he 
gets it? Why, he lets us use it. He invests it in rail- 
roads, or steel mills, or steamboats, or copper mines, or 
restaurants, or whatever seems likely to bring him more 
money. He does not use any of these properties much. 
The same freight train that brings him a package of 
breakfast food brings carloads of kitchen stoves and iron 
bedsteads to those whose watches have to tick all day to 
bring in $2. But the point is that while Mr. Rockefeller 
uses his properties little and we use them much, he is con- 
tinuously charging us toll for their use and investing the 
toll in more iron, more steel or more copper. If he 
charged us no toll, we should have reason to be thankful 
to him. If he should invest the toll in the necessities of 
life and dole them out to us, we should, if we were beg- 
gars, also have reason to be thankful to him. But he 
invests his toll in more iron, more steel or more copper 
— toll that the men who made it need to put blood into 
their bodies and clothing on their families. 

That is all that the private ownership of property does 
for Mr. Rockefeller more than it does for anybody else. 
The beefsteak upon his plate is no more secure from out- 



88 THE TRUTH ABOUT SOCIALISM 

side attack than is the food upon the plate of the poorest 
laborer. But the industrial machinery that Mr. Rocke- 
feller owns enables him to get, every time his watch ticks, 
the equivalent of $2 worth of food, or clothing, or any- 
thing else. 

We stupid people who permit the private ownership of 
industrial machinery should be exceedingly thankful to 
Mr. Rockefeller and men of his type. To these gentle- 
men, are thanks especially due from those persons who 
believe that the constitution of the United States repre- 
sents the last gasp of wisdom and should not, therefore, 
in any circumstances, be changed. Under the constitu- 
tion and laws of this country, as they stand to-day, Mr. 
Rockefeller and his associates could legally starve us to 
death, if they were so minded. Each of them could go 
abroad, deposit $1,000,000 in the Bank of England, then 
cable instructions to close down every industry they own, 
which would mean every industry of importance in the 
country, including the railroads. No one would have a 
legal right to trespass upon their premises, and their 
hoarded wealth would be sufficient to enable them to live 
comfortably abroad to the end of their days, while the 
people of America were starving to death. 

Of course, the people of America would not starve to 
death. Law or no law, the people of America would 
break into the abandoned properties and operate them. 
Without extended delay, they would change the law, in- 
cluding the federal constitution, to justify their action. 
But the theoretical possibility of such abandonment is 
sufficient to illustrate the absurdity of our present laws 
with regard to the ownership of private property. 

When the constitution was adopted, even no such the- 
oretical possibility existed. It is true that we were 
then almost exclusively an agricultural people, and some 



THE " PRIVATE-PROPERTY " BOGEY-MAN 89 

of the best families had stolen millions of acres of the 
most available land. But back of the most available land 
were untold millions of acres of other land upon which 
human life could be sustained — land tliat could be had 
for the taking and clearing. The factory age had not 
dawned. Every home was its own factory, in which 
cloth was woven and clothing was made. Aside from 
the stolen land which was privately owned, almost noth- 
ing was privately owned that was not suitable for pri- 
vate ownership. That was largely due, of course, to the 
further fact that there was not, at that time, much wealth 
in the country. 

But, viewed from any angle, the unrestricted private 
ownership of property is a curse to the people and always 
has been. If it were not a curse, in the sense that it en- 
ables some to rob others, no one who is in his senses 
would be in favor of it. The desire to use property is a 
legitimate reason for \vishing to own it, but the desire 
to own property that one does not use can arise from no 
other motive than a purpose to use such ownership as 
a bludgeon with which to rob the users. 

Apply this test and it will be found never to fail. The 
landlord owns land because he wants to live in idleness 
from the fruits of those who till the land. The multi- 
millionaire owners of industrial machinery want to ow'n 
the industrial machinery because they want to use such 
ownership to appropriate part of what their employees 
produce. If private ownership did not give this ad- 
vantage to the owners, the owners would not care to own. 
If it does give this advantage to the owners the workers 
have a right to object. Moreover, the workers have a 
right to insist that such ownership cease. 

It is not enough to reply that a man has a right to own 
any physical property that he can buy. Some burglars 



90 THE TRUTH ABOUT SOCIALISM 

have enough money to buy dark lanterns and " jimmies," 
paying for the same in perfectly lawful coin of the 
United States. But merely because the private owner- 
ship of burglars' tools is not for the good of the people, 
we have laws forbidding such ownership, and if the laws 
be violated, we seize and confiscate the tools. 

Some day, the fact may dawn upon us that, for every 
dollar taken with burglars' tools, a million dollars is 
taken — quite legally, of course — by the owners of in- 
dustrial tools. 

It may be a sore blow, of course, to a man who under 
capitalism, has never been able to own a cofifee grinder, 
to tell him that, under Socialism, he would not be per- 
mitted to own a steel mill. If so, let the blow fall at 
once. He might as well know the worst now, as later. 
But if there be those who are interested in owning homes, 
furniture, clothing, motorboats, automobiles, and so 
forth, let them be interested in Socialism. Socialism, by 
no means, guarantees that every laborer shall go to his 
work in a six-cylinder car, while his wife does the mar- 
keting in a limousine, but it does guarantee that Social- 
ism would not prevent him from privately owning all 
such property that he could earn. 

We realize, of course, that this is but a small bait to 
hold out to a man whom capitalism has given the " right " 
to own the earth. Among gentlemen who would like 
to own the earth, perhaps we shall therefore make little 
progress. But among gentlemen who have been promised 
the earth and are getting only hell, we may do better. 
The time may come when they will tire of piling their 
bones at the foot of the precipice of private property. 
The time may come when they will realize that it would 
be no more absurd to have private undershirts owned by 
the public than it is to have the public's industrial ma- 



THE "PRIVATE-PROPERTY" BOGEY-MAN 91 

chinery owned by private interests. Then we shall have 
Socialism. 

" And everything will be divided up equally, all around, 
and in five years the same persons will be rich who are 
now rich, and the same persons who are now poor will be 
poor again." 

List to the croaking parrot that has just flown into 
our happy home. Whenever and wherever there is a 
discussion about Socialism, that wise old bird wheels in 
and declares it is all a wicked scheme to rob the rich for 
the benefit of the poor, and that in no event could it long 
succeed. Poor old feathered imitation of a human in- 
tellect ! Brainless, yet not without a voice, it talks on 
and on and on. Bereft of its feathers and its voice, it 
might take its place upon a hook in the market place and 
eventually work its way into some careless shopper's 
basket as a perfectly good partridge, or diminutive duck. 
Placed upon the table and served as a delicacy, its worth- 
lessness would soon be understood. But clad as nature 
clothed it and harping words that some one once dropped 
into its ear, its voice is continuously mistaken for the 
voice of wisdom and the progress of the world is com- 
manded to halt. 

But the progress of the world does not halt. Those 
who can think without inviting excruciating pain; those 
who can reflect without bringing on a stroke of apoplexy, 
are not compelled to think much or to reflect much to 
realize that nothing the bird says about " dividing up " is 
so. Who divided up the wealth that is represented in the 
public buildings in Washington? What part of the 
White House, pray, do you own? Do you own the south 
veranda, or do you own the President's bed? Maybe it 
is the gilded lady upon the dome of the Capitol who calls 
you " papa " or " mamma." li not, the wealth repre- 



92 THE TRUTH ABOUT SOCIALISM 

scntcd in the public buildings in Washington has not been 
" divided up," for you have not been given your share. 

Under Socialism, the wealth of the nation would no 
more be divided up than the wealth invested in the Amer- 
ican navy is divided up now. The industrial wealth of 
the community, owned in common by the members of 
the community, would be at the service of the community. 
It would no more be at the service of an individual, 
exclusive of any other or all other individuals, than the 
postal department is now at the service of an individual 
to the exclusion of any other individual. Nor would 
any man or small set of men ever have a greater oppor- 
tunity to regain possession of the nation's industrial 
wealth than any man or small set of men now have to ac- 
quire private ownership of the Capitol at Washington. 
Any man may walk into the Capitol with all the freedom 
that he might feel if it were his own. But let any man 
try to sell off a wing as a lodging house and the Capitol 
police would do their duty. Let Socialists once national- 
ize the nation's industries and they will cheerfully agree 
to lay their heads on the block if individuals ever recover 
possession of them. 

Gentlemen who believe otherwise forget that under 
Socialism there would no longer be the means by which a 
few pile up great fortunes at the expense of the many. 
The private ownership of property that is collectively 
used is the means by which such fortunes are now ac- 
cumulated. With the means gone, how could the for- 
tunes reappear? 

We Socialists are also often chided for what our op- 
ponents are pleased to call our " gross materialism." 
Gentle folk like the Morgans, the Guggenheims, the 
Ryans, the Havemeyers and others often grieve because 
our vision seems to comprehend nothing but bread and 



THE " PRIVATE-PROPERTY " BOGEY-MAN 93 

butter, clothing and furniture, houses and lots and pen- 
sions for the aged. 

Their grief is perhaps natural. We talk much about 
those things. We are frankly committed to the task of 
removing poverty from the world. Material things are 
required to remove poverty. When poverty goes, of 
course, a lot will go that is not material. All of the un- 
happiness that is caused by poverty and the fear Of pov- 
erty will go. All of the ignorance that is caused by 
poverty will go. All of the crimes that are caused by 
ignorance and poverty will go. And much of the vice 
.will go. 

Much of the vice? Did you ever consider how much 
vice would go if capitalism were to go? Did you ever 
realize to what extent vice is fostered by the profit sys- 
tem to which Socialism is opposed? No? Then read 
what Wirt W. Hallman, of Chicago, said before the 
American Society of Sanitary and Moral Prophylaxis. 
Here it is: 

" If any city will take the profit out of vice, it will immediately 
reduce the volume of vice at least 50 per cent. If, in addition, it will 
make vice dangerous to men as well as women, to patrons, property- 
owners and business men as well as to dive-keepers and women 
street-walkers, it will reduce vice 75 per cent, or more, and will 
reduce the wreckage of health and morals in much the same propor- 
tion." 

Socialism will not only take the profit out of vice, but 
it will take it out of everything. By enfranchising 
woman and making her economically independent, no 
woman would be compelled to sell herself to keep herself. 
Socialism, in this and other enumerated respects, is there- 
fore not particularly materialistic. 

But what if it were wholly materialistic? What if its 
advocates thought of teaching nothing to the world but 
the best means of supplying itself with bread and butler, 



94 THE TRUTH ABOUT SOCIALISM 

boots and shoes, caps and clothing, houses and lots? Do 
you now require your grocer to teach you ethics? Does 
your haberdasher supply you with spiritual food as well 
as neckties? If your house were burning, would you 
refuse the assistance of the fire department merely 
because the fire department is exclusively material- 
istic? 

The charge of " gross materialism " is but more sand 
thrown in the eyes of those who could not be so easily 
robbed if they could see Socialism. Socialists behold a 
world that is and always has been poverty-stricken. 
They say that for the first time in the history of the 
world it is now possible to remove poverty. And those 
gentlemen who might have to go to work if poverty were 
removed rebuke the Socialists because they do not sing 
psalms while talking about the bread and butter question. 
Assuredly, no flattery is thereby intended, but indeed 
what flattery this is. By inference, they tell the world 
that we are super-men. We could tell the world all it 
needs to know if it were not for the cussedness that 
causes us to harp on bread and butter. 

The real cause of such complaint is, of course, not that 
we are teaching the world too little, but too much. We 
could preach ethics and religion until the cows came 
home and not arouse a croaker. We could preach noth- 
ing until the cows dropped dead and still there would be 
silence. But when we proclaim the right of the indi- 
vidual, not only to work, but to possess all he creates, the 
gentlemen who create nothing and own everything fire 
at us every brick within reach. 

Mr. John C. Spooner, once a United States Senator 
from Wisconsin, but, happily, no longer such, feels par- 
ticularly aggrieved at the Socialist proposals commonly 



THE " PRIVATE-PROPERTY " BOGEY-MAN 95 

known as the initiative, the referendum and the recall. 
To engraft these measures upon our federal and state 
constitutions would, he says, be an attempt to bring about 
a " pure democracy," meaning thereby a community the 
members of which directly governed themselves. A 
" pure democracy," according to Mr, Spooner, was never 
made to work on a great scale and cannot be made to 
work to-day. 

Mr. Spooner, who, in and out of office, has always 
served the rich, is evidently still true to his allegiance. 
If Mr. Spooner does not know that no Socialist, nor any 
other person fit to be out of an idiot asylum, has ever 
even suggested that the government of the United States 
be converted into a pure democracy, the sum of his 
knowledge is even less than the sum of his public services 
up to date. Socialists, and those who have followed us 
in advocating the initiative, the referendum and the re- 
call merely want to give the people power to do certain 
things for themselves, provided their elected representa- 
tives refuse to do them. 

We do not propose to do away with representative 
government. We do not propose to disband a single 
legislative body. But we do propose to make every 
elected official represent us. We do not care whether he 
be a judge, a congressman or a President. He must 
represent us. But merely because we are determined 
these gentlemen shall represent us, other gentlemen like 
Mr. Spooner seek to make the people believe we are try- 
ing to go back to the old New England town meeting 
days and collect 90,000,0000 people on the prairie some- 
w'here every time a law is to be passed or a fourth-class 
postmaster appointed. The most charitable construction 
that can be placed upon the attitude of Mr. Spooner and 



96 THE TRUTH ABOUT SOCIALISM 

men of his kind is tliat they are infinitely more foolisH 
tiian they beheve Sociahsts to be. 

Another point of view is suggested by a Denver gen- 
tleman whose letter follows : 

"In one of your articles on Socialism, you tell liow Socialists 
would govern — changes they would make in the constituti'on, and 
so forth. I should like to ask what you Socialists, or your ancestors 
had to do with making our present form of government? In other 
words, what percentage of the Socialists have three generations of 
American-born ancestors? Socialist leaders, in particular? A very 
small percentage, I venture to say. Socialism is a result of im- 
migration. Americans still have faith in the constitution of the 
United States." 

When all other attacks fail, the charge is gravely 
made that " Socialism is un-American " and, therefore, a 
" result of immigration." 

Does it never occur to these gentlemen that the United 
States are also the " result of immigration " ? That the 
English language, as we speak it here, is the result of im- 
migration? 

Would these gentlemen have us reject everything that 
comes from Europe? If so, why do they not reject the 
Declaration of Independence, which, though written by 
Thomas Jefferson, yet breathes the spirit of Rousseau 
and Voltaire, at whose feet he was proud to sit? Why 
do they not reject the constitution of the United States 
which is heavily saturated with the political principles of 
the English? Why do they not reject the English com- 
mon law, which assuredly is not American? Why do 
they not reject the multiplication table, the works of 
Shakespeare and the wireless telegraph? 

Why don't they? Because they are not fools. They 
are foolish, let us hope, only when they are talking about 
Socialism. On this subject, their brains curdle. They 
do not ask whether the principles upon which it is based 



THE " PRIVATE-PROPERTY. " BOGEY-MAN 97 

are true. Truth is not the test. The test is the place 
where the principles were first proclaimed. If it could 
be proved that they were first proclaimed at Muncie, In- 
diana, by a gentleman who was born there immediately 
after the landing of Columbus — then we might expect 
these patriots to become Socialists even if Socialism had 
not a leg to stand upon. But since Europeans chanced 
to hit upon Socialism before we did, precisely as they 
chanced to hit upon many another good thing before we 
did, these gentlemen do not want Socialism, even though 
it be true. 

Well, let them reject it. Let them reject the sun, the 
moon and the stars, if they want to. None of them was 
made in America. Let them reject the Mississippi 
River because it was discovered by De Soto, a foreigner. 
Let them reject the Pacific Ocean because it was discov- 
ered by Balboa, another foreigner. The march of the 
sun and planets will probably not be seriously disturbed, 
even if some gentlemen do reject them. Possibly the 
Mississippi River may flow on. Certainly, the Socialist 
party in America will not disband. It's busy. 

I cannot tell my correspondent what percentage of So- 
cialists have three generations of ancestors who were 
born in America. I do not know. I do not care. I do 
not know why he should care. I know some Socialists 
who have fifteen generations of ancestors who were born 
in America. I have seen some Socialists when they had 
been in this country only fifteen minutes. So far as I 
could discover, they were precisely like the Socialists who 
had lived in this country, in person or by proxy, for 300 
years. They all believed that poverty was unnecessary 
and that Socialism would remove it. 

Either that belief is true, or it isn't. Whence it 
sprang or by whom it is expressed makes no difference 



98 THE TRUTH ABOUT SOCIALISM 

with its truth or falsity. Yet, men who think they can 
tliink, write or speak as this gentleman has written. 
They mean well, of course, but they are suffering from 
ingrowing Americanism. They are turning their eyes 
upon themselves and their backs upon the world. If 
America ever reaches the point where it will reject truth, 
simply because it comes from abroad, while accepting 
error for no other reason than that it is made at home, 
America will not be worth bothering about. 



CHAPTER VIT 

SOCIALISM THE LONE FOE OF WAR 

ASK the first man you meet if he is in favor of war 
and he will tell you he is not. Mr. Wilson is op- 
posed to war. The Czar of Russia is opposed to war. 
The King of Italy is opposed to war. The Sultan of 
Turkey is opposed to war. The King of England and 
the German Emperor are opposed to war. Every king 
and emperor in the world is opposed to war. Mr, 
Roosevelt, Mr. Bryan, Mr. Morgan, Mr. Carnegie, Mr, 
Taft — everybody, everywhere, is opposed to war. 

Yet, Mr. Taft, not so long ago, flung an army in the 
face of Mexico, and dispatched powerful warships to the 
coast of Cuba. The King of Italy, not so long ago, 
attacked, by land and sea, the people of Turkey. Mr, 
Roosevelt and Mr. Bryan, a little longer ago, enlisted in 
the war against Spain. Mr. Morgan, only a few years 
ago, helped to furnish the sinews of war with which 
Japan fought Russia. At this moment, the King of 
England and the German Emperor are threatening their 
respective nations with bankruptcy in order to augment 
their enormous machinery for the slaying of men. And,j 
Mr. Carnegie, having grown rich, in part by the manu- 
facture of armor-plate for warships, is now using some 
of his money to further a peace-movement that brings no 
peace. 

Plainly, here is somctliing mystifying — a world that 
wants to stop fighting and cannot. Why cannot it stop 
fighting? Mr. Wilson cannot tell you. Mr. Alorgau 

99 



loo THE TRUTH ABOUT SOCIALISM 

will not tell yon. Mr. Roosevelt lias not told you. Mr. 
Bryan and Mr. Carnegie seem not to know. No one 
who should know seems to know. Yet, they must know. 
Common sense says so. The men who make wars know 
why they make them. Wars do not happen — they are 
made. Somebody says : " Bring out the guns." Some- 
body says : " Begin shooting." Somebody knows what 
the shooting is about. i 

What is it about? Be careful, now. Don't answer 
too quickly. Don't say " the flag " has been insulted. 
Don't say " the national honor " has been impugned. 
These are old reasons, but they may not be true reasons. 
We Socialists are willing to stake everything on the 
statement that they are not true reasons. If we are 
right, we are worth listening to. War is hell. During 
the 132 years that we have been a nation, we have had 
war hell at average intervals of 22 years. We are al- 
ready preparing for our next war. We are arming to 
the teeth. It may not last so long as the Civil War, but 
it will be bloodier. We have all of the most improved 
machinery for making it bloodier. 

On the sea we are armed as Farragut never was 
armed. Any of our dreadnoughts could sink all of the 
ships, for which and against which, Farragut ever 
fought. And, on land, we are armed as Grant never was 
armed. Grant drummed out his victories with muzzle- 
loading rifles. No rifle could be fired rapidly. No bul- 
let could kill more than one man, nor any man unless 
that man were near. But the modern rifle can be fired 
25 times a minute, and it will kill at four miles. More 
than that, a single bullet from a modern rifle will kill 
every man in its path. It will shoot through 60 inches 
of pine. It will string men like a needle stringing beads. 
It will literally make a sieve of a soldier. Seventy bullet 



SOCIALISM THE LONE FOE OF WAR loi 

holes and more were found in the body of many a man 
who fell on the plains of ]\Ianchuria. 

Toward such a war — or worse — we are speeding. 
Indeed, it will be hell. But it will not be hell for the men 
who make it. It will be hell for the men who fight it. 
The men who make it will stay at home. Their blood 
will drench no battlefield. Their bones will lie in the 
mire with no sunken ship. But the blood of the workers 
will drench every battlefield, and their skeletons will 
march with the tides on the floor of the sea. 

Good Christian gentlemen who abhor w^ar hold out no 
hope that war will soon .aase. Good Christian gentle- 
men who abhor war pretend not to know why, in a world 
that is weary of war, war still persists. Or, if they do 
pretend to know, they account for the persistence of 
war by slandering the human race. They say the race 
is bad. Its brain is full of greed. Its heart is full of 
murder. 

The mind of the race is not, nor ever has been filled 
with the greed that kills. 

The heart of the race is not, nor ever has been, filled 
with the black blood of murder. 

It is only a few whose minds and hearts have been 
thus poisoned by greed for gain or lust for power. 
Probably wc should all have been thus poisoned if we 
had been similarly circumstanced — if we had been great 
capitalists. But most of us, lacking the capitalist's in- 
stinct for profits, never chanced to see the easy loot and 
the waiting dagger lying side by side. The gentlemen 
who have seen them have made our wars. And the gen- 
tlemen who do see them are making our wars to-day and 
preparing others for the future. 

,We Socialists make this charge flatly. We smear the 
monstrous crime of war over the face of the cai)italist 



I02 THE TRUTH ABOUT SOCIALISM 

class. We mince no words. We say lo the capitalist 
class : 

" Your pockets are filled with gold, but your hands are 
covered with blood. You kill men to get money. You 
don't kill them, yourselves. As a class, you are too care- 
ful of your sleek bodies. You might be killed if you 
were less careful. But you cause other men to kill, 

" And you do it in the meanest way. You do it by 
appealing to their patriotism. 

" You say : ' It is sweet to die for one's country.* 

" You don't dare say : ' It is sweet to die for Have- 
meyer,' as many Americans died during the Sugar Trust 
war to ' free Cuba.' 

" You don't say : ' It is sweet to die for Guggenheim 
or Morgan,' as many Americans would have died if 
Taft's army had crossed the Rio Grande. 

" You don't say : ' It is sweet to die for the Tobacco 
and other trusts,' as many Americans died during the war 
with the Philippines. 

" You don't dare say any of these things, because you 
know, if you did, you would not get a recruit. You 
know you would be more likely to get the boot." 

We Socialists, who make these charges, know they are 
serious. They are as serious as we know how to make 
them. If they lack any of the seriousness they should 
have, it is because we lack some of the vocabulary we 
should have. The facts upon which the charges are 
made are serious enough to justify the full use of any 
vocabulary ever made. The facts are the facts of 
colossal murder for gain. And they are as old as his- 
tory. 

The small rich class that lives in luxury from the 
labor of the great poor class has a reason for clinging 
to the control of government. That reason is not far 



SOCIALIS^I THE LONE FOE OF WAR 103 

to seek. Without the control of government, the small, 
rich class would not be rich. Government, in the hands 
of the rich, is a sort of two-handed claw with which 
golden chestnuts are pulled out of the fire. One claw 
is the governmental power to make and enforce laws. 
The other claw is the power to grab by force that which 
cannot be grabbed by laws. 

One nation cannot make laws for another nation. 
But the capitalists of one nation may possess property 
that is wanted by the capitalists of another nation. Or 
the capitalists of one nation may see a great opportu- 
nity for personal profit in transferring to their own 
nation the sovereignty that another nation holds over a 
certain territory. That was why Great Britain made 
war against the Boers. Certain rich English gentlemen 
believed they could make more money if the British flag 
waved over the diamond and gold fields of the Trans- 
vaal. For no more nearly valid reason, the capitalist 
class of Japan made war against the capitalist class of 
Russia. Russia had stolen Korea and Japan wanted it. 
Korea belonged to the Koreans, but that made no dif- 
ference. Two thieves struggled for it and one of them 
has it. 

The moment that the capitalist class of one nation de- 
termines to rob the capitalist class of another nation, tlie 
machinery for inflaming the public mind is set in motion. 
This machinery consists of tongues and printing presses. 
Tongues and printing presses immediately begin to fo- 
ment hatred. Every man in each country is made to 
feel that every man in the other country is his personal 
enemy. But that is stating it too mildly. Every man 
in each country is made to feel that every man in the 
other country is as much worse than a personal enemy 
as a nation is greater than an individual. Fervent ap- 



lo4 THE TRUTH ABOUT SOCIALISM 

peals are made to " patriotism." " The flag " is waved. 
It is not " sweet to die " for Cecil Rhodes, for Roths- 
child or any one else — " It is sweet to die for one's 
country." And tiiousands of men take the bait. 

They bid farewell to their homes. They embark upon 
transports. They sail strange seas. They disembark 
upon strange shores. They see strange men. Men 
whom they never saw before. Men against whom they 
have no possible sort of grudge. Men who never 
harmed them. Men whom they never harmed. Com- 
mon workingmen, like themselves. 

But they shoot these men and are shot by these men. 
They spill each other's blood. They break each other's 
bones. They break the hearts of each other's families. 
And, when one army or the other has been crippled be- 
yond further fighting, there is peace. The peace of the 
sword! The peace of death! The peace that leaves 
the working classes of both countries poorer and the 
capitalist class of only one country richer. 

Was it not a great victory? Yes. 

It was a great victory for the capitalists of the world 
who lent money to both belligerents. (But it was not 
a great victory for the workingmen of both countries, 
who, through weary, weary years, will be shorn of part 
of their earnings to pay the interest upon the war bonds.) 

It was a great victory for the capitalist group who 
plunged for plunder and got it. (But it was not a great 
victory for the capitalist group that lost its plunder.) 

It was a great victory for the generals, who, from a 
safe distance, directed the fighting. (But it was not a 
great victory for the workingmen who, at close quarters, 
fell before the guns and were buried where they fell.) 

It was no sort of a victory for the working class of 
either country. At least, any victory that came to the 



SOCIALISM THE LONE FOE OF WAR 105 

working class of either country was merely incidental. 
Great Britain whipped the Boers, but the British people 
did not get the gold mines and the diamond mines. The 
Japanese whipped the Russians, but the Japanese work- 
ingmen did not get any of the plunder for which the war 
was fought. The Japanese capitalists got all of the 
plunder. The common people of Japan were so poor, 
after they had fought a " successful " war against Rus- 
sia, that, within six months of the termination of the 
war, the Mikado urged the sternest self-denial upon 
them as the only means of saving the country from bank- 
ruptcy. And, notwithstanding the victory of the British 
over the Boers, the common people of England were 
never before so poor as they are to-day. 

What is the use of blinking these facts? They are 
facts. Nobody can disprove them. They stand. They 
stand even in the face of the further fact that some wars 
have helped the working class. The American Revo- 
lution helped the working class of America. But the 
American working class would not have been in need of 
help if the English land-owning class who ruled the 
British government had not been using the government 
to plunder and oppress the people of America. 

But that is only one side of the story. Let us look at 
the American side. The common people of America 
gained something from the war. They slipped from the 
clutches of the English grafters. But they did not getj 
what they were promised. Read the Declaration of In-'' 
dependence and see what they were promised. Read the 
Constitution of the United States and see what they 
were given. Between the Declaration of Independence 
and the Constitution of the United States there is all 
the difference that exists between blazing sunlight and 
pale moonlight. No finer spirit was ever breathed into 



io6 THE TRUTH ABOUT SOCIALISM 

words than that which appears in the Declaration of 
Independence. Jefferson wrote it, and he wrote splen- 
didly, though the Declaration, as it stands, is not as he 
first wrote it. Jefferson was so afire with the idea of 
liberty that his associates upon the committee that 
drafted the Declaration shrank from the light. They 
compelled him to tone down his words. But the Decla- 
ration as it stands spells Liberty with a big " L," And, 
Liberty with a big " L " can be nothing but a republic 
in which the people, through their representatives, ab- 
solutely rule. 

The people, through their representatives, have never 
ruled this country and do not rule it to-day. The Con- 
stitution of the United States will not let them. It will 
not let them vote directly for President. In the begin- 
ning, the people did not even choose the electors who 
elected the President. State Legislatures chose them. 
No man except a legislator ever voted for the electors 
who chose Washington, Adams, Jefferson, Madison and 
some others. To this day the Constitution denies the 
right of the people to choose United States Senators and 
Justices of the United States Supreme Court. In the 
few states where the people practically choose United 
States Senators they do so only by " going around the 
end " of the Constitution. Tlicy exact a promise from 
legislative candidates to elect the senators for whom the 
people have expressed a preference. But this is wholly 
extra-constitutional. If the legislators were to break 
their promises, the United States Supreme Court would 
be compelled to sustain them in their constitutional right 
to do so. 

Now, here is the point. Granted that the American 
Revolution was of value to the American working class. 
Granted that the ills that followed from American rule 



SOCIALISM THE LONE FOE OF WAR 107 

were not so grievous as the ills inflicted by the ruhng 
class of England. Grant all this and more. Still, is 
it not true that if it had not been for the ruling class 
of England, there would have been no occasion for a 
war? Is it not true that the English people, if they 
had been in control of their own government, never 
would have harmed the people of America? When did 
the English people, or any other people, ever harm any- 
body? When did a thievish, murderous ruling class 
neglect to harm any people whose plunder seemed pos- 
sible and profitable? 

The idea that the people of one country, if left to 
themselves, would ever become embittered against the 
people of another country, is absurd. Test this state- 
ment by your own feelings. Are you so angry at some 
Japanese peasant who is now patiently toiling upon his 
little hillside in Japan, that you would like to go to Japan 
and kill him? Is there any person in Germany whom 
you never saw that you want to kill? 

Of course not. But if you are a " patriotic " Ameri- 
can citizen, you may some day cross a sea to kill some- 
body. If you believe in " following the flag," the flag 
may some day lead you into the hell of war. If you 
believe " it is sweet to die for one's country," you may 
some day be shot to pieces. But if so, you will not die 
for your country. Your country wants you to live. 
You will die for the ruling class of your country. If 
you should expire from gunshot wounds in Mexico, you 
might die for Mr. Guggenheim, or some other noble 
citizen who will be far from the firing line. Wherever 
you may die from war-wounds, you will die to put more 
money into somebody else's pockets. 

It has always been so. Wiiy did we go to war against 
England in 181 2? Because the English people had 



io8 THE TRUTH ABOUT SOCIALISM 

wronged us? The English people, left to themselves, 
never Avronged anybody. We went to war with Eng- 
land in 1812 because the ruling class of England, then 
deep in the Napoleonic wars, were holding up American 
ships upon the high seas to take off alleged British sub- 
jects and jam them into the British Navy. 
\ Such action, of course, was harmful to American 
pride, but really it did not deeply concern the American 
.working class. Most of the workers lived and died 
without ever having seen a ship. Nevertheless, the 
American working class was summoned to the slaughter. 
My paternal great-grandfather, a humble farmer in the 
Hudson River Valley, was drafted into the ranks, and 
to this day I honor him because he would not go without 
being drafted. And, when the war was ended, the work- 
ing class of America was worse off than it was before. 

So was the working class of England. Some were 
dead. Some were shattered in health. The living lived 
less well because they had to pay the cost of hell. The 
impressment of alleged British subjects upon the high 
seas ceased only because Great Britain chose to end it. 
The treaty of peace contained no stipulation that she 
should end it. Thus ceased this criminally stupid war, 
which never would have begun if the people of Eng- 
land, instead of a small ruling class, had ruled their own 
country. 

The war with Mexico was so monstrous that General 
Grant, who fought in it, denounced it in the strongest 
language at his command. In the second chapter of 
the first volume of his " Memoirs," after characterizing 
the Mexican War as " unholy," he says : 

"The occupation, separation and annexation" (of Texas) "were, 

from the inception of the movement to its final consummation, a con- 
spiracy to acquire territory out of which slave states might be formed 



SOCIALISM THE LONE FOE OF WAR 109 

for the American Union. Even if the annexation itself could be 
justified, the manner in which the subsequent war was forced upon 
Mexico cannot. . . . The Southern Rebellion was largely the 
outgrowth of the Mexican War." 

Do you get that? Two wars caused by slavery. 
Seven hundred thousand men killed. Twenty billion 
dollars' worth of wealth either destroyed outright, or 
consumed for interest upon the public debt, or paid for 
subsequent pensions. 

And for what? 

To settle the question of slavery. 

To settle the question of slavery that the men who 
framed the national Constitution, most of whom were 
slaveholders, permitted to exist. 

To settle the question of slavery, which, never for 
one moment, during all of those intervening years, was 
anything but a curse even to the white working class. 

And, what is chattel slavery? Merely a method of 
appropriating the products of the labor of others. Who 
were interested in maintaining it? Certainly not the 
working class, no member of which ever owned a slave. 
The capitalist class of the South was interested in it, 
because its holdings were agricultural, and slave-labor 
was well adapted to agricultural undertakings. The cap- 
italist class of the North was not interested in maintain- 
ing chattel slavery, because the investments of Northern 
capitalists were chiefly in industrial undertakings, for 
which black slave labor was not well suited. Yet, the 
North never seriously objected to slavery, as such. Men 
like Wendell Phillips, who did object to slavery, as such, 
were mobbcrl in the North. If the North, like the 
South, had been, so far as the great capitalists were 
concerned, an agricultural country, there is no reason 
y^hatevcr to suppose that tlic North would not have been 



no THE TRUTH ABOUT SOCIALISM 

in favar of chattel slavery. What the North most ob- 
jected to was the effort of the South to extend slavery 
into new states, as they were admitted. The Southern 
aristocracy, in this manner, sought to prevent the loss 
of its hold upon the government. The Northern capital- 
ists also desired to gain control of the government. 
When the addition of new free states stripped the South 
of its political supremacy, the South went to war. The 
North resisted the attack to save the Union. 

Remember, that is why the North went to war — to 
save the Union, which had been attacked. It was not 
to free the slaves and end slavery. We have this upon 
the authority of no less a man than Lincoln. Lincoln 
once sent word to the South that if it would permit him 
to put one word into a peace-treaty, he would let the 
South put in all the others. The one word that Lincoln 
said he wanted to put in was " union," Lincoln was 
opposed to slavery, but he was not so much opposed to 
it that he wanted to fight about it. It was only after the 
South had fought Lincoln almost to a standstill that he 
rose above the Constitution and destroyed an institution 
that was not even mentioned in the Constitution — much 
less prohibited by it. 

That is what the Civil War was about — chattel 
slavery. 

Something that would not have existed if men had 
not first existed who wished to ride upon the backs of 
others. 

Something that would not have existed if the repre- 
sentatives of the ruling class who drafted the Constitu- 
tion had not been eager that it should persist. 

Something that never for a moment benefited the 
working class. 

Yet, the working class fought the war — on one side 



SOCIALISM THE LONE FOE OF WAR iii 

to preserve slavery for the benefit of others; on the 
other side to maintain a union under which white men 
and black men alike are always upon the brink of pov- 
erty. 

Seven hundred thousand men followed the Stars and 
Stripes and the Stars and Bars — to bloody graves. 
Not one of them would have been killed in war if the 
common people of each section had ruled each section. 
The common people never owned slaves. They did well 
if they owned themselves. 

And now we come to the Spanish-American War. 
We believe it was fought to " free Cuba." We believe 
it was fought to " avenge the Maine." Don't take too 
much for granted. Even Senator Nelson, of Minne- 
sota, declared in the United States Senate in 1912 his 
belief that the war with Spain was fomented by Ameri- 
cans who held large interests in Cuba. He also de- 
clared his belief that the Sugar Trust was trying to 
foment another revolution for the purpose of bringing 
about annexation and thus ridding itself of the 80 per- 
cent, tariff that is now levied upon American sugar. 

But there is more to the story. To this day, there is 
no proof tliat the Maine was destroyed by Spaniards, 
Cubans, or anyone outside of her. For fourteen years 
the government of the United States did not seem to 
want to know. The Maine, with the bones of 200 or 
300 workingmcn aboard her, was permitted to lie in the 
mud of Havana harbor where she sank. And, when 
the wreck was tardily raised, nobody was able to say 
that the ship was not destroyed by the explosion of her 
own magazines. Now, the hull of the old ship is down 
far in the ocean, with no hope tliat the facts will be 
known. 

But the interests that wanted war had no doubt of 



112 



THE TRUTH ABOUT SOCIALISM 



the facts in 1898. Their newspapers thundered their 
theory every day. The Maine had been destroyed by 
Spaniards! We must "Remember the Maine." We 
did remember the Maine, but we forgot ourselves. We 
forgot to be sure we were right. And, even if we were 
right, we forgot that the kilHng of a few thousands of 
Spanish workingmen w^ould be no fit punishment for the 
crime of the Spanish ruhng class that wrecked the Maine. 
We also forgot to watch what Wall Street was doing 
at the time. Read some paragraplis from the New York 
Tribune of April i, 6, 9 and 20, 1898: 

" Mr. Guerra, of the Cuban Junta, was asked about the Spanish- 
Cuban bonds against the revenues of the island. He replied that he 
did not know their amount, which report fixed at $400,000,000. . . ." 

" These bonds are payable in gold, at 6 per cent, interest, ten years 
after the war with Spain had ended. . . ." 

" The disposition of the bonds of the Cuban Republic has been a 
question discussed in certain quarters during the last few days, and 
the grave charge has been made that the bonds have been given 
away indiscriminately in the United States to people of influence 
who would therefore become interested in seeing the Republic of 
Cuba on such terms with the United States as would make the bonds 
valuable pieces of property." (Kindly note that the bonds would be 
worth nothing unless Spain were driven out of Cuba.) "Men of 
business, newspaper, and even public officials, have been mentioned 
as having received these bonds as a gift. . . ." 

" A congressman said in the house on Monday that he had $10,000 
worth of Cuban bonds in his pocket, while H. H. Kohlsaat, in an edi- 
torial in one of the Chicago papers, charges the Junta with offering 
a bribe of $2,000,000 of Cuban bonds to a Chicago man to use his 
influence with the administration for the recognition of the Cuban 
government." 

"Mr. Guerra made the somewhat startling statement that a man 
representing certain individuals at Washington has sought to coerce 
the Junta into selling $10,000,000 worth of bonds at 20 cents on the 
dollar. ' This man practically threatened us that unless we let him 
have the bonds at the price quoted, Cuba would never receive recog- 
nition. He said he was prepared to pay on the spot $2,000,000 in 
American money for $10,000,000 of Cuban bonds, but his offer was 
refused." 



SOCIALISM THE LONE FOE OE .WAR 113 

You probably do not remember these items. Per- 
haps, at that time, Hke many other citizens, you were too 
busy " remembering the Maine." If so, what do you 
think of these items now? Do they mean anything to 
you? Do they offer any explanation as to why this 
government, after having paid little or no attention to 
six rebellions in Cuba during a 50-year period, suddenly 
determined to *' free Cuba " ? 

In any event, remember that whatever Spain did to 
Cuba was done by the ruling class and not by the peo- 
ple of Spain. The ruling class was bent upon the rob- 
bery of the Cubans. The people of Spain did not profit 
from the robbery. Nor was the working class of the 
United States helped by the expulsion of Spain from 
Cuba. The Sugar Trust and some other great Ameri- 
can interests were helped, but the American working 
class was not. The working class had only the pleasure 
of doing the fighting, the dying and the bill-paying. 

The American working class profited no more from 
the war with the Philippines, which was fought solely 
to provide a new field for the dollar-activities of Ameri- 
can capitalists. There is no American workingman who 
now finds it easier to make a living because of the gen- 
erally improved conditions brought about by the war 
with the Philippines. General conditions have not been 
improved. They have been made worse to the extent 
that the cost of the war is a burden upon industry. If 
working-class interests had been consulted, the war never 
would have been waged. No working class interest was 
involved. The workers had everything to lose, includ- 
ing life, by going to the front, and nothing to gain. But 
they " followed the flag " — and some of them never 
came back. They stayed — six feet under ground — 
that the Tobacco Trust, the Timber Trust, and many 



114 THE TRUTH ABOUT SOCIALISM 

other great capitalist interests might stay on the islands 
above the ground. 

Look wherever you will, you cannot find a working 
class interest that should or could cause workingmen to 
slaughter each other. Nor is this situation new. It is 
as old as war itself. It is a fact that men of sense and 
honesty have always recognized. Tacitus said: 

" Gold and power are the chief causes of war." 

Dryden, the poet, said: " War seldom enters but where 
wealth allures." 

And Carlyle, in this striking fashion, showed the utter 
absence of working-class interest in war: 

" To my own knowledge, for example, there dwell and toil in 
the British village of Dumrudge, usually some five hundred souls. 
From these, by certain ' natural enemies ' of the French, there are 
successively selected, during the French war, say, thirty able-bodied 
men. Dumrudge, at her own expense, has suckled and nursed thent. 
She has not, without difficulty and sorrow, fed them up to man- 
hood and even trained them up to crafts, so that one can weave, 
another build, another hammer, and the weakest can stand under 
some thirty stone, avoirdupois. 

" Nevertheless, amid much weeping and swearing, they are se- 
lected, all dressed in red and shipped away, at public expense, 
some two thousand miles, or, say, only to the south of Spain, 
and fed there till wanted. 

" And now, to the same spot in the South of Spain, are sent 
thirty similar French artisans — in like manner wending their 
ways, till at length, after infinite effort, the two parties come into 
actual juxtaposition, and thirty stand facing thirty, each with a 
gim in his hand. Straightway the order 'Firel' is given, and they 
blow the souls out of one another; and, in the place of sixty brisk, 
useful craftsmen, the world has sixty dead carcasses, which it 
must bury and anew shed tears for. 

"Had these men any quarrel? Busy as the devil is, not the 
smallest! They lived far enough apart; were the entirest stran- 
gers; nay, in so wide a universe, there was even, unconsciously, 
by commerce, some mutual helpfulness between them. 

"How, then? 

" Simpleton 1 Their governors had fallen out, and, instead of 
shooting one another, had these poor blockheads shoot." 



SOCIALISM THE LONE FOE OF WAR 115 

That is the cause of war between nations — " the gov- 
ernors fall out." And who are the governors? No- 
body but the representatives of the ruling class, who 
clash in their race for plunder and deceive w^orkingmen 
into doing their fighting for them. 

Now, let us go back a bit. You may recall that I said 
that the ruling capitalist class uses government as a two- 
handed claw with which to pull golden chestnuts out of 
the fire. One hand of this claw is the power to make 
and enforce laws. The other hand — the power to 
^vage war — is used to grab what cannot be grabbed 
with laws. Wars between nations illustrate one form 
of effort to get what laws cannot give. Here is an- 
other: 

The United States is dotted with forts, arsenals and 
armories. Far in the interior, where, by the widest 
stretch of the imagination, no foreign army could come, 
we see these grim reminders and prognosticators of 
war. Under the Dick Military Law, the President of 
the United States, without further legislation, can com- 
pel every man in the United States, between the ages of 
18 and 45 years, to enlist in the militia of his state and 
serve under the orders of the President of the United 
States. The President, therefore, has it in his power at 
any time to raise an army of about 12,000,000 men and 
place them in the field. 

What for? To fight a foreign foe? Not much. 
The Constitution of the United States forbids the Presi- 
dent to make war against a foreign nation without the 
explicit authorization of Congress. But the Dick Law 
authorizes the President to raise this enormous army 
and to command it. 

Here is the question. At whom is this enormous po- 
tential army aimed? Why is the land strewn with ar- 



ii6 THE TRUTH ABOUT SOCIALISM 

senals and armories that could be of little or no service 
in a foreign war? 

To quote a word from Carlyle, " Simpleton," do you 
not know that all of these arrangements are made to 
shoot you if the capitalist class should ever decide that 
you should be shot? Nor, have you never noticed 
against whom the state militia is invariably used? 

If you have noticed none of these things, perhaps it' 
would be well for you to wake up. The militia of the 
states is practically never used except to beat down work- 
ingmen who have revolted against the outrageous 
wrongs heaped upon them by their employers. Ameri- 
can workingmen do not readily revolt. Nowhere are 
they any too prosperous. Millions believe from the bot- 
toms of their hearts that they are being robbed. Yet, 
they keep on. Only when they are ground into the 
dust, as they were by the Woolen Trust at Lawrence, 
or by the Coal Trust in Pennsylvania, do they rebel. 

Please, therefore, note this monstrous situation : 

Under the laws of the land, the capitalists have a 
right to grind their employees as deeply into the dust as 
they can grind them. 

While this process is going on the national and state 
troops are quite still. But when human nature, unable 
to bear up longer, explodes and a few window panes are 
broken, the troops come scurrying to the scene. Sol- 
diers fill the streets, citizens are ordered this way and 
that, guns are fired recklessly, perhaps a man or two or 
a woman or two are killed ; the soldiers deny the killing 
and charge it to the strikers themselves, and eventually 
the strike is broken. 

Can you recall when the militia of a state was re- 
cently used for anything else? 

Now, we Socialists do not believe in violence, even by 



SOCIALISM THE LONE FOE OF WAR 117; 

strikers. We are supposed to be greedy for blood, but 
we are not. We do believe, however, the best way to 
end violence caused by robbery is to end the robbery. 
We believe it is contemptible for a government to be 
blind to robbery so long as it proceeds without an out- 
cry from the victim. We believe it is criminal for the 
government to shoot the victim simply because, in his 
distress, he breaks a pane of glass in the factory or mill 
in which he was robbed. We can understand why such 
crimes are committed, because we know that the same 
capitalist interests that control industry also control gov- 
ernment. But, understanding the offense does not make 
us approve it. We are against the great crime of war, 
whether it be practiced upon a huge scale abroad, or upon 
a small scale at home. 

But the President is also opposed to war, the Czar of 
Russia is also opposed to war, and the German Emperor 
is also opposed to war. No Socialist can outdo any of 
these gentlemen in deploring war. The smallest Social- 
ist, however, outdoes any of these gentlemen in making 
good upon his declaration. Socialists will not go to 
war. They will not join the army, the militia, or the 
navy. All over the world this is true. They preach 
against war in season and out of season. They 
preach against anything that tends toward war. 
They preach against dressing little boys as soldiers and 
calling them " scouts." And wherever Socialists hold 
seats in national legislative bodies, their attitude is ** No 
men ; no money." They will vote for no bill that seeks 
to draw another man or another dollar into the horrible 
game of war. 

Those who do not understand us, or who do not want 
us to be understood, charge us with lack of patriotism. 
If blood-letting for dollars be the test of patriotism,j we 



ii8 THE TRUTH ABOUT SOCIALISM 

certainly are not patriotic. We refuse to kill men for 
money, either for ourselves or for any one else. Nor 
do we believe that Frenchmen, Englishmen, Germans or 
any others are less our brothers than are Americans. 
We regard all nationalities and races as members of the 
great human family. We want this family to live in 
peace. We preach peace. We live peace. i 

But how can there be peace when great groups of cap- 
italists are contending for profits? How can there be 
peace when great groups of capitalists controlling their 
respective governments, build great fleets and muster 
great armies to struggle for trade and profits? How 
can there be peace when these same capitalists, through 
their control of government, teach even school children 
that the warrior's trade is glorious and that the citizen's 
duty is to "stand by the flag"? Our flag has often 
stood where it had no moral right to stand. It has stood 
for the wrongs of capitalism when it should have stood 
for the rights of the people. Our flag will always stand 
for the wrongs of capitalism, so long as capitalism con- 
trols the government. 

In such circumstances, there can be no assured peace. 
Peace tribunals, like that of The Hague, may be estab- 
lished until their sponsors are black in the face, but still 
there will be no peace. There can be no peace. Profits 
prevent. The gentlemen who attach themselves to these 
tribunals want peace — if. Peace if it can be main- 
tained without hurting profits. Peace if it can be main- 
tained without restraining capitalistic brigands who wish 
to descend upon the property of others. Peace if it 
can be had without price. 

So war continues in a world that is weary of war. 
Heavier and heavier becomes the burden of armaments. 
The workingman staggers under the weight of the 



SOCIALISM THE LONE FOE OF WAR 119 

foiirteen-inch gun. The workingman may go hungry. 
The gun must be fed. 

"Whether your shell hits the target or not, 
Your cost is six hundred dollars a shot. 
You thing of noise and flame and power, 
We feed you a hundred barrels of flour 
Each time you roar. Your flame is fed 
With twenty thousand loaves of bread. 
Silence ! A million hungry men 
Seek bread to fill their mouths again."* 

Only one machine can smash this gun, and that is the 
printing press. The greatest gun can shoot only twenty 
miles or so. The Socialist press can shoot and is shoot- 
ing around the world. When the working class controls 
its printing presses, war will end. 

Do you really want war to end, or is a string attached 
to your wish? If you mean business, you can help end 
it. But if you want the privilege of aiding in this great 
work for humanity, you will have to vote the Socialist 
ticket. It is the only ticket that always and everywhere 
is sternly against war, as the Socialist party is the only 
party opposed to the profit system that makes w^ars. 

I cannot close this chapter without calling the atten- 
tion of readers to a book entitled " War — What For? " 
by Mr. George R. Kirkpatrick. It is published by the 
author at West Lafayette, Ohio. Between darkness and 
daylight, one night, I read it all. I can never forget it. 
If all the world had read it, there would be no more war. 

♦P. F. McCarthy, in the New York World. 



CHAPTER VIII 

WHY SOCIALISTS OPPOSE " RADICAL " POLITICIANS 

A" RADICAL " politician, when he Is not an utter 
fraud, is a well-meaning man who lacks either 
the courage or the insight to do well. He can see 
wrongs, but he cannot see rights. Or, if he can see 
rights, he dare not do right. Always, there is some 
reason why he should not do right. The people are 
not ready. The time is not propitious. Thus does he 
appease his conscience, betray his followers and destroy 
himself. 

Abraham Lincoln, during all except the last two years 
of his life, was such a man. I sometimes feel that this 
is why so many modern " radicals " believe they are sec- 
ond Lincolns. They seem to remember Lincoln only as 
he was when he was too small for his task. Mr. Roose- 
velt, in particular, is suspected of harboring the belief 
that he is a second Lincoln. In a way and to a degree, 
Mr. Roosevelt is right. The ground upon which Mr. 
Roosevelt now stands is broadly comparable to the ground 
upon which Mr. Lincoln stood before he signed the 
Emancipation Proclamation. Mr. Lincoln hated chattel 
slavery, but was willing to end the war with slavery in- 
tact. Mr. Roosevelt hates the robbery of man by man, 
but he shrinks from trying to seize the club with which 
the robbery is committed. He is willing to pick at the 
splinters upon the club, precisely as Mr. Lincoln was 
long willing to content himself with efforts to restrict 
the evil of slavery. And, Mr. Roosevelt, picking at 
splinters, is no more useful in destroying poverty than 

120 



WHY SOCIALISTS OPPOSE " RADICALS " 121 

was Mr. Lincoln, when he picked at the spHnters of 
chattel slavery. The Civil War came on, in spite of all 
that Lincoln did, because he did no more than to tem- 
porize with the evil that was destined to cause the war. 
Mr. Roosevelt, even as the leader of a new political 
party, is doing no more than to temporize with the 
monstrous evil of unnecessary poverty in America. 

Let us look, even more closely, into the life of Lin- 
coln. The career of no other man of modern times is 
so well suited to our purpose. We want to know 
whether a " radical " like Roosevelt or Wilson should 
be more highly regarded by the people than a revolu- 
tionist like Debs or Berger. Lincoln, at different times 
in his life, was both a " radical " and a revolutionist. 
His " radical " beliefs put him into the White House. 
One colossal revolutionary act put him into the hearts 
of men. We Socialists feel that he nestles a little more 
closely to our hearts than he does to some others. 
When Lincoln ceased to temporize with chattel slavery 
and struck it down, he became one of us. He actually 
did to chattel slavery what we are trying to do to wage 
slavery. 

The magnitude of this act, as well as the usefulness 
of a mere " radical " politician, may be measured by 
what Lincoln's life would have been without his name 
at the bottom of the Emancipation Proclamation. Tra- 
.dition has it that Lincoln became a radical upon the 
.slavery question when, as a flatboatman upon the Mis- 
sissipiji, he saw a ncgress sold upon the auction block at 
New Orleans. Tradition has it that he said : " If I ever 
have a ciiance to iiit slavery, I will hit it and hit it hard." 

The fact is that when Mr. Lincoln began to get the 
power to hit slavery, he did not hit it hard. He was a 
" radical " politician and therefore could not hit it hard. 



122 THE TRUTH ABOUT SOCIALISM 

He was against slavery, but he was also against any- 
thing that would end slavery. In the phrase of our 
time, he wanted to " regulate " slavery. Men like John 
Brown and William Lloyd Garrison wanted to end 
slavery and advocated means that would have ended it, 
but Lincoln, though he hated slavery as much as they 
did, wanted only to restrict it. He was " radical." 
Brown and Garrison were revolutionary. Lincoln meant 
well. Brown and Garrison were determined to do well. 

But after Lincoln, even as President, had continued 
to temporize with slavery; after he had sent word to the 
Southern leaders that if they would let him write intc^ 
a treaty of peace the one word " union " he would let 
them write all of the other words, including " slavery " 
— after all of this, there came a change, and Lincoln 
ceased to be a " radical." Then, and not until then, did 
he strike the blow that in his youth he declared he would 
strike if ever the opportunity should come. With only 
the briefest words he laid the Emancipation Proclama- 
tion before his cabinet. 

" I do not lay this before you for your advice," he 
said, " but only for your information. I have promised 
my God that I will do this, and I shall do it." 

Thus spoke the revolutionist. The time for " radical- 
ism " had passed. Slavery, during half a century of 
*' radicalism," had expanded. Having the power to kill 
chattel slavery and daring to use it, Lincoln killed chat- 
tel slavery. He put himself into the hearts of men. He 
wrote his name so big in history that the names of all 
other men since his time seem small. 

Yet Lincoln, if he had been content to remain merely 
a " radical," could have performed no service for his 
country worth while, and Fame would have missed him 
])y many a mile. If the South had won, the North 



WHY SOCIALISTS OPPOSE " RADICALS " 123 

would have blamed Lincoln. If the North had won, 
without destroying chattel slavery, nothing would have 
been settled, and Lincoln would have been given the 
credit for settling nothing. Lincoln's greatest opportu- 
nity to serve his country lay in doing precisely what he 
did, and it is to his eternal glory that he had both the 
understanding and the courage to do it. 
' The times again call loudly for such a man. Chattel 
slavery is dead, but a greater slavery has grown up in its 
place. Wage slavery is as much greater than chattel 
slavery as the white people in this country are more 
numerous than the black people. Poverty is widespread 
and the fear of poverty is all but universal. No one 
knows how much longer he will have employment. No 
one can know how much longer he will have employ- 
ment. A few own all of the machinery without which 
we cannot be employed. These few have it in their 
power to say whether we shall be permitted to earn the 
means of life. We may want to work as much as we 
please, but we cannot work unless they please. They do 
not please to let us work unless they believe they can see 
a profit in so doing. Tliat we need work means noth- 
ing to those who own the great industries of the coun- 
try. Nor does the fact that the people need the things we 
could make. They consider only the question : " Is there 
profit in it?" By their answer, we eat or hunger, live 
or die. 

Such times could not help but call for great men, even 
in little places. The times call for great men to take 
charge of municipal affairs, lest the poor shall be tor- 
tured with bad tenements and robbed of their last nick- 
els by little grafters while greater grafters are taking 
their dollars. The times call for great men in state 
offices, in judicial positions, in Congress and in the White 



124 .THE TRUTH ABOUT SOCIALISM 

House. But, in response to the White House call, who 
answered in 1912? Mr. Roosevelt answered. Mr. Wil- 
son answered. 

Socialists do not regard either Mr. Roosevelt or Mr. 
Wilson as a fraudulent " radical," in the sense that they 
believe either of them to be intent upon wantonly fooling 
the people. We regard Mr. Roosevelt as being some- 
thing of a self-seeker. We regard him as the embodi- 
ment of inconsistency. We know that when he was 
President he never tried to do some of the things that 
he later promised to do if we would again make him 
President. We know he does not now promise to try 
to take away the club with which robbery is committed. 
He is still picking at the splinters, taking care to lay no 
hand upon the club itself. And, so far as concerns Mr. 
Wilson, we regard him as an amiable, cultured gentle- 
man, who, meaning well, as he doubtless does, lacks the 
imderstanding without which he can not do well. We 
also call attention to the fact that immediately following 
Mr. Wilson's nomination he began to placate the great 
grafters. He invited them to his home to hold counsel 
with him. And, in his speech of acceptance, he all but 
laid himself at their feet. He said nothing worth say- 
ing. He confined himself to platitudes. He swore al- 
legiance to the " rule of right " as applied to govern- 
ment, without giving the slightest indication of his defini- 
tion of right. Wall Street applauded him. Stocks went 
up. But would stocks have gone up if Wall Street had 
believed that, under Wilson, grafters w^ould not be per- 
mitted to continue to rob you ? 

We Socialists may be extremely absurd persons, but, 
as we look about us, we see two or three things that 
should be done at once. 

We believe every man should have the continuous 



WHY SOCIALISTS OPPOSE " RADICALS " 125 

right to work. We believe this right should be guaran- 
teed by law. The law prohibits stealing and vagrancy. 
Why should not the law, therefore, guarantee the right 
to avoid the necessity for becoming either a thief or a 
vagrant ? 

We also believe that after a man has worked he should 
not be robbed. We believe if nobody were robbed, there 
would be in this country neither millionaires nor paupers. 
From the fact that there are in this country so many 
millionaires and so many paupers or near-paupers, we 
deduce that the extent of the robbery of the many by the 
few is appalling. 

We want this stopped. We don't demand that it be 
stopped a hundred years hence — we demand that it be 
stopped now. We are interested in our posterity, but 
we are also interested in ourselves. We want to enjoy 
life a little. This world looks good to us. We know 
it could be good to us. We demand that it shall be 
good to us. Nor are we appeased by the promise of 
some " radical " like Mr. Roosevelt or Mr. Wilson that 
if we will elect him President, he will try to make the 
world a little less bad for us. The promise of a i per 
cent, or a 5 per cent, reduction in robbery constitutes no 
blandishment. We demand a 100 per cent, reduction in 
robbery. We are tired of robbery. We mean to end 
it. We shall end it. We cannot fail, because we have 
a weapon with which the robbed class never before 
fought. We have the gigantic printing press. Our an- 
cestors had a puny press, or none at all. We shall 
carry our word far. Wherever our word goes it will 
wake. Sooner or later, the robbed will understand. 
Then robbery will cease. Millions of people who under- 
stand how to stop robbery will never consent to let a 
few continue to rob them. 



126 THE TRUTH ABOUT SOCIALISM 

Such is our demand — a lOO per cent, reduction in 
robbery and the right of the individual to continuous 
work. Yet, so far as we know, we want no more than 
is wanted by every other man who is not robbing any- 
body. We know of no man who is wilHng to be denied 
the right to work. We know of no man who is wilhng 
to be robbed. We differ from you RepuljHcans and 
Democrats only in this: You seem to be willing to take 
an eternity to end robbery and secure a guarantee to the 
right to labor. We tell you that if you take an eternity 
to get these rights you will never get them. We also 
tell you that with either Mr. Wilson, Mr. Roosevelt or 
any other so-called " radical " in the White House the 
working class will remain poverty-stricken. 

These gentlemen want to make you an omelette, but 
they do not want to break any eggs. They are afraid 
to break eggs. Breaking eggs means destroying the 
great fundamental laws that capitalists use to rob you. 
iYet, how are you ever to have an omelette unless eggs 
are broken? How can you be helped without hurting 
those who are now hurting you? 

Make no mistake — anything that will make it much 
easier for you to live by working will make it much 
harder for capitalists to live without working. Pick- 
ing at the splinters of this poverty-problem will not do. 
The wrong is great; the remedy must be equally great. 

Anything that will not hurt the capitalist class much 
will not help you much. 

Between you and the capitalist class there can be no 
peace. 

So long as either of you exists, there can be only war. 

You will continue to fight for the right to live. 

The capitalist class will continue to refuse you the 
right to live except at the price of a profit. 



WHY SOCIALISTS OPPOSE " RADICALS " 127 

This ultimatum, which has never appealed to your 
stomach, will some day not appeal to your brain. 

You will begin to ask questions. 

You will ask if you were born only that Mr. Morgan, 
Mr. Armour or Mr. Ryan might be made a little richer. 

You will ask if it is right that you should die when 
you can no longer make others richer. 

Your common sense will tell you that you were not 
born to make anybody richer. 

Your common sense will tell you that you have a 
right to live, whether anybody be thereby made richer. 

And, when that time comes, you will be in no mood 
to listen to the remedies of " radical " gentlemen like 
Mr. Roosevelt and Mr. Wilson. 

You will no longer want wage slavery " regulated " 
— you will want it destroyed. 

You will call for another Lincoln to destroy wage 
slavery as the first Lincoln destroyed chattel slavery. 

And your call will be answered, because you will an- 
swer it yourself. 

You will place in office not only a man but men' who 
will work your will. You will know what you want 
and you will get it, because you will know how to get it. 

The reason you have never gotten what you want is 
because you have never known how to get it. You want 
the right to work without being robbed. You do not 
seem to realize that it is the existence of the capitalist 
system that causes you to be robbed. In an indefinite 
.sort of way you seem to believe that it is possible for a 
small class of bond-holders and share-holders to live in 
luxury without working and, at the same time, take noth- 
ing from the product of your labor. If dividends grew 
upon one tree and wages upon another, your belief would 
be justified. But, inasmuch as dividends and wages 



128 THE TRUTH ABOUT SOCIALISM 

grow upon the same tree, yonr belief is not justified. 
Both are the products of your labor. If the bondholders 
Avere to take everything you produce, you would have 
nothing. If you were to take everything you produce, 
the bondholders and other capitalists would have noth- 
ing. 

Such being the fact, what possible benefit can come to 
the American people through the election to the Presi- 
dency of Woodrow Wilson? Mr. Wilson is not op- 
posed to the capitalist system. He believes one class 
should own all of the great industries of the country 
while another class toils in them. Believing thus, he 
necessarily believes no man has a right to work, how- 
ever sore may be his need, unless some other man thinks 
he can see a profit in hiring him. If he did not so be- 
lieve, he would not have stood for the Presidency upon 
the Democratic platform. The importance of securing 
to each individual the right to work would have pre- 
vented him from so standing. He would have pro- 
claimed to the country an amendment to the platform 
in some such words as these : 

" // you elect me President, I will urge the passage 
of a law that will make it a felony for any capitalist to 
refuse work at wages representing the market price of 
the product, except at such times as his steel plants, rail- 
roads, or other industries, are running at fidl capacity." 

He would also have added: 

" When a man's right to work is involved, I care not 
whether the man who hires him makes a profit or not. 
Life comes before profits. Work comes before life. 
J am for men." 

Not one word of which Mr. Wilson ever said. Mr. 
Wilson believes in profits first and life, if at all, after- 
ward. He may not believe he does, but he does. That 



WHY SOCIALISTS OPPOSE " RADICALS " 129 

is what his attitude amounts to. He wants both profits 
and life if we can get them. But if either must fall, it 
must be life. Life must always fall when work falls. 
Mr. Wilson stands for absolutely nothing that will put 
the worker's right to work before the capitalist's greed 
for profits. Let him or any of his friends point out a 
word in his platform, or any of his public utterances, 
to the contrary. There is no such word, because it has 
never been spoken or written by Mr. Wilson or anybody 
who is back of him or in front of him. 

More astounding do these facts become as we con- 
sider them. Here is a great nation, eager to earn its 
bread. Of the many millions who compose this nation, 
not one in ten ever has or ever will receive a profit upon 
anything. More than nine-tenths of our many millions 
are wage-laborers or farmers. Naturally, they care 
nothing about profits. If everybody were continuously 
employed at good wages, and the balance-sheets, at the 
end of the year, should show not one dollar left for 
dividends, nobody except the capitalists would shed a 
tear. So little does the working class really care about 
profits. So convinced is the working class that the right 
to work, together with the right to be protected from 
robbery, should come ahead of everything else. Yet 
this very working class that cares nothing about profits; 
that cares and needs to care so much about the continu- 
ous right to work; that cares and needs to care so much 
about the right to be protected from robbery — this 
very working class gave Mr. Wilson almost every vote 
he received! 

Do the people of America know how to get what they 
want? 

The people of America want the continuous right to 
work. 



I30 THE TRUTH ABOUT SOCIALISM 

Mr. Wilson offers them fine phrases about the " rule 
of right " — phrases that Wall Street applauds because 
Wall Street knows such phrases mean the continued rule 
of wrong. 

The people of America want the right to be protected 
from robbery, and Mr. Wilson offers them an anti-trust 
plank, in which they are solemnly assured that if they 
will only wait until Mr. Rockefeller, Mr. Morgan and 
other similar gentlemen are in jail, they will be very 
happy. 

Is it not absurd? Indeed, it is not. It is pitiful. It 
is pitiful that a people should so long have been kept in 
ignorance of both the nature of their social malady and 
its cure. Yet, how could they be otherwise than ig- 
norant? They depend for such information upon their 
newspapers, magazines, public officials, and public speak- 
ers. Until recently, almost all of these sources were 
poisoned against the people. They were poisoned 
against the people because they were controlled, in one 
way or another, by the capitalist class. They are still 
almost all poisoned in the interest of the capitalist class. 
The truth about Socialism is carefully suppressed. The 
false is carefully put forward. Wrongs are admitted, 
but rights are not recognized. The people are robbed, 
yes — but who robs them? Why, the trusts and the 
high-tariff gentlemen, certainly. Therefore, if we lower 
the tariff and place the trust gentlemen in jail, we shall 
be happy. 

Nobody seems moved to recall whether we were happy 
when the tariff was low and there were no trusts. 

Nobody seems to recall that the working class has 
never been happy; that it has always been the prey of a 
master class which has resorted first to one method and 
then to another to plunder. In fact, nobody but Social- 



WHY SOCIALISTS OPPOSE " RADICALS " 131 

ists seems to do any serious thinking until his favorite 
" radical " President has passed into history without 
doing the slightest thing to alleviate poverty. 

Grover Cleveland was regarded, each time he was 
elected, as radical. In Cleveland's day, not to be in 
favor of highway robbery in office was regarded as 
proof of radicalism. That is why Cleveland's dictum 
that " a public office is a public trust " attracted national 
attention. It was a new note. But in neither of Cleve- 
land's terms did he do anything to improve the condition 
of the American people. They were as poor when he 
finally left office as they were when he first took office. 
Moreover, there was good reason for their poverty. 
Cleveland never lost an opportunity to betray them. He 
sold bonds in secret to Mr. Morgan to the great profit 
of Mr. Morgan and the great loss of the American 
people. He hurled troops against strikers and placed 
thousands of deputy United States Marshals under the 
orders of railway managers who were trying to prevent 
their employees from obtaining living wages. 

Benjamin Harrison was never regarded as a radical, 
but in 1888 he was regarded as an improvement upon 
Cleveland. After Plarrison had done nothing for four 
years, Cleveland was believed to be an improvement upon 
Harrison. Four years more of Cleveland were enough 
to send iiim out of office with the condemnation of every- 
body but the grafters in both parties. 

Business revived somewhat under the Presidency of 
McKinley, but the revival was not so much due to any- 
thing that Mr. McKinley did as it was to the fact that 
the time had come for the pendulum to swing back from 
panic to " prosperity." Nor did the revival solve the 
problem of poverty. Nothing was settled because nf)th- 
ing was changed. Not so many men were denied the 



132 TI-IE TRUTH ABOUT SOCIALISM 

right to work, but those who worked toiled only for a 
" full dinner pail." They paid all they received to live 
poorly. Only their employers fared wonderfully well. 
For them there was real prosperity. 

Which brings us to Mr. Roosevelt and his Progressive 
party. 

Mr. Roosevelt was the first President of the type that 
is now regarded as " radical." He held office seven 
years and a half. He had " a perfectly corking time." 
He did business with all of the bosses, including Hanna, 
Quay, Cannon, Payne, Aldrich and a host of others, but 
we have his word for it that his intentions were good. 
Maybe they were. For the sake of argument, let it be 
granted that they were. Let it be conceded that he be- 
lieved the things he did would enable the average man 
to earn a living more certainly and more easily. Still, 
is it not a fact that the things he did failed to accomplish 
what he expected they would? 

Is it not a fact that it is to-day more difficult for most 
persons to make a living than it was when Mr. Roose- 
velt became President? 

Is not the cost of living vastly more? 

Are not more millions of men out of work? 

Is there not greater uncertainty with regard to con- 
tinuity of employment? 

Are not more men, women and children living upon 
the hunger line, or close to it? 

Each of these questions must be answered in the 
affirmative. Mr. Roosevelt, himself, would not dare, 
even if he were so inclined, to answer them in the nega- 
tive. The facts are notorious and scandalous. They 
are scandalous because poverty, in this rich country, is 
unnecessary. 

Yet, Mr. Roosevelt is not wholly to blame. He is 



,WHY SOCIALISTS OPPOSE " RADICALS " 133 

only partly to blame. A President is not the govern- 
ment. He is only part of the government. As part of 
the government, Mr. Roosevelt advocated measures, 
some of which were enacted into law, that he believed 
would do good. Subsequent events have proved that 
he was in error. The measures he believed would help 
have not helped. If they had helped, times would be 
better than they were, instead of worse. 

Therefore, we are brought face to face with these 
questions : 

" // Air. Roosevelt, during seven and one-half years 
in the White House, coidd do nothing to make the con- 
ditions of the average man's life easier, how long should 
we have to elect him President in order to give him 
time to do something worth while F 

" If we were to elect him for life, are you sure that 
the rest of his lifetime would he long enough? 

" In any event, are you prepared to wait so long to 
behelpedf" 

Mr. Roosevelt's friends, following this thought, re- 
ply that he is not the same man that he was when he 
left the White House; that he has grown, with vision 
enlarged. 

No, he is not the same man. The American people 
have forced him into the advocacy of some things. 
They have forced even some Socialist measures upon 
him. The initiative, the referendum and the recall are 
Socialist measures. For a good many years, Mr. Roose- 
velt tried to damn them with faint praise combined 
with a medley of doubts and strangling provisos. But 
after these measures, in one winter, fought their way 
into every state capitol west of the Mississippi, as well 
as into some of the state capitols of the East, Mr. Roose- 
velt saw a great light. Then he became in favor of them. 



134 THE TRUTH ABOUT SOCIALISM 

When Mr. Roosevelt was President he had nothing" 
to say against the courts. He criticised individual 
judges, as he criticised Judge Anderson of Indianapolis, 
whom he called " a damned jackass and a crook." But 
Judge Anderson, be it remembered, had just decided 
against Mr. Roosevelt in the libel suit that he brought 
against several newspapers because of articles reflecting 
upon the part played by himself and others in the ac- 
quisition of the Panama Canal property. 

Now Mr. Roosevelt is convinced that our judicial sys- 
tem is in need of reform. In reaching this opinion, 
however, he is somewhat late. The courts are no longer 
popular. The people have not yet begun to strike at 
them, but they are watching them out of the corners of 
their eyes. Mr. Roosevelt senses the situation and re- 
sponds with a proposition to give the people the right to 
recall, or set aside, the decisions of state courts. He 
says nothing about giving the people the right to recall 
the decisions of the United States Supreme Court, 
though he must know this court is the chief judicial 
offender. Yet we are asked to believe that Mr. Roose- 
velt, in belatedly joining the fight against the tyrannical 
power of the courts, is but giving proof of the greatness 
to which he has grown and the increased fearlessness 
with which he fights. 

The women of the country have forced Mr. Roose- 
velt into the advocacy of woman suffrage. Mr. Roose- 
velt used to say that Mrs. Roosevelt was " only luke- 
warm " toward woman suffrage, and that his interest in 
it was the same. After the women of California gained 
the ballot, and Mr. Roosevelt again became a candidate 
for the Presidency, he changed from " lukewarm " to 
very hot. From that moment, woman suffrage became 
not only a right, but a necessity. Of course, the fact 



WHY SOCIALISTS OPPOSE " RADICALS " 135 

that women vote in several western states that he hoped 
to carry had no part whatever in changing his opinion. 
Mr. Roosevelt is not that kind of a man. 

Mr. Roosevelt's 1912 platform — or "contract with 
the people," as he calls it — bristles with new devices and 
new plans for the public good. Some of Mr. Roosevelt's 
plans would probably help a little — provided he could 
get a Congress that would put them into effect, and 
courts that would declare them constitutional. Mr. 
Lincoln probably could have helped the black slaves a 
little if he had made it a legal obligation upon slave own- 
ers to provide each negro, semi-annually, with a red neck- 
tie and a paste diamond. Mr. Lincoln might have gone 
even further and provided that each negro should be sup- 
plied, during the water-melon season, with all the melons 
he could eat. Instead, he wrote the Emancipation Proc- 
lamation. 

Mr. Roosevelt's present political program is by no 
means an emancipation proclamation to the American 
people. It unties no knots, nor cuts any. It bristles 
with Socialists' phrases, but it does not bristle with So- 
cialist remedies. " This country belongs to the people 
who inhabit it " — an assertion that appears in Mr. 
Roosevelt's platform — is a Socialist phrase. But Mr. 
Roosevelt's method of giving the people their own is not 
Socialistic. The Socialist method is to give it to them. 
tMr. Roosevelt's method is to appoint " strong " commis- 
'sions to regulate the country that the people own, but 
do not control or enjoy. Again and again in his plat- 
form Mr. Roosevelt fervently advocates a " strong " 
commission to do this or do that. 

If the word " strong " in a platform were sufficient to 
make a commission " strong " in action we might expect 
the commissions that Mr. Roosevelt advocates to be as 



I3'6 THE TRUTH ABOUT SOCIALISM 

strong as any commission can be that is trying to regu- 
late other people's property. 

But we do not believe the word " strong " in a plat- 
form makes a commission strong. Mr. Roosevelt, al- 
ways preaching strenuosity, nevertheless appointed, dur- 
ing his Presidency, some exceedingly poor officials. 

Since Mr. Roosevelt, the originator of " strong " com- 
missions as a cure for the poverty that is produced by 
robbery, failed as he did, what should we expect from 
such commissions if they were appointed by Presidents 
of the ordinary Wall Street stripe? 

Simmered down, Mr. Roosevelt's Progressive Party 
stands simply for this: We are still to have trusts and 
tariffs, but only such trusts and tariffs as Mr. Roosevelt 
wants. We are still to have a master class who own all 
of the industries and a servant class who do all of the 
work, but masters and servants must conduct themselves 
as Mr. Roosevelt provides. Masters may still hold out 
for profits and servants may die for lack of opportunity 
to work, but so long as Mr. Roosevelt, at Armageddon, is 
" fighting for the Lord," what of it? 

Such is not Mr. Roosevelt's reasoning, but it might as 
well be. Mr. Roosevelt and Mr. Wilson, like all other 
" radical " politicians, are incapable of rendering any 
great service to the American people for the simple 
reason that they do not strike at the great wrong. The 
great wrong is the ownership, by a small class, of the 
great class's means of life. A people who cannot sup-' 
port themselves without asking the permission of others 
are little more than slaves. We are such a people. 

" Radicals" who promise, if given power, to free us, 
only mock us. Such gentlemen are not radicals at all. 
The word " radical " is derived from a Greek word 
meaning " root." A real radical is one who goes to the 




WHY SOCIALISTS OPPOSE " RADICALS " 137 

roots of things. But radicals like Mr. Roosevelt and 
Mr. Wilson go to the roots of nothing. 

The only way to go to the root of anything is to go 
to it. 

Lincoln went to the root of the chattel slavery ques- 
tion. 

When he had finished, the chattel slavery question was 
no longer a question — it was a corpse. After wasting 
years of his life as an anti-slavery " radical " he became 
an anti-slavery revolutionist and destroyed slavery. 
Lincoln, during the last two years of his life, became a 
real radical. A real radical and a revolutionist are but 
different names for the same thing. 

The working class is suffering from robbery. The 
working class has always suffered from robbery. 
Never has there been a time when a little crowd of graft- 
ers were not feeding upon the workers. 

In the beginning, the working class were held as 
chattel slaves, the only possible cure for which was the 
utter destruction of chattel slavery. 

Then the workers became the serfs of feudal lords, 
the only possible cure for which was the destruction of 
feudalism. 

Now the toilers are robbed by the private ownership 
of the means of production, the only possible cure for 
which is the destruction of such ownership and the sub- 
stitution of public ownership through the agency of gov- 
ernment. 

No tinkering will do. Tinkering could not and difl 
not settle the white man's or the black man's slavery 
question. Nothing but the absolute destruction of the 
capitalist system can remove the poverty, the ignorance, 
the crime and the vice that are inevitable products of the 
system. 



1 38 THE TRUTH ABOUT SOCIALISM 

But do not expect capitalists to remove this system for 
yon. They will not. 

You never saw a tiger feed its prey. You never saw 
a burglar mend a victim's roof. You may see both of 
these sights some day. H you should, you may, perhaps, 
prepare yourself to behold the more marvelous spectacle 
of the capitalist class financing the campaign of a genuine 
radical who is bent upon taking the capitalist class off 
your back. 

But until you see a tiger feeding Its prey, you may well 
ask yourself whether " radicals " whose campaigns are 
financed by great capitalists are radical enough to do you 
any good. 

Certainly one side or the other is always doomed to 
disappointment; either the capitalists who put up the 
money or the workers who put up the votes. The cap- 
italists are still doing quite well. Are you? 



CHAPTER IX 

THE TRUTH ABOUT THE COAL QUESTION 

ALMOST anyone can make anybody believe anything 
that is not so. It is only the truth that makes poor 
headway in this world. Our national motto seems to be : 
" When there are no more blunderers or liars to be heard, 
let us listen to common sense." 

The anthracite coal situation is a case in point. So 
long ago as 1902 this situation had become maddening. 
As the result of a prolonged strike to obtain living wages 
for the miners, the country, at the beginning of winter, 
was threatened with a coal famine. So serious was the 
situation that a " Get-Coal Conference " was held at De- 
troit. Among the delegates were Victor L. Berger, the 
first Socialist congressman, and a number of other So- 
cialists. These Socialist delegates told the conference 
what to do. They said : 

" Go into politics. Make the governmental ownership 
of the coal mines and the railroads a political matter. 
Take over the ownership of these mines and railroads 
and operate them for the benefit of the people, rather tlian 
for the benefit of millionaires. Do that and you will 
have solved your coal problem." 

But that was the truth, mind you. As truth, it had no 
chance of acceptance at that time. Truth never has a 
chance the first time, the second time or the third time. 
Truth has attained its great reputation for rising every 
time it is crushed only because it has been so often 
crushed. 

139 



I40 THE TRUTH ABOUT SOCIALISM 

And the truth that these men spoke in Detroit years 
ago was forthwith crushed, not only in Detroit, but all 
over the country. What was the use of believing? Were 
there not plenty of blunderers about? Were there not 
plenty of blind alleys in which to go? 

Indeed, there were. The people went into one of them. 
Or, rather, they remained in the blind alley in which they 
had long been. That was the blind alley of private own- 
ership of the coal mines and railroads. Plenty of blind 
men could see a delightful opening at the end of this blind 
alley. They were very sure that it led somewhere. It 
must lead somewhere. Certainly, no great difficulty 
could be encountered in managing these millionaires. 
The Inter-State Commerce Commission would fix them 
if nothing else could fix them. If the Inter-State Com- 
merce Commission should prove too weak for the task, 
the courts would not prove too weak. At any rate, there 
was no danger ahead. It was entirely safe to leave the na- 
tion's coal supply in the hands of a few men who had al- 
ready abundantly proved their disinclination to treat 
either their employees or the public honestly. 

For ten straight years thereafter we fought the Coal 
Trust in the courts. We enjoined it, we indicted it, we 
prosecuted it. To what purpose? To no purpose. In 
1 912, the United States Supreme Court brought an end 
to the proceedings by handing down a decision that was 
said to be a " great victory " for the Government. But 
it was one of those great anti-trust victories that do not 
hurt the trusts nor help the people. This " victory " did 
not hurt the Coal Trust. The price of coal did not go 
down a nickel. On the contrary, the prices of coal road 
stocks immediately w^nt higher. Wall Street knew the 
decision would not interrupt the Coal Trust in its plun- 
dering, and backed its opinion with its money. Wall 



TRUTH ABOUT THE COAL QUESTION 141 

Street quickly realized what we have not yet fully realized 
— that the court had prohibited only a certain method 
of stealing, while leaving the trust free to adopt any one 
of a hundred other methods, each of which is as suitable 
to its purposes as the method that has been put under the 
ban. 

The trust lawyers quickly juggled out one of the hun~^ 
Jdred other methods of stealing and the robbery of the 
people continued as if there had been no decision by the 
United States Supreme Court. Immediately, there was 
a loud demand from the " radical " press that the anti- 
trust law be so amended that it would prohibit the new 
form of robbery. Again the Socialists repeated their 
W'arning against reliance upon laws that seek to regulate 
trusts. Again the Socialists urged the people to settle 
the coal question for all time by owning and operating 
the coal mines and the railroads that carry the coal to 
the people. Between the advice given by Socialists and 
the advice given by radicals, there was all the difference 
that there is between night and day. The " radicals " 
advised the people to leave the coal in the hands of a few 
multi-millionaires and then fight in the courts to get it 
back. The Socialists assured the people that if they 
would take possession of their own coal they would not be 
compelled to fight to get it back. But the advice given 
by the Socialists contained too much truth to find ready 
acceptance. There being not fewer than a hundred ways 
in which the trust could rob the people, it seemed so much 
more reasonable to let the trust try these various ways, 
one by one, and prosecute the trust gentlemen for each 
separate form of robbery. Ten years were required to 
" win " the anti-trust case that was finally decided in 
191 2, so we shall require at least 1,000 years to obtain 
supreme court decisions prohibiting a hundred different 



142 THE TRUTH ABOUT SOCIALISM 

inclhods of Coal Trust robbery. But good, able " radi- 
cal " gentlemen assured the people that the way to kill 
the Coal Trust was to choke it with court decisions and 
the people believed what they were told. Almost always 
the people believe what they are told unless what they are 
told is true. It is only the truth that must fight its way 
in this world. So many powerful, selfish persons are al- 
ways eager to foist the lie that feathers their nests. 
Truth is always besmirched by those whom it would de- 
stroy, and too often despised by those whom it would 
help. 

Thus we have a naked view of two classes of men - — 
the anthracite coal operators and their victims. The coal 
operators are conscienceless robbers. They hold within 
the hollows of their hands the anthracite coal supply of 
this country. They own it or control it as you own or 
control a gas range that you have bought or rented. The 
coal supply of this country is their property. And though 
you must draw upon it or freeze in winter, you cannot 
have a pound of coal except at their price. And their 
price is always all they believe they can get out of you 
without a riot. The cost of production does not matter. 
Your necessities do not matter. They want all they can 
get. 

These naked millionaires are not attractive persons. 
Who would be an attractive person if Jie had their 
power? Are you so sure you would be an attractive 
person if you had their power? Do not be too sure. 
Give any man such an opportunity to squeeze millions 
out of a people and it is very likely that he will squeeze 
them. There is little or nothing in this " good man," 
" bad man " theory. The blackest Coal Trust magnate 
is just what you and the Coal Trust have made him. If 
anything, you are more to blame than he. He gets all 



TRUTH ABOUT THE COAL QUESTION 143 

of his power from the laws. And the men whom you 
elect make the laws. They make the laws which say 
that a few men — or, so far as that is concerned, one 
man — may own all of the anthracite coal mines in the 
country. 

These laws are certainly very comfortable for the Coal 
Trust gentlemen. If you are satisfied, they are. If you 
don't move to change them, they will never move to 
change them. But, if you are fit to cast a ballot, you 
know that the present conditions can never be changed 
until the laws that made the conditions are changed. 

Let us now take a close view of the Coal Trust vic- 
tims. You are one of them. You are tired of the Coal 
Trust. You have no sort of notion that it is anytliing ex- 
cept the robber concern that everybody believes it to be. 
Yon would be much better pleased if the government 
owned the mines. You would be still better pleased if 
the government owned not only the mines but the rail- 
roads that carry coal from the mines. You know that in 
the Panama Canal Zone, where the government sells all 
of the supplies, the cost of living is much less than it 
is here. You believe all of this and more. But wliat 
are you doing to translate your belief into accomplished 
fact? 

You are doing nothing. Tlie only way in which you 
can translate tliis beh"cf into accomplished fact is to ex- 
press your belief in political action. You must vote for 
that which you believe. You must support a political 
party that advocates the ownership by the government of 
the coal mines and the railroads. If you vote for a party 
that believes in permitting the ownership of the coal 
mines and the railroarls to remain where it is you are vot- 
ing for the Coal Trust. TIow long do you believe it will 
take you to beat the Coal Trust by voting for the Coal 



144 TPIE TRUTH ABOUT SOCIALISM 

Trust? Do you know of any way in which the Coal 
Trust can be beaten except by voting against it? 

Of course, the newspapers that you read will tell you 
there are other ways of beating the robber Coal Trust tlian 
by voting against it. They will tell you that the Coal 
Trust can be " regulated " or indicted and convicted into 
decency. Ask your newspapers what makes them think so. 
We have many great trusts in this country — has a single 
one of them ever been regulated into decency? Have 
they been so ruthlessly pursued in court that they were 
willing to be decent ? You know the answer. You know 
there is not a decent great trust in the country. You 
know that every attempt to drive them into decency has 
failed. Yet your newspapers have the impudence to tell 
you that it is not necessary that the government should 
own the anthracite mines and the railroads. 

It would be difficult to imagine a more amazing situa- 
tion. Here we have in this country two sharply con- 
trasted classes of opinion. 

One opinion is that institutions like the Coal Trust 
should be regulated or destroyed — compelled to go back 
to competition. 

The other opinion is that institutions like the Coal Trust 
can neither be regulated nor compelled to break up into 
small parts and compete. 

The men who hold the first opinion can not point to a 
single instance wherein their belief has been justified by 
events. The men who hold the second opinion have only , 
common sense with which to back up their assertion that, 
if the government owned the coal mines and the rail- 
roads, Coal Trust magnates and railway multi-million- 
aires could not rob us. 

But in this instance, as in all others where the robbery 
of the many by the few is concerned, truth is put upon the 
defensive. The grafters, as they might naturally be ex- 



TRUTH ABOUT THE COAL QUESTION 145 

pected to do, not only shower upon the truth-tellers their 
scorn and derision, but even the people who are being 
robbed are doubtful or suspicious. They are not so cer- 
tain that if robbers be stopped robbery will be stopped. 
They suspect the statement that, if nothing be taken from 
something, something will remain untouched. They 
want us to prove, not only that two and two make four, 
but that nothing from four leaves four. 

But they don't ask the " regulation " send-them-to-jail 
gentlemen to prove anything. When these grafters say 
two from four leave four nobody expresses a doubt. Ev- 
erybody is ready to believe that that which has never been 
done can be easily done. Few are ready to believe that 
that which might easily be done can be done at all. 

The public attitude toward the Coal Trust and the 
railroads constitutes possibly the only exception to this 
rule. The Coal Trust and the railroads have so wronged 
the people that the people would doubtless welcome their 
ownership by the government. H the people were to vote 
directly upon the question : " Shall the government take 
over the ownership of the anthracite coal mines and the 
railroads?" it is probable that the affirmative majority 
would be not less than two to one. Yet, notwithstanding 
the fact that the coal question can be solved only with 
ballots, the Socialists are the only ones who seem ever to 
try with their ballots to solve it. The rest of the people, 
while opposed to the conditions that exist, vote the tickets 
/of parties that are pledged to maintain the conditions 
that exist. 

Every man who voted for Wilson, Roosevelt or Taft 
voted to keep the coal supply of the nation in private 
hands and the railroads in private hands. 

Those who voted for Mr. Wilson voted to " destroy " 
the Coal Trust and " send the trust magnates to prison." 

Those who voted for Mr. Roosevelt voted to permit the 



i4<5 THE TRUTH ABOUT SOCIALISM 

Coal Trust to continue to own the nation's coal supply, 
provided only that it be " good." Otherwise, a " strong " 
commission appointed by Mr. Roosevelt would proceed to 
administer " social justice." 

Those who voted for Mr. Taft voted to break the Coal 
Trust into bits. 

Candidly, let us ask, did either of these plans suit any- 
body? Is there anybody who would not have vastly pre- 
ferred tliat the government take over the ownership of the 
anthracite coal mines and operate them for the benefit of 
the people? A plan of governmental ownership and op- 
eration would have settled the coal question instantly. A 
government that can dig the Panama Canal can dig 
coal. 

But there is no likelihood whatever that Mr. Wilson's 
plan to destroy the Coal Trust and all other trusts will 
settle the coal question at all. The Coal Trust cares 
nothing for courts. Mr. Hearst attacked the Coal Trust 
more vigorously in the courts than any President ever at- 
tacked any trusts in the courts. Mr. Hearst came out of 
court absolutely empty-handed. He gained a few paper 
victories, but he gained no substantial victory. He never 
halted for a moment the upward flight of the price of 
coal. 

Mr. Wilson, if he try ever so hard, can do no better. 
So long as the principle of the private ownership of the 
lantliracite coal fields is admitted — and Mr. Wilson ad- 
jmits this principle as fully as does anybody — nothing 
can be done. Corporations can be split up into bits, it is 
true, as the Standard Oil Company was split up, but what 
do such splits amount to? Absolutely nothing. The 
ownership is not changed. The dominating owners con- 
tinue to handle the pieces as they formerly handled the 
whole. 



TRUTH ABOUT THE COAL QUESTION 147 

Suppose Mr. Wilson try to enforce the criminal clause 
of the Sherman Anti-Trust law and put the coal magnates 
into jail ? Suppose he try to compel the component parts 
of the Coal Trust actually to compete with each other. 
What will happen? 

This will happen. The component parts of the Coal 
Trust will refuse to compete. The men who are at the 
head of the coal companies are business associates of long 
standing. They know each other well, and they know 
well that none of them can make any money by fighting 
any of the others. So, when one gentleman announces 
a schedule of coal prices, none of the others will undercut 
him. All of the other coal companies will announce the 
same prices, because the owners of each company will 
also be the owners of all the other companies. 

Did you ever stop to consider what position the gov- 
ernment will then be in? Will not its hands be tied? 
Can the government go into court and demand that the 
other companies cut their prices? Suppose the other 
companies say they cannot cut their prices without losing 
money ? Suppose the other companies say nothing at all, 
except : " This coal belongs to us. We have quite as 
much right to fix our own price upon it as has the govern- 
ment to fix its own price upon postage stamps. That 
other coal companies have fixed the same price we have 
is no more the government's business than it is because 
several grocers fix the same price upon sugar, bacon, tea 
or coffee." 

It will then be up to the government to prove that the 
idcnticality of prices is the result of conspiracy. If con- 
spiracy cannot be proved, the government can do nothing. 
In such a case, the government would never be able to 
prove conspiracy. The coal operators would not con- 
spire over the telephone, or on the street corners. There 



148 THE TRUTH ABOUT SOCIALISM 

would be little for tlieni to conspire about, anyway. All 
of them would be financially interested in all of the com- 
panies, precisely as Mr. Rockefeller is financially inter- 
ested in all of the constituent companies of the Standard 
Oil Company. The matter of price-fixing would proba- 
bly be left to the dominating personality of the group, 
precisely as it is now left, more or less, to the strongest 
man among them. And, the prices he fixed would speed- 
ily become the prices of all. 

Thus do we perceive a peculiar feature of the human 
mind. Individually, we know what we should like to do 
about the Coal Trust and the railroads. We know we 
should like to own and operate them. But collectively we 
know no such thing. We do not get together. We act 
as if that which each of us believes were believed by no 
other than himself. We are like butter that will not 
" gather " or bees that will not " hive." 

There is every reason why we who are paying out- 
rageous prices for coal should get together on the matter 
of public ownership. The cost of mining coal is less than 
$2 a ton. In 1902 Mr, George F. Baer — the "Divine 
Right " gentleman — testified that the cost was $2, and 
some other witnesses testified that it was as low as $1.43 
a ton. Probably no one but the coal magnates know 
exactly what the cost is, but now and then a fact leaks 
out that is illuminating. Such a fact was discovered in 
191 2 by a staff correspondent whom the New York 
World sent into the coal regions. 

The World man found that the Coal Trust sells coal 
to its employees at a reduced price. This is not philan- 
thropy, because if the Coal Trust charged full price for 
coal, it would soon be compelled to pay the miners more 
wages — they live like dogs, and not much more can be 
taken from them until it is first given to them. At any 



TRUTH ABOUT THE COAL QUESTION 149 

rate, the World man found that the price of coal, to min- 
ers, is only $2 a ton. 

Now, it is fair to assume that the Coal Trust is not 
losing any money on the $2 coal that it is selling to its 
employees. It is more likely that it is making a nickel 
or two. At any rate, $2 a ton may be considered the ex- 
treme limit of the cost of mining a ton of anthracite. 

Whenever the people of this country are ready to listen 
to the truth about the coal question, the retail price of coal 
can quickly be more than cut in two. The actual cost of 
mining coal and transporting it to any point within 500 
miles of the mines probably is not more than $3 a ton. 
If the people, through the government, owned and oper- 
ated the mines, the government could afford to sell coal 
at this price, plus the local cost of delivery. The wages 
of the miners could be doubled — as they should be — 
and coal could still be sold by the government at $5 a 
ton. In any calculation about the coal problem, the min- 
ers should not be forgotten. The Coal Trust will never 
take care of them, but they have a right to demand that 
they shall be taken care of. 

The business of mining coal is dangerous and disagree- 
able to the last degree. Coal miners, when they are at 
work, seldom see the day. They go from the night of the 
surface to the night of the mines. They breathe such 
dust as never blew in the filthiest street. When a fall of 
slate comes or an explosion of firedamp, their mangled 
bodies are all that is left for their weeping widows and 
orphans at the mouth of the mine. If they escape death 
by accident, they cannot escape the death that comes from 
the unhealth fulness of their calling. No life insurance 
company wants much to do with a coal miner except at 
the highest rates. No tuberculosis exhibit is complete 
without the blackened lungs of a coal miner in a jar of 



I50 THE TRUTH ABOUT SOCIALISM 

alcohol. There is nothing for a coal miner when he is 
alive but a cheerless existence of the greatest drudgery — 
and nothing for iiini Avhcn he is dead but an unmarked 
grave on the hillside. Yet 76,000 human beings thus 
spend their lives in the antln-acite coal mines, and hun- 
dreds of other thousands in the bituminous mines. All 
of this great toll of human misery that the nation may 
burn coal. 

If the nation could not get along without coal, there 
might be some excuse for this colossal sacrifice. Even 
then, it would be hard for those who might be compelled 
to make the sacrifice and, if we were to be fair about it, 
we might have some difficulty in determining who should 
go to the mines and who should go to the opera. If we 
were to be fair about it, perhaps some of those who now 
go to the opera would go to the mines sometimes. But 
the nation could easily get along without sending any- 
body into the mines. Water power and fuel oil will do 
everything that coal is now doing. 

Please consider the water power question. In a report 
made to President Taft in 1912 by Commissioner of Cor- 
porations Herbert K. Smith, these statements appear: 

Steam and gas engines are creating in this country ap- 
proximately 19,000,000 horsepower. 

Water wheels, in this country, are developing 6,000,000 
horsepower. 

The water power of this country, capable of develop- 
ment, is approximately 19,000,000 horsepower. 

These statements mean that there is enough undevel- 
oped water power in this country to more than take the 
place of every coal-burning steam engine. This water 
power, if converted into electricity, would do everything 
that steam does and more. It would run machinery. It 
would light streets. It would heat houses. Moreover, 



TRUTH ABOUT THE COAL QUESTION 151 

the water power, once developed, would not have to be 
dug out of the ground every year. " White coal," as the 
Italians call water power, is mined by the sun and thrown 
into the furnace by the force of gravitation. Raih'oads 
need not haul it. Nobody need deliver it. It hauls and 
delivers itself. 

But that is not all. If there were not an ounce of water 
power in this country, still we should not be dependent 
upon coal for heat and power. Oil will burn quite as 
well as coal — in fact, a good deal better. Dr. Rudolph 
Diesel, of Munich, in 19 12 declared before the Institute 
of Mechanical Engineers in London that exhaustive re- 
searches had indicated the presence of as much oil in the 
globe as there is coal ; that new oil fields were constantly 
being discovered, Borneo, Mexico and even Egypt, in 
addition to other known lands, containing great fields; 
that " the world's production of crude oil had increased 
three and a half times as rapidly as the production of 
coal, and that the ratio of increase was becoming steadily 
greater." 

Why tlien do we continue to burn coal ? For the same 
reason that we continue to do a number of other foolish 
things. Because we do not manage this country in which 
we liv^e. The men who are managing it are managing it 
for profit. If there were a greater profit for the Coal 
Trust in switching from coal to water power or oil they 
would switch us quickly enough. If we were to change 
to oil, it would be a simple matter to lay oi) pipes in the 
streets precisely as we now lay water and gas pipes, and 
heat our houses witli oil sprays blown into our furnaces 
with jets of steam. Certainly, there w^ould be no diffi- 
culty in heating houses from a central heating plant that 
burned oil. Plenty of western cities have such central 
heating plants now tliat burn coal. And the idea is a good 



152 THE TRUTH ABOUT SOCIALISM 

one, too. The central plant decreases the danger of fire, 
besides doing away with dust and the necessity of shovel- 
ing coal into the furnace of each house. 

But gentlemen like the Coal Trust barons figure this 
way: "We have a certain amount of money invested 
here. We arc looking only for tlic highest rate of inter- 
est that we can get upon our investment. We might serve 
the people better if we were to turn to water-power de- 
velopment or the burning of oil, but it is doubtful if we 
should obtain a greater rate of interest upon our invest- 
ment. Certainly, we should lose a lot by junking our 
coal mines, as we should be compelled to do if we were 
to prove their worthlessness — so, we'll just keep on 
dealing in coal." 

And, the people of the United States, through their 
failure to " get together " politically behind some party 
that stands for what they all want — the people of the 
United States are getting the worst of it. 

If the people of the United States want their govern- 
ment — which is actually themselves, though they do not 
seem to know it — if the people of the United States 
w^ant their government to take over and to operate the coal 
mines solely for the benefit of the people of the United 
States, they can do it simply by standing together and 
talking and voting for what they want. 

In the meantime, it would be a splendid thing for the 
country if the Coal Trust w^ould increase the price of coal 
a dollar a month until such time as the people become 
enough interested in their own problems to solve them. 



CHAPTER X 

DEATHBEDS AND DIVIDENDS 

STOCK market reports do not show a relationship 
between deathbeds and dividends. Such a relation- 
ship exists, however. In this country, many are made to 
die miserably in order that a few may live magnificently. 
Every year, more than half a million human beings are 
compelled to die in order that a few thousands may make, 
every year, perhaps half a billion dollars. More than 
three millions are kept sick in order that a handful may 
be kept rich. 

This is not mere rhetoric. It is fact. Irving Fisher, 
Professor of Political Economy at Yale, and President of 
the Committee of One Hundred on National Health, is 
one of the authorities for the figures. In his report on 
national vitality, to the Conservation Commission, he de- 
clared that in this country, every year, 600,000 human be- 
ings die whose lives might be saved ; that there are con- 
stantly 3,000,000 ill who might be well. 

Dr. Woods Hutchinson, New York physician, endorses 
these estimates. Moreover, the estimates are confirmed 
by the actual experience of New Zealand. New Zea- 
land's dealh-rate is 9.5 to the thousand. Our death-rate 
is 16.5 to the thousand. If New Zealand's population 
were as great as our own, the number of deaths each 
year, under her present rate, would be 630,000 fewer than 
the number of Americans who die each year. Yet the 
climate of New Zealand is no more healthful than is that 
of America. New Zealand simply does not sacrifice her 
people to private greed. America docs. 

153 



154 THE TRUTH ABOUT SOCIALISM 

Plenty of laymen know liow typhoid could be made a 
dead disease. Germany has already made typhoid all 
but a dead disease in Germany. Yet, in this country, tu- 
berculosis, typhoid and other diseases that could easily be 
prevented, are permitted to go on, killing their millions. 

Why? Because capitalism stands in the way. Be- 
cause deathbeds could not be decreased in number without 
decreasing dividends in size. Because we can reduce the 
death rale only by acting through our governments — 
national, state and municipal — and big business, rather 
than ourselves, controls these governments. Big busi- 
ness, desiring to keep the special privileges it has and to 
get more, puts men into office whom it believes will do its 
bidding. Usually, these men know nothing and care 
nothing about promoting the public health. They are 
politicians. If they do know something about promoting 
the public health, and attempt to apply their knowledge at 
the expense of somebody's dividends, there is a fight. If 
it is a disease-infected tenement that it is desired to tear 
down, the injunction is brought into play. 

Such a situation seems appalling. It is appalling. It 
borders upon the monstrous that a people who have at last 
learned how to prevent the great diseases should not be 
permitted to apply their knowledge. That the people 
endure such a condition can be explained only on the 
theory that they realize neither the ease with which mod- 
ern science could extend their lives, nor the identity of the 
few who put dividends above life. 

In order that there shall be no doubt concerning the 
power of present knowledge, if applied, to destroy some 
of the great diseases and cripple others, I shall set down 
here a question that I asked of Professor Irving Fisher, 
Dr. Woods Hutchinson, and Dr. J. N. McCormack. Dr. 
McCormack is an eminent physician, who devotes his 



DEATHBEDS AND DIVIDENDS 155 

entire time to lecturing throughout the United States, un- 
der the auspices of the American Medical Association 
and the Committee of One Hundred. His topic is the 
advisability of applying modern knowledge to the public 
health problem. Here is the question : 

" If you had the power of a czar, could you destroy tu- 
berculosis and typhoid fever, and also greatly reduce the 
number of deaths from pneumonia?" ' , 

Professor Fisher and Dr. McCormack replied promptly 
in the affirmative. Evidently, I might as well have asked 
Dr. Hutchinson if, having a glass of water, he could 
drink it. He was most matter of fact. Without a doubt, 
tuberculosis could be destroyed. So could typhoid fever, 
which is solely a filth disease that no one can get without 
eating or drinking matter that has passed through the 
stomach of a typhoid victim. Parenthetically, I may say 
that I heard Dr. Hutchinson tell a committee of the 
United States Senate that if a National Department of 
Health were established and properly administered, half 
of the crime would cease in twenty-five years. Dr. 
Hutchinson also said that it was entirely possible to save 
the babies that died from preventable diseases — dysen- 
tery, for instance. The lowest estimate of the number 
of babies who die every year from preventable diseases is 
100,000. 

Ask the same question of any physician in the country 
who is worth his salt and he will give the same answer. 
Thus well known are the methods by which the great dis- 
eases might be destroyed. 

The way to wipe out tuberculosis quickly, for instance, 
would be to destroy every habitation that is known to be 
hopelessly infected — and there are many such — permit 
no habitation to be erected without provision for suf- 
ficient sunlight and air; permit no factory or other work- 



156 THE TRUTH ABOUT SOCIALISM 

place to be erected without sufficient provision for sun- 
lij;ht and fresh air — and destroy such workplaces as now 
exist without this provision; reduce the cost of living so 
that the millions who now cannot afford to live in sani- 
tary homes and buy adequate food could do so ; isolate 
the infected and educate the people with regard to the 
necessity of sleeping with their bedroom windows wide 
open. 

If this program were put through, tuberculosis would 
cease as soon as those who are now infected should either 
have recovered or died. It is because such a program 
has not been put through that, according to Professor 
Fisher, there are always 500,000 Americans suffering 
from tuberculosis, and the annual death-roll from the dis- 
ease is 150,000. Any municipal government, if it were 
disposed to do so and the courts were willing to let it do 
so, could put through the housing part of the program 
in a single summer. The dangerous habitations could 
be condemned. The government, if necessary, could 
build and rent at cost, sanitary houses in the suburbs, as 
the government of New Zealand does for its people. 
Congress, the President and the courts, if they were dis- 
posed to do so, could reduce the cost of living. If the 
government can teach farmers by mail how to prevent 
hog-cholera, there would seem to be no reason why it 
should not teach human beings by mail to breathe fresh air 
both night and day. 

What stands in the way of immediately putting through 
such a program? Nothing in the world except the men 
whose property would be destroyed, or whose stealings 
in food-prices would be stopped. The property loss 
would be enormous. (Think of calling the destruction 
of a lot of death-traps a " loss.") The " value " of the 
property destroyed might be a billion dollars. Maybe it 



DEATHBEDS AND DIVIDENDS 1157 

would be two billions. What difference need it make if 
it should take five billion dollars' worth of labor, lumber, 
bricks, steel and other materials to replace death-traps 
with life-traps? One hundred and fifty thousand lives 
would be saved every year from tuberculosis alone, and 
the rebuilding operations would create greater prosperity 
for labor than was ever created. by any act of Congress. 

A hundred years ago, no one knew how to startip out 
tuberculosis. What good does it do us to know how? 
We are not permitted to apply our knowledge. We can 
peck away if we want to, at the edge of the problem, but 
we mustn't strike at the middle. If we should, we might 
cut somebody's dividends. We might interfere with the 
" vested interests " of the owners of the cellars in which 
25,000 New York families live, or with the owners of the 
101,000 windowless rooms in which New Yorkers live, 
or with the owners of the unsanitary houses and factories 
in other cities. Our public officials know better than to 
try to do anything really radical in the health line. They 
have condemned just enough pestholes to know how dan- 
gerous it is to political prospects to grapple with property, 
and enforced just enough of the factory laws to know 
how dangerous it is to try to enforce factory laws at all. 

In New York City, according to Tenement House Com- 
missioner Murphy, 45 persons are burned alive every 
year in death-trap tenements. A new tenement-house 
(law prohibits the erection of death-traps, and in the new 
jtenements there are no cremations. But the old death- 
traps are pcrmiltcd to stand. In ten years, 450 more per- 
sons will have been burned alive. In 10 years, 1,500,000 
more Americans will have died from tuberculosis. 

"Of the people living in the United States to-day," 
.snifl J. Pease Norton, Assistant l^rofcssor of Political 
Economy at Yale, " more than 8,000,000 will die of 



158 THE TRUTH ABOUT SOCIALISM 

tuberculosis." Between the ages of 20 and 30, every 
third death is from consumption, and, at all ages, the 
mortality from the same disease is one in nine. 

We now censure ancient kings for having slaughtered 
men in war for private profit. But what ancient king 
ever made such a record in war as our dividend-takers 
make in peace? What ancient king, in his whole life- 
time, ever slew 8,000,000 men? What modern war 
marked the end of so many men as tuberculosis kills in a 
year? During the four years of the Civil War, only a 
little more than 200,000 men were killed in battle. Tu- 
berculosis kills 300,000 Americans every two years. 
Other diseases that could be prevented if dividends were 
out of the way bring up the total of avoidable deaths in 
this country to 1,200,000 every two years. 

What if our Government did nothing to end a war 
that was killing 600,000 Americans each year? What 
if a few contractors who were making millions out of the 
war controlled elections, administrations and the courts 
and would not let the government end the war? 

What difference does it make whether foreign foes and 
army contractors kill these millions, or whether domestic 
dividend-takers and their governments kill them? Dead 
men not only " tell no tales," but they have no prefer- 
ences. It is as bad to be dead from one cause as from 
another. 

" During the next ten years," said Professor Norton, 
"more than 6,000,000 infants less than two years old 
will end their little spans of life, while mothers sit by and 
watch in utter helplessness. And yet this number could 
probably be decreased by as much as half. But nothing 
is done." 

Dr. Cressey L. Wilbur, Chief Statistician for Vital 
Statistics for the Federal Census Bureau, says that at 



DEATHBEDS AND DIVIDENDS 159 

least 100,000 and perhaps 200,000 children less than five 
years old die in this country every year from preventable 
causes. 

Our national government freights the mails with circu- 
lars telling how to cure hog-cholera and kill the insects 
that prey on fruit trees; but in all the years since the 
Revolutionary War, it has never sent a circular to a 
mother telling her how to keep her baby alive. The 
state and the municipal governments have done some- 
thing, but they have usually stopped when they reached 
the big money bags. Not a state or a city has made it 
impossible for a baby to be given bad milk. Not a state 
or a city has rid itself of unsanitary habitations. Not a 
state or a city has condemned all the workshops in which 
men and women work at the peril of their lives. Not a 
state or a city has even enforced its own factory-inspec- 
tion laws. 

If the men whom big business has put in office were 
even intelligently interested in public health, probably 
50,000 babies could be saved each year without tearing 
down a rookery or providing a single better house. A 
little intelligent effort and a few thousand dollars would 
suffice. 

Dr. Hutchinson tells what a little intelligent effort 
and a few dollars did for the babies of the small English 
city of Huddersficld. A few years ago a physician was 
elected mayor. One of his first acts was to announce that 
he woulfl give a prize of ten shillings to the mother of 
every child born during the mayor's administration, pro- 
vided the babies were brought to his office in perfect 
health, on the first anniversary of their birth. The only 
other stipulation was that no mother .should be eligible to 
a prize who did not immediately report to the mayor the 
birth of her infant. 



i6o THE TRUTH ABOUT SOCIALISM 

Though the prize was small, there was no lack of moth- 
ers who were willing to be takers. The doctor-mayor 
established what amounted to a correspondence school 
for mothers, and, at the birth of each child, began to send 
circulars telling how to take care of the baby; what to 
feed it and what not to feed it ; what to do if the baby ap- 
peared so-and-so — and so on. Moreover, he kept a city 
physician on the circuit to look in at each home as often 
as possible, to see how the babies appeared and give the 
mothers further advice. 

That's all there is to this story — except that he brought 
down the death-rate for babies from 130 to 55 ; saved 75 
babies each year to each thousand born. More than that 
he helped the babies who would have lived anyway. 
Good care, says the doctor, will increase the strength of 
strong babies from 15 to 25 per cent. 

Any American government could do as much. By 
condemning unsanitary homes any American government 
could do more. All that is necessary is the desire — and 
the permission of those who control the governments. 
The people that cast the ballots are willing to give the 
permission, but the ballots they cast perpetuate the con- 
ditions against which they complain. Otherwise, there 
w^ould be no death-trap houses ; nor impure food ; nor ex- 
tortionate food-prices ; nor unsanitary work-places. And 
somebody would go to jail if an ice trust, desiring to crip- 
ple competitors who might cut prices, should send ships 
up a river to destroy the ice. It was brought out in 
court that the New York Ice Trust did that. The ice 
trust was convicted under the State anti-trust law. But 
nobody is in jail. And ice is still selling at a price that 
kills the children of the poor. 

The only way to get iDig business on the side of public 
health is to get public health and private profit on the 



DEATHBEDS AND DIVIDENDS i6i 

same side. Health makes efficiency, efficiency makes 
profit, and whenever pubHc health can be bought at a 
price that seems likely to yield a profit in efficiency, big 
business will buy. That is the way Professor Fisher 
figures it out and here is a case that he cites in point : 

The girls in one of the Chicago telephone exchanges 
that is located in a particularly smoky and dusty part of 
the city complained to the manager of the smoke and 
dust. He cheerfully advised them to forget the smoke 
and dust and go on with their work, which, having more 
hunger than money, they did. 

A few months later a growing volume of complaints 
against bad service caused the manager to investigate. 
He found that the smoke and dust were interfering with 
the operation of the switchboards. The little brass tags 
were so gummed that frequently they did not fall when 
subscribers called. Nor did the grime on the " plugs " 
with which connections are made constitute a good me- 
dium for the flow of electricity. 

When the manager learned what the smoke and dust 
were doing to his human machines he did nothing. But 
when he learned what smoke and dust were doing to his 
metallic machines he wasted no time. He laid the mat- 
ter before his superiors, with the result that a plan was 
installed for the filtration, through water, of every par- 
ticle of air that entered the exchange. 

It is not to the interest of big business as a whole that 
the people should have pure food. The markets are 
flooded with unwholesome food that an honest law, 
honestly administered, would have barred. Professor 
Fisher relates an incident that shows how afraid the big 
meat dealers are of the pure food law. 

The professor was sitting in the lobby of a hotel not 
dibtant from New York. The proprietor of the hotel 



i62 THE TRUTH ABOUT SOCIALISM 

called up a New York meat dealer on the long-distance 
'phone to complain that some bad beef had been sent to 
the hotel. He said he had never yet fed his patrons on 
rotten beef and he didn't intend to begin. The beef must 
be taken away and the charge deducted from his bill. 
The man at the other end of the wire evidently offered 
no opposition, and the receiver was hung up. 1 

Soon the telephone rang again. New York was on the 
wire. The conversation was brief. All that Professor 
Fisher could hear was the hotel man's single remark : 
" I'll see what I can do and let you know." 

The hotel man rang off and immediately called up a 
local restaurant. Then Professor Fisher heard this 
cheerful statement go over the wire: 

" I've got some beef here that ain't just right, and 
the New York people who sent it to me wanted me to 
see if I couldn't sell it for them up here . . . Oh, 
it'll hang together yet, but 'tain't what I want for my 
people ; you might use it, though ... I don't know 
what the price will be. You'll have to make your bar- 
gain with them, but it won't be much. . . . All 
right, send over and get it." 

And this — and a thousand times more than this — 
under the Pure Food Law! Such crimes could not oc- 
cur if the government, when it tried to enact a decent 
law, had not been thrown flat on its back. The pity of 
it is that when big business and a government come into 
collision over public health matters, the government is 
usually thrown on its back. 

" I doubt," said Dr. Hutchinson, " whether there is a 
local health officer at any post of entry in the United 
States who, if a case of plague, cholera or yellow fever 
should appear on a ship, would not think three or four 
times before he reported it. And if he did report it, as 



DEATHBEDS AND DIVIDENDS 163 

the law requires him to do, his act would cost him his 
position. Business interests would cause his removal." 

This is not mere talk. Nor is it simply prophecy. 
It is history. So long as New Orleans was subject to 
periodical outbreaks of yellow fever, the health authori- 
ties were compelled not only to fight the disease, but 
to fight the business interests that denied its existence. 
Dr. Hutchinson says that business interests once caused 
the removal of the State health officer of Louisiana, 
merely because he insisted that yellow fever existed in 
the State — which it did. 

Dr. Hutchinson himself, as State health officer of 
Oregon, in 1905-6, had to fight big business to conserve 
public health. Big business whipped him. His experi- 
ences were not novel, but one of them will be related 
for the simple reason that it was not novel, and there- 
fore shows the sort of opposition that health officers, 
all over the land, are compelled to encounter. 

Soon after taking of^ce Dr. Hutchinson began an in- 
vestigation of the water supplies of the chief cities of 
Oregon. His report showed that the water that private 
corporations were serving to municipalities carried 
typhoid infection. 

Immediately the business interests of the State turned 
their guns upon him. Through the newspapers, which 
they controlled by reason of advertising contracts, they 
denounced him as an " enemy of the State." " The fair 
fame of the commonwealth " was being traduced by a 
reckless maligner. He was even dared to show his face 
in one city. An attempt was made to remove him from 
ofTice, but the governor happened to be a man who could 
not be browbeaten, and Dr. Hutchinson remained. 

But while the business interests of Oregon were not 
able to get the governor, they got somebody. The city 



i64 THE TRUTH ABOUT SOCIALISM 

officials ^vllo could have purified the water took no step 
to do so. If they had merely recognized the existence 
of infected water and urged the people to boil it, some 
service would have been performed. But the municipal 
officials upheld the " fair fame " of their various com- 
munities by denying that the water was infected. Not- 
withstanding their denials t3^phoid soon broke out. The 
outbreak at Eugene, the seat of the State university, was 
particularly severe. Several students died. 

Yet the San Francisco plague case njust long stand as 
the classic illustration of the manner in which business 
fights government when a great disease comes. Black 
plague — the deadliest known to the Orient ; a disease 
that, more than once, has killed 5,ooo,0(X) persons dur- 
ing a single outbreak — appeared in San Francisco in 
1900. The local board of health quarantined the Chi- 
nese district, and the news went out over the country. 
The horror of horrors had arrived! The black plague! 
It sent a shudder over the land. 

It sent a greater shudder over the business interests 
of San Francisco. These business interests quickly saw 
visions of quarantines against the State and cessation 
of tourist traffic. An appeal was made to a Federal 
Judge to declare the quarantine illegal. He promptly 
did so. In giving his decision, he went out of his way 
to make this statement : 

" If it were within the province of this court to de- 
cide the point, I should hold that there is not now, and 
never has been, a case of plague in this city." 

The local board of health that discovered the plague 
was removed, as was the State board of health that con- 
firmed the prevalence of the disease. The governor of 
the State sent a remarkable message to the Legislature 
in which he denounced those who said plague existed in 



DEATHBEDS AND DIVIDENDS 165 

San Francisco, and appointed a committee of physicians 
and big business men to go to the Cahfornia metropolis 
and make an " impartial " investigation. The business 
men on the committee included the biggest bankers and 
merchants in California. They reported in the most posi- 
tive terms that there was no plague. 

Dr. Kinyoun, the Marine Hospital Surgeon in charge, 
held his ground. Dr. Kinyoun was shortly transferred 
to Detroit. His successor said there was plague. His 
successor was shortly transferred to a distant city. 

Of course, no one now denies that black plague was 
in San Francisco precisely when Dr. Kinyoun said it 
was. Even the eminent bankers and merchants who cer- 
tified that it wasn't there admit that they were in 
" error." It is nowhere denied that there were more than 
200 cases. It is nowhere denied that there were more 
than 100 deaths. 

Such is the situation that has been imposed upon us by 
a system that places private profits above human life. 
Having painfully accumulated the knowledge with which 
we could combat the great disease, we are unable to 
apply it because we do not own and therefore cannot 
manage our own country. 

" We look with horror on the black plague of the 
Middle Ages," said Professor Norton. " The black 
plague was but a passing cloud, compared with the white 
plague visitation." 



CHAPTER XI 

IF NOT SOCIALISM WHAT? 

I HAVE never seen you, but I know you. Your 
knuckles are bloody from continued knocking at 
the door of happiness. The harder you knock, the 
bloodier your knuckles become. But the door does not 
open. It stands like an iron gate between you and 
the desires of your soul. 

What is the matter with this world? Was it made 
wrong? Is it a barren spot to which too many have been 
sent? After Mr. Rockefeller and Mr. Morgan had been 
sent, should you have been kept ? Is this their world and 
are you an intruder here ? 

You are not an intruder here. You know that. You 
have as good a right here as anyone else. But perhaps, 
nevertheless, this world was made wrong? If you had 
the power to make worlds, could you make a better one ? 
Could you make fairer skies? Could you make greener 
fields? Could you improve the sun? Could you make 
better people? 

Perhaps you could do none of these things? If not, 
what is the matter with this world? Look at it again. 
Here it is — spinning beneath your feet as it has spun 
since the dawn of time, and, never before, since the dawn 
of time, has it been such a world as it is now. Never 
before, since the dawn of time, was it so well suited to 
your purposes as it is now. 

Your ancestors enjoyed no material thing that they had 

not wearily created with their hands. You need create 

i66 



IF NOT SOCIALISM — WHAT? 167 

nothing with your hands. You need but to touch with 
the tips of your fingers the iron hands that can make 
what man could never make so well. Whatever ma- 
chinery can make, you can have. And, to drive this ma- 
chinery, you have the forces of the sun, as they come to 
you in the form of steam and electricity. 

Make no mistake — good, bad or indifferent as this 
world may be, it is at least moving. None of your an- 
cestors ever lived in such a world. And none of your 
descendants will ever live in such a world as we live in 
to-day. 

Edison once pictured to me the world that he already 
sees dawning. It was a wonderful world, because it was 
filled with wonderful machinery. Cloth would go into 
one end of a machine and come out at the other end 
finished suits of clothes, boxed and ready for the mar- 
ket. Every machine, instead of making a part of a thing, 
would make the complete thing and put it together. The 
world would be smothered with wealth. 

But there was one disquieting feature about his world. 
There was not much room in it for men. Each ma- 
chine, attended by but a single man, would do the work 
of hundreds of men. Moreover, that one man need not 
be skilled. He need be but the merest automaton. Only 
the inventor of the machine need have brains. 

Maybe Edison was dreaming. The easy way is to say 
he was dreaming. I, who know him, have my doubts. 
'Edison always dreams before he does, but everything 
that he dreams seems pitifully small beside what he does. 
He dreamed of the electric light before he made it, but 
his dream was paltry beside the light he made. And, the 
dynamo of his dream was a whccli)arr(jw beside the 
dynamo that to-day sings its shrill srmg around the world. 

This much, however, is not a dream. Some of the 



1 68 THE TRUTH ABOUT SOCIALISM 

automatic machinery that Edison spoke of is already 
here. One man behind a machine is doing the work of 
hundreds of men. Men are becoming a drug upon the 
labor market. More than five millions are often out of 
work. As invention proceeds, the percentage of the 
population who cannot find work must increase. 

What is going to become of these men ? Do you ex- 
pect them to starve quietly? Do you believe they will 
make no outcry? Do you believe they will raise no hand 
against a world that raises both hands against them? 
Moreover, what kind of a world is it in which the greater 
the machinery, the greater the curse to the men who run 
machinery? We do not yet live in such a world, it is 
true, but if Edison be not in error, we shall soon live in 
it? What shall we do when machinery does everything? 

This may seem like a far cry, but it isn't. The germ 
of the Socialist philosophy is contained in this one word 
" machinery." Let us put the spot-light upon that word 
and show everything that is in it. 

Suppose there were one machine in this country that 
was capable of producing every material thing that hu- 
man beings need or desire. Suppose the machine were 
so wonderfully automatic that it could be perfectly op- 
erated by pushing a button, once a day, in a Wall Street 
office. 

Beside this push-button, suppose there were another 
button that operated all of the railroads in the country; 
passenger trains automatically starting and stopping at 
the appointed places; freight trains automatically taking 
on and discharging their cargoes. Not a human being 
at work anywhere. 

Imagine also one man owning this great machine and 
the railroads. 

The rest of the race, if it were to remain law-abiding, 



IF NOT SOCIALISM — WHAT? 169 

would be compelled to change the law or starve to death, 
would it not? What else could the race do? Nobody- 
would have any work. Nobody would therefore have 
anything with which to buy. The single giant machine 
might be capable of producing, with the push-button help 
of its owner, more necessities and luxuries than the en- 
tire race could consume. The automatic railway system 
might be capable of delivering to every door everything 
that everybody might want. The single owner might 
have more billions of dollars than Mr. Rockefeller has 
cents. But nobody else would have anything. 

What I am trying to show is that the private owner- 
ship of machinery is a gigantic wrong. If it were not a 
wrong, the world would be helped by the private owner- 
ship of a single machine fitted to produce every material 
thing that the race needs. If the people owned such a 
machine, there would certainly be no more poverty. 
There would be no more poverty because the people 
would get what the machine produced. 

If this be plain, let us further consider the present sit- 
uation. 

We live in a wonderful world. 

It is big enough and rich enough to enable everybody 
in it to live in comfort. 

But hundreds of millions throughout the world do not 
live in comfort because the progress of the world has 
brought relatively little to them. 

They have no sliare of stock in the earth — somebody 
who has a little piece of paper in his hand claims the own- 
ership of the spot of earth upon which they wish to lay 
their heads and charges them rent for using it. 

Another little group own all of the machinery, hand- 
ing out jobs here and there to the men who offer to work 
for the least. 



I70 THE TRUTH ABOUT SOCIALISM 

Nor is this a chance situation, A small class has al- 
ways robbed the great class. It has been and is the rule 
of the world. The methods of robbery have been 
changed. IMcthod after method has been abandoned as 
the people awakened to the means by which they were 
being robbed. But robbery has never been abandoned. 
The small, greedy, cunning class that will not be con- 
tent with what it can earn is here to-day, playing the old 
game with a new method. 

Socialists declare the new method is to own the indus- 
trial machinery with which all other men must work. 
You may not agree with this. Probably you do not. 
If you do not, will you kindly answer some questions? 

Why do a few men, who will work with no machinery, 
want to own all of the machinery in the country? 

Would these men care to own any machinery if there 
were not an opportunity in such ownership to get money? 

Where can the money they get come from except from 
the wealth that is produced by the men who work with 
their machinery? 

So long as a few men own all of the machinery, must 
not all other men be at their mercy? 

How can anyone get a job so long as the men who own 
the machinery say he can have no job? 

How can anyone demand a wage that represents the 
full value of his product so long as the capitalist refuses 
to pay any wages that do not assure a profit to him? 

Mr. Roosevelt and some others would have you believe 
that all of these wrongs can be " regulated " into rights. 
They would have you believe that only " strong " com- 
missions are necessary to make all of these wrongs right. 
But Mr, Roosevelt and some others do not know what 
they are talking about. This is not a matter of opinion 
but a matter of fact. Men have talked as they talk since 



IF NOT SOCIALISM — WHAT? 171 

robbery began. History records no instance of one of 
them that made good. During all of the years that Mr. 
Roosevelt was in the White House, he never appointed 
a commission that was " strong " enough to make good. 

We have it upon the authority of no less a man than 
Dr. Wiley that 'Mr. Roosevelt's commission to prevent 
the poisoning of food was not strong enough to make 
good. The food-poisoning went on. 

I mention Mr. Roosevelt's food commission because it 
is a shining example of what his " strong " commission 
theory of government cannot do. Mr. Roosevelt, un- 
questionably, is and was opposed to the poisoning of 
food. He appointed a commission to stop one kind of 
poisoning. But, for reasons that you, as well as anyone 
else, can surmise, the commission decided in favor of the 
food-poisoners instead of in favor of the public. Which 
brings us to this question: If Mr. Roosevelt could not 
appoint a commission " strong " enough even to prevent 
the poisoning of food, what reason have you to believe 
that he or anyone else could appoint a commission strong 
enough to prevent capitalists from robbing workingmen ? 

You who oppose Socialism do so, no doubt, largely 
because you believe the people could not advantageously 
own and manage their own industrial machinery. We 
who advocate Socialism reply that it is much easier to 
manage what you own than it is to manage what some- 
one else owns. The facts of history show that it is prac- 
tically impossible to manage what someone else owns. 
That is what we are trying to do to-day — and we 
are failing at it. We are trying to manage the trusts. 
Fight as we will, the trusts are managing us. They fix 
almost every fact in our lives. They begin fixing the 
facts of our lives even before we are born. They 
determine even whether all of us shall be born. It 



i;2 THE TRUTH ABOUT SOCIALISM 

is a well-known fact that when times are bad, the 
birth-rate decreases. Having the power to make bad 
times, the trusts also have the power to diminish the 
number of births. The trust panic of 1907 unquestion- 
ably prevented thousands of children from being born. 
No one can ever know how many, but we do know that 
both marriages and births decreased. 

In view of such facts as these, is it not idle to talk 
about "regulating" the property of others? Is it not 
stupid to believe that in such regulation lies our greatest 
hope of material well-being? You must admit that, thus 
far, the process of regulation has gone on painfully 
slowly. If poverty, the fear of poverty and enforced 
idleness are any indications of the progress of the coun- 
try, it is difficult to see that we have made any progress. 
Never before were so many millions of men out of work 
in this country as there were during the panic of 1907. 
Never before were so many millions of human beings so 
uncertain of their future. A few men hold us all in the 
hollows of their hands. Our destinies lie, not in our- 
selves, but in them. 

Is it not so? Don't be blinded by "commissions," 
political pow-wow and nonsense — is it not so? If it is 
so, how much progress have we made toward getting rid 
of poverty by trying to regulate property that we do not 
own? We have been playing the game of " regulation " 
for more than a generation. It has done nothing for 
you. How many more generations do you expect to 
live? Are you willing to go to your grave with this 
pestilential question of poverty still weighing upon your 
heart? Are you willing to go out of the world feeling 
that you never really lived in it — that it was only a place 
where you toiled and sweat and suffered while others 
lived? 



IF NOT SOCIALISM — WHAT? 173 

We Socialists put it to you as a common-sense affirma- 
tion that your time can come now if you and all others 
like you will join in a political effort to make it come. 

Any political partisan will make you the same promise, 
but you know, from sad experience, that their promises 
are worthless. We ask you to consider whether our 
promises are worthless. 

We promise you, for instance, that if you will give us 
power you need never again want for v;ork. If the 
people, through the government, owned the trusts and 
other great industries, why should anybody ever again 
want for work? Thenceforward, the great plants would 
always be open. No factory door would ever be closed 
so long as there was a demand for the product of the 
factory. If the demand for goods were greater than the 
capacity of the factories, the number of factories would 
be increased. Nothing is simpler than to increase the 
number of factories. Only men and materials are re- 
quired. We have an abundance of each. 

But we promise you more. We promise you that, if 
you will give us power, we will give you not only the 
continuous opportunity to work, but we will give you 
continuous freedom from robbery. Again, nothing is 
simpler than to work without robbery. All that is 
necessary is to enable the worker to go to work without 
walking into anyone's clutches. No one can now go to 
work without walking into many men's clutches. When 
a man goes to work for the Steel Trust, he walks into the 
clutches of everybody who owns the stocks or the bonds 
of the trust. When a man goes to work for a railway 
company, he walks into the clutches of every person who 
owns the stocks or the bonds of the railway company. 
In other words, the stock and bondholders of these insti- 
tutions, by virtue of their control of the machinery in- 



174 THE TRUTH ABOUT SOCIALISM 

volvcd. have it in their power to say whether the worker 
shall work or not work. They say he shall not work un- 
less they can make a profit upon his labor. The worker 
cannot haggle too long because he must labor or starve. 
Therefore, he comes to terms. He walks into the 
clutches of those who want to rob him of part of what he 
produces. He consents to w^ork for a wage that repre- 
sents only a part of what he has produced. 

That is robbery. You may call it business, but it is 
robbery. If robbery is anything, it is the taking of the 
property of another against his will. The worker knows 
his wage is not all he earns. He resents the fact that he 
must toil long and hard for a poor living, while his em- 
ployer lives in luxury without doing any useful labor. 
But the worker has no alternative. He must consent. 
He does consent. 

Under Socialism, there would be no such robbery, be- 
cause goods would not be produced for profit. Goods 
would be produced only because the people wanted them. 
Whatever the people wanted would be produced, not in 
niggardly volume, but in abundance. 

Decent homes, for instance, would be produced. Mil- 
lions of people in the great cities now live in houses that 
are death-traps. They are not houses, in the sense that 
country dwellers understand the word, but dingy rooms, 
piled one upon another in great blocks. Light seldom 
enters some of them. Fresh air can hardly get into any 
of them. The germs of tuberculosis abound. The 
germs of other diseases swirl through the dust of the 
streets. The death-rate is abnormally high — particu- 
larly the death-rate of children. Yet, nothing would be 
simpler, if the profit-seeking capitalists were shorn of 
their power, than to give every human being in this coun- 
try a decent home. 



IF NOT SOCIALISM — WHAT? 175 

The best material out of which to make a house is 
cement or brick. Either is better than wood because 
wood both rots and burns. There is practically no limit 
to the number of cement and brick houses that could be 
built in this country. Every State contains enough clay 
and other materials to build enough houses to supply the 
whole country. If the five millions of men who were 
out of work for many years following the panic of 1907 
could have been employed at house-building, they them- 
selves would not only have been prosperous, but the 
American people would have been housed as they had 
never been housed before. If the two millions of men 
who are always denied employment, even in so-called 
" good " times, were continuously engaged in house-build- 
ing, good houses would be so numerous that we should 
not know what to do with them. 

The same facts apply to all other necessities of life. 
The nation needs bread. Some are starving for it all 
the while. Yet what is simpler tiian the furnishing of 
bread? We know how to grow wheat. With the sci- 
entific knowledge that the government could devote to 
wheat growing, combined with the improved machinery 
that a rich government could bring to bear upon the prob- 
lem, the wheat-production of the country could easily be 
multiplied by four. Little Holland and little Belgium, 
with no better soil than our own, raise almost four times 
as much wheat to the acre as we do. And, with wheat ^ 
once grown, nothing is more simple than to make it into 
flour. Probably we already have enough milling ma- 
chinery to make all the Hour we need. If not, we could 
easily build four times as many mills. We should never 
be unable to build more mills until we had no unem- 
ployed men to set to work. And. if we had no unem- 
ployed men to set to work, we should have, for the first 



176 THE TRUTH ABOUT SOCIALISM 

time in the history of tlie world, a completely happy na- 
tion. 

Do you doubt any of tliesc statements? How can 
you doubt them ? We have the men. We have the ma- 
terials. The only trouble is that they are kept apart. 
They are kept apart because a few men control things 
and will not allow men and material to come together 
unless that means a profit for the few men. We Social- 
ists purpose to put them together. If they were put 
together, how much longer do you believe the people 
would have to shiver in winter for lack of woolen cloth- 
ing? There is no secret about raising sheep. We have 
vast areas upon which we could raise more than we shall 
ever need. Even a concern like the Woolen Trust — the 
head of which was indicted for conspiring to " plant " 
dynamite at Lawrence to besmirch the strikers — even 
such a concern enables some of us to wear wool in the 
winter time. How many more do you believe would 
wear wool if the United States government were to take 
the place of this concern as a manufacturer of woolen 
goods? Do you believe anybody would be compelled to 
suffer from cold for lack of woolen clothing? How can 
you so believe? The government, if necessary, could 
build four woolen mills for every one that exists. The 
government could not fail to supply the people's needs. 
And, with all goods sold at cost, prices would be so low 
that the people could buy. 

These, and many other possibilities, are entirely within 
your reach. You can realize them now. Will you 
kindly tell when you expect to realize them by voting 
for the candidates of any other party except the Socialist 
party? No other party except the Socialist party pro- 
poses to put men and materials together. Every other 
party except the Socialist party proposes that a small 



IF NOT SOCIALISM — WHAT ? 177 

class of men shall continue to own all of the great indus- 
trial machinery, while the rest shall continue to be 
robbed as the price of its use. Every other party except 
the Socialist party proposes that a small body of men 
shall continue to graft off the rest by wringing profits 
from them. No party except the Socialist party puts the 
people above profits. 

Even Mr. Roosevelt and his party do not. Mr. 
Roosevelt stands as firmly for the principle of profits as 
does Mr. Morgan. Mr. Roosevelt differs from the most 
besotted reactionary only in his hallucination that he 
could appoint " strong " commissions that would suc- 
cessfully regulate other people's property. ]\Ir. Roose- 
velt does not seem to recognize that, so long as profits 
are in the capitalist system, the workers must not only be 
robbed of part of what they produce, but that they must 
be periodically denied even the right to work at any wage. 
Nor does he seem to realize that, if he were to reduce 
the profits to the point where there was not much rob- 
bery, the capitalists would no longer have any incentive 
for remaining in business. 

With profits eliminated, or cut to the vanishing point, 
the capitalist system cannot stand. 

With profits not eliminated or cut near the vanishing 
point, the people cannot stand. 

Therefore, Mr. Roosevelt is trying to bring about the 
impossible. He is trying to prevent the people from be- 
ing robbed without destroying the power of the capitalist 
to live by robbery. Mr. Roosevelt probably would like 
to decrease, somewhat, the extent to which cai)italists 
practice robbery. But he is not willing to take away 
from them the power to njb. 

If Mr. Roosevelt were chasing burglars instead of the 
Presidency, we should first laugh at him and then put a 



178 THE TRUTH ABOUT SOCIALISM 

new man on the force in his place. Imagine a police- 
man trying to prevent burglary by " regulating " the 
burglars, saying to them in a hissing voice: "Now, 
gentlemen, this burglary must stop. We really can have 
no more of it. None of you must carry a * jimmy ' more 
than four feet long. Any burglar caught with more 
than twenty skeleton keys will be sent to prison." 

Yet that is practically what Mr. Roosevelt says to the 
capitalists. The "jimmy" of the capitalist is his own- 
ership of the tools with which his employees work, but 
Mr. Roosevelt makes no move to take this instrument 
from the men who are despoiling the workers. All that 
Mr. Roosevelt purposes to do is to place a limit upon the 
amount that the capitalist can legally abstract. And he 
depends upon " strong " commissions to keep the fero- 
cious capitalist in order. 

We Socialists have no faith in such measures. We 
frankly predict their failure, precisely as twenty years 
ago we predicted the failure of the Sherman Anti-Trust 
Law. We were then known to so few of our own 
people that not man}^ persons had the pleasure of calling 
us fools. Now, nobody wants to call us fools for that. 
We are now fools because we do not believe in Wilson 
or in Roosevelt. 

We are not content to await the verdict of time, but we 
await it with confidence. We dislike to waste twenty- 
five more years in chasing up this Roosevelt blind alley, 
but if you should determine to make the trip — which we 
hope you will not — we shall still be on the main track 
when you come back. 

If somebody else had the key to your house and would 
not let you in unless you paid him his price, you would 
not value highly the services of a policeman who should 
tell you that the way to deal with the gentleman was to 



IF NOT SOCIALISM— WHAT? 179 

" regulate " him. If the gentlemen had locked you out 
upon an average of four times a week, you would feel 
even less kindly disposed toward such a policeman. 

We Socialists feel that the capitalist class has keys that 
belong to the American people, and that it has used and is 
using those keys to prevent the people from using their 
own, except upon the payment of tribute. 

We feel that the capitalist class holds the keys to our 
workshops and will not let us enter except upon such 
tribute terms as they can wring from us. 

We feel that the capitalist class has the keys to our coal 
fields and will not let us be warm in winter except upon 
the payment of money that should go, perhaps, for food 
or clothing. 

We feel that the capitalist class has the keys of our 
national pantry and compels those to go hungry whom it 
has denied the right to work. 

In short, we feel that the capitalists have the keys of 
our happiness — so far as happiness depends upon ma- 
terial things — and are compelling us to subsist upon un- 
certainty and fear, when security and contentment lie 
just at our elbows, awaiting the turn of the keys. 

We Socialists are ready to stand behind any party that 
will pledge itself to return these keys to the people, re- 
serving only the right to be convinced that the pledge is 
made in good faith and will be kept. 

If Mr. Roosevelt will promise to use his best efforts to 
take from the capitalists the private ownership of in- 
dustry, we Socialists shall believe he means business and 
shall begin to respect him. 

If Mr. Wilson will make a similar promise, we shall 
feel the same toward him. 

But if Mr. Roosevelt or Mr. Wilson should make 
such a promise, they would have absolutely no capitalist 



iSo THE TRUTH ABOUT SOCIALISM 

suppcirt. Mr. Perkins would not be with Mr. Roosevelt. 
Mr. Ryan would not be with Mr. Wilson. So far as 
great capitalists are concerned, Armageddon and Sea 
Girt would look a good deal like a baseball park two 
weeks after the close of the season. 

All the world over, the Socialist party is the only po- 
litical organization that frankly stands up to the guns and 
demands the keys. It is the only party that minces no 
words and looks for no favors from the rich. The So- 
cialist party is avowedly and earnestly committed to the 
task of compelling the capitalist class to surrender the 
power with which it robs. And, anyone who believes 
that power does not lie in the private ownership of in- 
dustrial machinery need only try to become rich without 
owning any such machinery or gambling in its products. 
We Socialists are willing to stake our lives on the state- 
ment that if you will transfer the ownership of industry 
from the capitalist class to the people, those who now 
constitute the capitalist class will never get another dollar 
that they do not work for or steal in common burglar or 
pickpocket fashion. If we are in error about the signifi- 
cance of the private ownership of industry, the transfer 
of such ownership to the people would not hurt the cap- 
italist class. But the capitalist class evidently does not 
believe the Socialists are wrong in holding this belief, 
because the capitalists are fighting us tooth and nail. 

Nothing is the matter with this world. Whatever \& 
the matter is with you. You can begin to get results 
now if you will begin to vote right now. The election of 
Victor L. Berger to Congress in 19 lo threw more of the 
fear of God into the capitalist class of this country than 
any other event that has happened in a generation. If 
fifty Socialists were in Congress, the old parties would 
outdo each other in offering concessions to the people. 



IF NOT SOCIALISM — WHAT? i8i 

As an illustration of what fifty Socialist Congressmen 
could do I will relate an incident that took place in Wash- 
ington in the winter of 191 2. 

Berger, by playing shrewd politics, had brought about 
a congressional investigation of the Lawrence woolen 
mill strike. He had brought to Washington a carload of 
little tots from the mills — boys and girls — apd they 
had spent the day telling a committee of the House of 
Representatives of their wrongs. The stories were heart- 
breaking. Here was a stunted little boy who declared 
he worked in a temperature of 140 degrees for $5 a week. 
A young girl — the daughter of a mill-worker — told of 
an insult offered to her by a soldier and of her own arrest 
when she struck him. A skilled weaver described the 
difficulty of keeping life in his four children on a diet of 
bread and molasses. Every story was different in detail, 
but all were alike in the depths of poverty that they 
revealed. The testimony bore heavily upon those who 
listened, and when the session was suspended for the day 
the members of Congress hastened quickly from the 
room. 

As Berger walked rapidly toward the door an old man 
stopped him. Apparently he was a business man, 55 or 
60 years old. Certainly he was not a workingman. But 
he had heard the day's testimony and he could not remain 
silent. 

*' Mr. Berger," he said, " I have always been against 
you and all Socialists. I was sorry when I hoard you 
had been elected to Congress. But if you brought about 
this investigation, as I am informed you did, 1 want to 
say to you that if you were never to do another thing 
during your term, your election would have been more 
than justified. I hope your people will keep you in Con- 
gress as long as you live." 



i82 JHE TRUTH ABOUT SOCIALISM 

How many more men would change their minds if 
there were fifty Sociahsts in Congress? How many 
capitalists would change their minds as to how far they 
could safely go in robbing the people? 

Three millions of votes for the Socialist ticket would 
by no means elect a Socialist president. But they would 
squeeze out more justice from the capitalist parties than 
the people have had since this government began. 

Moreover, if you want the world during your own life- 
time you will have to take it during your own lifetime. 
It will not do you much good to let your grandchildren 
take it during their lifetime. 



APPENDIX. 
NATIONAL SOCIALIST PLATFORM 

(Adopted at Indianapolis, May, 1912) 

THE Socialist Party of the United States declares that the 
capitahst system has outgrown its historical function, and has 
become utterly incapable of meeting the problems now con- 
fronting society. We denounce this outgrown system as incompe- 
tent and corrupt and the source of unspeakable misery and suffer- 
ing to the whole working class. 

Under this system the industrial equipment of the nation has 
passed into the absolute control of a plutocracy which exacts an an- 
nual tribute of millions of dollars from the producers. Unafraid 
of any organized resistance, it stretches out its greedy hands over 
the still undeveloped resources of the nation — the land, the mines, 
the forests and the water-powers of every State in the Union. 

In spite of the multiplication of labor-saving machines and im- 
proved methods in industry which cheapen the cost of production, 
the share of the producers grows ever less, and the prices of all the 
necessities of life steadily increase. The boasted prosperity of this 
nation is for the owning class alone. To the rest it means only 
greater hardship and misery. The high cost of living is felt in 
every home. Millions of wage-workers have seen the purchasing 
power of their wages decrease until life has become a desperate 
battle for mere existence. 

Multitudes of unemployed walk the streets of our cities or trudge 
from State to State awaiting the will of the masters to move the 
wheels of industry. 

The farmers in every State are plundered by the increasing prices 
exacted for tools and machinery and by extortionate rents, freight 
rates and storage charges. 

Capitalist concentration is mercilessly crushing the class of small 
business men and driving its nicnihers into the ranks of propertiless 
wage workers. The overwhelming majority of the people of Amer- 
ica are being forced under a yoke of bondage by this soulless in- 
dustrial despotism. 

It is this capitalist system that is responsible for the increasing 
burden of armaments, the poverty, slums, child labor, most of the 
insanity, crime and prostitution, and much of the disease that afflicts 
mankind. 

183 



i84 THE TRUTH ABOUT SOCIALISM 

Under this system the working class is exposed to poisonous con- 
ditions, to frightful and needless perils to life and limb, is walled 
around with court decisions, injunctions and unjust laws, and is 
preyed upon incessantly for the benefit of the controlling oligarchy 
of wealth. Under it also, the chihlren of the working class are 
doomed to ignorance, drudging toil and darkened lives. 

In the face of these evils, so manifest tliat all thoughtful observers 
are appalled at them, the legislative representatives of the Republi- 
can. Democratic, and all reform parties remain the faithful servants 
of the oppressors. Measures designed to secure to the wage earners 
of this nation as humane and just treatment as is already enjoyed 
by the wage earners of all other civilized nations have been smoth- 
ered in committee without debate, and laws ostensibly designed to 
bring relief to the farmers and general consumers are juggled and 
transformed into instruments for the exaction of further tribute. 
The growing unrest under oppression has driven these two old 
parties to the enactment of a variety of regulative measures, none 
of which has limited in any appreciable degree the power of the 
plutocracy, and some of which have been perverted into means for 
increasing that power. Anti-trust laws, railroad restrictions and 
regulations, with the prosecutions, indictments and investigations 
based upon such legislation, have proved to be utterly futile and 
ridiculous Nor has this plutocracy been seriously restrained or 
even threatened by any Republican or Democratic executive. It has 
continued to grow in power and insolence alike under the adminis- 
trations of Cleveland, McKinley, Roosevelt and Taft. 

In addition to this legislative juggling and this executive con- 
nivance, the courts of America have sanctioned and strengthened the 
hold of this plutocracy as the Dred Scott and other decisions 
strengthened the slave power before the Civil War. 

We declare, therefore, that the longer sufferance of these condi- 
tions is impossible, and we purpose to end them all. We declare 
them to be the product of the present system in which industry is 
carried on for private greed, instead of for the welfare of society., 
We declare, furthermore, that for these evils there will be and can 
be no remedy and no substantial relief except through Socialism, 
under which industry will be carried on for the common good and 
every worker receive the full social value of the wealth he creates. 

Society is divided into warring groups and classes, based upon 
material interests. Fundamentally, this struggle is a conflict be- 
tween the two main classes, one of which, the capitalist class, owns 
the means of production, and the other, the working class, must use 
these means of production on terms dictated by the owners. 

The capitalist class, though few in numbers, absolutely controls 
the Government — legislative, executive and judicial. This class owns 



APPENDIX 185 

the machinery of gathering and disseminating news through its or- 
ganized press. It subsidizes seats of learning — the colleges and 
schools — and even religious and moral agencies. It has also the 
added prestige which established customs give to any order of so- 
ciety, right or wrong. 

The working class, which includes all those who are forced to 
work for a living, whether by hand or by brain, in shop, mine or on 
the soil, vastly outnumbers the capitalist class. Lacking effective 
organization and class solidarity, this class is unable to enforce its 
•will. Given such class solidarity and effective organization, the 
workers will have the power to make all laws and control all indus- 
try in their own interest. 

All political parties are the expression of economic class interests. 
All other parties than the Socialist Party represents one or another 
group of the ruling capitalist class. Their political conflicts reflect 
merely superficial rivalries between competing capitalist groups. 
However they result, these conflicts have no issue of real value to 
the workers. Whether the Democrats or Republicans win politically, 
it .is the capitalist class that is victorious economically. 

The Socialist Party is the political expression of the economic 
interests of the workers. Its defeats have been their defeats, and 
its victories their victories. It is a party founded on the science and 
laws of social development. It proposes that, since all social ne- 
cessities to-day are socially produced, the means of their production 
shall be socially owned and democratically controlled. 

In the face of the economic and political aggressions of the capi- 
talist class the only reliance left the workers is that of their eco- 
nomic organizations and their political power. By the intelligent and 
class-conscious use of these they may resist successfully the capitalist 
class, break the fetters of wage slavery, and fit themselves for the 
future society, which is to displace the capitalist system. The So- 
cialist Party appreciates the full significance of class organization and 
urges the wage earners, the working farmers and all otlicr useful 
workers everywhere to organize for economic and p(jlitio.iI action, 
and we pledge ourselves to support the toilers of the fields as well 
as those in the shops, factories and mines of the nation in lluir 
struggle for economic justice. 

In the defeat or victory of the working class party in this new 
struggle for freedom lies the defeat or triumph of the common people 
of all economic groups, as well as the f.iilu'-c or the triunipli of 
popular government Thus the Socialist Party is the party of the 
present day rcvnlMtion. which marks the transition from economic 
individualism to Socialism, from wage slavery to free co-operation, 
from capitalist oligarchy to industrial democracy. 

As measures calculated to strengthen the working class in its 



i86 THE TRUTH ABOUT SOCIALISM 

fight for the realization of its ultimate aim, the Co-operative Com- 
nronweaitii, and to increase the power of resistance against capitalist 
oppression, we advocate and pledge ourselves and our elected of- 
licers to the foUowmg program: 

Collective Ownership 

I. The collective ownership and democratic management of rail- 
roads, wire and wireless tclegraplis and telephones, express services, 
steamboat lines and all other social means of transportation and 

1 communication and of all large scale industries. 

' 2. The immediate acquirement by the municipalities, the States 
or the federal government of all grain elevators, stock yards, storage 
warehouses and other distributing agencies, in order to reduce the 
present extortionate cost of living, 

3. The extension of the public domain to include mines, quarries, 
oil wells, forests and water power. 

4. The further conservation and development of natural resources 
for the use and benefit of all the people : 

(o) By scientific forestation and timber protection. 
(6) By the reclamation of arid and swamp tracts. 

(c) By the storage of flood waters and the utilization of water 
power. 

(d) By the stoppage of the present extravagant waste of the 
soil and of the products of mines and oil wells. 

(e) By the development of highway and waterway systems. 

5. The collective ownership of land wherever practicable, and, in 
cases where such ownership is impracticable, the appropriation by 
taxation of the annual rental value of all land held for speculation. 

6. The collective ownership and democratic management of the 
banking and currency system. 

Unemployment 

The immediate government relief of the unemployed by the ex- 
tension of all useful public works. All persons employed on such 
works to be engaged directly by the government under a workday 
of not more than eight hours and not less than the prevailing union 
wages. The government also to establish employment bureaus; to 
lend money to States and municipalities witliout interest for the 
purpose of carrying on public works, and to take such other meas- 
ures within its power as will lessen the widespread misery of the 
workers caused by the misrule of the capitalist class. 

Industrial Demands 

The conservation of human resources, particularly of the lives and 
well-being of the workers and their families: 



APPENDIX 187 

1. By shortening the workday in keeping with the increased pro- 
ductiveness of machinery. 

2. By securing to every worker a rest period of not less than a 
day and a half in each week. 

3. By securing a more effective inspection of workshops, facto- 
ries and mines. 

4. By forbidding tlie employment of children under 16 years of 
age. 

I 5. By the co-operative organization of industries in federal peni- 
rtentiaries and workshops for the benefit of convicts and their de- 
pendents. 

6. By forbidding the interstate transportation of the products of 
child-labor, of convict labor and of all uninspected factories and 
mines. 

7. By abolishing the profit system in government work, and sub- 
stituting either the direct hire of labor or the awarding of contracts 
to co-operative groups of workers. 

8. By establishing minimum wage scales. 

9. By abolishing official charity and substituting a non-contribu- 
tory system of old age pensions, a general system of insurance by 
the State of all its members against unemployment and invalidism 
and a system of compulsory insurance by employers of their work- 
ers, without cost to the latter, against industrial disease, accidents 
and death. 

Political Demands 

The ab.solute freedom of press, speech and assemblage. 

The adoption of a gradual income tax, the increase of the rates of 
the present corporation tax and the extension of inheritance taxes, 
graduated in proportion to the value of the estate and to nearness 
of kin — the proceeds of these taxes to be employed in the socializa- 
tion of industry. 

The abolition of the monopoly ownership of patents and the sub- 
stitution of collective ownership, with direct rewards to inventors 
by premiums or royalties. 

Unrestricted and equal suffrage for men and women. 

The adoption of the initiative, referendum and recall and of pro- 
portional representation, nationally as well as locally. 

The abolition of the Senate and the veto power of the President. 

The election of the President and the Vice President by direct 
vote of the people. 

The abolition of tlie power usuri)fd by the .Supreme Court of the 
United States to pass upon the constitutionality of the legislation 
enacted by Congress. National laws to be repealed only by act of 
Congress or by the voters in a majority of the States. 



1 88 THE TRUTH ABOUT SOCIALISM 

TIic pfrantinp of the right of suffiape in the District of CohiiTf- 
bia with representation in Congress and a democratic form of mu- 
nicipal government for purely local affairs. 

The extension of democratic government to all United States ter- 
' ritory. 

The enactment of further measures for general education and par- 
ticularly for vocational education in useful pursuits. The Bureau 
of Education to be made a department. 

The enactment of further measures for the conservation of health. 
The creation of an independent Bureau of Health with such re- 
strictions as will secure full libertj' for all schools of practice. 

The separation of the present Bureau of Labor from the Depart- 
ment of Commerce and Labor and its elevation to the rank of a de- 
partment. 

Abolition of the federal district courts and the United States Cir- 
cuit Courts of Appeals. State courts to have jurisdiction in all 
cases arising between citizens of the several States and foreign cor- 
porations. The election of all judges for short terms. 

The immediate curbing of the power of the courts to issue injunc- 
tions. 

The free administration of justice. 

The calling of a convention for the revision of the Constitution 
of the United States. 

Such measures of relief as we may be able to force from capitalism 
are but a preparation of the workers to seize the whole powers of 
government in order that they may thereby lay hold of the whole 
system of socialized industry and thus come to their rightful inherit- 
ance. 



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