THE BROTHERHOOD OF MAN.
There are no politics like the Scripture teach. Remember that he who feasts while others famish blasphemes the living God.—MILTON.
The Power that guides revolving spheres and rules this rolling ball,
Whose hands is in the lightning’s flash, whose eye is over all—
That Spirit of the Vaulted Vast since Time its course began,
Has preached in every pulsing throb the Brotherhood of Man.
The prophets of the olden days, the poets of the past,
Have told us in their songs sublime how it shall win at last;
How men shall all be comrades true, and none live under ban;
For then shall dawn on earth once more the Golden Age of Man.
With cloven tongues of living fire, they spread it far and wide;
From zones of sand to zones of snow, far o’er the heaving tide;
And martyrs gave their lives for it, while flames around them ran;
They sowed the seed that bringeth forth the Brotherhood of Man.
And he who died on Calvary, two thousand years ago,
He wore a cruel crown of thorns upon His bleeding brow,
Because His voice denounced the Strong, and urged this noble plan;
To heal the wounds of social strife—the Brotherhood of Man.
He preached it unto rich and poor, ‘mid scoffing, scorn, and hate;
And so they hung Him on a tree, to please the Rich and Great;
But those who “wear His mantle” now, they fear the rich man’s ban;
So cloak in many a dark disguise—the Brotherhood of Man.
Go forth and preach the “good news” now, as once the Master taught,
And strive to touch the rich man’s heart to ease the toilers’ lot;
Go preach on highway and in town, to every race and clan;
The noblest thought that e’er was taught—the Brotherhood of Man.
For it have thinkers torture borne, and died unknown to fame;
For it historic heroes fought in war’s grim iron-game;
For it our fathers boldly trod the battle’s blood-red van,
And preached to kings (with sword in hand) the Brotherhood of Man.
Their words are ringing in our ears, their blood in our veins;
Shall we, as bondsmen, basely crouch, or proudly clank our chains?
No! Duty calls to do our share in life’s sad, narrow span,
The golden age on earth to bring—the Brotherhood of Man.
July 10, 1890. Arthur Desmond
[Also in: The Bulletin, 16 August 1890 (changed from the original), The Tocsin, 10 Mars 1898 (From the Bulletin), Windsor and Richmond Gazette, 6 January 1894, The Sun, 13 March 1904 (From the Bulletin), Worker, 11 April 1928 (Culled Verses), Worker, 10 january 1924 (Culled verses), Worker, 22 September 1921 (Culled Verses, Arthur Desmond / Ragnar Redbeard), Worker, 26 April 1938 (Culled verses), Windsor and Richmond Gazette, 9 September 1927 (Arthur Desmond/Ragnar Redbeard. Some changed veres) Ed.]
JUSTICE: THE VOICE OF THE TOILERS
"JUSTICE TO ALL: PRIVILEGE TO NONE."
Vol. 1—No. 1. AUCKLAND, Tuesday, July 22, 1890.
“The Throbbing of the Drums.”
On we march, then—we, the workers—and the rumour that we hear
Is the blended sound of battle and deliverance drawing near;
For the hope of every creature is the banner that we bear.—WILLIAM MORRIS.
THE KAURI TIMBER SYNDICATE, an association of absentee speculators, bids fair to develop into one of the most grasping and merciless monopolies in the Southern Hemisphere. It shadows nine-tenths of our best kauri forests. It has almost succeeded in crushing out of existence all trade opposition, and is now shipping away to foreign lands (in bulk) millions upon millions of feet of timber that can never be replaced. The colony receives nothing in return for this systematic exploiting, except the wages disbursed by the firm to their semi-slaves in the bush and in the mills. They (the company) have brought the contract system to such a state of cunning perfection that their employees are virtually robbed. Bushmen and mill hands must either become the company’s paeons or else “emigrate.” Timber workers produce in the aggregate more wealth than they ever produced before, and timber sells at a very high figure, yet the servants of this company get barely enough wages to keep themselves and families. Five shillings per day is the munificent remuneration paid in the Auckland mill to those who do the hardest, heaviest, and most laborious toil. It would be interesting to see the managers and “Christian” directors of this huge concern doing similar work, and supporting their families upon such glorious wages. Capital ought to be labour’s greatest assistant, but at the present organised the welfare of the producer is nothing when compared in importance with “dividends,” “balances,” “interest,” and “promotion money.” Yet this company, grasping as it is, may come to grief in due course, for “He pulleth down the mighty from their seats, and exalts the cause of those of low degree.”
It took thousands of years for these invaluable forests to grow, yet we allow rapacious foreign rings to take possession of this magnificent legacy with which nature has endowed us, and all we receive in exchange is—“waste paper.” It is a mad world, my masters.*
Allah! Allah! Cried the stranger,
Wonderous sights the traveller sees;
But the latest is the greatest
Where the drones control the bees.
*This subject will be returned to in the next issue of JUSTICE; meanwhile readers are requested to forward us any information in their possession.
“This that they call the organisation of labour is the universal vital problem of the world. It is the problem of the whole future for all who will in future pretend to govern men.” So said the sage of Chelsea many years ago, but he was as one crying in the wilderness; his words were unheeded; his warnings laughed to scorn. Never has this “vital problem” assumed such a threatening aspect as it is now doing. The workers of the world having learnt the bitter lesson of disunion, are banding themselves together in resistless legions. When Capital ruled it was merciless in its dictates. It has shown itself heartless, cruel, and conscienceless. Shylock would have his pound of flesh; would extort his dividends, and would collect his rents, caring naught for the degradation and misery of those whose endless labours in factory, field, and mine produces the wealth of the world. Trades-unions have been and are but a temporary expedient. They are the raised arm between the slave-driver’s whip and the back of the crouching slave. But for their unions in the past the fate of the poor would have been truly horrible. But when the time comes when men shall cease to be slaves, the necessity for unions also will cease. The producer and the capitalist will amalgamate and co-operate for mutual advantage. The present system is a species of industrial warfare which cannot last for ever. Combinations is the hope of the future. But in the meantime unions are a grim necessity, for without them the workers will be trodden under foot and spurned like dogs (as they have been in the past). When they band themselves together they are respected; they become human beings. “No more shall they suffer the anxiety of precarious employment; no more shall their wives and their little ones suffer the pangs of want.”
Workers of this colony, do not haggle about what union or society you will join. Exercise your best judgement, and connect yourself with that one which will do you most practical good; that will increase your income and shorten your hours of labour, so that even you may have leisure to study social questions, and time to watch the manoeuvres of those human vampires in Wellington who are wafting you to slumber with honied phrases whilst sucking dry your veins. Rivalry between unions is the height of stupidity, and ought to be discouraged by every sensible man. It is a waste of energy; it plays into the hands of your enemies. Avoid it as you would leprosy. Are we not all bound for the same destination—the emancipation of labour? Whenever workmen have completed their organisations then the various unions and brotherhoods will have to federate and become one solid phalanx. When that time comes the ball will be at your feet; everything will be at your disposal, and your personal and national destiny will be in your own hands. Capital will become your most powerful assistant, and land your raw material. Therefore, if you wish “the rule of the robber” to come to an end let unity be your watchword. Never forget that an injury to one is the concern of all. But, above all things, avoid undue haste and hot counsels. Be calm and thoughtful, though firm and determined—
’Tis not by a rash endeavour,
Men can e’er to greatness climb;
Would you win your rights for ever,
Calm and thoughtful—bide your time.”
Members of Trades unions before resorting to a strike should make sure of five things, viz.:— (1) That they do not get a fair share of what their labour produces; (2) that their organisation is impregnable; (3) that their action involves no breach of faith; (4) that their aim cannot possibly be attained by any other means; (5) that they would probably win.
BRAVE OLD GREY—HENRY GEORGE SPEAKS.
HENRY GEORGE, in a letter to the New York Standard, says of New Zealand’s G.O.M.:—“I was especially glad to meet Sit George Grey, and to find his 80th year sitting on him so lightly. It is worth going fat to meet such a man—soldier, statesman, and political leader. An aristocrat by birth, who, when hardly thirty, wielded the powers of a dictator; who has been four times governor of important colonies in the most important crisis of their affairs, and then Premier of the colony in which he had made his home, who is yet an intense democrat, and who, unsoured by disappointment and undaunted by defeats, retains in the evening of life all the faith and hope that are commonly associated with youth. Ten years ago Sir George Grey, when premier of this colony, introduced the thin end of the wedge by carrying a measure for the imposition of a direct tax on the value of land, irrespective of improvements, but the great landowners quickly rallied, and his majority melted away. At the ensuing election he was defeated, and the new ministry giving a sop to the poorer taxpayers by an exemption, substituted for the tax on land values a tax on all property.”
The financial and land rings rallied, and appointed a dictator in the person of Major Atkinson, who has continued as such ever since (with the sole exception of the Stout-Balance interregnum). He at once repealed Grey’s Land Tax, increased the tax on tea and sugar, and gave us the Property Tax. Millions of capital that would otherwise have been invested here have been driven away by this iniquitous tax. It has, and is, driving away the bone and sinew of the colony at the rate of 5,000 a year. It is fleecing the unfortunate people that circumstances compel to remain; it is plundering the settler, the tradesman, and the merchant, while driving out of cultivation immense areas of good land. For the last ten years it has blighted the prospects of the colony, and yet the man who imposed it on us yet sits crowned and sceptred upon our colonial throne. O! People of New Zealand, will you never awake for manhood’s sake and hurl those robbers of the poor into the political hades. Ye dolts, you call yourselves men! You gather in your thousands to political meetings, and there, instead of raising your strong right hand in terrible earnest, you tamely bleat in each other’s faces like so many wether lambs waiting their turn to be shorn.
Henry George, in the above extract from his letter, makes one slight error. He says of Grey, “At the ensuing election he was defeated.” Now, the fact is, the Greyites were in a majority at the elections, but four of Auckland’s pledged members deserted the brave old warrior in his hour of need. They betrayed him, cold-blooded traitors, on the field of battle. The four men’s names are well known, yet the secret tale of how they dishonourably sold themselves and their constituents has yet to be published. The leader of the democracy was defeated in the House—not at the elections—and Auckland, to its eternal disgrace, sent the apostates and traitors whose votes have cost us ten years of terrible times.
But the “institution” that spent its shareholders trust funds so freely in 1879 to crush the democracy in the person of Grey, is at last, thank God, being brought to its knees, and soon, very soon, its doom will be knelled. When the affairs of that institution come to be ventilated in our Courts of Justice there will be revelations that will put into the shades the Glasgow Bank—aye, the South Sea Bubble. Truly, in the long run, bitter is the fate of public plunderers; their path is rugged and paved with sharpened spears. Time will tell.
Whenever financial magnates and bank wreckers are to be criminally prosecuted in our la courts, it behoves us to inquire if our legal tribunals are above suspicion. If grave charges are to be sifted to the bottom, judges will have to be imported from some uncivilised corner of the globe, where mortgages, dividends, and financial pressure are unknown—say Timbuctoo or Nyasssland. Our present judges are undoubtedly most reliable and highly respectable personages, who can see as far through armour-plate as any of us. They also know how to invest their annual savings. But——
THE WRITING ON THE WALL.
Behold the land of the New-Zealanders! Behold those isles that gem the great south Sea!
The Southern Cross flashing high above them; the broad Pacific pouring around them.
Towering rocks, cliffs, glaciers, mountain tops of everlasting snow; fern-clad ranges; bush-clad gullies.
A temperate sun shining down upon them. Pacific’s moisture clouds sweeping across them.
New Zealand! Behold its virgin valleys; its winding rivers; its coal and iron mines; its gold and silver ores; its waving corn-fields; its fattening pasture lands!
Behold its ancient forests; its fleecy flocks; its herds; its beeves.
An entrancing prospect! The life-giving sun shining upon it; the genial rain falling. Oh, wondrous land of the New-Zealanders, “where every prospect pleases, and only man is vile!”
Such, no doubt, would be the language of a stranger from the icy North, who beheld for the first time this island paradise, this “land of the New-Zealanders.” But is it really the “land of the New-Zealanders?” No; not at all. It is the property of strangers; it is a detached estate belonging to distant capitalists. It belongs to financial grandees, and New-Zealanders are but servants upon it. “Our country” is pledged and pawned to the usurer and monopolist, and they really dictate our laws and decide our destinies.
New-Zealanders! You call yourselves men! O’, ye of chicken souls! You work and you produce immense wealth. You turn the fertility of “your” country into meat and grain and wool, with which to pay your national tribute. “Your” gold, and wool, and wheat, and forests, are regularly shipped across the seas to satisfy the insatiable maw of this country’s owners. What do you receive in return? Nothing! Why, then, wonder when the grim spectre of want strides across this fruitful land, and universal bankruptcy stares you in the face. The head of New Zealand is its “people’s representatives.” The head of these representatives is the Bank, and the head of the Bank are the Shylocks of modern Babylon by the river of ten thousand masts. O, you short-sighted people! You elect your craftiest enemies into power; you borrow millions to enrich others, and you sell your birthright—your lands—for less than a mess of pottage. You thought to grow suddenly wealthy out of the borrowed millions. You thought to receive without producing. You broke the first law of nature (earn thy bread by the sweat of thy brow), and now punishment has overtaken you. The whip you plaited for others’ backs, its weals are on your own. You are a nation of flayed and peeled, and terrible are your woes because of your selfishness, your greed, and your moral cowardice. You are measured out to the spoilers; you are trodden down under the heel of the crafty and the strong. Sadness, though hidden deep, curses your lives, and vexation corrodes your bones because you have not cared for your weaker brethren, but thought of self alone. You said in your heart let everyone look after himself, and the weak, in the language of Huxley, let them be trampled down. Bur punishment, slow but sure, is overtaking you. Already tribulation in various forms embitters you lives. Learn from this that in social questions, as in all others, the laws of the Master Builder are not to be defied with impunity. Social wrong-doing, like physical wrong-doing, bears along with it the seeds of future retribution. So may it always be.
New Zealanders, take a lesson from the troubles you have brought upon yourselves. Study the social laws under which you live, and swear, before God and man, that you will not permit any human unit to live without labour on what he, in any form, extorts from others. Put away corroding money-grubbing selfishness from your doings, and cease to plot iniquity under the name of “business.” Learn to sympathise with those who are being ground up in the mills of Mammon, and scorn the man who plunders the poor under the cloak of man-made laws. Be honest and kind, and brave and true, so that great men may come forth to serve you, and lead you on to a higher plane. Then your kings shall be truly leaders, and your chiefs will be heroic men. Seek after that which is just, and denounce with all your might the oppressor and the tyrant. Be a friend to the fatherless, and plead the cause of the widow and orphan. Uphold all just demands of the labourer, whose straining muscles produce all the wealth of the world. He is the corner-stone of the social structure—he is the building itself.
If you do these things; if you act justly one to the other, then you shall eat of the fat of the land; all nature shall smile upon you, and the future shall unroll its noble panorama before you. But if you refuse to be warned by the experience of ages—by the writing on the walls of Time—think not that by superior cunning you can escape the Uplifted Arm. Your gold shall canker your heart, and the cup of pleasure shall be dashed from your lips. Hunger shall gnaw your vitals, the heels of despots shall be upon your necks, and extortioners shall prey upon you to the third and fourth generation. Your principal men shall continue to betray you for bribes, and your elected chiefs shall be oily-tongued Mammonites—heartless, false, and cruel. Aye, the widow and the orphan, the poor and the oppressed, shall curse your name, and your descendants overwhelm you with bitter reproach. The doom of Rome, of Carthage, of Babylon, shall be thine. Strangers shall take your gold and enjoy your heritage, whilst (mayhap) the hands of slaves are red with your blood. Be warned in time. Work with all your might while yet it is day, for when cometh darkness no one can work. Remember—
*There are ninety and nine that work and die
In want and hunger and cold,
That one may live in luxury,
And be wrapped in the silken fold.
*Words by Samuel F. Beers. [Ed.]
The Working of the Yeast.
PROFESSOR HUXLEY’S articles in the Nineteenth Century are not calculated to enhance the fame of that eminent scientist, either as an exact thinker or a closer reasoner. We may safely assume that, had they been written by someone lacking the prestige attaching to Professor Huxley—by reason of his scientific attainments—they would have attracted no attention whatever.
But the name and prestige of the Professor have for the moment usurped the calm reason and sober judgment of those with whom the wish has been father to the thought, and they are thus persuaded that the splendid prospect held out to the poor and needy (by Henry George) is a mere rhetorical mirage. However that may be, the appearance of the articles has served to stimulate the latent abilities of all sorts and conditions of men—from a pastry cook to a millionaire, whose replies and criticisms have reduced the Professor’s position to an absurdity.
1. “That men have an absolute natural right to the full produce of their own exertions.”
2. “That if one man, or one class of men, own the land in fee-simple, then all other men are at once disinherited.”
3. “That among men living in a non-artificial state, equal rights to land are never denied.”
4. That Professor Huxley’s knowledge of goat shooting is very limited.”
The following concluding paragraphs will serve to indicate the temper of the article:—
. . . . “Whether we view our hollow civilisation in detail, or take a bird’s-eye view of the whole scene, it is equally terrible. There, standing upon the land, is a law-made “owner,” who insolently flourishes his parchments in the faces of the disinherited multitude, saying, ‘This land is mine, and mine alone. Begone! begone! Ye have no rights herein. There is no place here for you.’
“Their hearts filled with bitter thoughts, these half-famished millions turn aside in sullen despair, to brood in dangerous silence over their wrongs. Just then, in the hour of their sorest need, a THINKER stands up, ‘one from among themselves,’ and thinks aloud. The lean millions listen eagerly to the tale he has to tell. Thin-faced mothers clasp their half-famished offspring to withered breasts. They crowd around in surging masses, and these are the words that they hear:
“‘O children of sorrow! Behold those fertile valleys, those grassy, rolling uplands, those vales of eternal verdure, those quartz-reefs, those coal and iron mines, those primeval forests; those endless stretches of virgin soil, and the unoccupied city lots! These, O my oppressed and suffering brothers, are God’s good gift to you—to every one of you. Lift up thine eyes, brother, and gaze over thine ancient heritage, and let joy fill thy heart, and gladness brighten thy sorrowful lives. There! There, is food for the hungry, clothing for the naked, and wealth for all. O ye of little courage! O ye of chicken hearts! Go in and possess it, that your wives and your little ones may be fed; for, verily I say unto you, It is your own—your own.’
“And we may, in imagination, hear this modern Rienzi replying to Professor Huxley’s objections in words such as these:
“‘Was the fertility and wealth of Imperial Rome a rhetorical mirage to the hosts of Attilla, or the warriors from German forests? Already the hungry hordes have crossed the Danube, and, lo!—the latifundia. Where is the mirage in this, O thou of the protoplasm? Where is the delusion here, O ye of cosmic dust-cloud? This is the sphinx question of the age. How are ye going to reconcile landless hordes and vast estates side by side—hungry millions in the midst of abounding plenty? Ye must solve this question, or——! If thou, O my scientific spear-thrower, canst propound a better solution than mine (negation is but as the smoke of the morning), behold! Thy hand we’ll arm with lightnings; thy brow we’ll crown with stars.’
“Throughout these articles Professor Huxley comes out in a novel character—that of a court jester. He is amusing, no doubt, and laughs immoderately at the leaders of the disinherited. To throw away the thinker’s cap, and don the jester’s bells, may, perhaps, be a pleasant recreation to him; but his sardonic laughter pierces the hearts of the people like bayonet-stabs from a former friend. If his lot was cast in the ranks of the poor—if he had to support a wife and children (perhaps a widowed mother) upon a few shillings per day—his laugh, if he laughed at all, would have a terrible ring about it.”
Mr. GEO. ALDRIDGE is doing yeoman’s service in the movement for social regeneration. His Sunday afternoon addresses, for the past few weeks, have been dealing with practical questions. “Looking Backward,” “Wealth and Wages,” Poverty,” and “Malthusianism,” have been among the topics dealt with. It is gratifying to know that he is a stauch advocate of the single tax. In his address on poverty, he said that, while drink was the cause of individual poverty, it offered no solution of the national (class or social) poverty, which is such a feature in our present civilisation. For the cause of this we must look to land monopoly, and the remedy was a tax which should prevent the holding of land for any but productive purposes, such tax to ultimately absorb all other taxation. Needless to say, the speaker was applauded for his sentiments. Considering that he is a prohibitionist, this speaks volumes for the impartial manner in which he has studied the social question. A little more thought will convince him that poverty seeks refuge in drink fully as often as drink causes poverty.
IN the last number of “Zealandia,” a southern magazine, there is an article upon “Christ as a Social Reformer.” The writer looks upon Christ as a martyr in the cause of “the poor” in contradiction to “the rich.” He asserts that Christ was a popular leader murdered by the ruling classes, because in their eyes His doctrines were “subversive of all law and order.” The upper classes of Jerusalem saw in Him what we now call a leader of thought—a “dangerous” man—and so they “removed” Him in due legal form. The article is well worthy of perusal by all those interested in social reform.
Vol. 1-No.2 August 22, 1890
“The Throbbing of the Drums.”
THE writer of articles under the above heading, not being able to agree with the proprietors as to literary style and subject, has severed his connection with JUSTICE. Several articles from his pen upon the “Kauri Syndicate,” the “Bank of New Zealand,” and the “Labour Problem” are therefore withdrawn.
Vol. 1—No. 5 November 22, 1890
Thoughts and Things.
THE erudite Tribune editor has donned his war paint, and in true Quixotic style is running-a-muck at every windmill that dots the landscape. In his paper of the 1st inst. he has something to say about the Editor of this journal, which, taken as whole, is both untruthful and ungentlemanly. I say taken as a whole, for the small amount of truth embodied in “Desmond's” remarks is highly creditable to our Editor as an individual, and to the Single Taxers as a body. He says of the Editor of this paper that he “holds capital sacred, and would treat it as tenderly as lovers treat their sweethearts.” I believe that this fairly represents Mr. Withy's views, and surely “Desmond” does not deem it a crime for a man to respect the rights of property?—“the sacred rights of property,” as the French say. If a man produces wealth, should it not be held sacred to him? Why, that is one of our fundamental principles—the point on which we most insist—that what a man produces is his against all the world. Well, now! Suppose the producer of the wealth elects to transfer it into capital in order to conserve it, is it any the less his own in the form of capital than when it was wealth? And is it not to the credit of our Editor that he recognizes and respects the rights of property, whether in the form of wealth or capital? (I mean by wealth and capital, existing labour products, not taxing privileges, or monopolistic creations; when our Editor uses these terms he means precisely the same thing.) Single Taxers have no sympathy with monopoly in any shape whatever, and “Desmond” has, to my knowledge, heard Mr. Withy denounce it on several occasions in unmeasured terms. Following this is a statement which is utterly false, misleading, and dishonest. Here it is: “At the Anti-Poverty meeting, Mr. Withy, junior, stated that unrestricted competition was a glorious thing, even between a white man at 10s. per day and a coolie at ten cents.” For the sake of gaining a little cheap popularity, “Desmond” has stooped to the ignobility of traducing a true-hearted, generous-minded friend of the poor and oppressed, whose tongue and pen are enlisted on the side of justice for humanity’s sake. “Desmond” knows this, and knowing it, commits deliberate and intentional falsehood, by charging Mr. Withy with words which he never uttered. Bur suppose he had uttered the words attributed to him, what then? Is it not a glorious thing if, in open competition, the white man can command one shilling for every cent. earned by the coolie? And does it not show that the boasted superiority of the Anglo-Saxon is a stern reality? I think it does, and I further think that it constitutes a most effective reply to those pseudo-economists who are continually whining about the competition of the coolie and Chinaman. No! No! Mr. Tribune so long as the white man can show one shilling to the coolie’s cent. there is no fear of our losing our industrial supremacy. Not much!
Following this, “Desmond” gives us his opinion of unrestricted competition in the following words: “It is the doctrine of hell—savage Darwinianism—the doctrine of trampling down the weak. It is Satan’s gospel to men. Christianity means the reverse of all this—it means the abolition of competition” (with “Desmond” as dictator, depriving of liberty, by means of brute force, all who ventured to differ from his opinion). This latter is precisely his method of regenerating society, as the following remark, or threat, made by him to present writer, will serve to show: “If I were dictator I would put you in a straight jacket, and place you in a lunatic asylum.” I have every reason to believe that “Desmond” is not at present an inmate of that institution—not yet. High-strung phraseology and moral twaddle on the subject of competition will do very little towards solving the sphinx riddle of the nineteenth century. It is no use attempting to run the universe to suit the whim of every economic mountebank who happens along—it is no use attempting to ignore natural law. If Christianity means the abolition of competition, so much the worse for Christianity. In the absence of competition, good qualities must of necessity die as well as bad ones, and the abolition of competition means stagnation, retrogression, and inevitable decay. Nature knows no such thing as finality. The struggle for existence is not a matter of sentiment; it is a stern fact. Our duty it is to moralise the conditions of that struggle. This is my opinion, and my further opinion is that, when prizes are awarded to economic dunces, the editor of the Tribune will be entitled to “first and special.”
“Desmond’s” opinion of unrestricted competition is like the weather—it is liable to very sudden change. In the Tribune of the 13th inst. we find him advocating the very thing so strongly denounced on the 1st. From an article on “The Sailor’s Home” we extract the following: “If all supplies” (for that institution) “were to be regularly tendered for, it would give every tradesman a fair show.” No restrictions here, mind you, but “Satan’s gospel” and “savage Dawinianism” given free play. “Desmond’s” Christianity must have been down to zero when he wrote that sentence, or—a thought occurs: isn’t the tradesman a bloated capitalist? and, well—“savage Darwinianism” is, “when I am Dictator,” to be reserved for their especial benefit. A senseless tirade against an individual, or against the ideas propounded by individuals, is as undignified as it is foolish. To rationally discuss a subject, sift it of its errors, clarify it by the aid of science, is, on the other hand, philosophical and wise. It is by this latter method, and by it alone, that the race can hope to ever arrive at freedom—freedom from ignorance, from superstition, and dogma—the triple tyrants of mankind. The overthrow of these means the complete emancipation of the toiling millions. “Desmond” has talent and ability, and might have become a true leader of the people; he has been content to become the editor of the Tribune.
In the Herald supplement of a week ago, “Mercutio” speaks of the Tribune as “the organ of the Single Tax party,” and then places to our credit some questionable proceedings respecting an office which, it appears, had been surreptitiously entered and occupied by the editor of that paper. Stabs in the dark, such as this, are only administered by midnight assassins, who shrink from the light off day like a loathsome toad. The Single Tax Party have not, and never have had, the slightest interest in our connection with the Tribune; and further, all this is well known to the whole of the Herald staff. The Single Tax organ is JUSTICE, and this is the only organ devoted solely to the Single Tax theory existing in the colony. Taking possession of other people’s property is not the only form of dishonesty. Wilful and malicious misrepresentation, of which “Mercutio” is guilty, while equally culpable, is more generally condemned, because it is a meaner and more sneaking kind of dishonesty.—We note that Mr. Ewington has a letter in the Herald of the 20th inst., adding a few words to “Mercutio’s” version of this matter, and giving what he terms “the simple, unvarnished facts.” Seeing that “Mercutio’s” version was anything but a true and fair statement of the facts, is it not strange that Mr. Ewington should have written in such a manner as would lead the uninitiated to suppose that he endorsed “Mercutio’s” slanderous tirade? In giving the “simple, unvarnished facts,” should he not first have contradicted the untruthful statements made by “Mercutio”?
It was a real treat to hear Mr. Aldridge in the Opera House, on Sunday, Nov. 2. His address, “More About the Single Tax,” was really a reply to the Herald article of Wednesday, Oct. 29, and his remarks were singularly appropriate to the occasion. Most ministers complain that the Gospel has lost its hold upon the masses; Mr. Aldridge, judging from the large numbers who flock to hear him, does not find it so. His influence for good is far greater in his present sphere that it would be if he became a politician.