Arthur Desmond promotes Henry George's "Progress and Poverty."
TO THE PEOPLE OF HAWKE’S BAY.
ALL Intelligent Working-men should carefully read “Progress and Poverty,” by Henry George, that they may thoroughly comprehend the horrid grind of their slavish position, and the REAL cause of social misery and hard times. Read and remember that “Knowledge is power.” Because you have been gulled and robbed in the past, that is no reason why you should like cowardly cringing curs, literally lie down to be both spurned and robbed NOW.
Hastings, November, 1885
HENRY GEORGE’s WORKS.
For some time past a fervent appeal “To the People” has been appearing regularly in the Napier Evening News, emanating from Mr. A. Desmond, a late Greyite candidate for the representation of Hawke’s Bay County. It is to the following effect:—
[The blinded sire slaves himself out and leaves a blinded son, and men made in the image of God continue as mere two-legged, broken-spirited, beasts of burden.]
The power of a well circulated popular book has in all social movements been immense. The role which Rousseau played to the French Revolution, one hundred years ago, by the publication of his “Contrat Sociale,” is now being adopted by Mr. Henry George in the publication and world-ide circulation of his two celebrated works—“Progress and Poverty” and “Social Problems.”
The “Contrat Sociale” precipitated in France (not without bloodshed) one of the greatest reforms in modern times. Let us hope that if “Progress and Poverty” has a similar effect upon English speaking communities, that the reform will be fought upon constitutional principles, ant not, as in Paris, by means of street barricades, whiffs of gape shot and the guillotine.
A suggestive anecdote is related of the late Thomas Carlyle, the great Philosopher and Historian. He was once discussing, in a miscellaneous company, the merits of a popular orator, when an aristocratic fop said; “He was all theory—mere theory.” Carlyle replied in his characteristic manner:— “One upon a time a young man came to Paris and wrote a book; feather heads and aristocrats sneered and laughed at it as ‘mere theory,’ but the second edition was bound in their skins.”
Much as we object to our Colonial money lending, and land owning aristocracy, still we have no wish to see an edition of “Progress and Poverty” “bound in their skins.” Still it is hard to say what might happen if an angry people took the hint. Meanwhile the
people should read the book.
Poverty Bay Independent, January 26, 1886
TO THE PEOPLE—All thoughtful electors should seriously prepare for the coming struggle by a study of the means by which they are being daily robbed. Read Henry George's"Progress and Poverty”(price 1/-.)
It pleads the cause of the downtrodden poor of all nations, creeds, and races, not with the pitiful whine of a suppliant beseeching mercy, but with the bold outspoken tones of a man demanding justice for his fellow men. Unless the people take more interest in public affairs, they, their wives and little ones will continue in the future as in the past, to exist as mere toiling hirelings to the crack of doom.— l am, &c.,
Daily Telegraph, 12 mars, 1886
(TO THE EDITOR)
It is impossible to net well without both the desire to do good and the knowledge of how it is to be done. The truth of this is accepted by every sane man in matters of daily life, and denied by ninety-nine men out of a hundred who care to argue about the ills of society. The mother whose heart is torn at the sight of the agony of her child, and soothes its pain for the moment with a poisonous sleeping draught, is very much like the philanthropist who would ease the pangs of the disinherited with some of the quack remedies in which his faith is probably as profound as his sympathies with the suffering are sincere. In both cases the longing to heal is unable to effect anything but damage unless it is guided by a scientific knowledge of the disease. But while in the one case, the physician steps in with his skill, and makes the mother’s love of benefit without any risk of being accused of hostility to it—in the other, the true science of political economy cannot be applied without a cry being raised that he who puts aside for the moment all professions of humanity, and probes the social sore to the bottom, is a foe to the feelings of sympathy and would destroy all brotherly love. In truth wo cannot have too much of the sentiment which spurs men on to attempt to remedy the social disease of which the symptoms are so evident, and have been so often loudly proclaimed, that it is not less than criminal to deny their existence. But the sentiment becomes a fatal force, sternly to be warred against when it is only strong enough to blind men to the real evil and leads
them to try opiates or palliatives and make the disease more deeply rooted by giving it time to sink into the system. The ignorant philanthropy that would hide a cancer with a sticking plaster of charity or other useless remedy is the greatest obstacle to cure. So the reformer of our times must be ever at strife with those whose feelings are just warm enough to urge them to prophesy smooth things, without caring for the exact truth. He must be content to be spurned as a maker of discord, because he knows that the division of society into a lauded and a landless—an idle and a working class—must brood hostility of interest between class and class, and called an incendiary because he preaches a. crusade against the interests of idlers and thieves. He must submit to be flouted by those who cry “peace, when there is no peace,” because he stirs up discontent m and righteous indignation against a social system based on the robbery of labour. He must glory in being called “revolutionary,” because he declares war to the knife against greed and injustice; but he must never forget that our boasted civilization has enthroned the omnipotence of wealth upon the helpless and almost hopeless misery of the poor. —I am,
Hastings, March 26,1886.
Woodville Examiner, April 2, 1886