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About The commoner. (Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-1923 | View Entire Issue (Jan. 23, 1901)
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'Another Endless Chain.
Secretary Gage recently appeared before a
House committee and urged the enactment of a
lav specifically requiring silver dollars to be
redeemed in gold on demand, lie argued that,
as the legal tender law makes silver the equivalent
of gold, the' government might as well offer to
furnish gold in exchange for silver as to allow
silver to be presented in payment of revenues.
To use his own expression:
The government might just as well face the
situation and meet this silver with its right hand at
the front door as to take it with the left hand at the
And this is the reasoning of a financier! lie
sees no difference between a credit money and a
standard money; he thinks it a matter of no
moment that his plan reduces the quantity of
basic money and increases the quantity of redeem
able money or, in other words, contracts the
foundation and expands the super-structure.
But of this later. It is worth while to point
out at this time that the argument now made by
Secretary Gage is similar to the argument which
led to the custom of redeeming treasury notes in
gold, although the practice of redeeming treasury
notes in gold simply surrendered the govern
ment's option to select the coin and did not
'convert a standard money into a credit money.
'After the custom of redeeming in gold was
established the financiers pointed out that the
redemption and re-issue of treasury notes formed
iwhat they called an endless chain for the drain
ing of the treasury. This argument was used
with great effect in securing the repeal of the
purchasing clause of the Sherman Law. As soon
as that legislation was accomplished the financiers
set to work to secure the retirement of the
greenbacks as well as the treasury notes on the
ground that the greenbacks also constituted an
endless chain when redeemed and re-issued. Now
that the greenbacks and treasury notes are in
process of retirement an attack is to be made
upon the silver dollar.
The argument that worked so well against
government paper is now to be used against coin.
The present law does not require the redemption
of silver, dollars; a bill containing such a pro
vision passed the House a year ago but a repub
lican Senate was not willing to go on record as
favoring such a measure at the beginning of a
presidential campaign, so the matter was left to
Now that the 'election is over the republican
leaders are a little more bold and will probably
make the law specific in requiring redemption.
Next will come the demand for the retirement
of silver dollars by an issue of bonds, or for a
withdrawal of their legal tender qualities.
As a reason for retiring silver we will be told
that a silver dollar redeemed and then re-issued
forms another endless chain. It will be pointed
out that there is no limit to the amount of gold
that may be drained from the treasury if silver
dollars are paid out again after they are once
redeemed. The same argument made against the
greenback and treasury note will be repeated
against a redeemable silver dollar.
The redemption of the standard silver dollar
is the first step toward its ultimate retirement
and those who are opposed to its retirement will
not be induced to aid in making it redeemable.
When the gold standard is complete, gold will
be the only legal tender money and bank notes
the only paper money. Until this end is reached
the financiers will deprecate any agitation of the
money question during campaigns and will spend
the years between campaigns urging legislative
enactments in furtherance of their plans.
Christianity Versus War.
Erasmus, whose words have echoed through
three centuries, has this to say of the antagonism
between Christianity and War:
Let us imagine we hear a soldier among these
fighting Christians saying the Lord's Prayer just he
fore battle. Our Father! says lie. O, hardened wretch!
Can you call God Father, when you arc just going out
to cut your brother's throat? Hallowed be Thy name.
How can the name of God be more impiously unhal
lowed than by mutual bloody murder among his sons?
Thy kingdom come. Do you pray for the coming
of His kingdom while you are endeavoring to establish
an earthly despotism by spilling the blood of God's
sons and subjects? Thy will be done in earth as it is
in Heaven. His will in Heaven is for peace; but you
are now meditating war. Give us this day our daily
bread. How dare you say this to your Father in
Heaven at the moment that you are going to burn
your brother's corn fields and would rather lose the
benefit of them yourself than suffer him to enjoy them
unmolested? Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive
those who trespass against' us. With what face can
you pray thus, when, so far from forgiving your
brother, you are going with all the haste you can, to
murder him in cold blood for an alleged trespass
which, after all, is but imaginary? Lead us not into
temptation. And do you presume to deprecate temp
tation, or danger you who are not only rushing into
it yourself, but doing all you can to force your brother
into it? Deliver ub from evil. You pray to be de
livered from evil, that is, from the evil being, Satan,
to whose impulses you are now submitting yourself,
and by whose spirit y ou are guided in contriving the
greatest possible evil to your brother?
These sentiments, set forth and commented upon
in the Peace Manual, are respectfully commend,
ed to those followers of thcNazarene who preach
a strenuous gospel of bloodshed, and who imagine
that they see God's hand directing a war waged
for conquest and the extension of trade.
Mr. Wise, a member of the Australian Parlia
ment, in a speech in favor of arbitration, sets
forth the necessity for trade-unionism so forcibly
that an extract is given below:
Trade-Unionism is, as I have said, to the laborer
what capital is to the employer; and without trade
unionism we would not feel that there could be any
real freedom of contract between the laborer and the
Freedom only exists when those on either side are
free to accept or rejt the terms that are offered. To
secure that freedom the object of trade-unionism,
because it recognizes that in order to have a fair bar
gain made, each party to the bargain must be on a
footing of equality.
The labor organization not only helps those
who belong to it, but it also helps those who are
not members. For even those on the outside
share to a greater or less extent in the better
wages, the shorter hours and the more favorable
conditions secured by the labor organizations.
If unions or federations make mistakes it must be
remembered that perfection is not to be expeoted
in any work of human hands. The good done by
these organizations far outweighs the errors which
they have committed.
The BoersGod BSess Them.
The reports from South Africa revive the
stories of ancient heroism. That a force so small
should be able to hold the British army at bay
and even re-take some of the surrendered cities
seems too wonderful to bo true. Millions here and
throughout the world, who believe in self-government
and deny the right of a strong nation to
cast its sovereignty like a net over a weaker
people, are watching with intense interest tho
unequal struggle of the Boers in defense of their
independence. If they succeed in forcing a
recognition of their republics, their victory will
mark tho turning point in the recent trend toward
imperial ideas and their sacrifices will be of in
calcuablo value to the human race. If, howc Ver,
they fail and are compelled at last to Bubmit to the
English yoke, their valiant resistance will have fur
nished innummerablc themes for poetry and song,
and the lovers of liberty for centuries to come will
find inspiration in their courage and patriotism.
We Have Imperialism Now.
Senator Teller is right in saying that impe
rialism is not a fear but a realization; not a thing
to bo warded off, but a thing to be abandoned.
In a recent speech in the senate he adminis
tered a well-deserved rebuke to those who prate
about partial liberty and conditional self-government.
I have not agreed with everybody who has been
in fear of imperialism. I said two years ago last
month in the Senate that there would not bo any
imperialism there, for the American people would not
allow it. Since then I have seen in those islands an
imperial government that has hud no equal on the
face of the earth, an imperial government that has
not a counterpart anywhere under the heavens, an
imperial government' with five men, and five men
only, strangers to the language, strangers to the
country, unacquainted with the interests of the
people, sitting there and administering government,
taking the money of the people and appropriating ib
without their consent, ignoring the people entirely.
Mr. President, the czar of Russia is an absolute
czar. lie has a council of sixty men who sit with him
and consider public affairs, but the sixty men are Rus
sians. They are people of that country. They have
their sympathies and their ambitions for Russia.
These men in the Philippine islands are strangers.
Under the military law they have a right there un
doubtedly, but under God's law, which is higher than
that, they have no place there at all.
And so I take back what said two years ago.
Imperialism has come; it is there in its worst form,
and what I want to know, like the senator from
Maryland (Mr. Wellington), is, what are you going to
do now? Are you going to keep up this imperialistic
government? Are you going to continue to govern
12,000,000 people contrary to their., wish, without a
voice, without being heard, when your chief actor
over there, General MacArthur, tells you that the
people are a unit against this'iidministration, when
every Filipino in Europe today, and there are thou
sands of .them, is against our government over there?
Contempt of Court.
The supreme court has decided that Cuba is
foreign territory, held in trust by the people of
the United States for the Cuban3 and to be turned
over to them as soon as they shall have estab
lished a stable government by their volun
tary action. . -Doubtless an X-ray photograph of
the mind of Senior Beveridge while he was read
ing, the opinion would have afforded ample ground
for thc infliction of the usual penalties, for con
tempt of court.