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About The commoner. (Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-1923 | View Entire Issue (Oct. 18, 1901)
WILLIAfl J. BRYAN, EDITOR AND PROPRIETOR.
, Vol. i. No. 39.
Lincoln, Nebraska, October 18, 1001.
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The Pan-American Conference.
The Pan-American conference to be held in
the city of Mexico the latter part of this month
is of great importance to the countries partici
pating. A number of subjects of general in
terest will be considered. Probably the most
important question that will arise is arbitra
tion, and it is to be hoped that the representa- -tives
of the United States will use their infiu;
ence to secure the adoption of the resolutions
brought before the last Pan-American confer
ence by Secretary of State Blaine.
They wore as follows:
"First. That the principle of conquest shall
not, during the continuance of the treaty of "arbi
tration, be recognized as admissible under Ameri
can public law.
"Second. That all cessions of territory made
during the continuance of the treaty of arbitra
tion shall be void if made under threats of war or
in the presence of an armed force.
"Third. Any nation from which such cessions
shall be exacted may demand that the validity of
the cessions so made shall be submitted to arbi
tration. "Fourth. Any- renunciation of the right to
arbitration made under the conditions named in
the second section shall be null and void."
The fact that the Central and South Amer
ican republics have beon alarmed by the recent
imperialistic tendencies of the administration
makes it especially opportune for this
country to give the assurance which such reso
lutions would offer.
It would also bo worth while to consider
the propriety of inviting the other American
republics to adopt our ratio between gold and
silver" and provide for the issuance of coins
of the same weight, fineness and denominations
as ours. This would facilitate trade between
the countries of the western hemisphere. The
building and protection of the Nicaragua
Canal by the United States is a matter of great
importance to all Pan-American countries and
th subject should of course be considered.
The Monroe doctrine should be endorsed,
for it is of vital concern to the republics, of"
Central and South America, as well as to the
There aro other questions looking to the
establishment of better mail facilities and bettor
trade regulation which deserve attention; in
fact, the scope of the meeting is so great that
it would be difficult to limit the discussion to
particular questions named in advance. The
members of the conference ought to bo
free to consider all matters of interest to the
As to Lying.
Chancellor Andrews of the Nebraska State
University, in the course of a lecture delivered,
at the Chicago University last summer, took
.occasion to discuss the subject of lying. He
'first set forth the excuses that have been given
for various forms of lying, and then proceeded
to demolish the excuses and to show that lying
is not justifiable under any circumstances.
Some of the papers in reporting his speech
gave the arguments quoted in dofenso of lying,
but failed to give Dr. Adrews' refutation of
them. Attention is called to it at this time be
cause some of the republican papers have been
trying to make political capital out of this mis
representation. One of the Chicago papers
even criticised Dr. Andrews for discussing the
subject. The discussion was not only unob
jectionable but entirely proper.
The argument against lying is all tho
stronger when it meets and overthrows tho
specious defenses put forth in justification
of various forms and degrees of prevarication.
It is unfortunate that misrepresentation, which
is one form of lying, should be invoked as an
. answer to the Doctor's arguments against lying.
Shafroth on Philippine Question.
Congressman John P. Shafroth, of Colo
. radof has just ' returnee! from a "visit to 'the"
Philippine Islands. On another page will bo
found n statement giving his observations.
Coming from one of such high personal char
acter and so capable of forming a just
opinion, his words ought to have great weight.
The Commoner has not based its defense of
the Filipino's right to independence upon tho
degree of civilization which the- inhabitants
have reached, but has insisted that govern
ments derive their just powers from the con
sent of the governed, and that a government
which is cast over people like a net, and which
creates the condition of citizen and sub
ject is antagonistic to the theories of gov
ernment which have prevailed in this country
from the days of the revolution. But Mr.
Shafroth's article ought to be convincing
to those who have defended a colonial policy
on the ground that the Filipinos needed us to
look after them. Tho salaries voted by tho
Philippine commission to themselves and to
other officials are an indictment against the en
tire carpet-bag system, and the Republican's
conscience must be seared indeed if he cannot
see in the extravagance of the commission an
indication of what may be expected under a
colonial system. If the exhorbitant salaries
mentioned by Mr. Shafroth are to be paid by
the American taxpayers, th-rc will be a revolt
here; if they are to be paid by the Filipinos
there will bo a. revolt there. It is no compli
ment to the honesty of the American people to
suppose that they will approve of larger sal
mis if they are to be paid by the Filipinos
than they would if they woro to be paid by the
taxpayers here. Mr. Shafroth has rendered a
valuable service to his country in setting forth
the facts as he has found them, and his voice
will bo potent in the discussion of the question
in congress. TheRepublicans will find it diffi
cult to meet his facts with their dcspicablo
cant about "destiny and duty.''
A recent issue of the Rochester Democrat
and Chronicle (why the word "Democrat"
should bo a part of tho paper's title is a mys
tery) contains a most interesting editorial un
der the caption "Unconscious Anarchy." It is
devoted to thc'criticism of an editorial which
appeared in The Commoner a short time ago.
Tho Democrat and Chronicle says:
"As Mr. Bryan has said 'our form of govern
ment is the best ever devised' for a people capable
of self-government. Tho reason that it is the best
ever devised for such people (and the worst ever
devised for people unfitted for self-government) is
that it places the governing power unreservedly In
tho hands of the people. The people have full
power, except as It is limited by tho fundamental
law, tto govern or mis-govern ttfemsolvesVoxactW
as they please and they can altcr,rawf undamentai
law whenever they choose"
It will bo noticed that the Democrat and
Chronicle qualifies Mr. Bryan's statement by
adding the words, "for a people capable of self
government." The above language shows the standpoint
from which republicans are beginning to view
the subject of government. Their attempt to
misrepresent democratic doctrines is of little
importance, and their conscious and constant
twisting of democratic arguments does not
deserve attention. But the increasing emphasis
with which they denounce the principles of
American government is worthy of sorious
consideration. This doctrine that some peoplo
are capable of self-government and that other
people are incapable of it, has as a corollary the
imperialistic doctrine that the "capable" peoplo
should assume,as matter of duty, the government
of the incapable ones, and of course while tho
capable ones are governing the incapablo ones,
the incapable ones' must pay the expenses and
the capable ones must make as much profit as
possible, nationally and individually, out of the
self-imposed duty. Public attention should be
called to the present attitude of the Republi
can party, and its position should be compared
with the position taken by those who have been
regarded as authority.
Jefferson in his first Inaugural Address said:
"Sometimes it is said that man cannot ba
trusted with the governing of himself. Can
he, then, be trusted with the governing of
others? Or have we found angels in the form
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