Image provided by: University of Nebraska-Lincoln Libraries, Lincoln, NE
About The commoner. (Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-1923 | View Entire Issue (Nov. 8, 1901)
force depend, in a measure, upon the character of
the people, because this is a republican form of
government in which inferior citizenship must ro
Bult in inferior statesmanship, because in this gov
ernment the Integrity, or tho lack of it, the wis
dom, or the absence of it, tho patriotism, or the
want of it, on tho part of tho masses of the people,
must in time find reflection in the conduct of tho
people's representatives therefore it is of the
highest importance that in order, to make a city
or country great under a republican form of gov
ernment the citizens miiBt be great.
They must be great, not in the news columns
of tho press j great, not in their own conceit; great,
not merely In acquiring Wealth or reaching places
of distinction and- renown, but great in their
own hearts, in their own conscience, in the con
templation of their duty as citizens and In their
duty to God.
It is not possible, realizing human frailty, that
any effort to bring all men and women to this
exalted point shall be successful; it is possible,
however, that through the processes of education,
through the influence of constant agitation and re
peated appeals to the masses it is possible
through these influences that all whom God has
endowed with intelligence shall exert their best
efforts to stand for tho right as they see the
right; and, finally, as a natural result, it is possi
ble that a great majority of citizens shall become,
in this light, really great.
Has the Tribune Deserted?
The Chicago Tribune has had great sport with
blmetallists, and has been an ardent supporter of
the single gold standard. In its issue of October
25, the Tribune, commenting upon an address de
livered by Mr. Eckles, former comptroller of the
treasury, says that American bankers are "not
"Boiictyious for a Bank of tho United States, unless
they can have an interest in it. Nor are they so
much worked up over the evils of the sub-treasury
system as some of them seem to be."
"Net one of tthem," says the Tribune, "can
talk on that subject without coming quickly to
their heart's desire, tho retirement of tho legal
tenders and silver money, and the substitution of
hank notes based on commercial assets the prop-'
erty of the depositors. If they are authorized to
make a currency for the people, they will not care
where the funds of the government are deposited."
Then the Tribune warns the people that "as a
nrst step towards this goal" the bankers urge the
retirement of the legal tenders.
The Tribune appears to have suddenly dis
covered something, and it serves notice upon all
whom it may concern that the voters who are not
bankers will not submit to greenback retirement.
The Tribune's article is so Instructive that it will
be well to malte extended quotations from it.
The Tribune says:
The extent to which men can be blinded
by self-interest is illustrated by the utter In
ability of bankers even of those who .hold
high official positions and should be more
familiar with public sentiment to see that
the people have made up their minds that the
legal tenders shall he let alone.
There is a popular conviction, which no
" arguments of asset currency advocates can
shake, that the greenbacks are as safe as gold.
There are $346,000,000 of them, with a gold re
servo of $150,000,000 and the pledge of a gov
ernment, which has never been false, to its .
pledges, behind them. The people would re
tain unshaken confidence in the greenbacks
if three times as many were issued, provided
they were as well secured as are those now in
The people have full faith in the $350,000,
000 of national bank notes now outstanding.
They are secured by government bonds. But
if tho national debt shall be extinguished and
no bond basis remain for bank notes, then
tho banks will have to cease Issuing notes.
The people so will it. They would have more
commence In one thousand millions of green
backs based on the unfluctuating value of gold
in the treasury than in $350,000,000 of bank
notes based on the fluctuating values of bank -assets.
These assets are made up in part of
securities of industrials which are above par
one day and near zero tho next day.
Tho bankers lay before the public their
plans for a reserve to secure the redemption
of their asset currency. They speak of a tax
to lessen its volume when excessive. Tho
public might have more confidence in these
checks and brakes if the only men who insist
on their efficacy were not the only ones who
would profit by an asset currency. These men
aro much controlled by self-interest, and hence
as little to be trusted as was the spider when
it said so sweotly to the fly, "Will you come
into my chamber?"
The motives of the asset currency men
are so transparent that their snares cannot
catch the people. The latter can perceive
through all this mist of words about the pre
cautions with which the asset currency scheme
is to be hedged In, and the assurance of the
"solvency and conservative management of
all banks Issuing the asset currency," the por
tentous apparition of the asset currency of
other years. They can see the return of the
"red dogs" and "yellow pups" and the other
asset currency beasts that tormented their
Big bankers and little bankers, bankers
in office and out of office, may argue and plead
for authority to make the currency for this
republic. They never can get it. They talk
of "educating the people." The people have
had their education. It has taught them that
asset currency is unsafe and federal currency
safe. On that knowledge they will rest.
Does this not sound strange coming from a
single gold standard organ? Did they not tell us
in 1896 and in 1900 that the hankers knew what
was best for the people in the way of financial leg
islation? Are not the hankers interested solely
in "honest money?" Are they not anxious to main
tain "national honor" and to preserve "national
What has come over the Tribune that it sees
questionable motives, unwise methods, and bad
purposes where less than one year ago it could de
tect nothing but patriotism, wisdom and sagacity?
A rionopoly Victory. N
A Chicago judge has recently rendered a de
cision in favor of a gas monopoly. In his opinion
the judge said:
"If there are ten companies, it will be
necessary in some parts of the cltyt because of
the small number of persons using gas and
the limited amount used, to fix a higher price
for gas than in the other parts of the city
where a larger number of persons use it and a
much larger amount will be used. If there is
but one company and one plant the price will
be, must be, uniform to all.
"It probably will he conceded that gas can
he manufactured and delivered to the people
of Chicago by one company with only one set
of officers much cheaper and better than by
ten companies with ten sets of officers and
employes from ten different plants."
It might be true that gas can be manufactured
and delivered to the people of Chicago by one com
pany with only one set of officers much cheaper
and better than by ten companies with ten sets of
officers; but it will be remembered that the man
who boasted: "I can call the spirits from the
vasty deep," was met with the retort, "and so can
I; but will they come?"
It is true that monopoly may make it possible
for a commodity to be delivered in better shape
and at smaller cost than it could be delivered by
a large number of companies, hut so long as hu
man selfishness exists, the worst feature rather
than the better feature will be produced, and the
worst feature is that whenever a coterie of men.
is given a monopoly upon a thing which the peo
ple must have, selfishness prompts them to look
out for their own interests and the monopoly pro
vides them with the power to fix the price and ar
range the character of the commodity according
to their own whim and convenience.
In this particular case, it was claimed that the
same men who own and control the gas trust that
is contending for existence, own and control all the
other companies, so that the element of competi
tion did not enter in even though the gas trust
was disorganized. But the fact remains that
there is nothing in the history of consolidations
that will justify the peopld in believing that they
will receive the benefits in the way of improved
material and reduced cost that might be obtained
by a consolidation. In the absence of competition
the trust magnate gives to tho consumer the
kind of material which best suits the trust mag
nate's convenience, and charges the price which
best satisfies the trust magnate's greed. The city
should own tho lighting plant.
The Chicago Tribune is authority for the state
ment that General Chaffee has written a letter to
a certain United States army officer. The Tribune
describes General Chaffee's letter thus:
"You ask me when, in my opinion, tho
greater part of the troops will be withdrawn.
I wish. I could answer you "with a degree of
definiteness. The same query was propounded
by General Corbin when ho Was here. In re
ply he was told that the force should not be
reduced below the 30,000 level for at least five
years. I am of the opinion that at least that
number of men will be required for a much
longer time, perhaps for a quarter of a cen
"When you give consideration to the char
acter of the territory to be held, as well as to
the fact that at least lialf of the population
v is semi-wild and has no conception of" a gov
ernment of any description, you will under
stand what we are up against."
General Chaffee is represented as saying
that while somo of the officials profess to
have great faith in the present civil govern
ment, and although Governor Taft is a man
of remarkable ability, he is afraid he is al
most losing courage. He goes so far as to say:
"Governor Taft may resign his position at al
most any time. He has no.t said so in as many
words, but the climate is not to his liking, and
I am sure he is disheartened with the way
things are going on his lines." .
These statements are not in harmony with
those made by politicians who have recently re
turned from the Philippines. It is fair to infer
that General Chaffee Imows what he is talking
about and that he gives a more accurate review
of the situation than the politicians do. The re
cent disasters which our troops have met with in
the Philippines tend to confirm General Chaffee's
statements, if, indeed, they need confirmation.
The American people may here obtain a hint
of the condition with which they are confronted.
Instead of peace having been estahlished, instead
of tho Philippine people having heen completely
subdued and conquered, General Chaffee tells us
that for at least five years the army force must
not be reduced below 30,000, and that "at least that
number of men will he required for a much longer
time, perhaps for a quarter of a century."
And what do we obtain in the way of recom
pense for all this expenditure of precious blood
The Great Court.
In an address delivered at New Haven, Justice
Brewer of tho United States supreme court, speak
ing of trusts, said: "You' cannot stay this move
ment towards consolidation and centralization. It
is a natural evolution." Justice Brewer added
that legislation against trusts will not stop the
. movement r,nd he likened such attempts to Dame
Partington's effort to stop the Atlantic with a
Justice Brewer asked, 'Is this centralization
tendency antagonistic or healthful to tho republic?
Is it consistent with popular government?" Then
the justice answered himself: "Apparently it is
antagonistic; against republican thought of equal
ity of right, each man a ruler and equally sharing
thp responsibilities and powers of government."
Justice Brewer's remedy is, as ho stated it:
"Appeal must he taken to the great court of pub
lic opinion whose decrees are irresistible. In that
Powered by Open ONI