The commoner. (Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-1923, October 21, 1904, Page 5, Image 5

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    OCTOBER , 1904
The Commoner.
Thomas E. Watson's Letter
To Hon. . Samuel W. Williams,
Chairman Committee on Notification:
When two great political, ' parties
have, in turn, governed a country, and
nave between them, brought about un
satisfactory conditions, it is but natural
that a third party should arise.
Citizens who have looked in vain to
"the two great parties" for remedial
legislation Ipso confidence in both
after a while, and adopt one of two
courses: they either submit to the
evils of bad government, or protest
by organizing a third partyt
To the student of history, there is
nothing more saddening than the ten
dency of the people to submit As a
rule, political education never, reaches
the massqs. State-craft, like priest
craft jealously guards its secrets.
There is always the inner sanctuary
which the people are taught to believe
would be profaned by the touch of
their unholy feet
Reverence for Authority.
Again, in organized government
there is a mysterious reverence for
authority. "Whatever is, is right" to
the. unthinking multitude; and the
votaries of power never cease to deep
en that Impression. Thus partly
from ignorance and partly from rever
ence for established authority, the
people, In every ago, have shown more
inclination to submit to bad govern
ment than to resist it The crimes
which have been committed under
form of law by ruling classes against
subject masses almost stagger belief.
They have been so deliberately cruel,
so relentlessly selfish, so shamefully
unjust, that the blood of, the student
boils within:,, him as he. reads the re
cord. What was the purpose- of the
law-maker in forming such heartless
legislation? The motive was to ren
der permanent the rule of tbe few,
the 'privileged the few, tha power
and the wealth of , the 'few. Always
and everywhere the result of this sort
of legislation has been the same
it defeated itself; and the aristocracy
fell with the state which it misgov
erened. Those who rule by corrup
tion, being corrupL themselves, sap
the very foundation of social and poli
tical order; and when there is noth
ing in the masses of the people but
tame submission to tyranny, there is
no robust strength left to meet the
enemy, within or without.
A handful of Englishmen are abij
to hold Egypt down,- and pluudoi its
people in -the. interest of tho Roths
childs; and other holders of' bonds
signed by" a decadent and heipless
khedlve Why? Because the life had
been taken out of the poor creatures
by centuries of misrule. The common
man, in Egypt, has been di.-t under
the feet of masters so long that he
hasxome to believe that he is dirt,
and nothing more. S'ee how the two
hundred millions of Hindoos are held
down by one hundred thousand Brit
ish! See how they submit to" be so
closely shorn by English plunderers
that" at the least breath of famine they
perfsh by the millions. How Vat that
horrible situation made possible? Cen
turies of misrule did it Soulless aris
tocracy, thinking of its own interests
only; killed the spirit of the people
by atrocious law. When the evil hour
came and India needed robust man
hood to defend the empire, no robust
manhood was there. The rulers were
effeminate, weakened by their own
wealth, ' their own self-indulgence,
their own monopoly of power, privi
lege, and opportunity. The subject
classes, on the other hand, had sub
mitted so long, had .been slaves so
long, that the Instinct of patriotism
was lacking; and to the new yoke of
the British the patient ox submitted.
frf A CCtim n rf Th PoP1tUat candidate express Mt
JK rXVWJ IClllWW views on the Issues of the campaig
To bo an ox and wear a yoke, had bo
come second nature to tho wretched,
lower class Hindoo
But, th'ose things happened long ago;
they happened to people of another
race; in modern times and among tho
white races such mlsgovernmeni would
bo impossible! Self-complacent ignor
anco of tho present day takes that
kind of comfort of itself, and blandly
congratulates Itself upon tho fact that
legislative systems of robbery are
things of tho past.
Subsidized Press.
Editorial writers, whoso papers are
owned and salaries paid by tho pots
of class-legislation, loso no opportun
ity of patting the solf-complacut sage
on the back, and of strengthen
ing his belief that all Is well with tho
republic. Class legislation did once
upon a time, lead great nations to
ruin but, that was long ago. Class
legislation is the samo old treo, but
the fruit is not the samo. Thus sayeth
the subsidized editor; and, the self
complacent sage who knows that all
is well with our Republic, purrs with
satisfaction, and thinks highly of the
Symptoms of National Disease
Yet, if one really wishes to know
the truth, and will but look around
him; he will observe the symptoms
which have always characterized tho
diseased' nation when afflicted by
Did the people of Russia demand war
with Japan? Were they consulted?
Did they have any grievance against
the Japanese? No. The Czar did not
want war; the people did not want
it. Who then forced Russia into that
bottomless pit of blood and suffering?
The corrupt ruling class tin preda
tory capitalists who were seeking new
fields of conquest. A score of gold
hunting Nabobs provoked the strife;
and now the Russian peasant must
yield up his body, throw the weeds
of widowhood around his wife, wring
the cry of orphanage from the lips of
his child, and feed the buzzards with
his rotting flesh, In order that tho un
scrupulous marauders may get their
clutches upon more gold.
In Germany, see how the war-lord
struts and swaggers and mis-governs.
See him clap men, women and chil
dren into filthy dungeons for the high
crime of speaking disrespectfully of
thoir imperial master. See how the
soldier rides on the back of his pro
ducer. See-how tho common people
are ground "down under the wheels of a
splendid, extravagant, Insolent mili
tarism. See the millions wasted year
ly on the personal vanities of -the
empercr. See how the smart young
officers' cut down with their swords
the private soldier, or the private
citizen, and escape punishmnL See
how this proud emperor 3ends to penal
servitude for seven years a poor devil
of soldier who had expressed tho wish
that the swift train which bore the
kaiser by, on one of his journeys,
might have been slowed up, eo that
his Majesty's loyal subject could have
gotten a glimpse of tho royal face.
See how Italy is harrowed by the
tax-gatherer, who squeezes out every
possible penny from the common peo
ple In order that there shall be main
tained an Idle aristocracy, and an ex
agerated militarism. In that unhappy
land, "so richly, blessed by Nature,
misrule has been so flagrant that half
of the people never have enough to
See Great Britain, with Its lands mo
nopolized by a few hundred ar'stocrats,
Its legislation controlled by properly
interests and Its hordes of Homeless
poor crying .for bread along the stieets
of tho richest cities In the world. Con
sider these legions of the homeless.
Look Into thoso tenements, packed,
like sardines in a box. with hungry
men, women and children, rinnk of
tho morals insoparablo from aucu con
ditions. Think what jiasslons must
rage undor tho ragged shirt of tho
workman who stops in tho street to
pick up tho remnants of fooa which
aro foul enough to turn tho stcranch
of a well-kept dog. Think of tho
multitudes who sprawl about tho
parks, skulk undor tho bridges, prowl
through tho slums not by tens, but
by thousands; not In ono city, but in
all cities. Millions of human beings,
God-created men and women, lash
ioned out of tho samo clay ao our
selves, in all essential respects tho
samo sort of folks wo nro; yet they
suffer, thoy starve, within sight of
tho synagogue, within earshot of tho
preachor, who Is holding forth to his
hearers upon tho loveliness of tho
Creed of Christ tho Christ who nevor
owned a homo, and never carried a
purse, and who under some of our
statutes might have fared as a vag
How Is It In America?
How is it In your own land? God nov
er made a grander home for his children
than that which tho Cavalier in Vir
ginia, the Dutchman in Now Vork,
and tho Puritan in Massachusetts
sought as a refugo from tho systems
of the Old World. In natural advan
tages this earth holds no region super
ior to ours. Onco it belonged to the
people. With his gun, tho common
man won It, mile by mllo, from the
Indian, tho Frenchman, tho Saxon,
and tho Spaniard. What the common
man did not win with his gun, ho
bought with his monoy. From sea
to seathe-land which is ours became
ours because tho common man was
ready to pay for it with his tax-money
or his .blood.
What became of it? With bewild
ering rapidity, It has been taken from
the common people and given to thr
corporations. It belonged to tho gov
ernment, to all the people It was
meant to supply homes to Individual
citizens, and there was enough ol it
to last for many generations. To the
extent of about two hundred million
acres, it has been given to Railroad
corporations; and now when a common
man wants a homo in all that vast
domain ho must go to tho Railroad
Corporations to get It.
No Blacker Chapter Can Be Found
A blacker chapter than that which
records how both the old political
parties united to despoil tho common
people of their land, is not to oe found
in the annals of class-legislation.
Once upon a time we had a finan
cial system of our own. Placed in
the constitution as part of our funda
mental law. it seemed to be firmly
fixed. For a hundred years this money
system was in operation among us.
Therefore, it seemed to be 'irrevoc
ably fixed." Very wise men created
this system of national finance. It
was the ono subject upou which
Thomas Jefferson and Alexander
Hamilton agreed. Those two were, per
haps, the greatest statesmen this
country ever produced. So pre
eminent were they above all others
that they divided the people into two
distinct schools of political thought
But, upon the vital subject of finance,
theso master-minds reached tbe same
conclusion; and that conclusion be
came a part of the constitution.
Whether the Wall street influences
which produced the establishment of
the gold standard emanated from
wiser heads than those of Jefferson
and Hamilton, may be doubted. Both
of these great men served their coun
try a long time and died poor. In fix
ing bimetallism as a system, and the
silver dollar as tho unit of value,
they had no selfish motive. Two
lofty-minded statesmen agreed 'Upon
that system an the right system. It
romalncd In forco, giving full aaUs
Oiction, until tho monoy powor in it
march of conquest, found It to be a
barrlor. Tho money power demands
a standard which It can control; and .
ono metal la easier to control than
two. For tho same reason, it opposes
governmental Issues of paper money.
'and will never bo content until the
greenbacks aro called In and de
stroyed. To establish tho slngto gold stand
ard, which sots tho constitution
asldo, tho statuto had to bo violated,
Tho word "coin" had to be construed
to mean "gold only;" and tho papor
noto, Issued on sllvor, had to bo rc
doomed in a manner .different from
that prescribed by law.
Reasons Against "Irrevocability"
Thoro aro at least ilvo reasons why
tho gold standard can not bo con
sidered as fixed;
(1) It is unconstitutional.
(2) It violates statuto law.
(3) Tho supply of the gold might,
increase beyond all the calculations
of tho monoy power. Thus, the
standard of value would get beyond
Its control. In that event, tho monoy ,
power itself would chango tho stand
ard. (4) Tho supply of gold might
suddonly cease. In that event, con
traction would at onco set In, btcaus
tho country's expansion in business
and Increase in population require a
constantly Increasing volume oi cur
rency. If tho horrors of contraction
should again como upon us by the
selfish policy of the money power, the
people would compel a change in the
standard. Wall street gave u& the
panic of 1873; Wall street gave us the
panic of 1893. Let Wall street give
us another, and It may find it has
given us one too miny. Tho American
people have about reached .bo limit
'of endurance. Wo have heard much
of "Constitutionalism" in this cam
paign. Tho sincerity of the cry is
shown by tho fact that tho gold stand
ard which violates tho statute law
and tho Constitution, is not only
supported by Theodore Rooscclt, tho
Imperialist, but by Alton B. l-irker,
the chosen apostlo of Constitution
alism. (5) Tho gold standard Is not "Ir
revocably fixed." because It is un
scientific, wrong. Nothing more cer
tain than- the people of this coun
try will continue their strugglo until
thoy have a national currency which
the monoy power can not control and
which answers tho purpose of ' per
fecting exchanges without becoming an
armory from which the buccaneers
of modern finance draw the irresis
tible weapons with which they attack;
values and raid the markets.
National Banks The Worst Feature.
One of the worst features of our
financial system is the farming out to
tho national banks of tho power,
privilege and profit of supplying the
country with paper currency. Instead
of using its own credit for the equal
benefit of all people, the government
lends this credit to the national
banker to be used for tho benefit of
the banker. Thus the national banker
becomes a beneficiary of special priv
ilege; and, basing lro notes upon the
credit of the government, chaiges his
fellow citizens for the use of them.
He, the privileged, fattens upon usury
at the expense of the unprivileged.
There are now about five thousani.
national banks, which keep in cir
culation more;than four hundred mil
lion dollars of their notes. At eight
per cent, this represents a yearly pro
fit of more than thirty million doilarf